All You Need To Know About Garden Awnings

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Garden Awning

A garden awning is a great way to provide shelter to any patio area at the rear of your home. What we love about garden or patio awnings is the fact that they will shelter the area from sun or rain when you want it, but can be withdrawn when you don’t need them! Not only does this help to keep them the garden awning protected and safe through the winter months, but it means that you can enjoy the sun when you want it and the shade when you don’t!

There is lots to consider when you are trying to purchase a garden awning, such as the materials that they are made from, the size and most importantly the mechanisms that help them to work! Our expert buyer’s guide will hopefully help to make the buying process easier.

Best Pick – Kookaburra Waterproof Garden Sun Shade

Kookaburra Waterproof Garden Sun Shade Sail Canopy in Ivory 98% UV Block (2m Square)
  • Stay cool and comfortable in the shade while also staying dry during rain showers
  • Our high-density 160gsm polyester material provides maximum UV protection (UPF 50+) and ensures rainwater runoff
  • Each side of the shade sail is strapped for tension and anchored in the corners with grade 304 stainless steel D rings for lasting durability
  • Our versatile and low-maintenance fabric is rot-proof and even machine washable for easy cleaning
  • Install our shade sail to walls, fences, posts, and even trees for use anywhere in your garden or outdoor space

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

In A Hurry?

If you are sick of being burned to a crisp when relaxing in your garden, or your al fresco dining plans being cancelled because of the rain then look no further…here is all the most important information that you need to know before you purchase a garden awning. 

Garden Awning Size 

The size of your garden awning is largely going to depend on the size of your house, the size of your garden and the space that you are wanting to cover. 

The first size that you need to consider is the width (usually spanning along all or part of the back of the house). They come in a wide range of sizes from as small as a metre, to as large as around 6 metres (bigger models can be found but these usually have to be custom made so are going to cost more). The average size is around 3 metres but we found many companies offering a range of sizes to suit everyone. Make sure to leave a little space at either side of the awning so that they are not flush with neighbours properties, but also consider the position of the sun around the garden and whether your garden awning is going to provide full protection all throughout the day. 

The next thing you need to consider is the length (how far your garden awning will project into the garden). If your awning is going to cover a patio then you are probably going to want it to be able to cover all of this, but this really comes down to personal preference. There is quite a range in this from around a metre up to 5 metres. You will also find some models that are able to work at varying lengths depending on what you are doing – but we will look at this more further in the garden. 


There are various different material types that are used for garden awnings as well depending on what budget you have available and how much you are planning on using your awning. 

  • Polyester – This is going to be one of the cheaper materials that you will find for your garden awning so it is a good option if you are not planning on using it regularly. It is nice and light so easy to fold away when not in use, however it isn’t the most durable so can start to discolour and wear over time unless you take good care of them. 
  • Acrylic – Acrylic is a more expensive but also longer lasting option due to it being UV-resistant and weather resistant. If you know that you are going to be using your garden awning regularly then this could be the best option for you as it is going to look new for much longer. 
  • Micro-perforated fabric – This is the material to go for if you are wanting the best garden awning. UV-resistant, tear-resistant, rot resistant – what more could you want? It is also a nice and breathable material so it isn’t going to become overly warm underneath the awning during those summer months. If you are wanting an awning that can be left open for a considerable amount of the year then this is the way to go! 

TOP TIP: All of these materials are going to be waterproof to an extent (enough for you to be able to wipe them down to clean) but look out for ones that offer additional waterproof layers if you are planning on using your awning during those frustrating British showers! 


The cassette of your garden awning is the part that protects the actual garden awning and you will have to choose from a full-cassette or a half-cassette. 

A full-cassette awning is going to be designed to cover not just the material of the awning but also the arms underneath which is going to offer great protection for your whole awning. This can mean that your awning will last longer as the working mechanisms of the arms won’t be exposed to wind and rain over those winter months. Not only that, but arguably they do also look better as all the parts of the awning are tucked away when not in use. Electric garden awnings are almost always going to come in full-cassette models. 

A half-cassette awning is where the fabric is protected by the cover but the arms are on show underneath. These are almost always cheaper than full-cassette models and are usually less bulky but they are going to offer a lot less protection to the awning which can affect function over time. 

Electric or Manual 

The next option you have is whether you go for an electric awning or a manual awning. A large part of your choice in this is going to come down to budget, as manual awnings are going to be considerably cheaper than electric models, but there are other factors to consider as well. 

  • Manual awnings – Manual awnings are going to be the cheapest option for you to purchase and also need the least amount of maintenance and upkeep. However, you are going to have to be prepared to put in a lot more effort for the opening and closing of your garden awning. This is fine if you are only opting for a relatively small garden awning, but larger awnings are going to be quite heavy to maneuver so this is going to require quite a bit of manpower from you. 
  • Electric awnings – Electric awnings are admittedly going to be more expensive but they are really going to reduce the amount of effort that you need to put into opening and closing your awning. Simply press a button and your awning will open or shut as far as you are wanting it to – it’s as easy as that! Just remember though that they are going to need regular maintenance and oil to keep them working properly, plus tend to have bulkier casings. 

TOP TIP: If you opt for an electric model then it’s worth checking whether it does come with a manual option – this is important for in case the electrics fail for whatever reason as you will need to be able to get your awning safely away! 


You also need to think about how you are going to need to think about installing your garden awning which is arguably the most difficult part of the process – but once it is up you can guarantee it will be worth all the time and effort that you have put in! This aspect is vitally important as more often than not yori awning is going to be fitted into the wall of your home! Here is some guidance on installing your garden awnings…

  • Fixtures and fittings – Make sure that your gardening awning is going to come with good quality fittings that are going to last and avoid doing damage to the wall that they are going into. You will also need to check whether these are going to be compatible with the brick/material that the wall is made from – this will be outlined by the manufacturer. 
  • Weight – Make sure to check the overall weight of your awning (which is largely dependent on the size that you opt for) to ensure that the wall is going to be able to hold this extra weight. 
  • Position – Be careful that your awning isn’t going to impact on any windows, doorways, guttering or side access to your property. Although having an awning that covers your windows (safely) can be quite a good idea to keep inside your home cool during those summer months. 

Best Budget – HEYOMART Sun Shade Sail

HEYOMART Sun Shade Sail Waterproof Outdoor Garden Patio Party Sunscreen Awning 3x3x3m Triangle Canopy 98% UV Block with Free Rope, Burgundy
  • PREMIUM FABRIC: Our shade sail is made of 100% polyester fabric with a 160 gsm PU coating, which makes it both healthy and safe to use. It's highly resistant to water, tears, and adverse weather conditions, making it perfect for long-term use. The shade sail comes with three pad eyes, and we're giving away three 1800D wind ropes (200cm for each) for easy installation. It features sturdy sewing on each side and stainless steel D-rings on each edge to ensure a secure installation
  • UV PROTECTION: Our shade sails can provide up to 98% UV protection and 90% shading rate, which can help reduce ambient air temperature and lower cooling costs and energy consumption. What's more, with the right design, you can save a lot of money. Choose our products for a safer, more comfortable outdoor experience that's also worry-free and cost-effective
  • WATER RESISTANT: Our shade sails are water-resistant with a rating of 400mm HH, which means they can resist water to a certain extent but are not completely waterproof. They're also air-permeable, ensuring fresh air circulation for a comfortable outdoor experience. Installation is safe and easy with rope, and we suggest a 20-40 degree angle for maximum tension and rain runoff. (Installation with hardware kit will be more convenient and stable, which can be found by searching for "B087X3Z1RW".)
  • EASY TO INSTALLATION: Our shade sails are easy to install. Simply measure and clean the installation area, leaving 1.5-2ft between the fixing point and shade sail to fit hardware, hooks, or ropes. The curved sides enhance pull strength and prevent drooping, which may cause the actual shading area to shrink slightly (tolerance of 4-6 inches on each side). You can install multiple shade sails of different colors and sizes for a larger shading area
  • PRACTICAL & MULTIFUNCTIONAL: This shade sail is practical and multifunctional, making it suitable for use over patios, lawns, gardens, pools, ponds, decks, and more. It effectively reduces heat in outdoor living areas, making them comfortable even on the hottest days. You can install this shade sail in courtyards, backyards, parks, carports, pergolas, sandboxes, driveways, or any other outdoor area that requires shading

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Additional Awning Advantages 

Now that you know the main things you need to think about before you purchase your garden awning, keep reading for some additional factors that we found important when looking to buy! 

  • Awning valance – a valance is the extra bit of material that drapes down over the front of your awning. They will offer you additional protection from the sun, particularly whilst it is lower in the sky.
  • Remote controlled awning – Some of the best electric garden awnings actually come with remote controls. This means that you don’t even need to move from your sun lounger to be able to control your awning! 
  • Wind and sun sensors – These only tend to be found in the high- end garden awnings but if you are serious about buying the best product then it is well worth looking out for. These awnings can adjust themselves depending on the weather conditions – so you don’t need to worry about whether it is too windy to have your awning out. 
  • Lighting – One feature that can really help your awning to stand out is lighting, especially if you are hoping to dine or relax under your awning in the evenings. If the idea of this takes your fancy then look out for awnings that come with lighting fitted into the underneath. Lighting isn’t always easy to add afterwards without impacting on the mechanisms of the awning so is always  better if it comes as part of the awning when you purchase it. 
  • Garden awning cover – Most good quality garden awnings are going to come with some level of cover (which we went into more detail on above). However, you can actually purchase fabric covers FOR the garden awning cover. This might sound a little odd – but the plastic cover that protects the awning and the arms is going to be open to the elements all the time so can start to look tired over time. Purchasing a cheap, replaceable cover for this will keep it looking new and is a much more viable option! 
  • Colour – The colour of your garden awning really comes down to personal preference but there are some other factors to consider too. You may want to go for a neutral white/cream colour as this is going to repel the sun as much as possible and blend in with your garden, however this can become marked easily. There are also brighter awnings if you are wanting to add a little colour to your garden and will be more generous in hiding the marks. Just make sure that these come UV-protected so that they don’t discolour in the sunlight as easily. 

Still trying to decide whether a garden awning is actually right for you? Why not check out our pop up gazebos and garden pergolas in case either of these are going to be a better option for you.

Best of the Rest

AXT SHADE Sun Shade Sail Waterproof 2.5 x 3.5m Rectangle UV Block Canopy Awning for Patio Outdoor Garden Backyard -Cream
  • Waterproof shade sail made of 180g / ㎡ waterproof polyester, anti-moisture / mildew / spots, Not recommended for use in thunderstorms, heavy rains, storms and snow days.The product is made by stitching, so have seams
  • Up to 95% UV protection and 85% shade rate,Not recommended for use in heavy rain
  • Easy to set up and remove, perfect for any patio, driveway, lawn, garden, pool, park and etc. Install at a 20-40 degree angle with maximum tension.Water can run off the shade sail more easily.Not 100% waterproof
  • Durable ropes for free, strong sewing processing and durable stainless steel D-rings on each side make the installation more strong
  • Easy to install and remove, comfortable and ideal for gardens, patios, swimming pools, barbecue areas, etc.Can not wash, will damage the waterproof coating

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

LOVE STORY Sun Shade Sail Waterproof Rectangle 3 m x 4 m Canopy Sand Outdoor UV Block Sunshade Sail for Patio Garden Backyard
  • 【High Quality Guarantee】Sun shade made of 100% new 180GSM high density polyethylene with double pu coating,can effectively reach 95% UV protection (UPF50+). Sturdy/Tasteless/Tear Resistant/Moisture Proof/Mildew Proof/. Not recommended for use in heavy rain and blizzard weather
  • 【Size Description】Measurement is taken from D ring to D ring, leave an 30-45cm space between the fixing point and the sun shade sail to fit hardware or rope. Please read the product page carefully for the size selection
  • 【Easy To Install And Maintain】You can quickly hang the shade sails on trees, walls and high poles(Gift Free Ropes). We recommend installing the garden sail canopy at an angle of 20-40 degrees (Depending on the specific situation) to maximize drainage. Do not stiff brush and put washing machine.Clean with mild detergent or wate
  • 【Structural Design Durable】Our sail shade have curved sides to enhance pull strength and prevent drooping. All edges are constructed with heavy duty double layered reinforced stitched seams and 304 stainless steel D rings in corners to make the sun sail shades stronger and more durable
  • 【Super Application】It can be used multiple times, we offer different colours, sizes and shapes to create unique venues. Widely used in garden, lawn, balcony, swimming pool, picnic, patio, lane, camping or any other outdoor area. It can effectively reduce the calories of outdoor living areas,and make your patio privacy safe, cool and fabulous

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

OldPAPA Sun Shade Sail Rectangle Water-resistant Sun Shade 95% UV Block Sunscreen Awning Garden Beach Patio Canopy Grey 3x4m
  • HIGH-QUALITY MATERIALS: The shade sails are made of water-resistant Oxford polyester fabric that blocks 95% of the UV rays and has a good sunscreen effect without worrying about sunburn.
  • LIGHTWEIGHT MATERIAL: Lightweight rectangular/square canopy, light and thin, easy to store, does not occupy too much space, very convenient for home storage.
  • EASY TO INSTALL: The D-ring is placed at the edge of the four corners, and you can successfully install the shade sail by simply hanging each corner on the hook. Use knot reinforcement to connect the ropes for better wind protection and safety.(Package does not include pad eyes snap hooks, turnbuckles)
  • MULTIFUNCTION SUN SHADE: Solar sails are resistant to damage and moisture. It can also be used for anti-exposure and water-resistance of garden furniture. Mesh structure weaving, better breath-ability, good UV protection effect.
  • GREAT HELPER: Shadow Sail is the family's great life helper for gardens, swimming pools, wilderness, outdoor adventures, windbreaks, picnics, terraces, balconies, camping, carports and children's play.

Last update on 2024-05-27 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

HOMPER M6 Awning Attachment Set, Heavy Duty Sun Shade Sail Stainless Steel Hardware Kit for Triangle and Square, Rectangle, Sun Shade Sail Fixing Accessories
  • Heavy Duty Sun Shade Sail Fixing Hardware: Made from top stainless steel, durable, rust-resistance, robust and safer.
  • Practical sun shade sail kit : The heavy duty sun shade sail complete hardware kit is easy to use and pefect for most kind of shade sail to hang up your awning safely and easily.
  • Perfect tension: The tension screws ensure optimal tension for your awning.
  • Useful Awning Attachment Set: Once the wall brackets are attached to a stable wall, the corners of the awning can be clipped on with the carabiners. They are also very easy to remove. With the awning tighteners, you can perfectly tension the awning after initial assembly. Adjusting it later as you like.
  • M6 Set: Includes 3 pad eyes, 1 carabiners, 2 tension screws and 12 screws and plastic plugs(Be sure to distinguish between size).

Last update on 2024-05-26 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API / As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I clean my garden awning?

Cleaning your garden awning is relatively simple – you just need to make sure to be careful if you are using a ladder! Firstly use a brush to sweep off any dirt or leaves. Then use a hose of a bucket of water to wet your awning. Using a mild soap you can then carefully scrub the surface of the awning to remove any marks or stains. Once the soap has had time to soak in simply wash it down with clean water and then leave your awning open to dry out. 

What guarantee should I get with a garden awning?

You will usually find that different parts of your garden awning come with different warranties but this does depend on the manufacturer. This usually ranges from around 2 years up to 5 years but we did find some with longer. It is common to find that the warranty for the motor (in electric models) is longer than the warranty for the material of the awning.

Can garden awnings be repaired?

Yes! Most garden awnings can be repaired and many actually come with a kit which will allow you to do this. It is important to note however that normally this area will then be weaker so may not last as long and will probably not be as waterproof.

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About Thomas Paxton 368 Articles
Hey there, I'm Thomas Paxton, your Tool Guru with a Twist! I've been knee-deep in the world of tools since I was a little tinkerer in my dad's shed. Now, I'm running my own website where I share my passion for tools and gardening products through buyers guides and insightful tips. I've got the knowledge and experience to break down complex concepts into simple, easy-to-understand language. I purchased Tools Review from Mike Jones at the start of 2023, he has done a sterling job of building the site and I hope I can continue in his success! When I'm not writing guides, you'll find me in my garden or garage, putting my skills to work and pushing the boundaries of creativity. So, whether you're a pro or just starting out, join me on this adventure, and let's conquer DIY projects together!

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