Best fire pits 2021: stay warm with wood-burning fire pits

The 10 best fire pits to buy for making the most of your garden one the sun has gone down

Included in this guide:

Best fire pits
(Image credit: Garden Trading)

Buying the best fire pits will give you a way to enjoy the garden long after the sun has gone down, and because they're a great source of heat and light, you can even use them well into the winter months. 

Classic and cosy, most of the best fire pits in our guide are wood-burning. Wood-burning fire pits come with all the crackling noises and smokey aromas of a campfire. We've also included a gas fire pit in our guide, for straightforward ignition. Gas fire pits are also easier to extinguish once you're decided to head back indoors for the night. 

In our top 10 best fire pit guide we've included options from Crocus, Cox & Cox, Amazon, Not On The High Street, and more top brands. While some of the fire pits in our guide are under £100, a premium option can cost well over £200. 

Fire pits are nature's best patio heaters, adding heaps of ambience to even a small gathering. If you're dealing with a smaller space, it may also be worth taking a look at our guide to the best chimineas. For the best fire pits though, keep scrolling for our top ten gas and wood-fuelled options. 

The best fire pits 2021

fire pit

(Image credit: Cox & Cox)

1. Cox & Cox Iron Brazier

Best brazier fire pit: this iron brazier is a great size for most gardens

Specifications
Material: Iron
Size: H21xDia.59cm
Style: Open bowl
Fuel: Wood
Reasons to buy
+Gets better with age+Simple to assemble+Suitable for most gardens+Low design is perfect for sitting around
Reasons to avoid
-Not the largest

Made of sand blasted iron, this brazier from Cox & Cox is guaranteed to work as a wonderful centrepiece for alfresco parties or evenings in the garden. It’s a mid-size option for those who want a roaring fire but without taking up too much space in their home. 

We love the style of this fire pit. The sand blasted finish will give it a matte look, which is understated and unfussy. It will only get better as the iron ages, too.

fire pit

(Image credit: Amazon)

2. La Hacienda 58106 Camping Firebowl with Grill

Best fire pit for cooking: pack this and take it camping to cook and to keep warm

Specifications
Material: Metal
Size: H56xDia.39cm
Style: Lidded bowl
Fuel: Wood
Reasons to buy
+Dual use as both a fire pit and barbecue+Useful lid to keep the flames contained+Portable!
Reasons to avoid
-Reports of issues with rust-You probably wouldn't have this model as a permanent feature in your garden

Want to be able to pack up your fire pit and take it with you for a camp out? This La Hacienda model is portable, so you can take it with you on trips. It also doubles up as a BBQ so you can cook up your dinner on it too. It's really lightweight and easy to use, you just fold it up when done – it  has a carry  bag and everything. 

best fire pit Garden Trading Lyneham Fire Pit

(Image credit: Garden Trading)

3. Lyneham Fire Pit

Best fire pit with a solid stand: a sleek and modern design

Specifications
Material: Steel and fibre clay
Size: H38 x W55 x D55cm
Style: Modern
Fuel: Wood
Reasons to buy
+Comes in two simple parts+Feet come with stoppers to protect your floor+Mesh keeps you safe but displays the fire
Reasons to avoid
-Quite a small option

The Lyneham Fire Pit is a top choice for small gardens and patios thanks to the solid fibre clay base. The pit comes in two parts, so assembly is extremely straightforward, and the contemporary design is designed to rust over time. 

It is recommended you cover this fire pit when it's not in use, but it is frost and (of course) heat resistant, so durability shouldn't be an issue. 

Choose the best fire pit for the garden

(Image credit: Graham & Greene)

4. Woodland Fire Bowl

Best statement design: garden art that also offers lots of heat

Specifications
Material: Steel
Size: H66xDia.58cm
Style : Globe
Fuel: Wood
Reasons to buy
+A piece of art even when not in use+Globe shape means fire is more contained
Reasons to avoid
-A more expensive option

A celebration of nature, the flickering flames make a mesmerising display at the heart of a charming woodland scene. Crafted from steel the copper-coloured fire bowl is an impressive accessory for alfresco family meals or larger gatherings. It will age over time to take on a rusty patina.

best fire pit

(Image credit: Waitrose Garden)

5. Nest Iron Fire Pit Bowl

Best small fire pit: this modest fire pit is made of a striking twig-style design

Specifications
Material: Stainless steel
Size: H37xDia.65cm
Style: Bowl
Fuel: Firewood
Reasons to buy
+Chic textured look+Inner bowl can be removed for cleaning+Compact low-lying design
Reasons to avoid
-Not the most sturdy

The Nest Iron Fire Pit Bowl from Crocus is small enough to be stored easily, and has a hammered twig-style construction that elevates the bowl for safety. The bowl can be removed which makes cleaning a cinch. 

This option is also one of the best budget fire pits, and it's covered by a five year guarantee.

fire pit

(Image credit: Cox & Cox)

6. Cox & Cox Industrial Style Fire Pit

Best contemporary style: this industrial fire basket keeps your logs contained as they burn, and looks good too.

Specifications
Material: Steel
Size: H66xW62xD62cm
Style: Round basket
Fuel: Wood
Reasons to buy
+Contemporary appearance+Neat shape keeps fire contained+Compact size
Reasons to avoid
-Probably not big enough for larger gatherings

Those with children or smaller gardens may want a fire pit that gives off plenty of heat, but that feels more controlled. This Cox & Cox Industrial Style Fire Pit is the answer. It has a basket brazier that contains your logs as they burn, with slats that allow you to watch the glow. It comes on four legs to keep it stable, and it’s also available in a small or large size. A great option for those who want something a bit more modest, that still makes a statement. 

Choose the best fire pit for the garden

(Image credit: Blomus)

7. Blomus Fuoco Gel Fire Pit

Best alternative fuel fire pit: compact design that runs on gel fuel

Specifications
Material: Stainless steel
Size: H10xDia.32.5cm
Style: Bowl
Fuel: Gel
Reasons to buy
+No wood to chop or pile of ash at the end+Compact enough to be portable
Reasons to avoid
-Size means it would better suit smaller spaces or gatherings

If you want the aesthetic pleasure of an open fire but without all the chopping of logs and fumbling fire-starting, this fire pit runs on gel rather than wood and burns away leaving no residue. 

It is in a dish of black, frost-proof pottery with a stainless-steel cover with a hole in the centre that controls the size of the flame. Small enough to be portable, it comes with a long handled extinguisher to put the fire out.

Steel Fire Pit

(Image credit: The Forest & Co)

8. The Forest & Co Steel Fire Pit

Best design for big gatherings: large enough to keep the whole party warm

Specifications
Material: Steel
Size: H37 x W75 x D75cm
Style: Bowl
Fuel: Wood
Reasons to buy
+Impressively large size +Stylish look that improves with age+Three sizes available
Reasons to avoid
-Open style means it shouldn't be left unattended

Large and striking, this fire pit is a great focal point for any garden soirée. The fire pit can hold a lot of logs so will spread the heat across a wide area while the sloping sides keep everything safely in the centre. And it’ll only improve with age as the surface oxidises over time to take on a warm rusted finish.

Femor Fire Bowl

(Image credit: Femor)

9. Femore Fire Bowl

Best fire pit for cooking: pack this and take it camping to cook and to keep warm

Specifications
Material: Metal
Size: 56.6 x 56.6 x 15.5 cm
Style: Lidded bowl
Fuel: Wood
Reasons to buy
+Dual use as both a fire pit and barbecue+Useful lid to keep the flames contained+Portable and foldable
Reasons to avoid
-You probably wouldn't have this model as a permanent feature in your garden

Want to be able to pack up your fire pit and take it with you for a camp out? This Femore Fire Bowl is portable, so you can take it with you on trips. It also doubles up as a BBQ so you can cook up your dinner on it too. It's really lightweight and easy to use, you just fold it up when done.

fire pit

(Image credit: Notonthehighstreet)

10. Garden Leisure Tripple Steel Firepit

Best fire pit for travel: take this fire pit apart for easy assembly on the go

Specifications
Materials: Steel with bronze paint finish
Size: H30xW50xD56cm
Style: Square
Fuel: Wood briquettes
Reasons to buy
+Comes in three parts+Has an adaptable grate for cooking+Three size options
Reasons to avoid
-Assembly required

This steel firepit comes in three distinct parts that are simply placed together to form a space-age style pit that’s easy to take on the go. It comes in three size options and has an optional cooking grate that can be adjusted in height for campfire grilling and more.  

How to use the best fire pits 

Caring for your fire pit
When not in use, most large metal fire bowls can be left outside. It is best to stand them on their side, leaning against a wall in a sheltered spot so water and debris doesn't gather in the bottom. Alternatively, buy a special cover for it. The metal may rust naturally over time, producing an oxidised coating that will protect the bowl and enhance its looks. The structural integrity should be unaffected.

Consider the look
The best fire pits can be fantastic focal pieces for entertaining, but knowing how to design your space around them can be daunting. Take a look at some fire pit ideas for inspiration, and have a spot in mind when you buy so you can choose something with the right look and measurements. 

Using your fire pit 
Place on a level and stable surface. If using on a patio, put on another protective slab of stone or concrete at least 5cm thick, so your terrace won't be damaged by the heat. Always use the recommended fuel, such as wood. Don't throw in plastic which will melt and can cause fumes.

Fire pit safety
Position fire pits and braziers away from the house or combustible materials. Keep children and pets away while it's lit or still hot, and don't leave it unattended or try to move it. Allow the fire to die down and peter out naturally. Don't pour on cold water as this could damage its structure. 

Maintaining your fire pit
After use, it's important to follow the right methods for how to clean a fire pit. Make sure you let your fire pit cool before emptying out any ash. It can also be a good idea to coat the surfaces with cooking oil to maintain it, and reapply a suitable heat-retardant paint as needed. 

Want to have a go at building your own fire pit from scratch? Head over to our guide on how to build a fire pit for all the advice you'll need to get started, or check out our DIY fire pit ideas

Millie Fender
Millie Fender

Millie has been writing for Gardeningetc since the beginning of 2021, covering all things barbecues, patio heaters, and fire pits. A lover of al fresco dining, Millie is always on the hunt for the best barbecues and pizza ovens for entertaining friends and family. She is a firm believer that everyone should have their own herb garden, and can often be found taming her over-zealous rosemary plant.