Does an Umbrella in a Patio Table Need a Base?

No outdoor conversation is enjoyable if the sun shines directly into your eyes the whole time! Patio tables benefit greatly from umbrellas, but when it is windy, it may be time to ask: do you need a base for an umbrella in a patio table?

An umbrella in a patio table still needs a base of the appropriate weight. Though many patio tables have holes for umbrellas to rest in, these are not enough to keep the umbrella from being damaged or blown away in severe wind conditions.

Contrary to popular belief, a patio table’s hole is not enough to keep an umbrella secure. In this article, we’ll break down the umbrella base issue into two categories:

  • Why does a patio table umbrella need a base?
  • What kind of base does a patio table umbrella need?

Once we establish the dangers to an umbrella (even those sprouting from a patio table) and walk through what kinds of bases will protect against such dangers, you can confidently answer the question: do you need a base for an umbrella in a patio table?

Why does a patio table umbrella need a base?

Nobody likes to spend extra money. Especially not if you’ve picked out a patio furniture setOpens in a new tab. that put a little strain on the wallet! Sometimes it can feel easier to let your umbrella rest without a base simply. After all, what is the hole in the patio table for?

Though some can make the mistake of believing that their patio table’s umbrella hole will protect their umbrella, it is dangerous to go without an umbrella base.

A patio umbrella can stand on a table on its own, but it will be far less secure. The very thing that makes an umbrella so useful on a patio is also what puts it, and your backyard, at risk: the diameter of the umbrella itself.

This is because the umbrella’s diameter is built to keep off sunlight and debris, but it is also prone to catching gusts of wind. We may not have cause to worry about harsh breezes. After all, we aren’t even issued high wind warnings until they reach sustained 40-mile-per-hour gusts. 

Our patio umbrellas are not as strong as we are when it comes to resisting windOpens in a new tab.. A 20-mile-per-hour breeze can send a patio umbrella tumbling end-over-end. You don’t want that rolling around your garden or colliding with patio furniture. And you certainly don’t want it running the risk of hitting people!

This danger can happen even when an umbrella is in a patio table, or attached to a base if the base is not the proper weight.

What kind of base does a patio table umbrella need?

The answer to what kind of base a patio table umbrella needs is found in the same place all of the wind danger comes from the diameter of your patio umbrella! The term “base” can refer to both the stem and base or “foot” piece of the equipment. 

The base of the umbrella can be made of many different materials. Some are wood, some are metal, some are plastic, and some are even made of stone. All of these types can be effective, but they must be heavy and wide enough to provide a counterbalance to the diameter of the umbrella itself.

The weight relative to your patio umbrella’s diameter or feet is the most important thing to consider in an umbrella base. 

For example, if you have a smaller six-foot umbrella, be sure to have a base of at least twenty pounds. On the other hand, if you own a honking huge eleven-foot umbrella, you need a base that is at least seventy pounds!

A rough estimate is to measure your patio umbrella and multiply the number of feet by 5 or 6. Mathematic solutions might be boring or a hassle, but hey, they’ll keep your umbrella and your garden from getting friendly with each other during wind storms!

These measurements can be taken down by a few pounds if your umbrella has the added benefit of standing in a patio table. But it is always better to be safe than sorry. In high enough wind storms, gusts of air can yank your patio umbrella up and out of the table. In extreme cases, your umbrella can act as a sail and drag the poor patio table along for a ride!

Another important factor in ensuring that your patio umbrella base is adequate is by seeing what kind you have. For example, if your patio umbrella base is hollow, don’t leave it that way! It is meant to be filled with something that can weigh it down, like sand or water.

Your umbrella base does not have to be unattractive. After all, if you put a lot of care and thought into the décor of your patio and its table, you deserve an umbrella that matches!

Umbrella bases come decoratively, too. And there is no harm in spray painting a useful, but ugly, metal base. Who says you can’t be safe and stylish?

Always examine your patio umbrella base carefully. Some have screws and other securing mechanisms to be sure it stays in place. Others may be automatically welded or otherwise bonded together. And more still may need you to be proactive and purchase thumb screws. Keep an eye on that base and investigate what is right for you!


So, what is the answer to the question: do you need a base for an umbrella in a patio table? Absolutely, an umbrella is not safe without a base, even if it is attached to a patio table.

Not only do patio umbrellas provide shade, they can also keep outdoor debris from interrupting a nice backyard conversation. For this reason, it is important to be sure that no aggressive winds can deprive you of your patio table umbrella. The best way to keep your belongings safe is to ensure they are secured with the base of the proper weight.

Ryan Nickel

A Red Seal carpenter, passionate about building decks to be enjoyed.

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