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We have reviewed and used hundreds, if not thousands, of baby products over the years: from the frivolous to the crucial. One product that is essential to keep your baby safe is a car sun shade; especially for parents who regularly drive and particularly when the sun’s out.
UV rays a real danger to adults and infants. Only the windscreen window of a car has UV protection as standard and unfortunately, this means that both the side windows and rear windows let UV in. Therefore, to protect your baby from these harmful beams while they’re in the car next to the window, you will need a window shade to keep them safe. We’ve found and reviewed 10 of the best car window shades to keep your little one safe.
Best Sunshades for Cars UK Reviews
From static cling to suction cups: here is a selection of the best car window shades available to buy in the UK.
1. JELLYBABABABY Car Window Shades
The best car sun shade online is the car window shade from Jellybabababy. This particular window shade has garnered over 3,600 reviews with an average score of over 4.5. This is a fantastic score for a window shade to allow you to buy with confidence.
What makes these the best car window shades is that they cover a rear window entirely with no gaps. This ensures that no sunlight can sneak through and pour harmful UV rays over your baby. It does this as it’s a wrap-around static cling type of shade; it’s a stretchy material which wraps over the inside and outside. This also eliminates the hassle of suction cups. Best of all, as it wraps around the door frame and not the glass you can still roll down the car windows as you please!
The thick material which has been updated again in 2020 not only provides UV protection via the windows but it can offer a cooling effect similar to how a Snoozeshade works.
Overall, this is a brilliant window car shade which is universal and fits most car windows on the market. You can usually snap it up for just over £10 which is a steal. Don’t forget to pick up 2 for both windows if you want to ensure the back of the car is protected from the sun’s glare.
2. Kinder Fluff Sunshade for Car
For a more traditional car shade which doesn’t need to be placed outside the car then Kinder Fluff is one of the best-known brands in the UK market. They offer one of the darkest possible panels whilst still being semi-transparent which not only blocks the harmful UV rays but also offers superior privacy via the window..
The Kinder Fluff shade attaches with static cling which leaves no marks on the window and has a tight grip on the glass. Due to its size, it will fit on any car window big or small. With two transparent shades and two semi-transparent shades, they really do offer the darkest panels on the market, the darkness rating is 120 gsm which is an increase of 40 from the previous version. This is opposed to 55 gsm which is most common for window shades.
Best of all, the Kinder Fluff is cheap and easy to store in an included pouch when not in use on your window.
3. Baby 1st Colour Car Window Sun Shade
If you’re looking for a window shade that blocks the glare and has a bit of colour then we’re pleased to let you know of new a new type of window shade on the UK market which arrived in 2020 from Baby 1st which offers a jungle-themed cover on the inside whilst being black on the outside.
Outside of the design, it’s still a fully functioning UV blocking wrap around car sun shade which block 99% of the harmful rays and leaves no gaps in the glass and doesn’t use suction cups. You’ll still be able to run your window up and down so you can offer a breeze while still keeping your children safe.
These window shades are slightly more expensive than other wrap-around shades but you do get some bonus gifts such as a baby on board sign and a cute book full of games to play on long car journeys. They’re pretty decent!
4. GgomaART Car Side Window Sun Shade Curtain for Baby and Kids
From our personal experience, this ggomaart window shade is one of our personal favourites shade to use during a journey to stop the glare coming into the car during a sunny day. We love this one mainly because of the way it looks and how it can make the back of the car feel more like a bedroom to help soothe a baby to sleep during a journey while still protecting them from UV rays.
The way it’s installed is also different as it uses 5 strong magnets on the top strip which attaches to the steel frame above the window. This leaves the window glass untouched and unmarked between uses. However, there are additional suction cups for more security and if you want to have the window glass open. The suction cups are optional.
This creates a flowing curtain which can extend fully to cover the complete window or swept away completely and tied up. This is how it gets the bedroom feeling.
It is bigger than most shades but you won’t need to use all magnets to make it work in small cars but it does mean that it’s suitable for large SUVs; which many brands aren’t.
Of course, we have to mention its ability to block the sun which it does completely – this shade is not transparent and blocks both the sun and the view via the window so bear that in mind.
5. Munchkin Retractable Car Window Sun Shades for baby
Retractable sunshades offer some convenience for parents and children who do not want the product to permanently block their window view during a journey. Munchkin (a brand that makes quite a few baby products) have created one of the best and cheapest retractable window sunshades on the market.
Easy to install with either clips or suction cups and none of the product sticks out on the outside. However, the windows can’t be rolled down if they are to work which some people may find a little inconvenient.
This product does block UV beams, of course, but also comes with a rather unique feature which is the white-hot indicator which turns white if the car becomes too hot. This can be a literal lifesaver for cars without air conditioning and no one in the back of the car to feel what the temperature actually is.
Overall, some people might not be too keen on retractable window shades due to the limited coverage and not being able to run down the windows but if it’s what you’re after then the Munchkin brand is one of the best.
6. Dreambaby Stretch-To-Fit Adjustable Car Shade for Windows
The Dreambaby stretch to fit car shade is best of both worlds which offers the same material and high coverage as the wrap around and the convenience of internal suction cups based shade. Using four suction cups, this window covering can be adjusted quickly and easily to cover as much or as little as you like. This is an ideal solution for people who want to use the same sunshade for different cars of varying rear passenger window sizes.
The material provides UV protection and offers a moderate amount of privacy for all rear passengers. The polyester material is soft and easy to put away when not in use. The design also means that if the shade is no longer needed/wanted during a journey then it can be pulled down without having to stop the car. However, the suction cups can lose their effectiveness over time.
Sadly, it’s slightly on the expensive side when compared to the other best shades for cars we’ve reviewed but bear in mind there is a bit more material involved with this.
7. DIZA100 Car Side Window Sun Shade 2Pack
If the wraparound sunshade is what you’re looking for but you’re price conscious then allow us to recommend the DIZA100 sunshade. It’s made with nylon and wraps around the frame of the door and not the glass. The UV protection is excellent and there’s enough transparency to not ruin the view for the rear passengers.
What makes it such a good deal is that you’ll get two wraps for under £10 which is a total bargain and allows you to completely cover the whole car and great for parents of multiple children who ride in the back. The downside with these wraps is that they don’t work as well in the front of the car.
8. UEOTO Kids Baby Animal Pattern Static Cling Car Sun Shade 2 Pack
Some little ones sleep and relax better when they see colourful and friendly characters. Window wraparounds aren’t great for that or retractable ones for that matter, but panelled sun shades such as these ones from UEOTO are great. We’ve selected this product in particular because the colours pop out against the black background and they’re really cheap.
Of course, the most important aspect is the ability to filter out UV, which it does for up to 99% of them so there are no problems there. These panels also attach to the window glass using static cling which leaves no marks on the glass of the windows between uses… at least that’s one area of your car that will remain clean!
The lovely pattern, cheap price and effective UV blocking make this one of the best choices for parents of children who enjoy looking at colours and patterns – typically really young babies.
9. Calish Car Sun Shades
The Calish Car sun window shades 3 pack is one of the most affordable plainly designed car sun shades on the market. The dimensions are 20.1 x 12.2 inch so will fit into any window with some gaps but the majority of the UV rays will be blocked with a decent 8gsm of protection and can be repositioned on your windows without stopping the car as they are attached using static cling.
You’ll receive a handy carry bag with your purchase; these shades are easily foldable and can be put on or taken off your windows in seconds.
You can typically get this static cling product for well under £10 and often closer to £5 making them an absolute bargain. With 3 in a pack, you can cover both the rear windows and one of the front windows, giving not just your baby the protection they need but also the adults in the front.
10. First Steps Pack of 2 Printed Car Sunshades for car
Lastly, for the price-conscious parent on an ultra-budget then it doesn’t get any cheaper than the First Steps printed car sun shades. They’re cheap because the design is basic and they use suction cups which are not the most popular choice, they’re also rather small coming in at 17″ x 14″ – they’ll fit any car windows but the coverage isn’t great.
However, they do block UV from passing through the covered area so there are no complaints there. These shades are so cheap that it’s difficult to justify any complaints. But, we must make our readers aware that this brand is definitely not the best – it’s coverage is weak, the material feels cheap and the suction cups are frustrating.
But for £2 it would be easy to put up with it.
Car Sun Shade For Babies and Children Buyer’s Guide
A patterned car sunshade is a common sight in car windows belonging to parents. If you’re about to have your first baby or your child’s been born recently and you’re doing some research then you might be having an aha moment when you realise you might need one. If you’re going to be driving your car for longer than 10 minutes then you most definitely need one. This buyer’s guide will explain why having sun shades in car windows are essential.
Do I need a car sun shade for my baby?
Yes. You definitely will need a window shade for your baby as they will be exposed to harmful UV beams via the car window. Even though the car may feel cool; your baby is being exposed to the sun glare via that rear window.
It’s the equivalent of sunbathing with a fan on you – you will feel you aren’t burning because of the cool air but it is not the heat that burns the skin.
Before we go into reasons for buying a car sunshade and which one might be best, it’s important to discuss just how damaging UV rays are and why sun shades are created in the first place.
What are UVA/B/C rays and why do we need to block it from babies with a shade?
Ultraviolet rays are a form of radiation which comes from the sun, they are literally cosmic beams of energy which have travelled all the way from the sun, through the atmosphere and into the air. All that energy has to go somewhere – most of it goes into the ground and the sea but it will also be absorbed by the skin if it’s exposed, being in the shade does not protect you.
There are three types of UV rays:
- UVA rays are invisible and the energy within them can damage and alter the cells in humans. They have the least amount of energy out of the three but are the ones which are not blocked by normal car glass. UVA rays are linked with long term skin issues and some types of cancer.
- UVB rays contain more energy but are blocked with glass. However, they are the most commonly associate rays which cause sunburn and cancers.
- UVC rays have even more energy but are typically blocked by the Earth’s ozone layer and very little reaches the surface.
All three can cause damage to the skin with overexposure and is the reason why it’s recommended to wear sunscreen, hats and to be in the shade when the sun is out.
Babies are much more at risk of the harmful effects of UV rays because they can’t protect themselves and their skin has not been used to the sun as much as adults and therefore almost defenceless against it. Even in the shade they are vulnerable.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, overexposure to UV rays as a child has a direct impact on the risk of cancer in later life – this time frame can be decades later. As scary it sounds, the way a parent helps protect their child from the sun glare via the car window can determine whether they will have a form of skin cancer as an adult. It is the parents or guardian’s responsibility alone to protect young children from the devastating effects of the sun’s rays.
Car journeys create a false sense of safety from UV rays
It’s a common misconception that you can’t get a sunburn in the shade, cold and cloudy weather or even indoors and that it is the heat which tans the skin. The misconception is that if you don’t feel anything then the sun won’t harm you. This is completely false and very dangerous especially for babies and young children who’re skin is more vulnerable.
As Sunsmart explain, and we’ve tried to emphasise – it is not sunlight which damages skin but UV rays – they are invisible and you can’t feel them.
To put it in the context of a car journey inside a nice and cool air-conditioned car; you might feel like your baby’s safe but in fact, they’re being exposed to harmful UV rays for the whole duration of the journey unless they have sunscreen, glasses or better yet a sunshade.
So, don’t fall for the myths and misconceptions around UV rays and get your baby protected with a proper window shade!
The impact of UV rays on a baby’s skin
Too much exposure to ultraviolet rays can lead to sunburn, skin damage and eye damage according to National Cancer Control Policy. These are just some of the complications overexposure can cause to the skin
Cancer – Most skin cancers are caused by UV radiation and this has not been a secret. UV light can alter the DNA of the skin (the skin being an organ) which can then lead to malformations. However, it’s really important to remember that skin cancer can often come up a long time after prolonged and consistent exposure and we repeat our comment that there is a clear link between early exposure to UV as a child and the emergence of skin cancer in later life. To add some context – no one gets lung cancer from a single cigarette but a regular smoker has a higher risk of getting it at some point in their life.
Sunburn – We’ve all had a sunburn at some point in our lives and it can be really painful even when it’s just mild. Sunburn is the body’s response to UV exposure and the start of type I cell-death. Babies who are exposed to UV radiation in a car without shade or sunscreen can get sunburn and as a parent, you will have to deal with the consequences which will be a very grumpy baby. In serious cases of sunburn, the skin can become infected which will require a heartbreaking hospital visit. Don’t take a risk with your child’s health and safety – get sun shades for the car.
Premature ageing of the skin – We’ve always said that how much exposure a baby has to the sun can impact later life. A child won’t suddenly have leathery and wrinkled skin from a single car journey. But, consistent unprotected exposure to the sun will leave your child looking older than they should and the impact of this will be visible the older they get. If you want your child to have healthy and glowing skin as an adult then cutting how much UV they absorb is crucial to that. One of the ways you can do that is with a decent car window shade.
Eye damage – Overexposure to sunlight can damage the eyes temporarily and permanently. The sun’s rays can bounce off surfaces so they don’t need to be looking directly at the sun for this to happen – this is why we recommend window shades and sunglasses elsewhere. Eye problems caused by the sun can range from an inflamed cornea, cataracts and pterygium. You can limit the risk of eye problems during a car journey with any window shades but for seriously sunny days we recommend the sun shades in the car to cover the entire glass on both sides of the rear.
Are sun shades safe for babies?
Not only are sun shades safe for babies but it is dangerous not to use a sun shade for babies for the many reasons we’ve listed in this article. UV rays are a real danger to babies and infants and long car journeys where the sun is shining on them for long periods can cause major damage to their skin and eyes.
Is a sun shade worth it?
There are many ways to offer UV protection in a car and PVC sun shades is just one of them. However, sun shades in a car rear window is probably the cheapest and most convenient and certainly worth it. If you don’t want anything too fiddly then buy one without suction cups as they are the kind which get the most complains. Suction cups can be unpredictable and leave marks on the glass.
How do I protect my baby from sun in a car seat?
Unless you have full coverage car window shades then you can still apply sun cream, make them wear a hat and if they’re really well-behaved sunglasses to improve UV protection.
How do you fit a car sun shade?
It depends on what kind of car window shade you get. Your options are a cover all nylon material which wraps around the frame of the door, with the use of several suction cups, a model which uses static cling, a type which uses magnets on the top of the car door or car sun shades which cling to the top of the glass.