Gutter Helmet vs. Leaf Guard - Differences & How to Choose

Written by Ivy

Jan 06 2023

Gutter Helmet vs. Leaf Guard - Differences & How to Choose

If you're unsure which is better—a gutter helmet or a leaf guard—you've come to the right place. We'll provide you with useful information about both products that will enable you to make the best decision.

You can easily find out all there is to know about leaf guards, gutter helmets, and their benefits and drawbacks right here.

Guter Company LeafFilter Gutter Helmet
BBB Rating A+ A+
Coverage Available in Canada and 43 states (except New Mexico, South Dakota, North Dakota, Arizona, Alaska, Wyoming, and Hawaii) 41 States: Not available in New Mexico, South Dakota, North Dakota, Nevada, West Virginia, New Hampshire, Hawaii, Nevada, and Vermont.
Years of Operation 17 40+
Installation Professional installation Professional installation
Gutter Guard Style Micro-mesh screen Reverse curve system
Material Stainless steel Aluminum

What Are Gutter Helmets and Leaf Guards?

For gutter protection against falling leaves, use leaf guards and gutter helmets. Both of them are installed on top of your gutters to prevent clogs and lessen how frequently you need to clean them.

To keep their gutters clear of obstructions, the majority of homeowners install leaf guards or gutter helmets.

Leaf guards are typically installed inside your gutter or at its top, whereas gutter helmets are installed on the gutter itself.

The main distinctions between leaf guards and gutter helmets are listed below.

Gutter Helmet vs. Leaf Guard

Gutter Helmets

Your home is shielded from falling leaves by gutter helmets. They are positioned directly above the gutter to prevent obstructions that could interfere with proper drainage.

Leaf guards typically have an outdated design compared to gutter helmets, which can be made of metal or plastic. They usually have a gutter-shaped design and are thick, so they attach to the gutters without any gaps.

There are a few different types of gutter helmets or gutter guard systems:

  • Gutter guards with a surface tension are the most popular kind and have a reverse curve shape. The reverse curve gutter guard can occasionally become clogged with debris, but other than that, they work well.
  • Guards made of mesh and screen are the most typical kind of gutter protection. They have an inner surface made of plastic or metal with small to large holes, similar to your window screen. Pine needles must not be allowed to enter, so the mesh holes must be smaller. Popular in this genre is the brand Leaffilter.
  • Pool noodles that you insert inside your gutters are what foam gutter guards are really made of. They do a good job of preventing leaf buildup, but they might also encourage the growth of mold, bacteria, and algae.
  • Bottlebrush gutter guards, also known as brush guards, are cylinder-shaped and resemble large pipe cleaners. They are effective at keeping out debris.

In one way or another, all gutter guards function by preventing debris from entering the gutter.


  • Gutter helmets are an effective way to prevent leaves and other debris from building up inside your gutters
  • They reduce how often you have to clean out your gutters
  • They're easy to install and block most small and large debris, without blocking rainwater


  • They're xpensive and require professional installation to function properly
  • Certain varieties continue to become clogged with smaller debris (pine needles, etc.)
  • Mesh type gutter guards may overflow in heavy rainfall

Leaf Guard

Leaf guards operate differently from gutter helmets because they sit on top of the gutters rather than inside of them.

They are essentially a curved "hood" that keeps debris out and directs rainwater straight from your shingles into the gutter through the scientific principle of liquid adhesion.

They are made of one continuous piece of aluminum and are sized specifically for your gutters. With fewer sectional inserts, problems (like clogging) are avoided.

Leaf guards are gutter covers designed primarily for use in homes with deciduous trees nearby because they prevent all types of small objects – including:

  • Tree branches
  • Leaves
  • Acorns
  • Pine needles
  • Berries
  • And more

Leaf guards prevent these things from clogging up your gutters in the fall when they begin to rapidly fall off the trees around your home.

Furthermore, you need not worry about leaf guards breaking because of their extreme thickness and durability.


  • They're durable and can withstand impacts from falling branches
  • They're wide and block the majority of debris
  • They reduce the need for gutter cleaning
  • Leaf Guards can also prevent icicles and ice dams from forming


  • They're one of the more expensive gutter solutions compared to gutter helmets
  • If they break (which is rare) you need to replace the entire section because they're custom-made

Leaf guards must almost always be professionally installed, which raises the cost of them even further.

Gutter Helmet Vs. Leaf Guard

Let's compare gutter helmets and leaf guards now that we are aware of their characteristics and the differences between them.

The key differences between them are shown below.


There are numerous manufacturers of gutter helmets. While some products come with lifetime warranties, others only last a year or a few years (the majority, if not all, have warranties that last at least 20 years). The kind and brand make a big difference.

In contrast, a single company produces leaf guards, which come with a lifetime warranty. Your leaf guards are thus lifetime guaranteed—until you sell your home or relocate.


One of the most desirable aspects of leaf guards and gutter helmets is that they significantly reduce how often you have to clean your gutters. You will only need to spend about 15 to 30 minutes cleaning your gutters once or twice a year after installing gutter helmets or leaf guards.

Why are these protectors still required when cleaning them? Regrettably, no matter the gutter cover you use, some debris such as dirt and grime will still find its way into your gutters.

Your gutters can become clogged, heavy, and damaged simply by collecting dirt. In contrast to leaves, twigs, acorns, etc. though, it takes longer to accumulate because it is smaller.

Furthermore, if you don't clean your gutters, mold, algae, mildew, and other toxins may begin to grow there, spread to other parts of your house, and slow the flow of water.


It's important to understand how effective gutter guards are. The majority of them are very good at getting rid of even the smallest pieces of trash. Even though mesh screen gutter covers are typically the most effective, it can be challenging for them to function properly in heavy downpours.

As a result, if the mesh isn't installed correctly, rainwater may overflow into your yard. Even if your gutters are equipped with mesh filters, a substantial layer of mud can accumulate there over time.

The innovative, curved hood design of Leaf Guards, on the other hand, keeps debris and rainwater out of the gutters. Price-wise, gutter helmets and leaf guards are very different. From $2,000 to $7,000 is the range of expected prices for leaf guards and installation.

Contrarily, the average cost of gutter guards and helmets, with installation, is between $250 and $1,500. You'll have to pay for it if you don't want to invest in leaf filter guard gutters or additional maintenance.

Remember that the price of gutters for your home can vary greatly depending on their length in linear feet. This is crucial to remember because Leaf Guards are a more durable solution than a straightforward screen that snaps over your gutters.


Between Leaf Guards and gutter helmets, there is a sizable price difference. Leaf Guards and installation cost between $2,000 to $7,500 on average.

In comparison, gutter helmets and gutter guards cost between $250 to $1,500 on average, including installation.

But there's no such thing as a "free gutter," meaning you'll either have to pay for extra maintenance or leaf filter guard gutters. Also keep in mind that the price will vary depending on how many linear feet of gutter your home has.

It's important to note that Leaf Guards are a more long-lasting solution than a straightforward screen that attaches to your gutters.


If you're looking for a different option from the conventional gutter cleaning techniques, gutter helmets are simple to install. However, before using them, a certain installation process must be completed, either by professionals or by you.

In order for them to continue working properly over time, they also need routine maintenance.


Several materials, including vinyl, aluminum, copper, and stainless steel are used to make gutter helmets. To stop debris from accumulating inside your gutter system, they have polyester mesh or plastic grating installed on top of the gutters.

Usually made of the same material as gutter systems, leaf guards. This indicates that they will be primarily made of either aluminum, galvanized steel, or copper, each of which has special qualities for long-term resistance to elements like rusting or corrosion.

Which One is Best for You?

It can be challenging to decide between gutter helmets and Leaf Guards. It really comes down to your budget, how much future maintenance you want, and which style you like best. (Read More: Are Gutters Necessary On A House)

Gutter accessories that sell well include Leaf Guards and gutter helmets.

In our opinion, any gutter protection is preferable to none at all.

When leaves are falling in the fall and clogging gutters easily, Leaf Guards shield your gutter from leaf intrusion.

They also have great accessories to protect your gutters from other kinds of debris, like pine needles, twigs, or acorns, which can easily be blown into them at any time of the year.

Gutter helmets, on the other hand, completely enclose a roof's guttering system, both above and below roof level, and provide total protection against all types of guttering blockages. By closing those points, they effectively bar almost all entry.

In our opinion, Leaf Guards appear to let fewer debris into the gutter and require the least amount of maintenance. They are the most costly, though.

What Does Leaf Filter Cost?

The price of leaf filters varies from $4.5 to $30 per linear foot of gutter. This wide range is based on whether you select leaf guards, perforated sheets, foam filters, or vinyl/metal screens. The price of leaf filters rises due to the need for professional installation.

Why Should You Use Gutter Helmets Or Leaf Guards?

The maintenance required by leaf guards and gutter helmets is decreased. Although they initially cost money, they ultimately end up saving you more.

In order to achieve this, they shorten the time between maintenance appointments and increase the gutters' and downspouts' lifespan.

For your gutters and your home, gutter helmets and leaf guards are both excellent defenses.

When is It Necessary to Clean Your Gutters?

Regardless of whether you use leaf guards or gutter helmets, gutter cleaning should be done at least once a year. This will guarantee that your gutters are free of obstructions like mold and algae. If your home is surrounded by a lot of trees or if your gutters aren't protected, you might need to clean them more frequently than once a year.

What Are the Risks of Clogged Gutters?

Rainwater from your roof is channeled through gutters that run along the edge to downspouts that drain away from your house. Water can overflow from clogged gutters, causing leaks around the outside of your house.

The runoff could flood your yard, destroying the landscaping you worked so hard to create, and your foundation could be damaged. Water damage could also appear inside your basement's wall insulation and interior drywall.

You can stay away from this kind of issue if your gutters are clean. Leaf guards and gutter helmets prevent clogs and the related problems from occurring.

The Single Most Important Thing You Can Do to Maintain Your Gutters?

Maintaining clean, unclogged gutters is the best thing you can do to keep them in good condition. By doing this, you can avoid clogs and all the costly harm that backed-up gutters can cause to your home and landscaping. Gutter health depends on how well they are kept.

How Often Should You Clean Your Gutters?

Regardless of whether you have leaf guards, gutter helmets, or neither, you should clean your gutters at least once a year. By doing this, you can guarantee that your gutters won't become clogged or overgrown with algae and mold.

If you don't have any gutter guards and there are lots of trees around your house, you might need to clean your gutters more frequently than once a year; twice a year or once every three months are typical intervals.


Making a choice between gutter helmets and leaf guards can be challenging. It ultimately comes down to three factors: your spending limit, the level of future maintenance you want, and your personal design preferences.

Leaf Guards keep leaves out of your gutters in the fall when they are most likely to clog them. The function of gutter helmets is to act as a cover or shield to keep falling leaves from damaging the home.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Does Gutter Helmet Work?

Cleaning your roof gutter can be done for a lot less money if you use a gutter helmet. As a result of clogged sewers and stagnant water, it lessens the possibility of damage to your home and property.

Gutter Helmet Cost

For materials and installation, Gutter Helmet installations typically cost between $ 16.50 and $ 18.50 per foot.

Gutter Helmet Cost Per Foot

Several variables can affect how much it costs to install a gutter helmet. The price of a gutter helmet per foot can range from $15 to $30. which includes installation.

What is the Difference Between Gutter Helmet and Leaf Guard?

Leafguard installation its own "seamless one-piece" gutter, regardless of the condition of your existing sewer. Your current gutter receives a gutter helmet.

How Much Does Leafguard Cost Per Foot?

Costs for professional leaf guard installation range from $5.75 to $12.25 per linear foot for materials and labor. Typically, the material costs between $0.68 and $7.50 per linear foot.