Gutter guards are a vital component of any functioning gutter system. They keep debris and pests out of your gutters and downspouts, allowing rainwater to be effectively channeled away from your home. Installing one of these best gutter guards will reduce cleaning frequency for your gutters, prevent water damage to your fascia and roof, and protect the surrounding landscaping by extension.

This article will cover our picks for both professionally-installed and DIY gutter guard options, details about what makes each one stand out among the competition, and details about other key factors you should know, such as cost, materials, and warranties.

Our Top Pick
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Best-Designed Gutter Guards
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Best Performance Warranty
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Most Durable Gutter Guards
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your next gutter guard purchase!

What Are the Highest-Rated Gutter Guards?

To help you pick the best gutter guards for your home, we’ve thoroughly reviewed and tested leading options currently available and landed on seven that stand out. Each gutter guard has been evaluated in-house for durability, curb appeal, resistance to different types of debris, and cost.

LeafFilter: Best Professional Installation and Cost

Compare the Highest-Rated Gutter Guards

Below we included a table outlining key points such as pricing, the gutter company’s BBB rating and other important factors. Overall, we like Leaffilter the best due to them having a nice balance of fair pricing and ease of install. Regardless of which company you end up going with, it’s definitely worth your time to get a quote from Leaffilter. Keep scrolling for our full review.


Our Rating

BBB Rating

Average Cost per foot


Time to Install (<2,000 sq. feet)




uPVC frame & stainless steel micro-mesh

1-4 hours

Lifetime transferable LeafFilter Manufacturer’s Warranty



Aluminum frame & stainless steel micro-mesh

1-4 hours

Lifetime transferable warranty


Contact for a quote

Aluminum, one-piece unit

4-8 hours

Lifetime warranty


Not available

Aluminum body & stainless steel micro-mesh

1-4 hours

Lifetime performance guarantee



Stainless steel

4-10 hours DIY

Must register for 5-10 year extended warranty



Steel or aluminum screen

4-10 hours DIY

N/A – only guaranteed to be intact at time of purchase

Our Picks of Top Gutter Guards in 2023

Now that you know what to look for when gutter guard shopping, you’re ready to explore some of the best options on the market. Here are our top seven picks we recommend considering to help keep your gutters debris-free.

Best Professional Installation and Cost



Our Rating

Limited Time: Save 15% with LeafFilter. Senior and Military save an additional 10%.

LeafFilter claims our top spot for the best gutter guards on the market. Its proprietary three-piece design has gained consistently high marks, as it can be installed on your existing gutters while keeping out even the smallest debris. When tested, the design kept out the simulated debris while allowing water to seamlessly flow into the existing gutters. Moreover, LeafFilter’s installation team proved to be professional and efficient during the installation process.

LeafFilter gutter guards are a prime option for eliminating maintenance calls and gutter cleaning from your seasonal to-do lists. We tested the following system components that come with every installation package, which proved to keep gutters debris-free.

  • Structural Hangers: Each LeafFilter system has built-in stainless steel hangers anchored to your home’s fascia board. These provide the underlying support for the other components of your gutter guards and provide added structural integrity for your gutter system.
  • uPVC Frame: The middle component of LeafFilter gutter guards is a plastic frame that allows optimal water flow into your gutters while ensuring that the overlaid screen doesn’t warp or bend over time.
  • 275-Micron Stainless Steel Screen: The top layer of this gutter guard ensures that even the smallest debris is kept out of your gutters. This mesh screen protects branches or leaves from pollen and shingle grit.

LeafFilter has locations in the following 47 states:

  • Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota,  Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

LeafFilter gutter guards cost between $17 and $45 per linear foot. This is due largely to the fact that these gutter guards require professional installation. DIY options would likely be cheaper but would come without the lifetime warranty and quality LeafFilter can provide.

275-micron stainless steel mesh keeps the smallest debris out of your gutters
Installation comes with a lifetime warranty
LeafFilter can install new gutters if needed
No DIY option available

LeafFilter currently enjoys an A+ Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. While this is impressive for any home service provider, the 4.4/5 rating it has across nearly 100,000 Trustpilot reviews is far more telling regarding its quality.

Customers largely enjoyed LeafFilter’s resilience in heavy rainfall and debris accumulation. One recurring issue with LeafFilter is a buildup of debris over time on top of the mesh screen. This is typically more due to low-pitch roofs than it is a flaw with the system itself.

  • Style: Three-piece construction with a micro-mesh screen
  • Material: Stainless steel screen and uPVC frame
  • Visibility: Blends in with your existing gutters
  • Cost: $17 – $45 per linear foot
  • Size: Can be sized to any gutter system
Best Designed



Our Rating

Limited Time: New gutter guard customers save 30%.

HomeCraft Gutter Protection provides gutter guards which can fit roofs of any material and gutters of any size. This gutter protection system utilizes a patented raised-diamond structure on all screens to prevent debris buildup on top of your gutters.

When put to our testing methods, the sturdy aluminum frames and marine-grade stainless steel screens held up extremely well to the simulated debris and rainfall without warping or bending. The angled and raised design allowed debris to slip off the side easily, and the micromesh prevented our mulch from penetrating the screen. We recommend these gutter guards for homeowners who want a seamless look, as once installed, these gutter guards are not seen from the ground.

Click here to get your free quote.

HomeCraft is available in the following 12 states

  • Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.

Average gutter guard pricing will range between $4.50 and $7.75 per linear foot. This includes material and labor costs. Since this provider offers service across 12 states — primarily in the Southeastern U.S. — price points can vary. Get a quote to ensure HomeCraft installation costs align with your budget. HomeCraft can also save you money buy reducing the expense of gutter repair.

Aluminum frame and steel screens make for sturdy construction
Gutter guard systems can fit any existing gutter
Provides full gutter repair and installation if needed
Need an in-person quote and consultation to get an accurate price
Only serves 12 states

HomeCraft Gutter Protection is one of the highest-rated gutter guard companies in the business. While it only has a B rating from the Better Business Bureau, customer reviews on this platform rate it at 2.91 across more than 90 reviews. Similarly, Trustpilot reviews have this company at a 4.7/5, with only 4% of the 235 reviews reporting poor experiences. The majority of low reviews mentioned poor customer service and communication from HomeCraft representatives.

The gutter guards themselves are highly versatile. No matter the slope of your roof, the width of your existing gutters, or the size of your gutter system, you’ll be able to have HomeCraft guards installed. Generally, customers rate this system well for small to medium-sized debris, in milder climate regions.

Some reviews reported that the guards warp over time. This can be caused by frequent temperature changes or debris accumulation. The stainless steel micro-mesh will never rust, and HomeCraft’s lifetime warranty will cover all maintenance.

  • Style: Raised-diamond micromesh gutter guards
  • Material: Marine-grade 304 stainless steel
  • Visibility: Not visible from the ground
  • Cost: $4.50 – $7.75 per linear foot
  • Size: Can be custom-cut to fit any gutter system
Most Durable



Our Rating

Limited Time: 20% off your next gutter guard purchase!

LeafGuard is not just a gutter guard manufacturer but a complete seamless gutter manufacturer and installer. With LeafGuard, you will get one complete unit, both a gutter and a gutter guard. The reverse curve style pushes the debris off the roof and allows water to flow through a small channel.

LeafGuard claims that the guards can accommodate up to 32 inches of rain in an hour. When put to our simulated rainfall testing, LeafGuard held up extremely well, with water quickly flowing into the gutters without any issues. LeafGuard’s screens did not warp or tear throughout the week of testing. The following conclusions were drawn from our testing:

  • Secure and Stable: If your current gutter system is not in the best shape, adding gutter guards could create more weight and pressure. LeafGuard can completely transform the gutters and gutter guards so that bowing and pulling away from the home is never a problem again.
  • Thicker Aluminum and Large Downspouts: The gutters from LeafGuard can handle large amounts of rain. This is primarily because of the design and the materials used. Large downspouts keep water moving quickly.
  • Guaranteed Not To Clog: LeafGuard states that their reverse curve design will never clog; although some debris does move into the gutter area sometimes, it should not cause any issues.

LeafGuard offers professional installation in 36 states with no option for DIY installation. The professional installation also includes a finishing paint to the color of your choice and a lifetime warranty.

Click here to get your free quote.

LeafGuard is available in the following 36 states:

  • Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

LeafGuard costs will vary considerably due to the size of your home and the location. The costs are estimated at more than $10 per foot, but they can be a little higher as this is a gutter and gutter guard solution all in one.

Manufactured and installed at your home to match your home
A complete one piece system with guard and gutter included
Limited lifetime warranty
Guaranteed not to clog
Oversized downspouts
No option for just a gutter guard
Not a mesh solution

LeafGuard has been in the industry for 29 years and has a reputation and presence across most of the United States. They have earned and maintained an A+ BBB rating and accreditation since 2013. Although this is not just a gutter guard solution, it’s smart to have options and to consider what a new single-piece design could do for your home.

  • Material: Aluminum Reverse Curve Style Gutter and Guard
  • Visibility: Custom painted to match current home colors
  • Cost: Contact For Pricing
  • Size: Seamless gutters available in all sizes
Best Performance Warranty

All American Gutter Protection


Our Rating

Limited Time: Save $300 when you have All American Gutter Protection installed on your entire home

All American Gutter Protection is one of our top choices due to the quality of its product and its history within the industry. This provider installs its leading brand of gutter guards across 14 states. The reliable micro-mesh gutter screens All American provides are supported by an aluminum frame, ensuring the structural integrity of the guard over time.

Whether you have four or six-inch gutters, or any style, this gutter guard is a great choice for long-term gutter protection. When put to the test, All American was easily installed on our 5-inch gutters by a professional team of experts. Upon further testing, the micro-mesh screen kept our hay, mulch, and topsoil from entering the gutters. However, because these are not installed at an angle, we concluded that homeowners occasionally would have to clean the top to prevent an extreme debris build-up.

All American Gutter Protection is available in the following 14 states:

  • Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

You should contact All American for an estimate if you’re within its operating territory. Simply provide contact information and an address, and you’ll be put in contact with a service representative. As stated above, All American Gutter Protection offers plenty of discounts, including:

  • 20% or $300 discounts via a downloadable coupon
  • Military discounts
  • Senior citizen discounts
Guaranteed for the life of your home
Stainless steel screens are resistant to corrosion
Offers plenty of discounts, including $300 off a total gutter guard system installation
Offers more than 30 colors to go with any home
Only services 14 states
Professional installation only

All American is a BBB-accredited business with an A+ BBB rating. Aside from the commonly-reported lower price points, the product itself seems to hold up over time. The micro-mesh screens shield your gutter system from even the smallest debris and are pitched with your existing roof and gutters to ensure that refuse doesn’t build up on your gutters.

Clients enjoy the speed of the professional installation, the stainless steel mesh and aluminum frame quality, and the 30-plus colors offered. With the customization ability you’re afforded, it’s easy to see why this gutter guard is one of the most popular options today.

  • Style: Stainless steel micro-mesh screen over an aluminum body
  • Material: Stainless steel and aluminum
  • Visibility: Blends in with your gutter’s profile
  • Cost: Contact for a quote
  • Size: Can fit any gutter system

What Are The Top DIY Gutter Guards for Your Home?

Keep reading to learn about our picks for homeowners looking to install gutter guards themselves.

Best DIY Option

Raptor Micro-Mesh Gutter Guard


Our Rating

No current offer available for Raptor.

Raptor Micro-Mesh Gutter Guard is our top pick for the best DIY gutter guards. Raptor gutter guards are manufactured from high-quality stainless steel and come with all the instructions, tools, and fasteners you’ll need to install. Raptor gutter guards will fit any size gutter, including five, six, and seven-inch systems, and can stand up to most climates and conditions.

Although you’ll likely need to purchase multiple gutter guard kits to cover your entire gutter system, buying through Amazon makes this process incredibly simple. When installed for testing, the kit was easy to fasten to existing gutters and held up the best to the simulated rainfall and debris out of all the DIY options we tried. However, we noticed that the aluminum could not be easily cut to fit, so be sure to order the correct size when purchasing for an existing gutter system.

Click here to get your free quote.

Raptor Micro-Mesh Gutter Guards are available on Amazon and include all installation hardware and instructions with the initial purchase. Costs range from $125 to $150 for a 48-foot kit; a sample kit is only $8.90. Since most homes require more than that, you’ll likely have to purchase multiple kits for full coverage.

Despite Window World’s extensive selection of window products and customizations, the provider only offers vinyl window frames. Vinyl is the most popular framing material on the market, but some homeowners prefer the traditional look of wood or the long-lasting durability of metal.

If you’re one of these shoppers, the company might not be the best option for your home’s window replacements. However, if aesthetics are the only thing holding you back from Window World’s vinyl frames, consider one of its woodgrain finishes to achieve the look you want.

Read more about how Window World compares to the competition in or in-depth breakdown of Widow World vs Pella.

25-year product warranty
Multiple size options
Includes installation guide and self-tapping screws with purchase
Heavy-duty materials that promise to hold up to extreme weather
A bit more costly than other DIY options

On Amazon, this DIY option maintains a 4.6/5 rating through more than 4,000 reviews. Most customers rate the quality of the product and the simplicity of installation. That said, DIY rain gutter modifications aren’t a trivial project. Installing these is a significant undertaking and gutter guard installs should planned out properly, with the proper tools and preparation.

Raptor’s V-bend design and trough on the outer attachment point make it a far stronger option than many standalone micro-mesh gutter guards. These corrugations in the metal’s surface allow for high tolerance in the event of debris buildup and the easy flow of water around such debris. When we tested these guards, the trough feature tended to hold debris. However, we subjected this to rather heavy simulated debris accumulation. Under light to intermediate conditions, you shouldn’t have to get up on a ladder to clean too often.

Aside from the quality evidenced by the wealth of reviews, installation is remarkably easy. For instance, Peter O. on Amazon attested to this process in his review: “Product was easy to install with everything included that was needed. I’m 74 years old and installed it quickly.”

  • Style: Micro-mesh with v-bend design provides durability and superior water filtration
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Visibility: When installed correctly, Raptor guards aren’t visible from the ground
  • Cost: $124.99 to $149.99 for a 48-foot gutter guard kit
  • Size: Fits five, six, or seven-inch gutters
Best Mesh

Amerimax Home Products


Our Rating

No current offer available for Amerimax.

Amerimax Home Products’ Lock-in Gutter Guard is our best DIY mesh gutter guard. It provides a fairly simple solution for clients in areas with less extreme weather patterns. When tested, the material proved fairly pliable, and installation was easy. The mesh screen kept most larger debris out of the gutters, and the large holes allowed the simulated rainfall to flow into the gutter easily. Although these gutter guards held up well over the course of our week-long testing, we concluded that homeowners would likely have to do some light maintenance a few times per year to keep small debris from building up.

Amerimax is ideal for K-style gutters between four and six inches wide, but the easy “lock-in” installation allows it to fit almost any gutter. Simply slide the straight edge under your shingles while snapping the leading edge into your gutters. Despite the simplicity and ease of installation, Amerimax Gutter Guards have a 10-year warranty for any product failure.

Click here to get your free quote.

Castle Windows is the best choice for homeowners seeking comprehensive, long-term warranty protection for their replacement windows. The company provides lifetime guarantees on windows and workmanship, giving customers some of the best buyer protection in the industry.

Castle’s protection applies to window units, glass, and labor, as long as the windows remain in their original openings. Even if you sell your home, its Castle Windows will retain non-prorated protection with transferable lifetime warranty coverage.

Castle provides customers with additional support in its troubleshooting and service guides. The troubleshooting guide provides extensive window maintenance and repair information, and the service guide video tutorials visually demonstrate how to care for your Castle Windows products.

Amerimax Gutter Guards are sold in 75-foot packs broken up into 25 three-foot sections. These packs cost $99.73 on Amazon, which equates to $1.33 per linear foot.

Easy to install on corners and tight areas
75 feet of material per package
Compatible with most gutter types and sizes
Not as durable as many other options
Can allow some smaller debris to accumulate in your gutters

Amerimax Gutter Guards are rated at 4.6/5 on Amazon, with sturdiness, clarity of instructions, value, and ease of installation all ranking 4.5 or higher. This product is at the top of the list for most people looking for a quick gutter guard fix. The guard material won’t hold up to heavy debris, but this is often a tradeoff you’ll have to make for ease of installation.

Our testing involved installation and a full range of debris and rain exposure. The guard was the easiest to install out of any screen options outlined here, with simple tin snips to cut the guard to size. The clip on the lead side of the guard locks into existing gutters fairly easily. The flip side is that the guard can warp under more extreme debris accumulation over time. Customers who live in areas with mild weather patterns would do well with this product on their gutters. In most cases, your guards should outlive their warranty.

  • Style: Steel mesh
  • Material: Powder-coated steel
  • Visibility: Depends on gutter width; mesh can bow upwards when installed on four-inch gutters
  • Cost: $99.73 for 75 feet ($1.33 per foot)
  • Size: Available in four, five, or six-inch widths
Best Brush

Gutter Brush


Our Rating

No current offer available for Gutter Brush.

GutterBrush is our best brush option for DIY gutter guards. This supplier’s three-foot lengths make customization for any gutter system easy. Once you’ve purchased the right size GutterBrush guards, installation is among the quickest you’ll experience with any gutter product.

Once installed for testing, we noticed that they aren’t visible from the ground and offer decent protection against leaves and light debris. The gaps necessitated by the guard’s overall structure make it easy for small dirt and branches to make their way into the gutter, proving to be a small issue with our simulated debris. This could make semi-regular cleaning a necessity. However, this may be the best option if you’re looking for a quick, easy gutter guard installation without drilling.

Click here to get your free quote.

Castle Windows is the best choice for homeowners seeking comprehensive, long-term warranty protection for their replacement windows. The company provides lifetime guarantees on windows and workmanship, giving customers some of the best buyer protection in the industry.

Castle’s protection applies to window units, glass, and labor, as long as the windows remain in their original openings. Even if you sell your home, its Castle Windows will retain non-prorated protection with transferable lifetime warranty coverage.

Castle provides customers with additional support in its troubleshooting and service guides. The troubleshooting guide provides extensive window maintenance and repair information, and the service guide video tutorials visually demonstrate how to care for your Castle Windows products.

Your GutterBrush gutter guard cost will depend largely on the size of your gutter system. GutterBrush provides several sizes, each with different price points. We’ve listed a few different options with their corresponding prices here:

  • 4-inch: $4.13 per foot
  • 5-inch: $3.32 per foot
  • 6-inch: $4.48 per foot

The prices listed here are as they currently appear on GutterBrush’s website.

Easy to install
Can fit almost any gutter size
Available from plenty of retailers, including Home Depot, Lowe’s, and Amazon
Not optimal for larger debris
Can be aesthetically displeasing when debris builds up on the brush

GutterBrush currently holds a 4.4/5 on Amazon across more than 700 reviews. Positive feedback seems to come from clients in areas with little or no tree cover and milder conditions. For example, one customer’s review noted the following: “Our gutter system wasn’t designed very well … channeling a great deal of upper roof water onto a small section of the lower roof gutter, where it splashed over onto our front porch. The Gutter Brush keeps the debris out and “catches” the water. Easy to install!”

These gutter guards are cut to size for an easy installation process. They’ll provide you with quality protection in the face of lighter or moderate debris and less extreme weather conditions. Our testing showed that heavier debris bent the bristles out of shape, which shows that larger objects could make replacing sections necessary. These are fairly durable as far as brush guards go; depending on where you live, you should get between two and 10 years of use out of these.

  • Style: Brush
  • Material: Plastic
  • Visibility: If correctly sized, GutterBrush will only be visible when you’re at eye-level
  • Cost: $171.66 for a 60-foot length of 5-inch brush ($2.86/ linear foot)
  • Size: Fits nearly all gutters and is available from 3.25 to 8-inch diameters

Our Top Pick
Visit Site
Limited Time: Save 15% with LeafFilter. Senior and Military save an additional 10%.
Best-Designed Gutter Guards
Visit Site
Limited Time: New gutter guard customers save 30%.
Best Performance Warranty
Visit Site
Limited Time: Save $300 when you have Gutter Protection installed on your entire home.
Most Durable Gutter Guards
Visit Site
Limited Time: 20% Off
your next gutter guard purchase!

What To Consider Before Buying Gutter Guards

Prior to any home renovation project, you should consider all of your options and the potential details of each job. Here, we’ve outlined all the key factors to consider ahead of your gutter guard installation.

Material Quality and Durability

Gutter guard material will be a huge determining factor in your choice of gutter covers.

  • Foam: Foam gutter guards are among the cheapest and easiest to install, but this typically comes with the tradeoff of reduced quality and longevity. These can be viable in dry or less extreme climates, but you should regularly check and clean your gutters with these guards.
  • Plastics: Plastic gutter guards are a definite step up in quality from foam, but they are far from top of the line. They come in solid or mesh screens and reverse curve models. They can be extremely effective at keeping even heavy debris out of your gutters.
  • Stainless steel: One of the most heavy-duty, durable options for gutter protection is stainless steel gutter guards. This material is used to manufacture most mesh and micro-mesh screens, making it a vital component in many of the top options available.
  • Aluminum: Another common material among top options is a combination of stainless steel and aluminum. Depending on the gauge used, these can be manufactured to varying degrees of quality.
  • Copper: Although not as popular as the other materials, there are copper gutter covers available if you like the bronze look of that material.

Size and Length of Your Gutters

The average full-scale residential gutter system spans 200 linear feet. Of course, you can measure the outer footprint of your home to get a total length figure for gutter guard material. However, professional consultation and installation could be needed for most multi-story homes.


Establishing a budget is of vital importance for any home maintenance project. The gutter guard’s price will depend on a few factors, including the following:

  • Linear feet of gutters 
  • Gutter guard material
  • Home size
  • Professional or DIY installation

Even if you plan on going the DIY route, getting a professional consultation ahead of your gutter cover project may be worthwhile.

Visual Appeal

Most gutter guards are designed to be invisible from the ground. However, there are some pitched or very visible slope options. It will be very noticeable if you install a gutter guard that does not match your roof or home.

Look for companies that have different color options to ensure a match with your home. Curb appeal should be a consideration once the functionality of your gutter guards is ensured. Many providers offer options that will allow you to have both.

Warranty Options

Warranty options for gutter guards vary widely. Some will offer none, while others offer ten or 25-year or lifetime transferrable warranties. Transferring a warranty to a new home buyer offers great value and allows homeowners to feel they have their money’s worth when purchasing the gutter. Such plans typically cover the cost of replacement if your gutter guard starts to deteriorate, rust, or corrode.

Brand Reputation

You should always consider the company’s reputation before making a final call on whether or not it’s the right pick for your home. That means researching their ratings from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and TrustPilot, as well as reading reviews from actual customers.

Are Higher Quality Gutter Guards Worth it?

The sections below outline the principal advantages of installing a gutter guard system to extend the life of your gutter system and delay the costs of a new gutter system and its installation.

Blocking Leaves and Other Debris

Anything from shingle grit to leaves to debris and pine needles can get stuck in your gutters. These can block water flow and lead to long-term deterioration of your gutter system without regular cleaning and maintenance.

Keeping Rodents and Insects Away

If you are not careful, pests can turn your gutter system into a home. When your gutters have debris, they may also have standing water. Aside from causing corrosion and rust, this can be a breeding ground for mosquitos and other insects. Gutter guards will help prevent this from happening.

Improving Drainage

Gutter guards allow for proper water drainage from the roof. Clogged gutters give water nowhere to go but over the troughs and down toward your home’s foundation. Over time, the water pooling around the foundation will damage your home and landscape. Not to mention, the clogged, sagging gutter troughs can harm your home’s roof and fascia.

Lessening Gutter Maintenance & Cleaning

No one enjoys the hassle of cleaning their gutters. That aside, working near the roof on a tall ladder can be hazardous. Ladder-related falling injuries are among the most common risks to homeowners. The right gutter guards will lessen the frequency with which your gutters need to be cleaned.

What Are the Types of Gutter Guards and Materials?

There are several types of gutter guards, each with varying levels of durability, installation difficulty, and overall structure.


Screen gutter guards are best for homeowners with minimal debris but heavy rainfall. They typically have slightly larger openings, allowing high quantities of rain to pass through easily. Such guards are made from aluminum or stainless steel and hold up to heavier debris if necessary. If your gutter guard consists solely of a screen, you’ll need to do semi-regular cleaning to keep it in working order.


Mesh gutter guards are a slight upgrade from the screen option above. Relative to screen guards, mesh guards have a more condensed hole pattern, which tends to guard against smaller debris more effectively. Both mesh and micro-mesh guards typically come in stainless steel with aluminum frames for stability.


Micro-mesh typically factors in the top gutter guard options on the market. Such screens keep out most debris while allowing optimal water flow through your gutters. These are often used as overlays on more porous screens to provide the best protection while allowing water to pass through during the heaviest rainfall. Such guards will come with higher price tags but will be worth the cost if you’re concerned with shingle grit or pollen accumulation over time.

Reverse Curve/Surface Tension Helmets

Reverse curve gutter guards are installed at the same pitch as the roof, yet they have a unique pattern that tries to grab water before it slides off the roof. The reverse curve or surface tension gutter guards use gravity to collect as much water as possible while letting debris fall off naturally. Installation of these guards often requires professional help, as such crews will have the necessary tools to make the job easy.

Foam Inserts

Foam inserts are cut to fit your gutters and are fairly easy to install on your own. Their snug fit and flat tops allow water to flow into your gutter systems while most debris is kept out. The foam tends to deteriorate quickly relative to most other gutter guard materials. This is best used in mild or dry climates unless you’re prepared to do regular maintenance.


A brush gutter guard sits within a gutter and employs bristles to catch debris and keep it from clogging waterways and downspouts. This design can be effective in heavy rain, but it does require you to clean your gutters much more often. Most of the brush designs on the market will be DIY-friendly and highly affordable.

DIY vs. Professional Gutter Guard Installation

For certain gutters and gutter guards, DIY installation is a perfectly viable option. Similarly, if you live in a single-story home, it can be a fairly easy home improvement project requiring minimal tools and expertise. Many DIY gutter guard kits come with detailed instruction manuals and materials lists, making the process easy.

Professional installation may be a better option for many gutter guard projects. Going with the right pro in your area can provide several benefits, including quality assurance and lifetime warranties for any products installed on your property. Getting a professional assessment of your job and having a pricing figure in mind may be a good idea, even if you ultimately decide to do this on your own.

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Our Final Take: Which Is the Best Gutter Guard for Your Home?

We at Today’s Homeowner recommend carefully considering each facet of your gutter guard project before moving forward. Go over all relevant factors, including your budget, weather patterns, tree coverage, existing gutter condition, roof warranty, and more, before you decide on a gutter provider or DIY gutter guard product.

At the end of the day, quotes are always free from any licensed professional. Getting a home consultation from such a provider will make setting budgetary and material expectations far easier, regardless of the route you end up going. No matter what material you choose for your gutter guards or whether you choose to go with a professional installer, we believe that you’ll find a leading option for your needs in our list above.

How We Tested Which Gutter Guards Were Best

At Today’s Homeowner, we value transparency and authenticity when rating any of the products we review. We purchased sample packs for each DIY gutter guard option and installed them at our facility. Eight feet of each gutter guard was installed on our five-inch gutters and was tested for a full week under harsh conditions.

We replicated these by loading the tops of our gutters with the following types of debris while subjecting them to periodic heavy rainfall (greater than 50 mm per hour). The debris below was loaded at a weight not exceeding eight ounces per foot, by the percentages listed.

  • Hay (30%): Dried hay was meant to replicate the weight and consistency of dry leaves and smaller sticks that could fall onto gutters in any location. Most of this would roll off the gutters at the start of any simulated rainfall and would not pose an issue for most gutter guards.
  • Mulch (45%): Cedar mulch is a bit weightier and of more mixed consistency. This would affect any non-micro-mesh gutter guards, as the varied texture would be troublesome when coupled with wet conditions.
  • Screened Top Soil (25%): Screened top soil (no more than two ounces per foot) would simulate shingle grit, pollen, and any other small granulated debris which could accumulate on gutters.

Each gutter guard was tested outdoors for a full week with the above debris piled on. In addition to natural elements, we simulated heavy rainfall (50 mm per hour) each for at least two hours to ensure proper water flow for the duration of testing.

Editorial Contributors
Sam Wasson

Sam Wasson

Staff Writer

Sam Wasson graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in Film and Media Arts with an Emphasis in Entertainment Arts and Engineering. Sam brings over four years of content writing and media production experience to the Today’s Homeowner content team. He specializes in the pest control, landscaping, and moving categories. Sam aims to answer homeowners’ difficult questions by providing well-researched, accurate, transparent, and entertaining content to Today’s Homeowner readers.

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Lora Novak

Senior Editor

Lora Novak meticulously proofreads and edits all commercial content for Today’s Homeowner to guarantee that it contains the most up-to-date information. Lora brings over 12 years of writing, editing, and digital marketing expertise. She’s worked on thousands of articles related to heating, air conditioning, ventilation, roofing, plumbing, lawn/garden, pest control, insurance, and other general homeownership topics.

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