If you have a basement window, a window well cover could be a wise investment. It will prevent damage to your well and foundations from bad weather. And it may protect anyone walking past from a nasty fall.
But how do you know which of the many options on the market is right for your home?
Well, you’ve come to the right place! We’re going to look at the pros and cons of seven of the best window well covers out there. And we’ll give you all the guidance you need to make the right choice for your circumstances.
If you’re looking for a good compromise between light and privacy, consider the model 75260 from Amerimax.
The material for this window well is translucent. That means it will let light pass through but won’t let people see into your home. If you’ve got a basement window next to a sidewalk or other heavy-traffic area, it’s a good option.
It’s a semi-circular shape and measures 40 inches wide and 16.5 inches from front to back at the widest point.
It’s made of white plastic and has a clean, simple finish that’s quite attractive. One thing to watch out for, though, is that the color isn’t always precisely matched. If you’re buying more than one, you may find some have a gray tint.
It weighs in at just over seven pounds. While it’s not indestructible, it’s fairly sturdy. Additional plastic in a crosshatch pattern underneath gives it extra strength. A child stepping on it is unlikely to cause it any problems. If they jump on it though, it’s possible it may slip away from the window if not tightly secured.
There’s a recessed groove around the edge, which is designed to fit over the top of the well wall. Measure carefully to make sure it will fit your well. If it’s out by an inch or so, you’ll still be able to use it. But you’ll need to use extra fixings to keep it secure.
There are a few tips for installation that are worth bearing in mind.
If you’re putting in a new window well, dry fit it with the cover before you drill the holes. The well can flex as you’re putting it in, making it tricky to rest the cover on top afterwards.
A new installation also gives you the opportunity to slope the center of the well away from the wall. That will compensate for the flat well cover and allow rainwater to run off.
Simple and attractive semi-circular design
Offers a good balance between light and privacy
Getting a precise fit can be tricky – the contours of your well may not match the cover
There are some variations in shade – not ideal if you’ll be using more than one side by side.
Maccourt’s model 3517C is another semi-circular well cover. It’s designed to fit slightly smaller window wells than the Amerimax, with a width of 35 inches. The distance from front to back is 17 inches, and it stands 4 inches off the ground.
It’s considerably lighter in weight than the Amerimax too, weighing just over a pound. This is a well cover designed to keep leaves and rain away from your window well. But it’s not strong enough to prevent children falling into the space.
It’s made of thick plastic, giving it a fresh, clean appearance. And in this case, the surface is ridged. The troughs help to direct rainwater away from your walls.
The light color will mean that it allows through some light. But if you’re looking for something to maximize light levels, it’s not the best choice. On the plus side, it will restrict any passersby from getting a good view into your windows.
Installation is fairly straightforward. The well covers come with all the necessary hardware to fit them to your wall.
You will, though, need to drill the holes for the screws yourself. It’s not a difficult job, but it does mean the process takes slightly longer.
One bonus of the lighter weight construction is that if the cover doesn’t fit precisely, it’s easily remedied. You’ll be able to cut the plastic yourself to achieve a snug fit that won’t let in rain or debris.
If you’re looking for a well cover to withstand years of bad weather, there are better options out there. But if you want something lightweight, attractive and easy to install, this is a good choice. And it won’t cost you an arm and a leg either.
Ridged design promotes rainwater runoff
Includes all the necessary hardware for attaching to your wall
Easy to cut to shape if needed
Not very sturdy – this won’t be the right choice if you’re worried about children standing on your well cover
You’ll need to drill the holes for fixing it in place yourself.
If you don’t like the idea of cutting your well cover to fit, check out this one from Shape. Rather than being semi-circular, it’s an oblong shape with rounded corners. And it’s designed to fit any window well, whatever its shape.
It’s a generous size too – 53 inches wide and 38 inches from front to back. So if you’re looking for a well cover for a bigger space, it could be a good option.
The finish here is clear, admitting maximum light. If you’re worried about well covers darkening an already gloomy basement, this is a good choice. But if your priority is privacy, it won’t be the one for you.
The cover is hinged. That means you’ll be able to lift it easily if you need to get into your window well. And it means you’ll still be able to exit through the window in case of a fire or other emergency.
Three large ridges on the top add interest and strength to the structure. They also make it less appealing to children to jump on than a completely flat surface!
We particularly like the gentle slope that runs downwards from the hinged edge to the front of the cover. It will carry moisture away from your walls, preventing the buildup of damp.
It’s made of heavy-duty polycarbonate plastic. The manufacturers claim that it’s “virtually unbreakable”. So if you have small children, that level of confidence will be very reassuring.
The plastic is also designed to resist UV rays, so it won’t degrade or discolor, even in strong sunlight. And at the back, there’s a molded bar as well as a steel insert to give maximum support.
Installation is easy. There are five spring clips to keep the cover in place. If your window finishes above the window well, you’ll just use two of the clips instead. That will allow the cover to slide forward when the window is opened.
There are straightforward instructions, complete with illustrations, to walk you the process step by step.
All in all, this is a great well cover – but it does come at a price. The high end specifications mean it will set you back four times the cost of the Amerimax.
Clear finish lets through maximum light
Very sturdy construction
Hinged to allow easy exit in an emergency
Not the right choice if you’re looking for privacy
You’ll need to pay considerably more than for most other covers out there.
If you’re looking for a simple design to let in maximum light, check out this well cover from Ultra Protect.
The shape here is essentially a half-oval, with a width of 41 inches. At its deepest point, it projects 14 inches from the wall to the front edge.
The design is very simple, with no ridges – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t strong. It’s made from high quality polycarbonate sheet plastic with an aluminum bar. The cover comes with well clips to keep it securely in place.
Together, they mean that the well will support a maximum weight of 250 pounds. That’s more than enough to cope with a child or pet – or both! – stepping on top. And it’s still light enough to be lifted easily in the event of an emergency.
The polycarbonate is clear, so it won’t reduce the light coming through your windows. If you need something to enhance your privacy, though, choose a different option.
The plastic is protected to resist damage from UV rays. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area with strong sunshine, that will be reassuring. You won’t find the surface discoloring or cracking in the heat.
The cover is designed to be installed over corrugated steel wells. The clips included in the package attach over the rim. It’s all pretty simple to do, as long as your wells haven’t become misshapen over time.
If that’s the case, don’t despair. The well cover can be trimmed to size using a jigsaw with an aluminum cutting blade. Take your time doing it, and you’ll get a neat result.
And if you run into any difficulties, the well cover comes with a limited lifetime warranty for peace of mind.
If you’re looking for a clear well cover, there’s very little about this one not to like. The only niggle we’ve heard is from someone who didn’t receive the right well clips with their package. Check your parcel when it arrives to make sure you’ve got all the right fixings.
Lets in 100 percent of light
Lightweight yet strong enough to support up to 250 pounds
Simple to install
Not the right choice for anyone looking to increase privacy levels
Needs to be fixed in place with the right clips for security – check they’re included in the package before you begin installation.
This is the slightly larger of the two well covers from Maccourt to make our list. It’s semi-circular and measures 40 inches across and 17 inches from front to back at its widest point. And it’s just 3.5 inches high, making it an unobtrusive addition to your home.
It’s made of clear plastic, so it will let in every bit of light. If you’ve got a basement room that’s a bit gloomy, it’s a good option. Of course, if you need a well cover to stop nosy neighbors in their tracks, this won’t be for you!
An embossed design of a bird with outstretched wings in the center adds to its aesthetic appeal. And because it’s also completely clear, it won’t get in the way of your view.
It’s made of polyethylene, and is designed to stand up to harsh weather conditions. But it’s not as strong as polycarbonate well covers. If you’re looking for something that can be stood on, this isn’t it. Even light weights may cause it to buckle or break.
As a means of keeping out rain, leaves and debris, it’s great. And it will help keep out drafts and improve insulation too. If that’s what you’re looking for, this is very competitively priced. But if you want something to act as a safety measure, you’ll need a far heavier duty cover.
It comes with fixings to clamp onto your window well, but can simply be laid on top if you prefer. If you do that, add some mulch or gravel around the base to keep it in place.
If you find the contours don’t match your well, the plastic is lightweight enough to be easy to cut.
You may find it becomes brittle over time, particularly if it’s in strong sunlight. But as one of the cheapest covers on our list, that might not be a big deal. It won’t break the bank to replace it when the time comes.
If you’re looking for something seriously heavy duty, check out this well cover from Wellcraft. This polycarbonate structure is 59 inches wide and 44 inches deep. But unlike other covers, this stands almost two feet high. There’s no chance of anyone missing it and falling down your window well!
At this height, you won’t have anyone standing on the cover by accident. But even if they climb on top, the structure will hold steady. It will support up to 350 pounds.
There’s a robust fastener system that will stand up to hurricane-force winds. Four dual-lock discs attach to the inside of the well to hold the cover in place.
This model is designed specifically to fit on top of the Wellcraft 5600 window well. If that’s your well, it’s a great choice. And installation should be as straightforward as is possible with such a large cover. The hinge attaches directly to the wall and the cover sits securely on top of the well.
The dome design is best for windows that are partially below ground level. There’s a flat version for those that are completely below ground level.
But if you’re going to be covering a well from any other manufacturer, think carefully before you choose this one. More importantly, measure carefully!
Some sellers will refuse to accept returns if the cover doesn’t fit a well from a different brand. At over twice the price of the next most expensive cover on our list, that would be a costly mistake.
The polycarbonate plastic here is completely clear, so it will let in plenty of light. Take care when it comes to cleaning. Use a mild window cleaner or soapy water to keep the surface sparkling. Harsh, abrasive scourers may scratch the plastic.
Will support up to 350 pounds in weight
Robust enough to stay put in hurricane-force winds
Removes risk of anyone falling into your window well
Designed specifically for Wellcraft 5600 wells. You may not be able to return it if you try and fail to fit it to another well
More than twice the price of the next most expensive cover on our list.
At the other end of the spectrum from the Wellcraft 5600, this cover from Bon is inexpensive and lightweight. But if you need something to keep your window well clean and dry, it will work just fine.
It’s transparent, so it will let in maximum light to basement rooms. The semicircular design is 40 inches wide and stands a foot tall at its highest point. A gentle slope from the wall to the front edge will allow rainwater to run off. And it will reduce the chance of heavy snow causing the plastic to split.
The whole cover weighs just over a pound, so it’s not the most robust. Don’t expect it to withstand any weight. If you want a cover to prevent people falling into a window well, choose a different one.
But if you install this carefully, it will do a brilliant job of keeping out rain, snow, leaves and debris. Just note that there’s no hinge here. Don’t screw it into place if you need to be able to use your window as an emergency exit.
Instead, simply place it over your window well. Adding a little mulch or gravel around the bottom will help prevent it being carried away by winds. But it’s so light, you’ll still be able to remove it easily if you need to escape.
The lightweight construction here means you shouldn’t expect it to last season after season. But avoid stepping on it or running it over with a mower, and you should get a few years’ use. And it’s very competitive price means it won’t be a big deal to buy another one when it’s needed.
Completely transparent to let in maximum light
Very easy to install
Designed with a gentle slope to keep moisture away from your walls
So you’ve read the reviews, but you’re still not sure which is the right window well cover for you. Never fear! Our buying guide is here to help. Read on for the questions to ask yourself before you go shopping.
Measure, measure, measure!
The most important thing about your new window well cover is that it will fit your window well! So make sure it will by measuring carefully and checking the specified dimensions.
Watch out for any lips or other features on your well that might affect the fit.
And if you have a semicircular well, consider a lighter weight cover. It can be difficult to line up the curves precisely, especially if the well has bent out of shape over time. Lighter weight plastics can be trimmed using a jigsaw to get a neat fit.
Translucent or transparent?
Next, consider whether light or privacy is your priority.
Is your window well located somewhere neighbors or passersby can look inside? If so, a translucent version may be a good choice. It will let through some light but will prevent prying eyes from taking a look at your room.
But if you want to maximize light in a dim basement, choose a transparent cover instead. The clear plastic will let through just as much light as having no cover at all.
Safety or cleanliness?
If you simply want a well cover to keep out rain and debris, the world’s your oyster. Any of the covers on our list will work fine. And lighter weight versions will be less expensive and are often easier to install.
But if you need something to protect children from falling, you’ll need the strength of a polycarbonate cover. Check out the weight limit to make sure it will offer the support you need.
Let’s go shopping!
That brings us to the end of our guide to the best window well covers on the market today. We hope it’s helped you narrow down your search.
Our top pick is the model 75260 from Amerimax. Its translucent design offers a great compromise between light and privacy. And it’s competitively priced for a fairly sturdy cover.
But if you need a cover to keep children or pets safe, choose Ultra Protect’s polycarbonate version. You’ll pay more, but you’ll have the reassurance of knowing it will support up to 250 pounds in weight.
Whichever option is right for you, a cover will spell the end for constant cleaning of your window well. Enjoy your new free time!