The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Large Patio Umbrella

The Ultimate Guide to Buying a Large Patio Umbrella

Jul 07, 2022Mike Whittenberger

Picking the perfect matching umbrella for outdoor furniture is essential to completing the look of your patio, poolside, or deck. There are various sizes, colors, shapes, and lift types to consider when choosing, and it all comes down to what suits your needs and personal taste best. A large patio umbrella can benefit your outdoor living space, particularly if you know exactly what to look for during the buying process.

Every luxurious backyard needs a glamorous yet functional umbrella to block the sun's harsh rays. More so, the right piece can make quite the statement, elevating the vibe of your furniture arrangement. Regardless of the occasion, whether it be to shade your dining space or stay out of the sun when in your favorite lounge chairs, Teak + Table has various versatile, durable, and stunning options.

Keep reading to learn more about what to look for in a large patio umbrella, the benefits of different umbrella materials, and more.

The Different Kinds of Umbrellas

As you get further into your search regarding an umbrella for outdoor furniture, you'll likely notice that not all are created equal. There are so many options out there that it may seem overwhelming. Knowing which is suitable for your space can be challenging, but we're here to break it down for you. There are three key things to keep in mind when shopping around.

1) Umbrella Size

The first important thing to note when choosing an umbrella for outdoor furniture is the proper sizing. It can help to measure your space before you begin browsing to narrow down your options. Take into account the total area you want to protect from the sun, the size of the furniture it will cover, and the noted size of an umbrella's base.

The placement of your new umbrella will guide your sizing as well. If you put it in the center of your deck, for example, you'll have more room to work with than if you prefer to have it in the corner. If you're looking for an umbrella to complete an outdoor dining set, knowing the size of your table and the depth of your chairs is key to ensuring that the piece will provide the shade you need.

Umbrella sizing notes the entire span the canopy will occupy when fully open, from end to end. If you're choosing a round umbrella, it will be the total diameter. Rectangular or square options will note the length by width.

Large patio umbrellas are ideal for spaces requiring total sun coverage. If you frequently host daytime gatherings on your deck, this may be a good option, especially if you don't want to go through the hassle of professionally installing an entire awning attached to your home. Smaller sizes are great for poolside lounging when you want a chair or two to remain shady throughout the day.

At Teak + Table, we have outdoor umbrellas available in a range of sizes. From 8.5-foot circular umbrellas to 11-foot square options and several sizes in-between, you're sure to find one that fits your space.

2) Umbrella Color

Your new umbrella should reflect the style of your outdoor furniture and home. Gone are the days of limited color options. Now, you can choose from color palettes to match any existing decor. You can choose from solid colors, such as bright white or gray, or go for something bolder, such as stripes or colored paneling.

A large patio umbrella can perfectly match the shade of your existing outdoor furniture, or you can pick a contrasting hue to create a grand statement. Neutral colors, such as navy, beige, black, or ecru, are always an excellent option as they can easily adapt should you change the rest of your furniture in the future.

3) Umbrella Lift Style

The ease of opening and closing your large patio umbrella is another important element to consider. There are various types of umbrella lifts that each function slightly differently. This is largely a matter of personal preference, so choose the lift type that feels most comfortable to you.

The most common umbrella lifts are push lifts, pulley lifts, and cantilevers. A push lift umbrella opens manually as you push the canopy into an open position and secure it upright with a pin. A pulley lift umbrella employs an arm crank or a pull string that lifts the canopy for you, again securing it upright with a pin.

Cantilever umbrellas are among the most unique types of umbrella lifts. Instead of the classic center pole, these umbrellas have a base that's off to the side, and a projected arm suspends the canopy in the air from above. These typically function by turning a component on the side support beam until the umbrella is fully open.

The Benefits of Different Umbrella Materials

Selecting a large patio umbrella can be challenging, as it's often a significant investment in your outdoor space. For this reason, you want to make sure that you choose a piece that will stand up to wear and tear, inclement weather, and more. Discount retailers may offer astonishingly low pricing, but pay close attention to the construction material before making a purchase.

Aluminum Umbrellas

Finding an umbrella with aluminum construction is a positive sign that the item you're choosing is both sturdy and high-quality. Aluminum poles tend to be heavier than less expensive counterparts like cheap wood, ensuring that the umbrella will withstand wind and rain. Additionally, aluminum tends to be a more flexible material, which provides it with more "give" in bad weather, making it less likely to break.

Though heavier than low-quality wood, aluminum is lighter than steel. This can pose a significant advantage if you know you'll want to move the item throughout the season or put it away for storage once the sunny days end. Powder-coated aluminum, as we use at Teak + Table, is also rust-resistant, so your large patio umbrella will look fantastic year after year.

Bamboo Umbrellas

Bamboo is an exceptionally high-quality wood that provides both a natural and nautical look without being susceptible to weather damage. For this reason, it may be a little pricier than the wood models you'll find at big box stores, but it's well worth the investment.

Many artisans claim that bamboo is nearly as strong as steel as a high-tensile wood. They're unbelievably sturdy yet look exquisite and upscale. Like aluminum, a bamboo frame remains flexible, so it can easily withstand wind and rain.

Sunbrella Umbrella Canopies

The fabric that comprises your new umbrella for outdoor furniture matters, too. Some manufacturers may use a basic canvas fabric without additional weather treatments or features. This can leave your umbrella wet and soggy and may not offer the complete sun protection you're looking for.

Instead, Sunbrella umbrellas feature superior performance, and you'll find them at Teak + Table. Sunbrella is a unique type of fabric. The fibers contain UV-stabilized pigments, which provide extra SPF protection from the sun. Sunbrella is a 100% solution-dyed acrylic material, making it resistant to fading or sun bleaching.

Choosing a Sunbrella umbrella is the best way to ensure that the canopy will maintain its vibrant appearance over the years while providing the protection you need.

How to Pick the Right Umbrella for Your Backyard

Now that you know about the various types of umbrella lifts, pole construction, and canopy materials, it's time to pick the right umbrella for your backyard. With your measurements in hand, begin looking for pieces in the size and shape you want.

Round, circular umbrellas match virtually every furniture landscape, while rectangle and square umbrellas match best with furniture that features sleek, straight lines. If you're going for a more classic look, choose an umbrella with an octagon shape and beachy blue and white stripes. Or, keep it minimalistic and sleek with a cool stone gray square umbrella to match your modern furniture.

Consider how often and where in your space you'll be using the umbrella to decide which type of lift system you prefer. A cantilever umbrella is an excellent option if you're looking to maintain an open and airy space, as there is no center pole and base to account for or workaround.

The Importance of Durability

Lastly, the most critical thing to consider when choosing a large patio umbrella is the durability it has to offer. That's why we recommend aluminum and bamboo poles, as well as Sunbrella umbrellas built to withstand the elements. Sunbrella fabric has tightly-woven fibers that are more resistant to rips and tears, which is often a chief complaint from customers who have previously purchased lower-quality materials.

Having a heavy, sturdy base is also essential. There's nothing worse than watching your new patio umbrella blow away in a storm or tip over on you as you're basking in the sun. At Teak + Table, you'll find models that feature 155 lb. direct-mount bases to provide you with the ultimate peace of mind.

Shop Teak + Table Today

When searching for a new umbrella for outdoor furniture, Teak + Table has all of the options and styles you're looking for. We're a direct-to-consumer, family-owned business that's been operating since 2016. A five-year warranty backs each item against manufacturer and structural defects.

Shop today to find the latest and most innovative styles of large patio umbrellas.

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