Pagodas and Pergolas: What Is the Difference?

Both pagodas and pergolas provide airy, open-sided sheltered areas for your outdoor living space. There are key differences in style that may make one better suited than the other to the look you want for your outdoor area.

What’s the Difference Between Pagodas and Pergolas?

When you are debating between the two, there are a few main differences. One is that pagodas have a solid roof while pergolas have open roofs of lattices or beams. The other difference is that pergolas adapt to many different architectural styles while pagodas remain true to their Asian roots.


Traditional pagodas are similar to pavilions. Both pagodas and pavilions have solid roofs that are supported by columns. Both pagodas and pavilions can be any shape – octagonal, hexagonal, or square. Pagodas also can be any color, and they can be made of any material. True to their Asian influences, though, the eaves of pergola roofs often curve upward.

With their solid roofs, pagodas do offer more shelter from rain than pergolas, and insulated aluminum roofs provide cool protection from heat and sun.


While pergolas do have open roofs of beams or lattice there are ways to increase the amount of shelter they provide from both sun and rain. One way to create more shade under a pergola is to decrease the spacing between the beams or lattices. You also can create shade, play with color, and provide some protection from the rain by attaching colored or patterned outdoor fabrics to a frame that is cut to fit between the beams or the lattice work that forms the roof.

When you are considering adding either structure to your outdoor living spaces, you can choose from lattice or solid aluminum covers in Las Vegas, including insulated aluminum roofs.