The outdoors is a prime gathering place for entertaining. Lush nature, light, and comfortable-but-stylish furniture make for a great outdoor meeting space.
Looking for a way to take outdoor hangouts to the next level? Consider adding a fire pit to the yard space. This piece adds heat, light, and design flair all in one swoop. From ambiance and warmth to mood and atmosphere, a fire pit brings an outdoor space together.
Whether you’re a seasoned home entertainer, or you’re just looking for ways to optimize the backyard, a fire pit adds new elements to any backyard.
But what options would be the brightest and best fit for your new home? There’s so many options on the market (and it can be overwhelming). With our guide, we break down each type of fire pit and the perfect choice for you and your home.
Browse our guide below and get started.
Before Choosing a Fire Pit
Elevating the backyard isn’t a hard feat, but it’s essential to plan thoughtfully. After all, this fire feature can heat the yard in warmer and cooler temps, so it’s quite a versatile piece.
All homeowners should have their yard’s size handy. Knowing the exact measurements will ensure you choose the right fit and placement for the unit. Then, consider how often the fire pit will be used–daily, weekly, seasonally, or occasionally. How often you plan to fire it up is important and will play a role in the size, features, and price points. After that, decide where the fire pit will be placed or installed for entertaining. Finally, lockdown a budget and a short list of styles (i.e. metals, finishes) for the new pit.
1. Basic Fire Pit
The most quintessential and popular option is the backyard fire pit. And, pits are available in a huge array of sizes, stones, and styles.
Most commonly, fire pits are constructed above ground. Typically, the pit has a circular design, crafted with stones, and plenty of space in the middle to safely ignite and contain a fire. How is a fire pit fueled? Wood is the most common, but fluid, charcoal, gel, and gas work as well.
Pits can also be in-ground and customized by size, width, metal, stones, and tiles. Deciding factors will be the homeowner’s needs and yard size.
2. Fire Bowl
Similar to its pit counterpart, the fire bowl can be built above ground or in ground. A bowl is more portable and has an art piece element to it as well.
Fire bowls can be portable, more so resembling actual bowls and cauldrons on short legs. The fire is built and contained within the bowl. These durable bowls are mighty but also efficient: they can be moved and cleaned easily. Most of these bowls are powered by natural gas or propane.
Shopping options: Elementi Lunar Fire Bowl ($1,450); Ayoka Fire Bowl ($900)
3. Fire Columns
Looking for a streamlined and stylish option? Fire columns pack a lot into one piece.
A fire column is very much like a bowl, but the only difference is its aesthetic and shape. Columns are usually tall and rectangular. Since the column takes up vertical space, this is a stellar option for cozier entertaining spaces or casual fire pit enthusiasts.
Shopping options: Planika Fire Column ($600); Christopher Knight Fire Column ($255)
4. Fire Tables
Just like the previous fire options, fire tables are quite similar. Except this unit is square-shaped and includes a table surface. This stand-alone piece sits above ground and can be moved easily.
Fire tables create automatic gathering zones and include space to put snacks and drinks (like hot chocolate and s’mores). The table sizes can vary and also be customized by materials, such as stone or metal finishes. If you need to blend function and personal style, a fire table is a fine choice.
5. Outdoor Fireplace
Grand and statement-ready, outdoor fireplaces make an impression. This is a sound option for those seeking the utmost customization, high heat, and all the perks of a fireplace.
Granted, this is a customized build, so an outdoor fireplace is a serious budget with its custom installation. But, homeowners can marry vision and style by choosing any tile or stone and power source (gas, wood, propane, etc.) for their one-of-a-kind outdoor fireplace.
Chimineas have a desert-cool factor, and they’re widely used across the Southwest and in Mexico. It’s like a chimney, with the smoke filtering up and out through only one opening on top. And, like a fireplace, a chiminea gives off heat to those gathered around it.
A chiminea is a sound option for a busy backyard with pets and children as the single opening is easily monitored and controlled.
Shopping options: Bali Outdoors Chiminea ($170); Lakeside Collection TerraCotta Chiminea ($110)
7. Portable Fire Pits
Small, savvy, and movable, the portable fire pit takes the cake. Functionally, these fire features run the same as fire bowls and columns. The only difference is their shape.
Often cauldron-style or bucket-shaped, the portable fire pit is modern and timeless. Portable fire pits are some of the most common fire features found in backyards.
Stephanie Valente is a Content Director and Editor in Brooklyn, NY. She’s previously held writing and social media positions at Barkbox, Men’s Journal, and currently works at a full-service advertising agency. She’s a self-confessed home and design enthusiast. Stephanie is an award-winning poet and fiction writer. When she’s offline, you can find her taking a yoga class, running, hanging out with her rescue dog Pepper. Find her on stephanievalente.com.