Add Shade To Your Patio In Style With This Simple Design Idea

Looking for unique ways to shade your patio this summer? A reed mat cover is a simple design solution that will not only cover your patio in much-needed shade, but also upgrade the entire look of your outdoor space. Made of dried and woven plants or grasses, reed materials are popular for their versatility, durability, and their natural, rustic look, which will give your outdoor space an elegant yet earthy feel. In addition to traditional reed mats, you can choose from materials such as bamboo, split bamboo, and willow. With so many excellent options, you're sure to find one to suit your budget and creative vision. 

With all of that being said, each option comes with its own set of advantages and potential drawbacks, so it's important to know what you're in for before you make your choice. If you're on a mission to plan a perfect pergola or outdoor living room, reeded mat covers are worth considering for many reasons. These lightweight yet durable natural materials will keep your backyard cool all summer long, and will last for many years if cared for properly. Let's dive into more pros and cons of this patio shade option, so that you can make the right choice for your backyard. 

Benefits of different materials for reed patio covers

All reed materials are lightweight and naturally cooling, which should provide ample shade and relief from the heat, even if there are some gaps here and there (you might think the pockets of sunlight add to the charm). Reed mats are also quite versatile. Using attachments like zip ties, wire, or twine, they can be installed as pull-down shades, accent walls, or a pergola, providing a nature-inspired backdrop for plants and other outdoor decor. The catch is that some reed materials are more resilient and cost-effective than others. 

Traditional reed patio covers are super affordable and easy to clean, making them an accessible option. However, bamboo is water-resistant and is more resilient than traditional reeds, so it can last for decades. Plus, it's is an environmentally-friendly and sustainable material that comes in many colors. They can even be stained to suit your preferred aesthetic. Split bamboo is a cheaper alternative to get the bamboo look with a limited budget. 

Willow screens are also ecologically sustainable, and the thin, beautiful woven branches will cast your outdoor space in a soft shade with some sunlight peeking through. However, willow is more expensive than standard reeds and not as resilient as bamboo, and may be harder to find than both reed and bamboo. If you have the budget to experiment, you can try shading your patio with reed mats, see how you like them, and then upgrade to long-lasting bamboo or elegant willow from there.