Propane heaters have been around for decades and offer a reliable, cost-effective way to keep your home warm in the winter. Electric heating has become more popular as it’s easier to install with no fuel costs. Both are viable options but how will they look after 2022?

The “best patio heaters consumer reports” is a question that has been asked for many years. The answer to the question is different depending on what type of heater you are looking for.

If your house is like more than 90% of American homes, it has an outside feature, whether it’s a patio, deck, or both. With 70% of Americans having a grill, these spaces are transforming into new living rooms that we enthusiastically welcome. When it’s cold outdoors, you may be wondering about the differences between an outdoor heater and electric versus propane.


1. Firebowl in the Wasteland


Living in the Wilderness Firebowl 870 Premium Outdoor Portable Propane Gas Fire Pit with Cover & Carry Kit, 19-Inch Diameter 58,000 BTU Auto-Ignition

  • PERFECT NO MESS CAMPFIRE: Enjoy a clean realistic propane campfire instead of messy ash, costly firewood, and unpleasant smoke. Camping getaways, RV adventures, tailgate get-togethers, beach parties, and family nights on the rear patio call for the ideal outdoor centerpiece.
  • COMPACT AND EASY TO TRANSPORT: The travel size fire pit is light and portable, and it can be put up in minutes without the need of any equipment. The matchless auto-ignition technology assures a quick and easy start-up, while the all-weather fire bowl produces a clean, smokeless flame that provides comforting warmth and a lovely evening ambience. With a total output of 58,000 BTU/HR, it measures L 19″ x W 19″ x H 11″.
  • GET AROUND THE CAMPFIRE BAN: A CSA-approved fire pit is safe to use during most campfire bans; always double-check your local fire regulations. With a safer, easier-to-use fire alternative, a spark-free propane campfire helps safeguard campsites and wooded environments. There is no need for assembling.
  • ✓ COMPLETE FIRE PIT KIT: Includes Cover & Carry Kit, pre-attached 10-Ft hose to keep your standard 20-Lb propane tank cylinder (not included) safely out of sight, fully adjustable regulator with chrome valve knob for varying flame height, and 4.4-Lb natural lava rock set designed to enhance flickering effect. Optional accessories of CSA approved Natural Gas Conversion Kit 785 and Standard Carry Bag 760 available separately.
  • SIGNATURE QUALITY OF Living in the Wilderness: Superior stainless steel burner, fasteners, and modern ornamental belt; durable high grade steel construction with protective enamel finish for guaranteed life. Living in the Wilderness has refined outdoor living so you can create the ideal setting for sharing tales and good times. With the Outland Firebowl Premium propane fire pit, create new memories with family and friends in comfort and luxury anyplace outside.

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The Outland Firebowl has a number of positive aspects. For starters, the company’s tale is intriguing. The device is both light and small. It’s 19 inches long, 19 inches broad, and 11 inches tall. Its output, though, is a warm 58,000 BTUs. The gas heater’s flame may be adjusted to your preference. The product is well-made in general.


  • The Firebowl has received CSA approval.
  • The heater resembles a real campfire.
  • The amount of heat produced is astounding.


  • Children and pets are at danger when there is an open flame.
  • Cleaning up is a pain.

2. Designer Oscillating Heater by Lasko

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If you want heat without the dangers of an open flame, the Lasko Designer Oscillating Heater is a good option. It has a great appearance to it. It seems like a little chimera to us. It is 7.2 inches long by 7.2 inches broad by 16.18 inches tall and may be used on a table or close to your feet on the ground.


  • The design is both utilitarian and appealing to the eye.
  • An automated shut-off timer is built into the heater.
  • The heat output is satisfactory.


  • There is no remote control for the heater.
  • It only has two settings: high and low.

TRUSTECH Patio Heater No. 3

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If you require an overhead heat source, the TRUSTECH Patio Heater is a great option. This device, unlike many others we’ve examined, is waterproof. Its appealing appearance makes it a welcome addition to any outside environment.


  • The device comes with a two-year guarantee and lifelong customer service.
  • The layout is appealing.
  • The heat output adjusts to the surroundings.


  • There is no fan to circulate the heat.
  • The heater doesn’t do a good job of heating open spaces.

4. Hiland Pyramid Propane Heater for the Patio

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If you need to heat a bigger area, the Hiland Pyramid Patio Propane Heater is a good alternative. 40,000 BTUs is a reasonable yield. It stands 87 inches tall and is CSA-approved. It is powered by an electric igniter. The appealing design will blend perfectly with any landscape theme.


  • For mobility, the heater incorporates wheels.
  • It is equipped with an automatic shut-off switch.
  • A one-year guarantee is provided by the manufacturer.


  • Closest to the unit, the heat output is best.

5. Gas from HomeLabs Heater for the Patio

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The hOmeLabs Gas Patio Heater is an excellent choice for entertaining on your deck or patio. The heat output is satisfactory. The drink shelf is a welcome feature. You can fill the base with sand or other material to keep it stable, which we loved.


  • A push-button igniter is included with the heater.
  • Heat is sent downward from the top.
  • It features a shelf for drinks.


Comparison and Buying Guide

It’s likely that you initially saw an outside heater as a kindness for smokers at your favorite restaurant or drinking establishment. As many states ban smoking inside public facilities, business owners often position them outside to keep their customers comfortable.

When purchasing one for your house, there are a few things to think about:

  • Electricity or Propane
  • Type
  • Size
  • Features of Safety

Outdoor Propane Heaters

Outdoor Propane Heaters offer several advantages. First, they heat up fast so that you and your guests will get warm quickly. That edge often puts this type in the dealmaker category. The other factor in its favor is its portability.  You can set one up wherever you need it.

On the downside, you can only use Outdoor Propane Heaters in open spaces with plenty of ventilation. You also must take care of where you place them. After all, there is a potential fire hazard if you put them near anything inflammable. Changing the tank occasionally isn’t a dealbreaker, especially since most Americans use a gas grill, anyway.

Electric Heaters for the Outdoors

Electric Heaters for the Outdoors are an excellent alternative if you don’t want to deal with the risks of an open flame. They also light quickly to keep the party going even if the temperature has dropped. You can also use them on a screened-in gazebo or porch.

The power cable is one of the drawbacks. This restricts your options for placement. It also creates a tripping danger of its own. Given that you’ll most likely use the heater at dark or night, this is something you should think about.

Outdoor Heater Types

The kind of unit is also an important consideration. We are, after all, hard-wired to appreciate a fire and the warmth it brings. In many respects, an outside heat source is taking the place of our televisions. As a result, your outdoor heater may serve as a focus point for your landscape as well. There are numerous things that are not only practical but also attractive to the eye.

You have the following options:

  • Models for the tabletop
  • Units that are installed on the wall
  • Outdoor heaters that are self-contained

The kind you pick is often influenced by the following factor to consider.

Size of the Outdoor Area

When it comes to heating a small area, deciding between an outdoor heater and electric versus propane is frequently a no-brainer. A tabletop unit or a compact, free-standing unit can provide enough of heat for small gatherings on a patio. From classic models to little fires, there’s something for everyone.

Standalone heaters are a fantastic alternative if your outdoor area is bigger and higher, since they give ambient heat in all directions. Compare your options by looking at the BTU or coverage standard. A unit generating 5,000 BTUs, for example, can heat a 150 square foot space.

Features of Safety

Of course, if you’re working with heat or flames, safety is paramount. Before settling on an outdoor heater and electric versus propane, we highly advise you to research what each product has to offer. A kill button if the unit tips over and an automated shut-off if it gets too hot are two features we believe are essential.

Children and pets add to the list of desired characteristics. A weighted base is a must-have if you choose a standing model. Similarly, the cool-to-the-touch glass will keep little fingers safe from burns.

Other Considerations

When deciding between an electric and a propane outdoor heater, consider additional factors that may impact your pleasure, such as the heater’s location and weather conditions. It’s one thing to remain warm on a cold summer night, but it’s quite another to stay warm when tailgating for the Big Game. You could even want to consider acquiring two units or adding a chimera to ensure that everyone is happy.

The Top 3 Brands

Living in the Wilderness

Living in the Wilderness is the vision of Frank Fan and Willie Fisher in 2010. They found a niche by bringing a safe alternative to the traditional campfire with their Outland Firebowl.  As they say, “Campfire Ban? Bust it!”


hOmeLabs manufactures a wide range of temperature control solutions. Icemakers, refrigerators, and, of course, outdoor heaters are all part of their product portfolio. The firm is known for its high quality and low prices.

Patio Heaters in Arizona

Patio Heaters in Arizona got its start in 2002, specializing in a full line of heating products including its Hiland models. They manufacturer units for both residential and commercial use.

Most Commonly Asked Questions

Q: Is it preferable to use electricity or propane?

A: It depends on your heating requirements and available space. For a small space with access to an outlet, an electric heater is appropriate. The convenience of a propane model is hard to match if you have a bigger venue.

Q: Can an electric heater be used outside?

A: Yes, as long as it’s marked for usage outside. Because most items aren’t waterproof, you’ll need to make sure they’re protected from the weather.

Last Thoughts

The good thing about outdoor heaters and electric versus propane is that you have a lot of options that will complement your landscape well. You may now enjoy your patio or deck all year long without being forced within by the cold.

The “best electric patio heaters 2020” is a question that has been asked many times over the years. There are two types of outdoor heaters, propane and electric. Which one is better? I will answer this question in my blog introduction paragraph.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is better outdoor heater gas or electric?

A: In my opinion, it is better to use an electric heater indoors because gas-based heaters are known for producing carbon dioxide and other gases that can contribute to climate change.

Are electric or propane heaters better?

A: Electric heaters are more efficient than gas, but they can be costly to purchase and maintain. Gas heating is less expensive initially, but it requires the user to buy propane for their stove or furnace which is not as environmentally-friendly.

What type of patio heater is most efficient?

A: A heat pump is the most efficient type of patio heater. It can maintain a constant temperature while using less electricity than other types of heating systems, such as traditional furnaces or air conditioners.

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