what-size-parasol-do-i-need-for-my-garden

What Size Parasol Do I Need? Parasol Shape & Style Guide

We’ve Got You Covered: A Guide to Choosing the Right Size and Style Parasol for Your Garden

Parasols are the perfect garden accessory, particularly in summer. But there are a number of different sizes, shapes and styles on the market which can make it confusing to choose the right one.

This guide has been put together to give you all the information you could possibly need when it comes to choosing a garden parasol.

Whether you’re shielding a small patio area, or a large patio set, we’ve got you covered (literally):

What Size Parasol Should I Buy?

When it comes to parasol size, it helps to visualise how many chairs you’d want to fit underneath the canopy. This gives a good idea of canopy size and will also indicate how many people will be shaded if you’re sitting on garden furniture.

In this section, we’ll explain what size and shape parasol you should buy, depending on how many seats you want to cover. 

2 Seater Table

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Small Magical Garden Spaces (@small_magical_gardens)

To cover a 2 seater table you can use either: 

  • 1 Round Parasol: Measuring 1.8 to 3 m diameter
  • 1 or 2 Square Parasols: Measuring 1.8 x 1.8 m to 2 x 2 m
  • 1 Rectangular Parasol: Measuring 1.5 x 2 to 1.2 x 2.5 m

To shade a 2 seater table, you’ll need a parasol of approximately 2 x 2 m. Parasols for 2 seater tables will also be able to shade a small table and 2 lounge chairs. 

4 Seater Table

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Zoë | The Silva Souter (@thesilvasouter)

To cover a 4 seater table you can use either: 

  • 1 Round Parasol: Measuring around 3 m diameter
  • 1 Square Parasol: Measuring 2.5 x 2.5 m to 2 x 3 m
  • 1 or 2 Rectangular Parasols: Measuring 1.8 x 2.5 to 1.6 x 3 m

Although it depends on the size of your table, you’ll need a parasol of approximately 3 x 3 m to cover 4 seats. 

6 Seater Table

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Tash 🤍 (@home_with_tash)

To cover a 6 seater table you can use either: 

  • 1 Round Parasol: Measuring around 3.5 m diameter
  • 1 Square Parasol: Measuring 2 x 3 m
  • 1 or 2 Rectangular Parasols: Measuring 1.6 x 3 m

As you can see from the garden above, a large square parasol is capable of covering a 6 seater table. If your seats are more spread out, you might prefer to buy two separate parasols in order to provide better coverage, particularly as the sun moves.

8 Seater Table

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Tevalli Parasol’s (@tevalliparasols)

To cover an 8 seater table you can use either:

  • 1 or 2 Round Parasols: Measuring 3 to 4 m
  • 1 or 2 Square Parasols: Measuring 2.8 x 2.8 to 3 x 3 m
  • 1 or 2 Rectangular Parasols: Measuring 1.8 x 4.6 m to 2.5 x 4.6 m

A large, square cantilever parasol, as seen in the garden above, works well to cover an 8 seater table. You’ll want a parasol that’s 3 x 3 m or larger.

You might also find it useful to check out our page on How to Measure a Parasol Canopy.

What Type of Parasol Should I Buy: Freestanding, Cantilever or Wall Mounted?

There are three types of parasol: freestanding, cantilever and wall-mounted. 

Here we’ll assess the advantages and disadvantages of each type of parasol

Freestanding Parasols

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Cheryl (@cb_loves_interiors_20)

Freestanding parasols consist of a single upright pole that sits in a weighted base. These parasols can stand up by themselves, although, often, the base and post will be positioned through a central hole in a table. You can get patio tables that have a hole fit for a parasol pole. 

Freestanding parasols don’t need to be attached to anything (other than the base) and can be positioned anywhere in the garden. This gives you flexibility and allows you to move them whenever you like. 

Advantages:

  • Portable and can be placed anywhere in the garden
  • Ideal for being positioned in the centre of patio tables
  • Reasonably easy to store as the base and parasol are easily separated

Disadvantages:

  • Some of the valuable shaded space will be taken up by the parasol’s own base 
  • For large parasols, the base can weigh 30 – 40 kg which may make it difficult to move
  • Central pole can interfere with your view of the garden 

Cantilever Parasols

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Jackie Hoyte (@jackie.hoyte)

Cantilever parasols are freestanding, but the pole isn’t positioned in the centre of the canopy. Instead, the pole on a cantilever parasol is offset to one side. This design allows the parasol to overhang your furniture, giving everyone protection without the base taking up floor space in the middle of the shaded area. 

Advantages: 

  • Can be used to cover tables even when there’s no central parasol hole 
  • Pole and base don’t take up space in the middle of a seating area
  • Pole doesn’t obstruct the view of the garden 
  • Canopy angle can be adjusted for 360° sun protection
  • Can be placed anywhere in the garden

Disadvantages:

  • Cantilever parasols are larger and more difficult to move than freestanding parasols – they’ll probably need to be stored outside over summer rather than being moved in and out
  • For a large parasol, the base needs to weigh at least 80 kg

Wall-Mounted

 

 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

A post shared by Norfolk Leisure Lifestyle Ltd (@norfolkleisurelifestyle)

Wall-mounted parasols, as the name suggests, attach to the wall of your home. There’s no pole or base to worry about, meaning these take up no floor space. These can usually be tilted, allowing you to easily adjust the amount of shade you have as the sun changes position. 

Advantages:

  • Best for small spaces as they take up no floor space 
  • Very easy to open and put down
  • Are often designed to be left outside even in a bad weather 
  • Can be tilted to allow you to easily adjust the amount of shade 

Disadvantages:

  • The area that you wish to cover needs to be near to the wall
  • Fixed position: can’t be moved around the garden like freestanding or cantilever parasols 

FAQs

How much base weight do I need for my parasol? 

This depends on the size of the parasol. For freestanding parasols:

A 2 m parasol requires a base weighing between 20 and 30 kg.

A 3 m parasol requires a base weighting between 40 kg.

Anything larger, and a base of over 50 kg is required. 

Cantilever parasols require more base weight because their design makes them more susceptible to catching the wind. For cantilever parasols:

A 2 m parasol requires a base weighing between 80 – 100 kg.

A 3.5 m parasol required a base weighing over 100 kg.

If your parasol doesn’t come weighted already, you can keep it firmly on the ground using sandbags, breeze blocks or weight bags. Alternatively, you could give up on the idea of a weighted base altogether and secure it to the floor. 

How can I stop my parasol moving in the wind? 

Parasols move in the wind if the hole in the base is too big for the pole. The pole should fit snugly into the base. Another reason it may spin is if it’s positioned in the centre of a table and the hole is too large for the pole. If this is what’s happening, you could use a small wedge, piece of wood or even a piece of cardboard to fill the hole. 

Another thing to try is tightening the bolts. If you’ve had a few windy days in a row, the bolts may have loosened.  

If your base isn’t flat on the ground your parasol can spin. Make sure there’s nothing underneath the base, such as a large stone. 

Finally, check that your parasol base is heavy enough for the size of the parasol (see the answer above for details on the weight required). 

What height should a parasol be? 

The first thing to consider is user comfort. People should be able to sit under the parasol without having to stoop to get underneath. Many parasols are height adjustable. 

As a rule of thumb, the height from the ground to the canopy itself should be at least 2 m. Taller parasols can be more unstable so may need more weight in the base.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

Related Articles

HOLD YOUR HORSES!

Before you go, check out these ridiculously good gardening deals…

See Amazon Deals No Thanks
Scroll to Top