Nothing ties the room together like a fireplace. In the past, the fireplace was the primary source of heat for cooking, hot water, and comfort. You had to deal with solid fuels like wood and coal, and the chimney was absolutely necessary. Without a doubt, electric fireplaces changed the game completely.

Today, you can install one of the best electric fireplaces pretty much anywhere and by yourself. You don’t need a chimney, a stockpile of wood, an ashpit, and meticulous installation.

modern electric fireplace insert compared to old school fireplace

With an electric fireplace, everybody can enjoy the comfort of realistic fireplace flames and 5,000+ BTU worth of heating output. Realistic flames, for example, are made with 3D led lights reflected off a rotisserie-style silver refractor.

Essentially, modern electric fireplaces are pieces of interior design and can substantially increase your home value. In fact, there are few interior design pieces that can boost the house price as much as a beautiful wall-mounted electric fireplace.

Here’s the key question everybody looking for a new electric fireplace wants to be answered:

“Which electric fireplace is the best?”

There are more than 1,350 electric fireplace models currently on the market (with many sub-types, such as built-in inserts, wall-mounted, freestanding units, and so on). Figuring out exactly which electric fireplace on sale in the US is the best is quite a daunting task.

To help choose the best electric fireplace, we focus primarily on specifications. These include heating power (from 1,000W to 3,000W), available lengths (24″ to 100″), thermostats (built-in models with 60°F to 90°F), flame options (colors, intensities, speeds), safety features (overheat protection, cool-to-the-touch, ETL and UL safety approvals), dimensions, noise levels, heating off features, and extra features. All of these specifications are covered in detail below.

We have also checked characteristics that may be of even greater importance when choosing an electric fireplace; namely brand reputation (probably the single most important factor; Touchstone and Dimplex are golden), price ($400 – $4,000), and a general average rating of each electric fireplace.

Based on all these factors, we have generated a list of the best electric fireplaces in 2021. You can check the list, and, even more importantly, the comparison table and individual reviews below. If you’re in a hurry, you can skip to the list, comparison table, and reviews here:

Skip To List Of 7 Best Electric Fireplaces You Can Buy In 2021

But first, it makes quite a lot of sense to go through a quick electric fireplace buying guide. There is quite a lot of factors that separate good electric fireplaces from bad ones, and it’s important to understand at least some of these factors.

Moreover, it’s usually a smart idea to start with differentiating between different types of electric fireplaces:

3 Types Of Electric Fireplaces (With Heating And Flame-Like Mechanisms)

Now, when we think of electric fireplaces, we usually have one of these 3 types of units in mind:

  • Wall-mounted electric fireplaces.
  • Electric fireplace inserts.
  • Electric fireplace mantels (with a TV stand).

Basically, all of these types of models work in the same way. They use electrical power input to generate two things:

  1. Heating. Electric current passes through the heating coils (usually made out of nichrome wires) and heats them up. All types of electric fireplaces are capable of generating about 5,000 BTU of heating output. That, by the way, is enough heat to provide supplemental heating to up to 500 sq ft rooms.
  2. Flame-like effect. Of course, it’s impossible to get flames by ‘burning’ electricity. The flame-like effect is separate from heating (nichrome heating coils); it’s generated using LED lights and a rotisserie-style silver refractor. When these lights are refracted, they generate a dynamic 3D effect that looks surprisingly like crackling flames.

Where the wall-mounted vs. insert. vs mantel electric fireplaces differ is in the general installation location and type:

1. Wall-Mounted Electric Fireplaces (Most Popular Type)

Namely, the best wall-mounted electric fireplaces are hanging models that are installed directly into drywall. Some models require a recess in the wall, others offer 120V outlet input or a hard-wire option (mounting hardware usually comes with the purchase of a wall-mounted electric fireplace).

wall hanging electric fireplace type
Example of a wall-mounted electric fireplace: #1 Touchstone Sideline Elite.

This type of electric fireplace is the easiest to install and the most visually appealing; that’s why wall-mounted units are the most popular type of electric fireplaces in recent years.

2. Electric Fireplace Inserts (Requires An Existing Fireplace Hearth)

To install an electric fireplace insert, you need an existing fireplace. Usually, these are abandoned wood or coal fireplaces; the primary reason for them being abandoned is blocked or restructured chimney (solid fuel fireplaces need to be vented).

electric fireplace insert type
Example of an electric fireplace insert: #4 Dimplex Revillusion RBF.

If you once had a chimney (that is now non-existent), and you have a small hole in the wall where a wood fireplace was, for example, you can simply insert an electric fireplace insert in there. These fireplace hearths are made out of either brick or steel-lined; when you’re installing an electric fireplace insert, that doesn’t really matter.

The insert is simply plugged into a standard 120V outlet (for most 1,500 W units). You put the whole electric fireplace insert in the center of the hearth.

You need to clean the hearth beforehand. Don’t worry about getting rid of ash and embers; pretty much every electric fireplace insert has quite a realistic flame-like effect with embers and ash.

3. Electric Fireplace Mantels With A TV Stand

The simplest solution to install a fireplace is just to buy a mantel that holds the electric fireplace. In most cases, these mantels also include a TV stand. Basically, you can have an electric fireplace below your TV.

Electric fireplace mantels are an all-in-one deal. They are relatively cheap compared to the wall-mounted and insert electric fireplaces, and there’s a good reason for that. They can be produced en-mass (that’s a pro, it lowers costs) but they are made out of lower-quality materials (to keep the price down).

No self-respecting interior designer would recommend an electric fireplace mantel with a TV stand. They are usually less visually appealing and the electric fireplace itself is of poor design and made by a company that primarily manufactures furniture, not electric heating systems.

Note: Freestanding electric fireplaces can be considered a subtype of electric fireplace mantels. However, most freestanding models are made by manufacturers who specialize in electric fireplaces. For example, you will see a superb freestanding fireplace made by Dimplex; you won’t see a respectable company like Dimplex to manufacture electric fireplace mantels.

freestanding electric fireplace type
Example of a freestanding electric fireplace: #7 Dimplex SMP-904-ST Fieldstone

Let’s check all the primary and secondary considerations you should consider when determining which is the best electric fireplace for your situation:

10 Specs To Check Before Buying An Electric Fireplace (Primary, Secondary)

As with any HVAC appliance, you can differentiate between good and bad electric fireplaces based on key specifications. What you should usually do is to crack open the electric fireplace’s specification sheet, and check if all the parameters make sense.

With all of these factors, we have categorized some of them as the more important ones (primary) and some of them as less important ones (secondary).

Example: One of the most important factors – the most important one, in fact – is the brand reputation of an electric fireplace manufacturer (covered under #4 factor). This is not exactly a specification per se but it is a vital factor if you want to buy a top-rated electric fireplace; hence it’s designated as a primary factor. You can’t really go wrong with Touchstone or Dimplex, for example.

Let’s go through all the key factors to check when buying an electric fireplace. These are hierarchically ordered based on where they appear on a standard electric fireplace specification sheet:

1. Heating Power Input/Output (1,000W – 3,000W; Secondary)

Almost all electric fireplaces generate heat (with the exemption of purely interior design pieces like #6 Dimplex Opti-V Series Solo which serves more as an art piece than a heating agent). How much heat exactly can they output is determined by the input wattage.

Most electric fireplaces have an average electric power input of 1,500W. Some of them, in fact, have two input levels; 750W (low setting) and 1,500W (high setting).

electric fireplace power requirements with 1500 watts
Old-school 1,500W electric fireplace required heavy-duty wires. Most of the modern electric fireplaces are installed by plugging them into a 120-volt outlet.

All of that electric power input is meant for heating. The electric current heats up the nichrome heating coils, located below the flames, and fans blow up to warm air into the room. Because the energy efficiency of electrical heating is above 99% (almost all of the electricity is directly transformed into heat), we can calculate that 1,500W of electric input can generate up to 5,118 BTU/hr of heating output (1 Watt = 3.412 BTU).

That enough heating output to provide supplemental heating to rooms up to about 500 sq ft (10 BTU/hr per sq ft for supplemental heating) or central heating to rooms up to about 170 sq ft (30 BTU/hr per sq ft for central heating).

Now, what you want to avoid is buying an electric fireplace with less than 1,000W electric input or more than 3,000W electric input.

Below 1,000W electric heaters not only provide a less significant amount of heat. They are also made out of less reliable 750W heaters that may reduce the lifespan of an electric fireplace (should be more than 10 years).

Buying a 3,000W electric fireplace (they are few of these on the market as it is) is overkill. Such a fireplace could potentially generate almost 10,000 BTU/hr. However, the fan system would hardly be capable of distributing the generated heat evenly enough across the room in which the electric fireplace is placed.

In short, the 1,000W – 3,000W interval is the sweet spot for electric fireplaces.

2. Dimensions, Especially Width Of Electric Fireplaces (Primary)

Choosing an electric fireplace with adequate dimensions is a key consideration. Depending on your situation (ie. where do you intend to install a fireplace), you have to tally up those inches before you choose a model.

Wall-mounted electric fireplaces are the thinnest (in regard to the depth dimension; 3-8 inches) and the slimmest (in regard to the height dimension; 10-30 inches). However, the most important dimension to pinpoint correctly is the width.

Electric fireplaces have quite a big interval as far as the width is concerned. The shortest ones have 24″ width and the longest electric fireplaces can reach a width (or length) of 100″.

dimensions of a rw flame electric fireplace
Before you buy an electric fireplace, make sure to check the dimensions. Every model (brand, size) has unique dimensions. Example: #2 R.W. Flame 60″

As far as the most popular wall-mounted electric fireplace models are concerned, reputable producers will offer units with several length options. If you check Touchstone and Dimplex units, for example, you can see that #1 Touchstone Sideline Elite comes in 42″, 50″, 60″, 72″, 100″ available widths. You can check the available widths for every electric fireplace in the comparison table below.

There are two general rules as far as dimensions are concerned:

  1. Always measure the space you have reserved for an electric fireplace before buying one.
  2. The best electric fireplace brands offer units with several width options (Example: Touchstone, Dimplex, Modern Flames)

3. Thermostat (Influences Cost-Efficiency; Secondary)

The thermostat is useful with all heating units (especially larger ones). It’s not all about the ease of use for us; setting the temperature on a thermostat is definitely an advantage many electric fireplaces have.

The inclusion of a thermostat, more importantly, is vital for the cost-efficiency of any electric fireplace. A 1,500W electric fireplace without a thermostat will always run on 1,500W and burn 1.5 kWh per hour (about $0.20 worth of electricity).

A 1,500W electric fireplace with a thermostat will run on 1,500W or less. That ‘or less’ is an important distinction. When the set temperature on the thermostat is reached, the electric fireplace equipped with a thermostat will lower the heating output. That’s because all additional heating would be unnecessary.

In that case, the heating input wattage is switched from 1,500W to 750W (in an average unit). That setting burns through 50% less electricity; ie. an electric fireplace running on 750W will burn 0.75 kWh per hour (about $0.10 worth of electricity).

In short, electric fireplaces with built-in thermostats are preferred. Not just for the ease of use but for cost-efficiency as well. If you’re interested, you can read more about how much does it cost to run an electric fireplace use here.

4. Brand Reputation (Most Important Factor; Primary)

Now, a lot of specification sheets of electric fireplaces might be rather similar but everybody knows that Dimplex is the best brand for electric fireplaces.

Is Dimplex the best electric fireplace?

It’s a bit unfair to pose a question like that. However, without a doubt, Dimplex and Touchstone are the two most reputable electric fireplace manufacturers.

best electric fireplace brands dimplex and touchstone
The 2 big names: Dimplex for classic electric fireplaces, and Touchstone for modern wall-mounted electric fireplaces.

In recent years, the importance of brand reputation has steadily increased. That’s because the US market has been flooded with lower-quality electric fireplaces that are not US-made. These new brands might offer electric fireplaces at ridiculously low prices (below $300 even), they might even have similar specs that Dimplex units, for example, but the quality and, even more importantly, reliability is often missing.

You can easily buy a Touchstone or Dimplex electric fireplace and it will last for 10+ years; that’s all a part of the brand reputation.

Some other smaller reputable electric fireplace brands include R.W.FLAME (offers best-selling affordable units) and Modern Flames (offers higher-end aesthetic units).

In most cases, buying a no-name brand electric fireplace seems like a tempting solution (due to the lower price) but it rarely pays off. The difference in quality and sheer aesthetics is unmistakable.

5. Flame Options (More Doesn’t Equal More Realistic; Secondary)

Apart from the heating mechanism, the other key part of every electric fireplace is the flame. The goal for producers here is to create the most realistic flame possible; some are better at that than others.

It is, of course, obvious to all that electricity doesn’t burn to create fire. Burning wood, coal, ambers, even gas, and oil does generate genuine fire. All the flickering fires and flames in the electric fireplace are fake.

Now, let’s look at how this fake flame is actually generated in an electric fireplace:

  1. You need a light source; LED lights are most commonly used.
  2. Light is reflected in a rotisserie-style silver refractor.
  3. The refractor creates dynamic 3D patterns that look like real fire flames (more or less).

While the generation of a flame from electricity seems to be complex, it’s actually quite simple. All you need is some LED lights and a good refractor.

electric fireplace flame options
Just some of the flame options available by the #1 Touchstone Sideline Elite fireplace.

Here’s the key part:

The common misconception about electric fireplaces is that the ones with more color and brightness options are more realistic. This is not true at all. It’s very easy to install additional LED lights to add more color options, but those are only options. An addition of a pink or blue LED bulb won’t really do much to recreate a realistic flame.

We can look at two of the best electric fireplaces to demonstrate why more colors and more intensities do not necessarily equal more realistic flames:

  • #2 R.W.Flame 60″ is a superb and affordable wall-mounted fireplace. Flame-wise, it has 12 colors, 5 intensities, 5 speeds; more than any other unit on the list below.
  • #4 Dimplex Revillusion RBF is one of the best Dimplex electric fireplaces; it’s also considered one with the most realistic flames. Unlike the R.W.Flame unit, it doesn’t have a 12 color option; it does have an adjustable lighting system and log-based flames.

Essentially, to check which electric fireplace has the most realistic flame, you really have to look at the photos. There is no specification that could objectively indicate how realistic flames you can get.

However, the number of color options, intensity options, and flame speed options (dynamics moving of flames) does give you options to play around with how the flame in an electric fireplace looks like.

6. Noise Levels (Up To 40 dB; Tertiary)

Noise levels in electric fireplaces are not all that important. Some manufacturers don’t even specify how loud their electric fireplace is on the specification sheets; we consider it as a tertiary factor.

Nonetheless, there are two key things to be aware of when buying an electric fireplace on sale:

  1. All electric fireplaces generate sound. They are generally very quiet units (below 40 dB) and you won’t hear their buzzing in most cases. Just be careful if you see anything above 45 dB on the specification sheets.
  2. Some electric fireplaces include ‘crackle of a wood fire’ sounds. These are artificially made (wood is not actually being cracked from the heat) but do offer a more realistic experience of a wood fire. The high-end #6 Dimplex Opti-V Solo is a good example of an electric fireplace with a realistic crackle of wood fire sound effects.

Some of you may wonder why would electric fireplaces made any sound at all. That’s quite an understandable question, and here’s the answer:

Most electric fireplaces run on 1,500W and are connected to a 120V outlet. To power that fireplace, you need to send more than 10 amps of electric current through the nichrome heating coils. That amount of current heating up metal wires does produce some residual (but very low on a decibel scale) sounds.

7. Safety Features Of Electric Fireplaces (Very Safe In General; Secondary)

Electric fireplaces are the safest kind of fireplaces. All other fireplaces – including gas, oil, wood, coal, even ethanol fireplaces – are associated with more risks. That’s primarily because they do burn solid or liquid fuels, and those can generate smoke and, even riskier, carbon monoxide that can be deadly.

Using electricity to generate heat, however, is very safe. All you need to worry about in the case of electric fireplaces is the heat and the heating coils; they are hot. You don’t have to worry about venting, chimneys, oxygen detection sensors, ashes, air pollutants, and so on.

Nonetheless, to be safe even from the heat generation by electric fireplaces, it makes sense to check the specifications sheets for these 3 key safety features:

  1. Overheat Protection. This is a fail-safe method that automatically flips the off-switch if the electric fireplace is getting too hot.
  2. Cool-To-The-Touch Glass. A fireplace is essentially a three-sided enclosure; the heat enters the room from the open side of the enclosure. That’s the side facing us and it’s usually made out of glass. When you’re generating 5,000+ BTU heat, that glass might become warm or even hot to the touch. Electric fireplaces with cool-to-the-touch glass are, as the name suggests, cool to the touch. It’s especially useful to get that features if you have children or pets.
  3. ETL, UL, and CSA Certifications. These safety approvals document that the electric fireplace you’re looking at abides by the national or international safety standards (depends on the certification). Most US-made electric fireplaces will have several of these certifications; non-US-made units are less likely to abide by these safety standards.

8. Heating Off Feature (Saves Electricity; Primary)

The flames mechanism and the heating mechanism are separate. That means that you can enjoy the aesthetic appeal of fireplace flames without the need to switch on the heating mechanism; but only if your electric fireplace has that features.

Older electric fireplace models didn’t come with the heating off feature. That meant that every time you wanted to enjoy the flames, you also had to (sometimes unnecessarily) heat the rooms you’re in and pay for up to $0.20/hour for electricity.

All modern units now come with built-in heating off feature. This feature has become an essential part of every electric fireplace made after 2014-2015.

In essence, it’s not a big advantage to have heating off feature anymore (since it’s so widespread). However, it’s a big disadvantage if you have an electric fireplace without that feature.

In short, always check that an electric fireplace includes the heating off feature.

9. Extra Features That Might Be Quite Useful (Secondary)

Not two electric fireplaces are alike. Apart from all the factors we have already mentioned, the extra features are the very thing that makes an electric fireplace unique. Moreover, it’s these features that separate the best electric fireplaces from good ones.

There are several extra features that an electric fireplace might have. With every electric fireplace in the reviews below, you will see the models’ extra features listed. Overall, these include:

  • Hard-wire ready units. This is an especially important feature of wall-mounting electric fireplaces.hardwire electric fireplace element
  • Wi-Fi enabled electric fireplaces. This is what the best fireplace overall – #1 Touchstone Sideline Elite – has. You can change the temperature (68°F to 88°F) on the built-in thermostat or play around with flame options via iPhone or Android smartphone.
  • Hybrid-FX™ flame technology. This is a patented flame technology by Modern Flames included in the #3 Modern Flames Slimline unit.
  • Inclusion of logs or ambers. Not all electric fireplaces have realistic ambers in the center of the fireplace; those with these logs tend to generate a more realistic-looking flame.
  • Crackle-Of-The-Wood fire sounds. A limited number of electric fireplaces includes a sound that closely resembles the crackle of the wood. The high-end #6 Dimplex Opti-V Solo is one such example.

All in all, extra features are a mixed bag. Some of them might be very useful to some homeowners (like Wi-Fi connectivity or crackle of the wood), others might be considered a bit redundant.

10. Electric Fireplace Prices ($400 – $4,000; Primary)

Price-wise, the electric fireplaces have quite a bit of range.

How much do electric fireplaces cost?

Electric fireplaces can cost anywhere from $100 to $10,000. However, the more realistic budget you should have in mind is $400 to $4,000.

The very cheap $100 electric fireplaces are, to be completely blunt, junk. The $4,000+ models are practically a piece of art; meant much more as an integral part of interior design than heating, for example.

The key determinants that are reflected in the price of electric fireplaces are:

  • Brand reputation. Touchstone and Dimplex are considered to be top electric fireplace brands, and they can command top-dollar prices. All things considered, despite the higher costs, the Touchstone and Dimplex electric fireplaces are worth every penny.
  • Width of the unit. Shorter 24″ units are cheaper than the longest 100″ units; that’s pretty much self-explanatory.
  • Aesthetic appeal. Today, electric fireplaces are bought for interior design. The ‘nicer’ the fireplace, the higher the cost; that’s usually the aesthetic-cost relationship here. Especially the modern picturesque electric fireplaces can be quite expensive. Keep in mind that these units don’t have above-and-beyond specs that could objectively dictate higher prices; they do have a certain aesthetic appeal that cannot be objectively quantified; it’s more of a subjective valuation.

Now, a very common reason why people do buy high-end electric fireplaces is that these units increase the overall cost of a home. It’s considered more an investment than a home appliance.

Indeed, there are few interior design pieces that can boost the house price as much as a beautiful wall-mounted electric fireplace.

With all of this in mind, let’s use all these specs to determine which is the best electric fireplace on the market. Here is the list of the 7 best electric fireplaces for sale, complete with a comparison table (comparison 10 specs apple-to-apple) and followed by individual reviews of electric fireplace models:

Best Electric Fireplaces Currently On The Market

  1. Best Electric Fireplace Overall: Touchstone Sideline Elite Smart
  2. Best Wall-Mounted Electric Fireplace (Affordable): R.W.Flame 60″
  3. Superb Electric Fireplace With Hybrid-FX™ Flame Tech: Modern Flames Spectrum Slimline
  4. Most Realistic Electric Fireplace Insert With Logs: Dimplex Revillusion RBF
  5. Best Electric Fireplace With TV Stand (All-In-One): GMHome EF-30AKF White
  6. Most High-End Linear Electric Fireplace: Dimplex Opti-V Series Solo
  7. Best Freestanding Electric Fireplace (Pine And Stone): Dimplex SMP-904-ST Fieldstone
Electric Fireplace: #1 Touchstone Sideline Elite #2 R.W.Flame 60″ Fireplace #3 Modern Flames Slimline #4 Dimplex Revillusion RBF #5 GMHome EF-30AKF White #6 Dimplex Opti-V Solo #7 Dimplex SMP-904-ST
Photo: Touchstone Sideline Elite Smart R.W.Flame 60″ electric fireplace insert Modern Flames Spectrum Slimline electric fireplace Dimplex Revillusion RBF very realistic electric fireplace GMHome EF-30AKF White electric fireplace mantel Dimplex Opti-V Series Solo high end fireplace Dimplex SMP-904-ST Fieldstone freestanding electric fireplace
Type: Built-In Insert Wall-Mounted Built-In Insert Classic Insert Classic With TV Stand Heatless Insert Freestanding Mantel
Heating Power: 1,500W / 5,118 BTU 1,500W / 5,118 BTU 1,465W / 5,000 BTU 2,575W / 8,794 BTU 1,500W / 5,118 BTU No Heating 1,500W / 5,118 BTU
Available Widths: 42″, 50″, 60″, 72″, 100″ 60″ 50″, 60″, 72″, 100″ 24″, 30″, 36″, 42″ 24″ 29″, 54″ (Duet) 26″
Thermostat: Built-In (68°F to 88°F) Built-In Built-In (68°F to 88°F) N/A Built-In (62°F to 82°F) No Heating Built-In
Brand Reputation: Touchestone
4.7 out of 5 stars
R.W.Flame
3.7 out of 5 stars
Modern Flames
4 out of 5 stars
Dimplex
5 out of 5 stars
GMHome
2.1 out of 5 stars
Dimplex
5 out of 5 stars
Dimplex
5 out of 5 stars
Flame Options: 6 Colors, 5 Intensities, 3 Speeds 12 Colors, 5 Intensities, 5 Speeds 12 Colors, 5 Intensities, 3 Speeds Adjustable Realistic Log Flames Options Limited Opti-V™ Patented Options Options Limited
Noise Levels: 20 – 30 dB 38 dB 40 dB N/A N/A N/A N/A
Heating Off Feature? No Heating
Extra Features: Hard-Wire Ready, Smart Wi-Fi Controls 12 Multi-Color Modes Hybrid-FX™ Flame Technology Bigger Realistic Flames (+ Logs) All-In-One With Fireplace Mantel Artistic Piece, Crackle Of A Wood Fire Freestanding Stone-Like Mantel
Price: $$$$ $$$$ $$$$ $$$$ $$$$ $$$$ $$$$
Average Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars 4.7 out of 5 stars 4.7 out of 5 stars 4.7 out of 5 stars 4.2 out of 5 stars 4.9 out of 5 stars 4.9 out of 5 stars
Availability: Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price Check Price

1. Best Electric Fireplace Overall: Touchstone Sideline Elite Smart

The best electric fireplace should incorporate everything just right; the heating power, the aesthetic appeal, width options, realistic flame, and so on. Touchstone’s flagship model – the Touchstone Sideline Elite – does just that. On top of everything else, the Touchstone Sideline Elite is one of the modern electric fireplaces with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and smartphone control.

Touchstone Sideline series has long been one of the most popular electric fireplace series. The newest Elite flagship has an all-flame and no-frame design; more than 95% of the front-end is the flame and glass.

Like all the best Touchstone electric fireplaces, Sideline Elite also has a 1,500W electric power input. That’s enough to produce 5,118 BTU of heating output. Heating-wise, it can provide supplemental heat to places up to 500 sq ft (10 BTU per sq ft) or heat 170 sq ft places on its own (30 BTU per sq ft). The built-in thermostat enables you to set the temperature between 68°F and 88°F.

The flame effect is pretty realistic. The combination of 6 colors, 5 intensities, 3 flame speeds is great; you can use your iPhone or Android smartphone to play a bit with the flame color. What truly gives the realistic effect, on top of the color options and brightness intensities, is the all-frame and no-frame design. It seems like the flame is kindled in your wall, just like a wood fire.

The installation process is fairly easy. You can simply plug it into a 120-volt outlet or hardwire it (it’s hardwire ready and you can find all the installation instructions with the manual).

Width-wise, you can choose between 42″, 50″, 60″, 72″, 100″ models. They are priced according to the length; ie. the shortest 42″ model costs about $1,000 and the longest 100″ model costs about $3,000. The pricing is pretty much in line with the Touchstone brand; Touchstone and Dimplex are the most respectable brands in this industry.

All in all, Touchstone Sideline Elite has it all. Superb specs, fantastic look, realistic flames, several width options, and the all-important Touchstone brand. It is hands downs the best electric fireplace you can buy in 2021:

Touchstone Elite Fireplace Review

Pros

  • Fantastic all-rounded electric fireplace (with top-of-the-notch specs)
  • Very aesthetic; it has an all-flame and no-frame design for realistic flames
  • One of the quietest electric fireplaces; 20 – 30 dB noise levels
  • Wi-Fi enabled; you can control it via iPhone, Android, Alexa, Google
  • 42″, 50″, 60″, 72″, 100″ models available (price depends on the length)
  • All important Touchstone brand; reliable, high-quality materials used
Cons

  • Wi-Fi feature is not available in the 100″ wide model
  • Touchstone pricing matches their brand reputation

2. Best Wall-Mounted Electric Fireplace (Affordable): R.W.Flame 60″

R.W.Flame is one of the most popular electric fireplaces. It’s not hard to see why; it has all the popular specifications like 60″ width, easy wall-mounting installation, and the extensive 12 multi-color modes. On top of that, the R.W.Flame is one of the cheapest electric fireplaces that are still good.

This fireplace offers a two stage – 750W and 1,500W – electric power input. Thus it can produce 5,000+ BTU heating output and supply supplemental heating to up to 500 sq ft (10 BTU per sq ft) rooms.

The built-in electric fireplace thermostat switches between the 750W and 1,500W inputs to heat a room to the set temperature, and thereby reduces the costs usually associated with needless heating non-thermostat fireplaces are known for.

The true reason people really love the R.W.Flame are the flame options. With 12 LED colors, 5 intensities or brightness, and 5 flame speeds, the R.W.Flame offers the widest range of flame options for you to play around with. On top of that, you can also check the 12 multi-color modes (combinations of LED colors) which further extend the range of options.

The true reason why R.W.Flame is one of the best-selling electric fireplaces is also self-evident. All great specs electric fireplaces from respectable brands (and with 50+ inch width) cost $1,000 or more. R.W.Flame with 60″ width cost a lot less; about $700 on a normal day. On the R.W.Flame website, they also run price promotions that can further decrease the price of this remarkable electric fireplace.

In short, all the reasons why R.W.Flame is one of the most popular and best-selling electric fireplaces are quite obvious. It has all the right specs, wide array of flame options, and it’s a lot cheaper than comparable big brand electric fireplaces:

R.W.Flame Fireplace Heater Review

Pros

  • Best price-performance wall-mounted electric fireplace
  • Has two-stage heating; 750W and 1,500W (with a thermostat)
  • Most extensive flame options (12 colors, 5 insensitive, 5 speeds, with 12 multi-color modes)
  • Very low price point; costs less than $1,000
  • One of the most popular choices
Cons

  • R.W.Flame doesn’t have the big brand kind of recognition like Touchstone or Dimplex
  • Only 60″ width available

3. Superb Electric Fireplace With Hybrid-FX™ Flame Tech: Modern Flames Spectrum Slimline

Modern Flames is quickly becoming one of the most well-recognized brands in the electric fireplace industry. Their Spectrum model is an all-time favorite; the new Spectrum Slimline model is just an improved (well, slimmer) version of the Spectrum.

The key specs of the Modern Flames Spectrum Slimline are all on point. You have the 1,465W electric power input (only 2% less than standard 1,500W units), up to 500 sq ft supplemental heat coverage, and a built-in thermostat with a timer.

The key advantage Modern Flames like to brag about is the Hybrid-FX™ flame technology. It’s a patented flame technology and the company has won several industry awards for it. It combined 12 flame colors and embed bed colors, with 5 available intensities, and 3 speeds.

That’s on par with the R.W.Flame options, but as we’ve learned in the buying guide, more colors don’t equate to a more realistic flame necessarily. This is not the case in this example; the Hybrid-FX™ flame technology is actually well worth it; even the industry awards prove that.

With wall-mounted electric fireplaces, the slimmer is usually better. The Modern Flames Spectrum Slimline is the slimmest electric fireplace with the Hybrid-FX™ flame tech. Its depth dimension is less than 5 inches (4.6 inches, to be exact). That doesn’t only make it more visually appealing; it also makes the installation (either wall-mounting or recessed installation) much easier.

You can choose between 4 models; namely 50″, 60″, 74″, and 100″. Modern Flames has enough brand recognition and a good reputation to price their fireplaces on the same level as Touchstone and even Dimplex. This is also the case with Modern Flames Spectrum Slimline; the Hybrid-FX™ and the slim design do add to the cost, however.

All in all, Modern Flames is a company that will shortly catch up to the reputation Touchstone and Dimplex have. Their all favorite Spectrum line’s new addition – the Spectrum Slimline – is one of the slimmest and most visually appealing electric fireplaces currently on the market:

Modern Flames Fireplace Review

Pros

  • Slimmest wall-mounted electric fireplace (4.6 inches depth)
  • A new version of the all-favorite Spectrum line by Modern Flames
  • Has the award-winning Hybrid-FX™ flame technology
  • Modern Flames is the new big brand on the market
Cons

  • Despite catching up to Touchstone and Dimplex, the price of Spectrum Slimline is quite high (due to patented Hybrid-FX™ flame and slim design)
  • No short model (below 50″) available
  • Noise levels can amount to about 40 dD

4. Most Realistic Electric Fireplace Insert With Logs: Dimplex Revillusion RBF

Dimplex is the biggest name in the electric fireplaces industry. While Touchstone is known as a more modern brand (making primarily wall-mounted units), Dimplex is the golden standard for classic electric fireplaces that encapsulate the real feel of a wood fire.

The best Dimplex insert – which is obviously the overall best electric fireplace insert – is the Dimplex Revillusion RBF model. In this model, Dimplex decided to showcase 3 aspects that make this brand so great. Dimplex Revillusion RBF is:

  1. Most powerful electric fireplace (2,575W / 8,794 BTU).
  2. Most realistic electric fireplace insert (with logs and biggest flames).
  3. Best overall insert electric fireplace design.

Let’s start with the power. While most electric fireplaces can take only 1,500W input, the Dimplex Revillusion RBF is capable of handling 1,000W more than that (2,575W in total). That means the heating output is almost 9,000 BTU (8,794 BTU, to be exact). Such an electric fireplace insert can heat up rooms up to 300 sq ft on its own; just like a real wood fire.

The insert design is also shorter and higher than the wall-mounted design. That gave Dimplex space to put in ambers and it also allowed for the generation of bigger flames. The combination of these ambers and bigger flames makes the flames in the Dimplex Revillusion RBF look much more realistic. In fact, due to these two factors, the Dimplex Revillusion RBF has arguably the most realistic flames among all electric fireplaces.

You can choose between ‘Herringbone Brick’ and ‘Weathered Concrete’ design; both further give a feeling of a real homely hearth. Width-wise, you can choose between 24″, 30″, 36″, and 42″ models. The 36″ model is especially popular and considered the best 36″ electric fireplace insert currently on the market.

All in all, Dimplex is the #1 brand. In their Dimplex Revillusion RBF model, they have shown how realistic an electric fireplace can be. With 1,000+ watts of additional power input for a better heating, classic design that frees up space for logs and bigger flame, and with the brick or concrete finish, the Dimplex Revillusion RBF is arguably the most realistic looking electric fireplace insert on the market:

Dimplex Revillusion RBF Review

Pros

  • Best electric fireplace insert (classic fireplace look)
  • Most powerful electric fireplace (2,575W input / 8,794 BTU heating output)
  • Most realistic flames (with logs + bigger flames + brick/concrete finish; outstanding)
  • Dimplex is the #1 brand for electric fireplaces
Cons

  • Requires 240V circuit due to higher electric power input needs
  • Can’t avoid Dimplex pricing; high price for the best fireplaces
  • Needs an existing fireplace to install the unit in; or alternatively, you have to make a big recess in the wall

5. Best Electric Fireplace Mantel With TV Stand (All-In-One): GMHome EF-30AKF White

For a more classic look, reminiscent of the 60s and 70s, you can get the best electric fireplace with a TV stand. It’s a fireplace + mantel + TV on the top all-in-one look (fireplace and fireplace mantel come with the purchase, TV is separate of course).

Now, there are companies that make fireplaces and companies that make furniture. For the most optimum fireplace mantel look, you have to look for a company that’s the perfect marriage of fireplace production and furniture production. The closest thing you can find is the GMHome and the best electric fireplace mantel with a TV stand is the GMHome EF-30AKF with an ivory finish.

With the GMHome EF-30AKF, you get the standard 1,500W electric fireplace that is already placed inside the fireplace mantel. You can store books in the mantel, place a TV console in there, you can use your imagination how to perfectly use that mantel to add to the overall interior design.

The key part – the electric fireplace – is usually quite standard in these electric mantels. And they should be. The most important two requirements that many homeowners have from such a fireplace are:

  1. Realistic flames.
  2. Plug-in installation.

Nobody really likes to be bothered with extensive installations, especially when it comes to electric fireplace mantels. Just a quick plug-in into a 120-volt outlet and the fireplace should start glowing. And the glow should give a realistic feel with realistic-looking flames. GMHome EF-30AKF has both of those.

All in all, electric fireplace mantels are pretty popular. They are all-in-one solutions, and you can even put a TV on top. The GMHome EF-30AKF with the ivory finish is the best electric fireplace mantel because it most optimally combines the fireplace with the surrounding furniture. It’s also available at an affordable price:

GMHome EF-30AKF Fireplace Mantel Review

Pros

  • Optimum marriage of fireplace design and furniture design
  • Standard no-fuss 1,500W electric fireplace with a built-in thermostat (62°F to 82°F)
  • Very easy plug-it-in installation (120V outlet)
  • Affordable below $1,000 price; uncommon for fireplaces, more common for fireplace mantels
Cons

  • GMHome is primarily a furniture company; the fireplaces are not made by them
  • GMHome doesn’t have near the appeal Touchstone or Dimplex enjoy
  • Limited lifespan for the fireplace compared to fireplace-first models
  • Only comes in 24″ width (fireplace width)

6. Most High-End Linear Electric Fireplace: Dimplex Opti-V Series Solo

Now, as we mentioned, modern electric fireplaces are a bit about heating, but a lot about interior design. The aesthetics are everything. If you’re looking for the best interior design electric fireplace piece and the price is not the issue, you should check the high-end units.

Arguably the best ones are made by Dimplex, of course. The Dimplex V series has the reputation of being the artistic series of electric fireplaces. The Dimplex Opti-V Solo is the best high-end electric fireplace money can buy.

As is the case with most art pieces, the Dimplex Opti-V Solo is not without its controversies. Case and point: this is a fireplace that doesn’t heat. A fireplace without a heating function is, according to some options, just for show.

And that’s exactly what Dimplex Opti-V Solo aspires to be. This is not a heating unit. If you can afford several thousand dollars for an electric fireplace, you probably already have adequate heating. The lack of heating is just to show ‘hey, this is not a robust heating device; it’s an art piece’.

No one can really question the elegance of Dimplex Opti-V Solo. Dimplex being Dimplex, however, they have created a well-thought-out electric fireplace that focuses on what’s important: the looks.

If you’re into high-end design, or would just like to propel your home price higher, the Dimplex Opti-V Solo gives you that grandeur interior design breath that only art pieces can make with:

Dimplex Opti-V Fireplace Review

Pros

  • Best high-end electric fireplace
  • Two versions: Solo (29″) and Duet (54″)
  • Grandeur aesthetic appeal; basically, these are art pieces for interior design
  • Made by Dimplex; the #1 brand for electric fireplaces
Cons

  • High-end prices (Solo costs about $4,000 and Duet is about $8,000)
  • No heating elements; everything is focused on the design

7. Best Freestanding Electric Fireplace (Pine And Stone): Dimplex SMP-904-ST Fieldstone

As we know, Dimplex is the #1 brand for classic electric fireplaces. Along with the wall-hanging and insert types of fireplaces, Dimplex also manufactures the best freestanding electric fireplace. Case and point: Dimplex SMP-904-ST Fieldstone, arguable the most homely and realistic looking freestanding electric fireplace with a stone-like mantel.

Despite being a freestanding electric fireplace mantel, the Dimplex SMP-904-ST Fieldstone has the same 1,500W Dimplex heating element (nichrome heating coils included) as most of their fireplaces. It is capable to generate more than 5,000 BTU of heating output; enough to provide supplemental heating to up to 500 sq ft rooms.

This 26″ freestanding fireplace also has a built-in thermostat that runs the heating element as cost-efficiently as possible.

What is really interesting is that you have limited color options. As we know, this is not necessarily a con; it can be a pro. And if it’s Dimplex, you know they limit the color options for a very good reason.

The reason is this: you get a patented, life-like flame effect with inner glow logs molded from wood logs for a realistic look. That setting gives the most realistic and homely look. You don’t need pink, green, blue LED lights; that would only make the flame more artificial, and that’s not what Dimplex is about.

Be aware that the whole freestanding electric fireplace is quite heavy. While most electric fireplaces weigh less than 100 lbs, the Dimplex SMP-904-ST Fieldstone weighs almost 200 lbs (191 lbs, to be exact). Installation is not technically that difficult, but you’re gonna sweat a lot just lifting the parts of this fireplace.

All in all, Dimplex just reaffirms that it’s the #1 top electric fireplace manufacturer with the Dimplex SMP-904-ST Fieldstone. This is the best freestanding electric fireplace with the most realistic feel and flame:

Freestanding Dimplex Fireplace Review

Pros

  • Well-rounded classic feel of a freestanding electric fireplace
  • The same 1,500W heating element Dimplex customarily uses (with 5,000+ BTU heating output)
  • Solid stone-like mantel surrounding the electric fireplace
  • Dimplex brand; most reliable manufacturer
Cons

  • Also comes with the Dimplex pricing
  • It’s heavy; 191 lbs heavy. Will need strong hands to install and move it around

This has been a long overview of electric fireplaces with a shortlist of the best electric fireplaces currently on the market. If you have any questions regarding these fireplaces that are powered by electricity, you can pose them in the comments below and we’ll try our best to help you out.

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