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10 best car sunshades for babies and children, as recommended by parents

A quality car window shade is a must-have when travelling with babies or young children. Here at Mumsnet, we’ve carried out extensive research to bring you our top car sunshades to buy when you hit the road with your kids.

By Laura Cooke | Last updated Aug 2, 2023

child in car seat with car sunshade in the window

Car seat? Check. Changing bag? Check. But what about a car sunshade for road trips with your children this summer? Tinted windows don’t offer complete protection from the sun’s UV rays, so a sunshade that covers your back window (or windows) should be high on your road trip checklist.

They’re designed to protect your baby’s delicate skin from sunburn and sun damage, protect their eyes and keep the temperature in your car at a comfortable level. With a bit of luck, a comfortable baby will mean a sleeping baby, making for a much more peaceful car journey all round.

The truth about UV rays

With all the cloud cover in the UK, you may be wondering if a car sunshade for your little one is necessary. Well, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, glass blocks UVB rays relatively well but doesn’t block the UVA rays that penetrate through the clouds and can accelerate skin ageing, causing skin damage and skin cancer.

While some windshields are treated to protect drivers from UV rays, most side and back windows aren’t, so it’s worth investing in some extra sun protection for your children, especially on longer car journeys.

Are car window shades safe for your baby?

Car window shades or sunshades are perfectly safe for babies. Just make sure the blinds are securely attached to the window and that your baby can’t pull them off.

You’ll still need to apply sunscreen to your little one’s skin when travelling in a car, unless the sunshade provides full coverage. Some shades are more opaque than others. As the driver, you should make sure you have sufficient visibility before setting off on your journey.

When choosing the best car sunshade for your baby, there are many factors to consider from the type and size of the sunshade to the material used (is it lightweight and breathable or dark and thick?) as well as how much sun protection it offers all year round.

To help narrow down your search and choose the right sunshade for your baby, we’ve compiled a detailed guide with recommendations from real parents. Here are the best car sunshades available to buy in the UK right now.

If you need to stock up on other baby gear, we've got handy guides to the best pushchairs, the best lightweight strollers, the best travel systems, the best running buggies, the best baby car seats, the best toddler car seats, the best car seats for older children, the best 360 car seats and the best baby carriers.

Best car sunshades for babies at a glance

1. Best overall car sunshade: JellyBabaBaby Car Window Shades

jellybabababy car sunshade

Price: RRP £16 | Latest deals from Amazon

Key specs

Size: 40 x 33 x 33cm | Number in pack: 2

What we love

  • Easy to install

  • Durable

  • Can still roll windows down

  • Made of rain-resistant material

What to know

  • Quality may suffer if shade is kept on between use

  • Not suitable for a minivan with large windows

  • Not suitable for a luxury sedan with long windows

What Mumsnet users say

“We like the the full window socks, made from material. We only put them on for sunny days and take them off when parking to stop them getting wet but they are great because they completely cover the window and you can even have the glass open if you like” - recommended by Mumsnet user, FizzingWhizzbee123

Our verdict

If you’re looking for complete shade and protection from the sun’s glare when you’re in the car with your child, the JellyBabaBaby Car Window Shades won’t disappoint. The fabric shade stretches to fit over the top of car doors, covering the window on both sides, with no fiddly suction cups to contend with. The shade then stays firmly in place and can’t be pulled off the window by curious little hands.

The beauty of the breathable mesh is that it’s made with double layer nylon to offer maximum protection, but the window can still be wound down with the shade in place, allowing a fresh breeze in to keep your baby nice and cool. All while keeping out harmful UV rays, insects and rain.

Take note though that you may want to take the shades off the windows in between each use to prolong their lifespan.

Read next: The best baby car seats

Latest deals from trusted retailers

2. Best budget car sunshade: Halfords Pop-Up Sunshades

two halfords pop-up car sunshades

Price: £4 | Latest deals from Halfords

Key specs

Size: 44cm x 38cm | Number in pack: 2

What we love

  • Affordable

  • Good quality

  • Easy to install

What to know

  • Doesn’t block out light completely

  • Basic in design

Our verdict

If you’re looking for a basic, no-frills sunshade that provides great value for money, then you can do no better than the Halfords Pop-Up Sunshades.

The shades are easy to install with suction cups; they stay fixed in place and reduce the amount of sunlight that enters the car, keeping little passenger nice and cool, and protecting them from harmful UV rays. All for less than a fiver. The only downside? While these sunshades do offer a good level of UV protection, they’re not large enough to cover the full window and don’t regulate the temperature inside the car as well as some of the other sunshades on our list.

Read next: The best toddler car seats

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3. Best electrostatic car sunshade: astarye Solar Protection Car Sunshades

two astarye car sunshades

Price: RRP £8 | Latest deals from Amazon

Key specs

Size: ‎15.6 x 15.4 x 3.8cm | Number in pack: 2

What we love

  • Affordable

  • Easy to install

  • Sturdy on the window

  • Comes with a carry bag

  • Covers a large portion of the window

What to know

  • Could be darker

  • Older kids can pull the shades off easily

Our verdict

The cheery animal characters on the astarye Solar Protection Car Sunshades are the perfect companions for long car journeys. While they’re not super dark, they do a good job of protecting babies and children from harmful UV rays and sunburn.

To install each shade, just wipe the window with a wet cloth, put the static cling side on the window and firmly press it against the glass. And that’s it. Just make sure you’ve put it on the right way round.

The shades also fold up small and come with a convenient bag to take on your holidays.

Read next: The best car seats and booster seats for children

Latest deals from trusted retailers

4. Best full protection car sunshade: DIZA100 Car Window Shade

diza100 car sunshade

Price: RRP £16 | Latest deals from Amazon

Key specs

Size: 23.1 x 18.6 x 3.5cm | Number in pack: 2

What we love

  • Good quality

  • Easy to install

  • Made from breathable mesh

  • Flexible and stretchable fabric

  • Machine washable

What to know

  • Not suitable for a minivan with large windows

  • Not suitable for a luxury sedan with long windows

  • Can ruffle and clump in wet weather

What Mumsnet users say

“I have the shades that go over the window part of the door like a sock and would highly recommend them, much less faff, don't fall off and better coverage than suction shades” - recommended by Mumsnet user, Poppins2016

Our verdict

Made from high-quality breathable mesh, the DIZA100 Car Window Shade is a dream to install. Just pull the window sock down over the top of the car door and a self-adhesive will make sure it stays put.

The shade cuts out harmful UV rays, sun glare and reduces heat, but you can still see out and roll the window down to let the fresh air in. Just be careful when it rains or if leaving it up overnight as it can cause the material to bunch and cling.

Read next: Mumsnet's guide to the best pushchairs

Latest deals from trusted retailers

5. Best UV-resistant car sunshade: Kinder Fluff Window Sunshade for Baby

kinder fluff car sunshade

Price: RRP £26 | Latest deals from Amazon

Key specs

Size: 50.8 x 0.3 x 30.5cm | Number in pack: 4

What we love

  • Offers excellent UV protection

  • Good value for money

  • Two different shade options

  • Easy to install and remove

  • Good for larger windows

What to know

  • Darker shade can limit visibility - always check before driving off

  • Can’t open window with shade

What Mumsnet users say

“We had a screamer too. A few things that helped...blackout window shades and white noise so the baby would go to sleep more easily” - recommended by Mumsnet user, ShirleyPhallus

Our verdict

Although this car sunshade is a little pricier than some of its competitors, the adorably-named Kinder Fluff offers excellent UV protection and comes with two different shade options - semi-transparent and transparent.

The semi-transparent option provides over 99 percent protection against both UVA and UVB rays, while boasting an SPF of 100, so there’s no chance of little ones feeling the heat in the back seat. The transparent shades still offer UVA protection, but with improved visibility.

Kinder Fluff shades can be attached using a static film and are designed so that they can be overlapped on larger windows. They also come with a handy travel pouch and can be folded away neatly for storage. Overall, we think this set is good value for money, especially since you get four in a pack.

Read next: The best lightweight strollers, as tested by parents

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6. Best roller car sunshade: Halfords Balloon Roller Sunshades

halfords balloon roller sunshade

Price: RRP £9 | Latest deals from Halfords

Key specs

Size: 145cm x 70cm | Number in pack: 2

What we love

  • Good quality

  • Easy to install

  • Fun and colourful design that babies will love

  • Can be rolled up and left in place

What to know

  • Blinds are narrow and not too long, so can let sun in around the sides

Our verdict

If you’re looking for a car sunshade that will keep the sun and glare off your baby and can be conveniently stored when not in use, then the Halfords Roller Sunshades are a good choice.

These pretty blinds work in most cars and are easy to install as they’re designed with two suction cups at the top and one at the bottom, which stick well to the window. Plus, they can be rolled up at the touch of a simple release button. This means that the blinds can be left in place, ready to be pulled down to use again, so there’s no chance of you not being able to find them when you need them most.

Read next: The best travel systems to buy

Latest deals from trusted retailers

7. Best car sunshade with heat alert system: Brica by Munchkin Car Window Sunshades

two brica by munchkin car sunshades

Price: RRP £15 | Latest deals from Amazon

Key specs

Size: 3.8 x 14 x 50.5cm | Number in pack: 2

What we love

  • Blocks glare, not view

  • Dual attachment system

  • Heat indicator button

  • Has an easy push retractor button to roll up the blinds

What to know

  • Doesn’t provide full coverage for larger windows

  • May be a bit small - lengthwise

Our verdict

Little ones can be at risk of getting too hot on even the shortest of car journeys, but the Brica Car Window Sunshade by Munchkin features an innovative White Hot heat alert system. This means that a handy button will turn white when your vehicle gets too hot for tiny passengers or pets.

The Brica can be fitted to the window via adjustable clips or suction cups, depending on your preference. And once up, they stay firmly in place. Just touch the button to roll up this retractable sunshade for convenient storage.

Read next: The best 360 swivel car seats, as rated by Mumsnet users

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8. Best mesh car sunshade: Caramaz Turtle Adhesive Car Window Shade

caramaz turtle car sunshades

Price: RRP £10 | Latest deals from Amazon

Key specs

Size: 51 x 31cm | Number in pack: 2

What we love

  • Available in several designs, including turtle, unicorn and monster

  • Comes with handy storage bag

  • Offers very high UV protection

What to know

  • Too long to fit some windows on some car models

  • Some say it’s not wide enough

Our verdict

This cheerful turtle sunshade is a great addition to any vehicle, keeping your baby company while offering sun protection on car journeys - both long and short. The Caramaz Turtle Car Window Shade is a generous size and provides an effective shield against UV rays. For a sun blocker effect, you may wish to opt for the extra dark version of the mesh, which is nice and thick, but breathable too.

The shade also attaches via static adhesive, so there are no fiddly suction cups to contend with.

Read next: The best beach tents for summer 2023

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9. Best adjustable car sunshade: Dreambaby Adjusta Stretch-to-Fit Car Window Shade

dreambaby-adjusta car sunshade

Price: RRP £9 | Latest deals from Very

Key specs

Size: Stretches to 45.72 x 69.85cm | Number in pack: 1

What we love

  • Good quality fabric

  • Easy to fold up for storage

  • Simple to install

  • Can be adjusted to fit different window sizes

  • Suitable for stationary and roll down windows

  • Comes off easily without marking the windows

What to know

  • Expensive for one blind

  • May not stretch to the maximum size advertised

Our verdict

If you’re struggling to find a suitable sized sunshade for your car, then the Dreambaby Adjusta-Car Shade may be the solution.

The sunshade can be stretched to fit almost any size window, with strong suction cups to keep it in place, and the easy-to-release tab allows this shade to be taken down quickly when not in use.

We like that the Dreambaby blocks out glare but not the view, and protects babies from UV rays and heat, which is essential to prevent heatstroke and dehydration.

Read next: The best baby carriers, as tested by parents

Latest deals from trusted retailers

10. Best temperature control car sunshade: WIN.MAX Car Sunshades

win.max car sunshades

Price: RRP £10 | Latest deals from Amazon

Key specs

Size: 51 x 31 x 31cm | Number in pack: 2

What we love

  • Simple, modern design

  • Extra black film layer offers 98 percent protection from UV rays

  • Easy to install

  • Comes with handy storage bag

What to know

  • Plain to look at

  • Can be pulled off by older children

  • May be tricky to put back in the bag

Our verdict

Practical, and simple to install and store, there’s plenty of great features that come with the WIN.MAX Car Sunshade.

This self-adhesive sunshade relies on static to affix to the window and effectively blocks out UV rays with a UPF rating of 55+, meaning it offers excellent protection against both UVA and UVB rays. The nylon mesh is also great at keeping the temperature down in the back of the car and making the journey much more comfortable for babies and young children.

Another bonus is that this car sunshade is a universal size of 51cm x 31cm, suitable for pick-ups, hatchbacks, SUVs and minivans.

Read next: The best baby carrier backpacks to buy

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Do you need a car sunshade for your baby?

The top reason for purchasing a car sunshade is to protect your baby from harmful UVA rays which can cause sunburn and damage to the skin, as well as dehydration and heatstroke, according to the NHS.

Windows in the back of a car don’t usually provide any protection against these rays, so it’s vital that you find a quality sunshade to protect your small passenger. Protective sunshades also help to bring down the temperature of the car, lowering the risk of your baby overheating, which can happen quickly.

Tinted car windows may be an alternative to keeping the temperature cool inside the car, but a tinted side window doesn’t provide protection from all UV rays. So even if you do have tinted windows, adding car sunshades or roller blinds for the windows will help to provide even greater protection for your baby’s delicate skin.

Read next: 8 tips for keeping your family safe on the road

How many car sunshades do you need?

If you have a bigger family or often drive with pets and passengers, it’s definitely worth considering buying two or more window shades for your car. Many of the car sunshades on our list come in packs of two. If you’re planning on parking in the same spot for hours, it might also be worth getting a car windscreen sun shade like the EcoNour Car Windshield Sun Shade. This will help to keep the car cooler, whilst protecting the dashboard and steering wheel from sun damage.

Read next: UK car seat regulations explained

How to choose a car sunshade for your baby

There are many different types of car sunshades to choose from, including blinds that stick onto the windows with suction cups, to roll-down blinds and window socks which offer full coverage.

Before purchasing a car sunshade, it’s a good idea to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Protection: Possibly the most important question you need to ask yourself before deciding on a sunshade is, will it protect my child against the sun’s harmful UV rays? The good news is that all of the car sunshades on our list offer a good amount of protection from the sun.

  • Size: Will this car sunshade fit my car? Some sunshades are unsuitable for larger windows. Others can be overlapped or stretched to fit. Check the measurements before buying.

  • Installation: Is this sunshade easy to install/remove? Sunshades can be installed in various ways. Some use suction cups, while others rely on static to stick on to the window. You should consider whether you want to keep the blinds up all the time or remove them after each use.

  • Storage: Is the sunshade easy to fold up and store? If you’re planning on removing the sunshades regularly, think about whether they’re easy to store. For instance, some blinds fold down easily and some come with a handy storage bag. Others may not fold down, meaning they’ll take up more storage space. If you plan to use them intermittently, then a roller blind like the Halfords balloon roller sunshade may be a good option as this can stay on the window but be wound up after use.

  • Pack size: How many sunshades come in the pack? Most car sunshades come in pairs of two, but sometimes they’re only available individually. Check the number in the pack before buying to ensure you have enough and that you are getting the best value for money.

How do you use sunshades in a car?

This depends on the type that you buy. Some car sunshades like the JellyBabaBaby Car Window Shades stretch to fit over the tops of car doors, while others are applied using suction cups or static cling material that attaches easily to a clean window. Of course there’s also the roller-blind style like the Halfords Balloon Roller sunshade that can roll up or down a window or adjustable sun shades like the Dreambaby Adjusta-Car Shade that can be stretched and moved to fit different-sized front or rear windows.

It’s always a good idea to measure your car windows and select appropriate sunshades that’ll fit and offer the maximum sun protection.

What is the best car sunshade for babies?

After researching a variety of different car sunshades and reading many real, honest reviews, we believe that the best sunshade for a car is the JellyBabaBaby Car Window Shade. Easy to install, these stretchy shades will cover your whole window with ease, but allow for opening to let in a welcome breeze, while keeping harmful UV rays out. Therefore, they offer multiple benefits at a good price point, which makes them a good choice, overall.

How we chose our recommendations

Recommendations from real parents

First, we scoured the Mumsnet forums to find out which car sunshades for babies our users rated highly and which ones they weren’t impressed by. We rely heavily on the tried-and-tested recommendations from approximately 7 million parents in our Mumsnet community each month. That’s a lot of honest, impartial advice.

Expert advice 

It’s important to us to ensure that our information represents the latest recommendations from experts, and we research each product thoroughly to make certain that it lives up to its claims.

For this review, we consulted experts such as the Automobile Association (AA) and took note of what they recommended in terms of sun safety whilst in the car, plus we evaluated the Skin Cancer Foundation’s guidelines for limiting sun exposure, which included advice on the best type of UV shields for better protection in the car.

Consumer feedback 

After collating all that information, we trawled the Internet and left no stone unturned to find plenty of other online reviews to determine which car shades for babies had received the best recommendations, taking special note of the material used, price point, versatility, ease of use and installation, and durability.

Celebrated best products 

Finally, we cross-referenced all of the above information to find the best car sunshades that had received the best reviews and recommendations across the wider web to bring you a selection of the best ones at various price points. We think there’s something here for every family and type of car.

About the author

Laura Cooke spent nearly 19 years writing for local newspapers before going into freelance journalism. She has written for a range of publications including the i Newspaper, Business Insider and Stylist, and has researched and written a large number of baby product round-ups for Mumsnet - from the best baby thermometers to the best outdoor toys. Laura lives with her husband and two young daughters in the south of England.

Main image credit: Caramaz

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