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An electric fireplace is a great supplemental heat source and creates a cozy ambiance in your home, and electric units definitely have some advantages over traditional fireplaces. Because they run on electricity and don’t require ventilation, they are easier to install and require a lot less maintenance. Unlike with a traditional fireplace, you don’t have to worry about kindling a fire or cleaning up soot and ashes. And with features like LED lights, flickering flames, and crackling sounds, an electric fireplace can mimic the aesthetic of a real fire.
Unless you live in a warm climate and can go with something purely decorative, you should choose an electric fireplace that can adequately warm your space. Electric fireplaces come in a wide variety of styles, but they fall into three main categories: portable, freestanding, or wall-mounted. You'll need to consider the heat output, which is measured in watts or BTUs, as well as the recommended coverage area. Since electric heaters have a tendency to overheat, safety features are an important factor, especially if you have young children or pets.
To help you decide, we’ve rounded up the best electric fireplaces in a variety of categories. Here are our top picks.
Best Overall: R.W.FLAME 50" Electric Fireplace
Dimensions: 18.1 x 3.85 x 50 inches | Heat Output: 5,200 BTUs | Area Heated: 1,000 square feet | Mount Type: Wall mounted | Number of Heat Settings: Two heat settings (high and low)
Easy to install
Sleek space-saving design
Lacks a thermostat
Mediocre heat distribution
The R.W. Flame Electric Fireplace is one of the more customizable models on the market, allowing you to create a unique ambiance in your home. This model offers 12 flame colors and 12 LED flame bed colors, along with five flame speeds and five brightness levels. While some models are purely decorative, the R.W. Flame is equipped with a heater that can warm rooms up to 400 square feet in size. Although this fireplace heater doesn’t have a thermostat, you can switch between high (1500 watts) and low (750 watts) power settings. The unit has a top-mounted blower fan, but it’s not possible to direct the airflow to a specific spot or location.
This heater is operated by touch-screen buttons on the front panel and comes with a remote control for added convenience. Measuring 50 x 18 x 3.98 inches, it has an incredibly thin, space-saving design. The heater can either be hung on a wall or recessed for a more seamless look. It comes in a variety of sizes, ranging from 30 to 60 inches.
Best Budget: Comfort Zone CZFP1 Portable Fireplace Heater
Dimensions: 0.75 x 7.88 x 14.13 inches | Heat Output: 1,200 watts | Area Heated: 175 square feet | Mount Type: Electric/plug in | Number of Heat Settings: Two heat settings
Lightweight and portable
Great selection of safety features
Small coverage area
If you’re looking for an affordable unit to warm up a small area, consider this freestanding model from Comfort Zone. Weighing just over five pounds, it can easily be moved from room to room. Measuring 10.75 x 7.88 x 14.13 inches, this unit is small enough to be placed on a table or desk. Despite being a budget option, the Comfort Zone CZFP1 has an impressive selection of safety features, including a tip-over switch, automatic shutoff in the event of overheating, and a body that stays cool to the touch.
This model delivers up to 1,200 watts of power, making it best suited for smaller rooms up to 175 square feet. When compared to other electric fireplaces on the market, the 3D flame effect and ember aren’t the most realistic looking, but you can’t beat the affordable price tag. The CZFP1 comes in three color options: red, black, and blue.
Best Splurge: Real Flame 56-inch Emerson Grand Electric Fireplace
Dimensions: 56 x 16 x 47.25 inches | Heat Output: 5,000 BTUs | Area Heated: 1,000 square feet | Mount Type: Freestanding, Electric/plug in | Number of Heat Settings: Six heat settings
Creates a very realistic effect
Adjustable flames and thermostat
Comes with a remote control
This mantle-style fireplace is one of the more expensive models on the market, but it also creates the most realistic effect. What’s more, you don’t have to sacrifice style or quality. The traditional design—complete with a hardwood veneer mantle—and oversized firebox are as close as you can get to a real fireplace. This unit is equipped with a 1,500-watt heater and provides up to 5,000 BTU of heat. It’s ideal for warming larger rooms up to 1,000 square feet in size.
This grand electric heater has six adjustable thermostat settings—72, 75, 78, 82, 86, and 99 degrees Fahrenheit. Other convenient features include a remote control, five flame brightness levels, and a timer with intervals ranging between 10 minutes to 9 hours. The mantle can support up to 30 pounds, but it is not intended for a television. It’s perfect for displaying picture frames and other small items, however. The Emerson Grand is available in two classic finishes: rustic white and English oak.
Best Freestanding : Duraflame DFI-5010-01 Infrared Quartz Fireplace Stove
Dimensions: 26.5 x 22 x 15 inches | Heat Output: 5,200 BTUs | Area Heated: 1,000 square feet | Mount Type: Electric/plug in | Number of Heat Settings: Adjustable thermostat
Small form factor
Impressive heat that doesn’t dry out skin
Top is too warm to display items
The beauty of a freestanding electric fireplace is that you can place it almost anywhere in your home—within proximity of an outlet, of course. Measuring 26.5 x 22 x 15 inches, the Duraflame Electric Fireplace Stove has a relatively small footprint. Despite its compact size, this unit has a powerful 5,200 BTU heater and can warm rooms up to 1,000 square feet in size. Since infrared heat maintains a room’s natural humidity, this model is a good choice for those sensitive to dry air.
This electric fireplace earns praise for its realistic flame simulation and user-friendly features. It has an adjustable thermostat, five flame levels, a timer, and a remote control. There is a built-in thermometer in the plug, and the fireplace will shut off automatically if it overheats—a great safety feature. The Duraflame is available in eight different finishes to match your surrounding décor.
"While the Duraflame unit shouldn’t be used as a primary heating method in a home, it did a remarkable job warming up smaller cold rooms in our Rocky Mountain home and added a nice ambiance for visitors in our guest room."—Justin Park, Product Tester
Best Insert : PuraFlame Western Electric Fireplace Insert
Dimensions: 35.04 x 8.78 x 26.99 inches | Heat Output: 1,500 watts | Area Heated: 400 square feet | Mount Type: Electric/plug in | Number of Heat Settings: Adjustable thermostat
Easy to operate
Emits crackling sound
Glass remains cool
Requires an existing fireplace
If you have an existing fireplace and still want the benefits of an electric fireplace, an insert is a great solution. This unit from PuraFlame—complete with a glass front, interior brick wall, and life-like ember bed and logs—provides the aesthetic of a real fire and eliminates the maintenance required. It even emits a crackling sound to add to the experience. The heater puts out up to 1,500 watts of power, making it best suited for smaller rooms up to 400 square feet in size.
This electric insert features an adjustable flame and thermostat, and includes a remote control for easy operation. You can opt to use the flame effect with or without heat. When the heater is running, the front glass panel remains cool to the touch, so it’s safe for use around children and pets. This particular unit has a total width of 35 inches, but smaller sizes are also available.
Best Modern: Zipcode Design Lauderhill 50.4'' W Surface Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace
Dimensions: 21.65 x 50.4 x 5.63 inches | Heat Output: 5,118 BTUs | Area Heated: 400 square feet | Mount Type: Wall-mounted | Number of Heat Settings: No heat settings (just on/off)
Sleek and modern design
Great safety features
Lacks adjustable heat settings
Doesn’t produce multicolor flames
Thanks to its sleek design and space-saving functionality, this wall-mounted electric fireplace from Lauderhill is a popular choice. The adjustable LED flames provide a realistic effect. Equipped with a powerful 5,118 BTU heater, it can warm rooms up to 400 square feet. Safety features include thermal overload protection, automatic shutoff, and a cool-touch exterior.
Although this electric fireplace comes with a timer and remote control for added convenience, it lacks some customizable features that you’ll find on other models. It doesn’t have a thermostat or any heat settings; it is simply on or off. The flames can be operated with or without heat, however. Measuring 21.65 x 50.4 x 5.63 inches, this model is available in four glossy modern finishes: Black, white, mirrored glass, and stainless steel.
Best Rustic: Laurel Foundry Terrence 47.38” W Electric Fireplace
Dimensions: 37.9 H x 47.38 x 11.5 inches | Heat Output:4,600 BTUs | Area Heated: 400 square feet | Mount Type: Electric/plug in, | Number of Heat Settings: No adjustable heat settings
Operable in all seasons
Includes fire glass beads and traditional log
Lacks an adjustable flame and thermostat
If you’re looking for an electric fireplace with a rustic aesthetic, this wall mantle is a great choice. Featuring shiplap details and natural variations in the wood grain, Laurel Foundry’s Terrence Fireplace is styled after a traditional fireplace. It comes with fire glass beads and a traditional log and ember set, which you can swap out and customize to your liking. Since the exterior remains cool to the touch, it is safe for use around children and pets.
Equipped with a 4,600 BTU heater, it can warm rooms up to 400 square feet in size. The flames can be operated with or without heat for a cozy ambiance all year round. This unit lacks some user-friendly features such as an adjustable flame and thermostat. It’s available in four neutral finishes—sergeant oak, charcoal, gray, and chico oak.
Best with TV Stand: Laurel Foundry Modern Farmhouse Lorraine TV Stand
Dimensions: 47.5 x 27 x 15.5 inches | Heat Output: 4,600 BTUs | Area Heated: 400 square feet | Mount Type: Freestanding/sits on floor | Number of Heat Settings: Heat is not adjustable
Conceals cords and cables
Adjustable flame effect
Lacks a thermostat and adjustable heat settings
For optimal storage space, consider an electric fireplace that doubles as a TV stand. Laurel Foundry’s Lorraine TV Stand has a weight capacity of 45 pounds and can accommodate televisions up to 55 inches in size. With two storage cabinets on either side and an open shelf above the fireplace insert, there’s adequate space for accessories and other electronics. You can display your television on the top shelf, while neatly concealing cords and cables behind the stand. It’s available in five neutral finishes to match almost any decor.
This electric fireplace provides 4,600 BTU of heat and is designed for rooms up to 400 square feet in size. Although the flame effect is adjustable, this TV stand doesn’t have a thermostat or adjustable heat settings. You have the option to use the flame function without heat.
If you’re looking for a wall-mounted unit that is highly customizable, we recommend the R.W. Flame Electric Fireplace (view at Amazon). With 12 different flame and fire bed colors, you can really personalize the ambiance of a room. Styled after a traditional wood stove, the Duraflame DFI-5010-01 Infrared Quartz Fireplace Stove is a great choice for a freestanding heater. It has a realistic flame effect and keeps smaller-sized rooms nice and toasty.
What to Look for in an Electric Fireplace
Ease of use
The beauty of electric fireplaces is how easily they are to use—there’s no wood to gather, no matches to find. Instead, it’s instant warmth and ambiance with the flip of a switch. Some, however, are easier to use than others; others are significantly easier to install than others. Make sure you look at both factors before selecting a fireplace for your home.
Some models are made to sit on the floor, while others can be wall-mounted. Certain models can convert traditional wood-burning fireplaces into electric versions. Consider the room where you're going to put it, as well as where it will go in relation to electrical outlets.
Since a fireplace often serves as a focal point in any room, you want to make sure you select one that matches your taste and surrounding décor. From the look of the frame to the interior components, such as faux logs or crystals, there are various details to consider when choosing the best electric fireplace for your home.
How do electric fireplaces work?
Most electric fireplaces operate by drawing in cool air from the room, warming it through an internal heating element, and releasing the warm air back into the room via a fan or blower. Electric fireplaces do not produce real flames. Instead, they create the illusion of flickering flames by refracting light from a bulb in a three-dimensional pattern.
How much heat do electric fireplaces give off?
The heat output and recommended coverage area vary widely by model, but here are some general rules of thumb. Most electric fireplaces provide between 4,500 and 5,200 BTU of heat. A unit with a forced fan heater will be able to warm rooms up to 400 square feet. Models with an infrared heater can usually cover a much larger area—up to 1,000 square feet.
How do you install an electric fireplace?
Most portable and freestanding units don’t require any installation; all you need to do is plug them into an outlet. A wall-mounted unit can either be hung or recessed into a wall. Hanging the unit is an easier job, while recessing the fireplace into a wall requires some minor carpentry work like cutting and patching. Mantel fireplaces usually require some assembly; most models are secured to the wall with cleats and construction adhesive.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was written by Sage McHugh, a freelance writer who covers home appliances for The Spruce. A native of New England and no stranger to cold weather, she’s thoroughly researched space heaters, heated blankets, and more in the home heating sector. For this roundup, Sage considered hundreds of electric fireplaces, evaluating each model’s functionality, heat output, and safety features. To find the highest-rated products on the market, she consulted user reviews, third-party reviews, and feedback from our testers.