If you want to make your home cooler, the best heat control window films can significantly reduce the degree to which the sun warms your space. Top-rated films on Amazon can block up to 95% of UV rays (or higher!) by providing an extra layer of insulation to block out the sun, and many can also prevent glare. Heat control options also tend to act as
privacy window films as well, shielding you from both the hot sun and the eyes of your neighbors, but unlike heat-blocking thermal curtains, they may also let in some light. Before you shop, consider what levels of heat control and privacy you'd like, and think about how much natural light you're willing to sacrifice in the name of cooling your space.
While it’s true that blocking the sun — both its light and heat — is the way that heat control films work, styles with a tint or frost can let in some natural light while providing some privacy and heat control. One-way privacy films shield you from sight during the day without interfering with your view out the windows, as well as blocking heat, though it's worth noting that the privacy features don't work after dark. Some window films are even decorative and can enhance your windows with an attractive pattern. Like
blackout curtains, blackout window films will totally block the sun, but they’re often colored black and can get hot to the touch; look for options with a white exterior to truly keep things cool.
Most films either adhere by using either an adhesive or static cling. Both types are effective, but static cling films are easier to remove and reapply, and they don't leave behind any messy residue. However, they may peel in intense heat. Adhesive film is a more heavy-duty option and ideal for windows that see a lot of moisture or extreme temperatures, such as bathroom windows. When using adhesive film, keep in mind that removal and repositioning during installation can be difficult. Window film comes in a variety of sizes that can be cut to fit your windows, so try to choose the film closest to your window size to reduce the amount of trimming you’ll have to do.
Scroll on for my top picks for the best heat control window films to upgrade your windows, cool down your space, and save on energy costs. Oh, and pro tip — be sure to stock up on chemical
window cleaners, cleaning cloths, and squeegees, too, since window films should be applied only to clean glass and are often smoothed with a squeegee during application. 1 A One-Way Heat Control Window Film Application Type: Adhesive Size: 36 x 180 inches
mirrored window film installs via adhesive to provide permanent heat control and protection. When applied, it film blocks up to 79% of total solar energy (and up to 99% of UV rays), so say goodbye to excessive heat in your sunniest rooms! The film even blocks glare up to 82%, making this film a true lifesaver for those who spend time in overly sunny homes.
In addition to heat control, the window film also provides daytime privacy without blocking your view of the outdoors. The film has a mirrored appearance when on the outside looking in, but you can still see through it from the indoors. Don't get
too comfortable with that privacy, though — at night, if you have the lights on, people will be able to see inside.
This Gila window film comes in a roll that the manufacturer suggests is enough to cover three standard-sized windows, but you can cut it to fit virtually any window in your home.
According to a fan: "We actually used 9 rolls of this film on our ‘sun porch’ it is an old house with single pane windows, the film had to be cut too fit the 12 single pains of glass in each window. With a little planning and a few errors it went pretty smooth. The room is (L) shaped and gets sun from sun up to sun down. Temps hit 115 on a hot summer day, and is usually around 85 to 90. This made the room not useable. After installing the film on the windows the first thing we noticed was the intense sun light and heat from the sun rays was gone, the room was still lit well and we are able to use the room in mid day. Very pleased." 2 A Fan-Favorite Iridescent Heat Control Window Film Application Type: Static Cling Sizes: 17.5 x 78.7 inches, 17.5 x 118.1 inches, 17.5 x 157.4 inches, 23.6 x 78.7 inches, 35.4 x 78.7 inches, 35.4 x 118 inches, and 35.4 x 157.4 inches
If you want a more decorative look, this
Rabbitgoo window privacy film is a great option — and with over 46,000 reviews on Amazon and an overall rating of 4.6 stars, it’s clear that people really love it. The window film has a beautifully shimmery rainbow effect that adds style to your panes, while simultaneously giving you partial privacy to prevent passersby from peering inside. Best of all, it reduces glare, blocks 99% of UVB rays, and prevents 84% of UVA rays from entering your home. Amazon reviewers report that it does a great job of cooling down their spaces.
Application and removal should be super easy, since the film attaches via static cling and doesn't require the use of glues or adhesives. You can buy it in a variety of different sizes.
According to a fan: "This has worked very well. It provides privacy and still allows light but that is not the main reason I bought it. The front room of my house faces west and I live in Florida so this room always got very hot no matter what I set the AC to. The window already had blinds which we always kept closed trying to reduce the temp in this room, it did no good. I did not want blackout curtains because that would be too dark. I installed this film on the window, which is fairly easy to do, and the temp reduction has been significant! Still get natural light in the room without the heat.” 3 A Frosted Heat Control Window Film Application Type: Static Cling Sizes: 11.8 x 78.7 inches, 17.5 x 78.7 inches, 17.5 x 118.1 inches, 23.6 x 118.1 inches, 29.5 x 78.7 inches, 29.5 x 118.1 inches, 35.4 x 78.7 inches, and 35.4 x 118.1 inches
frosted window film from Coavas gives your home a chic look while adding a layer of privacy — and blocking out heat, of course. According to the manufacturer, it provides heat insulation in the summer and heat preservation in the winter to help lower your energy costs. This static cling film blocks hot sunlight, including up to 96% of harmful UV rays. But that's not all it can do — the frosted tint prevents the neighbors from peering into your home, making it easy to enjoy some glare-free sunlight with the blinds or curtains wide open.
The window film attaches via static cling, which means installation is easy and you can adjust or remove the film any time you want. It's available in several different tints — Champagne, Pure, White, Silver, Blue, Black, and Black Gray — so you can pick the one that best matches your space.
According to a fan: "I bought this to cover the clear glass on our front door. It faces the west, so we get a lovely blast of sun right into the living room in the evening which is extremely bright and very very hot. This is perfect for privacy as well so no one can peek in but I'm most impressed by the heat blocking ability! It still allows the light in but it's not a blast of sun, it's dispersed more evenly. And it blocks the heat so well too with a noticeable difference. I would have to crank the air down in the evening to combat how hot the living room would get, but no more!" 4 A Blackout Heat Control Window Film Application Type: Static Cling Sizes: 17.5 x 80 inches, 17.5 x 160 inches, 36 x 72 inches, and 36 x 144 inches
Blackout window films can be great for blocking heat, since they block sunlight entirely, but they can also get pretty hot to the touch since they’re typically made of black material. Not so with this
blackout film from Window Whirl, which has a white exterior that reflects UV rays and doesn’t get as hot. The film, which still appears black from the inside, blocks 100% of sunlight, and users report that it’s very effective at keeping their homes cool and dark.
The blackout film is really only a good pick for you if you’re trying to achieve total darkness, but it’s a great cooling option for anyone who really wants to totally keep the sun from coming through the window. It applies to glass via static cling and comes in four different sizes.
According to a fan: “I live in Arizona. (enough said?) lol I work from home and my windows in my work space are south west west facing. The windows and room gets so hot [...] So I searched here and found these that are heat resistant. Yay! When I was preparing the window by cleaning it the heat was so hot that it was burning my hand when I was wiping it down. I followed the directions, installed it and BAM! As soon as It was finished there was a HUGE difference in the heat! My jaw dropped. I was impressed! I proceeded to to the top arch window (witch was still pretty easy to install) finished that and moved on the the other one. Again what a huge difference! Dark and cooler! Next morning went into the room and noticed it wasn't chilly like it normally is either! I can't believe I didn't look for these years ago! I LOVE THIS PRODUCT!” 5 A Heat Control Window Film That Looks Like Stained Glass Application Type: Static Cling Sizes: 17.7 x 78.7 inches, 23.6 x 78.7 inches, and 35.4 x 78.7 inches
If you want to cool off your home in style, this
window film from DKTIE is designed to look like stained glass, while simultaneously blocking out 96% of UV rays. The design is available in seven different color combinations so you can really match it to your space, and it attaches to the window via renter-friendly static cling. The design provides significant privacy while still letting in some light as well, striking that important balance between heat control, light, privacy, and style. According to a fan: “My daughter's room will not stay cool in the summer months. She has a window unit and it stays on constantly but will sometimes get as high as 80 degrees. After my husband recently installed tint on our sliding glass door and I saw what a huge energy saver it was, I decided to venture to the artsy side and try this stuff. Super impressed with how simple this was to put on.[...] This was so easy that I'm back online to order more for my bedroom windows. I love that it allows natural light in, gives privacy, and saves energy. I'm really shocked by how much cooler the room is now that the sunlight is being dispersed... I mean, it makes sense, but I didn't realize how much of a difference it would make until I saw it for myself. I just assumed you'd have to have some kind of tint to reap the benefits of energy saving, but that is not the case... functional decor, gotta love it! 6 A Black-Tinted Heat Control Window Film Application Type: Static Cling Size: 36 x 78 inches
Add a dark tint to your window that blocks out sunlight and heat with this
window film from Gila. Unlike blackout window film, it lets some light in, but it does keep out up to 58% of solar energy and up to 99% of UV rays, which also makes your home way cooler. It also decreases glare by up to 93%.
Amazon reviewers report that this window film gives you significant but not total privacy as well, and that it’s definitely more private by day than by night, so keep that in mind if you want more than partial privacy. It uses static cling to stick to your window, and while it only comes in one size, you can cut it to fit any pane.
According to a fan: “BUY IT!! My bedroom is on the second floor and my windows are on the south and west side of the room. So I get tons of afternoon and evening sunlight. In the summer it gets super hot up here and even with my blinds closed it can heat up significantly, getting up to 80° when our AC is off. So I got this to hopefully cut down on heat transfer and block some sunlight. It works great!! My room now hovers around 73°, and the heat from the sunlight has dropped. [...] In the end I used the whole roll with nothing to spare and STILL got all my windows covered! We’ll see how long this stuff lasts but so far it’s a great product and has done its job perfectly!” 7 A Rain Glass Heat Control Window Film Application Type: Static Cling Size: 17.7 x 78.8 inches, 23.6 x 78.7 inches, 23.6 x 157.4 inches, 23.6 x 236 inches, 29.5 x 78.7 inches, 29.5 x 157.4 inches, 29.5 x 236 inches, 35.4 x 78.7 inches, 35.4 x 157.4 inches, and 35.4 x 236 inches
If you want a cooler, more private living space but you still want to let in a lot of natural light, this
window film from VELIMAX is here to help. It makes any windows look like they’re made of rain glass, giving you partial privacy, and attaches via static cling. It also decreases the amount of UV rays that make their way through the window by up to 97%, which is pretty impressive given that they still let in some real daylight. Choose from a bunch of different sizes, each of which can be cut to fit your specific window. According to a fan: “My wife didn't want to cover the window with any patterns or block sunlight. This was a good compromise. The pattern is less prominent and it lets in a lot of sunlight. It does have a cooling effect”