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Everything You Need to Know About Fire Tables

Three side by side images: The left image is of a small square fire table by Tacklife, the middle image is of a small rectangular shaped fire table by SNAN, and the right image is of a small round table by Femor.

Fire tables are a great way to add the ambiance and allure of a fire pit to your patio without all the hassle. Not only are they beautiful when lit, but they double as tables for placing down beverages and enjoying company, too.

When it’s time to clean up the yard and take out spring and summer décor, a fire table is what your patio is missing. This deluxe amenity is excellent for entertaining guests and keeping things warm and cozy.  Here’s everything to know about getting one for your home.

What Is a Fire Pit Table?

A fire table (or fire pit table) is a stylish form of outdoor furniture that makes it easy to enjoy the ambiance of a fire without all the hassle of tending a wood-burning fire. Here’s how it works.

While there are some natural-gas-powered fire pits on the market, using them requires a dedicated gas line and permanent installation. As such it’s pretty rare to find them outside of high-end homes or commercial settings—if you’ve dined at a restaurant with a long outdoor fire table feature, you’ve likely seen a natural-gas model in action.

For home use, however, it’s much easier to use propane as it comes in easy-to-move and refill tanks. For home tables, the propane tank is concealed under the fire pit table and connected to the line underneath. After removing the fire table lid, you turn the propane tank nozzle to the open position. From there, you can turn the knob on your fire table to ignite the flame.

Additionally, fire glass or fire stones are used as a functional and visually appealing approach to conceal the burner assembly. So, rather than watching flames come from metal jets in your fire table—which would be a lot like just staring at your gas grill with the grates removed—the stones or glass help disguise them and diffuse the flame pattern in a more natural way. We’ll talk more about types of glass in a bit.

Benefits of Owning a Fire Table

There is a certain romance to an actual wood fire from the natural look of the flames to the smell of woodsmoke in the air, to be sure, but there is a long list of reasons why many people prefer fire tables over fire pits for their patios and backyards.

  • Fire tables look really nice on a patio, especially surrounded by decorative (and comfortable) chairs. Consider it an ornamental piece of furniture used for easy entertaining. Because there are so many styles, you can purchase a set of chairs that match just right.
  • Most fire tables double as small side tables, and some are large enough to enjoy a lunch date when the fire is not lit. Many tables feature a lid that you can place over the open flame area to create a flush surface.
  • Fire tables are most popular in summer, but we love that it brings warmth throughout the year. Feel free to use it throughout fall and into the cold evenings of winter, too.
  • Fire tables are truly a luxury. Rather than splitting and lugging firewood in the yard, you can turn a dial and have hot flames in seconds.
  • Like most fire pits, fire tables are great for entertaining. Whether you are hosting a party or happy hour with friends, the warm flames offer an entertaining component fit for most gatherings. Not to mention, a fire table is a perfect companion when you want to enjoy a refreshing beverage and a good book without anyone around.
  • Unlike wood, propane burns much cleaner—you won’t have to dodge smoke or clean up and dispose of ash.

Downsides to Owning a Fire Table

  • Fire tables are a bit on the pricey side, and if you are interested in purchasing one, you can plan on spending anywhere between $200 to  $1,200 or more. The price depends on quality, size, aesthetics, and additional bells and whistles. However, after the actual fire table’s initial cost, one should last you many years as long as it’s properly cared for. Before purchasing, consider how often you think you will use it to ensure the investment is appropriate for you.
  • Like anything that emits hot flames, fire tables can be hazardous and dangerous if not properly attended to. Never place any plasticware or paper plates and cups while the fire is going. Most of the tables are, by nature of their design, pretty much toddler-height, which means you’ll need to keep an eye on little ones around them. And, unlike a traditional firepit that requires gathering fuel, matches, and so on, propane firepits are push-to-start. You’ll want to ensure the propane take itself is tightened down properly or even disconnected if you have curious kids.
  • If you live in an area with lots of land, a plethora of firewood, and fallen branches, then the cost of refilling propane tanks might be a bit off-putting. However, anyone living in a less rural area will greatly benefit from its use.
  • Fire tables typically give off less heat than regular wood-burning fire pits. However, fire pit tables will market how many British Thermal Units (BTUs) are put out to provide heat. The higher the BTU, the more warmth you feel. So as long as you purchase advertised with higher BTUs (around 50,000 BTU is usually ample heat output ), you should get a nice balance of warmth. Plus, tables come with dials so that you can have smaller or larger flames, depending on your desired heat.

A Little Bit About Natural Lava Rocks and Glass Beads

While the flame setting is the most important factor in providing the desired warmth to your environment, the lava rocks or glass beads help, too.

The glass or rocks help deliver beautiful flames without feeling like a fake fire and act as insulation to maintain heat even in more moderate settings. That way, you can keep the dial on a lower setting while keeping a nice warm glow without consuming as much gas.

Fire tables typically come with one or the other right out of the box but, unlike the rest of the construction of the table, they can be easily swapped out! So if you happen to find a table you really love because it’s the right size, design, or has other features you like, but you don’t care for the color or type of the stones/glass that comes with it, don’t pass it over—you can just buy new material for the bowl. If you want a more organic ambiance, consider natural lava rocks. Otherwise, if you plan to use these for fun parties, look into brightly colored fire glass instead.

Fire Glass Beads

A bowl style fire pit filled with bright blue glass beads made by OnlyFire, on a beautiful dzen patio surrounded by lovely plants.

These brightly colored glass beads are perfect for propane fireplaces, pits, or bowls. We love that these eco-friendly beads won’t discolor or cause any strange odors when placed throughout the blazing flames. Choose from colors like Amber, Caribbean Blue, Emerald green, and plenty others.

All-Natural Lava Rocks

A backyard fire table loaded with lava stones.
American Fire Glass

If you would like a more timeless or natural appearance, maybe all-natural lava rocks are a better fit for your pit. These top-quality rocks can withstand heat like no other, as they’ve already gone through a natural process of magma cooling and forming into the rough surface of these stones.

The Best Fire Tables

Now that you’re an expert on fire tables and the decorative stones and glass that go in them, it’s time to choose one for your home. Here are our favorite picks

U-MAX Outdoor Propane Fire Table

A lovely rectangular shaped fire table by U-Max, fit nicely in the middle of sofa style patio furniture, in a cozy outdoor setting.

The U-Max propane fire pit table is a lovely addition to any outdoor atmosphere. Because it comes in either black or brown, you can easily complement the furniture you may already have outside or purchase some to accompany it.

The high-quality material used to construct the table is weather, rust, and heat resistant, all while looking attractive.  We love that the set includes a rain cover, burner lid, and removable glass wind guard. Assemble this beauty and give it a go!

SNAN Propane Fire Table

A rectangular SNAN fire table placed in the middle of lovely off-white patio furniture outdoors, with a couple coffee cups and a French press coffee maker.

The SNAN fire table is another fantastic option as it puts out 50,000 BTUs and offers all the same bonus accessories, including a waterproof cover, flush lid, and glass wind guard (included but not seen in the photo above).

If you want something a bit smaller for your patio or yard, feel free to look into the smaller 32″ square version instead. Both are made with stainless steel and are built to last with an additional 24-month warranty for any defective issues or shipping damages.

Femor 42″ Round Fire Pit Table

A round fire pit table, with an ignited flame on a warm evening with the moon shining ever so slightly over a gorgeous outdoor setting, surrounded by patio chairs.

If you’d rather take in a round table, this round shape of this Femor model is also great for entertaining or keeping things small and intimate at home. The wood grain tabletop is lovely on its own, and once the rocks are added and flames are going, you’ll love the alluring effect. With a quick press of a button, you’ll have instant warmth at 50,000 BTUs.

When you aren’t using the fire pit, place the lid back on and enjoy the table as a space for sipping coffee and having a mid-day snack or lunch.

TackLife Propane Fire Table with Lid

A small square fire pit table by Tacklife, ignited with lovely small flames glowing. The table is surrounded by lovely soft blue and brown style patio chairs and a patio sofa.

Anyone looking for a budget option with a friendly price can appreciate the Tacklife fire pit table. For a little over two hundred dollars, you can have a lovely propane fire pit that doubles as a petite coffee table. Reviewers love this piece of functional furniture for its ability to entertain, bring ample warmth, all at a super reasonable price.

BALI Outdoors Propane Fire Table

A round bowl style fire pit table filled with bright blue fire glass, by Bali Outdoors, placed on a back porch of a lovely home.
Bali Outdoors

Here’s another fantastically priced propane pit with more of a modern look. We like that this model from BALI is a cross between a fire bowl and table. Rather than doubling as a table (and taking up all the space that even a modest table would), it offers a more modern and streamlined experience perfect for tight spaces.

Paired with bright fire glass, this pit will surely make a lovely addition to any patio or yard. Just be sure to purchase a cover if you plan to keep it out in the open.

Propane-powered fire pits flawlessly add a decorative flair and easy on-demand flames, perfect for a relaxing evening at home!

Emilee Unterkoefler Emilee Unterkoefler
Emilee Unterkoefler is a freelance food writer, hiking enthusiast, and mama with over ten years of experience working in the food industry. Read Full Bio »
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