3 Expert Tips To Choose A Shade Sail

A shade sail is a perfect solution to providing shade or protection for an outdoor space without having to sacrifice attractive looks. Below, we’ve got some expert tips outlining everything you need to consider when purchasing a shade sail for your home.

Table of Contents Hide

What type of shade sail should I buy?

The type of shade sail you will need for your home greatly depends on the climate of your area: only some types of shade sail are suitable for wetter or windier conditions.


  • Waterproof shade sails are made with dense strands of fabric with pores that aren’t big enough to allow water to pass through.
  • This is the preferred protection against heavy rain, however, it should not be used in stormy areas as the fabric can catch the wind and tear apart easily.


  • This type of shade sail can only withstand light showers but is much better at dealing with strong winds than completely waterproof shade sails.
  • Water-resistant shade sails are also quite long-lasting and so are the best option for a long-term investment.

UV Protection

  • Shade sails need to first be coated with a UV protection layer to be able to block up to 98% of UV rays.
  • These are usually not waterproof at all, and so can only be used to create cool and protective shade in sunny environments.
Sand Triangle UV Block Shade Sail
White Grey Triangle UV Block Shade Sail
Black Rectangle Water Resistant Shade Sail
Blue Block UV Rectangle Shade Sail
UV Block HDPE Rectangle Shade Sail
Sand Rectangular Waterproof Shade Sail

What material should my shade sail be made out of?

The material you choose is linked closely with the type of shade sail you would like, and what function you want it to serve. There are only 3 major materials used, and each is ideal for a different function and environment.

Shade Cloth

  • This is the most popular material for shade sails as it is relatively cheap.
  • The knitted fabric can be stretched to create the signature three-dimensional shapes associated with shade sails.
  • Shade cloth is quite lightweight and very breathable, so it is ideal for providing cool and protective shade from UV rays.


  • PVC is a more expensive alternative to shade cloth and has a higher quality feel to it.
  • It can provide great protection against heavier rain but is not recommended for windy areas.


  • Canvas shade sails are also more expensive than ones made out of shade cloth as the material is denser and sturdier.
  • This means it can withstand stronger winds and can provide some protection from the rain, although not as well as PVC shade sails.

What shape should my shade sail be?

Although seemingly not a very significant factor, the shape of your shade sail will determine exactly where it can be placed and how you can customize it.


  • Triangle shade sails will offer less coverage than square shade sails.
  • They are, however, more spatially flexible and so can be installed in much smaller spaces.
  • You can also layer multiple triangle shade sails to create unique patterns and a wider coverage area.
White Polyethylene Triangle Shade Sail
Gray Fabric Triangle Shade Sail
Terracotta Fabric Triangle Shade Sail
Pebble Fabric Triangle Shade Sail
Sahara HDPE Triangle Shade Sail
Sea Polyethylene Triangle Shade Sail


  • Square shade sails will cover a larger area than triangle shade sails but will require a larger space to be installed.
  • You also can’t be very creative with layers or patterns, making this shade sail shape more practical than aesthetic.
Rust Red Rectangle Shade Sail
Terracotta Polyethylene Square Shade Sail
Sand Fabric Rectangle Shade Sail
Bright Lime Green Cloth Square Shade Sail
Monterey Fabric Square Shade Sail
Light Brown Square Shade Sail

Lily is a modern designer with great appreciation for sleek architecture, a love for art in its many forms, and a passion for sharing her experience with people. If you’re looking for advice on how to modernize your old-fashioned place or make your new restaurant a visual blast, she’s definitely the one to ask.