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. Artpuch Shade Sail

This pergola cover by Artpunch comes in 12 sizes and five colors ranging from dark grey and sand to bright red or maroon. If you have a koi pond, you can set up your pergola right by it to create a nice area to relax. The material is a durable 185 gsm UV-protected polyethylene that has a very high-density weave. The seam has double stitching on it to increase the durability factor, and there are stainless steel D-rings in each corner that allow you to easily attach your pergola cover to any durable connection point. It protects you from direct sunlight exposure and UV rays. 

However, this pergola cover won’t block the airflow, so it’ll let hot air through. This breathability allows you to stay comfortable while protecting your skin. It is not waterproof, and it’ll allow water to seep through. You want to slightly curve the ends of this cover so it stretches tight over your pergola for a secure fit. You can use it for a host of outdoor occasions, and it’s very easy to see when you have it stretched fully from point A to point B and installed correctly. 

Benefits:

  • .Available in several sizes and colors 
  • Very breathable 
  • Double stitching on the seams

Drawbacks:

  • Can stretch a lot after you install it
  • Not waterproof
  • Can fray with hard use

2. Shade&Beyond Sun Shade Sails

You’ll get the choice of five colors and five styles ranging from 7×13 feet to 12×12 feet. This helps you customize your choice to your pergola size. It features high-density polyethylene fabric with a 304 marine-grade stainless steel D-rings that are resistant to rust and corrosion with exposure to rain, snow, or moisture. The edge of the cover is slightly curved to make it easier to install around your pergola. However, it doesn’t come with mounting rope or hardware, so you have to purchase it separately. The material is breathable enough to release hot air and allow cool breezes to come through it. It also allows water to pass through.

When it comes time to install this pergola cover, all you have to do is add 1.5 to 2 feet of space between the hooks and the edge of the shade sail to stretch it into place. It is very easy to maintain, and all you have to do is ocean it with water and a mild detergent. You shouldn’t scrub it, and you want to allow it to air dry. It comes with a five-year warranty against damage or defects. It protects you from 95% to 98% UV rays. 

Benefits:

  • Five-year warranty included
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Uses marine-grade stainless steel

Drawbacks:

  • No water resistance
  • Slightly thinner material
  • Shorter than the stated dimensions

3. Shatex Shade Fabric

This pergola cover resists mildew and mold from moisture exposure, and it has a tightly knitted construction that resists fraying and tearing with prolonged use. The high-density polyethylene fabric will stand up against fading, UV rays, moisture, humidity, and snow. Also, it’s easy to clean and maintain between uses, and it comes in four different sizes that allow you to get a good fit for your pergola size. You won’t have to worry about it being too short or long. It will block up to 90% of the sun, and this can help to keep your area clean, cool, and shady during those scorching summer days. 

The fabric on this pergola cover is very breathable, and this means that hotter air can rise and pass through it. You can spray it off with a garden hose to clean it and let it air dry. The edges feature taped aluminum grommets in the corners and along the four sides to give you several attachment points. When you purchase this item, you get a 100% satisfaction guarantee included that protects you from defects or damage. They’ll refund you your purchase price if you’re not completely satisfied. 

Benefits:

  • Comes with a satisfaction guarantee
  • Resists mold and mildew growth 
  • Very breathable material 

Drawbacks:

  • Grommets can tear with high winds
  • Holes aren’t spaced correctly 
  • Only has one color option

4. MOVTOTOP Sun Shade Sails

Movototop’s pergola cover allows cool air to flow in while shielding you from the sun, and it’s an excellent cover for pool areas, patios, decks, backyards, and more It uses 100% cationic fabric that effectively dissipates heat, and this is nice for those hot and humid days where you want to relax outside. The 185 GSM polyethylene fabric will block up to 95% of the sun’s UV rays, and this is healthier for you. It’ll help you protect your skin and reduce the signs of aging. It’s very durable, stretches, and it resists mildew, mold, and fading with repeated exposure to wet conditions. 

There are four stainless steel D-rings on this pergola cover that you use to connect it to your pergola. It also includes the mounting hardware and 4 by 6.6-foot PE ropes. These ropes are durable, and they allow you to stretch the pergola cover as tightly as you want. It has a three-year warranty against defects or damage attached to it, and the company claims you can use it for 5 to 10 years without it failing. Customer service is very responsive to questions and concerns. 

Benefits:

  •  Available in four colors 
  • 100% cationic fabric construction 
  • Blocks 95% of UV rays

Drawbacks:

  • Runs small to size
  • Not 100% waterproof
  • Can show stains

5. PHI VILLA Sun Shade Sail

Phi Villa’s pergola cover is made out of 100% 185 GSM HDPE material that is very durable. There are no recycled materials in this design, and this makes it healthier and safer to use, and it can also improve the longevity of the cover. You can use it for at least three years under normal weather conditions without it breaking down, and it has a 95% UV blockage rate that works to protect your skin and reduce the signs of aging that the sun can bring on like wrinkles and age spots. The fabric comes tightly knitted together to allow cooling breezes to come through to give you a comfortable and airy space. 

This pergola cover will give you the shaded space you need to create a forest garden area to relax in. The edges feature a reinforced double layer with double stitching that doesn’t fray or break. It has 305 stainless steel D-rings to attach the ropes to, but it’s not waterproof. The curved sides prevent it from drooping, and you get four five-foot long nylon ropes included in each purchase. This makes it easy to hang up when you get it, and the nylon allows you to stretch the cover as tightly as you need. 

Benefits:

  • Available in four colors 
  • Comes with mounting hardware 
  • No recycled materials included in the design

Drawbacks:

  • Can sun slightly small 
  • Allows water to seep through
  • Difficult to clean 

6. Patio Paradise Sunblock Shade

This pergola cover has over 150 different sizes and six different colors to choose from, and it’s a very breathable fabric that provides a large around of shade by blocking up to 95% of UV rays. Instead of traditional woven fabric, this cover has a knitted fabric that helps it resist water seeping through while being breathable enough to allow for airflow. This means that it won’t trap the hot air as it rises, and it’ll let it disperse through the fabric while retaining the cool air. It works well for shading your pool area, cookout kitchen, or you can put it over the kid’s play area to shade it. 

You won’t have to worry about unsightly mold or mildew stains with this pergola cover because it resists this type of growth. It’s also very easy to clean, and you can wash it with a mild soap and water. If you want to scrub it, use a soft-bristled brush and let it air dry. It’s durable enough to withstand different weather conditions without failing, and it can keep your yard or garden up to 32% cooler than the surrounding area due to the breathable construction. 

Benefits:

  • Has a huge range of sizes
  • Keeps the area 32% cooler 
  • Easy to install and won’t fade

Drawbacks:

  • Not exactly the correct length
  • Doesn’t have side seams
  • Not as wide as advertised

7. BenefitUSA Canopy Top Cover

This replacement pergola cover is 18 feet long by 8.3 feet wide, and it comes designed to stretch from the ground on one side of your pergola, up over the top, and down the other side of your pergola to the ground. You get a sleek green or tan color option, and you can easily set your trellises against it to create climbing walls that go up over the top of your pergola. This is designed to go over an existing pergola frame, and it’ll stretch tight to help it stay on when the winds come up. It’s also resistant to fading, and this can help ensure that it looks nice for several seasons. 

The high-quality pergola cover has double-stitching and thicker seams along the sides to help prevent ripping, tearing, or fraying. It will also repel rain, and this can keep you dry if you happen to get caught in the rain. The water will dry off once the sun comes back out, and it also repels UV rays. It has small ties on the side that help you attach it to your pergola, and the ties are stitched directly into the seams of the cover for added durability. It’s lightweight without sacrificing durability. 

Benefits:

  • Double seams with durable stitching
  • Repels water and UV rays 
  • Stretches over an existing pergola frame

Drawbacks:

  • Ties are very thin and short 
  • Water can pool on top of the cover
  • No ties in the middle of the cover to secure it

8. iCOVER Sun Shade Sail

This pergola cover by ICOVER comes in several unique shapes like a triangle, square, and a rectangle. You can pick from four sizes and five colors ranging from classic white to bright red. It can block up to 96% of the sun’s harmful UV rays, and this helps prevent sun damage to your eyes and skin. It works well as a shade cover for your patio or BBQ area, and it’s a stretchy fabric that is easy to mold to your pergola and stretch it tightly to help repel water and debris. If you need a larger cover, you can piece two or three of them together to shade larger portions of your yard or garden. 

This is permeable fabric on this pergola cover that allows both water and air to flow through it feely, and the water won’t pool on the top of it to rot it. It releases hot hair while letting cool air remain, and this will help on those humid and sunny afternoons. Each corner of this pergola cover comes with a strong rope that is 5.2 feet long and a steel D-ring. The cover can shrink after it’s been outside a while, so you may want to purchase one that is slightly larger than you originally need. 

Benefits:

  • Comes in several shapes and colors
  • Includes rope attachments 
  • Can piece several together 

 Drawbacks:

  • Material feels thin
  • Difficult to stretch properly 
  • Have to buy an additional hardware kit to install it

9. Windscreen4less Retractable Shade Canopy

This unique pergola cover is a wave drop retractable shade, and you can use it on your pergola, patio, deck, entertainment area, and more. You can easily retract the cover if you want to lessen the amount of shade you get and allow more sunlight to come through. It has a U-shape design that allows you to set a specific distance between each panel, and they come in dozens of sizes and colors that you can pick out to customize your order to suit your needs. It will block up to 95% of the sun’s UV rays to protect your skin while letting very small amounts of light though. It uses 165 GSM polyethylene for added durability. 

Every panel rod on this pergola cover has a pre-drilled hole at each end that you can attach a snap or shackle to it to hang the wire cable that allows you to maneuver the cover open and closed. You’ll get everything you need to install this cover, including pad eyes, wire cable, retracting rod, fabric panel, snap hook, shackle, control tape, and rope. Installation is very easy and quick, and it’s very easy to open and close however you like. You can choose from three colors. 

Benefits:

  • Able to open and close it easily
  • Very fast installation process
  • Available in a huge range of sizes

Drawbacks:

  • Slightly thinner material 
  • Colors can fade after a few seasons 
  • Water can sink through it

10. TANG Outdoor Sun Shade

The final product on the best pergola list is by Tang. This cover comes with weighted rods that won’t slip out of the rod pocket when high winds come up, and each rod end coms with a finial for you to tie it down. The fabric is breathable and permeable, and this lets rain and wind pass right through it. Rain won’t gather on the top of your cover, and this can increase the longevity of your product by helping it be more durable. It can provide shade and privacy for your yard, and it can block up to 95% of all UV rays to help protect your skin from wrinkles and age spots due to the sun. 

Along the side of this pergola cover, there are grommets every two inches. These grommets allow you to really tie down the cover to ensure it stays exactly where you want it in all weather conditions. There are many sizes available, but you can also order a custom size if you need one and you don’t see it listed on the description. There are three colors, and this is a cost-effective cover that is well worth the investment. 

Benefits:

  • Weighted rods hold the cover in place
  • Rain won’t gather on the top of the cover 
  • Grommets every two inches

Drawbacks:

  • Slightly thinner fabric 
  • Seam isn’t reinforced 
  • Can be difficult to install 

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.

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