STAY warm during long summer nights entertaining family and friends in the garden with a chiminea — and keep the evenings alive for longer.
With a range of styles, materials and additional features to choose from, we’ve rounded up some of the best chimineas you can buy in 2022.
Traditionally chimineas would have been made out of clay, but modern ones can be found in metal, most often in cast iron or steel. Some even include grills for you to cook on so you can turn them into a barbecue.
From rustic to modern and chic, there are many different styles and types to choose from; clay chimineas do need a bit of extra treatment, care and attention, so bear that in mind.
The choice of materials, size and look are up to you, but to help you we’ve trawled through the best user reviews and expert opinions to narrow your search.
Find a space for one in your garden and it will become the centrepiece of your parties all year round. If you’re looking to get a bit of warmth in your life, then enjoy our pick of the best chimineas on the market today.
1. Black Steel Chiminea
- Garden Steel Chiminea, £99.99, from Not on the High Street
This stylish and functional steel garden Chiminea oozes class.
Featuring cast iron legs, a steel body and a subtle pattern on the flue, this chiminea would make an attractive centrepiece for any outdoor space.
It gives out a decent amount of heat and is perfect for smaller gardens and patios.
2. Heta Tipi 147 Outdoor Modern Chiminea
- Heta Tipi 147 Outdoor Modern Chiminea, £382.50 from eBay
This Danish-designed chiminea pushes the modern look as far as possible, looking more like a trendy sculpture than a working fireplace.
Easy to use, simple to clean and amazing to look, at it’s a superb choice for modern and classic gardens.
3. Venezuela Clay Chimenea
This affordable, contemporary clay chimenea is a stylish focal piece that’s sure to be a hit this summer.
It’s great for entertaining in the garden or keeping the chill off on a cool evening.
It features an eye-catching pattern and includes a solid sturdy steel stand and protective rain lid.
4. Steel Rocket Chiminea
- Steel Rocket Chiminea, £79 from Studio
This Steel rocket chiminea with a sliding door and one standard grate and poker is perfect for stylish, outdoor heating.
It has an eye-catching clay effect with a gorgeous Inca design and is certain to brighten up your garden and warm up your evenings.
It’s 120cm in height, making it a great statement piece for the garden.
5. Holford Furance Chiminea
- Holford Furnace Chiminea, £159.99 from Wayfair
This unique Wayfair number is a great choice if you want a statement, yet functional chiminea.
It provides an unusual 360-degree view of the fire, with a safety grill the whole way around.
It stands 120cm high, and customers say “the price-performance ratio is very good”.
It’s a unique piece that will stand out in any setting.
6. Charles Bentley Chiminea With Grill
Classic clay construction with an artisan design makes this chiminea a great addition to any garden.
It comes in two pieces with a grill, so you can lift off the top and cook up a storm, BBQ-style.
The clay radiates heat for hours, making this the perfect patio centrepiece.
7. Abura Metal Chiminea
- Abura Metal Chimenea, £185 from Made.com
This metal chiminea is seriously stylish and is bound to impress any garden guests this summer.
The simple black and brass design would suit an area with a minimalist finish.
We love this industrial-inspired design’ it’s perfect for adding charm to any outdoor space while keeping you cosy.
8. Medium Steel Chiminea With Mesh Surround
- Medium Steel Chiminea With Mesh Surround, £119.99 from Not On The High Street
This simple and compact 90cm Chiminea is ideal for those with smaller or medium patios or terraces.
We love this option for its bronze, heat resistant finish; plus it’s easy to put together.
It’s great for entertaining and spending longer outside on cooler evenings.
9. La Hacienda Arlington Clay Chiminea
This chiminea is perfect for those looking for a cheap and cheerful option, as it won’t pull too hard on the purse strings.
We love this clay option for effortlessly creating a cosy, inviting atmosphere.
Plus, you can leave it outdoors over winter, if protected by a La Hacienda cover.
10. Contemporary Steel Chiminea
This contemporary chiminea comes in a simple, stylish black finish.
It’s built from top-quality steel and the plain design will compliment any garden or outdoor area.
It’s really sturdy and the handy, wide opening means it’s easy to get logs in.
What is a chiminea?
A chiminea is a freestanding front-loaded fireplace and it usually has a vertical smoke vent or chimney.
People will often use them to keep warm in the garden, and they do throw out quite a bit of heat – perfect for chilly summer evenings outside.
Historically, chimineas were made out of fired clay and have been used for both heating and cooking.
Now, many modern variations exist and manufacturers often offer cast iron and aluminium chimineas too.
What’s the point of a chiminea?
As well as being a focal point in the garden, chimineas are incredibly good as outdoor heaters.
Chimineas project their heat across a wide distance – meaning outdoor gatherings can enjoy a decent amount of warmth, well into the evening.
Chimineas are also known to be incredibly durable with great heat retention – allowing users to heat their garden or patio for long periods of time and still be able to relight the contents of the chiminea the next day.
How to light a chiminea
Here’s a guide to lighting your chiminea safely:
1. Line the base of your chiminea with sand or gravel to prevent it from cracking (especially important for clay chimineas)
2. Place some dry firewood inside your chiminea
3. Place some kindling or firelighters between your wood
4. Use a long match or lighter to light your firelighter or kindling
5. Add some more kindling when the fire is burning more intensely
6. Top up with more wood, if necessary
Tips for using chimineas
1. We recommend setting a series of small fires to cure the inside of your chiminea (to prevent cracking or damage), before using it for larger fires. Allow the small fire to burn out, and the chiminea to cool down before using it again
2. Place your chiminea on a fire-resistant surface – avoid grass, tarmac and wood
3. Keep your chiminea away from children, pets and anything flammable
4. Never use fuel to light your chiminea
5. Never touch your chiminea when it’s in use
6. Avoid moving your chiminea
Which is best: a fire pit or chiminea?
The main differences between fire pits and chimineas are size and shape.
Chimineas are often taller but smaller in diameter, while fire pits are larger and will give you a 360 view of the flame.
If you have small children or pets, a chiminea is probably a better and safer choice for you as its flames are enclosed and it also creates less smoke.
That said if you don’t have any children and you like to have friends and family around, a firepit is a great statement piece that will keep your guests warm all night.
If you’re undecided, check out our roundup of the best cheap fire pits.
Which is better: a clay or cast iron chiminea?
This very much depends on your preference and your budget.
Iron chimineas are more durable and less fragile than clay ones. They also require less maintenance, although they will rust if not maintained properly.
Clay is a cheaper option and clay chimineas are also easier to move.
Plus, they have a rustic look that is likely to fit well with your other pots and plants in the garden.
Sadly, they are also more fragile and may crack or break without warning.
Do Chimineas keep you warm?
Yes. Chimineas are good outdoor heaters.
They project their heat at a wide distance but it might be best to opt for a larger model if you have a very big outdoor space.
Why do you put sand in the bottom of a chiminea?
When it comes to steel and cast iron chimineas especially, layering some sand across the bottom of it will protect the metal at the bottom of the pit from the heat and helps to prevent rust.