Aluminium vs uPVC windows – ultimate comparison

aluminum windows vs pvc windows comparison

You need solid knowledge to choose the best windows for your project. But it will take you precious time to acquire this knowledge. That’s why, to save you time, we’ve prepared a comparison based on European aluminium and uPVC windows that explains when to choose aluminium windows and when to choose PVC windows

Quick check on main differences

aluminum windows (based on Aluprof MB-86N)uPVC windows (based on Salamander BluEvo 82)
price8331 euros3851 euros 
yearly price167 euros (divided by 50 years)257 euros (divided by 20 years)
thermal parameterUw=0,89 (U Factor 0,16)Uw=0,74 (U Factor 0,13)
durablity50+ yearslarge glazing availablemore scratch resistance15-20 yearslarge glazing limitedless scratch resistance
colors available200 colors30 colors
sash+frame height89,5 mm123 mm

Continue readling to discover more about differences between uPVC and aluminum windows!

In this article you can learn about:

What is the price difference between aluminium and uPVC windows? 

The main factor that will influence whether your customer decides to buy PVC or aluminium windows is the price. And this varies significantly and, depending on the profiles being compared, the difference is between 70% and 200%. Aluminium windows are almost always more expensive than PVC.

We compared the same set of PVC and aluminium windows. For PVC, the Salamander BluEvo 82 system and for aluminium, the Aluprof MB-86.

indows. Included in the cost of the windows is the expense of servicing, the frequency of which depends on the durability of the window. 

Aluminum or PVC windows comparison price

Which windows are more durable?

“The window installers scratched the windows before they were even installed”. – do you know it? If you’re fed up with such problems and want peace of mind, you can choose more durable windows. We’re talking about aluminum, which is more ‘window installer-resistant’ than PVC thanks to its hard coating. Any scratches or abrasions are much less visible and easier to hide.

The durability of windows is closely linked to the price. Why? A shorter window lifespan means more repairs and subsequent installations. The lifespan of PVC is estimated to be around 15-20 years, while aluminum windows retain their properties for up to 50 years due to their greater resistance to corrosion and sunlight.

Even a standard coating shows high resistance (also to sea salt), and there are coatings with increased resistance

notes Agata Toczek, a technologist at debesto.

PVC as a material loses its properties when exposed to weather conditions for a long time. If the PVC structure is too large, especially in a dark colour, the frame may bend and begin to cause problems. Aluminium windows are stiffer and more robust, so they will work well if the builder expects them to be extremely durable.

What are the differences in the heat loss parameter?

We could spend a lot of time comparing irrelevant differences between thermal parameters. But the question is, does it make business sense to consider small differences? In fact, two factors determine the choice of a window with a specific thermal performance: building law and the type of building.

Before proposing a window system to your investor, check what minimum Uw requirement you need to meet. As a general rule, uPVC windows protect better against heat loss – they have a lower Uw parameter. The difference disappears when the window area increases because the thermal performance is mainly determined by the glass. However, at the end of the day, it is all about meeting the country’s requirements at an attractive price.

The Aluprof MB-86 profile is one of the warmer aluminium profiles, but if your investor needs an even lower Uw, you can offer him one of the passive aluminium systems, such as Aluprof MB-104 passive. However, you must remember that passive solutions involve higher costs. The question then arises about the cost-effectiveness ratio: how much will you pay extra and how much will you get in return for it? 

It’s another issue if you’re building a house for yourself and you want to put windows in the showroom. Showing the window system ‘live’ can help you to negotiate with investors and get a better margin for your investment. Our customers often make their home a showroom and are then willing to pay extra for an even lower Uw than is required.

Aluminum or PVC windows comparison heat loss
See our example comparison of the thermal performance of two window sets

Which window will give more freedom to the architect?

What if your investor wants a non-standard window colour? uPVC windows offer approx. 30 veneer colours and aluminium windows over 200 RAL colours (thanks to powder coating). However, they are more expensive.

What if your investor wants the look of aluminum, but the price is too high? You can offer him a PVC Gealan Linear window, advises debesto specialist Stanislav Bloszko. This is a frequent choice for our customers who want a better look and at the same time an attractive price. If this sounds interesting for you, you can check by yourself and compare PVC and aluminum windows corner samples. You may also check top-ranked minimalist uPVC windows with aluminum look.

The aluminum window is considered to be more exclusive than PVC; it has a thin frame, offers greater configurability and lets more light into the room. This is due to its lighter weight and the possibility of a larger size.

Aluminum or PVC windows comparison colors

Large windows – should you choose PVC or aluminium?

If a builder necessarily needs a very large window, then aluminium is probably the optimal choice. This doesn’t mean that a big size can’t be achieved with PVC. It depends on whether the builder wants one large glazing or whether a set of windows is acceptable.

Let’s find out the differences between the maximum dimensions of uPVC and aluminium windows. In the case of tilt and turn windows made of PVC, we can achieve a maximum of 150 x 160 cm (2.4 m2 ), while in aluminium the limit dimensions are 170 x 200 cm (3.4 m2 ), which is over 40% more. In the case of sliding sash windows, the possibilities for aluminium and PVC differ by a considerable margin, as the aluminium window can be almost 70 per cent larger. For example, the PVC HST Aluplast 85MM window has maximum dimensions of 510 x 250 cm (12.75 m2), while the aluminium HST Aluprof MB-77 HS Monorail has maximum dimensions of 660 x 324 cm (21.38 m2).

It should be recalled that in uPVC windows, steel is responsible for the statics of the structure, which is located inside the profile, whereas in aluminium, the frame itself provides the statics, so suppliers can make larger structures on aluminium profiles. Aluminium is more rigid and does not deform like PVC. In addition, it is lightweight and puts less strain on the hinges. 

Aluminum or PVC windows comparison dimensions

Summary of key informations:

  • If you are on a tight budget, and looking for a warm and economical system – choose uPVC windows.
  • If you want to avoid scratching the frames during installation, want more durability and resilience, and want large glazing and a huge choice of colors – choose aluminum windows.
Aluminum or PVC windows comparison
Aluminum or PVC windows comparison

Is there an ideal solution?

You may have come across a proposal on the web for an ‘ideal’ solution that combines the properties of PVC and aluminium. It is about uPVC windows with an aluminium overlay. We want to be honest with you. The cost of a uPVC window with an aluminium overlay is not much less than just an aluminium window. Consider whether it is cost-effective for you to buy a uPVC window and pay extra for cladding.

Which windows are better: uPVC or aluminum? This question is asked in the wrong way. The question should be: which type of window is best for you? It depends on the purpose of your investment, what your budget is and what performance requirements you need to meet.

Wojtek Stach

about author

Voytech Stach

Sales manager at company from Poland that specializes in the export of windows and doors in the B2B segment.

recommended for you

Aluprof MB-104 profile

Comparison of Aluprof warm aluminum window profiles

Aluprof aluminum systems allow to achieve very good thermal performance. Which is the most expensive, which is the cheapest, and which is the warmest? Find out which of these profiles will be suitable for your project.

read more
Roto Patio Inowa Aluminium

Choosing the right aluminum windows

Since aluminum windows tend to be expensive, you have to make the right decision, here you will find answers to any compelling questions that will pop into your head during your search.

read more

faq – who are we and what do we do?

At, we are experts in providing customized window solutions, including patio doors, blinds, entry, and garage doors, tailored to building professionals: developers, general contractors, architects, and construction project managers.   With over a decade of expertise in European windows, we specialize in assisting construction companies to import windows efficiently and profitably.   With debesto, you gain comprehensive, consultative partnerships designed to enhance your project’s success and minimize your business risk. Our customers appreciate most:
  • - cost-effectiveness
  • - deep business understanding
  • - secure on-site delivery
  • - timeliness
  • - exceptional communication and support
  • - incredibly smooth process
  Need more info? Check how to verify debestoRead what happens after booking a consultation

Delivery time

What is the lead time of an average order?

The total time from manufacture to delivery of the windows to the US port is on average 7-10 weeks depending on the destination port and delivery method that you can choose from debesto delivery price list.

Add to this the production time of the windows (from 2 to 8 weeks).

The maximum expected production time can be found on the pro forma invoice. We deliver 97% of all orders shipped worldwide according to the deadline we declare on the pro forma invoice. If we are late, we give you a 2% discount.

More questions about the delivery? Check Frequently Asked Questions about importing windows to the US

Warranty and safety

Do the products come with an international warranty?

Yes, products are covered by the debesto worldwide warranty, provided they are installed according to the professional standards and applicable regulations in the country of installation.

Are the windows insured during shipment?

Yes, all products are fully insured during transportation, covering the entire value of the products.

Any concerns about potential issues with windows from Poland? Discover 5 main reasons for complaints and ways to solve them

Want to know how much your business can gain by importing joinery from Poland?