Cozy Up and Get the Lowdown on 13 Popular Patio Heaters and Fire Pits

Are you looking for a way to extend the use of your outdoor living space well into the winter? A patio heater, fire pit, or both might be just what you’re after!

Whether you're looking for a tall, portable patio heater or short and squat wood-burning fire pit, we review our favorites: https://gardenerspath.com/gear/outdoor-furniture/best-patio-heaters-fire-pits/

In this article, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about styles and fuel options. And we share product reviews of our top picks and bargain picks.

Keep reading for even more product reviews that will introduce you to some unique ways to add warmth and ambience to your patio, deck, poolside, or wherever you entertain beneath moonlit autumn and winter nights – and for those chilly evenings in the spring and summer, too!

Toast marshmallows by the fire in your own backyard. | GardenersPath.com

When I feel that first nip in the air, I stock up on hot chocolate and marshmallows, air out the afghans, and clean out the fire pit.

An excellent improvement to your outdoor space, a patio heater or fireplace. | GardenersPath.com

At our house, autumn Friday nights under the stars are a tradition. And when Halloween comes, most of the front patios in the neighborhood glow with the flickering flames of Jack o’lanterns and cozy firelight.

A Patio for All Seasons

My front patio is becoming my favorite living space. With outdoor furnishings that have morphed from webbing and tubing to all-weather wicker with plush cushions, who could resist curling up with a good book, a glass of wine, and golden sunsets?

As a child, I helped haul the seasonal furniture into the garage as the last of the geese flew over the house headed for warmer locales. I never dreamed of leaving it out in the snow, let alone using it in the cold weather.

A glass of wine by the fire | GardenersPath.com

Now, patio suites are made to enjoy year-round, and in my neighborhood, outdoor furniture and accessories abound that would rival that of any indoor family room.

And as the weather cools off, heaters are turned on and flames flicker in the moonlight, making our patios one big block party.

Warm and Glowing Options

For some people, it’s all about keeping warm. For others, it’s the lure of watching flames dance in the darkness. Maybe you want to toast your tootsies, roast some hotdogs, and catch up with your buddies.

Warm up by the fire | GardenersPath.com

While you imagine yourself enjoying a relaxing evening, I’ll tell you that there are two types of units to consider: heaters and fire pits.

Do you know what you want? How do you envision using this new addition to your outdoor space? We’ll break down the details for you.

But first, we want to share our top picks in each category.

Our Top Picks Up Front

Fire Sense Commercial Patio Heater

We’ve selected a propane standing floor model with a quick-start ignition as our top pick patio heater.

(If you already know you’re in the market for a fire pit rather than a heater, skip ahead to our top selection here).

This all-weather floor lamp unit is one of 15 similar styles manufactured by Fire Sense. Available in numerous colors including black, bronze, copper, mocha, and stainless steel, it measures 89 x 33 x 18 inches, and weighs 44.1 pounds.

Intended for outdoor use only, this model produces a heat output of 46,000 BTUs, which warms an area of approximately 1,600 square feet. Heat is delivered via durable stainless steel burners and a double-mantle heating grid.

At a stationary height of 89 inches, this unit is not intended to give off light for reading, but rather to provide heat for outdoor spaces.

Fire Sense Commercial Patio Heater in Bronze, available on Amazon

This attractive model boasts a Piezo push-button electric ignition in which a hammer strikes a quartz crystal that in turn sparks and ignites propane. This means there’s no need for a pilot. It also has a safety auto shut-off tilt valve to shut the unit off instantly if it tips over.

Another nice feature of this model is a wheel assembly that lets you move the unit around your patio for optimal comfort. For safety, it should not be placed within 50 inches of combustible materials. The heat output is regulated by a black knob, as with a barbecue grill.

This product requires a 20-pound tank of liquid propane gas for 10 hours of operation. It is NOT included. You’ll need a AAA battery for the igniter, also NOT included.

Fire Sense has been in business since 1998, and the company is known for their outdoor heating and electric fireplaces. This model comes with a standard one-year warranty. Assembly required.

Pros:

  • No pilot light
  • Safety auto shut-off tilt valve
  • Heat regulator knob

Cons:

  • Without a full propane tank, may be subject to toppling in strong wind
  • Stability is reduced when tank isn’t full
  • Wind disrupts heat delivery

A protective cover is recommended to keep the unit free of debris and dust for optimal performance. This manufacturer offers several.

Fire Sense Full-Length Cover in Black, available on Amazon

You may like a full-length style or one that just covers the head. Lengths vary, so read descriptions carefully. Options include the Fire Sense Full Length Patio Heater Cover, available in black or mocha brown on Amazon.com, or the Fire Sense Heater Head Vinyl Cover, available in black.

It’s important to note that rust and wind damage are not covered by the warranty.

Not having to light a pilot is the main attraction of this model, but electric ignition at high altitudes may be less than optimal.

Some replacement parts are available from Fire Sense on Amazon, including a replacement regulator hose assembly.

Check current prices and read customer reviews now on Amazon.

 

Lava Heat Italia Natural Gas Patio Lorenzo Fireplace

If you prefer fire pits to patio heaters, our top pick is a model that can be run on propane or fitted out for natural gas with an included upgrade kit.

A Zioni Lava Italia design, this 5 ½-foot-tall fireplace has an attractive chalet-style chimney, faux stone, and a bronze finish. It is intended for use in any outdoor space. Dimensions are 54.3 x 36.6 x 28 inches with a weight of 180 pounds.

Lava Heat Italia Natural Gas Patio Lorenzo Fireplace in Heritage Bronze with Stone, available on Amazon

This product is unique in that it is a dual-burner propane or natural gas system. If you choose the propane option, you’ll need a standard 20-gallon tank that stows neatly in an easy-access rear compartment. With heavy-duty casters, the propane-powered unit is portable.

If you choose natural gas, you’ll use the optional natural gas upgrade hardware included with the product, a 10-foot quick-connect gas line. This option requires a natural gas hookup installed by a utility company, and renders the unit stationary.

Whichever fuel you choose delivers 30,000 BTUs of warmth.

The manufacturer offers a 3-year limited warranty. Assembly required.

Pros:

  • Fireplace ambiance
  • No fire ashes to clean up
  • No smoke
  • Heavy-duty casters
  • Electronic ignition for instant start
  • Hardware upgrade included for natural gas operation

Cons:

  • Natural gas operation requires utility company gas hookup installation
  • Natural gas powered option requires locating unit near natural gas hookup
  • Uni-directional heat

Choose this model if you’re looking or a good value for the money, with easy assembly, a pleasing appearance, and good heat output.

Note that this item ships configured for natural gas fueling, but is may be fitted for propane heating instead.

This product is intended for outdoor use, though some verified purchasers on Amazon.com claim to be using it in cold rooms of their homes. Be safe! Please use heating products according to manufacturer instructions.

Read customer reviews and check prices now.

 

Breaking it Down: Patio Heaters

These units vary in size, shape, and description, and include the following:

  • Standing floor lamp style
  • Tabletop lamp style
  • Standing triangular glass tube
  • Tabletop triangular glass tube
  • Ceiling mounted
  • Wall mounted

They require one of three fuels to operate:

  • Propane
  • Natural gas
  • Electricity

Electricity is currently the most affordable option in my area, and propane is cheaper than natural gas. It’s interesting to note each of the three fuels may power infrared heaters.

The Details: Fire Pits

Varying in size and shape, and generally bearing some resemblance to a camfire, situated close to, or in, the ground.

Styles include:

  • Bowls
  • Globes
  • Tubs
  • Baskets
  • Rings
  • Tables
  • Fireplaces

Best Outdoor Fire Pits | GardenersPath.com

Many models provide not only heat, but the option to cook food over their open flames. Fire is produced using one of the following fuels:

These fuels are not interchangeable. There are some models that may be configured for either propane or natural gas. It is very important to use all fire-producing products in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions.

A Handy Primer on Fuel

With so many options to choose from, it’s a good idea to look at different fuels that are used in patio heaters and fire pits, to have some idea of the pros and cons, as well as the cost to generate heat with them.
To skip ahead to the rest of our reviews, click here.

Propane

This is liquefied petroleum gas, or LPG. It’s an environmentally friendly nontoxic flammable fuel that comes in canisters. Propane contains a skunky odor so that in the event of a leak, you will notice right away.

Propane is used to fuel standing, tabletop, and pyramid heaters, as well as wall-mounted infrared heaters. It is also used in fire pits.

Often referred to simply as gas, be sure to distinguish it from models that run on natural gas, a completely different fuel.

The Best Propane Patio Heaters for Your Backyard | GardenersPath.com

Pros:

  • Unit may be moved, as propane canisters do not require a stationary hookup
  • Turn on and off as needed for instant heat
  • No smoke, sparks, or odor
  • No cleanup

Cons:

  • Requires purchase/refill of tank of combustible fuel
  • Must clean burners regularly
  • Doesn’t operate efficiently at temps below 40°F
  • No crackling sound
  • Not generally intended for cooking, as elements may be damaged by food drippings

A 20-pound tank is the most commonly required, and it should provide about 10 hours of fuel.

Cost:

  • You need to buy a tank
  • This can be refilled or exchanged after complete use

A 20-pound tank is seldom filled more than three-quarters full, so you may not get as much as you might expect per tank.

A rough estimate of the cost to use propane is approximately $4 per hour, based on a 20-pound tank cost of approximately $40, and an estimated 10 hours of use per tank.

Natural Gas

Natural gas is a fossil fuel comprised of decomposed organic material, commonly used for cooking and heating. It is piped to residences via underground pipelines. Whether you use it for a home heater, hot water heater, patio heater, barbecue grill, or fire pit, it will attach to each gas-fired appliance with a dedicated hookup.

Natural gas has a scent added to it that smells like rotten eggs or skunk.

This fuel is used in standing, tabletop, and pyramid heaters, as well as wall-mounted infrared models. It is also used in fire pits.

Natural gas products are not as prevalent as those fueled by propane. If you see the word gas without natural, this almost always refers to propane.

Pros:

  • Cheaper than propane
  • Turn on and off as needed for instant heat
  • Permanent gas line instead of fuel tank
  • No smoke, sparks, or odor
  • No cleanup

Cons:

  • More expensive than wood
  • Must run gas line to unit
  • Unit must remain stationary once hooked up
  • No crackling sound
  • Not generally intended for cooking, as elements may be damaged by food drippings

Cost:

If you have natural gas at your house and would like to power a heater or pit with this fuel, first you need to have a hookup installed professionally.

You’ll have an idea of how much your unit costs to operate when you get your natural gas bill. The cost is typically less than $1.00 per hour.

If your house already has a natural gas line into your property, this is a viable option for you. Otherwise, avoid products that require this fuel.

Often a product is described simply as requiring gas. This usually means propane, but may mean natural gas, so read the details.

Infrared

Infrared heat provides a consistent temperature to an outdoor space. Interestingly, it doesn’t warm the air – just the people within its range.

Products that produce BTUs of infrared heat convert fuel to electromagnetic radiation, which is as safe as the visible light we see all around us, according to the Infrared Heater Safety Council (IRSC), which has created guidelines for gas-fired infrared heating.

In addition to units powered by propane and natural gas, there are others that use electricity.

Units are mounted high on the wall and all areas within their range receive equal heat. They may be fueled by propane, natural gas, or electricity.

Pros:

  • Instant efficient and even heating
  • Mounts out of way, preventing tripping hazard
  • No tank or gas line
  • No odor, sparks, or smoke
  • No cleanup

Cons:

  • Fixed location
  • Requires a wall for mounting
  • Electric models require outlet, natural gas types require hookup

Cost:

The cost to operate can range from under $100 to over $2,000, based upon the square footage heated.

According to Fire Sense, one of the manufacturers reviewed here, the cost to run an electric heating device has been estimated to be about 29 cents per hour for a 1,500-watt capacity unit.

Wood

Seasoned firewood is best. This is wood that has dried out and has a low moisture content. You can supply this yourself if you’ve got wood to chop on your property, or you may purchase it from a reputable supplier.

Kindling for starting wood-burning fires may be gathered in the form of twigs, or flatwood kindling may be purchased.

Look for products derived from non-endangered species that have not been chemically treated.

Dreaming of toasting marshmallows and warming your tootsies by the fire in your own backyard? Check out our review of the best patio heaters and fire pits: https://gardenerspath.com/gear/outdoor-furniture/best-patio-heaters-fire-pits/

Pros:

  • No storage of combustible fuel
  • Wood is cheaper than other fuels
  • Real crackling sound, best looking flames
  • Intended for both heating and cooking

Cons:

  • Takes time to heat up
  • Logs must be added and tended after fire is started
  • Odor, smoke, sparks fly
  • Cleanup required

Cost:

If you gather wood yourself and let it dry until next season, this can be a very cost effective fuel. If you have to buy a cord of wood at $100+, consider thoughtfully.

Charcoal

Black briquettes of carbon and ash are a useful and affordable fuel, particularly for barbecuing.

Coal fireplace fuel for outdoor entertaining. | GardenersPath.com

Pros:

  • Reasonably priced
  • Hot flame
  • No tank of combustible fuel, quick-lighting brands save time

Cons:

  • Coals take time to heat up
  • More coals may have to be added after fire is started
  • No heat control
  • Ashes require cleanup

Cost:

You can buy 20 pounds for under $10, with prices going up to almost 10 times as much for oak hardwood. You may need a partial bag, one full bag, or several bags to fill a pit.

Depending on a variety of factors like the type of pit, whether it’s covered or uncovered, and the temperature reached, charcoal burns for approximately 1 to 4 hours before it is reduced to ash.

Ethanol

This is denatured alcohol from corn or sugar, also called biofuel. To operate, a burner is filled with this highly flammable liquid, and the unit is turned on.

Best Backyard Patio Heaters | GardenersPath.com

Pros:

  • Burns cleanly with byproducts of carbon dioxide and water
  • Renewable, eco-friendly, and efficient
  • No gas line
  • Vent-less

Cons:

  • Fuel is expensive
  • Storage of highly combustible fuel required
  • Flame blows easily in wind, so models often have glass surrounds that may obstruct view of flames
  • Not intended for cooking, as elements may be damaged by food drippings
  • Must cool down before relighting

Cost:

With ethanol, you can expect to pay about $2.50 per hour since one canister costs approximately $10 and burns for about four hours.

The manufacturers of ethanol tout it as the cleanest burning fuel.

Gel

This is pourable premium-grade isopropyl alcohol that is highly flammable and comes in cans. The cans are placed into a gel burner, opened, and lit.

Get the inside scoop on our favorite decorative and functional fire pits and patio heaters for your outdoor space: https://gardenerspath.com/gear/outdoor-furniture/best-patio-heaters-fire-pits/

Pros:

  • Vent-less
  • Real flame
  • No smoke, soot, or ashes
  • No cleanup
  • Crackling sound

Cons:

  • Gives little heat
  • Uses up oxygen
  • No flame regulation
  • Not intended for cooking, as elements may be damaged by food drippings
  • Must cool down before re-lighting.

Cost:

Gel costs approximately $2.00 per hour, given an approximate cost of $75 for a case of 24 cans, with each can providing about 90 minutes of flame.

A Word About BTUs and Watts

As you shop, you’ll notice heating units provide heat measured in British Thermal Units, or BTUs. A good rule of thumb to remember when comparing models is this:

40,000 BTUs of heat will cover a radius of approximately 8 to 10 feet, with the inner circle of 3 to 4 feet being the warmest.

Backyard Patio Heaters Reviewed | GardenersPath.com

If you are looking at electric models, heat output may be measured in watts. A unit that puts out 1,500 watts is equivalent to one that yields 5,100 BTUs. Each covers an area of approximately 150 square feet, or a 10 x 15’ space.

Again, the heat is not as warm at the outer perimeter as it is in the center.

Knowing about BTUs and wattage will help you determine how a unit’s capacity relates to the size of your outdoor space.

Which to Buy – Patio Heater or Fire Pit?

Not sure if you want to heat your outdoor space with a patio heater or a fire pit?

Backyard fire pit with chimney. | GardenersPath.com

First, check the fire regulations of your municipality if you plan to use a fire-producing product.

Did you know that a large built-in unit may be categorized as a structure on your homeowner’s insurance, whereas a movable model is simply personal property?

Next, take a good look at where you want your new patio heater or fire pit to go. Be sure to consider safe clearances from flammable objects and room for air to flow freely around your unit.

Be aware that lightweight heaters and fire pits are susceptible to toppling over in windy weather. They must not only be placed away from combustibles, but away from glass as well.

And finally, if you’re considering a fire pit that heats and cooks, review your grilling safety tips.

Now you’re ready to shop!

In addition to our top selections, we’ve reviewed 11 additional models, including our bargain picks in each category. Read on to find out what will work for your space.

The Best Patio Heaters and Fire Pits Reviewed

There are additional models on the market that you may like, including the following functional and decorative styles.

Bargain Pick: AZ Portable Table Top Stainless Steel Patio Heater

Our bargain pick is a tabletop version that can be attached to a full-size propane tank for a cozy circle of warmth.

This propane tabletop model is manufactured by Hiland and distributed by AZ Patio Heaters. It measures 20.87 x 37.8 x 20.87 inches, and weighs 17.1 pounds.

To match your patio décor, it is available in a variety of finishes including stainless steel, hammered silver, hammered bronze with powder coat, two-tone black with stainless, and two-tone bronze with stainless.

Portable Table Top Stainless Steel Patio Heater with Stainless Finish, available on Amazon

Safety features include a burner screen guard, anti-tilt feature, and a weight plate for added stability. Heat delivery is 11,000 BTUs that warm a radius of 4 to 5 feet, adjustable for optimal comfort.

A one-pound propane canister is required. It is NOT included. If you purchase an optional adapter hose, you may use a standard 20-pound propane tank instead.

Intended for outdoor use only, this portable unit can be placed away from combustibles wherever heating is required. It is not a reading lamp.

Unlike the previous model, which has a push-button ignition, this one has a pilot light that is lit by the coordinated actions of a thermocouple and a control valve.

AZ’s products are CSA and ETL approved. They ship in ISTA 3A packaging designed to protect materials in transit.

Each product is covered by a standard one-year warranty against manufacturer defects, and there is a full line of replacement parts available.

AZ Patio has been in business since 2002. Their products have been produced by Hiland in China for over 10 years. Their repair center via phone with live support available seven days a week.

Product assembly required.

Pros:

  • Portable
  • Adjustable heat control
  • Anti-tilt safety feature
  • Option to use small propane canister or a large one with an adapter hose

Cons:

  • 1-pound propane canisters are not refillable
  • Not intended to heat an area larger than 4 to 5 feet
  • Thermocouple, control valve, pilot light can be tricky
  • May topple in windy weather
  • Wind disrupts heat delivery

A cover is recommended for this model, to keep out dust and debris that may affect the unit’s operation. Covers are available from AZ in black, camel/tan, mocha, silver, and paprika, via Amazon.

38″ Heavy Duty Waterproof Tabletop Heater Cover in Tan, available on Amazon

Buyers who contacted customer support were pleased with the availability of representatives and the service provided.

The general consensus is that this model warms to a distance of 4 to 5 feet, as would be expected of a unit this size.

Note that the product description on Amazon says that the required fuel for this product is either propane or butane. The two gases are both forms of LPG, liquid propane gas, but they are NOT interchangeable. The hookups are different. This is a misprint.

There are several replacement parts available via Amazon, including a regulator, square pilot assembly, and anti-tilt switch. Empty propane tanks are also available on Amazon.

Check current prices and read customer reviews now on Amazon.

 

AmazonBasics Commercial Patio Heater

This standing propane-fueled unit from AmazonBasics is very similar to the previous unit described. Available in a variety of durable and attractive finishes including powder-coated Havana bronze, slate gray, stainless steel, and charcoal gray, it puts out a powerful 46,000 BTUs.

A push-button Piezo ignition makes starting easy, a variable heat control knob ensures custom comfort, and a wheel assembly makes portability a breeze.

AmazonBasics Commercial Patio Heater,  available from Amazon

This item measures 89 x 33 x 18 inches and weighs 40 pounds. It requires a 20-pound propane tank that is NOT included, as well as a AAA battery for the ignition, also NOT included.

This model has the safety auto shut-off tilt valve that we have come to expect; however, it takes stability a step further. There is a reservoir system in the base, which may be filled with either sand or water for added stability.

Amazon offers a one-year warranty for this product. Assembly required.

Pros:

  • Reservoir for sand or water for added stability
  • Piezo push-button ignition
  • Heat control knob

Cons:

  • Water used as ballast may freeze in winter
  • May tip in windy weather with partial tank or inadequate ballast
  • Wind may disrupt heat delivery

Whether you store it in a garage or outside, a cover is a great way to protect your heater from debris and the elements. The AmazonBasics Standup Patio Heater Cover is recommended for this model.

With simple assembly, this model provides ample heat, and stands with stability.

Rust can become an issue, so be sure to protect your heater, and keep it out of the elements when not in use.

Replacement parts made expressly for this product are not available.

Be sure to read all product information carefully. This is a propane product.

Before first use, while the unit is still cold, be sure to peel off the blue plastic film that protects the product during shipment.

Read customer reviews and check prices now.

 

Lava Heat Italia Lite KD Natural Gas Heater

This sleek and stylish triangular glass tube heater is manufactured from 304-grade heavy-duty stainless steel, a popular variety of austenite steel with 18 percent chromium and 8 percent nickel.

It runs efficiently on natural gas with a quick-connection system that is sparked by an easy-start infrared electric ignition, and maintained with a variable heat control regulator.

This stylish model is finished in heritage bronze tones, measures 91 x 25 x 25 inches, and weighs 80 pounds.

KD Liquid Natural Gas Patio Heater | GardenersPath.com


Lite KD Liquid 56,000 BTU Natural Gas Patio Heater

Our second selection designed in Modena by a manufacturer called Zioni, this product is part of the Lava Heat Italia Romagna Collection.

The highlight of this model is its durable and weather resistant four-foot borosilicate glass tube, the foundation of its signature “column of flame.” With chrome reflectors positioned within the unit, light disperses to create an attractive ambient glow.

With a whopping 56,000 BTUs, this powerhouse generates a 360-degree heating zone with a five-foot radius for warm outdoor comfort on chilly evenings. A built-in safety tilt switch gives peace of mind when breezes start to blow.

This product is configured for propane, with a tank storage compartment and wheel assembly. However, a 10-foot quick connect gas line is included to configure it for natural gas.

This model comes with a 5-year limited warranty. It’s CSA certified, and assembly is required.

Pros:

  • Column of flame and stylish construction
  • Propane or natural gas option
  • Propane configuration is portable
  • Tilt-switch auto shutoff
  • 56,000 BTUs

Cons:

  • Natural gas line hookup must be professionally installed
  • Unit must be used where natural gas hookup is located
  • Small but warm heat radius

A cover is recommended to keep unit clean for optimal performance. The Lava Heat Italia Outdoor Patio Heater Cover is recommended to extend the life of the product. This cover is available via Amazon.

If you’re looking for a unique design aesthetic that differs from the typical heaters on the market today, you’ll love the appearance and performance of this unit.

Check out what others are saying about this product on Wayfair now.

 

AZ Tabletop Electric Patio Heater

This next model is a 38-inch-tall stainless steel version from AZ that is fueled by electricity and generates infrared heat. It produces 1,500 watts of power, and provides instant heat for up to 50 square feet. It has a weighted base for stability and can be used indoors as well as outdoors.

The dimensions on this model are 24 x 22 x 22 inches and it weighs 22.15 pounds. It’s IP certified waterproof, CSA approved, ETL approved, and comes securely wrapped in ISTA 3A Packaging.

AZ Tabletop Electric Patio Heater, available on Amazon

This model is also protected by a one-year warranty against manufacturer defects, and there is a full line of replacement parts available. Assembly required.

Pros:

  • May also be used indoors
  • Portable
  • No fuel canisters
  • Waterproof
  • Wind does not disrupt heat delivery

Cons:

  • Small area of heat
  • May blow over in windy weather
  • Requires an electrical outlet
  • Not usable in a power outage
  • Should be sheltered for best performance

As with the previous tabletop model from AZ, a cover is recommended to keep out dust and debris that may affect the unit’s operation. The covers described above, available in black, camel/tan, mocha, silver, and paprika, will also fit this model.

AZ Patio Heater Heavy Duty Waterproof Tabletop Heater Cover in Paprika, available on Amazon

If you’re looking for a tabletop option that provides a small circle of warmth paired with output that provides enough light to read by, this is the one for you.

For optimal operation, remember to keep the unit clean. Use it in a sheltered area, such as a covered patio or sun room.

If your intent is to use your heater in an unprotected area outdoors, select another model. It’s also important to note that a replacement bulb for this product is in the same price range as a new heater.

Check current prices and read customer reviews now on Amazon.

 

Bargain Pick: Landmann Savannah Garden Light Fire Pit

Our bargain pick in the fire pit category is a sturdy, portable classic wood burner.

This rugged steel wood-burning model from Landmann is finished in black, brown, or bronze. Overall dimensions are 24.25 x 25 x 28.5 inches with a weight of 22 pounds.

With a 23 ½-inch diameter solid bottom fire bowl approximately 12 inches deep, spark guard lid, screen sides, and poker, this item has everything you’ll need for a cozy fire except the wood. An attractive basket weave pattern makes for rustic ambiance and 360 degrees of fire viewing.

Landmann Savannah Garden Light Fire Pit in Black, available on Amazon

Ring handles make toting this unit convenient, and three sturdy legs support it in style.

A warranty is included with this item. The manufacturer will replace missing or damaged decorative parts within 90 days of purchase. It is for outdoor use only, and may be used for cooking. Assembly required.

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Portable
  • Availability and cost of wood
  • Hot wood fire
  • Nice view and access from any angle

Cons:

  • Wood fires must be fed to maintain heat
  • Smoke and odor
  • Ash cleanout required after every use
  • No holes in bottom for water drainage

A 30-inch cover is available via Amazon, the Landmann Big Sky Fire Pit Cover.

Covering your product will extend its life by protecting it from debris and inclement weather.

Landmann USA 30-Inch Big Sky Fire Pit Cover, available via Amazon

A cooking grate may also be placed on top for toasting marshmallows and grilling hot dogs by the fire.

A round grill pad is another nice accessory to have, to protect the surface beneath a pit like this. It’s a great option for preventing damage to a lawn, patio, or deck.

The Original Grill Pad in Brown, Round

The Original Grill Pad is a great pick. This 30-inch round is available on Amazon, and it comes in several colors including black, brick, brown, and gray.

Verified customers on Amazon.com appreciate this model’s easy assembly, sturdy construction, and great heat generation.

Without ground protection, keep in mind that this model may scorch lawns. And rusting is possible if exposed to the elements. The bottom may hold water, so this is not a pit that can be left out in the rain.

Adding a layer of sand to the bottom of the bowl is recommended, to protect its surface while burning logs.

Read customer reviews and check prices now.

 

AZ Patio Heaters Propane Fire Pit

This tabletop propane unit from AZ Patio Heaters will add grace and warmth to any outdoor living space. Standing 29 inches tall, with a 38-inch square table top, this unit has a 17-inch square burn area, and a 19-inch square lid. Weight is 101 pounds.

This model’s classic cabinet style is constructed of antique bronze finished steel, making it a striking addition to any outdoor décor.

With a battery-operated pulse ignition system, this unit delivers 40,000 BTUs of heat to a 15-foot diameter. It’s CSA approved and has a thermocouple failure device to maximize safety. This model comes to your address in ISTA – 3A certified packaging designed to protect contents in transit.

AZ Propane Fire Pit with Antique Bronze Finish, available on Amazon

A nice feature is the inclusion of good quality fire glass that retains little moisture for safe burning. Another is the easy-access propane tank door, which makes removing and replacing canisters a breeze.

This unit requires a 20-pound tank of liquid propane gas for 6 to 12 hours of operation. It is NOT included.

Assembly is available from Amazon in some areas for an additional fee. Just check the box and add it to your shopping cart.

A standard 1-year warranty is included with this product. Assembly required.

Pros:

  • Easy-access door to stow propane tank
  • Fire glass included
  • Flame height regulator knob
  • Nice view and access from any angle

Cons:

  • Unit is tall
  • Fire glass included may not be enough to cover assembly
  • Finish discolors with wetness and contact with recommended cover
  • Some buyers have had ignition issues
  • Not intended for cooking

As we’ve said, a cover is an excellent investment for keeping your unit clean and free of debris. The Heavy-Duty Waterproof cover from AZ Patio is recommended for this model, and it’s available on Amazon.

Heavy Duty Waterproof Propane Fire Pit Cover in Tan, available on Amazon

You may purchase additional fire glass for use in this model as well, which we recommended in order to get full coverage for the first time you use it. AZ sells fire glass in 10-pound packages, and it is available on Amazon in cobalt blue, ice, amber, aqua, black, green, red, turquoise, Bahama blend, chestnut, ocean blue, Bahama blend, and Pacific blend.

If you provide your own fire glass or choose to purchase from a different manufacturer, be sure it is at least 3/4 inches in diameter, like the glass included.

Fire Pit Glass in Bahama Blend, available on Amazon

When loading fire glass, care should be taken not to block the air vents. Keep in mind that hot fire glass or lava rocks can burst and become projectiles if made or used improperly. Read instructions carefully and be sure to buy from reputable manufacturers.

With a pleasing appearance and excellent performance. Assembly of this unit is fairly straightforward though the instructions are somewhat lacking.

Note that a cloth must be placed under the recommended cover to prevent discoloration of the fire pit. And old towel will work.

Though touted as a tabletop unit, its important to note that this product may be too late for tabletop use. Of course, that depends on your backyard or patio configuration, and the size of your table.

Check out what others are saying on Amazon now.

 

Best Choice Products Stone Design Campfire Gas Fire Pit

This natural stone propane campfire pit from Best Choice Products has a round fire bowl with a stainless steel burner and a decorative rock base. Handcrafting gives a rustic look to the unit.

A one-step spark-ignition button ignites glowing flames, and a gas flow knob facilitates height adjustment.

This model measures 9.1 x 28 x 28 inches and weighs 40 pounds. It is fueled by a 20-pound propane tank (NOT included) and puts out a maximum of 30,000 BTUs of heat.

Best Choice Products Stone Design Outdoor Gas Fire Pit, available on Amazon

The manufacturer offers a 60-day warranty. Cover included. Assembly required.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Good for small spaces
  • Nice view and access from any angle

Cons:

  • Small size
  • Low heat output
  • Propane tank and hose are visible
  • Propane tank and hose pose tripping hazard/danger
  • Not intended for cooking

This small unit makes an attractive addition to the patio or yard, though it serves as more of a decorative item than heat source – perfect if your main goal is to create a little ambience.

Of course, since this is a propane model, the propane tank and hose are not hidden away. The propane connection hose is approximately 10 feet long. It hooks to the side of the unit, with the propane tank sitting outside of the unit.

Be sure to check your delivery immediately upon receipt if you order this model. Several verified purchasers on Amazon.com have reported damage during shipping, including cracks in the stone and bowl.

Read customer reviews and check prices now.

 

Deckmate Sonora Outdoor Chimenea Fireplace by Kay Home Products

This three-legged cast iron wood burning fireplace from Kay Home Products is a type of chemenea or chiminea, which is a front-loading oven with a smokestack. This model is intended for decorative use only, not for cooking.

Its decorative embossed design and high-temp paint finish give it artisan charm as it warms your outdoor space and provides 360 degrees of fire viewing.

Deckmate Sonora Outdoor Chimenea Fireplace, available on Amazon

This item’s dimensions are 21 x 21 x 51.6 inches. It weighs 75 pounds.

You may fill it with natural or artificial logs, and a fine wire mesh screen provides protection from sparks. There’s a large sliding fuel door, and cleanup is easy with a handy ash catcher. A top cap helps to keep rain out when not in use.

Included with this item are a log grate and fire tool. This model is for outdoor use only. Assembly required.

Pros:

  • Sturdy and stable
  • Nice view and access from any angle
  • Chimney to remove smoke

Cons:

  • Wood fires produce ash; unit must be cleaned after use
  • Wood fires produce smoke
  • Fires must be fed to maintain heat

A cover is recommended to keep rain from entering the chimenea through its sides.

Amazon offers the Veranda Chimenea Cover by Classic Accessories. Its dimensions are perfect for this Deckmate chemenea.

Classic Accessories Veranda Chimenea Cover, available on Amazon

Owners like the weight of this model, the availability of a nice view from all angles, and the chimney for smoke removal.

The chimenea is sturdy, but assembly can be a bit tricky. Some buyers on Amazon.com have found the holes and screws did not align and they had to make modifications with a drill.

In addition, if over-tightened, the metal at points of attachment may crack.  Customers recommended purchasing locking and/or flat washers to reinforce screws. For the best results, do not tighten firmly until all screws are in place.

This is not intended to be a portable unit. It’s heavy, so assemble it where you want it to stay.

The most commonly replaced part for this item is the ash tray, because it tends to deteriorates with use over time, either rusting or burning out. Replacement parts are available direct from the manufacturer.

Check current prices and read customer reviews now on Amazon.

 

Real Flame Baltic Square Natural Gas Table

Another lovely design, this contemporary natural gas fire table from Real Flame is made of high-performance kodiak brown or glacier gray tinted fiber-concrete and heavy-gauge steel for durability and clean, sophisticated lines.

Real Flame Baltic Square Natural Gas Table in Kodiak Brown, available on Amazon

Its overall dimensions are 36 inches square by 15.5 inches in height, and it weighs 152 pounds. Larger rectangular models are also available via Amazon.

This model comes with everything you need, from a 50,000 BTU burner with lava rocks, to a 10-foot connection hose, protective storage cover, and even a AAA battery.

The product is covered by a standard 2-year warranty.

Real Flame Fire Glass Filler, Gray Reflective Glass, available on Amazon

Professional installation of both a natural gas line and the unit itself are required for CSA certification.

Pros:

  • Electronic ignition
  • No cleanup
  • High heat output

Cons:

  • Requires utility company installation of natural gas hookup
  • Product must be professionally installed

Real Flame offers fire glass and lava rocks that you may be interested in, including Real Flame Fire Glass Filler in copper, blue, black or gray reflective glassice clear glass, copper or black glass pebbles, and red lava rock.
Propane cover to match the Baltic heater. | GardenersPath.com

Baltic Fire Pit Fuel Cover

Real Flame also offers propane tank covers that coordinate with this model, available from Wayfair.

Check out what others are saying on Amazon now.

 

Zeny Outdoor Square Metal Fire Pit

The faux stone lines of this steel fire pit from Zeny add character of a medieval quality to outdoor living rooms on cool evenings. It measures 24.8 x 7.48 x 30.31 inches and weighs 29.6 pounds.

This charcoal-fired model is for outdoor heating, and is not intended for cooking.

ZENY 32″ Outdoor Square Metal Fire Pit with Cover, available via Amazon

Safety mesh prevents sparks from flying, and an ash tray, charcoal rack, top rack, and poker are included. There’s also a PVC rain cover for protection from the elements when not in use. Assembly required.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive model
  • Inexpensive fuel
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons:

  • Thin metal
  • Thin cover
  • Manufacturer states product not for cooking

A good buy for the price, verified purchasers on Amazon.com had little difficulty with assembly, and enjoy using it. Some have noted that the metal is on the thin side.

Though a top rack that buyers would probably assume is for grilling is included, the manufacturer states that it is not intended for cooking purposes.

Read customer reviews and check prices now.

 

Anywhere Fireplace Oasis Indoor/Outdoor Fireplace

This compact stainless steel ethanol-fueled unit from Anywhere Fireplace is intended more for appearance than heat. For indoor or outdoor use, it is a conversation starter that creates a mood of elegance and intrigue.

Dimensions are 14 x 14 x 8 inches and weight is 13 pounds.

Used atop a steady table or at ground level, it’s durable, yet lightweight and portable. White river rocks are included to line the bottom. Then all that’s needed is a can of fuel and a long matchstick to set the flames to dancing. This unit requires canned gel fuel that is NOT included.

Anywhere Fireplace Oasis Indoor/Outdoor, available on Amazon

The manufacturer’s return policy states that opened boxes and/or used items are not accepted, and that a 20 percent restocking fee will be charged for unopened returns. Also, return shipping is at the customer’s expense.

If your box looks damaged upon receipt, either refuse delivery or contact customer service before opening it.

Pros:

  • Exceptional appearance
  • Outdoor/indoor use
  • Clean burning fuel
  • No cleanup

Cons:

  • Highly flammable fuel
  • Expensive fuel
  • No flame height control
  • Small heat radius
  • Not for cooking
  • Return policy stipulations

Decorative fire glass may be used in this model instead of the rocks, such as those listed above. Some verified purchasers have reported that they were not satisfied with the quantity of river rocks shipped with the unit, so you may want to consider buying extra to get the look that you want.

Be sure to purchase only non-flammable material made by a reputable manufacturer specifically for this purpose, if you choose to supplement the material used to line the bottom of the unit.

Anywhere Fireplace Sutton Indoor/Outdoor, available on Amazon

If you want to forego the rocks or glass altogether, another model you may like is the Sutton from Anywhere Fireplace. Made of polished stainless steel, it has a more enclosed top and does not include the river rocks, giving it a very modern look.

Read customer reviews and check prices now.

 

Make the Most of Outdoor Living

Patio parties are not just for summertime! By creating warm and inviting spaces, you can extend the use of outdoor living areas from summer’s end right through to spring.

Enjoy the outdoors even more with your own fire pit or patio heater. | GardenersPath.com

Enjoy evenings with friends beneath a velvety winter sky strewn with stars, faces aglow in the warmth of your new patio heater or fire pit.

We love to hear from you. How are you enjoying your patio heater or fire pit this season? Tell us in the comments!

Product photos via Fire Sense, Lava Heat Italia, AZ Patio Heaters, Amazon, Landmann, Best Choice Products, Kay Home Products. Real Flame, ZENY, and Anywhere Fireplace. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock.

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About Nan Schiller

Nan Schiller is a writer with deep roots in the soil of southeastern Pennsylvania. Her background includes landscape and floral design, a BS in business from Villanova University, and a Certificate of Merit in floral design from Longwood Gardens. An advocate of organic gardening with native plants, she’s always got dirt under her nails and freckles on her nose. With wit and hopefully some wisdom, she shares what she’s learned and is always ready to dig into a new project!

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