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Best patio umbrella 2021

Which best patio umbrellas are best?

When relaxing on the patio or by the pool, an umbrella not only provides the shade that keeps things cool, it helps protect everyone from the sun’s damaging UV rays. However, there are vented patio umbrellas, models that tilt and even umbrellas offset from the pole that provides more open space beneath the umbrella.

To get the best model for you, you need to know your options. EliteShade Sunbrella, for example, is a large, three-tiered, vented umbrella that can help allow heat to escape and provide greater durability in the wind. It is a higher-end model, but it delivers an above-average level of comfort.

What to know before you buy a patio umbrella

What is a patio umbrella?

In short, a patio umbrella is an umbrella that supports from the side as the pole does not run up through the center. The best cantilever patio umbrella features durable construction, can tilt and provides a great deal of shade. A cantilever umbrella is best to have near a pool or by lounge chairs because the area beneath the umbrella is completely open.

What color patio umbrella is best?

The most common colors for patio umbrellas are earth tones, as they blend more naturally with the environment. If you are looking for the most stylish option, choose an earth-tone patio umbrella that matches your outdoor decor.

However, it is essential to note that lighter colors allow more sun rays to shine through and show more dirt. If you desire the color that naturally absorbs the most rays, black is the way to go. Unfortunately, the darker the color, the more it is affected by fading.

Don’t use patio umbrellas in high winds

While the best patio umbrella for wind features vents in the fabric to allow the breeze to more easily pass through, in general, patio umbrellas should be closed any time the wind exceeds 20 mph. Frequent wind not only increases wear and tear on the fabric, but a strung gust can lift the umbrella in the air and carry it along, making it a dangerous projectile.

Any time inclement weather is on the way, you should close and secure your patio umbrella. In extreme weather, it is best to bring your patio umbrella inside.

What to look for in a quality patio umbrella

Proper size

There are three measurements to consider when purchasing a patio umbrella: canopy diameter, height and pole thickness.

Canopy diameter: If the patio umbrella is for a table and chairs, it must be larger than the table and chairs to provide adequate shade. In general, you will want an umbrella that is 4-5 feet larger than the table. Therefore, if the table is 4 feet in diameter, the umbrella should be 8-9 feet in diameter.

Height: The height of your patio umbrella should allow you to walk under it without stooping. For most people, that would be seven feet. 

Pole size: Not all umbrella poles fit in all tables. Check to make sure the patio umbrella that you are considering will fit through the hole in your patio table before purchasing.

Operating mechanism

Most patio umbrellas are raised and lowered using a crank. Some are lifted up and snapped or secured in place. The crank option puts the least strain on your back and is the best operating mechanism for most individuals.


Almost all patio umbrellas have a tilt feature that allows you to angle the canopy to get the maximum amount of shade all day long. Even if you think you will never use this feature, look for a model that includes it, as it will come in handy.


Some higher-end patio umbrellas feature built-in lights. While these are desirable, they won’t be necessary if you do not plan on using your umbrella at night. Also, it may be a wiser option to purchase the lights separately to be strung and used as needed.


The base is usually not included with a patio umbrella. Ensure you purchase the recommended base for the patio umbrella that you are considering as the wrong base could create a hazardous situation with tipping.

How much you can expect to spend on a patio umbrella

The price range for a patio umbrella is exceptionally wide. It is possible to get a model for as low as $50 or one that costs more than $1,000. Most homeowners should be able to find a quality patio umbrella for under $300.

Patio umbrella FAQ

What type of maintenance does my patio umbrella need during the summer?

A. During the season, you should clean your patio umbrella once each month, following the instructions that came with your umbrella. If you position a patio umbrella near a tree or have a terrible storm, you may need to clean it more frequently. Additionally, regularly inspect your patio umbrella to make sure there are no hives or nests inside.

How do I store my patio umbrella in the winter?

A. Before putting your patio umbrella away for the off-season, give it a thorough cleaning following the instructions that came with the umbrella. After it has completely dried, place it in an enclosed location that does not have persistent moisture, and store it in an upright position. Additionally, it is a good idea to keep your patio umbrella in a durable umbrella cover for added protection.

What’s the best patio umbrella to buy?

Top patio umbrella

EliteShade Sunbrella

What you need to know: This elegantly designed, three-tier umbrella has two vents that allow wind and hot air to pass through, making the umbrella more stable and cooler than other models.

What you’ll love: The durable fabric of this umbrella lasts five years without fading. It has a sturdy aluminum frame, a tilt feature and a handy crank to quickly raise and lower the umbrella.

What you should consider: Rarely, a model with a finicky crank may slip through quality control.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top patio umbrella for the money

Sunnyglade 9-Foot Patio Umbrella

What you need to know: If you are looking for a budget patio umbrella, this one will suit your needs.

What you’ll love: This highly affordable patio umbrella is made of polyester and has a powder-coated aluminum pole. It features a crank, a tilt button and is large enough to cover a table up to 54 inches round.

What you should consider: This model does not possess the rugged build or durability of higher-priced models.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out


What you need to know: This large cantilever umbrella is stylish and reasonably priced. 

What you’ll love: The 10-foot umbrella has eight velcro straps around the perimeter, so you can easily hang lights on this model. The umbrella can be tilted anywhere from 90 degrees to 180 degrees, and it features a velcro strap that secures the canopy to the pole to help increase the umbrella’s wind resistance.

What you should consider: Occasionally, a customer may have a problem with a part arriving broken, but customer service is exceptional, going above and beyond to offer excellent service.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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