Last updated on February 19th, 2022
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You’ve worked hard to make your patio or decking a welcoming space for family and friends to gather. But what do you do when the nights start getting chilly or it’s sunny outside but cool? Instead of putting on a thick jumper or staying indoors, consider buying a patio heater.
For this Best Patio Heater review, we looked at many gas and electric patio heaters. We considered stand-alone models, wall-mounted models, tabletop models and even ones that hook on to your table umbrella stand. We evaluated each against the features that we describe in the review and make our top recommendations.
Here are our top picks of patio heaters to buy:
- Best gas patio heater: AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Commercial Patio Heater
- Runner-up gas patio heater: Sahara 13KW Heat Focus Gas Patio Heater
- Best electric patio heater: Oypla Electrical 2KW Quartz Garden Patio Heater
- Best tabletop patio heater: Kingfisher PH300 Gas Tabletop Patio Heater
BEST GAS PICK
This stand-alone patio heater is quite tall at 226cm (89 inches) and puts out enough heat to cover a 25m2 area. That’s enough space to hold a dinner party comfortably at your patio table on a late summer evening. With heat settings from low to high to choose from, you’ll be warm from late afternoon until after the sun goes down. Safety features from a stable base to the shut-off tilt valve give you freedom from worrying about the heater when you’re using it.
If you’re looking for a stand-alone patio heater that is built to last, consider this AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Commercial Patio Heater.
RUNNER UP GAS PICK
One outstanding feature, which makes it a great choice, is the Heat Focus round reflector at the top of the heater. By changing the angle, you can direct the heat to wherever you want, even to the side to warm your dining area for an al fresco meal. The Sahara 13KW patio heater comes with a five-year warranty, another exceptional feature. Warranties are usually for one or two years.
The Sahara 13KW Heat Focus Gas Patio Heater could be for you if you want a well-supported patio heater which can direct the heat on your patio to just where you need it.
BEST ELECTRIC PICK
What sets the Oypla 2KW Quartz patio heater apart are the features that let you put the heat just where you want it. The stand can be adjusted to different height from 174.5cm to 210cm. If you and your guests are standing around, you’ll want to use the tallest height. For eating at your patio dining table, you can adjust the quartz lamp lower and so closer to you. The quartz lamp casing adjusts by 45 degrees both up and down so you can angle the heat towards you.
The Oypla Electrical 2KW Quartz Garden Patio is a good choice if you want an electric patio heater that gives you options for where the heat goes.
Chimineas and Fire Pits
Our reviews here focus on electric or gas patio heaters because that’s what most people are probably looking for visiting this page. There are of course fire pits and chimineas that are a great source of heat and an excellent alternative to patio heaters for outdoors, they sometimes double as a grill too which is handy.
BEST TABLETOP PICK
To adjust the heat, just turn a large knob on the sturdy base. This 88cm (34.5 inches) tall patio heater has a large reflector at its top that directs the heat downwards over the table. It’s not too heavy at 8kg (18 pounds) and the powder-coated steel adds to its durability.
The Kingfisher PH300 Gas Tabletop Patio Heater is worth considering if you’re looking for a patio heater that directly covers all of your outdoors dining table.
BEST UMBRELLA MOUNTED MODEL
Top 9 Patio Heater Reviews
1. AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Commercial Patio Heater
BEST GAS PICK
The AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Commercial Patio Heater is a stylish addition to your patio décor. This gas heater is constructed of commercial-grade stainless steel that not only looks sleek and contemporary but also adds years to the life of the patio heater. You can fill the base of the heater with either water or sand for added stability without spoiling its look. Two wheels at the base of the heater allow you to easily move it around your patio or decking to exactly where you need it. This is a tall heater at 226cm (89 inches) so it will tower above anything else on your patio and it will be out of the way of taller people.
The AmazonBasics patio heater puts out an impressive 46,000 BTUs of heat, cast out in a 550cm (18 feet) circle to give heat to 23m2 of your outdoor space. This is enough to cover your guests at your large patio table and chairs when dining outdoors.
You control the heat output by simply turning a large knob from low settings to high. The shut-off function is also available through this knob. The AmazonBasics heater has a welcome safety feature in its shut-off tilt valve. If the patio heater tips over or is pushed, the gas will be turned off immediately.
This patio heater is covered under the AmazonBasics one-year limited warranty.
- The commercial-grade stainless steel construction makes the heater sturdy and contemporary looking.
- Piezo ignition starts with the push of a button – it’s that easy.
- Safety shut-off tilt valve in case the heater tips or is pushed over.
- Variable heat control for low and high settings, and to turn the heater off simply turn the large knob.
- 46,000 BTUs heat an area 550cm (18 feet) in diameter.
- The base is fillable with water or sand for added stability.
- Two wheels attached to the bottom for ease of moving the heater around.
- Tall heater at 226cm (89 inches) so it’s out of the way when people are standing.
- A standard (13kg) gas bottle plus the regulator is a tight fit and difficult to get into the appropriate space.
- Difficult to remove the blue protective coating of the individual stainless steel parts when assembling the heater.
- Time-consuming, around one hour, to assemble.
The AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Patio Heater is a solid and well-constructed heater made of commercial-grade stainless steel. Its tall height (226cm) puts it out of your way and its circle of heat (23m2) creates a warm, cosy area for you and your guests. You can easily adjust the heat it puts out by turning a large knob and selecting the setting you want.
Safety features include a base that can contain water or sand to give stability to the unit. In addition, there’s a shut-off tilt valve to turn off the gas if the heater tilts or falls.
Many online reviewers report a design problem of the difficulty in fitting a standard 13kg gas bottle into the heater compartment; it has a restricted height. Some have managed to do so by manipulating the bolts and screws but others have given up and purchased 11kg or 9kg gas bottles instead. The assembly of the AmazonBasics patio heater has mixed reviews. People say that the instructions are clear but that it’s time-consuming, about one hour, to put the heater together. Of particular irritation to some reviewers is the difficulty of removing the blue protective plastic from the individual stainless steel pieces. However, this protective covering does keep the stainless steel scratch-free.
We highly recommend the AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Commercial Patio Heater and we’ve made it the Best Pick of our best patio heaters review.
2. Sahara 13kW Heat Focus Patio Heater with adjustable heat focus reflector
RUNNER UP GAS PICK
The Sahara 13kW Heat Focus Free Standing Gas Patio Heater is a stylish and modern outdoor heater with some great features not seen on other models. This model stands out due to its brilliant (and adjustable) heat focus reflector that precisely directs heat to where it’s needed. The heat focus has been proven to increase heat around a garden table by up to 300% compared with models without this feature. Additionally, the aluminium made reflector is extra wide to provide burner protection against the wind too.
The problem with most large freestanding heaters, because they cannot go in the centre of a table, they usually get placed towards one side which means a lot of heat is wasted, however, what we like about this model that seems to be a unique feature is that you can reflect the heat to one side if needed, so if a few people are sat at a table, you can reflect most of the heat towards the table.
The heater also features a variable heat control, so after focusing heat to your desired area, you can further adjust the temperature output accordingly, you can turn it down while still sending a lot of heat one way if needed which saves on gas and lowers the running costs. This model is easy to light thanks to the piezo ignition and it can burn for up to 45 hours on a 13kg Calor cylinder. Your gas cylinder can tuck away in the storage area, which shuts nicely to maintain the sleek look and shape.
Safety is a major concern when it comes to using a patio heater, especially gas models. You want to make sure that your heater has the right features to minimise risks in case an accident ever happens. The Sahara 13kW heater is equipped with an anti-tilt switch that will cut out the flame immediately if the unit topples over. Speaking of flame, if the flame fails to start or goes out unexpectedly, there’s an intelligent flame failure device that will shut off the gas.
The body has been painted with a powder-coated steel casing that ensures maximum rust resistance and durability but we still recommend buying a cover to protect it when not in use. If you want to store the patio heater away, then you can always utilise its handy wheels and roll it to the garage or garden shed. Be sure to invest in a Sahara cover to avoid rust and damage during the winter seasons.
Features & Specifications
- Comes with adjustable heat focusing reflector that means you can reflect the heat where its needed most to reduce wasted heat.
- Fast ignition using piezo which means it easy and safe to light.
- Powerful heat output of 13kW.
- Variable heat control to ensure optimum heat levels.
- Works with both propane or butane gas.
- Includes anti-tilt safety feature and flame failure feature.
- Easy to transport by tilting and using the wheels.
- Powder-coated steel outer casing protects against rust.
- Weight: 23kg.
- Dimensions – Diameter 865mm x Height 2250mm.
- 5 Year warranty for full peace of mind.
- Assembling can be a little challenging – ideally, you need two people and it takes around 30-45 minutes.
Here we have a very versatile patio heater with a brilliant heat focus reflector that we haven’t seen on any other models and what an amazingly useful feature. Combined with temperature control, this heater produces exactly the amount of warmth you need.
What we really like is how you can direct the heat to one area, this is great because it reduces the amount of heat that is wasted. This feature also helps reduce gas usage because you can turn it down and reflect the heat one way and it’s still very effective and kicks out a lot of heat.
Assembly could be easier, but that’s usually a one-time thing that shouldn’t deter you, it does take around 30-45 minutes to get up and running. So all things considered, the Sahara 13kW Heat Focus Patio Heater is probably the best gas heater we have seen, don’t forget to get a regulator for the gas hose as it doesn’t come with one.
Overall this is an amazing model, you can purchase cheaper and similar models but this model is the best model by far and is worth every penny. The reflector feature is amazing.
3. Oypla Electrical 2KW Quartz Garden Patio Heater
BEST ELECTRIC PICK
The Oypla Electrical 2KW Quartz Garden Patio Heater is a black-coloured steel patio heater that won’t look out of place in any garden. This stand-alone heater has some features – adjustable height and angle – that other heaters don’t which may help you in your decision as to which electric patio heater to buy.
Starting at the bottom, the base is intentionally made heavy to give stability to the heater and to make it difficult to tip over. The patio heater is 183cm (6 feet) tall, the heater head is about 38cm (15 inches) wide and the base is 46cm (18 inches). But the dimensions don’t tell the whole story – you can adjust the height of the stand to raise and lower the heat source. The lowest position is 174.5cm (69 inches) and the highest point is 210cm (83 inches) above the ground. So if you’re sitting down to a meal you might want the heat source closer to you at a lower height.
The three heat settings are for 650W, 1350W and 2000W of power. You change the setting by gently tugging on a pull cord. One tug is for the lowest setting, two tugs for the medium setting and three tugs gives you the highest setting. You can direct the heat towards you and your guests by moving the quartz tube casing up or down by up to 45 degrees.
The safety overheating feature stops the patio heater from overheating by turning it off if it gets too hot. While the Oypla heater is waterproof, the manufacturer recommends not using it in the rain.
- Electric stand-alone patio heater.
- Black-coated steel fits in with any patio décor.
- The heavy base gives extra stability so it’s difficult to knock over.
- Three heat settings for cool and colder nights.
- Cord-pull switch to turn it on and adjust the heat easily.
- The heating element is a quartz tube and gives up to 2KW of heat.
- Adjustable stand means you can put this patio heater at just the right height for whatever you’re doing.
- An adjustable heating element so that you can direct the heat onto you and your guests.
- Safety protection against overheating so that you can relax when it’s on.
- Bracket included securing the heater to a wall for extra stability.
- Ideal for domestic and commercial use so you know that it’s durable and robust.
- Relatively inexpensive.
- Assembly instructions are not very clear.
- The heating element casing gets hot, so don’t place this heater near anything combustible.
- Heat output not as much as reviewers expected; you need to be in front of the heater and close to it to feel any of it.
- The power lead it comes with is short so you need an extension cord.
- Poor customer service with unreturned phone calls and no replacements for broken parts.
The Oypla Electrical 2KW Quartz Garden Patio Heater is a powerful patio heater with some additional features that you’ll find useful. This patio heater has a stylish somewhat organic appearance, with a round base and an oval heating casing. Everything is in black-coloured steel.
This heater is easy to use. You toggle between the three heat settings by pulling a cord. The additional features allow you to place the heat exactly where you want it. You can adjust the height of the stand to bring the quartz lamp closer to you or further away. The quartz tube casing is adjustable as well to direct the heat accurately where it’s needed.
While the Oypla Electrical 2KW Quartz patio heater can heat up to 2KW, some online reviewers state that the heater doesn’t get as hot as they expected. Additionally, they highlight that you need to be close to the heater and in front of it to really feel the heat. The heating element casing also gets hot so be careful to keep children away when the heater is on.
Poor customer service spoiled the experiences of owning this patio heater for some reviewers. The manufacturer didn’t return some phone calls and wouldn’t replace items that arrived damaged or broken.
Given its 2KW power and additional features, we recommend the Oypla Electrical 2KW Quartz Garden Patio Heater and select it as the Best Electric Pick in our review of the best patio heaters.
4. Fire Mountain Floor Standing Bullet Stainless Steel Gas Patio HeaterNo products found.
The Fire Mountain Floor Standing Bullet Stainless Steel Gas Patio Heater provides an awesome way to bring heat and light into your outdoor space. Coming in a sleek stainless steel body that has been designed to resist heat and rust, this model is sure to offer you service for many seasons to come. The strong construction also guarantees stability during use and it kicks out a lot of heat.
At 133cm it’s just the right height if you are sitting at a garden table, not too small yet not too tall either. This powerful heater features variable temperature control, with an adjustable output between 5000W and 13000W. This allows you to control the amount of heat required to keep your family and friends warm during chilly evenings and overall it just looks amazing, very stylish.
For lighting the heater, this model uses piezo battery ignition, which is quick to light, easy to use and the safest method. The Bullet patio heater works with propane or butane gas, however, the supplied gas regulator is only compatible with propane bottles (the green ones) and it becomes a real tight fit putting the bottle inside.
Finally, it’s equipped with a safety cut-off switch that will automatically turn off the gas in case it’s tilted, a feature that comes with all trusted patio heaters. Whilst the stainless steel body withstands the elements very well, we recommend covering it when not in use to keep it in top-notch condition at all times. Alternatively, you can store it away in the garage or inside your garden shed. Be ready for some home assembly, not too difficult but easier with a second pair of hands for sure.
Features & Specification
- Variable power output: 5000W to 13000W.
- Supplied with hose and 27mm gas regulator.
- Piezo battery ignition ensures it’s very easy to start.
- Sleek stainless steel body – highly resistant to heat and corrosion.
- Can work with propane or butane gas.
- Dimensions: 133cm x 54cm
- The space for keeping a gas canister is a little tight when the regulator is on the top, so you’ll need some magic to fit the regulator together with the gas pipe but it does fit.
The Fire Mountain Floor Standing Bullet Hester is an elegantly looking patio heater with a fantastic ‘bullet’ design and its kicks out lots of heat. The construction is pretty solid and that’s what you want from a patio heater that will be exposed to all sorts of elements outdoors. Just remember to invest in a cover because (as with all garden heaters) it will eventually start to rust and we are yet to find a model that 100% doesn’t start to rust a little.
Something that does stand out with this model is that the power output is immense. It is easy to use thanks to piezo battery ignition and virtually no maintenance except exercising a little care for longevity.
Without any performance issues to worry about, we think this patio heater is a good deal, worth the investment and probably one of the best models available, well worth the extra cost. Probably the best-looking model too.
No products found.
5. Kingfisher PH300 Gas Tabletop Patio Heater
BEST TABLETOP PICK
The Kingfisher PH300 Tabletop Patio Heater is perfect for placing in the centre of a patio table with the option to either feed the hose through the parasol hole out of sight or, over the edge of the table if needed. It is constructed from strong steel that is also rust-resistant thanks to the green powder-coated finish. For the perfect temperature, the Kingfisher heater features a variable heat control for you to adjust the levels of heat you want simply by turning the large knob on the front of the heater. This can be altered between around 1kW to 4Kw so will keep a good-sized table with 5 or 6 people warm on cooler evenings.
The large integrated Piezo ignition turns on the patio heater by simply pressing it to ignite the gas. It does not come with a regulator so you do need to purchase one separately, however, it does come with the hose. The heater overall is not too heavy at around 8kg but the base is heavily built to support the heater’s weight and provide proper stability which means it is firm and won’t fall over.
Overall, it stands at around 88cm tall with a width of around 53cm and is from a well-known brand, you can trust.
Features & Specification
- Heavy base and very robust for extra stability.
- Variable heat control from 1Kw to 4Kw on full
- High-quality steel construction and powered coated layer.
- Includes gas hose.
- Easy and fast connect system along the hose line.
- Fast and easy ignition.
- Fully protected reflector for total safety.
- Stainless steel burner.
- Safety anti-tilt switch and flame failure device.
- Works on Butane or propane gas.
- Does not include a regulator so this needs to be purchased separately but any good DIY store will stock them or you can easily order one online.
The Kingfisher PH300 Tabletop Patio Heater is probably one of the best models we have come across, this explains why it’s also a very popular choice on Amazon.co.uk with many positive reviews from people just like us.
It’s super stable and we also like the way the cable can be dropped down the hole where a parasol umbrella would go. Overall, this is a great model and it’s just a shame it doesn’t come with a regulator, however, this is not a problem because they are easy to obtain from any DIY store but it just means there’s an added expense, probably around a £10, maybe cheaper online. It would also be nice to see it in stainless steel although the green colour does look good.
If you’re after a tabletop patio heater, then this model is worth considering but just remember to add a regulator to your order when ordering one, nothing worse than getting it home and having purchased a new gas bottle, only to learn there is no gas regulator in the box which means another journey to B&Q.
6. Littleborough Furniture Company Quartz Glass Tube Real Flame Patio Heater
If you’re looking to make an architectural statement with your patio heater, the Littleborough Furniture Company Quartz Glass Tube Real Flame is one you should look at. This stand-alone gas patio heater has a striking pyramid design and a sleek stainless steel finish that will make it the centre of attention on your patio. The stand is square (50cm x 50cm) and the heater tapers as it goes upwards. It’s topped by a stainless steel reflector to direct the heat downwards.
The heat is delivered by a quartz tube and the reflector. The height of the flame in the tube depends on which heat setting you choose. There are three heat settings – high, medium and low – and the hotter the output, the higher up the tube the flame goes. Surrounding the glass tube on all sides are stainless steel screens that add to the modern appearance.
You can use propane, butane or LPG to fuel the Littleborough Furniture Company Quartz Glass Tube Real Flame patio heater. The heater comes with a regulator and hose for a propane bottle. You have to buy your own attachments for the other two types of gas.
This patio heater has safety in mind with the anti-tilt safety switch. If the heater tilts or falls – perhaps someone falls against it – the gas supply to the flame is immediately cut off to prevent a fire.
- Stainless steel construction provides durability and rust and corrosion resistance.
- The stand is square and measures 50cm (20 inches) by 50cm.
- Quartz tube and reflector deliver the heat downwards towards you.
- Three heat settings: high, medium and low for your comfort in cooler temperatures.
- Uses propane, LPG or butane gas that gives you flexibility in choosing your fuel.
- Regulator and hose for a propane bottle are included; you just need to buy the gas bottle.
- An anti-tilt safety switch that cuts out the gas if the heater tips over.
- Tall base and reflector only direct heat down so far.
- The protective covering is difficult to peel off the individual parts when assembling the heater.
- Time-consuming to assemble.
- Uses gas quickly on high heat; better on low and medium.
If you’re not too shy to make a design statement with your patio accessories, then the Littleborough Furniture Company Quartz Glass Tube Real Flame Patio Heater is one to consider. It’s quite a large and tall heater so make sure that you have the space for it.
Assembling this heater draws mixed responses from online reviewers. Some found it difficult and time-consuming to assemble, especially with the included tools; others put this patio heater together by themselves in 30 minutes. Many agreed, though, that most of their energy and time was spent removing the blue plastic protective covering from the stainless steel parts.
A quartz tube with a live flame within it provides the heat and a stainless steel reflector at the top of the heater directs it downwards. Some reviewers state that the heat only comes down so far. It’s alright when you’re standing next to the heater but you can’t really feel the warmth if you’re sitting down. Using the heater on high for the warmth uses up the gas quickly; medium and low are more economical settings to use.
The Littleborough Furniture Company Quartz Glass Tube Real Flame Patio heater is a statement piece on your patio that produces an average amount of heat.
7. Firefly 1.5kW Hanging Copper Halogen Infrared Patio HeaterNo products found.
As the title suggests, the Firefly 1.5kW Hanging Electric Infrared Patio Heater is designed to be attached to a ceiling, tent, gazebo or any such structure. The heater provides heat to an area of up to 9 square metres (95 sqft), making it perfect for small gatherings on your patio or a designated area indoors. The manufacturer says it’s great for restaurants, pubs and clubs too.
The unit uses a halogen bulb with an incredible lifespan of 3000 hours. With just one power setting, the patio heater produces 1500W consistently, which is more than enough for a unit hanging 6ft above the floor. Bear in mind that if you are installing this electric heater within a gazebo or tent, it should be hung 30 to 50cm below the ceiling to avoid too much heat burning the structure. It comes with a 5m power cord, allowing you to find a plug socket easily.
In terms of aesthetics, this outdoor heater has got the visual appeal. The model is available in copper, black, silver and white, although the copper variant is more expensive than the other versions at the time of writing this article. They are all pretty much affordable, however, your final choice will come down to personal taste.
With an IP24 weatherproof rating, this heater is suitable for outdoor installation. This model is cheap to run as well, consuming just less than 18p an hour, and without ongoing maintenance costs. The frame is made from anodised aluminium alloy, which is long-lasting and durable. Not only does this heater provide heat, but it also makes a great source of light, perfect for socialising late into the night.
Features & Specification
- Type of heater: Halogen, Electric, Infrared.
- Power settings: 1500W.
- Lamp life: 3000 hours.
- Approximate heating area: 9m² (96ft²).
- Hanging chain: 50cm.
- Cheap to run: less than 18p per hour.
- Weatherproof IP24 rating for both indoor and outdoor use.
- Multifunctional heater: a source of both heat and light.
- Dimensions: 27cm H x 42cm D.
- No multiple power settings, meaning you can’t increase the heat supply if the outdoor temperatures are very low.
This model is perfect for home and commercial users alike. It easily hangs from a ceiling and can also be used inside sizeable tents, gazebos and awnings as long as you are responsible enough. This is truly an all-round heater that’s inexpensive to operate, easy to maintain and highly weatherproof.
There’s nothing wrong with this heater except the lack of multiple power settings. If you want a patio heater with adjustable power output, you can top up to the price of this heater and get one with multiple settings. Otherwise, the Firefly 1.5kW Ceiling Hanging Copper Halogen Bulb Electric Infrared Heater is arguably the best patio heater you can get on a budget.
No products found.
8. Heatmaster 2.0KW Umbrella Mount Infrared Heater
BEST UMBRELLA MOUNTED MODEL
The Heatmaster U3-R/G20 patio heater is an amazing umbrella mounted infrared model with the added option to buy a hanging ceiling mount and this means it can also be fitted underneath a gazebo or under a cantilever parasol where the pole is not in the centre.
Featuring four 500 watt red infrared heads, they can be powered in pairs which means you can just heat up 180 degrees, rather than the whole 360 degrees under the umbrella.
British designed with quality in mind and it has been manufactured from the best-pressed steel and aluminium, this ensures it’s suitable for both indoor and outdoor environments so it can be used underneath canopies like gazebos (as already mentioned) etc.
The heat is directed to the people underneath using short wave infra-red electric halogen technology rather than heating the whole area and air which wastes energy. This is achieved by using red ruby lamps that come complete with safety guards and highly polished quality reflectors to ensure the heat is evenly spread.
Features & Specification
- Fits onto most garden umbrellas with a pole size of 25-55mm.
- The four – 500w infrared heaters direct heat to people and not into the air which means they are unaffected by wind.
- High-quality ruby lamps that incorporate safety guards and highly polished quality reflectors for even heat distribution.
- High quality pressed steel and aluminium construction.
- Easy to use, plug into electric and then its ready to use and provides instant heat.
- Can be used indoors and outdoors.
- Features 2 switches so two lamps can be used at once or all 4 for heating a full 360 degrees.
- Doesn’t produce as much heat as a gas patio heater and when it gets chilly it may struggle a little.
We looked at a few models that mounted to umbrellas, however, this model was the only one we felt confident in recommending. We think this is a great option for anyone who sits underneath a garden umbrella in the evening because it directs the heat to you rather than like a gas patio heater that heats everything around it.
The infrared technology really is clever because it just directs heat to the people sitting underneath rather than heating the air and this makes it a more economical and efficient heating solution.
Something we did wonder was whether it could be used with the cantilever type parasols because the pole is not central, however, you can buy a ceiling/gazebo mounting kit meaning it can be dangled down on chains.
Overall it is really simple to fit most umbrella poles and includes everything you need. We also like that it has two switches so you can only heat half the umbrella if there are only a couple of people sitting underneath the umbrella, which makes it even more efficient to run. Finally, it can also be fitted under a gazebo and it’s not too heavy at under 5kg. If you have an umbrella this is the model for you.
9. Firefly 1.8kW Wall Mounted Quartz Patio Heater
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 that gives 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 cosiness. What exactly makes it ideal for socialising at night is because it’s both a source of heat and light.
With less than 9p per hour at current electric rates, the Firefly 1.8kW is one of the cheapest to run models saving some pennies 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 that allow you to customise 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 that in turn heat the surrounding objects. These elements help you to feel warm quicker.
Features & Specification
- Three 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.
- The Firefly 1.8Kw is advertised as for use ‘outdoors’ and is IPX4 rated but seems not weatherproof enough because some online reviews have reported problems and this, of course, raises concerns on its outdoor use. However, it does come with a 2-year warranty so you should be covered should it become faulty.
We highly recommend that you don’t expose the heater to elements if you want it to serve you for longer, maybe a perfect choice for under a fixed gazebo or in a garage or shed. Overall, a great idea and a great price but it doesn’t seem to be quite as suitable for using outdoors like it claims.
What to consider when choosing the right garden heater
Patio heater running costs – Gas vs Electric
The prices shown below are estimated costs and will vary, we wouldn’t advise basing your choice of whether to go for a gas or electric heater only on the running cost because there is a lot more to consider. However, it’s worth bearing the running cost in mind because they are significantly different. Personally, I don’t think you can beat a gas patio heater but electric patio heaters are also very popular.
Gas patio heater running cost – Approximately 62p – £1.20 per hour
Gas patio heaters are the most expensive to run and running costs can vary depending on output and gas prices. On average most smaller gas models use 0.25kg of gas per hour, if you combine this with the cost of a 13kg gas bottle, the gas heater should last around 52 hours on full, which works out at around 62p per hour running cost.
Of course, this figure can differ slightly depending on how efficient the heater is but this should be about right for most gas garden heaters. A larger model, like our top gas pick, could easily cost around £1.20 per hour because it’s 13Kw and uses a lot more gas per hour.
Electric patio heater running cost – Approximately 29.2p per hour
Electric patio heaters are much cheaper, both to buy and run, however, they don’t give out as much heat but they are still very effective. If you look at the Firefly 2Kw Electric Patio Heater that uses 2Kw per hour, we take 14.7p as the cost per Kw and times it by 2, this gives us a running cost of around 29.2p per hour. These figures are only approximate and it still varies depending on your electricity costs and heat settings. Most electric heaters use 2Kw so the electricity use is usually very similar no matter which infrared model you choose.
Types of Patio Heaters
Patio heaters have advanced over the years and come in many forms, the most popular are free standing models, followed by tabletop heaters, however, you can also get some more innovative models that attach to the pole of your parasol u and hang down under mbrellasgazebos. You can also get wall-mounted models.
- Freestanding patio heaters – Probably the most popular type of outdoor heater, free-standing models usually use gas but you can get some electric models too. If you choose gas, usually everything is self-contained with the gas bottle placed inside the heater with no wires to trip over and they are ideal for heating larger areas. These models are perfect for moving around because even the heavier gas models have wheels.
- Wall-mounted patio heaters – If you need an outdoor heater that can be permanently fixed and is 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 or sitting close-by. They are usually mounted high up on the wall and are in positions that allow you to change the angle of the heat.
- Tabletop patio heaters – The name says it all; these models 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 because you’ll enjoy 360-degree heat from the heater so that everybody is warmed. These come in both gas and electric.
- Hanging patio heaters – Usually infrared, these types of heater are securely fastened using a chain link and hang down. They are useful if you have a gazebo or pergola where you can hang one above head height. They obviously don’t take up any space which is a big plus, especially if you only have a smaller patio area.
- Umbrella mounted patio heater – We really like these and they are usually electric and feature 3 or 4 infrared bulbs. They can be quickly fastened to the pole of a parasol umbrella which is very useful and it means the tablespace is kept clear which can be useful.
Heat output considerations
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 because they effectively need to heat up larger areas around them.
Tabletop heaters don’t need to be quite much power because they only need to heat the nearby area around the table. So you’ll find most of them with a heat output of about 12,000 BTU at the most.
Wall-mounted heaters are the least powerful and they tend to be the smallest in size too. They usually have an output of about 3000 BTU and are perfect for outdoor areas where you have a wall it can be fixed to.
Gas, electric or solid fuel?
Most models are usually powered by gas or electricity. Gas gives off a lot more heat and feels very warm and is perfect for warming up larger areas, however, you need to buy gas, usually, propane which means going down to your local hardware store or gas supplier now and again to change the bottle when it’s empty. It’s also the most expensive to run as we have already explained at the start.
For those looking for a more environmentally friendly option, electric patio heaters should be great alternatives to gas models. They are, by far, the cheapest to run but they don’t tend to produce as much heat and you generally need to be sat or stood close to the heater to benefit from the heat. They are designed to warm you and not the air around you. Being electric means you don’t have to worry about getting new gas bottles which is a bonus and they tend to heat up instantly too. If you are just sitting around a table socialising they work well, however, if you’re trying to heat a specific area of your patio, then they are not the best choice and gas patio heaters do a much better job.
Other factors to consider
How heavy is it?
Patio heaters are usually constructed from stainless steel and heavier ones tend to be of higher quality than lighter garden heaters. The heaviest patio heaters can reach up to 54kg without the tank, so you need to consider if you can move it around even if it comes with wheels, which most large gas models do. Electric heaters are usually much lighter and very easy to carry. A small gas tabletop heater can still weigh 8kg without the gas bottle.
Size of reflector
The reflector’s function is to distribute heat to the surrounding area and is usually fitted to gas models. They come in different sizes and the bigger the reflector the more it emits heat into wider areas. You should be keen on this function because some models come in a stylish appearance but are supplied with less effective reflectors. Some models even come with adjustable reflectors so you can reflect the heat in a certain direction and this can mean more heat concentration when on a lower setting, which saves gas.
Patio heater build quality
This simply means the materials the patio heater is made from. Many models feature high-grade stainless steel at the base, head, pole and reflector. Obviously, don’t expect such full-body steel constructed models to come in under £100.
Material is an essential aspect to consider because the 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. Electric models tend to be less robust than their gas counterparts.
Ignition control – How easy is it to light?
Most gas patio heaters feature the standard piezo electric ignition for lighting or turning on/off. But, you’ll find some of them equipped with contemporary ignition such as electronic or auto-ignition. Electric models are the easiest to start because you simply just switch them on, whereas, gas models can be a little trickier.
Safety – auto shut-off – safety tilt features
The standard safety features in most patio heaters include a safety tilt feature that automatically shuts the heater off if it falls over. This is an essential feature to look for.
Warranty – 5 years is great, 2 years is adequate
Last but not least, is the warranty information clear? Manufacturers who give a longer warranty are usually convinced about the durability of their products. A product with a 5-year warranty says a lot about its quality compared to one with just a 1 year warranty. Look for models that ideally have at least 2 years if possible.
There are no excuses for not spending as many summer and autumn evenings in your garden as you can. Patio heaters warm up your outdoor dining area, patio or decking so you can relax there long after the sun goes down.
This Best Patio Heater review has introduced and recommended heaters that work on butane, propane and LPG gas or on electricity. Take a look at your patio or decking and see whether one of our Best Picks will suit your needs.
Our Best Gas Pick of patio heaters is the AmazonBasics Stainless Steel Commercial Patio Heater. This stand-alone gas patio heater is both durable and stylish and puts out impressive heat. The Runner-up in this category is the Sahara 13KW Heat Focus Gas Patio Heater. This is a patio heater with which you can fully control where who and what is heated.
The Best Pick for electric patio heaters goes to the Oypla Electrical 2KW Quartz Garden Patio heater. With an adjustable height and an adjustable heater casing, you can efficiently use the impressive amount of warmth it produces.
The Kingfisher PH300 Gas Table Top Patio Heater is our selection as the Best Pick model of tabletop patio heaters. This 88cm tall heater has a sturdy base to stop people from knocking it over as they reach for more food. And the reflector directs the warmth downwards towards the table. Now that you can spend more time outdoors in the cooler weather with your patio heater, consider upgrading your barbeque.
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Last update on 2023-11-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API