8 Best Window Brands for Home of 2021
Often overlooked, the windows on your home affect everything from your curb appeal and resale value, to your monthly energy bills.
Having professionally installed, attractive, energy-efficient windows is an investment that pays off in more ways than one.
While you’re living in your home, you’ll see savings reflected in your monthly electric bill with energy-efficient windows.
When you’re ready to sell, having beautiful windows could positively affect your home’s value.
Replacing the windows on your entire home varies on how many windows you have, how large the windows are, and what kind of windows you intend on replacing them with.
With the median average cost per window being around $300 to $400 installed, you can estimate what your total project cost may be.
A total window replacement may be expensive in the short term, but the long-term energy savings and an increase in your home’s total value could put money back into your pocket.
Pella, aptly named for its roots in Pella, Iowa, is one of the most well-known brands of windows.
Pella windows are specifically known for their impeccable style and durability.
There are plenty of styles and options to choose from, including windows made from vinyl, fiberglass, and wood.
There are showroom locations nationwide, so getting started with Pella is fairly simple. I
f you don’t have a showroom near you or don’t feel like leaving your house, you can also schedule a virtual appointment online.
Your budget-friendly option from Pella is their vinyl windows; coming in at around $150-200 a window for their most basic option, you’ll get the most window for your dollar with this material.
If budget is no issue for you, consider their beautiful wooden windows. For wood, you should expect about $300-$500 per window, depending on the style.
|Lots of variety|
|Plenty of showrooms nationwide|
|Virtual Appointments available|
Andersen Windows and Doors is a Minnesota company with locations and authorized retailers nationwide.
They tout quality, performance, and according to them, one of the best warranties in the industry.
The Andersen windows are classified by series; they offer the 100-series as their entry-level windows, the 200-series as the mid-grade option, and the 400-series as their premium option.
The 100-series will start around $200 a window, while the 400 series jumps up to about $400 a window.
The price of your windows is determined by size, features, and materials. Don’t forget to include installation costs into your budget as well!
If you’re squeamish about warranties, take heart that Andersen has your back.
Their warranties are even transferable; meaning, if you sell your house, you can transfer the warranty to the new owner.
|Excellent warranty program||Expensive|
|Authorized realtors nationwide|
Jeld-Wen makes energy-efficient windows and doors in different styles and materials, ranging from basic vinyl to premium wood windows. They also do a wide range of custom options, which is helpful if you own a home with unique windows that may not fit the standard sizing. They are sold through local retailers such as Home Depot and Lowe’s, which is convenient and easy for the busy homeowner.
If you’re looking for a window that requires minimal upkeep, consider their Aluminum windows. At an entry-level price, you can get beautiful windows that are also easy to care for. Another stand-out option is their premium vinyl windows, which are sophisticated and low-maintenance at an affordable price.
|Lots of affordable options||More entry-level options than premium options|
|Sold at local retailers and available through many vendors|
Simonton makes affordable vinyl windows in stock and custom sizes. What sets Simonton apart is its budget-friendly approach to timeless window styles.
If you have a home with standard-sized windows, and you aren’t trying to spend a fortune, Simonton makes it easy to find classic window styles in stock sizes through your local home improvement retailer such as the Home Depot.
Even with their budget price tag, they use energy-efficient glass and partner with ENERGY STAR®, giving you confidence that you’ll conserve energy and save money on your monthly power costs.
|Plenty of affordable options||No premium material options|
|Low-maintenance material||Limited design options|
Weather Shield Windows and Doors is a family-owned and operated company that sells wooden windows, making it a more premium option right from the start.
Coming from humble roots, they are now a well-revered national window brand with authorized retailers all over the United States.
If you have a home with beautiful craftsman details, you’ll want the classic look of wood to continue your home’s legacy for generations.
Although beautiful and timeless, wood is typically more expensive than the more commonly-used vinyl or aluminum windows.
They offer traditional wooden windows as well as aluminum-clad wooden windows.
Weather Shield boasts a 20-year warranty for craftsmanship, and a 30-year warranty for wood-rot, so your investment is protected.
Because Weather Shield only sells wooden windows, their prices start at about $350 a window and continue to climb depending on what you choose.
|Excellent warranty program||Expensive|
|Premium wooden windows||Only sells wood windows|
Atrium Windows and Doors have been in business since 1946, which is a testament to their loyal customer following.
They are based out of North Carolina, and they also have a manufacturing facility in Dallas, Texas.
If you live in an area with lots of bugs, you may appreciate Atrium’s flex-screen offering.
It’s a unique product to them and it removes the bulky metal frame on a traditional window screen.
The slim, flexible frame of the screen allows for greater viewing space while still keeping pesky flying insects at bay.
Atrium windows range from about $250 up to $600 per window, depending on what style and material you choose.
They offer a variety of low, mid, and higher-end options with different customizations to meet your needs.
However, one thing to note is that Atrium does not sell directly to consumers.
Instead, they authorize installers who sell their products to customers, which means that you won’t be able to buy directly from Atrium.
|Lots of options (low, mid, high-end windows)||Can’t buy directly from Atrium|
|Flex-screen offering||Lower end options are more expensive than competitor options|
Marvin opened its doors as a family-owned company in 1912, making it one of the oldest companies on this list. They sell windows, doors, and skylights, and utilize local retailers to sell their products directly to consumers.
If you’re looking for some window inspiration, consider checking out one of their window collections, such as their Modern or Coastline collections. With a Modern window, you get larger viewing spaces enclosed by thin, clean frames. Meanwhile, Coastline gives you reinforced aluminum and impact-resistant glass, an important consideration in the coastal areas affected by tropical storms and hurricanes.
Marvin has a lot of different options to fit the needs of your home. Their selection is quite impressive actually, with their product line being inclusive of different sizes, shapes, and material needs.
|A variety of materials and options|
Window World is a well-established brand that touts the Good Housekeeping seal of approval. They sell their products through their Window World storefronts and have locations across the United States.
Window World is known for its energy-efficient Argon gas insulation and SolarZone Low-E glass coatings.
The Argon gas acts as an additional barrier between the heat and the window glass, trapping heat instead of letting it pass through into your home.
Meanwhile, the SolarZone Low-E coating is a microscopic metallic coating on the window’s glass that repels the sun’s longer rays during the summer months and invites in the sun’s shorter rays during the winter months.
They use vinyl for their windows, with stock size offerings and options for custom window sizes. The best part about vinyl windows? You won’t have to re-paint them!
|Durable windows||No other material options besides Vinyl|
|Energy-efficient coating and insulation options|
How We Decided
We utilized data from Consumer Reports on replacement windows for 2021 to compile this list of the best window brands for 2021.
For each chosen brand, we reviewed the following criteria: product accessibility, price, customer and professional reviews, and product features/options.
We chose products that were easily accessible through local or online retailers.
These brands are either available directly through their retail stores or sold through local retailers such as local hardware stores and national hardware stores (Lowe’s and Home Depot).
The brands in this list had generally affordable prices and stayed in the median market range for window replacement costs.
The median costs for window replacement, per window, hover around $200 to $300, including installation costs.
We chose brands that had generally good reviews on Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports rankings and ratings are unbiased and trusted, giving you insight into real people’s experiences with the brand and its products.
Determining factors in reviews and rankings include product durability and window weather resistance.
We included highlights of certain product features that could give insight into different brand’s offerings, and what sets brands apart from each other within the market.
By reviewing the brand’s webpage, we selected the most unique product features that set the brand apart from its competition.
How to Shop For Windows
Not all windows are created equal.
Navigating the different brands of windows and their associated costs and features is an important part of making sure you are getting the best value for your investment.
When shopping for windows, consider the following:
Are You Replacing or Putting in Brand New Windows?
This is an important question because believe it or not, windows for replacing and brand new windows for either new construction or putting in a window in a new area are quite different.
You'll need to figure this one out before you proceed.
Replacement window purchases are more common purchases than brand new placements as homeowners don't get new windows installed in new areas of the house as often as replacing old ones.
Size and Dimensions
As you might guess the exact measurements will be needed for either replacement or new windows.
If measuring for brand new window placements you should consult a contractor or a professional installer.
Measuring for a replacement is a bit easier and entails basically measuring the height, width, and depth. However, you need to make sure that you measure from the sills.
Why You Are Replacing or Installing New Windows
What are your goals for your window replacement or new installation?
Is it aesthetic purposes, increase my home’s value, energy savings, or are your old windows just falling apart?
How Is a Replacement Window Different From a New One?
We've already mentioned that a replacement is different from a new installation.
In fact, they pieced together and sold very differently, that's why sometimes you have to go through a different vendor or portal.
A new construction window meant to be installed in new opening in a wall with no sills or frames yet in place. They also come with nailed attachments or flanges on the exterior for installation.
Ironically, new installation windows are easier to install for a DIY-er than a replacement window.
Replacement windows come with no flanges or fin attachments and are meant to be slid right into the window. However, installation can be tricky and usually requires a professional to install.
What Are the Different Types of Windows
There are so many different choices when it comes to selecting the type of window you want. We'll go over the most common types of windows found in residential buildings and homes.
However, expect to find many more varieties available.
Casement windows were once the prevalent type of windows available in the United States.
While you can still find them in many homes across the country, they were replaced at one point by single or double-hung windows.
Casement windows are also the dominant window used in Europe. They swing open from the side, rather than opening from the bottom or top.
Casement windows can either be pushed open directly from the side, or a crank is used to wind it open and to close.
|Easy to open and close||Cannot be used with window air-conditioning units.|
|Excellent air flow and circulation||Placement has to be planned carefully to mind how the window swings out.|
|Air-tight seal and well insulated||Mechanical parts can break down|
Single-Hung and Double-Hung Windows
These windows are opened by sliding up or down. Single-hung windows are usually opened from the bottom and pushed up, with the top portion being stationary.
Double-hung windows can be opened from the bottom, and the top portion can be opened from the top.
|Affordable||Window might be hard to open or not stay open|
|Widely available||Seal is not as air-tight|
Bay windows add a beautiful ambiance to any room. They are commonly three windows angled to protrude from the house or building
They can, however, include many more windows and add more square footage to your room.
Bay windows add a lot of extra light and can even increase your home's curb appeal.
When there are more than three angled windows, this is call a bow window.
|Adds light and square footage to your home||Requires professional installation.|
Awning windows are windows that open from the bottom and top but swing up, rather than sliding up.
They are similar to casement windows but open in the other direction.
They offer the same advantages of a casement but with the added benefit of guarding the window from any rainfall when they are open.
They can come in all kinds of shapes but are commonly seen in rectangular form.
Like casements, they can be swung open directly but hand-cranked versions are more popular.
|Seal is weather-tight||Cranking mechanism can break down|
|Can remain open in rain||Like casements, awning windows have to be placed carefully to prevent obstructions.|
Picture windows are most commonly seen in new modern-style construction. These are usually large-scale although not necessarily floor-to-ceiling.
They frame your view of the outside much the way a picture frame does, hence the name.
Picture windows generally have a huge impact on the room they're situated in, not just allowing the occupant an incredible view of the outside but also letting a lot of natural light in.
However, it's important to note that these windows are stationary and cannot be opened.
|Beautiful views||Cannot be opened|
|Lets in lots of natural light||Special-ordered items/difficult to replace.|
|Weathertight seal||Difficult to clean the exterior side.|
Sliding windows are similar to single or double-hung windows, except instead of the window sliding vertically (up and down), the window slides horizontally (side to side).
These windows like casement windows are being used with increased popularity in new construction as they tend to be easier to open and close than single or double-hung windows.
|Easy to use||Can be difficult to open and close with wear and tear.|
|Inexpensive and widely available||Difficult to clean the exterior|
What Kinds Of Materials Are Window Frames Made From?
Windows come in a wide variety of materials, not just in the types of window.
This is another important topic to explore as the different materials can offer a difference in quality, durability, tightness in seal, and price.
Here we'll discuss the most common materials used in manufacturing windows.
Wood is probably the oldest material used to make windows, even before glass was used to make windows transparent!
It's still hugely popular as wood is a highly versatile material and offers quality, durability, and a good value for the price.
It is the most expensive option, but with proper maintenance, it will probably last the longest.
|Durable||Higher in cost|
|Versatile: Can be painted or stained any color, as well as shaped and designed in various ways.||Susceptible to rot, water damage, or insect/pest damage.|
|Offers good insulation from cold and sound.||Requires upkeep and maintenance such as painting and caulking.|
|Not as conducive to condensation as other materials.|
Vinyl windows which are actually made from PVC, is the obvious choice if you are looking to save money on new windows or replacements.
Although, the cheapest option, vinyl windows still provide good insulation. The downsides are that even though it is a good insulator, more materials and costs are needed to insulate against cold.
|Most affordable option||Color choices are limited as it's cannot be painted.|
|Versatile: can fit to any shape or size||Can appear dull and not aesthetically pleasing|
|Provides good weather and sound insulation|
Fiberglass, you may have noticed, is used to make many parts for construction including insulation. That's because it is a great insulator, making it a perfect material for windows.
It's especially useful for homes in areas with extreme heat or cold.
Also because the structure doesn't warp, frames can be made very thin, allowing for windows with more glass and therefore light.
However, because it is more because expensive than vinyl it's not as popular a material.
|Insulates well||More expensive than vinyl|
|Strong durable material||Material cannot be shaped or bent so many custom shapes are not possible.|
|Does not rust or fade||Fiberglass can appear flat and unappealing like vinyl|
Aluminum is another commonly seen option for window frames. It's versatility, light weight, and durability make it an obvious choice for many builders and homeowners.
Like any other materials it does have its drawbacks, the main one being that it's not a good insulator, particularly against heat. Additional measures should be taken to remedy this fact.
|Strong, durable, lightweight, and low-maintenance||Poor insulator|
|More versatile in how thin frames can be made.||Susceptible to corrosion in certain conditions|
|Less-costly than wood||Moisture can build up inside windows|