Patio Umbrella Buying Guide | How to Buy a Patio Umbrella
Choosing the perfect umbrella for your outdoor haven is a breeze. Our comprehensive guide will walk you through selecting the size, style, shape, frame material, and lift methods to best fit your backyard. Maybe a specialty shape patio umbrella is needed for a specific space or a lighted patio umbrella for hosting an upscale dinner party. Either way, we’ve got you covered.
Because at BBQGuys, we're more than guides—we're your outdoor design companions, ensuring your every choice transforms your backyard into a personalized paradise. Now let’s get down to the business of buying a patio umbrella so you can enjoy your personalized space in the comfort of the shade.
Choosing the Size, Style, and Shape
The first step to finding your shady soulmate is determining what size you need. To find the right size umbrella and umbrella base for the various types of patio sets, check out our Patio Umbrella Size Guide & Chart.
Patio Umbrella Styles
Market umbrellas are constructed with 4 to 8 crossbars coming off a center pole for support and can be used freestanding or with a patio table.
Choosing the right canopy fabric for your umbrella is important for style and longevity. Dive into the vibrant possibilities with our array of colors. Whether you're drawn to Sunbrella's rich hues, the quality-driven palette of Olefin, or the practical charm of Polyester, we've got the shades to match your outdoor space. Let's paint your patio with the perfect blend of durability and charm.
A high-performance 100% solution-dyed acrylic, Sunbrella is one of the most well-known brands in the outdoor furniture industry. Made to withstand rain, UV rays, fading, and stains, it's easy to clean and mildew resistant.
These umbrellas tilt by pushing a button that releases a lock, allowing the canopy to be adjusted. Releasing the button locks the umbrella into place. This is a low-cost option that is quick and easy to operate.
For a hands-on approach, rotational tilt umbrellas are adjusted by pushing the ribs in a clockwise direction until the desired location is met. To return it to an upright position, rotate the ribs counterclockwise.
Bases are a must-have for any patio umbrella. Even when being used with a table, it will lack stability without a base. Cantilever umbrellas will come standard with a base, but for all others, check out our Patio Umbrella Size Guide to find the right base for your umbrella.
Another important consideration when choosing a patio umbrella is ventilation. Most umbrellas come with single or double vents on the canopy that allow wind to pass through and prevent the umbrella from taking flight in windy conditions. Single vent umbrellas are the most common. These feature a separate flap of fabric at the top of the canopy attached with a mesh material underneath it. The flap prevents water from entering the umbrella and the mesh allows for air to flow through it.
Double vented umbrellas feature the same top vent as single vent umbrellas and an extra vent in the middle allowing more air flow. They are typically best for extremely windy environments such as beaches and roof tops.
After a full season outdoors, your umbrella can accumulate a lot of dirt and grime. Keeping it clean will be your best defense against mold and mildew and will help it last longer. In general, it is best practice to remove any loose dirt from the canvas and wash the canvas and frame with a mild soap and water. Let the umbrella dry completely before closing it and store it in a place where weather and dampness won’t affect it. Check out these Patio Umbrella Cleaning & Maintenance Tips for a deeper look at keeping your umbrella looking like new.