Copper vs. Steel Fire Pit: Differences and Which to Choose

Fire Pit

Fire pits are getting increasingly common. These days, the most common types of fire pits are copper and steel types. But what are the differences between both types, and which one should you choose?

Whether you choose to buy a steel or a copper fire pit ultimately depends on your taste. Copper pits are less durable and prone to color changes but look gorgeous when new. Meanwhile, steel pits are more durable but tend to rust and look unattractive overall.

While the type of fire pit you choose for your home is strictly up to you, here are a few advantages and disadvantages of both copper and steel fire pits. Looking at them should help you determine which is best suited for your use.


Pros of Copper Fire Pits

Fire pits made out of copper come with distinct advantages, some of which are listed below.

1. Rust resistance

Copper alloys are extremely resistant to weather changes. Unlike iron casts and some steal, copper never rusts, which results in more durability. Rust may look bad and not go well with your decorations if you have a more modern theme in your home. Not only that, but it will also be less likely to wear down in rain when the pit is not in use. Therefore, it is a big advantage in favor of copper pits.

2. Coloring

Copper has a distinct reddish color that looks beautiful when brand new. However, this color also gradually changes into a more greenish tone due to oxidation. An example of this phenomenon is the Statue of Liberty in America, which is also made of copper. Although most people find this color very pleasant to look at, others may not. Your copper pits will come with a coating to reduce discoloration, but eventually, the color will change.

3. Good heat radiation

The composition of copper allows it to be an excellent conductor of heat and electricity. Therefore, copper pits are more efficient at radiating and spreading heat more evenly than steel fire pits.

As you might know, wires are often made out of copper. The reason behind that is that copper has excellent conducting properties. Indeed, these days, even phones and PCs have copper chambers built inside them to disperse heat.

Thus, copper is naturally a good material to build fire pits out of as it conducts and spreads heat very easily. Consequently, it helps create a cozy environment without needing too much fire.

4. Light Weight

Copper is also significantly lighter than steel and iron, which enables easier portability. Thus, if you no longer like the placement of your pit in your living area or want to give your living room/backyard a makeover, it will be easier if you have a copper fire pit. If you move things around a lot or move houses often, then a copper fire pit will be the right choice for you.


Cons of Copper Fire Pits

However, there are also several disadvantages to owning a copper-made fire pit, some of which are displayed below.

1. Discoloration

As mentioned above, copper tends to oxidize and discolor over time. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to prevent this phenomenon. So, if the natural change in the color of your fire pit is not something you are willing to deal with, it is best to refrain from buying a copper fire pit.

2. Very expensive

Copper fire pits are, on average, more expensive than iron and steel fire pits. Indeed, copper is expensive and hard to mold, and thus, things made out of this material are naturally more expensive than those made of steel or iron. Most copper pit enthusiasts argue that it is totally worth the price, however, value is subjective, and whether you think the extra premium is worth it or not is up to you.

3. High maintenance

Copper is a soft material. Therefore, it tends to lose its shape and discolor very quickly. That is why copper pits must be maintained from time to time to look the way it was initially intended to. There are particular steps one needs to follow to avoid discoloration, and the nuts and bolts have to be replaced every now and then, making this a time-consuming job.


Copper fire pits have a very beautiful color and will certainly be a great addition to your backyard. But, this beauty won’t last for a long time because these fire pits eventually turn green because of oxidation. Aside from this color, can copper fire pits turn black? Read our article to find out. 


Pros of Steel Fire Pits

Now, let us discuss the advantages of steel fire pits, which are a fairly popular type of pit and are commonly seen in homes due to their ease of use and low prices.

1. Budget-friendly

Steel fire pits are cheaper than copper fire pits since steel is easy to mold and cheaper to produce than copper. Considering that this material doesn’t require much maintenance and is considerably cheaper, buying a steel fire pit can save you a lot of money!

2. Variety

Steel fire pits, especially the cheapest ones, come in a lot of designs and varieties. Although these designs may be generic and common, there are so many options to choose from that you are unlikely to see anyone else using the same design as you.

3. Durability

Steel is a very strong metal. If well taken care of, your steel fire pits may last you a lifetime and beyond! Indeed, as rigid as steel is, it is unlikely to get scuffed or dented easily during potential collisions or accidents.

4. Availability

Since they are easy to produce, steel fire pits are often produced in massive numbers and in various styles and sizes. Thus, steel fire pits are available in more places than copper fire pits, making them more popular and more sold. Also, more stores stock them up.


Cons of Steel Fire Pits

However, there are a few disadvantages to owning a steel fire pit, some of which are mentioned below.

1. Rusting

Rusting is a major problem in all steel items. Indeed, although steel fire pits come with a coating to prevent rust, that coating is eventually damaged by fire. In the long run, it causes the coating to lose its effectiveness, which results in rust. Although routine maintenance can fix the rusting issue, it is still a nuisance.

2. Weight

It comes as no surprise that an item made out of steel is heavy. Indeed, steel is a dense, heavy, durable material. However, this denseness also increases its weight. If moving around is something you often do, then steel fire pits are not for you.

3. Color fading

Steel fire pits usually come with heat-resistant coloring. However, this color is still prone to fading and will get discolored over time. You must repaint it from time to time to maintain the original color of your steel fire pit.


Lava rocks are natural stones that contain heat-insulating components that help sustain the heat in your fire pit. They can help make the heat in your fire pit last longer. But, can you use lava rocks in a wood-burning fire pit? Read our article to find out. 


Differences Between Copper and Steel Fire Pits

In case you were unable to make up your mind after reading the pros and cons of both copper and steel fire pits, here is a direct comparison between the key features of the two types of fire pits.

1. Color

Copper fire pits come in a beautiful reddish color that looks elegant and classy in any setting, whereas steel pits display a type of heat-resistant black coating. Although, steel variants can sometimes be found in chrome finishes too.

Both materials tend to change color over time, but the process is different for both. While copper oxidizes and takes a greenish hue, steel fire pits discolor and turn brownish due to rust. Now, if you do not wish to repaint your fire pit over and over again, you must decide which look you prefer in the long term before purchasing your fire pit.

2. Cost

The cost for steel and copper fire pits greatly varies. Copper fire pits are generally more expensive than steel ones due to the material costs and difficulty in manufacturing. However, copper pits look more pleasing to the eye and disperse heat more efficiently. These assets demand a higher price than steel fire pits.

3. Design

Both copper and steel variants come in many designs, but the variation in steel types is much larger because steel can be cut with plasma cutters, and any shape can be formed onto it. On the other hand, copper needs to be molded, which significantly reduces the scope to make new designs.

4. Maintenance

Maintaining copper fire pits is harder than maintaining steel ones. Copper is a soft material, and therefore, is prone to bending and warping. Besides, it also scratches a lot more easily. In contrast, steel is rigid and heavy and requires a lot less maintenance.



Due to their rise in popularity, owning a fire pit these days is quite easy.  Out of all the variants that you can choose from, copper and steel fire pits are the most common types for homeowners. As we have discussed in this article, each of these fire pits have their own pros and cons. Use the information that we shared as an added guide when choosing a fire pit for your home. 

The choice between copper and steel fire pits ultimately boils down to personal taste. You should pick the one that best fits your lifestyle and home décor. I hope this article will help you understand the differences between steel and copper fire pits and outweigh the pros and cons of owning either one.

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