Best 10 Garden Parasols
As Of March 2021
Some relaxing time with loved ones by the beach, poolside, garden or patio is unbeatable. But with hot summer sun rays, no one wants to get cooked in the sun.
This is where a parasol comes in. Who does not want to spend a hot afternoon sipping a cold beverage, reading a book or chatting away with loved ones without worrying about the scorching sun?
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Bring The Beach To Your Home!
Summer is a time for fun and socialising with your friends. We all love to spend time outdoors and enjoy the sun in our back garden. Sometimes, it’s hard to do so because of the sun’s harmful UV rays. Our lounge chairs are great to lay on, but we need some sun shade along with our sunscreen.
Parasols are large garden umbrellas that you can put in your outdoor space to get shading over your dining table or next to your deck chair. They are lightweight with thick fabrics and are usually seen at the beach or on patios. The options are many, and we have picked the best garden parasols out there. Continue reading to explore the options and find one that works for you, your space and your overall design style.
Why Do You Need A Parasol?
Buying a parasol is a practical solution to protect yourself from the sun. A shaded haven makes the perfect spot for endless hours outside late into the summer evenings. Whether you’re the life of the party or the book-loving introvert, a parasol can be the right buy for you. You can use it for many occasions and have fun under the sun!
A parasol can also be a unique decoration for your backyard next to your sun loungers. Some can complement your space and add a luxurious ambience too. Who said practical couldn’t be stylish as well?
What Types of Parasols Are Available?
Picking the right type of garden parasol for you is the first step before you go into any further research. Luckily, there are many different options available to fit your space and budget. Read below to see which type of parasol makes more sense for you.
Upright parasols are placed in the middle of your garden table and have a straight pole. They stay grounded by attaching to a base. The base is usually not included within the packaging. Upright parasols have a square or round canopy and come in various colours. You can use them as a cheap option if you don’t want to spend a fortune. What’s nice about them is that they are easy to use.
Tilting parasols are like upright parasols but have added features that make them more adjustable. It’s best to place your parasol in the centre of your garden furniture so that all your guests have shading at the same time. Tilting parasols are different from upright ones because you can tilt them. You can bask in the sun all day long by tilting the umbrella! Most tilting parasols are height-adjustable, too, in case that tall friend of yours comes over for a bbq!
Cantilever parasols don’t have to be in the middle of your garden table. They are freestanding and can be independent. They have a curved arm that lets you place the parasol away from your garden furniture. This type of parasol offers less obstructed views and more manoeuvrability than upright or tilted ones. It usually comes with a base, which is also heavier to support the cantilever parasol’s larger structure better. Another positive to these types of parasols is that you can pivot them, and they have a customisable tilt function. These are a bit pricier, though.
Wall-mounted parasols are perfect for limited spaces or even balcony patios. If you want something that doesn’t take up too much space, this option is best for you. They do need some preparation to mount, though, and are not as easy to assemble as the others. But, if you’re handy enough and want to give it a go, these could be a real lifesaver for your small patios.
Don’t want to make the wrong choice? Do you want to know what to keep an eye out for features? Don’t worry! We have you covered on the top features that the best garden parasols have! Check below!
1. Parasol Base
A parasol base is the most important feature to look for when buying a garden parasol. Cantilever parasols include one, but some other types include the base as a gift too. In any case, a base is a given to invest in to balance your parasol. Windy weather can topple your umbrella over in no time, but a durable base locks your garden parasol in place.
You should pick a garden parasol type according to your needs. If you don’t plan on moving your parasol, a heavy-duty 25kg concrete base is the safest and most resistant type.
For small upright round parasols, a wooden or plastic base filled with water is a strong enough option that should suffice. For larger square parasols, concrete, granite or cast iron bases offer outstanding durability. As we mentioned, cantilever parasols usually have their stable cross base included.
Some parasols can stay in place with sandbag support. Yes, this option is a great alternative if you don’t want to fill your backyard with concrete and cast iron slabs. Sandbags are a much more mobile option than a heavy concrete base that you can’t move around once placed. The best part of a sandbag parasol base? It’s rust-resistant!
2. Crank Mechanism
Crank handles lift the heavy work off your shoulders! This small mechanism on the pole yanks the umbrella open or closes it off with little effort. Open or close your canopy in seconds and hassle-free without someone’s help. Forget about the old-school rope and pulley style umbrella; the crack handle adds practical substance to your sunshade.
3. Tilt Function
Along with the crank handle, the tilt function for a parasol is a must. You won’t need to worry about the sun’s shifting position with the tilt feature. Adjust the height and angle of your parasol and continue suntanning or dining outdoors.
4. Adjustable Pole
An adjustable pole makes your umbrella more customisable. The adjustable pole is the best way to control your parasol’s height so that all your guests are comfortable and well shaded. Want to lower the pole so that your face is fully covered while suntanning? Lower the pole! Want to bask in the sunshine? Lift the pole higher, simple as that!
The frame of your parasol is a decorative aspect for you to pick. All types of parasol poles are efficient. But, from a design standpoint, there are different styles available. For a sophisticated look, go for a wooden frame along with neutral tones on the canopy. A wooden frame looks nice, of course, with wooden rattan furniture. The same applies to aluminium poles.
A more modern alternative is a steel pole combined with a two-tone black and white canopy. Also, steel looks flattering in an understated way. And, it’s an excellent contrast on any surface!
6. Canopy Material
The canopy’s material can protect you better when you’re out in the sun for hours. Some fabrics offer a UV protection coating, so check the product description. A general rule of thumb is that the thicker the material, the better protected you are.
The fabric type you pick will play a significant role in the longevity of your garden parasol. There are polyester, nylon, wool, silk and acrylic fabric types. The two most popular categories are polyester and acrylic.
Polyester parasols are the most common and inexpensive ones. They are water-resistant. One thing to remember is that polyester can fade if left out in the sun, so store it when you’re not using it. Adding a parasol cover can also help prevent fading.
Acrylic parasols are a pricier but higher quality choice. Their colours don’t fade as quickly; they are water-resistant, mould-resistant and don’t stain.
7. Fade Proof
Check the product description to make sure you buy a fade-resistant canopy. As we said, a polyester canopy is more likely to fade than an acrylic one. But, you can take extra care of it by following some home cleaning remedies.
Do the following to keep your parasol fade-proof:
- Clean it from top to bottom and remove excess dirt
- Wash it with cold water
- Let it air dry
- Store it during the wintertime
- Coat the fabric with sun and water-repellant spray
8. Rust Proof
No matter what, a rust-proof parasol is a significant feature to have. Some bases or poles are more likely to rust, so buying a rust-proof product will keep it in high-grade quality. Even if your umbrella is not rust proof, there are rust-resistant paints and coatings for wear and tear protection.
If your outdoor space is large enough for any size parasol, then dimensions might not be as important to you. But, if you are struggling to find the room to fit all your patio furniture, you might have to look at the dimensions.
What Size Parasol Should I Buy?
Size depends on the use you want to get out of your parasol. If you plan on using it as a centrepiece to shade your dining table in your outdoor area, then size is an essential feature to check. If you want to use your parasol over your sun lounger, the size doesn’t matter as much because the coverage is enough for one person.
Let’s look into parasol sizes to fit over your lounge furniture or dining table.
- For small-sized sofas (2-4 seats), a 2-2.5m parasol is perfect
- For medium-sized sofas (4-8 seats), opt for at least 3m parasols
- For large-sized sofas (8+ seats), a minimum 4m parasol is a must
Do All Bases Fit All Parasols?
When it comes to parasol bases, it’s not a matter of one size fits all. Taking into consideration the parasol type will help you pick the correct base for it. Sure, you could buy a cheaper base that will fit your cantilever parasol’s pole, but its weight will make the parasol turn over. You should buy a base that will stand the test of time.
There are two things to remember when finding a base:
- Base Diameter should support the size of the parasol
- Base Weight should be adequate to keep the parasol from bending or tilting
How Do You Balance A Parasol?
A parasol balances by attaching it to a base. There are many different kinds of base choices. By and large, the heavier, the better and more prone to last longer. An acceptable threshold for your parasol base should be a minimum of 30kg to stand a chance against high winds. There is a bit of weight lenience if your parasol goes through the centre of your garden table.
If you’re looking into buying a cantilever parasol, most of them come with a base included with the product. Even so, if there isn’t a base included, you can pick one on your own. If you are sure that you won’t be moving the parasol from its initial spot too often, you should go for a heavyweight base.
If you want something portable enough to store in your shed or garage during the winter months, many parasol bases come with wheels for hassle-free transfers.
Finally, if you want a solution that is not visible by the bare eye, you can always install a ground base parasol. These are holes dug on the ground filled with concrete, and you insert the base tube into them. A ground base parasol is the safest choice of all, with very cheap parts for installation. But, the labour costs could add up, depending on your personal preference of how you want to cover the hole.
Are You Protected From The Sun With A Parasol?
Parasols are a friendly companion to your sunblock. Their sleek design offers sun protection, but you should not take the sun lightly. A garden parasol is a piece of furniture for sun protection that you should combine with personal care. The shading is large enough (especially for cantilever parasols) that you can enjoy the sun for hours on end.
But, when buying, be on the lookout for UV protection coating on the canopy’s fabric to ensure sun protection.
Can You Use Parasols In The Rain?
Garden parasols are big garden umbrellas which means that yes, you can use them in the rain too. They are designed in such a way to be water repellent, but they are not 100% waterproof. Their primary use purpose is to enjoy sunny weather and get your beach tan on.
It’s best to protect your garden parasol by closing it when the weather conditions are extreme. To sum up, you can use parasols in the rain, but be aware that they are not entirely weather-resistant.
How Much Do Parasols Cost?
To answer this question you first have to pick whether you want an affordable price or something on the high-end of the price range. After you have made that decision, you can look into the different budget options or luxury parasol items and make a pick.
Costs on parasols are so diverse that you can find a budget-friendly one for a low price. The designs and price tags for upright or tilting parasols (the cheaper types) range from £10-100. Upright and tilting parasols are cheaper than cantilever parasols but compromise long-term durability.
If you’re craving luxury choices, you can find unique and stylish pieces ranging from £140-£300. While cantilever parasols are more expensive, you will not have to replace them as often as the other types. This makes them worthy of your investment. And remember, the more bells and whistles, the more prices can go up to exorbitant ranges of £500-£800.
So, there you have it! A parasol can be a great addition to your outdoor furniture. It protects you from the sun’s rays in the summertime while you’re lounging in the sun. It also shades your guests when you have friends over for a barbeque. Blast your alfresco dining experience to the top and create an outdoor area that is swoon-worthy!
Our buying guide gave answers to consumers’ most common questions before purchasing a parasol. Take some time to review the features and benefits and make the perfect choice for you!