The best outdoor winter heating options

There is something very Australian about being outdoors. It's our natural oasis to unwind after a day indoors at the office or school. In winter it's a chance to breathe in that crisp fresh air, rug up and get snuggly and enjoy the change of season - but we want to feel toasty and comfortable too!

These cooler temperatures call for a heat source, or multiple ones depending on the size of your outdoors.

Luckily, there's an outdoor heating option for every budget and every lifestyle - from portable firepits to built-in fire places - to make entertaining outdoors all year round not only possible, but enjoyable and a touch luxurious.

Here's a look at some of the best outdoor winter heating options for a cosy night in your outdoors.

Outdoor firepit next to a round pool
Image: Mint Design for Tess & Luke, The Oslo / The Block
Elegant outdoor heating solutions are integral to every one of our designs - and our clients are always impressed with how many options there are to suit their needs.Darin Bradbury, Director, Mint Pool & Landscape Design

Pendant Heaters
Both elegant and practical pendant heaters offer the convenience of electricity, are dimmable and come as mobile floor-standing units or with the option of being hung from the ceiling or patio rafters. It's a toasty infrared radiant heat that creates warmth and a cosy glow. We love the range available from Rock & Stone Outdoor Living and recommend them to our clients.

Portable Firepits
If you're dreaming of nights toasting marshmallows and gazing into the flicker of flames, nothing beats the atmosphere and heat that comes from a wood-fired fire pit. There are ethanol and gas fired options as well, but they are generally more ornamental with only minimal heat projection. In open spaces you really need to push out a lot of heat to stay warm.
We often recommend Milkcan firepits for modern landscapes and find that the atmosphere really heightens with surround seating.

Built in Fireplace
For creating an outdoor ambience that exudes luxury resort vibes, you can't go past a built in fireplace. Options include outdoor gas fireplaces, outdoor open fireplaces, and outdoor wood fireplaces all designed to ensure your outdoor space is the ‘hottest’ hangout for family and friends. Fireplaces also create a real statement piece in the garden drawing people outside on the colder nights.

Portable fire pit
Mint Design for Parkview House by Allie Harris. Photography: Spacecraft
Outdoor fireplace with built in concrete bench seat
Outdoor fireplace with built in concrete bench seat
Outdoor fireplace with built in concrete bench seat
Fire pit with built in bench seating and surrounding garden beds looking toward pool
Mint Design: Built in Firepit with bench seating
Pendant Heater
Deco Fire Bowl by Gloster
Fire pit with built in bench seating
Mint Design: Firepit with built in bench seating
Firepit with built in concrete bench seat
Firepit with built in concrete bench seat
Landscape design by Mint Design. Built in Firepit in Strathmore, Victoria
Mint Design Built in Firepit

Built in Firepit
Nothing says a master-planned landscape design more than a dedicated built in firepit. Perfect for group or family gatherings as a retreat after a meal, it really can be the ultimate finish to your dinner party. Who doesn’t love a toasted marshmallow for dessert - plus the built-in firepit often also doubles as a coffee table, offering you a place to sit your drinks and snacks.

Outdoor Gas Heaters
Gas heaters have fantastic portability allowing you to move your heat source around the landscape to wherever you need it. Make sure you carry a spare gas bottle though as they can use a lot of fuel and you don’t want to be caught out.

Strip Heater
Strip heaters such as those from Heat Strip are a Mint Design favourite. Place them directly over your alfresco dining or lounge areas to enjoy beautiful radiant heat that will enable you to continue using those spaces on those colder nights. They’ll cost more upfront, but we think there’s nothing better to give you consistent cost effective heat.

Have an outdoor heating question? Give us a shout - we'd love to hear from you.

Built in fire place
Mint Design: Built-in Fireplace
Dome heat sail pendant Landscape design by Mint Design in Williamstown, Victoria
Mint Design Display featuring Dome by Heatsail
Outdoor fireplace
Image: Globewest
built in outdoor fireplace Landscape design by Mint Design in Williamstown, Victoria
Image: Maree Homer | Design: Three Birds Renovations | Styling: Kayla Gex
Heat strip heating in patio Landscape design by Mint Design in Strathmore, Victoria
Image: Heat Strip
Balcony fire pit Landscape design by Mint Design in Essendon, Victoria
Image: Balcony fire pit via Pinterest
Firebowl by Gloster
Image: Firebowl by Gloster