Most of us enjoy going outside on a hot summer day because we can do lots of activities or have barbecue parties.
However, a sunny day can turn from fun to dreadful the minute the sun decides to blaze down on our skin.
If you want to make the most of the outdoors and protect yourself from UV rays, we highly suggest you consider a sun shade for your patio.
Sun shades are a piece of furniture that functions similarly to a boat’s sail.
The fabric drapes over a few support beams to provide shade and protect you from the sun’s harsh UV rays.
Luckily, there are a handful of the best sun shades for patios on the market, and we’ll give you a breakdown of the most popular models.
Best Sun Shades for Patio: A Review
1. Quictent 26’x20’ 185HDPE Rectangle Sun Shade
The Quictent is a durable sun shade that ensures no harmful UV rays shine through.
However, the main improvement from other sun shades is that this one can resist most weather conditions.
It also comes in multiple sizes and colors, which allows you to find one that fits your patio.
The Quictent is a medium-sized sun shade that features a high-quality 316 stainless steel hardware build.
The stainless steel material is sturdy and weather-resistant.
It also uses heavy-duty polyethylene knitted fabric material that prevents the shade sail from drying out.
The longevity of the shade sail will last five years if under average weather.
UV protection is also vital for any patio as it blocks out the sunlight.
Luckily, this Quictent polyethylene shade blocks out 98% UV protection but still allows some natural sunlight to shine through.
It will enable you to still enjoy the sunlight without all the harmful effects of exposing your skin to direct sunlight.
The heavy-duty double-layered edges are heavily reinforced and prevent frayed edges.
A 316 stainless steel D ring reinforced with heavy stitching is also installed at each corner to help prevent them from breaking.
Lastly, the Quictent 26’x20’ 185HDPE Rectangle Sun Shade is suitable for those wanting an excellent place to chill on a deck.
It can lower the outdoor temperature by 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Plus, you can use the Quictent 26’x20’ 185HDPE Rectangle Sun Shade in multiple areas such as a garden, yard, or patio.
What impresses us most about the Quictent 26’x20’ 185HDPE Rectangle Sun Shade is that it comes in multiple sizes.
That means there are multiple sizes perfect for any outdoor area.
Plus, you can purchase a lot and attach them to each other for more coverage.
The only downside we’ve found is that the Quictent Rectangle Sun Shade ends up stretching and sagging over time.
It is likely due to the extreme temperatures outdoors and wind.
The middle of the sun shade will end up drooping downwards.
- Easy to install
- Multiple sizing options
- Excellent for commercial and residential use
2. Shade&Beyond Sun Shade Sail
The Shade&Beyond is an excellent sun shade made with a breathable material.
What sets this model apart from others is that the light can pass through it without letting the harsh UV rays through.
This will enable you to enjoy a nice warm sunny day without getting sunburnt.
The Shade&Beyond has 185 gsm UV protection and is crafted using high-density polyethylene fabric.
To help ensure the sun shade’s durability, the material has been firmly stitched at each seam to help prevent any fraying.
Additionally, there are double-reinforced stitching around the D-rings to ensure that they don’t break.
One of the significant benefits of the Shade&Beyond Sun Shade Sail is that the material is lightweight and allows airflow.
This keeps the shaded area underneath nice and cool and will enable you to experience the sunlight without the downside of skin irritation.
Additionally, the material allows rain to pass through it so that the middle won’t sag downward.
As for durability, the Shade&Beyond Sun Shade Sail can last up to five years under normal weather conditions.
If you live in an area with extreme weather conditions, it may only last from two to three years.
We enjoy that the Shade&Beyond Sun Shade Sail allows water to pass through the fabric as it prevents damages.
Other sun shades may end up stretching and sagging over time.
With the material preventing rain from pooling, the sun shade will last for an extended period.
The downside is that the Shade&Beyond Sun Shade Sail is extremely difficult to install.
Many previous buyers have noted that the package does not have all the materials needed to attach it.
This can be irritating if you lack knowledge of what parts are missing.
- Enhanced airflow
- Multiple color options
- Hard to install
3. LOVE STORY 12’ x 16’ Rectangle Terra Red Sun Shade
The LOVE STORY 12’ x 16’ Rectangle Terra Red Sun Shade is the ideal shade solution for providing shade in an outdoor area.
It can block out harmful UV rays while also keeping you cool outdoors.
Not only that, but it’s effortless to install and comes with an installation manual.
Like other sun shade sails, the LOVE STORY can block up to 98% of harmful UV rays.
The fabric is made from 185 gsm high-density polyethylene fabric.
Additionally, the D-rings are made from stainless steel.
Although, the D-rings are slightly curved to help improve pull strength and prevent the fabric from sinking.
Aside from that, the company guarantees that the sun shade will last up to five years under normal weather conditions.
That said, the company has come forward and noted that the HDPE fabric might shrink over time.
It can shrink up to six inches on each side.
Lastly, installing the LOVE STORY Rectangle Terra Red Sun Shade is extremely easy.
All you will need to do is measure it from D-ring to D-ring and leave 1.5 to two feet space between the sun shade and fixing point.
From there, you will need to attach the rope, and you’re done installing.
The LOVE STORY 12’ x 16’ Rectangle Terra Red Sun Shade comes in many variable colors and sizes.
This ensures that you will be able to find one that works for your outdoor area.
The LOVE STORY 12’ x 16’ Rectangle Terra Red Sun Shade may shrink over time and is not water-resistant.
That means extreme weather conditions or frequent exposure to high temperatures will cause it to degrade faster.
You should only use it in climates with little to no rainfall.
- Easy to install
- Multiple colors available
- Multiple sizing options
4. Big 20’ x 20’ x 20’ Oversized Triangle Sun Shade
The Big 20’ x 20’ x 20’ Oversized Triangle Sun Shade is perfect for those needing to cover large spaces outdoors.
It’s crafted using very heavy-duty materials and is easy to install and maintain.
Lastly, this version is colorfast and prevents mold, mildew, and discoloration.
The BIG 20’ x 20’ x 20’ Oversized Triangle Sun Shade is heavy-duty.
It’s made from 185 gsm UV-protected high-density polyethylene and is ideal for most weather conditions.
The fabric is specially woven to help allow airflow while also reducing the temperature that it’s covering.
Not only that, but the fabric also blocks out more than just sunlight.
The polyethylene material can prevent 95% of the sun’s UV rays from shining through.
On top of that, the fabric allows water to pass through, preventing the sun shade from sagging in the middle, usually caused by a puddle of trapped rainwater.
Lastly, the Big 20’ x 20’ x 20’ Oversized Triangle Sun Shade is easy to clean.
All you will need to do is hose down the sun shade, and the dirt should fall right off of it.
The best part about this sun shade is that it’s an extra-large size, so it can cover large areas, such as pools, decks, and gardens.
This saves you the hassle of having to purchase multiple sun shades and connecting them together.
We’ve found that the Oversized Triangle Sun Shade may not measure 20’ on each side.
Some may have an inch or two of a difference for measurement.
- Extra large
- High-quality fabric
- Easy to clean
- Varying lengths
5. Garden Expert 8’ x 10’ Sun Shade
Garden Expert is a brand you can trust when it comes to gardening and patio decor.
All of their products are highly researched and made from high-quality materials.
This particular sun shade is highly reinforced and comes in a rectangular shape.
Unlike other sun shades, the Garden Expert offers multiple vibrant colors, sizes, and shapes.
Some shapes include rectangle, square, triangle, and right triangles.
The vivid colors are perfect for complementing outdoor areas and won’t bleed when washed.
This feature makes it ideal for lawns, patios, backyards, swimming pools, and other outdoor areas.
The Garden Expert 8’ x 10’ Sun Shade is crafted using high-quality 185 gsm high-density polyethylene.
It has improved stitching at the seams to prevent tearing and fraying, enhancing its durability.
Plus, the fabric is exceptionally breathable and allows a cool breeze to pass through.
Lastly, the Garden Expert 8’ x 10’ Sun Shade is easy to install.
It features stainless steel D-rings on each side which can be fastened to the ropes.
Although, when installing, you’ll want to subtract at least four to five inches on each side because of the curved ends.
The Garden Expert 8’ x 10’ Sun Shade has variable shapes and sizes, which can help you customize an outdoor area.
Plus, the added color options make them suitable for livening up the outdoors.
The biggest downside about the Garden Expert 8’ x 10’ Sun Shade is that it isn’t weatherproof.
During rain or wind storms, the shade may experience sagging or damage.
If you expect high winds, it’s best to secure the sun shade or take it down.
- Easy to install
- High quality
- Multiple sizes
- Multiple shapes
- Not weatherproof
When it comes to buying a sun shade, you should keep a few primary considerations in mind.
Unfortunately, not all sun shades are crafted equally, so some sun shades may only work in certain situations.
Below are the main factors you should consider when choosing one for your patio or outdoor space.
Size and Shape
Before purchasing a sun shade, the first factor you should keep in mind is measuring the outdoor area you need to cover.
Most sun shades are triangular, which means the fabric won’t cover the area underneath it.
You will need to give at least three to five inches of leeway for where the shade will be.
However, there are multiple types of shapes that sun shades come in.
Aside from just triangles, sun shades are also available in a square or rectangle shape.
Depending on the area you want to cover, you can choose the appropriate shape and size.
Form and Function
Sun shades are made using high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or nylon fabric.
These materials can stretch and cover an area by attaching the D-rings and turnbuckles to posts or walls.
Assuming you get the right size and shape, choosing the correct form and function should be easy.
The best part about sun shades is that you can connect multiple ones. That way, you can have more areas covered.
Sun shades will always have some amount of sunblocking power.
Still, you will want to search for fabrics that block out at least 90% of ultraviolet light.
This is because sun shades allow sunlight to peer through while also protecting from the sun’s harmful rays.
Other than that, you will also want to factor in your local weather.
Some sun shades are crafted using HDPE material that allows rain to pass through.
If your sun shade doesn’t, it may end up sagging from rainwater trapped on top of it.
Although, it’s best to get a waterproof sun shade.
PVC is known to have the best water repellent properties, but it’s less breathable.
We’d only recommend this type for summer showers and to switch to HDPE on more beautiful days.
HDPE fabric and cotton are also very breathable.
If you’re spending time outdoors, you’ll want a sun shade that lowers the temperature by at least 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Look for woven sun shades, as they will allow higher airflow and prevent them from getting stuffy.
Some sun shades will come with a complete kit to attach and put together the sun shade.
The problem is that other companies may assume you already have specific tools on hand.
If this is the case, you will need to make sure you have D-rings to attach the fixture to your outdoor wall, posts, or furniture.
Installing a sun shade will require a few handyman skills, depending on what you’re attaching the D-rings to.
If you’re trying to attach the fixtures to your wall, you will need to install rods.
Alternatively, suppose you’re trying to install them to a patio or support beams.
In that case, you may need to install the support beans first.
Sun Shade for Patio FAQs
1. What Is the Best Material for a Sun Shade?
Both acrylic and vinyl tend to be popular options for sun shade material due to their properties.
These materials can protect from harsh UV rays and block out sunlight.
Though, the most popular fabric type is HDPE due to its durability and breathability.
Acrylic and vinyl materials are waterproof and water repellant.
Lastly, they are easy to clean and are stain-resistant.
2. Do Sun Shades Actually Work?
Yes, sun shades work by protecting you from UV rays and sunlight.
They also provide much-needed shade on sunny days and a slightly lower temperature for you to rest outdoors.
Aside from that, they can protect your patio furniture or outdoor pool from water, wind, and more.
3. Are Patio Sun Shades Worth It?
Patio sun shades aren’t necessary, but they are worth it.
If you want to enjoy the outdoors even on sweltering days, then you’ll likely appreciate the sunshade.
They can also provide an excellent area for your kids, guests, or pets to enjoy outdoors.
4. Does Shade Cloth Block Wind?
It depends on the type of material the sun shade manufacturer used.
Materials such as cotton won’t be effective at blocking wind.
On the other hand, materials such as acrylic and vinyl can block the wind.
5. Do Sun Shades Block Rain?
Yes, sun shades can block out most outdoor elements, including rain.
Although, you have to double-check the type of material as some sun shade types do a better job at blocking rain.
Our Final Recommendation
When choosing the best sun shades for patios, you must consider what type of climate you’re going to be using it in.
From there, make sure that the size and shape are adequate for your space. Lastly, consider extra features such as hardware, installation, and color.
The best sun shade on our list that works for year-round weather is the Garden Expert 8’ x 10’ Sun Shade.
With the variable shapes, sizes, and colors, you’re bound to find one that you like. Plus, it’s durable and easy to install.