If you’ve ever dreamt of being outside long into the evening without spending hours building a fire in a fire pit or having to watch your gas heater guzzle propane, then electric heaters are for you.
Not only are they cost effective (and the most eco friendly patio heater), but outside electric heaters are also the most efficient. Why? Because they create radiant heat.
That means that they heat up only objects and people rather than the air around them. Meaning you need less power to provide the same kind of warmth as gas.
In other words, start browsing our list of outside electric heaters and figure out which one will work with your patio, balcony, terrace or garden.
Our pick of the best electric patio heaters
- Blumfeldt Heat Guru Plus Radiant Heater – best overall
- Swan’s Al Fresco Wall Mounted Patio Heater – best wall hung heater
- Firefly Outdoor Freestanding Electric Quartz Bulb Garden Patio Heater – best free standing heater
- Firefly 1.8kW Wall Mounted Quartz Outdoor Indoor Patio – best budget heater
- ZMXZMQ 2200W Electric Hanging Heater – best patio ceiling lamp
- Artoreal Electric Patio Parasol Heater – best for umbrellas / parasols
- Mensa Under The Table Infrared Heater – safest choice
- Swan Al Fresco Bar Table Patio Heater – best electric table heater
Blumfeldt Heat Guru Plus Radiant Heater – Best overall outdoor electric heater
Out of all the outdoor electric infrared patio heaters on our list, this one wins the title for sheer adaptability.
Weighing 9.5 kilos, it’s easy enough to move to adapt to your patio or balcony, whilst its height of 148cm allows it to deliver a pleasant warm to its surrounding.
The big draw here is that unlike so many other electric outdoor heaters that only heat 180 degrees, this little gem oscillates on the spot, spreading its warmth over a larger area.
No longer will your guests be fighting for the spot directly in the path of the heat, instead the Blumfeldt Heat Guru will spread radiant heat to everyone sitting nearby.
It has 3 heating levels, the highest of which is 2,000W – the highest you’ll find with any electric garden heater.
Effective radiation is provided by the carbon heater with infrared technology, and it doesn’t glow a bright distracting light. You also have a timer shutdown of between 1 and 9 hours if you are using it indoors, and are concerned of safety.
It is splash-proof so you won’t have to worry at every little sign of rain, but you will need to bring it in or put it safely away when not in use.
- Portable and compact
- Oscillating features provides head across a wider area
- IR ComfortHeat technology and a heat output of 2000 watts
- 3 level of heats makes it adaptable for summer or winter evenings
- Remote control means you don’t have to get up to control the temperature
- Splash-proof against splash and jet water
- Set an automatic shut-down of between 1 to 9 hours
- Sizeable 170cm power cord included
- Comes with a EU plug only. UK customer will get a UK converter plug attached.
- Cannot be left outside year round. Needs to be put undercover or shed when not in use.
- You are paying extra for practicality, oscillation and style
Swan’s Al Fresco Wall Mounted Patio Heater – Best wall hung electric heater
- Fits small to medium patios
- Remote Controlled
If you have a small patio or space and don’t want to be dragging out a portable patio heater every time you feel a chill, then The Swan’s Al Fresco Wall Mounted Patio Heater is for you.
Easily mounted onto a ceiling or wall of an outdoor structure or garden wall, the 1.8 metre power cord supply means you don’t have to have it right next to the plug.
It provides a powerful heat of up to 1,800W, giving you a wide area of warmth, whether horizontal or vertical. So if you don’t have the space, this wall mounted patio heater is perfect to stuck on the side of a window or wall.
This is sold as an all weather patio heater which is IP44 approved, all that really means is that it’s able to withstand splashes and light to medium rain.
We would always recommend that in lashes of rain and storms, all electricals should be brought inside or kept under cover, despite the fact this is advertised as being able to be outside throughout the year. Do it if you want, but don’t be surprised if, at this price range, it only lasts you a couple of years.
And the reason we can promise you that is that if you register this product for free, you get a 2 year warranty on the product, which is more than most of these electric exterior heaters are willing to promise.
Thank-fully, because of the easy installation, you can bring it in and out of the shed or garage when you need it and just plug and play when you need it most
You could probably keep it out for multiple months, and just bring it in when you know you won’t be dinning al fresco in the snow.
- Easy to install and remove from the wall if need be
- Can be placed vertically or horizontally
- Multiple 3 heat settings gives you up to 1,800W of directed infrared heat
- 2 year warrantee if you register the product online (1 as standard)
- All weather patio heater able to be left out for convenience
- Stylish and modern design
- 1.8 meter power cord
- Not as powerful as some of the others on this list
Firefly Outdoor Freestanding Electric Quartz Bulb Garden Patio Heater – Best free standing heater
- Easily moveable
- 2KW each = great heat
- Use outdoors & indoors
These come as a pair and we don’t know why. One of these powerful freestanding electric patio heaters can easily warm up 7 square meter, both together you get a wide open space of up to 15 square meters.
These are perfect for larger patio gatherings, gazebos and parties, because they are versatile enough that you can move them around to where they can be the most effective.
The Quartz tubing provides multiple heat settings of 650W for summer evenings, 1350W for autumn afternoons and 2000W for those snuggly winter nights.
Made from grey steel these are durable and long lasting, if not particularly stylish, and the over heat protection means it’s family friendly and safe.
As a side bonus, these provide with a soft glow of light as well as heat. Of course, this is also technically a downside depending on whether you have separate outdoor lightning already organised for your entertainment space.
Not the cheapest on the list, but you get 2 powerful heaters that will see you through even the worse weather, and can be moved around easily.
- Adjustable height of 174.5cm – 210cm (5ft 8¾in – 6ft 10¾in) and tilting head
- 1.8m power cord
- Portable Patio Heat Lamps
- Able to cosily warm a 15 square meter space
- 3 multiple heat settings of 650W, 1350W, 2000W
- Steel grey design means they will last over the years
- In-built safety features means they will shut off automatically if they start to overheat
- Give you light as well as heat
- You have to buy two, and the price reflects that
- Gives you light as well as heat
- Not the most beautiful lamps you’ll ever see
Firefly 1.8kW Wall Mounted Quartz Outdoor Indoor Patio – Cheap electric patio heater
- Covers 6m to 10m
- 3 heat settings
- Infrared heating
Does a cheap patio heater on electricity exist?
Yes. But you have to be willing to take accept that cheap electric goods may not always be the best long term solution.
These Firefly Wall Mounted Patio Heaters have gotten some rave reviews, mostly because for the price they are the best you are going to get, and you get not one but two of them to cover a wider space.
The heat setting is 600W, 1200W and 1,800W which isn’t as high as the free-standing fireflies, but you do get two of them, and one heater can heat up and area of 6.25m2 – so two will give that same area a warmth that may allow you stay in T-shirts through the night.
They are rain and splash-proof, but at this price we would definitely recommend you keep the screwdriver handy and put them away if you are not using them over the whole of winter or they are not in a sheltered space. It’s easy enough to install, however, and bring them down.
As the cheapest patio heaters on our list, care will be needed to keep these in tip-top shape.
They are fairly sizeable, and not the prettiest in our reviews, but when you are toasty and warm enjoying the night air, you can appreciate the nature around you, rather than the wall mounted heaters behind.
- Two for the price of half of any of these electric heaters on this list
- 3 heat setting of 600W, 1200W and 1,800W
- Two heaters will cover an area of 6 to 10 square meter comfortably
- Cheap wall mounted patio heaters
- Pull cord for quick electric heat
- Silent and safe heating with infrared rays
- Highly-rated on Amazon
- 1.7 meter power cord
- They are cheap, and look a little cheap
- Some complaint of the quality of the manufacturing
ZMXZMQ 2200W Electric Hanging Heater – Best electric patio ceiling lamp
If you are a looking for style, look no further than this 2200W Electric Hanging Heater. The all steel housing give this an industrial style and feel that works with almost any décor.
The adjustable chain makes it easy to carry, change height, or completely move location if need be.
With an IP44 certified it is weather and dust resistant, so ideal for indoor and outdoor use, such as gazebos, patios, balconies, workshops, garages etc…
However, this is a ceiling lamp, so its usually best placed right over the outdoor dinning table providing your guest with a warm subtle heat.
Will it heat up a large space on its own? Well, it’s certainly powerful enough that 10 people around a table will enjoy dinner in comfort.
If you are looking for something that gives more widespread or directional heat, you may want to partner this with a free-standing heat lamp.
That said, in a covered patio area or a gazebo, one of these lightweight hanging heat lamps should easily heat 20 to 40 square meters, so you really only need an extra lamp if you don’t plan on putting this in a sheltered spot.
As with all electrical heat lamps, this emits zero carbon emissions, no odours, chemicals or fumes. This is as environmentally garden heater as you’ll get, mostly because the two halogen tubes provide efficient heating with a lifespan of 5,000 hours.
Plus, it looks nice. What’s not to love?
- Weather and dust resistant
- No emissions, chemicals or fumes
- Warm comfortable heat that covers 10 square meters in an open space, 20 to 40 square meters in a covered space
- Stylish design
- Lightweight and easy to assemble or move
- Lifespan of 5,000 hours or more
- 360 reflection heat with no dead angles
- You need a ceiling to hang it on. This may sound obvious, but DO NOT place on the floor, facing upwards.
- On the higher price range
Artoreal Electric Patio Parasol Heater – Bet heater for umbrellas
- 3 independant heating elements
- Attaches to umbrella
- 3 heat settings
Say you know exactly where everyone is going to be hanging out. Say that spot is on the table, outside, with the parasol or umbrella sitting unused.
Wouldn’t it be great if that parasol wasn’t wasted space? Wouldn’t it be great if instead of provide cooling shade in the summer, it could now provide wonderful heat in the winter?
Well, let us introduce you to the range of Electric Patio Parasol and Umbrella heaters.
This 3 foldable heating panel each operate independently to each other, so you don’t have to use them all at once if you’re only sitting on half the table, or just some of your guests are feeling the chill.
The arms can enclose any size pole of 1 to 2 inches in diameter and requires no tools to install, though the power cord varies from 1.8 meters to 2.4 meters, so make sure you have any extension leads you need in order to use it.
The good news is that because the heat is right above you, and each element has three heat settings (500W, 1000W and 1500W) what you get is three good heaters that make for one powerful heat.
That heat is focused on the table and surroundings, so anyone outside that 10 to 14 square meter won’t feel quite as cosy.
- 3 individual folding arms each with individual settings and heat
- Perfect heater for Pergolas, Parasols and Umbrellas
- Automatically shuts off if heating panels is down
- No cover needed – fully waterproof and covered as an umbrella heater
- No tools required, simple clasp installation
- Long lasting shock resistant halogen bulbs
- Can clasps around most umbrella stands of anywhere between 1 to 2 inches
- Anti heat cover avoids scalding injuries
- Safe out of reach for children and pets
- 3 heat setting for each of the heaters
- Concentrated heat on guest will keep everyone warm
- 1.8m power cord may only lead down to just under the table
- Heats up an area of around 12 square feet of people sitting around a table, and not much beyond
Mensa Under The Table Infrared Heater – Best electric patio heater for the safety conscious
- Safe for kids & pets
- Lightweight & portable
- Lasts up to 7000 hours
When heating your outdoor space, the first question that has to pop to your mind is: how safe is it? You’ve probably ruled out fire because it’s the most dangerous. You’ve then decided that gas flames also pose a risk.
So you’ve settled on Electric heaters. There are many safe electric heaters that can be placed out of the way of small hands and small fur babies. But most heaters will emit… heat. It’s in the name.
All except one. Mensa Heating have an innovative safe touch technology which means that if you places your hand or knee right on the element, you wouldn’t feel so much as a flutter.
Lightweight, portable and stylish, these Mensa Infrared Heaters are meant to be placed under the table to warm up what matters most – people.
Their position under the table heat the lower body and legs. And as infrared travels through the air to heat people and objects directly, anyone sitting 180 degrees of these will remain warm.
It doesn’t heat a huge area, only 4m2, so it’s for those looking for comfortable outdoor dining options.
- Touch safe technology – safest patio heater for kids and pets
- 180 degree heat directed straight at lower body and core
- Lightweight and portable
- Modern stylish design
- Tucks away nicely under any table
- IP44 splash proof rating
- Convenient carry handle and weighted base for added stability
- Quartz infrared heater provides up to 7000 hours’ worth of use
- Overheat sensor prevent it from reaching excessive temperatures
- Not great for large outdoor space
- You’ll need two to face in each direction of the table
- Only eats up an area of 4m2 – ie. only heats people sitting in front of the heater
- You may need to get more than one to cover both sides of the table
Swan Al Fresco Bar Table Patio Heater – Best electric table patio heater
- 360 degrees of heat
- Modern design
- Automatic safety switch
This is a little bit more of an unusual option, but take a moment to appreciate this beautiful piece of outdoor heating.
What you have here is a stylish tempered glass top table, set over an anodized aluminium alloy frame, that provides heat in two directions.
110cm tall with a 60cm diameter table, this is the perfect size for a small gathering of friends as you wander around, nipping at the nachos.
The heat is not as powerful as some of the other electric heaters on this list, with only two power settings of 800W and 1600W.
But that’s ok, because the infrared heating is meant to heat up the lower part and the core of the bodies around them – keeping them warm. You also don’t want much higher heat for fear of burns, especially is sitting nearby.
And that’s not the only safety feature. A 360 degree tip over safety switch ensures you and your guest are always safe as it automatically tuns over if it’s ever knocked over or blown over.
If you’ve ever dreamt of having your own little Parisian cafe on your balcony or small patio, this is the perfect solution to prolong your evenings.
Who doesn’t love items that have more than one use?
- Stylish outdoor table with built-in heater
- Provides 360 degree heat to anyone around it
- Will comfortably warm guests using the table to rest drinks and snacks
- Not a huge power outage, but will heat a 5 meter square space in a cool summer evening
- Tip over safety switch turns off automatically if blown over
- Sturdy glass and aluminium design makes it long lasting and waterproof
- Short lead means you need an extension lead
- Best for small spaces and small gatherings – perfect space saving balcony patio heater
So what is the best electric outdoor heater?
If you are still asking this question, then you haven’t had a chance to look at all the options yet.
The best electrical heater is the one that fits your space. If you have a small balcony maybe the Mensa under the table is all you need. If you have a larger space, then you can’t beat the Blumfeldt Heat Guru Plus radiant heater.
Are electric patio heaters any good?
They can be, as long as pick ones with infrared technology. This radiant heat will ensure that only people and object get the full effect of the heat, meaning the heat isn’t being wasted trying to heat up the air around it.
What’s best gas or electric patio heater?
Electric heaters may be a bigger investment to start with, but they only cost around 15% of the cost to run a gas heater.
They are also more environmentally friendly and less wasteful, though (granted) not always as powerful. That said, at a switch of a button you get instant heat, rather than having to wait for the gas heater to warm the air around it.
Find out more in our eco-friendly patio heaters post where we find out which is best for heat and the environment.
Do electric patio heaters work in the winter?
It depends on the patio heater. A winter electric patio heater with quartz infrared technology needs to emit a minimum of 2000W of heat to warm a space of at least 10 square meters, possibly double that if in a more sheltered spot, gazebo or pergola.
Do patio heaters use a lot of electricity?
The average patio heater will use up around 15KW of energy an hour. Depending on where you live, this might change how much it costs to run. In average, in the UK, most electric patio heaters will cost around 15p to 18p an hour.