The 10 Best Windshield Shades

We spent 44 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. If you’ve ever scorched your hands on your steering wheel on a hot day, you’ll really appreciate these windshield shades. They can keep your car’s interior up to 20 degrees cooler than outside, and will protect your dash and upholstery from damaging UV rays, making them a must-have for those who live in areas with regular sunshine. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work.

10. BDK Auto

The BDK Auto will give your vehicle an instant boost of personality, with five fun graphics to choose from, including dogs, a patriotic eagle, and a beautiful sunset. It does a good job of blocking out the sun, but the overall quality means it probably won’t last long.

  • Simple to wipe clean
  • Can be stored between seats
  • Not ideal for smaller cars

Brand BDK
Model AS-766__AM
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

9. Motor Trend Jumbo

The Motor Trend Jumbo features a stylish reversible design and a simple accordion shape that makes it a piece of cake for anybody to fold it up. It only comes in one size though, so be sure to measure your windshield to ensure a good fit.

  • Closes with velcro for storage
  • Available in four colors
  • Hard to fit over rearview mirror

Brand Motor Trend
Model AS-312-BK_am
Weight 12.8 ounces
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

8. Alpha Shades Premium

The Alpha Shades Premium is an economical choice when you need sun protection without a high price tag. The wire circular frames are not as big as some competitors though, which makes it a little flimsy and gives it an excess amount of fabric along the edges.

  • Easy to fold and store
  • Backed by a satisfaction guarantee
  • Doesn’t stay propped up well

Brand AlphaShades
Model ALPHA-001
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. Big Ant Visor Shield

The Big Ant Visor Shield works like a charm at keeping your car’s interior from reaching excessive temperatures. It combines a double layer bubble material with a reflective aluminum that deflects the sunlight well to keep your upholstery looking like new.

  • Simple for anyone to fold
  • Available in silver or blue
  • Suction cups are unreliable

Brand Big Ant
Model pending
Weight 10.4 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. X-Shade Jumbo

If you live in a sunny area, the X-Shade Jumbo is a must-have to help maintain your car’s interior. It pops open in seconds with a twist, and folds down just as quickly to keep up with your fast-paced lifestyle, but make sure you measure your windshield before buying.

  • Fits neatly in the provided pouch
  • Can protect leather steering wheels
  • Floppy corners let in some rays

Brand X-Shade
Model Grande-Jumbo II
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. Shade-It Protector

The Shade-It Protector is a customer favorite, thanks to its convenient user-friendly design that is both durable and dependable. It can block 99% of ultraviolet rays and is available in three different sizes to offer the perfect fit for your car or truck.

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Made with silver-coated nylon
  • Elastic strap for a secure closure

Brand Shade-It
Model Shade190T
Weight 4.8 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. EzyShade Universal

The EzyShade Universal comes with two matching rectangular shades for maximum coverage in virtually any vehicle. They cleverly overlap each other and can be installed vertically for taller windshields or horizontally in more compact cars.

  • Includes a bonus dashboard mat
  • Instructions are simple to follow
  • Resistant to tears

Brand EzyShade
Model 1-ES-WIND-2SQ31x28
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

1. Road Charms Jumbo XL

The Road Charms Jumbo XL measures 70 inches wide for the ultimate protection in trucks, SUVs and large vans. Its dual, 31-inch inserts are much larger than most standard pop-up shields and stay propped up until manually removed.

  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Constructed of heavy-duty nylon
  • Easy to fit around the mirror

Brand Road Charms
Model RC-SHADE-7035
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

Why Protecting Your Vehicle Is Cool

Go ahead and imagine the blissful feeling that accompanies the annual arrival of summer. You survived those desolate winter months, when you spent both your morning and evening commutes shrouded in frigid darkness. You endured an unpredictable spring — weeks of cold rain and gray skies and thunderstorms with an occasional sprinkle of sun and warmth.

It’s the first hot, sunny day of the season, and it’s time to head to the beach. You head out to the car, open the driver’s door, and BAM! Calling it a sauna doesn’t adequately describe the heat inside; it’s a revolting inferno, emitting odors of singed upholstery and gradually melting plastic. It’s almost enough to make you want to time travel back to the doldrums of winter.

It doesn’t have to be this way, you know. The interior of a parked car in the sun can reach nearly 200 degrees Fahrenheit, causing permanent damage to the vehicle, the driver, and the passengers — which is why you should seriously consider obtaining a windshield shade, if you haven’t already.

While every automobile is susceptible to sunlight, a quality windshield shade will expel the extreme heat and prevent unnecessary harm to your vehicle’s interior. While a shade won’t completely eliminate the buildup of heat inside of your car, it will minimize rising temperatures by deflecting the sun’s rays.

When it comes to the sun, personal safety is of the utmost concern — not only your safety, but that of your passengers, as well. Everyone, including children, is vulnerable to long-term health risks associated with excessive sun exposure. This includes a variety of ailments at varying levels of severity, including skin cancer. Windshield shades block some of the harmful rays that standard window glass cannot.

If the sun’s rays can inflict this type of damage onto your skin, think about what they can do to vinyl, carpeting, fabric, and leather car interiors. The same goes for electronic components like stereo systems and digital screens. Sustained exposure can wreak havoc on your dashboard and seats, leaving them bleached, faded, cracked, and warped — not exactly an effective strategy for upping the resale value of your car.

Styles And Features: Finding The Shadiest Shade

Automobiles come in a wide range of styles and price ranges, and the windshield shades that protect them are no different. Depending on the level of protection, durability, and portability you require, you’ll be able to choose between a foldable custom fit, a roll-up custom fit, a universal roll-up, or an accordion-style shade.

Collapsible for easy setup and storage, the foldable custom fit is tailor-made for your vehicle to ensure comprehensive coverage of your windshield. The roll-up custom fit is also designed specifically for your car, although it’s not as easy to install as the foldable model. While not custom-built, the universal roll-up is economical and versatile, making it useful for a variety of vehicle makes and models.

The last style — and perhaps the most complex — is the accordion shade. These retractable units mount directly to your windshield, so you should never misplace it or have to re-install it. When you want to deploy the shade, you simply pull a cord, stretch the accordion to the other side of the windshield, then hook it into place. It doesn’t provide quite as much coverage as the other types, but it’s easy to handle and highly reflective.

Regardless of style, a number of factors differentiate each individual product. When assessing the shade’s material, most people focus on options that are versatile and long-lasting, which is why nylon and polyester have emerged as popular materials due to their light weight and durable properties.

Stability is critical, as well; a weak shade that falls over fifteen minutes after you park your car isn’t really fulfilling its intended purpose, is it? Look for options with built-in elastic or Velco straps for securing the shade into place. Some even have side flaps that you can fold out to provide coverage on the driver and passenger side windows, which delivers even more protection for your vehicle’s interior.

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, customized models are an ideal solution for a few reasons. First, you won’t need to worry about testing different sizes, as the shade is tailored to your vehicle. Next, you can buy it in the color and design of your choosing, which allows you to enjoy its appearance as much as its functionality. And lastly, you can ensure that it includes your desired set of features — which can also help make the process of setting it up, taking it down, and storing it as effortless as possible.

A Very Brief Lesson In Physics

Think about your car as a microcosm of the earth; sunlight, which contains an extensive range of wavelengths of light, enters your vehicle through the windshield glass — similar to the way sunlight reaches the earth through the atmosphere.

While most of the visible light passes through the glass, the majority of the ultraviolet (and some of the infrared) light is unable to make it through. The contents of your car then absorb that visible light, which leads to an increase in temperature within the vehicle, similar to what happens to the earth.

Once your car’s dashboard or upholstery absorbs that light, the character of the light changes — increasing the energy of the atoms and molecules that make up those components. Therefore, in a sense, your car has become a mechanism for changing the visible light into infrared light.

Without getting too scientific, this causes your vehicle’s interior to increase in temperature because that new infrared light falls within a wavelength range that the windshield glass blocks, trapping the heat inside. The increase in energy then causes those molecules to bounce around faster, making the interior hotter still. If your car’s equipped with an effective windshield shade, it will prevent most of that light from entering your vehicle in the first place, halting the heating process before it starts.