The type of patio umbrella you should get is very much dependent on your needs, as well as your available budget. There are only three main types, each with different pros and cons that are outline below to help you make an informed decision.
Need something small and simple? => Table umbrella
Table umbrellas are one of the most common types of patio umbrella as they're lightweight and relatively cheap.
They offer protection to both the people around the table and the furniture itself.
Also, these umbrellas are only slightly bigger than standard hand-held umbrellas, so they can be stored very easily.
However, you can usually only adjust their height, so they may not always provide the best protection from every angle since the sun is constantly moving.
Table umbrellas are also usually quite flimsy, as they do partially rely on the table for support, so they're not recommended for areas with strong winds.
Want something adjustable? => Tilting umbrella
This is a very similar design to the table umbrella, with the only major difference being a pivoting feature.
This means that the umbrella can rotate around the pole, allowing for maximum protection from the sun.
Tilting umbrellas are usually more expensive than table umbrellas, but are definitely worth the money - you don't want you and your guests having to move every half hour or so just to hide from the sun!
Love a bit of luxury? => Cantilever umbrella
Cantilever umbrellas are a more luxurious version of tilting umbrellas - these umbrellas are often used commercially in expensive hotels!
Their large, heavy bases allow the pole to be more of an off-set arm, rather than having it go through the middle of the canopy, giving cantilever umbrellas a much larger movement area.
Everything from the pole to the canopy is made from heavy-duty materials, so this type of umbrella will be able to withstand almost anything.
Cantilever umbrellas are the most expensive type of patio umbrella, and the price can even go into the thousands, so keep this in mind if you're on a budget.