Are table fire pits worth it? Experts explain the pros and cons of this 2-in-1 garden addition

A table fire pit seems to offer you the best of both worlds, but is it really the best?

Firepit on patio made from stone slabs by two benches
(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

If you’re looking to add a fire pit to your outside space, you’re probably ready to start heating things up. But with both freestanding and table fire pits on offer, you might be wondering: Are table fire pits worth it?

Many of the best fire pits on the market today are freestanding models that will help to bring your fire pit ideas to life. But it’s important to note that they’re not the only options. Table fire pits are the perfect hybrid design, mixing together the warmth of the best fire pits with the practicality of the best garden furniture. With a table fire pit, it really does seem as though you get the best of both worlds.

But how do table fire pits compare to freestanding fire pits, really? Well, we’ve consulted with the experts to see whether it’s worth investing in this 2-in-1 product.

Are table pits worth it?

‘Nothing breaks up a party faster than guests feeling uncomfortably chilly. People will be much less likely to slope off indoors if you have a quick and efficient means of warming them up,’ explains Danielle Le Vaillant, Head of Photography & Film, Cox & Cox. And while a table fire pit can warm the cockles in no time, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of this garden addition.

A rattan outdoor lounge set on a paved patio

(Image credit: Barker and Stonehouse)

The advantages of a table fire pit

1. They’re more convenient

Tabletop firepit

(Image credit: Maze)

Fire pits come in so many different shapes and forms, from smokeless models like the famous Solo Stove to modern offerings such as the B&M concrete fire pit. They also come in various different fuel types, and you’ll find that most table fire pits will be fueled by gas.

And if you’re looking for an easy, convenient fuel type, gas is the way to go. Danielle explains, ‘Tabletop fire pits are usually fuelled by gas and have clever storage areas in the base of the table to hide the canister which can be a tidier option than a traditional fire pit which needs a good supply of well-seasoned logs.’

And while logs are typically cheaper than buying gas tanks, they also need to be stored correctly for them to effectively warm you up on a chilly summer’s evening. Plus, a gas fire pit is much easier to light.

‘These gas-fired sources of heat are already in situ and will light instantly, making them by far the most practical option,' explains Danielle. 'They also turn off as easily as they turn on, so there’s no worrying overnight about leaving embers burning.’

This is a major advantage of table fire pits, especially as you need to be careful when using a traditional fire pit on decking.

2. They’re very safe

garden area with wooden bench and firepit

(Image credit: Future PLC/Claire Lloyd-Davies)

If your garden is constantly full of excitable children and clumsy elderly relatives, safety should be your top priority. And when it comes down to the nitty-gritty of it all, table fire pits are much safer than freestanding fire pits.

Tom Clifford from Gardenstone explains, ‘Table fire pits are a much safer option due to the surrounding table edge that places the flames out of reach from pets and young children. Lots of table fire pit designs have glass guards placed around them as an extra layer of security.’

Table fire pits are also perfectly safe for those who suffer with asthma or those who find smoke to be an irritant.

‘While there’s a certain romance to a traditional wood-fuelled firepit, a gas-fired tabletop affair alleviates all the irritation of smoke for both your guests and your neighbours.’

So, if safety is your main concern, it’s safe to say that a table fire pit is worth it.

3. They’re versatile

dining firepit idea

(Image credit: Cox and Cox)

One thing a freestanding fire pit has going for it is that it’s portable. But while you might not be able to move a table fire pit from one end of your garden to the other as easily, there’s no denying the fact that it’s still incredibly versatile.

Yes, if you want your fire pit seating idea to become the main focal point in your garden, it’s certainly worth considering this 2-in-1 hybrid. That’s because it can serve as both a chill-out area and an outdoor dining space in one fell swoop.

Emily Murison, outdoor living expert at Gates Garden Centre, suggests, ‘A larger garden would benefit from a fire pit table set as the integrated table with removable insert provides instant access to the fire pit, and many sets come with luxury seating options too, ready to host a large group comfortably.’

‘Another thing to think about is how you would like to entertain at an al fresco party. A table fire pit is perfect for eating, drinking and socialising in comfort and style, with the added luxury of having the fire pit in the centre of the table for ease of cooking and keeping you warm.’

The disadvantages of a table fire pit

1. They can be pretty expensive

outdoor seating area with table and chairs

(Image credit: Homebase)

If you’re looking for a budget garden idea, it’s always a good idea to assess your budget before buying a table fire pit, as your budget might not allow for this integrated design.

Tom explains, ‘It's no surprise that a table fire pit is generally much more expensive than a regular fire pit. However, the price itself will vary depending on factors such as size, material and design.’

If you’re buying a table firepit with outdoor dining chairs included, you’ll ultimately have to pay more. You can buy smaller, cheaper table pits that are more like coffee tables, though. Ultimately, it all depends on how much you want to spend and what type of fire pit you want.

2. They can get in the way

A patio with a fire pit and decked seating

(Image credit: Future PLC/Katie Lee)

The beauty of a freestanding fire pit is that you can move it out of the way when you’re not using it. However, one of the disadvantages of a table fire pit is that it’s not always possible to move it. Plus, you have to deal with the fact that your outdoor dining table has a fire in the middle of it.

‘If you regularly eat family meals at your garden table or host guests, then a fire pit table may be inconvenient,’ says Tom. ‘As fire pits are placed in the centre of tables, they can take up the majority of space, which can be highly impractical when dining and having guests round.’

Because of this, it’s always a good idea to assess your garden before buying a table fire pit. And if you have a small garden, a table firepit might not be the best option for you.

Emily explains, ‘When it comes to choosing between a standalone fire pit and a fire pit table, it depends on a couple of factors. One of those is how big your garden is and how big the party will be. A fire pit is more portable, so can be moved in and out of storage a lot more easily, so may suit smaller garden spaces which need to be more versatile.’

3. They don’t provide as much heat

Danetti Romero Grey Fire Pit with Kendal Corner Bench and Chair Set

(Image credit: Danetti)

A fire pit can be used all year round, as the main aim of this garden accessory is to keep you warm no matter the weather. But when it comes to heat, not every fire pit is created equally.

Tom explains, ‘Table fire pits, although warm, give off far less heat than a regular fire pit. Their table design makes them multifunctional for a range of purposes, but this also means that they are unable to provide the level of heat that a regular fire pit would, for obvious safety reasons.’

‘For those who live in milder climates a table fire pit may provide the perfect amount of warmth, but for colder regions you may wish to opt for a regular fire pit.’

So, this is something you should definitely consider before buying a table fire pit.

The best table fire pits - our top picks


Do tabletop fire pits give off heat?

Yes, tabletop fire pits do give off heat and can be a warming addition to your chilly summer nights. However, it’s important to note that they won’t give off as much heat as a stand-alone fire pit.

This is because table fire pits are higher up off the ground and often surrounded by a safety barrier that will limit how much heat is emitted. Many tabletop fire pits do come with heat controls, though, which means that you can tailor the temperature to one that suits you.

Where should you not put a fire pit?

You should avoid putting a fire pit on timber decking at all costs, as this is a serious fire hazard. And while you can put a fire pit on composite decking, it’s always a good idea to put a fire pit on a flat, heat-proof mat to avoid damaging your decking.

You should also avoid putting a fire pit directly onto your grass, as you could burn and kill your grass as a result. When in doubt, always place your fire pit on level ground on a mat or concrete stone.

So, what do you think? Are table fire pits worth it?

Lauren Bradbury

Lauren Bradbury is a freelance writer and major homes enthusiast. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from the University of Chichester in 2016, before dipping her toe into the world of content writing. After years of agency work, writing everything from real-life stories to holiday round-ups, she decided to take the plunge and become a full-time freelancer in the online magazine world. Since then, she has become a regular contributor for Real Homes and Ideal Home, and become even more obsessed with everything interior and garden related. As a result, she’s in the process of transforming her old Victorian terraced house into an eclectic and modern home that hits visitors with personality as soon as they walk through the door.