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How to Choose the Best Patio Umbrella

February 25, 2019

Patio umbrellas are a fixture on decks and patios in backyards everywhere. They’re also common at outdoor cafes, beaches, restaurants, and markets. They give you shade when you need it and they look fun and decorative. So, based on the demand, there’s a surprising amount of variety when it comes to patio umbrellas. You’d think they would all be pretty much the same, but there’s actually a wide selection of options! How do you choose the best one for your needs? We’ll help you with this guide!

Types of Umbrellas

Many have a pole in the center of the umbrella, and these are generally used with a patio table that has a hold in the middle. On the other hand, an offset or cantilever umbrella has the pole to the side of the umbrella, and it can be used with a patio set that doesn’t have a hole in the middle. It’s also ideal for using with outdoor sofas and other furniture.

Shapes of Patio Umbrellas

Most umbrellas, as you probably know, are round or octagonal in shape. But that’s not the only option for the shape of the canopy. Some are square or rectangular, and we even have a fun star shaped umbrella, the Stardust Umbrella.

Sizes of Patio Umbrellas

Before you purchase an umbrella for your backyard, patio, or pool deck, you need to measure and make sure it’s the right size. First of all, make sure there aren’t any obstructions where you want to place your new umbrella! (Examples: tree branches or shrubs, power lines, roofs). 

And, there’s a simple rule of thumb in shopping for umbrellas: its diameter should be about 5 feet larger than the area it needs to cover. So, don’t get an umbrella that’s the exact same size as the table or chaise lounge you’re trying to cover. Get one that’s slightly bigger.

A couple more rules of thumb: a 7 to 7 ½ -foot umbrella is big enough for a 2 or 4-person patio set or a single chaise lounge. An 8 or 9-foot umbrella should be about right for a 4 or 6-person patio set, an outdoor loveseat, or two chairs/chaise lounges. And if you’re looking for a large patio umbrella that is 10 feet or more, it should be big enough for a large, 6 to 8-person patio dining set or an outdoor sofa and some chairs. However, it depends on the exact size of your furniture, so it’s a good idea to measure before ordering!

Bases for Patio Umbrellas

In many cases, bases will be sold separately from the patio umbrella, so you’ll definitely need to read the product description to find out if you’re shopping online! Usually, there will be a recommended base weight, so read carefully and buy the recommended sized base. Bases also come in different colors and styles to match your patio furniture and the umbrella itself. In addition to having a wide range of patio umbrellas for sale, we also offer many patio umbrella bases here at the Garden Gates!


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