Get ready to add a little shade to your outdoor space to relax in cool comfort. Choosing the right umbrella finishes your space off to perfection, which is why we've compiled this quick guide to buying patio umbrellas.
What size patio umbrella do I need?
As a general guideline, choose a patio umbrella with a shade size roughly two feet larger than your patio table. This provides enough overhang to shade everyone sitting at the table. Likewise, it should be tall enough so that even your taller dining companions can stand up without knocking into the umbrella. Of course, keep the size of your space and your overall budget in mind before making your final decision. Here's a quick guide to the right shade size for each table:
Small Patio Umbrellas: umbrellas that measure 6 ft. are ideal for patio tables up to 30 inches wide, while those measuring 7 ft. work well with tables up to 48 inches wide
Medium Patio Umbrellas: umbrellas measuring in at 8 ft. match nicely with patio tables up to 54 inches wide and the umbrellas just above that size at 9 ft. are ideally paired with patio tables up to 62 inches wide
Large Patio Umbrellas: 10 ft. or 11 ft. umbrellas are ideal for tables up to 84 inches wide, and umbrellas spanning 12 ft. and larger are best for large outdoor seating areas
The type of umbrella you choose impacts not only how the umbrella looks, but also how it works.
Perhaps one of the most popular types of patio umbrellas, the freestanding variety are also the most traditional type of umbrella. You often put these umbrellas through a hole in the table and secure it with an umbrella base that holds it securely in place. The canopy is easily opened by opening the shade, using a pulley or crank. The simplicity of the design makes these the longest lasting. If you know that you'll need to adjust the umbrella periodically along with the track of the sun in the sky, choose one that tilts.
Cantilever & Offset Umbrellas
These umbrellas have an integrated base and an umbrella canopy that hangs from a support. There's no center pole, which makes the cantilever or offset umbrella a good choice for providing shade for a table without a hole, your pool, hot tub, or a sitting area. Because these umbrellas are suspended from an overhanging support, and because they aren't attached to a center pole, they can seem wind resistant and may be less likely to blow over.
As the name implies, these umbrellas are fastened to the wall. Like cantilever umbrellas, they don't have a center pole. Instead, they are supported by a bracket on the wall. Because there's no base, these umbrellas take up minimal room, making them ideal for smaller patios and balconies. Another great option for small spaces is a half patio umbrella, although that style does include a center pole and base.
What are patio umbrellas made of?
There are a variety of fabrics out on the market today. The ones that last longest and offer optimal performance are breathable, waterproof, UV-resistant and appropriate for all-weather. If you choose a fabric that meets those requirements, it should stand up well to bright sunlight, rain, and other conditions that could otherwise destroy it. Sunbrella is a popular fabric option to look into.
Patio umbrellas add color, style, and much needed shade to your outdoor space. Choosing the right one for your outdoors dresses things up while enhancing the comfort of your patio, yard, or balcony.