No backyard is complete without a shady area to escape the afternoon sun. If you want to move past a simple umbrella or awning, a gazebo might be the right choice for you. Read on for tips on how to choose the best gazebo, and our top picks of 2021!
When it comes to fun in the sun, shade is another component that cannot be forgotten when planning your outdoor space. Whether you have a basic patio set-up or an outdoor BBQ kitchen island fit for a chef, there are a ton of options on the market to provide coverage from the sun. So, should you go with a patio umbrella, a pergola, a shade sail, or a gazebo? Each type of shading has its own set of pros and cons. Of course, whatever option you choose needs to match your unique space and needs.
Why choose a gazebo?
First, let’s define what a gazebo is. A gazebo is a covered outdoor structure with open sides that is usually freestanding. It differs from a pergola in that the roof is almost always solid, while a pergola has a slatted roof that lets water and air through. Gazebos can be rectangles, squares, rounded or octagonal in shape. Both permanent and portable options are available. Some models can attach to a house or other structure, while others are meant to cover only a small surface area. Materials can range from metal rods and fabric to solid wood. Of course, price points can start from very budget-friendly options to permanent structures that can even help raise the value of your property.
What to consider
As with any home improvement, what gazebo will be best for you will depend upon your needs. Budget is a key consideration. If you’re looking for a simple pop-up gazebo to protect a party table from the elements, you’ll find a bevy of models for under $200. A permanent structure will usually set you back $1000 or beyond, but think of it as an investment for your home. Made sure to take into account expenses such as permits, upkeep, and contracting costs if you need assistance in the building. Another factor is space. Gazebos generally go up in price the bigger they get and are more difficult to set up the larger they are. It is best to pick a model that is large enough to meet your needs but will still be manageable. If you choose a portable gazebo, consider where you will store the structure when not in use. Most gazebos designed to be portable will be foldable or otherwise easy to store.
Once primary logistics are sorted, have fun choosing a style that complements your taste. A structure that matches the trim or material of your home will tie things together nicely, or cloth elements that match seat cushions will tie everything together. Gazebos come in a range of shapes and sizes. Though most are freestanding, you can also find models that attach to other structures. Making your outdoor space feel like home is just as important as technical specifications. Consider your privacy and lighting needs, as different models vary in what they offer. If you want to have an outdoor kitchen or grill underneath your gazebo, make sure it is resistant to heat and open flame.
Why you should trust Ideaing?
We pride ourselves on providing truly objective insight into our reviews and recommendations. Our product experts spend hours and hours researching, analyzing, and testing products. After our extensive research on outdoor shade structures such as gazebos, here are our best picks currently on the market.
Best Gazebos of 2021
One Person Set-Up:Get it
It doesn’t get much more convenient than a structure that only takes one person to build. This pop-up gazebo comes together in seconds, making it great for spur-of-the-moment parties or even travel. You will stay protected from sun, rain, and insects alike. This budget-friendly option stores away neatly when not in use as well.
- Simple to set up and put away
- Offers UV protection
- Affordable option
Large Pop-up Gazebo:Get it
The Sunjoy pop-up gazebo looks so good, you’d never know it was temporary. Despite its large size and sturdiness, this model folds up easily for off-season storage. Since it comes together so quickly, it’s perfect for impromptu gathers, even larger ones.
- Comes with a storage bag and everything you need for mounting
- Easy to Clean
- Simple Set-up
Grill Gazebo:Get it
While most gazebos are made to cover dining or patio areas, a grill gazebo is another great option. Since they are created with grilling in mind, the canopy is high enough to avoid flame and excess heat. Not only will you be more comfortable cooking, but your gas grill or charcoal grill will remain safe even in rainy weather!
- Perfect height and clearance to house a grill
- Makes cooking more pleasant on hot days
- The affordable price makes it a great gift idea
Most Stylish:Get it
The compact design of the Charlton Home Serana gazebo makes it perfect for smaller patio sets. Don’t let its diminutive size fool you, though: the eye-catching yet simple style will be the highlight of your outdoor space.
- Unique design will turn heads
- Easy to move and assemble
- Can be installed on multiple surface types
The Purple Leaf patio gazebo features a stylish double-edged canopy. This detail adds flair to your gathering. Since this gazebo just needs to be anchored rather than built into a foundation, it is easy to move while still providing plenty of space. Keeping bugs away is often a challenge, and the included curtains handle this task with ease.
- Available in a variety of colors
- Large size yet still portable
- Includes panels to reduce insect interference
Soaking in the sun is a lovely part of the outdoor experience, but sunny days can quickly become too much. A great compromise is a Sunjoy gazebo with a skylight. This unique feature lets ambient light in while still reducing harmful UV rays. The heavy, solid structure of this piece is created to last for years to come.
- Skylight allows natural overhead light while blocking glare and reducing heat
- Made to withstand all weather types including snow
- Large enough to fit dining or patio furniture while optimizing space
Best Privacy Features:Get it
Sometimes outdoor spaces can be a little lacking in the privacy department. The EROMMY gazebo solves that with a dual-layer of netting and curtains, giving you cover not only from the sun but any prying eyes. This beautiful structure is made to last, with special rain gutters and a weather-resistant design.
- Comes equipped with curtains
- The unique design includes rain gutters
- Steel and aluminum design is rustproof
Two-Tiered Steel Roof:Get it
The Sunjoy Chapman gazebo offers a whopping 195 square feet of coverage, making it a great choice to protect an outdoor kitchen or larger patio set. The solid roof keeps you dry and shaded, while the two-tier design allows for a bit of airflow. Your guests and family will cherish their time outside.
- A two-tiered roof allows for improved airflow
- The elegant design is large enough for a variety of outdoor kitchen and seating arrangements
- Includes built-in rods and hooks for optional features such as mosquito netting and lighting
Solid Wood:Get it
Stunning and functional, this gazebo is created from solid cedar wood and a durable aluminum roof. Created to be weather-resistant, you’ll be protected from the elements year-round. The Yardistry gazebo comes with everything you need for set-up, making assembly a relative breeze.
- Can be installed on wood or concrete
- Solid wood design is built for year-round use
- Easy Assembly
Adjustable Roof:Get it
This gorgeous structure bridges the gap between the pergola and gazebo. The innovative design features a louvered, adjustable roof. When open, it lets light and air through but becomes a full roof when closed. Offering 130 square feet of shade, this gazebo is large enough for a part and built to last.
- The louvered roof can be opened for partial sunlight or closed for full coverage
- Covers a large area
- The tilted roof will not collect water or snow
Commonly Asked Questions
Question: What is the difference between a gazebo and a pergola?
Pergolas and Gazebos are similar in that they are both outdoor structures that provide shade. While a pergola has a slatted roof, a gazebo has a solid roof. The solid roof is beneficial because it provides protection not only from the sun, but rain as well. Some gazebos offer a hybrid roof that can open or close with a simple mechanism. Others allow you to let in a bit of ambient light. Gazebos, pavilions, and pergolas all share similar features that some companies will use interchangeably. For this reason, make sure to look at the style and specs of the piece you’re interested in, rather than just going by what it is called.
Question: What is a gazebo used for?
Gazebos may permanent structures that are used as their own building, or a temporary shelter to cover tables for a gathering. Some gazebos are even meant to just cover a grill or cooking area. When choosing a gazebo, keep in mind what you want to do with your outdoor space. A permanent gazebo is a striking addition to a backyard space, but a pop-up gazebo is a great option for entertaining or climates that tend to have inclement weather most of the year.
Question: Can I keep a gazebo up all year?
Many gazebos are made to stand up to all sorts of elements, not just sun or light summer rain. In order to determine if your gazebo should stay out, consult the manufacturer’s directions. Gazebos made from treated solid wood are especially durable, while structures with metal rods or cloth components will do better to only be out when in use. Permanent structures, especially those made from wood, may require you more maintenance. Most gazebos are easy to clean with water and mild detergent. If you are able to store your gazebo during off-seasons, it will extend the life of the piece.
Question: Will a gazebo increase my home value?
Any sort of outdoor structure has the potential to increase home value because you are increasing living space. Additionally, a gazebo looks great and adds charm to an outdoor space. When building a permanent structure, make sure to consult with local municipal rules and HOA guidelines, if applicable. Choosing the right gazebo for the size of your space, and in the right material is key. Regular maintenance, such as retreating wood, is also recommended to protect your investment.
Gazebos are a great finishing touch to your outdoor space, adding style and protection. These unique structures give a homelike feel and make spending time outdoors a pleasure. Since there are so many great options on the market, you’re sure to find the perfect gazebo to fit your lifestyle.
Have you added a gazebo to your backyard design? Let us know in the comments!