6 Best Outdoor Shades for Cool Comfort and Privacy

Keep your outdoor living space comfortable with the best shades on the market!

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6 Best Outdoor Shades For Cool Comfort And PrivacyVIA MERCHANT

Outdoor shades, privacy panels, shade sails and blinds add more than just a bit of privacy to your space. Patio sun shades block the sun’s harmful rays, keeping your outdoor living area cool and comfortable. Plus, with several styles available, there’s sure to be something for every taste, style and budget.

While outdoor rugs, lounge chairs and deck furniture make for stellar outdoor spaces, it’s hard to enjoy them sunburned. If you want to extend your shade beyond a patio umbrella, one of these outdoor shades is sure to do the trick.

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Coolaroo Outdoor Shade via merchant

Best Overall Outdoor Shade

Coolaroo Outdoor Shade

The Coolaroo Outdoor Shade is easy to operate with a smooth hand crank and blocks up to 95% of harmful UV rays. If you’ve got young ones, you’ll have peace of mind knowing these outdoor shades are certified safe for children. We were also impressed with the shade’s recycled material and included lifetime warranty.

One verified buyer said, “Easy install. And love the hooks to fasten with. We attached to the porch railing and as the roofline is about 2 feet in from the edge of the porch, when fastened it makes a nice angle and still allows the full porch to be usable.”

Pros

  • Blocks 95% of UV rays
  • Variety of sizes available
  • Made of high-density polyethylene
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Safe for children

Cons

  • Liner not included

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Radiance Bamboo Shade via merchant

Best Budget Outdoor Shade

Radiance Bamboo Shade

The Radiance Bamboo Shade is easy to install, affordable and has a beautiful, natural style. It blocks the sun while letting a soft glow filter through—perfect if you want privacy without losing natural light.

Set this outdoor roller shade at any height by hand-rolling (no cords here!), then set it in place with easy-to-use fasteners. Buyers noted installation was a breeze and only a one-person job, requiring just a couple of hooks. These outdoor bamboo shades are available in three sizes and two colors.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Simple to install
  • Adjustable
  • Available in three sizes

Cons

  • Not suitable for windy weather

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Keystone Fabrics Outdoor Shade via merchant

Best Extra-Wide Outdoor Shade

Keystone Fabrics Outdoor Shade

If you want to add privacy and make a large outdoor sitting area more comfortable, the 8-foot wide Keystone Fabrics Outdoor Shade is a great option. Its 90% UV block lowers the amount of sunlight in your home, cooling the rooms closest to the patio and reducing your energy costs. The woven fabric is made of high-quality, durable PVC, and the shade is wind-stable and wrinkle-resistant. Another great feature is that it includes a remote, so there’s no fussing with adjusting the height of this extra-wide outdoor shade.

Pros

  • Extra-wide size for protecting large outdoor areas
  • Blocks 90% of UV rays
  • Wind stable and wrinkle-resistant
  • Includes remote

Cons

  • Pricey

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Radiance Cord Free Outdoor Shade via merchant

Best Value Outdoor Shade

Radiance Cord-Free Outdoor Shade

If you’re in the market for a great value, the Radiance Cord-Free Outdoor Shade will last through wet weather. Easy to clean, install and budget-friendly, this vinyl outdoor shade comes in two colors and five sizes. This outdoor rolling shade is an excellent child-safe option thanks to its roll-and-fasten system, so there are no potentially dangerous cords to worry about.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Available in two colors and five sizes
  • Easy to install
  • Uses child-safe fasten system

Cons

  • Some buyers said they bend easily

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Alion Home Sun Shade Panel via merchant

Best Outdoor Shade for Privacy

Alion Home Sun Shade Panel

If privacy is your main concern, you’ll want to check out the Alion Home Sun Shade Panel. This outdoor shade will cover a whole section of your patio, pergola or gazebo, blocking the sun and offering protection from wind. As for privacy, it blocks 90% of visibility depending on lighting conditions. Amazon reviewers say it’s straightforward to install but recommend purchasing ball bungee cords to make the job easier.

Pros

  • Blocks 90% of visibility
  • Available in several sizes and colors
  • Easy to install
  • 2-year warranty

Cons

  • Some buyers wished it was more durable

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Premium Cordless Outdoor Solar Shade via merchant

Best Semi-Sheer Outdoor Shade

Premium Cordless Outdoor Solar Shade

If privacy isn’t a top concern and you want to add some pizzazz to your outdoor space, the Premium Cordless Outdoor Solar Shade may fit your needs. This luxury outdoor shade features a protective aluminum valance, hand crank control and a wind-flex bottom rail system for stability. The PVC fabric is four times heavier than less expensive models, giving the shade a wrinkle-free appearance for years.

“Love my new shades! They allow light and the breeze to flow through my screened in porch. They were really easy to hang,” said Jo, a verified buyer.

Pros

  • Great option for light coverage
  • Can be used in all weather conditions
  • Easy to install
  • Has hand crank control

Cons

  • Some buyers said the shades had trouble in high wind

What to Consider When Buying Outdoor Shades

When looking for an outdoor shade, consider the size of the space you want to cover. Many outdoor shades are available in various sizes to fit almost any space. You may need more than one shade to properly achieve the look you’re going for.

You’ll also want to consider how much the outdoor shade blocks sunlight. Some shades can block up to 95% of the sun’s harmful rays, while others are semi-sheer and let some sunlight through. In addition, consider how easy it is to install and operate.

Types of Outdoor Shades

  • Corded shades work similarly to blinds and have a cord to adjust their height.
  • Some outdoor shades have a crank. These are a great option since they are easy to operate, and safer for children than corded models.
  • Remote-controlled shades are also an option. Use a remote to adjust the height whenever you need to block out the sun’s rays or want more light in your space.

How We Found the Best Outdoor Shades

As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject-matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.

FAQ

What material is best for outdoor shades?

Outdoor shades can be made with various materials, including vinyl, bamboo and durable PVC, which, when woven, creates a mesh-like fabric. All have pros and cons, depending on how you plan to use your outdoor shade. However, options made of durable PVC generally have higher ratings, are more durable and will likely cost you more than vinyl or bamboo.

Do outdoor shades block wind?

Outdoor shades, when properly secured, do a great job at blocking wind. Be sure to follow your manufacturer’s directions when installing.

Does rain go through sun shades?

If you want to keep rain out of a gazebo or pergola area, a sunshade is a good option. While no outdoor shade or sunshade will keep out the elements completely, they reduce the amount of rain that can get into an area. This means you may be able to sit outside comfortably during a quick, light rain shower.