BFFs with your neighbors? Nope? Then these apartment balcony privacy ideas are a must to avoid awkward situations. Sure, you might say "hey" when you take out the trash in your sliders, but if you don't want them gatecrashing cocktails with your gals during golden hour — this outdoor accessory is a must.
Organizing your small apartment exterior doesn't mean you've got to build a brick wall to create barriers. In fact, balcony privacy screen designs can be bougie. Oh, and it doesn't need to be happy hour for you to deserve some peace and quiet either.
A pretty partition means you can top up your tan without peering eyes, or just enjoy that sip of coffee in your own outdoor sanctuary, sans that mandatory greeting. I'm a millennial — I get you. I'd rather Whatsapp or text than communicate IRL so in most cases, I keep my "neighbor niceties" to the minimum. Small talk, who?
The best apartment balcony privacy screens
The cost of these picks will depend on how wide your apartment balcony is, and how high you'll want the balcony screen to be. Get your tape measure out to ensure your specs are spot-on. You know what they say — measure twice, cut once.
Here, you'll find all sorts of options including trellis, fence, and paneling. There's a solution to suit all schemes and budgets. Installation may vary by the type you choose, but to be on the safe side, it's probably worth throwing some cable ties into your Amazon basket.
It's also worth noting that a few of these picks will help to hide ugly balcony railings and stop passers-by from peeking into your terrace. Romeo and Juliet — this is not. Essentially this is one of the best investments you can make from highly-rated outdoor furniture stores.
Prices were accurate at time of writing this article
Best shade cloth
Price: From $14.35
Material: High-Density Polyethylene
+ Free cable ties included
+ 90% UV Protection
- Some say it is see-through
- Some customers have had issues with sizing
This all-weather balcony privacy screen is super smart and offers appropriate levels of privacy in a busy apartment complex. It's sturdy, provides shade, and is easy to install with the free cable ties that are included.
Best privacy ivy
Price: From $40.79
Material: Polyester, Plastic
+ Easy to install
- Leaves come off over time
- Some say it smells bad
Get a "Marvel-ous" balcony aesthetic with this artificial Ivy background. This verdant screen fakes the look of foliage, allowing you to have your own green screen 365 days a year. Makes a gorgeous Instagram background for your summertime posts.
Material: Moso bamboo and galvanized alloy steel
+ Handmade and heat-treated finish
+ No assembly required
Give your balcony instant beach club vibes with this chic slatted decor. I can already taste the Pina Coladas I'd be making if I bought this balcony privacy screen. FYI, the brand recommends that you use linseed oil (available from Amazon) to protect the natural eco-friendly material for years to come.
Size (in.): H55.13 x H31.5 x D19.63
Color: Light brown
+ Attractive stain color
- One customer had issues with the design of the feet
- Slats can bend
Bring the indoors out (and vice versa) with this light brown wooden privacy screen. With Scandi-chic vibes, it's the perfect accessory for alfresco dining and being a good tenant and neighbor by spilling your party into next door.
Best retractable screen
Price: From $84.99
Material: Alloy Steel, Polyester
+ Weatherproof / UV resistant
+ Rust-resistant steel
+ Easy to assemble
- Some customers have received incomplete packages
Like your neighbors, but only some of the time? Looks like you need this retractable side awning. If there's no "official" split down the middle of space, this stretchy solution is a great compromise. Simply pull the roller blind out, then replace it when you're done. Aside from nosy next-door neighbors, this is also a great windbreaker according to Amazon customers.
Size: H6 ft. x W3 ft.
Material: Recycled plastic
+ Holds up against strong winds
+ Attractive design
+ Easy to install
- Needs to be reinforced (according to Wayfair reviews)
- Some metal frames arrive bent (according to verified customers)
To be honest, most apartment balcony privacy screens can be ugly. So if style is top of your agenda, I'd pick this laser-cut design. When the sun is out, it'll create the most attractive shadows. Because of the nature of the material, you won't have to worry about rot, rust, mold, or moisture.
Size: H70 x W138 x D61
Material: Steel frame/wicker detail
+ Beautiful design
+ Includes ground spikes for anchoring into the ground
+ Arrives well packaged
- Quite large
Recreate those bohemian vacation-inspired posts on your Instagram with this three-panel decorative patio screen. The modern traditional mixed-material design is perfect for any apartment. And, if you've got a weird balcony layout — don't panic! The 3-panel construction lets you arrange at your preferred angle.
Best for storage
Size: H67.10 x W63.60 x D0.70
Material: Sycamore wood
+ Attractive rustic design
+ 4 equally-sized panels that can be folded
+ No assembly required
+ Sturdy and stable with two non-slip plastic foot nails on each foot
Our #8 is a great opportunity to create a wildlife-friendly outdoor space. Invest in some gorgeous planters and use this apartment balcony privacy screens as a shelf to display all of the botanicals that bees love!
Best to hide trash
Size: H3.5ft. x W3 ft.
Material: 100% FSC-certified cedar wood lumber / powder-coated aluminum
+ Eco-friendly sourced materials
+ Treated with an environmentally safe water-based stain
+ Easy to install
- Product is not wind rated
Not only does this balcony privacy screen shelter you from peeping eyes, but it also hides trash cans and anything else you want to keep out of sight (like an ugly AC unit).
How do I add privacy to my apartment balcony?
Tall planters, retractable screens, foldable dividers — these are just some of the many ways to add privacy to your veranda. It all depends on how much dollar you've got to spend, how much time you want to put into installing your solution, and your confidence in your DIY skills.
What to consider when buying a balcony privacy screen
No two products are built the same. So Here are some things you'll want to look out for when buying a balcony privacy screen:
- Price: How much you can afford to spend may impact the quality of the apartment balcony privacy screen you get. Sturdier materials can be spendy.
- Material: As mentioned above, something that is going to be weatherproof is likely to be expensive. Heavier materials like solid wood and steel are less likely to knock over in heavy wind conditions. In order to get the most bang for your buck, look for materials that have been treated with anti-rust, or anti-UV solutions so that rain and sun won't degrade it over time.
- Size: You may have fallen in love with an apartment balcony privacy screen. But, does it *actually* fit into your space. Depending on what floor you're on, you may have to lug this up the stairs or fit it into your communal elevator.
- Functionality: Other than providing privacy, is there anything else you'd expect this screen to do? Maybe you'd like some shade from the sun, or perhaps your balcony windows need some respite from windy weather. Check yo' specs girl!
How we chose these balcony privacy screens
I personally live in a 2-bed maisonette, so there's no need (or way) for me to test how well these balcony privacy screens work. Therefore, I've trawled the web for highly-rated products that people love, scanning reviews for common themes. In a nutshell, I looked at price, performance, style, and shape.
And, I didn't *just* stop there. I also filtered through the ratings to see if people that purchased it left something in the comments section about how long the apartment balcony privacy screen lasted and how they got on with it.