If you find yourself retreating inside when temperatures start to drop but wish you could continue enjoying your outdoor space, an infrared electric patio heater might be the solution.
These special heaters are perfect for open-air living and produce a gentle, radiant heat that keeps the entire space warm and cozy.
How does an infrared heater work?
A patio infrared heater uses electricity to heat a bar-shaped heating element and then infrared radiation to spread that warmth to the space around it.
They come in many different types including quartz and ceramic and are a great choice for outdoors because of their gentle but effective heat distribution.
Infrared patio heaters are a popular way to keep warm in the winter and if you live somewhere that gets cold enough to send you inside, they’re a welcome addition to any outdoor space.
We’ve compiled this buying guide with some infrared patio heater reviews to show you what the best of the best looks like, and to help you narrow down your search.
Our Recommendations for the Best Infrared Patio Heater
A quality heater is worth its weight in gold during winter, and it’s even better when you can stay warm but still enjoy the joys of outdoor entertaining.
These are our top picks and the best outdoor electric infrared patio heaters on the market today, so you know which direction to go.
Winner: Key Tek Patio Heater
- Heating Method: Convection
- Heat Output: 1500W
- Color: Black/Silver
Key Tek has created one of the best infrared patio heaters on the market, with their 1500W wall-mounted model, coming with everything you need to install it.
The heater itself measures 26.77 x 7.09 x 5.91 inches and uses radiant convection heating to keep you warm, with three settings so you get the right amount of warmth you need.
The best thing about this heater is that it has all of the features that you’d expect in a good wall-mounted infrared patio heater, but at a fraction of the price.
Customers loved how affordable the Key Tek was and when you consider the cost and everything it’s capable of, it’s one of the best deals on the market today.
Another bonus is how quickly it heats the room and how that heat stays close by without dissipating, with some people stating they felt a difference in just a few seconds.
Those who live in cold climates will appreciate having this instant warmth whenever they turn on their Key Tek and it means you can head straight outside, turn on the heater, and enjoy some outdoor entertaining.
Unfortunately, there’s not a lot on offer here in terms of instructions, with many other reviewers stating they had to figure things out themselves during installation and using the heater.
You don’t get a lot of help from Key Tek, which isn’t ideal when you’re dealing with a new appliance, so if you’re unsure you’ll have to jump online and do your research.
Additionally, there were some comments about the length of the power cord, so you’ll want to check out your patio set up and where the nearest electrical socket is to make sure this isn’t a problem.
Of course, you can always add an extension lead, but this just adds unnecessary clutter and can make your patio unsafe.
The Key Tek Patio Heater can be adjusted within a 90-degree angle and is mounted on the wall using the mounting hardware provided.
The three heat settings of 500W, 1000W, and 1500W are adjusted using the knob, and it has a low profile that means the heater will only stick out of the wall around 5.9 inches.
As well as providing heat, the infrared device and golden tub provide UV radiation which has a disinfectant effect, so it’s good for your health as well.
If you want the best outdoor infrared patio heater without the high price tag, the Key Tek is one of our favorites.
This fast-heating device makes it easy to enjoy your outdoor space during winter, and it’s available online at Amazon with free shipping and free returns.
Key Tek covers this with a one year warranty and you can purchase an additional protection plan from Amazon, so it’s a smart investment for any patio.
Runner Up: Pamapic Patio Heater
- Heating Method: Radiant
- Heat Output: 1500W
- Color: Black/Black and Silver
The Pamapic Patio Heater is another choice for the best infrared outdoor patio heater measuring a more compact size of 27.16 x 3.15 x 7.09 inches.
This wall-mounted heater works in one second, provides 1500W of heating power and is covered with an IP55 waterproof case, for your peace of mind.
One of the most convenient features of this heater is that it comes with a 6ft power cord attached, so you have more options over how you use it.
Looking at some of the other infrared heaters out there, this is a welcome feature, and it means you can set up your new heater more safely on your patio.
Another bonus is the speed at which this will heat up your patio, with Pamapic claiming just one second response time, and customers agreeing.
There’s no need to wait for the heat to start spreading or the fan to kick in, as it uses radiant energy to warm the room, and it’ll work just as well even in freezing conditions.
However, some setbacks lost the Pamapic Patio Heater points, and the biggest one is that there’s only one heat setting.
As the heater is mounted to the wall, it’s not as if you can just move it around to try and reduce how much warmth it’s producing, so be prepared to change your furniture if it’s blowing too hot on you.
Another issue that might not make it suitable is its size, and when you hold it up against others we’ve reviewed, it’s pretty compact.
Having something this small means you might require two to get the job done, especially on larger patios, but since there’s only one setting and no way to adjust how much heat it’s making, you need to factor in this as well.
The Pamapic Patio Heater comes with four screws and a backing mount to put it on the wall, as well as detailed instructions.
This heater is easy to manage with its own remote control that features an on and off button, and it comes in either a black or black and silver design, both with a rose gold tube inside for heating.
If you don’t mind a heater with only one setting, there’s so much else to love about the Pamapic.
This patio heater doesn’t come with a warranty, unfortunately, but Amazon will cover you with free returns for 30 days and ship it to your door for no cost.
The Pamapic Patio Heater is fast, effective, and compact, making it perfect for warming a petite outdoor space.
Alternative: Sunday Living Patio Heater
- Heating Method: Radiant
- Heat Output: 1500W
- Color: Black
Sunday Living’s Patio Heater is a powerful and sleek device, perfect for smaller spaces.
There are three heat settings to choose from including 500W, 1000W, and 1500W so you can get the temperature just right.
The golden tube inside the infrared heater will last for around 6,000 hours of use which is impressive, and the outer cover is made of a black aluminum casing which gives it more durability.
The waterproofing of this heater is a higher rating than others, and if your patio is exposed to the elements or you’re worried about moisture reaching your new appliance, it’s a smart buy.
Although you can’t leave it out directly in the rain, it’s protected from some moisture, and you won’t have to second guess whether it’s okay in wild weather.
Another huge bonus is the safety of this heater, and if you’re concerned about using electric heaters because of the fire risk, you’ll love this as well.
The Sunday Living Patio Heater comes with overheating protection that automatically turns off the power when it gets over a certain temperature, so even if it’s left on accidentally or something goes wrong with it, it knows what to do.
However, adjusting the angle of this heater isn’t as easy as nudging it.
You’ll need to remove two of the screws and then change its direction if you want the heat to blow somewhere else, which is kind of a letdown.
This would have been a great feature to have on the remote or even to do manually without first having to take it off the mounting plate.
Just one of these heaters will cover around 15 square feet so it’s not the largest in this regard either. However, it would be a good fit for smaller patios that still want the option to change the heat setting.
You can purchase two, but when you add up the costs, it might be smarter to get one with a bigger range if this sounds like the type of patio you need to warm.
The Sunday Living Patio Heater comes with a remote control that lets you adjust the three power settings, and it can be adjusted to an angle of 45 degrees.
The wall-mounted heater comes with all of the hardware required to get the job done and detailed instructions, taking just a few minutes to set up.
This heater comes with a one year manufacturer’s warranty, but no free returns from Amazon.
However, when you buy it from the online marketplace, they will ship it to your door for free, so you can start enjoying your Sunday Living Patio Heater sooner.
If you have a small patio but varying temperatures, this compact infrared patio heater is the perfect fit.
Alternative: Jiyu Outdoor Infrared Heater
- Heating Method: Radiant
- Heat Output: 1500W
- Color: White/Silver/Black
The Jiyu Outdoor Infrared Heater is a larger wall-mounted unit with dimensions of 30.31 x 7.09 x 5.91, making it perfect for big patios and outdoor spaces.
This heater comes in three different colors of white, silver, and black, and each of them is capable of three heat settings between 500W and 1500W of power.
The best thing about this heater is that it’s larger than most which means it covers more ground.
If you’ve been thinking about buying two heaters to cover your patio, this one alone might be enough, and could save you a lot of money in the process.
Using a radiant heating method, it tends to cover more ground, and you won’t feel cold spots like other fan-powered heaters often create.
Another great feature of the Jiyu Heater is that it comes with two LED lights on the outside of the heater, so you’re effectively getting two products in one.
This adds a gentle ambiance to your outdoor entertaining space and means you can save some energy by powering up just one appliance.
However, unlike the other heaters we’ve reviewed, the Jiyu Outdoor Infrared Heater doesn’t seem to be rated as waterproofed or weather-resistant, so you’ll want to keep it away from rain and snow.
This might not be a bother for patios that are enclosed, but if you want to be sure your heater won’t malfunction if a little bit of water hits it, others offer this feature.
Another setback was the settings of the remote and how they only let you change whether the LED lights would run at the same time as the heater.
Having the option to change the heat output would have been better, so if you want to make it warmer, you’ll need to get up off your comfy chair and do it by hand.
Furthermore, it has a pull switch to turn it on and off that seems a little dated.
These problems aside, the Jiyu Outdoor Infrared Heater is quiet and effective and uses a gold heating tube and thermal light to keep you warm.
The adjustable mounting bracket can be removed to adjust where the heat goes and change its angle, and it’s all easily installed in just a few minutes when it arrives.
The Jiyu Outdoor Infrared Heater might be missing some minor features but it does an amazing job of heating large spaces.
This heater comes with a one-year warranty from the manufacturer, and if you buy it through Amazon, they’ll also give you the option to return it for free and purchase a four year protection plan.
Overall, this is a quiet and effective way to get cozy in winter, and without having to rely on two separate heaters to do it.
Best Hanging Patio Heater: Xionggg Hanging Patio Heater
- Heating Method: Convection
- Heat Output: 1500W
- Color: Silver
For the best infrared heater for patio setups where a hanging model is desired, check out the unique design from Xionggg.
This 1500W heater produces convection heat from above and warms gently, with an 8.2-inch adjustable chain and overall measurements of 11.4 x 16.7 inches.
There are three settings of 600W, 900W, and 1500W to enjoy, and you can reach the desired heat just by using the control panel on the heater.
What customers loved about this patio heater was how quietly it operated and if you’ve used a fan-powered heater in the past, this will be a major turning point.
Even at its strongest, running with 1500W of power, you won’t hear a thing, and the whole outdoor space will warm up gently.
Having the heater up high and installed on the ceiling is also good peace of mind, and it’s a safer way to stay warm.
There’s less chance of someone touching it and getting burned or even being shocked, and it has a tip-over function that will turn it off immediately in case it falls over or comes loose.
However, you can expect the heat to take a little longer to reach the room when compared to wall-mounted heaters with changeable angles.
Rather than just a few seconds response time, the Xionggg Hanging Patio Heater takes a few minutes to start cranking, and if you’re someone with little patience for cold weather, this won’t appeal to you.
Another issue is that it was a little harder to install than the wall-mounted types and people had some issues during setup.
Even though Xionggg provided everything you need including hardware and detailed instructions, there’s a lot of moving parts to consider.
Most importantly, you’ll have to determine the best height to have the chain so that it hangs safely overhead but still provides everyone on the patio the right amount of heat, which makes it a bit of a balancing act when you compare it to a wall-mounted design.
The Xionggg Hanging Patio Heater uses a fanless design and heating element to do the job and works inside and out just as well.
With an all-steel housing and IPX44 waterproof and dustproof rating, you never have to give a second thought to its wellbeing when you keep it outside and on your patio.
If you prefer the look and feel of a hanging heater, the Xiongg is our favorite and a great deal.
This heater is available online at Amazon, comes with a one year warranty, and you get the option of purchasing a protection plan that gives you even more cover.
Although a little slow to get going, once you have your Xiongg running, you’ll be enveloped in warmness no matter the weather outside.
Infrared Patio Heater FAQs
The best infrared heater for patio and outside use will depend on your setup at home and the other features that you want from this warmth provider.
To help you learn a little more about these heaters so you can make the best choice and find the right features, we’ve answered some commonly asked questions about them.
Are Infrared Patio Heaters Expensive To Run?
An infrared heater requires electricity to operate but depending on its size and wattage, the energy consumption of each model will differ.
Most range from 650W to 2000W, and although the lower end of the scale is less powerful, it might not have energy-efficient features that make it cheaper to run.
What Outdoor Heater Gives Off The Most Heat?
A radiant heater is better at heating the area directly in front of it, but a fan-powered heater will blow the air further even it the warmth is slightly diluted in the process.
Radiant heaters can come in different types like gas or electricity-powered so it also depends on its construction and other design features as to what will give off the most heat.
Do Patio Heaters Work In Winter?
Yes, patio heaters are designed specifically for winter and to be used outside in areas like patios.
However, care should be taken not to let the heater be exposed to moisture like from snow or rain, as this will cause serious damage, especially if you own an electricity-powered patio heater.
Which Is Better, Fire Pit Or Patio Heater?
A patio heater is generally the better choice for heating this type of outdoor space as they’re safer, provide radiant heat, and can reach a larger area.
However, a fire pit might be more appealing for entertaining and the design factor, which might be preferred in areas where a powerful heater isn’t required.
Warm Any Outdoor Space With Ease
The effortless warming powers of an infrared patio heater are your ticket to an enjoyable and comfortable winter, without having to give up the benefits of your favorite outdoor space.
With our top picks and some understanding of what to look for in an infrared heater, you’ll never have to go inside just to stay warm again.