The 10 Best Electric Fireplaces

Updated January 31, 2018 by Jeff Newburgh

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We spent 46 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. While few things embody the physical and emotional warmth emanating from an authentic wood-burning log fire, the extra work required to kindle one and clean up afterwards is cumbersome at best. Eliminate such hassles with one of these modern electric fireplaces. They provide plenty of heat and offer custom flame designs that are certain to deliver a romantic ambiance to almost any indoor setting. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best electric fireplace on Amazon.

10. Southern Enterprises Tennyson

The Southern Enterprises Tennyson doubles as both a mantel-style fireplace with undulating LED flames and a convenient entertainment center. Flanked by beautiful espresso-colored red oak shelving, it is ideal for the storage of books, DVDs, and other media.
  • dimmable burning ember effect
  • top supports a weight of 85 pounds
  • assembly takes a long time
Brand Southern Enterprises
Model FA8545BE
Weight 157 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

9. E-Flame Hamilton

Decoratively adorned with a carved arch and accented pillars, the E-Flame Hamilton is a freestanding, portable, and classically-inspired space heating solution that uses up to 90 percent less energy than most gas fireplaces. However, the fan tends to be loud.
  • compact size is ideal for corners
  • legs are removable
  • doesn't come with a remote
Brand e-Flame USA
Model EF-BLT04
Weight 21.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. Touchstone Onyx

The Touchstone Onyx gives you the option of displaying fire using either the included pile of faux logs or crystals, which are kept behind sturdy tempered glass and a sleek black frame. Its lightweight design makes it ideal for mounting on most bedroom walls.
  • led bulbs stay cool to the touch
  • can be used with or without heat
  • it's not very bright
Brand Touchstone
Model 80001
Weight 55.6 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. PuraFlame Western

If you're looking for a safe alternative to burning gas or logs in your existing fireplace, consider adding the PuraFlame Western to your living room. A built-in thermostat delivers an adjustable temperature range of between 60 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • 6-foot power cord
  • comes with a 1-year warranty
  • the remote is a bit finicky
Brand PuraFlame
Model pending
Weight 51 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. Pleasant Hearth Elliot

Perfect for use in small homes and apartments, the Pleasant Hearth Elliot features a 24-inch curved firebox design that is just the right size to replace an old entertainment stand. An integrated backlit LCD control panel makes it easy to adjust the countdown timer.
  • 1350-watt heater
  • ten available temperature settings
  • it scratches easily
Brand Pleasant Hearth
Model 248-44-34M
Weight 128.1 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

5. Real Flame Crawford

The Real Flame Crawford offers a slim profile and a mounting depth of less than ten inches. It is constructed from a combination of durable wood and veneered MDF with fluted columns that blend in unobtrusively with your indoor living space.
  • plugs into any standard power outlet
  • timer runs automatically
  • it's a bit on the noisy side
Brand Real Flame
Model 8020E-W
Weight 61.6 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Southern Enterprises Cartwright

The Southern Enterprises Cartwright boasts a striking oak finish, natural earth tone tiling, and a space-saving design that allows for easy placement in tight corners and against most bedroom walls. Its mantel supports a 43-inch flat screen television easily.
  • low energy consumption
  • remote with a child safety lock
  • doesn't produce a lot of heat
Brand Southern Enterprises
Model FA9285E
Weight 35 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

3. Dimplex Purifire

The Dimplex Purifire is equipped with patented LED glowing logs and pulsating ember technology designed to create a realistic experience for those quiet winter evenings at home. A thermostat-controlled, fan-forced heater provides up to 400 square feet of warmth.
  • adjustable flame speed
  • built-in air filtration system
  • elegant brick interior
Model DF3015
Weight 68 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Touchstone Sideline

At 60 inches long, the Touchstone Sideline is ideal for installation into recessed living room, bedroom, or office walls. The built-in programmable timer can be used to shut the unit off automatically after as little as 30 minutes or as long as 7.5 hours of running time.
  • 5 flame intensity settings
  • 5100 btus of heat
  • sleek and modern design
Brand Touchstone
Model 80011
Weight 65 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. MagikFlame Ares

Leveraging state-of-the-art holographic technology, the MagikFlame Ares can create a three-dimensional simulation of real logs burning in a traditional fire. Choose from a combination of up to 21 high-definition flame visuals with authentic crackling sounds.
  • integrated bluetooth functionality
  • onboard backlit touchscreen
  • stone and oak wall mantel
Brand MagikFlame
Model Ares
Weight pending
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

Choosing A Great Electric Fireplace

An electric fireplace is a wonderful way to bring warmth and charm to almost any room. It typically doesn't require any specialized installation or venting, nor does it produce any off-putting odors or messes that require cleaning. Thus the popularity of this device among homeowners, for hotel, motel, or bed and breakfast interior designers, and even for use in offices.

Most electric fireplaces cost several hundred dollars; some are priced below two hundred dollars; some cost more than five hundred dollars. The majority of such units are in the range of affordability for the homeowner, business owner, or for the renter who wants to embrace their space.

Beyond budget, there are three major factors to be considered.

The first issue to be weighed is size. This applies both to the space available in the room where you hope to place an electric fireplace and to the size of the unit you're considering. Many electric fireplaces are designed to fit into the opening carved out for an existing fireplace. If you find one that fits your fireplace well, you would be wise to opt for it. If you're placing an electric fireplace on a wall without an existing mantle, measure the depth of any unit to make sure it won't protrude too far into the room, and make sure it can accommodate your television, speakers, books, or any other objects you hope to perch on the unit. Keep in mind there are slender electric fireplaces available that can even be wall mounted and only reach a few inches off the wall; these options won't serve as a traditional fireplace and mantle would, but they still provide warmth and a pleasant flicker.

Next make sure to consider the aesthetics of an electric fireplace. Some models are elegantly simply and perfect for the modern home, while others are quite traditional in appearance, with molding, panels, and even faux stone work. Electric fireplaces that feature lavish detail will call attention to themselves, so be sure you're pleased with that idea before making a purchase. Simpler, more demure units provide heat and soft glowing light without greatly changing the look or feel of a room.

Finally, make sure you have considered the primary function of your electric fireplace. That is to ask whether your electric fireplace is mainly purchased for heating, adding warmth to a room or an area of a property, or if you are buying it primarily for appearances. If the latter is the case, be sure you are happy with the actual simulated flame and the log graphics of a unit, not just with how it looks sitting there in the room.

Electric Fireplace Energy Efficiency

Electric fireplaces are extremely efficient in their energy use. Well over ninety percent of the electricity these units draw is directly converted into heat. With its heater on high, most electric fireplaces will cost less than twenty cents per hour of operation in energy costs. That equates to less then five dollars per day, and it's unlikely you will ever leave your electric fireplace running for a full 24 hours anyway. (In "flame effect" mode, without the heat switched on, these units usually consume only about two cents of electricity per hour thanks to their efficient LED bulbs. That means less than fifty cents for an entire day's worth of pleasant flickering glow.)

However, despite their relatively low energy consumption ratings, electric fireplaces are also usually only suitable for heating one decent sized room, with some warmed air making its way into the adjoining rooms. Thus an electric fireplace is not a whole home heating solution. This is not necessarily an issue, though, if you place your electric fireplace in the room you most often want heated. Putting a unit in your living room can keep that room warm while allowing you to reduce the setting of your central heating, for example, saving you overall HVAC expenses and providing comfort where you need it.

And even though an electric fireplace cannot heat an entire home, at least they will not lower the temperature in rooms they don't warm as an actual wood fire can do: wood burning fireplaces can create updrafts that actually draw heat out of rooms all around a home, ultimately leaving your property colder, not warmer. Consider that with the hundreds or even thousands of dollars a wood fireplace can cost annually, what with the cost of wood itself, inspections, cleanings, and repairs that a traditional fireplace periodically needs, and an electric fireplace becomes ever more alluring.

A Brief History Of The Hearth

Fire has played a role in human life for hundreds of thousands of years, and some approximation of the fireplace has been an aspect of human dwelling for tens of thousands of years. Traditional fireplaces were often referred to as "hearths" and consisted of nothing more than an area of a domicile designated for burning fires. The hearth could take the shape of a large slab off stone, an area demarcated by bricks, or through other simple designs.

Fireplaces evolved over the centuries, with smoke capturing and directing features becoming common in the early Middle Ages. Fireplaces of the Medieval and Renaissance periods were designed with ever more durable materials, and the chimney became a standard feature. Chimneys direct smoke up and away from the home, keeping interior air safer for breathing and reducing the chance of errant embers from causing injury or damage.

Fireplace "technology" would improve slowly through the Renaissance all the way to the 19th Century, the era in which new fireplace options, such as gas burning units, finally became available.

Electric fireplaces were conceived of in the early 20th century with artificially illuminated models such as we know today not seeing widespread use until the 1980s.

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Last updated on January 31, 2018 by Jeff Newburgh

A dedicated writer and communications professional spending his days lost in the intricacies of both proposal and freelance writing. When not sharing the knowledge of both fully and self-insured medical benefits to employer groups of all industries within California, Jeff Newburgh can be found at home spending time with his family and 3 dogs, pondering the next chew toy to be thrown, while kicking back and relaxing with a nice glass of red wine.

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