The most enjoyable summer BBQs or winter get-togethers are the ones when afternoons roll into evenings, usually thanks to great conversation, delicious food and all-around good times. When putting plans in place for these eventualities, it’s always worth considering the potential for cold weather. After all, you don’t want to have to end your evening prematurely because the temperature drops a few degrees. That’s why, to make the most of your evenings and outdoor space, we recommend investing in one of the best patio heaters.
And while we are currently enjoying more freedom than we have been over the past year due to Covid restrictions being relaxed, there are still many people who would prefer to err on the side of caution and spend their social time outdoors. Turning your backyard or patio into a space primed for hosting alleviates the need to mingle excessively, and allows you to host friends and family and stay comfortable from daytime into evening. Likewise, many business owners are investing in outdoor heaters to keep their customers warm and safe all winter long.
During the pandemic, the best patio heaters were sold out almost everywhere, like a number of other products. Unsurprisingly, people were thinking ahead and making the most of their own backyards. Even now, with the Delta variant on many people’s minds, top-rated patio heaters and gas fire pits are running low or completely out of stock. Demand for these products is only going to increase as summer turns to fall, and fall to winter, and savvy shoppers are buying patio heaters now.
When shopping for the best patio heater, one of the most popular choices is the classic style, which is often found in restaurants and powered by gas or electricity. The classic patio design features a tall body with an umbrella-like hood that covers the heating cylinder. More modern styles may be shaped like an obelisk rather than an umbrella. To offer you a little variety, we’ve included alternative options which can also be used to keep you warm on cold days or late evenings.
We’ve Included 4 Types of Patio Heaters
Outdoor patio heaters include a wide range of product types. Our favorite patio heater styles include:
- Propane Patio Heaters: Many commercial patio heaters found at your local restaurants rely on propane or natural gas fuel. Likewise, many residential outdoor heaters also rely on propane, most often in 20-pound refillable tanks. The classic patio heater is typically shaped like a pyramid, umbrella or column. It’s worth remembering that this additional fuel will need to be purchased separately.
- Electric Heaters: Electric heaters are the second most common type of patio heaters. Keep in mind that larger commercial electric heaters may require a professional electrician to install. This category also includes infrared heaters, which direct a targeted beam of heat instead of relying on radiant heating, which warms the surrounding air through convection. These heaters are easy to use and are also highly efficient.
- Gas Fire Pits: Many modern fire pits rely on propane instead of wood, and they can provide reliable heat and enhance your outdoor decor. These outdoor heaters are perfect for casual get-togethers.
- Natural Fire Pits: While not outdoor patio heaters in a traditional sense, it’s worth remembering that anything which makes fire will keep you warm. Traditional, wood-fueled fire pits are a reliable and alternative way to stay warm.
From portable heaters and fire pit tables to sky-high splurges to really impress your guests, keep scrolling to find the best patio heaters for online purchase right now — until they’re gone, that is.
1. Frontgate Sundry Patio Heater
Frontgate is our go-to destination for luxury outdoor furniture, whether we’re shopping for patio sets, pool floats or the best patio heaters. Last year, the company’s heaters were constantly back-ordered due to COVID-19, and we expect them to be in short supply this year, too. The Sundry model is the top Frontgate patio heater for 2021, and everything about it says luxury and warmth. Like our other top picks for the best patio heaters, it’s powered by a standard propane tank. This heater also offers an impressive 50,000 BTUs of heat, enough to warm a 6.5-foot outdoor area. Constructed from glass, stainless steel and aluminum, this heater has a unique column shape.
SAVE $180 NOWBuy: Frontgate Sundry Patio Heater $1,019.95
2. Amazon Basics Outdoor Patio Heater
This affordable outdoor heater from Amazon is back in stock and provides warmth up to a 9-foot radius, which makes it super ideal for porches, patios and backyards. It’s made with sturdy, durable aluminum and has a powder-coated finish that’s formulated to withstand the elements. It has an easy push-button start and works via a 20lb propane gas tank. It has a safety auto shut-off valve as well as a water box so you can add weight to the base. There are also wheels included which makes it super portable, and it weighs max 38 pounds so it’s easy to lift and move to where you need it.
3. Dyna-Glo Deluxe Patio Heater
Looking for an umbrella-style patio heater under $200? Dyna-Glo makes grills, smokers and gas patio heaters, and the company has the best affordable outdoor heater for the winter season. Available now at Target, the Dyna-Glo Deluxe Patio Heater is crafted from hammered bronze, and it will make a tasteful addition to any patio, restaurant or backyard despite the low price tag. This heater offers 41,000 BTUs of heat and variable heat settings. It’s also easy to turn on and off and has wheels at the base for mobility.Buy: Dyna-Glo Deluxe Patio Heater $159.99
4. Hiland Pyramid Patio Propane Heater
This tall pyramid heater from Hiland has an artistic and effective design you’re used to seeing on outdoor patios at restaurants. This heater is made from a durable stainless steel and stands 91-inches tall, with wheels for easy portability. It has an igniter that makes it easy to start-up as well as an auto shut-off valve. It takes the standard 20-pound propane tank that’ll last for 8-10 hours on high. It also has a quartz glass tube that holds a pillar of mesmerizing flame, which provides heat in every direction as well as an attractive design element. Great for businesses and homes alike, this is an affordable patio heater that we definitely expect to sell out before winter arrives.
ON SALE NOW!Buy: Hiland Pyramid Patio Propane Heater $325.79
5. Frontgate Somerset Patio Heater
You know what they say, the bigger, the better. If you’re a restaurant, bar owner or just a party lover that enjoys having friends over and you’re little behind on your outdoor heater purchase, the Frontgate Somerset patio heater is the perfect addition to have in our outdoor eating area. This unit has an electronic igniter system, so put that lighter away, but as you can imagine it’s a propane heater that requires your classic 20lb tank. If the heater tips over, there’s a tip-over protection system that will ensure nothing bad will happen. Because it’s solely made for outdoor use, do not take this thing inside, even if you think you can fit it. It’ll keep all your patrons (or backyard pals, if you’re intending to use this at home) cozy and warm the whole time they’re there.
Frontgate has some of the best patio heaters for sale in 2021, although their stylish outdoor furniture is on the pricier side. If that’s not a concern, then head to Frontgate to see the best outdoor heaters in stock anywhere. In 2020, these heaters sold out quickly once the temperatures dropped, so don’t wait too long to place an order. Best of all, this luxury heater is currently discounted by 50%.
SAVE $500 NOW
6. Frontgate Cyrus Patio Heater
Frontgate is best known for its luxury designs, but if heat is more important to you than decor, then we highly recommend the Cyrus Patio Heater from Frontgate. At its current price — it’s currently discounted by more than 50% — it’s easily one of the best umbrella-style patio heaters for sale right now. While it lacks the more sophisticated design of the Frontgate Sundry Patio Heater, it still offers 46,000 BTUs of heat. Wheels at the base make it easy to transport, and it will be a welcome addition to any backyard or patio this winter.
SAVE $400!Buy: Frontgate Cyrus Patio Heater $299.97
7. Dr. Infrared 1500W Heater
Continue those summer activities outside with Dr. Infrared’s wall-mounted heater that’s ideal for outdoor and even indoor purposes. Because it’s a plug-in heater, the heat provided is clean and instant, so you don’t have to sit there and wait for twenty minutes as the gas warms the unit up. Unlike most gas units, this electric unit doesn’t smell at all. It’s made with durable, weatherproof aluminum so you can use it outside in the rain, shine or snow. While it’s an excellent outdoor unit you can mount next to a table for outdoor game nights and drinking seshes, it’s also a great space heater that can attach overhead in your basement or garage when working or cleaning, too. This infrared heater has three heat settings and is a great alternative to propane heaters.
8. Frontgate Commercial Patio Heater
BEST COMMERCIAL OUTDOOR HEATER
You don’t always have to break the bank when heating up the outdoor space at your bar or restaurant. Like our previous pick from Frontgate, it’s definitely more on the luxurious side, but it also carries a more affordable price tag. If you’re a restaurant or bar owner looking to heat a larger outdoor space with more than one unit, these $500 heaters will have you covered on any chilly day or night of the week. Keep any and all patrons keeping your business alive as cozy as they can be with a few of these scattered about your backyard patio or front sidewalk. It comes with a safety auto shut-off valve, wheels for easy portability for when you close up shop at night, a stable base and stainless steel burners.
9. Ground Electric Patio Heater – AZ Patio Heaters
BEST UNDER $100
AZ Patio Heaters makes a variety of outdoor heating appliances and accessories, and we like this simple electric heater. Not only does it have a very reasonable price tag, but it offers big heat, emitting 1500W of heat. Plus, unlike the propane heaters featured above, these electric heaters can be used indoors and outdoors. Crafted from steel, aluminum and carbon fiber, it also has an anti-tilt design for added safety.Buy: AZ Heaters Electric Ground Heater $89.99
10. AmazonBasics Oscillating Ceramic Heater
BEST OSCILLATING HEATER
While this heater isn’t necessarily made for the outdoors, it’s great to use in small backyards, porches, garages and solariums that don’t necessarily trap so much heat. Just be careful, if you’re using this heater outside, make sure you take it in the second it begins to rain. This space heater has 3 options: low, high and fan only and also oscillates to provide heat in numerous directions. It’s quite tiny and easy to transport to and fro wherever you’ve got an outlet nearby, just keep it out of humid areas like bathrooms and laundry rooms.
11. 15,000 BTU Portable Radiant Propane Thermablaster
This little heater carries a big punch, so blast heat directly where you want it with this portable Thermablaster. The heater can use a 10 or 20lb propane tank with ease and requires no electricity at all to ignite. Because it’s great for small spaces, you can keep you and your close pals toasty warm the whole day through and never feel a chill. Use both indoors and out, just be sure if you’re using outside, bring it in after using and don’t allow it to get wet.
12. Hampton Bay Bronze Tabletop Patio Heater
One of the best ways to enjoy the benefits of a patio heater without losing precious floor space is with the Hampton Bay Bronze Tabletop Patio Heater. Its design resembles a classic full-sized patio heater but is more compact and more portable, too. Despite being smaller than most free-standing patio heaters, the base is still plenty large enough to provide the sturdiness you want in a patio heater. Plus, it’s powered by propane gas so you won’t have to worry about the power cord acting as a potential trip hazard.
13. Pampapic Patio Heater
At 88 inches tall, the Pampapic Patio Heater is one of the largest patio heaters on our list. Because of its impressive size, you may find it more convenient to store it outside, which is why the heater comes with a handy waterproof cover. You’ll also find integrated wheels which allow you to move the heater with relative ease, allowing you to place the device exactly where you need the heat most. In addition, the heater features a user-friendly door in the base for easy placement and removal of the gas cylinder during replacement or before moving it for greater convenience.
14. Mr. Heater MH9BX Buddy
BEST PORTABLE OUTDOOR HEATER
Watching the game from your buddy’s TV on his outdoor patio so you can pretend you’re tailgating? Bring the portable. No, not your charger. Well, maybe that too. But, we’re talking about Mr. Heater’s portable outdoor heater. This little buddy is powered by propane and has the power to heat up spaces up to 225 square feet. It has the ability to run for around three hours at max BTU, which is just enough time before you guys switch over to the bonfire anyway. There’s a carry handle up top for ready-to-go portability and handling, and if god forbid the heater ever tips over, it shuts off automatically, which will absolutely save you guys from a catastrophe. While Mr. Heater portable heaters are designed for camping, they’ll work just as well as your new backyard party pal.
15. TRUSTECH Patio Heater
Patio heaters are rarely as well-designed as the TRUSTECH Patio Heater. This heater’s minimalistic, full-height design makes it a welcome addition in any modern home. The central heating zone, which is positioned to suit people both standing and sitting, heats up within three seconds after being powered on. It also offers three different power levels to choose from, letting you choose the right one to your heating needs at the time. So if you’re looking for a patio heater that balances function and style beautifully, this is the right choice for you.
16. Mr. Heater Little Buddy Heater
BEST FOR EMERGENCIES
Having these Mr. Heater Little Buddy Heaters on hand in an emergency could be a total lifesaver. Their compact size means they take up a minimal amount of storage space, yet are still strong enough to create a comfortable level of warmth when the device gets going. Each pack comes with two free-standing heaters, both of which are powered by small propane canisters. You’ll also find each heater sports an adjustable head, which can tilt up to 45 degrees, for greater choice when deciding what area you’d like to heat. These heaters are also a great option for camping and fishing trips when a full size patio heater just isn’t feasible.
17. hOmeLabs Gas Patio Heater
The hOmeLabs Gas Patio Heater is designed for an enjoyable user experience from every angle. The smartly designed device features two built-in wheels which make it easy to roll from one spot to another as well as a minimal ignition process which makes it quick and easy to power on and off when you’re ready. Once the flame is lit, the same dial which is used to ignite the flame can also be used to control the heat output, up to 41,000 BTU. For an all-around reliable patio heater, this is your pick.
18. Hampton Bay Whitfield Galvanized Steel Wood Burning Fire Pit
BEST FIRE PIT
There’s nothing going full-on bonfire the second fall hits the scene. While it might not be the outdoor heater you were anticipating to see, fire pits are the OG outdoor heater for socially distance group scenarios. (Click here to find more great fire pits for sale.) Gather round with your closest buds, craft brews and ciders in hand and chat the day away as the sun goes down and the moon appears. If you’re looking for aesthetics that aren’t necessarily synonymous with your average fire pit, this wood-burning fire pit from Hampton Bay is for you. It has a modern appeal with a seamless blend to fit in any outdoor space. It even comes with a cooking grate, so while you’re warming up, you can even have the option to chef it up without leaving your seat. Of course, you can always stick to s’mores instead. How’s that for an outdoor heater?
19. Hampton BayCrossridge Antique Bronze Finish Gas Fire Pit
Want the ability to have an effortless, wood-free fire whenever you want in your backyard? This antique-looking gas fire pit is an excellent wood alternative that’s perfect to use in any outdoor setting with friends and family. Save money on wood and electricity, because this pit entirely uses propane. The pit is square in shape and has an adjustable flame feature to keep you as toasty as you’d like. Like some of our other outdoor heaters, this one ignites electrically, which is an easier, safer alternative to lighting up with a lighter.
20. Briza Infrared Patio Heater
BEST HEATER WITH STAND
The Briza Infrared Patio Heater is more adjustable than your average device thanks to the included tripod stand. However, if you’re more interested in a permanent heating fixture, that’s possible, too, as this device can be mounted on a wall or ceiling using the included fixtures. The main body of this heater contains a larger-than-usual filament which enables increased area coverage. In addition, the heater is designed for use in all weather and throughout all four seasons, so this patio heater will keep you cozy come rain or shine.
21. Solo Stove Bonfire Fire Pit
BEST SMOKELESS FIRE PIT
There’s one problem with fire pits that we can all agree on: we hate, and we mean hate the smoke. Normally, that’s why most seek out an outdoor heater alternative that doesn’t use a flame. If you still love the flame but hate choking on thick, black clouds, check out the Solo Stove smokeless fire pit. It pushes the envelope of what’s possible in terms of airflow and combustion and has a minimalist, stainless steel design that’ll complement your patio’s decor. It has a double-wall design with bottom holes that vent oxygen towards the flames and push the warmth upward and out. The efficient burn is what lowers the smoke level, and this Bonfire comes completely constructed and ready to use.
Read More: The Best Backyard Fire Pits for Every Home
22. Hampton Bay Steel Propane Fire Pit
If you already have a great outdoor patio furniture set, then this propane fire pit can serve as a fantastic centerpiece to your outdoor entertainment space. Hampton Bay makes some of our favorite outdoor heaters and gas fire pits, and this elegantly designed table is a great option. This 50,000 BTU propane fire pit will heat a 215 sq. ft. area. The fire pit features a sophisticated table-like design and has a durable steel housing and automatic shutoff.
23. Bromic Smart-Heat Tungsten Commercial Patio Heater
BEST PERMANENT FIXTURE
The Bromic Smart-Heat Tungsten Patio Heater is a great option if you’re sure you want a permanent ceiling or wall-mounted fixture. The heater has been designed for this purpose and delivers just the right amount of heat to your al fresco dining space or sitting area. This premium-quality patio heater is well suited to both luxury homes and popular commercial environments where it will be used on a regular basis. Plus, the heater’s minimalist black design and low-intensity glow gives your space visual appeal as well as creating a more comfortable temperature at the same time.
Please keep in mind that this 4,000W heater will require assistance from a professional electrician to install, and it’s designed for use primarily as a commercial patio heater.