Cooler weather shouldn’t mean that you need to close your patio. Commercial patio heaters are ideal for extending outdoor dining season at your restaurant or bar. Encourage social distancing during off-seasons with the right commercial patio heater. Picking the right heater for your patio can be confusing. That’s why we wrote a guide on buying the perfect patio heater for your business that will fit your needs. Whether you’re looking for a free-standing, mounted, or pit patio heater – Central has a variety of heaters for different sized patios.

Pyramid style patio heater

Types of Patio Heaters


Pyramid style heaters are an attractive solution for heating your patio. These heaters feature a tall flame that adds ambiance while heating up the surrounding area. Add these for an aesthetically pleasing heater that is perfect for smaller outdoor areas. Patio heaters run on propane tanks for fuel, making it easy to find replacements.


  • Stylish
  • Flame adds ambiance
  • Sturdy
  • Easily change fuel
  • Average of 175 square feet heating area


  • Needs ample ventilation

Best For: Outdoor event spaces, restaurant and bar patios

Mushroom style patio heater


This style of heater is designed with a base that contains the fuel and a mushroom-style top that provides a circle of warmth. These units are conveniently self-contained for safety. Mushroom style heaters offer easier transport and run on propane tanks, making them versatile for most patios. 


  • Portable 
  • Easy to store 
  • Average 20 ft. Radius of heat 
  • Easily change fuel 
  • Adjustable heat output 


  • Needs ample ventilation – can’t use with low roofs or indoors 

Best for: Restaurant & bar patios

Fire bowl

Fire Bowls

Fire bowl heaters are designed for gathering and add ambiance to your patio. These heaters feature a square base and a top area for cozy flamesMany fire bowls can be covered with an included top to eat and drink on. This type of heater often uses LP gas for fuel. Consider a fire bowl for lounge seating in your restaurant, bar, or hotel. 


  • Cozy ambiance 
  • Encourages gathering 
  • Compact 
  • Doubles as functional furniture 


  • Typically designed for seating four or less people 
  • Smaller area of heat distribution 

Best for: Restaurant, bar, or hotel patios 

Mounted patio heater


Mounted heaters are ideal for patios without space for large heaters. These compact heaters mount to external walls to distribute heat from above. Mounted heaters can be used to heat large areas while only taking a small footprint of space. 


  • Small footprint 
  • Large heat area (average 150 to 200 sq. Ft.) 
  • Use with heat deflectors for less clearance required 


  • May need a heat deflector for mounting near walls/ceilings 
  • Typically use gas or electric connection for power source 
  • Requires installation 

Best for: Bar, restaurant, hotel, or event center patios

More on Patio Heating

Safety is the most important consideration when buying and installing a patio heater. Be sure to read the manufacturer’s owners’ manual as well as any other documentation for key safety features. Commercial patio heaters are not designed for indoor use. For all available commercial patio heaters at Central, see our Outdoor Patio Heaters and Coolers section.

Outdoor Patio Furniture

Create the Perfect Patio Space

The best patios are well-equipped with the right furniture, shading, and even temperature control. Read more on how to create the best patio space for your guests.

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