Tips on How to Choose the Right Patio Umbrella on Your Deck

Are you wondering in which ways you can improve your outdoor decorations at home? Have installed a patio umbrella? If not, consider it as the next step to increase the elegance in your home.

In this article, we talk about what you need to consider before buying a patio umbrella.

Patio umbrella comes in a variety of sizes, shapes, styles, forms, and weights. And sure, you can find parasols under lots of different brands.

Colorful patio umbrella

Considering all the features, it appears challenging to select the best outdoor parasol as a buyer.

Therefore, in the realization of the issue, we prepared this guide on things to look for when purchasing the item.

You don’t need to be an expert to select the right one, but we try to give you the best knowledge to make the right decisions.

Check the Location

It is essential first to check the area so that you don’t buy too big or too tall for the available space!

You should check at least these:

  • where the canopy will be located concerning the house’s overhang
  • the location relative to the kitchen door or grill
  • size of the plants around the planned place

So, you don’t want your canopy to touch the roof, to be too close to the flames of your grill, or to prevent plants from growing.

Patio Umbrella with Tilt from ABCCanopy

For the height, you need enough clearance, so nobody needs to bend over.

Look for at least 7 feet tall umbrellas (85 inches / 210 cm). It shouldn’t be too high either. Otherwise, the shade falls outside the table.

Using at the Beach

The patio umbrella is not intended for beach use, as it stands with its own base. Umbrella poles for patios have flat bottoms, making them difficult to stick safely in the sand. 

Determining the Best Size of the Umbrella

If you plan on using the sunshade over a patio table, you should measure that table and the umbrella.

Although most outdoor tables come in standard sizes, it is vital that you make sure that the canopy of the umbrella covers the whole table sufficiently.

Size the canopy based on the dimensions of your table. The canopy should extend each side of the table by around 2 feet:

  • For a table with a diameter of 30-36 inches, the size of 6-8 ft is best
  • For a table sized 38-48 inches, the size of 9-11 ft diameter is best
  • For a table measuring 54-60 inches, a canopy with a diameter of 11 ft or more is best.
11 ft patio umbrella from Kitadin

You can find detailed instructions on how to measure the size of a patio umbrella in this article.

Look Carefully at the Base

The base is a crucial part. It should be strong enough to make sure that the umbrella doesn’t get blown by the wind. The base is usually sold separately.

Umbrella stands weight depends on the diameter and on the position of the canopy. A freestanding parasol needs much more weight than the one that is positioned through the table.

Outdoor patio umbrella base

Generally, the larger the canopy and the windier your location, the heavier your stand needs to be.

Table umbrella size and base weight:

  • 6 ft or less: 20 lbs
  • up to 6.5 ft: 30 lbs
  • up to 7.5 ft: 40 lbs
  • up to 9 ft: 50 lbs
  • up to 11 ft: 70 lbs

Free-standing umbrella size and base weight:

  • 6 ft or less: 40 lbs
  • to 7.5 ft: 50 lbs
  • up to 9 ft: 70 lbs
  • up to 11 ft: 75 lbs

Different manufacturers might give different recommendations. As a rule of thumb, we recommend the largest stand possible to prevent tipping and taking flight in a breeze.

Making sure that you purchase the stand weight in line with the size and position of the canopy gives you a chance not to worry about the wind carrying your sunshade.

That way you don’t have to add some stones to the base to reach the needed pounds. It also ensures that your bumbershoot lasts for a longer time.

If you want to move your sunshade to other locations, remember that the base might be too heavy to move. A plate with wheels is more expensive, but it will save your back when you are pushing it.

In case you need extra weight, you can use something like Gravipod. It is a base weight bag that you place on a stand and fill with sand for safeguard.

Gravipod umbrella base weight bag

If you have a set place for your sunshade, one option might be to attach the base with a real ground adjustment permanently with bolts.

Types of Outdoor Umbrellas

When purchasing an outdoor sunshade, there is a variety of models that you can consider in the market.

1. The Cantilever Umbrellas

Cantilever patio umbrella (other names for this type are offset, or side post umbrella) is very functional and flexible.

You can, therefore, rotate it sideways, and move up and downwards to give you the best position that you desire. It’s the type of canopy with a lot of strength and is capable of withstanding strong winds.

Cantilever umbrella from Purple Leaf

The base of cantilever models needs to be hefty making sure that it doesn’t get blown by the wind. Also, the making of its whole system features heavy-duty materials making it resistant to wear and tear.

This type works nicely with the seating area because you don’t need to have a pole in the middle of the area or the table.

This type of umbrella is the most deluxe of all varieties of outdoor sunshades. They get commonly used in furnishing five-star hotels.

If you consider purchasing the best patio sunshade on the market, you should pick this type. Here you can find our top picks for offset patio umbrella.

2. Tilting Umbrellas

The sun is always changing its positions during the day, and so is the shade. You, therefore, have to be in a place to make sure seats are on the covering. For you to achieve this, it can be a difficult task.

However, the tilting patio parasol is all that you want. To make sure that you’re in the shade, you’ll only have to adjust the angle of the tilt. Just learn to tilt your patio umbrella safely to prevent it from knocking over. By tilting the parasol you don’t have to arrange the seats to remain in the shade.

Tilting patio umbrella

3. Table and Free-Standing Umbrella

Are you wondering whether your patio umbrella needs a table? Or can a patio umbrella stand on its own without a table?

If you want a sunshade beside the swimming pool, a free-standing parasol is a perfect choice that you can consider adopting. It’s flexible, and you can easily adjust it over your chairs.

Table umbrella simply means that the pole goes through the table. Most patio tables use a standard 1.75″ hole for the poles.

Table umbrella

Check the size of the hole in your table and the size of the parasol pole before purchasing.

Check on Materials

When selecting the canopy for outdoor decoration, the fabric should be of high quality. You should consider materials that are all-weather durable and long-lasting.

If you live in windy areas, or areas with lots of rain, the aluminum or fiberglass poles and fixtures are long-lasting and withstand strong winds.

Also, you want to make sure you live in a healthy environment. It’s for this reason that you should consider purchasing breathable designs so that there is no risk of mold.

To facilitate this further, make sure to choose a fabric that is waterproof to prevent leakages.

For enhanced durability, we recommend that you consider picking the UV-resistant fabric-made patio shades.

If your patio umbrella or fabric gets damaged, there are some fixes you can do to save money. Our other article shows you how to DIY fix your patio umbrella.

Cleaning Patio Umbrellas

When the patio shade is in constant use, you should make sure to clean it after three months at most. If the covering is near tall shrubs and trees, however, you need to maintain a regular cleaning schedule.

Also, there are some things that you should pay attention to when cleaning the covering. First, consider the type of fabric materials used.

The color of the cover should also get considered as some of the detergents used can act as bleaching agents.

Here you can find step-by-step cleaning procedures for your patio umbrella.

Benefits of Having a Patio Canopy

Patio coverings can provide a variety of benefits to your home:

  • Offers a relaxing shade where you can stay deep into your thoughts or talk with a close friend.
  • It also protects you from reaching by the very destructive UV rays.
  • They do also increase the elegance in your home making it look beautiful.
  • Also, they earn your respect from your visitors and even raise your social class status.


Patio umbrellas are very useful in the backyard and on the patio. If you’re still throwing parties under trees, it’s time to adapt to a more stylish approach. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity.

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