Stay cool in the summer heat with Sun Shade Sails Awnings. Discover these affordable solutions for overheated rooms and outdoor patios.

Do you seek shade from the sun in the summer? When it’s hot outside? Do you have a room, porch, or patio where the sun heats up so much that you can’t even sit in it? Then you need to check out Sun Shade Sails Awnings, which have fallen in love with here at our Home in Coastal Maine.

Sunroom with Four Seasons Furniture and glass coffee table with Lilacs and green and white sun shade sails.

Scroll to the bottom of this post to begin shopping.

What are Sun Shade Sails?

Sun Shade Sails are an innovative and stylish solution for outdoor shading, designed to provide comfort and protection from the sun’s harsh rays.

These versatile fabric panels, inspired by the design of sailboat sails, are stretched taut between multiple anchor points to create a floating canopy. Made from durable, UV-resistant materials, sunshade sails effectively block harmful UV radiation while allowing air to circulate, keeping the shaded area cooler.

Sun shade sails come in various shapes, including triangles, squares, and rectangles, and can be arranged in overlapping or unique configurations to cover large or irregularly shaped spaces.

Easy to install and available in a range of colors and sizes, sun shade sails are a popular choice for patios, gardens, pools, and other outdoor living areas. They combine functionality with contemporary design to enhance any exterior setting.

Sun Shade Sails vs. Awnings

Sun Shade Sails

Design and Structure

  • Shade sails are specifically designed fabric panels that resemble the shape of sailboat sails.
  • Made from high-quality, UV-resistant materials like HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene).
  • Typically, they come in triangular, square, or rectangular shapes.


  • Installed by stretching the fabric between multiple anchor points (e.g., poles, walls, trees).
  • Requires tensioning to create a taut, floating appearance.


  • Provides flexible shading that can cover large or irregularly shaped areas.
  • Allows air circulation while blocking harmful UV rays, keeping the area underneath cooler.

Aesthetic and Use of Sun Shade Sails

  • Modern, sleek look suitable for contemporary outdoor settings.
  • Popular for patios, gardens, playgrounds, and pool areas.

Our home has a sunroom that heats up to temperatures well over 100 degrees in the summer. It was seriously unbearable to sit in.

Sunroom staying Cool with Sun Shade Sails Awnings
Vintage Singer Sewing Machine Repurposed

After getting several quotes from local awning companies, we thought we were going to have to endure the heat. The prices of awnings and installation were well into the thousands of dollars for a small, simple window awning.

Sun Shade Sails green and white striped awning on cedar shake home.


Design and Structure

  • Awnings are fixed or retractable coverings attached directly to the exterior of buildings.
  • Can be made from fabric, metal, or a combination.
  • Comes in various styles, including traditional, dome, waterfall, and retractable.


  • Provides shade and protection from sun and rain.
  • Retractable versions offer flexibility to adjust shade as needed.

Aesthetic and Use

  • Often integrated into the building’s architecture, providing a more permanent and cohesive look.
  • Suitable for residential and commercial applications, enhancing curb appeal and functionality.

Until our handyman mentioned sail awnings. A quick Google search and I was swooning over all the ways I could style these unique canopies—not to mention the amazingly low price points!!

Sun Shade Sail Awnings are available in several color options and patterns. You can choose a triangle, square, or rectangle. And they are available in a number of sizes, too!

Buy one or multiple and create a unique and glamorous outdoor space. They are so affordable and such a practical summer shade solution. We are so happy with ours!

Why do you need a sun shade sails awning?

They are designed for longevity and resist tearing, fraying, and sagging. More than just shelter from the sun or UV rays, shade sails also block sightlines for privacy purposes. Sun shades also limit wind, protecting gardens and lawns. They are such an affordable alternative to the traditional, expensive custom awnings. And they simply look spectacular!

Green and white striped sun shade sail awning in 100 weather.

Temperatures like this are rare here in Maine, honestly, but it does happen occasionally.

Here, we added these outdoor string lights that easily clip onto the sun shades. They give this outdoor space a wonderful nighttime cafe-style vibe right in our backyard.

Stay Cool with Sun Shade Sails Awnings in green and white stripes.
Green and white stripe sun sail shade awning on cedar shakes home.

This is our fourth summer with sun canopies, and they still look brand new.

The rainwater pours directly through the material.

Bernese Mountain Dog in front of cedar shakes home with green and white awning.

Waterproof sun shade sails are also available. A great solution for covering outdoor patio furniture.

Green and white awning in backyard cedar shakes home.

We are thrilled with our sun shade sail awnings as an alternative to custom window awnings. The temperature difference in our sunroom is almost 20 degrees less now, whereas before, it wasn’t even manageable.

Key Differences Awnings vs. Sun Shade Sails

Design and Structure

  • Sun Shade Sails: Broad category with various designs and materials.
  • Shade Sails: Fabric panels with a modern, floating design.
  • Awnings: Attached to buildings, available in fixed or retractable styles.


  • Sun Shade Sails: Varies widely; can be temporary or permanent.
  • Sun Shade Sails: Tensioned between anchor points; easy to install and remove.
  • Awnings: Permanently attached to buildings; may require professional installation, which is expensive.


  • Sun Shade Sails: Flexible, large-area shading with good air circulation.
  • Awnings: Sun and rain protection, with retractable options for adjustable shade.
  • Sails: Adjustable shade, general UV protection.

Aesthetic and Use

  • Shade Sails: Contemporary, stylish look for modern outdoor spaces.
  • Awnings: Integrated architectural element, suitable for both residential and commercial use.
  • Sun Shades Sails: Versatile aesthetics used in various settings.
Stay Cool with Sun Shade Sails Awnings

A Vintage Affair

If you have any thoughts, comments, or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you. Please share in the comments below. And be sure to share this blog post link with your friends who are also vintage enthusiasts.

Do you have a flair for all things vintage, too? I would love to see and feature you in our Reader’s Showcase Series. A place for you to share and be recognized for your talents and passion for all things thrifting, vintage, and antique decor-related inspired by your time here with Dabbling & Decorating. Email me at

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  1. Janice Hebert says:

    I’m a new reader and have loved reading all about your Vermont and Maine homes, both just beautiful Ann. I’m so glad I read this post about your Sail Shade! We have an area between our garage and house where the breezeway connects them and in the summer the heat is unbearable. I have tried to convince my husband to build a pergola in that space thinking that I would grow some kind of vines to create shade but the cost and time it would take just seemed to keep it on the back burner. So this solution is just perfect! I had heard of them but always assumed they were very expensive, after reading this I see that they’re not! Yay! Jan in MA

    1. I’m so glad Janice. We love ours and same here. Our sunroom would get so hot and these are such an inexpensive alternative and so easy too. Good luck with yours 🙌🏻

  2. I really need to add a shade sail awning to my bedroom window. I know it would help so much with the heat and would look pretty too. Thanks for the great idea, Ann.

  3. Love this idea Ann! We could use one at the cabin! xo

    1. They are such an affordable alternative. We love ours!