Electric Fireplace Buying Guide

What is an Electric Fireplace?

Quick Answer: Electric fireplaces make home heating easy.

Electric fireplaces make home heating easy, efficient, and stylish. Though their illusory flames are created with innovative light displays instead of regular combustion, the warmth and comfort they provide is about as real as it gets. And when it comes to ease of use, installation, and cleanup, these units are a great alternative to wood-burning fireplaces or gas logs. Most electric fireplaces can simply be plugged into a wall outlet with no professional help required, plus they offer eco-friendly energy consumption. Our experts have put together this handy guide on buying an electric fireplace to make your search easy and fun.

Benefits of Electric Fireplaces

  • Aesthetically Pleasing

    These fireplaces can make a beautiful addition to any room with dancing flame displays and glowing ember beds in many colorful combinations.

  • Inexpensive To Operate

    With more than 90% of their input energy converted into heat, electric fireplaces are extremely fuel efficient.

  • Supplemental Heat

    Most of these units come equipped with a built-in heater to add just the right amount of warmth to indoor spaces when needed.

  • Easy To Install

    Installing the average electric fireplace is as easy as placing it where you want and plugging it into a standard wall outlet!

  • Safe To Use

    These appliances emit no harmful byproducts, are cool to the touch when in operation, and present none of the dangers of open flames.

  • Versatile Features

    Most of these models can run the heater and flame display independently in addition to providing helpful features.

  • Multiple Mounting Options

    Depending on your available space and personal style, these units can be mounted in many different configurations.

  • Customizable Display

    Electric hearths have a large variety of colored LEDs in the flame display and ember beds, allowing you to mix and match colors.

Top Electric Fireplace Trends

We’ve been selling many kinds of fireplace systems for more than 20 years, so we've seen lots of home decorating trends come and go. While the popularity of electric units in general has grown considerably over the last decade, there are a few notable styles that stand out right now.

  • White Electric Fireplaces

    White Electric Fireplaces

    Classic and timeless, it’s no wonder that these models are among the most popular sold today. They have either a white trim around the firebox or an all-white mantel that draws the eye and sets the fireplace apart as the central element of the room. White décor also tends to make a space seem both brighter and larger, not to mention it serves as a brilliant backdrop for the multicolored flames of an electric fireplace.

  • Linear Electric Fireplaces

    Linear Electric Fireplaces

    By pairing technology with art, linear electric units bring a contemporary flair to just about any indoor space. Some of these models are designed to be wall mounted, while others can be partially or fully recessed into a wall for seamless integration with the rest of your décor. No matter which configuration you choose, the look of dancing flames surrounded by the sleek lines of a linear electric hearths will wow family and friends alike.

  • Smart Electric Fireplaces with Digital Assistant Compatibility

    Smart Electric Fireplaces

    Every aspect of the home is getting smarter, so shouldn’t your fireplace follow suit? These units make it possible to adjust heat, flame, and timer settings or turn the firebox on an off by simply speaking to Alexa. With a smart electric fireplace, you’ll never have to get up to change the settings or even feel the need to use the included remote. Just keep in mind that an Amazon account is required to operate these devices.

Electric Fireplace Mounting Types

The size and style of your space will likely dictate which configuration is best for you. If space is important, consider adding a wall mounted or built-in unit. These models can be mounted above or below a TV, though we recommended leaving about 6–8 inches of space between them. An electric log set or mantel package, meanwhile, imparts a traditional look, whereas an entertainment center or stove heater is a good conversation-starter.

  • Wall Mount Electric Fireplaces

    Wall Mount

    Wall mount electric fireplaces are ideal for apartments or smaller rooms where floor space is unavailable. In addition to simply being hung on a wall, these units can be semi-recessed or fully recessed for a more permanent heating solution.

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  • Built-in Electric Fireplaces


    Another space-saving option, built-in models are installed in a wall cutout and sit flush with the opening. Just keep in mind that this kind of fireplace will need to be hardwired into a dedicated circuit by a licensed electrician.

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  • Electric Fireplace Entertainment Centers

    Entertainment Center Packages

    With these units, you can enjoy the ease of an electric fireplace along with the functionality and storage of an entertainment center. Combing your hearth appliance and media area will ultimately save you precious floor space and enhance your décor.

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  • Electric Fireplace Inserts

    Electric Fireplace Inserts

    Instead of being mounted on a wall, inserts are designed to easily fit into a brick or stone fireplace, fireplace mantel, or entertainment center. These self-contained fireboxes can be purchased together with the appropriate mantel or media console.

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  • Electric Fireplace Mantel Packages

    Mantel Packages

    Mantel packages include the mantel and firebox insert, which pair together to simulate the look of a traditional fireplace. They come with many different log, ember, and fire glass media options and are available in stone, wood, or white finishes.

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  • Electric Log Sets

    Electric Logs

    Similar to gas logs, electric logs are stand-alone sets meant to be placed in an existing masonry fireplace. They’re a convenient alternative to wood or gas logs because there’s no hassle with cleanup or installation — just plug in and enjoy.

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  • Electric Stove Heaters

    Electric Stove Heaters

    These models provide a cozy cabin aesthetic while remaining among the most hassle-free electric hearth appliances on the market. The traditional wood-burning look combined with their powerful heating ability is simply hard to beat.

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  • Outdoor Electric Fireplaces

    Outdoor Electric Fireplaces

    Some electric hearth models are even rated for outdoor use, thanks to waterproofing technology and additional protection against wind. Their ambient light and graceful flames can transform your patio into everyone’s favorite hangout spot.

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  • Electric Fireplace Accessories

    Electric Fireplace Accessories

    If you want your electric fireplace to stand out even more, try throwing in some media accessories like branches or stones to complement your décor. Just be sure to check whether the model you plan to purchase allows for accessories.

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Before You Buy an Electric Fireplace:

  • White Electric Fireplaces

    Measure Your Space

    Electric fireplaces generally list their heating capabilities in terms of square feet, so it’s important that you measure the space you want to warm if you plan on using the unit as a heat source instead of just a design element. Whether your ideal model is built-in, mounted on a wall, or configured like a mantel or media console, knowing the size of the space will help you narrow your options.

  • Linear Electric Fireplaces

    Estimate Your Operating Cost

    Once you’ve purchased your model, the only additional operating costs will be the electricity it uses. Most of these fireplaces can run for just 3 cents per hour without heat and 8 cents per hour with heat, though electrical rates differ from place to place. On top of their high-level efficiency, electric hearth appliances can satisfy eco-friendly homeowners because they don’t produce any harmful byproducts or emissions.

  • Faux Stone Electric Fireplaces

    Do Your Research

    If you made it this far, you’ve already gotten a head start on this step! We recommend continuing your research by checking out our electric fireplace warranty charts and electric fireplace expert reviews, which highlight the pros and cons of our most popular models. Our experts have also put together several handy lists of the best electric fireplaces of the year. For even more help making your decision, call one of our home and hearth experts at 1-877-743-2269 today.

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