How do you find the best freestanding electric fireplace that’s inexpensive but still good enough to warm up your house?
I researched and compared several of the premier brands to find out which ones are the best.

And as a result, I compiled hours of research into an easy to follow guide with my top 5 picks.

5 Best Freestanding Electric Fireplaces in 2020

1

Dimplex Celeste Freestanding Electric Fireplace

On my pick for the best electric fireplace is the Dimplex Celeste, it's also the same fireplace my cousin owns.

This fireplace can heat rooms up to 400 square feet and gives you the option for temperature control with an adjustable thermostat.

Out of all the portable fireplaces on this list, this fireplace has the most realistic 3D flame based on our observations.

Another nice touch is that you can enjoy the coziness of this heater all year long since the flame effect can also be turned on independently from the heat. Lastly, the protective glass stays cool to touch even when in use.

Key Features:

  • Realistic 3D Flame Effects
  • Remote Control
  • Programmable Thermostat
  • Automatic Overheat Protection
  • Air Filtration
2

Duraflame DFS-450-2 Freestanding Electric Fireplace

My second pick for the best electric fireplaces is another Duraflame fireplace with realistic flames.

This unit is made to heat up medium-sized rooms of up to 400 square feet. You can also see a beautiful log fire inside a mini stove.

This best freestanding electric fireplace is designed to provide supplemental heat to pick a perfect temperature in any part of your home.

The heating capacity area can reach up to 400 square feet is as big as a studio type apartment or large rooms.

Similar to my #1 best pick, this unit will provide the benefit of controlling the temperature of the room with an adjustable thermoregulator (from 62 to 82 degrees).

Another similarity is that you can also use it even when it’s not cold outside. The ember bed set and glowing log flame effects are separate from the heater function.

For a low price and adequate room coverage, this unit might be a great choice.

Key Features:

  • Heat Coverage Size: 400 sq ft Rooms
  • Built-In Tip-Over Safety Features (For Overheat Protection)
  • Log Burner 3D Realistic Flames (With or Without Heat)
  • Has an Ember Bed and Glowing Log Set
  • Easy to Install
  • Safe for Kids and Pets as Glass Remains Cool to the Touch
3

Donyer Mini Portable Electric Fireplace Heater

Are you looking for the best portable electric fireplace heater that can also fit just in a tiny living space?

How about on a coffee table, a bookshelf set, or even a side table to help complement the room’s decor?

If so, you might want to consider this as one of the best electric fireplace heaters.

This mini fireplace set has one of the smallest footprints out there. You can easily put it on a desk, table, or can make a fireplace TV stand.

These electric fireplaces provide dual heat settings (high and low) for comfort, low (750W), and high (1500W).

Something you might appreciate about this electric fireplace heater is that it comes in two color choices: Black and White, so that it can blend well with your existing decor.

So, if you’re looking to warm up a large room for an affordable price and want something that’s not too obtrusive, you might want to consider this best electric heater.

Just take note that this unit does not include a remote control.

Key Features:

  • Coverage Area Size: 100 Square Feet Rooms
  • Fence Type Air Outlet
  • Log Burner Realistic Flame Effects (With or Without Heat)
  • Overheating Protection Settings
  • Easy to Install
  • Energy Efficient
4

VonHaus Freestanding Electric Fireplace Heater

When I was testing these best electric fireplaces, this was another fireplace that stood out from the pack.

What I liked most about it, and maybe you will too, is the vintage stove heater design and large window for viewing the flames. And these electric fireplaces come with other designs too.

Although this unit can only heat up a room of up to 150 sq ft, it’s good enough to warm up a bedroom.

Like all of the other best products on this page, it can provide independent flame settings thanks to its Two Heat Settings feature. So you can keep it on no matter what time of year it is. However is doesn’t include a remote control.

Key Features:

  • Two Heat Settings with Adjustable Thermostat Control
  • Thermal Heat Safety Cut Off Device
  • Log Burner Realistic Flame Effects (With or Without Heat)
  • Independent Heat Flame Settings
  • Heating Area Size: 150 Square Feet
5

Lifesmart Oak Freestanding Electric Fireplace Heater

If you’re looking for one of the best electric fireplace heaters that can provide a touch of elegance to your living space, read up on this fireplace.

The dark oak cabinet and mantel can be a beautiful addition to any large room in your house. Plus, it’s powerful enough to cover up to 1,000 square feet, making it best for basements, a living room, garages, and more.

The digital thermostat settings on the unit provide a specific heat temperature levels for rooms in addition to the remote control.

Also, this is one of the few affordable portable realistic fireplaces that includes caster wheels. This convenient feature gives you the ability to roll it around from room to room without lifting a finger.

Perhaps these are the features you’ve been looking for in the best electric fireplace to heat up your home.

Key Features:

  • High, Low and Eco Heat Setting
  • Features a Quakertown Dark Oak Cabinet and Mantel
  • Infrared Quartz Fireplace Stove
  • E-Z Glide Casters
  • Heat Area: 1,000 sq ft

Features of the Best Electric Fireplace Heaters

So I’ve shown you my top picks for the best freestanding electric fireplace to help you decide. It’s time for us to go through the many features of the best electric fireplace before making any purchase.

By figuring out which top programs are important to you, you’ll find it easy to pick a heater that meets your needs while potentially saving the money in the process.

Heating Area

size

Nothing could be worse than buying a new freestanding fireplace and still feeling cold while it’s on. All because you bought a fireplace that’s too small for your room.

Most home appliances, inexpensive heaters come in various sizes and have a maximum heating area they can cover. Some are made for a small room while others can handle a large living room.

If you noticed, I stated the heating coverage area of these best electric fireplaces I reviewed above.

This is because it’s always important to know the heating capacity. It’s also important for you to know how big your room is before you buy one so you can get the best deal.

The heating coverage of the products I listed above can go up to a thousand, 400 square feet, and as little as 200 square feet.

Here are a few examples that can help you figure out what size you might need:

  • 150 square feet will cover a 10′ x 15′ room
  • 400 square feet will cover a 20′ x 20′ room
  • 1,000 square feet will cover a 25′ x 40′ room

Temperature Control

thermometer

One of the luxuries of having a home furnace is that you can control the heat temperature of your environment through an adjustable thermostat. The heat thermostat is what automatically turns your heating system on and off to maintain a set degree.

Fortunately, some of the best freestanding electric fireplaces I tested included a digital thermostat for heat temperature control.

Other products are operated by a switch that you had to manually shut off once the room got warm enough.

Both options get the job done, but you might prefer one type over the other. So, keep this in mind before making any purchase for your home.

Remote Control

remote control

Remote control is a product designed for convenience. It is a must-have for persons who don’t fancy getting up once they get comfortable.

Not all portable electric fireplaces come with a remote, though. If it doesn’t, then there are switches on the device that let you make adjustments on the heating capacity.

Because I don’t like to get up when I get comfortable, I’d personally prefer a modern electric fireplace that comes with a remote.

Independent Flame Technology

fire

One of the neat features that caught my attention when I was reviewing freestanding electric fireplace heaters was the independent flame function. These flames are a nice touch and an eye catcher.

This feature allows you to enjoy the realistic flame effects of the glowing logs without the unit producing heat. It’s just a program designed to provide a relaxing room vibe for your home. Or consider realistic flames for a focal point in the living room.

An independent flame is one of the biggest perks of having an electric fireplace and is why I chose to buy one over a regular room heater. This function makes gathering spots around the house a lot cozier all year round.

Dimensions

length

A final thing to consider about a portable electric fireplace heaters is that they come in a variety of different sizes. One heater I tested was even small enough to fit on my bookshelf.

For example, if the desired area where you want to place the electric fireplace is roughly at 400 square feet, then look for a electric fireplace that can heat up to 400 square feet.

Getting a unit that can heat less or way more than the desired heating area won’t make sense.

Other ones are a bit larger, so think hard about where you want to put it before you make a final decision. Then, take a quick measurement of the area to ensure that the freestanding electric fireplace you fancy the most will fit in that spot.

7 Safety Tips When Using Electric Fireplaces

unplug fireplace

I think you’ll agree with me if I say safety for our loved ones is the utmost priority at all times. What’s the use of having the best electric stove fireplace if you have put your family at risk of any potential harm?

So I have come up with safety tips you must know before buying a freestanding electric stove fireplace. Remember that these are for the benefit and safety of all users in your home.

1) Turn Off and Unplug When Not in Use

This tip not only promotes safety but potentially reduces electric consumption for your home. Everybody knows even when an appliance is off, but if still plugged, consumes electricity.

Another benefit of this safety tip is to avoid instances in which someone might accidentally switch on or off the electric stove fireplace. If you have young kids, this is a safety tip you should practice.

2) Avoid Extension Cords

Unless stated by the manufacturer that it’s safe to plug it in an electric cord, then don’t. Most (not all) electric stove fireplace units are recommended to be plugged directly in the wall outlet.

Generally speaking, it is recommended to plug heat-producing appliances directly on a wall socket. Extension cords are unable to support the wattage needs of these appliances. This could be a real fire hazard.

As a safety tip suggestion, strategically place the electric stove fireplace near an electrical socket.

3) Use a Fireplace Safety Gate

A safety gate is designed to provide a means of protection not only for a real fireplace stove, but it should be used with an electric stove fireplace too. Though some of the units I mentioned above cannot burn by touching the surface. Some don’t have this feature, which can put children and pets at risk of getting burned.

4) Indoor Use Only

A freestanding electric fireplace stove is designed for indoor use only, never use it outdoors. You can use it in the garage, though, since it’s still considered an enclosed space.

It might not work outdoors, since it’s an electric stove fireplace, it might get wet when it rains outdoors. We all know a wet electrical appliance screams danger.

5) Allow Adequate Air Intake and Ventilation

Since this is a heat-producing appliance, it is suggested not to block the air intake and venting system. So avoid pushing it further to the wall. Allow a small room for the ventilation system to discharge. This is especially for small living spaces that are 100 sq ft and below, because tendency is the place is too small for adequate ventilation.

Also, do not block its air intake. If these systems are obstructed, they could not operate properly, and the chances of overheating capacity are high. Plus, it will consume electricity.

fireplace ventilation

6) Keep Gasoline and Flammable Liquors at a Distance

Since an electric fireplace stove produces supplemental heat, flammable substances should be kept at a distance because this is a potential fire hazard. [1]

Why liquors? We all know that alcohol is a flammable substance. Here is the list of flammable liquors;

  • Absinthe
  • Amaretto
  • Cognac
  • Everclear
  • Gin
  • Grand Marnier
  • Kahlúa
  • Overproof rum
  • Bacardi 151
  • Stroh 160
  • Poitín
  • Sambuca
  • Scotch whiskey
  • Vodka

The big question now, “Can I drink alcoholic beverages when the electric fireplace stove is switched on?”. Yes, you can drink alcoholic beverages even if the electric stove fireplace is switched on as long as you keep distant. Most importantly, do not spill any flammable alcohol on the electric fireplace stove. If you want, you could drink beer since it’s not flammable.

7) Keep It Away From Water

Avoid placing the electric fireplace stove in wet surfaces or locations in your home. Do not put it near the laundry, bathroom, water dispenser, or kitchen sink.

FAQs - Freestanding Electric Fireplace

Is it okay to leave an electric fireplace on overnight?

Yes, it is okay to leave an electric fireplace on overnight. Yet, for safety purposes and peace of mind, it is recommended to turn off and unplug an electric fireplace if not necessarily needed. Remember that electricity is charged per hour, and every second is charged when an appliance is still plugged.

Does the 3D flame on an electric fireplace look real?

Yes, the 3D flame appears like a real fireplace.  Many users report not being able to tell the difference between the flames.

Can I place my freestanding electric fireplace on carpet?

Yes, you can set your freestanding electric fireplace on the carpet. It’s safe to put the electric fireplace on top of a rug or mat since you don’t have to deal with real fire.

Can an electric fireplace heat up a room?

Yes, an electric fireplace is proven to heat a room up. Various research, studies, experiments, and customer satisfaction review can back this claim. An electric fireplace works by dissipating warm directly in an enclosed space. Unlike a real wood fireplace, the supplemental heat doesn’t exit a chimney.

Regardless if the room’s size is 150 or 400 square feet, depending on the fireplace, it can heat up a room. Some studies even claim that an electric fireplace is much safer than traditional fireplaces made from real wood or gas. [2]

How does an electric fireplace create heat?

An electric fireplace creates supplemental heat from the infrared quartz heating element. What does an infrared quartz heating element do? The cold air drawn from the enclosed space is sucked by the infrared quartz fireplace stove. It is then converted into warm air and is forced back to the room by the internal fan of the electric fireplace.

An electric fireplace works the same way as a portable heater. If there is more cold air in the enclosed space, there will be more air for the electric fireplace to warm up.

Are they difficult to install?

No, freestanding electric fireplaces are not difficult to install. It’s easy to install because most of these products come straight out of a box. Just plug directly into a socket (remember no extension cords allowed, read manufacturer’s instructions).

If you want to set it in an existing fireplace, you can hire someone to install the electric fireplace heater for you. This is just an easy option for OC people if you don’t want any wirings hanging around, and for a neat finish.

Otherwise, just choose the part of the room near a socket and turn it on.

Types of Fireplaces

Freestanding Electric Fireplaces

Pros:

  • You can pick an electric fireplace heater that suits your existing home decor
  • Portable: Benefit to those who transfer apartment or house from time to time, because it’s light weight.
  • You can turn it on to display realistic 3D flame effects, without generating supplemental heat.
  • Less cost on maintenance and installation as compared to a real wood and gas fireplace
  • Space savers in any house in the room
  • Low-maintenance as compared to other fireplace heater options
  • Most logical option for apartments or condominiums without an existing fireplace.
  • Do not emit harmful gas (such as carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide)
  • Safe for people with asthma or other respiratory problems
  • More control on the heat settings (High and Low)
  • Easy installation
  • Some units come with remote control.
  • Used for zone heating capacity
  • Dissipates warmth directly
  • More control on the heat settings (High and Low)
  • Low energy consumption and energy efficient
  • Safe for kids and pets

Cons:

  • It will heat a room at a time in the given heating coverage area.
  • You cannot use the electric fireplace heater without electricity.
  • Some of these fireplace heater cannot be plugged in with other appliances to avoid overload.

Wood-Burning Fireplace Stove

wood burning

Pros:

  • Ambiance: Crackling logs sounds, woody aroma and flickering flames
  • You can use a wood fireplace stove when the electricity is out.
  • It can also serve as a source of light if the power is out.
  • Different burning options depending on the firewood you use.
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Source of wood: You need to wither chop down your firewood or buy it.
  • The steady supply of wood needs to remain dry always.
  • The byproducts of woodfire (eg, ashes) can flare up asthma and other respiratory conditions.
  • The ashes from the firewood can scatter in the living room.
  • It requires annual maintenance
  • It requires an annual inspection
  • Real Fire hazard: It is not safe to leave a fire unattended. The ashes might re-spark and start a new fire.
  • The supplemental heat may exit the chimney, and this may end up in higher power consumption.
  • It requires more maintenance than other options.
  • Cost of home insurance may be affected
  • Heat loss: Not only smoke and fumes exit the chimney, so as the heat. Studies show that 80-90% of the heat produced by a wood fireplace stove exits through the chimney. [3]

Gas Fireplaces

For people who do not have the time and patience to deal with wood fireplace stoves, they opt using a gas fireplace heater. Let us check the pros and cons of a gas fireplace stove.

Pros:

  • Minimal maintenance
  • Easy to use
  • A gas fireplace heater can still be used even without the electricity.
  • It can be used as a light source when the electricity is out.
  • Instant-on and off (A simple touch of the switch, remote control, or adjustable thermostat)
  • No ash or soot that needs cleaning
  • If these are installed throughout the house, you can zone the heat. With a gas fireplace heater, you can switch on and off the central heating system.

Cons:

  • Installation is expensive.
  • You have to buy fuel from time to time
  • At risk for gas leak.
  • Not light weight
  • Needs annual inspection to ensure safe operation the whole year-round.

Other Types of Electric Fireplaces

You might get confused if other people call it an “electric stove” or “electric fireplace stove” or “electric fireplace heater” This may sound something like what you use for cooking. They may be used interchangeably.

You might get confused if other people call it an “electric stove” or “electric fireplace stove” or “electric fireplace heater” This may sound something like what you use for cooking. They may be used interchangeably.

Electric Fireplaces with Mantels

An electric fireplace heater with a mantel is designed to surround a fireplace. The purpose of an electric fireplace mantel is to make it look durable and realistic.

It comes with different variations, stone formations, and desired 3D flame color. So there are many style options to match your home decor. For example, a freestanding electric fireplace stove, it comes with varied heating levels. It comes with a safety device with a heating cut-off valve that prompts when the fireplace becomes too hot.

Built-in Electric Fireplaces

Of course, if there is a freestanding electric fireplace heater, there is a built-in electric fireplace. You might find it interesting, but there are touch screen electric fireplaces heater available in the market now. Of course, it comes with a price.

Remember that this electric fireplace is different from a gas or wood fireplace heater. It doesn’t need a pipe, vent, chimney, or any kind of fossil fuel because it is powered by electricity.

You’ll think that these are difficult to set-up, but it actually isn’t. The struggle would be finding the right size of a built-in electric fireplace that would fit an existing fireplace. If you’re a handy person, you can follow the instructions that come with the fireplace using the user manual. Then connect and plug.

Electric Fireplaces Insert

The third type is the electric fireplace insert. Some people haven’t heard of an electric fireplace insert and didn’t even know they existed. There are two kinds of inserts for electric fireplaces: the electric log inserts and the firebox inserts.

A firebox insert is a great option for those who want to insert electric fireplaces in a home furnace like a bookshelf, side table, the TV stand, or something similar. It is light weight and can be set anywhere in the room.

Electric log fireplace inserts have limits on where they can be placed around the house. An electric fireplace insert is a single appliance where there is normal combustion or an existing wood fireplace heater.

Three-Sided Electric Fireplaces

Another innovative product like an electron fireplace insert is the three-sided electric fireplace. Electric stoves now a 180-degree view and are undeniably aesthetically pleasing to the eye (as for my personal opinion).

The idea of having three-sided electric fireplace stoves is so that everyone in the room can also enjoy the view of the flickering flames displayed. This is regardless of where they are seated in the living space, or in any large rooms.

wall mounted fireplace

Wall-Mount Electric Fireplaces

Wall-mounted electric fireplaces do not take up too much room space. It’s just like a TV where you can mount on the wall. The wall mounted electric fireplace comes different sizes, style, color options, designs, and variations. At first glance, it can also get mistaken as a real fireplace.

Though this may sound like a wall mount fireplace is difficult to install, you don’t need to hire professionals to mount this on the wall. A wall mount fireplace comes with user manuals and installation guides to help you through the process.

Freestanding Electric Fireplaces

Of course, we have portable electric fireplaces. Most products come with four legs and are movable anywhere in the house. Most of the freestanding electric fireplace heater has an outside sheet that is cool to the touch all the time.

And The Best Is ….

Based on our testing and after checking many positive consumer reviews, we recommend Dimplex Celeste Freestanding Electric Stove as our top pick.

Because of its Realistic 3D Flame and you can also adjust the flame brightness settings with five style options to create the illusion of a real fireplace. It also has the zone heating feature and stays cool even while switched on.

It’s cool to the touch, so it’s safe for kids and pets. We also enjoyed the air purification treatment system to keep the air quality good in your room.

Dimplex Celeste Freestanding Electric Fireplace

Our #1 Recommendation

  • Realistic 3D Flame Effects
  • Remote Control
  • Programmable Thermostat
  • Automatic Overheat Protection
  • Air Filtration
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Joe Castro

Joe Castro is the Director of Trusty Joe. Under the guidance of his father, a general contractor, Joe has been involved with a lot of handyman projects from a very young age. He combined this love for building with another passion of his, creative writing. Trusty Joe allows him to merge these two interests and offer the best of both worlds.