Outdoor Heating Buying Guide
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Outdoor Heating Buying Guide

Which Outdoor Heater is Best for Your Garden?

The best thing about summer is the great outdoors. People spend more time outside in the warm weather, wanting to enjoy nature and feeling renewed. However, once the sun goes down and the heat starts to drop, you will want a little extra warmth to make the most of your outdoor space. Finding the perfect outdoor heater can make your garden, patio or terrace special. There are many different types of heaters available using all types of fuel and in various sizes and styles. Let’s look at the different types of outdoor heaters to see which one is right for your needs and your budget.

Which are the Most Eco-Friendly Outdoor Heaters?

Have you considered which outdoor heater might be the most efficient and eco-friendly? Electric heaters tend to be more eco-friendly than gas heaters. Up to 40% of the heat from an outdoor gas heater can go straight into the air, an infrared electric heater aims the heat directly at the people who use them.

Outdoor wood-burning stoves also known as garden stoves are another good alternative, the fuel used is from a renewable resource when carefully managed. If you like the idea of a log-burning outdoor heater we recommend burning hardwoods such as ash, oak, birch, or beech they typically produce more energy per log and ensure a high to moderate heat output for a longer period of time (especially over softwoods like pine).

What are the Different Types of Outdoor Heaters?

We’ve tried to give you a breakdown of all the different types of outdoor heaters. We will talk about and highlight the pros and cons of each heater to help you determine which is the best option for you. From outdoor wood burners to gas & electric patio heaters we’ve got lots of advice and tips that will hopefully give you the ammo to make your own decision.

Outdoor Fireplaces & Stoves

Outdoor Fireplaces

Fast becoming a popular choice for gardens and outdoor spaces, an outdoor fireplace will add a beating heart to your garden and an eye-catching centrepiece. Outdoor fireplaces or Masonry fireplaces are usually a DIY project that includes building a base, a firebox and a chimney which can be rather tricky. Brands such as Schiedel have created an all-in-one package that includes everything you need to build an amazing-looking outdoor fireplace. Read our dedicated outdoor fireplace blog on how you can build a Schiedel outdoor fireplace.

Available in a wide range of sizes, an outdoor fireplace can be used in small and large gardens. They can be rendered for a smooth finish and even painted if you are needing them to blend in with a particular design. An outdoor fireplace will provide a great source of heat thanks to the large firebox to ensure that it will keep you and your guests warm well into the night.

Outdoor stoves are log burners designed to be used in your garden. They have the same setup as a traditional wood burning stove with a flue pipe and are controlled the same way using the air controls on the stove but are made from treated steel to keep them looking new for longer while being kept outside. The heat from an outdoor stove is similar to an outdoor fireplace thanks to their large fireboxes combined with radiant and convection heat capabilities. Over time, you will find the body of the stove will begin to rust if it is left outside all year round. This is normal and can be rectified by sanding the affected area and respraying with heat-resistant paint. To slow this weathering process, we recommend using flax oil on the stove to keep the paint looking new for longer.

The Benefits of Outdoor Wood Stoves

Outdoor Wood Stove

There can be nothing quite like getting yourself out in the garden and enjoying the evening draw to a close by relaxing next to a cosy fire. Outdoor wood burners can be a great way to keep your garden party going and entertain guests on the chilliest of evenings.

The benefits of burning wood in an outdoor heater are plenty. Not only does an outdoor wood burner create a centrepiece for a more beautiful, welcoming garden but it can be used all year round, is highly versatile and provides lots of light and heat.

  • Renewable energy source
  • Heat & grill from the same appliance
  • Open flame behind the safety of the glass window
  • More efficient than a fire pit or chimney
  • Improves the aesthetics of your outdoor space
  • The flue pipe takes away the smoke unlike open fire pits

Are Fire Pits & Chimeneas a Good Option?


  • Fire pits are one of the more traditional ways to add extra warmth to your outdoor space and are available in both gas and wood burning. A fire pit is something people will gather around to keep warm when it gets chilly and will provide a pleasant focal point to your outdoor space. Fire pits can be used for heating and cooking with BBQ grill and plancha accessories available. Wood burning or solid fuel fire pits have been a popular way of heating an outdoor space for many years thanks to the high heat output they provide, real flame, and affordability. The traditional design of a fire pit is a round bowl with a stand to make them safe and easy to use. The ash will stay in the bottom of the bowl afterwards for easy cleaning. Gas fire pits are modern and contemporary, easier to use and require less maintenance compared to a solid fuel fire pit. A gas fire pit uses patio gas and will include a gas hose and regulator to transfer the gas from the canister to the fire pit where an ignition system will spark it to life. A gas fire pit can be incorporated into a dining table to create a gas fire pit table which is fast becoming one of the most popular choices when paired with a corner or sofa set. 

            Gas Fire Pit Table

  • Chimeneas are also a traditional way of heating your outdoor space. Originating from Mexico, a chimenea is small, portable and decorative. Most commonly made out of steel or clay, a chimenea has excellent heat retention allowing them to stay hotter for longer and they feature a short chimney which will direct the smoke away from people's faces. A chimenea is generally safer to use than a fire pit, they can be used for small or large spaces and they do not use as much fuel.

Gas v's Electric Patio Heaters

Patio Heater

Patio heaters are the most common type of outdoor heater and are available in either gas or electric. Patio heaters are lightweight, safe, and portable making them easy to move around, this makes them a popular choice for bars, restaurants and pubs with a beer garden. Gas heaters provide a higher heat output and run off a patio gas or LPG canister, they are extremely safe and easy to use. Electric heaters are designed to offer an instant burst of heat to take the chill out of the evening. Some heaters use a halogen lamp and others use infrared which are the most effective as they only warm what is beneath them. Electric patio heaters are usually cheaper than gas heaters.

How Else to Keep Warm in Your Garden?

When it comes to other options, there are a few tips that we can offer up. You could look to put up a windbreak, awning or gazebo in your garden to try to limit wind chill. Wrap your hands around a hot mug of tea, layering up with blankets or dig out your hot water bottle.
Hopefully, you will agree with us and think an outdoor heater is a great option. They can bring so much joy to your garden and help extend the time you spend in your outdoor space.

Outdoor FireplacesOutdoor Fireplaces
Outdoor Fireplaces
Outdoor StovesOutdoor Stoves
Outdoor Stoves
Gas Fire Pit TablesGas Fire Pit Tables
Gas Fire Pit Tables
Fire PitsFire Pits
Fire Pits

Which Garden Heater is the Best To Buy?

There are benefits for each of these outdoor heaters, it all depends on what you are searching for. If you are looking for something small, portable and affordable, then a chimenea or electric patio heater might work for you. If you are looking for something to wow your guests with an amazing fire display an outdoor fireplace or gas fire pit table would be more suited.

Hopefully, this has given you a breakdown of each type of outdoor heater with an insight into the pros and cons to help you make your purchase.

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