18 Pergola Cover Ideas to Shade and Waterproof Your Patio

Pergolas are a popular garden feature that adds elegance and beauty to any property. A pergola can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, metal, or even PVC pipe. Pergolas are typically supported by columns or arches and can be large or small. Whether you’re looking for an accent piece to spruce up your garden or a complete garden structure, a pergola is a great option.

There are a few reasons why people might choose to cover their pergolas in their backyard. One reason might be to provide shade from the sun. This can be helpful during the summer months when the sun is shining brightly and it’s hot outside. Another reason might be to provide protection from the rain. If it rains frequently in your area, a covered pergola can help keep you and your furniture waterproof.

If you’re looking for ideas on how to decorate your own pergola, here are the best pergola cover ideas for your backyard.

#1 Pergola canopy covers

pergola canopy covers

Whether you’re looking to add some extra shade to your outdoor living space or you just want to protect your pergola from the elements, pergola canopy covers is one of the best pergola cover ideas to think about.

Pergola covers are available in a wide range of styles and colors, so you can find one that matches your home’s aesthetic perfectly. They also come in a variety of materials, including wood, metal and vinyl. Some of them even have built-in lighting features!

Recommended variation – Palermo Soft Top Pergola with Cocoa Canopy:


  • They can be used for many different purposes, including shading outdoor seating areas, creating privacy walls for outdoor spaces, keeping the rain off of your porch or patio furniture, and protecting plants from frost or other elements of nature.
  • They provide protection from weather conditions like wind and sun exposure.
  • They are generally made out of durable materials like vinyl or plastic that will last for years on end without breaking down or falling apart during storms or other extreme weather events.


  • They are not always easy to install yourself because they require professional help in order to ensure that they’re installed properly so they don’t fall apart over time due to a lack of proper installation techniques/tools needed by professionals who understand how these things work better than DIY enthusiasts do (such as building contractors).

#2 Pergola deck roof panels cover

pergola deck roof panels cover

If you’re looking for a way to keep your pergola from getting too chilly when it gets dark outside, consider adding a deck cover.

Deck covers are designed to protect your deck from rain and wind, which means they’ll do a great job of protecting your pergola too! They come in all different styles—you can choose between solid covers or screened ones—and there are even many options for customizing them with lights and other features that will make them look fantastic at night.

Just look at how these covers perfectly complement the exterior garden doors here. It looks terrific. Experts say matching your pergola with patio (garden) doors is vital for a seamless composition. It boosts your exterior and even the overall curb appeal of your house.

Statistics show that sleek designs and organized exteriors help increase your house’s resale value by 5-7%, but only if your backyard has all the elements that complement each other. For example, an old-styled pergola won’t match the modern sliding patio doors. Keep this in mind when shopping for pergola covers or garden doors to create the perfect picture of your backyard.

Recommended variation – Wall Mount Deck Pergolas:

Here are some of the pros and cons of using deck covers on your pergolas:


  • Protects against rain and wind damage
  • Makes it easy to access your pergola without worrying about getting wet or cold while doing so (especially important if you plan on spending time out here during winter months)
  • Adds style and visual appeal to any outdoor space

However, there are some drawbacks to pergola covers:

Some people find them ugly or bulky. They aren’t as aesthetically pleasing as other types of patio enclosures like retractable screens or gazebos because they cover up part of the structure itself rather than just surrounding it with another structure like a fence or wall would do instead (which then makes sense why they’re so much cheaper!).

#3 Modern sun shade and waterproof pergola roof

modern pergola roof with sliding glass doors

A sunshade cover is the most popular option for most homeowners because it provides good protection against both heat and cold. These covers are made from a metal frame that supports a lattice-like fabric attached to it by metal rods. The lattice lets in some light but blocks most UV rays, which helps keep your pergola cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

The biggest drawback with this type of cover is that it can be expensive to install because it requires custom-made frames and attachments for each individual frame. You may also need to replace these types of covers every few years as they wear out or become damaged from weather conditions such as strong winds or hail storms (if you live where these things happen!).

Recommended option – Sojag-Wall-Mounted Sunroom with Mosquito Nets:

#4 Pergola side covers

pergola side covers

Pergola side covers can provide added protection for your pergola during winter months, allowing you to use it all year round. They also help keep moisture out of the wood structure itself so it lasts longer without rotting or warping due to weather exposure over time.

Pergola side covers are generally made of vinyl or other water resistant materials like metal sheeting or plastic sheeting instead of wood itself which makes them much easier to install than traditional wooden ones (especially if the wood has already been painted or stained). They’re also much lighter weight than wooden ones which makes them easier on your back when you have them installed professionally by someone else (like us).

But there are some things you should know before buying a pergola cover. First and foremost, they’re not cheap! Pergola side covers can cost anywhere from $1,000-$5,000 depending on the size and materials used. So it’s important to do your research before you buy one so that you know what you’re getting into!

The next thing to consider is maintenance. Pergola side covers usually need to be cleaned regularly, especially if they’re made out of fabric. If you buy one made out of wood or metal, maintenance will be much easier because these materials don’t require cleaning quite as often.

#5 Pergola screen shade covers

pergola screen shade covers

Pergola screen covers are a great way to keep your pergola from getting damaged by rain, wind, and other outdoor elements. They can also make your pergola more comfortable to sit in, especially if you’re planning on using it as a place to enjoy meals, drinks, or socializing with friends and family.

These covers are often made of fabric or vinyl. Some of them also have mosquito netting attached. There are many different types of pergola screen covers available on the market today. Some people prefer a solid covering that keeps everything out while others prefer mesh screens that allow air and light through while still keeping out rainwater.

Recommended option – SummerCove Wooden Frame Pergola with Adjustable Canopy:

#6 Wooden pergola covers

wooden pergola covers

Wooden pergola covers are an excellent way to extend the life of your wooden pergola. They can also add beauty to your patio or garden, as well as provide shade and protection from the elements.

However, they do have some drawbacks. For example, they are expensive and require regular maintenance.

The cost of a wooden pergola cover depends on its size and design. You should expect to pay between $2,000 and $10,000 for a basic cover that is installed by professionals. This price will increase if you choose custom features such as lattice work or windows.

When choosing a wooden pergola cover, it is important to consider whether your area has harsh winters or many hot summers with high winds. If so, be sure that your choice will be able to withstand these conditions without any problems such as damage from insects or rot due to moisture buildup under the covering itself (which could lead to mold growth). Also, make sure that there will be enough room for all your furniture underneath so that nothing gets crushed when heavy snow falls from overhead during winter storms (for example).

Lastly but not leastly (heh), make sure that any wood used in construction was harvested responsibly (e.g., sustainably).

#7 Metal roof pergola cover

metal roof pergola cover

A metal roof pergola cover is the perfect way to keep your outdoor living space protected from the elements all year round. Not only does it provide superior protection from rain and snow, but it can also help reduce cooling and heating costs. Plus, it is virtually maintenance free – so you can spend more time enjoying your backyard oasis and less time worrying about upkeep.

metal roof pergola cover

Adding a metal roof cover to your outdoor living space is a great way to improve its function and appearance. This type of pergola cover will keep you and your guests protected from the elements while adding style and sophistication.

But they have some drawbacks too. First, they can be very heavy, which can make them difficult to install or remove. They also can be expensive and may not be available in every color or style.

Recommended option – Louvered Sun Shade Aluminum Pergola:

#8 Heavy duty pergola covers

heavy duty pergola covers

Heavy duty pergola covers are designed to protect your patio from rain, wind, and sun. But not all covers are created equal. Some are better than others for specific situations.

The first thing to consider is your climate. If you live in a place that gets a lot of rain or snow, you’ll want a cover that can handle those elements. The best heavy duty pergola covers are made of polyethylene or PVC plastic, not canvas or vinyl like some other types on the market. Polyethylene and PVC plastic can withstand both heat and cold without tearing or cracking like cotton-based materials would overtime under similar conditions.

You also want to make sure that any heavy duty pergola cover you purchase has vents in the back so that moisture doesn’t build up inside when it rains heavily over several days (or weeks). This will help prevent mildew from forming inside the structure which can damage its integrity over time if not addressed quickly enough through regular cleaning with soap and water before allowing it to dry completely before putting things back together again properly afterward for safety reasons as well as health reasons as well.

#9 Roman-style fabric pergola covers

roman style pergola deck cover

If you’re looking for a way to add some extra shade and style to your backyard, a roman style pergola cover is the perfect option! Not only will it provide much-needed relief from the sun, but it will also give your backyard a look of sophistication and elegance. Plus, our covers are made from high-quality materials that will last for years.

#10 Canvas sail style covered pergola

canvas sail style covered pergola

Canvas is a great material for covering pergolas because it’s durable, easy to install and remove, and it can be used in many different ways depending on your needs.

The biggest challenge with canvas is that it will get dirty quickly when exposed to the elements. Fortunately, there are many options available that make cleaning a breeze!

#11 Vine canopy pergola cover

vine canopy pergola cover

The vine canopy cover is a unique and innovative product that has many benefits. It helps to improve air quality, reduce noise levels, and beautify the area. The vines or flowers grow quickly and attach themselves to the cover, forming a natural canopy. This provides shade and privacy while reducing energy costs.

flower canopy pergola cover

A flower canopy cover can transform any outdoor space into a beautiful and relaxing oasis. Not only does it add color and life to an area, but it can also provide shade and protection from the elements. Flower canopy covers are perfect for gardens, patios, decks, and more.

#12 Wooden pergola with retractable canopy

wooden pergola with retractable canopy

Wooden pergolas are popular among homeowners because they offer a unique and beautiful look that can enhance any backyard. But what many people don’t know is that many pergolas offer a retractable canopy that can provide shade from the sun on hot days or shelter from the rain. This is a great feature for those who want to use their pergola year-round. The retractable canopy can also be opened up to let the sun and fresh air in.

Wooden pergolas with retractable canopies provide the perfect solution to enjoying the outdoors without being exposed to the elements. Whether you want to soak up some sun or take cover from a sudden downpour, these pergolas provide the perfect amount of protection. Plus, they add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any backyard or garden.

Unfortunately, these structures have several drawbacks. First, they can be expensive to build and maintain. Second, they’re often not as sturdy as traditional pergolas. And finally, retractable canopies can be difficult to operate and may not last as long as other types of canopy materials.

#13. Pergola Shade Ideas: Combining Curtains and Landscaping

pergola shade ideas combining curtains and landscaping
A serene pergola retreat, where flowing curtains and vibrant landscaping create a perfect outdoor haven

Enhance your pergola shade by integrating curtains with landscaping elements. Utilizing durable fabrics in your curtain design can add both shade and aesthetic appeal. Complement these with landscaping techniques around the pergola, like planting wisteria or bamboo, to create a natural, woven shadow pattern. This combination not only offers practical shade solutions but also contributes to the overall beauty of your backyard.

#14. Timber and Cantilever: The New Trends in Pergola Designs

timber and cantilever the new trends in pergola designs
Contemporary elegance meets nature: A timber and cantilever pergola design blending seamlessly into the outdoor landscape

Timber pergolas are gaining popularity for their natural look and durability. Incorporating cantilever designs in pergolas adds an architectural edge, allowing for more usable space underneath. This method creates a stunning visual effect while providing ample shade. The combination of timber and cantilever designs can be explored through various pergola kits available in stores like Home Depot or online platforms like Pinterest.

#15. Pergola Shades: From Simple Blinds to Elaborate Canopies

pergola shades from simple blinds to elaborate canopies
Versatility in design: A pergola that artfully combines simple blinds with an ornate canopy for adaptable shade

For pergola patio shade, consider a range of options from simple blinds to elaborate shade canopies. Blinds offer flexibility in controlling light and can be made from various materials for added durability. For a more permanent solution, installing a shade canopy provides extensive coverage and can be a central feature of pergola designs. Contemporary pergola ideas often include innovative shade structures that blend functionality with style.

#16. Retractable Pergola Solutions: Maximizing Enjoyment and Usability

retractable pergola solutions maximizing enjoyment and usability
Modern functionality in outdoor living: A stylish backyard featuring a pergola with a retractable shade system.

Retractable pergolas are a versatile choice, offering flexibility to adjust the amount of shade as needed. These pergolas are perfect for areas where weather conditions vary. They also allow users to enjoy the open sky or shade at their convenience. Incorporating retractable features in garden pergola designs enhances the overall usability and enjoyment of outdoor spaces.

Comparison of Pergola Shade Solutions

FeatureCurtainsCantilever DesignBlindsShade CanopyRetractable Pergola
Shade CoverageVariableExtensiveVariableExtensiveAdjustable
Aesthetic AppealHighHighMediumHighHigh
Installation EaseMediumMediumHighMediumMedium

#17. Integrating Pergola Shades with Outdoor Kitchen and Living Spaces

integrating pergola shades with outdoor kitchen and living spaces
A serene retreat: This outdoor kitchen under a pergola shade blends modern amenities with natural elements, offering a perfect spot for culinary delights and relaxation in the garden

For those with an outdoor kitchen or living space, pergola shades can be complemented with ceiling fans and comfortable pillows for additional comfort. Choosing the right shade structure, such as pergola curtains or shades, can enhance the usability of these spaces. The underside of the pergola can also serve as a great place to hang lights for evening enjoyment, making the pergola a versatile addition to any backyard.

#18. Attached Pergola: A Seamless Extension of Your Home

attached pergola a seamless extension of your home
Harmonious living: This attached pergola creates a seamless extension from home to garden, merging indoor comfort with the tranquility of outdoor living, surrounded by lush greenery and peaceful ambiance

Attached pergolas offer a seamless transition from the inside of your home to your outdoor space. By attaching a pergola directly to the side of your house, particularly near the kitchen or living area, you can easily extend your living space. Consider using fabrics or foliage on the sides of the pergola for added shade and privacy.

Selecting the right pergola shade solution depends on various factors like location, weather conditions, and personal style preferences. Whether you choose a simple shade structure or a more elaborate pergola design, the goal is to create a space that offers both shade and enjoyment for its users.

How to decorate your pergola covers

how to decorate pergola covers

Among many creative ideas, neon signs have a unique charm and are used to decorate the pergola cover, which can become a bright color in your busy life.

You can wrap neon sign lines around the pergola and use a distinctive design and layout to make the entire building shine like stars. Custom Outdoor Neon Signs decorative pergola not only looks beautiful and practical but also brings you more social opportunities. 

In such a beautiful space, you can chat with friends and relax your body and mind; You can also have good times with your family. Whether you want to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the city or find an ideal gathering place, a pergola can meet your needs, while neon signs create a romantic and warm atmosphere.

Taking care of your pergolas

Whether you’re using your pergolas for shade or storing quality fertilisers and gardening equipment, you would want to ensure they last for as long as you need them. Savvy homeowners take the following steps to do just that:

  • Regularly clean the pergola to prevent dirt, debris, and organic matter from accumulating. Use a soft brush or a gentle pressure washer to remove dirt and grime from the surface.
  • Regularly inspect the pergola for any signs of damage, such as cracks, splits, rotting wood, or rust. Address any issues promptly to prevent them from worsening.
  • If it’s wooden, consider staining or sealing it to protect it from moisture, sunlight, and other environmental factors. This will also enhance its appearance.
  • If your pergola is painted, periodically inspect the paint for chipping or fading. Repaint as needed to protect the structure from the elements.
  • If vines, bushes, or trees grow near the pergola, regularly trim them to prevent them from causing damage or creating excessive shade that could lead to moisture retention.
  • If your pergola has metal components, inspect them for rust. Sand away any rust spots and apply a rust-resistant primer and paint to prevent further corrosion.
  • Ensure that screws, bolts, and other hardware are tight and secure. Replace any rusted or damaged hardware to maintain the structural integrity of the pergola.


In conclusion, there are many different types of pergola covers that can be used to enhance the appearance and functionality of your pergola. Whether you are looking for sun protection, shade, or a way to keep the rain off, there is a cover that will fit your needs. Be sure to choose a cover that is made from a durable material that will last for years.

While choosing the right cover is important, it’s just one aspect of pergola design. Another crucial factor to consider is the height of your pergola. Check out our comprehensive guide on pergola height to learn more.


Does a pergola protect from rain?

pergola rain protection

A pergola does not protect from rain in the traditional sense. It is an open structure with columns and beams, typically used to provide shade or cover a patio or deck. However, a pergola can be designed to include features that will protect it from rain, such as a roof or covering.

How to cover a pergola for shade?

pergola providing shade

There are a few ways to cover a pergola for shade. One way is to install a retractable canopy. This can be done by either buying a canopy that is specifically designed to be used with pergolas or by installing a retractable awning. Another option is to install some type of shade cloth or curtain. This can be done by either hanging it from the pergola’s roof or suspending it from poles installed around the perimeter of the pergola.

How to protect the pergola from rain?

There are a few ways to protect your pergola from rain. One way is to install gutters on your pergola to divert the water away from the structure. Another way is to use a waterproofing agent on the wood to help protect it from moisture. You can also install a canopy or roof over your pergola to keep the rain from hitting the structure.

Does a pergola block the sun?

A pergola is an open-air structure that is often used to provide shade. While it may block the sun in some areas, it will also allow sunlight to pass through in others. Ultimately, the amount of sun that pergola blocks will depend on its location and size.

Why pergolas are usually not covered?

Pergolas are usually not covered because they are designed to allow air and light to pass through. A pergola with a cover would not provide the same airflow and light exposure, defeating the purpose of the pergola. Additionally, a covered pergola would be more susceptible to moisture damage and rot.

About the author

smith brad omni
Brad Smith

Brad Smith is an experienced interior designer and the founder of OmniHomeIdeas.com. With a Master's degree in Interior Design from Pratt Institute and a passion for creating safe and healthy living spaces, Brad shares his expert insights and innovative design ideas with our readers. His work is driven by the belief that home is where every story begins.

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