The best garden parasols to buy

01 April 2021

garden parasol

Create a shady-but-stylish spot for alfresco lounging and dining with our pick of the best garden parasols to buy this summer.

You can’t beat the feeling of the sun’s warmth on your skin. Especially when hanging out in the privacy of your own garden. But while it may boost moods and vitamin D levels, direct sunlight can be damaging so it’s worth investing in a quality garden parasol to create some protective shade for you and your family.

As well as providing respite from rays, garden parasols are also a great way to spruce up your backyard by adding some style and a splash of colour. We’ve trawled the Mumsnet forums for recommendations to put together a selection of the best garden parasols, from modern designs to traditional umbrellas including UV-protective options and budget buys.

British summers can be fleeting so the temptation to sit out in the sun all day can be hard to resist. Set yourself up for the season with our pick of the best garden umbrellas for your outdoor space.

Here are the best garden parasols to buy.

1. Best overall garden parasol: Christow Garden Parasol

1. Best overall garden parasol: Christow Garden Parasol

A quality steel garden parasol for under £60? You can’t go wrong with this budget buy and it’s available in four colours to suit your garden. It has a generous 2.4-metre-wide canopy with air vents at the top to reduce wind pressure building up and sending the parasol sailing across the lawn (or into next door’s garden!). The vents also help keep air circulating, so you don’t get too hot underneath. There’s no fiddly pulley system, just a handle to turn for lift and lowering. A 25kg base is recommended as an extra purchase.

Key specs

  • Size: 240 × 240cm
  • Weight: 4.6kg
  • Material: Thick polyester
  • UV protection: No
Buy now from Amazon

2. Best budget garden parasol: Sekey 1.6-metre Garden Parasol Umbrella

2. Best budget garden parasol: Sekey 1.6-metre Garden Parasol Umbrella

If you’re looking to pick up a bargain parasol for the summer months then this basic brolly is a solid buy. With a classic blue-and-white striped nautical design, you can instantly create a beach club vibe in your garden. Pop it straight into the grass for a spot of sunbathing or position it within a 25kg base if you’ll be using it at a table. It tilts for flexibility and offers SPF 20+ protection. You can also take it out and about with you for picnics in the park or to the beach using the handy bag included.

Key specs

  • Size: 160 × 195cm
  • Weight: 1.4kg
  • Material: Metal, polyester
  • UV protection: Yes
Buy now from Amazon

3. Best traditional garden parasol: Brackenstyle Wooden Garden Parasol

3. Best traditional garden parasol: Brackenstyle Wooden Garden Parasol

If you’re looking for a traditional design, this wooden parasol from Brackenstyle is a great buy. And it’s reassuring to know that the brand has provided garden parasols to the pub industry for over 20 years. The canopy is UV-resistant so it offers protection from the sun’s rays and won’t fade, and the pole is made from hardwood with stainless steel fittings. You have three settings so the parasol can be adjusted in height and tautness and the canopy is operated by a simple pulley system. It’s worth noting is that the cover is removable and is machine washable at 40 degrees. You’ll need to buy a standard base for the 3.8cm pole.

Key specs

  • Size: 240 × 250 × 3.8cm
  • Weight: 5.6kg
  • Material: Polyester and hardwood
  • UV protection: Yes
Buy now from Amazon

4. Best water-repellent garden parasol: Argos Home 2.7m Water Repellent Garden Parasol

4. Best water-repellent garden parasol: Argos Home 2.7m Water Repellent Garden Parasol

This is a stylish and reliable parasol for a bargain price. It covers a large area with its 2.7-metre-wide canopy and comes in three lovely colours: green, cream and blue. It’s water-repellent so it’s perfect for British summers if you’re leaving it out. Its sturdy pole is made from FSC eucalyptus and it has a rope pulley system that's fairly easy to use. You’ve also got a one-year guarantee thrown in.

Key specs

  • Size: 246 × 270cm
  • Weight: 7.5kg
  • Material: Water-repellent fabric
  • UV protection: No
Buy now from Argos

5. Best quality garden parasol: Von Haus Parasol Set

5. Best quality garden parasol: Von Haus Parasol Set

Looking for a one-stop shop for all your patio needs this summer? Then look no further than this three-piece set from Amazon. You get a quality cantilever ‘banana’ parasol with a crank mechanism and a large four-segment base, which can be filled with sand or water. It also comes with a waterproof cover to protect the parasol when the sun dips behind the clouds. A two-year manufacturer’s warranty is a bonus. Job done!

Key specs

  • Size: 295 × 295 × 237cm (parasol); 101 × 101 × 8cm (base)
  • Weight: Not stated
  • Material: Polyester and steel
  • UV protection: Yes
Buy now from Amazon

6. Best cantilever garden parasol: TecTake cantilever garden parasol

“We decided to invest in a decent cantilever one, which we can position to the side of the table and adjust. You need one that’s excellent quality and ok with wind”

6. Best cantilever garden parasol: TecTake cantilever garden parasol

If you like to hang out in your garden all day long, from alfresco breakfasts to kid’s tea parties to happy hours, then a cantilever style parasol is definitely worth thinking about. As the sun moves around your garden during the day, you can move the canopy to provide the shade where it’s needed. This particular model comes highly recommended by buyers and review sites. One thing worth mentioning is that it does need anchoring properly, so if you’re planning a patio makeover before summer hits, buy it now so you can get it fitted in properly. It’s a quality buy – but not as pricey as some on the market – so it works as a permanent fixture in your garden.

Key specs

  • Size: 290 × 350cm
  • Weight: 12.4kg
  • Material: Fabric, metal
  • UV protection: Yes
Buy now from Amazon

7. Best boho garden parasol: Garden Parasol with bead trim in Sea Green, by Ella James

7. Best boho garden parasol: Garden Parasol with bead trim in Sea Green, by Ella James

Can’t get away to an exotic location this summer? Then sit back with a glass of something cold under the shade of this gorgeous boho parasol and let the compliments roll in. With its dazzling heart-beaded trim, this garden parasol really adds a touch of glam to your garden. While it’s not the largest of canopies, it will add bags of style to your outdoor space. Pair with matching cushions and complementary throws to create a stylish sun trap.

Key specs

  • Size: 200cm x 180cm
  • Weight: Not stated
  • Material: Water repellent polyester
  • UV protection: Yes
Buy now from Notonthehighstreet

8. Best tilting garden parasol: John Lewis & Partners 2.2 Parasol

8. Best tilting garden parasol: John Lewis & Partners 2.2 Parasol

If you like to dine alfresco on sunny days, then you might want to consider a tilting garden parasol at your table so that you can control the level of shade as you eat. This John Lewis parasol is a quality buy with a decent size all-weather canopy that offers SPF 50+ protection and an easy-to-use crank handle with an adjustable tilt. Just to give you an idea, this size of canopy is ideal for a four-seater dining set. It also requires a 15kg base (bought separately).

Key specs

  • Size: 220 × 220cm
  • Weight: 2.8kg
  • Material: Metal and fabric
  • UV protection: Yes
Buy now from John Lewis & Partners

9. Prettiest garden parasol: M&S Shanghai Parasol

9. Prettiest garden parasol: M&S Shanghai Parasol

This pretty circular garden parasol is sure to add some class to your garden. Inspired by traditional Chinese parasols, it features multiple ribs and looks super stylish when in position as an umbrella and also when folded down. The raspberry hue will add a pop of colour to your patio and on a practical note, the canopy offers SPF 50+ protection.

Key specs

  • Size: 245 × 250 × 250cm
  • Weight: Not stated
  • Material: Powder coated steel and polyester
  • UV protection: Yes
Buy now from Marks & Spencer

How to choose the best garden parasol

When it comes to choosing the best garden parasol, the most important thing to consider is size — not just the parasol canopy but also the base. Of course you’re looking for some protective shade, but perhaps you also want it to fit in with the rest of your outdoor decor and garden colour scheme? You may want a tilting design to provide a bit more flexibility as the sun moves around the garden, or one that offers an adjustable height setting for when the sun goes down? Here are some pointers to think about before you buy:

  • How large is your garden?
  • How large is your table?
  • Do you want a tilt adjustment?
  • Are you buying a parasol to last or do you want a cheap quick fix for immediate shade?
  • Do you want to leave it outside beyond the summer months?

What is a cantilever garden parasol?

Cantilever garden parasols offer greater flexibility than traditional tilting parasols and can cover a large area to provide plenty of shade. Featuring an arm and a crank, you can stretch the umbrella away from its stand providing freedom to move around underneath and the mechanism allows you to control exact angles. If you do opt for a cantilever parasol, it’s worth spending a bit extra to get a quality version that can stand up to gusts of wind.

Do garden parasols provide UV protection?

Some garden parasol canopies are made from fabrics that reflect UV rays like UV resistant polyester and some materials can offer sun protection as well as reducing temperatures underneath. Aim for a fabric that offers protection of at least SPF 30. And don’t scrimp on wearing sun cream when under a parasol as the sun’s rays can still be damaging, especially to children with delicate skin.

How do you clean a garden parasol?

Some parasols have removable covers that are machine washable. Check the label carefully before chucking it in the drum! Others are wipe-clean only so use a clean, damp cloth to carefully rub over the fabric to remove dirt and dust.

What is the best garden parasol to buy?

We rate the TecTake Cantilever Garden Parasol from Amazon for its flexibility and sturdiness but the more traditional Christow Garden Parasol is a great overall option and is half the price.

How we chose our recommendations

Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation from a real parent, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which garden parasols discerning Mumsnet users had bought for their gardens. We compiled a list of garden parasols they recommended for being durable and offering value for money.

We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which garden parasols had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites and print media, and what customer reviews said about them.

Having collated all that information, we picked the best garden parasols we thought would make the best buys.

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