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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.

Best Overall
Autoamerics Windshield Sun Shade
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Summary
Summary

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.

Pros
Pros
  • 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
Cons
Cons
  • 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
Best Overall
Autoamerics Windshield Sun Shade
Best Value
EcoNour Car Windshield Sun Shade
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Summary
Summary

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.

Pros
Pros
  • 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
Cons
Cons
  • 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
Best Value
EcoNour Car Windshield Sun Shade
Honorable Mention
Magnelex Windshield Sun Shade
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Summary
Summary

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.

Pros
Pros
  • 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
Cons
Cons
  • 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
Honorable Mention
Magnelex Windshield Sun Shade
best car sun shade installed in a car
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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.

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Best Car Sun Shade Reviews & Recommendations

Best Overall
Autoamerics Windshield Sun Shade

The Autoamerics Windshield Sun Shade measures 28 by 31 inches and will keep your dashboard from fading and cracking and will keep the interior cool. The two-piece rectangular design fits most standard cars, mid-size SUVs, and trucks, and you can install the shades vertically or horizontally for a better fit. Made of high-density UV reflective material, these shades feature high-strength ductile wire and block 99 percent of harmful UV rays. They are fairly easy to install and remove; just slide the shades under or over the rearview mirror. You may also have to use the sun visors to hold them in place. When not in use, you can store them in the included travel bag. The shades also come with non-slip dashboard mats to hold a cell phone, sunglasses, etc. These shades effectively block out most of the sun and reflect a lot of heat. However, the material is thin, so they may not be as durable as some other options. It can also be a little tricky figuring out how to pack them back up into the storage bag.

Specs:

  • Brand: Autoamerics
  • Model: AMRC-Shades
  • Weight: 7.8 ounces

Pros:

  • Comes in two separate pieces for extra versatility
  • Blocks 99 percent of UV rays
  • Can install vertically or horizontally for optimal fit

Cons:

  • Material is thinner than some other options
  • Tough to fit back into the storage bag
  • Not compatible with all windshields
Best Value
EcoNour Windshield Sun Shade

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 sun shade comes in several different sizes but is intended for smaller windshields. 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. Also, the wire can sometimes come apart over time and may tear the material.

Specs:

  • Brand: EcoNour
  • Model: FBA_ECO15070SunShade
  • Weight: 4.8 ounces

Pros:

  • Easy to install and fold back up
  • Cuts down on heat in your car’s interior
  • Fits snugly and neatly without looking sloppy

Cons:

  • Thin material may not completely block sun
  • Can be tough to collapse for storage
  • Wire tends to tear through the material over time
Best For Trucks
Magnelex Windshield Sun Shade

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 in 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. 

Specs:

  • Brand: Magnelex
  • Model: 13
  • Weight: 6.5 ounces

Pros:

  • Folds up neatly and easily
  • Won’t sag
  • Specially designed corner flaps cover the entire windshield

Cons:

  • Too large for many vehicles
  • May interfere with rear view mirror or objects that hang from it
  • Shade has been known to fall down or slip
Most Stylish
Tropical Leaves Auto Windshield Sun Shade

This stylish sun shade features a bold green palm leaf pattern and is available in other patterns. The 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 an impressive 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. 

Specs:

  • Brand: BDK
  • Model: AS-768
  • Weight: 12.8 ounces

Pros:

  • Can reduce inside temps by 30-50 degrees
  • Offers 100 percent UV protection
  • Double-layered and more durable than some models

Cons:

  • Pattern can fade and peel over time
  • Accordion folds can crack or tear
  • Heavier than some other options and may not stay upright all the time
Best For Side Windows
Enovoe Car Window Shade

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, so enough to cover a standard sedan or SUV. 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. This handy set of car sun shades also comes with a handy storage pouch to keep them all together when not in use. It also comes with a free E-book with tips on how to keep your children safe in the heat. Unfortunately, the wire frame 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. 

Specs:

  • Brand: Enovoe
  • Model: 13
  • Weight: 1.06 ounces

Pros:

  • Self-adhesive for secure holding to windows
  • Ideal for protecting kids and pets from heat and sun glare
  • Still allows people to see out the window

Cons:

  • Wire frame may poke through the edging material
  • Static cling degrades over time
  • Doesn’t cover entire window and may still allow sun to poke through
Honorable Mention
EzyShade Windshield Sun Shade

The EzyShade Windshield Sun Shade is available in three sizes to accommodate sports cars, standard-sized vehicles, and large vehicles. The package includes two identical rectangular sun shades that you position as required for maximum coverage. They can be installed horizontally or vertically, and they reduce heat and block 99 percent of harmful UV rays. EzyShade reports that its product is quick and easy to install as well as fold and store when not in use. The shades also fit properly, so they don't look too sloppy on your windshield. In addition, the sun shades come with a non-slip dashboard mat to hold small items, such as a cell phone. The two-piece design makes them easier to put into place compared to other designs. They also noticeably cool down the interior. However, there can be some difficulty folding the shades back into the storage pouch. Also, the bonus dash mat is quite small and loses its stickiness over time.

Specs:

  • Brand: EzyShade
  • Model: 1-ES-WIND-2SQ31x28
  • Weight: 7.1 ounces

Pros:

  • Available in multiple sizes to suit many types of vehicles
  • Blocks 99 percent of UV rays
  • Includes a handy non-slip dashboard mat to hold accessory items

Cons:

  • Can be difficult to fold back up for storage
  • Dash mat is small and loses adhesiveness over time
  • Thin material doesn’t prevent interior from heating up as much as some other options

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. 

Key Features

Material

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.

Size 

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.

FAQs

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.

Final Thoughts

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.