The 10 Best Outdoor Patio Umbrellas of 2022

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A patio or deck umbrella can let you dine, entertain, and for those who can, work outdoors without sweltering in what may be a harsh, glaring summer sun. The canopy construction of an outdoor umbrella is arguably the most important part of, so be sure to look for a canopy constructed from durable, outdoor fabrics.

“The most common and best outdoor fabrics are Sunbrella and Ottertex,” says Deborah Young, a textile expert, author, and instructor of textile science. Sunbrella is a hydrophobic (does not absorb water) acrylic fabric, while Ottertex is a polyester, and both are colorfast and UV protected, as they are densely woven, she adds.

To help you decide on the right one, we purchased 28 patio umbrellas, of different styles, shapes, colors, and features, and tested them in The Lab on a bright, sunshiny, 90-plus-degree day. After we evaluated how quickly and easily each umbrella assembled out of the box, we assessed how well they provided cooling shade that made viewing a laptop screen outdoors possible, and how easy it was to adjust the umbrella for maximum coverage. Finally, we wetted them down to check their rainwater resistance and even applied artificial bird droppings to note how well each patio umbrella could be cleaned. Each tester then rated their umbrella on value, as to whether the stated price was reasonable. To further test the durability and performance of these umbrellas, we sent 12 umbrellas home with volunteer testers, who shared their evaluations with us after one month of home use.

The sturdy, durable EliteShade Sunbrella 9-foot 3-Tier Market Umbrella was our overall winner, for its effectiveness in keeping the sun off a large area, as well as a multitude of other factors.

Here are our top choices for the best patio umbrellas, as tested by The Spruce in The Lab and at home.


Final Verdict

After spending hours in a bright, sun-drenched day testing 28 patio umbrellas in The Lab, our overall top choice is the  EliteShade Sunbrella 9-foot 3-Tier Market Umbrella, which our product tester gave top marks for its ease of assembly; sturdiness and durability; one-hand crank and one-button tilt mechanism; and water resistance. For a budget-friendly alternative, we recommend the Better Homes and Gardens 9 Foot Round Patio Umbrella. We liked its easy-clean material and its seven color choices, which would blend well with virtually any outdoor decor.

The Spruce / Dera Burreson


On a scorching-hot sunshiny day in mid-May, we tested 28 patio umbrellas in The Spruce’s outdoor Lab in Des Moines, Iowa.

First, our testers assembled the umbrellas on tables we hauled outdoors, checking for ease of following the manufacturer’s directions and how quickly the umbrella went from uncrating to deployment. Next, we opened the umbrellas, judging how easy it was for an average person to accomplish, based on the product’s design. That gave us a good opportunity to assess each product on how easy it was to adjust, rotate or tilt, and whether that improved better shade or cover. Since many work-from-home folks elect to use their decks or patios as an “outdoor office,” we set up laptops and reported how well the umbrella shaded the area, so the screen could be seen.

Each tester then stepped away to consider their umbrella’s sturdiness of materials, including the covering and frame, as well as its attractiveness. Finally, testers intentionally stained their umbrellas with artificial “bird doo” and reported how easy the goo cleaned up, and whether it could be machine-washed, if necessary.

After each tester closed the umbrella, reporting the ease in doing so, they gave it a value-based score, determining whether the price was justified. We also sent 12 umbrellas to our volunteer testers’ houses to note how they performed in real-world situations. We asked our home testers to not only consider each umbrella’s long-term durability but also consider how it has enhanced, if at all, their day-to-day lives.

The Spruce / Lara Antal


When you need shade to make your outdoor entertainment space more comfortable, a deck or patio umbrella acts like an anti-spotlight, keeping your table and chairs cool and glare-free. Here are imperatives to consider when shopping for a patio umbrella:

Construction

A standard patio umbrella consists of a canopy, often made of an outdoor UV-resistant fabric (Sunbrella is the most common brand); and a frame, which can be wood, fiberglass, or, most commonly, aluminum. Most canopies are round, but we have been seeing rectangular ones as well, which are a better choice for rectangular tables. Wood is the most attractive (and the costliest) frame material, but if you regularly experience severe thunderstorms, fiberglass or aluminum are better choices. Compared with aluminum, fiberglass is lightweight, flexible, non-corrosive, and holds up to weather. Testers rated all our recommended products a 4 or 5, which means the frames are sturdy and the canopy material is fade-resistant, resists stains and cleans up well.

Type

Patio umbrellas come in different types, for different uses. The most common type is inserted into a hole in your table and held in place by a stand (generally not included with the umbrella). While the most common canopy shape is round, you also can find market umbrellas, which are octagonal and cantilever umbrellas, which arch over the table and get their support from a stand placed a short distance away.

Size

Most patio umbrellas measure anywhere from 5 to 11 feet in diameter; generally, an 11-foot umbrella comfortably shades a table seating four to six adults.

Mechanics

To open and close their canopies, most patio umbrellas operate with cranks, which require a human to turn. Locking mechanisms, such as a pin, keep it open. (Higher-priced models may accomplish this with pushbuttons.) Other models employ pulley systems, which can be harder to handle. If you intend to keep your umbrella open all season, a pulley type may suffice. But if you need to close your umbrella—in case of high wind, for example, which can send an umbrella soaring—opt for the crank. Our testers rated each patio umbrella on ease and practicality of assembly and setup, as well as opening and closing the canopy. With one exception, our recommended products received a rating of 4 or 5.

Maintenance

Open patio umbrellas are sitting ducks for flying ducks—and other birds to remind you of their presence. Consider how easy it is to clean the canopy, whether by simply spraying with a garden hose, or by needing more extensive cleaning, perhaps with a sponge and soapy water. Don’t use a power washer or any harsh chemicals, as the fibers holding the canopy together may give way, Young warns. Frames can gunk up as well; you can clean most with a damp cloth. “If you’re looking for durability and longevity, give it [your umbrella] a rest,” says Deborah Young, a textile expert, author, and instructor of textile science. “Close it up and even put it away when not in use—it will simply last longer.” Each recommended product was rated 4 or 5 based on how easily our testers removed fake bird droppings from the canopy and cleaned the frame.

The Spruce / Dera Burreson


FAQ

  • This depends on your outdoor area and how you intend to use the umbrella. If you have a table that can accept a patio umbrella through an included hole, your choices can include any type that installs in this manner. If your table doesn’t have an access hole, or if you’re wanting to shade an area apart from a table, opt for a cantilever umbrella, which you can position nearby.

  • All you need is an outdoor area to be shaded! Many outdoor tables include holes to insert umbrella poles. Some standard patio umbrellas include a base to anchor the pole, but not all do; bases sold separately can cost from $45 to $100. If your outdoor seating area doesn’t include a table, opt for a cantilever umbrella, which you can place anywhere but requires a flat surface to prevent it from falling over.

  • Canopy fabric should be lightweight enough to transport easily yet sturdy to resist heavy rain and wind. It should be easy to clean and opaque to mask out most of the sun. You also can purchase a patio umbrella made with UV-resistant material. “Anything made of polyester, acrylic, or olefin are good outdoor choices,” Young says. “Nylon, although it has superior strength and is known for its light weight, does not do well left out in the sun.”

Ira Lacher is the Senior Editor for Garden, Outdoor and Home Improvement at The Spruce, and has written and edited articles about outdoor products for a number of publications over a number of years. For this article, he was on hand at The Lab in Des Moines, Iowa, where over 28 products underwent thorough testing. Emma Phelps, an Updates Writer for The Spruce, added one-month, long-term testing insights to this roundup, and reached out to Deborah Young, a textile expert, author, and instructor of textile science, for additional insight into the best umbrella canopy fabrics.

Disclaimer: Curated and re-published here. We do not claim anything as we translated and re-published using google translator. All images and Tattoo Design ideas shared only for information purpose.

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