The Best Windshield Sun Shades: Block Out the Sun Inside Your Vehicle
The top car sun shades to cool your car in the summer.
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BY Lisa Conant / LAST UPDATED ON October 15, 2021
The car sunshade is an invention that’s practical and simple. Not only does it block sun from overheating the inside of your vehicle, but it also protects your dashboard and interior components from the effects of prolonged and direct exposure to the sun’s damaging UV rays. As a bonus, you can usually snag a decent sunshade at an affordable price. It may seem like a simple purchase, but not all sun shades are created equal. They come in a wide variety of styles, sizes, and designs. To help you sort through the options, we have compiled a list of our top picks and created a handy buying guide so you know what to look for.
This sun shade measures 28 by 31 inches and features a two-piece rectangular design. They can be installed horizontally or vertically for optimum coverage.
- They keep the dashboard from fading and cracking
- UV reflective material blocks 99 percent of harmful UV rays
- Two non-slip dashboard mats are included
- Material is thin, so they may not last as long as some rival brand
- Folding them up back into the storage bag can be a challenge
This adjustable nylon polyester shade comes in a storage pouch and can be stored in the glove compartment or door pocket. It comes in four sizes with a money-back guarantee.
- This durable, lightweight shade is easy to install and fold up
- Reduces the heat in your car's interior
- Fits snugly and does not look sloppy
- The material is thin and doesn't completely block the sunlight
- It can be difficult to collapse for storage
- Wire can fall apart over time, tearing the material
This car shade is for extra-large windows, is made of 210T reflective polyester, and comes in a storage bag. There's a money-back guarantee as well as a bonus steering wheel cover.
- This shade doesn’t sag
- Folds up nicely
- Has corner flaps to cover the edges of the windshield, which some competitor shades don't do
- Sizing may be an issue
- May interfere with objects that hang from the rear view mirror
- Shade has been known to fall or slide off the windshield
Why Trust Us
Our reviews are driven by a combination of hands-on testing, expert input, “wisdom of the crowd” assessments from actual buyers, and our own expertise. We always aim to offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.
Best Car Sun Shade Reviews & Recommendations
How We Selected The Products
Since there are numerous sun shades on the market, we decided to narrow the field by selecting ones that offer some type of universal fit to accommodate a wide variety of vehicles. From there, only those with the best user feedback were considered. We also selected those that were affordable.
Our product selections, rankings, and awards for this story are based on research. While we haven’t conducted real-world testing on all of these products yet, we’ve looked at consumer testimonials and data, tutorials, and general discussions on social media and in forums. We also consider price and specification in the context of the segment. And, of course, we rely on our institutional knowledge of the automotive landscape to weed out weak products.
Best Sun Shade Buying Guide And FAQs
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 very 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 several 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 sun shades will protect 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 up more room for storage.
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.
Q: How much sun does a sun shade block?
The better the quality of the sun shade, the more sun it will block. Some high-quality brands can block as much as 100 percent of the sun's rays, lowering the internal temperature significantly.
Q: How long will a sun shade last?
A good sun shade 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. The more you use it, the faster it will wear out.
Q: Do I need a sun shade if I have tinted windows?
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. Many states significantly limit how much tinting you can have on your front windshield, so having a sun shade is still a good idea.
If you’re looking for an affordable, reliable, and easy to use sun shade, our pick for the best car sun shade is the Autoamerics Windshield Sun Shade. It measures 28 by 31 inches and features a two-piece rectangular design that can be installed horizontally or vertically for optimum coverage.
For a less expensive option, consider the EcoNour Car Windshield Sun Shade. It’s available in four different sizes and comes with a money-back guarantee.