Best patio heater

We review the best patio heaters on the market to help you choose a quality product that lasts and provides great value for your money.

The patio heater is a great way to keep you warm during the cold days of winter. However, it can be hard to find the right one for your needs as there are so many options available on the market. With all those options, how do you know which one is best? You don’t want to waste money and time if you end up with an inferior product that doesn’t perform well or last long enough.

That’s why we have created this guide for finding the best patio heater for your needs and budget. We cover everything from size, safety features, fuel type, and more in our guide so that you can make a wise choice when buying your next patio heater!

I want to highlight some factors you can consider to narrow your research for the best patio heater for your needs. But first, let’s have a look at the most popular options on the market.

Table Of Contents show

Best patio heaters:

ImageProductOur RatingPrice
Amazon Basics 46,000 BTU Outdoor Propane Patio Heater with Wheels

Amazon Basics 46,000 BTU Outdoor Propane Patio Heater with Wheels

9.7
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Fire Sense Hammer Tone Bronze Table Top Patio Heater

Fire Sense Hammer Tone Bronze Table Top Patio Heater

9.5
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Hiland HLDS01-SSHGT 48,000 BTU Propane Patio Heater

Hiland HLDS01-SSHGT 48,000 BTU Propane Patio Heater

9.1
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HY-C FG-16 Flame Genie Portable Smoke-Free Wood Pellet Fire Pit

HY-C FG-16 Flame Genie Portable Smoke-Free Wood Pellet Fire Pit

8.8
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Lasko Designer Series Ceramic Space Heater

Lasko Designer Series Ceramic Space Heater

8.6
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FDW Standing Patio Heater

FDW Standing Patio Heater

8.2
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Dr. Infrared Heater DR-238 Carbon Infrared Heater

Dr. Infrared Heater DR-238 Carbon Infrared Heater

8
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Sunjoy A306006403 Avanti Heater

Sunjoy A306006403 Avanti Heater

7.7
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FOOWIN Pyramid Patio Propane Heater

FOOWIN Pyramid Patio Propane Heater

7.4
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KEY TEK Wall-Mounted Electric Patio Heater

KEY TEK Wall-Mounted Electric Patio Heater

7.2
Check Price on Amazon

Last update on 27th September 2021 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Things to consider when looking for the best patio heater

Your patio can be a great place to hang out during colder months, as with the aid of a patio heater, you can transform an icy day into a cozy atmosphere for friends and family. There are plenty of different styles of patio heaters that can help you create a great outdoor living space without breaking the bank. They come in various designs, sizes, and power fuel. The models are either fueled by gas, propane, and electricity. However, the selection process is not straightforward, and you need to observe the following factors before purchasing one.

How much money are you willing to spend on a heater

The cost of the heater varies depending on the size, design, and material. There is various price allocation that can suit your budget. However, ensure the price does not compromise the functionality and preference of the heater. Generally, natural gas models tend to be cheaper than other forms of heaters.

People who want to spend more on patio heaters opt for electric and propane patio heaters. At the same time, you should consider the best features before investing. The low-cost heater is not always the best option for homeowners. Some cheap patio heaters contain plastic components, which can cause a fire hazard if heated too high. You will also have to consider if your area gets windy frequently… if it does, then the costlier gas models without wind guards will prove more expensive.

What size of space do you need to heat up

The size of the heater determines how many people it is going to heat up and for how long. If you want to keep the patio warm for six hours, then you need a model that can heat an area of 900 square feet or more. The maximum output of a propane patio heater is usually about 15,000 BTU per hour. An electric heating element may vary from 1500-5000 watts depending on the model.

If your patio is small, you don’t need a large heater and vice versa. The size of the heater you purchase should have the capability to heat your patio adequately. If you buy a large one for a smaller space, then the heat levels will be so high and uncomfortable. So, it is important to know how much space you need to heat up.

Design

Since you are buying the heater for external use, you can select beautiful designs. The designs will add heat to your patio and bring ambiance to your space. Thus attractive designs bring out sophistication in your area in an incredible way. You can select a model that rhymes with the interior of your patio.

You can find a wide range on the market, so choosing the right one for your location is something to consider. It is vital to measure the available space you have as some models can be quite tall, so make sure you have enough clearance around and above the heater to reduce the chance of a fire hazard.

The most popular option on the market is free-standing options commonly found in commercial spaces like coffee shops and restaurants. Such patio heaters are a great option to consider if you have enough ceiling clearance as they are quite stable and able to output a lot of heat around them.

If you have a small patio or outdoor space to cover, you can look for tabletop or hanging heaters installed and cover smaller areas easily. Last but not least, you can find wall-mounted heaters that can be installed quite easily and at a small cost. Overall, it comes down to personal preference, but I must say that free-standing options are the most cost-effective, versatile options while covering extensive areas.

Stainless steel and high-quality resin are the best materials that will ensure your heater lasts longer. Since it is used for external purposes where there are windy and rainy atmospheres, you need a material that can withstand such harsh conditions. Also, the insulating materials should be safe to prevent short-circuiting.

What Kind of Fuel Systems are there for Patio Heaters?

The source of energy should be easily accessible and affordable. If you have access to electricity, then you can opt for an electric heater. Although electricity heaters require high maintenance costs and in most cases, they are not portable since they need to be in proximity to electricity sources.

Electric Patio Heater

Electric models can be found quite cheap, so if you are on a limited budget, you better start your research from them. They offer a great solution for people that don’t want to buy fuel as they can be set and forget on a dedicated outlet. Keep in mind that while they are not the most mobile option, if you install them correctly, they are among the safest options for heating compared to propane and natural gas as a source.

Propane Patio Heater

Propane models are easy to install. It is possible to quickly refill their tanks once the source is at low levels. The propane heaters are probably the most common type of heater you will find in the market since they don’t need to be connected to walls or wires, making them the most portable option for your patio.

You probably can find propane at most gas stations, so if you have access to this source, going for a propane heater is a cost-effective way to heat your outdoor space. Keep in mind that propane models are only meant to be used outdoors, so investing in one is meant only for well-ventilated areas, and you won’t be able to use such a device indoors.

Natural Gas Patio Heater

While gas heaters are very costly to install, and their maintenance costs are meager. The heaters are non-portable as you need to connect with the gas source. If you already have access to the natural gas line in your home, this might be a great option to consider adding to your patio. On the other hand, gas heaters require professional installation and maintenance, so make sure you allow part of your budget for such services.

Infrared Patio Heater

The infrared heaters have gained popularity as well. Thanks to their ability to emit infrared radiation instead of light, they offer a stylish way to heat your outdoor living areas. Since infrared rays don’t generate heat on their own, it is common for an electric heating element to be placed inside the devices. If you live in a humid area where dew forms easily, then the infrared option might not be the best option for you as these heaters tend to cause water damage on wooden and other surfaces.

Our Recommended Patio Heaters

Amazon Basics 46,000 BTU Outdoor Propane Patio Heater with Wheels

Editor’s Choice
9.7/10 Our Score
  • Outdoor gas heater with 46,000 BTUs, providing heat up to a 9-foot radius. Ideal for commercial cafes and restaurants or residential patios
  • Made with aluminum, sturdy plastic, and rugged steel with a durable powder-coated finish that stands up to outdoor elements
  • Piezo ignition system for easy push-button start ups; requires 20lb Liquid Propane Gas tank (not included); chain to help secure LPG tank provided.
  • Safety auto shut-off tilt valve; waterbox for adding weight to the base; wheel assembly included for easy mobility
  • Secure the patio heater when not in use to avoid any potential damage to the patio heater
  • Measures approximately 18 x 33 x 89 inches (LxWxH); weighs 38 pounds
  • Backed by an Amazon Basics 1-year limited warranty

Last update on 27th September 2021 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Made with aluminum, steel, and a durable plastic frame, this heater is built to last. This outdoor patio heater is perfect for avid outdoor enthusiasts. Its piezo ignition system makes it easy to start up the heater by pushing a button, and the chain is included for securing the LPG tank. With a maximum heating capacity of 46,000 BTU, this patio heater will keep you warm in any weather. With an excellent customer service team, you’ll get the help you need when you need it.

Great for year-round use, this versatile patio heater will save you on your energy bills! If you are interested in a propane heater, this is a great option to consider without breaking the bank. Despite its low price, it is great looking steel construction with a powder-coated finish. Overall, an excellent investment if you are interested in propane alternatives that can provide consistent heat with no worries and minimal investment. It is definitely worth a closer look while researching as I would consider the AmazonBasics Commercial Heater the best patio heater for most occasions.

Fire Sense Hammer Tone Bronze Table Top Patio Heater

Runner-up
9.5/10 Our Score
  • This outdoor patio heater is made using heavy duty commercial grade steel.
  • This small patio heater can be taken indoors easily due to its light weight.
  • The portable heater makes use of a standard 1 pound LPG propane tank.
  • You can turn on this patio heater in an instant with the push of a button.
  • This outdoor heater is perfect for your porch or any other outdoor venue.

Last update on 27th September 2021 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The heater has been crafted with a heavy-duty steel frame to give you the heat you need. They are built to last and come with a 2-year warranty. For outdoor use, this heater requires a 120-volt outlet. The portable and easy-to-use patio heater will make you and your friends and family very happy with a warm fire all year round.

The Fire Sense Hammer Tone Bronze Table Top Patio Heater, with a heat output of 10,000 BTU and Piezo ignition system, will keep you warm without having to wait around for the air around you to be heated. This gas patio heater also features an automatic shut-off switch designed to stop the flow of gas if your unit is tipped over or flooded with water.

Keep cool even when it’s cold outside. This patio heater is lightweight and easy to move so that you can take it indoors as well. Just fill with propane, turn the button on, and enjoy the heat of this tiny tabletop patio heater!

It’s stylish, portable, and it can be easily taken anywhere you go. If you’re looking for a lightweight outdoor heater that doesn’t take up too much space, then this is just the thing! In addition to being extremely functional (keeping your garage warm in the winter!), this lovely little tabletop patio heater will look great no matter where you put it!

HY-C FG-16 Flame Genie Portable Smoke-Free Wood Pellet Fire Pit

Value For Money
8.8/10 Our Score
  • Produces a larger flame, more heat & longer burn times. Be captivated by the mesmerizing flames while adding a warm glow to your patio, campsite, or outdoor adventure
  • Flame Genie’s smoke-free and spark-free features make it the perfect backyard, stream-side, or wilderness fire pit companion for all outdoor enthusiasts. No more smoky clothes or holes in fabrics from sparks
  • Uses wood pellets, not firewood. Low moisture content of wood pellets results in a more efficient, cleaner burn than cord wood. Easy to handle wood pellets leave you with less ash to clean up and unlike firewood, pellets can be transported across state lines
  • Steel material with black powder coat paint finish. Like most black firepits, the black models will show signs of finish fatigue after the initial fire. This is because the top rim of the firepit can exceed temperatures of 1200 °F and the high-temperature will burn-off any powder-coat finish
  • Bottom nests in top for easy transport and compact storage
  • Care Instructions: As black models are constructed of steel, store fire pit indoors and in a dry environment to minimize rust. Similar with BBQ grills, the exterior can be refreshed with a little sanding and top-coat with high quality high-temp paint.

Last update on 27th September 2021 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Enjoy the power of a fire pit without the smoke! The perfect flame for those who don’t want to compromise on heat, color, or size, our portable wood pellet fire pit is perfect for those days spent outdoors.

With this powerful yet compact and portable fire pit, you’ll be able to have a hearty fire right where you need it. This ingenious little pit can fit perfectly in any campsite, in your backyard, or even on your patio! It is perfect for cooking food and keeping you warm on those chilly nights. Using advanced technology, this is the perfect fire pit for all your outdoor activities.

Bring this convenient fire pit to your next party, outdoor event, or staycation! This portable smoke-free wood pellet fire pit is great for any occasion and puts on an awesome show. It’s easy to move, fill with wood pellets, and enjoy hours of outdoor entertainment. Not only that, but you’re saving money by not having to pay for firewood – get the wood pellets!

This space heater looks more like a piece of art than a space heater. The stylish body and finish of this space heater will blend into any decor and be the focal point of any room. Lasko’s Designer Series Ceramic Space Heater is a top-quality space heater with an adjustable thermostat.

Lasko Designer Series Ceramic Space Heater

Honourable Mention
8.6/10 Our Score
  • Blends into Your Decor – with a stylish body and finish this space heater looks more like a piece of art than a space heater. Combined with a powerful ceramic heating element and 3 quiet settings this heater is ideal for around the home
  • Adjustable Thermostat – allows you to adjust the heater’s 1500 watt ceramic heating element. With easy to read LED temperature settings you can select temperatures from 60F to 85F or select max heat for maximum warmth
  • Built-in Timer – can be programmed from 1 hour to 7 hours. Simply press the timer button on the digital control panel to easily program the timer in 1 hour intervals. Once the timer is set the heater will automatically shut off after the programmed time
  • Built-in Safety Features – overheat protection ensures the space heater does not overheat even if left on for an extended amount of time. While a cool touch exterior keeps the heater cool to the touch even after running for hours
  • Fully Assembled – allows you to take the heater out of the box and have it working in minutes. Simply plug the heater into a wall outlet, adjust the thermostat, and enjoy the warmth from your new Lasko space heater

Last update on 27th September 2021 / Affiliate Links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Lasko Ceramic Space Heater is made to keep you toasty all day long with its compact size and ease of use. With 1500-watt output, this heater is also one of the most efficient heaters. With a stylish design, this space heater is not only powerful but also beautiful. Lasko ceramic space heaters are reliable and affordable. They provide the perfect amount of heat with the optional ceramic element and will keep you comfortable in any room.

This ceramic space heater is quite a popular choice, and thanks to its attractive price, it definitely worth a place in your research. It comes fully assembled and ready to use. You can find this product in two variations to choose from; both look elegant and will nicely blend with your furniture.

It’s tranquil and has you can adjust its heating output to your needs. The unit also features overheat protection and a built-in timer that is very easy to set up. You can program the device to shut off after the predefined time, one to seven hours ahead. Overall, this is a great option that can be used with wireless remote control for maximum comfort. This is among the best option you can find on the market at its price range, so make sure you check this one out before you make up your mind.

FAQ

What is the most effective patio heater?

Many of the best patio heaters are electric. To get the most out of your investment, you need to focus on a high-quality active infrared heater. These heaters have been in use for years, and their popularity has increased in recent years. The infrared heating option is ideal for both cold and dry climates as it provides more efficient heat transfer, thus giving your patio a warm ambient temperature. Moreover, they work well in areas with no access to electricity, like camping or other remote areas.


Are patio heaters worth it?

A patio heater is a great addition to your summer outdoor living area. It provides a comfortable ambient temperature that will keep away the cold drafts and save you money on heating bills. However, this investment will not only save you money but also enhance all of your outdoor activities.


Are gas or electric patio heaters better?

Most patio heaters use either gas or electricity. Electric heaters are economical because you can turn them on or off with the touch of a button. The gas heaters are more portable, but they require regular maintenance and do not provide the same electric models.

With a patio heater, you can design your very own outdoor living area that will bring beauty and warmth throughout the season. There is a model for your home and a price range for budget-conscious homeowners, from perfect to various designs.


How many BTUs do I need for my patio heater?

Basically, the more BTUs your heater can produce, the better. It’s so important to know about BTUs since you will be using them often. You don’t want to get a model with many BTUs and find out that it will never heat large areas because your model is too low in output. If you have a small patio, then you don’t need a large heater and vice versa. When selecting a model, look for one that comes with a high number of BTUs. Some models have 2,000-10,000 BTUs, so you can choose the one that fits your needs. To make it really easy for you, the best patio heaters will come with a digital thermostat to help you understand how long they can heat an area.


Do patio heaters work in winter?

Yes, patio heaters are efficient for both summer and winter. Patio heaters are used to enhance warmth in your patio area regardless of the season. However, the prices vary widely. There are affordable models that you can purchase during summer and then store away for the winter season. Indeed, if your patio area is large enough or you plan to use it for winter, then you should consider purchasing a more powerful heater.


Which is better? A fire pit or patio heater?

The best patio heaters provide a safer option of heating than a fire pit. A patio heater will not cause the hassle or mess with the burning fluid and wood. However, it all depends on your needs since models can do both according to your preference.


Do patio heaters work below freezing?

Yes, patio heaters can be used in any weather. If your house is cool in winter, you can use the patio heater to create warmth for it. The technology used by patio heaters can provide consistent energy projected to every corner of the area. You can choose the best option to match your preference and then enjoy the warmness that will make your outdoor living experience more enjoyable.


Can you use a patio heater under a covered patio?

Yes, you can. The patio heater you select should have adjustable vents so that it can maintain optimal temperature levels. Some heaters will work better if placed under a cover, whereas others will work better in open areas. Thus, it is important to choose a heater with an adjustable vent system so you can regulate your desired heat level.


How do I choose a patio heater?

Know the size of your patio and how many people need to be heated. In most cases, if you have a small patio, then you don’t need a large heater and vice versa. You can find some made for small patios and others for large ones, so personal choice matters a lot. The appliances are available in various sizes and designs, so all you have to do is choose one that suits your style and tastes. Take into consideration the fuel system. Some use propane while others use electricity as an energy source.


How far should the patio heater be from the house?

Patio heaters must have clearance of at least one foot in all directions from any combustible material. Although they are not exactly fire hazards, it is better to play safe than sorry.


Are patio heaters expensive to run?

No, patio heaters are very cheap. They actually cost you less than running your AC and heater inside the house!