The wiper blades are not the most glamorous part of a car. You’re not really going to hear many people bragging about their blades. At the same time though a good set of wiper blades can be a solid investment. They can make difficult weather conditions easier to drive in and help provide a clear view of the road, therefore providing a crucial aid to safe driving.
That is especially true if you live in an area that experiences harsh winter weather. In those climates, a good set of winter wiper blades really can be one of the key elements in a well-set up vehicle that can really tackle the elements. That’s why we have done the hard work for you, pulling together this list of the best winter wipers on the market today.
Best Rated Winter Wiper Blades in 2018:
1. Rain-X Latitude Wiper Blade
Rain-X is widely recognized as one of the premium wiper blade manufactures out there right now, consistently bringing well designed and constructed blades to the market. This is in fact (spoiler alert) the first of 2 Rain-X branded wipers that made it onto our list. This first entry is the more expensive of the two, and also one of the more expensive on the list as a whole, so what are getting here to justify the price tag?
The first thing to note is that, in common with most winter specialist blades, the frame mechanism is tucked away inside the body of the wiper. That removes all the little holes, spaces, nooks and crannies that exist on a traditional wiper design. Those spaces are magnets for frost, ice and snow – as anyone who has had to scrape and clean a windshield in winter will be well aware.
The blades themselves are also a premium feature, with these wipers boasting a specially blended graphite coating to their rubber blades. A rubber encased sub structure is also in place here, which helps to provide extra flexibility and grip whilst the wipers are in motion.
This is a more expensive model that many on this list, but the wiper does have the premium build and design to justify it.
No External Framework
- Weight8 oz
2. AERO Quality All Season Beam Windshield Wiper
These blades from Aero are constructed of exceptionally high quality materials and also pass rigorous QC testing.
The blades themselves are a specially formulated rubber blend that is designed to provide a smooth, clean and streak free wipe action. The construction boasts the usual hidden framework as found on winter blades to prevent snow and ice build up. In addition, they feature a very strong curve that really helps the blade to maintain maximum contact with the windshield during operation.
As an OEM manufacturer, Aero is already designing and building wipers that are used by a variety of carmakers on a range of car models. Chances are therefore they will easily fit onto your existing wiper arm mechanisms, making for a nice and simple installation.
Not the cheapest blades in the world but by no means the most expensive either, this is a very decent entry from a well-respected manufacturer.
Specially Blended Rubber
- Weight12 oz
3. Anco Winter Wiper Blade
Easy Installation is one of the big stand outs on this model from Anco. Enjoying the benefits of being fitted with the companies Kwik Connect Installation System means that getting these blades hooked up to your car will be nice and simple – even if that is the worst attempt as spelling the word Quick we have ever seen.
The blade also comes in a wide range of sizes, from tiny 11 inch all the way to meaty 24 inch, so chances are they have a blade in their range to fit your vehicle.
The construction sees the framework tucked away and the wiper body is of a rugged rubber construction, which prevents slush from freezing the joints. The wiper blades are a rubber compound specially formulated for Anco to provide streak free, easy gliding action.
Price wise we’re toward the lower end of mid range and you’ll get plenty of change from a 20 dollar bill, meaning that there are a number of excellent design details packed onto a device that won’t break the bank.
Specially Designed for Winter Conditions
Unique Rubber Compound Blades
- Weight4.4 lbs
4. Bosch Icon Wiper Blade
It’s always a pleasure when Bosch appears on our list, because we know that they are a manufacturer that always delivers outstanding products. We also know that they deliver them for a significant price. Once again, we are right on both counts here (as we usually are), and this is indeed a premium product with a premium price tag – it is in fact the most expensive wiper on the list.
Still, as these are windshield wipers and not rare works of art, even as the most expensive item on the list they are only coming in at a little over 20 dollars, so they still represent a decent and high value investment.
So, what do we have for the money here? The first stand out features are the blades themselves, constructed of an exclusive dual rubber compound that resists both heat and ozone deterioration to provide a lifespan up to 40% longer than other blades.
Installation is nice and easy with the included hook adaptor, and the construction is exactly what you would expect from a high quality manufacturer like Bosch. We have a patented beam design to maximize visibility and we have outstanding built in tension spring technology that ensure a superb fit to the curvature of the screen during all stages of operation.
That price tag may be high, but there looks to be enough features and high quality build to justify it.
Patented Beam Design
Tension Spring Arching Technology
- Weight9.6 oz
5. TRICO Extreme Weather Winter Wiper Blade
From the most expensive to the cheapest, this bargain priced wiper from TRICO currently holds a price tag about half that of the Bosch above. However, whilst the price tag may be low, the features list is very decent, with this product packing in a number of desirable design points.
The standout feature has to be the Teflon infused wiper blades. That alone is a design element worthy of a more premium priced model, and it will really help the blade to glide smoothly over your windshield.
Construction is a solid, yet flexible, design which both protects the inner components from freezing over whilst also providing a decent level of flexibility to deliver a high degree of conformation between the blade and the curve of the windshield.
As we said up top then, a high number of useful features for a very low price makes this, overall, a very attractive wiper blade.
Teflon Infused Wiper Blade
- Weight8.8 oz
6. Rain-X 2-IN-1 Water Repellency Wiper Blades
Our second entry from Rain-X, and whilst these wipers may come in a little cheaper than the first set at the very top of the list, they still manage to boast a number of design elements you would expect to see on more premium models.
They also boast a stand out feature that makes them unique on this list – built in water repellent technology. The Rain-X Water Repellent Coating that has been applied to the wiper blades that, in operation, transfers a very thin layer of see through protection to the windshield. This makes surface water bead and wick easier from the surface, giving the wipers an easier time clearing rain and improving your vision.
Away from that very useful feature, the wiper includes advanced Beam Blade technology that helps the wiper blades to adhere to the contours of the windshield and the universal adaptor brings very easy installation.
If you live somewhere with heavy winter rainfall, this could be the wiper for you.
Water Repelling Technology
Easy Fit (via Universal Adaptor)
- Weight7.2 oz
7. Michelin Stealth Ultra Windshield Wiper
We’ll admit we’re not entirely sure just what is so stealthy about this windscreen wiper, and don’t expect it to help your car avoid enemy Radar systems.
What it will do is keep your windshield free of rain, because this is a pretty decent, if somewhat basic, mid range wiper from famed tire manufacturer Michelin. To be more specific, what we have here is the absolute epitome of what a winter wiper should be.
The framework is encased to protect against build-ups of snow and ice. A universal connector system makes installation easy. The blades are a pretty basic rubber style, however they are certainly hard wearing, tested to carry on performing well for over half a million cycles.
The one true stand out feature is the independent suspension rail that connects the wiper tips. They help to maintain a nice close contact between the entire wiper and the windshield for effective wiping action.
Smart Hinge Joint
Independent Suspension on Blade Ends
- Weight5.6 oz
8. Michelin Stealth Hybrid Windshield Wiper
This product is very similar to the wiper above which is also from Michelin, and also from the Stealth line of wipers.
This model is though a little cheaper, and is tested to 300,000 cycles (rather than the 500,000 of the model above) suggesting it may not be quite as hard wearing. Still, for the generally low price of all of these products, 300,000 cycles is still a pretty long lifespan for the money.
The wipers are very similar in terms of overall construction, with a covered framework and easy to use connector system. The big difference is in suspension, in the sense that the wiper blade in this model is mounted with internal suspension that can adapt to pressure points at different sections. This will help it to achieve a nice, close connection to the windshield surface during the full sweep of the wiper.
Adapts to Windshield Curve
- Weight7.4 oz
Best Winter Wiper Blades Buying Guide & FAQ
That’s our list of the best winter wipers on the market – but how to choose the right one to suit your needs, and the help you fight through the winter weather where you live?
As always, we here at Car Bible have you covered. Our short guide to Windshield wipers will give you the tools you need to choose your won, and our FAQ will answer all the burning questions we’ve ever been asked abut windshield wipers – all two of them in fact.
Types of Windshield Wipers
There are range of windshield wipers that can be of various designs depending on how they are used and how they are mounted on the vehicle.
For example, a single mount will be an extra long wiper blade and will typically be seen on trucks, buses and larger vehicles that can hold the type of large motor mount required to generate the power to move one large blade (and any displaced water).
On our list today, we have talked about dual mounted, winter types of wiper blades. Dual mounted blades are by far the most common that we see on passenger vehicles.
They are a very important safety feature that is legally required in most states. In addition to that however, they also help to make it easier to drive in the rain and snow, which are two weather conditions that should not be underestimated. In fact over 500,000 accidents occur each year during rainy conditions, with a further 210,000 in snow and sleet. Whilst those numbers may sound high, they would undoubtedly be higher still without windshield wipers.
In addition, there are blades suited for different kinds of weather – summer, winter and all-weather. In this article we’ve of course seen looking at Winter wipers, and we’ll take a look at some of the key features to expect to see on this type right below.
Factors to Consider When Buying Winter Wiper Blades
So what makes a winter wiper blade? Well, it should have:
- Covered Framework – All of the models we selected for this list cover up the framework with a simple plastic or rubber cover. Factory issue blades almost always (unless on high end or winter specific vehicles) have an open frame design. This means you can literally see the little arm like suspension points that attach the wiper arm mechanism to the wiper blade. In winter, they can quickly fill with snow (or rain) and when that freezes, it can disable the wipers. That means you have to clean it all out before you can drive, which, in the depths of winter, is not fun.
- Blades – Yes, they all have blades, but not all blades are created equal. A good quality wiper will have blades of a rubber (or even silicone) composite that will work hard to remove water without streaking, smearing or leaving too much moisture behind.
- Water Repelling – Some blades will have added chemical elements (usually silicone) that coats the windshield during operation. The layer it leaves behind makes water bead, which in turn makes the water droplets have a larger surface area. That makes each pass with the wipers more effective, and they can tackle the rain that bit better. If you live in a really rainy area (cough Seattle cough), then it could be a good investment to try out a wiper blade that also brings a degree of water repellent abilities.
- Attachment – We all grow attachments to things, and sometimes it’s just not healthy to cling to those attachments for…. Wait, this isn’t my therapy session. Ok, where were we? Attachments are how the wiper blades hook up to the wiper mechanism arm. Most of the models on this list employ a one-size-fits-all-kind of attachment (even if they sometimes need a little adjustment). 98% of the time, you’ll be able to easily install wipers straight out the box just by following the instructions enclosed with the product.
All-Weather versus Winter Blades
Kind of similar to tires, winters wipers are a specialist product, whilst all weather wipers have to do a job in all weathers. So the main differences will be:
- Open Framework – all weather (and especially summer specific) wiper blades will have open frameworks, as they don’t generally have to deal with snow and ice build up.
- Lightweight – An all weather blade will be lighter than a winter one, which will boast a sturdier but heavier frame. The lighter all weather blade will be kinder on the wiper motor, but will struggle in heavy rain and snow as it doesn’t have the heft to clear large deposits from the windshield.
- Thinner Blade – Again an all weather model will probably have a thinner blade, and it will often be made of natural rubber that can handle heat and sunshine well. A winter version will have a thicker blade, which will usually be a rubber compound. It may be damaged quicker by over exposure to heat and UV rays – but it will sure clean your windshield effectively.
Winter Wiper Blades FAQ
How to Install & Maintain Wiper Blades?
Like we said above, installation is very simple and will work straight out the box most times. If you need a little extra help, this guide is very useful – ignore the guy’s weird goatee that looks he just face planted into a bowl of chocolate ice cream. Yeah, he can’t grow facial hair, but he knows a lot about wiper so we’ll give him a pass.
Once it’s installed and up and running, maintenance is very simple, just consider:
- Cleaning the windshield regularly to remove debris that could damage the wiper blades.
- Clean the blades themselves every time you clean the car. Just wipe them gently with a damp cloth or paper towel.
- Don’t use the wipers to de-ice a frozen windshield, and avoid turning them on until all ice is removed first.
- In winter, pull the blades away from the glass at night (or use a screen protector) to stop the blades freezing to the windshield.
When Should Wiper Blades be Replaced?
Replace them when you see one or more of:
- Skipping – the blade is skipping across the windshield instead of completing a smooth sweep.
- Streaking – The wiper leaves streaks behind.
- Splitting – It s wiping some, but not all, of the windshield
- Squeaking – The wiper squeaks even when the windshield is soaking wet.