Best solar panels in 2023: Top products compared

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Choosing the best solar panel can feel overwhelming, but it's easier than you might think. If you select a quality solar installer, in most cases they'll install quality solar panels. 

Many companies offer great solar panels. If it’s important that you have the "best" solar panels, efficiency, power output, and ability to perform in warm temperatures are all important, but the warranty is the biggest differentiator. You want to choose panels from a company that backs its panels and ideally your entire system, from the labor to the inverters to the racking equipment. 

We reviewed hundreds of solar panel models and found three brands stand out: SunPower/Maxeon, REC, and Panasonic.

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Key takeaways

  • SunPower/Maxeon, Panasonic, and REC offer the best solar panels.

  • Efficiency, output, performance in warm climates, and, most importantly, warranty are the key factors to assess when comparing solar panels.

  • The best solar panel for your home can depend on your roof space, climate, shading, and budget.

Choosing the highest quality solar panels will likely mean a higher upfront cost, but it's an excellent investment in the long run.

With higher output, efficiency, and longer lifespans, the following solar panels will often maximize your savings:

  1. SunPower: Best for limited roof space and warranty

  2. REC: Best for warm climates

  3. Panasonic: Most recognized brand

  4. Q CELLS: Most chosen by installers

  5. Canadian Solar: Lowest cost

Of these five brands, SunPower, REC, and Panasonic consistently rank the highest for efficiency, performance, and reliability. These companies combine durability with premium protection, making them the brands with the best solar panels available.


SunPower/Maxeon solar panels

Image credit: SunPower

SunPower solar panels (specifically the M-Series and X-Series, which are manufactured by Maxeon) have one of the highest efficiency ratings available today, making them an excellent choice for those with limited roof space or significant shading. They also offer an industry-leading warranty covering the panels, inverters, and racking equipment. Due to their efficiency and reliability, if you choose SunPower panels, plan on paying a $5-10K premium for your solar panel system. 

Read SunPower reviews from real customers.


REC solar panels

Image credit: REC

REC is a European-based solar company that produces a range of solar products. Their newest series, the Alpha Pure-R, has an impressive temperature coefficient compared to other panels, making them the best choice if you live in a consistently hot area. REC panels are highly efficient, and with black cells, frames, and back sheets, they blend in nicely with most roofs.

Read REC reviews from real customers.


Panasonic solar panels

Image credit: Panasonic

Panasonic is a household name known for producing electronics in U.S. homes, including solar panels. In 2021, Panasonic began outsourcing its solar panel manufacturing to third parties but continued to uphold its quality workmanship, high efficiency, and 25-year warranty.

Read Panasonic reviews from real customers. 


Q CELLS solar panels

Image credit: Q CELLS

According to our Solar & Storage Marketplace Report based on our Marketplace data from the second half of 2022, installers include Q CELLS panels in more quotes than any other solar panel brand due to their relatively affordable price point and availability. Because so many installers choose to stock Q CELLS panels, you may be able to get your system installed faster if you select this brand. 

Read Q CELLS reviews from real customers. 

Canadian Solar

Canadian solar panels

Image credit: Canadian Solar

Canadian Solar offers some of the lowest-priced solar panels on EnergySage without sacrificing quality. Though not yet widely available, Canadian Solar's new HiHero 445H-AG panel matches SunPower's industry-leading efficiency. While they offer an impressive 30-year performance warranty for their solar panels, Canadian Solar's product warranty is only 15 years, below the industry standard and lower than most solar panels' 25-30-year lifetime.

Read Canadian Solar reviews from real customers. 

Honorable mention: LA Solar Factory

LA Solar solar panels

Image credit: LA Solar Factory

As a vertically integrated solar panel manufacturer and installer, LA Solar Factory controls the price of almost all aspects of its solar system production, making it a highly reliable and cost-effective option. LA Solar Factory offers some of the lowest-priced and highest-output panels on EnergySage. We only gave them an honorable mention because they're geographically limited: They currently operate as an installer in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Nevada, and Texas, although a small number of other installers may install their solar panels in other states.

Read LA Solar Factory reviews from real customers.

When searching for the best solar panels for your home, you should consider a panel's performance, quality, durability, warranty, and technical specifications, including its cell technology, power output, efficiency, and temperature coefficient. To develop our ranking of the best solar panels for your home, we evaluated these metrics for the thousands of solar panel models offered by the top manufacturers in the EnergySage Marketplace.

Key considerations when selecting solar panels

Here's a complete list of the top solar panel models for residential installations offered by some of the most quoted and installed brands on the EnergySage Marketplace:

Top solar panel brands and models

Temperature Coefficient
Power Output
Product Warranty
Performance Warranty
Guaranteed Capacity At Year 25
Price Range*
AptosW DNA-120-BF10-450W20.85%-0.35%/°C450W25 years30 years85.10%$16,450.00 - $24,010.00
AXITECAXIblackpremium XXL HC21.51%-0.35%/°C420W15 years25 years85%$20,860.00 - $25,900.00
Canadian SolarHiHero 445H-AG22.80%-0.26%/°C410W15 years30 years90.60%$16,100.00 - $20,300.00
CertainTeedSolstice panel 440W20.40%-0.35%/°C440W25 years25 years85%$17,780.00 - $22,960.00
Jinko SolarEagle 66TR G420.96%-0.35%/°C400W25 years25 years84.80%$17,080.00 - $24,360.00
LA Solar FactoryLS450BL20.60%-0.37%/°C450W25 years25 years81.40% $15,890.00 - $19,110.00
Mission SolarMSE435SX9Z19.80%-0.347%/°C435W25 years25 years84.08%$17,150.00 - $22,470.00
PanasonicEverVolt HK Black Series 410 W22.20%-0.26%/°C410W25 years25 years92% $18,270.00 - $24,150.00
Q CELLSBLK MLG10+ 410W20.90%-0.34%/°C410W25 years25 years86%$17,920.00 - $23,240.00
RECAlpha Pure-R 430 W22.30%-0.24%/°C430W25 years25 years92%$17,500.00 - $24,220.00
SilfabSIL-410 BG21.40%-0.377%/°C410W25 years30 years85.10% $17,710.00 - $23,170.00
SolariaPowerXT 430R-PL20.40%-0.39%/°C430W25 years30 years86%$16,800.00 - $23,520.00
SunPowerM Series 440 W22.80%-0.29%/°C440W25 years25 years92%$24,360.00 - $28,700.00
Trina SolarVertex S+21.80%-0.3%/°C435W25 years25 years89.40%$16,730.00 - $19,530.00

* Prices reflect the average quoted price range of a 10 kW solar panel installation, including installation costs, after accounting for the 30% federal tax credit incentive. Prices may differ for the specific model listed.

The market is filled with panels with varying efficiency ratings, warranties, costs, and other performance specs, making it hard to know exactly which ones are the best for you. Here's how we compared the best solar panels: 

  1. Type of panel

  2. Power output

  3. Efficiency 

  4. Temperature coefficient 

  5. Lifespan & warranty

The best type of solar panel: monocrystalline

All of the best solar panels for your home include premium monocrystalline solar cell technology. Manufacturers make monocrystalline solar cells with a single crystal of silicon instead of many silicon fragments melted together, as is the case with polycrystalline cells. 

Single crystal cells convert sunlight to electricity more efficiently than those made with silicon fragments, making monocrystalline solar panels more efficient than polycrystalline solar panels. Monocrystalline panels are typically black and have a higher price tag, whereas polycrystalline cells are blue and more affordable.

Best solar panels for limited space

You'll want a panel with high power output and efficiency if you have limited roof space. A solar panel's power output refers to the amount of electricity it generates under standard test conditions; its efficiency measures how well it converts sunlight into electricity. Here are the solar panel brands with the highest power output and efficiency:

Best solar panels by efficiency and power output

Power Output
2Canadian Solar22.8%430W

SunPower, Canadian Solar, REC, and Panasonic all offer panels with efficiencies that exceed 22%, making them the most efficient residential solar panel brands. These panels also all exceed 400W in power output. You may come across other panels with even higher power outputs (some are 500W+!), but many of these are for commercial purposes and would not be worth it for your home solar system.

Best solar panels for warm climates

If you live in a consistently hot area, you'll want a solar panel with a low temperature coefficient. A solar panel's temperature coefficient measures how much or little its production drops in hot temperatures. Here are the brands offering panels with the lowest temperature coefficients:

Best solar panels by temperature coefficient

Temperature Coefficient
3Canadian Solar-0.26

Solar panels are like most other electronic equipment: They operate most efficiently in cool temperatures (ideally around 25° C or 77° F). The temperature coefficient shows how your panel's performance will degrade during hot summer days. For every degree above 25° C (or 77° F), your solar panel's electricity production will decrease by the temperature coefficient. A lower temperature coefficient is better. For example, if your panel's temperature coefficient is 0.35%/°C, for every one-degree temperature increase above 25°C (77°F), its electricity production will decrease by 0.35%. If its temperature rises to 35°C (95°F), its electricity production will reduce by 3.5%.

Best solar panels by warranty

A solar energy system is a significant investment, so you'll want peace of mind with your purchase. Choosing a solar panel with a strong warranty is one of the best ways to feel confident that your system will pay off in the long run. Here are the brands with the strongest panel warranties:

Best solar panels by warranty

Product Warranty
Performance Warranty
Guaranteed Capacity At Year 25
1SunPower25 years25 years92%
2REC25 years25 years92%
3Panasonic25 years25 years92%
4Trina Solar25 years25 years89.4%

Your solar panel's product warranty (sometimes called the materials or equipment warranty) guarantees the manufacturer will replace your panel if it fails due to manufacturing defects or environmental issues within a specific timeframe. Today, most solar panels come with a 25-year product warranty.

Its performance warranty guarantees that its panels will produce a certain percentage of their original output by a specified warranty term. The best solar panels offer performance warranties above 90% by year 25. 

You may also see labor included in your solar panel's warranty. The conditions of a labor warranty vary significantly from brand to brand and will likely depend on you choosing an installer that your solar panel company authorizes. It's also possible that your installer will offer their own workmanship warranty covering labor components should one of your panels fail. Because SunPower is both an installer and a solar panel brand, they cover everything, making their labor warranty one of the best in the industry.

Best solar panels based on your region and climate

After considering the output, efficiency, temperature coefficient, and warranty on any particular solar panel, you should consider your home's circumstances. It's no secret that solar panels are more prevalent in the Sun Belt than other parts of the country, but they're still an excellent investment if you live in the Northeast or Midwest.

Your region and climate influence several factors that affect solar panel efficiency, including irradiance, shading, panel orientation, temperature, location and latitude, time of year, and dust and dirt. For example, if you live in an area that doesn't get a lot of sunlight and your home is prone to shade and overcast clouds, your solar power system's clean energy production will be low. Even light shading can have a negative impact: Subtle shading that covers a few cells or a single panel can reduce solar energy production by 50% or more, which is why the orientation of your home in relation to the shade and wet weather patterns is so important.

factors impacting solar panel efficiency

For shady & wet climates

If you live in an area that frequently experiences rain, snow, or other cloudy conditions but still want to install the best solar panels for your home, opt for high-output and high-efficiency panels like SunPower or Canadian Solar (22.8%).

For warm & dry climates

Are you living in the Sun Belt or another hot and sunny region? You're in a prime spot for premium solar panel efficiency. In this case, you may also consider the temperature coefficient as a leading factor in your decision-making. REC boasts an impressive -0.24 temperature coefficient and a 25-year warranty.

When considering your region and climate, you should also consider solar panel maintenance and cleaning as part of your yearly routine. Solar panels in areas that suffer from severe storms, wind, or even pollen buildup in the spring can quickly accumulate dust and debris, reducing efficiency. A quick wash or professional soft washing should do the trick (but we don't recommend climbing on your roof to wash your solar panels).

A solar panel's durability measures its ability to perform at maximum capacity amidst conditions that diminish optimal performance. Solar panels spend their entire functional lives outdoors, subject to everything nature throws at them, so you'll want to invest in durable solar panels that you can trust not to break or malfunction in the elements. Manufacturers put solar panels through several standardized tests to determine their durability in the elements: 

Your solar panel's durability directly impacts its efficiency: The most durable solar panels have the lowest degradation rates, enabling them to maintain their efficiency ratings. Learn more about how long solar panels last.

Knowing which solar panels are the best depends on your unique solar needs. Here are a few common questions and answers about the best solar panels to keep in mind:

How much do solar panels cost?

The cost of solar panels has dropped significantly over the past ten years. Today, a solar panel installation costs about $20,650 with the federal tax credit before local rebates or tax credits.

What is the longest-lasting solar panel?

Most high-quality solar panels should last about 25 to 30 years before their production drops significantly. If you keep them clean and maintained, you can use solar panels past their warrantied lifespan. They just might not produce as much electricity as you need anymore.

What is the most efficient solar panel?

The most efficient residential solar panels are SunPower M Series 440W panels and Canadian Solar's HiHero 445H-AG panels at 22.8%. However, researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) developed solar cells that are 39.5% efficient, which we could see available on the market in the future.

What other solar equipment do you need?

In addition to solar panels, you'll need inverters, which convert the electricity your panels generate into electricity that your household appliances can use. You may also consider a solar battery if you want your system to operate when the grid is down.

Do solar panels require maintenance or cleaning?

Solar panels require little to no professional servicing unless something is immediately wrong with your PV system. If you live in an area or climate where your panels are subject to becoming dirty to the point where rain won't do the trick, occasional cleaning is recommended to keep your system running optimally. Check out our article on solar panel cleaning to learn more.

What types of solar panels should I install?

There are three main types of solar panels: monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film. As general guidance, monocrystalline solar panels are the most efficient and have the highest wattages, polycrystalline solar panels are less efficient but also less expensive, and thin-film solar panels are best for unique installations like an off-grid RV or a DIY solar shed.

The best solar panels for your neighbor may not be the best solar panels for you! If your roof is small and you don't have a lot of space for your system, investing in the most efficient, highest-performing panels can get you the performance you need. However, if you have enough room for a larger system, installing slightly less efficient panels could provide ample output at a competitive price. What is the easiest way to find the best solar panels at a great price? Get free quotes from vetted installation companies on the EnergySage Marketplace. You can compare multiple quotes side-by-side based on factors like equipment quality, installer reputation, and cost so you can confidently go solar.

Find out what solar panels cost in your area in 2023
Please enter a five-digit zip code.
Your information is safe with us. Privacy Policy
Find out what solar panels cost in your area in 2023
Please enter a five-digit zip code.
  • 100% free to use, 100% online
  • Access the lowest prices from installers near you
  • Unbiased Energy Advisors ready to help
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