Best Roofing Shingles: Compare Types, Styles, Benefits and Costs

best roofing shingles considerations
What’s the difference between metal and asphalt shingles? Should you go with clay or concrete? Here’s how to choose the best roofing shingles for your home.

Having to completely replace your roof doesn’t come cheap. It’s not something you want to have to do too regularly, so finding reliable roofing materials that will be longer lasting can help you save money.

Learn more about the best roofing shingles, what to consider when choosing roofing shingles, and more.

Types of Roofing Shingles

If you are looking to find long-lasting and inexpensive roofing materials, you may be wondering, “what’s the best kind of roof shingle?”

Because there are so many roofing shingle styles, there isn’t one clear winner, but we’ll take a look at some of the most popular types.

Asphalt Roofing Shingles

Asphalt shingles are the most common material used for roofing. There are many benefits of this type of shingle.

  • Easy to install, they last for 15-20 years, and they are a cost-conscious alternative to more expensive shingles.
  • Highly customizable: Asphalt shingles are available in many different colors.

Asphalt Roof Replacement Cost

Something that may not be obvious is that asphalt shingles are not completely made out of asphalt. They have a layer of fiberglass that is coated with an asphalt coating. To make the different colors of asphalt shingles, a coating of crushed rock granules is added with a protective layer.


Asphalt shingles are a great option for any climate. However, materials that allow for airflow between the house and your roof are better for hot climates.


While asphalt shingles are a more budget-friendly option for roofing materials, you can expect to pay $1.50-$5.50 per square foot of shingles purchased. 100 square feet is equal to one roofing square, making the cost of a square $150-$550 when using asphalt shingles.


The lifespan of your asphalt shingles will vary greatly depending on several factors. These include the installation, climate, and roof design. If your roof is well maintained, you can expect your asphalt shingles to last up to 20 years. 

Metal Roof Shingles

Metal roofs are more expensive than asphalt shingles, but still far cheaper than other types of roofing materials. Some of the metals that are used for metal roofing are steel, aluminum, and more.

Roofing materials - Metal House roof

If these types of roofs are well maintained, they have one of the longest lifespans. Here are some of the benefits of metal roofs:

  • They are lightweight
  • They are easy to install
  • You are able to recycle old metal roofing materials


Metal roofing materials are perfect for areas with extreme weather. In hot climates, metal roofs will not be as easily damaged by the sun as other materials.

These types of roofs are also protective against storms, including hail and extreme wind. Another benefit of metal roofs is that they reflect the sun, rather than absorbing it. This will keep your home cooler in the summer weather.


A metal roof is more expensive than other roofing materials. They typically cost between $6.50-$14 per square foot, including the installation. This means that the cost of roofing your entire home will be much more expensive.

However, because of the reflective properties, you will likely save money when it comes to heating and cooling your home.

Quality & Value

Because metal is such a high-quality material, metal roofs last much longer than typical asphalt shingles. They can last anywhere from 40-75 years. Their durable qualities will save you money in the long run if it means you don’t have to replace your roof!

Slate Tile Shingles

This type of roofing material is not commonly used. This is probably due to the expensive cost of slate tiles and how heavy they are. In fact, some homes that use slate roof tiles need extra framing to prevent damage to their homes. However, this high-quality material has a reputation for how long-lasting it is.

Loose slates on a house roof


Because these tiles are so durable, it makes them a great choice for climates with extreme cold. They will withstand harsh winters and big storms. Slate tiles also are good to improve the insulation of your home due to their high density.


Slate tile can cost as much as you are willing to pay for it. This means that while there are some slate tiles that only cost $4-$10 per square foot, you can find even higher quality slate tiles for close to $30 per square foot. Although it is an expensive material, it will likely last longer than other roofing materials.

Quality & Value

While some slate tiles may crack, it takes much longer to break down an entire roof made from this material. It can last anywhere from 50-100 years, making it one of the most long-lasting roofing materials on the market!

Composite Shingles

This type of roofing material is also known as synthetic shingles. Composite shingles are made from a mixture of many different things. These include:

  • Fiberglass
  • Asphalt
  • Recycled materials

These sustainable materials used to create composite shingles make it one of the more sustainable roofing options on the market. Some people even compare this material to plastic shingles because they are often made from recyclable plastics.


If you live in an area with extreme weather, composite shingles may not be the best choice for your roofing materials. With extreme heat, your composite shingles may begin to crack, curl, and decay. Each of these issues can cause serious damage to the roof below your shingles.


Composite shingles range widely in cost. The lower end of the cost for composite shingles is $7.75 per square foot, ranging up to $14.50 per square foot.

Quality & Value

Composite shingles are a roofing material with a shorter lifespan. While others last 10-20 years, composite plastic shingles may last anywhere from 7-20 years. However, if the less expensive price and the eco-friendly aspects of this roofing material are worth the limited durability, then this is a perfect roofing material for you!

How Long Do Roof Shingles Last?

As you can see throughout the descriptions of each type of roofing material, the longevity will depend on which material you use. They can last anywhere from 10-20 years for some kinds and up to 50-75 years for other materials.

multi-colored roof shingles

Because roofs are so expensive, it is important to maintain your shingles to get the most life out of them. Many things affect the state of your roof. These include:

  • The climate of your area
  • Wind storms
  • Fallen trees
  • Pests

These natural issues are completely out of your control when it comes to the lifespan of your roof. However, there are still some tips to keep your roof in great shape. Here are some ways to make your roof last longer.

Clean your Gutters Regularly

Not only does cleaning your gutter remove debris and leaves, making your home look better, but it can also prevent roof leaks. If you have a clogged gutter, it may lead to a leak in your roof.

Because water will not have a place to drain, it can get trapped and rot through the wood of your home. It also makes a perfect place for pests to nest, so make sure you remove build-up from your gutters at least twice a year.

Insulate Your Attic Properly

Making sure you insulate your attic and high ceilings properly is another way to increase the lifespan of your roof and to reduce leaks. Often, storms in the winter can lead to ice dams. These slowly melt and can cause water to drip into poorly insulated areas of your roof.

Don’t Pressure Wash Your Roof

Many people see pressure washing as an easy way to remove dirt and debris from your roof. While it is important to remove wet leaves and other debris to prevent mold growth, you shouldn’t use a pressure washer. Doing so can remove the protective coating on shingles and may even cause your warranty to be invalid.

Remove Moss From Roof Top

Another very important tip to keep your roof in great shape for longer is to remove the moss and algae that may grow on your shingles. If moss is growing on your roof, it will keep your roof wet and prevent water from draining properly.

Removing moss will prevent your roof from rotting and will keep water from getting underneath the shingles.

Trim Branches

While some weather conditions, like ice and wind, can cause unpreventable damage to your roof, one thing you can do to keep your roof safe during storms is to trim branches that hang over your roof.

When strong winds come, they may blow trees or branches onto your roof, causing damage to your shingles. If you trim these tree branches, it will help prevent this issue.

Another reason to trim your branches is to prevent rodents and pests from gaining access to your roof. If you have overhanging tree branches, squirrels and other animals may chew through parts of your roof and can even allow them access into your home!

What Kind of Roofing Shingles Should I Get?

While there are benefits to getting different types of shingles in areas with different climates, it may be best to consult a professional before deciding on what type of shingles would be best for you and your home.

roofer with hammer working on replacing roof

Find a contractor that serves your area and get a quote! Some factors that you may consider are what type of roofing materials fit within your budget, what style you like for your home, and what will be the most durable option for your climate.

It is important to get quality shingles that will provide value for years to come. By choosing the right shingles, you may not have to worry about your roof for decades. Contact a professional to get more information about roofing materials and to see if they offer quotes.

Cost Comparison for The Best Roofing Shingles

While the general costs of each of these roofing materials are shown above, that is just the average cost. Depending on which roofing contractor you select, the materials you choose, and other factors, you will have different prices available.

Try browsing contractors in your area to find a company that offers a great price with a reliable contract. This is the easiest way to get a real estimate on the cost of re-shingling your roof.

Environmental Factors and Sustainable Shingles

Another factor that you might want to consider when getting a new roof is if you want to use more sustainable roofing materials. As was mentioned before, there are a few materials that are more eco-friendly than others.


Something to consider is that not all roofing materials are environmentally friendly in the materials they use. However, they could be considered environmentally friendly if they last much longer than other roofs and don’t need to be replaced as often.

Metal roofs are one of the most eco-friendly options due to their longevity and because the material is easier to recycle than other types of shingles. In fact, metal roofs are 100% recyclable.

Another reason that this type of roof is more eco-friendly is that it reduces the energy needed to heat and cool your home. As metal roofs reflect the sun, the solar energy bounces off rather than being absorbed into your home.

Learn More About Roofing Costs

Now that you know more about the best roofing shingles and their pros and cons, you may be ready to take the next step. If you want to find the cost of roof repairs and replacements, then you’re in the right place. Best Roofing Estimates can help!

By requesting a free quote on roofing services in your local area, our team may be able to save you up to 30%.

  1. Wow, I find it convenient how an asphalt shingle can help transform the look of your home! I have a friend who’s trying to remodel his house into something more contemporary. I’ll share this with him so he could consider this as an option for the upgrade.

  2. I’m so glad you elaborated on roofing materials and how we could choose the right shingles for us! We want to replace our house’s roof, but we have no idea which materials to use! My wife and I will like to start our roofing project a few weeks from now, so we think your article will provide key insight to us! Thank you for the advice on roofing shingles and for helping us compare their quality!

  3. It’s great that you mentioned how roof shingles can either last 10-20 years or even 50-75 years depending on the material used and the regular maintenance provided for your roof. My husband and I plan to have our new house built sometime next year, and I wanted to know if getting shingles for the roof would be a smart choice. I’ll keep this article in mind when we get into planning and hope we’ll be able to get in touch with a trusted roofing contractor.

  4. It’s great to know that metal roofs are perfect for areas with extreme weather. Reading this definitely had me thinking about the weather in our area and how it’s only gotten more intense over time. I’ll call over a roofing expert that can offer us some metal for sure and start some renovations.

  5. Thank you for explaining that insulating your attic properly can help to increase the lifespan of your roof. I’ve been wondering how we can make sure that our roof lasts as long as possible since we just had it replaced. I’ll be sure to keep this in mind and start looking for someone to help us with this.

  6. Thanks for the list of benefits of composition shingles. I want to get new shingles for my roof. I’ll find a roofer with these shingles.

  7. How interesting that you talk about what asphalt is made out of. I am building a new home this year. I will also find a great roofing service close by to help.

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