The first thing you should consider when purchasing a patio umbrella is if you have enough space where you want to use it for. The ideal size is one that is not too big nor small for the designated location. As a general rule of thumb, you should purchase an umbrella that is roughly five feet (1.52 m) bigger than the area you intend on keeping in the shade on those hot sunny days.
Finding the Right Style
Once you’ve determined the size you need, the next thing to consider is the color and overall style of the patio umbrella. Perhaps you are looking for something with a solid (single) color, in a bold or muted shade. Some patio umbrellas are more flamboyant, decorated with bright and colorful patterns, and this may be the style you’re comfortable with. You can have the best of both worlds, with one that is plain in design but sports a decorative fringe or border. You will also have to consider the paint job of the surrounding area to best complement the colors.
Consider the Fabric
Another important factor to consider is if the fabric of the patio umbrella is waterproof. It is quite cumbersome taking down the umbrella after every use just so it can avoid the rain, and that is why a waterproof fabric is the optimal choice. If you are still concerned with weather damaging your patio umbrella, then it would be wise to keep it stored in a shed or garage when not in use.
Though sunscreen can protect one’s skin from the sun’s UV rays, it’d be nice if your patio umbrella helped on this front too. When searching, ask a retailer if the umbrella you are considering purchasing offers UV protection. It would be wise to find out if the materials used will remain relatively cool under the scorching heat of the hottest summer days, since an umbrella that heats up isn’t very desirable.
The fabric used for a patio umbrella should be mold and mildew resistant, but it doesn’t hurt to ask about this as well. It would be a shame if, while in storage for the winter, it becomes damaged and you are treated to a nice moldy surprise once it’s summer again. Definitely inquire about any specific cleaning or storage instructions before you finalize the purchase.
Ease of Use
Lastly, ease of use is an important factor one should consider when buying a patio umbrella. It doesn’t matter how effective it is if it’s a pain to use and set up. Determine if you would prefer to use a crank to adjust the height, or if a push button style is preferable. Additionally, if having the ability to tilt the umbrella at different times of the day is an option you want, then search for this feature when browsing the available patio umbrellas on the market.