Best patio umbrella: 5 parasols for stylish sun protection

Our pick of the best patio umbrellas allow you to stay comfortable, protected and stylish this summer

The best patio umbrella: garden with sunlounger and patio umbrella by john lewis & partners

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.

What is the best patio umbrella?

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.

How to buy the best patio umbrella

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. 

The best patio umbrellas you can buy right now

The best patio umbrella: John Lewis & Partners Wood-Effect Wind-Up Parasol

1. John Lewis & Partners Wood-Effect Wind-Up Parasol

Best patio umbrella: in elegant oyster, this sturdy patio umbrella looks good and stands firm

Specifications
Best for: Quality build
Size: Available in H220cm x W220cm x D220cm and H232cm x W270cm x D270cm models
Material: Metal, polyester
Weight: Available in 2.8kg and 3.6kg models
Reasons to buy
+ Sturdy design+UPF50 sun protection +Tilt adjustment+Available in a range of sizes and designs
Reasons to avoid
-Some may not enjoy the wood effect design

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. 

Shop the full range of patio umbrellas available from John Lewis & Partners

The best patio umbrella: Marks and Spencer Square Parasol

2. Marks and Spencer Square Parasol

Best square patio umbrella: with oodles of sun protection and a wipe-clean finish, this parasol has more to it than meets the eye

Specifications
Best for: UV protection
Size: H253 x W197 x D197cm
Material: Wood, polyester
Weight: 8kg
Reasons to buy
+Wipe-clean fabric +High-level UV protection 

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. 

Shop more patio umbrellas available from Marks & Spencer

The best patio umbrella: patio umbrella with led lights and bluetooth speaker by john lewis & partners

(Image: © John Lewis & Partners)

3. Suntime Adjustable Parasol with Bluetooth Speaker and LED Lights

Best patio umbrella with lights: designed with a built-in Bluetooth speaker and LED lights for al fresco entertaining

Specifications
Best for: Entertaining
Size: H270cm x Dia.270cm
Material: Metal
Weight: 5kg
Reasons to buy
+Classic design+Comes with built in Bluetooth speaker and LED lights
Reasons to avoid
-Some may not need additional features

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.

The best patio umbrella: TecTake Aluminium Garden Cantilever Parasol

4. TecTake Aluminium Garden Cantilever Parasol

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

Specifications
Best for: Adjustable
Size: H290 x Dia. 350cm
Material: Fabric, metal
Weight: 12.4kg
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. 

Shop more patio umbrellas available from Amazon

The best patio umbrella: Miadomodo Garden Umbrella

5. Miadomodo Garden Umbrella

Best patio umbrella 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
Weight: 5kg
Reasons to buy
+ Good choice of colours + Easy-to-use crank handle 

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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