The 8 Best Electric Fireplace Heaters of 2021

Contemporary alternatives to a wood-burning fireplace.

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An electric fireplace heater can be a lower-emissions alternative to both wood-burning and gas fireplaces, particularly for homes that are powered by renewable electricity. If you're concerned about getting off of fossil fuels, continuing to burn wood, or just sick of cleaning up ash, a fireplace heater might be right for you. Not only are these smokeless electric heaters low-maintenance, they can heat a room more effectively than a traditional wood-burning fireplace. According to Treehugger’s resident architect Lloyd Alter, fireplace heaters can be good for houses that need spot heating. 

As a stylish upgrade from a portable space heater, adding the comforting glow of a faux fireplace, electric fireplace heaters can also enhance a room's décor. There are a wide variety of options available, including log fireboxes, self-standing units, wall mounts, and inserts that fit snugly into existing hearths or media centers.

We looked for the most energy-efficient models in our search for the best electric fireplace heaters.

The Rundown
Duraflame offers a traditional design with powerful quartz heating technology that’s reasonably priced.
Loaded with features, this log set is an easy way to reignite an old fireplace hearth.
The Lasko Ultra is both lightweight and effective, combining ambiance with portability, so you can bring a fireplace to any room.
With a wealth of added features, this versatile add-on is perfect for an existing fireplace or media center.
The Real Flame offers a charming and functional way to liven up lesser-used portions of a living area.
Functional and affordable, the 1400-watt Euhomy Electric Fireplace Heater has a classic, cozy charm.
This wall-mounted faux fireplace is not just a heat source, it's also a sleek design statement.
The AmeriWood Electric Fireplace doubles as a television console, making it a functional focal point for any living area.

Best Overall: Duraflame 3D Infrared Electric Fireplace Stove

Duraflame

Dimensions: 25 x 13 x 24 inches | Watts: 1500 | Auto Shut Off: Yes

The Duraflame Electric 3D Flame Effect Infrared Quartz Heater is an excellent choice for a freestanding fireplace, with a traditional-yet-elegant stove design, powerful heating capability (up to 1,000 square feet), and moderate price. The 1500-watt, mid-sized heater measures 25 x 13 x 24 inches and weighs 28 pounds, making it a centerpiece to any living area, while still being small enough to relocate if needed.

The quartz heating capability maintains the humidity in the room, so it doesn't worsen dryness in the winter. For convenience, it has an adjustable remote-controlled thermostat and five brightness settings. The heater is available in grey, cinnamon, navy, cream, or black.

Duraflame Electric Heat, manufactured by Twin Star Home, is a member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council, a coalition of home furnishings manufacturers and retailers aimed at minimizing carbon emissions and pollutants in the industry.

Best Log Set: Turbro Eternal Flame EF23-LG Electric Fireplace Logs Heater

Electric fireplace

Dimensions: 23 x 9 x 13 inches | Watts: 1400 | Auto Shut Off: Yes

One cost-effective way to breathe new life into an underutilized fireplace is by installing an electric log set like the Turbro Eternal Flame, a firebox unit that simulates lemonwood embers. It has three flame settings ranging from soft glow to burning bright. While designed for existing fireplaces, the 23-inch fireplace insert can be used anywhere in the home.

The 1400-watt heater outputs 4,777 BTUs (British Thermal Units), which is less than several other options in this round-up, but still sufficient to heat a space up to 400 square feet. The remote control allows you to make adjustments to the simulated flames and temperature, or to set a timer.

The Turbro Eternal Flame Electrice Fireplace Logs Heater is CSA-certified for safety, with an automatic shut-off to protect against overheating.

Good to Know

Before considering an electric fireplace heater, be sure to weatherize your home to maximize heat. Seal up windows and doors, wrap heating ducts, and use draft stoppers around the base of doors and windows.

Best Portable: Lasko Ultra 1500-Watt Electric Ceramic Fireplace Space Heater

Lasko Ultra 1500-Watt Electric Ceramic Fireplace Portable Space Heater

Dimensions: 8 x 12 x 19 inches | Watts: 1500 | Auto Shut Off: Yes

The Lasko Ultra is both lightweight and effective, combining ambiance with portability, so you can bring a fireplace to any room. Weighing just 12 pounds, this heater is perfect for a dorm, office, or bedroom. It even has a handle.

The Lasko Ultra Ceramic has three settings, offering high heat, low heat, and a flame only setting that showcases its realistic embers and imitation flames. In less than two hours, the ceramic heater can warm a room up of up to 300 square feet with a quiet fan blower system. An automatic protection mechanism will shut off the device if it detects overheating, and the cool-touch window offers added safety.

While its portability makes the Lasko Ultra Ceramic Fireplace Heater a great option for small spaces, you also lose a few common features, like a digital thermostat and remote.

Best Insert: Classic Flame Ventless Infrared Electric Fireplace Insert with Safer Plug

Electric Fireplace

Dimensions: 23 x 9 x 20 inches | Watts: 1500 | Auto Shut Off: Yes

Few fireplace inserts have as many options as this Classic Flame model, making it a versatile pick for existing hearth and media center spaces. The 23-inch Ventless Infrared Electric Fireplace Insert can heat up to 1,000 square feet with a maximum 5,200 BTU output, which can be adjusted with the included thermostat remote control. It uses infrared quartz heat that won't remove moisture from the air.

But what's really unique about the Classic Flame insert are the wealth of options for customizing the simulated flames and embers behind its tempered-glass doors. The electric fireplace has five color options, five speed settings, and five brightness levels, for a combined 125 different flame effects. You can also use the flames without the heat, for a soothing year-round lighting option.

Safety features include an automatic shut off if the plug temperature gets too high and risks electrical fire, plus a shutoff that detects objects obscuring the heater's output. Unlike other models, which can be moved room to room, the Classic Flame insert is intended as a permanent installation, and therefore requires some assembly.

Best Corner: Real Flame 41-Inch Chateau Corner Electric Fireplace

Electric fireplace

Dimensions: 41 x 25 x 38 inches | Watts: 1400 | Auto Shut Off: Yes

The Real Flame Chateau Corner Electric Fireplace is perfect for cold corners of the living or dining room. The 1500-watt firebox uses infrared technology to produce enough heat to warm up to 1,000 square feet at six different temperature settings. An included remote control has a timer function and programmable thermostat. Combining orange, red/orange, white, blue/white and multi-color flame colors with five brightness settings, the LED flames can also provide light without heat.

Measuring 41 x 25 x 37 inches, the Chateau Fireplace combines solid wood with an MDF veneer available in three finishes (espresso, dark walnut, white) and will wedge itself into any open corner of your house. Assembly tools are included.

Best Budget: Euhomy Electric Fireplace Heater

Euhomy Electric Fireplace Heater

Dimensions: 15 x 9 x 18 inches | Watts: 1400 | Auto Shut Off: Yes

Functional and affordable, the 1400-watt Euhomy Electric Fireplace Heater has a classic, cozy charm. Styled like a black cast iron stove, the Euhomy heater is both freestanding and portable, weighing in at 13 pound.

Suitable for heating rooms up to 160 square feet, this fireplace heater includes remote control thermostat and a timer that can be set for 30 minutes or up to 6 hours. Controls on the freestanding heater unit are pleasingly simple, with a knob for temperature adjustment and two separate switches for the heating and simulated flames components.

Designed to shut off automatically in case of overheating, or if the unit is tipped over, the Euhomy Electric Fireplace Heater is CSA certified.

Best Wall-Mounted: R.W.FLAME 50-Inch Electric Fireplace

R.W.FLAME Electric Fireplace 50 inch Recessed and Wall Mounted

Dimensions: 50 x 4 x 18 inches | Watts: 1500 | Auto Shut Off: Yes

This wall-mounted faux fireplace is not just a heat source, it's also a sleek design statement. Shaped more like a TV than a space heater, the R.W.FLAME Electric Fireplace is less than 4 inches thick. It can be installed partially or fully recessed and mounted on a variety of wall studs.

Features include a touch screen and remote control, allowing for aesthetic adjustments to the simulated flames, including 12 flame color options, 5 speed settings, and 5 brightness modes. There's also a timer and sleep mode dimmer option.

Capable of warming 400 square feet, the fireplace has 750 or 1500 watt heat settings. The R.W.FLAME Electric Fireplace will shut off automatically before overheating and is ETL certified for safety.

Best Hybrid: Ameriwood Home Farmington Electric Fireplace TV Console

Ameriwood Home Farmington Electric Fireplace TV Console up to 60" in Black Oak

Dimensions: 50 x 3.89 x 18.11 inches | Watts: 1400 | Auto Shut Off: Yes

The Ameriwood Electric Fireplace doubles as a television console, making it a functional focal point for any living area. The console features a rustic wood design with an open top shelf and two storage cabinets. Constructed from particleboard and laminated MDF, the Farmington Electric Fireplace TV Console can support 60-inch TV screens.

The built-in fireplace is 23 inches and comes with a remote control. Features include four different flame settings, from roaring fire to glowing embers, which can be used with or without heat. Capable of warming up to 400 square feet, the Ameriwood Electric Fireplace also includes a sleep timer and digital thermostat.

When assembled, the entire unit measures 29 x 49 x 16 inches.

Final Verdict

For most generic use cases, it's hard to beat the Duraflame Electric 3D Flame Effect Infrared Quartz Heater, which provides excellent heating in a freestanding package that can be moved from room to room without too much effort. If you are instead searching for an alternative to your existing wood-burning fireplace, the Ventless Infrared Electric Fireplace Insert by Classic Flame (view on Home Depot) is an excellent and flexible insert option. If all that matters is affordable heating for a small space, check out the Euhomy Electric Fireplace Heater (view on Amazon), which combines portability with a great price.

What to Look for in an Electric Fireplace Heater

Installation Type

Before considering function, you'll first need to decide what form of electric fireplace works for your space. The two broad options are freestanding electric models that can be deployed to different rooms or a more permanent installation. More permanent options available include inserts for existing fireplaces, heating units built into useful pieces of furniture, and corner models designed to stay out of the way. If you're looking for as little fuss as possible, a freestanding model can also let you avoid tricky assemblies and installations.

Heating Power

The other key factor in choosing an electric fireplace heater is the square footage of the space you are trying to heat. Some heaters are designed for smaller rooms, and placing heaters that are too powerful in a room can result in excessive energy use. A 1400-watt unit is suitable for most small spaces, but if you're hoping to warm a larger room, look for something with higher wattage and an output over 5,000 BTUs.

Added Features

Most electric heaters now include an automatic safety shut down that detects if the heater is getting too hot or, with freestanding heaters, a tip-over sensor. Other common features include sleep timers and remote controls. If you're more interested in using an electric fireplace as a space heater, then look for a model with multiple heat settings and a digital thermostat, so you can set your own temperature. But if your electric fireplace is more of an aesthetic statement, then customizable simulated flame options and the ability to use the fireplace without heat should be more of a priority.

FAQs

How energy efficient are electric fireplace heaters?

Although they still require electric energy to run (and thus still contribute to carbon emissions), electric fireplaces boast high energy efficiency because most of the electricity used is converted to usable heat. In comparison, wood burning fireplaces loose most of their heat to ventilation.

According to the EPA, most traditional open fireplaces lose over 90 percent of the fire's heat through the chimney. This makes electric fireplaces, which don’t require a chimney, much more efficient at heating spaces. Plus, they don’t create the particle pollution produced by burning wood, improving your indoor air quality.

How safe are electric fireplace heaters?

Most fireplace heaters now come with automatic shut off timers and do not get hot enough to ignite nearby materials. There is also no smoke to inhale, so they are a much safer option for your health than wood fireplaces. Most models are also cool to the touch, making them a safe option in most spaces.

Are electric fireplace heaters expensive to run? 

Overall, electric fireplace heaters are one of the more affordable ways to heat your home. The cost to run an electric fireplace heater depends on several factors, including electricity costs in your area, the energy consumption of the individual unit, and how much time you operate it. Factoring in average electricity costs, the average person can expect to pay around $50 to $80 per year to run an electric fireplace.

Why Trust Treehugger?

Treehugger is dedicated to helping our readers transition their homes off of fossil fuels. Originally from Western New York’s snow belt, Amber Nolan spent many winters huddled near a fireplace. To choose the best options for this article, she consulted dozens of manufacturers and evaluated the latest products on the market.

View Article Sources
  1. "Energy Efficiency and Your Wood-Burning Appliance." Environmental Protection Agency.

  2. "Choosing the Right Fireplace or Fireplace Retrofit Device." Environmental Protection Agency.