best electric fireplace

Top 10 Best Electric Fireplace Insert (Reviews & Buying Guide) 2021

We can all agree that fireplaces are great additions to our homes. Nothing beats the warmth you get from curling up in front of the flames – especially during winter.

However, having to clean the chimney, chop wood, and the high maintenance a traditional fireplace requires can be too much of a hassle. That’s why we spent hours going through electric fireplace insert reviews to come up with this guide.

Electric fireplace inserts will not only keep you warm, but they will also offer tons of other benefits that you wouldn’t get from traditional models. The electric inserts are portable, so you can move them to a different location whenever you want. They are also decorative, eco-friendly, customizable, and easy to maintain.

Our guide comprises of some of the best electric fireplace inserts according to user reviews. It features a variety of fireplace inserts, so you’ll certainly get one that meets your needs.

Electric Fireplace Insert Reviews

1. PuraFlame Electric Fireplace Insert

Features Overview

  • Six crackling sounds
  • Fan heater
  • Three flame effects

PuraFlame consistently manufactures reliable products recognized by trend-conscious consumers, builders, and designers because of their quality.

To give the fireplace a classic and realistic feel, it comes with a lifelike resin log that sits on the grate above the ember bed. You’ll find it impressive since the flames look lively, and it even produces crackling sounds. The insert almost resembles a real gas or wood-burning fireplace.

This fireplace insert is also easy to install, so you won’t get frustrated even if you’re setting it up for the first time. Your purchase will include a user manual and guide with a summary of frequently asked questions and answers for additional information.

Product Highlights

This sleek-looking fireplace insert comes in 23, 26, 30, and 33-inch sizes. Its specially designed grille also contributes to its elegant look since it subtly hides the manual control panel and the heat outlet. The insert features a clean glass front trim design and a three-sided interior brick wall. Its glass never gets hot, so it’s safe to touch even when the heater is running.

It has a 400 square feet heat range. The best thing about it is that it can be used throughout the year. The fireplace insert can warm up the room during winter, but you can also use it as a decoration during warm seasons.

All you’d have to do is turn off the heater and switch on the flames. You can also use it to set the mood if you’re enjoying a nice dinner with your significant other. The flame settings are customizable, so you can select the brightness and intensity level that suits your current needs.

You can choose to place the fireplace insert directly on the floor since it has a flat bottom. However, you should keep in mind that you can only use it under a voltage of 120. The insert also comes with a one-year warranty. Users also like how the brand’s customer support is always ready to help.

The Good/What I like

The electric fireplace insert uses 100% energy-saving LED technology.

The Bad/What I don’t like

The insert can’t be used as a primary heat source.

Pros

Cons

2. R.W.FLAME 36” Electric Fireplace Insert

Features Overview

  • ETL certificate approved
  • 70-inch power cable
  • 1-year guarantee

Featuring a gorgeous black finish, and a two-sided interior brick wall design, this model is one of the best looking electric fireplace inserts on this list.

It has a variety of realistic flame effects that will leave you spoilt for choice. Users can choose from blue, yellow, orange, red, and automatic flame color modes. The insert also has several burning log color modes that you can choose from based on your preferences. These colors vary from automatic, red, yellow, and orange.

As if that wasn’t enough, the fireplace insert also has five flame speed modes and five color modes. You’ll be able to personalize the fireplace and your experience in several ways.

Product Highlights

You can install it as either a recessed or a freestanding fireplace insert. Its versatility makes it an excellent fit for different locations in the house and indoor occasions. The fireplace insert also features energy-saving LED tech and has two heat settings. You can switch from its 750W to 1500W setting based on the weather and the amount of warmth you need.

For safety purposes, it has an auto-heat kill function. The fireplace insert will stop functioning when it gets overheated, so you can rest assured that you’re in great hands. However, you should remember to keep fabrics, paper, and other combustible material at least 3 feet away as an added safety measure.

The insert comes with a remote for smooth operation. This remote stands out from others because you can still use it to operate the fireplace insert even when you’re 26 feet away. It’s impressive given that most models don’t have remotes with such a wide range. It also comes with a 1-8 hour timer.

The Good/What I like

The fireplace insert has a sleep mode.

The Bad/What I don’t like

Some users feel that the flames aren’t big enough.

Pros

Cons

3. Homedex 50” Recessed Mounted Electric Fireplace Insert

Features Overview

  • Requires 110V outlet
  • Flush mounted
  • Touch screen panel

Homedex offers a modern fireplace insert that’s certain to blend in with your home’s décor. Its design is suitable for different locations, so you can install it anywhere from the bedroom to the family room. The electric insert features warm, bright, and realistic flame effects thanks to its ultra-high intensity LED lights.

The interesting thing about it is that users get two options for the ember bed. You can alternate between its faux logs set and crystal stones. Most electric fireplace inserts usually have one option for the ember bed.

Product Highlights

The brand advises users to install the insert away from moisture, furniture, and drapes. You should also choose a location where people don’t move too often. The front of the fireplace insert has vents to allow for easy in-wall installation. Its installation will be partially recessed because of its 5-1/2” depth. To get the most out of your heater, position it about twelve inches from the ceiling.

You can adjust the temperature from 62F to 82F. It has two fan heaters for different heating needs, a timer, and different flame settings. Users can choose from nine flame colors and five flame intensities depending on their desired ambiance. You can also operate it with or without heat thanks to its dual-mode function.

When you purchase this electric fireplace insert, you’ll get free replacements for any damage, missing parts, and installation problems within a year. The brand also accepts returns and offers refunds within a month.

The Good/What I like

It has a safety cut-off device.

The Bad/What I don’t like

Users reported a few quality control issues.

Pros

Cons

4. Giantex 28.5” Electric Fireplace Insert

Features Overview

  • 5mm tempered glass
  • Five brightness levels
  • 1.8M power cord

This Giantex model comes highly recommended in electric fireplace insert reviews. Users find it appealing and easy to install. The fireplace insert also puts out a good amount of heat and works effectively. It’s an excellent fit for people who want an easy to use alternative.

The insert has both overheat protection and tip over technology. You’ll have some peace of mind knowing that the tech will keep you safe. Its power cord can also withstand large loads.

Product Highlights

The fireplace insert features an elegant detachable black glass front. It comes in a space-saving design and can heat up to 350 square feet. Like most of the electric inserts we’ve come across, it also has two heat settings and a convenient remote control.

However, several things make this model stand out. Its design features a handle for portability. The handle is also slip-resistant for added convenience. This fireplace insert’s control panel is hidden for aesthetics, and it has several outlet ports for constant heating. The insert is a great solid unit for people who want great value at a reasonable price.

The Good/What I like

Its flame effect cycles through different levels before going back to its default setting.

The Bad/What I don’t like

Some feel that the flames aren’t realistic.

Pros

Cons

5. Valuxhome 36 Inches Electric Fireplace

Features Overview

  • 6ft power cable
  • 400sq ft. range
  • Log speaker design

From its high precision integrated workmanship to its convenient features, this Valuxhome fireplace insert is a customer favorite and with good reason. It’s available in 30”, 36”, and 43” sizes and has a sleek contemporary design that blends perfectly with modern homes.

Valuxhome is a brand that is well known for producing quality products and meeting customer expectations. So, you can trust that you’re going to get value for your money with this model.

Product Highlights

It makes for a great addition to various indoor locations like bedrooms, living rooms, and entertainment rooms, to mention a few. This electric fireplace insert will meet both your aesthetic and heating needs since it has two modes of operation. Users like the year-round ambiance it provides.

Unlike most models, this version has a timer that can be set for up to 9 hours. It will automatically shut down even after you’re sound asleep. In case the fireplace insert is overheated, its protection feature will cut off the device for safety reasons.

The insert also has three color options for the lighting and variable flame settings. Its resin logs are lifelike, and it comes with a remote control that you can operate even at 11.5ft. Overall, most users find it easy to install and use. It operates quietly and doesn’t take long to warm up the room.

The Good/What I like

The brand offers lifetime support for users.

The Bad/What I don’t like

The log speaker’s audio is of poor quality.

Pros

Cons

6. ClassicFlame 3D Electric Fireplace Insert

Features Overview

  • Five levels of brightness
  • Five color options
  • Five-speed settings

If you’ve gone through some of the best electric fireplace insert reviews, you might have come across this ClassicFlame insert. You should consider getting it if you’re yet to find a fireplace that satisfies your needs. One of the things that make it stand out is its 3D flame-effect technology. You’ll notice that its flames are more realistic compared to those of most inserts.

The tech offers a layered flame effect that you can customize to suit the weather, room, or mood. Users can attest to the fact that this insert provides a different experience. One of its major selling points is that it produces comfortable heat thanks to its infrared quartz heat feature. The feature ensures the heater doesn’t dry out the air in the room. It helps maintain the natural humidity in the air.

Product Highlights

We recommend this electric fireplace insert for large spaces since it can heat up to 1000sq ft. It has a wide heating range because it uses infrared technology. Infrared heat is gentler, warms up the room instantly, and reduces static electricity.

You’ll find it impressive since it has 125 selectable flame effect options. Additionally, the insert also has two patent-pending safety features. The first feature is the Safer Plug fire prevention technology. The tech prevents product or circuit damage and electrical fire by monitoring the plug’s temperature.

The second safety feature is the Safer Sensor fire prevention technology. This tech alerts users when the heater is obstructed. It will automatically shut down to prevent any damage or potential fire. The electric fireplace insert’s design also makes it safe for use around children and pets. The hot surfaces aren’t easy to reach, it has no exposed flames, and the glass front stays cool all through.

The Good/What I like

The electric fireplace insert comes with an adjustable digital thermostat.

The Bad/What I don’t like

Some users claim that the installation instructions were lacking.

Pros

Cons

7. Dimplex DFI2309 Electric Fireplace Insert

Features Overview

  • 1375-watt fan
  • 1-year limited warranty
  • Remote control

This Dimplex electric fireplace insert is compatible with most wood fireplace openings. It comes in a sophisticated design and has a powerful fan-forced heater to provide you with the warmth you need. The fireplace insert is 100% energy efficient and can heat up to 400 square ft.

Product Highlights

You can use this fireplace insert throughout the year. It’s more than a seasonal purchase since you can adjust or turn off the heat based on your needs. The flame only, full heat and half heat settings make this model customizable.

This insert is designed for even heat distribution and quiet operation. It doesn’t take long to set up, and you might not have to remove the fireplace frame to install it. However, user experiences vary depending on the size of their fireplace openings, among other things. The insert also comes with a manual for additional information.

The Good/What I like

The fireplace insert uses patented flame technology

The Bad/What I don’t like

Not as customizable as other models

Pros

Cons

8. ClassicFlame 36” Traditional Built-in Electric Fireplace Insert

Features Overview

  • 60°F – 90°F temperature range
  • Multifunctional remote
  • 1-9 hour timer

Available in both traditional and contemporary styles, this ClassicFlame insert uses state-of-the-art technology for supplemental zone heating. It stands out from other models since it can be used for hardwire applications. The fireplace insert comes with an integrated junction box and an attachable three-prong plug for that purpose.

Product Highlights

This wall-mount insert is a great option for people who want a space-saving design. It can heat spaces of up to 800 square feet thanks to its 8,900 BTU heater. The insert comes with a traditional log set and a pulsating ember bed to make it seem more realistic. It has five flame brightness settings and about six to twelve mood color options.

You can also customize the temperature using its wall-mounted thermostat. It comes with an auto-shutoff timer as well.

The Good/What I like

Its indicator lights up to display flame and heater settings.

The Bad/What I don’t like

Some users felt that the heating function wasn’t great.

Pros

Cons

9. Touchstone ValueLine 72” Electric Fireplace

Features Overview

  • 1300Watt heater
  • IR remote control
  • Touch control panel

For the past fourteen years, Touchstone has solidified its reputation as an innovator when it comes to electric fireplaces. That’s why you can trust it to take care of your supplemental heating needs. The brand has some of the largest electric fireplace inserts on this list. This particular model is about 72-inch in size, but you can still get other units in 42-inch, 50-inch, and 60-inch sizes.

Product Highlights

The fireplace insert offers a wide range of flame customization. Users get to choose from ten hearth colors and ten different flame colors. The log set also looks lifelike, but you can also use crystals if you find them more appealing.

One of the things that make this model stand out is its versatile installation. You can either go for an in-wall recessed installation or mount it on the wall. If you choose to mount it, get someone to help you install it. The installation process requires two people. The purchase will also include step-by-step instructions to guide you as you set it up.

The Good/What I like

The electric fireplace insert is easy to use.

The Bad/What I don’t like

Some users claim that it has small flames.

Pros

Cons

10. Northwest Electric Fireplace

Features Overview

  • 71-inch cord
  • 500 square feet heating capacity
  • LED technology

Northwest offers one of the most affordable electric fireplace inserts on this list. This model features a contemporary black glass design that blends in with most décors. Like most of the fireplace inserts in this review, it is available in several sizes and uses LED technology for efficiency.

Product Highlights

The fireplace insert comes with decorative crystals, a fixing bracket, a fixing hanger, and mounting hardware. It features a user-friendly control panel that you can use to adjust the heat level, set the timer, change the flame brightness, and even select different flame colors.

The Good/What I like

The brand prioritizes customer satisfaction.

The Bad/What I don’t like

Users mentioned that it didn’t produce enough heat.

Pros

Cons

Buyer’s Guide

Even though this list has some of the best rated electric fireplaces, there are several things you should consider when making your selection.

1. Size of Your Room or Space

Before you purchase an electric fireplace insert, you should first consider the size of your room. That way, you’ll have an accurate idea of the heating capacity you’ll need as you make your selection. If you pick an insert that’s too small for your room, you won’t even feel the heat it produces.

On the other hand, your room will feel too hot if you get an insert that produces too much heat. Always compare the electric fireplace insert to the size of your room to avoid any inconveniences.

2. Type of Heater

Electric fireplace inserts use different kinds of heaters.

i) Infrared heaters are excellent for large rooms since they can heat areas of up to 1000 square feet.

ii) Forced fan heaters are an excellent fit for rooms that are about 400 square feet.

iii) Ceramic heaters can cover small rooms.

You should pick an electric fireplace insert if its heater is capable of covering your entire room.

3. Features

To make the most out of your experience, you should opt for an electric fireplace insert that has customizable features. Some models have various flame colors and brightness levels that users can choose from based on their needs. Other models even have several crackling sounds. The more options you have, the more personalized your experience.

You should also check whether you can adjust the temperature or change its mode of operation depending on the weather or season. The last feature you should consider is the fireplace insert’s aesthetics. Make sure you get a model that will blend with your décor. For instance, you should match an insert with a contemporary design to a modern home.

4. The Brand

Go for a brand that has a proven track record. Do your due diligence to ensure that the manufacturer you choose produces safe and reliable products. The electric fireplace insert should be of high quality if you want to get value for your money.

FAQs

1. How much does it cost to maintain an electric fireplace insert?

Electric fireplaces are less expensive in comparison to gas and wood fireplaces. They are also cheaper to maintain since they don’t need constant refilling like wood or gas fireplaces.

With electric fireplaces, the maintenance cost mostly depends on the price of electricity in your country or area of residence. The other cost you’ll incur is when replacing the bulbs used in producing the flames. Even so, they will last for about 2-3 years or more.

2. How much space can an electric fireplace heat up?

Electric fireplaces are more of supplementary sources of heat rather than primary ones. Their heating capacities range from 400sq feet to 1500sq feet. Infrared electric fireplaces are your best option if you are aiming for the highest heating capacity.

But you should keep in mind that you’re going to spend more if you want an electric fireplace insert with a large heating capacity. Generally, all electric fireplaces are designed for convenient and efficient zone heating.

3. Will I be able to control the amount of heat produced?

Yes, you will. The level of control you’ll have, however, will depend on the specifications of the electric fireplace you’ll buy. Affordable models have two heating levels; high and low. While the high-end units allow you to set the exact temperature you want.

Some come with a remote for convenient operation while others do not. The units also have manual controls that you can use to make the adjustments you need. These manual controls are often located at the front, back, or sides, depending on the insert’s design.

Nowadays, most electric fireplace inserts have modes where users can opt to turn off the heat entirely and only use the flame display, and vice versa.

4. Are electric fireplaces safe?

Yes, they are. In fact, they are the safest fireplaces. There won’t be any dangerous emissions, and health risks such as carbon monoxide poisoning are eliminated. You also won’t have to deal with fumes or gas leaks and allergen particles when you have electric fireplaces.

There is also no need to worry about house fires or flame-related injuries because they don’t use real flames. The electric fireplace system is integrated to provide you with an illusion of flames. Some models even have inbuilt safety features.

5. Do electric fireplaces need any special electrical outlets?

Not at all. Electric fireplace inserts are plugged into the standard household power plugs and sockets. Ensure that the outlet is on a dedicated circuit breaker or fuse, and not a shared one, to avoid overloading. Additionally, never use an extension cord; a direct outlet is best.

For other electrical requirements, be sure to check the fireplace insert’s manual before installation.

6. Does the glass front get hot when the fireplace is on?

The glass retains its original temperature even when the fireplace is operational.

Electric fireplaces have the fire display screen/glass and a heating unit hidden from view. Even so, the heating element itself does not become hot enough to burn.

Due to this feature and other safety reasons, electric fireplaces are ideal even for homes with children or pets.

7. Can I later convert my electric fireplace to a gas fireplace?

No. Unlike the gas fireplaces, electric fireplaces can’t withstand real flames. You would end up destroying your fireplace insert.

Overall, it would be pointless to make that switch. You would be forsaking all the advantages that the electric ones have over gas fireplaces.

8. Can I get an electric fireplace if I already have a wood fireplace?

Absolutely. You can get an electric fireplace insert since it fully utilizes a previously existing fireplace. It slides in place with minimum effort, completing the retro feel of the wood fireplace without any of the hassles.

9. Are there benefits to having an electric fireplace?

There are numerous benefits to owning an electric fireplace. Here are some of them:

  • Highly cost-effective
  • Electric fireplaces are eco-friendly
  • Easy to maintain
  • Electric fireplaces are user-friendly
  • If you turn off the heating effect, you can use it as a night light
  • Users have the freedom to customize their experience
  • Adds appeal and comfort to your home
  • Some have Bluetooth audio speakers
  • It is portable – can be moved to any position in the house.

Conclusion

We recommend the PuraFlame Electric Fireplace Insert as the best electric fireplace insert. It is highly customizable and has up to six crackling sounds for a realistic effect. The insert also comes in an elegant design and has a reasonable heat capacity.

For an affordable option, consider the Giantex Electric Fireplace Insert. Even though it’s cheaper, it’s still packed with tons of convenient features. The insert also has overheat protection and tip over technology.

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