What is the Difference between Awnings and Canopies?

12 Oct 2020

Both awnings and canopies from C&W Direct offer you the opportunity to create a calm, protected outdoor space to enjoy, no matter the weather.

When purchasing an outdoor covering for your property, it is important to know what the difference is between an awning and a canopy. Firstly, we will outline the characteristics that are the same.

Similar Characteristics

Often we want to spend time outside with our families, relaxing in the fresh air but the elements can get in the way. Awnings and canopies are the solutions for this, equipping your garden with a protective overhang of material which keeps your outdoor furniture shielded from the glaring sun, UV radiation plus rain and wind.

Awnings and canopies are made from similar materials and are both designed to be durable and waterproof, but there are several material options to choose from to suit your specific requirements.

Despite being similar, awnings and canopies also have a number of differences which we explore below.

Awnings Explained

Awnings are sheets of material that are attached to the exterior of your property, fixed above a door or window and overhanging a porch, patio or walkway. They offer shade and protection from the sun both outdoors and indoors, stopping light from entering through windows, preventing artwork and furniture from fading and keeping indoors cool.

Unlike canopies, awnings are a permanent fixture to the outside of your property and will not require disassembly, although this reduces flexibility. The two main types of awnings; window awnings and retractable awnings which can fold away when not being used.

Because of their permanent state, they can act as a dry storage space for your wet or muddy shoes and bikes.

They do vary in length but are typically smaller than canopies so if you need space to hold parties and BBQs then an awning is probably better.

Awnings can also easily suit the architecture of any house with a range of colours, patterns and styles available. Don’t forget awnings are a permanent structure so choosing a design to complement the style and decor of your garden whilst taking into account your garden furniture and window dressings.


Canopies are often large, free-standing coverings that provide shade and protection from the elements for a seated outside area. They are made from a large canvas of durable fabric, strung over a metal frame and between supporting posts. Sometimes they can be placed directly next to windows and doors, which is one of the reasons why people confuse them with an awning.

Canopies are usually bigger than awnings which makes them more suitable for gatherings, parties and BBQs.

They are also portable and easily disassembled and can be stored away when not being used, plus they can be transported meaning they can be used for outdoor events, festivals or trips to the park.

As they are not anchored in one place, canopies offer more flexibility than awnings which allows you to choose exactly where you want to set up your shaded space.

Get in Touch For More Information

If you would like to know more about awnings from Conservatories and Windows Direct, please contact us today. We can offer you a no-obligation quote on any of our products.

Conservatories Direct (Midlands) Ltd
8 Exchange Business Estate,
Cross Street,
WS11 0BW

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Company reg no. 05476228
Company registered in England and Wales

0808 2223344