Patios are the best outdoor areas to entertain guests, relax, and cook. In the chilly months, it gets uncomfortable to sit outdoors unless you have a quality patio heater which is why we reviewed the best patio heaters on the market today.
Patio heaters add comfort to outdoor living like no other appliance – fire or heat has been key to human life since the cavemen. Our top 10 list of heaters enable you to hold parties and have friends and family over with confidence. They are also affordable and come in different styles and design to complement various heat settings.
- 1 Picking the Best Patio Heater
- 2 Best Patio Heaters for 2020
- 2.1 #1 Fire Sense 01775 Unpainted Patio Heater: Best Free Standing Propane Patio Heater
- 2.2 #2 Landmann 28345 Big Sky Stars and Moons Fire Pit
- 2.3 #3 AZ GS-FC-PC Antique Bronze Finish: Best Propane Fire Pit
- 2.4 #4 Heininger 5995 58,000 Outdoor Propane Fire Pit: Best Propane Portable Patio Heater
- 2.5 #5 Deckmate Sonora Outdoor Chiminea: Great Outdoor Patio Heater
- 2.6 #6 Fire Sense Propane Outdoor Patio Heater: A Great Tabletop Patio Option
- 2.7 #7 AZ HLI-1P Parasol Heater: Best Electric Patio Heater
- 2.8 #8 AZ Patio Heaters NG-WSS Heater: Best Natural Gas Patio Heater
- 2.9 #9 Bromic Heating BH0110003-1 Smart-Heat Platinum 500 Natural Gas Radiant Infrared: Best Commercial Patio Heater
- 2.10 #10 Bromic Smart-Heat BH0420030 Tungsten: Best Electric Radiant Infrared Patio Heater
- 3 Choosing a Patio Heater: Buying Guide
- 4 FAQ for Choosing an Outdoor Patio Heater
Picking the Best Patio Heater
A patio heater must be efficient. We seek to answer questions like how far can its heat reach? Is it easily affected by wind? Is it expensive to use in the long run?
The models that make this list work perfectly with their power sources (see the buying guide below on different types of heat).
Portable propane heaters include models that can heat at least 18ft. around them while wood heaters do not require large amounts of wood. We considered propane heaters with at least 10,000 BTU and natural gas heaters that can heat patios as large as 200 square feet.
We also looked at designs that withstand harsh environments only considering those that have stainless steel and heavy-duty cast iron heaters. And all these heaters are easy to assemble with the least amount of tools and effort.
Our top option patio heater is the Fire Sense 01775 Unpainted Patio Heater. It puts out steady warmth at 46,000 BTU’s. It has a stylish stainless steel construction that is easy to blend with any patio décor. The portable design is convenient for homeowners who don’t have permanent patios.
Fire Sense 01775 encompasses every feature we look for in a patio heater. It is compact, assembles effortlessly, and ignites in seconds. That’s why it takes the day as the best patio heater for most people.
Patio Heaters Brands and Market Growth Rate
Patio heaters are popular because they are an affordable luxury. A 2017 research report by Technavio predicted the global patio heaters market to have a compound annual growth rate of 7% in the year 2018-2022. With technology advancements being the key trends, more brands are stepping up from the norm.
Fire Sense, a company that has been around since 1998 is leading the pack with their patio heaters designed in the USA and manufactured all around the world. You can expect electric, propane gas, natural gas, patio electric fireplaces, and fire torches from this brand. They also have unique heaters that include telescoping models, halogen, and infrared heaters.
AZ Patio Heaters has also made it big with their consumer-friendly products. The brand aims at providing cheap but efficient patio heaters.
Bromic Heating is a high-end brand that brings unique patio heaters to the table. They concentrate on electric and gas heaters in their Platinum and Tungsten Smart-Heat Series. Here you will find models that give off radiant infrared heat and can be operated using smart wireless controllers.
Other brands that deserve special mention include Landmann, Heininger, and Deckmate that have impressive and straightforward designs. They have been received well by customers and therefore deserve a place on this list
Best Patio Heaters for 2020
#1 Fire Sense 01775 Unpainted Patio Heater: Best Free Standing Propane Patio Heater
- 1-AAA battery electric ignition
- Assembles in an hour or less
- Up to 10 hours of running time
- Rustproof construction design
- Premium patio heater
- It needs a 50-inch all-around clearance including roof
- The assembly instructions are not very clear
Fire Sense has some of the best patio heaters on the market. The 01775 model is a commercial-grade patio heater that is great for large decks and patios. If your extended family will be coming over for Thanksgiving, no better way to keep them warm than with this heater.
With 46,000 BTUs of heat output, Fire Sense 01755 has a range of 18ft. It towers at 7.4ft such that people can comfortably sit around it. Its 33-inch umbrella ensures it does not lose a lot of heat in windy conditions. This way, everyone will be warm for hours on end.
A 20-pound LP gas tank powers this heater. It is quite comfortable and safe to operate since it lights using a battery-powered electric ignition. It uses one AAA battery. For safety purposes, there’s an auto shut off valve that turns off the heater if it tips over.
You will like the stainless steel construction of this heater. It promises durable use, since it is rust and corrosion resistant. The base is weighted to keep it standing, and when used in winter, you don’t need to apply windshield washer fluid to remove ice.
It comes with stainless steel burners that provide even heating for the longest time. It lights a blue flame, and the output is easy to adjust using a dial.
This heater brings convenience and ease of use while producing a ton of heat ideal large patios. This is also our pick for Fire Sense commercial patio heater. It’s available in a wide range of finishes from hammer tone bronze, stainless steel to copper.
#2 Landmann 28345 Big Sky Stars and Moons Fire Pit
- Decent 23.5-inch bowl capacity
- Attractive moon and stars cutouts
- Comes with cooking grate and poker
- Easy to assemble
- Steel structure may degrade sooner if not cared for
- It has only 90 days of warranty
- Guard rail is a bit difficult to assemble
- No heat control
If you love fire ambiance at night, the Landmann 28345 Big Sky Stars and Moons Fire Pit is a catch. It comes in an attractive design that will also serve to complement a nice-looking deck. Like any fire pit, this one needs placing on even ground away from things that could easily catch fire.
The stars and moon cutouts give a beautiful view of the fire while the screen keeps your guests protected from sparks. It has a large capacity thanks to its 23.5-inch bowl. We can see it servicing small size patio sufficiently.
This fire pit is relatively easy to assemble. Except for the metal guard rail that takes a few trials to get it right, everything else assembles seamlessly. You get a cooking grate such that you can easily roast marshmallows if you want to.
At 28 inches high, it provides a decent amount of heat whether you are standing or seated around the fire pit.
The steel construction may take up to five years before you see signs of aging. It does require filling the base with sand or bricks, but that is the only kind of care you need including removing the ashes.
The versatility of this fire pit makes it an incredible heater for fall and early spring.
#3 AZ GS-FC-PC Antique Bronze Finish: Best Propane Fire Pit
- Easy push-button ignition
- It has a 15 sq. ft. range
- Elegant and smoke-free
- Surface runs cool
- Paint can oxidize when left out even if covered during winter
- It’s quite heavy-needs two sets of hands to move
- Needs tools like a power drill and ratchet for faster assembly
AZ GS-FC-PC propane fire pit is made for the chilly evenings. It offers more coverage without having to deal with wood and ash. But in the same style that allows friends and family to gather around a fire.
Everyone can safely, and comfortably snuggle around this fire pit since it provides warmth up to 15 inches in radius. It has a large 38-inch countertop and being 28 inches tall; it can be part of your patio furniture. It boasts a solid steel construction complemented by a hammered bronze finish that gives it an antique look.
This fire pit requires one 20-propane or butane tank. It gives off 40,000 BTUs of heat when burning lava rocks and large-size glass rocks. You don’t want to use small-size glass tubes since it does not send the fire upwards. It comes with the starter fire glass which gives your fire pit a modern look.
The easy access door conceals the propane tank to preserve an elegant experience. Every homeowner will love the look of this fire pit in their patio. It makes a great outdoor fireplace.
#4 Heininger 5995 58,000 Outdoor Propane Fire Pit: Best Propane Portable Patio Heater
- No-smoke design
- Radiates lots of heat
- Up to 8 hours of burn time
- Lightweight and portable
- Affordably priced
- Does not come with the cover
- It’s not available in smaller sizes
- It is not convertible to natural gas
Your portable fire pit is ready to set up fast and clean without hoarding logs to keep the fire going. Heininger 5995 is an incredible fire pit that comes with a 10ft. hose to keep the propane tank out of sight. The 19-inch fire pit holds a large number of rocks to provide warmth up to 19 inches in diameter.
Large family gatherings will benefit from this fire pit since you don’t need to have several of these to have enough heat. It puts out 58,000 BTUs which is amazing for such a lightweight and small-sized fire pit.
This fire pit is not affected by windy conditions. It distributes heat evenly, so no one needs to shift when it becomes windy. A 20-pound propane tank gives you up to 8 hours of heat in normal fall weather.
#5 Deckmate Sonora Outdoor Chiminea: Great Outdoor Patio Heater
- Heavy-duty embossed iron cast and heat-resistant paint finish
- Burns wood and artificial logs
- Large-sized fire grate
- Provides a 360-degree view of the fire
- Wood grate comes in two pieces
- It does not come with the washers for the nuts
- Cannot be used in enclosed patios
The Deckmate Sonora Chiminea is the perfect wood patio heater for those who need a smoke-free heater. The chimineas towers at 51.6 inches such that smoke can rise. Guests will be comfortable sitting around it. The 360-degree view of the fire creates a cozy atmosphere.
At 75 pounds, it is quite hefty but is still portable if you tilt and lift the legs. It has a heavy-duty chrome cast construction with a rubberized bronze finish that is heat resistant. It still needs to be stored in a garage or shaded area in winter to improve durability.
The fire chamber comes with an ash catcher as well as a sliding door. It is easy to load and clean so no hassles there. Also, this chiminea comes with a wood grate, and a fire spoke to manage your fire conveniently.
It is one of the best without being overpriced.
#6 Fire Sense Propane Outdoor Patio Heater: A Great Tabletop Patio Option
- Lightweight for portability
- Up to 3 hours of use on one 1-lb propane tank
- Tip over safety shut off and oxygen sensor
- Can be used in screened patios
- Simple to assemble
- Heat reflector could be of better quality
- Not ideal for freezing temperatures
- Does not have overheat protection
Fire Sense Tabletop patio heater combines convenience and durability in a 10,000 BTU heater. It is ideal for small spaces. The heater can raise temperatures from 10-25 degrees Fahrenheit meaning it provides warmth to keep you toasty as you enjoy some time in the outdoors.
Its elegant stainless steel construction is complemented by a stainless steel burner and heating grid. The grill has a safety guard to protect curious hands from burns. The heater uses one 1-pound propane tank to give you up to three hours of use. You can also use an adapter hose with a 20-pound tank to get more burn time from this heater.
It is the kind you pick when you want to read a newspaper in the morning or catch up with a few friends after work. The heater is 35 inches high, and the reflector is 13 inches wide. It prevents loss of heat, so you get to enjoy much of the warmth.
This heater uses one switch electronic ignition. It has an adjustable thermostat to help with controlling the output according to the current temperatures. You will also like that it has tip-over shut off valve and oxygen-depletion sensor.
Overall, this is a reliable tabletop heater ideal for up to four people to get enough heat in the cold months.
#7 AZ HLI-1P Parasol Heater: Best Electric Patio Heater
- Easy to mount and dismount
- Comes assembled
- Offers temperature control
- Emits a bright spotlight
- Hole size is adjustable
- Not ideal for freezing conditions
- Heat is drawn away in windy patios
- A bit heavy for the size
For those with umbrella patios, AZ HLI-1P provides the perfect fit for you. It is an electric patio heater to cover a small area up to 15 sq. ft. Each arm outputs 500 watts of heat making it a total of 1500 watts from the three arms. The heater is easy to mount and remove from umbrellas. It becomes easy to set up if you don’t have a permanent patio.
This heater produces instant heat. It can be used both indoors and outdoors but needs an extension since its cord length is only 6ft. Three people can sit under the arms comfortably without the cold biting into your skin. It works well when temperatures are in the upper 40s and 50s Fahrenheit and not any lower.
With this heater, you only have to worry about the energy bill because you won’t be dealing with gas tanks, carbon dioxide, and potential fires from heated steel frames. It is efficient and stress-free for those who don’t need to heat a large patio.
This heater also has variable temperature control which allows you to light one, two, or three arms according to the ambient temperatures. The heater can also be installed under ceilings to work reliably as an indoor heater.
#8 AZ Patio Heaters NG-WSS Heater: Best Natural Gas Patio Heater
- It comes at a decent price
- Solid stainless steel construction
- Outputs 41,000 BTUs
- It has a one-year warranty
- Includes tilt and ground fixtures safety measures
- It is top heavy- can tip over if not fastened to the ground
- Does not come with the burner cover
Perhaps the most reliable of all patio heaters is a natural gas-powered model. AZ Patio Heaters is keen to offer their best performing natural gas heater the NG-WSS. It will warm up large patios since it outputs up to 41,000 BTUs.
This heater is 87 inches tall. It allows a large gathering under it while it gets powered from a direct line of natural gas. It does not need any refills, and it is easy to bolt it to the ground for permanent installation. The assembly of this heater takes around two hours-give or take. The only tools you need is a wrench and a screwdriver.
It, however, needs a professional to do the installing to prevent leaks. After that, it is effortless to operate. This heater comes with an integrated ignition. It has a variable heat and temperature control, ground fixtures, thermocouple, and anti-tilt safety.
This heater saves you from refilling tanks and messing with propane every once in a while. If you are up to the initial installation costs, go for it.
#9 Bromic Heating BH0110003-1 Smart-Heat Platinum 500 Natural Gas Radiant Infrared: Best Commercial Patio Heater
- Integrates with a smart control system
- Heats areas up to 200 sq. ft.
- Resists winds up to 11mph
- Electric ignition system
- Glass-ceramic technology for energy efficiency
- It is expensive
- The electric cord could be longer
- It does not come with the heat shield
From Bromic Heating, we have an unrivaled radiant infrared heater that will keep your guests and customers longer in your premises. It is from the Smart-Heat Platinum 500 series which consists of walls mounted patio heaters that can be mounted on the wall to warm patios up to 200 sq. ft.
This heater gives off 39,000 BTUs. It warms everything around it including people since it emits instant, radiant infrared heat. It can also resist winds up to 11mph. The tinted ceramic screen turns the bright red glow soft so that it will not draw attention to itself.
The robust stainless steel frame comes with quality components to ensure it works in the best condition. The pivot arm bracket allows you to tilt it such that it can provide heat to where it’s needed the most. It uses ceramic burners that are not only environment-friendly, but they also increase energy conversion.
Along with its ceramic glass technology, you can use your patio all year round without incurring sky-rocketing energy costs.
#10 Bromic Smart-Heat BH0420030 Tungsten: Best Electric Radiant Infrared Patio Heater
- Simple to install
- Does not require assembly
- Efficient reflector
- Unique mesh screen maximizes heating
- Heat output is adjustable
- It does not come with the remote control
- Glow doesn’t show in daylight
- Requires its socket breaker
If you want the convenience of radiant infrared heat in a small patio setting, Bromic has your back. The Bromic Smart-Heat BH0420030 Tungsten is a high-quality model with a 2000 watts heating capacity.
It offers wall and ceiling mounting options to help you achieve the ideal position for maximum heating. With radiant infrared heat, the warmth comes directly to you since it does not need to heat the air. It is equipped with a thick quartz element to output heat up to 20 sq. ft. while giving off a soft red glow.
This heater expresses durability through its high-temperature coating. It performs well in any environment since it is corrosion resistant. Its Parabolic Specular Reflector is super-efficient in reflecting lost heat back to you. Screened patios will mostly benefit from this heater.
Go on and extend outdoor living with this patio heater.
Choosing a Patio Heater: Buying Guide
Enjoying your evening in an outdoor space can be limited to the warm months. Well, unless you have an outdoor heater. Before you go on and pick just any patio heater, be sure to check out the critical factors and features to consider before buying an outdoor heater.
Perhaps the most critical factor is the power supply. Patio heaters use either propane, natural gas, wood or electric power. It depends on your preferences, needs availability, and costs.
It requires a considerable chunk of money to buy and install. But it is quite easy to maintain and run in the long run. For one, you won’t be refilling any tanks. People can gather around or under the heater while the heater emits radiant heat. Since it is stationary, it comes with the disadvantage of not being moved.
It is the most comfortable kind to install. It only needs a propane tank, and the heater is good to work right away. It can be placed on a different spot around the deck so you can find the most comfortable position for everyone. Its constant refills are the only costs you have to deal with.
These heaters come as freestanding patio models that are plugged into an electric socket. They have similar heating capacity to that of propane heaters only that they always need to be plugged in. It limits how well you can position it for everyone to feel warm and comfortable.
On the bright side, electric heaters are the simplest to operate per the heat they generate. But electricity costs can skyrocket when you start using an electric outdoor heater.
We love the lively mood that wood creates. It makes it easy for people to bond and have some family fun time around a fire. Most wood heaters are fire pits and chimineas that can be put where people congregate.
Wood heaters require continuous feeding with wood. You must have a location for the wood, and the pit has to be cleaned of ash from time to time. They can also be harder to start according to weather. Despite the hassles created by a wood fire, most people are willing to forego them to enjoy the feeling brought by a wood fire.
Types of Patio Heaters
There are different designs in patio heaters.
Freestanding Patio heaters
These heaters feature a tall, thin structure with a hooded top. They plug into propane, electric, or natural gas sources. The heating happens at the base while hot air is let out from the top. Freestanding heaters can warm medium-sized to large areas with a height clearance of around 8ft.
Most propane, freestanding models come with wheels to allow portability.
Tabletop Patio Heaters
As their name indicates, these heaters are placed on patio tables. They are practical for small spaces and are usually electric of propane-powered. They are portable and can be used in temporary patio settings.
Wall Mounted and Hanging Patio Heater
Most of these heaters are electric and installed on the ceiling or the wall. They emit radiant heat that warms the things around them. The best thing about them is that they do not get in the way. You can choose from beautiful designs to complement your patio décor.
Fire Pits and Chimineas
These are the wood options for patios. They come in different shapes, size, and styles that fit your patio spaces. The location of pits and chimineas is essential since they need to be away from any combustible materials. You also need to watch kids and pets since they can be a fire hazard.
Consider Your Patio Size
- Manufacturers tell you the recommended heating area and range of a specific patio heater. The heating area can be a bit vague since you are dealing with other factors like wind. But the range can give you a good idea of how well the heater warms when affected by outdoor conditions.
- For large spaces, you will need to go for high wattage heaters above 2000 watts or 8,000 BTUs.
A few Tips on Patio Heating
- The fuel source sure should be easily accessible. Gas can be cheap, but if you have to drive miles to get it, it’s no better than electricity.
- Choose heaters with different output settings. This way, you can vary heat levels according to the outdoor temperatures. Also check safety function for instance a tilt switch.
- Small areas do better with mounted heaters instead of freestanding and fire pit heaters.
- Choose stainless steel heaters since they are corrosion resistant and last for a long time in decent condition.
- Aim to conserve patio heat by helping your heater. Keep the heater under an umbrella or awning to prevent direct exposure to wind. Here’s how to install a patio umbrella.
- Ensure to follow safety guidelines especially with propane heaters. The general rule is to keep them 6ft away from combustible stuff and power sources.
- Consider aesthetics. Some heaters have quartz glass tube etc.
FAQ for Choosing an Outdoor Patio Heater
Most models are listed as water resistant for residential patios. But if your patio is very exposed, you’ll need to look at a patio heater with an IP67 or IP68 waterproof rating. It means the heater can handle a little more beating from the weather than heaters with a lower rating. Unless the manufacturer states, it is possible; you better steer away from such a practice. Propane heaters are certified only for LPG use. Altering it can cause irreparable damage and will void your warranty. It’s better to buy a natural gas heater from the very start. You will want to stick to moderate weather when using any patio heater. Don’t operate a patio heater when there are high winds over 24mph. Strong winds can blow out the flame or tip over the heater which can cause a fire. After you buy the heater of your choice, the fuel type will determine how cheap or expensive it will be to operate the said heater. Propane heaters are the most expensive in the long run. It can cost you about $1.70 per hour on a 40,000BTU propane heater while natural gas heaters are cheaper rating at 48 cents per hour on the same BTU rating and heating the same size space. Electric heaters fall in the in-between category costing 60 cents for a 4,000W heater. Wrapping up Enjoy your outdoors a couple of months longer with our best powerful patio heaters list. Whether you are looking to own a gas, wood, or electric heater, we have something for everyone’s outdoor areas, even if you want 40,000 BTU. Apart from heat source consideration, consider your space, follow safety measures, and remember you can always ask for help if the assembly is a little tricky.
Most models are listed as water resistant for residential patios. But if your patio is very exposed, you’ll need to look at a patio heater with an IP67 or IP68 waterproof rating. It means the heater can handle a little more beating from the weather than heaters with a lower rating.
Unless the manufacturer states, it is possible; you better steer away from such a practice. Propane heaters are certified only for LPG use. Altering it can cause irreparable damage and will void your warranty. It’s better to buy a natural gas heater from the very start.
You will want to stick to moderate weather when using any patio heater. Don’t operate a patio heater when there are high winds over 24mph. Strong winds can blow out the flame or tip over the heater which can cause a fire.
After you buy the heater of your choice, the fuel type will determine how cheap or expensive it will be to operate the said heater. Propane heaters are the most expensive in the long run.
It can cost you about $1.70 per hour on a 40,000BTU propane heater while natural gas heaters are cheaper rating at 48 cents per hour on the same BTU rating and heating the same size space. Electric heaters fall in the in-between category costing 60 cents for a 4,000W heater.
Enjoy your outdoors a couple of months longer with our best powerful patio heaters list. Whether you are looking to own a gas, wood, or electric heater, we have something for everyone’s outdoor areas, even if you want 40,000 BTU.
Apart from heat source consideration, consider your space, follow safety measures, and remember you can always ask for help if the assembly is a little tricky.