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Best Electric Fireplaces in 2023: Buying Guide

Before the 1920s, there weren’t many homes powered by electricity. This means people had to rely on coal-powered boilers and fireplaces to keep warm in the winter. Since families relied so heavily on fireplaces, they were the mainstay of the American home.

Even middle-class homes took the opportunity to make the design of their fireplace as beautiful and intricate as possible because it was the area where family and visitors gathered the most.

Best Electric Fireplaces

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Today, people don’t need a fireplace in their house to survive cold winters. They are now a supplemental heat source and a way to conjure a little nostalgia and good cheer. Since they aren’t the main heat delivery system of a home, a lot of post-1950s homes don’t even have a fireplace. Therefore, people who live in fireplace-free houses and apartments turn to electric fireplaces for secondary heat.

Our Recommended Electric Fireplaces in 2023

4) SEI Furniture Tennyson Electric Bookcases Fireplace

The SEI Furniture Tennyson Electric Bookcases Fireplace, a traditional beauty, has an ethereal feel to it with its ivory finish and intricate floral applique. On both sides of the fireplace’s two fluted, non-tapered pillars, there is a three-shelf bookcase that sits slightly deeper and lower than the fireplace itself.

SEI Furniture Tennyson Electric Bookcases Fireplace
SEI Furniture Tennyson Electric Bookcases Fireplace

To round out the fireplace’s authentic look, there is a faux-brick firebox. The mantel can hold 61.5 pounds, which is enough support for a television, and each bookcase has a 24.5-pound weight capacity. Overall, the fireplace assembly measures 70.25 inches wide, 14 inches deep and 42.5 inches high, and it weighs a hefty 125.5 pounds.

You have a little bit of leeway in terms of placement against the wall because the power cord is 6 feet in length. Within the 23-inch long by 20-inch high firebox, there is an LED light that brings the logs and embers to life, creating a beautiful, realistic display through the cool-to-the-touch glass.

With the accompanying remote, you can choose one of four heat settings to kick the self-regulating heater into gear and provide warmth to an average-size, 400-square-foot room. Like the Cartwright at number 10, the Tennyson also has an automatic shut-off switch.

SEI Furniture Tennyson Electric Bookcases...
  • Supplemental heat for up to 400 square feet
  • Lifelike multicolor flames and burning logs with embers

3) Touchstone Sideline Recessed Mounted Electric Fireplace

With a length of 50 inches by a height 21.5 inches, the Touchstone Sideline Recessed Mounted Electric Fireplace is designed for large spaces that are decorated in a contemporary style. For the 58-pound insert to sit flush against the wall, you’ll need to make at least a 5.5-inch-deep recess.

Touchstone Sideline Recessed Mounted Electric Fireplace Review
Touchstone 80004 – Sideline Electric Fireplace

As long as the top of the insert is at least 12 inches away from the ceiling, the black metal fireplace can achieve its optimum level of heat output.

Use the remote to pick either the low setting or the high setting, both of which push out heat through the wide upper vents. If you choose the high setting, the fireplace generates a whopping 1,500 watts of power, which is enough wattage to heat a 400-square-foot bedroom, living room or den. You can also set a timer to shut off the fireplace after 30 minutes up to 7.5 hours.

As you peer through the glass window, you’ll notice an extremely realistic fire logs along atop a bed of crystal embers. With the remote, you can select any of the five intensities of light from a gentle glow that barely makes the flames peek out from the top to a blazing fire that causes the flames to look like they’re overtaking the logs.

Plus, you can change their color to blue, orange or a mix of each.

Touchstone Smart Electric Fireplace-The...
  • APPEARANCE: The Sideline electric fireplace is designed for recessed in-wall mounting....
  • INSTALLATION: This Sideline installs simply and can safely be attached to framing studs....

2) PuraFlame 50″ Alice In-Wall Recessed Electric Fireplace

If ultra-modern is more your cup of tea, the black metal PuraFlame 50″ Alice In-Wall Recessed Electric Fireplace is ideal. With a sizable weight of 72 pounds, you may need a second set of hands to place it in the wall, but, once it’s in, there is nothing left to do but secure it and plug it into an outlet.

PuraFlame Alice 50 Inches Recessed Electric Fireplace
PuraFlame Alice 50 Inches Recessed Electric Fireplace

The front measures 48 inches by 20 inches, and you’ll need a 6-inch-deep cut-out for the back of the unit to sit. However, you have some wiggle room in terms of how far up or down the wall you install it because the power cord is 5.9 feet long.

Since the heat vent is on the top of the front frame, it should go above, not below, a television. With either the on-unit touchscreen or the remote, you can change the heat to one of two settings and the temperature from 61 to 81 degrees Fahrenheit. On its highest setting, the electric fireplace can heat a 400-square-foot room.

Heat and temperature aren’t the only two settings you can change. The remote and panel also let you select from four flame intensities and 14 glass crystal colors like brilliant blue, rich orange or hot magenta. Plus, you can set a timer for as long as 9 hours, and the fireplace comes with a 1-year warranty.

PuraFlame Alice 50 Inches Recessed Electric...
  • DIMENSION: Overall dimension (including glass): 50” Width x 20 1/4” Height x 5...
  • INSTALLATION: In-wall recessed installation ONLY, CANNOT be hanged on the wall or...

1) Ameriwood Home Chicago Electric Fireplace

When you’re short on storage space, you have to get creative. The Ameriwood Home Chicago Electric Fireplace gives you a place to store your books, electronics and television while you enjoy a warm fire.

Ameriwood Home Chicago Electric Fireplace
Ameriwood Home Chicago Electric Fireplace

This laminated espresso wood console has a 70-pound weight capacity and a 15.88-inch depth, offering more than enough space and sturdiness to hold a 50-inch flat screen television.

Above the fireplace, there is a divided horizontal shelf that spans the entire 47.25-inch width of the unit. Plus, there are two divided vertical shelves that flank the fireplace. To complete the look of the 31.75-inch tall console, the side shelving units are covered by a clear glass door with weathered nickel hinged pulls.

On the 18-inch-wide black metal fireplace in the center of the 95-pound console, there are two small rocker switches. One switch powers on the fireplace, causing the LED flames to illuminate around the logs. The other switch turns on the 1,400-watt heating element that can cover spaces up to 400 square feet.

If you choose, you can turn on the flames without the heat. Thanks to the LED light that can withstand 50,000 hours of use, you won’t need to change the bulb anytime soon.

Ameriwood Home Chicago Electric Fireplace TV...
  • MODERN CONVENIENCE & AFFORDABLE STYLE: The Ameriwood Home Chicago Fireplace TV Stand gives...
  • SAFE & SMART: The AltraFlame electric heater provides quiet, gentle, energy-efficient heat...

What Are the Main Benefits of Electric Fireplaces?

The crackling sound, the glowing light, the comforting warmth. Built-in fireplaces have all these qualities. Electric fireplaces are made to closely emulate the heat and light of the built-in varieties. Some even produce convincing sound effects.

As similar as electric fireplaces look, sound and feel to built-in ones, electric fireplaces offer a few unique benefits that traditional fireplaces don’t have.

Fireplaces that creates heat via burning wood come along with a few risks, such as toxic fumes, scalding fires and smoke emissions. On the other hand, the flames and glowing embers in an electric fireplace are simulated, so there is no risk of burning yourself or having your house catch on fire.

Plus, you never have to breathe in smoke, which is great if you suffer from asthma, allergies or other respiratory diseases.

Two byproducts of burning wood are ash and soot. Particles from these substances can easily waft through the air when you clean a fireplace, causing you to inhale them. Also, they are messy, so cleaning them up is a cumbersome chore. However, electric fireplaces don’t create soot or ash, making them a breeze to maintain and healthier for you to use.

A nicely built fire creates a cozy, inviting atmosphere. One of the downsides to traditional fireplaces is that you can’t use them when it’s hot outside. A lot of electric models allow you to operate the flame effects without turning on the heat.

Therefore, even if it’s 90 degrees Fahrenheit outside, you can still enjoy the flickering light that comes from an electric fireplace.

Homeowners covet their fireplaces because they bring a beautiful element of style to any room. Sure, space heaters are an efficient supplemental-heat delivery system, but many manufacturers don’t make them with aesthetics in mind. Electric fireplaces give you the best of both.

From modern and sleek to detailed and old-fashioned, electric models put out the same amount of heat that space heaters do without sacrificing the physical appeal of traditional fireplaces.

Ameriwood Home Chicago Electric Fireplace Review
Ameriwood Home Chicago Electric Fireplace

How Do Electric Fireplaces Generate Heat?

Within an electric fireplace, there is a heating element. When the fireplace is plugged into a functioning electrical outlet and the fireplace is turned on, an internal fan produces wind. As the wind blows across the heating element, the air is warmed up. Then, the hot air is pushed out of the vent and into the room.

There are also fireplaces that utilize infrared technology. With these fireplaces, the heat is delivered via infrared light, which is absorbed by people and objects that are close to the fireplace.

How Do Forced Fan and Infrared Quartz Fireplaces Compare?

Since forced fan and infrared quartz fireplaces differ in terms of how they work, they both have certain pros and cons. Forced-fan electric fireplaces are able to deliver heat throughout an entire room as long as it’s sized for the square feet of the room, which is great if you have a large crowd visiting or a big room to heat.

Infrared fireplaces are better suited for small rooms or uncrowded spaces. However, the air created by a forced-fan unit can make sensitive skin dry. Conversely, infrared fireplaces don’t impact the room’s relative humidity.

Even though infrared fireplaces put out heat instantly while forced-fan fireplaces take a few minutes to circulate heat, fan-based fireplaces are still a quicker way to create warmth than wood-burning ones.

Best Electric Fireplaces

Are Electric Fireplaces Energy Efficient?

Staying warm while keeping your electricity bill affordable is a difficult balancing act. The cost per month of running an electric fireplace depends on several factors. First, you have to consider the rate your electricity provider charges. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average rate that providers charge residential users across the country is approximately 13 cents per kilowatt-hour.

A simple math calculation that multiplies the cents per kilowatt hour by the fireplace’s wattage can tell you how much money you’ll spend when using an electric fireplace.

For a 1,500-watt fireplace at a rate of 13 cents per hour, it will only cost you a negligible 19 cents per hour to run it. Since supplemental heaters like an electric fireplace mean your central HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard to heat your house, you get the added benefit of saving money on wintertime heating costs.

What Types of Electric Fireplaces Are Available?

Regardless of your personal tastes and the constrictions of the room’s layout, you can easily find an electric fireplace that works for your space. Some fireplaces are designed to hang on the wall while others can be inserted into an existing fireplace.

If you don’t want to make any alterations to your wall or you don’t have a wood-burning fireplace, there are plenty of standing models on the market from which you can choose.

Electric Fireplaces

If you love the look of your existing fireplace, but you are tired of the maintenance involved with keeping it in working order, an electric fireplace insert is ideal. This type of fireplace is designed to fit into a wood-burning fireplace. They come in an array of sizes and finishes, so you can easily find one that fits snugly and complements the fireplace in your home.

Installation is a rather straightforward process, and you don’t have to make alterations to the fireplace in your home.

For some, floor space is valuable real estate. If there is not a single square inch to spare in your house or apartment, this is the type of electric fireplace to get. Plus, they are an excellent addition to contemporary or modern-style rooms, and you don’t have to worry about curious pets or children touching buttons.

To install a wall-mounted electrical fireplace, all you need to do is screw the brackets into the wall. The process is similar to the one you’d follow when hanging a flat-screen television. If you have an hour to spare on a weekend afternoon, you can get this project done.

Out of all three main types of electric fireplaces, a freestanding one is the easiest to set up. You don’t have to break out your leveler tool and drill. Instead, you simply carry it to the room you want it in, pick the perfect spot for it stand, set it down and plug it into the nearest electrical outlet.

Before you run out and by a freestanding fireplace, you need to make sure its measurements fit the place you want to put it. Another point to consider is how much it weighs. If you don’t plan on moving it from one room to the next as needed, feel free to get the biggest, heaviest one your money can buy.

On the other hand, if portability is a concern, you must take the weight of the fireplace into consideration. Unlike inserts and wall-mounts, there is no end to the styles available. They come in any finish you can imagine, and some even have a mantle, shelves or area to put your television.

PuraFlame EF45DFGF

What Features to Look For?

There are a lot of models to sift through when you’re shopping around for a new electric fireplace. Just because it fits your space and suits your taste, it doesn’t mean you should open up your wallet and buy the first fireplace that meets those two requirements.

Besides its measurements and aesthetics, there are other features you should look at, such as safety mechanisms, vent location, controls and much more.

PuraFlame 33
PuraFlame Western Electric Fireplace

Since your primary reason behind buying an electric fireplace is to have an attractive appliance that delivers supplemental warmth, the fireplace’s heat output is the most important aspect to consider. Its wattage determines how large of a space the fireplace can heat. Bigger units tend to offer 1,500 watts of heat while smaller ones often top out at 1,000 watts.

Many electric fireplaces have dual wattage settings, so you can set it to half its maximum wattage for small-room or close-range heating. There are also some fireplaces with a convenient programmable thermostat that maintains your chosen temperature. Many models have safety cut-off switches that activate if the fireplace falls or overheats, preventing damage to your home.

Lights come in at a close second in terms of importance, and each model has something different to offer. Many models allow you to operate the LED light separate from the heat, so you can enjoy the fireplace year-round. There are even some fireplaces with multiple levels of brightness and changeable colors of light. LED bulbs last for a long time, so you only need to replace them once every 1 to 2 years.

Whether it’s simply setting it down and plugging it or sliding it into a recess in the wall, there will be some level of installation involved. If the fireplace weighs over 50 pounds, you may need someone to help you move and lift it.

The majority of wall-mounted units come with brackets, so all you need to do is check for studs and level the brackets. For recessed fireplaces, you will need to create a cut out in the wall with enough depth for the fireplace to sit flush.

If you’re looking for an insert, some models have an optional junction box that allows you to directly connect it to the electrical system, so you can operate it without the plug. If you’re a renter, keep in mind that wall-mounted units will leave drill holes that must be covered before you move, and recessed fireplaces require drywall replacement.

Also, if you plan to mount a television above the fireplace, make sure the vent is located at the bottom. If the vent is at the top, leave 1 foot of space between the ceiling and fireplace.

PuraFlame Alice 50 Inches Recessed Electric Fireplace Review
PuraFlame Alice 50 Inches Recessed Electric Fireplace

Although the weight comes into play during the installation process, this facet should also be considered if you want a fireplace you can move from room to room. Often, it’s the large console fireplaces with shelving units that are the largest and bulkiest. However, if you plan to keep it in one spot, the size doesn’t matter as long as the fireplace fits the area where you plan to place it.

Yes, the light function is a crucial component of making an electric fireplace seem realistic. However, the features that the light illuminates make a difference in terms of overall ambiance. If you want the fire in the firebox to look as realistic as possible, you’ll need a fireplace with faux logs and coal embers.

On the other hand, if sleek and modern is what you’re going for, a fireplace with glass pieces or crystals is a better choice.

Touchstone Sideline Recessed Mounted Electric Fireplace
Touchstone 80004 – Sideline Electric Fireplace

Electric fireplaces are not the type of appliance people keep for a year or two before they get tossed. Therefore, you want to choose a fireplace made of long-lasting materials. Some tiny desktop fireplaces are made of thick, durable plastic.

Even though plastic may be acceptable for these units, bigger fireplaces should have wood or tile surrounds and a metal firebox. For the purpose of realism, logs and embers constructed from resin typically look more lifelike than other materials.

Many electric fireplaces have controls on the fireplace itself and on a remote. Although it doesn’t take much effort to get up and flip a switch or press a button, you should buy one with a remote if convenience matters to you.

On fully equipped models, the remote even has a digital display that shows your selected temperature and heat setting. If you’re worried that buttons, knobs and switches will be eyesores, most manufacturers either place them in the back, hide them under a hinged board that looks like a vent or make them small enough to be discreet.

Since you’re dealing with an electronic, you may run across a performance issue down the road. If you do, you’ll want to be covered by a manufacturer’s warranty to save you money and a headache.

Fireplace Guide
PuraFlame EF45DFGF

The typical warranty period for an electric fireplace ranges from 6 months to 2 years. If the manufacturer doesn’t at least offer a short-term money-back or replacement guarantee, keep looking.

Infrared Fireplace vs. Electric Fireplace: What to Look For?

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Last Update: 2024-05-23 | Affiliate links/Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About the author

Hi I’m Alex, founder of HouseholdMe.com and I’d like to say thank you for dropping by. Like most of you, the first thing I look at before buying something online is reviews or buying guides. By reading what other people say will help me gauge whether or not a product is good or not.  I am trying to help people find answers, solve problems, and get inspired.

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