Best 10 Tabletop Patio Heaters
As Of December 2021
We did the
Best Choice Overall
- Enjoy its warmth worry-free as it features a fully guarded reflector
- It’ll last for years to come as it’s made of quality stainless steel
- Choose the desired temperature at your liking with its variable heat control
- Leave it on your table rain or shine thanks to its steady weighted base
Best Pick for Small Garden
- Stay as warm as toast even in your garden with its 4kW heat output
- Refills are really inexpensive as it uses propane or butane
- Store it hassle-free when the hot summer arrives as it comes with a carton box
- Move it from your shed to your garden with ease as it weighs just 8kg
Top Pick for Energy Efficient
- Perfect for outdoors worry-free of rust due to its powder-coated steel base
- When the dinner’s over, take it indoors as it doesn’t need a chimney
- A piece of decor & a heating alternative to gas- the perfect combo
- Enjoy up to 60mins of a cosy smokeless fire with just 100ml of bioethanol
Best Pick for Outdoors & Indoors
- Add a touch of magic to your evenings with its clean-burning gel
- A bit of wind won’t be an issue thanks to its sturdy glass panels
- Perfect sustainable alternative to wood log or gas fires as its eco-friendly
- Gift it to your loved ones & let them unwind with its relaxing glow
Top Choice for Stylish Design
- Create a relaxing ambience for your other half as it’s ideal for special occasions
- Use it again & again as it cleans effortlessly
- Have endless conversations with your friends around it as it lasts for up to 2 hours
- Upgrade the aesthetics of your patio as it’s a modern black bowl
Enjoy A Warm And Toasty Dinner In Your Garden With The Best Tabletop Heaters!
It is a shame to have a beautiful looking garden and not be able to enjoy it because it’s freezing outside. Especially in the UK, where it is chilly all year round, you need a heating device to keep you warm outdoors while having dinner with your friends and family. Thankfully, heaters, either gas, infrared, electric or baseboard, are not only ideal for indoor use; there are a plethora of patio heaters that deliver warmth and create a relaxing atmosphere in your garden, veranda or balcony.
The downside of patio heaters is that they occupy plenty of space and are not that aesthetically pleasing. There is, though, a solution for you! Tabletop heaters come at the right time to save the day (and your nights)! Electric, gas models or even tabletop fireplaces are here for you to explore! Keep up with our buying guide and find out everything there is to know about the best patio heaters that are specifically designed for tabletop use!
What is a tabletop patio heater?
In simple terms, it is one of the best sources of localised heat. As its name suggests, it is specifically designed to sit on a table, a countertop or an over-the-floor similar surface. Additionally, it’s the ideal solution for limited space. If you don’t have enough outdoor space for a traditional full-size patio heater, a tabletop one will undoubtedly come in handy.
Why do you need a tabletop heater?
There are a few reasons why you need one, other than the space limitations we mentioned above.
It is compact and lightweight.
Most models weigh around 3 kilograms, making them easy to transport and move around your house. Some feature a carry handle to make their mobility even more accessible. You can even take them with you, to a friend’s home for a BBQ party!
It requires no installation.
Ease-of-use is really important. Unpack it from its box, assemble it in a couple of minutes, and you are good to go—no hassle in assembling or drilling holes into the wall like what you had to do for a wall-mounted one. Put it on your table and simply turn it on. When dinner’s over, store it somewhere safe. Pretty simple, isn’t it?
It is elegant and stylish.
Most models have a nice black finish to fit in every modern outdoor design. They are small, and the attention to detail is second to none. The tabletop fire pits are elegant and sleek. Not only do they offer the warmth you need, but they also are a perfect piece of decor and a conversation starter.
What are the different types of tabletop heaters?
When it comes to outdoor heating, there are plenty of options for you in the market. All of them have pros and cons. If you’re looking for a tabletop solution, there are two different types of heaters.
They are usually smaller than the full-size stand-alone space heaters and can be easily attached to a patio table. You can find them in a propane tabletop version or an electric one. They’re ideal for small spaces and family gatherings. They offer a respectable amount of heat, and their running costs are low.
These models have come to revolutionise the field of outdoor heating. They are essentially fireplaces and create a pretty neat flame. Their main difference is they use bioethanol as a fuel and not wood logs like conventional fireplaces. They might make a flame, but they’re utterly smokeless and, for that matter, eco-friendly.
Are there any downsides to tabletop models?
The pros are quite a lot, but we should also mention one drawback compared to the full-sized patio heaters. Being smaller makes them less powerful. They have smaller burners and lower BTU (British thermal units) output, close to one-tenth of the BTU output of full-size models. The heating power is enough to keep 4-5 people warm. If you’re planning to invite some friend over or throw a large dinner party, you might consider purchasing a second one or going for a full-sized model.
Which fuel type is better? Propane, electric or bioethanol?
All three types of fuel have their pros and cons. They’re exceptional in what they offer, so the choice is up to you. Let’s break them down to make sure that you know everything about fuels.
Propane patio heaters (or gas patio heaters) are more flexible than electric ones as they do not require any installation or a cable to operate or a power outlet. They utilise half a kilo of propane cylinders, which are placed inside the device without using any additional hoses. You can easily find gas at hardware stores, and it’s not costly, but if you use it often, it runs out quickly. They do not create any smoke when they burn, making them more eco-friendly than an outdoor fireplace.
Electric models use infrared heat, which is created by electricity. Thus, you don’t need to stash propane cylinders or constantly go to hardware stores to buy one. Most models are fine for indoor use as well as outdoor use. The drawback is that you need a power outlet nearby; otherwise, you have to buy an extended chord. Also, they take a bit more time to reach the desired amount of heat than the propane ones.
3. Bio Ethanol
That is a biofuel, meaning it doesn’t create any emissions or fumes. It heats up quickly, creating an attractive flame that looks amazing on your tabletop. Most of them have a running time of two hours. You cannot refill them as they burn, only when they’re cooled down and expired. They don’t make smoke, and they’re ideal for indoors as well.
What to look for when buying a tabletop heater?
When buying such a product, there are plenty of things to keep in mind that might make your job look like an uphill task. That’s why we narrowed down all the basic and important features in a list.
1. Heat output
For propane heaters, look for an average of 3,000 to 12,000 BTUs, which is enough to heat 4-8 people. Electric patio heaters are measured in kWh. Look for something around 2,9kWh, which translates to roughly 10,000 BTUs. Apart from the numbers, which are always valuable, check the design of the heater. Those with a reflector or a mushroom-type top side tend to utilise heat better. The heat you get also depends on the environment. If there’s a breeze or strong winds, don’t expect much. Keep your heater in a place where it’s protected from winds. Some models are weatherproof, but that doesn’t mean they’re effective in strong wind conditions.
2. Area of coverage
Do you have a small veranda or a large terrace? Perhaps you have a massive centre table in the middle of your garden. Is your yard open or covered? Always consider the size of the area your tabletop heater will cover before making any selection.
Fortunately for you, most manufacturers state clearly the square meters (or square feet) their products cover. Additionally, if you want some better heat distribution, an oscillating element can be quite helpful.
3. Temperature control
We recommend opting for a heater that has more than one heating setting available. Propane heaters operate with a dial that can adjust the gas flow as you please. They either have some fixed points or let you choose the desired flow freely. Electric heaters have fixed low and high settings to control them with a button, dial or switch.
They are by their nature more compact and easy to move around than a full-sized patio heater. Most of them weigh less than 5 kilograms. Some models come with a carry handle for extra comfort when you carry them around. Also, they’re simple to assemble and disassemble if you plan to go on a trip.
It is not recommended to leave them out all year, especially the electric models. Most models are made of high-quality materials like aluminium and stainless steel, and if painted, they have a heavy-duty coating to guarantee they last longer. Some are IP44 rated (waterproof), but even those are not ideal when it's raining heavily.
One additional feature that tabletop heaters offer is light. Apart from the heat, light is also important as sometimes it can be pretty irritating. Some infrared heaters, for instance, emit a red light that can be pretty unpleasant. Propane heaters create a rather atmospheric light which can create a more relaxed ambience. Electric heaters make a bright white light that can be ideal for reading a book while enjoying the beauty of your patio. Firepit heaters are probably the most atmospheric ones as they look like a real fireplace and their red flame makes your dinner with your loved one more romantic.
As with all modern products, a warranty is always welcome, if not necessary. Apart from the retailer’s warranty, look if the manufacturer offers any. That means the company has faith in the product, and it is built to last for years. Most models have a 5,000 hours lifetime and come with up to 12 months guarantee. High-end heaters can offer up to 5 years of parts and service.
Is it safe to use a tabletop heater?
Safety should always come first, particularly in products like heaters, where gas or electricity are their main power source. Safety is also important when you have kids running around and messing up with everything. Take a look at some safety features that tabletop heaters have.
- Gas heaters always come with a safety valve to shut off the fuel when the situation dictates it.
- If you go with an electric model, make sure it has a long enough cable, and it’s well insulated.
- If you want a larger propane tank, make sure that the base is solid and sturdy to handle a longer line.
- A metal panel covering the heating elements should be sufficient to keep hands away and safe from burning.
- The base of your patio heater should be built that way that it doesn’t heat. You don’t want a burned table, after all.
- Stability is also crucial as you don’t want your heater to fall off the table while it’s on.
How much should you spend on a tabletop heater?
When it comes to costs, there’s a broad price spectrum to cover everyone’s wallets. Keep in mind that higher prices don’t always mean better quality of the product. You can find tabletop heaters starting from as little as £37, going up to over £200.
In this category, you will mainly find either electric heaters or fireplace-style heaters. They start from £30 and go up to £80. They are ideal for keeping 4-5 people around the table warm enough, even on chilly days. They’re eco-friendly and don’t need much power to operate. They have all the essential safety precautions to make sure you and your family have a pleasant experience.
Other than electric ones, in this category, you will also find some entry-level propane models. This is where a prospective buyer should start, as the choices are endless. Starting from £80 to almost £180, you can find everything you need. These products are ideal for spaces up to 15 square meters. Throw a dinner party, and everyone will be warm enough!
On the top side of the price spectrum, you will find high-quality propane heaters that are sturdy and powerful. They will last for years to come and will keep you warm enough and happy! As for their prices, they start from over £200. They are not expensive if you think about how often you are going to use them.
Tabletop heaters for outdoor use are exceptional, and you need them more than you know! They will keep you warm, they don’t take much space, are safe to use, and their prices are a bargain! You can choose whatever type of heater you desire, from electric and gas ones to fireplaces! Sleek and stylish, with a relaxing light, and above all, really really warm! This buying guide provided you with everything there is to know about tabletop heaters. You are now more than ready to purchase the one that suits you best! What are you waiting for? Winter’s here! Stay warm!