Best garden parasol 2022: Give your garden a touch of class and shade from just £50

Joe Coombs Will Georgiadis
14 Jul 2022

Whether you want shade for your garden, patio or balcony, we’ve got you covered with our selection of the best parasols

In Britain, we have quite a strange relationship with the sun; after months of longing for it to appear, we immediately complain it’s too hot and start looking for the best parasol to shield from its rays. Parasols are a great addition to any garden, patio, terrace or even balcony because they offer that luxury so many of us yearn for in those hot summer months: shade.

With so many models on the market, finding the best garden parasols and avoiding the shoddy ones can be a bit of a minefield. Fortunately, we’ve done the hard work for you and collected our favourite parasols for all budgets and preferences.

There are a variety of parasols on offer today. They can be freestanding, leaning or slotted through a garden table, and they may or may not come bundled with their own parasol base. The following buying guide will help you to differentiate between everything on offer and work out exactly which parasol is best for you.

Best garden parasol: At a glance

  • Best-value cantilever parasol: Vounot Cantilever Parasol | Buy now
  • Best premium cantilever parasol: Jarder Milan Parasol Set | Buy now
  • Best-value traditional garden parasol: VonHaus Tilting Garden Parasol | Buy now
  • Best parasol for parties: ABCCanopy LED Parasol | Buy now
  • Best parasol for a balcony or patio: Madison Balcony Parasol | Buy now

How to choose the best garden parasol for you

How much do I need to spend?

You can pick up a parasol for as little as £15, but at this price, it will almost certainly blow over in the wind, break and begin to rust after the slightest bit of rain. We’ve found that if you budget at around the £50 mark then you can pick up some reliable, affordable gems, but they won’t be anything fancy. It’s at about £200 and above where you'll find the really luxurious parasols, made from the finest materials and built to withstand the test of time.

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Do I need to buy a base for my parasol?

It’s important to note that most parasols need to be weighed down by a base, which in most cases will be sold separately (although some parasols do come with a base included). Most decent parasol bases will cost approximately £30–£60, but you can pick up some respectable offerings for less. Some companies will also sell their own parasol base as part of a bundle package with their parasol, so it’s definitely worth looking out to see if this is an option.

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What types of parasols are there?

Traditional parasols are the typical parasol you probably have pictured in your head, with a straight pole that often goes through a hole in the table. They are sturdier than their cantilever counterparts, so fare better when the weather takes a turn for the worse. There is a slight caveat with this superior sturdiness, however, as their adjustability tends to be quite limited.

Cantilever parasols are freestanding and are able to stretch, tilt and twist away from their base, enabling you to shape the exact area of shade you want over you and your furniture. Be wary of cheap cantilever parasols, as they will begin to swing and move of their own accord with the slightest gust of wind; investing in quality makes a world of difference.

Wall-mounted parasols do not require a base and take up less space, making them a great option for narrow balconies or patios.

If you don’t have loads of space, but still want a parasol with a more traditional shape, then you may want to look into flat back parasols. The shape of these parasols (imagine a normal parasol but cut in half) enables them to be easily set up directly against a wall, making them another great option for balconies or patios.

Which parasol is best for me?

If you want a parasol for hosting garden parties or barbeques, then a classy, traditional parasol designed to fit in a garden table is probably your best bet (and, depending on your preferences and budget, you may even want to invest in one with fitted LED lights). But if you’re looking to sit out in the shade all day, then a cantilever parasol that adjusts on a tilt would be a better option, as it would give you optimal cover all day long. Alternatively, you may want a parasol for your patio or balcony, in which case you’ll likely want something a bit more specialised, such as a wall-mounted parasol or a flat back parasol.

What size parasol do I need?

A diameter of 2.5m is considered a decent size for a parasol, and many larger items will have a diameter of 3m. The ideal size of course depends on the shape and size of the outdoor space where you plan on placing your parasol. Naturally, larger parasols will need a larger base to keep them stable.

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The best garden parasols to buy

1. Vounot Cantilever Parasol: The best-value cantilever parasol

Price: £83 | Buy now from Amazon

If you want value for money but you’re after a cantilever parasol, then this model from Vounot might be the one for you. With a sizeable 300cm diameter, the umbrella provides an impressive amount of shade. What’s more, you can rotate the parasol 360 degrees, tilt it and adjust its height, ensuring you have the optimum amount of shade no matter where the sun is in the sky.

The umbrella is also water-repellant, so you can take refuge under it from the rain as well as the sun (provided the rain isn’t torrential). It also comes with a cover to help keep it fresh and clean when it’s not in use. The steel cross stand provides stability, but to fully secure the parasol, a base will need to be purchased separately.

Key specs — Dimensions: H257cm x D300cm; Weight: 11.5kg; Base included? No; UV protection? UV50+; Colour(s) available: Grey, beige, green, khaki, red

2. VonHaus Tilting Garden Parasol: The best-value traditional garden parasol

Price: £50 | Buy now from Amazon

When it comes to value for money, we think you’d be hard-pressed to find a better traditional parasol than this offering from VonHaus. With a 2.7m diameter, it provides an excellent amount of shade, which you can customise to your liking using its tilt mechanism.

The parasol has just two parts, the umbrella and the lower shaft, so it couldn’t be simpler to set it up – you simply have to screw one part into the other. Packdown is just as easy. The umbrella itself is operated by a crank mechanism, which we are happy to report is equally straightforward to use.

Another neat feature is the air vent at the top, which helps with airflow and prevents the wind from picking up and moving the parasol. This parasol doesn’t come with a cover, but it does have some protection, as the powder-coated steel frame is rust-resistant. Note that it doesn’t come with a base, and we’d recommend using a base weighing at least 12kg. For an affordable option, we’d recommend this fillable model from Tee-Moo, which offers an amazing balance of practicality and value.

Key specs — Dimensions: H240cm x D270cm; Weight: 4.7kg; Base included? No; UV protection? UV30+; Colour(s) available: Cream

3. Jarder Milan Parasol Set: The best premium cantilever parasol (includes base)

Price: £245 | Buy now from Amazon

This Jarder Milan parasol has a sizeable 300cm canopy, providing an expansive amount of shade. What’s more, with an adjustable height and the ability to rotate 360 degrees and tilt, this parasol helps you create your perfect shaded space — all day long.

Despite all this manoeuvrability, the parasol is incredibly user-friendly. By turning the handle, you can quickly open the parasol and slide it into your desired position. What’s more, erecting the parasol doesn’t require any tools or equipment and can be completed in a matter of minutes.

This parasol also comes with a cover, to help you protect it and pack it away neatly. Also included in the price is a base, so you won’t find yourself having to splash out on any required accessories; this parasol set really is the complete package.

Key specs — Dimensions: H240cm x D300cm; Weight: 15.8kg; Base included? Yes; UV protection? Yes; Colour(s) available: Blue, beige, grey

4. Madison Balcony Parasol: The best parasol for a balcony or patio

Price: £135 | Buy now from Vida XL

With its flat back and oblong shape, this Madison parasol is ideal for balconies or narrow patios. What makes it particularly ideal for balconies, though, is that it can be securely mounted to them with Madison’s balcony clip (sold separately). This clip also negates the need for a base. If you do intend to use a base rather than the balcony clip, note that a base isn’t included with this parasol; we’d recommend using one that weighs at least 30kg. The aforementioned Tee-Moo model is a great option, as with a maximum weight of 45kg, it can hold more weight than most other affordable parasol bases on the market.

Another thing we love about this parasol is the level of customisation it offers. With a whopping 80+ different settings, it has a shape and size for every occasion.

Key specs — Dimensions: H240cm x D270cm; Weight: 9kg; Base included? No; UV protection? UV50+; Colour(s) available: Blue, green, red, taupe

Buy now from Vida XL

5. ABCCanopy LED Parasol: The best parasol for parties

Price: From £64 | Buy now from Amazon

With a massive variety of colour options and 32 LED lights in the umbrella, the emphasis of this parasol is to be as vibrant and inviting as possible. For this reason, we think it’s a great option for hosting parties.

Outdoor lights can often be a faff but we’re pleased to report that, with this parasol, that simply isn’t the case. The lights last 9-12 hours and are solar-powered, so no electricity or power cord is required. The great thing about these lights is that they make this parasol as big an addition to your outdoor space at night as it is during the day — if not more so!

The parasol itself is sturdy and does well against the elements, especially as the canopy is water repellant. It’s also easy to assemble and the controls are user friendly. It is available in two sizes: 230cm or 270cm diameter.

Key specs — Dimensions: H210cm x D230cm/D270cm; Weight: 10.5kg; Base included? No; UV protection? Yes; Colour(s) available: Light grey, beige, forest green, khaki, red, burgundy, turquoise, orange, navy blue, blue, brown, light beige

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