Best Outdoor Heater for Winter: Buyer's Guide
News   /   12 October 2020

Best Outdoor Heater for Winter: Buyer's Guide

As the nights start to draw in and the temperature drops, many of us find ourselves spending less and less time in the garden we’ve lovingly tended to over the last few months.

One way of making the most of your outdoor space over winter is by investing in an outdoor heater.

The best outdoor heaters combine luxury design with practicality, energy efficiency and effortless upkeep, to keep you warm without compromising on aesthetics.

From what to look out for, to the best styles for your needs, our patio heater buyer’s guide covers everything you need to consider before choosing your perfect model.

Best Outdoor Heater for Winter: Buyer's Guide

How to Choose the Right Outdoor Heater

An outdoor heater is a perfect addition to your winter garden, allowing you to entertain or relax with family outdoors long into the colder months.

The type and style of heater you choose depends on where you need additional warmth in your outdoor space, who it’s for and your priorities in terms of style and eco-credentials.

Outdoor Electric Heaters

Electric heaters come in a wide array of designs and sizes, making them a wise choice for all types of outdoor spaces. Commonly, electric heaters use infrared heating technology to safely convert electricity into heat via a heating element.


  • One of the safest ways to heat your garden
  • More energy-efficient and eco-friendly than gas
  • Electric heaters come in varying sizes, styles and materials to suit all garden designs
  • Easy to control heat settings
  • Can be turned on and off via remote control
  • Inexpensive to run compared to gas


  • May not be suitable for heating very large spaces as the heat travels in a direct line

Outdoor Gas Heaters

Outdoor gas heaters require natural gas or propane to give off heat. While they can produce a large amount of heat, make sure you take the following downfalls into consideration;

  • They are more expensive to run than electric heaters
  • They need to be positioned in well-ventilated areas
  • They require a constant supply of gas
  • Gas heaters are less environmentally friendly than electric models

Which is Better: Gas or Electric Patio Heater?

If you’re looking for a more environmentally friendly option, electric heaters are the way forward. Electric heaters produce fewer emissions than gas, are quieter and consume less energy, making them cheaper to run.

Our range of electric heaters use innovative Infra-Red technology for maximum energy efficiency.

Fire Pits

Fire pits are usually made from brick, stone or metal and can be used for burning wood or charcoal. Whilst fire pits help to create a rustic, campfire atmosphere and are good at keeping you warm at a close distance, they do have several disadvantages;

  • They can pose a safety risk to young children and animals
  • They require consistent maintenance (storage, sweeping and rust protection)
  • The heat output does not have a wide reach
  • They need to be placed on a fire-resistant surface
  • Fire pits require a constant supply of fuel
  • And the smoke can attach to hair and clothing

Outdoor Patio Heaters

A patio heater is just another name for an outdoor heater and can refer to both electric and gas models.

Tabletop Outdoor Heaters

A table top patio heater can be placed on surfaces such as outdoor dining tables and coffee tables. This type of heater is ideal if you’re looking for ways to keep warm in smaller outdoor areas, for example when hosting intimate al fresco dinners. However, they are not as effective at heating wider areas.

Freestanding Patio Heaters

Freestanding patio heaters or floor heaters are versatile and can be positioned to provide warmth whilst eating or relaxing in the garden.

Our Apollo Dining Table Single Floor Heater is a sleek, modern design made from coated steel that can provide a large amount of warmth without taking up too much space.

Outdoor Wall Heaters

Wall-mounted heaters can be a stylish alternative to table or floor heaters. Discreet yet effective, wall heaters provide targeted heat where you need it most in your garden.

What’s the Best Outdoor Heater to Buy? Luxury Picks

We’ve highlighted some of the best outdoor heaters in our range...

Best Outdoor Wall Heaters

Apollo wall heaters feature coated steel finishings and are ideal for fitting to the exterior wall of your house, garage or outdoor shelter to provide a cosy atmosphere whilst eating or relaxing.

Available in black or white and as a short, medium or tall stem wall heater to fit seamlessly into any area.

Luxury features

  • Innovative Infra-Red heating technology for natural warmth
  • Futuristic aesthetic
  • High energy efficiency
  • Available in 12 configurations and 10 finishes
  • Powered by Electricity and fitted with a moulded plug
  • Standard output 1500w for areas of 10-15 m2
  • Option of 2000w for larger areas of 12-20 m2
  • Coated steel designed for minimal corrosion
  • IPX5 for use outdoors

Best Outdoor Ceiling Heaters

Outdoor ceiling heaters are perfect for warming up outdoor buildings or structures. They can be permanently fitted onto outdoor ceilings to provide extra comfort in your garden shelter.

Our stylish heating range includes single ceiling heaters and double ceiling heaters depending on the amount of heat you require.

Luxury features

  • Infra-Red heating technology
  • Sleek design
  • Energy efficient
  • Available in black and white designs
  • Powered by Electricity and fitted with a moulded plug
  • Standard output 1500w for areas of 10-15 m2
  • Option of 2000w for larger areas of 12-20 m2
  • Anti-corrosion material
  • IPX5 for use outdoors

Best Luxury Floor Heaters

Our range of Apollo floor heaters come in a variety of sizes and styles to suit different outdoor spaces.

Best Outdoor Heater for Winter: Buyer's Guide

What to Look for in Your New Outdoor Garden Heater

There’s more to choosing between gas and electric, don’t forget to think about the following when selecting your new heater.


Keeping the chill off doesn’t have to mean compromising the look and feel of your outdoor space.

Matching the colour or construction material of your outdoor heater to your garden furniture is a simple way of maintaining your aesthetic. Whether that’s stainless steel or glass accents. Our die-cast aluminium heaters are available in black or white powder-coated steel and combine a futuristic aesthetic with functionality. Resulting in understated elegance to fit discreetly into your exterior landscape.

Running Costs

Running costs are another important consideration. If you’re looking for a more affordable option, electric heaters are more efficient than gas and require less upkeep.

Energy Efficiency

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly option to heat your garden, electric radiant heaters take the top spot.

Here at Indian Ocean, we take our responsibility towards the environment very seriously. Our range of Infra-Red heaters are designed for maximum energy efficiency. They work by converting electricity into heat that feels like the warming rays of the sun.

Unlike gas heaters which emit harmful CO2 emissions, electric heaters have a much lower carbon footprint.

Heat Output

Depending on the size of the space you are looking to cover, your heat output needs will vary.

For example, our heaters have;

  • A standard output of 1500w for areas of 10-15 m2
  • With the option of 2000w for larger areas of 12-20 m2

Please contact us for more information if you’re looking to heat a large outdoor space.


Some types of patio heaters need to be stored away when not in use or in bad weather. For example, metal fire pits can rust if left uncovered. This requires extra storage space and pre-planning for outdoor entertainment.

For effortless maintenance, an outdoor heater should be able to withstand conditions both indoors and outdoors all year round.

The coated steel used in our heaters is built to withstand corrosion and wear and most models can be fitted permanently. This allows you to simply switch it on whenever you need some extra warmth.


Different types of heater require varying levels of upkeep. For example, fire pits require emptying and sweeping after each use and protection against rust.

The benefit of electric heaters is that they require minimal maintenance, as long as you buy quality. Our aluminium patio heaters can be cleaned with a mild soapy solution as needed.

Looking for some help maintaining your garden furniture? Our outdoor furniture care and maintenance guide features premium products and advice on prolonging the lifespan of your furniture.

Outdoor Heater FAQ

We answer some common questions...

Can Outdoor Heaters be Left Out in the Rain?

The less exposure to the elements, the longer your heater will remain in good condition. If possible, position your heater in a sheltered spot. For example, mounted wall heaters are partly protected from wind and rainfall.

It also depends on the materials your heater is made from. Our heaters are made of aluminium, a strong material that’s resistant to corrosion.

How do Outdoor Heaters Work?

Our Infra-Red garden heaters work through radiation to produce direct heat where you need it most via a heating element.

How Effective are Outdoor Heaters?

By heating objects rather than the surrounding air, infra-red heating is ideal for outdoors as you don’t lose heat through the cold air, making it highly effective.

What is the Most Efficient Outdoor Heater?

Electric heaters are more energy-efficient than gas or log burning heaters.

How Many Heaters do I Need for My Outdoor Space?

Our heaters come with a standard output of 1500w for areas of 10-15 m2 with an option of 2000w for larger areas of 12-20 m2.

You may want to include a mixture of standing floor heaters, mounted wall heaters and ceiling heaters depending on the configuration of your space and how you entertain.

Experience the Outdoors this Winter

Make the most of your outdoor space this winter by investing in quality, sustainably designed pieces to maximise comfort and become a focal point for entertainment.

From laid back morning coffee to outdoor dinner parties - our luxury garden furniture collections offer stunning modern designs for any outdoor space. Explore our collections today.

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