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For many people, kicking back and relaxing around a fire is the cherry on top of a perfect day. If you want to be able to enjoy crackling fires in your own backyard, an outdoor fire pit is a worthwhile investment.
There are several things you’ll want to think about when buying a fire pit, starting with where you plan to put it. Most fire pits need to be on a non-combustible surface, such as concrete, so you may need to purchase a heat liner if you want to put it on a wooden deck or another flammable surface. Additionally, make sure to consider the heat source of your new fire pit, as some burn wood, while others run on propane or natural gas.
Here, the best fire pits for your outdoor space.
Best Overall: Winston Porter Donleavy Steel Outdoor Fire Pit
Size: 25.98 x 25.98 x 21.26 inches | Material: Steel | Fuel Type: Wood-burning | Features: Spark screen included
Lattice design creates larger fires
Has weather-resistant properties
Requires a fire pit mat for use on wooden decks
The Winston Porter Donleavy Steel Outdoor Fire Pit is both reasonably priced and includes a variety of features, making it a worthwhile purchase for any home. This outdoor fire pit is just over 26 inches in diameter, with a bowl about 10-inches deep. The lattice design aids ventilation, resulting in bigger fires. And, it even comes with a lift-off dome spark screen and fire tool to help you tend your blaze.
This stylish, weather-resistant fire pit is designed to be used with wooden logs. Its legs hold the basin away from the ground, however, it is not recommended for use on a wooden deck without a fire pit mat.
Best Budget: KINGSO Outdoor Fire Pit
Size: 22 x 22 x 20 inches | Material: Steel | Fuel Type: Wood-burning | Features: Spark screen and fire poker included, built-in wood grate
Lightweight and portable
Large fire pits can be costly additions to your backyard or patio, but there are still plenty of good-quality, inexpensive options out there if you're not ready for a major investment. This pick from KINGSO is definitely on the smaller side, but it will still look great out in your backyard. Thanks to its deep basin, you'll have enough space to get a decent fire going for a few people to enjoy.
The fire pit comes with a spark screen and poker, so you won't have to worry about purchasing any additional accessories. Plus, the wide, steel design is lined with finer mesh to keep embers from falling out too easily, while still allowing for airflow.
Best Splurge: Bryndle Root Fire Pit
Size: 42.5 x 39.5 x 13 inches | Material: Cement and fiberglass composite | Fuel Type: Propane | Features: Lava rocks and protective cover included
Attractive & unique
Lightweight despite substantial size
Easy, battery-operated ignition
Unattractive black plastic cover
Fire glass not included
If you're looking for a truly unique fire pit, the Bryndle Root Fire Pit is a fantastic pick. With its rustic, tree root-inspired design, this option blends seamlessly into most landscapes, while still adding a decidedly modern look. And while it might look like wood, the fire pit is actually crafted of a far more durable cement and fiberglass composite.
In terms of heat, this propane fire pit boasts an impressive 50,000 BTU output—enough to heat more than 2,000 square feet of space. Two heat settings allow you to customize the amount of heat, and a battery-operated ignition makes it super easy to light. Note that this fire pit does require a 20-pound propane tank, which isn't included. You can also have a qualified technician convert it to natural gas if that works better for your needs.
Best Design: Ebern Designs Wharden Concrete Wood Burning Fire Pit
Size: 21.65 x 21.65 x 11.81 inches | Material: Concrete | Fuel Type: Wood-burning | Features: Spark screen and fire poker included
Cooking grate included
Compact design can’t accommodate full logs
Made of a thermoset polymer; not real concrete
Doesn't include a cover
Add a modern touch to your outdoor space with this sleek concrete fire pit, which features an open design that allows your (wood-burning) fire to take center stage. At only 21 inches in diameter, this pit has a slightly more compact footprint than other options on this list. This makes it a great option for smaller backyards, but also means that the burning area can only handle smaller, half-cut pieces of wood.
For added safety, this fire pit comes with a spark screen and wood poker. And if you're looking to cook a few hot dogs or veggie skewers, you're in luck—an included cooking grate easily transforms the pit into a makeshift grill.
Best Propane: Red Barrel Studio Kimily Polyresin Propane Fire Pit
Size: 40.55 x 40.55 x 11.42 inches | Material: Polyresin | Fuel Type: Propane | Features: Cover and filler included
Generates high heat
Not approved for use on wooden decks
In windy environments, works best with wind guard (not included)
There are several benefits to having a propane-powered fire pit, such as the Ballenger Polyresin Propane Fire Pit. For instance, they start and stop with the push of a button—no matches necessary—and you don’t have to keep a stash of firewood on hand. This particular unit can hold up to a 20-pound propane tank, and comes with a box of lava rocks to maximize its heat output. Its ledge is ideal for holding drinks or food.
The fire pit is about 40-inches wide and 11-inches tall, and it includes lava rocks to fill the fire bowl. It kicks off 50,000 BTU, and the table itself is made of a weather-resistant polyresin. It's the perfect size for a small patio, though you should note that it's not approved for use on wooden decks.
Best for Cooking: Bali Outdoors Wood Burning Fire Pit with Cooking Grill
Size: 32 x 32 x 25 inches | Material: Metal | Fuel Type: Wood-burning | Features: Poker, 360 degree swivel grill, and log rack included
Sturdy steel design
Convenient outer ledge for drinks and roasting supplies
Collapsible triangle frame provides optimal ventilation
Subject to rust
What’s better than enjoying a delicious hot dog cooked over your fire pit? With the Bali Outdoors Fire Pit, you can cook just about any food you want using its swiveling grill. The round fire pit is 32 inches in diameter, and it includes a grill attachment that you can adjust up and down and swivel 360 degrees for easy cooking.
This fire pit comes with both a poker and a log rack, which ensures pieces of wood stay crisscrossed for more complete burning. The fire pit has a small lip around the edge where you can place cooking supplies or drinks, so it's perfect for entertaining guests.
Best Table: Bayou Breeze Lawson Aluminum Propane Fire Pit Table
Size: 70.87 x 39.37 x 27.17 inches | Material: Resin weave, aluminum | Fuel Type: Propane | Features: Filler included
Plenty of room for dining
Safe for use on wooden deck
Cover not included
You can make a fire pit the center of your outdoor living space with the Bayou Breeze Aluminum Propane Fire Pit Table. This two-in-one fire pit dining table is a convenient option for those who might still be in the process of decorating their patio.
At 70.87-inches wide and 27.17-inches tall, this table can easily accommodate up to six people. The base features an easy-access cabinet where you can store the propane tank, and comes with a stainless steel cover to protect it from the elements. The fire pit produces up to 50,000 BTU, and you can customize its look with the included colored glass rocks.
Best Portable: Solo Stove Bonfire Fire Pit with Stand
Size: 19.4 x 14 inches | Material: Stainless steel | Fuel Type: Wood-burning | Features: Ash pan, bonfire stand, and carrying case included
Generates high heat
Easy to clean
If you’re going camping, one of the best portable fire pits available today is the Solo Stove Bonfire Fire Pit. While not cheap, its unique design delivers an incredibly hot flame while minimizing smoke, making for a more enjoyable camping experience.
The Solo Stove is a wood-burning fire pit that measures 19.5 inches in diameter and 14-inches tall. It’s made from stainless steel, and the unit has unique vent holes that allow preheated oxygen to fuel the flame, resulting in a hotter fire with less smoke.
Overall, we recommend the Donleavy Steel Outdoor Fire Pit (view on Wayfair) because the affordable design is portable, includes a spark screen, and has a lattice design that creates larger fires. For a budget-friendly option, consider the KINGSO Outdoor Fire Pit (view at Amazon). The design, which is lightweight, portable, and easy to assemble, includes a spark screen and fire poker.
What to Look for in a Fire Pit
Fire pits are available in a variety of designs, from traditional circular styles to tables. When choosing a fire pit, consider the size of your outdoor space and how you plan to use it. If you're looking to use the fire pit to entertain guests, larger styles and tables would make for a great addition. For smaller spaces or camping trips, portable designs that are easy to move and store are your best bet.
A fire pit's burn type will either be wood-burning or propane, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages. With wood-burning picks, you'll have to have a supply of dry wood handy as well as deal with any soot and ash. They'll give you the traditional look and feel of a crackling fire, however, and in certain ways tend to pose less of a safety concern than propane options.
When it comes to propane, you'll have to be mindful of gas lines and filling the propane tank. On the other hand, they have a cleaner burn and are much easier to clean since they don't produce ash and soot.
In addition to the pit itself, several options on the market offer additional accessories to elevate your fire pit experience. It's worth considering options that include spark screens, fire pokers, and/or grates. Though the majority of accessories can be purchased separately, having them included makes it easier to enjoy your fire pit sooner.
Can you put a fire pit on a deck?
The answer to this question wholly depends upon the sort of deck you have and the sort of fire pit you purchase.
Wood-burning fire pits should never be used on a wooden deck without the addition of a fire pit mat to act as a heat-resistant barrier. Wood-burning fire pits can even create problems for concrete patios without such a barrier, from spalling and cracking to explosions. On the other hand, brick patios and patio pavers should stand up to the heat just fine.
Most propane fire pits and fire tables are built for safe use on wooden, composite, and concrete decks; however, the heat can still cause discoloration. It’s always best to consult the specifications of the particular model you hope to purchase.
What can I put around a fire pit?
Fire pits often serve as the focal point of your outdoor area, so it’s perfectly natural to arrange your seating around the fire—just be sure to keep seat walls no closer than 4 feet from the lip of the fire pit. A wood-burning pit should be kept 10 feet away from any structure.
How do I clean a fire pit?
Your first defense against a dirty fire pit is a good cover to keep it safe from the elements—sitting water will cause a fire pit to rust.
If your pit is made of steel or copper, hot soapy water and a soft cloth should do the trick. You can also use a bit of soapy water to clean a gas fire pit, but mind the gas lines and don’t loosen them in the process. If your pit is made of cast iron you should not use soap. Instead, steel wool and hot water should do the trick—and be sure to dry the surface immediately.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Camryn Rabideau, a freelance writer who specializes in all things home. She has been contributing to The Spruce since 2017. To make this list, Camryn considered each fire pit's size, burn type, and additional features.