The 7 Best Outdoor Patio Umbrellas to Buy in 2018

Enjoy summertime weather under the shade

red sunshade
FooTToo / Getty Images

A quality patio umbrella will help you get the most of your outdoor space, providing relief on hot summer days with a welcome bit of shade over your patio set.

Choosing the right outdoor patio umbrella begins with selecting the right size. Most umbrella canopies have a diameter of 6 feet all the way to 14 feet or more. Consider how much room you have for a fully extended umbrella, as well as the size of your patio table or space to be shaded.

You’ll also need to decide if you want a crank or push...MORE umbrella. Crank umbrellas make it easy to raise and lower the umbrella’s canopy, while a push umbrella will mean a little more work to manually lock the canopy into place. Other important factors are the colorfastness of the canopy material, and whether it’s UV and water-resistant. Square, market-style or cantilever umbrellas are also options next to the traditional round patio umbrella.

When you invest in a patio umbrella, you can spend a lot or a little, but one thing is for sure: you will enjoy the shade and convenience that an umbrella offers. Here are our top picks for an outdoor patio umbrella.

 

  • Best Overall: Patio Watcher 9-Foot Aluminum Umbrella

    If you’re looking for an outdoor patio umbrella that will keep the sun off your face and provide shade for your table, the Patio Watcher 9-Foot Aluminum Umbrella is our top choice overall.

    This outdoor patio umbrella is reinforced by eight steel ribs and has a polyester canopy that blocks up to 90 percent of UV rays and is water-repellent. With a diameter of 9-feet, this umbrella will provide plenty of shade for tables seating four to six people. And if you need to adjust the umbrella to provide...MORE more shade as the sun moves, that can easily be done thanks to the tilt function built into the umbrella’s support pole. When it’s time to open or close the umbrella, a smooth-operating crank makes quick work of the task.

    It is recommended to use this umbrella with a base weighing at least 40 pounds which is something you’ll need to purchase separately. With proper set-up, users report that the Patio Watcher Umbrella is sturdy, well-made, and provides numerous color options to match various patio décor. In fact, some users report that their umbrellas have remained a vibrant and bright color after several seasons of use. Bear in mind, though, that many umbrellas should be stored away during seasons of non-use, or especially windy and stormy weather. For the value and the quality, the Patio Watcher 9-Foot Aluminum Umbrella is a great choice for a versatile outdoor umbrella.

  • Best Budget: PATIOROMA 7.5-Foot Outdoor Patio Umbrella

    If you’re looking for an inexpensive patio umbrella, then the Patioroma Outdoor Umbrella is our pick for a budget-friendly way to beat the heat.

    This 7.5-foot canopy umbrella is a little smaller in diameter than some other umbrellas, but it’s still large enough to provide shade for you and a friend or two. It also is a great size if you need to use it in a spot with space limitations — such as close to a house or building. The polyester canopy is only rated for colorfastness up to 200 hours,...MORE which is significantly less than the 1000-hour rating of many pricier umbrellas. However, this umbrella has a small enough price tag that you’ll get your money’s worth even if you have to replace it after a season or two.

    Unlike some other budget patio outdoor umbrellas, this one does have the ability to tilt, as well as a crank mechanism to help you put the umbrella up and down. In fact, lowering the umbrella will help to extend its lifespan. It shouldn’t be left up in windy or stormy weather. Users love the color selection and material of this umbrella, and many remark on the fact that the umbrella seems to be sturdy and well-made. For a budget patio umbrella, the Patioroma Outdoor Umbrella is a clear winner.

     

  • Best Oversize: Le Papillon Outdoor Double-Sided 14-Foot Umbrella

    If you’re looking for a super-sized patio umbrella to shade you and a bunch of friends, then the Le Papillon Outdoor Double-Sided 14’ Umbrella is the perfect solution.

    As the name implies, there are two sides to this umbrella that together create a canopy spanning 14.7 feet. The umbrella is supported by 12 steel ribs, and the material is a polyester rated for colorfastness for up to 1000 hours of use. The umbrella also blocks up to 98% of UV rays. The 2-inch wide support pole is wider than many...MORE other umbrella poles, to support the increased weight of the larger canopy. As with many other higher-quality umbrellas, this one features a crank to open and close the canopy.

    You’ll need to anchor this umbrella in a base with anywhere from 40 to 80 pounds (depending on whether the umbrella is used with a table or freestanding). It’s the perfect umbrella to shade a large rectangular patio table or to give your outdoor furniture set shade that will keep everyone cool. People rave about the quality and construction of this umbrella, and say it competes with higher-end umbrellas in the $500 or more range, but for a fraction of the price. Choose the Le Papillion Double-Sided Umbrella if you’re looking for shade that will keep you and your friends cool all summer long.

  • Best with LED Lights: Abba Patio 9-Foot Round Aluminum LED Light Umbrella

    For a soft twinkle under your patio umbrella, you’ll want to look for a canopy with built-in LED lights — like the Abba Patio 9' Round Aluminum LED Light Umbrella.

    This umbrella features 24 LED lights that are described as providing a soft glow, but not harsh, bright light that will ruin your backyard ambiance on a summer evening. The lights don’t require batteries or an outlet — instead an attached solar panel provides all the energy needed to operate the lights for 9-12 hours at a time.

    Many...MORE people that have the Abba Patio LED Light Umbrella comment on how easy it is to set-up, and the benefit of having solar-powered lights. A few people did have trouble with the lights failing to work initially or in a short amount of time, but the majority have found the lights to be fully functional and simple to use over a period of weeks and months. If you want an outdoor patio umbrella that will add ambiance, choose the Abba Patio 9-foot Round Aluminum LED Light Umbrella.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • Best Market-Style: Abba Patio Outdoor Market Umbrella

    For a chic look for your outdoor space, market-style umbrellas are a top choice no matter what décor style you’re working with. These umbrellas have a fresh, modern feel and the Abba Patio Outdoor Market Umbrella is a top choice.

    This polyester umbrella is rated to remain colorfast for 1000 hours of use, and it features a practical and stylish vent opening to allow wind to pass through. The 9-foot diameter is enough to shade a table for four to six people, and it is a great choice whether you are...MORE considering it for home or commercial use. When not in use, it’s easy to secure the umbrella with the attached Velcro strap.

    People like the fact that it can be tilted to adjust to the various positions of the sun and the crank mechanism works well. It also features eight steel ribs to reinforce the canopy, whereas some outdoor umbrellas only have six. It also seems to do an excellent job of providing refreshing shade, since many people comment on their satisfaction with this umbrella even on very hot days. For a stylish and well-made market-style umbrella, choose the Abba Patio Outdoor Market Umbrella.

  • Markham 10' Cantilever Umbrella

    Best Cantilever: Brayden Studio Markham 10-Foot Cantilever Umbrella

    Cantilever umbrellas are popular for their adjustability and this Markham 10-foot Cantilever Umbrella from Brayden Studio is our top choice for shading your pool or patio.

    The umbrella itself is 8-feet tall when extended, and the canopy has a diameter of 10-feet. Some cantilever umbrellas can only be raised or lowered to adjust for the sun’s position, but this version from Brayden Studio can also be rotated to provide the ultimate flexibility in positioning.

    Many people like that the base can be...MORE filled with water or sand. And if you’re concerned about windy conditions, you can add additional weights to hold the base down. Overall, however, people find that the Markham Cantilever Umbrella stands up to windy, rainy weather. Position it next to your pool, over your patio table, or next to an outdoor seating arrangement to enjoy abundant shade on even the sunniest of days.

  • Best Tiki: EasyGo Thatch Tiki Umbrella

    Add a Polynesian twist to your patio or outdoor space with a tiki umbrella, like the EasyGo Thatch Tiki Umbrella.

    This tiki umbrella has an 8-foot canopy and is vented to assist in wind-resistance. The “thatch” look is accomplished using a synthetic, plastic material. While a few people comment that the material looks cheap, it is more durable and weather-resistant than many natural materials.

    The EasyGo Thatch Tiki Umbrella is a push-to-open style umbrella, so there is no crank. But for most...MORE people, set-up didn’t pose much of a problem. Many buyers use this thatch umbrella to complete a tiki bar or as part of the décor for a Polynesian-themed party and feel that it really contributed to the overall look they were striving for. This tiki umbrella is moderately-priced and is an easy way to transform your backyard or outdoor space.

At The Spruce, our Expert writers are committed to researching and writing thoughtful and editorially independent reviews of the best products for your life and your family. If you like what we do, you can support us through our chosen links, which earn us a commission. Learn more about our review process.