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BEST PATIO HEATERS

Best Overall
AmazonBasics Commercial Patio Heater

Best Gas Patio Heater
BU-KO Outdoor Patio Gas Heater

Best Portable Patio Heater
Mr. Heater Portable Buddy Heater

Stuart Price
Last Updated
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Using the best patio heaters means having access to a superb outdoor space during the winter. Just because the weather isn’t the best doesn’t mean that you have to sit far from your patio. Ideally, you’d find at least one good patio heater to rely on and to get the most out of for at least a few months. The good news is that these patio heaters represent the best solution when it comes to the overall heating that works. Improvising with indoor heaters outdoors is simply not as efficient.

  • 1

    AmazonBasics Commercial Patio Heater

AmazonBasis is a brand run by retail giant Amazon. Their commercial-level patio is heater is made with extra power so that you have at least one good solution to stay warm during the winter while enjoying a cup of coffee on the patio.

Running on an LPG gas tank, this patio heater has a nominal heat output of 46,000 BTU. This makes it one of the most powerful heaters on the market even if its design makes it look a lot simpler and a lot more efficient.

The patio heater is made from polished stainless steel accents which give it a unique look. It even comes with an auto shut-off valve so that it keeps you and your family safe at all times. Its safety is further enhanced by its water-filled base. This keeps it from tumbling over and it also allows you to sit back and relax on your patio chair without fearing possible accidents.

Also made with aluminium and durable plastic, the patio heater isn’t heavy to move around as long as its base isn’t filled with water. This is what makes it sturdy and what allows you to move it so that you don’t have to sit in high wind or even in areas with snow on the patio. You can also easily live it outdoors as it even comes with its own cover. It allows you to protect it from melting snow and even from rain which can potentially damage its quartz ignition on the long term.

PROS

Large 46,000 BTU capacity

It weighs 40 pounds

Made for outdoor use

CONS

It requires anchoring for extra safety and stability

  • 2

    BU-KO Outdoor Patio Gas Heater

With a height of nearly 7.5 feet, this patio gas heater is one of the best when it comes to heating capacity and looks. It even comes with a cover so that you can keep it outside when it’s raining. Running on gas, the little patio heater offers sufficient heating power and enhanced performance for those who need warmth on the decking.

Its pyramid shape has been appreciated as both efficient and attractive. If you think the heater won’t do a good job, you need to know it comes with a tall flame which makes it easy to use for almost everybody. It even looks good and it attracts compliments.

The open flame design allows the heater to add a bit of warmth on a 10-foot circular radius. It can be among the best tools when it comes to efficient outdoor warming as long as you can use and replace a gas tank.

Certified CE European build standards are also met by this patio heater. Easy to assemble, it comes without sharp edges we’ve seen on many other low-quality heaters. But this high-quality heater comes with an LPG fuel valve and added netting to keep you away from the flame.

PROS

The garden heater comes in multiple colours

It radiates heat to 10 feet

The flame is contained in a quartz tube

CONS

Some of its metal panels easily bend

  • 3

    Mr. Heater Portable Buddy Heater

This compact portable heater is only safe to be used outdoors. While it looks good, you might be tempted to use it indoors as well. But it heats up quickly and you only need to use it outdoors with a propane gas tank and an adapter.

It has a nominal heating power of up to 9,000BTU, depending on flame intensity. Furthermore, it can heat spaces of up to 200 feet with its radiant heating. You might also consider this outdoor heater as your camping best friend. It offers a complete solution to those who want enhanced portability. A fold-down handle is added on top. But we still recommend handling it with mittens as it gets really hot. Most users also warn about staying just inches from the heater as well as it tends to get hot.

Made with a large porcelain heating area, it is a heater that radiates heat as long as the gas is running. It comes with low-oxygenation protection which means it can be one of the top designs in its class for good safety as it will shut off without good oxygenation when accidentally used indoors.

But the biggest advantage of this little patio heater remains its portability. Unlike other heaters, it can go camping with you. But this little performer is an excellent second heater on large patios as well.

PROS

Up to 9.000BTU power

Made with a carry handle

Low 4,000BTU option for small patios

CONS

Hard to handle when it shot

  • 4

    Shieldo Patio Heater Cover

If you choose a patio warmersuch as the one from AmazonBasics, we recommend the patio heater cover which keeps it in good condition for years to come. It protects it from harsh UB light and it also keeps it safe from the rain and snow.

Made from 600D heavy-duty fabrics, this patio heater is among the leaders in its class when it comes to durability. You simply slide it from top to bottom to have your beloved decking heater fully protected.

Its polyester fabrics are even made for outdoor durability. If it rains on this decking warmer, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easily damaged. Only 2 zippers are added to the cover so that you can quickly add it onto your patio heater once it cools.

PROS

Made from durable polyester

Designed for the average mushroom-shaped patio warmer

Includes a 1-year warranty

CONS

Only available on black

  • 5

    Donyer Electrical Patio Heater

If you’re a bit unsure about gas-fueled patio heaters you can always turn to an electric patio heater as an alternative. This Donyer heater is perfect for those who have a power outlet nearby and who need the heat to come from above.

You need to hang this patio heater above the sitting area or consider wall mounted heater locations. Ideally, you’d hang it off a wall or a gazebo. But this patio heater also comes with multiple warming functions. It comes with 750W, 2000W and a turn off switch which allows you to toggle between warming power outputs. But this heater also adds illumination on your decking and you will be able to see your guests a bit better with it.

PROS

Made for ceiling use

Designed with multiple heat settings

It looks elegant

CONS

Short power cord

How to choose the best patio heaters

It can seem overly complicated to choose the best garden patio heater. But you only need to think about what you truly need to heat up and choose the heater for the task. You can even choose multiple heaters if you like to entertain large groups of friends. Without a doubt, you can use just one of the heaters listed above for you and your family alone. But what are the type of decking heaters and what do you need to consider when buying one?

Types of patio heaters

When it comes to creeping your decking warm, there are a few types of warmer that can be used for the task. They come with different fuel types and they have different practicality results. You can create your personal cosy space by getting one of these general heaters.

  • Gas tank patio heaters

Gas tank patio warmers use LPG gas tanks as fuel. These are the most popular solutions as they are very easy to use, they don’t require cables, and they don’t ask for any wood or charcoal. These warmers typically have a gas tank storage place so that you can enjoy them with a more elegant design.

You need to purchase your gas tank when deciding upon this type of decking warmer. These can be purchased at gas stations or hardware stores. You also need to replenish gas in the tank on occasion.

Gas decking heaters are also efficient. For example, they allow you to control the height of the flame and the BTU output, which can’t be controlled as easily with a fire pit. A fire pit only uses wood which creates a certain flame but which isn’t as easy to control. Even more, you will not be able to fully separate yourself from getting your hands dirty and even from smoke when using a fire pit.

The pros of gas patio heaters

  • Very easy to control BTU or heating power
  • Practical and mobile heaters that don’t require a wall plug
  • Generally safe with the flame behind grilled walls
  • Highly efficient and heating large decking

The cons of gas patio heaters

  • The LPG tank is an additional purchase
  • Heavy to move around
  • Electric patio heaters
  • If you want the simplest solution free of headaches, you need to choose an electric patio warmer. These are the real deal when it comes to their overall versatility. They only run standard current and they heat their surrounding area on the decking.However, there are a few things to consider here as well. One of the best reasons to go with these warmers is that you don’t have to run to the store to buy LPG tanks. You also get to control the heat output by wattage as most warmers come with multiple settings. Then, you get to run smaller heaters as they come with a comparable BTU power with gas heaters but without the size.

The benefits of owning an electric patio heater

  • Compact size compared to gas warmers
  • Continuous power through an extension cord
  • Better heat control through wattage settings

The drawbacks of owning an electric patio warmer

  • You need a power cord extension

 

  • Fire pits

If you need something a bit more different which also feels a bit more permanent, fire pits are a good option. You can build your own or you can buy a steel fire pit to have it installed on your decking. They use LPG , wood, charcoal, or electricity to heat your patio. Most fire pits can also be used as grilling areas in case you’re up for a barbecue during the winter

However, fire pits are large. They might not fit the average garden gazebo. This is why they can be best in open-air decking which has sufficient space so that you and your guest don’t suffer from smoke inhalation.

Fire pits pros

  • Excellent for large patios
  • Permanent multi-purpose setup
  • Good for wood and charcoal heating

Fire pits cons

  • It takes time to make the fire

The patio heater design – where choices are made

Most users choose a fire pit to buy how it looks. While this is not the only character to have in mind, in the world where we invest more in the outdoor space of our homes, it’s still an important indicator.

Freestanding design

The freestanding profile of a patio heater tends to be very practical. This type of heater is best for decking without ceilings or nearby walls where you could hang the warmers from. You can see some gas heaters come with a freestanding profile as they need to hold the gas tank as well.

Some of the heaters above with a freestanding profile also sit on wheels. This means you can easily move them around as needed. But these freestanding warmers are also a good option when you don’t want to improvise trying to hang your heater off a fence or a wall.

Ceiling anchored design

Many electric patio warmers come with a ceiling-anchored profile. You can easily consider these if your decking has a gazebo. You might also want to buy these if you can simply install the heater on the exterior wall of your house. This permanent setup also means that the heater needs to be clear of potential rainfall which will damage it/

Tabletop patio heaters

A table top patio heater or portable decking heaters are the best for individuals, groups, or small families. They represent a the best options to those seeking the ultimate versatility and who might even carry their warmers all-around their garden and even to the weekend lodge.

Portable decking warmers tend to be smaller. They don’t heat areas as large as the standing LPG patio heaters warmers but they can be considered for almost any backyard. They are practical to use and they can also be powered by gas or electricity.

BTU or heating power

Heating power is measured in BTU. The higher the number, the higher the warming capacity of the setup is. This is the main reason you want to think about what type of area you plan to heat. As seen from the products listed above, the 4,000BTU power heater is at the lower end of the spectrum when it comes to warmth capacity. But the 9,000BTU power heater is the one that tends to sit among the best in terms of heating capacity.

This BTU power can also be controlled on some of the warmers above. You can adjust the warmth settings easily. When you choose a fire pit, you don’t know the exact BTY which means you take the classic approach to stay warm outdoors.

Price

The price of the decking heater shouldn’t be a big problem since many tend to be quite affordable. You can purchase your heater for a small fee and you can even consider buying additional warmers easily. For some of those interested in offering warmth on a large decking, the combined costs are not going to be too high. The benefits are worth it when you think these heaters might even prevent you from catching a cold.

Running costs

Is it expensive to run a decking heater? This is the main question those who sit outside during the winter are asked. But you only need to pay for LPG tanks, which aren’t that expensive, to begin with. Electric warmers are also very cheap to run.

There’s virtually no maintenance needed on decking warmers . This means the only real cost you need to consider is the price of fuel or electricity. This is the main reason you can buy these at a very affordable rate and rely on them even daily without spending too much.

Installation

Some decking warmers don’t require complicated assembly. But only portable profile come pre-assembled. All other heaters require some type of installation. For obvious safety concerns, we only recommend installing them according to the indications of the manufacturer. The user’s manual is your best friend before you power it up for the first time.

Materials

Many decking heaters are made from steel, aluminium, quartz, and plastic parts. How these are combined is different from a product to another. But a big concern comes from the decking heaters that aren’t made to last. Stories of melting components should not be a reality anymore.

You should be able to run a decking heater for hours without damaging its components. You should also be able to run the heater as often as needed. Some people even prefer to run these tools every day as they like to serve tea or coffee outdoors in the fresh air. This also means you should only choose products which abide by CE standards which are clear when it comes to the durability of the materials.

A pyramid gas patio heater or any best patio heater uses different fuel type warming. With a reduced carbon footprint, electric heater designs tend to work best for materials’ durability. The amount of heat they come with is also sufficient for many users. Sellers can even include a remote control on these as they tend to be a bit more practical. A wall-mounted electric warmer also need a durable electricity point. The verdict on these involves a site or decking with a wall plug that is also durable and not improvised. A pyramid heater for your garden usually comes with gas, however. It might not be as eco friendly, but it works with different temperature settings.

The materials on a tabletop heater are even more important for safety reasons. A safety tip is not to place it too close to you. A great addition to your decking, they also need to come with powder coating for energy efficient heating that lasts. This heat type with reduced CO2 emissions might also be used indoors. The heat settings should allow lower warmth output. The steel construction of these units means a model with a portable heating element can also come with a tilt switch function so that you can rotate it on the table in any direction. Used indoors and outdoors, this type of heater tends to be durable as there’s no glass tube, even with a free-standing design that can keep you warm. A standing gas patio heater can only be better in terms of heat radius, even if it uses convection heaters principles.

Final words

Some of the best patio warmers come at a very low acquisition cost and a low running cost. You can order yours online and have it assembled in just a few minutes. You should also buy an LPG gas tank if your heater doesn’t come with it. If you choose an electric heater, you will need to find the right hanging location for it or at least a permanent location higher above the outdoor sitting area.

Patio warmers are practical. They open up the outdoor space during the winter which means you aren’t confined to your home all the time. Winters can be long and it can take months until the weather improves so that you can have a cup of coffee on your decking. It’s easier to buy an outdoor heater to enjoy your home a bit more during this time.

Frequently Asked Questions


Which patio heater is the best?

We recommend the AmazonBasics Commercial Patio Heater. It can heat all types of patios, it looks good, and it’s highly affordable. Instead of paying a premium brand for the same results, you can simply choose this little performer to make the most of the cold months when you don’t have to be stuck indoors.

Which is better gas or electric patio heater?

There are benefits to using both of these systems. The LPG-electric heater is practical and fairly inexpensive to run. It also comes with a good BTU output which will make it hard to replace once you get comfortable in the high heat it creates.

The electric patio heater is a modern alternative. It does require a low power cord and often a single or multiple power cord extensions. But it is also the type of decking heater that needs to be considered for the ultimate wattage or BTU control. Electric power heaters are also a bit more practical as they don’t require you to run around shops to refill your LPGtanks. At the same time, many of them are small and they also require drilling as they are installed at a certain height above the seating area.

How many patio heaters do I need?

You may only need one decking heater if it comes with at least 9,000BTU. But this depends on the number of people you plan to have around the patio. If you’re simply enjoying a cup of coffee with your partner and kids, a single large decking heater is sufficient. But if you plan to have the parents over with friends over the weekend, not all of them will feel warm from a single heater and you could end up buying a second heater to create a larger warm outdoor area.

Can you leave electric patio heaters outside?

You can certainly leave electric heaters outside. Many of them are made with certain safety features but others are damaged by rain and snowfall. If your decking is covered, you can leave all types of warmers outside. But if you have an open patio, its best to simply store the heater inside.

The same principles apply to the gas tank and to the electric power cords which simply need to be protected from rain, snow, and freezing temperatures. A decking heater cover might also help keep frost away from the heater as well as to protect it from rain and melting snow.