The Best Patio Heaters For Spending Time Outside This Spring

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Patio heaters are a great way to enjoy an evening on the patio or in the backyard, no matter what the weather report has in store. You'll find that the best patio heaters are easy to power up, while providing enough heat to keep you toasty, so you can pour yourself another glass of wine without having to go inside once the temperature drops.

Some patio heaters run on electricity while others utilize propane or natural gas. However, since natural gas requires a gas line and professional installation, I've focused on electric and propane models, which tend to also be more portable. Propane patio heaters can be placed anywhere since you just need a propane tank to run them (no outlet), and they produce more intense heat than electric models, so they're likely to do a better job of keeping you warm. However, propane heaters are safest if you have an open outdoor area, but are not recommended for enclosed patios because of the risk of carbon monoxide inhalation. Electric patio heaters, on the other hand, are safe to use in enclosed spaces and can be placed wherever there’s an outlet. And while you'll save money (and time) by not having to stock up on propane, they tend to generate less heat than propane versions. Lastly, for a heating solution that doubles as a warm fire, consider a fire pit that'll warm your space and is great for cold weather activities (s'mores, I'm looking at you).

Remember that patio heaters can potentially tip over in heavy winds, so never place them near glass or anything flammable and choose a heater with a safety tilt valve feature, so that it instantly turns off if knocked over.

In a hurry? These are the best patio heaters:

1. The Best Propane Heater: Amazon Basics Outdoor Patio Heater

2. The Best For Enclosed Patios: TRUSTECH Outdoor Patio Heater

3. The Best Portable Propane Patio Heater: Mr. Heater Big Buddy Portable Heater

4. The Best Fire Pit For Patios: Sunnydaze 42-Inch Wood Burning Outdoor Fire Pit

Both electric and propane heaters are available in a variety of styles. To help you pick the perfect option for your backyard, here’s my roundup of the best patio heaters on Amazon.


The Best Propane Heater

This standing heater runs on a liquid propane tank (sold separately) and features a simple ignition button that lets you quickly turn the heater on and off or adjust heat output. This heater stands 89 inches tall (about 7.4 feet) and the base is 18 inches in diameter, with wheels on the bottom for easy placement and portability. It can distribute heat up to 9 feet and produce 46,000 BTUs of heat, which is likely enough to keep you warm without getting uncomfortably hot. It also features an automatic shut-off tilt valve for extra protection. Plus, it comes in seven colors across the powder-coated and stainless steel finishes.

Rave review: “I cannot say enough good things about this heater. The grey color makes it look nice and modern, it puts out a LOT of heat, it’s sturdy, well built, everything you want in a patio heater! I am really hope it comes back in stock because I want a second one. Nice work, Amazon Basics!"


The Best Heater For Indoor Or Enclosed Patios

If you want a space-saving option, this infrared patio heater is worth considering. It can be mounted to the ceiling of patio overhangs, but it's safe to use in enclosed patios and indoor spaces, too. Reviewers report this heater is super easy to install, and can even be moved. A handy LCD screen lets you know what temperature it is set to, and you can control the temperature with a remote from wherever you are. You can also set the timer from one to nine hours so you can control the time it runs for (be sure to turn it off when you're not using it, for safety). You can also upgrade this heater to a version with a tripod, which can be moved around your space. One note: Due to its design, this patio heater is designed for dry patios where it won't be exposed to water or weather.

Rave review: “Very easy to install and use. IR heaters warm objects verses air - this is very efficient, dependable warming. We installed two on our back patio and love the remote control feature."


The Best Portable Propane Patio Heater

This small but mighty portable outdoor heater connects to a liquid propane tank (sold separately) to generate enough heat to cover up to 450 square feet. A piezo ignition turns the heater on, and you can easily adjust the heat settings from low to high via the control knob. The heater automatically shuts off when tipped, too. Measuring 16.7 by 11.2 by 12 inches, this heater is ideal for open patios and camping.

Rave review: “I like this heater a lot. I have had it for about a year and use it on my patio on cool nights and in my garage when I need some extra heat while working on projects or brewing."


The Best Fire Pit For Patios

This fire pit is a great solution for warming your patio that's a little different from your classic patio heater. The rust-resistant design makes it great for inclement weather, and the generous size is perfect for heating a large space. Even better, this fire pit comes with a safety screen you can assemble to protect little ones or animals, and it's super easy to assemble. This fire pit comes with a one-year warranty should you run into any issues.

Rave review: “We have used this fire pit every non-rainy night since we got it. The kids love it and it’s the perfect size for our patio. From learning how to build and start a fire to roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, this is a blast."

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