Our Top 10
Best Patio Heaters
For 2020

Our Top 3 At A Glance

Best seller 1 Firefly 2kW Water Resistant Electric Patio Heater

Firefly 2kW Water Resistant Electric Patio Heater

This entry level heater from Firefly offers 3 different temperature settings and comes with a weatherproof rating of IPX4. It's perfect for home users and extended those colder nights out in the garden. Affordably priced, with cheap replacement ...

2 Veito Blade S2500 2.5kW Electrical Waterproof Wall Mounted Patio Heater

Veito Blade S2500 2.5kW Electrical Waterproof Wall Mounted Patio Heater

Don't buy the Veito Blade S2500 before you've had a chance to read what we've had to say about it. You'll be glad you did!

Best price 3 Fire Mountain 13kW Stainless Steel Bullet Gas Patio Heater

Fire Mountain 13kW Stainless Steel Bullet Gas Patio Heater

This stainless steel patio heater by Fire Mountain is a fantastic gas heater for commercial or home users. It's sure to keep you warm in the colder months and it really is a work of art!

Our Top 10!

10 Best Patio Heaters for 2020

Our favourite garden, patio & outdoor heaters in detail!

We’ve had a bit of a re-jig of the page and now our buyers guide is below our top 10 patio heaters. Click here to jump to the buyers guide or get started with our favourites below!


🏆 Firefly 2kW Electric Weatherproof Infrared Garden Heater

Our Favourite Entry Level Heater – Best Budget Electric Patio Heater

Firefly 2kW IPX4 Freestanding Electric Quartz Bulb Patio Heater in Black - 3 Power Settings

£59.99 in stock
1 new from £59.99
Amazon Amazon.co.uk
Last update was on: 8th April 2020 6:10 pm

Fuel Type : Electric | Heat Type : Infrared | Power : 2kW | Cost to Run : From 9.5p Per Hour
Features :
3 Power Settings & IPx4 Weatherproof Rating
Suitable for : 
Home Users
Usage : Indoors & Outdoors – Free Standing, Wall Mounted & Baseless
Reviewed on the 16th of May 2017


This was one of the first patio heaters reviewed on this website and with good reason! It has been the #1 best selling garden heater on Amazon and one of the most reasonably priced heaters on the market for years.

It comes in 3 different “formats” depending on your heating requirements and whether you want it floor standing, wall mounted or baseless. It also comes with a basic level of water protection. The quartz infrared bulbs are rated for up to 5,000 hours of life and the Firefly 2kW comes with a 2-year warranty.

This is a perfect starter heater for the home user that works both indoors & outdoors! Although the heating area is mediocre, expect some heat but not all that much coverage.

You can also get a discount of ~£5 if you order two heaters at the same time.

PROS:
  • Cheap to Run
  • Weatherproof (IPX4)
  • Easy to Assemble & Adjustable Height
  • Multiple Power Settings
  • Long Element Life

CONS:
  • Mediocre Heating Area
  • Leaves Something to be Desired Aesthetically

Available in 3 types – Wall Mounted Heater | Baseless Heater | Free Standing Heater

Alternatives
Oypla 2kW – Similar price with similar specifications
Optima Heaters 2kW – Similar price with superior weatherproof rating (IP45)
VonHaus 2kW Heater – Similar price & Settings
Prem-I-Air 2.7kW Heater – Substantially more expensive, more heat output & features


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Firefly 1.8kW Weatherproof Electric Slimline Garden Patio Heater

Stylish & Jam Packed With Features

Firefly 1.8kW Halogen Bulb Electric Infrared Slimline Outdoor Patio Heater with Remote Control Height 1.6M

£189.99 in stock
1 new from £189.99
Amazon Amazon.co.uk
Last update was on: 8th April 2020 6:10 pm

Fuel Type : Electric | Heat Type : Infrared | Power : 1.8kW | Cost to Run : From 13.23p per hour
Features : 
Weatherproof rating IP55, 2 Power Settings, Built-in PIR Sensor, Remote Control
Suitable for : 
Home & Commercial Users
Usage : Suitable Indoors & Outdoors
Reviewed on the 28th of August 2017


This is a sleek and stylish weatherproof heater that boasts a number of additional features including a built in PIR sensor which will turn the heater off after no movement has been detected for 5 minutes, helping save you money and the environment. Fear not though, this feature can be turned off so you won’t have to flail your arms around every few minutes 😉

It is suitable for usage both indoors and outdoor and offers up to 7sqm of heat coverage. So it won’t heat the whole garden but will keep users within a ~2.5m range nice and warm with the carbon halogen elements.

For peace of mind, you’ll receive a 2-year warranty from Firefly.

Running costs are very reasonable as the adjustable settings (900W / 1800W) means that you can run this heater from just 13.23p per hour.

It has a solid build which offers protection from rust should you wish to leave it outside and why wouldn’t you seeing as it has a superior IP55 ingress protection rating. It also comes with a weighted base and anti-tip protection.

PROS:
  • Reasonably Priced
  • Superior Weatherproof Protection (IP55)
  • Anti-Tip Protection & Weighted Base
  • Stylish Silver Aluminium Rustproof Design
  • Remote Control & PIR Sensor

CONS:
  • 1.7m Power Cable

Available in 1 style – Firefly 1.8kW Slimline

Alternatives
Fire Mountain 1.8kW Slimline Heater – Slightly More Expensive, Similar Design, Multiple Colours Available, Same IP Rating
Optima Heaters 1.8kW Tower Patio Heater – Slightly Cheaper, Larger Heat Coverage, Longer Element Life, Same IP Rating


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Veito Blade Series Electric Weatherproof Infrared Heaters

Long-life elements – Great for commercial and home users! – Best Patio Heater Overall

1 Veito Blade S2500 2.5kW Electrical Waterproof Wall Mounted Patio Heater

Veito Blade S2500 2.5kW Electrical Waterproof Wall Mounted Patio Heater

Don't buy the Veito Blade S2500 before you've had a chance to read what we've had to say about it. You'll be glad you ...

Editor choice 2 Veito Blade 2000 2kW Electrical Waterproof Wall Mounted Patio Heater

Veito Blade 2000 2kW Electrical Waterproof Wall Mounted Patio Heater

Looking for a wall or ceiling mounted patio heater? The Veito Blade S2000 could be the perfect solution to your heating ...

3 Veito Blade Mini 1.2kW Weatherproof Carbon Heater

Veito Blade Mini 1.2kW Weatherproof Carbon Heater

Another 5 star rating for Veito - You can read our review of the Veito Blade Mini 1.2kW Heater with weatherproof ...


Fuel Type : Electric | Heat Type : Carbon, Infrared | Power : 1.2kW / 2kW / 2.5kW | Cost to Run : From 8.82p per hour
Features : 
Weatherproof rating IP55, Remote Control, Mounting Brackets
Suitable for : 
Home & Commercial Users
Usage : Indoors & Outdoors – Wall Mounting or Free Standing


The Veito blade series is where we start to get serious about our heaters. These are truly some of the finest crafted patio heaters available on the market. They’re so good, that they’re the heater of choice in the White Desert Camp in Antarctica!

Instead of the traditional halogen or quartz element found in most electric patio heaters, these come with carbon elements. Providing superior shelf-life with an expected life-span of 10,000 hours. Each heater also comes with 4 power settings and a remote control, as well as wall mounting brackets (or an optional free stand)

The weatherproof rating means you can leave this heater outside in the elements all year round without fear of damage. Each heater comes with a 2 year warranty and automatic temperature control and tip-over protection.

A perfect heater for both indoors and outdoors. Great on the patio as well as in the garage, or bathroom! They’re also perfect for commercial users and would make a great addition to any pub, restaurant, smoking area, etc, as the superior element life makes the long-term affordability of these heaters a lot more palatable.

The heat coverage from the Blade Mini starts at 15sqm, up to 30sqm from the S2500!

What’s the catch? They’re moderately priced, with the cheapest Veito (the Mini) start at £180with the S2500 costing nearly £300.

PROS:
  • 2-Year Warranty
  • IP55 Weatherproof Rating
  • Automatic Temperature Control
  • 10,000-hour Element Life
  • Remote Control
  • Multiple Power Settings
  • Superior Heat Coverage

CONS:
  • They’re High Quality Products but not the Cheapest!

Available in 3 variants – Blade Mini 1.2kW | Blade 2000 2kW | Blade S2500 2.5kW

Alternatives
Futura Deluxe – Cheaper price with similar specifications


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Fire Mountain 13kW Gas Floor Standing Stainless Steel Outdoor Bullet Heater

A stylish and compact gas patio heater for the home or business – Best Small UK Gas Patio Heater 2017

Floor Standing Bullet Stainless Steel Gas Patio Heater

£299.99 in stock
1 new from £299.99
Amazon Amazon.co.uk
Last update was on: 8th April 2020 6:10 pm

Fuel Type : Gas | Heat Type : Convective | Power : 5-12kW | Cost to Run : From 95p per hour
Features : Stainless steel finish, Free gas regulator & hose, Adjustable power, Piezo battery ignition
Suitable for : Home & Commercial Users
Usage : Outdoors Only – Floor Standing
Review


If electric heaters aren’t your thing, then this compact yet powerful gas fired bullet heater may tickle your fancy!

Fire Mountain offer a range of both electric and gas heaters, but their gas heaters are out of this world – you may have even seen their living flame heater at your local.

Standing at just 133cm tall this heater will output up to 44,500 BTUs – enough to keep everyone nearby incredibly toasty. The adjustable knob keeps consumption between 5,000W and 13,000W, but this power comes at a price, with the cost of running this heater starting at 95p per hour.

This heater comes with a handy undercarriage that can store a tank up to 11kg (although some people have managed to just about squeeze a 12kg propane tank underneath, we wouldn’t recommend anything over 11kg).

We really like this heater from an aesthetics standpoint, if you’re running a business or just like fire then this heater is for you. It does take a considerable amount of construction time, so buyers beware – if you’re looking for a practical out-of-the-box heating solution, rather than a show stopper then we’d recommend an electric heater instead.

PROS:
  • FIRE
  • Free Gas Hose & Regulator (Propane)
  • Adjustable Heat Output
  • Stylish

CONS:
  • High Running Costs
  • Assembly Can Take a While
  • Not as Efficient as Electric

Available in 1 style – Fire Mountain 13kW Heater

Alternatives
BU-KO 13kW Pyramid Heater with Dancing Flame – Similar aesthetic and price, 2.27m tall!
Fire Mountain Living Flame 9.5kW – Larger but less consumption


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Fire Mountain 9500W Pyramid Living Flame Outdoor Gas Patio Heater

Aesthetically pleasing a-frame gas fired pyramid heater – Cheaper to run than other pyramid heaters too!

Pyramid Living Flame Garden Gas Patio Heater - Floor Standing in Stainless Steel - Total Height 221cm - Includes Regulator...

Amazon Amazon.co.uk
Last update was on: 8th April 2020 6:10 pm

Fuel Type : Gas | Heat Type : Convective | Power : 9.5kW | Cost to Run : From £1.07 per hour
Features : Piezo Battery Ignition, Safety Cut Out, Safety Cut Out, Guarded Reflector, Stainless Steel Build
Suitable for : Home & Commercial Users
Usage : Outdoors Only
Review


This is our favourite pyramid heater on the market. It’s cheaper to run than other a-frame patio heaters and comes with a spare glass tube (which is handy as they are fragile and cost £30+ to replace).

It has an adjustable heat knob that lets you control the consumption up to 9500W (32,000 BTU’s) and comes with wheels for easier mobility, which is handy considering this pyramid heater weighs 25kg!

Other users love this heater and it comes highly recommended on Amazon with 86% of users leaving a 3-star or higher review.

The Fire Mountain living flame patio heater stands at a majestic 2.21m tall and is built from solid stainless steel which offers protection from rusting, although we would recommend purchasing a cover for added protection.

PROS:
  • Solid & Beautiful Design
  • Adjustable Heat Output (up to 9.5kW)
  • Stainless Steel Build

CONS:
  • Takes a While to Put Together (2+ Hours)
  • Gas Consumption Costs

Available in 1 variant – Fire Mountain 9.5kW Pyramid Heater

Alternatives
Read our top 5 pyramid patio heater post for more pyramid heaters!


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Futura Deluxe Wall Mounted Weatherproof Garden Patio Heater

Fantastic for Commercial or Residential Users – Suitable Indoors & Outdoors – Best Wall Mounted Patio Heater

1 Futura Deluxe 2.5kW Wall Mounted Electric Patio Heater

Futura Deluxe 2.5kW Wall Mounted Electric Patio Heater

This advanced carbon fibre element based wall mounted patio heater is great for commercial and residential users. It's ...

Best value 2 Futura Deluxe 2kW Wall Mounted Patio Heater

Futura Deluxe 2kW Wall Mounted Patio Heater

Read our review of the 5 star rated Futura Deluxe 2kW patio heater. Suitable for indoor and outdoor usage, with ...

Fuel Type : Electric | Heat Type : Infrared | Power : 2kW / 2.5kW | Cost to Run : From 11p per hour
Features : IP65 Weatherproof Rating, Remote Control, Multiple Power Settings, Wall Mounting Bracket Included
Suitable for : Home & Commercial Users
Usage : Indoors & Outdoors – Wall Mounted – Also Suitable for Bathroom, Gazebo & Ceiling Installation


We love these lightweight wall mounted heaters from Futura Deluxe. They’re incredibly versatile alternatives to the Veito range of patio heaters – as a testimony to this fact, they can provide heat just about anywhere you have access to electricity including but not limited to: Bars, restaurants, terraces, they make great garden heaters, patios, summer houses, gazebos (brackets required), garages, workshops, airports, warehouses… etc etc etc.

These heaters have superb heating coverage and are available in a single element 2kW version, which offers heating coverage up to 20sqm, or a dual element 2.5kW edition that covers up to 25sqm for just £33 more.

They’re affordable and have a superior weatherproof rating of IP65! Also supplied with a remote for controlling the multiple heat options available and wall mounting brackets for easy installation.

PROS:
  • Low Purchase & Running Costs
  • Multiple Heat Settings
  • Remote Control & Wall Brackets Included
  • Superior Weatherproof Rating IP65
  • 2-Year Warranty

CONS:
  • Short Power Cable (1.5m)

Available in 2 variants – Single 2kW | Dual 2.5kW

Alternatives
Veito Heaters – More Expensive, Similar Specifications


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Kingfisher 4kW PH300 Gas Table Top Outdoor Heater

An affordable gas fired table top patio heater – Best Gas Table Top Heater

Kingfisher PH300 Garden Outdoor Table Top Patio Heater - Multi-Colour

£77.39 in stock
1 new from £77.39
Free shipping
Amazon Amazon.co.uk
Last update was on: 8th April 2020 6:10 pm

Fuel Type : Gas | Heat Type : Convective | Power : 1-4kW | Cost to Run : From 23p per hour
Features : Adjustable heat control, Green powder coating, Comes with gas hose, Piezo Ignition
Suitable for : Home Users
Usage : Outdoors Only – Table Top
Review


Kingfisher are a brand known for their garden and outdoor products. They deal primarily with budget products and we’ve reviewed their no-frills budget wall mounted patio heater before!

If you’re looking for a simple table top patio heater that is affordable and provides nearly 14,000 BTUs, then this heater might be the solution to those cold Autumnal nights.

With an adjustable control knob and piezo ignition, you have complete control over how much you want to spend on gas. This gas fired heater is one of the most economical on the market, with the cost of usage starting at just 23p based on a 12kg tank of gas. (If you’re using a larger tank e.g 47kg this heater can be as cheap as 5.8p per hour – it may look a little ridiculous having such a large tank attached to such a small heater!)

We would expect 4-6sqm of heat coverage from this heater, so somewhat worse than an electric heater. If electric isn’t an option, then  this is a great and affordable alternative!

PROS:
  • Fairly Cheap to Purchase & Run
  • Powder Coated Finish
  • Hose Included

CONS:
  • Regulator Purchased Separately

Available in 1 style – Kingfisher PH300 Table Top Heater

Alternatives
Firefly 4kW Gas Table Top Heater – Similar style & output, slightly more expensive
Fire Mountain 3kW Table Top Heater – Less consumption, similar style, slightly more expensive
Firefly 2.1kW Table Top Heater – Electric Alternative, Weatherproof features, Available in 2 styles


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Caloray 2kW Electric Weatherproof Convective & Radiant Wall / Ceiling Mounted Heater

A stylish and unique addition to the home or commercial property that provides either convective or radiant heat! – Best Ceiling Mounted Heater

Caloray 2000 Watt 230 Volt Electric Radiant Disc Heater

£499.00 in stock
1 new from £499.00
Amazon Amazon.co.uk
Last update was on: 8th April 2020 6:10 pm

Fuel Type : Electric | Heat Type : Convective & Radiant | Power : 2kW | Cost to Run : From 29.4p per hour
Features : Weatherproof IP55, Radiant & Convective Heat
Suitable for : Home & Commercial Users
Usage : Indoor & Outdoor Usage, Ceiling Mounted / Wall Mounted
Review


Our original review for the Caloray 2k was featured on their website – we were impressed by the ingenuity behind this heater but the sheer cost of it is enough to drive most people away.

This is very much a set and forget heater, that doesn’t offer much in a way of extras. But if you’ve got the money and want a non-intrusive heating solution for both the indoors and outdoors, then the Caloray 2000 could the heater for you!

With the base price starting at £499.99 and extras costing upwards of £135.99 it’s not the most efficient way to spend your money. But over the course of the 10,000 hour lifespan, you’ll be paying just under 5p per hour before electricity – which makes these heaters a lot more affordable than they first seem.

Each heater will provide between 3m2 (20ft2) and 4.5m2 (25ft2) of heat depending on whether it is used indoors, outdoors or in a partially sheltered area. It offers both radiant heat (if installed less than 9ft away from the ground) or convective heat (if installed above 9ft above the ground). The versatility of this patio heater is outstanding.

Providing 6824 BTUs per disc and consuming just 2000W this patio heater truly is a work of art!

PROS:
  • Modern & Aesthetically Pleasing
  • Easy to Install
  • No-Glare
  • Low Running Costs
  • Provides Convective or Radiant Heat

CONS:
  • High Upfront Cost

Available in 1 style /w extras – Caloray 2000 | Wall Hanger | Accessory Hood | Recess Mount Kit

Alternatives
Nil


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13kW Gas Stainless Steel Outdoor Floor Standing Patio Heater

An affordable floor standing gas patio heater

Gas Patio Heater 13kw in Stainless Steel Garden Outdoor

£110.00 in stock
Ended: Jun 14, 13:51 GMT
Condition: New
Last update was on: 4th April 2020 8:08 pm

Fuel Type : Gas | Heat Type : Convective | Power : 5-13kW | Cost to Run : From 90p per hour
Features : Rust Proof, Can Use Propane or Butane, Adjustable Temperature Control
Suitable for : Home & Commercial Users
Usage : Outdoor Usage Only, Floor Standing
Review


This gas fired heater from Firefly is a personal favourite of ours. It can be frequently seen at pubs and bars across the country and this is due to its resilient rust proof stainless steel design.

It will heat an area up to 19.6sqm – an adequate amount of heat for any outdoor area!

The heater does require some assembly and it’s a 2 man job to get the top on. With a total weight of 18kg, standing at 2.24m tall, this heater is a force to be reckoned with.

Totaling up to 43,000BTUs and supplied with an array of safety features, including a flame failure safety and tilt switch which turns the gas off should the heater tip over or the flame get blown out.

The upfront cost is very reasonable but be prepared to spend a fair amount on gas as the maximum recommended tank size is 11kg.

PROS:
  • Stainless Steel Design (Rustproof)
  • Packed with Safety Features
  • Supplied with Gas Regulator & Hose (Propane)
  • Transport Wheels & Gas Canister Storage
  • Affordable Mushroom Style Patio Heater

CONS:
  • Can be Costly to Run
  • 2-Man Assembly

Alternatives
AmazonBasics 13.5kW Gas Patio Heater
Kingfisher PHEATER1 8.5kW Gas Patio Heater
Fox Hunter 12kW Gas Patio Heater


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Shadow Maximus 2kW Electric Weatherproof Parasol Heater Heater

A cheap and cheerful parasol heater with a long power cable and cheap replacement elements – Best Parasol Heater

shadow Maximus Gold 2kW Parasol Patio Heater, Black, 1000mm x 220mm x 1000mm

£60.91 in stock
2 used from £60.91
Free shipping
Amazon Amazon.co.uk
Last update was on: 8th April 2020 6:10 pm

Fuel Type : Electric | Heat Type : Radiant | Power : 2kW | Cost to Run : From 9.5p per hour
Features : Weatherproof Rating IPX4, 3 Power Settings, Fold-able Arms, Long Power Cable
Suitable for : Home & Commercial Users
Usage : Indoor & Outdoor Usage, Parasol Mounted
Review


If you’re in the market for a parasol heater then we’d recommend the Prem-I-Air 2kW parasol heater. It comes with 3 adjustable power settings and a 5 metre power cable – most parasol heater cables are 1-2m long but thanks to some foresight by the designers, you won’t be struggling to reach the nearest power socket!

The manufacturers claim a heating area of 4.5sqm which is perfectly adequate for a heater of this size.

Lightweight and with fold-able arms you won’t struggle to install this heater or take it down when it’s time to pack-up.

With a bulb life of 5,000 hours and replacement elements from just £5.20 a bulb this heater costs just £0.015 per hour before electricity and only a third of a penny once the initial elements have blown, making it the cheapest parasol heater on the market for long term use.

PROS:
  • Fold-able Arms
  • Multiple Power Settings
  • IPX4 Weatherproof Rating
  • Lightweight & Easy to Install
  • Long Power Cable (5m)

CONS:
  • Lacking Remote Control or Extra Features

Available in 1 style  – Prem-I-Air 2kW Parasol Heater

Alternatives
Firefly 2kW Parasol Heater – Cheaper up front cost, Larger heating area, Available with optional floor stand & wall mount
La Hacienda Heatmaster Popular 1.8kW Parasol Heater – Less consumption, Similar Features, More Expensive
Fire Mountain 2kW Parasol Heater – Similar price, Similar Features


Couldn’t find what you were looking for?

You can check all our electric patio heater and gas patio heater reviews below!

Best Sellers

While we have our favourites, these are the current live best selling patio heater items.

Last update on 2020-04-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Patio Heaters for 2020

Outdoor & Garden Heater Buying Guide

Welcome to our post on our best patio heaters of 2020. We’ll be taking you through our favourite patio heaters of the year and covering topics like; running costs, fuel type, heating type & heat coverage. We’ll also go through the pros and cons of each of these garden heaters in detail!

Patio Heater Guide - Best Patio Heaters for 2020

Update - 24.01.20Refreshed list for 2020 season.
Update - 11.06.19Update to content, added to guide and new patio heaters!
Update - 22.02.19Refreshed list for 2019 season.
Update - 13.09.18Updated out of stock heaters and fixed some minor errors for the August 2018 season.
Update - 06.02.18Added new sections: Different types of infrared. Different types of glare. New section at the bottom of the page covering all patio heaters on the site.
Update - 13.01.18Fixed listings and replaced out of stock items.
Update - 01.01.18Happy New Year!
Update - 25.12.17Merry Christmas. Congratulations to the winner of our Patio Heater giveaway!

We feel the need to mention that “best” is a subjective term, so rather than just produce a list of 10 random heaters, we have created a list of different heaters that excel in their particular field. We’ve based our list on cost effectiveness, style, consumption, popularity, as well as taking features and price into account.

Please do let us know what you think in the comments at the end and if you end up purchasing a heater, come back and leave a review for others to read!

Introduction to the Different Types of Patio Heaters

Before we get started, let’s cover some of the basics of the different types of patio heaters available on the market.

Whether you’re looking to provide heat in the garden, on the patio or deck, or even if you’re a commercial users that require heating in the pub, restaurant, club or smoking area, fear not. There are a huge number of practical solutions to outdoor and indoor heating depending on your requirements.

First you need to decide what style of patio heater you want, as they come in an array of different types, which include (but are not limited to) floor standing / free standing, ceiling mountedparasol, table top or wall mounted. So try to pick the best patio heater for your needs. Commercial users should opt for gas or carbon fibre electric patio heaters as these offer the best bang for your buck. While residential users might opt for cheaper alternatives.

Once you’ve figured out the style of heater you’re after, you need to decide on which type of fuel you’re going to be using.

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Different Fuel Types

Most standard patio heaters will consume either gas or electricity. There are other types of heaters on the market that consume bio-fuel, wood (or alternative solid-fuels) and ethanol heaters, but they aren’t “traditional” patio heaters and tend to fall under either chimineas or fire tables.

Different Patio Heater Fuel Types

The vast majority of patio heaters will consume either electricity or gas as their energy source.

If you’re looking for something different, there are a few unique products on the market, we’re fans of the fire table style heaters – although be warned, they come at a cost.

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Efficiency, Energy Consumption & Heating Type

Consumption is measured in Watts – e.g 2000W or 2kW but consumption doesn’t indicate efficiency or heat output, so buying a higher wattage heater won’t necessarily result in more heat! We’re looking for BTUs (British Thermal Units) and heat coverage as our primary indicator of efficiency.

For example a 3kW Gas Powered Patio Heater vs a 3kW Electric Powered Patio Heater will yield vastly different results as shown below.

Heater Type Consumption (W) Heat Coverage Hourly Running Cost
Electric 3000W 30sqm Approx £0.45
Gas 3000W 5-7sqm Approx £0.62

It doesn’t end there, as these heaters also offer different types of heat. Gas heaters will provide convective heat, which means it heats the air around it as well as objects in the nearby vicinity. In contrast, most electric heaters will give off radiant heat, usually via infrared bulbs or elements, be it quartz, halogen, carbon, ceramic or otherwise!

An advanced 3000W electric infrared heater will be able to provide heat coverage for up to 30sqm, whereas a 3000W table top gas patio heater will provide around 5-7sqm of coverage.

The cost of running a patio heater isn’t just limited to what you’ve paid for it and the cost of fuel, be it gas or electric. You’ve also got to factor in how long the heater and parts will last. For example, a cheap gas patio heater with powder coating and no waterproof cover will rust after 1 season, so we recommend that you purchase a gas stainless steel patio heater whenever possible, as these last substantially longer for just a few quid more.

If you’re choosing an electric patio heater (which we recommend over gas heaters, but you won’t always have access to an outlet so we won’t preach!) – you’ll find that the patio heating unit itself will last “forever” but you have to be mindful that the elements or lamps within these heaters need replacing after a certain number of hours. Traditionally halogen and quartz bulbs or elements last between 3,000 to 5,000 hours, while carbon or ceramic elements tend to last 7,000 to 10,000+ hours and these are by far the best patio heater bulbs in terms of heat coverage and longevity.

We’ve given you a rundown of the average life expectancy and cost of the different types of electric heaters below. As a general rule of thumb, the more you pay for the heater, the longer the elements will last and more bells and whistles it’ll come with. Replacement elements will be more expensive but will also need replacing less often.

Commercial users or those of you that need to heat a larger area will do better with patio heaters that use carbon elements, whereas home users may be better off with halogen or quartz heaters.

Element / Bulb Type Lifespan (Hours) Heater Cost Replacement Element Heating Area (sqm) Consumption (Watts)
Halogen 3,000 to 5,000 £30-80 £8-25 3 to 12 900 to 3,000
Quartz 3,000 to 5,000 £30-200 £8-60 5 to 15 1,200 to 3,000
Ceramic 5,000 to 10,000 £100-400+ £30-60 10 to 30 1,200 to 4,000
Carbon Fibre 7,000 to 10,000+ £70-400+ £35-120 15 to 35 2,000 to 4,000

Electric heaters are by and large the most efficient of the two, as they convert over 94% of the energy consumed into heat and produce up to 90% less Co2 emissions than their gas counterparts. They also cost substantially less over the course of time than gas heaters.

Curious how much a patio heater costs to run? Or how long a bottle of gas will last in a patio heater?

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Features of Each Heater & Suitability

Another thing to look out for, is the added features of each heater. Whether it’s a free protective cover, a remote control, glare reduction or suitability for indoor or outdoor usage.

All of the heaters listed today are suitable for garden or outdoor use and all the electric heaters listed can be used indoors as well!

When looking at protection from the elements, you’ll be looking for an ingress protection (weatherproof / waterproof) rating of at least IPX4, which would indicate protection against splashing water. Most electric heaters come with a rating of IPX4 or above, but some go as high as IP67 – offering complete protection against dust ingress and submersion in water up to a depth of 1 metre! Most users won’t need a fully weatherproof heater but try to aim for IPX4 and above. You can read more on IP ratings here.

If you’re looking for an electric patio heater that can be used outdoors, whatever the weather, then make sure it has an ingress protection rating (IP rating) of at least IPX4.

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Different Types of Infrared & Glare, Low-Glare or No-Glare?

Electric patio heaters offer one of three different types of infrared heat: A) Short-wave or “near” infrared, with operating temperatures up to 2,700C. B) Infrared or “middlewave / medium” infrared heat operating at temperatures between 500 to 800C. C) Far-infrared or “longwave” infrared with temperatures of less than 500C.

3 different types of patio heaters showing the different types of glare that they produce. "Glare" / "Low Glare" / "No Glare"

These infrared heaters are different to the traditional fan heaters that you may have come across, or had to use when your boiler is on the fritz, which provide convectional heat by heating up a coil and blowing air over it to heat a room.

In terms of glare, it’s quite simple – ceramic heaters provide no glare as there are no light emitting elements, carbon fibre heaters tend to be glare or no-glare with light reduction elements, usually gold covered, which increases heat coverage by up to 20%. Halogen and Quartz offer glare or low glare options. Low glare elements are more expensive due to the increased manufacturing cost but may come with an extra 2,000 hours of lifespan.

Heater Type Infrared Type Glare Type Type of “Heat” Operating Temperature
Halogen Near Infrared Glare or Low Glare Hot / Intense Up to 2,700C
Quartz Near & Medium Infrared Glare or Low Glare Medium 500 to 800C
Ceramic Far Infrared No Glare Comfortable Less than 500C
Carbon Fibre Far Infrared Glare or Low Glare Comfortable Less than 500C

Carbon and ceramic heaters offer a much “cooler” far-infrared heat, making them more practical in commercial spaces. They may cost more but they’re worth every penny.

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