The best garden parasols for your summer set-up

Get the shade you need without compromising on style, with our selection of the best garden parasols available in the UK.

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by Angelica Daujotas |

With the idea of summer approaching, we want to help you find the best garden parasol for your outdoor space.

Nothing compares to a hot summer afternoon, spent in your garden under the warmth of the sun’s rays, enjoying a drink. Make the most out of the British summer by adding a stylish, yet practical parasol into your garden, to keep you protected even on the hottest of days.

The best garden parasols should offer you the highest UV protection and could be the perfect way to spruce up your outdoor lounging or dining area.

Perfect for al fresco dining, a garden table parasol will help to keep your summer drinks and snacks cool, while you enjoy the rays. If you’re looking for more coverage and garden furniture protection, then a cantilever garden parasol is a win-win.

The best garden parasols at a glance:

Keep reading for our full reviews.

What are the types of garden parasols?

When finding the perfect parasol for you and your home, you should consider the type of parasol you are after. Choosing the right type of parasol will be dependent on the size of your outdoor space, features, price and durability – here are a few of the most common types of garden parasols:

Freestanding parasols

Freestanding parasols are designed to be used in outdoor gardens. With detachable bases, they allow you to move the parasol around your outdoor space, to block the sun wherever it may be. Freestanding parasols are available in a multitude of sizes from 1.6 - 3m, so perfect for any outdoor space, no matter the size.

Cantilever parasols

Cantilever parasols benefit from having the pole stand at the side and not in the middle. This construction saves a lot of space, especially if you’re aiming to shade a larger area. They offer the most adjustable sun protection and stability for all weather conditions.

Garden table parasols

Just like the name suggests, garden table parasols are designed to fit perfectly with your outdoor dining set up. All parasol pole diameters vary between 30mm-48mm and will fit most outdoor tables.

How do I choose a garden parasol?

To pick the perfect parasol for your garden, here are a few tips we think you should consider:

Location

Deciding where you want your parasol to stand is the first and most important step. Freestanding or table supported are two parasols that require you to consider the location.

Purpose

Are you solely after sun protection or a cool place to relax and eat? Identify the purpose and this will help when deciding size, base and colour.

Size

Size is mostly dependent on the space you have outdoors. If you’re looking for something smaller for shade on your balcony, then something like the Argos Home 1.6m Garden Parasol is for you. If you have a large outdoor space then you would benefit from a larger garden parasol like the VOUNOT 3m Cantilever Garden Parasol.

Colours

Whether you want your garden parasol to stand out or blend in with the rest of your garden furniture, there is a colour or print out there for you. With brands like the East London Parasol Company, which delivers on show-stopping prints and vibrant colours, and Amazon for your classic beige or black, your colour options are definitely not limited.

The best garden parasols UK for summer 2022:

Just so you know, while we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this page, we never allow this to influence product selections.

With so many parasols to choose from, picking the right one for your outdoor space can be tricky. Whether you’re after a large garden parasol for your bigger outdoor space or something smaller for your balcony, we’ve considered it all when selecting the best garden parasols, available now.

The best freestanding parasols

Argos Home 2m Water Repellent Garden Parasol in Cream

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A water repellent garden parasol that has thousands of great reviews, as well as a 2m radius to protect you from the shade.

CHRISTOW Garden Parasol Umbrella 2.7m

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Amazon

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With different size options and colours to choose from, this freestanding parasol has a lever to tilt in the direction of the sun to shade you while you relax in the garden.

2.7m Traditional Parasol

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This parasol has beaded droplets that look so lovely as the sunlight glints on them. As well as this, it also has the ability to tilt to face towards the sun. Comes with a storage bag for easily storing away.

Green Striped Fringed Garden Parasol with Metal Parasol Base

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Classic striped print with cotton fringe trim to make your garden look like a sanctuary. This parasol comes with its' own metal base, making assembly that much easier.

Whitney Round Bamboo Parasol

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A beautiful parasol designed to add a touch of quirky sophistication to your garden. If you're looking for colourful and bohemian, this one is the one for you. For every sustainable bamboo parasol sold, a tree is planted to help the environment.

The best cantilever parasols

Argos Home 2.5m Overhanging Garden Parasol

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Providing a canopy of shade over wherever you decide to lounge in your garden, it can be placed and tilted over your garden table or sun lounger as you read the latest book on a summer's day.

3m Elements Teal Cantilever Parasol

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For a well-shaded area, this 3m tilting parasol by Dunelm in various colour options would be perfect over your patio table and chairs. This parasol comes with a base to make assembly that much easier.

VOUNOT 3m Cantilever Garden Parasol

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Amazon

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Similiarly, this garden parasol is best at shading larger areas. With different colours to choose from and thousands of positive reviews, it would be fantastic on your patio protecting you from the sun.

The best table parasols

ABCCANOPY 3M Table Parasol

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Amazon

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With a tilt mechanism to go with the direction of the sun, this table parasol fits right in your garden table. With different colours and sizes to choose from, you can co-ordinate with your garden and whatever fits best.

ABCCANOPY 2.3M Parasol with LED Lights

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Amazon

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Likewise, this parasol is extremely similar in design, however, comes with LED lights for those cosy summer evenings. Great for creating a relaxing atmosphere if you're planning on hosting a garden get together or barbecue.

2.7m Carousel Cream Crank Parasol

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Finally, this table parasol has beading for an added touch. To add some sophistication to your garden, this table parasol from Dunelm is a considered choice.

To help you make the right decision for your home, we’ve covered a few features you should look out for before making your purchase:

Base construction

Garden table parasols typically do not come with a base, this is because the hold of the table is usually enough. However, if you want your garden umbrella to stand the test of time, we recommend purchasing a parasol base for extra stability and weather resistance, especially for windy days.

Most freestanding parasols will come with a stand, but always make sure to check the product description, as all brands differ. The most common base for a freestanding umbrella is cross-shaped, while this offers some stability on a cantilever garden parasol with uneven weight distribution, this is not the best option.

The easiest solution to this is purchasing a fillable parasol base. These bases can be filled with either water or sand and will provide your cantilever garden parasol with the highest stability, for all weather conditions.

Parasol rotation and coverage

When purchasing a garden umbrella, you should look for ones that offer 360-degree rotation or coverage. Most brands will highlight the angles of rotation, but if they don’t, look specifically to see if the umbrella offers a tilt mechanism.

Tilt mechanisms are definitely something you should look out for, as they will offer you the best adjustability to the sun and the ultimate sun coverage.

Cantilever garden parasols offer the best rotation and coverage compared to other parasols. The crank handle mechanisms and tilt angles allow you to adjust and move your parasol according to the sun, no matter where it may be.

Materials

Water-repellent fabrics are a must – for a product that is designed to be kept outside through rain or shine, weather-resistant construction and fabrics are essential.

Be sure to check the canopy materials before buying, too; the material description should state the UV-protection the fabric offers. UV50+ protection is ideal for the best sun protection.

Will any garden parasol fit any base?

It's best to note that most garden parasols won't already come with a base, so investing in a parasol base is a must.

Most garden parasols will fit any parasol base, however, depending on the size of the parasol, the base will need to be large enough to keep the parasol secure.

The size of the base is dependent on the size and type of parasol, to ensure the correct weight is used for optimum stability.

So, while any base may fit, it cannot guarantee the most stable hold.

How heavy should a garden parasol base be?

The larger the parasol, the heavier the base must be. Freestanding parasols will also require a heavier base compared to garden table parasols.

Small garden table parasols (1.5-2m) can be held securely with a 15kg base, whereas larger parasols (2.5-3.5m) require a minimum of 30kg for a base, with the support of the table.

Larger freestanding parasols will require a minimum of 50-60kg for a secure hold, a general rule is that 10-20kg should be added on top of a table base weight, to a freestanding parasol.

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Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us