Garden patio heaters are a must if you want to make the most of your outdoor space when the evenings cool down. But with so many different types, what’s the best of the best? And where do you even begin in picking outdoor patio heaters?
That’s where we come in. We give you a list of some of the best outdoor heaters and why.
Our top picks of the best patio heaters
- Swan Al Fresco Patio Heater – Best patio heaters overall
- Sargas Stainless Steel Patio Heater – Best gas patio heater
- Bright Spark Portable Gas Heater – Best small patio heater
- Gasdepot Real Flame Outdoor Pyramid Patio Heater – Best patio heater for large gardens
- Heatlab Outdoor Freestanding Electric Quartz Bulb Garden Patio Heaters – Best electric patio heater
- Harbour Housewares Cast Iron Fire Pit – Best fire pit heater
- La Hacienda Murcis Chimenea – Best chimeneas
1. Swan Al Fresco Patio Heater – Best patio heaters overall
- Fits small to medium patios
- Remote Controlled
The category of the best overall outdoor patio heater is a hard one to pick because it depends on the space you have available. So we had to pick one that was powerful enough to heat larger patios, small enough not to get in the way if you have a smaller space, eco-friendly, stylish, and convenient.
So the best patio heater top spot goes to the Swan Al Fresco Wall Mounted Patio Heater. Why? Because it’s a powerful electric patio heater that gives out 1,800W of heat, better than most electric heaters out there. It comes with an 18-meter power cord and can be mounted horizontally or vertically, depending on what space you have.
And yes, it’s weatherproof, so you don’t need to run at the first sign of rain, as long as you have this plugged correctly in a covered outdoor plug. You don’t even have to move to change the settings as it comes with a remote control.
As a bonus, you can easily dismount it from the wall. It’s not that heavy, and you can store it away if you are not going to use it for several months or in very adverse weather.
- Powerful heater that can warm small and medium size patios
- Wall mount it diagonally or vertically to save space
- Weatherproof, so you don’t need to move inside at the first sign of rain
- Remote control allows you to change your heat whilst sitting
- Easy to remove from the wall to store away for long periods
- Light and easy to put together, weighing at less than 4 kilos
- Two year warranty when you register the product online
- Reasonably Priced
- No cover, so you will need to bring it in, in seriously bad weather to prolong its life
- Electric patio heater means you will need an outdoor plug
2. Sargas Stainless Steel Patio Heater – Best gas patio heater
- Stylish Stainless Steel Design
- Adjustable heating
- Gas Powered
The Sargas is probably not for you if you have a little balcony on a top-floor condo. This heater is a hefty piece of equipment weighing 21 kilos and standing over 2 meters tall.
But that’s why you get a gas heater. You get one because you have a larger space and you want lots of heat. But that’s not enough. We want a heater that is easy to set up, easy to move, well-priced, and can heat anything from 10 to 50 square meters space.
And with a maximum power of 14,000 watts and adjustable heating, this Saragas mushroom patio heater is exactly what you’ll find in restaurants and bars for a reason.
It has wheels and handles, so it’s easy to move, but they have also added a safeguarding tip-over feature that switches off the gas if it falls on its side.
- Adjustable heating
- Reasonably Price for a mushroom heater
- Heats up to 50 square meters of space
- Tall 221cm height gives it a 360 dispersal of heat
- Sleek modern no-fuss stainless steel
- Easy to move with wheels and handle
- Tipover safety feature
- Able to be placed in all types of flat surfaces, wood decking, PVC decking, brick, or stone
- Not the prettiest garden accessory
- Not for small balconies
3. Bright Spark Portable Gas Heater – Best small patio heater
If you only have a small space to heat and don’t want a huge mushroom propane gas heater in your way, then we don’t blame you. There are a lot of great small portable patio heaters in the market.
The Bright Spark Portable Gas Heater is not just small, light, portable, and easy to use but also the cheapest patio heater on our list. You will need to buy butane batteries to keep it running, but these are cheaper than propane, take very little space, and one battery will give the Bright Spark 3 hours of powerful heat at the top heat, longer if you bring it down.
You get 1.3kW heating, adjustable angle, and variable heat control thanks to the highly efficient ceramic element. It’s even safe to heat greenhouses and outhouses, and you can bring with it camping. Such a versatile patio heater; you’ll never need another.
- Adjustable heat
- Runs on small butane batteries
- The whole thing is easy to store
- Compact and portable gas heater
- Ideal for small well ventilated spaces
- No need for a plug, fire or coal
- Powerful, directed heat
- It’s a very directional heat – you do need to have it close by to feel the heat. Good for small patios, sheltered spaces, tents or 2 people sitting nearby.
4. Gasdepot Real Flame Outdoor Pyramid Patio Heater – Best patio heater for large gardens
- Radiates heat 360 degrees
- Can be used all-year round
- Runs on Propane gas
If you want to warm a large space, you must find some big flames, which means getting yourself a deep bowl fire pit (see below), or this Gasdepot Real Flame Outdoor Pyramid Patio Heater.
We assume you don’t want to deal with smoke and smell, so this propane gas standing heater will do the job, with a large flaming giving you 360-degree heat to your garden and patio.
It’s fully waterproof and will light up even in the rain, while the waterproof cover it comes with will help protect it when it’s not in use. It’s not the cheapest patio heater, but you didn’t ask for cheap. You asked for the best patio heater.
And with that sleep silhouette, those gorgeous flames, and the propane gas bottle neatly tucked inside out of view, this is by far the best gas patio heater for large gardens and events.
- Stylish and far more beautiful than the mushroom gas models
- Large flame gives powerful 360 degree heat
- Powerful heat allow you to warm cold winter garden
- Multiple lower setting gives you ambient light in the summer
- Fully rain-proof, even in storms
- Comes with a waterproof cover for year-round storage
- On the higher end of the price scale
- Not wheels and not easy to move
- Requires fiddly assembly
5. Heatlab Outdoor Freestanding Electric Quartz Bulb Garden Patio Heaters – Best electric patio heater
- Easily moveable
- 2KW each = great heat
- Use outdoors & indoors
Now there’s a reason why we are putting down two Heatlab Outdoor Freestanding Electric Quartz Bulb Garden Patio Heaters as our best electric heaters.
Generally, electric patio heaters tend to be less powerful than gas ones. But for the price, getting two of these outdoor electric heaters will more than cover a larger patio area and keep you warm and cosy at night.
It’s still cheaper to get two of these than most gas heaters, and as these are technically heat lamps, you can move them around to warm just the right spots in your outdoor space, wherever you need them to be.
They will provide both heat and light, with a tilting head giving you added flexibility, as does the 3 power settings. If it starts to overheat for any reason, it will automatically turn off, giving it a neat safety feature to prevent fires or accidents.
Electric heaters are one of the cleanest energy sources to warm your garden, so your conscience will be clean too.
- 3 heat settings, 650W, 1350W and 2000W
- Adjustable height of 174.5cm – 210cm
- Free standing and easy to move
- Can be used inside or outside
- Provides warms and light
- Heats an area of approximately 15sqm
- Eco-friendly patio heater
- You need two to heat a typical patio space
- No covers, so bring them in when cool or get waterproof covers
6. Harbour Housewares Cast Iron Fire Pit – Best fire pit heater
- Easy to assemble
- Creates lots of heat
- 2 year warranty
If you want to go back to basics, a fire pit is an effective and beautiful way to warm your garden at night. You can even get smokeless wood and coal if you don’t mind paying a little extra, so your clothes and hair stay smell free.
With a 2-year warranty, the Harbour Housewares Cast Iron Fire Pit provides you with a sturdy design that will burn 4 to 6 logs comfortably. The deep bowl setting allows for good airflow and a powerful fire to heat a good party of people.
If only the crackling embers of wood would do, this is the best fire pit in the market in terms of value, classic design, and size options.
- Cons in three different sizes for different spaces
- Deep Bowl allows for good airflow for larger fires
- Attractive cast iron design
- Handle allows you to easily move it, even when the bowl is still hot
- 2 year warranty
- Easy to assemble – 3 screws and you are done
- Where there’s fire, there’s smoke
- It’s a pit with fire – needless to say, keep dogs and children away as it’s not the safest option
7. La Hacienda Murcis Chimenea – Best chimeneas
- Steel, stylish design
- Contains BBQ Grill
- Wood burning stove
There’s a whole load of different types you could pick, so deciding on the best Chimineas is like asking what’s the best fireplace. It all depends on your personal style and budget.
Still, we think that the La Hacienda Murcia Chimenea is a good option if you are looking for something classically stylish and reasonably priced.
And you have to bear the price in mind because we went with a choice in an affordable price range. We actually have a best Chimeneas page with more options if you want more choices.
It is a mass-produced item, so it won’t have the charm of hand-made cast iron. It’s made of durable steel and coated in a high-temperature black paint finish – so if you don’t put it away under cover in wet or cold weather, the paint may flake, and the metals will rust. So get a cover.
Still, it’s certainly striking as a centrepiece and provides plenty of front-facing heat. Better yet, it won’t smoke out your patio. The chrome-plated cooking grill lets you put a few late-night snacks on the flames or gather around your loved ones for marshmallows as the sun goes down.
- Stylish centre-piece for your garden
- Large open front-facing grid for maximum heat
- Smoke is blown away from the table and lounge area
- Reasonably priced
- Cooking grill and poker included
- This absolutely needs to be put under cover when not in use
- Small BBQ only
What’s the Top rated patio heater?
It’s no surprise that the best-rated patio heaters on our list happen to be right at the top. Namely, the best overall patio heater is The Swan Al Fresco electric heater. It is powerful, easy to use, and easy to handle. It gets the best reviews of all the best patio heater lists.
Which patio heaters are the best?
That depends on the space you have to warm up. If you need less than 15 square feet, go for the Heatlab Outdoor Freestanding electric heater. If you have a larger space, find yourself the best gas heater. A nice fire pit or Chimenea is for you if budget is an issue.
Do patio heaters really work
They do as long as you pick the right one. No patio heater will be completely weatherproof, but as long as you make sure you get the right heater for the space, there are plenty of ways to enjoy your garden, even when it starts to frost.
Do patio heaters use a lot of electricity
As we are in the UK, we can only go with personal experience. But to give you an idea, a full power 2kW electric heater will cost about 30p an hour. This price can fluctuate depending on the power wattage of an electric heater, but generally, Electric is cheaper and more eco-friendly than gas.
What’s best gas or electric patio heater?
It all depends on what you need. We are big fans of electric heaters because they are cheaper to run, cheaper to buy, more eco-friendly, and easier to store. And while it’s true that gas heaters generally provide more heat, technological advances mean you can find a great electric heater with the same, if not higher, BTU than your average mushroom patio heater.
Do patio heaters work in the winter?
Most patio heaters will be built to take the chill out of a cool autumn evening or make the most out of a rainy spring. But seeing as Canada has outdoor seating spaces for restaurants in the snow, and Norwegian spend most of the winter socialising outdoors with friends, that should tell you that there are plenty of good patio heaters that will keep you warm through the winter.