Amazon's $48 Privacy Fence Looks Like "Realistic Ivy"—But Does It Actually Work?
Retail experts weigh in on the charming design for your yard.
There's no denying that fences are charming. Maybe your front lawn is framed by a white picket fence, or perhaps your backyard is bordered by a rustic wood one. But privacy fences are often a different story. The idea is that they're tall and opaque enough to block out neighbors, which doesn't always equate to attractive design. However, Amazon is selling a $48 privacy fence that the retailer says looks like "realistic ivy" for "a blooming, earthy feel." It may be cute, but does it still work? To find out, we consulted retail experts. Keep reading for their opinions.
What exactly is the Amazon privacy fence?
Amazon's DearHouse Artificial Ivy Privacy Fence is constructed of "densely packed" and "fade-resistant" plastic and polyester faux leaves attached to a mesh backing. It comes in 30 different panel sizes, ranging from 8.2' X 3.3' ($48) to 11.5' X 6.5' ($85). The panels can be interlocked via a "snap lock mechanism" and fastened to another structure with the included zip ties.
"Benefits of our product are very simple installation, minimal tools needed, maintenance free, realistic fashion looking, strong durable," reads the product page.
Here are the drawbacks.
According to Julie Ramhold, consumer analyst with DealNews.com, the main drawback of this product is that it doesn't stand on its own.
"There needs to be some kind of structure you can secure it to, so putting up something like stakes probably isn't going to be enough," she explains. "It's really meant to be secured to architecture rather than a free-standing option, so if you're putting it on a balcony, it will need to be secured to the railing or used to fill gaps in a more traditional fence setup."
The other thing to note is that although the privacy fence is inexpensive, the price is only for one panel. Additionally, the $48 option is just three feet tall.
"That height isn't going to give you a ton of privacy, depending on where you put it. If you want to use it around a raised deck or on a balcony, you'll definitely add a layer of privacy to your outdoor space," Ramhold says. "But if you want to use it around a ground-level patio or something similar, then the [$48] one probably isn't going to do much for you."
There is a size that's six-and-a-half feet tall, but that will cost you $87 per panel, she notes.
But there are some alternate uses.
Ramhold notes that since this product is fade-resistant, it's ideal for outdoor use, but she says it also makes a great decorative piece for indoors.
"If you just want a green wall in your home for a lush woodsy vibe without having to worry about keeping a living wall alive, this is something that can be used as an affordable decoration," she shares. "Twine some fairy lights throughout and lean into that cottage-core fantasy to make your home feel cozy year-round, or use it for decorating for a particular occasion. This product is pretty versatile and unique, so even if it won't serve your privacy fence needs, it's worth seeing if it fits elsewhere in your home."
Samantha Landau, consumer expert at TopCashback, adds that "customers state they have used this product to block their dogs from seeing out [or] camouflage their decks."
For more shopping advice delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
There are plenty of other faux ivy fences, too.
If the specifications of this particular faux ivy privacy fence aren't working for you, there are countless other options. On Amazon alone, there are dozens of similar products, including a 9.8' X 3.3' version with clip-on plastic butterflies that retails for $36 and a six-by-nine-foot model that sells for $65.
Landau points to Home Depot's Costway Faux Ivy Privacy Fence, which is also just over three feet tall and costs $64.62. Home Depot also sells a set of 12 faux boxwood panels (they're each 20" X 20") for $120.
But this version might be the best deal.
Despite all the different versions out there, retail experts agree that Amazon's DearHouse model may be one of the best deals.
"If you're looking for privacy options on the ground level, be prepared to spend a little more but the fact that it's still relatively affordable (certainly more affordable than installing a new fence made of wood by professionals) then this is definitely worth looking into," Ramhold says of the 6.5' version.
Landau notes that "it has over 7,000 five-star ratings, with an overall score of 4.2 out of 5 stars." By comparison, the Costway fence at Home Depot "only received a 3.7 out of 5 stars," and is more expensive.
"Customers mention a 'flimsy' material and that Home Depot's version 'looks fake.' Similar critiques can be found in the reviews for Amazon's option, but it's to be expected with any faux plant decor. So if you're looking for a trendy upgrade to your outdoor space, you're better off choosing Amazon's option as it is rated higher and saves you over $20," Landau says.