Best Retractable Awnings in 2021: Buying Guide

Most people are unaware of just how useful retractable awnings are. And, most people are also unaware of what to look for in a good set of retractable awnings, and how they should go about buying them.

In this buying guide, we’re going to be solving both of those problems, while also giving you a greater understanding of what retractable awnings are, what you can use them for, and what to consider and think about, when searching for the best retractable awnings.

If you go online and look up “retractable awnings” you will find that there are many different options available to you. This can be a bit overwhelming because each one of them talks about certain features and attributes, many of which are a bit different from the others that are being offered. Naturally, this can lead to some confusion, as well as a further lack of confusion over the individual traits and aspects of retractable awnings.

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Here’s the thing about retractable awnings, while they are simple, there are a wide variety of different elements that inform these particular devices, and this, in of itself, can make the entire buying process quite difficult. We’re going to look at some of those features, but not all of them, because there are simply too many elements and individual features to look at.

We’re going to be focusing on the main features of retractable awnings, as well as giving you a good definition of what they are, and then the distinct benefits and advantages that they can give you. From that information, we will then dive into the different elements and features to look for in good retractable awnings.

What Are Retractable Awnings?

Let’s define what an “awning” is, first, because that will give you a better idea of what retractable awnings are.

So, awnings are a type of covering that is attached to the external wall of a house or a restaurant, or any other type of building. Many people call them “overhangs”, and that is because they overhang over things like windows and doorways, as well as sidewalks and other spaces, and the overhang itself is composed of some type of fabric or cloth. This fabric/cloth is usually painted in a plain color, or with little stripes, and other types of decorative designs.

You’ll see awnings everywhere, and they are very common, for reasons that we’ll dive into in the next section of this guide.

Now, the word “retractable” refers to something that can be “drawn back in”, and that is what a retractable awning is. Many awnings must remain dormant, and you can’t retract them, you can only remove them by getting on a ladder and pulling them down. But, with a retractable awning, you can draw the awning back in, allowing it to fold in on itself so that it is no longer hanging over that particular spot.

So, essentially, a retractable awning is a type of awning, also known as an “overpass”, and this particular type of awning can retract and pulled back in so that it is no longer hanging over the space it was set up at.

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Retractable Awning?

Retractable awnings come with many benefits. Many of these benefits aren’t exclusive to retractable awnings, and are applicable to regular awnings, as well. However, many of these benefits are exclusive to retractable awnings, though.

With a regular awning and a retractable awning, you can block the elements from a certain space. This space may be the steps that lead to the door that serves as an entrance into your home. With this awning, you have a couple of key benefits.

If it is raining, the steps won’t get wet becoming slippery. Water won’t fly into your home since the awning prevents that. Along with that, if it’s sunny and hot out, the awning serves as a place where you can receive some shade, and it ensures that the stairs won’t become extremely hot and that the interior of your home isn’t having the sun directly shone into it.

That is a general example of what a regular awning can do, but if you are using a regular awning in that particular example, then you are unable to retract the awning. So, if you want some “shine” to shine into your home, you can’t do that, unless you remove the awning from the wall it is attached to. However, with a retractable awning, using the mechanism that serves as the retractor, you can simply retract the awning, without having to get up there and move it. Then, the sun is free to shine into your home, adding some nice warmth and color.

Ultimately, a retractable awning provides all of the benefits and advantages of a regular awning, as well as the style and color that awnings can provide, while also allowing you to control when it is being used, and when it is not. To retract the awning, it’s usually as simple as pressing a button, or performing some other, equally simple and easy, function.

What Do I Need To Look For And Consider?

In this section of the guide, we’re going to be looking at all of the basic, and really important, things to consider and look for, when you are searching for the best retractable awnings that will serve your purposes and fulfill your needs and wants.

What Type Of Material Is The Retractable Awning Made Out Of?

Every retractable awning consists of a canopy which, as mentioned earlier, is made of some type of material, and this material consists of a design of some sort. Now, there are different materials used, and they each have their advantages and disadvantages. We’re not going to dive too deeply into any of them, but we will give you a strong idea of what they offer, so that way you can make the best decision for yourself.

Polyester is one of the best materials for a retractable awning. And, this is because it is a very affordable and inexpensive material, but it is also very strong and durable. You see, a retractable awning is going to get rained on. That’s just inevitable. But, with polyester, it can resist the effects of water, and it can prevent things like mold and mildew from growing on it. The same goes for UV protection because polyester is also very durable when it comes to enduring the intense rays of the sun

PVC is becoming very popular. It isn’t strong as polyester, and it’s a bit more expensive, as well, but it is very durable, as well as very flexible. Along with that, it is more water resistant than polyester, and if you live in an environment where it is constantly raining, than PVC is a good choice, due to just how strong it is against water.

Finally, the last material to note is canvas, which is the most popular material for retractable awnings. It’s strong, but prone to various weather damage, and it’s also very flexible and affordable. For these reasons – affordability being a big one – it is the most popular material for retractable awnings.

How Does The Retractable Awning Retract Itself?

You’ll find two types of retraction mechanisms. That of a manual retraction, and that of an electric retraction.

Manual retraction is a bit less convenient since you need to use, more often than not, a little crank that you push into the awning, and then pull it towards the wall, retracting it.

With electric retraction, you just press a button, and that’s it. But, with electric retraction, there are more components, so if it breaks, it will be harder to fix it. And, it is more expensive, overall.

What Kind Of Weather Will The Retractable Awnings Be Facing Off Against?

When you buy retractable awnings, make sure that they will be adequate for the weather conditions that they will be facing. This includes things like rain, as well as sun, and other types of weather conditions.

If you live in an environment where there is a lot of rain, then polyester or canvas retractable awnings are ideal. Or, if you live in an environment where the sun is very intense, canvas is probably the ideal material.

Regardless, it is important that the retractable awnings have been equipped with the weather resistance that is ideal for your environment.


Finding the best retractable awnings does not have to be a difficult or confusing process. While they may be a bit complex, you can boil most of them down to a few basic elements, which we have done in this buying guide. By following this guide, you will have no issues finding the best retractable awnings for yourself!

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Last update on 2021-04-22 / Most affiliate links and/or Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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