One of the more annoying things about sitting in a car on a hot day is that the sun tends to hit you right in the face.
If you don’t have the budget or the opportunity to tint your windows, your next option is to get sunshades for your side windows.
Of course, with so many options out there, how can you figure out which ones are actually best without trying them out for yourself?
Well, this was our thought exactly which is why we went ahead and checked out sunshades for you.
Here you will find all of the best side window sunshades that did make the cut as well as some helpful information for you to follow:
- Features to Consider in Good Side Window Sunshades
- Top 10 Best Side Window Sunshades 2023
- Guide to Buying the Best Side Window Sunshade
Features to Consider in Good Side Window Sunshades
Here are all of the features that we considered when we were gathering the best car window sunshades for our list:
- Protection: as you can imagine, one of the more important features in a sunshade is its ability to protect you from the sun. So, we looked at how dark and thick the material was and how successful it was at blocking harmful rays.
- Coverage: we also took into consideration how much of the window each of the shades were able to cover. The more area that it was able to conceal, the better as it meant that there was less sunshine able to come through.
- Secureness: then we observed how well the cover could be secured around or under the car. This let us know whether the car cover would easily blow away in the wind if it was kept outside.
- Setup: since you may not always need the shades, we also examined how easy it was to put up and remove the shades.
Top 10 Best Side Window Sunshades 2023
There is certainly a considerable level of protection offered by this sunshade. This is because it is capable of blocking up to 97 percent of the sun’s harmful rays. So, you can use these sunshades even in the harshest sun and still be confident that the people in the car will be well-protected. What’s more, since it blocks so much of the sun, these shades also help to lower the temperature inside the car.
The effect of these sunshades is largely thanks to the high-quality mesh fabric as well as the double layer which filters out more sunlight. The only downside with all of this coverage, though, is that it can be pretty difficult to see through. So, it is not a good idea to place them on any window that you need to see out of while driving.
The dimensions of each shade are 21 x 14 inches, which is quite impressive. This means that the shades can be used in standard-sized vehicles as well as larger ones such as SUVs. While the shades will not cover a window in its entirety, they will cover most of the window, limiting the sunlight entering the car.
There are three shades in this pack which means that you can cover the front passenger seats as well as both sides of the backseat.
The great thing about this window shade is that it is incredibly simple to set up and peel off. This is due to the static cling back. All you have to do is to press the shade down on to the glass and it immediately sticks on. Similarly, removing the shade is just as easy, meaning that you can put it up or take it down in no time at all.
- Blocks sunlight well
- Helps to keep the car cool
- Good-sized shades
- Easy to set up and remove
- Too dark to see out of
With this car sunshade, you get two types of shades. One is semi-transparent and great for when the glare is quite severe. This blocks out most of the sun, ensuring that you are well-protected. Then, there is the semi-transparent. While this type does a good job of limiting the rays reaching your car interior, it also allows you to look out without too much obstruction.
This means that you can use it on the front windows and not worry that your vision will be compromised. To add to this, both these shades cast a darker shadow in the car which also acts as a form of protection from the glare.
Each of the shades measures in at 20 x 12 inches, which should work well enough for most windows in mid-sized vehicles. These shades should be able to cover most of the window in SUVs as well. Of course, the shades don’t cover the full window so there will still be areas of uncovered window.
There are four shades here – two for the front and two for the back. With these, you will be able to make certain that all passengers in the car are well-protected from the glare.
These shades use static cling to stick to the windows. Thanks to this mechanism, you will see that it is incredibly easy to place them on your windows. It is just as simple to remove them. The only issue with these shades, though, is that they have a tendency to peel off at certain moments although it is just a matter of pressing them back into place. Still, it does make them a tad bit unreliable.
- Good level of protection
- Both transparent and semi-transparent options
- Covers most of the window
- Easy to put up and take off
- Can peel off
These are incredibly effective window shades. With these in place, you will be able to block up to 97 percent of the sunlight coming through. This makes it a good option if you have kids or people with sensitive skin in the car. These shades have double layers that ensure that most of the sunlight that hits the glass is filtered out.
Despite having a dual layer, these shades are actually rather thin. The only problem with this is that the shades tend to develop wrinkles rather easily and you have to keep them up for a while before the wrinkles disappear.
Now, these shades actually cover a rather large area with dimensions of 22 x 14 inches. So, if you drive a larger SUV or even a van, you will find that these shades are more than adequate. You should keep in mind, however, that even though they cover most of the window, there are still some uncovered areas.
You do get four shades in the package. This means that you can use them on as many windows as you want, ensuring that the whole car is well-protected from the bright glare of the sun.
These shades are equipped with super static cling technology. So, once the shade has been pressed against the window, you can be quite sure that it is going to remain there. Despite this, if you want to remove it, you will easily be able to peel it away. This makes these a great option for when you are in a hurry.
- Great protection from sun
- Extra-large size
- Four shades
- Easy to paste and remove
- Wrinkles quite easily
If you are looking for ultra-protection, then these are definitely the car shades for you. The shades essentially offer you an SPF 30 worth of protection. This means that around 98 percent of the sunlight hitting the car is rebuffed. So, it’s great if want to make sure that your kids aren’t exposed to the sun. Since it has UV protection as well, you can be doubly sure that there are no harmful rays reaching the passengers in your car.
In addition to this, the shades also offer a temperature-isolation effect. So, they don’t just block the sun out, they also protect you from the heat. With these shades in place, you will notice that the interior of your car is several degrees cooler.
Now, the only real downside of these window shades is the fact that they measure in at just 19 x 12. So, the coverage is only adequate if you have a small car with small windows. There is a good chance that these shades will be too small for mid-sized or large vehicles. There are three shades that do offer you a bit more coverage in terms of windows.
The back part of the sunshade has a static cling film which allows you to easily stick it onto the glass window without the help of any bulging clips or suction cups. While the sunshade does stick onto the window incredibly tightly, you will find that you will be able to peel it off without any problems. So, you can quickly take them off, when they aren’t needed.
- Excellent sun and UV protection
- Keeps car cool
- Easy to position and remove
- Shades are too small
If you live in an area where you are exposed to very harsh sunlight, then you will certainly want to consider getting these sunshades. See, unlike many other shades, this one covers the entire window, ensuring that there is no way that any harsh rays can peek in. To add to this, the shade also protects you from UV rays.
Also, the sunshade has been designed to protect your vehicle against high-temperature exposure. So, when it gets really warm outside, this shade will ensure that the inside of your car remains cooler. The only real problem with such a full-cover option is that it obstructs your view when you are trying to look outside.
The good news is that with these sun shades, you can easily roll your windows. So, you will be able to enjoy a cool breeze while also being assured that you are kept out of the sun’s glare.
These shades measure in at 22 x 19 inches but they can be stretched out so that they are capable of covering an area of around 44 x 20 inches. This means that you can easily cover most of the windows in most vehicles. There are two shades so that you can keep the entire back portion of the car covered.
These sunshades are fitted over the entire window frame. So, they need to be attached to the inside of your car with Velcro. While this is a bit more fiddly than with cling film, the shade is also secured more tightly to the window. So, you don’t have to worry about it falling off while you are driving.
- Covers entire window
- UV protection
- Keeps car cool
- Tightly secured
- Too dark to see through properly
There is no denying that this car shade is excellent at protecting you from the sun. This is because it has been designed to keep away at least 98 percent of the glare and rays that hit your car. So, in this way, it is actually quite good for anyone living in harsh conditions.
Since these shades are so adept at keeping the sun away from your vehicle, they actually aid in keeping your car cool as well. So, even in the warmest climate, you will be able to sit comfortably in your car.
While there are four shades in this pack, there are two sets, each of different sizes. One set has dimensions of 20 x 12 inches while the other has 17 x 14 inches. Now, this is great because it does offer you some variety, especially if you have a smaller car that has smaller windows. However, for the most part, the smaller shades are too undersized to actually offer protection for vehicles with standard-sized windows.
The back portions of the sunshades are made of a cling film material. As such, to set it up, all you have to do is to press the shade against the glass until it sticks to the window. When you want to remove the shade, it is just a matter of gently peeling it away. So, if you want to keep putting up and taking off these shades, you will have no trouble doing this at all.
- Great protection from sunlight
- Keeps vehicle interior cool
- Easy to paste and remove
- Some shades are too small for standard cars
If you are need of a car sun shade that offers you a lot of protection from the sun, then you should certainly consider this brand. It will protect you from 98 percent of the rays that hit your car window. This is why it is such a good option for little kids sitting in the backseat as well – it offers them the ultimate amount of protection.
In fact, these shades are so good at keeping UV rays at bay that it can also help protect the seats and carpets in your car. They will be much less prone to fading as they won’t have to deal with the full brunt of the UV rays.
There are four shades in this pack of sun shades. Two of the shades have dimensions of 17 x 19 inches while the others are 20 x 12 dimensions. Now, the larger shades work well for most small to average-sized vehicles. However, the smaller shades are of little use. They cover only a very small area of the window, which means that the sun can still come in through the uncovered part.
Made from static cling material, it can’t get any easier to put these sunshades up. All you have to do is simply lay them against the glass and smooth out the fabric until it has adhered to the window. While the shade is incredibly secure, you will find that it is no trouble at all to remove the cling material. You can simply peel it away and it comes right off.
- Provides excellent sun and UV protection
- Protects interior of the car
- Easy to set up and remove
- Some shades are too small for most cars
If you are tired of sunlight peeking through your typical shades on your car window, then you should definitely consider getting this shade. See, unlike most traditional shades, this one essentially acts as a sock and is placed over your entire window, frame and all. This means that there are no exposed areas where the sun can come in. So, if you have to deal with harsh summers, this is definitely the product for you. Of course, since it covers the full window, these shades can obscure your vision, if you are driving.
Not only does this shade prevent the glare from reaching you and protect you from UV rays, it also helps to keep your car cool. Even when the outside temperature is quite warm, you will be able to ensure that the interior of the car is quite a bit cooler.
You don’t have to worry about finding the right fit with these sunshades. This is because both of them can easily be stretched up to 44.3 x 20 inches. So, you can easily pull these over most windows. What’s more, you can still roll the windows down, even when the shade is on. The only downside to this is that this material has a tendency to stretch out and remain that way, the longer that you use it.
When compared to typical cling film shades, you are going to have to have a bit more to deal with this shade. However, once it has been slipped on, you can be quite certain that it is nice and tight and will not be flying off. If you don’t need the shade anymore, it is simply a matter of slipping it off.
- Excellent protection from the sun
- Keeps car cool
- Good fit
- Easy to pull on and take off
- Can block view
- Material can stretch after a while
When the sun is really severe and you want to keep the glare away completely, these are the shades you should turn to. This is because instead of sticking this shade on the window, you have a sock-like design that requires to pull it over the window frame. Now, the reason this design is so successful is that it creates a double layer both on the inside and the outside of the glass. As such, you are provided with double the amount of protection.
This means that the sunlight is filtered out even more effectively and very little of it actually enters the interior of the car. To top it off, the material is quite durable and thick, which means that it will last you for a longer period of time, even in warmer conditions.
There are actually a few size options available with these sunshades. Basically, though, it is able to fit windows that are about 25 to 45 inches and up to 18 inches tall. While this does mean that it can fit a wide variety of windows, these sunshades actually fall into a rather odd size bracket. As such, you will find that it is either too small or too big for many windows. However, with a little bit of elbow grease, you should be able to make them fit.
As mentioned, you have to slip these sunshades over the window frame. The benefit of this is that once the door is closed, you can be quite confident that the fabric has been secured. So, you don’t have to worry it about it coming loose while you are driving.
- Protects inside of the car completely
- Can be secured properly
- Can be too dark to see through
- Can be oddly sized for many car windows
10. ZACAR Sun Shade
As far as protection goes, you will be hard-pressed to find shades that can offer you a darker or more potent cover. Having these shades up is the equivalent to SPF 50. So, if you are serious about keeping harmful rays out of your car, this is the way to go. These shades help block out up to 90 percent of sunlight, which is incredibly impressive. This does mean, however, that it can be quite difficult to see through when they are up.
While these shades do a good job of keeping the light out, they are equally good at keeping the heat at bay as well. So, whenever the temperature begins to rise, you will notice that your car is still able to stay a tad bit cooler. This makes it a lot more comfortable for you and other passengers.
You get two size options with these pack – two shades are 20 x 12 inches and the other two are 17 x 14. Now, the bigger shades are a rather good fit for most average sized car windows. However, the smaller ones don’t actually cover much of the windows. This means a lot of the sunlight can still come in, negating the effects of the shades quite a bit.
The back portions of these sunshades are made from a premium cling material. As a result, you will find that you will need only a few moments to paste the shades on to the glass from where it will not budge. However, when you want to remove it, you just have to gently peel it away from the window.
- Optimal protection from the sun
- Keeps interior cool
- Easy to put up and remove
- Smaller shades don’t offer enough coverage
- Can obscure vision
Guide to Buying the Best Side Window Sunshade
Now, let’s take a look at the features and elements that you should look out for in the best car sunshade:
Types of Shades
These days, there are basically two main types of sunshades for your side window.
The first is the stick-on shades that are made from mesh and cling film. These can be easily applied to your car window and removed rather quickly as well.
Now, these shades work quite well to block out most of the sun and are great for all kinds of weather conditions. However, they often don’t cover all of the windows which can mean that you are still exposed to the glare.
Then there are the full-cover shades that can be fitted over the entire frame of your car window. These have the benefit of covering the full glass and offering total protection.
The downside is these sunshades aren’t great for rainy weather, as the outer part of the shade is exposed to the elements. They can also be rather dark and difficult to see through.
Of course, in the end, your choice should depend on which one suits your requirements best of all.
How Much Protection Do You Need?
Now, car sunshades offer different levels of protection. Some are incredibly dark while others are a bit lighter and cast less of a shadow inside the car.
It is largely up to you to determine which one is best for you. There are two main things that you need to consider for this feature – the weather in your area and your passengers.
If you live in a place that is incredibly sunny, where the temperatures can easily soar, then it is best for you to choose a much darker shade. This way, you will be able to get the protection that you need.
However, if the weather is a bit milder, a lighter shade will be a much better option.
Then, there is the matter of your passengers. If you have children and tend to drive them everywhere, it is best to stick with the darker shades.
As children have more sensitive skin, they often require a higher level of protection.
Choosing the Right Size
One of the biggest issues people tend to have with choosing sunshades is the sizing. They often find that what they purchase are either too large or too small for their windows.
To prevent this from happening to you, always measure the windows you want to place the shade on. Make sure to include both the width and the height.
This way, you can compare it to the information on the website or packaging and figure out whether it is a good fit for your window.
Keep in mind that there are certain shades that have sizes according to the shape of your window as well. Some of them are meant for rectangular windows while others are for curved ones.
So, you will need to take this into consideration as well, when you check the size.
Number of Shades
The other point to consider when choosing the best sun shades for side windows is the number of pieces that you get.
If you want to protect the back seat only, two pieces will be just fine. However, a third can come in handy for your rear windshield.
There are also some brands that offer three or four pieces. These are great if you want to keep the entire car protected.
You should check if these sunshades are a bit lighter since you will need to see through them while driving.
As you can see, if you want to find the perfect sunshade for yourself, there is quite a process involved. Of course, if you want to make it easier for yourself, simply look through our reviews. Happy shopping!