Best fire pits 2021: eight top gas and wood-fired fire bowls

Make the most of your garden come rain or shine with the best fire pits of 2021, including chimineas, gas-fired fire bowls, and wood-fired fire pits
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  • Keep cosy in your garden throughout all seasons with the best fire pits of 2021. While many fire pits are wood-powered, we have also included gas-fired fire pits for easy ignition and adjustable levels of heat. Of course, fire pits don’t quite rival the best patio heaters when it comes to keeping your hands toasty when it’s cold outside. What they do offer is a charming traditional feel and heaps of style, whether you want something sleek and modern or traditional.

    Evening entertaining can still continue with the best fire pit, even though it’s getting colder once the sun goes down. In fact, a fire pit is one of the best ways to enjoy your garden as the leaves change colour and the best BBQ retreats back into the garden shed. Some fire pits even come with grill inserts to turn them into an impromptu cooking station, and even without this, you can happily toast marshmallows over even a little fire basket.

    Other than fire pits we also included Kadai-style fire bowls to cradle your firewood at a decent height, to make use of your patio furniture. There are also fire baskets, which are a compact way of enjoying a fire pit and storing it when not in use.

    The best fire pits of 2021

    1. Fallen Fruits Square Steel Basket Firepit

    Best fire pit

    Type: Fire basket
    What we like: The simple and striking design, and the price
    What we don’t like:
    It’s a little small

    Fire baskets are ideal for smaller spaces, and the Fallen Fruits Square Steel Basket Firepit is also best suited to those with a modest budget. At under £100, it’s a top choice for a roaring fire without the wide design of a mighty Kadai bowl.

    The basket has a 360-degree view of the fire and thanks to its steel cutouts, it will give off lots of warmth and a nice glow. Even the container it comes in can be used as firewood, which is a great touch.

    2. Crocus Collection Iron Disc Fire Pit Bowl with Tripod Base

    Best Kadai-style fire pit

    Type: Kadai-style
    What we like: Its traditional design
    What we don’t like:
    It’s 90cm wide, which is quite large for some

    The Crocus Collection Iron Disc Fire Pit Bowl with Tripod Base is a 3-4mm thick sheet iron coated with fire-retardant paint. It’s also got sleek curved feet to elevate it from the ground, while maintaining that authentic design.

    With a size of Ø90cm x H38cm and a bowl depth 24cm it is a generously sized fire put for those who want a traditional spectacle. The legs will heat with the bowl so it is best to place it on a slab of stone or concrete to prevent any damage to your garden or patio floor.

    3. Nest Iron Fire Pit Bowl

    Best decorative fire pit

    Waitrose Garden Nest iron fire pit bowl

    Type: Compact fire bowl
    What we like: The smart and stylish design
    What we don’t like:
    Its lack of handles

    Made of hammered rod twigs and with a removable steel bowl, this fire pit from Waitrose Garden is a compact crowd-pleaser. The design is striking and it will age well as it rusts. Because the bowl can be removed it’s easy to remove ash and wood after use, and the frame won’t gather and hold water thanks to its clever design.

    This isn’t one for a roaring fire, but if you’re dealing with a smaller space it’s got everything you could ask for.

    4. Cox & Cox Industrial Style Fire Pit

    Best compact fire pit

    Industrial Style Fire Pit

    Type: Compact brazier
    What we like: The tall and narrow design
    What we don’t like:
    Stock won’t arrive until early August, so it’s best to order now

    Available in both small and regular sizes, this fire pit from Cox & Cox is a compact crowd-pleaser. The design is striking and it will age well as it rusts. Because the bowl can be carried and tipped out it’s easy to remove ash and wood after use, and the frame won’t gather and hold water thanks to its clever design.

    This isn’t one for a roaring fire, but if you’re dealing with a smaller space it’s got everything you could ask for. It’s made of raw steel and has that rustic brazier-style design without losing the visibility of your fire as it burns.

    5. IvyLine Outdoor Metal Industrial Fire Bowl

    Best decorative fire pit

    Type: Industrial bowl
    What we like: The frost-resistant finish
    What we don’t like:
    Its lack of base

    Decorative design pairs with smart venting with the IvyLine Outdoor Metal Industrial Fire Bowl. It’s UV and frost resistant, making it a true all-rounder for summer and winter use. The rust finish also means it will age well.

    This striking option enables airflow thanks to the industrial-style plate dimensions. Prepare for a well-stoked fire! Do be aware that the IvyLine Outdoor Metal Industrial Fire Bowl comes without a stand, so you’ll need to account for this in your garden planning.

    6. Esschert Design Fallen Fruits Oxidised Woodland Globe

    Best fire globe

    Esschert Design Fallen Fruits Oxidised Woodland Globe

    Type: Fire globe
    What we like: That beautiful design
    What we don’t like:
    Hard to tend to the fire

    The Esschert Design Fallen Fruits Oxidised Woodland Globe is a gorgeous oxidized-style fire globe with all the charm of a woodland forest. It’s in two pieces: a laser-cut top and a sturdy fire pit bottom (that can be used alone if you’re not in the mood for a feature point).

    We can just imagine the gorgeous glow this design will cast in your garden, but it’s definitely not one for those who are short on storage space or who want easy access to the fire for toasting marshmallows.

    7. Elementi Concrete Propane Fire Pit Table

    Best gas fire pit 

    Concrete Propane Fire Pit Table

    Type: Gas fire pit
    What we like: The design is perfect for entertaining on patios
    What we don’t like:
    That steep price

    If you want all the joy of a fire pit without the fiddly ignition, opt for a gas fire pit. This Concrete Propane Fire Pit Table from Elementi is a great option for entertaining and it can go on your patio. The gas is discreetly tucked away and it will burn clean because there’s no smoke involved.

    At 68cm wide this is a decent size gas fire pit, so gather round with your patio furniture and enjoy the glow.

    8. Crocus Rusty Square Fire Basket

    Best fire basket

    Rusty square fire basket

    Type: Fire basket
    What we like: The laser-cut steel design
    What we don’t like:
    Close to the ground

    Sturdy and simple, this fire basket comes oxidised and is made of laser-cut steel that looks great and circulates the air for a well-fed fire. It’s safe to use because of the deep design, and with a width of 60cm and a height of 45cm, it’s a pretty generous option without being tricky to store. You could even use it as storage in the off-season.

    This design is a little close to the ground, so be careful about placing it on a prized lawn.

    How to choose the best fire pit 2021

    Some fire pits are style statements in and of themselves. There are some beautiful fire globes with cutouts that will cast shadows across your lawn, or simple matte black bowls for a more dramatic look.

    If budget is a consideration, it’s perfectly possible to buy a fire pit for around £30. Some are a lot more expensive though, with larger and more sturdy designs that will see you through summers to come.

    Different types of fire pit include chimineas, which have a (you guessed it) chimney shape, and fire pits, which have a more traditional bowl-style design. Some can even be fitted with a grill for multipurpose use – just stick on some sausages and you’ve got an easy alfresco meal.

    Will a fire pit damage my patio?

    Most fire pits aren’t safe to place on a patio. Not only can their heat discolour your patio, but they can also potentially burn or crack any slabs or wood because they burn so hot and are often low-lying. That said, there are some fire pits that can be placed safely on a patio. A gas fire pit table is designed to elevate the heat source well away from the ground. 

    If in doubt, it’s best to place your fire pit on the lawn. If you do want to place it on the slabs, some retailers advise placing a tile between the fire pit and the patio itself so the patio isn’t damaged. 

    Will a fire pit burn my lawn?

    Metal Cut Out Firepit

    Fire pits are definitely better for your lawn than a campfire. If you’ve spent time carefully cultivating your lawn though, you don’t want to risk any burning. Fire pits could well burn the grass, because while the heat is elevated away from the ground itself the grass does sit quite close.

    To avoid this opt for something on a taller stand that removes your fire pit from the ground as much as possible. You could also place a slab of tile or stone under the fire pit, which will not only stabilise it but will create a barrier between the bowl and the grass.

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