What to Look for When Buying a Patio Umbrella

Lounging on your patio on a sunny day sounds like the perfect way to relax in your home’s outdoor space. Under the cover of the right patio umbrella, you can truly enjoy outdoor living.

But before you rush to the store to buy one, there are a few things to remember. Outdoor umbrellas come in different shapes, sizes, and styles. You need to take the time to shop around before you choose one that suits your needs and matches your outdoor space best.

When exploring shade solutions for your home or commercial property, always consider going with the advice of experts in the field. The outdoor umbrellas Brisbane experts to help you transform your sunlit spaces. So what features should you be looking for in a good umbrella for your outdoor area? Read on to learn.

The Size and Shape of The Outdoor Umbrella

Having a small outdoor umbrella at a picnic table for a family gathering may not be a good idea for much-needed shade on a sunny day. On the flip side, a large outdoor umbrella would be unnecessary in a small space meant to be occupied by one to two people.

While there is an extensive range of shapes and sizes for outdoor umbrellas, it’s important to choose one that’s ideal for your patio or outdoor area. These factors will impact the overall sun protection and practicality of your shade.

The first thing you should do is measure the area you want to set up your outdoor umbrella. Consider the size and shape of your backyard, your outdoor furniture, and the trajectory of the sun throughout the day.

Choose an umbrella shape and colour that matches the style of your outdoor dining area. Round outdoor umbrellas are a classic choice, as they provide equal coverage in all directions and work well with circular dining tables. Alternatively, for a distinctive touch, consider exploring square, rectangular, or octagonal options.

Types of Outdoor Umbrellas

The three main types of outdoor umbrellas are market, tilting, and cantilever umbrellas. Here is a brief overview of each one to help you choose the perfect option for your outdoor oasis:

Patio Table Umbrellas

Patio table umbrellas feature a central pole and a round or square canopy. Some features that make them a great option include:

  • Versatility: These outdoor umbrellas are often used to shade dining tables, lounge areas by the pool, and more. They effortlessly combine functional sun protection with an array of design options to enhance various outdoor settings.

  • Stability: They’re typically stable and easy to set up with a suitable base. They work well in most backyard settings.

  • Affordability: Market umbrellas often come at reasonable price points, making them a cost-effective choice that’s suitable for any budget.

Offset or Cantilever Umbrellas

Cantilever umbrellas are designed to provide cool shade and sun protection without the traditional central pole. They have an offset design, with the canopy hanging over the shaded area.

Keep the following considerations in mind before purchasing a cantilever umbrella for your outdoor oasis:

  • Unobstructed space: These outdoor umbrellas are ideal for lounge areas and seating by the pool. Since they don’t have a central pole, you can rest assured that there will be ample space in your yard.

  • Mobility: These umbrellas boast exceptional mobility, allowing for flexible and effortless positioning to provide optimal shade from the sun in outdoor spaces.

  • Base considerations: They often require a sturdy and weighted base to counterbalance the offset design.

Tilting Umbrellas

Tilting umbrellas, whether in patio table or cantilever styles, offer a valuable feature – the ability to tilt the canopy. It’s a valuable addition to outdoor spaces for the following reasons:

  • Dynamic sun protection: The ability to tilt the canopy facilitates effortless adjustment to follow the movement of the sun throughout the day.

  • Consistent shading: It ensures a reliable and comfortable shading experience in your outdoor setting.

  • Adaptability: It adds a layer of convenience, making it an ideal choice for sun and rain protection.

The Right Material for Your Outdoor Space

The material of your patio umbrella plays a significant role in its durability, appearance, and performance. Selecting the right high-quality material is essential to ensure your outdoor umbrella can withstand the elements while complementing your backyard.

Let’s dive into some common materials used for patio umbrellas:

  • Polyester

    Polyester is one of the most common materials for creating patio umbrella canopies. Umbrellas made from this material are often affordable, making them accessible to many buyers.

    It’s treated for water resistance, which helps protect against light rain and moisture. Polyester is also fade-resistant and retains its colour over time.

    However, polyester may not be as durable as other materials and may wear out faster in harsh weather conditions outdoors.

  • Acrylic

    Acrylic is considered one of the best options for patio furniture and umbrella canopies due to its superior quality and performance.

    Acrylic fabrics are highly durable and resistant to colour fading, even under intense sun exposure. With this material, your umbrella can maintain its vibrance for longer periods.

  • Olefin

    Olefin, also known as polypropylene, is a synthetic fabric gaining popularity for its use in patio umbrellas. This material is highly durable and can withstand environmental elements, making it an excellent choice for outdoor use. Like acrylic, olefin is resistant to fading, so your umbrella will keep its vibrant appearance.

    It’s more stylish and luxurious than acrylic, and it offers a good balance of durability, performance, and affordability.

Ease of Maintenance

Maintaining your patio umbrella is key to ensuring it looks great and functions properly over the years. While some umbrellas require more care than others, ease of maintenance is a factor you should seriously consider when purchasing. Here’s why it matters:

  • Cleaning and care

    Like any outdoor furniture, outdoor umbrellas can accumulate dirt, dust, pollen, and other debris. An umbrella that’s easy to clean and care for will save you time and effort.

    Look for those with a removable canopy. This allows you to take the fabric off and clean it separately, which is often more manageable than dealing with the entire structure.

    Some canopy materials, such as polyester, can be machine-washed. This simplifies the cleaning process, as you can toss it in the washing machine when it gets dirty. While at it, consider materials that are mould- and mildew-resistant to reduce the likelihood of unsightly growth.

  • Frame Maintenance

    The frame of your umbrella also requires maintenance to ensure it stays in good condition. If you live in a humid or coastal area, consider an umbrella with a rust-resistant frame material like aluminium, as it is lightweight and won’t rust over time.

    If you opt for a wooden frame, it may require more maintenance. Regular sealing or staining is necessary to protect the wood from moisture and UV damage.

  • Storage

    Proper storage during the off-season is crucial for extending the life of your patio umbrella. Some large outdoor umbrellas come with a cover or storage bag. If yours does not, consider purchasing one separately. This protects your item from dust, dirt, and UV rays when not in use.

    During heavy wind or storms, it’s advisable to close and secure your umbrella to prevent damage. Some umbrellas come with wind vents that allow wind to pass through, reducing the risk of wind-related damage, but it would be safer to store them if the winds are too strong.

  • Warranty and repair

    Always check if your outdoor umbrella comes with a warranty. Warranties can provide peace of mind, as they often cover defects in materials and workmanship. Some manufacturers may also offer replacement parts, making repairing and maintaining your outdoor umbrella easier.


Creating a cool shade in your yard starts with choosing the right backyard umbrellas. These parasols come in different shapes, sizes, colours, and styles. To find the best umbrella for your garden, consider the size of your patio, the type of parasol, the ideal material for your outdoor umbrella, and the ease of maintenance. Prioritizing these factors will allow you to enjoy the serenity of your outdoor space all day long.

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