FREE GROUND SHIPPING on all orders over $100

Benefits of fire pits vs outdoor fireplaces

Humans have enjoyed sitting together around campfires for untold millennia, and the appeal of a crackling, aromatic fire remains deeply imbedded in most of us today. Besides its practical abilities to provide warmth and light, a good fire also can be incredibly relaxing and even entrancing. A roaring blaze can be the perfect icebreaker for a big party or serve as a way to encourage relaxation among a small, intimate group as everyone stares into its mesmerizing, flickering flames and shares snacks, drinks and conversation.

For outdoor use at home, fire pits and outdoor fireplaces are both popular choices. Each style has its pros and cons. To learn more about each, read on.

Perhaps the biggest practical difference between outdoor fireplaces and fire pits is the size of the group they will accommodate. Whether they are round, rectangular, square or some other shape, fire pits allow people to sit around them in a 360-degree circle. Besides encouraging face-to-face conversation, this also lets more people gather around a fire pit. Many fire pits can accommodate 10 or 12 people in a convivial circle.

Outdoor fireplaces, on the other hand, typically will accommodate no more than four to six people comfortably seated in front of them. Since these people will all be sitting or standing next to each other rather than across from each other, the conversational possibilities may be slightly more limited.

Far more expensive than outdoor fire pits, outdoor fireplaces also will likely require a greater investment in outdoor furniture that will be more or less permanently located in front of them. Installing an outdoor fireplace may require the hassle and expense of permits and inspections. On the other hand, a beautiful outdoor fireplace can become the focal point of practically any outdoor space.

Fire pits tend to be far less expensive than outdoor fireplaces. The smaller ones are portable, so you can move them to different places outside according to your social schedule. These smaller units are also perfect for limited outdoor spaces. They fit better and can be stowed away when not in use. Except for an outdoor gas fire pit or propane fire pit that may require a permanent gas connection, fire pits are easy to set up.

Depending on whether your fire pit is portable or permanent, you can match portable furniture with it, such as a fire pit table to hold snacks and drinks, or a more permanent setup, such as sofas, loveseats, chairs and tables.

Because they lack chimneys and are more open to the elements, fire pits can be more difficult to light and feed on windy days. Blowing smoke and embers can also be a problem in such conditions.

Although an outdoor fireplace can help block wind, it can also block views, so if your outdoor space offers a panoramic view of trees, sky, water or some other scenic feature, you may want to choose a fire pit. On the other hand, although an outdoor fireplace may block views, it can also add privacy for your outdoor get-togethers.

If you have questions about the pros and cons of fire pits and outdoor fireplaces, just call or email the friendly customer service associates at Outdoor Furniture Plus. We are here to help.


Go Back to our Learning Center Main Page