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A fireplace screen, which is recommended for use with wood-burning and gas fireplaces, acts as a barrier to prevent sparks and embers from jumping out into the room. We researched dozens of fireplace screens, rating them on ease of use, sturdiness, effectiveness, and value.
Our best overall pick, the Pottery Barn Classic Fireplace Triple Screen, is made of durable cast iron and has clever center panels for easy access.
Here are the best fireplace screens.
Best Overall: Pottery Barn Classic Fireplace Triple Screen
Doors for easy access
Made of durable cast iron
Heavier than other models
No color options
For a functional fireplace screen, look no further than the Pottery Barn Classic Triple Screen. This must-have fireplace accessory is constructed with three wire mesh panels and two doors that open in the center, providing quick access to tend the fire or clean up ashes. It stands out for being constructed of pounded cast iron, while many other fireplace screens are made of powder-coated steel. Keep in mind that it will also be heavier than most other models. However, with the center opening doors, you won’t need to move the screen often and it is incredibly sturdy—making it less likely to be moved or knocked over by pets and kids.
Available in a black iron finish, you can use the Pottery Barn Classic Fireplace Triple Screen in any home and enjoy the heat and flames of your fireplace with little competition from this simple but well-made option.
Best Mesh: Symple Stuff Cicero Single Panel Steel Fireplace Screen
23 gauge steel wire mesh
Available in 9 sizes
No finish options
A mesh fireplace screen allows for the transfer of heat while guarding against escaping embers. To protect your rugs and furniture from burn marks, the Symple Stuff Cicero Fireplace Screen is an excellent option. It features 23 gauge steel wire mesh, with an 8 x 8 grid per square inch. Embers caused by moisture or sap being released from the wood are blocked by the mesh screen, minimizing the risk of fire, damage, or injury from a wood-burning fire.
For a fireplace screen to provide adequate protection against sparks, it needs to cover the opening of your fireplace. This model comes in nine different sizes to match the dimensions of your fireplace.
Best Glass: CB2 Ledge Glass Fireplace Screen
Made of tempered glass
No handles to move the screen
Available in black steel finish only
By design, a fireplace screen sits directly in front of your fireplace. This offers a measure of protection but also can take away from the beauty of your fireplace and its ambiance. To solve this dilemma, or give your fireplace a more modern look, consider a glass fireplace screen.
The CB2 Ledge Glass Fireplace Screen offers an unhindered view of the flames while also protecting against sparks and embers. Made of tempered glass for safety reasons, it features a thick steel frame and legs, with a black iron finish. This fire screen is as sturdy as it is simple and is an ideal way to safely showcase your fireplace with less worry. It’s also a good option as a fireplace for children or pets since it’s heavy enough to stay put and can’t easily be shifted or moved out of place. Keep in mind, however, that the glass may become hot from the fire, so keep children a safe distance from the fireplace screen.
Best with Doors: Pottery Barn Industrial Fireplace 44" Screen with Doors, Brass
Center-opening for easy fire access
Latch securely holds doors closed
Only brass finish is available
A fireplace screen with doors is a convenient option since it provides easy access for tending the fire or cleaning up ashes. Instead of moving the screen out of the way, you can open one or both doors for access to the firebox.
The Pottery Barn Industrial Fireplace Screen with Doors stands out as one of the most functional options available since it uses a latch to secure the doors. Most other fireplace screens with doors rely on magnets to hold the doors close, but experience has shown that the magnets may fail after repeated exposure to high heat. This industrial but stylish option from Pottery Barn solves that problem with a simple latch, though keep in mind that the iron may become hot from the fire, so use caution when touching the handle or screen when the fireplace is in use.
Best Budget: Best Choice Products 3-Panel Simple Steel Mesh Fireplace Screen
Available in four different finishes
Inconsistent paint finishes
Fireplace screens vary significantly in cost and style, but a basic option—like the Best Choice Products Simple Steel Mesh Fireplace Screen—can provide the function you need for an affordable price. This powder-coated steel fireplace screen has a three panel design and spot-welded hinges to give the screen stability. It’s available in four finishes to match your décor—bronze, gold, pewter, and black. Take note that the metal tone finishes are described as ‘rustic’ or ‘antique’ and some inconsistency has been noted in these finishes.
This budget fireplace screen measures 47.75 inches wide and is 29 inches high. The mesh screen makes it a good choice for wood-burning fireplaces where sparks are a concern, but it also works well to keep children and pets a safe distance from gas-burning fireplaces.
Best Folding: Pleasant Hearth Preston 3 Panel Fireplace Screen
Easy to set-up and store
No color options
A folding fire screen, like the Preston model from Pleasant Hearth, is as easy to set up as it is to store away. With a steel frame and three wire mesh panels, you can open the fire screen in front of your gas or wood-burning fireplace to protect the room from embers and sparks. It weighs about 14 pounds and is sturdy but simple to move. The black iron finish is basic enough for most décor schemes and the mesh panels allow for heat transfer.
When you need to tend the fire or clean up the ashes, it’s easy to fold the screen away. The design also makes this fireplace screen easier to store, since it takes up less than curved fire screens or large single panel screens. The center panel is 24 inches wide, while each side panel provides an additional 14 inches of coverage. This entire fireplace screen is 31 inches high.
Best Bowed: UniFlame Curved Fireplace Screen
Fits flush against fireplace
No color options
Could be knocked over by children or pets
A single panel fire screen is popular for its simple set-up but doesn’t always provide adequate side protection for shooting sparks or hot embers. A curved screen offers an additional degree of protection. At the same time, many homeowners choose this fireplace screen style since it fits well on narrow hearths. Regardless of the reason, the UniFlame Curved Fireplace Screen is a great option to consider for its simple design and affordable price.
Constructed of steel with a fine mesh screen, this model serves as an excellent barrier against sparks. If you have wood flooring, rugs, or furniture surrounding your fireplace, then using this curved fire screen will provide more protection. It weighs only 12 pounds and is easy to maneuver. Despite having no legs, it has a sturdy base thanks to the bowed frame.
Best Splurge: CB2 Amos Fireplace Screen
Solid brass or stainless steel frame
Variety of panel configurations
Accessorize your fireplace with this high-end option from CB2. The Amos Fireplace Screen is a four-panel folding screen with movable hinges in between each panel, giving you a choice in how to set up your fireplace screen. Each individual panel measures 12.7 inches, giving this screen an impressive total width of nearly 51 inches. For the sake of safety, each panel is made of heat-resistant tempered glass.
Choose between solid brass or polished stainless steel frame. Either option will give your room a glamorous look while protecting furnishings from sparks and embers. Like other glass fireplace screens, you’ll appreciate the ability to admire the flames behind the clear glass screen.
The Pottery Barn Classic Triple Screen (view at Pottery Barn) is our top pick since it is made of pounded cast iron for stability and durability. It features three wire mesh panels and a center opening with doors, giving you easy access to the fireplace while guarding against sparks and embers. But if you’re looking for a basic and affordable option, then the Best Choice Products 3-Panel Simple Steel Mesh Fireplace Screen will get the job done (view at Amazon). This option is available in four different finishes and folds flat for storage, though the lightweight steel construction means it’s more likely to move if bumped or tampered with by children or pets.
What to Look for in a Fireplace Screen
Fireplace screens come in a number of different styles, including single panel, folding, bowed or curved, and with doors. Decide which style matches your purpose for a fireplace screen. For example, if you have a narrow hearth, a single panel style fireplace screen can fit snugly against the fireplace opening. If you need frequent access to the fireplace to add logs, tend the fire, or clean up ashes, then a fireplace screen with doors is a great option. If you want to enjoy the full effect of the fireplace surround and flames, then a glass fireplace screen is a popular option to protect from sparks without disrupting the visual of the fireplace.
Most fireplace screens are made of metal for their resistance to heat and flames. Cast iron is a durable and heavy-duty option but weighs more than fireplace screens made from steel. Lightweight steel fireplace screens are easier to move, which might be an advantage when cleaning or storing the screen. However, if you want a fireplace screen that kids or pets can’t knock over or move, choose a sturdy, heavy version. Glass fireplace screens do a good job of blocking sparks while allowing you to enjoy the flames, but they will block some of the heat radiating from the fireplace.
As moisture or resin is released from logs in the fire, sparks can shoot out from the fireplace. Choose a fireplace screen that is tall enough and wide enough to provide adequate protection from sparks and embers that could otherwise burn people, pets, or objects in close proximity. Both wire mesh and solid panel fireplace screens can offer the necessary protection. Another important safety consideration if you have children or small pets is the stability of the fireplace screen. Look for a model with legs to stabilize the screen or a curved or folding model that offers a wide base for stability.
How do you secure a fireplace screen?
Many fireplace screens are freestanding and require no additional fasteners. Position the legs or unfold the screen to provide a sturdy base for the screen. However, if you opt for a sliding fireplace screen, like mesh fireplace curtains, or choose a box-like screen known as a spark catcher, then you will likely need to drill holes into your fireplace lintel or façade to secure the screen.
How do you clean a fireplace screen?
Just like it's important to regularly clean your fireplace, the screen needs regular attention as well. Clean soot and ash from your fireplace screen by following these steps.
- Remove the fireplace screen and lay it on an old towel.
- Use a gentle household cleaner or add a tablespoon or two of dish soap to a bucket of water, then scrub gently with a soft bristle brush. Be sure not to scrub too aggressively or you may damage the finish. For glass fireplace screens, use a sponge may work best.
- When all residue has been removed, thoroughly rinse the fireplace screen.
- Allow it to airdry, or use a soft towel to remove all traces of moisture before replacing the screen.
Does a gas fireplace need a screen?
Even though a gas fireplace doesn’t have the risk of escaping sparks or embers, you should still use a fireplace screen. There are several reasons for doing so. If you have a gas log set in your wood-burning fireplace, a screen prevents flammable objects from winding up in your fireplace. It also serves as an additional barrier for children or pets.
If you have a ventless gas fireplace with a glass front, you might think that you don’t need an additional fireplace screen. However, the glass front of the gas fireplace can become very hot. A fireplace screen provides protection against burns.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Erica Puisis has been writing about the latest innovations in home products and décor for The Spruce since 2017. With a background in product research and interior design, she identifies products that are both functional and beautiful. For this article, she considered the top options in fireplace screens from a variety of retailers. Products were evaluated based on their style, materials, and safety features. The fireplace screens included in this list range from basic to high-end and suit a variety of budgets.