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Stay Warm & Cozy Outdoors
When colder weather knocks at the door, it doesn’t mean that you have to hibernate inside until the sun comes back.
The newest batch of outdoor patio heaters are all well equipped to allow you to continue spending quality time outdoors with your friends and family. These patio heaters are created especially for heating up outdoor spaces – patios, decks, around the pool areas, and home or commercial areas that will still be fun to enjoy even though the temperature has cooled down.
Do you want a workhorse of a heater and don’t care what it looks like, or would you prefer an eye-catching designer-styled heater that will be a center of attention?
Our Top Patio Heaters:
- AmazonBasics Havana Commercial Patio Heater: best overall patio heater for the money.
- AZ Patio Heaters Patio Heater: most aesthetically pleasing model.
- True Commercial Patio Heater with Wheels: beautiful bronze hammered finish
- XtremepowerUS Premium Floor Standing Patio Heater: best outdoor heater for large spaces.
- Hiland HLDS01-GTSS Quartz Glass Tube Patio Heater: best looking outdoor patio heater.
Outdoor Patio Heater Reviews
1) AmazonBasics Havana Commercial Patio Heater
- Relatively easy to assemble with a screwdriver and included wrench
- Heats quickly, simple to operate, and very economically priced
- Puts out a bluish red glow which looks beautiful at night
- Propane is a more expensive option for heating
- 3-legged round base for LP tank doesn’t provide equal heat strength in all directions
We have rated the AmazonBasics Havana Commercial Patio Heater our top choice for the best overall patio heater for the money. This propane gas engine heater measures 89″ x 18″ x 33″, weighs 44 pounds, and is available in a beautiful powder-coated Havana Bronze finish. This unit is constructed of steel, and the dials, tubing, tank connector, and burners are all up-to-code grade-A commercial equipment.
This is a 46,000 BTU heater that makes outdoor entertaining possible during colder seasons and can heat up an area between 8 to 10 ft. in diameter. This gas patio heater delivers consistent, quiet heat, without the annoyance of open flames or smoke that come along with using a fire pit.
Operation of this unit requires the additional purchase of a standard LP gas cylinder (20 pounds) which will last about 6-8 hours if you run it on a medium setting. It features a one-step, user-friendly push button for its Piezo ignition system (Piezo electric ignitions don’t require batteries and will make lighting your heater a snap). A variable heat knob control easily allows high or low heat settings, as well as a quick turnoff when the evening is over. It’s the perfect patio heater for al fresco dining, private cocktail parties under the stars, or for drinking hot chocolate on the deck beside the hot tub.
This unit has a sturdy base which can be filled up with sand or water to make sure that it doesn’t fall or move. An additional safety feature is a shut-off tilt-valve that will automatically turn the heater off if it ever gets knocked over. This is a heater that is meant for outside use, and not for using underneath a canopy, no matter how tall the canopy might be. It can be used on an enclosed porch if you make sure that it has about 45-50″ of clearance in every direction.
The AmazonBasics stainless steel patio heater is equipped with 2 rolling wheels that make it a snap to move from deck to poolside to patio.
2) AZ Patio Heaters Patio Heater – Quartz Glass Tube
- Elegant looking and generates the precise amount of heat necessary
- Functions like a more expensive heater
- Heat is distributed equally around the unit
- Requires extensive assembly
- Does not radiate much heat
The AZ Patio Heaters Patio Heater With Quartz Glass Tube measures 38.5″ x 21″ x 21.5″, is 89″ tall, and weighs 65.2 pounds. This durable outdoor heater is ETL and CSA approved (meaning it meets the requirements of gas and electrical product compliance of the Electrical Testing Laboratories and the Canadian Standards Association).
The AZ Patio Heater puts out 40,000 BTU (from either a 20-pound propane or butane tank that lasts approximately 8 to 10 hours on the highest setting) which guarantees that you and your guests will be kept warm and toasty outdoors on chilly evenings. Its propane tank (which must be purchased separately) is handily accessible and switchable from a simple access door whenever the tank is empty.
One thing to remember is that propane doesn’t freeze, but butane might. If you want to run butane in your patio heater, you will need to change the regulator.
This elegant looking variable controlled heater has a quartz glass tube which won’t crack if water is accidentally spilled on it (unlike a plain glass tube), and and the same time it allows everyone to admire the view of the flames. It features a hammered bronze finish which provides strong rust resistance, a durable wheeled base, anti-tilt and thermocouple safety devices, and a regulator.
One problem with this glass tube heater is that it distributes heat much less efficiently compared to other mushroom-top type heaters, and its heat has a minimal radius. A plus is that it’s a whiz at heating up space immediately surrounding it within just a few minutes. A second plus is that AZ Patio Heaters is one of the few US suppliers that maintain a full line of replacement parts.
3) True Commercial 3-Sided Pyramid Quartz Tube Patio Heater
- Made of high-quality material and comes equipped with all necessary tools for assembly
- Wheels are heavy-duty and more than adequate for carting the heater and propane tank
- Automatic ignition system eliminates the need for matches
- Since patio heater is more than 8 feet tall, the heat generated is higher than seated guests
- Propane tanks are used up too rapidly
The True Commercial Propane 3-Sided Pyramid-Style Quartz Tube Patio Heater was selected as the best patio heater for heavy duty commercial use. This heater measures 94″ x 25″ x 25″ and weighs 41.4 pounds. This 2016 Golden Flame propane heater is constructed of heavier gauged materials (aluminum frame is certified to be non-rust) and is ready and able to withstand all the challenges of a commercial setting.
Compared to other heaters that have 2-PC glass that is quite thin, this model features a single quartz-glass tube that is extra thick). In fact, this quality patio heater is a strong competitor of other restaurant-ready heaters that are priced 3 times higher than this model.
This 41,000 BTU unit [using a traditional 20-pound propane LP tank (not included)] provides you with a decorative piece of art that will transform your patio or deck area into a very stylish entertainment area. Customers or any guests will adore the heat-giving dancing flames, which are specially created to add a glow of romance and good cheer to any environment. You’ll be able to quickly adjust the heat output, operating time, and height of the flames with customizable individual variable flame controls.
The True Commercial patio heater is built to stand up to inclement weather while keeping its attractive facade. It is straightforward to operate and features an advanced Multi-Spark Electronic-Ignition System, as well as a user-friendly tank door which makes both tank changes and start-up lighting a snap. Also, this heater has high-mobility wheels that facilitate moving the heater around to different deck or patio areas, chrome reflective internal supports, a tensioned burner plate, and super thick support legs.
This heater keeps safety in mind at all times and is designed with a stable extra-wide base so that it can withstand tipping from larger gusts of wind. It also features an auto-tilt shutoff system that will shut down immediately if the heater ever starts to tip. Assembly for this patio heater requires approximately 45 to 90 minutes.
4) XtremepowerUS Premium Standing Patio Heater
- Gas supply can be turned off easily without lifting up the tank cover
- More than adequate amount of heat is generated on the lowest setting
- Wheels are built into its base, making it simple to tilt, roll, and move anywhere that is needed
- The top dome lid (sometimes called the mushroom canopy) has 6 different pieces and takes a long time to assemble
- Tank housing appears to be too narrow, and the hose coupling and tank connection are too tight
We consider the XtremepowerUS Premium Floor Standing Patio Heater to be the best outdoor heater for larger spaces. Research confirms that this unit provides the highest BTUs and has the lowest price point as well. This patio heater measures 18.1″ x 18.1″ x 29.1″, is 84″ tall, and weighs approximately 40.15 pounds. It is recommended for use on large patios, pool decks, and outdoor spaces that can accommodate parties, weddings, etc.
This patio heater is propane and averages 47,000 to 48,000 BTUs. It features a Piezo push-button ignition system, includes a regulator hose and wheels that are specially designed for handling even the roughest surfaces, and is ETL/CE/CSA approved. Its average heat radius is 15 feet (or 200 square feet), but many users have reported that it has a range of 18 feet. The XtremepowerUS patio heater has a stainless steel heating grid and burners, a pre-installed weight bladder, an automatic safety shut-off tilt-valve, all necessary tools and hardware, and an owner’s manual.
This heater uses a regular 20 pound LPG BBQ-tank (tank is not included) and has an approximate consumption rate of 10 hours. It comes with a clearly written instruction manual with excellent photos and details.
5) Hiland HLDS01-GTSS Quartz Glass Tube Patio Heater
- Stylish, economically priced, and simple to assemble
- Well engineered product
- Stainless steel is attractive and keeps the heater from rusting
- Protective film that covers all the stainless steel parts is tough to remove
- Glass tubes don’t create as much heat as other more traditional patio heaters
The Hiland HLDS01-GTSS Patio Heater is considered to be (by us, at least) the best-looking outer patio heater on the market currently. This heater weighs 65 pounds and measures 12.3″ x 21.2″ x 91″, and features a quartz glass tube, a sturdy stainless steel finish, and mobility wheels that are perfect for moving the heater around your deck or patio.
The HLDS01-GTSS patio heater has a 91″ radiant-heat glass tube, special access door design, variable control, a worry-free ignition system, regulator, and anti-tilt and thermocouple safety devices. This CSA and ETL approved heater furnishes 40,000 BTUs and utilizes a 20-pound propane tank which is stated to last 8-10 hours on its highest setting.
An interesting component of this patio heater is that its side panel is chained, hinged at its bottom and magnetic on top, which facilitates pulling the panel apart just a few inches so that the electric Piezo igniter can be pressed. The flame starts up immediately and fills 3/4 of the tube, with a few flame tips reaching the top of the tube. This attractive heater provides heat and a great atmosphere at the same time and is a great conversation starter.
It’s important to note that the stainless steel edges of this heater are very sharp, and care must be taken while assembling to make sure that you don’t get cut. Hiland provide a 1-year warranty against any manufacturer defects, as well as a 24/7 800 number that provides live customer support.
Types of Patio Heaters
If you’re in the market for a patio heater or outdoor space heater, there are several things to consider:
- How large is your patio, porch, gazebo, or pool deck?
- What type of power you will be using (natural gas, electric, propane, or butane)?
- What design you are interested in (wall-mounted, tabletop, or freestanding)?
One thing to remember is that any patio heater’s effective range will depend entirely on the surrounding temperature. If the temp is mild, it will seem like your patio heater is warming up a very large space. If the temp is frigid, your heater will undoubtedly seem like it’s heating a lot smaller area.
Natural gas heaters are an excellent option for those customers that have a connection to a gas line. They’re less expensive and simpler to use than propane heaters since you won’t need to purchase or swap out tanks on a regular basis. The downside to natural gas heaters is that there’s a limitation on where you’ll be able to place them in your yard or patio since they’ll have to be connected to the gas source.
Propane patio heaters heat the air using convection heat, which is an excellent choice for heating larger spaces and in any situation in which people are moving from one area to another (a good example is if people are moving between your house and your deck).
Electric patio heaters don’t need any special fuel, lines, or tanks – all you’ll need to do is plug them into your regular home outlets and change a bulb occasionally. They’re lighter and more comfortable to carry than propane heaters since they don’t need a tank, and they’re easier to use than your natural gas heaters because you won’t need a special fuel connection. They emit radiant heat almost instantly which warms people and objects that are nearby, but they don’t heat the air. They are excellent for heating up enclosed spaces that otherwise might be drafty. Their downside is that they’ll increase your electric bill pretty quickly, plus you’ll only be able to place them whatever distance a cord or extension cord will allow away from an outlet.
A relatively new entrant to the field of outdoor patio heaters are heaters with glass crystal tubes that allow people to observe the live flame within. This combination provides radiant heat and a propane heater, which is a combination preferred by many users. A downside to this type of outdoor heater is that they are more expensive than other types of patio heaters.
Freestanding patio heaters are convenient because of their mobility and their potential for being able to warm up larger areas. These heaters are the most popular type of heating for commercial use. You’ve probably come across these heaters if you’ve sat onside on cooler evenings at a local restaurant or bar.
Freestanding heaters traditionally run about 7-8 feet tall, require a decent amount of space, tend to be heavy, and can usually warm up an expanse of 5-9 feet in circumference. Their source of fuel is either near or at the bottom, and its heat emanates from its upper portion. Most freestanding heaters are gas powered. Freestanding radiant or convection propane heaters can generate about 40,000 BTU.
There are two main types of freestanding heaters – pyramid style and tapered. A traditional pyramid heater is usually propane or butane fueled and has a triangular shape which narrows up from a square type base. It generates heat by utilizing a real flame which is enclosed by a cylinder-shaped crystal glass tube. They are easier to turn on and off, generally, have 1-3 metal domes on top, and are a lot lighter than tapered heaters. That being said, many people feel that with the pyramid model, you will be getting good looking flames and less heat for your money.
A tapered patio heater usually consists of a heating element placed on top of a long shaft, a heavy base, and a metallic umbrella cover to top it off. They tend to be slimmer and more streamlined than other heaters. These heaters are usually run by electricity and must be plugged into an outlet.
Both tapered and pyramid patio heaters are heavy and can be difficult to move unless they come equipped with attached wheels. They’re on the harder side to assemble. Buyers have reported spending 1-3 hours to get their heater in working order. Their weight also makes users tend not to want to move them frequently, and many heaters find themselves out in the cold all winter. We recommend that a good cover should be purchased to protect your heater from both cold or inclement weather.
Many people choose an electric wall-mounted patio heater if floor space is at a minimum or if their patio area is minimal. Having a heater mounted on the wall is a safe option if there are children around. They’re easy to power up because they can be wired directly into the power grid of your home. These units are good for the environment as well since they don’t produce any fumes.
They also are convenient since you won’t have to move all your patio furniture to accommodate gathering around a very large fixture. The best wall mounted heaters may come with remote controls so you’ll be able to turn them off and on remotely, and you can also perform any temperature adjustments. A typical wall-mounted electric heater can generate about 1,500 watts.
A downside of this type of patio heater is that it can be difficult to install on some wall types, including brick. You might want to get an expert to do the installation because a certain skill level is required to install them correctly and safely. There also might be restrictions where you live on who is qualified to connect these devices.
An ideal way to heat up smaller spaces is to use tabletop patio heaters. One tabletop unit can create an amount of heat that is perfect for a party of four. Tabletop heaters are portable (even though they can be between 3 and 4 feet tall), more lightweight than other options; they can be placed anywhere that there’s an appropriate surface, and they can be very decorative.
Tabletop electric heaters typically generate about 1,000 watts, while tabletop propane heaters can produce about 10,000 BTU. Tabletop heaters are the way to go if you only need to heat a small area. They can even be taken on picnics and camping trips if you have a surface to put them on, and they’ll take the chill right out of the air at your camp table.
Drawbacks – Because they’re smaller than other types of patio heaters they don’t put out the same quantity of heat. Another disadvantage is that most of these heaters can typically hold a 1 pound glass bottle, and that means a pretty short run time of 1-2 hours at most.
Are Patio Heaters Safe?
There are safety issues concerned with operating any outdoor patio heaters that must be addressed. Patio heaters should only be used outside in well-ventilated areas and must never be used indoors for any reason.
A propane heater used inside a garage or a greenhouse can build up dangerous carbon monoxide quickly in the air, which will have no odor and can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. There are some heaters on the market that have an ODS (Oxygen Depletion Sensor) which can sense if there is too much carbon monoxide in the air and will automatically turn off the heater.
Never use patio heaters when there are high winds. Wind can both blow out the flame and also tip the patio heater over, which are both dangerous occurrences. Children should never play unattended near a heater, and they should never be involved in turning a heater on or off.
Gas patio heaters should never be moved when lit, and should never be placed next to any flammable materials, or near any materials or glass that might explode or shatter due to heat. Keep away from any combustible materials near your patio heater’s emitter head (this includes wood, plastics, pressed paper, plexiglass, plant fibers, butane lighters, or any liquid or solid material that can ignite).
Don’t hang anything like towels or clothing either near or on the unit. Make sure people are aware that the unit may have high surface temperatures. When turning off the unit for the night, make sure the burner is out. Never attempt to clean or move the equipment before it is cool. Make sure the gas cylinder is always turned off when the unit is not being used.
Make sure that nothing is obstructing the vents or air holes that might interfere with proper combustion (even spider webs can create a dangerous condition by clogging up air ducts). Store any larger patio heaters in a sheltered location so high winds won’t damage them.
If the units cannot be moved, owners should take necessary precautions, such as filling the base with either sand or water to increase its sturdiness. Many heaters have a tilt-safety switch which will automatically turn the unit off if it tilts more than a preset degree.
How Many BTU’s Do I Need?
A BTU is a traditional heat unit that defines how much heat is needed to raise a pound of water’s temperature by just one degree Fahrenheit. A small tabletop patio heater can generate between 3,000 – 10,000 BTUs, enough to comfortably heat a table that seats 4 persons.
A larger gas powered freestanding heater will naturally produce a more significant amount of heat for a bigger area. A patio heater that provides 38,000 BTUs is more than adequate to heat small-medium sized pool decks or patios, while you’ll need between 48,000 and 58,000 BTUs if you’re heating a larger sized entertainment area or patio.
How Much Space Does 40,000 BTU’s Heat?
A patio heater that generates 38,000 BTUs is more than adequate to heat small-medium sized pool decks or patios, while you’ll need between 48,000 and 58,000 BTUs if you’re heating a larger sized entertainment area or patio.
A 40,000 BTU patio heater is estimated by manufacturers to be able to heat a radius of 9′ 10-25 degrees. Many reviewers disagree, claiming that freestanding heaters will only heat 3-5′ in windy, cold weather.
How Much Should I Expect To Pay?
The patio heaters reviewed range in price from $130 to just under $500 for the highest priced model. Customers should usually expect to pay between $130 and $300 for a good outdoor patio heater.
How To Maintain Your Patio Heater
Use a stainless steel cleaner for removing rain or other water marks. For stubborn stains on brushed stainless steel lightly use a brush or scourer in the same direction as the brushed steel. Never use a scourer if your finish is highly polished. If your heater is powder coated, use clean water and soapy detergent for a light cleaning.
Check each season for loose bolts, etc. and oil any wheel joints. Check any hoses for wear, and order replacement clips and hose if necessary. Check the gas cylinder for rusts or dents and replace if necessary, but don’t store it inside. Store your patio heater inside if possible. If the heater can’t be moved, you should invest in a full-length heater cover.
After careful consideration of five of the best outdoor patio heaters in the marketplace today, our editor’s choice is the AmazonBasics Havana Commercial Patio Heater. Reviewers loved its inexpensive price, its ease of operation, its aesthetic look, and its quick heating capability.
- Outdoor gas heater with 46,000 BTUs, providing heat up to a 9-foot radius. Ideal for commercial...
- Made with aluminum, sturdy plastic, and rugged steel with a durable powder-coated finish that stands...
- Piezo ignition system for easy push-button start ups; requires 20lb Liquid Propane Gas tank (not...
- Safety auto shut-off tilt valve; waterbox for adding weight to the base; wheel assembly included for...
This patio heater delivers a consistent 46,000 BTUs, it has a Piezo ignition system, a variable heat knob, and several safety features, including an automatic shut-off tilt valve. Reviewers also appreciated its rolling wheels, its powder coated finish, and its all steel construction.