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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. You’ll also need to decide if you want a crank or push 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. Whether you invest a little or a lot in your new patio umbrella, one thing is for sure: you'll enjoy all the shade and convenience an umbrella can offer.
Here, our picks for the best outdoor patio umbrellas on the market.
With UPF 50 protection, a crank lift opening mechanism, and a tiltable 8.5 x 8.5-foot canopy, Sol 72 Outdoor's Cora Umbrella is our top pick. An included stand and bronze-finished aluminum pole keep the umbrella sturdily in place while a mildew-resistant olefin covering—which can be rotated a full 360 degrees—keeps you nice and cool in the shade. The umbrella is available in 14 different colors from neutral beige and forest green to bold tangerine and lemon.
Reviewers note that the whole setup can be assembled in a matter of minutes and without any extra helping hands. They also note that the umbrella offers plenty of clearance and that being able to manually rotate the canopy allows them to stay on top of the shifting sun. One thing to consider: The base comes with pre-drilled holes so it can be bolted down to your deck or patio but if you plan to use it on grass or want to be able to move it around, you'll need to weigh it down with a separately purchased patio paver.
One of the best products you can buy today is the Abba Patio Outdoor Patio Umbrella. This model comes in both 7.5- and 9-foot diameter options, and you can choose from eight fun colors to match your decor. The umbrella is made from recycled polyester and is fade-resistant and water-repelling. Plus, it provides UV protection from the sun’s harmful rays and features a vented canopy for better airflow.
The umbrella is mounted on a rust-free aluminum pole with a 1.5-inch diameter, and it features a crank mechanism to open and close. You can even tilt the umbrella with the push of a button. Reviewers say these umbrellas from Abba Patio are durable and colorfast—many write they’ve owned the umbrella for several years and it still looks and works great.
"Though the 9-foot-round umbrella is designed to shade a four-person round table or two lounge chairs side by side, we found it cast enough shade to almost completely cover our 84-inch-long, six- to eight-person rectangular table."—Danielle Centoni, Product Tester
If you’re looking for a super-sized patio umbrella to shade a large group, then the Le Papillon Outdoor Double-Sided 15-Foot 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 across. To support the weight of this extra-large canopy, this umbrella boasts 12 steel ribs and a 2-inch wide support pole. As with many other umbrellas, this one features a crank to open and close it. Note that 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).
This double-sided umbrella is the perfect umbrella to shade a large rectangular patio table or give your outdoor furniture set some much-needed coverage. People rave about the quality and construction of this umbrella, saying it competes with higher-end umbrellas in the $500 or more range.
"Underneath the umbrella, there’s an intricate criss-cross of black 'ribs' which are the arms holding up the canopy. Personally, we found all that hardware overhead a bit visually overwhelming, but after a while, we stopped noticing. It seems that’s the price that must be paid for a huge cover that can be easily be retracted and stored."—Danielle Centoni, Product Tester
Best Cantilevered: Royal Garden 10 ft. x 10 ft. Commercial Aluminum Square Offset Cantilever Outdoor Patio Umbrella
If you have the space for a large patio umbrella, we'd suggest looking into cantilevered options. Unlike traditional market umbrellas, these are built with a pole on one side and an arm that the canopy hangs off of. These are also called “offset” umbrellas, and one of the best options you can get is Royal Garden's 10 ft. x 10 ft. Cantilever Outdoor Patio Umbrella.
The square umbrella features a vented olefin canopy that's supported by eight aluminum ribs and a rust-resistant aluminum pole. A crank lift system is used to easily open the umbrella and you can manually tilt the canopy to an angle of your liking. As far as colors go, you can choose between neutral shades of cafe and shale or go for bright red chili. To make sure it's as sturdy as possible, the manufacturer suggests weighting the included base with 300 pounds of sand.
If you’re not careful, your patio umbrella might go flying on windy days. While any umbrella might take off in a strong wind, you can minimize your risk with a product like the Pure Garden Aluminum Patio Umbrella, which has a wind-resistant design. This product includes a wind vent on the 9-foot canopy that reduces the risk of it flying away, and the canopy is supported by eight heavy-duty ribs.
This patio umbrella comes in four bright colors, and it features a deluxe crank-lift system that you use to raise the canopy. You can either place it in an anchored base or use it as a freestanding umbrella if you want to take it to the beach. There’s no tilt option, but reviewers say it’s made of a thick, high-quality material and is quite easy to use.
"The price suggests a plain Jane model, but I found this umbrella just as attractive as more expensive options on the market."—Justin Park, Product Tester
Best with Lights: Best Choice Products 10ft Solar LED Lighted Patio Umbrella w/ Tilt Adjustment, Fade-Resistant Fabric
One cool feature of modern patio umbrellas is the addition of solar lights strung along the underside of the canopy. Products like the Best Choice Products 10ft Solar Powered LED Lighted Patio Umbrella includes lights that draw power from the sun, allowing you to switch them on at night to create a relaxing outdoor retreat. This particular umbrella has 24 LED lights that can be turned on and off from a handy switch on the pole. The lights have a run time of six to seven hours after a full charge.
The 10-foot canopy is made from waterproof and UV-resistant material, and it can be opened with the crank handle. It even includes a tilt-system that allows you to adjust the shade!
If you're trying to stick to a budget or just aren't sure how much use your patio umbrella will get, this is a great basic option. The affordable canopy measures 7.5 feet in diameter and offers enough shade for two to four people. The umbrella is also vented and its 100-percent polyester fabric is UV protective and resistant to mold, mildew, and water.
Reviewers note that the crank mechanism works as expected and that it performs well for the price. You can pick up the Maypex in tan, red, lime green, or aqua.
Most patio umbrellas are designed to be mounted in an umbrella base and are typically sold separately. If you need a base to go with your new umbrella, you should look at the Abba Patio 50 lb Round Patio Umbrella Base. This base is made from recycled plastic and is compatible with patio umbrellas with 1.5 inch and 2-inch poles and up to an 11-foot canopy.
To provide additional stability, you can fill this umbrella stand with water or sand, creating a solid 50-pound base that anchors your umbrella. Reviewers say that it’s incredibly well-made and keeps umbrellas in place—even on windy days.
The best overall outdoor patio umbrella is the Sol 72 Cora 8.5' Square Cantilever Umbrella (view at Wayfair). It has a tiltable 8.5 x 8.5-foot canopy, crank lift opening mechanism, and UPF protection. However, another great choice is the Abba Patio 9-Foot Umbrella, which is a well-built umbrella that comes in a wide range of colors. The affordable price is another bonus.
Size Patio umbrellas come in a wide range of sizes—some cover just a single chair, while others are large enough to cover a table for four or more. A 5-foot umbrella is suitable for four people and a 7-foot umbrella provides enough shade for six. If you need something to accommodate eight or more, consider an 11-foot umbrella.
Mechanism There are three different options for lifting an outdoor patio umbrella: manual, crank, and pulley. Manual umbrellas require a little more work to lock the canopy into place and can be challenging for shorter people to operate. Crank umbrellas are easier to operate by turning a lever. Pulley umbrellas are the most convenient—simply pull a rope to raise and lower the canopy.
Fabric Sunbrella is the most popular material for outdoor patio umbrellas because it’s durable, as well as stain- and weather-resistant. Other commonly used material includes canvas, acrylic, polyester, and olefin.