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Guide to the Best Outdoor Gazebos, Awnings, and Pergolas

Want to add a touch of luxury and comfort to your backyard? Consider adding an outdoor gazebo, pergola, or canopy. These versatile structures can provide shade and shelter from the sun or rain and enhance your outdoor living experience. This guide will discuss the different types of sunshades or garden gazebos so you can pick the perfect one for your outdoor space.

What type of outside structure is best for you?

Your ideal outdoor structure will be based on your budget, style, and available space. If you're looking for a more affordable option, you could consider a pop-up canopy or a patio furniture set with an umbrella.

If you want to create a new area for relaxing or entertaining, then you may want to consider a hard-top patio gazebo or a pergola with a canopy. But, before you start shopping, be sure to consider a few factors.


If you live in an area with harsh weather conditions, you'll want to make sure that your structure can withstand the elements. For example, if you live in a hurricane-prone area, make sure that whatever you purchase is durable and heavy-duty. Look for options with strong frames made from materials such as steel or even polycarbonate, which can withstand wear and tear.

If you live in a more temperate climate, you have a bit more flexibility when choosing your outdoor structure. For example, you could use an adjustable canopy top or a retractable awning.

Size and shape

If you have a large backyard, then you'll have no problem finding a gazebo, pergola, or canopy to fit your space. However, if you have a smaller backyard, you can look at smaller outdoor shade options.

Consider the shape of your outdoor space and how much area you have. Most backyard gazebos are hexagonal, and most pergolas are rectangular. Spend some time in your yard and take some measurements to determine what shape and size you’re working with.


The material you choose will depend on your budget and style. Soft-top canopies are affordable, but if you need something more durable, choose a weather-resistant gazebo or pergola made of wood or metal.


Gazebos are free-standing structures that are usually octagonal or hexagonal. They typically have a metal or polyester canopy and can come as a steel gazebo or made of wood or plastic. Gazebos are perfect for outdoor events and can have mesh sidewalls installed to keep bugs out.


Canopies are temporary structures that are usually made of metal or polyester. Canopies typically have an aluminum frame with a polyester canopy supported by four poles. Canopies are also easy to set up and take down, making them perfect for those who don't want to deal with the hassle of permanent structures.

However, garden winds can blow canopies away, so consider your weather before you choose a canopy.


Awnings are usually made of metal or polyester and can be attached to the side of a house or building. Awnings can be either stationary or retractable and are water-resistant. The most significant advantage of awnings is that they provide shelter from the sun and rain. Awnings are available in various colors and styles to match your home's exterior.

Pop-up vs. permanent

How do you decide between a pop-up or a permanent backyard fixture? This choice depends on your needs. If you're looking for something affordable and easy to set up, then a pop-up gazebo or a canopy might be best.


Mosquito nets

If you're looking for a way to keep the bugs out, mosquito nets are a great option. They come in various shapes and sizes to fit your gazebo, pergola, or canopy. Some nets are built into the side of the structure as zippered doors, while you can buy standalone mosquito nets for other structures.


Adding LED lights to your pergola, gazebo, or canopy will create a beautiful ambiance in your outdoor space. You can choose from solar-powered, battery-operated, or plug-in lights. Citronella candles are also a great option. They provide light and repel bugs.


Privacy curtains add a touch of elegance to your outside space. They also provide additional privacy and shelter.


Sidewalls are a great way to add more protection and privacy to your space. Sidewalls are typically added into canopies and provide additional privacy or mesh sidewalls to keep out the bugs and create a more structured area.

Grill Gazebo

Set up an outdoor kitchen with a grill gazebo. These gazebos have tented double roofs to help cover you when you are grilling outside.

Make the most of your patio with Sam's Club

Now that you know more about gazebos, canopies, pergolas, and the accessories you can add, it's time to start shopping. Sam's Club has a wide selection of outdoor sun structures and accessories. Don't forget to check out the outdoor playsets, patio furniture, and grills to complete your outdoor oasis.