Best Pergola Covers to Protect You From the Sun

A pergola is a beautiful outdoor living space for your home, and it can be a huge investment that boosts your home’s value. It can take a large amount of money and time to complete, but you can make sure it stays sturdy and lovely for years to come. One easy way to ensure your pergola lasts and you have a nice shaded area to relax is to buy a high-quality pergola cover. This protects it against harsh sunlight while keeping the temperature down. 

But how do you pick out the best pergola cover to protect you from the sun? What should you look for when you start shopping and comparing products? I’ve rounded up the top 10 pergola covers and reviewed them for you. Additionally, the buying guide makes it easy to narrow down your choice to tailor it to suit your needs. You can use these resources to find a long-lasting pergola cover that survives season to season.

Pergola 1 Start
This pretty pergola gives you a nice space outside to relax and entertain. You can easily close the sides to ward off the chilly evenings and keep the bugs out while allowing your celebration to go on well into the night. 

1. Quictent Rectangle Pergola Cover – Top Pick

 

This is a larger pergola cover that fits in nicely next to your koi pond to give you a relaxing area to sit. It’s a 26 by 20-foot cover that is easy to install while being sturdy enough to withstand rain and wind without tearing or sagging. This is great news if you live in an area that routinely sees different weather conditions. The HDPE can withstand around 98% of UV rays and general sunlight exposure without fading or weakening, and it’ll allow you to get natural light without any burns. Each corner of this cover has a 316 stainless steel D-ring that makes it easy to hang, and there is double stitching that won’t fray or break to ensure it lasts longer. 

There is a unique guarantee with this pergola cover that states that it’s supposed to be a minimum of 20-degrees cooler when you’re under it compared to sitting out in the sun on the patio or deck. It’s sturdy enough to use at commercial buildings, and you can also string it up in your own backyard. You can easily choose from several bright and fun colors, and it has a projected lifespan of five years. It stretches nicely to fit without any difficulty, and this makes installation easy. 

Benefits:

  • 26-feet by 20-feet
  • 316 stainless steel D-rings 
  • Makes the shaded area 20-degrees cooler 
  • Five year life at a minimum
  • Double stitching for durability 
  • Easy to install
  • Won’t fray or rip in wind or rain

Drawbacks: 

  • Can stretch with heavy use

2. MTN Shadesmith Sun Sail – Step- Up Pick

 

This is a 20 by 20 by 20-foot triangle-shaped pergola cover that features a durable HDEP fabric that will keep UV rays out of your bigger spaces. It’s ideal for big areas around your yard, and it works especially well to cover areas along the pool or over the water. The tightly-woven fabric is excellent for shading a larger area without stretching out and sagging with extended use, and it breathes to allow air to circulate through it so hot air doesn’t build up and be uncomfortable. It’s also good at resisting mold and mildew buildup in humid or wet environments, and the color won’t fade with exposure to the sun. 

Each corner of this pergola cover comes with a D-ring attached that makes it easy to mount and stretch over your area. They are stainless steel, so this means that they won’t rust or corrode when you leave them out all season. It’s easy to install, and you get a clear installation booklet in each purchase to ensure it stays up. There is double stitching along the edges to ensure that they don’t fray or break, and this can help the whole pergola cover last a few more seasons without a problem. The light yellow coloring fits into a host of decors. 

Benefits:

  • 20-feet by 20-feet by 20-feet
  • D-ring corner attachment 
  • Double stitching construction 
  • Installation booklet included 
  • Allows air to pass through 
  • Stretches to cover large areas
  • Mold and mildew-resistant 

Drawbacks:

3. Garden Expert Pergola Cover – Mid-End Budget Pick

 

If you’re looking for a slightly smaller pergola cover and you’re on a budget, this could be a good pick, and it’s easy to clean, install, and maintain. This one is 8-feet by 10-feet, and it uses HDPE fabric that will block up to 95% of the sun’s UV rays. However, it has a very breathable design that allows air to circulate through it to prevent it from getting trapped and heating up underneath it. However, this also means it allows rain through. It works well stretched over a portion of your patio or deck, and each corner has a stainless steel D-ring with a durable rope that makes installation quick and easy. You’ll get to choose from a host of bright, cheerful colors when you order too. 

This pergola cover has a slightly tighter weave to it, and you get the choice of 13 different sizes when you order that allows you to tailor your pick to suit your needs. The pergola cover does curve a little bit when you get it installed, so the shaded areas will be four or five inches smaller. However, the tightly woven fabric won’t stretch out with repeated use or if you expose it to rain or wind, and this makes it a durable option that will last through several seasons without a problem.

Benefits:

  • Blocks 95% of the UV rays 
  • HDPE fabric 
  • Stainless steel D-rings
  • Installation is quick 
  • Several colors available
  • Has 13 size options 
  • Breathable 

Drawbacks: 

4. DOEWORKS Shade Cloth – Bargain Budget Pick

 

This bargain budget pick pergola cover comes from Doeworks, and it offers UV protection while shading you from direct sunlight when you sit out in your backyard. It won’t block the total light, and this means that the fabric is breathable. Hot air won’t build up under it and get uncomfortable if you sit for a few hours, but it does allow rain to slip through. It has a mildew and mold-resistant design to it that can help it last longer with exposure to hot, wet, or humid conditions, and the edges come reinforced with strong webbing on all four sides to help it resist stretching, wear, and tear with repeated use. 

All four edges come lined with copper grommets that give you a very secure fit, and the copper won’t rust or corrode with water exposure. You get 10 bungee cords when you order this pergola cover that ensures it fits securely to your structure without coming loose and blowing around, and this also makes it a much more stable cover. It’ll shade your pergola, pool deck, patio, deck, or other outdoor area to give you more privacy. It comes in a beige coloring that will work with almost any decor, and you get four different size choices when you buy it. 

Benefits:

  • Mold and mildew-resistant 
  • Copper grommets 
  • 10 bungee cords
  • Breathable 
  • Easy to install
  • Offers UV protection 
  • Edges are a durable webbing

Drawbacks:

5. Alion Home Waterproof Pergola Cover – Best For Wet Environments

 

This is a replacement pergola cover that works well if you’re trying to create a shade garden in your yard. It works well on wooden or metal pergolas, and it’s a cost-effective way to replace the older cover. There is no frame and rod set included, so you should carefully measure it before you buy it to ensure you get the correct size. You do get the choice of 20 different sizes to ensure you get a good fit. You get UV-treated waterproof fabric in a pretty natural earth tone coloring, and it uses 160GSM high-density 350 denier 100% polyester fabric. It has a polyurethane coating on it to help repel and encourage almost 100% of rainwater runoff. 

It blocks up to 95% of the sun’s rays while helping to reduce the temperatures under it by up to 30% to help keep you comfortable. It’s very easy and quick to install, and all you have to do is lay it over your pergola frame and tie each corner to the vertical support rods using polyester ties. There are areas for you to slide weighted rods in to help hold it in place, and there are additional ties you can use to secure it. You get a hassle-free warranty on this product, including a money-back guarantee for 30-days from the date of purchase. There is also a one-year limited replacement warranty. 

Benefits:

  • 20 sizes available 
  • Waterproof design 
  • 95% sunlight blockage 
  • Reduces temperatures by 30%
  • Easy to secure 
  • Durable edges 
  • Dual warranties 

Drawbacks:

6. VICLLAX Shade Fabric Sun Shade – Best For Small Areas

This pergola cover is nice if you have a smaller area you’d like to cover, and it’ll block up to 90% of the harmful UV rays to keep you protected as you sit outside. It has durable 185GSM HDPE material with a tightly knitted construction that will resist wear, tear, and fraying with heavy use. This is especially nice for areas that see different weather conditions throughout the season, and it’s a breathable fabric that lets enough light through to see without compromising your privacy. All of the edges have a reinforced binding on them to make them more durable, and there is a grommet in each corner to help it retain strength. 

It works well as a windbreak fence, patio cover, pergola cover, over the lawn, as a tree guard, or as a pool privacy screen. You get a solid grommet placed every 1.5-feet around the edge of the pergola cover to secure it in place, and it features 100% HDPE fabric with a very tight weave. All you have to do to clean it is to put a mild detergent with water on it and scrub it with a soft brush. It’ll resist mold and mildew growth, and it’ll also resist fading due to sunlight exposure.

Benefits:

  • Blocks 90% of UV rays 
  • Tightly knitted design 
  • Durable material
  • Very versatile product 
  • Grommet every 1.5-feet
  • Easy to secure 
  • Resists mold and mildew growth 

Drawbacks:

  • Allows rain to come through 

7. COARBOR Outdoor Shade Pergola Cover – Best For Larger Pergolas

This pergola cover comes outfitted with two side rod pockets and grommets to help secure it, and this makes it sturdy enough for you to lean your planters or trellises against it to create a climbing garden. You get weighted rods in each purchase that slide down the sides of the cover to help hold it in place, and you can choose from a huge range of sizes to cover virtually any area in your yard or garden without a problem. The ends of the pergola cover have fasteners to ensure the rods stay in place, and the grommets are two feet apart to help you secure it to the frame without any gaps. 

The fabric on the pergola cover is permeable, and the rain can drain through it to prevent it from pooling and stretching out the canopy. It gives you up to 95% sun protection from UV rays, and you can even ask for custom sizing if you have an odd area to cover. This product is very easy to install out of the box, and it comes in four colors ranging from classic beige to bright blue. You get an installation manual with this product to ensure that the installation goes easy from start to finish, and it is easy to store between uses safely and securely. 

Benefits:

  • Weighted rods included 
  • Huge size range available 
  • Permeable fabric 
  • 95% sun protection 
  • Several colors available 
  • Installation manual included 
  • Two side rod pockets

Drawbacks:

8. E&K Sunrise Outdoor Shade Canopy – Best For Blocking UV Rays

The weighted rods in this pergola cover can help hold it down when it gets windy out to ensure that it doesn’t blow away or tear. Each end of the rod comes with tie-downs to help fasten them to the pergola’s structure so it won’t slip. The two sides come with grommets every two-feet apart, and this allows you to securely and easily tie it down. It works well for windy areas, and it comes made out of 100% HDPE. This fabric is breathable while being very durable, and it works well for gazebos, pergolas, patios, yards, decks, and smaller areas in your garden. 

It features 100% HDPE fabric that is permeable and breathable to allow air to flow through it to keep it cooler, and this also allows rain to go through it without pooling on the top to make it sag. You get grommets every two-feet apart on this pergola cover that make it quick and easy to secure and ensure it won’t come loose from the frame in windy weather. You can have the company make a custom size for you if you don’t find the size you want in their huge range of options, and it comes in light grey, brown, and green coloring to help you tailor it to suit your needs. 

Benefits:

  • Permeable fabric 
  • Can get a custom size 
  • Three colors available 
  • 100% HDPE fabric 
  • Breathable and lightweight
  • Grommets every two feet apart 
  • Easy to secure 

Drawbacks:

9. Patio Outdoor Shade Canopy Replacement – Best For Patios

If you have a space in your yard, deck, or patio where you could use a little extra shade, this pergola cover can help. It’s a woven knitted fabric that is very durable and breathable, but it’s not waterproof. It features 165GSM polyethylene that will block up to 95% of any UV rays to keep you cool, comfortable, and safe as you sit outside. You get weighted rods in each purchase to help hold down the canopy in high winds, and there are tie downs to help keep the rods in place to ensure nothing moves when you finish installing it. It also has grommets on every two feet to secure it. 

The edges are also reinforced to prevent fraying, tearing, or ripping with heavy use or use in unfavorable weather conditions. It has a very quick and easy installation process to it, and you’ll be able to put it up and enjoy it in no time. You can choose from solid or striped color combinations and it comes in a decent range of sizes so you can get enough coverage for your selected area without a problem. It resists mold and mildew growth as well, and this can help it last longer. 

Benefits:

  • Uses 165GSM polyethylene 
  • Blocks 95% of the UV rays 
  • Several sizes available 
  • Weighted rods included 
  • Grommets every two feet 
  • Mold and mildew-resistant 
  • Easy to contact customer service 

Drawbacks:

10. AECOJOY Retractable Pergola Canopy – Best For Temporary Use

The final pergola cover on our list is a retractable one, and it works for a range of different outdoor areas like decks, gardens, or terraces. It has a unique retractable design that allows you to pull it back when you’re not using it to ensure that sunlight spills in, and it’s easy to pull back out when you want to sit in the shade. You can adjust the lengths to match the sun’s position along the sides to keep yourself comfortable, but you do have to remove the canopy on rainy days because it has a much thinner material that won’t withstand inclement weather conditions well. 

You’ll get two boxes when you order this pergola cover with a full set of installation instructions to help save time when you put it up. Each of the feet come with mounting holes to help you affix it into the ground, and you get a one-year warranty from the date of purchase to help protect your initial investment. The customer service team is very responsive to questions or concerns, and the sturdy steel frame will resist rust and corrosion with hard use. 

Benefits:

  • Easy to install
  • Retractable design
  • Customer service is responsive 
  • Has a steel frame
  • Powder coating resists damage 
  • Compact design 
  • Easy to adjust the cover

Drawbacks:

  • Have to put the cover away in bad weather 

Pergola Cover Buyer’s Guide 

Now that you have examples of high-quality pergola covers in front of you, how do you narrow down your choices and pick the best one for your yard, garden, or playground set area? Are there buying requirements that are more important to consider than others? If so, what are they? This is what I plan to outline in this short buyer’s guide so you can get a beautiful pergola cover that lasts for years. 

For the sake of this guide, I’ll assume that you have a pergola already and you’re simply buying a new cover to replace your old one. Or, you could be buying your first cover after installing your pergola. Whatever the reason, this guide can help. 

Pergola 2 Guide
Fabric covers are popular because they’re very versatile, and they allow for a greater degree of flexibility over wooden or metal covers.

Material 

What material is your pergola cover made from? They come in woven and knitted patterns with polyethylene fabric. This fabric will withstand wear and tear very well, and it has some built-in resistance to mold and mildew growth. Knitted patterns are usually more sturdy than woven, and this can help them last longer. Double-check what materials the company uses and the pattern type. This will give you a good idea on whether or not your new pergola cover will last. 

Size

Pergola covers come in a huge range of sizes, and you have to decide which one will fit your area the best. If you have a larger rooftop garden with a pergola, you’ll need a bigger cover to fit. For smaller areas, you can get away with smaller covers. Whatever size you need, make sure you take into account the additional length you need to curve it around your pergola. Usually, this is an additional 1.5 to 2 feet. It’s a good idea to get more than you need than to pick out one that is too small. 

UV Protection

Many pergola covers come with UV protection built in. This protection helps prevent the cover from fading away with direct sunlight exposure. No matter what cover you get, it should have a protective layer on it. In general, polyethylene fabric will resist damage, but it’ll eventually cause it to fall apart. Your pergola cover will also provide UV protection for your skin and eyes because it’ll screen out a major amount of the UV rays. 

Pergola 3 UV
UV rays can damage your skin and eyes if you have constant exposure to them. This is why pergolas are so popular throughout the United States, and many people use them to ward off the hot sun and temperatures. 

Breathability 

Almost every pergola cover has a higher amount of breathability to it. Unfortunately, this breathability also means that water will slip through and it won’t be 100% waterproof. The knit fabric allows hot air to escape while keeping the cooler air trapped. You want to check the breathability rating on the cover before you buy it. If you don’t, you could get something that is too hot in the summer. 

Flexibility

If you want to get a cover to shade your kid’s game area, you’ll need a higher degree of flexibility. Generally, all covers stretch, and this gives you a couple inches of more shade, but you should ensure that it’s flexible enough to cover the area you want. Some have rigid poles that reduce their flexibility but allow you to decide how much area you want to cover. Others use metal grommets with ropes to stretch over the pergola. 

Warranty

Even though this doesn’t have to be a huge purchase, you want it to have a warranty attached to it. Many companies offer three or five-year warranties against defects or damage. See how long the warranty is and what it covers. Limited warranties are far more restrictive than full warranties, and companies can offer both on the same product. 

Pergola 4 End
Pergolas come in all shapes and sizes, and you can get kits or build on from scratch. The cover will wear out eventually, and this is why you have to pick out a new one so you can continue to enjoy your yard or garden.

Pergola Cover Frequently Asked Questions

Since pergola covers can be expensive, it’s not uncommon for people to have a decent amount of questions when they start shopping and comparing products. We’ve picked out a few popular questions and answered them for you below. 

  1. What is a popular material for pergola covers?

One of the most popular materials for pergola covers is fabric. Fabric is usually easy to install, it’s relatively inexpensive, and you can get it in a huge range of colors and shapes that makes it easy to tailor to fit your space. Fabric is also breathable so you don’t get too hot when you sit under it. 

  1. How do pergola covers stay on the pergola?

Depending on which type of cover you get, some get permanently mounted onto the pergola. However, fabric covers use a combination of ties or bungee cords, metal grommets, and weighted rods to help it stay on the structure in windy conditions. 

  1. Are the custom sizes available for pergola covers?

Yes, many companies will make you a custom sized pergola cover if you contact them and ask. You should just be aware that this is going to be more expensive than the standard sizes, especially if you plan on going big to cover a large area. 

Bottom Line

A high-quality pergola cover can give you a stunning shaded area in your yard all spring and summer long for your family and friends to gather. My 10 reviews and buyer’s guide give you everything you need to make an informed decision and find the perfect cover in time for the hot and sunny weather. 

Best Pergola Covers to Protect You From the Sun

Pergola Cover 1 Pergola Cover 2