We Tested 28 of the Best Patio Umbrellas—and These 9 Resisted Stains, Fading, and Weather Damage

Our testers loved the EliteShade Sunbrella Three-Tier Market Umbrella, which is durable, effective, and comes in a variety of colors.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

best patio umbrellas

Better Homes and Gardens / Dera Burreson

An outdoor patio is the perfect place to host a backyard party, cook your favorite summer recipes, or simply soak up the sunshine. However, no outdoor entertaining space is complete without a shady and comfortable space to lounge. Since the hottest summer days can make it difficult to fully enjoy the outdoors, adding a patio umbrella to your backyard decor allows you to enjoy the view without overheating or getting a sunburn.

"Patios and other gathering spaces can be as beautifully designed as you please, but if people don't use them, they aren't a success," says Kevin Lenhart, design director and landscape architect at Yardzen. "Because they are [portable], patio umbrellas allow spaces to stay nimble and adapt to different activities, group sizes, and light or weather conditions."

We put 28 of the best patio umbrellas to the test in our lab in Des Moines, Iowa, to see which ones held up against weather conditions, sun damage, stains, and more. Our team of experts assembled and used each patio umbrella in full sunlight, making note of how easy it was to set up, how well it blocked the sun, its durability against water and wind, and how easily stains could be wiped off. We also evaluated the patio umbrellas based on their overall quality, design, and value for the money and assigned an overall score to each.

Once we completed lab testing, we sent some of the top-performing patio umbrellas home with our testers, where they used them in their own backyards for an entire month to see how they stood up against weather, sunlight, and frequent use.

Our No. 1 choice for the best patio umbrellas is the EliteShade Sunbrella Three-Tier Market Umbrella, which was extremely easy to open, close, and tilt, and offered enough shade for our tester to use her laptop under it without adjusting the computer's brightness.

Here are our recommendations for the best patio umbrellas.

Best Overall

EliteShade Sunbrella 9-Foot 3-Tier Market Umbrella

4.8
EliteShade Sunbrella 9-Foot 3-Tier Market Umbrella

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This umbrella opens and closes with a crank and tilts with the press of a button, so you can adjust it using only one hand.

Keep in Mind: It doesn't come with a base, so you'll need to purchase one separately.

Our testers loved how stylish and easy to use the EliteShade Sunbrella Three-Tier Market umbrella was during our tests, giving it a perfect score in almost every category. Since it's made with an aluminum rust-resistant frame and covered with a fade-resistant fabric, it's sturdy enough to withstand wind, rain, and sun exposure without becoming damaged.

When spraying the umbrella with water, we found that moisture dries easily from the fabric top in under 10 minutes, so you won't have to wait long to use this umbrella after a rain shower. We also found that it was super easy to wipe stains like bird poop off of the fabric, so the umbrella will stay in good condition without a ton of elbow grease.

The canopy is adjustable, meaning you can raise and lower this umbrella with an easy-to use crank, and tilt it to block the sun with the press of a button. Our testers gave it a perfect score for its ease of use, saying they could adjust it with just one hand. Since many other umbrellas we tested required a bit of muscle to open and close, this was a huge selling point for us.

Plus, despite the gaps between each tier in the umbrella's UV-resistant top, it blocked the sun seamlessly and didn't leak any water onto the table below when sprayed with a hose to simulate rain. We found that even in full sunlight, our testers could easily use their laptops without having to adjust the brightness at all.

When open, this patio umbrella is 9 feet in diameter, making it large enough to cover a table with five chairs comfortably. It also comes in an 11-foot size, which is a great option if you need an umbrella that fits more than five people beneath it at a time. Just keep in mind that you'll need to purchase an umbrella base separately, as this doesn't come with one.

"Even though it is light-colored fabric, it doesn't let the sunlight pass through, so I can happily sit outside during full sun without overheating or getting burned," our long-term tester said. "The fabric of this umbrella also holds up well in full sunlight and against rain."

Price at time of publish: $260

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 8.3 feet tall x 9 feet wide
  • Materials: Aluminum and acrylic fabric
  • Color Options: 14
EliteShade Sunbrella 9-Foot 3-Tier Market Umbrella

Better Homes and Gardens / Dera Burreson

Best Budget

Mainstays 9’ Outdoor Tilt Market Patio Umbrella

Mainstays 9’ Outdoor Tilt Market Patio Umbrella

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: Despite its low cost, this budget patio umbrella outperformed many of the more expensive options we tested when it came to durability and ease of use.

Keep in Mind: This umbrella doesn't offer UV protection.

If you're upgrading your outdoor patio on a budget, that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice the quality or appearance of your space. We found that the Mainstays Outdoor Tilt Market umbrella was one of the best patio umbrellas we tested, and it outperformed competitors that cost hundreds more.

In particular, our testers found that the Mainstays umbrella was super easy to assemble and took less than 20 seconds to install in a base and crank open. When sitting beneath it, we discovered that it provided excellent shade from the sun, and we didn't need to worry about adjusting the brightness on our laptops.

To open and close the umbrella, simply use the hand crank. If you need to tilt it to provide better shade, you'll need to pinch a clasp near the top of the pole and then guide the umbrella to the angle you want. Our tester noted that the umbrella was a little heavy to maneuver, but overall, tilting the umbrella wasn't too difficult.

The manufacturer doesn't mention anything about UV protection, and we noticed a slight sheen when looking up through the fabric at the sun, so we recommend wearing sunscreen even when sitting beneath this umbrella. However, it kept our testers quite cool when sitting under it, and the fade-resistant fabric effectively blocked water from seeping through or dripping.

After spilling fake bird poop on top of the patio umbrella, we found that it was quite easy to wipe clean with a mild detergent, so you won't have to scrub at the fabric to keep your umbrella in top condition. It's even large enough to fit up to six chairs at a time, so there's plenty of space for your whole family.

"This umbrella is very lightweight and takes minimal effort to relocate," our long-term tester said. "We mainly use it on our deck to shade the seating area, but I've also moved the umbrella to provide shade while I'm potting plants or grilling. It goes up and down smoothly, and it has shown zero wear and tear."

Price at time of publish: $40

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 8 feet tall x 9 feet wide
  • Materials: Steel and polyester
  • Color Options: One
Mainstays 9’ Outdoor Tilt Market Patio Umbrella

Better Homes and Gardens / Dera Burreson

Best Weather-Resistant

Sol 72 Outdoor Kellie 108'' Market Sunbrella Umbrella

4.3
Sol 72 Outdoor Kellie 108'' Market Sunbrella Umbrella

Wayfair

Why You Should Get It: This umbrella comes with thick straps to help secure and store it out of season.

Keep in Mind: The dark hue of the fabric makes it stain more easily than other umbrellas we tested.

No matter where you live, it's important to invest in long-lasting patio furniture that can withstand wind, rain, and other unexpected weather conditions without getting damaged. We found Sol 72 Outdoor's Kellie Market Sunbrella Umbrella to be the best weather-resistant patio umbrella because of its durable, high-quality materials and heavy design.

Our testers were immediately impressed by the materials used to make this patio umbrella. Unlike many of the models we tested, which were made from flimsy plastic or aluminum, the powder-coated metal pole is designed to be resistant to wind, rust, and weather. This means the next time there's a thunderstorm in your neighborhood, you won't have to worry about your umbrella getting damaged or dragged across the yard.

You'll be able to open and close this umbrella using a simple hand crank, and you can tilt it by pushing a button to adjust the shade. Our tester noted that this umbrella was slightly heavier than others when trying to adjust it, which spoke to the quality of the materials it's built from.

Additionally, we loved the weather-resistant Sunbrella fabric, which effectively blocked the sun while resisting water, fading, and even ultraviolet rays. We found that it was large enough to cover a table with four to six chairs around it, making it great for dinners on the patio. Plus, it has thick straps to secure the canopy flat when storing it during the winter months.

Our only concern with this patio umbrella is its stain resistance; when we spilled faux bird poop on the navy blue Sunbrella fabric, we found that it was quite easy to scrub off, but a bit of residue remained visible if you looked closely. We'd recommend regularly cleaning off the top of this patio umbrella to prevent stains from developing.

After testing this patio umbrella in her yard for an entire month, our long-term tester was very impressed by its durability, but warns that it's best to take this umbrella down during strong winds.

"The Kellie Market Umbrella is very easy to open and close, and the color has not faded. For the most part, it has held up in storms and the hot sun," she said. "However, during a particularly big wind storm, the umbrella was lifted out of the table and tossed onto our patio, knocking over our lights and flowers. Nothing broke, so it was okay, but I would recommend taking the umbrella down during a storm."

Price at time of publish: $208

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 8 feet tall x 9 feet wide
  • Materials: Aluminum and Sunbrella performance fabric
  • Color Options: Two
Sol 72 Outdoor Kellie 108'' Market Sunbrella Umbrella

Better Homes and Gardens / Dera Burreson

Best Cantilever

Hampton Bay 11 ft. Aluminum Cantilever Solar LED Offset Outdoor Patio Umbrella

5
Hampton Bay 11 ft. Aluminum Cantilever Solar LED Offset Outdoor Patio Umbrella

Wayfair

Why You Should Get It: It can be rotated 360 degrees to provide shade in a large radius.

Keep in Mind: This umbrella is quite involved to put together and took our testers nearly 40 minutes to assemble.

If your outdoor space is drenched in sunlight, purchasing a cantilever patio umbrella can make it easier to provide shade protection to a bigger surface area in your yard. This is because the best cantilever patio umbrellas rotate 360 degrees, allowing you to move the shade from one part of your deck to another as the sun moves.

Our favorite cantilever umbrella is the Hampton Bay Aluminum Solar LED Outdoor patio umbrella, which offers an 11-foot canopy to keep even large tables and patio furniture sets in the shade. The top is made from weather- and fade-resistant polyester that was super easy to clean stains out of, allowing it to last through multiple seasons of use without showing its age.

We discovered that it effectively blocked the sunlight, providing UV protection and keeping our testers cool beneath it during testing. When we doused the top of the umbrella with a simulated rain shower, the water droplets rolled right off instead of seeping through to the underside. This means you won't have to worry about getting wet if you're caught in the rain, and you won't need to wait hours for the umbrella to dry.

To open and close the cantilever patio umbrella, use the simple hand crank on the side of the pole. You can also tilt the canopy to better block the sun or rotate it to shade a different area of your porch. We love that the underside of this umbrella has solar-powered LED lights, which can help illuminate the area below once the sun sets.

The biggest challenge our testers faced with this patio umbrella was assembly—it took us 40 minutes to put the entire thing together. We recommend following the instructions closely and watching the assembly video to make the process easier. Plus, keep in mind that you'll need to purchase 220 pounds of sand to fill the included base before this umbrella can be put to use.

"Setting up this umbrella was fairly easy, and it's ideal for covering a large amount of space," our long-term tester said. "It shades a large area on our painted deck, so whenever we are outside with our puppy, the coverage ensures the deck isn't too hot on her paws."

Price at time of publish: $699

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 9.4 feet tall x 11 feet wide
  • Materials: Steel and Sunbrella acrylic fabric
  • Color Options: Five
Hampton Bay 11 ft. Aluminum Cantilever Solar LED Offset Outdoor Patio Umbrella

Better Homes and Gardens / Dera Burreson

Best Large

Safavieh Athens 11-foot Round Crank Umbrella

4.6
Safavieh Athens 11-foot Round Crank Umbrella

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This large patio umbrella can cover a table with up to six chairs.

Keep in Mind: Our tester had trouble getting the tilt mechanism to work.

One of the best parts about having a large patio is the ability to host friends and family for barbecues and summer parties while showing off your outdoor space. On the hottest days, you can keep your guests out of direct sunlight by purchasing a large patio umbrella, like the Safavieh Athens Round Crank Umbrella, which provides plenty of shade for a table and lots of chairs.

During testing, we found that this umbrella's 11-foot canopy was big enough to fit a table with up to six chairs comfortably without any of our testers being exposed to the sun. It effectively blocked sunlight and kept the space beneath it cool, and our testers found that they didn't need to wear sunglasses or adjust the brightness on their computers to see better. Plus, the canopy is UV-resistant to protect it from fading.

This waterproof French-style umbrella is a solid navy color on top and has a classic stripe pattern on the underside, making it a stylish and functional piece to add to your existing patio decor. We found that the powder-coated aluminum pole felt quite sturdy and the fabric on top of the umbrella was thick and durable, making us confident that it'd last through several patio seasons.

When we sprayed the top with water, our testers reported that this umbrella didn't have any moisture seeping through to the underside, so you'll be able to use it soon after a rainstorm without any dripping.

When setting up and using the Safavieh Athens patio umbrella, our experts were able to put the entire thing together in just a few minutes, and the hand-crank function made it super intuitive to operate. It took some time to figure out how to tilt the umbrella, which involves pressing on a discrete button near the top of the pole and manually angling it into a different position.

Our long-term tester called the Safavieh Athens patio umbrella a "game changer," saying that it provided ample shade during the hottest parts of the day, allowing her to spend more time outside.

"For a good portion of the morning and early afternoon, the deck used to get very hot because there is little shade, but now I can sit outside to enjoy some fresh air, work on my laptop, and eat lunch thanks to the shade that this umbrella provides," our tester said. "I also like that I don't have to worry about sunburn because this umbrella completely filters the sun."

Price at time of publish: $384

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 8.75 feet tall x 10.8 feet wide
  • Materials: Aluminum and polyester
  • Color Options: One

Related: The 7 Best Outdoor Rugs for Patios, Porches, and Decks

Athens 11-foot Round Crank Umbrella

Better Homes and Gardens / Dera Burreson

Best with Stand

Phi Villa 15-foot Double Sided Patio Umbrella with Base

Phi Villa 15-foot Double Sided Patio Umbrella with Base

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This extra-large patio umbrella is 15 feet wide, making it great for shielding patio furniture, sun loungers, and more.

Keep in Mind: Because of its size and weight, it's quite difficult to assemble.

The hardest part about purchasing outdoor furniture is figuring out how to secure it safely so it won't blow away or get damaged during a storm. While there's always a chance of that happening no matter how hard you try, we loved that the Phi Villa Double-Sided Outdoor Market Umbrella comes with its own fillable base, so you don't have to worry about finding your own.

This 15-foot patio umbrella is basically three umbrellas in one, and the heavy-duty base at the middle is designed to be filled with sand to keep the whole thing secure. While we found it quite heavy and difficult to put together (it took our testers 20 minutes), once it was installed properly, we were impressed by the quality and effectiveness of this umbrella.

It easily blocked the sun enough for our testers to use their computers beneath it without adjusting the brightness, and they didn't feel the need to squint or put on sunglasses to see, either. The water-resistant canopy is designed to block out ultraviolet light, too, so you won't have to worry about this umbrella leaking water on you or about getting a sunburn. Plus, we found that the steel pole and ribs holding this umbrella in place were quite sturdy, allowing it to last through harsh weather and multiple seasons of use.

When we tried to remove the faux bird poop stain from the canopy, our testers reported that it came out with just a few swipes, so you won't have to worry about dirt or debris causing it to lose quality over time. It also comes in four different colors, allowing you to pick a look that matches your existing patio furniture.

Price at time of publish: $174

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 7.5 feet tall x 15 feet wide
  • Materials: Steel and polyester
  • Color Options: Four
Phi Villa 15-foot Double Sided Patio Umbrella with Base

Better Homes and Gardens / Dera Burreson

Best Colorful

Pure Garden 10' Aluminum Patio Umbrella with Auto Tilt

Pure Garden 10' Aluminum Patio Umbrella with Auto Tilt

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: For the price, we were shocked by how effective this umbrella was at blocking sunlight and providing a large radius of shade.

Keep in Mind: Shorter users may have trouble reaching the tilt mechanism, which is located at the very top of the umbrella pole.

Whether you're decorating inside your home or in the yard, adding colorful elements to your furniture and decor is a great way to create a space you enjoy being in. We loved the wide range of hues the Pure Garden patio umbrella comes in, and we loved how easy it was to use even more, making it a great pick for small and large patios alike.

At 10 feet in diameter, this umbrella is large enough to cover a small bistro set or an entire table and chairs without feeling cramped, according to our testers. We half-expected the polyester canopy to be too thin to fully block out the sunlight, but during testing, we were super impressed to find that it provided excellent shade when sitting beneath it.

The hand crank was super easy to operate, and the umbrella tilts up to 60 degrees to keep you protected from the sun all day long. Our tester noted that shorter users may have trouble reaching the tilt button, since it's located near the top of the pole.

When we sprayed water on the top of this umbrella, we determined that it's quite waterproof. The droplets beaded up instead of soaking through, and the underside of the umbrella remained completely dry. Additionally, we found that stains were super easy to wipe off with a sponge, allowing it to hold up against wear and tear.

"We use this umbrella to cover the patio where my kids' outdoor toys are, providing shade so we can be outside midday," our long-term tester said. "It is super easy to use, and it worked perfectly with the umbrella base we purchased separately."

Price at time of publish: $55

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 8.1 feet tall x 10 feet wide
  • Materials: Steel, aluminum, and polyester
  • Color Options: Nine
Pure Garden 10' Aluminum Patio Umbrella with Auto Tilt

Better Homes and Gardens / Dera Burreson

Best with Lights

Blisson 9’ Lighted Patio Umbrella

3.8
Blisson 9’ Lighted Patio Umbrella

Amazon

Why You Should Get It: This umbrella provides excellent shade from the sun during the day and solar-powered illumination at night thanks to built-in solar LED lights.

Keep in Mind: The materials feel less durable than other, more expensive patio umbrellas

Just because the sun's gone down doesn't mean you have to head inside. String lights are already a stylish way to illuminate your backyard after sunset, and our testers loved that the underside of the Blissun Solar Lighted Patio Umbrella is lined with solar-powered LED lights.

However, this umbrella earned high praise for more than just the lights; our testers noted that it's the perfect size for a small patio table, creating a shady place to enjoy during daytime hours, too. The polyester canvas top is water-resistant, and during our tests, we found that it effectively repelled water and kept the underside of the umbrella dry when sprayed consistently with water.

Cleaning off debris and faux bird poop was quite easy with a little soapy water, and there was no residue left behind. While the umbrella isn't UV-resistant and we had to adjust the brightness of our laptops slightly when sitting under it in order to see the screen clearly, it kept us quite cool in the shade, and as the sun moved, we were able to easily tilt it in different directions without much effort at all.

Our testers mentioned that the materials the Blissun patio umbrella was made from felt less durable than some of the more expensive umbrellas we tested. Since this model costs significantly less and still provides excellent shade, the thinner materials weren't a huge downside to us. However, we recommend closing the umbrella and possibly storing it in a shed or garage if harsh weather is in the forecast.

"Based on how well it's held up over the last month, I'd recommend this patio umbrella," our long-term tester said of the Blissun patio umbrella. "This outdoor umbrella has made it much more comfortable to use our front patio throughout the day. … Now I've been able to work, read, and have lunch outside without getting too hot or sunburned."

Price at time of publish: $95

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 8.2 feet high x 9 feet wide
  • Materials: Steel, aluminum, and polyester
  • Color Options: 12
Blisson 9’ Lighted Patio Umbrella

Better Homes and Gardens / Dera Burreson

Best Fringe

Safavieh Milan Fringe 9’ Tilt Umbrella

4.5
Safavieh Milan Fringe 9' Tilt Umbrella

Walmart

Why You Should Get It: The canopy has an air vent to help it stay in place on windy days.

Keep in Mind: The materials felt slightly cheaper than other umbrellas we tested.

Create a coastal oasis in your own backyard with this stylish fringed patio umbrella. The Safavieh Milan Fringe Tilt Umbrella really stood out to our testers for its beautiful design, durable materials, and funky fringe. It earned perfect scores for its size, appearance, and sun protection, making it a great addition to your backyard patio.

At 9 feet in diameter, the umbrella easily covers a table and up to six chairs, so there's plenty of space for hosting a family dinner or inviting guests. The canopy is UV-resistant to prevent fading, and during testing, we found that it effectively blocked the sun. Our testers could sit beneath it without needing sunglasses and use their laptops without changing the brightness.

It's also completely waterproof, so when we sprayed it with a sprinkler, the water beaded up and rolled right off, leaving the underside dry to the touch. This means you won't have a sopping wet patio umbrella for days after a storm. It was also easy to wipe stains out of the fabric, so bird poop, pollen, and dirt won't leave behind any lasting marks on this umbrella.

The hand crank was easy to operate, and we were able to tilt the umbrella without any trouble. Our testers noted that the materials the umbrella is made from felt slightly cheap compared to other options we tested in the same price range, but it still seemed quite sturdy and didn't take away from the overall usefulness of the umbrella. We'd recommend storing this umbrella indoors during storms and high winds to protect it from damage.

Our long-term tester loved the sturdiness and fun fringed edges of this umbrella, though she mentioned that the cream-colored version we tested presented some minor issues when used in her backyard.

"​​I especially appreciate the tilt feature on this umbrella, which my last patio umbrella did not have," our long-term tester said. "It feels sturdy and like it will last a long time. My only complaint is about its light color—since it's very bright and sort of sheer, any falling tree detritus or bugs that land on the umbrella's top are very visible while you're sitting under it."

However, our tester noted that the umbrella was super easy to clean off with a hose, and the falling debris didn't leave any permanent stains on top.

Price at time of publish: $119

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 8.3 feet tall x 8.4 feet wide
  • Materials: Not listed
  • Color Options: Two
Safavieh Milan Fringe 9' Tilt Umbrella

Better Homes and Gardens / Dera Burreson

The Bottom Line

We selected the EliteShade Sunbrella Three-Tier Market Umbrella as the best overall patio umbrella because of how well it blocks out sunlight, the durability of the materials, and how easy the canopy is to adjust. Plus, it's big enough to seat up to six people at a table beneath it, so there's plenty of room for you and your guests to relax in the shade.

Our Testing Process

To test the best patio umbrellas on the market, we assembled a team of home and garden experts who examined, assembled, and used 28 different patio umbrellas at our lab in Des Moines, Iowa. We set up each umbrella in full sunlight on a 90-degree day, then had our testers sit beneath them, use their phones and laptops without adjusting the brightness, and gauge how well the umbrellas created shade.

Our testers examined the fabric, poles, and hand cranks for quality and durability to see which ones would hold up against wind and weather. Finally, we sprayed the tops with water to check if the umbrellas are waterproof, spilled faux bird poop on them to see if they stained easily, and tried tilting the umbrellas at different angles to see how easy they are to operate.

Finally, once our lab tests were complete, we sent the top-performing patio umbrellas home with our testers, where they used the devices in their own yards for an entire month. After long-term testing was complete, we gathered insights from our experts on how the umbrella worked on their patios, any wear and tear they'd noticed, or things they'd change.

best patio umbrellas

Better Homes and Gardens / Dera Burreson

What to Know About Patio Umbrellas Before Shopping

Size

The most important thing to keep in mind when shopping for the best patio umbrellas is the size when expanded. If you already own patio furniture that you'd like to pair with an umbrella, you'll want to make sure the model you purchase provides enough shade to cover the entire thing.

Most 9-foot patio umbrellas work best with a table that seats between four to six chairs, but you can also find large patio umbrellas designed to seat six or more people beneath them. Our choice for the best large patio umbrella is the Safavieh Athens Round-Crank Umbrella because it offers 11 feet of shade while effectively blocking UV rays and sunlight.

Umbrella Type

There are a few different types of patio umbrellas to choose from, and depending on the size of your outdoor space, the furniture you plan to use it with, and your own design inclinations, you may prefer one style over another. Market umbrellas are the most common type of outdoor umbrella, and they pair well with a patio table and chairs.

"Market umbrellas are great in that they tend to be more cost-effective than other umbrellas, and they come in a huge range of styles," Lenhart says. "If [your patio] is spacious enough to readily receive market umbrellas, you'll have plenty of options to choose from." If you want an umbrella that can easily shade a wide radius of your porch, we recommend the Hampton Bay Aluminum Solar LED Patio Umbrella, which rotates 360 degrees and is our choice for the best cantilever patio umbrella. Others may want an extra-long umbrella to shield their poolside lounge chairs from the sun, and we loved the Phi Villa Double-Sided Outdoor Market Umbrella because of its 15-foot canopy and included base.

best patio umbrellas

Better Homes and Gardens / Dera Burreson

Features

The best patio umbrellas will be quite easy to use, require very little setup, and they can open, close, and tilt effortlessly. We tested a lot of hand-crank umbrellas, which use a small crank system on the pole to raise and lower the canopy. To tilt them, there's often a button near the top of the pole that allows you to adjust the angle and block the sun when it's low in the sky.

While some of the patio umbrellas we tested were a bit heavy to maneuver, our favorites remained lightweight even when tilting and adjusting them.

Color Options

As with any piece of furniture, choosing a color way that matches your design preferences allows you to create an oasis you actually want to spend time in. The best patio umbrellas will come in a wide variety of colors, so you can choose one that matches your existing furniture or provide an unexpected pop of color. It's also important to consider which colors and fabrics will resist staining and weather damage, which is why we tested each umbrella to see how easy it was to clean off.

"As with clothing or paving materials, dark-colored umbrellas absorb and reradiate heat from the sun," Lenhart says. "This may not matter in breeze-cooled spaces, but in truly hot climates, sticking to lighter colors is a good idea."

best patio umbrellas

Better Homes and Gardens / Dera Burreson

Other Patio Umbrellas We Tested

Sunnyglade 7.5-Foot Outdoor Market Umbrella

When testing the Sunnyglade 7.5-Foot Outdoor market umbrella, our testers found that it simply didn't match the quality and effectiveness of its competitors. While we liked its compact size for smaller patios, it didn't provide much shelter from the sun, and our testers found themselves squinting while sitting beneath it. This umbrella also felt quite flimsy, and we don't anticipate it lasting more than one season before it needs to be replaced.

L.L.Bean Sunbrella Market Umbrella

We loved the chic appearance of the L.L.Bean Sunbrella Market Umbrella, and it almost made our list of the best patio umbrellas. But we disliked that it didn't have a hand crank. Instead, users have to use a rope pulley system to open and close the umbrella, and we feared that the rope would tangle easily and make it difficult to operate. Given the price, we felt other patio umbrellas were a more worthwhile purchase.

Oniva Picnic Time Outdoor Canopy Beach Umbrella

This small umbrella really only works well when the sun is directly overhead. Because of its size, which is designed to shade one person, it doesn't provide a large enough shadow when the sun is low in the sky to keep any patio furniture shaded. The umbrella only tilts to one side, too, making it more difficult to adjust. Since the price of the Oniva Picnic Time Canopy beach umbrella is similar to that of a much larger umbrella, we chose not to include it on our list.

best patio umbrellas

Better Homes and Gardens / Dera Burreson

Your Questions, Answered

How do I know what size patio umbrella to get?

When picking out the best patio umbrella for your space, keep in mind the size of the table you're planning to pair it with (if applicable). In general, you want the canopy of your umbrella to be 2 feet longer on each side than the table's dimensions. This allows enough space for a set of patio chairs beneath it, so you and your guests can sit comfortably without being in the sun.

How do I choose the right umbrella stand for my patio umbrella?

In general, when pairing your patio umbrella with a stand, you'll want to look for a base that weighs 10 times the width of the umbrella (so a 9-foot wide umbrella will need a 90-pound base to keep it secure). If you're purchasing an umbrella to use with a patio table, you won't need a base that's quite as hefty, since the table will also hold it in place. According to Take a Yard, a 40- to 50-pound base is adequate for 9- to 11-foot umbrellas in these instances.

Cantilever umbrellas will need an even heavier base than a market umbrella; most require 100- to 200-pound bases to keep them secure. The manufacturer instructions will typically provide guidelines to help you select the right umbrella base for your patio umbrella.

"Because the umbrella base is down at ground level and therefore highly visible, I recommend investing in an attractive base," Lenhart says. "Simple, black bases made from sturdy metal are a safe bet in virtually any design style."

How do you wash a patio umbrella?

Keeping a patio umbrella clean should be a pretty easy task, especially if you purchase one with a weather- and water-resistant top. To keep your umbrella in excellent condition through multiple seasons of use, we recommend filling a bucket with warm water and dish soap and then using a sponge to lightly scrub the umbrella's surface. Use gentle circular movements to remove bird poop stains, dirt, and pollen, then rinse it off with a hose.

What color should my patio umbrella be?

When picking out the best patio umbrella for your space, Lenhart recommends keeping your overall deck design and color scheme in mind.

"Umbrellas are objects, and run the risk of feeling like objects, as opposed to integral components of a landscape design," Lenhart says. "This doesn't necessarily mean you need to play it safe—in some designs, umbrellas are a perfect opportunity to introduce a bold pop of color or pattern —but you should choose a look for your umbrellas that connects them to the surrounding scene."

Lenhart suggests matching your umbrella's fabric with your other patio furniture, and keeping material types (such as powder-coated metal or wood) consistent throughout your decor. This can help to draw attention away from individual objects and keep the focus on the patio design as a whole.

best patio umbrellas

Better Homes and Gardens / Dera Burreson

Who We Are

Samantha Jones is an associate commerce editor at Better Homes & Gardens, writing and editing stories about the best home and garden products worth purchasing. For this story about the best patio umbrellas, Samantha spent several days researching important features, materials, and patio umbrella dimensions before comparing her research to insights gathered from our testing lab in Des Moines, Iowa.

She also spoke with Kevin Lenhart, Design Director and Licensed Landscape Architect at Yardzen, for expert insights on what to look for when shopping for the best patio umbrellas.

What is BHG Recommends?

Next to all of the products on this list, you may have noticed our BHG Recommends seal of approval. Products that earn the seal have been put through rigorous testing to make sure they're worth a spot in your home. We buy most of the products we test ourselves, but occasionally we are provided samples by companies if buying isn't an option. In these cases, we use the same testing criteria we use to test the purchased products and we let you know that we got it for free to remain as transparent as possible about our picks.

Looking for more products that have earned our BHG Recommends seal of approval? Check out our picks for everything from picnic blankets to humidifiers.

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