Best patio heater 2021: gas and electric patio heaters for your garden

The best patio heaters for mingling in the garden and evening soirées, including gas and electric infrared patio heaters
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  • As the evenings get lighter, buying the best patio heater for your garden will enable you to entertain family and friends from the comfort of your home, no matter the weather. Patio heaters heat up in seconds and can be easily switched off and packed away when not in use. 

    Looking forward to a summer spent entertaining? Check out the best fire pits

    We’ve found the best gas and electric patio heaters available form Argos, Swan, La Hacienda and other brands, and they’re all available right now for you to enjoy in time for spring. In our guide to the best patio heaters we’ve included top gas and electric choices, with both freestanding and tabletop options for any garden size. 

    Some patio heaters also have safety features to prevent any scorching or potential fires when a patio heater is knocked over, which is great for those who want to entertain a crowd. Whether it’s for cocktail evenings in the garden or pairing with the best BBQ for dining al fresco, take a look at our top picks of the best patio heaters 2021 right here.

    The best patio heaters 2021

    1. Swan Al Fresco SH16310N Column Patio Heater

    Best patio heater overall

    Best patio heater

    Energy type: Electric
    Dimensions: 79.4 x 47.2 x 32.2 cm

    The Swan Al Fresco SH16310N Column Patio Heater is our top choice of the best patio heaters. It’s got two temperature settings to choose from, either 1000W or 2000W, and the power cord is 1.8 metres for extending out into the garden. 

    This patio heater has a safety switch with a 360-degree tip-over, meaning it will automatically switch off when tilted to prevent any scorching or burning if it falls over. 

    2. Herschel Havana Portable Electric Patio Heater

    Best portable patio heater

    Best patio heater

    Energy type: Electric
    Dimensions: H65 x W20cm

    Costing just 12p to run per hour, the Herschel Havana Portable Electric Patio Heater cuts down on costs thanks to its 800W of power. It may not warm you up as much as a more powerful patio heater, but it’s a smaller option that offers 10,000 hours of bulb life.

    The cable length is 2 metres, making it perfectly portable for taking out into the garden or placing on the patio. It also gives off a nice warm glow. 

    3. La Hacienda Electric Patio Heater

    Best overhead patio heater

    Best patio heater

    Energy type: Electric
    Dimensions: H180 x W50cm

    Affordable and designed for a crowd, the La Hacienda Electric Patio Heater is 180cm tall and offers adjustable heat settings of up to 2000W. It costs just 29p per hour to run and there’s a bulb life of 3000 hours. 

    The wide base means this patio heater is stable and perfect for placing on a patio. It’s also great for discreet use as the head can overlook your garden table while you drink or entertain. 

    4. Swan Al Fresco SH16340N Wall Mounted Patio Heater

    Best wall mounter patio heater

    Best patio heater

    Energy type: Electric
    Dimensions: 79 x 21 x 16.5 cm

    The Swan Al Fresco SH16340N Wall Mounted Patio Heater can be mounted either vertically or horizontally on your patio wall for year-round use. It’s waterproof and designed for any weather conditions, and the 1.8 metre power lead means it can be placed a good distance from your living space. 

    There’s a remote control included, as well as an on/off button on the side of the heater itself, and there’s a total of 1800W of power. 

    5. Maisons du Monde Metal patio heater

    Best gas patio heater

    Best patio heater

    Energy type: Gas
    Dimensions: H223 x W81cm

    Gas patio heaters don’t require an electrical cord, so they’re perfect for taking far out into the garden. The Maisons du Monde Metal patio heater is our top pick of the best gas patio heater as it’s got in-built storage space for your gas tank. 

    The controls are available directly underneath the heater, and it has a wide and secure base perfect for entertaining. 

    6. La Hacienda Hanging Carbon Fibre Electric Heater

    Best hanging patio heater

    Best patio heater

    Energy type: Electric
    Dimensions: H28 x W43 x D43cm

    For gazebos, pergolas or covered balconies, choose the La Hacienda Hanging Carbon Fibre Electric Heater. It’s infrared, meaning you’ll feel the heat directly when sitting underneath it. 

    Given its small frame, the 1500W power is pretty impressive and the running cost is only 22p per hour. 

    7. Swan Al Fresco SH16330N Portable Patio Heater

    Best tabletop patio heater

    Best patio heater

    Energy type: Electric
    Dimensions: 68.2 x 35.7 x 29.6 cm

    Weighing just 8.79 kg, the Swan Al Fresco SH16330N Portable Patio Heater is a top choice for portability. You can place it under tables or on top of them, and the in-built handle makes transportation convenient. 

    The Swan Al Fresco SH16330N Portable Patio Heater has 1200W of power and comes with an aluminium reflector to make the most of the efficient carbon fibre heating element. 

    8. Luxeva Carbon Infrared Patio Heater

    Best infrared patio heater

    Best patio heater

    Energy type: Electric
    Dimensions: W18.5 x D7.5 x H98 cm

    The Luxeva Carbon Infrared Patio Heater has an aluminium body and knitted carbon flament. The infrared function means it’s super efficient, only heating objects nearby and not the air itself. 

    This heater has 2000W of power and comes with a textile cover to keep it safe when not in use. There’s also a safety function that automatically shuts the heater off when tipped.

    What is the best type of patio heater?

    Best patio heater

    Patio heaters are available in both gas and electric models. Gas patio heaters are great because they don’t require a lead to be plugged in, so you can take them to the bottom of the garden and enjoy all evening long. 

    Electric patio heaters typically come cheaper and with more direct heat, especially when they use infrared heat. This heats surrounding objects directly, instead of the air around the heater itself.

    In our guide to the best patio heaters we’ve included small and large options. Some can be placed on top of or underneath tabletops, making them easy to carry around and great for smaller gatherings. There are also wall-mounted and hanging patio heaters available, which can be hooked up to gazebos and pergolas for prolonging evening drinks.

    How long to patio heaters last?

    The best patio heaters can last in excess of 10,000 hours. Most patio heaters indicate the lifespan of the heater bulb when buying, as well as the running cost per hour.

    If you opt for a gas patio heater the lifespan could be endless, because you’re always able to replace the gas tank and when the old one runs out. This is best suited for those who like to entertain, which is why you’ll often see gas patio heaters in pub gardens.

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