6 Best Small Electric Fireplace (Reviews & Guide 2020)

A fireplace is a great heating source, especially during the cold winter months. It also improves the interior design and adds value to your home. So, if you want to build or sell a house, installing a fireplace is often considered a positive feature.

The most common types of fireplaces are usually common in mansions and luxury homes. And it makes sense because you need enough space and right venting for the unit. Otherwise, they can be another source of pollution in your indoor environment.

So, what about people who live in apartments, condos, or small living spaces? Are you not supposed to install fireplaces? Well, we have good news for you. We have reviewed some of the best small electric fireplaces that are safe, easy to set up, environmentally-friendly, and provide great heat at an affordable price.

Best Small Electric Fireplace Reviews

Last update on 2020-10-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1. Comfort Zone Mini Ceramic Electric Fireplace Heater

Sale
CCC Comfort Zone Mini Ceramic, Electric Fireplace...
  • REALISTIC | 3D Flame with Ember Bed
  • SAFE | Safety Tip-Over Switch and Overheat Protection System
  • SUPERIOR DESIGN | Metallic Painted Finish with Stay Cool Body and Molded Handle
  • POWERFUL | Ceramic PTC Heating Element with 2 Heat Settings and Fan-Only Setting

Last update on 2020-10-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Comfort Zone Mini Ceramic Electric Fireplace has simulated 3D flames that help to achieve the look of a real fireplace. 

The heating elements of this unit are made of ceramic, so you know you’re getting quality materials incorporated into the design. It also includes a rotary switch that has three different positions built-in.

You can control the heat output due to the dual wattage function, and this unit is also a safe way of adding heat to your chosen room. It includes a safety temperature overheat cut off switch so that if it gets too hot, it will simply shut off. It also features a mechanism that will ensure the machine will turn off if it is tipped over accidentally. 

The aesthetics of this model are quite impressive, too. It has a metallic painted finish with a molded handle for easy transport, and its body is specially designed to stay cool to the touch while the heater is being used. 

Pros

  • Ceramic heating elements
  • Safety features included

Cons 

  • There are some aspects of this unit that are aesthetically pleasing, but other aspects may not be everyone’s preference. 

2. PuraFlame Octavia Portable Electric Fireplace Heater

PuraFlame 12 Inches Octavia Portable Electric...
  • Dimensions: 12" L X 7" W X 14.7" H; Three colors to choose from: red, black, white
  • Portable fireplace heater; 100% LED lit coal flame effect; Flame effect can be used without heat
  • Adjustable thermostat; Safety "Tip-Over" and Overheating Protection
  • Supplies supplemental heat for up to 400 sq. ft.; Back handle design, easy to move and transport
  • Ideal for use in cottage, trailer, home, office, dorm, or anywhere an extra temporary heat source is needed; Only 120V in the USA use; One year warranty

Last update on 2020-10-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The PuraFlame Octavia Portable Electric Fireplace Heater comes in three colors: red, black, and white. The black color is for those with a classic taste in decor, the red is for those who tend to opt for bold furnishings, and the white is perhaps most suitable for a minimalist or highly contemporary interior space. 

This fireplace heater is portable, and its dimensions will allow you to place it pretty much anywhere. It is only 12 inches wide, 14.7 inches high, and 7 inches deep. As such, it certainly lives up to the label of being one of the smallest electric fireplaces.

Don’t worry about small units lacking power, however. This little gem is small and mighty. It can heat a space of up to 400 square feet, which is powerful enough for most averaged sized rooms. If you have an unusually large living room, you might want to look for something with a slightly higher power capability or buy two of these. 

This includes an adjustable thermostat, allowing you to have ultimate control over your temperature and comfort levels. You can set the timer to pre-heat your home at a suitable time before you arrive through the front door, and you can use the adjustable settings to make things colder or warmer according to your preferences. It also includes a number of safety features such as a safety tip-over and heating protection, giving you additional peace of mind.

Pros

  • Sleek black design
  • Portable

Cons

  • The feet of the unit could be more robust.

 

3. Duraflame Electric Infrared Quartz Fireplace Stove

Duraflame 3D Infrared Electric Fireplace Stove...
  • 5,200 BTU heater provides supplemental zone heating for up to 1,000 square feet to help you save money
  • Patent pending 3D flame effect technology features realistic flames that dance on and behind the logs, including five adjustable color, brightness, and speed settings
  • The infrared quartz heat helps to maintain the natural humidity in the air, resulting in comfortable heat without drying out the room's
  • Overheat protection, heater will instantly shut off to prevent overheating. Volts : 120. Amps : 12.5
  • Adjustable, digital thermostat allows you to decide the temperature of your room

Last update on 2020-10-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Duraflame Electric Infrared Quartz Fireplace is a powerful heater that boasts a 5,200 BTU rating. This means that it can heat an area up to 1000 square feet. This is an incredibly large area and equates to roughly one third or perhaps one half of an average house. Ideally, it is used as a supplemental heat source as opposed to a primary one. This means that you can use it to bolster your main heating source or warm space spaces, like your living room. This is perfect for those chilly nights when the family is watching TV or movies together, for example.

This unit features a patented technology that is super fun, particularly if you enjoy messing around with gadgets and using them to their full potential. This technology is pertaining to the flame system and creates a 3D flame effect. As a result, the flames will look more realistic. They dance on and behind the logs, just like an authentic coal fireplace. 

Not only this, but you can configure the flames themselves by adjusting their color, brightness, and speed. Who doesn’t love sitting with a hot drink and watching the fire? This model makes this experience truly unforgettable.

Moreover, the heat emitted from this electric fireplace is infrared quartz. This type of heat helps to maintain the natural humidity in the air, so it won’t dry out the room. This feature ensures you can relax and enjoy the warmth with extra peace of mind. 

Pros

  • Very powerful in proportion to its size
  • Really fun features to adjust the flames according to your taste

Cons 

  • This would be more awkward to move around than some of the other models reviewed here.

4. Dimplex Deluxe Electric Fireplace Insert DF12310

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Dimplex Firebox 23" Insert With LED Log Set,...
  • GLOW: Designed with patented LED inner glow and pulsating ember technology allows the log and embers to glow in concert creating an unmatched realistc fireplace experience
  • YEAR-ROUND: Enjoy the comfort and charm of a fireplace 365 days a year using the flames with or without the heat
  • SAFE: With no flame heat or emission and a glass from that remains cool to the touch, our fireplaces are the safe choice for your home
  • CLEAN: Our firebox is the perfect green alternative with no harmful particulates or emissions while being 100% efficient
  • DISCREET: With our heater being up to 42% smaller than conventional baseboards, this allows for discreet styling, reduced length and added versatility of placement when designing a room

Last update on 2020-10-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Dimplex Deluxe Electric Fireplace Insert DFI2310 is a powerful model that has 1375 watts of power. This design is different than some of the other models – it is explicitly made to be inserted into a fireplace in the wall. 

This can be both and advantage and a disadvantage. It’s a plus because if you do have the correct space in your home for it to slot into, it is going to look as if you have a real fireplace more than the standalone models. On the other hand, if you want to heat a room that doesn’t have an existing fireplace, this isn’t going to be your first choice.

It should be noted that the dimensions have been designed to fit most existing fireplaces conveniently, so you don’t have to worry too much about it not matching the one in your home. Still, always make sure to measure, just in case.

One of the fascinating settings about this is that you can set it to full heat, half heat, or flame only. Thus, it’s a useful addition to your living space all year round. You can put it up full when it’s freezing, select half heat when you’re merely trying to remove a slight chill from the air, and use the flame only setting for aesthetic purposes. Imagine having dinner guests around on a summer evening; for example, you’ve finished dinner and are bringing drinks into the living room. You can all feel super cozy without being bombarded with sweltering heat, and watch the flames as you chat and reminisce.

Pros

  • Includes a remote control
  • Consists of a fan-forced heater that ensures quiet and efficient operation

Cons  

  • This is an insert intended to be slotted into a fireplace. Thus, if you don’t have the appropriate gap in the wall, it’s not suitable.

5. PuraFlame Western Electric Fireplace Insert

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PuraFlame Western Electric Fireplace Insert with...
  • Overall dimensions: Width: 27 95/100" x Height: 24 61/100" x Depth: 8 39/50". For more dimension details, please refer to "User Manual" in "Technical Specification" section.
  • 3 flame settings with variable intensity and brightness can be used with or without heat all year long; 100% energy saving LED technology. A sleek look with three-sided interior brick wall and clean glass front trim design, without the hassle of cleaning dust or ashes.
  • Life-like resin log which is 7 7/8" high sitting on the grate above ember bed, that's just what a wood burning fireplace looks like.
  • Adjustable thermostat; A supplemental heat for up to 400 sq. ft. CANNOT be used as a main heat source; Remote control provided for easy operation.
  • Easy to install and uninstall. With flat bottom, the insert can just sit on the floor directly; Plug in and use under a voltage of 120, CANNOT be hard wired. One year warranty but customer service is always ready for help whenever you need.

Last update on 2020-10-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The PuraFlame Western Electric Fireplace Insert uses 100% energy-saving LED technology. This means that it is a highly efficient unit that will both help the environment and save you money on utility bills. Who can argue with saving money?

The log design of this insert is very life-like, and the ember bed also looks authentic. The flames have variable intensity and brightness, so like some of the other models reviewed here, you can enjoy tweaking the appearance until you find one you like.

This unit includes electronic temperature control which is both easy to use and highly accurate, and it also includes an adjustable thermostat for convenience and practicality.

It’s easy to install and uninstall. So you don’t have to be an expert to place this insert inside your fireplace. Moreover, it can provide supplemental heat for spaces up to 400 square feet.

Pros

  • 100% energy-saving LED technology
  • Electronic temperature control

Cons

  • This is an insert intended to be slotted into a fireplace. Thus, if you don’t have the appropriate gap in the wall, it’s not suitable.

6. e-Flame USA Regal Free Standing Electric Fireplace

e-Flame USA Regal Freestanding Electric Fireplace...
  • DESIGN | The classic design highlights the realistic wood burning effect and dancing flames. This hearth is lightweight, and stays cool-to-the-touch. Transporting from room-to-room is easy. This is a fashionable heating solution for any space. Perfect for your guest room, basement, garage, apartment, office, or motorhome/RV. Safe to set on all flooring types.
  • FEATURES | A quiet, fan-forced heater has easy-to-adjust settings for even heat distribution. Enjoy the warm glow of the flames all year with the no-heat. Safety protection includes automatic shut-off to prevent overheating. Unit is odorless and smokeless. Safe for the elderly, kids, and pets.
  • DECORATION | Dress your firebox up to reflect your personal style. All exterior faces stay cool, so it is a great way to display your seasonal décor and home accessories.
  • ENERGY SAVINGS | This unit can reduce your electric bill by using over 90% less energy than gas. It heats up quickly, and has two heat setting options so there is no need to pay the high cost of heating your entire home.
  • SPECIFICATIONS | Replaceable 40-watt bulbs (2). This 1500-watt unit comes with a 6-ft. long cord which plugs into any standard household outlet. Provides supplemental heat for up to 400 sq. ft. Opening mesh door. 5115 BTUs. Quick and easy assembly will get you warm and comfortable in minutes. 24.7" (H) x 23.6" (W) x 11.2"

Last update on 2020-10-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The e-Flame USA Regal Free Standing Fireplace has a very aesthetically pleasing design that means it will look at home in your living space. It’s the kind of electric fireplace that can be made into the focal point of a room, where some are more functional than stylish.

It features a fan-forced heater which ensures both quiet operation and even dispersal of heat throughout the room. 

Another style element of this unit is that it is designed to stay cool on the exterior. Thus, you can place ornaments and decorations on the top of it, much like you would on a desk or end table. This is a fun element and adds to the aesthetic appeal. 

There are two heat setting options, and the unit heats up quickly. Thus, you have some control over the heat emitted, and you can switch it on as soon as you arrive home from work. It also helps you save money on your utility bills as it uses 90% less energy than gas. It has 1500 watts of power and comes with a free cord so you can get the desired placement in your room.

Pros

  • Aesthetically pleasing design
  • Quiet operation

Cons

  • The flames and ember bed don’t look as realistic as some other models

 

How Do Electric Fireplaces Work?

As the above reviews suggest, there are many different types of electric fireplaces to choose from, each model boasting its own set of features that separate it from the rest. 

This guide should help you carefully assess the different options, styles, and features so you can pick the right electric fireplace for your home. 

Let’s begin with a recap of how electric fireplaces work

There are two things to cover here – the heat generation process and the flame generation process. 

Heat Generation

The heat in electric fireplaces can be generated either by a fan heater or an infrared heater. In fan-heated fireplaces, an electrical current passes through a metal coil. As the coil becomes hotter and hotter, it begins to radiate heat. The heat is then blown out of the unit and into your home using a fan.

Infrared electric fireplaces are work entirely differently. Rather than heat a metal coil to generate heat, the units produce invisible infrared rays of light that travel through the air, heating objects in their path.

Flame Generation

The flame in electric fireplaces can be created in several ways. Some flames are made by displaying a rotating video of a roaring fire on a TV screen built into the fire. Some of these videos come complete with cracking sounds to offer a more authentic experience.

Meanwhile, other fireplaces use bulbs that have their light refracted to give an illusion of a dancing flame. A water mist may be used to create the illusion of smoke.

How Much Electricity Does An Electric Fireplace Use?

Most electric fireplaces use a standard 120-volt plug. You plug the appliance into a power outlet and switch it ON to start using it. The plugs are grounded for additional protection against fire and electrocution.

While they consume electricity at different rates, most consume 750 watts at low settings and 1,500 watts on high settings. This heating range is perfect for supplemental heating in small spaces, up to 150 square feet, such as basements and offices. You could also use the units as a primary heating source, but only in much smaller spaces, such as a small den.

If you require more heat, you can find larger models that offer higher wattage. The larger models may require higher voltages, necessitating a higher-rated plug such a 240-volt piece. 

Electric Fireplaces vs. Space Heaters

You might be wondering which is better between electric fireplaces and space heaters. The truth is that each option has its advantages.

For instance, space heaters produce more heat, making them a better choice for primary heating sources.

Meanwhile, electric fireplaces work best as supplementary heating sources. The greater portability of space heaters is also worth mentioning.

If you picked between the two, though, an electric fireplace would be the better choice. Here’s why;

Improved Ambiance

This is possibly the most significant difference between the two options. Space heaters may give you more heat than electric fireplaces, but they offer nothing close to what you’d get from an electric fireplace when it comes to ambiance.

This makes electric fireplaces a better investment if you intend to sell the home sometime in the future.

Cost-Effective

Although they cost more upfront, electric fireplaces are more cost-effective than space heaters in the long run. They are cheaper to maintain; an electric fireplace can last for years with little to no maintenance. Also, some are easier to install than most space heaters.

Increased Safety 

Space heaters aren’t the most unsafe home heating appliances, but they’re up there. If you have one in your home, you will have to watch everyone and the pets lest they get too close to the heater.

Risk of tripping is another thing that may leave you worried the entire time the heater is ON. Electric fireplaces are very safe. There’s no risk of burns and no risk of tipping over. 

Flexible Installation

Finally, electric fireplaces offer more installation options compared to space heaters. You can have the unit installed in the bedroom under a wall-mounted TV. Then, there are wall-mounted options that can be mounted on the wall or recessed into the wall. The possibilities are endless. 

What are the Different Types of Fireplaces?

There are at least seven different types of fireplaces that you can install in your home. 

They include:

  • Wood burning fireplaces: Traditional wood-burning fireplaces are made of stone or brick. There are different sub-categories of the fireplaces. However, some more efficient than others, while some are easier to install. The fireplaces are constructed inside the home by professionals and become part of the house. 
  • Gas burning fireplaces: A popular alternative to traditional wood-burning fireplaces,gas-burning fireplaces are freestanding units that utilize a pipe that enables you to install the fireplace in any room. Some require a chimney, while others don’t. 
  • Ethanol burning fireplaces: Fireplaces that burn ethanol are not only beautiful (thanks to their contemporary design) but also easy to install and use. Most of them contain a burner that can be filled with bio-ethanol fuel.
  • Electric fireplaces: Currently, one of the most popular options out there,electric fireplaces, create warmth by heating coils with electricity. A fan inside the unit then blows the resulting heat into your rooms and, sometimes, into adjacent rooms. Most electric fireplaces employ a “fake” flame to give them a life-like look.
  • Tabletop fireplaces: These are portable fireplaces often placed on top of the table to provide heat to one or more users. They are the cheapest option on this list, thanks mostly to their small sizes. However, they can’t be used to warm large areas. 
  • Wall-mounted fireplaces: As the same suggests, these fireplaces are mounted on walls within the home. Some are usually connected to a chimney while others operate without chimneys. Most wall-mounted fireplaces are portable and run on either gas or electricity.
  • Wood stoves fireplaces: Modern wood stoves come in either steel or cast iron, with many styles to choose from, ranging from traditional-style stoves to contemporary double-sided options that radiate heat from all surfaces. Wood stove fireplaces are both safe and fuel-efficient.

What makes Electric Fireplaces Ideal for Small Rooms?

There are several advantages of electric fireplaces that make them more suited to smaller spaces. These include; 

Low Maintenance

One of the most significant advantages of electric fireplaces is that they require very little maintenance. Wood burning fireplaces produce ash and soot, meaning you need to regularly clean the appliance or risk creating a fire hazard.

Oil and gas-burning fireplaces, meanwhile, become dirty quickly, thus must also be cleaned often. Electric fireplaces are pretty much plug-and-play. There’s no chimney or ash to clean and no oil or gas leaks to worry about.

Incredibly Energy-Efficient

In the winter season, homes can become extremely cold, which often forces people to adjust the thermostat upwards to boost indoor temperatures. The problem is that this can result in increased energy bills.

If you don’t want to spend too much on heating your small room, an electric fireplace is an excellent supplemental heating source.

Supplementary heating is considered a great way to lower your energy bills as additional heat sources provide the extra heat needed to boost indoor temperatures while consuming very little energy.

They are Low-Cost

Installing a traditional fireplace can cost thousands of dollars. Not every homeowner can afford this initial cost. Additionally, in a small room, a conventional fireplace might not be practical. That’s where freestanding electric fireplaces come in.

Electric fireplaces aren’t just cheaper to buy; they are also less expensive to install and maintain. First off, you don’t have to purchase and maintain a chimney. Secondly, you don’t need to buy wood and plan for the storage of the wood. 

Easy to Install

In a small room, you don’t want a fireplace that’s too challenging to install. And, that’s what you get from electric fireplaces. There’s no need to knock out walls or perform massive remodeling to install the fireplace.

In most instances, all you need to do is plug in the appliance and set it against a wall. Even wall-mounted models that are hung on the wall are relatively easy to install compared to traditional fireplaces. 

Plenty of Design Choices

Finally, electric fireplaces are also an excellent choice for small rooms because they come in multiple styles and designs. Thus they can be used to boost interior decor.

Whether you’re looking for a more traditional style or contemporary model, you’re guaranteed to find a design that suits your tastes. You’ll even find options explicitly designed to complement specific furniture finishes in the house.  

Features of a Good Small Electric Fireplace

Electric fireplaces and stoves come with a variety of convenient controls and energy-saving features. Some of the top features to consider are;

  • Flame-only operation: Flame-only electric fireplaces produce only a flame but not heat. This way, you can add the ambiance of a life-like flame without adding heat to your rooms.
  • Adjustable thermostats: Models with adjustable thermostats allow you to set the rate at which heat is released into your room.
  • Flame-speed control: Flame-speed control allows the user to control the speed at which the flame flickers. 
  • Brightness control: If you’d like to increase or decrease your flame’s brightness, choose a model with brightness control. 
  • Digital controls: Modern electric fireplaces can be controlled digitally via a digital control board or remote control.
  • Portability: Finally, for your small room, you may want to consider portable models that can be carried around with ease.

How to Make your Electric Fireplace More Efficient

Electric fireplaces are incredibly efficient. Most of them convert up to 99% of the electricity they consume into heat energy and release most of the heat into the surrounding air through radiation. But, there are three steps you can take to increase heating efficiency even further;

  • Install a Damper Clap: Shutting the traditional damper rarely seals the fireplace entirely. Over time, the damper can warp and may, therefore, not provide an airtight seal. Investing in a new damper cap can prevent heat loss, thus increase efficiency. 
  • Run Ceiling Fans Clockwise: Running ceiling fans clockwise on low keeps warm air evenly distributed throughout the room. At the same time, cold air is pulled up towards the ceiling and away from you. Keeping the fan on “Low” prevents a cold breeze from sending a chill into your home.
  • Weatherproof your Home: To retain warm air within the house, it helps to take steps to ensure that the house doesn’t leak air. So, among other things, install tempered windows, inspect insulation and weather stripping and, whenever possible, allow the sun’s heat to enter the home. 

Electric Fireplace Safety

Electric fireplaces are very safe, but not 100% safe. They can still burn you and, as with every other electrical appliance, can cause fires if not handled properly. The following are some of the things you need to know;

Do the Flames Get Hot?

No, the flames in electric fireplaces aren’t hot. They’re merely projections of flames or videos on a TV screen. They can’t burn you or cause harm in any way. The only part of an electric fireplace that gets warm or hot is the area directly near the heating element. The warm discharge air can also feel warm. But, they cannot burn you. 

Extension Cords are Safety Hazard

Again, this isn’t any different from any other electrical applications; cables are a no-no. However, there are a few manufacturers that have recommended cords for their products.

Where cords are recommended, the manufacturer always the need for heavy-duty cords. For instance, for a 1,500Watt fireplace, the minimum recommendation is No. 14 gauge wire rated at not less than 1,875Watts.

Additional Safety Tips

  • Even though the surfaces rarely get hot enough to burn, it’s safer to avoid touching hot surfaces with your bare skin. 
  • To avoid the risk of fire, keep all items made from combustible materials a safe distance (at least 3 feet) away from the fireplace. These items may include furniture, bedding, clothing, and curtains.
  • Ensure that air moves freely into and out of the fireplace. Blocking air entry or air escape vents may affect the unit’s operation.
  • Never use broken or damaged plugs and cords to operate an electric fireplace. This creates an unnecessary fire and electrocution risk. If you determine that the cable is damaged or malfunctioning, switch OFF the appliance and replace the cord right away.
  • Electric fireplaces are designed for indoor use only. They must never be used outdoors or exposed to the weather. On the same note, don’t use the fireplaces in the bathroom, laundry room, or places likely to have water.
  • Do not attempt any modifications to the unit on your own. If there’s a problem, it’s best to let a professional look at it.  

 Remember that cables must never be run under the carpet, furniture, or other appliances. Instead, it must be passed in clear, safe areas away from traffic. 

Wrap Up

Now that you’ve considered some of the smallest electric fireplaces, you’re better equipped to figure out which features are most important to you. You might prioritize aesthetics, safety, or power, for example.

No matter what appliance you’re buying for the home, always check the specifications of any products you’re interested in before buying, and aim to invest in a well-balanced product that will be a useful addition to your household.