Fire Columns Are The Elegant Alternative To Fire Pits This Summer (& All Year Round)

updated Jun 7, 2019
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Fire pits are an easy, relatively inexpensive way to do mess-free bonfires outside. But fire pits have a newer, younger sibling that looks chic and still provides you a roasting spot for your s’mores. Fire columns are generally propane powered, and their tall, slim profile sets them apart from fire bowls and pits.

While low fire bowls and pits often have a bit of a wild, primal look and feel to them, the elongated fire columns are more elegant and restrained. They’re less campfire and more statement fire—a decorative piece that also provides warmth.

Because most fire columns are fueled by propane, they have a variable burn time per tank ranging from two to 33 hours, depending on the size of the tank and how high the flame is. Most are ignited by simply pressing a button, though a couple require lighting. You’re not going to get the magical popping and sparking of a wood fire (or that glorious smell), but you’re also not going to have to deal with chopping wood, convincing it to catch fire, washing the smoke odor out of your clothes, and doing whatever it is you’re is supposed to do with ashes.

Some fire columns are petite enough—only nine inches high in one case—to use on a table top. Most are around 30 inches tall, meaning the flames would be at approximately at chair-seat level, allowing the heat to rise nicely to face level as you gather ’round. The sculptural quality means they can also flank a patio, pool, or garden in pairs or groups for a truly unforgettable light source.

Check out these stylish fire columns below:

Target’s Project 62 exemplifies sleek, functional decor, and this fire column is on exception. The simple shape will blend in easily when not in use, and a push-button ignition gets it going quickly. There’s also a 20-inch version available for half the price.

Meant to look like natural basalt, this will give your fire pit a natural, rugged feel. Made from concrete, it conceals the gas tank and even features auto shut off. At 55 lb before the propane tank, it makes a substantial statement in your backyard.

Here’s a more formal option that’s also great for small spaces. Lighter and with a smaller footprint, it’s still tall enough for hand-warming. The included “stones” are actually a dark black glass that can be switched out for more colorful glass for different effects. (Just make sure you’re buying fire glass that is heat-proof for safety reasons!)

This matte ceramic and stainless steel column is sleek and sophisticated. Another great small space option, one advantage of this option is that it only weighs two pounds whereas some of the concrete and steel options weigh up to 70 pounds. It is the shortest on the list, however, at just under 10 inches tall. It uses gel fuel and burns for up to three hours.

Balancing a natural-looking finish with a sleek, sculptural shape, this feels at home with both rustic or more industrial decor. An included cover allows you to easily keep it protected from the elements when not in use.

The stacked rock is actually convincingly painted fiber-cast concrete, giving you desert vibes that are far more portable. At 56 lbs, it’s still substantial and makes a great centerpiece for earthy, natural-looking backyards.

This copper-colored, hobnailed number has a serious presence (it weighs 70 pounds!), like something out of Game of Thrones. It is made of oxidized magnesium and filled with lava rocks and has a push-button ignition.

If you have a bit of a modern farmhouse vibe going on, this charming fire column is for you. It’s made of fiber concrete and steel and comes with lava rocks and a vinyl cover.

Finally, these teak and stainless beauties are kind of like a fire column crossed with a tiki torch. At over four feet high, the larger option is genuinely tall; these are also the only columns on the list that can be used indoors.