A swimming pool is nothing short of a homeowner's pride!

Naturally, there’s a lot of effort that goes into building and maintaining a pool. Based on the space, requirements, and budgets, you will find various pool designs. And like the different swimming pool types, pool shades also differ in their structure and layout.

Considering that such shades do more than just shielding the sun, it’s important to choose one that complements your pool in the best possible way. So today, we’ve compiled a list of the 8 best pool shade ideas for varied requirements.

Now, let’s get going!

1. Conic Shade

Conic Shade

We start off the list with something traditional and fundamental. A conic shade structure is one of the most practical and handy ways to build a shade for your swimming pool. It essentially consists of four support bars with a cone-shaped fabric canopy (hence the name). The size of the canopy depends on the size of the area that you want to shade.

In addition to resisting Sydney's scorching heat, conic shades also shield wind and rain. However, in that case, you may want to select a tensile fabric that is less prone to damage. Likewise, you can opt for a colour that matches the outdoor setup.

2. Pool Umbrellas

Pool Umbrellas

For a long time now, umbrellas have been trusted to shade patios, yards and even swimming pools. Moreover, there is a range of models that come with features like adjustable canopy angle, height and more. And since they aren’t fixed into the ground, you can conveniently move them around as and when required.

In case of bigger pools, you can either go for a larger canopy or place multiple umbrellas side-by-side to create a continuous shade. Again, there’s no dearth of colours or patterns to choose from.

3. Cantilevers


A cantilever is a type of canopy, which provides shade to the poolside and a part of the pool itself. But unlike pool conic shades, the support posts are driven into the ground. Hence, you have to decide on the best placement of a cantilever before installing it.

4. Shade Sails

Shade Sails

If you’re looking for a shade that’s not only effective but also adds a touch of style to your pool, then shade sails might just fit your needs. These use the basic structure of a ship’s sail and consist of a flexible canopy anchored between multiple anchor points, based on the area to be covered.

Shade sails offer a distinct charm of modernity to the area, and the best thing about them is that they can be placed at various angles. Much like cantilevers, these shades are installed permanently, but cost significantly less and are easy to set up.

5. Retractable Fabric Shade Canopy

Retractable Fabric Shade Canopy

Retractable fabric shade canopies are a reliable option to transform your outdoor pool into an indoor variant. If you have a small or medium-sized pool, then these shades might as well cover the entire pool with ease. These canopies are held in place by multiple support beams, which also render a classy look to the overall outdoor setup.

But undoubtedly, its biggest advantage is the retractable canopy, which allows you to remove the shade when not required. And just like conic shades, these provide adequate resistance against wind and rain.

6. Free Standing Canopies

Free Standing Canopies

A downsized version of retractable fabric shade canopies is the free-standing canopy. Generally used to shade a specific part of the pool, these use a commercial-grade aluminium frame consisting of two support beams that hold the canopy. You can retract it to either side, thereby creating the desired canopy angle.

7. Remote Operated Canopies

Remote Operated Canopies

With an automatic mechanism, remote-operated canopies will certainly please the tech-freak in you. Furthermore, you don’t have to retract the shade all the way - it can be stopped at any point to create a partial shade. However, be prepared to shell out more money!

8. Pergolas

Pool Pergola

Having a pergola in your backyard is like having the ultimate blend of modernity and tradition! These structures utilize a set of vertical posts or pillars, which in turn, support cross-beams and a robust open lattice. You can place them anywhere you like, from the poolside to the patio or even in the garden.

Different Setup Ideas For Pergolas

Beyond that, don’t shy away from exploring your creative side in curating different setups. In the following points, we discuss some ways of doing so.

Bright It Up

A white pergola supported by tapered columns and accentuated with decorative cut ends will stand out like no other. You can also add the combination of a retractable canopy and side shades to control the amount of light and air under it.

Color Coordinate

Ditching contrast, opt for a structure that matches the colour scheme of your pool. While the beams may be white (like the pool tiles), the canopy may complement the blue water below.

Utilize Soft Curves

Custom-built pergolas can be designed to mimic the circular inlay of your concrete patio. The soft shade lines create a sense of peace and tranquillity on those lazy afternoons.

Streamlined Pergola

A long stretch of while pergola overlooking your deck chairs will make for the perfect relaxing environment.

Half And Half

While most shades are placed away from the pool, you may place the pergola on one edge of the pool, overlapping it a bit. This way, you can relax under the shade without having to get out of the pool.

Final Thoughts

With so many pool landscape ideas at your disposal, taking a pick shouldn't be that challenging. But in doing so, always make your budget a priority. While small ups and downs are welcome, you ideally wouldn’t want to stretch it too much.

That’s why, we highly recommend choosing a professional service that can customize your preferred structure to suit your needs. This way, you don’t end up spending more unnecessarily for features that virtually add no value.

With this, it’s time for us to say goodbye. But before that, here’s a quick pro tip: design a blend of pergola and canopies to create the ultimate relaxing environment beside your pool.

See you another day!

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