Written by Terry Smith
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UK’s best parasol heaters: Top electric patio parasol heaters that are warm and safe to use
This article was last updated on April 23rd, 2022 at 5:31 am
One of the singular most annoying most annoying things about sitting under a parasol trying to keep warm is the positioning. A standard patio heater, especially the propane heater types are almost always reasonably fixed in position or heavy to move. Wall mounted garden heaters are set in stone and can’t be moved, and table top heaters take up space if you’re dining and inconvenient. And so parasol heaters were born and they negate the need for parasol lights too!
The best parasol heaters are easy to fix to the pole on your parasol and so quick to remove if needs be, extremely powerful for their weight (infrared heater technology), safe, and the best bit is, very well priced when compared to the aforementioned heaters. If you’re still unsure then feel free to take a look at my best parasol heater buying guide too. So let’s take a look at our top picks:
Best parasol heaters in the UK: Editor picks:
Best parasol heater overall: Firefly 2kW IP34 Electric Quartz Bulb Parasol Patio Heater – just 10p an hour to run!
Runner up: La Hacienda Parasol Electric Heater
Best alternative to the La Hacienda: All Seasons Gazebos Electric Parasol Heater
Budget pick: Outdoor Infrared Heater – ideal for Parasol
Warmest parasol heater: Heatmaster Slimline Super 2400W Infrared Parasol/Tripod Mounted Patio Heater
Best parasol heaters buyers guide:
There are a few really important factors to consider when buying a parasol heater – the first one is the water proofing. You’ll quickly realise these are outdoor units but should not be subjected to rain or direct water – these are of course designed to go under a brolly so they never got rated higher. The next thing is the size – some are 40cm in diameter while others up to a metre. You might want to take out a take to workout what you want to fit. The key thing to remember though is just how bright these are:
Then there’s power lead length – some are suitable and others not. You’ve got price, build quality, and power as well but let’s look at all those in more detail:
Water proof rating (IP)
All of the parasol heaters are designed for outdoor use. This means a bit of rain won’t harm them. To be sure though, you want to see a rating of IP24 and up. The cheapest pick the Outdoor Infrared Heater is thing rating while the more expensive and better quality units like the Firefly is IP34. IPX3 is also fine, this is the rating found on La Hacienda. This is plenty for an undercover electrical unit but you must remember that this rating pertains to the unit itself, it in no way suggests you can allow the electrical plug and socket to get wet. These have a separate rating of their own and unless it’s mentioned in review, assume no water can touch the plug.
Installation is quite straight forward on parasol heaters. The best ones like La Hacienda just unscrew around the pole, and then are tightened into position with just one bolt by hand – all very simple stuff. It’s pretty simple on the cheaper models too. If you take a look at the Outdoor Infrared Heater you’ll understand that it’s literally one wing nut to clamp the whole thing together. Being steel it’s reliable too. Some like the Prem-I-Air are slide up the pole and then just bolt on, much like the Firefly. In short, the install does not need to be something you are concerned with – though it was the first time I made one myself so understand the apprehension.
The Heatmaster doesn’t even need that – it has a gap in the loop so you just slide it on the bar and tighten it up – follow the link for a better view of that.
Size is an important factor – the Firefly is one metre in span when arms unfolded. This means you’ll need a metre clearance under your parasol – so take the tape measure out to be sure or worst case assume you need to sit a little way down from the parasol material. Otherwise if you feel this is a problem the smaller spot light type choices: All Seasons, or the Heatmaster as well as the La Hacienda are a better pick.
Generally these heaters range from about £80 to £150. However I managed to find you one pole clamp heater for much much less. The Outdoor Infrared Heater works brilliantly if you’re only heating up a couple of people. The Firefly for my money is the best heater that’s top quality as well – hence being the top pick but the La Hacienda isn’t far behind.
If you want the most powerful that fits into the roof of a parasol then you would look at the Heatmaster. At 2400 Watts it’s by far and away the most powerful the closest rivals are the All Seasons, La Hacienda, and Firefly on 2000 Watts. At the lower end of the scale you have the Outdoor Infrared Heater but I have to tell you – because it’s one bulb. if you’re standing straight at it then it packs miles more of a punch than the rest – so it’s simultaneously the most economical as well as being the least powered in some cases and well worth looking at.
1. Firefly 2kW IP34 Electric Quartz Bulb Parasol Patio Heater
There were two parasol heaters that really deserved top spot, this and the La Hacienda. When everything boiled down, they were so evenly matched in terms of me wanting to pick both, I gave it to the Firefly on the fact it’s Amazon’s choice which means returns, refunds, and customer services will be top notch. Both are very good. That and this one has a tip over safety cut off which is vital for infrared heaters.
The Firefly is very easy to setup. The clamp can grab hold of practically any parasol pole – ranging from an inch up to just under 2 and a half inches! There’s one thing to note though, it weighs a hefty 5kg and considering you’ve got to hold on and do up the clamp you could benefit from a second person. The I mean that really does cover all options! You’ve got three sensible power settings: 650,1300,2000 Watts. This is ample and you’ll find a comfortable setting for certain – mine is full power, always 😀
One thing to consider is the span – have a quick measure on the size of your parasol and where this can be positioned safely. Being 1 metre wide you need to be clear of your parasol material. Basically, you still want some headroom and don’t want it placed too low and if it is consider the La Hacienda, All Seasons, or the Heatmaster. However, there is a flip side to that, the lower it can be placed, the warmer you’ll be, so worth factoring that too. They are pretty sensible with the power lead – it’s 2 metres long so you should be able to run power comfortably enough but I’d still rather longer. Remember to keep your plug DRY! Talking of dry, the unit itself is IP34 rated. This means you can get it wet with a gentle spray – this will be fine considering you’re placing it under a parasol.
Being infrared and sensible quality, you can expect 5k hours life out of your bulb – however it’s a little misleading since you only get a 12 month guarantee with this unit.
In terms of using the unit you will find two easy switches to power up your heater and the foldaway arms are useful too – some models don’t fold away and therefore you can’t close your parasol! 😀
Overall it’s a quality unit – my only two complaints would be the odd failure and then subsequently no spares, but seeing as so many have been sold that’s almost inevitable and I think as the range develops you’ll see spares too!
- Nice looking design
- Foldable arms useful
- 3 heat settings
- No spares if bulb goes
- 2 metre cable – needs more
2. La Hacienda Parasol Electric Heater
I really like the La Hacienda Parasol Electric Heater and it’s easily every bit as good as the Firefly in its own right. For a start its total power is 2000 Watts – the bulbs are 500 Watts each. And crucially for me, you don’t need to fold the arms up and down each time you use it – probably the only weakness of the Firefly actually.
It’s built to last with a 5k hour bulb rating and the infrared tech is mile more efficient than other heating options. The install is super easy too. Being smaller than the fan type parasol heaters makes for a lot less difficulty. You literally just undo one screw, place the unit around the parasol, fix the screw back, and then tighten up the bolt onto your parasol pole (pole can be 1-2 inches diameter). Here’s a picture to simplify those instructions:
You can also just lift out of the parasol base and run it up the pole without undoing anything and then just clamp on – either way works just fine. Then just tilt the lights individually so your setup how you like and thats it once you sort the power issue:
It works with your typical kettle lead. Now the one provided isn’t long enough. You’ve got two options. Use a cable extension reel which isn’t ideal because you need to fully unwind it given the power rating of this unit. Or simply buy a longer kettle lead thats a seal unit. This keeps plug points away from under your table and crucially out the wet! If you follow my link you’ll also see plenty of options for kettle leads and they literally cost a few quid – certainly less than a new power cable reel!
Some have complained there isn’t enough heat – from my perspective this is pretty much as good as a parasol heater gets without going full tilt using the Heatmaster. To give you some idea – I would say you’ll keep the chill off on a cold spring evening, or perhaps a mild Winter one. It’s not like being indoors 🙂
All in all, it’s definitely a sensible pick for best parasol heater.
- Great if you don’t want to fold parasol down
- Super easy to install
- Bulbs are replaceable
- Fits any parasol pole practically – 1-2 inches
- Power lead could be longer
3. Heatmaster Slimline Super 2400W Infrared Parasol/Tripod Mounted Patio Heater
Next up is the Heatmaster. You might be forgiven for clicking the link, seeing the bad reviews, and assuming I’ve made a mistake. Definitely not. This is a super powerful parasol heater and definitely is my choice for bigger parasol – like the 3 by 3. The reason for the bad reviews is the short power lead. The heating element itself is top notch, easy to fit, and sensibly priced.
However, when they supply a cable (particularly a kettle lead) there are laws that need to be followed which is why you only get a 1.5m cable with it. I would recommend getting a ten metre extension rated for more than 2400 watts then what you have here is one of the best parasol heaters in the UK and certainly the most powerful.
The installation is pretty simple – it’s just a case of clamping it around the pole – it literally slips and is by far the easiest install – this can be between 1 and 2 inches:
The huge power does come with what I would call a bit of a downside – wow it is BRIGHT! 😀 So no worries on garden lighting, this is the next best thing to floodlights :)- this thing has you covered and some.
All in all it’s a great unit and somehow very under rated on Amazon – it’s on the higher end of the price scale and inline with the other top models so shouldn’t be scaring people off.
- Brightest and warmer parasol heater in the UK
- Easiest to install
- Ideal for bigger parasols
- Short power lead
4. All Seasons Gazebos 500W x 4 Bulb ( 2,000W ) Electric Parasol Heater
Next up is the All Seasons Electric Parasol Heater which is easily the best alternative if you don’t the the Hacienda is to your liking – this probably only loses on price if I’m honest but with the additional cost of power lead on the Hacienda perhaps I am leaning toward this more? 🤔
They are very similar – 4 bulbs totalling 2kW. The big benefit though is the 5m power lead – so no paying for additional bits and bobs – everything you need is ready to go with this. Each light individually tilts too, just like the top pick.
It slots up the pole and clamps on – just like the other models or you can undo a bolt and slip it round the pole – we are talking a matter of minutes for install and the only model better than this in terms of install is the Heatmaster. Out the box you’ll have to put together the clamps on the bulbs but these are wing nuts and it really isn’t much at all.
Being a 5m power lead you’ll have a reasonable chance of running the wire to somewhere nice and dry too – the additional lead is much appreciated! The only thing it doesn’t have is variable temperature settings, its stop or start – but that’s fine too me I doubt I’d ever use the lower settings anyway.
No worries on fitting a pole – it’ll so 1-2 inches like all the others in this review but weighs 3.4kg so fairly hefty and you might want a second pair of hands to hold on when you’re clamping it up – overall it’s a great alternative to the Hacienda.
- Elusive 5m cable
- Lovely heating
- Easy fitting
- Price is right up there
- No heat setting variation might be an issue for some
5. Prem-I-Air 2000W Halogen Quartz Parasol Patio Heater
The Prem-I-Air is the same style as the Firefly and has pretty similar stats and style – being a fan type parasol heater but there’s one key difference in design – this one needs a 35mm pole so that it can clamp down firmly – the others are an inch or 25mm if you prefer. If you buy this by accident and have a thinner pole you can always beed up your pole with a bit of packing – something rubberised would be ideal – it’ll stay firm so long at the total diameter is over 35mm. It has the all important tip over cut off and overheat cut out too. This is super important, after all, parasols do go over for a whole number of reasons from a drunkenly falling into it to the weather 😀
It’s just under half a metre diameter closed – and a meter open, again similar to the Firefly – incredibly being Aluminium it still somehow weighs 3.9kg and with it being quite large you’ll want a hand fitting it in my mind.
The claim is 4.5m of heat coverage – that might be the case if they mean total diameter, otherwise it’s just not powerful enough, especially on a windy chilly evening. Sitting under the parasol with this on full settings gives a sensible warm glow that definitely takes the chill off – it’s not going to turn your local area into a sauna!
Being IPX4 rated it can take a bit of rain no problem – not that it should reach the unit given it’s under a parasol and the 5m cable takes you right back indoors with no joints – pretty much a perfect setup. The unit gives 1950 Watts total – not the 2000 you can see in the title with each arm giving out 650 watts. Where this unit scores is the 5m power cable. The fold down arms are easy to operate like all the other fan type parasol heaters so no problems there. That’s about the best thing on it – after that The FireFly edges it:
For a start QC is better on the Firefly – less broken parts and mumbles about warranty. Then theres the pole issue – it can’t grab a small pole. But with a bit of balance you soon realise this is marginally cheaper.
Overall it’s a decent alternative but I would go with the Firefly if it’s in stock.
- 5m cable
- Good heat output
- Some breakages
- Need 35mm pole min
Next up is the 1500W Parasol Heater from Eurom. You’ve probably never heard of them – they are an electrical retailer into things like fly zappers to heaters. They are generally making pretty sensible products and since the birth of the parasol heater idea, this unit was one of the first. The ruby lights are nice too. One of the biggest problems with some of these reviews is the bright light – this is slightly dimmer and appreciably noticed with me staring at some many.
And to be fair given it was the first R and D the style and build is pretty nice – the heat output is sensible and the attachment to the pole pretty easy too – you can get it to fit poles up to 2 inches no problem. Fitting is much easier than most heavy duty models in this review. Weighing a tad over 3kg means you can clamp this on your own with not much trouble.
A large number of the poorer reviews online are down to the fact this comes with an EU 2 pin plug. As long as you know it’s not a problem – if not for that singular issue this would actually be the highest rated parasol heater – no question about that!
Being only 1500 Watt its both the most economical and least powered model in the review – but to be fair, still packs a reasonably hot punch 🙂 The IP44 rating is actually one of the highest on the market – and certainly the highest in this review – water definitely not a problem but be sure not to let the water get anywhere near the plug – that of course is not a sealed unit and therefore not IP44 rated.
However there are a few niggles – the first being the 2 pin plug thing. Not everyone has a 2 pin adapter kicking about and if you ordered this off Amazon for their delivery reliability (and a party that evening) plus had no plans to go out that day you’d be extremely annoyed making a trip to the shops. It’s rare to have to receive a non UK plug after all. The power lead is also short so you’ll need to make a plan to keep your lead waterproof. You’ll also soon realise to turn it on, you plug it in, not ideal but it work.
- Lowest energy consumption parasol heater
- Fits and installs easy
- 2 pin plug
- short power lead
7. Outdoor Infrared Heater - ideal for Parasol
Last on the list to give a rounded review is the Outdoor Infrared Heater by Knightsbridge. They actually don’t advertise this unit as a parasol heater (just a gazebo heater) and have missed a massive trick – luckily I guess for them I am filling the blank. This slots onto poles 20mm – 60mm in diameter making it the most flexible of all heaters. It’s super easy to hookup too. In fact it’s so easy it would go hand in hand with a pop up gazebo as that can be unpacked in minutes too.
Being 1300 Watts it’s also the lowest consuming unit. You’ll also have to appreciate this also makes it the least effective at heating – or so you would think right? WRONG. All the heat is concentrated in one area which make it easily the most powerful heater if you’re standing in front of it but that is simultaneously its weakest point too. If you’ve got half a dozen people sitting around the table this won’t work, not unless you load up two of them which would still workout to value for money.
Weighing 300 grams or so it’s also by far and away the lightest unit and so makes holding and fitting easy on anything. Overall I really like this unit and if for one or two people, having all that heat concentrated and not wasted is a real result.
- Fits all poles.
- Multi purpose – can be used elsewhere too
- Best value for money
- All heat aimed at one or two people