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A Retractable Pergola Shade Adds Privacy and Character To Your Outdoor Living Area

Are you looking to add more space to your backyard? Perhaps you want to build a pergola and you’re looking for the perfect pergola shade. There are so many options when it comes to pergola shades.

Retractable Pergola Shade

You can get ones that don’t retract at all, having a permanent shade. Or you can get one that does retract, giving you an option to either have shade or full sun when you want to. That’s exactly what we will be discussing today, is retractable pergola shades. You will see why you should get one, the five best ones on the market, and all your questions answered about them.

Top 3 Picks

Best Overall: PURPLE LEAF Retractable Pergola Shade

The PURPLE LEAF Retractable Pergola Shade is made out of high-quality materials and it can be chosen from any color. It’s also easy to assemble.

Best Bargain: Domi Outdoor Living Pergola Shade

The Domi Outdoor Living Pergola Shade has many size options, and it even has a safety lock design to keep it in place on a windy day.

Best Quality: Windscreen 4 Less Retractable Pergola Shade

If you are looking for something that has the best quality, you’ll be happy with the Windscreen 4 Less Retractable Pergola Shade. It’s made out of high-quality polypropylene, and it can deal with any weather element that comes its way.

What is a Retractable Pergola Shade?

A retractable pergola shade is a canopy that can retract on top of a pergola. For example, it can retract back and forth to allow either shade or sun in, which is a bonus for people who want the best of both worlds. There’s many different designs and sizes that you can choose from.

Benefits of Having a Retractable Pergola Shade

Enhances backyard space

Pergolas have a tendency of enhancing the backyard space due to them looking aesthetically pleasing.

Protects furniture, decor and even your skin

When you are using a retractable pergola shade, and especially if you have it where you are shading the area, it will protect either your furniture, decor and your skin.

Add value to your home

Whether or not you are thinking about moving, even pergola, especially with a retractable pergola shade, can definitely add a lot of value to your home. When that time comes, you will get more than expected due to the aesthetically pleasing pergola that you have in your backyard. Even if you don’t end up moving, you’ll always have that extra value with your property.

5 Best Retractable Pergola Shades For This Summer

PURPLE LEAF Retractable Pergola Shade

PURPLE LEAF Retractable Pergola Shade

We’re starting off with PURPLE LEAF, whose retractable pergola shade is 10 ft by 13 ft which is very easy to assemble. The canopy of the pergola is actually made out of high-quality polyester which is extremely durable and it’s also UV resistant, fade resistant and it’s even waterproof. Supreme material is made out of aluminum so that means it’s very strong and extremely durable. That canopy is adjustable so that you have UV protection against the sun.

There is also a safe locking system to keep it in place in case it’s a very windy day. This canopy is perfect if you want to have it near the pool or you can just eat outside and have entertainment. If you need something smaller or bigger, there are two other sizes that you can choose from. They’re also two other colors that you can choose from if you don’t like the color.

What customers are saying:

“Like: I can tell this product is well engineered from the way the product is packaged, individually labelled and how the parts fit together nicely. The product looked very elegant, and the retractable shade is a nice feature.”

“Was easy to assemble for about three hours by myself and my wife. Only change was we put on a metal roof. It Looked great and was perfect for our location. Seems sturdy and has already had high winds and no problem.”

“It took my husband and I about 4 hours to do the assembly. Overall, I’m happy with this purchase!”


  • Made out of sturdy construction
  • Choice of colors to choose from
  • UV & fade & water resistant


  • Can take a long time to put together
  • Some users have said it’s not as sturdy as the manufacturer’s claims

Windscreen 4 Less Retractable Pergola Shade

Windscreen 4 Less Retractable Pergola Shade

The Windscreen 4 Less Retractable Pergola Shade is a very nice wavy design that would complement your backyard. There is a U Shape design meaning you can decide what kind of flatness from the cover that you want depending on the distance between the panels.

Keep in mind though, that there is a 2 inch between each panel. It is made out of high-quality polyurethane so that means it’s extremely durable against all-weather elements. While you do have to set up, there is almost everything that you need for installation.

For installation you get wire cable, pad eyes, turnbuckle, fabric panel, retracting rod, rope, control tape, shackle and snap hook. There is a usual manual that will have the instructions that would tell you how to set up the canopy. This canopy is 4 x16 which is standard size. There are also many other sizes that you can choose from if you want something bigger or smaller. They’re also three colors that you can choose from.

What customers have to say:

“Good product for the price. The material is partially shiny outdoor fabric. It is not waterproof but provides shade from dew. Not sure how long it’ll last but installation was relatively easy and installed canopies look good!”

“We bought 4 of these to span our 12×16’ pergola (two 3×11’ and two 4×11’). Install was straight forward, and it blocked out the overhead sun nicely.”

“I love these! Got 2 of the 7’x16′ to cover my 14′ x 20′ patio and they fit perfectly. Like having a retractable sunroof for my patio, they’re awesome!”


  • Comes in many sizes
  • Wavy design
  • Durable


  • Some users question the quality and the time that it took to set up

Domi Outdoor Living Pergola Shade

Domi Outdoor Living Pergola Shade

The Domi Outdoor Living Pergola Shade it’s very versatile which means you can control the shade by retracting it back and forth. It also has a safety lock design to make sure that the canopy stays in place and doesn’t move, which is good if it’s a windy day. The canopy is made out of polyester and its water repellent and UV resistant.

This pergola frame it’s actually made out of powder coated aluminum which means it doesn’t rest and it’s extremely durable. There is also a stable anchoring stand to help hold the pergola frame. What’s great about this pergola is that it can be used for multiple things. It is extremely easy to assemble, and the dimensions are 10 x 10 ft. It will take one to two hours to put this pergola together with at least two people. There is a 10×13 option if you feel that the 10×10 is too small.


  • UV & water resistant
  • Safety lock design
  • Easy assemble


  • May need stronger support to hold the frames if live in a climate that’s windy

GZHENH Wave Shade Cover

GZHENH Wave Shade Cover

The GZENNH is another wave shade cover that would look good in any backyard. There are many different size options that you can choose from but this one in particular is one by seven meters. You can also leave it out all year round and it’s fairly easy to assemble. You do get the following to help you set up the pergola frame which is, wire cable, pad eyes, turnbuckle, fabric panel, retracting rod, rope, control tape, shackle and snap hook.


  • Comes in multiple sizes
  • Easy to set up
  • Comes with complete installation accessories


  • It may be too expensive for some people.

MAHFEI Retractable Wave Canopy Cover

MAHFEI Retractable Wave Canopy Cover

Finally, the MAHFEI Retractable Wave Canopy Cover has a nice wave pattern that looks like sails. The materials are made out of semi-shielding non-woven fabric. It is 1 x 12m and the color is blue. You do get other size options if that’s too small or too big or your patio or wherever you would put the canopy. You will have to use some tools and perhaps an extra person to help set up this pergola. It is also UV resistant which is good if you’re trying to avoid the sun on hotter days.


  • Many sizes to choose from
  • Easy to set up
  • UV Resistant
  • Comes with installation accessories


  • It might be flimsy due to the fact there’s nothing sturdy that would hold the frame down

How to Build a Pergola

How to Build a Pergola

Installing Pergola Post Brackets

You’ll want to install steel post brackets on the pergola posts so that you can accurately install the posts. Also, it will mean that you won’t be wasting multiple feet of the pergola posts. But if you want to do the traditional post in a concrete method, which is what most people do, you can do that as well.

Stain and Seal Pergola

You actually want to stain a pergola before you set it up. The reason behind that is because staining a pergola is pretty hard once it’s already built and it’ll be pretty difficult to reach all areas in a matter of trying to get every single corner. You also will need to seal it as well and you’ll need to do touch up before you start installing the pergola post.

Install Pergola Posts

  1. Run the posts through a planer to smooth them out. As you smooth out the post, place them on a roller support.
  2. If you haven’t already, you should stain your postings. Allow them to dry completely.
  3. You mount the post in a bracket (make sure you have one other person holding it)
  4. You begin to put the screws to provide support for the post.
  5. You start by drilling holes for your lag bolts.
  6. After that, you use a ratchet to tighten the lag bolts.
  7. You’re finished; the post is now self-contained. Repeat for the remaining three posts.

Build Pergola

  1. Dig the holes, then insert the posts (assuming they are wood)
  2. Align the posts and remove any surplus wood.
  3. Fasten the cross beams together.
  4. Create lap joints.
  5. Set the covering in place (roof boards)
  6. Put lattice panels on it if you like.
  7. Stain the wood before assembling it.
  8. You’re finished!

Installing Rafters

  1. Make certain you’ve measured all of your beams.
  2. Make sure all of your frame boards are straight.
  3. Install the central beams
  4. On the edges and sides, secure all of the crucial screws.
  5. Connect the middle beam with additional rafters.

Installing Retractable Pergola Shade

  1. Follow the instructions from the manufacturer
  2. Get a ladder
  3. Put the shade on top of the pergola (assuming there is no rafters)
  4. Make sure the sides are secure with a screwdriver
  5. Test to make sure the retractable shades are working correctly
  6. You’re done!

Pergola Shade Ideas

Retractable Wavy Pergola Shade Under Rafter

Retractable pergola shade
Design from Designs by Dian Window Treatments

This beautiful pergola has a baby retractable pergola shade on top of it outside the entertainment area. In this picture, you can see the couches, a fireplace, and even a tv. So, because it has all that, a retractable pergola shade is extremely useful to protect the furniture.

Retractable Pergola Shade Open Air

Retractable pergola shade
Image from MAD Architecture

In this gorgeous backyard, you can see an open-air pergola. As you can see the retractable pergola shade helps cover the patio table. It’s a nice bright and orange pergola that compliments the backyard that gives UV protection.

Retractable Wavy Pergola Shade Beach Style

Retractable pergola shade
Design from ShadeFX

This is a gorgeous poolside backyard that has a beautiful pergola beside it. As you see, there is a wavy design pergola shade underneath the rafters, creating that beach vibe. This pergola shade helps protect against those harmful UV rays.

Rooftop Pergola with Open Air Pergola Shade

Retractable pergola shade
Design from Reveal Design LLC

This is a gorgeous rooftop outdoor entertainment space. It is another open space pergola that has a beautiful retractable pergola shade canopy on it, which is wavy in design. It can be used for UV protection and more.

Open Air Pergola with Retractable Pergola Shade Backyard

Retractable pergola shade
Photo by KE Durasol Awnings

This is a very nice backyard that has a beautiful open-air pergola in it. It is attached to the house, and it has an open-air vibe to it. It also has a retractable shade that works as shelter or UV protection.


How much does a retractable pergola cost?

It really depends on what you want. If you want a custom made one, it’ll cost in the thousands. But a basic one will probably cost around $200. It depends on what you are looking for in your backyard.

How do you make a retractable shade for a pergola?

You’ll want to gather the necessary materials that’s included in this link and do the following:

  • Prepare the rods
  • Sewing the shade
  • Adding rods to shade
  • Build the support
  • Install the Canopy

Can you put a retractable awning over a pergola?

You can, but you’ll have to configure it so that they both can work.

How do you cover a pergola when it’s raining?

You can retract the canopy that’s on top to cover the pergola.

Bottom Line

A retractable pergola shade can look really good in your backyard. Whether you want a wavy design or another custom design, you need to decide what size you need before you purchase one. You also need to decide if you’re going to have a person to help you assemble the retractable pergola shade canopy or you have to hire someone who will help you set it up. If you found this guide particularly useful or if you think other brands of retractable pergola shade are better than what we have listed today, please let us know in the comments if you like.