What types of parasols are there? An overview

There are many different types of parasols on the market, each with their own unique features. So that you don't lose track, we have summarised all types of parasols for you in this guide and go into more detail about the advantages and disadvantages of the individual variants.

The central mast parasol

Probably the most common parasol is the classic central mast parasol. As the name suggests, the supporting mast for the parasol is attached in the middle. Due to this construction, the central mast parasol is usually very stable and can also be set up well on windy days. Many central mast parasols can also be tilted in order to be able to position them, depending on the current direction of the sun.

Central mast parasols can be purchased in a wide variety of sizes, materials or shapes and are therefore ideally suited for small balconies to large terraces. From the inexpensive entry-level model to the premium parasol, all price ranges are included here. But even if the centrally positioned mast has many advantages, it only offers a limited shadow area depending on the size. Especially when several people want to protect themselves from the sun, a central mast parasol can reach its limits.

Another advantage is that the parasol is very flexible and can be moved with a suitable rolling base without any problems. If you are looking for a parasol at a reasonable price that does not have to provide shade for too many people, then the classic central mast parasol is the right choice.

Sonnenschirm auf Terrasse
LIRO Sonnenschirmständer im Restaurant

Market parasols, gastronomy parasols or large parasols

You have certainly heard of so-called “market parasols”, “gastro parasols” or “large parasols”. Strictly speaking, these are standard central mast parasols that only differ from an ordinary central mast parasol for private use in terms of their size or material properties.

Such large parasols can reach a span of over 4 meters and are characterized by their very simple assembly and disassembly. As the name suggests, they are therefore, ideally suited for market stalls or gastronomy. Market parasols can often also be closed at the top, which means that nothing has to be put away under the parasol.

Are you a trader and looking for robust and large parasols? Then you are exactly right here. Of course, large parasols are also great for private celebrations.

The traffic light parasol

The traffic light parasol (also known as a cantilever parasol or gallows parasol) is a contrast to the classic central mast parasol. Here the supporting mast is not positioned centrally, but on the side of the screen. This construction has the main advantage of gaining more usable shadow area, since the mast is no longer in the way. This is a great way to set up your garden furniture under the umbrella.

The cantilever parasol is mainly used in the private sector, as it is a little more susceptible to wind than the central mast parasol. Cantilever parasols are usually a bit more expensive than central mast parasols, as they are often only produced in slightly larger versions.

LIRO Sonnenschirmständer mit Rollen
Markise auf Balkon

The awning

An awning is usually fixed in one place (e.g. the terrace or balcony) and not only offers protection from the sun, but is also often used as a privacy screen. The awning is available in many different versions, for example, with an articulated arm, a rolling mechanism, as a standing awning or as a basket awning.

The awning is a very good choice if you want a lot of shade in a fixed place. Compared to central mast parasols or cantilever parasols, an awning can protect a significantly larger area from the sun and is therefore, ideal for larger families or festivals. Awnings are also extremely practical and space-saving, as most designs can be easily extended and retracted as you wish. Even stronger winds are not a problem if installed correctly.

A disadvantage is that awnings are not suitable for mobile use and are often significantly more expensive than ordinary parasols.

The sun sail

The sun sail is a currently popular and modern alternative to the classic parasol. As with the awning, the sun sail is permanently installed in a specific place and offers a lot of shade due to its large area.

However, the sun sail differs from the awning in that it is attached to several standpipes and can therefore be removed and cleaned without any problems. When installed correctly, an awning is also extremely wind-resistant.

A disadvantage can be the lack of flexibility, because an awning is also intended for a fixed location. If you want to enjoy the sun in this place, removing the sail can be very tedious.

Sonnensegel im Garten

Funnel umbrellas and other exotics

If you like it exotic, then you can also find other types of parasols on the market.

The funnel umbrella, for example, stands out due to its unusual shape, which is reminiscent of the plant world. Here the canopy runs upwards in the shape of a funnel. Sun roofs, pavilions or natural parasols can also be an exciting alternative.


There are many different parasols, each with their own strengths. Which parasol is the right one for you ultimately depends entirely on your wishes and circumstances. We hope that our guide was able to help you in your decision-making process. Once you have decided on the parasol of your choice, we will be happy to advise you on the matching mobile parasol stand.

Are you still missing a parasol stand?

Are you still looking for a suitable stand for your parasol? With the LIRO parasol stand, we have launched a product with a unique operating concept.

With the patented Lift & Roll technology, you can also move large parasols without any problems and you don't have to bend down. Find out more about LIRO here on our website.

Close Menu