The Top 10 Outdoor Umbrellas

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Umbrellas against a blue sky. Getty Images
  • 01 of 10

    Patio Umbrellas That are Made for the Shade

    umbrella on deck
    Umbrella and dining table on deck near lake. Scott Barrow/Getty Images

    If your patio or deck does not have an overhead roof to shield you, your family, and guests from the sun's harsh rays, a patio umbrella will do the job—in style. Umbrellas for outside are made with special weatherproof (specifically sun-proof) fabric to withstand several seasons or years. Many are made of fabric that offers UV protection. It all depends on the materials, manufacturer, quality of construction, and how well you take care of it during the season it's being used. Off season,...MORE you should store it in a place that is dry, like a basement, cupboard, shed or garage. 

    Unlike the 1950s, there is no longer a one-size-fits-all type of umbrella. Types and styles vary according to shape (usually round, rectangular, octagonal or oval), where it will be located, and maneuverability, among other factors. Types include pagoda-style, cantilevered, market-style, aluminum, and more traditional. Take a look at our picks for the top 10 umbrellas.

    Note: when the size of the umbrella is indicated, it's referring to how many feet in diameter the umbrella's canopy measures. Hence, the larger the umbrella9 feet diameter or morethe larger amount of space, or outdoor table, it will cover.

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  • 02 of 10

    1. Ballard Auto Tilt Umbrella

    ballard umbrellas
    Ballard auto-tilt umbrellas. Ballard

    Who: Ballard
    What: A nice, round umbrella that tilts by turning a crank.
    Size: Umbrella is 9 feet wide. Pole is 1.5 inches in diameter. From bottom of canopy to ground: 78 inches.
    Materials: The pole is made of sturdy, yet lightweight aluminum and has a scratch-resistant finish that is available in bronze or champagne. A 30-pound (or larger) umbrella base is recommended if the umbrella will be freestanding, and not inserted into a hole in your table. Why? When it suddenly gets windy, a raised...MORE umbrella can bend, snap and twist into all sorts of pretzel-like configurations or get carried off with a quick gust. A heavy base anchors the umbrella and weighs it down. For the umbrella canopy, a choice of Sunbrella fabrics or other sturdy indoor/outdoor fabrics.

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  • 03 of 10

    Crate and Barrel Round Sunbrella

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    Red umbrella from Crate and Barrel. Crate and Barrel

    Who: Crate and Barrel
    What: A round umbrella, although rectangular shapes are also available.
    Size: Range from 6 to 9 feet. Pole averages 1.5 inches in diameter.
    Materials: The canopy is made of fade- and mildew-resistant Sunbrella acrylic, which is important if you don't want to have to replace the canopy every year or so. Poles are made of aluminum or wood; aluminum features a powder coat finish. 
    Colors: Many colors and fabrics are available, including Turkish Tile, Charcoal, Chili Pepper,...MORE Kiwi, Red tonal Stripe, Sulfur, White Sand, Juniper, Mediterranean Blue, Stone, and Arroyo. 

     

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  • 04 of 10

    Design Within Reach Mid-Century Sunshade

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    DWR Mid-century modern sunshade. Design Within Reach

    Who: Design Within Reach, but originally designed by Robert Brown and Hubert Jordan for Brown Jordan. Robert Brown and Hubert Jordan, who started their California-based company in 1945, have since helped to define the shape and look of modern outdoor leisure furniture and accessories.
    What: The Mid-Century Sunshade, developed by the above-mentioned designers on behalf of Brown Jordan for the Southern California Case Study houses during the 1940s to 1960s.
    Size: 60 inches wide by 78 inches tall.
    Mate...MORErials: Aluminum; stainless-steel hardware; Versatex® vinyl; Suncloth® dyed acrylic. Mobile stand: (sold separately) concrete-filled aluminum with Tuff-Wheels
    Colors: White (pictured). 

    The DWR sunshade is sculptural in form, yet versatile and functional. In other words, it's not just an awesome, retro-cool object for your yard. Intended to provide shade for one or two closely huddled people, the Mid-Century Sunshade can go poolside or anywhere. The rotating shade is simple to adjust and rotates from horizontal to vertical by loosening and retightening the handle located at the top of the pole. The Sunshades work well (and look fabulous) when several are working a yard at a time, like personal assistants shading their celebrity clients. A PVC insert in the hole of the base will need to be removed prior to installation

    A Guide to Mid-Century Outdoor Furniture

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  • 05 of 10

    Coolaroo Umbrella

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    Market umbrella in mocha by Coolaroo. Amazon.com

    Who: Coolaroo
    What: A market umbrella
    Size: 11 feet
    Materials: Made with Coolaroo's woven, breathable, light-filtering fabric, which purports to block up to 90 percent of UV rays and also prevents mold and mildew. The pole is made of lightweight aluminum and features a crank-open system and a tilt mechanism to adjust just the right amount of shade. 
    Color: Mocha

     

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  • 06 of 10

    Cobana Solar LED Umbrella

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    Cobana solar LED umbrella. Amazon.com

    Who: Cobana
    What: Tilting patio table umbrella, solar-powered with 32 LED lights.
    Size: 9 feet
    Materials: Anti-rust powder-coated aluminum center pole. Features 100 percent polyester fabric cover with a wind vent that is also breathable and will block up to 90 percent of harmful UV rays.
    Colors:  Fabric colors include: Coffee, Green Stripe and Dark Red.

    The fun thing about this umbrella is that it adds ambiance in the evening when the lights pop on. ​It also features an easy-to-crank handle and an...MORE auto-tilt feature for its customizable 9-foot shade.

     

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  • 07 of 10

    Palapa Tiki-Style Umbrella

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    Destination Gear palapa umbrella. Heininger

    Who: EasyGo Products
    What: Palapa Patio Umbrella, which looks like a little grass tiki hut. All you need are tiki mugs, a lei, and some Don Ho music for an authentic backyard luau. This is the original, smaller version of the palapas with which Erlich Bachman is so fascinated on the HBO series Silicon Valley.
    Size: 8 feet in diameter/. Weighs 30 pounds.
    Materials: Steel poles and ribs with a wood-grain finish. Thatch cover.
    Colors: Available in Natural.

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  • 08 of 10

    Pier 1 Pagoda Umbrella

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    Pier 1 pagoda-style outdoor umbrella. Pier 1

    Who: Pier 1 Imports
    What: If you're into a Boho, Asian, or eclectic look, this pagoda-style umbrella, helps create or extend that vibe from indoors to out. The canopy is topped by a finial accent (that thing that looks like a small umbrella on top of the umbrella). Underneath, a pulley provides easy opening and closing, while the eucalyptus pole is easy to assemble and weathers well--many prefer wood to metal and swear they last longer. It comes with a drawstring storage tote for easy...MORE transport.
    Size: 108 inches diameter x 122.50 inches high
    Materials: Fabrics are bright, colorfast, water-repellent, and have been treated for UV protection. The wood is FSC-certified eucalyptus.
    Colors: The pagoda model is available in solids and prints. The print (pictured), is in red, turquoise, white and yellow. Solids include Citron (green), Maui (blue), Marine (blue), Moss (green), Red, Red Scatter Daisy (Red Scatter Daisy (print)print), Sand, Spice (reddish), Turquoise, and Chili (brownish red). 

     

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  • 09 of 10

    Pottery Barn Rectangular Umbrellas

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    A rectangular umbrella provides protection for larger tables. Pottery Barn

    Who: Pottery Barn
    What: A rectangular umbrella, because round doesn't always shade the right way. And some people just prefer a more linear look.
    Size: 9 feet 8 inches wide x 6 feet 5 inches deep x 8 feet 5 inches high, when open.
    Materials: The canopy is made of 100 percent acrylic, which has been tested and proven to provide up to 98 percent UV protection and has received the Seal of Recommendation by the Skin Cancer Foundation. The wood is stained with acrylic and sealed with a semigloss...MORE lacquer to help resist moisture. 
    Colors: Comes in a variety of colors and prints.

    Because it is the right "fit," Pottery Barn recommends using its Pottery Barn Umbrella Stand, which is sold separately. The stand will accommodate several umbrella sizes.

     

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  • 10 of 10

    Parasol 6' Italian Aluminum Collar Tilt Patio Umbrella

    target outdoor umbrella
    Striped parasol umbrella with aluminum pole. Target

    Who: Target
    What: A nice, round patio umbrella in assorted solids and stripes.​ Some retro-style models have fringe.
    Size: 6 feet in diameter; 7.6 inches in height. Weighs 9 pounds.
    Materials: Weather-resistant acrylic fabric. Frame and hardware are a durable, anodized aluminum.
    Colors: Several colors and stripes, including purple, pink, red, black, orange, yellow, and blue.