Best Windshield Covers

Updated November 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

31 Models Considered
68 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
172 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best windshield covers

Last Updated November 2019

Cold temperatures make it hard to find the motivation to run out the door first thing in the morning. Add scraping your windshield to the list, and it becomes that much harder to make it to the car. Frozen fingers, snow in your face, and reaching every last corner are too much when it’s already freezing outside. The answer: a good windshield cover.

Windshield covers eliminate the need for scraping and give you a full field of view as soon as you hit the road. But some are more effective and easier to use than others, and price differences often reflect the quality of the materials and construction used to make the cover.

Our shopping guide will walk you through the considerations you’ll need to make. If you’re ready to buy, check out our recommended windshield covers.

Windshield covers for frost, ice, and snow are not the same thing as windshield shades, which protect your car’s interior from the sun. However, some perform double duty and also create a UV protective barrier.

Key considerations

Size
Windshield size and shape varies by the make and model of the car, and windshield covers come in as many different sizes. Before you buy, measure your windshield so you have a basic idea of the dimensions. The last thing you need is a windshield cover that’s too small, leaving portions of your windshield open to the elements. Manufacturers may make a windshield cover in several different sizes while others are designed for a close, almost custom fit. If you plan to use the cover on more than one car, buy a cover that will fit the largest car on which it may be used.

Installation ease
Installation ease varies by the attachment design of the windshield cover. For example, some covers require that the car doors be open during installation. If you’re driving solo, you’ll have to manage that process on your own, which can take time, especially if it’s windy. Other designs have adjustable straps with buckles and attachment hooks while still others use elastic straps and rearview mirror pockets for installation and fit. You’ll have to decide how much effort you’re willing to put into the installation process as you’ll have to go through it every time you use the cover.

Coverage
How much coverage do you want? Some windshield covers may only protect the windshield itself while others may also cover the rearview mirrors, the top of the car, side windows, and the rear windshield. An extended coverage area may keep ice and snow off a greater portion of your car, but it usually takes longer to put the cover on.

EXPERT TIP

Be sure to shake out the windshield cover to remove as much snow and ice as possible before putting it in the storage bag.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

UV protection
Ice and snow aren’t the only elements from which a windshield cover can protect your car. Some covers also include UV protective materials (much like a car sun shade) that reflect light and prevent sun damage to the interior of your car, making them a great choice for the summer months as well.

Attachment options
The way in which the cover attaches to the windshield makes a big difference in fit. In turn, the fit can affect how effective the cover is at protecting your windshield from ice and snow. The most common attachment features include:

  • Tie-down straps with hooks attach to the wheel well or the hubcap to hold the cover in place. Once the cover is positioned correctly on both sides, you can tighten the straps. This kind of attachment system works well with covers that are meant to fit a wide variety of windshield sizes, as tie-down straps offer a greater adjustment range.

  • Magnets used to hold covers in place are typically housed in a fabric pocket to reduce the chances of scraping the car’s paint. Covers with the magnetic attachment system work best in climates that don’t experience high winds, as wind can cause the magnets to slide. Sliding magnets, even those encased in fabric, can drag dirt and debris across the paint and scratch the car.

  • Elastic straps fit around rearview mirrors to help secure the windshield cover. They don’t have the adjustability of tie-down straps, but there’s no risk of scratching the paint or damaging any part of the wheel.

  • A door flap is a portion of the cover material that can be shut in the car door. Although this can be one of the most difficult types of systems to set up, it is also the most secure, as the cover cannot be removed without unlocking the car.
     

Rearview mirror pocket
Some covers extend to the rearview mirror with a pocket that fits over the mirror itself. The rearview mirror pocket not only protects the mirror but also holds the cover in place.

DID YOU KNOW?

Rearview mirror pockets allow you to remove the windshield cover and immediately jump in the car and go. If your windshield cover doesn’t come with them, they can be purchased separately.

Windshield cover prices

The convenience of windshield covers compared to the tough work of scraping ice makes them well worth the small price you pay. The most inexpensive models start at around $10 with the most expensive options coming in at just over $30. You can find models that offer UV protection, door flaps, and magnets at both the low and high end of the price range. The same is true for models that have rearview mirror pockets, adjustable straps, elastic straps, or magnets. The more expensive models tend to have thicker and higher-quality fabrics with batting and reinforced seams.

EXPERT TIP

Most windshield covers use a combination of attachment features. For example, door flaps to hold the top of the cover and straps to hold to the bottom.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Check the manufacturer’s size chart. While some aren’t all that helpful, others include the year, make, and model that fit each size.

  • Before you unroll the windshield cover, be sure to lift the wiper blades and lower them on top of the cover after installation.

  • For models with a door flap, start the installation by opening both doors and aligning the windshield cover across the entire surface before closing either door. Once you’ve got it adjusted, close both doors and tighten the straps or magnets for full coverage.

Other products we considered

For a reasonable price, the OASMU Car Windshield Snow Cover is a well-padded, UV protective windshield cover. It has door flaps for extra security and magnets with elastic straps that go around the rearview mirrors to help hold the cover in place. We were similarly impressed with the SnowOFF Car Windshield Snow Ice Cover. The large door flaps firmly hold this cover in place, making it a great choice for large windshields.

Windshield covers often come with a waterproof storage bag to prevent a wet mess from ending up in your car. If yours doesn’t, you may want to keep a waterproof bag in your car for an extra layer of protection.

FAQ

Q. Can the tie-down straps damage the finish on my car?
A. The straps themselves won’t damage your car’s paint job, but the hooks at the ends, if not placed properly, could. Anytime you attach something to your car, there’s a potential for surface damage. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for placement of the straps and hooks. If there are no specific guidelines, you might want to consider attaching the straps to the wheel itself rather than the wheel well or hubcap, where it could do damage.
 

Q. Can magnets damage my paint job even if they’re covered in fabric?
A.
Of course, bare magnets placed directly on the hood of your car can do damage but manufacturers place a barrier (fabric) between the magnets and the car. However, dirt and debris on your car can be dragged across the paint by the magnet in a strong wind or if you’re not careful when removing the windshield cover.
 

Q. Can heavy ice and snow cause the cover to rip?
A.
If the cover is made of light material and the ice and snow are heavy enough, it’s possible but not likely. Windshield covers are designed to be lightweight but durable. If you’ve got a particularly tough sheet of ice or thick layer of snow, carefully roll the cover towards the opposite side of your windshield until you’ve completely removed it. Once it’s removed, you can shake out any ice or snow without tearing the material.

The team that worked on this review
  • Angela
    Angela
    Editor
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Stacey
    Stacey
    Writer
  • Steph
    Steph
    Web Producer

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