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Published Sep. 28, 2021

Climbing into your car on a sunny day can be a terrible prospect as even if the weather seems nice outside, the sun’s rays can heat up your vehicle interior and leave you struggling to touch anything. A windshield sunshade can solve this as these protective accessories stretch across your entire windshield, reflecting sunlight, keeping your car a few degrees cooler, and preventing UV rays from fading and damaging your interior. Easy to use and available in countless styles, a quality windshield sunshade can make a world of difference on the sunniest, hottest days. Need one for your car? We’ve picked out some of the best windshield sunshades you can buy.

Best Windshield Sunshades Reviews & Recommendations

Simple, straightforward, and yet highly effective at its job, the EcoNour Car Windshield Sunshade is large enough to suit most vehicles, including sedans, SUVs, vans, and trucks. With a max size of 32 inches x 64 inches, it’ll fit any windshield around those dimensions and it’s made out of lightweight and durable 210T polyester material. The reflective side not only bounces the sun’s rays right off your windshield, but also helps block both UVA and UVB rays along with heat, keeping your car’s interior shaded and cool which can prevent fading, material cracking, and other damage in the long run.

Great for reducing the temperature inside your car and keeping everything inside safe from the sun, this shade blocks out over 90 percent of the sun’s light. However, its material is thin. While this makes it light, it can also result in tears after a lot of sun exposure. And in some cars, you may find that your rearview mirror gets in the shade’s way, making for a bit of an awkward fit.

Specs
  • Made of 240T polyester
  • 32 in. H x 64 in. W
  • Blocks heat, UVA, and UVB rays
PROS

Fits vehicles of different makes and models

Easily slides into place and collapses down for storage

Reflective material keeps car interiors shaded and protected

CONS

Material is thin

May not fit all makes and models

Some cars’ rearview mirrors may make the fit awkward

This budget-friendly sunshade from AstroAI Windshield is reasonably priced and available in different sizes for different vehicles. The medium-sized shade — which fits many passenger cars — measures 31.52 x 63.04 inches and is made out of titanium silver fabric that’s able to block heat, reflect sunlight, and prevent UV rays from sneaking through. It’s made with reinforced steel outer rings that keep the shade flexible yet nicely durable, giving it a long lifespan. And it doesn’t just sit against your windshield; it includes suction cups and a specialized stick strap for your rearview mirror so nothing moves.

Sizing, however, can be a little tricky. You’ll want to choose based on windshield measurements rather than the product’s make and model chart to get the closest fit. Additionally, the suction cups can become loose in high heat; fortunately, this shade can be used with your visors alone too.

Specs
  • Made of titanium silver fabric
  • Reinforced steel frame
  • Includes suction cups and stick strap for rearview mirrors
  • Measures 31.52 in. H x 63.04 in. W
PROS

Offers a secure fit if you need more than just visors alone

Affordable price

Reinforced rings offer durability with flexibility

CONS

Sizing can be confusing

Suction cups may not work in high temperatures

Premium Pick

The A1 Shades Sunshield is made out of lightweight material and available in seven sizes to suit just about any car, SUV, truck, or other passenger vehicle. Made out of 210T nylon, it’s able to block UV rays and reflect light with its silver outward-facing fabric and it comes with an easy storage pouch so you can literally pop it out when it’s needed and fold it down when it’s not. And thanks to details like increased thread, high-density fibers, and small pinholes, only a tiny amount of light peeks through the lightweight material.

This sunshade might be thin, but it works even in hot climates like California and Texas. However, because the shade’s material is so light, it can potentially rip and the metal wire inside can also rip through the material and poke out, a common issue for many windshield sunshades with these wire edges.

Specs
  • Made of 210T nylon
  • Two built-in support structures offer adjustable sizing
  • Comes in a compact storage pouch
  • Available in seven sizes
PROS

Lightweight material still manages to block heat and UV rays

Easy to open and collapse

Available in plenty of sizes for plenty of makes and models

CONS

Lightweight material can be ripped if wires pop out

Can rip with wear and tear

Best UV Protection

If you want to prevent fading, cracking, and other interior signs of sun damage inside your car, the EzyShade Sunshade is what you’ll want to check out. This windshield sunshade delivers both cooler temperatures and UV ray protection, promising to keep your vehicle up to 82 percent cooler and offer 99 percent UV ray protection when used. And it’s even 15 percent more efficient at its main jobs compared to other sunshades.

This sunshade does a great job at keeping your car cooler, even in high heat, however, it can be a pain to collapse and store when you don’t need it in your windshield. It’s hard to wrestle into a small size. Additionally, car dashboards do tend to be hotter than other areas of the car when this shade is in use which could potentially be a problem for some drivers.

Specs
  • Made with Shield-X Ultra Reflective coating
  • Includes two identical rectangular shades
  • 99 percent UV protection
  • Cools car temperature by 82 percent
PROS

Reflective coating helps increase cooling and UV ray reflection

Can significantly lower interior temperature in hot climates

Includes two shades for a flexible fit

CONS

Difficult to fold and collapse

Dashboards can still heat up even when the shade is in use

Best Accordion Style

The Big Hippo Sunshade is different from many shades as unlike those that twist or bend to fold down, it’s accordion-style. Measuring 28.3 x 54.7 inches in size, it’s able to be used in a variety of different vehicles, and folds flat in seconds. Included suction cups allow it to attach securely to your windshield while two layers of material (a foam core and a layer of double bubble reflective silver coating) offer UV and heat protection.

The manufacturer claims you’ll be able to reduce the interior temperature by as much as 10 to 30 degrees, and when it comes to damaging UV sunlight, this product can block 99 percent of UV rays. The only potential downside? It does take up more room in your vehicle even though it folds flat, which can complicate matters in small vehicles.

Specs
  • Foam core
  • Measures 28.3 in. H x 54.7 in. L
  • Double bubble silver coated
  • Accordion folding method
  • Blocks 99 percent of UV rays
PROS

Reflective surfaces lowers interior temperature

No struggle to install or remove (or fold)

Offers up to 50 degrees of temperature reduction

CONS

Doesn’t fold down as compactly as other products

Can take up space in smaller vehicles

Does require suction cups to stay in place

Best for Large Cars

If you drive a vehicle with a larger windshield — or that’s longer overall — the Road Charms Windshield Sunshade is a great option as this shade can work in sedans, vans, trucks, and SUVs. Two 31-inch diameter inserts, which are wire circles, help this shade stay more securely in place when used in bigger vehicles, too.

In your windshield, this product will cool down your car with its metallic reflective exterior and send UV rays in the opposite direction. It’s flexible and adaptable, to some degree. However, keeping this shade up in your windshield may be a challenge. If your car’s visors aren’t long enough, it may not offer complete coverage.

Specs
  • Made of 190T nylon
  • Measures 35 in. H x 70 in. L
  • Two 31-inch diameter built-in wire inserts
  • Backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee
PROS

Bigger size and bigger wire rings are well-suited for

larger vehicles Reflective surface keeps UV rays and heat out

Protects interior surfaces

CONS

May not fit all large vehicles

Small visors can cause the shade to flop or fall

How We Selected the Best Windshield Sunshades 

In order to separate the best windshield sunshades from those that can’t measure up, we took a look at the different products in every style you can find. From accordion to pop-up to foldable, we checked out the available sizes and fits for a variety of vehicles as well as the material each shade was made out of. We sought out durable and UV-ready materials — paying close attention to those that could reflect sunlight and heat — in even the toughest, sunniest, and hottest environments. From there, we took other details, like ease of use and windshield coverage, into consideration while making our picks.

Our product selections, rankings, and awards for this story are based on research. While we haven’t conducted real-world testing on all of these products yet, we’ve looked at consumer testimonials and data, tutorials, and general discussions on social media and in forums. We also consider price and specification in the context of the segment. And, of course, we rely on our institutional knowledge of the automotive landscape to weed out weak products.

Buying Guide/What to Look For 

Picking out a windshield sunshade for your car might sound like a pretty simple process, but with hundreds (and even thousands) of product options available to choose from, it can get complicated quickly. Make the process easier and find the right fit for your windshield and needs with our advice. 

What to Consider When Buying Windshield Sunshades

Types of Windshield Sunshades

Universal Pop-Up Sunshades

Universal pop-up windshield sunshades are one of the most common kinds you’ll find in your search. These shades are designed to fit most car windshields, from sedans to large pickups. And they’re made to be flexible and conveniently compact. Typically sold as a set of two square or rectangular shades with lightweight material, pop-up sunshades come in a variety of sizes. Each one is designed to cover half of your windshield.

The “pop up” feature of these shades allows you to open them to full size in just a second. However, this can be a bit of a challenge when it’s time to remove and collapse them. These shades require twisting and folding to become compact (and they often pop open unexpectedly). 

Universal Accordion Sunshades

Accordion windshield sunshades can be universal in size — or close to universal — like pop-up options. These shades fold and unfold just like an accordion, collapsing into a long, thin package when not in use. They do take up more room inside your vehicle, which may be a concern in smaller cars, but they’re still pretty compact and slim. Made to cover your entire windshield with just one shade, these products tend to cover everything except the corners.

The downside of a universal accordion windshield sunshade? It won’t be a flawless fit. You’ll likely run into challenges like gaps and sunlight sneaking into your car’s interior, and rearview mirrors along with visors can be a challenge with the full-windshield stretch of these shades.

Custom-Fit Sunshades

A custom-fit windshield sunshade is a product that doesn’t promise to cover many different vehicle makes and models as it’s designed to fit only a specific make and model. When you opt for a custom-fit shade, you’ll get a product that fits flawlessly with your car’s windshield. It should lay perfectly flat and pose no problems for your visors, rearview mirror, and other potential obstacles (along with any odd shapes).

Custom-fit sunshades only fit one make and model, which makes them less versatile. They’re often more expensive than universal shades, but they do offer full coverage and can eliminate plenty of fit issues, all while blocking out light from every possible corner.

Windshield Sunshades Key Features

Lightweight

Because you’re frequently lifting, moving, and storing your car’s windshield sunshade, it’s got to be easy to move, which means it needs to be lightweight. You want your shade to be effortless to lift into place and convenient to move each time you’re getting into or out of your car. Materials like nylon and flexible, thin metal wire offer the lightest possible combination.

UV- and Heat-Blocking

If your windshield sunshade can’t actually block sunlight effectively, then why use it? The goal of these shades is to keep sunlight — and UV rays in particular — from heating up your car’s interior and degrading or damaging its materials. So, you’ll want to make sure you opt for a shade that’s thick enough and reflective enough to bounce those hot rays back outside and away from your vehicle.

Plenty of reflective materials, from fabric shades to hard, inflexible accordion-style shades, can do this. But you’ll want to take a close look at the UV blocking rating (or percentage) as well as the heat reduction mentioned in each shade’s product description. How much can it lower the temperature? Can it actually reflect UVA and UVB rays? 

Durable Material

Lastly, it’s a smart idea to make sure your windshield sunshade is a product that’ll last. Since you’ll be using your shade daily and moving it around frequently, you want something that can withstand bending, twisting, opening and closing, and all of the movements or bumps and bangs of regular use. The more durable your shade is, the better your investment will be. Don’t settle for shades that can easily rip, tear, or leave wires poking out where you can see them (or worse, be injured by them).


Windshield Sunshade Tips and Tricks

As with something you do for decades upon decades, you pick up a few tips and tricks along the way in terms of selecting the right product, and/or using it. That’s the case with us and windshield sunshades. To help you bridge the information gap, here’s a selection of what we’ve learned along the way.

  • Wondering which windshield sunshades are the best at reflecting sunlight? The shinier the exterior surface is, the better it’ll bounce sunlight back towards the outdoors.
  • If you’re searching for the best space-saving shade solution, pop-up options are best as they can collapse into small circles that are so slim, they can even fit between your seat and center console.
  • Thicker is often better when it comes to car sunshades, as thicker material means more layers of protection against both heat and damaging sunlight.

FAQs

Q: Can a windshield sunshade crack my windshield?

No, at least not by itself. If your windshield already has a hairline crack or other form of imperfection, it may cause the glass to heat up and expand and then make the crack worse. But it can’t cause your windshield to crack by itself.

Q: How do you put a sunshade on a windshield?

The exact process varies depending on the type of shade you choose, but overall the process is super simple. All you have to do is open or unfold your windshield sunshade, slide it against your car’s windshield, and secure it in place. Shades can be held in place by pulling down your car’s visors, with included suction cups, or with extra security details like rearview mirror straps.

Q: Which side faces out on a windshield sunshade?

This should be nice and obvious once you have your new windshield sunshade in hand. The reflective side (or shiny side) should always face outwards. You want the reflective side to face the sun so its rays can bounce right off.

Final Thoughts

Our pick for the best windshield sunshade is the EcoNour Car Windshield Sunshade, which is as simple and straightforward as it is great at its job. It can keep your car’s interior cooler all while protecting the investment that is your interior. And if you want the same protection at an affordable price, we love the value offered by the AstroAI Windshield Sun Shade. Which windshield sunshade is on your list as a must-have?

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