5 Most Realistic Electric Fireplaces in 2023

Written by: Paul Cathro

Updated on: January 4, 2023

If you're eager to find the most realistic electric flames on the market then we think we can help. We've scoured the market for the most realistic flame effects on offer in 2023!

White electric fireplace

Thanks to the latest advanced technology, electric fireplaces that actually look real are more popular than ever.

Reflective surfaces, multi-colored LED lighting, special projection mechanisms, and water vapor are just some of the fancy tools employed these days to create mesmerizing flame effects that you'd swear were real!

With these photo-realistic looking electric fireplaces, you can enjoy all the benefits of a gas or wood-burning stove but without most of the downsides.

Make sure to read on to discover what, in our opinion, are the top 5 realistic electric fireplaces in 2023. 

Our Recommended Realistic Fireplaces

In our opinion, these are the fireplaces with flame effects worth knowing about in 2023.

Our Top Pick

Dimplex Revillusion 42” In-built Fireplace

Realistic flame and log effects that will amaze your guests.

This inbuilt fireplace from well-known and popular brand Dimplex is an excellent choice for any room of your home. 

Thanks to its stylish wood-framed design and herringbone brick patterned interior, it looks amazing. They're treated to look used with soot markings adding to the realism.

These features provide a gorgeous backdrop for the centerpiece, which is a really authentic looking wood fire.

Flickering flames created by LED lights, pulsate and glow to produce one of the most realistic flame effects we've come across. 

The flames are bigger and brighter than before. They flicker randomly just like real fire and actually seem to be rising from within the logs.

Dimplex have gone to great trouble to make sure you have an immersive experience with this fireplace. Little details like the inclusion of a non-reflective screen make sure the fire is always burning at its authentic best.

Dimplex have also managed to do an amazing job with the logs. The logs are sometimes overlooked with electric fireplaces and are often the first giveaway that it's fake. 

But, not here.

Called Realogs, these fake logs add to the realism and provide the perfect base for the 'fire' to burn. You actually have a choice of birch or wood cut logs. Both of which look great.

The fire is completely customizable too. You can change the hues and colors to match your mood or even the weather outside. You can also alter the level of light to match the time of day (this can be done automatically if you wish).

You also have the option of using it in 'flame only' mode or 'heat only' mode.

But realism is no good if a fireplace isn't an efficient and effective producer of heat.

Thankfully, the Dimplex Revillusion doesn't disappoint.

It can be hardwired to 120, 208 or 240 volt circuits and the heat output varies from 400/6745/8794 BTUs depending on the voltage input used.

That makes it capable of easily heating rooms of up to 400 square feet in size (and probably a bit bigger).

The heat is clean and produced efficiently. The great thing about electric fireplaces is their ability to transfer more energy into heat than other forms of fuel.

The fireplace measures 42 5/8” in width, 30 5/8” in height and 12 1/2” in depth and this makes it an ideal choice for fitting in existing fireplaces.

It is also UL and CSA certified for complete peace of mind, as well as protected by the manufacturer’s two-year limited warranty.


  • Incredible realism
  • 2-year warranty
  • Fully UL and CSA certified
  • Remote control
  • Stylish wooden frame & brick interior
  • Energy efficient


  • Isn’t the most affordable on the market
  • Limited to spaces up to 400 square feet

Bottom Line

In our opinion, this is the best real flame electric fireplace on the market right now.

The realistic log and flickering flame effects are as authentic looking as it gets.

It just so happens to be a great little heater too!

Great Alternative

Modern Flames Landscape Pro

If you need a compact but realistic electric fireplace insert for your existing zero clearance space, this model could be the ideal choice.

Designed to the highest specifications, this attractive fire is stylish and modern-looking, making it blend perfectly in contemporarily styled rooms.

Thanks to its mechanically operated design, this convenient fireplace produces attractive flickering flames that add coziness and atmosphere to any room. The included canyon driftwood logs serve to make the fireplace look even more traditional and genuine.

This fireplace boasts a 4,800 BTU heater, so it can easily warm up your living room without any difficulties. With its easy-access touchscreen controls, it couldn’t be simpler to operate, especially as a remote control is included with your purchase that allows you to operate your fire from the comfort of your sofa.

As this fireplace has been designed specifically for installation in a zero clearance fireplace, it’s perfect for anyone who needs a more compact model to fit into their existing factory-built fireplace.

It comes with a choice of electric insert trim kits so that you can easily close any gap between your fireplace insert and your existing fireplace opening to create a finished and aesthetically appealing appearance.

Measuring 28 ¼” in width, 18 ¼” in height and 10” in depth, this smaller than average Modern Flames fireplace comes protected by a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty for the purchaser’s complete peace of mind.


  • Perfect for existing zero clearance fireplaces
  • A smaller than average fire that is ideal for compact spaces
  • 2 year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Remote control and touchscreen controls for easy operation


  • This fire requires professional installation
  • No UL certification

Bottom Line

In our opinion, this is the best small electric fireplace with realistic looking flames to fit into existing zero clearance fireplaces.

Its included canyon driftwood logs, remote control and long warranty make this an ideal choice for compact spaces.

The Best of the Rest

If you haven't yet found what you're looking for, these are the other models we believe are standouts in their class.

Dimplex IgniteXL 74-Inch Linear Electric Fireplace

Dimplex large fireplace

One of the problems that many people keen to purchase a realistic electric fireplace encounter when they have a large space to heat is that many models can only warm rooms of up to 400 square feet. This is where the Dimplex IgniteXL comes into its own.

Heating an approximate area of no less than 1,000 square feet thanks to the 5,118 BTUs in heating power it provides, this attractive and high-quality electric fireplace is perfect for bigger homes.

This model can either be built-in or wall-mounted, which gives owners a wider range of options when it comes to deciding where to locate their new fire.

It also comes equipped with a handy remote control so that the fire can be operated at a distance without any difficulties.

As you’d expect from a fireplace made by a reliable manufacturer like Dimplex, this model is UL certified for the buyer’s peace of mind and it is also protected by an extra-long manufacturer’s warranty of five years.

Not only does this fire produce 100% efficient heat, but it also boasts even more lifelike flames that are visually stunning thanks to the brand’s own patented XD flame technology which promises to capture the ambience and charm of a real fire but with none of the fuss or mess.

The edge-to-edge glass front ensures that users can benefit from a panoramic view of the flames from all angles, and yet since it only measures 5.5” in depth without any gas line or chimney required, it’s the ideal choice for any home where a slimmer depth and cleaner installation would be preferred.

The dimensions of this fireplace measure 74 5/8” in width, 16” in height and 5 1/2 “ in depth, although a trim will be required for a 2”x4” wall.


  • Uses 11% less energy than similar models
  • Ideal for larger rooms of up to 1,000 square feet.
  • Realistic looking flames thanks to XD flame technology.
  • Panoramic views from all angles.
  • Extra-long 5-year manufacturer’s warranty.
  • UL certified.


  • A trim is required for a 2” x 4” wall.

Bottom Line

In our opinion, this is the best realistic electric fireplace for large spaces.

It's also got a great warranty and patented XD flame technology that creates an even more authentic look.

Learn more here

Napoleon Alluravision

Napoleon Alluravision

With its five different flame speed options, four flame brightness options and four different color options, this is one of the most versatile electric fireplaces with a realistic flame on the market.

Operating at up to 5,000 BTUs, this fire will heat a room of up to 400 square feet, supplying warmth and coziness thanks to its flickering flame effects produced by high intensity LED lights.

This linear electric fireplace is designed to create a streamlined and modern look in any room thanks to its virtually frameless viewing area that highlights the unique colors of the flames. This allows the user to easily set the atmosphere and mood with only the press of a button.

User-friendly and quiet, this fan-operated heater couldn’t be simpler to use as it is a plug and play model – all that is needed is to hang it on your chosen wall, plug into a power outlet and you’re good to go. It’s also possible to hardwire this model, giving the buyer even greater flexibility.

There are three sizes of this fireplace to choose from – 42”, 50” and 60”, and all come equipped with a crystal media ember bed and driftwood for a more authentic look.

Measuring 17.25” in height, 44.5” in width and 4.25” in depth, this modern fireplace is protected by a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty for complete peace of mind.


  • Plug and play design
  • User-friendly controls
  • 2 year warranty
  • Frameless viewing area with an ember bed and driftwood
  • Quiet blower


  • No remote control
  • No UL certification

Bottom Line

This realistic electric fireplace is one of the most convenient and easiest to set-up thanks to its plug and play design. 

Its authentic-looking flames and quiet blower also make it a great choice for creating an ambient atmosphere.

Learn more here

Dimplex Prism Series (34", 50", 74")

Dimplex prism 50 inch

Suitable as an in-built or wall mounted fireplace, this stylish 50” fireplace from Dimplex is made to the highest standards and creates a wonderfully realistic-looking flame while also producing 100% efficient electric heat.

Its contemporary good looks make it the ideal choice for any modern home.

Operating at 4,198 BTUs, this model can heat a room measuring up to 400 square feet, and with its LED flame display and clear acrylic chunks, it enhances the coziness in any room with its authentic aesthetic.

Thanks to the included remote control, this fireplace can even be operated from the comfort of your sofa.

This model can be recessed into a 2” x 4” wall, although a trim kit will be required, and its framing dimensions are 46 ½” in width, 16 ½” in height.


This fireplace is also UL certified and comes protected by a manufacturer’s 2-year limited warranty for the purchaser’s complete peace of mind.

Part of the Dimplex Prism Series, this electric linear fireplace boasts impressive intensity of its flames thanks to its full spectrum of colors that illuminate the ember bed to show-stopping effect.

Meanwhile, the fan-forced heater is powerful enough to add ambience and impressive warmth to any room.


  • Intense flames with full color spectrum & ember bed
  • Powerful fan-forced heater to warm spaces up to 400 square feet
  • 2 year manufacturer’s warranty
  • UL certification
  • Suitable as an inbuilt or wall mounted fire


  • Needs a trim kit for recessing into walls of 2” x 4”

Bottom Line

In our opinion, this is the best realistic electric fireplace for modern homes thanks to its contemporary design, full color spectrum LEDs and ember bed that produce truly authentic-looking flame effects.

Read more here

Buyer's Guide

If you're new to the world of electric fireplaces, we've got some pointers on what you're getting into down below. 

What Does an Electric Fireplace Do?

An electric flame fireplace is designed to provide homeowners with an authentic-looking flame experience with heat and flame effects.

It represents a cost-effective way to warm a room of your home by simply plugging the simulated fireplace into a wall power outlet and enjoying the warmth that it provides without any fuss or hassle.

A real flame electric fireplace is a much more convenient and safe alternative when compared to combustion fireplaces which are not only costly to maintain but also potentially dangerous.

Whether you’re moving into a new property, are remodeling your room or whether you have an existing fireplace in your home, a real looking electric fireplace could be the ideal solution, giving the room a cozier feel while also providing affordable heat.

When you choose an electric fireplace, there is no need for any expensive inspections or permits, and no gas or chopped wood is necessary for its operation.

You can also save on long-term ongoing costs such as maintenance and chimney sweeping while also ensuring a more eco-friendly environment as well as healthier air that your whole family can breathe.

A quality electric fireplace will deliver an ultra-realistic flame effect which looks very similar to a gas or wood-burning model, and some even have smartphone control and sound for even greater luxury.

Recommended: Don't miss our guide to small electric fireplaces next!

The Different Types of Electric Fireplace

The most commonly seen kind of electric fire available for sale today is the mechanical version.

These function by utilizing an electrical motor which spins a rod that contains mirror-like reflective tabs. These reflect the LED lights via a flame silhouette onto a screen behind the simulated logs.

Mechanical fires are affordable and low maintenance, but they aren’t necessarily the most realistic fireplace on the market due to the slightly inferior components.

Another type of fireplace is the water-based model which is found less commonly than the mechanical type. These work by using ultrasonic foggers to generate a water mist which is then tinted orange by halogen lights to create an impression of flames.

Unfortunately, the technology used for these models relies on the user refilling the water reservoir regularly which can be time-consuming. Also, the halogen bulbs will need replacing frequently.

Two other popular kinds of electric fireplace include gel fireplaces which burn a gel with an alcohol base as its fuel source and holographic fireplaces which are the most realistic and modern type available for sale today

Here, we’ll look a little more closely at these four different types of electric fireplace so you can be well-informed about which one is right for you.

1. Mechanical Electrical Fireplaces

Mechanical fireplaces cover almost 95% of all lower-end models thanks to how easy they are to manufacture, their low prices and the less advanced components that they use.

By utilizing electric motors to turn a cylinder or rod that features reflective tabs, these fireplaces reflect an LED light onto a panel or screen to create a flickering flame effect. Due to the LED technology used, these fires can produce flames in several colors including red, orange, yellow and even blue to simulate gas-burning fires.

The lights in a mechanical fireplace can last for over 50,000 hours, however, it’s important to note the motor may wear out and break before that time has expired.

Over time, bushing motors will wear down and stop functioning completely eventually because of friction on the moving parts. The motors can be hard to replace and this means you’ll need to purchase an entirely new fireplace once the components have worn out.

Electric fireplace with orange and yellow fire flame

These fireplaces are the best choice for someone on a budget who wants an affordable electric fireplace to heat their home and who isn’t too worried about finding the longest-lasting or most realistic looking model.

As you would expect, there are advantages and disadvantages to purchasing any type of fireplace, and there are pros and cons of buying a mechanical model. Here, we look more closely at these so you can weigh up your options.


  • Affordable to purchase and can easily be found in most stores.
  • A large selection of models to pick from.
  • Easy to maintain with long-lasting, reliable LED lamps.
  • A reasonably long lifespan for the fireplace with a somewhat reliable electric motor.


  • The flames don’t look 100% convincing or realistic.
  • There are no burning embers or smoke.
  • These fires usually produce no crackling sounds.

2. Steam or Mist

A water-based electric fireplace is less often seen than a mechanical model since only a few manufacturers use this technology for creating flames and the designs are usually patented. This means there are few models of this type to pick from.

By using ultrasonic foggers to produce a fine mist of water, these fireplaces light up the mist with an orange tint using halogen light bulbs so the illusion of flames can be created. Halogen bulbs get hot, and this makes the tiny water droplets rise upwards into the air – this is how the fairly realistic flame effects can be achieved.

These fireplaces certainly have a considerably more authentic look than a mechanical version but they also require a continuous source of water and more maintenance overall.

Fireplace with heat like real electric

The transducer discs that are used in the fogger have very small holes for the tiny water droplets to pass through. They can get easily clogged up with calcium and minerals found in the water, and this can diminish the flickering fire effect.

For this reason, only distilled or filtered water which is free of minerals and contaminants should be used in a water-based fireplace to maximize its lifespan.

Water-based systems use water in a reservoir to create the fire effect, and once the water has run out the fire will stop. It can be time-consuming and tedious to refill the water constantly.

Also, halogen lights burn out quickly and need to be regularly replaced at a relatively high cost.


  • Realistic appearing flames when compared with mechanical alternatives.
  • More affordable than a holographic fireplace.
  • Still relatively low maintenance.
  • Moderate lifespan.


  • A lack of models to pick from.
  • No crackling sound effects.
  • Halogen bulbs burn out quickly and require regular replacement.
  • Frequent water refills are necessary to keep the flame effect going.

3. Gel

A gel fireplace isn’t exactly an electric fire since it burns an alcohol-based gel as its fuel source however, it requires no gas hookups, electricity or chimney and so can be installed very easily.

The flame that is created by this type of fireplace is quite realistic – certainly more so than water-based or mechanical fires, but on the downside, the fire could emit potentially hazardous fumes into the house which would degrade the air quality. This makes this type of fireplace unsuitable for anyone with allergies.

A gel fireplace requires gel refills, and these are only manufactured by a few companies. It is also an ongoing expense which adds up over time.

A gel-based fireplace actually produces a real flame, and this means that the fire must always be monitored to ensure safety. It cannot be left unattended while switched on. This isn’t very convenient, and it’s certainly less safe when compared with mechanical electric fireplaces.

Gel fires also have limited heating control and capability and they aren’t as efficient when it comes to warming rooms. This means that they aren’t the best option unless you are seeking a solution to fit in a space where there is no power outlet.


  • Very realistic looking flame since it actually is real.
  • Very easy to install since no electric or venting requirements are needed.
  • More affordable than a holographic fireplace.


  • Unhealthy chemicals are used and burned which produces poor quality air.
  • This type of fire uses a real flame so is more dangerous than other types of electric fire.
  • Consumable gel refills are required for this fire and this leads to ongoing costs.
  • No crackling sounds are produced.

4. Holographic

By far, the most realistic electric fireplace available for purchase today has to be the modern holographic model.

These fireplaces are capable of delivering flames that are more realistic than those produced using any other type of electric fire technology and they are accompanied by a range of sounds and visuals which all add up to an extremely realistic experience.

Holographic fireplaces have all of the visual details of gas burning or real wood fireplaces but they don’t actually create a fire, so there’s no need to worry about any mess or safety issues.

These fireplaces work in a different way to other fireplaces we’ve covered here. Instead of relying on mechanical effects to produce a flame, they use an actual video of real fires as a basis to produce flame aesthetics.

Holographic technology is used to project actual flames onto the physical logs which sit in the cavity of the fireplace and actually appear to burn.

The fuel or log bed contains LED long-lasting light which pulsates and flickers realistically to look like smoldering embers creating an extremely realistic and authentic effect.

This type of electric fireplace delivers highly immersive details in its flame quality including organic fire movements, realistic flame coloring, simulated smoke and embers that appear to rise and burn.

Sound is also combined with video technology to result in an extremely effective and authentic experience. Some fireplaces even incorporate scent atomizers which allow for the aroma of freshly-cut firewood to permeate through the room.


  • Extremely authentic and realistic flame appearance.
  • A lot more detail in the flames with smoke effects and burning embers.
  • A greater choice of flames and the ability to simulate gas and wood fires.
  • Sounds are produced including popping and crackling sounds.


  • These fires are a lot more costly than other types of electric fireplace.
  • The viewing angle needs to be considered when positioning these fires.
  • There are limited models available that use this technology.

Do Electric Fireplaces Produce Heat?

Electric fireplaces do produce heat, although the technology used to achieve this will vary between manufacturers.

Most can supply heat on-demand, so fireplaces can be switched on without or with heat, allowing users to simply enjoy the attractive flickering of the flames without overheating their room.

One of the top reasons to choose electric fireplaces is that they give you seasonal flexibility, allowing you to switch off the heat during the warmer season and giving you greater control over your heat settings.

Since most electric fires can be used without the heat, this makes them a desirable choice for year-round use.

A lot of electric fireplaces allow the user to easily control the output of heat, with low, medium and high settings or variable inbuilt thermostats to precisely control heat with a dial or a different type of input method.

Wall-mounted linear fireplaces don’t have inbuilt heaters, and this allows you to save money if you’re buying an electric fire purely for aesthetics and not for heating.

However, the vast majority of electric fireplace models are capable of producing heat, and there is very little difference in price between models that are heat-producing and those that are not.

Related: Learn how to fix the flame effect on an electric fireplace in our guide.

What Heating Methods Do They Use?

Electric fireplaces that produce heat need to use a heating method to create warmth in the room, but not all models use the same system to generate heat.

Two kinds of heater are typically used in an electric fireplace. In a lower-end model, the most usual choice is a fan-forced coil system which is more affordable to manufacture.

A higher-end model, on the other hand, will typically have an infrared quartz heater that can efficiently heat larger spaces.

A fan-forced coil heater is the type of heating system found most frequently in electric fires due to its ease of manufacturing and low-cost of production.

 Usually, this type of heater can warm a small area between 400 – 500 square feet. They work by drawing the cool air in from the room before passing over coils that are electrically heated then utilizing a small fan which directly blow the heated air into the space.

These fans can be quite noisy and they lack the high heating capacity associated with infrared quartz heaters.

It’s also important to avoid blocking the air path when using this kind of heater, and all flammables like furniture, carpets and curtains must be kept away for safety reasons.

White electric fireplace

The other main type of heater used in electric fireplaces is the infrared quartz heater. Sometimes known as radiant heaters, they operate in a different way to the fan-forced coil heater.

Usually, quartz heaters are a lot more efficient when it comes to heating bigger rooms measuring up to a thousand square feet.

An infrared quartz heater operates in the same way as the sun, emitting an invisible UV (ultraviolet) light which warms surfaces.

This kind of technology will generally be found in higher-end electric heaters and it creates a wonderful and natural sensation of heat with no dryness in the air. 

Due to the cost of producing this type of heating system, it is less affordable and, therefore, it is generally only found in more expensive and exclusive luxury models.

Electrical Considerations

In most cases, electric fireplaces must be directly plugged into a wall power outlet although some are hard-wired into the household electricity supply.

Usually, they operate at a voltage of 110 which means that high-voltage 220V plugs aren’t required but using a dedicated circuit is still recommended to avoid tripping the circuit breaker.

An electric fireplace heater may draw as much as 1,500W or even more. This is a lot of current to be drawn, and if you plug your fire into a power strip or extension cord it may overheat which could potentially cause a fire hazard.

The best thing to do is directly plug the electric fireplace into a wall power outlet with its own 15A or 20A dedicated circuit. Don’t plug any other appliances such as devices, televisions or lights into that outlet along with the fireplace.

You should also always use an insured and fully licensed electrician when you install a new electric socket into which you’ll plug your electric fire or when having an electric fireplace hardwired directly into the property’s power supply.

If multiple devices are plugged into one outlet, this could cause the circuit breaker to trip.

Most importantly you must follow all of the instructions that you read in your owner’s manual to ensure that you will be safe when installing and operating your new electric fireplace.

How Safe Are Electric Fireplaces?

You usually needn’t worry too much about safety when you opt for an electric fireplace.

Electric fires are, in general, much safer than a traditional combustible fireplace as they don’t actually burn or create fire, only simulate flames.

In general, you can allow pets and children to get close to electric fireplaces, although they must still keep a reasonable distance away from the fire’s heating element as they may get warm.

Usually, fireplaces from the USA will be UL certified and, therefore, you can be confident that they’re safe to use in your own home.

When a product is UL certified it means that it is compliant when it is properly operated as tested in a laboratory.

Also, it’s very unlikely that an electric fire will cause a genuine fire to occur when compared with a wood burner since no actual embers can be found in the fake fireplace.

Should you go out for any length of time or if there are any small children present, it’s always recommended to unplug the fireplace when it isn’t in use to ensure maximum safety.

Also, even though electric fireplaces are quite safe, you should be aware if children are playing near the fire and make sure that they move to a different area for their well-being.

One further consideration for electric fireplaces is to keep vases and water well away from the fire as this could cause a serious hazard.

Always follow sensible protocols for safety and ensure that you’ve read the manufacturer’s owner manual to check how to operate the fireplace correctly and safely.

As long as you take these steps, you’ll find that your electric fire is safer to operate and use than any other type of fireplace.

How Much Will it Cost to Run?

Everyone wants to be sure that running their electric fireplace won’t cost the earth, so knowing how to work out the expense of operating your fire couldn’t be more important.

Here is a formula that you can use to calculate how much it’s going to cost you:

(watts/1,000) x kw/hr = cost for 1 hour

So, how do you use this formula to work out the cost of running your fire?

First, you need to work out the maximum amount of watts the fireplace you’ve chosen consumes.

You’ll find this either in the manufacturer’s owner manual or actually somewhere on the fire itself.

Next, you need to find out what your local rate per kilowatt-hour (or kw/hr) is. You can glean this information from your most recent utility bill sent to you from your energy supplier.

The next step is to take the maximum wattage then divide that figure by 1000. This will convert the watts into kilowatts.

Next, multiply the number of kilowatts by the kilowatt-hour rate (kw/hr rate) which you’ve found on your energy bill.

This will equal the total amount it will cost to operate your fire for one hour.

As an example, if your electric fireplace consumes 5000W and the kw/hr rate comes in at 0.15 cents, the total operational cost is 0.75 cents to operate your fireplace for one hour.

Finally, you can calculate how much it will cost you to run your electric fire per day by multiplying the total that you worked out for cents per hour by how many hours you’ll be planning to use your fireplace every day.

This figure will tell you the total cost of running your fire daily.

Does an Electric Fireplace Need a Chimney or Any Venting?

There is no need to supply any kind of traditional flue or chimney as would be used for a combustion fire.

This is because no actual smoke or fire is created, and therefore there is no need to vent this kind of fireplace.

Since no chimney or vent is needed, electric fires have lower costs for labor and maintenance, while also improving the quality of air inside the home.

Electric firebox inserts are healthier solutions for anyone with asthma or allergies since no dangerous fumes are emitted (like formaldehyde or carbon monoxide) which may be emitted from a combustion fireplace.

Modern bio fireplace

How to Install an Electrical Fireplace

There are several ways in which you can install your electric fireplace. One option is to mount it on your wall with a drywall kit before plugging it into a wall power outlet.

Some models are inbuilt in mantels which you can simply push up against your wall, while others can be installed in a fireplace to create a clean aesthetic.

It’s best to ask a handyman for the best way to build a frame for your electric fireplace insert as this will allow you to create a custom installation.

The most realistic electric fireplace insert will also come with diagrams and illustrations in their user manual which will cover the different installation requirements and methods.

Although it’s safe to install electric fireplaces in most locations, remember that they must always be located indoors.

It’s possible to install an electric fireplace under a television as long as the heat doesn’t get blown straight upwards. If your fire blows hot air via the unit’s front, it should be fine to fit it underneath your TV.

Here are some of the ways in which you can install your fireplace:

Wall mounting – this type of fireplace will come supplied with a mounting bracket which can be installed onto drywall with specialized screws and wall anchors. You will usually only require a screwdriver and level to install this fire yourself.

Inbuilt fireplace inserts – these fireplaces lie flush with your wall as they are directly installed into it. The insert will exist between the wall studs for a streamlined, clean appearance but it will require a professional to install it.

Electric fireplace inserts – sometimes called fireboxes, these electric fires are ideal for anyone converting a combustible wood-burning or gas fireplace into an electric one.

Usually, you can simply place this type of insert directly into the cavity of the fireplace although a licensed and experienced electrician will be needed to fit the electric power outlet into the cavity so the power cords can be hidden.

How to Choose the Right Electric Fireplace

When it comes to choosing the best flame effect electric fire for you, there are several considerations to keep in mind.

The first step is to determine your budget – how much can you afford to spend on a fireplace?

Once you know how much you want to spend, you can determine the types of model that are likely to fit within that budget.

Electric fireplace with the Christmas tree

Next, you can start looking at different styles.

Are you looking for a unique electric fireplace that will be an eye-catching feature in your room or do you simply want a basic model that will warm your room and look aesthetically pleasing?

You’ll also need to determine which type of electric fireplace you want to buy. Will a holographic, gel, water-system or mechanical model be best for you?

A significant consideration to keep in mind is whether or not you want your fireplace to actually supply heat or whether it’s just going to be for show, to make your room look cozier and more complete.

If you need a model that supplies heat as well as a flame effect, you need to make sure that the model you’ve chosen comes with an inbuilt heater.

When both heat and aesthetics are important, you need to consider how realistic the flame will be when the fire is in operation.

Although mechanical systems are more affordable, they look less authentic, while holographic fireplaces are, by far, the most realistic in terms of flames, smoke and embers, but they cost considerably more.

For a more affordable model that has a relatively realistic looking flame, you may want to consider a water-based electric fireplace that will produce heat while also creating a flame that looks quite genuine.

Maintenance may also be a consideration in this regard, however, since water-based fires are more time-consuming to refill and may prove to be inconvenient when compared with the mechanical alternative.

If you need heat to be supplied by your electric fireplace, you’ll need to work out how much heat output you need in BTU. You can do this by calculating the number of square feet in your room.

Once you know this figure, you will be able to make a well-informed choice about whether a fan-based coil heater or whether an infrared quartz heater would be the best option for your room.

While fan-based coil heaters are capable of warming spaces up to around 400 or 500 square feet, an infrared quartz heater will be able to warm a space twice this size.

The final consideration is where you will install your electric fireplace. Do you want it to be wall mounted? Inserted into an existing fireplace or an existing wall? Or are you happy to have it freestanding?

When considering where you’re going to install your fireplace, you need to bear in mind whether there is a nearby power outlet.

If not, you’ll need to hire a qualified electrician to come in and install one for you – bear in mind that even if a power outlet is in the room, it may not be conveniently placed for where you want to locate the fire, or unsightly power cords may be left trailing through the room.

If you’re going to wall mount your fire, you’ll need to check that there is sufficient wall space, while if you’re going to be replacing a fireplace that is already in your room you may need to consider whether an electrician will be needed to fit a power socket in the cavity of the fireplace and, indeed, whether the fire that you have in mind is the correct size to fit into that cavity.

About the Author Paul Cathro

Paul is an ex-HVAC engineer with 5 years 'in the trade'.

He acquired tinyhousehugeideas.com in 2022 and aims to make it the internet's most comprehensive HVAC resource for small homes in the next few years.

You can learn more about Paul's story here.

Browse his published work on the website here.

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