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.
Choosing the best fire pit for your garden
How much should I spend?
Should I use a chiminea or a fire pit?
Which material is best?
Shouldn’t I just use a patio heater?
What should I burn in a fire pit?
How do I light a fire pit?
X of the best fire pits and chimineas
There’s plenty of choice when it comes to picking your fire pit, with designs and price tags to suit all gardens and pockets. We’ve put together a list of key things to think about to help make your decision.
What works perfectly for a little city garden may not work as well for a large garden in the country. Make sure your pit is large enough to give comfortable heat while you enjoy it at a safe distance.
A fire pit can be quite a large ornament and one you’re unlikely to use in the depths of winter. Making sure it can be dismantled or stored if needed is always helpful.
- Bowl fire pits
The most basic fire pit - a bowl that holds a fire for sitting around. While they’re portable and can be used for cooking, they can create a lot of smoke, because they’re often low to the ground.
- Hanging fire pits
These fire pits are suspended above the ground on metal chains, to further reduce the risk of a fire pit scorching a patio.
- Table fire pits
These are just as they sound - a table with a built-in, wood-burning fire pit - 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 creates a bit of distance from the flame.
- Gas fire pits
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, cozy campfires on the go.
Chimineas are clay fire chimneys. Based on a traditional Mexican design, they are usually made of clay, but more modern versions can be made of stone or metal. They have a hole in their front for wood, and they direct flames up and out of the top of their chimney.
Fire pits range from £30-£300. You can find gorgeous 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.
Chimineas are better for small spaces, fire pits are better for larger spaces. Because chimineas are narrower, they take up less room, and because they only radiate heat from their opening, they heat a small area very intensely. Some newer models have mesh all around, for heating a wider area. Garden fire pits tend to take up more room, but this means they can heat a much wider area.
- Carbon steel - This kind of steel is lightweight and cheap, but likely to rust.
- Cast iron - Cast iron is cheap and durable but fairly heavy, so difficult to move around a garden.
- Clay - clay chimineas and fire pits are cheap and colourful, but clay is prone to cracking.
- Corten steel - this kind of steel is durable and weather resistant, but is always rust-coloured, so may not suit all gardens.
- Copper - a great heat conductor and lightweight, copper will need maintenance and turns blue over time.
- Stone - stone fire pits are completely fireproof and weather resistant, but they’re expensive and very heavy.
- Stainless steel - this is durable and rustproof, but tends to be expensive.
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 heat more effectively, more cheaply, and more greenly, as well as adding an unbeatable fireside ambience.
More like this
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 very intensely over a long period of time. Depending on the materials, most fire pits are also safe to use with coal or charcoal, but it’s best to check the instructions before doing so.
- 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.
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.
Vonhaus Outdoor Fireplace
We think this fireplace would make an excellent centrepiece. 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.
Clas Ohlson Hanging Tripod Fire Pit Brazier
This fire pit from Clas Ohlson is easy to move around thanks to its hanging tripod bowl. This clever design also reduces the chance of the fire pit scorching the stonework underneath and because it’s detachable, this pit is especially easy to clean. It's well thought out and excellent value.
Yaku Two Piece Clay Chiminea with Grill
For a traditional chiminea with a modern twist, try this. Its clay chimney comes off and can be replaced with a grill for barbecuing.
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.
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.
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.
Garden Leisure Beer Box Firepit
This fire pit is unique - a metal beer crate that can be used to hold a bonfire. Helpfully, it also comes with a wooden seat for use as a small stool. It can be packed with ice to use as a makeshift drinks cooler, or loaded with logs to take camping. A versatile bit of kit that’s great for those on the go.
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.
Matera Stone Charcoal and Wood Burning Fire Pit
The Matera fire pit emulates an old Roman fireplace and would look fantastic on a stone terrace or courtyard. It’s made of artificial stone, so it’s weather resistant, and has a handy log store underneath.
Kratki Steel Wood Burning Fire Pit
Enhance contemporary spaces with this unique fire pit. Its polygon sides would make an intriguing addition to any modern patio.
This Product Guide was last updated in April 2022 and we apologise if anything has changed in price or availability.