10 best patio heaters to buy in 2021

19 May 2021

patio heater and garden furniture

If you’re hoping to spend more time outdoors this summer, a patio heater will allow you to enjoy your garden well into the evening, use your outdoor space to its full potential, and help you to make the most of the summer weather.

During the warmer months, we all want to spend more time outdoors, but even the hottest day can turn chilly when the sun goes down. A patio heater is a great way to extend your evening and give you a few extra hours to enjoy your garden before you have to retreat indoors.

There are all sorts of patio heaters available, from electric and gas heated to wall-mounted and fire pits. So we’ve researched the best there is and chosen our favourites.

Whatever heating solution you’re looking for, there will be something here to suit your needs. Here are the best patio heaters to buy in 2021.

1. Best patio heater: KMS Heatsure Gas Patio Heater

Price: £307.99 | Buy now from Amazon

KMS Heatsure Gas Patio Heater

The KMS Heatsure Patio Heater has a similar design to the heaters you might find in a pub garden, so it will make your garden look fun, yet cosy – ideal for when you’re entertaining friends and family.

It’s a little more expensive than some of the other patio heaters we’ve featured, but if you’re looking for a product that gives off a great amount of heat over a large area, the KMS Heatsure Patio Heater could well be it.

Pros

  • Good height for projecting heat downwards onto garden seating
  • Easy to assemble
  • Gives off great heat
  • Looks attractive
  • Produces heat in all directions

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Takes a little while to heat up fully

Specs

  • Energy type: Gas
  • Power: 12000W
  • Size: 81.3 × 81.3 × 224cm

2. Best budget patio heater: Prem-I-Air Wall-Mounted Patio Heater

£79.95 | Buy now from Amazon

Prem-I-Air Patio Heater

If you’re looking for a cheaper option, try the Prem-I-Air Wall-Mounted Patio Heater. It’s a small heater that can be attached to the wall of your house and angled downwards to point directly at your seating area.

It can easily be unhooked from the wall and brought indoors after use, and its small size means you can also move it around for use in your garage, shed or wherever else you need it.

Pros

  • Easy to use (with a standard three-pronged plug)
  • Can also be used in a garage or workshop
  • Great heat in small spaces such as gazebos

Cons

  • Not weatherproof, so needs to be brought indoors after use
  • Cord is fairly short
  • Only produces heat in one direction

Specs

  • Energy type: Electric
  • Power: 2000W
  • Size: 52.5 × 26 × 23cm

3. Best electric patio heater: KMS Heatsure Electric Patio Heater

Price: £197.99 | Buy now from Amazon

KMS Heatsure Electric Patio Heater

The KMS Heatsure Patio Heater is an adjustable electric heater which comes with a sturdy stand.

There are three power settings, so you can boost the heat when needed. The height of the stand can also be adjusted, so you can make sure this patio heater produces just the right amount of heat for your garden.

As this heater is electric, it shouldn’t be left in the rain, but the head of the heater can easily be removed to bring it indoors.

Pros

  • Heats up quickly
  • Sturdy base
  • Reasonable price

Cons

  • Cord is fairly short
  • Only produces heat in one direction

Specs

  • Energy type: Electric
  • Power: 2000W
  • Size: 50 × 36 × 130cm

4. Best gas patio heater: Planika Faro Patio Heater Fireplace

Price: £445 | Buy now from Amazon

Planika Faro Patio Heater Fireplace

The Planika Faro Patio Heater is definitely a pricier option, but will provide a really stunning focal point for entertaining friends outdoors. It’s essentially a fireplace for your garden, and the visible flames add an extra-cosy feel.

This patio heater is powered by a large gas tank, which is hidden in the heater’s stand, and it claims to run for up to 55 hours from one tank of gas.

Pros

  • Easy to move around (on castors, with brakes)
  • Produces no smoke or smell
  • Looks great
  • Produces heat in all directions

Cons

  • May need more than one for a large seating area
  • May be a bit wobbly when knocked

Specs

  • Energy type: Gas
  • Power: 8000W
  • Size: 36 × 36 × 150cm

5. Best infrared patio heater: Luxeva Infrared Patio Heater

Price: £245 | Buy now from eBay

Luxeva Infrared Patio Heater

The Luxeva Infrared Patio Heater is a more compact heater than those with large stands, making it a great option for smaller patios. It’s also light and easy to move around and, since it can also be used indoors, it’s perfect for sheds, garages and attics too.

This product gets up to temperature quickly and produces a great amount of heat. Infrared heaters only heat up objects and people, not the air itself, so it’s a particularly efficient way of heating your patio.

Pros

  • Uses a standard three-pronged plug
  • Produces good heat over a large area
  • Can be used inside or outside
  • Heats up quickly

Cons

  • Only produces heat in one direction
  • Cord is fairly short

Specs

  • Energy type: Infrared
  • Power: 2000W
  • Size: 18.5 × 7.5 × 98cm

6. Best fire pit: La Hacienda Alexis Fire Pit

Price: £229.99 | Buy now from Amazon

“There’s something to be said for sitting out in front of a fire and talking to your partner, gossiping with your friends and roasting marshmallows with your kids.”

La Hacienda Alexis Fire Pit

A fire pit is a fun way to provide heat for your outdoor seating area. The La Hacienda Alexis Fire Pit has a beautiful leaf design around the side, with a metal lid for safety. You can also remove the lid, add the metal grill and use the fire pit as a barbeque.

The fire pit is powered by burning wood, so the heat produced will depend on the amount and type of wood you use. It will certainly require a bit of effort to keep the heat going all evening (unlike other patio heaters, which just need the flick of a switch), but this can be a fun activity to enjoy with family and friends.

Pros

  • Metal grill can be used for cooking food
  • Strong and sturdy
  • Looks great
  • Produces heat in all directions

Cons

  • Will take some effort to light the fire and to keep it burning all evening

Specs

  • Energy type: Wood
  • Power: N/A
  • Size: 61 × 61 × 65cm

7. Best wall-mounted patio heater: Costway Wall Mounted Patio Heater With Remote Control

Price: £158.95 | Buy now from Amazon

Costway Wall Mounted Patio Heater

The Costway Wall-Mounted Patio Heater ticks pretty much all boxes. The angle is adjustable and there are three different heating modes so you can ensure the heater is tailored to fit the requirements of your outdoor space. It can also be used indoors.

There’s even a remote control, so you can adjust the temperature of the heater without needing to leave your seat.

Pros

  • Gives off great heat
  • Heats up quickly
  • Timer function
  • Suitable for use indoors and outdoors

Cons

  • Only produces heat in one direction
  • Can’t be installed too close to a ceiling or roof

Specs

  • Energy type: Infrared
  • Power: 1500W
  • Size: 60 × 18 × 9cm

8. Best tabletop patio heater: Elan Garden Tabletop Ethanol Fire Pit

Price: £61.73 | Buy now from Amazon

Elan Garden Tabletop Fireplace

A tabletop patio heater could be a great solution if you’re planning to sit around your garden table throughout the evening, perhaps after a barbecue or finishing a meal.

This tabletop heater from Elan Garden can be placed in the middle of the table to provide a beautiful centrepiece as well as a good amount of heat, and can be moved around easily if needed. The real flames look stunning in between the clear tempered glass panes.

It’s a great price and you don’t need to purchase a bulky gas canister – just pour a small amount of bio-ethanol fuel into the canister and set it alight to burn for two to three hours.

Pros

  • Looks great
  • Very competitive price
  • Produces heat on both sides
  • Can be used indoors or outdoors

Cons

  • Bio-ethanol fuel needs to be bought separately

Specs

  • Energy type: Gas
  • Power: N/A
  • Size: 34 × 18 × 20cm

9. Best hanging patio heater: La Hacienda Hanging Heater

Price: £290.90 | Buy now from Amazon

La Hacienda Hanging Heater

The La Hacienda Hanging Patio Heater can be hung above a table or seating area, providing plenty of heat without a bulky stand that could get in your way or be knocked over.

The heater is also safe to use underneath a gazebo or awning – both great places to hang it from!

Pros

  • Provides light as well as heat
  • Can be used underneath a gazebo
  • Small and compact

Cons

  • Cord is fairly short

Specs

  • Energy type: Electric
  • Power: 2100W
  • Size: 60 × 60 × 35cm

10. Best under-table patio heater: Mensa Heating Imus Under Table Heater

Price: £205 | Buy now from Amazon

Mensa Heating Imus Heater

If your patio is small, an under-table patio heater is ideal for tucking out of the way, keeping everyone warm without imposing on your space. The Mensa Heating Under Table Heater stays cool to the touch, so it’s a really safe option for all outdoor areas, ensuring no burnt knees or pets.

The heater produces a good amount of heat very quickly and the heat can be felt from both sides. So although it doesn’t offer full 360-degree heat, it will keep people warm on both sides of the table.

Pros

  • Produces heat from both sides
  • Useful carry handle
  • Doesn’t become hot to touch
  • Heats up quickly

Cons

  • Would be useful to be able to use just one side at a time

Specs:

  • Energy type: Electric
  • Power: 550W
  • Size: 20 × 20 × 67.2cm

Are patio heaters worth it?

A patio heater can be a great way to maximise the enjoyment you can get from your garden. Rather than needing to retreat indoors once the sun goes down, you can stay outside throughout the evening, entertaining friends or just enjoying the fresh air. If you choose a patio heater that fully suits your needs, it can be a great investment.

What is the best type of outdoor patio heater?

Patio heaters are generally fuelled by natural gas, propane or electricity. Each fuel type has pros and cons.

Generally, electric heaters are more environmentally-friendly than gas heaters, as well as being cheaper to run. However, their location is limited by the availability of power – you may not be able to run an electric patio heater at the end of your garden, for example, and running a long extension lead to a heater isn’t always a safe option.

Gas heaters have the advantage of producing a large amount of heat in a short time. They can also produce a visible flame, which can provide an attractive feature for your garden. However, they’re more expensive to run than electric heaters, and are generally bulkier and less easy to move around.

How do I choose a patio heater?

The type of patio heater you choose will depend on how you intend to use it. Here are a few things you might want to consider when choosing which patio heater to buy:

  • Safety: what kind of patio heater will be safest for your needs? Consider heaters with safety features like cool-touch technology. All patio heaters must conform to the relevant British Safety Standards
  • Power: do you have a power socket nearby?
  • Type: would you prefer a wall-mounted heater that won’t take up any floor space, a hanging heater to install underneath a gazebo, a tabletop heater for mealtimes, or a freestanding heater that can be moved around easily?
  • Size of your outdoor area: how big is the area you need to heat and how much space do you have to house your patio heater? Heat output will vary depending on the type of patio heater you choose – this is calculated either in square feet or British Thermal Units (BTUs)
  • Storage: do you need the patio heater to be weather-resistant or will you bring it inside at the end of the night?
  • Features: look for features like variable controls, so that you can adjust the temperature as you need to, and emitter screens for greater comfort
  • Price: what budget do you have available?

How long do patio heaters last?

Gas-powered patio heaters can continue to burn until the gas canister is empty. A heater that has space for a large gas canister will last for much longer than a heater that only takes a small amount of fuel. As a guide, the Planika Faro Patio Heater takes a large gas canister and claims to burn for up to 55 hours before the canister needs replacing.

Electric heaters vary quite significantly, advertising a lamp life of anything from 4,000 to 7,000 hours – even the lower end of which should last you for plenty of summers.

What is the most effective patio heater?

We think the most effective patio heater is the KMS Heatsure Gas Patio Heater. It takes a little while to heat up fully, but then produces a great amount of heat across a large area. Because the heat is directed downwards, it will efficiently heat your seating area, giving full 360-degree coverage.

How we chose our recommendations

Because we know that there’s nothing like a real recommendation from a real parent, we first headed to the Mumsnet forums to find out which patio heaters discerning Mumsnet users had bought for their gardens.

We compiled a list of the patio heaters they recommended for being the most effective at heating their outdoor seating areas.

We then did some research across the wider web, looking at which patio heaters had won accolades or been featured in ‘best buy’ lists across websites and print media, and what customer reviews said about them.

Having collated all that information, we picked the patio heaters we thought would make the best buys in several categories.

Why you should trust us

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