The 5 Best Outdoor Patio Propane Heaters of 2021

Best Outdoor Patio Propane Heaters

The seasons are a part of life but for many, the colder months mean being stuck indoors. With the best outdoor patio propane heater, you can still enjoy your outdoor space in comfort all year round. We have done extensive research and looked at all the best models on the market. 

While we review only those that really excel the Golden Flame 46,000 BTU [XL-Series] was a clear winner. It is a well-priced heater with exceptional heat and a fantastic design. It is also well made from quality materials so will not fall apart after a few winters. 

The 5 Best Outdoor Patio Propane Heaters:

We look at five of the very best outdoor patio heaters available and how to select the best one for your needs. We then give you the answers to a few frequently asked questions that came up often during our research. 

1. Golden Flame 46,000 BTU [XL-Series] Patio Heater

Golden Flame 46,000 BTU [XL-Series] Patio Heater
Dimensions28 x 17 x 17 inches
Weight10 pounds
BTU46000
ColorMatte Black

This heater has a simple yet elegant and classy design. It is built for function but will still look great in your outdoor space. The customer feedback on this heater is nothing less than spectacular. For what you get, it is a well-priced unit. 

With a 46000 BTU output, it is sure to keep everyone warm and cozy. The reflector hood, patented by Golden Flame, increases the effectiveness of the unit. This not only improves the heat but also saves on propane costs. It is effective yet economical to run. 

The “Rapid-Spark” electronic ignition system makes it quick and easy to fire up. It is a safe unit and has a sand reservoir at the base to give it stability. It also makes use of a “Pilotless” Burner System. This reduces propane wastage and increases safety. It also makes it more effective in windy conditions. 

This heater has a lot to offer and is great value for money. You get a safe and powerful heater that looks awesome and performs well. It will also last many years thanks to the quality materials and build. 


2. Fire Sense Stainless Steel Commercial Patio Heater

Fire Sense Stainless Steel Commercial Patio Heater
Dimensions33 x 33 x 89 inches
Weight45 pounds
BTU46000
ColorStainless Steel 

One of the most highly rated outdoor patio heaters is this model from Fire Sense. It is a top-seller and receives heaps of positive feedback. 

Part of the reason for this is the commercial-grade steel that is used as well as the copper finish. The result of this combination is a heater that looks spectacular while also being tough and durable. It is built to last. 

It has a user-friendly push-button start and wheels to make it easy to reposition. Heat is impressive and sure to warm your guests or family with a 46000 BTU output. Heat is delivered quickly and effectively.  With a 20-pound propane tank, you can expect around 10 hours of use at full power, more if it is not on maximum output.  

The base is weighted for stability and it has all the safety features you expect in a quality outdoor propane heater. These include tip-over protection in case it gets knocked over. 

There are many reasons this is such a popular outdoor patio heater. It is the perfect balance of style and functionality. It has good power, a great design, and is easy to use. 


3. Hampton Bay 48000 Btu Stainless Steel Patio Heater

Hampton Bay 48000 Btu Stainless Steel Patio Heater
Dimensions29.15 x 18.1 x 18.1 inches
Weight38.6 Pounds
BTU48000
ColorSilver 

If serious heat is what you want on your patio or outdoor area this is a top choice. With 48000 BTU it is one of the more powerful outdoor or patio heaters and ideal for larger venues or those really cold nights. It will warm an area as large as  200 square feet. 

It has a sleek modern design that will not look out of place in any environment. Hampton Bay is a popular and trusted brand and this unit is well rated by many happy customers. 

Getting it going could not be easier thanks to the Piezoelectric ignition. You can adjust the heat according to conditions and your needs. The build and materials make the unit durable and with the correct care, it should last a long time. 

This is one of the more powerful outdoor heaters on the market and it still manages to look great. It has a robust design and will do a good job of keeping your friends and family warm outdoors.  


4. Hiland HLDS032-B Table Top Portable Heater

Hiland HLDS032-B Table Top Portable Heater
Dimensions20.87 x 37.8 x 20.87 inches
Weight1 Pound
BTU11000
ColorStainless Steel

This compact tabletop heater is ideal for small intimate gatherings on those chilly evenings. Rather than be stuck indoors you can enjoy a meal or simply some company outdoors without freezing. It is not practical for large areas but perfect on the table for a couple of hours of relaxation and enjoyment. 

It stands 38-Inches tall and is light and portable. While keeping you warm and comfortable it will not spoil the look as it is well designed and looks good in sleek stainless steel.  It is compact, modern, and attractive. 

It delivers 11000 BTUs so is ideal for a small group around the table. It is safe and has an anti-tilt, a burn guard, and a thermocouple for peace of mind. For added stability, it has a study weight plate. The unit is CSA-approved. The Hiland HLDS032-B comes with a 1-year warranty. 

This is a quality product that performs well. After-sales service is good and it should last you for many years. 


5. Amazon Basics Outdoor Patio Heater

Amazon Basics Outdoor Patio Heater
Dimensions 33 x 18 x 89 inches
Weight37.9 pounds
BTU46000
ColorCharcoal

Amazon Basic has a fantastic model that is affordable, durable, and offers more than enough heat for your outdoor comfort. With a BTU of 46000, it will make a 9-foot radius warm and toasty. It is made from quality steel, aluminum, and durable plastic. This not only looks amazing but means that it will last for many cold winters. 

It has a Piezo ignition so getting it going is a breeze. A water box will ensure it is heavy enough to not fall over but if it does, it has an auto shut-off for added safety. It also has wheels making it easy to position for perfect comfort and warmth. 

The heater comes with a 1-year warranty. This is a durable product that offers exceptional value for money. It is user-friendly, effective, and economical to run. Not only does it get the job done it looks great at the same time. 

It is suitable for home outdoor use or commercial use. 


What to look for in outdoor patio propane heaters

Here is what you know before you part with your money and invest in an outdoor patio heater. 

Heat output

An outdoor heater has a lot more to contend with than an indoor heater. It is not in a comfy room with curtains and carpets. It needs to deliver more heat and project it correctly. In general, you will need more heat from an outdoor heater for it to be effective. 

Heat output on a propane heater is measured in BTUs or British thermal units. The higher the number the more heat it will deliver. A table-top unit need not be too powerful but if you want to warm a large outdoor area you will need decent power. 

Also Read:   The 5 Best Propane Heaters of 2021

The design and materials are also important in heat delivery. Some heaters allow you to direct the heat to a specific area while others are more effective at warming a larger radius due to their design. 

Design

If you want to create a warm cozy mood outside for family or guests you do not want an ugly-looking heater in the middle of the gathering. Looks are important. Stainless steel always looks good but in some environments, a black heater might blend in better. 

The size, shape, and structure are all important. Find one that will work well in the space you intend to use it. 

Most outdoor heaters are large freestanding units but you get table-top options and some with more funky or unique designs. 

Durability

If you are going to layout money for an outdoor patio propane heater you want to invest in something that will last a decent amount of time. Look at the reputation of the company that makes it, the materials used a swell as the build quality. 

Consumer reports and a warranty are also good indicators of the durability of the product. 

Safety

While it is a bit safer to use a propane heater outdoors one still has to have the necessary safety measures in place. Anything with a flame that produces heat poses a potential risk. 

The first thing that you want is to ensure that the heater is sturdy and stable. Some come with a sand or water base that gives them additional weight and stability. You do not want something that is top-heavy and easy to tip over. 

Furthermore, it should have tip-over protection so that if it does get knocked over it will shut off automatically. 

Price

The price of the heater has to be taken into account. Outdoor patio heaters are more exposed to the elements than indoor heaters. They also need to be more powerful and often larger to generate enough heat. These factors tend to make them more expensive than the average indoor propane heater. 

You do not want to spend too little on an inferior product that will not last long, not produce enough heat, or both. That being said, you do not have to spend a fortune. There are many affordable outdoor patio propane heaters that are durable and deliver exceptional heat. 

Size

We will talk about the different styles and designs in the FAQ section below but give some thought to the size of the unit. If you have limited space a large heater might not be practical. Generally, the more powerful heaters need to be rather large. If space is limited you can look for a smaller model or opt for a table-top option. 

FAQs

Is propane a good fuel source for an outdoor patio heater?

Absolutely, yes. It is affordable, convenient, and easily available. It is safe and makes the heater portable so that you can move it to where it is needed. You can always keep a spare tank on hand in case you run out and they are easy to store even for a long period. 

The main alternative is an electric heater. This is normally a bit more costly to run, especially for the power you need outdoors. It also limits where you can place the heater as you need to be close to an electrical outlet. 

What BTU do I need? 

This will depend on the ambient temperature (how cold it is) and the size of the area you wish to keep warm. A table-top heater around 10000 to 12000 BTU is sufficient for a small group around a table but for a larger space you will need something in the 45000 BTU plus range. 

By the way, if you are not familiar with the term BTU, it stands for British thermal units and is the measurement of the heat output of propane heaters. As you would expect, the higher the number, the more heat the unit produces. Note that operating at a higher BTU will consume propane faster than a lower BTU output. 

What BTU do I need?

A: This will depend on the ambient temperature (how cold it is) and the size of the area you wish to keep warm. A table-top heater around 10000 to 12000 BTU is sufficient for a small group around a table but for a larger space you will need something in the 45000 BTU plus range.

By the way, if you are not familiar with the term BTU, it stands for British thermal units and is the measurement of the heat output of propane heaters. As you would expect, the higher the number, the more heat the unit produces. Note that operating at a higher BTU will consume propane faster than a lower BTU output. 

Can my outdoor patio propane be left outside?

Yes and no. The good ones such as the models we have reviewed are made from quality materials and designed to handle outdoor conditions. They are, however, not bulletproof.

The best idea is to clean them after use (see below) and cover them or store them in a dry area. Many companies sell custom-made covers that will fit perfectly or you can buy a generic cover that is the right size for your heater. 

Doing this will prolong the life of your investment in an outdoor propane heater. 

How do I keep my patio heater clean? 

Again, doing this will extend the life of the heater. It will keep it looking good and performing well when you need to use it. 

Use soapy water and a  sponge or cloth and give it a good wipe down. Put some elbow grease into any tough dirt that may have accumulated. Do not use anything too abrasive.  Be sure to dry the heater after cleaning. 

Do I need to do maintenance on my heater? 

All you need to do is check that all the fuel lines and connectors are in good repair. They are inexpensive and easy to replace if they get damaged over time. Ensure the thermocouple, regulator, and pilot tube are clean and free of corrosion. The user guide that comes with the heater should have instructions on these aspects if you are unsure. 

Where do I position the outdoor patio propane heater? 

This will depend on where you wish to gather, the power of the heater, and the size of the party. You want to ensure it is on a solid stable area so that it is less likely to tip over. Most designs project heat in a 360-degree radius while others allow you to direct the heat. Take this into consideration. 

With powerful heaters, you want to keep a fair amount of space between the heater and walls or furniture. 

What are the outdoor propane heater types? 

The three main options are free-standing, tabletop, and mounted. Each has advantages and disadvantages. It will all depend on the space you have and the area you wish to heat. 

Freestanding will deliver more heat for larger groups while a tabletop option is better for smaller groups. A mounted heater is out of the way but will not be quite as effective in larger areas. 

Will my outdoor heater work if it is windy?

While some perform better than others most will battle with strong winds. You might just need to find the ideal position so that the wind does not affect it. 

Do propane heaters smell bad? 

No, you are unlikely to notice any odors from your outdoor propane heater. If you do notice any smell it is likely that there is some sort of problem. You should shut it off and check all the lines and connections immediately.  

Final thoughts

Investing in the right outdoor patio propane heater will allow you to enjoy the outdoors in comfort throughout the year. Rather than being stuck indoors, you can still enjoy your outdoor space without discomfort. 

Consider what you need and your budget. We have reviewed the very best outdoor patio propane heaters and there is something for all needs and budgets. It will give you the freedom to venture outdoors and enjoy a cozy environment even on the coldest nights. 

This article was last updated on July 19, 2021 .

By Charl Jooste

Writing full time from home, Charl has plenty of time to tinker around the house, whipping up something in the kitchen or enhancing the garden. As a result, he writes extensively on topics related to the home and garden. He enjoys modern technology and advanced gadgets but still has a soft spot for quality reliable appliances. He is passionate about durability and quality going to great lengths to find the very best ideas and leading products to share with readers.