The electric fireplace is an increasingly popular alternative to the traditional wood-burning fireplace and the gas fireplace.
They’re far more heat efficient, can be installed easily in most homes, and require far less maintenance than their wood and gas counterparts.
But there’s a wide range of choices when it comes to electric fireplaces, so it can be hard to know where to look, particularly if you require a small fireplace.
The following article will break down the benefits and drawbacks of the best small fireplaces on the market, before outlining all the things you should look for (and look to avoid) when in the market for an electric fireplace, as well as providing answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding electric fireplaces.
ClassicFlame Elysium 36-In Elysium Infrared Wall Hanging/Tabletop Electric Fireplace
The gorgeous Elysium electric fireplace from ClassicFlame can not only serve as a traditional floor-level fireplace but can also be mounted on the wall.
There are several impressive features on offer with the Elysium.
The infrared heat technology covers a remarkable one thousand square feet, and unique SpectraFire allows for flame effects that are far more realistic than those of the electric fireplaces you might be used to.
It’s one of the best electric fireplaces of its size on the market right now, and when it comes to mounted electric fireplaces, it might just be the best.
As well as the wall mount capability, it can also sit on tables or other flat surfaces, outwith your wall.
The ember bed of your fireplace can be rock, glass, or log. For even more atmosphere, there are also sidelights.
The wiring for this fireplace is either via a plug kit or direct wire, its BTUs are 5,200, and it’s 36 inches wide, 19.75 inches high, and five inches deep.
- Range of choice - three different embers beds (rocks, glass, or log) allows you to customize the fireplace
- Safe - The Safer Plug Technology will prevent the fireplace from overheating.
- Versatile positioning - ideal for use on the I floor, wall, or a tabletop, allowing you to put it wherever you need it!
- Some reports from customers that it doesn’t quite heat the advertised 1,000 square feet.
Also Available At
Chateau Corner Electric Fireplace Mantel Package In White
One of the benefits of electric fireplaces is that there are far more options in the places you can install them.
This Chateau fireplace, for example, is designed specifically for going in the corner of a room and is probably the best you’re going to get when it comes to corner fireplaces.
There are a few different colors to choose from, too, including dark walnut, espresso, and white.
Each of these colors is as aesthetically pleasing as the rest, so it just depends on the shades of your existing room which color you go with. It also comes with a mantel, just like a traditional fireplace, which you can decorate however you wish.
The VividFlame technology makes for some very realistic fire effects, and the built-in fan heater helps to distribute the heat both further and faster.
The thermostat can be adjusted, and there is also an on/off timer, as well as brightness settings. The remote control is included, at no extra cost.
The heating area is 400 square feet- while this may seem like a lot less than some other electric fireplaces, it’s fairly standard for corner fireplaces.
The BTUs on offer is 4,700, and the fireplace is 40.94 inches wide, 25.28 inches deep, and 37.6 inches high.
- The remote control is included in the cost- a lot of other non-traditional fireplaces, particularly gas fireplaces, require an extra charge for access to this feature.
- Choice of three different colors - allows you to customize the fireplace to suit you
- Realistic design - allows you to enjoy a fire in your home, safely!
- The heating area isn’t enough for this fireplace to be your primary heat source, regardless of the size of your room.
Also Available At
Dimplex Multi-Fire XHD Series Plug-In Electric Firebox
The Dimplex Multi-fire XHD is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a simple and compact electric fireplace.
It’s one of the smallest on the market, coming in at just 23 inches wide, 20.5 inches high, and 7.5 inches deep. An electric fireplace with these measurements would rarely have so much to offer.
Included is a ceramic heater comfort saver, and the stylish firebox comes with some very realistic faux logs.
The flame display itself can be adjusted via the included remote control, making it easy for you to tweak the fire depending on the mood.
The fireplace can heat as much as 1,000 square feet, which is remarkable considering its size.
Its BTUs are 5,118, so it’s bound to get you heated up and comfortable in no time.
It’s also UL and CSA certified, so both reliability and safety are guaranteed. Unlike traditional fireplaces, there is no flame heat, meaning you’ll never be exposed to harmful emissions.
Even the front of the firebox, which is made of glass, is completely heatproof, so you can touch it even when the fire is ‘blazing’.
A lot of the modern non-traditional fireplaces are designed to astonish with just how realistic they look, and this unit is no different.
Whether you want your fireplace to emulate the look of a wood-burning fireplace or a gas fireplace, the Multi-fire XHD has you covered.
- Impressive heating area - allows you to heat your room with ease
- Built-in thermostat and timer - allows you to easily adjust the heat with the remote control when needed
- Shuts off automatically - to give you peace of mind and added safety
- Wouldn’t be suitable in a large room.
- Two styling options aren’t a whole lot of choice compared to other electric fireplaces.
Also Available At
Napoleon Cinema 27-Inch Built-In Electric Firebox
It’s a little wider than the aforementioned Dimplex Multi-fire XHD, but this electric fireplace is still a great option for smaller rooms.
This built-in unit offers what might just be the best flame effects on the market, and there’s also the option of adjusting these flames to your preference.
It’s affordable, it’s compact- there’s not a whole lot not to love about the Napoleon Cinema firebox.
It can provide heat to as much as 400 square feet and operates at 5,000 BTUs.
400 square feet isn’t huge compared to other electric fireplaces, but that’s pretty much the only drawback to this unit, and it won’t affect you if the room you’re installing it in is small.
You can plug the unit in directly or it can be hardwired, making it all the more versatile. Both the flames themselves and the light from the embers can be adjusted to fit the atmosphere of your space.
The combination of the logs, embers, and flames is so realistic, you’d need to look twice before realizing it’s not a real fire.
Even when you turn the fireplace off, there’s a neat little feature- the fire will die out very slowly, which nails the realism.
Amongst the other features are four separate heat settings, a timer that goes up to six hours, and a night light setting.
The fireplace is 24 inches wide, 8.62 inches deep, and 17.62 inches high.
- Lots of extra features - the night light setting and the dying embers aren’t featured you see with other fireplaces, offering excellent value for money
- Range of heating settings - allowing you to choose the right temperature for you
- Can be built into your wall or ordered as part of a mantel package - offering you the flexibility you need
- Not quite as small as the Multi-fire XHD.
Also Available At
Dimplex Deluxe 23" Electric Fireplace Insert
If you’re looking to repurpose your home’s existing fireplace, you might want to consider an electric fireplace insert, and the Dimplex Deluxe could be the perfect unit for doing so.
Dimplex is a reputable manufacturer of electric fireplaces (hence why this is their second mention in this list), and this affordable unit offers most of the features you’d expect from an electric fireplace, but at a lower price.
It can be easily installed into any fireplace cavity, and the faux logs have been handcrafted for utmost realism.
The flames themselves are very realistic, too. The unit even comes with remote control; you don’t need to be paying top dollar for such features.
The fireplace can heat up to 400 square feet, operating at 4,695 BTUs, making it ideal for a small space. It’s as heat efficient as any pricier electric fireplace, so despite the lower price, you won’t be missing out on much. The LED lights make for a very realistic ember glow, too.
It’s 23 and 3/16 inches wide, 19 and ⅝ inches high, and 10 and 13/16 inches deep, and it’s both UL and CSA certified, also coming with a two-year limited warranty which will keep you covered in case there are any faults within that time frame.
- Excellent value for money - making it suitable for a range of budgets
- Can fit with ease into an existing cavity - providing easy installation
- Both embers and logs glow boast a realistic glow - allowing you to enjoy a fire with ease
- The unit doesn’t come with a glass front, so the faux fire will be open.
Electric Fireplaces: A Buyer’s Guide
If you’re in the market for a small electric fireplace, you’re going to need to know what you should be looking for, and what you should be looking to avoid. The following guide will break down everything you might need to know about electric fireplaces.
Electric Fireplaces: An Overview
If thus far you’ve only been exposed to traditional wood-burning fireplaces or gas fireplaces, you might be wondering how electric fireplaces work.
At their core, the main difference (and the difference that results in several benefits) is that they’re powered by electricity, and merely mimic a real fire. They’re essentially just an electric heater.
Electric fireplaces tend to be installed in existing fireplace cavities, plugged into the wall, installed in the corner, mounted on the wall, or set up on tabletops.
Some units are very versatile in that they offer a choice between a few of these different setups.
Most electric fireplaces will be capable of heating an area of around 400 square feet (or 37 square meters), but some can heat as much as 1,000 square feet.
It’s not just the bigger electric fireplaces that can heat 1,000 square feet, either- you’d be surprised how many small fireboxes are capable too.
They’re an ideal choice when it comes to zoning heating, which is when you want to increase the temperature of a specific part of your house without affecting the overall temperature of your house.
When electric fireplaces were first introduced, a lot of the models on offer didn’t look too great, and certainly would never be mistaken for a real fireplace.
They’ve come a long way since then, though. Most of the electric fireplaces now on the market look as close to real fireplaces as they possibly could, and it would be no surprise if visitors didn’t even notice that you didn’t have a real fire.
The scale of the realism will depend on the model you go with. Some are remarkably realistic, while others would be less so. A lot of units feature additional lighting to add to the effect.
A lot of the modern electric fireplaces on the market can be plugged right into the wall using a typical household outlet. The outlet will need to be on either a dedicated fuse or a circuit breaker, though, to prevent the fireplace from overloading the circuit. You should also never, ever plug an electric fireplace into an extension cord.
Some fireplaces will need to be hardwired, meaning you’ll require new wiring and a new circuit breaker. In this case, it’d be best to go with an electrician for assistance.
Each Type Of Electric Fireplace
There are several different types to choose from when it comes to electric fireplaces. Many are designed to be built into existing cavities that used to house traditional wood-burning fireplaces, while others can be mounted on your wall.
Some are recessed into the wall, and while some are three-sided, others will be two-sided. You can get inserts, but you can also get free-standing electric fireboxes that can go on any tabletop (such as a TV cabinet).
There are also electric fireplaces with mantels, and some of the free-standing units can also be ordered as part of a mantel package.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Makes An Electric Fireplace Better Than Wood Burning Fireplaces Or Gas Fireplaces?
There are several benefits to going with electric fireplaces over traditional wood burning fireplaces or gas fireplaces; there’s a reason they’ve been gaining such popularity in recent years.
One of the most notable benefits is how much cheaper they tend to be than traditional fireplaces- and that’s before you even take into account how much money you’ll be saved in the long run, with far lower utility bills.
They are extremely heat efficient; all of the energy consumed is converted into heat, and none of it goes right up your chimney and into thin air.
They also tend to be very easy to install. While some units (particularly units that are going into an existing cavity) will require an electrician to install, a lot of the more compact units can simply be plugged into the wall.
Another huge benefit to electric fireplaces is that they’re far less messy than traditional fireplaces. There’s no soot, no ash- no cleanup required at all.
And they’re cleaner for the environment, too; they’re not polluting the air in your home because they’re not burning anything. Likewise, there is zero maintenance required.
They’re far safer for families with pets and children, as there’s no open flame.
A lot of these fireplaces also have a heat-resistant glass front, meaning there’s no point on the unit that could harm you if you touched it. It’s also a massive benefit that they can be placed in basically any room.
Does Every Electric Fireplace Generate Heat?
Not every electric fireplace on the market generates heat. Some units are designed exclusively for providing some ambiance and are not sources of heat.
If you were in the market for an electric fireplace it would be very clear which units generated heat and which ones didn’t.
It’s worth noting that some electric fireplaces have the capability of producing heat, but you can set them so they’re only providing ambiance.
In those instances, you’d be able to set the fireplace so that the flames were active, but no actual heat was being generated.
This is ideal if you want to use your electric fireplace but it’s warm out, so you don’t need the heat.