The 10 Best Propane Heater Models – Our Top Reviews

Need a way to heat up your shop or outdoor workspace? Or maybe you’re looking for an affordable and safe way to stay warm while camping or even while working in your drafty office.

Propane heaters are an excellent alternative to electric heaters when portability is a priority. They are especially nice to have on hand when access to electricity isn’t guaranteed.

But not all propane heaters work as well as others and only certain models are safe for indoor use. To help you navigate this specialty market, we have put together a list of the ten best propane heaters. We have included a variety of options so you can find the right product to fit your specific needs.

We have also included a propane heater buying guide to help you understand the different features and safety precautions for these units.

best propane heater

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The Best Propane Heaters Comparison Table

ProductDetailsWhere to Buy
R Series Vent Free 24,000 BTU Propane Wall Insert Fan Heater

R Series Vent Free Propane Wall Insert Fan Heater
Indoor Safe? Yes
Mount Type: Wall-mounted
BTU: 24,000
Programming: Digital thermostat
Check Price on Wayfair
Vent Free Thermostatic Radiant Wall Mounted Heater

dyna glo vent free wall mounted heater
Indoor Safe? Yes
Mount Type: Wall-mounted
BTU: 30,000
Programming: Adjustable thermostat
Check Price on Wayfair
15,000 BTU Portable Propane Infrared Utility Heater

thermablaster propane infrared heater
Indoor Safe? No
Mount Type: Portable
BTU: 15,000
Programming: On/Off
Check Price on Wayfair
60,000 BTU Propane Forced Air Utility Heater with Continuous Electronic Ignition

dyna glo 60000 BTU Propane Heater
Indoor Safe? No
Mount Type: Portable
BTU: 60,000
Programming: Low to High
Check Price on Wayfair
Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy 3800-BTU Indoor Safe Propane Heater

Mr. Heater F215100
Indoor Safe? Yes
Mount Type: Portable
BTU: 3,800
Programming: On/Off
Check Price on Amazon
Mr. Heater MH60QFAV 60,000 BTU Portable Propane Forced Air Heater

Mr. Heater MH60QFAV
Indoor Safe? No
Mount Type: Portable
BTU: 60,000
Programming: Low to High
Check Price on Amazon
38,000 BTU Propane Forced Air Utility Heater

mr heater 38000 btu propane heater
Indoor Safe? No
Mount Type: Portable
BTU: 38,000
Programming: On/Off
Check Price on Wayfair
Hunting Buddy Propane Compact Heater

hunting buddy propane heater

Indoor Safe? Yes
Mount Type: Portable
BTU: 12,000
Programming: Low to High
Check Price on Wayfair
ProCom PCC80V Propane Convection Heater, 80,000 BTU

ProCom PCC80V
Indoor Safe? No
Mount Type: Portable
BTU: 80,000
Programming: Low to High
Check Price on Amazon
Mr. Heater Corporation F299730 Heater

Mr. Heater Corporation F299730
Indoor Safe? Yes
Mount Type: Wall or freestanding
BTU: 30,000
Programming: Low to High
Check Price on Amazon

Our Best Propane Heater Reviews

R Series Vent Free 24,000 BTU Propane Wall Insert Fan Heater

R Series Vent Free Propane Wall Insert Fan Heater

Key Specifications

  • Safe for indoor use
  • Easy program digital thermometer
  • Energy star rated
  • No venting required

Propane heaters are less expensive to operate than electric heaters, making those that can be used indoors a more affordable alternative to other options on the market. This vent-free wall insert heater from Rinnai is perfect for adding warmth to offices, bathrooms, and other small indoor living spaces.

In many homes that rely on central heating systems, some rooms tend to stay cooler than others. If this room tends to be an area where you spend a lot of time, this can become problematic.

Instead of wasting money by cranking up the house heater, try a small wall-mount style propane unit like this one.

By keeping single rooms heated only as needed, and because it runs on affordable propane, this unit can solve your cold-room issue without costing you a fortune.

This heater comes with a convenient digital thermostat that allows for scheduled programming and timed use. It can heat a 300 square foot room in less than half an hour while staying cool to the touch for added safety.

This unit is rated for indoor use only. It does not require venting and installation is simple and quick. While this unit is not rated for use in areas over 5,200 feet in elevation, it is the perfect solution for most homes and low-land cabins.

Vent Free Thermostatic Radiant Wall Mounted Heater

dyna glo vent free wall mounted heater

Key Specifications

  • Safe for indoor use
  • High 30,000 BTU
  • Blue flame technology
  • Flame guard

One of the greatest benefits of propane heaters is that they do not require electricity to operate. But many indoor-safe heaters are not powerful enough to heat a larger room in a power-outage emergency. If you are looking for a unit that can accomplish such a task, you need this vent-free 30,000 BTU wall mounted heater from Dyna-Glo.

This large unit puts out enough heat to quickly warm living rooms, bedrooms, and even small cabins.

If you experience frequent blackouts or utilize solar electricity that is not plentiful enough to heat your home through the night, this unit is perfect. Even if electricity issues are not part of your daily life, having one of these heaters on hand can make a huge difference in an emergency.

This simple wall-mount heater is effortless to install and requires no flue or venting for operation. The blue heat technology allows for better distribution of heat with a 99.9% efficiency rating.

This large unit does require a 100-pound tank or larger with a two-stage adjustable regulator. It can heat a 1,000 square foot room in an hour. The flame guard gives this unit added safety but care should still be taken if young children live in the household.

15,000 BTU Portable Propane Infrared Utility Heater

thermablaster propane infrared heater

Key Specifications

  • Small and portable 
  • Utilizes infrared 
  • 5 ft. regulator house
  • High heat output for its size

Portability is one of the greatest features of an outdoor propane heater. And it doesn’t get much more portable than this compact infrared propane heater from Thermablaster.

This high-output, lightweight heater is perfect for shops, sheds, and tailgating. Infrared heating technology quickly warms up objects near the unit. And since this compact heater is highly portable, it can travel with you to keep you warm all day long.

While it is not rated for indoor use, it is a great option for heating enclosed workspaces. It does not put off any noxious fumes or propane smell. And the Piezo starter allows for quick, effortless lighting so you can get to work faster.

This heater has wide feet for stability, a tip-over switch for safety, and a fully adjustable head so you can aim the heat where you need it. With a heat output of 15,000 BTUs, it can warm a 300 square foot room in 30 minutes and is perfect for spaces of up to 600 square feet.

60,000 BTU Propane Forced Air Utility Heater with Continuous Electronic Ignition

dyna glo 60000 BTU Propane Heater

Key Specifications

  • High heat output for large spaces
  • Forced air blower for faster heating
  • Adjustable angle and output
  • Heavy-duty construction

When it comes to heating large outdoor workspaces, the only thing that matters is performance. This super-powered heater from Dyna-Glo utilizes a 60,000 BTU heater and electric blower to quickly and effortlessly heat industrial workspaces, construction sites, outdoor events, and more.

The focused heat cannon and high-output blower are more than enough to combat the cold, even in open-work environments. The solid steel base includes an easy-set dial which allows for heat angle adjustment while protecting the motor from dust and debris.

The continuous electronic ignition system prevents any dangerous fuel buildup during unit startup. And flame-out and overheating sensors trigger automatic shutdown for added protection.

This unit works with 20 to 100-pound liquid propane tanks for sustained use of 7 to 70 hours depending on the output setting. An electric power source is necessary as the blower runs on electricity. This heater is ideal for heating areas of 1,350 square feet or less.

Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy 3800-BTU Indoor Safe Propane Heater

Mr. Heater F215100

Key Specifications

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Indoor or outdoor use
  • Small-space safe
  • Low-oxygen shut off

Having a versatile heater that can perform in a variety of situations can save you money and storage space. This compact unit from Mr. Heater is perfect for use in tents, sheds, small workspaces, RVs, and in power-out emergencies.

This portable unit was made to heat spaces up to 95 square feet. It only requires 4-square inches of ventilation and can be used outdoors on patios and in hunting blinds or in enclosed spaces like bathrooms and workshops.

This mini Mr. Heater only weighs five pounds and collapses for easy portability. It doesn’t put off any noticeable fumes or odors, even in tight spaces. It can take some practice to light quickly but is well worth the extra effort if you are looking for a handy, lightweight unit that is easy to pack and store.

A low oxygen sensor and tip-over switch allow for this unit to operate safely in a variety of conditions. However, this unit is not rated for use above 7,000 feet in elevation.

Mr. Heater MH60QFAV 60,000 BTU Portable Propane Forced Air Heater

Mr. Heater MH60QFAV

Key Specifications

  • High-heat output
  • Work areas up to 1,500 square feet
  • Forced air blower for faster heating
  • Quiet burner technology

This high-output job site heater from Mr. Heater is powerful enough to heat a 1,500 square foot area. It operates from 30,000 to 60,000 BTUs with an electronic blower to spread the warmth quickly.

Unlike similar products, this unit utilizes quiet burner technology which makes it 50% quieter than other high-capacity heaters. This makes it a great choice for personal shops as well as outdoor sites where being able to hear your fellow contractors (or the radio) is a must.

The directional heat cannon is angle adjustable and heavy-duty enough to survive life on the construction site or in the industrial shop. It works off a 20-pound propane tank and must be plugged into an electrical outlet.

Thermoelectric safety valves and high limit switches assure safe operation while a 13-pound finished weight and easy-carry handle make this heavy-duty unit as portable as many of our smaller picks.

38,000 BTU Propane Forced Air Utility Heater

mr heater 38000 btu propane heater

Key Specifications

  • Compact but powerful
  • Quiet burner technology
  • Forced air blower for faster heating
  • Perfect for areas under 950 square feet

Another great product from Mr. Heater, this lower-output 38,000 BTU heater is perfect for personal shops, garages, and tighter work areas. It is just as durable and reliable as similar models, but more compact for smaller job sites.

This model also utilizes quiet burner technology for 50% noise reduction compared to similar products. The 10-foot tank hose with regulator and an easy-carry handle make this smaller heater extra portable for directional heating. Unlike larger models, the cannon angle on this unit cannot be adjusted.

Thermoelectric safety valves and high limit switches make this unit safe for use in a variety of environments. While it is usable in sheds, shops, and other enclosed areas, it does require some ventilation and is not fit for use inside the home.

Hunting Buddy Propane Compact Heater

hunting buddy propane heater

Key Specifications

  • Compact and portable
  • Includes storage space
  • Burner guard
  • Hose for additional 20-pound tank

This uber-compact Mr. Heater Hunting Buddy was designed with the sportsman in mind. It’s a lightweight heater but is powerful enough to keep you warm in the blind or in your tent.

This effective little heater runs from 6,000 to 12,000 BTUs with an easy-on electric ignition and high/low setting knob. The 1-pound propane tank fits nicely into the back of the unit with additional storage room for a backup tank, gloves, or other gear. With the optional connector hose and filter, you can even run this unit off a 20-pound tank for longer life.

The camo finish lends itself well to use as a heater in the duck blind or ice fishing shanty, but this heater also works well for warming up sheds, campers, small workspaces, and even indoors during emergencies.

The robust grill guard helps protect from burns while the auto tip over and low oxygen shut-offs allow for added safety. The easy-carry handle collapses for simple storage and packing.

ProCom PCC80V Propane Convection Heater, 80,000 BTU

ProCom PCC80V

Key Specifications

  • 80,000 BTU output
  • Can warm areas up to 1,900 square feet
  • Fits tanks from 20 to 100 pounds
  • Easy push-button ignition

Working in the dead of winter in an unheated shop or outdoor workspace can be grueling. Having a powerful heater like this ProCom convection unit can make life far less miserable in only a matter of minutes.

This large propane heater utilizes convection heating to put out 80,000 BTUs, instantly warming work areas up to 1,900 square feet. You can turn on the unit while you are getting ready for the day and come out to a perfectly comfortable workspace in no time at all.

Best of all, the unique circular design allows for 360-degree heating rather than the directional heating common to many large workspace units.

The included 10-foot regulator hose works with a variety of tank sizes to fit any job. This durable, high-quality heater is assembled in the USA and made to withstand all the demands of a busy job site.

Mr. Heater Corporation F299730 Heater

Mr. Heater Corporation F299730

Key Specifications

  • Wall mount or freestanding operation
  • Heats rooms up to 750 square feet
  • Blue flame convection heat
  • Low profile

Ducting home additions can be costly, but relying on electric heat in these rooms means waiting awhile before they’re warm enough to use. Indoor propane heaters like this one from Mr. Heater are the perfect solution.

This 30,000 BTU unit can be mounted on the wall or used with the included feet to stand on the floor. The low profile design and high-output convection-style heating mean you can quickly heat rooms without committing extra space to a bulky heater.

While not the most stylish mounted heater, this unit is very effective for providing supplemental heat to drafty rooms or as the only heat source for sunrooms, patios, and those rooms not connected to your central system.

The grill guard keeps objects and curious hands away from the flames while the low-oxygen shut-off assures safe functioning in smaller indoor areas.

Propane Heater Buying Guide

heaters in store

Each of the heaters we have featured above are perfect for use in different situations. Small portable heaters are great to have on hand for emergencies or as-needed use while high-output units are only safe in well-ventilated areas.

To help you navigate the many functions and safety precautions of these types of heaters, we have put together this handy propane heater buying guide.

Safety Considerations

There are always safety measures to consider when using any type of heating device. This is especially true of fuel-burning heaters like propane units.

All of these heaters create flames, which means there is some fire danger inherent to their use. Grill guards help reduce the odds of accidental burns or of items coming into contact with the flames, but care should still be taken with children, furniture, and other items near these units.

An open flame also means that these heaters are not always safe to use in confined, unventilated spaces. Some can put off noxious fumes while malfunction can quickly lead to an abundance of carbon monoxide.

Heaters rated for outdoor use only are more likely to pose a risk in poorly-ventilated areas and are more likely to become a fire hazard indoors. It is imperative that you only utilize indoor rated heaters in the home and that you follow all ventilation guidelines closely.

Indoor or Outdoor

patio propane heater

By adhering to the manufacturer’s rating for indoor/outdoor use, you can greatly reduce the risks associated with propane heaters.

Outdoor units typically have fewer safeguards against carbon monoxide emissions. Many larger units also tend to burn at very high rates, which can quickly overheat a small room or deplete an enclosed space of oxygen.

Units that are only rated for outdoor use require a fair amount of ventilation and must be watched more closely in tighter confines.

Indoor rated units, on the other hand, are always equipped with oxygen sensors and will shut off if oxygen levels become too depleted. Some of these units are hyper-efficient and can be used indoors without extra considerations while others require a minimum amount of ventilation.

Some indoor heaters are not weatherproof and would not be suitable for use outdoors. Others are safe for use inside and outside, such as the Mr. Heater Hunting Buddy. Before selecting your new heater, be sure you know where and how you want to use it and choose a unit that is rated appropriately.

Portable or Fixed

All exterior heaters are portable to some degree, but some units are certainly easier to move around than others.

Directional heaters, even those that are high-output, tend to be easy to move around. They typically include an easy-carry handle, long regulator hose, and are meant to be moved around the job site as needed. One of our favorites in this category is the 60,000 BTU portable Mr. Heater.

Other high-output outdoor heaters are bulky and difficult to move around once the tank is hooked up. These are best used for shops and garages where they can be set up and only moved when necessary.

Small units, of course, are the most portable, whether they are intended for indoor or outdoor use. Many are compact for easy packing and storage and include a handle for transportability.

Indoor wall-mounted and larger floor-set units are meant to be installed and left alone. Before you select one of these units, make sure you know the best location within the room to allow for fast and effective heating.

Fuel Source

portable propane tanks

All portable propane heaters will require a tank to run off. Most connect to an external tank via a regulator hose, while some connect directly to the tank itself.

Refillable propane tanks come in various sizes from 1-pound camping-style tanks to 100-pound, high-capacity tanks. Most compact portable heaters utilize single-use 1-pound tanks, while larger outdoor units are typically compatible with a variety of refillable tank sizes.

Wall-mounted indoor units must be piped to a refillable or fixed tank. Typically, these tanks are kept in a utility room, garage, or outside and are of a larger capacity.

Propane is a cheap fuel and widely available. Still, it is a good idea to assure you have a convenient source for propane before you decide to purchase one of these types of heaters, especially for long term use.

Heat Output

Heat output for propane heaters is measured in BTUs–or British Thermal Units.

The higher a unit’s BTU rating, the more effectively it will heat a large space. In general, a 10,000 BTU heater is perfect for heating a 300 square foot room. A 20,000 BTU heater will work best for a 600 square foot room.

Most products will state the maximum room size they are capable of heating. But keep in mind that poorly insulated rooms and outdoor spaces will require more BTUs per square foot than the average space.

Gas Heater FAQs

Still have some questions before you commit to your new propane heater? Here are some of the most common questions concerning these units and the answers to help you make your final decision.

What is a vent free propane heater?

Vents are often necessary for appliances and heaters that utilize fuel to generate heat or power.

During the combustion process, gaseous byproducts are made that must be vented to the outside to prevent issues. However, some fuels burn cleanly enough that, with the right precautions in place, no venting is necessary.

Many indoor rated propane heaters work without the need for vents (like this wall mounted Mr. Heater).

These kinds of heaters burn highly efficiently and do not give off noxious odors or toxins. They also utilize low-oxygen safety switches that automatically shut the heater down if carbon monoxide levels grow too high.

These types of heaters are much easier to install and don’t require cutting into the walls or roof of your home.

Are propane heaters safe for home use?

When used properly, indoor-rated propane heaters are very safe. These units utilize auto-off oxygen and temperature sensors, flame guards, and tip-over switches to reduce fire and safety hazards in the event the unit malfunctions or is knocked over.

Still, it is a good idea to exercise additional precautions around these units to keep your home and family safe.

  • Never place furniture, loose clothing, or fabric near a running heater
  • Assure your unit is the right size and BTU rating for your space
  • Do not leave units on while unattended
  • Always install carbon monoxide detectors in rooms where propane heaters are used
  • Assure proper ventilation in accordance with the owner’s manual

Do you need ventilation when using a propane heater?

In many cases, yes. But how much ventilation your propane heater requires for safe use will depend on the size, model, and rating.

Large heaters that are rated for outdoor-only use need a substantial amount of ventilation. Using these units in a garage or workshop is usually fine so long as you open a window or crack the overhead door.

Smaller indoor/outdoor units still require some ventilation if used in a confined space. The user’s manual for these products should give a ventilation requirement in terms of square inches.

For instance, the Mr. Heater Little Buddy requires 4 square inches of ventilation for indoor use. Cracking a standard-size RV window would more than allow for the safe functioning of this device.

Most wall-mounted and indoor-only units do not require special ventilation. Still, it is always a good idea to check the owner’s manual for any specific instructions.

Are vented propane wall heaters safe?

Instead of relying on high-efficiency and safety switches to function safely indoors, vented propane wall heaters simply vent noxious fumes through a vent to the outdoors.

These units come in two types: B-vent and direct vent.

B-vent heaters still rely on room air for combustion but all gaseous by-products are vented away. Direct vent units both pull air in from the outside for combustion and push by-products out. These units tend to be more efficient and pose less of a carbon monoxide risk.

All high-quality, indoor rated propane heaters are safe for home use so long as they are properly cared for and certain precautions are met. Vented heaters can offer a little extra peace of mind but require much more work to install.

Does altitude affect propane heaters?

You will notice that some propane heaters (as well as stoves and other propane tank devices) have warnings about high altitude use. The reason for this has to do with how propane burns and the safety features present on some products.

As anyone who has traveled from sea level to a much higher elevation knows, there is less oxygen in the air the higher you climb. For propane heaters, which rely on oxygen to burn effectively, this can cause issues with proper functioning.

This problem is compounded by oxygen sensors meant to automatically shut a unit off if oxygen levels fall too low. This measure is meant to protect against dangerous carbon monoxide build-up, but at high altitudes, it can trip simply because the amount of oxygen in the air isn’t sufficient to keep the unit running.

Problems with altitude and propane heater function are typically limited to vent-free indoor units and indoor/outdoor portable units. If you live over 5,000 feet, it is worth double-checking the user’s guide before purchasing a unit with an auto-off oxygen sensor.

The Wrap Up

In the end, which propane heater is best for you will depend largely on what you plan to use it for.

The R-series wall insert heater from Rinnai is a great option for keeping your drafty office or bathroom warm without committing a lot of space to the cause. On the other hand, if what you need is an ultra-powerful heater to keep the job site bearable during those long winter days, the high-capacity 80,000 BTU ProCom heater is exactly what you want.


Luckily, when it comes to propane heaters, there is no shortage of options. From compact units perfect for camping or emergencies (like the Mr. Heater Little Buddy) to directional cannons for heating shops and garages (like the Mr. Heater portable forced air) we have included the best from every category in the list above.

Pricing last updated on 2021-01-20 at 01:22 / affiliate links - Details

About The Author

Aaron is the founder of and Essential Home and Garden. He likes to spend his spare time with his family, and doing DIY projects in the home and garden.