Best Electric Patio Heater 2023 Reviews

large cylinder shaped electric patio heater on a brown roof deck

When fall approaches, at first you’ll be glad the summer heat’s oppression is over. However, as the fall nights get progressively colder, you’ll soon find yourself seeking out a heat source. Surely you can get heat from things like a smokeless fire pit. However, if you don’t want to go through the trouble of going out into your backyard and starting a fire in the fire pit you can always consider an electric patio heater.

In this article we’ll go over how these electric patio heaters work. We will also cover why you may or may not want to consider them for your outdoor living space. Lastly, we’ll share our review on some of the top electric patio heater models.

How Do Electric Patio Heaters Work?

First let’s talk about how an electric patio heater works. These are not the same as the old resistance electric space heaters you might remember as a child. A modern electric patio heater is an infrared heat source. This is the same technology used in saunas and is far safer than resistance electric. Infrared heat is created by converting electricity into radiant heat. Infrared is just beyond the visible spectrum so we don’t see it as light, but we do feel it as heat.

As the heat radiates down from the ceiling or across the room from a heater on a stand, the infrared radiation heats the objects capable of absorbing heat. This includes humans! This is part of the reason why infrared heaters are such great heat sources for use as patio heaters.

Mounted vs. Portable Electric Patio Heaters

Electric patio heaters come in two distinct styles. Each of these styles have benefits that you may want. Neither one is objectively better, but for certain situations, we’d recommend one versus the other.

Portable Electric Patio Heater

First there’s the portable heaters designed like pieces of furniture. These heaters sit on their own stand or base. They plug into the wall and can be moved from one spot to another depending on where you need the heat. Be careful when moving any heater, as they do get hot.

Briza Infrared Electric Patio Heater – Indoor/Outdoor Heater – Portable Wall/Garage Heater – 1500W – use with Stand -…
  • DUAL USE – Comes with hardware for mounting on walls or ceilings. Also comes with an adjustable tripod stand.
  • CONTROL WITH EASE – With the remote, power your heater on and off, adjust the timer and heat levels from anywhere on your patio or in the room.
  • SAFETY FEATURES -The Briza has a built-in sensor that will automatically shut off the unit if tipped over, significantly reducing the possibility of a…
Outdoor Electric Patio Heater, Haimmy 42in Infrared Heater with Remote, 9 Heat Levels, 9H Timers, 1500W Instant Heating,…
  • 【Wider Heating & Advanced Heating Tec】Our infrared heater indoor outdoor is 42 inches high, and its heating tube is about two-thirds of its high,…
  • 【9 Optional Heat Levels】This electric indoor outdoor heater for patio is available in 9 heat modes, from 620W to 1500W, perfectly customized to…
  • 【1-9 Hours Timer】The timer function of Haimmy outdoor electric heater allows you to set a duration you need from 1-9H before going to sleep to…

Mounted Electric Patio Heater

The next style of electric patio heater is a heater that’s mounted to the ceiling or wall to provide a heat source. These are great for dining areas where a heater wouldn’t reach everyone at the table, and living areas where you don’t want a bunch of heaters radiating from every direction. Permanently mounted heaters can provide plenty of heat, but you’ll need to double check your electrical capacity.

width silver and gray electric patio heater mounted on brown wooden porch ceiling

With every electric patio heater, you will need to make sure your electrical system can handle it. After all, you don’t want to start any fires. Most of the portable heaters can run on a standard outlet. However, if you have an older home, you may want to double check with an electrician your outlet can handle the added demand.

For permanently installed electric patio heaters, you will want to include an electrician in the process. There are some permanently installed patio heaters which have a lower energy demand. In fact they may pull similar electrical as their portable cousins, like the DR Heater DR-238.

Dr Infrared Heater DR-238 Carbon Infrared Outdoor Heater for Restaurant, Patio, Backyard, Garage, and Decks, Standard,…
  • INDOOR and OUTDOOR HEATER – Heater is IP55 approved for both indoor and outdoor use – perfect for home, backyard, garages, open-air restaurant,…
  • CLEAN and INSTANT HEAT – Clean, instant and odorless Infrared heat with 3 power settings, 900W, 1200W, 1500W. 120V, 60Hz.
  • PLUG and GO – uses standard 120V, remote controlled

Electric Patio Heater Installations Tips

With permanently installed patio heaters it is possible to buy a heater that can pump out some serious heat. These will require an electrician to install properly sized wiring. This may mean a dedicated circuit which can handle the power consumption required to power the heater. Before purchasing an expensive and high demand unit like the Innova EF60240B3 6000 watt heater you’ll definitely need to do your research. It’s never a bad idea to get an electrician involved.

You might have a house with an ancient electrical system. If that’s the case, you should first and foremost consider rewiring the home. Modernizing it for safety sake is always a good idea. You should not install an electric patio heater unless you have a modern wiring system capable of handling the power demand. You should not be installing a permanently installed patio heater without having an electrician design. Also be sure to install the correct circuit for the heater you purchase.

Electric Patio Heater Summary

Once you have the heater installed, it makes the cold summer nights a little less chilly. Then, the fall becomes just one more season you can use your outdoor living space comfortably. There’s no substitute for a fire pit. However, electric outdoor patio heaters are key to creating the space you have always wanted in the shoulder seasons and even the winter.

You now know there are two types of electric patio heaters. First, you have the mounted heaters. These are great for being out of the way if you have a small patio or children. Second, there’s the portable heaters. These are good for larger patios where space is no issue and you may want to your heat source around. Either way, an electric patio heater is an affordable way to stay warm outside.