Garden fire pits provide a cosy campfire atmosphere in any garden. They can make the focal point of a patio for big gatherings or part of a quiet, comfy nook to curl up in.
Garden fire pits can keep a party going long after sunset, or keep you snug while you relax after work. If fitted with grills, they can even be used to barbecue, toast marshmallows or cook popcorn. They’re a much greener and more economical alternative to patio heaters, too, which consume a lot of electricity or non-renewable gas.
There are many different types of fire pits out there – so many that it may begin to feel overwhelming. So we’ve rounded up the best fire pits in the UK, as well as answering the most common questions.
- If instructed, fill the bottom of the fire pit or chiminea with a couple of inches of sand. This will protect the bottom of the fire pit and prolong its use.
- Place your kindling – newspaper, kindling balls, or firelighters – inside. Cover your kindling with a pyramid of small logs, then light your fire pit.
- This should start a small fire. Slowly add bigger logs, taking care not to smother the flames, and enjoy.
Best garden fire pits to buy in 2023
Browse our selection of a range of garden fire pits and chimineas below:
La Hacienda Camping Firebowl
Storage an issue? Try this folding fire pit. Its legs fold for storage when not in use, so it doesn’t take up too much space. An attractive, simple fire-pit at a great price.
Buy La Hacienda Camping Firebowl from Robert Dyas
Vonhaus Outdoor Fireplace
This fireplace would make an excellent centrepiece on a patio. Its understated design suits traditional or modern gardens, and it’s large enough to warm a big area. With handy storage for your logs and kindling underneath, it also comes with a poker.
Buy the Vonhaus Outdoor Fireplace from Vonhaus
Nest Iron Fire Pit Bowl
This interesting fire pit is designed to look like a birds’ nest and is perfect for woodland or cottage gardens. With a five year guarantee, this is a sturdy yet decorative statement fire pit.
Buy Crocus Nest Iron Fire Pit Bowl at Crocus
Prestige Large Round Firepit
This lantern-style fire pit would look fantastic in a Japanese-inspired space, but is understated enough for any spot that needs a splash of character. Mesh sides ensure 360° of heat, and with an 80cm diameter, it's much more generous than a traditional chimeneas.
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Buy Prestige Large Round Firepit at Robert Dyas
Vonhaus Geo Fire Pit
For small spaces, try this simple fire pit. We love the inclusion of a grill over the top, which gives protection from wayward sparks, and the decorative rings make it easy to move around if needed.
Buy the Vonhaus Geo Fire Pit from Vonhaus
La Hacienda Colorado Chimenea
Chimeneas - clay fire chimneys from Mexico - often offer only a narrow window of heat. However, the conical grill on this stylish chimenea combines the heat coverage of a fire pit with the tall, sleek design of a chimenea. Great for modern patios.
Buy La Hacienda Colorado Chimenea at Amazon
Swallows Fire Globe
If you’re looking for a truly unique fire pit that can also act as a garden or patio centrepiece, then you’ve found it. The best part is that when the light of the day grows dimmer, the unique design casts interesting light and shadow effects.
Buy Swallows Fire Globe at Not on the High Street
Ivyline Leo Steel Chiminea Fire Pit
As well as reducing sparks and directing smoke away from guests, this easy-to-maintain steel chiminea from John Lewis has a contemporary design, which adds a sleek and elegant look to any setting.
Buy Ivyline Leo Steel Chiminea Fire Pit at John Lewis
Charles Bentley Outdoor Patio Chiminea
This Charles Bentley Outdoor Patio Chiminea combines function with style. It has a rustic terracotta finish and a fun lizard motif, and comes with a useful stand and a lid in case it rains.
Buy Charles Bentley Outdoor Patio Chiminea at B&Q
Fire pit/table with copper top
A stylish coffee table by day, a fire pit by night – this fire pit from Crocus really can do it all. The copper-topped table is perfect for potted plants, a cup of coffee or a book, then when the evening comes simply remove the top and fill it with crackling logs.
Buy Fire pit/table with copper top from Crocus
How to choose the best fire pit for your garden
When choosing the best fire pit for your garden, there are several things to take into consideration.
What works perfectly for a little city garden may not work as well for a large garden in the country. Make sure your fire pit is large enough to give comfortable heat while you can enjoy it at a safe distance.
A fire pit can be quite a large item and one that you are unlikely to use in the depths of winter. So if space is an issue, check that it can be dismantled fairly easily for storage.
There are a number of different styles of fire pits available in the UK, each one with its own look, advantages and disadvantages.
- Bowl fire pits: these are the most basic fire pits – a bowl that holds a fire for sitting around. While they’re usually portable and can be used for cooking, they emit a lot of smoke nearly at ground level, meaning that you’re sometimes running for cover to avoid breathing it in.
- Hanging fire pits: these fire pits are suspended above the ground on metal chains to further reduce the risk of scorching a patio.
- Table fire pits: these are a great design for get-togethers with friends and family. They’re also ideal from a safety point of view, as they’re not on ground level, and the table surround keeps everyone a reasonable distance from the flame.
- Gas fire pits: in addition to wood, these fire pits can also be powered by gas. However, gas is bulky, expensive and non-renewable.
- Camping pits: compact and portable, these fire pits are designed to be taken outdoors for safe, cosy campfires on the go.
- Chimineas: based on a traditional Mexican design, these are usually made of clay, but more modern versions can be made of metal or stone-effect material. They have a hole in their front for wood, and they direct smoke up and out of the top of their chimney.
How much to spend on a garden fire pit
Fire pits can start from £30 and range upwards of £1,000. You can find lovely fire pits under £50, but they’re more likely to rust and crack than more expensive models, and less likely to come with a reasonable warranty.
How to choose between a garden fire pit and a chiminea
To sum it up, chimineas are better for small spaces, taking up less room and directing smoke upwards and away from people more efficiently.
Fire pits, on the other hand, usually take up quite a lot of space and can heat a wider area, making them better suited to a larger garden or patio. They also allow for a more open, communal experience for gatherings and roasting marshmallows.
Which material is best for a garden fire pit?
- Carbon steel is lightweight and cheap but likely to rust.
- Cast iron is cheap and durable, but its weight makes it difficult to move around a garden.
- Clay chimineas and fire pits are cheap and colourful, but clay is prone to cracking.
- Corten steel is durable and weather-resistant but is always rust-coloured, so may not suit all gardens.
- Copper is lightweight but will need maintenance, and turns blue over time.
- Stone fire pits are completely fireproof and weather resistant; however, they can be expensive and very heavy.
- Stainless steel is durable and rustproof but tends to be more on the expensive side.
Why choose a garden fire pit over a patio heater?
Subject to a lot of controversy in recent years, patio heaters are surprisingly inefficient and guzzle electricity, which is bad for both the planet and your pocket. Fire pits can be cheaper to run, especially if you have access to your own firewood, and using this as your fuel has a lower environmental impact as it’s renewable. Fire pits also have something that a patio heater can never really provide: that unbeatable ‘fireside’ ambience.
What should you burn in a garden fire pit?
Almost all fire pits are designed to burn logs. The best logs are from hardwoods like oak or ash – because these woods are dense, they burn over a long period of time. Depending on the materials, many fire pits are also safe to use with coal or charcoal, but it’s best to check the instructions before doing so.
This Product Guide was last updated in October 2023 and we apologise if anything has changed in price or availability.