LAST UPDATED: April 25, 2019
Best Windshield Sun Shades For Cars: Block Out The Sun Inside Your Vehicle
The top car sun shades to cool your car in the summer
The Review Team
How We Decided
The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.
PUBLISHED ON April 25, 2019
If you're looking for the best car sunshade, it requires more than just walking into an auto store and picking one off the shelf. Sun protectors for cars come in a variety of styles, sizes, and designs, and some are better than others. Check out our car sun shade reviews to find the best product for blocking the sun.
Why Trust Us
All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Benefits of Car Sun Shades
- Cool down your vehicle's interior. When your car sits in the sun for several hours on a sweltering summer day, it can get brutally hot inside. The best car sun shade will have a reflective material to keep your seats, steering wheel, and seat belts cooler. A windshield shade can lower the internal temperature of your car by up to 40 degrees.
- Warm the interior in winter. The best car window shade can also help during cold winter days. Some products feature heat-absorbing materials that can actually increase the temperature inside your vehicle on sunny winter days.
Safeguard your children. A passenger side-window sun shade can protect your children's skin in the back seat and make a car trip much more comfortable for them. It also keeps the sun out of their eyes.
- Block UV rays. A side-window sun shade can protect you and your passengers from harmful rays of sunlight. The best sun shield for car and truck windows will protect you from damaging rays, which can lead to skin cancer.
- Protect your electronics. If you keep a GPS device, DVD player, radar detector, or computer tablet inside your vehicle, the best car sunshades will defend them from sun damage.
- Prevent your interior from fading. Sun rays can cause a lot of damage if left unchecked. UV rays can fade the dashboard, console, and upholstery. UV rays can also crack the steering wheel.
- They're cheap. The best windshield sun shade provides numerous benefits at a fairly low price. There's no reason why you shouldn't spend a little bit of money to be more comfortable and to protect your skin and/or car's interior.
Types of Car Sun Shades
Custom-Fit, Collapsible Sun Shade
A custom-fit sun shade is made to fit your specific car model's windshield. It is designed with the same dimensions so it can cover the entire piece of glass. This type of sun shade is intended to provide full coverage from the sun and folds up easily for storage.
Universal-Fit, Collapsible Sun Shade
This type of sun shade is intended for use on a variety of vehicles. It likely will not be an exact fit with your windshield, and there will be gaps along the edges, which will allow some sun to peek through. These shades don’t take up much storage space and are cheaper than custom shades.
Accordion Sun Shade
Accordion-style sun shades unfold and fold in an accordion-like manner. They may stay in place better than some other styles of sun shades and are less likely to slip off the windshield. They are available for a variety of vehicles, such as sedans, trucks or SUVs, but tend to be bulky and take more room for storage.
Covercraft is based in Pauls Valley, Okla. and has been in business since 1965. It is the leading branded manufacturer of automotive, marine, and recreational vehicle protection products. One of its popular car sun shades is the Covercraft UV10966BL Blue Metallic UVS 100 Shade.
The small company Coveted Shade was founded in 2014 and is a brand of Coveted Goods Inc. It exclusively produces car window sunshades. Its sunshades are designed in the United States and manufactured in China. One popular sunshade is the Car Windshield Sunshade (59" x 31.5") UV Protector.
The family-owned and operated Enovoe designs products intended for families with children. In addition to sun shades for side-passenger windows, Envoe also makes kick mats, car seat covers, and other travel accessories. One recommended product is the Enovoe Car Window Shade.
Car Sun Shade Pricing
- Under $20: Many windshields and side passenger-window shades fall in this price range. Accordion, rollup, or foldable shades can be quite inexpensive yet still practical.
- Over $20: If you want a custom-fit foldable sunshade, you will have to spend a little bit more money. They provide a superior fit and may include more features, such as UV protection.
The best sun shield for car, truck, or SUV windows will feature a durable, heat-resistant material. Nylon and polyester tend to be the best options because they are lightweight and long-lasting. In addition, they are typically easy to install. Other materials may not hold up as well over time.
A windshield sun blocker can be small or large, depending on what size vehicle you have. Some brands have a universal fit, while others offer a variety of sizes so you can find one that more precisely fits the window. These sizes are based on your windshield dimensions or the type of vehicle you drive, such as a sedan or SUV.
Ease of Use
Installing a car sun shade should be easy. You want one that provides maximum coverage but is simple to put on the windshield. It is equally important for the shade to be simple to store after you’re done using it. Some shades may be slightly more complicated to fold up for storage.
- Style: There are sun shades for side-passenger windows as well as the windshield. A sunscreen for car and other vehicle windshields is removable, while one for the side windows can be either fixed or pull-down. Fixed sun shades are good for children in car seats. Pull-down shades can be used by other types of passengers.
- UV Protection: This applies to side-window sun shades. The best car window shade will include a high level of ultraviolet protection, which is particularly important for babies and children whose skin is more delicate and sensitive. The best car sun shade will block as much as 97 percent of harmful UV rays.
- Visibility: This applies to side-window sun shades. Typically, this style of sun shade is made of mesh to allow the passenger to see through it. Some brands offer more visibility than others. It is particularly important to select one with good visibility if you are going to use it on the driver-side window.
- Type of Installation: If you purchase a side-window sunshade, one thing to consider is whether you can open the window when it is in place. Some exterior-fitting sun shades allow you to open a window when they are in place, providing sun protection as well as fresh air all in one.
- Color/Pattern: Some people choose a sun shade for function only, while others like to express their personality with its design and color. You can find one that matches the color of your car, or you can choose one that features a playful design that will make passersby smile.
- Warranty: Many car and SUV sunshade manufacturers provide limited (and sometimes lifetime) warranties on their products. This information is usually provided on the brand's website. A warranty will give you peace of mind and demonstrates that the manufacturer has confidence in its product. If the sunshade doesn't meet expectations, simply return it for replacement or a refund.
Best Car Sun Shade Reviews & Recommendations 2020
The A1 shade is made of high-quality nylon and comes in seven sizes to fit cars, trucks, SUVs, and minivans. A size chart enables you to pick the right one for your vehicle’s model. This sun shade can be installed on the windshield without the sun visors to completely cover the glass.
The shade's ovals are made of flexible metal wire that tuck into the gap between your car's frame and the windshield, preventing the need to use the visors. The shade is well-made and better at deflecting heat than some other styles. It also folds up small enough to easily tuck it away. Customer service is excellent and helpful in locating the correct size for your car.
One problem is that the sizing may be inaccurate, and it can be inconvenient to return it for the proper size. Also, it may take some trial and error to install since it's bigger and floppier than accordion-style shades. In addition, folding it may be a bit cumbersome the first time you do it.
The EcoNour adjustable, nylon polyester sun shade is durable, lightweight, and pops out and folds back in just seconds. It comes in a pouch and is small enough to store in your vehicle's glove compartment or door pocket. The sunshade comes in four different sizes but is intended for smaller windshields. The company includes a 100 percent money-back guarantee.
This shade is sturdy and easier to install and store than an accordion-style sunshade. It opens quickly and blocks a good amount of sunlight due to its flexible material. It also reduces the heat inside a car's interior and is held in place with sun visors. In addition, it fits snugly and does not look sloppy. It's easy to remove with a simple twist and can be compacted into a small carrying case.
One downside is the material is thin, so it doesn't completely block out the sun. Also, it may be a little confusing to collapse for storage, but it includes instructions to do this properly. There have also been some complaints that the wire comes apart over time and may tear the material.
The Magnelex sun shade is intended for extra-large windows (65.7 inches by 36.4 inches) and fits most full-size cars, SUVs, trucks, and vans. The shade is made of 210T reflective polyester and comes in a storage bag. It also comes with a steering wheel cover sun shade for no additional cost. The company includes a money-back or free replacement guarantee.
This shade covers the entire windshield and practically snaps into place to block the sunlight. It also has corner flaps to cover the edges—a feature some competitors’ shades don't have. It doesn’t sag, it folds up nicely, and it doesn't take up much room your car. It also has an elastic band so you can secure it instead of folding it back into the pouch.
One problem is that sizing may be an issue. Another downside is that the shade may get hung up on the rearview mirror, and it may interfere with anything mounted to the mirror, such as a radar detector. Finally, the company does not provide instructions on how to fold the shade up for storage.
This set of six different shades provides your vehicle with the most sun shade protection possible. It comes with one front windshield shade, one rear window shade, and four side window shades. There are also 12 rubber cups for securing the shades to your windows. The front windshield shade measures 26.4 x 54.3 inches.
Having a shade on all of your vehicle’s windows will ensure you block the most amount of UV rays from the sun. This will keep the temperature in your car down and reduce the amount of sun damage the interior of your car suffers. The soft rubber cups will keep the shades securely attached to your windows without scratching them.
Unfortunately, the side shades are specially shaped and won’t fit all side windows. They’re meant for a car and will be too small for larger vehicles. The rubber cups can get old and weak quickly, resulting in a loss of grip and your shades falling.
Motor Trend is a trusted authority in the automotive world, so these sun shades come from reliable and reputable sources. This shade is actually a set of two square shades. This gives you more freedom to adjust them to fit your windshield.
Unlike other shades, there are three sizes available. This lets you pick the exact size you need for your windshield. The shades also fold up into a compact circle with a strap to secure them. This lets you easily stow them away when not in use.
However, folding these shades up is much tougher in practice than in explanation. It takes finesse and skill to get it. They also lack any way of securing the shades to your windshield, so they can slip out of place and become less effective.
This beautiful sun shade features a bold green palm leaf pattern. The entire shade accordion folds and has a strap to secure it. When unfolded, the sun shade measures 58 inches in width and 28 inches in height. When placed in your windshield, it can reduce the temperature in your car by 30-50 degrees.
This sun shade provides 100 percent UV protection. It has a double layer bubble design that also insulates your car’s interior from heat transfer. The folding design of this sun shade makes it easy to set up and take down. It’s also reversible, so you can place the palm pattern facing outward or inward, and it will be just as effective.
Unfortunately, this sun shade feels a bit flimsy. This can leave you with doubts about the shade’s durability. Over time, you may find the green pattern begins to degrade from the sun exposure and begins to flake off.
This set of four sun shades will cover your side windows and guard against harmful sun rays. It blocks 97 percent of the UV rays that come through your window. This set comes as a four-pack, with each shade measuring 21 x 14 inches.
These shades have a unique dual layer design. The soft mesh side makes it easy to see through the shade to maintain visibility. The other side is a static cling material to make installation fast and easy.
Unfortunately, the wireframe that encircles the outside edge can poke through the material. This can cause damage to your car or windows, or injure you. The static cling isn’t always effective, which causes the shades to fall off of your windows.
This fun windshield sun shade features two large blue eyes and expressive eyebrows. The entire shade measures 51.2 inches wide by 27.5 high. It is a rectangular shape with a notch for your rearview mirror. The material and manufacturing are high-quality, which makes this shade durable and long-lasting.
If you have a red car, this is the ideal sun shade for you. It not only protects your dash, electronic, and interior, but it also gives your car some personality. This whimsical sun shade is sure to bring a smile to anyone passing by.
As fun and whimsical as this sun shade may be, it isn’t the most professional, so it may not be the shade you’ll want to use in your company car or at the office. It’s also meant for smaller compact cars, so it’s limited in its compatibility. Also, the vibrant colors will fade over time from sun exposure.
- Be sure to accurately measure your vehicle's windshield before purchasing a sun shade. This is particularly important if you choose one that is a custom fit. The wrong size won't provide as much coverage.
- To install a sunshade, place the top between the rearview mirror and the top of your windshield. Then push the bottom of the sunshade against the bottom of the windshield.
- If the sunshade doesn't fit tightly against the windshield, you can use Velcro tape to position it to the glass by putting 1.5-inch strips on the sunshade and car frame.
- One of the best ways to keep your sun shade in place on the windshield is by folding down the visors on top of it. This easy step can make a huge difference.
- The best windshield sun shades will work even better if you park your vehicle in the shade. The less direct sunlight your car is exposed to, the cooler your vehicle will be.
- You will be less likely to use a sunshade that is difficult to install and store. Purchase one that is easy to set up and easy to fold up and pack away.
Q: How much sun does a sunshade block?
A: The better the quality the sunshade, the more sun it will block. Some high-quality brands can block as much as 99 percent of the sun's rays, lowering the internal temperature significantly.
Q: How long will a sunshade last?
A: A good sunshade made of high-quality materials can last for several years. However, the side that faces towards the sun may fade over time and lose some of its sun-blocking capabilities.
Q: Do I need a sunshade if I have tinted windows?
A: Even with tinted windows, a car sun shade can be useful, particularly a side-window shade for babies and children. Some window tints are not very dark and will not repel UV rays.
Our pick for the best car sun shade is the A1 Shades Car Sun Shade for Front Window. It deflects heat, doesn't require sun visors to stay in place, and folds up nice and small for storage. The company also provides excellent customer service to help with sizing questions.
For a less expensive option, consider the EcoNour Car Windshield Sun Shade.