Best Gazebo – All Types, Complete Buying Guide and Reviews

Gazebos are a great way of creating outdoor living space.  They provide shelter from the sun and wind and if you get a waterproof one they protect you from the rain as well.

If you’re already in the market for a gazebo and just want to know which gazebo to buy, then head straight down to our review section where we list what we think are the best gazebos available in the UK.  If you’d like to know a bit more about what to look for in a gazebo, then keep reading and we’ll give you a buying guide to gazebos.

Best Gazebo

Gazebo buying guide

Here are some points to consider before deciding which is the best gazebo for your particular needs, wants and, of course, budget.

How much space do you have?

The good news is that gazebos come in quite a wide range of sizes and some variation in shape.  As you’d expect bigger gazebos cost more than small ones so if budget is tight you might want to think carefully about what size you really need.  Otherwise, just remember to check that a gazebo will actually fit into your space before you hit the buy button.

Do you have a preference for shape?

Traditionally, gazebos were an octagonal shape and you can still buy octagonal gazebos, but these days squares, ovals and variations of the above are generally more popular.  In addition to the aesthetics, think about how you will use the space.  For example, if you want a gazebo for dinner parties, then an oval shape might be best because you will probably only need limited space at the head and foot of the table, but it might be handy to have extra depth at the sides so people can move more freely.

As a side note, it’s also a good idea to check that the height of the gazebo will meet your requirements.  Proper gazebos should have a decent amount of headroom even for tall people, but sometimes beach shelters are marketed as gazebos and they generally have much less headroom as they’re intended to protect people from the sun when sitting or lying down.

What is the frame material?

Modern gazebos generally use either aluminium or steel.  Aluminium has the advantage of being lighter and fairly resistant to rust.  Steel, however, is more robust and can last perfectly well outdoors as long as you take care of it, in particular deal with any scratches on the paintwork.  If you’re buying pre-loved, take a good look at the frame for any sign of damage, particularly if you’re buying a gazebo with a steel frame, in which case you really need to check the rust situation.

best gazebo

What is the roofing material?

If you’re buying a new gazebo, the likeliest roofing material is polyester and you’ll see a few gazebos with polyethene roofs.  Polyester is a popular choice because it is both durable and water-resistant.  Polyethene is sometimes used because it is lighter than polyester, which makes it a bit more portable, but its lightness also makes it less robust.

If you’re buying a pre-loved gazebo, you might find ones which use other materials such as canvas.  In addition to checking the condition carefully, it’s a good idea to think carefully about the practicality of the material.  For example, while canvas is robust, it also soaks up water and if it’s not dried carefully before storage, it can be attacked by mould.

Is it waterproof or just water-resistant?

Most new gazebos sold in the UK will be waterproof, but you’ll probably come across a few which are just water-resistant.  These might be fine for very sheltered locations, but given the UK’s weather, even in summer proper waterproofing can come in very handy.

How easy is it to transport and assemble?

If you’re buying a gazebo purely for use in your own garden, then the issue of transport may not worry you, although it can be nice to know you can take your gazebo somewhere new if you want to, for example, if you fancy a day at the beach.  Similarly, if you’re planning to leave your gazebo set up all year round, or at least all summer round, ease of assembly may not bother you.

For everybody else, however, ease of transport and assembly should probably be considerations.  Modern gazebos tend to work on a “pop-up” basis and can usually be fitted into carry bags.  As they’re usually made of aluminium, they’re also generally very light.  Again, pre-loved gazebos may be more of a challenge to transport and assemble.

top 5 best gazebo

The best gazebos reviewed

Here is a quick guide to the best gazebos on the UK market.  We’ve split them up into different categories to help make it easy for you to find what you want.  All the gazebos in this list have been picked for their combination of features and price, in other words, overall value for money.

Best Pop Up Gazebo

ABCCANOPY Patio 3×3 Gazebo Fully Waterproof Heavy Duty Pop Up Gazebo

ABCCANOPY Patio 3x3 Gazebo Fully Waterproof

Putting up this gazebo really is as easy as ABC as is taking it down.  If you follow the correct process for setting it up, i.e. using the weights when and where necessary, it will stay in place through all but the roughest of weather.  The build quality of the frame and roof are both excellent.  We particularly like the fact that the canopy has solid stitching throughout, particularly at the corners.  Even the carry-bag has been thoughtfully designed with plenty of space for the accessories as well as the frame thus preventing key parts from getting lost between uses.

This gazebo is advertised as waterproof and the roofing material certainly is, however, we’ve listed it just as a pop-up gazebo because, in our opinion, you need at least one side-wall to have meaningful protection from the rain.  You can buy side-walls separately, but, as sold, we think this gazebo will only give you fairly minimal protection from the rain.

Overall, we’d say that this gazebo would be handy as a place to get shade from the sun and as shelter from brief periods of lighter rain.

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Lumaland Pop Up Gazebo 2.5m x 2.5m with 1 sidewall | Waterproof...

Last update was on: December 1, 2023 8:20 am

Best Waterproof Gazebo

Gorilla Gazebo ® Pop Up 3x3m Heavy Duty Waterproof Commercial Grade Market Stall

Gorilla Gazebo

This is a commercial-grade gazebo, in fact it’s the sort of gazebo you’ll usually see covering market stalls.  For all it’s heavy-duty, this gazebo very easy to put up and surprisingly compact when it comes down.  Speaking of coming down, the fact that the lengths can be adjusted to various heights may make them seem a little flimsy, but as long as you’re sensible about weighing down this gazebo as necessary, it will stay in one place even in blustery weather.

It can be used as a “canopy-only” gazebo, but,as previously mentioned, as far as we’re concerned, you need sides for proper waterproofing and this gazebo has them.  Two of the sides have plastic windows and we have to say we think the material is a little less sturdy than in the rest of the side-walls and the roof, but it’s still pretty decent and we’d say if you treat it properly it should last and potentially even be repairable if necessary.

We’d suspect that if you did want to use this gazebo for commercial purposes, you’d find that the zips and velcro would wear out with regular use, especially the velcro.  On the other hand, we’d also have to say that this would probably be par for the course with any gazebo which had a lot of use.  We’d say the velcro should be replaceable and the zips probably are too, although we haven’t tested this.

Overall, we think that this gazebo is probably a bit too much (and too expensive) for occasional use, but if you’re looking for a gazebo to stay up all through the warmer months, perhaps to protect a hot tub, then it could be an excellent choice.

Lumaland 2.5×2.5 Outdoor Pop Up Gazebo with 1x Sidewall

Lumaland Outdoor Pop Up

This gazebo from Lumaland is a more budget-friendly option.  There are reasons for this, but we think most people will be able to live with them.  First of all, the standing height is only 1.9M (aka 6’2”) and that is right in the middle of the gazebo.  Therefore if you’re very tall and you really want to be sure that you can stand in your gazebo, then you’ll need to look elsewhere.  Secondly, there is only one side-wall (supplied, you can buy others), but it can be attached to any of the sides.

In short, the basic idea is that you attach the side-wall to the wall facing the direction of the rain, so that between the side-wall and the roof you get a decent level of protection from anything up to heavy showers.

Overall, we’d say that this is the sort of gazebo you’d want either if you weren’t expecting much in the way of rain or if you were already likely to be dressed for it and just wanted to make yourself a bit more comfortable.  Basically, we’d see this gazebo being quite handy for the likes of gardeners and anglers, who’re already outdoors and don’t want to (or can’t) keep popping indoors when it rains (either trailing mud behind them or getting changed in and out of their gear) and so just want a handy bit of shelter.

Best Waterproof Pop Up Gazebo with Sides

ABCCANOPY Patio 3×3 Gazebo Fully Waterproof Heavy Duty Pop Up Gazebo

ABCCANOPY Patio 3x3 Gazebo Fully Waterproof Heavy Duty Pop Up Gazebo

Even though the headings look similar, the difference is that the top gazebo has solid walls whereas the bottom gazebo has walls with plastic windows.

These are basically the big brothers of the first gazebo we mentioned and so to keep life simple, we’re going to say that these gazebos have all the good points of the first gazebo, with the addition of side-walls, with and without windows.  The side-walls go on individually, so you can have as many or as few as you like.  In fact, you could use these gazebos without any side-walls, although that would arguably rather defeat the purpose of buying them.

You can expect proper waterproofing in all but the most torrential of rain.  When it gets really wet, you can get some water coming through the walls, especially in the version with windows.  This will, however, only be an issue if you’re filling the gazebo so full you need to touch up against them.  It also has to be said that the canopy seems to stand up to even the worst rain.

Our one slight gripe about these gazebos, which is really unavoidable, is that they are pretty heavy to carry and it seems to be a 50/50 shot as to whether or not the carry bag comes with wheels.  In terms of transport, if you’re using anything other than an estate car, you’ll probably need the back seat down.  That said, if you want a gazebo for serious shelter and/or a full-on outdoor living space you can enjoy from late spring to early autumn, then these gazebos could be the perfect choice for you.

The best gazebos conclusion

As you can see from the above, while there’s no, single “best gazebo” for everyone, there is a wide range of gazebos to suit different needs, wants and budgets so you’re sure to be able to find one which suits you.

Complete Buying Guide and Review

Once you’ve found your perfect gazebo, take some basic care of it to help prolong its useful life.  Whenever you take it down, brush off any debris and if it is wet, try to let it dry naturally.  If necessary, take it down and then open it up again in a sheltered location.  If it’s spent some time in the “closed” position while wet, you may want to give it a once-over with soapy water to deal with any mould which may be forming.

Take this as an opportunity to check the canopy (and any side-walls) for damage.  If a gazebo is of good quality, these can often be repaired and it’s easiest if you catch them early.  If your gazebo has side-walls, also check the velcro and zips.  At the end of each season, consider whether or not your gazebo needs to be re-waterproofed.  The manufacturer should provide guidance on this.

Keep all your gazebo’s accessories together.  Hopefully the supplied storage back will have a place for them, but if not, use a dedicated bag for them and, if necessary, clean and dry them between uses.

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