Car Bibles is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more
Sometimes, there’s nothing better than a relaxing night on the patio, especially when the weather’s nice and the cold ones are flowing. Unfortunately, the former isn’t always the case, especially at night. In this case, patio chilling is more of a chore than it is a safe haven for some R & R. But such an inconvenience can be easily mitigated due largely in part to the existence of patio heaters. All it really takes is one solid heating unit to make your patio accessible year-round and into the cold, dark night — and we wouldn’t want it any other way. The good news is that there are plenty of patio heaters available; you just need to do a little research. Well, we managed to do it for you. Take a look at some of the best patio heaters in the buying guide below.
Best Overall Patio Heater
46K BTU output
Lasts 10 hours
Stainless Steel finish
- BrandFire Sense
- Weight45 pounds
Wheels for portability
Heats a large area
High fuel consumption
May need shortening for patio
Most Stylish Patio Heater
40K BTU output
- Weight65.2 pounds
Hides propane tank from sight
Comes with one-year warranty
Propane tank not included
Not a wide range of heat
Best Value Patio Heater
Indoor and outdoor compatible
1500 watts of heat
Oscillation for more coverage
- Weight6.5 pounds
Variety of settings
Includes remote control
Heats small space
Need fire-safe outdoor outlet
Uses a lot of power
Most Versatile Patio Heater
29K-45K BTU output
Mounts to propane cylinders
- BrandMr. Heater
- Weight5.5 pounds
360-degree heat output
Heats large area
Doesn’t come with propane tank
Burns a lot of propane
Best Compact Option
- Weight2.79 pounds
Heats a very small area
Not ideal for outdoor use
Some assembly required
Best Patio Heaters Buying Guide & FAQs
Overall, patio heaters are not cheap purchases. It’s essential to get the right product for your specific needs. You want something that is reliable, long-lasting, and will be able to adequately heat the space that you have in mind. You also need to consider what other purchases need to be made alongside the heater. Do you need extension cords? A fire-safe outlet? A propane tank?
There are multiple questions to consider when making this purchase, as well as looking forward to potential challenges that could arise. We compiled common concerns you might have when looking for your new patio heater.
Benefits of Patio Heaters
You spend a lot of time beautifying your patio during the warm months. Why let all that work go to waste during the cold months? You don’t want to miss out on enjoying your patio, especially if you live in an area that is cold the majority of the year.
These heaters are specifically designed to keep the area warm so you can continue to have fun outside, work in your garage, or sit on your front porch. Designed with different areas in mind, you can find a product that will allow you to continue doing what you love to do even when it's cold outside.
The Most Common Types of Patio Heaters
Most patio heaters are tall, thin, and use propane to heat the area. They are suitable for outdoor use only and often require you to purchase your own propane tank. Designed with aesthetics in mind, it is not hard to find an attractive patio heater that blends in with the rest of your patio decor.
Other types are smaller and ceramic, built for both indoor and outdoor use. These are plugged into outlets and run off a battery to heat the area. They tend to be shorter and squattier, and are also much lighter than traditional patio heaters.
What to Consider When Buying Patio Heaters
The main consideration is space. How big of an area do you need to heat? Do you have a large patio and often have outdoor gatherings? Or do you like to sit outside and read and just need something for personal heat? Choose a product that will easily heat the area you have in mind.
Another major consideration is additional equipment you might need to use. Do you already have a propane tank? Will it fit inside your patio heater? Or do you prefer the type of heater that sits on top of your propane tank? If you don’t go with propane, you will need to ensure you have an outlet that can handle the power of a patio heater. At 1500W, these use up a great deal of power that may end up damaging your circuitry.
Care and Maintenance of Patio Heaters
Since you are making such a large purchase, it's important to ensure it will last you a long time. There are some tips to keep in mind when prolonging the life and use of your patio heater.
- Ensure you will have a reliable fuel source for the patio heater, whether that is consistently replacing your propane, or having a fire-safe outlet.
- Look for a no-tip patio heater, or place it in a safe area. Strong winds or accidents could knock it over and permanently damage your purchase.
- Double-check that the product you are buying is fashioned to prevent rust or other damaging weather effects to get the most life out of your heater.
Best Patio Heaters FAQs
When looking for the ideal patio heater for your needs, you may have specific questions based upon cost, materials required, usage, and other technical specifications. Here we’ve compiled a few common questions that those looking to purchase patio heaters often need answered. Keep these in mind when selecting which product is right for you.
Q. How much does it cost to operate a patio heater?
A: It depends on the usage of the heater and the local cost of propane. If you have a heater that goes into an outlet, it will increase your electric bill, depending on use.
Q. Where can patio heaters be used?
A: They are designed for the patio. However, depending on size, they can be used in the garage, on the front porch, or indoors if you have a small, versatile unit.
Q. What’s better, a propane or kerosene heater?
A: Propane is overall safer, more common, and easier to refuel.
Our Top Pick
Our top pick is the Fire Sense Hammer Tone Bronze Patio Heater. It’s rust-resistant, has a safety fixture to stop it from toppling over, and has wheels for easy portability. For the price, it is sturdy and can heat a large area. Its highly powerful heat output is fueled by a propane tank that you’ll need to provide, but overall, it is not as expensive as other products.
The Fire Sense Hammer Tone Bronze Patio Heater is an excellent all-around heater. For the extra price, go with the Hiland Pyramid Patio Heater if you want style and aesthetic. But if you have a smaller space and are looking for something more affordable, the Lasko Ceramic Space Heater is your best bet.