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HomeTechnologyBest patio heaters 2022: Electric and energy-efficient options

Best patio heaters 2022: Electric and energy-efficient options


Whether you’re looking to warm up an outside space, small shed or large patio, outdoor heaters allow you to entertain, work, or just chill out with a glass of something seasonal in the fresh air.

You can choose between an electric infrared or gas heater. The former is becoming much more popular, thanks to their efficiency, and the fact that they instantly start pumping out warmth at whoever is in range of the radiated heat, so very little is wasted.

Gas heaters, on the other hand, convert all their energy into heating the air, so if there is a sudden gust of wind you could temporarily feel the chill, but they often warm a larger area so can be good for larger gatherings.

Obviously, we needed heaters with the ability to warm a group of people in the garden, and for that heat to be easily controllable so that we didn’t end up having to socialise in extremes of temperature, spending time in conversation rather than constantly fiddling with dials, switches and remotes.

Stability was also a concern when we were looking at the heaters, because you’re dealing with a heat source and you can’t always rely on patios, paving and grass to be perfectly flat, so we looked at how little we would need to worry about standalone heaters staying that way, especially in gusty winds.

Finally, we looked at what kind of glow the heater was emitting and whether it was pleasant to be around – suffice to say, any heater that required sunglasses didn’t make the edit.

How we tested

Unfortunately, there are still plenty of supply issues with patio heaters, as manufacturers try and recover from the surge in demand that came from last year’s second national lockdown. To try and counter this, we toured garden centres throughout a cold, windy November to see what was currently available, and tested the heaters in outside demo areas on a group of five people to see how effectively we all felt toasty and whether there were any cold spots. Like a moth to a flame, these were the winter warmers that we were drawn to.

The best patio heaters for 2022 are:

  • Best patio heater – Swan al fresco SH16310N patio heater: £149.99,
  • Best mounted heater – Gtech heatwave patio heater: £149.99,
  • Best for a view – AZ patio heater HLDS01-CGTHG: £239.90,
  • Best for smaller patios – Heatlab free standing patio heater: £64.99,
  • Best hanging heater – Kettler kalos plus pendant heater: £225,
  • Best tabletop heater – Martello HF-35 mini heater: £79.95,
  • Best for design –  Planika lighthouse gas patio heater: £960,
  • Best for big groups – Shadow diffusion table top heater: £191.99,
  • Best for overhead heat – Herschel Hawaii wave: £599,
  • Best free-standing heater – Enders commercial patio heater: £475,

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