Best Umbrella Bases

Updated September 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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How we decided

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

76 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
133 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.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
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.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Buying guide for best umbrella bases

Last Updated September 2019

An umbrella base is likely an afterthought when planning your outdoor oasis, but it’s a necessary one that can help divert the nightmare of an umbrella torpedoing into your neighbor’s yard on a windy day. Much of the time, a base is too lightweight for an umbrella. But the right weighted base and umbrella offers a finished look to your outdoor space. What’s more, the correct base offers peace of mind when the breeze picks up and you’re under the umbrella.

You can permanently mount an umbrella base to your deck or patio floor or to your deck railing. If mobility and flexibility are your main goals, there are plenty of stylish freestanding or under-the-table options for all types of umbrellas.

When shopping, you’ll likely see the terms “umbrella base” and “umbrella stand” used interchangeably. Technically, an umbrella base is intended for use under a table, while a stand is heavier and freestanding. However, both types of holders are used in various locations. Our shopping guide will help you determine what’s best for your needs.

Some freestanding bases have small tables that screw into place to hold drinks. Other bases are built into side tables that can be placed next to a lounge chair.

Key considerations

Weight when filled

When you see a base advertised as “30-pound” or “50-pound,” that typically indicates how heavy the base will be when it’s filled with water, sand, bricks, or rocks. A heavier weight is better for steadying a larger umbrella in windy conditions. A half-round base will likely fill up to weigh around 20 pounds to hold a half umbrella steady when set flush against a wall.

Size

The majority of umbrella bases are 20 inches in diameter. This ensures that they fit under tables without posing a tripping hazard. It’s not the diameter of a base that steadies a larger umbrella; it’s the weight of the base when it’s filled that matters most.

Pole size

Smaller umbrellas have thinner pole diameters, typically from 1 3/8 inches to 1 1/2 inches. The average size of an umbrella pole is actually 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Larger umbrellas, such as 11- and 13-foot canopies, have larger pole diameters, from 1 1/2 inches to 3 inches in diameter.

Before shopping, it pays to know the diameter of your umbrella pole and the circumference of the umbrella canopy. Sometimes, a large umbrella canopy comes with a smaller-than-expected pole diameter.

Fill options

Decide if you want to fill a base with water or sand or if you prefer to have a solid base that is not fillable. Water may make a taller base slightly unstable or wobbly, especially when moving it around. This happens because water is not as dense and stable as sand filling.

Durability

The material of a base usually indicates how durable it will be over time. Cast iron bases are heavy but can rust in high humidity. Powder-coated steel bases weighted with concrete may rust over time, leaving marks on your deck or patio. Concrete bases won’t rust or crack, but you can’t always add filler. Heavy-duty molded resin and plastic bases won’t rust, flake, or crack.

FOR YOUR SAFETY

Empty your umbrella base of water and rinse it with soapy water every so often to prevent mold and mildew.

Features

Materials: Umbrella bases can be made of a number of materials. The most popular choices include cast iron, concrete, steel, and molded resin (heavy-duty plastic).

Locking pole sleeve: Some umbrella bases have a receiver pole that sticks up from the base and acts as a sleeve for the umbrella pole. The base sleeve secures the pole with a locking mechanism or thumbscrews.

Water plug: You’ll need to drain a water-filled base at season’s end. Look for a water plug that’s easy to reach but is hidden or blends in with the rest of the base.

Feet: If you prefer a base without wheels, rubber pads beneath the holder will minimize scratches on your deck or patio.

Wheels: If you find yourself moving your umbrella every time the sun shifts, you may appreciate a freestanding, wheeled umbrella base with locking castors. Typically, only two of the wheels will lock into place, which is all you need for stability.

Design: Cast iron and resin bases often have a decorative design such as a swirl, a geometric pattern, or a floral print carved or molded into them for a touch of elegance.

Color: Bases are often designed to match patio sets that have metallic finishes. For a pop of color, there are tinted concrete bases.

Umbrella base prices

Inexpensive: In the $15 to $35 range, you’ll find basic fillable resin umbrella bases with a minimal design. Umbrella bases in this price are typically used for smaller umbrellas and are meant to be stored under an umbrella table. The holes of bases in this price range typically accept an umbrella pole that’s under two inches in diameter.

Mid-range: From $35 to $85, you’ll find many durable, handsome umbrella bases that are 20 inches in diameter and have a cast iron or fillable plastic base. A number of models have lockable wheels and built-in handles for moving the base around. The holes in these umbrella bases typically accept small umbrella poles up to a bit over two inches in diameter. You’ll also find an abundance of durable cantilever offset umbrella bases.

Expensive: Over $85, you’ll find more features on bases that also accept thicker poles for larger umbrellas (canopies of nine to eleven feet). In this range, you’ll find stylish concrete products, lockable wheels, and built-in handles. More items in this range will have a locking pole sleeve for additional umbrella stability. If you’re seeking a top-of-the-line umbrella base for your home, you can find distinctive bronze cast aluminum and stunning teak works of art in the $600 to $1,000 price range.

EXPERT TIP

If your base is designed with deep crevices, cutouts, or patterns, hose it down a few times during the season. You’ll want to clean out any dropped food or spills that could spoil.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Remove water from inside a fillable base before winter, or the water inside could freeze and damage the holder.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • To figure out how heavy your umbrella stand should be in relation to your umbrella, simply multiply the width of your umbrella by 10. For example, an umbrella that’s nine feet wide needs a stand that weighs a minimum of 90 pounds when filled.

  • Umbrella stands that weigh 50 pounds when filled are considered lightweight and could cause your umbrella to lift up when it’s windy. Use this type of stand underneath an umbrella table for extra support.

  • Cantilevered, or offset, patio umbrellas require specialized heavy-duty bases designed to fit over the existing crossbar base. Bases typically have a set of four connected “plates” that can be filled with water or sand to weigh down the crossbars.

  • Some bases lie flat against the ground while others appear taller. Although it may look like a taller base would add height to your umbrella, that’s an illusion. The design of a base won’t affect the height of your umbrella. When the umbrella pole is inserted, it’s meant to sit on the bottom of the base where it’ll be grounded in a stable position.

Other products we considered

If you don’t want to bother filling an umbrella base, consider Great Deal Furniture’s Louise Outdoor Concrete Circular Umbrella Base. It’s packed with features, such as a steel pole holder, flush handles easily lifted to move the base, and easy-to-lock wheels that make this 80-pound base stable.

We also love the Shademobile, a well-received mobile umbrella stand that won’t win any beauty contests, but users consistently praise its design that’s both heavy and easy to move, even when filled with bricks for maximum weight.

Lastly, if you need a really heavy stand, you can’t beat the mobile Abba Patio Umbrella Stand that can reach up to 150 pounds when filled with sand or soil.

Keep small children off a resin base. It’s not meant to hold weight on its top. The base is only meant to support the weight of an umbrella.

FAQ

Q. What are weight bags for umbrella stands?
A.
If you live in an area that experiences frequent windy conditions or gusts, a specially designed weight bag placed right on top of your existing base will add a substantial amount of weight (on average 90 pounds) to further stabilize the umbrella. Round or square weight bags made of heavy-duty ballistic polyester are usually filled with sand and sometimes pebbles — but not water, which would leak out.

Q. What kind of sand should be used to fill an umbrella stand?
A.
Bags of dry play sand (usually 50-pound bags) found at home improvement stores can be used to fill an umbrella stand. Adding water to sand will add to the weight of the stand, but it could be a challenge to drain and clean at the end of the season. In a pinch, you could use cat litter to fill and weigh down your umbrella stand.

Q. Do I even need an umbrella stand if there’s no wind?
A.
Even if you think your umbrella pole is stable because it’s threaded through the hole in the table, it’s not. The table could suddenly move, and from the standpoint of physics, the umbrella could cause even more problems or injuries by lifting up and out of its hole. You may also accidently kick the umbrella pole, causing it to become unbalanced, cockeyed, and potentially hitting or poking someone on the head with the ribs or finial. Not to mention the bottom of metal umbrella poles have sharp edges, so a stand protects your children’s fingers and toes if they’re ever playing under the table and dislodge a bare umbrella.

The team that worked on this review
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Enid
    Enid
    Editor
  • Kailey
    Kailey
    Writer
  • Marilyn
    Marilyn
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

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