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Best patio heater 2024: Our favourite outdoor heaters

Our pick of the best outdoor patio heaters available to buy in the UK to keep you warm when the weather gets cold

The best outdoor or patio heaters can help you to get the most out of your garden all year round. The British weather isn’t exactly known for its consistency, but investing in a quality patio heater can allow you to conjure up a cosy, comfortable outdoor atmosphere, no matter the temperature.

From large traditional gas patio heaters to portable and wall-mounted electric units and even fire pits, you’ll find an extensive range of patio heaters on the market today. There are models designed to suit gardens of all sizes and at price points to fit within just about every budget.

To help you find the perfect patio heater for your garden we’ve put together a short buyer’s guide that covers the most common heater types and highlights the key features you’ll want to look out for. Below that, you’ll find our complete roundup of the best patio heaters available to buy today. Alternatively, if you already know what you’re after, you can use our at a glance list below to skip straight to our top recommendations.

Best patio heater: At a glance

Best gas patio heaterGardenCo Outdoor Heater (~£129)Check price at Dawson’s Living
Best electric patio heaterSwan Patio Heater (~£40)Check price at Swan
Best fire pitHarbour Housewares Cast Iron Fire Pit (~£62)Check price at Amazon
Best small patio heaterBlumfeldt Portable Heater (~£89)Check price at Amazon
Best wall-mounted patio heaterPro Breeze Halogen Heater (~£75)Check price at Amazon

How to choose the best outdoor patio heater for you

Patio heaters are available in several distinct styles. The simplest options are electric models, which heat up quickly and don’t usually require professional installation. Gas heaters, meanwhile, are generally capable of throwing out more heat, allowing them to warm a larger area, but they require you to deal with fuel canisters and can have higher running costs.

Then there are solid fuel burners, which are generally more aesthetically pleasing and atmospheric but aren’t always as family-friendly from a safety perspective as you have to deal with open flames. They can also produce large quantities of smoke, which can be irritating.

There’s a good spread of different designs to choose from, too. The most popular types are:

Freestanding heaters: Often seen in the outdoor areas of pubs and restaurants, this type of heater is usually tall and heavy, with a compartment in the base for a gas canister. Some have wheels to make them more manoeuvrable; you can also get more lightweight electric models, although these don’t give off as much heat and, of course, they require a nearby electric socket (or extension cable).

Tabletop heater: Small, transportable heaters of this type can be either electric or gas-fuelled, with the latter having a compartment to hold the tank. They’re convenient, but they won’t give you as much heat as a free-standing unit – and again, if you go for an electric model, you’ll need a nearby electricity supply.

Mounted heater: A mounted heater usually attaches to a wall (inside or out), so it’s a sturdy long-term solution, although obviously once it’s installed you can’t move it around. You can also get heaters that attach to a parasol pole, so everyone around the table stays warm.

Hanging heater: If you don’t have a suitable wall to attach a heater to, a hanging design could be the solution. Most are electric and are intended to be suspended from the roofing over a deck or a conservatory.

Freestanding fire pits and chimineas: These are simple fuel-burning heaters that come in a variety of traditional and modern designs. Some are portable, so you can easily store them away while not in use. Extra safety precautions need to be taken with fire pits and chimineas, however, due to the naked flames and hot casings – something to bear in mind, especially if you have young children.

READ NEXT: The best hammocks to buy

The best outdoor patio heaters to buy in 2024

1. GardenCo Outdoor Gas Patio Heater: Best gas patio heater

Price when reviewed: £129 | Check price at Dawson’s Living

If you’re looking to get the most out of your garden all year round then a quality gas heater makes for an excellent investment. Right now our favourite has to be GardenCo’s Outdoor Gas Patio Heater. With up to a 13.5kW output and a wide 81cm reflector it can throw out plenty of heat, and you have the option of running it on propane, butane or LGP gas. There’s space within the base to keep your gas tank out of the way and an anti-tilt switch automatically turns the heater off should it ever start to tip. The heater is made from powder-coated steel and comes in both black and silver finishes.

It doesn’t ship preassembled, but it’s fairly straightforward to put together. At just shy of 20kg it can take some manoeuvring, although there are wheels built into the base to help. A handy adjustable drinks table is included, and it also ships with an all-weather cover to help protect it from the elements while not in use.

Key specs – Dimensions: 38 x 38 x 228cm; Type of heater: Freestanding; Power: 13.5kW; Type of fuel: Propane, butane or LPG

Check price at Dawson’s Living

2. Swan Patio Heater: Best electric patio heater

Price when reviewed: £40 | Check price at Swan

The freestanding Swan Patio Heater is a perfect budget-friendly option for those looking to extend the summer nights.

The setup is straightforward, taking roughly 30 minutes to complete out of the box. Equipped with three power settings – 650W, 1,300W and 2,000W – it generates infrared heat via its three quartz glass heating elements and aluminium reflector, allowing it to deliver heat almost immediately. And with an adjustable stand ranging from 1.59m to 1.9m, it offers plenty of flexibility to accommodate your needs.

It’s not the hottest of heaters, but it more than suffices around a garden table, providing some welcome warmth as the temperature drops. It comes equipped with a 1.8m power cable that runs the length of the stand, but you’ll probably need an extension cord for outdoor use.

Key specs – Dimensions: 41 x 48 x 159-190cm (adjustable height); Type of heater: Freestanding; Power: 650W, 1,300W, 2,000W; Type of fuel: Electric

Check price at Swan

3. Blumfeldt Portable Electric Heater: Best patio heater for smaller spaces

Price when reviewed: £89 | Check price at Amazon

Blumfeldt’s Portable Electric Heater is ideal for balconies, small decks, gazebos and conservatories. As an infrared heater, it’s able to start delivering heat almost immediately and it heats objects, rather than the air, so the warmth won’t get lost should the wind picks up. It has two heating modes, 600W or 1,200W, and can deliver heat in either a 120˚ or full 360˚ arc, depending on how you plan to use it.

It can be used both indoors and out, and at 6kg it can be moved without too much fuss. It carries an IPX4 rating, protecting it against splashes, but it’s not fully water-resistant so it will need to be brought indoors should the weather turn.

Key specs – Dimensions: 22 x 22 x 56cm; Type of heater: Freestanding; Power: 1.2kW; Type of fuel: Electric

4. Harbour Housewares Cast Iron Fire Pit: Best fire pit

Price when reviewed: £62 | Check price at Amazon 

If you’re after something a little more rustic, then Harbour Housewares’ Cast Iron Fire Pit offers a true stripped-back open-fire experience. It can be loaded up with either firewood or charcoal and, thanks to its large-diameter cast iron bowl, it’s capable of radiating a good amount of heat.

Some basic assembly is required: you need to screw on the legs and handles, but you should be up and running in no time. At 15kg it’s nice and stable, although a little hefty. Fortunately, the strong handles make it a little easier to transport and to tip to remove the ashes. While the pit feels built to last, we’d recommend picking up a cover to help protect it from the elements and prevent it from filling up with rainwater.

See also: Our pick of the best fire pits

Key specs – Dimensions: 75 x 85 x 39cm; Type of heater: Fire pit; Type of fuel: Wood or charcoal

5. Pro Breeze Halogen Infrared Patio Heater: Best wall-mounted patio heater

Price when reviewed: £75 | Check price at Amazon

This wall-mounted halogen infrared patio heater from Pro Breeze can be installed on an exterior wall or ceiling, allowing you to keep warm with minimal clutter. It features two power settings, 1,000W and 2,000W, and can be controlled at a distance via the included remote control. As an infrared heater, it heats up objects and people rather than the air, which stops the heat from getting carried away by the breeze.

It carries an IP65 rating, ensuring it’s protected against the elements – simply hook it up to a suitable IP65 rated outdoor plug. It also comes with all necessary fixtures and fittings to get it set up.

Key specs – Dimensions: 63 x 11 x 7cm; Type of heater: Wall-mounted; Power: 2kW; Type of fuel: Electricity

6. Swan Portable Patio Heater: Best budget portable heater

Price when reviewed: £50 | Check price at Amazon

If you’re in the market for a compact patio heater that won’t break the bank, the Swan Portable Patio Heater has you covered.

With simple assembly and one 1,200W power setting, it’s incredibly easy to use. It utilises a carbon fibre heating element that provides a softer radiant heat, making it a great option for adding a bit of warmth to your summer nights in the garden. The stylish heater also comes equipped with a 1.8m power cord that runs from the base, so an extension cord might be necessary for larger gardens. While it has an IP44 rating to ensure protection against the elements, it should still be stored appropriately when not in use.

An excellent option for extending evenings in the garden, the cosy warmth and orange hue of the Swan Portable Patio Heater helps to create a relaxed setting for any occasion.

Key specs – Dimensions: 32 x 32 x 60cm; Type of heater: Freestanding; Power: 1,2000W; Type of fuel: Electricity

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