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Garden Parasol Buyer’s Guide

LED parasol

July 9, 2019 by Chris Chapman

What to Look Out for When Buying a Parasol

Garden parasols make for a stylish addition to any garden. However, when you’re buying a parasol, there’s far more to consider than just the way it looks. How big is the umbrella? How heavy is it? Do you want a parasol that tilts? Is it easy to put up? Our buyer’s guide will answer all of these questions and more, so if you’re looking for your perfect parasol, just keep reading!

Parasol Size

Garden parasol in the sunThere are a few different measurements to think about when shopping for a parasol. The main one is the diameter of the umbrella. Size isn’t everything, as picking up an oversized parasol can just overwhelm your garden. If you only need to keep a small bistro table shaded, you don’t really need a giant parasol that dwarfs it. On the other hand, you do still want it to be large enough to cover the area you need! A good rule of thumb is to pick a parasol that extends over the edges of your table by around 2 feet.

You should also consider the diameter of the pole, especially if you want to fit your parasol into a base. If you’re fitting it through a hole in the centre of your bistro table, you’ll want it to sit comfortably in there without wobbling around too much. Usually, you’ll want your pole diameter to be either 30mm, 35mm, or 38mm, as these are the most common base sizes. However, many bases have an adjustable fitting, meaning they can handle any size pole.

Finally, you should look at the height of the parasol. This is fairly straightforward but bear in mind that the height should include the pole and the umbrella canopy itself.


There are two types of garden parasol; ones that simply stand up like a big umbrella, and ones that you can tilt. Tilting parasols are good if you know you’ll be sat in the garden all day long as the sun passes overhead, or if you want to adjust the position of your shade throughout the day. If you only have a small garden, you might not need a model that tilts.

Required Base Weight

large stable parasol stands with concrete base plates standing in a rowThe bigger the parasol, the heavier base you’ll need to weigh it down. Unfortunately, strong winds are fairly common in this country, so it’s easy for the breeze to pick up and carry your sunshade away! Below, we’ll show you how much base weight you’ll need for your parasol.

  • If the parasol diameter is 2m or less, use 9-10kg of base weight
  • If the parasol diameter is 2-2.3m, use 12-15kg of base weight
  • If the parasol diameter is 2.3-2.7m use 15-20 kg of base weight
  • If the parasol diameter is 2.7-3m or above, use 20-30kg of base weight

Canopy Material

garden parasolThe material of your canopy is very important. As they need to be held quite taut, poor quality canopies can be ripped very easily while you’re using or setting up your parasol. Also, they can fade and even disintegrate when exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods. You want your canopy to be made of a heavyweight material that can cope with the great outdoors.

You should also look for a parasol with a waterproof umbrella. While you should never leave a parasol out in the rain, you still want to be protected in case you’re ever caught off guard by a sudden rain shower. This will allow you to safely pack your parasol away without having to worry about it getting ruined by the rain.

LED Parasols

Your parasol doesn’t just have to be a sun umbrella – it can be a light source when the sun goes down, too! Most LED models use solar-powered lights, meaning you don’t have to worry about flat batteries or electric wires ruining the look of your garden. If you enjoy entertaining in the evening, an LED parasol is a must-buy.

Ease of Use

London garden in summer with patio, wooden garden furniture and a parasol or sun umbrellaWhen it comes to parasols, the simpler the better! You want it to be easy to put together, put up, and take down. Check how much assembly is required before you buy – it could save you a lot of work!

Glamhaus’ range of parasols is designed to be really easy to put up – you just slot the two pieces of the pole together and you’re good to go. This also means they’re really simple to take down, too – anyone who’s ever struggled to take their parasol apart after being caught in a sudden downpour will really appreciate this!


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