The Best Outdoor Patio Heater (Year Round)


As the weather starts to cool down and the sun starts to set a little earlier every night, it’s nice to still be able to enjoy being outside.

After installing a new paver patio, I realize it’s time to make sure I can enjoy the evenings as they turn cooler.

Having an outdoor patio heater can mean the difference between a comfortable experience or not.

If you tend to spend a good deal of time on your patio or deck, this fairly inexpensive item is a great investment and the perfect addition to easily extend the seasonal life of your patio, deck, and/or porch. 

heater lit up flame on patio at night

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These heaters do a great job of warming up spaces around them, making our outdoor areas more comfortable during colder months. Between a heater and an outdoor privacy screen, you can have some really cozy nights all year round.

There are several different models of patio heaters available including an electric patio heater, a propane patio heater, and a natural gas patio heater as well as wall-mounted heaters and tabletop models. 

While mushroom-style propane heaters are arguably the most popular, the type of heater that’ll work best for you will depend on several factors.

These may include the size of space you’re looking to heat, whether that space is open or enclosed, the type of fuel you prefer, and whether or not you prefer a portable patio heater.

We’ve compiled a list of the best patio heaters on the market so that all you’ll have to do is enjoy the warmth.

And speaking of warmth, if your fireplace area is in need of a makeover, here’s our list of 37 of the best DIY fireplace remodels.

And to warm up your living room or any large room, check out my list of the best space heaters for heating a large space.

Mushroom-Style Heaters

This sleek mushroom-style heater can heat up to 200 square feet and has a piezoelectric ignition which is similar to the type used on most gas grills.

You can also adjust the heat to find the perfect temperature. Made of durable stainless steel, this heater will allow you to have outdoor heating for years to come. 

Propane Patio Heaters

mushroom shaped propane outdoor heater

This 41,000-BTU propane heater is capable of heating up to 100 square feet. Even better, it has wheels that make for easy maneuvering.

This 46,000-BTU propane heater also comes with wheels and is available in a selection of neutral colors, but we really love this ‘Bahama Blue’ shade which will bring a pop of color to those cold days.

These pyramid-shaped heaters are commonly a top pick for business owners to heat outdoor dining areas or any other larger outdoor space in the cooler months.

These can just as easily be used for a home patio as well and the stylish modern style is an attractive design element.

The bronze finish on this 46,000 BTU outdoor patio heater serves a dual purpose – it looks great and is rust-resistant. In terms of safety, it has an auto shut-off feature in case it were to tip over.

This heater uses liquid propane and is designed to mount to the top of a 20-pound propane tank and delivers a BTU output of 45,000 that lasts for about 9.5 hours of use. 

tank top shaped patio heater

This particular heater gives off radiant heat meaning it’ll be particularly hotter to those sitting closest to it.

mushroom shaped patio heater with angled head

Most patio heaters put off heat in all directions. However, if you prefer to be able to control where the heat goes, this model allows you to have directional heat.

It also includes wheels allowing for easy mobility and an electronic ignition system making it very easy to light.

Electric Patio Heaters

hanging electric patio heater

If your patio is covered, install a hanging heat lamp to add warmth and light without sacrificing space. This 5100-BTU infrared unit can heat up a 12-foot radius. 

Infrared Patio Heaters

Tripod Infrared 1500 Watt Electric Patio Heater

This 5100-BTU heater is enough to heat up a 10-foot radius. The stand is a tripod that’s adjustable, making it super portable and flexible in height.

If you’d prefer to not have a freestanding patio heater, then this infrared heat source can be mounted to a wall or ceiling with the accompanying bracket.

It can toggle between three settings – 900, 1200, and 1500 watts that can be controlled with the accompanying remote control. 

Natural Gas Patio Heaters

If you’re looking for a natural gas outdoor patio heater and the price tag isn’t an issue, then this one that hooks straight to your natural gas line is a great option. 

Portable Heaters

This smaller heater is great for outdoor use, but also for indoor use. It’s ideal for small spaces like smaller decks and patios or even large tents.

The compact size and carrying handle make it easy to tote along on camping trips or outdoor activities. 

This tabletop heater is not only affordable but aesthetically pleasing as well.

Fueled by isopropyl alcohol, this unique type of patio heater may not give off much heat but it is safe for both indoors and outdoors.

You can also add citronella to keep mosquitoes at bay during outdoor events. 

While not really an outdoor heater, this can easily be used anywhere you have an electric outlet such as a porch, garage, or deck.

Just remember, space heaters such as this one should not be left outside especially during rain.

For more outdoor and yard improvement ideas, take a look at the DIY concrete stepping stones.


How do you heat an outdoor patio in the winter?

One of the best ways to heat an outdoor patio on those cold days is, of course, outside patio heaters.

Can you use a patio heater on a covered deck?

In theory, yes. However, the safest option will be to use an electric patio heater so that you don’t have to worry about ventilation issues.

What are BTUs?

The heat output of propane heaters is measured in BTUs (British thermal units) and typically you’ll want approximately 20 BTUs of heat per square foot.

Make sure to measure the size of the space you’re wanting to heat before making your purchase.

Which type of patio heater is best?

It really is dependent on you and your situation. Electric heaters are generally safer for heating small and enclosed spaces.

This is partly true due to needing less ventilation than gas heaters. Propane gas heaters are fueled by removable propane tanks which will be an additional cost. 

On the other hand, electric porch heaters will take longer to heat than gas patio heaters and will need to be placed near an electrical outlet.

You’ll also want to consider that many patio heaters take up a decent amount of space. If your patio is larger, you may benefit from a free-standing commercial patio heater.

But if the size of the area is smaller, a smaller heater that either mounts to the wall or can be placed on the table may be more beneficial.

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heater lit up flame on patio at night

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