Best gazebos 2021: add shade and shelter to the garden

The best gazebos create shade on a sunny day and provide shelter from the rain. Find our top picks for covering hot tubs, outdoor seating, play areas and more

Best gazebos 2021 - Gardeningetc's top picks for covering hot tubs, outdoor seating, play areas and more
(Image credit: Dobbies)

Looking for the best gazebo? Whether you want to add shade to the garden when the sun’s beating down or create a shelter from the drizzle on a less than perfect day, a gazebo is a really useful item to have stashed in the garage for when it’s most needed.

Perfect for shelter over the hot tub, to create a shady kids play area on the lawn, or to provide protection from the elements at the all too familiar drizzly British barbecue, a gazebo will make your outside space a more weather-resistant place to be. 

Gazebos come in many varieties, from permanent hard-topped structures to temporary pop-ups, and from cheap and cheerful sun shades to more expensive waterproof designs. In this guide, we’re focusing on the best self-assembly and pop-up gazebos for stylish cover, along with the cheapest options for affordable shelter from the elements. 

Once you've found your perfect gazebo in our selection, don't forget to check out our guide to the best garden furniture to ensure you have your outdoor seating sorted, and our edit of the best BBQ's of the year so that you're ready to cook up an alfresco feast. 

Best gazebo 2021

Best gazebos overall

Our top three picks of the best gazebo overall. Find more information about each in the category listings below. 

Best pop up gazebo - Sunmer

(Image credit: Sunmer)

1. SUNMER 3x3m Pop-Up Gazebo with 4 Sides

Best pop-up gazebo: a robust waterproof gazebo with detachable sides

Specifications
Dimensions: H330 x W300 x D300cm
Materials: Steel & PVC
Type of assembly: Pop-up
Weight: 28kg
Colours: Grey, white & black
Reasons to buy
+Easy to assemble pop-up design+Waterproof+Good on any surface+Four detachable sidewalls+Wheeled carry bag +Four sandbag weights, tent pegs and guide ropes
Reasons to avoid
-Maybe not the most stylish option

If you're looking for a super functional gazebo that's easy to assemble, will keep you dry when it's raining, and offers robust shelter from the wind, then the Sunmer pop-up gazebo comes top of our wishlist. 

Fully waterproof and equipped with sandbags, tent pegs and guide ropes that allow it to be erected on grass, decking or sand, we think this is one of the strongest pop-up gazebos out there.

Cheapest pop-up gazebo - Argos Home

(Image credit: Argos Home)

2. Argos Home 2.4m x 2.4m Pop Up Garden Gazebo

Cheapest pop-up gazebo: simple set-up at a pocket-friendly price

Specifications
Dimensions: H250 x W240 x D240cm
Materials: Steel & polyester
Type of assembly: Pop-up
Weight: 11.5kg
Colours: Green
Reasons to buy
+Easy to assemble pop-up design+Affordable+Lightweight so easy to transport+Guide ropes and pegs included
Reasons to avoid
-No side protection-Basic design-Harder to secure on a decking or a patio

Although there are cheaper self-assembly gazebos on our list (scroll down to find them) for ease and convenience we love the usability of this Argos Home pop-up gazebo.

One of the cheapest pop-up gazebos out there, it may be a little basic, but if you just want some shade on a sunny day, and enough protection to keep off the drizzle when the skies are grey, then this budget gazebo does the job.

Best sail shade gazebo - Maisons Du Monde

(Image credit: Maisons Du Monde)

3. Maisons Du Monde Sail Shade Gazebo 3m x 3m

Best sail shade gazebo: perfect for a contemporary style space

Specifications
Dimensions: H270 x W31 x D312cm
Materials: Epoxy-treated metal & polyester
Type of assembly: Self-assembly
Weight: 37kg
Colours: Grey & white
Reasons to buy
+Contemporary design+Freestanding+Ideal for decking or a patio
Reasons to avoid
-No side protection-Not so good on grass-Self-assembly required

If you're looking for the best gazebo that will offer plenty of shade whilst also delivering in the style stakes, then we think a sail shade is the way to go. 

This contemporary Ombre sail shade from Maisons Du Monde will create a statement look in a modern garden, allowing you to add freestanding shade to a patio or decking area, and offering an easy way to zone an outdoor dining or lounging area.

Cheapest gazebos

If affordability is your key criteria, then these budget gazebos could be the ones for you:

Cheapest pop-up gazebo - Alfresca Homebase

(Image credit: Homebase)

1. HOMEBASE ALFRESCA GAZEBO 2.7 x 2.7m

Cheapest gazebo overall: simple self-assembly at a budget price

Specifications
Dimensions: H250 x W270 x D270cm
Materials: Powder-coated steel & polyethylene
Type of assembly: Self-assembly
Colours: White
Reasons to buy
+Super affordable+Shower-resistant+Guide ropes and pegs included
Reasons to avoid
-No side protection-Self-assembly required-Harder to secure on a decking or a patio

If you're looking for the cheapest best gazebo out there, then the bargain Alfresca gazebo from Homebase could well be it. 

The 2.7m canopy offers plenty of shade for a smaller garden, and although the frame is pretty lightweight, there are tent pegs and guide ropes included that allow you to tether the gazebo to the lawn. 

Although putting it together is fairly straightforward, the downside is that this gazebo is self-assembly rather than pop-up, so it's worth weighing up whether the cost saving is worth the slightly more labour-intensive set-up. 

Cheapest large gazebo - Argos Home

(Image credit: Argos Home)

2. ARGOS HOME 4M HEXAGONAL GARDEN GAZEBO WITH SIDE PANELS

Cheapest gazebo with side walls: a light and spacious self-assembly gazebo

Specifications
Dimensions: H260 x W400 x D400cm
Materials: Powder-coated steel & polyester
Type of assembly: Self-assembly
Weight: 11kg
Colours: Blue
Reasons to buy
+Shower-resistant+Netting panels let in plenty of light and offer mosquito protection in the evening
Reasons to avoid
-Side panels don't offer much wind-resistance-Self-assembly required-Harder to secure on a decking or a patio

One of the cheapest gazebo with side walls, this 4m diameter hexagonal gazebo from Argos Home also offers plenty of internal space for guests. 

The netting panels can be tied into drapes when the weather is good, and secured to offer shower-resistance if the clouds loom. And our favourite part? The netting side panels still let in plenty of light, feeling less claustrophobic and 'tent-like' than a thicker side-panelled gazebo. And when evening draws in the netting works to let in plenty of fresh summer air whilst keeping out the bugs and mosquitos that can be drawn to the light.

On the downside, this gazebo is fairly lightweight and although it comes with tent pegs and guide ropes to tether it to the lawn, it may not be the most robust in a breeze. It's also self-assembly, so you'll need to set aside some time to erect it before guests arrive - and we think you need at least two pairs of hands to get it set up.

Best large gazebo with side walls - Blooma Betty B&Q

(Image credit: B&Q)

3. BLOOMA BETTY WHITE RECTANGULAR GAZEBO 6m x 3m

Cheapest large gazebo with side walls: the ideal party tent for large garden gatherings

Specifications
Dimensions: H281 x W596 x D297cm
Materials: Steel & polyethylene
Type of assembly: Self-assembly
Weight: 42.5kg
Colours: White
Reasons to buy
+Spacious+Great size for a party
Reasons to avoid
-Self-assembly required-Guide ropes and tent pegs not included

If you're looking for a large gazebo at an entry-level price point then the Blooma Betty rectangular gazebo from B&Q offers plenty of space to play with.

At 6m wide it's big enough to cater for a small party, and the water-resistant side panels with large see-through windows offer plenty of protection from the elements whilst keeping the interior bright. 

It's self-assembly, and due to its size this gazebo isn't going to be a spur-of-the-moment decision to erect, although with two pairs of hands the instructions are straightforward enough to follow. 

It's a shame the guide ropes and tent pegs aren't included in the price, but they're easy enough to add to your basket when you checkout.

Best pop-up gazebos

For the ultimate in quick and easy set-up, a pop-up gazebo would be our top recommendation. We've rounded up the best of the bunch:

Best pop up gazebo - Sunmer

(Image credit: Sunmer)

1. SUNMER 3x3m Pop-Up Gazebo with 4 Sides

Best pop-up gazebo: a robust waterproof gazebo with detachable sides

Specifications
Dimensions: H330 x W300 x D300cm
Materials: Steel & PVC
Type of assembly: Pop-up
Weight: 28kg
Colours: Grey, white & black
Reasons to buy
+Easy to assemble pop-up design+Waterproof+Good on any surface+Four detachable sidewalls+Wheeled carry bag +Four sandbag weights, tent pegs and guide ropes
Reasons to avoid
-Maybe not the most stylish option

Shelter from the elements doesn't get any easier than a quick and simple pop-up design, and, in our opinion, the waterproof Sunmer gazebo is one of the strongest pop-up gazebos about.

The pop-up frame makes for fast and easy assembly when the clouds loom, whilst the waterproof roof offers plenty of protection from a full-on rain shower. If you want more protection then the four detachable side panels with see-through windows and two zipper doorways will provide plenty of shelter from the worst of the elements.

Although most gazebos aren't built for strong winds, the four 10kg sandbags included (you'll need to add sand yourself), tent pegs and guide ropes make this gazebo easier to secure than most and mean it's suitable for decking, patio, grass and more.

Even better it comes with a wheeled carry bag that makes manoeuvering it from the garage to the garden - or from the car to the campsite - easy as can be.

Cheapest pop-up gazebo - Argos Home

(Image credit: Argos Home)

2. Argos Home 2.4m x 2.4m Pop Up Garden Gazebo

Cheapest pop-up gazebo: simple set-up at a pocket-friendly price

Specifications
Dimensions: H250 x W240 x D240cm
Materials: Steel & polyester
Type of assembly: Pop-up
Weight: 11.5kg
Colours: Green
Reasons to buy
+Easy to assemble pop-up design+Affordable+Lightweight so easy to transport+Guide ropes and pegs included
Reasons to avoid
-No side protection-Basic design-Harder to secure on a decking or a patio

Although there are cheaper self-assembly gazebo on our list, for ease and convenience we love the functionality of this Argos Home pop-up gazebo.

One of the cheapest pop-up gazebos out there, the design may be a little basic, but if you just want some shade on a sunny day, and enough protection to keep off the drizzle when the skies are grey, then this budget gazebo is a great option. You can whip it out of the garage and have set up on the lawn in no time. 

Great for adding shade to a kid's play area, or covering a hot tub, there are guide ropes and pegs are included to help you secure it to the lawn, and the green colourway will blend nicely into the foliage. 

Cheapest gazebo with sides - Argos Home

(Image credit: Argos)

3. Argos Home 3m x 3m Pop Up Weather Resistant Garden Gazebo

Cheapest pop-up gazebo with sides: stay sheltered from the weather with this handy buy

Specifications
Dimensions: H255 x W300 x D300cm
Materials: Steel & polyester
Type of assembly: Pop-up
Weight: 19kg
Colours: Navy
Reasons to buy
+Pop-up gazebo for easy assembly+Waterproof+Guide ropes and pegs included
Reasons to avoid
-Harder to secure on a decking or a patio-Only three side panels

One of the cheapest pop-up gazebo with sides, this 3m weather-resistant gazebo from Argos Home could be a great option if you want an affordable and quick-to-erect shelter. 

Ideal for an impromptu garden gathering when the weather takes a turn, or for taking to the school fete or car boot sale for some shelter from the elements, the three-panelled design is water-resistant and a large window on the back panel ensures the interior is nice and bright. 

Most stylish gazebos

Although a gazebo is a brilliantly functional item, let's face it, many of them are a bit of a compromise aesthetically. The most stylish options may not be the cheapest or offer as much functionality as a waterproof option with side panels, but they are designed to offer shade, shelter, and look good whilst they do it. 

Perfect for over an outdoor dining area or to add shade to the best hot tubs, these gazebo will be a focal point in the garden rather than something to stash back in the garage or shed as soon as possible. 

Best sail shade gazebo - Maisons Du Monde

(Image credit: Maisons Du Monde)

1. Maisons Du Monde Sail Shade Gazebo 3m x 3m

Best sail shade gazebo: zone an outdoor area in style

Specifications
Dimensions: H270 x W31 x D312cm
Materials: Epoxy-treated metal & polyester
Type of assembly: Self-assembly
Weight: 37kg
Colours: Grey & white
Reasons to buy
+Contemporary design+Freestanding+Ideal for decking or a patio
Reasons to avoid
-No side protection-Not so good on grass-Self-assembly required

If you're looking for the best gazebo that will offer plenty of shade whilst also delivering in the style stakes, then we think a sail shade is the way to go. 

This contemporary Ombre sail shade from Maisons Du Monde will create a statement look in a modern garden, allowing you to add freestanding shade to a patio or decking area.

Available in dark grey or bright white, the 3m square canopy offers plenty of space to cover a garden dining area or outdoor lounge area, and is a great way to zone an outdoor space. Just add one of the best outdoor rugs on our list to finish the look.

Best contemporary gazebo - Maisons Du Monde

(Image credit: Maisons Du Monde)

2. Maisons Du Monde Malaga Ecru Gazebo 3m x 3m

Best contemporary gazebo: a useful adjustable canopy

Specifications
Dimensions: H220 x W300 x D300cm
Materials: Epoxy-treated metal & polyester
Type of assembly: Self-assembly
Weight: 35kg
Colours: Ecru
Reasons to buy
+Contemporary design+Ideal for decking or a patio
Reasons to avoid
-No side protection-Self-assembly required-Not so good on grass

An alternative to the popular sail shade, this contemporary rectangular gazebo is another way to create modern shade in the garden.

The Malaga gazebo from Maisons Du Monde steps away from the traditional 'tent-style' gazebo to deliver simple minimalist style, with a rectangular metal frame draped in a UV-resistant canopy.

The best part about this gazebo is the versatility provided by the adjustable canopy. Always offering sun-protection directly overhead, the two weighted sides of the canopy can be pulled in either direction to combat the angle of the sun.

Best small gazebo - Rasco Dakota Fields

(Image credit: Dakota Fields)

3. Dakota Fields Rasco 1.5m x 2.4m Steel BBQ Gazebo

Best BBQ gazebo: small and stylish with built-in shelves

Specifications
Dimensions: H250 x W250 x D152cm
Materials: Steel & polyester
Type of assembly: Self-assembly
Weight: 19kg
Colour: Beige
Reasons to buy
+Smart looks+Handy drinks shelves
Reasons to avoid
-Self-assembly required-No fixings included

Marketed as a BBQ gazebo, the Rasco gazebo from Dakota Fields features a vented roof to let out the grill smoke and two handy shelves in the frame to rest plates and glasses. 

One of the smallest best gazebo on our list, this option is great for compact courtyards or patios, although the lack of fixings or guide ropes does mean you'll need to be careful the wind doesn't get too strong. 

And again, this gazebo is self-assembly, which does mean you'll have to plan ahead as to when you want to use it. 

Blue-striped fringed gazebo - Cox & Cox

(Image credit: Cox & Cox)

4. Cox & Cox Fringed Gazebo 1.8m x 1.8m

Best gazebo for classic looks: introduce pretty Riviera style to your space

Specifications
Dimensions: H210 x W180 x D180cm
Materials: Metal, reclaimed wood & water-resistant treated canvas
Type of assembly: Self-assembly
Colours: Blue-stripe & white
Reasons to buy
+Stylish design+Pretty fringed detail
Reasons to avoid
-Small canopy-More of a parasol than a gazebo-Expensive

For a classic English-garden look, this pretty fringed gazebo from Cox & Cox is hard to beat, and you can pair with the matching fringed deckchair for a true Riviera feel.

Available in a coastal-feel blue and white stripe or a pretty plain white, this gazebo will make an attractive addition to the lawn - although at 1.8m square it doesn't offer as much shade as some of the other gazebos on our list. 

Although we think it's more of a parasol than a true gazebo - with just one central pole to secure it into the ground - the attractive corner drapes have hidden pockets to weight them down and add stability - plus elegant aesthetics.  


Where can I buy in-stock gazebos?

Just like the best garden furniture, the best gazebos are selling out fast this year. If our top choices aren't in stock when you want to buy, you can browse the best in-stock options below. Just scroll to the right to see more options. 


How to choose the best gazebo

Size and style

Ultimately you'll want your best gazebo to fit your household and a couple of guests comfortably. Think about the garden space you have and when you're going to use it, then select the size accordingly. 

When it comes to looks, going for a neutral or green colour will blend well into most garden settings, while if you'll be taking your gazebo camping or to the beach, you could consider a brighter colour or a pattern to help your canopy stand out playfully from the crowd.

Coverage

Will you be using your gazebo solely during the day for shade, to house a BBQ or picnic area? Or, will you want to host there in the evening? This will determine whether you need to choose a gazebo with side walls or panels, or not. Walls will make for a more comfortable setting come sundown, and it should keep mosquitos and the likes at bay.

Weather-resistance

All of the best gazebos we've included here are showerproof and built with sturdy metal frames that should be rust-resistant. However, should you wish to use yours in all seasons, you should steer more towards our heavy-duty options that are UV-resistant, completely waterproof, complete with sides and even wind vents to help keep them more stable in different weather conditions. 

Assembly type

A pop-up gazebo is the most fuss-free option. These are also useful if you want your gazebo to be portable so you can take it to the beach or the car boot. 

However, the cheapest gazebos are often self-assembly options - and assembly is generally pretty straightforward, although two pairs of hands can help. At the higher end of the price bracket, self-assembly gazebos can also offer more options in terms of style and aesthetics. 

Want more outdoor inspiration?

Little brings as much pleasure as spending time in the garden, so make sure yours is working hard for you and embrace outdoor living with our outdoor living space ideas or transform your patio with these fresh patio ideas

And if you have a lawn you need to tame before you can set up that gazebo, find the right option for you in our guide to the best lawn mowers.

Amy Lockwood
Amy Lockwood

Amy writes about interiors and decoration for Livingetc, Homes & Gardens and Real Homes, bringing her design expertise outdoors into the garden for Gardeningetc. 


Initially honing her green thumb growing indoor plants in her first-floor apartment, Amy greatly appreciates the benefits we gain from coexisting with plants, including improved wellbeing, air purification, and reductions in the chemical VOCs that are slowly released into our homes from manmade materials. 


Amy’s wider interest in gardening embraces the design principles of permaculture; considering how we can best balance our valuable outdoor spaces to restore health to our own patches of soil, boost diversity for plants and wildlife, grow healthy nutritionally-dense food, and embrace outdoor living with style-conscious design that helps us to relax, entertain and improve our overall wellbeing through relationship with nature.