The 7 Best Freestanding Patio Heaters of 2023: Warm Up Your Outdoor Patio
At a Glance - The 7 Best Freestanding Patio Heaters for 2023 :
|AmazonBasics Commercial Outdoor Patio Heater||1 Year||11000BTU||Propane||38 inches||Most Popular||Read More|
|Hampton Bay 48000 BTU Stainless Steel Patio Heater||1 Year||11000BTU||Propane||17 inches||Best Rated||Read More|
|Briza Infrared Electric Patio Heater||1 Year||9500BTU||Propane||39 inches||Best Pyramid||Read More|
|Star Patio Electric Infrared Heater||1 Year||5100BTU||Electric||26.5 inches||Best Electric||Read More|
|EAST OAK 50,000 BTU Outdoor Patio Heater||1 Year||33000BTU||Propane||4.2 inches||Best Table Top Fire||Read More||East Oak Pyramid Patio Heater, 48000 BTU Outdoor Flame Patio Heater||1 Year||11000BTU||Propane||39 inches||Best Bronze Finish||Read More|
|Hiland HLDSO1-WGTHG Pyramid Glass Tube Propane Patio Heater||1 Year||10000BTU||Propane||34 inches||Best Resort Style||Read More|
What's covered in this review...
Reviewed: 7 Best Freestanding Patio Heaters of 2023
1. Best Budget: AmazonBasics Commercial Outdoor Patio Heater
2. Most Durable: Hampton Bay 48000 BTU Stainless Steel Patio Heater
3. Best for Indoor/ Outdoor Use: Briza Infrared Electric Patio Heater
4. Best Customer Service: Patio Heater, EAST OAK 50,000 BTU Outdoor Patio Heater
5. Best Slimline Model: Fire Sense 61445 Natural Gas Patio Heater
6. Best Aesthetic Design East Oak Pyramid Patio Heater
7. Best Bronze Patio Heater Hiland Pyramid Glass Tube Propane Patio Heater
What you need to know about freestanding patio heaters
Factors to Consider When Choosing Best Freestanding Patio Heater
How to Properly Maintain and Care for Your Freestanding Patio Heater
As the days grow cooler and the nights become longer, many of us are looking for ways to extend our outdoor living season. Freestanding patio heaters have become increasingly popular, allowing homeowners and businesses to create a comfortable atmosphere in their outdoor spaces even during the colder months.
This article will provide you with detailed reviews of the 7 best freestanding patio heaters available in 2023, as well as background information to help you make an informed decision when choosing the perfect heater for your needs. For more information on options to heat your patio, also view our Buyers Guide for Patio Heaters.
Reviewed: The 7 Best Freestanding Patio Heaters for 2023
1. BEST BUDGET: AmazonBasics Commercial
Outdoor Patio Heater
AmazonBasics Commercial Outdoor Patio Heater
AmazonBasics Commercial Outdoor Patio Heater is a powerful propane heater with a heat output of 46,000 BTUs, making it capable of warming a considerable outdoor area up to a 9 foot radius. Its sleek design includes a piezo ignition system for easy start-ups and a safety auto shut-off tilt valve. It’s also equipped with wheels for easy mobility and a weighted base for stability.
Available in several powder colored finishes or stainless steel so you can match it to your patio décor.
High heat output for large spaces
Range of colors as well as stainless steel finish
Easy to move around
Piezo ignition for quick startups
It is a tall heater – 89 inches (7 feet 5 inches) tall. If your patio has a roof check the clearance. You should have 4-6 feet clearance above it.
Some shorter buyers say they find the heat disperses too high for them.
Some users have noted it can be difficult to assemble (whilst many others have had no difficulties).
Reasons to Buy this Heater:
Ideal for those needing robust heat coverage for large outdoor spaces at an affordable price, appreciating both functionality and aesthetic appeal.
2. Most Durable: Hampton Bay 48000 BTU
Stainless Steel Patio Heater
Hampton Bay 48000 BTU Stainless Steel Patio Heater
The Hampton Bay 48000 BTU Stainless Steel Patio Heater is a propane heater designed to be reliable and effective. With a heat output of 48,000 BTUs, it’s capable of warming large outdoor spaces of up to 200 sq ft. The unit features a durable stainless steel construction that can withstand outdoor weather conditions, ensuring a long-lasting lifespan.
It has a Piezo ignition system for easy starting and a control knob to adjust temperature settings. A wheel assembly is also included for easy transportation.
High heat output with high
Sturdy stainless steel construction
Tip-over safety feature
Piezo ignition system for quick startups.
Bulkier design compared to some models
Some users report difficulty with the assembly
Some users reported that the base of the heater was not as stable so be cautious of use/ storage with strong winds
Reasons to Buy this Heater:
Ideal for individuals who prioritize safety features and have a large outdoor space to heat.
3. Best for Indoor/ Outdoor Use: Briza
Infrared Electric Patio Heater
Briza Infrared Electric Patio Heater
The Briza Infrared Electric Patio Heater is a versatile heater suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. This electric model uses infrared technology, which heats objects in its path instead of the air, making it efficient and effective. It comes with an adjustable tripod stand for freestanding use, but it can also be mounted to a wall or ceiling.
The heater is safe to touch, making it safe around children and pets, and includes an auto shut-off feature if the heater is tipped over. With its adjustable heat angles and heights, it offers a customizable heating solution.
Versatility in installation (freestanding or can be wall or ceiling mounted)
Infrared heating is efficient and effective in heating up people
Portable and light weight
IP55 rating makes it able to withstand rain, snow and dust
Safe for both indoor and outdoor use
Lightweight and portable
Remote control with power, heat level and timer
Built in sensor to shut off if tipped over
Lower heat output compared to some propane models
As it is an infrared heater, you need to be sitting in the direction of the heat to feel warm
May not be sufficient for larger outdoor spaces.
As it is an electric heater, you need to be conscious of where you use it so people don’t trip over the power cord
Reasons to Buy this Heater:
This is a great choice for those looking for versatility and efficiency, especially if they plan to use the heater in a variety of settings such as your garage or enclosed patio and have smaller areas to heat.
4. Best Customer Service: Patio Heater, EAST
OAK 50,000 BTU Outdoor Patio Heater
EAST OAK 50,000 BTU Outdoor Patio Heater
This outdoor patio heater by EAST OAK is a powerful option with a heat output of 50,000 BTUs. Its design includes a small round table above the propane tank suitable for drinks, phones and other small items. The heater operates on propane and features a durable stainless steel burner.
For safety, it’s equipped with a triple protection system, including anti-tilt switch, flame-out protection, and a safety guard to ensure you can use it with peace of mind. It contains 3 anchor points so it can be secured to the ground as well as an optional water box that can be purchased to further increase it’s stability.
High heat output
Several users reported excellent proactive customer service with the company reaching out to customers to deal with any quality issues
Integrated table design adds convenience
Safety features including a triple protection system to switch off automatically if it is tilted or the flame goes out
Durable stainless steel burner
Anchoring points to the ground increase its stability
Possibly difficult to assemble
Reasons to Buy this Heater:
This is a perfect choice for those who want a combination of heating and practical function in their outdoor spaces with added piece of mind that you are likely to receive positive customer service if issues are experienced.
5. Best Slimline Model: Fire Sense 61445 Natural
Gas Patio Heater
Fire Sense 61445 Natural Gas Patio Heater
This patio heater from Fire Sense is powered by natural gas, providing 45,000 BTUs of heat, making it a powerful option for large spaces. It’s CSA approved for commercial and residential use, making it a versatile option for various settings. It features a Piezo ignition system for easy startups and a tip-over protection system for safety. Made from durable stainless steel, it’s designed to withstand the elements for outdoor use.
The heater comes with a mounting plate and must be installed permanently. This makes it freestanding but not moveable. You also need to consider the installation location relative to your gas connection point.
Attractive slimline design without the bulk of other fresstanding patio heaters
High heat output
Uses natural gas, which can be more cost-effective and convenient for some users
No need to change gas tanks if you have natural gas
CSA approved for both commercial and residential use
Electric ignition system for easy startups with the heater turning on instantly
Requires a natural gas line, which may not be available in all locations
Requirement for permanent installation and attachment to a gas point limits your flexibility in where you can use it
Not easy to pack away when not in use
May be more challenging to install than propane or electric models.
Reasons to Buy this Heater:
Ideal for those who have a natural gas line available and want a high-performing, efficient heater for their outdoor space which is an attractive design.
6. Best Aesthetic Design: East Oak Pyramid
Patio Heater, 48000 BTU Outdoor Flame Patio
East Oak Pyramid Patio Heater
The East Oak Pyramid Patio Heater is a statement piece for any outdoor space. This model boasts a stylish design, combining functionality with aesthetic appeal. The heater’s 48000 BTU heat is the highest output in pyramid patio heaters and is the capable of warming a large area, making it suitable for both commercial and residential use. The heater uses propane as its fuel source, housed in a decorative all-stainless-steel body for durability and strength. Its key feature is a quartz glass tube that encloses the flame, adding a mesmerizing visual element while providing heat.
High heat output of 48000 BTUs, sufficient to heat a large outdoor area.
The pyramid design and enclosed flame add aesthetic appeal.
Embossed stainless steel design brings a design element not seen in other patio heaters at such a pricepoint
Stainless steel construction offers durability and resistance against weather conditions.
Triple protection system enhances safety
Comes with wheels for easy portability
Pulse ignition for easy starting and adjustment of flame height and intensity
4 anchoring points to secure it to the ground for added security against winds
The pyramid design, while attractive, could be a safety concern around children or pets.
Children could poke fingers into the vents in the stainless steel base
May be time consuming to assemble and due to its height (91 inches), a ladder may be required
Reasons to Buy this Heater:
The East Oak Pyramid Patio Heater is an excellent choice for those who prioritize both functionality and design in their outdoor spaces. It is a visually stunning heater with unique design aspects.
7. Best Bronze Patio Heater: Hiland HLDSO1-
WGTHG Pyramid Glass Tube Propane Patio
Bronze Patio Heater
This popular outdoor patio heater by Hiland delivers heat in style. Its pyramid design is a visual treat, and the glass tube allows the flame to be visible, adding ambiance to your outdoor space. It comes in a stylish hammered bronze finish as well as black matte and stainless steel to better match your decor.
The heater delivers a heat output of 40,000 BTUs, making it ideal for medium to large spaces. For easy movement, the heater also comes equipped with wheels.
Unique and aesthetically pleasing design
Stylish hammered bronze finish with matte black and stainless steel options
Good heat output suited to medium sized patios
Easy portability due to wheels
Shut off tilt valve for safety
Some users may find the assembly challenging
The amount of heat generated is not as great as other heaters with a greater emphasis on the attractive design of the heater than heat output
May be timeconsuming to assemble and due to its height (91 inches), a ladder may be required
Reasons to Buy this Heater:
This heater is perfect for individuals who prefer a unique design and want their heater to be a centerpiece creating ambiance in their patio.
With these seven freestanding patio heaters, you’ll be able to find the perfect one to suit your specific needs, preferences, and budget. By considering factors such as heat output, fuel type, design, and ease of use, you can create a comfortable and inviting outdoor space all year round.
What you need to know about freestanding
patio heaters before choosing a model
What are freestanding patio heaters?
Freestanding patio heaters are, as the name suggests, free-standing units that can be placed on any level surface. They are the most popular type of patio heater as they are relatively affordable, easy to set up and use, and can be moved around easily. Most freestanding patio heaters use either propane gas (accessed through propane cylinders) or electricity as their source of heat.
Patios are versatile spaces that can be used for entertaining, relaxation, or as an extension of your indoor living area. While they are most commonly found in the backyard, patios can also be located in the front yard, on the side of a house, or even on a rooftop. In this article, we will assume that your patio is open (and not enclosed) and it may or may not have a roof. Open walls will allow air to flow so it gives you the option to use gas heating (gas heaters should not be used indoors without ventilation due to the potential build-up of carbon monoxide which can be deadly).
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Freestanding Patio Heater in 2023
Our Buyers Guide to Patio Heaters includes background information to help you understand the key differences between patio heaters and to choose what will best suit you. Here’s some of the main considerations when choosing the best freestanding patio heaters.
Size and heat required
How large is your patio and how much heat does it require? It is a small area or larger space? How much heat you require will be influenced by when you plan to use your patio (as the temperatures get cooler in autumn and/ or right across winter) and where you live and how cold it gets.
If you are looking at a gas freestanding heater, the heating output will be measured by BTUs. Electric patio heater output is measured in watts. For both BTUs and watts, the higher the number the more powerful the heater. We outlined how to calculate the BTUs for patio heating here.
Direct or Indirect Heating and Fuel Efficiency
Gas patio heaters are less efficient than electric models as they heat the space and therefore the air around you. The most efficient electric patio heaters are infrared models as they heat up the physical objects within the area the heat is directed including people rather than the air.
We’d suggest that when you are using your patio heaters that you also rug up by wearing warmer clothes and potentially using a blanket. This will mean that you are not relying on the heater to do all the work and you may be able to run the heater at lower power saving you money for your heating bills.
There are two main types of freestanding propane patio heaters – mushroom and pyramid. Mushroom heaters have a long stem and the heating source on the expanded head of the heater (like a mushroom cap). Pyramid patio heaters have a wider base with an exposed heating element running the upper length of the heater. We have included both kinds in the reviews of the best freestanding patio heaters for 2023 and your choice largely comes down to the aesthetics you prefer.
Electric freestanding patio heaters tend to be less focused on a stylish look and more on a functional design that will efficiently direct heat. There are freestanding patio heaters that focus more on the style to create the ambiance that some may want for their patio. We have covered these separately in our separate guide to the most stylish patio heaters.
Freestanding patio heaters are bulky and can be awkward to move. Several of the best freestanding patio heaters have wheels that make it much easier to move them from their storage location to where you will use the heater. If portability is important to you, choose a lightweight model with wheels or a handle for easy manoeuvring.
Think about where you will store your freestanding patio heater so that it will be secure and out of the elements. A patio heater cover is recommended to keep dust and insects off it which will help to prolong its life. The best patio heaters which we have recommended have the option of a patio cover as an accessory and it is worth ordering this at the same time as your patio heater.
Design and aesthetics
Patio heaters come in various styles, from traditional to modern designs. Consider the overall aesthetic of your outdoor space and choose a heater that complements your existing décor. Some heaters also feature integrated LED lighting or additional accessories like drink holders and side tables for added functionality.
Tabletop patio heaters are also freestanding and may suit the heating of smaller areas. There are a range of models available to suit the aesthethics of your patio. You can read our reviews of the best table top heaters for 2023 to help narrow your search for these models.
Prioritizing safety is crucial when selecting a patio heater. Choose models equipped with essential safety mechanisms such as a tip-over switch, which automatically shuts off the heater if it gets toppled, and a safety shut-off valve to prevent potential gas leaks. Some models also have anchor points so you can secure them to the ground or bases for adding water or sand so they are less prone to being tipped over.
For propane and natural gas heaters, it’s advisable to pick heaters with a thermocouple; this feature halts the gas flow if the flame extinguishes unexpectedly, adding an extra layer of safety.
Consider your household as well. If you have children or pets, certain design factors become significant. For instance, pyramid style patio heaters often feature a mesmerizing exposed flame that could attract the curious hands of children.
Furthermore, heaters placed in high-traffic or play areas have a higher risk of being knocked over by active children or pets. Consider these factors and choose the heater style and placement accordingly to ensure a safe and warm environment.
How much so you want to spend on your patio heater as well as the cost of running it. We have provided several options for the best freestanding patio heaters which strike a good balance between affordability and quality so they should perform well for you without hurting your wallet too much.
While many freestanding patio heaters typically come with a 1-year warranty, it’s essential to verify the specifics before making a purchase to ensure coverage in case of malfunctions. Also make sure the heater is covered by warranty in country in which you are located.
We strongly advise setting up your heater shortly after it arrives. All too often, people delay this process, only to discover potential problems after the warranty period has expired.
Check the size of your patio
Measure the size of your patio and use this as a starting point to work out the type and size of patio heater that will suit you. You should allow 3 feet above your heater so if you don’t have enough clearance for a full size freestanding heater, a tabletop heater may be a great option.
How to Properly Maintain and Care for Your Freestanding Patio Heater
Maintaining your freestanding patio heater will help ensure its longevity and functionality. Follow these tips to keep your heater in top condition:
1. Regular Cleaning
Clean your heater regularly to avoid the buildup of dust and debris, which can affect its efficiency. Wipe the heater with a damp cloth and mild detergent. Ensure you don’t drench the heater as water can damage the internal components.
2. Check for Rust and Corrosion
Examine your heater for signs of rust and corrosion, particularly after the rainy season. If you spot any rust, remove it gently using a wire brush. You can also use rust-resistant paint to protect your heater and keep it looking fresh.
3. Cover it Up
Protect your heater from the elements when it’s not in use by covering it with a waterproof patio heater cover. This is particularly important if you live in a region with harsh weather conditions as it helps to prevent damage from rain, snow, dust, and sunlight. Many patio heaters will have the option to purchase a heater cover at an additional price. This is a worthwhile expense to protect the investment you have made in your heater. There are also generic heater covers for mushroom heaters and pyramid heaters which may suit depending on the heater you choose.
4. Secure the Heater
If your patio is prone to strong winds, ensure your heater is secured properly to prevent tipping over. Many heaters come with a base that can be filled with sand or water to add stability.
5. Routine Inspection
Regularly inspect your patio heater, especially the gas line, burner, and control valve for propane and natural gas heaters. Look for signs of wear and tear or any damage. If you notice any issue, get it repaired by a professional before using it again.
During the off-season or prolonged periods of non-use, consider storing your heater in a dry, cool place. If that’s not possible, ensure it is well-covered and protected from the elements.
By adhering to these maintenance and care tips, you can prolong the life of your freestanding patio heater and enjoy warm, cozy evenings outdoors for many seasons to come.
Final Thoughts on the Best Freestanding Patio Heaters for 2023
In this article, we’ve covered the top 9 freestanding patio heaters for 2023, including options for various needs and preferences, such as the most popular, stylish, electric, reliable, and easiest to use heaters.
When choosing a patio heater, it’s essential to consider your individual needs and preferences, such as your outdoor space size, fuel type, design, and budget. By doing so, you can find the perfect heater that suits your requirements and enhances your outdoor experience.
A freestanding patio heater can transform your outdoor space into a warm, inviting, and comfortable environment all year round. By investing in the right heater and properly maintaining it, you can enjoy countless hours of relaxation and entertainment outdoors with friends and family.
FAQ’s for Freestanding Patio Heaters
What safety precautions should I take when using a freestanding patio heater?
Ensure your patio heater is placed on a stable, level surface and away from flammable materials, walls, or low-hanging branches. Check that the heater’s safety features, such as the tilt shut-off valve, are functioning properly. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for installation, operation, and maintenance.
How much does it cost to run a patio heater?
The cost of running a patio heater depends on the fuel type and the heater’s efficiency. Electric heaters are generally more energy-efficient, while propane and natural gas heaters have higher heat output but may consume more fuel. Check the heater’s specifications and your local energy prices to estimate the operating cost.
Can I use a freestanding patio heater in an enclosed or semi-enclosed space?
Some patio heaters, especially electric and infrared models, are suitable for use in enclosed or semi-enclosed spaces, as they do not produce harmful emissions. However, propane and natural gas heaters should only be used in well-ventilated areas to avoid carbon monoxide build-up. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper usage.
Are freestanding patio heaters safe to use around children and pets?
While most freestanding patio heaters come with safety features such as tip-over protection and cool-to-touch exteriors, it’s essential to supervise children and pets when using a heater. Keep them at a safe distance from the heat source to prevent accidents or injuries.
How do I assemble and install a freestanding patio heater?
Most freestanding patio heaters come with assembly instructions provided by the manufacturer. Ensure you follow these instructions carefully to ensure proper assembly and installation. Some heaters may require additional tools or a professional installation, especially natural gas heaters that need a connection to a gas line.
How close should furniture or other objects be placed to a freestanding patio heater?
The recommended safe distance between a patio heater and any objects, furniture, or walls may vary depending on the specific heater model and its heat output. Generally, maintain a clearance of at least 3 feet from the sides and 4 to 6 feet above the heater. Always consult the manufacturer’s guidelines for the specific clearance requirements of your patio heater.
How much clearance is needed above a freestanding patio heater?
The required clearance above a freestanding patio heater depends on the specific model and its heat output. Generally, it is recommended to maintain a clearance of at least 4 to 6 feet above the heater to ensure safety and prevent damage to any objects or materials above it. However, always consult the manufacturer’s guidelines for the specific clearance requirements of your patio heater, as these may vary based on the design and heat output.
How long does a propane tank last when using a freestanding patio heater?
The duration a propane tank lasts depends on the heater’s fuel consumption and the tank’s capacity. A standard 20-pound propane tank may last anywhere from 8 to 10 hours on a high heat setting for a patio heater with a 40,000 BTU output. However, this may vary based on the specific heater model and its efficiency.
Can I use a freestanding patio heater indoors?
It is generally not recommended to use a freestanding patio heater designed for outdoor use indoors. Electric and infrared heaters may be used indoors if specified by the manufacturer, but propane and natural gas heaters should never be used indoors due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.