Best patio heater 2021: our top 8 electric and gas patio heaters

The best patio heaters of 2021 to add some warmth to your evening soirées, with gas, electric, infrared and tabletop patio heaters for every type of garden.
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  • Even though we’re ready for summer 2021, the weather doesn’t always get the memo. The best patio heaters will make your evening entertaining easier, with infrared, electric and gas heating to keep you cosy as you sit around your garden furniture, or mingle on the patio.

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

    Many of the best patio heaters are selling out fast right now, so you’ll find that the most popular options on the market will come with a wait of a few days, or even a few weeks, until they’re ready to ship. Order now, and you’ll have your gas or electric patio heater in plenty of time for your next garden party.

    Our roundup of the best patio heaters features some top picks from Swan, La Hacienda, Maisons Du Monde and Amazon. Whether it’s a large gas heater to warm up a crowd, or a portable tabletop patio heater for a few close family and friends, you’re bound to find it right here. Pair 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. Luxeva Carbon Infrared Patio Heater

    Best infrared patio heater

    Best patio heater

    Energy type: Electric
    Dimensions: W18.5 x D7.5 x H98 cm
    Reasons to buy: Suitable for most events thanks to its infrared heat
    Reasons to avoid: Not the largest option out there

    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.

    2. Herschel Havana Portable Electric Patio Heater

    Best portable patio heater

    Best patio heater

    Energy type: Electric
    Dimensions: H65 x W20cm
    Reasons to buy: Cheap to run and long bulb life
    Reasons to avoid: 800W isn’t the most powerful

    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. Donyer Power Portable Patio Electric Heater

    Best overhead patio heater

    Maguire & Weir 2KW Electric Garden Patio Heater

    Energy type: Electric
    Dimensions: H180cm
    Reasons to buy: Its overhead is discreet and effective
    Reasons to avoid: Not the cheapest

    Affordable and designed for a crowd, the Donyer Power Portable Patio Electric Heater is 180cm tall and offers adjustable three heat settings of up to 2000W. Lower settings include a 650 watt and 1350 watt setting. 

    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 SH16330N Portable Patio Heater

    Best tabletop patio heater

    Best patio heater

    Energy type: Electric
    Dimensions: 68.2 x 35.7 x 29.6 cm
    Reasons to buy: It’s lightweight and easy to store
    Reasons to avoid: Not the most powerful patio heater out there

    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. 

    5. Maisons du Monde Metal patio heater

    Best gas patio heater

    Best patio heater

    Energy type: Gas
    Dimensions: H223 x W81cm
    Reasons to buy: It’s wireless, meaning you can take it to the end of the garden
    Reasons to avoid: Gas is never as efficient as electric

    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. 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
    Reasons to buy: It can be a permanent feature in your garden
    Reasons to avoid: You will need to mount it

    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. 

    7. Swan Al Fresco SH16310N Column Patio Heater

    Best column patio heater

    Best patio heater

    Energy type: Electric
    Dimensions: 79.4 x 47.2 x 32.2 cm
    Reasons to buy: It’s tall enough to warm chilly hands and faces
    Reasons to avoid: The actual heating element isn’t the largest

    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. 

    8. La Hacienda Hanging Carbon Fibre Electric Heater

    Best hanging patio heater

    Best patio heater

    Energy type: Electric
    Dimensions: H28 x W43 x D43cm
    Reasons to buy: So discreet you’ll not even see it
    Reasons to avoid: You’ll need something to hook it up to

    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. 

    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 do 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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