The Best Retractable Canopies and Awnings for Custom Outdoor Shade

Bring on the shade. These retractable canopies and awnings allow you to tailor your outdoor spaces to your exact shade needs.

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August 23, 2023

Extend your living space into the backyard by making your outdoor areas uber comfortable — whether you want to relax in the shade or let the sun in. Our solution for doing just that? Retractable awnings and canopies. Not only do retractable awnings protect you and your furniture from the sun's intense rays, but they also help cool down outdoor spaces to a pleasant temperature. Additionally, canopies can reduce the heat inside your home.

How to Choose the Best Retractable Canopy

For the most part, your awning selection will come down to fabric, size, retraction mechanism and price. Price will go up depending on the size canopy you need and if you opt for manual or electric retraction. Manual awnings are more affordable and use a hand crank or pulley system to open, while electric canopies have a motor (and a manual option, just in case).

When selecting the right fabric for your awning, decide whether you need it to be water-resistant or allow rain to pass through (no unnecessary puddles overhead). Most awnings are made of polyester or polyethylene, with both being very durable materials that can stand up to the weather. You won't have to cull through too many options when it comes to the frame, though, because the majority of canopies are made of aluminum, steel or a combination of both. The most important aspect to consider when it comes to the frame is its wind rating. Before buying, evaluate the average wind speeds in your area to ensure the awning can withstand the gales.

Get ready to equip your outdoors with our top picks for the best retractable canopies down below.

Best Retractable Canopy

$117.99

These chic sun shades come in almost every size imaginable so you can find the exact right fit for your home. Everything from the wire cables and retract rods to the screws and clips are included so you can get straight to work putting your new shades up. Made of durable polyethylene, the canopy has a U shape that allows rain to run off and creates a streamlined look when retracted.

Best Retractable Awning

$220.99 $174.99

This compact canopy offers ample shade to both small and large spaces and is easy to attach to any surface, from stucco to siding. An aluminum-and-steel frame provides a sturdy structure that stands up to light wind and rain, and a hand crank opens the awning smoothly and quietly. Choose from six colors and patterns to best fit your outdoor area.

Best Pergola With Retractable Canopy

$449.99

No existing structure? No problem. This pergola and canopy combo completely transforms your outdoor space. Available in eight sizes, the powder-coated aluminum frame is topped with a fade-resistant and water-repellent canopy, which comes in four different colors.

Best Retractable Awning for Small Spaces

$189.99 $172.99

Porch, patio or terrace, this retractable awning combines durable rust-proof metal supports and a sun-proof, water-resistant canopy to provide that much-needed shade outdoors. Manually adjust the awning's angle to keep the sun off your face no matter the time of day.

Best Retractable Canopy for a Cool Breeze

$95.98

Easy to install to an existing pergola or framed structure, these sun shades protect against the sun's rays while allowing for a cool breeze to pass through. Not for rainy days, though, the retractable shades let rain water run through so that it doesn't gather on the fabric — making this canopy last longer than most.

Best Freestanding Retractable Canopy

$472.99

Take your deck or backyard to a new level with this oversized curved pergola. Divided into two pieces, the pergola can be moved up and down separately or connected to move together. With easy-to-grab handles on each side, you'll be able to customize your shade needs throughout the day.

Best Motorized Retractable Awning

$2,351 $1,516.88

Water-, UV- and rust-resistant, this motorized sunshade is simple to install, durable and easy to adjust. Built to last with a steel frame, the acrylic fabric of the awning is both attractive and breathable. A remote control makes it super easy to adjust the shade, and a manual crank is included as well.

Best Retractable Side Awning

$59.99 $55.99

Depending on your home's position, a side canopy might be the best option for your porch or deck. This sturdy, water-resistant canopy is a quick install with the included posts and is simple to remove when needed.

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