Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Grape Trellis Aluminum Pergola at Wayfair
"This pergola kit is compact, shady, and durable."
Best Canopy: Sunjoy Naples Steel Pergola at Wayfair
"This freestanding metal pergola measures 8 x 10-feet."
Best Cedar: Backyard Discovery Cedar Pergola at Amazon
"Cedar offers natural resistance to weather, rotting, and insects."
Best Vinyl: Dura-Trel Kingston Pergola at Home Depot
"This vinyl pergola resists sun fading and premature cracking."
Best for Large Yards: New England Arbors Pergola at Home Depot
"This 12 x 12-foot pergola is ideal for big backyards."
Best for Small Yards: New England Arbors Eden Pergola at Wayfair
“Small enough to fit in a cozy corner or small backyard.”
Best for Entertaining: Backyard Discovery Oasis Pergola at Amazon
"Has plenty of built-in seating so everyone has a place to sit."
Best Budget: Meadow Steel Pergola at Wayfair
"An affordable option that's easy to install and provides shade."
01 of 08
Best Overall: Grape Trellis Aluminum Pergola
Measuring 9.5 x 9.5 feet, this pergola is spacious enough for you and a few friends (plus a few pieces of outdoor furniture), but small enough to fit in just about any yard. It also features a removable canopy to keep things cool.
The pergola is constructed from aluminum and available in multiple finishes to match your backyard decor. You’ll find the aluminum pieces to be lightweight and easy to piece together, though some reviewers mention that it's a two-person job. You’ll also want to make sure that this pergola is weighted down or bolted to the ground so that it doesn’t blow away in the event of moderate to heavy winds.
The Aurora pergola from Coolaroo costs just under $400 but includes all the components necessary to complete this pergola kit. You won’t need to purchase additional lumber or hardware, making it a one-stop-shop solution for backyard pergola kits.
If you want to enjoy your pergola even in chilly weather, check out the best patio heaters to warm up your space.
02 of 08
Best Canopy: Sunjoy Naples Steel Pergola
If you’re looking for a pergola with a canopy, consider the Sunjoy Naples Steel Pergola. This freestanding metal pergola measures 8 x 10 feet and is sturdy and shady.
The metal frame includes top rails with an attached canopy. What reviewers like most about this canopy is the fact that it opens from the center and you can slide back one or both sides of the canopy to let the sunshine in, or bring them together for much-needed shade.
One thing that has been noted by reviewers is that the tan canopy is sheerer than expected. Despite that, it still provides excellent shade. This pergola kit includes all the pieces for assembly and weighs about 130 pounds. It’s described as sturdy by most people, but you may want to bolt it to the ground if your yard frequently experiences high winds.
Looking for more ways to secure shade in your backyard? Take a peek at the best outdoor patio umbrellas available online.
03 of 08
Best Cedar: Backyard Discovery Cedar Pergola
A cedar pergola offers shade and natural resistance to weather, rotting, and insects. It’s a popular choice if you're in the market for a wood pergola, and this model from Backyard Discovery is a top seller.
This option includes everything necessary for constructing the 12 x 10-foot structure. All posts and pieces are made from solid wood, but it’s worth noting that this is a different cedar species than the hardwood American cedar you may be familiar with. Even still, the cedar included with this kit is widely used for backyard applications and features natural rot-resistance, a beautiful knotty appearance, and a more affordable price tag. You can even grow beautiful vines on the pergola to add a pop of green.
Some people point out that you may want to add more horizontal wood beams on top of the pergola for even greater shade. Additionally, you might need to drill out holes a little more for easier assembly. Once constructed, this cedar pergola is very sturdy. It even survived being tossed about by a windstorm according to one user.
For more inspiration on how to incorporate a pergola into your outdoor living space, read through our article on pergola design ideas.
04 of 08
Best Vinyl: Dura-Trel Kingston Pergola
Sun and rain can take a toll on your pergola, but a vinyl version like the Kingston from Dura-Trel offers improved weather-resistance and helps you enjoy your outdoor living space all year.
This vinyl pergola resists sun fading and premature cracking. It also offers maintenance-free care, unlike wood pergolas which often require periodic sealing or painting to preserve appearance.
Though the support pillars of this vinyl pergola are hollow, users say they're quite sturdy. The included support posts come with 24-inch steel ground anchors to keep the pergola in place, though some people have taken the extra step to insert wooden posts into the vinyl shell for added stability.
Nearly all reviewers would recommend this vinyl pergola, making it a great buy at under $400.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Best for Large Yards: New England Arbors Regency Pergola
If you have a big backyard and need a pergola to match, consider the oversized 12 x 12-foot Regency pergola kit from New England Arbors. This is a vinyl pergola kit and offers plenty of room for everyone to stay in the shade while enjoying the great outdoors.
A freestanding pergola, you’ll find that there’s plenty of room for outdoor dining or seating options underneath the Regency pergola. The vinyl offers maintenance-free care, and the company backs this pergola kit with a 20-year warranty to protect your investment.
Just realize that this pergola kit will still require you to purchase the specified pressure-treated lumber and hardware to complete the set-up. But once it’s installed and ready for use, your backyard will never be the same. This large pergola kit is recommended by the overwhelming majority of purchasers and is ready to host parties, backyard bashes, and cookouts for a crowd.
06 of 08
Best for Small Yards: Eden Vinyl Pergola
If you want more shade for your small yard, consider a small and lightweight pergola like the Eden model from New England Arbors. Constructed of weather-resistant vinyl for easy care and maintenance, this 6.5 x 6.5-foot pergola is small enough to fit in a cozy corner or small backyard.
Constructed of vinyl and recycled wood pulp, this pergola won’t pass for the look of real wood and a few people found the color to be lighter than expected. However, the easy maintenance—just rinse it off with a hose—more than makes up for the lack of lumber-like aesthetics.
Most people found this pergola kit for small yards easy to assemble; just make sure you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for correct support post sizes. It’s the perfect structure for creating shade on a sunnier deck, covering a hot tub, or just adding an element of interest to the backyard of your condo or home.
07 of 08
Best for Entertaining: Backyard Discovery Oasis Pergola
Gather your friends and family under the shade of a pergola, but make sure it has plenty of space for everyone with this model from Backyard Discovery. Our top choice of a pergola for entertaining includes a spacious design and built-in seating so that everyone has a place to sit and room to enjoy the fresh air in your outdoor area.
Unlike standard pergolas that simply provide shade from the sun, the Oasis pergola includes a built-in bar, table, and bench. This offers plenty of seating and dining options, in addition to any patio furniture you choose to place in the center of the pergola. The 14 x 10-foot covered area provides enough room for guests to mix and mingle, without getting scorched by the sun.
Some people found the assembly of this model to be time-consuming but love the look of it once set-up is complete. It’s also worth noting that this model includes resin feet which resist moisture and contribute to the longevity of this pergola. Add some outdoor solar lights and you have a pergola that is ready for any party, day or night.
Not sure where to buy the best furniture for your outdoor space? Read through our list of the best places to buy patio furniture.
08 of 08
Best Budget: Meadow Steel Pergola
Add a shady spot to your yard without spending a lot of money by purchasing a budget pergola kit. We love the Meadow Steel Pergola from Sunjoy because it's an affordable option that's easy to install.
For under $500, this pergola gives you a shaded area measuring 10 x 8 feet. It should be noted that wooden pergolas are hard to find at this price point, so a sturdy aluminum frame like the one included with the Meadow kit is your best bet.
This budget pergola kit relies on a tan sunshade to shield you from the sun. You can pull the shade down on one side at a time, but you can’t roll both sides up simultaneously. Most reviewers find this pergola to be an affordable option for outdoor dining or creating a shady poolside retreat. However, the most common complaint is that the sunshade isn’t permeable and holds water during heavy rain.
Still can't decide on what you want? Our round-up of the best gazebos can help you find what you're looking for.
Our writers spent 5 hours researching the most popular pergola kits on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 16 pergola kits overall, screened options from 10 different brands and manufacturers, read over 126 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.