Choosing a Fire Pit: A Buyer's Guide

Enjoy your evenings, under the stars and relaxed around the fire pit, knowing you’ve made a well-informed decision when choosing the fire pit for you, with our Fire Pits Buyer’s Guide

The magical nostalgia of crackling embers and flickering flames, when cosied up around a fire pit, cannot be beaten. Whether the centre piece of a social gathering with your family and friends or used to ignite the passion on a romantic date night under the stars, their safe and easy use makes fire pits a must-have in every home, all year-round.
As amazing and fulfilling as fire pits can be, we can’t ignore how they can also be a little confusing to research and find the best one for you. This Fire Pits Buyer’s Guide will cover all the basics of choosing a fire pit, as well as the essential things you need to consider when using your fire pit.

Choosing a dish fire pit

Starting with the most traditional and most common, is the dish shaped fire pit. These are perfectly designed as fire pits because it allows maximum exposure to oxygen, as it is almost fully open, in turn supporting easier lighting and a well-sustained burn. This open dish fire pit gives you almost a full 360° view of your crackling fire so you can enjoy it to its fullest. Additionally, this space allows for larger logs, which means you can spend less time cutting up wood and less money on expensive kindling.
Win win!

Cast Iron Dish Fire Pit

Choosing an oversized bowl fire pit

A very similar yet different fire pit is the oversized bowl. The only difference here is that the edges are taller, enclosing the fire more. Unfortunately, this means you don’t have the almost 360° view, but it still ensures maximum exposure to oxygen and space for large logs, therefore, you still have just as excellent a fire! The raised edges create more of a feature of your fire pit, so it’s aesthetically pleasing even when not in use. So, when choosing a fire pit, you need to consider the aesthetic you want, as well as the function.

Cast Iron Oversized Bowl Fire pit

Choosing a basket fire pit

This minimalistic yet unique design adds versatility to your garden, combining vintage and contemporary décor to really bring out the character of your garden. The 360°, fully exposed sides allow for easy lighting and maximum exposure to oxygen, ensuring a longer and brighter burn. Choosing a fire pit in this style is perfect to relax and distract you from life, mesmerising you with the dancing display of light within.  

Steel Brazier Fire Pit

Choosing a flat pack fire pit

Choosing a fire pit because of its portability has never been so easy. This is the ultimate portable fire pit. With easy assembly by simply slotting the four sections together, this unique design is the perfect addition to any camping trip. Once finished with, this fire pit will pack away flat for easy storage – especially with little space when camping. Or, if fires are your thing but you simply don’t want a big fire pit sitting out in your garden, this is the perfect fire pit for you.

Bobby Q Flat Pack Fire Pit


Smaller Fire Pits If you only have a small outdoor space, choosing a fire pit that’s small and easy to cosy up around, especially if there’s only the two of you, cannot be beaten. Nevertheless, the smaller the fire pit the closer you need to be to it to reap its benefits, which is not so practical if there are more than two of you. Smaller fire pits are of course easier to transport, easier to store and less of an obstacle in the garden, needless to say, cheaper.

Larger Fire Pits The most obvious benefit of larger fire pits is that they create bigger fires, thus, radiate more heat. Choosing a fire pit that is larger is a great option if there are more of you to gather around and enjoy it, or if you want to keep it out as a feature piece - a focal point of your outdoor space. Consequently, these are heavier, less portable, and more expensive – reminding you again that when choosing a fire pit you need to think about what you want it for.

A general note: it is thought that 30 inches, mid-size, is the best for value, convenience and most importantly, fire.


The next thing to consider is the fire pit material.

Cast Iron

- Highly durable

- Extremely heat radiant

- Heavy and sturdy; there's no risk of knocking it over

- Classic but rustic design that only develops as the fire pit battles the elements

- However, large cast iron fire pits can be very heavy

Cast Iron Fire Pit


- Durable

- Strong against the elements

- Extremely heat radiant

- Lightweight

- However, unprotected steel will rust overtime

Steel Fire Pit

Fuel types

The next question after choosing a fire pit: what will you burn?


Wood is the most common fuel type for fire pits, it’s the most natural and fairly inexpensive. They provide that classic, nostalgic glow and smell of a campfire which is unbeatable. On other hand, wood will often cause more smoke, which isn’t very ideal if surrounded by other houses, and wood fuelled fire pits are generally harder to maintain, often needing more wood added throughout the evening. When choosing a fire pit, you must consider those around you.


Charcoal is another popular option, particularly for fire pits used as BBQs. It is great when looking to grill food because it provides that flame-grilled taste to your burgers. Also, charcoal provides controlled, even heat, often more heat than wood, which is good when grilling and when sitting around. Unlike wood, charcoal will produce very small flames, which will be good for some people but not for others, therefore, you need to decide what kind of fire you want from your fire pit. When looking at fires environmentally, charcoal is the better option as heat is almost the only thing released, so is known as producing clean fuel.

Fun fact: the temperature of your fire will depend on the fuel type, material, and size, but typical bonfires will reach up to 1100°, which as a matter of fact is almost the melting point for aluminium.


Legs are a great feature of fire pits, ensuring stability and elevating it off the ground so you don’t cause any damage to your flooring surface. Some fire pits will have the option of removable legs which are a great advantage, particularly if choosing a fire pit for the purpose of portability and easy storage.

Harbour Housewares Cast Iron Fire Pit - 56cm


Handles are an equally beneficial feature of fire pits allowing easy transportation, whether to a different area of the garden, or to the beach!


For those who do want the option of having their fire pit as a BBQ too, a grill is an essential accessory. Sitting your burgers just above the flames, the juices will drop through the grates, touching the hot material and instantly vaporising. This vapour will then rise as steam and accumulate on the outside of your food creating that beautifully authentic flame-grill taste. Hungry yet? Get choosing a fire pit and that burger will be yours!

Fire Pit Grill

Spark Guard

A spark guard isn’t an essential for your fire pit, however, it’s a nice accessory to have for that day you decide you need it. It will defend against those stray sparks and pops from the fire so you can have peace of mind while enjoying and relaxing. These spark guards are also beneficial for those who have children or pets. Spark guards can be bought separately or as a set when choosing a fire pit.

Fire Pit Spark Guard

Log Basket

Log baskets are a great accessory to your fire pit, especially if you have the matching fire pit. Even not as a set, log baskets are a great way to store your logs organised and neatly while being a stylish accessory in your garden. This log basket includes screw-fitted legs, so you have the option of an elevated or grounded basket.

Fire Pit Log Basket


It’s important to remember it’s not only the huge 5th November bonfires that can be dangerous, but any fire has risks and therefore, there are laws. In the UK fire laws are relatively lenient but be sure to check your local areas bylaws first – before choosing a fire pit.

Nonetheless, the Government does offer guidance based on the principle of not causing a regular nuisance to your neighbours, which if they complain, you could face a large fine. For example:

- Don't burn fires close to fences, buildings, or hedges

- Avoid burning wet wood, it causes a lot of smoke

However, there are two laws that carry criminal charges if broken:

- Don't allow smoke to drift over public roads where it could impede visibility

- Don't burn anything that generates dangerous fumes, e.g., plastic, paint, or oil

Also, if you’re wanting to take your fire pit to a campsite or on the beach, first look for any signage indicating if it’s prohibited, or seek permission from the landowner – usually this information can be found on the internet too.  

It’s best to er on the side of caution and use common sense, but your magical evening with your fire pit is sure to meet your burning desires.

Safety tips

Now you’ve completed the process of choosing a fire pit, here are a few safety tips you should keep in mind when using your it:

- Avoid windy days

- Leave plenty of surrounding space

- Keep a bucket of water or a fire extinguisher handy

- Never burn flammable products, or keep them near the fire pit, e.g., gasoline, aerosols, cooking oils

- Never leave the fire pit unattended

- Watch out for children or pets

- Place it somewhere sturdy and stable

There is plenty of information available online fi you are ever in doubt.

One of our best-seller fire pits is the Harbour Housewares Cast Iron Garden Fire Pit – 75cm with it’s classic industrial design it’s suited to any décor and with it’s dish shape you will have that 360 degree immersive view. This fire pit is made from durable cast iron, with three sturdy legs and side handles to ensure stability and so you can move it around if need be. It even comes with a 2-year warranty!

Check it out!

Harbour Housewares Cast Iron Garden Fire Pit – 75cm

If you want a smaller fire pit, then the Harbour Housewares Steel Garden Fire Pit – 56cm is the fire pit of your dreams. Its black painted finish keeps the industrial look but adds a tad more elegance to create that divine feature piece in your garden. However, if you want to be able to store it away or move it around, then the 2-piece design is perfect for this, allowing you to separate the tripod construction from the oversized bowl and store or transport them how you wish. Take a peek if this sounds like the one for you!

Harbour Housewares Steel Garden Fire Pit – 56cm

If you know you’ll be using your fire pit as a BBQ as well, take a look at the Harbour Housewares Steal Garden Fire Pit with Grill & Spark Guard – 54cm or the full fire pit kit. This fine fire pit comes with a mesh spark guard to keep those crackling embers contained, a log grate to elevate your burning materials from the base of the fire pit - allowing for more oxygen - a cooking grate to achieve that mouth-watering flame-grilled taste and a tool for safe, hands-free movement of the fire pit components.

Harbour Housewares Steal Garden Fire Pit with Grill & Spark Guard – 54cm

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Check out our Blogs page where we have several blogs covering How to Use a Fire Pit with your Family, 5 Things to Cook Over a Fire Pit, and much more.