Though we're easing out of lockdown, we'll still be taking advantage of every corner of our homes throughout the summer, 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 on the cooler days and evenings? Enter: the outdoor patio heater.
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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 (even the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have one!)
Electric heaters are easy and energy efficient - this one has three heat settings (650W, 1350W and 2000W), adjustable height and tilting heating element to heat up to 15 square metres
Neo 2KW Electric Patio Heater, was £195.85 now £145.99, Amazon
With a host of outdoor heaters available these days, there are plenty of options that will add instant warmth to your patio or garden.
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We love this fire pit and BBQ in one, perfect for keeping you toasty
Square fire pit with BBQ grill, £37, Wowcher
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.
This dreamy firepit from MADE.com combines style and function for a garden piece that'll have your guests talking.
Metal firepit with wooden legs, £189, MADE.com
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. There are even patio heaters with built-in bluetooth speakers and lights for the ultimate garden party vibe.
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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 might irritate your neighbours.
This highly-rated gas heater with temperature control and striking central flame can be used with propane, butane or LPG fuel and heats up to a 10m2 area
Dealourus Outdoor Patio Pyramid Heater, £399.99, Amazon
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 standing electric patio heaters
La Hacienda Salvador Electric Heater, £240, Homebase
We love the chic look of this La Hacienda electric heater, with a lamp style design, adjustable head and three heat settings.
Nedis Patio Heater, £159.92, eBay
One of eBay's bestselling electric patio heaters is this 1500W lamp-style which stands at 200cm with three settings and safety features including a tip-over switch and overheat protection.
Lume 2100w Halogen Free Standing Heater, £196, Homebase
A sleek design and three heat settings – 900W, 1200W and 2100W – make this patio heater a hot property.
Best hanging patio heaters
Trotec Hanging Heater, £99, eBay
This simple hanging heater, which comes with a fixing kit for easy installation, has earned a five-star rating on eBay. The 1500W mushroom-shaped heater has three heat settings and a remote control.
Hanging Patio Heater, £114, Overstock.com
This hanging heater keeps it simple with two power settings (750W and 1500W) and a pull-string switch.
Best tabletop patio heaters
Kalos Electric Patio Heater, £219.99, Wayfair
A stainless steel lamp-style design that provides both heat and light; perfect for smaller spaces.
Lume 1500w Table Heater, £175, Homebase
A lamp-style design available at Homebase, this time a compact but powerful 1500W tabletop patio heater to provide instant heat.
Best wall-mounted heaters
Wall mounted infrared heater, £144.99, Primrose
Primrose has a huge selection of patio heaters ranging in price from £79.99 to the ultimate patio heater – the £2,343.99 Term Tower Palm, which heats large spaces of up to 44 sqm. The indoor-outdoor heater above provides both heat and light, has three heat settings (700W, 1400W and 2000W) and a remote control.
Outsunny Electric Mounted Heater, £144.99, Wayfair
This 1500W halogen heater which has earned a 4.8 out of 5-star rating on Wayfair, can be either mounted on the wall or can be installed hanging from the ceiling.
Best parasol patio heater
Infrared Parasol Outdoor Heater, Amazon
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 650W, 1300W and 1950W – and is designed to heat a space of up to about 12sq ft.
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.
Enders Elegance Gas Patio Heater, £50, eBay
EBay's best-selling gas patio heater will certainly warm up your outdoor space with 3.5 - 8kW adjustable heat.
Lazy Life Pyramid Gas Patio Heater, Amazon,
A powerful 13kw outdoor gas heater with a central flame to add to the ambience at night.
Planika Faro Propane Patio Heater, Amazon,
Invest in a stylish propane heater from Planika. It's fully portable, very sleek and gives you up to 40 hours of burning time on one fuel bottle.
Best under table patio heater
Mensa Heating Imus Under Table Infrared Heater, £205, Amazon
For something a little more discreet, Mensa offers an infrared heater that will easily fit underneath your outdoor table. It's lightweight, portable and completely safe to touch when turned on for ultimate convenience.
What is the best outdoor bioethanol fireplace?
Maybe you are less concerned about heat and are looking for something simple that gives a warm vibe to your small patio or terrace. A bioethanol fireplace just might be the perfect solution for you! These smaller fireplaces, which can be used indoors or outdoors, run off bioethanol fuel – simply ignite with a lighter or match for a clean-burning, natural and cosy flame.
PURLINE AMALTEA Bioethanol Fireplace, £61.98, Amazon
An enamelled black steel bio chimney in a modern design that resembles the branches of a tree to fit right in with your garden's natural surroundings.
Trueshopping Bioethanol Fireplace Tabletop Firebox Burner, £54.49, Amazon
Amazon offers these bioethanol fireplaces in sleek and modern designs – a flame surrounded by tempered glass panes atop a sturdy steel base.
Elan Garden tabletop ethanol fireplace, £61.74, Amazon
Another chic option that has an up to three-hour burn time.
What is the best outdoor fire pit or chiminea?
Fire pits are a good choice if you want to create a rustic ambiance and aren't worried about bothering the neighbours. They also make for a fabulous focal point for your 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.
Fire pit table, £199.99, Etsy
This fire pit table does triple duty as a fire pit, BBQ and even an ice cooler! It features a rust- and heat-proof steel frame, and comes along with the BBQ grill, a mesh safety lid and waterproof cover.
Panama La Hacienda Log Burner, was £114.99, Amazon
Amazon's #1 bestselling chiminea is this pewter-effect La Hacienda style featuring a durable steel body and cast iron legs.
La Hacienda firepit tripod, £50, Argos
The La Hacienda tripod, which is both a fire pit and BBQ, is one of the most popular firepits at Argos.
Venezuela Clay Chimenea, £60, Homebase
This traditionally-styled chiminea adds warmth while also giving you a true travel holiday feel without leaving your garden.
Laurey Steel Wood Burning Chiminea, was £180.49 now £170.49, Wayfair
If you prefer an industrial-style chiminea, try this one from Wayfair. It's made from durable carbon steel and allows just the right amount of ventilation for a fire that will keep burning all night.
Dakota Fields Stanyon Steel Wood Burning Fire Pit, was £96.24 now £84.74, Wayfair
This fire pit is one of the highest-rated of Wayfair's big selection, earning an impressive 4.8 stars out of five. Fuelled by wood, it's low maintenance, durable and compact.
Round Fire Pit by All Things Brighton Beautiful, £224.95, NotOnTheHighStreet
Made from 100% carbon steel, this round fire pit will add a rustic-chic touch to your outdoor space.
Rada Metal Fire Pit, £179, MADE
Josper Fire Pit, £169, MADE
We love the sleek and simple designs of MADE's new fire pits. These chunky framed, matte black options would look amazing on a modern patio.
Hand Forged Crown Fire Pit by Bexsimon Ltd, £1300, NotOnTheHighStreet
Give your outdoor space a Game of Thrones vibe with this spectacular made-to-order crown fire pit.
Most popular patio heaters
These are patio heaters that were so popular that they've sold out! Head to the retailers site to see if they're in back stock, or to sign up for notifications when they're available again.
Swan Al Fresco Bar Patio Heater, £299.99, Swan
The Al Fresco patio table from the stylish Swan outdoor heater collection plays double duty – it's both a patio heater and a bar! It's currently sold out but join the wait list to ensure that you'll be sipping cocktails in style in your garden this summer.
Blumfeldt Loras table heater, £249.99, Amazon
When it comes to style, the Blumfeldt Loras table heater is super chic with an elegant fabric lampshade.
Terra Hiker Gas Patio Heater, , Amazon
For a change from the tower design, a commercial-grade 16 kW column-style gas patio heater which will heat a large area of up to 30 m2.
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Star Electric Heater with LED Light & Bluetooth Speaker, £249.99, Amazon
This electric heater also provides light and your favourite music played from your bluetooth device.
Heatlab Freestanding Garden Patio Heaters, £417, Amazon
If you have more room to work with, this set of two multifunctional heaters is a worthy investment. Providing optimal heat and light, they're perfect for garden gatherings that go on well into the night.
Blumfeldt Gold Bar 2000 Heater, £99.99, Amazon
Blumfeldt is a popular garden brand – check out the Blumfeldt store on Amazon - and this heater can be mounted on a wall to make the most of your outdoor space. It comes with a remote control so you can easily change the temperature in seconds.
KUTON 1500W Electric Wall Mounted Patio Heater, £85.37, Overstock.com
Waterproof and temperature resistant, the Kuton wall mounted heater is one of Overstock.com's top rated patio heaters. It has a remote control, making adjusting the temperature a snap. And you can't beat the price!
HELLO!'s selection is editorial and independently chosen – we only feature items our editors love and approve of. HELLO! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. To find out more visit our FAQ page. This article has been updated with amended price details.