Best Patio Heaters

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A patio and a drink are all you need for a lazy Sunday. Sadly—depending on where you live—this is mainly a summer event. 

Fortunately, there’s a solution, allowing you to enjoy your drink on the patio year-round. 

A outdoor patio heater is a fantastic way of keeping the atmosphere warm, even during the winter. In this post, we’ll show you the best patio heaters, plus a thorough buyer’s guide to help you choose.

Our top choice for the best patio heater is the Pamapic Propane-Powered Patio Heater.

Our Picks for Best Patio Heaters

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Reviews of the Best Patio Heaters

1. Pamapic Outdoor Propane-Powered Patio Heater — Best Overall

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If your skin is sensitive to dry air, we recommend the heater from Pamapic. As our overall favorite of the best patio heaters, this option releases both heat and water vapor. It keeps the atmosphere moist, preventing dry skin and eyes. 

This is a 46,000 BTU propane-powered heater with an included tank chamber. It’s capable of holding up to a 20-pound gas tank. It produces a steady flow of warmth at a range of up to 18 feet. 

The heater stands 88 inches tall but includes a tip-over protection system and wheels on the base. What we like are the reliable pulse igniter and the stainless steel burners—it’s durable and excellent for outdoor use. If you are also interested in propane heaters for indoor use, check this review.

Pros

  • Releases water vapor into the surrounding atmosphere.
  • Emits 46,000 BTU. 
  • Built-in tank chamber large enough for a 20-pound tank.
  • Has a range of up to 18 feet.
  • Produces a steady flow of heat.
  • Has a height of 88 inches. 
  • Tip-over protection. 
  • Pulse igniter.
  • Durable stainless steel burners. 

Cons

  • No door for the tank chamber—must lift the unit to change it. 
  • Instructions can be misleading. 

2. HomeLabs Gas Patio Heater — Best Free-Standing Patio Heater

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If you’re looking for the best outdoor patio heater, we suggest this option from HomeLabs. This is a tall, 87-inch propane patio heater, featuring a 32-inch reflector. It’s capable of producing a heat-output of 41,000 BTU. 

The heater comes with a sturdy base that you can fill with either water or sand for added stability. It includes wheels to easily move it to where it’s needed. 

At the center of the pole, you have a matching, adjustable round table for drinks and snacks, which is also removable. The heater consists of high-grade steel, designed to be rust-resistant and aesthetically pleasing.

It includes an easy-to-use ignition button and is compatible with either propane or butane gas. 

Pros

  • Tall, 87-inch heater. 
  • Includes a 32-inch reflector producing 41,000 BTU.
  • Sturdy base with room for water or sand for extra stability. 
  • Wheels underneath, making it more maneuverable. 
  • Comes with an adjustable and removable round table.
  • Made of high-grade steel. 
  • Features a user-friendly ignition button. 
  • Compatible with propane and butane gas. 

Cons

  • May be difficult to assemble—instructions are poorly written, and illustrations are small.
  • The gas flow to the pilot is a bit weak due to a safety feature—it might take some time to get started. 

3. Hiland HLDSO1-GTSS Quartz Glass Tube Heater — Best-Looking

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For something to spice up your patio, take a look at this option from Hiland. This is a quartz glass tube pyramid heater measuring 91 inches. As opposed to the ones above, this option displays a flame—within a confined area—that produces heat and an eye-catching centerpiece. 

The Hiland heater consists of a stainless steel finish, making it durable for outdoor use. At the bottom, it features mobility wheels, making it easy to roll to its designated spot. 

Although the heater emits 40,000 BTU, it’s fair to mention that it isn’t the best for winter use. Its range is smaller than the others, suggesting it isn’t a year-round option. 

Still, we like the safety auto-tilt shut-off system and the reliable igniter. It’s user-friendly, even if it’s your first go at a propane patio heater.

Pros

  • Fantastic, eye-catching design. 
  • Stainless steel finish.
  • Durable construction. 
  • Mobility wheels at the base. 
  • Tilt shut-off system. 
  • User-friendly igniter. 

Cons

  • Doesn’t produce as much heat as others. 
  • Very tall—requires a high ceiling and open area.
  • Not a steady base.

4. Xbeauty Infrared Patio Heater — Best Electric Patio Heater

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If you prefer not to meddle with a gas tank, we recommend this option from Xbeauty. This is an infrared patio heater, producing heat fast and efficiently using a golden tube and aluminum reflector.

A great feature is that it conserves energy using a soft light, which filters out UV radiation, increasing its thermal efficiency. According to the manufacturer, it saves 30 to 40 percent of energy compared to other similar heaters. But, it’s powerful as well, providing a range of 110 to 160 square feet.

This radiant heater is fantastic for outdoor use—it’s weather and dust-proof. In addition to this, the golden tube is high-temperature, wear and corrosion-resistant. 

Lastly, it’s easy to assemble, and you can adjust the height to suit your needs. 

Pros

  • Highly efficient infrared heater. 
  • Conserves energy by increasing its thermal efficiency. 
  • Extensive range of heat. 
  • Durable construction that’s weatherproof. 
  • Comes partially assembled. 
  • Adjustable height. 

Cons

  • Requires a lot of electricity. 
  • Isn’t as sturdy as hoped. 

5. Thermo Tiki Deluxe Commercial Propane Patio Heater — Luxury Option

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The Thermo Tiki Deluxe propane patio heater is a fantastic option if you want heat and style. This is a commercial-quality construction, made from premium steel and aluminum, standing over 90 inches tall.

This Tiki Deluxe creates a dancing flame, radiating both beauty and warmth as you enjoy a chilly evening. It’s highly durable, made to be weather-resistant and suitable for various climates, whether it’s up North or the windy coastline. 

Producing 38,000 BTU, it isn’t the most efficient heater. Still, you can adjust the flame, increasing its output up to 45,000 BTU. A great feature is the safety valve that automatically shuts off the fuel should the unit tip or fall. 

Pros

  • Tall, dancing flame patio heater. 
  • Made with premium materials. 
  • Weatherproof, suitable for different climates. 
  • Adjustable flame. 
  • Safety valve shutting off the fuel supply. 
  • Large gas tank chamber. 

Cons

  • Not the most efficient heater. 
  • May produce some combustion gas smell.
  • Requires a lot of overhead and surrounding space to be safe. 

6. PATIOBOSS Patio Heater — Best Wall-Mounted

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This option from PatioBoss is a wall-mounted electric heater, suitable for both outdoor and indoor use. The patio heater gives off instant heat using infrared light and a reflector. 

The heater works without producing any chemical odors or fumes—it also doesn’t emit any carbon dioxide. However, the manufacturer points out that it warms the object or person in front, not the surrounding atmosphere. 

Still, it’s both CE and ETL certified as well as dust-proof and maintenance-free. It’s supposedly also long-lasting, too, with a lifespan of 5000 to 5500 hours. 

A fantastic feature is the remote control included. It’s also easy to assemble and mount on the wall. 

Pros

  • Suitable for indoor and outdoor use. 
  • Odor-free operation. 
  • Won’t emit carbon dioxide. 
  • CE and ETL certified. 
  • Remote control included. 
  • Easy to assemble. 

Cons

  • Not efficient long-range. 
  • Not as long-lasting as expected. 

Types of Patio Heaters

You have various types of patio heaters to choose from. We’ve explained a few different types below:

Free-Standing 

For large patios or areas, free-standing heaters are the norm—these are also excellent outdoor restaurant heaters. 

Free-standing patio heaters generally have a slim design, enabling them to fit in various spots without taking up too much room. They’re excellent to place near tables and chairs. 

Because of their height, they emit heat across a larger surface. Most run on propane gas, but some are also compatible with butane, and others are electric plug-ins. 

However, with this much power comes great responsibility. 

You should always be mindful of where you place it. For instance, they shouldn’t stand near flammable objects or materials. You should also avoid running one under a low-clearance awning or pergola roof. 

If a powerful heater is what you need, we suggest the Pamapic Propane-Powered Patio Heater

Wall-Mounted

Wall-mounted heaters are excellent for those with limited floor space and are fantastic for small enclosed spaces. 

Mounted heaters are also more popular for families with kids because they keep the hot surface out of reach. They’re usually electric and come with different safety features. 

However, they generally aren’t as efficient as free-standing heaters. They usually have a short-range—you may only feel the heat when standing right in front of it. 

Another potential drawback of this type is that you have to damage your wall permanently. It requires several screw attachments to ensure it won’t fall. 

Fire Pit Heaters

Fire Pit heaters come in different shapes and sizes, ranging from small bowl-like pits to large, pyramid shapes. 

These aren’t as efficient as other heaters and are more for aesthetic purposes. Still, if you’re only looking for something to create a cozy atmosphere, these are fantastic. 

Features to Consider for Patio Heater

Before you say yes to the heater, we have a few additional points that are worth considering:

Power Source

As we’ve seen, patio heaters come either as gas-powered or electric. Both have their pros and cons, so it essentially depends on your needs. 

Gas-powered heaters are usually cheaper to run long-term since all they require is the gas tank. They’re highly portable since you don’t have to worry if there’s an outlet nearby. 

Electric heaters are generally more expensive to run. But, it might be more suitable if you feel uneasy about using gas. 

Size of Your Patio

Before settling on a heater, consider the size of the space where you’re going to use it. Fortunately, most manufacturers tell you approximately how many square feet the unit can heat. 

You should also buy accordingly, depending on whether your patio is covered or not. Covered spaces retain heat a lot better than open spaces, so they may not require a large heater. 

Heat Output

We measure heat output as BTU or British Thermal Units. The higher the BTU rating, the more heat the unit produces. 

Again, consider your space to ensure the heater can supply enough. To give you an idea, a heater producing 40,000 BTUs is ideal for a large, open patio. 

Safety Features

Safety components are essential to look for. Luckily, most patio heaters come with a few standard features. This usually includes:

  • Automatic turn-off: This component prevents the unit from overheating. They’re generally seen in electric patio heaters. On some models, they may also shut off automatically after some time to avoid hazards. 
  • Safety tilt switch: Such a feature is a must-have on gas-powered heaters. Should the unit tilt or tip over, it switches it off, preventing hazardous gas leaks. 
  • Cool touch: If you have kids or pets, we highly recommend looking for a cool-touch feature. This may prevent burns and other accidents. 

Portability

Large patio heaters can be heavy, so looking for features like mobility wheels can come in handy. This allows you to move the unit and store it during the off-season easily. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Patio Heaters Work in the Winter?

Patio heaters work excellently in the winter. Of course, they won’t shelter you from snow or wind, but will efficiently heat your patio for you to enjoy. 

Are Electric Patio Heaters Better Than Gas?

Electric patio heaters aren’t necessarily better than gas. Gas heaters are generally cheaper to buy and run. The price of gas is much lower than electricity, for instance. 

However, electric heaters are more efficient than their gas-powered counterparts. They’re quick to heat up and usually require little maintenance. 

Are Patio Heaters Worth It?

Patio heaters are worth it as long as you pick one according to your space and needs. They’re an excellent way to extend the use of your outdoor space. Some are even suitable for indoor use, too. 

Final Thoughts

Patio heaters are fantastic for extending the use of your outdoor space. And you have plenty of choices. 

Today, we chose the Pamapic Propane-Powered Patio Heater as the best patio heater overall. It’s a free-standing, propane-powered unit, suitable for large areas. It includes safety features and wheels at the bottom for portability. 

For our runner-up, we have the HomeLabs Gas Patio Heater. It’s a little less powerful than the Pamapic but still suitable for the general-sized patio. 

Welcome to Air Wisely! I am Darren. I worked as a plumber for years and found that my clients were interested in learning basic HVAC knowledge. That's why I build this site.