Fire pits make backyards and campsites cozy

Spending time outside is easier when you have a relaxing spot in your backyard. Outdoor projector screens, grills and hot tubs can liven your outdoor space, but nothing beats a fire pit. Sitting around a fire with your friends and family leads to story sharing, marshmallow roasting and generally feeling good. If you’re thinking of buying a fire pit for your backyard, you should consider a few things first.

Shop this article: Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0 with Stand, Smokeless Fire PitHampton Bay Piedmont 30-inch Steel Fire Pit and Sun Joe Round Cast Stone Wood Burning Fire Pit

Prefabricated vs. DIY fire pits

Prefabricated fire pits are easy to set up and often more affordable than building one yourself. Still, they offer fewer design options and don’t generally last as long as a DIY fire pit. Even though you can’t customize a prefabricated fire pit, many feature modern designs that look classy in nearly any backyard.

Building a fire pit yourself consumes a lot of time and energy, but it can function as a permanent addition to your backyard. Prices for either option can vary significantly depending on what you want and may cost anywhere from $100 to over $1,000.

Fire pit safety tips

  • Place your fire pit away from trees, bushes and other potential fire hazards. If your grass is tall and dry, consider clearing it out around your fire pit.
  • Don’t use lighter fluid or gasoline when building a fire. The fumes they release when ignited aren’t good for your health and may cause an explosion.
  • Avoid throwing trash or paper into your fire pit. The wind can easily blow paper out of your fire, creating hazardous conditions for you or your neighbors.
  • Keep a close eye on children and pets when you have a fire.
  • Avoid wearing flammable clothing materials such as nylon, linen and cotton. Wearing loose-fitting clothing can also be hazardous.
  • Make sure your garden hose can reach your fire pit. If it can’t, consider keeping a fire extinguisher or bucket of water nearby.
  • Softwoods like pine and cedar are known to pop and throw sparks. Hardwoods like oak are safer and burn longer than softwood.
  • Check the weather before lighting a fire. If it is supposed to be a particularly windy day, consider waiting to use your fire pit when there is less wind.
  • Don’t sit too close to the fire and ensure empty chairs are kept away from it.

What do you put in the bottom of a fire pit?

When building a fire pit yourself, it’s good to dig a hole about 7 to 8 inches deep. Add a base layer of sand with a layer of gravel or lava rocks on top. On the other hand, prefabricated models typically come with everything you need. In some cases, prebuilt fire pits use propane and glass stones, meaning you simply need to flip a switch to light your fire. In other cases, you’ll have to buy logs and light the fire yourself.

What is the safest fire pit?

Propane and natural gas fire pits made from durable, fire-resistant materials are the safest. These firepits don’t require wood so you don’t have to worry about hot ash or debris when using them.

If you buy a wood-burning fire pit, consider one that comes with a spark screen. Spark screens help contain sparks and debris that could otherwise be hazardous.

Fire pit vs. fire table

Fire pits are a ground-level option usually made from metal or stones. Fire pits are more affordable than fire tables and have a more rustic design. Prefabricated fire pits are typically lighter and easier to move than fire tables.

Fire tables typically resemble patio furniture and feature a modern design. These raise the fire off the ground and have a cover that allows you to use them as a table. Fire tables are usually prefabricated, but you can build one yourself if you’re willing to spend the time and money required.

Best fire pits

best Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0 with Stand, Smokeless Fire Pit

Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0 with Stand, Smokeless Fire Pit

Make camping cozy with this portable, lightweight fire pit produces very little smoke. It comes with a removable ash pan, as well as a stand and a carrying case for convenience. It’s made of stainless steel for added durability.

Sold by Amazon

best Hampton Bay Piedmont 30-Inch Steel Fire Pit

Hampton Bay Piedmont 30-inch Steel Fire Pit

This is affordable and can be used for heating or grilling. Some users noticed the metal beginning to rust after just a few weeks. Still, there are weather-resistant covers that you can purchase separately to prevent rust. It includes a spark screen and fire poker.

Sold by Amazon

best Sun Joe Round Cast Stone Wood Burning Fire Pit

Sun Joe Round Cast Stone Wood Burning Fire Pit

This outdoor wood fire pit is made from manufactured stone and powder-coated steel. It is lightweight and comes with a fire poker and a mesh screen. This is easy to assemble and looks like a custom built-in piece.

Sold by Amazon

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Cody Stewart writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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