The Best Patio Umbrella
If you’re asking yourself "What is the best patio umbrella?" but not sure what type of patio umbrellas fits your needs, we're here to help. Always remember, you’re the best judge of what kind of outdoor umbrella you want, but we’ve put together some basic guidelines so that you feel confident in your purchase.
Our patio umbrellas are designed to shade different types of areas. For each kind of space, there is an umbrella that performs the best. You might want an umbrella to fit through a table, or off to the side. Or you might need an offset patio umbrella to provide maximum table area; it’s all about the space. When choosing the right patio umbrella for your outdoor room, the first thing that needs to be determined is how much room you have for your umbrella.
What does your area measure?
Smaller areas, like a small patio or balcony will limit the size available for an umbrella. Larger patios allow for more a lot more sizing options. The size of an umbrella can also determine how many options are available.
First, we need to determine the overall area you’re trying to cover. Measure the length and the width of your shade area; you’ll want to allow about six to eight inches from around the umbrella for clearance. This allows the patio umbrella to open and close without obstruction. For example, an 8’ X 8’ balcony will allow for up to a 7 foot patio umbrella. A larger area, say 10’ X 10’, will allow up to a 9' patio umbrella. A wide open patio or garden area will fit any patio umbrella, including our offset patio umbrellas.
What is it that you want to cover?
Finding the size of the umbrella was one thing, now we need to determine what you will be covering. Are you covering a table, or just a shade area? Small patio umbrellas are great for café and bistro table sets. Standard umbrellas, like 9' Umbrellas, work best for covering dining sets or chaise lounges. Large patio umbrellas are great for covering larger oval table and mixed seating areas, as well as poolside areas or sitting lounge areas.
Is your umbrella going through the table or freestanding?
The right umbrella base, also known as umbrella stands, allows for any umbrella to be free standing, but not all umbrellas can fit to a table. It depends on the size, or diameter, of the frame hole in your table. Most tables have a standard frame hole that measures approximately 1 ¾ inches. Most of our umbrellas have a 1 ½ inch diameter pole, but some have a 2 inch diameter pole, and are really designed to be free standing, commercial patio umbrellas. There are those large patio tables that have 2 ½” frame holes, which would allow for a 2 inch pole, but on the whole, the most common is the 1 ¾ inch hole.
Out most popular outdoor patio umbrellas are either aluminum patio umbrellas or wood patio umbrellas. Choosing the right one is dependent on your personal preferences. Always remember, the final look and feel of your patio umbrella should please you, so always use your own judgment when making that final decision.
Wood frames provide an elegant and exotic look, which typically goes best with tropical settings or all wood settings. However, there are plenty of our customers who have chosen wood to go with dark wrought iron furniture, or cast furniture. The mix of wood and metal can be very appealing.
Aluminum frames are available in many colors and can be matched with more décor choices. Aluminum frames usually provide a modern, clean look and have features that are not included in wood frames.
Here are some key features of both our wood and aluminum frames:
- Usually made of Hardwood
- Opens and closes with either manual lift or pulley mechanism and brass holding pin
- One piece or two piece center pole, with 1 3/8” to 2” pole diameter
- No tilting functions
- Recommended for high traffic areas and contract applications
- Marine varnish finishes
- Elegant look with low maintenance
- Made of extruded aluminum with high impact PVC fittings
- Powder coated or anodized
- One piece or two piece center pole, with 1 3/8” to 1 1/2” pole diameter (not including offset umbrellas)
- Opens and closes with either crank, manual lift, or a pulley mechanism
- Tilt patio umbrellas available with either push button tilt (3 positions), non-tilt, auto-tilt (keep cranking to tilt), collar tilt (turn of a collar) or full rotation functions (offset umbrellas)
- Harder to replace parts
- Large selection of frame colors allows easy matching to furniture
- Crank and tilting functions not recommended for high traffic and contract applications
Will you need an Umbrella Base?
Umbrella bases are usually the last call on when purchasing an umbrella, and it should not be skipped at all. Typically, we don’t consider a base until it’s too late, after the umbrella has tipped over or flown out of our patio into our neighbors, or even off our balcony. Unless you already own an umbrella base, it’s always a good idea to get one.
For more information on Umbrella bases, check out: Umbrella Bases. The "Whatever" Trap
So the best patio umbrella is the one that fits your needs and your style. It shouldn't matter what other people think; it only matters what you want in a your patio.