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10 Best Outdoor Electric Heaters for 2022

If you’re starting to feel the chill in your garden, or out on the patio this autumn, it’s worth considering an outdoor electric heater. Gardens are there to be enjoyed all year round, no matter what the weather.

So, in our guide to electric and infrared heaters below we’ll run through some of our favourite heaters, and pit them against their gas, and wood-burning rivals.

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Outdoor Electric Heaters Ratings Chart

Product


Our Rating

Price

1. Star Patio Outdoor Ceiling Electric Heater

Star Patio Outdoor Electric Heater
Top Rated Best Outdoor Electric Heater in Australia

2. Lenoxx Free-Standing Outdoor Electric Heater

Lenoxx Outdoor Electric Heater
Best Value Outdoor Electric Heater in Australia

3. SFSGH Freestanding Outdoor Infrared Heater

SFSGH Outdoor Infrared Heater
Premium Choice Outdoor Electric Heater in Australia

4. SereneLife Outdoor Electric Heater Stand 

SereneLife Outdoor Electric Heater

5. Maxkon 360° Outdoor Electric Heater 

Maxkon Outdoor Electric Heater

6. Dreamaker Faux Fur Electric Heated Coral Fleece

Dreamaker Faux Fur Electric Coral Fleece

7. Briza Hanging Outdoor Electric Heater

Briza Outdoor Electric Heater

8. ZYR Outdoor Electric Parasol Heater

ZYR Patio Parasol Heater

9. ZRXRY Electric Patio Infrared Heater

ZRXRY Electric Infrared Heater

10. Devanti Outdoor Radiant Heater Strips

Devanti Outdoor Radiant Heater

Outdoor Electric Heaters Buyers' Guide

What is an Outdoor Electric Heater?

What is an Outdoor Electric Heater

Outdoor electric heaters are mains powered heat lamps that quickly warm up outdoor spaces, usually with directional heat. While they consume more energy than gas burners or wood burners, they are more efficient in that they heat areas more directly, and use cleaner energy to run.

Pubs, beach bars, and even modern outdoor kitchens are typically fitted with electric heaters as safer alternatives to gas patio heaters. 

How Do Infrared Heaters Work?

Electric patio heaters heat lamps or elements using electricity. That electricity is then radiated through the air by electromagnetic waves until it hits an object or is cooled. 

Radiation of heat in this way is more efficient over shorter areas as it pumps heat further than convection and conduction heaters which slowly heat objects, and warm the air around them more slowly.

This is why, when you stand near an electric heater it can feel intensely warm while the back of the heating appliance may just be slightly warm to touch.

What to Look For When Buying Infrared Heaters

A man and woman using an outdoor electric heater

Source: amazon.com.au

When buying outdoor electric heaters they are almost all infrared, which means they all use the same technology, and are roughly as efficient as each other.

That means there’s really not much to separate the different models of patio heaters and it’s hard to give a definitive “best outdoor electric heater” in that respect.

Really, what you’re looking for is how they work, and what they look like because outdoor heaters are as much a fashion statement as they are a practical tool to keep warm.

Choosing an electric outdoor heater by size

There are so many different types of patio heaters out there so, to know which is the best infrared heater for your garden, you need to consider how many people you’re likely to entertain, and the size of your space. 

For larger spaces, you’ll naturally need a larger heater, but for intimate gardens, you can consider cosier patio lighting with infrared heating as a bonus rather than the main feature, or even a cosy electric blanket that works just as well to keep you warm in the upcoming winter nights as any radiation heater.

Choosing an outdoor electric heater by power

While most electric patio heaters are roughly the same power, there are one or two considerations. Our table below gives a guide to heat vs space, but first, it’s important to explain that most outdoor heaters are sold under BTU* (British Thermal Unit) ratings.

*1 kW is equal to 3412 BTU/h

Patio size

Thermal rating required

< 150 sq.ft

< 5,000 BTU

150 – 400 sq.ft

5,000 – 1,000 BTU

400 – 500 sq.ft

10,000 – 12,000 BTU

500 – 700 sq.ft

12,000 – 18,000 BTU

700 – 1000 sq.ft

18,000 – 25,000 BTU

1000 – 1500 sq.ft

25,000 – 30,000 BTU

1500 sq.ft <

30,000 BTU

How to Install an Outdoor Electric Heater

Best Outdoor Electric Heater Reviews

Infrared heaters are much safer than gas heaters as knocks won’t cause gas spillages, or spread fires as easily. With that said, it’s still important to install your outdoor electric heaters properly, whether that means attaching them to permanent wall fixings or making sure they are on level ground.

There are many different styles of electric heaters available from parasol heaters, to hanging lamps, but all have one thing in common – a wire! Make sure any cables for your electric heater are safely covered. 

This prevents trips from knocking over your heat lamp, but also any accidents with garden tools that might cut through the wire and cause shocks, or just break the appliance.

All electric heaters come with installation instructions, and they should be followed to the letter.

Outdoor Electric Heaters Safety Guide

Outdoor Electric Heaters Safety Guide

Most outdoor electric heaters can be used outdoors all year round, provided they are used under a canopy, but some models should only be used in dry weather, or under cover.

Remember that the heating unit is essentially electricity passing through a heated element, so water can blow fuses pretty quickly, unlike gas heaters. In terms of ongoing maintenance for your electric outdoor heaters, the best indicator is energy efficiency. 

If they start using higher power consumption (check your smart metre for live kW/h data) then they probably need their bulb replaced. The same goes for any indication of lower temperatures, or dimmer lights.

Best Outdoor Electric Heater Reviews

1. Star Patio Outdoor Ceiling Electric Heater

Star Patio Outdoor Ceiling Electric Heater

Source: amazon.com.au

If there’s one thing you don’t want in an outdoor kitchen, it’s a freestanding heater getting in your way, so wall mounted or ceiling mounted heaters are the only choice.

I love these retro-looking ceiling lamps from Star Patio, which give off a gorgeous glow from their halogen tubes, at the same time as focussed infrared heat up to 1500W, but as gentle at 700W on the lowest setting to make outside more comfortable, without being overly warm.

These patio heaters are fully waterproof, but they should really be installed under a ceiling anyway, so are unlikely to get wet.

Pros

  • Effective and direct heating for large spaces
  • Perfect for outdoor kitchens
  • Great retro style
  • Remote control for easy operation
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Expensive, compared to simple wall-mounted models

2. Lenoxx Free-Standing Outdoor Electric Heater

Lenoxx Free-Standing Outdoor Electric Heater

Source: amazon.com.au

Lenoxx specialise in budget electricals but don’t skimp on quality. Their infrared heater is one of the best outdoor electric heaters you can buy if you’re on a budget, with a rotating head that tilts to suit different patio set ups, and a weighted base to help prevent tipping.

When I saw the price of the Lenoxx heater I expected it to lack the safety features of most other brands, but this heater comes with a tip-over switch on top of its simple design, which is a great bonus if you’re worried about kids and pets knocking over your appliances.

Because the head of this free-standing lamp can be removed, you also have the option to install it as a wall-mounted heater under a veranda, or as part of an outdoor kitchen in winter, making it one of our most versatile heaters on review here.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Tip over switch for safety
  • Can be wall-mounted, or free standing
  • Adjustable height
  • Can be angled to heat certain areas better
  • Splash proof

Cons

  • Looks a bit boring

3. SFSGH Freestanding Outdoor Infrared Heater

SFSGH Freestanding Outdoor Infrared Heater

Source: amazon.com.au

Outdoor heating has a second function that we often overlook. Outdoor electric heaters double up as ambient lighting, providing a warm glow in the garden right into the evening.

Some manufacturers have overlooked that, and continue to produce fairly run of the mill outdoor radiant heaters, but SFSGH, despite being a completely unknown, amazon-only brand, have clocked on to the fact that we want beauty in our heating appliances, not just heat.

These gorgeous, weatherproof, outdoor electric heaters are perfect for autumn evenings on the patio.

Pros

  • Beautiful
  • Tip over switch for safety
  • Efficient downward heating
  • Easy to adjust the height

Cons

  • Expensive

4. SereneLife Outdoor Electric Heater Stand 

SereneLife Outdoor Electric Heater Stand

Source: amazon.com.au

SereneLife’s outdoor stand heater is, visually, as basic as it comes but with a few interesting updates on old fashioned stand heaters, including better waterproofing making it easier to maintain, and a remote control so you don’t need to get right up in its grill (literally) to turn it off.

And in defence of the very conservative aesthetic, which looks more like it’s been designed by the electrician than a product designer, many gardeners just want something functional that blends into the background without being a talking point in itself.

So having a simple, basic looking heat lamp that’s functional can be a great option to less flashy gardeners, and alfresco chefs, who just want the heat, without the flash.

Pros

  • 1500W is ideal for most patios
  • Remote control
  • Tip over switch for safety

Cons

  • Incredibly dull looking. Clearly designed for a purpose, but not for beauty
  • More expensive than comparable heaters

5. Maxkon 360° Outdoor Infrared Heater 

Maxkon 360° Outdoor Electric Heater

Source: amazon.com.au

Infrared tower heaters are actually pretty hard to come by, because the main advantage of infrared is usually that it’s directional, and can be reflected back out of the lamp to avoid wasted heat. With that in mind, it’s actually pretty unusual to find a heater like this by Maxkon, but I’m glad we’ve found it.

For more casual evenings, these 360 infrared heaters give off a much more ambient heat, without forcing their energy out in a single direction, which can create a much more comfortable environment.

The Maxkon tower heater reminds me of a fire pit in many ways too. Its soft heat works for everyone and anyone sitting around it, so feels much more informal than stand lamps, or wall-mounted heating, making it perfect for casual evenings with friends.

Pros

  • Looks great
  • Cosy campfire-style 360 heating
  • Easy to use
  • 200W will heat large patios
  • Dedicated brand, with different styles to choose from

Cons

  • More expensive than others

6. Dreamaker Faux Fur Electric Heated Coral Fleece

Dreamaker Faux Fur Electric Heated Coral Fleece

Source: amazon.com.au

You know we love a curveball at Aussie Green thumb, so for those of you who don’t like the idea of stand lamps, infrared, and permanently fixing heaters to walls, then this is the ideal snuggly choice for you.

Dreamaker’s heated blanket is fully machine washable, remote-controlled, and folds away surprisingly well so barely takes up any space at all, but most of all, it’s the perfect outdoor heater for anyone just wanting to cuddle up on a cool autumn night on the patio, watching the garden go to sleep.

Pros

  • Incredibly comfortable
  • Perfect for cosy evenings
  • Machine washable
  • Easy to use
  • Great for storage

Cons

  • Won’t heat more than 1-2 people

7. Briza Hanging Outdoor Electric Heater

Briza Hanging Outdoor Electric Heater

Source: amazon.com.au

A more modern take on the hanging patio heater, is the outdoor heat lamp from Briza, with a sleek remote control, and 1500W of heat that goes from cold to warm in under 3 seconds.

These heaters are incredibly easy to install too, with simple plugs that work with carabiner clips for attaching the ceiling, and plug & play cables that make them instantly enjoyable.

Pros

  • Easy to install
  • Heats up quickly
  • Effective space heating (1500W)

Cons

  • More expensive than similar models
  • Just one temperature setting

8. ZYR Outdoor Electric Parasol Heater

ZYR Electric Patio Parasol Heater

Source: amazon.com

Parasol heaters always remind me of the 90s, towering over pub gardens even when it was warm out, just because the landlords wanted to show off their latest kit. But somehow, that wow factor hasn’t been lost on parasol eaters. They still seem like space-age attachments to parasols, floating seamlessly above tables giving off just enough heat.

But today, these heaters come with adjustable settings and remote controls, so they are substantially more advanced than they were in the 90s.

Their three-way heating panels are ideal for parties, giving radiant heat in 360 degrees, similar to 360 heaters, but much more efficient.

Pros

  • Great traditional patio heater
  • Heats up quickly
  • Easy to install
  • Rainproof & easy to maintain
  • Incredibly warm (2000W)

Cons

  • Expensive (but very effective)

9. ZRXRY Electric Patio Infrared Heater

ZRXRY Electric Patio Infrared Heater

Source: amazon.com.au

There are dozens of budget electrical brands selling really innovative products at the moment, so you don’t need to spend branded prices to get the best outdoor electric heater. Take this latest model from ZRXRY, which integrates modern fan heating with ceramic infrared heating for maximum efficiency, using 1500W to heat spaces just as quickly as 2000W lamps.

And what’s more, they look great too, with modern casings that make them look like any other stand lamp in your house and a well-insulated case so you can control them at the touch of a button without any risk of burning yourself.

Pros

  • Auto tip-over switch for safety
  • Looks sleek and modern
  • Effective heating (1500W)
  • Easy to install
  • Less likely to tip than taller styles

Cons

  • Ceramic heating elements are less efficient than modern elements

10. Devanti Outdoor Radiant Heater Strips

Devanti Outdoor Radiant Heater Strips

Source: qubyk.com

For anyone wanting to heat up an outdoor kitchen as crisply as possible, the trick is to keep things simple. Don’t go all-in for hanging lamps and stand lamps, and avoid anything rounded (it’s a simple but effective design trick). Just follow the existing lines of your space, and use parallels.

These simple strip lamps are really easy to install and can be used outdoors, or in covered spaces, but are most effective as part of an outdoor kitchen, producing 3000W of heat, which is more than enough to heat an entire outdoor kitchen, and even the patio beyond it.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Easy to install
  • Very effective heating (3000W)
  • Discrete heating for outdoor kitchens

Cons

  • Too warm for small patios

Our Top Picks for the Best Outdoor Electric Heater

Top Rated Outdoor Electric Heater

Top Rated Best Outdoor Electric Heater in Australia
Star Patio Outdoor Ceiling Electric Heater

Source: amazon.com.au

The ambient light given off by these heaters is truly beautiful, providing styles as well as comfort. For me, that’s what makes the best outdoor electric heater.

They don’t need tip switches, and they’re safe to use outdoors even in bad weather, so other than severe rainstorms, these can be kept outdoors in Australia pretty much all year round.

Patio heaters are usually pretty ugly things, so I’m thrilled we’ve found these great heat lamps, and hopefully they’ll add some style to your patio or outdoor kitchen too.

Best Value Outdoor Electric Heater

Best Value Cast Outdoor Electric Heater in Australia
Lenoxx Free-Standing Outdoor Electric Heater

Source: amazon.com.au

For the average gardener, an outdoor heater is just a tool – a way to stay warm. Heaters don’t need to be beautiful, and while it’s always better if they are, sometimes, warmth is enough in itself.

If you’re happy with an average looking heater, this powerful freestanding heater is a versatile infrared heater that will keep you warmer than most other models. It might not look like much, but it gets the job done!

Premium Choice Outdoor Electric Heater

Premium Choice Outdoor Electric Heater in Australia
SFSGH Freestanding Outdoor Infrared Heater

Source: amazon.com.au

If you’re willing to spend a little bit more on a really good looking heater, then this down-facing outdoor heater is perfect for autumn and winter nights in the garden. Its safety features are second to none and go to show that it’s not just the best brands that can make the best products. 

Manufacturers are quickly learning that consumers know what they’re looking for, and if they can’t find it through major brands, then the factories will start making themselves.

This is a brilliant example of the global market and the sort of products that come out of it. If you’ve got the budget, these standing heaters are our best outdoor electric heaters in a premium range by a long way.

Outdoor Electric Heater FAQs

Do outdoor electric heaters work well?

Outdoor electric heaters, unlike gas, used radiant heat to warm their surroundings. That means that all of their heat is directed to the right place, without wasting energy heating up walls, and shrubs behind them.

Do outdoor electric heaters use a lot of electricity?

Halogen and ceramic heaters can be incredibly high power consumers but are typically only sold as greenhouse and garage heaters today. Most infrared heaters use up to 40% less energy than their old fashioned counterparts so are much more energy efficient.

How warm are outdoor electric heaters?

Outdoor electric heaters typically increase the surrounding ambient temperature by around 5 degrees. If you sit directly in front of them, they can be pretty uncomfortable but by raising the ambient temperature of an outdoor space, it creates a more comfortable environment to be in.

Can outdoor electric heaters be left out in the rain?

Outdoor electric heaters and infrared heaters are electrical appliances and should be protected from rain, snow, and high humidity, but most modern models are designed to be kept under a canopy, either in outdoor kitchens or under parasols, so are safe to use after a light rain. Ideally, they should be stored indoors when not in use.

If you are curious and would like to look into gas heaters, see our product review and buying guide on the best gas outdoor heaters for 2022.

Heat Up Your Patio with the Best Outdoor Electric Heaters for 2022

While outdoor electric heaters might only raise the ambient temperature by around five degrees, it can be the difference between a comfortable evening, and a patio that’s too cold to use at all.

If you plan on using your garden in winter, it’s well worth considering a new outdoor electric heater for that reason, and that reason alone.

Gardens aren’t meant to be a challenge, they’re meant to be a joy, so if you’re going to spend money on your outdoor space, spend it wisely and buy the best outdoor heater you can afford.

Best Outdoor Electric Heaters

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Author:

Gary Clarke

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