Top Picks for the Best Fire Pit Ring Inserts for Safe Outdoor Evenings

Updated: Jun. 17, 2024

Who doesn't love a backyard bonfire? A fire pit ring insert keeps those home fires burning brightly—and in the right place—for years to come.

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Mw 6 Best Fire Pit Ring InsertsVIA MERCHANT

There’s nothing like the crackle and warmth of an outdoor fire that will make anyone want to build a fire pit in their yard. Luckily, it’s not a hard task. Once you find the spot you want to make your fires, all you need is a fire pit ring insert to contain the flames.

Fire pit ring inserts (also called liners) are crucial elements to any outdoor brick or stone fire pit. Not to be confused with a fire pit ring, inserts are fireproof frameworks that contain your flames for a safe burn in their below-ground shallow hole.

What to Consider When Buying a Fire Pit Ring Insert

Fire pit ring inserts are not just outdoor fireplace accessories, they’re stylish fire pit safety devices. Your top priority when buying a fire pit ring insert is to choose one that contains heat-resistant metal materials, which act as a barrier to keep the intense heat and flames from damaging your masonry walls. By not adding a fire pit ring insert, the mortar and adhesives responsible for keeping your fire pit blocks together can weaken over time due to consistent exposure to heat.

“A fire pit ring insert is a great accessory to have if you would like to extend the lifespan of your fire,” says Ashley Murphy, fire and pool merchant for Home Depot. “It also helps prevent damaging the materials or the pit in general as well as the area surrounding your fire pit from heat. If you have a stone or concrete fire pit, the metal liner will protect outside materials from damage.”

The next consideration is the metal thickness, which is responsible for the durability and protection of the masonry component against heat. Most fire pit ring inserts will include 10- to 20-gauge metal thickness. The thickness you need depends on whether you have a small or large fire pit ring.

Types of Fire Pit Ring Inserts

The various types of fire pit ring inserts can be broken down into two categories: shape and bottom. “Fire pit ring inserts come in all different sizes and materials,” says Murphy. “Knowing the size of your fire pit and the material you want ensures you get the proper insert, saving you from multiple trips to the store. Knowing the size of the fires you plan on having will also help you determine the size of the ring that you need.”

  • Shape: Fire pit ring inserts come in a variety of shapes. Choose from a circular, rectangle, square or octagon to show personality and add flair to your outdoor fire pit.
  • Bottom: Some fire pit rings are made with a bottom while others aren’t. If you opt for a bottomless fire pit ring insert, you will need to layer the bottom with wood, brick or stone materials.
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Best Overall Fire Pit Ring Insert

Arlmont & Co. Natalia Steel Wood-Burning Fire Insert

If you want your backyard to feel like the great outdoors, then you need the wood-burning fire ring insert. Measuring 45 inches (outer) and 39 inches (inner) in diameter, this insert offers a generous amount of space for comfort and heat that’s larger than what you’ll see in stores.

The heavy-duty construction and 10-inch depth make it a hit with reviewers who say it’s easy to put together and beautiful in person. Go ahead and call the whole gang over for a marshmallow or hot dog roast!

Pros

  • Extra-large 45-inch exterior diameter
  • 10 inches deep
  • Made of durable steel
  • Can be assembled in minutes

Cons

  • Not ideal for smaller backyards or more compact pits

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Best Budget Fire Pit Ring Insert

Arlmont & Co. Hilton Fire Pit Rim

Get a budget-friendly pick that doesn’t skimp on quality with the Arlmont & Co. outdoor fire pit liner. This pick offers exceptional value, thanks to the premium materials it includes at a bargain price. Place this insert in the center of a brick, permanent stone or block ring that’s surrounded by gravel for a gorgeous landscape design. Plus, since this insert is bottomless and lightweight, it can be used with your portable fire pit on a camping trip.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly price for premium materials
  • Works with a dug pit or with a raised stone format
  • Medium 33-inch exterior diameter and 10-inch depth

Cons

  • Bottomless design requires additional buildout for patios and stone groundwork

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Best Fire Pit Ring Insert for Cooking

Titan Great Outdoors Fire Ring

Cook yourself an outdoor meal while you enjoy the heat, thanks to this fire ring from Titan Great Outdoors. Measuring a diameter of 32 inches, this fire ring insert provides a lot of area for comfort around the fire while you cook burgers or hot dogs on the 15.5-inch swivel cooking grate. Once you’re finished cooking, the two anchor pins allow you to tip back the insert for easy cleaning.

Pros

  • Has a 15.5-inch swivel cooking grate
  • Large 32-inch exterior diameter
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Exterior powder coat can peel easily

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Best Fire Pit Ring Insert on Amazon

Sunnydaze Fire Pit Ring

Made of thick, unpainted carbon steel, the SunnyDaze fire pit ring is almost twice as deep as most other inserts on the market. The practical 36-inch exterior is just right for typical backyard fire pits, leaving a 30-inch interior diameter big enough to burn even robust, hand-split logs. The steel framing lets you enjoy a raging fire without potentially dangerous tall flames reaching too high into the air.

“We purchased the ring to go inside a cottage block ring that is three stones high,” writes verified purchaser, Mayra Olivas-Arreola. “It worked great. The lip on the outside helps stabilize the ring and keeps it sturdy for the rest of the construction. The width of the hole is perfect for a backyard fire pit, and we get six lawn chairs around the ring comfortably.”

Pros

  • Has an average of 4.5 out of five stars
  • Includes an added safety lip
  • 36-inch exterior and 30-inch interior diameters
  • Has an open bottom

Cons

  • Requires some assembly

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Most Unique Fire Pit Ring Insert

Sunnydaze Octagon Fire Ring Insert

Spruce up your yard with not just any regular circle or square fire ring, but an octagon! The Sunnydaze octagon fire ring insert provides all the same features as standard fire ring inserts with a cool octagon shape. This large fire pit ring is made of alloy steel with a matte finish to provide a modern look to your landscaping that can sit above or in-ground. It sports an overall exterior diameter size of 38 inches, so you and your guests can enjoy the cozy heat from the fire all night long.

Pros

  • Octagon shape provides a cool visual design
  • Heavy-duty construction
  • Easy assembly
  • Extra-large 38-inch exterior diameter

Cons

  • Bottomless design may require extra buildout

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Best Smokeless Fire Pit Ring Insert

Breeo X24 Smokeless Fire Pit Insert Bundle

Tired of smelling smoke all over your clothes and hair? We are, too. That’s why we recommend Breeo’s smokeless fire pit insert bundle for your backyard campsite. It’s a smokeless fire pit insert that takes just a few minutes to set up and enjoy. Featuring a trademarked SearPlate rim, the bundle lets you construct and enjoy a fire pit that won’t get smoke in your eyes. Or hair. Or clothes.

How? The patent-pending X-airflow system and double-wall convection produce more flame and less smoke, so you can save your tears for precious family moments. Add the insert to an existing fire pit or, if they don’t have your size, place a custom order. Read our review for the full scoop.

Pros

  • Special features drastically reduce smoke
  • Easy to set up
  • Custom measurements are available
  • Two metal finish options

Cons

  • Pricey

Why You Should Trust Us

I have over six years of experience writing about home living content. I’ve written many buying guides centered around outdoor products such as grill tables, hot tub shelters, rain gear, Amazon fire pits, fire pit inserts, lawnmowers and many more. I know the best materials and features to look for when it comes to purchasing products that will withstand the elements and last a long time.

We consulted with Ashley Murphy, a fire and pool merchant for Home Depot to get more insight on why fire pit ring inserts are such an important addition to your fire pits. Murphy is an expert on how to enjoy an outdoor fire safely and the best products for every customer.

How We Found the Best Fire Pit Ring Insert

As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.

FAQ

Do I need a fire pit ring insert?

If you already have one of the best outdoor gas fire pits or rely on an outdoor fireplace, you don’t need a fire pit ring insert. However, if you’re planning to build a fire pit in your yard or patio area, a fire pit insert is a smart backyard fire pit idea. Putting an insert in your DIY fire pit helps to contain the flames and sparks while also preserving the stonework from the effects of long heat exposure.

What do you put under a fire pit ring?

Some fire pit rings are made with a metal bottom while others are bottomless. If your fire pit ring insert falls into the latter category, you can layer the bottom of your insert with brick or patio stone, or layer wood on the ground to burn inside the insert. If you choose the wood option, know that your landscape may take several years to recover from the heat and burning.

What is the best material for a fire pit ring?

Fire pit rings made of metal materials, such as steel or iron, are best for a fire pit insert. They’re very strong and durable, and have a strong threshold to withstand the heat.