If you do not have time for the details, here are our top picks for patio heater:
- Hiland HLDSO1-WGTHG Patio Heater
- AmazonBasics Commercial Havana Bronze Patio Heater
- PAMAPIC Patio Heater
- hOmeLabs Store Gas Patio Heater
- Thermo Tiki Outdoor Patio Heater
- Hiland HLDSO1-WCBT
- TRUSTECH Patio Heater
- Heat Storm HS-1500-TRC
- PAMAPIC Patio Heater
- BMS Commercial Patio Heater
- BALI OUTDOORS Portable Patio Heater
- Briza Patio Heater
How you ever been on your patio in the spring or fall and wished for a little heat? If so, you are not alone. Lots of people love spending time on their patios. They just can’t stand being cold. The best patio heater is the answer to this problem.
Patio heaters are not just for restaurants and hotels. You can have a great one in the comfort of your backyard. You just need to use our buyer’s guide and top twelve list to find the top one around. Keep reading, and all of your questions about patio heaters will be answered.
- What is the best patio heater?
- Features to look for when buying a patio heater
- Top 12 Best Patio Heater—Comparison table
- Top Best 12 Best Patio Heater—Reviews
- 1. Hiland HLDSO1-WGTHG Patio Heater
- 2. AmazonBasics Commercial Havana Bronze Patio Heater
- 3. PAMAPIC Patio Heater
- 4. hOmeLabs Store Gas Patio Heater
- 5. Thermo Tiki Outdoor Patio Heater
- 6. Hiland HLDSO1-WCBT
- 7. TRUSTECH Patio Heater
- 8. Heat Storm HS-1500-TRC
- 9. PAMAPIC Patio Heater
- 10. BMS Commercial Patio Heater
- 11. BALI OUTDOORS Portable Patio Heater
- 12. Briza Patio Heater
- Tips and Tricks for Patio Heater Safety
What is the best patio heater?
The top patio heaters will have a few features in common. No matter what product you choose, you should look for the following things.
It must heat up your patio. No matter what the fuel source or type of patio heater, it should be able to heat a large space. The best products have a good heat range. They may not heat up your entire patio, depending on the size. But, they should be more than big enough to heat you and guests. These are not personal-sized products.
They must be safe. No one wants a fire hazard in their backyard. Modern patio heaters are designed with safety in mind. They should have lots of safety features. These could include a CSA safety rating, anti-tilt design, and thermocouple. We go into these features and more in the Tips and Tricks section below. For now, just know that the patio heater should have safety features.
You may also want to consider other features for your patio heater. The two mentioned here should be on your must-have list, though.
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Features to look for when buying a patio heater
When looking for a patio heater, you need to keep in mind these features.:
The term patio heater is a little misleading. Yes, patio heaters do heat up your patio. There are, however, lots of types to choose from. They are not a single entity.
For this article, we will break patio heaters into three categories. There are free-standing patio heaters, wall-mounted patio heaters, and tabletop patio heaters.
We will look at each of these three types in more detail in a minute. Before we begin, keep in mind that there are also residential and commercial patio heater models. All of the products in our top twelve list are residential models. Commercial outdoor propane heaters are typically a little too powerful for most patios. But, these are an option for those with large patios or outdoor spaces.
Let’s get to the types of patio heaters.
The first, and probably most popular, type is the free-standing patio heater. These are large, thin, and tall products. Consider these if you have a medium to large patio and want a lot of heat. You can put these patio heaters anywhere. They may be hard to move, though. They can also tip over in high winds.
If you have a table on your patio, consider a table-top patio heater. These products are great patio heaters for windy areas. They are compact and short. They fit on a tabletop. Hence their name. Because they are smaller, they are typically better for small patios or heating just a single table.
Finally, there are the wall-mounted patio heaters. Wall mounted patio heaters attach to the wall. These are the type of patio heater most often found in outdoor patios for restaurants. Often wall mounted patio heaters use infrared technology to heat the area around them. Their position on the wall can be adjusted via brackets.
It doesn’t matter what type of patio heater you choose. Each has its own pros and cons. The point is to find a type that works for your patio and heating requirements. For example, a tabletop patio heater fits small patios better. Wall mounted patio heaters are best for locations that do not have a lot of room. The free-standing patio heater works great in large patios.
Size is going to be another big consideration when you purchase a patio heater. These products come in a variety of sizes. Often, these sizes correspond to the type of patio heater you choose. Free-standing patio heaters will be larger than tabletop patio heaters.
Size determines where you can put the patio heater. If you have a small patio, you will likely not be able to purchase a very large product. It will likely make too much heat. This can cause you and your guests to get too hot. A smaller patio heater would work better in that situation.
Another consideration with size is that it will raise or lower the weight. Do you want a patio heater you can move around? If the answer is yes, you need a lightweight patio heater. If no, a heavy patio heater could work for you.
Dimensions and size may seem to be the same thing. The bigger the dimension numbers, the larger the size. Yet, we made dimensions their own category for a number of reasons.
The first reason dimensions should be considered is that they tell you how much room the patio heater will take up. Some patio heaters are more tall than wide. Some are wider than they are tall. And, some are very deep. You need to know the dimensions to be sure your product will fit.
You also need to consider the dimensions because they give important information about the product. They can tell you if the patio heater is super tall. Very tall and thin products do not make good patio heaters for windy areas. On the other hand, a short, squat patio heater will be able to withstand high winds much better.
You will not need to worry about dome-type if you have a wall mounted patio heater. Dome type may very on tabletop patio heaters. It will be a consideration with free-standing patio heaters, though.
There are two dome types you are likely to find. The first is the single dome. These are the products with one dome over the heat light. Triple dome patio heaters are the second variety. These have three domes stacked over the heat light, not one.
Single and triple dome heaters will both work well. The difference is the direction that each type reflects the heat. Single dome heaters only direction the heat down. On the other hand, triple dome heaters reflect the heat in three directions. If you want a greater range of heat throughout your patio you should go with a triple dome product.
The problem for some people is that triple dome patio heaters are more expensive. You get more heating for your money. You may, however, struggle to afford this type of heater.
Consider how you plan on heating your patio. Then take a look at your budget. These factors will help you decide on a triple or single dome patio heater.
BTU and Watts
We could have also named this section “power.” BTU and watts both measure the power (or heat) output of the patio heater. Larger numbers for both BTU and watts means more heating.
BTU and watts both measure power. You will more likely see the BTU number on patio heaters. Watts is more common for electric patio heaters. BTU (British Thermal Unit) measures energy but is most often used with propane patio heaters.
Several factors go into the power of a patio heater. Commercial patio heaters will have more power. They are designed for very large patios. So they have to make a lot of heat. Residential patios are usually smaller. Therefore, residential patio heaters will not be as powerful.
Another factor is size. Larger patio heaters will typically make more heat. Smaller, electric patio heaters will make less heat. This does not mean you should go out and purchase the largest patio heater you can find. Take stock of your patio first. If it is small, you may be able to get away with less power.
We’ve mentioned both propane and electric patio heaters a few times on this list already. Let’s talk about those fuel types here.
Propane is very common. These use a propane tank. You have to keep the propane tank filled to run the heater. But, the tanks are usually easy to remove and replace. Free-standing and tabletop patio heaters often use propane as fuel.
Natural gas patio heaters are increasingly popular. As more people have natural gas piped directly into their homes, they use natural gas patio heater. All you have to do is hook up your patio to the natural gas line. Once the fuel is ignited, it will continue to run indefinitely. Free-standing patio heaters are the most common type to run on natural gas.
Finally, there are electric heaters. These just need to be plugged in, and they will heat up your patio. Some even use infrared technology. Electric patio heaters are the most environmentally friendly option. They also typically make the least power. And, they need to be protected from the elements. Otherwise, the electrical connection will break.
Top 12 Best Patio Heater—Comparison table
|Hiland HLDSO1-WGTHG Patio Heater||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|AmazonBasics Commercial Havana Bronze Patio Heater||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|PAMAPIC Patio Heater||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|hOmeLabs Store Gas Patio Heater||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Thermo Tiki Outdoor Patio Heater||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Hiland HLDSO1-WCBT||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|TRUSTECH Patio Heater||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Heat Storm HS-1500-TRC||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|PAMAPIC Patio Heater||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|BMS Commercial Patio Heater||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|BALI OUTDOORS Portable Patio Heater||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
|Briza Patio Heater||VIEW ON AMAZON →|
Top Best 12 Best Patio Heater—Reviews
1. Hiland HLDSO1-WGTHG Patio Heater
For a great all-around free-standing patio heater, try Hiland’s HLDSO1-WGTHG. This product comes in multiple color options. We love the hammered bronze. However, you can also choose from black, matte black, silver, or hammered silver. With the HLDSO1-WGTHG, you can match your patio heater to your patio décor.
In addition to the color options, there are many other reasons to love the Hiland HLDSO1-WGTHG. It has wheels for easy moving. The entire product weighs sixty-five pounds. It is heavy enough that the wheels are needed.
The HLDSO1-WGTHG holds a 20-pound propane tank. That is large enough to run for eight to ten hours in the high mode. The unit makes 40,000 BTUs. Overall, the quartz glass tube flame heater brings a stylish element to the design. This patio heater is the total package.
2. AmazonBasics Commercial Havana Bronze Patio Heater
AmazonBasics are known for their affordable and high-quality products. Their Commercial Havana Bronze Patio Heater lives up to their reputation. This is a type of commercial patio heater of the free-standing type. It is quite large. It also makes a lot of heat (46,000 BTUs).
Like the Hiland reviewed above, the AmazonBasics Commercial Patio Heater comes in multiple colors. You can choose from slate gray, stainless steel, Bahama blue, hammered black and stainless steel, sable brown, sable brown and stainless steel, and wicker. Finally, there is our favorite color choice, Havana bronze. It doesn’t matter what your décor, the AmazonBasics Commercial Patio Heater has a color that will work.
Even though it is quite tall, this product has a stable base. The pieze ignition works well every time. Plus, there is a safety auto shut-off tilt valve. In high wind, this safety feature will keep the product from becoming a fire hazard.
3. PAMAPIC Patio Heater
Another great free-standing patio heater is the PAMAPIC Patio Heater. This product has a large, single dome. The dome is thirty-two inches in diameter. This means that it can heat a large area. The PAMAPIC Patio Heater will help up to eighteen feet in diameter. That is more than big enough for most patios.
Another great thing about the PAMAPIC Patio Heater is that it is sold with a cover. Now you don’t have to worry about storing the patio heater when it is not in use. Just pop the cover over the top of the patio heater and go about your business. The cover zips up very easily.
This is an efficient and high powered free-standing patio heater. It makes 46,000 BTUs of heat. That makes it appropriate as both a residential and commercial outdoor heater. There are also three heat settings. You can choose the level of heat you need for ultimate comfort.
4. hOmeLabs Store Gas Patio Heater
The brand hOmeLabs may spell their name a little differently. But, don’t worry about their products. They are all top-of-the-line. The Store Gas Patio Heater proves what great products hOmeLabs creates. It is a freestanding patio heater and comes in bronze.
The hOmeLabs Store Gas Patio Heater is tall with a large, sturdy base. It only weighs 35.2 pounds. This makes it quite easy to move around your patio. There is also a drink shelf built-in. That means you and your guests can use the patio heater as a table as well as a heat source.
The large single dome on the hOmeLabs Store Gas Patio Heater makes 41,000 BTUs of power. It is easy to ignite. Just hold the button for ninety seconds, and you are good to go. The propane tank is easy to replace. There is an easy-access door that allows you to reach the tank without any effort. Overall, this is a stylish and well-designed product.
5. Thermo Tiki Outdoor Patio Heater
For a really unique freestanding patio heater, try the Thermo Tiki Outdoor Patio Heater. It is a tall patio heater like all of the others on this list. However, the pyramid design is quite unique. A pyramid column is a single unit with a large, dancing flame. This design makes the Thermo Tiki Outdoor Patio Heater a good patio heater for windy areas. It also lets you watch the flame move.
The Thermo Tiki Outdoor Patio Heater is rated for 38,000 BTUs. However, the company claims its “peak output” is 42,000-45,000 BTUs. No matter how much heat the product makes, it will reach all areas of your patio. The heating radius is fifteen feet.
This product comes with wheels for easy movability. It is also certified safe from ANSI, CE, and CSA. There is an automatic shut off is the product is tipped. Ignition is controlled by a pilot for safety. Everything about the Thermo Tiki Outdoor Patio Heater is efficient and safe to use.
6. Hiland HLDSO1-WCBT
Hiland is a great manufacturer of patio heaters. They are especially known for their freestanding patio heaters. That is why we have included another product by the company on our top twelve list. The HLFSO1-WCBT is very similar to the HLDSO1-WGTHG in our number one spot.
The HLDSO1-WCBT makes a huge amount of heat. The power rating is 48,000 BTUs. This is a single-domed patio heater. But the large power rating ensures that your entire patio will be heated.
Our favorite color is hammered silver. It will fit in with most patio decors. This is a slightly heavier product, at 44.2 pounds. The wheels do make moving it around much easier. You will also love the weight bladder. You can fill this with sand or water, and the HLDSO1-WCBT will resist tipping.
7. TRUSTECH Patio Heater
The first non-freestanding patio heater on our list is the TRUSTECH Patio Heater. This is a wall mounted patio heater. If you have a small patio with a small amount of standing room, you need this product.
The TRUSTECH Patio Heater comes with everything you need for a great outdoor heating experience. It has a twenty-four-hour timer. This timer includes an automatic shutoff and overheating protection. You do not need to worry about this electric patio heater being a fire hazard. There is as a remote, which makes turning it on and off a breeze.
The TRUSTECH Patio Heater will heat up in one second. There are also three heat settings. You can choose between 500, 1000, and 1500 watts of heat. The infrared heating may also have health benefits like reducing the symptoms of rheumatology and arthritis.
8. Heat Storm HS-1500-TRC
The Heat Storm HS-1500-TRC is a unique product on our list. It can be used anywhere outdoors. This outdoor patio heater for winter can be used in a roll cage on the ground or be mounted on a wall. There is no ceiling mounting option. You can also choose to purchase the electric patio heater with a tripod instead of a roll cage.
If you need an outdoor patio heater for winter that can be transported to a shop or other outdoor location, the HS-1500-TRC is for you. The roll cage option is even great for construction sites. There is a thirteen-foot power cord. The length of the cord opens up more locations for the HS-1500-TRC.
It is easy to set up this electric patio heater. It should only take you five minutes. The product is weatherproof, which is what you want. The plug is designed for a normal 110-volt outlet. And, the 5200 BTU heat is infrared. You can’t beat the versatility or price of the Heat Storm HS-1500-TRC.
9. PAMAPIC Patio Heater
PAMAPIC is another great patio heater brand. Their Patio Heater is a freestanding product. It is a great choice for anyone looking for a patio heater that works well. It even comes with an easy-zip cover.
The PAMAPIC Patio Heater is a little more expensive than other products on our list. However, you get a lot for your money. It is in a pyramid shape. The shape makes it a great patio heater for wind. It will not tip over easily.
The burners on the PAMAPIC Patio Heater are stainless steel. The clear glass flame tube ensures even burning. Plus, the glass flame tube makes it easy to watch the beautiful flames in the product. You can fit a twenty-pound propane tank in this produce. The heat output is 42,000 BTUs. A great and solid freestanding patio heater overall.
10. BMS Commercial Patio Heater
If you want a freestanding patio heater that produces a lot of heat, you need the BMS Commercial Patio Heater. As a commercial patio heater, this product is large, heavy, and high-heat. It makes 47,000 BTUs of heat.
The BMS Commercial Patio Heater is easy to assemble. It will take you less than an hour. There are even wheels for easy transportation. BMS ensures that you have no problem using their product.
This is a propane patio heater. It is corrosion and rustproof. The design is wind resistant and durable. There is an easy-adjust valve for the propane tank. Just make sure you follow all of the user manual’s instruction to keep from being burned.
11. BALI OUTDOORS Portable Patio Heater
The BALI OUTDOORS Portable Patio Heater is affordable and unique. It is a tabletop patio heater. This means that it is small, compact, and lightweight. The BALI OUTDOORS Portable Patio Heater only weighs fourteen pounds. It only uses a one-pound propane tank. But, that ensures that it doesn’t get too heavy.
Because the BALI OUTDOORS Portable Patio Heater is small and lightweight, it does not have as much power. It only makes 10,000 BTUs. But, that is more than enough when the heater is on your table.
This product is easy to put together. It has a stylish, bronze-colored design. The Bali logo is front and center, so everyone will know where you got it. Also, the portability of the patio heater makes it great for many different uses, including tailgating and camping.
12. Briza Patio Heater
The final production of our list is another outdoor patio heater for winter. The Briza Patio heater comes with a tripod. It can be used as a wall mounted patio heater. It is also great to mount on a ceiling or used in a shop. If you want a portable electric patio heater, this is the one for you.
In addition to the versatility, the Briza Patio Heater is safe. It has an automatic shutoff feature. It also resists being tipped over. The effective heating of this product will save you money. And, because it is an infrared heater, it will never be too hot. You can use this product indoors or outdoors in any season. That alone makes it worth the higher price.
Tips and Tricks for Patio Heater Safety
Any time you put a heat source on your patio, you need to be safe. Any type of heater can cause a fire. Because propane and natural gas patio heaters use fire, they are even more susceptible to catching on fire.
Are patio heaters inherently dangerous? No. Modern patio heaters will be designed with safety features. You just need to purchase the right product. This is also why we recommend purchasing a new patio heater. Don’t try to repurpose an ancient one. It could turn into a fire hazard.
In order to use your patio heater as safely as possible, follow these tips and tricks.
- Make sure you HOA (home owner’s association) and local area allow patio heaters. Some communities, especially condo communities, do not allow this type of outdoor heating.
- Look for products with the following safety features. You want a patio heater that does not have a naked flame. It should have a thermocouple as well if it uses natural gas or propane. The thermocouple ensures the flame is put out if there is a gas leak. Free-standing patio heaters should be anti-tilt. Finally, look for the CSA certification. This tells you that the product meets all safety regulations when evaluated by a third-party.
- Bigger is not always better. Only purchase the size and power patio heater that works for your yard. A too large or too hot patio heater can be a fire hazard.
- Read and follow the user’s manual. This is important for any new appliance. For patio heaters, it is essential. Your user’s manual will tell you exactly how much clearance you need on all sides. It will also give instructions for the proper use of the machine. The user’s manual will also likely tell you how to safely troubleshoot any problems.
Still, have questions about patio heaters? No problem. We have all the answers you need in this FAQ section.
-Where can patio heaters be used?
Each patio heater will be slightly different. Obviously, all can be used on a patio. Some, especially smaller ones, can safely be used on a covered patio. There just needs to be enough clearance between the heat source and the roof. Your user’s manual will give you the clearance requirements.
Some patio heaters can actually be used indoors as well. These are less common than other types. However, they can be found. Again, the user’s manual, or write up about the product will give you this information.
You can also use most patio heaters on wooden decks. As long as the surface is hard and level, the patio heater should do just fine. Don’t place any patio heater on grass or dirt, though. This can cause tipping and increase the possibility of a fire.
-Do I need a patio heater?
No, you don’t have to have a patio heater. However, we highly recommend patio heaters for everyone. They are a great way to get more use out of your patio or deck. With a patio heater, you will not only be able to be outside in warm weather.
You can find outdoor heaters for winter. All patio heater will work in early spring and later fall. This increases the amount of time you can spend outdoors. Who wouldn’t want that?
The only people that may not want a patio heater are those who live in apartments or condos. Before you commit to a patio heater make sure it is allowed in your building or community. You don’t want to spend the money on a patio heater only to find you are breaking a regulation.
-Are patio heaters expensive?
Some patio heaters are expensive. But, they are not all super-pricey. Generally, the larger patio heaters will be the most expensive. The more power a patio heater has, the more expensive it will be as well.
You will likely spend over $100 on your patio heater. However, you don’t have to bankrupt yourself to get a good one. Many of the products on our top twelve list above are totally attainable for most people.
-Do patio heaters have a smell?
Propane heaters can give off a smell in some situations. In general, patio heaters will not have a strong smell.
If there is an unpleasant gas or propane smell from your heater, turn it off immediately. The smell likely means that there is a gas leak somewhere. The patio heater may be unsafe to use. Unplug, and turn it off, and then take it somewhere to be repaired.
-What are the rules about patio heater clearance?
Patio heaters will require a specific amount of clearance—or unused space—around them. These products get very hot and give off heat. If the top of the patio heater touches an overhang, it can cause a fire hazard.
Your user manual will tell you exactly how much clearance on each side your patio heater needs. In general, a large patio heater will need thirty inches of clearance. Smaller, tabletop patio heaters can get away with twenty-four inches.
The best patio heaters are a great addition to any outdoor space. That can increase your enjoyment of the outside. In these trying times, being able to escape to nature is important. Let a patio heater keep you outdoors and enjoying nature. Think of all the amazing picnic meals you are missing out on by not having a patio heater.
This article has helped you choose the top patio heater for your situation. Our buyer’s guide, FAQs, and tips and tricks will ensure you use your patio heater correctly and safely. And, the twelve products we’ve reviewed are the best to be found anywhere. You should now have all the tools you need. Go out and pick your patio heater today!
Sarah Eberle qualified and became a member of the Landscape Institute in 1980. Over the last 26 years she has practised landscape architecture and garden design, running her own business in Devon.
During the 1990s, Sarah joined Hillier Landscapes as Design Director, where she is still a shareholder but also runs her own practice in Hampshire.
Sarah has an esteemed record in RHS shows, having won eight Gold medals, Best in Show and the George Cook award for innovation twice at Hampton Court. Sarah has also exhibited at Tatton Park and BBC Gardeners’ World Live.