Hands-On Review: Testing the Best Silicone Wiper Blades for Long-Lasting Clear Views
We tested long-lasting, premium performance silicone wiper blades to find the best for every driver.
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Silicone windshield wiper blades offer improved performance over standard rubber wipers. Silicone performs better than rubber right out of the box, and the wiper leaves a water-repellent hydrophobic layer on the windshield over time. This secondary feature is just a bonus, though. The main advantage of silicone wiper blades is durability measured in years instead of months; they can last four times as long as conventional rubber blades.
What’s the catch? Premium performance and durability comes with a price to match. That puts silicone windshield wiper blades into a class of their own. If the thought of spending what a pair of wipers costs on a single silicon wiper leaves you wondering if it’s worth the investment, you’re not alone. We wanted to find out too, so we gathered up a selection of silicone wiper blades and put them to the test.
Michelin Endurance XT
- Improved durability across a broader range of temperature extremes
- Duckbill shaped leading edge deflects water and reduces wind noise with nature-influenced design
- Unconventional break-in procedure required for peak performance
- Rounded leading edge shape can clash with some design language
- Six-point frame design maintains even pressure across the length of the silicone blade
- Premium powder coated finish outshines the competition in style
- Slightly heavier than its conventional frame-style silicone wiper competitors
- Glossy finish and dual logos might not be for everybody
Rain-X Silicone Endura
- Flexible beam resists ice buildup
- Time-proven Rain-X windshield treatment technology with every wiper sweep
- Lasts up to two times longer than standard rubber wipers
- Universal connector is a compromise in some applications
- Modern beam-style can look out of time on older vehicles
About Our Test of the Best
We researched, purchased, and tested our silicone wiper blades in simulated and real-world conditions. We rated each pair of wipers based on ease of installation, fitment, the all-important wiper arm connector, value, and overall performance. We didn’t have three or four years to gather long-term testing data, so we only chose proven manufacturers who stand behind their products. All of the test wipers use a silicone blade element. Blends were not considered.
The higher cost of silicone wiper blades puts them into a premium category that may or may not be the best choice for you or your ride. On the plus side, higher upfront costs can be offset by superior long-lasting durability. Put simply, replacement silicone windshield wiper blades have the potential to outlast the vehicle they’re attached to. Conversely, a single pair of silicone wiper blades represented around 15-17 percent of our Toyota Starlet test vehicle’s initial purchase price.
Windshield Wiper Blade Pricing
- Under $10: Some silicone wipers lurk in this range. Quality can be a gamble. You might find a brand name here, but be wary of knockoffs.
- $10 to $20: You’re getting closer. Top-quality refills along with a few premium-brand silicone wipers barely make it under the high number.
- $20 and up: Most single silicone windshield wipers crest the two-sawbuck mark into a class of their own. Long-term durability can close the top-tier price gap.
Frame or Beam
Our test wipers fall into the conventional or beam category. Take the type of wiper that came with your vehicle into consideration when choosing which type of silicone wiper is best. Beam-type wipers have advantages over conventional frame styles, but your vehicle generally works best with its stock wiper style. Our older test vehicles performed best with the frame wipers. The majority of blade wiper connector adapters place the arm too high and can result in unwanted deflection.
The connection between the wiper arm and the windshield wiper blade is the most important consideration when choosing aftermarket replacements. The best wiper blade in the world is also the worst if it doesn’t fit. Universal connectors can be too much of a one-size-fits-all compromise and sometimes don’t fit all. All of our test wipers are 16-inch, so make sure to check out the manufacturer catalog and get the right fit for your year, make, and model.
Best Silicone Wiper Blades
Excellent performance, realistic durability claims, and ready availability earned the Michelin Endurance XT our overall Best Silicone Wiper pick. The advanced silicone compound blade can handle searing 195-degree heat and remains flexible down to minus 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The well-designed connector made installation a snap.
Michelin recommended a clean windshield like any other manufacturer, but the break-in procedure was a little unusual. The instructions stated to run the new wipers on a dry windshield for at least five minutes to break in the Endurance XT QuadTech 4-layer coated silicone blade. We’re not sure of the science involved in the procedure, but we do know that it worked.
The duckbill-shaped aerodynamic leading edge was particularly effective against water in static and road tests. Our spray testing rig was so appealing to the Pekin ducks next door that they came over for some water of their own. Their beaks likely shed water better than the wiper, but the Michelin duckbill design beat the low-speed waddlers in high-speed noise reduction. Check your local laws first if you want a flock of ducks.
The SilBlade Premium is the company’s conventional frame style product. The traditional steel chassis wears a powder-coated finish for durable good looks, and the six-point structure maintains even blade pressure on the windshield. SilBlade’s patented silicone rubber formula adds graphite and PTFE for improved performance from the same stuff that makes fried eggs slide out of the pan.
Hooking the Silblade up to the wiper arm was uneventful, and the pre-installed connector fit firmly on the bayonet arm with a positive click. No special break-in was required, and the Silblade delivered excellent performance minutes after installation. The connector kept the wiper in the zone across the entire sweep with no deflection. The classic style looked right on the windshield, and the glossy finish appeared darker at a distance.
The Silblade Premium and its frame-type PIAA contender developed a slight squeak at the bottom right of the passenger side wiper arm sweep. We made a few adjustments to the Starlet’s wiper arms and dialed it out. The same noise in the same spot across two sets of windshield wipers means that the wipers are not the problem. Suspect wiper arms or a greasy windshield if your new wipers chatter and squeak worse than the old ones.
The PIAA Super Silicone wiper blade was in a tie with our best frame pick, but an inexplicable lack of a bayonet wiper arm connector bumped the proven performer into the second-place slot. To be fair, the bayonet-style wiper arms on our vintage Japanese vehicle test fleet aren’t exactly commonplace these days. We fished around in the bucket-o-connectors from windshield wipers past and found a pair of adapters that worked.
Each wiper came with its own windshield pre-treatment package. Cleaning the windshield first and applying the pre-treatment added water-beading protection over the entire surface, and set the glass up for the silicone wiper blades. The simple yet effective frame design was a perfect match to the factory satin black trim, and a small PIAA logon on each frame was a premium finishing touch.
The PIAA Super Silicone wiper blades performed well in our test rig and out on the road. The windshield treatment helped the wipers get the job done, and the Super Silicone blades were silent into the dry transition. PIAA is the only company in our test that offers wiper blade refills. At roughly half the full wiper assembly price, refills can offset the initial high cost over time.
The Rain-X Silicone Endura nearly matched our Best Overall pick, but the Michelin XT Endurance connector design edged out the Rain-X contender on bayonet-style wiper arms. The beam style wiper is an excellent choice in the silicone wiper category and silently dispatched water as it left a coating of time-proven Rain-X windshield treatment.
The synthetic silicone blade material is formulated for use from a teeth-chattering minus 20 degrees up to rubber-deforming 194 degrees, and Rain-X claims the Endura can outlive its conventional beam wiper blades two to one. Proprietary graphite treatment helped the wiper blades glide across the windshield, and the Rain-X Endura remained silent in the crucial transition from wet to dry. The flexible leading edge resists ice buildup.
Our only fault with the Rain-X Silicone Endura was with the Uniclick connector. The design was far better than most, but like so many other beam style wipers, the mounting position left the wiper arm riding too high off the windshield. The resulting deflection was minimal but would have only worsened with time in an ongoing metal vs. plastic war of attrition that neither side would win.
More Silicone Wiper Blade Options
If you’re that person who likes plenty of options, we’ve got you covered. There are lots of highly-rated and well-reviewed silicone wiper blades on the market. While we can’t vouch for the following choices personally, we want you to be able to make a knowledgeable selection from an array of the top-selling silicone wiper blades currently on the market.
This is a straightforward and understated silicone wiper blade that encompasses a modern, frameless design that creates multiple pressure points throughout the entire length of the blade to eliminate streaky wiping. This type of design helps to cut down on snow and ice build-up along the blade as a bonus.
Patented silicone impregnated rubber blades deliver reliable all-season performance. This blade is also UV and heat resistant, helping to give it a longer lifespan. It’s designed to fit with 98 percent of vehicles, but you’ll still need to double-check before purchase.
Unlike the PIAA Super Silicone Wiper Blade, this model doesn’t come with a windshield pre-treatment, but the silicone rubber that the blade is constructed from continually reapplies an active coating to your windshield to help water bead up and allow for streak-free wiping. Couple that with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee for one year from the date of purchase, and what have you got to lose by trying out these well-designed wiper blades?
A solid contender from a lesser-known competitor, the METO T6 Silicone Windshield Wiper Blades scores points for being a durable silicone wiper blade at an uber affordable price point. It also comes backed by a one-year warranty, so we feel the benefits outweigh the risks of this option.
These blades are compatible with fewer vehicle models than others but will still work with 96 percent of vehicle makes out there. One common complaint is that the blades come with one of the adapters already affixed to them, so if that’s not the adapter that suits your car, it can be difficult and frustrating to remove it and install the right one.
These blades encompass a streamlined shape designed to help eliminate wind noise and streaking, as well as minimizing snow and ice accumulation on your windshield. Many users report that these blades do tend to start streaking at some point and that when used with very little rain on the windshield, they tend to be a bit squeaky.
Another budget-friendly option is the AVA Silicone Windshield Wiper. The 100 percent silicone blade strip offers a long lifespan and impressive performance. They borrow from other manufacturers with a frameless design to minimize snow and ice accumulation and optimize visibility in extreme weather scenarios.
A dual-tensioned spring construction within the blade ensures a consistent downforce that gives you 100 percent blade contact with your windshield. One thing to note is that there doesn’t appear to be a warranty period with this brand, as there is with many other higher-end silicone blades.
This model of the wiper blade is also only compatible with J-hook wiper arms and doesn’t come with any adapters for other types of design, so the amount of vehicles this blade will fit with, while still numerous, is the most limited on our list of silicone wiper blade options.
Silicone Windshield Wiper Tips
- Exercise your windshield wipers occasionally to keep the blades supple. Silicone withstands heat and UV rays better than rubber, but misuse can result in more damage than regular use. Run the wipers and washer pump now and again.
- All windshield wipers work best on a thoroughly clean windshield, and silicone wipers are no exception. Follow the manufacturer’s windshield prep and wiper break-in and recommendations for best results.
- Silicone wipers are sensitive to wiper arm condition and angle. We encountered a minor squeak with the Silblade and PIAA frame wipers in precisely the same spot and dialed it out with some quick arm adjustments.
Q: How often do I need to replace my windshield wiper blades?
Durability is the main advantage to silicone windshield wipers, but inspecting your windshield wiper blades, arms, and washer fluid system in the spring and fall is a good habit to have. Replace any cracked, worn, deformed, or just plain worn out wiper blades or refills as needed. Don’t forget to put winter windshield washer fluid before the deep freeze and road salt season.
Q: Are silicone wiper blades better than natural rubber ones?
That depends on what you’re looking for from a windshield wiper. Silicone wiper blades deliver excellent performance, but the real advantage is durability and longevity across a wide temperature range. If a better wiper blade is the one you only have to change once every few years, then yes, silicone wiper blades are better than natural rubber equivalents.
Q: Will the wipers in this review fit my car?
If your ride rolls with 16-inch bayonet wiper blades, then the answer is likely yes. If not, then no. There are two key factors in ordering the windshield wipers for your ride: blade length and wiper arm connector type. Measure the length of each wiper blade and note the connector type. Double-check with the manufacturer for the correct fit before ordering.
Q: How do I get ice off my windshield wipers?
Carefully. Silicone withstands deep freezes better than rubber, but take care not to bend the frame, break the connector, or deform the wiper arm. A gentle twisting motion similar to emptying an ice cube tray usually works. Raise the windshield wiper arms off the windshield ahead of the big storm to avoid windshield freeze up.
Q: How do I clean my wiper blades?
About the same way you would clean a silicone kitchen spatula. The idea is to remove oils that can cause streaking and noise. Hand dish soap and water is a grease removing safe bet, and household isopropyl alcohol on a cotton ball is another winner. Silicone wiper blades may require specialized care depending on the manufacturer, so read up on any cleaning restrictions. Clean the windshield while you’re at it.
Q: Are wiper blade refills a good choice?
In this case, yes, especially if your stock windshield wipers accept refills. PIAA offers a wide range of premium silicone wiper blade refills so you can experience the advantages of silicone wipers without the steep entrance fee. Check out the selection of PIAA silicone wiper refills or head over to PIAA for a complete wiper blade refill rundown.
Our best overall Michelin Endurance XT and close contender Rain-X Endura are both excellent choices in beam-style silicone wipers for modern vehicles. Consider Silblade Premium or PIAA Super Silicone if your ride came with frame-style wipers from the factory and long-term durability is a primary concern.
Stepping up to silicone windshield wipers can be a considerable investment, so weigh the cost with your location, driving style, and how long you want to keep what you’re driving now. For some, silicone wiper blades won’t be worth the investment; for others, they’ll be a crucial upgrade.
This article has been updated with new products and information.
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