Not everyone can have a home or apartment with a fireplace. Getting one installed may be impossible if you live in an apartment, and it’s too costly to install one in a home. Therefore, the next best option is to purchase a fake fireplace.
Fake electric fireplaces have come a long way from their earlier counterparts. They no longer look unrealistic and tacky. Nowadays, it’s becoming harder to tell real fireplaces from fake ones because the design is much more realistic.
With so many fake fireplace options on the market, it may be overwhelming to pick one perfect for your space. Here are a few of the best fake fireplaces that you can buy in 2021.
- Best Overall: PuraFlame Alice 50 Inches Recessed Electric Fireplace
- Best Energy Saver: R.W.FLAME 36 inch Recessed and Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace
- Best 2-in-1 Fake Fireplace and TV Stand: Ameriwood Home Lumina Fireplace Stand for TVs
- Best Traditional Fake Fireplace: Duraflame 3D Infrared Electric Fireplace Stove
- Best Rustic Fake Fireplace: BELLEZE Industrial Rustic Electric Fireplace TV Stand & Media Entertainment Center
How We Picked the Best Fake Fireplaces
As a home improvement writer, I have years of experience vetting and reviewing home goods for quality and value. For this guide, I narrowed down my choices for the review by comparing several reviews of fake fireplaces online. I arrived at a list of about 14 different brands that ranked well on these sites. Upon gathering the list of popular brands, I researched these brands on Amazon.
R.W.Flame is a best-selling item on Amazon. Still, I settled on PuraFlame as the best overall because of a much more chic and realistic design. Otherwise, both appeared to have most of the same qualities. The final choice was selected by searching among Amazon’s similar products. I decided to include another stand-alone unit with a different type of traditional design than the Duraflame. Key factors taken into consideration are noise levels, similarity to real fireplaces, versatility, and design.
The Best Fake Fireplaces: Reviews and Recommendations
Best Overall: PuraFlame Alice 50 Inches Recessed Electric Fireplace
Why It Made the Cut: This fake fireplace is designed with 3D imaging, is aesthetically pleasing, and looks like a real fireplace.
- 60.1 pounds
- 50 x 5.9 x 20.27 inches
- Firebox, glass panel, remote control, owner’s manual, crystals, logset
- Great for ambiance
- Realistic flame effects
- Trendy design
- Unit may turn on by itself
- Loud heater unit
- Hard to contact manufacturer when problems arise
When it comes to fake fireplaces, many people don’t like them because they look fake. However, PuraFlame has done a great job of minimizing the fakeness of imitation fireplaces. This pick uses high-intensity LED lights to make the fire appear authentic. The flame burns yellow or blue, and it can be adjusted to high or low flames.
Another great aspect of this product is that you can choose from crystals or decorative logs as the ember bed. It’s designed with 3D visualization that makes it seem like the fire is rising from the crystals or the hand-painted logs. This illusion of fire creates a perfect ambiance. Besides the visuals, it has a heat source with two settings.
For all of its beauty and realness, it does have a couple of drawbacks. One is that it is designed to fit into a recessed wall, and not mounted on the wall. Also, the heat source is not strong enough to be used alone.
Best Energy Saver: R.W.FLAME 36 inch Recessed and Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace
Why It Made the Cut: This fireplace has a chic, realistic design and helps you save energy by choosing between two modes, 750W and 1500W.
- 36.3 pounds
- 18.1 x 18.1 x 36 inches
- Multi operating modes
- Variety of flame speeds and brightness
- Easy to install
- Very thin design
- Remote may not work
- Heater not warm
The R.W.Flame features faux flames that emerge from an LED bed in. Choose from 12 colors and adjust the flame brightness and the speed at which the flame could move. Just like the PuraFlame, the R.W.Flame has a very chic, modern design. It can be placed within a recessed wall, or it can be mounted on the wall.
The R.W.Flame has two heat settings that can help with energy savings. If the unit gets too hot, it will shut off to avoid overheating. This 36-inch unit is easy to install. In no time, you can relax on the couch and enjoy this beautiful fireplace. You can also control the settings using the remote control that accompanies it. One problem that may get in the way of enjoyment is the heater’s fan. The noise from the fan is loud and can be distracting.
Best 2-in-1 Fake Fireplace and TV Stand: Ameriwood Home Lumina Fireplace Stand for TV
Why It Made the Cut: This fireplace is great because it allows you to have two focal points in one, which is not always possible in a room with a real fireplace.
- 122.4 pounds
- 18.9 x 64.76 x 24.88 inches
- Six shelves and stand that can hold a 70-inch TV
- Adjustable flames and brightness
- Warms up a 400 square foot room
- Plenty of space for a TV up to 120 pounds
- Paint finish not great
- Easy instructions but hard to assemble
- Beautiful piece but looks cheap
Traditional fireplaces create a focal point in a home. Some homeowners prefer to have one focal point and may not include a television in the fireplace area. If they do include a television, it divides the focal point into two, which is sometimes distracting. Although it may be tempting to mount a TV over a fireplace, this is a bad idea. Not only does it cause neck strain viewing a television at such an angle, but the heat and soot from the fireplace can also damage your television.
So, what’s a better solution for creating a single focal point, combining the television and a heat source? A fake fireplace, of course. Ameriwood Home combines a sleek, modern television stand with an electric fireplace that allows you to have the best of both worlds without damaging your television. The stand has plenty of shelving space so that you can store other items such as video games, audio components, books, or display items. Although the idea is excellent, the execution is less than stellar. The product, while beautiful, has some quality issues.
Best Traditional Fake Fireplace: Duraflame 3D Infrared Electric Fireplace
Why It Made the Cut: This is a great choice if you are looking for a fireplace that realistically resembles a traditional wood stove.
- 28.6 pounds
- 13.07 x 24 x 23.4 inches
- Overheat protection that shuts off if too hot
- Great traditional design
- Adjustable thermostat
- Good for use around children and pets
- Doesn’t get very warm
- Burning smell
- Loud unit
Wood-burning stoves were invented in the 1500s, but became more popular during the 1700s. This invention was especially popular during the colonial period and remained well-liked until the early 1900s. Wood stoves burn wood, allowing VOCs (volatile organic compounds), tar, and other harmful components to escape through the chimney while leaving behind the heat. While these wood stoves do an excellent job warming the home, they can create bad air quality. Unfortunately, wood stoves have been linked to health problems, including asthma, lung cancer, and premature death.
If you want the nostalgia of a wood-burning stove, minus all the health problems that it may cause, the Duraflame 3D Infrared Electric Fireplace could be a good choice. This model looks exactly like a traditional wood-burning stove, complete with realistic logs with a flame effect that can be adjusted to five colors, brightness, and speeds. It may potentially help you save money by heating an area of 1,000 square feet or less. The unit is portable and doesn’t dry out the air. It is also safe to use around children and pets. The fireplace will also shut off if it overheats. That said, while it is quite a beautiful design, the unit makes a loud humming noise when the heater runs and may give off a strange burning smell.
Best Rustic Fake Fireplace: BELLEZE Industrial Rustic Electric Fireplace TV Stand & Media Entertainment Center
Why It Made The Cut: This fireplace is attached to a wood storage unit that is perfect for use in a cabin or a home or apartment with southern decor.
- 99.4 pounds
- 47 x 15.37 x 30.68 inches
- Entertainment center with storage cabinets
- Charming design
- Plenty of storage
- Great for use in kitchens, bedrooms, and living rooms
- Unit not sturdy
- Parts may be mislabeled
- Noisy heater
If you crave nostalgia but not the type that the Duraflame fireplace offers, the Belleze Industrial Rustic Electric Fireplace may be a better option. This fake fireplace has an old-fashioned charm that works well with a southern décor. Whether you live in a log cabin complete with tongue-and-groove paneling, or you have a home with a rustic theme, this product will give you a great focal point, especially if the house doesn’t have a fireplace.
Belleze has charming barnyard-inspired cabinet doors that conceal an area that is perfect for storing books or electronics. The fake fireplace itself is designed with a realistic glow that rises from faux wood. This versatile piece is made with top-quality wood that can fit a 50-inch television. It does have a few disadvantages, however. The unit may be challenging to put together. Although the design is beautiful, it may not be as durable as it needs to be. Just like many other fake fireplaces, it can also be noisy.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Fake Fireplace
Before purchasing a fake fireplace, there are four critical factors to consider:
Standalone or Wall-Mounted
If you are purchasing a fake fireplace for your home, a wall mount may be ideal. But you will need to keep in mind that the unit does have wiring, and this will have to be concealed to create a realistic décor. If you purchase a unit for an apartment, it may be a good idea to get a standalone unit.
Compatibility with Your TV
One great thing about fake fireplaces is that they can be mounted beneath a television. In addition, the heat from most fake fireplaces tends to blow outward or downward rather than upward like a real fireplace. So, if you want to create a single focal point by mounting the television and the fireplace on the same wall, it is safe. Also, standalone units such as Ameriwood and Belleze incorporate a fake fireplace into the television stand.
If you have small children or pets in the home, you should consider whether a fake fireplace is safe to use around them. The light within the unit is not a hazard. However, if the heating component gets too hot, it may burn a child or pet. If the unit has adjustable heating levels, this could make it safer to use. Ultimately, it’s a good idea to purchase a unit that won’t burn no matter the heat level.
Although most real fireplaces create a lot of noise from the popping and crackling of burning wood, fake fireplaces can be loud too. The noise is typically a dull sound of the fan blowing out the heat from the fireplace. This may not be an issue if you prefer the fireplace for ambiance and are not using it for the heat.
Q: Are fake fireplaces easy to install?
Some brands are. If you only have to mount the unit on the wall, these are relatively easy. However, recessed units are a bit more challenging. You will have to deal with the issue of adequately hiding the wiring to make it look more natural. Units within a television stand can be just as challenging as putting together a traditional television stand.
Q: Are fake fireplaces loud?
Yes, some of them are loud because the fan within the unit may make a substantial amount of noise depending on the brand.
Q: What is a good choice for people living in apartments?
The choice is ultimately up to you. In most cases with apartments, whatever you change must be returned to its original state upon moving out, or you may forfeit your deposit. As long as you are willing to return the apartment to its original condition, any of the products in this guide will work. However, if you don’t want to deal with the hassle of repairing walls, then a good option may be one of the fake fireplace TV stands.
There are certainly some great options on the market today for fake fireplaces. Starting in the early 1900s and becoming popular in the 1950s, fake fireplaces today aren’t the traditional mom and pop types of yesteryear. Instead, many brands are going all out to ensure that customers enjoy fake fireplaces that fit perfectly into the home decor. Unfortunately, there are still quality issues to contend with, and the noise levels that the units produce are still not quiet enough. But you can likely find an option that works for your home.