Most clients visit our all-electric fireplace showroom because they’ve already decided on an electric fireplace for their project. They have done their research, or been sent by their designer or contractor, and have accepted that an electric fireplace is best for them. Other clients come to us as a last resort – they really wanted a gas fireplace and have been told that they can’t have one for one reason or another. While every customer wants a good-looking fireplace, opinions may differ as to exactly what that looks like. However, clients who really wanted gas and are being ‘forced’ to go electric are often the most critical of electric fireplace flames. To compile our recommendations for this article, we are keeping this latter group in mind. However, we’re also sharing the fireplaces that come up on top for other clients.

Let’s start with the most realistic electric fireplaces, the ones that satisfy clients whose first choice was gas.

What are the most realistic electric fireplaces?

Dimplex Opti-myst has never been more popular, in spite of the fact that it’s not a new product. Opti-myst turns regular tap water into mist; when golden lighting hits that mist, it looks like real flames. It even reacts to air movement as a live flame would, shifting and fluttering. The cassette system allows for the most customization, because they can be used in multiples to create larger sizes. Built-in options, like the GBF series, and the new linear series, offer more streamlined installation. Because there is a tangible, physical ‘flame’ effect, the Dimplex Opti-myst gets our nod for ‘most realistic’ electric fireplace.

Is there an electric fireplace that looks like gas?

Modern Flames Orion and Orion Multi incorporate Heliovision technology, with flames created by video projection. Heliovision captures different flame styles, so you can set the flames to replicate your favourite gas flames, or a wood-burning fire, complete with sparks and crackling. A reflective backing helps the flames to appear as if they are coming from a central burner, as they would on a gas fireplace. Because the flame effects were actually captured from real fires, it’s hard to argue that they don’t look real.

For many years, Dimplex IgniteXL has been one of our best-selling electric fireplaces. In addition to lively, natural flame effects, the reflective back panel really makes the flames appear as if they are in the center of a ‘burner’. The backing also makes the fireplace appear deeper than its 6-inches. Now, Dimplex has added the Bold to the IgniteXL family, and it is poised to become as popular as the original.

Dimplex IgniteXL Bold is deeper than the original IgniteXL, with a taller viewing area, and multi-sided glass. It’s a built-in fireplace, so the wall materials go right up to the flange around the glass, for a frameless effect. As this becomes more popular among clients, many are installing this 3-sided fireplace with the glass sides blocked, as a single-sided fireplace. At 12-inches deep, it’s twice the depth of the original IgniteXL, and that pays off in added realism. There’s still a reflective backing, so the flames appear to be emanating from a central burner. We can now control flame speed, and there are several natural colour combinations, as well as the option to add blue to the flames. Accent lighting is subtle, and dimmable.

If you are looking for a realistic traditional fireplace insert, possibly to replace a gas insert, then we recommend the Dimplex Revillusion series. It’s deeper than many inserts in this category, but the extra depth is put to good use with a view-through center panel that puts the flames in the middle of the logs. It comes in many sizes, from 24-inches to 42-inches, with optional trim kits for the smaller units.

Which electric fireplace is best-looking?

Not everyone judges an electric fireplace by its flames. Many of our clients are looking for all the bells and whistles when it comes to LED lighting effects. They want as many colour options as possible, as well as the ability to change out the media kits to create different themes.

When it comes to colour options, Modern Flames Landscape Pro Slim and Landscape Pro Multi offer the most choice, with their full-spectrum colours for flames, overhead lights, and ember bed lights. Remotes come with a nifty colour wheel controller plus dimmer, that allows you to stop at any colour in the spectrum, on any of the three features.

If you occasionally like to treat your electric fireplace as sculpture, Amantii’s deeper models, like Symmetry Extra-Tall or TRD Bespoke inserts, offer an opportunity to choose from a wide range of log options. You can then illuminate the logs from above with accent lighting, with or without the flames. This is a fun feature in warmer weather, where you want to enjoy your fireplace, but you don’t necessarily want to see flames.

What is the best-looking electric fireplace on a budget?

When our customers ask us for a good-looking fireplace on a budget, we generally turn to Napoleon. They consistently offer all the most popular features for a great price. If you’re looking for a traditional fireplace insert, their Element series has a clean-face design, with minimal trim and good-looking flames.

Alluravision Deep is Napoleon’s premium linear electric fireplace, with 3-colour flames, overhead lighting and ember-bed lighting. Alluravision Deep comes with both crystals and logs, so you can set up whichever media kit that you prefer.

Stylish Fireplaces knows that adding a fireplace to your home can be challenging. With an electric fireplace and their NFI Certified Hearth Design Specialists, it’s easy to create a space you’ll love to share with family and friends. Check out all the options and connect with their experts for help to find the perfect electric fireplace for you. You’ll live stylishly ever after. 

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