Best Electric Fireplace Insert 2021 Buying Guide & Review

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electric fireplace

Winter can be bitterly cold, and everyone wants a cozy warm house. That’s why a fireplace is a godsend.

But there’s one problem: preparing and maintain a traditional wood-burning fireplace can be taxing for some people. And that’s the reason electrically powered ones exist! We’re here to present you the best electric fireplace inserts that feel indistinguishable from a classic, warm wood fire.

Top Recommended Electric Fireplaces

Check out our top-rated electric fireplaces inserts comparison chart. We did in-depth reviews, guide, and info for all of them, so when you’re buying an electric fireplace, you have a reliable guide.

Product NameHeats up toTypeSizeBTU
PuraFlame 33"400 sq. ftInsert33"4600
Dimplex DFI2310
400 sq. ftInsert23"4695
Duraflame DFI021ARU
400 sq. ftInsert20"4600
Touchstone 80001
400 sq. ftWall Mount50"5118
XtremepowerUS 28.5"UnspecifiedInsert28.5"5200
Giantex 35" XL LargeUnspecifiedWall Mount35"5200

1. PuraFlame Fireplace Insert

PuraFlame 33 Western Electric Fireplace Insert

Most electric fireplace inserts are somewhat boring or too “conservative.”

If you want to add spice to your house, get PuraFlame. It not only excels in function but aesthetics too.

This artificial electric insert fireplace is ideal since it uses LED lights – a phenomenal energy-saving appliance and a beautiful, glowy, and sparky scene.

PuraFlame provides cozy heat for up to 400 square feet – you can control this heat using their remote control. The quality put into the manufacture of this heater is impeccable. It’s got a high precision, three-sided brick wall design. It even has fire crackling sounds!

Also, you can adjust the three flames to whatever brightness and intensity you like, which shows how user-friendly this is.

Additional feature of PuraFlame

A nice thing about the PuraFlame is that the glass is always safe to touch, so you don’t have to worry about burning yourself.

Pros
  • Easy to install and uninstall
  • Quiet fence air outlet
  • Exquisite quality and amount of heat
  • Ideal for you if you have epic design ideas
  • Comes with a lengthy power cord
Cons
  • Manual on-off switching
  • Relatively expensive

This unit enables a beautiful atmosphere in your homestead, and generate necessary warmth. Don’t be scared of PuraFlame’s seemingly high price, because in the long run, you’ll end up saving a considerable amount of time, resources, and energy. Think of how much work goes into traditional fireplaces (including repairs and maintenance). PuraFlame is an excellent investment that we recommend.

2. Dimplex DFI2310 Deluxe Electric Fireplace Insert

Dimplex DFI2310

If you’re looking for an artificial electric fireplace that could reclaim the lost warmth and charm of your living room, the Dimplex DF12310 Deluxe Electric Fireplace Insert is the ultimate choice. It gives your living space a new life without the mess or the need for a wood fire.

Dimplex is an elegant and functional built-in electric fireplace that features exciting elements that mimic the real thing. It’s similar to the 16″ Opti-Myst Pro 400 (another Dimplex product).

The Dimplex 23-Inch Deluxe Fireplace has LED inner glow logs and effervescent sparks that provide realistic fire. It fits into the standard household plug outlets, providing your home with more than enough warmth. Interestingly, you can use its on-off remote control on other appliances too, such as TV and stereo.

Additional features of Dimplex DFI2310 Deluxe

Pulsating ember logs copy a true-to-life fireplace so well due to integrated patented flame technology. And because the display is so beautiful, you can choose the “flame-only” setting if you don’t need warmth.

Pros
  • Gives you the instant ambiance of the flame and fire pits all year round
  • Easy to regulate the amount of electricity it takes in
  • Realistic electric fire
  • Super silent
  • Provides overheat protection
Cons
  • Relatively expensive

If you need an almost-real fireplace that guarantees excellent supplemental heating and a touch of contemporary décor, then the Dimplex DFI2310 is the best pick. The fact that it provides lively and realistic fire is a plus, making it a worthy choice.

3. Duraflame DFI021ARU – Affordable Electric Log Set Heater

Duraflame DFI021ARU

Duraflame DFI021ARU is an ideal, affordable option if you want a full-featured artificial electric fireplace but don’t want to splurge.

Its outstanding performance provides additional heat for up to 400 square feet, and flickering fire flame effects in your home, all because of 4600 BTUs from a 1500 V source. Duraflame DFI021ARU is highly portable and sturdily built – intended for insertion inside an existing fireplace.

This Duraflame fireplace comes with a fully functional remote control – you can set it to produce heat or leave it solely for aesthetic. This electric fireplace heater offers a calm ambiance. It’s a beautiful infrared quartz fireplace stove for the cold air’s natural water vapor.

Another plus side is that you don’t have to worry about toxic emissions or dangerous gases. You can also forget about accidental burns, because the of the overheat protection and cool-to-touch feature of this machine.

The electric log inserts’ set controls give you a variety of options: switches for lighting, zone heating functions, and thermostat.

Additional features of Duraflame DFI021ARU

The display is absolutely stunning: LED light produces glowing ember effects within the plastic logs. And, the ember bed undulation control allows you to pick between steady or pulsating.

Pros
  • Affordable space heater
  • Highly portable, plug-and-play fireplace
  • Easy to control using the remote
  • Comes with electrical socket protection, fire crackle sound, and wire covers
Cons
  • Noticeable noise level
  • Relatively difficult to master the controls especially as a newbie
  • The cord could be longer

Duraflame DFI021ARU log set is a wonderful choice if you’re looking for a pleasing ambiance and supplemental heat. And the fact that it provides efficiency on par with high-end models makes Duraflame worth your money.

4. Touchstone 80001 – Perfect Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace

Tuchstone 80001Touchstone Home Products makes some of the most sought-after contemporary electric fireplace units in the market. The Touchstone 80001 combines beauty and functionality as you’ll see in its ultra-realistic flames on a crystal hearth (or faux logs. Whichever you like). It is relatively large as it measures about 50 inches, giving it the appeal of an actual fireplace.

This unit is gorgeous and durable – an ideal decor for any room in your house, really. You have five options for luminosity. You can go for a dull ember glow if you want just a touch warm light, or you can set it to full blazing for a more intense display. Either way, you get an amazing show of a pleasant hearth.

Touchstone 80001 is lightweight, weighing only 46 pounds, which means that you can totally nail a DIY installation. This wall mount electric fireplace relies on LED. This fireplace is nontoxic too since it’s mercury-free. Ultimately, the cool-to-touch feature and the auto-shutoff are very thoughtful additions that keep the unit from overheating.

Additional feature of Touchstone 80001

The dual-mode feature of this Touchstone fireplace lets you choose whether or not to turn on the heat.

Pros
  • Has both burning log set and crystal media
  • Affordable for its size, functionality, and output
  • Comes with a 6-inch power cord and mountable wall bracket
  • Remote-controlled
Cons
  • Does not have a thermostat
  • Relatively noisy, ideal as a patio heater
  • The flames could be brighter

The Touchstone 80001 Onyx Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace is perfect if you enjoy the coziness and the sight of a burning fire. This built-in recessed fireplace also gives your room some warmth, which is necessary for a relaxing atmosphere. With its amazingly affordable price, this unit is a steal.

5. XtremepowerUS – Budget Friendly Artificial Fireplace Insert

XtremepowerUS 28.5

Who says if you’re on a tight budget, you can’t find an amazing quality electric fireplace insert? The XtremepowerUS 28.5″ challenges that. It’s the most affordable and high-performing artificial fireplace insert there is.

It’s compact, measuring only 28.5 inches. This unit also is a monster in giving off heat; at an astounding 5200 BTU’s, it proves that it can warm up to 400 square feet of room. You can adjust it to 750 or 1500 volts. You also have the freedom to set the temperature using a remote control. XtremepowerUS fireplace comes with a classy design and finishes, making it a visually appealing addition to your house.

Additional feature of XtremepowerUS

Thermal overload protector makes the unit operate safely.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Highly portable
  • Power-efficient
  • Comes with a 6-inch long power cable
Cons
  • Relatively dim flames

The XtremepowerUS 28.5″ is an ideal choice of electric fireplace insert especially if you’re looking for budget friendly products. Given that it is also lightweight and compact, it’s so easy to handle.

6. Giantex 35″ XL Large – Adjustable Wall Mount Fireplace

The Giantex 35″ XL Large is one of the best wall-mounted artificial electric fireplaces that you can use in your office or apartment. You might as well use it anywhere you can hang it like a big picture, thanks to the mounting bracket.

Giantex 35″ XL Large presents a dancing natural flame effect that gives way to a cozy mood and ambiance. The 3D flame effect makes it look like a real fire, without the waste in energy. Giantex harnesses its light display from LED’s – durable and extremely energy-efficient.

This fireplace can heat up to 400 square feet. There are three heat settings: high (1500 W), low (750 W), and no heat. The thick tempered glass keeps you safe from accidentally hurting yourself.

Features of the Giantex XL Large

Tip-over protection and auto-shut-off prevent this fireplace from getting too hot.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Attractive and great addition to your home
  • Provides an excellent heat output
  • Quick installation
  • Comes with accessories
Cons
  • Relatively noisy

Giantex 35″ XL Large is an ideal low-budget fireplace. The fact that it is highly portable and easy to mount is a plus in customizability. If you’re after nice flame effects and a good heater, then this should be your choice.

How Electric Fireplaces Work

First, cool air gets into the machine. Inside, heating coils then make that air significantly warmer. Said coils harness their heat energy from electricity. The warmed air then gets out of the fireplace and into your room with the fan’s help.

A good thing about these electric fireplaces is that the heating metal coils are not exposed. Instead, these are sealed safely inside the casing (the casing also doesn’t get, hot by the way), minimizing the chances of you getting in contact with the dangerously hot surface.

As for the visual aspect of the fireplace, the realistic flame effects are amazing. You have LED technology (and sometimes regular lightbulbs) to thank for the beautiful fiery shows. Light Emitting Diode (LED) is a semiconductor source of light that’s powered by electric currents. The great thing about LED is that the filaments do not easily burn out, and they use a lot less electricity compared to traditional incandescent bulbs.

You won’t feel the difference between the warmth coming from an electric fireplace from that of a brick fireplace. We strongly recommend going electric, as discussed in the next section.

Why Is an Electric Fireplace a Good Idea?

fireplace

If you still doubt the quality of electric fireplaces, continue reading. There are various reasons why so many people are switching to these units. We’ll convince you to get an electric fireplace for your home – you won’t regret it.

Easy to maintain

Setting up a traditional fireplace can be quite tiring. Don’t even get us started on its maintenance: do you clean the flues regularly, do you check for soot buildup?

Secondly, you might need to repair the fireplace area from time to time as a way of keeping it in ideal working condition.

These facts alone should make the electric fireplace more appealing. Electric fireplaces do not require chimney-cleaning or structure repair. The biggest hurdle you need to overcome is the installation, and that’s it! All you need is to switch it on and off and enjoy the ambiance and warmth in your living room. What’s more, you’ll also help save the environment at the same time since there will be no need to cut down trees for firewood.

Safer

What your family needs at all times is peace of mind. With the traditional wood fireplace, that’s quite challenging to achieve. An open fire is not exactly a safe place, especially for kids or pets.

Nowadays, most electric fireplaces come with an auto shut-off function. All you have to do is set the timer for a specific period. Such features are what lowers the risk of overheating, burning up the fireplace mantel area, and the house.

Easy to install

fireplace-install

By the way, other than convenience and efficiency, ease of installation is another reason it’s popular. Installation is a fast, one-time process – one of our next sections will tell you all about it. The manufacturer’s instruction manual has everything you need to know about the setup and the mantel packages.

A traditional fireplace requires more elbow grease to assemble.

Eco-friendly

Electric fireplaces produce no trace of smoke and fumes.

Sometimes, the combustion of fuel in traditional fireplaces tends to emit carcinogens, agents that cause cancer. For instance, burning wood produces carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, both toxic gases.

Also, going electronic means that you won’t need a continuous supply of gas or wood.

Durable

Since there’s no wood degradation involved in electronic devices, you don’t need to worry about your fireplace’s lifespan. It will keep working for as long as you want.

Non-seasonal

Another strong argument for purchasing an electric fireplace insert is that you can use it any time, regardless of the season. Even during summer, you can turn these nifty machines on for aesthetic purposes. The sparks and lighting effects are pretty to look at, after all! It fakes an aura of coziness.

Pocket-friendly

If you do the calculations, you’ll find that the amount of money spent on the installation and maintenance of traditional fireplaces is quite shocking.

Moreover, those who have used both traditional and electric fireplaces will confirm that the latter is more affordable. The total cost for the former would go as high as ten grand if you count all the elements involved.

Electric fireplaces are more cost-effective than keeping an actual fire going. Another little fact about these is that you can search for electric fireplace TV stands if you want a multi-purpose product! It’s also more practical in the long run. Some brands even offer free shipping to their customers.

Energy-efficient

With the ever-rising cost of fuel looming over our heads, an alternative way to heat your home is the electric fireplace. You can ensure a quick, even heat across the room and a reduction of the energy cost, without a real flame.

In traditional fireplaces, you notice that a lot of heat goes out of your house. The Environmental Protection Agency states that conventional fireplaces tend to lose approximately 90% of the heat it produces through the chimney. Isn’t that number outrageous?

But, with an electric fireplace, the room warms up rather fast and maintains the warmth better. No energy wasted.

Most manufacturers incorporate LED, Light Emitting Diode, a super energy-efficient solution. Ordinarily, the lifespan of an LED bulb is 50,000 hours.

Customizable

One essential thing about electric fireplaces is that it gives so many options on how you can set it up. There are a lot of styles, too: conventional, contemporary, as well as classy.

You can carry some units from one place to another easily, while some come with hanging hooks for an easier installation.

How to Choose the Right Electronic Fireplace Insert

fireplace-christmas

A fireplace insert is becoming increasingly popular in the market. Many manufacturers are hopping aboard this electric train to capitalize on the growing demand. With a million brands out there, you should know how to make a proper selection.

Operational features

Technology powers this machine so that it can generate heat accordingly. It’s an extremely efficient design, and it’s so hard to get it wrong. But still, it would help a lot if you carefully assess all the features that it presents. Read up on them in the box. Do some light research on things you don’t understand.

Digital controls are important: how else are you going to adjust the heat and the brightness?

Portability makes it easy to move to different rooms, outside the house, or even travel to a recreational home.

Meanwhile, a flame-only operation is nice too because you don’t always need extra heat.

Design and Finishing

Go for the color, style, and overall look that would complement the room décor. Aesthetics do make a difference in creating a cozy ambiance.

Browse through all the existing options and determine what works best. For instance, you can go for rustic, classical, grand, traditional, or modern.

Size and heating capacity

Generally, all-electric fireplaces plug directly into standard wall sockets, usually using a 120 V plug, the standard in most residential areas.

Ideally, most units’ wattage ranges between 750 and 1500 W, which can heat up to a 400 square feet room.

Safety elements

In exchange for convenience, electronic devices pose a fire hazard. Look for safety features such as automatic shut-off, overheat protection, cool-to-touch, and certifications from relevant authorities.

Price

The price tag is one of the most limiting aspects when purchasing an electric fireplace. You do not necessarily have to pay a huge sum of money to get a decent product. Our presented options here are reasonably priced, so you’re in luck!

Brand reputation

Well, specific brands have earned a reputation for producing high quality products. That should narrow down your list of options, but note that it’s all still objective. In some instances, an item that works perfectly for most people would not be your cup of tea. It all boils down to trial and error.

In the worst-case scenario, you should at least take advantage of the warranty and hopefully consult an expert or a customer service rep to assist you.

Tips and Safety Concerns To Consider

fireplace in bedroom

Now that we’ve established that an electric fireplace is a safer alternative to an actual brick fire, it doesn’t mean that it’s immune to electrical faults.

The first thing to do when you get the fireplace up and running (this also applies to traditional fireplaces) is to make sure there isn’t anything flammable nearby. Prevention is better than cure – you should always be careful around potential fire hazards. Move paper, cloth, alcohol, and matches out of the way, for these catch fire easily.

Ideally, unplug it when leaving the house or when going out of the room. It’s always nice to save electricity, after all. If you’re planning on leaving the electric fireplace on overnight, it’s best to set it to a temperature that’s not too high but still “kills” the extreme cold.

A Very Short Fireplace Installation Guide

If you’re getting fireplace inserts, get your fireplace dimensions. The fit is so important if you want your electric fireplace insert to look great and perform great. The next thing to do is to ensure the presence of sockets nearby, because how else are you going to plug and unplug your fireplace?

The good news is that it’s easy as that! When these types of electric fireplaces gets delivered, all that’s left to do is to insert it into its spot and plug it in.

Mistake to Avoid When Going Fireplace Shopping

insert-vs-freestanding-fireplace

Electric fireplace inserts shouldn’t be confused with freestanding electric fireplaces. The former sinks into your wall, so there should already be a hollow space or an existing fireplace. On the other hand, freestanding fireplaces can be put anywhere in your floor space, preferably on the corner. You do not need to dig a hole in your wall to accommodate it.

It’s important to read the product details and pictures carefully before making a purchase.

Final Thought

The market for electric fireplaces is so saturated, and shopping can be daunting. It’s for that reason that we made this as-complete-as-it-gets guide.

Hopefully, our hard work will help you select the best one that meets your standards and fits your budget.

Passtools.com author Charles Mann
Charles has a day job as an author in some tech magazines, his passion about science and technology always encourage him to learn new trends in technology business.
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