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5 Best Electric Fireplace Inserts of 2021

By Modern Ethanol Fireplaces July 20, 2021

Electric fireplaces

If budget wasn’t a primary concern, what's the one thing you’d include in your dream home?

Perhaps you want a walk-in closet that would be the envy of style aficionado Andy Cohen. Or maybe a roaring electric fireplace that sits in the living room is all you can think about?

Even though so much wishful thinking can be detrimental, the good news is that an electric fireplace isn’t out of budget reach—even for the average consumer.

If you want to add glow and warmth and transform your home into a sanctuary of beauty, all you need is an electric fireplace.

Similar to ethanol fireplaces but with a bit more flair, electric fireplace inserts are the new cool kids on the block. They’re portable, environmental-friendly, and can be wall-mounted or freestanding.

From the basic, most simple—yet exotic—to the most exquisite models, our guide presents the top-rated electric fireplace inserts in 2021 to help revamp your home’s interior feel.

Best Electric Fireplaces Compared

Here’s a breakdown of the top 5 best electric fireplace inserts.

Product Strength Ease of Installation Heating Coverage/Square Feet Product Details

#1. AA Warehousing Y-Décor True Flame electric fireplace insert by 30" with front surround

AA Warehousing Y-Décor True Flame electric fireplace insert by 30" with front surround

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Best overall ✔ Easy 220
  • Remote control for increased comfort
  • It has a metal build to increase longevity
  • Provides variable heat control for temperature regulation

#2. e-Flame USA Hampshire 60-inch Wall Mount / Wall Insert LED Electric Fireplace

e-Flame USA Hampshire 60-inch Wall Mount / Wall Insert LED Electric Fireplace

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Most on-demand ✔ Easy 400
  • Automatic shutoff to avoid overheating
  • A realistic flame effect that mimics a wood-burning fireplace
  • Zero smoke and odor emission making it suitable for the entire family

#3. Touchstone 80042 - Sideline Elite Electric Fireplace - 42 Inch Wide

Touchstone 80042 - Sideline Elite Electric Fireplace - 42 Inch Wide

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Best wall mounted electric fireplace ✔ Easy 400
  • Sleek design that’s ideal for wall installation
  • Multiple flame color options for better visual appeal
  • Adjustable thermostat with two sets of heat settings

#4. e-Flame USA Whistler Large TV Stand and Whistler LED Electric Fireplace Insert

e-Flame USA Whistler Large TV Stand and Whistler LED Electric Fireplace Insert Stove with Remote Bundle

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Best aesthetically designed ✔ Easy 400
  • Fan-forced heater for even heat distribution
  • Automatic shut-off to curb overheating
  • Energy-efficient to reduce electricity consumption

#5. Touchstone 80004 - The Sideline Electric Fireplace - 50 Inch Wide

Touchstone 80004 - The Sideline Electric Fireplace - 50 Inch Wide

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Best budget-friendly ✔ Easy 400
  • Surrounding sideline can create the illusion of realistic flames
  • The faux-fire log set and crystals produce crackling sounds
  • Sideline can be installed in an already existing fireplace

AA Warehousing Y-Décor True Flame Electric Fireplace Insert

Instantly increase the aesthetic feel (and heat) of your room with this electric fireplace from AA Warehousing.

AA Warehousing Y-Décor True Flame electric fireplace insert by 30
Source: amazon.com

Measuring 12 x 35 x 29 inches, you can mount this beauty on the wall for a visual appeal, or enjoy the glowing flames in different color variations.

Overall, the AA Warehousing insert is easy to install. It’s entirely made of metal, and once it's fully mounted, you only need to plug the 120V power cable, switch to Netflix, grab a bowl of popcorn, and enjoy the radiant warmth.

Even better, this insert mimics realistic flames, and the display can run with or without heat for as long as you want.

The built-in heater covers an impressive 220 sq. ft. of heating capacity, helping to keep you warm and comfortable. You’ll be happy to know that this model has no fuel combustion and emits zero carbon monoxide.

Pros

  • Blends naturally with your indoor decor
  • Easy to install
  • You can reduce or increase flame brightness as you wish
  • The burning embers mimic traditional wood-burning fireplace
  • Has a 5000 heat output

Cons

  • Bulky (51 pounds)

e-Flame USA Hampshire Wall Insert LED Electric Fireplace

e-Flame USA Hampshire 60-inch Wall Mount / Wall Insert LED Electric Fireplace with Timer
Source: amazon.com

This LED electric insert has earned a 4.5-star rating on Amazon, with a majority of the buyers posting positive reviews. Here’s what one satisfied Amazon buyer said:

“I am SO HAPPY with this electric fireplace. It’s beautiful and enhances my space! You can change the colors of both the flames and the wood….”

This model can be recessed or wall-mounted; So you can purchase it even if you don’t have an existing fireplace at your house.

It also features state-of-the-art design, such as the color contrast setting, making it possible to switch between 10 different flame hues. They range from traditional red and orange to more exotic ones such as bright blue or deep purple that give you the look and feel of a traditional fireplace.

The developers have addressed safety concerns with the automatic shut-off feature that prevents overheating. As far as heat is concerned, you can switch between low and high settings to warm-up a room as you wish.

For the DIYers, this electric insert comes with a step-by-step installation manual. However, we highly recommend contacting a professional to help with this.

Key Features

  • Size: 21.8 x 60 x 7 inches
  • Weight: 96.8 pounds
  • Heating area: 400 square feet
  • Remote control: Available

Pros

  • 90% energy savings when compared to gas
  • Clear front and side views
  • Can be adjusted to distinct color contrasting options

Cons

  • It can’t be used as freestanding

Touchstone 80042 - Sideline Electric Fireplace

The cold season doesn’t have to be all gloomy.

At 45 pounds, this electric insert is good for what it does. It offers more realistic flames than most electric fireplaces—choosing between 60 color combinations.

Touchstone 80042
Source: amazon.com

With a 1500/750 watt heater, it can warm a 400 square feet room. Thanks to its minimal black frame, it gives your space a sleek and modern design.

With both its aesthetic and performance capabilities, this model comes as a complete package: You can operate the heat and flame settings through remote control from the comfort of your couch.

With a starting price of around $750, this fireplace insert looks realistic.

What stands out from this model is its ability to remember flame settings. Now, this is where it gets interesting. Sideline designed this insert with the ability to control it from a smart device. In short, you can pair it with a smart home automation system, such as Google Home.

The good news is? Operating the Touchstone 80042 is super easy. The installation manual is easy to read, meaning you can set it up on your own without hiring a professional.

Key Features

  • Size: 41.75 x 5.5 x 19.25 inches
  • Weight: 45 pounds
  • Heating capacity: 400 sq. ft.

Pros

  • Designed with a simple flame effect to mimic an actual fire
  • Low and high heat settings for convenience
  • Heat level can be adjusted based on user preferences

Cons

  • The remote control has no information about what each button does.

e-Flame USA LED Electric Fireplace Insert

If you want to upscale your taste and preference with a more contemporary fireplace, this wall-mounted electric fireplace should be your go-to choice.

Unlike other types of electric fireplaces, the design of this one is stylish yet retains the appeal of a traditional one. The fireplace insert is inside a Whistler fireboxthough sold separately: The firebox means you don’t have to install it in a cabinet or a hole in the wall. It's good on its own.

e-Flame USA Whistler Large TV Stand and Whistler LED Electric Fireplace Insert Stove with Remote Bundle - 3-D Logs and Fire
Source: amazon.com

It features a quiet fan-forced heater with easy-to-adjust heat settings for moderate heat distribution.

Even better, the front section of the fireplace insert features a modern flat screen with a clear display. The entire setup looks so realistic. If you saw it for the first time, you’d think you were looking at an actual fireplace.

Its design highlights a realistic wood-burning effect coupled with bright dancing flames to give your room a natural glow. Since all exterior faces stay cool, this fireplace insert is an excellent option for any open space that needs a bit of updating.

For those who want to scale down on energy use, the e-Flame electric fireplace can lower your energy spending by up to 90 percent. It also heats fast and has two heating options, so you don’t have to pay a high electricity bill to warm your home.

Key Features

  • Size: 28.9 (W) x 24.4 (H) x 6.4 (L) inches
  • 1200-watt unit
  • Remote control: Available

Pros

  • 5118 BTUs battery-capacity, meaning it can offer supplemental heat up to 400–1,000 square feet room capacity
  • Automatic shut-off feature to prevent overheating Safe for children, pets, or the elderly
  • Compatible with any indoor place (garage room, apartment, basement, etc.)

Cons

  • You’ll have to purchase the Whistler firebox separately: It works hand-in-hand with the fireplace. The irony is that the firebox is priced higher than the fireplace.

Touchstone 80004 - The Sideline Electric Fireplace

Touchstone 80004
Source: amazon.com

Like its near duplicate, the Touchstone 80042, the Touchstone 80004 is a wall-mounted type of electric fireplace that sits at the center of relative perfection and authentic craftsmanship.

Despite being the cheapest model on our list, this beauty still packs several features that outperform the other expensive electric fireplaces models.

First off is the sideline’s five flame setting that radiates a mellow ember glow. This type of fireplace insert uses one log or crystal, but you can use both while taking extra precautions.

The Sideline heater will warm any room within minutes and run with no heat during the warmer seasons.

As for aesthetics and beauty, this sideline has an unmatched flame. No other fireplace on the market provides the flexibility that allows you to control the ambiance to suit your aesthetic. It also features a front-facing vent, making it easy to install it near a TV.

For the DIYers, the user-friendly guide makes installation duck soup if you have the right tools.

Pro Tip: allow up to 8 inches of wall space between the TV and the fireplace during installation.

Key Features

  • Size: 50.4 x 5.5 x 21.5 inches
  • Material: Glass
  • Weight: 59 pounds
  • Ventilation type: Vent-free

Pros

  • Ideal for installing in an existing fireplace
  • The flame effect technology mimics the ember of traditional fireplaces
  • Low maintenance

Cons

  • It can get very noisy, and the audio control system doesn’t help resolve this problem.

Electric Fireplace Insert Buying Guide: 3 Pitfalls to Avoid

With different electric fireplaces out there, it's easy to make mistakes when buying an electric fireplace. We’ve highlighted the three common mistakes you should avoid:

Mistake #1 — Fireplace Inserts vs. Freestanding Fireplaces: Know the Difference

Most buyers purchase a freestanding fireplace when what they needed was a fireplace insert. So what’s the difference?

  • Fireplace inserts: These types of electric fireplaces don’t require venting and are built inside the wall.
  • Freestanding electric fireplace: These can be placed on the floor against a wall and don’t go inside the wall.

Mistake #2 — The Fireplace Insert Doesn’t Produce Enough Heat

If you check most Amazon reviews on electric fireplaces, this mistake makes the bulk of all complaints buyers make.

So, who is to blame for your misfortunes?

You. Yes, you are at fault. This is mainly because researching electric fireplaces is time-consuming, and in a world that rushing to beat traffic and deadlines is the order of the day, no one wants to put in the time for research.

To avoid this mistake, here’s what you need to do:

  • Always measure the square footage of the space you want to heat.
  • Go large with the heat capacity footage. For example, if the room is 200 sq. ft., consider fireplace inserts that can heat a 550 square foot room.

Mistake #3 — Choosing the Wrong Dimensions

This is the one area that gets tricky for new buyers.

Here’s the unwritten rule: You should know the precise dimensions of the electric insert that will fill inside a wall.

You don’t want a scenario where you’ve bought an insert only to realize it's the wrong size. It’s a frustrating experience you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.

That said, ensure you measure the length, width, height, and depth several times. In addition, you want to pay close attention to the fireplace mantel.

As a general rule of thumb, find a professional to do the measuring.

How We Made Our Selection: The Top Key Features for the Best Electric Fireplace Insert

When picking our top realistic electric fireplaces, we looked into three features: safety, flame settings, and heat control.

Safety

Electric fireplaces are designed with state-of-the-art safety measures. In short, you don’t have to worry about dozing off in front of the insert.

In most models, the flame settings are contained, and some electric fireplaces even have a built-in electric timer that prevents overheating.

Heat Control

You can control the heat of most electric fireplaces, but these models command higher prices. Overall, most electric fireplaces on the market offer two or three heat settings for extra precaution.

Flame Settings

These settings include basic features such as flame brightness to flicker speed and vary based on the model. Some electric fireplaces offer moderate flicker speed while others don’t.

There’s also a scenario where the flame may not work exceptionally well because of internal issues. If this happens, this guide will come in handy to save the day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ok, so you think an electric fireplace insert is the right choice for you? Here are some commonly asked questions, that are probably also in your mind right now.

DIY vs. Professional: Which Way?

As a DIYer, you need to have special skills in wall drilling and take extra care during installation. Professional installation is ideal since the experts know what they’re doing—though you’ll need to fork out more to cover the costs.

Is Leaving an Electric Fireplace Running Overnight Safe?

Yes. Many electric fireplaces use an inbuilt timer to switch off the fireplace after 45–120 minutes.

Do Electric Fireplaces Need a Chimney?

No. The flames in the simulated fire pit aren’t real so you don’t need a chimney.

What is the Best Type of Flame Technology To Use?

This largely depends on taste and preference. Most holographic models that mimic real fire are easy to maintain. For a more realistic flame, choose a more advanced model such as a water-based vapor fireplace.

Can I use Electric Fireplaces Outdoors?

No. These models are only to be used in an indoor setting. Exposure to elements such as rain droplets may damage the product.



Featured Image from: Pxhere


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