What is the best outdoor heating?

Kettler Palma Caual Mini Corner Firepit Set with Kalos Plush Table Top Heater 1200x600
Kettler Palma Casual Mini Corner Firepit Set with Kettler Kalos Plush Electric Table Top Heater

If you’ve got a great garden space sorted to retreat to on warmer days and have outfitted it with the latest garden furniture, you might be thinking about how to heat your space when the sun goes down or the temperature plunges. This will really help get the best out of your bit of the great outdoors, you will be tempted to prolong summer gatherings late into the evening and get more use out of your garden on autumn and winter days.  Outdoor heating also provides somewhere toasty to gather around, creating a fantastic focal point in the garden.

12 ideas to heat your outdoor space in winter

The first question to answer is whether you want a naked natural flame, should you go for gas or opt for electric? Each option has its own merits. The romance of a real fire is unquestionable, but these days gas flames can look just as good, with added convenience, plus they burn with a clean flame. An electric heater is also clean to use, can suit many styles, is perfect for an enclosed space and is simple to operate. Read on to discover what else you need to know about each option, before you decide.

Real fire outdoor heating

1. Firepit

Authentic, natural and fun, like having a real campfire in your own back garden, a firepit is a round or square heat proof fire bowl with a grate on which you build a fire using either wood or charcoal. They often have a mesh lid to protect you from the flames. Who doesn’t love huddling around a crackling real flame, with its warm red glow and the evocative smell of woodsmoke? Great at a garden party for keeping your guests toasty, some of them also have a BBQ cooking grate so you can all have fun grilling some burgers or sausages over open flames. The organic shape of a firepit is versatile enough to fit in with any garden theme, from traditional to modern. We sell firepits in a range of styles and materials by companies such as La Hacienda, Koopman and Firepits UK. If barbecuing is on your firepit shopping list, look at our Plain Jane by Firepits UK or the Koopman range of firepits.

The Amalfi Square Casual Dining Set by Hartman features a real log fire pit in the centre of the table, which is wonderful to dine around when it gets cooler outside. It also doubles-up as an ice bucket to keep drinks chilled on warmer days.

2. Chiminea

Chimineas are a taller, more enclosed version of a firepit and feature a contained fire at the bottom with a tall chimney at the top. The fire sucks in oxygen at the bottom, directing heat and smoke up through the chimney. As the fire is open at the bottom, they are easy to refuel whilst in use and the chimney directs smoke away from your guests. Because of their tall design, they radiate heat from the whole height of their body, which makes a fantastic heating option for a party of friends to huddle around. We sell two options both made by La Hacienda, a traditional ball-shaped one, which you can also BBQ on, and a straight-edged contemporary alternative, which is perfect for keeping more modern gardens heated.

3. Firebasket

This is an alternative design to a firepit, which features a tall open basket rather than a bowl. Our version is fully portable and great for an impromptu gathering, as it can be moved around the garden easily. This multifunctional design also features a cooking grill at the top, so you can cook some food and stay warm whilst doing so.

Propane gas outdoor heating

Propane gas outdoor heating is easy to use – just plug in the gas and switch it on. Gas heaters are fast to heat up and put out a lot of heat so are great for warming a large area, especially in very cold weather. They also burn with a safe, clean flame, so there is no smoke given off.

4. Table top gas firepit

Gas firepits are an amazing feature included with some of the best modular outdoor dining and lounging sets made by companies such as Bramblecrest, Hartman, Kettler and Supremo. These are glowing warmth providers with romantic flickering flames, perfect for social sitting when the mercury drops. Featuring fully-adjustable gas controls they also have glass fire surrounds for safety and useful under-table gas bottle storage. The advantages of a table top Gas Firepit are that they have a clean burn and you don’t have to collect wood, build a fire or clean up afterwards.

If you like the idea of cooking over fire pit flames, Bramblecrest produces cooking griddles for their square and rectangular dining set gas firepits so guests can griddle while they gabble. With our Gas Firepit Table sets you get the luxury, style, sophistication and comfort of a high quality, weather-resistant lounge or dining set with the ambience of a safe, real flame in an instant – something you’ll really warm to.

5. Gas tower

Impress your guests with a gas pyramid-shaped tower heater, such as the Tahiti II Black Flame Heater by Lifestyle. With a mesmerizing flame which is perfect for any occasion or garden gathering, guests will appreciate its stunning design and warm atmospheric glow. Packed full of convenience and safety features for added peace of mind, this heater’s handsome appearance will compliment any contemporary or modern garden design.

Electric outdoor heating

Electric heaters are typically cheaper to run than the other outdoor heating. Electric heaters are easy to plug in and switch on and since they don’t require any ventilation, they are a good option for enclosed spaces. Producing no emissions, they also deliver a very clean way to heat an outdoor space. They can also be discreet and stylish and are easy to set up. Being portable and easy to move around, you can have heat right where you need it, although you need to ensure you have a suitable nearby socket to plug into. Since you don’t pay for them in advance, it feels like you aren’t paying to run electric heaters, but of course you are in the long run.

How much power do you need for an electric outdoor heater?

Deciding how much power you need to heat your outdoor space is useful because it will prevent wasted energy and keep keep running costs down. The considerations that might affect the power you need are:

  • How large is the space you want to heat?
  • How many people will you typically be catering for?
  • Will you use it often or occasionally?

If you are often going to heat a large space with lots of people in it, you’ll want a hotter heater with a large spread, rated at around 2000 to 2970 Watts. If you are thinking about a smaller space with fewer people, then you will probably require a smaller, less powerful heat. Maybe you could consider a table top heater, rated at about 1500 Watts.

6. Lantern

These make a great option to dot around for heating people’s feet and legs. Perfect for the ends of an outdoor sofa or dining table, their traditional styling fits in with a range of garden styles.. The taller versions can put out a sizable amount of heat heating the upper body too.

7. Pendant

The main advantage of these hanging heaters is that they don’t take up any floor space, preserving the look of your patio. However once installed, they are a more permanent solution than some of the more portable electric heaters. Styled with a hint of a Scandi vibe, suspend La Hacienda’s sophisticated Hanging Mushroom Heater finished in Silver, from an outdoor structure, where it will sit above a tabletop to kick out some enjoyable overhead warmth. With remote control operation, this heater can reach 1500 Watts of power. Just ensure it is located well-away from people’s heads.

8. Table top

Table top heaters are a new development in outdoor heating, but are fast becoming the most popular models. Giving balanced heat around the table they are perfect for use in a sheltered area, such as a patio or courtyard, where they efficiently heat up seating areas. Their drop-dead good looks chime perfectly with more contemporary outdoor furniture.

9. Overhang

Designed to radiate heat around outdoor lounge sets and dining sets, the Kettler Kalos Plush Electric Overhang Heater is a stylish solution for keeping cosy in cooler British weather. Whilst its timeless styling will induce admiring glances from guests, you’ll appreciate that it is fully controllable with a range of heat settings from warm to toasty.

10. Standing

Radiating heat from above, our standing heaters are designed to heat a patio area and can reach impressive heats of up to 2100 Watts of adjustable power.

11. Parasol heater

Directing heat downwards, these are safe to attach underneath parasols or to poles and ceilings, ensuring that your roof or awning isn’t affected by the heat. The portable Heatmaster Popular Electric Heater by La Hacienda has two settings and can reach 1800 Watts of power with its four directional heat lamps.

12. Throws and scatter cushions

Costing nothing to run, these are probably the most affordable method to keep warm in the garden. Splashes of colourful soft furnishings draped over an outdoor lounge or dining set can also add a touch of style, comfort and colour to outdoor seating. For more information about outdoor scatter cushions, refer to our blog on this subject: Can you leave outdoor garden scatter cushions outside? which is full of useful information and handy tips about outdoor scatter cushions.

Where should you put your outdoor heating?

Ideally outdoor heating should be placed at least 1 metre from walls, fences, grass, trees or other flammable materials. This should allow enough space around the heater to make sure it is safe to operate.

Kettler Kalos Plush Electric Overhang Heater lifestyle 1200x600
Kettler Kalos Plush Electric Overhang Heater and Table Top Heater

What is the best outdoor heater?

The ideal outdoor heater is one which appeals to your priorities. Decide whether you would prefer a real fire, a gas fire or electric option, each of which has its own advantages. If you love the romance of building a real fire and gathering around it to toast marshmallows whilst it crackles and pops away and you love the smell of wood smoke, then a real flame could be your choice. Alternatively if you still want the ambience of a glowing, flickering flame to congregate around but would prefer something luxurious, that instantly ignites, which you can easily control, with a clean burn and no mess to clear up, then you might consider a gas firepit table or fire tower. And if you’d like something discrete, with contemporary looks, which is perfect for a smaller space or enclosed area that heats up quickly and is more economical to run, then an electric patio heater might be your choice. To help you make up your mind, shop our full range of outdoor heating and garden furniture online.

If you have any questions or queries, don’t hesitate to visit our Outdoor Living Team instore, contact us on 01664 454309 or shop online for home delivery or collection from our Leicestershire store.

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