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Feast Your Eyes on the Best Outdoor Heaters to Keep Patio Dining Alive Through the Winter

The Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 was just released, and the Moderna vaccine is on its way to being approved by the FDA. Though incredible strides have been made to stabilize the current public health crisis, the pandemic is far from over. For many parts of the country, barring those that regularly experience blizzards, outdoor dining is still the only option for safe, socially distanced gathering.

With this in mind, we at Kinja Deals have put together a list of some of the best outdoor heaters in the game. Whether you’re shopping for a restaurant or your very own patio, we’ve got you covered.

Best for Restaurants: Frontgate Commercial Patio Heater

Illustration for article titled Feast Your Eyes on the Best Outdoor Heaters to Keep Patio Dining Alive Through the Winter
Image: Andrew Hayward
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Here’s a great option for restaurants and other socially-distanced commercial spaces, if you need something sizable and seriously powerful. Frontgate’s commercial patio heater pumps out 46,000 BTUs of heat via a Piezo igniter system and uses stainless steel burners and a double mantle heating grid. It’s pricier than the Member’s Mark model but could be better suited for your space and needs.

Best for Restaurants Runner-up: Member’s Mark Patio Heater

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Image: Member’s Mark
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This outdoor heater from Member’s Mark is designed for restaurants to be both sturdy and durable.

“It puts off a good amount of heat and warms a good area around the heater. You’ll be perfectly comfortable in your sweater while hanging out by the patio heater,” says one Sam’s Club reviewer.

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She continues, “I love the lighted drink table around it! It’s very conducive to conversation during an outdoor party. I would highly recommend this patio heater to anyone who enjoys being outside, even in the winter!”

Another promising reviewer writes, “Love this patio heater! Very heavy duty/sturdy and attractive. Heat output has met our expectations. Not difficult to put together, good instructions.”

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And if you assemble this heater yourself, you can save over $100.

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Best Portable Outdoor Propane Heater: Mr. Heater MH18B

Illustration for article titled Feast Your Eyes on the Best Outdoor Heaters to Keep Patio Dining Alive Through the Winter
Graphic: Juliana Clark
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The Mr. Heater Big Buddy is a great choice for providing temporary heat for your garage, camper, sporting events, etc.

At a weight of 19 pounds, this compact, portable heater can heat up to 450 square feet for up to 108 hours on a 20-lb propane tank. Not only is this item wildly effective, but it also comes with top-tier, built-in safety features including a tip-over switch and an automatic low-oxygen system. And no matches or electricity required. Just push the igniter button, and you’re ready to go! Plus, you can adjust the heat control knob to your preferred setting, so it never gets too toasty.

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Best Tabletop Fireplace: Bond Lara TableFire Firebowl

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Image: Bond
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This handsome tabletop fire bowl can be brought to a smokeless, odorless flame at the touch of a button! Emitting 33,000 BTU, this outdoor heater is perfect for creating ambiance, particularly for a romantic dinner in. And if you’re worried about the flame’s intensity, don’t sweat it. This heater comes with a control knob for easy flame adjustment.

Be sure to purchase a 20lb external propane tank while snagging this heater.

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Best Heater for Outdoor Porch: Esright Stove Bonfire Fire Pit

Illustration for article titled Feast Your Eyes on the Best Outdoor Heaters to Keep Patio Dining Alive Through the Winter
Graphic: Juliana Clark
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Another great smoke-free outdoor heating option, the Esright Stove Bonfire Fire Pit is perfect for those of us trying to recreate the magic of a campfire in our local burbs. The whole pit can easily be assembled in five to 10 minutes, making a magical outdoor night easily within reach.

And if you’re a parent worried about the safety of this product, don’t sweat it. This fire pit was designed with double sidewalls to insulate the high temperature and thus reduce burns caused by accidental touching. However, by also keeping style in mind, Esright created the top of these walls as the perfect place to feature glass pellets as a decorative accent.

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Best Pyramid Heater: Thermo Tiki Propane Outdoor Patio Heater

Illustration for article titled Feast Your Eyes on the Best Outdoor Heaters to Keep Patio Dining Alive Through the Winter
Graphic: Juliana Clark
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Standing at 7'6" tall, this stylish propane gas heater is commercial quality, radiating warmth from a ceramic-glass heating column with a 38,000 BTU output. This heater also comes with a built-in safety valve that will automatically shut off the fuel supply if the unit is tilted or tipped. Crafted with convenience in mind, this product includes wheels for easy transport and storage. While all required accessories are included in the box, be sure to purchase your own 20-pound propane tank and fuel in order for the item to be fully operational.

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Best Outdoor Electric Heater: PatioBoss Electric Patio Heater

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Image: PATIOBOSS
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If you want a wall-mounted heater, this PatioBoss heater looks like it will do the trick. Electric with a carbon fiber tube as a heating element it saves energy by being efficient. It works rapidly, boasting a 3 seconds warm-up period. The Patio Boss heater is also more affordable then standing heaters, perfect for small spaces.

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This story was originally published by Chaya M. Milchtein on 10/06/2020 and updated by Juliana Clark on 12/17/2020.


Chaya Milchtein is an automotive educator, freelance writer, and empowerment speaker who's made it her mission to engage and empower people in her community and beyond.

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