A garden awning can transform the way you use your garden, offering welcome shade on hot days, and shelter on rainy days.
It can also help keep internal rooms cool, and protect your garden furniture from fading and weathering.
Awnings differ from gazebos in that they only consist of an overhead canopy, with no support legs or sides – instead, they have a horizontal frame which is attached along one side to the wall of your home, to provide coverage over your patio or decking.
Not sure you want a permanent awning outside your door? No problem – retractable awnings allow you to wind the cover in using a crank handle when it’s not in use (this also helps to protect it from adverse weather conditions).
Last update on 2021-03-08 / All Pricing & Imagery from Amazon Product Advertising API
If you’re considering adding an awning to the front or back of your house, we hope you’ll appreciate our selection of 5 of the best garden awning units for stylish outdoor shade. We’ve rated them based on their coverage, durability, appearance and value for money.
Our best garden awning is high-quality, stylish and waterproof
Cost: Price not available
Topping our list of the best garden awnings is this design by Costway. The canopy is made from 300g/m2 polyester, which is waterproof and UV-resistant, to protect you from all weather conditions.
It measures a large 3 x 2.5m, so provides plenty of shade coverage on hot days – and on the days when you don’t want to be covered, the awning is easily retracted using the steel crank handle. The design of the canopy and frame feels sturdy and well-made.
The frame is a durable, white powder-coated aluminium, and the canopy is available in a choice of colours, including beige, green and this stylish grey colour, which can really add to the overall look of your garden.
Included is everything you need to install the awning, including wall mounts, brackets and full instructions – although these are a little sparse in areas. The manufacturer suggests installation should take you 1-2 hours, and you’ll definitely need at least 2 people to support the weight of the awning.
Overall, even though the price is at the top end of those on this list, we think the quality, durability and user-friendliness of this retractable awning makes it more than worthy of a place in your garden.
- Stylish grey colour.
- Large 3 x 2.5m coverage – perfect for entertaining.
- High-quality powder-coated aluminium frame.
- Waterproof and UV-resistant polyester fabric.
- Easy to retract using the crank handle.
- Includes wall installation mounts and brackets.
- Our priciest option.
- Adjusting the angle of the awning can be tricky.
Our best value awning is super-small and makes a perfect makeshift porch
Our next ‘awning’, the Yaheetech Door Cover, isn’t really an awning – you won’t find much cover underneath this for a garden sofa set – but it still makes it onto our list, as it’s high-quality, and can function in place of a costly porch to keep you sheltered whilst unlocking your door.
It’s made from lightweight aluminium, which is also rust-resistant and weatherproof – and gives it a modern metallic look. A protective film offers you the option of a matte or transparent finish, and the frame is made from a durable PVC. It includes everything you need for installation (except tools). You’ll probably still require 2 people for installation, as it can be quite awkward.
The canopy is highly versatile – you could install it over a door to keep rain, wind or snow away from the door, above a window to keep the sun out of a room, or over a balcony to provide shade. It is also possible to buy multiples and position them side-by-side, to cover a larger width.
The main drawback of this one is its size – with the canopy measuring in at 120 x 76cm, it’s a lot smaller than all the other designs on our list. However, if you’re only looking for a small area of coverage, this is still a high-quality option, and can’t be beaten on price.
- Modern, stylish metallic design.
- Made from lightweight, weatherproof and rust-resistant aluminium.
- Versatile – install over a door, window and balcony.
- Easy to assemble – includes brackets needed for installation.
- Comparatively very small – only suitable for use as a door/window cover.
This large and durable awning is available in a range of striped designs
If you’re looking for an awning more suitable for entertaining, check out this large Retractable Manual Awning by Greenbay. Measuring in at 3 x 2.5m, it’s a match for the Costway model, and in the same price range.
Greenbay’s canopy is available in a wider choice of colours, including several striped options, so it could be perfect for those looking to brighten up their garden with some funky patterns.
As for the durability, the canopy is made from a UV and water-resistant 300g/m2 polyester with PU coating, whilst an aluminium roller and steel torsion bar ensure the canopy can be easily retracted using the steel crank handle.
It comes ready to install, with all the necessary wall brackets. As with the Costway, you will need at least 2 people for installation, as the awning is bulky and heavy. For this reason, it also has to be installed on a concrete wall only.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for a large, high-quality awning in an attractive striped pattern to add beach-hut vibes to your garden, this Greenbay awning is here to oblige.
- Large 3 x 2.5m canopy provides excellent coverage.
- Made from a water-resistant, PU-coated 300g/m2 polyester.
- Strong and durable aluminium roller and steel torsion bar.
- Available in a choice of colours and patterns.
- TUV and GS-certification approved.
- Ready to install – includes 2 wall brackets.
- Must be installed on a concrete wall.
This great value awning is perfect for smaller gardens and patios
Cost: Price not available
The Primose Green Manual Awning is available in a choice of green or green and white, and has a maximum projection of 2 x 1.5m, making it more suited to smaller gardens than many of the others on this list.
The smaller size also has the advantage of being lighter, making installation easier – we’d still recommend a minimum of 2 people for this though. The process of installation is fairly simple; all you need to do is drill the included brackets onto the wall using a hammer drill, and then slot the awning into the brackets.
A strong steel torsion bar and aluminium arms and roller ensure your awning is fully retractable and adjustable – you can alter the angle of the awning from 35° to almost horizontal. The construction feels robust, and as though it will stand the test of time.
The canopy itself is made from the same durable and waterproof 300g/m2 polyester fabric that many of these awnings feature. It’s UV-resistant and has a UPF 50+, meaning it blocks over 98% of the sun’s rays. It’s great for making your garden safer, particularly for children.
If your canopy gets dirty, it can be sponged clean with a damp cloth. Whilst this awning won’t provide as much shade as the larger models, to cover a bench or bistro set in a smaller garden or patio, it could be just right – and it’s more affordable than many.
- Durable and waterproof 300g/m2 polyester fabric.
- Strong steel torsion bar and aluminium arms and roller.
- UPF 50+ blocks over 98% of the sun’s rays.
- Easy to install – includes wall brackets and bolts for installation.
- Comparatively small size (2 x 1.5m) means less shade and rain cover.
A durable, waterproof and UV-resistant awning, great for entertaining
Cost: Price not available
Finishing up our list of the best garden awnings is this Costway Retractable Canopy from Casart. Nearly identical to the Costway awning, it has a 3 x 2.5m canopy, available in a choice of green, grey or beige.
The canopy is made from durable 300g/m2 polyester fabric which is both water and UV-resistant. The angle of the canopy can be adjusted from 0 – 45°, so you can set it to provide you with the perfect amount of shade (although it does come set to what the manufacturer considers the optimal angle).
The frame of this one is again made from aluminium – favoured by so many manufacturers for its light weight and durability, and there’s a strong steel crank handle, to allow you to easily retract the awning. All the wall brackets and anchors needed for installation are included – although you may find you want to replace them with some stronger hardware.
At least one online user comments that their canopy struggles in the wind – but if you find this is the case, you should simply retract the canopy using the steel crank handle until the wind dies down. It’s worth noting that none of these awnings are designed to be used in strong winds or heavy rain, and it’s advisable to cover them during winter.
Ultimately, this is another robust and durable awning which provides ample shade and rain shelter and is therefore perfect for entertaining in your garden.
- Large 3 x 2.5m coverage.
- Made from water-resistant 300g/m2 polyester fabric.
- Strong aluminium frame.
- Steel crank handle for easy adjustment.
- Includes wall brackets and anchors needed for installation.
- Might need stronger fixings than those provided.
- Not suitable for use in windy conditions.
What Size Awning Do You Need?
The best size of awning for you depends on several factors. Firstly, consider the size of your house. You’ll need to fix the awning to an exterior wall, so measure the width of the wall you want to install it on and make sure your awning is within this. If you want your awning to cover patio doors, aim for a width that’s at least 0.5m wider than the sides of your doors.
Secondly, consider the size of your garden, and the area you want to be covered by the awning, as this will affect the size of the canopy you choose. For example, if you have a small patio or balcony, you might want a smaller awning than if you have a large deck. To cover a dining table and chairs or garden furniture set, you will likely want an extension of at least 2.5m.
When deciding on the size of your awning, you can also take into account the position of the sun and the direction of your garden. A south-facing garden will receive the most sun, and so you may like to purchase a larger awning and one with a greater maximum angle, to provide increased shade.
How To Install Garden Awning
To install a garden awning, you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and make sure you have at least 1 other person to help you, as awnings can be awkward and heavy. Choose a dry day with little to no wind to install your awning, and allow 1-2 hours to complete the process.
For most of the awnings featured here, installation involves using a hammer drill to drill holes in the exterior wall of your house for the wall brackets. You should do this at a distance specified in the installation instructions, and measure and mark out where the holes need to be before you start drilling. Use a step ladder so that you can easily and safely reach the correct height.
Once the wall brackets are mounted using the screws and bolts provided, enlist the help of your DIY partner to lift the awning onto the brackets. Now your awning is installed, you can set it to your desired extension and angle.
Note that, according to European standards, an angle of 14° or greater is required to provide adequate protection from rain, as anything less than this will cause the water to pool on the canopy instead of running off.
Now, all that’s left to do is invite your friends over, pour out the Pimms, and enjoy your newly sheltered garden, whatever the weather!
April is a freelance writer who specialises in writing about home and garden design and the environment. She is an avid wildlife-enthusiast and adventure-seeker, and feels happiest when in the Great Outdoors.