Top 8 Best Patio Heaters For 2017 – Gas & Electric Models Compared
Patio Heater Reviews 2017
Patio heaters are an excellent way of warming your patio when temperatures drop, making sure you can stay out long through the night. With patio heaters, there’s no reason to end a family occasion or party early because night falls and the temperatures drop. Rather, you simply need a great patio heater. These units are popular options for homes, workplaces, bars and restaurants as they make outdoor spaces warm even when the weather is undesirable.
There are several options of patio heaters for you to choose from including free-standing, wall mounted and tabletop heaters. Such as wide variety only make looking for a patio heater seem like an overwhelming task. We have compiled a list of the best patio heaters in our patio heater reviews section that comes later in this guide. We have also prepared a detailed buying guide where you’ll find useful information to help you make informed decisions.
Below is the winner of our 'Top Pick Award', after many hours of research, we determined that the AmazonBasics Gas Patio Heater is the best patio heater for most home owners.
Patio Heater Buyer’s Guide
Before you decide to visit any patio heater retailer, there are important things you need to know about these accessories.
Types of Patio Heaters
They come in three types; freestanding, wall mounted and tabletop.
- Free standing patio heaters - A freestanding model is impeccable in the event that you need to warm the surrounding but not with tables around. They are perfect for bars and restaurant patios. Usually they can be set up anywhere on a patio and they don’t need power; for the most part they use fuel. The fuel is usually stored at the base. They have a solid base, heat generator, a pole and a reflector to distribute warmth.
- Wall Mounted Patio Heaters - If you need an outdoor heater that is off the beaten path and safe, you could opt for a wall mounted design. These are typically electric and use infrared heating techniques to keep individuals warm that are standing close-by. They are usually mounted high up on the wall and are on positions that allow you to change the angle of the heat.
- Tabletop Patio Heaters - The name says it all; these patio heaters are just kept on top of a table. In the event that you have a garden table that you and your visitors will be lounging around, this is an extraordinary thought, as you'll enjoy 360 degree heat from the heater so that everybody is warmed. They have a tendency to have a lower control yield than freestanding types, however, as they are intended to be nearer to the region that they need to heat up.
Size of patio heater
The freestanding patio heaters are the most common and they tend to offer around 40,000 BTU of heat output. Of course, this is necessary for freestanding designs as they effectively need to heat up large areas around them.
Table top heaters don’t need to be quite much powerful because they only need to heat a nearby area. So you’ll find most of them with a heat output of about 12,000 BTU which is sufficient for a table setting.
Wall mounted heaters are the least powerful and they tend be the smallest in size too. They usually have an output of about 3000 BTU and are perfect for outdoor areas in bars and restaurants. But, some industrial wall mounted patio haters can output more heat than the typical 3000 BTU.
The most common fuel types for patio heaters are propane, natural gas and electricity. Each of them has its own benefits and drawbacks. The best for you in this regard is literally the one at your disposal and the most achievable based on your ability. Propane patio heaters provide exceptional mobility and easy installation. However, propane patio heaters turn out to be expensive to run.
Natural gas patio heaters will be the lowest in operation costs if a natural gas pipe line is already established near your place. It offers a consistent supply of fuel and you don’t have to worry about refilling. The drawback is that routine professional maintenance will be needed.
For those who mind about zero emissions, electric patio heaters should be great alternatives to both propane and natural gas fueled types. It might need professional first time installation but it then operates effectively, efficiently and it’s economical in the long run.?
Patio heaters are usually constructed from stainless steel and heavier ones tend to be of high quality than lighter patio heaters. The heaviest patio heater can reach up to 54kg without tank. Lighter heaters are usually made from cheap materials and they spoil easily especially under adverse conditions such as snow.
Size of reflector
The reflector’s function is to distribute heat to the surrounding. They come in different sizes and the bigger the reflector the more it emits infrared into wider areas. You should be keen on this function as some models come in stylish appearance but less effective reflectors.
Patio Heater construction
This simply means the material that makes the patio heater. Many models feature high grade stainless steel at the base, head, pole and the reflector. Obviously, don’t expect such full body steel constructed models to come under £150 in retail shops.
Material is an essential aspect to consider as the patio heater will mostly be used outdoors where it faces unforgiving weather conditions. If you opt for a painted model, make sure to go for a heavier coating. It will last through several nights before you need to paint again.
Most patio heaters feature the standard piezo electric ignition for lighting or turning on/off. But, you’ll find some of them equipped with the contemporary ignition such as the electronic or auto ignition.
Safety and warranty information
It’s very important to find out about the safety standards of the product you want to buy. There might be commotion in your party and someone knocks down your heater and you never know the danger. The standard safety features in most patio heaters include safety tilt feature, automatic shut off-switch, heat adjustment and extreme weather shut-off switch.
Last but not least is the warranty information. Manufacturers who give a longer warranty are usually convinced about the durability of their products and even customers find them trustworthy. A product with a 5-year warranty says a lot about its quality compared to one with 90 days warranty.
All things considered, here are our best models that you can relate to.
OUR TOP 8
BEST PATIO HEATERS
AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Patio Heater Review
**OUR BEST PICK**
Features & Spec
- Heat output of 46,000 BTU’s.
- Piezo ignition - safety auto shut off tilt valve.
- Wheels for smooth mobility.
- Steel construction with powder-coated bronze finish.
- Covered with a 1-year warranty.
This AmazonBasics heavy duty powerful patio heater provides an outstanding heat output of 46,000 BTU’s. Even more, the AmazonBasics heats a wide area with a span of up to 18 feet in diameter. An awesome option to a fire pit, the gas heater delivers a silent, soothing, continuous heat with no smoke or bare flames to bother you.
It comes with two smooth-rolling wheels which require assembly and, of course, they make it easy to transport this outdoor patio heater from one side of the deck to the opposite side or from pool side to patio. Regardless of the event or location, friends and family will love the opportunity to gather and socialize outdoors while enclosed in awesome warmth supplied by the AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Commercial Patio Heater.
The stylish patio heater features long-lasting steel construction with a powder-coated bronze finish providing both practical functionality and a modern look. The powder coating protects the patio heater’s exterior from rust and outdoor elements that may cause damage. The striking bronze finish effortlessly complements most outdoor decors and patio furniture collections.
Operating this heater requires a typical 20-pound (9kg) LP gas cylinder, which doesn’t come included. Then the smart Piezo ignition system lights the heater by a simple push of the button. The system includes a large adjustable heat control which allows for high or low heat settings. You can also use it to completely turn off the heater at the end of the night. For increased safety and peace of mind, the AmazonBasics has a shut-off valve that turns the patio heater off automatically in case it gets tipped over.
In any case, the patio heater has a sturdy base for secure placement and reinforced stability. It’s actually a base reservoir system which can easily be filled with sand or water thus creating a low, heavy and strong base weight. Even so, the patio heater can tip over in heavy winds and that’s why AmazonBasics recommends that you don’t place it next to glass or combustibles. You can find more safety instructions in the product’s manual.
- Ignition instructions are poor – the knob states turn Off and High instead of turning it between Low and High positions. As such, you must press the ignition button, hold the knob for about 20-30 seconds after the flame starts, and only then turn the knob at the desired level, Low or High.
Our recommendation - The AmazonBasics Patio Heater delivers exceptional soothing warmth that will make your guests feel comfortable even when temps begin to fall. This commercial heater is the ultimate solution for anyone serious about all year round outdoor night entertainment.
Overall this is an excellent patio heater which us why we named it our 'Best Pick', just like all things Amazon, they have done an excellent job in designing this patio heater.
FoxHunter Gas Patio Heater
5KW - 12KW Review
**A VERY CLOSE SECOND TO OUR 'BEST PICK'**
Features & Spec
- Made from silver-powder coated hammered material.
- Variable control valve.
- Piezo electric ignition.
- Consumes butane, propane or LPG gas.
- Comes with wheels.
- Wattage: 5000W to 12000W.
The FoxHunter patio heater comes in bits so a lot of assembly is required and an extra hand will get things in place appropriately. The silver finish is practical and looks amazing which gives the impression of durability. The powder coating protects the exterior against rust and damage from elements ensuring your heater has a long lifespan.
Most of you will appreciate the fact that this FoxHunter uses various fuels including propane, butane or LPG gas so basically, you can use either of the fuels at your disposal. The most ideal gas cylinder size is 11kg and it’s enough to power up to the maximum 12000W. You’ll also be surprised at how easy it is to light thanks to the integrated Piezo electric ignition system which allows lighting with a simple dial. Once lit, it continues to burn even on windy conditions. There’s also a variable control valve of which you can use to adjust the heat level to your preference.
The base is quite sturdy and it can also be filled with sand for enhanced stability. It also comes with a reasonable cover that touches the ground unlike some other covers that you buy separately. You’ll as well find a regulator and wheels in the box which come in handy when you want to move the heater to a different location.
- The regulator doesn’t fit perfectly so you might be forced to buy your own.
Our recommendation - The FoxHunter is such a beast when it comes to heat power as it emits up to 12000W, which is why we picked it as our 'Runner Up' to the best patio heater. Whether you are throwing a big party in your garden or you own a commercial set up, the ForHunter will deliver enough heat to entertain your guests. At less than £100 it offers excellent value for money and you get to enjoy so much warmth throughout the seasons.
This was a very close second to our 'Best Pick' but it does win on price!
Firefly 2KW Electric Garden Heater Review
**AN ONLINE BEST SELLER**
Features & Spec
- Can be used both indoors and outdoors.
- Adjustable height.
- Up to 2500 hours lamp life.
- Three heat settings.
- Safety over-heat protection.
- Easy assembling system.
- Made from steel.
- 3 meter long cable.
- Comes with 2-year warranty.
Firefly Freestanding patio heater offers an awesome option for those looking for a less expensive and environmentally friendly heater. Its heat yielding rating of 2kW delivers enough amounts of heat to keep your family and guests in warmth while enjoying an evening party. Firefly’s power rating is also perfect for small commercial settings.
There are 3 heat settings which ensure you can achieve your proper heat depending on your preference. These are 650W, 1350W and 2000W. The infrared technology delivers secure, quiet, efficient, effective and economical heat. It’s powerful in light of the fact that the infrared specifically heats humans or objects with no hindrance such as wind and air. The infrared lamp not only provides warmth but also a glowing light which makes your evenings more comfy.
The tough construction of this patio heater adds up to a long-lasting unit. The heater likewise comes with an adjustable height to suit most spaces and conditions. To shield the burner from any undesirable activity, Firefly patio heater features a quartz tube heating element which gives you the peace of mind. The all-steel material with substantial base construction helps the heater stand firmly and appropriately. It’s also equipped with heavy duty lamps which provide a long run time – up to 2500 hours.
- The 2kW power rating is not that huge in truth and the design is less attractive.
Our recommendation - When we reviewed the Firefly 2KW patio heater it was Amazon’s best selling patio heater. It will keep you warm in chilly nights while providing a glowing light. The 3 heat settings and the adjustable height make it quite versatile and perhaps why it’s a popular choice of many. It’s best suited for family use but can also thrill small commercial property owners.
Firefly 1.8kW Wall Mounted Quartz Patio Heater Review
Features & Spec
- 3 power settings.
- Quartz tubes for silent and safe heating with infrared rays.
- Suitable for areas up to 6.25 sq. metres.
- Supplied with wall mountable screws for easy installation.
- Pull cord for easy use.
- Perfect for domestic and commercial use.
- Ideal for outdoor and indoor use.*
This Firefly patio heater helps to light your outdoor spaces (or maybe not, read more below) and we appreciate its wall mounted design meaning you don’t have to sacrifice patio or table space. The box comes with screws for easy installation. The heater is finished with a brilliant, metal front and white resin corpus which give an elegant and classic décor for any interior or exterior space.
The wall mountable design is also useful in allowing warm ambient heat to glow downwards onto guests, so parties and dinners can continue long into the night in warmth and coziness. What exactly makes it ideal for socializing at night is because it’s both a source of heat and light.
With less than 9p per hour at current electrc rates, the Firefly 1.8kW is one of the cheapest to run models saving some bucks on energy. The IPX4 classification means this patio heater is ideal to use both indoors and outdoors. It’s integrated with 3 power settings; 600W, 1200W and 1800W which allow you to customize the temperature depending on the weather conditions. This also helps you to save both energy and money.
The use of quartz tubes goes a long way to making this Firefly model safe to use. The heat resistant tubes absorb and keep the heating elements and prevent convection heat from getting away. After becoming very hot, the tubes produce safe infrared rays which in turn heat the surrounding objects. These elements help you to feel warm quicker.
- The Firefly 1.8Kw is advertised as 'outdoor' and is IPX4 rated but seems not weatherproof enough as some online reviews have reported problems, this of course raises concerns on its outdoor use. However it does come with 2 year warranty so you should be covered should it become faulty.
Our recommendation - We highly recommend that you don’t expose the heater to elements if you want it to serve longer, maybe a perfect choice for under a fixed gazebo or in a garage or shed. Overall great idea and great price but doesn't seem to be suitable for outdoors like it claims.
Pyramid Living Flame Garden Gas Patio Heater Review
**Ultimate in modern design**
Features & Spec
- Powerful heater at 9500W output.
- Equipped with anti-tip safety system.
- Floor standing design.
- Sleek stainless steel finish.
- Comes with aluminum reflector – 46cm.
- Includes a free gas regulator and hose.
- Weight: 25kg.
This patio heater from Fire Mountain provides a brilliant way of bringing heat and light to your garden with some of flawlessness. It comes in a clever design that lets the flames to be enjoyed safely without concealing any of the warm glow.
The floor-standing model features a mix of stainless steel and aluminum construction which tells of the toughness of this patio heater. This blend of materials likewise gives a modern finish which is also heat and corrosion resistant. There are impressive steel safety grills that surround the quartz fire tube for protection against destructive outdoor elements.
The glass tube can withstand temperatures as high as 300 degrees Celsius thus making it perfect for the adjustable heat output installed on the Pyramid Living Flame patio heater. There is a space at the lower section of the heater where the gas bottled can be kept out of sight.
Lighting the Living Flame heater is quick, easy and safe using the piezo battery ignition. Like every Living Flame patio heater, this one uses propane or butane gas to produce heat. Yet, the free 27mm gas regulator that comes with the patio heater only works for propane bottles and Fire Mountain recommends using only on propane. The unit has two wheels at the back that make it easy to reposition the patio heater to suit various occasions or outdoor layouts.
The A-frame design gives the patio heater a wide base for stability and weight support. In case the Living Flame heater is knocked over, the installed an anti-tip safety system will automatically shut off the gas and reduce any risk of fire. The box contains also contains a hose and it’s worth mentioning that some assembly is required.
- The assembly instructions are a bit lacking as there is no mention and no picture illustrations showing the wheels.
Our recommendation - The Living Flame free-standing patio heater looks classy and ready to warm any large size garden with a powerful output of 9500W. It’s built solid and comes with awesome user-friendly and safety features for year-round use. We think it would be a perfect showpiece in any garden if only you could beat the price.
Expensive, but beautiful but all most perfect in every way. Simply a top class product.
Andrew James Patio Heater with Floating Table Review
**Great table idea but a little flawed**
Features & Spec
- Easy assembly.
- Adjustable height from 1.6m to 2.1m.
- Floating table provides space for food and drinks.
- 3m long cable.
- Heavy base for stability.
- Comes complete with wheels.
- Rain resistant to IP44.
Stay warm on cold summer nights or chilly winter evenings with the Andrew James Outdoor Patio heater that comes together with floating table. It uses a fast heating double halogen element which offers clean and odourless heat and it is much more economical than a gas patio heater. Actually the running cost of this Patio Heater is about 70% cheaper than a standard conventional gas patio heater.
The heating element can radiate out up to 16 sq. metres making it ideal for family evenings or small gathering with friends. It also produces a pleasant glow of light for those dark evenings, ideal for entertaining friends or when you just want to unwind outdoors. The exterior features brushed stainless steel to prevent rust and corrosion. The floating table on this patio heater is not only impressive but provides space for placing food and drinks while chatting outdoors.
The Andrew James patio heater is easy to put together and the height is adjustable between 1.6 metres and 2.1 metres. It also comes with a 3m long cable which works really well in gardens, terraces, yards, garages and sheds. The base is built heavy to provide stability and the patio comes complete with wheels for easy repositioning. It’s also rain resistant to a rating of IP44 which implies you can use the patio heater outdoors throughout the year.
- It does not give enough heat to sit out on a chilly summer evening. You’ll have to stay up close to feel warm. The design does not also prove to be stable enough so might be knocked over easily.
Our recommendation - The Andrew James Outdoor Patio Heater works well in a form of round table family gathering or some special occasion involving few people. The floating table is a bonus so you don’t have to hold onto your wine glasses while chatting. On overall it’s a great patio heater suitable for small patios.
Sahara Stainless Steel Table Top Patio Heater Review
**BEST TABLETOP PATIO HEATER**
Features & Spec
- Heavy base for extra stability.
- Variable heat control.
- High grade stainless steel construction.
- Includes regulator and gas hose.
- Easy and fast connect system along hose line.
- Piezo ignition.
- Supplied with regulator.
- Stainless steel burner.
- Safety anti-tilt switch and flame failure device.
- Fully protected reflector for total safety.
The Sahara Table Top Patio Heater is your perfect companion for warmth and comfort whilst you mingle outdoors into the late nights. It’s crafted from a durable and appealing stainless steel which is also rust resistant. For the perfect personalized temperature, the Sahara features a variable heat control for you to adjust the levels of heat you want.
Integrated with the stainless steel frame is an easy to use Piezo ignition which turns on the heater in a single press of a button. The patio heater also comes with a regulator that is compatible with both gas and hose plus there is an easy and quick connect system along the hose line make it easy to connect and disconnect from a gas cylinder via your table parasol hole. The base is heavily built to support the heater’s weight and provide proper stability.
The Sahara stainless will be perfect on any table so you and your friends can enjoy the warmth below while you eat and drink. And with the installed anti-tilt safety switch, you are sure to stay protected from the risk of gas fire in case the patio heater topples over. There’s also a fully protected reflector for enhanced safety.?
- It does not come with assembly instructions so it can be a struggle for non-DIYs. However, you’ll find gas safety information in the box.
Our recommendation - The Sahara Table Top Patio Heater is a perfect accessory for those cold dinner nights with family and friends. It’s stable enough to rest comfortably on any table and even if it topples the anti-tilt switch will ensure you guys are safe. It has some issues with assembly but that should not put you off from this quality tabletop patio heater.
Firefly 2.1kW Electric Table Top Outdoor Patio Heater Review
**BEST ELECTRIC TABLETOP HEATER**
Features & Spec
- Halogen heating element – lasts up to 5000 hours.
- Unique tabletop design.
- Heats up to an area of 9m2.
- Variable 3 heat settings.
- Heavy base design for stability.
- Classic brushed stainless steel pole.
- Strong and durable anodized aluminum alloy frame.
This attractive table top heater comes in a stylish black design which perfectly complements the silver aluminium and steel body. It adds significant warmth and comfort to your outdoor environment using a high-efficiency clear Halogen heating element that lasts up to 5000 hours. The Firefly 2.1kW also gives a pleasant light meaning you’ll have every reason to stay out and entertain your guests into the night, even in darker or colder nights.
Just like any table top heater, this Firefly easily and quickly heats everyone sitting around the table equally with no ado. It can also be moved around easily, taken to the other side of the garden or even family holidays, thanks to its compact stature. The base features an impressive rattan weave which accentuates the shiny silver body above it. It is quite durable and will look magnificent against other rattan decorations. Enjoy far reaching warmth up to 9m2 while the heavy base diameter does its job at keeping the patio heater intact. The frame features anodized aluminium alloy which is strong and durable.
The flexibility provided by the 3 heat settings is unbeatable. You can adjust between 900W, 1200W and 2100W to suit prevailing weather conditions and save on energy costs. These essential multi-heat settings will ensure your guests are comfortable any time of the year and provide you control over the desired temperature. This patio heater also enjoys IP44 rating approval which means it has passed the test for both indoor and outdoor use.
- It does not supply enough heat during windy weather thus suited for more enclosed patios, unlike open settings.
Our recommendation - The Firefly 2.1kW tabletop heater comes in just the right height which we find sufficient to not interfere with the vision of people around the table. It looks stylish and sturdy but the real catch here are the variable heat settings and the long-lasting heating hours. Dining and drinking at the patio just got to another level with the Firefly 2.1kW Stainless Steel Patio Heater.
So which would models would we recommend
After reading our patio heater reviews, we believe now you know that are many alternatives to heat up your patio or garden for the comfort of your guests. Our patio heater buying guide has highlighted the most crucial aspects to consider before you invest your money so we hope you won’t be fooled by deceitful salespersons. Whether you want to heat up a patio, garden or a commercial space, the best patio heaters are out there for you to grab.
Our Best Pick
We picked the AmazonBasics Patio Heater as our best patio heater. This patio heater is the ultimate solution for anyone serious about all year round outdoor night entertainment.
With a very impressive heat output of 46,000 BTU’s, Piezo ignition for easy start, safety shut off tilt value and a very strong steel construction, Amazon really have put together a very impressive patio heater. To might the choice easier still this is backed with 1 years warranty and Amazon's excellent customer service.
If your looking for something a little cheaper, we feel the FoxHunter Patio Heater is the next best choice with similar specifications and features, however, Amazon's model still has the edge.
Best Tabletop Patio Heater
When it comes to round table dinning, the Firefly 2.1kW Table Top Heater with 3 Heat Settings is what we call the best tabletop patio heater in this review. The fact that it uses Halogen heating element is an advantage over gas cylinder models. The heating element lasts up to 5,000 hours whereas a 5kg cylinder will go for about 17 hours. We were also surprised that you get these benefits at almost the same price than our other tabletop model, the Sahara Stainless Steel Table Top Patio Heater.
Best Budget Patio Heater
You don’t have to break the bank to get a decent patio heater, the Firefly 2KW Patio Heater is all you need to keep away the cold. It gives you three heat settings and its height adjustable like any expensive model out there. It’s quite stable and sturdy with an adjustable head that lets you direct heat where you want rather than wander around. The design is not quite appealing but at less than £40 for a free-standing model, you get the most affordable way to tackle chilly evenings.
I hope you found our research and reviews useful, do you have any of these patio heaters and want to share your thoughts, feel free to leave a comment below.