8 Best Fire Pits For Patios & Decks of 2021
Many homeowners and home dwellers make good use of their yards by purchasing patio furniture and barbecue grills to use in the warmer months.
However, many backyards sit abandoned by the time autumn rolls around and the weather gets cooler.
If staying inside cooped up has taught people anything, it's that they should make good use of outdoor space all year round.
Whether it’s because of the gentle smoke of a fire or the warmth that comes with it, there’s something primally pretty about having a fire pit or heater that you can lounge around by.
Of course, finding a good one can be hard. While you can always do the DIY route, most of us want convenience. And ease of use.
And to not have to source fire pit bricks just so they can get the firepit they want. In a world where bad products are a dime a dozen, we decided to work on finding the best heaters that you can buy in a pinch.
Hicks Steel Wood Burning Fire Pit: Best Space-Saving Full-Size Fire Pit
The Hicks Steel Wood Burning Fire Pit by Arlmont & Co. is a great economical choice for those looking to save not just on price but also space.
Not everyone's yard is spacious enough to hold a barbecue grill, patio furniture, and a fire pit. The Hicks turns right into a fire pit once you're all done grilling.
It's easy to convert your hardwood logs into a real hardwood charcoal for your barbecue for extra flavor.
The Hicks also comes with a spark screen so no one gets hit with stray embers.
A unique feature is the rectangular shape of the fire pit.
It not only saves on space, since the more traditional ones are round and take up more room, but it also quaintly resembles the setup you might have in a fireplace.
|Inexpensive||A little low for comfortable grilling.|
|Spark screen included|
Yaheetech 22-Inch Fire Pit with Cooking Grill: Best Budget-Friendly Fire Pit
Just because you don't want to spend a lot on a fire pit, it doesn't mean you can't have a decent quality one.
The Yaheetech Fire Pit is very compact coming in at a diameter of 22 inches, meaning it can fit most tight outdoor spaces. What's more is that comes with a barbecue grill, a spark screen, and a poker. The base design can even hold firewood or other supplies.
Its small size also makes it easy to transport, if needed.
It's not the cheapest fire pit on the market but its stable design and all the extras included give you a true bang for your buck.
|Very inexpensive||Not a full-size fire pit|
|Good for tight spaces and transporting||Assembly required|
Jair Iron Propane Outdoor Fire Pit: Best Luxurious Propane Fire Pit
The Jair 15"x 48" Iron Propane Outdoor Fire Pit by Wade Logan is for one looking to make a statement in their outdoor space.
The sleek modern design is reminiscent of decor on a terrace at a resort or luxury hotel.
Impress your friends on a cold night with 50,000 BTUs. The propane tank is also hidden in its own sleek housing.
While you're paying a lot for this fire pit, you are getting a lot. The Jair includes a cover, filler, and the flame is adjustable.
The powder-coated iron exterior is weather resistant. Choose from two different colors.
The Jair was also one of our top choices because while it is a bit more expensive than your average fire pit, it's actually a great price for propane fire pits that come in a sleek modern design, which can be well over $1,000 or even $2,000.
|Comes with cover and lava rock filler||Expensive|
|Hidden fuel tank||No wind shield|
|Luxurious sleek design|
|Comes in 2 different finishes|
Fire Sense 35-in Bronze Steel Wood-Burning Fire Pit: Best Classic Wood-Burning Fire Pit
If you just need a solid quality classic fire pit, look no further than Fire Sense's 35-in Bronze Steel Wood-Burning Fire Pit. The Fire Sense Fire Pit is the classic round shape we're all accustomed to, made of solid construction and inexpensive.
What makes this unit a real win is its versatility.
Customers rave about how easy it is to put together, its durable but lightweight construction, and that it can easily be placed in a brick or stone pit or even converted into a gas-burning pit.
You'll appreciate the size of this fire pit, which allows many people to enjoy its warmth.
|Inexpensive||Not for tight spaces|
|Easy to put together|
|Comes with spark screen|
|Classic appearance matches any outdoor space.|
Iron Propane Fire Pit By Latitude Run: Best Propane Fire Table
Another space-saving idea is to have a fire pit that doubles as your patio table.
We chose Latitude Run's Iron Propane Fire Pit because you can easily remove the cover and start a fire for those chilly nights.
The propane tank is easily hidden, housed within the table. This is also a powerful fire pit, with firepower of 50,000 BTUs.
The best part is the price tag, which is totally affordable.
However, what we loved best is the classic design that highlights any outdoor space, while keeping the propane tank completely out of sight.
|Doubles as a patio table||No cover|
|Comes with filler|
TIKI Brand 25 Inch Stainless Steel Low Smoke Fire Pit: Best Smokeless Fire Pit
Sitting around a fire pit on a chilly night with friends or family is enjoyable.
However, it could be significantly more enjoyable without all the smoke and embers flying in your face.
TIKI doesn't make the only smokeless or low smoke fire pit on the market but it is a serious contender for the top spot.
TIKI's Low Smoke Fire Pit uses patent-pending technology to direct airflow in a way that detracts from smoke buildup, resulting in a cleaner burn.
Don't be fooled by its size, this fire pit can get a fire very hot!
What's more, is that TIKI includes a pack of specially formulated wood pellets, which burns clean and efficiently.
It takes no skill to start a fire in this pit. You literally place the pack in the pit and light it on fire. Of course, burning wood is also always an option with this fire pit.
Because the fire pit rests on legs it's also perfect for different types of outdoor spaces and terrains.
|Low smoke and low ash.||Needs a large unobstructed outdoor area--not for small outdoor spaces.|
|Burns very hot fires||Moderately expensive|
|Ash pan for easy clean up.|
|Includes a starter pack of wood pellets and a cloth cover.|
Terrain Low Profile Round Fire Pit: Best Looking Fire Pit
Terrain's Low Profile Round Fire Pit is best for those looking for great design.
This fire pit incorporates the use of COR-TEN steel which is unique for its self-weathering and rusting properties. This fire pit is the first to employ the use of this material but is among the most affordable.
The low and clean profile would add a unique and aesthetically pleasing touch to any outdoor space.
The beautiful ruggedness of rusted metals makes this the perfect addition not only to a rustic backyard setting but also to a sleek modern terrace.
|Beautiful and sleek design||Expensive|
|No assembly required||No frills or extras included|
|The metal requires additional weathering for true rust effect|
Loom X Tabletop Gas Fire Pit: Best Tabletop Fire Pit
You might not automatically think of putting a fire pit on top of a table but think of it as a miniature set or centerpiece that will bring real ambiance to your outdoor gathering or dinner.
Most tabletop units come in bowl form. We chose the Loom X Tabletop Gas Fire Pit because it's one of the few that is gas-powered, electric-ignited, and the perfect shape for a table, particularly an outdoor dining table.
Most fire bowls make it difficult to see across the table. However, the Loom X creates the perfect setting for an alfresco dinner on a chilly night.
With 40,000 BTUs available you can ensure that you and your guests will stay cozy.
|Looks good||Gas hose connector is situated on the side and difficult to hide.|
|Adjustable heat||No housing for the propane tank.|
|Comes with covers|
How We Chose
A few considerations went into deciding which fire pit was going to make the cut. These are important factors that most consumers would weigh when making a shopping decision.
Fire pits can cost thousands of dollars. Whenever possible we went with good deals or affordability even when considering more luxurious types of fire pits.
Obviously, when you are dealing with fire even if you are outdoors you'll need to take precautions. However, when selecting fire pits for our list we steered clear of models that had more than the usual potential fire hazards, taking our cues from customer experiences.
Real customer reviews are always a vital consideration when choosing a product. We looked carefully not just at rave reviews but also negative and moderate ones to assess the true nature of these fire pits.
We focused on fire pits that were made of durable material and attested to by real customers.
Design and appearance were very important as consumers want their fire pits not only to provide warmth but also to contribute to the atmosphere of their outdoor space.
What Is a Fire Pit?
A fire pit is an enclosure or vessel normally close to the ground that traditionally burns wood but now comes in the option of using propane instead.
People normally gather and sit around a fire pit when the weather is cool outside.
Because fire is bright, it's a great option for people who want to sit outdoors into nightfall.
Most firepits are made out of metal.
Are There Different Types of Outdoor Heaters
Fire pits are wonderful and can make you feel like you're sitting around a campfire but they are certainly not the only type of heat source you can have for your outdoor space.
Chimeneas, outdoor fireplaces, and heating lamps are also regularly utilized by home dwellers and businesses.
Fire Bowls or Fire Pots
Fire bowls or firepots are a lot like miniature fire pits.
They are for tabletop use and while they can provide warmth their primary function is aesthetics.
Like fire pits, they can come in wood-burning or gas-powered form.
The Loom X Tabletop Fire Pit falls in this category and is a good example of a firepot that provides heat while adding to the charm to a table.
Chimeneas while not as commonly found as outdoor heating lamps or fire pits can provide warmth and cozy atmosphere to an outdoor space.
They are usually small or narrow vessels with a chimney extending from the top.
For this reason, they are a great alternative to a wood-burning fire pit. The chimney directs smoke away from the vicinity through the top.
Smoke and embers are kept to a minimum this way. However, the heat really emanates from the opening and is not a great setup if you want people sitting all around a fire.
Outdoor fireplaces are exactly as they sound, a fireplace that is built for outside. They also usually come complete with a built-in chimney.
While there are some compact outdoor fireplaces most of them require quite a bit of space so they are for larger outdoor areas.
You can purchase outdoor fireplaces from retails stores that come as one piece or in a few different pieces, however more often than not, it'll require a contractor to come and install.
Most outdoor fireplaces are custom fixtures. They also come in options of wood-burning or gas.
Like the chimenea, they are ideal for sitting in front of rather than around.
Outdoor Heating Lamps
Heating lamps are simply for keeping people warm outdoors. They are either electric or propane-powered.
They don't do much to add to the aesthetic appeal of your outdoor space nor do they provide the coziness of a fire but they are pretty good at heating a space depending on the temperature.
It's also important to make sure you secure the base of a heating lamps so it does get knocked over or fly away with the wind.
Are Fire Pits Bad For Your Health?
Like anything fire-related, they can be.
The fine particles that arise from burning wood are some of the most dangerous pollutants out there.
Frequent inhalation of any kind of smoke whether from cigarettes or a fireplace can be hazardous to your health, particularly if you have a lung-related disease.
If you want to avoid lung damage and you plan on hanging around a fire pit often, then it’s best to choose a propane fire pit or an electric heater. Both will offer up clean-burning energy.
If you prefer to burn wood, we recommend getting a low smoke or smokeless fire pit such as the TIKI Brand Low Smoke Fire Pit.
That being said, fire pits are meant for outdoor use and good airflow prevents this from becoming too big of a problem. Just make sure you don't sit directly in front and inhale smoke.
Furthermore, it's important that you burn only fully dried and seasoned wood.
Wood that is still even a little moist is certain to create a lot of smoke and actually prevents the fire from getting really hot.
Are Fire Pits a Safety Hazard?
They can be if proper precautions are not taken.
You'll need to make sure you have a durable surface that can tolerate intense heat in the case of fire pits that sit directly on a surface.
This is not normally a problem for pedestal fire pits and propane fire pits.
Never place a firepit directly on top of flammable surfaces like outdoor rugs, wood, or a grass lawn you'd like to keep green.
If you plan on placing one on top, you'll need to take steps to ensure that the fire pit is properly raised off the surface using cement blocks or comparable materials.
What Are Safe Materials to Place Under a Fire Pit?
Most stone surfaces will work, whether it's gravel or a hearth made out of natural stone such as sandstone or bluestone. Even marble and granite should tolerate heat intensity well.
Cement blocks can be used, however, a stone product like quartz will probably not stand up to the heat.
Sand is also a go-to substance for securing an area that might experience high heat.
Synthetic materials often do not stand up to fire unless specifically designed for that purpose, so be wary of what you are placing underneath and around.
Keep Children and Pets Safe from Fire
It's imperative that you not only keep your fire pit on a secure footing to prevent potential knock overs but selecting a secure spot to prevent any accidental exposures or falls which can often happen with young children and pets.
Make sure you don't keep items on the floor or ground around the fire pit so no one accidentally trips and falls into the fire.
Always keep seating a safe distance so that you and your guests have room to move around the fire pit.
Getting a spark screen for your wood-burning fire pit can also help prevent the worst of disasters with knock overs not to mention prevent embers from flying around.
Can You Build Your Own Fire Pit?
Absolutely. If you have the time, materials, and no-how you can certainly build your own instead of purchasing one.
It's vital that you choose a fire-safe spot or a prepare one using materials like sand or gravel. Just remember that unlike one purchased from a retailer, you can't move it around your outdoor space.
So, your spot should be a permanent one for your fire pit.
The housing for most custom-built fire pits are made using bricks or stones.
You might be able to build a fire pit for cheap or free if you happen to have the materials lying around.
However, in most cases people don't have these materials lying around and the cost of building it could be higher than purchasing one especially if you require a landscaping contractor to put it together.