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The 7 Best Windshield Wipers Reviewed

There’s so much more to windscreen wipers than you may realise…

Best Overall Choice
Rain-X 5079281-2 Latitude 2-in-1 Water Repellency Wipers

Rain-X Latitude 2-in-1 Water Repellency Wiper

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Best Premium Choice

Bosch Icon Wiper Blade

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Best Budget Choice
Anco Winter Wiper Blades with Attachment Part

Anco Winter Wiper Blade

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A car drives down a road using its windshield wipers to remove excess rain water

Windshield wipers tend to be overlooked by even the most attentive car owners. Tires, motor oil, and even car air fresheners are typically never left out when talking auto parts and accessories. So why do we seem to forget about how important and crucial for safe driving wiper blades are?

In the United States alone, an average of 556,151 accidents happen every year because of rain. That’s not even taking into account how many crashes are caused by snow, sleet, and hail! We will never know how many of those crashes could be avoided by using the best windshield wipers on the market. But we can guess quite a few!

Tired and old wiper blades don’t help safe driving. In fact, they make driving in the rain even more dangerous than it already is. If the rubber is worn out, your windshield will still be covered in water. Worse than that, it can leave streaks that make it almost impossible to see the road in front of you clearly.

Knowing all this, you’ll probably want to invest in a brand-new set of windshield wiper arms. In this article, we’ll explain to you all there is to know about this life-saving auto part. We’ll give you tips on how to find the best windshield wipers for your car and even highlight the best wiper blades on the market right now.

At the end of this buying guide and review piece, you’ll find ways to install a new pair of blades, as well as what to do about your old ones. Moreover, you’ll find a list of more than 10 frequently asked questions about wipers for windshields answered!

 

How Do Windshield Wipers Work?

Let’s get down to basics and learn how these auto parts really work inside a vehicle.

Hoe a windshield wiper works

Nowadays, all wipers are powered by an electric motor. There is a linkage that converts the rotational motion of the motor into the back-and-forth movement of the wipers.

Then, attached to the wiper frame, you have the blades. Their job is to get whatever if blocking your windshield out of there. They can be made from different materials, and this influences their price. We’ll get back to that in a moment.

You may have also notice that, in different cars, you’ll find that the wipers move in different ways. This is because car manufacturers choose what pivot point design they desire. Essentially, there are four pivot designs, which are pictured below.

Pivot Points for windshield wipers depending on car model

Near the steering wheel, usually on the left-hand side, you can find the wiper controls. The stalk (or lever) allows you to control the wipers’ movement. If it’s pouring outside, you’ll want quick wiper blade movements. If it’s raining just a little, the occasional wipe will do the trick. As the driver, you’re given full control.

Lastly, some wiper blades have rain sensors. When the wiping blades feel the vibrations caused by raindrops, they are triggered. Thus, as soon as it starts to rain, the wiper mechanism will start working, cleaning your windshield hassle-free.

As a quick note, don’t forget that every car has two separate sets of wipers: a rear wiper and a windshield one!

 

How Long Do Windshield Wipers Last?

This is an important question to ask. After all, you need to know how often to replace the windscreen wipers. 

On average, they last between six months and one year. Some models have a longer lifespan, while others have a longer one.

As a rule of thumb, when you see the blades no longer making full contact with the windshield or hear them squeaking, it’s time to replace them.

 

What Are They Made Of?

Usually, the frame of a wiper is made of aluminum, as it is a lightweight metal.

The parts that convert the motor power and the and the pivot are made of galvanized steel (or zinc-covered steel, to shelter it from erosion).

The blades are, more often than not, made from some kind of rubber. Some manufacturers only use natural rubber, while others opt for synthetic compounds. How hard the rubber is changes from maker to maker.

 

What Vehicles Have Wipers for the Windshield?

Cars, trucks, semis, and even motorcycles all have wipers on their windshields. But they’re not all the same. You can’t use semi truck wipers on a motorcycle, for example.

Throughout this article, we’ll only talk about and look at wipers for cars. However, the logic of how to install them and why they’re important is pretty much the same regardless of what vehicle you have.

Windshield wipers working on a snowy vehicle

 

Are Windshield Wipers Required By Law?

Wipers for the windshield are not a car accessory: they’re a crucial auto part that contributes to driving safety. After all, they improve your visibility on the road. 

On top of that, in the United States, state laws make windshield wipers mandatory on all cars. So you’re definitely not getting away with having faulty wipers!

 

Can Windshield Wipers Fail Inspection?

Yes, they can! The point of putting your car through inspection is to make sure it is safe to be on the road. If your wipers are badly damaged and can’t clear the windshield efficiently, your car will most likely fail inspection.

Every state has its own inspection procedures and laws. Some allow the blades to be somewhat worn out as long as the ridges in the silicone aren’t larger than a set measurement. Others state that the blades must be in pristine conditions.

It’s all a matter of using common sense and checking your local DMV’s inspection laws.

 

Are Windshield Wipers Universal?

No, there are dozens of different wiper sizes out there, precisely because each car model requires a different design.

Never forget this! The golden rule of shopping for wipers is to always check your car’s wiper blade compatibility. Otherwise, you risk spending money on a worthless product.

 

TIP: Amazon makes the process of checking car-wiper compatibility a stroll through the park. When you’re on a product page, enter the year, make, and model of your vehicle on the top bar. Amazon will, on its own, check if the product is suited for your needs.

 

Windscreen Wiper Blades Buying Guide 

You may have asked yourself: “Are windshield wipers all the same?” We’re here to tell you that no: they are made differently and for different cars. Thus, it’s crucial that you understand the differences between wiper blades. That is unless you want to spend money on an auto part that doesn’t fit your vehicle!

 

Types of Wiper Blades

There are, essentially, three types of wiper blades. Each has their pros and their cons, so it’s really up to you which ones you want to add to your car.

 

Conventional Wiper Blade: These are the cheapest and most readily available wipers on the market. They use halogen-hardened rubber or rubber squeegees. Unfortunately, they are not incredibly durable, especially under snowy and icy conditions. Thus, they must be replaced more often.

Hybrid Wiper Blade: This type of wiper blade has become more popular in recent years. Structurally, it is built similarly to the conventional wipers. But the twist is that they have an outer shell for more protection. It makes them good to use in snowy and icy days, more durable, and more aerodynamic. Their downside is that they’re more expensive than conventional blades.

Beam Wiper Blade: By far the most sophisticated and expensive wipers are the beam-style ones. They are made with a one-piece design in mind and are also the sturdiest and longest-lasting wipers on the market. For extreme weather conditions, they are the ones performing best. 

Different types of windshield wiper blades

 

Wiper Blade Size and Fit

It’s crucial to know what blades fit your vehicle. Ask yourself “What size windscreen wipers do I need” before spending time and money in the search for the best wipers for your windshield.

When you check with the manufacturer what size blades you need, you’ll get an exact fit — and better-performing wipers.

 

Attachment Style

Wipers usually come in one of two designs when it comes to installation style: straight wiper arm or hooked wiper arm. Some products are universal and come with adaptors for both attachment styles. Nonetheless, it never hurts to check.

 

Durability and Sturdiness

You’ll need to look for wipers that are durable and sturdy enough to withstand the weather. This will depend on where you live. 

For example, someone living in Southern California doesn’t need blades strong enough to clear off snow and ice from the windshield. Meanwhile, someone living in the Midwest during the winter will most certainly require heavy-duty wiper blades that can easily handle sleet and ice.

Typically, the sturdier the wipers, the more expensive is the product. But don’t be tempted to buy a cheaper alternative, unless you want to keep changing wipers several times throughout the winter.

 

Blade Material

This ties well together with our previous point. You need to find wipers made from strong blade material if you want them to last you through the winter.

 

Ease of Installation

If you’re not an expert mechanic, stick to wipers that come with easy, straightforward instructions and a complete DIY installation kit. It will make your job a lot easier!

 

Cost and Refills

Of course, the cost of the wipers is always something to consider. You’ll find blades costing upwards of $60 and others marked at less than $15. It’s all a matter of setting your budget knowing how much they will last you.

 

7 Best Windshield Wipers Reviewed (Updated for 2020)

It’s time to look at the best products in the market. Let’s see what special features they have and how they all compare.

 

How We Chose These Products

Every time we write these “article and buying guide” articles, we make sure to do thorough research beforehand. Hours and hours of research are behind every article you read here on Auto Wise. But what steps do we follow?

 

  1. Research the product’s uses, advantages, and downsides
  2. Look at dozens of products on Amazon
  3. Read up on the products’ specs
  4. Study hundreds of customer reviews
  5. Research Amazon’s Choice program
  6. Peruse several guides written by authority websites
Best Overall Choice

1. Rain-X Latitude 2-in-1 Water Repellency Wiper

Rain-X 5079281-2 Latitude 2-in-1 Water Repellency Wipers

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This is one of the most popular (and the best!) wiping arms on the market today. Their ergonomic design and clever pressure distribution make it a frontrunner in the industry.

Each blade has been designed to accompany your windshield’s curvature. This makes it so that the full length of the blade can wipe off excess water and snow. Thus leaving you with a perfectly clean windscreen.

The arm and the blade are covered in Rain-X’s own water repelling solution. For starters, it offers an evenly clean screen. Moreover, it also prevents water from building up on the screen between wipes.

Lastly, the arm has minimal amounts of metal components exposed to the air. This leads to a decrease of ice built up. The best part about that is that they’re more durable and last longer.

This wiper arm is available in ten sizes, from 16 inches to 28 inches.

Pros:

  • Water-repellent coating ensures clean glass between wipes
  • Evenly distributed pressure leads to a perfectly clean windscreen
  • Made from sturdy materials and trusted by thousands of shoppers

Cons:

  • The pivot isn’t the strongest and can come loose in some cases

 

Best Premium Choice

2. Bosch Icon Wiper Blade

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Who doesn’t know (and trust) Bosch? They are one of the leading engineering companies in the United States and Europe. And this product is proof of that!

Each of these Bosch wiper blades costs a little over twenty dollars. Sure, it’s not the cheapest product out there, but you’re getting great value for your buck.

For starters, the frames have double rubber, making them almost twice as more durable as similar products on the market.

Secondly, it comes in two different designs: A-style (flat arms) and B-style (curved arms). This gives you the freedom to choose the style you like best.

Third, these beam-style blades have reinforced springs that make them extra resistant to adverse weather conditions. Thus, even if you live in areas that go through harsh winters, you can trust these blades to get the job done.

They are available in twelve sizes, in both the A and B styles.

Pros:

  • Extra durable and more long-lasting than other wipers out there
  • Perfect for windshield cleaning in icy and snowy conditions
  • Flat and curved blade designs available

Cons:

  • Some car models are seemingly not compatible with these blades

3. Trico Extreme Ice Wipers

Trico Exact Fit Extreme Weather Wipers

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Have a problem with ice in your windshield? You won’t anymore with these wiper arms. Its combination of sleek design and flexible materials make it a no-brainer pick for extreme weather conditions.

The arm has been designed to accompany the natural curvature of the windshield. This means that the pressure is distributed evenly along the wiper arm, leading to a perfect and even wiping performance.

As it is built from flexible materials, it is more durable than the competition’s wiper arms. This means it can handle ice buildup and snow pileups easily. If you live in an area known for snowstorms, this product has your back.

Some elements of the arm are made of Teflon-infused materials. Thanks to them, this product offers a smooth and quiet wipe.

Lastly, this model is available in twelve sizes, from 13 inches to 28 inches.

Pros:

  • Sturdy to withstand snowstorms and ice buildups
  • Flexible and light materials offer a clean wipe
  • Easy installation requiring only a couple of steps

Cons:

  • Poor installation will lead to wiper arm falling off

4. Rain-X Weatherbeater Wiper Blade

Rain-X Weatherbeater budget-friendly wipers

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This product has been on the market for over 15 years now, which makes sense, given how affordable, durable, and loved by shoppers it is.

The wiper frame is made from galvanized steel. This means that the steel has been treated with a coating of zinc. As a result, it’s highly resistant to erosion and rusting.

The rubber blade may look thin, but it can withstand adverse weather conditions nicely. It resists being exposed to high temperatures without melting or deteriorating.

The arm has been created to have multiple pressure points. The result of this design is clean, smooth, and perfect wipes along the entirety of the arm frame.

Lastly, installing this product has been made easy. There is a small built-in J-hook adapter that slides into your car’s wiper attachment with ease. With the product, you will also find other installation adapters for any attachment style.

Pros:

  • Durable wiper frame that leads to a longer life
  • Sturdy rubber blade resistant to heat
  • Clean and smooth consistent wipes

Cons:

  • Not the most durable in harsh winter weather
Best Budget Choice

5. Anco Winter Wiper Blade

Anco Winter Wiper Blades with Attachment Part

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The Anco Winter blades are another cheap yet effective pair of wipers. Their sturdy look is a perfect match to their quality and durability.

What stands out the most about these wipers is how thick the frames are. They have been designed with the purpose of withstanding harsh winters, which they do.

The rubber blade is rugged and heavy-duty. It provides a clean, consistent wipe along the entirety of the windshield.

Even when there are ice and snow buildups, the Anco wiper blade ensures the windscreen gets clean.

It comes in eight different sizes, from 11 inches to 24 inches.

Pros:

  • Super affordable individual blades
  • Available in a variety of styles
  • Sturdy arm frame and rubber blade

Cons:

  • The attachment adapter will not fit all cars

 

6. Bosch Clear Advantage Wipers

Curved Bosch Clear Advantage Windshield Wiping Blade

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Don’t be fooled by how thin the Bosch wiper blades look. If Bosch has taught us anything is that they only make high-quality products. And the Clear Advantage series is no exception to the rule.

The rubber blade has been treated with graphite, thus reducing the amount of noise it makes while still ensuring a clean and even wipe.

It comes with an easy-to-follow instruction guide. Furthermore, it also includes a pre-mounted multi-adapter. Not only does all this make your life easier, but it also ensures the wiper arms will fit your vehicle.

The built-in steel spring applies pressure along the entire blade. Thus, the rubber wiper will offer a clean and even wipe of your screen every time.

The only downside we can see on this product is that the rubber doesn’t extend along the entirety of the arm. As a result, there will be a small gap in the wiping of the windshield.

Pros:

  • Noise-less and effective graphite-treated wiper blade
  • Even pressure along the entire arm frame
  • Clear instructions and handy adapter included

Cons:

  • Rubber doesn’t clean the entirety of the screen, leaving a small gap

7. AERO Quality All-Season Premium Beam Wiper

AERO Premium All Season Wiper Blades

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The last item on our list is the AERO all-season wipers. This product deserves to have “premium” in its name, as it is a top-rated product that handles snow and ice like no other.

You’re looking at a product designed with the most important concepts of aerodynamics in mind. This means that they move with ease without tiring the motor, make no noise, and their movements are as efficient as possible.

The arms and rubber blade are made from heavy-duty durable materials. They withstand harsh weather conditions with ease.

Its smooth rubber has been treated to clear the windscreen and rear window with precision. It provides a consistent wipe along the entirety of the window.

If you’re looking for a pair of windshield cleaners that will look after your car in the winter, you have found it. They really stand out from the competition in the way they get rid of ice and snow pileups.

Pros:

  • Perfect for use in icy and snowy conditions
  • Durable aerodynamic design made from top-grade materials
  • Top rated product on Amazon and other retailers

Cons:

  • Bit more expensive and less versatile than other products

 



 

Troubleshooting: Fixing Wiper Blades

Changing windshield wipers

How to replace windshield wipers?

The first thing to do is find out what kind of attachment mechanism for wipes your car has. It could have a hook slot connector or a straight-end connector. The DMV provides a handy step-by-step guide on how to unhook your old wiper arms and install the new ones.

 

How to put on windscreen wipers?

This will depend on the attachment mechanism of your car. Yet, in most cases, it boils down to sliding the new wiper arms into place until you hear a click. That sound means the new arm is attached in place, which means your job is done.

 

What to do if windshield wipers are not working properly?

There are, essentially, four reasons why your wipers aren’t working properly:

  1. Wiper arm is bent: This is most likely caused by vandalism. Try straightening out the arm yourself. Unfortunately, it’s likely they will never return to factory conditions, meaning you may have to invest in a new pair.
  2. Loose wiper arm: A loose arm may look like it needs replacing, but it actually doesn’t. Simply get a new nut or pin and reattach it.
  3. One of the arms doesn’t work: Check the wiper grille (this is located under the hood and should be visible after you take off the wiper arms. Under it, you will find the linkages — one for each wiper arm. Probably, one of the linkages is disconnected from one of the arms. Connect it again and that will be all.
  4. Wiper arms don’t move at all: The likely responsible for this malfunctioning is the car’s fuses. Consult your car’s user manual to see how to check the fuses. If they don’t look right, replace them. If they look okay but the wipers still won’t work, it’s time to get a new wiper motor.

 

What to do when windscreen wipers squeak?

Squeaking is a sign your wipers are done for. The best and safest course of action is to buy a new pair. And, hey, at you least you landed on this guide which will help you find the best wipers for your car!



Frequently Asked Questions

How to clean wiper blades?

You may have noticed that when you run the wipers, they make the windscreen dirty. That’s a sign that your blades are dirty. Clean the rubber with a clean rag soaked in soapy water. Then, use new windshield washer fluid.

Are windshield wipers sold in pairs?

Wipers are sold individually because, nowadays, most cars don’t use blades the same size for each side.

Can windshield wipers drain your battery?

In the vast majority of cars, once you turn off the engine, the wipers will automatically turn off. That’s why you won’t see them moving. However, if your car has a very unique design and they still work even when the engine is off, then yes, they may potentially kill your battery.

Are windshield wipers easy to install?

This depends on who you ask. People who are handy and have experience fixing things themselves, then replacing a pair of wipers will be easy. Moreover, a lot of products come with clear instructions easy to follow for even the least handy people.

Can windshield wiper fluid freeze?

There have been cases of washer fluid freezing during the winter. Bug wash solutions will freeze if they’re exposed to below-freezing temperatures. Washer fluid with antifreeze can withstand colder temperatures, but even the strongest solution will freeze if exposed to -50ºF.
It’s important to ensure the washing fluid doesn’t freeze while in the reservoir. Otherwise, as the liquid expands, it could crack it, which means you’ll need to replace it.

Are windscreen wipers supposed to freeze?

Can wipers freeze and get stuck to the windshield? Yes. Should you do something about it? Well, that depends. Many people will suspend the wiper arms during the winter to prevent this exact thing. But others will argue that this wears out the springs of the wiper arm.
Either way, make sure to look after your wiper system extra carefully during icy winters. The last thing you want is finding a cracked wiper arm on the way to work!

Can windshield wipers crack windshield?

Old, worn out wiper rubber can damage your windshield permanently. If the rubber is “eaten up” or if there are stray pieces of metal or gravel under the wiper arms, they will leave a (nasty) mark on your windshield.

Are windshield wipers mandatory?

Yes, at least in Canada and in the United States. Not having functioning wipers can get you a fine, not to mention your vehicle will fail inspection.



Rita Cunha
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