The 8 Best Fire Pits to Upgrade Your Outdoor Space
Fire pits are an easy way to turn your patio or backyard into a cozy space. Plus, they allow you to enjoy the outdoors and entertain guests year-round. In-ground fire pits can be pricey, but there are plenty of smaller above-ground options to fit any budget and space—and they don't require any major construction.
To come up with this list of the best fire pits, we looked at a variety of options and narrowed down the list based on price, size, style, and fuel type. We made sure to include various types of fire pits that can be used in small spaces, on tables, and even as tables. We also spoke to Rupa Mehta, a home expert at Angi, who recommends considering your neighborhood before choosing a fire pit. "Some places have restrictions on which kinds of fire pits you can have, so be sure to do your research to find a fire pit that works for your location," says Mehta.
Our top pick, the Tiki Brand Patio Fire Pit, has a stylish design that will complement the rest of your outdoor furniture and an airflow system that enables better flames with low smoke. And it comes with a wood pack, so you have one less thing to worry about if you want to use the fire pit as soon as it arrives.
Here are the best fire pits to add to your backyard or patio.
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall Fire Pit: Tiki Brand Patio Fire Pit
- Best Smokeless Fire Pit: Solo Stove Bonfire
- Best Portable Fire Pit: BioLite FirePit+
- Best Tabletop Fire Pit: TerraFlame Geo Fire Bowl
- Best Budget Fire Pit: Best Choice Products Steel Outdoor Patio Fire Pit Bowl
- Best Splurge Fire Pit: Frontgate Bryndle Root Square Fire Table
- Best Propane Fire Pit: Outland Living Mega Fire Pit
- Best Wood-Burning Fire Pit: Real Flame Anson Wood-Burning Fire Pit
Best Overall Fire Pit: Tiki Brand Patio Fire Pit
Best Smokeless Fire Pit: Solo Stove Bonfire
Best Portable Fire Pit: BioLite FirePit+
Best Tabletop Fire Pit: TerraFlame Geo Fire Bowl
Best Budget Fire Pit: Best Choice Products Steel Outdoor Patio Fire Pit Bowl
Best Splurge Fire Pit: Frontgate Bryndle Root Square Fire Table
Best Propane Fire Pit: Outland Living Mega Fire Pit
Best Wood-Burning Fire Pit: Real Flame Anson Wood-Burning Fire Pit
Overall, we recommend the Tiki Brand Patio Fire Pit, which is efficient and easy to use, even if you're new to fire starting. It also helps make cleaning—one of the worst parts of owning a fire pit—a little easier with its removable ash pan. But if you'd rather have a fire pit that emits no or minimal smoke, the Solo Stove Bonfire is a sleek, stainless steel alternative that even comes with a carrying bag.
How to Shop for Fire Pits Like a Pro
There are two types of fire pits—wood and gas—and each has its pros and cons. Wood fire pits tend to be more inexpensive and simply designed, and they usually create larger fires than propane fire pits. "However, wood fire pits result in more mess and safety issues," says Mehta. "Because wood fire pits burn real wood, you have to be knowledgeable on how to build a fire, and the lingering smoke smell is one of the biggest disadvantages of wood fire pits."
If you or anyone in your household is particularly sensitive to smoke, you may want to avoid a wood-burning model. Gas fire pits, on the other hand, use an electric switch and propane. "They're easy to operate, mess-free, smoke-free, safe, and provide instant fire," says Mehta. With a cleaner burn, they also tend to create smaller fires. "Keep in mind that you can't cook on all gas fire pits," according to Mehta, "so if that's important to you, wood may be a better option."
One of the biggest factors in deciding the best fire pit for you is how much space you have. If you have a big backyard or patio, you have more options in terms of size and shape. But those with small yards or patios will want to opt for something more compact (or even a tabletop model). And if you're planning on traveling with a fire pit (road trips, camping, beach outings, etc.), a portable fire pit is going to be much easier to pack and tote around.
Fire pits come in all types of materials such as steel, concrete, and stone. Part of your decision will be based on aesthetic and personal preference, but other things to take into account are durability and weight. For example, a stainless steel fire pit will be durable enough to last for many years to come, whereas a stone fire pit, although sturdy, will be much heavier and harder to move around if you decide you want to redecorate.
Questions You Might Ask
Where should you place a fire pit?
When it comes to open flames, safety should be your first priority. "Your outdoor fire pit should be at least 10 feet away from your house, trees, and any other flammable structures," says Mehta.
Ideally, you'll want to put it in a wide, open space. And since fire pits are a great place for friends and family to gather, you'll appreciate the extra room to add in some chairs or comfortable seating nearby.
How do you maintain a fire pit?
"Most gas fire pits are mess-free and don't require much cleaning," says Mehta. However, if you're using a propane tank, you'll need to manually replace it once it runs out. Wood fire pits, on the other hand, can be messier and require regular cleaning due to ash left behind from the burned wood.
You'll also want to clear out any extra debris in the fire pit before and after using it, and cover it when it's not in use to protect it from inclement weather.
What can you do with fire pit ashes?
Fire pit ashes are compostable, so they can be reused in your garden. "The day after you use the fire pit, sweep the ashes into a can or other container," says Mehta. "Once you gather enough ashes, you can spread them around your garden to make the soil less acidic."
Take Our Word for It
This article was written by Lesley Chen, a contributing writer for Real Simple with six years of experience writing commerce, home, and lifestyle stories. To compile this list, she thoroughly researched fire pits and rounded up the best options based on style, size, material, and fuel type. For expert advice on how to choose and care for a fire pit, Lesley spoke to Rupa Mehta, a home expert at Angi.