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Best Gutter Guards of 2021

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The best gutter guards for preventing clogs and allowing water flow.

No two gutter guards are completely alike. So how do you know which one to go for?

Everybody has different preferences and needs when it comes to these protective covers. That’s why we put together a list of the seven best gutter guards. Based on real customer reviews, expert advice, and our own insight, this list will help you find the right choice for you.

Our Top Picks

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Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the FlexxPoint High Clearance Gutter Cover System, White 5 Inch Gutter Guards, 102 Ft.
Best Affordable Gutter Guard
FlexxPoint High Clearance Cover System
  • Long-lasting aluminum construction
  • Allows free flow of water
  • Range of colors & lengths
Product Image of the Superior Gutter Guards | NEW Raised Stainless-Steel Screen Technology Gutter Cover, DIY Constructed. Fits any Traditional 5-inch Gutter - 48FT Kit
Best Screen Gutter Guard
Superior Screen Technology Gutter Cover
  • Raised pattern technology
  • Tiny holes to block small debris
  • Fits all 5-inch wide gutters
Product Image of the Stainless Steel Micro-Mesh, Raptor Gutter Guard: A Contractor-Grade DIY Gutter Cover That fits Any roof or Gutter type-48ft to a Box and fits a 6' Gutter.
Best Mesh Gutter Guard
Stainless Steel Micro-Mesh Gutter Guard
  • Water can flow freely
  • Prevents small debris passing through
  • Won’t rust or warp
Product Image of the LeafTek 5' x 32' Gutter Guard Leaf Protection in Black | DIY Premium Contractor Grade 35 Year Aluminum Covers | Packages of 32', 100', 200' | 5 or 6 Inch | Made in The USA
Best Durable Gutter Guard
LeafTek Gutter Guard Leaf Protection
  • Prevents shingle sediment from clogging
  • Keeps large & small debris out
  • 35-year warranty
Product Image of the GutterStuff GS10957 Foam Gutter Filter Insert with Year Round Leaf Protection & Easy DIY Installation, 8 x 4' (32-feet), Ft
Best Foam Gutter Guard
GutterStuff Foam Filter Insert
  • Easy to trim with bread knife
  • No tools required for installation
  • Blocks all kinds of debris & small insects
Product Image of the Gutter Guard Brush for Standard 5 Inch Gutters | 6 Ft. Trial Pack
Best Brush Gutter Guard
GutterBrush Simple Gutter Guard
  • Prevents animals from nesting inside
  • Prevent ice dams in the winter
  • Works on all standard 5-inch gutters
Product Image of the 20 Gutter Cups Gutter Guards - 30 Feet Long - Best Gutter Cover Protection – Easy DIY Installation, no Tools Required – Stop Leaves and Pine Needles from Clogging Gutters
Best Easy-to-Install Gutter Guard
Gutter Cups Gutter Guards
  • Easy to install without any tools
  • Prevents clogs from leaves & debris
  • Fits all standard gutters

Types of Gutter Guards

There are five main types of gutter guards to choose from.

Mesh

Product Image of the Stainless Steel Micro-Mesh, Raptor Gutter Guard: A Contractor-Grade DIY Gutter Cover That fits Any roof or Gutter type-48ft to a Box and fits a 6' Gutter.

Mesh gutter guards are one of the most effective types of guards as they are very fine, so don’t let through a lot of debris. The good news is they still let through water, so there’s no problem with flooding or overflowing. You can find these in plastic or metal, depending on your budget and preference, and they’re easy to install.

Pros

  • Very effective at blocking debris but letting in water.
  • Plastic or metal construction available.
  • Easy to install.
  • Prevents large insects or animals from getting into the gutter.

Cons

  • Mesh guards may become damaged by heavy items like ice.
  • In wet areas, mold and mildew can become a problem.

Screen

Product Image of the Superior Gutter Guards | NEW Raised Stainless-Steel Screen Technology Gutter Cover, DIY Constructed. Fits any Traditional 5-inch Gutter - 48FT Kit

Screen gutter guards are available in metal, plastic, or vinyl and consist of tiny holes punched through the material. They are extremely easy to install and often don’t require any tools.

Screen gutter guards are similar to mesh in a sense, but the holes are usually a bit larger, so they may let in more debris. However, it should still be enough to block out the basics: twigs, animals, leaves, and more.

Pros

  • Easy to install, usually without tools.
  • Available in metal or plastic materials.
  • Easy to clean due to the wider holes.

Cons

  • Some smaller debris can fit through the holes, such as needles and dust.
  • Not screwed down so may become dislodged by the wind.

Brush

Product Image of the Gutter Guard Brush for Standard 5 Inch Gutters | 6 Ft. Trial Pack

These brushes slot into your gutters and work a bit like a pipe cleaner. It works by blocking debris but also still allowing water to pass through. The main manufacturer of this item is GutterBrush — which we recommend later — and is a very budget-friendly option.

Pros

  • Easy to install without any tools.
  • Budget-friendly, costing a fraction of the price of mesh or screen guards.
  • Flexible enough to fit in corners or oddly shaped gutters.
  • Easy to clean and replace.

Cons

  • Debris gets caught in the bristles and requires more frequent cleaning.

Foam

Product Image of the GutterStuff GS10957 Foam Gutter Filter Insert with Year Round Leaf Protection & Easy DIY Installation, 8 x 4' (32-feet), Ft

Foam gutter guards are made from triangular blocks that slot into your gutters. They block debris but still allow water to flow through the pores of the foam. They’re super easy to install especially if you want to put them at an angle or in a corner.

Another big plus is that they can’t be seen from the ground. Just keep in mind that these are expensive, costing the same — or more — as mesh or screen gutter guards.

Pros

  • Can’t be seen from the street so it adds value to the home’s aesthetic.
  • Easy to install, especially at angles.
  • If you shop around enough, you can find cheaper options.
  • Blocks almost all kinds of debris.

Cons

  • Water doesn’t run as freely through, so this may lead to more mold and mildew.
  • Needs to be replaced more often than other types of gutter guards.

Reverse Curve

Reverse curve, or surface tension, gutter guards are not as common and pretty difficult to find on the market. They’re usually made from lightweight metal or plastic, and they work differently from other guards mentioned already.

Water flows over the top and around a curve before going into the gutter. Debris should slide off the curve and onto the ground so as not to build up in the gutter.

Top Tip

Make sure you install the strips at the same angle as your roof; otherwise debris could build up on the guards.

Pros

  • Debris slides off the roof and guards onto the ground.
  • Great for yards with a lot of tree build-up.
  • Less gutter cleaning necessary.

Cons

  • Not as readily available on the market.
  • They’re more visible and therefore less aesthetic for homeowners.
  • May damage roof shingles over time.

How to Choose the Best Gutter Guards

Consider these important criteria to find the best option for your gutters.

Type

Choose between mesh, screen, reverse curve, brush, and foam gutter guards. Review the pros and cons to decide which is best for you and your budget.

Gutter Style

Most gutters are either half-round gutters or k-style gutters. Make sure the gutter guard works with your gutter types. Screen and mesh should work with both, but brush guards tend to work best with half-round gutters.

Check with the specific manufacturer of the guards you’re looking at to find out what gutter style it’s compatible with.

Gutter Size

Don’t order the wrong size — that’s a waste of time and money. Make sure to measure the width of the gutter top from edge to edge. In general, there are three widths: four, five, or six inches.

You must make sure the guard will fit the opening and be wide enough to cover the gutters to block debris. Most gutter guards are available in a variety of sizes to fit most gutters.

You should also consider the length of the gutter guards. These are available in small packs spanning a few feet, all the way up to hundreds of feet. Measure how much gutter length you have and make sure you buy the right amount of coverage.

Durability

Plastic and foam are the least durable types of gutter guard material, but it may be cheaper. If you want to prioritize durability, we recommend choosing one made from metal, such as stainless steel or aluminum.

Also, check the manufacturer’s warranty. This can span from about one year, all the way up to 35 years.

Ease of Installation

Check out the installation method and how easy it will be. Does it require tools, for example? Some guards, such as foam or brushes, are quick and easy to install without tools.

However, a longer installation process isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The gutter guards will be more secure. Just make sure you have the time and the right tools for the job.

Ease of Maintenance

Just because you have gutter guards doesn’t mean you never have to clean your gutters. You still do. Plus, you also have to clean the guards.

Foam and brush guards are the most difficult to clean, especially if debris is stuck inside. Reverse curve guards are pretty easy to clean. So is mesh and screen — but you will need to get up there with a ladder and do it that way.

Budget

Gutter guards generally range from about $0.70 all the way to $7.00 per foot. You may find options for more or less. On average, it will cost around $2-3 per foot. Consider your budget and try to stick to it. We’re sure you’ll find something!


The Best Gutter Guards of 2021

Check out these seven great gutter guards for your gutter’s protection.

FlexxPoint High Clearance Cover System

Best Affordable Gutter Guard

Gutter guards can be expensive, especially if you have a big home with lots of gutters. These guards from FlexxPoint are some of the most affordable on the market — and one of the best!

They come in a range of lengths from 22 feet all the way up to 5100. Customers love that you can buy them in white, silver, brown, or black to match the exterior of your home. Not that this really matters, because they can’t be seen from the ground anyway.

They have small punched holes to block a variety of debris but still allow high volumes of water to flow freely without clogs. It uses a 3-point system to prevent overflow since the water slows down to fully drain into the gutters. This works even if there is wet debris covering the holes.

The guards are made from premium aluminum, which is durable and long-lasting. Installing these guards is easy enough, and once you’ve installed them, they’re permanent, no need to faff around with removal.

Using these shouldn’t void your roof warranty, but always double-check with your insurance.

Warranty

This comes with a 30-year warranty, so it’s an investment that will pay off.

Pros

  • Long-lasting and durable aluminum construction.
  • Allows free flow of water, even in heavy rain.
  • Available in a range of colors and lengths.
  • Budget-friendly price point.

Cons

  • It’s challenging to get them to line up and lay flat in gutters.
  • Very thin, so may bend or break in hurricane-type weather.

Additional Specs

Type Screen
Gutter Size 5 inches
Materials Aluminum
Tools Required for Installation? Yes
Guard Length 22-5100 feet

Superior Screen Technology Gutter Cover

Best Screen Gutter Guard

Give your gutters special treatment by choosing the Superior Gutter Guards cover. Designed to fit literally any five-inch gutter guards, this kit provides 48 feet of protection. It comes with 16 individual pieces, so you can easily cover all of your gutters with the three feet pieces.

These gutter guards have three main objectives. Firstly, it redirects the water, ensuring it goes into the gutter instead of building up on your roof for falling down to the ground.

Secondly, it keeps debris from the gutter. No more leaves or twigs clogging up your gutters and damaging your home.

Lastly, it protects your home from bad weather, pesky animals, and gross insects. Even they can’t get through these gutters!

This is what makes these gutters claim their name: superior. If you have any DIY experience, you’ll find these easy to install. You can even trim the corners to fit your gutters exactly. It’s made from stainless steel and aluminum to last a lifetime.

Pros

  • Raised pattern technology to slow water and pull it into the gutter.
  • Tiny holes to prevent even small debris from sneaking through.
  • Wet debris will dry quickly to reduce mold and mildew build-up.
  • Fits all 5-inch wide gutters.

Cons

  • If spraying with a hose, or there’s heavy rain, water may overflow.
  • If built on a slope, the water may build up and not run through the holes quickly enough.

Additional Specs

Type Screen
Gutter Size 5 inches
Materials Stainless steel and aluminum
Tools Required for Installation? Yes
Guard Length 48 feet

Stainless Steel Micro-Mesh Gutter Guard

Best Mesh Gutter Guard

This micro-mesh gutter guard is exactly what you need to block out small debris but still let in a lot of water. Perfect if you live somewhere where rainfall is heavy!

The 48 feet of coverage is perfect for any 6-inch wide gutters. You can opt for the standard size, too if you have 5-inch gutters.

These gutters are advertised as being good enough to filter out debris that you may never need to clean your gutters again. Doesn’t that sound like a dream? We recommend checking on the state of your gutters twice a year anyway to see if they need a cleaning.

Besides that, these gutter guards are made with high-quality and durable materials. The stainless steel and aluminum combo shouldn’t warp, rust, or crack even after years of use.

Another feature that might be music to your ears is that it’s easy to install these guards. They work with any gutter shape and roof type. So you don’t have to get super frustrated when these arrive and don’t fit. They’re even slightly flexible to help you install them anywhere.

Pros

  • The water can flow freely even if it’s been raining heavily.
  • Prevents even small debris from getting through to your gutters.
  • 25-year warranty.
  • Won’t rust or warp thanks to the metal materials.

Cons

  • May take some time to install.
  • During rainstorms, the gutters may overflow.

Additional Specs

Type Mesh
Gutter Size 5-7 inches
Materials Stainless steel and aluminum
Tools Required for Installation? Yes
Guard Length 48 feet

LeafTek Gutter Guard Leaf Protection

Best Durable Gutter Guard

With a 35-year warranty and thick aluminum construction, you know these gutter guards are built to last.

The unique vented system allows air to circulate through the gutters, too. So after a rainy day, it will dry out the gutters to eliminate mold and mildew build-up but also dry out debris so it can easily get removed. The down-draft design helps to evaporate standing water which prevents insects and other pests from settling into your gutters.

Even during heavy storms, the rainwater can easily filter through the gutter guards while preventing debris from clogging up your gutters.

When the guards arrive, it’s easy to install them. Each section has a tab on the end to slide over the other sections. You can also cut corners and ends with tin snips if you need to.

These are designed to keep pretty much everything out. This includes leaves, animals, birds, nests, insects, maple seeds, twigs, and more.

These are available for both 5- and 6-inch wide gutters. It comes in a variety of lengths, too, from 32 to 200 feet long.

Pros

  • Prevents shingle sediment from clogging your gutters.
  • Keeps large and small debris out.
  • 35-year warranty — built to last.
  • 404 holes per square foot to avoid water overflow.

Cons

  • Screws aren’t included, so make sure you have them all ready for installation.

Additional Specs

Type Screen
Gutter Size 5 or 6 inches
Materials Aluminum
Tools Required for Installation? Yes
Guard Length 32-200 feet

GutterStuff Foam Filter Insert

Best Foam Gutter Guard

This foam gutter insert is a bonus for many customers because of how easy it is to install. You don’t need any tools — just climb up your ladder and insert it into the gutter.

This is one of the best options for filtering out debris. Because it has tiny pores, it keeps out everything from leaves to twigs to even mosquitoes. Yep, this stuff works great for preventing mosquitoes from breeding in your gutters and infesting your home! If mosquitos are an issue for you, then this may do the trick to get them to go and find somewhere else to call home.

Another big bonus is that this filters out debris so well that it may even decrease the need for yearly cleaning. You should, of course, check on your gutters, but if you don’t notice any build-up, check back again in a few months!

This is suitable for k-style, half-round and fascia-style gutters at 4, 5 or 6 inches thick, depending on what model you go for.

Pros

  • Easy to trim with a bread knife so you can fit it into any gutter.
  • No tools required for installation.
  • Lets heavy water flow through freely.
  • Prevents all kinds of debris and even small insects from getting into gutters.

Cons

  • Seeds can plant themselves in the foam and grow.
  • May damage your shingles if installed improperly.

Additional Specs

Type Foam
Gutter Size Four, five or six inches
Materials Foam
Tools Required for Installation? No
Guard Length 32-192 feet

GutterBrush Simple Gutter Guard

Best Brush Gutter Guard

If you’re opting for a brush gutter guard, only go for the best: GutterBrush. With this brush, you can go for 6, 15, 30, 60 or 120 feet of brush which is suitable for any standard 5-inch gutters.

All you need to do is climb up on your ladder — safety first — and squeeze it into the gutters. No tools required, and super simple installation that only takes a few minutes.

This includes cylinder shape bristles that span the width of your gutters. It keeps out large debris, like sticks and leaves, but still lets water flow freely. In fact, if you live somewhere that’s prone to rainstorms, you may prefer these brushes over mesh or screen-type guards. They tend to filter water more slowly which leads to overflowing during storms.

Just keep in mind that brushes don’t keep out smaller debris or as many insects. But it will block out enough to prevent clogs. You’ll also love how budget-friendly these are compared to other options on the market.

Pros

  • Prevents animals from nesting in your gutters.
  • Prevent ice dams in the winter.
  • Works on all standard 5-inch gutters of all styles.
  • Allows heavy rainfall to flow freely.

Cons

  • Debris gets trapped in the bristles and requires regular cleaning.
  • Smaller debris can still get through to your gutters.

Additional Specs

Type Brush
Gutter Size Five inches
Materials Polypropylene and steel wire
Tools Required for Installation? No
Guard Length 6-120 feet

Gutter Cups Gutter Guards

Best Easy-to-Install Gutter Guard

Foam and brush gutter guards are super easy to install, but so are these gutter cups! To install, you don’t need any tools or clips. You just place the cups in the gutter one after the other, so the edges are touching. They will snuggle into your gutters where they can’t come loose from weather elements.

These are also fairly priced, coming in lower than the average cost too. While not as cheap as some competitors, they are budget-friendly for most people.

These cups create barrier protection in your gutter with a perforated outer shell and a barrier at each end. When debris gets through the other shell, the closed ends won’t let it out into the gutter or downspout. This allows water to flow freely without the risk of debris creating a clog.

The cups are made from UV-protected polymer, which is tough but flexible. It is designed to fit all standard gutters without you needing to modify the product or your roof.

Another great feature is that it should save you time, and money spent on gutter cleaning tools. If you do need to clean them, simply remove them, empty them, hose them down and replace them!

Pros

  • Easy to install without any tools.
  • Prevents clogs from leaves and other debris.
  • Allows rain to flow freely.
  • Fits all standard gutters.

Cons

  • When leaves build up on the cups, you can see them from the ground or street.
  • If you have a lot of pine needle build-up, it could create clogs.

Additional Specs

Type Cups
Gutter Size Five inches
Materials Polymer
Tools Required for Installation? No
Guard Length 30 feet

Gutter Guard Comparison Chart

Product Best Type Gutter Size Materials Requires Installation Tools? Guard Length
FlexxPoint High Clearance Cover System Best Affordable Gutter Guard Screen 5″ Aluminum Yes 22-5100 feet
Superior Screen Technology Gutter Cover Best Screen Gutter Guard Screen 5″ Stainless steel & aluminum Yes 48 feet
Stainless Steel Micro-Mesh Gutter Guard Best Mesh Gutter Guard Mesh 5-7″ Stainless steel & aluminum Yes 48 feet
LeafTek Gutter Guard Leaf Protection Best Durable Gutter Guard Screen 5 or 6″ Aluminum Yes 32-200 feet
GutterStuff Foam Filter Insert Best Foam Gutter Guard Foam 4, 5 or 6″ Foam No 32-192 feet
GutterBrush Simple Gutter Guard Best Brush Gutter Guard Brush 5″ Polypropylene & steel wire No 6-120 feet
Gutter Cups Gutter Guards Best Easy-to-Install Gutter Guard Cups 5″ Polymer No 30 feet

FAQs About Gutter Guards

Are Gutter Guards Worth the Money?

Gutter guards can prevent clogs and build-up from getting into your gutter. While you may still need to clean your gutters — and you should definitely check — they can make cleaning a lot less stressful. Plus, it can add years to your gutters, which in turn, can save you money. So yes, we think gutter guards are worth the money.

Do Gutter Guards Work in Heavy Rain?

This varies from brand to brand. In general, the finer the holes are, the less it’s likely to work in extremely heavy rain conditions. This is because the water filters through slower and then may overflow.

The best products for heavy rain are gutter cups, brushes and screen guards with larger holes. Mesh and foam may cause overflow.

Should I Remove Gutter Guards in Winter?

If you have metal gutter guards, then they may freeze in the wintertime. This can cause icicles or water to melt over the guard. This can be dangerous over doorways and walkways.

You shouldn’t need to remove the guards, but it helps to install the guards at an angle to prevent the ice from damming.

If you live somewhere with extremely cold winters, maybe opt for an option that isn’t metal.

How Do I Keep My Gutters From Getting Damaged From Snow?

It’s crucial to clear your gutters out at the end of fall, so they are clear, clean, and ready to survive throughout winter. If there are any clogs, water can’t flow freely, and it will build up and turn to ice.

You should also rake off snow from the roof to prevent ice buildup, which can then get into the gutters.

Lastly, gutter guards can help to reduce snow and ice forming in your gutters. So consider installing these over the summer so they’re ready for winter. Just keep in mind that metal ones can freeze over.


Headshot of Beth McCallum

About the Author

Beth McCallum

Beth McCallum is a 20-something freelance writer & book blogger with a degree in creative writing, journalism and English literature. Beth firmly believes that a tidy house is a tidy mind. She is always looking for new ways to sustainably clean and tidy her house, that's kind on the environment but effective in the house, too!