When it comes to buying a tabletop patio heater we are spoilt for choice. There are many great options to choose from. While it is great to have such a large selection it can make the decision a bit overwhelming. We focused only on the very best options available and there is something to suit all environments, tastes, and budgets. Whether you want propane or electric, modern or contemporary there is something for everyone.
We will take you through 8 of the best tabletop patio heaters currently available and then look at what to consider before investing in a particular model. We will also look at a few frequently asked questions related to these handy heaters.
When you come to make your final choice, you will be able to buy with confidence and make an informed decision in order to get the greatest heater.
Our Top 8 Best Tabletop Patio Heaters 2019
In order to bring you only the top options for your money, we did extensive research. We focused on the performance, ease of use, durability, looks, safety features, materials, workmanship and a host of other important factors.
We looked closely at the key features and specifications as well as what the public had to say. This allowed us to bring you accurate and unbiased information to help you find a great tabletop patio heater.
The table will highlight the key features and benefits before we go into a more in-depth review of each option.
- Height: 38 inches
- Weight: 16 pounds
- Space capacity: up to 50 sqft
- 1500 Watts
- 96-inch cord
- Stainless steel
Hiland is one of the leading companies in the patio heater market and they have a range of popular models. This is a compact and elegant tabletop option that stands 38 inches high and is made from stylish and durable stainless steel. It not only looks good but is built to last. It produces 1500 watts of heat and as this is infrared heater it is highly effective. The Hiland HIL-1821 simply plugs into a 120V outlet.
One of the outstanding features of this model is that it is electric. While this does limit mobility in comparison to propane or other models, it means instant heat with little to no hassle and fuss. Another benefit of the electric power is that this can be safely used indoors. This makes it extremely versatile and useful in a range of environments.
The base is weighted to keep it firmly in place for safety and practicality. Another advantage is that it is IP Certified Water Proof. Other safety features include an anti-tilt switch. The Hiland products are rigorously tested before shipping and quality customer care and support is something the brand prides itself in. They are ETL and CSA approved and well packaged before shipping.
The product has a one-year warranty that will cover any manufacturing defects. Replacement parts are available and easy to get when needed. There is live customer support via an 800 number for any questions or troubleshooting issues. This is an extremely popular option that is highly rated by most consumers. It is hassle-free, effective and safe. It also happens to look great.
- Durable stainless steel
- Classic modern look
- Electric power for fast heat and ease of use
- Variable heat control
- Can be used indoors as well as outdoors
- Weighted base
- Anti-tilt switch
- Good aftersales service
- IP Certified Water Proof
- ETL and CSA approved
- Not as portable as a propane model
- Some found the light to be too bright
- Height: 38 inches
- Weight: 16.3 pounds
- 11,000 BTU’s
- 1-lb propane tank required
- Stainless steel (also available in Black, Silver and Bronze)
Another popular option from Hiland is the HLDS032-B Portable Table Top Patio Heater. This is a propane option and is available in stainless steel, silver, bronze, or a black finish. Hammered Bronze, Bronze Gold, and Hammered Silver are also available.
It produces a decent 11,000 BTU and can be used with a range of propane tanks. This is plenty of heat for intimate gatherings and this patio heater can be used in a range of environments. The model is set up to work off a 1lb propane tank for portability but the purchase of an adaptor hose will allow you to connect it to a larger tank.
Safety features include an anti-tilt protector as well as a Thermocouple. It also has a burner screen guard. The unit is CSA Approved.
Buying a reputable brand such as Hiland will give you peace of mind that your investment will last well and you will be able to get help and service when it is needed. As discussed above, you can expect a good level of aftersales service from the supplier. Most customers reported that it was easy to assemble.
- Value for money
- Light and portable
- Good aftersales service
- CSA Approved
- Anti-tilt and Thermocouple safety features
- Burner screen guard
- Easy to assemble
- Some aspects of the build quality were questioned
- Will only heat smaller areas
- Outdoor use only
- Height: 34.7 inches
- Weight: 11,5 pounds
- 8-feet cord
- Cherry finish
This is a stylish and classy looking patio heater for those that want something a bit more elegant and attractive. The lamp style design and cherry finish lend the patio heater a certain class and elegance that few others can match. It is classic yet contemporary. The finish is weather-resistant so you need not have fears about its durability when used outdoors.
It generates 4,095 BTUs with a 1,200-watt heating element so the radiant heat is impressive for the size. One will be comfortable in at least a 12-foot circle. This makes the Endless Summer EWTR800B extremely versatile and handy for a range of environments including decks and patios. It can heat up to 144 square feet.
Being a standard 120-volt appliance, it is easy to use and simply needs to be plugged in and it is ready to go. It comes with an 8-foot cord for added convenience. Safety has not been ignored and the tilt switch will ensure the heater cuts off when knocked over or tilted. The patio heater is CSA-certified which confirms the efficient and safe operation of the appliance.
The Endless Summer EWTR800B will enhance the warmth and mood of your patio for cozy winter evenings. It looks great and is a breeze to use.
- Stylish looks
- Easy to use
- Electric operation
- 8-Foot cord
- Safety tilt switch
- Some users found the instructions lacking
- Slightly heavy top for windy conditions
- Height: 39 inches
- Weight: 14 pounds
- 10,000 BTU’s
- Electronic ignition
- 1-lb propane tank required
- 1 AA Battery included
- Hammered Bronze or Steel finish
Another great patio heater from Hiland is the HLDS032-GTTHG Portable Propane Table Top Heater. The pyramid-shaped glass tube with a hammered bronze finish has a classic retro look that appeals to many. It stands 39-inches tall and is an ideal tabletop option. The access door design makes it easy to use and control.
It is a propane-powered unit that delivers 10,000 BTU’s. The variable control will allow you to get the perfect amount of heat for the environment and conditions. Hiland has ensured the heater is safe to use and the anti-tilt and thermocouple will prevent accidents. The heater is carefully checked and tested and is CSA and ETL approved.
It has a one-year warranty and there is local customer support and service in the United States. Replacement parts are easy to come by if necessary. This should give some peace of mind that if you have any issues with the device Hiland has you covered.
It works with a 1-pound propane tank which needs to be purchased separately. A handy feature is the electronic ignition which makes it easy to start. This makes for quick and hassle-free operation.
Most find the different appearance of this patio heater to add to the mood and ambiance on your patio. It will give you class and warmth at the same time with minimal effort.
- Electronic ignition
- Good aftersales support
- Effective safety features
- CSA and ETL approved
- Variable control
- Access door design
- Moderate heat output
- The durability is questionable
- Height: 3 inches
- Weight: 9.76 pounds
- 40 000 BTU
One of the problems with many tabletop patio heaters is that they block the view across the table. This is not the case with the Bond 7-in W Propane Firebowl. At only 3 inches it will not get in the way and will allow for a clear view across the table.
It also produces an impressive 40 000 BTUs which is suitable for larger areas and bigger groups of people. It is light and compact making it extremely portable (for more portable heaters that will warm up your living space in no time check our review of the 10 Best Space Heaters For Besements). Another benefit is that it operates quietly. This is important when a group of people is gathered to relax and enjoy the warmth of the patio heater.
The Bond Tabletop Firebowl is user-friendly and can be adjusted for the desired heat according to conditions. The steel construction means that it is highly durable.
The Bond 7-in W 40,000-BTU will improve the comfort and ambiance of an area when it is cooler. It is extremely easy to use and delivers good heat. Most people had only good things to say about this tabletop patio heater.
- Excellent heat output
- Low and flat
- Easy to assemble
- Neat and compact
- Quiet operation
- Adjustable heat control
- Larger gas bottles will need an adaptor
- Can be a bit sensitive to wind
- Height: 34.65 inches
- Weight: 14.3 pounds
- 10,000 BTU’s
- 1-lb propane tank required
- Piezo igniter
- Steel or bronze finish
This is a solid and sturdy patio heater. It runs off propane and will give you around 3 hours of use off a small 1lb tank, depending on how high you set it. The tank sits neatly inside the unit. This keeps it compact and portable. The stainless-steel construction makes it durable and gives it a sleek modern look. It is also available in a bronze finish which appeals to many. You can choose to use a larger tank but this will require the purchase of an adaptor.
It generates 10 000 BTUs and you can adjust the heat according to your needs. This will allow you to enjoy the outdoors with friends or family even when it gets a bit chilly. The heat output is ideal for patios and small to medium gatherings.
The heater is user-friendly and the Piezo ignition system makes it quick and easy to get going. You will have instant heat without any hassle. The base is weighted for stability and safety. To increase safety it also has an oxygen depletion sensor, a tilt valve that will automatically shut the heater off as well as a grill guard. The heater is ODS compliant and CSA approved.
The Fire Sense Propane Table Top Patio Heater has a 1-year limited manufacturer’s warranty. Minor assembly is required but this is quick and easy. It is a durable patio heater that should give you many years of enjoyment.
- Compact and portable
- Sturdy-weighted base
- Good runtime
- Stainless steel
- Highly durable
- Good safety features
- ODS compliant
- CSA approved
- Not suitable to heat larger areas
- Some users complained of less than perfect workmanship
- Height: 15 inches
- Weight: 9 pounds
- 4,000 To 9,000 BTUs
- 1-lb propane tank required
- Steel, nickel, and plastic construction
- Piezo igniter
This is an extremely popular model that has received a lot of very positive feedback. One of the main advantages of the Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX is that it can be used in a range of environments including indoors. This makes it extremely versatile and it is popular with campers, tailgaters, RV use and a host of other settings. It is small and light enough to make it highly portable. It weighs a mere 9 pounds and the handles fold down. The construction is a combination of plastic, nickel, and steel so despite being light it is still tough and durable. For more portable heaters that bring you warmth wherever you go read our review and choose your Best Kerosene Heater!
The radiant heater produces between 4,000 and 9,000 BTUs. Although not ideal for a large space it is great for smaller areas to keep the chills away. It can heat an area up to 225 sq. ft. which should be sufficient for most patio environments.
Safety has not been ignored and if the unit detects low oxygen, is tipped over or the pilot light goes out it will shut off automatically. It also has a high-temperature wire guard. The fuel consumption is not bad and has a burn rate of 0.044 Gal/Hr at 4000 BTUs and 0.099 Gal/Hr at full power of 9000 BTUs. This means a compact 1-lb tank will give you 3 to 6 hours depending on the heat setting. You can purchase a hose connector and filter in order to operate it off a larger propane tank.
Other conveniences include the four-position easy start control with Piezo igniter and the fuel connection that swivels out. These both make the F232000 MH9BX more user-friendly. It has two heat settings. While this will work well in most environments, some may prefer more choice.
The heating surface is large and porcelain-coated. This adds durability as well as disperses the radiant heat more effectively. The ceramic burner tile features insulation with shock-absorbing action for improved durability.
The Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy is a popular choice that is well-loved by most that have used it. It is extremely versatile and a pleasure to use. Yet another benefit is that it is highly affordable.
- Good value for money
- Compact and lightweight
- Robust construction
- Good workmanship
- Low fuel consumption
- Good safety features
- Swivel-out fuel connection
- Easy start control with Piezo igniter
- Not enough heat for large areas
- Only two heat setting options
- Works on a range of fuel options
- Height: 12 Inches
- Weight: 10 pounds
- Food cooker/warmer
This is a slightly different take on the electric and propane patio heaters. It is a compact tabletop fire pit heater that works on a range of fuels. One can use candles, wood, liquid ethanol, fireplace gel and a range of other fuels. It is compact and portable. The Real Hot Pot stands 12 inches high and weighs only 10 pounds.
It can be used outdoors as well as indoors and can even double as a food warmer. It is great for roasted marshmallows, keeping food warm or cooking smaller items. One can even grill burgers and hotdogs on this model.
It produces fair heat in smaller areas depending on the type and amount of fuel used. A fan can be placed behind it to force the airflow for greater heat dispersion and effectiveness.
Some people use this model as a light source. It is warm and inviting and creates a pleasant mood in a range of environments. Another popular use is to burn citronella candles to use the fire pit as a mosquito repellant.
It is value for money and economical to operate. It is also easy to use and a breeze to keep clean. The Terracotta Heater is warm and inviting. It is bound to create a pleasant ambiance wherever it is used. It will provide light, warmth and even let you cook or warm food. This makes it lots of fun for friends and family and can really add a lot to your get-togethers. Obviously, using an open flame, it lacks the safety features of most of the other options. It is perfectly safe to use provided you keep an eye on it and exercise due caution.
If you are looking for something that is a bit different to bring warmth and ambiance into a range of areas this is a great option. It has a certain charm and appeal that you will not find in an electric or propane heater. It is also extremely versatile.
- Extremely versatile
- Doubles as a food warmer
- Can be used indoors
- Easy to clean
- Can be used with citronella candles as a mosquito repellant
- Not the safest option
- Does not produce a large amount of heat
- Can be a bit messy with certain fuels
Before investing in the best patio heater there are a number of important factors to consider. Here are a few of the most important aspects:
While patio heaters have many benefits, their main purpose is clearly to produce heat. Electric models are generally measured in watts while propane models are measure in BTUs. The higher the number the greater the heat output.
It is important to understand that tabletop patio heaters are not designed to warm a large area. They do, however, provide ambiance and warmth for those near the heater. They are great for making the most of cold evenings and creating a great mood for your family or guests.
The materials, height, and design will also impact the heat output and distribution. The Generic Bond Propane Firebowl is a compact option with exceptional heat.
This is important for a number of reasons. If you want a patio heater that is portable than the lighter and more compact the model is, the better. A larger heater can be great in certain environments but in other situations, it will be in the way.
Give some thought to where and how you intend to use the patio heater in order to select the ideal one for your needs.
If you intend to take it with you on outdoor adventures or other activities ensure that it is compact or can be dismantled, is light and has good durability. A propane patio heater is naturally more portable than an electric option.
The quality of the materials will not only affect the performance and appearance of the patio heater but will also determine the durability of the model.
Stainless steel is a good option as is found in the Hiland HLDS032-B Portable Table Top Patio Heater. There are, however, many other durable materials that work well and look great.
While the idea of a patio heater is to keep you and those around you warm when it is cold you still want them to look good. Fortunately, there are many options to choose from according to your preference.
Models such as the Hiland HIL-1821 have a modern stainless-steel look while the Endless Summer EWTR800B Patio Electric Heater and the Hiland HLDS032-GTTHG have a more contemporary and funkier look about them.
Choose one that works with your style and the look and feel of the area in which it will be used.
One obviously has to consider the budget when investing in a patio heater. We have focused on those models that offer great value for money but some are more affordable than others. If you are on a budget, take a look at the Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX or The Real Hot Pot Fire Pit Heater.
This is another important consideration. Wherever heat is involved there is a potential danger so you want to ensure the patio heater has decent safety features. Stability is essential so a weighted base, such as found on the Fire Sense Propane Table Top Patio Heater is a good start.
You also want the heater to shut down if it is tilted or knocked over. This important feature is found on many models including the Endless Summer EWTR800B Patio Electric Heater.
Another handy safety feature is a safety valve that will shut the unit down if the flame goes out or it does not ignite. Burner Guards, such as those found on the Fire Sense Propane Table Top Patio Heater also help to improve safety.
You want to ensure the heater stays cool underneath otherwise it will damage the table or surface it is placed on. Burner Guards, such as those found on the Fire Sense Propane Table Top Patio Heater also help to improve safety. Also, ensure the heater stays cool underneath otherwise it will damage the table or surface it is placed on.
The Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy Portable Propane Radiant Heater can be used indoors and will shut down if the oxygen levels are low. This is thanks to the Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS).
In order to escape a house fire the manufacturers of all the reviewed space heaters for basements inserted an overheating auto shut-off feature, which turns off the heater when it gets too hot. Therefore, read our guide and choose your best one!
You want to be sure your patio heater investment will last so ensure it has good durability. This is related to the materials used and the workmanship. The warranty is often a good indicator of the overall quality and durability of the patio heater.
The Fire Sense Propane Table Top Patio Heater as well as the Hiland HIL-1821 both have great durability and should give you years of warmth and comfort.
Gas or electric
There are benefits to both options. Electric tabletop patio heaters are a bit more user-friendly and give instant heat with minimal hassle and fuss. Propane options are also convenient and deliver good heat while being more portable.
Electric patios heaters start automatically but propane models need to be ignited. Be sure to go for one that is easy to start to avoid stress and hassle. A Piezo starter such as you will find on the Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX makes starting quick and easy. The Endless Summer EWTR800B and the Generic Bond Firebowl are both easy to start.
The last thing you want is to be cold and shivering while you try to get the patio heater up and running.
Some nights are colder than others so you want to be able to adjust the heat according to the environment and the situation. Most of these models, such as the Generic Bond and the Hiland HIL-1821 are easy to adjust.
You want to be able to enjoy your patio heater without spending hours putting it together. Most are easy to assemble the Generic Bond stands out as one of the easier models to put together.
Some models produce minimal light while others, such as the Hiland HIL-1821 produce a fair amount of light. The light helps create a pleasant environment and a calm atmosphere but your light requirements will depend on the environment and your personal preference.
Not all tabletop patio heaters are suitable for indoor use. Most electric models like the Hiland HIL-1821 are safe to use indoors. The Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Radiant Heater is a good propane option for indoor use. The CD Goods, Inc. The Real Hot Pot is also suitable for indoor use with the right fuel source and care.
Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions we came across while researching tabletop patio heaters.
As the name suggests, it is a compact patio heater that can sit comfortably on your table. While it will not generate as much heat as larger freestanding models it is great for smaller areas and intimate gatherings. It should allow you to get the most of the cooler evenings all year round. Apart from heat, the good look create a bit of light and a cozy relaxed environment.
You might not always have the space for a larger heater so these are often the perfect solution.
Yes, you can. In most cases, you will need to purchase an adaptor cable separately but these are easy to find and not expensive.
Generally, they do not. One would have to purchase the propane tank separately.
This is a quartz crystal and hammer mechanism that generates a spark to safely and easily start a propane heater.
Both have their pros and cons. Electric heaters are quick and easy to use. They provide instant heat with minimal effort. You obviously have to be near a power source so they are not as portable as propane heaters. Electric heaters produce infrared radiation to warm the area around them.
Those that run on propane can be moved around with more freedom and deliver effective convection heat. The downside is that the propane, particularly if you use a small tank, will need to be replaced from time to time. As a general rule, propane will deliver more heat than an electric heater.
Both options are effective so it will come down to your personal preference and circumstances.
Provided they are used correctly, they are safe and trouble-free. Ensure it is on a stable and flat surface that is less than 6 to 7 feet from the ceiling if the patio is covered. Check that there are no tablecloths or flammable material nearby when using the heater. It is also best not to use a tabletop heater when it is very windy as this could be a risk.
It is always a good idea to read the instructions and safety warnings that come with the appliance and always use logic and due cation.
While most good models have decent durability leaving them exposed to the elements will shorten the lifespan. Either take them under cover when not in use or purchase a cover for the appliance.
A good tabletop patio heater will give you and your friends and family years of enjoyment. It will create a warm mood and allow you to extend your outdoor activities even when the nights get colder. They make the setting warm, fun and inviting.
While we strived to only review the very best options available one model stood out as a clear winner. The Hiland HIL-1821 Tabletop Electric Patio Heater is a quality product from a leading company in this market. The tabletop patio heater is a top seller and highly rated by those that have used it.
It delivers an impressive 1500 watts of heat and the stainless-steel construction adds class and durability. Being electric it is highly user-friendly and produces instant heat with no effort or hassle. Another benefit is that it can be safely used indoors for added versatility. Safety is a leading feature of this product and it has a weighted base, an anti-tilt switch as well as other safety features.
Investing in a quality heater is something that will bring lots of enjoyment and warmth. Consider your needs, environment, and budget in order to find the best tabletop patio heater for you.