When investing in a parasol, it's essential to choose the right size to meet your needs for sun protection and outdoor living. Whether you're looking for a parasol for your garden, terrace, or patio, several factors need to be considered to select the ideal size.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll examine the various factors you should consider when choosing the size of your parasol.

Available Space

When choosing a parasol, one of the first considerations is the available space where you plan to install it. Before even looking at the different sizes of parasols available on the market, take the time to measure the potential installation area.

To do this, grab a tape measure or ruler and carefully measure the area where you intend to place your parasol. It's important to consider all aspects of this area, including the available ground surface as well as the height available for opening and closing your parasol.

If you plan to install your parasol above a patio table or seating set, make sure to also measure the size of the table or set to determine the space you'll need for the parasol to provide adequate coverage.

Additionally, consider the location of your parasol in relation to any existing furniture, walkways, and other potential obstacles. Make sure to leave enough space around the parasol to allow for smooth circulation and to avoid any clutter.

Once you have all these measurements in hand, you'll be able to determine the maximum size of the parasol that you can accommodate in the available space. This measurement will help you narrow down your options and choose a parasol that fits perfectly in your outdoor environment while providing adequate sun protection for you and your guests.

Parasol shape

The shape of the parasol is an important aspect to consider when choosing the size, as it influences not only the overall aesthetic but also how the parasol will cover the surrounding space. Here's a more detailed exploration of the different parasol shapes and their impact on the required space:

Round parasols: Round parasols are among the most common shapes. Their circular design offers uniform and concentrated coverage, ideal for shading a small patio table or a set of chairs. Due to their compact shape, round parasols may require less ground space than square or rectangular shapes of a similar size.

Square parasols: Square parasols offer more extensive coverage than their round counterparts, making them ideal for shading larger seating sets or rectangular spaces. However, due to their angular shape, square parasols may require a bit more ground space for optimal installation.

Rectangular parasols: Rectangular parasols are particularly suitable for covering large rectangular patio tables or elongated entertainment areas. Their elongated shape allows for extended coverage in one direction, making them ideal for large groups or spacious reception areas. However, due to their length, rectangular parasols may require a wider space for easy opening and closing.

Octagonal parasols: Octagonal parasols offer an interesting alternative to more traditional shapes. Their octagonal design combines the extended coverage of round parasols with a unique aesthetic. Although their shape is slightly more complex, octagonal parasols can generally be installed in spaces similar to those of comparable-sized round parasols.

Size of the table or area to cover

The size of the table or area you plan to cover with your parasol is a crucial factor in choosing the appropriate size. Here are some points to consider when evaluating the size of the table or area to cover:

Table surface: If you plan to use your parasol to shade a patio table, carefully measure the table surface. An appropriately sized parasol should be large enough to fully cover the table surface when opened. Make sure the diameter of the parasol is at least equal to or slightly larger than that of the table for adequate sun protection.

Number of table seats: Consider the number of seats around the table or the area to cover. A properly sized parasol should provide adequate coverage for everyone sitting around the table, ensuring that each person can enjoy comfortable sun protection.

Size of the area to cover: If you plan to use the parasol to shade a specific area rather than a table, measure the size of that area to determine the appropriate parasol size. Make sure the parasol is large enough to cover the entire shaded area, ensuring it provides adequate sun protection for those inside that area.

Parasol height

In addition to the size of the surface to cover, also consider the height of the parasol relative to the table or shaded area. Make sure the parasol is tall enough to provide adequate coverage while allowing for sufficient airflow and avoiding any clutter with surrounding furniture or objects.

Number of people to shade

The number of people you plan to shade regularly is a determining factor in choosing the appropriate size for your parasol. Here are some additional considerations to take into account:

Large groups of people: If you plan to use your parasol to shelter a large group of people during gatherings, barbecues, or other outdoor events, a larger model will be needed to provide adequate coverage for everyone. In this case, opt for a generous-sized parasol capable of providing sufficient shade for the entire group.

Small groups or single person: Conversely, if you typically have only a small group of people to shade or even just one person, a smaller parasol may suffice. A more modest-sized parasol may be more practical and economical for restricted spaces or more occasional uses.

It's important to consider the number of people you plan to shade regularly to choose an appropriately sized parasol. A parasol that's too small may not provide adequate coverage for everyone, while one that's too large may be excessive and cumbersome for a small group or a single person.

Lifestyle and outdoor activities

Think about your lifestyle and the activities you typically engage in outdoors. If you frequently host outdoor meals, barbecues, or parties, a larger parasol may be necessary to meet your needs. Conversely, if you're simply looking for some shade to read or relax, a smaller parasol may suffice.

The usage

Finally, consider the usage and maneuverability of the parasol, especially if you intend to move it frequently. A smaller, lighter parasol may be easier to move and handle, while a larger parasol may require more effort to move.


Choosing the right size parasol is essential to ensure adequate sun protection and seamless integration into your outdoor space. Several factors should be considered in this decision, including available space, parasol shape, size of the table or area to cover, number of people to shade, lifestyle and outdoor activities, as well as portability and maneuverability.

By taking the time to carefully measure your available space, consider the appropriate shape and size based on your specific needs, and take into account your lifestyle and typical outdoor activities, you'll be able to choose a parasol that meets your expectations in terms of functionality, comfort, and aesthetic.

Whether you're looking for a small parasol for personal use or a large parasol for family or friend gatherings, it's important to find the right balance between size, practicality, and aesthetic to create a pleasant and welcoming outdoor environment.

By keeping these tips and considerations in mind, you'll be able to choose the perfect parasol that allows you to fully enjoy your outdoor moments while effectively protecting yourself against the sun's rays and adding a touch of style to your outdoor space.

May 10, 2024 — Briana Ntolla