Best Patio Heaters Buying Guide
When buying a patio heater, there are some key things to consider before you make your final choice:
Design and build quality
As the patio heater is a real source of heat, you need to ensure it is well-built from quality materials and is durable enough for repeated outdoor use. Most free-standing tall gas and electric heaters are made from stainless steel, with a solid base for stability. Also look for a heavy outer coating that is rust and weather resistant as you want your patio heater investment to last.
The design and type of patio heater you choose should be influenced by the outdoor space you have. If space in your garden on your patio is limited, then a smaller patio heater that can be placed on a tabletop, is a hanging pendant style or wall mounted could be the better option. Meanwhile, larger gardens or patios will be able to accommodate the larger floor standing patio heaters or fire pits.
The type of fuel
Patio heaters are mostly electric, or fuelled by gas or propane, while fire pits can be used with a variety of fuel sources, including wood and coal. Electric patio heaters tend to be the easiest to use and move around, and they are cleaner and quieter than gas patio heaters. Many are infrared which warms up nearby objects rather than heating the surrounding air. However, they don’t necessarily give off the same amount of distributable heat as a gas patio heater.
The size of the outdoor space you want to heat and whether you want to use your patio heater or fire pit all year round will indicate the amount of heat you require. Smaller spaces or porches can work with smaller electric heaters, while large patios could well need one or more freestanding tall heaters, especially if you also want to sit out during the colder months. And with gas heaters, you also need to consider the reflector size, as this will show how well the heater can distribute its warmth.
Top of your priority list when it comes to a patio heater is safety and there are some essential features you should look for, including stability, a wide base, tilt-over protection, automatic shut offs and cool-touch glass. And, for families with little ones, the best choice of heater will be infrared as there are no real flames for little fingers to touch.
Ideal for larger outdoor spaces, these patio heaters can be either gas or electric and consist of a base, pole and heat reflector.
Smaller and easy to move around, these patio heaters are the most convenient and are typically electric, sitting on a nearby table or raised, flat surface.
These heaters are pretty discreet and are a good choice if floor space is limited. However, they need to be permanently installed and work well on a nearby wall.
The ultimate in going back to nature in your garden, these are open ‘bowls’ made from metal which you place on the ground and houses your burning fuel source, such as wood.