Best Fire Pits for Your Backyard (2024)

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  • Things to Consider When Buying Fire Pits
  • Types of Fire Pits
  • Fire Pit Fuel Types
  • Fire Pit Materials
  • Shape and Style
  • Other Fire Pit Features and Accessories
  • General Fire Pit Tips

Things to Consider When Buying Fire Pits

Best Fire Pits for Your Backyard (1)

There are many important factors to consider when looking at best fire pits for your yard. In addition to deciding between a gas vs. wood fire pit, be sure to select one that fits within your space and also matches your style.

You don’t need a lot of extra room to set up a fire pit and create ambience and fun in your backyard. Sizes vary and the dimensions of fire pits are usually smaller than outdoor dining tables. Think about the area needed for the chairs that you plan to place around your new gathering spot and not just the footprint of the fire pit itself.

Also keep in mind that fire pits can be a long-lasting addition to your backyard, so choose carefully. If you want a less-permanent option, there are plenty of portable models available for smaller spaces or occasional use.

The best fire pit for the backyard can also be a prominent part of your decor. Look for those that complement your outdoor space or furniture. For a fresh start with a cohesive and stylish look, consider fire pit patio sets that include chairs and other accessories.

Dancing flames help set a cozy atmosphere for entertaining, but that’s not the only function of the best fire pits. They have a decorative element and might pull double-duty as a table. Some fire pits can be used for minimal grilling and also for outdoor heating.

Types of Fire Pits

Best Fire Pits for Your Backyard (2)

Stacked stones or blocks arranged in a circle often come to mind when thinking about the best fire pits. Those kits or DIY projects using pavers are just a part of the many types of fire pits that are available. Other categories include fire pit tables, fire bowls, tabletop fire pits and chimineas.

Fire tables:

  • Fire pit tables add a beautiful and functional element to your outdoor space. These models feature a ledge that is suitable for resting glasses or plates around the perimeter of the flames. Look for fire pit tables that have an insert to conceal the fire box. This creates a full table to use when the gas burner is off.

Fire pit bowls:

  • Add warmth and elegance to your outdoor entertaining with a round metal fire pit. A deep pit bowl will generate heat on a chilly evening. Fire pit bowls are typically lightweight units, making them easy to move out of the way in smaller spaces.

Tabletop fire pits and fire bowls:

  • Create a unique centerpiece with a tabletop fire pit, fire bowl or fire pot. The dancing flames produce ambient light and warm the area. Some models use liquid propane and are better suited for outdoor heating. Fire bowls often use gel fuel and help you make a dramatic statement on your patio, deck or by the pool.


  • A chiminea can have a rustic look, modern design or classic clean lines for a striking addition to your patio or outdoor cooking area. Depending on the model, chimineas can be fueled by wood, propane or natural gas.

Fire Pit Fuel Types

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There are different types of fire pits and different types of fuel. Each fuel type has benefits and disadvantages. Some fire pits are able to use more than one kind of fuel.

Burning wood in a fire pit will give you the closest match to a traditional campfire. But even the best wood fire pits generate ash. Many people say the enjoyment of a crackling fire is worth having to clean up ashes afterward. For some, the smell of the fire adds to the experience, while others can be put off by the smoke from a wood fire.

The wood vs. gas debate is mostly a matter of personal preference. A gas fire pit burns cleaner and turns on and off with the flip of a switch. Some models have controls to adjust flame height. Gas fire pits commonly use liquid propane, which is available in refillable tanks. Natural gas is an option for some fire pits and they must be connected to the home’s gas line.

  • Gel fuel creates the flames on many smaller tabletop fire pits and fire bowls. This type is used primarily for ambient lighting or as a decorative accent. It is not an outdoor heating source.
  • Bio-ethanol fuel is a clean-burning option for some types of fire pits and outdoor fireplaces.
  • Charcoal can be used for cooking food in wood-burning fire pits.

Fire Pit Materials

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Fire pits can be made from a variety of materials that are hardy enough to withstand the heat. Stone fire pits are a popular choice. For DIY fire pits, pavers and blocks made from clay brick or concrete are common.

Different metals are used in a range of fire pit styles. Metal fire pits made from steel are most common, but other metals such as aluminum, cast iron and copper are available.

Always keep metal fire pits covered when not in use to help prevent rust buildup.

Shape and Style

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Fire pits are available in a wide variety of shapes and styles to fit your space and match your decor.

  • A round fire pit is the most common shape, especially for wood-burning models. Like a campfire, this shape emits heat evenly around the perimeter to help ensure a warm seat for every guest.
  • Choose a rectangular fire pit for narrower patios and create some design interest in your outdoor space. This fire pit shape works well with sofa seating as well as individual chairs.
  • The edges of a square fire pit can provide additional space for placing your refreshments, whether it’s a fire pit table or a campfire style that’s made from stone or concrete blocks.

Finding the best fire pit for your yard mostly depends on your personal preferences. You can find one that completes the look you’re trying to achieve or fits in with your existing outdoor decor.

Fire pit styles come in all types of design. For a contemporary feel, select a fire pit with a modern design and sharp lines. A rustic fire pit fits in well with traditional decor.

Other Fire Pit Features and Accessories

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Look at the features available in different models when searching for the best outdoor fire pit for your yard.

  • A 360-degree fire view lets everyone see the flames when they’re in the patio area.
  • While some fire pits are permanent additions to an outdoor living space, portability can be an important factor. Most freestanding, cauldron-style fire pits can be easily transported or stored.
  • Gas fire pits offer convenience and many feature adjustable flame controls for ambience and heating, as well as automatic shut-off for safety.
  • Use colored fire glass in a gas fire pit to add some splash under the flames. The rich color brings another element of charm to your decor.
  • Fire screens are necessary to help contain sparks and flames.
  • A basic fireplace tool set, along with a broom and shovel, can handle most cleaning and maintenance tasks for most wood-burning fire pits.

General Fire Pit Tips

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No matter what type of fire pit you choose, always keep a fire extinguisher nearby.

  • To keep your fire pit in good condition, make sure you clean out the ashes regularly and protect it from the elements with a fire pit cover when not in use.
  • Choose a hard level surface, such as concrete or paver stones, to place under the fire pit.
  • Whether you are building a fire pit out of stone or concrete pavers or using a fire pit kit, you must select a location that is a safe distance from any structures and low hanging trees.
  • Consult local building code and your homeowner association for any restrictions.
  • Disclosing your backyard fire pit could be a requirement of your homeowners insurance policy. Check with your agent to learn if having one affects your coverage.
  • Outdoor fire pits should never be used indoors, on a balcony or near anything flammable. Make sure to keep any vegetation at least 15 feet away to help prevent brush fires.
  • Perform regular maintenance checks on all of your fire pit parts to ensure they are working correctly.

See something that catches your eye when looking for the best fire pit for your yard? Find products fast with image search in The Home Depot Mobile App. Snap a picture of an item you like and we’ll show you similar products.

Best Fire Pits for Your Backyard (2024)


Are backyard fire pits worth it? ›

Are fire pits worth the money? In short - yes, absolutely. The main reason they're worth the investment is that they've got multiple uses and they make your patio a multi-season space.

What fire pit gives off the most heat? ›

What type of fire pit gives off the most heat? Wood fire pits give off more heat than propane pits, as wood burns at a higher temperature. Using dry, dense wood will make the fire hotter.

What is a good size fire pit for backyard? ›

A typical fire pit is 36 - 44 inches in diameter with wood & 22 inches in gas. Square fire pits average interior length between 34 inches to 34 inches in wood and 20 inches in propane. In most instances the external wall should be extended 12-20 cm.

How to pick an outdoor fire pit? ›

The fire pit you choose should strike a balance between quality and cost. Better quality will cost more, so size, style, fuel, and materials will influence the price tag. However, if you plan to use your fire pit often and for years to come, a solid design with durable materials will eventually pay for itself.

Which fire pit is better gas or wood? ›

Low Maintenance: With a gas fire pit, there are no ashes to clean up or wood to replenish, making it a low-maintenance option. Smoke-Free Operation: Because there is no combusting of wood, gas fire pits don't produce smoke or that distinct smell of a campfire, but they are more eco-friendly.

How far away should a fire pit be from a house? ›

Place your fire pit at a safe distance (10-25 feet) from any flammable structures or surfaces. This includes your house, trees, shed, vehicle, neighbors' property, and wood deck, among other things. Keep your fire pit away from overhanging branches. A 21-foot clearance is standard for most municipalities.

Where is the best place to put a fire pit in your backyard? ›

To ensure safe and optimal fire pit placement:
  • Adhere to local regulations and avoid placing during fire bans.
  • Keep fire pits at least 10 feet from buildings and trees.
  • Install on a non-flammable surface and away from overhead structures.
  • Check wind patterns to prevent smoke issues.
Nov 10, 2023

When's the best time to buy a fire pit? ›

Spring Sales - March/April Before Summer

As retailers stock up on warm weather and outdoor living products in anticipation of high summer demand, you'll discover deep discounts on fire pits in March and April.

Is iron or steel better for a fire pit? ›

From reading our guide, you can see that when choosing between a cast iron or steel fire pit, there is no one option better than the other. Whilst there is a slight difference in design and heat retention, there is no reason to rule out either material and both will act as a delightful centrepiece in your garden.

What is the best bottom for a fire pit? ›

Natural lava rocks and fire-proof sand are excellent base layers for a fire pit. They can be used as cost-effective fillers to cover the bottom areas of a fire pit, then fire glass can be added on top for effect.

Why are fire pits so expensive? ›

The biggest reason for the cost of custom made fire pits is the industrial groundwork and landscaping that goes into making them. Between pavers, manual labor and all of the fire pit material that goes into making a custom fire pit installation, it can cost similarly to putting in a pool, but with more safety concerns.

Should a fire pit be high or low? ›

If you're wanting to use the ledge around your fire, or coping, as a footrest, lower the height to anywhere between 6-12″. Want guests to be able to sit on the coping? Raise the fire pit height to no taller than 18-20″. Otherwise the heat will be held in and it will be harder to enjoy the fire from surrounding chairs.

Does a backyard fire pit add value to home? ›

It can return between 80-100% of your investment, depending on whether you use brick, stone, or concrete. We recommend placing a fire pit in a hazard-free location, away from any buildings and especially windy spots. Also, connecting your fire pit to natural gas is a way to add some extra value.

How deep should a firepit be? ›

A fire pit that's 1 foot deep allows those gathering around it to see both the fire and each other.

What is the best material for a fire pit base? ›

What Do You Put in the Bottom of a Fire Pit? To create a safe, sturdy foundation for a fire pit, we use a gravel paver base. Other common materials used for the bottom of a fire pit are sand, lava stones, dirt, fire glass and concrete slabs.

What is best for a fire pit? ›

Here are five materials to use without worry:
  • Charcoal. Charcoal is a classic fuel for fire pits. ...
  • Hardwood. ...
  • Gas. ...
  • Bioethanol. ...
  • Fruit Woods. ...
  • So, now we've answered, 'what do you burn in a fire pit?', ...
  • Pressure-Treated Wood. ...
  • Plastic.
Jan 1, 2023

Which is better in-ground or above-ground fire pit? ›

While portable above-ground fire pits are cheaper and easier to install, permanent in-ground fire pits are better for most homes. They last longer with less care needed. They look nicer, built into the yard.


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