An often overlooked but important part of all patio umbrellas are umbrella stands. After all, without an adequate umbrella stand, the umbrella would simply fall over. But since they are usually under our feet, we don't often think about them.
There is quite a selection of stands available for both wood patio umbrellas and aluminum patio umbrellas. If the umbrella is freestanding, the umbrella stand has to be quite heavy to support the umbrella in light breezes. Many patio umbrellas are used with tables, though, which provide some of the support. Table umbrellas don't need such a heavy stand at the base.
It is very important to have a proper stand for an offset patio umbrella. These umbrellas have no supporting pole in the middle, so they need a heavy base to support their weight.
There are several decorative umbrella stands available. Cast iron or cast aluminum make good materials for umbrella stands and are available in a variety of styles from traditional to modern. Steel is also a good material for a stand. Steel stands are usually less decorative but are very functional -- they provide the necessary weight to support the umbrella.
Umbrella stands are also available on wheels which make the umbrella much more portable than otherwise. Rather than lifting the umbrella and stand separately, simply tilt it over onto the wheels and move it wherever it is needed.
Fillable stands are an inexpensive alternative to traditional metal stands for patio umbrellas. These are molded plastic stands which can be filled with sand or water to provide the necessary weight to support the umbrella. They are available with or without wheels.
A third type of stand for either wood patio umbrellas or aluminum patio umbrellas provide a support for the umbrella pole and a base which is on casters. Rather than tilting the umbrella to move it, the whole umbrella and stand can be moved in an upright position. The caster wheels lock once the umbrella is in the desired position.