Electric Fireplace Reviews
Duraflame Infrared Electric Fireplace Stove Review
The Duraflame Infrared Electric Fireplace Stove provides a very authentic and classic stove look, while still offering all the modern functionality and convenience of an electric fireplace, for an affordable price.
Stoves offer a sort of throwback feel that you can’t really get with other fireplaces. While stove fireplaces have a unique and genuine allure to them, the idea of using a real one in your home isn’t really all that appealing, unless you’re living like you’re still in the 1300s.
Fortunately, electric stove fireplaces can provide all of the same look and feel of their wood-powered counterparts, but without the mess, smoke, and inherent danger they can present.
Many electric fireplace companies have caught onto the rustic trend that will likely never fully go away, which has led to an abundance of stove-style models that try to walk the line between authentic and modern. To be fair, this is a difficult goal, and many fail.
Duraflame doesn’t, however. They have managed to create a true stove-style electric fireplace that has an old look to it, with some carefully-hidden modern conveniences that help boost its overall functionality and versatility. Add one of the more realistic fires you’ll see, and you’ve got a real winner of a product.
If you’re a fan of stove fireplaces, but aren’t willing to actually put a real one in your home, the Duraflame Electric Infrared Fireplace Stove is perfect for you.
First and foremost, this fireplace looks great. No matter what color you go with, the stove has an iron-cast style that looks very real, even more so if you get the black version. The stove looks solid from any angle, whether it’s away from a wall, or up next to one.
If you want a bit of a different look, there are plenty of other colors to choose from. You can go with a rich cherry wood color, a few off-white choices, or a very crisp pistachio color.
The fireplace’s door is used to cleverly conceal the controls and temperature reading. It’s kind of cool to be able to open the glass door and look at the logs, even if they aren't real. The controls are on the bottom, and easy to reach. The heating vent is on the top, and illuminates with the same vibrant orange the flames show.
Speaking of the flames, Duraflame went all out trying to provide a realistic look. The flames shoot up behind and in front of the logs, and offer the same stunning visuals from any angle. You can control the height of the flames by using any of the five intensity settings, which range between high dancing flames, to a toned down, glowing embers view.
The unit itself measures two feet tall and two feet wide, making it easy to fit into your living room, bedroom, den, or really just about anywhere else. The top can support a decent amount of weight as well, in case you need to add some extra decor to it.
The fireplace may be on the small side, but it still puts out quite a bit of heat. Using infrared heating via 5,000 BTU's, this stove can heat a room up to 500 square feet, and provide added warmth to rooms up to 1,000 square feet.
An included remote adds a little more convenience when controlling from the comfort of your chair or bed, and an auto shutoff feature gives you peace of mind for when you don’t want to worry about shutting the unit off yourself in certain scenarios.
What We Like
We are glad that Duraflame was able to create an authentic stove-style fireplace that not only looks good on the outside, but provides realistic visuals on the inside too. The size and build of the unit allows for easy integration into your home’s decor.
It’s good that the company really tried to hide the controls too. Having a bunch of visual buttons would certainly affect the aesthetic in a bad way, so it was smart to conceal that aspect inside; and with a fully operational glass door nonetheless.
The high amount of heat that this stove generates was a little surprising given its size. Infrared is a little more efficient in general, but still, this thing can really warm things up when allowed to. The inclusion of an actual thermostat came as a surprise, considering many larger models that cost twice the price don’t provide one.
We love remote controls on a fireplace, so good on Duraflame for that too.
What Could Be Better
The fan on this fireplace is a little louder than others, which may pose an issue for some. We really don’t think it’s that big of deal though, especially if you use it around a television.
While we do appreciate a remote, this one is a bit lacking, offering only basic controls, such as on and off. It’d be good if future models let you control the temperature, set a timer, and things like that. For now, you just get flame adjustment and on/off for the flames and heat.
Keep in mind that you’re getting a relatively small unit with this purchase, so don’t expect to use the fireplace as some kind of centerpiece. It’s more of an accent piece. Also, the top can get a little warm, so don’t plan on setting a candle on it, or anything that may be affected by a little heat.
Conclusion and Rating
If you’re dead set on a stove-style electric fireplace, this one from Duraflame should be at the top of your list. You get the classic look, modern capabilities, several color choices, and a surprising amount of heat. For under $200, that’s truly a steal.
Puraflame Western Electric Fireplace Insert Review
The Puraflame Western Electric Fireplace Insert is a simple, effective, and realistic electric fireplace insert that can offer both efficient heat and stunning fire visuals in a moment’s notice, without breaking the bank.
In many ways, electric fireplace inserts are the purest form of an electric fireplace. Designed to fit inside an actual fireplace, these appliances provide an effective substitute for real wood and fire, offering heat output and “flames” that can at times have you forgetting that it’s not real.
However, this is all dependent upon the insert actually being of high quality if you wish to realize these benefits.
Electric fireplace inserts aren’t hard to find, and there are scores of them available in hardware stores and online. An abundance of choices isn’t always a good thing though, and there are plenty of inferior products readily available, entrapping unsuspecting consumers into wasting their money.
For an electric fireplace insert to be effective, it has to mimic a real fireplace in every way, or else it will come across looking gimmicky, and probably lacking in the heater area as well.
If you think it takes a lot of money to find a worthy electric fireplace insert, be assured that this is not the case. Puraflame’s Western Electric Fireplace Insert proves that you can have a superior electric fireplace insert for your home, without crossing the $300 mark.
Form and function are combined with efficiency and convenience to create an excellent insert that can bring new life to an old fireplace, or light up a faux fireplace with brilliant flames and adequate heat output.
The Western’s intentions to offer an authentic fireplace look are obvious from the outset. With its impressive log setup and brick chimney background, the Western can seamlessly fit into a fireplace space, and probably even trick unsuspecting onlookers when powered on.
The unit strives for simplicity, opting for a low-key aesthetic that helps it retain more of a real look. Tempered glass covers the front, which is framed by an understated metal frame that will blend with most fireplace. A small vent running along the top is responsible for heat output without drawing any attention.
To install, you simply lift the unit on the top sides using built-in handles This makes lifting the already light Western even easier. 26, 30, and 33-inch models are available for better size matching, and all have a depth of 8.8 inches.
Controls are located on the top right, hidden behind the heat vent assembly. To access it, all you do is swing open the vent, where you can turn the unit on and off, adjust the thermostat, or change the flame settings.
Let’s talk about those flames for a moment. The Wester uses resin logs and LED lights to create a very lifelike flame experience, with three different settings. The highest setting includes orange and yellow flames, with a hint of blue as well. The middle setting is just yellow and orange, while the lowest settings emits a soft red glow from fake embers.
As for the heat, you get a fully functional thermostat that allows you to set specific temperatures, eliminating the need to constantly turn the unit on and off to maintain a temperature. You can even choose between 750 watts, or 1,500 watts for the times when you want to really crank things up.
Ranging from 60°F to 84°F, the unit can effectively heat a space of up to 400 square feet, while warming larger spaces efficiently as well. For those who prefer a little added convenience, the unit includes a remote control that allows for both flame and heat adjustments from a distance.
What We Like
There is definitely a lot to admire about the Western, but if we had to highlight one thing, it would be the quality of the flame visuals. It doesn't matter what setting you’re using, the flames always look great, and incredibly real if you're just a few feet back.
Although most people don’t plan on moving around an insert all the much, the low 18 pound weight does make things easier for those times that you do. The handles are a nice touch as well.
We also appreciate the low-key design from the front. Nothing flashy, not even any visible buttons. This helps to keep the fireplace looking as real as possible, which is the goal after all.
The thermostat is a great addition, as some electric fireplaces still opt for the “high/low” setting, or sometimes just on or off. The ability to set a temperature and let the fireplace switch on and off is awesome. The remote and its controls are solid too, and the hidden buttons were a good idea.
What Could Be Better
The Western already offers a very realistic fire experience, so it would make sense to include an audio feature for the full effect. This would push the unit over the top in terms of the absolute best of electric fireplace inserts, regardless of price.
While the front glass makes sense, it would be nice to have the option to remove it for more realistic look, but this is a minor complaint.
Inserts are bound by electrical outlets. Since you should never attach an electric fireplace to an extension cord, always double check to make sure the cord can reach your outlet before ordering. The Western’s cord is 6 feet long. Check the dimensions to determine the best sizing for your fireplace space as well.
Conclusion and Rating
The Puraflame Western isn’t flashy, but it is effective, and boasts one of the best-looking flame visuals we’ve seen. The minimal style and smart features are just a few of the things that make this one of the best electric fireplace inserts you can buy.
An electric fireplace of this stature could easily reach the $400 mark, but Puraflame keeps the price well below that, regardless of what size you need. Based off the its quality, features, and price, the Puraflame Western should be your top choice for an insert.
Southern Enterprises Cartwright Electric Fireplace Review
The Southern Enterprise Cartwright electric fireplace is true mantel-style unit that offers much in the way of both design and function, making it one of the best choices for a larger electric fireplace.
Mantel electric fireplaces can sometimes be a little tricky when trying to find one that looks good and performs well, all while avoiding completely altering the look of your room due one that is a bit too overbearing.
There are far too many models that take up too much space, or have a look that doesn’t blend well with most decors. Even if you find one that has a decent style or size, you may have to sacrifice on the actual fireplace part, which includes cheap-looking flames, and a lackluster heater.
The key to a good mantel electric fireplace is balance. You want a design that is versatile enough to complement a variety of room styles, without being band. Obviously the heating aspect is important as well, along with convenient features.
The Southern Enterprises Cartwright electric fireplace succeeds in capturing that elusive balance, resulting in a stylish, versatile mantel unit that can easily up the allure of most any room, while providing a picturesque fire quality and powerful heating ability.
Throw in some modern technological features, and a reasonable price, and you have one of the best electric fireplaces on the market, regardless of type.
The first thing you’ll notice with the Cartwright is the realistic wood look, combined with a traditional mantle design that has just the right amount of detailing. The other characteristic is the size.
The Cartwright is not to big, and not too small, but the perfect in between size that makes it easy to place in several different rooms, but works best in a living room. At 40 inches high, the unit is an ideal height as a decor piece, or as a television stand if you’re so inclined.
The unit is available in three different colors aimed at different tastes. The lighter mission oak color has a lighter tone that has a more traditional mantel feel. The espresso and classic espresso colors are darker, and provide a more contemporary look.
All three use a combination of MDF wood and veneer, with faux slate tiles above the fireplace portion. Inside the fireplace, bricks comprise all three sides for a realistic chimney look.
As for the fireplace itself, vibrant LED lights and quality craftsmanship create a very lifelike set of flames, which are available in 5 different intensity settings. You can use the flames on their own, or you can use them combined with the heater.
As for the heater, you get 5 settings for that as well, which is a combination of infrared quartz and a forced fan to provide a boost. The 5,000 BTUs can heat a room that’s 500 square feet, or warm a room that’s up to 1,000 square feet.
All of the Cartwright’s various settings can be controlled with an included remote control, giving you plenty of convenience when you’re kicked back and relaxed. There’s an auto-shutoff feature, and a child lock for added safety too.
And if the realistic flames and logs weren’t enough, the unit also comes with natural wood crackling sounds that can be adjusted as well, giving you the closest experience you can get to using actual fire and wood.
Installation is fairly simple, and the 79 pound weight gives the unit some added mobility in case you need to move it around the floor from time to time.
What We Like
It almost seems a little counter productive to single out any one aspect of the Cartwright, as its greatest strength is the fact that it really is the total package. Still, we’ll try.
The size is very ideal for someone who doesn’t want some giant mantel hogging a portion of their room. The Cartwright is on the larger side, but it’s by no means overbearing. The understated style helps its case even more. The three color choices are appropriate for its looks, and offer enough variance to suit most tastes.
While the Cartwright is made from MDF, Southern Enterprises put a lot of effort into making the wood look as real as possible, which includes some grain detailing. This helps it avoid the dreaded cheap look.
The fire effect is one the most realistic we’ve seen in a unit that stays around $500. All of the various settings look great, so you can choose any intensity and still enjoy great visuals. The ability to match the looks with different heat settings is a plus too, and of course the sound option is awesome.
We also like how you can operate all of the essential settings using the remote, and the added safety features are always nice to have.
What Could Be Better
There really isn’t much room for improvement with the Cartwright. If anything, we’d like to see it available in a few more colors, and maybe an even more contemporary design as well, but it’s still fine the way it is.
Make sure you measure the space you intended to place the unit in, as you’ll want to make sure everything fits right, and doesn’t end up looking out of place. We did notice that the mission oak color is a little bit lighter in person as well, so keep that in mind.
Conclusion and Rating
Overall, the Cartwright offers everything you should look for in not only a mantel electric fireplace, but any kind of electric fireplace.
The shape and style is that of a real mantel fireplace, and everything looks as realistic as possible, right down to the bricks and wood grain, The added features and quality of the heat output only push the Cartwright even further up into the realm of superior electric fireplaces.
If you are looking for a cost effective way to improve the ambiance and comfort of your space, the Southern Enterprises Cartwright should be your first choice.
Touchstone Onyx Electric Fireplace Review
The Touchstone Onyx electric fireplace is a sleek and modern wall-mounted unit that can instantly upgrade any room it’s installed in. It is the perfect combination of looks and functionality.
Wall-mounted units represent the more modern and stylish variety of electric fireplaces, offering a more artistic approach that presents a unique way to add some flair to a room, or as an alternative for those who can’t have a real fireplace.
No matter what your reasons are for getting a wall-mounted electric fireplace, the need remains for the design to be well-executed, and making the most of what’s there. Bonus points if it is lightweight and easy to hang.
While the good intentions are there, some manufacturers fall short when it comes to wall-mounted units. A model that is a little too thick, too loud, or too cheap-looking can easily ruin the point of having one in the first place.
Touchstone is already well known for their quality electric fireplaces, so it comes as no surprise that their flat, wall-mounted Onyx is easily one of the best around. The Onyx has a $1,000 look, but costs under 1/3rd of that.
Although the Onyx places an obvious emphasis on style and aesthetic, the functionality gets the same attention the design received. The result is one of the most well-rounded electric fireplaces currently available period, that just so happens to be a very sharp wall-mounted unit.
The Touchstone Onyx is intended to draw attention immediately upon entering a room and seeing it. It’s definitely one of those fixtures that a guest will walk up to and gaze at for a few minutes, conjuring up a little jealousy in the process.
The design of the Onyx takes a minimalistic approach, which always works well for wall-mounted fireplaces. There is a metal frame, a glass window, the contents inside, and nothing more. No added detailing, no contouring, no faux-wood grain -- none of that.
There are actually more than a few colors to choose from, which has a great effect on how the unit ends up coming across. Many will opt for either the black or stainless steel, but the mirrored finish option and the pearl white frame do offer some unique stand out looks for sure.
On the inside, the Onyx actually comes with two choices for what appears to be burning inside. You can go with the standard logs, which take a skinner approach in tune with the sleek, minimal aesthetic, or you can go even further and swap out the logs for crystals.
The flames come with 5 different settings, so you can really fine-tune the fire to perfectly match the mode and vibe in that particular moment. Regardless of the setting you use, the flames remain vibrant and lifelike, delicately dancing around and ensuring a realistic effect.
Whichever you choose, the quality tempered glass provides the perfect covering, giving the unit a high end look that highlights the fire perfectly.
The unit measures 50 inches in length, 24 inches in height, and a little over 5 inches in depth, which offers a “centerpiece” look that can fill up a lot of space on a wall, be it by itself, or with other wall decor.
The Onyx weighs around 46 pounds, so you don’t have to worry about struggling through the installation process. Speaking of that, once you locate the studs in the wall, you can use the included drywall screws and mounts to properly affix the Onyx to your designated spot.
This fireplace isn’t just about looks, however. The actual heater is one of the quietest you’ll encounter, and with high and low settings, you have a little more control over the heat. The unit can heat a space of up to 400 square feet very adequately.
The Onyx does include a remote for added convenience. There are various timer settings available, and an auto-shutoff feature for added safety as well.
What We Like
Not to be overly concerned with looks, but this is a wall-mount fireplace. The Onyx looks incredible, and it doesn’t matter what color you go with. As long as you have matched your interior decor appropriately, the unit will look great all the time, even when not in use.
We love the simplicity of the design, and the size if perfect too. The thickness doesn’t place the unit too far off the wall, which tends to be a common problem with wall-mounted electric fireplaces.
The option to change out the logs for crystals is very cool. This lets you mix things up from time to time, like when you want a different look for summer and winter. Just thinking out loud.
As always, we always appreciate a remote control, which is a non-option with a sleek wall unit like this. Who doesn’t want to impress their guests by firing this thing up with the touch of a button from across the room?
What Could Be Better
The Touchstone Onyx is a superior product, but there is always room for improvement. A thermostat would really take this unit to another level, even if it’s just operated by the remote. A timer that turns the unit on at a given time would be a welcome addition too.
Although we already love the colors it comes in, adding a few bolder colors to the mix couldn’t hurt.
The Onyx is made to be versatile enough to be mounted near other things on the wall, but do keep in mind that you’ll need about two feet of space between the top of the unit and whatever else is on the wall or above it. Any closer and you may have some damage from the heat.
Conclusion and Rating
The Touchstone Onyx is what every wall-mounted electric fireplace should aspire to be. It cuts no corners, and focuses on all the right aspects, from its looks, to the heating portion.
This fireplace is an easy and affordable way to instantly upgrade any room with a clean, modern look, that also offers a warm cozy feel when needed. Truly the best of both worlds. Even if you have a standard fireplace in the home, this unit can be used practically anywhere in the home, so you should probably go ahead and buy one -- you won’t regret it.