Does an Outdoor Umbrella Need a Base?

photo of an umbrella in a base

If you spend a lot of time outdoors, you’ll appreciate the usefulness of an outdoor umbrella. It provides much-needed protection from the elements whether you’re out in the warm sunshine or relaxing in the characteristically cool atmosphere of mild rain. However, before you install it, you should ask yourself whether the umbrella needs a base.

An outdoor umbrella needs a base to keep it anchored to the ground. Without a base, it can fall or fly off when it’s windy. The base should be strong enough to keep the umbrella from swaying around too much while open. Most umbrellas need a separate base as the built-in options don’t always work. 

The rest of the article will cover all you need to know about umbrella bases. You’ll discover DIY umbrella base options and the best ready-made bases you can buy right away.

Why an Outdoor Umbrella Needs a Base

Have you ever returned from work to find your patio umbrella in the pool? Even worse, very windy conditions can send the umbrella flying into your neighbor’s yard. Depending on the weight of the umbrella, such scenarios can prove costly. It could knock over items in the yard, damaging them. It could also deface the décor or break things in your neighbor’s yard and home.

An umbrella without a base isn’t only an inconvenience when it’s been blown away to the next street by the wind. Sitting under an umbrella that won’t stay in position can be fairly uncomfortable if the sun is beaming down heavily. You’ll spend too much time repositioning the umbrella while avoiding the glare of the sun.

Worse, it can even be actively dangerous – if you’re sitting underneath an unsteady umbrella, you may be injured if it flies away. Depending on where your runaway umbrella lands, there’s a risk that it may harm someone else as well. 

Why Cheap Umbrella Bases Are Bad

If your umbrella comes equipped with a cheap base, it will end up giving you a false sense of security. Using a cheap base is only a little ahead of not using any base in the first place. Cheap bases are rarely durable enough to hold the umbrella in place under any half-decent wind pressure.

Most homeowners with cheap bases on their umbrellas end up having to shore up the base with DIY methods like stacking sandbags on top of the existing base to make it more stable. While these can help improve the stability of the umbrella, they can ruin the aesthetic appeal of the yard if you’re not careful.

Top DIY Umbrella Base Options

If you’d like to make your own umbrella base, there are loads of options available to you that will be effective without ruining the aesthetic of your yard. Here’s a look at some of them:

A Concrete Umbrella Base

If you can buy some ready-to-mix concrete and a metal bucket, you can create a stronger base for your umbrella. All you need to do is mix the concrete in the bucket, smooth off the final mix/ You’ll then have 2 options. You can insert PVC pipe into the mix to act as the hole for your umbrella, or you can dip the umbrella pole into the mix while it’s still wet. See the video below for tutorial.

The concrete mix should solidify after a couple of hours. Once the concrete is cured, you’ll have a tough and durable umbrella base.

A Side Table Umbrella Base

If you have a heavy side table you don’t need indoors, you can take it outdoors and convert it to a base for your umbrella. All you need to do is create a hole in the center of the table that can take the umbrella’s pole. 

The table will hold the umbrella in place. You can also paint the table any color you want to match your desired aesthetics. If you don’t have a table, you can buy one. Alternatively, you can buy some wood and create yours from scratch using this tutorial.

A Sandbag Umbrella Base

If you already have a lightweight umbrella base, this simple DIY option will appeal to you. All you need to do is to fill some bags with sand. You need at least three bags. 

As mentioned above, once they’re filled, put them on top of the current umbrella base to make it more durable and capable of withstanding windy conditions. It’s not the most aesthetically appealing option, but it works well in a pinch!

A Flower Pot Base

A flower pot can also double as a durable umbrella base if you know what to do. There are two main options:

  • Put in the umbrella and pack the pot with sand as tightly as possible. The sand should cover at least a third of the umbrella pole. 
  • Use the concrete umbrella base method described above, substituting the bucket for a flower pot.

No matter which you choose, you may need to do a little additional DIY to ensure your umbrella is as tall as you like. If the umbrella you have is tall enough, you’re in luck. However, if you feel it’s too short, especially after being attached to a base, you can plug a PVC pipe into the umbrella pole to elongate it. 

The Best Ready-Made Umbrella Bases You Can Buy Now 

If you’re not cut out for the DIY approach or just prefer a neatly designed umbrella base that won’t stick out like a sore thumb, you can go with a factory-made umbrella base.

Here’s a look at some of the best ready-made umbrella bases you can buy today (all of which are available on

JEAOUIA 50 LB Patio Umbrella Base

JEAOUIA 50 LB Patio Umbrella Base, Black Outdoor Heavy Duty Patio Umbrella Holder Water Filled Garden Steel Pole Round Base for 6 to 9Ft Patio Umbrellas for Backyard, Garden and Beach

This umbrella base can hold up to 50lbs (22 kg) of sand or water to keep your umbrella stable in windy conditions. It’s made of durable HDPE, which makes it corrosion and weather resistant. You can count on it to serve you for years.

The base is powerful enough to hold umbrellas between 6 and 9 ft in (15.24-22.86 cm) length, and the pole diameter is around 1.5-1.9 inches (3.81-4.83 cm). Once the pole is inserted, you can hold it in place with an adjustable knob.

Christopher Knight Home Hamilton Umbrella Base

Christopher Knight Home Hamilton 33lb Umbrella Base, Black

If you want a heavy umbrella base you don’t have to fill up with sand or water to use, this product from Christopher Knight home stores is one of the best you can find. You get 33lbs (14 kg) of iron and concrete that can keep your umbrella in place.

The manufacturers throw in some adapters in the package to ensure your umbrella pole will fit regardless of diameter. The clean and stylish design will fit in nicely in most patios.

Sunnyglade 18” Antiqued Umbrella Base

This Sunnyglade umbrella base weighs 30 lbs (13.6 kg). It’s made of resin material to ensure solidity. The decorative pattern on the bronze finish gives it an elegant appearance that won’t look out of place anywhere.

Sunnyglade 18" 30.2-lbs Heavy Duty Round Antiqued Umbrella Base for Patio, Outdoor - Bronze

There are two couplers in the box, allowing the base to accommodate 1.38”-1.8” (3.51 cm-4.57 cm) diameter pipes. It’s not the heaviest base, but it can hold your umbrella in place on most days.

Final Thoughts

Outdoor umbrellas need a base to avoid turning into a missile that can cause injury or damage property in windy conditions. If your umbrella has no base or a lightweight, low-quality fitting, you’ll need to install a more durable option as soon as possible.

There are quite a few DIY options available you can work with, but if you’d rather buy a factory-designed one, there are also quite a few affordable options in the market. No matter which way you choose to go, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your umbrella will not be flying off when it’s windy!

Michael Carpenter

Hi, I'm Mike. I grew up in North Carolina having a blast on trampolines, go-karts, and just sitting on the porch with my friends. I have since moved to Las Vegas with my wife, 2 children, and 3 dogs. When I'm not chasing the kids around the house, I am probably chasing them around the backyard!

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