Last updated: August 6, 2021

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Parasols are essential to prevent overheating and sunburns. It is even more important to find the ideal parasol stand for it and to ensure that the parasol is stable. Depending on how often you want to move the parasol, you can choose from various mounting options. The size and weight of the parasol must always be taken into account, as the parasol stand must compensate for this size.

In our parasol stand guide, we would like to help you find the right parasol stand for you. We have compared the different types of parasol stands and mounting options and listed the respective advantages and disadvantages. This should help you with your purchase decision.




Summary

  • Parasol stands allow you to set up a parasol of any size in your garden, on your terrace or on the balcony.
  • Basically, a distinction is made between cross-legged stands, parasol stands for filling and solid stands, whereby a lawn spike or a ground sleeve are also suitable as an alternative.
  • Depending on whether the parasol has to be moved again and again or whether it is to be fixed in one place, you can choose between materials such as plastic, granite or a mixture of metal and wood.

The Best Parasol Stand: Our Choices

Parasol stands: Buying and evaluation criteria

In the following paragraphs we will show you which aspects can be used to determine the many possible parasol stands. The standards for comparing parasol stands include:

In the following paragraphs we explain to you what is important for each point.

Weight

The umbrella stand must not only ensure that the umbrella stands upright, but also take into account the possibility of wind loading.

In general, the rule of thumb is: for every 10 cm of parasol diameter, the weight of the parasol stand should be at least 1 kg.

For a parasol with a diameter of 2 metres, you need a weight of at least 20 kg on the base. This is sufficient to withstand moderate gusts of wind. If wind is actually blowing, always close the parasol to ensure safety, even if the parasol has a windproof valve.

Due to their structure, traffic light parasols particularly need a good counterweight, as there is a stronger leverage effect on their base. For self-supporting parasols, you should allow for a weight of 50-100 kg. The more, the better.

By the way, thicker parasol poles (e.g. made of wood) also need more weight. If the pole has a diameter of about 5 cm, there should be at least 30 kg of support to stabilise it on the ground.

Size

First you should measure the diameter of the umbrella handle. For umbrella stands, you will find instructions on the appropriate trunk size. Most umbrella stands can also be adjusted in size.

Then it depends on the size of your parasol. Parasols that are 200-280 cm long and have a long thin trunk should be mounted on a parasol stand of 20-35 kg.

Once the density of the trunk is 48mm, the weight of the parasol stand should be 30kg.

Do not place parasols with a diameter of 3 m or more in a parasol stand with a weight of less than 30 kg.

For a 35-45kg umbrella stand, parasols with a diameter of 3.5m or more and a trunk thickness of 48mm must be used.

If the parasol is even larger, the stands must and should be anchored. In this case, a ground socket is used.

Material & Design

Parasol stands made of granite are very popular with parasol buyers. Natural stone combines hardness and durability with high weight and a beautiful appearance. You can choose between round, rectangular and square parasol stands made of granite.

PE or polyethylene is a widely used and relatively soft plastic, mainly used for parasol stands, and the price is very attractive. The weight loss of plastic supports can be compensated for by a simple trick:

The umbrella stands can be filled with water or sand.

The round, rectangular or square basic shape of a PE umbrella is usually not sharp, but slightly curved or bulky.

As a strong, indestructible and weather-resistant material, concrete is particularly suitable for making flexible umbrella stands. Some models are also equipped with a covering of plastic or attractive wood so that you cannot see the heavy weight from the outside.

Many parasol stands contain separate metal parts, e.g. tubes for parasol poles or transport handles. In addition, all-metal brackets made of cast iron or galvanised steel can also be supplied. These holders give the parasol a cool, modern or nostalgic and romantic atmosphere, depending on the model.

Just like parasol stands made of granite, concrete or plastic, metal stands usually have a round, square or rectangular shape. The models offered also include umbrella tubes and three or four folding arms.

Features

Depending on the type of umbrella stand, certain features can be distinguished. In this section we will show you what these mainly are.

The market parasol stand is a multi-arm folding parasol stand made of metal. When installing a parasol, three or four long side arms are usually placed horizontally on the ground to provide the necessary stability. The market parasol stand takes up little space during transport and can be assembled and disassembled in a few seconds.

For large and heavy umbrella stands, castors make it easier to use at different locations on the property. With such an umbrella stand, you can effortlessly set up sun protection on today's terrace, in tomorrow's garden and in the next day's swimming pool.

Slab stands consist of a metal frame into which you can insert paving slabs or other concrete slabs. Especially for the use of large umbrellas in the garden, on the terrace and also for commercial use in restaurants and cafés, these extra weighted umbrella stands are a very good choice.

There are a few things to bear in mind when using parasols on the balcony. To place the parasol directly on the balcony against the wall, the installation tube of the parasol post is located at the edge of the parasol support of the balcony. To make the best use of the space, you should use a balcony parasol post with a cantilever parasol. If you are using a hanging parasol, the parasol pole is not under the parasol but next to it, so that it can be installed directly against the wall.

Parasol stands: frequently asked questions and answers

In the following, we would like to answer the most important questions about parasol stands. We have selected the most important questions for you and will answer them shortly. After reading the guide, you will know all the basic background information about parasol stands.

Who is a parasol stand suitable for?

Parasol stands are ideal for those who want to create a shady spot in their garden, on the terrace or on the balcony. Most of the time, when looking for the perfect parasol stand, you want to pay attention to the size first and foremost, as there should be enough space available. The good thing is that there are many flexible solutions for setting up a parasol in your home, even with little space.

When choosing a parasol base, other criteria should also be taken into account. In retrospect, for example, the ground (i.e. straightness or unevenness) is very important, but the mobility of the parasol base is also an important criterion for many consumers.

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Fillable parasol stands like the one in the picture are often found at swimming pools, pools or hotels
(Image source: Paulo Almeida / Unsplash).

Last but not least, you should consider how long the parasol stand will be used. If the period of use is only a few months, you can switch to cheaper versions - in the case of long-term use (possibly also in commercial areas where appearance is critical), the investment may be well thought out.

Of course, the available budget also plays a major role here and ultimately decides whether the parasol stand is a rather everyday item or a highlight.

What types of parasol stands are there?

If you want to buy a parasol stand, you can choose between three options: Cross foot stands, parasol stands for filling and solid parasol stands. We have compiled the most important advantages and disadvantages of the following three types:

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Cross-legged stand robust, selection via plate material, additional plant pots can be placed on plates in very strong wind, the parasol lifts despite plates
Parasol stand for filling easy to transport, necessary weight can be determined, weather-resistant not very aesthetic, gets dirty quickly
Massive parasol stand a lot of support for little money, very durable rather more expensive in terms of price
Cross foot

Cross foot

As the name suggests with the cross-footer, the shape of the base is a cross into which concrete, granite or other slabs are inserted. Advantage: you have the possibility to choose something. For example, granite slabs look very elegant and must of course be valued accordingly. Another advantage is that you can increase the surface weight by, for example, placing planters on the slabs.

Parasol stand for filling

Parasol stand for filling

Another variant of the parasol stand can only be filled with sand or water. The advantage for consumers is that you don’t have any problems with the weight in winter, as you can remove it at will. However, if the rack is only transported quickly to another location without being emptied first, you can also expect the weight to be correspondingly high.

It is also possible to fix the parasol from the beginning. In this case, the parasol is fixed to the ground by means of a ground sleeve, which on the one hand ensures a high degree of stability, but on the other hand prevents the umbrella from being used more flexibly. In any case, this variant is possibly the wisest choice if you only want to install an umbrella in a specific place.

This can also be avoided by simply placing several grounded ground sockets in different locations so that the parasol can be moved here as well.

Solid parasol stand

Solid parasol stand

The holding power of the parasol stand is based on a very strong material. Although parasols are very well fixed, huge parasol stands are not necessarily easy to handle as they usually weigh 25 kg or more (depending on the model of the parasol, it can be 50 kg).

The weight level of the parasol depends on the size of the parasol selected. Large cantilever parasols sometimes even require a counterweight of 100 kg. A certain amount of force must be applied to move the stand, which can make it difficult to transport.

In this case, a trolley could be helpful, but modern models now also have wheels or can be disassembled so that transport is better.

How much does a parasol stand cost?

The cost of a parasol stand varies greatly between the material and the size. You can buy a parasol stand made of granite, which costs about €25, but is also relatively small. Since you often try to compensate for the size of the parasol with the weight, the parasol stand is usually also larger and more expensive. You can orientate yourself by this rule of thumb: The heavier the parasol stand, the more expensive it is.

Type Price
Parasol stand made of granite approx. 25-60€
Parasol stand fillable approx. 15-20€
Cross base with plates approx. 30-40€
Wood approx. 30-50€

A good trick is the fillable parasol stand, as this is made of plastic and can be a perfect choice at a low price of about 14-20€. All you have to do is fill the parasol stand with water or sand.

Cross feet with slabs also come into question with a price of around 30-40€, as they are not as expensive as granite parasol stands in terms of price, but have a similar aesthetic. Similarly, wooden parasol stands are very popular and can also be purchased for under €50.

What are the alternatives to a parasol stand?

If your parasol is to be fixed in the garden, you can use a ground socket instead of a parasol stand. These sleeves are usually made of stainless steel and can be fixed into the concrete of the foundation. In terms of stability, experience has shown that this solution for fixing parasols is very reliable and has no problems in the long term.

In principle, it works like a corkscrew, can be handled without much effort and is optimally suited especially for small and light beach umbrellas.

Alternative Description
Lawn spike can be inserted into the lawn without tools, as soon as you change the location they also serve as lawn aeration
Ground sleeve can be concreted into a foundation, very reliable and problem-free in the long term

Another type of ground support is the lawn spike. Lawn spike umbrella stands have the advantage that they are very easy to insert into the lawn and no stone or other tool is needed to hammer them in, which would only cause damage. In addition, once you change the location, they also serve as lawn aeration.

What diameter should the pole be?

First of all, the canopy and the pole must fit together. Look at the product details of your parasol, usually the pole diameter is indicated there, either in the first tab or under "Function & Quality". If you have had your parasol for a while, you can also estimate or measure it. Simply apply the mathematical formula for the diameter of a circle.

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Parasol stands are also available as concrete pots
(Image source: Rachel Coyne / Unsplash).

In the product details for the parasol stands, you will find information about which pole diameters they are suitable for. Since there are no standardised sizes for parasols, you work with from-to specifications here, which fit the attachment mechanism. As a rule, you can use pretty much any stand for any parasol, but you should make sure before buying.

How heavy should the parasol stand be?

An umbrella stand not only has to ensure that the umbrella stands upright, you also have to consider the possible load caused by wind.

Generally speaking, the rule of thumb is: For every 10 cm of umbrella diameter, the umbrella stand should have a weight of at least 1 kg.

For an umbrella with a diameter of 2 m, you would need a weight of at least 20 kg at the base. This is enough to withstand a medium gust of wind. If it gets really windy, you should close the umbrella anyway to be on the safe side, even if the umbrella has a wind valve.

Traffic light umbrellas in particular require a considerable counterweight due to their construction, as a stronger leverage force acts on their base. For a traffic light umbrella, you should allow for a weight of 50-100 kg. The more, the better.

Thicker umbrella poles (e.g. wooden ones) also require more weight. If the pole has a diameter of approx. 5 cm, it should be stabilised at the bottom by a stand of at least 30 kg.

What can the parasol stand be filled with?

Fillable parasol stands are usually made of plastic and do not weigh much. This is because they need to be filled. You can use either sand or water. Depending on how big the parasol stand is, it can weigh up to 60 kg with water and up to 80 kg with sand and thus offer perfect resistance.

Which parasol stand is suitable for windy conditions?

Wind is the biggest enemy of parasols. Even in seemingly calm weather, gusts can quickly reach higher wind speeds and exceed the manufacturer's permissible limit.

Accordingly, anchored umbrellas, especially large umbrellas used for food, are very strong and can withstand strong winds, depending on the model. Simpler umbrellas, especially those with flat feet, can quickly fall victim to a gust of wind and be blown away.

Generally more susceptible to wind than centre pole parasols are traffic light parasols/ free-arm parasols. Due to the external mast, traffic light umbrellas offer the canopy an increased surface of attack, especially if the canopy is inclined and can act like a sail, and due to the external centre of gravity they are less stable and a strut is more likely to break off.

By the way, free-arm umbrellas need stronger anchoring or heavier bases than centre-pole umbrellas for the same umbrella surface. For a free-arm umbrella with a diameter of 3 metres, we recommend umbrella bases with (at least) 90 kg.

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Parasol bases are often fastened to the beaches with ground sockets to avoid slipping in the sand
(Image source: Vidar Nordli-Mathisen / Unsplash).

When buying large parasols, especially large free-arm parasols, we recommend using high-quality parasols with a long service life.

The manufacturer's maximum wind speeds should be strictly observed. By the way, these apply to non-inclined umbrellas!

Generally, sunshades should not be used as windbreaks.

When filing warranty claims due to wind damage, manufacturers check very carefully. As a rule, these are not recognised.

We recommend that you close the canopy when the wind is coming up and secure it if necessary. If you are out of the house, it makes sense to secure the retracted canopy with a strap and/or cover it with a protective cover. Secured in this way, even a real autumn storm cannot harm the slim umbrella mast. And if wind damage does occur, such as a broken strut, it is of course an advantage to have a brand-name parasol for which spare parts are available.

How do I install a parasol stand in the ground?

When it comes to stability and reliability, parasols are often set up with a ground socket. It prevents stumbling and gives the parasol maximum stability even in strong winds. If you want to be on the safe side and set up your parasol with a ground anchoring, then the ground sleeve of the parasol must be professionally installed.

When a parasol is set up, there are various fastening options: Either the parasol is set up with a parasol stand and can be moved flexibly at any time or it is concreted into the ground with a special ground socket.

Alternatively, ground sockets with a screw thread can also be used here. However, these do not provide sufficient protection and stability for traffic light umbrellas because the weight is unevenly distributed. For this reason, it is recommended to use an anchor sleeve for setting in concrete.

Basically, installing ground anchors is not difficult and can be done in just a few steps.

  1. Dig a foundation the size recommended by the manufacturer.
  2. Align the ground socket accordingly.
  3. Fill the hole with concrete again and let it harden.
  4. Set up the parasol.

1. Excavate the foundation

Before you start digging a foundation, you should allow for a sufficient safety distance between the house wall and the sunshade as well as between several sunshades. We recommend about 20 - 30 cm. This distance is necessary so that your parasols do not rub against each other and wear out prematurely. In addition, you should level out the height of the parasols on uneven terraces.

Therefore, our tip is to lay the foundation at least 60 cm deep.

When digging the foundation, use the dimensions of the parasol and the manufacturer's recommendations as a guide for the length and width. How deep you dig is a matter of taste. However, you should make sure that it is frost-proof.

To allow rainwater to drain away, it is helpful to line the bottom of the foundation with gravel and to make a recess or drainage pipe at the bottom of the ground socket.

2. Aligning the anchor sleeve

Once you have excavated your foundation and gravelled the bottom or placed a drain for rainwater, you can begin to align the anchor sleeve.

Press the bottom part of the ground anchorage into the foundation. You must take into account the embedment depth in the foundation. Then turn the ground socket so that the shade is correctly aligned.

In order for your parasol to stand vertically, the anchor sleeve must also be concreted in vertically. Therefore, align the ground socket with a spirit level and fix it until the concrete has hardened.

Tip: To avoid possible tripping hazards in winter, you should press the lower part of the anchor sleeve into the concrete about 4 mm deeper than the surface of the terrace.

3. Fill the hole with concrete

Once you have properly aligned your ground anchors, you can fill the hole with concrete. Be sure to let the concrete cure long enough.

4. Set up the parasol

When your concrete foundation has hardened sufficiently, you can put up your parasol. Follow the manufacturer's instructions that came with your parasol.

How do I care for a parasol stand?

Parasol stands are almost always very easy to care for and are usually only used for their intended purpose, but you are still looking for a durable and long-lasting option. With plastic stands, all you need to do is wipe it down with a little water and cleaning agent to keep the parasol stand clean.

Umbrella stands that have a metal tube built in should be maintained so that they don't start to rust. You can use a metal varnish for this, which you can get in retail shops or DIY stores.

Granite umbrella stands can get scratched, but these should not be visible because of the granite pattern. You can also protect the stone by using a protective film to keep it beautiful long enough.

Conclusion

With the help of a parasol stand, you can create the perfect shady spot in your garden, on the terrace or on the balcony. In addition, you can flexibly change the parasol stands from place to place or consider a permanent installation in the ground. You can choose between fillable, solid or ground sockets to fix your parasol.

Fillable parasol stands themselves are easily transportable until their filling gives them the necessary weight. The inexpensive concrete parasol stands offer a lot of support for little money and are also very durable.

For a fixed installation of the parasol, there are ground anchors and ground sleeves, which are anchored in the ground. Once installed or set in concrete, this construction lasts almost indefinitely. Once you have decided on one of the countless options, there is nothing standing in the way of setting up the parasol.

Image source: softlight69 / 123rf

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