HeatingForce is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more
The Best Small Patio Heater of 2021 (Reviews + Buying Guide)
Are you looking for a patio heater that will keep your modestly sized patio warm without burning a hole in your wallet?
You’ve come to the right place. This post will discuss the top heater models that don’t use much energy, take up little space, and still balance compactness and heat output.
Table of Contents
Small Patio Heater Types
If you’re after a compact heater, an electric model with an infrared heating element is your best bet. Infrared technology affords a great way to prevent heat loss, as this heating method directs heat at a surface rather than dissipating it to the surroundings. Infrared heaters work well for intimate gatherings in smaller places, like a dining table; they’re not meant to heat an entire patio.
Small-sized gas-fuelled heaters can also be a suitable option, as they emit a substantial amount of heat despite their compact size. Gas heaters do not require an electric outlet, which makes them more portable and convenient — a gas bottle, provided you can lift it, can be carried to any location.
In a rush and want to know what’s the best small patio heater in our research?
What Are the Benefits of a Smaller Heater?
Opting for a smaller heater for your patio can afford you several distinct advantages. That’s because these tiny devices:
- Save Space. This one’s simple — smaller heaters take up fewer of your home’s precious square metres.
- Are Easy to Move Around. Small patio heaters are more lightweight, too. Most of them are equipped with handles, making them easy to carry around. Portability is a handy feature, as it lets you determine your preferred location on your patio — not your heater. Smaller heaters are also simple enough to pack and take with you on your next camping or fishing trip.
- Are Simple to Operate. Smaller patio heaters are typically simple to operate. You don’t have to learn heaps of technical stuff to get them going. Even for a total novice in heating devices, using a small patio heater should be a piece of cake.
- Consume Less Energy. Given their compact size and limited heat output, tiny heaters have a lower demand for energy and leave a smaller carbon footprint than their oversized, 13kW, gas-guzzling counterparts. What’s more… well, I don’t have to sell you on energy savings, do I?
What Strength Patio Heater for Small Patio Do I Need?
Your first consideration should be the heat output. Your heater of choice should be able to produce enough heat to warm your space. So, you must first find out the size of your patio, garden, conservatory, or wherever it is that you intend to use your heater. Once you’ve calculated your floor area, you can use this simple chart to size your heater:
Patio Heater Sizing Chart
|Patio Area (m2)||Heater Output (kW)|
|9-42||1.47 – 2.93|
|42-93||2.93 – 5.86|
|93-139||5.86 – 7.0|
|139-186||7.0 – 8.79|
|186-232||8.79 – 9.96|
When dealing with heating appliances, accidents can easily occur if you’re not careful and sticking to the manual. That said, all heaters listed in this article meet the minimum safety standards, so operating them should not expose you to any undue risks.
Regardless of the fuel type, most heaters are equipped with a tilt-over safety switch that shuts the unit off when tilted. Many models also come with an overheat protection function that similarly turns off the unit if it exceeds the maximum heat level. Even with these safety devices in place, however, you should never leave your heater running unattended, and always follow the manufacturer’s assembly and mounting guidelines.
Weather resistance is another crucial factor. Using an electric heater around water (in the rain, for instance), can spell the end for your device if it’s not water-resistant. Look for an IP rating of X5 or higher if you think that your appliance may come in contact with water. An IP rating of X4 may also be sufficient, as long as the device is under a cover, like a roof or a canopy. Most patio heaters are rated to at least IPX4.
What Are the Best Small Patio Heaters on the Market Today?
Now that you know what to look for in a patio heater let’s look at my top picks.
The sleek-looking floor-standing Blumfeldt Heat Guru uses infrared technology to radiate heat and dissipates it with a 120-360° oscillating function. It has two heat levels — 600W and 1200W — which can be adjusted with a knob at the heater’s top.
The Blumfeldt Heat Guru comes with a cool-touch-coated grill, as well as the basic tilt-over safety switch that immediately turns off the heater should it fall over.
The Guru weighs just under 3 kg, so it’s relatively lightweight and mobile. A handle is placed conveniently at the top for even better portability.
- Dimensions: 56 x 22 cm
- Weight: 2.9 kg
- Power source: electric 220-240V
- Heat output: infrared 1200W
- Safety: tilt-over safety switch, cool-touch grill
- Weatherproof: IPX4
- Cord length: 1.8cm
What do people say about it? The Blumfeldt Heat Guru is highly praised for both its heat output and the 360-degree oscillation feature. The device’s lightweight nature is quite convenient, as moving it around requires little effort. Apparently, this heater can heat up the surroundings surprisingly fast.
- Adjustable oscillation function
- Great heat output
- Cool-touch safety grill
- Nothing obvious
The Blumfeldt Heat Guru features a brilliant design: it’s lightweight, portable, and the oscillation system makes sure that its heat can benefit multiple individuals. An excellent choice for a tiny heater!
The Costway Infrared Patio Heater is wall-mounted and remote-controlled. It comes equipped with three heat settings — 500W, 1000W, and 1500W — which you can see in the LED-display at the front. A 24-hour timer frees you from worrying about the electricity bill and safety in a single touch.
- Dimensions: 18 x 60 x B9 cm
- Weight: 2 kg
- Material: Carbon fibre, aluminium alloy, plastic
- Power source: Electric 220-240V
- Heat Output: Infrared 1500W
- Cord Length: 80 cm
- Weatherproof: IP34 — protected from water spray from any direction
What do people say about it? Most buyers agree that the Costway Infrared Patio Heater emits a fair amount of heat, and is easy enough to assemble.
- Strong, immediate heat
- IP34 is not actually “waterproof” as advertised by this company, but rather water-resistant. It is safe to use outdoors, given that the unit is covered beneath a roof or canopy.
The Costway Infrared Patio Heater is a reliable little device, with a strong enough output despite its size. If you’re looking for a wall-mounted heater to hang in a smaller space, such as a garage or gazebo, this model may be a decent option.
The Mensa Heating Imus is a small infrared heater, made to slide under your table or fit next to you wherever you’re sitting down. It radiates heat from 2 sides, so it’s perfect for keeping your guests’ feet warm beneath a table. For extra stability, this heater comes with a weighted base.
The Mensa Heating Imus features cool-touch technology, so you can safely use it around children and pets as the grill maintains a low temperature at all times. An overheat sensor prevents the heater from reaching excessive temperatures.
- Dimensions: 67 x 20cm
- Weight: 3.6kg
- Power supply: Electric 230V
- Heat Output: Infrared 550W
- Cord length: 3 metres
- Weather resistance: IP44 — protected against water spray from any direction
- Safety: safe-touch technology, overheat-sensor, weighted base to prevent tip-overs
What do people say about it? The Mensa heating Imus impresses most of its buyers and garners predominantly good reviews. It’s clearly a top-quality product that provides sufficient amounts of heat quickly.
The customer support team at Mensa receives its fair share of compliments as well. The few reviewers who did experience issues report getting friendly, professional help.
Strikingly, the consumer reviews praise the Mensa Heating Imus’ long power cable, which measures a staggering 3 metres — an unheard-of affair in the realm of electric heaters.
- Excellent heat output
- LONG power cable
- 2-year warranty
- Nothing obvious
In this tiny device, Mensa successfully created a straightforward, portable, powerful patio heater, that continues to please its users. Plus, it has an astonishingly long, 3-metre power cable. That’s nothing short of genius. I’m buying this one!
The tiniest heater of all, the Sealey LP13 Space Warmer is a ceramic plaque-type heater that fits on the side of a propane bottle. The ceramic plaque comes with a 700mm gas hose and a 37mbar fixed regulator, which lets you adjust the heat output. A clamp is provided so you can fasten the device to the neck of the gas bottle. To turn the heater on, you simply turn the gas bottle knob and manually light the valve on the ceramic plaque with a lighter or a match. To turn the heater off, all you have to do is shut off the gas supply. Oh, and the heat output is a staggering 4.5kW — too shabby for a heater that’s smaller than an iPad.
- Dimensions: 8.2 x 1.52 cm
- Weight: 1.96 kg
- Power Source: Propane gas
- Heat Output: 4.5kW
What do people say about it? The Sealey LP13 Space Warmer generates plenty of heat and quickly warms up a small workshop or garage. The adjustable output is convenient, and when cranked up to the maximum heat level, you can feel the heat from 2 metres away. The ceramic plaque gets very hot but cools down after 5 minutes. The mounting bracket feels a bit flimsy, but no one’s reported any actual issues. The fact that you have to turn the heater on and off from the actual bottle, and not on the device itself, serves as a great safety measure.
- Powerful heat output
- Simple operation
- The unit gets very hot
- Regulator only fits propane bottles
The Sealey LP13 Space Warmer is as minimalist as heaters get, and yet it’s quite powerful and easy to mount and operate. If you want a small heater to take on camping or fishing trips, this one is a great choice, as it fits on propane bottles of any size.
5. Enders Polo
This heater resembles the base of a larger device but is a heating unit itself. From its reflector at the top, the Enders Polo emits heat at precisely the sitting height, so it’s an excellent choice for dinner parties. There are 2 heat levels — 3kW and 6 kW — and you can quickly adjust these. Thanks to a set of wheels, the Enders Polo is highly portable, despite its weight of 13 kg. The heater’s safety is ensured with a thermoelectric flame failure safety device and an anti-tilt system.
- Dimensions: 115 x 42 cm
- Weight: 13 kg
- Material: Brushed Stainless Steel/plastic
- Power source: propane gas
- Heat Output: 3kW/6kW
- Safety: anti-tilt switch and thermoelectric flame failure
What do people say about it? According to most reviews, the Enders Polo gets points for being sturdy and reliable, while getting criticised for long assembly times and a vague instruction manual.
- Heat is emitted at the sitting level
- Longer burn hours than most gas heaters (25 vs 15 hours)
- It’s not sold with the regulator
Enders Polo’s unique design is a delightful addition to the club of small patio heaters. It emits hit right where you’re sitting and is more efficient than most of its larger counterparts. If you’re looking for a small, yet powerful heater, look no further than the Enders Polo.
As you can see, in the outdoor heating world, “small” doesn’t have to mean “feeble”. I hope that my guide helps you choose a compact, energy-efficient heater, that still serves its principal objective of keeping you and your guests warm.
Have you used another small patio heater model you’d like to share with our readers? Or, have you tried any of the ones I listed in this post? If you’ve answered yes, please leave our readers and us a comment below.