buyer's guide

7 Steps to quickly choosing the Best Market Umbrella for Your Patio

7 Steps to quickly choosing the Best Market Umbrella for Your Patio - Bluu

Making the most out of your outdoor space is important. Creating a tranquil oasis where you can get away from it all and let the troubles of the world just fall away can be as simple as having the right furnishings in your backyard.

Of course, there’s a lot that goes into designing your ideal relaxation space, whether you want to relax with a good book, soak up the sun as you lounge by the pool, or sip alcoholic drinks on the back porch. Yes, you’ll need chairs, tables, and other furnishings, but one thing that too many people overlook is the need for a market umbrella.

The right Bluu market umbrella will protect you from UV rays, help you keep your cool, and even add to the ambiance of your relaxation space. However, choosing the best market umbrella might not be as simple as you think. We’ll walk you through the six steps necessary to pick the best market umbrella for your patio, porch, pool, or other outdoor space.

What Is a Market Umbrella?

Before we get started, though, let’s define what we’re talking about. What is a market umbrella, anyway? For those not part of the industry, it can be a confusing term. Thankfully, there’s a simple definition.

A market umbrella is an upright umbrella with a straight, central pole. You’ve seen them before – they’re found at the center of outdoor tables, used to provide shade in seating areas, and for other purposes. You might be more familiar with the term “patio umbrella”.

You can purchase a Bluu patio umbrella in many different shapes and sizes, from round to rectangular, and some models offer a tilt mechanism so you can enjoy shade and UV protection no matter where the sun might be in the sky.

So, with that definition out of the way, it’s time to turn our attention to how to choose the best patio (market) umbrella for your outdoor space.

How to Choose a Market Umbrella?

Start with these 7 steps now!

Step 1: Consider the Unique Characteristics for Your Outdoor Space

The first thing to consider when purchasing a market patio umbrella is the setting itself. Where will you be using your market umbrella? Some of the most popular spaces include:

  • Patios: Patios are often used for cooking out and get-togethers with family and friends. You’ll want a market umbrella that’s large enough to provide protection from the sun, but not so large that it takes up too much space.
  • Decks: Decks often serve the same purpose as patios, but are often raised off the ground, sometimes by many feet. You’ll want to consider the size of your deck umbrella, but you may need a heavier umbrella base to deal with heavier wind gusts.
  • Pools: There’s nothing like sitting on the pool deck, cold drink in hand, enjoying the sunlight dancing off the water. You’ll want a poolside market umbrella that’s large enough to provide ample shade for you, as well as any family or friends joining you.
  • Porches: Most porches are covered with a roof, but a market umbrella can still be very useful. Make sure that the one you purchase is small enough for your porch and short enough to clear the ceiling, but also comes with a tilt mechanism to help block UV rays when the sun shines below the edge of the roofline.
  • Gardens / Backyard: Spending time in the garden can be delightful, but you’ll want a quiet space where you can sit and not have to worry about UV rays or extreme heat. A market umbrella will do the trick, but make sure it’s not so large that it dominates the view of the garden or casts too much shade on nearby plants.

The primary consideration you’ll need to make is size. How much space do you have? What obstructions might the Bluu patio umbrella encounter? If your seating area is large, will you need two or more market umbrellas to cover it all? Do you have a color scheme that you’ll want to carry through with the canopy of your Bluu market umbrella?

Step 2: Determine Your Patio Umbrella Size

With a better understanding of your outdoor space and its requirements, you can begin to think about the size of your market umbrella. Below, we’ve broken down some of the considerations you’ll want to make whether you ultimately go with a large market umbrella or a small market umbrella.

  • 9-ft. Market Umbrella – For many, this is the ideal size. Pair your 9-ft. market umbrella with a 40-inch table and up to eight chairs. It will provide ample shade and rain protection for groups of up to eight people.
  • 10-ft. Market Umbrella – With a 10-ft. market umbrella, you can use a table up to 48 inches, although it will still only accommodate around eight people and eight chairs.
  • 11-ft. Market Umbrella – If you have a table over 48 inches or want to accommodate groups of up to 10 people, you’ll want to go with an 11-ft market umbrella or a 12-ft. market umbrella.
  • 7-ft. Market Umbrella – Have a smaller space? A 7-ft. market umbrella might just do the trick. You’ll want a table that measures no more than 38 inches. Note that these umbrellas can accommodate up to four chairs/people.
  • 6-ft Market Umbrella – For very tight spaces, a 6-ft. market umbrella might be the best fit. Your table can be no more than 30 inches, and you’ll be able to accommodate four chairs at the most. If you have a bistro set, this is the ideal size.

Step 3: Determine the Shape and Color of Your Market Umbrella

So, we’ve discussed how to choose the size of your Bluu market umbrella. But what about the shape and color? The shape you choose should tie in with the required functionality of your Bluu patio umbrella, as well as the shape of the table (if you’re using it with a table). The color should complement your décor or theme.

For instance, if you have a rectangular table or want to shade two or more loungers, then a rectangular market umbrella might be the right choice. For round and square tables, as well as for bistro sets, a square market umbrella is going to provide more functionality. You could also go with a round market umbrella for a classic look and ample protection from sun and rain.

What about color, though? A white market umbrella will offer a bright pop in your outdoor space but will also reflect more light and heat than what you’ll find with a black market umbrella or a navy blue market umbrella. If you want to really make a statement or create a focal point in your outdoor design, consider buying a red market umbrella.

Step 4: Choose the best Material for Your Market Umbrella

So far, we’ve covered shape, size, and color. However, you also need to pay close attention to the canopy material when choosing the best market umbrella for your outdoor space.
  • Sunbrella Fabrics – Sunbrella fabrics come in a range of colors and patterns. They can even be textured. You’ll find marine-grade, as well as standard-grade fabrics on offer. All Sunbrella fabrics are acrylic.
  • Olefin – Olefin is made from materials like ethylene and propylene, and offers good durability at a slightly lower price point than Sunbrella fabrics.
  • Outtra – Outtra is recycled umbrella fabric that offers outstanding color fastness, as well as durability and resistance to UV light and weathering.

When you buy a Bluu market umbrella with the Bluu Care protection plan, we offer an extended canopy fabric warranty against color fading from normal exposure conditions. We cover olefin for three years, Outtra for five years, and Sunbrella fabrics for five years. 

For more Information of Umbrella Fabrics: What is the Best Outdoor Fabric for Patio Umbrellas?

Step 5: Choose a Sturdy Frame

The frame material plays a major role in determining the best market umbrella for your needs. The frame provides rigidity and support, but it also adds to the weight of the overall umbrella. There are three primary materials to choose from when considering a market patio umbrella. These are:

  • Wood – Wood was the original frame material for market umbrellas, but it is heavy. It’s also prone to breakage and will degrade quickly in an outdoor environment.
  • Aluminum – Aluminum offers less weight than the other two materials and is incredibly durable. We recommend aluminum ribbing and aluminum center poles.
  • Steel – Steel is incredibly strong and durable enough to withstand years of outdoor use. However, it is very heavy, so it’s not the best option for your standard market patio umbrella, and especially not for a tilt market umbrella.

Step 6: Add a Wind-Resistant Umbrella Base

The final step in choosing the best market umbrella for your outdoor space is to choose a base. The umbrella base is responsible for holding the center upright pole and keeping it secure, even in windy conditions. How do you choose a market umbrella base, though?

It’s really all about weight. The heavier the market umbrella stand, the more stable your umbrella will be in the wind. However, unless you live somewhere with continual high winds, you should match your market umbrella base weight to the size of the canopy.

If your canopy is six feet or less, you’ll want a base that weighs around 40 lbs. If it’s between seven and eight and a half feet in diameter, you’ll want a market umbrella base that weighs around 50 lbs. A nine to 10-foot umbrella will need a base that weighs between 50 and 70 lbs., and if your umbrella is 11 to 13 feet in diameter, you’ll want a market umbrella stand that weighs around 100 lbs. to keep it secure in the wind.

Step 7: Add some Music and Lights

To create a great atmosphere in the evening, you'll probably want to add some music and lights. You can brighten up your patio with our Solar LED Maple Market Umbrella. With 8 high-quality LED strips integrated into the offset umbrella, it creates a warm and inviting atmosphere for any occasion. Since the lights are charged with solar power, you don't have to worry about power sources or extension cords and can put the umbrella anywhere you want.

We also recommend our Bluetooth Umbrella Light to you, which is both speaker and a lamp with different colors.

Frequently Asked Questions about Market Umbrellas

Do Bluu patio umbrellas block UV rays?

  • Yes! Blue patio umbrellas do block UV rays. In fact, our umbrellas offer SPF 50+ protection, ensuring that you’re able to enjoy your outdoor space without worrying about damaging ultraviolet light.

How do I maintain my market umbrella?

  • Maintaining your market umbrella is simple. You’ll want to rinse it periodically to remove dust and dirt. If it needs a deeper cleaning, thoroughly wet the canopy and then use a soft scrub brush to clean the fabric. Allow it to dry and then replace it on the frame.

If you have further questions, you may find answers you want here.


A market umbrella can help you make the most of your outdoor space, whether that’s lounging around the pool, enjoying a cup of coffee at a backyard bistro table, or hosting a family gathering. Remember to consider the size of the umbrella relative to the space you want to protect, and that the color of the canopy will affect the aesthetics of your space. The right canopy material will also help ensure that you enjoy a long-lasting umbrella. Don’t forget about the market umbrella base, though. You’ll need that to keep it in place when the wind picks up.

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1 comment

Carol Braddy

Carol Braddy

Looking for an umbrella that has powder coated aluminum pole. Which models have powder coating?

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