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A retractable awning adds shade to your outdoor living space without the hassle of getting permits, finding a contractor, or taking on a major renovation project. We researched dozens of options, evaluating them for durability, overall value, ease of installation, and protection from the elements.
Our favorite is the AECOJOY Retractable Patio Awning because it is compatible with various types of wall finishes, easy to adjust, and is made of UV- and water-resistant fabric.
Here are the best retractable awnings to create a customizable outdoor space.
Best Overall: AECOJOY Retractable Patio Awning
Four size options
UV- and water-resistant fabric
Good customer service
One color option
Hand-crank could be hard to access
The AECOJOY Retractable Patio Awning stands out for its versatility and durability, making it our top pick for most yards. You can choose from four size options depending on the space you need to cover. Although it comes in beige, it is neutral and can complement any decor. The fabric is made from UV-resistant, fade-resistant, and water-resistant polyester, and the frame is lightweight, powder-coated aluminum.
The awning is easy to operate using a manual hand crank mechanism. One thing to keep in mind, though, is placement. A hand-crank may pose a problem if you need to install it up high, so consider the height of your awning placement before making your choice.
This AECOJOY awning can be installed on various wall types, including solid brick, concrete, or wood, but requires some know-how for installation. Fortunately, the company’s customer service is available for any questions you may have during installation or use.
Best Budget: Artpuch Rectangle Shade Sail
Plenty of size and color options
Not good for storms
May require setup and take-down more often
This retractable awning requires a more complicated setup and take-down process every time you want to use it, but you can't beat the budget-friendly price. It uses hefty stainless-steel D-rings to stay secure over a 10-x-13-foot space. The fabric is made of high-density plastic to protect you from UV rays without fading. It comes in 10 colors and nine sizes, so you have lots of options to find the right one for your space.
Because it has a more straightforward installation process, the Sun Shade doesn't stand up to high winds or rain as well as some of the other picks on our list. It will protect you from the elements but is best for calm, sunny days. While you can leave it up, if you expect anything more than a light shower, it's best to take it down ahead of time.
Best Luxury: Diensweek Retractable Patio Awning
UV and water-resistant fabric
Only one size and color
To give your home some European flair, consider this green and white striped Fully Retractable Patio Awning from Diensweek. It is available in a generous 12-x-10 foot size and comes fully assembled and ready to install. The manual mechanism and frame are corrosion-resistant aluminum, and the fabric is a sturdy UV- and water-resistant polyester that can withstand strong winds.
It is limited to just one size and color, so it may not work for all styles or spaces. It's best for concrete or large brick walls because it is so large and heavy. If you want to use it on wood or laminate exterior, the brand recommends seeking guidance from a professional.
Best Motorized: Awntech Key West Full Cassette Right Motorized Retractable Awning
Many colors options
Motorized with remote
May require specialty installation
Motorized retractable awnings are easy to use. The Key West awning from Awntech is a top-of-the-line option that includes all mounting hardware, a high-quality canopy, and a remote. Available in 18 colors, the fabric resists UV rays, rain, soil, and mildew, and it can withstand winds up to 35 mph. There are also multiple width and depth options, resulting in a genuinely customizable awning for your home.
Although the motor makes this awning easy to use, it is more expensive and heavier than manual options, which may also impact the installation. The cord is 12 feet long, so make sure you have an outlet or extension cord readily available. You may also want to talk to an electrician or have them install it for you.
Best for Rain: Awntech California Manual Retractable Patio Awning
Not a lot of color options
Awntech’s California retractable awning brings all the style and quality of Awntech to a manual version that is easier on the budget and can withstand inclement weather. The canopy fabric is water- and fade-resistant and provides UV protection from the sun. The lack of electronic components makes it a better choice if you know that you will get plenty of rain while it is in use.
There aren’t as many color options in this model as some of Awntech’s motorized options, but their colors will complement various exterior styles.
Best for Wind: ADVANING Motorized Patio Retractable Awning
While most retractable awnings should be closed up during high winds, this option gives you the freedom to adjust the pitch, minimizing the risk of damage. With a simple twist of a hand crank, the Advaning Motorized Patio Retractable Awning makes it easy to adjust the pitch thanks to a three-loop system.
It has most of the features you'll want at a midrange price, including multiple sizes and color options, UV- and water-resistant fabric, a high-quality frame, and a remote. The valance can be removed if you want a more modern look.
Best Extra Large: ALEKO Motorized Retractable Black Frame Patio Awning
16 color options
Motorized or hank crank options
Can show wear or fading early
It can be tough to find a high-quality retractable awning for an extra-large space, but this option from ALEKO comes in sizes up to 20 x 10 feet. There are also plenty of color options, so you don't need to sacrifice style for size. We also like that it offers both a motorized- and a hand-crank option. The latter will come in handy if the power goes out.
The fabric is treated with a UV- and weather-resistant protectant but has shown more signs of wear than some higher-end options. The powder-coated steel frame holds up well to the elements as long as it is not damaged or chipped.
Best All-Weather: Best Choice Products Retractable Awning
Only two colors available
The retractable awning from Best Choice Products is designed to withstand the elements, so you can enjoy it rain or shine for years to come. It's UV- and water-resistant and will help protect you from the sun. It also has an additional coating to keep it looking and performing great over time. The aluminum frame is powder-coated to offer extra protection from rust and corrosion.
It comes fully assembled and ready to be mounted on various surfaces, including stucco, vinyl, wood, or glass. When mounted and secured correctly, it will stand up to whatever Mother Nature throws at it—just be sure to follow the provided instructions.
Our top pick is the AECOJOY Retractable Patio Awning Retractable. It works with various budgets, comes in multiple sizes, and will protect you from the elements. For a high-quality motorized option, we recommend the Awntech Key West Full Cassette Right Motorized Retractable Awning, which comes with a remote and has a lot of color and size options.
What to Look for in a Retractable Awning
The most common awning fabric is polyester, which should be treated with a coating that prevents fading and damage. Look for models that promise protection from UV rays, water, and mildew and are stain-resistant to keep your maintenance low.
A retractable awning frame should be durable enough to withstand moderate winds and rain but light enough to be easily installed on your home’s exterior. Aluminum and stainless steel are good options that hold up against the elements and provide the structure you need.
Mounting a retractable awning usually doesn’t require any particular skills or knowledge. Still, you should follow the installation instructions and recommendations to avoid damaging your home. Pay close attention to the need for wall anchors or other structural reinforcements. When in doubt, consult a professional.
How do you install a retractable awning?
Wall-mounted retractable awnings can come already assembled or with some assembly required. The installation process usually involves wall anchors or mounting hardware, which must be secured with heavy-duty exterior wall screws. If you choose a motorized awning, you will also need to have access to a power source.
How do you care for a retractable awning?
Much like an outdoor umbrella, you should clean the awning’s fabric at least once per year, more often if you live in a harsher climate. You can also wipe it down, hose it off, or spot-treat stains between deep cleanings. The frame should be kept free from debris, and it is advisable to clean and inspect your awning once per season.
What materials should you look for in a retractable awning?
A top-quality retractable awning should be made of a heavy-duty fabric designed for outdoor use. The best fabric options are rain- and mildew-resistant and block harmful UV rays. Look for a metal frame—such as stainless steel or aluminum—that won't rust or corrode over time.
Why Trust The Spruce
This article was researched and written by Katie Begley, a freelance writer specializing in home and family products. Katie has been writing for The Spruce since 2019. She has lived in California and Hawaii and understands the need for a comfortable outdoor space that can be enjoyed year-round. For this list, Katie considered the materials in each awning, how easy they were to use and install, and their overall value.