Looking for the best stroller sunshades to keep your baby out of the sun? A high quality stroller sunshade is one of the most important stroller accessories you can buy. It can protect your baby from harmful UV rays and reduce their chance of childhood sunburn.
As I get older, I’m crazy about keeping my own skin protected from the sun. I’ve been known to douse myself in sunscreen on days we’re out and about. And I almost always have a hat on.
Because of this, I’m of course also crazy about keeping my daughter out of the sun. Toddler sunglasses, wide brim hats, and kids sunscreen are everyday staples in our house, and constants in our diaper bag. However, that’s only because she’s old enough to tolerate wearing them.
What about babies and littler kids who aren’t ready for these extra layers of protection? Or parents who want an extra barrier between the sun and their child?
Enter a good stroller sunshade.
A universal stroller shade or stroller sunshade, along with a stroller fan, is an awesome stroller accessory for keeping your little one sun safe.
They’re great in the summer, of course. However, they’re important year round, too. After all, we all know that UV light is present even on cool and cloudy days, and even in the depths of winter when you need to bundle your little one up with a footmuff.
Some stroller sunshades also work wonders against light rain or wind: an added bonus in my books.
If you’re wondering how to choose from the different stroller sunshades, I’ve tried to break it down in the guide below.
Best Stroller Sunshades At a Glance
Just here for the most important details? Looking for the best stroller sunshade and don’t have a lot of time to read the whole article?
In my opinion, the Snoozeshade brand sunshades are a solid choice. For babies under 6 months old or who are still lying flat in their stroller, I think the Snoozeshade Original is a good choice. For babies and toddlers who are older and are sitting up, the Snoozeshade Plus Original is my pick. For an “open” style sunshade that simply extends the amount of shaded area for your child, I recommend the Manito Sunshade. Unfortunately, there aren’t a ton of choices for side-by-side double strollers, but the Manito Twin Stroller shade looks like a good option.
- Best Closed Stroller Sunshade – Infants – Snoozeshade Original (0 to 6 months)
- Best Closed Stroller Sunshade – Babies and Toddlers – Snoozeshade Plus Original (6 months+)
- Best Open Style Stroller Sunshade – Manito Sunshade
- Best Sunshade for Twin or Double Strollers – Manito Twin Stroller Shade
- The Upgrade Choices – Snoozeshade Original Deluxe (0 to 6 months) and Snoozeshade Plus Deluxe (6 months+)
What is a Stroller Sunshade?
A stroller sunshade is one of the best stroller accessories you can buy. It protects your little one from the world’s harsh elements, and reduces their exposure to UV light.
When it comes to stroller accessories make parents’ lives easier, whereas some make your kiddo’s life better.
Stroller sunshade and stroller fan? These accessories make your kids’ lives better by protecting their skin and eyes from UV light, and helping them stay cool.
Most sunshades are made from either a single layer or double layer of high quality material. The good ones block out almost all UV rays to protect your little one’s skin and eyes.
Add to that, a stroller sunshade can also provide protection against light rain and other harsh weather elements. My own kiddo absolutely hates weird gusts of wind!
Finally, they’re actually a pretty good sleep aid. The 360° style covers come with some sort of sleep panel that zips up. It blocks your baby’s view of the world, letting them relax without distraction and snooze on the go. Kind of like blackout curtains for your nursery, but when you’re on the go!
Why You Need a Stroller Sunshade
Babies have exceptionally delicate skin, but safety standards suggest they don’t use sunscreen until they’re 6 months or older. Even then, extra protection from harmful UV rays is never a bad thing.
When used properly, good stroller sunshades also create shade on a bright day, protecting your baby’s eyes.
While this is a comfort issue for your little one, it’s also a safety issue. Sunburns as a child can increase the chance of skin cancer later in life.
While most strollers come with some sort of sunshade, in my experience they’re not sufficient. They don’t provide enough coverage, especially when your little one is lying down in their stroller, or in direct sunlight.
An add-on shade will up the level of UV protection for your little one when they’re in their baby stroller. They work whether they’re lying down or sitting up, whatever the weather throws at you!
Safety Standards When Using a Stroller Sunshade
All stroller sunshades should be used as directed and under constant supervision. You need to be sure your little one stays safe and cool.
Any stroller sunshade you buy should: 1) provide ample shade, 2) block out UV light 3) be air permeable, and 4) be properly attached to the stroller.
You want maximum air flow and breathability to prevent the air inside from getting too warm. That said, you also need to check your baby regularly. Any type of cover (including one that’s air permeable) will increase the temperature under the cover. So you need to stay vigilant.
Having a good stroller sunshade does not mean you can spend long, uninterrupted periods in the hot sun with your baby. If you do, your baby will get too hot.
Rather, a stroller sunshade is a good solution for keeping the sun off your baby on short trips. This is provided you use as directed and stay alert for any issues. On hot days, it’s still safest to keep little ones inside or in a cool, shaded area.
When using a stroller sunshade (or a baby carrier for that matter), regularly check on your baby for signs of overheating. Feeling their tummy or the back of their neck is ideal, since babies tend to have cooler hands and feet. If your little one’s tummy or back of neck is hot or sweaty, it’s a sign they are too hot.
The Best Stroller Sunshade Reviews: Our Picks for the 4 Best Baby Sunshades for Your Stroller
Providing up to 99% UV protection, this double layer mesh shade is perfect for nap time and for relief from the harsh rays of the sun. The shade cover also blocks out 94% of the light, making it like a blackout blind for your baby.
There is no mesh opening on the front, only a long zipper that you can open to peek in on your little one. It is made of a super light-weight and air permeable material that is easy to slip over any type of stroller.
It has also won over 70 awards for its effectiveness and is highly praised among customers for its ability to block out the light and put normally fussy babies to sleep in their strollers.
The Snoozeshade Plus blocks 99% of harmful UV rays and has been laboratory-tested to exceed both American and European standards. That’s about as close to full protection as you can get! Worth noting, the single layer front panel blocks only 80% of UV light. However, the mesh construction allows for ample air flow and lets your wee one to see out.
The single layer of fabric is super stretchy and breathable. As a bonus it is machine washable for the inevitable spills and stains, and dryer-safe.
Additionally, it is versatile, with a “sneak-a-peek” zipper at the top so that you can keep an eye on your little one. It also has a snooze panel that can be zipped up to block out light for nap time.
The straps are secured with Velcro, and the whole shade provides 360° of protection from the sun. It also comes with a storage bag, and packs up small enough that you can throw it in your diaper bag.
The Snoozeshade Plus is designed for kids that are sitting up (6 months+) and usually outward facing. That said, you can also make it work on a parent-facing seat.
Once this shade is attached, you can adjust the angle to block out the sun light from one side or the other simply by pulling on the front or back end.
We’ve used this one on our GB Pockit Stroller, which we take whenever we fly somewhere. It dramatically increases the shade available, but doesn’t offer full protection in every circumstance. That said, it also doesn’t increase the temperature in the stroller, since it’s an “open” design.
It is rated as 50+ UPF and is constructed to be able to withstand even windy conditions. It’s also easy to remove and can be folded up into a mesh bag for traveling.
Additionally, this shade comes in 13 different colors and styles so that you can find one that matches your existing travel system.
It protects from over 99% of the sun’s harmful rays and provides 50+ UPF coverage. The shade can be stretched and adjusted to three different levels depending on where the sun is hitting the stroller. When fully extended, it would offer complete coverage for your little one even when facing the sun, making it a great option for protecting your little one from nature’s harsh elements.
It’s made with a sturdy frame and high-quality span fabric that can withstand the wind. It attaches using two elastic S-hooks and an elastic buckle.
As a bonus, this can easily be folded up with the stroller so that you don’t have to mess with removing it every time you pack up.
In addition to the Snoozeshade Original (for lay-flat infants) and Snoozeshade Plus Original (for older babies who can sit up), Snoozeshade makes a Deluxe version of both: Snoozeshade Original Deluxe and Snoozeshade Plus Deluxe.
Both Deluxe versions offer slightly more options for you and your kid as compared to the Originals.
If you’re looking for something for daily use, such as errands and short walks, I personally feel the Snoozeshade Original (infants) and Snoozeshade Plus Original (older babies) is s a good choice that balances cost vs. function.
However, if you see yourself using it for longer stretches, you might want to check out the Deluxe versions.
The Also Rans
The clever design of this cover gives full coverage where your little one needs it the most while allowing parents to peek in on the sides made of a breathable mesh.
It blocks over 95% of UVA and UVB as well as dust, pollen and bugs. It’s large and versatile design allows it to fit over almost any stroller, as well as carriers, pack ‘n plays and even bassinets or cribs.
Parents have touted it as being easy to use, very stretchy and effective at blocking out the light.
The Ray Shade provides protection from over 99% of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays for a rating of UPF 50+. It attaches securely with four different hooks. There are two on the top and two on the sides.
One of the bonuses of this shade is that it extends down on either side, offering shade all around with two mesh openings near the top on either side for parents to sneak a peek.
The whole canopy is durable and breathable, and it measures 31.5×26 inches.
This shade, once attached, can be moved both forward and backward depending on the environment. It blocks out 97.5% of the sun’s UV rays and features small mesh windows on either side for parents to keep an eye on their little one.
The Velcro straps are secure and adjustable in length. And the shade is compatible with any stroller that already has a canopy.
How to Choose the Best Stroller Sunshade?
Open vs Closed Sunshade
A closed sunshade is like an envelope that gives your little one 360 degree coverage. Examples of closed style sunshades include all the Snoozeshade products and the Banyan stroller sunshade. Closed sunshades have the benefit of offering complete coverage for your little one, and offer more privacy and a dark environment for sleep. The downside is less airflow within the shade and they can trap the heat. Using close style sunshades, you’ll need to constantly watch out that your little one isn’t getting too hot under there.
An open sunshade is likely similar to the sunshade that comes on your stroller, only it offers more shade. It’s more like a sunshade extender, creating a larger patch of shade for your little one, often extending down their legs. The benefit of this style of shade is its open – it should’t cause temperatures to increase in the stroller, and rather will theoretically do just the opposite. However, it also will still allow some sun to fall on your little one’s skin, and doesn’t work perfectly in all situations. When we use our sunshade extender, even though it provides ample shade, the sun still hits our kiddo in the face at certain times of day. It also doesn’t provide any privacy for nap time.
Permeable Fabrics for Breathability
Not to beat a dead horse, but you really want to ensure any closed style stroller sunshade uses permeable fabrics, as you’ll want to ensure there’s enough free flow of air to prevent it from getting too hot under there!
You want a high quality material that both allows free flow of air, and protects your wee one from harsh elements. You also want it to have a sturdy construction so it can stand up against strong little fingers!
With the open style sunshades, this is less of a concern, since it doesn’t enclose your baby and air will naturally flow around them. However, it’s always worth being constantly vigilant on a hot day to ensure your little one is safe and shows no signs of being too hot.
Will it Fit Your Stroller? Universal
Of course, most strollers come with a sunshade. If you decide to upgrade the manufacturer’s sunshade with a third-party made cover, you’ll need to make sure it fits. Most third party sunshades are more or less universal – however it’s worth checking it will fit your specific brand.
Generally speaking, third party stroller accessories are meant to fit the broadest range of strollers possible, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t a few weird exceptions out there.
The rule of thumb? Look for something that says it’s universal. Then double check.
Ideally, make sure it has adjustable straps to fit the widest range of brands and models. Many use plastic hooks and elastic or velcro straps to attach the sunshade to the stroller – both of these allow for some flexibility in attaching it to the stroller frame.