The Best Fire Pits to Get Your S’mores On This Summer (2024)

All copyrighted images used with permission of the respective copyright holders.

Igniting the Night: Finding the Perfect Fire Pit for Every Outdoor Space

The crackle of a fire, the warmth on your face, the mesmerizing dance of flames – there’s something inherently magical and primal about a campfire. For generations, it’s been the central gathering point for stories, laughter, and connection. Today, fire pits offer the same enchanting ambiance, bringing a touch of rustic charm to modern backyards and patios.

But with a plethora of options available – wood-burning, propane, smokeless, and even tiki-themed – choosing the perfect fire pit for your needs can feel like a daunting task. This guide will illuminate the different types of fire pits, their pros and cons, and help you find the one that best fits your outdoor space and lifestyle.

A Blaze of Choice: Understanding Fire Pit Types

1. Wood-Burning Fire Pits:

These are the quintessential campfire experience, the most traditional and arguably the most authentic. They offer a captivating real-flame experience and the delightful scent of burning wood.


  • Authentic campfire experience: The smell of burning wood, the crackling sounds, and the visual spectacle are unmatched.
  • Cost-effective: Wood is generally cheaper than propane or gas.
  • Versatile: Can be used for cooking, roasting marshmallows, and even creating a unique ambiance with creative fire pit designs.


  • Smoke and soot: Wood-burning fire pits produce smoke, which can be bothersome to neighbors or in enclosed spaces.
  • Safety concerns: Requires careful attention and proper wood selection to avoid accidental fires or creating harmful smoke.
  • Maintenance: Requires cleaning and upkeep to remove ashes and prevent buildup.

2. Propane Fire Pits:

These fire pits offer a convenient and controlled flame, perfect for those who value ease of use and clean combustion.


  • Clean burning: Produces little to no smoke, making them ideal for smaller spaces or those with smoke sensitivities.
  • Easy to start and adjust: Simply turn on the gas valve and adjust the flame intensity.
  • Portable: Many propane fire pits come with wheels for easy movement.


  • Cost: Propane costs more than wood, and the initial investment in a propane fire pit is often higher.
  • Artificial flame: While visually appealing, the flame doesn’t have the natural charm of a wood-burning fire.
  • Requires propane tank: You’ll need to purchase and replace propane tanks regularly.

3. Gas Fire Pits:

These fire pits are similar to propane models but use natural gas piped into your home.


  • Clean and efficient: Highly efficient with minimal smoke, making them suitable for close-quarters settings.
  • Convenient: No need to purchase or refill propane tanks.
  • Durable: Natural gas fire pits are typically made of sturdy materials and built to last.


  • Installation costs: Requires a professional installation to connect to your natural gas line.
  • Limited portability: Not as portable as propane, as they require a fixed gas line connection.
  • Potential safety concerns: Requires proper installation and maintenance to prevent gas leaks.

4. Smokeless Fire Pits:

These cutting-edge fire pits employ innovative designs and technologies to minimize smoke and ash production, making them a great option for those concerned about air quality.


  • Environmentally friendly: Reduced smoke and emissions are better for the environment and your health.
  • Clean and odorless: Enjoy the ambiance of fire without the smoke and smell.
  • Variety of designs: Available in various styles and materials to suit diverse aesthetics.


  • Cost: Generally more expensive than traditional fire pits.
  • Maintenance: While requiring less cleaning, they may need specialized maintenance for optimal performance.

Beyond the Flames: Fire Pit Features to Consider

1. Size and Shape:

  • Small patios: Choose a compact fire pit or tabletop model.
  • Large gatherings: Opt for a larger model with a wider seating area.
  • Shape: Round fire pits offer a classic look, while square or rectangular options can be more space-efficient.

2. Material:

  • Steel: Durable and affordable, often coated with heat-resistant paint.
  • Cast iron: Classic and elegant, offering excellent heat retention.
  • Copper: Unique and stylish, develops a patina over time, adding character.
  • Stone: Rustic and durable, blending seamlessly with natural surroundings.

3. Fuel source:

  • Wood: Requires wood storage and cleaning.
  • Propane: Clean burning and convenient.
  • Natural gas: Efficient and durable, but requires professional installation.

4. Accessories:

  • Spark screen: Prevents embers from escaping.
  • Fire poker: Used to move logs and control the fire.
  • Weather cover: Protects the fire pit from weather damage.
  • Cooking grates: For grilling or roasting food.

5. Safety Features:

  • Spark arrestor: Ensures safe operation by preventing sparks from escaping.
  • Safety screen: Protects people and surrounding areas from direct heat and flying embers.
  • Heat shield: Helps protect the surrounding area from overheating.

The Right Fire Pit for You:

For the Minimalist:

  • Tabletop Fire Pit: Perfect for small patios and balconies, offering a charming ambiance without taking up much space.
  • Propane Fire Pit (Small): Compact and easy to use, even in tight spaces.

For the Entertainer:

  • Large Wood-Burning Fire Pit: Creates a gathering space for large groups, perfect for parties and BBQs.
  • Propane Fire Pit (Large): Easy to control and maintain, ideal for hosting gatherings where clean burning is crucial.

For the Bohemian:

  • Tiki Torch Fire Pit: Adds a touch of tropical flair to your outdoor space.
  • Stone Fire Pit: Blends seamlessly with the natural environment, creating a rustic and romantic atmosphere.

For the Eco-Conscious:

  • Smokeless Fire Pit: Minimizes smoke and emissions for a cleaner and healthier outdoor experience.
  • Bioethanol Fire Pit: Uses bioethanol fuel, a renewable resource with minimal emissions.

Fueling the Fire: Choosing the Right Fuel


  • Pros: Authentic campfire experience, cost-effective, versatile.
  • Cons: Smoke, soot, requires regular cleaning, potential safety hazards.
  • Best for: Traditional fire pits, outdoor enthusiasts, those seeking a rustic ambiance.


  • Pros: Clean burning, easy to use, convenient, portable.
  • Cons: Costly fuel, artificial flame, requires propane tank replacement.
  • Best for: Compact fire pits, those who value ease of use and clean burning.

Natural Gas:

  • Pros: Very efficient, clean burning, convenient, durable.
  • Cons: Requires professional installation, not as portable as propane.
  • Best for: Fixed outdoor spaces with access to a gas line.


  • Pros: Clean burning, eco-friendly, renewable fuel source.
  • Cons: Can be expensive, requires specific bioethanol burners.
  • Best for: Those seeking an environmentally friendly option, especially for smaller fire pits.

Fire Safety Tips

  • Keep fire pits a safe distance from flammable materials like vegetation, buildings, and furniture.
  • Always have a source of water or fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Supervise children and pets around fire pits.
  • Dispose of ashes properly in a metal container.


With so many fire pit options available, you’re sure to find one that perfectly complements your outdoor space and lifestyle. Whether you desire a traditional wood-burning experience or prefer the clean efficiency of propane, embracing the power of fire will transform your backyard into a haven of warmth, laughter, and unforgettable memories.

Article Reference

Sarah Mitchell
Sarah Mitchell
Sarah Mitchell is a versatile journalist with expertise in various fields including science, business, design, and politics. Her comprehensive approach and ability to connect diverse topics make her articles insightful and thought-provoking.