When decorating our outdoor space, it can be hard to capture the feeling of a beachside vacation, no matter how much you want to. However, one staple that can easily be added to your décor is a Tiki Umbrella. There are many umbrellas on the market, but which one is best?
I’ve compiled a list of ten Tiki Umbrellas, with comparisons of their pros, cons, and features.
What is a Tiki Umbrella?
A Tiki Umbrella is an outdoor umbrella made from grass thatch, and/or fringe. It can have a variety of shapes, but the most common is octagonal. Other types featured among our list are two tiered, circular, and hexagonal. The umbrella is usually tall and large, designed to shade a patio seating area. Tiki Umbrellas are perfect to shade a table and chairs, a couple of lounging chairs, or a bench.
What to Consider When Buying a Tiki Umbrella?
When buying a Tiki Umbrella, you will of course want to consider a variety of factors including its dimensions and construction. Specific concerns include:
The Umbrella Size
The size of the umbrella will be a limiting factor when determining which umbrella to purchase. You will want to avoid an umbrella that is too large or small for your space, as it will look strange. You will also want to choose one that provides adequate shade for your desires – covering the desired area.
The Total Height
Many of the umbrellas on the market are similar in height, but you may need to keep the height in mind while you shop. If you need to be able to retract the umbrella yourself, and you are more petite a shorter umbrella will be a better choice. Conversely, a taller umbrella provides more shade.
I don’t imagine you will need to consider ceiling height, since Tiki Umbrellas are usually outside, but if you do have a ceiling in your space then you will need to make sure the clearance is adequate.
Real Thatch vs Fake Thatch Design
A traditional Tiki Umbrella is made from grass thatching, which is similar in appearance to straw. Some Tiki Umbrellas sold choose a fake thatch instead, usually made of synthetic materials. The traditional thatching may be eco-friendlier and more authentic, but the fake thatch has gained popularity due to its durability and increased color palette. Personal preference will dictate which one is right for your space.
The Overall Construction Quality
Perhaps the most important consideration will be the quality of materials and overall construction of the umbrella. Shoddy construction or materials will cause the Tiki Umbrella to break quickly, making it a waste of your hard-earned money.
Ideally, sturdy materials like steel or solid wood will make up the poles, while the thatching will be weaved tightly without loose ends. Features such as a crank or a weighted base will also be notable boons to the construction – consider whether these are must have features for you.
10 Best Tiki Umbrellas for Your Backyard
Among the best Tiki Umbrellas on the market are these ten, which oddly enough are almost all synthetic. They were chosen based on price, ease of use, and transparent size dimensions. While many do not come with a base for the umbrella, they have a variety of other useful features that will make them perfect for the beach, pool, or patio.
The Kitadin Tiered Patio Umbrella is a tiered design made from 100% imitation polyester thatching. It comes in two sizes – 9 ft. and 10 ft. tall. The materials appear to be of good quality; however, the lack of included base is frustrating.
It boasts increased wind stability from several vents in the thatching, but a wide and heavy base should keep your umbrella steady in a light breeze, and it really shouldn’t be open in a storm anyway. I appreciate the inclusion of a hand crank, since closing a large umbrella without one can be a real pain.
The Tangkula umbrella is a more traditional looking design with a foe wooden pole and ribbing, but it too is made of polyester and steel. It can be repositioned via a hinge joint midway up the main pole, which can be useful to provide maximum shade as the sun moves throughout the day. This umbrella is a little on the smaller side at 6.5 ft. tall and lacks an included stand which I would consider a con. Additionally, it does not have a hand crank to open and close the umbrella.
As a plus, the tip is pointed for easy setting into dirt or sand at the beach.
The Aoodor Umbrella is a 9ft. tall three-tiered design. Unlike many of the other options, the pole and ribbing are made of Eucalyptus wood finish instead of steel. It includes a pulley opening and closing system, as well as a tilt point to adjust the angle of the umbrella. I worry that the pulley system may be more prone to breaking than a hand crank, but it is still much better than manually closing the towering umbrella. My favorite feature is the optional grass and/or sand anchor.
A possible negative for some buyers is the less grassy appearance of the umbrella, which has a much finer weave than the other grassier looking umbrellas.
The Ammsun Hula Umbrella is the most natural looking of the umbrellas, with a fiberglass, wood finish frame and a very realistic looking faux grass polyester weave. It appears very full and boasts an anti-fade fabric to combat sun bleaching. It is 7.5 ft. tall and includes an optional sand anchor.
The tilt joint allows repositioning, but it doesn’t appear to have an included crank. It does however come with a carrying case and is easy to fold down for transport.
The State Summerland Umbrella is a fabric umbrella with fringe, and thus is a tropical looking umbrella without being a true Tiki Umbrella. However, it has made the list because of its’ amazing reviews and similar aesthetic. It features a tilt joint, a sand auger, and a height adjuster. The umbrella radius is 6.5 ft. while the height can be adjusted between 6 and 7 ft. The frame is made of steel alloy with a wood finish, and it remains less than ten pounds when carried in the included bag.
The manufacturer states it is not designed for extended sun exposure, so it should be stored in the bad between uses.
The Kitadin 10 ft. Patio Umbrella is one of the larger models on the list at 10 ft. tall. It is made of a polyester faux grass with a steel alloy frame. This model is by the same brand as the first, but instead of a tiered design it has a shallow octagonal shape. Like the earlier model, it does not come with a suitable base.
This will need to be purchased separately. However, it does come with a handy crank to open and close the umbrella.
The Saemoza umbrella is my personal favorite on this list. It maintains the classic Tiki look, while benefiting from durable steel and polyester. It also has a small vent, which prevents wind drag without creating an over-the-top multi-tiered look. It has both a tilt adjuster and a hand crank – two very useful features – although it still lacks an included base which is apparently common but no less maddening to me.
As a stylish little bonus, this umbrella has solar powered LEDs along the ribbing for some extra party flair.
The Letkind umbrella is a rounded umbrella with synthetic materials. It has a tilt adjuster but no crank. The pole and ribbing are black steel, while the umbrella itself is faux polyester straw. It has an easy assemble screw in, as well as an included carrying bag for transport. Unfortunately, not only does it not come with a base, but it also has an unusually small pole diameter (1.25 inches) which may make buying a third-party base difficult.
They advertise the umbrella as 8 ft. tall, however several reviews indicate that it is closer to 6 ft. when not in a base. That being said, if a shorter umbrella would suit your space, it is good value for the money.
The Heininger Palapa Tiki Patio Umbrella may not appeal to everyone, but I adore the fun pink color. This model isn’t suited for easy beach use (the pole is flat not tapered) but is advertised for use on a patio. It is 6 ft. tall not including whatever base you put on it (since it doesn’t come with one) so it is a little on the short side.
The frame is aluminum with polyester thatching, and this umbrella is one of the cheaper options on the list. It has a tilt adjuster, and is a push umbrella, so no crank! All in all, this one is the best budget option, and frankly the most fun and colorful.
EasyGoProducts’ 8 ft. Thatch Umbrella is a full-figured traditional bell shape, with an alloy steel and fiberglass frame. The pole is a dark wood finish, while the canopy is made from eco-friendly sourced dried raffia grass. Due to the real grass involved in making the canopy, it is more prone to fading and damage if mistreated. Close it up and put a cover on it when not in use to avoid deterioration after a couple of summers.
It has a tilt adjuster and a pop-up design, meaning no crank, and many buyers have noticed that the ribs occasionally need to be popped back into place on the umbrella. This may be a major draw back for people, but the natural fibers and the ease of fixing this problem means I wouldn’t call this a deal breaker.
What is Thatch on a Tiki Umbrella?
Traditionally, the thatch on a Tiki Umbrella is made from dried grasses. In some umbrellas, it can be a polyester based synthetic instead.
Can You Use a Tiki Umbrella at the Beach?
Some Tiki Umbrellas are more portable than others, with a pointed end to the central stick. This allows it to be stood up in the sand of the beach securely, allowing you to install and remove the Tiki Umbrella easily. If you want to use a Tiki Umbrella at the beach, you will want to be on the lookout for these features.
How Long Will a Tiki Umbrella Last?
When stored properly, you can expect several seasons of use from your Tiki Umbrella. If the materials are good quality, the coloring will sun bleach long before it becomes tattered or full of holes. A natural fiber umbrella will typically last between two and four years, while a synthetic fiber umbrella can last up to eight years.
Should You Store Your Tiki Umbrella Away in the Winter?
Many pieces of outdoor furniture benefit from being stored, but for your Tiki Umbrella this is doubly true. Any Tiki Umbrella will experience some degradation of the thatching from prolonged exposure to freezing and thawing, however, the damage will be more pronounced in a natural fiber umbrella.
Tiki Umbrellas can add a pop of fun to your outdoor space. You will likely need to buy a base for your umbrella if you plan to use it in a patio setting, since most do not seem to come with a stand. Additionally, you’ll want to keep an eye out for shoddy materials which will cause breakage and shedding of the thatch. Carefully measure your space, and plan on something between 6 and 10 ft. tall with a diameter of about 6 ft.
The best rated umbrellas seem to be synthetic, perhaps because natural fibers simply aren’t durable enough for the average modern consumer. While you get extra durability from synthetic materials, keep in mid the ecological benefits of natural fibers, as well as a more authentic feel. Chosen correctly, you should expect between 2 and 8 years of use out of your umbrella, depending on your local climate.
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.