What Is An Electric Fireplace Insert?

There is no doubt that a fire place adds a lot of appeal to a space. It instantly makes a living room, dining room, family room or bedroom seem much warmer and cozy. The added heat benefit is also quite appealing. On autumn days and nights when the entire house is not in need of the heat to be turned on just yet, a fire is an excellent way to warm a space . These electric fireplace inserts are definitely appealing compared to other options like infrared or oil filled heaters.

What can you do if you do not have a traditional fire place or if your fireplace is in non-working condition? An electric fireplace insert is the answer. There are a few different types but they all provide the same service. The electric fireplace insert emits heat and utilizes electric to do so.

Different brands and designs will have a few varying features and aesthetic appeal. Some inserts are designed to go into existing fireplaces while others can be placed in a faux fire place that is simply a mantle and box cut out placed against a wall. There are also complete electric fireplace units that are mobile pieces and can be put in any room of a house. These are large and are built with sides, decorative trim and a small mantle appearance above the heating unit.

The logs that create the fireplace insert also have many features that can make then uniquely different. Some logs come with sound effects so that they have a crackling sound while other logs have different light settings to create a soft glow or a more rapid-fire appearance. All of the fireplace inserts emit heat to warm a space but some have a heat on and off option so that the visual effects can be enjoyed year-round without the heating element activating.

Short on Time? Here’s our Top Pick

Popular Features For Realistic Electric Fireplaces

There are a few options when it comes to selecting the best electric fireplace insert for your home.

These options include:

  • Visual Appeal
  • Size
  • Heat Output
  • Bonus Features like thermostat and crackling sounds
  • Price

Fire place inserts can be as unique as your home may be. Some are more contemporary with sleek lines and industrial colors such as black and metal. Other electric fireplace inserts are rustic and work well with traditional brick fireplaces or wood free standing portable faux fireplaces. Sizes also vary for electric fireplace inserts.

Inserts for fireplaces and faux portable fireplace frames are commonly around 34 to 36 inches wide and 20 to 27 inches in height. Wall flush mountable units that are placed directly into a wall are larger and typically 36 to 50 inches wide and about 20 inches in height.

Other features for electric fireplace inserts include the heat functionality as well as light variations and sound effects. Some inserts will always put out heat when they are turned on but others have an option to turn off the heat output so that the fireplace can be enjoyed aesthetically without overheating a space.

Price for electric fireplace inserts ranges from $250-$400 depending upon added features, size and shipping costs. The lights that create the lifelike fire appearance can also differ with optional settings. Different types of electric fireplace inserts will have varying light settings to allow a soft amber glow while others may produce the appearance of a roaring flame.

Other notable features to look for when selecting an electric fireplace insert include sound effects that create a real crackling wood noise, log and ember bed displays, warranties and remote control operation.

Top Realistic Electric Fireplace Insert Picks in 2020

PuraFlame Western Electric Fireplace Insert

The PuraFlame western electric fireplace insert comes with quite a few bells and whistles that put it on the top pick list for electric fireplace inserts. This insert is 35 1/25″ width x Height: 26 99/100″ x Depth: 8 39/50″ and features a remote control operating system and realistic crackling wood sound effects.

It utilizes LED lighting technology and is designed with a 11 13/16″ resin log that actually sites on a grate. The lighting effects make it appear as though the log is on a burning ember bed when the electric fireplace insert is turned on. There are 3 lighting features and this insert comes with a heat on or a heat off feature to allow for year round use.

The heat output is 750/1500W and the unit can be plugged directly into a socket but it cannot be hardwired. The PuraFlame Western electric fireplace insert comes with a 1 year warranty and is reasonably priced at $350.

  • 1 year warranty
  • Remote control operation
  • Crackling sounds when turned on
  • 3 flame light options
  • Never have to clean up ash or logs when using an electric fireplace


  • Remote is small and easy to lose
  • 1 Lithium Metal batteries required
  • Product weighs 47 pounds so it may require a few people to transport it and set it up

Homedex 50″ Recessed Mounted Electric Fireplace Insert

The Homedex recessed mounted electric fireplace insert can be used as an insert in a larger fireplace opening or it can be mounted on a wall. This is a trendy and ultra sleek insert that is designed with a touch screen feature as well as a remote control for distance operating. It is designed with an upper front blower heater that can nicely heat a 400 square foot room and has 9 flame settings.

This unit plugs easily into a 110V outlet and has a timer setting for 1 to 8 hours of use. The Homedex comes with a 1 year warranty and the ember bed options include faux logs or crystal stones and both are included. At just under $300 this is a sleek and modern heating element that will turn a boring room into a warm and trendy space.


  • 9 light settings
  • 1 year warranty
  • Comes with faux logs and crystal stones for the ember bed options


  • Large and takes up a lot of wall space
  • Fits best in modern and contemporary designs

R.W.FLAME 36″ Electric Fireplace Insert

This electric fireplace insert utilizes a 120V wall plug. It is simplistic and will fit with any design/decor and can be placed within an existing fireplace or a wooden portable fireplace frame. The R.W. Flame comes with remote operation, has 5 flame and color burning modes, 5 brightness levels and a operation time option of 1 to 8 hours of run time. It is also designed with an auto-kill switch over heating safety feature.


  • Operates with our without heat option activated
  • Remote control comes with a 8m operating distance
  • 1 year warranty


  • Not wall mountable
  • 66.4 pounds, this is a heavy unit

Classic Flame 3D Infrared Quartz Electric Fireplace Insert

The Classic Flame utilizes infrared quartz heat to help heat the room. This heating technology adds humidity to the atmosphere so heat produced is comfortable and not drying. This unit has several patent pending designs for optimal safety, these designs include safer plug fire prevention technology and safer sensor fire prevention technology.


  • 5 adjustable brightness and speed settings
  • Supplemental zone heating for up to 1, 000 square feet
  • Flame effect operates with or without heat


  • Does not fit properly in all existing fireplaces and the frame kit sometimes must be bought at an additional cost to create an overall better appearance

Della 3D Infrared Electric Fireplace Insert

The Della 3Dinfrared electric fireplace insert is an ultra trendy and low cost fireplace insert. This insert typically costs just under $150 and offers a lot of bang for the buck. It is easy to use with pre-set temperature settings between 62°F and 82°F and it has a touch screen operation and a remote operation feature. The LED display creates life like flames and is easy to install.


  • 15.43 pounds makes it light weight and easy for one person to install
  • Costs under $150 which makes it affordable


  • Does not have added features such as crackling sounds and light effects that other brands are designed with

Making the choice on which electric fireplace insert is right for you will depend upon where you plan on utilizing it and how much you are willing to spend. Measure the space before shopping so you know which insert will work best. Once your insert is installed you will be able to enjoy the ambiance and heat without the hassle and clean up of a real fire.