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The Ultimate Guide to Fire Pits: Everything You Need to Know Before Buying

Unlock the Secrets of Choosing the Perfect Fire Pit

Fire pits have become a staple in outdoor living spaces, providing warmth, ambiance, and a gathering spot for friends and family. Whether you're roasting marshmallows, enjoying a glass of wine, or simply basking in the glow of the flames, a fire pit can enhance any outdoor setting. This comprehensive guide will explore the various types of fire pits available, their features, benefits, and what to consider before making a purchase.

Understanding Fire Pits:

Before diving into the types of fire pits, it's essential to understand what a fire pit is and its purpose. A fire pit is a structure that contains and controls an outdoor fire. They come in various designs, sizes, and fuel types, each offering unique benefits and experiences. Fire pits can be permanent fixtures or portable units, making them versatile options for different outdoor spaces.

Types of Fire Pits:

In this section, we'll delve into the different types of fire pits, focusing on their fuel sources, design, and usability. Let's start with fuel sources. There are currently four different types of fire pits based on the fuel source:

  1. Gas fire pits including natural gas and propane fire pits;
  2. Wood burning fire pits including smokeless fire pits;
  3. Ethanol fire pits;
  4. Gel fire pits.

1. Gas Fire Pits

Endless Summer Donovan 38" DualHeat LP Fire Pit Table GAD19102ES in a patio
In photo: Endless Summer Fire Pit Table

Gas fire pits are popular due to their convenience and ease of use. They offer instant ignition and control over the flame, without the need for gathering wood or cleaning up ash. The two main types of gas fire pits are natural gas and propane.

Click here to browse our collection of gas fire pits.

- Natural Gas Fire Pits

Natural gas fire pits are connected to your home's gas line, offering convenience and ease of use. They provide a steady fuel supply, eliminating the need to refill or replace fuel sources. These fire pits are ideal for permanent outdoor setups.

Click here to browse our collection of natural gas fire pits.

- Propane Fire Pits

Propane fire pits are popular for their portability and ease of use. They use propane tanks that can be easily replaced or refilled, making them excellent options for those who prefer flexibility in placement and usage.

Click here to browse our collection of propane gas fire pits.

2. Wood Burning Fire Pits

seasons fire pits elliptical steel fire pit in the garden
In photo: Seasons Fire Pits Elliptical Fire Pit

Wood burning fire pits are the traditional choice, offering the classic experience of a real wood fire. They provide a natural ambiance and the distinct scent of burning wood, which many find appealing.

Click here to browse our collection of wood burning fire pits.

- Smokeless Fire Pits

Innovations in design have led to the development of smokeless fire pits, which maximize airflow and reduce the amount of smoke produced. These fire pits are ideal for those who love the charm of wood fires but prefer less smoke.

Click here to browse our collection of smokeless fire pits.

3. Ethanol Fire Pits

Cosmo 50 Rectangular Fire Pit Table in Waiting Room

In photo: Ecosmart Fire Cosmo Fire Pit Table

Ethanol fire pits use bioethanol as fuel, providing a clean burn without smoke or odor. They're eco-friendly and easy to use, making them suitable for indoor and outdoor environments.

Click here to browse our collection of ethanol fire pits.

4. Gel Fire Pits

Gel Fuel Fireplace - Anywhere Fireplace Oasis - Table Top Gel Fireplace

In photo: Anywhere Fireplace Oasis

Gel fire pits utilize gel fuel to produce a flame. They're portable, easy to use, and smokeless, offering a convenient option for those seeking a simple and clean fire feature.

Click here to browse our collection of gel fire pits.

Popular Fire Pit Designs:

Now that we are familiar with different fuel sources, let's talk about a few popular fire pit types based on their design and usability.

1. Fire Pit Tables

Endless Summer Dakota 38" DualHeat LP Fire Pit Table GAD19101ES Lit With Glass Media

In photo: Endless Summer Dakota Fire Pit Table

Fire pit tables combine the functionality of a table with a fire pit. They are perfect for entertaining, providing both a heat source and a surface for placing drinks or snacks. These units often use gas or propane as fuel. There are also ethanol fire pit tables that can be used indoors and outdoors.

Click here to browse our collection of fire pit tables.

2. Fire Pit Grills

outdoor cookout with the seasons fire pits fire pit grill

In photo: Seasons Fire Pit Grill 

Fire pit grills offer a dual function of cooking and providing warmth. They are excellent for those who enjoy outdoor cooking and want the added benefit of a fire pit. These can be wood-burning or use charcoal.

Click here to browse our collection of fire pit grills.

3. Fire Bowls

Fire Pit Art Manta Ray - 36" Handcrafted Carbon Steel Fire Pit Lit Up Beside A Lake

In photo: Fire Pit Art Manta Ray Fire Pit

Fire bowls are a stylish and versatile type of fire pit, suitable for various settings. They can be fueled by wood, gas, or gel, offering flexibility in usage and placement.

Click here to browse our collection of fire bowls.

4. Fire Bowls for Pools

top fires sedona white fire bowl

In photo: Top Fires Sedona Fire Bowl

These fire bowls are designed to complement pool areas, enhancing the outdoor ambiance. They often feature water elements, creating a stunning visual of fire dancing on water.

Click here to browse our collection of fire bowls for pools.

5. Fire and Water Bowls

Top Fires 24" Square Black Concrete Electronic Gas Fire and Water Bowl

In photo: Top Fires Square Black Fire and Water Bowl

Combining elements of fire and water, these bowls offer a captivating visual experience. They are perfect for creating a focal point in garden or poolside settings.

Click here to browse our collection of fire and water bowls.

Choosing the Right Fire Pit:

This section will guide you through selecting the ideal fire pit based on your needs, space, and style preferences.

Considerations Before Buying

When it comes to selecting the perfect fire pit for your outdoor space, there are several key factors to consider. This section will guide you through the essential aspects to help you make an informed decision, ensuring your fire pit not only meets your aesthetic desires but also functions well for your intended use.


Fuel Type: Choose based on availability, convenience, and desired experience.
Space: Ensure the fire pit fits comfortably in your outdoor area.
Safety: Consider the fire pit's placement and safety features, especially in homes with children or pets.
Style: Match the fire pit to your outdoor decor and personal taste.

- Fuel Type

Choosing the right fuel type is crucial for your convenience and satisfaction. Here's a breakdown of what each fuel type offers:

Natural Gas: Ideal for permanent setups, natural gas fire pits require a gas line connection. They offer convenience and continuous use without the need for refueling.

Propane: Propane fire pits provide flexibility and portability. They're excellent for those who prefer easy setup and the ability to move their fire pit as needed.

Wood: For the traditionalists, wood-burning fire pits offer the authentic crackle and aroma of burning logs. However, they require regular cleaning and a steady supply of firewood.

Bioethanol and Gel: These fuels offer clean burning without smoke or ash, ideal for users seeking minimal maintenance and environmental friendliness.

- Space and Size

Consider the size of your outdoor area and how the fire pit will fit into that space. Ensure there's enough room around the fire pit for seating and movement, keeping in mind safety clearances. For smaller spaces, a compact fire bowl or tabletop fire pit might be more appropriate, while larger areas can accommodate fire pit tables or more extensive installations.

- Safety

Safety is paramount when introducing a fire feature to your outdoor space. Consider the following:

Placement: Ensure the fire pit is positioned on a non-flammable surface and away from any structures or flammable materials.
Barriers: For homes with children or pets, consider fire pits with protective barriers or screens.
Emergency Preparedness: Have a fire extinguisher, sand, or water source nearby in case of emergencies.

- Style

Your fire pit should complement your outdoor decor. Whether you prefer a modern and sleek design or a rustic and natural look, there's a fire pit to match every style. Consider the materials and finishes that will harmonize with your existing outdoor furniture and landscape.

- Budget

Fire pits can range from affordable to high-end, depending on the materials, fuel type, and design. Determine your budget beforehand, and remember that installation costs for gas fire pits might require a professional, affecting the overall expense.

Installation and Maintenance:

- Installation

The installation process varies significantly based on the type of fire pit:

Portable Fire Pits: These require minimal setup, often just unpacking and positioning in your chosen location.
Natural Gas Fire Pits: Installation is more complex, usually necessitating a professional to connect the fire pit to your home's gas line safely.
Wood, Propane, Ethanol and Gel Fire Pits: While simpler than natural gas, these may still require some assembly and proper placement according to safety guidelines.

- Maintenance

Proper maintenance ensures longevity and safety:

Regular Cleaning: Remove ash and debris from wood and propane fire pits. Wipe down gas fire pits to prevent blockages in the burners.
Cover: Use a protective cover to shield your fire pit from the elements when not in use, especially during adverse weather conditions.
Inspection: Regularly check gas lines, connections, and burners for signs of wear or damage. For wood-burning pits, inspect for any structural weaknesses that could pose a safety risk.

Additional Considerations:

- Local Regulations

Before installing a fire pit, check your local regulations and homeowners association rules, as restrictions on fire pit usage can vary significantly by location.

- Environmental Impact

Consider the environmental impact of your fire pit. Wood-burning options produce smoke and particulate emissions, while propane and natural gas are cleaner but still contribute to fossil fuel consumption. Bioethanol and gel fuels offer eco-friendly alternatives.

- Accessories

Think about additional accessories that can enhance your fire pit experience. Spark screens, safety glass, protective covers, grilling grates, and seating arrangements can all enhance the usability and enjoyment of your fire pit.

By thoroughly considering these aspects, you'll be better equipped to choose a fire pit that aligns with your lifestyle, enhances your outdoor living space, and provides enjoyment for years to come.

Benefits of Fire Pits:

Fire pits are more than just a source of warmth; they offer numerous benefits that enhance the quality of outdoor living. Here's a deeper dive into the advantages of incorporating a fire pit into your outdoor space.

- Enhancing Outdoor Living

Extended Use of Outdoor Space: Fire pits create a warm and inviting ambiance, allowing you to enjoy your outdoor space well into the cooler months. They become a focal point for gathering, extending the time you spend outdoors.

Versatility in Entertainment: Whether hosting a large party or a small family gathering, fire pits serve as a versatile entertainment feature. They provide a communal space where guests can gather around, share stories, and enjoy the mesmerizing play of flames.

- Creating a Cozy Atmosphere

Relaxation and Wellbeing: The gentle warmth and soothing crackle of a fire pit can significantly enhance relaxation. Studies suggest that being around a fire can lower blood pressure, leading to a state of relaxation that contributes to overall wellbeing.

Aesthetic Appeal: Fire pits add a dynamic visual element to your outdoor decor. The flickering flames can transform an ordinary space into a cozy retreat, creating a serene environment where you can unwind and de-stress.

- Increasing Home Value

Enhanced Curb Appeal: A well-designed fire pit can significantly boost your home's curb appeal. It's a feature that catches the eye of potential buyers, adding a touch of luxury and desirability to your property.

Return on Investment: Investing in a fire pit can yield a substantial return, especially if it's a permanent, well-integrated feature of your outdoor space. It's a selling point that can increase the overall value of your home, offering potential financial benefits if you decide to sell.

- Social and Family Benefits

Fostering Social Connections: Fire pits naturally draw people together, fostering an environment conducive to social interaction. They provide a unique setting for conversations, celebrations, and creating lasting memories with friends and family.

Educational Opportunities for Children: Fire pits offer a hands-on learning experience for children, teaching them about fire safety, cooking, and the natural world. Under supervision, they can learn how to roast marshmallows, cook simple dishes, and understand the principles of fire management.

Safety Tips for Fire Pits:

- Installation Safety

Placement: Ensure the fire pit is installed on a stable, non-flammable surface maintaining proper clearance from buildings and overhanging structures - refer to your fire pit manual for recommended clearances.
Materials: Use fire-resistant materials around the pit area to prevent accidental fires.

- Operational Safety

Supervision: Never leave the fire pit unattended while in use, especially around children and pets.
Fire Control: Keep a fire extinguisher, bucket of water, or sand nearby in case of emergencies to extinguish flames quickly.

- Usage Guidelines

Fuel Handling: Store fuel in a safe location away from the fire pit. Follow manufacturer guidelines for fuel use to prevent accidents.
Lighting the Fire: Use appropriate fire starters and avoid flammable liquids to ignite or rekindle the fire.

- Maintenance and Care

Regular Inspection: Check for wear, damage, or debris accumulation that could impede safety or operation.
Cleanliness: Regularly remove ash and residue to prevent buildup and ensure efficient burning.

- Environmental Safety

Smoke Consideration: Be mindful of neighbors and wind direction to prevent smoke from becoming a nuisance or hazard.
Wildlife Safety: Be aware of the local wildlife and ensure the fire pit does not disrupt their habitat or pose a threat.

By adhering to these safety tips, you can enjoy the warmth and ambiance of your fire pit while minimizing risks, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.

In Conclusion:

This comprehensive guide to fire pits explores various types, from gas and wood-burning to ethanol and gel, each offering unique benefits for enhancing outdoor living spaces. Key considerations include fuel type, space, safety, and style, ensuring the chosen fire pit aligns with individual needs and preferences.

The benefits of fire pits extend far beyond mere aesthetics or warmth. They enhance the usability of your outdoor space, provide a cozy and inviting atmosphere, offer potential financial returns, and create an environment that fosters social connections and relaxation. Whether it's a chilly winter evening or a cool summer night, a fire pit can transform your outdoor living experience, making it a worthwhile investment for any home.

Embrace the warmth and ambiance a fire pit can bring, transforming your outdoor space into a cozy, inviting retreat for memorable moments.

Still have questions? Comment below or send your questions to - we'll be happy to answer them. 

Want to save on your fire pit purchase? Click here to get on our list and get a discount on your first order. We will keep you in the loop about new exciting products and let you know if we have a sale.

Ready to explore different types of fire pits? Check out these collections:

Gas Fire Pits
Natural Gas Fire Pits
Propane Fire Pits
Wood Burning Fire Pits
Smokeless Fire Pits
Ethanol Fire Pits
Gel Fire Pits
Fire Pit Tables
Fire Bowls
Fire and Water Bowls
Fire Pit Grills

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