Choosing the Right Outdoor Umbrella Size
A must-have part of your outdoor decor, patio umbrellas are beautiful, practical accents. They provide shade from the sun, shelter from summertime drizzles, and a pop of personality. Choosing an umbrella is more than colorful fabrics and styles. You have to choose the correct size, shape and type of umbrella to fit your furniture. Bases and stands are important to consider as well.
Patio Umbrella Sizes
Outdoor umbrellas vary in size and shape. Whether you want an extra-large umbrella for your patio seating arrangement or a small, personal umbrella for reading out by the pool, selecting a canopy with the right size and scale to fit your furniture and provide plenty of shade is important. Ensure you and your guests can keep cool while enjoying the lovely weather with this patio umbrella size guide.
Patio Umbrella Size Chart
For optimal shade that encompasses an entire dining set, your umbrella should extend beyond the table by 1.5′ to 2′ on each side. However, some types of standalone umbrellas allow more leeway in terms of size. The patio umbrella size chart below can help you determine the best patio table umbrella size for your outdoor space:
Freestanding models, like cantilever umbrellas, range between 9′ and 11′ in diameter. Since they are adjustable, you can move them around your patio without relying on a table for support. An umbrella that stands on its own provides 95 square feet of shade, perfect for outdoor living spaces and conversation sets.
How To Measure a Patio Umbrella by Shape
When figuring out how to measure a patio umbrella by size, it’s important also to note the shape of the canopy. Each umbrella shape measures differently. Take into consideration the length and width of your table to maximize the circumference of shade as well.
Measuring a Patio Umbrella Canopy
Whether it’s hovering above your outdoor dining table set or positioned between a couple of chaise lounges by the pool, your patio table umbrella needs to have the right shape, width and length to provide sun protection where you want to use it. To measure the three types of umbrella canopies, use the following guidelines:
- Square: Square patio umbrellas come in a variety of sizes. Each has four sides with equal width and length. To find the right size, measure along the edge of one panel.
- Rectangle: For patio umbrellas with rectangular canopies, measure the longest edge that runs parallel to your dining table. The shortest edge is the width and should be the same width as your table.
- Octagon: The octagon is a traditional shape for outdoor canopies. Measure this type of patio umbrella diagonally along the length of the ribs, going through the center, to find the diameter.
Types of Patio Umbrellas and How to Choose One
Shopping for patio furniture that works for your space is easier than you think. Looking for patio umbrella ideas and feeling unsure about how to select the right one? Along with getting the correct size, knowing how to choose the right type of patio umbrella for your space is also important. Three types of umbrellas that work well on all patios include:
- Cantilever Umbrellas: Also known as offset umbrellas, cantilever models pair well with outdoor living sets like sofas and sectionals. The base sits underneath the furniture for a clean look. Consider choosing a canopy in the same hue as the cushions on your outdoor seating.
- Tilting Umbrellas: The tilt function on a patio umbrella lets you choose where you want shade so that you can stay outside all day long. Plus, if you have a loft on the sunny side of your building, tilting patio umbrellas for your small balcony are ideal.
- Table Umbrellas: From bistro sets to 9-piece dining sets for family dinners, patio table umbrellas are a classic choice. To pick the perfect table umbrella, take accurate measurements and look for canopies that coordinate well with the color or pattern on your seat cushions.
- Outdoor Canopies and Tents: If you host a lot of barbecues and celebrations, an outdoor canopy is great for bigger gatherings, as these freestanding shades come with four poles and ties with ground spikes to help stabilize the structure in the wind. Worried about the canopy coordinating with your current layout? Tents come in many colors and styles to suit your decor.
Outdoor Umbrella Accessories: How to Choose a Base and Stand
Stands and bases add to the stability of umbrellas. A large outdoor umbrella with the wrong size stand or base can easily topple over. To get the right patio umbrella stand, you’ll need to consider the canopy’s size and shape, the base’s weight and height and the diameter of the pole. Fortunately, the base and pole usually come with your purchase.
Weights for Umbrella Bases
Without a heavy enough base, your umbrella could fall over easily, fly away and possibly become damaged. How many pounds an umbrella base needs to be depends on the size of your umbrella. To get the right weight, you might fill the base with sand, water or a combination of both. Weight recommendations according to size are:
- 20 – 30 lb. Base: Ideal for the smallest patio umbrellas typically around 6′ to 6.5′.
- 40 lb. Base: Use for freestanding umbrellas up to 4.5′ or table umbrellas at 7.5′.
- 50 lb. Base: This is a good weight for 7.5′ freestanding umbrellas and table umbrellas as large as 9′.
- 70 lb. Base: Freestanding umbrellas that are 11′ require a base weighing 70 lbs. or more.
Pole Height and Diameter for Umbrellas
The patio umbrella pole diameter and height are important considerations for stability on windy days. They can also allow guests to walk on your deck with less fear of running into your canopy. The width of the pole should fit snug in the hole of your tabletop and the base below. For freestanding models, the pole only needs to fit inside the patio umbrella stand.
The pole should also be a comfortable height to leave clearance for every person seated. A pole that is 7′ tall leaves enough headroom for most people to stand and sit comfortably. Some types of patio umbrellas, like cantilever and tilting models, make it easy to adjust the height and position of your canopy, too.