The best fire pits are brilliant for this time of year. They can help you extend your entertaining after the sun goes down – and if (like us) you're in the northern reaches of the Northern Hemisphere, they compensate for chilly evenings by creating a warm space to sit with friends or family.
A fire pit isn’t just for warming the cockles, creating a cosy evening ambience and toasting marshmallows. In some instances, it can even barbecue food and with the summer months right around the corner, it's a great time to invest in something that can cook meals for garden parties and will still be beneficial and used in the colder winter months.
If you pair one of the best garden fire pits with some of the best garden furniture (opens in new tab), one of the best barbecues (opens in new tab), and a selection of the best outdoor lights (opens in new tab), you're well on your way to a fantastic garden experience no matter how cold the weather gets.
The best fire pits you can buy in 2022
With an inside depth of 45cm and a width of 42cm, this 58cm tall retro iron pit has a mesh surround which not only radiates heat effectively at knee level but also prevents sparks from flying out and setting light to your nylon joggers. The mesh also provides excellent airflow to keep the logs flaming and with less smoke production as a result.
Granted, the bronze effect is a bit fake looking in the flesh but who’s going to notice once the sun’s set, eh? You should feasibly fit about five standard-sized garage forecourt logs into the basket so once it’s roaring, you can sure this pit will deliver ample radiant heat in all directions. At just under £80, it’s great value, too.
The hand-crafted design and rust-proof bronze of the Peaktop FP35 Fire Pit make it a great choice for log-burning all year round, as well as providing a handsome rustic finish.
The bronze fire bowl itself is pitted with diamond-shaped air holes for great ventilation and a mesh screen cover to keep sparks contained. At roughly 89cm (35 inches) in width, this is a big old log burner so make sure you have the space to position it carefully so others can walk past it without scorching a shin. A great choice for large verandahs and patios.
We love the convolutedly-named Esschert Design Fallen Fruits Oxidised Woodland Globe for its decorative style. This laser-cut rustic fire bowl has been intricately designed to bring your patio to life with woodland silhouettes and earthy tones – it really does look invitingly cosy when the logs are in full blaze. However, the cut out shapes can cause ash to blow out of the side of the bowl, so be careful not to overfill it. It’s also quite awkward to load so keep logs on the smaller side.
As time goes by, the bowl itself will rust which will give it an even more authentically vintage look. Your guests will be none the wiser, mind, but their tootsies will sure be warm.
Lightweight and foldable for handy transportation, with classic good looks, and delivering a good size for most medium and small gardens, the Amagabeli Portable Fire Pit makes for a very attractive option.
As the Amagabeli Portable Fire Pit weighs in at only 4kg and comes with three folding legs, it is very easy to transport. At 20.4 inches in diameter, this pit is very much in medium-size territory. Made from rust-resistant durable steel, the Amagabeli comes with a spark protection cover that safely surrounds the fire, stopping cinders from scattering all over the guests.
Technically, this fire pit could also be used as a basic charcoal BBQ as well, so you're really getting two products with its purchase. Overall, an affordable and stylish fire pit.
The BioLite FirePit+ isn’t just a fire pit because it also comes with a grill top and that means it will barbecue food as well as keep you warm. Unlike a standard fire pit, the BioLite is equipped with a battery-powered fan that stokes the flames while producing as little smoke as possible. It does, however, require regular feeding.
An especially cool feature with this model is that the mesh sides allow the heat to radiate more effectively at ground level so you don’t have to sit close and wave your hands over the flames. Seeing the flames from both sides is also aesthetically pleasing. What’s more, if you pair the BioLite with its accompanying Bluetooth app (iOS and Android), you can adjust the speed of the fan – and therefore the heat – without getting off your butt.
At 9kgs, it’s not the kind of thing you’d go back packing with even though its four legs fold for transport. However it’s perfectly suitable for home and car-based travel.
While most La Hacienda chimineas take on a traditional Mexican design, the company has also dabbled in more contemporary versions, such as this modern-looking option with integral log store. It’s made from steel rather than clay so you needn’t worry about it cracking in the British winter. However, the steel will rust over time if left uncovered, but then again to some people that may be a good thing given that it will eventually take on a classic rustic hue.
The Skyline measures 1.5 metres in height and 36cm square so it doesn’t take up much patio space. The good thing about this model is that the smoke it creates is mostly ported out of the tall chimney rather than into your face like so many open fire pit models. The heat radius is quite narrow, mind, so you may need to sit closer.
The small but sufficient log store beneath is another useful touch. Just be sure you don’t touch this thing when it’s alive or it could result in a visit to A&E. Keep kids and pets well clear, in other words.
Solo Stove has gained a devoted fanbase in recent years and is often on everyone's Winter wish list. The stainless steel wood-burning model is one of the highest rated smokeless fire pit and has a unique design and strategically placed holes in the double-wall structure.
The Solo Stove Bonfire creates a secondary burn that results in a super-efficient burn and almost no smoke. Compact, sturdy and portable, this fire pit is ready-to-go out of the box, perfect for camping and the backyard. Although it burns through logs quite quickly, it has a clever venting system and emits hardly any smoke so you won't be sat around it coughing all evening long!
The Danish Dancook 9000 is 76cm (30 inches) wide and comes with a heavyweight stainless steel grill meaning you could start an alfresco evening with a handful of charcoal to cook some sausages, chicken legs and kebabs and then, post grub, remove the grill and throw a pile of logs on top of the charcoal for a blazing fire.
The 50cm-high stand is a clever design flourish too: not only does it look great but it also lets you store the steel bowl on its side so it doesn’t fill with rain water and become a mecca for mozzie lava and other unsightly natural things.
Surprisingly, the Dancook’s surrounding three-inch lip remains merely warm to the touch and not searingly hot as you might reasonably expect, given that the whole thing is shaped out of heat-conducting steel. This means that kids and pets won’t get burned if they inadvertently brush by or touch the outer edge. A top sophisticated modern-art option for lovers of Scandinavian minimalism, but only those with more capacious patios.
The Fuoco Tabletop Fire Pit is a must-have for campers, hikers and festival-goers alike. By far one of the best portable fire pits, it’s compact and easy to transport, and it comes handily equipped with a long-handled extinguisher, so you can safely and easily put out your fire wherever you are. Mind, it has to be said that it’s not the warmest of fire pits but at least it doesn’t smoke like a log-burning model.
The Fuoco uses gel as a fuel, which burns quickly and can soon become costly as a result. But if you’re using it purely for trips or adding some patio ambience, it’s an undeniably handy piece of kit.
This 24cm x 19cm kiln-dried, self-burning log is a great novelty item, and although it’s more for show than anything else, it makes a fun addition to garden parties and other events. Depending on wind conditions, it should burn for 90 minutes to over two hours.
This twist on a conventional fire pit can be used to toast a marshmallow or two, but it doesn’t produce much heat at all – it burns from the inside out with just a flickering of flame at the top, so it’s less daring than it looks. Although the Swedish Torch Log is a bit of a novelty, it’s an undeniably unique centrepiece that adds a touch of ambience to any patio.
How to buy the best fire pit for your patio
Fire pit models featuring grills or heating plates for alfresco cooking mean you’ll be hard-pressed for an excuse to go inside at all, and anything that keeps the festivities going longer gets a thumbs-up from us. Alternatively, simply opt for a bogstandard model without a grill and do your cooking on a proper charcoal or gas barbecue while the fire pit blazes away near the dining area.
A much cheaper method is to load your kettle barbecue with wood after you’ve used it for cooking. However, this isn’t as efficient as a bona fide fire pit because most kettle BBQs are waist height, meaning the heat won’t radiate quite as well, especially if you’re lounging about on low chairs.
Think about your other needs. If it’s design kudos you’re after, go for a good-looking model with a durable finish that’ll stay smart year after year, or if your fire pit’s staying out year-round as a permanent fixture, look for long-lasting materials and an included cover to ward off the worst of the weather. And if your crew are keen campers, look for a portable fire pit that you can take on the road. For a cosy home-from-home atmosphere wherever you go, just be sure to get one with legs or a stand that’ll avoid scorching the grass.
A final consideration is fuel. The bigger the fire pit, the more logs you’ll need to add to keep it going. If you live in the countryside and have access to an infinite supply of logs then you’re in luck. But if you’re an urbanite, it’s going to cost you about £5 for a bag of local garage-sourced fire logs and a bag full will burn away in next to no time. For a large fire pit like the Dancook 9000, three hours of alfresco entertainment could easily amount to three or four bags of wood. That’s up to 20 quid’s worth of cosy entertainment; the price of three extra bottles of plonk.
Also, be mindful that fire pits create a lot of smoke and if there’s a breeze it may well waft in your direction and make your clothes smell of a campfire. The smelly bit is actually quite pleasant (you will really notice it on your clothes in the morning) but having a face full of smoke isn’t.
If you're interested in how we rated the best fire pits in this list, check out how we test at T3 (opens in new tab).