Top 8 Best Sunshades
By | Last updated: November 8, 2021
best sunshades for the car

You’ve seen plenty of vehicles with completely nuked dashboards in Murilee’s Junkyard Find series. After a lifetime of baking in the sun, these cars end up with cratered and cracked interiors that resemble the moon’s surface. It’s not pretty.

Sunshades are derided by some as useless items deployed only by Floridian seniors after parking their 1992 Chrysler New Yorker at the Golden Corral. Closer inspection actually reveals these things pop up on cars deposited in sunny climate long-term lots in an effort by their owners to keep the vehicle interior temperature from reaching those normally found on the sun.

An informal survey also taught this author that some delivery drivers deploy sunshades during a stop to try and keep their office cool and avoid a furnace-like blast every time they open the door. It adds a measure of security from prying eyes as well.

Here are an octet of the best sunshades we found on Amazon.

1. Editor’s Choice: EcoNaur Car Windshield Sun Shade

Offered in a quartet of sizes from 59 inches to nearly 68 inches wide, this choice pops out of its carry case like an excited jack-in-the-box. It folds away small enough to be stored in a vehicle’s door pockets. Measuring the inside width of your vehicle and then ordering the correct size is a sure-fire way to be assured this shade will stay in place.

Most of us have seared off precious layers of skin on a hotter-than-fire metal seatbelt buckle at some point in our lives, so this shade’s reflective exterior should repel much of the heat that causes these branding-iron sessions. Made from nylon polyester, just like your high-school science teacher’s suit, the shade will require its owners to flip down their sunshades to help keep it in place. Its twin round wire circles, designed to flex a bit during set up, result in a shape that encourages 10-year olds and 39-year olds to draw specific anatomy pictures on its surface.

Pros/Reasonable price, variety of sizes, shape is perfect for drawing rude pictures
Cons/Some reviewers report it doesn’t play well with rearview mirrors

2. Cheap Relief: Hosaire Car Sunshades Windshield Reflector

On a website filled with readers who click on the Ace of Base series and enjoy cloth-bedecked Tradesman Rams instead of leather-lined Limiteds (weirdos), we figured it best to highlight this option which checks in at about a third of the price of a Starbucks coffee. Costing just $2.99, this shade is unlikely to last an entire summer season but, at that price, you can buy multiples of the thing for the cost of a single more expensive unit.

As with most things in life, one gets what they pay for. There are only three reviews, two of which are horrible. One particularly descriptive author said this shade can’t even support its own weight. Still, if you’re looking for a quick fix for a Craigslist flip, this el cheapo choice might be a good idea.

Pros/Cheaper than dirt
Cons/Questionable quality

3. EzyShade Windshield Sun Shade

Using a snazzy Audi as its cover model, this spellcheck-vexing EzyShade is available in three sizes and costs about 10 bucks. Actually formed out of two rectangular panels that overlap, the seller claims an 82 percent reduction in the buildup of heat inside a car. Remember, 58 percent of statistics are made up half the time.

Older reviews are generally good but recent ones from the last week or so are filled with vitriol generally reserved for those wretched plastic blister packs that foil all attempts to release the item they are holding. Reports of floppy fit and a weird chemical smell are rife, though the former could be a result of user error. Folding them also seems to be a bit challenging.

Pros/Dual panel coverage, affordably priced
Cons/Reports of off-gassing and folding problems

4. Kinder Fluff Car Sun Shade (4px)

Kinder Fluff? What is this? Fit for a daycare? Actually, it kinda is, as these shades are meant for your car’s side windows instead of its forward glass. There will be times when Junior could use a bit of relief from the sun on a long journey, a task for which these things are designed. As they are only semi-transparent, heaving them into the driver’s line of sight is not recommended.

Measuring about two feet by one foot, they’re made with tightly woven synthetic fabric so that there are less holes in through which the sun can shine. Simply unfurl the shade, dampen the window, and press the thing into place. In a presumed attempt to ward off complaints, the seller notes these shades will have crease fresh out of the box.

Pros/Helps the kiddos, easy to place, they’re called Kinder Fluff
Cons/Static application can fail after a time

5. Windshield Sun Shade by A1-Sunshades

One of the few sellers to include a sizing menu – which, by the way, includes a listing for a 1987 Pontiac Bonneville – from which one can select their car, this shade is available in no fewer than seven different sizes. There is even a size specifically listed for the Wrangler, a decision which should surely please the Chads and Brocks of the world.

Reviews are great, especially given the large sample size of over 3,000 customers. Some of them warn that the shade’s metal folding structure can fail over time, creating a poking hazard. Beyond that, the review section is filled with praise for good fit and easy folding, though plenty of reports say this thing is hard to get back in the pouch. Simply fold it up and stick it in the door pocket, then.

Pros/Stellar reviews, wide array of sizes
Cons/Good luck getting it back in the pouch

6. Motor Trend Front Windshield Sun Shade

Because the royalty fees for all those back episodes of Top Gear aren’t going to pay for themselves, MT feels the need to lend its brand to a variety of car-related products, including sunshades. You can be certain the TTAC name will never appear on such a product, mainly because no one wants to be associated with us.

This thing is offered in a single 58-inch width, meaning it won’t work for your Detroit Canyonero but it does come in a variety of colors, something which no other shade on this list can claim. It also has a smart cutout for the rearview mirror, solving a complaint levied by the customers of several other sunshade brands.

Pros/Different colors, allowance for mirrors
Cons/You’re potentially funding Randy Pobst’s dinner expense

7. EP-Car Sunshield Telescopic

Here’s a different take on the car sunshade, one which retracts for storage instead of being required to fold up like a paper map or fabric Frisbee. Think of it as a manual version of a powered rear-window sunshade on fancy Audi sedans or a portable variant of a roll-up window shade.

Several sizes are available, including ones that will fit side windows and shade the heads of back-seat minions. The seller purports owners of this shade can stretch it horizontally across a windshield, an application which would surely require its removal before driving even in the retracted position.

Pros/Different sizes are available, multiple applications in the car
Cons/Zero feedback

8. TYPS Universal Car Windshield Retractable Sunshade

This shade is similar to the one shown above in that it is of the retractable variety. Difference here is that it folds up like an accordion rather than rolling up like a window shade. It’s seller also markets it solely as a solution for the front windshield rather than a way to cool off the back seat during long drives.

Measuring just over two feet tall by a maximum of a hair more than five feet wide, it should fit the vast majority of cars. A bracket keeps it anchored to one side of the windshield while a suction cup keeps things aloft on the other end. Given its vision-blocking properties even when retracted, drivers must surely remove the entire thing before driving, not just retract it into its base.

Pros/Retractability ensures a wide range of sizes
Cons/Your car will look like it has corrugated sheetmetal in its window

FAQs – Best Sunshades for the Car

Do sunshades for cars really work?

A short answer is, yes, they do. However, their effectiveness majorly depends on their type and the quality of material used to manufacture them.

Generally, there are two ways the sunshades work, namely:

  • Absorption

These types of sunshades absorb the sunlight and other harmful substances such as UV rays that it has. Simply put, these protectives shield the interior of your car, and take all the damages to themselves, thus reducing the temperature of the inside of the vehicle.

  • Reflection

These sunshades are made of reflective material, and do not absorb the heat but reflect them away. Because of this, the temperature of the interior of your car remains comparatively low, and the vehicle takes lesser time to cool while driving.

Regardless of the type of sunshades you choose, it is imperative to check for the quality, and always pick the one manufactured by a reputed brand.

Are WeatherTech sunshades good?

One of the sunshades from WeatherTech enjoys around a 4.5-star rating on Amazon. While some users complain about their bad experience while claiming the warranty and some even find these shades bulky, the majority of consumers have left positive reviews, and are satisfied with the overall performance of the product.


Do sunshades protect your dash?

Because the sunshades are installed on the windshield of the vehicle, yes, they do. However, the portion of the dash that is protected from the sun and other harmful elements mostly depends on the size of the sunshade you have installed, and how much area is it covering post-installation.

Generally, there are 3 types of sunshades available in the market, namely:

  • Accordion Sunshades

These are sometimes also referred to as Standard Sunshades, and as the name suggests, they can be folded and unfolded like an accordion as needed. Although accordion sunshades are cheap and are available at almost all car stores, they are a bit bulky. Because of this, some people also find it challenging to install them.

  • Collapsible Sunshades

Although these are a bit expensive as compared to the accordion sunshades, they are easy to install. These protectives are also easy to remove and can be packed in small bags before you can start your journey. Another benefit of using these shields is that they look classy and pleasant. However, they may not always be a perfect fit for your car, and you must check the size before investing funds in them.

  • Retractable Sunshades

These shields are easiest to operate after installation. Retractable sunshades operate on the brackets that are installed on either side of the windshield. To protect the dash, all you need to do is, slide them from one side, and attach them to the bracket installed on the other side of the windshield. Similarly, before driving, you can detach the shades, and let the main bracket retract them to give you a clear view through the windscreen.

The good thing about these shades is, they can be trimmed to fit the size of your vehicle’s windscreen, and therefore the entire dash can be protected from direct sunlight and heat.

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.

(Editor’s note: This post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘90s sedan shopping habits operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Piston Slaps, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)

[Main photo credit: aapsky / Product images provided by the manufacturer.]

9 Comments on “Best Sunshades for the Car: Where the Sun Don’t Shine...”

  • avatar

    The latest Nano Ceramic window films do an amazing job of blocking heat and UV rays (independent of the tint level). Did all the windows and the sunroof of my one car (did nothing to the windshield) and have noticed a *dramatic* difference.

    The Smart and Caring OEM would put this technology on at the factory [glass factory?] (probably with a different process at significantly lower cost). But since Automotive OEMs are Stupid and Unfeeling, Suzie the CUV Driver gets to wrestle with a ‘sunshade’ every time she parks in daylight (note that Suzie has TRex arms and the dash is extra deep).

    [Bonus Science Fair Entry Idea: Can Nanotech Windows Reduce Fuel Consumption?*]

    *The OEM climate control guys just got excited and are planning to undersize the A/C compressor on the next major model (because Sun Load Is Huge). Little do they know that the nano ceramic tint will be cancelled 2 months before launch.

  • avatar

    What about the merits of sunshades on the outside of the screen?
    I personally believe in this method. The reasoning is that UV radiation gets converted to IR passing through the glass. Glass is a bad transmitter of IR and therefore the heat will get trapped between the shade and the glass. But on the outside of the glass, there is no UV/IR conversion. The only hazard is when some bozo likes your sunscreen better than you. Any thoughts? or have I got the science wrong? Sitting down here, looking at a summer with 40-50c days, it seems a logical train of thought.

  • avatar

    The best fitting one I’ve gotten is a WeatherTech roll up. Living in S FL even with window tint keeping the sun off the dash is pretty much a requirement unless you like getting into an oven in the afternoon.

  • avatar
    Secret Hi5

    Batting .318 when trying to fold those shades with the wire rim. Most times I just toss the damnd (unfolded) shade onto the back seat. /sad

  • avatar

    The TRULY best sun shade didn’t even make the list – the Covercraft UVS100. Same shade used as OEM by BMW and probably others. Custom fit that truly fits. Lasts forever.

    Trust me, I’m an expert in sun blockage – I live in Arizona.

  • avatar

    Even a good window shade won’t give 10 percent of the of a good custom-fitted cover. Yeah, they’re a pain to deploy but window shades do nothing to protect the car’s finish, and a cover keeps the interior cool by absorbing or reflecting those pesky photons before they get inside the cabin and are converted into IR heat in the first place.

    The ones I get are made of Noah fabric and last about three summers. They run about $300 a copy. When you retire an old one, you see in its depleted condition the the tangible evidence of the damage that it diverted from your car’s finish and interior materials. To me, that’s worth it.

  • avatar

    ive got those stick on tinted window vents, so i just leave all my windows down a few inches

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    I’ve been using sunshades since the 1980’s, and I am still perplexed by the fact that so few people use them. Especially in the tropical climate that I currently live in.

    Good article.

  • avatar

    Check out WeatherTech or a site that specializes in parts and accessories for your particular vehicle (like College Hills in Wooster, OH, for Honda). I’ve bought roll-up sunshades for my last two Accords, and they’re sized just about perfectly, complete with cutouts for the camera array on the windshield header. There’s an attached Velcro strap included, so you roll the thing up, wrap the strap around it, then toss it in the back seat. To deploy, unroll, shove down on the back of the dash (being careful not to hit the HUD), then flop the visors over the top.

    I still remember using the cardboard accordion ones! One or two summers max in Northwest Ohio! Those probably had a lifespan of WEEKS in Florida or Arizona!

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