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Whether you’re dining al fresco, entertaining guests, or enjoying your outdoor oasis, the right patio umbrella not only looks great with your outdoor decor, it also shades you from the sun’s harsh rays. “It's important to understand that umbrellas tend to spend the entire year outside. Investing in a quality outdoor umbrella is not that different from choosing a quality roofing material,” says Peter Spalding, interior designer and co-founder of the designer marketplace Daniel House Club. “You want cleanable fabrics that hold to intense UV exposure, and the mechanisms should be easy to operate, too.”
To decide which is the right patio umbrella for you, we’ve rounded up the top nine styles that work great in every outdoor space.
Our top picks for the best patio umbrellas
Best cantilever patio umbrella: Hampton Bay Cantilever Umbrella
This cantilever umbrella has received thousands of reviews for looking great but also for being durable. It can be set up quickly with the crank lift system. The umbrella even comes with solar powered LED lights to create some ambiance when the sun goes down. The canopy fabric is weather-resistant and the base is made from a rust-resistant aluminum, so you can use the umbrella year after year.
- Dimensions: 11 feet (diameter) x 9 feet 5 inches (height) x 11 feet 9 inches (depth)
- Materials: Olefin and aluminum
- Color options: Putty, midnight, chili red
- Price: $399.99
- Has solar powered LED lights
- The base requires 220 pounds of sand
Best budget patio umbrella: Better Homes and Gardens Outdoor 9 foot Ibiza Stripes Patio Umbrella
A great umbrella that won’t break the bank, this option from Better Homes and Gardens adds a fun pop of pattern to your patio. The umbrella has an easy-open crank open and close system, and even has a three-way tilt feature to block out the moving sun. You will need to get a base for this umbrella, but it’s worth the extra cost for this budget-friendly umbrella.
- Dimensions: 9 feet (diameter) x 8 feet (height)
- Materials: Steel and polyester
- Color Options: black and white, red, and navy
- Price: $59.67
- The black and white stripe is a fun design
- Can provide shade for a variety of table sizes (42- to 54-inch tables)
- Does not come with an umbrella base
Best splurge patio umbrella: Pottery Barn 9-foot Teak Round Umbrella
For a premium umbrella that is worth the splurge, check out this selection from Pottery Barn. Not only does the umbrella come in over 25 colors, the materials like the brass joint caps and ribs ensure the umbrella looks beautiful year after year. This umbrella is an investment, but if you spend a lot of time outside, it’s worth it.
- Dimensions: 9 feet (diameter) x 8 feet (height)
- Materials: Sunbrella fabric (canopy) and teak
- Color Options: 25+ colors
- Price: $839.00
- Extensive color options
- Extra heavy duty pole
- Fabric provides up to 98% UV protection
- The hefty price tag
- Base sold separately
Best patio umbrella with lights: Best Choice 7.5 foot Market Solar Tilt Patio Umbrella
This umbrella can brighten up any outdoor space with the string of solar powered lights attached to the inside of the umbrella and the fun fabric color options. From sky blue to burgundy to green, you’ll find a hue that works in your outdoor space. The umbrella has a pulley-assisted crank system to open and close the umbrella, as well as a push-button tilt feature.
- Dimensions: 7 foot 6 inches (diameter) x 8 feet (height)
- Materials: Polyester and metal
- Color options: 11 colors
- Price: $64.99
- Many color options
- Solar-powered lights means you won’t have to worry about plugs and cords
- Many reviewers felt the umbrella was smaller than advertised
- Doesn’t come with an umbrella stand
Best vented patio umbrella: California Umbrella 11-foot Double Vented Patio Umbrella
A vented umbrella allows air to pass through so when it's windy outside, your umbrella can be stronger and less prone to toppling over or being overturned. This vented option from California Umbrella is our pick for best vented and because of its durability and style. Plus you can choose from over 20 colors.
- Dimensions: 11 feet (diameter) x 9 feet 1.5 inches (height)
- Materials: Fiberglass and Olefin
- Color options: 20 colors
- Price: $193.00
- Many color options
- Collar tilt mechanism allows you to precisely adjust the umbrella’s angle
- Some reviewers say that the fabric isn’t as opaque as they expected
Best weather resistant outdoor umbrella: Elite Shade USA 9-Foot Three Tier Market Umbrella
Don’t let the elements keep you from enjoying your backyard. The three layers of this vented canopy allows heat and wind to escape leaving you feeling cool under the umbrella. The layers also help the umbrella stay upright on windy days. The crank system is easy to open and close and the material of the canopy is fade-resistant.
- Dimensions: 9 foot (diameter) x 8 feet 3 inches (height)
- Materials: Sunbrella fabric and aluminum
- Color options: 15 colors
- Price: $209
- Doesn’t tip over easily in the wind
- Vents can let in sunlight
Best oversized patio umbrella: Nyasia Rectangular Market Umbrella
Sometimes a regular-sized umbrella just doesn’t offer enough shade. If your backyard space needs more shade, upgrade to this extra large patio umbrella. Measuring in at a whopping 15 feet by 9 feet, you can cover extra large tables or several lounge chairs with just one of these umbrellas.
- Dimensions: 15 feet (diameter) x 9 feet (height)
- Materials: Polyester and steel
- Color options: Red, beige, navy, and dark red
- Price: $195
- Covers an extra long space in shade
- The umbrella weights 45 pounds without the stand
Best patio umbrella with stand: Mancos Lighted Market Umbrella
This umbrella really combines a lot of features into one: The tiered venting, adjustable height, solar-powered lights, and comes in plenty of color options. The Macos Market umbrella made our list because it comes with a stand, meaning you don’t have to pay extra to buy one separately. Just add water or sand to the stand, and it’s ready to support the umbrella.
- Dimensions: 9 feet 10 inches (diameter) x 8 feet 4 inches (height)
- Materials: Polyester and aluminum
- Color options: Comes in 7 colors
- Price: $190
- Stand is included
- Umbrella has solar-powered lights
- Sunlight can come through the vents
How we select the best patio umbrellas
We researched patio umbrellas from the most popular brands and selected options based on materials used, online reviews, and other factors. We also took recommendations from our expert, Peter Spalding.
Patio umbrella types
There are two types of patio umbrellas: Market and cantilever.
Market: This is an umbrella that is designed to fit in the center of an outdoor dining table, with an upright pole (sometimes there is a tilting mechanism) at its center and a large canopy.
Cantilever: This is a patio umbrella where the canopy is suspended from the side, so you can slide a table (or lounger) underneath.
Type of stands
Umbrella stands come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and materials. The size and type of umbrella you choose usually dictates the type of stand that will work best. For example, Cantilever patio umbrellas require specific bases designed for this style of umbrella. However, other umbrellas will need heavy bases and stands to ensure the umbrella doesn’t lift or move when in use. The bases are often made from a variety of materials like concrete, cast iron, steel, or a heavy-duty plastic.
To figure out the right weight for the stand, you’ll need to do a little math. Start by multiplying the width of your umbrella by ten. If you have an umbrella that’s eleven feet wide, you’ll need a stand that weighs a minimum of 110 pounds when filled.
Care and maintenance
When cleaning your umbrella, gentle soap and water is usually enough to clean stains, dirt, and debris from the material as the frame. Do not use harsh abrasives on the canopy because they could damage the material. If the umbrella has signs of mildew, add white vinegar to the cleaning solution. (This advice also works great for beach umbrellas.)
When not using the umbrella, always collapse the canopy—especially on windy and rainy days. During the harsher weather of winter, you can store your umbrella indoors or purchase a cover for the umbrella.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the best material for a patio umbrella?
A variety of fabrics are often used for the umbrella canopy:
- Olefin is a popular material used in umbrellas because it dries very quickly and is UV-resistant.
- Sunbrella is a brand of material that is a blend of acrylic and polyester. The material is resistant to fading, mildew, and stains.
The best umbrella frames are made from teak, aluminum, fiberglass, and stainless steel.
What color patio umbrella is best for sun protection?
Dark colors like black, deep reds, and greens, in addition to dark neutral colors are great options for umbrellas because these dark colors absorb more light and block more heat. Fortunately, many of the dark colors also work as neturals to coordinate with a variety of color palettes for outdoor furniture.
How to determine the appropriate size based on my patio space?
First you’ll need to consider the size and shape of your outdoor table. One way to decide on the size is that your patio umbrella should extend over the table by two feet on each side. The larger the table, the larger the umbrella you’ll need. If you are using an umbrella without placing it over a dining table, consider how much shade you’ll comfortably need and buy an umbrella with the corresponding size.
How are patio umbrellas measured?
To find the correct measurement of a patio umbrella, you’ll need to measure the width of the umbrella. Start by opening the umbrella and measuring the distance between the top of the rib arm and the bottom of the rib arm. Then, multiply that number by two for the size of your umbrella.
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