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Best Replacement Windows

There is always going to be debate as to what the best replacement windows are - and with good reason. Contractors, homeowners and industry experts all have their favorites and least favorites based on personal experience. Below are our manufacturer recommendations organized by frame material and price point. For additional information on pricing, see our window replacement cost estimator.

Entry Level Vinyl Models | Mid Range Vinyl Models | High End Vinyl Models

Fiberglass Windows | Wood Windows

Composite Models | General Questions

Best Entry Level Vinyl Windows

Simonton Daylight Max Series

What We Like: The Simonton 7300 series, also known as the Daylight Max, is a nice looking window that uses a narrow frame that adds to the pleasant aesthetic. It suffers a bit on the performance end, but isn't bad for an entry level vinyl window. Consumers can expect a .32 U-factor and .11 air infiltration.

My advice for consumers would be to upgrade to a better glass package in order to lower the U-factor and SHGC, especially on those south facing windows that get lots of sun.

More Simonton window costs.

Best Window In Its Class

Ply Gem Pro Series

What We Like: The Ply Gem Pro window is a better than the Contractor, more of a solid mid grade window, but is still often marketed as a builder grade window - thus the name Pro. The Ply Gem Pro does not include a reinforced sash as you will find on the Premium Series, but doesn turn in fairly respectable numbers

More Ply Gem pricing.

Milgard Styleline Series

What We Like: Milgard's Styline is a thinner framed, more modern looking window with uneven sight lines and more glass than the Tuscany. Performance wise, you are giving up some energy efficiency, but for the price point, the Styleline is a good entry level window. Milgard is a good option on the west coast and western half of the country in general. They also make a vinyl window specific to Texas, so consumers here ought to take a look at this option.

More Milgard window prices.

Wincore 5400 Series

The Wincore 5400 series is the lower end vinyl window from the West Virginia based company that was established in 2007 by former employees of Simonton. The 5400 window comes standard with a contoured frame, double strength glass, argon fills and low-e glass. It uses a sloped sill, cam locks, constant force balance, a U-channel spacer, and contoured grids. It is is available as a double hung, picture, slider, bay, bow window, and in several geometric shapes. All in all, a decent entry level vinyl window

More Milgard window prices.

Silverline 9500 Series

What We Like: Silverline isn't really known in the industry as a high quality manufacturer. However, their 9500 Series is pretty decent for a budget vinyl window. This entire category is tough because we don't usually recommend entry level vinyl windows to consumers. We feel that mid range vinyl windows offer better long term value for homeowners. Nonetheless, we also understand that there is a place for the budget category.The Silverline 9500 series just barely squeaks in our budget category.

More Siliverline windows costs.

Best Mid Range Vinyl Windows

Here are four top contenders and manufacturers in the mid range vinyl window category. This is the category that we often recommend for budget-conscious consumers as it often offers the best long term value or bang for your buck. While it's true that the prices here are not what many consumers define as cheap, these windows will last for a couple of decades (assuming good installation) and shouldn't cause you too many issues.

Okna 500 Series

What We Like: The Okna 500 window delivers some excellent performance and overall craftsmanship. Consumers can expect a U-value of 0.25, AI 0.02, SHGC 0.28, and DP50. In addition, it has some upgraded features for the Okna 400 series, including a better sill wall and Duralite spacer.

More Okna window prices.

Best Window In Its Class

PGT 2300 SpectraGuard Series

What We Like: PGT is a Florida-based manufacturer and makes quite a few good mid range window models. The 2300 SpectraGuard as one of our favorites and is often priced very competitively The only real issue with PGT is their somewhat limited distribution. They are definitely available in Florida and Georgia, but they may be hard to find in states away from the coast.

PGT Costs

Soft-Lite Classic Series

What We Like: The Soft-Lite Classic is an older model, similar to the Soft-Lite Pro, and comes standard with some very nice features and options. The Classic tops my list for quality mid range vinyl windows. Many dealers and distributors don't carry the Classic and therefore you can find some great deals out there.

More Soft-Lite window costs.

Zen Lotus Series

What We Like: Zen is a franchise of Soft-Lite and has quite a number of branches in major cities in the mid west and along the east coast. The company typically sell three models, the Karma, Nirvana, and the Lotus, which are actually relabeled Soft-Lite Bainbridge, Classic, and Pro Series. The Pro Series is a good window and comes with a .07 air infiltration, which is quite good. Not in the top tier of vinyl windows, it is a very solid performer.

More Zen prices.

Best High End Vinyl Windows

Here are four top contenders and manufacturers in the high end vinyl window category.

HiMark Enviro-Star 800

What We Like: The HiMark Enviro-Star 800 is considered an upper echelon vinyl window that is made by Okna and sold through HiMark, which is an exclusive dealer and requires that consumers use HiMark installers for the job. This ensures quality installation, that will typically cost a bit more. (I personally think this is a good trade off in most cases.) The window offers EXCELLENT performance data, looks great, and is extremely well made. One of if not the best vinyl window out there.

More Himark pricing.

Best Window In Its Class

Sunrise Restorations Series

What We Like: The Sunrise Restorations window is reinforced with fibercore on both the meeting rail and the vertical sash, features a Max Edge spacer and foam filled chambers. The frame and sash are fairly narrow, which gives the window a nice slender and clean look. The window incorporates a clever tilt sash mechanism and comes standard with a high transparency screen. In addition, consumers will be impressed by the high quality frame finish. Performance wise, consumers can expect the low-e glass and argon fill option to deliver a U-factor around of 0.27 and an air infiltration of 0.04, both quite impressive.

More Sunrise window prices.

Okna EnviroStar Series

What We Like: So the Okna 800 EnviroStar and the HiMark 800 are the same window. But we had to include again because it's our favorite vinyl window. The 800DX is durable and strong with a frame thickness of 0.80, U-value is 0.25, and air Infiltration is 0.01, which literally cannot be beat in terms of the AI numbers. The Okna 800 is available in a variety of colors and finishes for both the interior and exterior, plus some excellent hardware options including brass.

More Okna windows prices.

Soft-Lite Elements Windows

What We Like: Performance speaks volumes: an air infiltration of 0.01 - 0.02 and a U-factor of 0.19. Both of these numbers are near impossible to beat. The window is slender and attractive, using a bead and cove design, and comes with a whole host of impressive components and features.

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Best Fiberglass Windows

Here are four top contenders in the fiberglass market. For more in depth head to head comparisons and prices, see our pages on the best fiberglass windows.

Marvin Infinity Series

Price Range: $600 to $750 fully installed

More on Marvin Infinity window.

Best Window In Its Class

Marvin Integrity Series

Price Range: $500 to $650 fully installed

More on Marvin Integrity window.

Inline Windows

Price Range: $800 to $900 fully installed

More on Inline windows.

Milgard Ultra Series

Price Range: $550 to $650 fully installed

More on Milgard windows prices.

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Best Wood Windows

Here are four top contenders and manufacturers. For more in depth head to head comparisons and pricing, please refer to our article on the best wood windows.

Marvin Ultimate

Price Range: $800 to $1000 fully installed

More on Marvin windows prices.

Best Window In Its Class

Jeld Wen Auralast Series

Price Range: $400 to $650 fully installed

More on Jeld Wen window reviews.

Andersen 400 Series

Price Range: $700 to $900 fully installed

More on Andersen window prices.

Loewen Standard Wood Clad

Price Range: $900 to $1000 fully installed

More on Loewen windows.

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Best Composite Windows

Here are two top composite contenders and manufacturers. Check out all composite windows here.

Okna Starmark

Price Range: $700 to $800 fully installed

More on Okna window reviews.

Best Window In Its Class

Andersen 100 Series

Price Range: $500 to $650 fully installed

More on Andersen reviews

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More Best Replacement Window Options

» Best Aluminum Options
» Best Double Hungs
» Best Hurricane Impact Options
» Best Storm Window Options
» Best Single Hungs
» Best Soundproof Windows

Compare Frame Options

Aluminum vs. Wood
Composite vs. Aluminum
Composite vs. Fiberglass
Composite vs. Wood
Fiberglass vs. Aluminum
Vinyl vs. Aluminum
Vinyl vs. Composite
Vinyl vs. Fiberglass
Vinyl vs. Wood Clad

General Questions On The Best Windows

Best Replacement Windows Cost

Hello, I have had presentations from Install America, Tip Top and phone/email communications with Brad at Zen Windows. After these meetings, I am very interested in the pricing of the Soft Lite Elements and Imperial with an exterior color (15 - 35 x 70" double hung replacement windows).

Erica - Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

Erica, I can't give you any exact pricing, but the Soft-Lite Element or Imperial LS will be more expensive than any of the windows you have looked at so far, but also quite a bit better. Once you get the bid from your Soft-Lite dealer, make sure to use the bids you have to see if the Soft-Lite dealer will come down off his initial estimate.

Or when he comes out, tell him you already have three bids and price is an issue so if he would give you his best price out of the gate you would really appreciate it!

On average, that window will run $650 to $850 for a normal sized window completely installed.

Tim - Site Editor - from 2017

Best Window On The Market?

Hi Dane, We finally got our other quotes:

Ideal windows R5 for 23 windows and 8' patio door $14,717 (the sales guy got a little too aggressive for my taste)

Soft-Lite Imperial LS - we were quote $481 per window, $2300 for the patio door.

Let me know if this is reasonable and if you ever heard of Ideal windows.

Thank you.

Olga - Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

Olga, Ideal windows make a good mid grade vinyl window and the price quote received looks very fair. However, the Soft-Lite Imperial LS is a fantastic window (one of the best windows on the market) and that is a great per window price you received! I would absolutely go with the Soft-Lite quote if it were me.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2017

Best Windows In Sacramento

I've received several bids but I was concerned because I have no idea what he is talking about and I did look in the brochure he left, but it does not tell me anything. I want to get other bids, but I do not even know what I am comparing anything to or what is different or better. Unfortunately I do not really know anyone in my city who has done these kind of remodels, and feel so out of sorts on getting informed. Looked on line and found your blog, so thank you. Any information or guidance is greatly appreciated.

I live in the Sacramento California area. I have a 2 story condominium built in 1971, facing a somewhat busy street. I think for the most part it was a rental before I bought it in 2002, so there were no upgrades and it still had the green 1970's carpet and mirrored walls, lol. When the market tanked I found myself upside down so no room to do a HELOC, or to refinance. I will probably be here for another 5 years and hope to rent to a Grad student/couple attending Sac State.

Portia - Homeowner - from 2017

[Site Editor's Answer]

Portia, if you are in Sacramento, I would get a bid from a local company who carries Milgard, Anlin and Amerimax. These are kind of my goto west coast window recommendations. Go with their mid range vinyl window model for each. You may also want to get a bid from a Simonton dealer, although I would stick to the Reflections 5300 or 5500 series or the Impressions Series from them.

Dane - Site Editor - from 2017

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