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Best garden awnings and canopies to make the most of your outside space

These garden awnings are a must-have if you have a patio

Best garden awnings
Katherine Robinson
Senior Lifestyle Editor
Updated: April 9, 2023
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If you have a garden, patio or outside space to enjoy then an awning will help you get the most out of it. Forget cumbersome patio umbrellas that provide limited protection from the elements - a canopy is the best way to protect yourself from the sun.

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Since most are waterproof they can also protect you from light showers too – so the barbeque can continue if the inclement British weather strikes!

Garden awnings come in all shapes and sizes – you can choose between electric options or ones which you retract manually. We’ve rounded up the best options in terms of reviews, value for money – and they all look great too!

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Best manual retractable awning - Greenbay retractable manual awning

manual awning

Size: Multiple sizes available, from 200 x 150cm to 400 x 300 cm

Sold with wall fittings? Yes

If you’re looking for a wind-in, manually retractable canopy that is built to last then this is the one. It’s made from UV-resistant, water-resistant polyester with PU coating and comes with all fittings and a steel crank handle. Shoppers are raving about the high quality and the striped design – although it’s available in plain options too to go with any garden design colour scheme.

Top review: "We were delighted with the quality of the product. It is a quality item and we feel it is excellent value. The fittings are very robust and installation took us (my wife and I ) two hours. Fitting is not complicated if you are a competent DIY person with good equipment such as ladders, hammer drills, bits, and a selection of tools, etc ... Verdict: Beautiful extending canopy, and looks fantastic."

Best removable retractable canopy - Greenhurst Berkeley Garden Awning 

Argos garden awning

Size: 250 x 200cm

Sold with wall fittings? Yes

Not only is this weather-resistant shade easy to fit, and simple to use via a wind in, wind out mechanism, but it’s super easy to remove from the wall and store away once winter comes.

Top review: “Delighted with it! And the best thing is there are only three bolts to remove for winter storage if wanted."

Best electric garden awning - Primrose electric awning

primrose awning

Size: 250 x 200 cm

Sold with wall fittings? Yes

Are you in the market for an electric, retractable canopy? Then you won’t find better than this. It’s easy to install as long as you have a rudimentary knowledge of DIY – most shoppers said they had it fitted in under an hour and is made of hardwearing waterproof polyester (this one absolutely will withstand heavier showers)

Top review: Perfect! Delivered much earlier than expected. Only wish I ordered this at the beginning of the school summer holidays. I put it up, with a little help from my wife, in less than 30 mins. Very easy to assemble, only 6 heavy bolts to secure to our brick wall, all included. Easy to open and close. I can already see our neighbours are envious.”

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Best budget canopy - Ankuka black sun sail canopy

budget awning

Size: 200 x 300cm

Sold with wall fittings? No

This versatile shade is permeable, which means air can pass through it, keeping the shaded area cool. It’s mildew resistant, so you don’t need to worry about it going moldy if it’s caught in the rain (it’s water-resistant so holds its own against drizzle) and it offers 98% UV blockage for sunny days. It comes with d rings and rope and is available in a rainbow of colors, including black, beige, orange, red and blue.

Top review: "The sun shade felt strong, durable, and was the perfect size for my garden and came in lovely yellow beige colour exactly as shown. Liked that it was lightweight and came with everything I needed to use the sun shade straightaway with D rings and rope to fasten on to my fencing poles, the instructions were easy to understand and came with handy diagrams to ensure I placed the shade at an angle. Overall happy with the sun shade as it just does the job and provides excellent shade on sunny days in the garden.”

Best minimal canopy - Rectangular sail shade

minimalist awning

Size: 237 x 330cm

Sold with wall fittings? No

This chic water-repellent and anti-UV treated polyester sail shade is supplied with 4 strings and is a really discrete option that fits with any garden décor. It’s available in beige, taupe brown or charcoal grey

Top review: "Extremely pleased with mine - I’ve bought three. They are very well made and definitely recommend them, they’re a very good size as well - roughly 7ft by 10ft."

Best side awning - Dakota fields side awning

side awning 2022

Size: 300 x 180cm

Sold with wall fittings? Yes

Whether you need to block outside winds, sun, or just want a bit of extra privacy, this shade is a great option. It’s tough and strong and it attaches securely and easily to cement or solid wood for quick set up. The canopy is made from sturdy material which features a top coating for weather resistance, with it pulling out smoothly and fixating in place with the clip lock handle.

Top review: "Arrived earlier than stated, easy to build, looks exactly like illustration. Used it for privacy in hot tub."

Best Garden awning cover -  Woodside Patio Awning Canopy Shelter 

Garden Awning cover

If you have a garden awning, you really should invest in a cover to protect it from the elements when it's not in use. This Amazon cover is a great option - it comes in two shades of green and a variety of different sizes to fit all makes and models.

Best Caravan awning - Adventuridge caravan awning

caravan awning

Size: 220 x 220 x 235-250cm

Sold with all fittings? Yes

Okay, so this isn't exactly strictly for your garden, but it deserves an honorary mention. This air awning provides protection from the sun and rain, is highly durable and designed with UV and waterproof protective material. The air beams allow for quick inflation and an easy installation, if you have a caravan - it's a must.

Top review: "Great value for money, lightweight and waterproof. Even better that it does not take a lot of time to put up, worth every penny."

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