How to Choose the Best Propane Heater 2016 Edition

  • Choosing the best propane heater will ultimately depend on its intended purpose. If you want it strictly to backup your home, you will want a more permanent unit, offering more power and convenience.
  • However, if you want something to support all your power needs around the home, while out on a boat, or camping, you’ll want a portable unit that gives you mobile power options.
  • There are also specific propane heaters designed for use with water, for the patio, and even for the pool, so consider getting a more specialized product depending on what the intended uses are.
  • Ultimately, choosing the best propane heater for you will involve balancing the features you want the most.

Best Propane Heater Comparison Table 2016

ImagePropane Heater NameOur RatingsPriceReviews
Texsport Bulk Tank Double Propane Heater4.4 $$$
Mr. Heater, MH30T Double Tank Top Outdoor Propane Heater (Propane Cylinder not Included)4.5$$
Mr. Heater MH15T Single Tank-Top Propane Heater4.0$$
AmazonBasics Havana Bronze Commercial Patio Heater4.2$$$
Fire Sense Hammer Tone Bronze Commercial Patio Heater4.2$$$
Dyna-Glo RMC-FA60DGD 30,000 - 60,000 BTU Liquid Propane Forced Air Heater 4.4$$
Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Radiant Heater 4.6 $$
Hayward H250FDP Universal H-Series Low NOx 250,000 BTU4.3$$$
Hayward H400FDP Universal H-Series Low NOx 400,000 BTU Propane Gas Residential Pool and Spa Heater4.3$$$$
Hayward H100IDP1 H-Series Low NOx 100,000 BTU Propane Gas Residential Pool and Spa Heater3.8$$$
Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy 3800-BTU Indoor Safe Propane Heater, Medium4.0$$
Mr. Heater 40, 000 BTU Propane Garage Heater #MH40LP3.8$$$
Camp Chef HWD5 Triton Hot Water Heater4.3$$$
Eccotemp L10 Portable Outdoor Tankless Water Heater 4.0$$$
Mr. Heater MH18B, Portable Propane4.6$$$

Heaters come in both portable and permanent models, depending on what you want the heater for. If you just require a unit for your home or cottage, and don’t require portability at all, then a permanent model is most likely best for you. These are designed to be wall mounted, and are sometimes even built in to the wall, placed between beams. These centralized units are attached to a larger tank of fuel outside of the home.

The fuel sources need to be located relatively close to the heater, so take that into consideration when installing a unit in your home. These storage tanks are fixed in place, and are often filled by delivery trucks. Units are high powered, designed to heat the larger rooms or an entire house.

Permanent heaters have a much larger heating capacity than outdoor units, and often employ a circulation system using fans inside the heater. These units have to emit exhaust fumes to the outside, because they produce a larger amount of such than smaller units do. Since carbon monoxide can be dangerous, it is important to have external ventilation for ensure home safety.

Most propane heaters use similar methods, offer similar functions, and therefore have many of the same things to consider no matter which specific type of heater you need.

What To Look For When Buying A Propane Heater


🔥 Ignition

Propane heaters can come with either an integrated ignition or will require manual ignition. While integrated ignition is easier and safer to use, some people argue that these can wear down and break faster than manual ignitions. This could impact the longevity of your heater, and may impact your purchase. However, the most convenient, easiest, and safest ignitions are those of the integrated variety.

📍 Location

Location is one of the most important factors to consider when purchasing a heater because, along with intended use, it dictates what type you can safely purchase and use. If you are looking for a strong outdoor heater, you will want to get something with more power to heat a larger space. However, if you want something that will also function indoors, you will need to ensure you purchase an indoor-safe model, as heaters can be extremely dangerous, especially when used inside. Ventilation is always a major concern when dealing with heaters, since they emit carbon monoxide is poisonous. Always ensure you have adequate ventilation and space for the heater you are purchasing as they can be extremely dangerous if misused.

💰 Cost Of The Heater

While propane is a relatively easily accessible and inexpensive fuel to purchase, you will still want to consider how fuel efficient your heater is. This will greatly impact the long-term costs of your heater and how practical it is to run. Despite spending more upfront, purchasing a more fuel efficient model may be a better option if you intend to use your heater frequently.

🚒 Safety and Other Features

In general, propane heaters can be very dangerous to have, store, and operate, and should be treated with extreme care and caution. Many units have safety features designed to remove and mitigate these dangers, attempting to make the process easier and safer for the user. Many heaters have auto shut-offs built in. This is could be a potential life saver, for example: if the heater tipped over, causing the thermostats designed to turn off the heater when the heater reaches temperatures that are too high to not function. Many models also feature integrated ignitions, carry handles, and wheels to make them more easily portable, as well as dials to ensure consistent and safe temperature control.
Now that we’ve established the basics, this article will go through various types of heaters and their applications. We’ll also give you propane heater reviews, and their corresponding links along the way so you can view examples, compare, and plan your purchase of the best propane heaters for your needs.

Best Portable Propane Heaters


Although your home or cottage is most likely the main place you’ll need to heat, the single greatest feature of any portable propane heater is that it’s just that – portable!

📌 Being able to move the heater wherever you need heat makes it ideal for a variety of situations. These are self-contained units that require no external power, able to immediately supply heat in any situation.

📌 Being able to move the heater wherever you need heat makes it ideal for a variety of situations. These are self-contained units that require no external power, able to immediately supply heat in any situation.

📌 This easy portability lets you effortlessly use the heater around the house, on the job at your worksite, and even while camping, fishing, or hunting. These units can be great for heating an area for guests in your yard or on your patio, around the pool, or at a family picnic or gathering.

📌 Despite being smaller than other heater types, portable heaters can produce a great deal of heat from a single propane canister.

📌 Bottled propane is the most common power source for portable heaters, and is relatively inexpensive and easily accessible in comparison to other fuel types.

📌 Propane also reduces waste of gas and money by burning cleanly, smoothly, and evenly, keeping cost consistent. This also reduces the amount of smoke and gas waste in the area, keeping your surroundings clean and enjoyable.

📌 Some portable heaters can be used indoors; however, they can be dangerous if not properly used and suited to this environment. Always check that the heater is intended for indoor use and ensure you are storing and using the heater safely while inside.

The Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater is one of the best selling and most popular portable propane heaters. It’s a 4,000 to 9,000 BTU radiant heater intended for large spaces and it’s clean-burning, nearly 100 percent fuel efficient, features an auto shut-off, and is approved for both indoor and outdoor use.

The Mr. Heater Portable Big Buddy Propane Heater offers 4,000 to 18,000 BTUs and features both low-oxygen and tip auto shut-offs, swivel regulators for more control, and three different temperature settings.

Best Propane Water Heaters


When choosing a propane water heater, the main options you will be given are tanked or tankless. Just as you’d expect, tank water heaters have a tank for water, and tankless do not, heating water as it is filtered through the system. Systems with a tank are significantly larger and take up more space, but usually have water pre-heated, so there is no waiting for water to heat; it’s ready to go!

🛀 However, this means that more energy is used to constantly keep the water heated, as opposed to simply heating the water you need when you need, as is the case with a tankless model. These models also don’t run out of water.

🛀 A tank model is typically best suited for home use, while tankless models are geared towards outdoor and portable use. These tankless water heaters are great for camping or an immediate backup to your home water heater.

🛀 A gas-powered unit may be more efficient than other heating methods, as heating with gas is two times faster than with electric units. If you have a tankless model, you will definitely want a gas-powered unit to ensure water is heated quickly. These units are also more energy efficient, producing heat faster than electric models, giving you great value for your money.

🛀 Ultimately, these units come with various features to make them suited for camping and outdoor use, such as built in shower options. This makes choosing a model that works for you easy!

The Eccotemp L10 Portable Tankless Water Heater offers 74,500 BTUs and a 20 minute automatic safety shut-off timer. The Eccotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater and Outdoor Shower is a best-selling product which runs on liquid propane fuel. It features a 2D cell battery ignition and is lightweight for easy portability and setup.

Camp Chef HWD5 Triton Hot Water Heater is self-standing, but has hanging brackets included for other options. This model produces 1.5 gallons per minute of hot water, has adjustability for heat and water flow, and comes with a four-setting shower head for portable shower use.

Best Propane Heaters for the Garage


When purchasing a propane heater for the garage, you can purchase either a portable or permanent unit, depending on whether you want the added benefit of portability. These units do not need great power output as they are only required to power a relatively small space. However, they should be able to run consistently and cleanly depending on the insulation in your garage, since heat may escape.

💡 It is important that they also run smoothly and cleanly, since constant use will need to be managed to ensure safe air quality.

💡 Purchasing a machine that runs cleanly and is indoor-safe will keep your safety worries to a minimum, and ensure proper use and performance.

💡 Depending on the heating needs you have for your garage, you may want a permanent or portable model. A more permanent model could use a system more typical of your house, for centralized heat. Depending on your needs and safety conditions, you could also use a space heater, which gives of radiant heat.

💡 This form of direct heat can be great for heating a highly ventilated area such as a garage, providing enough power to keep you warm.

💡 While radiant models can keep you warm while in the garage, their use of direct heat doesn’t help to keep your tools warm for when you want to use them. If you want your garage consistently heated, you may want to consider a more centralized system.

The Mr. Heater MH40LP 40,000 BTU Propane Garage Heater is an efficient, cost effective infrared heater that requires no electricity. It offers quiet, clean, and odor-free operation, so it’s safe for the indoors and powerful enough to heat a large space.

The Mr. Heater 30,000 BTU Propane Vent-Free Heater is a more permanent model, giving you the best of both worlds – stability and portability. There are a number of great portable units that would function superbly in a garage as well.

The Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy 3,800 BTU Indoor-Safe Propane Heater is a great propane heater for indoor use, and would be ideal for heating in a garage. It offers continuous odor-free heat for up to five and a half hours and features a low-oxygen sensor and tip-over shut-off for great safety.

The Dyna-Glo RMC-FA60DGD 30,000 – 60,000 BTU Liquid Propane Forced-Air Heater is a great space heater suited to garage use, with directional heating. This model features a tip-over and back-pressure shut-off for added safety.

The Mr. Heater MH35FA 35,000 BTU Propane Forced-Air Heater is great for smaller commercial workspaces or a personal garage, with directional heating. It runs for up to twelve hours and powers up to 800 square feet.

Best Propane Pool Heaters

💦 Since gas-powered heaters are faster working, if heating your pool quickly is important, a propane heater is probably the best propane pool heater for you.

💦 Whether this is for the home or cottage, a propane pool heater offers some of the quickest heating power, and will ensure you can heat your pool up fast when relatives arrive unexpectedly.

💦 Paired with a patio heater, you can turn your backyard in an incredible summer getaway for both the day and evening.

The Hayward H100IDP1 H-Series Low NOx 100,000 BTU Propane Residential Pool and Spa Heater features a reliable, electronic ignition and a cool-to-the-touch cabinet surface temperature.

The Hayward H400FDP Universal H-Series Low NOx 400,000 BTU Propane Residential Pool and Spa Heater is a cupro nickel heat exchanger and features a low NOx emissions system which meets or exceeds air quality emissions standards, ensuring your unit remains environment friendly.

You can get the same model with slightly less power with the Hayward H250FDP Universal H-Series Low NOx 250,000 BTU Propane Residential Pool and Spa Heater.

Best Propane Space Heaters

🌠 Space heaters are designed to provide heat to a specific area, or space. These are the basic units that you use when you want to heat a room, using it for direct heat.

🌠 These units typically use radiant heat, giving off direct heat; therefore, the closer you are to these units the more heat you’ll absorb and the warmer you’ll be! Since this gives off direct heat, they should be used more cautiously.

🌠 However, many of them have great safety features to ensure you have nothing to worry about. These are best suited to controlled use, heating the area when you want it. If you need to walk into a pre-heated room, then these units are probably not for you.

These are also the best type of units for garages aside from permanent models, and can work very effectively if used properly and suited to your needs. The Mr. Heater MH18B Portable Propane Heater is an amazing model for space heating whether in the garage or on the go!

It offers up to 18,000 BTUs, heats up to 400 square feet, and has both low oxygen and auto-tilt shut-offs, making it a powerful and safe product for a variety of uses. If you don’t quite need that much power, the Mr. Heater MH9BX Buddy Indoor-Safe Propane Radiant Heater offers half the power with the same features!

The Dyna-Glo RMC-FA60DGD 30-60,000 BTU Liquid Propane Forced-Air Heater is a great directional heating model, giving you the ability to customize the direction of heat to optimize its output in your intended space.

Best Propane Patio Heaters


When entertaining guests outdoors on a chilly day or summer evening, you don’t want to make them stand in the cold! In order to ensure all of your outdoor patio gatherings remain toasty warm and enjoyable, a propane patio heater may be the best option for you. These units are specifically designed for controlled outdoor heating for any social setting.

🏡  Propane models offer quick, consistent heating to ensure that heat comes right when it’s needed and that it burns clean and constant during outdoor use.

🏡 This way, your outdoor gathering can always start fast and continue steady into the evening and night. These models also offer a number of safety features, such as auto shut-offs when it tilts or reaches a certain temperature.

🏡 This way you’ll never have to worry about safety and can enjoy the party with your guests!

The Fire Sense Hammer Tone Bronze Commercial Patio Heater offers 46,000 BTUs of heating power, a Piezo ignition, durable stainless steel burners, and an auto shut-off for when it tilts. It also has a wheel option to make it easily portable.

The AmazonBasics Havana Bronze Commercial Patio Heater offers 46,000 BTUs in a durable, powder-coated bronze finish. It features a Piezo ignition, an auto shut-off for tilting, and includes wheels for maneuverability.

The AZ Quartz Glass Tube Propane Patio Heater in Hammered Bronze uses a 20-pound propane tank and offers 40,000 BTUs, variable controls, and anti-tilt and temperature shut-offs.

Best Outdoor Propane Heaters


If you know you want your propane heater to be used strictly outdoors, this saves you a lot of hassle and stress during purchasing. When purchasing a propane heater, safety is your biggest concern; therefore, purchasing a model for indoor use is always much more complicated and difficult than for outdoor use, since safety is much easier to maintain outdoors.

💎 The biggest concern with an outdoor heater is how much space you want to heat, and the type of area.

💎 Depending on how much power you need, you can purchase a model with more BTUs to heat a larger area. From there, you want to try to choose a model that works for you.

💎 You can get radiant heaters that come as a base unit, but you can also get units that attach directly to a larger propane tank, using the tank itself as the base.

💎 Depending on your power and aesthetic needs, you can choose a variety of styles and strengths of outdoor propane heaters that will fit your outdoor needs.

The Mr. Heater MH15T Single Tank-Top Propane Heater is a great outdoor propane heater that is mounted directly to a 5 to 20-pound propane tank.

It uses manual ignition and features a safety shut-off. For a little bit more power outdoors, these double tank-top propane heaters will give you more power:

The Mr. Heater MH30T Double Tank-Top Outdoor Propane Heater gives you sturdy construction and efficient radiant heating in an easy to use, portable model.

The Texsport Bulk Double Tank-Top Propane Heater connects to a large tank and features a pressure regulator, an auto shut off valve, and a durable ceramic burner for even heating.

Propane Heater Advantages

Propane heaters offer a number of advantages over electric heaters.


✔️ Propane is inexpensive, easily accessible, and easily transportable. This makes the process simple as well as cost and time efficient.

✔️ Propane heaters are some of the best heaters because they offer some of the fastest heating capabilities, working much quicker than other types of units. These units work fast, heat well, and offer high efficiency.

✔️ Despite a number of advantages, including convenience, speed of heating, and both cost and energy efficiency, there are also a number of disadvantages of propane associated with danger and risks.

✔️ Propane is a highly flammable gas, and should therefore be treated with caution. If used, stored, and transported safely though, propane is a wonderful way to provide heat. While it is typically suited for outdoor use, there are indoor propane heaters that have been approved for use.

✔️ When purchasing an indoor propane heater, ensure it passes safety regulations and is approved for indoor use before bringing it inside your dwelling.

Portable propane heaters have a multitude of uses.


✔️ When purchasing a unit, ensure you get one that suits your lifestyle and heater needs.

✔️ Many of these units are great for camping, whether used on site, on boats, or even in an RV.

✔️ They are incredible for in and around the cottage, whether you like to relax out back or enjoy some high velocity thrills on the lake.

✔️ They also help give added comfort and convenience to the most basic cottages, turning your cottage into a luxury getaway.

✔️ They also make great backup heaters for emergency situations and power outages, allowing you to augment your existing unit or function independently.