The electric fireplace accomplishes a variety of desired tasks. Not only does it imitate the relaxing view of a leisurely crackling bed of logs, but it can also provide a serviceable amount of warmth for people within its specified heating zone. And if the appearance of a miniature blaze isn’t enough, then you’ll surely be won over by the look of the stove or console in which the LED logs are housed. If you’re in the market for a new electric fireplace to set the scene and warm your house, then here are a few options that we recommend.
Buying Guide for Electric Fireplaces
Why buy an electric fireplace?
There’s no single reason why you should buy an electric fireplace. Rather, there’s an abundance of reasons. They’re ideal for getting a bit of extra warmth on those frigid nights without turning up the heater, and they cut down on the electricity bill. They’re also more than capable of creating a mood and ambiance in the home that will have you snuggling up at almost any hour of the day.
What should you consider in an electric fireplace?
Consider these factors when making your selection:
- Design Facets: You’ll want something that either flows with the interior of your home or that finds a way to stand out in the best fashion. However, you’ll have to take into account just how much space you’ll need before you flip the switch. Most traditional freestanding fireplaces have more height than length, so you can comfortably slide them around to find the right spot. If you’re short on floor space as it is, there are still various fireplace designs that find a way to light up your room away from the ground, too (such as models that can be planted inside of walls or that come built into consoles).
- Heating Modes: As expected when purchasing an imitation fireplace, you should look for options that provide ample heating and lighting in your home. Both settings tend to vary from model to model, so this boils down to what you’re expecting from the device. An electric fireplace has long been a supplementary source of heating in homes, tending to favor a nostalgic appearance over intense warming. Of course, there will still be models that can provide far more heat support around the home.
- Extra Features: Another key factor to consider when selecting an electric fireplace is the perks that bring the investment to a close. Many people love those bright, red-orange hues, but think about models that allow for different flame colors, flicker speeds, and overall lighting strength. And what about convenience? Is it only a matter of plugging the electrical cable in, or will you need to learn how to operate the master remote or touch-screen surface? The seemingly minute details behind every console can add up to the defining experience in the long run.
Is a home entertainment center with a built-in fireplace safe for your electronics?
Electric fireplaces give off real heat, but they’re entirely risk-free for a user’s television set and any accompanying technology. These fireplace units typically push warm air out of the front or bottom of their frame, avoiding users’ valuables altogether. Most consoles employ failsafe settings that will prevent the device from overheating and damaging itself and any nearby belongings.
Our Picks for the Best Electric Fireplaces
R.W.FLAME Electric Fireplace
Here's an electric fireplace that doesn't need floor space to do its job---just a wall with some depth.
Pros: This electric fireplace offers users a visual feast of multicolored flames alongside a space-saving design. It’s a wall insert that runs across 42 inches of space and extends 18 inches upward. Moreover, it requires just under 4 inches of depth for a proper fit inside a wall, which is a massive improvement on inserts that traditionally need half a foot of wall space. It also offers 12 LED flame bed color modes, five flame speeds, and five brightness levels.
Cons: Accomplishing the stunning look here does require some hefty work beforehand. The installation of a wall insert demands a lot of construction, such as measuring, cutting, and drilling, which can be pretty difficult for the average person. Concerning the fireplace itself, some users have reported less-than-ideal heating patterns due to the device’s fan.
Bottom Line: This electric fireplace wall insert takes the classic view and drapes it in an exciting, contemporary shell. It’s a great secondary source of warmth that knows how to heat to an ideal level and nothing over while also saving users from fainting when looking at their next electricity bill. If you’re looking for the ideal accessory to match your modern home, then look no further.
HOMCOM Freestanding Electric Fireplace
A financially friendly fireplace and heater that looks great in the corner of the room.
Pros: This electric fireplace is styled in a mid-century modern fashion and is freestanding at 16.25 by 21.5 inches, so it should effortlessly dress up a corner of your home. It can heat up to 215 square feet of space between two heat settings: 750 watts and 1,500 watts. The potential for overheating is easily prevented by a thermal safety switch that automatically turns off the heating system.
Cons: A significant concern underlying the use of freestanding fireplace units for people with young children or pets is the potential for burns. This device has its central heater tucked underneath the frame, so the sides and the top don’t warm up. However, an overly curious hand or sniffer can still get hurt if placed inside the warming center. Additionally, this fireplace can supply only 215 square feet with heat, a far cry from the strength of other options. Its thin, tempered glass is also susceptible to cracks and shattering if mistakenly bumped.
Bottom Line: Exuding a lovingly aged surface, this electric fireplace is a compact, freestanding choice that emits the ideal amount of heat for smaller living quarters. Its realistic logs and backlit flame effects make it a decorative treat, while its dual warming modes and overheat prevention setting ensure that it’s a must-have device for chilly nights.
Duraflame 3D Infrared Electric Fireplace
Small and compact but used to great effect, this electric fireplace can heat up to 1,000 square feet of living space.
Pros: Another wonderfully vintage fireplace that can do far more than just look like the real deal, this electric fireplace offers users a 5,200-BTU heater that can warm up to 1,000 square feet of your living space. It utilizes a patent-pending 3D flame effect technology that emits a realistic dancing flame just behind the logs, which you can view through the stove’s beveled glass door and side view windows. The flames can be adjusted between five brightness, color, and flicker settings and can be operated with or without heat.
Cons: As previously noted, freestanding fireplaces come with some potential problems, from burn scares to eating up floor space. This unit features its heater inside and at the top of the frame, so users should keep their hands tucked away when it’s set on high. Additionally, this device boasts a larger price tag than most freestanding fireplaces.
Bottom Line: Suffice to say, this freestanding electric fireplace is ideal for users who are seeking ample warmth and what could be the most realistic fire display on the market. Its dark metal frame emulates the visual appeal of classic stoves, while the likes of its layered flame technology and warming strength create and maintain a comfortable sojourn away from the frigid outdoors.
Ameriwood Home Farmington Electric Fireplace
This two-in-one console offers users a television storage stand and an electric fireplace that heats up to 400 square feet.
Pros: With this electric fireplace, users can get the best of two enjoyable worlds: a warming fireplace to congregate around and a wide console for the television set, which one can always flip on when the conversation stagnates. The 23-inch electric fireplace is built into the base of the cabinetry and utilizes AltraFlame LED-fueled tech to create a realistic fire that can last for up to 50,000 hours. On the flip side, the spacious console’s laminated MDF and particleboard construction feature a rustic brown stain and grain that double the visual treat that users pay for.
Cons: Its setup isn’t for the faint of a single user’s heart, as this console fireplace requires enough building that the combined efforts of two people are highly recommended. This is undoubtedly due in large part to what comes after the setup: Moving this 100-pound item on your own will take a serious amount of willpower to achieve. Additionally, the console’s faux-wood appearance can leave much to be desired, as its laminated particleboard frame could make you reconsider the price tag.
Bottom Line: Overall, there might not be a better way to bring your family and friends together at the end of the night. It’s a highly efficient electric fireplace that not only offers users a crackling view, but that also gives them a great place to store their books, films, gaming devices, and naturally, television set.
VIVOHOME Electric Fireplace Insert Log
Providing more than enough glow and warmth across its 22-inch frame, this electric fireplace offers great settings.
Pros: This electric fireplace is designed on the simplest ground: Almost everyone enjoys the imagery of a bed of slow, crackling embers. This electric fireplace meets users in the middle with its 22.6- by 10.5-inch frame, which is small enough to be tucked away when necessary but just large enough to provide a sizable amount of warmth. Its three-press system is simple to operate: Press the heater button once for 1,500-watt power, twice for 750-watt power, or three times to shut it off.
Cons: While by no means the most realistic-looking choice, this electric fireplace features a mix of plastic and metal framework that amounts to a less-than-convincing design. In terms of visual flair, this option’s biggest hindrance is the lack of a surrounding stove for its LED light to reflect off. Its light burns bright, but it doesn’t dance with the same kind of depth that other units allow. The digital display at the base of the logs can’t be turned off, further undercutting the device’s realism and ambiance.
Bottom Line: Offering users the appeal of portable fire and presenting it in a uniquely exposed way, this electric unit of kindled logs is a cozy, ornamental piece that provides ample heating power but could always be enjoyed for the lush illusion of its smoldering orange frame. The freestanding fireplace is portable by design, but users would be hard-pressed to find an option that’s lighter and easier to lug around than this one.
The electric fireplace brings a slice of enduring life into the home with its warm and enticing emulation of a beloved sight. Bigger units will undoubtedly house a greater warming power, but it’s important to remember that these devices are intended for a simple purpose: single-room warmth and imagery to smile over. So, don’t overcomplicate the search.