Top 10 Best Patio Heaters 2017

NameHeat Power 
AmazonBasics Havana Bronze12000W
Firefly 2KW Infrared650W - 2000W
Pyramid Living Flame Patio Heater9500W
Firefly 12kW Premium12000W
Firefly 2kW x 2650W - 2000W
There’s nothing like a summer evening on the patio, drinks in hand and great company, and when the sun goes down and a slight chill comes across, a patio heater to prolong the night further! That’s what we’re talking about today, and there are some truly great examples here to choose from. Of course, it’s easy to ridicule the British summer as one that lasts just a few days in July – and sometimes that’s entirely true – but that’s another great reason to buy a patio heater!

In fact, with a heated patio, you don’t need to wait for summer; you can enjoy outdoor meals, or evening soirees, in even the cooler months! But it’s undoubtedly summer and early autumn that we enjoy the outdoors the most, and if you already have a patio, or are thinking of installing one, then you need a heater – or perhaps more than one – to get the best out of your new outdoor area. All the family can enjoy life in the open air this way, and it is an experience that you will be pleased you invested in.

The patio is, after all, the communal area that you use most of all, so you will use it to the full, and whether yours is directly outside the house or in another part of your grounds, you can equip it with attractive and comfortable furniture, and the night is yours to enjoy! It really is a great idea to make sure your patio area has supplementary heating, and remember, these things are not just for patios, but can be used in any outdoor area of the garden. Before we go on to look at the top ten best patio heaters on the market right now, let’s have a quick chat about what they are, and how they work.

The Top 10 Patio Heaters

1: AmazonBasics Havana Bronze

Our review of these excellent items starts with this one from Amazon’s own brand – which is no bad sign – and it is one that we had to include being absolutely typical of the breed. It’s a standard design – a tall stand on a broader base with an umbrella-like top – and has an attractive and durable powder-coated bronze finish that will easily withstand the UK weather. It’s a very pleasant design with a modern touch that will not look out of place on any patio.

This one is designed for either commercial or home use, and the base reservoir can be filled with sand or water for added stability. It’s a gas-powered model and requires a standard LP gas bottle – available at any hardware store – and features a simple ignition system so can be lit in an instant. It provides a healthy 46,000BTU’s of heat – that’s adequate for warmth even on a winter night – and is fully adjustable, and comes with a wheel assembly so is easy to move around. It’s not the cheapest at a little more than £100, but it is a very nice model.

Pros
  • Gas-powered
  • Versatile
  • Powerful
  • Attractive
  • Steel construction
Cons
  • none, unless you want a different power source

2: Firefly 2KW Infrared

This model, from Firefly – who have a large selection of these devices – is the first of our electric models. We said above that we prefer the gas-powered designs, but for some people, the convenience of a plug in and go heater is the attraction. If that’s you, then you might want to check this one out carefully. It is a fully adjustable design in terms of both height and angle, and provides adequate power for a small to medium patio. It’s an attractive one, too, so will enhance your patio.

The makers say that this is suitable for indoor and outdoor use, but we reckon it would be best outdoors. The heat source is an infra-red element, and it provides heat almost instantly when switched on. The cable is a healthy 1.8m in length so you should be able to find a socket, and all in all it is a well-made and versatile device. At around £45 it’s also good value, so if you want an electric heater, it’s one for the shortlist.

Pros
  • Electric
  • Cheap
  • Versatile
  • Infra-red
  • Sufficient power
Cons
  • Electric might not be your choice

3: Pyramid Living Flame Patio Heater

Sometimes you find a maker that is unafraid to move away from the standard and traditional designs, and to introduce something fresh and new. This model, by Fire Mountain, is one such, and it is a very attractive, original and innovative design. It’s a quite spectacular-looking device with a tall pyramid shape and a living flame feature, and is powered by gas so is easy to site and quick to light. It is imposing, too, as its stands more than two metres tall.

It has an aluminium reflector on the top to exaggerate the heat distribution, and it features anti-tip technology for added safety. The attractive stainless-steel finish adds to its beauty, and it really will make a fine feature in a garden or patio situation. It comes with everything you need to get going – apart from the gas bottle – and is one to consider if you want something very different. However, at over £250 it is one of the more expensive models, so needs careful consideration.

Pros
  • Gas
  • Beautiful and original
  • Imposing
  • Safety features
  • Powerful
Cons
  • Very different so not for everyone

4: Firefly 12kW Premium

This is another from the popular Firefly brand, who have a strong reputation for quality patio heaters, and follows the typical umbrella-style design. It’s a gas model providing 12kW of output – enough for any patio – and requires a standard LP gas bottle, available on the high street. It has a simple to use ignition system that also features a safety tip – if the flame fails to ignite, the gas will cut off.

As with many of these, it also features anti-tip functionality: if it tips over, the flame will automatically cut out, which we think is essential in one of these. It is made from durable stainless-steel that is powder-coated for durability and to enable it to withstand the elements, and is a very attractive and usable model. At around £100 it’s not the cheapest, but for the power output it provides that seems to be about the norm.

Pros
  • Firefly brand
  • safety features
  • powerful
  • Attractive traditional design
Cons
  • none, unless you want an electric or log burning model

5: Firefly 2kW x 2

This offering – from Firefly – is an impressive set of two. We said above that we prefer the gas-powered designs, but for some people, the convenience of a plug in and go heater is the attraction. If that’s you, then you might want to check this one out carefully. It is a fully adjustable design in terms of both height and angle, and provides adequate power for a small to medium patio. It’s an attractive one, too, so will enhance your patio.

The makers say that this is suitable for indoor and outdoor use, but we reckon it would be best outdoors. The heat source is an infra-red element, and it provides heat almost instantly when switched on. The cable is a healthy 1.8m in length so you should be able to find a socket, and all in all it is a well-made and versatile device. At around £80 it’s also good value, so if you want an electric heater, it’s one for the shortlist.

Pros
  • Twin pack
  • Electric
  • Cheap
  • Versatile
  • Infra-Red
  • Sufficient Power
Cons
  • Electric might not be your choice

6: Kingfisher PH300 Table Top

So far, all the models we have reviewed have been stand-alone tall designs that are for standing on the ground. This one, from Kingfisher, is a table-top design, and while that’s a great idea, we’re still not sure it’s the ideal choice. It’s a smaller version of the traditional umbrella-type models, and is around 55cm in height, and provides adequate heat for the occupants of the seats around the table.

This one is gas fuelled from the usual bottle available at your hardware store, and features an easy to use ignition system that is very versatile and usable. You get instant heat when lit, and it does the job. Kingfisher has a reputation for excellent products – and we can’t fault the quality – and it has all the usual and sensible safety systems, but we feel that, at around £100, it is a little pricey compared to some of it’s bigger brothers.

Pros
    • Table top design
    • Good brand
    • Well-made
    • Gas powered
    • Adequate heat

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Cons
  • Table top design might not be for everyone

7: La Hacienda Oxford Chimenea

And now for something completely different! This is a log-burning Chimenea, and there is no doubt whatsoever that these are the most attractive models of all the types available. This one is very beautiful design, sort of a modern-look tall pyramid at 150cm tall, and is well-made and extremely attractive. Indeed, it would certainly be a talking point for your guests. The open grate shows of the flames, which is particularly attractive at night.

While it is an attractive model and provides wonderful heat – in fact, it’s almost a living sculpture with its neatly designed log store and tapering top – we should advise that if you want instant heat, at the touch of a button, this can’t give you it. It will light successfully most times, but there will be some when you find it difficult to get going. However, if you want a natural fire on your patio, they don’t come much better than this, and at under £100 it is not bad value at all.

Pros
  • Open flame
  • Wood burner
  • Attractive design
  • Talking point
Cons
  • Log burning not as convenient as gas or electric

8: VonHaus 2000W Electric

This one takes us back to the free-standing heaters that we introduced the review with. VonHaus is a well-known maker of quality garden and household products, so you have the guarantee of a brand name, and it is an electric model so you get the convenience of instant lighting and instant heat. It is not the most attractive of designs – you would call it simple and practical rather than anything else – and nor is it the most powerful, but it is perfectly adequate for smaller areas.

The base is weighted for safety, you get three heat settings so can control how warm you want to be, and it’s easy to use, and it comes with a 2-year guarantee. It is fully weather-proof for use outdoors, and we reckon this one would be ideal for use in a summer house. If you want an electric patio heater there’s little wrong with this one, and at around £45 it is good value.

Pros
  • known brand
  • practical
  • electric
  • Easy to use
Cons
  • Not the most attractive
  • Some more powerful

9: Heatmaster U3R20 Patio Heater

As we reach number nine on our list, it has become clear that there are distinct designs that are attached to both the electric and gas models. The former are akin to a portable electric heater on a stand, while the latter follow the umbrella-style we have described previously. This one is an infra-red electric model, but it differs from the rest in one distinct way: it has four heat lamps, so you get all-round rather than directional heat.

This unique element makes it one of the more impressive of the electric models, and it is an interesting and innovative model that wold not look out of place wherever you use it. It is also very economical, thanks to the infra-red technology, and is designed to be used under the standard type of garden parasol you may already have. All in all, a clever and interesting design, but at around £100 may be out of the reach of some.

Pros
  • Electric
  • Four heating elements
  • fits patio parasols
  • Efficient
Cons
  • Quite expensive

10: Sahara Stainless Steel Table Top

Our final model, from Sahara, is another of the table-top designs. As we said with the former one, we’re not too sure this is the way to go, but if you are having a dinner party outdoors, it may just be the one that does the trick. It’s an attractive design, finished in durable and tough stainless-steel which looks the part, and it has a weighted base for added safety. We like the look of it, and it works well, too.

It is gas powered – you get the hose and regulator with it so you can connect easily – and it is simple to ignite. It provides more than enough heat for a table. It has a quick set up and connection design, too, so you are ready to go when you get your standard bottle of LP gas from the local hardware store. It’s a neat model with many attributes and if you want a table-top model it could be the one, but at around £100 it is quite expensive.

Pros
  • Table top
  • Stainless steel
  • Attractive
  • Easy to set up and use
Cons
  • table top might not be what you want

That’s our selection of the top 10 patio heaters, then, and we are sure that there will be one here that suits your budget and requirements. Before we go on to sum things up, let’s remind ourselves of the important factors to look out for.

Important Factors to Consider

A patio heater is an item that is going to be well-used, and one that needs to fit very specific requirements. The above 10 selections feature some very different designs, so here are our tips as to what you need to consider when you are choosing a patio heater:

Gas, Electric or Wood – this is perhaps the primary consideration; do you want the convenience of a gas bottle powered or electric mains heater, or do you want a traditional log-burning model. There is one of the latter among our selection, and a wide choice of the other two options, so you have plenty of options.

Stand-alone or Table Top – our selections include a choice of tall, stand-alone heaters, designed for patio use, plus a couple of table-top designs. It’s up to you which you prefer, but it should be said the former are more versatile.

Price – always a consideration, our ten includes everything from a £45 model to one costing £250, so you need to set your budget accordingly.

Those are the three main considerations when buying a patio heater, so now all that’s left is for us to wrap things up!

How It Works

Sadly, Britain does not enjoy the wonderful Mediterranean climate that some of our European cousins are lucky enough to have. We put up with a meagre summer, yet sometimes very warm weather, and expect plenty of rain. That’s not to say a UK summer is not a beautiful season; when the sun shines, all is very much well with the world. It’s a glorious place to be and, with the weekend afternoon over, you want to carry on into the night.

That’s why you need a patio heater, but what are they, and how do they work? Well, patio heaters tend to come in three forms: among the most popular are those that are gas-powered, usually by a bottle of butane. The second set are those that are electric, and the third are the traditional chimenea-type that are usually wood-burning. Whichever type suits you is a personal choice, but rest assured we have examples of each in our review.

To be honest, the gas models are probably best if you are looking for practicality, as they are easiest to use. The electric ones require access to a mains point, which may not be convenient for everyone, and might require untidy and hazardous extension cables. The chimenea is a lovely sight and provides wonderful warmth, but lighting them can be difficult if you don’t have a ready supply of dry wood, but they are attractive and there are some excellent designs to choose from. So, let’s stop this needless waffle, and get down to the business of the day – our review of the top 10 best patio heaters.

Let’s Wrap It Up!

So, which would we choose? Well, that depends on the considerations. To get it out of the way, if it’s a table-top design you want, either of the two featured here would be perfectly adequate and, as they are similar prices, we leave it up to you. If you want a gas-powered model, you have plenty of choice, and if you can afford it, the Pyramid Living Flame is absolutely gorgeous! If not, perhaps number one – the Amazon model – may be the one to go for.

For electric models, all of these are good, but the twin pack from Firefly is clearly the best value, so gets our recommendation.

There you go, a review of the to 10 patio heaters for you. All you need to do now is choose the one for you, buy it and set it up, and enjoy endless warm nights in your chosen space!