The Best Patio Heater Options for Your Outdoor Area

Introduce warmth to your outdoor living area with a patio heater suited to your needs and budget.

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The Best Patio Heater for Your Yard

Photo: istockphoto.com

Investing in a patio heater is an outstanding way to enhance your outdoor lifestyle where you want to breathe more fresh air and see more stars from your own patio any time of the year. The best patio heaters enhance enjoyment of outdoor living and provide heat exactly where you need it on chilly nights. Here we’ll explain the important features of patio heaters and highlight our list of top recommendations.

  1. BEST OVERALL: PATIOBOSS Electric Infrared Patio Heater
  2. RUNNER UP: Mr. Heater Blue Flame Propane Heater
  3. MOST VERSATILE: HEMBOR Outdoor Multipurpose Fire Pit Table
  4. ALSO CONSIDER: WDERNI Outdoor Infrared Electric Patio Heater
The Best Patio Heater for Your Yard

Photo: istockphoto.com

Patio Heater Fuel Types

  • Propane: Propane patio heaters can warm up a space quickly. Some are quite big, holding a propane tank as large as 20 gallons—a boon when you wish to heat a large area for an extended period of time. Due to the risk of carbon monoxide buildup, a patio heater of this type should not be used in an enclosed area, such as a greenhouse or garage, unless a clear safety feature is built into the unit to prevent operation under poor oxygen levels.
  • Electric: There’s no need to buy fuel for an electric patio heater, but the bulbs must be replaced occasionally. With no open flame, electric patio heaters may be safer than the alternative for some families. But they are usually smaller, so an electric may not match the power of its propane cousin. When shopping, compare the heat output of different models. Also, remember that an electric heater comes with a power cord; having at least one outdoor outlet is a plus, if not a prerequisite.
  • Wood: For an authentic campfire feel, there’s nothing quite like a wood-burning patio heater. This type of heater can generate quite a bit of heat, depending on the size of the firebox and the amount of wood. Because wood fires can create smoke and ash, a wood-burning patio heater cannot be used in an enclosed patio. To reduce smoke, burn only seasoned hardwoods, such as hickory, birch, and white ash.

Patio Heater Styles

  • Stand-alone: Most freestanding patio heaters are six to eight feet tall, and the heat source may be located at the top, middle, or bottom of the tower. Available in electric or propane versions, these patio heaters can warm a 5- to 10-foot radius, which makes them a great option for yards and larger patios.
  • Tabletop: Smaller than freestanding heaters, tabletop units must be secured to a patio table (usually through the hole where a sun umbrella would fit). Either electric or propane, they offer the advantage of portability but tend to be less powerful, making them well suited for smaller gatherings.
  • Mounted: Whether wall- or ceiling-mounted, these patio heaters are typically infrared and electrically powered. They are excellent if you have limited floor space but wish to heat a larger area.

Tips for Choosing the Best Patio Heater

  • Have realistic expectations. Patio heaters are meant to ease the chill of cool weather. In open spaces, they won’t recreate the warmth of a den room, especially in the coldest weather.
  • Give your patio heater some help. Since hot air rises, some heated air will be lost to the atmosphere, but you can conserve heat by placing your patio heater at a safe distance beneath an umbrella or awning.
  • Safety first. Always keep pets and children away from patio heaters, and consider only models that feature an automatic shutoff, which turns the patio heater off in the event that the unit gets knocked over.

Our Top Picks

We considered power source, material, design, safety features, and more to find the best patio heaters to keep warm.

Best Overall

The Best Patio Heaters Option: PATIOBOSS Electric Infrared Patio Heater
Photo: amazon.com

This infrared patio heater by PATIOBOSS is a top choice if you want to quickly heat up your patio with 1,500 watts. Heat is produced through an infrared carbon tube that is encased by reflective metal to ensure the heat is directed out towards the open space. It’s powered by electricity so access to a 120 volt outlet is necessary, but the unit is easily mounted on most walls. Buyers can control this patio heater with the remote control, but it also automatically turns off after 24 hours as a safety precaution. Additionally, the patio heater is also dustproof and waterproof, making it safe to use in almost any location, whether indoor or outdoor.

Runner Up

The Best Patio Heaters Option: Mr. Heater Blue Flame Propane Heater
Photo: amazon.com

The Mr. Heater patio heater can heat up to 700 square feet of enclosed or semi-enclosed spaces. It’s a 20,000 BTU liquid propane heater that provides blue flame for an even convection heat. That means the air is warmed around the heater and spread evenly throughout the space rather than the heater radiating heat in close proximity. This patio heater includes a low oxygen shut-off system that turns the heater off if low levels of oxygen are detected. This means it may not perform well at extreme high altitudes. It does not need to be connected to any power source, only a propane tank, so it can work well as an emergency heater as well. The electronic ignition makes for easy on/off power, and the output can be controlled to suit your preference of heat output. It comes with wall mounts or foot stands that can be secured to most surfaces.

Most Versatile

The Best Patio Heaters Option: HEMBOR Outdoor Multipurpose Fire Pit Table
Photo: amazon.com

For a patio heater that serves multiple functions, the HEMBOR firepit is a top choice for versatility. The firepit table is made of durable steel with a black heat-resistant coating that resists rust. It’s a low, square firepit that can be used with the steel mesh lid to protect from flying embers while still allowing plenty of heat to warm your patio. It also has an optional grate for small logs or for BBQ grilling over the open flames or coals. When it’s not being used as a firepit, the hollow can be cleaned and filled with ice to hold drinks like an ice chest. The lightweight construction makes it easy to move to any location you want to use it on your patio, deck, or backyard.

Also Consider

The Best Patio Heaters Option: WDERNI Outdoor Infrared Electric Patio Heater
Photo: amazon.com

The WDERNI patio heater is a free-standing patio heater that lets buyers easily move the position of the heater to suit their needs. Three halogen tubes provide silent, instant heat when turned on, and the level of heat can be controlled between 500, 1,000, and 1,500 watts. It’s made with durable aluminum and is waterproof and dustproof. The round base is heavy enough to resist tipping over from light bumps, but if it happens to tip over, this patio heater is designed to automatically shut off for safety. The pole is adjustable from 5.9 feet to 6.9 feet, and the head can be rotated up and down to direct the flow of heat.