What Are the Best Shingles for Your Roof? (2023)

By Amanda Lutz

Oct 12, 2023
Window on garret house and roof shingles and a blue sky background.

Shingles are a versatile and cost-effective roof replacement material in many climates. Three-tab asphalt shingles are the most popular residential shingle type, but they aren’t your only option. There are several types of asphalt shingles, and you can also choose from composite, wood, slate, and other products. We’ll explain roofing shingle options and compare their benefits and drawbacks.

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What to Look for in Roof Shingles

Keep these things in mind as you compare shingle brands and materials.

Types of Roof Shingles

Homeowners can choose from these roof shingle options.

Asphalt Shingles 

Asphalt shingles consist of a fiberglass mat covered with an asphalt layer and topped with ceramic granules. They’re the most popular roof option in North America due to their cost-effectiveness and ease of installation.

Basic single-ply, three-tab shingles are the least expensive type, but they’re not very durable and may only last 15 to 20 years. Laminate architectural shingles have two layers and have a life span of up to 30 years, but they cost a bit more. Multilayered architectural shingles, sometimes called luxury shingles, are three-ply and have the highest price point.

Asphalt shingle roof pricing runs between $4 and $15 per square foot, depending on material costs and roof complexity.* Most roofers recommend that a roofing system be made up of a single layer of asphalt shingles, but you may be able to install a second layer without removing existing shingles.

Composite Shingles

Composite shingles are made of recycled materials such as plastic and rubber or newly engineered polymers. Composite shingles are highly durable and have some of the highest weather- and impact-resistance ratings on the market. Thus, they can last up to 50 years, even in high winds and heavy rain.

Composite materials can be molded to look like wood shakes, natural slate, and other materials. They’re available in a variety of colors, usually priced between $7.50 and $13 per square foot.

Metal Shingles

Metal is used in many roofing products because it’s easy to maintain and extremely fire- and algae-resistant. Because metal is recyclable and can reflect the sun’s heat, it’s also an eco-friendly choice. However, it does dent somewhat easily and can be noisy in the rain.

The cost of metal roofing depends on the metal. On the low end, aluminum costs about $4 to $11 per square foot, and on the high end, copper costs $15 to $30 per square foot. Steel and zinc fall between those price ranges. Steel and aluminum shingles are moderately priced and last 40 to 70 years. High-end zinc and copper luxury shingles can last up to 100 years.

Slate Shingles

Slate is a natural stone that makes an extremely durable roofing material. Properly maintained, a slate roof can last up to 200 years. The tradeoff is price and weight. Not only are slate shingles costly, but they’re so heavy that most roofs must be reinforced in order to bear the weight. This adds additional installation costs.

Slate shingles may be 100% natural stone or hybrids composed of stone and steel or synthetic materials. Hybrid shingles cost and weigh less than natural stone, but they’re also less durable. A slate roof is a pricey option at $15 to $30 per square foot, but it’s a high-quality, elegant roofing material.

Solar Shingles

If you want to take advantage of clean energy generated by the sun but don’t want to install traditional solar panels, solar shingles are another option. Shingles are less efficient at energy generation than solar panels, so you need more, but they act as a roofing material and a clean energy system in one. Solar shingle material is also lighter and more flexible than panels.

Solar shingles are more of a financial investment than solar panels at $20 to $30 per square foot, but they have a lower profile and more curb appeal.

Wood shingles

Redwood, pine, and cedar are the most common trees used to create both hand-split shakes and machine-crafted shingles. Shakes and shingles have a distinctive rustic look and feel that few other materials can match. Wooden shakes and shingles are also very durable, lasting 40 to 50 years, but because wood is prone to rot and insect infestation, they must be regularly cleaned and sealed. Wood is the highest maintenance roofing material.

Wood roofs are also flammable. Wood shingles are treated with fire-resistant coatings, but even so, they’re banned by some building codes in areas prone to wildfires. Wood shakes and shingles cost between $6 and $18 per square foot.

*Cost data via Fixr and Home Advisor.

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What Is the Average Cost of Roof Shingles?

Here’s a direct cost comparison of shingle materials.

Shingle TypeAverage Cost













Here’s how the cost range of $4 to $30 per square foot translates to different size roofs. Note that your roof’s square footage will be slightly larger than your home’s to account for overhangs and pitch.

Roof Size in Square FeetCost Range













Top Roof Shingle Brands

Here are some top roofing manufacturers and what they offer.


Atlas Roofing has seven product lines to help you find your desired features. The StormMaster Shake series is, as the name suggests, created specifically to hold up well against storms, boasting Class 4 impact resistance (the highest possible class) and wind resistance up to 150 MPH. The Pinnacle Pristine line, on the other hand, has slightly lower weather resistance but also comes with a lifetime limited warranty at a lower price point.


CertainTeed’s basic Landmark series shingles offer Class A fire resistance, a 15-year wind warranty, and a 25-year warranty on algae streaking. Higher-end CertainTeed shingles, such as the Presidential and Grand Manor lines, mimic the look of wooden shakes and natural slate. The company also manufactures self-adhesive underlayment and other innovative roofing products.


GAF sells several types of asphalt shingles, but the most popular line is called Timberline HDZ. Available in 20 colors, GAF Timberline shingles come with a 15-year wind warranty and a 25-year algae protection limited warranty. The company also sells basic 3-tab shingles and designer shingles. You can get a lifetime warranty and extra protection on GAF shingles by hiring a brand-certified roofing contractor for installation.


IKO offers lines of high-performance and laminated architectural shingles in several shingle colors. The company’s Dynasty and Nordic lines are engineered for top-of-the-line resistance to wind and hail impacts, and their Cambridge line mimics the look of wood shakes. Even IKO’s luxury lines are relatively cost-effective. The Crowne Slate series performed particularly well in Consumer Reports testing.


Primarily a West Coast company, Malarkey uses rubberized asphalt, recycled plastics, and smog-reducing granules. The Ecoasis series is particularly environmentally friendly, as it’s designed to reflect solar heat and meet cool roof requirements. Malarkey offers standard and extended warranties on its products, and it will even match other companies’ warranties. Unfortunately, Malarkey products aren’t available in all states.

Owens Corning 

Owens Corning shingles run the gamut from budget-friendly to luxury shingles, but its best-selling lines are the midrange Duration shingles. If you’re prepared to make a large investment, the premium Berkshire collection was identified by Consumer Reports as the highest-scoring shingle in terms of tensile strength and resistance to wind, impact, and tearing. Note that some Owens Corning products currently have limited availability.


Tamko offers five lines of asphalt shingles, including the Titan XT series for extreme weather and the Heritage series for extra curb appeal. The company also has metal shingles designed to look like tile, slate, or wood. Available shingle colors and styles vary regionally.

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How to Choose the Best Roofing Shingles for Your Home

Here are some tips for finding the best shingles for your home.

Our Recommendation

There’s no shortage of great roofing shingles available in a wide variety of colors, styles, and price points. As you survey your options, consider the shingles’ durability and longevity as well as budget and appearance. A new roof is a significant financial investment, and we recommend balancing price with performance to get the most out of new shingles.

Roof Shingles FAQ

Which roof shingles last the longest?

Out of all shingle materials, slate and metal shingles last the longest. However, in terms of asphalt shingles, luxury architectural shingles are the most durable.

Do new roof shingles add home value?

A new roof will definitely add value to your home. According to Remodeling magazine’s 2023 Cost vs. Value Report, a new asphalt shingle roof added an average of $17,807 to a home’s value, a return on investment of 61.1%.

Which roofing shingle type has the highest price tag?

Slate, metal, and solar shingles typically have the highest price points.