The best garden parasols 2020: create a shady spot with our top garden umbrellas

Our selection of the latest and loveliest garden parasols will keep you cool even when the sun is high

Best garden parasols
(Image credit: Future)

If you love spending the summer outdoors, garden parasols are a must-have. Whether you’re just out there relaxing or sitting down for a meal it will protect you and your guests from the glare of the sun and help keep you at a comfortable temperature. 

There are plenty of options when it comes to finding the best garden parasol with different sizes on offer, and designs ranging from those that offer just shade underneath, tilting and rotating versions, and models that promise great UV protection. 

Whatever your style preferences and budget, we’ve tracked down the best around this year. Read on to find the best design for your space, then check out our pick of the best garden furniture

The best garden parasols 2020

Garden parasol from Argos

(Image credit: Argos)

1. Argos Home Rotating Overhanging Garden Parasol

Best garden parasol: sizeable and easily positionable, this design will keep you cool all day

Specifications
Best for: Manoeuvrability
Size: H245 x Dia. 300cm
Weight: 13.6kg
Colour: Cream
Reasons to buy
+Large size+Rotates around the pole
Reasons to avoid
-Base is separate buy-Doesn’t tilt

Need enough shade for dining, over your loungers, or even for the hot tub you’ve treated yourself to? This big parasol could be the answer.

Rotating design

It’s easy to cope with the movement of the sun with this parasol. It rotates right around the pole so you can create shade where it’s needed at different times of the day.

Good coverage

With a diameter of 300cm, this design is ideal for shading fairly large dining tables and areas.

Get support

Bear in mind that you will need to use this parasol with a base, and you’ll need to add that to the shopping basket separately.

  • Buy the Argos Home Rotating Overhanging Garden Parasol

blue garden parasol from B&Q

(Image credit: B&Q)

2. B&Q Malta 2.96m Blue Overhanging Parasol

Best for colour: create a holiday atmosphere with this fabulous azure garden umbrella

Specifications
Best for: Mediterranean style
Size: H250 x Dia. 296cm
Weight: 9.8kg
Colour: Blue
Reasons to buy
+UV resistant+Water repellent+Easy to open and close
Reasons to avoid
-Base sold separately

This bold blue parasol will bring a pop of colour to your outside space that’s definitely more Med than Margate.

UV protection

A garden parasol with UV protection offers more than just shade, and this design provides it. Don’t skip the sun lotion, though, to keep yourself safe.

Moving round

This isn’t a rotating design, and you’ll need to reposition it to follow the sun’s movement. It isn’t too heavy to move, though.

Up and down

There’s a crank handle to wind when you want to open and close the parasol, and it’s neat when folded down for easier storage. 

  • Buy the B&Q Malta 2.96m Blue Overhanging Parasol

green garden parasol from M&S

(Image credit: Marks & Spencer)

3. Marks & Spencer Square Parasol

Best wooden parasol: a solid eucalyptus frame gives this design durability and style

Specifications
Best for: Good looks
Size: H253 x W198 x D198cm
Weight: Not specified
Colour: Sage green
Reasons to buy
+UV protection +Striking square design+FSC wood frame
Reasons to avoid
-Needs a base

This square design has a contemporary look while the combination of sage green fabric and a wooden frame makes it blend into the garden perfectly.

Sun protection

As well as creating shade for an alfresco meal, or a sit in the sun, this design has UV protection equal to UPF50+ (that’s ultraviolet protection factor, and indicates how much UV radiation a fabric allows to reach your skin). In other words, it blocks more than 98 per cent of the sun’s rays.

Good wood

The frame is made from solid eucalyptus, a wood that’s ideal for garden furniture. It’s FSC certified, too.

Easy care

You can wipe this parasol clean, but you’ll need to put it away dry in the garage or shed in winter.

Garden parasol from Cuckooland

(Image credit: Cuckooland)

4. Cuckooland.com Elizabeth Aluminium Parasol

Best tilting parasol: just click to angle this design where you need it for a shady patio or lawn

Specifications
Best for: Simple adjustment
Size: H240 x Dia 270cm
Weight: Not specified
Colour: Grey
Reasons to buy
+Easy to tilt+Smart colour+Crank handle
Reasons to avoid
-Base also required

Get a sophisticated modern look in your garden with this shade made with aluminium plus a polyester canopy.

Right angle

A click of the button will tilt the canopy of this parasol to keep you in the shade all day long on your patio or in an outdoor space.

In grey

We like the smart grey colour of this design which looks contemporary and would suit a modern plot.

Up and down

A crank handle opens the shade once the sun gets overhead so you can put it up in a jiffy.

  • Buy the Cuckooland.com Elizabeth Aluminium Parasol

red garden parasol from Robert Dyas

(Image credit: Robert Dyas)

5. Robert Dyas Glatz Alu Smart 2.2m Round Parasol

Best for small spaces: shade your lounger all day long with this nifty little number

Specifications
Best for: Compact patios and limited areas
Size: H240 x Dia. 220cm
Weight: Not specified
Colour: Red
Reasons to buy
+Height adjustable+Can be tilted+Fade-resistant fabric+Water repellent+UV50+ protection
Reasons to avoid
-Won’t cover large areas

This sunshade may be a smaller design, but it has plenty of great features, and we love the colour, too.

Lazy lounging

This parasol will shade an area of 3.4 square metres, so it’s ideal used over a lounger or on a city patio.

Good mover

You can adjust the height to suit the spot, as well as tilt this model as the sun moves round.

Durable design

The parasol is Scotch-guarded to prevent rot, and there’s a colour-fastness solution applied to resist fade. It offers UV50+ protection, too.

  • Buy the Robert Dyas Glatz Alu Smart 2.2m Round Parasol

Amazon garden parasol

(Image credit: Amazon)

6. Amazon Purpleleaf 11 Feet Double Top Deluxe Patio Umbrella

Best for fine adjustment: you can choose from six heights and angles with this design

Specifications
Best for: Choice of heights and angles
Size: H204 x Dia. 335cm
Weight: 30kg
Colour: Khaki
Reasons to buy
+Covers large area+Can adjust both height and angle+UV-resistant fabric+Waterproof+Colour fast
Reasons to avoid
-Base weights not included-Big budget buy

If you’re looking for plenty of control over your parasol, check out this rotating, tilting, and height changeable model.

Colour keeper

The polyester of the canopy is fade resistant to keep the parasol looking new. It’s rated UV50+, and it’s water repellent as well in case the weather changes.

Top vent

The vent in the top of the parasol is made to let the heat out so you’ll stay at the right temperature. It’s a wind vent, too.

Added extras

You’ll get a storage cover with this parasol, and a cross base, but it will need weights, and you’ll need to order these in addition.

  • Buy the Amazon Purpleleaf 11 Feet Double Top Deluxe Patio Umbrella

How to choose the best parasol

The best garden parasol for your outside space will depend on your needs, the size of your garden, and your budget.

Think about the size

You’ll need to consider how big an area you want to shade when you’re buying, but also how the parasol fits into the space. Make sure you take any overhanging features in your plot into account so you can factor in the clearance needed.

If you only want a parasol to shade a lounger, it won’t need huge dimensions, but if it’s to shade a dining set, think about opting for a design with a diameter of 2 metres for two seats; 2.4 metres for four to six seats; 2.7 to 3 metres for six to eight; and 4 metres for 10 seats.

What about adjustment?

A parasol that offers shade from above might be enough, but think about whether a tilting design would be better for your needs – for example if you’re likely to be in the garden for many hours. Rotating designs can also offer flexibility.

UV protection

Some fabrics offer extra protection from the sun. Look out for an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF). The higher the value, the better the protection offered.

Durability

Go for woods that are suitable for outdoor conditions like eucalyptus if the frame of the parasol is wooden, and look for rust-resistance if it’s made from metal, plus water-repellent fabric for the shade.

The base

You’ll likely have to buy the base separately, so add the cost of this to your budget and look out for the compatible design when you’re buying your parasol.

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