Let’s face it, no one likes having the sun shining right in their eyes. And it’s not just that, for babies and small children, being stuck in the hot sun inside the car is downright unpleasant.
It can hurt their eyes, make them too hot, and even cause significant damage to their skin through harmful UVA rays.
So, if your car journeys are punctuated by wails of “the sun’s in my eyes!” or if you’re understandably concerned about keeping your baby as cool, safe and comfortable as possible, you’ll want to get some sun shades to use on the windows of your car.
There are a few different types of sun shades out there for you to choose from, ranging from ones that suction onto your windows to ones that are semi-permanent solutions.
We’ll be taking a look at some different types in a moment, as well as going through the key features you should look for no matter what type you choose to use.
Before we get into all of that, though, here’s a quick overview of what we believe to be some of the best car window sun shades for babies today.
Best Car Window Sun Shades for Babies – a Quick Look at Our Top 7 Recommendations
- Enovoe Car Window Shade
- Uarter Universal Car Rear Side Window Shade
- Brica White Hot Sun Safety Car Shade
- Safety 1st Baby On Board Sunshade
- ShadeSox Universal Fit Car Side Window Baby Sun Shade
- INFANZIA Car Sun Shade for Babies
- IC ICLOVER Car Sun Shade
Note: When clicking on any of the above links, you’ll go to the product listing pages on Amazon, where you can read further information, see current prices and read customer reviews.
Why Should I Use Sun Shades in My Car for My Baby?
Some of the benefits of sun shades might seem pretty obvious, but others aren’t so intuitive.
So, let’s run through what you need to know about.
Lower Temperature in Your Car
Nobody wants to be stuck in a hot, stuffy car – and using sunshades on the back windows can help keep the temperature a little lower in the car as a whole.
On sunny days, you might well want to keep the sunshades in place even if it’s just you in the car or when it’s parked and empty.
Protect Baby’s Eyes from Sun Glare
The main reason that parents buy sun shades is to protect their child’s eyes from the sun’s glare.
You likely know how unpleasant it is to have the sun shining into your eyes, and you may well have had your baby or toddler upset in the car due to this very reason.
Help Keep the Sun off Your Baby’s Skin
Most car window shades have UVA projection, which means they help to keep harmful rays from your little one’s skin.
This is very important even if the inside of your car isn’t especially hot and even if the sun isn’t shining right in your child’s eyes.
Stop People Seeing into Your Vehicle
With sun shades on the rear windows, other people can’t so easily see into your vehicle.
This could be a big benefit to you if you’re concerned about theft.
Or, you might simply prefer to know that no one can take a nosy look in and see the number of snack wrappers on the floor of your car (we’ve all been there).
Protect Your Car’s Upholstery
Let’s face it, if you’ve got kids, you might very well have lowered your standards – a lot – when it comes to how fresh your car looks.
But if you’d like to keep it in reasonable condition for a little bit longer, sun shades are a great way to help prevent the upholstery from fading so fast.
When Should I Buy Car Window Sun Shades?
You can start using sunshades on your rear windows at any time.
In fact, the sooner you get this setup, the better. This is one of those purchases you’ll probably want to make before your baby comes along, and not after you’ve had them cruise around with you in their car seat a few times.
Obviously, if you haven’t already bought sun shades, it’s not too late! The sooner you get this out of the way, the safer your little one will be.
Even if you have school-age children, shades are still a great idea. It’s not like kids will ever outgrow car window sun shades or not need them anymore.
What Different Types of Car Window Shades Can I Choose From?
There are several types of car window sun shades for babies you can opt for, and you’ll want to pick something that works equally well for your budget, your car, and your kids.
The main choices you’ll come across are:
Suction Cup Window Shades
These tend to be the least expensive and simplest type of car window shades. They simply fix to the window using rubber suction cups.
Some types fold out or pop into shape, which might be handy if you want to store them when they’re not in use. They’re normally rectangular, with rounded corners.
This type of sun shade often comes decorated with cute characters, so they could be a big hit with your child if you choose something they like – or involve them in the purchase and let them choose something they like.
They can easily be re-positioned or moved between windows if necessary.
The main drawback to suction cup sun shades is that the suction doesn’t always work as well as you’d hope. Flimsy, cheap shades with small suction cups could easily fall off your window mid-drive – which isn’t only annoying, but potentially dangerous if you stop suddenly and the loose shade ricochets around the car.
If you have a particularly inquisitive child, you might also want to avoid this type of shade altogether, as your little one could potentially pull it from the window. A loose suction cup could then easily become a choking hazard if your child pops it in their mouth, and we all know how curious young children can be …
Pull Down Window Shades
This type of window shade normally hooks on the top of the window (which you then close to hold it in place) and pulls down with a cord, just like a regular window blind.
Some models are a bit different, though, and suction to the window at the top rather than hooking on.
If you’re likely to want to put the shades up and down a lot, or if you have an older child who likes to adjust the shade themselves, then pull down sun shades can be a good option.
One thing to note is that these are heavier and bulkier than other types of shades, as they have a hollow bar at the top that the shade rolls up into, making them potentially dangerous in the event of a crash.
Static Cling Window Shades
These shades look a little like suction cup shades, but they’re not the same. They don’t have the suction cups, and they’re made from different material.
As you might guess from the name, they use “static cling” to attach to your car’s windows. This might sound a bit like magic, but it’s not. It’s basically the same force that sometimes sticks your clothes together when they’re in the dryer.
A big advantage to these car window shades is that they don’t have any additional parts, such as suction cups, that could come off and pose a potential hazard to your child.
They’re also light and thin, meaning that even if they do detach from your window, they’re unlikely to hurt anyone or anything in your car in the event of a crash.
They tend to contain PVC, though, so if you’re avoiding that, you’ll want to opt for a different type of window shade instead or try to find one that doesn’t contain PVC.
Also, while some parents find that the static cling works brilliantly and holds the shade in place with no problems, others find that they sometimes struggle to get these types of shades to stick.
Semi-Permanent Window Shades
There are various types of semi-permanent shades out there that you can choose from, ones that you fix once and leave in place for weeks or months at a time.
They work in a couple of different ways – some stretch around the windows, while others are a tinted film that’s applied to the inside of the window and which will need to be removed by a professional.
With semi-permanent solutions, you can still open and close your car’s windows as normal. This could be a big advantage if you want to be able to open the windows mid-ride to let in a breeze when the sun isn’t directly on your children.
Also, and because they’re fixed to your car, semi-permanent shades or films won’t come loose and can’t be removed by your child, potentially making them one of the safest choices of window shade.
Even better, tinted windows will help keep your car cool in the summer, and they’ll help prevent heat escaping from the car in the winter.
If you opt for a semi-permanent solution, you’ll want to get it installed by a professional, as the film or shade will need to be custom-fitted to your car’s windows.
This means it’s not exactly a cheap option – and the most effective types of film also tend to be the most expensive – but it’s safe and secure and may be a great choice if you use your car a lot.
Built-in Window Shades
Finally, some car models (including inexpensive family-oriented ones) come with the option of having built-in sunshades.
These are obviously super-convenient, but unless you’re in the market for a new car anyway, getting a whole new vehicle just for this benefit clearly isn’t the right choice to make!
What Should I Look For In Car Window Sun Shades For Babies?
Whatever type of car window shade you end up choosing, you’ll want to make sure it meets the following criteria.
Fits Your Car’s Windows
This might sound obvious, but take some time beforehand to make sure that the window shade you choose will actually fit your car.
Some modern cars have particularly small or slanted rear windows; minivans, obviously, have larger windows.
Measure your car’s windows and make sure that the sun shades you’re buying are going to work well. You want them to cover most of the window’s area, without being so large that you can’t actually fit them on the window completely.
Can Be Fixed or Operated Easily
Whatever type of sun shade you go for, you’ll want something that’s easy to fix or operate whenever the need arises.
If you’re opting for a semi-permanent solution, you might be more willing to take your time installing it or moving it between vehicles, as you’ll likely to be keeping it in place for a long time at once.
With suction cup blinds, you’ll want ones that are easy to stick in place. This probably means going for large suction cups rather than tiny fiddly ones.
With pull-down shades, you’ll want them to be easy to hook or fix to your windows and easy to pull down and up once they’re in place.
This is one of those areas where it definitely pays to ask other parents about their experiences or to read reviews from people who’ve tried out the sun shade you’re considering purchasing.
Manufacturers are often quick to claim that their sun shade is fast and easy to use, but parents’ views might differ!
Stays Put Once in Place
Imagine this: you’re driving along on a sunny day, and your baby’s sun shade pops off the window.
The sun is immediately in their eyes and all over their skin, and it’s impossible for you to do anything about it now until you reach somewhere you can safely stop. The bad news? Your next safe stop destination is at least 5 minutes away.
Not exactly a situation you’ll want to be in!
Some car window sun shades are better than others at actually staying put. Make sure you’re choosing a blind that, once fixed to the window, won’t come off until you want it to come off.
While the glass of car windows blocks UVB (short-wavelength UV rays), it doesn’t protect against UVA (long-wavelength UV rays). This means that it’s essential to choose a car window shade that blocks harmful UVA rays as well, so they can’t reach your child’s skin.
While many sun shades do offer UVA protection, not all of them do. Some simply block the light of the sun and stop there. So, make sure you read the manufacturer’s details carefully before making a purchase.
Ideally, opt for a shade that tells you the percentage of UVA rays it blocks. Some can block 97% or more, while others not as much. Look for one that blocks at least 90% of UVA rays – if it’s anything less than that, don’t buy it.
What to Avoid When Choosing a Car Window Shade
There are a few potential problems or dangers to watch out for when you’re selecting a window shade to use in your car, especially one you plan to get for your baby or toddler’s sake.
Any Potential Choking Hazards
Suction cup sun shades can pose a choking hazard if your child gets hold of them and removes the cups.
So, if you go for this type of shade, choose one that has large suction cups, and that doesn’t come off the window too easily.
Other types of window shades could also potentially be hazardous if your child breaks or tears them, so do your research and read reviews carefully to see if other parents have mentioned facing any problems along these lines.
For instance, if parents say that the plastic edging has broken away from their sun shade, then that particular model is probably best avoided.
Some parents have stronger feelings on this than others, but if it’s especially important for you to avoid PVC or other potentially harmful chemicals, then you’ll want to take a careful look at what any given model of sun shade is made from.
Those that adhere to your car’s windows with static cling, in particular, tend to contain PVC.
It’s not always easy to find out exactly what a car window shade is made from, so it’s definitely worth taking the time to read the small print before you make a purchase.
You may potentially need to contact the manufacturer to ask, in case their website or product packaging doesn’t make this clear for you to figure out what’s what.
Could be Dangerous in a Collision
Any loose object in your car can become a dangerous projectile in the event of a collision, and a sun shade is no exception.
Even a sun shade that normally stays put without any problems could potentially be knocked free by the force of a collision, so it’s worth opting for a shade that’s as light as possible.
Most suction cup and static cling window shades are unlikely to do any significant damage, but a pull-down shade that retracts into a thin tube could do serious damage if it flies into someone’s face, or into a window, at high speed.
Obviously enough, all of this puts your little one’s safety and well being at huge risk if something like this were to happen – and that’s an injury risk you don’t want to take.
Best Car Window Sun Shades for Babies – a More Detailed Look at Our Top 7 Recommendations
Enovoe Car Window Shade
This static cling window shade has a special dual-layer design, with a mesh side that provides protection from the sun (while maintaining visibility) and a static cling back that means it can easily stick to the window without any suction cups.
It’s a simple, straightforward design that looks good and protects your baby from over 97% of harmful UV rays.
At 21” by 14”, it’ll fit most cars (including SUVs and mini-vans as well as regular cars) and it’s super-easy to install. To do so, all you have to do is just pop it on your window and run your hand across it.
When you’re not using it, you can pop it in the storage pouch (which is included), and just twist and fold.
These sun shades won’t fall off if you forget they’re in place and were to roll your window down a bit, though you can’t put your window down the whole way with keeping one in place.
- Blocks over 97% of UV light.
- Can easily see through the mesh of the shade (e.g. to check blind spots).
- Stays on window even in very hot weather.
- Easy to take on and off whenever you want.
- Doesn’t leave any sticky residue on your windows (as it works purely by static).
- The static cling may not work very well in cold weather.
- It’s not exactly clear whether the shades protect against both UVA and UVB light.
Uarter Universal Car Window Sun Shade
These car window shades (supplied in a pack of two) fit on the outside of your rear windows, which means you can still roll your windows fully down with them in place.
They’re quick and easy to install as well, and there are no suction cups or adhesives. You can take them off easily whenever the need arises, too.
Even though they’re sturdy, they’re also quite flexible.
These sun shades will fully cover your rear windows – protecting your little one, but also keeping your car as cool as possible on hot days.
They’re available in two sizes–medium and large–so you can get whichever is going to be the best fit for your vehicle and your baby’s needs.
As long as you fit them snugly to your windows, you should find that they make very little noise (even at high speeds), which means there isn’t much there to annoy (or startle) your little one.
- You can open your windows fully with the shade in place.
- Easy to take on and off – they don’t have suction cups or any adhesive.
- They cover the whole of the back windows, so should help keep your car nice and cool.
- Available in two different sizes, so you can pick whichever is closest to your car window size.
- Children can’t touch or pull at the blind while the window is up, seeing that it’s on the outside.
- They block more light than traditional shades, which means it might be harder to check blind spots.
Brica White Hot Sun Safety Car Shades
These car window shades, which come as a two pack, can attach in two different ways.
You can use the adjustable clips to fix them to the top of your window or the suction cups to stick them straight onto it. You can even use both methods for a super-secure car shade, if you find the need to!
The one-push button lets you easily retract the shades when the sun’s not out. With that being said, the mesh is designed to allow as much visibility as possible, so you might decide to simply leave them in place.
These sun shades protect against both UVA and UVB rays, unlike many other car window sun shades out there that aren’t quite clear on whether or not they protect your little one from UVB rays as well.
They’re 15” x 19”, meaning they should fit on virtually any window, even if you have quite a small car.
One unusual bonus is that these shades each have a special “too hot” indicator that’ll glow if your car is too hot for your child’s safety.
This can be a very handy safety feature, or a reassuring way to tell that even though your car feels warm to you at the time, it’s still safe for your little one.
- Two different ways to fix the shade so you can choose whichever works best for you and your car.
- The “white hot” indicator provides crucial peace of mind.
- They don’t fall off easily, and if you feel the suction cups aren’t strong enough, you can hook the shades over the windows instead.
- Sturdy and well made, so you can rest assured that this is a high-quality product.
- If you’re using the suction cups, your child might grab and pull the sun shade off the window. This is something to keep in mind for extra trouble makers.
- Heavier than some shades, which means it might become dangerous in the event of a collision.
Safety 1st Baby On Board Sunshade
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly baby car window sun shade for occasional use, this is a great option to have a look at.
Like many others, they come as a two pack. They stick to your car windows using static cling, so they’re quick and easy to pop in place and to remove again, without marking your windows in any way.
They’re a good size (13.5” by 21”) so they should cover the whole of your back windows quite easily. You can also cut them to fit if you wanted to. So, if you have oddly shaped windows, that shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
If you manage to get them fitted very smoothly against your windows, you should find that you can still open them with the shades in place.
If you find that you get wrinkles or bubbles when you use these car window shades, you can simply smooth those out with a credit card or spatula – or, if you’re not too bothered about them being completely flat, just smooth them with your hand.
- These come off easily and cleanly, making them a great option for rental cars.
- You can cut them to fit the exact shape of your windows.
- As they use static cling, these shades are very light and easy to remove.
- Budget-friendly option, which makes it an ideal option if you’re looking for something to use only occasionally.
- You may get creases and bubbles when fitting the shade, even though you can easily smooth these out with a credit card.
- You might find they’re a bit hard to see out of at times, when checking blind spots, etc ..
ShadeSox Universal Fit Car Window Sun Shade
Just like the Uarter shade which we’ve discussed in this list, these car window shades–which come as a pack of two–fit on the outside of your rear windows.
They’ll work for almost every car – the nylon that they’re made from is stretchy and flexible, and very durable even during cold, wet weather.
Because this sun shade is on the outside of the car, you can still roll down the windows and let in the breeze. It’ll also help protect your car door, and it’ll keep the inside of your car cooler on hot days for both you and your little one.
These shades will reduce visibility a bit (as will most shades), but they’re still pretty easy to see through.
You can take them on and off easily, and they come with a travel bag you can pop them in while they’re not in use.
They’re lightweight and don’t take up much space at all, so they’re easy to store in your car when you’re not using them.
- Easy to fit (and to remove); very unlikely to damage your windows or paintwork.
- Works for most car sizes.
- Blocks the sun from the whole window and keeps the car cool.
- You may find it hard to fit it smoothly without wrinkles.
INFANZIA Car Sun Shade for Baby
These sun shades come in three different cute designs, making them much more attractive to your baby than traditional car window shades.
You can choose from an elephant, a cat, or rabbits – all of which are surely going to give your little one enough entertainment. (Note that they’re supplied as a two pack and you’ll get two identical designs.)
Despite being more budget-friendly than some other options out there, these window shades have been safety tested and have a UPF factor of 50+, meaning they’re a great option for ensuring that as many harmful UV rays as possible are blocked from your little one during journeys (over 98%).
They’ll also do a fairly reasonable job of helping keep your car cool.
They’re quite a good size for most cars, so unless you have particularly large windows, you should find that these work well to block most of the sun and keep it away from your little ones.
They fit with static cling, so you don’t need to clip them on or try to get suction cups to stick.
- Cute design is very likely to appeal to your little one (even when the sun isn’t out!).
- Very lightweight and easy to fold and store when not in use.
- Budget-friendly option that’s easy to fit/remove – ideal for rentals or occasional use.
- Offers strong UV protection against harmful rays.
- Doesn’t cover your whole window like some other options.
- You might find that it reduces visibility at times, which means you may struggle to check blind spots with these in place.
IC ICLOVER Car Sun Shade
Unlike the other sun shades on this list, this one covers the rear window rather than the rear side windows. So, if your baby sits rear-facing, this could be just what you need.
It’s easy to put on and take off, so you can remove it on cloudy days or for night-time driving without much problems.
It sticks using suction cups, and the manufacturer recommends popping these in boiling water for 60 seconds to soften them a little before use. This should help make the suction much stronger, and should mean that your shade stays securely in place.
The suction cups have little “ears” that you can lift slightly to break the suction and make the shade easy to remove.
It should fit most car rear windows that measure 40” by 20” at the widest points. You can see through it just fine, even though it might reduce visibility just a little bit.
- Covers almost all of your rear window, so is an ideal option for shading rear-facing babies.
- Suctions on and off to the window, which you may find less fiddly than static cling.
- If the suction cups aren’t sticking well, you can improve the suction by briefly soaking them in boiling water.
- Will help keep your car much cooler on hot days.
- Some people might feel like it has a strong smell at first, so you might want to leave it to air after removing it from the packaging.
- Suction cups aren’t especially strong, and you may not want to go to the effort of soaking them in boiling water.
How Many Car Window Shades Should I Buy?
You’ll likely want at least two car window shades, not less. You’ll need at least one for each side of your car.
Even if you only have one child who always sits in the same position, the second shade will help keep the car temperature down and protect your upholstery.
Plus, early or late in the day, it’s quite possible that the sun could be at a specific angle to reach your child even through the opposite rear window.
If your child is going to be regularly transported in different cars at different times, you may find that it’s easiest to buy window shades for each car instead of having to constantly switch the shades around between different vehicles (and risk forgetting them). That’s a huge time drain no one wants to be involved in!
If you only occasionally use a different car, such as a hire vehicle, then it might be better for you to move the shades back and forth only a few times.
Remember that car sun shades aren’t necessarily going to last forever, and you’ll almost certainly need to replace them at some point during your little one’s childhood. If your shade is showing any signs of damage, replace it with a new one immediately – your little one’s safety and well-being depends on it!
Wrapping it Up
You want your baby to be as comfortable and safe as possible in the car, and that doesn’t just mean choosing the right car seat and driving carefully, it also means ensuring that they’re protected from the harmful rays of the sun.
By using appropriate sun shades for your car and for your little one’s needs, you’ll be able to enjoy lots of happy journeys together – without the sun getting in their eyes, making them too hot, or doing any damage to their delicate skin.
You’ll likely find your car stays at a more comfortable temperature, too, and that your upholstery doesn’t fade nearly so fast. Win-win!
Sun shades are generally inexpensive and easy to fit, too, so if you don’t already have them or if yours aren’t very effective, get some good ones in place today.
Oh, and happy driving!
Product photos: © Amazon.com
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