Best fire pit

Fire Pits & Heaters

Chairs placed around a fire pit

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Which fire pit is best?

One of the first collective acts we humans did was sitting around a fire. Still today, there’s something special about this activity that brings us together. That’s not possible, though, without a good fire pit. A fire pit is a large stand-alone container that burns either wood, propane or natural gas.

Our top pick, the Sunnydaze Cosmic Outdoor Fire Pit, is stylish and rustic.

What to know before you buy a fire pit

Types

Fire pits are available in a variety of fuel types:

  • Wood-burning: These fire pits are the most popular type of fire pit sold through home improvement retailers. They can be small enough to fit on a table, or large enough to serve as freestanding grills. Wood-burning fire pits usually come with a poker and a spark guard. The spark guard keeps embers from flying out of the fire bowl while still allowing a clear view of the flames.
  • Propane: Fire pits that use propane tend to be bigger than wood-burning models. While most wood-burning models have a rustic design, a lot of propane pits have a much more modern, ornate design style. These fire pits run off of a self-contained propane tank, just like a gas grill, and can be either portable or built into a larger table.
  • Natural gas: These fire pits offer a permanent fuel source, making it far more convenient than the other two options. Keep in mind, if you want a natural gas model, but don’t currently have an outdoor gas line, you’ll have to pay quite a bit to install a line.

Size

To determine what size is best for you, measure the space where you plan to use the fire pit. Also think about how you plan to use it. If you just want something for occasionally roasting marshmallows a few evenings a year, then a small tabletop option may work. However, if you want something to gather around regularly with friends and family, then you may need to opt for a larger model.

Design

When choosing a fire pit, you should think about the aesthetics of the space where you plan to use it. Fire pits come in styles that range from weathered and rustic to sophisticated and modern. Because most fire pits take up a large area of your outdoor space, it’s important you pick one that reflects your yard or patio’s current style.

What to look for in a quality fire pit

Features

Some propane and natural gas fire pits incorporate heat-retaining glass beads where the flame emits from the base. These beads are decorative, but they also hold heat to make the entire fire pit warmer for those sitting around it.

A few wood-burning fire pits have adjustable grilling platforms. These platforms can be raised or lowered to different levels over the flame. They can also swing away from the flame for preparing food. This is a convenient feature for those who plan to use their fire pit often for grilling.

How much you can expect to spend on a fire pit

Most fire pits cost between $50 and $250. Fire pits on the low end of cost are mostly small wood-burning models that require some assembly. For $150, you can find deeper wood-burning models with more ornate designs. If you spend $250 or more, you can get the largest wood-burning pits, as well as propane or natural gas models. Keep in mind that the purchase price will not include the cost of propane or natural gas.

Fire pit FAQ

Is there any way to cook over a fire pit if you don’t have a grate?

A. Yes. The most popular technique is to use a stick to cook simple foods such as sausages, hot dogs, biscuits and marshmallows.

What type of stick is best for cooking over a fire pit?

A. If you plan to regularly cook over your fire pit, it’s wise to invest in a few accessories to make the job easier, such as a set of metal kabob skewers or some two-prong marshmallow roasting sticks. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s long enough that you won’t burn yourself.

What’s the best fire pit to buy?

Top fire pit

Sunnydaze Decor’s Large Cosmic Outdoor Fire Pit

Sunnydaze Cosmic Outdoor Fire Pit

What you need to know: This large pit offers all the convenience and rustic durability you could want.

What you’ll love: Deeper than most fire pits, the removable spark screen is convenient.

What you should consider: The water drain hole was too small for some users.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top fire pit for the money

Pleasant Hearths Martin Extra-Deep Fire Pit

Pleasant Hearth’s Martin Extra-Deep Fire Pit

What you need to know: A great dual-threat fire pit, it’s just as good for grilling as for warming yourself.

What you’ll love: Strong mesh and great ventilation make this one of the most well-designed fire pits available.

What you should consider: Some users complained the protective cover doesn’t come with the base.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Fire Senses Roman Fire Pit

Fire Sense’s Roman Fire Pit

What you need to know: It’s a reasonable price for a sharp-looking fire pit.

What you’ll love: A tool for lifting the mesh cover is included, and the 36-inch-diameter saucer can fit large pieces of firewood.

What you should consider: It doesn’t have a water drainage hole.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Adam Reeder writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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