13 best patio heaters UK 2023 – top infrared, gas and electric heaters for outdoors | The Sun

ENJOY your outside space, whatever the weather, with the best patio heaters to keep everyone toasty as the sun goes down.

From wall-mounted or hanging heaters to portable or table-top option, there's a wide range of ways to heat up your garden, balcony or patio.

Traditional gas patio heaters can give out a lot of heat over a wide area but are less eco-friendly than electric heaters.

Electric heaters, however, can take longer to heat up and need to be a near a power source – plus, they can hike up your energy bills.

Infrared heaters can be a more energy-efficient compromise as they convert almost 100% of the electricity to heat and warm objects and people, rather than just the air next to the heater.

When buying your patio heater check the coverage (in square feet) and the BTUs, which stand for British Thermal Units. The larger the BTU rating, the larger the heat radius – as a general rule, freestanding patio heaters produce about 40,000 BTUs per hour, which is enough to heat a 20-foot diameter space.

Another option to consider is a fire pit or a chiminea for a more rustic way to warm up your party guests – they also look stylish and are a nice focal point for outside gatherings.

We've rounded up 13 of the best patio heaters for 2023 – with a range of features and for every budget. 

Best patio heaters at a glance:

  • Best wall-mounted patio heater: Wayfair Wall Mounted Patio Heater
  • Best chiminea patio heater: Holford Furnace Chiminea
  • Best parasol heater: Hugo Electric Patio Heater
  • Best infrared patio heater: VonHaus Wall Mounted Infrared Patio Heater
  • Best hanging patio heater: Blumfeldt Heat Square
  • Best gas patio heater: Dellonda freestanding pyramid heater
  • Best cheap patio heater: Warmlite 1KW Carbon Infrared Heater
  • Best electric patio heater: HeatLab patio heater set of two
  • Tried and tested: Devola DVPH2400B Wi-Fi Patio Radiant Heater
  • Best statement heater: Freestanding Concrete Patio Heater
  • Best portable patio heater: Swan Al Fresco portable patio heater
  • Best tabletop patio heater: Kettler Terrace tabletop
  • Best lamp-like patio heater: Kettler Kalos Plush Arched Floorstanding Electric Patio Heater

Best wall-mounted patio heater: Wayfair heater

  • Wall Mounted Heater, £118.99 at Wayfair – buy here

Fancy something a little more permanent in your garden? Then the wall-mounted patio heater from Wayfair could be just the addition you need.


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Best chiminea patio heater: Holford Furnace Chiminea

  • Holford Furnace Chiminea, £189.99 from Wayfair – buy here

For a more rustic way to keep your party guests warm, this chiminea has a log fire with a unique 360 perspective so it serves up heat from every side.

Best parasol heater: Hugo Electric Patio Heater

  • Hugo Electric Patio Heater, £101.99 from Wayfair – buy here

This infrared heater fits onto your garden parasol for year-round use.

Best infrared patio heater: VonHaus Wall Mounted Infrared Garden Patio Heater

  • VonHaus Patio Heater Wall Mounted 2KW, Halogen Electric Infrared Garden/Outdoor Warmer, £59.99 at Amazon – buy here

This VonHaus infrared heater can warm up a wider area than gas heaters and wood burners, and takes just 45 seconds to hit your desired temperature setting.

It's mounted on a wall bracket and is super easy to install – and the 1.8m cable allows you plenty of leeway from the power source. Plus, it's waterproof too.

It can also be controlled by remote so you don't need to get up from your cosy spot to change the temperature or to turn it off.

Best hanging patio heater: Blumfeldt Heat Square

  • Blumfeldt Heat Square, from £94.89 at Amazon – buy here

The Blumfeldt Heat Square heater features gentle infrared heat, making it perfect for outdoor spaces.

Best gas patio heater: Dellonda Freestanding Pyramid Gas Patio Heater

  • Freestanding pyramid gas patio heater, £185.98 at Amazon- buy here

This beast of a burner stands 2.27m tall and gives off a powerful 13kW — the ideal accessory if you're hosting a party with a large crowd.

Best cheap patio heater: Warmlite 1KW Carbon Infrared Heater

  • Warmlite WL42013 1KW Carbon Infrared Heater, £34.95 at Amazon – buy here

For occasional use, you may not want to spend a small fortune on an outdoor heater and if that’s the case for you then this keenly priced carbon heater is a smart choice.

Best electric patio heater: HeatLab patio heater set of two

  • HeatLab Patio Heater Set of 2, £106.98 at Amazon – buy here

For when one just isn't enough! A versatile set of two heaters that are suitable for indoor or outdoor use, these HeatLab patio heaters have three settings, while also providing a gentle glowing light.

We tested: Devola DVPH2400B Wi-Fi Patio Radiant Heater

  • DVPH2400B Wi-Fi Patio Radiant Heater, £98.95 at Devola – buy here

We tested out this Devola Wi-Fi patio heater for a couple of months at the start of summer and were extremely impressed.

Pros: Excellent quality, easy to install and use, more powerful than most patio heaters, heavy-duty plug and cord, adjustable heat, compatible with Alexa, Tuya and Google Assistant, smart functions, can programme to turn on and off, 2-year warranty, free delivery, looks great

Cons: Thick cord may not fit standard external plug, blue LED display is difficult to see in the sunlight

As you can probably tell from our list of pros and cons above, we have very few bad things to say about this patio heater.

It's incredibly easy to install and set up, and though we found the cord to be too thick for our outdoor socket (a sign of quality, if anything!), we easily combatted this issue by plugging it into an extension cord.

Upon opening, we could immediately tell that the heater was of excellent quality, and it packs out a lot of heat for a relatively small piece of equipment (97cm x 16cm x 8cm).

The temperature is adjustable using the remote control supplied and has four power settings.

It is IP64 waterproof, can be used indoors and out and has a range of intelligent functions such as open window detection, intelligent heating mode and body sensors.

It's also compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant – though we didn't test this out as our Wi-Fi signal didn't reach that far.

Other than the thick cord, the only other "con" we had was that the LED display wasn't easy to see in the sunshine, though let's be honest, we'll mostly be using the heater once the sun has gone down anyway.

Overall, we'd highly recommend this super smart patio heater to keep you warm during those cooler nights.

Size: 97cm x 16cm x 8cm, electric or gas: electric, heat settings: four

Best statement heater: Freestanding Concrete Patio Heater

  • Freestanding Concrete Patio Heater, £430.49 from Amazon – buy here

A stylish heater with a brutalist vibe that will add an artistic touch to your outdoor soirée.

The heater is gas powered, with a reinforced concrete base, reinforced glass top and stainless steel burner.

Tip-over safety cut-out. Burn time of 10 hours on full power with an output of 40,000 BTU (11.7kW).

Size: 148cm x 40.6cm x 40.6cm, electric or gas: gas

Best portable patio heater: Swan Al Fresco portable patio heater

  • SWAN Al Fresco SH16330N Portable Patio Heater – Black, £69.95 at Amazon – buy here

If you're looking for something small and portable, the Swan Al Fresco portable patio heater is lightweight and easy to transport.

It's a corded electric heater but the 1.8m power cable gives you flexibility for wherever you want the heater to sit.

With 1200W of power, the heater has a carbon heating element and an aluminium reflector to ensure plenty of heat is generated to keep you and your garden guests toasty.

Size: 60cm x 32cm x 32cm, electric or gas: electric, heat settings: one

Best tabletop patio heater: Terrace tabletop

  • Kettler Terrace Table top, £249 at John Lewis – buy here

A great addition to any tabletop is the Terrace Table top heater, which stands at 95 x 50cm tall.

Perfect for al fresco diners that still want to stay warm, it comes with three heat settings: 800W, 1200W and 2000W.

Don't want to get up from your garden chair? Then stay put and use the remote control that comes with it for ultimate ease and comfort.

It also has safety as a top priority with its built-in tip-over protection, so that the patio heater will automatically turn off when not upright.

We also think it looks very stylish and will make a great centrepiece for any garden display while keeping you warm.

Size: 64.5cm x 47cm x 56.5cm, electric or gas: electric, heat settings: three

Best lamp-like patio heater: Kettler Kalos Plush

  • Kettler Kalos Plush Arched Floorstanding Electric Patio Heater, £699 at John Lewis – buy here

With its strong resemblance to a floor lamp, this electric patio heater really adds to the ambience, making your outdoor space really feel part of your home.

It is powered by a halogen heater and has two settings: low 800W and high 1800W. Made from steel with a steel base and a wicker lampshade, this heater has a useful remote control and features built-in tip-over protection.

Size: 150cm x 48cm x 14cm, electric or gas: electric, heat settings: two

Do patio heaters work?

Yes, patio heaters can be extremely effective as they don't rely on convection and deliver the heat directly to where it's required.

This 'radiant heat' travels straight through the cold air and can keep you nice and toasty on a chilly evening.

Are patio heaters bad for the environment?

Trying to decide on a patio heater is no easy task but working out which one is the most eco-friendly is an even bigger job.

Although no heater will be perfectly eco-friendly there are some which are better than others. For example, Electric heaters are much more green when it comes to their environmental impact. Gas heaters produce Co2, while electrical ones don't.

Some models take a while to heat up, using more resources to do so.

Ultimately, if you put a heater into any garden, whether big or small, you will find that the heat dissipates quickly because of the cold air.

Add some wind to the scenario and it's even harder to heat! The best time to use heaters is when it is not so windy and is a balmy evening already.

What should I look for in a patio heater?

There are a few things to consider, for example check the heat coverage provided by the heater and whether it will work for the size of your outside space. Also, the size of the heater itself is a consideration – making sure it works in your space and can provide an effective but comfortable level of warmth.

You should also think about whether a gas or electric model would work best for you – based on whether you have an outside socket, as well as energy-efficiency and running costs.

How much do patio heaters cost?

There's a huge range of types and costs of patio heaters – from £30 to £500 or more.

However, we found that you can get a good quality patio heater with a good heat coverage for £100-£200.

Are patio heaters expensive to run

How much it costs to run your patio heater will depend on its size, heat output and what setting you run it on, but generally speaking, electric patio heaters are cheaper to run than gas versions.

Following recent price increases, electricity now costs 34p/kWh if you pay by direct debit, so for a patio heater with an output of 2kW that’s going to cost you 68p per hour and for 3kW, £1.02 per hour.

The cheapest patio heaters to run are those that burn wood, such as fire pits and chimineas, especially if you already have a supply of suitable wood lying around, otherwise bags of logs are readily available and the more bags you buy, the cheaper they are.

Should I buy a gas, infrared or electric patio heater?

This is really up to your own personal choice  – gas heaters are more harmful to the environment but electric heaters can increase you energy bills and take longer to warm up – as well as needing to be close to a power outlet. 

Infrared patio heaters are a good option as they are thought to be more energy efficient than electric heaters. This is because they convert almost all of the electricity to heat and warm objects and people close-by rather than the air.

Is it safe to use a patio heater indoors?

Unless stated by the manufacturer, it is best never to use a patio heater indoors. This can be a dangerous fire hazard and if you have children or pets can be highly unsafe around them.

There are a couple of heater brands on the market that can be deemed as indoor and outdoor heaters – but this must be thoroughly checked with the individual company and if in doubt, assume they can't be used inside.

How many patio heaters do I need?

How many patio heaters you will need depends entirely on your space. If you have a patio, one will probably suffice, but this will all depend on your walls and the size of the space.

A garden will probably need more than one if you're having a large party, while if you are just having a cosy dinner for two around a garden table then one will surely suffice.

Where to buy patio heaters

Do patio heaters use a lot of gas?

Do patio heaters blow over?

Unsecured patio heaters can blow over if the wind is strong enough and it's recommended not to use one in high winds.

The best way to stop your patio heater from tipping over is to secure it to a sturdy structure.

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