Looking for the best patio umbrellas to create a shady haven in your backyard? You’re in the right place. The weather is finally warming up and before you know it, you’ll be in need of a sheltered refuge to cool off with a refreshing beverage.
A good patio umbrella not only adds some much-needed shade to your patio, but it also adds a touch of elegance. There are lots of different designs to choose from to complement any backyard décor – from patterned prints to muted tones, to bold statement block colors. And once you've sorted the best outdoor furniture for your outside space, a patio umbrella is likely to be the next backyard essential on your radar.
However, there is more to consider than just aesthetics. There are different fabrics, frames, shapes, and sizes to choose from that all have different qualities. You want something that offers good UPF protection, provides enough shade, is weather-resistant, durable, and quick-drying in case it rains.
Patio umbrellas tend to come in either market or cantilever styles. Market umbrellas are the quintessential straight up and down umbrellas. They’re ideal for providing shade for patio dining sets, sheltering one of the best grills for summer barbecuing, or covering an outdoor kitchen area. They often have a tilt function, but essentially the shade sits over the base. The cantilever umbrellas are offset instead, so the base stays out of the way, and the shade arches over the patio.
There are a lot of choices out there and it can be tricky to decide, but don’t worry, we’ve done the research for you and rounded up the top patio umbrellas to suit any outdoor space, whether you have a tiny deck or a sprawling patio.
The best patio umbrellas
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1. Abba Patio 108'' Market Umbrella with Push Button Tilt and Crank
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Reasons to avoid
This classic 9ft. market patio umbrella from Abba Patio takes the top spot as it's the perfect size to cover most patio dining sets, it's easy to use, easy to set up, durable, affordable and it comes in a variety of colors to suit your patio furniture.
This umbrella is so quick to set up. The pole just screws on and in two minutes you're ready to relax in the shade. It's simple to use too, with a simple crank system to open and close the umbrella and a push-button tilt function. This umbrella is also available in an 11ft. model if you want to cover a conversation set or a large garden table.
The canopy is made with recycled polyester fabric that is fade-resistant, water repellent, and offers good UV protection. The manufacturers say that the solution-dyed polyesters' colorfastness lasts for 1,000 hours, but we're not sure whether that means 1,000 sunny hours or just any hours. Regardless, the fabric seems strong and the colors are bright.
The canopy is vented to help the umbrella withstand wind and to facilitate airflow to keep folks underneath cool. It has a 1.5" rust-resistant, powder-coated aluminum pole and steel ribs to support the canopy. It also has a unique reinforced end screw design where each corner of the umbrella is actually attached to the ribs, rather than tucking into a fabric pocket. This helps keep the canopy strong and taut so it's more sturdy and rain runs off quicker.
This umbrella is also good value for money, but the base is not included. The pole is a classic bronze finish, so this bronze base also from Wayfair should work well with this umbrella.
Overall, there's no wonder this umbrella is so popular. It's the quintessential patio umbrella that works well in just about any yard. There's one to match every patio size and style.
2. EliteShade 9Ft 3 Tiers Market Patio Umbrella with Ventilation and 5 Years Non-Fading Top
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No one wants to invest in a new patio umbrella to then find it blowing across their yard – it's dangerous and it's embarrassing. This unique three-tiered patio umbrella from EliteShade allows air to flow through the vents quickly giving your umbrella more stability against windy conditions. The smart vents also keep it cooler for folks relaxing underneath.
It has a simple push-button tilt and a crank system that makes it super easy to open and close. The fabric is solution-dyed acrylic, and has a 5-year non-fading top. We love that it comes in so many different colors, so you can find one to suit your space. It's water, mildew, and oil resistant. The thick 260 GSM impermeable fabric effectively protects people underneath from heat and sunburn.
The frame is aluminum and the pole is 1.5" in diameter. It feels strong enough to support the canopy even on windy patios. The frame has a rust-resistant powder coating, which is essential if you live somewhere where it rains a lot.
The main drawback is that the base isn't included so you have to purchase it separately. The pole has a bronze finish, so perhaps try this bronze base, also from Walmart. We would also like to see a warranty to back up the 5-year non-fade fabric claim. It's also a little shorter than usual (6.6ft), which is good for holding up in the wind, but not ideal if you're super tall.
Overall, this is one of the best patio umbrellas for a windy yard. It is sturdy and weather resistant. Plus, there are so many colors that you'll surely be able to find one to suit your space.
3. California Umbrella 6 ft. Market Push Tilt Crank Lift Patio Umbrella
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Reasons to avoid
If you have a small patio, you may be sat sweating in heat thinking there isn't an umbrella that fits. Think again! This compact 6ft. umbrella from California Umbrella is perfect.
It's a classic market umbrella that comes in a range of colors to suit your outdoor style. Plus, it's super easy to use. It has a crank to open and close the umbrella and push a button to tilt the canopy towards the sun.
The top is crafted from Sunbrella fabric, which is a high-end, brand-named, solution-dyed acrylic. Sunbrella have a fantastic reputation and their fabrics are very resilient for prolonged sun exposure and offer long color retention.
The frame and ribs are made with sturdy aluminum and the housing and hub are made with a durable resin. However, be advised that the pole actually has a 1.5" diameter, rather than 1" diameter as advertised. Double-check the umbrella will fit through the hole in your patio table before you purchase.
Again, the base isn't included so it will have to be purchased separately. The pole is bronze, so we would recommend this bronze base, also at The Home Depot. Also, some of the colors vary slightly from those shown in the online photos.
Overall though, this is a fantastic option if you are short on space. It's good quality and comes with a limited 1-year warranty and a 5-year color retention and corrosion resistance warranty on the fabric. Plus, it adds some style to your little outdoor haven.
4. Freeport Park Frances 180'' x 108'' Rectangular Market Umbrella
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Reasons to avoid
If our small pick above isn't shady enough for you, try this umbrella out for size. It's huge! If you like hosting your family and friends, this 15ft. long umbrella is great for keeping you all cool on a hot summer's day.
The canopy is made with durable, waterproof, breathable, fade-resistant polyester fabric that should last for several summers. It blocks 99% of the sun's UV rays and has a UPF 50 rating, so you can happily relax outside all day.
The umbrella feels very durable, with a 1.9" powder-coated steel pole and 12 rust-proof steel ribs. If you are purchasing the umbrella to cover your patio dining set, be sure to check that the hole in your table will work with this pole as it has a slightly larger diameter than smaller umbrellas. It also includes the base and sandbags for weighing it down. You simply purchase the play sand (from Walmart) to add to the sandbags and weigh the umbrella down. The manufacturer recommends 100 lbs. of sand in each sandbag, which is probably a good idea as an umbrella this large can easily catch the wind.
The design is simple and stylish and the three color options are nice and bright. It would be nice to have more colors to choose from though, as they may not work with everyone's garden decor.
The main downsides are that it doesn't have a tilt feature, although it does shade a large area so it's not so essential. The other drawback is that, even with the sand weighing the umbrella down and a strong steel frame, it doesn't do well in the wind.
If you enjoy spending all summer long relaxing outdoors with friends and family, this may well be the umbrella for you. It's large enough to cover large patio dining or conversation sets. It's well-built and comes with a one-year warranty too.
5. Hampton Bay 11 ft. LED Round Offset Outdoor Patio Umbrella
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Reasons to avoid
This large offset, cantilever patio umbrella from Hampton Bay is great for relaxing all evening long. It has built-in solar-powered LED lights that cast a warm shimmering glow. Why purchase a shade for daytime and lights for nighttime, when you can have it all in one?
The off-set design means the base stays out of your way when you're socializing or having dinner or drinks. It also means you needn't worry about getting an umbrella that fits the hole in your patio table. There are also a range of color options available to suit any outdoor space.
The canopy is made with olefin which is very resilient and stands up to an array of weather conditions. The frame is made with rust-resistant steel which feels strong and durable. The crank makes it easy to open and close the umbrella and the manual tilt is intuitive.
It comes with the stand included which is nice, although you do need to purchase sand to weigh the base down. As it has such a large canopy, it doesn't do very well in the wind. It's also more expensive than lots of the other umbrellas on the market.
On balance, this is the ultimate patio umbrella for backyard BBQs or dinner parties where you want to keep guests shaded throughout the day and illuminated throughout the night. The solar-powered LED lights are super convenient as you don't even need to be near a power outlet. It's great!
6. Pure Garden 9 ft. Half Round Patio Umbrella
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Reasons to avoid
This half umbrella from Pure Garden is ideal for small spaces like a balcony, awning, small patio, or deck. It sits flush against the wall so it takes up much less space. It's great value for money and comes in several different colors to accent any outdoor space.
The canopy is made with durable polyester fabric that is designed to be weather-proof, so you can enjoy the outdoors in the hot summer sun or drizzling rain. It also has a vented canopy to let cool airflow through and also keep the umbrella stable in the wind. The fabric is thick enough to create a cool, shady oasis on your balcony.
It's very easy to use with a crank system that opens and closes the umbrella. It has a rust-resistant aluminium 1.5" pole, which fits most patio dining sets, and the ribs are made with steel for added strength.
The downsides are that it doesn't have a tilt feature, which would be a welcome addition. Also, the base isn't included, so you have to purchase one separately. As this umbrella is designed to be flush with a wall you'll want to get a base with a flat edge too. We like this base from The Home Depot.
Overall though, this is a great option if you are short on space. It comes in a variety of attractive, summery colors to suit your space. It's also super budget-friendly. It's perfect if you rent an apartment with a small balcony or yard.
7. Pure Garden 9 ft. Aluminum Patio Umbrella with Auto Crank
Reasons to buy
Reasons to avoid
This is the full round version of the half-round umbrella above from Pure Garden. If you're on a budget, you can't beat this option on price. The 9ft. or 10ft. size options will cover most patio dining sets. It comes in a variety of colors to complement any outdoor décor.
Most of the details are the same as those for the half umbrella above. The canopy is made with durable polyester fabric and it has a crank system that opens and closes the umbrella. The aluminum pole is 1.5", which fits most patio dining sets and the ribs are made with durable steel for added strength.
This model also doesn't have a tilt feature and you need to purchase the base separately. Check out this good budget option from The Home Depot. As with the half-round option, it has a vent for air to flow through. Other options on our list will likely last longer, but it feels sturdy enough to last the summer.
This is umbrella is substantially cheaper than the other options on our list. It has a simple design and comes in a variety of fun colors to suit your space. There are cheaper options out there but they're often smaller or feel more flimsy than this model. Although it may not be as well built as some of the more expensive options on our list, for fair weather climates, it should be good enough.
How to choose the best patio umbrellas for your outdoor space
Choosing the best patio umbrellas to suit your yard will depend on factors such as the size of the space you want to shade, your budget, and whether you want to be able to tilt the umbrella for continued protection from the sun as it starts to dip later in the day. Here are a few key points to weigh up if you're still making your final choice.
Types of patio umbrella
The most popular type of patio umbrella is the classic market umbrella which often fits through a patio table. Usually, they come with a tilt function so you can adjust the shade to get maximum coverage. They tend to be at the lower end of the price scale.
Cantilever, or offset, umbrella
These more expensive cantilever designs have a base and stand which is offset and the umbrella arches over the patio or deck. This is especially handy when shading a patio conversation set as it keeps the base out of the way of the lounge space.
Patio umbrella size
An umbrella that is too big can look out of place, and too small won’t provide enough shade. If you have a small patio, a 6ft. umbrella should be good to shade your bistro set or a couple of chairs.
If you have a large area for entertaining, then you’re likely going to need a big cantilever umbrella that arches over the top. There are even half umbrellas that fit really nicely on a balcony as they slot up against the wall. Usually, a 9ft. umbrella provides shade for a patio table with 4-6 chairs, so something around this size often works nicely.
Patio umbrella fabrics
Most patio umbrellas are made with acrylic, olefin, polyester, or Sunbrella fabric. Sunbrella fabric is a brand name acrylic that is very popular and has a great reputation. It’s durable, blocks UV, takes dye well, is weather-resistant, and doesn’t easily fade or stain. It is usually a little more expensive than other options. Other acrylics essentially do the same thing, but without a trustworthy brand name and reputation.
Olefin is another popular material for patio umbrellas due to its excellent UV resistance. It's durable and easy to clean. It also dries quickly when it rains so it doesn’t tend to have issues with mold or mildew.
Polyester is usually a less expensive option. It’s usually treated with a water repellant and sunlight inhibitor to block UV rays, so it still does the job well. It tends to fade more quickly than other fabrics.
The most popular patio umbrella frame material is aluminum as it is light, inexpensive, and weather-resistant. Some patio umbrellas have a steel frame which is heavier and usually holds up better in wet and windy weather. If you get a lot of bad weather, steel might be a good option. Some of the umbrellas on our list have the best of both, with aluminum poles and steel ribs.
Occasionally patio umbrellas have wooden frames but it isn’t as popular as it isn't as strong as metal. It also tends to fade over time and can snap in high winds.
Commercial patio umbrellas often have fiberglass frames, but it is less popular for use in homes as it comes with a substantially higher price tag. It will likely last the longest though, as it is very weather-resistant and strong.
Although any patio umbrella offers better UV protection than no shade at all, they are not all created equal. Often the manufacturers focus on how well the fabric holds up in the sun, rather than how well the canopy protects folks sitting underneath it. Some canopies are made with thin, untreated material that doesn’t effectively block out the UV rays from the sun.
If creating effective shade ideas for patios is a key factor in your buying decision, be sure to check that the material is thick enough and has a good UPF rating to keep the family sun safe.
Lift and tilt functions
All of the patio umbrellas listed above come with a crank mechanism to easily open and close the canopy, which we think this is the simplest way to do it. Other options have a pulley system which essentially works in the same way, but externally instead. Some umbrellas require the user to physically push the canopy up, which is annoying. Rest assured none of the options on our list require any heavy lifting.
Often umbrellas come with a tilt feature so that you can move the shade to cover your patio or decking. The most popular way to do this is with a push-button as with the umbrellas listed above. The button releases the canopy so it can be moved into the desired position. Some umbrellas use a crank mechanism for the tilt too.
Emily Grant is a British ex-pat living in Squamish, Canada. She has written about all sorts from interior design and gardening, to travel, tourism, and pets. When she’s not writing, she loves finding DIY ways to beautify her rented space. She also loves spending time out in the backyard, relaxing in the hammock on her beautiful patio. In addition to Gardeningetc, her work has featured on Real Homes and Homes & Gardens.
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