Top 7 Best Electric Patio Heaters Reviews: Stay Cozy At All Times

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    Last Updated on November 18, 2020

    Our Top Choice...

    Key Features

    • Well made and sturdy.
    • Compact and lightweight for the performance.
    • Easy to install.
    • Much larger heating area than the norm.
    • Excellent price for the quality.
    • Looks pretty nice for an infrared heater.

    best electric patio heater

    Surprising no one, it often gets cold outside. Whether it’s one of the colder seasons or it’s just an out of season cold spell after a storm, sometimes you want to enjoy the sunrise on your patio and it’s just too chilly to really enjoy it.

    So what do you do? Probably not build a fire out of your porch furniture, leaving only a few options, the best of which is going to be an electric patio heater. So let’s take a quick look at some of my favorites, as well as a rundown of WHY they’re my favorites.

    For the complete product list, please continue reading...


    The Best Electric Patio Heaters

    1. Bromic Heating Tungsten Smart-Heat 56 inch 6000 W Dual Element Electric Infrared Patio Heater

    Bromic Heating Tungsten Smart-Heat 56 inch 6000 W Dual Element
    Check Price on BBQGuys

    Specifications:

    • Material: stainless steel (body), tungsten (heating element)
    • Type: wall or ceiling mounted infrared heater
    • Heating area: 160 square feet
    • Power: 240 volts, 6000 watts
    • BTU Output: 20, 500 BTU
    • Dimensions: 56” x 8.5” x 3.5”
    • Total weight: 22 lbs.

    Of the infrared electric patio heaters we’ll be talking about today, this is by far my favorite.

    It is immensely powerful, with 600 watts of power output. What it lacks a bit in efficiency it more than makes up for with raw strength in its heating element.

    It’s a well made infrared heater that can warm a massive 160 square foot area (about 50 square feet more than the average wall or ceiling mounted heater of this type). This is great not only for larger patios, but ones that are semi-enclosed. The less walls you have on average the more heat you’ll need to warm people up in the area.

    It has the infrared tech we look for as well, heating people and the furniture (and often floor of the deck), but not the air, giving you great control over the heating in the area. If it starts to get too warm you can flick it off, and the heat will leech out of things pretty quickly. This is perfect for warming up on chilly mornings before it heats up to more immediately tolerable temperatures.

    All of this comes in at a great price as well, an almost unbelievably reasonable cost for all it offers in not just performance but materials and looks, being quite durable and emitting a soothing glow that a lot of these types of heaters don’t show as well.

    Pros

    Well made and sturdy.
    Compact and lightweight for the performance.
    Easy to install.
    Much larger heating area than the norm.
    Excellent price for the quality.
    Looks pretty nice for an infrared heater.

    Cons

    All or nothing heating style.

    2. Infratech 6000 W Dual Element Electric Infrared Patio Heater

    Infratech 6000 W Dual Element
    Check Price on BBQGuys

    Specifications:

    • Material: stainless steel
    • Type: wall or ceiling mounted infrared heater
    • Heating area: 110 square feet
    • Power: 240 volts, 6000 watts
    • BTU Output: 20, 472 BTU
    • Dimensions: 61.25” x 9.37” x 8.18”
    • Total weight: 21 lbs.

    This is an extremely high powered infrared electric heater. It sends out an absolutely massive amount of heat, and can quickly heat up an 11 x 11 foot room with ease. Though, that’s a bit inaccurate. As an infrared electric heater, it isn’t designed to heat the room itself, but the people and objects in it, so you get not only powerful, efficient heating you get a heater that can quickly and easily be switched off if things get too hot, and the cooler air will immediately reassert itself, leaving you without the issues a standard hot air heater would provide. 

    On the flipside, the heat itself can’t be cut too much by wind blowing outdoors, so you don’t nee to worry about it losing too much effectiveness when a chill wind is blowing.

    If it’s a little too powerful for you, it can be installed with a duplex switch, cutting the power in half; it just requires little fiddling.

    Combine that with the ease and versatility of the installation, and how low priced it is compared to a lot of other, similar heaters, and you have a reliable and fairly reasonably priced option I’d highly recommend to anyone who wants a ceiling or wall mounted infrared heater.

    Pros

    Versatile installation options.
    Extremely effective and high powered heating.
    Infrared heating directly heats people and objects, giving you more control over heating.
    Good price for the quality.

    Cons

    Heating area may be a bit small for some patios, depending on how large or open they are.

    3. Radtec Designer Series 3200 W Electric Infrared Patio Heater

    Radtec Designer Series 3200 W
    Check Price on BBQGuys

    Specifications:

    • Material: anodized aluminum
    • Type: wall or ceiling mounted infrared heater
    • Heating area: 110 square feet
    • Power: 220 volts, 3200 watts
    • BTU Output: 20, 500 BTU
    • Dimensions: 82.5” x 7” x 2.5”
    • Total weight: 30 lbs.

    Another infrared heater, this time a lower powered but much more efficient model. This one gets as much done with about half as much raw power as the other options available on this list, operating at between 90% and 100% efficiency once it gets properly “spun up”.

    This 3200 watt infrared heater heats the same 110 square feet of space as the Infratech model above.

    In terms of construction, it’s a bit less durable, but much lighter in weight (for the size; it’s a bit bigger overall) due to its anodized aluminum construction, which in turn makes it a bit less of a pain to install on a ceiling mount especially.

    So why is it lower on the list if it’s so much better in so many ways? Price, mostly. This one costs significantly more than the Infratech option above, and while it could be argued it’s twice as good at “only” a little over a 50% price hike, that’s not really quite how things work when thinking about cost.

    If you’re super worried about energy efficiency, pick this one up. If not, picking up the Infratech model is probably better; it would take a long time for the money you save on power to be made up by the up front cost.

    Pros

    Extremely energy efficient.
    Lightweight for the size.
    Versatile installation options.
    Good heat output.
    Infrared heating is more controllable and comfortable than other heating options.

    Cons

    A little expensive given the raw performance; the massive efficiency increase doesn’t quite justify the cost.

    4. AZ Patio Heaters 1500 W Electric Infrared Patio Heater

    AZ
    Check Price on BBQGuys

    Specifications:

    • Material: stainless steel
    • Type: portable infrared heater
    • Heating area: 4 foot diameter
    • Power: 120 volts, 1500 watts
    • Dimensions: 18” x 8” x 86”
    • Total weight: 40 lbs.

    A portable option this time, and great if you need a bit of heating on demand, and on the cheap.

    The power on this AZ patio infrared heater is pretty great for a portable radiator like this, a solid 1500 watts. It creates a solid 4 foot diameter sphere of heat that should be enough to make you and another person or two warm and comfortable even in the coldest weather.

    It’s a bit heavy and unwieldy for what it is, but once you have it propped in a stable corner it should be perfectly safe. The LED lights let you know where to turn it to keep the heat on, since of course you can’t see infrared light.

    If you just need something good, cheap, and easy to use this is the absolute perfect option.

    Pros

    Portable and easy to set up.
    Safety shutoff valve.
    Very inexpensive given the quality.
    Solid performance.
    Infrared heating is reliable and versatile.

    Cons

    Much smaller heating area than a larger infrared patio heater would be able to heat.

    5. Fire Sense 1500 W Electric Infrared Patio Heater

    Fire Sense 1500 W
    Check Price on BBQGuys

    Specifications:

    • Material: stainless steel
    • Type: freestanding infrared heater
    • Heating area: 9 foot diameter
    • Power: 120 volts, 1500 watts
    • Dimensions: 22” x 5” x 92”
    • Total weight: 52 lbs.

    This is a powerful, highly efficient, and unfortunately fairly expensive portable or freestanding patio heater.

    The infrared functionality needs no introduction, and provides a huge amount of versatility and performance compared to convection heaters.

    It produces a very solid 9 foot diameter radius of heat to anything nearby, and operates at a whopping 90% efficiency; most infrared heaters of any type cap out at around 86%, and many are a bit less than that.

    It’s hard to overstate how good this option is for a freestanding heater, but the price may be a bit off putting. It costs about half as much as our winner, but it nowhere near as good. While that is a huge price gap, people don’t tend to have more than one patio, so being able to move this option around is of limited utility opposed to having something that simply heats the whole room.

    Pros

    Extremely energy efficient.
    Easy to setup and use.
    Great heat output for the size.
    Infrared heating with all of its inherent advantages.

    Cons

    A mite expensive for a portable freestanding heater.

    6. Fire Sense 1500 W Black Electric Infrared Patio Heater

    Fire Sense 1500 W Black
    Check Price on BBQGuys

    Specifications:

    • Material: stainless steel
    • Type: freestanding infrared heater
    • Heating area: 9 foot diameter
    • Power: 120 volts, 1500 watts
    • Dimensions: 22” x 5” x 93”
    • Total weight: 45 lbs.

    Same name, different heater. Some things are the same though, including the 90% efficiency rating on the 1500 watts of infrared heating power.

    However, it covers less than a third of the distance our previous option does, though at a significantly lower price.

    That presents a bit of a dilemma when it comes to choosing this option. It’s not exactly lackluster, per se, but it come sin at a bit of an awkward price point for the performance. It’s an absolutely perfect “pick this up on a sale” patio heater, but not much else.

    Pros

    Easy to setup and use.
    Decent performance.
    Solid construction.
    Infrared heating is high quality and energy efficient.

    Cons

    Awkward pricing for the performance.

    7. Aura Comfort Plus 79 inch Freestanding Electric Patio Heater

    Aura Comfort Plus 79 inch Freestanding
    Check Price on BBQGuys

    Specifications:

    • Material: aluminum
    • Type: freestanding convection heater
    • Heating area: 64 square feet
    • Power: 208/240 volts, 1500 watts
    • Dimensions: 20” x 20” x 79”
    • Total weight: 36 lbs.

    Another freestanding model, and this time with a huge amount of heating for such a relatively small and low powered heater. 1500 watts produces a good amount of hot air, which is essentially the problem with this heater in a nutshell: it’s a convection heater, not an infrared one.

    Where the infrared models heat you and the objects in the room, a convection heater is much simpler; it heats the air.

    In some ways this is better, though not many. The heat lingers a lot longer after the heater is turned off, which is good for making sure that once you turn this off, you get a little more time in the cloud of hot air it produces.

    Unfortunately, it makes this one harder to warm you up in the first place, and it’s harder to warm a  room as well, with the less enclosed the patio being, the harder the heating of the blowing air gets.

    In other words, this one is a bit of a mixed bag.

    Pros

    Easy to set up and use.
    Good price.
    Lightweight relative to its size.
    Heats a decent area.

    Cons

    A convection heater rather than an infrared one, so it’s of inherently lower quality in most ways.

    Final Verdict

    Bromic Heating Tungsten Smart-Heat 56 inch 6000 W Dual Element
    Check Price on BBQGuys

    It was hard to choose an absolute best for this list, but eventually the Bromic option won out, with its perfect blending of reasonable price point and high performance. For the freestanding models, one of the Fire Sense options will work the best for you overall, but overall I find there’s little reason to get one of the smaller options in general except to save money.

    If you have enough in your budget for any of the ceiling or wall mounted models, they’re universally better than any of the portable options.


    What Makes a Great Electric Patio Heater?

    An Electric patio heater functions differently compared to wood stove heaters. The advantage of modern heaters is they are more convenient which, unlike wood stoves, don’t need to refill the hopper every time too keep the fire going.

    Electric patio heaters measure performance in several different ways, be it raw BTU measurements, wattage, or something else. But the most common and accurate measurement I’ve seen is measuring the performance in raw square footage or how big of a diameter the heating range is.

    Patios tend to be fairly small, so you don’t need something insanely large like an industrial space heater or something. 110 square feet is enough to cover the raw area of most patios, and seems to be the industry standard for electric patio heaters you need to install.

    However, more than that isn’t overkill. Patios are, at least partially, outdoors. They have no more than 3 walls, and generally only really have 2 and a half at best. Heat has a tendency to disperse into the air and dissipate, leaving you no better off than you started in certain weather, especially when it’s windy.

    Having a larger effective area just means that in your smaller area, the heating is more efficient.

    Figuring out what KIND of heating you need is also important. There are two main types of heaters: convection heaters, and infrared heaters.

    Convection heaters are the standard old style heater. They have a heating element and blow hot air out at the room, heating up the air, and by extension everyone inside. Convection heaters are, relatively speaking, very inefficient, with one of their only saving graces over an infrared heater being that they are on average a fair bit cheaper.

    Infrared heaters, on the other hand, heat people (and objects) rather than the air. This means a few different things. For one, you and your chair get warm, but not the air around you. You never have to deal with turning on your heater and dealing with air that has suddenly become very muggy or stifling to breathe.

    Further, it means the heater is more efficient (instead of trying to heat every cubic inch of air in the entire world at once, it just heats you and a few other things), up to about 90% energy efficient. This saves you money in the long run.

    Even on top of the efficiency, an infrared heater is more versatile, giving you increased control over the temperature. Since it heats you rather than the room, turning it off means that the room will cool down faster while you don’t, necessarily. You stay comfortable for longer while the room’s furniture and floor bleed heat fairly quickly.

    If given the choice between an infrared or convection heater, the infrared option will almost invariably be the better choice.

    Finally, figure out whether you want your heater to be mounted or freestanding.

    Mounted heaters are typically better. They’re more energy efficient, heat a wider area, take up less room overall, and are just all around a better product. However, they are more expensive.

    Freestanding heaters can be easily moved, but that’s the only real advantage they have. Unless for some reason you have great need or portability in your heater, you should be sure to get a wall or ceiling mounted option.

    A note on price: on average expect to pay upwards of $700 for a mounted heater, and about half that for a portable one.