A parasol is just the thing to help keep you cool and shaded in the garden this summer. The right garden parasol could help provide the finishing touch to your garden’s décor, or help you to better enjoy your garden with the people close to you. To help you choose the best parasol for your garden, we’ve compiled this list of garden parasols.
Whatever your style and practical needs, there’s a garden parasol to help you stay safe in the shade this summer. And, if you're kitting out a patio or deck, check our guides to the best garden furniture, best rattan furniture, best garden rugs and garden hammocks, deck chairs and hanging egg chairs, and our tests of the best solar lights. If you're entertaining, check out our tests of the best garden seating ideas. Finally, for those looking to make the most of sunny weather, consider our expert-tested reviews of the best gas barbecues and the best charcoal barbecues.
- Our selection of cantilever parasols
- Our selection of tilting parasols
- Our selection of upright parasols
- Our selection of sail parasols
- What are the types of parasols?
- What to consider when choosing a garden parasol?
- Which type of parasol should I get?
- What’s the best colour for a garden parasol?
The best parasols and bases for the garden
Outsunny 3m Cantilever Banana Hanging Parasol
A large parasol with solar-powered lights in its canopy to extend sunny days into bright nights. This parasol has a sturdy, metal frame, comes packaged with its own parasol base, and has a crank for easy opening and closing. This parasol also has ventilation in its canopy for hot days, meaning it’s a good choice for people looking for a sturdy, easy-to-use summer parasol with lights.
Buy the Outsunny 3m Cantilever Banana Hanging Parasol from Robert Dyas
Gully 3m Cantilever Parasol
Strong and sturdy, this cantilever parasol opens with a crank mechanism. The metal pole, stand and frame are rust-resistant, while the polyester canopy is water- and rust-resistant, too. Featuring vents to allow air flow, you’ll need to buy four weights to anchor the base into position. Available in five different colours: beige, green, black, blue & grey
Buy the Gully 3m Cantilever Parasol at Wayfair
Dunelm Teal 3m Cantilever Parasol
Great value, this cantilever parasol is made from polyester and metal, which means it’s durable and sturdy. The stand is included - although it needs slabs or weights to secure it in place, which you’ll have to buy separately. Available in teal, grey and cream, it comes with a one-year warranty.
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Buy the Dunelm Teal 3m Cantilever Parasol at Dunelm
Airwave 3m Banana Hanging Parasol with Solar LED spotlights
A powder-coated steel frame makes this a sturdy option, along with a water-resistant canopy for practicality. Solar-powered LED spotlights inside the canopy make this great for late-night parties, and it comes with a one-year warranty. However, the base is not included - you’ll have to buy that separately.
Buy the Airwave 3m Banana Hanging Parasol with Solar LED spotlights from Robert Dyas
GoodHome Mallorca 3.46m Kaki green Overhanging Parasol
This parasol features polyester fabric, a rust-resistant aluminum pole and opens with an ergonomic handle and crank system. Available in bedrock, black and linen colours.
Buy from GoodHome Mallorca 3.46m Kaki green Overhanging Parasol from B&Q
Suntime 2.7m Adjustable Parasol with Bluetooth Speaker and LED
A good option for gatherings and summer parties, this sizeable parasol has LED lights and Bluetooth speakers in its canopy. These speakers and lights are solar-powered and can be turned off with a switch in the umbrella, which is handy for conserving energy. This parasol is adjustable in height, can tilt and has a cranking mechanism, making it convenient and adjustable to keep your summer party in the shade.
Buy the Suntime 2.7m Adjustable Parasol from John Lewis
Ivory Cream Parasol, Base & Cover Set
A sturdy, steel-framed parasol with a base and cover included. This parasol’s canopy is a 600 denier polyester cover, which offers UV protection and resistance to rain and snow, making this a hardy parasol. This parasol has a crank for convenient opening, is easy to open and close, and its canvas can be removed and cleaned to keep it looking its best.
Buy the Ivory Cream Parasol, Base & Cover Set from Vonhaus
KETTLER 3.3m Freestanding Arm LED Light & Wireless Speaker Parasol
This luxury parasol has an impressive 3.3-metre diameter, meaning it can safely shelter an outdoor dining party. Despite its size, this parasol’s easy wind-out mechanism makes it easy to open and position, and its rust-proof frame gives it good outdoor durability. Additionally, this parasol’s UV-resistant and showerproof canopy is lined with LED lights and Bluetooth speakers, which makes it an excellent choice for garden parties.
Buy the KETTLER 3.3m Freestanding Arm LED Light & Wireless Speaker Parasol from John Lewis
Cyr 3m Square Traditional Parasol
Great value, this parasol has a solid wooden pole, and bamboo frame for the canopy. It’s manually operated and tilts at the push of a button. The canopy is rust-resistant and it comes with a six-month warranty.
Buy Cyr 3m Square Traditional Parasol from Wayfair
Outsunny Garden Parasol Outdoor Tilt Sun Umbrella with LED
This 2.75m parasol features a crank handle to make opening, closing and tilting a breeze. Sturdy and durable, it has a steel frame and polyester canopy. We also love the integral solar-powered LED lights so you can enjoy relaxing outside, even when the sun goes down. Available in red, white, brown and grey.
Buy Outsunny Garden Parasol Outdoor Tilt Sun Umbrella with LED from ManoMano
Crank & Tilt Parasol, 2.1m
Perfect for a patio, this parasol features a steel frame and a polyester canopy, which is available in dark grey, light grey and natural. A simple hand-crank handle opens and closes the parasol. To tilt, just press the button before cranking.
Buy the Crank & Tilt Parasol, 2.1m from Homebase
Angel Living Parasol, 2.7m
Light and easy to use, this parasol’s pole is made from aluminium and the canopy has UV-protection and is water-repellent. Open, close and tilt using a crank mechanism, this elegant design is available in red, blue or grey. The stand isn’t included.
Buy the Angel Living Parasol, 2.7m from Amazon
Costway Outdoor Parasol
We love this garden parasols for its clever inclusion of LED lights. Solar-powered, the lights soak up the suns rays through the day and then come on once light levels start to drop and the evenings set in, creating a twinkling ambiance that's perfect for socialising on summer nights.
Buy Costway Outdoor Parasol at Amazon
Christow Garden Parasol
If you have a smaller garden, this compact parasol could be a chic choice. Available in four muted tones and with a strong pole made of steel it has a simple handle to open and close the shade. This reasonably priced parasol doesn't include a base, so you would need to purchase it separately or add it to a weight you already have.
Buy Christow Parasol at Amazon
Outsunny 4.6m Double Canopy Parasol
For even more shade, try this double parasol. As 4.6m, this massive parasol is great for shading loving tables or even entire social spaces. It’s also available in seven other colours.
Buy the Outsunny 4.6m Double Canopy Parasol from Robert Dyas
Outsunny Balcony Half Parasol
Direct sunlight can be a problem in small gardens and balconies, but parasols are usually too big for these spaces. This is solved with this half parasol - half the size, and fits up against a wall, but providing crucial shade in small outdoor spaces.
Buy the Outsunny Balcony Half Parasol from Amazon
William Bamboo Parasol
This ornate garden umbrella is printed with a genuine William Morris design and mounted onto a hand-carved wooden pole with solid brass joins. An iconic addition to any garden, this hand-made parasol is a true show-stopper.
Buy William Bamboo Parasol at East London Parasol
Aztec Print 2x3m Shade Sail
This shade sail is waterproof, 30 SPF UV-protected, and sports a decorative print. Measuring 2 x 3 metres, it is sizeable enough to cover a table and those sitting around it, but is not so large as to cause difficulty when the wind picks up. For people looking for a medium-sized sail parasol with a pleasing pattern, this is a good choice.
Buy the Aztec Print 2x3m Shade Sail from Vonhaus
Haikus Waterproof Sun Shade Sail
This simple design comes in a range of sizes, and features high-density polyester that is water- and tear-resistant and, anti-mildew/mould. Stainless-steel D-rings and rope are provided to anchor the corners in place. Available in Dark grey, cream and sand.
Price: from £15.99
Buy the Haikus Waterproof Sun Shade Sail from Amazon
Elements Grey Sail Parasol
Strong and durable, this sail shade is made from polyester and metal, which can be wiped clean with a soft cloth. It comes with a one- year warranty.
Buy the Elements Grey Sail Parasol from Dunelm
Kookaburra 4mx3m Rectangle Ivory Party Sail Shade
Full disclosure: this isn’t a parasol, but a sail can be a great shade solution. Unlike a parasol, it won’t blow over in high wind, and it takes up far less space. This simple sail is available in six different colours, and from two to six metres.
Price: from £54.98
Buy the Kookaburra 4mx3m Rectangle Ivory Party Sail Shade from Amazon
- Upright - the standard parasol design, an umbrella standing straight up. This type of parasol tends to be the cheapest. However, it’s worth noting that their protection is limited to whenever the sun is directly overhead.
- Tilting - a parasol with a tilt in the neck, to be angled against the sun for extra shade. However, this means they tend to be more expensive than upright parasols, and they are more likely to be blown over in strong winds.
- Cantilever - a parasol where the pole stands off to one side, and the canopy is suspended from a long beam. This frees up floor space and keeps the parasol’s support pole out of the way, so people can talk without an obstructive pole between them. However, cantilever parasols are more susceptible to falling down in high winds.
- Sail - a simple way to create shade in the garden by hanging a fabric sail from walls, poles, fences and trees. Great for small plots, but can become troublesome if not fastened properly.
- Canopy: For the best protection against UV rays, consider a thick, high-density fabric. Acrylic tends to be used in the best-quality parasols as it is stain-resistant, water-repellent and mould-resistant, too. Polyester is the better option if budget is a consideration.
- Shape: Available in a variety of shapes, rectangular parasols are the best option if you’re looking to create the largest area of shade, while square parasols cover a larger area than an octagonal version of the same size.
- Ventilation: If possible, choose a canopy with ventilation so as to help air move around on hot days, and to allow air to flow freely when it’s windy.
- Pole material: There are a range of pole materials from which to choose, including FSC wood, which is eco-friendly but needs to be treated every year; durable and rust-free aluminium, and steel, which is often powder-coated for scratch resistance.
- Opening system: Opening and closing the canopy should be easy, as the parasol’s push-up or pulley mechanism should do the hard work for you. However, if the canopy is large or you have reduced mobility, consider a winch with a crank handle.
- Parasol base: There are several types of parasol bases, the most common of which is plastic. Plastic bases are hollow and designed to be filled with water and sand to anchor the parasol. Other parasol bases may be made of materials like cast iron, concrete, granite or resin. The weight and sturdiness of the base is an important consideration, especially if your parasol is being used somewhere windy. The most effective bases have feet in the shape of an ‘X’, like a café table. These are anchored by weights or paving slabs, and work particularly well with large, upright parasols and cantilever designs.
- Accessories: Depending on your intended use for a parasol, accessories such as solar-powered lights or Bluetooth speakers can be important. Lighting and sound systems installed in a parasol can free up space and help add atmosphere to social gatherings, not to mention lighting to evening parties.
To provide shade over a table, follow our guide to the best ratios: Choose a 2m-diameter parasol for a two-seater table; 2.3m for four-seater; 2.7-3m for a six-seater and 4m or larger for eight-seaters or more.
For small gardens, upright parasols are a good choice as they are compact and easily stored. Bigger gardens and social spaces will benefit from a cantilever parasol, as they tend to be larger, and the cantilever design moves the parasol pole to the side, so people can speak to each other from across the area it covers without a pole getting in the way. For any garden with long hours of sunlight - south-facing gardens, or gardens without a lot of trees or shrubs casting shade - try the extra shade afforded by a tilting parasol.
While your first thought might be to choose the colour of your parasol to complement other accessories in your garden, there are other practical and design-related considerations that might be helpful. For example, if you want to create a vibrant space, opt for warm shades of red, yellow and orange, whereas if a tranquil sanctuary is what you’re after, cool blues, from soft blue to smart navy, will help achieve this. As with clothing, black absorbs the sun’s rays more than lighter colours – as well as masking stains and marks – and has the potential to make it feel warmer under the canopy. Lighter tones, on the other hand, create a cooler environment as they reflect the heat away from you.
This product guide was last updated in May 2023. We apologise if anything has changed in price or availability.