Which Window Brands Are ‘Best?’ U.S. News & World Report Weighs In

March 14th, 2024 by Drew Vass, Executive Editor
[This article was updated March 15, 2024, at 7:25 a.m.]

U.S. News & World Report released its top choices among window brands last week, including what the publication dubs the eight best. Categories ranged from Best Overall to Best for Innovative Designs and Best Warranty. In the process, editors picked up on many of the industry’s latest marketing points, advising consumers, “Your home’s windows do more for your property than inviting in natural light and boosting curb appeal; new windows contribute to energy savings by insulating your home, reduce outside noises for peaceful indoor settings, and improve home security.”

To formulate its report, U.S. News 360 Reviews contributor Ashley Needham consulted with two exterior home remodeling professionals, the article said.

Best Overall

Renewal by Andersen was selected as the Best Overall brand. In support of their selection, editors noted the brand’s “variety of window styles, available financing and specials, 20-year limited warranty, and [a] smooth installation process,” adding, “This company prides itself on its ‘hassle-free process’ which takes care of installation and clean-up for you for a hands-free experience.” Other key pros included financing and frequent specials, seven window styles to choose from and energy-efficient options.

On the downside, pricing isn’t available online, the publication warns, adding, “One thing to keep in mind with Renewal by Andersen is that professional reviewers agree its prices can be steep, depending on the series you choose and your design preferences.”

Best for Upfront Pricing

On the contrary, Pella was appointed Best for Upfront Pricing.

Among the other positives listed for Pella were fiberglass options, in-home consultations and starting rates available online. The company’s nine window styles “are relatively affordable” the article suggested.

On the downside, “… Pella Windows is a great company to consider for your replacement windows, but there is a precaution. Its customer service ratings are rather low,” editors warn.

Best for Innovative Designs

Marvin was selected as Best for Innovative Designs, with “attainable prices for a custom window design.”

The company was also noted for budget-friendly options, multiple base window types and collections, the availability of grilles between glass and energy efficient options.

“It also offers a variety of warranty options for every piece of the window, from exterior and interior finishes to the insulating glass seal, glass, and hardware,” editors wrote, adding, “Keep in mind that lifetime warranties are not offered and max out after 20 years.”

Best for Energy Efficiency

While other brands were noted for offering solid energy performance, it was Simonton that brought home Best for Energy Efficiency. The publication noted the company’s status as an Energy Star partner and its energy efficient performance features, including ProSolar low-E glass, gas filling and triple-pane units.

“Another perk to Simonton Windows is that its products come with an American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) Gold Label, which means they have been rigorously tested against air and water infiltration,” the article noted.

Also mentioned was Simonton’s transferrable “double-lifetime” warranty on some window components, which, according to the publication, “means that as long as the original owner is registered and in good standing with the product warranty, it can be transferred to one subsequent residential homeowner.”

On the downside, “Compared to others on our best window brands list, Simonton has one of the lower [Better Business Bureau (BBB)] ratings and poor customer reviews across third-party sites,” the article noted. [Editor’s note: a query of BBB’s website on March 15, 2024, returned 19 results for Simonton Windows & Doors, all with A+ ratings.]

Best for Customization

While Harvey Windows + Doors was selected as Best for Customization, it was durability that led the article’s comments. “Window durability is a crucial component for long-lasting performance,” editors wrote, adding, “Vinyl is one of the best window materials for durability, which happens to be Harvey Window + Doors’ specialty.”

At the same time, Harvey’s 12 window styles are fully customizable, the publication pointed out, including an array of glass types, grids and sash configurations.

The company’s high BBB rating was also noted.

“Most reviewers stated their representatives were swift to respond and that the windows themselves performed well,” editors wrote.

Best for Noise Reduction

Not every consumer-based review makes mention of sound proofing, but U.S. News & World Report added it to the list, dolling out Best for Noise Reduction to Soundproof Windows Inc.

For homeowners living in noisy areas, the company’s windows are made with laminated glass, the publication noted, along with an inner PVB layer that “prevents vibrations from entering your window and getting through to your home.”

Editors were also quick to warn that you shouldn’t expect windows to block 100% of noise. “These windows can reduce anywhere from 75% to 95% of sounds and are not replacement windows,” they added.

The company’s windows also carry the shortest warranty of any company on the list, at five years, the article pointed out.

Best Warranty

Speaking of warranties, Castle Windows was selected as the best among the brands reviewed—a transferable lifetime warranty for all products. Also noted was a 24/7 customer service portal.

On the downside, the company’s products are only available across 11 states, according to the publication.

Best Specialty

Finally, Milgard Windows and Doors was selected as Best Specialty brand.

“If you’re looking to increase the drama with the aesthetics of your windows,” editors recommended perusing the company’s specialty products. In addition to a wide range of styles, Milgard’s SmartTouch Innovation feature was also noted, which provides a “sleeker design with its less noticeable lock that’s easy to use and isn’t as bulky as traditional window locks.”

At the same time, Milgard only covers 15 states and you won’t find an abundance of generic window styles like you will with other companies, they warned. Also, prices aren’t disclosed until you get a full quote, the article said, though the company does provide project planning and online resources.

In the end, most brands offer similar options and features, the publication noted, including safety locks, energy efficient designs and multiple styles. The first consideration should always be quality and durability, the article suggested, adding, “Make sure you’re working with a reputable brand that offers high-quality windows with long warranties.”

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