There’s nothing like spending the evening on your patio entertaining friends, cooking and enjoying the fresh air.
When wintertime comes around though, the comfort of being outside can quickly disappear, but that doesn’t mean we want to spend the entire season cooped up inside the house.
A patio heater is a cozy solution to this problem, allowing you to enjoy the crisp outdoor air and spend time outside on your patio, without having to worry about the cold weather.
Finding the best patio heater is a matter of choosing one that meets the size and style of your patio, as well as any other special features you might need.
What is the best patio heater on the market?
are loads of options for patio heaters, whether you want something gas or electricity powered, one that uses infrared, a standing unit, or a tabletop device, so it’s up to you to decide first what you need.
You’ll also have to factor in how much heat you require, the space you have, and what design features it needs to fit into the décor of your outdoor entertaining area.
A quality and reliable heater means you can enjoy your patio no matter the season, and it adds a level of warmth and comfort that you won’t find anywhere else.
If you’re sick of staying indoors when the temperature drops and want to keep entertaining and enjoying the outdoors even in winter, check out our guide to finding the best patio heater for you.
When the night turns chilly or you have plans for entertaining in the winter, having the best outdoor patio heater at the ready can be a lifesaver. We’ve hand-picked some of our favorite patio heater options to suit this space and in all shapes and sizes, so you can find the perfect fit for the heart of your home.
Best Patio Heater – Reviews & Buying guide for 2020
Best Patio Heater: Hiland Quartz Glass Tube Heater
Height: 91 inches
Heat Output: 40,000 BTUs
If you’re after a tall, sleek, and comforting patio heater to suit your outdoor style, our absolute favorite is the Hiland Quartz Glass Heater.
This quartz glass and stainless steel heater is durable and stylish, with a 91-inch height and variable heat settings that will be the standout of your patio, and give enough warmth to cover as many guests as you have over.
What made this the favorite of the best patio heater reviews was how low it was priced for a glass tube heater, and just how much of an impact it made on their patio.
The quartz glass and stainless steel design make it look a lot more expensive than it was, and it gives the average homeowner a chance to spruce up their outdoor area with an appliance that’s practical as well.
The biggest disadvantage of this heater was the assembly, with many people spending over an hour just to set it up. If you’re already not mechanically minded it might help to get some assistance putting yours together, otherwise, you can easily spend a few hours on it.
There are quite a few bits and pieces that need attention, so it’s not a job to be rushed, but once it’s assembled you can leave it up to enjoy for years to come.
The Hiland Quartz Glass Heater emits 40,000 BTUs and has variable controls so you can decide just how much heat you require. It’s easy to move around with wheels on the base and it has an anti-tilt function that prevents it from tipping over, so you can feel peace of mind when it’s on and you’re not around.
It fits a 20-pound propane tank and will give you 10 hours of use on its highest setting, with many hours more when it’s running on low.
Priced at around $230 when you shop on Amazon, it’s a bargain for this style of heater. You’ll also benefit from free shipping and a one year warranty from Hiland, so you’ll be hard-pressed finding another glass tube heater that can beat it.
The Hiland Quartz Glass Heater is the best propane patio heater on the market and our top pick for keeping you cozy while you enjoy the cooler conditions outdoors.
Runner Up: Fire Sense Pro Series Heater
Size: 89 inches
Heat Ouput: 46,000 BTUs
The Fire Sense Pro Series Heater is serious business and ideal for homes that want a sturdy and solid machine working for them.
Using a 20lbs gas tank, it’s able to burn for more than 10 hours on its highest setting, and you’ll be impressed by just how much heat it’s able to give off, even in the coldest of temperatures.
Standing at a tall 89 inches, it’ll provide heat up high and down low, and be the focal point of any entertaining you do out on the patio.
The strength of this heater is what impressed customers so much and earner it a higher price tag than most we’ve reviewed. Made with a heavy-duty stainless steel on the base and smaller parts, it’s clear that this heater from Fire Sense has been built to last many years.
There’s no fear of it tipping over and becoming damaged even if it were to fall, so if you spend a lot of time using your heater on the patio, it might be worth spending extra just for the might of it.
As one of the more expensive options we’ve reviewed, some minor things stopped it from being the best natural gas patio heater.
The biggest issue was for its size and price, customers didn’t like that it only fits a 20lbs tank. Some users claimed they used a 30lb propane tank with no issue, but you shouldn’t go against the manufacturer’s guidelines in terms of choosing a safe size.
The Fire Sense Pro Series Heater runs on 46,000 BTUs, making it mid-range in its heat. Using an electronic ignition function, there’s no need to wait around for it to heat up to its ideal temperature, and it turns on and off with the push of a button.
If you like to entertain on a whim or spend nights on the patio with little notice, this will be hugely beneficial for your heater to have.
To equip your patio with the Fire Sense Pro Series Heater, head to Amazon for the best price of around $480 plus shipping. Fire Sense offers a one year warranty on this heater and judging by the countless happy customers, it’s a well-made device that will serve your home well for many years.
With a quality propane heater that takes mere seconds to warm up, you’ll be ready for any outdoor entertaining that comes your way.
Best Table Top Patio Heater: Hiland Tabletop Portable Heater
Size: 38 inches
Heat output: 11,000 BTUs
When you don’t need a large tower heater to keep your guests toasty and would rather the warmth stays just around the table, our favorite choice is the Hiland Tabletop Portable Heater.
Measuring just 38 inches tall and producing 11,000 BTUs of comforting warmth, it’s more than enough to keep you and your guests comfortable and toasty as you enjoy drinks and dinner out on the patio.
The best thing about this portable heater is how well it travels, so there’s no need to use it solely on your patio if you don’t want. The entire unit weighs around 19lbs so you can carry it anywhere outdoors that has a power supply.
Measuring 38 inches high, it’s perfect for tabletops but would do just as well on the ground, thanks to its safety features and warm heat output.
On the bad side of things, you’ll only get a few hours of heat from the tank if you have it running on high. This means you’ll need to replace the tank whenever it runs out, compared to a larger standing style of heater that can run all night.
Whether or not this is a nuisance will depend on your usual entertaining hours, so it might not be a bother to everyone.
The Hiland Tabletop Portable Heater takes a 1lb propane tank or 20lb tank if you have an adapter hose, however, it’s not included with the purchase.
The heater features a screen guard so you remain protected from the heat, and instead only benefit from the cozy warmth that radiates from it as it burns.
You’ll also get the anti-tilt safety device that comes standard on all Hiland heaters which means peace of mind, even if you happen to have small children around the patio table.
This tabletop heater from Hiland is exceptionally priced at less than $100, and it’s a great way to extend the entertaining hours of your patio in the cold.
Hiland also covers their products with a one-year limited warranty, and when you shop on Amazon, they’ll ship it for free directly to your door. If you’re not in the market for an oversized heater and only have a small space to keep warm, the Hiland Tabletop Portable Heater is our top contender.
Runner Up: Fire Sense Table Top Heater
Size: 35 inches
Heat Output: 10,000 BTUs
Fire Sense is known for creating efficient and easy to use heaters, and their Table Top Heater is no different. This small and portable heater from Fire Sense is just under 35 inches tall and uses a 1lb propane tank to power it up.
The heater can be turned on using a one-step Piezo ignition system that uses an electric surge to get it going, which means no more waiting hours for your patio to be warm enough to enjoy.
The coolest thing about the Fire Sense Table Top Heater is how long it lasts on a single tank of propane, especially when you stack it up against the competition.
With a full 1lb propane tank, you’ll get three hours of warmth for your patio, which can be especially handy on those cold nights where nobody wants to get up and refill the tank. To get even more running time from it, keep it down to a lower setting, and enjoy the warmth all night long.
In terms of BTUs, it’s a little low at 10,000 for its heat output. Although this doesn’t matter for its size, when you compare it to other portable heaters in this category, it’s the most expensive.
This is likely due to the Fire Sense name being one of the most trusted, but if you’re after value for money and would rather something with more heat output for a tabletop style, this won’t suit.
There are loads of noteworthy features packed into the Fire Sense Tabletop Heater including safety grill guard, oxygen depletion sensor, and automatic shut off tilt valve, all of which make it one of the safest on the market.
With a solid weighted base, there’s no risk in it tipping over, and even on the windiest winter nights, you can rest assured that it’ll sit securely on the table and continue to keep everyone warm and toasty.
If you want to enjoy dining and drinking on your outdoor patio even in the colder months, the Fire Sense Tabletop Heater is a compact and portable way to do it.
Priced at around $100 on Amazon, thanks to a current promotion, it’s well within everyone’s budget. Ideal for people who only need the guests at their table to stay warm, this heater from Fire Sense is one of the safest choices around.
Best Enclosed Patio Heater: EnerG+ Outdoor Heater
Size: 16.75 inches
Not all patios are open-air, and if yours is enclosed, you’ll want the safety of the best electric patio heater to warm you up.
The EnerG+ Outdoor Heater is a stylish and modern option that hangs from the ceiling and delivers 1500W of instant and enveloping warmth to everyone sitting below it.
There’s no risk of gas inhalation or burns with this outdoor heater so if you have children and pets, you’ll feel peace of mind using it any time.
The best heater for covered patio settings looks slightly different from the other styles, and if this is what you’re after, a hanging one is best.
What people love most about this heater is that it can be used indoors and outdoors, so even when you don’t want to entertain on the patio in winter, you can bring it inside to enjoy the added warmth.
It’s the best patio heater for wind as it won’t tip over and even if it’s blowing a gale, it’ll continue to keep everyone underneath it warm.
On the downside, some people reported problems with the bulb burning out prematurely. In this case, they were able to get a replacement from the company when they let them know, but still, it’s an inconvenience that you could do without.
If yours arrives and appears to be faulty, take advantage of the free returns offered by Amazon and have it changed immediately.
The EnerG+ Outdoor Heater requires no installation and hangs instantly on a hook, so all you have to do is find the perfect place for it and it’s ready to use.
The heater turns on with a pull cord power switch that’s easy to reach, and it’s IPx4 weatherproof certified which means you can even use it safely on a rainy day and still feel the heat.
Although it doesn’t reach far distances, it will comfortably keep everyone seated around your patio table warm and dry, and with no risk of overheating or having to fill it up every few hours with a new propane tank.
To get your hands on the EnerG+ Outdoor Heater and transform your winter patio to a warm and cozy space, go to Amazon for a current sale price of around $110. EnerG+ offers a one-year limited warranty on their products and you’ll also be eligible for free postage and free returns when you shop with Amazon.
If you want a safer option for your enclosed entertaining, this outdoor and indoor heater from EnerG+ is one of our favorite finds.
Patio Heater FAQs
A patio heater is the best way to extend your entertaining months, even when the harsh temperatures of winter roll around.
With a patio heater, you can still enjoy the fresh air of the outdoors while you’re protected by a layer of warmth. If you’re brand new to these devices and want to know more, check out the answers to some commonly asked questions about how they operate.
What Is A Patio Heater?
A patio heater is a type of heater designed to be used outdoors, and it can be powered by either gas or electricity. These heaters can be standalone tubes, portable heaters, or smaller units made to sit on tabletops.
They come with different safety features that make them safe to use in smaller spaces including anti-tilt devices, oxygen detection meters, and screen guards to protect against burns, and some are designed for enclosed patio use.
How Big Of An Area Does A Patio Heater Heat?
The area that a patio heater reaches will depend entirely on its size and the heat output capabilities, which you can usually find measured in BTUs.
Larger heaters are capable of reaching For around 300 square feet of patio space, a heater with 8,000 BTUs is ideal, but for every additional 100 square feet or so, you’ll want another 1,000 BTUs capacity.
How Much Does A Patio Heater Cost?
There are varying ranges in prices for patio heaters depending on factors like style, size, safety features, power source, and heat output, as well as the brand reputation of the company that manufactures them.
A quality compact patio heater can start as cheap as $100 and they range upwards to thousands of dollars for the larger and more premium models.
How To Light A Patio Heater Manually And Keep It On?
You should never attempt to light a patio heater manually if it’s not recommended in the manufacturer’s guidelines, with most modern styles advising against it.
Many patio heaters come equipped with propane tanks that can lead to explosions, faults, and fires if not turned on the correct way, which is usually done with a dedicated power switch.
The Easy Way to Keep Cozy in the Cold
A patio heater is a great way to keep warm when the temperatures drop but they’re also a stylish addition to any outdoor entertaining area.
Whether your goal is just to keep yourself and a friend warm or to heat an entire party, there’s a heater out there that will suit perfectly, with so many options that let you choose the perfect one.
Choosing the best patio heater is a matter of finding one with features that match you and your outdoor area.
You might want something gas-powered or electric, need a lot of BTUs to keep a larger space warm, or simply want something that’s going to be portable and sit in the middle of the table to provide a light temperateness.
There’s no need to cut short your outdoor entertaining each year just because winter has come back around, and with a patio heater, you don’t have to.
With our hand-selected favorites, you’ll find the heater of your dreams that’ll add warmth to the patio table, let you stay up all night comfortably, and ensure that you never have to retreat inside when the temperatures drop.