Best outdoor heaters to keep your garden toasty
Cosy up in your garden long into the evening with the comforting warmth of a heater - here are a few of the best
The last few years have seen gardens, patios and balconies come into their own as extensions of our living areas and important entertaining and socialising spaces. Stoke up the warmth and comfort for your garden party guests with the help of an outdoor heat source, which will allow you to extend your celebrations as night falls.
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Heatlab IPX4 free-standing electric patio heater
Enjoy a drink or party any time of the year with this budget-friendly electric heater, which can be height-adjusted to suit your space and comes with a 3m cable for easy use out of doors. Three heat settings and a 45-degree adjustable head mean you can easily control the temperature, and the bulb provides a bright glow to keep the darkness at bay. With an estimated running cost of less than 10p per hour, this is a cost-effective option, too.
• Electric • Energy-efficient bulb lasts up to 2,500 hours • Stable base prevents it tipping over • Measures 50 x 210cm (max height)
Primrose Santa Lucia chimenea
Bring style and ambience to your garden with the warming tones of this bronze chimenea. A removable swing-out grill means you can cook up a storm, while a protective mesh door helps prevent accidents. Keep the BBQ cooking in inclement weather with the rain lid, plus there’s an air vent to prevent the chimenea overheating.
• Wood burning • Cover included • 40 x 40cm cooking area • Measures 52 x 126cm
Outsunny pyramid heater
Wheel this modern gas-powered heater into position then sit back and enjoy the warmth emanating from the quartz glass tube, turning the adjustable knob to find your desired temperature. Safety netting prevents harm while the flame is on, and the anti-tilt switch will shut off the power automatically if the heater is ever knocked off balance. A simple hinged door hides the gas bottle and hose.
• Propane, butane or LPG gas • Weatherprood cover, regulator and hose included • Stainless steel • Measures 49.5 x 227cm
Swan Al Fresco SH16350N patio heater
Flick this electric heater into life to keep chills at bay while providing light to illuminate the festivities. A spot of rain won’t dampen the party as this heater is waterproof (though don’t leave it out in a downpour!), and it automatically turns off if it’s knocked over.
• Electric • Set the right temperature with three settings • Comes with a remote control • Measures 41 x 190cm
La Hacienda Katori Large Bowl Firepit
Set the scene with this deep copper-effect firepit that provides a convivial focal point for gatherings. The copper tone will accentuate the fire’s glow and a black steel protective mesh lid is designed to reduce the likelihood of burns.
• Wood burning • Made from steel • Comes with a poker tool • Measures 89 x 64cm
Heatlab IPX4 vintage-style hanging electric heater
Target the heat where it’s needed most with this 1.6kg hanging heater, which provides a useful overhead light source while keeping you warm. Its vintage casing will suit period and new-build homes, and it works well in temporary structures such as marquees or under awnings.
• Electric • Heating element lasts for up to 3,000 hours • 1.6cm cable; 50cm hanging chain • Measures 43 x 28.5cm
Gardeco Azteca XL Mexican Chimenea
Add rustic charm to your patio with a traditional Mexican chimenea, inspired by centuries of Central American design. As the fire burns, the clay heats up and radiates longlasting warmth for you and your guests. Sturdy metal legs quickly conduct the heat, so the chimenea can even be placed on a flat lawn.
• Wood burning • Leaves hardly any ash as it burns • Comes with steel stand and clay lid • Measures 125 x 50cm
Kamino cast iron outdoor fireplace
Crafted from cast iron to endure the elements, this tall, conical fireplace is a chic addition to your outside space. The high chimney reduces smoke in people’s faces and there’s space inside for the Tuscan Grill (£89; sold separately) so you can cook delicious meals while the flames burn.
• Wood burning • Protective cover available • Weighs 77kg • Measures 50 x 180cm
What to consider when choosing an outdoor heaterOutdoor heaters largely fall into three categories: wood-burning, gas and electric.
‘Out of the fuels available, a wood-burning heater tends to be the simplest to use as all you need for it to function is some wood. They tend to be the most cost-effective and guarantee a cosy campfire atmosphere,’ explains Declan Kingsley-Walsh, Managing Director of stove brand Morsø UK.
The flickering flames of gas give off a quicker heat that you can control, while electric heaters can be moved to where they’re needed, even while in use. Check your power source is in reach of the cable, though.
A heater can be used on patios, decking and hardstanding, but make sure there’s a heat-proof surface underneath to prevent scorching. Unless the heater has been designed to be left outside, it’s best to store them under cover when not in use to protect them from the elements.
When choosing your heater, consider its environmental impact. Burning wood releases harmful particulates into the air, whereas a gas heater burning for five hours will produce the same amount of nitrogen oxide (NOx) as that produced by a typical gas-heated home in a year, EDF says. Electric heaters don’t produce any NOx pollution, use less energy and produce 60 per cent less carbon dioxide emission
Section Editor, Your Home