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26 Different Types of Patio Torches

Tiki torches outdoors.

Tiki torches first lighted as outdoor torches in many American homes during the 1930s. It was the time when America was smitten with Polynesian and Hawaiian culture that they adopted some of the decorations from these Pacific Islands. The first “tiki torch,” coined by an American businessman, was made of metal and painted in black.

These outdoor torches continued to gain popularity in the following decades that they became integral lighting for the patio, garden, swimming pool, beaches and resorts. Bamboo torches became iconic while modern versions also cropped up.

Mount Type


Hanging patio torch

Source: Houzz

If you want your patio torches to give your outdoor living space that unique, ethereal look then hanging them from trees or from the roof of your deck is a great way to achieve illumination of your space and make it look magical and even a little romantic. These patio torches are perfectly safe to hang and to enjoy as the flame will be kept away from anything flammable but they will still be able to light your way.

This is also a great choice if you want to have patio torches but are worried about someone bumping into them as they will be lifted up and out of the way. It will decrease the chance that an animal, small child, or an adult will accidentally cause a fire by running into your patio torch when they are not paying attention.


Ground patio torch

Source: Hayneedle

When most people think of patio torches, these are what they picture. They are on long posts with the torch at the top and can easily be stuck into the ground wherever you want. This makes them perfect for use in a field where you don’t have anywhere to hang your patio torches or for putting in flower pots around your patio if you are interested in lighting up your space here. You do have to be a little more careful with this type of patio torch as you don’t want them to get knocked over but they are very easy to find and to use.


Tabletop patio torch

Source: Houzz

To light the space where you are sitting and enjoying the company of your friends and family members you really can’t go wrong with a tabletop patio torch. They are small enough to fit on your table but have enough power and fuel capacity to light up the area where you have them. This means that you can eat outside in the evening without worrying about whether or not you will be able to see the people you are with or the food that you are enjoying. You do have to be a little more careful with them since the flame will be so close to people, but as long as everyone is relaxed and aware of the fire then there shouldn’t be any problems.


Floor patio torch

Source: Home Depot

These patio torches are going to be much larger than some of the other options and are going to do a great job at lighting up a larger space due to their increased size. They are often a statement piece and are sure to provide not only the light that you need, but also something for people to talk about. When looking for a patio torch that rests on the floor you will want to make sure that it has a solid base that doesn’t rock as you don’t want it to tip over if it were to get knocked accidentally.


Wall patio torch

Source: Etsy

Sometimes you can install your patio torches on the wall and this will keep them out of the way and safely and securely mounted on a sturdy structure. If you are out in the yard but still want to use these patio torches then they can be mounted onto a wooden fence or even onto the trunk of a tree if you so desire.


Bracket patio torch

Source: Wayfair

Perfect for when you have a railing around your deck or a lower fence, using patio torches that have a bracket will allow you to hook and securely attach them to this fixed structure. You can place them wherever you want to get the light and the look that you desire and won’t ever have to worry about them tipping over or falling since they will be securely screwed into place.



Glass patio torch

Source: Etsy

While not the typical material for mass-produced patio torches, if you want your torch to be very interesting in appearance and to match the rest of your outdoor décor then opting for glass is a great choice. You can choose from a number of different colors that are as practical and functional as they are attractive, which will allow you to really switch up the appearance and feel of your patio by simply swapping out your patio torches.

Glass can withstand a lot of heat which makes it ideal for this purpose, but if you were to knock or to drop your glass patio torch then you will have quite a mess to clean up, so you do need to be careful when using them as you can easily break or shatter them. Look for glass that is nice and thick as opposed to thin and delicate as it will stand a much better chance at being able to stand up to being knocked.

As long as the glass patio torches are in a safe location you can leave them out without worrying about bad weather negatively affecting them. Of course, if they are in a place where they will pose a hazard to children playing in the backyard then they will want to be brought in for safety.


Metal patio torch

Source: Wayfair

Metal patio torches not only look great but they are incredibly sturdy. You can buy this kind of patio torch in a number of different designs and finishes, and since it is so versatile, with a little bit of looking you’ll be able to find the patio torch that is perfect for your space.

While some people think that metal patio torches are going to be much more expensive simply due to the material that is used, the reality is that while the price may be a little higher, it’s worth the small increase so you don’t have to worry about your patio torch getting damaged or falling over.

These torches can be left out in the rain without risk of molding or incurring water damage, which makes them ideal for people who tend to forget to clean up after a party or want a more permanent outdoor living space where they can enjoy lighting at any time.


Wicker patio torchSource: Wayfair

For a very long time wicker has been the primary material that outdoor porch torches were made out of, and for many people this material is what they picture when they want to buy a patio torch. The light brown color means that the torches will blend in to any outdoor space and won’t look out of place the way that some brighter colors will when you choose metal or glass torches. They are fairly hardy, but you do have to plan ahead if the weather is going to be bad.

While leaving your wicker patio torch out in the rain once or twice is unlikely to cause much of a problem, if you forget repeatedly then you will quickly see your wicker torches being to deteriorate. This is especially true if you buy lower quality patio torches that have not been treated properly and the wicker is affected by water. Watch out for signs of mold or mildew on your wicker torches, and remember that the best way to take care of them is to bring them in after you have enjoyed them and store them in a dry location.



Patio torch set

Source: Houzz

For a cohesive look with your patio torches without having to spend a lot of time worrying about whether or not the ones that you want to buy will match each other, you will want to opt for a set. This means that you are able to buy patio torches that are the same and will look great in your outdoor space. Whether you mix and match a few different sets to achieve a unique look outside or want all of your patio torches to look the same, this will allow you complete control over your outdoor living space.

Many people love the way matching patio torches look, and since they won’t be as visually demanding as using all different types, it will allow you to make the furniture, colors, or other outdoor decorations a little more interesting without having the space become so busy in appearance that it is overwhelming and too stimulating to enjoy and relax.

Citronella Compatible

Citronella compatible patio torch

Source: Houzz

If you’re going to be spending time outside then chances are very good that you will be bothered by mosquitos and other nocturnal insects. Instead of being bitten up or having to wear bug spray just to enjoy time out on your porch, your best option is to opt for using citronella in your patio torch. This will help to create a cloud of protection around you and to drive away any unwanted pests while you are outside.

Multiple Wicks

Patio torch with multiple wicks

Source: Etsy

Get all of the lighting that you need for your outdoor area without spending a lot of money on multiple patio torches when you buy something that has multiple wicks. This, just like bunching together a number of different candles in one area, will not only create an interesting look on your table, but will provide you with much more light than a solo wick would be able to. Instead of worrying about how you are going to create enough light for everyone to see and to enjoy themselves, when you opt for something that already has a lot of wicks there for you to light you can easily light them to get the flame that you desire.

Snuffer Included

Patio torch with snuffer

Source: Wayfair

Snuffing out your patio torches doesn’t have to be a big deal or a task that you want to avoid because you are afraid of burning yourself when you buy torches that already have the snuffer included. This is generally attached by a chain, bit of rope, or leather, and will make it very easy for you to put out the fire so that you can go back inside without worrying about an open flame. Instead of trying to blow out the patio torch, which can be very difficult, or bringing around a separate snuffer, when you use the one that is included you will always know exactly where it is, can trust that it will fit the torch perfectly, and won’t lose it when you are finished with it.

Flame Control

Patio torch with flame control

Source: Houzz

It’s not always necessary to have a huge flame on your patio torch, and if you want to be able to control the size of the flame, the light produced, and therefore the ambiance of your space, then you will want to buy a patio torch that has flame control. Not all patio torches offer this feature, which will allow you to easily adjust the wick to raise or lower the burn. While you can usually pull the wick out when a patio torch isn’t lit to create more flame, it is more uncommon to be able to control the flame while the torch is actually lit, but this will allow you to have complete control over your lighting.

Mounting Hardware Included

Mounting hardware patio torch

Source: Houzz

If you are going to be mounting your patio torch on the wall, on a fence, or even on a tree then you will have to make sure that it is securely attached so that you don’t have to worry about any spills or accidents. Unfortunately, most homeowners do not know how to get the right tools and hardware to do this and will actually risk a fire each time they light their patio torches. If you want to enjoy light from your mounted patio torches but also want to make sure that you are perfectly safe then opt for one that comes with mounting hardware. This will eliminate any guesswork about what kind of hardware you need to use and ensure that everything fits together perfectly.



Patio torch with unique shape

Source: Wayfair

While many people love the traditional shape of patio torches if you want something a little more interesting for your outdoor living space then you will want to look at all of the unique shapes that are available out there. These shapes can integrate into your garden as in the case of a cactus or a flower or can simply be a conversation piece that will have everyone talking. They are a fun way to bring a little life and excitement to your outdoor living area and since they are as functional as they are attractive you won’t ever feel like they are just taking up space in your yard without providing you with a service.


Chandelier patio torch

Source: Etsy

This is probably the most romantic type of patio torch that you can buy, and when you hang a chandelier outside you will enjoy incredible mood lighting that is scattered over a larger area. This type of patio torch is ideal if you are going to try to mimic the feeling of a great restaurant and want to set a very special tone for your outdoor meal or event. Look for one that can be attached not only to the ceiling of your deck, but also hung from a cable or from the branch of a tree so that you have a lot of versatility when it comes to where you are going to use this type of patio torch.


Traditional patio torch

Source: Home Depot

With a long base with a bulb on the top to hold the fuel and the wick, this is probably the most common style patio torch that you can buy and the one that most people picture when they are in the market for new torches. These are ideal for putting into the ground around your area and will quickly set the stage for a fun night. The problem with this shape is that the flame is lifted very high over your head, so if you want to be able to see the faces of the people you are with then you may want to opt for another shape


Spherical patio torch

Source: Houzz

Globular patio torches will sit on your table or on the ground and cast their light all around them. They are very interesting to look at and, due to their shape, can often hold more fuel than other types can. This will allow you to burn them for a much longer period of time before you have to refill them with fuel.


Lantern patio torch

Source: Home Depot

This shape is not only fun, but will make you feel like you are out camping when you lit them. They provide a lot of light that is broadcast from the patio torch in all directions, but the design and the shape will have an impact on how you feel about your time outside. It is a little more casual and relaxed than if you were to opt for a classier shape, such as the chandelier.


Rectangular patio torch

Source: Etsy

Rectangular patio torches are very interesting visually, mostly because flames are not at all rectangular and don’t have hard edges or corners. This juxtaposition of the soft flame with the harder patio torch creates a very interesting look and is sure to please anyone.



Contemporary patio torch

Source: Wayfair

When you are looking for a modern or a contemporary patio torch then you will have a few options about the appearance that will best meet your needs. You can either opt for a sleek look that is all metal, brushed to a shiny finish, and without much embellishment or you can choose a patio torch that is a little more funky and colorful. Either way, these patio torches are going to add a lot of interest to your outdoor living space


Traditional patio torch

Source: Wayfair

For a more traditional look then you will want to find a patio torch that has the prototypical shape – tall and skinny with a bulb on the top to hold the fuel. It is very easy to find this style of patio torch and since they come in so many different materials, colors, and designs, you can easily choose one that will best meet your needs. Make sure that the colors aren’t too bright or your patio torch will not look traditional anymore.


Bohemian patio torch

Source: Wayfair

For a look that will fit in perfectly with your bright throw pillows and interesting design choices in your garden and outdoor space, choose patio torches that are a little more bohemian in style. These are a bit more unconventional than traditional torches but will still offer the same benefits while fitting in with the rest of your décor choices.


Tropical patio torch

Source: Wayfair

You can feel like you are on a tropical vacation when you choose the right patio torches for your space. Look for ones that are made with wicker, as this is generally what you would find in use on an island or at the beach, and don’t shy away from more interesting design choices. Woven patio torches are going to be a lot more visually appealing and interesting than plain ones and will add to the ambiance that you are trying to create.


Whimsical patio torch

Source: Houzz

There’s no reason why you can’t have a little fun with your patio torches, and whimsical flowers that will fit in with the garden or look like they are growing out of pots on your deck or porch are a great way to enjoy your outdoor area, get the light that you need, and still add to the way your space looks.

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