Best Tabletop Patio Heater: Reviews, Buying Guide & FAQs

Winters can be harsh due to the extreme cold. If you’re the kind of person that likes playing outdoor games throughout the year, winters can give you a hard time. For this reason, it’s crucial to get a heater – free-standing or tabletop – to ensure your outdoor areas stay heated throughout the cold months. Tabletop patio heaters feature various sizes and require different fuels.

Though they’re available in electric versions, the propane-powered models are some of the more popular options in the market, primarily due to their portability. In this post, we’ll be exploring the features and specs of the best tabletop patio heater.

1. Star Patio Outdoor Electric Patio Heater

The Star Patio Outdoor Electric Patio Heater is a top-quality product that’s easy to use. It provides steady, reliable, and quiet heating with its 1500W simple power setting. This unit is safe to touch and comes with a safety auto shut-off for tip-over protection. It doesn’t emit any fumes, odors, or chemicals, making it a safe and eco-friendly appliance for your outdoor space. We recommend installing it in a location that will not expose it to harsh weather elements.


The Ultimate Buying Guide for Tabletop Patio Heaters

Let’s examine factors that make a good tabletop heater so you can know what to focus on when shopping for a unit. Here are a few of the common features you’ll come across in all of the best models on the market:

Heat Output (BTU or kWh)

A tabletop patio heater’s heat output is often expressed in kWh for electric heaters and BTUs for propane heaters. In smaller propane tabletop heaters, the output lies within the range of 3000–12000 BTU. This output should be enough for four or five people seated around a table. The propane burner’s height — and whether it features a mushroom or a reflector design — can also have an impact on how much heat you feel. The measurement of electric radiation heaters is done like your electric fires at home, using the kWh per light or element emitted.

Another vital point to keep in mind is that a BTU of 10000 gives approximately 2.9kWh, with nearly all electric tabletop patio heaters only featuring an average of 1.5kW heaters. (That doesn’t imply a gas patio heater delivers twice as much heat; it only means a greater quantity of energy is used.)

Heater’s Design & Safety Features

The design is different from one model to the other, especially when you consider the material used for building the heater. Make sure it’s equipped with a fully guarded reflector at the top. We also recommend checking whether the base is wide and stable enough to ensure there’s tip-over protection.

Since high heat and fire can cause accidents, it’s crucial to check for safety features in the patio heater you want to choose to lower the risks.

Type of Fuel

You can go for an electric tabletop heater or a propane-driven model. It’s better to go for the former if you want a heater that heats up quickly and is usable both indoors and outdoors. The propane gas heaters provide better performance than their electric counterparts and can be refilled easily. But the electric models have greater efficiency when it comes to saving energy.

Portability and Mobility

Due to their nature, tabletop patio heaters are more portable and more comfortable to move around a patio. Their weight can also be less than 20 pounds, even though there’s a one-pound propane tank inside. If you’re keen about taking the tabletop patio heater along with you on the road, make sure that you can easily dismantle it or that the height is adjustable for storage. Bear in mind that smaller electrical heaters are available in the market, providing a more compact package and perfect for your road trips.

Coverage Area

The size (or magnitude) of the area you intend to use a tabletop patio heater in is a vital point to consider before choosing a unit. Is the patio large or small? Is the table’s size large or small? Will it be placed in the open yard or a covered outdoor area? A good number of manufacturers will state the specific area the heater can reach. Make sure that it’s large enough for your chosen location. Nearly all tabletop heaters can release heat in a full 3600 direction. However, an oscillating feature will help in spreading the heat further.

Shut Off Valves & Stability

When shopping for a free-standing tabletop patio heater, we recommend checking to ensure it offers a shut-off valve that will cut power if tilted. Nearly all tabletop heaters will come with some form of a weighted base for stability. However, accidents can still occur. A safety valve is another safety feature to check on propane gas models. This valve puts off the gas if the flame goes out or if the gas fails to ignite.


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Best Tabletop Patio Heater Reviews

We’ll now talk about the five top Tabletop Patio Heaters out there:

1. Star Patio Outdoor Electric Patio Heater

Star-Patio-Outdoor best tabletop patio heater

The Star Patio Outdoor Electric Patio Heater is 100% safe to use. You won’t have to worry about pressurized gas or storing cylinders since it doesn’t use propane. Unlike its gas-powered counterparts, this appliance doesn’t also need annual servicing. While working, it doesn’t emit any fumes, odors, or chemicals, meaning it’s environmentally friendly. The heater is easy to use and also easy to store. It is energy efficient as it saves energy remarkably well.

The Star Patio Outdoor Heater emits high infrared rays that warm the coverage area instantly, producing a feeling of comfort immediately it’s switched on. It’s designed to be portable and looks fashionable, thanks to its hammered bronze finishing. The heating appliance is ideal for both indoor and outdoor decoration. It’s also perfect for four or five people sitting around it, enjoying the heating together, and spending quality time together.

The Star Patio releases instant, quiet, reliable, and steady heating with a simple power setting rated 1500 watts. This model can heat up to 12 sq. ft. The unit requires minimal setup with a heavy-duty pull chain switch. It’s IP44-certified, meaning the appliance is weather and dust resistant for outdoor use. The outdoor heater can also mount horizontally or vertically.

Pros

  • It has IP44 certification.
  • Easy to assemble and has 12ft coverage area.
  • It has a compact design.

Cons

  • Not recommended for use in a large area.

2. Hiland HLDS032-C Portable Tabletop Patio Heater

Hiland tabletop patio heater

With the Huland Patio Tabletop Patio Heater, you can add warmth to your patio. It sports a simple design that looks perfect with any setting and decor. The patio heater is portable and can be moved easily from one place to the other. It comes with a pilot light, and its heating is adjustable using the knobs. As you’d expect, this Hiland Patio Heater propane-powered and can be used commercially. It features a burner screen guard with a regulator also included in the package. If you want to use it for a toasty backyard gathering, consider pumping up the propane.

The Hiland patio heater also offers a safety-minded weighted base for stability. Regarding coverage area, it has a 3-foot radius of heat coverage and weatherproof qualities that provide you with warmth season after season. The appliance does require some assembly, but that is easy to do. It’s 38-inches tall and is CSA approved. Like the Star Patio Heater, this Hiland patio heater also has a hammered silver finish, with its heat output pegged at 11000 BTUs. It gets a one-pound propane tank or 20-pound propane with an adapter hose.

Pros

  • Portable design with 3ft coverage area.
  • Easy to assemble and is weatherproof.
  • It is made of sturdy steel & aluminum.

Cons

  • May have minor overheating issues.

3. BALI OUTDOORS Portable Patio Heater

BALI Outdoor tabletop Patio Heater

This BALI Outdoor Patio Heater is also arguably one of the best tabletop patio heaters on the market. It’s a propane-powered unit with a consumption rate of over two hours because it uses a one-pound propane tank. If you require a longer time to enjoy the scenery outdoors, purchase the converter for connecting a 20lb propane tank. It has a solid weighted base that makes the product stable, durable. There’s also a safety grill guard, auto shut off tilt valve, and an oxygen depletion sensor. The 10000-BTU appliance is equipped with an Integrated Push & Turn ignition.

The BALI OUTDOORS Portable Patio Heater is both lightweight and portable, offering you convenience and style. The unit is adjustable to 10000 BTUs and has a safety design. With its gas safety shut-off switch, it’ll go off automatically if it tips over. There’s also the screen shield that prevents the appliance from burning by accident. Assembly is a breeze, thanks to clear assembly instructions.

Pros

  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Has safety features.
  • Easy to assemble.

Cons

  • It’s pricier than its counterparts.

4. Raoccuy Stainless Steel Outdoor Patio Heater

Raoccuy patio heater

This outdoor patio heater from Raoccuy is a durable tabletop heater with state of the art build quality. It’s made from stainless steel materials that are rust and corrosion resistant, thus preventing damages due to constant outdoor exposure to unfavorable weather temperatures. It features a control valve that allows you to adjust the temperature to your desired levels. It’s a safe and stable unit with base support that distributes its weight perfectly and gives it stability during windy conditions. The heater has tip-over protection, which is fast becoming a standard feature on all patio heaters.

Regarding the BTU rating, you get up to 48,000 BTU from this heater. This BTU rating will generate enough heat to keep you and a handful of others warm. The coverage area for this heater sits at 15ft; this makes the Raoccuy one of the largest we’ve seen so far in the course of our review. There’s an integrated feature that increases the temperature of the surrounding every five seconds till the preset temperature level is achieved.

Raoccuy Stainless Steel Outdoor Patio Heater Propane with Wheels and Cover
  • 【STAINLESS STEEL MATERIAL】DURABLE , EFFECTIVELY PREVENT RUST AND CORROSION.
  • Control valve lets you adjust temperature to desired level.

Pros

  • Safe and stable with 15ft coverage.
  • Portable and durable.
  • Features tip-over protection.

Cons

  • It’s pricier than its counterparts.

5. Palos Designs Tabletop Patio Heater

Palos Designs Patio Heater

The Palos Designs Patio Heater may not have all the bells and whistles of the top-shelf tabletop heaters, but it does its job of giving you warmth very well. It’s a halogen patio heater that works on your regular household electric current and is much less expensive to operate than the standard gas patio heaters. Design-wise, it passes as an adaptable unit that is ideal for both indoor and outdoor use. And it comes with a weighted base that brings extra stability to it.

With regards to the coverage area, this patio heater has a smaller coverage area. In addition to that, the unit is also only able to provide warmth to just two to three persons, a sharp contrast to the number of people that heaters like the Raoccuy Stainless Steel Outdoor Patio Heater can serve conveniently. That notwithstanding, it will still get the job done for a family of four. Expectedly, the heater has tip-over protection along with a handful of safety features to keep you protected. Assembly isn’t hard, but some parts of the unit are prone to quick damages.

Pros

  • Weighted base for stability.
  • Less expensive to run than some gas heaters.
  • Tip-over protection ensures stability.

Cons

  • Smaller coverage area.

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6. Hampton Bay Tabletop Gas Patio Heater

Hampton Bay Patio Heater

The Hampton Bay Patio Heater is also worth considering, thanks to its array of abilities, starting with its ability to deliver 11,000 BTU of gas. On close observation, you’ll find out that the heater is made from high-quality stainless steel materials with a bronze finishing. This bronze and stainless look ensures it blends nicely with the environment, irrespective of the décor of the patio where it’s placed.

As expected, this Hampton Bay heater has an auto-shutoff valve for controlling the gas flow in the event of no ignition. The heater is about 39-inches tall and supports connection to different propane gas tank sizes. The coverage area is roughly 5ft – somewhat smaller than we expected. Given its small coverage area, the heater can double as an indoor heater in a sunroom, if you have one.

Pros

  • Polished bronze and stainless steel finishing.
  • Beautiful design and is easy to assemble.
  • 11,000 BTU capability with 5ft coverage.

Cons

  • Small gas canisters don’t last on it.

7. Fire Sense Hammer Tabletop Patio Heater

Wrapping up, here’s what we think about the Fire Sense patio heater. It’s compact-sized, lightweight, portable, and surprisingly, powerful enough to handle about 10,000 BTUs. Expectedly, the unit is made from commercial-grade stainless steel material and reeks of top-quality. The coating will keep the heater rust-free even as the bronze and stainless finishing add to the décor of your space.

The heater uses a 1lbs gas tank, but this doesn’t last long. It can also be used indoors, thanks to its small size. The ignition button automatically turns the unit on and keeps you warm for as long as there’s gas in the propane tank. You’ll find the adjustable heat settings on the heater handy when you want more warmth.

Pros

  • Adjustable heat levels.
  • Easy to assemble and control.
  • It is made from quality stainless-steel.

Cons

  • The piezo ignition isn’t top-quality.

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Best Tabletop Patio Heaters — FAQs

In this section, we give answers to a couple of frequently asked questions about the top tabletop patio heaters out there.

What exactly is a tabletop heater? As its name suggests, a tabletop heater is made to sit on top of your table. Like patio heaters, they’re built for outdoor use. Tabletop heaters generate heat to help you stay warm. They’re versatile appliances that come in various designs and types.

What’s the cost of running a tabletop heater? The cost depends on the type of fuel you decide to use and the heater’s design. For instance, a 3kW — or 3000W — electric heater consumption will cover approximately 30 sq.m., with the running cost per hour roughly 45p.

But a 3kW gas-powered unit will cover about 7 sq.m., with a running cost per hour of about 62p. It’s equally important that you pay attention to the heater’s lifespan. Consider getting a waterproof cover if you’re buying a gas heater so it can last longer. As stated above, electric heaters provide a higher efficiency overall. Thus, such models tend to cost lesser than their gas counterparts.


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Wrapping Up

The best tabletop patio heaters feature portability, energy efficiency, safety options, among other goodies. When looking to buy a unit, these are some of the factors to take into consideration.

Also, consider checking the coverage area and the fuel type, whether gas- or electricity-powered. If you do your homework properly, you’ll be able to get an appliance that will serve you well during the cold months of the winter season.  

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