Best Patio Heaters 2018
With elegance and class, patio heaters extend your days and nights by giving you a blanket of heat that keeps you warm and comfortable all year round. They can be powered by propane, natural gas or electricity and although the very best patio heaters are a bit pricey, there are some truly great inexpensive options as well.
There are dozens upon dozens of units out there but I’ve selected only the best patio heaters you can get. All of the ones listed have been personally tested and are guaranteed to offer excellent value, solid construction and good performance, no matter the price point.
I’ve created a comparison table to give you a quick overview of all the units and further below you can read an in-depth review of each. Let’s get to it!
Best Patio Heaters
These are the best patio heaters for sale on the market, thoroughly compared for your convenience.
|Patio Heater||AmazonBasics Patio Heater||AZ Patio Heaters HLD||Fire Sense Infrared||Fire Sense Patio Heater||Lava Heat Italia MILANO||Lava Heat Italia AMAZON||Lava Heat Italia AMAZON-149|
|Type||Propane||Propane||Electric||Propane/Natural Gas||Propane||Propane/Natural Gas||Propane/Natural Gas|
|Heat Output (BTU)||46,000||41,000||Electric - n/a||46,000||36,000||66,000||51,000|
|Special Feature||Great Design||Very Cheap Consumption||Great All Around||Compact + Excellent Quality + Spectacle To Watch||Luxury Design + Excellent Quality + Potent + Remote Control||Luxury Design + Excellent Quality|
|Warranty||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||1 Year||3 Years||3 Years||10 Years|
Best Patio Heater Reviews
Here you can read a full analysis of every patio heater listed in the table above.
Amazon’s popular and cheap patio heater is basic and slightly flawed but the extremely cheap price makes up for it. It’s 89” tall and 33” wide from the top, making it a sizeable unit although it’s quite light and easy to move due to the detachable wheel set. It has a maximum heat output of 46,000 BTU’s, which is great especially for such a low price. You’ll easily feel the are being warmed up but if you get any other model that isn’t the stainless steel version (such as bronze or gray) you need to be careful as many people have reported that the paint right below the heater starts to flake and might even catch on fire. Although it doesn’t happen to everyone, it’s still a good idea to take precautions and either get the stainless steel model (no paint to burn) or simply scrape off the paint layer that sits right below the heater. The construction quality is decent although the steel is quite thin and can start to rust after a while. The base can fit a 20 lb propane tank inside and the reservoir can also be filled with water or sand to give it a little more weight and sturdiness (which it needs as it can tip over with wind). The controls are easy to operate and the set up is also straightforward. You have 4 different finishes to choose from, although I’d recommend the stainless steel one to avoid the burning paint issue mentioned above. It’s also a good idea to get the matching cover and use it as much as possible to extend the heater’s life. While this unit does have several drawbacks, the potent heat output and very inexpensive price make it a solid budget choice.
AZ Patio Heaters offers a fantastic Hiland unit that has a unique and appealing design, good heat output and an inexpensive price-tag. Even though it’s a cheap outdoor heater, it’s quite tall, standing at 94” of height so be sure that you have enough room for it. The base is around 21” squared, tapering as it goes up to deliver a sleek look. The 40,000 BTUs of heat spread out by the long tube makes for a warm and comfortable atmosphere around the heater. The base has a door that you can open to fit a 20 lb propane tank inside, it’s also where the hidden controls are (always a visual bonus when they’re hidden). It weighs 65 pounds and has mobility wheels, making it easy to move around. The bronze finish looks good although it will still deteriorate if left uncovered from rough weather so be sure to always protect the heater when not using it (cover not included). It’s also very easy to setup and has no issues whatsoever with burning paint like the AmazonBasics model shown above. The extra weight also makes it sturdier and more resistant against the wind and it comes with 1 year of warranty for free. If you’re looking for a cheap patio heater that offers solid quality, this is a great option. It’s also available in other finishes such as silver, black, stainless steel and more – simply scroll down the Amazon page to find all the options.
Fire Sense delivers an effective electrical heater that not only looks sleek but is also durable and attractively priced. If using gas isn’t your preference then this heater is a great choice for you, putting out some decent heat while only costing 1/10th of what propane heaters do to operate. It’s 87” tall while the head is around 33” wide and it weighs 55 pounds which gives it decent stability although putting a weight on its base during windy days is always a good idea. The aluminum body looks great (also available in black) and has the bonus of being virtually rust-proof. Its electrical cord is 12ft long and the 1500 watt bulb will last up to 5000 hours of use. The bulb creates a comfortable blanket of heat that can be felt at a max distance of 9 feet. It also has wheels to make it even easier to move around. This unit comes with a cover which you should use whenever the weather gets rough. Although it’s easy to setup, the instructions are subpar for some reason and badly written. The assembly is pretty straightforward though so with some common sense you’ll do it and seconds after turning the switch on you’ll be feeling the heat. One of the best electric patio heaters available, offering great value for the money.
In short, Fire Sense takes the classic patio heater design and executes it to a degree far above the competition, making it pound for pound the best outdoor propane heater on the list. It has a great heat output of 46,000 BTUs which the reflector hood further enhances to create a truly warm presence that can be felt up to 18 feet away. It’s 33” wide from the top and stands at 89” of height, with the overall weight being 42 pounds. This makes it a sizable unit that is stable but still light enough to move around with ease, especially with the attachable set of wheels. The stainless steel body performs as good as it looks, it’s both elegant and resistant against use and weather. Most importantly you won’t have any safety issues of paint burning up and the likes since it doesn’t have any paint at all. The base can be easily opened to place a 20 lb propane tank inside, and it also has a container at the bottom that you can fill with water or sand to improve stability. This patio heater’s controls are fantastic in both effectiveness and placement, they’re really good looking which is a rare and appreciated feat. It was easy to assemble, even easier to use and overall I was positively impressed by the quality that the heater delivered for the price. The only drawbacks I’ve noticed are the thickness of the steel (it could be thicker) and the weight of the base – it isn’t quite enough to hold it in place against strong winds but with some DIY work you can fix it. A cover isn’t included so be sure to get one separately, there’s also another version available that uses natural gas instead of propane (as such, the bottom base is removed and it looks thinner). If you like this design style, this is among the best patio heaters you can get for the money.
Lava Heat Italia is known for their very high-quality products and for making the best commercial patio heaters – the “Milano” is no exception. The design is beautifully detailed and unique (both inside and out) and the gun metal finish is absolutely stunning. The Milano model focuses on giving you the best possible experience while maintaining a smaller size and it does so perfectly – making this unit one of the best outdoor patio heaters ever made. It’s only 70” high and 20” in diameter, making it easier to fit inside tighter spaces but even then it weighs 70 pounds due to its sturdy construction. It produces a maximum of 36,000 BTUs (great for its size) which will create a nice and warm presence in a 6 ft radius around it. It’s extremely safe as well due to its steel fence, it prevents you from getting too close to the glass tube and always stays cool to the touch which is a necessity especially when you have kids. The real kicker is the flame itself – it’s a spectacle. The beautiful spiral produces a visual effect that’s a joy to watch and it gives a strong touch of class and luxury to wherever the heater is placed. The base opens up so you can place a 20 lb propane tank inside of it which will last around 12 hours at high heat. Overall, this is the first true “commercial” grade patio heater on the list. The materials used, craftsmanship and attention to detail are far above the norm and really elevate this unit to a different level. Plus, the flame and visuals offer great entertainment along with the utility. The setup is super easy and so are the controls. Like all Lava Heat Italia heaters, it comes with a 3 year warranty for free. Truly in a league of its own, this smaller sized patio heater will give you warmth and entertainment for a lifetime and look good while doing it. It sure is more expensive than the usual, but it gives you far more than just “heat” and will outlast any other entry.
Continuing with the high-end choices, Lava Heat Italia’s “Amazon” patio heater is their big and powerful model that gives off heat like no other and offers remote controls to boot. It’s 91” tall, 24” wide and weighs 70 pounds, making it a big and relatively heavy unit. My favorite feature of the Amazon model is its insane potency. It has a maximum heat output of 66,000 BTUs which will create a heat blanket of 36 square feet around it, keeping you and your guests warm even during chilly winter nights. The solid and stainless steel body is durable and rust-proof while the aluminum top further reflects the heat. The safety grill protects you from harm while the flame dances inside the glass tube for everyone to see. Its base opens up to fit a 20 lb propane tank inside and the controls are not only modern and easy but also incredibly accurate. The remote control is a fantastic feature that is super handy and the safety features such as the tilt switch auto-shutoff are greatly appreciated. There are 3 finishes available – stainless steel, heritage bronze or satin black, all of which look stunning. You can also choose to have it come prepared to use natural gas instead of propane which can be extremely helpful since it removes the need for manual conversion. As usual for the brand, it also comes with a 3 year warranty for free. If money is not an issue, this is the best patio heater you can get and due to its conversion capabilities, it’s also the best natural gas patio heater ever. Truly a worthwhile luxury that delivers elegance and quality like only a few can.
Another excellent entry from Lava Heat Italia, this model gives you their trademark quality and performance in a 6.5 ft tall cylindrical model that comes with a remote control and an incredibly long 10-year warranty, ensuring its reputation as one of the best propane patio heaters on the market. It’s 81” tall and 33.5” wide with an overall weight of 60 pounds. It’s a more manageable unit since it’s not as big as the previous one and is also easier to move. It puts out a maximum of 51,000 BTUs which perfectly heats a diameter of 10 feet around it and you can control the flame with 3 predefined settings. The electronic ignition ensures an effective startup and the remote control gives you the ability to sit back, relax and use it comfort. The base opens up and has enough space to use a 20 lb propane tank which gives you around 10 hours of non-stop use at high-heat. The classic flame column is in full, gorgeous display and as usual it has a protective steel grill around it to ensure your safety. There are several finishes available, from the heritage bronze shown to stainless steel and more. It also features a safety tilt automatic shut off feature, further protecting you and your patio. I got this model at a significant discount so if you love it just keep an eye out for drops in price – it’s worth it!
No matter the weather I’m sure these will keep you nice and warm and allow you to get more out of your days! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these patio heater reviews and that they’ve helped you find your new one.
Also, some of you have been sending me emails asking what the best garden heaters are (as in, heaters to use on grassy areas). It’s simple – any of them. Both the propane and electric ones are made in such a way that the base never heats up too much – if at all – allowing you to safely place them anywhere. Hope that helped and be sure to send me more questions if you’ve got ’em.
As always, don’t hesitate to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below, I do my best to read and answer them all. Thank you!