What Size Outdoor Umbrella Do I Need?

What Size Outdoor Umbrella Do I Need?

Choosing the right size commercial outdoor umbrella is essential for providing optimal shade and comfort to your guests. In this blog, we’ll guide you through key considerations to help you determine the perfect umbrella size for your outdoor space.


Commercial Umbrella Sizes

Commercial-grade outdoor umbrellas are one the most economical choices for outdoor shade. Unlike a traditional patio umbrella, these umbrella shades become a permanent fixture within your space. What’s more, they can cover up to 575 square feet of space with the use of a single unit — that’s almost the size of an average 3-car garage! Determining the size of the umbrella you’ll need is an important part of the buying process, but thanks to our network of certified partners you won’t have to do it alone. Choosing the size of umbrella for your space is dependent on three factors:

  1. What you’re trying to accomplish
  2. What type of umbrella style you envision for your space
  3. Your budget
Read on to determine what size commercial umbrella you should consider for your space. We’ll walk you through the steps we take and the questions we ask in the umbrella-buying process.

What are you trying to accomplish?

The first item to consider when purchasing a commercial umbrella is determining what you are trying to accomplish. You’ll want to ask yourself questions like:

  • What is the size of the space I want to shade?
  • Why am I purchasing an umbrella? For UV protection, all-weather protection, to create a comfortable space for my guests, to provide a break from the sun?

After you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be able to determine the type of commercial canopy umbrella best suited for your needs.

What type of umbrella is best for my space?

There are many commercial umbrella styles to choose from. Superior Shade has a variety of shapes and styles available. Based on where you are installing the umbrella and what it is being used for, there are go-to umbrella types for those locations. For example, if you are wanting to shade guests lounging by the pool opt for a cantilever umbrella that allows for unobstructed views of the water. If you are wanting to shade a bench or one table, we’d suggest opting for a dual-column umbrella. Likewise, if you’re looking for a splash pad umbrella, a single post or tilt and swivel umbrella may be best. Here’s a quick overview of the types of umbrellas that are offered:

Center Post Umbrella

Our Single Post, or Center Post, Umbrella is one of the most economical shades. It can cover up to nearly 600 square feet of space with a single unit. It's available in square, hexagon, and octagon shapes. 

Cantilever Umbrella

Cantilever umbrellas feature an off-center post, allowing you to place site furnishings or equipment directly underneath without the interference of a column. Choose from square or hexagon shapes.

Dual-Column Umbrella

Our Dual-Column Umbrellas are great for shading picnic tables and benches as they have space between columns for amenities. They're easy to install and are more affordable than a traditional four-post hip shade structure.

Tilt and Swivel Umbrella

Often installed at splash pads, our Tilt and Swivel Umbrella can be fixed at a custom angle during installation to provide the best sun protection for your space. Once installed, the umbrella can't be adjusted.

Waterproof Umbrella

Available as a single post or cantilever design, these umbrellas feature a waterproof canopy. The waterproof fabric propels water and keeps the space below dry.

Umbrella-Size-Hypar Umbrella
Hypar Umbrella

The Hypar Umbrella is ideal for shading pools and guest areas. It features a unique look with a low-profile canopy that will not obstruct your view.

View All Umbrellas


How much should I budget for a commercial umbrella?

After you’ve calculated what size area you’re trying to shade and what style of umbrella you want, determine your budget. Once you know your budget, you’ll be able to identify the largest shade structure you can purchase in your umbrella style while still remaining within your budget. Want an insider tip? Both the overall dimensions and the height of your umbrella structure are taken into account when they are priced for your space. If you want the best bang for your buck, opt for the lowest height (like our 8’ height) while still maintaining proper clearances for the furnishings or equipment you’re shading underneath. If your shade umbrella will be used in a public space that is not monitored like a public park, we suggest opting for a taller height to prevent vandalism to the shade’s fabric canopy. Our umbrella prices begin at around $2,500.

So, what size outdoor umbrella should I buy?

What are you looking to shade? Is it picnic tables, pool lounge chairs, or playground equipment? Umbrellas are available in sizes ranging from 10’ to 27’ — that ranges from 100 square feet of space to around 600 square feet. Commercial-grade umbrellas come in a variety of heights, including our standard 8’, 10’, or 12’ heights and custom heights. With the wide range of sizes available, you’ll most likely be able to purchase an umbrella in a size that matches the square footage of the space you’re looking to cover. The simple answer to this question is you should buy the size of umbrella that matches or is slightly larger than the area you wish to provide shade — budget allowing, of course!

Written By: A. McCord