Woman with a tape measure looking to measure the patio umbrella size

How to Measure the Size of a Patio Umbrella?

If you want to have a nice patio umbrella in your yard, you have to think about the size of the umbrella.

The size of an umbrella is essential in two cases:

  • When you buy a new umbrella, you should pick the optimal size for your space.
  • If you wish to replace the canopy of your old umbrella, you need to know the measurements.

Let’s start by looking at how to get the measurements.

Steps to Measure a Patio Umbrella

One thing you want to remember about measuring a patio umbrella is that it doesn’t matter, for the most part, how tall it is.

Measure the length of one rib arm when measuring the patio umbrella

The first thing you’ll want to measure is the width of the umbrella itself, and there’s an easy way to do this:

  • Open up the umbrella until the shade canopy is fully extended.
  • Measure the length of one support rib from the center.
  • Multiply it by 2, that is the size of your umbrella.

Method 2 (to make rib easier to reach):

  • Open your umbrella all the way.
  • To make the top of the rib easier to reach, tilt the umbrella on the ground, so it’s balanced on two ribs and the base.
  • Measure the rib.
Tilt the patio umbrella to the ground to make measuring easier

For example, if the rip is 45”, then 2 x 45” is 90”, which means it is a 7.5ft canopy.

Crank Height

Sometimes, you’ll also have to know the crank height of your patio umbrella. For example, if you’re planning to use the umbrella with an outdoor dining table or bar.

To do this, measure from the base of the pole to the bottom of the crank mechanism itself.

Once you learn this number, it’ll be easy to ensure the patio umbrella won’t reach too close to the table or get in its way.

In fact, this is the reason you should measure your patio umbrella in any situation. The umbrella needs to fit clearheaded regardless of where you place it or whether you set it near a table or a couple of chairs.

How to Get a Replacement Canopy

If the frame of your old umbrella is still in good condition, but the canopy is showing wear and is faded, you can replace the fabric. Or you can simply change the color.

It is critical to measure your existing canopy accurately so that your new fabric will fit correctly on the current frame.

One caveat:

  • Patio umbrellas have a wide range of widths depending on the manufacturer.
  • There are hundreds of umbrella manufacturers around the world.
  • In most cases, umbrella manufacturers build umbrellas to their own specifications, which means they are not the same size, diameter, or thickness.

Replacement Canopy Dimensions

Let’s take a look at how manufacturers typically show their dimensions.

Patio umbrella rib arm length and the number of rib arms explained

This is our first example: a replacement canopy from Abccanopy on Amazon. It’s a 9ft canopy with a rib length 52-54″, and it has a total of 8 ribs.

a replacement canopy from Mastercanopy

There are 4 things you need to consider:

  • First is the number of arms. This replacement is for an umbrella with 8 arms.
  • The second is the length of the arm. This is for arm lengths 52-54” (from the center of the umbrella to the end of the rib). That translates to a 9ft canopy (2 x 54” = 108”, 9ft).
  • The canopy has a hole in the middle, which is covered when you re-attach the top piece. Check the pre-cut hole dimension according to your umbrella pole. You can cut the hole larger if needed.
  • The size of the ribs – do they fit the rib pockets without tearing them. Manufacturers, unfortunately, don’t usually give exact pocket sizes.

Second example: a rectangular replacement canopy from BenefitUSAon Amazon. This is for an umbrella that measures 10 ft by 6.5 ft and has six ribs. The longer ones should be 69.8 inches (+-0.5 inches), the shorter ones 37.8 inches (+-0.5 inches). The recommended top opening size is 2.36 inches.

a replacement canopy from Mastercanopy

With a square or rectangular umbrella, measure the sides of the canopy (not diagonally).

Rib pockets and the hole at the top?

What size are the ribs or the rib pockets? Sadly, in our experience, not all ribs are precisely standard. For example, if the rib pocket is not roomy enough, a thicker rib arm wouldn’t fit in.

The same goes with the top hole. Umbrella poles have no standard, so you might need to adjust with the top hole and cut it broader.

How to Choose the Right Size Patio Umbrella for Your Space

There are a few things you should comprehend before deciding on which umbrella to buy:

  • If you get one too small, it might look displaced once it’s all set up.
  • If you get one that’s too large, it can actually get in the way of any other furniture you might have nearby.
  • A patio umbrella that is the wrong size can also affect the appearance of your entire patio area, making it look awkward and unattractive.

In any case, you’ll need to measure the patio! That way, you can be sure the umbrella will fit your outdoor area, and this is a lot easier than you think.

Here are some more tips on other things to consider when choosing a patio umbrella.

Furniture

Suppose you’re going to include a dining table underneath the umbrella. In that case, you should consider the shape and size of that umbrella.

The patio umbrella should extend over the table by two total feet on either side as a general rule. That way, it’ll cover everyone sitting at the table when you’re having a meal or snack underneath the umbrella.

Examples of garden umbrella sizes and recommended furniture sizes:

Umbrella size 6 ft:

  • Recommended table size: 30 inches
  • Umbrella stand: 35 lb.

Umbrella size 7 ft:

  • Recommended table size: 48 inches
  • Umbrella stand: 45 lb.

Umbrella size 8 ft:

  • Recommended table size: 45 inches
  • Umbrella stand: 55 lb.

Umbrella size 9 ft:

  • Recommended table size: 62 inches
  • Umbrella stand: 65 lb.
Example of 9 ft. patio umbrella and 62-inch table

Umbrella size 10-11 ft:

  • Recommended table size: 82 inches
  • Umbrella stand: 75 lb.
Example of 11 ft. patio umbrella and 82-inch table

Umbrella size 12 ft. or larger:

  • Oversized umbrellas are typically cantilever umbrellas.
  • Umbrella stand: 75 lb. with extra sandbags or anchored to the ground
Example of cantilever 13 ft. umbrella with outdoor seating area

Manufacturers may provide different recommendations. To prevent tipping and flying in a breeze, we recommend the largest stand possible.

It’s also good to choose a patio umbrella shaped like the dining table itself. In practical terms, this means that if you have a rectangular dining table, your patio umbrella should also be rectangular.

You should accommodate round dining tables with round patio umbrellas. In fact, if you follow this simple rule, you’ll get the most protection from the sun.

If you want the most shade on those warm sunny days:

  • make sure the dining table and the patio umbrella are the same shapes, and
  • make sure the umbrella extends over the table’s edges by two feet.

Other tips to keep in mind include:

  • The table’s location in relation to the roof or overhang of your home. For the patio umbrella to look good, make sure there is space between the roof or overhang and the umbrella.
  • The umbrella location in relation to anything else you keep outside, such as your barbecue grill or outdoor kitchen. For instance, you’ll want to stay safe by ensuring the umbrella isn’t too close to a grill. When you’re grilling, the flames can become too intense for the umbrella fabric and for the people eating at the table.

The Bottom Line

Buying a patio umbrella involves much more than upright getting one and placing it in your outdoor area. Make sure you measure the umbrella itself and the space in your yard so that the two things go together well. You should also make sure you place the umbrella in the right location once you get it home.

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