Parasol Size Guide: Picking The Right One For Your Garden

Parasol Size Guide: Picking The Right One For Your Garden

Choosing the right parasol for your outdoor space can make a huge difference, but you might be left wondering, “What size parasol do I need?” 

Get it wrong and it can completely change the look and feel of your outdoor space. You could end up with a parasol that takes up far too much space, one that doesn’t provide enough shade or one that looks unbalanced with the rest of your garden furnitureOver 20,000 people search for parasols in the UK every single month. This could mean thousands of people are buying the wrong size parasol, or are unsure of what size to buy. Our guide will help you know what size parasol to buy for your garden. From what parasol sizes are available, through to measuring your outdoor space and choosing the right style, we’ll help you get the right size.

Challenger T2 3.5m x 2.6m Rectangular Cantilever Parasol in Grey — £549.99


Why do people buy parasols for their gardens?

To understand the importance of getting the right-sized parasol for your garden, let’s start with the reasons people buy parasols in the first place. The main reason people buy a parasol is for shade and sun protection. Parasols make outdoor spaces more comfortable by protecting against the sun’s harmful UV rays. This is especially important during hot summer days. If you have people at home or visitors over for a garden party who might be sensitive to the sun or are looking or some respite, it’s even more important. By blocking direct sunlight, parasols help keep the shaded area cooler, allowing you to enjoy your garden even during peak sunlight hours. This means you can spend more time outside, enjoying your garden, without worrying about sunburn or overheating. This can make your outdoor spaces more usable and enjoyable.

People also love the way parasols look. They can completely boost the aesthetic appeal of your garden. Just changing your parasol colour, style or design can make a huge difference to how you feel about your space. They’re also usually adjustable and portable, so you can enjoy different areas as you need to. Parasols can help protect outdoor furniture from sun damage, which can fade colours and degrade materials over time. It also means if there’s a shower while you’re outside, you can stay protected from light rain. If your garden is overlooked or you want to increase your privacy while you’re outside, a parasol can help. They can be positioned to shield certain areas from view or to make items less visible. This can help you to feel more private and secure at home.

Ares 3.5m Round Cantilever Parasol with Solar powered LED Lights in Charcoal - £649


Why is parasol size important?

Selecting the right parasol size is important for creating a comfortable outdoor environment. Whether you're lounging in the garden or hosting a gathering, having enough shade can make it more enjoyable for everyone. They protect against harsh sunlight and provide relief from the heat. The right size parasol provides enough shade for the area, whether it's for a small balcony, a large patio or a garden area. This ensures you and your guests are well-protected from the sun's harmful UV rays. 

The right size also keeps the environment cooler by blocking direct sunlight. This can make outdoor spaces more enjoyable and comfortable, even on hot days. It creates a pleasant space for relaxing, dining or socialising outdoors. The right size parasol complements the overall look of your outdoor space. It can enhance the appeal of your space and create a balanced design. A parasol that is too large or too small can look out of place and disrupt the look of the area. Getting it right means you can prevent overcrowding, ensuring there’s enough space without feeling cramped or cluttered. Investing in the right size parasol can also be more cost-effective. You might think you need a larger parasol than you do, which can be more expensive. Getting the right size avoids having to buy twice or make adjustments.


Pallas 4m x 3m Rectangular Cantilever Parasol with LED Lighting in Beige - £1,399

Parasol size guide

At Harbour Lifestyle, our parasols come in different shapes and sizes to accommodate your outdoor space and preference. Here are the sizes of parasols available in either a round or rectangular shape:


Price from



2.4m x 3.3m










3.5m x 2.6m


3m x 2m


3m x 3m


3m x 4m



Challenger T2 Oak 3m Cantilever Square Parasol in Anthracite - £649.99

What size parasol do you need?

Whether you have a small balcony, a large patio or a big garden, the perfect parasol will provide enough shade, enhance your outdoor space and keep you protected. If you’re not sure what size parasol you need, here are some of our tips for getting the right size for your space. Start by measuring the size of the area you wish to shade. Measure the length and width of the space and keep these dimensions in mind as you shop for your parasol. For instance, a small balcony might only need a parasol with a diameter of 1.8 to 2.4 metres (6 to 8 feet), while a larger patio or garden area may require a parasol that spans 3 to 3.6 metres (10 to 12 feet).

The shape and layout of your outdoor space will also influence the size and type of parasol you need. For rectangular or elongated spaces, consider an oval or rectangular parasol to maximise coverage. In contrast, circular or square parasols work well for more uniformly shaped areas. Think about how the parasol will fit with existing garden furniture and structures, such as tables, chairs or garden features. The amount of shade you want will also affect your parasol size. If you want full coverage for a dining table — for example, if you’re wondering what size parasol for a 6 seater table — ensure the parasol extends beyond the table’s edges on all sides. For lounging or seating areas, the parasol should cover the entire space, providing enough shade for everyone. 


Voyager T1 3m x 2m Rectangular Parasol in Grey - £299.99


How to measure the parasol size you need

Even if you think you know what size parasol you need, it always makes sense to double-check. Follow these tips to work out the parasol size you need for your outdoor space:

  • Use a sturdy, good-quality tape measure to get accurate measurements. Get someone to help you measure if it’s a large area or if you want someone to double-check the measurements you’ve taken.
  • Start by measuring your table size. If you’re shading a dining table, measure its diameter or length and width. Add at least 0.6 to 1 metre (2 to 3 feet) to these dimensions to ensure there is enough coverage.
  • Account for overhand in your measurements. Think about the placement and number of chairs around your table. Ensure that the parasol provides enough shade for all seating positions. This might mean choosing a larger parasol or adjusting its position to cover a bigger area.
        • Pay attention to the sun’s path over your outdoor space. The angle and position of the sun can affect how much shade a parasol provides throughout the day. Choose a parasol with a tilting feature or an adjustable canopy to maintain optimal shade as the sun moves.
        • Check height clearance and make sure there’s enough vertical space for your parasol. This is especially important if you plan to place it in an enclosed area or somewhere with low-hanging structures.
        • If you want to move your parasol around, measure each area you’re thinking of placing it in to avoid any sizing surprises. A parasol with adjustable heights and tilted mechanisms can help with this too.

          Pallas 4m x 3m Rectangular Cantilever Parasol with LED Lighting in Beige - £1,399


          Other things to consider before buying a parasol

          Choosing the right size parasol is crucial for creating a comfortable and aesthetically pleasing outdoor space. However, the size is just one of a few different factors to consider. Here are some other options to think about in addition to the size of the parasol you choose.



          The material of your parasol is important as it determines its look and durability, and how much maintenance you might need. The material you choose depends on where and how often you plan to use your parasol. 

          Some general tips for choosing the right material for your parasol include:

          • Look for high-quality, UV-resistant fabrics like polyester or acrylic. These materials provide excellent sun protection and are available in various colours and patterns. They’re usually easier to clean and more water resistant than other fabric types.
          • Think about the colour of material that works best in your space and with the overall look and feel of your area. 
          • Aluminium frames are lightweight, rust-resistant and easy to move. Wooden frames offer a classic look but may require more maintenance to prevent weather damage. Steel frames are durable and sturdy but can be prone to rust if not properly treated.

          Ares 3m Square Cantilever Parasol with Solar powered LED Lights in Beige - £649



          The design of your parasol should complement your outdoor setting and meet the needs of your space. Parasols come in various different shapes, including round, square and rectangular. Choose the shape that best fits the layout of your space and the area you want to shade. A round or square space doesn’t automatically mean the parasol shape you use has to match. However, it can feel more balanced and maximise the use of your space better. Choose the shape that works best in your space. Consider features like tilting mechanisms for adjustable shade, cantilever designs for more flexible positioning, and vented canopies for better wind resistance.



          Not all parasols are created equally. Some use lighter, cheaper materials but are less long-lasting than other styles. If you’re investing in your outdoor living space, then choose a high-quality parasol. It will look good for longer and will last as long as you need it to. Look for sturdy frames with reinforced joints and smooth mechanisms. High-quality frames are less likely to bend or break under stress. Higher-quality fabrics and craftsmanship mean parasols will maintain their appearance and effectiveness longer. Choose parasols with fade-resistant, water-repellent, and UV-protective fabrics to protect your space. 

          If you’re after additional furniture options to with your parasol, take a look at our outdoor-fabric range for more.



          Your budget will influence your options, but remember that a higher initial investment can result in longer-term savings. A good quality parasol is made to last and enjoy for longer. High-end parasols often use advanced materials, elegant designs and tend to be more durable.

          Riva 3.5m Round Green Parasol £124.99


          What size parasol base do you need?

          Choosing the correct parasol base size is important to keep your parasol stable and safe. A properly sized base provides the necessary weight to keep the parasol stable, especially in windy conditions. An undersized or too-light base can cause the parasol to tip over, which can be dangerous and may lead to damage to the parasol or surrounding furniture. Ensuring the base is heavy enough for the size of the parasol prevents accidents and keeps your outdoor space safe.

          The size of the parasol base depends on the size of the parasol canopy. You should ensure the base is compatible with the parasol’s pole diameter and heavy enough to prevent tipping over:

          • Small parasols (up to 2.5 metres/8 feet): typically require bases weighing around 20-30 kg (44-66 lbs).
          • Medium parasols (up to 3 metres/10 feet): require bases weighing 30-50 kg (66-110 lbs).
          • Large parasols (up to 3.6 metres/12 feet and above): need heavier bases, 50 kg (110 lbs) and up.

          Ensure the base is compatible with the parasol’s pole diameter and has sufficient weight to prevent tipping over.


          Granite 90kg Cantilever Parasol Base With Wheels - £399


          What size parasol cover do you need?

          A parasol cover protects your parasol from the elements when not in use. To work out what size parasol cover you need, you should start by measuring the widest part of the parasol canopy when fully opened. You should also measure the height of the parasol, including the pole.

          Choose a cover slightly larger than your measurements to ensure a good fit and easy covering/removal. For example, if your parasol canopy is 3 metres (10 feet) wide and 2.5 metres (8 feet) high, select a cover that accommodates these dimensions comfortably.


          What to do if you buy the wrong parasol size

          Sometimes the best-laid plans don’t work out. If you find you’ve bought the wrong parasol size, you can return your parasol to Harbour Lifestyle. We offer a 14-calendar day returns policy, effective from the day your order is delivered, to give you complete peace of mind.

          When returning an item, all we ask is that the item is unused and in the original condition you received it in. This includes all labels and tags being intact and original packaging being used. Once your item has been received and checked, we action refunds immediately.


          Challenger T2 3m Square Cantilever Parasol in Taupe - £499.99


          Choosing your perfect parasol

          Finding the perfect parasol is essential for creating a comfortable outdoor retreat where you can relax. Using this parasol size guide, getting the right dimensions, shape and material will transform the look and feel of your garden, patio or balcony. Take the time to measure and plan your parasol to get the right balance and stop wondering, “What size parasol do I need?”

          Whether you choose a round, square or rectangular parasol, you’ll find one that works for you to give you shade, shelter and an aesthetic you’ll love. Explore our parasol collection and turn your outdoor space into an oasis. Take a look at our range of outdoor shade options which include parasols and modern pergolas to find the perfect fit for your garden.




          What size parasol do you need for a 6-seater table?

          For a 6-seater table, a parasol with a diameter of 2.5 to 3 metres (8 to 10 feet) is typically ideal. This size ensures adequate coverage for all seated guests, providing sufficient shade and protection from the sun.


          Should a parasol be bigger than a table?

          A parasol should be larger than the table it is intended to shade. Ideally, the parasol should extend 0.6 to 1 metre (2 to 3 feet) beyond the edges of the table to ensure full coverage and protection from the sun for everyone seated around it.


          Do parasol bases fit all parasols?

          Not all parasol bases fit all parasols. It's important to match the base to the parasol's pole diameter and weight requirements. Check the specifications of both the parasol and the base for compatibility and stability.