With more holiday makers flocking to beaches every summer due to the increasing temperatures from global warming, and spending longer time exposed to the sun and UV rays, it’s not surprising that the need for effective UV protection is a must. You may be surprised to learn that an umbrella (brollie for UK folks), or parasol, doesn’t offer any UV protection by default. Most umbrellas and parasols are not sun protection rated, and can’t give good protection from UV rays.
The average person uses an umbrella for protection from rain, but specialized sun protection umbrellas and UV umbrellas, as well as UV parasols, can be used to prevent burning from the sun’s harmful UV rays, lower the risk of getting skin cancer and reducing aging. A good UV umbrella should provide protection from rain and UV rays.
UV Umbrella Styles
You get all kinds of styles and fashions for your personal taste or for any kind of occasion. For example, you can get these kinds of UV umbrellas or UV parasols:
- Golf UV umbrella
- Japanese style UV umbrella
- Children’s novelty UV umbrella
- Ladies UV umbrella
- Garden sun protection umbrella / garden UV parasol
- Compact UV umbrella
- Heart-shaped sun protection umbrella
- Travel sun protection umbrella
That is just a small list of the many types of anti UV umbrella kinds available. Compact UV umbrella styles are great for commuters and travellers, and can fold up into a tiny size that can easily be stowed away in a bag or pocket. Children’s novelty UV umbrellas are an excellent choice for your kids and will give you extra re-assurance that they will gave the best protection from UV rays possible.
Heart-shaped UV umbrellas can add a bit of fun and variation to the usual round shape of an umbrella, and garden sun protection umbrellas are perfect for large outdoor areas to give better protection to larger groups of people for family gatherings and functions. Japanese UV umbrellas are all the rage and can add a bit of extra style for your next outing, although they are generally frailer and not so good in windy conditions, so plan accordingly. A golf UV umbrella on the other hand is sturdy and can be suitable for most weather conditions due to its size, rain protection and stronger frame.
Standard Umbrella Versus UV Protection Umbrella
Studies show that your average every day umbrella or parasol does in fact absorb around 77% of the UV rays. Black umbrellas or parasols are better since black absorbs UV better, and white umbrellas are of course not as effective. However, it’s important to understand that you can still burn as the remaining UV rays can penetrate your umbrella or parasol. The UV umbrella or UV parasol however is designed to block out about 99% of the UV rays, and offers superior protection from harmful UV rays. It’s recommended to still apply a good SPF sun screen when out on a sunny day, especially when near water-based areas like on the beach or at the lake.
The Daily Mail newspaper in England said in one of its articles that a third of cancer-causing UV rays still reach the skin even when people are in the shade. The research, performed in Spain, involved placing a UV sensor beneath a large beach umbrella. Although the umbrella managed to block most of the harmful UV rays, many were still allowed through.
Using a normal umbrella for sun protection is therefore not nearly as effective as using a UV umbrella which is especially designed to block out almost all UV rays. Even with a UV umbrella or UV parasol however, there is no 100% guaranteed protection from all UV rays which is why its recommended to still wear a good SPF sun screen for extra protection. Combining a sun protection umbrella with an SPF sun lotion definitely will give you extra piece of mind.
Sun Protection Umbrella Size
Generally, there are 3 main UV umbrella sizes:
A compact UV umbrella is normally the smallest, and although they can be quite sturdy, many compact UV umbrellas are quite flimsy in any wind stronger than a breeze. These are quite commonly used for commuting to and from work and general travel. The advantage being that they are foldable and thus are super compact and can be easily stowed away in a bag or pocket.
A compact UV umbrella offers protection from rain and harmful UV rays and really is a great option to replace your regular commuting compact umbrella with. Remember, even when it is overcast and cloudy outside, UV rays still reach your skin, so getting a compact UV umbrella with excellent UV protection is a great option.
The standard size UV umbrella, or standard size anti UV umbrella, obviously can’t fold up to a compact size but has two clear advantages: it is quite sturdy and can withstand stronger winds, and it is also much larger and so offers a larger circumference of UV protection. This kind of UV umbrella size is the one I prefer, and comes in a large variety of styles, shapes and colors.
There are styles for travel, sports, dress up parties, fashionable Victorian and Japanese styles, and even for smart functions. Golf UV umbrellas are a particularly good all-rounder as they are strong, have a good wide circumference, and some even have chairs that can fold out so you can sit at outdoor events.
A UV garden parasol is typically used for outdoor settings and is normally fixed in place with a weighted stone or similar heavy base. Anti UV parasols are excellent to not only provide shade for yourself but for larger groups as well such as during family gatherings.
Parasols offer excellent all-around sun protection on patios, the beach or in the garden. And an anti UV parasol will ensure additional protection against those pesky UV sun rays. There are even some UV parasols that are rain proof and they also are incredibly sturdy, especially in above average wind conditions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Although some of these questions on sun protection umbrellas have been covered in the post, I will cover here the most common questions on UV umbrellas (also known as anti UV sun protection umbrellas) and anti UV garden parasols.
Are umbrellas UV protected?
No, your average every day sun / rain umbrella, or garden parasol, do not offer effective UV sun protection. They can reflect, and also absorb, a high percentage of UV rays, but it’s best to get a specialized UV umbrella for superior protection.
Are all umbrellas UV protection? / Are all umbrellas UV?
Most umbrellas and parasols do offer limited UV protection. Black umbrellas, or darker colored umbrellas, offer better protection from UV rays as darker colors absorb UV rays the best. White umbrellas are not as effective at preventing UV rays and are better at reflecting light, thus keeping you cooler.
How effective are UV umbrellas?
UV umbrellas, and UV parasols, can offer up to 99% protection from harmful UV rays, compared to average umbrellas and parasols which offer around 77% or less protection from cancer causing UV rays.
Are Blunt umbrellas UV?
Yes, at the time of writing, my research concluded that some Blunt umbrellas do indeed offer UV protection. I am not certain whether all Blunt umbrellas offer UV protection as a standard though, so be sure to look through the features of each model and maybe inquire with the supplier / manufacturer directly if the model you like offers UV protection.
Are Tommy Bahama umbrella UV protection?
Yes, many of the Tommy Bahama beach umbrellas seem to offer UV sun protection. I cannot say for certain that all Tommy Bahama umbrellas do offer UV protection because some of the ones I have seen online do not stipulate that they do provide protection from UV rays, but certainly they have quite a few beach umbrellas that do offer UV protection.
Can UV rays go through an umbrella?
Yes, UV rays can travel through an umbrella or parasol. Research has shown that about 77% of UV rays on average are blocked my most umbrellas and parasols. But that still means that the remaining UV rays pass through. A UV protection umbrella or parasol can prevent at least up to 99% of UV rays from travelling through and so is worth the extra money to provide superior protection from harmful UV rays and give you extra peace of mind.
How much UV does umbrella block?
Your average umbrella, or garden parasol, can block around 77% of UV rays. You can buy a special umbrella called a UV umbrella, or anti UV umbrella, that can block up to 99% of UV rays.
How do UV umbrellas work?
UV umbrellas and parasols have a special layer of fabric built in that help reflect most UV rays and can also drastically reduce the temperature under the umbrella in hot weather which is an extra bonus.
How to choose UV umbrella?
There are a great variety of UV umbrella styles to choose from. It might be easiest to choose your sun protection umbrella based on the function you intend to use it for. If you need your UV umbrella for commuting, then perhaps a compact UV sun protection umbrella would be best due to its ability to easily fold up into a small space. If you regularly attend outdoor or sporting events, then a golf UV umbrella might be a good fit as it is larger and can better withstand stronger winds.
If on the other hand you need a UV sun protection umbrella for fashion, or a party, then go for something stylish like a Japanese UV umbrella style, or for a Victorian style sun protection umbrella with frills. So, my advice is to think about the intended function, and then browse the styles in that category to find the one you like.
Of course, some UV umbrellas and UV parasols have different UPF (UV protection factor) levels, from 10+ to 100+. Many are between 50+ and 100+. I think the 50+ UPF / SPF will probably suit most folks, but if you just need that extra peace of mind then by all means go for the 100+ UV umbrellas.
What is a UV umbrella?
A UV umbrella, also known as a sun protection umbrella, or anti UV protection umbrella, is an umbrella designed to reflect most harmful UV rays, while also providing protection from rain at the same time if needed. A sun protection umbrella comes in different protection levels from 10+ to 100+ UPF, and there are also a great many variety of styles and colors available depending on your needs.
Where to buy a UV umbrella?
With so wonderful UV umbrella styles and types available, it can be hard to know what to get. So, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite sun protection umbrellas and parasols that all received the highest ratings on Amazon. Please have a look at our blog post here, we’re sure you will find something you like.
What is the UV-Blocker UV Golf umbrella?
The UV-Blocker UV Golf umbrella is a standard sized sun protection umbrella which helps reflect the sun’s UV rays due to built-in UV protection material. The one I’ve seen online has a 55+ UPF rating which is quite sufficient for every-day use. It goes without saying that it is a great golf UV umbrella, but is just one of many excellent UV golf branded umbrellas available. Only thing I don’t like about the UV-Blocker UV Golf umbrella is that it only seems to come in two colors (blue and silver at time of writing).