When the days start to get shorter and the weather starts to change, it’s a challenge to enjoy sitting on the patio. The cold air begins to pinch you and you feel the need to move to stay warm. Inviting guests to an afternoon barbecue means you’ll have to call the good times to end early due to the cold. When the nights start to get cold and you want to spend it outside with friends and family, a patio heater keeps you warm.
A patio heater takes up little space, spreads a lot of heat around the patio, and keeps everyone warm like toast. You get both electric and gasoline models, and choosing the right model for your home requires a bit of research. Where you live is an important consideration. Homeowners in the northern states require a much more robust heating system compared to people residing in the south.
In this review, we will go through all the leading brands to find the best patio heater for your garden.
Best Patio Heater
Here’s our guide to the best patio heaters, read our picks, and then check out the information in our buyer’s guide.
Look at this comparison table for saving your time:
Keep going for further details…
1. Hiland HLDSO1-WGTHG Pyramid Patio
A wall-mounted patio heater saves you the hassle of having a bulky freestanding unit in the corner of your patio. This Hiland model is designed to hang from the wall or ceiling, and because it is electric rather than gasoline, it is more portable (and less expensive) to operate.
At 1,500 watts, the Hiland Electric Patio Heater is best used for porches, patios, and spaces under 15 square feet. Its swivel wall mount lets you target the heat where it’s needed, while its included remote lets you easily turn it on without getting up from your seat.
For a pyramid-style heat source that will turn heads (in a good way), the Hiland HLDSO1-WGTHG Pyramid Propane Patio Heater is one of the best patio heaters you can get. Utilizing a 20-pound propane tank (hidden underneath via the easy-access door), the durable base won’t go anywhere unless you want it to. The attached wheels make it portable, but at 91 inches tall, this isn’t the best patio heater for smaller spaces. Be sure to measure the height of your ceiling before pulling the trigger on this one, but if you have room for it, the Hiland HLDSO1-WGTHG Pyramid Propane Patio Heater has a rustic yet elegant look that’s sure to please.
- Attractive hammered bronze design
- Sturdy base
- Heavy, tall
Thanks to its 40,000 BTU output and fascinating visual flame, this heater is pretty cool (err, hot).
2. True Commercial Pyramid Style Quartz Tube Patio Heater
Anyone who enjoys a traditional fire will appreciate the ambiance this Golden Flame patio heater provides, as it does seem like the flames are dancing inside the quartz tube.
This is another great option and looks better than our # 1 option, but it comes with a higher price.
The push-button start makes this patio heater easy to use and its design also emits a good amount of lighting for late-night gatherings. I like that the base has a compartment to add water or sand for extra weight and that this particular Golden Flame model has a weather cover that can be purchased separately to protect the heater from the elements.
Some gold flame models come with wheels, which is great for resetting the heater. The 3-sided pyramid design is made with a single piece of quartz tube that is stronger than many other brands that use 2 thin pieces.
I find that quartz glass tube patio heaters tend to be more expensive than regular freestanding versions, but if you’re looking for style, they’re a great choice.
- Easy to use
- Excellent option
Lastly, the automatic tilt safety feature leaves users with the knowledge that if an unsuspecting fall occurs, the heater will immediately shut off.
3. BLUMFELDT GOLD BAR ELECTRIC PATIO HEATER
This affordable 240-volt wall bar is just over a meter wide and provides up to 3,000 watts of outdoor heat.
It is an ideal model for terraces and patios but, despite being resistant to the elements, it must be installed undercover without the possibility of horizontal rain affecting it. Naturally, you’ll want to have it installed by a professional as well, if only to make sure there aren’t any unsightly wires hanging out.
The Blumfeldt is equipped with aluminum housing for increased rust-free durability, a moisture-proof rocker switch on the side, and a handy remote control that, in addition to turning the unit on and off, allows the user to select three heat levels: 1000W, 2000W, and the complete month of 3000W.
- Attractive design
- Three levels of heat
- Does the job
- -Requires professional installation
If you’re looking for an outdoor heater that’s always on hand when you need it, this attractive and understated TV soundbar-style model is a great choice.
4. Best Design: Light fire Patio Heater
Many patio heaters have a very utilitarian look, but if you’re looking for something a little fancier, consider Lightfire patio heaters.
These heaters emit up to 42,000 BTUs of infrared heat, which is powerful enough to heat 450 square feet. They run on 20-pound propane tanks, which are located in the base, and come with remote control for more convenient operation.
- utilitarian appearance
- 20-pound propane tanks
- Bit expensive
While quite expensive, these models look like something you’d find in a high-end hotel, thanks to their sleek lines, built-in LED lights, and beautiful glass tubes that show the inner flame.
5. Golden Flame Patio Heater – The Best Overall Patio Heater
This model ranks our top spot as the best overall patio heater. When we say in general, we rank this heater as the best value for money, performance, user functionality, and efficiency.
The Golden Flame has an impressive 41,000 BTU rating, making it a great option for medium to large patios. Some smaller restaurants may also find them useful for heating outdoors. This heater comes with a matte-mocha finish that is pleasing to the eye and a sleek design that doesn’t make it look like an eyesore on your patio.
You have to hit the firing pin again to light the burner and start heating up. During that time, you lose a lot of heat around your patio and your guests are cold. The pilotless burner means your heater never turns off, even in windy conditions.
The pilotless system is efficient. You won’t have to worry about wasting fuel in the wind because the pilot flame went out on this model. If you fear the heater is too heavy on top and you want to make sure no one knocks it over, you can add 30 pounds of sand to the hollow base to add weight.
If the heater tips over, the automatic cut-off switch is activated, preventing serious accidents. The reflector on this model is wide, creating a wide range for the heat coming from the burner. Overall, the heater is the best model on the market, with the right balance of price, performance, durability, and user-friendly operation.
- Burner without pilot
- Wind resistant
- The refillable base for extra weight
- Powerful 41,000 BTU output
- Sucks gas when used at maximum setting
The outstanding feature of this model is the pilotless burner. One of the big problems with freestanding gas burners is that they blow out with gusts of wind.
6. Fire Sense Deluxe Propane Patio Heater
This Fire Sense model is another of the main competitors. This brand makes some of the best heaters in the industry for indoor and outdoor applications.
The Fire Sense features a patented domed heat reflector that pushes heat further away from the unit than most other models. The sand-filled base ensures that none of your guests accidentally tip over the heater while getting up from a chair or accidentally bump into it while moving around the patio.
The efficient design of the burner and hood keep more heat around your patio, making it a very efficient machine. You will find yourself using less gas than expected, saving you money on your patio heating costs.
We like the sleek hammered bronze finish on this model, which gives it an eye-pleasing aesthetic that feels like it belongs on your patio.
When it comes to performance, this model offers you 46,000 BTUs of heating capacity. The powerful heating action makes it in line with the other top model heaters in this review.
We like the way the manufacturer integrates wheels into the base of this model, allowing for easy movement around your yard. Get it out of the way when not in use and out when it’s cold.
- Refillable base
- 46,000 BTU high power
- Attractive hammered mocha finish
- Wheels integrated into the base
- Sucks gas on maximum setting
This model offers you and your guests plenty of warmth on the coldest evenings on your patio and comes with several advanced features.
7. AZ Hiland HLDS032-B Tabletop Portable Heater
If you are looking for a compact and portable heater to take on the go, then the AZ Hiland from Best Patio Heater is a great option. This model is ideal as a tabletop unit or camp heater for your next glamping trip.
This heater stands 38 inches tall and weighs 17 pounds. The heater’s compact design allows it to rest in the center of most tables. This propane model is rated for 11-000 BTUs, making it ideal for three or four people to snuggle up on your patio. A tank of gas will give you around 3 hours of run time.
You also have the option of choosing one of five attractive colors, allowing you to match it with your patio décor. The AZ Hiland is a great mini heater model and is very economical.
- Compact and portable
- Affordable price point
- Good for camping trips
- Five color options
- Not suitable for large patios
7. Legacy Heating CAPH-7-S Patio Heater
This model is another excellent option. It will probably suit larger yards though, as the 47,000 BTU rating is more powerful than most other models that come before in this review.
This heater can heat up to a diameter of 20 feet around the unit, providing your guests with plenty of warmth.
Restaurants and bars will also find this model useful for outdoor areas during cooler fall and winter nights.
We like the way the manufacturer includes wheels with this model. It’s easy to maneuver this unit anywhere in the yard.
Legacy heating gives you the option to choose your new heater in one of three different finishes. It has a black powder-coated hammered finish, a 304 stainless steel finish, or an attractive mocha powder-coated paint finish.
The Legacy is also compatible with 20-pound propane tanks. The only problem we have with this outdoor heater is the base. You will need to lift the base to cover the tank, making it more cumbersome to change tanks. We would prefer to see a door built into the base to allow easy access to the fuel tank.
- High power output with 47,000 BTU
- Caster provides mobility
- Stainless steel construction
- Fits 20-pound propane tanks
- Does not include propane tank
- Not suitable for covered patios
However, buyers should be careful, as this model does not include a tank with their purchase. You will need to add that to the final costs of your heater budget.
Patio Heater Safety Guide
Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all when it comes to the safety of outdoor patio heaters. Although patio heaters are growing enormously in popularity, their use is not yet regulated in the United States. We have developed a checklist of safety precautions to take when purchasing and installing your outdoor patio heater.
- Check local ordinances and your Homeowners Association (HOA) for requirements or restrictions regarding outdoor patio heaters.
- Make sure the patio heater is the right size for the space to be heated.
- Check the safety features: automatic shutdown and tilt switch.
- Read your owner’s manual to make sure it meets all clearance requirements from doors, walls, fences, roofs, or awnings.
- Make sure the surface to which you are applying a patio heater is flat, sturdy, and level.
- If you install a permanent natural gas or electric heater, hire a professional to do the work.
- Never plug electric heaters into an extension cord, and make sure outdoor sockets have covers to prevent rain from entering the socket.
- Make sure the unit is completely turned off when not in use.
- Do not store dry or flammable materials anywhere near the unit.
- Always consult your owner’s manual for storage requirements.
By now, you should have a good idea of the best patio heater to suit your garden or business. In case you’re still having trouble deciding on a final choice, why not use our best options. Our options are all the best, from reliable manufacturers.
Our first choice, Golden Flame Patio Heater from “Best Patio Heater”, is a great choice. It has enough power to cover most patios, and you won’t have to worry about the pilot light going off in windy weather.
If you are on a budget, then the Fire Sense Deluxe Propane Patio Heater is a great deal, with an affordable price and exceptional performance. It’s all you need to keep your patio warm and make your friends feel right at home.
What to Look for in a Patio Heater
Power source Patio heaters are available with a variety of fuel or power source options. Propane is the most popular fuel source for a patio heater, but if you don’t want to deal with propane tanks, then an electric-powered patio heater may be a better fit. Electric patio heaters can typically be plugged into standard residential outlets, but make sure they’re protected from the elements to avoid electrical hazards or malfunctions.
Range Are you looking for a personal-sized patio heater that will keep you and a friend or two warm or a larger unit that can heat things for a small crowd? Larger patio heaters generally have a greater range — up to 18 feet or more — while small, tabletop models will only radiate heat for a distance of a few feet.
Heat output the intensity and effectiveness of a patio heater are likely best evaluated by its heat output. This is generally measured as BTUs for gas-burning patio heaters and watts for electric heaters. To compare how well two units will heat your space, compare the BTUs or watts of each model to find the one that will fit your temperature preferences and space.
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