Best Electric Fire 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

Here in the UK, heating in the colder months is important. An electric fire can not only provide the actual heat, but it can also create a warmer atmosphere thanks to flickering flames, coal or log effect beds and the orange glow. Perfect for the dark nights, too.

But where do you start when choosing a new one? Do you have an existing fire surround which it needs to fit into? Or do you want it to be freestanding or attached to the wall? Maybe there is a particular colour scheme you need to stick to, or you want to be able to control it from the comfort of your sofa? Don’t even get us started on whether it is actually good or not.

No matter your wishes and demands, we have picked the best electric fire for every occasion, from modern wall hung designs to traditional coal effect stoves.

The Best Electric Fires – Our Top Picks

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
Opti-Myst Evandale Electric Stove
  • Effect: Log
  • Colour: Black
  • Control: Remote
  • Size: H58 x W44 x D28cm
  • Settings: 2
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Dimplex Cheriton 2kW Electric Freestanding Fire
  • Effect: Coal Bed
  • Colour: Black/Brass
  • Control: Remote
  • Size: H68 x W64 x D19cm
  • Settings: 2
Click for Best Price
BeModern Amari 148768 Pebble Bed Wall Mounted Fire
  • Effect: Pebble Bed
  • Colour: Black
  • Control: Remote
  • Size: H52 x W96 x D20.5cm
  • Settings: 2
Click for Best Price

Best Electric Stoves

Opti-Myst Evandale Electric Stove

Opti-Myst gets their name from the innovative technology they use to create a realistic, convincing flame effect.

A combination of ultra-fine water mist and special lighting gives a ‘crackling’ and jumping feel, along with a touch of the smokey look, just as you’d get with a real fire, except it is a lot safer and a lot less hassle. If the look is something which does bother you and you have an eye for detail, then it makes this a really great pick.

Because of this, you do need to keep the little water tray filled up for the flame effect. This water also has to be filtered to keep everything working well and not damage the inner components, so bear this in mind before you buy if you want a hassle-free experience.

There is the possibility to use it with or without heat, as well as with the remote or manual which makes a nice change as so many are one or the other. The switches on the appliance are hidden behind the door, so it looks clean, and they can’t be accessed by any little ones accidentally.

As well, the door makes it look more like a real stove as opposed to a fake front which is obviously electric. In conjunction with the flames, we would say this is one of the most realistic fires you can get without venturing out to cut baskets of wood down yourself.

Specifications

  • Effect: Log
  • Colour: Black
  • Control: Remote
  • Size: H58 x W44 x D28cm
  • Settings: 2

+ Downloads

Opti-Myst Evandale Electric Stove User Manual

Download

We like

  • Thermostatic control for regular heat
  • Incredibly realistic

We dislike

  • Price

Final Verdict

If the realistic, traditional look is one of the most important things you are after then the price is worth paying for this item. You couldn't even tell it was an electric model at first glance.

Dimplex 1.2kW Electric Freestanding Micro-Stove

This is a stove which we think is best suited to small rooms as it is compact in size, and has indeed been designed with these spaces in mind.

There are two heat settings, at 0.6kW and 1.2kW, which is less than a lot of heaters give out but still enough to warm a smaller room without making it a sauna. We also see no reason why it couldn’t be used in a larger room as a bit of a heating booster, or to maintain a constant temperature.

All you need to do in order to start it up is position and plug it in. There’s no drilling, fitting or building required. The flame effect and log bed are really good for the size of the glass area, which we weren’t expecting.

We faced a few hiccups and teething problems when it first got going, primarily a little squeaky fan, but once it had been on for a little while this disappeared so if you do buy it, be warned this is only a temporary issue!

Specifications

  • Effect: Log
  • Colour: Black
  • Control: Switches
  • Size: H42 x W35 x D22cm
  • Settings: 2

+ Downloads

Dimplex 1.2kW Electric Freestanding Micro-Stove User Manual

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We like

  • Realistic look
  • Good heat for a small room

We dislike

  • Buttons are at back of fire so not easy to access

Final Verdict

Offering a warm and welcoming glow, it certainly packs a punch in terms of the amount of heat it gives out and will offer a much needed boost.

Dimplex Courchevel CVL20E Log Effect Electric Stove

A lot of the electric fires on the market today are black, so this white colour makes a welcome appearance.

There is an OptiFlame effect and a log effect bed to give the full feel of a true fire, as well as an opening door so it is hard to tell it isn’t real at first glance. This is where the control panel is hidden away, so it doesn’t ruin the look.

Control the flame with the remote control, so you don’t have to get up off the sofa and mess about with dials and switches, for a real hassle free heat. It looks very realistic, so will add to the atmosphere as well as giving out a good amount of warmth.

The noise is more of a background hum than an audible buzz or fan sound, and it is completely silent when the heating aspect isn’t on which is nice as some others still have a slight ‘electrical’ noise.

Specifications

  • Effect: Log
  • Colour: White
  • Size: H59.7 x W51 x D34cm
  • Settings: 2
  • Control: Remote

+ Downloads

Dimplex Courchevel CVL20E Log Effect Electric Stove With Remote Control

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We like

  • White finish with gold handle - something a bit different
  • Price is good for what you get

We dislike

  • Remote sometimes struggled with responsiveness

Final Verdict

The perfect way to brighten up your living room, thanks to both the white outer and realistic warming flame.

Warmlite WL46016 LED Stove Fire

Freestanding, lightweight and small in dimensions, this Warmlite model is great for anyone who needs to fill an alcove or corner with a bit of warmth.

Just attach the feet using a screwdriver to get it set up. Because they allow the appliance to sit quite a bit up from the floor, we think it would be fine to set straight onto your carpet or hardwood floor without putting down a mat or hearth first.

In terms of noise, there is a hum created which isn’t too noticeable in general day-to-day goings on, but on the higher settings it is quite audible so maybe not one for an evening in with a good book for company. It heats up pretty quickly which is great if you need a quick boost of heat after you’ve been out in the cold and the central heating is taking its time.

Beware of the dimensions – we knew it was going to be small, but it was still a bit of a surprise over just how small it really was. Perfect for a small room or keeping the dog warm. Not so great as a primary heat source.

Specifications

  • Effect: Log
  • Colour: Black
  • Control: Switch
  • Size: 24 x 38 x 26.5cm
  • Settings: 2

+ Downloads

Warmlite WL46016 LED Stove Fire

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We like

  • Quick to heat
  • Good for small areas

We dislike

  • Legs are very fiddly to fit

Final Verdict

A fabulous, affordable option if you have a small room which just needs that little bit of an extra touch.

Best Electric Inset Fires

Adam Helios 2kW Electric Inset Fire

A modern and stylish option, the Helios from Adam gives a great warm glow and looks a lot more expensive than it is.

All you need to do is plug it in and slot it in place, then fit the decorative trim and arrange the pebbles, and it is ready.

The heat it gives out is enough to create a noticeable warmth, and there are two settings for whatever the weather outside is like. You can also use it without the heat if you just want the look.

Extra feet come with the fire if you would like to set it a bit higher or behind a hearth which is a nice addition but will probably be unnecessary for a lot of fittings.

The steel build makes it sturdy yet lightweight, so it is easy to fit and move but will withstand external temperatures and daily wear and tear.

The glow doesn’t flicker like an ordinary flame so the fire does look a bit false, but it is a good orange-based colour among the pebbles.

Specifications

  • Effect: Stones
  • Colour: Brushed Steel
  • Control: Switches
  • Size: H60 x W48 x D20cm
  • Settings: 2

+ Downloads

Adam Helios 2kW Electric Inset Fire

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We like

  • Price
  • Good heat produced

We dislike

  • Few gaps in the stones once arranged

Final Verdict

An ultra-modern twist and take on fireplaces which will suit clean, open spaces very well

Dimplex Dakota DKT20SS Pebble Bed Inset Fire

Using Optiflame Technology to create a realistic glowing flame, this Dimplex model looks contemporary yet warm.

It has been designed to fit 16″ and 18″ surrounds and all conventional flues. The highest heat output is 2 kW, which is the maximum for electric fires and is enough to warm a small room nicely. The lower is 1 kW which gives out a nice boost of warmth. The fan heater is situated inside the canopy so doesn’t spoil the overall look of the appliance.

The flame can be used without heat, so the option to use it all year round is there. Simply use the switches to choose the desired output, whether it be only light or the low/high heat option.

Thanks to the stainless steel build and pebble bed, it is perfect for the modern living room.

Specifications

  • Effect: Pebble Bed
  • Colour: Stainless Steel
  • Control: Switches
  • Size: H61.5 x W46.3 x D16cm
  • Settings: 2

+ Downloads

Dimplex Dakota DKT20SS Pebble Bed Inset Fire

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We like

  • Easy to set up
  • Adjustable feet at rear for correct angle

We dislike

  • Flame has a slight yellow tinge

Final Verdict

Modern and clean for a living room which still needs a touch of warmth and traditionalism

Burley Ryhall 162R-BR Log Effect Inset Fire

With a classic black and brass outer casing, this model from Burley is great for anyone who wants something which is a bit more traditional than the modern pebble and silver options.

It uses Lumen technology for a true flame effect, which flickers to add to the ambience. Thanks to the 1260W power, heat starts flowing almost immediately after you have turned it on.

To maintain this heat, there is a thermostat, so it doesn’t overheat or drop in temperature. There are three heat settings to choose from so you can match the output to the room temperature and even give it a boost before turning it down.

The 162R-BR can be used without heat, too, so you can still have the glow on a summer evening if the room simply looks a bit bare without it. Thanks to the remote control, if things do get a bit chilly then you don’t have to move to get a bit of heat going; just press a button, and it’ll do the hard work for you.

Specifications

  • Effect: Log
  • Colour: Black/Brass
  • Control: Remote
  • Size: H58.7 x W50.7 x D16.5cm
  • Settings: 3

We like

  • Great glow is given off
  • Remote control works in a 3m range

We dislike

  • Brass may tarnish easily

Final Verdict

Classic traditional design and realistic log backdrop - cosy can't get much better

Best Electric Wall Mounted Fires

BeModern Amari 148768 Pebble Bed Wall Mounted Fire

For a real centrepiece fire display, this model from BeModern is going to the trick.

It is larger than a lot of the others on sale, which is great for any bigger rooms or completely bare walls which need a bit of a boost. You can have the flame without the heat so it can be on all year round.

There are also three flame settings, as well as the two heat modes so you can create the atmosphere you want (all with the handy remote control, of course).

We particularly loved the mood backlighting behind the appliance, which further added to the feel of the room, whether you want something calm and balancing in warmer weather or a boost to the warm feel of the atmosphere. There are three colours available – orange, blue and purple – which looks great in clean, up to date rooms.

Yes, it is a lot more expensive than the others on the list, but if you want a really realistic wall hung fire which doesn’t only look great but also gives out a decent amount of heat, then it is a price which kind of has to be paid. And for the size of it, we’d say the cost is pretty justified.

Specifications

  • Effect: Pebble Bed
  • Colour: Black
  • Control: Remote
  • Size: H52 x W96 x D20.5cm
  • Settings: 2

We like

  • Realistic yet modern art look
  • Mood lighting

We dislike

  • Not many stones in fire

Final Verdict

If you want wall mounted, you're probably after something very modern and 21st Century. This will be the perfect finishing touch to your living space.

Beldray Palma 2kW Curved Electric Wall Hung Fire

Thanks to the changeable flame brightness, you can get the exact look you want to fit the room and atmosphere with this wall mounted offering from Beldray.

For a product of its type, it is easy to fit. There are just three holes to drill, so it looks clean and can be done without professional help.

There are three flame settings, small medium and large flame, so you can keep things subtle in the warmer months and make it a true focal point in winter. The flames don’t look overly realistic, but for a modern focal point, they are sufficient.

One downside is that the fan is particularly loud when the heat setting is on. Bear in mind that the heat comes out of the top of the appliance as opposed to the bottom, like most other fires, so the heat won’t be felt immediately. Also, bear in mind the positioning – it would be no good under a television for this reason.

Specifications

  • Effect: Log
  • Colour: Black
  • Control: Remote
  • Size: H48 x W68 x D12cm
  • Settings: 2

+ Downloads

Beldray Palma 2kW Curved Electric Wall Hung Fire User Manual

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We like

  • Curved design
  • Price

We dislike

  • Numbers for functions and temperature visible in top corner
  • Heat comes out of the top

Final Verdict

The curved design gives the illusion that less space is taken up, and the inside looks great too. For this price, it is a steal.

Beldray Pollensa 2kW Electric Wall Hung Fire

Featuring a warm glowing flame complemented with a white bed of pebbles, the Beldray Pollensa is ideal for anyone who wants the ultra-modern look but doesn’t want to forego the warm feeling.

The LED flame can be operated without the heat aspect. However, if you do want a bit of warmth, then there are two settings to choose from for whatever size room or space you have.

Everything is controlled by a remote, so you can make adjustments when you’re too cosy on the sofa to move. There is also a safety cut-out so you can rest easy knowing that if it encounters any problems, you’re safe.

Regarding sound, it is relatively quiet. Certainly not noticeable over the television or music, and not enough to bother you in general day to day noise either. It may become slightly bothersome in complete silence, but this is to be expected with the product type.

The diameter is 12cm, which is similar to a lot of others on the market at the moment, but because it is flat, it does look to protrude slightly more than curved screens.

The heat does come out of the top of the fire, so we wouldn’t recommend it as an only heater as it isn’t the most effective, but it still heats a large room well eventually. As well, the remote seemed a bit unresponsive sometimes, and a few other reviews have stated similar, but it seems like a rare problem.

Specifications

  • Effect: Pebble Bed
  • Colour: Black
  • Control: Remote
  • Size: H48 x W62 x D12cm
  • Settings: 2

We like

  • Good colour in flames
  • Price

We dislike

  • Heat comes out of the top

Final Verdict

For the relatively low cost, this fire is a great option for anyone who wants to make their space more homely but bring it up to date, too.

Best Electric Freestanding Fires

Dimplex Cheriton 2kW Electric Freestanding Fire

Black and brass fires with coal beds are few and far between these days, but they are still one of the most classic looks you can get. If you want to step away from the ultra-modern look and keep things original, this Cheriton model from Dimplex will likely appeal to you.

It is the largest yet thinnest freestanding electric fire we reviewed, and even though this was only by a few centimetres, you could really tell the difference. Great if you have free rein of the space you have to fill, or if you have a particularly roomy enclosure.

The flame effect is also superb, and the glow is reflected off the coals which makes a nice effect. You can keep these shiny with a bit of furniture polish from time to time.

The only downside about the coals is that the openings of the grill at the front are a bit spacious, so it takes a bit of arranging to get the look just right and stop the smaller ones falling through, but this is a minimal con which doesn’t take away from the overall experience of the fire.

It is a little bit wobbly until fixed to the wall so just be careful with any little ones running about or a hyper dog/cat.

Specifications

  • Effect: Coal Bed
  • Colour: Black/Brass
  • Control: Remote
  • Size: H68 x W64 x D19cm
  • Settings: 2

+ Downloads

Dimplex Cheriton 2kW Electric Freestanding Fire User Manual

Download

We like

  • Good size
  • Traditional coal bed

We dislike

  • Plastic grill is a bit obvious in light

Final Verdict

Authentic and inviting, and kicks out a great amount of heat for a medium sized room

Dimplex Zamora ZAM20 Freestanding Fire

A modern black and silver model, this offering from Dimplex is the perfect mix of traditionalist and up to date.

We loved that you have the choice between a real coal and pebble bed, so whether you have certain colour aspects you want to match or you would like to keep the white pebbles for summer and make a transition over winter, the decision is yours.

To help with the seasonal change, you can also use the flame effect without the heat, just in case the room looks bare without it.

It throws out a surprising amount of heat for the size so could easily be used as a primary heater in a small room. The warmth comes from the hood, which is plastic but doesn’t take away from the overall look too much.

Specifications

  • Effect: Coal/Pebble Bed
  • Colour: Black
  • Control: Switches
  • Size: H66.5 x W60.3 x D22.6cm
  • Settings: 2

+ Downloads

Dimplex Zamora ZAM20 Freestanding Fire User Manual

Download

We like

  • Choice of stones
  • Quiet

We dislike

  • Would be better if surround and hood were same shade of black

Final Verdict

An ideal enhancement to any room, and the flame look is a lot more realistic than you'd expect. Having a choice of bed helps, too.

Dimplex Castillo 2kW Electric Freestanding Fire

With the choice of pebbles and coal, this is a fire with plenty of flexibility.

There is a bit of a hum when the light is on, which is to be expected with an appliance of its type. This noise increases when the fan heater is turned on, but it isn’t annoyingly loud.

The power cable is at the left-hand side as you are facing it which is worth mentioning, as ideally, you’ll need a power outlet at this side of the fire.

Our only gripe, like a lot of other reviews, is with the plastic surround. Most fires hide it pretty well, but this one is pretty obvious, so we would have preferred a fully chrome design, but we guess you’d probably pay a premium for that. It still doesn’t take away from the overall modern look though.

Specifications

  • Effect: Pebble Bed/Coal
  • Colour: Silver
  • Control: Switches
  • Size: H66.5 x W60.3 x D22.6cm
  • Settings: 2

+ Downloads

Dimplex Castillo 2 KW Freestanding Optiflame Electric Fire User Manual

Download

We like

  • Good heat given out

We dislike

  • Too few pebbles are supplied so looks sparse

Final Verdict

It gives out plenty of heat and looks up-to-date, so the little niggles we have with it should not put you off making it a great addition to your living room.

Best Basket Electric Fires

Burley Halstead 293 Coal Bed Basket Fire

There is no better or safer way to get the open indoor fire look than an electric basket fire.

An authentic flame effect flickers under a bed of real coals, so you have an authentic glow without it all looking false and clearly mechanical. It will look great in old-style fireplace surrounds where there is no practicality for a real fire anymore.

There are three heat settings, with the highest being 2080W of power, so it could be used as a primary heater in most room sizes.

Setting it up is easy, and there is no mess created from the coals. They also fit onto the bed well without gaps and holes, which makes a pleasant change as so many stone beds are incredibly fiddly to sort. It takes a while to get them just right but is well worth the effort.

The fans are quiet for the heat given out, and the whole build seems robust and reliable for years to come. We weren’t sure about the idea of an electric basket fire at first, but this has completely changed our minds!

Specifications

  • Effect: Coal
  • Colour: Black
  • Control: Switch
  • Size: H25 x W39.5 x D30cm
  • Settings: 3

We like

  • Great warmth
  • Authentic look and design
  • Real coals

We dislike

  • Setting it up takes a lot of time

Final Verdict

With the incredibly realistic look and amount of heat given out, this item has completely changed our minds on how fab electric basket fires are - definitely worth a good consideration for your living room.

Help and Resources

Electric Fire Buying Guide

Who Are The Best Electric Fireplace Manufacturers?

As demonstrated by our heavily-Dimplex-featuring list, they are the most prominent and well-known brand of fires and fireplace suites in the UK.

Their range is good and extensive – no matter what type you would like, they probably have a model which fits.

Other names to look out for are Opti-Myst, Valor, Beldray, Warmlite, Smeg and Adam. Some high street stores also have their own makes available, such as B&Q or Argos.

What Is The Difference Between The Types Of Fireplace?

It can be easy to think that they’re all pretty much the same thing and the cheapest of the lot will do your home, but there are subtle differences between all of the model types:

Inset

Designed for use as part of a suite, inside a surround and behind a hearth. Can also sit inside a wall cavity

Freestanding

Designed for use without a surround or hearth. Can sit flush against a wall as they aren’t bulky

Wall Hung

The most modern option, which hags on your wall like a mounted television

Stove

Looks like a wood burning stove but is cheaper and safer to have in your home

Basket

Great for inside wall cavities or brick hearths which offer an open fire look.

Price

Electric fires start at around £100 and generally reach around £300 for the stronger built, super realistic and often quieter models.

Wall hung fires are usually the most expensive type.

FAQs

What Are The Advantages Of Electric Fires?

Most modern homes have no chimney or flue and wiring it up to the gas may be difficult, so electric fires are the perfect way to get the warming feeling without the work. And they are so easy to get set up.

There are so many other reasons why an electric fire may be best for your home:

  • They’re generally cheaper
  • No installation or fitting – just sort the wire out and plug in
  • Easy to relocate
  • No heat loss
  • No servicing needed
  • Very little cleaning
  • Can be used with heat or just for flame effect

Are There Disadvantages?

A few, but they’re minor in our opinion. Maximum heat output is usually around 2kW which is lower than other forms of fire but is still enough for a good amount of heat. They can also be a bit more expensive than others to run, but this all depends on how much you use it, how powerful you have it on and the cost of your electricity.

Some also don’t look completely realistic, which can reduce their overall look but is to be expected really.

Are Electric Fires Noisy?

The majority of electric fires have an internal fan to produce heat. There may be a slight sound from the appliance, but modern fireplaces will not be notably noisy especially if there are other sounds going on, such as your television.

Some of the smaller designs are usually the noisiest as they’re working extra hard to get the heat out, but it is something you’ll likely get used to.