There’s one thing we hate about our patios: We never get to spend enough time there. We are always looking for ways to extend the season. And we want to continue our outdoor time on those chilly nights. Just when things are getting started we used to have to bundle up and head indoors. All of that has changed with new technology in the world of best outdoor heaters.
Anyone who has spent time at their favorite restaurant eating outdoors knows that a lot has changed with outdoor heating options. They are safe, efficient, and more environmentally friendly.
We can make sure you make the most out of your patio this year. We have a list of the best options based on your needs, that will help you enjoy all that time outdoors in comfort and warmth.
Here’s a quick summary of the best outdoor heaters on the market. We’ve given each an award of sorts to help you narrow down your personal choice. For more information on these picks, keep scrolling to our reviews of each one.
- Best Electric Outdoor Heater: Kismile Electric Patio Heater. A freestanding or wall mounted option that is remote controlled and powerful!
- Best Outdoor Propane Heater: Hiland Pyramid Heater. This tower heater uses propane to emit enough heat for all of your guests.
- Best Outdoor Infrared Heater: Bromic Wall Mounted Heater. A more permanent solution to your outdoor heating needs.
- Best Small Patio Heater: Star Patio Electric Tabletop Heater. This cute lamp-like heater provides comfort with the pull of a switch.
- Best Tabletop Patio Heater: Orren Ellis Craddock Tabletop Fireplace. Style and warmth is provided by this open-flame heater.
- Best Fire Pit for Patios: Sun Joe Cast Stone Fire Pit. If you’re looking for a more traditional source of warmth, this is a perfect option.
- Best Outdoor Gas Heaters with Open Flames: Uniflame Endless Summer. A gorgeous way to have a true fireplace outdoors.
- Best Outdoor Heaters for Patio Furniture: Hiland Electric Umbrella Patio Heater. A heater that attaches to your patio umbrella! Do we need to say more?
- Best Rated Patio Heater: Amazon Basics Outdoor Heater. A traditional style that comes in a plethora of colors ready to heat your patio at an affordable price.
9 Best Outdoor Heaters for Patio Spaces: Product Details
Our top picks for the best outdoor heaters for patio spaces for 2021 are based on every outdoor heating need. These outdoor heaters will keep your outdoor hangouts toasty, and provide a number of other benefits too.
Best Electric Outdoor Heater
Brand: Kismile Power: Electric | Operation: Freestanding or Wall Mounted | Output: 1500W | Cord: 66″ | Size: 54″ Max Height | Weight: 13lbs
If there’s any question that outdoor patio heaters come in all options, take a peek at the Kismile electric patio heater. This heater is remote controlled and can be wall mounted or operated while free standing. With no fans or motors, the Kismile heats silently.
The remote control option means you won’t have to move an inch while relaxing outdoors. Choose between 3 heat modes, and easily adjust the height on the tri-pod aluminum base. Aside from being a more environmentally-friendly option, we also love how quickly it heats up. The customer feedback is what earned this a spot on our list- with many noting it exceeded their expectations.
Best Outdoor Propane Heater
Brand: Hiland Power: Fuel | Fuel Type: Propane | Fuel Capacity: 20lb Tank | Output: 40,000 BTUs | Heating Area: 10sq ft. | Size: 21.5 x 21 x 91″ | Weight: 65.2lbs
Hiland’s Pyramid Patio Heater delivers a large amount of heat using traditional propane tanks to make setup convenient. The coverage area is plenty to give all of your family and friends comfort while hanging out. The tube surrounding the flame is made from quartz glass, which will radiate heat out while also providing some style. The base of this large outdoor heater features wheels to make it simple to move from place-to-place in your yard.
You’ll see Hiland a couple of times on our list, as they are perhaps the best patio heater brand that makes both electric and gas powered models. Their quality seems to have improved immensely in the past few years, according to customer feedback.
Best Outdoor Infrared Heaters
Brand: Bromic Power: Electric | Operation: Wall Mounted | Output: 3000-Watt & More! | Cord: Professional Installation Required | Size: 3.5 x 56 x 8.5″ | Weight: 20lbs
Smart-heating hits the next level with this electric option from Bromic. It provides efficient directional heat and can be mounted in either wall or ceiling. Weatherproof for outdoor operation, this space heater can be adjusted for comfort. The mounting brackets assure you’ll have heat where you need it. Consider this a more permanent heating solution- as it will require an electrician to install it.
Bromic makes the best wall mounted patio heaters. This particular model comes in 2000-watt, 3000-watt, 4000-watt, and 6000-watt options to fit a range of size and heating needs. The radiant heat of the 3000-watt outdoor infrared heater, for example, can heat around 100 square feet! Make sure to check out the product listing for a nice graphic that illustrates what sort of heat distribution each one can provide.
Best Small Patio Heater
Brand: Star Patio | Power: Electric | Operation: Tabletop with Pullstring Switch | Output: 5100 BTUs |Cord: 6ft. | Size: 16.5 x 16.5 x 29.5″ | Weight: 11lbs
If you want tabletop heat without gas-power, thankfully there are some great “lamp-style” options out there. Our favorite is this sleek option from Star Patio. It comes in a few different shapes to fit your outdoor aesthetic. It features an automatic kill switch if it gets tipped over. It’s perfect for a small table of 4-5 people. Keep in mind you will need to be close to an outlet for operation.
Best Tabletop Patio Heater
Brand: Orren Ellis Power: Fuel | Fuel Type: Bio-Ethanol | Fuel Capacity: 16.5 oz | Output: 8000 BTUs | Size: 19.5 x 8 x 9.5″ | Weight: 9lbs
Quite possibly the most visually appealing patio heater on our list, the Craddock Tabletop Fireplace by Orren Ellis will make a statement and keep you warm without a lot of fuss. A steel base surrounds the tempered glass that create heat-distribution for the enjoyment of everyone at the table. It stands out against other open flame tabletop heaters because you don’t have to fuss with rocks of any kind.
Our suggestion is to only invest in this tabletop outdoor heater if you have a covered patio or gazebo. This product isn’t meant to stand up against weather exposure.
Best Fire Pit for Patios
Brand: Sun Joe Power: Wood Burning | Materials: Cast Stone & Steel Bowl | Capacity: Logs 21.5″ long | Output: Heat-Resistant to 1,112 degrees | Size: 28 x 28 x 13.15″ | Weight: 38lbs
Homeowners who don’t want to think about electric or gas have another option. Try a classic wood burning fire pit to heat your patio. The Sun Joe fire pit is not suitable for cooking but it will keep you and your guests warm with classic style. Designed for wood burning, you won’t be searching for an outlet or refilling the propane with this option.
This options lacks the versatility and portability of other patio heating options but is perfect for homeowners who want stately elegance and the beauty of a natural fire. Just make sure you know what’s safe to burn for the longevity of your firepit and the environment.
Best Outdoor Gas Heater with Open Flames
Brand: Uniflame Power: Fuel | Fuel Type: Liquefied Petroleum | Fuel Capacity: 1lb Tank | Output: 10,000 BTUs | Size: 12 x 12 x 27.5″ | Weight: 30lbs
Endless Summer offers outdoor beauty with easy operations, providing an amazing heating experience for you. Uniflame’s outdoor fireplace has made our list for 4 years running. The heater uses Real Flame Gel and provides 10,000 BTUs of heat an hour. Included with this outdoor heater is glass fire rocks, and the ignition is hidden in a secret panel to keep it protected. Crafted from fiber-concrete, stainless steel, and glass, this patio heater is sturdy.
Best Outdoor Heater for Patio Furniture
Brand: Hiland | Power: Electric | Operation: Umbrella Attachment | Output: 1500 Watt | Cord: 6ft. | Size: 40 x 40 x 6″ | Weight: 10lbs
Have a patio with an umbrella that you want to keep warm on chilly days? You can get all the UV protection you need from the shade and still stay warm with an umbrella patio heater like this one from Hiland.
The 3 individual heaters each produce 500W and connect easily to a standard wall socket with the 6ft. cord (you’ll need an extension cord for most outdoor electric heaters). Using the umbrella to retain heat within 15sq ft, this unit makes the most of your patio setup as-is.
Best Rated Patio Heater
Brand: Amazon Basics Power: Fuel | Fuel Type: Propane | Fuel Capacity: 20lb Tank | Output: 46,000 BTUs | Heating Area: 9sq ft. | Size: 33 x 18 x 89″ | Weight: 38lbs
If you are seeking the best outdoor heater for your money, look no further than Amazon Basics. This classic-style patio heater is easily moved, and available in 7 finishes to look just-right on your patio or outdoor area. Using a traditional 20lb propane tank, this heater puts off 46,000BTUs of heat. Covering a 9ft radius.
We couldn’t overlook adding this Amazon Basics heater to our list because of the customer reviews. It was an easy pick for best rated patio heater, as it’s even backed by a 1-year warranty.
Versatile Outdoor Heaters
The new options in outdoor heaters for your patio range from elegant to functional and handy. You can install into the wall and ceiling of your patio or pick a portable option to take along on your next camping trip too.
You don’t have to sacrifice form or function when picking the right heater for your patio. Depending on your needs, your energy concerns, and your space, you will choose between:
We suggest investing in electric outdoor heaters if you are wanting something more sustainable. Even fire pits would be a better option than fuel powered- just remember to only burn wood that is sourced from your local area. However, gas powered can be more efficient meaning you will need less of them if you have a larger area.
The best gas patio heaters should always feature easy-to-hook-up propane features. Based on customer reviews and what we know about gas powered appliances, the propane heaters also tend to last longer, which can mean less replacements in a lifetime. Ultimately, you’ll need to choose based on your own personal set up.
How Many Do I Need?
Depending on the type of heater you select you may need more than one heater to keep you and your family and guests warm. A good rule of thumb is a 10′ by 10′ area but that varies on heat output.
Benefits of Infrared
Electric heaters are often more safe to operate than their counterparts. They are also more efficient. You won’t be losing heat to gusts of air with an infrared option. The best electric patio heaters are over 90 percent efficient and are safe to use indoors as well.
Gas heaters do offer infrared heat but typically only on the highest settings. Picking between propane, electric, and other options is a question of energy efficiency and cost to operate.
One of the criticisms of outdoor patio heaters in the past was CO2 emissions. Many models were not environmentally safe. A lot of that has changed. The new options in outdoor heaters have made advances in carbon emissions.
You know that operating your heater is safe for the environment. They are also efficient heating sources so you will use less energy heating spaces. So you will be enjoying the outdoors and being good to the environment at the same time.
Once you have the perfect outdoor heaters you can enjoy your time outdoors even more.