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What Is the Best Outdoor Patio Heater?

What’s better than dining on the patio in the middle of summer? Doing the exact same thing on a crisp winter’s day, with an outdoor heater for warmth.

Patio heaters fall into these categories:

  • Dome/mushroom. Tall, freestanding outdoor propane heater with a metal dome on top that deflects and distributes heat over a wide area. Commonly referred to as a mushroom-top heater because the dome resembles a mushroom.
  • Pyramid. Tall, freestanding outdoor propane heater with a pyramid-shaped enclosure around the flame.
  • Tabletop. Small heater fueled by propane or electricity that goes on the patio table.
  • Base. Small heater fueled by propane or electricity that goes at the base of the table.
  • Hanging and wall-mounted. Porch heater fueled by propane, natural gas or electricity that can be affixed to the wall, saving valuable space.
  • Fire pits and chimineas. Wood- or propane-fueled outdoor fire pits of all sizes.

In terms of fuel sources, propane is the most common. Natural gas requires professional installation to hook it up to the gas line, but is the cheapest fuel source in the long-term. Electric patio heaters are the lowest maintenance, although they will run up your electricity bill. Wood-fired heaters give off that classic campfire feel, but they require a lot of maintenance and can be costly.

Read on for our selection of the 10 best outdoor heat lamps:

1. Hampton Bay Stainless Steel Patio Heater – best overall patio heater

Hampton Bay is Home Depot’s own outdoor heater brand; the Stainless Steel Patio Heater is its flagship product and our best patio heater. This heater produces up to 48,000 BTUs of heat, maintaining a comfortable temperature for your patio. The grey stainless steel finish gives off a sleek, modern look to suit most patios. Features include a piezoelectric ignition for quick easy starts, adjustable heat control system that lets you customize the temperature, and automatic shut-off. At less than $150, this patio heater offers great value.

Power: 48,000 BTU/hr

Weight: 33 lbs

Warranty: 1 year

2.  Mr. Heater Little Buddy Heater – best budget patio heater

Mr. Heater has long been the most popular provider of portable heaters in America. This is probably due to the fact that its heaters can be used in all types of situations–from patio heaters to camping to work sites. It’s even safe for use indoors. The Little Buddy Heater is the cheapest and best-selling Mr. Heater product. When used at maximum capacity, it can run for up to 5.6 hours on a 1lb propane cylinder (which typically costs around $1 for a refill at the gas station). If you’re looking for a basic heater that gets the job done, then the Little Buddy Heater is the best outdoor propane heater on the market.

Power: 3,800 BTU/hr

Weight: 5.85 lbs

Warranty: 1 year

3. Hiland Umbrella Base Electric Patio Heater – best space saver

AZ Patio Heaters offers a broad selection of heaters under the Hiland brand name. The Hiland Umbrella Base Electric Patio Heater is its most innovative product. This heater is secured to the ground with 4 screws. The patio table umbrella is then screwed into the connecting tube at the top of the heater and locked in with 3 screws. This is a really neat product that gives off a generous amount of heat without taking up any extra space.

Power: 1,500 watts (equivalent to 5,118 BTU/hr)

Weight: 8.00 lbs

Warranty: 1 year

4. Westinghouse Tabletop Infrared Patio Heater – best tabletop heater

Westinghouse EBI is a division of internally renowned Westinghouse Electric Corporation specializing in outdoor heaters, saunas, and therapeutic massage chairs. The Tabletop Infrared Patio Heater is an affordable tabletop heater that’s safe to use outdoors in all weather conditions–from sunny to rainy to windy. With its radiant infrared heat, this tabletop patio heater gives off enough warmth for a large dinner table or outdoor living area. Like other Westinghouse porch heaters, it has a stylish matte black finish with a durable powder-coated finish.

Power: 1,500 watts (equivalent to 5,118 BTU/hr)

Weight: 9.9 lbs

Warranty: 1 year

5. Hiland Tall Quartz Glass Tube Heater – best pyramid heater

At an impressive height of 7.5 feet, this outdoor heater certainly earns the right to have the word “tall” in its name. But the Hiland Tall Quart Glass Tube Heater it’s not only the best patio heater in pyramid shape. For starters, it lasts 8-10 hours on maximum heat using a 20lb propane tank. Other top selling points include wheels for easy mobility, thermocouple and anti-tilt safety devices, and variable temperature control.

Power: 40,000 BTU/hr

Weight: 65 lbs

Warranty: 1 year

6. Dr. Infrared Heater DR-238 – best wall-mounted outdoor heater

The DR-238 can be used as an indoor heater or as an outdoor patio heater. It offers safe, clean, and odorless infrared heat, providing lots of warmth during the winter. It is very flexible, with a 3-heat output setting of 900W, 1200W or 1500W. Built from weather-proof anodized aluminum and backed by an industry-leading 3-year warranty, it is built to last. The Dr. Infrared Heater comes with a power cord plus wall and ceiling mounting bracket. A tripod can be purchased separately.

Power: 1,500 watts (equivalent to 5,118 BTU/hr)

Weight: 25 lbs

Warranty: 3 years

7. Lava Heat Italia Capri-A-Line-6MPB – best premium outdoor heater

If you don’t mind splashing out on the best outdoor propane heater, then check out Lava Heat Italia. The Capri-A-Line-6MPB carries a hefty price tag, but it’s worth it for such a beautiful and feature-filled porch heater. The A-Line design provides 360 degrees of infrared heat distribution for up to 12 hours with a propane tank. It has multiple heat settings to adjust for your comfort. The built-in Touch-to-Start technology and Tilt Switch Auto-Shut Off switch make it as safe, simple, and fast to turn on/off as any outdoor heater on the market. This heater is available in supreme finishes and has a range of optional accessories including: weather-resistant cover ($100), 10 ft. Quick Connect gas line ($100) and wheel kit ($75).

Power: 42,000 BTU/hr

Weight: 63.8 lbs

Warranty: 3 years

8. Hampton Bay Powder Coated Bronze Patio Heater – most versatile outdoor heater

The smaller sibling of the best patio heater on our list, the Powder Coated Bronze Patio Heater blends into any outdoor setting. Its sleek bronze finish complements many outdoor furnishing styles. Its 11,000 BTU propane burner comfortably heats an area of up to 30 sq. ft. It also has an anti-tilt switch for safety. In short, this affordable tabletop heater adds warmth to your outdoor dining area without leaving a large footprint.

Power: 11,000 BTU/hr

Weight: 14.3 lbs

Warranty: 1 year

9. Dyna-Glo Infrared Vent Free Wall Heater – best infrared heater

Infrared heaters are becoming more popular thanks to their ability to cover a large area–much like the sun. Dyna-Glo is a pioneer in infrared porch heaters and is most deserving of a place on our list, thanks to its ability to heat an area of 1,000 square feet. The Dyna-Glo has a low-med-hi variable control knob that lets you customize the heat settings. It’s not the most beautiful patio heaters, but it is the most effective for its size and cost.

Power: 30,000 BTU/hr

Weight: 24.7 lbs

Warranty: 1 year

10. Xtremepower Fire Pit Table w/ Hammered Bronze Steel Finish  - best fire pit heater

Our list of best outdoor patio heaters wouldn’t be complete without at least 1 fire pit–and the Xtremepower wins our vote. Powered by a standard 20lb propane tank (sold separately), this fire pit offers all the ambience of a classic fire without having to worry about cleaning ashes. It has a flat lid at the top, allowing you to turn it into a table when it is not being used for heat. It is CSA-certified and has a thermocouple flame failure device for added safety.

Power: 40,000 BTU/hr

Weight: Not stated

Warranty: 1 year

Eat Outside And Stay Warm

For $100 to $500, outdoor patio heaters offer the best of both worlds, allowing you to entertain outside while staying warm. With a wide range of designs and fuel types, there’s definitely a patio heater out there to suit your needs and preferences.

How we created this
list
Compiled from “Best of” lists published by the world’s most trusted sources, and with our own recommended brands peppered in - this Top10 list aims to help consumers make smarter decisions.