an electric fireplace insert with realistic logs and flames

Here Are Some of the Most Realistic Electric Fireplace Options in 2019

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An attractive alternative to wood and gas fireplaces, electric fireplaces offer convenience. They don’t require hook-up to gas lines or venting, produce zero mess, and are a statement piece certain to dazzle guests. At the same time, they add a special touch to any room to make it feel cozier. In this article, we’re going to start by touching upon the basics on what to look for when shopping for electric fireplaces. Then, we’ll look at the most realistic electric fireplace options currently on the market to find out how each one can benefit you.

What to look for when comparing the most realistic electric fireplace options

Obviously, if you’re keen on getting the most realistic electric fireplace on the market, how authentic the flames look should be on top of your list of priorities. However, there are a few additional features you might want to consider. Maybe you’re interested in learning more about safety, or simply eager to find a fireplace with a dazzling flame effect. Whichever the case, here are the most important factors to weigh when shopping for electric fireplaces.

Size

While some electric inserts are designed to fit into existing fireplaces, others can be mounted on a wall or stand on their own. Regardless of which option you’re after, always check the measurements of a potential purchase to make sure it will fit snugly into your available space.

Design and flame effects

Electric fireplaces are accent pieces – they instantly catch the eye and add a touch of warmth to any space. In other words, they should be seamlessly integrated into your room’s décor. If you’re a lover of everything rustic (and your home stays testament to that), go for an electric fireplace with a traditional, classic look. On the other hand, if you prefer all things modern, a fireplace with a more urban design should do the trick.

On the same note, check the specifications carefully to determine whether the extra features are worth your cash. Some realistic electric fireplaces come with multiple flame effects, offering the user the option to choose how the faux fire will look. Check reviews to see what others are saying and whether they’re happy with their investment.

Sound

The most realistic electric fireplace won’t just perfectly replicate the burning logs, but also that soothing, crackling sound of burning wood. Again, it’s important to carefully go through the list of features and see if your top choices offer these perks. Also, if the electric fireplace comes with a heating function, the fan can get loud. Product reviews can help you figure out if that’s the case.

Safety

When it comes to realistic electric fireplaces, there are no dangerous emissions to cause worry. Also, regardless of how realistic the flames look, they don’t get hot. However, if your fireplace includes a heating function, the area directly near the heating element can get hot and pose a threat to children or pets. While shopping, keep an eye out for any advertised safety features – like safe-to-touch glass or a built-in safety shutoff switch.

Now that the basics are out of the way let’s go through some of the most realistic electric fireplaces on the market. This list is organized based on the approximate price of product, from lowest to highest, and takes into account the features and special effects.

1: Fire Sense Black Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace

This is one of the most realistic electric fireplace options currently available. It includes a small motor that runs what looks like flames.

Most realistic Electric Fireplace: Fire Sense Black

Sometimes, the motor does get excessively loud to the point where you can hear it from across the room, but that’s a minor problem considering the great price you’re paying for it.

The Fire Sense Black Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace does produce heat from the top part, but the heat rises to the ceiling fast. It can be a good heating source for small rooms where you might not otherwise have space for a bigger unit.

Features

  • It comes with a handy remote that lets you turn on the fireplace.
  • You can mount the fireplace wherever you want.
  • It has heat settings with different levels of comfort.
  • This fireplace features intuitive controls.

Pros

  • Simple controls.
  • Different heat settings based on need.
  • Mount the fireplace wherever you want.
  • The remote adds to your convenience.
  • Cheap fireplace with realistic looking flames.

Cons

  • The heater fan can get loud.

2: The Dimplex DFI2309

As a fireplace insert, the flames of the Dimplex DFI2309 look highly realistic, and you can remove its outer part if you want. The controls on the remote are minimal to ensure easy use. Plus, it comes with three heat settings - full heat, half heat, or flame only. You can enjoy it year-round.

Most Realistic Electric Fireplace: the Dimplex DFI2309

Features

  • A 1375-watt electric fireplace.
  • It comes with a one-year limited warranty.
  • The DFI2309 fireplace has a fan-forced heater.
  • It has a patented flame technology.

Pros

  • The flames look great.
  • The built-in heater distributes heat evenly.
  • Slick design look and cozy ambiance.
  • Happy middle-ground in terms of price.

Cons

  • Doesn’t throw much heat.

3: Dimplex DLGM29 Opti-Myst Open Hearth Fireplace

When it comes to realness, few fireplaces can compare to the Dimplex DLGM29 Opti-Myst

the Dimplex DLGM29 Opti-Myst Open Hearth Fireplace Insert with Faux Logs Bed, Alabaster model

Thanks to opti-myst technology, you’ll be able to enjoy an incredibly life-like, three-dimensional flame effect. Not only that, but the fireplace also creates an illusion of fire and smoke.

The Dimplex Opti-Myst lasts between 14 to 17 hours before you have to refill its water tank and comes with a glass front that remains cool to the touch. However, it doesn’t produce any heat – something to keep in mind if you’re looking for realistic electric fireplaces that can also warm up a room.

Features

  • It comes with an easy fill water tank
  • This electric fireplace has a one-year warranty.
  • You will receive a remote to turn the fireplace on or off.
  • It has life-like and patented 3-dimensional flame.

Pros

  • Realistic flames.
  • Remote control for convenience.
  • The green choice for a fireplace.
  • High safety level.

Cons

  • Gives off no actual heat.

4: 53.5″ Chambord Electric Fireplace

Likely one of the most elegant and most realistic electric fireplace options money can buy, this mahogany beauty has a stylish detailing with decorative carving and a black granite top.

Most realistic Electric Fireplace: the Chambord Electric Fireplace

A look in the firebox reveals 30 inches. The realism of the logs is mesmerizing, as the softly glowing embers perfectly mimic the real thing. There’s also a remote control included for easy use.

This energy efficient fireplace is safe and works well in almost any room, offering a classy finish. If you’re looking to save some cash, you’ll be pleased: you can operate this fireplace for pennies on the hour. Plus, because it doesn’t emit carbon monoxide or emissions from combustion, you have a solid green product. As a bonus, it comes with a three-year warranty.

Features

  • It has a 30-inch firebox.
  • This fireplace comes with a thermostat controlled fan-forced heater.
  • Can heat up to 1,000 sq. ft
  • You can turn the flame brightness up or down based on need.

Pros

  • Remote control for convenience.
  • Green choice.
  • Aesthetically pleasing 
  • The soft fiery glow looks very realistic.

Cons

  • It is quite expensive.

Shopping for the most realistic electric fireplace: Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to turn off the heat function, but not the flames?

With most electric fireplaces, yes. If they come with multiple heat settings, including no heat, so you can enjoy the coziness of a fire even during the warm season.

Can I use an electric fireplace as a sole heating source?

Usually no. There are realistic electric fireplaces on the more expensive side that can indeed warm up a space up to 1,000 square feet (like option #4 on our list), but most budget options should only be used as a supplemental heating source or to warm up a small room.

Is it OK if I plug the fireplace into a standard outlet?

Generally yes. However, if the fireplace comes with a powerful heating source, you may need the assistance of a skilled electrician to wire it directly into your home circuit. Always check the manufacturer specifications about powering up the fireplace.

Is there any danger of real fire when using an electric fireplace?

Not really, but better safe than sorry. Don’t keep the fireplace plugged in when not in use and keep it some distance (about 3 feet) away from pillows, blankets, or anything that can be in danger of catching fire. It’s also not recommended to leave the fireplace on overnight.

Final Thoughts

These are some of the most realistic electric fireplace options you will stumble upon when doing your research. They range from the budget conscious models to the extravagant, so there’s a good chance you’ll find one to fit your budget. Since they first came out, realistic electric fireplaces have come a long way as far as authenticity is concerned. They come as close to the real thing as possible, but minus the high maintenance usually associated with an actual fire. If you have any experience with the models listed above, feel free to sound off below. We’d love to hear your thoughts!

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