The 10 Best Patio Heaters

Patio-area-with-table-chairs-and-heater-on-walkout-deck-overlooking-scenic-view

As you won’t need reminding, summer is gone for another year, and fall is already well underway.

That doesn’t mean you can’t continue enjoying your patio, deck, or yard, though, and you don’t need to suffer in the cold either.

With the best patio heaters, you’ll inject some warmth into the air when the temperatures drop, and you won’t need to spend much to run the thing either.

Patio heaters start at less than a hundred bucks and they can run into thousands at the upper end. We review 10 heaters today in a variety of styles and at varying price points.

If you have never compared patio heaters before, you should focus on the following simple pointers to streamline your buying decision:

  • Size of outdoor space: The size of your patio, deck, or yard is the most crucial element dictating your buying decision. If you only need to warm up a tiny outdoor space, a small tabletop unit would work well. For larger gardens, freestanding heaters with much more substantial heat output make a smarter choice – more on that below
  • Type of heater: Patio heaters come in a variety of configurations. A freestanding patio heater is the smartest choice if you need to heat a large outdoor space. These consist of a base, pole, heat reflector, and a heating source – either gas or electric. Mounted patio heaters are discreet and easy to tuck somewhere out of the way, perfect in smaller spaces. Tabletop patio heaters also work well on small patios and decks. These are small, portable, and powered by electricity. While an infrared heater might be pricier and not especially portable, this type of heater will warm up very quickly, and they make an excellent choice for families, especially those with small children at home. These heaters are also highly energy-efficient. More on the different heating sources next
  • Heat source: Propane patio heaters are the most popular type. Often freestanding, these heat up quickly, and they are also cheap to run. An even more cost-effective option is to look out for a natural gas patio heater. The most convenient of all patio heaters, an electric heater is nevertheless not as energy-efficient as a gas heater, whether propane gas or natural gas. If you run an electric patio heater around the clock, you’ll notice a stiff increase in your power bill. Bear this in mind before committing to purchase, and ensure you get the most appropriate source of heat for your needs
  • Heat output: Heating appliances are rated in terms of BTU (British thermal units). The higher the BTU rating, the greater the maximum potential temperature. You’ll find most tabletop patio heaters rated between 10,000 BTU and 12,000 BTU. More substantial patio heaters can deliver up to 50,000 BTU of heat.
  • Safety features: All the best patio heaters come with an auto shut-off function that kicks in if the heater takes a tumble. Some heaters also come with shut-off valves, and some will boast cool-touch glass. If you have kids at home, safety features should be uppermost on your mind when you’re comparing patio heaters

Now, if you take these factors into account, you should find it super-simple to pick the right patio heater from our showcase of the best 10 models out there.

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I. The 10 Best Patio Heaters

1. Our #1 Pick: AmazonBasics Propane Patio Heater

Amazon-Basics-46,000-BTU-Outdoor-Propane-Patio-Heater

Features

  • Type: Freestanding propane
  • BTU rating: 46,000
  • Dimensions: 33 x 18 x 89 inches

AmazonBasics has a sprawling line of products for the home and garden offering a winning combination of performance, build quality, and value. This is our overall favorite in today’s collection of the best patio heaters, so what do you get for your money here?

Firstly, you need to choose between this traditional stainless steel unit and one finished with an understated powder coating. Each of these iterations is available in a wide array of striking colorways to suit your outdoor space.

The stainless steel is complemented by aluminum and rugged plastic in places to give you a long-lasting heater that’s also very keenly priced.

Heating a wide radius of up to 9 feet, this heater works just as well in a commercial outlet like a café or restaurant as it does in the garden at home. You benefit from a class-leading 46,000 BTU of heat from this thing when it’s running at full tilt.

As with all propane-fueled patio heaters, you’ll need to make provision for a 20-pound tank of propane. This does not come bundled with purchase, although you’ll get everything else you need to get going right out the box.

Firing the heater up is straightforward thanks to the highly dependable piezo ignition. Push the button and start enjoying much more heat outdoors on a cold day.

If you live somewhere prone to lots of winds and storms, you might find is useful to add some water to the base of this heater.

Wheels underneath this heater complete a winning package from a brand you can trust. Pick up a bargain before the really cold weather sets in!

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Multiple colorways
  • Heats over 9-foot radius
  • Auto shut-off baked in
  • Reported issue with knob melting

2. Hampton Bay Stainless Steel Patio Heater

Hampton-Bay-48000-Btu-Stainless-Steel-Patio-Heater

Features

  • Type: Freestanding propane
  • BTU rating: 48,000
  • Dimensions: 32.25 x 32.25 x 87.25 inches

Next up comes another freestanding propane gas patio heater, this time from Hampton Bay.

The total coverage area of this heater is an impressive 200 square feet. Whether you want some extra warmth in the yard, on the patio, or on the deck, this flexible and powerful heater is well worth a place on your shortlist.

Made from durable stainless steel throughout, you’re getting a patio heater that’s built to stay the distance without letting you down. The brushed finish allows the heater to blend into your garden décor rather than looking out of place.

An ergonomic control valve lets you manipulate the temperature with ease, creating the optimum heating environment for the conditions and ensuring nobody ends of shivering at your next fall garden party.

The heating output is rated at 48,000, providing you with heating over an area to around 10 square feet. Having said that, we found several complaints from consumers claiming this heater struggles in really cold weather, so if you live somewhere with a hostile climate, you might want to explore some of the other patio heaters we review today.

As long as you make sure you have a 20-pound tank of propane to hand, you can set this freestanding unit up straight out the box.

This is one of the best patio heaters out there, as long as you don’t live somewhere with exceptionally cold winters.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Heats area to 200 square feet
  • Rugged stainless steel build
  • Seamless temperature control
  • Not ideal in very cold weather

3. Hiland Pyramid Patio Heater

Hiland-HLDSO1-WGTHG-Pyramid-Patio-Propane-Heater

Features

  • Type: Freestanding propane
  • BTU rating: 40,000
  • Dimensions: 7.48 x 7.48 x 35.04 inches

If you find the appearance of most patio heaters is underwhelming or downright obtrusive, why not consider this delicate pyramid-style heater from Hiland?

Pick from 5 different finishes to suit, including this elegant hammered bronze model.

You’ll need to hook this heater up to a regular 20-pound propane tank, so make sure you get this arranged in advance.

The wheels underneath the heater allow you to maneuver it around without breaking your back, and you then fire it up using the user-friendly ignition system. Once it’s up and running, you can expect up to 10 hours of continuous heat from a single tank of propane, rendering running costs reasonable.

The tubular flame gives another visual edge to your garden, so if you’re looking for a patio heater that is not purely functional but also makes a conversation piece, you can’t go wrong here.

A generous heat output of 40,000 BTU will keep an area to 10 square feet toasty.

With the exception of a handful of niggles about quality control issues, the bulk of user testimony for this patio heater is overwhelmingly positive.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Attractive hammered bronze finish
  • Heats for up to 10 hours on high
  • Reliable ignition system
  • Some quality control concerns

4. Mr Heater Stainless Steel Patio Heater

Mr.-Heater-F242540:-29,000-45,000-Btu-540-Degree-

Features

  • Type: Freestanding propane
  • BTU rating: 30,000 to 45,000
  • Dimensions: 10.4 x 10.4 x 17.5 inches

As we near the midpoint of our patio heater reviews, we have a great stainless steel model from Mr Heater that rates a mention.

The utilitarian design of this heater means it would make a smoother fit in a more modernist yard than a traditional garden. It would also make a good fit in a small commercial premises.

One of the key selling points of this heater is the way the heater head swivels through a full 360 degrees. If you are sat outside with friends and family, the rotating head means nobody gets left in the cold.

As with all the best patio heaters, you get the safety features you need in the shape of a tip over switch and auto shut-off to prevent any unwitting accidents.

Grab yourself a 20-pound tank of propane and you can fire this heater up, making you wonder why you didn’t treat yourself to one of these freestanding patio heaters sooner.

The only blowback in a sea of positive user reviews concerns the misleading advertising. The piezo ignition is only available on the 10,000 BTU heater in this line, so do your due diligence here.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Convection heating
  • Attaches to standard propane tank
  • Burner head swivels through 360 degrees
  • No piezo ignition as claimed

5. Fire Sense Stainless Steel Patio Heater

Fire-Sense-Stainless-Steel-Table-Top-Patio-Heater

Features

  • Type: Freestanding propane
  • BTU rating: 10,000
  • Dimensions: 13.4 x 20.9 x 34.65 inches

At the halfway stage of our quest for the best patio heaters, we have a freestanding tabletop propane gas model. As you can see by now, this is by far the most common and popular of all patio heating methods. How does it shape up, then?

The dinky dimensions of this heater means it does not make the right fit for everyone. If you have a smaller patio or outdoor space to heat, though, and you don’t want a heater that dominates the whole area, this lightweight and compact model is a must.

As with all the finest patio heaters, you can take advantage of the push-button piezo ignition to fire this heater up in an instant.

Just as you would expect from a smaller heater, the output is more modest than much of the opposition, with a BTU rating of only 10,000. That said, you can tweak the heat settings and you should find this offers a pleasant glow and burst of warmth on a smaller patio or deck.

There are some scattered complaints from users concerning the heater suddenly and randomly powering down, so if you need reliability above all else, we would suggest exploring some of the other heaters above and below. If you can tolerate the occasional glitch, you’re getting great overall value and a compact heater for your small patio.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Dependable piezo ignition
  • Durable stainless steel build
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Tends to shut down occasionally

6. Thermo Tiki Deluxe Patio Heater

Thermo-Tiki-Deluxe-Propane-Outdoor-Patio-Heater

Features

  • Type: Freestanding propane
  • BTU rating: 38,000
  • Dimensions: 54 x 34.5 x 8 inches

The Thermo Tiki Deluxe is a pyramid-style patio heater that comes with a decorative dancing flame, but is it a case of form over function?

Thankfully, no!

Choose from a black or stainless steel finish, and benefit from a rugged heater that can cope with plenty of punishment.

This is a freestanding model allowing you total freedom when it comes to placement. Some wheels enable you to shift the heater around the yard without straining yourself, too.

A powerful unit rated at a robust 46,000 BTU, all you’ll need is a standard 20-pound tank of propane to warm up your patio this winter. The radiant and convection heating will warm an area of roughly 10 square feet, making this a great solution for larger outdoor spaces in need of some added warmth.

Several users complain about the fact this heater is not made of stainless steel throughout, with some cheaper and flimsier metal components on display.

Weighing in at just 20 pounds, you’re getting a great deal of power in a relatively lightweight chassis, and what’s even better is that this heater is also keenly priced, so why not snatch yourself a bargain before the cold weather kicks in?

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Convection and radiant heat
  • Clean lines
  • Dancing flame
  • Not all components stainless steel

7. Briza Infrared Patio Heater

Briza-Infrared-Patio-Heater-Electric-Patio-Heater

Features

  • Type: Tripod-mounted or mounted infrared
  • Wattage: 900 to 1500 watts
  • Dimensions: 35.5 x 4 x 4 inches

Next up comes this infrared patio heater, showing that propane gas is not your only option if you want some heat outdoors.

A corded electric appliance, you’ll need to make sure you have access to a power outlet and then you’re away.

Where propane heaters come with a BTU rating for heat output, this infrared is rated at 1500 watts. You can tweak the heat intensity to suit, choosing from 900 watts, 1200 watts, or 1500 watts when you really want to ratchet up the heat.

Rated IP55, this is an all-weather heater that copes admirably in inclement conditions.

If this heater topples over, the auto shut-off kicks in, safeguarding you from an accidental fire starting on the patio.

Choose whether to use this heater on the tripod provided, or use the mounting hardware bundled to mount it overhead if this makes a better fit.

Use the remote control to set the timer on his heater from 1 through 9 hours, giving you one of the most flexible and powerful patio heaters out there.

The only real gripes we could find among mainly positive user testimony concerns the pretty minimal heating range you get from this model, so it makes a neater fit for smaller outdoor spaces.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Infrared heat
  • Mounting hardware supplied
  • Choose from 3 levels of heat
  • Minimal range

8. Bali Outdoors Patio Heater

BALI-OUTDOORS-Portable-Patio-Heater

Features

  • Type: Tabletop propane
  • BTU rating: 10,000
  • Dimensions: 20.6 x 20.3 x 10.7 inches

We appreciate not everyone wants a huge patio heater, and we understand not everyone has acres of outdoor space at their fingertips. If you’re looking to add some warmth to a very small patio, why not consider this tabletop propane gas heater from Bali Outdoors?

As you would expect from a tabletop unit, assembly is a breeze and you’ll be up and running straight out the box. It will take you no more than an hour to get this thing set up.

Weighing a mere 14 pounds overall, the heater makes use of a compact 1-pound propane canister rather than a full-size 20-pound tank. This does not come included with the heater, so make sure you have a canister to hand.

The heat output is modest as you would expect from any compact tabletop heater. Having said that, you still get 10,000 BTU of heat per hour from this heater, so it’s no slouch either.

Heat output is adjustable, too, allowing you to create the perfect outdoor ambiance, even if it’s starting to get colder out there.

A firmly weighted base allows you to pop this heater on top of a table without worrying about a gust of wind flipping it over. If an accident does happen, the heater automatically powers down in the event of tipping over.

Overall, this is arguably the best compact patio heater out there, so give it a try if you have a little yard that gets too cold for your liking.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Weighted base for stability
  • Easy to assemble
  • Auto shut-off
  • Not too hot or long-lasting

9. Xtremepower Outdoor Patio Heater

XtremepowerUS-96053-Propane-Gas-Outdoor-Patio-Heater-Auto-Tilt-CSA-48,000-BTU

Features

  • Type: Freestanding propane
  • BTU rating: 48,000
  • Dimensions: 15 x 15 x 86 inches

Xtremepower’s patio heater lives up to its name, giving you one of the most powerful residential heaters you’ll find without needing to bankrupt yourself.

Weighing just under 40 pounds, this is a bulky and weighty unit. The wheels make it super-simple to move into place, though, and the heater will stay firmly in position.

Rated at 48,000 BTU per hour, you’ll offer heat over an area of 15 square feet, making this a great choice for a larger yard or small commercial venue. The best thing is, you’ll get all this heat without any smoke, and without an open flame. Use the variable speed knob to create the level of heat you require on-demand.

The elegant design means this patio heater will enhance your outside space rather than cluttering it up. If you don’t like the look of this hammered bronze heater, you can pick up one finished in dark mocha instead.

Although the ignition is marketed as seamless, we found several complaints from users about issues developing here. Setting this issue aside, you’re getting one of the best patio heaters out there from a brand you can rely on, and the performance is second to none on our shortlist today.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Wheeled assembly
  • Heats 15-foot diameter
  • Muted aesthetics
  • Some reported snags with ignition

10. Heat Storm Infrared Tripod and Heater

Heat-Storm-HS-1500-TT-Infrared

Features

  • Type: Tripod-mounted infrared
  • BTU rating: 5,200
  • Dimensions: 5 x 29 x 72 inches

Last but by no means least in today’s collection of the best patio heaters comes from Heat Storm. What do you get for your money, then?

Well, this is a corded electric heater boasting 1500 watts of infrared heat to give you a glowingly warm outdoor space, even when the mercury tumbles.

The 13-foot cord gives you ample latitude when it comes to placement, and you won’t have a taut cord as a potential trip hazard and security risk.

IPX4 weather-proof, you get a year-round heating solution to liven up your patio without needing to take out a bank loan.

As with all infrared heaters, there is no lag, with heat generates nigh-instantly. By warming objects not just the air, don’t let the 5,200 BTU output fool you – this thing is powerful.

The heater comes on a tripod, so you’ll have no mounting concerns, and you can fire this small but powerful heater up as soon as you rip open the packaging.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Tip-over safety switch
  • Plug-and-play assembly
  • Generates heat instantly
  • Lifespan issues flagged

II. FAQs

1) How do electric patio heaters and gas patio heaters differ?

Choosing between electric and gas patio heaters comes down to your budget and also the size of the outdoor space you’re looking to heat. Anyone looking to get the temperature up quickly should consider an electric heater. The vast bulk of these patio heaters deliver radiant heat, so they heat objects rather than simply heating the air. This makes an electric heater ideal for large gardens, allowing you to heat specific areas with precision. A gas-powered patio heater, by contrast, allows for a wider-ranging heat, also over a large area. These can be cheaper to buy, but they are not the most eco-conscious option at your disposal. Not only are gas heaters quite costly to run, but they are also wasteful and inefficient, resulting in a much heftier carbon footprint.

2) Do patio heaters really work?

Absolutely! The key is finding the right heater for the outdoor space you have in mind, and we hope today’s guide has helped you to determine that. Regardless of what type of heater you choose, you should find all decent patio heaters work well as a form of direct heating. There is very little to beat the ease and convenience of an electric heater, and these are also very cost-effective. That said, a gas heater may take a little longer to heat up, but you’ll find you can heat a large outdoor space. The quality of the heater will dictate how effectively it works, and with today’s guide to the top 10 patio heaters, you should easily find one that suits.

3) Is it safe to put a patio heater under a gazebo?

It is possible to put a patio heater under a gazebo, provided that it’s not a fully enclosed structure. If you plan to install your heater here, pop it right in the middle of the gazebo for safety’s sake. It goes unsaid you should also sidestep any models featuring open flames or an exposed heating element if you want to position the heater under a gazebo. Keep these pointers in mind and you should have no issues with warming that area.


III. Conclusion

Today’s brief guide to the best patio heaters should have shown you that there’s not too much to think about when you’re buying one of these things.

By drawing your attention to the flaws in these heaters as well as their benefits, you should be ideally placed to find the most suitable patio heater for your needs without wasting hours over the decision.

Look for what seems visually appealing first as the heater will be a focal point outdoors. Once you’re happy with the aesthetics, you can then double down on how the heater performs relative to your needs.

Take a second to bookmark Wild River Country as you go and be sure to pop back soon. We update our content daily, so don’t dip out!

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