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Which electric fireplaces are best?

Fireplaces are a great way to make your home feel warm and inviting, but if you lack the space or the time to devote to its regular maintenance, then a traditional fireplace may not be an option. Electric fireplaces can provide the ambiance and heat of a crackling fire without the mess or hazard of real flames. 

The perfect electric fireplace is going to depend on a number of factors, but if you want a versatile heater with a classic design, the Sei Furniture Calvert Electric Floral Trim Fireplace is the recommended pick. 

What to know before you buy an electric fireplace

Electric fireplace styles

Electric fireplaces can appear in a wide variety of different shapes and sizes, so it is likely that you will be able to find one that matches your existing decor. Some models function like inserts that you can fit into an existing fireplace, while others are sleek, modern devices that you mount on your wall. Consider the following styles before settling on a particular model. 

  • Corner electric fireplace: Perfect for apartments and small rooms, these fireplaces provide a cozy ambiance without taking up too much space. 
  • Free-standing electric fireplace: These devices are usually compact and designed to resemble an authentic wood-burning stove. 
  • Wall-mounted electric fireplace: Unlike traditional fireplaces, wall-mounted heaters usually cast aside the idea of authenticity altogether, focusing instead on minimalism and a stylish, contemporary look. 

Heating method

Unlike wood-burning or gas fireplaces that rely on combustion, electric fireplaces generate heat using a built-in fan or high-tech infrared technology. Forced-fan fireplaces are usually inexpensive, but they are only suitable for warming small rooms. Infrared fireplaces use what’s known as quartz heating to pump out loads of heat fast. Think about the size of your living space and whether you are buying the fireplace for looks or for heat. If it’s a large space that you intend to heat primarily with the fireplace, opt for a model that uses quartz infrared technology. 

What to look for in a quality electric fireplace

Simulated flames

To get the most out of your electric fireplace, look for a device with a convincing flame effect. These devices usually feature a series of light-emitting diode bulbs — or LEDs — to give the impression of a flickering flame. These bulbs have an impressively long lifespan and are capable of reducing energy costs. Some high-end electric fireplaces may even let you adjust the color of your flames with the press of a button. 

Adjustable settings

Many electric fireplaces come with the ability to adjust brightness, temperature and even flame intensity or speed. You can also find models that let you turn off the heat while the flame effect keeps running and vice-versa. 

Additional features

Some electric fireplaces come with bonus features like realistic sound effects or air purifiers that will clear dust and allergens from the room. For added safety, look for a device that features a timer so it will automatically shut off in the evening. Many fireplaces also come with a remote control so you can adjust the settings from afar. 

How much you can expect to spend on an electric fireplace

The cost of an electric fireplace can vary widely depending on its size, heating method and design. While modern, high-end devices often exceed $1,000, you can usually find a sturdy fireplace with realistic flames for around $300-$700. 

Electric fireplace FAQ

Can I install an electric fireplace myself? 

A. While it depends on the model, most electric fireplaces are very easy to install since they require no outside ventilation or connection to the gas line. If you’re concerned about installation, contact a professional electrician. 

Do electric fireplaces use a lot of electricity? 

A. If you plan to use your electric fireplace for ambiance alone, the devices are quite cheap to run. Relying on an electric fireplace for heat will cost considerably more, usually about $0.05-$0.15 an hour. 

Can an electric fireplace be used outdoors?

A. While outdoor models do exist, electric fireplaces are only suited for indoor use unless explicitly stated otherwise by the manufacturer. Outdoor fireplaces are exposed to more moisture and dust than indoor devices, so they’re usually designed differently.

What’s the best electric fireplace to buy?

Top electric fireplace

Sei Furniture Calvert Electric Floral Trim Fireplace

Sei Furniture Calvert Electric Floral Trim Fireplace 

What you need to know: This electric space heater has a classy design with real wood construction. 

What you’ll love: The simulated flames have an attractive, realistic effect and the artificial logs cast a warm glow over the room. A remote control lets you adjust the temperature, timer and the logs and flames individually.

What you should consider: This fireplace isn’t powerful enough to heat rooms larger than 400 square feet. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top electric fireplace for the money

Turbro Suburbs TS25 Electric Fireplace

Turbro Suburbs TS25 Electric Fireplace

What you need to know: This compact electric fireplace offers great bang for your buck with its classic design and adjustable settings. 

What you’ll love: This electric fireplace is designed to look like an old-fashioned, wood-burning stove that always remains cool to the touch. The flame effect has three brightness settings and can be controlled separately from the heat. The infrared system heats up fast. 

What you should consider: This small fireplace is best-suited for small rooms and apartments. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Electric fireplace worth checking out

Touchstone Hanging Electric Fireplace

Touchstone Hanging Electric Fireplace

What you need to know: This classy electric wall fireplace is minimalist and easy to install. 

What you’ll love: Stylish and simple, this electric fireplace is also loaded with features, including five flame brightness settings, an auto-shutoff timer and a remote control. You can choose between a fireplace with a matte finish or a sleek mirrored look.

What you should consider: The vent is built into the top of the unit, which means you can’t hang anything above it.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Patrick Farmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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