Where to Buy Shade Sails in the UK: 3 Essential Factors to Consider

Where to Buy Shade Sails in the UK: 3 Essential Factors to Consider

where to buy shade sails in the uk

Where can you buy shade sails in the UK? Here are a few of the most important things you’ll need to know before purchasing.

Shade sails are among the most practical and efficient shading solutions for outdoor areas – they provide high UV protection,, are able to last up to 15 years, and provide an aesthetically pleasing addition  to your patio, playground, garden or swimming pool.

If you’ve decided to buy a shade sail for your residential or commercial area, you may be wondering where to buy shade sails in the UK, and what are some of the most important things you’ll need to know before buying. 

For this reason, we decided to prepare a guide to help you make the best decision when on the hunt for shade sails in the United Kingdom

1. Pros and cons of store-bought vs bespoke options

If you don’t know where to buy shade sails in the UK, one thing to keep in mind is that it will depend on whether you are looking for a readily available option or a bespoke shade sail. Let’s take a look at the main pros and cons of both alternatives:

1.1. Store-bought shade sails

You can readily find available shade sails in physical stores like IKEA, or in online stores like Amazon. But before that, let’s evaluate their advantages and disadvantages:


– Affordability – store-bought shade sails are generally less expensive compared to custom shade sails. They are mass-produced in standard colours, shapes and sizes, which allows companies to cut costs through economies of scale.

– Convenience – this type of shade sails is generally sold as a pre-made product. They are not made to fit your desired preferences and offer no possibilities for customisation, which means that you can conveniently grab them from the store.

– Quick installation – since readily available shade sails come in standard sizes, they can be installed relatively quickly without the need for planning or customisation. 


Unfortunately, while store-bought shade sails can be cheap and convenient in the short run, they can actually become more costly long-term if you take a look at all of their cons:

– Poor quality – most options found in physical and online retail stores are made using cheaper fabrics that don’t provide the same quality as premium fabrics. This means that they are more prone to wear and tear, have a reduced lifespan, and provide lower UV protection which can be detrimental for long-term usage.

– Limited functionality – since these shade sails are not customised to fit a specific space or shape, they will most likely not provide optimal shade coverage, or address specific sun angles or areas of concern for your outdoor space.

– Lack of design customisation – store-bought shade sails usually offer a limited range of designs, colours and sizes. This means that they won’t be able to fit your specific needs or aesthetic preferences, which can be an important element of your shading solution – especially when talking about commercial outdoor areas.

1.2. Custom-made shade sails

If you don’t know where to buy shade sails in the UK, keep in mind that buying custom-made solutions doesn’t have to be a lengthy or complex process as many may think. 

In fact, they can be easily ordered online just like readily available options – for example, you can get an instant quote using SD Sails’ unique Free Form technology without having to go back-and-forth between emails and phone calls with consultants.

Let’s take a look at some of their advantages and disadvantages:


– High-qualitycustom canopy design is not only about the aesthetics. Bespoke shade sails and canopies are usually made from high-quality fabrics, providing extremely high UV protection which blocks up to 99% of the UV rays. In addition, they are less prone to wear and tear, and can last up to 15 years, making them a more cost-effective alternative than readily available options which you will need to replace more often.

– Design flexibility – with custom shade sails, you have the freedom to choose from a wide range of colours, shapes, design options, and materials. This not only allows you to match the aesthetics of your outdoor space and create a unique look, but also means that you can brand them with your own corporate colours for increased brand awareness.

– Enhanced durability – bespoke shade sails are typically made from higher-quality materials and are built to withstand various weather conditions, offering strong wind resistance. They are often reinforced with additional stitching or UV-resistant coatings, ensuring they last longer.


– Higher cost – while custom shade sails generally tend to be more expensive compared to readily available, store-bought options (due to additional labour and materials required for customisation), this doesn’t have to be the case with the right manufacturer. SD Sails’ proprietary Free Form technology offers fast, easy and affordable customisation.

– Longer lead time – since custom shade sails are made to order, there may be a longer waiting period between placing your order and receiving the product. This can delay the installation process. 

– Professional installation – even though custom shade sails can be installed just as easily as store-bought options, it is recommended to hire professional installation as precise measurements and proper tensioning are crucial for optimal performance and longer duration of the shade sail.

Despite some of their cons, custom made shade sails are often the better solution because they offer higher quality, more effective performance and UV protection, and last a lot longer – which makes them a more cost-effective solution in the long run.

If you don’t know where to buy shade sails in the UK that are quality, custom-made and long-lasting, head over to sdsails.co.uk for the best sails and tensile canopies for your commercial or residential establishment. 

where to buy shade sails in the uk 2. Look for a reliable manufacturer

When deciding where to buy shade sails in the UK, another factor to keep in mind is the reputation of the manufacturer or supplier. 

This step is absolutely essential because you don’t want to end up spending a lot of money on a shading solution that doesn’t last long, doesn’t fit right, or doesn’t provide optimal UV protection – which is one of the biggest benefits of canopies and shade sails in the first place.

Take your time to do some due diligence, and look for a well-established company with positive customer feedback and a track record of providing quality products and excellent customer service. 

Reputable manufacturers often have a wide range of shading options, knowledgeable staff to assist you and answer all of your questions, as well as comprehensive warranty policies. 

Make sure to revise their website, social media channels, and independent review sites to collect information and make a more informed decision. 

3. Consider your specific needs

When deciding where to buy shade sails in the UK, it is really important to consider your specific needs. For example, if you need a shading solution for your house patio or a small residential area with a standard shape and size, a readily-available option might work.

However, if you are looking to provide optimal shading coverage and protection for a commercial outdoor space, or a bigger / irregular residential area, readily-available options tend to fall short. Here are a few other considerations:

– Weather conditions – do you live in an area with harsh weather conditions or frequent heavy rain? If that’s the case, opt for a custom solution, and choose a fabric specifically designed for this kind of weather to ensure the longevity of your shade sail.

– Cost effectiveness – are you looking for something cheap or cost effective? While these terms are often used interchangeably, they are not exactly the same. If you need something cheap, go for a readily available option – but if you are looking for a shade sail that will last for many years, rest assured that custom solutions are much more cost effective. They provide the best value for your money.

– Installation – if you are a DIY lover, you may prefer to install the shade sail yourself, but you do need to be careful no matter if you are opting for a store-bought or a custom solution. Improper installation or tensioning can reduce the longevity and performance of your shading solution. Professional installation is always the safest bet.

Where to buy shade sails in the UK: Conclusion

In short, exactly where you can buy shade sails in the UK will depend on whether you are looking for a store-bought or a custom shading solution. Readily available options are found in most large retail stores, while custom shade sails can be ordered from specialised companies such as SD Sails

Whether you opt for standard-sized shade sails or go for custom-made solutions, prioritise durability and reliability to ensure long-lasting enjoyment. 


Can shade sails be customised to fit my specific outdoor space?

Yes, shade sails can be customised to fit any outdoor space, no matter if it has an irregular shape or size. If you are looking to fit your needs and preferences, opt for custom shade sails as opposed to readily available options.

What materials are used in the construction of the shade sails?

Shade sails are typically constructed using high-quality materials such as UV-resistant and waterproof fabrics like HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) or PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) coated polyester, ensuring durability and protection against the elements.