Everyone misses the sun come winter but hate it when the summer heat is unbearable. Keep yourself cool by using solar shades – not only are they effective, but they can also help you save on energy costs.
Whether it’s just a convenient solution, or a way to save on the cost of constantly running the air conditioner, solar shades can be the answer to your overheating problems.
The 5 Best Solar Shades
In this article, we have made the selection process easier than ever by listing the best solar shades on the market.
1. Sunfree Blackout Roller Shades
These 100% blackout shades are surprisingly sleek and will fit in with any décor without clashing. Users can choose between five different colors and make sure that the shades match existing décor.
A major advantage is installation and maintenance being extremely easy – the shades come with mounting brackets and can be easily cleaned with a wet cloth or a vacuum cleaner. The cordless design also allows for automatic and adjustable lifting since it uses a built-in spring system.
However, it should be noted that indoor installation results in some light being let in from the sides. To block 100% of the light, users should opt for outdoor installation. The silver coating on the back of the shades is especially effective at blocking the sun. Additionally, these shades are useful throughout the year since they can block cold air in the winter months.
- Sleek design
- Mounting brackets included
- 5 color choices
- Silver coating blocks UV
- Light blocking and temperature control uses
- Cordless design
- Easy installation
- Outside and inside mount options
- Adjustable lifting
- 100% blackout
- Not flush against the wall
2. Springblinds 100% Blackout Motorized Roller Shades
Users need not worry about any light leaking through with these shades because of the 100% blackout design. Additionally, because they block 100% of UV rays, there’s no risk of damaging furniture, floors, and carpets by causing fading.
The shades can also be installed easily and are motorized for convenience. The sophisticated roller system uses poly carbonated brackets to ensure smoothness. Multiple shades can be controlled at the same time and the motor is both, silent and durable. The automatic timer settings allow users to make the adjustment process hassle-free.
The shades themselves are also durable and made from high-tenacity yarn. Users need not worry about the blinds not fitting their windows since custom sizes are available upon request.
- Available in 10+ colors
- Outside and inside mount options
- Brackets included
- Customization available
- Not suitable for those on a budget
3. Coolaroo Outdoor Roller Shades
Coolaroo solar shades are known for their durability and made from weather-resistant fabric. Additionally, they are resistant to fading, mold, and mildew. The shades even feature an aluminum head rail for reinforcement and increased durability. However, it should be noted that the crank isn’t weather resistant and should be protected from the elements.
The knitted HDPE fabric is very breathable, but still provides up to 90% block protection. This temperature control allows users to save up to 40% on energy costs. The wand-operated cordless operation also makes adjustments both, convenient and child-safe.
- Relatively affordable
- Weather-resistant but breathable fabric
- 90% UV protection
- Adjustable length
- Cordless operation
- Crank is not weather resistant
- Available in one color
Features to Consider in a Solar Shade
Type of Solar Shades
The best solar shades are those that meet your unique needs – types to choose from include motorized solar shades, cordless solar shades, and solar shades that are on a continuous loop. Motorized shades are more expensive but are useful for higher windows. On the other hand, cordless and loop shades don’t run the risk of malfunctioning.
Inside vs Outside
Outdoor shades are more effective, and users don’t have to worry about the shades fitting their window measurements. However, indoor shades are more convenient, especially if you’re planning to adjust them manually.
Just because you’re opting for solar shades doesn’t mean you have to settle for something unattractive. While there are limited solar shade options available on the market, you should still be able to find some that match your existing décor. It’s also important to make sure that the shades you choose aren’t bulky since they may draw a lot of attention.
Smart vs. Traditional Solar Shades
Smart shades allow for convenience, easy adjustments, and automated scheduling. They’re easy to use and can be controlled via Bluetooth from any one of your devices. However, this may not be a good option if you’re not tech savvy. On the other hand, it can be a lifesaver for those with multiple windows to adjust every day. Smart shades also come at a higher price point and may not be suitable for those on a budget.
The entire point of solar shades is to block UV rays from entering through your windows. However, not all solar shades are created equal. The best solar shades have 95% or more protection. Of course, you may prefer more openness if you want to let more light in. However, it’s important to note that this results in your shades being less heat resistant. One way to check openness is by looking at claims regarding pin holes per square inch.
Easy installation means that you can get by without professional help and save on installation costs. Be sure to opt for shades that don’t require too many tools to install. In fact, there are plenty of solar shades that can be installed in less than half an hour.
Opting for smart shades can save you the hassle of having to adjust them. The ease of control is an important factor to look into so that you’re not stuck with solar shades that make your life more difficult.
Our Final Thoughts
While all options mentioned are great, we are especially impressed with the Sunfree Blackout Roller Shades. Not only are they affordable, but they’re easy to install and maintain, and provide both, light blocking and temperature control benefits. We hope that this breakdown of the best solar shades has helped you make a decision.