Which Electric Fireplace is most realistic?

As electric fireplace specialists, we get this question a lot, both in our showroom and from our website chat feature. Which electric fireplace is most realistic depends on what you are using for comparison. Which electric fireplace is most realistic also depends on what you consider to be ‘realistic’.

Which electric fireplace is most realistic for flames?

We have over 50 electric fireplaces on display in our showroom. If everyone agreed on which electric fireplaces is most realistic for flames, we would need only one! Realism is in the eye, and the experience, of the beholder. If you consider a wood-burning fire to be the gold standard of flames, then your preference may be for a fireplace with more orange flames that are very random, with more intensity in the center and ‘teardrop’ shaped flames. This is most easily achieved in a traditional-style insert, as shown in the Napoleon Ascent firebox shown below.

Napoleon BEF40H 40" firebox
Napoleon BEF40H 40″ electric fireplace insert

If you are more accustomed to a gas fireplace, then an electric fireplace with mostly yellow flames, possibly with blue at the base, and which aren’t as random, might appeal to you. This type of flame is commonly available on many linear-style electric fireplaces, like the Dimplex Ignite series shown below.

Dimplex XLF60 Ignite electric fireplace
Dimplex Ignite XLF60 linear electric fireplace has yellow flames, with lots of options for colour under the ember bed.

If you grew up with a coal fireplace, you may be nostalgic for a redder, wispier flame that tends not to be as high as the others. You may see this on some linear electric fireplaces that allow the flame colour to be changed to a more intense colour, like the Dynasty BT series, shown below.

Dynasty BT-35 electric fireplace
Dynasty BT series electric fireplaces feature a more intense, orange flame.

Keep in mind that many electric fireplace manufacturers, including Amantii and Napoleon, allow the flame colour to change, so you can choose whether your flames are yellow, orange, blue or a combination of all three. Other manufacturers, like Dimplex and Napoleon, may also allow you to change the colours of the ember bed, to which includes adding red, orange or blue under the flames.

Napoleon NEFL100CHD Alluravision
Napoleon NEFL100CHD Alluravision features flames and ember bed that change colours, for multiple effects.

Which electric fireplace is most realistic for sound?

There are several electric fireplaces from Dimplex, which have the sound of a crackling wood fire. Both the Optimyst-Pro and OptiV series have this feature. Volume is adjustable and the sound can even be turned off. Speaking of OptiV, this fireplace uses video to project an image of real flames into the unit, so technically, this offers the most realistic flames because, well, they are real flames!

Dimplex VF2927L Opti-V Solo electric fireplace
Dimplex Opti-V electric fireplaces feature a video of a real wood-burning fire, projected among glowing logs. The video also produces sound.

Which electric fireplace is most realistic for appearance?

Again, realism is in the eye of the beholder. If you’re used to a gas fireplace, with very little detail inside, you might prefer the clean lines of the Napoleon Ascent firebox. If you’re used to a woodburning fireplace with traditional herringbone brick inside, then the Dimplex Revillusion series is for you. Then again, the Dimplex BF series of inserts come standard with hanging mesh screens, for extra realism, with or without glass.

DImplex 30" Revillusion electric fireplace
Dimplex Revillusion RBF30 electric fireplace insert features herringbone fire brick and the latest in flame technology.

Which electric fireplace is most realistic if I prefer a woodstove?

When it comes to electric stoves, the showroom favourite is the Dimplex Stockbridge, which features Optimyst technology inside. This means that warm orange light hits the mist that is emitted from the logs, to create a very real smoke and flame effect.

Dimplex Stockbridge stove with Optimyst
Dimplex Stockbridge electric stove with Optimyst flames.

Which electric fireplace is most realistic? You decide! We’ve added videos to our website so you can see them for yourself.

Stylish Fireplaces & Interiors specializes in electric fireplaces and custom designs. Their Toronto-area showroom features over 50 models on display, for side-by-side comparison. Knowledgeable staff have technical and installation expertise to answer any questions. The in-house design consultant has over 25 years of decorating experience to advise on your feature wall. 

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