Remember the first time you enjoyed your pool? Maybe you had friends over, swam with your kids, or just floated around solo.
It probably seemed like a dream come true in a lot of ways.
But as time goes on, you realize those outdoor activities could be a little better with some helpful accessories. One of those accessories is a pool umbrella.
Pool umbrellas are made to be used around the water, giving you much-needed shade and shelter from UV rays in between your time in the pool. They’re also a great way to add some colorful decor to your backyard patio.
Choosing one of these fabulous products comes with a few more decisions than you probably ever realized.
They come in a variety of different styles, sizes, colors, and materials, and picking one that’s right for you might take more than a few minutes.
But as always, we did the research for you. After all, we pool owners gotta stick together!
So, before you go any further, check out this detailed guide on what to look for and how to decide.
The 10 Best Pool Umbrellas
#1. Sunnyglade 9-foot Outdoor Umbrella
The Sunnyglade outdoor umbrella is 9 feet in diameter. This makes it large enough to shade a round table up to 54 inches and the chairs around it.
The product is made from 100% water-resistant polyester and comes in 5 different colors. It’s also easy to clean and fade-resistant.
It’s equipped with a crank to open it up and a button for tilting so you can get the angle just right against the sun.
These umbrellas do have single wind vents for stability. In other words, it gives the air a little escape so that a big gust doesn’t take off with it.
Keep in mind that you will have to buy the base separately. You can get those directly from Sunnyglade or another manufacturer as long as they’re compatible.
#2. Best Choice Products 10-foot Solar Powered Umbrella
- 24 SOLAR-POWERED LIGHTS: Use it day or night, with 24 built-in solar powered LED lights that can run for 6-7 hours
This Best Choice Products umbrella gets a nod from us for its cool solar-powered lights. There are 24 of them built into the underside that will run for around 7 hours after fully charged by the sun.
Aside from its festive flair, this umbrella is also extremely practical and durable. Its fabric is highly durable, UV-resistant, and fade-resistant.
To operate it, you can use the easy crank handle that smoothly opens and closes it, and the button that tilts it wherever you want it.
This product comes in 12 rich colors to complement any outdoor decor. Like most umbrellas, the base is sold separately.
#3. ABCCANOPY 9-foot Umbrella with Push Button Tilt
- ★ Convenient crank opens/closes system and handy push button tilt, keep the sun at the back in the daytime.
The ABCCANOPY umbrella is made entirely of a waterproof and color-fast polyester that is super durable and UV-resistant.
You can get this umbrella in your choice of 10 different colors. What we like about these is that they have a selection of neutral or muted colors you can’t always find.
Don’t get me wrong...the bright colors are really cool too. But this makes them a little more versatile when it comes to coordinating furniture (if you care about that sort of thing).
Like most of the others, this one comes with a crank open/close system and a push button tilt. It also does not come with a base.
#4. Sunnyglade 7.5-foot Six-Ribbed Umbrella
- CLASSIC TYPE & HIGH QUALITY- 7.5 feet diameter patio straight umbrella for extra strength, featuring heavy-duty fabric is especially designed to keep you cool and comfortable, apply to the yard, beach, square and other places .7.5 Ft. diameter shades your area with 3-4 chairs and table, Ideal for both residential and commercial locations.
There are a few factors that go into choosing the size of your outdoor umbrella. But if you prefer one a little smaller, this 7.5-footer could be all you need.
7.5 feet will still shade your table and 3-4 chairs. In fact, it’s still a pretty good size. It’s just a tad less cumbersome.
Like the others we’ve listed, this one is operated with a crank that opens and closes it and a button that tilts it. This gives you the perfect angle to block out the sun.
It comes in 7 colors, either solid or striped. You can find one to match almost any decor.
Sunnyglade makes all their umbrellas with 100% polyester. It’s light-filtering, durable, easy to clean, and fade-resistant.
#5. ABCCANOPY 32-LED Solar-Powered Umbrella
- ★ Use day or night,with solar powered lights, no electricity or power cord needed, with 32 LED lights last for 9-12 hours. ON and OFF switch for solar lights with solar panel on top powered by the rechargeable battery
Here’s another umbrella with built-in solar-powered lights. These lights line the ribs underneath the fabric for a fun party atmosphere without a lot of work.
Use this on your patio, pool-side, garden, beach, or RV area for UV protection, cool shade, and fun lights any time of day. And store it easily by detaching its pole and crank.
These umbrellas are made of very high-quality fabric that resists UV-rays, water, and fading so that it lasts for years to come.
#6. ABCCANOPY 7.5-foot Six-Ribbed Umbrella
- ★ Convenient crank opens/closes system and handy push button tilt, keep the sun at the back in the daytime.
This umbrella is made basically the same as the other ones from ABCCANOPY. But this one has a little different look.
Instead of the straight-edged design of most, it has flaps all around that hang over the edge, giving it a little more movement and texture.
This comes in 13 different colors and is made from durable water- and UV-resistant polyester. The stand is sold separately.
#7. MEWAY 10-foot Cantilever Umbrella
- 【 SIZE and USE 】This 10 ft cantilever offset hanging patio umbrella provides more sun protection for your outdoor settings, keep you cool and more comfortable, a best choice for your garden, yard, pool, deck, background beach, balcony, restaurant, and any other outdoor area.
This extra large 10-foot umbrella by MEWAY is perfect for large spaces and big tables. But what makes it unique is how it hangs.
Instead of standing straight over a pole, this umbrella is offset, hanging more like a birdcage on a hook. This makes it great for tables that don’t have the hole in the middle for an umbrella, or where you just prefer the pole out of the way and off to the side.
It does have a crank system for opening and closing and it also comes with its own heavy-duty steel base. This keeps the large umbrella from tipping over in the wind.
#8. Best Choice Products 10-foot Steel Umbrella
- HIGH-QUALITY FRAME: Solid 6-rib steel frame to support the umbrella's large, 10-foot canopy; PLEASE NOTE: Base not included
The Best Choice Products 10-foot steel umbrella is made with a solid steel frame to support the large canopy.
It’s made with a highly durable 180G polyester that resists UV rays and fading and is easy to clean. The canopy has a small vent at the top to create a cooler breeze and keep the wind from whipping it around in a gust.
This one comes in 9 vibrant colors to match any decor. And it’s completely adjustable with a crank and tilt system.
#9. Blissun 9-foot Patio Umbrella
- 9 feet diameter shades your 42" to 54" round, square or rectangle table with 4-6 chairs, ideal for both residential and commercial locations.
The 9-foot Blissun umbrella is one of the most attractive of the lot. It comes in 9 different colors in a variety of solids and patterns. Most of the colors are very cool pastels.
It stands a little over 8 feet tall with its powder-coated aluminum pole and is vented at the top for air flow and stability.
Just like most other outdoor umbrellas, this one is controlled with a crank and button system for maximum adjustment abilities.
- The canopy size of this patio umbrella is 10' X 10' , unique double-top canopy design for commercial and residential use
Most 10-foot umbrellas are a challenge to keep standing when gusts of wind come along. This one was designed with that problem in mind.
It’s uniquely shaped into a square design. And the vented top gives it stability and ventilation.
The umbrella is completely adjustable with a crank system that’s just a little different than all the others in that it has a handle design.
The base is not included, but you will want to make sure you get a very heavy one for maximum stability.
Benefits of Pool Umbrellas
You might be wondering why you would even need a pool umbrella. After all, you’re probably overloaded with accessories for the backyard. But this one actually has a lot of benefits you might have never considered.
To protect your skin
Sunlight is important for our health. It helps your body produce vitamin D, which is essential for bone health and other things.
But too much exposure to direct UV rays can be extremely harmful and even deadly.
Sunburns are especially dangerous because it means the UV rays are penetrating the outer layers of the skin and going right into the deeper layers. This damages skin cells, causing premature aging and skin cancer in many cases.
Experts recommend protecting your skin as much as possible by using resources such as sunblock and shading yourself from these harmful rays as much as possible.
To stay cool
Staying cool in the harsh rays of summer can be a challenge. Taking a dip in the pool helps, but what if you want to lounge outside the water?
Pool umbrellas provide a cooling shade and a gentle cross breeze that can help cool you off in any weather. This is not only more comfortable, but it can also help you avoid heat exhaustion or sunstroke.
To give you privacy
You might not think of an umbrella as a tool for privacy. But when you think of nosey neighbors peering into your yard or over your fence, you might have a different perspective.
Most umbrellas can be tilted and positioned however you want them so you can give yourself an added element of privacy. After all, if you like to hang out in the buff in your own backyard, why should anyone get to judge?
To protect your furniture
A pool umbrella used over patio furniture can provide you with a little extra protection from the elements. It will keep off snow, rain, and harsh UV rays that can wear down fabric.
Umbrellas tend to cost a little less than patio furniture, so let them take the hit and prolong the life of your investment.
Types of Umbrellas
Believe it or not, there are actually several types of umbrellas to choose from. And which you choose will depend entirely upon personal preference and your available space.
These are probably the most common types of pool umbrellas. They’re inexpensive, easy to use, and often fit right in with any patio furniture you can buy.
These are the ones that go directly in a hole cut in the middle of a table. It usually comes with its own base and gives enough shaded coverage for the table and its chairs.
Solar umbrellas have LED lights underneath the canopy that are powered by solar energy. They come in many different sizes and styles.
These types of umbrellas resemble sails in that they are triangular and flowy. Instead of having ribs for stability, the corners are tied to trees, rooftops, or other structures to completely cover your patio area.
You might see tiki umbrellas more on the beach than in backyards. They’re made out of a grass-like material that gives you the feel of the islands.
Offset umbrellas (or Cantilever umbrellas) hang off to the side of the pole rather than standing straight above it. It’s ideal for large spaces or areas where you prefer more movement under the shade.
4 Considerations When Buying a Pool Umbrella
Where will you be using your umbrella?
The first consideration is where you’ll be using your pool umbrella. Will it be used just for your patio table, the beach, or a large backyard space?
These questions make a difference in what you choose, mainly because of size and portability issues. Some umbrellas are light enough to take with you and stick in the sand, while others need to be secured with a large base.
They can also make a difference in the style of umbrella you choose. If you just wish to cover a small table and chair, a table umbrella will do the trick. But if you want to cover an entire patio, you might need to consider sail or offset umbrellas.
What is the weather like in your area?
Some areas are much windier than others and that can tear up a large umbrella within a season. If you happen to live in a place like this, you might need a smaller umbrella. Also, make sure it is vented at the top to allow the air to pass through.
How well do you want it to match your decor?
Some people prefer a bright umbrella that contrasts with their outdoor cushions and upholstery. Others want it all to match.
Either way, you may have to shop around to find a color and pattern that gives you the look you’re going for.
How long do you want it to last?
This might seem like a dumb quesion. I mean, you want it to last as long as possible, right?
But some people prefer a much cheaper umbrella, even if they’ll have to replace it every couple of years. This could be because they change their outdoor decor often or simply because they’re on a tight budget.
The key to finding an umbrella that lasts is to pay attention to the fabric. Most are made out of heavy-duty polyester. And this is a great material that stands up to the elements.
However, if you want to spend a little more money and get a superior product, you can go with acrylic like Sunbrella uses. This company is considered the top in its field.
Or you can go with something like polyethylene or olefin. These materials are usually specific to certain manufacturers and will cost you a little more money.
What Sizes Are Available?
There are actually quite a few sizes available in outdoor umbrellas. And what you choose will depend a lot on the amount of area you want shaded.
Getting an umbrella that’s too small won’t give you enough shade. But if it’s too large, it can be cumbersome for your area.
This chart from Decor Interiors will give you an idea of what you need:
Must-Have Pool Umbrella Accessories
Most umbrellas don’t come with their own bases, so you have to buy one separately. The one you choose will depend on the size of the umbrella.
For small table umbrellas, you don’t need one with a lot of weight since the table also stabilizes it. But for large free-standing models, you’ll need something heavier.
The DC America 18-inch Cast Stone Base is an example of a base that will work well with most sizes of umbrellas. It’s 22 lbs and can hold a 1 or 1 ½ inch pole.
For larger umbrellas, such as 10-footers, you might need something larger and heavier, especially if you live in a windy area. For example, take a look at this Abba Patio 53 lb steel base with wheels and adjusting knobs.
These trays are especially handy if you plan on taking your umbrella to the beach or other public area. They’ll give you extra space to hold your drinks or keys without having to drop them in the sand.
There are a few different brands and types, but this one from Sundale fits the bill.
If you don’t want the table, umbrella hooks are another option. Some people even prefer both.
This attachment fits right on the pole and is surrounded by four hooks you can hang your bags, towels, or cover-ups on.
Best Pool Umbrella FAQs
Which color umbrella is best?
In terms of appearance, color is, of course, a personal preference. However, when it comes to sun-shielding benefits, it’s a different story altogether.
Scientifically speaking, most experts say that black is the best color for umbrellas because it is thought to absorb most of the radiation. But some argue that silvery colors will reflect that radiation, making it even more effective.
What is the best sun umbrella?
It’s hard to choose just one because everyone has different needs and preferences in their sun umbrella. So, considering this, the best umbrella is the one you will use.
In other words the best umbrella is the one that provides enough shade, fits in its area without being cumbersome, and is sturdy enough to last.
That being said, our favorite is probably #7 on our list, the MEWAY Cantilever 10 ft umbrella. It’s super sturdy, oversized, and hangs offset so it’s out of the way.
How heavy should a base be for a 9 foot umbrella?
This is a great question because if your base isn’t heavy enough, your umbrella can easily topple over or get dragged around by heavy wind.
For a 9 ft umbrella that is also supported by a patio table, a 40 lb base should be heavy enough. But for a free-standing umbrella of the same size, you’ll need a base that weighs at least 90 lbs.
How do I wash my pool umbrella?
Most pool umbrellas are made with treated material that’s pretty easy to clean. They can usually just be hosed off in an open area.
But if it does happen to get soiled from dirt, trees, or birds, you can use a soft-bristled brush and a water/detergent mixture to scrub them off. Simply add a quarter cup or so of laundry detergent to a gallon of water and get to scrubbing.
Make sure you rinse it off well with a water hose so there’s no residue left on the fabric.
How should I store my umbrella?
If you want your umbrella to last a while, it’s important to store it correctly.
First make sure it’s clean if you’re putting it away for the season. See the FAQ above for tips.
Once it’s completely dry, remove it from the pole and fold it carefully, laying each panel over the next to keep from wrinkling the fabric.
Finally, hang your umbrella or lay it on a shelf. You can get covers for better preservation, but as long as it’s in a clean, dry place, it should be fine until you’re ready to take it out.
Who knew there could be so much that went into choosing the right pool umbrella?
Buying pool accessories can get overwhelming because there are SO many choices. But don’t let that stop you.
The main things to remember are to shop for quality products, read online reviews, and pay attention to the materials they use. And, of course, refer back to our list for guidance.
We promise to do our best not to steer you wrong!