A gazebo for the patio or garden goes hand in hand with the summer. One can’t imagine spending the summer without a gazebo that lets you enjoy the fresh air while protecting you from the sun. Some gazebos offer more than just shade. Hardtop gazebos, for example, will also offer you shelter from the rain as well as the sun.
All in all, a permanent gazebo is a cozy oasis in the middle of your garden or yard. So if you have enough space for it, why not invest in one and enjoy the outdoors in comfort? Naturally, there are many considerations to take into account before you buy a gazebo.
We tested the many gazebos in the market and came up with the best gazebo reviews for your patio or garden. We also included a buying guide to point out the main differences between gazebo types and what key features to look for.
Best Gazebo for Your Patio or Garden Reviews:
A gazebo is more than an afterthought structure in your garden or your yard. It’s a well-designed part of your property that deserves all the care and consideration you put into it. Here’s a comparison of the best 8 gazebos in the market, with the winner at the top.
1. Editor’s Choice: COOL Spot 11’x11′ Pop-Up Gazebo
A gazebo is more than just an installation that offers shade. It should have an elegant design, sturdy construction, and versatile functionality. The COOL Spot 11’x11′ Pop-Up Gazebo has the answer to all of these consumer demands. Made of good quality Oxford fabric, it stands firm on metal posts and sports a vented top for extra shade.
Measuring 11 by 11 feet, the square-shaped gazebo is spacious enough for a small get-together or a family reunion. The steel legs support a cornice structure that is just as elegant as it is functional. The top creates an airflow that keeps you cool while sitting or lounging inside the gazebo.
The top of the gazebo is made of 150D oxford fabric. It cuts off about 99 percent of UV light, offering those inside protection against the glare. The material is CPAI-84 certified and is fire-resistant. As for the body of the gazebo, it’s made of zippered mesh. It creates privacy and is easy to open and close. It prevents rain or insects from wandering into the gazebo.
The whole frame of the Cool Spot is made of reinforced steel with an extra coating that resists rust and erosion. Despite that, the gazebo is surprisingly light, weighing only 36.6 pounds. That makes the portable Cool Spot easy to install and take down.
On the downside, the mesh walls are not dark enough to offer you privacy when you sit inside the gazebo. People outside can still see you, so privacy is a little concern here.
- 11 by 11 feet spacious gazebo.
- Vented top for better airflow.
- Portable and easy to install.
- Weighs just 36.6 pounds.
- Reinforced steel frame with a rust-resistant coating.
- Ceiling made of 150D oxford fabric.
- Privacy is a concern since the mesh walls are not dark enough.
2. Budget Value: Gazelle 4 Person 5 Sided Portable Pop Up Gazebo
A gazebo usually adds an extra room to your house. Only that room is planted right in the middle of your backyard or patio. You might think that having an extra room will cost you an arm and a leg. But the Gazelle 4 Person 5 Sided Portable Pop Up Gazebo is here to prove that the opposite is true. With an affordable price, 5-sided walls, and a sleek design, the Gazelle offers a multipurpose gazebo that you can use in more places than just your backyard.
Measuring 7 by 7 feet, the Gazelle offers you 60 square feet of floor space. That space can accommodate up to 4 people comfortably. And since it only weighs 23.5 pounds, you can install it just about anywhere you like. You can use it as a gazebo in your backyard or take it with you when you go camping. It also serves as a nice and comfortable space when you decide to go on a picnic.
The body of the gazebo is made of fabric. So you’ll need to drive the stakes in the ground and use ropes to keep the Gazelle securely tethered. Although that sounds like a lot of work, you can get the whole gazebo up in a matter of minutes. The roof offers protection against the sun and rain, and the mesh walls are thick and dark to offer privacy.
The one problem we had with this gazebo was that the walls were no match to cats and other small critters. The cat simply popped in from under the wall when the door was zipped. This Gazelle would not protect you against wildlife when you’re out camping.
- 7 by 7 feet, offering 60 square feet of floor space.
- Dark mesh that offers privacy.
- Portable and lightweight.
- Affordable price.
- The walls of the gazebo are no match to small animals that can crawl in easily.
3. Premium Pick: Outsunny 10′ x 13′ Outdoor Soft Top Pergola Gazebo
If money is not an issue and you’re looking for a durable and classy installation in your yard, then you might consider this gazebo from Outsunny. The Outsunny 10′ x 13′ Outdoor Soft Top Pergola Gazebo is spacious, well-designed, and stable.
Stability is the first thing you demand out of a gazebo that will remain a permanent fixture in your backyard or garden. And the sturdy steel frame gives this durable Outsunny the stability you’d need. The crisscrossing metal bars at the top keep the gazebo standing firm in different weather conditions.
The two-layered roof gives the gazebo a festive look and feel about it. It serves well as the focal point in a wedding or just an upscale spot to relax or even work. And you have enough space inside to enjoy all types of activities. The gazebo measures 13 by 10 feet, with plenty of space to have a small party under its layered roof.
The durability of the Outsunny is another distinct feature. The alloy steel frame is solid and durable and is powder-coated to prevent rust. As for the body, it’s made of coated polyester fabric that resists UV light and wear and tear. And although the gazebo is on the heavy side weighing 70 pounds, it only needs to be installed once.
That said, the installation process is not as straightforward or as simple as one hopes. There are a lot of parts to be assembled and measurements to make. You’ll need to have plenty of time and patience before you finally get this gazebo up on its spindly legs.
- 13 by 10 foot spacious and durable gazebo.
- Elegant design and two-layered roof.
- Made of alloy steel and coated polyester fabric.
- Resists rust and fade and protects against UV light.
- Installing the gazebo is no small feat. It requires a lot of work and time.
Some people only feel comfortable when they have a solid roof over their heads. And for those people, the Kozyard Alexander Hardtop Aluminum Permanent Gazebo seems like the right choice. Doing away with fabric roofs, this Hardtop extends a stylish-looking aluminum roof on top of the galvanized steel frame. The result is both eye-pleasing and functional at the same time.
And with UV light and rain out of the way, the designers turned to the walls. They need to be flexible, easy to open and close and allow natural airflow in. The best candidate for this design would be fabric. The PBV-coated polyester mosquito netting gives you enough protection against insects without preventing the light breeze from cooling the insides of the gazebo.
And if privacy is a major concern, the frame of the Hardtop has a double-track system that allows for new walls to be added in and removed on the fly. You can use any material you prefer. Some people go as far as installing drapes on some sides of the gazebo while leaving the others open. This customizable aspect of the Hardtop is one of its most appealing features.
We also liked it when it rains. The rain makes a pattering rhythm on the roof of the gazebo, but it doesn’t pool on top. The sloping design of the aluminum roof guides the rain to the gutters at the edges of the gazebo, where it pours to the ground keeping those inside dry and comfortable.
While we liked a lot of features of this gazebo, it was a real pain to put it together. The manual instructions included were vague and unhelpful. There’s also a conspicuous lack of online videos to help you install it. You’ll need to rely on your instincts and resourcefulness to put it together.
- 12 by 10 feet.
- Galvanized steel frame and aluminum top.
- A double-track system to add extra walls for added privacy.
- PBV-coated polyester mosquito netting.
- The instructions are vague and unhelpful.
One look at the finished gazebo gives you a clear idea of whether it will hold its own against the elements or not. The Christopher Knight Home Sonoma Outdoor Iron Gazebo, with its steel frames and neat-looking canopy, gives you the impression it has got your back as far as sunlight, rain, or insects are concerned.
But you’ll need to step inside, make yourself comfortable, and see for yourself how well it performs. The first thing you notice about the design is how simple yet chic it is. The canopy comes in two shades, beige or light brown. Both of these shades are neutral enough to fit in any landscape or setting. It doesn’t stick out from afar as a sore thumb.
The polyester netting screen can be folded and tied to the post to create an open concept. But if you prefer some privacy, you can just pull the netting all the way across the sides of the gazebo. It’s simple, functional, and stylish all at the same time.
The square design measures 9.8 by 9.8 feet and weighs about 122 pounds. But don’t let that extra weight deter you. This gazebo is a permanent installation, and once installed, you won’t have to fiddle with it.
On the downside, neither the canopy nor the netting screen is fastened to the frame with zippers. They bellow with the wind whichever direction it blows. Also, if you expect a storm, you’ll need to fold back the netting and remove the canopy. They might not survive a strong wind.
- 9.8 by 9.8-foot gazebo.
- A polyester canopy that comes in beige or light brown shades.
- Simple and chic design.
- Easy to set up.
- No fasteners or zippers to keep the netting screen from blowing with the wind.
Although fabric-top gazebos have their advantages, you really need to step under a metal roof to get the feeling that you’re really protected from the glare of the sun. The Kozyard 10ftx12ft’ Polycarbonate Top Aluminum Permanent Gazebo is a simple permanent structure with a basic but functional design. The galvanized steel top stands over a rustproof aluminum frame for extra strength and durability.
The whole structure has a uniform brown color and measures 12 by 10 feet. But since it doesn’t have an elaborate design, the floor space inside the gazebo feels roomier than that. You can throw in a couch and a couple of recliners, and that’s your whole summer relaxation plan.
The steel top has symmetrical groves that guide the falling rain down to the gutters at the corners. Those sitting inside are protected from sun, rain, and other weather conditions. And if you’re worried about insects, the PBV-coated polyester mosquito netting keeps you safe during the day or night.
We also liked the removable steel railings that are part of the structure of the gazebo. If privacy is a concern, you can easily hook in extra drapes along those railings. This level of customization is only available in metal frame gazebos and is quite handy for a permanent structure that will stay in your yard for years on end.
The main problem we had with this gazebo was when it was time to put it together. The instructions are confusing, to say the least, and most of the parts are not labeled. The brackets that hold the roof beams together are a little loose, and it takes a lot of time to figure out which screws go where.
- Galvanized steel top for extra protection.
- 12 by 10 feet floor space.
- PBV-coated polyester mosquito netting.
- Steel railings to add extra walls if necessary.
- The instruction manual is poorly written and confusing.
Some gazebos go out of their way to turn your outdoor space into an extra room with all the comforts that you can desire. Others stick to the basic original idea of providing you shade while you enjoy a BBQ and a cold one with a couple of friends. The Sunjoy Grill Gazebo For Backyard Bbq belongs to that latter category. Not losing sight of the true purpose of a gazebo, the Sunjoy offers an austere concept and a minimalistic design.
Doing away with the bells and frills allows this gazebo to focus on functionality instead. And since it only measures 7.9 by 5 feet, this is a gazebo for a grill, not for people to sit under. The spindly stainless steel frame is elegant and sturdy. The layered top is made from fabric to keep the grill dry even when it’s pouring outside.
But since there will be a smoking grill under the gazebo, the second layer of the roof offers the ventilation you need. It provides an escape route for the smoke keeping those sitting around the gazebo fully comfortable. The frame also has two shelves on the sides where you can keep the BBQ accessories and serving plates.
Even though the Sunjoy didn’t aim high and focused on providing a functional and basic gazebo, it still fell short of making these goals. The canopy at the top of the roof is a little too flimsy and rips apart either because of the heat of the grill or the sun. The frame is not rust-resistant, which puts the durability of this gazebo into question.
- 7.9 by 5 feet floor space.
- Elegant design and functional.
- Layered roof to provide ventilation.
- Two shelves for BBQ accessories and plates.
- Flimsy canopy that rips apart quickly.
- Frame is not rust-resistant.
Another gazebo from Sunjoy wraps up these best gazebos for your patio or garden reviews. This is the same company that provided that basic but functional gazebo for your grill above. But this time, they took the same design and expanded on it a little. The result is the Sunjoy Louisiana 13.5×13.5 ft. Steel Gazebo. An elegant and spacious gazebo that lets you wallow in luxury all summer.
The Louisiana measures 13.5 by 13.5 feet all around, which gives you plenty of floor space to furnish it in any style you like. The frame is made from powder-coated steel that resists rust and erosion. And draping the frame is a tan and brown canopy made from weather-resistant fabric. The whole design is stylish and luxurious without compromising on the functionality of the gazebo.
The two-tier roof, which is a landmark feature of the Sunjoy gazebos, has evolved with curvy lines whose contours improve ventilation and repel rainwater while giving the whole gazebo a distinct and unique shape. There’s a hook hanging from the inside of the ceiling for you to hang a chandelier or even a ceiling fan.
The mosquito netting gives you full protection against mosquitos and some semblance of privacy when fully drawn. This lack of privacy is the main downside of the Louisiana. Unlike other gazebos on this list with steel railings, you can’t add extra drapes or walls for privacy. So if you’re worried about snooping eyes, you would have to place it next to fences or trees to offer you more privacy.
- 13.5 by 13.5 of floor space.
- Luxurious and stylish design.
- Powder-coated steel frames for durability.
- Tan and brown combination canopy.
- Two-layered roof for better ventilation.
- Ceiling hook to hang chandelier or fan.
- Doesn’t allow you to add extra walls for more privacy.
- High price tag.
Gazebo for Your Patio or Garden Buying Guide
While going through the advantages and downsides of each gazebo in the reviews makes it easy to choose the right product for you, you also need a buying guide. The buying guide gives you the whole picture, so you don’t miss the forest for the trees.
Gazebo or Canopy?
Some people are partial to their gazebo, while others swear up and down by the virtues of the canopy. And then there are others who refer to their gazebo as a canopy and vice versa. However, there are intrinsic differences between the two very different structures.
A canopy is as simple as they come. It’s a portable and lightweight structure that you can set up and dismantle at will. It doesn’t require special tools or skills to install. You can think of a canopy as a more elaborate beach umbrella. Of course, it offers more shade and protection against the rain than an umbrella, but it shares the same simple design as the umbrella.
A gazebo, on the other hand, is a more complex structure that combines luxury with functionality. A good example is the COOL Spot 11’x11′ Pop-Up Gazebo. It takes a long time and more work to set up such a gazebo than a canopy. That’s because it has a sturdy frame made either of metal or wood. You can leave a permanent gazebo in your garden or yard all year round.
Gazebos also have an elegant design that complements the garden or patio. They come with a floor and guardrails.
Apart from the material of the frame, gazebos often come in two types. Either soft-top or hardtop. Here’s the difference between the two types.
- Soft Top: A soft-top gazebo is easy to set up. It doesn’t cost you a lot either, and you can take it down by the end of the season and store it away. They usually have a simple design, and elegance is not their best suit. Choose a soft top gazebo if you’re on a budget and don’t have a large space in your backyard.
- Hard Top: Get a hardtop gazebo if the weather conditions change a lot. It protects against the sun, rain, and strong wind. These types are more durable than soft top gazebos. You can leave a hardtop gazebo such as the Kozyard Alexander Hardtop Aluminum Permanent Gazebo in the garden or patio all year round without worrying about the snow in the winter damaging it.
So what features should you look for in a gazebo for your patio or garden? Here are the key considerations that make a gazebo stand out.
- Size: The size of the gazebo is determined by the space of the yard or backyard available for you. You need to keep enough free space around the gazebo that’s at least twice its size on all sides. A large gazebo installed in a tiny backyard is just a glorified attic. While most gazebos have a standard size of 12 by 12 feet, you can also find smaller sizes measuring around 10 by 10 feet.
- Portable: Some gazebos are portable. They are easy to install and takedown, which means you can move them around the yard or garden according to the season. But others are permanent structures with their built-in floors and elaborate designs. A good example of a portable gazebo is the Gazelle 4 Person 5 Sided Portable Pop Up Gazebo, it is smaller in size and cost-effective.
- Accessories: The two main accessories you should look for in a gazebo are curtains and netting. The netting is a good and effective shield against mosquitos. As for curtains, they offer privacy and protection against the sun. They also turn your gazebo from a simple canopy into a place of luxury to entertain your friends.
- Structure: The structure of the gazebo goes a long way in providing it with stability and durability. A steel or aluminum frame is usually sturdier than one made of wood. However, some wood structures are strong enough to make the gazebo withstand the harsh weather conditions regardless of the season. Even if you don’t plan on keeping the gazebo in the garden after the end of summer, you still need a strong structure that doesn’t get blown away by the wind.
- Eco-friendly: Although the gazebo doesn’t emit greenhouse gases and doesn’t harm the environment, sometimes the material it’s made of surely does. PVC and plastic canopies, in particular, are dumping more waste into the environment. So a metal or wood-frame gazebo is more eco-friendly than a pop-up structure made almost entirely of PVC. Stainless steel doesn’t rust, while wood is a biodegradable natural material that doesn’t pollute the environment.
Can a gazebo stand up to the wind?
That depends on the type of gazebo you buy. Permanent gazebos with metal or wood frames are usually sturdier and have more durability. They can withstand wind speeds of up to 45 mph without tipping over. You’d still need to anchor the gazebo properly, and if you expect a storm, you might have to weigh it down with sand bags just to be on the safe side. Also, if you expect a storm, it’s safer to fold back the nettings or drapes and tie them securely to the posts until the storm blows over.
Where should I place my gazebo?
Since gazebos tend to cast a large shadow, as is the case with all structures, you need to make sure they’re not adjacent to any flower beds or veggie patches. Also, watch out for young trees or shrubs that would be affected by the lack of sunlight if you install the gazebo next to them. As for space requirements, you need to have plenty of space around the gazebo to improve airflow. If you’re worried about privacy, get a gazebo with roof railings that let you add extra drapes.
Can I trust my soft top gazebo to be rainproof?
The fabric that the soft top canopy is made of should be coated with a waterproofing material. This coating repels rainwater and keeps you dry and comfortable beneath the roof. So check if the canopy has that kind of protection or not. If you buy a product and discover later that the material covering the roof leaks rainwater, you can still get it fixed at a minimal cost. Just spray the top of the canopy with a waterproofing material to prevent leaks. Do this on a dry and warm day and give the material time to dry. You might need to apply it more than one time to get good results.
The Last Word
After trying out different gazebos, we settled on the COOL Spot 11’x11′ Pop-Up Gazebo for our editor’s choice. With a decent floor space measuring 11 by 11 feet, it gives you enough room to create an oasis of comfort in your backyard. The layered roof has an elegant look while still offering good ventilation and airflow. The tan canopy goes well with the light brown reinforced steel frame. It’s a gazebo that strikes a good balance between luxury with functionality.
The Gazelle 4 Person 5 Sided Portable Pop Up Gazebo handily won our best budget award. Although it doesn’t make a big hole in your pocket, it still dazzles with its portable pop-up design and dark netting that offers privacy. The 5-sided Gazelle has a unique design and is easy to set up and takedown on short notice.
And last but not least, the Outsunny 10′ x 13′ Outdoor Soft Top Pergola Gazebo stands out with its large floor space, sleek design, and durable structure. It measures 13 by 10 feet to accommodate a family reunion or a get-together. The polyester fabric offers rain and UV light protection and keeps you cozy and comfortable inside.