At long last, outdoor gatherings are back! The BBQs have been lit, the drinks are on ice, the invitations have been sent, but have you thought about outdoor heating? We know Britons have experienced prolonged periods without other people for a while, but now you can, you’re not going to want it to end just because the sun has gone down. The best bit of any garden party can often be the wind-down after the sun has set: you’ve had a great time so far, everyone has loosened up, filled up on food, the conversation is flowing, and memories are being shared (and made!).

Unfortunately, you can’t rely on the Great British weather to support your party plans. While it might be scorching hot during the day, it’s probably going to be pretty chilly in the evening - and that’s where OnBuy’s stellar range of outdoor heating comes in! Whether you want to keep it practical with a patio heater or recreate the joy of camping under the stars with a fire pit in your garden, this handy guide will take you through the best outdoor heating options you can find to keep you and your guests cosy when night falls!

What options are there for stylish outdoor heating?

garden fire with friends

No doubt the first things that come to mind are the stereotypical patio heaters that have adorned every pub garden since the smoking ban came into force over a decade ago - usually a functional heater attached to a stand or parasol and not exactly easy on the eye. There’s a reason those are so popular, but there’s so much more available if you’re looking for something that looks amazing and works just as well.

If you want to add some style to your garden, you can’t go wrong with an outdoor fireplace, chiminea, or fire pit table. They form a stylish, rustic centrepiece for your patio or decking that will keep everyone warm during the evening wind down. As well as adding to the ambience of your small slice of nature, you’ll be able to enjoy it all year round too. Alternatively, it’s going to be pretty tricky to find a spot on a campsite this summer as everyone rushes to secure a staycation; our first-rate range of fire bowls can give you the unfettered feeling of freedom and connection with nature from your garden... Plus, it’s the perfect excuse to connect with your family in the cosy glow of the fire while snacking on sweet, oozing, toasted marshmallows. Check out this handy video guide by Which? if you want to learn more about the different types of outdoor heating available.

Hot picks from the OnBuy outdoor heating range

fire pit with shoes

Now you know outdoor heating products can help stoke the evening atmosphere, and you’ve got more of an idea of what’s available, it’s time to delve into the OnBuy range. Still stuck on where to start your search? Well, whether you want something more practical and reliable, or a stylish centrepiece for the garden, we’re here to lead you on your journey to find the best outdoor heating option. Below we’ve highlighted four of our favourites to support a spectacular garden party this summer.

Our portable patio pick | Qlima Ethanol FFB 105 Fireplace

ethanol fireplace

Pros: Portable and easy to store, easy to maintain, smokeless, can be used on existing garden tables, tempered safety glass walls, can also be used as an indoor decorative feature

Cons: limited burn time, small design, no changeable heat settings

If you haven’t got much garden space, this is the perfect outdoor fireplace for you. Still packing a punch in terms of keeping everyone warm on a chilly evening, the tabletop FFB 105 fireplace from Qlima can be pulled out at short notice, then put back just as easily. When unexpected guests turn up at the door, you can still perform as the perfect host with this handy heater. Even if it gets too cold or the Great British weather decides to treat us with a summer downpour, you can use the tabletop fireplace indoors!

Convenience is the name of the game here: the Qlima outdoor fireplace from vidaXL can be easily lit using a lighter or matches, and burns with bioethanol fuel poured into the built-in 500ml chamber. The decorative flames will flicker away on your table and provide warmth for over two hours before the chamber needs refilling. Tempered safety glass is there to stop any inquisitive young hands getting too close to the flame and, thanks to the bioethanol fuel, the fireplace produces no smoke or odours. Plus, you don’t have to worry about cleaning out any ash or waiting hours for it to cool down.

Our best fire bowl | Chrysolite Cast Iron Fire Bowl

cast iron fire bowl

Pros: Social centrepiece, rustic camping feel, make fires as big and warm as you want, ideal for toasting marshmallows, easily to assemble, durable materials, portable

Cons: Requires attention to maintain heat, requires cool down time before storing away, produces smoke and ash so will require cleaning

Fire bowls are hugely popular when it comes to garden heating, mainly due to their ability to stoke the atmosphere of your garden party. It provides a perfect centrepiece that can keep everyone warm for as long as you need, and has the added bonus of allowing marshmallow toasting, bringing back childhood memories of camping holiday adventures. Perhaps you want to create a romantic atmosphere for a unique date night: turn off the lights, grab some blankets, and share some special memories under the stars, embraced in the cosy glow of the flames.

Made from strong and durable cast iron, this fire bowl is built to last and able to withstand the elements in your garden (although it can also be stored away easily). It’s supported by a three-legged stand for additional safety and is suitable for burning wood, logs, charcoal or any form of kindling you can find around the garden, allowing hours of warming comfort with whatever you have to hand! While it does require a little assembly, this fire bowl is relatively easy to put together yourself.

The perfect garden fire pit | Living And Home Large Outdoor Round Table Fire Pit

living and home fire pit

Pros: Stylish centrepiece design, includes BBQ cooking grate and poker, bowl can be filled with ice and used as a drinks cooler when not in use, suitable for solid fuels like wood and charcoal

Cons: Not as portable as other alternatives, requires cleaning, produces smoke and ash

Like the fire bowl, fire pits are another stunning centrepiece for your garden, especially this marvellous model that has been stylishly designed and made with durable, heavy-duty metal. This fire pit is more of a statement product, doubling up as a table for friends to gather around and include everyone in the evening conversation. 

Picture the scene: the BBQ is cooling across the patio, the air is still filled with the smell of the slightly burnt burgers that were somehow still the best you’d had in months, you’ve just grabbed a glass of something nice, and everyone has pulled their chairs around the merigold glow of the round table fire pit. Hours then pass while you talk and laugh in conversations discussing everything and anything, flowing seamlessly from one topic to the next.

This round table fire pit from Living and Home comes with a poker to help keep the fire burning well into the evening, as well as a BBQ cooking grate and wire mesh cover for al fresco feasts. However, our favourite feature with this fire pit is that it can be used as a drinks cooler during the day before you fill it with wood or charcoal and light the fire in the evening, making it an incredible 3-in-1 accessory for your garden that will serve your outdoor gatherings for many years to come.

A fantastic freestanding heater | Dellonda Freestanding Gas Pyramid Patio Heater

dellonda freestanding gas fire

Pros: Stylish metal design, adjustable heat settings, fully enclosed gas cylinder chamber and safety tip-over switch, reliable gas-fueled flame

Cons: Large and not very portable, expensive end of the garden heater range, assembly required

While other garden heaters might focus on being rustic centrepieces, this patio heater is all about keeping you warm when the temperature drops. Undoubtedly the best features are the fully adjustable temperature settings and easy gas canister installation (see the helpful video below); you can count on the reliable and easy-to-ignite flame to keep on burning without having to constantly check on it throughout the night. It also features a reflector to direct the heat down and outwards, meaning everyone can stay cosy, rather than one person being left artificially sunburnt!

This Dellonda patio heater acts as a stylish accessory to help keep your garden looking modern and fashionable, but the manufacturers have ensured style isn’t sacrificed. The unsightly gas canisters are fully enclosed within the stylish and contemporary pyramid design, while the flame extends up the heater in a turret encased in a transparent tube - a stunning sight that also avoids any accidental injuries.

For safety reasons, this gas heater should only be used in well-ventilated areas.

If that’s sparked your interest…

lit fire

This summer is going to be one to remember; never have we been more desperate to meet up with friends and family, share some beautifully charred food, and crack jokes while you crack open a drink! You’re not going to want to let the garden party end and, thanks to OnBuy’s garden heater range (and this helpful guide), you’ll be able to stay out in the garden long after the sun has gone down. So don’t hesitate - pick up your new patio heater or fire pit today!

Of course, if you haven’t thought about getting the garden ready for a summer of fun yet, we’re here to lend a helping hand. It’s been a while since we had guests round, so now’s the perfect time to spruce up your outdoor space with some brand new garden furniture to get the good times going! For those of you who like to keep on top of current trends, you’ll love our stylish selection of rattan sofas; for those who think comfort is king, you’re sure to be astounded by our array of garden armchairs; and for those who are looking for an all-in-one purchase for all of their al fresco activities, we’ve got you covered with our range of garden furniture sets

OnBuy has a dedicated range of outdoor living blogs with ideas and tips to get your garden ready to shine in the summer sun. So, what are you waiting for? Take a look through OnBuy’s tremendous outdoor living range today!

The information in this buyer’s guide is correct at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.