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Best Electric Fireplace

By Lawrence Macmillan August 15, 2021

Gas fireplaces can be great if you properly maintain and service them. But if you get lax about it, all kinds of problems can ensue. 

Sometimes the pilot light goes out, you can get soot forming, it might start making strange sounds.

Or, worse yet, you could get that distinctive rotten eggs smell, which means that the natural gas could be making its way through your living room. And natural gas is highly flammable, so it won't be safe to smoke, or light a match, and you risk putting you and your family in grave danger.

If this is a real worry for you, then the solution may be to get yourself an electric fireplace instead, which has none of these issues or dangers.

Lucky for you, we’ve been checking out some of the best electric fireplaces out on the market today. And we’ve put together a shortlist of our top 5 favorites to show you - our reviews on them are coming up very shortly.

But we get that choosing just one can be tricky, so we’ve also put together a handy buying guide for you that will walk you through all the key things to think about before you buy.

You can use it as a quick checklist to ensure you’ve thought of everything. Then, we’re going to top that off with a section where we answer some of your most frequently asked questions.

And without further ado, let’s get straight to it!

 

Touchstone 80004 Sideline Electric Fireplace

This beautiful and elegant fireplace looks particularly sleek and modern. Designed to imitate a log fireplace, it’s ready out of the box and is designed to fit in a recessed wall, so that when installed it will sit perfectly flush with the wall.

You can either have the fireplace set up to look like a log fire with a row of logs in view, or a long collection of crystals. As for the flames, you can go for traditional orange, or mix it up a little and have orange and blue or just orange. (We prefer the traditional look, but it’s totally up to you.)

The temperature settings include high and low. And you can set the flames to any one of 5 different levels from soft ember glow to a strong blaze.

And you don’t have to get out of your seat to change it over, you can take advantage of the handy remote control.

What’s even better is how in the hotter months, you can have the fireplace set up to look like a fire is burning even when there’s no heat on, so you always have a cozy looking living room.

It has a wattage of 1500 watts and can heat up rooms of up to 400 square feet in size.

If you don’t want to recess it into the wall, that’s fine because it also comes with a wall mount bracket if that’s what you’d prefer.

Safety features include a built-in timer that will last for up to 7 and a half hours. Great way to save electricity.

It’s available in 10 different sizes, starting at a modest 28 inches in length, and going up to a much longer 100 inches.

If you want to make both the fireplace and your TV the focal point of the room, that’s no problem, you can position it 8 inches under a flat screen TV.

It’s a bestseller with the online retailers and comes highly recommended by those who’ve used it.

Pros:

  • Looks very sleek & modern
  • Customizable heat & appearance
  • Imitates a stunning log fire
  • Operate by remote control
  • Features a built-in timer

Cons:

  • No built-in thermostat
  • Premium product at a premium price 

 

TURBRO Suburbs TS25 Electric Fireplace

This is the perfect stand-alone fireplace for the budget conscious, since it’s available at an excellent affordable price.

It has an excellent traditional look, all in black and designed to appear just like a real coal fire, with big blocks of imitation coal contained in a black grated surround and raised off the floor on 4 short legs.

It has modest dimensions, and is something you could easily fit into even small rooms. What’s different about it is its 3-sided view design, which means you can place it anywhere in the room, and it will look like a gorgeous roaring fire from just about every angle.

But what we really love about it is just how customizable it is. It features an adjustable thermostat, so you can set it to the precise temperature you would like, anywhere between 62 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Moreover, you can also adjust the imitation flames through 3 different brightness levels.

And you can do all this without having to leave the comfort of your seat, thanks to the included remote control.

And to save on your electric bills, you can take advantage of the built-in timer, to ensure that you only have it on when you need it and don’t waste electricity.

It can also work to prevent overheating by automatically shutting off if the internal temperature gets too high. Great safety feature. And the unit will remain cool to the touch throughout.

It’s available to buy in two different sizes, 23 inches and 25 inches. Either one will heat up rooms of up to 1000 square feet.

It’s a bestseller with the online retailers and comes highly recommended by those who’ve used it.

Pros:

  • Authentic traditional look
  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Operate by remote control
  • Features a built-in timer
  • Prevents any overheating

 Cons:

  • You will have to open the door to see the control display

 

Ameriwood Home Farmington Electric Fireplace

What we love about this fireplace is how it also doubles as a TV stand. You get a gorgeous imitation log fire, and on top you are able to stand flat screen TVs of up to 50 or 60 inches in length (depending on which option you go for). What a way to make both the fireplace and the TV the focal point of the room!

There’s also a place underneath to stash your Sky box or DVD player, or video game console etc, as well as there being two cupboards either side of the fireplace.

It’s available in 4 different color options. There’s a very dark black oak, or you could go rustic, which is also quite dark, or you could go for natural, or you can go for ivory pine, for a much lighter look and feel.

It can heat up rooms of up to 400 square feet in size, and it features an adjustable thermostat, so you can set it to the precise temperature you would like, anywhere between 64 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit.

And, you can also adjust the imitation flames through 3 different brightness levels. All this without having to leave the comfort of your seat, thanks to the included remote control. 

And to save on your electric bills, you can take advantage of the built-in timer, to ensure that you only have it on when you need it and don’t waste electricity. 

The realistic flame effects come thanks to Ameriwood’s exclusive patented AltraFlame technology which enables the LED lights to last for up to a whopping 50,000 hours.

It’s a bestseller with the online retailers in two categories, namely fireplaces, and electric fireplace stoves. And it has seen excellent ratings and reviews from customers.

Amazon occasionally has deals on this particular fireplace, simply click on “check price” to see if there’s a deal on now. 

Pros:

  • Doubles as a TV stand
  • Very realistic log fire
  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Adjustable brightness
  • 4 great color options

Cons:

  • Requires some assembly

 

Real Flame Callaway Grand Electric Fireplace

When we saw the customer ratings on this one, we had to see what all the fuss was about. When this article was written, this fireplace had earned an average Amazon customer rating of a full 5 stars out of 5. And believe me, that’s no mean feat.

It’s a great option for those who like their fireplaces to look super traditional. It’s very large with a chestnut oak finish, and would make an excellent focal point in a cozy living room. 

It features a mantelpiece, where you can place your favorite ornaments or family photographs. And has the look of a very realistic log fire. 

It requires 1500 watts of power, and can throw out 5100 BTUs of heat, which is enough to heat up rooms of up to 400 square feet in size. 

You don’t have to approach the fireplace to adjust any of its settings, because it comes complete with a remote control. Through this remote control you can program the adjustable thermostat, set a timer, and adjust the brightness of the very realistic looking flames.

Although it does require some assembly when it arrives, you’ll be reassured to learn that most customers have found it quite easy and straightforward to assemble.

This is quite an expensive fireplace, but if you’ve already fallen in love with it, and you have the budget for it, then why not?

Pros:

  • Very traditional aesthetic
  • Throws out plenty of heat
  • Comes with remote control
  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Adjustable brightness
  • Timer functionality

Cons:

  • Some assembly is required
  • Premium product at a premium price

 

PuraFlame Western Electric Fireplace

If it’s a realistic log fire that you’re looking for, it doesn’t get much more realistic than this!

Not only does it look like real logs and flames, but you also get an authentic crackling sound from the fire. Guests will think that you have a real log fire!

But that’s not all we love about it - it also uses 100% energy saving LED technology, which is good news for both your electricity bills and for the environment. 

It’s available in 5 different sizes. To see the dimensions of each size, simply click on “check price” to be taken to the product page. 

You can choose from 3 different settings of flame effect, and there’s an adjustable thermostat offering 9 settings. And although there is a panel on the fireplace to make your adjustments, you won’t have to go up to it, and you can use the accompanying remote control.

It can heat up rooms of up to 400 square feet in size. And is quite easy to install.

As for safety features, this fireplace is ventilated, and will automatically shut off if necessary in order to prevent any overheating.

It’s a bestseller with the online retailers and comes highly recommended by those who’ve used it. And it comes backed by a full years’ warranty 

Pros:

  • Very realistic log fire
  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Adjustable flame effect
  • Energy saving technology
  • Operate by remote control

Cons:

  • On the rare occasion where there have been issues, customers weren’t impressed with the after-sales service 

 

Buying Guide

As promised, here’s your buying guide.

Aesthetic

Your first thought, rightly or wrongly, will be about whether you like the appearance of the fireplace. But secondly, you might want to consider how it will look against the decor of the room you want to keep it in. 

We’re suckers for fireplaces that imitate traditional log or coal fires. But you can also get imitation log and coal fires that look very sleek and modern, like our number one pick, the Touchstone 80004 Sideline Electric Fireplace.

Power/Wattage/BTUs

One of the specs that you often get for electric fireplaces is the wattage. This represents how much power goes into the running of the fireplace.

But it’s important not to confuse this spec with the amount of heat thrown out, which is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units). The greater the number of BTUs, the more heat you get.

Ideally, you’ll want to look at fireplaces with lower wattages but with higher BTU ratings.

Energy Efficiency

In order to avoid running up an expensive electric bill, it would be wise to look for fireplaces that are energy efficient. Not only will this drive down your energy bill, but it’s also better for the environment too. A win-win.

Fortunately, electric fireplaces are more energy efficient than wood burning fireplaces.

Heat Control

It’s nice to be able to customize the amount of heat thrown out by the fireplace. This may come in the form of different heat settings, but for ultimate heat customization it doesn’t get much better than with an adjustable thermostat. This way, the fireplace will work to ensure that the room remains at your preferred temperature.

Safety Features

Any fireplace worth its salt, including electric fireplaces, ought to have some safety features. These can include being safe to touch, and automatic shut-off, to prevent any overheating,

Easy to Assemble/Install

Some fireplaces do take a little assembly when it arrives, such as the one we showed you that doubles as a TV stand. And others can require installation, if they are to go into the recess of a wall. The more straightforward this is, the better.

Value for Money

If there’s anything that varies in price, it’s electric fireplaces. You can get some that cost under $200, and others that can cost way over $1000. It is for that reason that we strongly recommend checking prices as you go along.

That way you can learn what your money buys you, and make a good, well-informed decision about how much your budget should be. 

 

Answers To Your Most Frequently Asked Questions

Who makes the most realistic looking electric fireplace?

We would argue that the most realistic looking fireplace on the market at the moment is the PuraFlame Western Electric Fireplace, for a log look fire, closely followed by the Tubro Suburbs TS25 Electric Fireplace which gives a coal look fire.

Who makes the most modern looking electric fireplace?

If you are looking for a sleek and modern looking fireplace, we can recommend our number one pick, the Touchstone 80004 Sideline Electric Fireplace.

Do electric fireplaces really heat a room?

Most electric fireplaces can heat up rooms of up to 400 square feet in size. If the intended room is any bigger than that, however, then it wouldn’t function very well as the primary heat source of the room, and gas central heating would be a more effective option. But you could also get an electric fireplace to top the heat up.

Do electric fireplaces need to be vented?

We’re pleased to report that electric fireplaces do not require any ventilation, which is good news for setting the fireplace up and installing it.

Is it OK to put a TV above an electric fireplace?

More often than not, it’s perfectly safe to place a TV above an electric fireplace. 

And if that’s something you might be interested in, then we can recommend the Ameriwood Home Farmington Electric Fireplace, because it doubles as a TV stand, complete with shelving for DVD players, and video game consoles etc.

Are electric fireplaces worth the money?

As we mentioned in our buying guide, electric fireplaces can vary quite considerably in price, so it pays to shop around. If the intended room is 400 square feet or under, then it may be worth investing in an electric fireplace.


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