The best patio heater for your outdoor seating area

From gas patio heaters to electric patio heaters, we've found the garden heater for you.

best patio heater

by Lily Anderson |

A mini-heatwave means one thing - summer is coming and we cannot wait. Want to make the most of your garden? Continue socialising into the evening thanks to the best patio heater.

We know that you've spent a lot of time in the last year getting your green space up to scratch. B&Q conducted a study of 2,000 adults which revealed that Brits spent on average 15 hours a week tackling DIY jobs around their homes. I mean what else have we had to do?

Related: The best fire pits for every budget

Whether you've spent 15 hours a week or 15 hours in the last year, if lockdown has taught us anything - it's how privileged it is to have access to a garden. Plus, you make the most of your hard work by investing in an outdoor heater.

A garden heater will allow you to catch up with six people or one other household whatever the weather. All you need is the best barbeque and you're sorted.

Best patio heaters shortlist:

Know exactly what type of patio heater you want? You can shop from these quick links now. Keep reading to find out why these outdoor heaters made it onto our shortlist:

Swan Al Fresco Portable Patio Heater

Prem-I-Air 2 kW Outdoor Garden Heating

cilyberya 800W Electric Infrared Patio Heater

THE FOREST & CO Tall Chimney Outdoor Fireplace

La Hacienda Cuba Cast iron & steel Chiminea

How we chose the best patio heater:

All of these garden heaters have been hand-selected by What's The Best shopping experts. Our team has spent hours investigating and researching the best patio heater, so you can choose the best one. We'd never recommend a product we don't believe in. Find out why you should trust us here.

Patio heaters come in all shapes and sizes – from wall-mounted options to freestanding pyramid-shaped ones. Whether you’re looking for something portable, stylish or high-tech we’ve found something for everyone.

It's time to get the bug repellents at the ready as we round up our favourite patio heaters, plus the reasons why we think you need them to spruce up your garden.

Best patio heater UK

Need to know:

360-degree tip-over safety feature

Powerful 1200W heat output

Comes with a one-year warranty

Size: 68.2 x 35.7 x 29.6 cm

1.8 metre power supply cord

We love:

When it gets a bit chilly this will take the edge off nicely. The best thing about it is that you don't have to wait long until it heats up fully.

Review: "This is a stylish and stable patio heater. On account of climate change, I'm not generally a fan of outdoor heating, but I've made an exception because of Covid-19. We can now continue to see friends outdoors and socially distanced as the weather gets colder. I'm very pleased with this purchase."

Need to know:

Vertical electric heater

Automatic shutdown if knocked over

Aluminium alloy shell

Silent operation

Weather / dust-proof IP65 rating with CE certifications

We love:

Not only is this one stylish and compact, but it heats up really quickly.

Need to know:

Made from iron

Size: 169 x 60 x 40cm

Area for lit logs and space for storing wood

We love:

You can see exactly what we like about this fireplace - it's all about aesthetics. Although it's not a traditional heater, this will keep you warm long after the sun sets.

Need to know:

Includes a safety tool and rain lid

Size: 48 x 112cm

Easy to assemble

We love:

Although this isn't weatherproof, we still love this option for your seating area. The reason being that it has a lovely rustic feel and a protective mesh door.

Review: "I was looking for a chiminea for my garden, viewed many in several shops, there were cheaper options but the quality of this chiminea is first class - the leg and main bowl are cast iron. It took approx. 30 mins to assemble, looks and performs well. Real value for money, purchased with my senior's card so got discount on full price."

Need to know:

Power: 13kW

Weight: 32kg

Size: 227cm (H) x 52cm (W)

Heats over an eight square metre range

We love:

Constructed from heavy-duty but elegant stainless steel, this heater is made to last. This pyramid patio heater is available in black or stainless steel.

Review: "Lighting is easy and looks good with the flame in the tube. I assembled on Saturday afternoon and had a query for the seller. I emailed them late Saturday afternoon and had a reply back by 7 pm, excellent customer service. Overall, great service, a wonderful heater."

Need to know:

Power: 1.5kW

Weight: 2.5kg

Size: 31cm (H) x 41cm (W)

We love:

It's IP4 rated and has a classy vintage black design. The heater itself is highly effective and will last up to 3,000 hours. This heater will be a source of both heat and light that will get your friends talking.

Review: "Plenty of heat from a relatively small unit"

Patio heater FAQs:

Have you treated yourself to that patio heater you've always wanted? Then you've probably got some questions you want answering. Instead of spending hours asking Alexa or Googling your way to the answers, we've pulled together a quick Q&A guide to help.

Are electric patio heaters expensive to run?

According to an article written by thisismoney.co.uk, it should cost you approximately £200 a year. The article says, "Let's take the 2000w - or 2kW - top-level setting. This will cost roughly 31p an hour to run, based on the average UK tariff. If you have this on in an evening for three hours, this would mean nearly £1 of usage.

"Using [an] example of 12 hours a week, it would cost £3.72. Over the course of the year, this would equate to just shy of £200."

Can patio heaters be used in the rain?

Did you know that some patio heaters can get wet, and others can't? When you're looking to buy a patio heater, make sure you do your research.

Not sure whether yours can be out in the rain? Check the instruction manual when your heater arrives.

How many patio heaters do I need?

This depends on how big your garden is. For an average size garden, one patio heater should be enough to warm up a seating area.

Can a patio heater be used indoors?

We wouldn't recommend using a patio heater indoors. If you buy a patio heater that uses gas, if used in a confined space like your house, garage or caravan, you could put yourself and others at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Are patio heaters safe to use?

Anything that uses heat or open flames will come with a risk. Make sure to keep this away from flammable materials such as rugs and a good distance from walls and ceilings. For more information visit patioheaterexpert.com.

What to read next:

The best Lay-Z-Spa hot tubs to buy

Create all kinds of shade with the best garden parasol

Bistro garden furniture that will transform your outdoor space in time for summer

Lily Anderson is a Commercial Content Writer at Bauer Media, where she reviews products for titles like Heat, Closer, What’s the Best, Yours and Mother&Baby.

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Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us