Model 3’s panoramic glass roof is magical to witness during a sky full of stars.
But stuck in traffic on a sunny day with 100 °F weather?
Not so fun.
Even when you’ve got the AC cranked up and the glass roof heavily tinted...
The amount of sunlight and heat that penetrates the cabin can become unbearable.
For this reason, I analyzed 13 Model 3 glass roof sunshades and dove into 10+ videos and forum threads to find out what the best products were.
What the Tesla community had to say genuinely surprised me.
Let’s have a look.
Tesla vs. 3rd-Party Sellers: Which Sells Superior Shades?
Like many people, I’m a fan of products created by the original manufacturer.
They’re usually able to create the best accessories for their own vehicle.
However, this isn’t always the case.
After reading through many forum threads, the response from Tesla owners became crystal clear: there are better alternatives.
What is it about Tesla’s Model 3 glass roof sunshade that people like and dislike, though?
Let’s discuss the OEM sunshades to have a baseline from which to judge other products.
OEM Model 3 Glass Roof Sunshade by Tesla
Let’s start with a disappointing fact:
Tesla’s sunshades only fit the refreshed Model 3.
If you own a 2017-2020 model (those with the piano console), you’re out of luck.
Also, unlike some third-party products that include an extra, reflective layer, Tesla’s products are really just a mesh.
On their own page, they state these shades “reduce heat transmission into the cabin by blocking two-thirds of solar thermal load.”
The kicker of all is the premium you have to pay:
While aftermarket products cost between $50 to $80 for both front and rear, you’ll pay 3 times as much for Tesla’s shades.
The unbeatable aspect of Tesla’s products is that they fit perfectly.
Though some people nitpick about the rear sunshade reducing headroom, I was unable to find a single complaint about the fitment.
Besides, the nitpickers themselves claimed that the headroom reduction is negligible: less than 1/2″.
The deal-breaker that makes many people switch from Tesla to another seller?
The product covers the rear glass in its entirety, compromising rear visibility.
For many, the rear sunshades create an unsafe enough driving environment that they’re forced to remove them.
Last but not least, Tesla’s accessory certainly does its job when it comes to reducing heat —
Though the data suggest is not as strong of an effect.
One such example is Az_Rael from TeslaMotorsClub who recorded how the temperature in the car rose over time with and without the product.
Results were mixed, leading this Model 3 owner to conclude:
“I have no idea if the shade is helping or not.”
As we’ll see later, YouTubers have proven that 3rd-party products block more heat through simple tests.
In summary, Tesla’s sunshades are a safe bet in terms of fitment.
However, they block rear visibility more than necessary — and don’t block heat as much, the opposite of what one wants.
Best Mesh Model 3 Glass Roof Sunshade: SUMK
Available for all model years, SUMK offers a mesh that compares very favorably against Tesla’s.
The Frugal Tesla Guy (FTG) put both products to the test in multiple scenarios to determine which is superior.
His final verdict?
Aside from installation time (Tesla being the winner), SUMK won the trophy on every other test.
With space for excellent rear visibility and a heavier, more opaque material that proved to block more heat than Tesla’s shades,
It’s safe to say SUMK offers a much better deal.
FGT and dozens of Model 3 owners in the comment sections strongly agree.
Regardless of the model year you own, you’ll be able to install this set of roof sunshades in under 5 minutes.
What about downsides?
SUMK’s fit isn’t as perfect (to be expected).
Many users complain about not having enough clips — or having clips fall off too easily.
One particular user complained about how unintuitive it was to fold the product. He warns against folding the product too aggressively as it can slightly bend permanently, ruining its fitment.
These minor inconveniences are forgiving considering the product is 3 times cheaper than Tesla’s set of shades.
With a clear cost advantage, a darker interior, and superior sun protection to keep your interior looking new for years to come,
All things considered, it’s no wonder 470+ Model 3 owners have rated the product positively.
Best Two-Layer Roof Sunshade for Model 3: BASENOR
Also available for all model years, BASENOR has an interesting twist on the products we’ve seen until this point.
It offers two separate layers: a mesh (just like Tesla’s) PLUS a metallic, reflective layer.
This allows you to choose between having the mesh only or combining both layers for superior sun protection.
Despite including 4 pieces (2 for the front and 2 for the rear) and a handy bag to store the product when winter comes around,
Though I was unable to find Model 3 owners comparing this product to Tesla’s, such comparison tests wouldn’t be apples to apples.
With the metallic layer, the sun-blocking effects increase to an entirely different level:
If you want to block as much as sun possible to keep your car (and yourself) comfier on the go, this is the product for you.
Similar to most third-party products, however, the fit isn’t perfect.
The rear shade sags a little according to customers.
And funny enough, some of the folks complaining about the fitment were looking for sunshades for their windows!
(No wonder they don’t fit. 🤦)
Also, know that the product layers are attached through straps. These straps are sewn and can break easily if you’re not careful.
For one particular customer, these sewn straps came half-broken from the get-go.
Other people complain that there are no instructions — though you can find video instructions from the seller online.
Despite these issues, these multi-layer sunshades have 200+ positive ratings.
If your main goal is to reduce the cabin’s heat greatly, you won’t be disappointed.
Most Complete Set of Sunshades: Evannex / HeatShield
See the original sunshade most vehicles place on the windshield?
This is what Evannex’s sunshades look like — not only for the windshield but for the windows and the entire glass roof.
What’s different about these sunshades is that they block visibility, making them unsuitable for driving.
Rather, these are a better choice if you park outside for long (e.g. parking at work for 8 hours).
A complete set, including windows, windshield, and roof, will exceed most budgets.
However, forum thread comments suggest the original manufacturer (HeatShield) sells similar sunshades for about 30% less.
Consider buying directly from the manufacturer to save some money.
As of this writing, HeatShield’s Amazon store only has the windshield shades available.
Their online store does have a configurator with all the options.
As an added bonus, the manufacturer has white and black shades available for you to choose from.
The popular Norwegian Youtuber Bjorn Nyland reviewed this set of sunshades and had lots of positive things to say.
What stands out to me (and Bjorn failed to mention) is how ugly these are.
Even if these aren’t the most aesthetic choice, I’d expect them to provide better heat reduction than any other product on this list.
Definitely worth checking out if you want to block the sun from every possible angle while parked.
Notable Mention: BougeRV
With a 12-month warranty front and center and claims of a 40+ °F difference (136F vs. 95F) **cough**, I had to look into this product more closely.
Though the seller doesn’t specify model year compatibility, recent comments confirm these sunshades only fit models up until 2020.
(Why not tell people this and avoid the confusion? 🤦 Mistake #1)
Fortunately for us, Tesla’s Wild performed a short test by turning off the AC & recording how much the cabin heats up after a while.
Although the plan was 20 minutes, Collin could only resist eight, at which point the temperature difference was 4 degrees (95F vs 99F).
This isn’t a difference to write home about.
However, I’d expect results to widen over time (e.g. 30-60+ minutes) as sunshades can only slow down the heat buildup, not prevent it.
I’m not as optimistic as the seller who claims a massive 50F degree difference…
But a 10-20F degree should be attainable with a longer test that resembles real-life more closely.
Looking For Alternative Ways to Reduce Heat & Sunlight?
I found a handful of examples of Model 3 owners with tinted glass roofs STILL complaining about the heat.
But since the heat comes in from all angles, including windows and windshield, tinting your vehicle will help reduce cabin temperature.
I wrote an incredibly in-depth guide that answers every question you could think of about tinting your Model 3:
- How much does tinting your Model 3 cost?
- Are the glass rof cracking risks people talk about real?
- Tools & image to visualize tint percentages
- Best film brands
- Where to find reputable shops
- And much more
Our Model 3 Glass Roof Sunshade
In the end, all third-party products outlined in this article beat Tesla’s accessory in one (if not most) of its important benefits.
If you prefer a Tesla-like mesh but want to retain excellent rear visibility, then SUMK will do the trick.
But if maximum heat protection and lower cost are important to you, then BASENOR is the way to go.
Both have sunshades available for all model years, hundreds of positive ratings, and a seal of approval from Model 3 owners just like you.