Our Top Picks
Best Overall: Fire Sense Commercial Patio Heater at Amazon
"You'll be sure your whole family will stay warm when the chilly season arrives."
Best Glass Tube: Tall Quartz Glass Patio Heater at Home Depot
"Built to withstand various weather conditions, and it’s resistant to rust."
Best Tabletop: AZ Patio Heaters HLDS032-B at Amazon
"Can easily rest on the center of most sturdy tables."
Best for Use with an Umbrella: AZ Patio Heaters Electric Parasol at Amazon
"Fits perfectly under various umbrella and parasol styles."
Best Multi-Use: Ener-G+ Freestanding Electric Patio Heater at Amazon
"A stylish standalone table all year round."
Best Wall Mounted: Versonel Electric Infrared Heater at Amazon
"You can use this unit on your patio, deck, or garage."
Best Portable: Mr. Heater Single Tank Top Propane Heater at Walmart
"A smart option to carry in your car if you spend a lot of time outdoors."
01 of 07
Best Overall: Fire Sense Commercial Patio Heater
Typically seen at restaurants—this propane heater packs a punch with 46,000 BTU's of heating power. The range on this heater can reach 18' with its 7.4' tall stature so you'll be sure your whole family will stay warm when the chilly season arrives. Just note, since this is tall it is not advised to use under wooden structure or anything with a roof for fire safety reasons.
To fuel this patio heater, a 20-pound propane tank (sold separately) is needed and it will give you about 10 full hours of power. The unit features two heavy duty wheels to make it easy to move the patio heater around your yard or into the garage for storage since this does weigh 42.7 pounds.
What makes this our favorite out of this roundup is it comes in 10 color options so you are bound to find a model that suits your decor. Bronze and mocha can make quite a splash while the stainless or black will blend into your backyard seamlessly.
02 of 07
Best Glass Tube: Tall Quartz Glass Patio Heater
Keeping in theme with cool outdoor landscapes, the Tall Quartz Glass Patio Heater is a beauty to look at, and will only elevate your outdoor living space’s appeal. The pyramid style heater features a fun and decorative ‘dancing flame’ element within the column design.
The 7.5' model is made with high grade steel and aluminum, making it built to last through various weather, and resistant to rust. Consistent sun and even salt air won’t crack through this model. The column provides a radius of warmth up to 15' in diameter. Featuring one on each side of a large couch outdoors will sufficiently keep your and your company warm.
If you like to change up the placement of this patio heater, it has a built-in safety valve: if the patio heater is tilted or tipped over it immediately shuts off, or won’t power on until it is up right again. A 20-pound propane tank can sufficiently supply you with up to 10-hours of running time. This model is available in hammered bronze and stainless silver.
03 of 07
Best Tabletop: AZ Patio Heaters HLDS032-B
If you just need a little heat for around the dinner table than a tabletop patio heater might be your best option. The AZ Patio Heater HLDS032-B stands at 38" tall and weighs 17 pounds so it can easily rest on the center of most sturdy tables.
This model is powered by propane, and uses up to 11,000 BTU's. A one-pound tank of propane will give you about three hours of heat so perfect for weeknight family meals. It has five different color ranges so you can match it to your table for a coordinated look.
If you're just looking for a simple model to provide a little bit of heat this tabletop heater might be the best fit for its small size and reasonable price point.
04 of 07
Best for Use with an Umbrella: AZ Patio Heaters Electric Parasol Style
AZ Patio Heaters seems to set the standard when it comes to the best patio heaters on the market for any budget. If you have a smaller patio and plan on entertaining under an umbrella, or a tent, then the Electric Parasol Style model would make a great addition to your outdoor space.
Patio heaters often come in tower, stand-up styles. However, obviously every backyard and outside living area isn’t build the same. Every home owner should be able to style their backyard attune to their personalized needs and preferences. A parasol style patio heater fit perfectly under various umbrella and parasol styles, and also works well in large tents.
The 3-burner design allows the heater to cover more ground for a more enjoyable outside experience, day and night. It can reach up to a 15-foot radius. This is an electric plug-in unit, boasts an impressive 1,500 watts all together.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07
Best Multi-Use: Ener-G+ Freestanding Electric Patio Heater
A table that is also a powerful patio heater? How cool. The tempered glass tabletop of course remains cool to the touch while the patio heater is in use. It can also be a stylish standalone table all year round if you prefer.
This model is powered electrically, and uses 120-volt standard outlets while providing you and your family with 1400 watts of warmth. The design features a 5,000hour carbon filament lamp to heat your outdoor space comfortably. If you are looking to style your patio, but want to keep over all costs down, then this patio heater is a great option.
06 of 07
Best Wall Mounted: Versonel Electric Infrared Heater
If space is a major factor in your decision making when purchasing a new patio heater, then consider a wall mounted model. You won’t have to sacrifice any of your precious space, and still have all of the benefits that come with an outdoor heater. You can use this unit virtually anywhere, like your patio, deck, or garage.
You can easily attach this to your wall or ceiling outside or indoors. If you enjoy a minimal aesthetic and don’t want to ruin your backyard to towers or extra items that could clutter your style, then a wall or ceiling mounted heater is perfect for you.
This model features a standard 110-volt plug, and a 6-foot electric power cord. However, if you have an open backyard, we wouldn’t recommend this unit. It was designed to be used in outdoor areas that are covered, and protected from weather and water. If you prefer a heavy-duty model, then consider one of the above which are just as powerful and still stylish.
07 of 07
Best Portable: Mr. Heater MH15T Single Tank Top Outdoor Propane Heater
Campers, hunters and garage dwellers will stay warm when they are without heat with this easy and handy portable heater. To use you just mount it onto a five to 20 pound propane tank (not included) to enjoy hours of warmth and comfort. At a weight of just one pound this is a smart option to carry in your car if you spend a lot of time outdoors in chilly weather.
Although small, this still has a safety shut-off to prevent overheating and is whisper quiet so you won't notice it.
Products Tested by The Spruce
How We Tested
We bought three of our readers’ favorite patio heaters that our reviewers tested for 20 hours. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using these heaters, from their heat output to their power source. We’ve outlined the key takeaways here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
What to Look for in a Patio Heater
Power source Patio heaters are available with a variety of fuel or power source options. Propane is the most popular fuel source for a patio heater, but if you don’t want to deal with propane tanks, then an electric-powered patio heater may be a better fit. Electric patio heaters can typically be plugged into standard residential outlets, but make sure they’re protected from the elements to avoid electrical hazards or malfunctions.
Range Are you looking for a personal-sized patio heater that will keep you and a friend or two warm or a larger unit that can heat things up for a small crowd? Larger patio heaters generally have a greater range — up to 18 feet or more — while small, tabletop models will only radiate heat for a distance of a few feet.
Heat output The intensity and effectiveness of a patio heater is likely best evaluated by its heat output. This is generally measured as BTUs for gas-burning patio heaters and watts for electric heaters. To compare how well two units will heat your space, compare the BTUs or watts of each model to find the one that will fit your temperature preferences and space.
Test Results: Fire Sense Commercial Patio Heater (Best Overall)
Great heat output
Safety auto shut-off
Our testers found this heater to be both safe and effective. One of our reviewers commented, “It offers great heat output and it's aesthetically pleasing.” Another plus? “The auto shut-off tilt valve is an excellent safety feature,” noted one of our testers. While one of our reviewers said the unit “heated the immediate area surrounding it pretty sufficiently,” she also felt “if the heater were just a foot or so shorter it would offer greater efficiency.” Additionally, one of our testers mentioned the lightweight metal dented easily, but overall thought it was a good value purchase.
Test Results: Tall Quartz Glass Patio Heater (Best Glass Tube)
Difficult to move
The Tall Quartz Glass Patio Heater is both visually appealing and produces good heat, according to our testers. “Even the temperature is freezing, [the heater] can make being outside far more comfortable,” revealed one of our reviewers. Our testers also liked that it “remains cold to the touch” and doesn’t emit a gas smell. However, its bulkiness made moving it around difficult, one of our reviewers claimed. And although one of our testers said getting it set up and learning how to turn it on was complicated, in the end, he declared, “Once you get it built and get used to using it, it does the job and is very attractive.”
Test Results: AZ Patio Heaters HLDS032-B (Best Tabletop)
Keeps you warm
Requires propane cartridge
“[This heater is] perfect for cozying up in your favorite outdoor furniture while remaining nice and warm from its heat,” raved one of our testers. In addition to “heat that keeps you really warm,” our reviewers liked the “sleek and modern” design. “Probably the most negative attribute of this product is that it requires a one-pound propane cartridge,” one of our testers revealed. He also said finding the cartridge proved difficult. Bottom line: “The price is excellent considering the durability of its materials, it's easy to assemble, and it looks great as an outdoor accessory,” one of our reviewers gushed.