How to Choose the Best Patio Heater for Your Home

Transform your backyard to look like your favorite outdoor restaurant with one special touch: a patio heater. These sleek heaters make dining alfresco a dream and extend the amount of time you're able to sit comfortably outside by hours. This guide breaks down types, sizes, and fuel options to help you choose the best patio heater for your home. 

The Best Patio Heater

The best patio heater will perfectly match the following characteristics with your lifestyle and outdoor space:

  • Heat type
  • Heat range
  • Design
  • Special features

Patio Heater Types

Propane: These portable styles do not require any professional installation. The easiest heater to use, propane tanks typically sit in the encased cavity at the base. They do require frequent refills of propane.

Electric: These eco-friendly electric patio heaters produce zero emissions while heating an area effectively, making them more economical. However, they do need to be plugged into an outlet, so make sure there is an outlet nearby when you choose a location. Some electric heaters may require professional installation.

Natural Gas: Natural gas heaters are eco-friendly and permanent. Connected to a natural gas supply line, these types of heaters need to be installed by a professional to avoid leaks. There is no need to refill a fuel tank, as there is a constant supply of fuel. Though you need professional installation, they have the lowest operation cost.

Patio Heat Designs

Standing: Standing heaters are full-size, often portable, and include a compartment for the fuel tank. Ideal for an outdoor party, some standing heaters can provide warmth to places more than 20 ft. away.

Mounted: Wall-mounted heaters are ideal for small spaces, where there is not enough room for a tabletop or freestanding model. They are constructed for permanent installation on a patio, deck, or sunroom wall. The majority are electric.

Hanging: Hanging heaters are hung from the ceiling of a patio, deck, or sunroom. They are ideal for small spaces, as they don't take up any room on the walls, floors, or tabletops. The majority are electric and require permanent installation.

Tabletop: The easiest model to transport, tabletop heaters are an excellent option for small parties and dinner gatherings. Available in both electric and propane, these miniature models sit comfortably atop a table or similar surface. Models that run on propane will most likely have a compartment to hold the propane tank.

Tank Top: These low maintenance patio heaters connect to the tops of propane tanks where they emit heat. They are cost-efficient, as they typically are purchased with the propane included.

Heat Range Diameter

Check out the following heat ranges to determine how much space your patio heater will be able to keep warm. Consider how much of your patio you are looking to heat and where most of your guests tend to sit or stand when spending time outside.


Temperature for patio heaters is measured by British thermal units, or Btu. 1 Btu can heat 1 lb. of water by 1° F. You can look up your heater's Btu under the product description when searching on Wayfair.

Special Features

Safety Shutoff: A manual valve that shuts off fuel supply and immediately extinguishes flames.
Safety Certified: Meets the CSA's required safety and performance standards for Canada and the United States.
Tip-Over Switch: A safety feature that automatically turns off the unit when it's tilted past a set angle.
Pilot Light: A small gas flame that serves as an ignition source for a gas burner.
Portable: These can be moved around your patio easily.
Wheels: Roll your heater wherever you please.
Indoor/Outdoor Use: Perfect for a screened-in porch.
Remote Control Included: Control the temperature with the click of a remote.

Source:  // Shop All Patio Heaters on Wayfair here (

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