Last updated: August 19, 2021

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Want to spend some time in the garden without the sun ravaging your skin? This is the perfect time to tell you about how great a garden umbrella can be. This time we'll show you everything you need to know about it, including the best ones on the market.

The damage that can be caused by spending time in the sun can be quite serious, plus, there's nothing like relaxing in a shady outdoor environment. Another reason to have an umbrella is that it is an excellent decoration for your spaces. However, there are so many models that choosing one is difficult, our mission is to help you with that.

This is a platform that aims to help you get the best product on the market, no matter which category it belongs to. Here you will find all kinds of information, from advantages and disadvantages of a product, to its variants, as well as purchasing factors that will allow you to choose the best one.




Summary

  • A garden umbrella is a tool or object that protects you from UV rays and rain in open spaces. They can protect people, furniture and even outdoor dining sets. It is also used as an outdoor decoration product.
  • There are three variants for this product and each has different features. The first is the central tube which is the most common of them all. Then there is the fixed sidewall, while finally there is the retractable sidewall variant.
  • Uses, manufacturing materials, design and appearance, as well as size, are the purchasing factors that will allow you to choose a high quality product over any other. That's what buying criteria is all about.

The Best Garden Umbrellas: Our Picks

Buying Guide

The buying guide is the best way to find out everything about a product, even things you never expected. That's the beauty of this guide, after reading it you will be an expert on garden umbrellas or other products.

Enjoy quality family time outdoors without exposing yourself to the sun. (Photo: Olesia Bilkei / 123rf.com)

What is a garden umbrella and what are its advantages?

A garden umbrella is an instrument that provides protection from UV rays from the sun and rain, and is ideal for use in gardens or outdoor environments. This product is very similar to an umbrella, only the latter has a more closed canopy to prevent rain from falling on you.

More than just a product to be in the shade when the sun is harsh, the garden umbrella is also used as a decorative object, which is why its interest in the market is multiplying. Such an umbrella is a very nice addition to your home, especially in summer and on hot days.

Some of the most popular markets for garden umbrellas, apart from home decoration, are bars, restaurants and hotel networks. For them this is not only a nice object, but its real value is in attracting customers who love to eat and entertain outdoors.

Advantages
  • It protects you from UV rays and rain
  • There are different models and sizes
  • It gives a plus to your garden decoration
  • You can combine it with other furniture
Disadvantages
  • They are expensive
  • It is not a substitute for an umbrella
  • A strong blow can break it

Garden umbrella with centre tube, fixed side tube or retractable/folding side tube - what should you pay attention to?

There are 4 variants of the garden umbrella that you should know about in order to buy the one that will suit your garden best. Especially if you want to combine it with other furniture such as chairs, sofas or tables. This section will help you to get to know them and get a better overview of the product.

Centre pole. The garden umbrella with a central pole is the most common of all, where the awning opens and closes on the pole, which is immovable. Usually the pole is inserted into a base which is sold separately. It is ideal for separate chairs or sofas.

Fixed side. These are umbrellas in which the tube is located on one of the sides and not in the centre as is usually the case. Its canopy is easy to dismantle and its structure can be rotated through 360°. Ideal for large sofas and even a table.

Retractable/foldable side. Like the fixed side sunshade, this one has the tube on one side. However, the big difference is that you can tilt the tube in any direction to cover yourself from the sun in the way you prefer, as well as move the canopy 360°.

Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate different models of garden umbrellas

Do you need to buy the best garden parasol? With this section you will have the criteria to purchase a superior product. Our advice is to keep an eye on the following factors, as they are the ones that will allow you to buy a quality parasol.

Uses

We know that a garden umbrella is basically for use in the garden, but it is also true that within our garden this object can have several uses. That's what the first purchasing factor is all about, knowing what we will use our parasol for and choosing the one that best suits it.

Individual relaxation or entertainment. If what you are looking for when buying a garden umbrella is simply to go outside to enjoy the atmosphere or to distract yourself by sitting on a chair or sofa. You can buy any type of parasol, but to save money we recommend the centre tube parasol.

Cover a set of furniture. Many families enjoy having a set of furniture outside, if you have several sofas to provide protection we recommend using side tube umbrellas, retractable or not. You can use a centre tube parasol if it is a pair of furniture.

Dining table. A dining table is not just for indoors. Outdoor dining is just as pleasant an experience, especially if you have a lot of barbecues. Our recommendation is a retractable side tube parasol for maximum protection.

Gardening tools. Some people have the habit of using parasols to protect plants or flowers that need shade to grow. For this use you can use any variant of the product, but we recommend one that can move 360°.

Have a barbecue on your patio without having to worry about the sun. (Photo: Ozgur Coskun/ 123rf.com)

Materials of construction

Quality, durability, attractiveness, these three characteristics are given to a garden umbrella by the materials it is made of. We can't leave out this factor, and they also have a direct influence on the price of the product. The following are the most common manufacturing materials.

Aluminium. The poles that support the canvas of garden umbrellas are usually made of aluminium. They provide the necessary support for the canvas to stretch. In addition, they are powder coated for durability. It is recommended for use in any situation because of its strength, although it is not showy.

Steel. This is the most popular material used to make garden umbrella tubes because of its strength, durability and the weight that gives it balance. Of course, steel is an expensive material. It provides a very heavy product, so it is ideal to have an umbrella that does not need to be moved around.

Polyester. Polyester is the material of choice for garden umbrellas, although its closest competitor nylon is an inexpensive option. Being thick and strong, it provides maximum protection from UV rays and moisture. It is perfect for shade, covering a large set of furniture or children's play area.

Plastic. The material that will save you the most weight is plastic. Durable, yet weak in comparison to the other materials used to make the tubes or rods. Do you have a garden with sprinklers or where a lot of water circulates? Plastic is water resistant so it's a great choice for you.

Wood. It is not the most common of materials, but it offers an attractiveness and strength like few others. A wooden parasol in your garden is like having a luxury item. We are sure that it combines with any space. Recommended in dry and cool environments, as well as in Japanese or modern gardens.

Size

The size or dimensions of our product are very important, because it provides a small or large area of shade, also for the space you have available in your environment. Although usually a garden umbrella does not take up much space.

Small. If you are looking for a small parasol just for your personal shade and outdoor design needs, you can find them from 1 m to 2.5 m in diameter. They are very practical and not at all heavy, plus they are the most economical. Do you like to read outdoors? This umbrella will help you keep the sun out of your eyes.

Medium. The medium parasol is the one that can be used for two people, a small bench or two individual sofas. They range from 2.5 m to about 3.5 m in diameter. You can find them in different materials to guarantee a first class product. Ideal for a conversation between two people or a drink.

Large. The largest garden umbrellas are those that are able to cover a complete furniture set and even an outdoor dining set. They range from 3.5 m to 5 m in diameter and are available with fixed or retractable side tubes. You can use them for dining with loved ones, while protecting you from the sun.

Give your outdoor spaces a modern touch with a garden umbrella. (Photo: Olesia Bilkei/ 123rf.com)

Design and looks

There is nothing like being in love with every corner of your home, including your garden or outdoors. Considering the design and appearance of our future garden umbrella is not a crime, in fact it is one of the most important purchasing factors. Because it's not fair to anyone if you buy an item you don't like.

Colour of the canvas. This may not be important to everyone, but some people really love to have their things in a colour that contrasts with the environment they are looking to decorate. Canvas colours are plentiful, an elegant white or cream can give a fresh feel, blue or red brings out the rest of the colours in your garden.

Structure. The shape of the tube or column can play a role in how our eyes see it. The material the whole structure of the parasol is made of can make it look elegant (with wood or steel) or practical (with plastic). Every detail in the design and aesthetics of a garden umbrella adds decorative value.

(Featured image photo: Alexandre Zveiger/ 123rf.com)

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