Asphalt shingles, vital for roofing, are a mix of asphalt and fiberglass. There are six main types, each with unique benefits.

They are either made with natural cellulose fibers or synthetic glass fibers, affecting durability and look. Understanding these types helps you make a more brilliant roofing choice.

Let’s quickly break down each type so you know exactly what you are getting for your home.

5 Best Rated Asphalt Shingles

You will find several types of asphalt shingles. The basic 3-tab Shingles are economical and traditional. Architectural Shingles add dimension and are more durable.


Luxury Shingles top the chart in quality and strength. For storm-prone areas, Impact-Resistant Shingles are ideal. Lastly, Fiberglass Asphalt Shingles offer durability with less weight. 

Features3-Tab ShinglesArchitectural ShinglesLuxury ShinglesImpact-Resistant ShinglesFiberglass Asphalt Shingles
AppearanceLong stripsSingle tabsAuthentic slate or wood shakeCedar shake look with sculpted edgesIdentical to organic asphalt shingles
Cost$1 to $2 per square foot$4 and $8 per square foot$8 and $15 per square foot$1–$1.50 per square foot$3 and $5 per square foot
DurabilityUnable to withstand winds beyond 70 mphSturdier and more wind-resistantLongest-lasting asphalt shinglesWithstand the impact of a 2” steel or ice ball dropped from 20 feetMore lightweight, they aren’t as durable
Lifespan15-18 Years20-30 Years40 years30-50 Years25-50 years
Wind Resistance70 mph80 mph and 120 mph130 mph130 mph90 mph.

1. 3-Tab Shingles – Best for Rental Properties

3-tab shingles stand out for their neat, uniform appearance. These traditional asphalt shingles come with three equally sized tabs, lending a balanced look to your roof.

Regarding durability, 3-tab shingles hold their own against various weather conditions, even high winds. 


  • Lower initial cost
  • Easy to repair
  • Many styles and colors are available


  •  3-tab shingles have a flat and uniform appearance

2. Architectural Shingles –  Best For Areas With Severe Weather

In the 1980s, the roofing world was stylishly updated with architectural roofing shingles. Unlike the plain three-tab shingles, these new kids on the block were all about boosting a house’s charm.


Made by layering asphalt and fiberglass mat, these shingles are not just about looks. They are a top pick for those who want their homes to stand out. 


  • Durable
  • Incredible variety of colors to complement nearly every exterior
  • An array of shapes and dimensions to enhance your curb appeal
  • Good in snow and rain


  • Lesser grades, like 3-Tab, have a shorter lifespan
  • At least a 4/12 roof pitch is required

3-Tab Shingles vs Architectural Shingles

Features3-Tab ShinglesArchitectural Shingles
AppearanceLong stripsSingle tabs
CompositionAlmost entirely from asphaltAn additional layer of asphalt
Cost$1 to $2 per square foot$4 and $8 per square foot
Durability and Wind RatingsUnable to withstand winds beyond 70 mphSturdier and more wind-resistant
Installation ProcessesEasier to work with and faster to installHard to install
Lifespan15-18 Years20-30 Years
Warranty25-year warranty25 to 30 years of coverage

3. Luxury Shingles –  Best For Heat

For those seeking a roof that stands the test of time and nature, luxury shingles are the way to go. These top-tier shingles, similar to considering the cost of GAF solar shingles, are champions against extreme weather, scorching heat, brutal hail, or severe snowstorms.


Their durability is impressive, with a lifespan reaching a remarkable 50 years.

Opting for luxury shingles is wise for anyone who wants to prioritize a robust and long-lasting roofing solution.


  • Durability
  • Longevity
  • Incredible Style
  • Great ROI


  • Installation takes longer and is more difficult

4. Impact-Resistant Shingles –  Best For Flying Debris

Choosing the suitable roofing building material is crucial for homes in regions often hit by storms, hail, or high winds. That’s where impact-resistant shingles come in.

They earn the highest rating in durability – a Class 4 under the UL 2218 standard. This makes them an excellent option for areas frequently affected by severe weather like tornadoes or hurricanes. 


  • Better warranties
  • It can work with most roof types
  • Higher wind rating


  •  Initial cost, which can be significantly more than a standard roof

5. Fiberglass Asphalt Shingles – Best For Hot Climates 

Fiberglass asphalt shingles are the savvy choice for homeowners in warmer regions. These shingles, crafted with a fiberglass base, boast superior fire resistance compared to their organic counterparts, which often rely on more flammable materials like paper or felt.


Their design ensures durability and offers peace of mind for those living in areas prone to higher temperatures.


  • Fiberglass is thinner and lighter.
  • Fiberglass shingles provide more fire resistance.
  • It costs less than organic asphalt.


  • They are more lightweight, so they aren’t as durable.

Benefits Of Asphalt Shingles

  • Flexibility: Asphalt shingles adapt to various roof shapes and sizes, from intricate designs like cross-hipped to Dutch gable roofs. They are perfect for almost any home, efficiently meeting the minimum slope requirements.
  • Diverse Designs: These shingles come in multiple architectural styles. Whether it’s the classic 3-tab shingles or the more elaborate dimensional and premium ones, they cater to diverse tastes. 
  • Colorful Choices: With an extensive palette, asphalt shingles let you maintain or enhance your home’s curb appeal. This range of colors is unmatched by other flat roofing materials.
  • Residential Roof Shingles Benefits: Asphalt shingles are a top choice for homes due to their beauty, affordability, and reliability. They are not only cost-effective but also durable and low-maintenance.
  • Versatile Appearance: These shingles can resemble tile, wood, cedar shakes, or slate, offering more advantages than these materials. They outperform metal or concrete tiles, combining aesthetic appeal with durability and longevity. 

How Long Are Asphalt Shingles Good For?

Asphalt shingles are the go-to choice for roofing, typically lasting between 15 and 30 years, much like the decision between metal roof exposed fasteners vs standing seam depends on specific needs and conditions.

Their durability, however, hinges on factors like shingle type, local weather, and the quality of installation. Opt for top-notch asphalt shingles; you might see them hold up for 40 years, given they’re installed just right.

Factors to Consider While Choosing Asphalt Shingles

When picking out shingles, think about how long they’ll last, their energy-saving potential, how they handle your area’s weather, and what they cost. Also, consider how steep your roof is, how much upkeep it needs, and how you will install them. 

1. Weather & Climate

A roof’s job is simple but crucial: it guards our homes against harsh weather and incredibly destructive winds. When winds howl, roofs are at risk.

That is where asphalt shingles come in. Built tough, they are designed to resist even the most violent winds and impacts. Ideal for areas often hit by hurricanes or tornadoes, these shingles are a reliable shield for your home. 

2. Roof’s Size

When picking asphalt shingles, size matters. A more enormous roof needs shingles that balance aesthetics and coverage efficiently. Smaller roofs offer more flexibility in style.

Consider the scale of your roof to ensure the shingles look good and provide optimal protection and visual appeal. 

3. Warranty & Maintenance

Warranty and maintenance are essential to long-lasting products. A good warranty offers peace of mind, covering repairs or replacements. On the other hand, regular maintenance keeps things running smoothly, preventing future problems.

Together, they ensure your purchases stay in top shape, saving you time and money in the long run. Think of them as your safety net for quality and performance.

Types Of Asphalt Shingles FAQs

Are asphalt shingles waterproof?

Yes, all types of asphalt shingles are designed to be waterproof. They provide a reliable barrier against rain and moisture, keeping your home dry and protected.

What is a Class 3 Shingle?

A Class 3 shingle is an asphalt shingle that offers enhanced resistance to hail and other impacts. It’s a step above standard shingles, providing better protection for your roof.

Can I put 3 layers of shingles on my roof?

No, you cannot put three layers of asphalt shingles on a roof. This excessive layering can lead to structural issues and compromise the roof’s integrity.


If you are balancing quality with budget, most homeowners often choose architectural asphalt shingles. They offer a blend of durability and aesthetic appeal without breaking the bank.

On the flip side, luxury shingles are the way to go if your wallet allows for a bit more splurge. They bring a touch of elegance and superior quality to your roof.

Choosing shingles is a crucial step in the grand scheme of roof replacement, a significant home improvement project.

Before making any decisions, it’s wise to consider factors that impact roof replacement.