Obravia vs Sunbrella: Which Fabric is Better?

When it comes to choosing outdoor patio umbrellas, the material can play a huge part in determining if the umbrella is worth the price. They can also determine if you will remain cool under the shade, and give you an idea of how long they will last.

As you might realize, the choice of fabric often comes down to comparing Obravia vs Sunbrella, two of the most popular and well-regarded material brands that are being used today.

The main difference between Obravia and Sunbrella is that Obravia is a solution-dyed polyester material, while Sunbrella is a solution-dyed acrylic material. When comparing the two, we can look at the overall colorfastness, UV protection, and several other factors that determine its quality and durability.

In this post, you will learn more about each of these brands, how good they really are for patio umbrellas, and if they are worth your investment.

Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Learn more on the disclosure page.


sunbrella vs obravia fabric comparison

What is O’bravia?

O’bravia has been the leading outdoor fabric option since 2006, offering elegance, comfort, strength, and durability.

It is a proprietary fabric that is owned by Treasure Garden Inc and has been named the #1 fabric choice for patio umbrellas in the United States and Canada for its high-end qualities.

As stated earlier, Obravia is a solution-dyed polyester fabric, and its products stand out for their softer and more natural look. Not only that, they feel bulkier and is very good at abrasion resistance.

What is Sunbrella?

Sunbrella was founded on the principle that materials should be both attractive and useful. They started in the 1960s with the goal of developing an awning canvas that would last far longer than cotton.

Today, they are a popular fabric for shade structures, maritime canvas, and upholstery in both outdoor and interior settings.

The main product is made of solution-dyed acrylic fabric, made from acrylic fibers, which is high performance and durable. They tend to keep their colors well thanks to a specific process that is used to dye the fabric.

Obravia vs Sunbrella Compared

When it comes to comparing outdoor furniture, it is important to keep in mind a number of factors that will determine if they are worth buying.

The factors are:

  • UV resistance
  • Colourfastness and fade resistance
  • Water resistance
  • Durability
  • Comfort
  • Stain resistance
  • Style and appearance
  • Eco-friendliness
  • Resistance to mildew, insects, and chemicals
  • Ease of maintenance and cleaning
  • Price

Let’s take a closer look at how Obravia and Sunbrella stack up in each of these factors.

UV Resistance

The ability of a material to withstand degradation induced by UV light absorption is referred to as UV resistance. UV rays in the sun cause chemical links in polymers to break down, causing plastics to wear down and degrade over time. Photodegradation is the proper term for this.

UV protection and resistance are provided by both textiles brands.

Sunbrella has earned the Skin Cancer Foundation Seal for its ability to protect against the damaging UV rays that are linked to increased skin damage and cancer risks.

O’bravia, on the other hand, has a 50+ UV protection rating and will shield you from dangerous ultraviolet rays.

Colorfastness and fade resistance

In general, you can say that Sunbrella is better than O’bravia when it comes to colorfastness as it uses acrylic fabric.

This material is superior to regular materials such as polyester and can allow the colors to last much longer.

This is also reflected in the warranty period, where Sunbrella typically offers 5 to 10-year warranties against color and strength loss. Upholstery, ornamental shade, and specialty textiles are covered by a 5-year warranty, and as a side note, marine and shade are covered by a 10-year warranty.

O’bravia, on the other hand, usually only offers a 3 to 5-year warranty, with 5-year awning fabric, 4-year furniture fabric, and 3-year O’bravia 2 fabric (O’bravia furniture fabric) warranties.

As a result, you may expect O’bravia to fade faster than Sunbrella, i.e., Sunbrella will keep its color for far longer than O’bravia, even with regular washing, exposure to the elements, or everyday use.

Ability to repel water

Being able to repel water refers to a material’s ability to not allow water does not easily enter it, especially if it has been coated with a surface coating for that reason.

Both O’bravia and Sunbrella are stalwarts of the industry and have gotten this down to a science.

The products from both these companies are excellent at preventing rain from ruining your party.

Comfort

The ring spinning of O’bravia ensures that it is exceptionally soft and comfy and feels very natural.

Sunbrella features the most comfortable and soft fabric available, which will keep you warm and comfortable indoors while yet being durable enough to survive the elements outside. The different surface textures and weaves are quite soothing.

Both are equally good, but if I really had to choose, Sunbrella probably has the edge here.

Stain resistance

Polyester that has been solution-dyed naturally resists stains, which is the case of O’Bravia. They have added stain release coatings as an added bonus to make it even more stain-resistant. This makes O’bravia easy to clean, as its fiber bonded stain release finish ensures that it does not stain readily.

If you’re looking for a washable cloth that retains its integrity and strength, Sunbrella is the gold standard. During the manufacturing process, their engineers include stain-resistant technology to the fabric and this has been a key selling point of Sunbrella over the years. They even have stain tests to show off their capabilities.

Style and appearance

Both brands do reasonably well in this department, offering up several types of designs and colors for consumers to choose from.

That said, a lot of the choice and decision comes down to the buyer of these fabrics, namely the patio umbrella makers.

Overall, there are a lot of pretty options available in the marketplace that will suit lots of different tastes.

Eco-friendliness

O’Bravia has a clear edge here due to the fact that they use polyester.

During the manufacturing process, O’bravia uses far less energy and only a small amount of water, and it produces no toxic industrial waste. Water is filtered and reused during the fiber manufacturing process.

If you want a fabric that is both eco-friendly and recyclable, O’bravia is the way to go.

Polyester is 100 percent recyclable.

On the other hand, Sunbrella is difficult to recycle due to its acrylic composition.

It can last up to two centuries in landfills before biodegrading.

Resistance to mildew, insects, and chemicals

Because most synthetic fibers, such as acrylic, polyester, and nylon, are mildew resistant, and mold will not form on clean fabrics made from these fibers.

Even on these materials, though, soil can provide fuel for mildew to grow, which means that fabrics need to be cleaned on a regular basis.

Both polyester and acrylic are resistant to most detergents, inorganic chemicals, aliphatic hydrocarbons, fats and oils, diluted acids, and concentrated alkalis at room temperature.

Ease of maintenance and cleaning

Both of these brands are designed with easy cleaning in mind, especially since they are outdoors all the time.

I like that maintenance is a breeze and it really does not take much upkeep for them to be in good condition.

A simple cleanup after use will ensure your outdoor umbrella will last a long time.

  • Brush off any loose dirt on the surface of the fabric
  • Spray on a cleaning solution of water and mild soap; you may use a mild cleaning agent too
  • Use a soft bristle brush to clean the surface of the umbrella
  • Allow cleaning solution to soak into the fabric
  • Rinse thoroughly until all soap residue is removed
  • Allow it to air dry

Price

In general, you will see that the prices of patio umbrellas made with Sunbrella fabric will be higher than the ones made with O’Bravia. This is no surprise though as it is clear that Sunbrella is of higher quality and lasts a much longer time.

That being said, you get what you pay for, and choosing an outdoor umbrella made with either of these materials is a good investment.

Top Sunbrella Patio Umbrellas

Best Seller
  • OUTDOOR UMBRELLA – Shade and decoration for your residential and commercial spaces, elevate your outdoor decoration, and suits 40″-56″ round, square, or rectangle table with 4 to 6 chairs.
  • SUNBRELLA FABRIC – The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends Sunbrella as regular skin protection. High-quality 280 GSM fabric is superior to regular fabrics, with 5-year color-fastness.
  • FULL ALUMINUM FRAME – Rust-free coated Aluminum pole and 8 ribs. Reinforced aluminum pole diameter is about 1.51 inch, stronger but lighter than regular poles, stand strong, and support the canopy.
  • FABRIC: Sunbrella Performance Fabrics has been engineered to withstand the outdoor elements since 1960 made from 100% solution-dyed acrylic fabric offering a 5-year non-fade warranty with built-in UV protection.
  • Operation: Crank to Open with push-button tilt allowing you to easily adjust keeping you shaded at all times of the day.
  • Construction: Entire frame is made from rust-free all aluminum with stainless steel hardware, 8 ribs for added canopy support, a 1.5-inch diameter aluminum pole providing a stronger more durable frame, a built-in wind vent, and ties to close the umbrella totaling superior weather protection.
  • The canopy size of this patio umbrella is 10’X10′, unique double-top canopy design for commercial and residential use
  • This cantilever umbrella has a unique handle design and crank system, 6 heights and angles to choose, and 360-degree rotation for easier shading area control
  • High quality 100% SUNBRELLA fabric, UV resistant, water-repellent and colorfast fadeless, 5 years warranty
  • All-aluminum umbrella bones and 8 heavy-duty ribs, anti-oxidation spray painted, maintain a long period of life

Top O’Bravia Patio Umbrellas

  • Aluminum frame
  • Features Push Button adjustable tilt for shade coverage
  • Offers Crank-to-Open functionality
  • O’Bravia fabric – solution dyed polyester w/ 4 year fade warranty (longer lasting than O’Bravia2)
  • 2 piece centerpole – 1.5″ diameter bottom pole – standard 32″
  • Umbrella Base sold separately

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Emma Taylor

Emma Taylor is the Chief Editor at Wallccessories and writes regularly about topics surrounding home decor. Her family has moved several times over the years due to her husband's job requirements, and thanks to that, she has had many opportunities to dabble in designing and decorating real cozy homes.