The Only Patio Umbrella Buying Guide You’ll Ever Need

Posted by Jonathan Blampied on 24-Jan-2023 08:28:54

There is an overflow of patio umbrellas online, people who just want to protect themselves from the weather are suffering from choice paralysis. We’ve scoured the web and pulled from our years of experience, putting together the only Patio Umbrella Buying Guide you’ll ever need. You’ll find information that you can use to couple up with the best umbrella for your space. 

Before we get started, we’re about low friction, ease of use so perhaps you could try out Patio Umbrella Selector. Follow the prompts and our selector will let you know the best umbrella for your space. 

An outdoor umbrella is an essential piece of outdoor furniture that you shouldn’t go past. Providing shade, comfort and style to your patio environment. This collection of information is all you’ll need to choose the best patio umbrella. 

          1. What size patio umbrella do I need? 
          2. What are the best patio umbrellas?
          3. How do I choose the best patio umbrella?
          4. What umbrella stand do I need for my patio?
          5. What patio furniture is best for outdoors?
          6. How to clean a patio umbrella?

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What Size Patio Umbrella Do I Need? 

Choosing the correct size of commercial grade wind resistant patio umbrella doesn’t have to be a challenge. Here are a few factors to note  to assist you.

        1. What Outdoor Furniture or features do you want to shade? 
        2. How many people will you be shading at once? 

How much space is there between your home and any other obstructions. 

We often see patios adjoining dwellings being used as outdoor dining areas and these are some of the best places to use a patio umbrella. From here you need to ensure the space between your dwelling and any other vertical obstructions is adequate to fit any shade. Measure out this space. Take care because this could be the upper limit of shade you’ll be able to use. 

If the patio area you wish to shade is poolside, you can expect less vertical obstructions and this will make it easier as poolside vertical obstructions tend to be less common. 

Do you plan on shading a family of 4? Or will you be entertaining wider family and friends throughout the year? These questions are important because that will dictate how much shade you’ll need. 

Patio spaces are great because they’re dynamic, malleable and invigorating. Creating a space that’s usable is important and an umbrella that can suit multiple situations is always going to be best.

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What are the Best Patio Umbrellas?

Patio umbrellas are available in a variety of shapes and sizes and choosing the best patio umbrella for your space can be a challenge. High end patio umbrellas will serve you well as a compliment to your outdoor space. Shadowspec supply wind resistant patio umbrellas that are wind tested up to 40 to 65km/h on models. 

When you’re looking for a designer patio umbrella, the first question you need to answer is centre pole or cantilever. Both have their benefits for patios.
Cantilever umbrellas are great because you can cover your outdoor furniture or pool with an offset mast, this will remove intrusion and maximise the space your shade can cover. Cantilever patio umbrellas can also tilt or rotate, depending on the model you choose and are versatile, modular and luxurious.

Centre Pole Umbrellas are an iconic addition to any patio space. They’re a great way to add a patio umbrella, table and chairs to your space. The classic centre pole fits into standard outdoor tables and makes a superb addition to your space. Centre pole umbrellas work great in a group, providing individualised shade to your patio guests and range in size from compact to giant umbrellas for your patio. 

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Comfort is key when you’re looking for a large umbrella for your patio. When you’re sitting outside and the wind picks up, when you’re uncomfortable it’s time to pull your umbrella down and head inside. Shadowspec patio umbrellas are designed to work well in these wind scenarios. 

The best patio umbrellas have the best fabric canopies too. Solution dyed acrylic canopies provide rich colour, UV and UPF protection and a long warranty. The fade resistant fabric provides a quality look to any outdoor space. Sunbrella and Recasens fabrics are the industry leaders and Shadowspec use these to enhance the commercial patio umbrellas we manufacture.

How do I Choose the Best Patio Umbrella?


Taking all of the information we’ve provided so far we can distil further down to find the best patio umbrella for you. It doesn’t have to be hard to find the outdoor umbrella manufacturers. 

Once you’ve chosen the size and style of outdoor umbrella you’ll need to look at mounting options, colours and how many you need. 

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Should you choose a dark or light coloured patio umbrella? 

The colour of your umbrella is a vital choice that you should take your time with. There’s a few questions you should ask yourself; What is the colour theme of my space? Do you already have accent colours in your patio area or would you like to? An umbrella is a great opportunity to add a pop of colour to your space, light colours such as reds and yellows can add a bit of variety whereas Navy, blue and fern greens add a touch of class and sophistication. 

Our most popular designer patio umbrella colours are neutral tones. Blacks, whites, stones and charcoals. These classic selections work best on high end patio umbrellas. Blending in with their surroundings, these colours are effective and classy. If you’re in a hot area we recommend the lightest colour, go with a Oyster or light grey such as Alpine Stone or Cadet Grey as the light will be reflected and keep you cooler 

On the darker scale we offer a Black and a Charcoal Tweed that step up in the tonal scale. Charcoal Tweed is our most popular choice. Darker canopy colours will absorb more light and heat from the sun and provide shade in mild weather which will absorb less heat.

This information will help you make a decision on the dark and light choices, find the balance between aesthetic choices and heat reflection. 

What Umbrella Stand do I need for my Patio? 

Choosing the right mounting option for your new patio umbrella is important and it depends on your space. Wall mount patio umbrellas attach to an existing structure such as a wall, post or pillar and are versatile and adaptive for patios. You just have to make sure your structure is strong enough to support the umbrella.

Free-standing bases tend to be our most popular mounting, as they are perfect for spaces that can't be drilled into and add a manoeuvrable option to your patio. This is a great way to add a patio umbrella with a stand to your outdoor living area.

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You can also use surface plates or in ground anchors to affix your shade to your space. These can be fitted onto wooden or concrete spaces. These options take up less ground space in your home and garden.

Once you’ve combined these four factors you should have a clear picture for the patio umbrella that will best suit your outdoor space. If you need some assistance, we’ve got a team of outdoor shade specialists who can assist you in finding the best umbrella for your patio. 

Whilst you’re investigating patio umbrella manufacturers, look for those companies that provide high end umbrellas combined with high end service. At Shadowspec we’re a leading patio umbrella company and we take that onboard with all our outdoor umbrellas. 

What Patio Furniture is best for Outdoors?

Here are some great patio ideas

The first items on your list should be a patio table and chairs to go with your umbrella. If you’ve selected a centre pole patio umbrella, you should look at a table with the correct sized hole for your umbrella. 

A cantilever umbrella is great for outdoor lounge sets or sun loungers, with the mast offset from the side, you’ll be able to cover all of your new outdoor furniture with shade, without the mast in the middle. 

Similar to designer patio umbrellas, choosing the correct material is important. High end furniture is made with the same fabrics as Shadowspec Umbrellas such as Sunbrella. This gives you the added bonus of being able to perfect-match the colour of your outdoor umbrellas with your new outdoor furniture.

Matching your landscaping and outdoor furniture is important too.

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Once you’ve got your seating, shade and dining outdoor furniture planned you can look at cooking, heating and storage solutions. We’re big fans of outdoor fires, fire pits and outdoor kitchens. These heating options help transform spaces from plain to patio and help make entertaining a breeze.

Storage is important to any outdoor space. Making sure tools, accessories and parts don’t get lost in the day to day enjoyment of your patio. Umbrellas and outdoor furniture often have protection covers or straps that aren’t used when the umbrella or furniture is. We suggest supplementing your outdoor furniture with a high end, classy storage solution that fits in with your space. Coffee tables with hidden cavities or even planter boxes with a hidden stow cupboard are great additions for tidy spaces. 

How to Clean a Patio Umbrella?

Great, you’re all set up with a high end tidy patio. Now it’s time for everyone's favourite, maintenance. Cleaning your patio umbrella is essential to extending the life of your umbrella and enhancing the overall aesthetic of your outdoor space. 

Cleaning your patio umbrella is easy and should be done before dirt is built up and embedded in your fabric. Perform the following actions on a regular basis:

        1. Brush off loose first and particles 
        2. Hose down your canopy
        3. Clean with lukewarm water and mild soap.
        4. Rinse to remove the soap.
        5. Allow the canopy to air dry 

Do not use heavy detergents. 

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If you have found a stain that won’t come off with our standard cleaning instructions, a “303” Fabric Cleaner is recommended. First, trial a small area of the fabric to ensure there is no discolouration or adverse effects. 

After cleaning it’s important that you treat the fabric with a water repellency agent. We recommend the ‘303’ protectant is used to restore the repellency.  Always air dry your canopy. 

To clean the mast and frame, we suggest using a mild soap and water along with a microfiber cloth to work over the frame - this will remove any build up of grease from being touched by people and maintain the quality finish of your umbrella. 

Patio Umbrellas are Great.

A patio umbrella is a great addition to any outdoor space and will serve as a centrepiece and focal point of your space for years to come. We know  this guide will help you on your way to finding the best outdoor patio umbrella for your space. If you need any help or have any further queries, please reach out, to our shade specialists. Or try out the - Umbrella Selector tool to discover your new patio umbrella. 

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Topics: Patio Umbrella, Outdoor trends

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