10 Best Patio Heaters in 2021

Best Patio Heaters
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Here, we take a look at the best patio heaters for your outdoor space. When those warm summer nights start to feel like a distant memory, it’s time to make that outdoor space that you love so much usable year-round. Your outdoor patio is your sanctuary to bond and creates new memories. For all those fun days that quickly turn to nights, your evening will be cozier with one of our best patio heater picks.

With so many options, it may be overwhelming knowing where to start. That’s why we did the research for you and put together a comprehensive list of the top options. Our overall favorite is the Hiland Propane Patio Heater that can crank out as much as 48,000 Btu of heat at its highest setting. Not only is it the most popular type of portable propane heater, but it also includes some additional features that are incredibly convenient, like an adjustable table for drinks and other items. 

Our Top Picks: The Best Patio Heaters

What is the best patio heater? The answer will depend on your needs, but here’s a quick look at our favorites from different categories.

Hiland Propane Patio Heater with Wheels and TableBest Overall: Hiland Propane Patio Heater with Wheels and Table.
This is one of the most popular styles of portable patio heaters. It’s well-reviewed, puts out a lot of heat, and even has an adjustable table for your convenience. 
Infratech Dual Element ElectricBest Green Pick: Infratech Dual Element Electric.
A powerful infrared heater that won’t emit any greenhouse gases. You can mount it indoors or outdoors as it doesn’t require any ventilation. 
Amazon Basics Commercial Outdoor Patio HeaterBest Budget: Amazon Basics Commercial Outdoor Patio Heater.
This is one of the best-rated patio heaters in a popular and portable style at this price range. 
Thermo Tiki Deluxe Outdoor Propane Patio HeaterBest Pyramid: Thermo Tiki Deluxe Outdoor Propane Patio Heater.
This freestanding propane model offers heat and ambiance. Unlike the typical glow produced by most propane patio heaters, this unit creates a mesmerizing visual with the addition of a dancing flame.
Star Patio Electric Tabletop HeaterBest Tabletop: Star Patio Electric Tabletop Heater.
This electric tabletop heater looks like a modern lamp, but it provides heat in addition to the light it emits. This unit is very portable, and all you’ll need to use it is an outlet.
DONYER POWER 1500W Electrical Patio HeaterBest Hanging: DONYER POWER 1500W Electrical Patio Heater.
This electric pendant-style heater keeps you warm and remains inaccessible to pets and small children.
Fire Sense Telescoping Electric Infrared HeaterBest Freestanding Electric: Fire Sense Telescoping Electric Infrared Heater.
This infrared electric heater is one of the most adjustable ones you’ll find. You can pretty much set this up wherever you want it so long as you’re near an outlet. 
Bromic Heating Platinum 500 Wall Mounted Infrared Patio HeaterBest Commercial: Bromic Heating Platinum 500 Wall Mounted Infrared Patio Heater.
This powerful infrared heater uses natural gas and mounts to a wall or ceiling area. The stainless steel and ceramic glass design make it look a bit like a plasma television.
Mr. Heater Portable Propane HeaterBest Portable: Mr. Heater Portable Propane Heater.
This unit is super small, has a carrying handle, and weighs less than 3 pounds. Although it doesn’t provide as much outdoor heat as some of the larger units, it’s more portable than any other models on our list, and you can use it indoors.
Solo Stove Bonfire Fire PitBest Fire Pit: Solo Stove Bonfire Fire Pit.
This patio heater is a portable fire pit that doesn’t create a lot of smoke. It’s a fun option and the perfect excuse to make smores.
 

1. Hiland Propane Patio Heater with Wheels and Table

The best patio heater overall

Hiland Propane Patio Heater with Wheels and Table

Brand: Hiland | Type: Freestanding | Heat Source: Propane | Size: Height 87″ | Price: 💰💰

In our opinion, this is one of the best gas patio heaters available. Not only does it look stylish with its hammered silver and stainless steel finish, but it also kicks out an incredible 48,000 Btu worth of heat. You can just roll this heater to wherever you want to use it and enjoy the warmth. 

Although this model is similar to some of the other popular options of the same style, what sets this unit apart is its attached, adjustable table. This table is a convenient place for drinks and other items when you’re standing or sitting by it. It also comes with anti-tilt safety devices and offers variable temperature control. 

  • Easy to maneuver
  • Works well in the garage and outside
  • You can adjust the height of the table for standing or sitting 

  • Not good in the wind
  • The pilot light can be tricky at first

2. Infratech Dual Element Electric

The best eco-friendly patio heater

Infratech Dual Element Electric

Brand: Infratech | Type: Wall Mountable | Heat Source: Electric | Size: Width 61.25″ | Price: 💰💰💰💰

Rightfully so, the Infratech Dual Element has earned a reputation as one of the best infrared patio heaters. An electronic heater is great because it takes up much less space, and it’s easily mountable.

This outdoor heater can be mounted from 8 to 14 feet high and is mostly inconspicuous. With it, you won’t have to worry about refilling gas, and it requires minimal maintenance. What makes this one of the best patio heaters is that it’s eco-friendly. It’s able to convert up to 90% of energy to provide warmth on your patio.

You’ll get heat coverage of about an 11-foot by 11-foot area. Each heater requires a 30 amp (at 240 volts) circuit.

  • Nice for a workshop
  • Still heats in the wind
  • The wiring is simple for anyone who knows electrical work

  • It gives off a lot of red light
  • Heat isn’t as far-reaching as some would like

3. Amazon Basics Commercial Outdoor Patio Heater

The best budget patio heater

Amazon Basics Commercial Outdoor Patio Heater

Brand: Amazon Basics | Type: Freestanding | Heat Source: Propane | Size: Height 89″ | Price: 💰

A top-rated product on Amazon, this model has seven colors to choose from to match your outdoor space aesthetic. They even have a sharp-looking wick style heater if you want to keep things classy and elegant.

The AmazonBasics Commercial Heater is a durable outdoor heater constructed from aluminum, steel, and plastic. It is capable of blasting 46,000 Btu of heat output and can reach a 12-foot+ radius. Of course, that radius is going to vary depending on what weather you’re facing. On a windy day, that 12 feet can get narrowed down quite a bit!

Another neat feature is the water box. You fill it up with water, and it creates an extremely stable base thanks to that extra weight. This gas patio heater comes with wheels and an easy one-step push button to ignite and initiate the heat. You can control the heat level with a knob that allows for a low or high heat setting.

  • Easy to operate
  • Very durable for the price
  • It puts out quite a bit of heat

  • It’s a bit too tall for some
  • Some faulty units get too hot on high and melt the paint

4. Thermo Tiki Deluxe Outdoor Propane Patio Heater

The best pyramid patio heater

Thermo Tiki Deluxe Outdoor Propane Patio Heater

Brand: Thermo Tiki | Type: Freestanding | Heat Source: Propane | Size: Height 90″ | Price: 💰💰💰

This pyramid-shaped heater will help give your outdoor patio a sleek, modern look. Propane shoots from its stainless steel base upward through its quartz glass tube to create a visually stunning flame. Another neat feature is that Thermo Tiki put wheels on this model, making it easy to transport and store.

Unlike the other best patio heaters, the Thermo Tiki Deluxe is all about aesthetics. Take one look at its steel cage frame, and you’ll understand. This outdoor heater has an electric switch, so your patio can be toasty in a flip. Also, it has a tilt protector, which is handy, especially with children and pets.

The Tiki is capable of a true-rated 38,000 Btu output. That means that on days where there isn’t any wind, you’ll get around a 15-foot diameter field of warmth.

  • It keeps you warm when sitting 
  • The dancing flame adds a pleasant atmosphere 
  • The intensity and height of the flame are adjustable

  • It only keeps you warm if you’re right next to it
  • Not the best option for partially enclosed areas

5. Star Patio Electric Tabletop Heater

The best tabletop patio heater

Star Patio Electric Tabletop Heater

Brand: Star Patio | Type: Freestanding | Heat Source: Electric | Size: Height 26.5″ | Price: 💰

This electric heater blends in looking like a modern table lamp, but it can provide up to 12 square feet of heating in addition to shedding a little light on things. The infrared halogen bulb delivers instant heat at a level of 5,100 Btu. This heater works both indoors and outdoors, so you can take it anywhere that there’s an outlet.

The Star Patio Electric Tabletop Heater has an anti-skid design to keep the base stable, and it will automatically turn itself off if it tips over. It also has an IP44 rating that makes it safe against water spray from any direction.

  • It just plugs into a regular outlet
  • You don’t have to worry about gas
  • It lights up the table while it warms you

  • It doesn’t produce a lot of heat
  • It uses a considerable amount of electricity to run

6. DONYER POWER 1500W Electrical Patio Heater

The best hanging patio heater

DONYER POWER 1500W Electrical Patio Heater

Brand: DONYER POWER | Type: Hanging | Heat Source: Electric | Size: Width 16.54″ | Price: 💰

This heater mimics the look of a pendant light that hangs over your table. To adjust the heat level from 600 watts to 1500 watts or turn the heater off, you just tug on the hanging pull-cord as if you were turning on and off a lamp. This electric model offers a uniform, 360-degree heating that emanates from a halogen tube for high-efficiency. The installation for this heater is as simple as hanging it from a hook and plugging it in. If you want to move it to another location, just unhook the carabiner and clip it onto the hook you want it to hang from. 

This unit has an IP24 rating, meaning that it’s safe against water spray from any direction and objects that are larger than 12 millimeters. Although this unit can stand up to inclement weather, they warn against hanging this unit above any water source — water and electricity don’t do well together. This heater is safely out of reach for small children and pets. The overhead installation also means you won’t have to worry about tripping over any unsightly cords. 

  • Easy to put up or move
  • Perfect for a small sitting area
  • It’s out of the way from kids and pets

  • Not useful in the wind
  • The power cord isn’t very long

7. Fire Sense Telescoping Electric Infrared Heater

The best freestanding electric patio heater

Fire Sense Telescoping Electric Infrared Heater

Brand: Star Patio | Type: Freestanding | Heat Source: Electric | Size: Height 93″ | Price: 💰💰

What makes the Fire Sense’s electric heater one of the best outdoor heaters? Well, it’s the whole package. It’s good-looking and functions tremendously well with the telescoping neck. Move it to the area you want to heat. This outdoor heater has a stainless steel or black finish, making it visually appealing and easy to clean.

Also, being that it uses electricity, it’s very convenient for users. Just hook it up to your home’s electricity using the included 12-foot electrical cord. That makes it a whole lot less expensive to operate than your traditional propane patio heater.

As one of the best electric patio heaters, it produces a 9-foot radius blanket of heat. Other features include tip-over protection, wheels for mobility, cover, and an on/off toggle switch. This is genuinely a fantastic model from one of the best patio heater brands making infrared heating for the outdoors.

  • Easy to store in the off-season
  • Sturdy and effortless to move around 
  • You can adjust the height and angle of the heat

  • Difficult to assemble 
  • It needs a dedicated circuit 

8. Bromic Heating Platinum 500 Wall Mounted Infrared Patio Heater

The best commercial patio heater

Bromic Heating Platinum 500 Wall Mounted Infrared Patio Heater

Brand: Bromic Heating | Type: Wall Mountable | Heat Source: Natural Gas | Size: Length 29.75″ | Price: 💰💰💰💰💰

This glass-ceramic heater classifies as one of the best natural gas patio heaters. Bromic Heating designs and makes this heater, and it’s a good fit for modern and contemporary outdoor spaces. It is ideal for both residential and commercial installations. We highly recommend using a quality natural gas technician to install any natural gas heaters.

Using infrared energy, it provides direct ignition and automated re-ignition. For those days when time is just slipping by, this will be great to keep the party going!

The Bromic Heating Platinum can cover 200 square feet and pumps out an impressive 39,800 Btu. Its ceramic medium allows heat to distribute evenly throughout your patio. This outdoor heater mounts to a ceiling or wall. 

  • The unit looks nice and modern
  • Natural gas means never worrying about running out of fuel 
  • Although the item is mounted, you can adjust the angle with the pivot bracket 

  • It won’t keep you warm in high wind
  • It won’t keep you warm in high wind

9. Mr. Heater Portable Propane Heater

The best portable patio heater

Mr. Heater Portable Propane Heater

Brand: Mr. Heater | Type: Freestanding | Heat Source: Propane | Size: Height 18.5″ | Price: 💰

This is one of the best small patio heaters you can find with this level of versatility and portability that can still keep you warm. It offers a range of heat from 4,000 to 18,000 Btu. Because this heater uses propane, it doesn’t need to be near an outlet or a gas line — just use the handle and carry it anywhere. 

Mr. Heater is well-known for their portable heaters, and they equip their products with lots of safety features. This unit will automatically turn off if the unit gets tipped over, if the pilot light goes out, or anytime it detects low oxygen levels. It’s rated for both indoor and outdoor use making it a useful space heater for your workshop that can also accompany you outside. This is an easy heater to take along on camping trips, and it won’t be hard to find the space to fit it into your car.

  • Lots of safety features
  • Can use indoors and outdoors
  • Works with small canisters or larger propane tanks

  • It goes through small propane canisters quickly
  • The medium heat setting doesn’t work very well

10. Solo Stove Bonfine Fire Pit

The best fire pit patio heater

Solo Stove Bonfire Fire Pit

Brand: Solo Stove | Type: Freestanding | Heat Source: Wood Burning | Size: Width 19.5″ | Price: 💰💰

This product is a little different from the other options so far in our best outdoor heaters list. The Solo Stove Bonfire Fire Pit is a beautiful and natural wood-burning option. It isn’t technically a patio heater, but it comes with a slew of other benefits for you and your family to enjoy.

Of course, you won’t need gas or propane with this product — just load up the logs and light that baby up! There’s no setup required, and you can move it anywhere you want to heat.

Their patent design blew up on Kickstarter and sold over $1 million. This design maximizes airflow and facilitates the burning process — no more partially burnt logs.

This unit’s design produces as little smoke as possible, so you won’t be dancing around in a circle trying to find the right place to put your chairs. The natural flames look amazing when it’s dark, and the minimalist stainless steel design showcases those flames even more.

  • Produces very little smoke 
  • Fire is easy to start, and it gets hot quickly
  • It makes an efficient fire because of the excellent airflow

  • Unit can rust
  • It can be challenging to clean

What to Look For

Using one of the Best Patio Heaters during the Winter
Image by Canva Photos

Figuring out the heater style that will suit your space and needs is the perfect place to start narrowing down your best options. Deciding how you want to power your patio heater and the degree of portability you’d like it to have will help point you in the right direction.

Heat Sources or Power Options for Patio Heaters

As with most things, each style of heat offers its advantages and disadvantages. When deciding on power options, you’ll want to make sure that you find the best patio heater for the space you intend to heat. 

  • Infrared. This style of heat works by directly warming people and objects instead of the air. It can run on electricity, natural gas, propane, or oil. It offers instant heat, and it might be the best patio heater for windy areas because the kind of heat it produces won’t blow away. One of the main drawbacks to infrared heating is that you need to be in its direct path to benefit from it. This heat type works best for smaller, stationary areas (like tables) and not for generalized areas where people will be moving around.
  • Electric. This kind of patio heater comes in all shapes and sizes and offers a range of freestanding and mounted options. Most of them are simple to use, and the freestanding models are quite portable. However, you will need to be near an outlet. Electric heat works well for partially enclosed areas where fumes or flames might be an issue. Unfortunately, electric heat tends to be one of the least cost-effective options for outdoor use. 
  • Natural Gas. These heaters are known for giving off a lot of heat and being exceptionally energy-efficient. However, they will require professional installation, and they won’t offer the same portability as some of the other heating options.
  • Propane Gas. Propane heaters are some of the most portable heaters. Because these heaters typically carry their own power source, you can place them just about anywhere. They also have a good reputation for producing a lot of heat. Propane is also one of the most environmentally-friendly heating sources for outdoor use. 

Types of Patio Heaters

Before choosing the type of patio heater to get, you should decide how important portability is for you. For some, portable heaters’ benefits aren’t enough to outweigh the hassle of lugging them around. For others, having a heater that’s fixed to one area might be too limiting. Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons of the main types of patio heaters.

  • Freestanding Heaters. This style of heater is typically either propane or electric and has the obvious advantage of portability. If you want a heat source to move around with you or change locations for different events, this is probably the best option.
  • Mounted Heaters. These models often use electricity or natural gas for power, and they offer the advantage of being out of the way of pets and small children. Also, once installed, you’ll only need to turn them on to use them — no need to drag them in and out of the garage every time. This heater style is perfect for installing above or next to a sitting area that you don’t plan to move. If you want a mounted heater’s advantages but you’re looking for something a little easier to move around, you might consider a hanging pendant style heater. Although they’re technically mounted, usually all you’ll need to put them in another location is a ceiling hook and access to an outlet.
  • Tabletop Heaters. These units are commonly either electric or propane powered. Their smaller size is great for portability but can limit the amount of heat they tend to put out. 

Our Process

For this guide on the best patio heaters, our team spent 8 hours researching the most popular options from over 15 brands and manufacturers, big and small. We then read about one hundred user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each unit. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 10 patio heaters on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.

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