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Best Electric Fireplaces of 2019

Best Electric Fireplaces 2019 - Hearths, Stoves and Fireplace Inserts

We have evaluated electric fireplaces for the past five years, spending more than 110 hours researching various units. In our most recent update, we compared 10 products to determine which offered the best heating options and safety features, while being aesthetically pleasing. We determined the Duraflame DFI-5010 is the best electric fireplace overall because it offers plenty of safety features, comes with a remote that allows you to adjust flame height and temperature settings, and it can heat larger rooms. It also has a pleasant design that will look good in most homes. 

Best Overall

Duraflame DFI-5010

Duraflame DFI-5010

It comes with a remote control.
It automatically shuts off if it overheats.
It stays cool to the touch.
The touch-screen controls aren't backlit.
You cannot change the color of the flames.
Some users find it noisy.

The Duraflame DFI-5010 is a powerful heater that can warm a 1,000-square-foot space. A remote control allows you to switch it on and off, as well as adjust the flame height.

There are also touchpad controls on the unit, nicely hidden behind the door. Unfortunately, they aren't backlit, so it can be difficult to see them in the dark.

This device is the only one in our comparison that uses infrared heat. This basically means that it can warm your house without drying it out. The timer feature allows you to set times for the unit to turn on and off. This heater will automatically shut off if it overheats, and it remains cool to the touch, so your pets and children will be protected. It also uses a 3-D flame effect to make the flames look more realistic. Unlike some electric fireplaces, this one doesn't allow you to change the flame color. It uses a fan to spread heat throughout your homes; but some users find the fan a bit noisy.

Duraflame offers this fireplace in six colors, which gives it the widest color selection of any heater in our evaluation. It is covered by a one-year warranty, which is typical for this kind of unit. It weighs less than many other electric fireplaces, so it is easier to move when necessary. Despite being lightweight, it is sturdy and reliable.

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Best Value

Walker Edison Jackson

Walker Edison Jackson

It comes in four colors.
It can hold a 48-inch TV.
It can heat a 400-square-foot room.
There is no remote control.
There is no timer function.
It is a heavy piece of furniture.

The Walker Edison Jackson gives you an electric fireplace, a storage space and a TV stand all in one. It has the heating power to warm a 400-square-foot room, and it stays cool to the touch.

Since it also doubles as a media center, it doesn't have as many heating functions as other fireplaces. For example, there is no timer function, and it doesn't come with a remote. You can choose between four colors: espresso, brown, black and white oak.

You can choose to have the heat on or off; there are no heat-level options. The surface of this unit can accommodate a 48-inch flat screen TV, and the cupboards and storage spaces give you room for books, movies and gaming consoles. Altogether, it can handle 250 pounds, which is enough to hold most 48-inch TVs, as long as the base fits on the furniture. It is easier to hide the electrical cord with this device than it is with many other electric fireplaces. Should the heating coils overheat, this unit will automatically shut off.

You will need to assemble this fireplace upon delivery. It will take roughly an hour to set up, and you will probably want someone assisting you. It weighs 107 pounds, which makes it a relatively heavy fireplace, and it is surprisingly sturdy. The TV stand is covered by a 30-day warranty and the fireplace itself is covered by a one-year warranty.

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Best Wall-Mounted Fireplace

Touchstone Onyx

Touchstone Onyx

It comes with a remote control.
The heating timer ranges from 30 minutes to 7.5 hours.
It automatically shuts off if it overheats.
There is no adjustable thermostat.
It is a bit pricey.
There are no touch-screen controls.

The Touchstone Onyx is a wall-mounted electric fireplace. It comes with wall-mounting brackets so you can set it up yourself.

Using 1,500 watts of power and producing 5,118 Btu, it can heat a 400-square-foot room. It comes with a remote control to control the heat and flame height. Unfortunately, there are no touchpad controls, so you will need to keep the remote in a safe location.

The heating timer allows you to run the fireplace for as little as 30 minutes and as long as 7.5 hours before shutting off. Should the unit overheat, it will automatically shut off. This unit also stays cool to the touch, so you don't have to worry about anyone getting burned. There is no adjustable thermostat, so you will have to rely on the preprogrammed heat settings.

This fireplace is covered by a one-year warranty, but you can pay extra to cover it for an additional two years. Should you simply want to use it for ambiance, you can have the flames going without the heater. It is one of the sleekest fireplaces in our comparison and can save you floor space since it is mounted to the wall.

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Best Mini Fireplace

Comfort Zone CZPF1

Comfort Zone CZPF1

No remote control

If you want a compact, portable and affordable electric fireplace, the Comfort Zone CZPF1 is the best we saw.

At $38, it is also one of the cheapest models we reviewed. It emits enough heat to warm 200 square feet – enough for a dorm room or similar small space. This is a relatively simple model. For example, it doesn’t have a remote, and there are only two settings. Its 6-foot cord is long enough you can put the fireplace where you need it. Also, the Comfort Zone CZPF1 has a safety feature that shuts it off if it overheats or tips over.

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Why Trust Us?

We've evaluated electric fireplaces for the past five years. During those five years, we have spent over 110 hours comparing fireplaces. Our most recent test found 10 units that range from portable fireplaces, wall-mounted units, fireplace inserts and fireplace media centers. To determine the best of the best electrical fireplaces, we initially found units that had high ratings from Amazon users.

After gathering the best choices, we scoped out user manuals, manufacturer websites and customer reviews to find products that worked reliably. It was important to us that the products were safe to use, so we listed each product's safety features and removed any that had serious safety concerns. We also looked for devices that worked conveniently and looked good. We directed questions we had to manufactures and talked to people in the community who have purchased and used electric fireplaces.

How We Evaluated

In order to evaluate a fireplace's safety, we looked to see if it featured an automatic shut-off in case of overheating. Units that offered this feature scored higher than units that didn't. We also wanted units that remained cool to the touch, so you could feel more comfortable about children and pets being near them. All the units in our comparison, except the mini device, can heat a room of 400 square feet. Devices that could warm a larger space scored higher.

Since the ambiance of a fireplace is just as nice as the heating element, we gave more points to units that could run the flame effects independent of the heater. Additionally, units that gave more heat settings and flame settings scored higher than those that simply featured an on/off switch. To gauge a unit's convenience level, we gave points for remote controls, heating timers and adjustable thermostats.

Each of the units we compared comes with a one-year warranty, but we gave more points to units that allowed you to pay for extended warranties. We also gave additional points to fireplaces that came in multiple colors since that made it easier to find one to fit your home. We also took weight into consideration, since this determined how easy the unit would be to assemble or move. 

How Much Do Electric Fireplaces Cost?

The electric fireplaces we looked at cost between $40 and $500 – no matter your budget, you should be able to find one that fits your needs. Smaller fireplaces, ideal for small rooms, can be found for less than $100. If you want to heat a larger room or want the fireplace to be decorative, you’ll likely pay anywhere from $200 to $500. These larger fireplaces can serve as media centers, so you essentially get two pieces of furniture in one.

Benefits of an Electric Fireplace

In addition to looking great, an electric fireplace is an energy efficient way to heat a room. We talked to Cida Carvalho of Sandy, Utah, who has used a Southern Enterprise Faircrest electric fireplace for the last five years, and she says she loves it.

“It looks like a real fireplace, which I guess it is in a way,” she said. “And it heats up the room better than any wood fireplace or space heater I’ve ever used.” Carvalho said another benefit is she has saved significant money on energy bills since buying it. She also loves how low maintenance it is. “I love that you don’t have the mess and smoke of a wood fireplace and you don’t have to deal with drafts blowing into the room after the fire goes out.”

Carvalho loves cuddling up next to her electric fireplace to watch TV or read a book. The remote control works from across the room, so she doesn’t even have to get out of her chair to turn it on or adjust its settings. In the five years she’s had it, she really hasn’t had any issues. When asked what she liked least about it, Carvalho was stumped and couldn’t think of anything. She said if it ever dies, she won’t hesitate to buy another one but hopes it will last many more years.

How to Choose an Electric Fireplace

Other Electric Fireplaces best-picks

There are many kinds of electric fireplaces, offering various advantages and disadvantages, so you will have to determine the correct option for your needs.

Best Portable/Mini Fireplaces
Portable fireplaces are smaller and more lightweight, which makes them easier to move from room to room. It also means they often don’t have as much heating capacity as larger appliances. The best portable fireplaces will warm 400 square feet, however mini fireplaces can often only warm about 200 square feet. Many portable versions do include multiple heat settings, but are hit and miss when it comes to flame settings. Additionally, many portable fireplaces do not come with remote controls.

Best Fireplace Inserts
Fireplace inserts are perfect for those who already have fireplaces but want to switch to a cleaner, safer heating method. You simply place the back end of the device into the existing fireplace opening to get smoke-free ambiance. Many inserts come with remote controls, so you can turn the heat and flame settings on from anywhere in a room.

Some inserts are designed to cover up the existing fireplace and look similar to a TV screen, complete with a panel of curved glass. Others are meant to look like a pile of logs inside the open space. It can be tricky to hide the cords for either insert type, but they tend to heat a 400-square-foot room equally well. You can find units of either variety that stay cool to the touch and automatically shut off when they overheat. Ultimately, the deciding factor between the two types will depend on which look you prefer in your home.

Best Wall-Mounted Fireplaces
These fireplaces are as much about modern chic as they are about heat. Many of these devices have a 400-square-foot heating capacity and offer various flame colors to spice up your room. They typically come with a remote control, and may or may not include control buttons on the device itself. Units that do have physical buttons will often hide them out of view to maintain the sleek look. Many of these fireplaces also feature a heating timer, so you can program it to switch on or off for various lengths of time. Since they are designed to mount to walls, much like a flat screen TV, they can also help you save floor space and keep your room uncluttered. As far as safety features, these devices are typically cool to the touch and will shut off if they get too hot.

Best Media Center Fireplaces
Fireplaces that double as media centers typically exchange convenience and heating options for storage space. For example, they offer space for books, gaming consoles, movies and TVs, but they typically don't come with remote controls, nor do they offer various heat settings. Unfortunately, they also often skimp on safety features. When choosing a unit, make sure that it stays cool to the touch and automatically turns off if it overheats.

Media-center fireplaces typically have the heating power to warm a 400-square-foot room, but some can warm as much as 1,000 square feet. Since they are meant to function more like furniture, you will find that most units offer various colors to choose from. Another perk of a media-center fireplace is that the extra components often make it easier to hide the cord.