Best Fire Pit Spark Screens

Updated October 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

23 Models Considered
5 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
106 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best fire pit spark screens

Last Updated October 2019

For those who take pleasure in sitting around an open fire on a clear night, enjoyment comes with peace of mind. Safety is an important consideration when dealing with outdoor fires, and a fire pit spark screen can minimize risks and allow you to make the most of the evening.

Also known as a spark guard, a fire pit spark screen is a steel cover that allows the fire to breathe without spewing any dangerous sparks. Flames can rise through the screen and the fire can be ventilated, but the screen keeps people safe from any sparks that burst from the pit. It also keeps any nearby plants and trees safe from sparks, which on a particularly dry, hot night is of the utmost importance.

Spark screens come in different sizes to match the size of the fire pit. Some are simply one piece, while others feature a retractable or sliding portion for convenience. If you need a spark screen, we can help guide you through the options. Read our buying guide and check out our top picks so you can find the perfect screen for your outdoor gatherings.

You can use a spark screen to contain a fire while camping or at the beach.

Key considerations

Size

The first thing to do before searching for a spark screen is to measure your fire pit. Acquiring a spark guard that fits is essential if it is to work properly and effectively. First, measure the diameter from one outside edge of the fire pit to the other outside edge. Next, measure from one inside edge to the other. The diameter of the outside edge is the maximum size you can buy that will fit. The minimum size fire screen that will fit is one inch larger than the inside diameter. If you purchase a spark screen that matches the inside diameter, the screen will fall in.

Once you know the right size, you can consider other options.

Shape

The shape of your spark screen will almost certainly be determined by the shape of your fire pit. While you might be able to devise a creative arrangement with two different shapes, it’s best to match the screen shape to the fire pit shape. There are two options: circle and square.

Height

Spark screen height can vary greatly, from as low as 6 inches to over 20 inches. Height isn’t necessarily designed with respect to width. That means you can find a screen that’s 40 inches in diameter and 10 inches high and one that’s 20 inches high. A taller screen means you can pile the wood higher, while a lower screen will limit this. However, a taller screen will be heavier than a shorter screen of the same diameter.

Maintenance

Most spark screens will rust if left out in the weather. A bit of rust shouldn’t hamper the function of the screen if the rust is confined to the edges or bottom, but when it impacts the metal mesh, sparks may be able to get through. You might want to invest in a stainless steel guard or one that’s coated in weatherproof paint, or you can cover the screen with a tarp when it isn’t in use.

If you don’t want to deal with logs, you can find lots of fire pits that run off propane.

Staff
BestReviews

Fire pit spark screen features

Spark screens are almost exclusively utilitarian, so they don’t offer a lot in the way of variety. The fire is the focal point, not the screen. However, there are a few screens that offer some extra features.

Hinge

If you don’t want to lift the entire screen off the fire pit every time you need to add a log or stoke the flame, consider a hinged screen. With this design, you can slide back a portion of the screen like a door or gate to allow easy access to the fire. There might be some assembly required with this type of screen.

Design

All fire pit screens have metal mesh, but some screens are adorned with solid metal shapes that cast interesting shadows in the firelight. Some designs are decorative swirls or other abstract shapes, but if you’re willing to spend more, you can also find some custom-made domes with hand-cut designs, such as woodland scenes of deer, ducks, and trees.

Extras

The handle on the spark screen itself can get extremely hot, so some screens come with a lifter, or screen hook, which lets you easily remove the screen from the pit.

Fire pit spark screen prices

As a rule, the larger the spark screen, the higher the price. However, design, height, and brand recognition are factors, too.

Inexpensive: The pickings are slim under $70, but they do exist. You can find a quality screen up to about 32 inches in diameter. It likely won’t have a hinge, but it will do the trick.

Mid-range: You’ll find the most options in terms of size in the $70 to $150 range, including hinged screens. Some in this range are stainless steel.

Expensive: The largest screens cost over $150. Most of these have a hinge and are likely backed by a manufacturer’s guarantee. In this price range, you’re paying for longevity as well as size.

EXPERT TIP

Many screens are powder coated or painted for appearance and to withstand heat. If the color starts to fade, you can repaint it.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Protecting your screen doesn’t need to be complicated. Invest in a tarp you can throw over the pit when it’s not in use. Your screen will last longer and look better!


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Measure twice. When shopping for a spark screen, the measurement of circular screens is the diameter. Square screens may list the length or the diagonal, so be sure to check which one is being advertised before you purchase. And err on the side of caution when measuring. If your measurement is off by half an inch, or the fire pit you purchase happens to be slightly smaller than advertised, you could end up with a screen that falls into the pit.

  • Consider the depth of the fire pit. The height of the screen may be affected by the depth of your fire pit. You can get a shorter, and thus lighter, screen if you have more room to work with in the pit.

  • Buy the necessary tools for tending the fire. Most screens don’t come with tools. You’ll need a heavy-duty poker or set of tongs to adjust the fire as well as lift up the screen. The screen has a handle, but it’s going to be really hot!

  • Be careful where you place a hot screen. If you don’t have an easy-access screen, you’ll likely have to put it aside when tending to the fire. That large, hot piece of metal needs a safe place to rest.

Other products we considered

There isn’t a huge variety when it comes to spark screens, but there are a few more of note that piqued our interest. At only 5 inches high, the Sunnydaze Decor Fire Pit Screen can cover a 24-inch square fire pit. It weighs just a few pounds, too, making it easy to lift on and off the fire by the top hook. And for good measure, the unique Good Directions Orion FireDome Spark Screen is adorned with handcrafted stars to cast interesting shadows at your next outdoor party. The 26-inch screen also comes with a lifter.

Spark screens don’t offer a lot of variety on their own. If you don’t have a fire pit, look at buying the two items together. You’ll find more creative options when they’re designed as a unit.

FAQ

Q. How long does a fire pit screen last?

A. Functionally, it should last many years, but it also depends on if it’s sitting in all kinds of weather and how comfortable you are with some rust on the screen, which is likely to occur over time.

Q. How long does a fire pit screen take to assemble?

A. If you’re purchasing a hinged screen, some assembly is required. Most customers say it takes about half an hour to put everything together. Some suggest that it’s a job for two people.

Q. How do I keep the screen in place?

A. The screen should not move or slide around once it’s set up. However, this could potentially be an issue with a lighter screen. In that case, you can install L brackets on your fire pit or simply place heavy, nonflammable objects, such as stones, around the side.

The team that worked on this review
  • Austin
    Austin
    Writer
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Katie
    Katie
    Editorial Director
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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