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11 best patio heaters & fire pits for your garden to keep you warm this winter

These are the best outdoor fire pits, electric heaters and gas towers to make your garden or patio more cosy

Karen Silas

With lockdowns in place and social distancing still the rule of the day, we'll be making the most of every corner of our homes throughout the winter, so you may be looking to make the most of your outdoor spaces, too. You may be wondering: How do I keep my garden or patio warm in the winter? Enter: the outdoor patio heater.

If you're wondering what the best patio or garden heaters to buy are, the top options picks are: electric heaters, gas heaters and fire pits.

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With the host of outdoor heaters available these days, there are plenty options that will add instant warmth to your patio or garden. There are certainly plenty of functional-looking models on the market, but if you’re looking for something that’s not just effective, but will also add a chic touch to the decor of your patio or garden, we've taken a look at the best outdoor heaters with great reviews that look and work great, too.

Which are the best patio heaters?

The short answer is: It depends! With so many aspects to consider when deciding which to buy, you first need to decide what your priorities and needs are, from energy efficiency to how much space you need to heat and of course what your decor inspiration is, from rustic to modern, relaxed or formal.

What is the most efficient patio heater?

If you're looking for energy efficiency and a greener way of heating your patio or garden, an electric outdoor heater is your best bet. Infrared electric outdoor heaters are generally about 90% energy efficient, while gas outdoor heaters run at about 75% efficent – and with electric patio heaters you don't have to worry about the CO2 emissions that come along with gas heater usage. Also keep in mind that wood burning fire pits emit smoke into the environment – and also might irritate your neighbours.

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Can you use a patio heater on decking?

Electric and gas heaters are safe on decks, but do not use a fire pit on decking unless it has been specifically designated to be used on wood, vinyl or other types of surfaces. (For example Wayfair has a section dedicated to fire pits that are safe for use on wooden decking.) And be sure you take extra safety measures, for example using a heat-resistant base pad and spark screen.

Also, remember that outdoor heaters should not be used in enclosed spaces like garages or basements, and should be kept away from flammable materials at all times.

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What is the best outdoor electric heater?

Electric outdoor heaters are low-fuss and eco-friendly, consuming less energy. You also don't have to worry about fuel so there's no additional cost there, and they are super simple – just plug the heater in and your outdoor space is ready to go! They come in hanging designs as well as tabletop electric heaters and floor-lamp styles.

Best hanging patio heater

blumfeldt heat square patio heater hanging

Blumfeldt Heat Square hanging heater, £199, Amazon

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This 800W-2000W infrared heater has a chic design and provides targeted heat in an instant.

Best table patio heater

blumfeldt bistro table best patio heater

Blumfeldt Primal Heat 65 - Bistro Table, £299.99, Amazon

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This patio heater does double duty – with a tempered glass top, it is both a standing heater AND a table.

 

Best tabletop patio heater

blumfeldt loras style table heater

Blumfeldt Loras tabletop heater, £199.99, Amazon

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A 1500W tabletop heater in a trendy lamp style that will look chic in any garden or patio to complete your garden's look for winter.

Best standing patio heater

heatsure standing patio heater

HEATSURE Standing Patio Heater, £98.90, eBay

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This standing lamp style heater is from Heatsure. It has three heat settings and you can adjust both the height and the direction of the heat thanks to a 45 degree up-down movable heating element.  

Best parasol patio heater

parasol patio heater

ATR Arttoreal parasol outdoor heater, £297, Amazon

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If you'd like to install a heater underneath a parasol in your patio or garden, this infrared outdoor space heater has three heating panels that fold toward the umbrella pole for easy storage. It has three power settings – from 500W to 1500W – and is designed to heat a space of up to about 12sq ft. And if you shop before 31 January 2021, you'll get £50 off with an Amazon voucher.

What is the best outdoor gas heater?

Gas heaters, particularly the tower style, are popular at outdoor pubs and restaurants for example because they heat up large spaces evenly. They come in some very cool designs and have a clean-burning cosy flame effect, not unlike a fire pit. For gas heaters one thing to keep in mind is the expense and effort to buy fuel to power it.

athena heater

Athena Plus Gas Patio Heater, was £349.99 NOW £299.99, Gardenfurniturecentre.co.uk

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The Athena runs on either propane or LPG gas, and if you order now and it comes with a free weather cover.

enders elegance gas patio heater

Enders Elegance Gas Patio Heater, £199.95, eBay

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EBay's best-selling patio heater will certainly warm up your outdoor space. The polished stainless steel tower gas heater has an 11kg gas cylinder that can be stowed, 3.5 - 8kW adjustable heat and wheels for manoeuvrability.

buko tower patio best heater

BU-KO Outdoor Patio Gas Heater, £350, Amazon

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With an open flame contained inside a quartz glass tube, this pyramid-shaped propane-powered outdoor heater is one that will definitely add some cosy style to your garden as it radiates heat over a ten-foot radius. This patio heater will also add to the ambience with the sound of music thanks to built-in Bluetooth speakers that you can control from your mobile or tablet. A waterproof cover is included.

What is the best outdoor fire pit or chiminea?

Fire pits are fantastic if you want to create a rustic ambiance and make for a fabulous focal point as a gathering place. If you're worried about smoke a fire pit doesn't have to use wood – you can look for fire pit-style designs built for gas or propane as well.

chiminea wood fire

This cast iron leg chiminea, which measures 72cm x 36cm, is a good choice for a smaller patio

Garden Steel Chiminea, available in black or pewter, £69.99, Not on the High Street

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centurion fire pit table

A fire pit featuring a tile motif and circular design

Centurion Garden & Patio Heater Fire Pit, Was £184.95 NOW £169.99, Amazon

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crown fire pit heater

Give your outdoor space a Game of Thrones vibe with this spectacular made-to-order crown fire pit

Hand Forged Crown Fire Pit by Bexsimon Ltd, £1300, Not on the High Street

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