10 Best Patio Umbrellas and Buying Guide
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Editor Pick Patio Umbrellas
Patio Umbrellas Buying Guide
Patio umbrellas are outdoor umbrellas that protect you and your guests from the sun, rain, heavy winds, and other climate conditions.
A patio umbrella is ideal for portions of your outdoor space without outdoor roofing. It will give you shade in the exact places you need it while also giving your landscape a splash of color and a certain amount of style.
When searching for a patio umbrella, there are several things to remember, such as the material, size, characteristics, types, and many others. You may find information in this guide to help you decide before purchasing. With this information, you can make an informed purchase that will allow you to enjoy outdoor relaxation for many years.
Why You Should Invest in Patio Umbrellas
Have you ever been in a situation where you planned a dinner party or similar event on your patio and had to cancel because of sudden rain? Patio umbrellas help to prevent such occurrences.
The weather cannot always be predicted, and we often get caught unaware by sudden climate changes. Having patio umbrellas allows you to relax and lounge on your patio without interruption from rain or discomfort from the sun’s scorching heat. It also gives you the confidence to plan, organize events, and do other outdoor activities without fearing unforeseen weather changes.
Patio umbrellas also make your patio look more welcoming and homely to guests. It makes it easier for them to relax and feel free when they visit your patio. A nice and colorful patio umbrella might just be your outdoor space’s finishing touch.
Factors to Consider Before Investing in Patio Umbrellas
Selecting a patio umbrella must be done with a lot of precision and accuracy to save you the trouble of purchasing the wrong size or an inadequate umbrella type. Here are some helpful tips to help you figure out the best outdoor umbrella for your patio.
What Umbrella Size Will Provide Adequate Coverage?
The first thing to consider when selecting a patio umbrella is size. The size of your umbrella is extremely important because you won’t get as much shade as you want if the patio umbrella is not big enough. Also, if the umbrella is too big, it can dominate your space, and you could run into problems with nearby objects such as tree branches or walls.
First, measure the length of the furniture or area of your patio you plan to shade. Then, look for a patio umbrella about 2-3 feet greater than each side’s measured length. There are many different sizes available for outdoor umbrellas to find the ideal patio umbrella for you.
What Style of Umbrella Is Best for Your Layout?
After determining the size of an umbrella that will work for your outdoor space and patio furniture, you now have to pick an umbrella style. The style of your patio umbrella can depend on several factors, including your outdoor space limitations, furniture configuration, patio structure, personal preference, and planned use. Various types of patio umbrellas fall under two main categories.
- Center Pole Patio Umbrellas
As the name implies, the pole of central pole umbrellas is located in the middle or center of the umbrellas. A straight pole that runs from the umbrella’s peak to a supporting base is what distinguishes center pole patio umbrellas from other types. It could be made of two independent sections linked together, or it can be one complete piece. It’s crucial to remember that center pole umbrellas can have a movable or stationary base to stabilize them. The pole of center pole umbrellas can be placed into the umbrella hole of your patio furniture or based on the ground.
Center pole umbrellas are the most widely known type of patio umbrella and have existed for a long time. Although the heat from the sun can be reflected from the sides, this form of outdoor umbrella can provide adequate protection against direct sunlight. Center pole umbrellas are popular and are of different types, including market umbrellas, beach umbrellas, and half umbrellas. Market umbrellas are the most common type of center pole patio umbrellas.
- Cantilever/Offset Patio Umbrellas
Unlike in center pole umbrellas, where the poles are located at the center, the pole of cantilever umbrellas is tilted to one side. Cantilever umbrellas, often referred to as offset umbrellas, differ from market umbrellas in that the pole is offset to one side rather than in the middle. Compared to a center pole umbrella, cantilever umbrellas frequently have adjustable mechanisms that are more flexible. Large dining sets can also benefit from cantilever umbrellas because they do not need to be placed in the middle of the table. These outdoor umbrellas are bigger and more expensive than regular center poles or market umbrellas.
The fundamental advantage of cantilever umbrellas over central pole umbrellas is that they provide coverage over a wide area without creating the hindrance than a central pole does. This is crucial if you provide shade for an outdoor table without an umbrella. Many cantilevers can spin 360 degrees to offer all-around protection, increasing their functionality.
Patio Umbrella Pole Material and Base Weight
The pole material and the umbrella’s base are crucial factors to consider because they determine how strong and stable your patio umbrella will be. The base of your umbrella should be heavy enough because a light base will cause your umbrella to be carried away by the wind. Likewise, an unsuitable pole material might not last very long or serve its purpose well.
Patio umbrella poles are typically made of wood, aluminum, or fiberglass. You must choose the material that best meets your needs because each has unique advantages and qualities.
Wooden poles are made to be strong and resistant to decay and other defects. However, after prolonged exposure to the sun and rain, wood does tend to fade. Hardwood poles are also weaker and even more susceptible to breaking in extremely severe winds than aluminum and fiberglass poles. It is not the best option for very windy regions and high-traffic areas. If you insist that your umbrella pole must appear to be made of wood, some producers provide imitation wood finishes on their metallic or fiberglass poles.
Metal and fiberglass are better options for durable umbrella poles. Metal is strong and will not break when it encounters high winds. They are also durable and have a stylish, contemporary vibe that suits many decor styles. Its only disadvantage is that it might rust in wet conditions.
The strongest outdoor umbrellas are those with poles made of fiberglass. Fiberglass is much more versatile, durable, and lightweight than wood or metal. Even in the strongest winds, it can bend without breaking due to its elasticity. Fiberglass also works well in moist environments since it does not rust or degrade. Although it is typically more expensive than the other material choices, its durability over a long period makes it a wise long-term investment.
The Shape of Patio Umbrella
There are three factors to consider when choosing the design of your patio umbrella; the shape of the furniture or area you want to cover, any physical limitations of your outside surroundings, and your aesthetic preferences.
Rectangular umbrella canopies work best for long, rectangular, or oval tables. A square or spherical umbrella covering a long table may look out of place. Similarly, rectangular umbrellas will be better suited for thinner patios and dining arrangements because they do not overwhelm the space.
Round and square patio umbrellas are best used for symmetrically arranged furniture. Round umbrellas go well with conventional design themes and provide an organic feel that contributes to a cozy atmosphere. Square umbrellas also enhance modern decor trends and produce a classy and beautiful appearance.
Any umbrella shape will provide adequate shade when used with the right furniture and in the right setting. This is why you should carefully determine what shape your patio umbrella should be in to enable it to provide maximum shade for you and your guests.
Special Features to Look Out For
Some patio umbrellas are equipped with special features that can enable them to serve you better. Here are some of them.
Using the tilting feature, you can adjust the canopy shade on some center pole patio umbrellas. Doing this allows you to shield yourself from the sun more efficiently without moving the umbrella. However, it is important to note that tilt patio umbrellas are less stable than stationary ones. Thus, they shouldn’t be used in settings where they will be heavily used or in commercial enterprises.
Some cantilever umbrellas can be rotated 360 degrees. As a result, you can cover much more ground without moving the base around. This can be a helpful feature if you walk around a lot during the day and want to stay in the shade.
Patio umbrellas provide the comfort of relaxing on your patio without enduring the discomfort of the sun and rain. It is an extremely functional item to have on your patio. With the information in this guide, you can make a well-informed purchase and determine the best patio umbrella for your outdoor area.