Find the best parasol for your balcony or rooftop terrace with this guide

Is it summer yet? Let’s go outside! Ah, summer. The weather is warm, and your balcony beckons, offering fresh air and breezes so you can relax and relish not being inside.

But be careful of that sun! Sunscreen and a good hat can go a long way, but a quality parasol shading your balcony would make enjoying the outdoors so much easier.

Balconies and rooftop terraces come in many shapes and sizes, making it difficult to find the best balcony parasol to fit your space perfectly. So we’re here to help you out! We’ve collected our best advice and four recommendations for the best parasol for your balcony or rooftop terrace.

Pro-tip: If you have a terrace or a garden, take a look at our blog “The best parasol for your garden or terrace”.

Type and shape of your balcony or rooftop terrace

To help you find the best parasol for your outdoor space, whatever you have, you need to determine the type and shape of that space. Is it small? Long? At a corner? On a high rooftop?

These may sound like nitpicky questions, but they can mean the difference between cool comfort and inconvenience or even unnecessary drama! Of course, if you like getting hit by a wayward canopy or seeing it sail off and hit your neighbor, then you can buy whatever suits your fancy. But if you just want to sit in the shade in peace, read on.

A rectangular balcony often benefits from a rectangular parasol or a half-parasol.

For maximum shade, we recommend a rectangular parasol around 2.2x1.3 metres. For more sun, try a half-parasol that you can position close to the wall.

A corner terrace may have a little extra space and can therefore take a larger parasol.

Our pick for this space would be a round parasol between 2 and 2.8 metres or a square one between 1.8x1.8 and 2.8x2.8 metres.

Usually a rooftop offers more space and more options. You could get one large round or square parasol to create a central island of shade. You can also use two round canopies to create more flexible arrangements.

We suggest either one 3.5-metre parasol or two 2.4- to 3-metre parasols.

If your outdoor space is high up, make sure to factor in the wind effect and weight your parasol accordingly.

Depending on the amount of wind, you may want a 2.8x2.8 or 3x3-metre square or a 3- to 3.5-metre round canopy.

Sun exposure

Do you get a lot of afternoon sun or a low evening sun? As the sun travels across the sky throughout the day, the intensity of the heat changes and your shade moves. You need to consider when you most expect to be outside to determine the best balcony parasol for you.

As the sun moves, you’ll want to move the parasol or yourself to stay in the shade. But you may have limited space or patience for moving your entire setup every 30 minutes.

The solution? A parasol with tilt and height mechanisms! Now you can control the direction of your shade. We have recommendations for those too.

Morning sun Midday sun Evening sun
Tilt and height adjustment are good to have. Tilt and height are mostly optional. Tilt and height are a must to protect you from low rays and reduce the heat of the day.

Pro tip: A half-parasol is excellent protection from midday sun if your space is small or your setup is close to the wall. Otherwise you may prefer a standard round or square canopy.

Wind conditions

If you live near a large body of water, in a very open area or in a mountain region, you’ll want to think about the wind. Even large cities can experience special kinds of wind effects.

Pro tip: The best parasol for your balcony or rooftop terrace will have 8 ribs instead of 6 to increase durability, stability and wind resistance.

If you live in a gusty area, this table will come in handy.

Cityscapes Mountains, hills or ocean Plains or open areas

Tall buildings create heat and channel air currents in “wind tunnels” that flow past your balcony or rooftop.

A rooftop terrace would need a 30- to 50-kg base at minimum. You may want to consider additional weight if you get strong winds.

A rectangular or corner balcony can use a 25-kg half-parasol base or 30-kg compact base.

These areas can be unpredictable, especially with wind. We suggest extra weight or as small a parasol as you can manage.

For a rooftop terrace, a 50-kg base would be safest. An extra sandbag or two may help as well.

Rectangular or corner balconies would benefit from a 50-kg half-parasol base or 30-kg compact base.

In places where winds are more constant, you want to focus on choosing a stable base.

On a rooftop, consider a 40- or 50-kg base and maybe some sandbags.

For a rectangular or corner balcony, a 25- to 30-kg half-parasol base or 30-kg compact base could work.

Pro tip: In one of the cases where less is more, we recommend a small, high-quality parasol if you live in a windy area. A small parasol needs less weight, and a high-quality parasol will give you years of use instead of breaking in the first breeze of the season.

To learn more, please read our ultimate guide to parasols.

The best parasols for balconies and rooftop terraces

Now that you know what you need, what should you buy? We have suggestions for that, too! Please consider these a jumping-off point for your research. It’s a big Internet out there, so there may be a great choice or two out there that we might have missed. If you find such a choice, please email us at [email protected] or drop us a line in chat so we can update our guides to help more people like you!

The best parasols for small balconies

For a tiny balcony, part-time shade or a small budget, this parasol is a good choice. It offers +50% UV protection, but the 160-g fabric will fade fairly quickly.

Pros

  • Low cost
  • +50% UV protection
  • Tilt and height adjustments

Cons

  • Fast-fading fabric
  • Few ribs and low-quality construction

Quality

Glatz Alu-Smart

This parasol costs more but will last longer and work more effectively. It has 220-g fabric and 99% UV protection.

Pros

  • Strong fabric
  • 99% UV protection
  • Push to open
  • Tilt and height adjustments

Cons

  • High price

Need a good base for your new parasol?

Check out Baser

The best half-parasols

Budget

Park Ardente

This parasol fits nicely against the wall to shade you from midday sun. If you want to spend the bare minimum, then consider this canopy.

Pros

  • Low cost

Cons

  • Crank system
  • Fast-fading fabric
  • Few ribs and low-quality construction
  • No height or tilt adjustment

This choice has sturdy material, although it’s not top of the line, and decent construction to last a few more years.

Pros

  • 180-g fabric

Cons

  • Crank system
  • High price

Want a flexible base for your balcony parasol?

Try a Spacesaver

The best parasols for large terraces

A rooftop or large terrace calls for a lot of shade. This parasol does the job at a reasonable price.

Pros

  • Good price
  • Tilt function

Cons

  • Low-quality fabric and construction
  • No height adjustment
  • Crank system

You can enjoy this canopy for years. Quality material and finish with well-built features.

Pros

  • Good functionality
  • Great UV protection
  • Push to open
  • Tilt and height adjustments

Cons

  • High price
  • Fabric could be better for the price

Try a Baser Compact for your terrace!

See the Compact

The best parasols for rectangular balconies

A rectangular balcony calls for a rectangular parasol. (It looks square in the photo but isn’t.) This parasol is the sure choice on the budget end.

Pros

  • Good price
  • Tilt function
  • Crank system

Cons

  • Low-quality fabric and construction
  • No height adjustment

This parasol will take up less space when opening and is ideal for rectangular balconies.

Pros

  • Good functionality
  • Decent fabric
  • Crank system

Cons

  • Complicated to fix
  • No height adjustment
  • Double the price of the Bilbao

A Baser Spacesaver is perfect for these choices!

Try one out

Need more help? Ask us!

If you’re still unsure about the best balcony parasol for you, or if you want to learn more about what we offer, come take a look at our catalogue or contact us directly at [email protected] or through our chat. We’d love to help you find the perfect shade for your space.

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