Best Electric Fireplace Inserts 2022: Top 12 Reviews & Buying Guide

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Electric Fireplace Inserts

Are you thinking about buying an electric fireplace insert?

You’ve come to the right place.

Compared with traditional gas and wood fireplaces, electric fireplace inserts are cheaper to set up, require almost no maintenance, and you never have to worry about your home getting smoky.

Today’s best electric fireplace inserts look extremely realistic and are just as cozy and beautiful as real fireplaces.

Many also produce heat using an integrated heater to provide a relaxing fireplace experience.

What’s In This Guide

This 15-minute buying guide will help you find the best electric fireplace insert for your home.

This guide covers fireplace inserts. In this guide, we cover the following information:

– reviews of the best fireplace inserts selling today
– the key features of log sets, built-in fireplaces, and inserts, and plug-in fireplace inserts
– how to select the right fireplace or insert for your home
how to install a fireplace insert properly (it’s easy).

If you’re interested in other types of electric fireplaces, check out our more comprehensive guide to the best electric fireplaces in 5 different categories.

Not enough time to read it all? Email this guide to yourself!
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12 Best Electric Fireplace Inserts 2022: Comparison

Fireplace InsertAwardStyleWidthHeaterPrice
ClassicFlame 39EB500GRA
Best traditionalTraditional39”4400 or
9500 BTU

Dimplex Synergy
Best modernModern50”4,200 BTU
Comfort Glow
Best valueTraditional23”4,600 BTU
Dimplex Purifire
Best heatingTraditional33”4,900 or
9,200 BTU

Best builder’s boxTraditional w/
digital display
28”4,400 BTU
Best cabinet electric fireplaceTraditional
oak cabinet
28”5,100 BTU
Dimplex Opti-Myst
Most realistic flamesTraditional
open hearth
28”no heater
Dimplex 18″ Opti-Myst
Best for small roomsTraditional18”no heater
ClassicFlame SpectraFire
Most versatileTraditional26”4,600 BTU
Dimplex DFI2309
Traditional23”4,700 BTU
ClassicFlame 36″
Traditional36”4,400 BTU
Comfort Smart Verve
curved screen
24”4,900 BTU

Best Electric Fireplaces 2022: Reviews

1. Best Log-Style/Traditional Fireplace Insert: ClassicFlame 39EB500GRA 39″ 

ClassicFlame 39EB500GRA

If you are looking for an electric fireplace insert with the charm and feel of a traditional fireplace, this is the best choice.


  • Beautiful log-style fireplace.
  • Highly realistic flame and log effects.
  • Compatible with 120V or 240V voltage. You can heat a 400 or 800 square feet room.
  • Easy temperature adjustment using the multi-directional remote control.
  • Energy-saving timer.
  • Independent heat and flame controls allow year-round use.


  • Some parts are delicate and break easily. Handle it with care.

Our Review

The ClassicFlame 39EB500GRA fireplace uses SpectraFire flame technology to create super-realistic flames.

The log set looks very realistic as well, with embers glowing and burning just like real logs. The only thing that might seem unusual if you are used to a real wood-burning fireplace is the lack of crackling sounds.

But you can buy a fire crackler sound system separately and install it near the fireplace.

A faux brick interior adds to the charm, making it feel like you have a real fireplace in the room.

This fireplace insert comes with supplemental heat available in two output levels. When connected to a 120V voltage, it can warm a room of up to 400 sq. Ft. It can also be connected to a 240V voltage, in which case, it can heat a room of up to 800 sq. Ft.

Using the included remote control, you can set the temperature anywhere between 59F to 86F. You can also turn off the heat completely without switching off the flame effects.

This lets you enjoy the fireplace all year round regardless of the weather.

You can change the brightness of the flames and set an automatic switch-off timer anywhere between 30 minutes and 9 hours.

Issues & Limitations

The main concern from customers is the durability of the fireplace. Some parts, like the faux brick side and rear, are flimsy and break easily.

Handle the fireplace carefully when installing it.

In case of any other problem, such as the heater not working, your purchase is covered by a 1-year warranty. During that period, the manufacturer will repair the fireplace and replace any faulty parts.

Read Our Review

2. Best Modern-Style Fireplace Insert: Dimplex Synergy 50-Inch Electric Fireplace

Dimplex Synergy 50 Inch Electric Fireplace

The Dimplex Synergy fireplace inserts blend seamlessly into a modern-styled home while still adding the warm charm of a traditional fireplace to your living area.


  • Beautiful modern styling.
  • Realistic 3D flame effect.
  • Remote control for easy heat and flame control.
  • Separate heat and flame control allow year-round use.


  • Only heats small spaces.

Our Review

If you prefer a modern style fireplace insert, the Dimplex Synergy is a great choice.

The elongated design (it is 50″ long), the black trim, and the smooth glass front are perfect for contemporary decor.

This fireplace is designed for recessing or mounting on the wall. So you can get it even if you don’t have an existing fireplace at home. Just follow the simple installation instructions in the user manual.

The glowing embers (which are pieces of glass) and the dancing flames create a very realistic effect that adds a nice ambiance to the room.

If you also need to chase away the chill, there is a heating option that you can turn on and off independently from the flame effects.

There are only two temperature settings: low heat and high heat. There’s no precise thermostat like in most electric fireplace inserts.

But the two settings are enough for most people’s heating needs.

Issues & Limitations

The built-in heater is not very powerful. If you are hoping to use the Dimplex Synergy fireplace to warm a large space, you’ll be disappointed.

Read Our Review

3. Best Value: Comfort Glow 23-Inch Electric Fireplace Insert/Log Set

Comfort Smart 23-Inch Electric Fireplace Insert Log Set - ELCG240

If you are looking for a cheaper fireplace insert that looks good and produces realistic flames, we recommend the 23″ Comfort Glow electric fireplace insert.


  • Affordable.
  • Very realistic flames, considering the price.
  • Remote control.
  • Independent heat and flame control.


  • The integrated heater is ideal only for small spaces.

Our Review

Electric fireplace inserts can be pretty pricey, with most costing well over $1,000 and premium brands going for $2,000+.

If you are looking for something cheaper, try this compact fireplace insert.

It uses a very simple method to create a realistic fireplace effect. The logs have LED lights embedded in them. Their orange hue creates the appearance of glowing logs.

The flames are created by moving flame-shaped metal fins that reflect light off their surface.

For the price, this insert looks very realistic. The only thing missing is some smoke effects and crackling sounds.

There are three flame brightness levels to choose from. So during the day, you can max out the brightness to make sure the fireplace is still visible.

The insert also provides supplemental heat though it’s not much. It’s only effective in small rooms (around 150 square feet).

If the room you are planning to use it in is bigger than this, you’ll only benefit from the ambiance. Any heat produced quickly disperses before it reaches you.

You can adjust the heat level using a remote control and turn it off/on separately from the flame effects.

Issues & Limitations

The heater in the Comfort Glow fireplace insert is ideal for small rooms only. If you’ve installed the insert in a large room, you have to be right in front of the fireplace to feel any heat.

Read Our Review

4. Best Choice for Heating Your Room: Dimplex 33-Inch Purifire Built-in Electric Fireplace

Dimplex 33-Inch Purifire Built-in Electric Fireplace - BF33DXP

If you need a fireplace insert that can heat a small to the mid-size room, get the Dimplex 33″ electric fireplace.


  • The integrated heater can warm up to 800 square feet.
  • Ultra-realistic flames and logs.
  • Programmable thermostat.
  • Remote control.


  • Pricey.

Our Review

The integrated heater is rated at 2,700 watts (around 9,000 BTUs). It can comfortably warm an 800 square feet room when connected to a 240V power source.

As you enjoy the warmth from the heater, you’ll also love the ambiance created by the hyper-realistic log set and flames.

The logs are handcrafted to resemble actual logs. LED bulbs are then embedded inside them to create the effect of glowing logs and embers.

The flames also look very real though there is no option for changing their brightness or intensity.

This is a dual voltage electric fireplace meaning you can connect it to a 120V or 240V power source.

Issues & Limitations

The realistic log set and the powerful heater don’t come cheap. The Dimplex fireplace costs more than most fireplace inserts of its size.

Read Our Review

5. Best Builder’s Box Fireplace Insert: AKDY 28″ Electric Firebox

AKDY Electric Fireplace Insert

The AKDY 28″ electric fireplace is another great choice if you are looking for an affordable electric fireplace insert. It costs less than $300 but is just as realistic as other pricier inserts.


  • Realistic burning logs and flames.
  • Remote control.
  • Tempered glass-front – durable and scratch-resistant.
  • Programmable thermostat.


  • The heater is ideal only for small spaces.

Our Review

The logs inside the Akdy fireplace insert glow just like real logs, and the flames are super realistic as well. The jet-black backdrop inside the insert helps brighten up the flames and make them more visible even during the day.

A faux brick interior gives the insert a nice traditional look.

The AKDY firebox also comes with supplemental heating but only for small rooms (around 150 square feet). There are several heat levels, and you can turn the heat off completely while still leaving the flames on.

It comes with remote control for easy temperature and flame control from the Comfort of your couch.

Installation is simple. All accessories you need to fit it into an existing fireplace are included.

As for power, it plugs into a standard 120V outlet.

Issues & Limitations

Unless you are sitting right in front of the fireplace, you won’t feel the heat. The integrated heater is meant to warm small spaces of up to 150 square feet.

But it’s not completely useless. On a cold day, it can take some of the chills out of the air.

Read Our Review

6. Best Cabinet Electric Fireplace: Lifesmart Large Room Infrared Quartz Fireplace

Lifesmart Large Room Infrared Quartz Fireplace

If you live in an apartment or a house without an existing fireplace, an electric cabinet fireplace is the best choice since it doesn’t need to go into a fireplace.

This one from Lifesmart is 28″ long and comes in a beautiful cabinet with an oak finish. A built-in infrared heater provides supplemental heating for rooms up to 1,000 square feet.


  • Versatile – you can place it anywhere in the room.
  • It doesn’t require a fireplace.
  • No installation – just plug it in, and it’s good to go.
  • Beautiful oak-finished cabinet.
  • Powerful infrared heater.


  • Several customers say their units came damaged.
  • Small – may not look great in a large room.

Our Review

The design of this insert is elegant and sleek yet warm and traditional. The insert is set inside a dark oak cabinet and mantel.

So you don’t need to install it in a fireplace or cabinet. It looks perfect all on its own.

The top section of the insert where the vents and the display screen are has been enhanced with modern-looking grills. The whole setup looks so real. Few people seeing it for the first time will doubt it’s a real fireplace.

This is one of the most powerful inserts in our top picks when it comes to heating capability.

With a 5,100-BTU capacity, it can easily heat a 1,000 square feet room. Many customers say they have to turn it off after some time because of too much heat.

Instead of the usual fan-blown heat produced by most inserts, this one gives off infrared heat. The advantage of infrared heat is that it does not dry up the hair, ensuring the room remains comfortable.

The Lifesmart insert includes a remote to set the temperature, choose the flame effect, and switch the heat function on or off.

Issues & Limitations

The main problem customers have encountered during delivery. One or two reports of a damaged unit are not a problem – it happens in shipping.

But there are just too many customers saying they received a damaged fireplace insert. Luckily, all were able to get replacements immediately.

Something else customers say is that the fireplace is smaller than they expected. At 28″ in length, it looks best in apartments and small to medium-size rooms.

In a large bedroom or living room, the fireplace will be too small to enhance the room’s décor.

Read Our Review

7. Most Realistic Flames: Dimplex 28-Inch Opti-Myst Electric Fireplace Log Set

Dimplex 28-Inch Opti-Myst Electric Fireplace Log Set - DLGM29

The Opti-Myst series of Dimplex electric fireplaces use ultrasonic technology to create an ultra-realistic appearance of fire and smoke.

The result is a cozy fireplace that your guests will easily mistake for a real one.


  • Realistic Opti-Myst technology.
  • Cozy traditional styling.
  • Remote control.


  • No built-in heater.
  • You cannot change flame color or effect.
  • Requires regular water refills.

Our Review

Dimplex Opti-Myst fireplace inserts have a water reservoir from where a mist is released. The fine water droplets reflect light to create the illusion of a fire. The mist also makes it seem like there is smoke rising upwards.

This particular insert (the Dimplex DLGM29) doesn’t have a screen like most other electric fireplaces. It’s an open hearth.

It feels more authentic and cozier.

Now, the fire isn’t very big. Don’t expect a huge roaring bonfire. It’s more of a slow-burning flame.

But it’s incredibly realistic, especially with the glowing logs resting on a metal grate with burning embers underneath. I recommend buying a separate fire crackler sound system and set it up near the fireplace to add to the relaxing ambiance.

You need to refill the tank every once in a while (a full tank lasts 14-17hrs), but it takes just a couple of minutes.

The included remote control allows you to turn on just the glowing logs or the glowing lows and flame effect. You can also turn the fireplace on/off from the remote.

Issues & Limitations

The remote control has no settings for flame brightness, color, or intensity. There is also no heat option. It’s a display-only fireplace insert.

Read Our Review

8. Best for Small Rooms: Dimplex 18″ Opti-Myst Electric Fireplace Cassette Insert with Logs

Dimplex Optimyst Cassette Logs DFI400L front

Looking for a small electric fireplace that will look great in a small room? We recommend this 18″ Cassette style insert.


  • Opti-Myst technology makes flames very realistic.
  • Remote control.
  • Low price.


  • No heater.
  • No flame settings.

Our Review

This cassette insert uses the same ultrasonic mist technology as other Opti-Myst models. Under the log bed, there is a water reservoir that lasts around 12-14 hours.

The rising mist from the water tank creates the appearance of flames and smoke. The logs themselves have LED lights embedded in them to create a glowing effect. They are set on a grate-like structure to create a realistic fireplace effect.

Dimplex says that this insert has a heat option (sold separately), but it’s virtually useless. The heat output capacity is only 682 BTU. You won’t feel any warmth unless you are sitting right in front of the fireplace.

So if you buy this insert, consider it to be display-only unless you are using it in a very small room.

The remote control lets you turn on the flame only or flame and heat. There is also a thermostat for controlling the heat level (if you can feel any heat, that is).

Installation is easy as long as you have an existing fireplace. As for power, it plugs into a standard 120V outlet. No hardwiring required.

Issues & Limitations

The Dimplex insert comes without a heater. If you want one, you’ll have to buy it separately and plug it into the unit.

But don’t bother getting the heater. You’ll feel its warmth only when sitting right in front of the fireplace.

Read Our Review

9. Most Versatile: ClassicFlame 26-Inch SpectraFire Fireplace Insert

ClassicFlame SpectraFire

If you are looking for a fairly large fireplace insert that combines the perfect fireplace ambiance with a room heater, the ClassicFlame 26″ SpectraFire Fireplace Insert is a great choice.


  • Powerful heater for rooms up to 400 sq. Ft.
  • 125 flame effect options.
  • Programmable thermostat.
  • Easy to install.


  • The heater is not ideal for large rooms.

Our Review

The ClassicFlame SpectraFire Fireplace Insert one of the most versatile electric fireplace inserts.

With five flame effects, five flame speeds, and five brightness settings, there are 125 effect options in total. No other fireplace has this many options that let you set up the ambiance exactly the way you want.

You can adjust the flame color to something warmer, reduce the flame speed to a gentle fire, and dim the brightness to create the perfect relaxing ambiance.

At 4,600 BTU, the heater is enough for small and mid-size rooms. It can quickly warm up a 400 square feet room with the fan ensuring all areas are heated evenly.

An auto shut-off timer saves energy if you fall asleep while enjoying the warmth and ambiance. It’s also a handy feature to have if you are installing this insert in your bedroom.

You can set the timer up to 9 hours.

This insert also comes with Safer Plug Fire Prevention Technology, which continuously monitors how hot the plug is and automatically cuts power if it gets too hot. So you can install it in any room with complete peace of mind.

Issues & Limitations

Though the built-in heater is more powerful than those in most fireplace inserts, the ClassicFlame SpectraFire insert struggles to warm a large room (500 sq. ft. or larger).

If heating is an important feature for you, make sure the space you plan to install the insert in is under 400 sq. Ft.

Read Our Review

10. Dimplex 23″ Deluxe Electric Fireplace LED Log Set & Trim Kit

Dimplex 23-Inch Deluxe Electric Fireplace LED Log Set & Trim Kit

This is yet another good option if you are looking for an affordable electric fireplace insert. It costs less than $300 and includes a remote control and trim kit.


  • Low price.
  • Easy to install into an existing fireplace.
  • The integrated heater warms spaces up to 400 square feet.
  • Realistic flames and logs.


  • The heater is not ideal for large rooms.

Our Review

For the price, the Dimplex electric fireplace looks surprisingly close to a real fireplace.

The logs are handcrafted to offer a realistic appearance.

Embedded LED lights give off a fire-like glow. The flames also look real as they dance and flicker against the black backdrop.

Unfortunately, there is no setting for changing the brightness or intensity of the flames.

But there is a heater, though only ideal for small and medium-sized rooms. Rated at around 5,000 BTUs, it can comfortably warm a room of up to 400 sq. Ft.

Using the included remote control, you can set the heater to full heat, half heat, or no heat depending on the season.

Issues & Limitations

Similar to the most electric fireplace that we’ve reviewed, the built-in heater is not very strong. If you want to install this Dimplex fireplace in a large room, get it mostly for the ambiance, not the heat.

Read Our Review

11. ClassicFlame 36″ Traditional Electric Fireplace Insert 120V

ClassicFlame 36-Inch Traditional Builders Box

If you are looking for a large fireplace insert with traditional styling and feel, we recommend the ClassicFlame 36″ electric fireplace.


  • Cozy traditional feel.
  • Looks great in large rooms.
  • Built-in heater and timer.
  • Programmable thermostat.
  • Remote control.


  • The heater is not very powerful – warms small and medium-sized rooms.

Our Review

This ClassicFlame insert is designed to provide the charm and ambiance of a real wood-burning fireplace.

The larger size and traditional design make it a décor centerpiece for your home, and its oversized logs and huge flames make it more realistic.

But you can also get a modern styled version of this insert that uses rock crystals instead of logs.

With the included remote control, you can choose from five different brightness levels. You can also turn the heat on/off separately from the flame effects, making it ideal for all-year-round use.

The heater is rated at 4,400 BTU, so it should warm up a 400 square feet room in no time. If it gets too warm, use the thermostat to select your preferred temperature (60-90oF).

If you want more heat, maybe for a bigger room, there is a 240V version available. It comes with an 8,900 BTU heater that is ideal for rooms of up to 800 square feet.

There is a timer setting you can use to switch off the fireplace automatically. You can set it anywhere between half an hour and 9 hours.

Issues & Limitations

If you plan to install the fireplace in a room larger than 400 sq. Ft., don’t expect much from the built-in heater. It works best in small and medium-sized rooms.

Read Our Review

12. Comfort Smart Verve 24-in Curved Electric Insert

Comfort Smart Verve

Looking for a fireplace insert with a contemporary design?

The curved glass front of the Comfort Smart Verve fireplace insert gives it a modern look that’s perfect balances with the traditional logs and flames behind it.


  • Beautiful contemporary design.
  • Built-in heater.
  • Realistic flames and logs.
  • Programmable thermostat.
  • Remote control.


  • The heater is not ideal for large rooms.

Our Review

With its panoramic curved viewing screen, the Comfort Smart Verve provides a unique alternative to the same old flat and rectangular design of other fireplace inserts.

A realistic flame and glowing logs and embers provide the traditional ambiance of a wood-burning fireplace. The resin logs are hand-painted to resemble real wood logs.

Multi-Function remote control lets you control the flame brightness as well as the ember effects.

The 4900 BTU integrated heater (which can be controlled separately from the flames and logs) can quickly warm a room of up to 400 sq. Ft.

There are six temperature settings you can choose from depending on the weather and your comfort preferences.

Installation is simple and quick. It plugs into a standard 120V outlet, so you don’t need to get a pro to hardwire it.

Issues & Limitations

If you are looking for a fireplace insert that will warm a large room (500 sq. ft. or larger), this is not it. The built-in heater is effective in small and medium-sized rooms.

For large spaces, you may find a dedicated room heater to be a better choice. Then, get an electric fireplace insert for the ambiance.

Read Our Review

How To Select The Right Electric Fireplace Insert for Your Room

Fireplace Inserts

Seeking to repurpose your existing gas or wood-burning fireplace? Interested in upgrading your existing electric fireplace? Want to reduce the cost of heating your home?

Then consider installing an electric fireplace insert. Within minutes of installing one in your room, you can be enjoying soft, warm heat and an incredibly realistic flame effect.

Improve Your Home’s Beauty and Efficiency

We all know traditional masonry (brick) fireplaces look great, but most of us don’t know that traditional fireplaces are extremely inefficient ways to heat a living space.

If you need inexpensive heat for your home but want to keep the beauty and comfort provided by your existing fireplace, then you may be interested in an electric fireplace insert.

An electric fireplace insert is an electrically powered, non-venting heating element that is installed into an existing space – either installed into a mantle or simply slid into space. You “insert” the unit into the old fireplace space and instantly upgrade its efficiency and heating capabilities.

Selecting an electric fireplace insert involves the following steps:

    1. Select the heating capacity you need for your room – if any, some inserts just for decoration & don’t heat a room.
    2. Select the style that best matches your decor: fireplace inserts break down into two styles, modern or traditional.
    3. Select the type of insert you need for your particular installation: a log inserta built-in unit (called a “builders box”), or a plugin-in unit. See below for an explanation of these.
    4. Select the size and trim: measure the width of your fireplace; decide whether you want to trim around the edges; do you want glass doors? Etc.
    5. List any optional features you want. The most common is a remote control, a digital display, and/or a timer.
    6. Shop for the best price.

Your buying decision should be made roughly in this order, so you don’t waste time or make mistakes.

Heating Capacity, Style and Type of Insert

Heating Capacity

The first thing to get clear is whether you’re looking for a heater or just a decoration. There are pros and cons to each. Heating units often cost more and require a fan, which can be noisy (check our reviews).

There are two types of heat systems used in electric fireplace inserts: Fan-forced heat or infrared heat.

Fan-forced heat is best for heating rooms up to 400 Sq Ft, while Infrared (IR) inserts can heat up to 1,000 square feet. There are also inserts available that provide the look and feel of a live-fire without generating any heat at all (for decoration only).  Many built-in modern units are like this.

Styling: Traditional or Modern

Consider the aesthetic of your room and your existing fireplace. For a traditional room, choose a realistic-looking split log insert like the popular and inexpensive Dimplex DFI2309 or its upscale cousin, the Dimplex Opti-Myst Log Set.

Dimplex 23-Inch Deluxe Electric Fireplace LED Log Set & Trim Kit

Traditional Log Insert

For a sleeker, more modern look, choose a built-in or plug-in unit with a full glass front and flush trim.

Built In Electric Fireplace Insert Ubermodern

Modern Built-In

Type of Fireplace Insert

There are three types of electric fireplace inserts sold today: log inserts, plug-ins, and built-ins.

Electric Log Insert

Electric Fireplace Inserts Log Type

Electric log fireplace inserts make use of a simulated log set that sits on top of a realistic grate.

The heating component is located underneath the log set. An electric log insert is the best type for anyone who wants to convert a standard gas- or wood-burning fireplace into an electric one with a minimum of fuss.

Installation is easy: just insert the log set into your existing fireplace and plug it into a standard 110v household outlet.

An electric log insert will provide heat for a room of up to 400 sqft. Most log units, like the top-rated Dimplex 28″ Premium Log Set, include a flame effect that is either projected directly onto the back of the fireplace wall or on a back shield.

If you are looking for a fast and easy way to convert an existing fireplace to electric, then a log fireplace insert is a great choice.

Plug-In Electric Insert

Electric Fireplace Inserts PlugIn Type

The plug-in electric fireplace insert is a simple and inexpensive solution for anyone who wants to install an electric fireplace into a cabinet or mantel.

Plug-in units are completely self-contained units, like a space heater. The units are fully enclosed on all sides and have glass fronts, which make them great for modern-style homes.

The fan-forced heat output comes from the top of the unit above the heating element. Like electric log inserts, most plug-in inserts plug into a standard 110-volt outlet and can heat up to a 400 square foot room.

Infrared plug-in inserts can provide safe, comfortable heat for up to 1,000 square feet.

Built-In Insert (Builders Box)

Electric Fireplace Inserts Built In Type

A built-in electric fireplace insert, often installed using a builder’s box, is for people who want to remodel or upgrade their fireplace mantel.

A built-in is designed to be a permanent fixture, whether you choose to install it into an existing fireplace or recessed in a wall.

Built-ins require more work for installation, but each unit comes with detailed instructions and can be installed by a homeowner with a decent toolset.

Built-in fireplace inserts can be hardwired into your home’s electrical system or plugged into a standard outlet using a plug kit. Built-in fireplace inserts provide heat for up to 800 sqft.

A 110v insert will warm 400 sqft, while a 220v will heat an 800 sqft space.

Built-ins are available in styles that work with both traditional or modern homes.

Size & Trim

electric fireplace insert measurements

Electric fireplace inserts come in many different sizes to fit most fireplace openings, so you should be able to find an insert that fits yours.

The main dimension to be concerned with is the width of the opening, which is typically between 2 and 3 feet. Some ultra-modern built-in units are extremely wide, however. One measurement many overlooks is the distance between the firebox and the mantel. Without knowing this, you could end up with an insert that doesn’t even function!

Flashing and Trim Options

Some inserts offer decorative flashings and trim to enhance the look and style of your installation.

For example, instead of a basic black sheet metal flashing, some inserts offer a cast iron surround trim.

In the rare case that none of the appropriate flashings or surrounds will cover your entire fireplace openings (particularly for those with very large fireplaces), it is possible to purchase the insert only and then have a custom surround fabricated by a local machine shop or sheet metal expert. Some of the best retailers offer services to help you do this.

Optional Features

Many electric fireplace inserts offer special features that you may or may not care about.

Flame Effects

Opti Myst flame animated gif

All electric log inserts and fireboxes are designed to pulsate and glow while the flame effect is in use. The result is a realistic flame effect without the nuisance of smoke or the dangers of burning logs. How the effect will look, however, will differ based on the design and style of each of the inserts.

Some flame effects are generated using a pan of water that mists. Originally patented by Dimplex, this is the most realistic-looking approach. Others mimic flames using blown air and fireproof materials.

Remote Control

electric fireplace remote control

When considering a unit, look for the flexibility and controls that fit your needs.

Some electric fireplace inserts offer a digital temperature setting to set and forget the target temperature for a room.

Additional features such as flame brightness, on/off timer displays, and flame speed settings are also important to consider when comparing units.

Finally, you can get a remote control for your fireplace, which ratchets-up the cool factor. I have one and use it a lot more than I thought I would.

Shopping for a Fireplace Insert

Electric Fireplace Insert

Now that you know your size, trim, style, and optional features, it’s time to shop!

The good news is that the vast majority of electric fireplace inserts cost less than $2,000, making them affordable for almost every homeowner.

Some smaller plug-in units cost less than $200. For example, the very popular Comfort Smart 23-Inch Electric Fireplace Insert/Log Set – ELCG240 retails for just $130.

For a larger traditional fireplace look w/ good room heating, the 4.5 stars rated 28″ AKDY Electric Firebox has a beautiful curved face and realistic log fire effects; it retails for $199.

Shopping online is the way to go because most local hardware stores won’t carry that many choices on their floor, and the online market is extremely price-competitive.

When shopping online, you will notice that steep discounting (20-50% off) is common. This is normal practice in the industry, so make sure you take special care to look at the actual, not list, price.

In addition to steep discounts, some retailers, including and, also provide free shipping on orders.

Shipping a fireplace insert can cost as much as $100, so take note.

Electric Fireplace Insert Installation: A Brief Guide

PuraFlame Alice installation

Electric fireplaces are relatively easy to install. Unlike a wood-burning fireplace, you don’t need to create any venting.

Installing most types of electric fireplaces is as simple as plugging in your TV.

The method and complexity of installation will depend on what type of insert you’ve bought and where you are planning to put it.

Installation in an Existing Fireplace

Most inserts are designed for installation in an existing but unused fireplace. You can either install a built-in insert using a builder’s box or a plug-in insert.

Whichever option you use, it is important to first prepare your fireplace for installation.

Remove the existing installation and clean the area. Make sure there is no water coming in through your chimney. If it’s not waterproof, install a rain cap first since the leaking water can damage your insert.

Seal the chimney’s damper; you don’t need it anymore since an electric fireplace insert doesn’t require venting.

Sealing the damper also ensures that all heat from the insert only goes into the room rather than escaping upwards out of the chimney.

The next thing to handle is the power source.

Plug-in inserts can be connected to a standard home outlet. But you may need to drill a hole through the masonry to reach the nearest outlet. Alternatively, ask your electrician to add a grounded outlet inside the fireplace.

Built-in inserts often need to be hardwired since they contain more powerful heaters. Only a professional should handle the installation.

Remember to take measurements of your fireplace before buying an insert. It doesn’t have to be an exact match to the fireplace insert. Just make sure it is slightly bigger than the electric fireplace.

Depending on the size of the insert, you may need to place it on a platform to raise it higher. If there are gaps left on the side, most inserts come with a trim kit that you can use to hide them. Some inserts also give you the option of installing your custom trim.

Read our complete electric fireplace insert installation guide for additional tips.

Installation in a Wall

You are not out of luck if you don’t have an existing fireplace. Other types of electric fireplaces can be mounted on the wall or recessed into the wall.

Check the manufacturer’s specifications before you buy. Do they recommend surface mounting or recessing? Some manufacturers allow either one of these installation options.

Recessing the fireplace into the wall is more difficult and time-consuming. You have to cut into the wall so that the fireplace can be flush to the surface of the wall.

Unless you have plenty of DIY renovation skills, I recommend hiring a pro to do the wall cutting and installation.

A surface mounted fireplace, on the other hand, is something you can install on your own. The fireplace will most likely come with a mounting kit that you drill into the wall to hold the fireplace.

One advantage of a wall-mounted electric fireplace is that it’s easy to relocate to another wall, room, or house.

Installation in a Cabinet

Some electric fireplace inserts come with their mini-cabinet that you set up and insert the fireplace into. The only bit of work involved in putting together the cabinet since it’s often delivered disassembled.

These inserts are a good choice if you don’t have an existing fireplace and don’t want a wall-mounted or recessed electric fireplace.

You can also recess an electric fireplace insert in your cabinet, bookshelf or entertainment center. It’s all about getting your measurements right to make sure the insert will fit and look great.

Find an insert that is as close as possible in terms of size to the dimensions of the space you are going to install it into. If the insert is slightly smaller, you can often use the manufacturer’s trim or your custom trim to create a seamless finishing.

Note: When you install the fireplace insert, make sure you test it as soon as you are done. Take note of any problems with the flames or logs and listen for any unusual sounds. If you see a problem, check the troubleshooting guide or call customer support.

Time To Enjoy!

PuraFlame timer

Once you get your new insert installed, the hard part is over.

It took me less than an hour to install mine. Got it done just in time for the holidays!

Want to keep this page as a reference? Email this guide to yourself now:


  • Dolly Barton says:

    Do I build the fireplace first

    • Gary says:

      You can buy electric fireplaces, but on this website you will see reviews of “inserts”. If you own an older home with a wood burning fireplace and you want to convert it to something else that is when these inserts come into play. So, yes you need to build a fireplace 1st or already have one.

  • Melissa Ramirez says:

    Hello, I am getting a costum made entertainment center made and I would like t add a fireplace. Not sure night is the right one for this kind of job.

  • Linda says:

    1. I have an old brick fireplace in my 1400 sq ft home. The living room is very small so I don’t need a lot of heat. The fireplace opening is 29 in height and 31 in width. Should I get a glass covered insert that would be close to these specs or just a log insert that would be open.

    2. The chimney is stuffed with insulation. Is that dangerous ?

    • admin says:

      Re. your 2 questions:

      1. Either type of insert would work fine.

      2. Insulation in a chimney can be very dangerous if the insulation is not covered w/ an up-to-code fireproof blanket/lining. That said, if you are looking for an electric insert, you probably don’t need to worry too much about this because they don’t vent off that much heat.

      Hope this helps!

      Brian S.

  • Scotty says:

    I’ve only ever really considered a freestanding electric fireplace, big fan of the insert ones now too! Going to have to pick one up for our old farm house. Thanks!

  • Shane says:

    Nicely put together Brian


  • Fred Brown says:

    I have an open fireplace that sits between my living room and kitchen. Both rooms can view the flame.Presently I have a gas insert in the opening and the propane fumes make it impossible to run because they are so pungent. Can you suggest a unit I should buy that is electric with a heater?

    • admin says:

      The vast majority of see-through fireplaces are either gas or ethanol.

      Dimplex makes a few 2-sided electric fireplaces, for example this 39″ unit. But they are not cheap.

  • Paula says:

    Are there any electric units for a double sided fireplace?

  • Janell Franks says:

    Which type can safely have a tv mounted above the insert ot builder’s box? I am building into a 80″ high by 72″ wide niche where a tv can be mounted.

    • admin says:

      Most non-heating fireplace insert units will work fine.

      Some heating fireplace inserts are well-insulated on top w/ ventilation tubes that will route around your TV.

      The safest bet: make sure you’ve properly insulated the TV enclosure against heat – even if the insert says it’s insulated.

  • Homer says:

    People become so confused about choosing Heater because here are wood stove, pellet stove, Insert, fireplace, fireplace insert and so many kind of heaters available in the market.

    Your information is certainly will help those want to buy Electric Fireplace Insert.

  • Joe says:

    I have a wood burning fireplace that i would like to convert to electric. Will I need an electrician? Thank you

  • Amanda says:

    I’m looking for an electric log insert to heat a large space (up to 1,000 sq FT) I am having trouble finding something.. is there any you would suggest? It will be going in an old fire place. (Built in 1923)

  • Judy says:

    We are building a new home and I would like an electric insert, I do not want gas. We will have a fireplace but am not sure if we would need a sub zero or insert. We will not have a real chimney, there will be a mantel with the stone around it and everything but no real chimney. I’m confused as to what this all means. I do know the contractor is trying to dissuade me from getting electric because he says I won’t get much heat. Is this true. We want to use the fireplace everyday when it is cold.

    • admin says:

      You’ll need about 5,000 BTUs of heating capacity for each 1,000 sq ft in a new/modern/well insulated home.

      Most electric fireplace inserts provide 4,000 to 6,000 BTUs of heat, to give you a feel.

  • Renee Hartis says:

    I purchased an AKDY 33 inch electric insert. My fireplace opening is 41 inches wide and 27 inches tall. My 33 inch insert has room on the sides but the height was 26.50 which was the closest I could find to these dimensions without it being very costly. Now I cannot find a trim kit that will cover the open areas around the insert. Do you have any recommendations that aren’t over $100?

    • admin says:

      Sorry, but I couldn’t find any that match your specs. Might need to get a local fabricator/craftsman to make one for you. Most carpenters & HVAC repair people know someone like that.

  • Sherry says:

    How would I plug it in if the outlet is outside the fireplace?

  • Karel Reznicek says:

    Hi, i bought Dimplex fireplace the type with a like glass crystals. It is beautiful but in couple of days it developed an annoying sound which repets every about 4 seconds. Is this fixable ?

  • Jim says:

    was looking at the electric insert logs for an existing fireplace. I’m concerned about forgetting to shutting it off at times and wanted to know if these units shut off automatically.

  • Cheryl says:

    Best way to close and seal chimmney and flue prior to install?

  • Sandra says:

    We have an opening which has a chimney to roof where a pellet insert was and removed. The opening inside isn’t brick other than the outer wall face mostly decor. Can i build a wood box insert and put inside the opening and put a freestanding electric log heater in there? opening is about 30×36 and then insulate around the wood insert so no heat goes up old chimney. Just not sure if the insert box can be wood or not with the heater?

    • admin says:

      Yes, you can build a wooden box to place an electric fireplace insert in – especially if you use a “builders-box” style unit. Builders box inserts are specifically designed to be installed inside a wall or in a wooden box.

      Be careful with log-style units that heat, however. You need to make sure they are inside an engineered enclosure that is designed for fire safety.

      Free-standing units rarely heat, but if you find one that does – do NOT place it inside a wooden box (for obvious reasons).

  • Sherry says:

    I noticed that the electric fireplace inserts have a vent on top of the unit. I want to build a structure around the insert to lay fake stone. I’m sure that top vent cannot be covered up so is there a certain clearance that I need to make sure I give it?

    • admin says:

      Most electric fireplace inserts and fireboxes are self-insulated and do not require much space between the box and your wall, if any. Less than 1″ is fine for most. Make sure you check the installation instructions carefully, however, especially if the unit is a heater with a high BTU rating.

      Most high-BTU heating units also require ventilation, but usually that is done through front-facing vents not behind the unit nor on the sides (for obvious reasons).

  • Nicole says:

    I read your very good information at the top but wanted to know more about infrared heating electric fireplaces. I currently have a wood burning stove inserted into a wood burning fireplace. I have no idea what is happening behind the stove.

    I would like for this electric fireplace to replace the single baseboard for this ~800 sq ft space with vaulted ceiling.

    The house has outstanding passive solar heat. Typically, in the dead of winter on the Northern California coast, after having been absent for a couple of weeks where NO heat was on, we turn the single baseboard on to 68 F. Within about 2 hours we need to turn it off as the house has become too warm, even on foggy days.

    I clicked on your “infrared” link and the link is broken.

    Please advise

    • admin says:

      Have you seen the ClassicFlame 26″ Infrared Quartz line of heating electric inserts?

      They are excellent high-BTU heating units (1,000 sq ft) that are technically “builders box” inserts, which means they are meant to be installed flush in a wall or inside a containing box. But you can build your own box if space permits. Less than $300.

  • Joanne Figuras says:

    We no longer use the wood burning stove that’s recessed into a wood burning fireplace. Is there an advantage to placing a log set inside the stove, using the bulk of metal for heat sink, or remove the stove and place log set in the fireplace?
    Also, what is the advantage of having a trim set recessed into a fireplace?

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