7 Best Patio Umbrellas According to Extensive Testing

Patio Umbrellas

A patio umbrella is a must-have for your outdoor living space if you enjoy spending time outside in the summer but don’t want to fry in the sun. Over three weeks, I tested seven common umbrellas and eight umbrella bases to help you find the best one for your patio. In the end, I found that the Treasure Garden 9-Foot Deluxe Auto-Tilt Market Umbrella is the greatest patio umbrella for most people—it’s strong, easy to operate, and attractive, and it ticks all the boxes for what a great umbrella should give. The Purple Leaf 11-Foot Patio Umbrella is the way to go if you want a larger cantilever patio umbrella. The Frontgate 9-Foot Round Outdoor Market Umbrella is a reasonable spend for a more sophisticated appearance. Greatest Choice Products 10-Foot Patio Umbrella is the greatest value umbrella I’ve found.

Here are the four best patio umbrellas I found after weeks of testing.Photos: Retailers / Illustration: Forbes

The following is a list of all the winners from my testing process:

These umbrellas provide shade on hot days and can be a decorative addition to your decor. If you buy a patio umbrella, you’ll also need a base to hold it up—most umbrellas don’t come with one. During the testing phase, I used various popular patio umbrella bases, and my top recommendations are:

Canopy Diameter: 9 feet | Height: 101 inches | Weight: 17.56 pounds | Canopy Material: Sunbrella or polyester | Frame Material: Aluminum | Pole Size: 1.5 inches | Tilt: Auto

Best For:

  • Use as a freestanding umbrella or with a patio table
  • A simple yet attractive aesthetic
  • Breezy conditions

Skip If: 

  • You want an easy-to-clean option

My top selection for a market-style patio umbrella in terms of overall performance and value is the Treasure Garden Deluxe Auto-Tilt Market Umbrella. It has a traditional style that will look good on any patio and the best features for the price of all the umbrellas I tested. It has a 9-foot octagonal canopy in a variety of colors, as well as a few pole finishes to choose from. During testing, I found this umbrella easy to operate, thanks to its strong crank, which is easy to access and turn, and its auto-tilt mechanism, which lets you find the ideal position to block the sun. After raising the canopy, keep twisting the crank until the umbrella slowly tilts to one side. Then you crank it backward until it. This was easier to use than umbrellas with push-button tilt mechanisms, such as the Best Choice Umbrella, which had two preset tilt positions and a sticky button.

The Treasure Garden Market Umbrella’s traditional design will complement a variety of decks and patios.

Depending on where you purchase this umbrella, Sunbrella, and end canopies are available: On Amazon, the umbrellas are polyester. However, stores like Patio Living have Sunbrella options. I tested one with Sunbrella fabric (a long-lasting, weather-resistant type of acrylic highly suggested by the experts I spoke with), and it was both attractive and soft to the touch, blocking out just the proper amount of sunlight. The canopy also has a larger-than-average top wind vent, which performed admirably on a windy day, swinging barely little in the breeze. Other umbrellas I tested wobbled dangerously and even tipped over completely.Compared to comparable umbrellas, the Treasure Garden’s crank proved more durable and easier to operate.

Camryn Rabideau is an actress.

The cleaning was the only area where the Treasure Garden umbrella fell short of the competition. The dirt I smeared on the canopy left a minor stain, partly caused by the fabric’s light gray hue, and the stain did not completely go when sprayed with a hose. I had to use soap and a scrub brush to clean this umbrella, but it was as good as new after. So it’s not a deal breaker if you don’t mind a little scrubbing.


2. Purple Leaf 11-foot Round Cantilever Patio Umbrella


Canopy Diameter: 11 feet | Height: 108 inches | Weight: 70 pounds | Canopy Material: Polyester | Frame Material: Aluminum | Pole Size: N/A | Tilt: Manual

Best For:

  • Covering large areas
  • An opaque canopy
  • Windy locations

Skip If: 

  • You have a small patio or deck
  • You want lots of color options

The Purple Leaf 11-Foot Patio Umbrella was hands-down the best of the cantilever umbrellas I tested—it is exceptionally well-made and attractive and the easiest option to adjust, effortlessly rotating and tilting to the optimum angle. Its large design is particularly heavy-duty, with an extra-wide pole and screws that anchor its canopy, making it more size-resistant than others. The model I tested had an 11-foot octagonal canopy with a two-tier design, but it also has 12- and 13-foot canopy options, making it an excellent alternative for large outdoor living areas. If you prefer a different shape, the umbrella also comes with a square canopy in diameters ranging from 9 to 12 feet.

This umbrella was by far the heaviest I tested and the most difficult to set up—it’s certainly a two-person job. I bolted it directly to the deck’s wooden boards because it didn’t fit into the universal base I was testing. (Alternatively, purchase the brand’s base or put the umbrella directly into the ground.) However, once set up, the Purple Leaf umbrella outperformed the competition. A push-button handle allows you to adjust the angle of the umbrella, and a crank makes it effortless to rotate it 360 degrees around the central pole. Furthermore, the canopy scarcely sways in the breeze because of its innovative support arm, even when I opened it on a particularly windy day.


The sturdy Purple Leaf umbrella does not waver in the wind, and its crank makes it effortless to… [+] set up.

Camryn Rabideau is an actress.

Another advantage of this umbrella is that its polyester canopy is completely opaque, blocking all sunlight and receiving a UPF 50 certification. It was also easy to clean, repelling stains and washing off with a hose. The only significant drawback, besides its weight, is that it is only available in a few basic colors.


3. Frontgate 9′ Round Outdoor Market Umbrella

$379And Up

Canopy Diameter: 9 feet | Height: 96 inches | Weight: 25 pounds | Canopy Material: Sunbrella | Frame Material: Aluminum or teak | Pole Size: 1.5 inches | Tilt: Auto

Best For:

  • Mix-and-matching poles and canopies
  • High-quality Sunbrella fabric
  • A high-end appearance

Skip If: 

  • Fast, free shipping is important

The Frontgate 9-Foot Round Outdoor Market Umbrella is worth the cost if you want a premium look on your patio and don’t mind spending a bit extra. This umbrella was the best-made and most adaptable alternative. Unlike comparable products, the Frontgate had precisely finished seams with no single thread out of place. I like how Frontgate lets you mix and match canopies and poles with various plain colors, stripes, and other patterns. (However, remember that some fabrics are made-to-order, take four weeks to ship, and cannot be returned.)

The Frontgate has a wider range of colors and patterns than the other umbrellas I tested.

It’s not only a good-looking product. The Frontgate Market Umbrella passed all of my testing with flying colors: it’s easy to open and close, and its handy auto-tilt mechanism functions like the Treasure Garden’s design. It wiggled a little bit on a windy day but never tipped over. Furthermore, its Sunbrella canopy was stain-resistant and easily cleaned with a fast hose spray.

Patio Umbrellas

4. Best Choice Products 10ft Patio Umbrella

$80$85SAVE $5 (6%)

Canopy Diameter: 10 feet | Height: 96 inches | Weight: 16.5 pounds | Canopy Material: Polyester | Frame Material: Aluminum | Pole Size: 1.5 inches | Tilt: Manual

Best For:

  • The most bang for your buck
  • A wider canopy
  • Built-in solar lights

Skip If: 

  • You live somewhere windy
  • Appearance is a top priority

The Best Choice Products 10-Foot Patio Umbrella, a budget-friendly choice that retails for less than $100 and is available on Amazon, impressed me. Its 10-foot octagonal canopy was the largest of the market umbrellas I tested, and it has cute built-in solar lights on the interior. A small solar panel on the canopy charges the lights, and a cute little switch near the crank turns them on. The lights did not illuminate my deck, but they offer a charming ambiance at night.

This inexpensive umbrella comes in a variety of colors, and its polyester canopy is opaque, blocking out any signs of the sun. However, a couple of things to remember: the canopy is pretty plasticky, and the umbrella is unstable in the wind—it collapsed in gusts of roughly ten mph. Its crank is also unsightly, with a silver finish that doesn’t match the pole, and because it’s placed beneath the canopy, it’s difficult to reach while the umbrella is closed.

Best Patio Umbrella Bases

Patio umbrellas and bases are almost typically sold separately, so finding a base that is the proper size and weight for your umbrella is critical. In my testing, I found bases about 50 pounds ideal for 9-foot umbrellas and a bit more universal, which lets you mix and match bases and umbrellas from different brands. Simply ensure that the pole diameter (about 1.5 inches) is compatible with the base.

Cantilever umbrellas, on the other hand, frequently necessitate brand-specific bases. You’ll want to carefully follow the brand’s requirements, as these umbrellas frequently require a lot of weight to hold them up safely. On the other hand, some cantilever umbrellas can be immediately mounted to a deck or in the ground using a cement casing.


5. Best Choice Products 123lb Capacity Fillable Mobile Umbrella Base

$80$85Save $5 (6%)

If you plan to move your umbrella around your patio, the Best Choice Products Mobile Umbrella Base is a low-cost option. Despite its size, its base is easy to fill with water and stable enough to hold a 9-foot patio umbrella on a windy day. In addition, I liked how the base was mounted on four locking caster wheels, which made it the easiest to move about.


6. Abba Patio 55 lb Patio Umbrella Base


The Abba Patio Patio Umbrella Base is as straightforward as they get. It’s a large, flat 55-pound metal circle with a pole attached. The basic design lets your umbrella be the star of the show, and of all the umbrella options I tested, it was the best to utilize with a patio table. However, it isn’t perfect: if you move it around too much, the screws must be tightened. Some of the paint was also chipping off, though there are few other reviews that mention this so that it could be a fluke.

Patio Umbrellas

7. Frontgate Belmont 50-lb. Umbrella Base

$143$179Save $36 (20%)

The Frontgate Belmont Umbrella Base is a good alternative for a more decorative solution. It’s cast iron, weighs 50 pounds, and works well with market umbrellas up to 9 feet long. It’s also easy and attractive to use. It has a decorative design on top to accent your decor and is available in four different finishes to match the pole.

Other Patio Umbrellas And Bases I Tested

EliteShade Sunumbrella Patio Umbrella: This umbrella features a unique three-tier canopy that works well in the wind, outlasting any other market umbrella I tested. However, the pole acquired numerous significant dents where it was linked to the base, which does not speak well for the metal’s strength.

California Umbrella 9-Foot Patio Umbrella: I like that this budget-friendly umbrella comes in various colors and patterns, but its olefin canopy seemed and felt the cheapest of all the options I tested. (Olefin is made of polypropylene, a type of plastic, and while it is stain-resistant, it doesn’t perform as well as Sunbrella in terms of fading or mold and mildew resistance.) It also doesn’t fit snugly with its pole, resulting in a lot of wobbling and blowing over on a breezy day.

While marketed by Wayfair under the Sol 72 brand, this cantilever umbrella is another model from California Umbrella, but it proved more difficult to use than the winner. It took a lot more work to open than the Purple Leaf model, and it was so unstable in the wind that I had to close it after only a few minutes.

Costway Wheeled Weight Base: I tested the Sol 72 umbrella with this universal cantilever base, which was easy to fill and move around. However, it did take a bit of care to fit the umbrella properly into the base, and the Purple Leaf umbrella didn’t function at all—so it’s safe to say it’s not truly universal. I recommend purchasing a cantilever base from the same brand as your umbrella to ensure a correct fit.

EliteShade USA Umbrella Base: This round umbrella base was the least stable of the products I tested. Its fairly rounded bottom made it wobble dangerously, and it tipped over even when the umbrella was closed on a windy day.

How I Tested Patio Umbrellas

A variety of things distinguish superb patio umbrellas from the rest. I tested seven models over the course of a few weeks, grading them on their ease of use, wind resistance, cleaning ease, and other factors. First, I set up each umbrella on my deck, noting how difficult the task was and whether one person could complete it. I also looked for tidy canopy stitching and firmly fitted poles as indicators of material quality.

I used each umbrella for many days to test its performance. I used the market umbrellas, both freestanding and in the center of my patio table. I thought how easy it would be to open and close them, and I angled and twisted their canopies to block the late afternoon sun. On a windy day with winds of roughly 8 miles per hour, I set up each umbrella for an hour, noting how much they wobbled and which ones tipped over. Finally, I smeared mud on each of the canopies and washed them after letting the dirt dry in the sun for a few days to check if the material was stained and how easy it was to clean.

To find the finest, I tested seven patio umbrellas and eight bases

The Treasure Garden 9-Foot Deluxe Auto-Tilt Market Umbrella and Frontgate 9-Foot Round Outdoor Market Umbrella were the top-performing market umbrellas at the end of the testing, while the Purple Leaf 11-Foot Patio Umbrella was the best among the cantilever options.

How To Pick A Patio Umbrella

There are a lot of different patio umbrellas to choose from, so you’ll need to consider style, size, material, and other factors to find the perfect option for your yard.


Patio umbrellas are classified into two types: market and cantilever. Market umbrellas have straight poles and can be utilized as a freestanding item or in the center of a table. Cantilever or offset umbrellas are larger and have a pole that protrudes from the side of the canopy.

Which model is appropriate for your patio depends on how you plan to use your umbrella at the end of the day. “Market-style umbrellas work well for small- to medium-sized patios or dining areas and are generally a more affordable option,” says Grace Carlson, head of merchandising and partnerships at Yardzen, a landscape design firm. “However, cantilever umbrellas are great for larger patios or lounge areas where you want more space to be shaded.”


Patio umbrellas are known in a variety of styles and sizes. Market umbrellas are typically 8 to 11 feet in diameter, with octagons or square canopies. Cantilever umbrellas often have larger canopies ranging from 10 to 14 feet in diameter, and you can find rectangular cantilever umbrellas, octagons, and squares.

First, you should examine the area you wish to shade. “Consider the size of the area and furniture setup you’re trying to shade, then add 2 to 3 feet,” Carlson says. “A 6-foot umbrella is ideal for a small bistro table, while a 10- or 11-foot umbrella works best for larger dining or seating areas.”


When comparing low-cost and high-end umbrellas, most primary variations are in their materials. Generally, umbrella frames are made of aluminum, but you may also choose a hardwood pole for a more classic look (though they tend to be substantially more expensive).

Polyester, Olefin, and Sunbrella are the most often used materials for umbrella canopies. Polyester is the least expensive material, but it has a cheap appearance and can often feel plasticky. Sunbrella is the high-end alternative, while Olefin is a good medium option with a bit more durability and weather resistance. Sunbrella is a UV-stabilized, stain- and weather-resistant acrylic fabric used on the Treasure Garden 9-Foot Deluxe Auto-Tilt Market Umbrella and the Frontgate 9-Foot Round Outdoor Market Umbrella.


Because the sun does not always shine directly overhead, seek an umbrella that can rotate and tilt. “When it comes to function, an umbrella that can tilt and rotate is essential, allowing you to keep your area shaded no matter the time of day,” Carlson adds.

Some models of market umbrellas feature a manual tilt button that lets you adjust them into preset positions, while others have an “auto-tilt” system that angles the canopy as you continue to crank. The latter is often easier to operate, but it only tilts in one direction, so you must rotate the entire umbrella when you need it to be oriented differently.

My Expertise

I’ve been a full-time product tester for almost seven years, and throughout that time, I’ve conducted personal testing on all sorts of home products, such as robot mops and flannel blankets. My house has a large deck packed with all sorts of patio furniture, and I enjoy spending time in it in the spring and summer, whether working or just resting with my dogs.

While working on this essay, I also spoke with a few experts. Grace Carlson, head of merchandising and partnerships at Yardzen, an online landscape design service, shared ideas on choosing the ideal patio umbrella. In contrast, interior designers Artem Kropovinsky of Arsight and Kate Marker shared advice on arranging an outdoor space for both beauty and functionality.

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