SoftLite is one of the oldest vinyl window providers on the market — so if you know you’re looking for vinyl windows, SoftLite is an excellent place to start. However, this company won’t be the right one for you if you’re still exploring your options or if you’re in the market for a more traditional wooden window.
If you’re not sure, we’ve compiled a comprehensive review of SofLite’s window offerings, pricing, customer reviews, and how it stacks up against other window replacement companies.
|Our Rating||75.5 / 100|
|State Availability||All 50 states|
|Financing Options||Available through independent retailers|
|Warranty||Limited lifetime warranty Glass breakage warranty (available for an extra cost)|
SoftLite Pros & Cons
- Almost 90 years of experience in the industry
- Boasts a robust collection of vinyl window products
- Has extensive vinyl window customization options
- Only provides vinyl windows
- Only a window manufacturer, not an installer
- Products are more expensive than other window manufacturers
Our Review of SoftLite
Total Score: 75.5 / 100 points
Established in 1934, SoftLite’s vinyl windows are some of the best in the industry. Its windows are more expensive than many of the company’s competitors – but for the money, you’re getting high-quality, energy-efficient windows with enough design choices to blend seamlessly into your home. If you want high-quality vinyl windows, SoftLite is an excellent choice.
However, if you’re not sure what kind of windows you’d like, we’d recommend starting with another window company first. SoftLite only offers vinyl windows, so you won’t be able to test out a classic wood look or durable steel windows.
This provider also may not be right for you if you’re looking for a more seamless, easy customer experience and window installation. SoftLite is a window manufacturer only, so it doesn’t handle installation. You’ll need to find another company or contractor to install the SoftLite windows you purchase.
Product Offerings of SoftLite
Score: 31 / 40 points
What we like
As long as you’re looking for vinyl windows, SoftLite will have what you need. This provider offers a wide range of window styles, as well as customization options. This allows you to modify the size and shape, hardware, color, and grilles of your windows. You’re certain to be able to match a SoftLite window to the style of your home.
What we don’t like
SoftLite’s obvious drawback is in its selection: The company only offers vinyl windows. Unless you’re certain you want vinyl, SoftLite likely won’t be right for you.
SoftLite also doesn’t provide garden or glass block windows, which are fairly common choices for people who want to add light to their kitchen or create a place to put potted plants.
Service Offerings of SoftLite
Score: 5 / 10 points
What we like
While SoftLite doesn’t install windows, the company also doesn’t leave you hanging. SoftLite gives its customers a lot of helpful demonstrations and maintenance education to help you properly care for your windows so that they can last for decades.
For example, you can find a window replacement guide, videos breaking down industry terminology, and a buyers’ checklist on SoftLite’s website to help you understand fully the pros and cons of each window series and how to maintain them for decades to come.
What we don’t like
Because SoftLite is only a window manufacturer, it doesn’t offer free at-home consultations, disposal, or cleanup after your window installation. You’ll be at the mercy of the local dealer for these services.
Affordability of SoftLite
Score: 16 / 25 points
What we like
SoftLite offers several payment options, including customized payment plans to help you purchase windows that suit your budget. You won’t have to pay cash in full up-front. However, these payment plans can vary significantly from retailer to retailer, so you may want to shop around a bit if financing is important to you.
What we don’t like
SoftLite is more costly, especially considering it only sells vinyl windows which are typically a less expensive window material option compared to wood or steel. Many of its windows start at $850 and higher.
Warranty & Post-Installation Support of SoftLite
Score: 10 / 10 points
What we like
SoftLite offers thorough warranty coverage should your window glass or its moving parts have any manufacturing defects or workmanship issues. Its warranties last over 30 years and can be transferred to another person if you sell your home. This ranks SoftLite’s warranties among the best in the industry, with only a true lifetime warranty from companies like Castle Windows beating them in this regard.
What we don’t like
Overall, SoftLite has a pretty solid warranty. However, if you want coverage in case your window glass accidentally breaks, you’ll have to buy this separately in most cases. That’s a fairly common arrangement in the industry, but the very best warranties will include this standard.
Company Reputation of SoftLite
Score: 13.5 / 15 points
What we like
SoftLite has an impressive list of credentials that demonstrate it’s a company to be trusted. The company has an impressive A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and it is an ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for its “Sustained Excellence” and being “Most Efficient.” These strong third-party reviews and overall good customer satisfaction are strong pros if you want efficient windows from a reputable company.
What we don’t like
SoftLite averages a 3.5-star rating on Google Reviews, which is a little lower than we’d like to see. It’s undoubtedly a good rating, but not excellent if you’re looking for a provider with a flawless reputation.
How Much Do SoftLite’s Windows Cost?
SoftLite’s windows are generally priced higher than many other vinyl windows on the market. But its windows are typically considered well-designed and high-quality, making the higher price point worth it for many homeowners.
Generally, you can expect to pay between $850–$1,199. Prices will vary depending on the SoftLite dealer you’re working with and the specific window series and style you pick.
Unlike some window providers, you won’t be purchasing SoftLite windows directly from the company. Instead, you’ll purchase them through a local window retailer that sells and installs its products. The dealers have some freedom to set prices, host sales, and offer discounts, so the individual dealer you’re working with on your purchase may be more or less expensive than the average price.
You can pay for SoftLite’s windows with cash, check, online payments, or through a customized payment plan. This is all pretty standard among the best companies in the window industry. These financing options give you more flexibility when picking out your dream windows or replacing them in a pinch.
Discounts may be available, depending on the specific dealer you’re working with.
What Types of Windows Does SoftLite Offer?
SoftLite’s window offerings vary based on the dealer you’re working with and what it provides. Here are some of the most common windows SoftLite offers:
Single-hung windows have two sashes — one that is fixed and the other which slides up and down. This type of window is ideal if you’re on a budget.
Double-hung windows have two vertical sashes which slide up and down, overlapping in the middle. They’re the most classic residential window type.
Casement windows offer clean lines like a picture window but open fully, making them easy to clean and ideal for airing out your home.
Slider windows open easily, offer an unobstructed view, and have many operating choices available. These are perfect for smaller spaces.
Picture and Shape
If you’re looking for a unique window shape with special openings and accents, consider picture and shape windows. These windows are typically fixed and give you an amazing outside view.
Bay and Bow
Bay and bow windows create a nook in a home with multi-angled panels. These create an eye-catching focal point and increased ventilation.
Awning and Hopper
These energy-efficient windows are ideal for tight spaces and add much-needed ventilation and light. They glide open and shut easily.
What Materials Does SoftLite Use In Its Windows?
Unlike many other window providers, who typically offer wood, aluminum, fiberglass, and even options like steel, you’ll be limited to only vinyl options if you choose SoftLite for your window replacement project.
Vinyl window frames are made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and feature UV light stabilizers to prevent sunlight from breaking the material down.
Vinyl is a common choice for window materials because it can be manufactured in various styles and is durable and energy-efficient. SoftLite specializes in premium vinyl replacement windows manufacturing and claims that vinyl outperforms wood and even aluminum as an energy-efficient window option.
The company offers vinyl with the traditional look of woodgrain to give homeowners a more classic look to their home without the intensive maintenance natural wood requires.
One of the cons of vinyl is that it can’t be repainted later if you choose to change the look of your home. It can also warp in high temperatures, making it a less-than-optimal option if you live in a hot climate. However, vinyl is a moisture-resistant material, making it a solid option for areas with rain or snow.
How Energy-efficient Are SoftLite’s Windows?
One of SoftLite’s strongest points is its dedication to energy-efficient vinyl window options. So, why are energy-efficient windows so important?
For starters, energy-efficient windows keep hot air out in the summer and cold air out in the winter, reducing your energy bills and how much work your HVAC system has to do. Many energy-efficient features, like triple-pane glass, also help with noise reduction.
SoftLite has some accolades to back up this marketing. The company is an eight-time ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year winner and a six-time “Sustained Excellence” winner showing its dedication to energy efficiency. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, upgrading your home with ENERGY STAR-certified windows can save you as much as 7% to 15% in annual energy bills, which for many homes is hundreds of dollars yearly. These savings will often pay for your windows in a few short years and save you a lot of money many years after that.
All of SoftLite’s vinyl windows are ENERGY STAR-certified, demonstrating their thermal efficiency and ability to keep your home comfortable while reducing energy bills. Its multiple glass pane window options have krypton or argon gas between the panes, which creates an invisible barrier that improves thermal efficiency by improving the home’s ability to insulate against unwanted heat flow entering or exiting the home, depending on the time of year.
SoftLite also offers Low-E glass coatings that reflect heat energy in or out of the house, depending on the time of year.
Soundproofing & Insulation of SoftLite’s Windows
Many energy-efficient features double as soundproofing ones because sound, air, and heat will always take the path of least resistance. SoftLite’s energy-efficient, tight-fitting window frames are manufactured to reduce air infiltration and deaden sound.
Many of its windows offer multiple glass panes, which increases insulation and soundproof properties by providing a thicker barrier between you and external noises.
What are SoftLite’s Windows Series?
SoftLite’s windows series are all vinyl, made in the United States, and offer money-saving ENERGY STAR-certified options. In total, it offers nine window series, each with its own price point, pros and cons, and more.
|Barrington Windows||Easy-to-operate window styles, long-lasting||Vinyl||Homeowners wanting a classic look|
|Bainbridge LE Windows||Beautiful curb appeal, sleek looking, slimline frame||Vinyl||Homeowners on a budget|
|Classic Plus Windows||High thermal efficiency, low-maintenance, lasts through decades of wear and tear||Vinyl||Individuals wanting to invest in strong, durable windows|
|Pro Series Windows||Luxurious, classic look||Vinyl||Ideal for thermal efficiency|
|Imperial Elite Windows||Newest manufacturing technology for both comfort and top-of-the-line energy efficiency||Premium vinyl||Homeowners seeking energy efficiency and durability|
|Elements Windows||Highest-performing in energy efficiency, air and water penetration, and durability out of SoftLite’s offerings||Premium vinyl||Individuals looking for top performance and luxury in one product|
|Barcelone Impact Windows||Heavy-duty windows offering hurricane and debris protection year-round||Vinyl with many energy efficiency and customizable options||Homeowners wanting storm protection for the home|
|Panorama||Impact-rated patio door rated with DP50 or more||Durable, energy-efficient vinyl||Homeowners living in stormy, windy areas|
|Kingsroyal Glide Patio Doors||More energy-efficient than most patio doors on the market||Vinyl, many designer handle options, interior woodgrain finishes, grid patterns||Custom patio door needs|
Does SoftLite Offer Window Customization?
Yes, SoftLite offers extensive window customization. You can customize your window’s size, shape, grilles, color, and hardware.
If your home has many unique, non-traditional windows that need replacing, SoftLite is an excellent choice due to these many customization options and the large number of window types available. You’ll be able to pick and choose the right window type, paint color, hardware, and more to match your home and aesthetic preferences when shopping with SoftLite.
What is SoftLite’s Consultation and Installation Process?
SoftLite doesn’t offer an installation guide for homeowners wanting to make window replacement an easy DIY project. Instead, the installation process will depend on the local dealer and usually the following:
- You consult with a local SoftLite dealer or contractor. We recommend finding the closest dealer using the SoftLite website’s dealer locator.
- From there, the dealer will work with you to place your order. Please note that the company doesn’t offer free consultations; this will depend on the dealer or contractor.
- Once the windows have arrived, the contractor will come to your home and install your new windows.
- If asked, many contractors will happily review maintenance details with you to ensure your windows last as long as possible.
Does SoftLite Offer a Good Warranty?
SoftLite offers pretty standard warranties within the window industry.
All its vinyl products come with a non-prorated lifetime warranty that you can transfer if you move or sell your house, though a transfer fee will apply. This warranty guarantees that SoftLite will cover the entire cost of repairing or replacing the window product for the length of the warranty, regardless of the home’s owner. All of its vinyl windows and doors are protected if you find manufacturing or material defects as long as the product is in the same place the contractor originally installed it.
Its lifetime warranty also guarantees that your windows will last and won’t blister, peel, chip, or crack within normal wear and service. SoftLite also covers its moving parts and hermetically insulated seal should material or workmanship issues exist.
You can even purchase an optional glass breakage rider for protection against accidents.
SoftLite’s Customer Reviews
Customer reviews provide a lot of insight into how a company treats its customers, so it’s always important to consider testimonials during your research process. Below is our breakdown of some of the most common positive and negative points in SoftLite’s reviews.
Positive Reviews of SoftLite
Positive reviews often mention the quality of SoftLite’s vinyl windows, energy savings, and sound reduction as benefits. Many were happy with their technician’s efficiency and service.
Negative Reviews of SoftLite
Many negative reviews highlighted SoftLite’s confusing warranty terms and poor product quality.
How Do SoftLite’s Windows Compare to Its Competitors?
It’s always important to compare several reputable window companies against a provider you’re considering to ensure you get the most for your money.
|Renewal by Andersen||Champion||Window Nation||Universal Windows Direct||Window World||SoftLite|
|Average Price Per Window||$1,200+||$850+||$550+||$350+||$550+||$850+|
|Offers Custom Financing||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Warranty||20-year glass/parts 10-year hardware 2-year installation||Limited Lifetime Warranty||Lifetime Plus Warranty||True Lifetime Warranty||Limited Lifetime Warranty||Limited Lifetime Warranty|
*BBB ratings accurate as of April 2023
So, Is SoftLite Worth It for Your Home?
SoftLite is a worthwhile option for homeowners looking for an experienced vinyl window manufacturer with quality products. We like that SoftLite offers customization options and is ENERGY STAR-certified. However, its biggest drawbacks are its lack of window material offerings and higher prices, which can be deal-breakers if you’re looking for more materials and affordable windows.
Regardless of where you buy your new windows, we recommend gathering multiple free quotes from several companies to start your search. Top-rated window providers like Champion, Renewal by Andersen, and Pella offer different price points, perks, and window material options that may make them better choices for your home and budget.
FAQs About SoftLite Windows
Who Makes SoftLite’s Windows?
Harvey Building Products Corporation is the manufacturer of SoftLite’s windows. The company is located in Waltham, MA, with an extensive manufacturing facility that offers well-regarded, high-quality vinyl windows.
Do SoftLite’s Windows Save on Energy Costs?
Yes, SoftLite’s windows can save you a lot in energy costs, especially if you’re upgrading from non-ENERGY STAR-certified windows. This upgrade alone can save you hundreds of dollars yearly in energy bills. In addition, SoftLite windows can have a Low-E tint on the glass, which further insulates the home and reflects heat away from it during hot temperatures. Combined with its double-pane window glass, you can save a substantial amount of money on energy costs with SoftLite.
Are SoftLite’s Windows Expensive?
SoftLite is on the mid to high side for pricing within the window replacement industry. On average, its windows start at $850 and up. However, its prices reflect the quality of its vinyl windows, which can save you more money in replacement and repair costs down the line.
Methodology: How We Rank Window Companies
At Today’s Homeowner, we strive to bring you the most transparent, accurate information for your home improvement projects. Our window company ratings emphasize what matters most to you — a wide range of well-designed products with reliable installation and great curb appeal.
Our ratings are based on publicly available information about each company, secret shopping online and over the phone, customer-review analysis, and discussions with renovation and building experts. A company can earn a maximum of 100 points across five categories, converted to a five-star scale. We researched dozens of windows installation and replacement companies to develop the following formula:
- Product Offerings (30 points): Window installers can earn the maximum point value in this category if they offer a wide variety of window styles, frame materials, hardware designs, and glass and coating options. Companies earn more points if they design custom windows for your home. We also score the quality and energy efficiency of the windows each company installs.
- Service Offerings (10 points): When evaluating this category, we consider factors such as consultations, post-installation cleanup, and additional product offerings. We also look at each company's installation team structure – including whether it uses certified window installers or subcontractors to complete work – as this can cause variances in quality.
- Affordability (25 points): Our affordability rating considers the provider’s average window prices and how they align with industry averages, as well as discounts and payment plans.
- Warranty and Support (20 points): A best-in-class window installer will back up its work with a solid warranty to give you added peace of mind. Companies receive the maximum point value in this category if they offer lifetime warranties for their products and workmanship.
- Company Reputation (15 points): To ensure we’re recommending worthwhile installers, we check each company’s reputation and standing with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). We also consider how many years of experience it has in the window industry.
We monitor company data on an ongoing basis to keep rankings and information up to date.