The best patio heaters 2020: keep warm on autumn evenings with these top buys

The best patio heaters you can buy will prolong the hours during which you can enjoy your garden

Best patio heaters
(Image credit: Future)

As the weather gets colder and the nights get longer, the best patio heaters will come to your rescue and let you enjoy spending time outside in the garden for longer. The best patio heaters have good looks as well as doing their job, so they can also be a pleasing addition to your outdoor space.

There’s a great choice of heaters out there, including floorstanding, tabletop, and pendant versions, and our selection includes all these options. We’ve picked both electricity and gas designs as well so you can go for your preferred fuel. All are easy to operate.

And once you’ve chosen your patio heater, check out the best barbecue to create your outdoor meals in style. 

The best patio heaters 2020

John Lewis patio heater

(Image credit: John Lewis)

1. KETTLER Universal Lantern Patio Heater

Best patio heater: this freestanding design looks good as well as warming you and your guests

Specifications
Best for: Longer evenings
Fuel: Electricity
Materials: Aluminium and iron
Dimensions: H215 x Dia.74cm
Reasons to buy
+Handsome design+Easy to use
Reasons to avoid
-Partial self-assembly-Requires inside storage when not in use

The simple design of this patio heater is what caught our eye. No bulky overhead lamp or large footprint, this style is chic and minimalist, so perfect or smaller gardens or if you want your heater to be a subtle feature in your garden. 

Stylish design

If you are looking for a patio heater that isn't going to totally take over your outdoor space, this is a great option. The lantern shape is really subtle, but stylish too plus there are two size options so you can pick the best one for your space. 

Simple operation

Plug in and turn on at the base – how easy is that! Due to it being on the small size you can also peak up the heater using the handle at the top and move it around with you.

Infrared technology

This heater is designed to heat bodies, rather than just the air around it so no energy  is wasted and everyone will feel nice and toasty. Plus no noise or fumes are given off  either. 

Pacific Lifestyle Cosiscoop Fire Lantern

(Image credit: Robert Dyas)

2. Pacific Lifestyle Cosiscoop Fire Lantern

Best tabletop patio heater: put this design at the centre of your outdoor dining table

Specifications
Best for : Sizing down
Fuel: Gas
Materials: Metal and glass
Dimensions: H 37 x W 16 x D 16cm
Reasons to buy
+Space-saving option+Portable +Super stylish design 
Reasons to avoid
-You aren't going to get as much heat as you would from a more traditional patio heater

A tabletop patio heater can be a convenient solution to outdoor heating as it’s not bulky, and this design is stylish to boot. 

Stylish design 

As far as portable patio heaters go we think this might just be the most stylish model we have ever seen. So chic and contemporary, it would bring something to you garden other than  just a cozy feel to an autumn evening. 

Totally portable

This patio heater is powered by  gas, so you don't have to worry about being anywhere near a plug. Simply pick it up by the handle and move to wherever needed in the garden. It's super lightweight too, using just a 190 gram gas canister (which do bear in mind is not included).

Maisons du Monde patio heater

(Image credit: Maisons du Monde)

3. Maison du Monde metal patio heater

Best patio heater for simple style

Specifications
Best for: Style
Fuel : Gas
Materials : Metal
Dimensions: H223 x W81cm
Reasons to buy
+Stylish simple design +Subtle grey finish
Reasons to avoid
-You’ll need to buy gas cylinders

If you don’t mind using gas cylinders as a fuel source, this design is really simple and stylish – ideal if you want your patio heater to almost go unnoticed in your garden. 

Flexible positioning

On wheels, this patio heater can be moved to where you need it and you won’t have to worry about a cable reaching the location of your table and chairs.

Simple operation

The heater can be lit at the push of a button, and there’s a choice different heating settings too.

For stability

There’s a base reservoir system with this design. Fill it with sand or water to create weight low down. Bear in mind, though, that if the wind is high, it is possible for the heater to tip over. For safety, there’s a shut-off tilt valve that turns it off should this happen.

large floorstanding patio heater in the shape of a curved floor lamp

(Image credit: Cuckooland)

4. Cuckooland.com Heatsail Dome Freestanding Electric Patio Heater Floor Lamp

Best luxe patio heater: make a statement with a striking contemporary model

Specifications
Best for: Always-partying-in-the-garden types
Fuel: Electricity
Materials : Stainless steel and aluminium
Dimensions: H235.3 x W225.5cm
Reasons to buy
+Can stay outside year round+Remote control+Wheels on base+Provides light as well as heat
Reasons to avoid
-High budget option

This contemporary design will make a statement and complement a modern garden design.

Great lines

With a hood that’s 100 x 50cm and an attractively curvaceous stand, this design’s definitely attention grabbing as well as functional.

Don’t get up

It comes with a remote control to allow you to adjust the heat and light, which can be operated independently. You can control it from the central unit as an alternative, though.

Start the party

You can even have waterproof Bluetooth speakers in the base of this design – although they don’t come as standard.

Dealourus Outdoor Patio Pyramid Heater

(Image credit: Amazon)

5. Dealourus Outdoor Patio Pyramid Heater

Best pyramid patio heater: create a focal point as well as heat with a glass and steel heater

Specifications
Best for: Fans of sculptural pieces
Fuel: Gas
Materials: Steel and glass
Dimensions: H227 x W50 x D50cm
Reasons to buy
+Focal point feature+Durable design+Wheeled base
Reasons to avoid
-Needs self assembly-Gas cylinders required

Set this number on your patio and it’ll draw the eye as well as warm you when the evening starts to chill.

Take a look

The central flame is enclosed within a quartz glass tube that radiates heat making this a real looker.

Made to last

The heater has cylinder housing and protective mesh made from stainless steel while the protector grills are powder coated for durability.

On wheels

The wheels on this model make positioning no bother, and moving to storage straightforward, too. There’s a strap for the gas cylinder inside the base as well.

Wayfair patio heater

(Image credit: Wayfair)

6. Camden Electric Patio Heater

Best pendant patio heater: keep your outside space clutter free with a hanging heater

Specifications
Best for : Sleek results
Fuel: Electricity
Materials : Steel
Dimensions : 40 H x 44 W x 44 D
Reasons to buy
+Space saver+Cute design 
Reasons to avoid
-You’ll need somewhere to hang it

Getting the heat from a pendant is a space-efficient solution to cool evenings, leaving the patio and the tabletop free of extras.

Your choice

Pick from two heat settings depending how the weather’s treating you.

Overhead light

As it’s fitted with an LED light this design will provide atmospheric lighting for a table or seating group as well as heat. It's a better option if you like that outdoor living room type feel in your garden. 

Easy to operate

Much like a normal overhead light all you do is pull the cord and voila, a nice toasty atmosphere is instantly created. 

How to buy the best patio heater

What do you need to consider to select the best patio heater for your outside space? Here’s the lowdown.

Size and space requirements

If space is at a premium, a tabletop or pendant design will probably suit best, leaving more of the floor area free for furniture. After that, think table size: do you have room for a heater on the tabletop without cramping the place settings? A pendant design won’t even require this, but you will need to be able to suspend it.

Floorstanding designs, while larger, can be fabulous outdoor features in their own right, and are ideal for outdoor living rooms and sizeable dining areas.

Fuel

Electric patio heaters are fuss-free. There’s no need to deal with weighty gas cylinders and they’re clean and quiet. On the downside is the need to plug them in. Check the cable length is sufficient for you to put the heater where you want it. Gas designs aren’t tethered in this way, so win out in the flexibility stakes.

Safety

Be aware that high winds and tall patio heaters aren’t a good mix. Position with this in mind and look for anchoring features or safety cutouts. 

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