Best garden parasols and bases 2020: 5 top patio umbrellas | Real Homes

Best garden parasols and bases 2020: 5 top patio umbrellas

The best garden parasols let you enjoy the sun from the safety of a shady spot – these stylish patio umbrellas – at today's best prices – have you covered (literally)

 best garden parasol: GlamHaus Garden Parasol
(Image credit: Amazon)

The best garden parasols will protect you from strong lunchtime sun, helping you enjoy your al fresco lunches uninterrupted. There's a lot of choice of garden parasols out there, so we've made a short list of the very best ones for durability, sun protection, and price. Whether you want cheap and cheerful shade, the highest UV protection, or a party parasol with high-tech extras like solar lights, we've got you covered. 

  • Find the perfect garden chair to go under our parasol in our buyer's guide

Depending on your space and budget, there are a few different types of parasol to choose between.

Traditional parasols have straight poles that often run through the centre of your garden table, and are weighed down by a heavy base that you’ll usually have to buy separately. Many have a handy tilt function to better control your shade, and some are height-adjustable, too.

Cantilever-style parasols are freestanding and feature a curved arm that hangs over your garden furniture, keeping the main structure out of your way. They can be tilted and swivelled, and come with their own base included. Alternatively, wall-mounted parasols take up less space, making them ideal for smaller outdoor areas. Find more buying tips – and links to parasol bases – below.

Update: Some of the best garden parasols are selling out quickly. If you can't find our favourite models below, there are still plenty in stock at these retailers:

  • Amazon: browse all parasols and bases 
  • Argos: cheap parasols and bases from £15 
  • B&Q: parasols, bases and sails from £12 to £140
  • John Lewis: traditional, tilting and cantilever parasols 
  • Wayfair: save up to £60 on a wide range of parasols  

The best garden parasols you can buy right now

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TecTake garden cantilever parasol

(Image credit: Amazon)
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TecTake garden cantilever parasol

(Image credit: Amazon)
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TecTake garden cantilever parasol

(Image credit: Amazon)

1. TecTake Aluminium Garden Cantilever Parasol

Best offset parasol: this built-in umbrella is something a little bit different, but it works every angle

Specifications
Best for: Adjustable
Size: H290 x Dia. 350cm
UV protection?: Yes
Material: Fabric, metal
Weight: 12.4kg
Colours: Cream, green, red
Reasons to buy
+ Adjustable angle + Lots of coverage 
Reasons to avoid
- Needs anchoring 

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. 

  • Buy the TecTake Aluminium Garden Cantilever Parasol
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Papaye Tilting Parasol

(Image credit: Maisons du Monde)
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Papaye Tilting Parasol

(Image credit: Maisons du Monde)
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Papaye Tilting Parasol

(Image credit: Maisons du Monde)

2. Papaye Tilting Parasol

Best tilting parasol: with oodles of sun protection and an attractive tilting retro style

Specifications
Best for: Design
Size: H250 x W300 x D300cm
Material: Aluminium, polyester
UV protection?: No
Weight: 5.5kg
Colours: Blue lagoon, white, yellow
Reasons to buy
+Beautiful design +Tilts to give sun protection all day long
Reasons to avoid
-Not great for windy weather

The Papaye Tilting Parasol from Maisons du Monde has a gorgeous design that reminds us of mid-century beach posters and comes in three beautiful, vibrant colours (we're dying for the blue one). It's also remarkable sturdy yet lightweight and easy to operate, but best of all, you can tilt it to ensure you're getting protection from the sun all day long. Don't forget to close it down when it's windy, though.

  • Buy the Papaye tilting parasol
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Kingsleeve LED Aluminium Parasol

(Image credit: Amazon)
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Kingsleeve LED Aluminium Parasol

(Image credit: Amazon)
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Kingsleeve LED Aluminium Parasol

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. Kingsleeve LED Aluminium Parasol

Best parasol with lights: designed with a built-in LED lights for al fresco entertaining

Specifications
Best for: Entertaining
Size: H330cm x Dia.330cm
Material: Metal
UV resistant?: Yes
Weight: 5kg
Colours: Cream, red, anthracite
Reasons to buy
+Classic design+Comes with built in LED lights
Reasons to avoid
-Some may not need additional features-Doesn't come with a base

If you enjoy spending your summer evenings entertaining, the Kingsleeve LED Aluminium Parasol 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 that are battery operated and will help you create an evening ambience without the need for additional garden lighting. The lights can also run off solar power, which is a bonus during the summer.

  • Buy the Kingsleeve LED Aluminium Parasol

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Miamodo garden umbrella

(Image credit: Amazon)
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Miamodo garden umbrella

(Image credit: Amazon)
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Miamodo garden umbrella

(Image credit: Amazon)
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Miamodo garden umbrella

(Image credit: Amazon)
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Miamodo garden umbrella

(Image credit: Amazon)

4. Miadomodo Garden Umbrella

Best parasol for easy set-up: bring some colour to your patio with this great value umbrella

Specifications
Best for: Easy setup
Size: H245cm
Material: Steel, polyester
UV resistant?: Yes
Weight: 5kg
Colours: Red, white, dark blue, grey, lime green
Reasons to buy
+ Good choice of colours + Easy-to-use crank handle 
Reasons to avoid
-Small span for larger gardens

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. 

  • Buy Miadomodo Garden Umbrellas

GlamHaus Garden Parasol

(Image credit: Amazon)

5. GlamHaus Garden Parasol

Best budget parasol: this sturdy patio umbrella looks good and tilts as needed

Specifications
Best for: All-round quality on a budget
Size: 140 x 14 x 13.5 cm
UV resistant?: Yes, 40+
Colours: Green
Material: Aluminium, polyester
Weight: 3.64kg
Reasons to buy
+Great design+Tilts to protect you from the sun+Good UV protection
Reasons to avoid
-Only one colour-A bit lightweight 

Beautifully designed, with a durable fabric colour that has 40 UV protection, this parasol is amazing value for money. We especially like that it tilts, meaning you do have to move as the sun moves during the day. The cover is tear-resistant, and the parasol itself is very easy to put together (just two clicks together and you're done) and then dismantle when you no longer need it after the summer. It is quite lightweight, so best inserted into a sturdy dining table rather than used on its own. 

  • Buy the GlamHaus Garden Parasol 

How to buy the best parasol

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

How large is your garden?

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.

How large is your table?

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.

Tilt adjustment

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.

Durability

Whichever style you choose, make sure you pick a parasol that’s water, mildew and rust resistant so that it lasts longer. Here's our pick of the best garden parasols and bases you can buy right now.  

Do all garden parasols offer UV protection?

No – and this is very important to remember if you're planning on spending prolonged periods outside during the hottest part of the day. Unless the parasol specifically states that it has broad spectrum UV protection, it doesn't matter how thick and nice the fabric is, it won't protect you from lunchtime sun (many people have had sunburns through the umbrella). Look for at least factor 30 protection, too. 

Browse garden parasol bases: John Lewis | Wayfair | Amazon
All the main parasol retailers sell weighted bases too. Round ones can be rolled, or look for four-piece designs, which are easier to move too. We particularly like the SunTime 15 kgs Concrete Parasol Base, £29.99 at Amazon; the Christow base 25kg base, £49.99 at Amazon; and the Christow four-piece 66kg base, pictured, which is £64.99 at ManoMano.

Looking for more garden advice and inspiration?