A balcony is an excellent addition to any home- they look classy and impressive and provide a lovely additional outdoor space. They are also a great place to take in the surroundings of your home.
But whether you are having a moment of peace and quiet with a coffee or using your balcony as a space to entertain friends and family, you don’t want to feel overlooked.
There’s nothing worse than stepping out onto your balcony in the morning in your pajamas and being spotted by a neighbor or a passerby.
If you feel like you are being watched then you won’t be able to relax and enjoy spending time on your balcony, but this can be difficult to avoid in busy areas. Particularly if your neighbors have balconies too!
Don’t worry, we can help you. In this article, we have taken the time to answer some of the most common questions about improving balcony privacy, and we have reviewed some of the best products available to help you enjoy your outdoor space.
5 Best Products for Balcony Privacy
We have found and reviewed the five best products to help you stay private on your balcony, whilst sprucing up the appearance of your outdoor space.
ZHan Privacy Screen
The Zhan privacy screen is a weatherproof screen made from 100% polyester. It is suitable for balconies, decking, fences or terraces. It comes in 15 sizes so you can find one to suit the size of your balcony.
There are 13 colors to choose from including black, white, gray, orange, yellow, red, green, purple, and pink.
The screen is easy to install, with metal eyelets spaced out every 30cm. It comes with 12-inch tear-proof cords which slot through the eyelets, enabling you to attach the screen to your balcony railing.
You can also use cable ties if you prefer, though these are not included. The eyelets are made from stainless steel so they won’t rust and the screen itself is weatherproof and durable with a polyurethane coating.
It repels wind and rain, keeping you warm and dry. The fabric is also breathable, allowing good airflow to prevent the build up of mold.
The material is not see-through and it stops people from looking onto your balcony, but it still lets in light so your outdoor space won’t feel gloomy.
Not only is the screen itself tear resistant, but it also provides UV protection, blocking up to 85% of harmful UV rays. It is also easy to clean and maintain, as it can be machine washed at 40 degrees.
The only downside to this affordable item is that it may be creased on arrival as it is packaged folded. However, you are able to iron it on standard setting before installing it on your balcony.
Outsunny Side Retractable Awning
The Outsunny side retractable awning is an outdoor privacy screen and windbreaker suitable for use on balconies and to separate spaces in gardens. It is 63 inches high, 63 inches wide, and extends up to 118 inches long.
The roller blind fits onto the frame with brackets and can be easily removed if necessary. The blind glides smoothly in and out for easy use and the handle is comfortable yet stylish.
You can take the blind inside with you when you are done, or retract it and use the cover that comes included to protect the blind and frame overnight.
The blind itself is made from durable polyester which is waterproof, windproof, and provides UV protection.
The frame is made of stainless steel to prevent rusting and is very sturdy, weighing 10kg.
The frame is floor mounted to keep the awning grounded in windy weather and is easily installed using the heavy duty screws that come with the product. It takes around 25 minutes to install the product and all fixtures and fittings are included.
This product comes in one color, a medium gray, which looks very smart and would fit with any style of garden or outdoor space.
This retractable awning is an excellent solution to provide your balcony with more privacy and protection against adverse weather.
ColourTree Artificial Ivy Fence Screening
The ColourTree artificial ivy fence screening is a decorative plastic trellis. It comes in a roll measuring 7 inches by 8 inches, and multiple rolls can be purchased to cover the desired area.
The screening is lightweight and easy to install using cable ties. Green cable ties are recommended so they blend in with the color of the leaves, but these are not included.
The leaves on the trellis are life-like and there are plenty of them, giving your balcony a natural, earthy feel. Some faux leaf trellises can be sparse and look cheap, but this is a high quality, premium product.
The leaves are attached to a flexible plastic grid, making it easy to cut into equal sections if needed. This product is anti-fading and can withstand high temperatures, making it perfect for use in the warmer months.
As this is a decorative item, it doesn’t offer any protection against wind or rain. It is also not designed to be durable, so will need to be replaced every few years depending on the weather conditions in your area.
However, it will make your balcony more private whilst adding vibrant color and style to your outdoor space.
Gardman Bamboo Slat Screening
The bamboo slat natural garden screening made by Gardman is a stunning feature for any garden or balcony. It is 13 feet tall and is sold in 3.3 feet rolls. Each strip of bamboo is approximately 1cm wide and the strips are bound together using metal wire.
As the screening is made from a natural material, bamboo, it may not be uniform in color, but it looks fantastic when installed. You are also able to paint or varnish the bamboo with any products suitable for use on natural wood.
Bamboo provides shade from the sun and shelter from the wind, as well as making your balcony more private.
It is fairly rigid and sturdy but is not designed for extended exposure to very wet weather, as the bamboo could split or the metal wire could rust.
Cable ties are not included but are recommended as the best way to attach the screen to your fence or balcony.
As this product is lightweight it can be easily installed by one person. It is also possible to trim the bamboo down if the product is too high for your balcony.
LUSHLEAF Waterproof Outdoor Curtains
The LUSHLEAF outdoor curtains are an excellent choice to enhance the privacy and appearance of your balcony. They come in various sizes, and you can pick from six attractive colors- brown, teal blue, beige khaki, white, gray or dark gray.
The curtains are made out of an eco-friendly water repellent material which is extremely durable. They are thermally insulated to keep you warm in the winter, but also have blackout ability and UV protection to keep you cool and safe in the summer.
The curtains are easy to clean and maintain. They are machine washable at low temperatures if you use a gentle laundry detergent and you can iron them on a low setting.
The eyelets are made from stainless steel which will prevent them from rusting in the rain. Matching tie backs are included with the curtains to finish the look.
There is no curtain pole included with this item, but you can choose a pole that suits your space such as an extendable one or one made of rope, etc. The pole you choose will also depend on how you plan to attach it to your balcony.
The only downside to these outdoor curtains is that they can flutter in the wind. You could consider buying them slightly longer than required and weighing them down at the corners on windier days.
How To Choose The Right Product For Your Balcony
Now that we have answered some of your questions about balcony privacy and reviewed the best products on offer, how do you go about choosing the right solution for you and your balcony?
The first thing to consider is what the weather is like in your area and what times of year you intend to use your balcony. If you live in a place that is mostly dry and warm then you can consider a bamboo screen or artificial Ivy screen.
These options are suitable for a low budget, are aesthetically pleasing and provide great privacy. The downside is that they don’t offer much protection against adverse weather conditions like rain and heavy wind.
If you live in an area with cold, wet winters, you can still use these screens, but you may want to remove them and store them inside during periods of bad weather to make them last longer.
If protection against wind and rain is important to you and you plan on using your balconies in all weathers, then you would be better off with a weatherproof product such as the privacy screen or the retractable awning.
These screens will not only stop people looking in on your balcony, but will allow you to get more use out of your balcony by making it more comfortable to sit out in the wind and rain.
The outdoor curtains are a good middle option, as they are suitable for various weather conditions and look fantastic. However, they do not offer the best protection against strong winds.
The next thing to consider is whether you want to screw in a permanent fixture or you would rather have something that is easy to remove.
All the products reviewed are removable, but as the awning has to be screwed into place it is harder to remove than the others and will leave permanent holes.
It is important to think about what style you are going for with your balcony. The material privacy screens look quite sleek and modern.
The faux ivy or bamboo screens create a more natural look, whereas the curtains have a more homely, elegant feel.
All of the products would make an excellent addition to any outdoor space, but the awning seems to be the most durable product that offers the most protection.
The fact that it is retractable makes it flexible to fit any shape, and the sturdy nature of the product means it will last longer and withstand more adverse weather.
It is a high quality product that would certainly make your balcony more private and comfortable. It is not as cheap as some of the other options, but you are paying for a premium product that is built to last.
The design is sleek and stylish and the awning will look amazing on your balcony.
Frequently Ask Questions
How Do I Screen In My Balcony?
Screening in your balcony will help make it safer for young children and pets. It will also assist with keeping away unwanted insects like mosquitoes and flies.
There are several different methods to screen-in a balcony.
If you want to try stick-on mosquito curtains, these can be installed with hook and loop tape. It is important to measure your space accurately to ensure you purchase the right size curtains.
Alternatively, you could buy larger curtains and cut them down to size, or invest in custom-made curtains.
If you want to use window screening instead of curtains, these can be stapled in place. Secure the screen to a strong wooden beam, adding a staple every few inches.
Remember to keep the screen taught to avoid sagging. To mask the appearance of the staples, apply wood trim strips that have been cut to the correct size.
Another option to attach window screening is the use of rubber spline strips. This will help you to attach the window screening to your balcony without needing staples.
You will need a sharp knife to remove excess screen around the edges once installed.
How Do You Cover Balcony Glass For Privacy?
There are many different ways to make glass balconies more private without having to sacrifice the classy aesthetic of your outdoor space.
Outdoor curtains are a great option which also gives your space a homely feel. There are various choices for outdoor curtains that are mildew resistant and fade resistant, making them a great solution for privacy in wet or dry weather.
They are easy to install and come in many different colors, patterns, and styles to suit your preference. The benefit of curtains over a screen is that they can be opened up to let in the sunlight, or closed to keep your space private or stay in the shade.
For a more natural look, try a trellis with faux leaves or a screen made from a natural material like bamboo. You can choose from green ivy, red maple, and many more, depending on what suits the surroundings of your home and your color scheme.
These screens attach to the panels of your balcony and provide privacy as well as brightening up your outdoor space. It’s also a perfect way to get the appearance of plants without having to grow and maintain anything yourself.
Adjustable balcony shades are another great product to improve the privacy of your balcony. They attach to the top of your balcony and can be pulled down to provide shade and stop people from seeing you while you relax.
They come in different colors and as they are adjustable so you can lift them up to sunbathe or pull them down to stay cool. They are particularly useful for privacy in areas with lots of balconies close together, as it prevents people above and opposite being able to see onto your balcony.
You can also buy purpose made balcony privacy screens. These come in different finishes such as metal, wood, composite and bamboo.
They vary in height and style. Some of them attach directly to the balcony panels, some are weighted so they can be freestanding, and others are floor-mounted.
To make your glass balcony private without covering the glass itself, you can apply stick-on panels that make clear glass look like smoked glass.
However, they will need to be replaced every year or two depending on weather conditions and they only offer minimal privacy.
I Don’t Own My Home – What Changes Can I Make to My Balcony?
If you rent your property, there may be restrictions as to what changes and adjustments you can make to both indoor and outdoor space. It’s always best to check your contract or with your letting agent/landlord before carrying out any work.
If you aren’t sure what you can or can’t do, it might be best to stick to removable privacy options such as curtains that won’t cause any permanent marks and are easy to take down.
Can I Use Plants To Make My Balcony More Private?
If you enjoy gardening and growing plants, there are various options for improving privacy on your balcony.
You could place large, tall potted plants along the edge of your balcony to stop people looking in whilst creating an attractive and exciting outdoor space.
You could also install a trellis and grow climbing plants such as Ivy and honeysuckle. Keep in mind that it may take some time to reach the desired height and effect so you will need to be patient.
It is also important to consider the climate in your area and how much sunlight and rainfall you get on your balcony.
Choose the right kind of plant that will thrive in the conditions on your balcony and do your research on how to care for the plant. If you have pets, be sure to check that the plants aren’t toxic to animals before you buy them.
How Do I Improve Balcony Privacy On A Small Budget?
If you don’t like being overlooked but don’t have enough money to buy a full screening system, you could consider a large parasol or umbrella.
Try and find one that is adjustable so you can set it to the angle that provides you with the most privacy from onlookers. It won’t cover the whole balcony but you can use it to block the area you are sitting in.