Patio Umbrellas vs. Market Umbrellas

When browsing stores or websites for a new outdoor umbrella, there can be a lot of jargon pop up. These industry terms can be confusing, and you are not alone in wondering what they all mean. Here we will break down the difference between patio umbrellas and market umbrellas, two of the most popular terms that you are likely to hear.

What is a patio umbrella?

The term “patio umbrella” simply refers to any form of umbrella that is designed to be used outdoors, most commonly on a patio, hence the name. There are a number of styles that can be considered a patio umbrella because that really is just an umbrella term (pun intended). Perhaps this is why it is so confusing to see the term given to such a variety of different types.

The most common material for a patio umbrella frame is either aluminum or wood, because these are sturdy, and tend to be the best and withstand harsh weather conditions for years. However, more recently, there has been a large increase in umbrellas being made with a fiberglass frame. Just like this Monterey pulley lift umbrella, the fiberglass frame is flexible to handle extreme wind, and it will not rot or rust.

Traditionally, patio umbrellas were made in an octagonal shape, although modern trends have also turned to square shapes as well. It is somewhat dependent on the number of ribs that extend out. Most umbrellas have 8 ribs, although many patio umbrellas can function with as little as 4 (creating the square shape), or as many as 24. 

So then what is a market umbrella?

A market umbrella is simply a type of patio umbrella. This term refers to the shape of the umbrella - a market umbrella has a distinct octagonal shape that is so common around the world.

There are no specific uses for market umbrellas, they too are designed for general outdoor use. The octagonal shape of the canopy comes from having 8 ribs, giving it a sturdy frame to fight not only the sun, but the wind and rain.

The term “market umbrella” is often only associated with a wooden frame, because traditionally this was the material used. Of course, umbrellas today are also made using aluminum and fiberglass as well, using the octagonal shape. Some websites still refer to these as market umbrellas, while others consider these to be in the "market-style" without truly being market umbrellas.

In summary:

In the simplest of terms, a patio umbrella is simply a name for any outdoor umbrella. A market umbrella is a style of the umbrella with 8 ribs protruding from the center pole to create an octagonal shape with the canopy.


If you want to browse online for market-style patio umbrellas, feel free to have a look at the options available at Sunniland Patio. Here you completely customize one of our top-of-the-line models, creating an umbrella that is perfect for your outdoor living area.

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