A garden parasol is an essential piece of outdoor furniture. It provides protection from the elements while you enjoy spending time in your garden. Read our buyer’s guide to learn more about Parasols so you can choose the ideal one for your garden.

Benefits of a Parasol

A parasol is a great addition to any outdoor space. It protects you from the sun and rain while adding style to your outdoor space. There are several types of parasol to cater to specific requirements.

Types of Parasol

Standard Dining Parasol

This type of parasol is designed to be used with outdoor dining sets. Many garden dining tables have a hole in the centre to accommodate a parasol, so you can dine al fresco and get protection from the sun. Dining parasols are available in a wide range of sizes to suit the size of your dining table and garden space. They are also available in a range of shapes and colours. 

Dining Parasol
Image courtesy: Firmans Direct Ltd.

Roma Cantilever Parasol

A Roma cantilever parasol is perfect for use with large garden furniture sets. Its impressive size provides plenty of shade in any area of the garden. It has many features, including 360-degree rotation and a tilting function. This makes it is to adjust to the angle of the sun. The base is usually water filled making it easy to empty and store when the parasol is not in use. It also includes wheel, so the parasol is easy to manoeuvre.    

Image courtesy: Firmans Direct Ltd.

Overhanging Parasol

An Overhanging Parasol is similar to a Roma Parasol, although it tends to be a little smaller in size. It also does not include as many features, such as 360-degree rotation and a tilting function. However, it provides plenty of shade and is perfect for those with a smaller budget.

Overhanging Parasol
Image courtesy: Firmans Direct Ltd.

Things to consider

What is it being used for?

Before purchasing a parasol, you need to consider what it is being used for. For example, a dining parasol may not be beneficial if it is being used over a sun lounger.

Shape

There are many shapes of Parasol available. Round, hexagonal or octagonal Parasols are ideal for dining sets. A square or rectangular Parasol is a great choice for use with Corner Garden Sets or Sun Loungers.

Round Parasol
Image courtesy: Firmans Direct Ltd.

Size

Dining Parasols can range from 2m to 5.5m in size, making it easy to find the right size for your garden furniture and outdoor space. Roma Parasols are considerably larger in size and will provide plenty of shade.

Pole diameter

If you are selecting a parasol for your garden dining set, measure the diameter of the hole in the centre of the table to ensure the parasol pole will fit.

Material

Aluminium frames and UV protected fabric are a good choice of material when choosing a parasol. This will prevent rusting of the pole and fading of the fabric in sunlight.

Colour

When choosing the colour of your parasol, consider the colour of your garden furniture to ensure it compliments it. Fading due to UV exposure maybe more noticeable on darker fabrics.

White Parasol
Image courtesy: Firmans Direct Ltd.

Parasol Accessories

There are many accessories that can accompany your parasol. From parasol bases to Bluetooth speakers, parasols are no longer a basic garden accessory.

Parasol Base

A parasol base is essential for a parasol to function properly. It creates a secure fixture and holds the parasol in place. Parasol bases are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials. Resin bases are often an inexpensive and lightweight option that still provide a sturdy base. Granite bases are usually more expensive and heavier, making them more difficult to move around the garden. They are also more prone to damage, such as chips.

Parasol Base
Image courtesy: Firmans Direct Ltd.

Protective Cover

Once you have purchased your parasol, you want to keep it in the best condition possible. A parasol cover will provide protection from the elements and increase the longevity of your parasol.

Parasol Cover
Image courtesy: Firmans Direct Ltd.

Lights

Parasols are no longer just for daytime use. Many parasols now include lighting meaning it can be used in the evenings, too. There are two main types of lighting available: integrated lights in the spokes of the parasol and detachable lighting units. The lights can be charged via a solar panel attached to the top of the Parasol or by the mains via a USB cable.

Parasol Lights
Image courtesy: Firmans Direct Ltd.

Speakers

Keep your guests entertained with the use of a Bluetooth speaker. Some parasols include a detachable Bluetooth speaker which can be charged and listen to music wirelessly. It also often includes lighting. 

Bluetooth Speaker
Image courtesy: Firmans Direct Ltd.

Looking after your Parasol

Keep your Parasol in the best condition with these tips:

  • Do not leave out in extreme weather. Snow can lay on top of the Parasol causing it to bend. Strong wind may cause your Parasol to blow around the garden and cause damage. Ensure the Parasol is closed and secured down or stored away.
  • Too much sun exposure can cause damage to the fabric. It is best to close and cover the Parasol when not in use.
  • Store the Parasol away in a dry room during the winter months.
  • Never leave your Parasol closed or covered when it is wet as this can cause mould and mildew. Ensure the Parasol is completely dry before storing.
  • Do not leave the solar panel on the top of the Parasol with Cover as it may burn a hole in the fabric.
  • Do not use harsh cleaning product when cleaning the Parasol.

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