Entering your car after it was in direct sunlight even for an hour can be a real nightmare. Not only can metal trim pieces in your car get hot enough to burn you, but those with leather seats are also in for a very uncomfortable surprise.

This happens because the windows of your car turn your vehicle into a greenhouse, trapping in hot air and making it even hotter than the temperature outside.

Sure, most cars have air conditioning, but it takes a while to get cold enough and the car can feel like hell while you’re waiting for the air con to gear up.

Heat and sun rays can also damage the materials in your car’s interior, especially on the dashboard, which is almost always bombarded by sun rays.

The easiest way to keep your car cooler during the summer is a sunshade. They are easily available and relatively inexpensive, however, not all of them are good. You’d think that parking under a tree is better, but it’s not. Parking under a tree exposes your car to sap and bird droppings, which can damage your paint. It’s just better to get a sunshade.

There are many different types of sunshades for cars, too. The most common ones are reflective ones placed on the dashboard that can’t be used while driving.

There are also ones you can use while driving. These should be only used on the rear-seat windows and the back window – if you use then on the front windows, they can seriously degrade the visibility. For protecting your baby or child in the rear seats or getting more privacy for your passengers back there, these types of sunshades can keep them shielded from harmful UV rays.

Here we will talk about all types of high-quality sunshades that will keep your car cool. We’ve made a top 10 list of the best sunshades for cars you can buy and we suggest you carefully read the description and every pros and cons of the items on the list so that you’ll be sure to buy exactly what you need.

1. Windshield Sun Shade - Luxurious 210T Fabric

Cheap, easy to use and great at keeping sunrays from entering the cabin of your vehicle. This inexpensive steel ring sunshade is made from a high-quality 210T fabric in a white color that is very good at reflecting the harmful sun rays. It’s denser than other materials, which means that the cabin will stay cooler for longer, even in direct sunlight.

The so-called Luxurious 210T Fabric Sun Shade is also very easy to use. It comes with a compact travel pouch. It is easily folded and very easy to install as well – just be sure to lower the sun visors for better support and you’ll be good to go.

The manufacturer offers this sunshade in three different sizes. For most cars that will suffice, but you may have problems if your car’s windshield is out of the ordinary – too big or too small. Please check the dimensions of your windshield before buying.

2. Windshield Sun Shade

This sunshade is almost of the same quality as the first one of our list – it is not as good at reflecting the sunrays, but for most people and general use, it will be quite good. It has the same mechanism for folding and it also comes with a handy pouch. Suffice to say, it can be used as easily as the other one.

What this product does better is that it comes in a lot of sizes so it will fit almost any vehicle on the market today, like SUVs, sedans, compact cars and minivans. We also like that the seller on Amazon helps if you don’t know the right size for your car – just ask what size for your vehicle you should get and you’ll get the answer.

Perhaps as important as anything else, this sunshade is on the cheap side – it’s really a small investment for a product that will last maybe several years or more.

3. EzyShade Windshield Sunshade

Say you want to use a sunshade on more than one car. We know, this is a thing that doesn’t happen a lot, but there are certain drivers that have a car for kid duties and a car for driving enjoyment. Well, this is a product that is easily adaptable to a variety of windshields.

The magic lies into the design – the EzyShade is not one, but two sunshades in a rectangular shape, that can overlap one over the other. This makes them easy to attach to almost any windshield and more importantly, easily adaptable to the different vehicles in your garage. As with every item on our list, this one also comes with a pouch, but it’s much easier to store – just put the two parts one over the other.

The material on the EzyShade is good at reflecting sunlight, but not as good as the first two items on our list. On the plus side, it comes in three different sizes and it’s not very expensive either. With the purchase of the EzyShade sunshade, you’ll also get a non-slip sticky dashboard mat for your smartphone.

4. YEEGE Universal Fit Car Sun Shade Canopy Cover – Nylon

All of the sunshades we’ve mentioned until now are made only for the windshield and can’t do anything about blocking the sunlight from the other windows in your car. And the sun doesn’t always stay in one position.

That’s why we’ve included an item that can protect every window and even the roof of your car from fading or sun damage. This sunshade acts like an umbrella for your car. It is not that easy to install, so it is a little unwieldy to use it several times a day, but once you get the hang of it, it gets faster to set up.

Suffice to say, this umbrella will protect the interior of your car from heat much better than other solutions, not just because it will throw a shade over the windows, but also the top of your car, which can also transfer a lot of the heat inside. The one big drawback is the price – this is a quite expensive product. Because of that, we recommend using this if you don’t have a garage.

5. RV Motorhome Collapsible Sunshade Class A

The reason we even mention an RV here is that a sunshade for this type of car is not only meant to block the sun from entering, but also from the eyes of strangers. If your RV doesn’t already have some type of sunshade for the windshield, we suggest buying one.

This collapsible sunshade is very easy to use, similar to other products higher on the list, with the difference being its dimensions – it is very, very big. That’s why we suggest using the included suction cups, especially if you don’t use the RV for a longer period of time.

The only downside of this product is that is not as easy to fold as other products – we would’ve really liked a clever solution, even though space is not a problem in an RV.

6. Enovoe Car Window Shade

Thin, light, and very easy to install – Enovoe’s sunshades are a great addition to any family. They block most of the harmful UV rays (up to 97%), keeping your children’s skin protected. They are also very good at keeping the heat out from the rear seats. For the money, we think they are no-brainer – everybody that has kids should have a couple of these in the car.

Enovoe Car Window shades are also very easy to install – the static cling back sticks to the windows so you don’t need suction cups. Just put them on the windows and they will stay there. They also don’t degrade visibility too much, which is great for drivers, but also for children who like to look at their surroundings while driving.

This product even comes with a bonus of two sunshades, so you get four in a package that very inexpensive, which is an additional plus. One downside is that it will not cover the entire window on some cars and some harmful rays may still get inside the vehicle.

7. Cartoon Car Window Shade

Keeping sunrays away from the gentle skin of your kids and making the decor more fun for them is why this sunshade excels. It’s as good at protecting from harmful UV rays as the Enovoe’s product, with the added bonus of looking fun. There are three different designs to choose from and all of them look really cute. This cartoon sunshade is also very easy to install (also with a static cling back) and remove and not very expensive as well.

Why is it not higher on the list? While they may look cool and fun, the cartoon characters tend to degrade visibility more than a product without them, and safety is always a priority. Another point against these sunshades may be that they will become boring after a period of time and your kids may want to watch the surroundings more while traveling.

8. ShadeSox Universal Fit Car Side Window Baby Sun Shade

These so-called socks for your back windows offer protection like no other. You’ll feel like you’re in a luxurious vehicle, like a Lexus LS or a Mercedes-Benz S-Class for example. They block most of the light and heat and really make a difference in the sunny days. As opposed to Enovoe’s sunshades higher on the list, the ShadeSox will protect every inch of your window, regardless of the car type.

They are also very easy to install – just open your vehicle’s door and literally pull the sunshade down over it. This means that you must be stationary if you want to remove it, but you can’t always have the best of both worlds. On the other hand, you can easily roll down the window while this sunshade is in use, which is not something that you can do with other products.

The downside of ShadeSox design is that it’s not as durable as sunshades that sit exclusively inside the car. The mesh on the outside can get easily damaged because of a combination of sunrays and a lot of wind (especially if you drive on the highway a lot). Prepare to buy another pair sooner than with other products. Another small caveat is that the ShadeSox tend to degrade visibility more than Evonoe’s product.

9. Plasticolor 003700R01 Star Wars Accordion Sunshade

We are big Star Wars fans and that’s why we’ve included this version of the Plasticolor’s sunshade. It’s a best seller at Amazon also. The reason for that? Your windshield will look like the one on the Millenium Falcon, with Chewbacca, Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Han Solo behind it.

If you are not a Star Wars fan, there are several other designs you can choose from on Amazon, like Star Trek, Captain America, The Avengers, Batman, the Minions and more.

Did we mention that Plasticolor’s sunshade can also keep the sun out? Sure, it’s not as good as some other product on this list, but some of them are just so cool looking. And it’s very easy to use every day. One downside of these sunshades is that their colors tend to fade away if you use them a lot, which is expected. It’s also a little bit bigger when folded than items higher on this list. Some of the models are also a little pricey because of the licensing the company needs to legally use the images.

10. mAuto UV Deflector Reversible Double Layer Car Windshield with Suction Cup

mAuto’s UV deflector is great at keeping your vehicle’s interior from harmful sun rays and it’s also very cheap. It comes in a blue or silver color, which fades away when bombarded with sunlight, but this doesn’t change the quality of the protection.

This sunshade is “concertina” like, which makes it easy to use, but on the other hand a little bit bigger when folded compared to steel ring sunshades – you must put this in the trunk. It doesn’t come with a pouch as well, so it can be damaged from other items in the trunk.

On the positive side, you can use both sides of this sunshade to change the look of your car if you are into that thing.

How to Keep Your Car Cool in the Sun

how to keep your car cool

It’s a hot summer day, you’ve gone to work and left the car in the parking lot. When you come back, hell awaits because your car has gotten so unbearably hot while it’s been baking in the sun. If you have black leather seats, you can probably cook your dinner on them because they’ve gotten so hot.

Cranking the AC to its maximum setting will certainly cool the interior down, but this takes time, so the best thing to do is to prevent your car from getting so hot in the first place. Parking under a tree is also not advised — it exposes it to sap and bird droppings that can damage your paint, and getting covered parking can be expensive.

Thankfully, there are several cheap and easy-to-use products that can help keep the cabin temperature lower while your car is under the bright summer sun. There are also a lot of tricks you can do to lower your car’s temperature even further (aside from finding the perfect spot under some shade) and making the whole driving experience more comfortable and less sweaty! Read further if you want to find out everything about how to keep your car cool in the sun.

Purchase a good quality windshield sunshade

This is a no-brainer – we think every car owner should have a sunshade in the car. A sunshade will not only help to keep the temperature down, but it will also keep the dashboard and the steering wheel from heating up. This makes driving much more pleasant and it even keeps the interior materials from fading and cracking over time.

When buying a sunshade, be sure it’s from a reputable manufacturer. Don’t just cheap out and get a gas station or dollar store model because you get what you pay for.

There are several different types of sunshades you can consider:

  • Steel-ring sunshades – these are the best type in our opinion, as they can be easily folded and almost always come with a handy pouch. When folded, they are very compact and can be easily stored in your car’s cabin, like your door pockets, for example. Higher-quality steel ring sunshades are also very easy to install onto your windshield and can be used on a variety of different windshields. Still, it’s best to check the dimensions before buying.
  • Roll-up custom fit  – if you want to be sure that the sunshade is the best fit for your windshield, you should buy a custom one. The roll-up types are not as easy to use as the steel ring and are very big when folded, but this type will cover every inch of your windshield perfectly. There are also roll-up universal fit sunshades, but we would not recommend them.
  • Accordion  – These sunshades are pretty common and generally have a lower price than steel-ring sunshades. They offer very good protection against sunlight, are very easy to use and fit almost every type of windshield. The downside is that they are bigger when folded – you cannot store them in the cabin.
  • Umbrella type – These so-called umbrella sunshades create a canopy for the whole car, so they offer the best protection against sun rays and heat. With an umbrella sun shield, your car will be kept at the lowest possible temperature, but there are downsides – the price of these items is too high for some people and they are not as easy to use and install.

Purchase side-window sunshades

The next step in keeping your car cool during the summer is a side-window sunshade that can be used while driving your vehicle. These sunshades are see-through, but you should not use them on the front windows because they ruin visibility. On the other hand, they are great for protecting your kids in the back seats from harmful UV rays and generally make traveling more comfortable. There two different types of side-window sunshades:

  • Attachable to the window  – These sunshades are generally very easy to use, as they can easily attach to the window, either by a suction cup or via static cling back. Some of them come in a cartoonish design, which certainly makes them more cheerful for your children, but these sunshades will reduce visibility. Higher-quality items offer great protection against harmful UV rays, but almost all of them can be easily detached by your kid and don’t cover the whole window perfectly. They can’t be used with an open window as well.
  • “Socks” for windows  – Unlike normal side-window sunshades, these “socks” cover the entire window and door frame to make better shade against sunlight. They are also very easy to use but degrade visibility more than the ones that are attachable to the window and can’t be removed while driving (which may be better for kids). They are also not as durable, as one side will always face the sun and wind, getting dirty in the process. On the upside, the “socks” can be used with an open window. But because they sit over the car door, they’re going to get dirty and are more prone to tearing.

Tint the windows of your car

Most new cars already come with tinted windows, but you can install even darker ones, that will better protect your car from heat. Higher-quality tinting materials are great at reducing harmful UV rays from entering the cabin, and even infrared light that warms up the interior. There are a lot of DIY tinting wraps on Amazon, but we would suggest going to a professional for this job, as they know the regulations better (you can’t tint your windows all the way up) and will probably do a cleaner job that will likely be covered under their warranty.

Other Tips for Keeping Your Car Cool in the Sun

Use blankets or towels to cover the seats and steering wheel: The seats and the steering wheel in your car are the worst offenders when it comes to making driving uncomfortable, as they can get very hot, especially ones that are covered in leather. That’s why we suggest throwing a blanket or towel on them, preferably in white color so it can reflect sunlight better, to keep them cool.

Keep windows slightly open while the car is parked: This may sound counter-intuitive, but keeping the windows slightly opened while it’s hot outside can keep the interior of your vehicle cooler. The reason for this is that hot air is lighter than cold air and will escape through the little openings. Just be sure that you can’t put your hand through the opening – you certainly don’t want to get robbed.

Install a solar-powered fan: A very efficient way of keeping the interior of your car cooler is to use the sun for the job. Purchase a solar-powered fan that will work every time your car is on sunbathing in the sun and circulate air through the cabin. These products also work best with slightly opened windows, as they can help the warm air to escape through the openings.

Use the AC with opened windows for the first few minutes: Hot air is lighter than cold air and will escape through the windows, while the cold air will stay in the lower parts of the car. For best cooling, while using the AC, open the windows on the front and rear doors all the way down and max-out the AC in your car for a few minutes. Then, close the front windows and leave the rear windows slightly opened so the residual heat can escape the car, but not the cold air. Do this for 30 to 60 seconds and then fully close your windows. In the end, adjust the temperature and fan speed on your AC to your liking.

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