Having a patio with no umbrella to protect you from sun rays and summer heat takes away all the fun of relaxing on your patio. Hence, a patio umbrella is a necessity to keep you comfortable while you enjoy your living space.

The fact that this item comes in different sizes and shapes means that you cannot just go back home with any of Watson’s best patio umbrellas you come across. Instead, you need to follow a careful process of selection that will ensure that you get the right shade for your patio.

Therefore, in this article, we will guide you on how to select the best patio umbrella.

1. Decide on the Size and & Shape of the Umbrella

Color is not the first thing you need to consider. The first thing you should consider is the size of the space you want to cover. Therefore, to do this, you will need to get your tape out of storage.

Measure the area you will like to shade. Ensure that the entire play or lounge area is measured: Doing this will ensure that you and the family are well-protected. Irrespective of the area size, it is compulsory that the umbrella’s height is 7 – 9 feet.

If a table is included within the area, a shade buffer of about 2 feet must be kept around the outdoor table to ensure optimal comfort. With the additional coverage, you will be free from glare dependent on the sun’s location.

In terms of shape, the parasol has to match the table’s shape. This will bring about a unified appearance. In the event you don’t see one that matches the table, then you should get a patio parasol table.

Below is a chart showing the exact measurements for the umbrella and table sizes.

Table Size (Length/Diameter in Feet)Size of the Umbrella (Length/Diameter in Feet)
2 Feet6 Feet
3 Feet7 Feet
4 Feet8 Feet
5 ft.9 ft.
6 ft.10 ft.
7 ft.11 ft.
8 ft.12 ft.

2. Get a Durable Base to Act as Support

It would be unwise to go back home or complete the purchase order without adding a base to the order. After all, what will support the parasol in the first place?

If you are not going to support the covering with a table, then you need to get a much heavier base. On the other hand, if you are using a table, the base can be somewhat lighter. You should always go for a 50-pound base at the least for an umbrella that isn’t supported by a table. Lighter weights can be used for table parasols. Click here to check out some patio umbrella designs.

We recommend that you go through the chart below to see how heavy the base for your free-standing parasol should be.

Umbrella Size (Length/Diameter in Feet)Minimum Weight of the Base (In Pounds)
5 ft. or less50 pounds or less
6 ft.60 pounds
7 ft.70 pounds
8 ft.80 pounds
9 ft.90 pounds
10 ft. or more100 pounds

3. Get a Durable Shade

You know that the shade you get will be exposed to the sun and rain. Hence, you need to get one that can weather these elements without getting damaged.

Most shades are made of lightweight fabrics or plastic, therefore, they might not do so well under heavy rain. Nevertheless, you still need to ensure that you pick a shade made of durable material. You should avoid anything that can easily fade, get punctured, or grow molds.

One amazing fabric we recommend is Sunbrella. This material is fade and water-resistant and provides UV protection. You can also go for vinyl or canvas material if you’re looking for materials that aren’t liable to fade.

If you don’t have so much to spend on an umbrella but still desire quality, you can choose a polyester material. Its durability is almost as good as Sunbrella; hence, it is resistant to tears or holes, mold, and fading. Visit https://www.thecoverguy.com/ to read more about Sunbrella fabric.

4. Select a Durable Frame

The shade material shouldn’t be the only thing that is durable; the frame must be durable as well. Closing your parasol is the right thing to do when not in use; however, it is possible to sometimes forget. When such a mistake is made, the only thing that will protect the item from being damaged by strong wind is a durable frame.

Some umbrellas are designed to resist high winds; hence, they come with fiberglass ribs. This design ensures that the frame is protected from bending.

Going for a frame made from aluminum is also a wise choice as this material can withstand storms as well as other terrible weather. Besides, its resistance to corrosion means that it will still look good after some years.


Enjoying your patio can only be fulfilling with a good sun umbrella to protect you from the sun. Selecting the best parasol has been a challenging task for most folks. Thankfully, the information we provided in the article above will make this task a breeze for you.