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Best Patio Heaters for 2021 – Top 10 Reviews & Buying Guide

Want to enjoy your patio and backyard more often throughout the year? A good quality patio heater is the answer! Here are our reviews of the best patio heaters for 2021, tips for buying the right outdoor heater for your home, and much more.

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Best Patio Heaters Reviews and Buying Guide

Best Patio Heater for 2021

Types of Outdoor Patio Heater

best patio heaters for 2021

There are a few different heater options for heating your outdoor space, including:

Free Standing Heaters

These heaters are easy to set up in your space and can be moved around the space on wheels. They have a sturdy base to keep the heater stable, and anti-tip shut-off protection in case it blows over or is knocked down.

Generally, these are propane or natural gas heaters, and are very effective for large spaces, including commercial use.

Wall Mounted Heaters

These are great space savers and are ideal for patios and balconies of all sizes. They are especially useful if you don’t have the space for a larger free-standing unit.

Generally, these are electric and can be powered from a standard outlet.

Ceiling Mounted Heaters

A ceiling-mounted unit is another great space saver for small patios. They are very effective, although you need a roofed patio and suitable wiring in order to use it.

What to Consider When Buying a Patio Heater

Best Patio Heaters Reviews
  • Fuel – Patio heaters can run on tanked propane, a natural gas line, or electricity. Each has their pros and cons. Natural gas is continuous and cheap, but you have to have the infrastructure in place.

    Tanked propane is affordable, but has a limited run time and some environmental concerns. Electricity is environmentally friendly (no fumes or odors) and can run continuously, but you need to have access to an outlet.
  • Range – This is the amount of space your patio heater can warm. Keep in mind that this is greatest in sheltered, roofed patios, and decreases if used out in the open or in windy conditions.

    Think about the size of your patio and how you want your heater. You may need more than one patio heater if the range is limited.
  • Output – The higher wattage or British Thermal Units (BTUs), the more powerful the patio heater is. This affects the range of the heater, as well as its maximum output.

What are BTUs?

BTU is an acronym that stands for British Thermal Units. This is a measurement of how much heat it takes to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

A good propane outdoor heater produces 30,000-40,000 BTU per hour. The higher the BTU, the faster the space will heat up.

Types of Outdoor Patio Heater

What is Better – Electric or Gas Patio Heaters?

Both fuel types have their pros and cons. Gas patio heaters have a high carbon footprint, emit fumes and odors, and can be expensive to run – but they do output a considerable amount of heat.

This makes them great for very cold weather and large outdoor areas. Electric patio heaters are more environmentally friendly with a lower carbon footprint, but they tend to be much smaller and are better suited to balconies and small patios.

Do Patio Heaters Use a Lot of Electricity?

Generating heat consumes a lot of fuel, so it’s important to consider fuel efficiency when you’re looking for a patio heater that’s not too expensive to run.

Electric heaters are significantly more affordable to run than propane heaters, depending on the fuel costs in your area. 

Where Should I Place My Patio Heater?

Your patio heater should be placed on an even, flat surface where it will be stable and sheltered from the wind. It should be at least 3 feet away from combustible items like fabrics, plants and fuel supplies. Set up the heater close to your seating space to get the most benefit.

Can I Use a Patio Heater on a Wooden Deck?

Always check the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that it is safe to place your patio heater on a wooden deck. Generally, good quality heaters will not heat up at their base, which means they shouldn’t damage or burn wooden decking.

However, it is very important not to leave your outdoor heater unsupervised while on, and to ensure that it is stable at all times when on a combustible surface. 

Best Patio Heaters Reviews for 2021

Hampton Bay 48,000 BTU Stainless Steel Patio Heater

This stainless steel outdoor gas patio heater is a favorite for homeowners everywhere – and it’s easy to see why. The sleek silver design fits in with any home, and it heats up to 200 square feet of space, keeping your patio warm and welcoming through the winter.


It’s affordably priced, made of durable stainless steel, and is easy to use, with a control valve  for adjusting the heating temperature.

Pros

  • Stainless steel
  • Control valve for temperature adjustment
  • Heats up to 200 square feet of space
  • 48,000 BTU
  • Affordably priced
  • Sleek design
  • Easy to assemble
  • Generates a lot of heat

Cons

  • May need additional stabilization on windy days

Sunjoy Avanti Propane Heater

This is a great everyday patio heater for extending your time outdoors in the cooler months and evenings. The 47,000 BTU offers powerful heating in a radius of 6 feet, and it’s easy to assemble too.


The powder coated frame is designed for all-weather durability, and it has an overall attractive and simple design.


It has some great features that all the top models have, including an easy push button ignition, wheels for portability, and standardized fittings for easy gas fitment. It also has an anti-tilt shut-off for safety – all at a very affordable price!

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Silver rust-resistant powder-coated steel frame
  • Simple push-button ignition 
  • Heat control knob
  • 47,000 BTU  
  • Safety auto shut off tilt valve
  • Wheels for portability 

Cons

  • Assembly required
  • Awkward to remove gas tank

Mirage 38,200 BTU Bronze Heat-Focusing Propane Gas Patio Heater

Although it’s on the pricier side, this Mirage outdoor patio heater has a lot to offer. The 38,200 BTU output is sufficient to heat up around 120 square feet of patio space, and the cone-shaped burners and heat-focused reflectors ensure even heating.


It’s fitted with wheels for easy portability, and has an oven-baked powder coating finish for durability and rust resistance. This patio heater looks great in any setting, and has an anti-tilt design, stable base and flame-failure cut-off switch for safety.

Pros

  • 38,200 BTU for 120 square feet of heating
  • Highly durable oven baked, hammered powder coating finish
  • Heat-focusing reflectors for even heat distribution
  • Anti-tilt design
  • Flame-failure cut-off switch for safety
  • Wheeled for portability
  • Hinged-cylinder chamber door provides easy access
  • Patio heater cover is included

Cons

  • More expensive than competitors
  • Can’t heat very large patio spaces

Amazon Basics Outdoor Patio Heater

A basic model that gets the job done is this powerful propane patio heater from Amazon Basics. It’s affordably-priced, has a sleek and minimalist design, and supplies 46,000 BTU, which is plenty to heat a 9-foot radius.


It’s easy to start and has a piezo ignition system, and the high-quality aluminum and powder-coated steel construction ensure that it handles all-weather use.


For safety, it has a fillable water box to add weight to the base and an anti-tilt shut-off valve. It’s wheeled for portability, and ideal for commercial or residential use.

Pros

  • 46,000 BTU
  • Heats a 9 foot radius
  • Piezo easy ignition system
  • Safety auto shut-off tilt valve
  • Water box to add weight to base
  • Wheeled for mobility
  • Amazon Basics 1-year limited warranty

Cons

  • Build could be stronger – be careful when moving this unit

KEZATO Propane Outdoor Patio Heater

This is a large-sized, powerful heater with an output of 46,000 BTU. It will heat patios up to 200 square foot in size, and can be used under cover or out in the open, for commercial or residential use.


It’s made of durable stainless steel, has integrated wheels for portability, and comes with a free storage cover for when it’s not in use.


This patio heater is ETL certified and has an auto tilt shut-off for safety. It can take a while to assemble, but is sturdy and easy to operate thanks to the Piezoelectric ignition system.

Pros

  • 46,000 BTU
  • Ideal for spaces up to 200 square feet
  • Auto tilt shut-off
  • ETL certified
  • Stainless steel design
  • Storage cover included
  • Piezoelectric ignition system
  • Wheeled for portability

Cons

  • Large size heater
  • Can take some time to assemble

Golden Flame Patio Heater

This 46,000 BTU propane outdoor heater offers plenty of heating power for outdoor spaces of up to 200 square feet. 89 inches tall and 10lbs in weight, the heater is fairly tall but lightweight, featuring a base sand reservoir for added stability.


It’s easy to use thanks to the “Rapid Spark” electronic ignition system and pilotless burner, and you don’t have to worry about wind blowing out your pilot light.


It’s affordably priced compared to competitors, easy to assemble and offers powerful heating through the winter.

Pros

  • Easy “Rapid Spark” electronic ignition system
  • 46,000 BTU
  • Can heat spaces up to 200 square feet
  • Pilotless burner system
  • Durable stainless steel design
  • 89 inches tall
  • Affordably priced

Cons

  • Base sand reservoir for stability NOT INCLUDED
  • May be too large for small patios

Fire Sense Stainless Steel Natural Gas Patio Heater

If you are looking for a simple, compact and sleek standing patio heater, this model from Fire Sense is a great option. It uses a 76-inch hose to connect to natural gas rather than a propane tank, so keep that in mind if you’re considering this heater.


Because there is no propane tank, it may need a little more support in windy conditions. It’s easy to assemble and you can run it continuously off your natural gas supply without paying much for fuel.

Pros

  • Heavy-duty stainless steel design
  • CSA approved
  • Natural gas, continuous run time
  • Instant start push button
  • Tip over protection
  • Meets global safety standards
  • Affordable to run

Cons

  • Natural gas connection needed
  • May need additional base stability in windy conditions

Paraheeter Hanging Patio Heater

If you’re looking for a convenient space-saver, this hanging patio heater is worth considering! Designed to hang from the ceiling, it’s ideal for covered patios.


The electric radiant heating is eco-friendly and efficient, allowing you to keep warm without raising your energy bills to high. It produces no noise, no fumes, and no odors, and is CE, LVD and RoHS certified.


It has an auto shut-off if it starts to overheat for any reason, ensuring you’re safe as well as warm. It’s easy to assemble, waterproof, and comes with a 1-year warranty.

Pros

  • Compact and space-saving
  • Environmentally-friendly
  • Overheating auto shut-off
  • CE, LVD and RoHS certified
  • Easy to install
  • Radiant electric heating – 600, 900 or 1500W settings
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Requires wiring
  • Not suitable for un-roofed patios


DONYER POWER Wall Ceiling Mount Quartz Heater

Inexpensive and effective, this corded electric patio heater is ideal for smaller spaces, although you can buy several to cover a larger area.


Environmentally friendly, this heater emits no fumes or odors, and connects right into your existing electrical network with a standard socket.


The heating angle is adjustable from 0-45 degrees, and it has three settings of 500W, 1000W, and 1500W. It is IPX4 certified and FCC approved, and is ideal for balconies, BBQ areas, and patios.

Pros

  • Corded radiant electric
  • 3 heat settings of 500W, 1000W, and 1500W
  • Certified IPX4 and FCC approved
  • Heating angle is adjustable from 0-45 degrees
  • Environmentally-friendly
  • No odors or fumes
  • Easy to install
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Will need multiple units for larger areas

KEY TEK Wall-Mounted Patio Heater

Another good wall-mounted outdoor electric heater is this option from KEY TEK. It’s corded electric and easy to install, with the highest power setting at 1,500W to provide instant, powerful heating. 


It requires little assembly, has three heating settings, and has a smart remote for easy heating control. The unit is waterproof and durable, with a rust-proof aluminum alloy housing.


It can be used indoors or outside, and the infrared technology has a disinfectant effect for healthy heating.

Pros

  • Wall-mounted indoor/outdoor heater
  • Infrared heating – corded electric
  • Easy to assemble and install
  • Smart remote for heating control
  • Environmentally friendly
  • No fumes or odors
  • Infrared technology has a disinfectant effect
  • 3 heating settings up to 1,500W
  • IP65 rated waterproof design

Cons

  • Will need multiple units for larger areas

Best Outdoor Heater for 2021

Top Pick - Best Patio Heater of 2021

Top Pick - Best Patio Heater of 2021
Hampton Bay 48,000 BTU Stainless Steel Patio Heater

The Hampton Bay 48000 Btu Stainless Steel Patio Heater is our top choice as the best patio heater for 2021! It’s well-priced, supplies a lot of heat, and it’s easy to use – not to mention good-looking.

It runs on liquid propane, supplying 48,000 BTU – enough for any winter evening outdoors, and the adjustable heating system lets you change heat settings easily.

It’s made from stainless steel, so it’s built to last, giving you plenty of warmth through the years.

Best Value Patio Heater

Best Value Patio Heater for 2021
Sunjoy Avanti Propane Heater

We love the Sunjoy Avanti Propane Heater, and it was a real contender for the best patio heater for the year! It’s a very affordable propane heater, but that doesn’t mean you don’t get good heating or great features.

The 47,000 BTU output is perfect for heating a radius of up to 6 feet, it has an auto shut off safety valve, and the wheels make it easy to move around your space.

The sleek design looks and feels just like a top-of-the-range outdoor heater, and the rust-resistant powder coating means it should be just as durable.

Best Premium Patio Heater

Best Premium Patio Heater for 2021
Mirage 38,200 BTU Bronze Heat-Focusing Propane Gas Patio Heater

If you’re looking to spend a bit more to get even better quality and features, we recommend the Mirage 38,200 BTU Bronze Heat-Focusing Propane Gas Patio Heater.

With its burnished bronze finish and durable oven-baked powder coating, it’s built to handle all weather conditions and look great at the same time.

The weighted base keeps the unit stable, and the heat-focused reflectors and cone-shaped burners offer exceptional, even heating coverage. Despite a lower output of 38,000 BTU, this heater offers great performance, heating up to 120 square feet with ease.

Stay Warm Year-Round With the Best Patio Heater of 2021!

We hope this article helped you find the perfect patio heater for your outdoor space. When shopping, remember to consider how the heater is fueled, the heating output, safety features and build quality of the item.

Since we are talking about adding functionality outdoors, check out our Best Fire Pit and Best Outdoor Fan Review.

When placing your patio heater, keep it far away from any combustible items, and cover or store it safely when not in use. We hope you enjoyed our review of the best patio heaters of 2021!

About the Author Lane Perry

Lane shares her knowledge and creative ideas with our audience at Sumo Gardener as an exterior decorator. She has previously worked as an exterior decorator on home renovation projects across the west coast USA, adapting to different environments for both large and small homes. When it comes to transforming your outdoor entertainment space or coming up with creative ways to enjoy your garden, Lane is our expert.

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