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Fire Pits vs. Fire Tables: Breaking Down the Pros & Cons

Fire Pits vs. Fire Tables: Breaking Down the Pros & Cons

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Do you want to add an extra touch of fun and sophistication to your backyard? You should consider installing a fire pit or a fire table in your space, but which is better?

Read on for more about fire pits and fire tables. This article outlines the pros and cons of each structure and draws a quick comparison between them.

That way, you can make an informed decision that caters to your specific needs.

What Is a Fire Pit?

A fire pit is a structure typically made of stone or metal that gets inserted in a hole underground. In other words, a fire pit is a permanent piece of furniture in your backyard.

Fire pits are suitable for a campfire to roast delicious snacks or simply heat the place in winter. It’s a classic and fun addition to your outdoor space.


  • A stable underground structure
  • Doesn’t take up much space
  • Can be used for general warming, campfires, and roasting
  • Easier to build
  • Cheap to build and maintain


  • Powered by charcoal or wood, which means open fires that emit smoke.
  • Can’t be moved to rearrange your space
  • Requires cleaning and removing ashes after every use

What Is a Fire Table?

Otherwise known as fire pit tables and tabletop fire pits, fire tables are a more sophisticated option, typically, built above ground.

These are table-like structures, hence the name, with an opening in the center. That’s where you’ll get the flames.

Unlike fire pits, fire tables are moveable, so you don’t have to worry about being stuck with a permanent structure in your backyard.


  • A classy structure to entertain guests around
  • Can be moved to rearrange your settings
  • Works with gas, so no smoke
  • Adjustable flames.
  • Can come with a top grate that prevents accidental burns.


  • Not typically meant for cooking
  • Can be pricey
  • Requires much space

Do Tabletop Fire Pits Give Off Heat?

Yes, tabletop fire pits can heat your seating area; after all, they emit fire. However, that’s not their main purpose. They’re basically meant to give a warm ambiance to your space.

On the other hand, fire pits give off more heat than fire tables. That’s primarily because fire pits emit an open flame, which means more heat by definition.

The good news is that you can adjust the flames on your fire table to give off more heat whenever needed. That way, your fire table can give off as much heat as expected from the open flames of a fire pit.

Are Fire Pit Tables Safe?

In fact, fire tables are safer than fire pits. That said, fire can always be a hazard, especially when little children and pets are around. Fire pit tables are safer for three obvious reasons:

The Height

First, tabletop fire pits are elevated above ground, which creates a barrier for pets and kids. On the other hand, fire pits emerge from the ground and can be the cause of accidents in many cases.

Direct Contact

The second reason is that fire tables usually come with a top grate that eliminates direct contact with flames. That doesn’t rule out the danger of burns, but it’s still better than touching the flames directly.

Powered by Gas

Third, the flames from a fire table are powered by gas, which is safer than wood. After all, you may put off the fire by turning a knob. That’s much easier than having to extinguish open flames powered by wood or charcoal.

Precautions for Installing Fire Pits and Fire Tables

No matter what your choice is, when dealing with fire, you should be cautious. Here are some precautionary measures you should consider before installing fire pits or fire tables in your backyard.

  1. Install fireproof stone pavers beneath your fire pit.
  2. Have a fire extinguisher handy for whenever an accident takes place.
  3. Arrange your seating area at a safe distance from the fire.
  4. Check your city’s local laws and restrictions regarding having open fires in residential areas.

Are Fire Pits Tables Worth It?

Given all the advantages of fire pit tables, the upgrade is usually worth it. They can add a hint of classiness and sophistication to your dinner parties.

In addition, they’re safer and more modern. If you have children or pets, fire tables are a great option because you can easily control the flames with the turn of a knob.

The Main Differences Between Fire Pits and Fire Tables

Here’s a quick comparison between fire pits and fire tables:

Structure and Style

Fire pits are typically installed underground. They still come in plenty of shapes and sizes. They range from a DIY project to a more modern and sophisticated stone structure.

On the other hand, fire tables are tables with firepits installed on their tops. They are usually larger and more fit to entertain guests since they can be used as dinner tables.

Given their large sizes, fire tables require much more space than fire pits. If you have the necessary space, you can easily find a large table that accommodates up to ten dinner guests.

Power Source

Fire pits are powered by wood or charcoal. Some people install gas ignitors to facilitate starting the fire, but they still have to add wood to keep it burning.

Fire tables are powered by propane or natural gas. It’s a more environmentally friendly option that emits no smoke.


With an open flame, fire pits are typically used for roasting mushrooms or hotdogs, making campfire s’mores, or simply warming the seating area.

A fire table is different here. Some say that roasting can damage the mechanisms. That happens if some of the food gets under the top grate.

Therefore, it’s primarily fit for creating a classy ambiance on your dinner table while entertaining your guests. Fire tables can also warm up your backyard or patio on cool nights.


Think about it; they both have fire. Thus, both can pose a threat if you’re not cautious enough. However, fire tables can be a little safer because they’re higher and work by gas.

In other words, fire tables are safer as they don’t emit open flames. They can also be turned on and off with the turn of a knob.


If you’re still not sure which structure is better for you, consider your budget. You can still have all the benefits of a fire pit with a super basic structure that caters to any budget.

That’s not the case with fire tables, which are a rather pricey option. There’s the initial cost of installing the fire table.

Then, add on the cost of propane or natural gas. In this respect, a fire pit can be much cheaper.

Final Thoughts

If you’re not sure whether you should add a fire pit or a fire table to your backyard, you might want to consider different aspects according to your personal needs.

A fire pit is a simpler, cheaper, and more versatile option. On the other hand, a fire table is a more sophisticated, environmentally friendly, and pricier choice.

As for safety, a fire table can be a safer option, although neither is 100% safe per se since fire is still involved.

Regardless of which one you choose, follow the precautionary measures when fire is involved.


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