Most people who have a yard or even a balcony love spending time outside. However, on a hot summer’s day, sitting in full sunlight can be uncomfortable – and that’s when a retractable awning can be the perfect solution for providing some much-needed shade.
Nowadays there are many options to pick from, and choosing the right awning can be a challenge. If this is a problem you are facing, here are our top picks for best retractable awning to help you make the right decision.
For anyone looking for a high-quality electric awning for their home, this could be the perfect option.
Part of the company’s C-Series (“C” stands for Classic), this model measures 16’ x 10’. The color is Natural Beige with Brick Red stripes – but other sizes and color schemes are also available.
The outstanding feature of this awning is the Easy Pitch system. As well as being easy to extend or retract, this system also allows you to adjust the pitch, making it simple to change the configuration as the sun moves throughout the day.
You can easily raise or lower either side of the awning – and it only requires one person to do it – giving you maximum protection from the sunlight.
Another positive is the high-quality premium fabric. It is 100% acrylic, providing UV 80+ protection while also being fade- and mildew-resistant. The breathable material doesn’t trap hot air or moisture – another advantage over cheaper materials.
With a steel frame and aluminum roller tube, it is also sturdy and built to last. This is an awning you won’t need to replace for some time to come – and it comes with a five-year warranty, just in case anything does go wrong.
There’s so much we like about this option, but the major downside is the price since it doesn’t come cheap. However, for this kind of quality, we still think it represents great value for money.
The only other issue we have it that it might not be suitable in windier conditions – but this is common to just about any awning, so this is hardly a fair criticism.
All in all, a reliable awning that is easy to operate and looks great. If you are willing to meet the price tag, this awning could be just what you’re looking for.
If you like the sound of the Advaning awning above but are looking for something smaller and more affordable, this manual C-Series version could be a better pick for you.
Measuring 13’ x 10’, this is more suitable for smaller patios or other outdoor areas. The color is an attractive Sunny Yellow with Gray stripes, but other options are available, allowing you to find the perfect match for your home.
The major difference between this and the model we looked at above is the fact that this version is cranked manually. However, apart from this, it includes all the same features that make the previous model such a great pick.
This means it is made of the same high-quality 100% acrylic material and boasts the same durable steel frame and aluminum roller tube.
Importantly, it also features the same Easy Pitch system that allows you to extend and retract the awning or adjust the pitch with minimal effort. This means you can easily change the angle of the awning as the sun moves through the sky.
Again, we can find very few faults with this awning. We might point out that, although it is easy to install, it is quite challenging for one person alone – it’s a much easier job for two or three people working together. (This is also true of the version we looked at above.)
Also, as with the previous model, it won’t stand up to stronger wind – but this is only to be expected.
In sum, a solid option if you want a high-quality awning that’s made to last, and you don’t mind cranking it manually. If that sounds like what you are looking for, this is an option that’s well worth checking out.
This is another awning from Advaning – but this time from the company’s L-Series. “L” stands for Luxury, and this model represents a step up in quality compared to the C-Series versions, so this could be a good pick if you are looking for a top-end product.
The main difference here is the higher-quality acrylic material the awning itself is made of. The Recasens Branded European 100% acrylic material offers enhanced UV protection – as well as being mildew- and fade-resistant and breathable, like other Advaning awnings.
Another upgrade feature is the double spring mechanism, which gives extra reliability and durability compared to the C-Series models.
Besides these additions, this awning boasts all the same features as the C-Series models, including the Easy Pitch system that allows you to adjust the pitch of the awning and the solid, long-lasting construction.
As with other products from this company, we find it hard to find anything wrong with this awning. If we have to pick holes, we might suggest that it’s a little slow to open or close – but not excessively so, and this is hardly a deal-breaker.
Also, as with the other models, it is easier to install with a couple of helpers rather than doing it by yourself, but this is probably true of just about any awning.
This is an option that should appeal to the kind of person who demands the highest quality and who isn’t worried about paying a little extra to get their hands on it. If that sounds like you, this could be an obvious solution for your home.
This retractable awning from Best Choice Products is designed for people who need to add some shade to their patio or other outdoor space but who don’t want to spend a fortune.
The polyester material is UV- and water-resistant, so it will keep you protected from both the sun and light rain, and the frame is made of rust-resistant powder-coated aluminum.
Everything required for installation is included, and you can install the crank on either side, giving you extra flexibility. Once fitted, it is simple to use and can be extended or retracted quickly and easily.
As we mentioned, this is an affordable option, and the extremely low price is one of the major advantages.
However, the awning material is much thinner than with more expensive options, so it might not last quite as long – although, at this price point, this is something most people will be willing to accept.
One other gripe we have is that the color options are limited – it would have been better if there were more possibilities to let you choose something that combines well with your yard.
However, despite these minor issues, for such an inexpensive awning, these seem like slightly unfair criticisms, and if you are looking for a budget-friendly option for your home, this model should be high on your list of possibilities.
For anyone in the market for an affordable retractable awning, this model from MCombo is another option that should be of interest.
This model measures 10’ x 8’ and features a manual crank. The frame is made of corrosion-resistant aluminum and stainless steel, meaning it won’t rust when exposed to the elements.
You can install it yourself, and all hardware is included. All you need are a few basic tools that most people will already have in their home. Once in place, it is extremely easy to open or close using the simple hand-crank mechanism.
Furthermore, it is rated as being able to withstand wind of up to 4 on the Beaufort scale, meaning you won’t have to close it in light to moderate wind.
Something else we appreciate with this awning is that it’s available in a wide range of colors, meaning it should be easy for you to find the perfect match for your home.
On the downside, the instructions are a little vague, and some people may find them a little difficult to follow – although if you read them carefully, you should be able to work it out.
Also, the colors tend to fade in bright sunlight, but you can minimize this effect by adding some UV protection to the material.
This is another solid option for anyone looking for budget-friendly but reliable awning. A recommended pick if functionality and value for money are among your most important considerations.
If you like the sound of the MCombo awning above but need something slightly larger, this model could be an obvious alternative. It measures 12’ x 10’, giving you just a bit more coverage, but it still boasts all the same features that make the smaller option such a solid pick.
This means it incorporates the same aluminum and stainless-steel frame that is resistant to corrosion and weather damage, ensuring increased longevity.
Professional installation is not required since you can do it yourself, and once in place, it is easy for just about anyone to operate using the manual hand crank.
The material is water-resistant and UV-resistant, and it is designed to stand winds of up to 4 on the Beaufort scale.
Like the smaller version, it is also available in a range of colors, allowing you to pick one that best matches your home and personal taste.
Something we like less (as with the smaller model) is that it only comes with a three-month warranty. We don’t think this is long enough, even for an affordable product like this, so buying it could be a risk.
Also, like the smaller version, the instructions are not well written, although most people will still be able to get the job done.
This is another decent option if you are looking for something at the lower end of the price range – and could be an obvious pick if you need something bigger than the 10’ x 8’ version.
This is a retractable awning right at the bottom of the price range – so if you are looking to add some extra shade to your yard but want to spend the least amount of money possible, this could be just the model for you.
There are two size options – 8’ x 6’ or 10’ x 8’ – allowing you to choose the dimensions most suited to your needs. The crank handle is made of stainless steel and the frame is made of powder-coated aluminum, both materials that are resistant to corrosion.
The awning itself is made of polyester, is water-resistant and blocks 95% of UV rays, keeping you safe from the sun’s rays and dry in light rain.
At such a low price, this is a great budget option – but unfortunately, it comes in only one color, so this is a compromise you might have to accept if you are looking for an awning that will save you some cash.
Also, the instructions are quite poorly written. However, they aren’t impossible to follow, and once you have the awning in place, it does the job it was designed for.
This is an option intended for those who don’t want to spend more than they need to on a basic but functional awning. If that’s what you want – and you don’t expect top-end quality – this could be another possibility you would do well to consider.
Here we have one more inexpensive retractable awning, this time from Aecojoy. It has dimensions of 8.2’ x 6.5’ (although larger size options exist) and is available in either beige or green (although, bizarrely, the bigger sizes only come in beige).
The awning is made of polyester with a PU coating. It is water-resistant, fade-resistant and UV-resistant, providing you with protection from the sun and from light rain. Furthermore, it is rated as being able to stand winds of up to 5 on the Beaufort scale.
The frame is made of rust-resistant powder-coated aluminum, and it also features a double-strand steel rope for extra strength and durability.
One negative point to note is that UV protection is rated at only 30+, somewhat less than other more expensive awnings. Also, it isn’t the easiest to install, although, with one or two helpers, most people will be able to manage.
To summarize, this is another good pick for anyone looking for an inexpensive, no-frills awning for their home. As a budget pick, this is another option that should be on your radar.
If you are looking for a retractable side awning that will give you some shelter or extra privacy when outside, this model could be worth investigating.
At 9.8’ x 5.2’, it is a good size for many applications. It is easy to install, and once in place, it is sturdy and rigid. This is a single-sided version – but a double-sided option is also available for even more protection.
The materials it is made of are durable and weather-resistant – it features an aluminum alloy frame with oxidized non-rust paint, while the screen itself is made of polyester.
We like the stylish minimalistic look of this awning, and we also appreciate the fact that it features a childproof handle.
However, something we like less is the instructions. They consist of images only with no written directions. This can be effective when done well (think IKEA) – but here, the images are unclear and hard to understand. Fortunately, setup is intuitive, so this isn’t so important.
Another point to bear in mind is that it needs to be fixed to the ground – there is no moveable base to attach it to.
In short, this is a great option if you need a retractable side awning for your yard. It’s easy to install, simple to use and sells at a very reasonable price point. A recommended pick.
This is another retractable side awning, this time from Songmics. It measures 118 1/8” x 62 7/8” and is designed to be super-easy to install and use.
The components are made of strong and durable materials – the frame is made of aluminum alloy with an oxidized paint covering, ensuring good resistance to rust and corrosion.
As for the awning, it is made of high-density breathable polyester that is resistant to tears as well as being waterproof. This makes it ideal for keeping you protected from the elements – and from the prying eyes of your neighbors.
Features we like include the childproof handle and the option to attach only a base support to the ground rather than bolting down whole post, making it more discreet and unencumbering when not in use.
One possible negative for some people might be that one side needs to be attached to a wall or solid post – this is not a freestanding model.
Another minor irritation is that it is a little smelly when new, but this shouldn’t put anyone off since the smell soon dissipates with use.
If you are looking to add some privacy to your outside space with a retractable awning, this could be another solid option.
When buying a retractable awning, the first thing you should look at is size. Measure the space you need it for carefully and make sure the awning you are considering is suitable.
Pay particular attention to the setup guidelines since some awnings require a certain amount of extra wall space for correct installation.
Manual or powered
Manual awnings are opened and closed by hand. This is not usually particularly difficult, but it does require some physical effort and may take up to a minute or more.
Some people prefer electric awnings. These are operated either by remote control or by a switch on the wall. Having an electric version removes the need for any physical exertion, and they are often quicker to open or close.
You should pay attention to the material the awning is made of as well as how thick the material is.
Less expensive awnings are usually made of polyester or vinyl. These are durable materials that will protect you from the sun and should last a long time.
However, if you want higher quality, acrylic awnings will last longer, are more resistant to weather and offer you better protection from UV rays.
Rust-resistant and durable
Make sure the frame and crank are made of high-quality, corrosion-resistant materials like stainless steel or powder-coated aluminum. If not, the metal components will soon rust, and you will need to replace your awning much sooner than you might like.
As we just mentioned, not all awnings provide the same degree of protection from harmful UV rays, so check the rating. Something with a rating of UV80+ will give you a high level of protection while 30+ will offer you somewhat less.
Installation – wall material
Check that the awning you want to buy is compatible with the type of wall you want to fix it to. Some are suitable for many kinds of wall, including wood, brick and so on, while others can only be attached to a more limited range of wall types.
Make sure all the hardware for installation is included – or at least be aware of any extras you might need to buy. For example, you may need to buy extra fittings if you want to attach the awning to walls made of certain materials like wood.
Ease of use – time to open/close
How easy is the awning to open and close? How quickly can you do it? These kinds of considerations will make a big difference when it comes to daily use.
Many models available
As you can see, many models are available to suit all tastes and budgets. If you have decided you want to add a retractable awning to your home but don’t know which one to go for, any of the picks in our review would be a great place to start your search.