backyard pergola
Darin Chamberlin / Flickr (Creative Commons)

Nothing welcomes long summer nights better than a backyard pergola. Pergolas add much-needed shade in the summer and allow for stargazing at night. An aluminum pergola, in particular, is designed to resist all sorts of less-than-ideal weather conditions, and many are finished with a wood grain to give the illusion of a cedar pergola.

Whether you’re looking for a larger pergola to house your outdoor dining table or just have a few Adirondack chairs you’d like to provide some shade for, we’ve found the best aluminum pergola kits available online.

How And Where You’ll Be Using It

Pergolas can be used in a variety of ways. They can serve as a small haven in the garden, provide a bit of coverage over an outdoor dining table, or create shade poolside. By having an idea of what you’ll be using it for, you can more easily narrow down your options.

If you want the pergola to serve as a source of shade, you’ll need to consider options that can accommodate a shade sail or pergola cover. Some pergola options offer a model-specific shade that you can purchase separately. Alternatively, check out our pergola canopy buying guide for one that fits the dimensions of your pergola.

Pergola Size

Pergolas come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from a small 6’ x 6’ to an extra large 12’ x 20’. You’ll want to be sure to provide yourself with plenty of room to not only house the pergola but assemble it as well.

Trustworthy pergola manufacturers will provide two different measurements:

  • The length and height of the arbor top
  • The overall area when standing inside the structure

Usually, these measurements are different. You need to consider both.

If the arbor top is too tall, it could interfere with nearby trees, foliage, or other structures.

The interior dimensions are important too. Will you order and assemble your new pergola, only to find that your outdoor dining table doesn’t fit inside? Will your tallest family member be able to stand inside it comfortably?

The Benefits Of Metal

The major advantage of choosing aluminum over wood for your pergola is that aluminum pergolas require less maintenance. There’s no need for staining or adding any varnishes to metal, and the pergolas are ready to use straight out of the box. Wood will eventually fade with the sun and age, requiring additional paint or stain. Aluminum, on the other hand, will stand up to weathering and water damage.

Related Post: Cedar Pergola Kits – Our 2018 Top Picks

Also, aluminum pergolas are lighter and don’t require ground anchoring like cedar pergolas do. Assembling an aluminum pergola is generally easier than assembling a cedar one since the tall poles are much lighter. An aluminum pergola could be placed on a wooden deck, while a wood pergola probably could not.

While there are many benefits to choosing an aluminum pergola, there are a few disadvantages that are worth mentioning. In the heat of the sun, aluminum pergolas can get hot to the touch, while cedar will not.

Additionally, though the lightweight nature of aluminum pergolas has its benefits, it can also make the design less wind-resistant. Be sure to effectively stake down your pergola before use. If you have kids or energetic dogs, consider going with a anchored pergola to ensure that the structure stays where it needs to be.

Aluminum Pergola With Retractable Pergola Cover

10.5 x 15.5 metal pergola

Installation: Spiked
Arbor Top: 10.5’ W x 15.5′ D x 7.75′ H
Interior Space: 10.5’ W x 15.5′ D x 7’ H
Material: Aluminum

For an extra-large option that will house all of your outdoor furniture, check out this 10.5’ x 15.5’ aluminum pergola. With an included convertible top, you can easily switch between relaxing in the shade during the day and stargazing at night. The pergola shade is UV-resistant and will not only cool down your guests but surround them with much-needed sun protection.

Get the weather-resistant benefits of aluminum with the traditional style of wood with this pergola. The aluminum material is stamped with an embedded wood grain technology leaving you with a product that will never have to be stained or treated. This pergola can be installed on concrete or a deck, making it a versatile option. The structure itself has a 5-year warranty, while the shade material has a 2-year warranty.

Find it at Wayfair: Aluminum Pergola With Retractable Pergola Cover


Lean-To Aluminum Pergola

lean to aluminum pergola

Installation: Wall-Mounted
Arbor Top: Available in multiple sizes
Interior Space: Available in multiple sizes
Material: Aluminum

Lean-to pergolas are ideal for when you want a shaded area but want to conserve space. They are also a good option for people who have a small backyard and are looking to take advantage of the space that they have. The wall-mounted design also encourages a bit more support as compared to a free-standing pergola. Available in multiple sizes, this aluminum pergola is suitable for all sorts of garden and backyard designs.

Similar to the previous option, this pergola is embossed with a driftwood grain finish, providing the look of a traditional pergola with the weather-resistance benefits of aluminum. The top of the pergola is a lattice design that encourages airflow and can support a shade with ease. The manufacturer mentions that the lattice design reduces UV rays by over 50%.

The frame is weather and rust-resistant, making it an outdoor structure that will stand the test of every season, not just summer.

Find it at Wayfair: Lean-To Aluminum Pergola


Hampton Bay 9’ x 9’ Aluminum and Steel Pergola

Installation: Unavailable
Arbor Top: 9’ W x 9’ D
Interior Space: 9’ W x 9’ D x 8’ H
Material: Aluminum

With a unique arched design and an included shade, this aluminum pergola from Hampton Bay adds some Mediterranean flair to your backyard, garden, or patio. With an antique bronze finish, this pergola is prepared to face all sorts of weather conditions, without any damage. The beige-colored shade will tie in well with your current outdoor furniture and decor, regardless of color or design.

At 9’ x 9’, this pergola is a reasonable size that will fit your outdoor patio set but maybe not your dining table.

Find it at Amazon: Hampton Bay 9′ x 9′ Aluminum Pergola


9′ x 9′ Aluminum Pergola Arbor

aluminum pergola arbor

Installation: Anchored
Arbor Top: 9’ W x 9’ D x 7.16’ H
Interior Space: 8.33′ L x 8.33′ W x 6.5′ H
Material: Aluminum

At 9’ x 9’ x 9’, this pergola would fit your existing patio set or a few Adirondack chairs well. It may not be large enough for a full dining set, but it can serve as a gathering place. The pergola itself is black, but the canopies are available in mocha, terracotta, or smoke.

The manufacturer mentions that the shade itself reduces temperatures by 32% and blocks up to 90% of UV rays. To set your mind at ease, this shade is endorsed by the Melanoma International Foundation. It will also protect your patio furniture from sun damage. The shade retracts with ease when you’re wanting just a bit more sunlight or if you want to wash it.

The structure is rust, water, and weather-resistant.

Find it at Hayneedle: 9′ x 9′ Aluminum Pergola Arbor


White Aluminum Pergola

white aluminum pergola

Installation: Anchored
Arbor Top: 11.5′ W x 11.5′ D x 7.75′ H
Interior Space: 11.5′ W x 11.5′ D x 7.5′ H
Material: Aluminum

If you’re needing a pergola to fit your outdoor dining set, this larger option from Wayfair fits the bill. With a powder-coated finish, this white aluminum pergola will stand up to the wear and tear of all sorts of weather conditions.

A canopy is also included with this pergola, and you have the choice of light brown, chocolate brown, or white. The canopy is UV-resistant and made out of a polyester material. There is a 5-year warranty on this pergola.

Find it at Sam’s Club: White Aluminum Pergola