The Best Retractable Awnings of 2022

A retractable awning provides ample shade on sunny days and is easy to tuck away when not in use, offering the best in flexible sun protection.

By Jasmine Harding | Updated Aug 12, 2022 2:47 PM

BobVila.com and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

The Best Retractable Awning Options

Photo: amazon.com

On sunny days, an awning provides just the sun protection and shade you need on your porch, patio or deck. An awning adds a charming visual and immediate curb appeal to your home, too. For added flexibility, consider a retractable awning. When not in use, retractable awnings tuck away so you can save space, protect the awning and enjoy the sunshine.

The best retractable awnings should be protective, durable, and easy to use. Read on to learn more about the features to look for when selecting a retractable patio awning and peruse the top picks in each category.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Best Choice Products 98x80in Retractable Awning
  2. BEST BUDGET: AECOJOY 8.2’×6.5′ Patio Awning Retractable Sun Shade
  3. UPGRADE PICK: ADVANING Classic Series 8′ x 7′ Retractable Awning
  4. BEST MOTORIZED: Awntech Key West Retractable Awning
  5. BEST SMALL: Outsunny 8′ x 7′ Patio Retractable Awning
  6. BEST LARGE: MCombo 12×10 Feet Manual Retractable Awning
  7. BEST FOR RAIN: Outsunny 10′ x 8′ Manual Retractable Awning
  8. BEST HEAVY-DUTY: AWNTECH Destin-LX with Manual Retractable Awning
  9. ALSO CONSIDER: ADVANTING 8’X7′ Motorized Patio Retractable Awning
The Best Retractable Awning Options

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Retractable Awning

A retractable awning shades an outdoor living space without the need for a separate or permanent structure. Awnings also reduce light and heat over doors and windows to help lower indoor temperatures. When selecting the best retractable awning, consider the design, material, size, installation process, and any additional convenience features. Shoppers will find a number of sizes and designs to choose from.

Extending Mechanism

Retractable awnings come in both manual and automatic models. Both options protect users from the elements. Consider cost and ease of use when choosing between the two.

Most manual awnings rely on a pulley and cord system. A simple hand crank opens and closes the extending mechanism. Admittedly less convenient, manual-crank awnings tend to come in at a lower price and allow for easier repair. As manual awnings don’t require a power supply, you have more options for where to install them.

In an automatic or motorized patio retractable awning, the extending mechanism runs on a motor that opens and closes the awning automatically. These more convenient awnings come at a higher price than their manual counterparts. Repairs tend to cost more, too. And they require a power supply. For the extra cost, however, you may get a range of convenient features like remote control operation and automatic sensors.

Fabric

Patio awnings come in a range of fabrics that withstand the elements, reduce glare and block out UV rays.  They also tend to resist water, whether naturally or through a waterproof coating like a polyurethane (PU), so rain won’t destroy them.

Common canopy fabrics include canvas, polyester, PVC, and acrylic. Here’s what you should know about each:

  • Canvas: Flexible, natural, and affordable, classic canvas awnings come in a range of fun patterns and colors. While durable, canvas may fade or mildew with weather exposure. To prevent these outcomes, look for canvas canopies coated with protective solutions.
  • Polyester: A flexible synthetic, water-resistant, lightweight polyester stands up to weather, time and mildew at an affordable price.
  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC): Another popular synthetic, PVC provides excellent water resistance. Easy to clean, it tends not to mold or mildew. However, its lower tensile strength makes it more prone to rips and tears.
  • Acrylic: Durable acrylic tends to resist weather, mildew and fading. Among the options, shoppers will find acrylics, such as Sunbrella, designed specifically for outdoor use.

Frame Material

Most retractable awnings have metal frames. Nonporous, sturdy metal frames handle wet and windy weather conditions well. Protective treatments like powder coating ensure the frames remain rust-free for years. Metal comes in a range of colors, most commonly black, gray, and white.

Aluminum and steel, the two most common metal options, each have pros and cons. Budget-friendly, lightweight aluminum is strong but perhaps not as strong as steel. Pricier steel weighs a good bit more but lasts longer, too.

Size

An awning shouldn’t obstruct or crowd the patio or deck. Its dimensions must fit the intended area. Consider the width and the projection of the awning, and make sure there is enough vertical space for installation.

The width refers to the dimension of the wall-mounted side. To choose a suitable width, consider the wall area you want to cover and make sure there are no obstructions. Awnings can range upward of 15 feet wide, and two or more awnings can be paired together for more coverage.

An awning’s projection refers to how far it extends from the wall. The farther the projection, the more shade it provides. Awnings can project from 5 to more than 10 feet. Take note, however, that wider models put more pressure on the installation mount. Keep in mind the awning projection refers to the top of the canopy, which does include the installation pitch (the angle of the awning slope).

Installation

Retractable awnings mount to the exterior wall, soffit, or roof of a home. DIY retractable awning kits include instructions for installation, but make sure the awning includes the necessary installation hardware. Enlist a partner to help you. Awning installation is at least a two-person job.

Installation method depends on the wall where you’ll mount the awning. Different surfaces, such as brick, stucco, cement and vinyl, require different anchoring methods. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for safe and proper installation. When in doubt, consider hiring professional help to install the awning. A secure installation makes a worthwhile investment for years of sun coverage.

Additional Features

Motorized retractable awnings include a range of convenient features, such as weather sensors, operation by app or remote control, timers, and heaters. Some motorized awnings include handy sensors that can measure moisture levels, wind strength, and brightness. These automatically trigger the canopy to extend or retract depending on the conditions.

For convenience, some retractable awnings offer remote or smartphone control. Remote controls, the lower-tech option, offer users control of the awning from anywhere on the patio. Higher-tech, smart options offer users control from longer rangers through a phone app. These allow users to operate a range of features, including extending and retracting the awning, setting timers, and adjusting automatic program settings.

Awning heaters help create a winterized covered area and provide some heat on cool but sunny winter days.

Our Top Picks

A well-placed retractable awning creates comfortable and shady patio space and shields living spaces from the sun’s harsh glare. With the above considerations in mind, we’ve selected the following retractable awnings to represent the best in durability, ease-of-use, and great sun protection.

Best Overall

The Best Retractable Awnings Option: Best Choice Products 98x80in Retractable Awning
Photo: walmart.com

With a heavy-duty fabric canopy and reinforced rust-resistant frame, Best Choice Products’ retractable awning makes a durable pick. It features a lightweight powder-coated aluminum frame and a polyester canopy. Polyurethane-coated fabric resists water and blocks out UV rays while adding a pop of color to a patio, balcony, or deck.

Best Choice’s midsize manual retractable awning measures 8.2 feet by 6.5 feet to provide shady coverage for a seating area or patio set. A smooth-operating hand crank allows users to retract or extend the awning for use in mild weather conditions. Included Installation hardware allows for setup on stucco, vinyl siding, or wood.

Product Specs

  • Extending Mechanism: Manual
  • Size: 8.2 feet by 6.5 feet
  • Material: Aluminum frame, polyester canopy

Pros

  • UV- and water-resistant canopy
  • Several color options
  • Smooth and quiet operation

Cons

  • May require additional hardware to install to some exteriors

Get the Best Choice Products retractable awning on Amazon and at Target.

Best Budget

The Best Retractable Awning Option: AECOJOY 8.2'×6.5' Patio Awning Retractable Sun Shade
Photo: amazon.com

For ample shade at a reasonable price, consider AECOJOY’s retractable awning. Measuring 8.2 feet by 6.5 feet, this awning provides great shade for a midsize patio, courtyard, or balcony.

Made of polyurethane-coated polyester, the awning resists water, fading and UV rays. A powder-coated aluminum frame resists rust. While the manufacturer’s instructions recommend users retract the awning in bad weather, it can handle wind speeds of up to 24 miles per hour.

Included installation hardware allows for mounting on concrete, brick, or wood.

Product Specs

  • Extending Mechanism: Manual
  • Size: 8.2 feet by 6.5 feet
  • Material: Aluminum frame, polyester canopy

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Simple and attractive look
  • Can tolerate moderate winds

Cons

  • Not the easiest to install

Get the AECOJOY retractable awning on Amazon.

Upgrade Pick

The Best Retractable Awnings Option: ADVANING Classic Series 8' x 7' Retractable Awning
Photo: amazon.com

An excellent retractable awning can add to a home’s curb appeal, which makes it worth a little extra money. And a well-made awning, like ADVANING’s Classic Series awning, will last for years.

The classic yellow and gray striped awning measures 8 feet by 7 feet. ADVANING’s premium 100% acrylic fabric offers a few advantages over cheaper awning fabrics. It provides UV80+ sun protection to guard against strong UV rays. Highly breathable, it won’t trap in warm air or moisture like some polyester and vinyl awnings might.

A durable powder-coated steel frame keeps the awning solid, even in windy weather. This awning features a manual extending mechanism and an easy pitch system that makes it simple to adjust the angle.

Product Specs

  • Extending Mechanism: Manual
  • Size: 8 feet by 7 feet
  • Material: Steel frame, acrylic canopy

Pros

  • High-quality steel and acrylic build
  • Easy angle adjustment
  • Attractive design
  • Arrives pre-assembled

Cons

  • Pricey

Get the ADVANING Classic Series retractable awning on Amazon.

Best Motorized

Best Retractable Awning Option: Awntech Key West Retractable Awning
Photo: thehomedepot.com

To reduce hand fatigue, the Awntech Key West Retractable Awning is completely electric making retracting and expanding hands-free. Made with powder-coated steel and aluminum, this awning is very durable and withstands 30 mph winds. The dyed acrylic fabric is made by Beauty-Mark and comes in over 18 colorways. Plus, it comes fully assembled.

This model comes in a 12-foot by 12-foot size, but can also be purchased in sizes of 8 feet to 24 feet to cover patios, barbecue areas, and walk-outs. For versatility, this model comes with an additional hand-crank for manual use and a remote control for controlling the awning’s retraction and expansion. The only downside of this product is that it can only be mounted to wall surfaces.

Product Specs

  • Extending Mechanism: Electric
  • Size: 12 feet by 12 feet
  • Material: Powder-coated steel, aluminum, and dyed acrylic

Pros

  • Manual and electric use
  • Comes in multiple sizes and colors
  • Withstands 30 mph winds

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Can only be mounted to wall surfaces

Get the Awntech retractable awning at The Home Depot or at Lowe’s.

Best Small

The Best Retractable Awnings Option: Outsunny 8' x 7' Patio Retractable Awning
Photo: walmart.com

To cover a small deck, balcony, or set of sliding doors, consider Outsunny’s manual retractable awning. An aluminum and steel frame and a polyurethane-coated polyester canopy form a sturdy UV-protective, water-resistant awning that shields users from the sun year-round. At 8 feet by 7 feet, it provides excellent coverage over patio doors or a bay window to reduce heat and damaging UV rays. A striped pattern with decorative trim adds charm to windows and doors.

A manual hand crank allows users to adjust the projection and angle to create more or less shade as needed. Included installation hardware allows for mounting on vinyl siding or stucco. Users can add mounting screws for installation onto wood-framed homes.

Product Specs

  • Extending Mechanism: Manual
  • Size: 8 feet by 7 feet
  • Material: Aluminum and steel frame, polyester canopy

Pros

  • Smaller size is versatile for placing over doorways or windows
  • Good protection from UV rays
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Does not include mounting hardware for wood-framed homes

Get the Outsunny retractable awning at Wayfair or at Target.

Best Large

The Best Retractable Awnings Option: MCombo 12x10 Feet Manual Retractable Awning
Photo: amazon.com

Measuring 12 feet by 10 feet, McCombo’s manual awning provides ample coverage from the sun and light rain. A lightweight but sturdy corrosion-resistant, powder-coated aluminum frame supports a large, polyurethane-coated polyester canopy. The red-and-beige striped material resists water, UV rays and fading and stands up to winds of up to 18 mph.

A simple hand-crank mechanism easily retracts the awning after each use. Included installation hardware facilitates setup on concrete, wood, or brick walls.

Product Specs

  • Extending Mechanism: Manual
  • Size: 12 feet by 10 feet
  • Material: Aluminum frame, polyester canopy

Pros

  • Large coverage area
  • Adjustable tilt angle up to 35 degrees
  • Includes installation hardware for various wall types

Cons

  • Installation instructions may be unclear

Get the MCombo retractable awning on Amazon and at Overstock.

Best for Rain

The Best Retractable Awning Option: Outsunny 10' x 8' Manual Retractable Awning
Photo: amazon.com

Heavy-duty awnings make a great pick for most homes and an especially prudent choice for those in windy areas. Awntech’s manual retractable awning withstands winds of up to 35 miles per hour and stay put through storms.

The awning’s durability comes from its materials. Mounted on a powder-coated steel and aluminum frame, it features solution-dyed 100% acrylic fabric that holds up against fading, mildew, and dirt. A hood protects the awning and keeps out debris when not in use. This awning features a manual control mechanism and adjustable pitch options.

Awntech’s awning comes in several sizes and colors, including this 12-foot by 10-foot model in green and white stripes.

Product Specs

  • Extending Mechanism: Manual
  • Size: 12 feet by 10 feet
  • Material: Aluminum and steel frame, acrylic canopy

Pros

  • Withstands winds up to 35 mph
  • Protective design
  • Attractive design

Cons

  • Expensive

Get the AWNTECH retractable awning at The Home Depot.

Best Heavy-Duty

The Best Retractable Awnings Option: AWNTECH Destin-LX with Manual Retractable Awning
Photo: homedeposit.com

With a reinforced frame and water-resistant canopy, Outsunny’s awning provides year-round protection. Measuring 10 feet by 8 feet, it makes an excellent pick for patios and decks or large windows and doors.

A durable aluminum and steel frame and a sturdy polyester canopy provide long-term, year-round use. Brown polyurethane-coated fabric forms a shield against water and UV rays. While always best to retract the awning in adverse weather conditions, this water-resistant awning provides protection from light rain and surprise summer showers.

A manual hand crank allows users to adjust canopy coverage length to meet different sun and shade needs. Included installation hardware allows for mounting on a concrete wall. Users may add hardware to mount to stucco, siding, or wood.

Product Specs

  • Extending Mechanism: Manual
  • Size: 10 feet by 8 feet
  • Material: Aluminum and steel frame, polyester canopy

Pros

  • Sturdy design
  • Water-resistant canopy
  • Several color options

Cons

  • Not intended for heavy rain

Get the Outsunny retractable awning on Amazon or at Bed Bath & Beyond.

Also Consider

Best Retractable Awning Option: ADVANTING 8'X7' Motorized Patio Retractable Awning
Photo: amazon.com

Advaning’s motorized awning makes a hassle-free pick for a small patio or balcony. Measuring 8 feet by 7 feet, it features a durable steel frame and a premium acrylic canopy. Sturdy acrylic fabric guards against UV rays, fading, and water. The breathable material won’t trap hot air inside on sunny days. Green and cream stripes add a decorative touch to this automated awning.

This convenient awning extends or retracts with the click of a button on the remote control. Advaning’s Easy Pitch system makes it simple to adjust the pitch of the canopy once installed. In case of any trouble with the motor, switch to the manual crank for easy operation.

Product Specs

  • Extending Mechanism: Motorized
  • Size: 8 feet by 7 feet
  • Material: Steel frame, acrylic canopy

Pros

  • Remote-operated and easy to use
  • Adjustable awning angle
  • Backup hand crank

Cons

  • Requires an accessible power source

Get the ADVANTING retractable awning on Amazon.

Our Verdict

The Best Choice Products retractable awning features durable construction and a smooth opening mechanism to provide ample shade from the sun. A pretty affordable option, it may not work for every budget. Those on an even stricter budget should consider the AECOJOY retractable awning, which provides sun protection at an affordable price.

How We Chose the Best Retractable Awnings 

Retractable awnings serve a couple of functions: to protect from the sun and add an attractive design element to your home’s exterior. When researching the best retractable awnings, we kept both functions in mind.

It takes a bit of work and time to install an awning, so it’s important to find one that will last. We looked for awnings made of high-quality and durable materials to handle outdoor conditions (rain or shine). We looked for a sturdy frame to support the awning, even in strong winds, and tough fabric that both protects against the sun and resists fading, dirt and mildew. We evaluated durability through product research and by taking into account user reviews, which give a good idea of real-world performance.

We also considered design. Awnings draw attention to themselves, so they need to look attractive. Awnings with several colorways and patterns earned bonus points. To appeal to a wider range of shoppers, we looked for awnings that came in classic colors and designs.

FAQs 

Retractable awnings give you control of sun exposure and shade, so you can make the most of your outdoor living space. These versatile products retract to let in the morning sun and then open to protect against harsh midday rays. Consider the following commonly asked questions and answers when selecting your retractable awning.

Q: Can I place my retractable awnings over windows to create shade? 

Absolutely, a retractable awning can be installed over a window to provide shade and keep interiors cool.

Q: Which is better: manual or automatic retractable awnings? 

Both options provide protection from the sun; the right one for your space depends on personal preference and budget. Automatic retractable awnings are convenient. They extend or retract at the press of a button but that convenience comes at a higher price. Manual awnings come in at a lower cost, but they require manual opening and closing with each use.

Q: Can I install retractable awnings on my own?

Yes, you can install your own retractable awnings. Make sure to have at least one helping partner on hand and follow the manufacturer’s directions for safe installation.

Q: Can retractable awnings be used in the rain?

Yes, a retractable sun shade awning can be used in light rain, but keep in mind that most aren’t made to withstand stormy conditions. Heavy rain and snow can weigh down and damage an awning, so make sure to retract the awning in bad weather.

Q: Can retractable awnings withstand wind?

Retractable awnings can handle light wind, but most aren’t made to withstand very windy weather. If the wind makes it uncomfortable to sit outside, that’s a sign that it’s time to retract the awning. Many models tolerate winds up to 25 miles per hour.

Why Trust Bob Vila

Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series, including This Old House and Bob Vila’s Home Again, he popularized and became synonymous with “do it yourself” home improvement.

Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today in the expert yet accessible home advice at the heart of BobVila.com. Today, the Bob Vila editorial team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.

Jasmine Harding is a freelance writer and avid traveler. She is a DIY enthusiast with a keen interest in budget finds and sustainable living. In her free time, you can find her embroidering, researching her next home project, or watching nature documentaries.