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7 Best Outdoor Patio Heater: 2017 Reviews & Buying Guide

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A patio heater is ideal for those cool spring nights when you are entertaining guests out on your pool deck. You can also enjoy its heat and relaxing ambiance on those beautiful mild winter nights when you can just cuddle up on your porch swing, while you sip a glass of mulled wine, and watch the snow fall.

Our pick

THE BEST OUTDOOR PATIO HEATER

Lava Heat Italia AMAZON-138 Natural Gas Heater

Lava Heat Italia have designed a sleek and high quality heater that will add a special touch of sophistication to your home, and will provide ample heating for a medium sized patio or outdoor entertaining area.

How to Choose a Patio Heater

There are three things to consider before buying a patio heater:

1. Size of your patio/entertaining area

Consider the size of your patio and the entertaining area where you want to use the heater. Is your patio small, medium or large? Will you be using the heater on your patio, the front porch, on a small or large dining table, on your pool deck, or in a gazebo?

One of the most important things to remember before choosing your patio heater is to remember that although freestanding heaters (which are the most common patio heaters) may generate a lot of heat, patio heaters work the best when they are placed in a covered outdoor area.

2. Power Source

What kind of power source would you prefer for your heater: electric, propane or natural gas?

If you choose either a gas-powered free-standing or tabletop patio heater, then you need to consider the amount of BTU’s the heater can generate.

Small patio heaters, especially tabletop patio heaters generate from 3000 to 10,000 BTU’s, which will be sufficient for a small patio or a small table that can fit up to four people.

Larger or more powerful patio heaters like gas-powered freestanding models can generate more heat over a larger area.

38,000 BTU’s is ideal for small to medium sized patios or pool decks.

48,000 to 58,000 BTU’s is ideal for a medium or larger sized patio or entertaining area.

3. Design

Choose the heater's overall design. The most common designs are freestanding, wall-mounted, tabletop, or hanging patio heaters.

Freestanding

Freestanding patio heaters are the most common type of heaters for outdoor use. You may have experienced the amazing warmth from these heaters at your local cafe or restaurant. They usually stand at about 7- 8 feet tall, they may or may not have a flame that you can see, and they have a sturdy base.

As freestanding patio heaters are powered by gas they generate a generous amount of heat, so they are the ideal choice for a medium sized patio or pool deck. Some freestanding patio heaters are very portable as they have wheels, which is great if you need to move them around.

Wall-mounted

Wall-mounted electric patio heaters are the best choice if you have a small entertaining area and need to keep the floor space clear. If you have children, they can be placed safely out of reach. They do not produce any fumes, which makes them very environmentally friendly.

Tabletop

A tabletop patio heater can provide enough heat for guests at a small dining table for up to four people. You can also use a tabletop as an extra decorative function and place one or two on single tables around your patio or pool deck. They are more lightweight and portable and their attractive design will add a touch of style to your home.

Hanging

Hanging patio heaters give out a small amount of heat up to nine feet, so they are ideal for heating very small enclosed spaces like a porch or gazebo.

If you decide to hang the heater over a table, it will work the best if it is hung low over a dining table that will fit from two to four people.

Some hanging heaters look like a ceiling fan or they can be similar to an elegant chandelier and they cast a beautiful ambient glow, and as they are powered by electricity, you do not have to worry about fumes. A hanging patio heater may need to be professionally installed, or if you are a DIY handyman or woman, you can easily attach them to the ceiling, the rafters or exposed wooden beams.

Two Important Patio Heater Tips

1. Even though freestanding patio heaters can generate a higher amount of BTU’s, to get the best results from the heater at a dinner party, place the heater in close proximity to the dining table or where people will be sitting or congregating.

2. Another good tip for those who do a lot of entertaining or want to use the heater as the primary source of heating for a large table, is to buy two free-standing patio heaters that you can place at either end of the table.

If you like the sound of a tabletop heater, then why not buy two small tabletop heaters to provide you with enough heating for all your family or guests.

Propane or Natural Gas Patio Heaters

Most of the propane gas-powered patio heaters run on a simple 20lb propane tank, which can give you around 10 hours of heating.

Natural gas patio heaters can be hooked up to a natural gas line, which will give you continuous heating and you do not have to worry about re-filling the gas tank.

Although natural gas-powered patio heaters may have to be professionally installed, they are the cheaper option.

Portability

Many free-standing patio heaters have wheels that make the unit easy to maneuver, and depending on your entertaining needs, you can shift them around from place to place easily.

Safety Features

If you are looking to buy a freestanding patio heater, then a built-in safety valve for the gas tank is a great choice as it will automatically shut off the fuel supply if the heater is tilted or knocked over.

7 Best Patio Heaters — Product Reviews

Electric Patio Heaters:

1. Bromic Tungsten Smart 44 Inch 4000 Watt Smart Patio Heater

If you have a small sized patio, then the Bromic Smart 44 Inch Electric Patio Heater has a heating element of 4000 watts, so it can provide ample heat for the spring and fall seasons.

The Bromic heater uses infrared technology combined with a thick translucent fused quartz heating element and steel coils to give you ample radiant heating for up to 130 square feet.

The heater is made from solid stainless steel that is weather and corrosion resistant, and the adjustable bracket and the mirror-finish parabolic spectral reflector allows you to direct the heat where you need it the most.

The heater needs from 230 to 240 volts of electric current and it can be mounted on the wall or hung from the roof, and it emits a soft amber glow that will make a beautiful addition to your entertaining ambience.

One of the highlights of this heater is the wireless remote that you can use to operate the heater, to either change the heating or light settings, and turn it on and off.

The heater comes with a ceiling pole (which can be cut to length) and a recess kit to attach the heater.

What we like:

  • Ideal for small patio areas
  • Good radiant heating
  • Nice design
  • Wireless remote

What we don't like:

  • May need to be professional installed
  • Not ideal for large patios

2. E-Joy 1500W Indoor/Outdoor Patio Heater

The E-Joy Patio heater is a small electric heater, but do not be fooled by its small size as it can generate quite a lot of radiant heat with 1500 watts of power and it has a heating range of up to 9 feet, and the carbon fiber bulb gives 5000 hours of lamp life.

This is quite a versatile heating appliance as you can use it indoors and outdoors, as a freestanding heater with an adjustable weatherproof and rust resistant pole and stand, or you can mount it on the wall with the universal mounting bracket.

There is a generous 6 foot cord that can be plugged into any standard 110/120V outlet, and heater can be controlled by a remote that has three heat settings.

What we like:

  • Ideal for a small patio
  • Provides a lot of heat
  • Can be freestanding or wall mounted
  • Solid construction
  • Weather proof and rust resistant
  • Portable

What we don't like:

  • Not ideal for large areas
  • No shut-off switch if it overturns.

Propane Gas Patio Heaters:

3. Thermo Tiki Deluxe Free Standing Patio Heater

This very stylish freestanding propane gas outdoor heater from Thermo Tiki stands at 7.5 feet tall, and with 38,000 BTU’s of heating power, it is the ideal choice for consistent heating for a small sized patio for up to 15 feet.

The unique pyramid shape and the dancing fame inside the ceramic glass column will make an attractive addition to your outdoor entertaining, and the wheels provide for easy mobility.

The Tiki patio heater is constructed from high-quality stainless steel corrosion-resistant material, and protective mesh covers the ceramic- glass heating column.

It is easy to start with a push-button ignition and the 20lb propane tank supplies up to 10 hours of heating, and the built-in safety valve will automatically shut off the fuel supply in the case of an emergency.

The patio heater comes with a heavy duty LPG regulator, pre-attached flexible hose, a premium weatherproof head, an element cover for storage, but you will have to purchase you own LPG gas bottle.

What we like:

  • Good heating for a small to medium area
  • Ideal for use on cooler evenings
  • Beautiful design
  • Portable
  • Easy to assemble
  • Safety valve

What we don't like:

  • Expensive
  • Not ideal for heating large areas

4. AmazonBasics Havana Bronze Commercial Patio Heater

Whether you are relaxing out on your patio or entertaining guests on your pool deck, the AmazonBasics Havana Bronze Commercial Patio Heater has a strong heating output of 46,000 BTU’s, which makes it the ideal choice for a small to medium sized entertaining area.

It has wheels, so you can move it around depending on your entertaining needs, and the soft golden glow will add to the ambience of your cocktail party or a romantic date night.

The heater's column is made from durable steel construction with a powder-coated bronze finish that protects it from all types of weather. It has a sturdy base and the base reservoir system can be filled with sand to provide even more stability in windy conditions, and it is designed to shut off if it is accidentally tipped over.

It is so easy to start with just the the push of a button, and the 20lb gas tank will provide you with heat for up to 10 hours. A heat control knob allows you to adjust the heat to your desired level.

An important operator tip for using the Amazonbasics heater is to remember to remove the blue protective film on the heater’s reflector before you start to use it otherwise it could catch fire.

What we like:

  • Affordable price
  • Ideal for small to medium sized patios
  • Provides very good heating
  • Attractive design
  • Easy to use
  • Adjustable heat controls
  • Portable

What we don't like:

  • Not ideal for large patios
  • Complex assembly

Natural Gas Patio Heaters:

5. Lava Heat Italia – Natural Gas Heater

If you prefer to use clean natural gas, then the Lava Heat Italia Natural Gas Heater is a good choice. Whether you are having friends over for a dinner party, or having a midnight dip in the pool on a Spring evening, the omnidirectional 360 degree “column of flame” pumps out a generous amount of heat with 58,000 BTU’s, which can supply very good heating for an area up to 20 feet.

The heritage bronze finish and the sleek and stylish design of the heater will make an attractive feature for your home.

The heater is sturdy and is made from durable stainless steel and the 4 foot Borosilicate glass tube is capable of withstanding extremely high temperatures, and if the unit it is tilted or knocked over, it automatically switches itself off.

Even though the heater is made from tough weatherproof stainless steel, it is lightweight and the wheels make it easy to move the unit around.

The natural gas hook-up is easy to connect with an infrared electric

ignition, and the steel side panels protect the gas tank compartment, which can accommodate a standard 20lb propane tank that will give you up to 10 hours of consistent warmth.

Although the Lava Heat Italia is one of the more expensive heaters, it is a very economical unit that will save you money on your gas bill, and Lava Heat also includes a free 10-foot quick connect gas line, which equals to $100 in value.

What we like:

  • Economical
  • Powered by natural gas
  • Ideal for a medium sized patio
  • Generates very good heating
  • Fast
  • Attractive design
  • Automatic switch-off
  • Five year limited warranty

What we don't like:

  • Expensive

Tabletop/Hanging Patio Heaters:

6. Endless Summer GLT1343SP LP Gas Tabletop Fireplace

The Endless Summer Gas Outdoor Tabletop Fireplace is a good choice for a more manageable heat source. The fireplace is very versatile as you it can use to warm your covered patio area, or place on a table for outdoor entertaining.

With 10,000 BTU’s it is ideal for a small patio, and its elegant attractive faux stone black powder coated finish design will add an extra touch of glamour to your dinner party, while also providing that extra warm comfort for those cool spring nights.

The fireplace has a hidden control panel with electronic ignition ion the decorative base where you can safely store the propane gas bottle.

What we like:

  • Ideal for a small patio area
  • Multi-functional
  • Supplies good heating
  • Stylish design

What we don't like:

  • Not ideal for larger entertaining areas

7. Firesense 60660 Hanging Halogen Patio Heater

The Firesense Hanging Halogen Patio Heater is a versatile heating option for any home, and with its modern design, it will add a special touch of elegance to a small enclosed outdoor dining area like a patio or gazebo. You can even use it for heating indoor areas like a small garage or barn.

Firesense has constructed this hanging heater from durable stainless steel with a beautiful copper finish. Whether you are sitting out on your front porch or enjoying an intimate dinner by the pool, the heater casts a warm amber glow and can provide a good amount of heat for those cool summer evenings or chilly autumn nights.

The patio heater is powered by 1500 watts and it runs on a regular household 110 volt current, and you can hang it from the ceiling or from exposed wooden beams.

To get the best heating results, it is recommended that when you install the heater over a table or in a small entertaining area, make sure that the unit is hung directly over the table or the seating area. Also, if you are going to be hanging the heater over a table, make sure that the bottom of the unit measures 36 inches from the top of your patio table.

Although the Firesense heater will not provide a lot of heat for open areas as it is designed to heat a very small space, it works the best in covered or enclosed areas.

What we like:

  • Ideal for heating small enclosed areas
  • Stylish design
  • Supplies good heating and ambient light for a small table
  • Versatile: can be used indoors and outdoors
  • Long non-retractable 8 foot power cord

What we don't like:

  • Expensive
  • Not ideal for medium or large outdoor areas

Our Top Pick

Our top pick for the best patio heater is the Lava Heat Italia Amazon-138 Natural Gas Heater

Our pick

THE BEST OUTDOOR PATIO HEATER

Lava Heat Italia AMAZON-138 Natural Gas Heater

Lava Heat Italia have designed a sleek and high quality heater that will add a special touch of sophistication to your home, and will provide ample heating for a medium sized patio or outdoor entertaining area.

This patio heater is also a great choice for anyone as it is powered by natural gas and it will save you money. Lava Heat Italia offers a very generous five year limited warranty, and a Lava Lite KD Natural gas free 10-foot quick connect gas line that is equal to $100 in value.

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