It can be bittersweet to see summer come to an end. And while the past few months looked a lot different than years past, many of us enjoyed some much-needed time spent at home relaxing on patios, porches, and balconies. The good news? Socially-distanced outdoor soirees and alfresco dining can continue well into fall and winter. Recreate the cozy experience of outdoor restaurant dining in your own backyard by adding a patio heater.
Patio heaters come in a variety of designs, including freestanding, wall- or ceiling-mounted, portable, and tabletop. Plus, there are different types of heating sources, such as propane gas, electric, and infrared heaters, so you can pick the model that's best for your home. While these factors are important to consider in your final decision, every patio heater featured below provides satisfying warmth regardless of the temperature outside.
To determine which patio heaters are suitable for your space, we’ve scoured the internet to find 10 best-selling picks worth the investment. What’s more, we’ve dished out every detail you need to know to make sure you’re buying the right one for you.
In terms of style and functionality, the Patio Comfort patio heater takes the cake. It comes in antique bronze, stainless-steel, cast-aluminum, and silver-vein finishes so you can easily find a color that fits your patio’s aesthetic. On top of its visual appeal, the patio heater includes a portable wheel kit for convenient mobility and an instruction manual for fuss-free assembly. Standing at 7-1/2 feet tall, this freestanding patio heater delivers warmth ranging from 10 to 15 feet, depending on wind and location. One shopper notes the heater “didn’t even wobble when we had 50 mph winds,” so you can be sure this unit is built to last.
As we transition into fall, our minds are on all things comfy and cozy, and this wall-mount patio heater brings those warm, fuzzy feeling outdoors. It delivers a 9-foot heat radius, so you can enjoy coffee on chilly mornings and wine in the evenings on your patio or porch without packing on the layers. As an infrared heater, it directs heat at people and objects instead of just warming up the air. Plus, it's constructed of stainless steel with a weatherproof aluminum shield for extreme durability and has three temperature settings for customizable comfort. Best of all, the wall-mounted design is great for those who want a relatively low-profile look.
Buy It: Fire Sense Black Wall-Mounted Infrared Patio Heater, ($141.99, Target)
With dancing flames in a ceramic glass tube, the Belleze patio heater pyramid knows how to put on a show. And its beauty doesn’t stop there: The heater also comes in a sleek bronze finish. It includes wheels that attach at the bottom so you can effortlessly move it from place to place in your backyard. The patio heater has an impressive 15-foot radius heat range, a 20-pound propane tank requirement (one tank produces 8 to 10 hours of heat), and a height of 89 inches. Many five-star reviewers say it’s easy to put together, produces strong heat, and looks beautiful.
Not only does this durable option work as a patio heater, but it also doubles as a lamp for bonus outdoor lighting. And it’s made with heating technology that produces heat within just three seconds without releasing any odors or chemicals. Its ceiling-mount design is easy to set up, saves floor space, and warms up wide areas. What’s more, you don’t have to worry about weather damage or adding a cover because the flame-free, family-friendly unit is waterproof as well as electric. Bonus: It can be placed indoors or outdoors, making it a great pick for garages, four-season rooms, and gazebos.
Complete with a remote control, the Costway electric patio heater is all about convenience. Whether you want to adjust the level of heat or turn it on and off, you can do it from the comfort of your patio furniture. It’s made of sturdy steel and is weather- and dust-resistant. It also has an adjustable head so you can tilt it in different directions to direct heat at guests who might be chillier than others. “Where has this been my entire life?” wrote one five-star reviewer who says she can even take her sweater off while sitting in her garage in the winter.
Whether you’re enjoying a dinner for two outdoors or hosting a watch party in the garage, this adjustable infrared patio heater is adaptable to all situations. You can extend it to its tallest height of about 6-1/2 feet or shorten it all the way down to about 3-1/2 feet tall. While the tallest height is ideal for covering more space with more people, the smallest height is a great way to keep you and your partner at a comfortable temperature while enjoying a meal on the deck. Since it’s electric, there’s no need to buy a propane tank, and it also comes with a handy remote control.
If you’re looking for an eco-friendly alternative to electric or propane heating units, the Q-Stove patio heater is for you. It’s powered by recycled sawdust wood pellets, with each 20-pound load burning for about three to four hours. It’s also made of robust steel with a sharp black finish. With a no-fuss, no-frills design, this portable option is a great choice for camping trips and picnics alike. Plus, it has a heat blanket of about 10 feet, providing enough warmth for a quaint outdoor destination.
Fireplaces, like this portable one, are a tried-and-true patio heater option. The wheels and compact size make it a breeze to store in a garage or at the side of a house while not in use. What’s more, it can be easily transported in a vehicle to bring to the beach or campsite bonfires. Not only does it keep you warm, but it also allows you to roast marshmallows for a tasty autumn treat. In addition to its mobility, the patio heater is constructed of a steel fire screen to keep flames contained yet visible and a sturdy porcelain enamel bowl. One satisfied shopper wrote, “We love this firepit. It’s safe to have kids around and is extremely easy to move around our yard.”
For those searching for a patio heater specific to outdoor dining, look no further than this infrared tabletop design. It quickly and quietly heats up thanks to its halogen tube technology, providing enough warmth for groups of four or five people to enjoy family dinners, at-home happy hours, and game nights. Suitable for indoor and outdoor use, the weather-resistant patio heater is a great choice for fall and winter events like holiday gatherings and outdoor movie nights. The best part? It looks like a table lamp and it automatically shuts off if it’s accidentally tipped over.
If your outdoor living space is your favorite destination, consider adding this attractive patio heater to make it even better. To get it nice and toasty, simply press the start button while your household electricity takes care of the rest, allowing you to kick back and relax while watching the dancing spiral flame. Plus, the 6-foot structure has the power to distribute heat evenly within a 36-square-foot radius and can even be condensed into a 4-foot frame suitable for more intimate gatherings. For larger patio layouts, we suggest adding two units to ensure everyone will be at a comfortable temperature.