Sunroof vs Pergola – The Ultimate Shade Smackdown

Summer is great for lots of reasons and the sun is one of them. Unfortunately, sometimes it really overdoes the heat and sunlight portions. Because of this, you might be looking for a way to protect yourself from excessive sunlight. There are a couple of ways to create a nice patch of shade and two of these include the sunroof and the pergola. How will you decide?

1. Keeping out the sun with a pergola

The first thing on your mind should be what exactly a pergola is. Outdoor pergolas are structures that are used to cover patios, gardens, and decks in your home. They are mostly used in the summer, considering they can provide ample shade when necessary. They can be made from a variety of materials, depending on what your main goal is.

The common pergola is made from different kinds of wood and it can provide some degree of protection while looking absolutely wonderful. There are some who would trade the beauty of a wooden pergola with a more practical trait: protection from the sun. Pergolas can be reinforced with lots of different roofing materials for optimal sun protection. Common materials used for this are metal, fiberglass, various forms of plastic, and fabric. Just an additional layer of something to protect you from the harsh solar attacks of mother nature. Pergolas come in many shapes and sizes that would surprise you. You can style the pergola whichever way you please and it will go well with any kind of home.

It’s not all flowers and sunshine for pergolas, unfortunately.  For starters, they are completely open from every side but up. The sun might not get you, but the wind, rain, and snow can still reach underneath it. It’s not completely without fault regarding sunlight, either. Pergolas that aren’t properly reinforced can’t really protect you from harmful UV rays. Even if you intend to rest underneath the wide wings of the pergola, you might want to put on some sunscreen. The elements aren’t just a risk for the pergola owner, they can also harm the pergola itself. Pergolas aren’t exactly sturdy structures. They can stand their ground, but extremely strong winds and hail can do quite a bit of damage to them, so you need to keep that in mind when picking where to install one.

Sunroof vs Pergola - The Ultimate Shade Smackdown

2. Staying in the shade with a sunroof

Sunroofs need no introduction whatsoever. You have a surface that can be moved to let in sunlight whenever you choose to do so. You might be wondering what kind of advantages you get from installing a sunroof and if it can protect you from the dreaded summer sun. The great thing about a sunroof is that you can install it on just about anything above you. They were made famous in moving vehicles but that’s not their exclusive specialty. Any kind of home can install a sunroof on their roof or gazebo for example.

There’s a reason they’re considered quite luxurious. They provide openness like no other. You can open your sunroof whenever you want and bask in the beautiful blue sky above. If proper ventilation is something you worry about, the sunroof has you covered. Opening it lets in tons of fresh air from above, which will make you feel like you’ve opened the sky itself. When you’re tired of basking in the summer day, you can easily close the sunroof and it will protect you from the elements and the sun’s harmful UV rays.

There are some downsides of course. Installing a sunroof creates a risk of leaks from several parts of the installation. During heavy rainfall, you could hear dripping in and around the part where the sunroof is. Because of this, mounting it properly is a priority. You should seek professional help when installing a sunroof in Sydney so that your roof can continue being leak-free.

3. Which one comes out on top?

It’s hard to compare these two when it comes to protecting you from the sun. They both have their ups and downs. The pergola might be ideal when you want to add shade to an area outside, while the sunroof is used for a more dynamic approach that includes both shade and letting sunlight in. Installing a pergola is somewhat easier, but the sunroof provides more protection from harmful UV rays.

The pergola can cover more ground, but a sunroof can be moved as you please. One is more stationary while the other is mobile. It all depends on what you’re aiming for. They both provide a degree of protection from the sun.


All in all, both the pergola and the sunroof have their share of positive qualities. When it comes to throwing shade, you can use both without issue, but everything else is up for debate. Their versatility and ease of installation differ, which is why you should take a thorough look at both before deciding.