Best Silicone Wiper Blades: Top Picks for Clear Views
Our top picks for keeping your windshield unobscured
The Review Team
How We Decided
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PUBLISHED ON May 24, 2019
An obscured windshield is a real safety hazard, so make sure you’ve always got a clear view of the road by regularly checking and replacing your windshield wiper blades. New materials and designs have cropped up in the past few years, making natural rubber blades almost obsolete. Read on to find out everything you need to know to pick out the best silicone wiper blades for your vehicle.
- Best OverallPIAA 95055 Super Silicone Wiper BladeSummarySummaryPure silicone rubber blade creates a long-lasting wiper squeegee. A great pick if you’re looking for performance and durability.ProsProsExtremely resistant to hot and cold temps, as well as UV rays. Coats windshield with silicone, adding a water beading effect. Easy to install hook.ConsConsThey’re not the best choice if you’re going to be frequenting places with heavy snow.
- Best ValueBosch ICON Wiper BladeSummarySummaryA blended rubber formulation gives you the longevity of silicone and the heavier wiping of natural rubber. A great pick for snow driving.ProsProsUp to 40 percent longer lasting than natural rubber blades. Offers sleek design for visibility, patented tension spring design for superior wiping, and low noise.ConsConsThese require an adapter to work with a large number of vehicles, which is a major inconvenience.
- Honorable MentionRain-X 2-in-1 Water Repellency Wiper BladeSummarySummaryThe 2017 Product of the Year winner shines again as our honorable mention. A great pick if you’re looking for a water-repellent wiper.ProsProsDual rubber composition for all-weather performance. Features Rain-X coating to aid water beading and overall visibility. Fits contoured windshields well and is easy to install thanks to a universal adapter.ConsConsBigger and bulkier than a lot of other models out there, which can be bothersome.
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, and practical experience with each product we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Silicone Wiper Blades
- Environmentally friendly. Unlike traditional organic rubber windshield wiper blades, silicone models are manufactured without petroleum. That makes them easier to manufacture in an environmentally-friendly process, and they’re also completely biodegradable.
- Better performance. When compared to rubber windshield wiper blades, silicone variants last longer and perform better. That’s due to the nature of silicone that’s more resilient against heat, cold, and UV rays, making it much more durable and able to withstand the elements.
- Save money. Since you’ll be changing your windshield wiper blades less often when using silicone ones, you’ll save money over time. You’ll also save on potentially pricey windshield repairs thanks to the glass-friendly softness of silicone.
- Clearer view. When you’re driving in heavy rain, you’ll want the clearest view of the road possible. That’s where silicone wipers come in. They leave a slight residue on the windshield that makes water bead up, allowing the wipers to clear it more easily.
- Less noise. Have you ever noticed that squeaking noise rubber windshield wipers can make? With silicone wipers, you’ll never have to deal with it again, as the material glides over glass much more easily, eliminating most noise.
As the name suggests, pure silicone wiper blades are made from just silicone. They have the advantage of being soft and gentle on windshield glass while effortlessly wiping away water. They’re also going to last longer than rubber or dual-rubber blades since silicone is very resistant to the elements.
In most cases, dual-rubber blades are made from a hard, natural rubber core surrounded by a soft silicone outer layer. This combination works well to clear water from the windshield and is ideal for heavier rain and snow, as the blades have more weight to them. The downside is that they won’t last as long as pure silicone.
Based in Portland, Ore., PIAA has been making quality automotive accessories for more than 50 years. PIAA’s wiper blades are some of the best in class, thanks to its innovative manufacturing technology. Among the top sellers is the 95055 Super Silicone Wiper Blade.
Since 1886, Bosch has been active in the technology and engineering sectors and has since branched out into the automotive field. Bosch products are manufactured to high standards, backed by a guarantee. The company’s most recommended windshield wiper blade is the ICON.
Founded more than 100 years ago, Trico has been in the automotive industry for decades. The company’s expertise in windshield wiper blades comes from a long history of manufacturing rubber and silicone products with advanced technology to improve performance. Trico’s best sellers include the NeoForm Beam Wiper Blade.
Windshield Wiper Blade Pricing
- Under $10: You’ll find a small number of wiper blades in the budget category. These tend to be made from natural rubber or a dual-rubber material, both of which wear out more quickly than pure silicone. The quality of the steel frame can be poor to good at this price point, so watch out for poorly made wiper blades.
- $10-$20: At this price point, you’ll find a wide selection of good-quality wiper blades. We recommend spending at least this much to get a quality set that will give you at least six months of high performance. Silicone, dual-rubber, and natural options are available in the mid-range, all of which should have quality fittings.
- Over $20: A number of specialty wiper blades are available in this price range. These tend to be made from either pure silicone or dual rubber and with high-quality metal frames. On average, they tend to last the longest, so if you’re eager to replace your wipers less often, it might be worth springing for more expensive ones.
Size and Fit
Keep in mind that every vehicle requires a different size of the wiper blade, so check your recommended length in the owner’s manual. Also, remember that wiper blades need two different lengths in the front and a different length for the rear windshield. Most companies manufacture windshield wiper blades between 14 and 28 inches, a range that covers almost all car makes and models.
Windshield wiper materials have come a long way since natural rubber ones dominated the market a few years back. If you’re looking for the most durability and the least streaky glass feel, pure silicone is the way to go. For more heavy-duty wiping needs, dual rubber is the way to go, due to the more robust squeegee.
Ease of Attachment
Most wipers are pretty easy to install, thanks to their universal attachment mechanism. J-hooks are also pretty common and are among the easiest to install. That being said, some windshield wiper blades come with different wiper arms, which can make the installation process more of a hassle. If you need help figuring it out, check out this short video to improve your skill level.
- Driving Climate: If you’re frequently dealing with foul weather, you’ll need a different type of blade than someone who lives in a very hot climate. Silicone blades last the longest in extreme weather, but dual-rubber blades and coated options are great for wiping away heavy snow loads.
- Blade Frame: Check if your car came standard with the newer beam-style blade, as other blade frames may not fit properly. Any car with old-school bracket blades can take beam-style blades as a replacement.
- Windshield Curvature: This is a bit trickier to check, but car windshields have varying amounts of curve to them, making some brands and models of wipers fit better than others. That being said, you might have to buy a couple of different brands to see what works for you.
- Quality and Performance: It goes without saying that higher-quality wiper blades will provide the best performance over time. Even cheap wiper blade models will work well in the first couple of weeks, but after that, only quality materials will keep working as expected.
Best Silicone Wiper Blades Reviews & Recommendations 2019
Best Overall: PIAA 95055 Super Silicone Wiper Blade
Made from pure silicone, this PIAA wiper blade comes in sizes between 12 and 26 inches. The patented silicone rubber material is extremely resistant to wear and damage from UV and heat exposure as well as cold temperatures. This makes them last up to twice as long as a wiper blade made from natural rubber. It also comes with another benefit: The silicone coats your car’s windshield with a water repellent layer after every wipe, helping water bead and keeping your view unobstructed.
An aerodynamic frame keeps your car sleek and streamlined, while the design also allows for quiet, streak-free wiping. The hook attachment is easy to install and compatible with a wide variety of vehicles. An included prepping cloth can be used to further improve the performance of the wipers by coating your windshield with a water-repelling solution. This makes the PIAA wiper blade perform exceedingly well in a number of weather conditions.
The one downside to these blades is that they don’t work as well in heavy snow since this particular silicone rubber is much softer than a dual-blended or natural rubber one would be. That could be a problem, depending on where you plan to drive with these wipers installed. The higher cost is also a factor to consider, but since they can last for a year and longer, they’re well worth the investment.
Best Value: Bosch ICON Wiper Blade
A blended rubber formulation makes the ICON wiper blade heat resistant and protected from ozone deterioration. In quality tests, these wipers routinely lasted up to 40 percent longer than other wiper blades, making these a great value buy. They’re also really easy to install, thanks to the sturdy hook adapter they come with. Available in an impressive range of sizes and fits, this wiper blade is made to fit the contours of most windshields.
The sleek design keeps your visibility as clear as possible, even in extreme weather conditions. A patented tension spring design distributes force equally, so there are no skips in the wiping pattern; a useful feature in heavy rain and snow. These wiper blades also hold up well at high speeds, thanks to a flexible, asymmetric spoiler that uniformly distributes downward force. Another benefit of their high-quality design is that they don’t squeak; during comparative testing, these were some of the quietest blades on the market.
The only thing we didn’t like about these blades is that they require an adapter to work with most vehicles, which can be annoying if you happen to have a hook system these don’t work with. That being said, it’s worth looking into an adapter to make these work, as the performance for the price is stellar.
Honorable Mention: Rain-X 2-in-1 Water Repellency Wiper Blade
As the 2017 Product of the Year winner, this Rain-X wiper blade has a couple of great features that we’re excited about. They’re made from a dual-rubber blend for superior all-weather performance, making them durable even in the most extreme weather conditions. A water-repellent coating is applied to the windshield by the blades with every wipe, which helps with water beading. That, in turn, keeps your visibility high, which is an important safety factor when driving in foul weather.
Advanced beam blade technology fits the contours of curved windshields well, making for a smooth and streak-free wiping motion. The patented universal adapter ensures easy installation and a fit that matches most vehicles out there. Both of these factors also make for quiet operation, even at high speeds. Pro tip: If you combine these blades with Rain-X water beading solution, you’ll have an even clearer view of the road ahead.
Compared to some other wiper blades, the attachment point is bigger and bulkier than it needs to be, which can be a bit of an eye-sore. We also noticed that these tended to be a bit bigger than indicated on the packaging. That means you should probably buy them in a size smaller for the best fit. Other than that, this model works well and definitely deserves a mention.
- Make it a habit to check your windshield wipers every time you stop for gas. This will help you identify wear and tear earlier, leading to a better-maintained car.
- Consider using a wiper blade that’s slightly shorter than the recommended size to reduce drag. The difference in the area wiped is hardly noticeable, and you’ll be saving the wiper motor some trouble, extending its overall life and improving wiper performance.
- When one wiper blade is due for replacement, make sure you also switch out its mate. That keeps them working in sync, without any streaks, gaps, or skids.
- If you live in colder climates with frequent frost and snow, make sure to never use your windshield wipers to de-ice your windshield. This practice will wear them out quickly, costing you more in replacement costs in the long run.
- Extend the life of your wipers by cleaning the windshield frequently. This will remove dirt and debris that can otherwise weaken the rubber of the wiper blades.
- You can further improve the performance of your windshield wipers by giving them a good cleaning every once in a while. This will help prevent wear and tear, and it will ensure that your wipers are making good contact with the windshield, which will keep them working at peak level.
Q: How often do I need to replace my windshield wiper blades?
A: Every six to nine months is the rule of thumb for windshield wiper replacement. If you start to notice a decrease in performance or wear and tear on the wiper blades, replace them sooner. That’ll help protect the windshield and will keep your vision clear when driving in bad weather.
Q: Are silicone wiper blades better than natural rubber ones?
A: The overall performance and longevity of silicone wiper blades tend to be higher than that of rubber ones. That gives you an advantage when it comes to replacing them, as silicone blades will last longer, saving you money in the long run. They’re also completely biodegradable, making them the more environmentally friendly choice.
Q: How do I figure out my windshield wiper size?
A: A couple of different approaches can help you out here. The quickest way is to check your car’s owner’s manual, which should list all of the different required blade sizes. A simple Google search should also turn up the right result. As a last resort, you can always measure your existing wiper blades.
Q: How do I get ice off my windshield wipers?
A: If you live in a snowy climate, you’re probably going to have to deal with an iced-up windshield and snow-covered wipers often during the winter. Use a gloved hand or a rag to manually clear off ice and snow from wipers and scrape the windshield to remove ice before you turn on your wipers.
Q: How do I clean my wiper blades?
A: The quickest and easiest way to clean off your wiper blades is by using a rag dipped in warm soapy water. This will clear off any dirt and debris that may have been hampering the wiper blades’ performance.
Q: Are the wiper blade refills a good choice?
A: Yes and no. If you’ve got the time and patience to peel off the old rubber from your blades using needle nose pliers and some elbow grease, refills can be a good choice. But if you’re like most people, you’ll want to replace your blades quickly and easily, so choose a blade and arm combo.
Our top pick is the PIAA 95055 Super Silicone Wiper Blade. The pure silicone squeegee and sleek design make it one of the best windshield wiper blades on the market.
If you’re looking for the benefits of silicone at a lower price point, check out the Bosch ICON Wiper Blade. A dual-rubber blend gives you the best of both worlds, rewarding you with superior all-weather performance.