Are you wondering if you can put an umbrella directly in your pool? The good news is that you can, but not all umbrellas are a good fit for being used in a pool.
In-pool umbrellas can help to shield you or your children from the sun as you lounge, play, or swim in the pool, especially if you have a tanning ledge on your pool. And for these reasons, we made sure to have an umbrella hole added to our tanning ledge when we designed and built our pool (and we are so glad we did!)
With so many pool umbrellas on the market, you can quickly get overwhelmed when you go shopping for one. The list below can help you find the right pool umbrella for your needs. Read on to learn more about the 5 best in-pool umbrellas for our review.
Summary of 5 Best In-Pool Umbrellas:
1. Best Aluminum Umbrella: Bluu Maple Pro Market Umbrella
2. Best Sunbrella Umbrella: Frontgate Round Outdoor Market Umbrella
3. Best Auto-Tilt Umbrella: Treasure Garden Market Umbrella
4. Best Value-for-the-Money Umbrella: California Umbrella 9-Foot Outdoor Umbrella
5. Best Budget-Friendly Umbrella: Grand Patio 9-Foot Outdoor Umbrella
What Kind of Umbrella Can You Put in a Pool?
If you are looking for an in-pool umbrella, you will want a market umbrella. A market umbrella (also called a center-pole umbrella) is likely the typical umbrella you envision when you think of a patio umbrella: an umbrella with a center pole that supports the canopy of the umbrella. This center pole of a market umbrella makes it different from a cantilever or offset umbrella that has a pole to the side of the umbrella canopy.
Cantilever or offset umbrellas can be a great option if you want an umbrella on the edge of the pool that can overhang the pool water. However, we are not aware of any cantilever umbrellas that can be placed directly in a pool (the base is too heavy to move in and out of the pool).
With a market umbrella, you will place the pole directly in an umbrella hole in the pool (or pool-safe mount) to support the umbrella. Since the pole will be directly submerged in the water, picking the right pole material is the key factor in evaluating if an umbrella can be used in a pool – don’t want an umbrella pole to get damaged by the pool water!
Several materials are used for outdoor umbrellas, like wood, metal, and fiberglass. When you are looking for an umbrella to use in your backyard pool, you will want to look for umbrellas that have either a fiberglass pole, aluminum pole, or stainless steel pole. These are the best materials for in-pool umbrellas because these materials are generally resistant to damage from water. For stainless steel or aluminum poles, be sure to select poles that are powder-coated. Aluminum can corrode in chlorinated water, and steel can rust over time, so powder-coating helps protect the pole from damage.
You should never select an umbrella that has a wood pole or a pole made with unprotected metals. These poles can warp, rot, rust, or corrode. This can be damaging to the pole itself, and your swimming pool.
How Do You Mount an Umbrella in a Pool?
There are three main ways that you can have an umbrella in your pool:
#1: In-Pool Umbrella Holes. If you have a gunite swimming pool, your pool may have umbrella holes on your tanning ledge (also called a Baja shelf) or benches. Simply, remove the cap that is on the umbrella hole, and slide the umbrella pole into the hole. This is by far the easiest option for putting an in-pool umbrella in your pool, but your pool must have these holes.
#2: Pool-Safe Umbrella Stands. In some cases, you can place an umbrella stand directly in your swimming pool if the stand is designed to be used in the pool or pool area. Before placing a stand in your pool, ensure that it is designed to be submerged in water. If the stand is metal, you should never use it in your pool. It can rust and damage your pool. Some stands can also rip pool liners or damage plaster.
#3: In-Pool Tables with Umbrella Holes. The final way you can mount an umbrella in a pool is with a table designed to be placed in your pool that has an umbrella hole. This is a great option that not only can hold an umbrella but also provides extra functionality for holding your poolside snacks and drinks. This outdoor furniture can be placed on wide pool steps or a pool shelf.
Common Question: Do You Need an Umbrella Sleeve Adapter?
An umbrella sleeve adapter is a product that is placed in an umbrella hole to reduce its circumference or diameter to make the umbrella fit more securely in the umbrella hole. An umbrella sleeve adapter is perfect if your umbrella seems a bit wobbly or if your umbrella tilts after it has been installed. This helps to ensure the umbrella is able to remain standing in a sturdy, upright position, even if there is a slight breeze or a little bit of wind.
5 Considerations for Selecting the Best Pool Umbrellas
We already talked about the importance of selecting the right pole material for your pool umbrella. However, there are other features that you need to pay attention to when you are selecting an umbrella for your pool. Paying attention to each of these features will help you select the best pool umbrellas for your outdoor space.
When you are looking to purchase a pool umbrella, you want to pay close attention to what type of fabric the umbrella is made from. Some fabrics are more durable than other fabrics. They may be able to hold up to sunlight, rain, and pool water better than other fabrics. Sunbrella is an extremely durable type of fabric that we highly recommend for pool umbrellas and patio umbrellas as it is weather resistant and withstands direct sun exposure.
#2 Pole Diameter
The diameter of the pole is another factor that you need to pay attention to as you shop for any type of umbrella. You want to ensure the pole will fit into whatever type of hole you are placing it into. If the diameter of the pole is wider than the hole, the pole will not fit. If the diameter of the pole is smaller, you may need an umbrella sleeve adapter, which is sold separately from the umbrella.
#3 Canopy Size and Shape
The canopy size and shape directly correlate to how much shade the umbrella can provide. Pay close attention to the canopy size and shape to ensure you get the amount of shade to the areas that you want to protect from the sun.
#4 The Umbrella Height
One of the lesser-known factors that you need to pay attention to when you are shopping for a pool umbrella is the height of the umbrella. You want to ensure that the umbrella is high enough so that it is over people’s heads when they are in the pool, and not too low to prevent people from accidentally running into the edges of the canopy.
#5 Lift Mechanism
The last factor that you need to consider when you are shopping for an umbrella, including a pool umbrella or a patio umbrella, is the lift mechanism. The lift mechanism refers to how the umbrella opens. The most common types of lift mechanisms are crank mechanisms, also referred to as crank lifts, push button auto-open mechanisms, and manual lift mechanisms, also called pulley lifts.
5 Best In-Pool Umbrellas
With so many options, it can be hard to find the best pool umbrella for your outdoor space. Below are umbrellas that we rank as the five best pool umbrellas on the market today.
Overview of Our Review Process:
We have hands-on experience using an umbrella in our pool (we have an umbrella hole in the tanning ledge of our pool), which helped shape our view of the key features to look for in an in-pool umbrella. We researched over 50 different umbrellas based on the key features listed above in this post. Based on this research and our hands-on experience, we developed this list of the 5 Best In-Pool Umbrellas.
Bluu Maple Pro Market Umbrella
The Bluu Maple Pro Market Umbrella is one of the best pool umbrellas on the market today for a number of different reasons. First, this umbrella is made with high-quality materials like aluminum and Outtra fabric. Thanks to the Outtra fabric, this umbrella is Global Recycled Standard certified, UV resistant certified, ATTCC certified for its colorfastness, and recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. Additionally, this umbrella comes the three different canopy diameters (7.5/9/11 feet) means that you can find the right size for your in-pool shade needs. The crank lift and push-button tilt make opening and positioning the umbrella a breeze. While the umbrella comes in six great colors, some may find that the right color option isn’t available for them like a true white, black, green, etc. However, this is an all-around great umbrella that will great and last for in-pool use.
Frontgate Round Outdoor Market Umbrella
While you may find many brands of outdoor umbrellas with Sunbrella fabric, it will be hard for you to find one that offers more style, pattern, and color options than Frontgate offers on its market umbrellas. While these umbrellas come in at the higher end of the price range, you definitely get the quality you expect given that this umbrella is made from high-quality aluminum frame (in multiple color options) and features crank and auto-tilt function, which is the best and easiest way (at least from our experience) to open and close an umbrella.
Treasure Garden Market Umbrella
Auto-title is one of our favorite features to look for in outdoor umbrellas. With an auto-tilt you simply turn the crank to open the umbrella and continue to turn to tilt the umbrella. For this umbrella from Treasure Garden, you can use the auto-tilt to tilt the umbrella to up to 30 degrees to help you direct the shade for your pool. It is also very durable, featuring high-quality materials of aluminum and Sunbrella, which are backed by a three-year warranty on the frame and a five-year warranty on the canopy. Although the price may be high for some, we found that the price of this umbrella with all of these great features represented a great value, especially for having an auto-tilt function.
California Umbrella 9-Foot Outdoor Umbrella
This umbrella from California Umbrella gets our selection as the best value because it is made from the high-quality materials of aluminum and Sunbrella and many of the color options for this umbrella are listed at great prices (many less than $200). Aluminum, as we cover above, is one of the best materials for in-pool umbrellas because it won’t rust, making it ideal for in-pool use. Sunbrella is one of best outdoor fabrics because it is specifically designed to block the suns’ ultraviolet rays, resists dirt and mildew, and withstand many years of outdoor use. So, finding umbrellas with these high-quality materials for less than $200 is a great value for any buyer.
Grand Patio 9-Foot Outdoor Umbrella
What really stood out to us about this Grand Patio umbrella was the price. If you are looking for an in-pool umbrella for <$100, then this umbrella should be on your list. The powder-coated aluminum pole is perfect for in-pool use, and the polyester fabric is advertised to offer up to UPF 50+ protection to keep you safe from UV rays. However, from our experience, polyester won’t last as long as other outdoor fabrics. But overall, if you are looking for a budget-friendly option that will be great to use in your pool, this umbrella is an excellent option.
There are many outdoor umbrellas that can be used as in-pool umbrellas. Make sure you choose an umbrella with the right materials that work best for in-pool use and are highly durable – our favorite is an umbrella with an aluminum frame and Sunbrella fabric canopy. And finally, make sure you check the details on all the features of the umbrella to ensure you know how to use the umbrella (ex: crank lift) and if you need any additional accessories like an umbrella cover or base.