What Are The Best Windshield Sun Shades? (2021 Reviews)
Sun shades aren’t just for the most sweltering days of the year. Using a sun shade in your automobile can help protect the materials of your dashboard, steering wheel, and seats.
During the hottest months, or if you live in a hot region, a car sun shade can be the solution to keeping your vehicle cold for a longer time while parked outside.
In a Hurry? Compare Our Top 3 Picks
- How to Pick a Vehicle Sun Shade (Buyers’ Guide)
- Size and Shape
- UV Light Resistance
- Type of Sun Shade
- Benefits of Windshield Sun Shades
- Types of Windshield Sun Shades
- Umbrella Sun Shades
- Custom Fit
- Car Sun Shade Reviews 2021
- Best Budget Sun Shade – Ohuhu Windshield sun shade
- Best Mid-Range Universal Sun Shade – Kinder Fluff Windshield Sun Shade
- Best Higher-End Sun Shade – MCBUTY Windshield Sun Shade
- Best Premium Universal Sun Shade – WeatherTech TS0034 TechShade
- Best Two-Piece Collapsible Sun Shade – Autoamerics 2-Piece Foldable Front Window Sun Shade
- Best Highly-Popular Sun Shade – EcoNour Car Windshield Sun Shade
- Best Humorous Sun Shade – Golden Girls Windshield Sun Shade Visor
- Best Sun Shade for Rear Side Windows – AUGOLA Side Window Shade
- Do I need to measure my windshield if the shade is a “universal” fit?
- How do I fold a collapsible windshield sun shade?
- How do I keep an accordion sun shade in place?
- Final Thoughts
How to Pick a Vehicle Sun Shade (Buyers’ Guide)
Sun shades come in several styles and an array of price points. If you go too far on the flimsy end or grab a sun shade from a dollar store, it isn’t likely to perform as well as others. Here are some things to look for when purchasing a quality sun shade.
Size and Shape
Vehicles vary in size, especially these days, with the massive variety of full-size trucks, SUVs, crossovers, and compact hybrid or electric cars.
Not all shades will fit your automobile, so make sure you measure your windshield before buying one.
Venture into the premium models of sun shades and take a look. You can sometimes find an option that will fit your specific car, such as the BMW 3 Series shade, The Tesla Model 3 cover, and the Covercraft shade that installs perfectly in certain years of the Silverado, Escalade, and Suburban.
Some options come in a folded accordion style, while others are rolled up or even pop open like an umbrella. Plan early on about where you will store your sun shade when it’s not in use, the size and shape of your windshield, and the design for the opening/closure you prefer (folding/accordion, rolling, collapsible/twist-and-fold, etc.)
UV Light Resistance
The sun can wear materials down with surprising efficiency. The sun’s UV light will fade and breakdown materials in your automobile over time, and they will do even faster if you live in a region where the sun is extreme or if you park your car outside most of the time.
If a sun shade has a robust enough UV resistance to mention it in the product listing, it’s likely a smart buy. Keep this factor in mind if you select a sun shade with a design on the front. Some options have fun patterns or even prints of artwork but look for UV protected material to prevent the exterior design from fading, too. Thinner fabrics will sometimes let in a little light, whereas thicker materials will block out more light.
Type of Sun Shade
Gone are the days when you only had the option of a shiny, silver-toned, fold-out sun shade for your car. You can now get custom-fit covers for your specific vehicle, umbrella-style sun shades, UV shields that pop out like a twist-and-fold photography reflector (collapsible shades), and even pull-down shades for side windows.
Consider where you will stow the shade when it’s not in use—whether in the backseat or even in your glove compartment—to help you decide on the best option for you.
Benefits of Windshield Sun Shades
Our primary focus here is on windshield sun shades, as these do a fantastic job of preventing the sun from beating down on your driver area – that makes seats unbearably hot, and causes you to have a scorching steering wheel. However, rear window and side window sun shades also exist and can help passengers in the back feel more comfortable, and these can help keep the glare out of little ones’ eyes. Some additional benefits of these shades include:
- Prevents fading of dash, steering wheel, and seats
- Helps stop the deterioration of materials like leather
- Keeps the interior temperature of your vehicle cooler
- In reversible models, shades can help keep some warmth in your car
- You can pack more compact models for travel if renting a car in a hot location
- Sun shades for rear or side windows can insulate the temperature even more or keep the glare out of passengers’ or pets’ eyes
- Blocks some view of the vehicle’s interior from prying eyes
Most windshield sun shades are quite affordable unless you opt for a custom fit version with the exact size and shape for your specific vehicle. You can keep your car cooler for a low cost, help maintain the integrity of the materials from UV damage, and even give some of the items in your automobile a bit more privacy.
Types of Windshield Sun Shades
Modern sun shades come in a variety of styles. Here are some of the most common:
Accordion sun shades can fold into tiny pleats, similar to cellular blinds for windows, or they can fold up in larger “accordion” creases. These shades can be easiest to install and fold back up again, and they are often made of thicker materials. However, they are a bit bulkier and take up more room to store in your vehicle.
A newer type of windshield sun shade is collapsible, or the twist-and-fold type. These shades have a wire hoop, either square or circular, and reflective or UV-resistant fabric sewn around it. Once you get the technique down of twisting and folding these to put them away, it’s super simple. At first, it can be a little tricky to get the hang of it, though.
Collapsible sun shades often have a thinner material than accordion styles, so that is a factor to consider. These twist-and-fold models can stow away very compact in a pouch when not in use so that you can store them in a glove box, arm console, or in a seat pocket.
Collapsible sun shades are also small enough to travel with, so you can bring them with you on vacation if you plan to rent a car in a hot climate. Most of these shades come as a single piece, although some have two pop-out shades to set in front of both the driver and passenger seat, which can offer a more comfortable fit.
Umbrella Sun Shades
Umbrella windshield shades work just as you might expect—they pop out with an umbrella construction and are meant to stay in place with the “umbrella” handle resting on your console or gear shifter. You need to order these sun shades in more precise sizes than some other types to ensure they remain in place.
The benefit of this style is that they are super easy to set up if they fit. They are incredibly compact to stow away. However, except for a couple of models, most umbrella sun shades tend to get lower customer ratings than other types.
Custom-fit windshield sun shades match the sizing of specific vehicles. While many luxury automobiles have custom sun shade options, as you might expect, you may be surprised to discover how many more affordable cars have custom shade options. You can find models for Toyota, Honda, Jeep, and several other automotive brands. Custom-fit sun shades tend to have high ratings but also cost more than many other options.
Car Sun Shade Reviews 2021
Best Budget Sun Shade – Ohuhu Windshield sun shade
If you’re on a tight budget but live somewhere hot, or can’t park your car in a garage, the Ohuhu sun shade. This UV car cover is a modern take on the older, fold-out styles. This shade has wires sewn into the material that secures the cover in place when you unfold and expand them.
To store this sun shade again, you twist and fold it into a compact size that fits in a pouch. This vehicle sun shade is not the thickest, most robust material, but it will block a lot of light with its reflective fabric for an affordable price. Even without 100 percent light blockage, this sun shade will protect your automobile from a lot of UV damage and excessive heat.
The Ohuhu car sun shade comes in two sizes (a maximum of 63” x 33.86”, or 65.7” x 36.4” max), which will fit most vehicles. Once you allow the shade to pop open, you secure it in place with your car’s sun visors.
- Super affordable
- Folds down compact for easy storage
- Fits several average-sized cars and SUVs
- Two sizes available
- Not as sturdy as more expensive options
- Thin material with excess on sides
Best Mid-Range Universal Sun Shade – Kinder Fluff Windshield Sun Shade
The kinder Fluff 210T maximum windshield sun shade has over 3,700 five-star reviews on Amazon and comes at a very reasonable price. We like this windshield cover for the portable design, slightly higher-density fabric than some affordable options, and the three different sizes available to fit almost any standard car, truck, or SUV on the road.
This shade is a collapsible twist-and-fold model that can fit into a compact pouch to store in a glove box or arm console in your automobile. There are many collapsible windshield sun shades on the market, but for the price, this is one of the best ones we found that stands up to the elements and keeps your car cool while also offering sizing to fit several vehicles.
- Reasonable price
- Three size options
- Compact storage
- Well-made construction for a non-bulky cover
- Need to get accurate sizing, otherwise can slip out of place
- Not ideal for the hottest climates
Best Higher-End Sun Shade – MCBUTY Windshield Sun Shade
We love this vehicle sun shade for the tried-and-true design that works. This 55” x 27.5” windshield cover is a few bucks more than some of the cheaper options, but the five-layer thick bubble material has proven effective over the last few decades. This sun shade features air insulation along with a foil reflective layer to block sunlight to the extreme.
You also don’t have to bother with figuring out the twist-and-fold shields with this model. It’s slightly bulkier to store, but you simply fold it down and set it to the side. To secure it in place, you can use your vehicle sun visors or the suction cups on this sun shade.
A buckle closure keeps this windshield sun cover closed once you fold it down. We recommend using your car or truck’s sun visors to help secure this shield in place, along with the suction cups for maximum effectiveness.
- Thick material
- Easy to fold down
- Comes in three colors
- Reasonable price
- Pink and blue colors can fade a bit
- Suction cups don’t always hold it in place
Best Premium Universal Sun Shade – WeatherTech TS0034 TechShade
This windshield sun shade is best for slightly larger vehicles, such as trucks and SUVs. We like this sun shade because of its thick material and reversible quality. In hot weather, you put the reflective side facing out to help keep your vehicle cool. You can direct the black side out to help absorb heat in winter months, aiding your car in holding in some warmth.
Like many windshield sun shades, this one stays in place with your automobile’s sun visors. Compared to some models, the WeatherTech shade is somewhat rigid, helping it remain in place. To store this shade, you roll it up, making it easier to put away than some collapsible, twist-and-fold models but less compact.
- A thick, insulating material
- Fits most average-sized cars, trucks, and SUVs
- Easy to roll up
- Velcro strap can come loose in some cases
- Not as compact to store as other models
Best Two-Piece Collapsible Sun Shade – Autoamerics 2-Piece Foldable Front Window Sun Shade
We love this two-piece because it comes in three size options, and it is easier to adjust to your windshield than many competitors. The two parts mean you can situate each reflective square in front of both the driver’s seat and passenger seat.
The rigid edge helps keep this sun shade in place, and the twist-and-fold collapsible design makes this shade compact enough to store in many glove boxes. The product listing also has a convenient guide for tons of automobiles to help you find the perfect size/fit for your car or truck.
- Three size options for almost all standard vehicles
- Two parts so you can set it up just how you want
- Collapsible, compact storage
- Takes a bit more positioning to set it in place
- Wire piping can break with excessive use
Best Highly-Popular Sun Shade – EcoNour Car Windshield Sun Shade
The EcoNour windshield sun shade has over 23,000 five-star reviews, and we love this UV cover, too. This shade comes in five sizes to fit virtually any car, truck, or SUV. You can also find a chart in the product listing to ensure you get the proper fit for your vehicle.
This windshield sun shade is the collapsible/twist-and-fold style and stays put with rigid circular poles when popped out to its full size. EcoNour claims that in exceptionally sunny, hot places, this shade can reduce the temperature inside your vehicle by up to 40° Fahrenheit. The company also provides a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.
- Incredibly high ratings
- Five sizes to choose from
- Collapses down very compact
- Some of the sizes listed for specific vehicles can be a bit off
- Not the most straightforward model to fold down and put away
Best Humorous Sun Shade – Golden Girls Windshield Sun Shade Visor
If you’re old enough to appreciate the Golden Girls, you might value the appearance of this windshield sun shade. This comical UV blocker has over 860 five-star reviews and would make most of us smile if we walked past it in a parking lot.
You don’t just get to stare at these four gorgeous ladies with this car sun shade—the fold-up cover features thick vinyl and a bubble interior to help insulate your vehicle from excessive heat. This shield measures 57” x 28” and can stay in place with your vehicle’s sun visors.
In the image, Dorothy is in the driver’s seat, while Sophia sits shotgun, and Rose and Blanche chat it up in the backseat. Confuse teenagers, make adults laugh, and keep your car cooler all at the same time.
- Dense, air-bubble material
- Excellent customer service
- Unique windshield sun shade
- Fits most passenger cars or pickup trucks
- Won’t fit some full-sized trucks or extra-compact cars
- Color can fade in regular, extra-bright sunlight
Best Sun Shade for Rear Side Windows – AUGOLA Side Window Shade
While we love windshield sun shades for blocking most of those hot UV rays, shades for the rear passenger seats can add an extra bit of temperature control and reduce glare for passengers or pets. The AUGOLA side window shade isn’t just a tiny roll-down model. This sun shade covers the entire rear-side windows, up to 18.9” in height and 43.3” wide.
- Breathable mesh allows for airflow
- Covers full windows between 27.5” wide and 43.3” wide
- Reduces glare while still allowing some outside view
- Affordable two-pack
- Does not prevent heat as much as windshield sun shades
- Will not fit every single vehicle
Some frequently asked questions about windshield sun shades are as follows:
Do I need to measure my windshield if the shade is a “universal” fit?
Yes, even “universal” sun shades will not fit every single car. Make sure you check the measurements first.
How do I fold a collapsible windshield sun shade?
Folding a collapsible sun shade takes a little practice. There are videos available to show you this easy technique if necessary.
How do I keep an accordion sun shade in place?
Most windshield UV shades require you to fold down your driver and passenger sun visors and tuck the sun shade between the visors and the windshield. Use caution not to bump your rearview mirror, as rigid shades can damage the mirror if you’re not careful.
A windshield sun shade can help keep your vehicle cool in the summer, help reduce UV deterioration of materials in your car or truck, and specific models will even hold in some warmth during the winter (if reversible with a black back).
There are so many varieties to choose from these days that you don’t have to toss a giant, folding shade in your backseat every time you remove it from your windshield. Most of the time, you can get the benefits of a vehicle sun shade for under $20, so invest in one that fits your car and enjoy a cooler summer while prolonging the life of your automobile’s interior.