The best garden parasols 2022: top patio umbrellas for shade

The best garden parasols for some welcome shade, from the best cantilever garden parasol to stylish patio umbrellas

Best garden parasols - best parasol for garden - best garden umbrella for patio - Gardeningetc
(Image credit: Bridgman)

Looking for the best garden parasols? There's nothing like the sun shining to lift our moods, but on the sunniest of days some shade can be very welcome, and the best parasols for the garden offer just that.

Whether you want to enjoy long lunches outdoors without the sun beating down, set up a sun-safe area for the kids to play, or cut out the glare from your work-from-garden set-up, there are three main options to consider when shopping for the best garden parasol for you.

- A straight-forward patio umbrella with a central pole is usually the most affordable option. This design will offer some respite from the heat of the day, but the static pole may make it difficult to ensure the shade is where you want it when you want it. 

- The best tilting garden parasols offer more versatility, allowing you to angle the parasol canopy against the sun – which is rarely directly overhead – but you will need to arrange your activities around its central pole.

 - The best cantilever garden parasols have an offset freestanding base. These are often the best option for covering a play area, hot tub, or any area where a central pole would be restricting. They can also provide versatile shade for outdoor seating but generally come with a higher price tag.

It's also worth noting that most patio umbrellas don't come with base weights included, so you'll likely need to factor a separate base into the cost.

Just like the best garden furniture, this year garden parasols are selling out fast, so we've dived into the detail to round up some of our favourite garden parasols to help narrow down the choice. 


Where to find the best garden parasols

We've rounded up our top patio umbrella picks below, but if you have specific size or canopy colour requirements, these are our go-to stores for finding a garden parasol to suit your needs:


Best garden parasols with a central pole

If all you want is a simple garden parasol to use with your outdoor table or cast a bit of shade when the sun is at its peak, then a basic patio umbrella generally makes the most affordable option. Of course, you might also use the opportunity to inject some style into the garden with stripes, tassels, and more!

For added versatility consider a tilted parasol that allows you to angle the canopy to create more shade, and look to see whether the canopy fabric offers UV protection – a must for reducing the risk of sunburn.

A tilting garden parasol with a cream canopy

(Image credit: Kettler)

1. KETTLER 2.5m Wind Up Parasol with tilt grey frame and stone canopy

A useful tilting garden parasol with high UV protection: shade and sun protection in one

Specifications

RRP: From £119
Dimensions: 250 cm x 250 cm x 224 cm
Base weight included: No
UV protection rating: 50+
Mechanisms: Crank handle, tilting canopy
Materials: Polyester and aluminium
Colour options: Stone, grey & sage

Reasons to buy

+
UV protection rating of 50+
+
Tilting canopy
+
Wind-up crank handle for easy opening
+
Shower resistant canopy

Reasons to avoid

-
Base not included

For more control over where your shade falls, then a tilting parasol is a great option, and Kettler's 2.5m Wind Up Parasol with Tilting Canopy is a versatile solution – simply press the button on the pole to angle the adjustable canopy as the sun changes position and maintain the optimum amount of shade. 

A wind-up mechanism makes lowering and opening easy, and a rust-resistant aluminium pole and shower-resistant canopy fabric mean you don't need to worry about the odd bit of drizzle. Even better, the canopy's UV protection of 50+ offers extra peace of mind on top of the sunscreen.

The 2.5m canopy is also a useful size, covering smaller spaces easily and offering a nice mid-point between the usual 2m or 2.7m patio umbrellas.


A grey garden parasol with tilt function

(Image credit: Christow)

2. Christow 2.7m Crank and Tilt Parasol

An affordable tilting garden parasol: all the bells and whistles at a fraction of the price

Specifications

RRP: From £44.99
Dimensions: 270 cm x 270 cm x 240cm
Base weight included: No
UV protection rating: 30+
Mechanisms: Crank handle, tilting canopy
Materials: Polyester and aluminium
Colour options: Black, grey, cream, navy, taupe

Reasons to buy

+
UV protection rating of 30+
+
Tilting canopy
+
Wind-up crank handle for easy opening
+
Good range of canopy colour options

Reasons to avoid

-
Base not included

This affordable garden parasol offers great value for money, with a durable aluminium construction that will resist rusting, a crank handle for easy opening, and a useful tilt function for adjusting the angle of the canopy to get the best coverage of shade, and all for under £50 (minus the base that you'll need to add to your basket). 

The UV protection rating is lower than the top choice on our list, offering a 30+ rating rather than Kettler's 50+, and unlike the Kettler patio umbrella this option doesn't claim to be showerproof. 

However, in our tests, the crank handle was easy to operate and did a smooth job of raising and lowering the canopy, and the tilt button was easy to depress to achieve optimum shade coverage, so if you're looking for the added value of easy operation and maximum shade coverage at a lower price, then this is a great option to consider. Plus, there's also a wider range of colour choices than the premium Kettler option offers.


A black garden parasol with central pole

(Image credit: Argos Home)

3. Argos Home 2m Water Repellent Garden Parasol

A compact and affordable garden parasol: no-frills shade at a great price

Specifications

RRP: From £38
Dimensions: H204 x Dia.188cm
Base weight included: No
UV protection rating: No
Mechanisms: No
Materials: Polyester and aluminium
Colour options: Cream, grey, green, black

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable option
+
Compact

Reasons to avoid

-
Base not included
-
No UV protection
-
No tilting canopy
-
No crank handle

If you're after a budget garden parasol at one of the best prices around, then this no-frills patio umbrella could fit the bill.

The 2m canopy makes it a great option for smaller spaces, and although its affordability means you'll sacrifice UV protection and a crank handle for easy opening, the lightweight aluminium pole and polyester canopy are easy to carry from garage to patio, and it still offers water resistance if you want it to shelter a drizzly barbeque!

It also comes in a versatile range of colour choices, with cream, grey, black, and green options on offer.

Just bear in mind that this canopy doesn't tilt – which may or may not cause frustration as the sun changes angle.


A classic garden parasol with a cream canopy and wooden pole

(Image credit: Argos Home)

4. Argos Home 2.7m Water Repellent Garden Parasol

Best wooden pole garden parasol: classic good looks

Specifications

RRP: From £70
Dimensions: H248 x Dia.270cm
Base weight included: No
UV protection rating: No
Mechanisms: No
Materials: Polyester and eucalyptus wood
Colour options: Cream

Reasons to buy

+
Classic looks
+
FSC-certified eucalyptus wood pole

Reasons to avoid

-
Base not included
-
No UV protection
-
No tilting canopy
-
No crank handle

A cream canopy and FSC-certified eucalyptus wooden pole make this garden parasol perfect for adding classic summer style to your outside space.

As well as the more generous 270cm diameter canopy there is also a more compact 200cm diameter option in the Argos Home 2m Water Repellent Garden Parasol if space is tight, and both will add some sophisticated shade to a leisurely alfresco lunch.

Functionality-wise this option is fairly no-frills, lacking the UV protection, tilted canopy, or wind-up crankshaft for easier opening, but it does offer a water repellent finish so your outdoor soiree isn't affected by any looming clouds.


Best cantilever garden parasols

Offering an offset base with an overhanging canopy, the cantilever garden parasol is perhaps one of the most versatile patio umbrella designs. They do take up more space though – and are generally much heavier to erect or move – so make sure to check your mesaurements if your patio is on the smaller side.

black cantilever parasol with UV50 protection and LED lights - Rhodos 3m Cantilever Parasol with Lights

(Image credit: Schneider Schirme)

1. Schneider Schirme Rhodos 3m Cantilever Parasol with Lights

The best cantilever parasol: stylish LED lights and UV50+ protection

Specifications

RRP: From £560
Dimensions: H245 x Dia.250cm
Base weight included: No
UV protection rating: 50+
Mechanisms: Crank handle, tilting canopy, 360° free-arm rotation
Materials: Polyester and aluminium
Colour options: Anthracite

Reasons to buy

+
UV protection rating of 50+
+
LED lights
+
360° free-arm rotation
+
Tilting canopy
+
Wind-up crank handle for easy opening

Reasons to avoid

-
Base not included
-
An investment

UV50 protection? Check. Tilting canopy? Check. 360° free-arm rotation? Check. The Schneider Schirme Rhodos 3m Cantilever Parasol has all the essentials to make adding shade to your patio area as sun-safe and hassle-free as possible. 

The anthracite grey canopy also looks pretty stylish to boot. And the hidden surprise? The canopy spokes are fitted with solar-powered LED lights, creating the perfect ambience for alfresco dining and late evening sundowners.

The downside of course is the price, but if you're looking for the pièce de résistance for a stylish courtyard space or design-led decking area, this is a cantilever parasol well worth considering. 


A grey cantilever parasol

(Image credit: Christow)

2. Christow Cantilever Parasol 2.5m

A tilting parasol with 360° free-arm rotation: flexibile shade at a reasonable price

Specifications

RRP: From £149.99
Dimensions: H250 x Dia.250cm
Base weight included: No
UV protection rating: 30+
Mechanisms: Crank handle, tilting canopy, 360° free-arm rotation
Materials: Polyester and aluminium
Colour options: Cream, grey, taupe

Reasons to buy

+
UV protection rating of 30+
+
360° free-arm rotation
+
Tilting canopy
+
Wind-up crank handle for easy opening

Reasons to avoid

-
Base not included

This reasonably priced rust-resistant aluminium cantilever parasol offers 360° free-arm rotation operated by a foot pedal to enable you to easily swing the canopy around as the sun moves without moving the base, and the ability to lock the canopy into position once you've found just the right position. The canopy also tilts, offering even more ability to fine-tune your shade.

Like most cantilever parasols this option is pretty heavy to set up, so we definitely recommend it as a two-person job, and you'll need to buy base weights separately to secure it in place.

The canopy itself is water-resistant but offers a little less sun protection than the first choice on our list with a UV30+ rating. You also don't get the LED lights with this option, although with a significant cost saving we'd be happy to sacrifice the built-in option and consider some different outdoor lighting ideas instead.


A cantilever garden parasol with a grey canopy and black pole

(Image credit: Dakota Fields)

3. Dakota Fields Gully 3m Cantilever Parasol

One of the most affordable cantilever parasols: although don't forget you'll need base weights

Specifications

RRP: From £117.99
Dimensions: H250 x Dia.300cm
Base weight included: No
UV protection rating: Yes, but rating not specified
Mechanisms: Crank handle, tilting canopy
Materials: Polyester and steel
Colour options: Cream

Reasons to buy

+
An affordable cantilever option
+
360° free-arm rotation
+
Tilting canopy
+
Wind-up crank handle for easy opening
+
UV protection

Reasons to avoid

-
UV protection rating not specified
-
Steel pole is less resistant to rust than an aluminium option

A great option for affordable garden shade, this budget cantilever garden parasol features an offset base making it perfect for use over a play area, hot tub, or any outdoor dining set without the option for a central pole parasol. 

The large 3m diameter canopy has an easy-to-operate crank handle that allows you to open and close the canopy with minimal effort and the tilting canopy feature enables better control of the shade. 

There's also UV protection, although the rating isn't detailed in the specifications and the lower price point reflects the steel pole construction, which offers less rust resistance than an aluminium alternative. However, with its 360° arm rotation, if you're after a budget cantilever parasol and are willing to store it undercover to protect it from too much moisture and prolong its lifespan, we still think this could be a good option for versatile shade.


In-stock garden parasols

We know that this year garden parasols are flying in and out of stock fast, so if our top picks aren't available when you come to shop - and you don't want to wait for a re-stock - then you can use our handy shopping tool below to browse in-stock garden parasols that are available to buy right now. 

Simply scroll to the right to see more options at a gradually increasing price point, and click to go through to the retailer to shop.


How to find the best garden parasol for your outside space

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 then 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.

You can also find half parasols that are perfect for smaller patios and balcony spaces.

If you need something larger still then it may be worth considering one of the best gazebo in our dedicated buyer's guide instead.

UV protection
Bear in mind that not all parasols offer UV protection, no matter how thick the canopy is! So it’s important to check first. If you plan to spend hours in the afternoon sun, it’s always better to find one that offers at least 30+ ultraviolet protection factor (UPF). Of course, the higher the value, the more protected you’ll be against harmful rays, and many of the best garden parasols on our list offer UV protection of 50+.

Base weights
Base weights tend to come separately from the parasol itself, so make sure you factor in this additional cost to your overall purchase. You'll also need to make sure your base weights fit the parasol pole width and fulfil the recommended weight requirements to ensure your parasol stays secure.

Weights can either be a single heavy base which are best for lighter parasols as the heaviest would be difficult to move (a round option will also be easier to roll rather than lift), or bases which come in quarter segments that can be filled with sand or water (or a mix of the two) in situ, making getting your base weights into position easier.
Shop parasol weights at Amazon.

Parasol cover
Just like the base weights, most parasols don't come with a parasol cover, which can be helpful to prevent mildew and sun fading if you opt to leave your parasol outdoors. Although you should easily find one to match your parasol's specifications.
Shop parasol covers at Amazon.

How to care for your parasol
The best garden parasols are designed to be durable, weather-resistant and rust-resistant. However, there are still things you can do to prolong a parasols lifespan. Clean your parasol regularly with a soft damp cloth, and protect it with a cover whenever not in use. When storing for winter always make sure your parasol is fully dry first, and then store somewhere cool and protected from moisture.

Get ready for the sun
Make sure you have everything you need to enjoy the good weather when it arrives; find the ideal way to relax with our guide to the best sun loungers and get ready to cook up an alfresco storm with the best BBQ


How we chose the best garden parasols

As well as judging by aesthetics, to find the best garden parasols for this list we dived into the specifications to sort the wheat from the chaff, tried and tested bestsellers, grilled the Gardeningetc team for their expert knowledge, asked friends and family for their top-rated products, and took into account third party reviews on retailer websites. Click here to find out more about how we review products on Gardeningetc.  


Amy Lockwood
Amy Lockwood

After specialising in Textile Design for Interiors at Winchester School of Art, Amy spent many years working in the design and interior industries, including styling and visual merchandising for many well-known brands. She now writes for multiple interior publications, including Livingetc, Homes & Gardens, Ideal Home, and Real Homes to offer advice on creating a well-designed interior, whether that's choosing the perfect shade of paint, what to look for when investing in a new sofa, or sourcing on-trend and sustainable products for the home.


Amy joined the Gardeningetc team to bring her design knowledge outdoors, offering advice on what to consider when shopping for the best garden furniture, how to choose the ideal garden bench, and sourcing everything you need to create an outdoor living area that will become the perfect place to kick back and relax when the sun shines.