Choosing the Size, Style, and Shape

The first step to finding your shady soulmate is determining what size you need. To find the right size umbrella and umbrella base for the various types of patio sets, check out our Patio Umbrella Size Guide & Chart.

Patio Umbrella Styles

Market Umbrellas

Market umbrellas are constructed with 4 to 8 crossbars coming off a center pole for support and can be used freestanding or with a patio table.

Cantilever Umbrellas

These umbrellas have the support pole located either to the side or on the outside of the canopy as opposed to in the center.

Lighted Umbrellas

LED lights along the ribs underneath the canopy add soft lighting and ambiance to your patio.

Patio Umbrella Shapes


This familiar shape has a traditional charm, elegance, and the widest appeal, so it will look great in any space.


Ideal for longer dining tables or seating areas, oval umbrellas can bring a sophisticated and stylish look to your backyard.


Longer, rectangular umbrellas are the best choice for covering rectangular dining tables or lounging areas.


Round umbrellas have a classic, contemporary look that never goes out of style and will easily shade round and square tables alike.


These fit neatly into corners and smaller patio spaces and work well with square patio tables.

Patio Umbrella Frame Materials

Aluminum Umbrellas

Aluminum is naturally resistant to rust and ultra lightweight while strong enough to be supportive.

Fiberglass Umbrellas

Fiberglass is saltwater-resistant, impact-resistant, and flexible enough to withstand windy climates for long-lasting performance.

Steel Umbrellas

Steel offers sturdy support and excellent weight distribution, which is why you will mostly find them used for cantilever umbrellas.

Teak Umbrellas

Teak is one of the most durable woods for outdoor furniture as it is naturally resistant to mildew and pests and is a great choice for coastal or poolside patios.

Wood Umbrellas

Wooden umbrellas have a classic, natural look that can withstand windy conditions, but may need some extra care compared to other frame types.

Canopy Fabric & Color

Choosing the right canopy fabric for your umbrella is important for style and longevity. Dive into the vibrant possibilities with our array of colors. Whether you're drawn to Sunbrella's rich hues, the quality-driven palette of Olefin, or the practical charm of Polyester, we've got the shades to match your outdoor space. Let's paint your patio with the perfect blend of durability and charm.


A high-performance 100% solution-dyed acrylic, Sunbrella is one of the most well-known brands in the outdoor furniture industry. Made to withstand rain, UV rays, fading, and stains, it's easy to clean and mildew resistant.


An excellent choice if looking for an affordable option without having to sacrifice quality. Olefin is a highly durable synthetic material with improved fade-resistance over lesser grade fabrics.


A quick-drying, synthetic fabric. Polyester is an affordable choice that will bring several seasons of enjoyment.

Choose a Lift Method


The most convenient method for lifting, these umbrellas use an internal pulley and external crank system to raise and lower the canopy.


Pulley umbrellas are raised and lowered by pulling a string attached to an integrated cord system.


Manual lift umbrellas are pushed up by hand and secured with a pin under the hub.

Tilt Options


This tilt method uses a ring situated above the crank mechanism to employ the tilting system and is a great option for a hassle-free experience.


On some umbrellas, the same mechanism used for opening and closing the umbrella is employed for tilting, known as Auto-Tilt, making it the most convenient option for tilting.

Push Button

These umbrellas tilt by pushing a button that releases a lock, allowing the canopy to be adjusted. Releasing the button locks the umbrella into place. This is a low-cost option that is quick and easy to operate.


For a hands-on approach, rotational tilt umbrellas are adjusted by pushing the ribs in a clockwise direction until the desired location is met. To return it to an upright position, rotate the ribs counterclockwise.

You Probably Need a Base for Your Patio Umbrella

Bases are a must-have for any patio umbrella. Even when being used with a table, it will lack stability without a base. Cantilever umbrellas will come standard with a base, but for all others, check out our Patio Umbrella Size Guide to find the right base for your umbrella.


Another important consideration when choosing a patio umbrella is ventilation. Most umbrellas come with single or double vents on the canopy that allow wind to pass through and prevent the umbrella from taking flight in windy conditions. Single vent umbrellas are the most common. These feature a separate flap of fabric at the top of the canopy attached with a mesh material underneath it. The flap prevents water from entering the umbrella and the mesh allows for air to flow through it.

Double vented umbrellas feature the same top vent as single vent umbrellas and an extra vent in the middle allowing more air flow. They are typically best for extremely windy environments such as beaches and roof tops.

Final Considerations

After a full season outdoors, your umbrella can accumulate a lot of dirt and grime. Keeping it clean will be your best defense against mold and mildew and will help it last longer. In general, it is best practice to remove any loose dirt from the canvas and wash the canvas and frame with a mild soap and water. Let the umbrella dry completely before closing it and store it in a place where weather and dampness won’t affect it. Check out these Patio Umbrella Cleaning & Maintenance Tips for a deeper look at keeping your umbrella looking like new.