6 Best Roof Shingles in 2023: Reviews & Top Picks
Most people won’t think about the shingles on their roofs until it is time to have the roof repaired or replaced. Suddenly, there are dozens of options for shingles to choose from. Each shingle has different colors, styles, warranties, and protections. The number of choices can be overwhelming, and no one wants to make a bad decision for something as crucial as their roof.
This list covers six of the best shingles and includes reviews of each. Our picks cover various styles, brands, and options that are all highly rated. After the reviews, we’ve provided a buyer’s guide with helpful hints and factors to consider when making a final choice.
A Quick Comparison of Our Winners (2023)
|Best Overall||GAF Timberline Shingles||
|Best Architectural||Owens Corning TruDefinition||
|Best 3-Tab||GAF Royal Sovereign||
|Best Warranty||Atlas Pinnacle Pristine||
|Most Durable||Atlas StormMaster||
The 6 Best Roof Shingles
1. GAF Timberline Shingles — Best Overall
GAF Timberline shingles are the best overall roof shingles on the market due to a combination of value, performance, and features. The shingles are architectural, which means that they have more volume to their appearance than typical 3-tab shingles without the high price that some brands charge.
GAF Timberline shingles also have the best fire rating available, which helps protect your roof in the event of the unthinkable. They’re covered by a limited lifetime warranty and include a nailing strip that gives Timberline a 99.9% accuracy rating during installation.
There are a few downsides to Timberline shingles other than some minor issues with the warranty. Roofing warranties are very particular about who and how a roof gets installed. GAF has some stipulations about the qualifications of the contractors that install their shingles. Not following the warranty to the letter could lead to decreased warranty coverage.
Otherwise, these shingles are a near-perfect blend of affordability, features, and performance, making them some of the best-selling and best-reviewed roofing products on the market today.
2. Owens Corning TruDefinition — Best Architectural
Owens Corning TruDefinition shingles are great architectural products that aim to give homeowners the best-looking roof possible. TruDefinition shingles use proprietary color technology to offer the richest and most vibrant colors possible. These excellent color options make the volume of the architectural shingles stand out. If you are looking for a roof with a lot of texture and character, you will want to give TruDefinition a serious look.
The shingles also come with a warranty that covers winds up to 130 mph, which will be more than enough for most homes. Owens Corning also treats their TruDefinition shingles with a special anti-algae coating which keeps your roof free from grime and mildew and further protects the excellent appearance of their product.
The biggest downside to TruDefinition shingles is that they are more expensive than similar brands. If you are stuck on a tight budget, these shingles might not be the most affordable option.
Find a roofing specialist in your area, and get free, no-commitment estimates for your project.
Consult a Roofing expert
Find a roofing specialist in your area, and get free, no-commitment estimates for your project.
3. GAF Royal Sovereign — Best 3-Tab
GAF Royal Sovereign shingles are standard 3-tab shingles at their best. 3-tab shingles are the most common and affordable type of asphalt shingles available on the market. GAF claims that over 10 billion individual Royal Sovereign shingles have been installed in the United States alone. The shingles are easy to obtain, easy to install, and come with a 25-year warranty.
There are plenty of color options to choose from, and they are affordably priced. GAF has designed its shingles with special micro-weave technology that reduces common problems such as splitting, cracking, and fading that other 3-tab shingles suffer from.
The biggest downside to GAF Royal Sovereign shingles is that they are so ordinary. They are not going to stand out, and they aren’t won’t add much in the way of curb appeal. If you are looking for a unique design or shingles with more volume than typical 3-tab shingles, Royal Sovereign will not appeal to you.
4. Atlas Pinnacle Pristine — Best Warranty
Getting a roof replaced can be a huge financial burden for average homeowners. Unsurprisingly, some people value warranties very highly when choosing a shingle for their home. If you want the best warranty, try Atlas Pinnacle Pristine shingles. Its architectural shingles have one of the strongest warranties on the market while still being attractive, high-performance shingles.
Atlas offers a lifetime limited warranty, a 10-year non-prorated protection period, a 15-year wind warranty, and a lifetime Scotchgard warranty. All of that adds up to a protection package that beats most competitors. Pinnacle Pristine shingles are rated to withstand winds up to 130 mph and are protected against streaks, algae, and fading.
However, despite the strong warranty protection, there are a couple of downsides. First, to get the maximum warranty protection, the shingles must be installed by certified Atlas Pro Plus contractors. Not many contractors will carry this special certification offered by Atlas, which might leave you hanging in terms of full warranty protection.
Secondly, some customers pointed out that Atlas shingles do not seal and cure properly in cold and cloudy weather. Atlas suggests installing your shingles in the summer rather than the winter, which might not work for everyone.
5. Atlas StormMaster — Most Durable
If you are looking for shingles that can withstand harsh weather conditions, you will want to look at StormMaster shingles by Atlas. The shingles are made from extremely tough fiberglass mixed with ceramic, granules, and asphalt to create a solid impact-resistant shingle system. StormMaster is the top-rated shingle for hail protection, and it stood up to 150 mph winds during testing. The result is a product that is much stronger than typical asphalt shingles.
The additional strength provided by the shingles can also get homeowners discounts on their home insurance. StormMaster shingles are not very common, and they are often a special order product which can raise costs. StormMaster also requires specialized roofing contractors to install them to get Atlas’s best available warranty.
These factors can sometimes turn off potential buyers. However, if you don’t mind waiting a little longer to receive your product, they are some of the toughest shingles available on the market.
6. AMAKE Western Red Cedar Shingles — Best Wood Shake
Not every home is right for asphalt shingles. Some houses need traditional wooden shingles. The AMAKE Western Red Cedar Shingles are some of the best wood shakes available today. They are sold in easy-to-haul bundles made from the best western red cedar. Cedar shingles are required in some niche oceanside markets. They also are used in historic homes and renovations that must stay true to an old building style.
Cedar shingles can withstand winds approaching 200 mph; they do not rot, are bug resistant, and withstand years of direct sunlight. Anyone skeptical about modern asphalt shingles will feel at home choosing to get traditional wood shingles instead. Despite the numerous benefits of wood shingles, there are also some serious downsides.
First, wood shingles are much more expensive than asphalt shingles. Second, they are not as common as asphalt, and some contractors aren’t qualified or comfortable installing them, so you might need to look for a specialized contractor to buy and install wood shingles. Lastly, there are no color options like you get with asphalt shingles. You can’t buy green cedar shingles. Cedar also turns gray over time as the wood weathers.
Buyer’s Guide: How to Select the Best Roof Shingles
Different Types of Shingles
This list primarily focuses on traditional asphalt shingles, but other types of shingles on the market have specific uses. There are six types of shingles available: asphalt, slate, clay, composite, metal, and wood. Most houses have basic asphalt shingles on the roof, but there are markets where other types of shingles are viable.
For example, some oceanfront homes are best suited for wood shingles. Some historic homes might require slate shingles to meet specific building codes. Asphalt shingles are the most widely available and the most affordable. Some shingles, like wood or composite, can be two or three times more expensive than typical asphalt shingles.
The Best Way To Buy Shingles
The best way to buy shingles is through a certified roofing contractor. Contractors often know the local building supply yards better than homeowners, and they can buy shingles in bulk and get special discounts that are unavailable to individuals. Buying shingles on your own will often cost more than going through a contractor.
However, you can tell your contractor which shingles you want them to buy for you, but the best way to get shingles is through a professional. Shingles also require a lot of extras like nails, starter strips, underlayment, and adhesive that homeowners might not be familiar with.
Consider Local Brands
All of the shingles on this list are from major brands. However, some shingle companies exist in small markets that don’t exist anywhere else. If your contractor recommends a small local brand, don’t automatically disqualify them. There are good shingle companies that are not available everywhere, such as Malarkey and CertainTeed.
Some states, like Florida and California, have stricter building codes than others, so some brands can’t sell in those markets. Researching local brands can help build a better comparison than only considering large national brands.
Always Know The Building Codes
If you are going to buy your shingles yourself, you must know your local building codes. Roofs are subject to some of the strictest residential codes and enforcement. There are rules governing how many nails each shingle must have, how much reveal a shingle can have, what kind of backer and adhesive a shingle can use, and more.
These rules differ from state to state and sometimes from county to county. You do not want to put a roof on or do a repair job and have it rejected by the local code enforcement office. A mistake could cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Do not buy shingles, especially in bulk, before you know that they meet all codes and regulations for your area.
All of these shingles are fantastic options for any roofing project, but this list is in no way exhaustive. However, we have a few favorites. Our top pick is GAF Timberline’s shingles because they come in several colors, are fireproof, and are more affordable than other brands of similar quality. If you have room in your budget for premium shingles, we suggest Owens Corning TruDefinition shingles. Their anti-algae protection is unmatched, and they’re more attractive than other architectural shingles.
Before making a choice, consult your roofer, check the local codes, and look for local brands with a stellar reputation. Having as much information as possible before settling on a shingle system is essential.
Featured Image Credit: paulbr75, Pixabay