Homes in warm climates without air conditioning can become hot in the summer months. Solar blinds can provide relief from the heat by acting as a window covering with added features. This includes UV protection and light control.
The best solar shades come with functions to keep out the sun’s harmful rays as possible. Below, you’ll find our guide to sun-blocking shades. The top product option available today and factors to look for is included too.
Coolaroo Exterior Roller Shade (6′ X 6′)
The Coolaroo Exterior Roller Shade measures six feet by six feet and offers 90% UV protection. Solar shade with a knitted fabric in a light beige color may be an excellent choice for windows.
The HDPE fabric is breathable, resistant to mold and mildew blocks heat, and minimizes glare. It can also be used for patio areas, decks, porches, and gazebos. This shade is child-safe and operates without cords or chains; a crank is included.
Coolaroo Exterior Roller Shade (8′ X 6′)
This roller shade is a higher-end option from Coolaroo, the same brand that offers our top product recommendation. This shade measures eight feet by six feet and features a breathable knitted fabric.
It comes in the “southern sunset” beige tone and operates using a crank, without cords or chains. The material is resistant to mold and mildew, and the shade blocks out 90% of UV rays.
Gale Pacific Coolaroo Shade
Due to its omission of a crank or a rail for installation, this Coolaroo solar mesh window shade is very affordable. It measures six feet by 15 feet and comes in a beige “wheat” color.
This shade is made from high-density polyethylene that can block out up to 90% of UV rays. Plus, the fabric facilitates the rising of heat and humidity, cutting down on ambient air temperatures as much as 30%.
The material is also weather-resistant and can be cleaned just by rinsing with a hose.
GoDear Design Cordless Roller Shade
The GoDear Design Modern Free Stop Roller Shade is great for those looking for indoor thermal shades.
Measuring 27 inches by 72 inches, this silver-colored thermal shade is both attractive and can block out some of the light from outside. It allows some natural light to enter the room. This roller shade also has a free stop feature and is cordless.
Solar shades for blocking heat come in a variety of forms. While many features, such as light ray protection and weather-resistant fabric, stay consistent across numerous products, these shades can vary in a few key ways. Read on to learn about the key features that distinguish solar window shades and how these factors can impact the quality of a product.
Due to the effect of color on heat absorption, the lightness or darkness of your solar shade’s fabric will impact how it keeps out heat from the sun. Light-colored solar shades have different pros and cons than dark-colored shades, so it mainly comes down to your personal needs.
Light-colored shades can reflect heat well. This type of shade allows more light to seep into the room for those who prefer natural light in their homes. The best light-colored shades can block out approximately 80% to 90% of exterior light. This is less than dark-colored shades, so light options may be more fitting for common areas where you may gather socially during the day instead of bedrooms.
Dark solar shades minimize visible light that comes into your home. These shades provide superior control over glare compared to their light-colored counterparts, and 94% to 96% of visible light can be blocked out with a dark shade. The darker the color is, the more heat it absorbs, so dark-colored shades effectively absorb heat from the sun’s rays and keep it from entering your home (Source).
Home shades have a characteristic called “openness,” which refers to the volume of light shining through the shade. Generally, when you’re looking at sunscreen shades, you want a low percentage of openness. That way, most of the sunlight is blocked out, keeping your home cool and protected against UV rays.
The average solar screen has a 7% openness. This means that 7% of the shade’s fabric is permeable by the sun. The more open a shade is, the more natural light will enter the room, which may be the desired effect for some individuals. However, a higher openness percentage also makes for more significant heat transfer, which diminishes the shade’s effectiveness at blocking heat (Source).
UV rays are known to be harmful to our health. Skin cancer, skin damage, premature aging, eye conditions, and the weakening of our immune systems are the main issues that can arise from overexposure to UV rays (Source). Solar sun shades are an accessible and convenient way to keep UV rays out of your home. Over time, the use of UV window shades will reduce your exposure to these rays and, in turn, your risk for the conditions mentioned above.
Solar sun shades that filter out UV rays present their protection level as a percentage. Most of the products included in this article block out 80% to 90% of UV rays. So, by consistently using these solar window shades, you’ll cut down on your exposure to UV rays by a significant margin.
Different shades operate using other mechanisms. Most solar shades are considered to be roller shades, meaning that it uses a cylinder and firm sections of fabric to roll down over the window. To operate a roller shade, you generally just pull it down manually. Many shade options have a locking feature to keep the shade securely in the desired position.
High-end window shades may operate electronically, powered by an external remote. These motorized shades may be great for homes with large windows or with windows that are high up and out of reach.
One primary consideration for window shade mechanisms today is child safety. Some shade models include chains or cords, which can present a hazard for both children and pets. Cordless, chainless shades are the safest options for households with young children and pets (Source).
Quick Take: OUR RECOMMENDATIONS FOR Solar Shades for Blocking Heat
Top Recommendation Coolaroo Exterior Roller Shade (6′ X 6′)
Fabric won’t fade, even after years of use.
Upgrade Option Coolaroo Exterior Roller Shade (8′ X 6′)
The 8′ by 6′ dimensions provide enough length for large windows.
The 6 inches by 6 inches exterior Coolaroo shade comes with tan fabric. It can stay in excellent condition for years. The material is designed to withstand the sun’s powerful rays to reduce fading. Also, this solar shade features a crank operation, free of cords or chains. This is safe for children or pets. It is also manageable to operate if you’re older or disabled.
This product from Coolaroo filters some natural light into your home instead of a gray or cool-toned solar shade. The light will be warm-toned, easy on the eyes, and maybe quite pleasant at all times of the day.
The crank used to operate this shade is constructed entirely of plastic. With each part made of the same material, the crank may get stuck or otherwise malfunction. Also, the crank may take more time to operate than other varieties of shade mechanism. Although this solar shade blocks out up to 90% of UV light, it’s still a bit see-through. So, if you’re looking for a shade that provides complete privacy, this product may not be a perfect choice.
Gale Pacific Coolaroo Shade Fabric may be one of the best solar shades for blocking heat if you’re on a tight budget. It’s sturdy and designed to maintain a good condition for many years. Even amidst the outdoor elements, this shade fabric may resist fraying and tears.
This shade option may be inconvenient. It doesn’t include the hardware needed to install it over your window, which . This also allows you to hand-pick the hardware you want; it’s a trade-off. This also allows you to hand-pick the hardware you want; it’s a trade-off.
While budget-friendly, this shade fabric has an industrial look that may not be the most visually pleasing option that you can find. Also, the edges aren’t hemmed, which may give it a rough, unfinished look.
This GoDear product is a good option for homeowners in need of a window shade with nominal thermal capabilities. The material is durable and has a high-end look. The silver-tone of the material may contribute to a beautiful interior. Additionally, this shade offers the convenience to be mounted on the ceiling.
This sunshade is sheerer than other options on this list. While it will let in natural light, it won’t block out as much heat as you may want. It doesn’t offer complete privacy when it’s dark outside as well. And this shade may be tricky to install if your windows don’t provide enough leeway.
The best solar shades offer a combination of sun protection and durability. Among the top solar shade options on the market today, the four products listed here are the best of the best. Between these top options, the Coolaroo Exterior Roller Shade, 6’x 6′ comes out as the winner.
Despite its highly competitive price, it blocks out up to 90% of UV rays. Plus, it’s built to resist sun and weather damage. This thermal shade may satisfy different consumers because it lets in natural light.