The best fire pits are perfect for this time of year when the nights are drawing in but the weather isn't too chilly. You can grab a blanket (and a bottle) and spend extra time outdoors – some fire pits can even double up as a barbecue with grills that can be attached across them if you want to eat alfresco.
Essentially a fire pit is the grown-up version of the camp fire. And we love that idea, all gathered around toasting marshmallows and telling stories just sounds so warm and fuzzy – even if the reality might be more like sitting in a chair with a light drizzle coming down, drinking a room temperate glass of Cava, it's still nice to make the most out the outdoors isn't it?
We have rounded up our favourite fire pits so you don't have to go trawling the internet for a top pick. And if you are looking for a barbecue to go with your new fire pit? Check out our best BBQ buying guide.
The best fire pits
Crafted from raw steel, this will make the ideal centrepiece to any alfresco party. 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.
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.
Designed by the Made studio, the fire pit has a very contemporary feel that should suit sleek outside spaces. The matt black colour of the sturdy metal means it will blend into any scheme. The bowl rests on a stylish crisscross base but isn’t fixed to it, so it’s easy to pick it up and dispose of the ashes when it has cooled.
The whole family can gather round this square-shaped fire pit, marshmallows on sticks at the ready. Featuring a laser cut leaf design, this neat wood burner will fit into any space, even on a compact terrace. It is also well priced for anyone wanting a quick and economical update for their outside living area.
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.
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.
This smart modern brazier will fit neatly in any garden scheme. The Anubis Steel Firebasket has a sleek four-sided tapered shape to contain the fuel and flames. Made from steel, it has an attractive high temperature bronze-effect paint finish with laser-cut design, and is low maintenance, just needing a wipe clean with a soft cloth. Its compact size makes it easy to move round and to store.
This chiminea style fire pit is slim and stylish, thanks to its Scandi-like shape it's a real statement piece for your terrace. You can store wood underneath too which makes it even more of a feature and it's not too bulky either, so perfect if you have a smaller garden. Just do bear in mind you have to build this fire pit, which can be a bit fiddly, but once up it feels really good quality.
A fire bowl to bring back happy memories of evenings enjoying a spicy Indian meal. This fire bowl is modelled on the kadai, a traditional Indian cooking bowl used by street food vendors. The generous proportions of this grand brazier make it decorative addition to the garden that will bring plenty of heat to an outdoor party. Chunky ring handles at the sides make it easy to move where you want it. It has a protective coating and five-year guarantee, so you can enjoy it season after season.
Fans of a certain Swedish furniture store should love the flatpack style of the contemporary looking fire pit. It is made of five pieces that simply slot together, no nuts and bolts needed, and away you go. Great for the garden or even if you want to take it on a picnic or camping holiday.
How to buy 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.
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, let your fire put cool before emptying out any ash. 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.