The Best Patio Umbrellas of 2022

Enjoy warm afternoons while staying comfortable in the shade of a reliable patio umbrella.

By Michelle Ullman and Tom Scalisi and Kristen Mosier | Updated Jun 16, 2022 4:17 AM

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The Best Patio Umbrella Option

Photo: istockphoto.com

What’s the ultimate must-have for outdoor living when you need a reprieve from the sun? A patio umbrella, of course. The right umbrella brings a big patch of shade to your space—and an equally big splash of style.

Beyond looks, various considerations go into choosing the best patio umbrella for your needs. These include canopy size and material, as well as the design of the umbrella’s base and operating mechanism. With so many options, it can be hard to decide which model is right for your space.

That’s why we’ve tested some of the most popular umbrellas available to report back. Ahead, learn what to look for in a quality umbrella, and see how the top picks stood up to our rigorous standards.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Safavieh Collection Outdoor Tilt Umbrella
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Sunnyglade 9 ft. Patio Umbrella
  3. BEST CANTILEVER: Grand Patio Deluxe Napoli Cantilever Umbrella
  4. BEST WIND-RESISTANT: EliteShade USA 3 Tiers Market Umbrella
  5. BEST UV PROTECTION: Grand Patio 9 ft. Enhanced Aluminum Patio Umbrella
  6. BEST DESIGN: Blissun 9 ft. Outdoor Aluminum Patio Umbrella
  7. BEST BOHO STYLE: Ammsun 7 ft. Patio Umbrella with Fringe
  8. BEST WITH SOLAR LIGHTS: Best Choice Products 10 ft. Solar Powered Umbrella
  9. BEST FOR SMALL SPACES: Abba Patio 7.5 ft. Patio Umbrella
  10. BEST EXTRA-LARGE: Phi Villa 15 ft. Double-Sided Patio Umbrella
The Best Patio Umbrella Option

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Patio Umbrella

It’s hard to beat kicking back under the protection of a patio umbrella on a hot day. But before relaxing in the shade, users should consider several things when choosing the best patio umbrella. The following sections will outline those considerations and help ensure users have all the information they need to make an informed decision.

Type

Understand that there are different types of patio umbrellas, including market umbrellas, cantilever umbrellas, and half umbrellas. Each has its strengths and purposes, so it’s helpful to be familiar with each.

  • Market umbrellas are the classic upright patio model. Most have a vented canopy, which allows for a bit of wind to flow through without lifting the umbrella from the ground. Some market umbrellas have a tilt function, which lets users adjust the upper portion of the frame to keep the shade centered where they want it. Market umbrellas are excellent options for shading a patio table, an outdoor kitchen, or a small seating area.
  • Cantilever umbrellas—also called offset umbrellas—feature a canopy that’s set off to the side of the pole rather than centered on top. This means users can shade their lounge chairs or outdoor entertaining area while the umbrella base stays out of the way.
  • Half umbrellas are just what they sound like: half of a typical umbrella. These umbrellas are ideal for patio sets placed up against a wall or fence. The shape allows the umbrella to tuck right up against a vertical surface without allowing the sun to poke through the gaps.

Shape and Coverage

Size is one of the most important considerations when buying a patio umbrella. Too big, and it will look bulky and out of place; too small, and users won’t get enough shade. Note that umbrella measurements refer to the width of the fully extended canopy, not the height.

Although there’s a large range of umbrella widths, an umbrella’s height should be no less than 7 feet and no more than 9 feet when fully raised. The following guidelines will help users pick the best patio umbrella for their needs.

  • A 5- to 6-foot umbrella does the trick for a bistro set with two chairs.
    Those who want to shade a 36-inch table with two to four chairs will need a 7-foot umbrella.
  • Looking to shade a 40-inch table with four to six chairs, or a small conversation area? A 7.5- to 8.5-foot umbrella is the best bet.
  • For tables up to 48 inches or small-to-medium conversation areas, choose a 9- to 10-foot umbrella.
  • An 11-foot umbrella is suitable for a 60-inch table with six chairs or for a medium-size conversation area.
  • For a large conversation area or a 60- to 72-inch table, choose an umbrella that’s 11.5 to 13 feet across.

Beyond the sheer area an umbrella covers, consider the shape. Extra-large umbrellas are often oblong and offer coverage exactly where it’s needed over a long table. A half-umbrella might provide only half the coverage, but because it will tuck nicely against a wall, there won’t be any gaps for sunlight to poke through.

Fabric

Shopping for the best patio umbrella requires learning a bit about the different fabrics used in their construction. Although most materials provide plenty of shade, they each have their own perks and drawbacks.

  • Sunbrella fabric is a popular choice for a wide variety of outdoor applications, but it’s especially prevalent in umbrellas. Sunbrella is a brand-name acrylic and polyester blend that comes in a variety of styles and colors. The durable material resists fading, mildew, and stains.
  • Polyester is typically a less expensive option than some other umbrella fabrics, as it doesn’t block as much of the sun and its ultraviolet (UV) rays. If treated with a water-repellent finish and a UV inhibitor, polyester will last for quite a few seasons.
  • Acrylic fabrics are very popular, as the material is soft and takes dyes very well. These umbrellas come in different patterns and colors, and they’re usually UV-resistant.
  • Olefin is another popular material for patio umbrellas, as it’s incredibly UV-resistant and dries very quickly after rain, which helps prevent mildew and mold. Olefin is also strong and easy to clean.

Frame Material

Patio umbrella frames come in several different materials.

  • Aluminum umbrella frames are the most popular choice, as they are inexpensive, lightweight, hold up well in a wide range of weather conditions, and are flexible enough to tolerate moderate winds.
  • Stainless steel patio umbrellas are very rare and may cost a fortune. Heavy, strong, and corrosion-resistant, they might work best in coastal areas with a lot of wind-driven salt in the air.
  • Teak and other hardwoods make attractive frames that look particularly nice on a wooden deck. Although special treatments for outdoor wood help prevent rot and lessen weather damage, the wood does tend to fade or change color over time and could still snap in high winds.
  • Fiberglass carries the highest price tag but may also last the longest. This strong, lightweight material won’t weather or rust and performs well even in fairly high winds.

UV Protection

UV resistance isn’t the whole story. Often, that value refers to how well the umbrella fabric holds up to sun exposure, not how well it protects the folks taking shelter underneath.

The entire purpose of a patio umbrella is to provide refuge from the sun on a hot day. An umbrella forms a barrier between the sun and skin. That barrier creates what’s known as UPF, or ultraviolet protection factor.

In general, fabrics such as Sunbrella and other acrylics offer the best UPF ratings, with values of UPF 50+. These umbrellas block out not only the light but also the UV rays that accompany it, which helps protect the skin of those underneath the umbrella.

Lift, Tilt, and Rotation

Even lightweight umbrellas can be a bit unwieldy because of their awkward sizes and shapes. But the best patio umbrellas incorporate special mechanisms that help open and close the umbrella with ease as well as adjust it to an ideal angle for blocking out the sun.

  • The lift mechanism opens and closes the umbrella in one of three ways: Push-up lifts require users to lift and secure the canopy with their own strength. Pulley lifts use a wheel and a rope to lift the umbrella into place. Crank lifts include a small handle that lets users crank the umbrella canopy open and shut, which is the best option for large patio umbrellas.
  • The tilting mechanism usually takes one of three forms: A push-button mechanism releases the umbrella so the user can tilt it to the desired angle. A crank gradually tilts the umbrella into place. A rotating collar lets users manually tilt the umbrella into place.
  • The rotating mechanism turns the umbrella to track with the position of the sun. This allows the user to block the sun from sunup to sundown.

Weight and Stability

Regardless of its weight, the best patio umbrella should be both stable and easy to maneuver.

Umbrellas themselves are generally pretty light, weighing between 10 and 20 pounds for a typical market umbrella or 20 to 25 pounds for an extra-large model. Materials such as stainless steel may double the weight, while teakwood might add just a pound or two. Cantilevered designs tend to be much heavier, as their framework needs to be considerably stronger.

Every patio umbrella requires a heavy base to keep it upright and strong against the wind, even if the umbrella is centered through a patio table. Failing to secure an umbrella raises the risk of damage to the umbrella and injury to everyone around it.

Stone, iron, and concrete are common umbrella bases. Less expensive options include hollow plastic filled with sand or water. Some umbrella bases have small wheels, which is a handy feature for moving the umbrella from one place to another.

As a general rule, the larger the umbrella, the heavier the base. Cantilever models, in particular, need more weight than market versions. Some umbrellas include the base, while others require a separate purchase. Here are guidelines for market umbrella base weights:

  • 40 pounds for 5- to 6-foot umbrellas
  • 50 pounds for 7.5- to 8.5-foot umbrellas
  • 60 pounds for 9-foot umbrellas
  • 70 pounds for 10-foot umbrellas
  • 100 pounds for 11- to 13-foot umbrellas

Aesthetic

Patios are all about relaxing, and getting the decor just right is a great way to boost those good vibes. Luckily, many of the best patio umbrellas feature bright, attractive colors and patterns, so matching them with patio furniture is rarely an issue. Those who struggle to find the perfect hue can instead have fun with contrasting colors.

Some umbrellas bring added built-in features, too. Though users will have to supply their own outdoor speakers, many patio umbrellas feature built-in lights fed from solar power, so the party doesn’t have to stop when the sun goes down. For umbrellas that don’t come with built-in lights, a set of string lights will do the trick.

Our Top Picks

A simple way to add comfort and style to an outdoor space is with a patio umbrella. We tested some of the most popular selections to help you weed through the numerous options available. Here are the top picks for the best patio umbrellas, based on our firsthand experience.

Best Overall

The Best Patio Umbrella Option: Safavieh Collection Outdoor Tilt Umbrella
Photo: amazon.com

Safavieh is known for its stylish and durable products, and this patio umbrella is no different. It dropped easily into our existing base for a quick setup and looked great over our outdoor table. We especially loved the upscale look of the blue canopy with white scalloped trim.

The umbrella felt sturdy out of the box with its metal pole and polyester covering. We tested it on, arguably, the windiest day of the season, and it stayed put and wasn’t any worse for the wear. It also passed our water-resistance test, shielding the table below from getting wet.

The 9-foot canopy was very easy to raise and close; even our children could manage it. The tilt mechanism was also effortless, with optional right and left positioning. One minor drawback is that the canopy lacks a tie to secure it while closed, but we didn’t find that to significantly affect the overall functionality.

Product Specs

  • Canopy size: 9 feet
  • Material: Metal and polyester
  • Colors available: 5

Pros

  • Attractive design
  • Effortless operation
  • Wind- and water-resistant

Cons

  • Lacks a tie-back when closed

Get the Safavieh patio umbrella on Amazon or at Target.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Patio Umbrella Option: Sunnyglade 9 ft. Patio Umbrella
Photo: amazon.com

Those searching for shade at an affordable price should check out Sunnyglade’s patio umbrella. This market umbrella creates 9 feet of shade under its polyester canopy in a choice of 13 different colors. The umbrella was simple to set up and looked attractive in the red color we selected.

With its all-aluminum construction with a powder-coated finish, the pole feels durable and stable. The crank lift was low enough that even the kids could reach it, and it opened and closed smoothly. A push-button tilt mechanism worked well to adjust shade throughout the day. The canopy easily shielded the table from a light rain.

While a wind vent underneath the umbrella aims at keeping the canopy from moving too much in the wind, we don’t recommend using it on windy days, as it swayed quite a bit in the breeze. We did notice tiny pulls in the fabric when looking up through it, making us wonder about the canopy’s longevity.

Product Specs

  • Canopy size: 9 feet
  • Material: Polyester and aluminum
  • Colors available: 13

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Available in 13 colors
  • Easily accessible crank mechanism

Cons

  • Less durable than other options

Get the Sunnyglade patio umbrella on Amazon.

Best Cantilever

The Best Patio Umbrella Option: Grand Patio Deluxe Napoli Cantilever Umbrella
Photo: amazon.com

Backyard lounging underneath the Grand Patio cantilever patio umbrella means plenty of room and flexibility. This cantilevered umbrella features a stylish curved design ideal for outdoor lounging spaces or tables that lack a center hole. We chose to set it up over a small seating area that gets a great deal of sun throughout the day. It looked great and immediately made the deck more comfortable for lounging with its ample 11-foot canopy.

The base and umbrella arrived in two boxes and took a bit of time to set up following the provided instructions, but with little difficulty. The base requires water and sand to weigh it down to the recommended 265 pounds. The large black base isn’t the most attractive, but it’s functional and doesn’t take away from the overall look. Built-in wheels help with movement, but we found it difficult to relocate once filled.

Although the umbrella moved and swayed in the breeze, it stayed put due to the weighted bottom. We would still recommend closing it during windy weather. The waterproof canopy easily shielded the space from a light drizzle. Following the manufacturers directions, we had no trouble operating the crank lift and auto-lock to facilitate opening, closing, and tilt adjustments.

We chose the champagne color, which was accurately depicted online with a bright and neutral look. The heavy-duty all-aluminum frame and double-coated, waterproof, UV-protective polyester felt durable and long lasting.

Product Specs

  • Canopy size: 11 feet
  • Material: Aluminum and polyester
  • Colors available: 9

Pros

  • Provides ample shade
  • Attractive design
  • UV-protective

Cons

  • Not ideal for windy days
  • Bulky base

Get the Grand Patio patio umbrella on Amazon.

Best Wind-Resistant

The Best Patio Umbrella Option: EliteShade USA 3 Tiers Market Umbrella
Photo: amazon.com

EliteShade USA’s umbrella is an excellent choice for areas where fluctuating weather is typical. The tiers worked effectively on windy days, keeping the umbrella in place with no issue. While dining underneath it, we felt cool and shaded. It also kept the table dry on rainy days. It was easy to set up, quickly clicking into place, and the crank handle let us easily raise it up and down. The push-button tilt mechanism worked well, allowing us to move it left or right depending on the sun’s angle.

The tiers are functional but also stylish. We liked the look of this option fully assembled in person better than its online appearance. The color of our umbrella was beige, which was neutral enough to go with any decor, but the umbrella is available in 11 other colors to suit differing preferences. Patio umbrellas tend to fade in the sun, so we appreciate that this one features a solution-dyed acrylic top made to keep its color for 5 years. The Sunbrella fabric is also sun-protective and water- and oil-resistant.

Product Specs

  • Canopy size: 9 feet
  • Materials: Acrylic, aluminum, cast aluminum alloy
  • Colors available: 12

Pros

  • Wind-resistant
  • Available in 12 colors
  • Nonfading canopy

Cons

  • Expensive

Get the EliteShade patio umbrella on Amazon.

Best UV Protection

The Best Patio Umbrella Option: Grand Patio 9 FT Enhanced Aluminum Patio Umbrella
Photo: amazon.com

Although patio umbrellas help create a relaxing ambience, their primary purpose is to offer protection against UV rays. Grand Patio’s enhanced aluminum patio umbrella does just that, with its UV-protective 9-foot polyester canopy and push-button tilt mechanism. While sitting underneath the umbrella during testing, we found it worked well at shielding us from the sun, and we had no problem adjusting the tilt.

The all-aluminum frame felt durable and was easy to set up. A crank mounted low on the pole gives users easy access to open and close the umbrella. However, we found that the crank mechanism was slightly stiffer than others and made an audible noise while raising the canopy.

The built-in wind vent aims to promote airflow and improve wind resistance. The umbrella remained stable on breezy days and shielded us from light rain, and it’s available in four colors that coordinate well with most patio furniture. We tested the beige color and appreciated how the neutral shade blended in well with our outdoor space.

Product Specs

  • Canopy size: 9 feet
  • Material: Polyester, alloy steel, and aluminum
  • Colors available: 4

Pros

  • UV-protecting polyester canopy with included air vent
  • Rust-free powder-coated aluminum pole
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Crank mechanism wasn’t as smooth as that of other umbrellas

Get the Grand Patio patio umbrella on Amazon.

Best Design

The Best Patio Umbrella Option: Blissun 9 ft. Outdoor Aluminum Patio Umbrella
Photo: amazon.com

Backyard decorators don’t have to choose between protection and style with Blissun’s outdoor aluminum patio umbrella. This 9-foot model comes in three patterns and 12 colors to suit most any backyard space. Our test model was dark green, and we got many compliments on the rich yet earthy tone.

The durable all-aluminum frame quickly slid into our existing stand. The polyester canopy not only looked attractive but also felt sturdy and stood up to the elements. It effectively resisted water and kept us dry and shaded from UV rays. An air vent helped keep it fairly stable on breezy days; however, it didn’t seem as sturdy as others we tested so we would take it down during storms.

A crank lift easily opened and closed the canopy, and a push-button tilt allowed us to adjust the canopy in two directions to block the sun. At just 11 pounds, the umbrella was easy to move around the patio.

Product Specs

  • Canopy size: 9 feet
  • Materials: Acrylic, aluminum, cast aluminum alloy
  • Colors available: 12 solid colors, 3 striped

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Multiple color and pattern options
  • Air vent for wind resistance

Cons

  • Susceptible to fading
  • Limited weather resistance

Get the Blissun patio umbrella on Amazon.

Best Boho Style

The Best Patio Umbrella Option: Ammsun 7 ft. Patio Umbrella with Fringe
Photo: amazon.com

With a 7-foot canopy, this pick is a great choice for smaller outdoor tables. Its tassel design offers a modern yet unconventional look. We received it in brown, which is neutral enough to blend with most color schemes. Upon its arrival, we noticed the canopy was a bit darker and shinier than what was pictured online, but it was still attractive. However, we might opt for one of the other fun patterns when ordering.

The setup was simple, with the pole fitting nicely into our existing base. The polyester canopy stood up to light wind and offered coverage from the rain. It also provides UPF 50+ sun protection. The metal pole features a push-button two-way tilt that was simple to use. One drawback is that there is no crank for opening and closing, so the umbrella has to be pushed open at the top.

Product Specs

  • Canopy size: 7 feet
  • Material: Polyester and alloy steel
  • Colors available: 4 colors, 3 patterns

Pros

  • Unique design
  • Ideal for smaller tables
  • Multiple patterns available

Cons

  • Lacks crank mechanism

Get the Ammsun patio umbrella on Amazon.

Best with Solar Lights

The Best Patio Umbrella Option: Best Choice Products 10 ft. Solar Powered Umbrella
Photo: amazon.com

If you’re seeking nighttime ambience on your patio, check out this 10-foot umbrella from Best Choice Products. A set of 24 solar-powered LEDs underneath the canopy run for up to 7 hours after sundown. Simply connect the battery upon arrival to activate the solar panel located in the top center of the umbrella. We found the LEDs worked well from day one, producing a cool white light.

The canopy is made of fade- and water-resistant polyester fabric with an airflow vent that stands up to the wind. During our testing, it rained quite a bit, but the table below remained dry. The vent and the aluminum and steel frame helped the umbrella stay in place during windy conditions.

The crank handle was easy to use when opening and closing the umbrella. It was a little challenging to change the umbrella’s positioning to maximize sun coverage, but with some maneuvering, we could tilt it either left or right and return it to the center.

The entire unit weighs just less than 17 pounds—light enough to move but sturdy enough for rougher weather. Available in 12 colors, this sun shade should match most patio aesthetics. We chose the red, which was beautiful in person and added a pop of color to our space.

Product Specs

  • Canopy size: 10 feet
  • Materials: Polyester, aluminum, alloy steel
  • Colors available: 12

Pros

  • Solar lights add interest after dark
  • Available in 12 colors
  • Wind-resistant

Cons

  • Some reports of breakage at tilt mechanism during windy conditions

Get the Best Choice Products patio umbrella on Amazon or Best Choice Products.

Best for Small Spaces

The Best Patio Umbrella Option: Abba Patio 7.5ft Patio Umbrella
Photo: amazon.com

Oversize umbrellas may be cumbersome and awkward on compact patios. For smaller outdoor spaces, take a look at Abba Patio’s market umbrella. The 7.5-foot canopy looks great and is well suited for tight outdoor areas, such as small decks or garden patios.

It was simple to set up and felt durable upon first use. A crank-lift mechanism opens and closes the canopy over the rust-resistant, powder-coated metal frame. It took a few cranks to loosen up the handle, but it worked seamlessly after that. A push-button tilt mechanism easily positioned the canopy in two directions. Available in 11 colors, the durable polyester canopy resists fading, water, and UV rays. It passed our waterproof test, keeping the table dry underneath.

A vented top adds airflow and wind resistance. Although it stayed in place on breezy days, we would keep it closed in windier conditions. It secures easily with the included butterfly clip.

Product Specs

  • Canopy size: 7.5 feet
  • Materials: Polyester, alloy steel
  • Colors available: 11

Pros

  • Water-, UV-, and fade-resistant polyester canopy
  • Ideal for small patios
  • Butterfly buckle included

Cons

  • Limited coverage for larger areas

Get the Abba Patio patio umbrella on Amazon.

Best Extra-Large

The Best Patio Umbrella Option: Phi Villa 15 ft. Double-Sided Patio Umbrella
Photo: amazon.com

Our first impression of this umbrella was that it was more attractive in person than it was in the photos. We were afraid the large size would look and feel cumbersome, but it was surprisingly easy to manage despite its extended length. It’s perfect for larger spaces with bigger pieces of furniture that may require more shade, such as long patio tables or bench seats. The double-sided design creates a wingspan of a whopping 15 feet to provide plenty of shade from one central pole.

We loved that raising and lowering this umbrella was as simple as doing so with standard-size umbrellas. The crank lift facilitates opening and spreading this oversize umbrella without wrestling with the long ribs. There was ample shade even without any tilt options. Though the umbrella does feature triple vents, the increased wingspan doesn’t do much in terms of wind resistance, so it’s best to close the umbrella after every use.

The steel frame appeared and felt durable. It came with a cross base that needed to be weighted for stability. Setup is made difficult only by the need to purchase and add 135 pounds of sand to the included bags. However, once that was complete, the umbrella was impressively stable.

Product Specs

  • Canopy size: 15 feet
  • Materials: Polyester, alloy steel
  • Colors available: 4

Pros

  • Large wingspan for extended coverage
  • Simple to operate
  • Base, cover, and carrying bags included

Cons

  • Requires the addition of sand to stabilize

Get the Phi Villa patio umbrella at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Phi Villa US.

Our Verdict

We chose the Safavieh patio umbrella as our best overall pick for its unique and attractive style and its ability to withstand the elements. We tested it on an extremely windy day, and it was no worse for wear. For those looking for an affordable option that is easy to use and available in a rainbow of colors, we chose the Sunnyglade patio umbrella as our best bang for the buck pick.

How We Tested the Best Patio Umbrellas

To test popular patio umbrellas, we first set up each one according to the manufacturer’s directions. As we assembled them, we noted the weight and level of difficulty. Once the umbrella was up, we observed its attractiveness and how well it suited our space. We tested the open and close and tilt mechanisms, noting any difficulties. Each umbrella was left out during different weather conditions. If it didn’t rain during testing, we poured water over the top of the canopy. We also noted the ability of the umbrella to provide added comfort and protection from the sun. After inputting our data into a testing rubric, we reported back with the results.

FAQs

This guide sheds a lot of light on the best patio umbrellas, but some questions might remain. The following are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about patio umbrellas.

Q. What should I look for when buying a patio umbrella?

You’ll want to ensure that the umbrella you choose not only fits your budget, style, and size requirements but also is built from durable materials such as aluminum and synthetic fabrics.

Q. What is the most durable patio umbrella?

Umbrellas made of an aluminum framework and Sunbrella or other synthetic fabrics will last the longest.

Q. What color patio umbrella is best for sun protection?

Although lighter colors might seem to be the logical choice, it’s the darker colors that do a better job of keeping sunlight out. Black is best but rarely fits the aesthetic. Look for a darker color, such as blue or green, that works with your patio design and also absorbs UV rays.

Q. Is steel or aluminum better for a patio umbrella?

Aluminum is usually best. Though aluminum frames are not always as strong as steel frames, they offer the best resistance against corrosion and balance of strength to weight.

Q. What is the best way to clean a patio umbrella?

Many patio umbrellas are machine washable. Simply remove the fabric from the frame, and toss it in the wash by itself with a mild detergent. If it’s not machine washable, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Q. How do you get mildew out of an outdoor umbrella?

If mold or mildew is growing on your umbrella, it might not be time to throw it out just yet. A liquid mold remover may do the trick. Follow the instructions on the container, and allow the product to work its magic.