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Last updated: October 12, 2022
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Did you know that if you buy a tabletop heater, you’ll be able to enjoy the evenings outdoors all winter long? The main thing is to know what to look for. For example, the BTU indicator must be at least 5,000. Also, when choosing, pay attention to the ability to adjust the heating power – this will help you save on electricity bills.
In this article, we’ve put together some tips like these to help you make a wise choice. We’ve also compiled our list of the best tabletop patio heaters, from extremely efficient machines for severe winters to decorative models that will suit warm southern nights and add ambiance to your patio. No matter what your needs are, read our detailed review and things to consider to make the best decision for you.
More features: 1500W, auto shut-off, 1-year warranty, pull on and off
Our editor’s choice is the Star Patio STP1566-BT heater because it is one of the most popular models on the market, produces 5,100 BTUs of heat that are enough to keep a standard-size patio warm even on a harsh winter day and has a durable stainless steel construction. This patio heater also features an auto shut-off safety feature and is CSA certified. This 1,500W, corded electric patio heater is perfect for keeping you and your guests warm outdoors all winter long. It is easy to set up and features an auto shut-off for safety. The halogen tube has a lifespan of 5,000 hours, so you can enjoy this heater for seasons to come. Plus, it’s waterproof and weather resistant, making it the perfect choice for any outdoor space. In addition, it comes with a 1-year warranty so you can be confident in your purchase.
The Star Patio STP1566-BT remains an excellent option for anyone who loves an eco-friendly tabletop patio heater. The halogen tube technology blending with the zero fumes, chemicals, and odors makes it very intriguing. While you’d have thought that’s all, it’s also quite versatile as it’s fit for different places indoors and outdoors and ideal for different occasions; plus, it’s IP44 certified.
More features: gas safety shut-off switch, additional weight block, screen shield, automatic cutout source gas
The second one on our list of bests is the Gas Patio Heater by Bali Outdoors. This powerful heater runs on propane and emits up to 10,000 BTUs of heat, making it perfect for keeping your outdoor living space nice and toasty. It also features a gas safety shut-off switch, an automatic cutout system in case of insufficient oxygen levels, and a screen shield to protect you from accidental burns. Plus, at just 14 lbs., it’s super lightweight and easy to transport so you can take it wherever you go. And with its additional weight block, you can rest assured that this heater will be safe and stable no matter what.
The Bali Outdoors Gas Patio Heater is a very impressive product. Unlike the Star Patio STP1566-BT, it comes with a whopping 10,000 BTU output, compared to the Star Patio’s 5,100. However, you may not enjoy much versatility because it is essentially built for the outdoors. The New York Post also names it one of its “12 best outdoor heaters”, further cements its credibility.
Why did it make our list?
Temperature control is maintained
A heavier weight on the base for better balance and stability
The heater is lightweight at 14 lbs.
If the amount of oxygen is insufficient, an automatic system cuts off the gas supply
This heater features a large surface area of heat, making it perfect for warming up any outdoor space quickly and efficiently. With a power output of 1,500 watts, this heater is sure to keep you warm all winter long! Additionally, the Westinghouse WES31-1566 features tip-over shutoff protection, meaning that the heater will automatically turn off if it gets knocked over. This makes it a safe option for use around children and pets. The wind has no bearing on infrared heat, making this an ideal choice for use in any weather conditions even in the open areas. And because it is energy-efficient, this heater will help you save on your energy bills.
The Westinghouse WES31-1566 is an excellent choice for anyone seeking a corded electric tabletop patio heater. Just like the Bali Outdoors Gas Patio Heater, it is more suitable for outdoor use but has the same BTU output of 5100 as the Star Patio STP1566-BT. However, it comes with a complimentary one-year warranty, making it worth a try.
More features: safety tilt-switch, requests 1-lbs. propane tank
The next heater on our list is the powerful Cuisinart COH-500. This propane-powered patio heater is perfect for keeping your outdoor area warm and comfortable on chilly evenings. It features an impressive 11,000 BTUs, heating up to a 30-ft² area. Moreover, it features a built-in safety tilt switch that automatically shuts down the unit in case it is accidentally knocked over. The Cuisinart tabletop patio heater also has a burner screen guard to keep your furniture safe from hot embers and sparks, as well as a rotary heat control for easy adjustments to your desired temperature. This model can be connected to 20-lbs. propane tank, but rebember that it is sold separetely.
You should look no further than this Cuisinart COH-500 if you have always loved the idea of owning a portable tabletop patio heater that you can conveniently take around. It is a propane-powered heater like the Bali Outdoors Gas Patio Heater, but it offers more with its extra 1,000 BTU outputs compared to that of Bali, and of course, it has the highest BTU outputs on this list.
Why are we impressed?
Large heat output and heating area
Automatically shuts down the heater in case it is accidentally knocked over
More features: includes 3-13oz. cans of Terra Flame Gel Fuel
Terra Flame Tabletop Fire Bowls are a fun, easy way to bring the warm ambiance of a campfire to your home. Gel fuel powers these tabletop fire bowls, providing up to three hours of burn time per can. The sound and sight of a flickering campfire is surprisingly realistic and creates an inviting atmosphere indoors or out. Plus, these bowls don’t get hot so you can place them almost anywhere without worrying about heat damage. Each bowl is made from concrete using natural ingredients and has a low carbon footprint. Terra Flame Tabletop Fire Bowls make it simple and guilt-free to enjoy the warm glow of a fire anytime!
The Terra Flame Tabletop Fire Bowls features a unique basin design compared to the other heaters on this list and brims a cozy atmosphere. If you’re a creative person, we are fully convinced that you’d love it! And just like the Star Patio STP1566-BT, it’s also quite versatile and ideal for different places. It’s a friendly choice for eco-friendly folks, plus it’s affordable.
What are its best features?
One can provides up to three hours of burn time
The sound of a genuine campfire
The fire bowl does not become heated
The concrete bowl is made using natural ingredients and has a low carbon footprint
Clean burning – no harmful chemicals and food safe fire
More features: 0.1 gal. burner box, tempered glass and stainless steel body, requires >95% alcohol
This ethanol-powered heater is not only stylish but also portable, so it’s perfect for keeping your guests warm at home or on the patio. The real flame creates a cozy atmosphere and the glass walls make it look bigger than it is. The tempered glass walls make the flame look bigger than it is, and it also provides heat for up to 160 ft². You can use it at home or take it with you on your next outdoor adventure – the choice is yours! Plus, since it runs on ethanol, there’s no smoke or mess involved. It only requires >95% alcohol to run, so you can use it anywhere without worrying about cords or plugs. Stay warm all winter long with the Homcom Portable Heater.
The HomCom Portable Heater is the only ethanol-powered heater on the list, and we might say it shares a bit of similarity with the Terra Flame Tabletop Fire Bowls because it has a distinctive design, too and performs excellently both indoors and outdoors. Though this tabletop heater may have the lowest BTU outputs than others on this list, it compensates with its portability, simple but stylish design, and non-emission of harmful smell or smoke.
Why did it make our list?
Stylish design adds cozy atmosphere to your home
Can be used at home
Real flame, looks bigger that it is due to the glass walls
No smoke, glass remains clean
What is not ideal about it?
Only 1 hour of work with 0.1-gal. of fuel
Not high-efficient heater
Things to Consider
There are a few things you need to take into consideration when choosing the right tabletop patio heater for you.
Why Do You Need a Patio Heater
One of the great things about heaters for patios is that they can extend the amount of time you can spend outside. Whether you’re entertaining guests or just enjoying a quiet evening by yourself, a patio heater can allow you to enjoy your outdoor space even when the temperature starts to drop. Another advantage of patio heaters is that they can provide a unique atmosphere and ambiance to your outdoor space. What is more, with the right patio heater, you can save on your energy bills and a tabletop heater can be a great choice for that.
Tabletop Heaters vs. Full-size Heaters
When making your decision, you’ll want to compare tabletop heaters with floor-standing heaters. Tabletop models are more convenient in that they can be placed directly on the table, while floor-standing heaters need to be kept a few feet away. Floor-standing models are also more expensive and require more space. But they have the advantage of being more stable and durable. Moreover, they heat a larger area more evenly. However, if you have a small patio, or if you want to be able to move the heater around easily, a tabletop model would be more suitable.
The heat output of a patio heater is measured in British Thermal Units or BTUs. The higher the BTU rating, the more heat the patio heater can produce. The higher the BTU rating, the more heat the unit will generate.
Generally speaking, you will want a patio heater with a higher BTU rating if you live in a colder climate or if you plan to use it for commercial purposes.
For example, a patio heater with a rating of 40,000 BTUs can produce enough heat to warm an area of 400 square feet. What is more, a patio heater with an adjustable heat output can be set to a lower BTU rating when less heat is needed.
Gas heaters are a great way to keep your patio or deck warm during the colder months.
When choosing a patio heater, it is important to consider the fuel source. The most common fuel sources for patio heaters are propane and natural gas. Propane is a portable fuel source that can be used with a tank or cylinder. Natural gas is a permanent fuel source that requires installation by a qualified professional.
Electric patio heaters are another option, but they typically do not generate as much heat as propane or natural gas models. If you choose an electric model, be sure to select one with an adjustable heat output so you can lower the BTU rating when less heat is needed.
Gel fuel patio heaters are also available, but they are not as common as propane, natural gas, or electric models. Gel fuel is a clean-burning, smokeless fuel made from recycled wood products.
Ethanol-powered heaters are the newest type of patio heater on the market. Ethanol is a renewable, clean-burning alcohol fuel. Ethanol patio heaters produce a flame that is similar to a gas fireplace.
Heat Output Adjustability
One important feature to look for in a patio heater is an adjustable heat output. As we mentioned earlier, an adjustable heat output allows you to lower the BTU rating when less heat is needed. This is a great feature to have because it allows you to customize the amount of heat being generated. If you want to keep your area warm and drinks hot, you should read our article on the best soft coolers!
Area of Coverage
The choice of a patio heater should be based on the area you need to heat up.
The size of the heating area is important because you want to make sure that the heater can cover the area that you want to use it in. If you have a small patio, you may not need a heater with a large heating area, but if you have a large patio, you may want to consider a heater with a larger heating area. For hot summer days you can also consider on buying the best outdoor misting fans.
Another feature to look for is an automatic shut-off system. This safety feature turns the patio heater off if it tips over. This is a valuable feature to have, especially if you have children or pets who could knock over the unit. The principle of its work is very simple.
A patio heater with an automatic shut-off system will have a sensor that detects when the unit is tipped over and will then automatically shut off the gas supply to prevent a fire.
Measurements of the Heater
Finally, you will want to consider the height of the patio heater. Some models are designed to be used on a table, while others have an adjustable height. If you plan to use the patio heater on a table, make sure it has a stable base and is tall enough to provide adequate coverage. For an adjustable height model, be sure to choose one that is easy to operate.
Tabletop patio heaters are typically smaller and lighter than freestanding models, making them easy to move around. However, some tabletop patio heaters can be quite heavy, so be sure to check the weight before making your purchase.
Most tanks will last for about 2-3 hours as tabletop heaters have quite a small place to store the tank. However, some of the tabletop heaters can be connected to a 20-liters propane tank that will provide you with about 12 hours of heating. All in all, it really depends on the model of your tabletop patio heater.
Yes, it is possible to use a tabletop propane heater indoors. However, you need to take into consideration the size of the room and the level of ventilation. Also, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe operation.
The answer to this question largely depends on what you’re looking for in a patio heater. If you want a model that can cover a large area, then you’ll need one with a high BTU (British Thermal Unit). So, if you’re looking for a model that can heat up a large space, then you’ll want to look for one with a higher BTU.
On the other hand, if you’re just looking for a patio heater that can provide some extra warmth to an already existing fire pit or grill, then you won’t need as much power and a lower BTU will suffice.
Electric patio heaters are one of the most efficient ways to heat your outdoor space. They use less energy than gas or propane patio heaters, and they do not produce any emissions. Electric patio heaters also have a lower operating cost than gas or propane patio heaters. Gas vs Electric?
One of the main things you need to consider when deciding between a tabletop patio heater and a full-size fireplace is the size of your outdoor space. If you have a large patio or deck, then a full-size fireplace would be the better option. But if you have a smaller space, like a balcony or porch, then a tabletop patio heater would be a better choice.
One advantage of a tabletop patio heater is that it can be used on a table or other surface, making it more versatile than a full-size fireplace. Another advantage is that they are relatively compact and can be easily moved around, making them ideal for small spaces.
Our top choice is this 1500W, corded electric patio heater that is perfect for keeping you and your guests warm outdoors all winter long. The Star Patio STP1566-BT features an auto shut off safety feature that allows it to be used in areas where there are children or pets who could bump into the unit by accident without shutting down their own accord!
The Bali Outdoors Patio Heater has been designed specifically for people who love spending their evenings under the stars but hate when it gets too cold. With its automatic cutout source of gas in case something goes wrong with air flow or temperature control, this heater will keep everyone warm and comfortable all night long!
Finally, the third one on our list of the best tabletop patio heaters is the Westinghouse WES31-1566 patio heater! This corded electric unit does not have any fuel costs and can provide 120-ft² worth of space with its large surface area. It also has an infrared lamp that runs solely on electricity so there are none distractions outside.
Patio Heater Safety guidelines
Knowing how to use patio heaters and open-flame appliances safely will help everyone enjoy outdoor dining well into the fall and winter season — while avoiding the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and fire.