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The Best Gutter Guards of 2024 With Firsthand Testing

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Author Icon By Mike Miller Updated 02/19/2024

We recommend LeafFilter as our top professionally installed product and Raptor as our choice for a DIY product. When we tested LeafFilter we found that its high-quality micro-mesh design blocked debris as small as shingle grit. Raptor’s micro-mesh guard was effective at blocking pine needles and leaves while promoting water flow. Below, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide for choosing the best gutter guard that fits your specific needs.

Choosing the best gutter guard for your home can be difficult. Many different brands on the market claim to fully protect your gutters from debris buildup while simultaneously allowing water to flow freely. However, this is not necessarily the case with some products. To assist you with selecting the best gutter guard system for your home, we thoroughly tested a dozen gutter guards that included both professionally installed and DIY products and concluded that the most effective type of gutter guard is a stainless steel micro-mesh design.

Professionally Installed & DIY Gutter Guards

Professionally installed and DIY gutter guards can differ dramatically. To help you find the best gutter guard for your home, we thoroughly researched many major brands, from the most cost-efficient DIY products to the top professional gutter guard installers. We read hundreds of customer reviews, dove into company history, and analyzed each guard based on its materials, performance, and quality. We also installed and tested various gutter guards firsthand, including every type of DIY guard.

The Best Professionally Installed Gutter Guards

The Best DIY Gutter Guards

Compare Professionally Installed Gutter Guards

Product Image Star Rating BBB Rating Link
LeafFilter LeafFilter LeafFilter
A+ Visit Site
LeafGuard LeafGuard LeafGuard
A+ Visit Site
Gutter Guards America Gutter Guards America Gutter Guards America
A+ Visit Site
HomeCraft HomeCraft HomeCraft
B Visit Site
All American Gutter Protection All American Gutter Protection All American Gutter Protection
A Visit Site
Logo LeafFilter
Product Image LeafFilter
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
Visit Site
Logo LeafGuard
Product Image LeafGuard
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
Visit Site
Gutter Guards America
Logo Gutter Guards America
Product Image Gutter Guards America
Star Rating
BBB Rating A+
Visit Site
Logo HomeCraft
Product Image HomeCraft
Star Rating
BBB Rating B
Visit Site
All American Gutter Protection
Logo All American Gutter Protection
Product Image All American Gutter Protection
Star Rating
BBB Rating A
Visit Site
Star Rating
BBB Rating
Best For
Best Filtration
Best for Large Debris
Best Customer Responses
Best Additional Services
Best Deals and Discounts


Best Filtration
BBB Rating : A+

We recommend LeafFilter for homeowners who want as much debris filtered out of their gutters as possible. LeafFilter’s ultra-fine mesh performs better than other gutter guards, blocking debris as small as shingle grit, pine needles, and pollen. Its three-piece design reinforces the existing gutter system, which no other gutter guard company offers.

How We Scored LeafFilter

We gave LeafFilter a score of 4.8 out of 5 stars in our review standards. Here’s how LeafFilter did in key categories:

  • Design (4.3 out of 5): LeafFilter scored well due to its impressive micro-mesh screen and overall system design. Its filter performed the best out of every guard we tested. It lost points due to its uPVC frame material. 
  • Customer support (5 out of 5): We awarded full points in this category due to LeafFilter’s lifetime warranty and strong customer communication. 
  • Quote process (5 out of 5): LeafFilter received full points thanks to its free inspections, available discounts, and financing options.
  • Services (5 out of 5): LeafFilter offers a host of additional services when you purchase its product, including gutter and downspout installation.

Testing Takeaways

We noted the following performance highlights when testing LeafFilter’s gutter guard:

  • Features a durable design and substructure
  • Blocks large and small debris, including tree leaves, pine needles, and shingle grit
  • Filters water without overflowing
  • Resists gutter clogging
  • Is easy to clean


  • Materials: Unplasticized polyvinyl chloride (uPVC), stainless steel
  • Design: Micro-mesh
  • Multiple color options: No; however, multiple colors available for new gutter installation
  • Financing available: Yes
  • Warranty: Lifetime, transferable

Pros and Cons

Pros Includes a lifetime, transferable warranty, while many providers only offer performance guarantees Uses 275-micron stainless steel, one of the most durable gutter guard materials Offers additional services such as new gutter installation Cons Doesn’t offer additional services outside of gutter guard installations, while some companies offer standalone additional services Has received negative customer feedback for its aggressive pricing and sales tactics

What To Expect

You can request a no-obligation estimate from LeafFilter over the phone or via its online contact form. When we requested an estimate, LeafFilter notified us that a home inspection would be required before providing any pricing information. Below, we’ve outlined the general inspection and installation process:

  1. A LeafFilter technician will inspect your home, measuring the gutters and looking for defective sections that may need repair or replacement.
  2. After you sign the contract, an installer or team of installers will come on the scheduled date to install the gutter guard system and clean up any debris.
  3. You may register your lifetime warranty on LeafFilter’s website once the installation is complete.

What Customers Are Saying

After analyzing LeafFilter customer reviews published with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), we found that many customers were pleased with LeafFilter’s gutter guard and installation process. Some customers were displeased with the company’s sales tactics, mentioning that they felt pressured to sign a contract to lock in a lower price than originally quoted. Here are two recent LeafFilter reviews: 

“The LeafFilter system is working perfectly; only water gets into the gutters. The system was installed the day after the sale was finished. One person cleaned the gutters and down spouts, added diverters, and installed the drip edge and the leaf guard filters in 2 days (Saturday and Sunday). The installer was knowledgeable and courteous, and kept me posted on his progress throughout the installation. I recommend the LeafFilter system for anyone who wants to eliminate cleaning their gutters for the rest of their life (guaranteed and transferrable to the next owner as well, by LeafFilter).” —Bob N, May 6, 2023, on BBB

“I requested to get a quote so I would be able to compare companies on the product and prices. When the sales person did not like that we wanted to review and compare quotes from other companies he would not leave us a written scope of work or quote. He just left some numbers on a piece of paper. Very unprofessional in my opinion. He wanted an answer at that time for the lowest price on the piece of paper. I wanted to find out how he came up with the price and what material is being used in writing.” —Kenneth R, September 7, 2022, on BBB


Best for Large Debris
BBB Rating : A+

We recommend LeafGuard for homeowners who want a system that efficiently self-cleans. LeafGuard self-cleans better than most gutter guards due to its unique reverse-curve design and use of liquid adhesion and surface tension.

How We Scored LeafGuard

We gave LeafGuard a score of 4.0 out of 5 stars in our review standards. Here’s how we scored LeafGuard in key categories:

  • Design (3.8 out of 5): LeafGuard earned points in this category due to its durable one-piece system and self-cleaning reverse-curve guard design. However, this type of guard performs less well than micro-mesh screens and thus won fewer points overall.
  • Customer support (4.6 out of 5): LeafGuard scored well in this category due to its lifetime warranty on its scratch-guard coating.
  • Quote process (5 out of 5): We gave LeafGuard full points in this category because of its comprehensive quote process, financing options, and discounts.
  • Services (3 out of 5): LeafGuard earned points for its reliable system installations but lost points due to its lack of additional services.

Pros and Cons

Pros Guarantees product won’t clog for the life of your home Features a sturdy single-piece reverse-curve design Includes ScratchGuard paint finish for durability, which few companies offer Cons Requires a full gutter system replacement, while most guards can be installed on existing gutters Does not provide pricing information online, which is standard in the industry


  • Materials: Aluminum
  • Design: Reverse-curve
  • Multiple color options: Yes; 12 colors listed on website
  • Financing available: Yes
  • Warranty: Lifetime finish warranty, transferable

What To Expect

You can call LeafGuard’s toll-free number or fill out its online form to request an estimate. When we filled out the online form, we learned that LeafGuard will not provide an estimate without visiting the home. A representative contacted us shortly after submitting the form and confirmed this information. Here is what the estimate and installation process looks like: 

  1. A LeafGuard representative will visit your home to assess and measure the existing gutter system, providing an estimate on-site. 
  2. On the scheduled installation day, a LeafGuard technician will return to your home and custom-fit the one-piece LeafGuard gutter and gutter guard system to your home.
  3. The technician will fine-tune the new gutter system, installing structural hangers and adjusting the pitch before cleaning any debris from your property.
  4. Once the LeafGuard system is installed, you should register your lifetime finish warranty on the company’s website.

What Customers Are Saying

LeafGuard has mixed customer reviews on sites such as BBB and Trustpilot. Satisfied customers mention the company’s professionalism and the effectiveness of the product after years of use. More critical customers focused on unsatisfactory salesmanship of LeafGuard representatives or performance issues after installation. Here are two recent LeafGuard reviews:

“Excellent product, had Leafguard on our house in PA and just had them installed here in SC. Two guys, [LeafGuard installer] and [LeafGuard installer] completed the install in one day, took away the old gutters and took time to explain the system as there have been several upgrades since we first had them installed in PA. Expensive, yeah, but you get what you pay for. Top mount gutter filters sound good but when soggy leaves accumulate on them, they need to be cleaned off. Not with LeafGuard.” —Bob J, April 13, 2023, on BBB

“This is a very expensive system that says you don’t have to get up on a ladder anymore. This is not true. Also my gutter has an awful leak after spending big money on the system. My gutter is worse than when I started. I do not recommend LeafGuard.” —Denise S, August 9, 2022, on BBB

Gutter Guards America

Best Customer Responses
BBB Rating : A+

We recommend Gutter Guards America for homeowners looking for a reliable gutter guard installer that offers secure guarantees. Gutter Guards America has solid customer reviews and offers a lifetime, transferable warranty and a 100% money-back guarantee.

How We Scored Gutter Guards America

We gave Gutter Guards America a score of 4.7 out of 5 stars. Here’s how we rated this provider in key categories:

  • Design (4.2 out of 5): Gutter Guards America performed well in this category thanks to its micro-mesh screen and aluminum frame. 
  • Customer support (5 out of 5): We gave Gutter Guards America full points in this category because of its lifetime transferable warranty and 100% money-back guarantee.  
  • Quote process (5 out of 5): Gutter Guards America earned all points in this category thanks to its free inspections and the cleaning, repairing, and servicing it performs during installations.  
  • Services (5 out of 5): Gutter Guards America provides one of the widest service selections in the industry, including roof repair options. We granted it full points in this category.

Pros and Cons

Pros Manufactured in the U.S., unlike many gutter guard brands Makes gutter guards with surgical-grade stainless steel mesh Offers a range of additional services, including seamless gutter installation and roof repair Cons Advertises misleading claim that its guards keep you off the ladder, which isn’t true of any gutter guard Limits service to Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, and South Carolina, unlike brands with wider service ranges


  • Materials: Stainless steel, aluminum
  • Design: Micro-mesh
  • Multiple color options: No
  • Financing available: Yes
  • Warranty: Lifetime, transferable

What To Expect

You can call Gutter Guards America or submit your contact information online to request a call back from a representative. Gutter Guards America reached out to us within one hour of our online request. Similar to other professional installers, Gutter Guards America will first inspect your home’s existing gutter system before providing your estimate. Here’s how the process works from start to finish: 

  1. Gutter Guards America will inspect your existing gutter for potential repair or cleaning needs and to take measurements.
  2. A representative will provide you with an estimate for gutter guard installation and any necessary gutter sealing, reinforcement, or repair.
  3. The company will return to perform your requested gutter services on the agreed-upon date, and you will receive a lifetime, transferable warranty for your new gutter guards. 

What Customers Are Saying

We analyzed recent customer reviews for Gutter Guards America on Trustpilot. The overall feedback was positive, with many customers complimenting the company’s professionalism and efficiency. Some mixed and negative reviews mentioned scheduling and communication issues. Here are two recent Gutter Guards America reviews:

“Gutter Guard America got back to me quickly upon my initial inquiry. Within a week, an initial quote and installation occurred. They were professional and got the job completed during the stated time frame. The guards have been performing as advertised.” —Brian J, April 30, 2023, on Trustpilot

“The job was not completed. They ran into a problem. Mr. Yarnell said he would call me on Wednesday, the 4th. No one has called. We are waiting.” —Linda H, May 5, 2022, on Trustpilot


Best Additional Services
Phone : 855-434-3836 BBB Rating : B

We recommend HomeCraft Gutter Protection for homeowners who want a one-stop shop for their gutter needs. HomeCraft provides a wide range of gutter services, including gutter cleaning, repairs, and replacements, unlike DIY products and companies that only provide gutter guard installation.

How We Scored HomeCraft

We awarded HomeCraft 4.7 out of 5 stars. Here’s how it scored in key categories:

  • Design (4.2 out of 5): HomeCraft’s well-built screen and high-quality materials earned it points in this category. It lost points for lacking multiple color options. 
  • Customer support (4.6 out of 5): HomeCraft was awarded points in this category because of its lifetime warranty, but it lost some points because it lacks a chat feature on its website. 
  • Quote process (5 out of 5): HomeCraft offers free inspections, financing, and quotes good for one year, resulting in full points in this category.  
  • Services (5 out of 5): HomeCraft was awarded full points in this category thanks to its suite of additional services, such as gutter cleaning, repairs, and installations.

Pros and Cons

Pros Has a unique raised-screen design for improved debris filtration, compared to micro-mesh screens with a flat design Is a family-owned and operated business, unlike many national brands in the industry Offers a host of gutter services including cleaning, repairs, and installations Cons Is only available in 12 states, compared to most brands that operate on a national scale Does not have pricing information online


  • Materials: Stainless steel, aluminum
  • Design: Micro-mesh
  • Multiple color options: Yes (only for gutters); 28 colors listed on website
  • Financing available: Yes
  • Warranty: Lifetime, transferable

What To Expect

Like other professional installers, HomeCraft has a contact form on its website for requesting estimates, or you can call a live agent. Either way, you will need to schedule a home inspection before HomeCraft will provide a quote. The company called us to set up an appointment within minutes after we requested a quote online. Here is what to expect from the inspection and installation process:

    1. During the inspection, the HomeCraft representative will measure your gutters, demonstrate the company’s gutter guard, and provide a quote that remains valid for up to one year. 
    2. Prior to installation, HomeCraft will clean, seal, and repair your existing gutter system as necessary.
    3. The installer will attach the gutter guard and clean any debris. 
    4. You will need to speak to the representative to discuss any necessary steps for registering for the lifetime, transferable warranty. 

What Customers Are Saying

HomeCraft has positive customer feedback across sites such as Yelp, Trustpilot, and the BBB. Customers praise HomeCraft’s family-owned and operated business for its friendly and knowledgeable sales staff. Negative reviews frequently mention excessive, ongoing sales calls after the prospective customer declined service. Here are two recent HomeCraft reviews:

“I had a terrific experience with [HomeCraft sales representative]. [HomeCraft sales representative] was very knowledgeable about the product and explained to me just why HomeCraft gutter protection is the best. I know that I bought a product that will last a very long time.” —Ronald C, May 15, 2022, on BBB

“This business has been harassing me with telemarketing calls for weeks now. 5+ calls a day, 7 days a week sometimes as late as 10pm. [I] told every single employee on the line that they have the wrong number, there is no one with the name they are asking for and to please not call back and yet here they are calling me again at 2:30 pm on a Sunday.” —Rhi L, January 15, 2023, on BBB

All American Gutter Protection

Best Deals and Discounts
Phone : 888-495-7725 BBB Rating : A

We recommend All American Gutter Protection for homeowners looking for a reliable product at a reasonable price. All American offers various discounts and generous financing options that allow you to better budget and afford an installation.

How We Scored All American Gutter Protection

All American Gutter Protection received a score of 4.2 out of 5 stars. Here’s how we rated it in key categories:

  • Design (4.2 out of 5): All American’s gutter guard uses high-end materials with a tightly woven micro-mesh screen, which earned it high marks in this category. It lost points for not offering multiple color options and not having a stainless steel frame.
  • Customer support (5 out of 5): All American’s lifetime warranty and multiple communication methods earned it full points in this category.
  • Quote process (4 out of 5): All American’s thorough quote process and discounts earned it high points in this category. It lost some points for not offering quotes that are good for one year.
  • Services (3 out of 5): All American offers gutter guard installation and gutter replacement but doesn’t offer cleaning or repair services, resulting in a loss of points.

Pros and Cons

Pros Offers customized installation for each home Can replace existing gutter system with seamless gutters that come in various colors, unlike brands that offer a limited color selection Provides ongoing discounts for military and seniors, while most companies offer no or limited discounts Cons Doesn’t offer additional services such as gutter cleaning or repairs Limits service to 20 states, a smaller operating area compared to other companies


  • Materials: Stainless steel, aluminum
  • Design: Micro-mesh
  • Multiple color options: No
  • Financing available: Yes
  • Warranty: Lifetime

What To Expect

To start your All American quote, you will need to request an estimate over the phone or on its website and provide basic contact information. We requested an online estimate through All American. The representative informed us that someone would reach out within 12 hours to schedule an in-person inspection. Here is what to expect from the All American installation process: 

  1. On the day of your scheduled appointment, All American will measure your home’s gutters to provide a gutter guard estimate.
  2. You can discuss the gutter guard’s lifetime performance guarantee, military and senior discounts, and the available financing options with your sales representative before signing the contract.
  3. The company will typically schedule the gutter guard installation within two to three days of you signing the contract.

What Customers Are Saying

All American Gutter Protection has overall positive reviews on the BBB. Satisfied customers noted the company’s professional and timely gutter guard installations. We found negative reviews that cited issues with the company honoring its warranty. Here are two All American customer reviews from the BBB:

“I had gutter guards that were placed in one day, the crew that installed them were professional and quick. That was 4 months ago and I am so happy that my gutters no longer get trash or debris in them. Thank you, All American Gutter Protection LLC.” —Monica N, October 23, 2022, on BBB

“Worst warranty ever. Called repeatedly for service with no response. Sales person sold me on the no questions warranty. My gutter performance is now worse than before All American Gutter installed the new system. It’s been almost 2 months since the initial installation with no call back to set up a warranty visit for repair. Do not be fooled as I was. I’ve been chasing them for weeks. The water overflow has repeatedly damaged my property.” —Elias H, July 29, 2022, on BBB

How We Tested and Chose the Best Gutter Guards

To help you pick the best gutter guard for your home, we have researched every major brand on the market. We evaluated these guards based on our rating and review standards. Our review standards include the categories that homeowners find most important for professional and DIY gutter guards, respectively. Providers are objectively rated and awarded points in each category to arrive at a final score on a 5-point rating scale. 

We conducted research by reviewing product specifications and provider website information, speaking with customer representatives, conducting in-depth DIY product testing, and analyzing customer reviews.

We rated professionally installed and DIY products on the following factors: 

  • Product design
  • Customer support
  • Warranty
  • Customer reviews

Additionally, we rated professionally installed gutter guards based on the company’s quote process and service offerings.

We also purchased more than a dozen of the most popular DIY brands and installed them on a model of a roof and gutter system. We tested each product to determine how it withstood wear and tear, debris, and water. Our testing process varied slightly depending on the product being assessed, but we typically applied the following tests:

  • Debris filtration: We applied debris to the guard to see what materials it could keep out and what passed through. Debris included deciduous tree leaves, pine needles, and shingle grit.
  • Water passage test: We applied water at varying speeds to see if the guards could withstand heavy rain without overflowing. 
  • Cleanability test: We manually removed debris from each guard with a hose, a brush, or gloved hands to assess how easy it was to clean your gutters.
  • Installation inspection: We thoroughly inspected each guard before and during installation, checking for areas of weakness or poor design. We also noted which products were the easiest and most difficult to install. 
  • Durability test: We applied stress tests to see if the guards bent, dented, or came loose.

Testing Methodology

We use testing as a means to verify, correct, or reinforce existing information. We rely on available information and customer feedback if we cannot test a product. If a product is not available for testing, we do not deduct points from that product or company’s overall score. 

If you would like to learn more about how we assess gutter guard quality, read our detailed rating methodology.

Gutter Guard Testing Takeaways

During testing, we learned important takeaways about gutter guard installation and performance. Here are our key takeaways: 
Micro-mesh guards block the most debris. Micro-mesh guards, if made well, are the most effective and have the best filtration of every type of guard we tested. 
How well did each guard perform? We tested more than a dozen gutter guards. We’ll highlight some of the top-performing products below:
Micro-mesh: The best DIY micro-mesh guard was Raptor. It blocked 90% of debris, with only small dirt and micro-debris slipping through. Raptor filtered roughly 85% of the water we applied without overflowing, only spilling over in extreme downpour conditions.
Mesh: Amerimax’s powder-coated steel guard performed the best out of the mesh guards we tested. It filtered out roughly 65% of all debris, only failing to stop pine needles, seedpods, and shingle grit. It had excellent water passability, allowing 100% of the water through without overflowing
Screen: A-M’s perforated aluminum screen was the best guard for this category. It stopped 70% of debris. Its water passability was average, allowing 80% of the water we applied through and overflowing occasionally in downpour conditions.
Every guard needs to be cleaned. No guard we tested completely self-cleaned, regardless of the amount of water or pressure we applied. Even micro-mesh guards such as Raptor caught and held some debris.
Foam guards are a great temporary solution. Foam guards performed well in the filtration test and kept out everything but shingle grit. However, they break down in UV rays and need to be replaced frequently. 
Hidden hangers can present installation problems. You’ll have a difficult time installing most DIY gutter guards if your gutters have hidden hangers, which are internal hangers as opposed to external ones.
A good pair of tin snips is a must. Almost every DIY guard we worked with needed to be altered slightly to fit into the gutter system. We often needed to clip the ends of the guards to fit them correctly or to avoid gaps, making good tin snips a requirement for installation. Raptor, Amerimax’s steel mesh guard, and GutterStuff all needed to be trimmed in some way to fit into our test gutter.
A-M gutter guard installed on roof line with leaves on top of gutter guard
Photo by James Kiefer

What Should You Look For in Gutter Guards?

When shopping for gutter guards, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the variety of brands, products, and materials available. “The material of the gutter guard is essential,” says Andrew Johnson, CEO of Prime Seamless Gutters & Roofing. “Homeowners should look for durable materials like stainless steel or aluminum.”

To find the best gutter guard for your home, we recommend considering three key factors such as guard effectiveness, cost, and warranty.

What Is the Most Effective Type of Gutter Guard?

Gutter guard effectiveness depends on the materials and design and the type of debris you’re trying to prevent. Overall, the best-performing type of gutter guard is a stainless steel micro-mesh screen that fits over the top of your gutters. A high-quality micro-mesh gutter guard allows water to flow freely into the gutter while keeping out small debris that may clog your gutters. This type can handle heavy rain and is easy to clean.

Some DIY brands, including Raptor, offer micro-mesh guards, but they’re more common in professional installations. LeafFilter, HomeCraft, and Gutter Guards America install micro-mesh guards.
Other types of guards can be effective depending on your location and the debris around your home. For example, homeowners in coastal areas may choose snap-in PVC or plastic gutter guards. Coastal climates have “sea air,” or high salinity air, that can corrode metals more quickly. Homeowners looking for quick and easy installations can opt for brush or foam gutter guards. These guards are inserts, making them the simplest to install with the lowest price tag.

What Is the Cost of Gutter Guards?

Many factors impact the cost of professional gutter guard installation, and an at-home inspection is typically required for an estimate. However, the average price for 200 linear feet of professional gutter guard installation is $1,300 with a typical range being $800 to $1,800. More expensive brands can range up to $5,000 or more.

For DIY products, expect to pay between $300 and $600 or more for 200 linear feet of material. The total cost to purchase Raptor on a 200-foot gutter system is approximately $624.95, based on current Amazon pricing.

Are Gutter Guards Worth It?

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), installing gutter guards can extend the lifespan of your gutter drainage system by 2 or 3 times. Gutter guards can be worth it for homeowners who live on lots with numerous trees. When shopping for gutter guards, you want to get the most for your dollar. DIY gutter guards are typically priced the lowest, but they’re often made with lower-quality materials and require more frequent repairs or replacements. You’ll need to buy more than a single pack of DIY guards, so the final price tag will be much higher than what’s shown on the store page.

Professionally installed guards will always be more expensive but come with a range of benefits that balance the higher up-front cost. Professional companies provide higher-quality gutter guards, skilled installation crews, long-lasting warranties, and additional services such as downspout installation.

How Do Gutter Guard Warranties Work?

Warranties provide a level of financial protection in the event of manufacturer or installer error. A company’s warranty also provides subtle insight into its perception of its products. Companies that provide long-lasting, ironclad warranties are more confident than those with shorter, more restrictive warranties.

Professional gutter guard companies offer more comprehensive warranties than DIY products. Warranties from companies typically last the lifetime of the home, are transferable, and cover both gutter guard parts and workmanship. DIY products typically only carry manufacturer warranties, which don’t last as long and don’t offer installation protection.

How Do the Different Types of Gutter Guards Compare?

How Do Gutter Guard Types and Materials Compare?

How Do Professional and DIY Gutter Guards Compare?

A gutter guard’s material impacts how well it performs and how much it costs. You typically what you pay for with gutter guard materials. More expensive options last longer and boast better performance.

  • Low-end materials: Plastic, vinyl, and PVC have the shortest lifespans, are the least durable, and perform the worst. During our testing, guards made from these materials frequently overflowed, failed to stop debris from entering the gutter system and broke easily. These guards were the lowest cost and most widely available. 
  • Medium-end materials: Foam and plastic brush guards are middle-of-the-road guard options. These guards block most debris but don’t last as long as high-end materials. During our testing, we found that these guards had niche uses but performed worse than higher-end guards. 
  • High-end materials: Aluminum, powder-coated steel, and stainless steel are the best options for gutter guards. These materials last the longest, are the most durable, and perform the best. These materials are also the most expensive. For example, stainless steel guards cost several times more than plastic guards of a similar design.

The following table compares the main types of gutter guards, including what situations they perform best in and a cost range for DIY and professional installations. The low-end cost considers materials such as plastic and vinyl, while high-end materials such as stainless steel are factored into the higher end of the cost range.

Gutter TypeBest ForDIY Cost (200-foot system)Professional Installation Cost (200-foot system)
Micro-mesh Areas with heavy foliage; long-term investments$150–$625$2,000–$4,300
Mesh Areas with intense rainfall and deciduous trees$45–$199$700–$1,950
ScreenAreas with high winds; homes that experience falling tree limbs$150–$265$500–$1,500
Reverse curveAreas with low rainfall; homeowners who want to reduce cleaning$205 to $936$2,500–$10,200
FoamTemporary gutter protection$270NA
BrushHomeowners who want a quick and easy solution$795NA
Price data in this section was sourced from Angi and internal data for professional installations and Amazon and Home Depot for DIY installations. 

Professional and DIY gutter guards have several major differences. The most notable is price, as any professionally installed gutter guard will be more expensive than even the highest quality DIY product.

Professional gutter guard companies provide access to valuable added services, longer-lasting and more comprehensive warranties, and higher-quality products. You should also consider the inherent danger of DIY roof and gutter work. Accidents can result in serious injury or property damage.

The best gutter guards for your specific needs will depend on several factors, such as your home’s location, the surrounding foliage, and your climate. Micro-mesh guards are well suited for most climates, levels of rainfall, and debris, making it a good “catch-all” guard. Other guard types can be effective depending on your needs. Here’s a more detailed look at the most effective gutter guard types for various needs. 

If you live in an area with heavy rainfall

We recommend mesh guards for heavy rainfall. These guards use a woven mesh screen to block debris. The holes are large enough to stop most materials from entering your gutter while allowing water to flow freely. They don’t stop small materials, such as pine needles or seedpods. We recommend them if you live in areas with heavy rainfall, large amounts of deciduous tree leaves, and few pine needles.

If you want to invest in guards that can block large and small debris

We recommend micro-mesh guards for most debris types. Micro-mesh guards are functionally the same as mesh guards, but the screens are much more finely woven and can block small materials such as pine needles and shingle grit. They’re the most expensive guard type, making them less suited to homeowners on a budget. They may ice over if you live in areas with heavy winters, requiring additional products such as heat tape.

If you live in a high-wind area

Screen guards are a sheet perforated with holes. They’re sturdier than mesh guards and have a stronger connection to the gutter but can’t block small debris. We recommend them if you live in areas with extreme weather (such as high winds), especially if your gutters experience impacts from falling tree limbs.

If you want to cut down on gutter cleaning

Also called gutter helmets, reverse-curve guards use large plastic caps set atop your gutter to block debris. They effectively self-clean and block medium and large debris but can’t handle heavy rainfall. We recommend reverse-curve guards if you want to cut back on gutter cleaning, as long as you don’t live in a rainy climate or have a steeply pitched roof.

If you want a temporary solution

Foam guards sit within the gutter and use their sponge-like material to stop debris from entering. They’re effective at keeping most debris out but break down when exposed to UV rays. We recommend them as a temporary solution for gutter protection or for homeowners who only need to protect one section of their gutters.

If you want a quick installation

Brush guards resemble large pipe cleaners and use a series of bristles to keep debris out. These guards are easy to install but clog frequently and are difficult to clean. They don’t protect against small debris such as pine needles, seedpods, and shingle grit. We recommend them as quick-and-easy gutter protection if you don’t mind more frequent cleaning.

Compare the Best DIY Gutter Guards


Best Filter for DIY Brands

We recommend Raptor due to the impressive performance of its micro-mesh screen. It was one of the best-performing DIY gutter guards during our testing process and kept out more debris than any other DIY gutter guard. It performs well for homes that experience clogging issues with pine needles and other small debris.

How We Scored Raptor

We awarded Raptor 4.6 out of 5 stars. Here’s how it scored in key categories:

  • Design (4.7 out of 5): Raptor’s stainless steel micro-mesh screen blocked all debris during testing but was difficult to install, earning it a nearly perfect score in this category.  
  • Customer support (4.6 out of 5): Raptor features helpful instructional materials on its website but has a shorter-than-average warranty, earning it almost full points in this category.
  • Customer reviews (4.6 out of 5): Raptor has above-average reviews on its Amazon page.
  • Cost (3.9 out of 5): As a micro-mesh gutter guard, Raptor is on the more expensive end of the DIY cost range, earning it lower points in this category.

Testing Takeaways

We noted the following performance highlights when testing Raptor’s gutter guard: 

  • Blocks small debris such as pine needles and shingle grit
  • Includes easy-to-follow instructional materials 
  • Promotes water flow even in heavy rainfall
  • Requires more gentle handling because of bendable materials
  • Requires snipping the frame during installation to prevent gaps

Pros and Cons

Pros Offers DIY-friendly micro-mesh stainless steel guards, unlike DIY products that use plastic Accommodates various installation styles Has a 25-year product warranty, while most DIY products don’t offer warranties Cons Is hard to cut for installation Has smaller mesh holes that can cause overflow issues


  • Materials: Stainless steel, aluminum
  • Warranty length: 25 years
  • Fit: 5-, 6-, and 7-inch gutters


Raptor Gutter Guard is available on Amazon with a listed price of $2.60 per linear foot. For a home with a total gutter length of 200 linear feet, expect to pay $520.  

Installation Process

Raptor Gutter Guard comes with a detailed installation guide and the self-tapping screws you need to attach the guard to your home’s fascia board. Note that you may need to bend or cut the gutter guard and should have tin snips on hand.

What Customers Are Saying

Based on more than 100 Amazon reviews we read, satisfied customers said these gutter guards were easy to install because of the instructions, drill bit head, and surplus screws included with the product. The main complaint was that the holes in the mesh were so small they wouldn’t allow all of the water to pass through during a downpour, causing water to flow over the gutters instead.

A-M Gutter Guard

Best for Easy Cleaning

We recommend A-M Gutter Guards because of its durability and efficiency. Its guards were the most durable of the DIY brands we tested. They provide a secure hold on your gutter system and filter out most debris.

How We Scored A-M Gutter Guard

A-M’s aluminum screen guards received 4.5 out of 5 stars. Here’s how we rated its key categories:

  • Design (3.7 out of 5):  A-M’s guard is durable and features a secure hold. However, it lost points because it doesn’t block small debris and is prone to overflows in heavy rainfall.  
  • Customer support (5 out of 5): A-M offers helpful instructions and a lifetime warranty, earning it a perfect score in this category.   
  • Customer reviews (5 out of 5): A-M’s Amazon reviews are impressive, earning it another perfect score.
  • Cost (4.2 out of 5): A-M is relatively expensive for a DIY guard, resulting in a moderate score in this category.

Testing Takeaways

We noted A-M Gutter Guard’s durability during the testing process, but the installation process was more involved. Review our testing highlights below: 

  • Blocks most debris but allows small materials through
  • Features the highest durability of the guards we tested
  • Overflows only in heavy downpours
  • Catches debris and requires more frequent cleaning
  • Requires drilling into the gutter to install

Pros and Cons

Pros Is an affordable, DIY option Has a low-profile design that sits below the gutter edge, unlike many DIY guards that rise above gutters Is made from sturdy and rustproof heavy aluminum, unlike many DIY products made from plastic or steel Cons Does not include installation screws Allows smaller debris to slip through the filter, compared to micro-mesh guards that large and small debris


  • Materials: Aluminum
  • Warranty length: Lifetime
  • Fit: 5- and 6-inch gutters


A-M Gutter Guard is available on Amazon for approximately $1.32 per foot for the 200-feet package. For a home with 200 linear feet of gutter length, expect to pay around $264.

Installation Process

Your A-M Gutter Guard will come with an installation guide, but the necessary zip screws must be bought separately. You will need a drill or screwdriver on hand to attach the gutter guard. Tin snips are also necessary in case you need to cut a section to fit your gutters.

What Customers Are Saying

Several Amazon reviewers in wooded areas said this gutter guard kept leaves, twigs, and branches out of their gutters. However, some customers said that it required more maintenance than they expected. For example, the gutter guard formed a valley that collected debris and caused pine needles to get stuck in the holes, forcing customers to clean their gutters multiple times per year. (Most gutter guards require cleaning every one to two years.)


Best for Easy Installation

We recommend Amerimax screen guards for homeowners who experience heavy rainfall conditions. During our testing process, Amerimax guards were able to block leaves, twigs, and other moderate-sized debris while filtering water in downpour simulations.

How We Scored Amerimax

We gave Amerimax’s lock-in screen guards a score of 4.2 out of 5 stars. Here’s how we rated it in key categories:

  • Design (3.9 out of 5): Amerimax earned points for its powder-coated steel material and its ability to block medium-sized debris. It lost points for failing to block small particles and because it may rust as the coating wears off.  
  • Customer support (4.2 out of 5): Amermax earned points for its helpful installation instructions and supplementary materials but lost points for a below-average warranty.   
  • Customer reviews (4.6 out of 5): Amerimax earned this rating with above-average reviews on Amazon.
  • Cost (4.2 out of 5): Amerimax’s higher-end prices resulted in a moderate score in this category.

Testing Takeaways

Amerimax screen guards were easy to install as long as we wore protective gloves. We noted the following performance highlights while testing:  

  • Blocks medium and large debris such as leaves and twigs
  • Features easy installation and a secure hold
  • Allows excellent water passage
  • Withstood moderate impacts and was highly durable
  • Requires thick gloves for installation due to sharp edges and corners

Pros and Cons

Pros Are easy to cut for customized fitting compared to thicker DIY products Work with most gutter styles and sizes Are rust-resistant Cons Allow small debris to still pass through Have a less secure hold without additional attachments, unlike DIY products that are secured tightly with screws or clips


  • Materials: Powder-coated steel
  • Warranty length: 10-year limited warranty
  • Fit: 4-, 5-, and 6-inch gutters


Amazon lists the Amerimax Lock-In Gutter Guard at approximately $1.33 per foot. For a home with a 200-feet gutter length, expect to pay around $266.

Installation Process

You install this product by sliding it under the outermost shingles and clipping the guard onto the front of your home’s gutter. You will not need extra tools, fasteners, or additional hardware.

What Customers Are Saying

Though these guards can be challenging to install, several Amazon customers said they were easier than types requiring fasteners and tools. Some reviews said water rushed right over the gutter cover instead of going through it because of how slick the paint coating is on the steel.


Best for Easy Replacements

We recommend GutterBrush as a user-friendly option thanks to its extremely easy installation. We slid this product into our mock gutter system with little effort. Out of all the DIY products we tested, this product was the easiest to install.

How We Scored GutterBrush

GutterBrush earned 3.8 out of 5 stars. Here’s how we rated it in key categories:

  • Design (2.9 out of 5):  GutterBrush’s design allows it to block some debris and effectively filter water, but it clogs easily and is difficult to clean.  
  • Customer support (4.2 out of 5): GutterBrush offers instruction materials and an average warranty, resulting in this score.   
  • Customer reviews (4.6 out of 5): GutterBrush has above-average customer reviews on Amazon.
  • Cost (4.2 out of 5): GutterBrush has a moderate price, resulting in an above-average score in this category.

Testing Takeaways

GutterBrush is easy to install but requires more effort to clean. We discovered the following during our testing process: 

  • Slides directly into gutter sections and was the easiest to install
  • Blocks medium and large material but fails to block pine needles and small seed pods
  • Allows water to pass through with no spillage
  • Requires snipping central cable to prevent gaps
  • Requires complete removal from the gutter system for cleaning

Pros and Cons

Pros Is available through many retailers, including Amazon, Home Depot, and Lowe’s Has the quickest installation compared to many other guards Fits with most gutter styles Cons Filters large debris only, unlike micro-mesh guards that filter out most debris Can clog more easily than other designs


  • Materials: Plastic, steel wire
  • Warranty length: 10-year material warranty
  • Fit: 5- and 6-inch gutters


GutterBrush is available on Amazon for approximately $3.65 per foot. Expect to pay $730 for a home with 200 total feet of gutter length.

Installation Process

Brush-style gutter guards are among the easiest to install. You simply drop the brush sections into your existing gutter. No fasteners are needed. If the length of the last gutter guard section extends past the gutter, you can simply bend the excess back into the gutter.

What Customers Are Saying

Multiple Amazon customers were realistic about how well these gutter covers would work, understanding that they could only keep out large pieces of debris. Because of this, customers occasionally had to rinse smaller debris from the guards. Several customers complained the gutter guard didn’t work well in yards with many trees and became easily clogged by leaves and twigs.

Which Gutter Guard System Should You Choose?

The best gutter guards can handle heavy rain with ease, blocking debris and providing efficient filtration to prevent possible water damage. Through our research and testing, the type of gutter guard that most effectively repelled debris while still promoting proper water flow was a micro-mesh design made of durable stainless steel. Though installation can be pricey, we believe the right gutter guards are worth the investment to protect your home and provide you peace of mind.

We recommend LeafFilter and LeafGuard as our top picks for professionally installed gutter guards, and Raptor as our top DIY product. Like with any home service, we recommend getting quotes from at least three gutter guard companies to find the right option for your home and budget.

FAQ About Gutter Guards

What are gutter guards made of?

The most common gutter guard materials are aluminum, stainless steel, plastic, and foam. Aluminum and stainless steel gutter guards last longer than plastic, but aluminum is lightweight and prone to movement in the wind. Plastic gutter guards are usually more affordable than the other two materials but not as durable. Foam is a less expensive DIY option but can present issues such as mold growth.

What are some common complaints made by gutter guard users?

These are some of the most common complaints made by gutter guard users: the gutters still require maintenance and upkeep; icicles and ice dams form over the gutters in winter, making the guards unusable; gutter guards don’t prevent bees and pests from building nests in the gutters.

Do gutter guards really work?

Yes, gutter guards work if they are installed and maintained properly. Gutter guards work by blocking debris from entering your gutters to reduce how often you need to clean them. However, many homeowners have misconceptions regarding the functionality of gutter guards. Some companies advertise that gutter guards remove the need to clean your gutters entirely, which isn’t the case.

What are the best gutter guards on the market?

The best gutter guards on the market are high-quality options made from durable metal, such as stainless steel. Micro-mesh gutter guards offer optimal filtration from various sizes of debris and are considered the most effective. Investing in a professionally installed micro-mesh guard provides the best long-term protection for your home.

How do gutter guards work?

Gutter guards work by keeping various types of debris from interrupting the water flow in your gutter system. The gutter guard system fits inside or on top of your existing gutters and uses a filter to prevent large or small debris from clogging gutters and downspouts. Although gutter guards don’t eliminate the need for cleaning, they significantly reduce the frequency.

What is the best gutter guard for leaves?

Micro-mesh and reverse curve guards are the best gutter guards for leaves. These guards filter out large and small debris to keep your gutters clear of leaves, twigs, and branches.

What is the easiest type of gutter guard to install?

Brush and foam gutter guards simply nest inside your gutter and are easier to install than many alternatives. However, they do not last as long as other types of gutter guards and do not filter out small debris.

Why Trust Us?

We have researched and reviewed dozens of gutter guards since 2022 to determine the best gutter guards for water filtration and debris prevention. We have also spent dozens of hours incorporating firsthand testing of gutter guards into our research to be able to provide a thorough review of the services and products that are available to consumers.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.