31 Best Pool Shade Ideas to Keep You and Your Pool Cool!

Are you looking for ideas and ways to keep your pool and pool area cool all year round? Check out these great ideas that will work for any backyard!

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Squinting at your swimming pool area under the hot sun? Tired of your pool water being uncomfortably warm? 

Pool lovers, you’re in luck! I’ve got a wide variety of cool, refreshing shade options to transform your outdoor pool into a paradise with the right amount of shade in this list. From outdoor umbrellas and permanent structures to in-pool options and more, there is a lot to explore to get the perfect shade for around and in your pool.

So grab your sun protection, and let’s dive in!

When you are done reading below, come back and check out these posts:

👉 See our roundup of the best ways to keep your pool water cool throughout the summer.

👉 Check out our list of the best in-pool umbrellas.

Best Pool Shade Ideas for Your Pool

#1. Use Your House

Great For: Those starting to plan their new backyard pool and looking to optimize their current backyard shade.

The best solution might be right over your head! Your house can provide a little shade to cool down your pool water when positioned strategically.

Use shade from your house to shade the pool and pool area.

#2. Pool House

Great For: Pool owners who desire a more permanent structure.

A pool house is a stylish way to offer shade and improve your outdoor living space. It serves as a great addition to the poolside area. This can provide a great shaded area by the pool, and if situated perfectly, it can provide shade to the pool water.

Pool house by a pool

#3. Pergola by the Pool

Great For: Those who want a poolside stylish structure 

A pergola next to or on the pool deck offers partial shade and is a popular option for those seeking a blend of sun and shade. Its support posts and overhead beams make it a solid and stylish addition to any backyard pool. 

Pergola by the pool for shade

#4. A Pergola with a Retractable Roof

Great For: Those who want flexibility between full sun and full shade

The retractable roof offers an easy way to control the amount of sunlight entering your pool area. Enjoy the sun when you want it, and shade when you need it. Make sure you check out our post on popular ways to add a roof to a pergola.

#5. Pergola Over A Pool

Great For: Those who want to combine the look of a pergola to help directly cool their pool

Want to put shade right over your pool with a pergola? Placing a pergola directly over the pool water is a great way to ensure sun protection and shade. This can help keep your pool water cool.

Pergola over a pool for shade

#6. Gazebo by the Pool

Great For: Fantastic for those seeking a classy and enclosed shade solution by the pool

Gazebos are freestanding structures that add a touch of elegance to outdoor areas. They offer a shady and versatile spot that can be used for many activities. Check out our comparison of popular gazebo brands to find the right one for your backyard!

Gazebo by a pool

#7. Pavilion by the Pool

Great For: Large families or those who frequently host gatherings.

An outdoor pavilion is a more sizable, permanent structure that can house lounge chairs and provide an ample amount of shade.

#8. Gazebo or Pavilion Over A Pool

Great For: Pool owners desiring a unique, full-shade solution over the pool.

Pool shade structures like a gazebo or pavilion can also directly over a pool! These pool shade structures give a full shade covering to pool lovers who prefer to swim under the shade. This can really help keep your pool water cool.

Pavilion over a pool for shade

#9. Extend a Covered Patio

Great For: Homeowners looking to seamlessly connect their outdoor living spaces.

Extending your covered patio to hover over your pool deck is an easy way to connect your outdoor living spaces and provide shade where you need it most.

Extended patio near a pool.

#10. Swim-up Bar by the Pool

Great For: Those who love to entertain and host pool parties.

A swim-up bar is a fun addition that doubles as a pool shade cover. Enjoy your favorite drink while staying safe from harmful UV rays.

Swim up bar in a pool.

#11. Outdoor Kitchen by the Pool

Great For: Those who love outdoor cooking and dining.

Outdoor kitchens are a great way to maximize your outdoor space. They offer shade and the perfect opportunity for a poolside barbecue.

pool shade ideas outdoor kitchen

#12. Trees by the Pool

Great For: Pool owners looking to take advantage of natural shade.

Trees provide natural UV protection and add a dash of green to your outdoor pool area. If you are designing a pool, take advantage of the current trees in your backyard for natural shade. Just be ready for some leaf cleanup. 

Tree surrounding a pool

#13. Tall Landscaping by the Pool

Great For: Those who prefer a natural, aesthetic shade source

Tall plants and shrubs on the side of the pool are a natural and aesthetic method to provide a bit of shade.

Landscaping by a pool.

#14. Built-in Hole for a Cantilever Umbrella on the Pool Deck

Great For: Homeowners seeking a dedicated, permanent shade spot.

A built-in umbrella hole on a pool deck for a cantilever umbrella is an excellent choice for providing a dedicated shade spot. These can be a great way to cool your pool! If you are in the design stage of your new pool, add these to your pool deck.

cantilever umbrella by a pool.

#15. Moveable Cantilever Umbrella

Great For: Pool owners who prefer a versatile, adjustable shade option.

These freestanding cantilever umbrellas offer versatile shade options for pool decks. Their mobile nature allows pool owners to adjust where they put shade in or around their pool.

#16. Market Umbrellas on the Pool Deck

Great For: Those seeking a simple yet efficient shade solution.

Market umbrellas are a common sight in outdoor spaces due to their practicality and wide range of colors. These patio umbrellas are a simple yet efficient pool shade cover solution. The possibilities are endless with outdoor umbrellas around a pool.

umbrella by a pool

#17. In-Pool Umbrella in an Umbrella Hole

Great For: Pool owners that have an umbrella hole (or holes) in their pool.

Pool umbrellas offer direct shade over the pool water, allowing you to chill in the pool with protection from the harsh sun. Check out our roundup and tips for the best in-pool umbrellas. If you are designing a pool, check out our reasons for getting umbrella holes in your pool.

Umbrella in a pool.

#18. In-Pool Umbrella in an In-Pool Table

Great For: Pool owners that don’t have umbrella holes in a pool.

An umbrella in a table provides a comfortable, shady spot for in-pool activities. This is a great option if you don’t have umbrella holes in your pool. Check out our roundup of some of the best in-pool tables

#19. In-Pool Floating Canopy

Great For: Families who want a large amount of temporary shade right in their pool.

For a unique and engaging option, consider a floating canopy that you can put right in your pool. It adds a dash of shade and fun to your pool water.

#20. Pool Float with a Canopy

Great For: Pool owners who love to enjoy shade right in the pool water.

A float with a canopy provides personal UV protection right in your pool water. Plus, it’s an exciting accessory!

#21. Shade Sail

Great For: Homeowners that want a versatile way to add shade anywhere in their backyard.

A shade sail, particularly rectangular shade sails, is a trendy choice that adds a modern touch to your pool area. Shade sails are one of the best ways to add shade to your pool and pool area. Plus, it’s one of the best ways to keep your pool cool.

Shade Sail over a pool.

#22. Retractable Awning

Great For: Homeowners who want to control the amount of shade around their pool. 

Retractable awnings offer adjustable shade, making them a popular choice for pool owners. They are the best way to have control over the amount of shade in your pool area.

A retractable awning by a pool

#23. Pop-Up Canopy Tent

Great For: Those needing an affordable, portable shade option.

A pop-up shade canopy is an affordable and portable option for instant shade. You can place this anywhere in your backyard, and you may be able to place this directly over your pool too!

#24. Palapa

Great For: Homeowners with tropical, beach-inspired backyard style and decor.

A palapa is a tropical-style shade structure, perfect for a backyard pool with a beach vibe.

Palapa by a pool.

#25. Cabana

Great For: Pool owners wanting to add a touch of luxury to their backyard.

A cabana is a trendy option that offers a resort-like feel to your swimming pool area. They are perfect shade structures that provide a good balance of sun and shade.

Cabana by a pool.

#26. Privacy Fence

Great For: Those who want additional privacy from their shade.

A privacy fence offers shade and privacy and is a great addition to any pool area. You will need your fence close to your pool to get enough shade from the fence.

Privacy fence around a pool.

#27. Outdoor Screens

Great For: Those who need moveable pool shade and privacy.

Outdoor screens add an element of privacy and shade. They are a stylish way to keep out the sun and prying eyes.

#28. Bamboo Screening

Great For: Pool owners who want a natural, easy-to-install shade solution.

Bamboo screening offers a unique and natural way to provide shade. They are easy to install and blend seamlessly with any outdoor decor.

#29. Outdoor Curtains

Great For: Homeowners who need extra shade from their outdoor structures.

Outdoor curtains hung around your patio area or from a pergola or gazebo provide a flexible shade solution that can be adjusted as needed.

#30. Daybed with a Canopy

Great For: Those seeking comfort, luxury, and shade poolside.

A daybed with a canopy is a poolside luxury that provides the perfect spot to relax after a swim, offering both comfort and shade.

#31. Chairs with Shade Attachments

Great For: Those who want individual shade on a chair.

These specialized lounges are an ideal way to enjoy the poolside area under the shade. They offer comfort and UV protection all in one.

👉 Now Check Out...

Hi, I'm Ashley!

Hi, I'm Ashley!

I started Live Your Best Backyard to share my (and my family's) hands-on experience and countless hours of research on all things backyard to help you find the best products, ideas, tips, and information for your backyard!

Read More About Me
Hi, I'm Ashley!

Hi, I'm Ashley!

I started Live Your Best Backyard to share my (and my family's) hands-on experience and countless hours of research on all things backyard to help you find the best products, ideas, tips, and information for your backyard!

Read More About Me
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