The 9 Best Outdoor Heaters

Updated September 28, 2017 by Jeff Newburgh

9 Best Outdoor Heaters
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Extend the season for enjoying your deck or patio to all months of the year with one of these handy outdoor heaters. Powered by gas or electricity, they come in a variety of different shapes, sizes, and styles to suit both commercial and domestic applications. Many of them also offer easy-to-use ignition systems for a safe and efficient operation. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best outdoor heater on Amazon.

9. AZ HLI-1P

Never let those chilly fall and winter nights get in the way of your outdoor activities with the AZ HLI-1P. Its 3 burners fit perfectly underneath most umbrellas or parasols, and they can even hang directly from the ceiling for omnidirectional heat radiation.
  • ip certified waterproof
  • 1500 watts of power
  • not ideal for windy conditions
Brand AZ Patio Heaters
Model HLI-1P
Weight 10.7 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

8. Texsport 14215

If you're on a camping trip and need something to help keep you and the family warm in the wilderness, the Texsport 14215 is a formidable option. Its regulator power control knob is easy to use, while the wide-footed base keeps it stable on uneven surfaces.
  • built-in overheat protection
  • has a compact design
  • customer service not very responsive
Brand Texsport
Model 14215
Weight 1.8 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Dyna-Glo Delux RMC-FA60DGD

Thanks to its industrial-grade construction and heavy-duty motor, the Dyna-Glo Delux RMC-FA60DGD is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use in warehouses or at construction sites. Its adjustable leg allows you to raise and lower the heating angle.
  • range of 30000 to 60000 btus
  • fully-enclosed base keeps dust out
  • rather noisy operation
Brand Dyna-Glo
Weight 16.6 pounds
Rating 3.7 / 5.0

6. Lava Heat Italia Lite

The Lava Heat Italia Lite is equipped with lavishly-designed corner chrome reflectors that create a romantic glow to make your restaurant patio or backyard deck spring to life. Its safe-tilt switch automatically shuts the unit off should it ever fall over.
  • the glass tube is shatterproof
  • steel grill stays cool to the touch
  • it is very expensive
Brand Lava Heat Italia Lite
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

5. Fire Sense 61436 Pro Series

Designed for heavy commercial use, the Fire Sense 61436 Pro Series is a square flame heater running on a 20-pound liquid propane gas tank and an electronic, push-button ignition system. Its durable wheels can withstand being rolled on the roughest of terrains.
  • lifetime replacement warranty
  • access panel for easy tank exchanges
  • assembly instructions are confusing
Brand Fire Sense
Model 61436
Weight 50.1 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

4. Mr. Heater Big Buddy

The Mr. Heater Big Buddy defines dependability and efficiency when it comes to portable outdoor warmth and comfort. Leveraging its built-in blower fan as well as both radiant and convection-style heating technology, it can cover an area of up to 400 square feet.
  • built-in low oxygen sensor
  • superior shock-absorbing insulation
  • good for use in rvs and cabins
Brand Mr. Heater
Model F232000
Weight 9.8 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Thermo Tiki Deluxe

The Thermo Tiki Deluxe is constructed from a combination of durable steel and aluminum with a powder-coated finish. Its reflector and ceramic glass column allow for decorative flames to radiate and distribute even heat along its entire length and from all directions.
  • corrosion-resistant exterior
  • has an anti-tip base
  • the temperature is easy to control
Brand Thermo Tiki
Model pending
Weight 58 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. XtremepowerUS X6053

Whether you're planning an event, running a restaurant, or you just need something to keep the family warm on the pool deck, the XtremepowerUS X6053 can get the job done. Its stainless steel burners and heating grid are powerful enough to cover up to a 15-foot radius.
  • automatic tilt shutoff switch
  • push-button ignition
  • regulator and hose are included
Brand XtremepowerUS
Model X6053
Weight 40.2 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Golden Flame True Commercial

Delivering 41,000 BTUs of heat with variable flame control, an elegant pyramidal design, and utilizing its Rapid Multi-Spark electronic ignition system, the Golden Flame True Commercial will keep your entire outdoor entertainment area toasty warm.
  • integrated wheels for easy mobility
  • stands 94 inches tall
  • attractive mocha bronze finish
Brand Golden Flame
Model pending
Weight 5.3 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Some Like It Hot

Weather can be unpredictable. Wherever you stand on the issue of climate change, you know that every season, sooner or later, will break some record for the hottest or the coldest a given area has ever been on that day, week, or month. Those records seem to break at a more alarming rate recently than in years past, with even cities known for perpetual summer weather experiencing unforeseen bouts of extreme cold.

In Los Angeles in late 2015, for example, a cold mass of air broke records for frigidity during the New Year holiday. Sure, it was only in the mid-30s, which is T-shirt weather in places like Chicago and Detroit, but for LA residents, it was colder than the response to the John Carter film.

When the mercury dips below wherever your comfort level stops, it can be mighty difficult to enjoy the outdoors. As a result, you may have spent a good amount of money on a deck or patio setup that only sees use for five or six months out of the year. You may also have a small café or restaurant with an outdoor seating area you’re forced to close anytime it gets too cold. These are the types of situations in which an outdoor heater can save the day, making that investment in your home worthwhile, or drastically increasing your business’s profits.

An outdoor heater can provide you and your guests or customers with a cozy environment, even in the dead of winter. It will not only heat up the air in its direct vicinity, either; the most powerful of these machines, placed properly, can provide warmth for a fairly large area. This is an important feature, lest your guests find themselves huddled around a fire in their evening wear like so many high-class hobos.

Another great aspect of these devices is how easy they are to use and maintain. Some run simply on electricity, and operate like large, high-powered space heaters that are somewhat more resistant to the elements than their indoor cousins. Other models operate with the help of a propane tank, and generate heat as they burn this readily accessible fuel source. You were already going to fill up one propane tank to keep your grill going all summer. Now, you can fill another come winter for a comfortably warm snowbound barbecue.

An Outdoor Heater Just For You

Anyone choosing an outdoor heater is going to fall into one of two camps: you’re either buying this for your home, or you’re buying it for your business. The good news for homeowners is that there isn’t an enormous difference in the heating abilities of some smaller units intended for personal use. You can get a heater that will deliver just as much comfort as a more professional-looking model for a lot less money.

Speaking to the aesthetic component, there’s definitely a certain class correlation with the more expensive, more attractive heaters on our list. They’re the ones you see at nicer bars and restaurants. You may be genuinely surprised by how inexpensive even the priciest of these units is, however, and with a small step up in your budget, you could easily own one of our top-rated units.

Restaurants aren’t the only professional establishments that make use of outdoor heaters, either. Athletic departments that want to give their teams the edge in winter sports will often employ some version of an outdoor heater on the sidelines. With full feeling in their limbs, warm athletes are sure to outperform their frozen competition. If your team travels, look for a model with an added degree of portability, so your team can be as warm during away games as they are at home. If your school has a little extra money to burn, consider getting one of the more posh units on our list, just to rub it in the other teams’ faces.

Ultimately, the choice among these heaters boils down to budget and style. If you prefer the rugged look of the electrical options out there, they’ll suit you just fine. If creating an inviting atmosphere is as visual a process for you as it is a temperate one, you’ll want to spend a little more to get an eye-catching device.

Important Outdoor Heater Safety Tips

Some of the safety tips you’re liable to encounter in your user’s manual may seem like no-brainers, but these units can cause significant damage to hearth and home — not to mention human flesh — if you don’t treat them with respect.

For starters, try to keep a safe distance from the unit while it’s working. These heaters are designed to put out heat that can make a small area comfortable for a group of people. The closer you get to the heat source, the more danger you’ll find. This can wind up being a comfort issue, as well. If you’ve ever been stuck seated under a restaurant’s powerful outdoor heater in your favorite sweater, you can attest to the discomfort — and genuine risk of dehydration — this kind of heat can create. If you’re in layers, it’s best to let a colder guest sit closer to the unit.

When using propane as your fuel source, make sure to handle your tank with care. Never carry it by its valve, and make doubly sure that you close it off completely after each use. Also, if you know your valve is open, and your system won’t ignite, close the valve back off and wait a few minutes before trying again. This will allow any buildup of gasses to dissipate before introducing another spark into the environment. If you select an electrical unit, make sure to use it away from bodies of water, including snow, as snow can melt in the presence of these heaters and create an electrical hazard.

Whichever style you choose, make sure to operate it at a safe distance from any flammable materials, like certain patio umbrellas, firewood stores, and beehive hairdos.

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Last updated on September 28, 2017 by Jeff Newburgh

A dedicated writer and communications professional spending his days lost in the intricacies of both proposal and freelance writing. When not sharing the knowledge of both fully and self-insured medical benefits to employer groups of all industries within California, Jeff Newburgh can be found at home spending time with his family and 3 dogs, pondering the next chew toy to be thrown, while kicking back and relaxing with a nice glass of red wine.

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