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8 Best Fire Pit Ideas to Turn Your Backyard Into a Cozy Hideaway

Who needs to leave home when you have one of these?

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Every backyard is better with a fire pit: You can roast marshmallows, tell ghost stories, and stay warm on chilly evenings. However, installing one isn't as simple as heading to your local hardware store and putting the first one you see into your yard—you'll want to be a little more thoughtful. That's why we asked landscaping professionals their favorite fire pit ideas for a beautiful, functional, and safe gathering space. Transforming your yard is just a few clicks away!

Prices are current at the time of publication but are subject to change.

RELATED: 7 Expert Tips for Adding a Privacy Fence to Your Yard.

Fire Pit Safety 101

family roasting marshmallows

First things first; you'll want to ensure your fire pit is safe.

"The one surefire way to ruin a fun day is an accident—this could be as small as your fire pit's base burning up or, in the worst-case scenario, your entire house being set on fire," says Gavin Warwick, owner of Boise Landscaping Company.

To avoid those scenarios, Warwick urges prospective buyers to place their fire pit on a non-flammable surface and away from structures and other flammable materials.

Once you've decided to light your fire, keep the flame manageable and contained within the pit, and equip the area with a fire extinguisher and a bucket of sand or a garden hose in case of emergencies. And, of course, "never leave the fire pit unattended," says Warwick.

RELATED: 13 Low-Maintenance Outdoor Plants for Beginners.

The Best Fire Pit Ideas

1. Make a Sunken Pit

"Patio Deck With Swimming Pool, Fire Pit"

It's like a sunken living room but with fire! It's stylish and helps keep the fire manageable and safe.

"This involves digging out a circular area in your yard and placing the fire pit below ground level," says Luke Kinser, contractor, real estate expert, and co-founder of Virginia Builders. "Line the perimeter with stone or brick to give it a finished look, and surround it with built-in seating."

2. Build a bench

stone fire pit with outdoor chairs, enjoying the sunset and landscape.

Consider creative ways to add extra seating. "For example, you can build a semi-circular stone bench around the pit, which would not only save space but also really give your fire pit a communal feel," says Warwick.

3. Add a grate for cooking

hot dogs on grill
Shutterstock/Joshua Resnick

What's the fun of a fire pit if you're not cooking on it every so often? "You could install a grill grate over part of the fire pit for BBQ sessions, which is extremely cool and adds a lot more fun to your gatherings," says Warwick.

4. Put the fire pit near the pool

fire pit and wood ceiling covering add beauty to the patio

It could double the visual impact. "The contrast between fire and water is always attractive, and they make for great evening hangout spots," says Rafi Friedman, CEO at Coastal Luxury Outdoors.

5. Create a moat around the fire

water fountain with fire pit

One of Warwick's favorite fire pit projects involved circling the fire with a water feature so it looked like the fire emerged from the water. "Additionally, we installed underwater LED lights, which illuminated the water at night and created a mesmerizing effect," he says.

You can't buy the exact feature—it was a custom build—but you could invest in something like this Fire Fountain Water Feature from Aquascape.

6. Surround the fire pit with Adirondack chairs

A fire pit and adirondack chairs sit under string lights, ready to enjoyed

Fire pits are meant to be whimsical, so Alex Barrates, contractor and founder of Alex Painting, suggests decorating with colorful Adirondack chairs. String lights make it even prettier after dusk.

7. Toss out a few bean bag chairs

Fire pit in the garden.

You don't need to limit yourself to traditional seating, says Barrates. A circle of bean bag chairs will make your fire pit super cozy. If it's extra chilly, bring out a few blankets.

8. Build a Gabion fire pit

Stone firepit with adirondack chairs surrounding it in the North Carolina mountains

"Gabions are wire mesh cages filled with stones, creating a rustic and industrial look," says Tommy Mello, founder and owner of A1 Garage Door Service. "This type of fire pit is incredibly durable and can be designed to fit any backyard aesthetic."

Gabions are easy to DIY yourself or with a pre-made kit.

RELATED: 12 Best Things to Serve at a BBQ, Experts Say.

Best Fire Pits to Buy

Whether you're looking for a freestanding fire pit or one that's built into a table, these are the models that experts have tried and tested.

Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0

Solo Stove Bonfire

This fire pit got a vote of approval from a few of the experts we polled.

"For a reliable and versatile fire pit that's great for both small gatherings and larger parties, I highly recommend the Solo Stove Bonfire," says Kinser. "It's a smokeless, stainless steel design that maximizes airflow and keeps the flames going strong with minimal smoke—a huge plus for maintaining a comfortable atmosphere."

The pit is also portable, so you can bring it along on a camping trip or to a friend's party.

$229.98 at Amazon
Buy Now

Colsen Tabletop Fire Pit

tabletop fire pit

Consider this your entry-level purchase in the world of fire pits.

"The Colsen Tabletop Fire Pit is an elegant, small-scale fire pit that's perfect for bringing the ambiance of a fire indoors or setting up on a patio table for some cozy ambiance," says Kinser. "It uses clean-burning rubbing alcohol, making it safe, minimally messy, and easy to maintain."

$34.95 at Amazon
Buy Now

Tiki Brand Customizable Propane Fire Pit

black fire pit
Tiki Brand

The Tiki Brand Fire Pit falls into a category of modular pits, which can be adapted for different uses.

"You can expand it by attaching the tabletop insert to turn it into a cool dining table with a fire burning in the center or customize it further with the glass surround inserts around the fire, and the fire can also be removed if you prefer," says Warwick.

More advanced modular systems exist, but they require professional installation.

$399.20 at Tiki Brand
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Solo Stove Yukon 2.0

metal fire pit in grass

The Yukon 2.0 from Solo Stove is for people who are all in.

"It's the high end of the market but well worth the spend, and you can invest in the basics and buy the add-ons later," says Matthew Consolo, owner and CEO of Air Force Roofing. "Not only is it smokeless, but it blasts out heat and has the most beautiful flames and is super easy to clean, which ultimately encourages you to use it."

$399.98 at Amazon
Buy Now

Breeo X Series 24 Smokeless Fire Pit

fire pit on patio

The Breeo X Series 24 Smokeless Fire Pit is made of heavy-gauge steel.

"The key feature here is its smokeless design, achieved through a patented airflow system that ensures a more efficient burn, which reduces smoke significantly," explains Mello. "This makes it perfect for backyard gatherings where you want to enjoy the fire without constantly shifting positions to avoid the smoke."

Opt for the Series 19 if you're looking for something a little smaller.

$509.15 at Amazon
Buy Now

GasOne Fire Pit

coffee table fire pits on white background

The GasOne Fire Pit is almost like a 3-foot by 3-foot coffee table—but with a fire feature in the middle.

"Do you want to sit around the fire? Grill some food? Have a few drinks? It allows all of that effortlessly, and I can attest to the fact that it's fantastic for roasting marshmallows in the summer," says Andrew Ellis, interior designer and contributor to Posh UK. "I ate so many s'mores last year; you have no idea!"

$59.99 at Amazon
Buy Now

Pit Boss Smokeless Fire Pit

people sitting around fire pit outside

Ryan Farley, CEO of LawnStarter, says he's a fan of pellet fire pits like this one from Pit Boss.

"Pellets tend to be great, especially if you're cooking over your fire pit, and they're also great for producing a nice, strong, hot fire without tons of smoke," he says. "The Pit Boss also recirculates smoke, so there's even less of it."

It's also portable, and reviewers compliment the intensity of its heat.

$247.49 at Amazon
Buy Now

Hampton Bay Gas Fire Pit Table

chairs and fire pit table on a patio outside
Home Depot

The Hampton Bay Fire Pit Table adds oodles of ambiance.

"I think it's a little unique just because it's more than just your typical fire pit, and instead provides more of a complete experience," says Andre Kazimierski, CEO of Improovy. "It's a table to gather around and more of a spectacle than just a fire pit and I really do love fire pits when they're set up with seating around them as part of a porch or patio design."

$219 at Home Depot
Buy Now
Juliana LaBianca
Juliana is an experienced features editor and writer. Read more
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