Chiminea vs. Fire Pit

fire pit ring with burning logs

Patio Heating Solutions

For many people, a patio heater is one of the top must-have accessories for a chic and cozy outdoor design. Some homeowners set up electronic space heaters to warm up their deck or balcony, while others may wish to use the open flames of a fire pit or chiminea to add a charming, natural vibe to their patio or terrace.

Both chimineas and fire pits provide soothing warmth and mesmerizing visual appeal to your space. However, depending on your personal safety concerns, heating needs and style preferences, one of these units may be a better fit for your patio than the other. Comparing chimineas vs. fire pits is a smart way to make an informed decision when buying patio furniture and decor.

Overview

In this post, you’ll find useful information to help you:

Couple propping their feet on the edge of a fire pit with a burning fire

Add warmth and ambient lighting to your patio using a fire pit or chiminea.

Difference Between a Fire Pit and a Chiminea

What is a Fire Pit?

Essentially, fire pits are stone, brick or metal structures that let you build a contained campfire on your deck. Available in both propane and wood-burning models, these units make an eye-catching, cozy focal point for your patio layout. Depending on their design, fire pits can also serve as ambient lighting, multi-purpose tables or even a spot to make s’mores with friends and family.

Bronze 4 pc patio seating set with fire pit table

Many fire pits have roomy ledges for holding drinks while you and your guests relax outside.

What is a Chiminea?

A chiminea is what you’d get if you were to add a chimney to your fire pit. It’s basically a front-loading outdoor fireplace with a long, vertical vent to redirect the smoke. People often place chimineas across from their patio seating arrangements to mimic the look of an indoor den or living room hearth. If the unit is big enough, it can also double as a grill or oven for those who like to cook outside.

Two rocking patio chairs in front of a lit chiminea

While most chimineas are wood-burning, some models use gas or pellets as fire starters.

Do Chimineas Give Off More Heat Than Fire Pits?

Wondering whether a chiminea or a fire pit will keep you warmer during chilly nights outdoors?. A fire pit’s open design allows for 360-degree heat distribution, so everyone sitting around it can enjoy the toasty warmth of the flames. Chimineas, on the other hand, are only open on one side. As such, you’d need to sit directly in front of the fireplace opening in order to stay warm.

Gray 5 pc patio seating set with fire pit table

In most cases, fire pits are the better option for heating up your deck or patio.

The size of your outdoor hangout also plays a role in which heating unit is better for warming up your space. If you’re decorating a small patio, enclosed porch or narrow balcony, a chiminea might be able to provide all the warmth you need. Fire pits are more efficient when it comes to heating larger layouts, such as courtyards, terraces and backyards.

Brown stone outdoor fire table

Chimineas and fire pits come in various sizes to fit almost any layout.

Choosing Chimineas and Fire Pits to Suit Your Style

Chimineas traditionally bring an old-world charm to your patio, while fire pits promote a casual country or a streamlined modern vibe. However, you can find both these units in several different styles to complement almost any outdoor design. Take a look at the following chiminea and fire pit ideas to find one that works for your layout:

  • Modern or Contemporary Style: A low-profile fire pit with a sleek square or rectangular frame is a sleek and chic addition to your updated design. A model featuring metal materials and a jet black finish ties a simple, modern setup together. Meanwhile, adding glistening fire glass to the fire pit can give your patio a dazzling, contemporary boost.
  • Coastal Design: If you have a beach-themed layout with wicker or weathered wood patio furniture, try introducing a woven wicker or white wood-panel fire pit table to the space. A traditional terracotta chiminea could also be a chic fit for a coastal outdoor design.
  • Rustic or Country Style: Want to promote a rugged, rustic aesthetic on your back deck? A rustic-style fire pit or chiminea can evoke the charming, casual feel you’re going for. Choose models with thick steel or dark wood panel frames to enhance the sturdy look and vibe of your setup.
  • Traditional Outdoor Design: Establish an upscale, classic atmosphere on your terrace or veranda using a cast aluminum, wood-burning chiminea with the traditional potbelly shape. Or, set up a wrought-iron fire pit featuring a decorative, swirling tabletop design.
Yellow seating set around a round fire pit table

Fire pits and chimineas come in several shapes, sizes and styles to complement any design.

Despite their different sizes and designs, both these heating units can make excellent additions to your patio. Keep the details from this post in mind during your next outdoor furniture shopping spree so you can bring home the perfect stylish heating unit for your space.