HeatingForce is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more
7 Best Table Top Heaters (Reviews) For Cozy Social Gatherings
There’s never been a better time to invest in a table-top patio heater. With the cold, dark winter approaching and most of us stuck at home, spending time on your warm patio with friends and family might offer a much-needed respite.
There is a vast range of outdoor heating options out there, but table-top heaters take the top spot for small social gatherings. These small gadgets take a seat in the middle of a patio table and emit warmth to those around them.
Table of Contents
Should I Get a Table Top Heater?
These compact heaters have several advantages over their bulky floor-standing counterparts.
Firstly, they save precious patio space. Floor-standing heaters typically take up a fair bit of room, which smaller patios can’t really spare. Table-top heaters fit neatly on your table without cluttering up your patio’s floor.
Second, you can move these heaters around wherever you go on your patio. During the off-season, you can quickly bring a table-top heater indoors instead of worrying about heater covers, rain, wind, snow, and bird droppings.
Third, table-top heaters are great for adding mood lighting and ambience to your dinner table.
Finally, these devices are often priced lower.
Types of Table Top Heaters
These heat-oozing table centrepieces often look like miniature versions of their cumbersome floor-standing peers, whilst some look like outdoor table lamps.
These heaters have the same essential parts as floor-standing heaters, but, obviously lack the heat output. And while they won’t blast your patio with 13kW of heat like some larger variants, table-top heaters will keep your small dinner party nice and toasty.
Patio Heater Fuel Types
Propane patio heaters
Propane is the most common fuel source for patio heaters. It comes in easily transportable tanks, which give the heater utmost flexibility. These tanks typically fit inside the table-top heaters’ base.
Propane heaters are started with an ignition switch that is typically a Piezo or multi-spark ignition system, with no electrical connection needed. You simply press (or turn) the switch to create a spark and ignite the fuel.
Gas heaters typically produce the most heat and give you great control over the output. If you pick a gas heater, take note if a hose and a regulator are included; otherwise, you will have to purchase them separately.
Electric patio heaters
If you don’t want to fret over last-minute trips to the store to refill your propane tank, electric-powered heaters are an excellent alternative. With these heaters, your efforts are limited to finding a nearby plug and flipping them on. Just make sure that there’s a power source nearby, as most electric heaters come with inexplicably short power cords.
Most electric heaters have weather-resistant hardware (more on that later), but I will still urge you to have them in a sheltered area when they’re energised.
Electric heaters do not usually provide the same heating capacity as their gas-powered counterparts. That said, their infrared variants are highly efficient and well-suited for small dinner gatherings.
Electric heaters are often more compact than their gas-fired peers but typically produce less heat. Their advantage is a continuous power supply (power cuts notwithstanding). Just bear in mind that electricity is not the cheapest power source in the UK. Before you buy an electric heater, be sure to estimate how much energy it will consume, so you’re not too shocked by your next electric bill.
Bioethanol patio heaters
These devices rely on heat that is generated by burning ethanol. This renewable fuel is made by fermenting sugar and starch by-products from various grains and sugarcane. Like propane, you can purchase bioethanol bottles at most home hardware stores.
Bioethanol heaters usually have the lowest initial cost, but require frequent refuelling and maintenance. To prevent fires, always make sure that the heater is extinguished and has had time to cool before reigniting it or adding fuel.
Top 7 Table Top Heaters in the UK
Kingfisher PH300 is a sturdy, reliable table-top heater. Standing 88 cm tall and weighing only 5.5 kilograms, the PH300 is also a convenient choice. It’s tall enough for the heat to cover a sufficient area, has weight to hold it down during a strong breeze, yet its lightweight and portable. The design is elegant and straightforward, and the device feels durable enough based on consumer reviews.
Kingfisher’s 6-ft hose is long enough for you to place the gas bottle under the table. The heater can run on either propane or butane, but you’ll have to buy a regulator separately, as it’s not included. It also starts up quite fast and effortlessly thanks to its Piezo ignition device.
- Height: 90 cm
- Diameter: 55cm
- Weight: 5.5 kg
- Power source: propane or butane
- Output: 4kW
What do people say about it? Most positive reviews highlight the product’s reliability, ease of use, and value for the money.
The critical feedback mainly addresses the Kingfisher’s low heat output compared to those of larger, freestanding devices. True enough, being a relatively compact table-top heater, the Kingfisher only produces 4kW of heat, whereas its floor-standing peers can produce as much as 13kW.
Some comments also call out poor packaging and vague assembly instructions. Even with these, though, it seems that the heater is simple enough to assemble.
- Ideal for occasional nights
- Great value for money
- Simplistic design
- Doesn’t come with a regulator
- Heat output insufficient for autumn and spring, let alone winter
- The dome needs better packing
- Instructions could be clearer
The Kingfisher PH300 is an excellent find for those looking to heat a small dinner table in mild weather. At only 4kW output, the device is relatively cost-effective, and its design is sturdy, yet compact.
As its name implies, the Gr8 Garden table-top heater runs on bioethanol. So if you are looking for small but meaningful ways to help the planet, this is a fantastic choice for you.
The Gr8 Garden heater resembles an ultra-modern, miniature fireplace. Its got a stainless steel, rectangular base, sandwiched between 2 panes of tempered safety glass. The glass is both aesthetic and functional. Its compact dimensions of 34 x 17 x 16 cm make the Gr8 Garden an easy addition to even the tiniest of tables.
But there’s one small downside to this heater. It burns fuel astonishingly fast. Typically, you can count on about 45 minutes of continuous heat before having to change the fuel bottle. Unfortunately, you must wait for the heater to cool off before refuelling, which can take several minutes.
- Dimensions: 34 x 17 x 16cm
- Weight: 2.16kg
- Power source: bioethanol
What do people say about it? Reviewers commend the Gr8 Garden’s compact size and heat output but criticise the need for frequent fueling. Some buyers urge caution about turning on the device when there’s fuel left over from previous use. This could, apparently, cause the bioethanol vapours to ignite.
- Remarkably low price point
- Uses bioethanol which means no strong smoke smell and fumes
- Small and lightweight, fits almost everywhere
- High heat output
- Burns fuel too fast
The Gr8 Garden heater produces a decent amount of heat, more than enough to keep 6 people feeling toasty. Its compact design makes it easy to move around, and the heater handily fits onto a small table. Best of all, the price point is incredibly low, so you get excellent value for your money.
La Hacienda’s copper series table-top heater isn’t the cheapest item on this list, and there’s a reason. This sleek device emits infrared heat, which instantly warms the surfaces directly beneath and around it. This type of heat is as powerful as it is efficient – there’s no heat loss to the surrounding air mass. And, the heat comes with a pleasant, sun-coloured light, so La Hacienda can serve as both a heat and light source.
What’s more, La Hacienda’s design features an elegant copper frame and a broad, stable base that’s still small enough to fit on a dinner table.
- Height: 80cm
- Base diameter: 50cm
- Power source: electricity
- Output: 2.1kW
What do people say about it? The positive reviews applaud La Hacienda’s decent heat and pleasant source of light. Most critical comments pointed out the relatively short power cord and the high price point.
- Safer than open-flame model heaters
- Will get you more than 5000 hours of usage
- Pleasing aesthetic design
- Efficient, infrared heat and light
- Heavier than most table-top heaters
- Quite expensive
- Power cord too short
La Hacienda is an exceptional table-top heater and lamp if you have a nearby power outlet. Despite the hefty price tag, this heater is efficient, powerful and elegant, and has left a positive impression on most of its buyers.
Firefly’s infrared table-top heater is another stylish, energy-efficient find. Unlike La Hacienda, the Firefly offers 3 heat settings – 900w, 1200w, and 2100w. Bear in mind, though, that the heat is infrared, so you can only heat the surface directly beneath the lamp – but you’ll heat it well. (Consider a gas-fired space heater like the Kingfisher for better area coverage).
One of the Firefly’s most distinct features is its cone-shaped, brown rattan weave base, paired with a stainless-steel shaft.
- Height: 1.06 metres
- Diameter: 60 cm
- Power source: electricity
- Output: 2.1 kW
What do people say about it? Most reviewers have left positive feedback about this product. That said, some buyers are unhappy with the relatively weak heat that the Firefly emits. (Remember: infrared heaters are not meant to heat large spaces; they direct intense heat at whichever surface you aim them).
- Rustproof base
- Stable design can weather strong winds
- 3 heat settings to choose from
- Intense, direct heat
- Relatively high price point
- Not optimal for heating large spaces
If you’re looking for an efficient, electric heater to warm up its immediate surroundings – say, a small dinner party – then the Firefly may be an appealing option. This heaters also doubles as an outdoor lamp.
This little table-top unit from BRIAN & DANY has a similar design to the Gr8 Garden heater I mentioned earlier. It has a tissue-box-sized heating unit, and two tempered glass panes to contain the open flame. Unlike the Gr8 Garden, though, this heater comes with a switch that immediately turns off the flame.
This heater is lightweight and portable and can, in theory, be used both indoors and outdoors. Keep in mind, though, that like all other open-flame heaters, this one can pose a fire hazard when used indoors (as one unfortunate buyer found out). Please exercise caution and good sense when using this unit; and better yet, keep it outdoors.
- Dimensions: 16 x 16 x 27 cm
- Weight: 1.3 kg
- Power source: bioethanol
What do people say about it? Most reviewers are happy with the compact design and the cosy ambience the heater creates. The most concerning feedback came from a buyer who had a fire inside their home after adding fuel to a device that was still too hot.
- Good value for your money
- Compact design that fits anywhere
- Runs on renewable bioethanol
- Simple and easy to assemble
- Requires refuelling after 45 minutes
- Potential fire hazard during refuelling
- Safest when used outdoors
Lightweight and portable, this heater is an excellent solution for your patio dining table. Just be sure to follow the safety precautions, and avoid using it indoors if possible.
The Fuoco Outdoor Firepit features a frost-proof ceramic bowl, with a stainless steel cover. The latter has an opening where you can add and light the fuel. The burner comes with a long-handled extinguisher that helps you safely snuff out the flames.
- Dimensions: 18.5 x 18.5 x 11.3 cm
- Weight: 1.21 kg
- Power source: Gel fuel
- Burning time: 2 hours
What do people say about it? While most reviewers are pleased with the heater’s aesthetics and convenient design, many also find the flames are not too large. As I read the reviews, I got the feeling that this heater works best for smaller dining tables.
- Simple and portable design
- Smokeless and odourless flames
- Heat output unsuitable for larger tables
- Not the cheapest heater of this type
This clean-burning firepit gets the thumbs up from most buyers. Its ceramic and stainless steel design is both elegant and sturdy, while its lightweight gives the heater portability. Just beware that although it’s called a ‘firepit’, this heater measures a meagre 18.5cm in diameter, so don’t expect bonfire-type flames and intensity.
Swan Al Fresco Portable Patio Heater is a versatile little heater that easily fits on or under your table. With a 1.2kW heat output, the device is powerful enough to keep a small dinner party warm on chilly evenings. The unit comes with a handy built-in handle, so, despite the heavier weight, it’s easy to move from place to place.
For safety, the heater’s got a tip-over switch that cuts the power in case the unit is knocked or blown over. It’s also IP44-rated, meaning it’s splash-resistant.
- Dimensions: 68×35.5×30 cm
- Weight: 8.64 kg
- Power source: electricity
- Heat output: 1.2kW
- Cord length: 1.8 metres
What do people say about it: The majority of reviewers are satisfied with the heat output, though a few criticise it as insufficient. Some buyers also point out the impractically short power supply cord.
- Flexible design allows for table-top and under-table use
- Power cable is not sufficiently long
The Al Fresco portable heater provides decent heat and can be easily placed on your dining table or beneath it. I like that it’s easy to move around, even though it’s a bit heavy at over 8kg. If you’re looking for a flexible heating option for your next dinner party, this could work. Keep in mind, though, that with a rating of IP44, this heater is NOT waterproof; it’s merely splash-proof, so be sure not to never expose it to rain or snow.
Table-top heaters offer a cosy, efficient alternative to their bulky floor-standing counterparts. Just remember – these heaters do more for the ambience than for warmth. They’ll keep small dining tables warm, but you can’t use them to heat your entire patio. What’s more – never forget about safety when you operate these heaters, particularly the bioethanol-fired models.
I hope that my guide will prove useful as you look for the perfect heater for your table. If you have a personal experience with any of these models (or others I didn’t mention), please leave our readers and us a comment!