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Best Car Sun Shades

We reflect on the best options for diverting UV rays from your vehicle’s interior.
Written and Tested By:
Will Moore
Written and Tested By: Will Moore Senior Writer – Motor1 Review Team

Will has written for several major auto sites including Motor1 since 2020, logging hundreds of hours researching and testing products ranging from child car seats to torque wrenches. Will is also Certified by Safe Kids Worldwide as a Child Passenger Safety Technician (#T836339).

Last Updated 07/03/2024

Motor1 Reviews Team Take:

Best Car Sun Shade
WeatherTech Sunshade

A mid-priced, well-made, and easy-to-use sun shade that is custom fit to your vehicle.

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Most Durable Sun Shade
Covercraft UVS100

An especially thick sun shade that you will never need to replace.

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Most Compact
CarCovers.com Platinum Sunshade Umbrella

A low-cost sun shade with a unique umbrella design that keeps it firmly in place.

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Budget Pick
AutoTech Zone Sunshade

A basic, inexpensive sun shade that folds away in seconds.

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A car sun shade is an essential accessory if you often leave your vehicle parked in the sun. By reflecting the light coming through the front windshield, a sun shade keeps your vehicle cooler and protects your upholstery from UV damage. Over time, leather and fabrics will fade through repeated sun exposure, but regularly using a sun shade significantly slows this effect.

Though a relatively simple product, there is some variation in sun shade design. We tested several types and brands to suggest car sun shades we think work best.


Car Sun Shade Reviews

A car's sunshade is drawn across a window.

There is not a lot of complexity to car sun shades. That said, a car sun shade is useless if it doesn’t cover your entire windshield, stay in place, and reflect sunlight.

What Is the Best Car Sun Shade?

After considering convenience, fit, and overall durability we named the WeatherTech Sunshade, Covercraft UVS100, CarCovers.com Platinum Sunshade Umbrella, and AutoTech Zone Sunshade as the best car sun shades in 2024.

Brand/ModelOverall RatingAwardCost

WeatherTech Sunshade

4.5

Best Car Sun Shade

$65 – $75

Covercraft UVS100

4.2

Most Durable Sun Shade

$80 – $90

CarCovers.com Platinum Sunshade Umbrella

4.0

Most Compact

$50

AutoTech Zone Sunshade

4.0

Budget Pick

$30

*Because cost data fluctuates, the prices in the table above are approximate values that our team regularly updates.

Car Sun Shades: Our Testing Process

The car sun shades in this article went through two rounds of reviews. We started by searching retailers like Amazon for top products, looking at factors such as materials, customer ratings, and prices.

Our product testing team then ordered the sun shades that best met these standards. A team member tested each product in a vehicle on a hot, sunny day — noting the convenience, fit, and durability of the products. Learn more about how we tested car sun shades here.

1. WeatherTech Sunshade: Best Car Sun Shade

WeatherTech Sunshade Best Car Sun Shade
  • Cost: $65 – $75
  • Overall rating: 4.5 out of 5.0
  • Style: Roll-up
  • Weight: About 3 pounds

The WeatherTech Sunshade is our choice for the best car sun shade because it’s the smartest option for most drivers. It features the simplest type of design and is durably constructed.

In addition to acting as a sun shade, this product can help keep your car warmer in the winter. The reversible design features a dark side that absorbs sunlight, reducing the buildup of frost on your windshield in the winter months.

You can see how the WeatherTech Sunshade performed in each testing category below:

Review Category Score (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Convenience 5.0
Fit 4.5
Durability 4.0
Overall Rating 4.5

Below are the pros and cons of the WeatherTech Sunshade:

Pros
  • Excellent fit
  • Double-sided design can prevent frost buildup in winter
  • Firm core improves durability and windshield stability
Cons
  • Moderately expensive

This lightweight rollout sun shade perfectly fit our test windshield. Though it uses a rolling design, we noted that the WeatherTech Sunshade is a little thicker and more rugged than typical sun shades in this style.

We installed this sun shade in seconds. Because of a semi-firm core, the WeatherTech Sunshade stays in place mostly by itself. You can also put down the sun visors to help secure it. A built-in strap keeps this sun shade rolled up for storage.


weathertech sun shade in a sedan

Reviews for the WeatherTech Sunshade are separated by model, with most having fewer than 10 reviews. Every sun shade is rated at least 4.0 stars. Most reviewers post simply that the sun shade fits or works as expected. The fit and overall quality are often praised.

2. Covercraft UVS100: Most Durable Sun Shade

Covercraft UVS100 Most Durable Sun Shade
  • Cost: $80 – $90
  • Overall rating: 4.2 out of 5.0
  • Style: Folding
  • Weight: About 3 lbs.

The Covercraft UVS100 is the sun shade to choose if appearance is important to you. Soft, roll-up sun shades are inexpensive and work well, but they don’t typically have the sleekest appearance. The Covercraft features a thick foam core and fold-out panels, giving it a factory-style look.

You can see how the Covercraft UVS100 performed in each category below:

Review Category Score (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Convenience 4.0
Fit 3.5
Durability 5.0
Overall Rating 4.2

Below are the pros and cons of the Covercraft UVS100:

Pros
  • Extremely durable
  • High-quality appearance
  • Very easy to use
Cons
  • Expensive

This custom-fit sun shade has a thick foam core and triple-laminated construction. We could immediately feel the difference between the Covercraft and any other sunscreen in appearance and durability.

While this doesn’t impact the Covercraft’s ability to keep your vehicle cool, this sun shade does have a distinctly premium look, especially compared to the typical aluminum bubble roll-up style.

covercraft sun shade in a sedan

The biggest downside of this sun shade’s design is that it does not cover the windshield as completely as some of the other options we’ve tested. While most of the windshield is covered, there is an opening around the rear-view mirror that’s slightly larger compared to less rigid alternatives.

The Covercraft does stay in place well, and fit our windshield exactly. (We deducted points for fit because, while it fits in place, it does leave a large gap near the rearview mirror.) Like the WeatherTech shade, it’s held in place with the sun visors.

To store, the Covercraft UVS100 folds into a small accordion that is easy to conceal.

Reviews for the Covercraft UVS100 are divided by model. Most have over 100 ratings, with many having more than 500 ratings, and none are rated fewer than 4.0 stars. The most-reviewed model, for the Dodge Challenger, has an average score of 4.7 out of 5.0 based on more than 900 reviews.

Positive reviews say that the fit is perfect and praise the Covercraft’s durability. The Challenger has a large windscreen, and several reviewers say the rigid design of the Covercraft keeps it in place better than thin, roll-up style sun shades.

Some people mention that the thickness of the UVS100 makes it somewhat bulky.

3. CarCovers.com Platinum Sunshade Umbrella: Most Compact

CarCovers.com Platinum Sunshade Umbrella Most Compact
  • Cost: $50
  • Overall rating: 4.0 out of 5.0
  • Style: Umbrella
  • Weight: About 1 lb.

We recommend the CarCovers.com Platinum Sunshade Umbrella for those in need of something a little different. This sun shade operates like an umbrella, filling up the windshield with a push of a button. The benefit of this design is that it is the most compact of any sun shade. The downside is that it could break more easily compared to others and is more difficult to deploy.

You can see how the CarCovers.com Platinum Sunshade Umbrella performed in each category below:

Review Category Score (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Convenience 4.0
Fit 4.5
Durability 3.5
Overall Rating 4.0

Below are the pros and cons of the CarCovers.com Platinum Sunshade Umbrella:

Pros
  • Extremely compact
  • Unique design
  • Excellent fit
Cons
  • Difficult to deploy in some cars
  • Umbrella springs can break

The first thing we noticed about the CarCovers.com Platinum is its small size. When folded away, it’s the size of a small umbrella and weighs less than a pound.

It seems a little awkward to open an umbrella inside a car, and installing the Platinum Sunshade Umbrella is trickier compared to roll-up sun shades. That means it takes longer to get into place, around 20 seconds. It’s still relatively quick, but a roll-up shade usually installs in about 10 seconds.

carcovers.com sun shade in a sedan

This sun shade fit our test vehicle perfectly, completely blocking out the sun. However, we found some customer reports stating that this sun shade doesn’t fit every vehicle well.

While the sun shade material feels durable and is made to be UV resistant, the spokes of the umbrella present a failure point for this sun shade. We don’t expect these to break easily, but in making their product more complex, CarCovers.com also made it more prone to failure versus simple one-piece shades.

This car sun shade is not reviewed on Amazon, though there are reviews for the Platinum Sunshade on the CarCovers.com website. We take these reviews with a grain of salt, given they are published on the manufacturer’s own webpage. That said, combing through them, many appear to be earnest ratings given that some even offer criticism of the product.

There are plenty of reviewers praising the product for its fit and small size. There are also reviewers that don’t like this sun shade. They feel the design is difficult to deploy and doesn’t fit their vehicle.

4. AutoTech Zone Sunshade: Budget Pick

AutoTech Zone Sunshade Budget Pick
  • Cost: $30
  • Overall rating: 4.0 out of 5.0
  • Style: Roll-up
  • Weight: About 1 lb.

The AutoTech Zone Sunshade is a standard aluminum sun shade offered at a low cost. While made from thinner materials than more expensive options, this sun shade fits well and will effectively keep your car cool under the sun’s rays.

You can see how the AutoTech Zone Sunshade performed in each category below:

Review Category Score (Out of 5.0 Stars)
Convenience 4.5
Fit 4.0
Durability 3.0
Overall Rating 4.0

Below are the pros and cons of the AutoTech Zone Sunshade:

Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Not especially durable

We were able to roll out and install the AutoTech Zone Sunshade in a few seconds. It can be stored away just as easily with the help of a built-in strap.

We found that this sun shade fit our test vehicle perfectly, blocking out the entire windshield, and stayed in place even without the help of the sun visors.

autotech zone sun shade in a sedan

We find fault in this sun shade’s durability and appearance. It feels a lot thinner than other sun shades, but that doesn’t mean it’s not effective. It could be a good choice for people who want something that simply works and aren’t picky about appearance.

AutoTech Zone Sunshade reviews are divided by model. The page for the Ford Fusion has an average rating of 4.5 stars with more than 100 reviews. Most reviews are simple: It covers the entire windshield and stays in place. Those looking for a basic sun shade appreciate the lower price.

Negative reviews focus on the flimsiness of the material. Because it is not particularly rigid, the AutoTech Zone Sunshade can collapse out of the window over time. However, it is unclear if these reviewers used their sun shades to prop up this sun shade.


Car Sun Shade Buying Guide

Sun shades aren’t complex. That said, a car sun shade is useless if it doesn’t cover your entire windshield, stay in place, and reflect sunlight. Each of our recommended sun shades achieves that task.

Compare Car Sun Shades

Brand/ModelStyleDual-Sided?Weight

WeatherTech Sun Shade

Roll-up

Yes

48 ounces

Covercraft UVS100

Folding

No

47.5 oz.

CarCovers.com Platinum Sunshade Umbrella

Umbrella

No

12.6 oz.

AutoTech Zone Sunshade

Roll-up

No

15 oz.

Most car sun shades work, as long as they fit in your vehicle’s windshield. There aren’t a lot of features that differentiate sun shades, but when comparing options you might consider style and whether or not you want a dual-sided sun shade.

Style

Most car sun shades feature a rolling or folding style, though other varieties also exist. We don’t think any particular style is strictly better than any other, each having its own advantages and drawbacks.

  • Roll-up sun shades typically feature thinner materials and an attached band that keeps the sun shade rolled up while stored. These can very quickly be deployed and are fairly compact.
  • Folding sun shades fold along panels, usually because they feature thicker materials. These don’t fold up quite as small as rolling sun shades but are often made with more durable materials.
  • The CarCovers.com sun shade that we tested features an umbrella design that expands just like an umbrella. This design makes for an extremely compact sun shade when put away, but is also a little more difficult to deploy compared to rolling and folding sun shades.

Dual-Sided Sun Shades

Most car sun shades are designed to keep your car cool in the summer. However, some can also help keep your car warm in the winter by absorbing sunlight. These two-sided sun shades feature a silver reflective side and a black absorptive side. The absorptive side absorbs sunlight and prevents frost accumulation.

Car Sun Shade Cost

Car sun shades generally start out around $30 but can cost up to $90 for the most premium options. Typically, the cost of any given sun shade can vary, depending on your vehicle.

You should generally expect to pay around $50 when shopping for a quality sun shade.


Best Car Sun Shade: Bottom Line

Car sun shades aren’t complicated. You’ll need something that fits in your window and reflects the sun. After testing sun shades for several days, we think the following are good options for most drivers:

  1. Best Car Sun Shade: WeatherTech Sunshade
  2. Most Durable Sun Shade: Covercraft UVS100
  3. Most Compact: CarCovers.com Platinum Sunshade Umbrella
  4. Budget Pick: AutoTech Zone Sunshade

WeatherTech offers what we think is the best overall sun shade at an average price. It’s a buy-it-for-life option that will fit most vehicles well. If you’re looking for something even more rugged or with a different look than the typical aluminum sun shade, consider the Covercraft UVS100, which folds into thick panels.


Car Sun Shades: FAQ

Below are some common frequently asked questions about car sun shades: 

What type of sun shade is best for a car?

The type of sun shade best for your car is whatever best fits the front windshield and will reflect UV rays.

Are car windshield sun shades worth it?

A car windshield sun shade can be worth it if you keep your vehicle parked in the sun. A low-cost sun shade can be purchased for around $30 and should keep your vehicle cool and extend the length of your upholstery.

What is the best sun shade for a car?

We think the best sun shades for your car are the WeatherTech Sunshade, Covercraft UVS100, CarCovers.com Platinum Sunshade Umbrella, and AutoTech Zone Sunshade. There are other quality sun shades available as well. What’s important is that it fits your windshield.

How do WeatherTech sun shades stay in place?

WeatherTech sun shades are held in place by lowering your vehicle’s driver and passenger sun visors. Due to the lightweight design of this sun shade, not much force is required to keep it in place.


Car Sun Shade Testing Methodology

We installed each sun shade in a 2017 Ford Fusion Hybrid and then parked it in the bright sun on a hot day for several hours.

All of the sun shades we tested worked more or less the same when it came to keeping our vehicle cool. To rate and compare sun shades, we considered convenience, fit, and durability.

Convenience

A sun shade is something that is meant to be put up while your car is parked and should not take more than a minute to install. Sun shades also need to be easily stored away when not in use, ideally taking little to no space in the trunk or back seat.

We assessed convenience by measuring the time it took to deploy and store each sun shade. We also considered the ease or difficulty of getting the sun shade into the window.

Car sun shades that deploy quickly and fold away to a small size score best in this category.

Fit

To prevent your vehicle from heating significantly from the sun, a sun shade should cover most, if not all, of your windshield. Custom-fit sun shades generally provide better coverage, though this isn’t necessarily the case.

Our ratings for fit are based on the amount of our test vehicle’s windshield each sunscreen was able to cover, with those sun shades that completely filled the windscreen earning the highest ratings.

Durability

Through use and exposure, the materials in your sun shade may break down over time. Sun shades manufactured from thin materials may begin to tear after a few years of use. The best car sun shades, however, are likely to outlast your vehicle.

We haven’t been able to test these sun shades over a period of years, and so our durability score is based on our assessment of each sun shade’s materials. A sun shade’s design may also play into durability if it has certain parts or features that seem prone to wearing out or breaking (such as an elastic storage strap).

We give the highest durability scores to sun shades that feature thick, durable materials and have few or no components we expect would wear out.

How We Score Products

Based on the criteria above, each car sun shade is given a rating between 1.0 and 5.0 stars. The list below explains what those ratings mean in more concrete detail:

  • 5.0 Stars: The car sun shade is among the best in a category.
    • Convenience: The sun shade can be installed and removed in under 10 seconds. It also folds or rolls into a small size.
    • Fit: The sun shade completely covers the front windscreen, allowing in no light whatsoever.
    • Durability: The sun shade is made from thick materials that we expect to last indefinitely.
  • 4.0 Stars: The car sun shade performs better than average in a category.
    • Convenience: The sun shade can be installed and removed in under 30 seconds. It folds or rolls to a smaller size.
    • Fit: The sun shade covers at least 95 percent of the windscreen.
    • Durability: The sun shade is ruggedly built and we expect it to last at least 10 years.
  • 3.0 Stars: The car sun shade is typical, relative to other car sun shades. A 3.0 rating indicates quality, but not exceptional quality.
    • Convenience: The sun shade can be installed and removed in under a minute. It should also fold up or roll away, though may not be especially compact.
    • Fit: The sun shade covers about 90 percent of the windshield. There may be some cracks near the rear-view mirror.
    • Durability: We expect the sun shade to last at least five years.
  • 2.0 Stars: The car sun shade falls below our expectations in a category.
    • Convenience: The sun shade is difficult to install, potentially taking over a minute. It may not be folded or rolled up easily.
    • Fit: The sun shade covers less than 90 percent of the windshield.
    • Durability: The sun shade may either tear or break easily, or it has a part or component that does.
  • 1.0 Star: The car sun shade does not function properly, or completely fails in a testing category.
    • Convenience: The sun shade is overly difficult to install.
    • Fit: The sun shade does not prevent a significant amount of sunlight incursion through the front window.
    • Durability: The sun shade breaks or tears very easily or may routinely arrive defective or damaged.

Why Trust Motor1.com

Each year, we test over 350 auto products on vehicles and in our testing lab. Our team of product testers thoroughly researches top products, unboxes and puts our hands on each component, and tests the items on real vehicles before making recommendations to readers.

We publish hundreds of product and service reviews to bring car enthusiasts detailed guides on automotive tools, detailing kits, car seats, pet products, and much more. For more information on our testing methodology and how we evaluate every product, check out our methodology page here.

*Data accurate at time of publication. Products subject to availability.