Sun umbrella ideas: 6 stylish parasols to keep you cool in the summer sunshine
A sun umbrella is a summertime garden essential - take a look at the best ones available on the market right now!
There’s nothing better than relaxing in the garden on a warm summer's day, but even in the temperamental British sunshine, it’s important to make sure you protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays.
While many of us will have spent the last few months getting our outdoor spaces summer-ready with new garden furniture, outdoor accessories or even garden bars, if you want to be able to take summer in your stride, it’s vital that you create some all-important areas of shade.
In the warmer months, a stylish sun umbrella is a lifesaver. Not only are they significantly cheaper than building a pergola, but they’ll provide you with shelter from damaging UV rays during the heat of the day - as well as keeping you protected against any surprise summer showers that the British weather brings.
With so many options on the market, it can be difficult to know which one is right for your home, so to make things easier, we’ve pulled together a list of the best parasols available to buy right now. From cool, contemporary cantilever models to simple wooden patio shades, keep reading to discover our pick of the best stylish sun umbrellas, perfect for sprucing up your garden…
Stylish sun umbrella ideas
VonHaus Garden and Patio Sun Umbrella
Why we love it: Manchester brand VonHaus has always been known for its affordable yet high quality homeware ranges, so we were super excited when we spotted the brand’s sun umbrella collection on Amazon. Their crank and tilt parasol is one of our favourite models so far – it’s made from a rust resistant powder coated steel, and has a handy, easy-to-use tilt mechanism which allows you to adjust the canopy whenever you need more shade.
We really love the fact that this sun umbrella has an added sun protection factor of UV30+, but our favourite feature has to be the fact that it’s supplied in two parts – this means that it’s super easy to store away in the winter months. Our favourite shade is the classic cream, but it’s also available in light grey or vibrant orange. Whichever colour you pick, this sun umbrella is guaranteed to be a fantastic addition to a garden or patio.
Royalcraft Freestanding Square Parasol & Base
Why we love it: This John Lewis sun umbrella is certainly on the expensive side, but if you’re looking to purchase a parasol that’ll stand the test of time, this one has so many fantastic features.
Made by West Midlands brand Royalcraft, this square sun umbrella is made with an aluminium pole that’s not only durable, but also incredibly lightweight and rust-proof. The parasol canopy itself spans 3 metres, is shower-proof, and also offers UV50+ sun protection. The base of the sun umbrella is weighted, meaning that it’s robust and sturdy, but the parasol shade is totally height adjustable, so you’ve got a bit of flexibility in terms of where the shade in going.
We love the fact that this model comes in a sleek, charcoal grey shade, as it’ll remain timeless over the years as trends change. Overall, we think it’s a great investment piece.
Outsunny Double-Sided Sun Umbrella
Why we love it: If, for you, the summer months are all about spending time with friends and family out in the garden, you’ll love this double sided sun umbrella from outdoor furniture brand, Outsunny. Featuring an impressive, double sided canopy that spans a huge 4.6m, this parasol is the perfect option if you have a big household, or if you tend to entertain lots of people for garden parties and BBQs. The canopy is UV resistant and shower proof, plus, it also features an easy-to-use crank lift that lets you put both sides of the parasol canopy up at the same time.
The only catch with this sun umbrella is the fact that this doesn’t come with a base, so you’ll need to purchase one separately. Other than that, it’s a great, stylish sun umbrella that’ll provide you with lots of shade when the sun is beating down – just choose between the beige or tan, et voila!
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Shanghai Coral Crank Parasol
Why we love it: If you’re after an affordable sun umbrella, Dunelm’s coral Shanghai Crank Parasol might be the thing for you. Perfect for adding a splash of summery colour to your outdoor space, this coral parasol spans 2m, is available for express delivery, and even comes with a 1 year guarantee. This sun umbrella also has a crank mechanism which makes it super easy to put up, and it arrives complete with a base. Just remember to add additional weights when you use this, as these aren’t included as part of the purchase price, but will be needed to keep the parasol in place.
Blevins Cantilever Parasol
Why we love it: Complete with 24 sparkling LED lights, this Cantilever sun umbrella from Wayfair is perfect for adding a touch of glamour to your summer evenings. It has a built-in solar panel, so as you sit under the shade of the parasol during the heat of the day, it’ll store the energy in integrated rechargeable batteries. Then, as night arrives, the LED lights will come on automatically and provide you with a soft glow, allowing you to make the most of the warm evenings after the sun goes down. It’s good to note that this sun umbrella has a UV resistant finish and is also totally water resistant, so you don’t have to worry about leaving it out in any summer showers even though it has integrated lighting. It also comes in a lot of different colours, so you’re bound to find one that suits the style of your garden – choose from green, charcoal, cream, light grey or stylish terracotta!
Charles Bentley Wooden Parasol
Why we love it: This classic sun umbrella is the perfect accessory for a period garden, but its traditional cream and wood finish will look good in any outdoor space. As well as a durable wooden frame and showerproof canopy, this parasol also has a simple-to-use pulley system that makes it really easy to open, as well as a canopy span of 2.4m.
This sun umbrella has been designed to work with pretty much any table and chairs set, so it's perfect for sprucing up any of your existing garden furniture without having to spend a fortune. A base is required to hold the umbrella in place, but you will need to buy one separately - Wilko have plenty of pocket friendly options on their website, and also have a range from the same brand as the umbrella - Charles Bentley.
Looking for more garden ideas? Don't forget to check out our pick of the nine gardening essentials for small gardens and the best Victorian garden ideas to find out how to create the classic garden look at home.
Thea Jeffreys is the Digital Writer on YourHomeStyle.uk, and is passionate about all things home décor. When she’s not scouring the internet for budget-friendly homeware finds, you’ll find her writing about the latest interior trends and handy upcycling tricks.