Electric fireplaces are an easy, convenient, and energy-efficient way to add some character to most any room, while giving it a unique ambience that can only come from the appearance of lifelike flames.
Anyone that’s ever settled in next to a fire with a cup of hot chocolate on a frigid day knows the comfort and warmth one can get. For those who don’t have a real fireplace in their home, or simply want to add that warmth and comfort of a fireplace to a certain room or space, these often inexpensive devices are the best way to do it, as they require minimal installation, and are safe around kids and pets.
PuraFlame 33 Inches Western
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Duraflame 3D Infrared
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Touchstone 80001 – Onyx
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Best With Mantel
Real Flame 8020E-W
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Best Log Set
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Are you in the market for a new electric fireplace? We’ve got you covered. Below are our top 10 picks for the best electric fireplaces on the market today, as well as some helpful buying advice that will steer you along in choosing the right product for your home.
Best Fireplace Insert– PuraFlame Western Electric Fireplace
Electric fireplace inserts are the quickest way to give a non-functioning conventional fireplace new life in just a few minutes. If you’re taking that route, the PuraFlame Western is the best choice.
It has realistic logs, flames, and even a fake chimney background that is very convincing, coupled with efficient heating that rivals real fireplaces.
- Quick Installation – When paired with the right size of fireplace, the PuraFlame firplace can be installed in just a few minutes, with minimal tools involved.
- Unique Log Design – Its logs use resin to create a very realistic bed of embers, combined with three different flame visuals, including blues and shades of orange.
- Remote Control Operation – Users can control the flame and temperature settings directly on the unit’s top portion, or use a handy remote
This fireplace has insert has everything but wood crackling sounds, which is the only thing preventing it from offering a full fireplace replacement experience.
It is a viable replacement within your original fireplace area, or even used within a recessed wall. Its realistic log burning visuals, heat output, and low price make it one of the best buys of any electric fireplace.
Best Budget Electric Fireplace Stove– Duraflame DFI-5010-01 Infrared Quartz Fireplace Stove
This fireplace retains the charm and traditional styling of an old-fashioned stove fireplace, but without all the mess and hassle of actually burning wood in a stove — and without a chimney.
- Powerful Heater – The Duraflame DFI-5010-01 has a 5,200 BTU heater that can help heat spaces up to 1,000 feet, perfect for added heat during the winter, or really just about any time of year. Heating is supplied via infrared crystals, with an adjustable digital thermostat.
- 3D Flames – Patent-pending flame visual technology creates incredibly lifelike flames that appear to emit from the logs, with several different settings for brightness and colors.
- Safety Features –The stove comes with built-in overheating protection, instantly turning the unit off when it senses unsafe internal temperatures.
Duraflame did such a good job of recreating the look and feel of an old stove fireplace, but didn’t include wood crackling sounds for the full experience.
The Duraflame DFI-5010-01 is as close as you’ll get to the warmth and feel of a conventional stove fireplace. It has both the looks and the heating aspect nailed down, and discreetly includes lots of modern conveniences and controls. This is simply one of the best fireplaces you can buy.
Best Wall-Mounted Electric Fireplace– Touchstone 80001 Onyx Wall Hanging
Simple and sleek, the Touchstone Onyx is an ultra-modern wall-mounted electric fireplace that can be installed anywhere, regardless of whether your wall space is recessed or not. Not only does it look great, it puts out a solid amount of heat too.
The fireplace comes with a choice of visuals and colors, and has a somewhat surprising price point. Its simple aesthetic allows it to be complementary to a wide range of decors.
- Installs Practically Anywhere – The Onyx can be installed on most any wall, and comes with a wall hanging kit.
- Remote Control & Timer – The fireplace comes with onboard controls and a remote control, along with multiple timer settings that let you operate it without worrying about leaving it on
- Multiple Flame Visuals – Five separate flame visual settings are included with the Onyx. You also get both faux logs and clear crystals to choose from for increased variety of visuals.
The Onyx is not completely silent, even when using it without the heater on. This can be remedied by installing some rubber shimmers in between the back of the unit and the wall if desired.
The Touchstone Onyx is one of the sharpest-looking electric fireplaces you’ll come across and will impress most every guest to your home. While it excels in ambience and style, it still provides ample heat and requires minimal installation.
Best Compact Mantel Electric Fireplace– Real Flame 8020E-W Crawford
For those that want a mantelpiece that actually looks like it’s part of the wall, I present the Real Flame 8020E-W Crawford Electric Fireplace.
Fortunately, this unit is about more than just looks. It provides ample heating levels, and comes with all the essential convenience sttings and features.
- Authentic Built-In Look – The mantel portion of the unit is crafted from solid wood and veneered MDF, and uses a low profile away from the wall to give it the appearance of a true built-in mantel piece. It comes in both white and oak colors.
- Numerous Controls – The fireplace has both onboard controls and a remote, allowing you to set a programmable thermostat, timer, and several different brightness settings.
- High Heat Output – The heater is 400 watts, and produces over 4,700 BTUs per hour, suitable for up to 500 square feet.
Although the fireplace does have a few different visual settings, it would be nice to have more variance with the intensity of the flames.
The profile of this mantle combined with its contemporary styling makes it one of the more versatile electric fireplaces from a design perspective, which is then backed up with very realistic fire visuals and high heat output.
That’s really all you could want from a mantle fireplace, which is why it’s one of our favorite products on this list, and one of the most popular electric fireplaces, period.
Best Entertainment Center– Ameriwood Home Chicago Electric Fireplace TV Console
Looking to save a little space? The next fireplace combines a TV console/entertainment center with an electric fireplace, making it an easy way to have both in one single space. The console has a contemporary appeal to it, and just enough storage space to house your cable box, DVD player, game consoles, and more — and all for just over $200.
- Plenty of Storage – This console comes with all the space needed to store all of your essential entertainment devices, plus DVDs, games, and some small decor pieces.
- Supports Large TVs – The console can hold TVs up to 50 inches in width, and 70 pounds in weight.
- Rich Detail – The console is made from lightweight MDF particle board, with intricate wood grain detailing and a deep espresso tone, along with a shape and design versatile enough for many decor styles. It’s available in black and natural tones as well.
- Powerful Heater – The heating unit within the fireplace puts out 4,600 BTUs worth of heat, which is enough for a 400 square foot room.
Plan on setting aside a few hours for assembly, and have a friend help if they’re available.
It is an exceptional all-in-one purchase, giving you a sizable entertainment center, a visually pleasing fake fire, and a surprisingly powerful heater in one single purchase. The design and detailing make it an alluring asset for your den or living room.
Best Bookcase Electric Fireplace– Southern Enterprises Tennyson with Bookcases
Another electric fireplace from Southern Enterprises makes the list, this time in the form of a bookcase + mantel. The Southern Enterprises Tennyson Electric Fireplace with Bookcase can create a refined and established look in your room instantly.
- Mantel and Bookcases Combined – An intricate mantel design is flanked by a bookcase on each side, complete with six shelves that can be used for everything from books to decor. The top of the mantel can support a TV up to 69 inches wide, with a 40 inch base.
- Powerful Heating – The fireplace portion emits enough heat to fill a 400 square foot space, and can be controlled with either a remote control or onboard buttons.
- Safe, Efficient Operation – The fireplace utilizes an energy efficient design for lower bills, and includes a child-proof locking feature and cool-to-the-touch glass in the front.
The flame effects are a bit lacking, and could use some more variety in terms of options and settings.
While the fireplace doesn’t have the greatest flame effects, it still offers an exceptional look and feel that can instantly add a cozy touch to your room, providing both elegant form and function.
Best Large-Sized Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace–PuraFlame Alice 68″ Recessed
What’s better than a wall-mounted electric fireplace? An even bigger one. If you’re looking for the largest wall-mounted electric fireplace that looks great and operates seamlessly without a hitch, this should be your top choice.
- Highly Detailed Flames: The fireplace uses an intricate LED light setup to create some of the most vivid flames on the market. You have four different color options that vary between yellow and blue, and you can also choose between crystal stones or logs for the bottom portion of the fire.
- Powerful, Efficient Heater: The fireplace emits heat from the top portion via blower, and has two different settings: 1500W and 750W. You can easily heat up to 400-500 square feet, and also have the option to use different timer settings, and control the thermostat between 61 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Modern Design: The PuraFlame Alice 68” Recessed Electric Fireplace has an incredibly sharp look and contemporary design that can transform the vibe and feel of any room you install it in.
More flame effects would help push this fireplace over the top, along with some sound effects too.
This is the best option for those that have the space for a large wall-mounted unit. Despite its size, it still performs exceptionally in terms of looks and heating, and has the same basic installation of any other electric fireplace wall unit.
The MagikFlame simply does it all, merging incredibly realistic flame effects with plenty of conveniences and helpful modern features, all packaged into a very sizable and alluring mantelpiece.
If you’re looking for the most realistic electric fireplace, and also want all the bells and whistles, this should be your top choice. It utilizes 4,600 BTUs of heating power, and is suitable for large living rooms, dens, attics, and other large spaces — although it can easily complement smaller spaces as well.
- Realistic Flames – It offers 26 different flame visuals that have been drawn from actual fires, creating the most realistic flame patterns and effects you can buy. You can even upgrade the firmware by sending it from your phone, adding even more visual choices to the fireplace’s internal memory.
- HD Sounds – The fireplace uses actual recordings of real fires for its HD sound effects. You can choose from several other soundscapes like rain, the ocean, and bugs chirping as well.
- Backlit Display – A backlit touch display only lights up when you touch the screen, and allows you to adjust volume, visuals, timers, and more.
- Bluetooth Controls – An available app lets you control the fireplace from your phone or tablet via a Bluetooth connection for ultimate convenience.
This fireplace may be a little expensive for some. The lack of mantle options may be a bit limiting for some buyers too.
Despite a high price tag, the MagikFlame Electric Fireplace is easily the best choice available in the market. It has the best visuals, the best sound, and most convenience, and a choice of two different mantle decor options. Worth every penny!
Do you prefer the MagikFlame as an insert? You can buy that too.
Best Electric Stove Fireplace– Dimplex TDS8515TB Celeste
This can be best described as a more luxurious form of the typical electric fireplace stove. It has superior exterior looks when compared to similar models, and offers an impressive amount of heat as well.
- Classic Design with Attention to Detail – The outside of the product showcases fine craftsmanship and design, from the trim above the window, all the way down to the ornate look of the legs. This helps it to avoid the cheap look that plagues many other stove electric fireplaces.
- Highly Detailed Flame Effect – The actual flames of the fireplace are very lifelike, which is a perfect complement to the glowing embers just below on the faux logs.
- Remote Controlled Thermostat – Users can quickly change the thermostat setting by using the included remote, and also set a timer, or simply power the unit on or off.
- Air purifier – It is one of the few electric fireplaces that comes with a built-in air purifier to improve surrounding air quality by trapping allergens, dust, and dander.
Yet another lifelike fireplace recreation that’s lacking wood crackling sounds that would help push the unit to a higher level. Perhaps Dimplex will include this feature on future models?
The fireplace stands out from the competition by offering not only better design and realistic flames, but overall quality and heat output as well. If you have a bigger budget, and want the best stove electric fireplace available, this is the one to get.
The Best Electric Fireplace Mantel Under $500– Southern Enterprises Cartwright Convertible Electric Fireplace
It is a stylish mantel electric fireplace that offers an impressive amount of heat, with an added amount of user-friendly features. It’s all-in-one design makes it a simple and easy way to instantly add depth and warmth to your space with little effort.
- Powerful Heating, Easy Controls – The fireplace can easily heat a room up to 400 square feet all on its own. An included remote control can be used to adjust the heat settings and timer, along with 5 different flame effects settings.
- Mission Oak Finish – The mantel’s style combines earth-toned tiles with a highly detailed wood casing for an elegant look.
- Safe & Energy Efficient – The fireplace operates off of 1500 watts, resulting in 120 volts of energy efficient heating — and a lower electric bill. It also has a child safety lock and cool-to-the-touch glass, making it suitable for households with small children.
This fireplace can be somewhat difficult and time-consuming to assemble, so you may want to have someone help you out if possible.
This fireplace provides an amazing value for its price. It offers buyers a high-quality furniture piece that can instantly upgrade their decor, coupled with a very powerful heater, and of course some of the most realistic flames you’ll see in this price range.
Types of Electric Fireplaces
Electric fireplaces all have the same concept for the most part, but they can be classified into three distinct types with unique characteristics and uses.
A free-standing electric fireplace is simply any fireplace product that does not have the need to be attached to anything, or inserted into a wall. They are self-contained, and can be set up on the ground practically anywhere.
They come in many shapes and styles, and are commonly included within a faux mantel, or as a stove-style fireplace that can be placed in a corner. These are often the most decorative, and vary in size and shape. Entertainment center electric fireplaces are considered free-standing as well.
It is an ideal choice for buyers looking for a centerpiece aesthetic with more versatility, without the need to install it into a wall, or within an existing fireplace.
Wall-mounted electric fireplaces are exactly as the name implies — fireplaces that can be hung on a wall, just as you would with a piece of artwork, a picture, or a shelf.
These electric fireplaces tend to be long and very flat, and have the same size and dimensions of rectangular-shaped artwork. They also often have a very clean and modern appearance, and are a favorite among those looking to add depth and charm to a room without having to install a real fireplace.
These come in many different shapes and sizes, and are a favorite for those that live in smaller spaces or apartments.
Electric fireplace inserts are mainly intended to be installed into actual fireplaces, even if the fireplace is still usable in a conventional way. They are simple to install when properly matched with the original fireplace’s dimensions.
Although these are mainly intended to be placed in fireplaces, buyers can install them into any open space within a wall for an instant realistic fireplace experience.
They come in two varieties: electric fireboxes and log inserts.
Electric fireboxes are fully self-contained units, including a backing behind the logs that mimics the appearance of a chimney, often in the form of either black metal or faux bricks. These are designed to fully replace the original fireplace, and almost always put out heat through outside vents.
Log inserts are simply the logs themselves, which are often stacked on an andiron or grating of some sort. These can be quickly placed into an existing fireplace, and provide realistic wood burning effects without worrying about matching exact dimensions. Log inserts rarely put out any heat, and are meant for looks only.
What to Look for When Shopping for an Electric Fireplace
Size is the biggest variable you’ll find among the fireplaces, so you first need to consider what your room’s needs are. You can find everything from large mantle units and entertainment centers, to smaller free-standing models that you can tuck away in a corner or against a wall.
An electric fireplace is essentially a piece of furniture merged with an appliance, so keep that in mind when shopping.
With so many different electric fireplaces on the market today, you can find models suited to most any style, whether it’s a mantle unit with intricate designs, a freestanding fireplace with a throwback black iron stove look, or a sleek and minimalist wall-mounted fireplace that has a contemporary vibe.
It’s best to go with something that already matches your room or the decor style of your home as a whole. You’ll find many products available in different colors and designs, especially mantles and entertainment centers.
Power Usage and Heating Ability
The average buyer is looking for an electric fireplace to not only provide looks, but also extra heat for the room. While there are some models that can heat an entire area on their own, the vast majority of electric fireplaces are intended to be used as space heaters, providing a heating boost during the cooler months of the year.
The largest heat output you’ll typically encounter is strong enough to heat a room up to 400 square feet in size. On the other hand, many other models are capable of “warming” a room up to 1,000 square feet in size.
The more powerful options currently available can put out about 5,000 BTUs on average, which can definitely act as a primary heat source for a larger room.
Many electric fireplaces offer various added features that can include aspects such as more convenience and control, better visuals, timers, soundscapes, etc.
There are still many who are not as familiar with electric fireplaces as they’d like to be, so here are the answers to some of the most common questions.
Are these Real Fire?
No. The “fire” you’re seeing is created using many different methods, such as rotating LED lights, mirrors, digital screens, and more. There are no electric fireplaces that use real flames.
Can an Electric Fireplace Heat a Room?
Yes and no. It really depends on the size of the fireplace, and of course the size of the room. Most products are the equivalent of an average space heater.
Which Electric Fireplace Type is the Most Realistic?
If you’re going for the full look, an electric fireplace insert is probably the most realistic, since it sits inside an actual fireplace space. However, mantle units can also look very realistic, depending on how they are set up. The quality of the flame visual is key as well.
Can You Place an Electric Fireplace on Carpet?
If it’s a freestanding model that’s intended t stand on its own, then yes. The heat output is almost always directed up and outwards, with no heating coils or elements exposed, making it safer than many space heaters — but always use common sense and basic caution regardless of where you place it.
How Much Does an Electric Fireplace Cost?
The actual price will vary depending on the size, type, and power, among other things. You can spend anywhere from $75 to $150 for a basic model, and upwards to $2,800 for the larger, most realistic models.
Do You Need a Chimney with it?
No, there is no actual burning involved, so no chimney is needed.
Do You Need a Vent?
No. Electric fireplaces have their own heat vents in order to disperse heat. They are made to be used almost anywhere in your home.
How do You Measure for a Fireplace Insert?
Using a tape measure, mark off the depth from the front of the fireplace area all the way to the back, and then the height and width as well. Then compare it to the model you are considering buying to see if it will be a proper fit.
How Much Does it Cost to Run an Electric Fireplace?
A standard 1500 Watt electric fireplace on a high heat setting will cost about $0.18 /hour, but this does depend on the cost of electricity in your neighborhood.
A common average is about $.12 per Kw, and a standard electric fireplace consumes 1.5 KW/ hour, therefore 1.5Kw x $.12 = $0.18/ hour.
Are TV Stands/Entertainment Centers with Electric Fireplaces Safe?
Yes, these are just as safe as an ordinary entertainment center, just make sure to not leave anything in the way of the heating vents.