There’s nothing quite like being stuck on the road in a rainstorm at night. As drops of water escalate to thick torrents of rain, you’re going to want windshield wiper blades that get the job done. For your own safety, as well as that of your passengers and other drivers you want to have blades installed that will make sure you have a clear view, removing obstructions from springtime pollen to winter snow. The worst time to find out your wipers have worn out is in a situation when you need them most, so make sure to change yours out regularly.
While there are a lot of windshield wiper blades out there on the market, some get the job done better than others. You don’t want to get by with the budget brand when it comes to wiper blades. To keep you safe on the road, we’ve outlined what makes a good windshield wiper, top brands to consider, and where to buy windshield wiper blades.
What Makes a Good Windshield Wiper Blade
Quality is essential when it comes to choosing a windshield wiper brand. The best windshield wiper blade will wipe off water and residue and won’t freeze up during cold winters, and will last at least six months without breaking, or smearing water. Some drivers will also prefer a wiper blade that isn’t loud or squeaky.
Plan on updating your windshield wiper every six months—one set for the summer, and another for the winter months. Some blades are manufactured specifically for use during cold, snowy winters—consider one of these if you will be driving a lot in the snow or freezing rain.
The best windshield wipers are, of course, the ones that actually fit your car. When purchasing new windshield wiper blades, first check your car owner’s manual. It will list any specifications or requirements for the type of windshield wiper, including model and size. If you’ve lost your manual, you can always measure your wipers to determine the size you need.
Types of Windshield Wiper Blades
Knowing the types of windshield wiper blades will help you determine which is right for your car and budget.
- Conventional Wiper Blades: These are the most common type. A conventional blade consists of a metal frame connected to a rubber blade. This type of blade is a cost-effective choice.
- Beam Blades: These are made from rubber and steel, and do not have an external frame. This allows them to put more pressure across the windshield. They cost more but are more effective.
- Silicone Wiper Blades: Silicone wipers are an alternative to rubber. They tend to be quieter when wiping across the windshield and have more power to wipe away water with each stroke.
The Best Windshield Wiper Brands
There are many brands of windshield wiper blades on the market. Choosing just one for your car might be overwhelming, even after you’ve narrowed the choice down based on size and type. To help you make your decision, consider our top four best windshield wiper brands:
- Bosch ICON
This windshield wiper blade has top reviews on online retailers and is highly recommended by car shops. The ICON is simple to install and offers dual rubber, which increases the blade’s lifespan and reduces noise. A beam-blade wiper, it works well in any climate. It applies a uniform pressure across the entire blade, which improves both function and lifespan. The only downside is that this blade is on the expensive side.
- Rain-X Latitude
Another beam blade, the Rain-X Latitude will perform at top quality throughout its lifetime. The blades are made out of synthetic rubber. And with no exposed metal parts, these windshield wiper blades will prevent snow and ice from building up inside. Latitudes are available in almost every size and come with attachments to help with installation.
- Valeo 600
If you’re looking for a more traditional type blade, this is the way to go. The Valeo 600 is a conventional bracket wiper that lasts long and performs well while it is functional. With blades made from high-quality rubber, the Valeo won’t leave any streaks behind.
- PIAA Silicone
For an even higher quality wiper blade, try PIAA silicone wipers. These blades are made to last longer than rubber blades and still do a great job. The silicone leaves a bit of water-repellent film on your windshield as it works. However, these blades are pricier than other models.
Where to Buy Windshield Wiper Blades
Customers have a variety of options on where to buy the best windshield wiper blades. You may choose to purchase blades from the dealership. You’ll likely get the same blades your car came with, which is good if you are happy with their performance, but you might rather upgrade to a better or newer version.
Another option is buying windshield wiper blades online. While you can read reviews and shop from the convenience of your couch, you may accidentally buy the wrong size or type.
Auto shops and car parts stores are other places you can buy windshield wiper blades. Car shops carry a wide selection of wiper blades, and the technicians will be able to help make sure you get the right blade, discuss the merits of different brands, and even show you how to install them.
At Wade Auto, we sell the best wind deflectors and auto accessories designed to help you get the most out of your ride. Check out Wade Auto for great prices and excellent customer service.