Last Updated on January 24, 2023 by Roy
Nothing is as pleasing as spending time with your loved ones outdoors. But when the weather turns super chilly, it gets almost impossible to do so. And this is where an outdoor patio tabletop heater comes into the picture. It’s a smaller form of a full-size heater you must have seen at an outdoor bar or restaurant.
So see, having that dream time isn’t that hard as it seemed but which outdoor tabletop heater to buy and which one will suit your preferences and budget?
Well, that’s what we are determined to sort out for you.
So here we’ll list some of the best tabletop heaters in the industry including gas and electric models and discuss their pros and cons in greater detail so that you get full value for your money and the best experience.
But first, before jumping into the reviews of the best tabletop patio heaters, we’ll make sure that you know all the necessary stuff about outdoor tabletop heaters so that you can have greater conviction and confidence while buying one.
What is an Outdoor Patio Tabletop Heater?
When your soul is craving some extra warmth on your patio, a tabletop patio heater is one of the best sources of localized heat. As the name suggests, they are meant to sit on a table or a plain surface and are ideal for yards with limited space.
Depending on your choice of electric power or propane gas, a patio heater offers warmth through radiation or convection.
Convection heaters use propane to heat the surrounding air and provide warmth. While electric patio heaters make use of infrared radiation to give heat to objects and people alike.
Tabletop Heater VS Traditional Full-Size Heater
Not a lot of people have a backyard space equivalent to the spacious restaurant gardens where free-standing patio heaters are employed.
The standout feature of tabletop units is their compact size. You can simply keep one in the trunk of your car for your next camping adventure and replace the conventional campfire.
As you sit close to a tabletop patio heater, you’ll feel the heat much faster. Designed to sit on a tabletop, they provide 360-degree heat for everyone at the table. Tabletop patio heaters are easy to shift to different locations and also lightweight, thanks to the small propane tanks used.
A traditional full-size model takes more space in a garden than a small-sized one. Being heavy, it will take a couple of people to move it after being placed, especially if a 10kg propane tank is attached inside.
If space is not an issue for you then a full-sized fire pit is a much better option. It can provide heat to a larger area and becomes a great attraction to sit around and have fun with friends.
The main disadvantage of a tabletop heater is the limited space they give heat to. They have smaller burners and provide a much lower BTU output than the full-sized patio heaters.
BTU (British Thermal Unit) is the amount of heat needed to raise a pound of water by 1 Degree F – The lesser the BTUs, the lesser the heat. You can get tempted to buy more than one tabletop heaters, thinking that you have the room but that comes at a cost.
Although they save space in your garden, they take too much space on the tables.
Propane Gas VS Electric
After deciding to buy a tabletop patio heater, the next big decision to make is what type of fuel you want – propane-powered or electric heater.
Which one has more heating diameter and will last longer?
Which one is more environmentally friendly and is more energy-efficient?
And most importantly, which one is budgetary?
Propane gas heaters give you more freedom without any need for an extra cable or power outlet. Many of them use half a pound propane cylinders, which are placed inside the unit without additional hoses. However, they get empty quickly and will cost you more.
Read: Want to Cook Awesome? The Top 8 Side Burners for Outdoor Kitchens
Propane gives better heat with more coverage than an electric or infrared tabletop heater. Although electric heaters provide more direct heat, you must not get too close as you can end up getting burned.
For ones who are more concerned about the environment, infrared heaters are more suitable as they create fewer emissions and are safe for indoor use.
Read: 10 Best Outdoor Pizza Oven Reviews
Let’s get down to the business now!
- What is an Outdoor Patio Tabletop Heater?
- Tabletop Heater VS Traditional Full-Size Heater
- Any downsides?
- Propane Gas VS Electric
- Here are 7 Best Outdoor/Indoor Tabletop Patio Heaters Reviews of 2023
- #1.Fire Sense Stainless Steel Tabletop Patio Heater
- #2.Hiland HLDS032-GTTHG Patio Heater
- #3.Dr Infrared Heater Patio Wall Mount Heater
- #4.Hand-Mart Electric Tabletop Patio Heater
- #5.Global Air GLD-SS Tabletop Stainless Patio Heater
- #6.Palos Design Outdoor Electric Patio Heater
- #7.Ljings Tabletop Patio Heater
- Final Verdict
- What makes a Good Tabletop Heater?
Here are 7 Best Outdoor/Indoor Tabletop Patio Heaters Reviews of 2023
#1.Fire Sense Stainless Steel Tabletop Patio Heater
- 10000 BTU Output
- Adjustable Heat Settings
- Stainless Steel Burners and Heating Grid
- Includes an auto shut-off tilt valve and oxygen depletion sensor
Fire Sense Stainless steel Tabletop Patio Heater is just perfect for outdoor entertaining. It gives a superb warmth while adding a soothing ambiance to any outdoor tabletop setting. This handsome unit is capable of increasing the outdoor temperature by 10-25 degrees.
It’s approved by CSA and its safety features come with an auto-shutoff tilt valve and also an oxygen depletion sensor.
- Great item to give as a gift
- Lightweight and portable
- Easy one-step ignition
- Runs on disposable propane cylinders by default
Read: 5 Best 2 Burner Gas Grills that will give you tasty and fast Barbeque!
#2.Hiland HLDS032-GTTHG Patio Heater
- 39-Inch tall portable glass tube patio heater
- Quartz Glass Tube
- Electronic Ignition
- Hammered bronze finish
- 9500 BTUs of Heat Output
- Thermocouple and anti-tilt safety device
Add warmth to your patio and backyard with Hiland HLDS032-GTTHG Patio Heater. It’s a superb 39-inch tall outdoor patio heater with a hammered bronze finish and can be placed conveniently on the tabletop.
It has an access door design, a quartz glass tube, and a massive 10000 BTUs of power. It’s a superb tool to extend your home to the outdoors.
- Gives Great Heat Output
- Electronic Ignition
- Doesn’t come with a propane tank
- Too heavy to be called portable
- Lower than average 11000 BTU heat output
#3.Dr Infrared Heater Patio Wall Mount Heater
- Weatherproof IPX4
- Instant heat
- 3 heating modes
- Timer operation
- Remote control
- Easy mounting
The DR-238 is an exceptional outdoor and indoor infrared heater. It provides clean, safe, odorless, and instant carbon infrared heat giving you the ultimate comfort for your winter activities be it outdoors or indoors.
It has 3 heat output settings and is made with durable and weatherproof aluminum for years of use.
- Offers clean, instant, and odorless Infrared heat
- Plug and go use
- Mountable to ceilings and walls
- Suitable for only small spaces.
#4.Hand-Mart Electric Tabletop Patio Heater
- Tip-Over Protection
- IP44 Waterproof
- 1500 Watt
- Easy Installation
Feel a high-quality and comforting heat with the Hand-Mart Electric Tabletop Patio Heater. Packed with more than 1500W power it adopts carbon infrared heating technology, it releases heat quickly and is extremely quiet.
The Hand-Mart Electric Tabletop Patio Heater has a tip-over protection function and also a stable circular base to avoid tipping.
It’s one of the best electric table patio heaters.
- Gives Instant Warmth
- Energy efficient
- No Odors or Fumes
- Suitable for both indoors and outdoors
- Simple installation and easy to switch
#5.Global Air GLD-SS Tabletop Stainless Patio Heater
- Auto Shut Off
- Ultra-efficient infrared heating
- Built-in safety valve
- Extremely easy to use
Global Air GLD-SS has a massive power of more than 10000 BTUs and is made with premium materials to give your exterior décor a perfect style and premium feel. It features commercial-quality and sturdy components and a premium finish that is fade, rust, and corrosion-resistant.
Portable and lightweight, this exceptional heater is great for use on your patio or pool deck, wedding, restaurant, or any other outdoor event.
- Massive power
- Portable & Lightweight
- Easy to use
#6.Palos Design Outdoor Electric Patio Heater
- Tip-over protection system for safety.
- Weighted base for stability.
- Uses regular household current
The Palos Design Outdoor Electric Patio Heater brings a whole new revolution in outdoor heating. It runs on regular household electric current and is significantly less costly to use than conventional gas patio heaters.
It can be used both outdoors and indoors and also has a weighted base for extra stability.
- Can be used both outdoors and indoors
- Has extra stability
#7.Ljings Tabletop Patio Heater
- Stainless Steel Finish
- Impressive Heat Output
- Safety Design
- Variable Heat Control Knob
- Wheels for Smooth Mobility
Ljings Tabletop Patio Heater is a heavy-duty yet gorgeous heating appliance that provides perfect outdoor entertainment. It’s sturdy, durable, attractive, and just takes a simple push of the button to light up, thanks to its user-friendly piezo ignition system.
The heat control knob of Ljings Tabletop Patio Heater allows for high and low heat settings and for switching the heater completely off at the end of the evening.
- Perfect for big spaces
- Easy to move around
- Safe and Easy to use
So that’s it. Reviews of patio heaters for you to make the best judgment. Whether you are after style, ambiance, or more heat, there’s a tabletop patio heater that will fit all your needs.
Make sure to check the specifications and buy the one that works best for you and relish your outdoor gatherings even more.
Also, check the best side burners to take your cooking to next level!
What makes a Good Tabletop Heater?
The heat output of a tabletop patio heater is measured in terms of BTUs for propane heaters and kWh for electric heaters. Smaller propane tabletop heaters range between 3000 and 12000 BTU output which is generally sufficient for 5-6 people on a table.
The height of the propane burner whether it has a mushroom design or a reflector can also affect how much heat you feel.
A BTU of 10000 is roughly equal to 3.0 kWh and most electric tabletop patio heaters have an average of 1500 watt heaters. This doesn’t mean that a gas patio heater provides two times the heat, it just means that more energy is consumed.
Area of Coverage
Before buying a tabletop patio heater, keep in mind the size of the area in which you’ll be keeping it. Is your patio large or small? Is it going to be placed in an open yard or a covered outdoor area? What’s the size of the table?
Most brands will specify the area a heater can reach, just make sure that it’s big enough for your dining area.
Most tabletop heaters are designed in such a way that they give out heat in a full 360-degree direction but an oscillating feature spreads the heat further.
Tabletop heaters are naturally very portable and easy to move around the patio. They weigh as less than 10 kgs even with the 500 gm propane tank installed inside.
If you desire to take your tabletop patio heater on the road with you, just make sure that you can dismantle it easily or adjust the height for storage. Smaller electrical heaters which are more ideal for road trips are also available in the market.
Wherever there’s high heat and fire, there’s a chance of accidents. A lot of patio heaters come with certain safety features that lower the risk. So let’s take a look at the safety features the manufacturers tend to give.
Shut Off Valves and Stability
When buying a free-standing tabletop patio heater, it’s critical that it has a shut-off valve that will cut power if it’s tilted by any chance. Most tabletop heaters have some kind of weighted base for stability but accidents still happen sometimes.
Another important safety feature to consider in a gas model is a safety valve that turns off the gas in case it fails to ignite, or if the flame runs out.
Cables and Hoses
If you have an electric tabletop heater, make sure that the cable is long enough to be hidden away securely. A lot of propane heaters let an additional hose be installed for connecting it to a large propane tank.
Just make sure that the base is stable enough for a long hose.
In the last six years, accidents related to fire or outdoor patio heaters have risen like anything. That’s why extra guards around the infrared heating elements or propane burner can help hands to stay away a bit.
Hot Outside Cool Inside
Finally, make sure that the base of the patio heater is developed in such a way that it doesn’t get hotter than required.
Some tabletop heaters, especially the less priced ones, may use cheap materials which can lead to this problem.
How much Light it Generates
One of the most appealing features of an outdoor patio heater, be it freestanding or tabletop is the ambient light it produces. It might not be enough to read a book or do something productive but as it is so close to your face, the intensity of light is just right.
The flicker of a propane burner is too atmospheric sometimes, with some tabletop patio heaters use a flame for a decorative feel. In comparison, some infrared heaters are extremely red which can unsettle your eyes if you get them too close to it.
Build Durability and Quality
When buying a tabletop patio heater, don’t forget to consider the area you live in. Humid or wetter climates need a hardwearing material for their manufacture. Drier and inland climates suffice with aluminum or steel.
No matter how much the durability, the tabletop heaters shouldn’t be left outside throughout the year, especially the electric ones.
Many manufacturers also recommend disconnecting the source of gas between use to avoid its leakage. However, if you do want to leave the tabletop heater outside, always put it on a sturdy surface and buy a high-quality cover to protect it from damage.
If you buy a painted model, make sure to get it heavy-duty coating or enameled to make it last longer. Also, check whether the surface can be reworked with paint or not, if so what kind of paint will be good.
In addition to the standard warranty, make sure to check what is offered by the manufacturer. Those who offer a long-term warranty will have more confidence in their product and can inspire the trust of the customer more easily.
Most tabletop patio heaters have at least a 12-month service and parts warranty, although higher-quality models have up to 5 years of warranty.
Price and Value
A gas tabletop heater is generally cheaper than an electric heater and offers better value. The connecting regulator and hose is built into the heater unit and lasts for several years if maintained properly.
Electric tabletop patio heaters are pricier due to the infrared bulbs and filaments they use. After long use, the infrared radiation becomes less effective and requires replacing which can get as costly as the heater itself.
Extra expenses for electric tabletop patio heaters include additional power sockets installation – safer and more preferable than extension wires over the patio.