Skip to content

Outdoor Heaters: Options and Solutions

Get all the info you need on outdoor heaters, and transform your outdoor living space into a warm and welcoming hot spot for any time of year.

One of the frustrations of outdoor living spaces in colder climates is that they can become little-used in the colder months. As you consider deck and patio design ideas, be sure to explore options and solutions for outdoor heaters that can help you extend the utility of your deck or patio year 'round.

You've probably encountered of the most common options for outdoor heating while seated outside on a chilly night at a restaurant. The free-standing "mushroom shaped" outdoor heater is a great option for heating sections of a large outdoor space. Available in a variety of styles from most home improvement stores, these heaters generally run on propane, gas or electricity, and are an efficient and effective way to warm up your outdoor space. 

Another option for outdoor heat is the infrared heater. These heaters are generally electric-powered, and tend to heat more efficiently than propane or gas heaters. They come in freestanding or "attachable" formats—meaning that some can be attached to deck railings or even umbrella stands for a smaller, more inconspicuous heating option. 

Finally, if you're looking for a more low-profile option, there are also "tabletop" propane, natural gas and electric outdoor heaters to consider. These can sit on a table, bench or even on the ground, and they'll provide enough heat to make a small space comfortable in the colder months. 

Italian Design

These heaters are used by restaurants and resorts, but one can warm up your home space too. The Italian-made heaters sell for $1,000 and up, depending on BTUs of heat delivered and other features such as the number of heat settings. Smaller versions are available, for under $1,000. Sold by retailers including Frontgate.

Slim and Stylish

You may barely notice this heater suspended from the ceilings of screened porches and patios, until the heat hits from above. Heatstrip USA makes radiant electric heaters in mini, regular and large versions, for outdoors and indoors.

For Umbrellas

A halogen heater can be added underneath an umbrella for patio and pool areas. This unit by Well Traveled Living attaches to the center pole, heating up the space during the day or at night.

Sleek Heater

When selecting a patio heater, there's style and comfort to consider. The Authenteak Aura Comfort Plus Portable Electric Heater is a freestanding stainless steel unit that produces radiant infrared heat to cover 64 square feet (or an 8-by-8 area). It's created to handle windy and wet conditions.

On the Table

For heating an outdoor space, there are more tabletop choices available, many of which are mini versions of floor heaters. This cordless bronze tabletop heater uses propane to heat up to 30 square feet.

Blanket of Heat

This pole-mounted infrared heater works quickly, with company Well Traveled Living touting that it can produce heat in seconds. The stainless steel heater also doesn't appear easy to topple over.

Woven Effect

Have wicker furniture? You may want a heater that matches that style. The base of Frontgate's all-weather patio heater can fit in with new or old wicker decor. The heater, which has a two-tier dome, produces a 20-foot circle of radiant heat, according to Frontgate.

Hidden Heater

This heater looks like a vintage pendant light, but it is focused on generating warmth when dining or drinking cocktails or coffee. The Hanging Halogen Patio Heater comes in copper (shown) and stainless steel.

Stainless Steel Bullet

Simply put, this heater is named after its shape—a bullet. Reaching up to 87 inches, the GardenSun heater produces up to 41,000 BTUs and comes in stainless steel, copper plated and metal versions.

Modern Warmer

Another tabletop option is this obelisk-style heater designed in Italy. You may not even need a centerpiece when you turn on the stainless steel heater and the flames appear.

Coastal Flair

Beachy hues, such as aqua, make this heater a splashy and functional addition to a patio or pool area. The Fire Sense propane heater is sold online by retailers such as Target, Brookstone, The Home Depot and Wal-Mart.

Tableside Appearance

A basketweave base mixes with stainless steel for this propane heater by Garden Sun, which has YouTube videos explaining how to light a heater.  Sold at retailers including The Home Depot and Target.

Adjusts to You

Wheel this heater to wherever you are entertaining outdoors. The name is long - the Mirage Bronze Heat-Focusing Propane Patio Heater, but it has the ability to warm up to 120 square feet and has adjustable reflectors.

Group of Flames

It's not your traditional heater, but we like the idea of grouping these torches around a patio or pool area. The polished stainless steel torches, in 7-inch, 11-inch, 15-inch, 19-inch and 23-inch versions by Starlite Garden and Patio, can accent a space and give off a bit of heat.
By: Sean McEvoy // Source:

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published