Soft-Lite Classic Windows Reviews

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Update: While this Soft-Lite Classic window review was originally written several years ago it’s been updated in 2022 as we continue to work to provide the best replacement window information on the entire internet in 2022 and beyond.  See info towards the bottom of this post for the most recommended window companies in 2022.  Be sure to post a comment or send us a message with any questions!

The Soft-Lite Classic window falls in the middle of the Soft-Lite window lineup.  There is nothing particularly remarkable about the Soft-Lite Classic windows, but they have solid ratings, large glass area, and are typically offered at more competitive prices.  As we go through the review we’ll look at the ratings, the style, the warranty and the drawbacks.

So how about the Soft-Lite Classic ratings?

The Soft-Lite Classic windows tend to come with relatively common efficiency ratings.

As with all windows there are several glass options that can affect the ratings.  With triple pane glass they can achieve U-Factors as low as 0.18 which is common.  This range of U-Factors (from 0.30 to 0.18) is pretty typical.  T

You’ll probably also notice that the Visible Transmittance ratings for this model are considerably better than the Soft-Lite Elements and the Soft-Lite Imperial LS that we’ve reviewed previously .  This means you’ll get MORE glass area with similar efficiency ratings with this model.

How about air infiltration ratings?

So the degree to which Soft-Lite focuses on air infiltration ratings is kind of a joke within the industry.  The degree to which some salespeople dwell on these ratings can be comical.  In this case the air infiltration rating is 0.07 to 0.11 depending on how the window is equipped.

These ratings are fine, but they aren’t remarkable.  We’ve written at length on how air infiltration ratings are misconstrued so we won’t repeat everything here.  The short answer is that these ratings are just fine and you’ll probably never notice the difference between this and a window with “better” ratings.

What about the style options?

One thing we like about the Soft-Lite Classic windows is the simple design on the exterior.  It doesn’t have all of the curly fancy business on the outside that you’ll find on some other Soft-Lite models.

We know that windows with all sorts of fancy lines, details and designs on the exterior can look sharp when a sample is sitting on your kitchen table.  Just remember that once the windows are installed you want them to look like they’ve always been part of the house rather than some fancy thing that was added later.  This simple design lends itself to that style.

How about the Soft-Lite Classic warranty?

If you’ve been shopping for windows you’ve seen that most say they come with a “lifetime warranty”.  You need to really read the warranty to see what is actually covered.  In this case there are several important limitations:

  • Soft-Lite does not cover glass breakage
  • Soft-Lite does not cover labor to fix a warranty problem
  • Soft-Lite does not cover shipping of replacement parts

These limitations aren’t necessarily deal breakers they are more limited than what you’ll find from several other manufacturers.  You may find that your local dealer adds to the warranty.  That’s fine, just make sure you have it in writing.

Our complete breakdown of the Soft-Lite window warranty will be published soon.

How about drawbacks of this Soft-Lite Classic window?

One drawback to consider is the use of inexpensive hardware in the Soft-Lite Classic window.  They use the cheaper constant force balance mechanisms to let the windows open and close.  These are common among lower end windows and they’re known to have shorter operating lives than other types.  Is this a high deal?  No, but it is one way Soft-Lite has cut cost out of this product that you should be aware of.

Another drawback is the fact that Soft-Lite is a relatively small manufacturer.  While they have been growing, their total sales just recently surpassed $50MM according to Window and Door magazine.  This may sound like a lot, but for a manufacturing company it’s relatively small.  The risk there is that smaller companies that made fine products (e.g. Gorell, Schuco, Kensington, Republic, etc) have come and gone.  When one of these companies goes away all of the folks who purchased their products are left with no warranty.  This is a risk with any company, but it is very important to recognize with a smaller company like Soft-Lite.

So what’s the bottom line?

At the end of the day, if you’re set on getting Soft-Lite windows the Soft-Lite Classic is one of our favorites.  We tend to think the “higher end” windows look like they’re trying too hard and the mid-range windows tend to offer the best value.  There are a few drawbacks mentioned above and I wouldn’t pay more for this window that comparable windows from other manufacturers, if you can get good pricing from a reputable local company this window could be a good value.

Take a look at more reviews of windows from Soft-Lite or other replacement window manufacturers.

How can you find a great window company?

That part is easy.  Check this section for recommendations of window companies all over the country. There’s no better way to get new windows.

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16 thoughts on “Soft-Lite Classic Windows Reviews”

  1. So I was just quoted for Soft Lite Classic 36×62.
    Double Hung $916
    Casement $1,127
    Call me crazy but is this honestly the going price or is this company way out of line for these?

    1. Hi Jennifer, that feels a little heavy to me. I’d suggest checking Angie’s List for a great reputable company in your area. That way you’ll at least have something to compare this quote to. If you’re not a member you can join here completely free.

    2. Definitely over-priced unless you have an exterior color added other than the standard white or beige. Even then, it’s still more than $200-$300 more than most Soft-Lite quotes we give out.

  2. I am curious what your thoughts are on the quote I received from Zen Windows in Denver. We have several windows that fall into each category listed below for a total install cost of $19k.
    Windows – Nirvana – Soft-Lite’s Classic Line
    [Picture Window, 0-59ui] – $595
    [Double Slider, 0-99ui] – $685
    [Picture Window, 70-79ui] – $695
    [Picture Window, 90-99ui] – $795
    [Quarter Circle Top Window, 0-49ui] – $845
    [Awning Window, 70-79ui] – $850
    [3-Lite Slider, 140-149ui] – $1115
    [3-Lite Slider, 150-159ui] – $1160
    [Extended Leg Eyebrow Window, 90-99ui] – $1250
    [3-Lite Slider, 170-179ui] – $1335
    [3-Lite Slider, 180-189ui] – $1460

    Dharma Sliding Patio Doors – Soft-Lite’s Kingsroyal
    [Standard 5′ Sliding Patio Door] – $2195

  3. Hi. I’m getting a quote for 12 soft lite classic ‘nirvana ‘ windows for $8400 installed.

    I’m also getting a quote for 14 Marvin ultimate tilt pacs for $11,000 installed.

    Which is a better window and overall deal?
    I REALLY COULD USE YOUR HELP HERE!! Thank you so much!!


    1. I’m not a huge fan of tilt packs. Was there something about that option that was attractive to you?

  4. You say you’re not a fan of tilt pacs? Why? And you didn’t say if $645 per window installed was a good price for softlite classic windows??

    Please advise kindly 🙏

    1. The problem with tilt packs from Marvin or any sash replacements is that you’re buying part of a new window rather than a new window. We offered products like that in the past and far too many customers were unhappy with the results. No matter how we tried to set expectations people still had this idea that the windows would be perfect, like new windows. They’re not. When you only replace the sashes you get new parts in an old window. We had far too many people unhappy with the results so we stopped offering products like that.

      As for the pricing on the other windows, it seems reasonable to me. There are a lot of variables that go into the cost but that range is where windows are these days so doesn’t seem out of line to me.

  5. Hiyo!

    I’m comparing two quotes and having a tough time weighing the CBA:

    10 Polaris UltraWeld for $10,000 (Local remodeling company)

    10 Softlite Classic+ for $6500 ( Zen Windows)

    Both install companies are touting their lifetime warranties that include class breakage and cover all shipping and labor costs – $0 out of pocket. Is the UltraWeld enough of a better window to justify the cost? We were impressed by the contractor selling the Polaris, but I’m also a bit suspicious that they’re exaggerating how great their windows are.

    Opinions appreciated!

  6. Hello, I’m in the Northern VA area, and am getting quoted $777/window for a double hung Softlite Classic, and $716/window for a Simonton 5500 double hung. It seems like they are very similar in nature, and not worth the additional 9% premium for the Softlites.

    Let’s assume that the installation is of the same quality.

    Interested to hear your thoughts.

    1. Hi there, I’ve never been much of a fan of the Simonton options. My company was started in Northern Virginia and we can send you a quote by email if you’d like to see another option. Check this section for recommended window companies, including my company, all over the country. I think you’ll like the difference.

  7. I will check out. But to address my question would you pay the premium for the softlite Windows over the simonton windows?

    1. I do think the Soft-Lite product is nicer vs Simonton. It is unusual to see a top quality installation company offering a lower end brand like Simonton. I know you asked to assume the installation is the same, but it might not be. So, I do think the Soft-Lite is probably a nicer thing. Is that worth the $60 per window premium? That’s really up to you. You might ask the Soft-Lite salesman what makes his product nicer than Simonton and see what he says. I do tend to think it’s a good idea to focus on quality over price because the windows will be in the house for decades. You won’t remember the $60 per window in 5 years but you’ll still have the windows.

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