By Richard Hsu
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Which Ikea umbrella is better for the backyard? SEGLARÖ or KARLSÖ ?

A month ago, the wife and I started looking for outdoor furniture and umbrella for the backyard. Ikea (our favourite) was the first place we went shopping. At Ikea, they had this nice demo area with all the umbrellas and furnitures on display and our attention went to the big rectangular hanging umbrella called SEGLARÖ and the dark brown acacia wood ÄPPLARÖ sofa set underneath. I could imagine myself relaxing in the backyard sitting in the sofa shaded by the umbrella.

There was some hesitation about the sofa so we wanted to check other stores but the three member shopping team (wife, mother-in-law and I) were in agreement to buy the SEGLARÖ umbrella as it had the design (cantilever) and size (~11' X 8') we wanted and the price ($189) was within expectations (why we like Ikea). Since we had the whole family at the time, I did not think the umbrella would fit in the car, so decided to return another time for it.

I talked about the umbrella with my neighbour and he liked it too so we had planned to go to Ikea together. Weeks past but we didn't. Others did and SEGLARÖ umbrellas sold out across Canada! 1

Both of us got earfuls from our respective wives for our procrastination. I blamed him and the continuous rain and he blamed me and we both attempted to make it look like we had all the intentions but nature and miscommunication was the reason we missed the 'perfect' umbrella.

After visiting many stores over weeks, we went back to Ikea and bought the ÄPPLARÖ sofa set and KARLSÖ umbrella. KARLSÖ is also a cantilevered/hanging umbrella but different from SEGLARÖ.

Comparison of the two umbrellas:

SEGLARÖ Rectangle85 sq ftAluminumC$ 189Yes (360 °)Yes
KARLSÖ Circle76 sq ftSteelC$ 89NoNo

Why pay $100 more for SEGLARÖ?

  • It can be turned (360 °) to shade different areas. 2
  • Tilt function; provides protection from the sun all day long. 2
  • The pole is made of aluminium so it won’t rust. 2
  • 9 sq ft more coverage (enough for a chair)
  • Rectangle is better than circle as the seating arrangements tend to be rectangular.
  • Better build quality overall

Comparison of size:


This is a view from the top of the two umbrellas (SEGLARÖ is the rectangle, KARLSÖ the round one). I have put three 2' X 2' chairs to show what would fit in the non-overlapping areas. SEGLARÖ covers a little more but not by as much as we had expected (based on our visual estimates).

If both were available, I would have bought SEGLARÖ for the features but KARLSÖ delivers better value. Two KARLSÖs would still cost lesser than one SEGLARÖ and cover about twice the area. I did buy two but one is adequate for the ÄPPLARÖ seating we have. I wish it moved easily like SEGLARÖ to shade the entire seating area (the shade moves with the sun) but the $100 saved comforts me.

  1. Ikea removed it from their Canada website so I had to link to the US one 
  2. Listed under "Key features" on Ikea's SEGLARÖ product page