As electric fireplace experts, we have seen the products evolve over the past 15-plus years. They just get better and better in slimmer and slimmer footprints. However, the most realistic electric fireplaces in 2019 aren’t all new models – several have been around for years and have yet to be surpassed. Here is a breakdown of our picks for Most Realistic Electric Fireplaces – 2019.

Dimplex Opti-myst CDFI series

Opti-myst was a revolutionary system when it was first introduced around a decade ago. Tap water is turned into mist, which is then lit by tinted bulbs, making it look like live flames. It’s a favourite selfie trick to get a photo of your hand in the ‘flames’. Because the mist is random and reacts to air movement as a candle flame would, the Opti-myst is unquestionably one of the Most Realistic Electric Fireplaces that is still without peers.

The current version is the CDFI-Pro series, (see photo at top of page), which is a cassette that comes in 20-inch and 40-inch options for creating custom lengths with open designs. Dimplex has also incorporated the CDFI-1000-Pro (40-inch) and CDFI-500-Pro (20 inch) cassettes into self-contained boxes that include a built-in heater, in lengths of 40 inches and 60 inches. These ‘pro’ boxes can be built into a wall with glass on one or both sides of the wall. These latest cassettes also include crackling sounds, with volume control, so you also get the sound of a real fire, as well as the look of real flames.

Dimplex GBF-1500-Pro Opti-myst see-through fireplace
DImplex GBF-1500-Pro Opti-myst fireplace

Dimplex Opti-V series

Opti-V (for video) was also revolutionary when it was introduced, and is still unique. The unit contains realistic glowing logs which create a backdrop for a video projection of a real fire. The video includes the crackling sound of a real fire that is very soothing, and is volume-controlled. These units come in two sizes – the 54-inch Duet and the 27-inch Solo. There is no heater, and nothing to adjust other than the volume of the crackling sound. They are a great, no-maintenance option for commercial installations, as well as for bedrooms where the sight and sound are desired without heat. Because the flames are projections of the real thing, and they crackle, the Opti-V still makes our list of Most Realistic Electric Fireplaces.

There is also a novel aquarium version in the 27-inch Opti-V, perfect for waiting areas and offices.

dimplex opti-v VF5452L
Dimplex Opti-V VF5452L linear fireplace

Dimplex Ignite XLF series

For ease of installation in a slim build-out, there is a host of new models that fit into a 2×4 or 2×6 wall. The leader of this pack is the Dimplex Ignite series, which comes in 50, 60, 74, and 100 inch lengths. Both Amantii and Napoleon have similar styles in their line-ups, but our clients choose the Ignite more often than the others, due to its outstanding flame quality. It is especially nice with the optional driftwood and river rock package to replace the clear crystals.

DImplex XLF74 Ignite
Dimplex XLF74 linear fireplace

As with all things, realism is in the eye of the beholder, and many of our electric fireplaces can be made to look more realistic with the right settings. Read our blog about How to get the most realistic flames in any electric fireplace.

Stylish Fireplaces & Interiors specializes in electric fireplaces and custom designs. Their Toronto-area showroom features over 50 electric fireplaces, as well as unique wall coverings and fireplace accessories like doors, screens and mantel beams. Their expert staff includes NFI Certified Hearth Design Specialists, who can advise clients on any fireplace project. They carry all better brands of electric fireplaces: Amantii, Dimplex, Dynasty, Modern Flames, Napoleon, Remii, and Sierra Flame

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