Best patio heater 2021: the 10 best patio heaters you can buy right now

Keep the party going with the best patio heaters of 2021. Our top 10 features gas, infrared and electric patio heaters for every evening soirée
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  • Buying the best patio heater will allow you to extend those summer afternoons and enjoy the evenings with friends in the garden. Not only do they keep you warm and cosy, many of the best patio heaters will also bring some light to your garden table or patio, so even when the sun goes down you can still enjoy your evening.

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

    Although the best patio heaters come in all shapes and sizes, there are two key types to consider. Gas patio heaters are able to run without an electrical cable, which means you can place them in just about any outdoor space without having to worry about lead extensions or finding a suitable plug. While they’re often more convenient, gas patio heaters are less effective at heating your space than electric patio heaters. Many of the best patio heaters now feature infrared, which will heat you directly instead of the air around you.

    Other features to look out for include the size and shape of your patio heater. Those who want a heater to go either under or on top of a table ought to opt for something with a 360-degree design, so nobody is left out in the cold. The option of an overhead patio heater, or even one that is wall-mounted, will be better suited for mingling outdoors when you’re entertaining.

    The best patio heaters come from brands like Swan, La Hacienda, Amazon, and Heatlab. Our top ten shortlist features extra powerful heaters with multiple heat settings and heaps of safety features. 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. 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.  

    2. Heatlab 2kW Outdoor Freestanding Electric Quartz Bulb Garden Patio Heaters

    Best overhead patio heater

    Energy type: Electric
    Dimensions: L20 x W7 x H71
    Reasons to buy: Its overhead is discreet and effective
    Reasons to avoid: Not the cheapest

    Affordable and designed for a crowd, the Heatlab 2kW Outdoor Freestanding Electric Quartz Bulb Garden Patio Heaters is 71cm 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. The set of two is great for entertaining. 

    3. 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. 

    4. Dellonda Propane Gas Pyramid Patio Heater

    Best gas patio heater

    Dellonda Propane Gas Pyramid Patio Heater

    Energy type: Gas
    Dimensions: H227 x W52cm
    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 Dellonda Propane Gas Pyramid 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. 

    5. IPX4 Streamline Rotating Patio Heater

    Best rotating patio heater

    best patio heater

    Energy type: Electric
    Dimensions: D27 x H82 cm
    Reasons to buy: There’s enough heat for everyone
    Reasons to avoid: Rotation is limited to 60 degrees

    The IPX4 Streamline Rotating Patio Heater makes sure everyone stays warm thanks to its rotation. The base spins 60 degrees, which means it’s perfect to place in a corner when hosting. There are two heat settings to choose from, and you can select this with the simple and accessible dial on top of the heater.

    This heater is 82cm tall, so it’s best suited to warming your legs and feet. While it oscillates, you can also set this function off and enjoy the heat all to yourself.

    6. 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. 

    7. Opranic 2KW Electric Patio Heater

    Best infrared patio heater

    Energy type: Electric
    Dimensions: W19 x D12.7 x H100.5 cm
    Reasons to buy: Five heat settings
    Reasons to avoid: Not the largest option out there

    The Opranic 2KW Electric 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. Opranic also claim that the IP34 certified heater has at least 10,000 hours of battery life.

    8. ALUK 2000W Patio Heater

    Best hanging patio heater

    best patio heater ALUK 2000W Patio Heater

    Energy type: Electric
    Dimensions: W58.5cm x D58.5 x H35H
    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 ALUK 2000W Patio Heater. It’s infrared, meaning you’ll feel the heat directly when sitting underneath it. There’s also a remote control for easy operation and an aluminium frame to keep pergolas and balconies safe. 

    Given its small frame, the 2200W power is pretty impressive.

    9. Swan Al Fresco SH16340N Wall Mounted Patio Heater

    Best wall mounted 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. 

    10. Lume 1500w Table Heater

    Best table heater

    best patio heater

    Energy type: Electric
    Dimensions: H210 x W45 x D45 cm
    Reasons to buy: Easy to store when not in use
    Reasons to avoid: It won’t warm your feet!

    The Lume 1500w Table Heater has plenty of power to heat the entire table. If you’re making the most of an evening around a table, it will extend your fun and also provide some heat. Controls are lamp-like, with a lead hanging to the side of the bulb itself, and the reflective top will make sure no heat is lost.

    It’s powered by infrared, so you won’t have to worry about inefficient energy use. The electric cable clips to the base as well, to keep things neat and tidy.

    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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