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A patio umbrella is an important addition to your backyard if you eat and lounge outside regularly.
Though it's tempting to buy one off looks alone, remember that "as a functional piece, the most important feature in a patio umbrella is the coverage," said Melissa Lee, the founder and creative director of design firm Bespoke Only.
"Think about the sun pattern in your yard," Kevin Lenhart, a landscape architect and design director for online landscape design service Yardzen, said. "Even if you have a large space, you might not need a huge umbrella if you're able to angle it to block the sun and shade the area you are enjoying."
In addition to umbrella canopy size, consider the fabric, which needs to stand up to rain, sun, and wind. Sunbrella, a durable performance fabric that's resistant to fading, stains, and mildew, is a favorite among landscape designers.
There are two main types of umbrellas: a traditional "market" umbrella, which is usually placed in the middle of a table, and a cantilever umbrella, which is freestanding and brings in the canopy from an angle. You can learn more about the pros and cons of each, as well as other things to keep in mind when shopping for a patio umbrella, here.
Currently, all of our picks are based on research and expert input. In the future, we plan to test these patio umbrellas and evaluate their ease of assembly, effectiveness, and durability.
Here are the best patio umbrellas in 2021
Best patio umbrellas overall: Bridgehampton, Tuuci
Best cantilever patio umbrellas: Hampton Bay, Crate & Barrel
Best patio umbrellas on a budget: Sunnyglade, Abba Patio, Bluu
Best patio umbrellas with lights: Blissun, Hampton Bay
Best patio umbrella stands: Abba Patio, Noble House, Shademobile