The Best Gutter Guards for 2023

Gutter guards, also known as gutter covers or leaf guards, are products that prevent leaves, pine needles, twigs, and other debris from entering and clogging a home’s gutter system. While they don’t completely eliminate the need for gutter maintenance, they significantly reduce the frequency you’ll have to do it. Gutter guards come in a variety of styles—such as gutter covers, screens, or inserts—and can either be installed professionally or as a DIY project by homeowners.

This guide offers a comprehensive review of the best gutter guards on the market and provides recommendations for various applications. In addition to our top picks, we provide shoppers with an in-depth buying guide with essential features to consider, pricing, and answers to common questions that arise when comparing gutter guards.

Best Gutter Guards

Gutter Guard Reviews

After carefully reviewing over 30 of the top gutter guards on the market, our research team ultimately landed on the following list of top choices to consider for your home. We read through hundreds of product reviews, hands-on tests, spec sheets, warranties, and customer complaints to find the best gutter guards for specific needs.

All of the leaf guards featured in our reviews score highly across factors such as durability, effectiveness, warranty, and reputation. For more information on our evaluation process, see our detailed methodology section below.

LeafFilter (Best Gutter Guard Overall)

Best Overall


LeafFilter produces a micro-mesh gutter guard. It is one of the highest-quality products on the market, and the company has a strong reputation with its customers.


  • Durable stainless steel micro-mesh construction
  • Fully-transferable warranty that lasts for the lifetime of the home


  • Cannot be purchased online or through other retailers
  • Must be professionally installed by a LeafFilter representative
  • Pricing can vary widely depending on the home

Type / Configuration

LeafFilter’s design features a micro-mesh screen made of durable stainless steel, which allows water to flow freely while blocking out all types of debris, from pine needles to dirt and shingle grit. At just 275 microns, LeafFilter’s mesh is incredibly tight, ensuring that nothing unwanted enters the gutters.

LeafFilter uses a uPVC frame that is built to last, withstanding harsh weather conditions and resisting warping or deterioration over time. In addition, the frame is designed with a built-in pitch that facilitates debris sliding away from the gutter.

To ensure a secure fit, LeafFilter gutter guards are held in place by hidden support hangers that are screwed into the gutter’s outer edge and the fascia. This installation method does not require shingles to be lifted, which is an important benefit of LeafFilter over many of its competitors.

LeafFilter Gutter Guard Side-View


Constructed from a stainless steel mesh and a uPVC supporting frame, LeafFilter is extremely durable. The hidden supporting hangers, which screw into the gutter edge and the fascia also ensure stability, even when heavy debris lands on the gutters.


To have LeafFilter installed, homeowners must contact the company and schedule a free consultation. LeafFilter’s products are not intended to be installed by the homeowner, but rather by a LeafFilter professional.

When LeafFilter comes to your home, inspectors will evaluate your existing gutter system for problem areas and ensure that the gutters are ready for installation. They then clean, realign, and seal your existing gutters, install the hangers, and finally place the LeafFilter guards. This process helps ensure that LeafFilter is installed successfully, but it also extends the life of your gutter system.

LeafFilter Cost

LeafFilter gutter guards typically range in price from $8.00 to $32.00 per foot, which can vary based on the home’s location, number of stories, and roof size. To receive an accurate quote, homeowners should contact a LeafFilter representative, who can provide customized pricing information. To start the process, homeowners can fill out a questionnaire on the LeafFilter website and schedule a call to discuss their home’s specifics.

While LeafFilter is one of the more expensive options, the company does regularly offer promotions and discounts, including a 10% discount for seniors and military veterans. If the initial quote falls on the higher end of the price range, homeowners are encouraged to negotiate for a lower price. Furthermore, LeafFilter provides 12-month financing options to help make the cost more manageable for homeowners.


LeafFilter provides an industry-leading lifetime warranty, which sets the standard for excellence. If you experience any issues such as clogged gutters resulting in water overflow or interior damage, LeafFilter will take care of the problem by either repairing it or refunding your purchase. The warranty is fully transferable and remains valid for the life of the home. It is worth mentioning that, similar to other warranties, LeafFilter’s policy requires homeowners to clean the filters in the event of debris buildup.


LeafFilter has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2005, earning an A+ rating from the organization. These achievements serve as a testament to LeafFilter’s responsive customer service and high levels of customer satisfaction. Furthermore, LeafFilter has a track record of addressing every complaint filed with the BBB, ensuring that customers can count on the company to provide the necessary support in the event of a warranty claim or other issue.

Where to Buy

Interested homeowners will not be able to find LeafFilter in hardware stores or through online retailers. LeafFilter is only sold and installed by its in-house team of professionals, so instead, potential customers should consult with a LeafFilter representative for information, estimates, and scheduling.


LeafFilter provides an excellent mix of quality, durability, and reputation. This makes LeafFilter a top option for homes in any location and climate. For these reasons, we rate LeafFilter as the Overall Best Gutter Guard.

LeafGuard (Best Surface Tension Gutter Guard; Best One-Piece Gutter System)

Best Surface Tension Gutter Guard


LeafGuard is an integrated gutter system that uses a surface-tension design to guide water into the gutter and prevent debris from accumulating. Its one-piece design incorporates leaf protection into the gutter, allowing customers to completely replace their existing gutters with LeafGuard.


  • All-in-one solution that is a good choice for homeowners looking to replace their gutters
  • Comes with a lifetime transferable warranty and a “clog-free” guarantee


  • More expensive than competitors
  • Doesn’t come as a standalone guard; buyers must purchase the complete gutter system
  • Some customers complain that in heavy rain, water will pour over the edge of the gutter

Type / Configuration

LeafGuard utilizes a patented design that leverages surface tension and liquid adhesion to direct rainwater into the gutter while diverting debris away. Its one-piece design is similar to that of Gutter Helmet, a key competitor in the market. One distinctive feature of the product is that it incorporates leaf protection into the gutter, allowing it to replace the existing gutters entirely. This design reduces the number of potential entry points for debris, making it highly effective. The company’s confidence in its design is reflected in its “clog-free guarantee.”

Similar to other leading options, LeafGuard is installed away from the roof shingles to minimize damage and avoid jeopardizing roof warranties. The gutter has brackets that can be directly mounted to the fascia board. To learn more about how LeafGuard compares to LeafFilter, refer to our comprehensive LeafGuard vs. LeafFilter review.


LeafGuard boasts that its aluminum gutters are 20% thicker than the industry standard, and supported every two feet, which is twice the industry standard. Together, these qualities help ensure that LeafGuard can stand up to harsh conditions and heavy water flow over the long haul.


LeafGuard installations begin with a visit from a LeafGuard professional, who will evaluate the property and provide an estimate. Even though LeafGuard’s installation team removes old gutters, custom fits LeafGuard on the home, and tests the pitch of the gutters to ensure that water flows efficiently, its installations are completed quickly (usually in less than a day).

LeafGuard Cost

Like many other competitors in the market, LeafGuard’s exact price point will depend on factors unique to your home. You can fill out a short form on LeafGuard’s website or reach out by phone for a free estimate to get the most accurate pricing information. However, you can expect that LeafGuard will be more expensive than many other gutter covers on the market. Because of its design, LeafGuard must be customized and professionally installed, which adds to the price.


LeafGuard provides a limited lifetime warranty that is transferable to the next property owner. The warranty covers the ScratchGuard finish and includes a “clog-free guarantee.” If the LeafGuard finish cracks, rusts, or blisters, the warranty promises to repaint, repair, or replace the guards at no extra charge. For the original owner, the warranty covers the life of the property, while subsequent purchasers receive up to 50 years of coverage. The clog-free guarantee assures customers that if the LeafGuard system gets clogged with debris, including leaves and pine needles, a contractor will clean or fix it for free.


The Better Business Bureau rates LeafGuard as an A+ business, and further, LeafGuard has been BBB accredited since 2013. This means that LeafGuard meets the Better Business Bureau’s highest standards for fairness, ethics, and integrity in business practices. LeafGuard has received some fairly negative customer reviews on the BBB website, which is not uncommon in this space. However, other online LeafGuard reviews indicate that customers are generally satisfied with the product and overall experience with the company. Similarly, Gutter Helmet reviews generally indicate that customers are satisfied with the surface tension design that both companies use.

Where to Buy

LeafGuard sells and installs its own products, which are customized to each order. LeafGuard has locations all across the country, and you can find the locations nearest you on the LeafGuard website.


LeafGuard’s cost and the fact that it replaces existing gutters may put off some customers looking for a simpler solution, but LeafGuard’s unique and effective design provides excellent protection. For that reason, LeafGuard is our pick for the Best Surface Tension Gutter Guard and the Best All-In-One Gutter System.

Gutterglove LeafBlaster Pro (Best Micro-Mesh Gutter Guard)

Best Micro-Mesh Gutter Guard


LeafBlaster Pro is a professional micro-mesh gutter guard system offered by Gutterglove. Its unique design prevents debris buildup and improves water flow.


  • Unique Z-bend design that prevents debris buildup and improves water flow
  • 40-year warranty that does not require registration
  • Made of high-quality stainless steel and aluminum material 


  • May be susceptible to moss growth 
  • Not ideal for especially wet climates

Type / Configuration

LeafBlaster Pro micro-mesh gutter guards are constructed from 100% stainless steel mesh and an aluminum frame. They contain patented “Z-bend” technology, or small ridges along the mesh to improve water flow and prevent leaves and other debris from getting stuck to the surface. 

LeafBlaster Pro features a trough-like profile, which allows it to sit slightly inside the gutter. This shape guides water down into the gutter, rather than over the side. The design is suitable for any roof type, and it can be adjusted to fit any existing gutters, no matter the width.


LeafBlaster Pro’s high-quality stainless steel and aluminum materials prevent it from rusting or distorting over time. While it can handle heavy rain, LeafBlaster Pro may experience some run-over during particularly heavy rainstorms. In addition, as with most micro-mesh gutter guards, there is a possibility of moss growth on the surface, making it less ideal for areas with especially high humidity or precipitation.

Overall, LeafBlaster Pro is a low-maintenance solution, requiring only occasional brushing of the surface using a gutter brush. Preventative cleaning or moss growth control may also be necessary from time to time.


LeafBlaster Pro gutter guards must be installed by a Gutterglove professional. The company has a network of professionals across various locations to make it easy for you to find an installer in your area. While a professional installation provides convenience and ensures the correct installation of the gutter guards, it comes at a higher cost than alternative DIY options.


The price of LeafBlaster Pro varies depending on several factors, including your location, the size of your home and roof, and the installer you choose. On average, the cost per linear foot ranges from $10 to $20. To obtain a precise estimate, it is recommended that you reach out to a local installation professional.


LeafBlaster Pro offers an impressive 40-year warranty that covers defective products. It does not cover improper installation, damage or warping of the home structure, natural disasters, improper maintenance, or misuse. All of the exclusions are outlined in the warranty terms. The warranty becomes effective once a purchase is made, and does not require registration, unlike most leaf guard warranties.


As mentioned above, LeafBlaster Pro is a product of Gutterglove. The company has an A+ BBB rating but is not currently BBB accredited. They have been in operation since 1996 and term themselves “The Nation’s Most Trusted Gutter Guards.” According to TrustPilot, LeafBlaster Pro has a 4.5-star rating.

Where to Buy 

As mentioned above, the LeafBlaster Pro gutter covers must be purchased from a professional installer, and cannot be purchased elsewhere. You can find one in your area through the Done Right by Gutterglove program, which is a network of trusted installers. If you are looking for a DIY product available for purchase online or in-store, these gutter guards would not be the right choice for you.


Because of their positive online reviews, unique design, and durable materials, we recommend LeafBlaster Pro as one of the Best Micro-Mesh Gutter Guards.

GutterRx (Best Gutter Screen) 

Best Gutter Screen


GutterRx manufactures high-quality gutter screens crafted from perforated aluminum and made in the USA. Their distinctive ribbed surface sets them apart from other gutter screen alternatives.


  • The ribbed design promotes water flow, prevents debris buildup, and deters animal nests
  • Available in multiple colors 
  • Attaches on both sides to gutter or fascia board; durable with no impact to the roof


  • Larger holes may not be ideal near pine and fir trees
  • Must clear the surface every few months

Type / Configuration

GutterRx stands out from other gutter screen products on the market by incorporating ridges to improve water flow and prevent debris accumulation. GutterRx offers two profiles to choose from, each with its distinct features. The standard profile has ridges without an incline, while the step-up profile features sloped ridges for superior drainage and minimal debris buildup. The ribbed design also serves as a deterrent for birds, squirrels, and other animals from nesting in your gutters or on top of the screen.

However, it’s worth noting that GutterRx’s perforated screen gutter guards may not be the best option for homes located near pine and fir trees, as small pine needles can pass through the larger holes in the screen. In such cases, homeowners should consider other micro-mesh gutter screen options that can prevent pine needles from clogging the gutter system.

For homes without pine needles or other small debris issues, GutterRx offers an excellent choice. These gutter screens are made of 98% recycled aluminum, making them eco-friendly, and are available in multiple color options to match your home’s existing gutter system.


GutterRx is engineered to handle at least 14 inches of rainfall per hour. Its hole sizes are strategically placed throughout the screen, optimizing the flow of rainwater. Additionally, the screen’s unique ribbed surface better catches rainwater and encourages proper drainage through the gutter system, rather than down the side of your home.

GutterRx is made of durable aluminum, ensuring that it will not warp or distort over time, which is a common issue with plastic gutter guards. Its aluminum construction also makes it capable of withstanding heavy debris without incurring damage.

Thanks to its ribbed design that prevents debris buildup, GutterRx is lower-maintenance than many of its competitors. However, it still requires periodic cleaning using a broom or leaf blower every few months to keep it performing optimally.


GutterRx is installed using sheet metal screws that are fastened to the front and rear of the gutter. The regular profile option attaches directly to both sides of the gutter, while the step-up profile option is attached to the gutters on one side and the fascia board on the other. This attachment method prevents damage to the roof and provides additional strength to withstand heavy debris and harsh weather conditions.

GutterRx is compatible with any type of roof and is available in options suitable for new or existing 4.5”-7” gutters. This versatility makes it a suitable choice for a wide range of homes.


The cost of GutterRx may vary depending on your area and your home’s existing gutter system. However, gutter screens like GutterRx are typically less expensive than micro-mesh options. Gutter screens typically range in price from $0.50 to $5.00 per linear foot in materials. To get a precise estimate of the cost of GutterRx for your home, you need to contact a local dealer. GutterRx offers the option to connect with a nearby dealer through their website, email, or phone. Simply reach out to them, and they’ll direct you to a dealer who can provide you with more information on pricing and installation.


GutterRx offers a 20-year no-clog warranty. This means that if your gutter becomes clogged during the warranty period, GutterRx will pay for them to be cleaned (this does not include removing debris from the surface of the gutter guard). To qualify for the warranty, you must register your product within 30 days of installation.


GutterRx reviews online indicate that it is an effective product that provides good value for the money. According to a recent review on Gutter Guards Direct, GutterRx gutter guards appear to perform better than Leaf Relief, thanks to larger holes allowing for better water flow.

Where to Buy 

As mentioned, you must contact a local dealer when purchasing and installing GutterRx. Professional installation ensures that you obtain the correct quantity and size of the product for your gutter system and that it is installed correctly.


GutterRx stands out as the Best Gutter Screen for several reasons. Its ribbed design promotes efficient water flow and prevents debris accumulation, while its compatibility with various roof types and gutter sizes makes it a versatile option for many homes. With multiple color and profile options available, GutterRx also offers customization to suit any aesthetic preference. Additionally, it has received numerous positive reviews online, cementing its reputation as a top-quality product in the market.

RHINO (Best for Pine Needles & Small Debris)

Best Gutter Guard for Pine Needles & Small Debris


RHINO makes a mesh-screen gutter guard that is durable and highly effective. It is one of the top products on the market.


  • Engineered to improve the structural integrity of existing gutters
  • A slightly larger mesh allows for more water to pass through than competitors
  • Pricing is fairly consistent from home to home


  • Shorter warranty period than other products
  • Must be purchased from and installed by RHINO professionals

Type / Configuration

The RHINO gutter guard is made of a stainless steel mesh, supported by an aluminum wire screen and frame. The 440-micron screen prevents virtually all debris from entering the gutter system. However, RHINO’s screen gutter guard is designed specifically to allow pollen and dust to wash through the screen during rain, so the fine particles don’t stick within the mesh and create clogs.

RHINO is built from 3000 series aluminum, which is an aluminum alloy created with additional strength, along with a stainless steel mesh. The system is designed to be attached to the gutter system with screws. The front lip of the guard screws into the gutters while the back edge is bent upward so it can be screwed directly into the fascia, which means that installing RHINO gutter guards does not require lifting the home’s shingles. RHINO also produces a series of miters, designed to filter debris and handle increased water flow at joints and corners in the gutter system.

RHINO Gutter Guard


RHINO is one of the most durable gutter guards available. Its tight screen has openings wide enough to allow pollen and small dust particles to pass through it, which helps the RHINO guard last longer because stubborn particles don’t become permanently trapped within the mesh and cause it to fail. Further, RHINO’s aluminum and stainless steel construction means it won’t rust over time and can withstand extreme temperatures, intense sunlight, and the weight of heavy debris that might land on it. RHINO recommends occasional cleaning with a hose to ensure proper long-term function, but with appropriate care, owners can expect RHINO guards to last 20 years or more.


RHINO is both sold and installed through RHINO’s authorized dealers and is not available at local hardware stores or through online retailers. Because of this, RHINO must be professionally installed. When you contact RHINO, a professionally trained installer will come to your home to examine your gutter system, identify any issues that need to be resolved, and make sure that your gutters are in an appropriate condition and size for RHINO installation.


While homeowners must speak with a RHINO representative and eventually get a consultation to know the exact cost of having RHINO installed on their home, other customers report paying between $15 and $20 per linear foot, including installation.


RHINO offers a 20-year transferable warranty. While the length of this warranty is less than that of some other companies, RHINO’s warranty has similar terms and protections included. RHINO guarantees that properly installed and maintained guards will not clog or overflow due to debris accumulation or show defects from materials or workmanship. Similar to other warranties, owners must clean and maintain RHINO gutter guards for the warranty to apply.


RHINO has a great reputation with its customers, earning an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Further, RHINO has been BBB-accredited since 2011, which means that the company meets BBB’s standards for fair business practices when dealing with customers. The company has resolved all issues raised by customers with the BBB, so customers can feel confident that the company will provide a good product, great customer service, and hold up their end of the warranty.

Where to Buy

As mentioned, RHINO is only available through RHINO’s authorized dealers, so homeowners must purchase and pay for installation from a contractor in the RHINO network. Interested homeowners can begin this process by calling RHINO directly.


RHINO makes one of the most effective and durable gutter guards on the market. Its stainless steel and aluminum construction make it extremely durable in extreme climates and cold weather. Additionally, the tight mesh that RHINO uses helps prevent small debris from penetrating the guard while still allowing pollen and dust to pass through. For these reasons, we recommend RHINO’s products as the Best Gutter Guards for Pine Needles and Small Debris.

Valor (Best for Cold Climates & Copper Gutters)

Best for Cold Climates & Copper Gutters


Valor produces several variations of high-quality mesh-screen gutter guards, with customizability nearly unmatched among other major gutter guard companies. Additionally, Valor has excellent pricing, a strong reputation and popularity, and a far-reaching network of distributors and installers across the U.S.


  • Offers a larger selection of materials and colors than competitors
  • Provides a fully transferable lifetime warranty
  • An excellent choice for homes in extreme climates


  • Certain configurations (such as those mounted under the roof shingles) are not recommended
  • Also not available for purchase in online retail shops or local hardware stores

Type / Configuration

Valor makes several different mesh-screen gutter guards with slightly varied designs and features. Each of their designs uses a stainless steel mesh screen with a raised “S” pattern that helps prevent debris from sticking to the guard while allowing water to flow quickly. Valor’s products come in several sizes and can fit gutters ranging from 4-inch to 7-inch widths.

Buyers have the choice of fine mesh, medium mesh, or large mesh. Each design also includes the choice of frame options, allowing installations under the roof shingles or mounted to the fascia. Roofing and gutter experts generally recommend a bent wing that can be screwed into the fascia, rather than the configuration that requires lifting of the shingles during installation. Valor also offers several different color and frame material options which vary according to the buyer’s choice of design.

Valor Gutter Guard

Here is a summary of the four designs:

  • Standard Valor: Valor’s standard design is their most basic, including all of the features and options described above, plus four color options—charcoal, white, brown, and mill-finish aluminum.
  • Valor Melt Away: The Valor Melt Away design was created specifically for homes in cold environments where snow and ice could be a problem. The frame includes a built-in heat cable, which uses radiant and conductive heating to melt away any snow or ice and keep the gutters clear during the coldest months of the year. This highly innovative product offers all of the options described above as well as four color options, which are charcoal, white, brown, and copper.
  • Valor Moss Away: The Valor Moss Away design is similar to the standard design, but it includes an EPA-approved zinc strip at the edge of the wing that deters moss and fungi growth in gutters. This is a great option for homes in moist areas where moss and fungus are more prone to grow. This style has three color options, which are charcoal, brown, and white.
  • Copper Frame: The Valor Copper Frame style is made from copper, which is perfect for homes using copper gutters. Since it is made from copper, buyers don’t have any color options, but they can still choose their desired mesh size and which frame style they’d prefer—mounted under the shingles or to the fascia board.


Valor’s gutter guards are very durable in general, but with a variety of material options available, Valor customers can choose what’s most appropriate for their home and climate, which can improve durability even further. For instance, the fascia-mounted and mill-finished aluminum frame options have an even longer lifespan than Valor’s other designs. Valor guarantees all of its products for at least 25 years, but depending on the material and design, homeowners can expect their Valor gutter guards to last even longer.


All Valor products are professionally installed and sold through their wide network of installers throughout the United States and Canada. This ensures that they are installed to the company’s specifications, which in turn helps homeowners know that their guards will function properly and last for years.


Valor’s pricing varies greatly depending on the design choice and the options chosen by the homeowner. The more expensive options are the heated or copper frames and tighter meshes, while buyers can save by choosing wider mesh on the standard Valor guard. With so many options available, buyers must contact Valor to receive an accurate quote. However, based on information from other online reviews, Valor’s pricing is competitive with or beats the cost of many other high-quality manufacturers on a per linear foot basis.


Valor offers a lifetime warranty when the products are installed by a Valor Authorized Installer. If installed by another contractor or professional installer that isn’t part of the Valor network, buyers still get a 25-year warranty.

Valor’s warranty includes both a performance warranty and a product warranty. The performance warranty asserts that when correctly fitted and installed, Valor gutter guards will not allow clogging or overflow due to debris accumulation. The product warranty promises that Valor gutter guards are free from defects in material and workmanship. As with other warranties, homeowners must follow the guidelines outlined in the warranty for it to apply. This includes occasional cleaning of “problem areas” where debris may build and a requirement not to modify the product after installation.


Valor is one of the most respected and popular gutter guard companies in the United States. Though Valor was only founded in 2013, they have a network of more than 400 active installers and have been installed on more than 150,000 homes. Valor’s parent company, Artesian Home Products, is a Better Business Bureau-accredited business currently holding an A+ rating.

Where to Buy

Valor must be purchased through a Valor dealer or installer. Valor products are not available in online retail shops or local hardware stores.


Valor stands out in the industry due to its exceptional quality and variety of materials and designs available for different gutter protection needs. Its unique heated frame options are perfect for homes in extremely cold environments, which is why we rate them as one of the Best Gutter Guards for Cold Climates. Additionally, the availability of copper frames on such a high-quality product makes Valor our pick as offering the Best Gutter Guard for Copper Gutters.

Leaf Relief (Best for Extreme Weather) 

Best Gutter Guard for Extreme Weather


Ply Gem Leaf Relief gutter guards are a high-quality gutter screen option that requires professional installation in most cases. These durable leaf guards are designed to withstand heavy rain and harsh weather conditions.


  • Up to a 35-year warranty available upon registration 
  • Designed to withstand heavy rain, winds, and other extreme weather conditions
  • Mounts directly to the gutters; no impact to your roof or siding


  • Only fits gutters 4-6 inches wide 
  • Limited color/finish options
  • Ply Gem is not BBB accredited

Type / Configuration

Leaf Relief offers a variety of gutter screen configurations to meet different needs. Although their products are primarily designed for 5 or 6-inch gutters, they can be adjusted to fit 4-inch gutters as well. Leaf Relief for Existing Gutters is their basic product, which comes in four different styles:

  • Adjustable: A flat surface with an edge that can be adjusted to your gutter dimensions
  • Classic: A flat surface that attaches to the gutters on one side
  • Half-Round: A flat surface with slanted sides
  • Zip: A stair-step profile that promotes water flow and allows debris to flow off the surface

Homeowners can also choose to install Leaf Relief’s continuous hanging system, which provides additional structural support to the gutters by suspending them on both sides. This system also features an access panel that allows homeowners to access the inside of the gutters without having to remove the gutter cover.

Leaf Relief’s most advanced product, the Leaf Relief DuoPro, is a dual-layer leaf protection system that filters out finer debris such as pine needles that often slip through single-layer gutter screens. The DuoPro features an additional gutter screen layer with smaller holes on top of the traditional gutter screen, providing improved protection against fine debris while also delivering all of the added structural benefits mentioned above.


Leaf Relief gutter guards are made of either rust-proof aluminum or copper, and their vinyl flap is resistant to UV light, mildew, and harsh weather conditions. The screens screw into place, making them highly durable and able to withstand strong winds, snow, ice, and heavy debris. Leaf Relief claims its DuoPro design can hold up to 858 pounds.

With a capacity to clear up to 29 inches of rain per hour, Leaf Relief is a great choice for those living in areas with extreme weather conditions. Leaf Relief’s design is also low-maintenance, with its shape allowing most debris to blow off on a windy day. According to the manufacturer, it only takes a 6 mph wind for dry debris to be removed, while wet debris requires a stronger wind of around 23 mph.


All of Leaf Relief’s products are designed to mount directly to the gutters using self-sealing screws, which eliminates any risk of damage to your roof. While professional installation is usually required, you can find some options for sale online that can be installed by the homeowner. It’s important to note that if you choose to install Leaf Relief yourself, you should carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure proper installation and optimal performance.


To purchase Leaf Relief, you should contact a professional in your area for an accurate price quote and installation options. Cost is dependent on the gutter guard type that you choose and the length you’ll need to cover your entire gutter system. Some options are available to purchase Leaf Relief online. On Amazon, for example, a pack of 320 linear feet of 5-inch zip hanger guards is priced at approximately $1,400, which comes out to around $4.40 per foot.


Leaf Relief offers a no-clog and no-overflow warranty for 25 or 35 years, depending on the specific product selected. To qualify for the warranty, customers must fill out the warranty application and submit it within 30 days of installation. The warranty covers defective products and provides free replacements within the warranty period. However, the warranty does not cover accidental damage, discoloration, damage from natural disasters, or misuse. The owner is responsible for properly clearing debris from the surface of the leaf guards, and all exclusions are listed in the warranty terms. Additionally, the warranty can be transferred one time to a new owner, which is a nice benefit when compared to other gutter guards on the market.


Ply Gem is a residential building solutions company, offering various products including leaf guards, windows, siding, patio doors, shutters, fencing, and railings. Ply Gem operates as a division of Cornerstone Building Brands. However, it is not BBB accredited and has received negative customer service-related feedback online. Despite this, Ply Gem’s individual products receive high ratings on reputable websites like Home Depot, Lowes, and Amazon.

Where to Buy 

As mentioned above, you can often find Leaf Relief available through online retailers, but you must contact a local professional for a price quote that includes installation. You can use the Ply Gem website to search for professional installers in your area.


Because of its durable construction, ability to withstand harsh weather conditions, and strong warranty, we recommend Leaf Relief as one of the Best Gutter Guards for Extreme Weather.

EasyOn (Best DIY Gutter Guard)

Best DIY Gutter Guard


EasyOn is a micro-mesh gutter guard made of stainless steel and aluminum. With a user-friendly DIY installation process, this product is exclusively available at Costco stores and on their website. The EasyOn gutter guard has garnered positive reviews online, attesting to its good reputation with customers.


  • Versatile design is suitable for various roof and gutter types
  • Constructed from durable steel and aluminum material
  • 25-year warranty


  • Only sold at Costco 
  • May cause gutter drainage issues after heavy rain or snow
  • Extended warranty not available to coastal customers

Type / Configuration

EasyOn provides a highly effective DIY gutter protection solution that can be used with virtually any type of gutter or roof. The EasyOn system offers two size options, with the 5-inch variant fitting gutters between 2-5 inches, and the 6-inch option fitting gutters between 5-7 inches.

The EasyOn system features a stainless steel mesh that is securely fastened to aluminum rails, similar to other micro-mesh options available in the market. Although the natural aluminum color may not match your existing gutter color, the low-profile design of the system makes it nearly invisible from the road. Additionally, metal gutter guards tend to blend in with most home and gutter styles, making them a suitable choice for any homeowner.


EasyOn is designed to last for decades if properly installed and maintained. Made of durable stainless steel and aluminum, this product is resistant to warping, rusting, and other forms of corrosion over time. Thanks to its screw-in design, it is unlikely to dislodge or collapse under extreme weather conditions or heavy loads.

However, homeowners should be aware that micro-mesh products like EasyOn may develop algae or mold in particularly wet climates. Additionally, debris can accumulate on top of the screen, so regular cleaning is necessary to ensure its continued effectiveness.


EasyOn provides customers with two installation options. The first option involves using only the 3M tape attached to the aluminum rails. However, for added security, we recommend that customers use the self-tapping screws included in the purchase to attach EasyOn directly to the gutters and fascia board.

EasyOn Gutter Guard Installation

To properly install the product, EasyOn recommends that homeowners have the following tools: safety gear such as gloves and safety goggles, a drill to install the screws, tin snips to cut down sections to the desired length, and an extension ladder to access the gutters.

Before installation, homeowners should clean out any debris and leaves from their gutters and complete any necessary repairs. They should also note the pitch of their roof, as steeply pitched roofs require additional steps and tools during installation to ensure proper functionality.

Depending on the roof type, the gutter guards can be installed by sliding them under the roof shingles or bending them downward and screwing them into the wood fascia. We highly recommend the latter option to avoid compromising the roof and causing potential water damage.

To provide further guidance, EasyOn provides an in-depth installation guide with steps and recommendations for different roof types. By following these guidelines and using the appropriate tools, homeowners can properly install EasyOn for long-lasting protection against debris and clogs.

EasyOn Cost

On the Costco website, a 100-foot set of 5-inch EasyOn gutter guards is currently priced at $230, while the 6-inch option costs $285. Additionally, both sizes are available in 24-foot sets, making it easier for customers to purchase the exact amount needed without excess.

While EasyOn gutter guards may be slightly pricier than some other DIY foam or gutter brush options on the market, it is important to note that micro-mesh systems are generally more expensive due to their superior performance. Many homeowners find that the initial investment in a high-quality micro-mesh system pays off over time, as it reduces the need for costly maintenance, repairs, and replacement. It’s also worth noting that EasyOn remains far more affordable than comparable professionally-installed micro-mesh options.


EasyOn offers a 10-year standard warranty for their gutter guards. However, customers have the option to extend the warranty to 25 years by registering their purchase online. Upon registration, EasyOn also provides a free gutter brush for convenient maintenance.

It’s worth noting that the EasyOn warranty for customers living in coastal areas (within 10 miles of the coast) is reduced from 10 years to 5 years. This is due to the high levels of salt in the air, which can cause premature breakdown of the product.


EasyOn has received an impressive rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars on, based on more than 24,000 customer reviews. However, some critical reviews have surfaced, particularly regarding drainage issues in areas with heavy rainfall or snow. Reviewers also noted that the fine mesh can sometimes lead to water freezing on the guards, impeding proper drainage.

While EasyOn’s ratings are overwhelmingly positive, it’s important to note these particular concerns and consider them when making your decision. Homeowners in areas prone to heavy precipitation and cold temperatures may want to consider a few alternatives. Despite this, EasyOn remains a top-rated choice for many homeowners seeking a reliable and effective gutter protection solution.

Where to Buy

At present, Costco is the sole retailer for EasyOn, limiting availability to Costco members. However, a version of the product is also sold under the name “Atlas Gutter Guard” at Lowes, offering another option for interested buyers.


EasyOn gutter guards have proven to be one of the most durable and versatile DIY options in the market, backed by a 25-year warranty. Their compatibility with various gutter and roof types also makes them an ideal choice for homeowners who want a hassle-free installation process. Considering their durability and flexibility, we highly recommend EasyOn as the Best DIY Gutter Guard Overall.

Amerimax (Runner-Up Best DIY Gutter Guards) 

Runner-Up Best DIY Gutter Guards


The Amerimax Snap-In Gutter Filter is a micro-mesh DIY leaf guard. It is one of the most affordable options available but has still earned overall positive reviews from customers.


  • Easy DIY installation with minimal tools required 
  • Affordable price point 
  • Positive reviews on retailer websites


  • Under-shingle snap-in installation
  • Only compatible with 4-6” K-style gutters 
  • No warranty

Type / Configuration

Amerimax has developed an efficient micro-mesh system using sturdy PVC, which incorporates a gutter screen and mesh filter. This combination ensures that the gutter guards capture tiny debris while enabling adequate water flow. The product’s installation is straightforward, with the guards snapping into place underneath the shingles and attaching to the gutter in 3-foot sections.

However, it’s important to note that these guards are designed specifically for 4 to 6-inch K-style gutters, making them unsuitable for other types of gutters. Moreover, the current product range is only available in white, brown, or black, which may not suit those seeking a wider range of color options.

Overall, Amerimax’s micro-mesh system is a solid and economical DIY solution for most homeowners, offering reliable gutter protection and straightforward installation. However, those with unique gutter types or who desire a broader color range may need to consider other alternatives.


Because Amerimax is a snap-in product made from PVC, it is only recommended for locations with moderate climates. PVC is not as sturdy as other materials like aluminum or stainless steel, which makes Amerimax susceptible to damage from large debris or falling objects. Moreover, PVC is prone to warping in hot temperatures and becoming brittle in cold temperatures, which could compromise the product’s durability in areas with harsh climates.

Therefore, Amerimax may not be an ideal choice for regions with heavy snowfall during the winter or frequent heavy downpours in a hot climate. In such locations, a more robust gutter system made from steel or aluminum would be preferable.


Amerimax features a user-friendly design that requires no tools for installation, except for safety gloves and a ladder to access the gutters. The process involves sliding one side of the leaf guard under the shingles, pulling the other side to the edge of the gutter, and snapping it in place. Amerimax suggests that customers living in high-wind areas should consider screwing the sections to the gutters. We, however, recommend this for all customers as it ensures that the leaf guards remain securely attached to the gutters.

The easy installation process is undoubtedly one of the product’s strongest selling points, making it an attractive option for homeowners seeking a straightforward DIY solution. However, it’s important to note that sliding products under shingles can potentially damage the roof and void the warranty. As a result, we advise customers to keep this in mind when considering Amerimax and to explore alternative options if this is a concern.


Amerimax Snap-In gutter guards are a low-cost alternative when compared to many other options. Each pack contains 25 3-foot pieces, meaning they will cover 75 feet of gutters. Two packs will cover the average home and will cost around $100 in total.


Amerimax Home Products does not offer a warranty for its snap-in gutter guards, which is not unreasonable given the low price point.


Amerimax gutter guards have received positive online reviews, with a 4.4 out of 5-star rating on Amazon and a 4 out of 5-star rating on the Lowes website. The Home Depot website reports that 79% of customers recommend Amerimax gutter guards.

While some critical reviews suggest that the gutter guards are difficult to install, not durable over time, or obstruct proper drainage, we have found that these issues can be easily addressed by following the installation and maintenance instructions provided by Amerimax.

When installed correctly and maintained regularly, Amerimax gutter guards function as well as other micro-mesh options on the market. Customers should feel confident in their purchase knowing that Amerimax has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from satisfied customers.

Where to Buy

Amerimax Snap-In Gutter Guards can be purchased at Lowes, Home Depot, or Amazon. They are available online and in-store, depending on availability in your area. 


Amerimax Snap-In Gutter Guards are an easily-installed, affordable option for gutter protection with overall positive reviews and feedback. We recommend Amerimax as offering some of the Top DIY Gutter Guards on the market.

What Are Gutter Guards & Are They Worth It?

Gutters are an essential component of a home’s exterior, designed to collect rainwater and direct it away from the foundation. Their primary function is to prevent water from accumulating around the house, which can lead to foundation damage, soil erosion, basement flooding, and mold growth.

However, gutters can easily become clogged with leaves, dirt, debris, and other materials, causing water to overflow and seep into the home’s foundation or cause other water-related damage. The frequency at which gutters need to be cleaned depends on the climate and the amount of debris that falls on the roof. While some homes may require cleaning just twice a year, homes surrounded by trees or located in areas with heavy rainfall may need more frequent maintenance.

Cleaning gutters can be both time-consuming and dangerous, especially for multi-story homes with steep roofs. Hiring a professional to clean them regularly can also be costly. To minimize the need for frequent gutter cleaning, homeowners often opt to install gutter guards.

What Are Gutter Guards?

Gutter guards, also known as gutter covers, gutter screens, or leaf guards, are devices that are installed on a home’s rain or storm gutter system to prevent leaves, debris, and other materials from entering the gutters and causing clogs. They are designed to cover the gutter openings, typically with a mesh screen or a uniquely shaped gutter cover that allows water to flow through while blocking leaves and debris.

Gutter guards are available in various types and at various price points, ranging from inexpensive DIY options to highly custom products that require professional installation from the manufacturer. The level of maintenance needed, performance, and durability will vary depending on the type of leaf guard selected.

It’s important to note that gutter guards are designed to reduce the frequency of maintenance required to keep gutters clean and in good condition, but they do not eliminate the need for maintenance altogether. Even with gutter guards installed, gutters may still need to be cleaned once or twice a year, depending on the type of guard used, climate, and amount of debris that falls on the roof. This is a common issue that customers have with gutter guards, as they may expect to completely eliminate the need for gutter maintenance. In the next section, we’ll look at all of the major pros and cons of leaf guards, including this drawback.

How Leaf Guards Work

Pros & Cons of Gutter Guards

Many homeowners wonder, “Do I need gutter guards?” The answer to this question depends on the location and positioning of the house. If your home does not collect a significant amount of leaves or debris on the roof, then the short answer is no, gutter guards are not essential. However, for homes that frequently experience leaf accumulation in the gutters, opting out of installing gutter guards can lead to added expenses and increased maintenance in the long run. While there are upfront costs and installation efforts involved with gutter guards, the benefits they offer make the investment worthwhile in many cases. Here are some of the key advantages of using gutter guards.

Pros: The Benefits of Gutter Guards

1. Debris Prevention: The primary function of gutter guards is to prevent debris, including leaves, pine needles, twigs, pine cones, gravel, and other small objects, from entering the rain gutter system. This type of debris entering the gutter can lead to a number of serious problems starting with gutter clogs. Once gutters are clogged, they are likely to fill with water, leading them to overflow, crack, or break completely. This then leads to water buildup and puddling near the foundation of the building. If not addressed quickly, the foundation of the home can begin to crack or weaken, which is an expensive issue to remedy that also decreases the value of the property. Overflowing gutters can also cause water to seep into the building’s roof where the gutters are connected, causing major damage that may be pricey to resolve. FEMA actually recommends installing gutter guards to prevent debris buildup as a way to improve the safety and strength of your home.

2. Rodent and Insect Deterrence: Rain gutters that do not have gutter guards installed can attract insects and rodents for multiple reasons. The buildup of twigs, leaves, pine needles, and pinecones offers an attractive nest for small rodents. With no gutter covers, these critters can easily enter them and settle in. Furthermore, when the buildup of debris and leaves creates clogs, stagnant pools of water can begin to form in the gutter trough, which creates a breeding ground for insects like mosquitoes. As mentioned above, clogged gutters can also lead to a damp foundation, which attracts termites. Covered rain gutters prevent all of these problems by keeping out debris, eliminating pools of water, and blocking insects and animals from entering the system.

3. Fire Protection: Gutter guards can surprisingly play a crucial role in safeguarding homes from fire hazards, particularly in areas with substantial amounts of dry brush and strong winds. When debris like twigs, leaves, and pine needles accumulate in gutters and dry out, they form an ideal fuel that can ignite quickly if embers from a nearby fire or even a barbecue land on the pile. In such cases, a fire can quickly spread and engulf the entire house. However, by preventing debris from accumulating in the gutter system, noncombustible gutter guards can significantly reduce this risk. In fact, California law mandates that home sellers living in high-risk areas must disclose if their home has rain gutters that lack metal or noncombustible gutter covers.

4. Decreased Maintenance: Since gutter guards prevent debris from entering the gutter system, they decrease the amount of time and frequency that homeowners need to clean them. Of course, the same debris can settle atop the gutter guard and slowly pile up over time, but it cannot get inside the gutters, where it is much more tedious and difficult to remove. Many gutter guard companies advertise that their products reduce the frequency of required maintenance by 50% or more. Homeowners will still need to clean their gutters—or hire someone to clean them—occasionally, but much less frequently than for uncovered gutters.

5. Ice and Freeze Prevention: Debris accumulation in uncovered gutters creates dams that obstruct water flow, which leads to puddles within the gutters. In cold climates, these puddles can freeze and form larger ice dams that weigh down gutters, causing them to sag, warp, crack, or break completely from the fascia board. Gutter guards prevent debris from entering the gutter and forming dams, thereby reducing ice formation. Although small amounts of ice may still form in colder climates, water can flow freely, preventing the formation of large pools that subsequently freeze. Moreover, gutter guards strengthen the gutter system, enabling them to support the weight of ice if it does accumulate.

6. Rust and Corrosion Prevention: Preventing debris buildup and stagnant water in gutters also helps improve their lifespan. Standing water, damp leaves, and sticks can cause mold and rust, leading to permanent damage to the gutters. The buildup of mold can wear away the gutter’s surface, causing discoloration and a perpetual dirty appearance that’s difficult to clean. Rust can lead to holes and cracks in the gutter system, allowing water to leak through and rendering the gutters useless. Gutter covers effectively prevent the accumulation of water and moist debris, significantly reducing the risk of rust and corrosion.

Cons: The Downsides of Gutter Guards

1. Maintenance: Some homeowners assume that adding gutter guards to their rain gutter systems will eliminate the need for cleaning and maintenance. However, that is not the case—while gutter guards do greatly reduce the frequency of necessary cleaning, they do not eliminate it entirely. Gutter guards will still need to be cleaned as often as twice per year, depending on the area of the home and the amount of debris that forms around the gutters. In areas with significant foliage, wind, and rain, leaves might begin to pile up over the top of the gutter guard, blocking water from entering the gutters and requiring them to be cleaned even more frequently. Furthermore, to extend the lifespan of the gutter guards and maintain their functionality, gutter guards should occasionally be removed and cleaned, which can be more time-consuming and difficult than normal gutter cleaning. Still, despite this necessary maintenance, adding gutter guards will reduce the time and energy spent on gutter cleaning and should greatly extend the life of the gutter system in most cases.

2. Installation: While some gutter guards are merely inserted into the gutter, others require more effort to install, and some even require a professional installation. For the handy homeowner, installation is usually not very complex and can possibly be done in an afternoon. However, for homeowners with larger roofs and multiple-story homes, installation can be a bit tougher. In any case, gutter guards require some form of installation, which will cost the homeowner time or money.

3. Up-Front Cost: While adding gutter guards may require an initial investment, the cost can be relatively low, with some styles and brands priced at less than $1 per foot. It’s important to note that higher quality gutter guards typically come with a higher price tag, but there are many reasonably priced options available that are also effective.

4. Durability and Replacement: A final downside to note is that most leaf guards will eventually need to be replaced, especially the less expensive DIY options. Depending on the quality of the gutter guards and the level of maintenance they receive, this could happen anywhere from several years to several decades after installation. This means that homeowners will have to budget for the cost of replacement when the time comes. Additionally, the process of replacing gutter guards can be time-consuming and possibly costly if professional installation is required. That said, some of the higher-end gutter guard companies offer lifetime warranties, which is something worth considering when making your selection.

Gutter Guard Costs

Many homeowners may question the value of investing in gutter guards, especially after considering the drawbacks and realizing that they do not completely eliminate the need for maintenance. The question on their minds may be, “Are gutter guards really worth the cost?” While most experts suggest that gutter guards are a beneficial investment, the decision ultimately depends on each homeowner’s individual circumstances. For some, the cost of purchasing, installing, and maintaining gutter guards may be too steep to justify the investment. Therefore, to help homeowners make an informed decision, this section will provide a detailed overview of the costs associated with gutter guards.

How Much Do Gutter Guards Cost?

Gutter guards typically cost as little as $0.50 per foot and up to $10 per foot depending on the type and material used. For an average house, with 200 feet of gutters, the total cost to purchase gutter guards can be between $100 for low-cost options and $2,000 for high-end leaf guards.

The cost of gutter guards varies significantly, with plastic screen guards being the cheapest and heavy-duty surface tension guards, like LeafGuard or Gutter Helmet, costing the most.

How Much Do Gutter Guards Cost to Install?

For a typical home with 200 feet of gutters, the average cost to have leaf guards professionally installed is approximately $1,000. However, installation costs can range from $300 to more than $2,000, depending on the type of gutter guard used and the difficulty of the installation.

The cost of installation can vary significantly depending on several factors. Here is a list of the factors that affect the cost of installation:

  • Geographic location
  • Length of the roof
  • Gutter accessibility
  • Gutter guard installation method 
  • Installation company or contractor pricing

Gutter Guard Cost Summary

Type of Guard Cost (per foot)
Micro-Mesh $1.50–$10
Screen $0.50–$5
Reverse Curve $5–$10
Foam $2–$3
Brush $2–$4

What to Consider When Comparing Gutter Guards

Buying gutter guards can be an overwhelming process, but it doesn’t have to be. This section outlines the most important factors to consider when comparing leaf guards and choosing the best option for your home.


Rain gutters typically come in two popular styles, K-style and half-round, which can impact the type of gutter guard that can be used. While many gutter guards work with both types, some won’t work with half-round gutters, while others are specifically designed to fit K-style gutters. Gutter guard manufacturers usually clarify if the leaf guard is exclusively designed for one type or the other.

K-Style vs Half-Round Gutter Guard

Choosing the right gutter guard size is also crucial, as they must fit perfectly into or over the gutters. Fortunately, most manufacturers produce options in multiple sizes to fit standard gutter sizes, with 5-inch and 6-inch being the most widely available. However, some manufacturers offer gutter guards in 4, 7, and 8-inch sizes, while others even provide customized solutions. It’s worth noting that gutters larger than 8 inches are uncommon, so homeowners with such gutters may have a harder time finding a suitable option.

Gutter Guard Type, Material, & Attachment Method

The next factor for homeowners to consider is the type or style of leaf guard they want. There are several types of leaf guards available, including micro-mesh, screen, surface tension, brush, and foam. The choice of the ideal type depends on various factors such as the home’s location, climate, foliage, wind, rainfall, and preferred installation method. Generally speaking, micro-mesh gutter guards are a great all-around solution, but they tend to be more expensive and difficult to install yourself.

The material of the leaf guard largely depends on the type of guard selected. The most common materials available include aluminum, stainless steel, plastic, foam, and brush. However, homeowners may also choose a material that matches their existing gutter system, such as copper gutter guards for copper gutter systems, but this is less common. In general, metal gutter guards such as aluminum or stainless steel are the most durable options, while plastic options are prone to damage from intense sunlight and extreme weather.

Lastly, there are several common ways to attach gutter guards to a home, each with its own pros and cons. Gutter guards can be screwed into existing gutters or fascia boards, snapped into place, placed inside the gutter without any fastening, or slid up under the shingles. The attachment method is important to consider because some leaf guards, such as those that snap or rest in place, can be easily knocked out of alignment or blown away. Other leaf guards, such as those that slide under the shingles, may damage the roof or void the roof’s warranty. Some Homeowners Associations (HOAs) may prohibit the use of under-shingle gutter guards due to potential damage to the roof.

To learn more about each leaf guard type, material, and attachment method, please refer to the more detailed information later in this guide.

DIY vs. Professional Installation

When choosing a leaf guard, one of the major factors to consider is whether to opt for a DIY or professionally installed option. While DIY options such as plastic screens, brushes, or foam inserts are easy to install, they usually require frequent replacement. On the other hand, professionally-installed options like micro-mesh and surface tension gutter guards are difficult to install but can last a lifetime.

While DIY gutter guards can be a cost-effective choice for homeowners who are handy and experienced with home improvement projects, they may not be the best option for everyone. For those who lack experience, installing DIY gutter guards can be time-consuming, challenging, and even dangerous. Moreover, a poorly installed gutter guard can lead to costly repairs and may not function properly.

It is reasonable to choose a DIY gutter guard if the installation location is easily accessible, such as from a short ladder or a flat roof. However, if a tall ladder is required, we recommend hiring a professional installer regardless of the type of gutter guard selected. Although a professional installation is more expensive, it offers several advantages.

First, professionally-installed leaf guards typically use higher-quality materials designed to last longer than most DIY gutter guards. This means that professionally-installed products won’t need to be replaced as frequently (or at all) as DIY options. Second, most professionally-installed options (and all of the professionally-installed options covered in this guide) come with a warranty that guarantees their performance for at least several decades, if not a lifetime. Finally, improperly installed gutter guards can possibly void the gutter guard warranty, gutter warranty, and roof warranty, which can be a costly mistake, particularly for newer roofs. Professional installers are usually insured against any errors or damages they may cause during installation, which takes the pressure off homeowners.

When ultimately deciding between a professional or DIY gutter guard installation, it’s important to note that the best professional gutter guards are often only available through the manufacturer or licensed installers. This means that buyers typically need to request a quote online or call the company to purchase them. On the other hand, simpler and less expensive DIY options are more readily available for purchase at big-box stores such as Home Depot or Lowe’s, as well as online retailers like Amazon.


As previously mentioned, the warranty offered by a manufacturer can be a good indicator of the quality of the product. While most DIY gutter guards sold at retailers like Amazon, Lowes, or Home Depot come with limited or no warranties, professionally-installed gutter guards usually have warranties that are valid for several years at a minimum. For instance, the LeafGuard by Englert warranty is an excellent example of a robust lifetime warranty.

It’s important to note that warranties vary widely depending on the manufacturer. Homeowners should carefully read and understand the warranty terms and conditions before making a purchase. They should also be aware of factors that may void the warranty, such as failing to register the product, neglecting proper maintenance or cleaning of the gutter guards, or modifying a professionally-installed system.


Cost is an important factor for most buyers and it is often indicative of quality, particularly when comparing leaf guards of the same type and material. Cheaper options may seem like a good deal initially but tend to fail before their more expensive counterparts, leading to additional maintenance and replacement costs in the long run. Nevertheless, a higher price tag doesn’t necessarily mean a better product.

When considering prices for professionally-installed options, homebuyers can request quotes from multiple licensed installers of the same product or compare quotes from different manufacturers that sell the same style of gutter guard. For example, this guide features several professionally-installed, stainless steel, micro-mesh options.

Similarly, prices of the top DIY gutter guards can vary widely between retailers. After choosing a specific product, it’s worth searching the online stores of Home Depot, Lowe’s, Menards, and Amazon to find the best price.

For homeowners prioritizing cost over durability, choosing a low-cost style and inexpensive material is the best option. The least expensive types of leaf guards are screen, brush, and foam guards. The cheapest material used for gutter guards is plastic or vinyl.

Types of Gutter Guards

Gutter guards come in different styles or types, each using unique techniques to block debris and enable water flow through the gutter system. Every type offers its own advantages, but each one is susceptible to specific flaws. Several factors, including the house’s location, the types of debris in the area, the buyer’s budget, and weather patterns, are all essential considerations in choosing the appropriate gutter guard type for a particular home. To get a quick idea of each type’s effectiveness, Consumer Reports has a short video summarizing their 16-month performance test results.

Here is an in-depth overview of each gutter guard type:

Micro-Mesh Gutter Guards

Micro Mesh Gutter Guard

Micro-mesh or fine-mesh gutter guards are designed with tightly woven screens that create a fine mesh attached to a supportive frame, which in turn attaches to the rain gutter. The mesh itself is commonly constructed from materials such as nylon, aluminum, or stainless steel. The fine mesh gutter screen allows water to pass through while blocking even the smallest debris. The fine mesh varies between companies, with some using a mesh screen so fine that it even blocks dirt and shingle granules from passing through.

Most experts agree that gutter screens using fine mesh are the most effective gutter guard systems available. The finely woven filter prevents all types of debris like pine needles, twigs, leaves, and dirt from entering the gutter, while still allowing rainwater to easily enter. Similarly, insects and animals cannot enter the gutter either when these screens are used.

Fine-mesh screens have a potential drawback in very wet environments where they may develop algae or mold. Since the mesh gaps are small, surface tension may trap water droplets in the gaps. Ordinarily, this is not an issue as the water evaporates once the rain stops or the temperature increases. However, if the area is often rainy, cloudy, or humid, the droplets may not dry, and microscopic algae or mold can proliferate within the water, gradually spreading across the mesh. This could eventually obstruct water flow or cause mesh damage. However, it typically takes several months for this to occur, and routine cleaning can prevent it. Additionally, most manufacturers of this style of guard provide a warranty to protect homeowners against premature wear and damage.

Typically, micro-mesh guards are designed for professional installation. However, in many instances, homeowners can also purchase and install them. These guards are widely regarded as the best option available, and although no solution is perfect, they are the most frequently recommended and utilized by professional contractors.

Gutter Screens

Plastic Screen Gutter Guard

Gutter screens are typically constructed from aluminum, steel, plastic, or vinyl sections with small holes or a wide wire mesh. This style of leaf guard is similar to micro-mesh options, but the holes are much larger, making it easier for water to pass through. The larger screen blocks most debris, including leaves, sticks, twigs, and animals, but small debris and insects can still enter the gutter system.

The size and shape of the holes vary significantly between brands, so homeowners should consider the types of foliage in their area before choosing this type of guard. Gutter screens are best suited for areas where leaves and sticks, rather than pine needles, dust, and fine debris, are the primary concern.

One advantage of the larger holes is that they are easier to clean. If the holes are large enough, homeowners may be able to clean the gutter guards with a high-pressure hose. Additionally, screen gutter guards are typically less expensive than other options, with plastic being the cheapest and aluminum or stainless steel being more costly.

Reverse Curve (Surface Tension) Guards

Reverse Curve Gutter Guard

Reverse curve gutter guards (also known as surface tension gutter guards) leverage the unique properties of water to direct water into the gutters while keeping debris out. The upper surface is usually textured or ribbed to increase surface tension, ensuring that the water will stick to the surface and flow into the gutters. Typically, the top surface also extends beyond the edge of the gutter, making it unlikely that debris can fall into the gutter’s small opening. Gutter Helmet and LeafGuard are the most popular examples of this style of product.

Reverse curve gutter guards are meant to last for a long time and eliminate the need for cleaning, though occasional maintenance will always be necessary for any type of leaf guard. While rain tends to wash dirt and grime away from the top surface, the underside doesn’t get the same amount of rainwater hitting it. Over time, dirty water and small particles can build up and even block water from flowing in.

Some surface tension gutter guards are designed to be installed underneath the first or second row of roof shingles, which is problematic for a couple of reasons. First, the gutter guards will likely be visible from the street or walkway in front of the home. Because of this, buyers must pay special attention to ensure they visually match the roof and existing gutters. Second, because the shingles must be lifted during installation, the integrity of the roof may be compromised and become prone to early wear. Lastly, surface tension gutter guards must be installed by a professional—usually, a representative or affiliate of the company that makes them. For all of these reasons, surface tension gutter guards are less desirable and less often recommended by professional contractors and experts.

Brush Gutter Guards

Gutter Brush

The brush-style gutter guard, also known as a gutter brush or brush guard, resembles a pipe cleaner and fits inside gutters to prevent debris buildup while allowing water to flow through its bristles. GutterBrush, a family-owned company, originated this design and continues to be the primary manufacturer of this type of gutter guard.

One of the biggest advantages of the brush gutter guard is its low cost and availability at most hardware stores and online retailers. Its simple design also makes it easy to install without the need for screws or connections, which can save homeowners money on professional installation fees. Additionally, the brushes can be bent to fit corners and unusual gutter shapes.

However, since the gutter brush does not cover the gutters, debris tends to accumulate in the bristles and requires regular cleaning. While cleaning is straightforward and requires no specialized tools or skills, homeowners surrounded by trees that drop small leaves or needles may find themselves cleaning more often than they would like.

Overall, the brush gutter guard is an effective and affordable solution for homeowners in areas with light foliage who don’t mind regular maintenance. Those who prioritize low installation costs and ease of installation may prefer this design over more complex and expensive alternatives.

Foam Gutter Guards

Foam Gutter Guard

Foam gutter guards, also known as gutter foam, are porous triangular blocks of foam designed to block debris from entering rain gutters while allowing water to easily pass through. Popular manufacturers include GutterStuff and GutterFoam.

Foam gutter guards work similarly to gutter brushes. They are incredibly easy to install and usually don’t require professional installation. They are sold in small sections that can be inserted into the gutter system, and they can be cut to fit corners. Since foam gutter guards are placed inside the rain gutters, they are not visible from the street or walkway in front of the house.

One downside of foam gutter guards is that in extremely wet climates, they can become saturated with water and start to develop mold, rot, or mildew. This means that they will need to be replaced at some point. Additionally, foam guards are not the best option for keeping out insects or small rodents, which can burrow into the foam and create nests.

Foam-style gutter guards are some of the cheapest options available to homeowners and can be found at various stores and online retailers such as Home Depot, Lowe’s, Costco, Menards, and Amazon. While they are less expensive than other styles, they do require more frequent cleaning and/or replacement. Nonetheless, they may still be a suitable option for homeowners who prefer a cost-effective, do-it-yourself solution.

Gutter Guard Types: Summed Up

Type Cost Installation Durability
Micro-Mesh $$$ – $$$$ Professional Durable
Screen $ – $$$ Varies Extremely Durable
Surface Tension $$$$ – $$$$$ Professional Somewhat Durable
Brush $$ Easy / DIY Durable
Foam $$ Easy / DIY Not Durable

Gutter Guard Materials

When it comes to selecting gutter guard materials, homeowners have various options to choose from, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Factors such as extreme temperature events, sun exposure, and snowfall are important considerations to ensure that the chosen material can withstand local environmental conditions. Below, we will review the advantages, disadvantages, and key considerations for each.

Aluminum Gutter Guards

Aluminum is a popular material used in manufacturing gutter guards, particularly for gutter screens and surface tension gutter guards. Its lightweight nature and structural durability make it a cost-effective option for most homeowners.

Aluminum is well-suited for hot and cold environments as it is resistant to warping and cracking, and it is not damaged by sunlight. However, without a protective coating or paint, aluminum may oxidize and change in appearance over time. This cosmetic change doesn’t affect the material’s structural integrity. Fortunately, most gutter guards made from aluminum are coated to prevent oxidation. If the gutter guards are not visible, oxidation should not be a concern.

When properly maintained, aluminum gutter guards can last between 10 to 20 years and remain functional in most environments.

Steel Gutter Guards

Steel, particularly stainless steel, is a popular metal used in the manufacturing of gutter guards. Compared to aluminum, steel is typically stronger and more durable, making it an ideal material for mesh guards, gutter screens, and surface tension gutter guards. While its cost and weight can limit its application, steel’s durability makes it an attractive option for gutter protection.

Stainless steel gutter guards have excellent corrosion and rust resistance, ensuring long-lasting performance and visual appeal. Steel products are suitable for use in various environmental conditions, including extreme temperatures, as they are resistant to warping and cracking and can withstand intense sunlight.

When used as a primary structural element and securely attached to gutters, steel can reinforce the entire gutter guard system, preventing gutters from sagging or warping under heavy snow or ice loads. However, the heavy weight of steel requires proper installation to ensure that the gutters do not collapse under heavy snow or ice.

While steel gutter guards tend to be more expensive than those made from other materials, they offer a longer lifespan. Homeowners in areas with extreme weather conditions may find steel gutter guards to be a worthwhile investment, as they can last for 10 to 20 years or even longer.

Plastic or Vinyl Gutter Guards

Vinyl and other plastics are commonly used materials for low-cost gutter guards due to their affordability and ease of manufacturing. However, plastic and vinyl are generally weaker than aluminum or steel and are best suited for screen gutter guards that snap into place. Although they are inexpensive and easy to install, plastic gutter guards are not suitable for use as structural elements.

One of the primary drawbacks of plastic gutter guards is their lack of strength. They cannot support heavy weight, such as snow or larger debris, and can be easily damaged by animals or falling objects. Plastic guards also tend to perform poorly in extreme weather conditions. Hot temperatures can cause warping and create gaps in the gutter cover, while cold temperatures can make the plastic brittle and prone to cracking. Additionally, prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause the color of plastic gutter guards to fade and also make them more brittle over time.

Despite their limitations, plastic gutter guards can last for 5 to 10 years with proper care and in moderate climates. Homeowners who want to save money on gutter protection and prefer a gutter cover rather than an insertable foam or brush gutter guard may find plastic screens to be a suitable option. However, it is important to note that these are low-cost alternatives that may require more frequent replacement and are more susceptible to issues.

Copper Gutter Guards

Copper is a premium material that can be used in gutter guard screens to match the existing copper gutter system for a consistent visual appeal. While copper gutter guards are typically screen-style, a few manufacturers offer copper mesh options as well.

For homeowners with copper gutters, non-copper gutter guards can appear out of place and detract from the aesthetics of the home. Copper is a highly durable material that boasts superior strength compared to aluminum, and its chemical properties prevent the formation of mold and mildew on both the gutters and gutter guards. Copper gutter guards can last over 25 years, which is longer than those made from other materials, but they tend to be more expensive and less widely available.

Copper gutter guards are highly resistant to environmental factors like heat, cold, and sunlight and experience less damage over time compared to other materials. These guards are especially suitable for historic and luxury buildings that already have copper gutters in place.

Foam & Brush Gutter Guards

Foam and polypropylene brush materials are used specifically for foam-style and brush-style guards, respectively. To learn more about how these materials perform in various conditions, reference the above section that discusses the different types of gutter guards.

Gutter Guard Materials: Summed Up

Material Cost Durability Lifespan
Aluminum $$$ Very Durable 10–20 years
Steel $$$$ Extremely Durable 10–25 years
Copper $$$$$ Extremely Durable 25+ years
Plastic $ Not Durable / Brittle 2–10 years
Foam $$ Not Durable 2–5 year
Brush $$ Durable 5–10 year

How Do Gutter Guards Attach?

Gutter guards can attach in several ways depending on their design and the specific design of the gutter system. Here are some common methods of attachment and how each can impact the ease of installation, cost, and durability.

Screw-In or Bolt-On

Screw-In Gutter Guard

Attaching leaf guards to a home’s existing gutter system and fascia board using screws is the most reliable method. This approach is widely used for installing micro-mesh leaf guards, such as LeafFilter, and many screen leaf guards. The majority of micro-mesh leaf guards are constructed from aluminum or steel, which provide additional structural reinforcement to the gutters when screwed in place. This makes them more resilient and less prone to damage caused by heavy loads of snow, ice, or animals crawling on them.

However, it’s worth noting that screwing in leaf guards can be a challenging process that requires some skill and experience. As a result, most brands making products that screw in recommend or require professional installation. An improperly installed gutter guard could not only fail to function as intended but may also cause damage to the gutters or the guard itself.


Hinged Gutter Guard

Hinged gutter guards come with pre-built hinge components that can be easily attached to the gutters or fascia by either clipping or screwing them on. Once attached, the guards can be swiveled around the hinge, allowing easy access to the inside of the gutters for regular cleaning.

Installing these guards is typically not difficult, as they can be easily clipped into place. However, some designs that require screws to be used at the hinge are slightly more challenging to install compared to clip-on versions. Hinged gutter guards are usually available in different materials like aluminum, vinyl, or steel and utilize micro-mesh or screen designs.

Snap-In or Lock-In

Snap-In Gutter Guard

Micro-mesh and screen gutter guards can sometimes be attached to the gutter system by simply snapping them into place. These products should be chosen specifically to match the size and type of the home’s gutters to properly fit. Snap-in gutter guards are typically easy to install and can be done without professional assistance.

However, it’s worth noting that this attachment method is the least secure. If the guards don’t snap into place securely enough, they can easily become dislodged by winds, heavy debris, or animals. In such cases, homeowners can improve the attachment by using screws or small bolts to secure the snap-in gutter guards more firmly.

Resting (In-Gutter)

Rest-In Gutter Guard

Some gutter guards are designed to be placed inside of the gutter, instead of covering the top. These are by far the easiest products for a homeowner to install, but they also tend to require the most maintenance. Some screen-style gutter guards use this attachment method, but all foam and brush gutter guards rest in the gutter.


Under-Shingle Surface Tension Gutter Guard

Under-shingle gutter guards are designed to be installed under the shingles of the roof, and they are fastened to the outer edge of the gutter by either snapping or screwing into place. Although these products are known for their security and excellent leaf protection, they are also somewhat controversial due to the potential damage caused by lifting or adjusting the shingles during installation. While some micro-mesh and gutter screen options use this attachment technique, it is typically reserved for surface tension gutter guards.

Most experts advise against this installation method for several reasons. The primary concern is that lifting the shingles can break the water barrier that they are intended to provide. Additionally, if the product requires nailing into the roof, it can cause even more damage and lead to long-term roof leaks. Furthermore, using this type of guard can void any existing roof warranties, and some homeowners’ associations may even prohibit their use.

Considering these factors, we generally do not recommend under-shingle installations.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much do gutter guards cost?

Gutter guards range widely in price depending on the style you go with and whether or not you have them professionally installed. DIY options start at around $0.50 per foot; whereas, the best professionally-installed gutter guard systems can cost up to $10 per foot.

How much do gutter guards cost to install?

Gutter guard installations for a typical home with 200 feet of gutters will usually cost around $1,000 in labor. However, you can expect to pay more than double that if you have a larger home and/or difficult-to-reach gutters.

Are gutter guards worth it?

Whether or not gutter guards are worth it depends on several factors specific to your home. If your home is situated in a location that experiences significant leaf buildup and your gutters are difficult to access, installing gutter guards will likely save you money in the long run—especially if you go with one of the top-rated DIY options.

What are the disadvantages of gutter guards?

Apart from the cost and installation process, the main disadvantage of most gutter guards is that they are not maintenance-free products. Some homeowners mistakenly assume that once they install gutter guards on their homes that they will never need to tend to their gutters again. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. While gutter guards cut down on routine maintenance, they still require cleaning once or twice per year.

Are gutter guards bad?

Gutter guards have gained a mixed reputation, which stems from two significant factors. First, installing leaf guards can be a worthwhile investment for some homeowners, but not necessarily for every household. The effectiveness of gutter guards depends on various factors, including local climate, foliage density, wind patterns, and rainfall amount. Second, certain types of gutter guards are installed in a manner that involves sliding them under the first row of roof shingles. This method can damage the roof’s water seal and potentially void the roof warranty. However, this can be avoided by opting for leaf guards that are screwed into the gutter edge and fascia instead.

Our Rating Methodology

To identify the top-performing gutter guards in the market, our research team extensively evaluated over 30 leading products. We established a comprehensive set of criteria and awarded points to each product based on its performance across the following categories.

  • Performance & Maintenance (25%): To evaluate each gutter guard’s performance, we considered its ability to prevent debris buildup, prevent clogging, and maintain proper water flow in the gutter system. We also assessed the level of maintenance required, including how easy it is to clean and how frequently it needs to be done. Micro-mesh and reverse curve gutter guards earned the most points, followed by gutter screens. The worst-performing products in this category were foam inserts and gutter brushes, which require the most maintenance.
  • Durability (25%): We found that metal gutter guards, such as those made from aluminum and stainless steel, are the most durable and withstand the elements better than plastic guards. Foam gutter guards were prone to developing mold and mildew. The most points were awarded to products made from stainless steel, followed by those made with aluminum. The fewest points were given to plastic and foam gutter guards.
  • Attachment Method (20%): We highly recommend that customers choose a gutter guard that attaches directly to the gutter edge and/or the fascia board using screws. Guards that snap into place or rest within the gutter can detach in severe weather, while those that slide under the first row of shingles can damage the roof and void the warranty. The most points were awarded to products that screw into the gutter and/or fascia board, followed by those that snap into place or rest in the gutter. The fewest points were given to products that slide under the first row of shingles.
  • Warranty (15%): We carefully read through the fine print of each manufacturer’s warranty to identify those with the most generous terms and fewest restrictions. We awarded the most points to companies that offered the longest warranties with the broadest coverage and fewest restrictions. We also favored companies that provide transferable warranties in the event of a home sale.
  • Company reputation (15%): Finally, we considered both product and company-level customer reviews. We evaluated the quality and quantity of product reviews to determine how well the product performed for real customers. We also examined company-level reviews on websites like the Better Business Bureau to determine how well the company has historically responded to complaints and resolved issues related to its products.


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Brandon Medina
Brandon Medina

Brandon is a senior researcher for Construction Coverage and also works full-time in BIM modeling for a major concrete contractor in Southern California. He has previously held positions as a senior VDC engineer with Truebeck Construction and project engineer with Gordon Prill, Inc.

Brandon grew up in California and graduated from California State University with a degree in Construction Management. Through his formal education and work, Brandon has gained invaluable experience across all aspects of the construction and logistics industries, including commercial trucking and shipping.