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Best Gazebos

Updated June 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 50 Models Considered
  • 9 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 203 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best gazebos

    Last Updated June 2018

    It's easy to feel like Goldilocks when you're trying to enjoy some time in your yard – it can be too hot, too cold, too wet, too windy. But a quality gazebo can help you feel just right no matter what the weather.

    Offering shade, shelter from the wind and rain, or a bit of extra warmth, a gazebo is a versatile addition to your backyard that can be useful in all seasons. The only thing left to do is find a decent gazebo that won't rip, leak, or blow away and that fits in your yard and your budget. If you need some help selecting a gazebo, you're in luck.

    At BestReviews, we do all the research for you and compile it into an easy-to-use shopping guide. What's more, we trawl through hundreds of products to find the best on the market right now, which you'll find in the matrix at the top of the page.

    If you’re ready to get more use out of your garden, read on for our full guide to gazebos.

    While most gazebos are square or rectangular, you can find hexagonal ones, too.

    Types of gazebos

    Standard soft top gazebos

    These gazebos come with a set of poles you join together to make a frame, plus a fabric canopy (and sometime side panels) that fit onto it.

    Pros:

    • These gazebos are ideal for use in a yard or any place where you want to keep it up for a while.

    • Many of these gazebos come with side panels.

    • Many models are very inexpensive.
       

    Cons:

    • These gazebos generally aren't designed for year-round use.

    • Cheaper models can be quite flimsy.

    • Many of these gazebos are tricky or time consuming to assemble.

    Pop-up soft top gazebos

    Pop-up soft top gazebos have specially designed frames that require no assembly.

    Pros:

    • Most pop-up gazebos can be set up by one person in under a minute.

    • These gazebos are ideal for taking on camping trips or picnics.

    • Pop-up gazebos are popular choices for use as temporary market stalls.

    • These gazebos are lightweight.
       

    Cons:

    • Pop-up gazebos aren't durable enough to be left outside year-round.

    • Some pop-up models aren't aesthetically appealing.

    Hardtop Gazebos

    Hardtop gazebos are sturdy models with solid canopies that are generally designed to be permanent or semi-permanent fixtures in your yard.

    Pros:

    • Hardtop gazebos are designed to be left out in all weather.

    • These models are durable and can last for many years.

    • Some models come with walls and flooring, making them ideal for winter or summer use.

    • Many hardtop gazebos are extremely attractive.
       

    Cons:

    • These gazebos require assembly, and you may need help putting one together.

    • Hardtop gazebos are more expensive than soft top models.

    EXPERT TIP

    Look for a gazebo with a powder-coated metal frame that will resist rust.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Gazebo features to consider

    Size

    Check the size of any gazebo you're considering to make sure it's large enough to fit your needs but not too large to fit in the spot where you intend to put it. A popular option is 100 square feet, which is large enough to comfortably fit a six-person patio table and chairs. However, you can find smaller gazebos, starting at around 42 square feet, and larger options up to 800 square feet or larger.

    Canopy Material

    Gazebos come with a range of different canopy materials, depending on cost, purpose, and style. Here are some of the most common choices.

    • PVC: A common canopy material for soft top gazebos, PVC is hard wearing and completely waterproof, which means it's ideal for flea markets, art fairs, or anyone who wants to use a gazebo in wet weather. However, PVC isn’t the most attractive choice, and it can get hot inside since the fabric doesn’t breathe.

    • Polyester: Water-resistant (but not waterproof), lightweight, and durable polyester is commonly used for pop-up gazebos designed for recreational use.

    • Canvas: You'll often find canvas canopies on high-end soft top gazebos because the fabric looks attractive and can be waterproof if properly treated.

    • Metal: Many hardtop gazebos have a metal roof because it’s durable, long lasting, and impervious to water. However, it can feel a bit hot inside a gazebo with a metal canopy.

    • Vinyl or plastic: Although newer on the scene, many manufacturers are choosing vinyl or plastic for lower-end gazebos because it’s inexpensive, easy to mold into shape, and not as noisy as metal when rain falls on it.

    • Wood shingle: If you favor form over function, there's no denying that gazebo canopies made of wood shingles look great, but this option requires a lot of maintenance. And these models tend to be expensive.

    Frame Material

    Most gazebos have metal frames, usually either steel or aluminum, but some hardtop models have wooden or vinyl frames.

    • Aluminum: Lightweight aluminum is a common gazebo frame material, but it isn’t as durable as some other options.

    • Steel: Due to its strength, a steel frame is a good choice if you want a gazebo that will last. It’s heavy, though, so it isn’t ideal if you need to transport your gazebo from place to place.

    • Wood: A common choice for hardtop gazebos, wooden models have a classic look that can't be beat, but they do require a lot of maintenance if they’re to last for years.

    • Vinyl: If you want the look of painted wood for your hardtop gazebo but not the maintenance, vinyl is a great choice. From a distance, you'd never know it wasn't wood.

    Panels

    Many gazebos come with side panels.

    • Some soft top gazebos have fabric panels that can be zipped into place as required or rolled up or removed when they're not. Other models have mesh curtains that keep bugs out but let the breeze through.

    • Hardtop gazebos sometimes have half-height rail sides, with or without mesh screens above. Some have curtains that you can tie back or pull closed as needed.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Some gazebo frames are made from an alloy of aluminum and steel, which makes them stronger than pure aluminum and lighter than pure steel.

    Gazebo prices

    Gazebos can cost a little or a lot. You can expect to pay from about $60 to more than $5,000, depending on quality and materials.

    • Soft top gazebos

    Basic soft top gazebos can be found for as little as $60 to $70, but these aren’t extremely durable. You can pay up to $3,000 for large, high-end models with sturdy frames designed to stay in place all year.

    • Hardtop gazebos

    Small hardtop gazebos start at around $500 to $600. Larger, more elaborate models can cost $5,000 or more.

    Choose a waterproof gazebo if you know you'll be using it year-round.

    Staff
    BestReviews

    Tips

    • Choose the right type of gazebo for your needs. For example, if you want a gazebo to use all year, choose a sturdy hardtop model. If you want to take your gazebo camping, a pop-up model would be a better option.

    • Make sure the gazebo is durable enough. A very basic, inexpensive gazebo might be fine to use three or four times a year for a day or two each time, but it won't stand up to being left outside all summer.

    • Check that the gazebo is light enough to transport. If you choose a pop-up gazebo, it shouldn't be too heavy to carry to a camping spot or the park.

    • Secure your gazebo. If you don't secure your gazebo, it will blow away. Most gazebos come with pegs for use on soft ground, but if you plan to set it up on a hard surface, you'll need sandbags or weight plates.
    Even though some standard soft top gazebos have sturdy frames that you can leave up all year, the canopies need to be removed in winter if it snows in your area.

    FAQ

    Q. Where should I position my gazebo?

    A. Where you choose to set up your gazebo in your yard is up to you. If your chosen model is easy to move, it isn’t so important to find the perfect spot right away. If you buy a permanent or very heavy gazebo, choosing the correct position is essential. Ultimately, you should place it somewhere you like to sit, preferably on a fairly level plot. We wouldn't recommend placing it underneath a tree or you'll forever be cleaning fallen leaves and bird droppings off the canopy.

    Q. Can I assemble my gazebo alone?

    A. Some pop-up gazebos can be set up by one person, but many require a second person to pull out the opposite corner of the frame. Assembling any other type of gazebo is definitely a two-person job. Some basic models only require you to slot poles together, but others need screwing or bolting together. If you're not especially handy, you might want to employ a professional to assemble a more complex gazebo.

    Q. Do gazebos offer UV protection?

    A. Any structure that provides shade offers some degree of UV protection. Hardtop gazebos should provide total UV protection, assuming you're fully shaded, but most soft top models won't protect your skin from the sun's ray as effectively. That said, some soft top gazebos use special material treated to have a high ultraviolet protection factor (UPF).

    The team that worked on this review
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      Bronwyn
      Editor
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Enid
      Enid
      Editor
    • Katie
      Katie
      Editorial Director
    • Lauren
      Lauren
      Writer
    • Melinda
      Melinda
      Web Producer