Best patio umbrella: 5 parasols for stylish sun protection

Our pick of the best patio umbrellas are perfect if you’re seeking a little protection from the summer sun. While south-facing plots are preferable, they can become a little overwhelming during the heat of the day. This is where our super stylish parasols come in.

Whether you’re looking for something understated to blend in with the rest of your garden scheme, or want something a little more outspoken and designed to make a statement, you’re sure to find something that suits with our pick of the best patio umbrellas.

Then, when you’re done, head over to our garden sourcebook for our top rated outdoor essentials. You’ll find plenty more garden furniture advice and inspiration over on our garden hub page, too.

In our opinion, the best parasol you can buy is the John Lewis & Partners Wood-Effect Wind-Up Parasol.

In addition to its stylish design, this model offers an easy wind-up mechanism with a tilt adjustment for selecting the right sun protection. Plus, it’s shower-resistant, offers UV50+ and comes with a variety of designs. Read on to find out more.

Looking to build an outdoor dining area? You might find some of our garden furniture guides a handy read, too.

John Lewis & Partners patio umbrellasB&Q patio umbrellasArgos patio umbrellasCox & Cox patio umbrellasGarden Trading patio umbrellas

When it comes to buying a parasol to suit your needs, there are a few factors we’d recommend taking into account. These include:

Before you start shopping, take a look at the space your umbrella is destined for to ensure there’s clearance around any roof overhangs or awnings, and most crucially, that it’s not in danger of spontaneous combustion courtesy of a too-close barbecue.

You should also consider the size of your table and choose accordingly. Roughly speaking, you’re looking at a 2m to 3m umbrella for a table 75cm to 90cm in diameter, 3m to 4m for a 95cm to 1.2m table, and 3.5m or larger for a 1.35m to 1.5m table.

As we all know, the sun doesn’t tend to shine from directly above. If you tend to get hit from an angle, or want to be able to adjust the positioning of your umbrella as the sun moves through the sky, it’s worth investing in an option with tilt adjustment.

When it comes to the best patio umbrella, our current top pick is the John Lewis & Partners Wood-Effect Wind-Up Parasol, which offers an easy wind-up mechanism with a tilt adjustment for selecting the right sun protection.

Plus, it’s shower-resistant, offers UV50+ and comes with a variety of different sizes and designs, depending on your preference.

This Marks & Spencer Square Parasol isn’t too dissimilar from our first John Lewis pick in that it’s said to be sturdily built, features sustainably sourced wood for extra eco-friendliness, and has the equivalent UV rating of UPF50+ to keep the easily burnt safe from midday sun.

Where it differs is in its handy wipe-clean fabric, a water-repellent polyester that comes in handy when you don’t have the time (or, frankly, the inclination) to stow it in the shed when the heavens open.

If you enjoy spending your summer evenings entertaining, the Suntime Adjustable Parasol with Bluetooth Speaker and LED Lights could be just what you’ve been looking for.

In addition to providing ample protection from the sun, thanks to its adjustable height and tilt mechanisms, this contemporary model comes with built in lights and a Bluetooth speaker system.

It can be difficult enough timing your back-garden soirées with sunny spells, and keeping track of it to make sure no-one in your party ends up burnt or squinting is yet more difficult again. The way to stay one step ahead is with an adjustable patio umbrella like this TecTake Aluminium Garden Cantilever Parasol, which operates on a cantilever to lock at your preferred angle, especially useful when the sun starts to dip.

It’s a good bet for anyone currently redoing a patio or deck, as it does need anchoring in properly, but if you’re after a more permanent fixture, it’s a very practical option.

Neutrals and nautical not really for you? Get firmly stuck into the jewel tones trend with one of these colourful Miadomodo Garden Umbrellas.

The water-repellent polyester fabric makes it a practical option for anywhere that gets sudden showers, and reviewers found it showed no signs of mildew after being left out, although they did recommend stowing it away over winter to guard against rotting. The crank handle set into the thick steel pipe makes it simple to put up and down without faffing with cords, too.

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Post time: Oct-21-2019