When the weather begins to break and bright, sunny days become more constant, it’s a sign that summer is coming! While the sun feels great and is healthy for you, shade options should still be on your mind.
The easiest and cheapest way to bring shade to your backyard is to use patio umbrellas. You can easily find them online and in stores, with a wide selection of styles available on sites like Amazon. Here are some great picks to help you choose the best patio umbrella for your yard.
Our Top Picks
Purple Leaf 9×12 ft. Patio Umbrella
Sunnyglade 9 ft. Patio Umbrella
Sunnyglade 9 ft. LED Illuminated Umbrella
1. Best Overall: Purple Leaf 9×12 ft. Patio Umbrella
The Purple Leaf patio umbrella is the best patio umbrella if you’re looking looking for a large amount of coverage. This rectangular 9 ft x 12 ft umbrella is almost twice the size of your typical patio umbrella. The large shaded area allows you to relax without constantly moving your chair out of the sun.
It comes in seven beautiful colors and uses strong polyester fabric for the canopy part. The fabric is water-repellent, UV-resistant, and fade-resistant so you can expect it to be around for a long time. Its eight-ribbed frame is rust-resistant aluminum that can withstand up to 30 MPH winds, which is perfect for Minnesota summer storms.
The cranking system makes it easy to open and close and you can easily adjust the height with a handle. It comes with the ability to adjust to up to six different heights and angles. You can also rotate the umbrella 360 degrees to provide yourself and your guests with optimal shade.
Larger umbrellas such as this one are the best patio umbrellas to cover your outdoor dining set-up. Nobody likes to feel blinded while enjoying their meal, and this umbrella can cover a six to eight-person table. Putting a hammock underneath it is great as well, as you can relax in the summer heat while staying cool.
- A large area of shade coverage
- Guaranteed 36 months of no fading
- Multiple heights and angles to fit your preferences
- The water tank base doesn’t come with the umbrella
- A little on the expensive side
2. Best Value: Sunnyglade 9 ft. Patio Umbrella
Understandably, not everyone has the financial means to purchase an umbrella for hundreds of dollars. A Sunnyglade nine-foot patio umbrella is the best patio umbrella option for those looking to stay within their budget. The umbrella serves its purpose with its large, circular shape, sturdy frame, and beautiful colors.
The umbrella’s fabric is 100% polyester, which is waterproof to help shield you from passing rain showers. You have 13 vibrant colors to choose from, so you can ensure at least one will match your yard. The sturdy frame uses powder-coated aluminum, which will help prevent your stunning umbrella from corroding and rusting.
Its cranking system allows you to open and close the umbrella with ease. You can also easily tilt it to your liking with the push-button tilting hinge at the top of the pole. Set-up is so easy due to these mechanisms that anyone can do it!
Due to the nine-foot diameter, you can comfortably fit a table that seats up to six people underneath it. While the materials of the umbrella might be light, the vent is highly beneficial concerning stability. So, you can feel safe knowing that the wind will breeze through the umbrella rather than collide with it.
- Uses waterproof material
- Easy to clean
- Light in weight at less than ten pounds, so it’s easy to move around
- No velcro strap to secure the umbrella when not in use
3. Best Features: 9 ft. Sunnyglade LED Illuminated Umbrella
Sunnyglade offers some of the best patio umbrellas, with the LED-illuminated one having some of the best features. Not only does this umbrella provide you with ample shade, but it’s multipurpose with included lighting for nighttime fun!
The canopy has 11 color options and uses fade-resistant polyester, which can help repel water from infiltrating your shaded area. Its pole and frame use bronze aluminum to help prevent rusting, which means it’ll last for many years! Like other Sunnyglade models, it uses an easy cranking system for opening and closing and a push-button tilt.
Besides being one of the best patio umbrellas for shade, it’s also the best patio umbrella for nighttime! It might sound strange to use an umbrella at night. However, this one comes equipped with 24 LED lights! And you won’t need any wires, outdoor outlets, or batteries because the lights use the sun for power!
Use the umbrella for cooling shade during the day while the sun charges your lights. Then, by nighttime, you’ll have fully-charged lights that you can use for hours. Play a card game with friends, have a late dinner, or simply enjoy nature by yourself with some lighted ambiance. It’s the best patio umbrella for summer night fun!
- Solar lights that can last up to six hours
- Can’t handle strong wind
4. BLUU BANYAN 10 FT Patio Offset Umbrella
A Bluu Banyan umbrella is one of the best patio umbrellas if you have limited space in your backyard. Sometimes patio umbrellas can make your space feel confined when the pole is directly in the middle. You’ll need to constantly avoid it and cannot sit under the middle of the umbrella. The tilted and hanging design of this umbrella changes that.
The pole and base of this umbrella sit to the side, allowing you to use every square inch of shade. Its tilt also helps create a wider amount of shade, allowing you to seat about six to eight guests underneath.
Bluu Banyan’s solution-dyed canopies come in eight solid colors. The material is rather thick, which helps protect your skin and minimizes fading of the fabric. It also has a waterproof coating to keep you and the fabric dry. The rust-proof pole uses a crank system, a tilting hinge, and a sliding handle for optimal, easy shade adjustments.
This is the best patio umbrella for parties, as it has velcro loops to hold lights and other hanging decorations! It also blocks 98% of UV rays, so you can keep your guests cool and safe without staying inside.
- Floating design
- Velcro straps to hang things inside the umbrella
- 2-year warranty
- The weighted base doesn’t come with it
5. EliteShade 9 FT Tiered Umbrella
If you live in a windy area, having a patio umbrella can be quite challenging. You’re constantly picking up your blown-over umbrella or replacing it when the wind hits it just right and breaks it. To easily fix this issue, you should try opting for a tiered umbrella.
The EliteShade tiered umbrella is the best patio umbrella for wind, due to its vents between each layer of fabric. By allowing the wind to pass through the umbrella, rather than slamming into it, you’ll notice more stability. These vents also allow for a little breeze while you’re hanging out underneath it, keeping you more cool.
A strong 1.5-inch diameter aluminum pole also helps with stability in the wind, while the powder coating helps protect it from breaking down. Use the cranking system and push-button tilting to adjust the umbrella to the sun’s position, ensuring you always have shade.
Its canopy part of the umbrella uses acrylic solution-dyed fabric, which helps resist water and any gross color fading. The rather impermeable fabric also helps block the sun with 98% UV protection, keeping you from damaging your skin. Not all umbrellas are UV-resistant, so this is an added perk besides simply withstanding the wind.
- Three wind vents, or tiers, to help with stability
- Water and oil-resistant
- Five years of no fading guaranteed
- The hinges can be a little flimsy
Patio Umbrella Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Right Umbrella
Choosing the best patio umbrella for your backyard depends on the features you’re looking for. Before looking at umbrellas to purchase, you should try to list out what you need in your new patio umbrella. From here, you can start analyzing each of the best patio umbrellas to see which one best fits your needs.
Materials, sizing, shape, easy usability, and tilting options are all things you need to keep in mind. Keep reading to learn why these features are important and how they can benefit you and your backyard.
The primary thing you need to worry about when it comes to the best patio umbrella is its materials. If you don’t get one with high-quality materials, it won’t last more than a few months. Finding an umbrella with waterproof and UV-resistant fabric is usually the best way to go.
If your umbrella isn’t waterproof, or at least water-repellent, you can expect it to get drenched. This isn’t helpful if you’re trying to stay dry under your umbrella. You’ll just end up soaked too. Having a waterproof material also helps the umbrella dry off faster because the droplets will simply roll off.
UV protection is rather important, as you can damage your skin within just five to ten minutes of sun exposure. Yes, the sun can still cause damage even under an umbrella. Always opt for the highest percentage of UV protection in your umbrella to protect yourself.
The materials of the frame and pole are also important, as some are flimsier than others. Usually, aluminum is best. Aluminum can handle quite a bit of pressure and it typically won’t rust or deteriorate. If you’re still worried, opting for powder-coated aluminum adds an extra layer of rust resistance.
Generally, people tend to gravitate toward the biggest umbrella they can find. While large umbrellas can provide huge areas of shade coverage, they still might not be the best patio umbrellas. As the size of the umbrella increases, you can expect it to be more top-heavy. And if it’s top-heavy, it won’t stand up to the wind or even the rain.
Aim for an umbrella that is the size of, or only slightly larger than, the area you want shade.
Before diving into the world of the best patio umbrellas, think about what you’ll be covering with them. Are you covering an outdoor dining table? What shape is the table? If your table is rectangular, go for the rectangle-shaped umbrella. Matching the umbrella and table shapes will ensure full shade coverage for all guests.
Rectangular patio umbrellas are perfect for a symmetrical area of shade and tend to offer more coverage. Circular umbrellas are usually better for smaller areas and circular tables.
Ease of Use
Try not to veer toward patio umbrellas with complicated setups. This will just lead you to aggravation every time you want to use the umbrella. Crank systems are usually the easiest to use because they don’t require a lot of force. It also reduces the risk of pinching your fingers because you aren’t using a runner and spring-locking system.
Look for umbrellas with velcro straps as well, instead of a manually-tying strap. The best patio umbrellas use velcro, as it’s easier and faster to operate when closing your umbrella in a pinch. It also has a strong grip, ensuring your umbrella won’t open up and get whisked away in the wind.
Some patio umbrellas don’t offer a tilting mechanism, which can be an issue as the sun moves positions. Look for the best patio umbrella with a tilting hinge so you can adjust your shade coverage.
There are several tilting hinge mechanisms out there, but the push-button seems to be the easiest to use. You’ll just need to simply push the button and gently move the top of the umbrella.
Make sure the hinge uses rust-resistant materials as well, otherwise the hinge can stick and make tilting difficult. Ensuring the hinge doesn’t get soaking wet is generally a good idea just in case.
Patio Umbrella Frequently Asked Questions
Are aluminum or steel-framed umbrellas better?
When you’re in the market for the best patio umbrella, aluminum tends to be better. While steel-framed umbrellas are stronger and cheaper than aluminum ones, they are not rust-resistant like aluminum.
You can save money by opting for steel, but don’t expect it to last long. In the end, you’ll need a replacement much sooner than an aluminum-framed umbrella. So, you’ll end up spending the extra cash anyway.
What color umbrella will fade the least?
Typically when it comes to the best patio umbrellas, you should look for the darkest color you can find. If you can, look for a black umbrella because it fades the least compared to other colors. When black isn’t available or it doesn’t match your yard, go for dark red or dark blue. The closer you get to black, the better.
Is a square or a round-shaped umbrella better?
Square and round-shaped umbrellas have their positives and negatives. However, if you’re looking for the most shade coverage, a square is typically the best patio umbrella. Square and rectangle patio umbrellas provide symmetrical areas of shade. They cover more space than a circle umbrella of the same size, as circles don’t have corners.
Should you close a patio umbrella at night?
While you can leave your umbrella open at night if you want, it’s usually best to close it at night. Secure it with its strap as well. Doing this will prevent damage to your umbrella through wind or other inclement weather that can pass through.
Closing it will also prevent the hinges and other mechanical parts of the umbrella from premature rusting and deterioration. Remember that patio umbrellas are for blocking the sun, not braving harsh storms and rain.
What color patio umbrella deflects the sun?
Black is the best patio umbrella color to help deflect the sun. The dark color helps to block the UV rays that the sun expels. It doesn’t necessarily deflect sunlight, but it absorbs it. This keeps the UV rays from getting to you and causing skin damage. Pick the darkest color you can find if black isn’t available.
Wrapping up the Best Patio Umbrellas
As the warm weather begins to roll into Minnesota, start thinking of ways to create shady spots in your yard. Relaxing in the hot sun is a wonderful feeling, but too much of it can cause skin damage without sunscreen. Utilizing patio umbrellas is the best way to give your body a break from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
The best patio umbrella to help cool off and protect your skin this summer is the Purple Leaf patio umbrella. Its large size, water resistance, UV resistance, and range of adjustment options are perfect for all yards and shade-seekers.
Looking to upgrade your outdoor spaces at home? Then find inspiration for your Minnesota backyard with our landscaping ideas, outdoor furniture suggestions, gardening recommendations, and more!
- About the Author
- Latest Posts
Born in Madelia, MN, to a now 5-generation Minnesota family, Ryan’s MN roots go deep.
A painter by day, Ryan founded Life in Minnesota in 2013 with his wife Kelly to chronicle their musings on everything Minnesota. Ryan and Kelly are raising their 7 kiddos in Maple Grove, MN.
When he’s not shuttling his kids around to hockey practice, you might find him in the shop working on his leatherwork. Undoubtedly, there will be a family trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area every summer, and of course weekends at Grandpa’s cabin up north in the summer.