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The Best Patio Heater (Reviews) in 2021 – Buying Guide
A patio heater is the age-old solution to socialising in lousy weather. Pubs and restaurants have been using them as such for aeons. Now that we can only safely see our loved ones outdoors, it only makes sense to bring this technique to our patios at home.
Table of Contents
What is the best patio heater online today?
In this post, we will assess the 10 best patio heaters available online today.
– BEST GAS PATIO HEATER
This is the classic patio heater for a small budget. If you already decided that gas is the right fuel for you, this is the ideal option.
An industrial, stainless steel look and a tall slim design are what makes this gas heater extremely popular. It has wheels, so you can effortlessly move it around on your patio, and an anti-tilt safety device makes it switch off if it should tip over (although it also comes with a weight plate to that keeps it nice and steady – double safety!)
Thanks to its height of over 2 metres, the device can heat an impressive surface area. That said, the heat loses its intensity as you get farther away from the source.
- Dimensions: 221x81x81cm
- Weight 21 kg
- Fuel: 13kg gas bottle
- Mount: 27mm regulator (included)
What do people say about it? A lot of the excitement is linked to the fact that it is cheap and easy to handle and assemble (although you need two people to do so).
Some reviews mention irregular heat performance, while others complain about small parts made of lower quality steel, which they’ve had to replace after a short while.
- Easy to handle
- Safe to use
- Covers a large surface area
- Attractive price point
- Irregular heat performance the farther you get from the device
- Complaints about quality issues (you get what you pay for, right?).
It’s simply a decent option at a scandalously low price. What’s more, it’s easy to use and features a classic look.
The heater’s impressive height of over 2 metres distributes warmth over a relatively large surface area.
The irregular performance of the heater seems to be a minor concern. I guess if it warms you just a bit, you’re already better off than before. So, all in all, it is a decent product that offers excellent value for the money. If you want quality heat, you have to spend a bit more. Fair enough, right?
The Dellonda gas pyramid heater is the stylish choice for your patio. Because of its pyramid shape and built-in metal reflector, it heats both the surroundings and the area below.
The Dellonda heater produces a real flame that is encompassed by the glass; this means you get a dimmed light and a cosy ambience along with the heat.
Dellonda’s control panel allows you to adjust the heat output. Per the company’s specs, the device consumes just under 1 kg per hour when you run it on maximum output. And, of course, it comes with a tip-over safety switch.
- Dimensions: 58X227cm
- Weight: 32kg
- Fuel: Gas Propane (max size Ø32,5×70 cm)
- Heats: 8 m2
- Output: 13kW
What do people say about it? It’s hard to find any downsides to the Dellonda pyramid gas heater. Customers who purchased this product find it relatively easy to assemble and are impressed with its heat output.
- Decent heat output
- May be used for light as well as heat
- Great value for the money
- Far from the cheapest among its peers
The Dellonda costs roughly twice as much as the Outtrade gas heater, but its heating output is also a lot stronger. So if you fancy the contemporary pyramid shape over the classic “streetlight” look of the Outtrade, you got yourself a brilliant freestanding gas heater in the Dellonda.
My verdict — it’s a suitable product for the slightly bigger budget.
– BEST ELECTRIC PATIO HEATER
The Livivo freestanding electric heater is an absolute bestseller. At only £65, though, you may wonder whether its popularity stems only from the low price point. But there’s more to it than that. First of all, the Livivo electric heater is highly flexible in use. You can tilt the head to a 45° angle, and adjust the height from 1.74 to 2.1 cm. The heater has 3 heat settings —650w / 1350w / 2000w— and can be used indoors as well as outdoors. It is made of steel, and the manufacturer claims it to be waterproof.
- Height: 174-210cm adjustable.
- Fuel: electric, 230v ~ 50Hz
- Mount: wall-mounted
- Output: 2kW
- Cord length: 3m.
- 3 power settings
What do people say about it? Most folks who bought this electric heater are happy with the heat output, find it very easy to assemble, and mention that it seems quite stable because of its broad base. However, almost all reviewers find it impossible to plug the device in without an extension cord.
- broad base makes it stable
- good quality good heat output
- very adjustable
- the cord is too short (only about 3 m.)
Its adjustable features make Livivo very user-friendly and convenient, and the device provides excellent heating. However, the absurdly short cord is a real issue, as most people don’t have a patio that’s full of plugs. What’s more, the safety is somewhat compromised when extension cords are in the game.
There is some confusion among consumers regarding the instruction manual, which bizarrely mentions ‘no outdoor use’. But the product is rated IPX4. Per the International Protection Code, which classifies products based on their protection against intrusion, dust, contact, and water, ‘IPX4’ stands for ‘resistant to water splashes in any direction’. But either way, this is an electric device, so it may be wise to shield it from direct exposure to the elements.
The VonHaus wall-mounted infrared patio heater features a sleek tube design made of quartz, and resembles a somewhat industrial-looking light fixture., It has certain technical advantages, as it is designed to heat up to your desired output (1000w or 2000w) in just 45 seconds, and radiate heat up to 3 metres.
The VonHaus patio heater comes with a modest cord measuring of 1,8 m. It is rated IP65, so it is safe for outdoor use IF used with an IP65 rated socket as well.
- Dimensions: 72cmX17cmX14cm
- Fuel: electric
- Mount: Wall-mounted
- 2 heat levels -1000w and 2000w
- Cord Length: 1.8 metres
- Water resistance rating: IP65 – protected against water projected from a nozzle (OK, still, don’t spray it with your garden hose)
What do people say about it? Per the consumer reviews, the VonHaus is proving to be a reasonably capable wall-mounted infrared heater. It’s easy to assemble, and quickly produces a substantial amount of heat right after you turn it on.
One commonly mentioned nuisance is that it’s not possible to angle the heater in different directions, so be sure to mount and point it and where you want the heat to radiate.
- Fast heating.
- Great output.
- can’t adjust the orientation
I’ve ranked the VonHaus in our top 5 list of patio heaters, and it is obvious why. For a pretty low cost you get a small, yet powerful heat source with a rather elegant design. The only reason I didn’t rank it higher, is that you want your patio heater to be a bit more flexible, if not altogether mobile. That said, for a low-cost, wall-mounted patio heater, this is the right choice.
– BEST TABLE-TOP PATIO HEATERS
With its 2-in-1 design, the Swan Al Fresco table-top heater is the smart choice for a table-top heater. Why? Because it’s a table with the actual heater underneath! No more need for blankets for your freezing feet! It comes with a stainless steel base and an alloy frame for the heater, and tempered glass for the table-top. It has the typical tip-over safety mechanism and 2 output settings: 800w and 1600w.
- Height: 110cm
- Diameter: 60cm
- Weight: 22.3kg
- Power source: Electricity
- Output: 800w and 1.6kW
- Cord length: 1.8m
- Water resistance rating: IP44 – protected against objects larger than 1mm, and water splashing from all directions.
What do people say about it? There seems to be a pattern with electric heaters having their cord too short, and the same goes for this one. I.8 metres is just not sufficient for something meant for outdoor use, with mobility being such an essential factor.
There is some difference in opinion when it comes to the heat output, although the consensus is that the device generates heat fast enough. It is not waterproof; with an IP44 rating, it’s merely ‘splash-resistant’, like most of its counterparts, so you need a cover for it if you don’t want to carry it in and out all the time (the thing weighs 22.3kg).
- Handy, innovative design: it’s not just a heater, but also a table.
- Impractically short cord.
- Heavy, and no wheels to aid mobility.
Most patio heaters are designed to heat from the top. This is a bit strange, as heat rises up and away, and your investment doesn’t benefit you as much as it should. With the Swan Al Fresco, the heat is aimed directly at your legs, warming you from below, before the heat rises and warms the surrounding area.
This design gives the Al Fresco a definitive edge over its less-efficient peers.
Another table-top heater from Swan, this one is a fairly average portable heater, albeit with one key perk: efficiency. Its carbon fibre heating element and aluminium reflector provides more warmth with a lower carbon footprint.
The Swan Al Fresco portable heater, similar to its sister mentioned above, is made of stainless steel with an alloy frame, but only with 1 heat output level of 1200w.
For enhanced portability, the heater comes with a handle so that you can place it on your table, beneath it, or wherever suits your needs. What’s more, weighing less than 9kg the device is relatively light-weight and easy to move around.
- Weight: 8,64kg
- 360-degree tip-over safety
- Power source: Electricity
- Output: 1200w
- Cord length: 1,8m
- Water resistance rating: IP44 protected against objects larger than 1mm, and water splashing from all directions.
What do people say about it? This is the same product as the Swan Al Fresco table-top heater, just without the table-top and with a handle in its place. Per the consumer reviews, this device could use a longer cord, and the heat output is highly disputed.
- simple design
- flexible in use
- Short supply cord
- Heat output questioned in consumer reviews
For a product that’s meant to be portable, the Swan Al fresco features a handy light-weight design. It has a simple appearance and does a decent job of keeping its customers warm and happy. Not bad, given its relatively low cost.
– BEST PYRAMID PATIO HEATERS
With pyramid heaters, there’s typically a lack of variety of shapes and sizes, and this one is no different. This Gasdepot heater looks much like its peers – classic, modern, right out of your neighbourhood pub’s patio. The design aims to distribute heat in a circular shape and create a warm and cosy ambience with its real flame.
- Output: 13kW
- Power source: gas, either13 kg bottle, or 27 mm propane cylinders
What do people say about it? There is some difference of opinion as to its ease of assembly. The amount of time spent ranges from 45 minutes to 2 hours; but obviously, this depends on your DIY skills as much as the detail level of the instruction manual. In this particular case, the manual seems somewhat vague.
Other reviewers mentioned that the glass which encloses the flame comprises 2 pieces, instead of just a single tube, and this configuration makes it a bit flimsy. That said, you can replace the enclosure with a sturdier one.
Overall, though, most reviewers found the heater sturdy and stable, with impressive heat output.
- Great heat output,
- Pleasant ambience
- Difficulties with assembling
If you fancy the pyramid-style patio heater, and the intense heat it typically yields, this heater could be the right choice for you. It provides a significant amount of heat and features a stable and robust design.
This Gasdepot heater creates a cosy ambience thanks to its real flame. Get a hand with the assembly, and you’ve got yourself a reliable patio heater!
The BU-KO pyramid-shaped gas-powered patio heater is a popular choice despite the somewhat heftier price tag. It displays an attractive open flame contained in a quartz glass tube, and as a unique feature, it comes embedded with Bluetooth Speakers!
Like most patio heaters, the BU-KO is made of stainless steel and aluminium and boasts the ability to withstand almost any weather.
It is CE-approved per the European Economic Area safety standards, with a standard valve that turns it off if the heater is tilted.
As an extra, super-handy feature, this heater comes with a step-by-step assembly video guide.
- Height: 227 cm
- Power Source: propane or LPG, 13 kg bottle
- Adjustable flame
What do people say about it? All-in-all, the BU-KO seems to be a great product with no real downsides. It gives off a gentle heat that’s very easy to adjust to your desired level. It takes a while to assemble, but the instructions are clear and thorough enough.
- Stable despite its height, even without a gas bottle to weight it down
- Powerful heat output that covers a 3-metre radius
- Thorough safety features
- Comes with Bluetooth speakers
- Video instructions
- nothing obvious
Of all the patio heaters on my list, the BU-KO seems to get the most praise from customers. In fact, it has a dizzying amount of reviews on the web. It is not that pricy compared to similar products, so I feel that you get a quality product for your money. Maybe the Bluetooth speakers don’t meet the standards of a professional sound system, but who would expect them to? They’re still a terrific perk!
– BEST FREESTANDING ELECTRIC HEATERS
The Neo electro freestanding heater features an adjustable height ranging from 130cm to 210cm, as well as a 45-degree up-down adjustment of the actual heating element. The latter covers an area of 15 square metres and has 3 heat settings: 650W, 1350W, and2000W.
The Neo is sold for both outdoor and indoor use and has not only the standard tip-over safety switch but also an overheat protection function.
- Dimensions: 205x60x50cm
- Weight: 5 kg
- Stent size: 60(Base Diameter) X 205cm;
- Power source: electric
- Output: 2000watts
- Cord length: 1.8 metres
- Lamp life: up to 5,000 hours
Water-resistance rating: IPX4 -resistant to water splashes in any direction.
What do people say about it? It’s good value for the money. The heat settings are pleasant, and while the device is easy to move around, it’s still stable thanks to the broad, sturdy base. The heat is spread out evenly, and the simple design should please most people.
Surprise! The cord length is not long enough for most reviewers’ needs.
- Can be detached from the base and potentially used in a parasol socket in the middle of a table.
- Cord too short. Surprise!
The heater features a simple design that does not take up a tonne of space or dominate your patio. It’s light-weight and easy to move around and provides decent heat output. All-in-all, the Neo is a reliable product, that doesn’t go hard on your wallet.
The tall and sleek design of the Glow Warm gas patio heater makes it very popular. It comes in 2 colours: black and steel. It has a set of wheels so you can quickly move it around the patio, and a safety switch that turns of the heater instantly should it tip over. And there’s a small, yet handy extra detail: an ignition button powered by AA batteries.
- Height: 224cm
- Fuel: propane gas
- Output: 13kW
- 27mm propane regulator
- Ignition button: AA battery
What do people say about it? Buyers of the Glow Patio heater are generally content and find that the device provides intense, yet comfortable heat. It is reasonably easy to assemble, but the battery for the ignition button is not mentioned in the manual, and this omission has led to some confusion among reviewers.
Once you figure out that it needs a set of batteries, you should have no problems turning on the heat.
- great value for your money
- impressive heat output
- convenient ignition button
- confusing manual (seems to be the norm)
When asked to imagine a patio heater, this is the design that would come to most people’s minds. It’s got quite an industrial-looking design and a streetlight look that fits most outdoor settings so well.
With patio heaters, price and quality range quite a lot; obviously, you get what you pay for. The Glow is a medium-budget patio heater, and based on its reviews, you get a product of much higher quality than you would from a cheaper model.
Patio Heaters FAQ + Buying Guide
Should I get a gas or electric patio heater?
Choosing your heater’s power source depends on a host of factors. Both gas and electric types come in various shapes and forms, and range quite a bit in price, so the fuel type you choose hinges on how you will use your heater.
Where will it be in use? Indoors or outside, or maybe both?
Gas heaters are ONLY for outdoor use but are much more mobile as they are not tied to an outlet location. Electric heaters need – yes, electricity, and often come with a very short cord. Consider the safety measurements when adding cord extensions and the available plug locations.
- Weather. If you want the option of leaving your patio heater outside at night come rain or shine, you are safest with a gas heater. We all know electricity and water do not go well together, so unless you want to bring the heater in, or always remember to cover it, you’ll be better off with a gas heater. That being said, a cover is still a good idea as the weather will deteriorate the device and shorten its life regardless of its power source.
- Flexibility: Most electric heaters (not the wall-mounted ones) come with a wide range of adjustment levels, which can be quite convenient. Gas heaters give off heat to the surrounding area and are much easier to adjust to the desired heat output than electric powered ones, as the latter typically come with fixed output settings.
- Environment: Electric heaters are much less costly to run than propane gas-powered ones. This goes both for you and for the environment. Electric heaters leave a 15% smaller carbon footprint than those powered by gas. An electric heater also generates far more heat than ones that run on gas, measured by consumption of energy.
How big should my patio heater be?
Generally, you will need 1 patio heater for every 1500-2000 square feet, or 140-190 square metres of patio space, if your patio is covered. That said, don’t expect to feel the heat evenly throughout such a large area. This formula simply implies that the heater will somewhat increase the temperature in this area.
If it is a non-covered patio, you cannot expect any heater to cover an area of more than 1.5-2 meters. Also, take into account that heat rises up and away if nothing is there to capture it. If you have a non-covered patio, you could consider buying multiple heaters while opting for those with a strong output.
Here’s a quick area-to-output table for your reference:
|Patio Area (m2)||Heater Output (kW)|
|9 – 42||1.47 – 2.93|
|43 – 93||2.93 – 5.86|
|93 – 139||5.86 – 7.00|
|139 – 186||7.00 - 8.79|
|186 – 232||8.79 – 9.96|
Are patio heaters safe?
Patio heaters are generally safe and come with safety mechanisms, like the tilt-over switch off, and the overheat protection. Most also have thorough and straightforward guidelines. That said, always use your heater with care. This goes both for electric- and gas-powered heaters.
ALWAYS follow the product’s guidelines. A heater will naturally get hot, so don’t leave it close to items that might melt or burn. Turn them off when you leave the space. Check the mounting, the cord, and the plug often and be sure to buy a protective cover for it – apart from ensuring safety, it will make your heater last much longer.
When thinking about water resistance, look at the device’s IP rating. IP65 is rainproof, where lower numbers merely indicate ‘splash proof’.
I hope that my list of top-value heaters serves as a decent guide for your purchase. If there’s anything you’d like to add, or an experience with a patio heater that you’d like to share, please leave us a comment below.