Choosing the Right Patio Umbrella

Filed Under: Outdoor Umbrellas

The easiest way to make your outdoor space enjoyable during the hottest months is with shade. Blocking the sun’s rays with an umbrella can dramatically reduce the effects of the sun. In fact, a sweltering 95 degrees can become a comfortable 80 degrees under the right umbrella.

Learn how to pick the perfect umbrella for your outdoor space in our guide, below.

choosing the right patio umbrella

What Type of Umbrella

The first step to choosing an umbrella is determining what type will best fit your needs.

Market or Patio Umbrellas

woodumbrellaIf you are looking to cover an outdoor dining table, a market or patio umbrella is a good, cost efficient choice. These umbrellas will fit through the hole in an outdoor dining table, and can also stand alone to cover a seating area. They are commonly used to provide shade between chaise lounges or over seating on a pool deck or patio.

Choosing a tilting patio umbrella is a great upgrade which will allow you to adjust the angle of the umbrella depending on the sun’s position, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor space without continually moving to avoid the sun’s rays.

Whatever your intended use, make sure you purchase an appropriate base for your patio umbrella. Simply setting it into the center hole of your dining table is not sufficient to keep it upright and can cause eventual damage to your table if not properly secured into a base. When using a patio umbrella without a table you will need to use a heavier base. Refer to our product details pages to find the appropriate base for your selected umbrella and usage.

Cantilever Umbrellas

If you want to shade a dining tacantilever umbrellable without the center pole getting in the way, or you wish to cover a large outdoor seating area, hot tub or children’s play area, a cantilever umbrella is the perfect choice.

These adjustable umbrellas can cover large areas without the obstruction of a center poll. Many cantilever umbrellas rotate so t
hat you can easily switch it from your dining area to seating area depending on your activities or the sun’s position. They are also popular for creating a shaded area over a pool.  Remember, a large cantilever requires a large base, so be sure to purchase an adequate cantilever base and so you can enjoy your umbrella for many years to come.

What Size Umbrella

For market or patio umbrellas being used with a table, 8-10 feet is the standard height.

If you plan to use your umbrella with a bar-height table, you can purchase a longer bottom pole which raises the umbrella crank above the table top, making it far easier to open and close your umbrella.

When it comes to choosing the umbrella diameter, here are a few rules of thumb.

  • For use with a table, select an umbrella with a diameter 2 feet greater than that of the table. This will ensure that all guests are covered.
  • For use with a seating area, chose an umbrella slightly larger than your seating configuration to create a space that is comfortable for all.
  • Choose an octagon or round umbrellas with round tables and a rectangular umbrella for use with oval or rectangular tables. And of course, there are square umbrellas for use with square tables.

Refer to the document below to determine the proper size for your seating arrangement.

Treasure Garden Science of Shade 

Umbrella Fabric Grades

We offer umbrellas in a range of fabrics including Sunbrella, Outdura and O’Bravia. Refer to the guide below for an explanation of these choices.

Our umbrellas and replacement canopies are available in a myriad of fabric colors and styles. You can also order free fabric swatches directly from the product page of the item you are looking at to ensure your umbrella complements your outdoor space. Should you require an umbrella or canopy in a fabric color or pattern you do not see listed on our website please contact us to inquire about special orders.


Umbrella Fabrics at a Glance


Good Better Best
Solefin O’Bravia Sunbrella & Outdura
Grade D Grade C Grade A/A+
Grade D Fabrics are made of 100% Solution-Dyed Soft Olefin. These fabrics offers a great value with a wide assortment of colors. These all-weather fabrics offers a two (2) year warranty covering loss of color or strength from normal exposure including sunlight, mildew or rot. Treasure Garden’s best performing, 100% Solution-Dyed Polyester 4800 series fabric. These durable all-weather fabrics offer a four (4) year warranty covering loss of color or strength from normal exposure including sunlight, mildew or rot. This 100% Solution-Dyed Polyester offers the outdoor casual furniture industry an ideal earth friendly solution and is truly the 100% recyclable “GREEN” choice. Grade A/A+ fabrics include 100% Solution-Dyed Acrylic fabrics from the top U.S. mills including Sunbrella and Outdura. These all-weather fabrics offer a five (5) year warranty covering loss of color or strength from normal exposure including sunlight, mildew or rot.