Best Outdoor Patio Heaters in 2021 – Reviews & Heating Guide
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Best Outdoor Patio Heaters in 2021 – Reviews & Buying Guide

Patios are an excellent place to spend quality time with loved ones. Even in the wintertime, with the best outdoor patio heaters, you can enjoy the comfort of your patio with friends and family.

With so many heaters available on the market, picking the best patio heater for your specific patio has never been easier. In this article, we go over everything you need to know to make the most well-informed buying decision possible as well as our top picks for the best outdoor patio heaters this year.

The AmazonBasics Outdoor Patio Heater is our top pick. This heater comes with everything that makes for a great, safe, and reliable patio heat source.

BACKYARD BOSS TOP THREE OUTDOOR PATIO HEATERS

PRODUCT FEATURES
AMAZONBASICS COMMERCIAL PROPANE PATIO HEATER - Best Outdoor Patio Heaters in 2021 – Reviews & Buying GuideAMAZONBASICS COMMERCIAL PROPANE PATIO HEATER
  • 46,000 BTUs
  • Push ignition
  • 1-year limited warranty
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DR. INFRARED HEATER 1500W - Best Outdoor Patio Heaters in 2021 – Reviews & Buying GuideDR. INFRARED HEATER 1500W
  • 900W, 1200W, 1500W heat levels
  • Standard 120V power
  • 1 year limited manufacturer warranty
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HILAND HLDSO1-WGTHG - Best Outdoor Patio Heaters in 2021 – Reviews & Buying GuideHILAND HLDSO1-WGTHG
  • 40,000 BTUs
  • Igniter with safety shut-off
  • 1-year manufacturer warranty
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Best Overall Outdoor Patio Heater

AmazonBasics Commercial Propane 46,000 BTU Outdoor Patio Heater

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WHY WE LIKE IT: With thousands of heaters in circulation, the AmazonBasics Outdoor Patio Heater is our pick for the best overall outdoor patio heater. We love this heater for many reasons; it throws heat further than many units, has built-in safety features, and produces large amounts of BTUs. That said, the heater is a great choice for use on your patio during all four seasons.

The heater features a design with a big sturdy base that makes tipping it over virtually impossible. The base is even resistant to moderate winds if you fill it up with sand or water. This is a huge plus for a patio heater in our book.

Even more, this heater has built-in wheels that make it super-easy to move around your patio. And, as far as starting goes, this baby fires right up via a Piezo ignition push-button. Control of the heater is also easy with the large temperature knob.

Lastly, but just as importantly, the steel parts of this unit are powder-coated. That means the heaters are rust and UV resistant and long-lasting. This exterior finish also adds to the aesthetics of the heater as well.

Best Infrared Outdoor Patio Heater

Dr. Infrared Heater 1500W
    If you're looking for a patio heater that works either outside or inside, the Dr. Infrared Heater is a top choice.

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WHY WE LIKE IT: The biggest difference between this heater and others on our list is that it is infrared rather than propane. That means it runs on electricity, not gas.

Another significant difference is that this unit is not meant to stand up. It mounts to the wall instead. For that reason, the heater comes with a mounting bracket that allows you to attach it to your walls or ceiling.

The heater isn’t much to look at aesthetically, especially in comparison to heaters on our list such as the pyramid design (next on the list after this one). But, in exchange, it is easily concealable – so, even if it isn’t the prettiest, at least it isn’t an eyesore. It is also made of weather-proof materials to boot.

The heat from the Dr. Infrared Heater is odorless and 100-percent clean. That said, you will need an electrical outlet, or extension cord, or surge protector to plug it into on your patio. But, once it is installed, you can operate it easily with remote control. The unit has three various heat output settings to choose from.

Best Pyramid-Style Outdoor Patio Heater

Hiland HLDSO1-WGTHG
    If you're interested in buying a stylish pyramid heater, the Hiland HLDSO1 will satisfy you.

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WHY WE LIKE IT: Perhaps the most beautiful heater on our list (this heater is REALLY good-looking) is the Hiland HLDSO1-WGTHG Pyramid Patio Heater. Obviously, the first thing that caught our eye on this unit was its gorgeous design. But, upon further inspection, we found that this heater is more than impressive just because of its looks.

The heater features a pyramid shape with a high-end hammered bronze finish that stands out among other heaters. Further, it comes with built-in wheels and a durable wide, and sturdy base. The unit also features automatic shut-off settings and is CSA approved.

Safe, and beautiful, but, even more, the heater comes with a large and easy-to-access propane tank that is accessible via a side-door. That means changing tanks is quick and simple. Probably the most impressive aspect of this heater, though, to us, is the two-piece quartz glass tube heating element inside.

Best Outdoor Patio Heater with Wheels

HomeLabs Gas Patio Heater
    This propane patio heater has a modern appearance and comes with a table for entertaining.

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WHY WE LIKE IT: This outdoor patio heater with wheels is another great unit that is easy to move around and use on your patio. For autumn and winter, this patio heater will keep you and your loved ones warm and toasty with no issues.

It puts out a moderate amount of BTUs and has a big heat reflector that helps direct the output towards you and your guests. The unit’s appearance is also super-clean, with high-end steel and a hammered bronze finish. The heater includes a double-layer of protective mesh as well that helps resist rust – it also adds to the aesthetics.

This heater is easy to use and comes with auto shut-off features and a one-step ignition. It is controlled with a knob and has two heat output settings. In addition, the heater has a big and wide base that can be filled with water or sand to become wind resistant.

Best Commercial Outdoor Patio Heater

Hampton Bay 48000 BTU Stainless Steel Patio Heater
    The high quality and durability of the all stainless steel construction ensures that this unit will stand up to the elements and last for years to come.

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WHY WE LIKE IT: The Hampton Bay Stainless Steel Propane Patio Heater is the last unit on our list, but it is as good of a pick as any (that we reviewed here). The best part about it is that it is made from all high-end parts and components and consists mainly of brushed stainless steel of the highest quality in the industry.

The durability and effectiveness of this unit are impressive enough to be our top pick for the best commercial patio heater for the outdoors. It is built to last, and stand the elements as well. That makes it perfect for use outdoors on the patio no matter what temperature or time of the year it is.

The heater sports one of the largest propane tanks available for patio heaters and features an easy-access door as well. Oh yeah, did we mention that it has a built-in anti-tilt safety feature? That makes it safer than many otherwise suitable outdoor heaters. If you have children, or pets, or run a business, investing in a heater with anti-tilt is a no-brainer!

What to Look for in an Outdoor Heater for Your Patio

Once you’ve made up your mind about investing in the best outdoor patio heater for your home, there are several additional factors you’ll need to consider first.

Once you’ve decided to go with propane as a heating source, you still need to narrow down your selection. Consider all of the following details when you make your purchase:

Heating Power

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The heating power that a unit produces is one of the most crucial factors to consider before selecting any particular model of heater for your patio. Likewise, the size of your patio and design (whether it is screened in or covered, for example) help determine how much heating power is necessary.

Generally speaking, the higher the BTUs, the warmer a heater will keep your patio. That said, if your patio is only 12-feet wide, you may not want to invest in a 47,000 BTU patio heater with an 18-feet heating radius. In that case, a 40,000 BTU heater with a 10 to 12-feet radius will more than suffice.

Keeping this heating power in mind while shopping will help you avoid ending up with too little, or too much heat on your patio. It can also save you money.

Fuel Type

The fuel type that your patio heater will use is another of the most significant factors to take into account before buying a unit. Natural gas, propane, and electricity are the most commonly available fuel types. Each of which has its own pros and cons.

Natural gas for example may be cheaper than electricity, but propane could be cheaper than natural gas or electric both depending on your local market. In addition, for electric and natural gas heaters, you will need the proper hook-ups pre-installed on your patio. Propane on the other hand is completely portable.

Size of Gas Tank

If you are in the market for a propane patio heater, you will need to think about the size of the tank that is best for you and your patio. If you plan to use the heater quite a bit and don’t constantly need to replace the fuel, means you need to find a heater with an 18 to a 20-pound propane tank.

However, for much larger heaters, tanks are available in various sizes of up to 40-pounds.

Safety Features

https://www.backyardboss.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Untitled-design-2020-06-29T141245.271-450x675.pngAside from BTUs and fuel type, safety features are one of the factors that you simply can’t avoid giving thought to before picking the best heater for your patio. This consideration is even more critical if you have a large family, or have kids, or pets. Likewise, if you plan to leave your heater running without supervision, safety features are extra important.

Many heaters under-go extensive safety testing before being deployed onto the market. These specific units are marketed with UL testing and CSA testing approval stickers. These will almost always be the safest picks.

Aside from picking a well-tested product, also look for specific safety features like anti-tilt and auto shut-off. In addition, solid mounting brackets and weighted stands are also indicators of a safe patio heater.

Touch Factor

The temperature of the exterior of a heater is sometimes referred to as the “touch” factor. Many heaters are hot to the touch (imagine that, right!?). But, there are plenty of models that come with cool-touch designs. That means that the exterior surface of the heater remains cool even when the heater is on high heat output settings for long periods of time.

If you have children, pets, or will be using your new patio heater at your place of business, the touch factor is extra crucial. A heater with a cool-touch surface may save you a trip to the hospital for a burned hand, or the bill for such a trip – from a customer.

Maintenance

Even though most patio heaters for outdoors don’t require much maintenance, it is nonetheless an aspect you want to consider. Many heaters need little more than being wiped down occasionally with water or an all-purpose cleaner.

However, some heaters may need particular parts to be removed and cleaned, or replaced. Another maintenance factor to consider is the propane tank. The larger the tank, the less it will need to be replaced. You should also look for a heater with an easy-to-access door for swapping out old tanks for new ones.

Make sure to check your heater’s instructions manual for the proper maintenance steps for your unit.

Assembly

The difficulty of assembly involved with your new heater is another important aspect to keep in mind while shopping around. Most patio heaters do not come fully assembled. So, you will more than likely need to assemble at least part of it.

Keeping this factor in mind while picking out the best heater for your patio can save you hours of frustration. Some heaters allow you to have a peek at the instructions before purchasing, which will let you know what tools you need for putting it together.

propane heater Fire by the Beach outdoors, water, travel, sky, beach, business, pier, fire, contemporary, beach & tropical

Ease of Use/Controls

How hard or easy a heater is to control is also crucial, especially if more than one person will be operating it. Your personal preferences are important here as well. Maybe you want something with a remote control, or simply a round temperature knob with one or two settings only.

Another fact that plays into the overall ease of use is how easy or hard it is to start the unit. Today, most heaters come with a simple push-button start. But, that is not always the case so make sure that you pay attention to these facts while picking one.

Why We Love Propane Heaters for Outdoors

Generally speaking, there are three fuel types for outdoor heaters to run on; natural gas, electricity, and propane. All three fuel types are useful, but for patios, we prefer propane-fueled heaters. Here’s why:

  • Electrical outlet or gas-line not required
  • Does not require a professional to install
  • Higher mobility than any other fuel type
  • Various fuel tank sizes available
  • Larger heating radius than other fuel types
  • Aesthetically pleasing

FAQs About Outdoor Patio Heaters

Picking out the best patio heater for the outdoors can be a bit of a challenge. That is why we included so much information in our guide; to help you make the best-informed purchasing decision.

For the same reason, we added a few of the most frequently asked questions people have about outdoor patio heaters below.

patio heaters Rustic wooden outdoor chairs and a table against orange wall

Are Patio Heaters Worth It?

Unless you buy a tiny propane heater that can barely warm a fly, your patio heater won’t be cheap. So is it really worth spending your hard-earned money on a heater? The simple answer is a resounding yes.

A quality patio heater is a simple way to add more living space to your home. If you live in a cool climate, your living space is restricted to the indoors most of the year. By having a patio heater, you extend your living space to the patio. You get more square footage without having to make a new addition to your home.

Another benefit to a patio heater is the aesthetic value. If you buy a heater that looks as good as it works, you’ll add style to your home. Having a stylish heater is like having a piece of art.

Finally, your heater makes your home perfect for entertaining guests. What’s better than having your friends and family sitting around a heater? If you want to make your home a great space for people to gather, a heater is a worthwhile investment.

Are Pyramid Patio Heaters Any Good?

Pyramid patio heaters are popular for their stylish look. In that sense, they are perfect for those who want an artistic, stylish heater. Generally, pyramid heaters are less efficient than other types of heaters.

Therefore, they aren’t the best option if you care more about BTU output than style. That said, some pyramid heaters are more efficient than others. So, you may be able to find a pyramid heater that can warm your space if you look hard enough.

How Do I Choose the Best Patio Heater for Me?

When picking out a heater for your patio or porch, there are a few details you should consider. First, you need to think about the side of the heated area. For a large space, you need a heater with a powerful output.

You also need to consider the safety of your heater. Does it meet the minimum safety requirements? Your heater of choice should have been tested by a reputable organization. For added safety, look for a heater that automatically shuts off when it falls. This can prevent a fire and keep your home safe.

Another consideration is your weather. If you often experience high winds in your yard, you need a heater that has a heavy base. Otherwise, your heater could tip over and break.

Finally, you should think about portability. Do you plan on moving your heater around? If so, you should get a heater that moves easily. Wheels that are easy to maneuver are always beneficial, as you can slide your heater around. When you have guests over, you can set up your patio as needed.

AmazonBasics Outdoor Patio Heater with Wheels, Propane 46,000 BTU, Commercial & Residential

What Is The Most Power Efficient Patio Heater?

As far as efficiency goes, natural gas and propane are your best options. They make more heat with less energy. However, some models are more efficient than others so be sure to check the specs of any heater you are interested in purchasing and compare it around.

All things considered, each year electric heaters get more powerful and require less power as well. So, if it is an electrical heater you’re after, don’t give up because you may well find one that works for you and your patio.

Do Outdoor Patio Heaters Really Work?

If you want an outdoor patio heater to give you a warm place to gather in your yard, then you’re in luck. Most heaters are effective at warming up a small space. However, heaters do have their limitations. You shouldn’t expect your heater to keep your whole yard warm.

The best patio heaters have powerful flames that extend several feet in any direction. But low-quality heaters have limited output and only have small ranges. Before you buy a heater, you should consider how far its heat will travel. Additionally, you should know that no patio heater is powerful enough to warm your whole patio.

Can You Use A Patio Heater Under A Covered Patio?

Yes, most patio heaters work just fine under covered patios. They also work well in closed patios as well as open-face patios.

If you have a covered patio, you probably don’t want to have an open fire. But you can still have a patio heater. Electric patio heaters can be used in almost any space. If you have a natural gas heater, you should make sure your space has plenty of airflow.

Which Type Of Patio Heater Is Best?

If you’re looking for the best patio heater, you should consider everything you’re looking for from the product. Regardless of what you want, some heaters are better than others.

To find out which heater is the best, read our comparison of the top heaters as well as performing a bit of independent research. You’ll be sure to find one that meets all your needs if you pay attention to detail and put forth a bit of effort.

Choosing the Right Best Outdoor Patio Heater for You

Having a reliable heater on your patio makes it much more enjoyable all year round. That said, hopefully our guide helps you pick the best heater for your patio.

In our opinion, few units offer as much as the AmazonBasics Outdoor Patio Heater. It is easy to use, highly portable (with wheels), has a high BTU output, and is even wind, rust, and UV resistant. Even more, it has one of the best prices on the market.

AmazonBasics Commercial Propane 46,000 BTU Outdoor Patio Heater

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Our other top picks:

Best Infrared Outdoor Patio Heater: Dr. Infrared Heater

Best Pyramid-Style Outdoor Patio Heater: Hiland HLDSO1-WGTHG Pyramid Patio Heater

Best Outdoor Patio Heater with Wheels: hOmeLabs Gas Patio Heater

Best Commercial Outdoor Patio Heater: Hampton Bay Stainless Steel Propane Patio Heater

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