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5 Best Gutter Guards in 2024 (Tested and Reviewed)

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How We Test Icon1
6 Types of Gutter Guards Tested
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18 Factors Tested for Each Gutter Guard
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12 Gutter Guard Brands Tested to Date

Default Author Icon Written by Mike Miller Updated 05/10/2024

Many gutter guard brands claim to protect your gutters and reduce the frequency of gutter cleaning, but not all guards are effective at preventing debris buildup and promoting water flow. We tested 12 gutter guards, including professionally installed and DIY products, and surveyed 1,000 homeowners who purchased gutter guards to obtain their reviews and cost information for the different providers and products.

After conducting our testing and research, we recommend LeafFilter as the best professionally installed gutter guard and Raptor as the top DIY product. LeafFilter’s high-quality micro-mesh design blocked debris as small as shingle grit during testing. Raptor’s micro-mesh guard blocked pine needles and leaves while promoting water flow. Our thorough testing determined that micro-mesh gutter guards constructed with stainless steel are the most effective type of gutter guards for most homeowners. Below, we will provide our test results and a comprehensive guide to choosing the best gutter guard for your needs.


Best Gutter Guards of 2024

The Best DIY Gutter Guards


Compare Professionally Installed Gutter Guards

The table below compares the top professionally installed gutter guards on price, type, and our rating. We surveyed 1,000 homeowners who have had gutter guards installed on their homes to determine the average price for a 200-linear-foot gutter guard system installation for each brand.

Star Rating Product Image Gutter Guard Type Average Cost Link
LeafFilter
LeafFilter LeafFilter Micro-mesh $5,528 Visit Site
LeafGuard
LeafGuard LeafGuard Reverse-curve $5,242 Visit Site
Gutter Guards America
Gutter Guards America Gutter Guards America Micro-mesh $5,270 Visit Site
HomeCraft
HomeCraft HomeCraft Micro-mesh $6,338 Visit Site
All American Gutter Protection
All American Gutter Protection All American Gutter Protection Micro-mesh $5,630 Visit Site
LeafFilter
Star Rating
Logo LeafFilter
Product Image LeafFilter
Gutter Guard Type Micro-mesh
Average Cost $5,528
Visit Site
LeafGuard
Star Rating
Logo LeafGuard
Product Image LeafGuard
Gutter Guard Type Reverse-curve
Average Cost $5,242
Visit Site
Gutter Guards America
Star Rating
Logo Gutter Guards America
Product Image Gutter Guards America
Gutter Guard Type Micro-mesh
Average Cost $5,270
Visit Site
HomeCraft
Star Rating
Logo HomeCraft
Product Image HomeCraft
Gutter Guard Type Micro-mesh
Average Cost $6,338
Visit Site
All American Gutter Protection
Star Rating
Logo All American Gutter Protection
Product Image All American Gutter Protection
Gutter Guard Type Micro-mesh
Average Cost $5,630
Visit Site
Company
Star Rating
BBB Rating
Best For
A+
Best Filtration
A+
Best for Large Debris
A+
Best Customer Responses
B
Best Additional Services
A
Best Deals and Discounts

Top Professional Gutter Guard Providers

Professional gutter guards are typically made with higher-quality materials and come with longer-lasting warranties than their DIY counterparts. Here are our top picks for professional gutter guards.

LeafFilter

Best Filtration
4.7
BBB Rating : A+

We recommend LeafFilter for homeowners who want as much debris filtered out of their gutters as possible. LeafFilter’s ultra-fine mesh performs better than other gutter guards, blocking debris as small as shingle grit, pine needles, and pollen. Its three-piece design reinforces the existing gutter system, which no other gutter guard company offers.

How We Scored LeafFilter

We gave LeafFilter a score of 4.8 out of 5 stars in our review standards. Here’s how LeafFilter performed in key categories:

  • Design (4.3 out of 5): LeafFilter scored well due to its impressive micro-mesh screen and overall system design. Its filter performed the best out of every guard we tested. It lost points due to its uPVC frame material. 
  • Customer support (5 out of 5): We awarded full points in this category due to LeafFilter’s lifetime warranty and strong customer communication. 
  • Quote process (5 out of 5): LeafFilter received full points thanks to its free inspections, available discounts, and financing options.
  • Services (5 out of 5): LeafFilter offers a host of additional services when you purchase its product, including gutter and downspout installation.

Pros and Cons

Pros Includes a lifetime, transferable warranty, while many providers only offer performance guarantees Uses 275-micron stainless steel, one of the most durable gutter guard materials Offers additional services such as new gutter installation Cons Doesn’t offer additional services outside of gutter guard installations, while some companies offer standalone additional services Has received negative customer feedback for its aggressive pricing and sales tactics

Cost and Financing

We read hundreds of LeafFilter customer reviews and noted any reviews in the last year that mentioned costs. These reviews indicate that the price range for a LeafFilter system is $2,400 to $8,000, with an average of $4,000. We also surveyed 130 LeafFilter customers. Our survey results align with the pricing mentioned in reviews, with a 200-linear foot system averaging $5,528, or $27.64 per linear foot.

LeafFilter offers monthly payment plans and financing through Wells Fargo. Its financing requires purchases of $1,000 or more and has 0% APR for 24 months. LeafFilter offers a 10%  discount for seniors, veterans, and active-duty military service members.

Warranty

LeafFilter offers customers a lifetime warranty that promises free repairs or a refund if its gutter guard system clogs and causes water to damage their homes. LeafFilter’s warranty is one of the most generous in the industry but has some restrictions and limitations, including the following:

  • The warranty does not cover damage to fascia boards, gutters, roof substrates, or surfaces caused by the installation of LeafFilter products.
  • The warranty is void if the LeafFilter product is damaged by structural changes, uncontrollable acts of nature, and adjacent trees or other falling debris.
  • The warranty is void if the system is altered or if any willful action is taken to impede or restrict the flow of water through the filter.
  • The warranty does not cover overflows caused by an improper number of downspouts.

Our Experience With LeafFilter

LeafFilter gutter guards use a three-piece system incorporating a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) frame, stainless steel micro-mesh screen, and reinforcing hangers. This system is installed with a built-in pitch that uses water flow to push debris onto the ground.

LeafFilter supplied us with a floor model of its system so we could test it firsthand. We noted the following performance highlights when testing LeafFilter’s gutter guard:

  • Features a durable design and substructure
  • Blocks large and small debris, including tree leaves, pine needles, and shingle grit
  • Filters water without overflowing
  • Resists gutter clogging
  • Is easy to clean

You can request a no-obligation estimate from LeafFilter over the phone or via its online contact form. When we requested an estimate, LeafFilter notified us that a home inspection would be required before providing pricing information.

What Customers Are Saying

LeafFilter has more than 6,000 Better Business Bureau (BBB) reviews with 3.9 out of 5 stars. Its Trustpilot page features more than 123,000 reviews with an average score of 4.4 out of 5 stars. After reading hundreds of reviews, we discovered that many customers were pleased with LeafFilter’s gutter guard performance and installation process. Common themes in positive LeafFilter reviews include the following:

  • Easy-to-clean system
  • Guard kept all debris out of the gutter system
  • Professional and knowledgeable technicians and customer service associates

Some customers mentioned issues with LeafFilter’s sales tactics and high costs. Common complaints in negative reviews include the following:

  • Sales representatives presenting initially inflated quotes and only reducing them after negotiations
  • Installers forgetting to clean up job sites.

LeafGuard

Best for Large Debris
4
BBB Rating : A+

We recommend LeafGuard for homeowners who want a system that efficiently self-cleans. LeafGuard self-cleans better than most gutter guards due to its unique reverse-curve design and use of liquid adhesion and surface tension.

How We Scored LeafGuard

We gave LeafGuard a score of 4 out of 5 stars in our review standards. Here’s how we scored LeafGuard in key categories:

  • Design (3.8 out of 5): LeafGuard earned points in this category due to its durable one-piece system and self-cleaning reverse-curve guard design. However, this type of guard performs less well than micro-mesh screens and thus won fewer points overall.
  • Customer support (4.6 out of 5): LeafGuard scored well in this category due to its lifetime warranty on its scratch-guard coating.
  • Quote process (5 out of 5): We gave LeafGuard full points in this category because of its comprehensive quote process, financing options, and discounts.
  • Services (3 out of 5): LeafGuard earned points for its reliable system installations but lost points due to its lack of additional services.

Pros and Cons

Pros Guarantees product won’t clog for the life of your home Features a sturdy single-piece reverse-curve design Includes ScratchGuard paint finish for durability, which few companies offer Cons Requires a full gutter system replacement, while most guards can be installed on existing gutters Does not provide pricing information online, which is standard in the industry

Cost and Financing

LeafGuard customer reviews report a price range of $3,600 to $16,000. While this range is high, LeafGuard is an all-in-one system with seamless aluminum gutters, so you’re paying for new gutters in addition to new gutter guards.

Our survey of 250 LeafGuard customers determined an average cost of $5,242 for a 200-linear-foot system, or $26.21 per linear foot. We further analyzed our survey data and noted most respondents had smaller systems (between 100 and 150 feet). These customers reported prices of around $4,300. Customers with larger systems (200 feet or more) reported prices closer to $8,000.

Based on the data points gathered from customer reviews and our survey, we believe LeafGuard’s system will cost most homeowners between $4,000 and $10,000. This is reaffirmed by the information we found on LeafGuard’s financing page. LeafGuard works with Synchrony Bank to provide 132-month financing for its customers at $99 per month. The caveat to this financing option is that it only applies to LeafGuard systems that cost $7,883 or more. The fact that LeafGuard has this price as a requirement for financing implies that its system will fall around this price range.

Warranty

LeafGuard offers two forms of protection for its customers: a no-clog guarantee and a lifetime transferable warranty. Its warranty covers its ScratchGuard coating. LeafGuard’s warranty states that the scratch-proof paint will never: “blister, flake, chip, crack, peel, split, rot, red rust, or structurally deteriorate as a direct result of manufacturing defects, under ordinary wear conditions, if installed to Englert specifications and provided that the cleaning methods as described on the other side of the Warranty have been fully followed.”

LeafGuard promises to “pay 100% of the cost of repainting, repairing, or otherwise replacing the defective aluminum LeafGuard® with Scratchguard® gutters or gutter accessories” if the guard’s damage falls within the warranty conditions.

LeafGuard hosts its warranty terms and conditions on its website. We read through the entire warranty and discovered that it is void in the following circumstances:

  • Damage to the scratch guard is the result of forces or conditions that go beyond standard wear and tear, including: improper installation, oxidation, mold and mildew,  exposure to corrosive atmospheric conditions such as “sea air,” unreasonable use, crazing or cracking of the paint surface due to field forming in cold temperatures, and much more.
  • The damage is the result of a lack of proper owner maintenance and cleaning, especially in environments that cause materials to corrode more quickly. 
  • You don’t report the defect within 45 days of discovery.

Our Experience With LeafGuard

LeafGuard is an all-in-one system that combines seamless aluminum gutters with a reverse-curve guard. These gutter guards (also known as gutter helmets) utilize the scientific principles of liquid adhesion and surface tension to push debris onto the ground while allowing water to pass through. Its system is one of the most durable on the market and comes in 12 colors.

You can call LeafGuard’s toll-free number or fill out its online form to request an estimate. When we filled out the online form, we learned that LeafGuard would not provide an estimate without visiting the home. A representative contacted us shortly after submitting the form and confirmed this information.

What Customers Are Saying

LeafGuard has mixed customer reviews on BBB and Trustpilot. At the time of writing, its BBB page has 160 reviews with 1.5 out of 5 stars. Its Trustpilot page has 44 reviews with 2.2 out of 5 stars. Satisfied customers mention the company’s professionalism and the effectiveness of the product. Positive review themes include the following:

  • Prompt installation crews
  • Polite customer service representatives
  • Product durability

Critical reviews focused on the salesmanship of LeafGuard representatives and performance issues after installation. Recurring pain points include the following: 

  • High cost, with some customers reporting prices exceeding $10,000
  • Pine needles, seedpods, and small pests penetrating the guard

Gutter Guards America

Best Customer Responses
4.7
BBB Rating : A+

We recommend Gutter Guards America for homeowners looking for a reliable gutter guard installer with secure guarantees. Gutter Guards America has solid customer reviews and offers a lifetime, transferable warranty and a 100% money-back guarantee.

How We Scored Gutter Guards America

We gave Gutter Guards America a score of 4.7 out of 5 stars. Here’s how we rated this provider in key categories:

  • Design (4.2 out of 5): Gutter Guards America performed well in this category thanks to its micro-mesh screen and aluminum frame. 
  • Customer support (5 out of 5): We gave Gutter Guards America full points in this category because of its lifetime transferable warranty and 100% money-back guarantee.  
  • Quote process (5 out of 5): Gutter Guards America earned all points in this category thanks to its free inspections and the cleaning, repairing, and servicing it performs during installations.  
  • Services (5 out of 5): Gutter Guards America provides one of the widest service selections in the industry, including roof repair options. We granted it full points in this category.

Pros and Cons

Pros Is manufactured in the U.S., unlike many gutter guard brands Makes gutter guards with surgical-grade stainless steel mesh Offers a range of additional services, including seamless gutter installation and roof repair Cons Advertises misleading claim that its guards keep you off the ladder, which isn’t true of any gutter guard Limits service to Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, and South Carolina, unlike brands with wider service ranges

Cost and Financing

We searched customer reviews for pricing information for Gutter Guards America, but there weren’t enough reviews to create a reliable sample size. According to our survey results of nearly 300 Gutter Guards America customers, the average cost of a 200-linear-foot system is $5,270, or $26.35 per linear foot.

Like most gutter guard companies, Gutter Guards America offers financing through monthly payment plans. It promises 18-month, 0% interest plans to qualifying customers. It provides several discounts, including the following:

  • 15% general discount on purchases and installations
  • 10% discount for seniors, military personnel, veterans, and first responders

Warranty

Gutter Guards America provides a transferable lifetime warranty for its system’s materials and a 25-year workmanship warranty on labor. It also has an industry-standard no-clog guarantee. The conditions and exclusions of this warranty are not detailed on its website.

Our Experience With Gutter Guards America

Gutter Guards America uses a stainless steel micro-mesh screen set into a galvanized steel louvered frame with an aluminum base. Its mesh screen has a unique wave-like pattern that helps filter water and push off debris. Its impressive material quality gives its systems increased longevity, and its unique design adds to its sleek appearance.

We reached out to Gutter Guards America to ask about its product details. Its customer service personnel were polite, helpful, and knowledgeable. They informed us they use seamless aluminum gutters and offer various gutter and roofing services.

What Customers Are Saying

We analyzed recent customer reviews for Gutter Guards America on Trustpilot and BBB. It only has two BBB reviews with an average of 2.5 out of 5 stars. Its Trustpilot page has nearly 600 reviews with 4.5 out of 5 stars. The feedback was positive overall, with many customers praising the company for the following:

  • The professionalism and skill of the installation crews
  • The polite, non-pushy nature of the sales representatives
  • The impressive performance of its gutter guards

 Mixed and negative reviews mentioned the following issues:

  • Poor communication post-installation 
  • Inconsistent installation quality 

Top DIY Gutter Guard Providers

DIY gutter guards can be an effective and low-cost solution for clogged gutters. Note that you’ll install DIY gutter guards yourself, and quality varies greatly between products. DIY guards can be a good choice if you’re comfortable working on a ladder and want to save money on your gutter guard installation. 

To help you find the best guards for your home, we’ve purchased, installed, and tested every major product on the market. Here’s a selection of our top picks:

Raptor

Most Customizable DIY Guard
4.6

We recommend Raptor due to the impressive performance of its micro-mesh screen. It was one of the best-performing DIY gutter guards during our testing process and kept out more debris than any other DIY gutter guard. It performs well for homes that experience clogging issues with pine needles and other small debris.

How We Scored Raptor

We awarded Raptor 4.6 out of 5 stars. Here’s how it scored in key categories:

  • Design (4.7 out of 5): Raptor’s stainless steel micro-mesh screen blocked all debris during testing but was difficult to install, earning it a nearly perfect score in this category.
  • Customer support (4.6 out of 5): Raptor features helpful instructional materials on its website but has a shorter-than-average warranty, earning it almost full points in this category.
  • Customer reviews (4.6 out of 5): Raptor has above-average reviews on its Amazon page.
  • Cost (3.9 out of 5): As a micro-mesh gutter guard, Raptor is on the more expensive end of the DIY cost range, earning it lower points in this category.

Pros and Cons

Pros Offers DIY-friendly micro-mesh stainless steel guards, unlike DIY products that use plastic Accommodates various installation styles Has a 25-year product warranty, while most DIY products don’t offer warranties Cons Is hard to cut for installation Has smaller mesh holes that can cause overflow issues

Our Experience With Raptor

Raptor is a DIY product produced by Gutterglove. It uses a stainless steel micro-mesh screen set into an aluminum frame. It comes with a detailed installation guide and self-tapping screws. Its website features guides for complex or non-standard installations.

We ordered a set of Raptor gutter guards from its Amazon store page. The product arrived on time. We installed it on a small gutter model and tested it by simulating debris and downpour conditions. Raptor performed the best out of all the DIY guards we tested. Its micro-mesh screen kept out almost all debris and filtered water without overflowing.

We noted the following performance highlights when testing Raptor’s gutter guard:

  • Blocks small debris such as pine needles and shingle grit
  • Promotes water flow even in heavy rainfall
  • Requires more gentle handling because of bendable materials
  • Requires snipping the frame during installation to prevent gaps

What Customers Are Saying

Raptor’s Amazon product page has more than 5,200 reviews with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Based on more than 100 Amazon reviews we read, satisfied customers praised Raptor for the following: 

  • Ease of installation
  • Informative instruction manual
  • Effective micro-mesh screen

The main complaint was that the holes in the mesh were so small they wouldn’t allow all the water to pass through during a downpour, causing water to flow over the gutters. Customers also reported Raptor’s tendency to freeze over during the winter.

Cost

Raptor Gutter Guard is available on Amazon with a listed price of $109.99 for 48 linear feet, or $2.29 per linear foot. Expect to pay $550 to purchase enough material to cover the total length of a 200-linear-foot gutter system.

Warranty

Raptor offers customers a 25-year manufacturer’s warranty that covers all included parts and materials of the gutter guard.

A-M Gutter Guard

Best for Easy Cleaning
4.5

We recommend A-M Gutter Guard because of its durability and efficiency. Its guards were the most durable of the DIY brands we tested. It provides a secure hold on your gutter system and filters out most debris.

How We Scored A-M Gutter Guard

A-M’s aluminum screen guards received 4.5 out of 5 stars. Here’s how we rated its key categories:

  • Design (3.7 out of 5):  A-M’s guard is durable and features a secure hold. However, it lost points because it doesn’t block small debris and is prone to overflows in heavy rainfall.  
  • Customer support (5 out of 5): A-M offers helpful instructions and a lifetime warranty, earning it a perfect score in this category.   
  • Customer reviews (5 out of 5): A-M’s Amazon reviews are impressive, earning it another perfect score.
  • Cost (4.2 out of 5): A-M is relatively expensive for a DIY guard, resulting in a moderate score in this category.

Pros and Cons

Pros Is an affordable, DIY option Has a low-profile design that sits below the gutter edge, unlike many DIY guards that rise above gutters Is made from sturdy and rustproof heavy aluminum, unlike many DIY products made from plastic or steel Cons Does not include installation screws Allows smaller debris to slip through the filter, compared to micro-mesh guards that large and small debris

Our Experience With A-M Gutter Guard

We ordered a sample kit of A-M’s aluminum gutter guards from its Amazon page. The product arrived on time, was packaged correctly, and was devoid of any damage or defects. A-M features perforated metal screens made from 100% heavy-gauge aluminum.

The product contained a simple set of installation instructions. It was easy to install and performed effectively. It kept out most debris, except for small pine needles and seedpods. It overflowed when exposed to heavy rainfall conditions.

Review our testing insights below: 

  • Blocks most debris but allows small materials through
  • Features the highest durability of the guards we tested
  • Overflows only in heavy downpours
  • Catches debris and requires more frequent cleaning
  • Requires drilling into the gutter to install

What Customers Are Saying

A-M’s Amazon page has more than 5,000 reviews with an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. Its reviews on Amazon were mostly positive, with many customers offering the following praises: 

  • Effective at keeping leaves, twigs, and branches out of gutters
  • Strong connection that withstands high winds
  • Highly durable against impacts from tree limbs and falling debris

However, some customers said it required more maintenance than they expected. For example, the gutter guard formed a valley that collected debris and caused pine needles to get stuck in the holes, forcing customers to clean their gutters multiple times per year. (Most gutter guards reduce the frequency of gutter cleaning to every one to two years.)

Cost

A-M Gutter Guard is available on Amazon for $264.99 for the 200-foot package, or $1.32 per linear foot.

Warranty

A-M has one of the most generous manufacturer warranties we’ve seen. It offers its customers a lifetime warranty that promises its product parts will never rust, rot, or self-deteriorate.


Which Companies Didn’t Make the List?

There are dozens of national gutter guard companies and hundreds of DIY products. We curated a list of our favorite options and excluded any brand or company that performed poorly against our review standards. Some of the brands that didn’t make the list can be useful in niche circumstances. Review two of these guards below. 

All American Gutter Protection

All American Gutter Protection is a smaller brand that could be a good fit if you live in one of the 15 states it serves. We excluded All American from our list of the best gutter guards due to its limited operating area, customer complaints indicating that it doesn’t always honor its warranty, and its lack of additional services. However, it offers generous discounts for homeowners.

GutterBrush

GutterBrush is a DIY product that resembles a large pipe cleaner. Brush gutter guards have a central steel cable and connecting plastic bristles. This design is prone to clogging and won’t block small debris from entering your gutters. It’s sold on Amazon for $199 per 60 feet and will cost $730 to install on a 200-linear-foot gutter system. This product is easy to install, making it a good option for homeowners looking for a quick fix. 


How We Conducted Our Gutter Guard Testing

We tested more than a dozen gutter guards to assess how they withstood wear and tear, debris, and water. Our testing process varied depending on the product being assessed, but we typically applied debris such as tree leaves, pine needles, and shingle grit, water at varying speeds, and falling objects to the guards. Here are the three steps we followed:

  • Water passage test: We poured water on the shingles above the guard to simulate rainfall at varying intensities. This tested the guard’s ability to promote water flow.
  • Filtration test: We placed pine needles, shingle grit, deciduous tree leaves, seedpods, and twigs directly on the guard and the shingles above it. We then applied water to see which materials passed through the guard or were knocked to the ground.
  • Durability and quality inspection: We assessed the quality of the materials, the design of the guard, and the guard’s flexibility and rigidity. If the guard seemed easily damaged, we applied a stress test and noted any damage, such as dents, chips, cracks, or detachments.

We use testing to verify, correct, or reinforce information gathered from customer reviews and independent research. We rely on available information and customer feedback if we cannot test a product. If a product is unavailable for testing, we do not deduct points from that product or company’s overall score. If you would like to learn more about how we assess gutter guard quality, read our detailed rating methodology.

Test of A-M aluminum screen gutter guard | Photo by James Kiefer

What Did Our Gutter Guard Testing Tell Us?

Do gutter leaf guards actually work? Our rigorous testing provided evidence that gutter guards prevent debris buildup in gutters but do not completely eliminate the need for routine cleaning. Our testing of popular DIY and professionally installed gutter guards revealed the following takeaways:

Micro-mesh gutter guards perform the best: If constructed well, micro-mesh guards block the most debris while still allowing water to flow freely into your gutters.
The best-performing brand we tested was LeafFilter: LeafFilter blocked more than 90% of debris, did not overflow during the water passage test, and was easy to clean.
The best DIY brand is Raptor: Raptor blocked 90% of debris, with only small dirt particles and micro-debris slipping through the filter, and filtered 85% of the water we applied without overflowing.
Every guard needs to be cleaned: No guard we tested completely self-cleaned, regardless of the amount of water or pressure we applied.
Hidden hangers can present installation problems: If your gutters have hidden hangers, which are internal hangers rather than external ones, you’ll have difficulty installing most DIY gutter guards.
Raptor gutter guard installed in gutter on roofline during heavy rainfall test
Raptor micro-mesh gutter guard test | Photo by James Kiefer

What You Should Know Before Buying Gutter Guards

There are two main categories of gutter guards to choose from: professionally installed brands and DIY products. Within these broad categories are multiple types of guards, from stainless steel micro-mesh guards to sturdy reverse curve gutter helmets. 

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the variety of brands, products, and materials available when shopping for gutter guards. “The material of the gutter guard is essential,” says Andrew Johnson, CEO of Prime Seamless Gutters & Roofing. “Homeowners should look for durable materials like stainless steel or aluminum.” Below, we’ll take a closer look at each type and material to help you find the best one for your home. 

How Do Different Types of Gutter Guards Compare?

The following table compares the main types of gutter guards, including what situations they perform best in and a cost range for DIY and professional installations. Our testing and research of each type of gutter guard revealed that a micro-mesh design was the most effective at keeping even small debris out of your gutters.

Gutter Guard TypeProfessional Installation CostDIY CostBest For
Micro-mesh$4,000–$8,000$150–$625Areas with heavy foliage; long-term investments
Mesh$700–$1,950$45–$199Areas with intense rainfall and deciduous trees
Screen$500–$1,500$150–$265Areas with high winds; homes that experience falling tree limbs
Reverse-curve$5,000–$10,000$205 to $936Areas with low rainfall; homeowners who want to reduce cleaning
FoamN/A$270Temporary gutter protection
BrushN/A$795Homeowners who want a quick and easy solution
Price data in this section was sourced from customer reviews and survey data for professional installations and Amazon and Home Depot for DIY installations.

How Do Gutter Guard Materials Compare?

The following table compares gutter guard materials based on their best and worst use cases. It also outlines which gutter guard types use these materials to help you narrow down your options.

Gutter Guard MaterialGutter Guard TypeGood ForNot Good For
PlasticScreen and reverse curveQuick and inexpensive installationsLong-term use, areas with high wind
PVCReverse-curve and screenAreas with heavy deciduous tree leaves or other large debrisAreas with high heat, small debris, or consistent impacts from falling objects (such as tree limbs)
AluminumAll guard typesAreas with heavy rainfall or more corrosive climates (such as coastlines)Areas with high winds
StainlessMesh, micro-mesh, screenAreas with pine needles, seedpods, and other small debris, or areas with high windsAreas with corrosive climates (such as coastlines)
Test of LeafFilter gutter guard system | Photo by James Kiefer

Commonly Asked Questions About Gutter Guards

We’ll provide some answers to common questions and issues that homeowners have regarding the purchase, installation, and ownership of gutter guards.

What Is the Average Cost of Gutter Guards?

Many factors impact the cost of professional gutter guard installation, and an at-home inspection is typically required for an estimate. Based on our survey data for LeafFilter, LeafGuard, Gutter Guards America, and HomeCraft, the average price of professional gutter guard installation is $5,595 for 200 linear feet, or nearly $28 per linear foot. Prices can range up to $8,000 or more.

For DIY products, expect to pay between $300 and $600 or more for 200 linear feet. The total cost to install Raptor on a 200-linear-foot gutter system is approximately $550, based on current Amazon pricing.

Can You Negotiate the Price of Gutter Guards?

Yes, you can negotiate the price of a gutter guard installation to receive a fair price from a gutter guard installer. Some installers present initially inflated prices and will only drop them if you negotiate. This practice is common in many home improvement industries.

Do Gutters Require Maintenance and Cleaning With Gutter Guards? 

Yes, gutter guards require maintenance and cleaning even with gutter guards. No gutter guard completely removes the need for regular gutter maintenance and cleaning, however installing gutter guards make cleaning and maintenance easier and much less frequent.

How Long Do Gutter Guards Typically Last?

A gutter guard will last between five to 20 years, depending on your location, the guard’s material type, and the level of maintenance and care. Lower-end materials such as plastic and PVC last between five and 10 years. With adequate care, metal guards can last 15 years or more in ideal weather conditions.

Will Gutter Guards Help Prevent Fascia Board Damage and Reduce Soffit Repair Costs?

Yes, gutter guards help prevent fascia board damage and reduce soffit repair costs. Fascia and soffits can decay due to water damage from overflowing gutters. Gutter guards prevent clogs and keep gutters functioning at peak performance. Because gutter guards protect your gutters against clogs and overflows, they reduce water exposure to your fascia boards and soffits.


What Are the Downsides of Gutter Guards?

While gutter guards provide many benefits, there are also downsides. The biggest downside to gutter guards is that they may contribute to the formation of ice dams. The main cause of ice dams is poor attic ventilation, but gutter guards can contribute to ice and snow buildup. If you live in an area with heavy snowfall or cold winters, we recommend installing products such as heat tape to counteract ice dams. Consistently inspecting your attic and ensuring it’s properly ventilated will reduce ice dam buildup. Additional downsides include the cost of professional installation and the fact that installing gutter guards does not completely eliminate the need for maintenance and cleaning.


Are Gutter Guards Worth It?

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), installing gutter guards can extend the lifespan of your gutter drainage system by 2 or 3 times. Gutter guards can be worth it for homeowners who live on lots with numerous trees. You want to get the most for your dollar when shopping for gutter covers. DIY gutter guards are typically priced the lowest, but they’re often made with lower-quality materials and require more frequent repairs or replacements. You’ll need to buy more than a single pack of DIY guards, so the final price tag will be much higher than what’s shown on the store page.

Professionally installed guards will always be more expensive but come with a range of benefits that balance the higher up-front cost. Professional companies provide higher-quality gutter guards, skilled installation crews, long-lasting warranties, and additional services such as downspout installation.


Which Gutter Guards Are the Best?

Our testing and research revealed that the best type of gutter guard is a durable micro-mesh design made from stainless steel. This design can handle heavy rain and prevent possible water damage to your home’s foundation and exterior by blocking debris while still allowing water to flow freely into your gutters. Though professional installation can be pricey, we believe the right gutter guards are worth the investment for homeowners who value convenience and peace of mind.

We recommend LeafFilter, Gutter Guards America, and LeafGuard as our top picks for professionally installed gutter guards and Raptor as our top DIY product. Like with any home service, we recommend getting quotes from at least three gutter guard companies to find the right option for your home and budget.


FAQs About Gutter Guards

Do gutter guards really work?

Yes, gutter guards work if they are installed and maintained properly. Gutter guards work by blocking debris from entering your gutters to reduce how often you need to clean them. However, many homeowners have misconceptions regarding the functionality of gutter guards. Some companies advertise that gutter guards remove the need to clean your gutters entirely, which isn’t the case.

Are gutter covers the same thing as gutter guards?

Yes, gutter covers are the same thing as gutter guards. A gutter cover, also known as a gutter guard, is installed on top of your gutter to block debris and filter water. Gutter covers may be used to refer specifically to a reverse-curve gutter guard.

What is the best gutter guard for leaves?

Micro-mesh and reverse curve guards are the best gutter guards for leaves. These guards filter out large and small debris to keep your gutters clear of leaves, twigs, and branches.

What is the best gutter guard for pine needles?

The best gutter guards for pine needles are micro-mesh, based on our testing of 12 gutter guards.


Our Rating Methodology

We back up our gutter guard recommendations with a detailed rating methodology to objectively score each gutter guard product and provider. We conduct research by reviewing product specifications and provider website information, speaking with customer representatives, and analyzing customer reviews. We then score each provider against our review standards for gutter guard design, customer support, the quote process, services, and reviews to arrive at a final score on a 5-point rating scale.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.