Five things to consider when buying an electric fire

An electric fire in the home can bring instant comfort and warmth on cold or dull days, as well as providing a relaxing ambiance year-round with its realistic flame effect. But with such a wide choice available, how do you know which fire is right for you? This handy guide will help you ensure you get the fire that's right for you, your home and your budget.


1. Style

Electric fires come in many different shapes and sizes - the good news is that these can be grouped into six main categories.  Which style is right for you will depend on your personal preference, the space you have available and your décor.  


These mimic the look and feel of a traditional wood burning stove and are freestanding, meaning they can be moved around the space as needed without needing to be fixed to a wall.


Suites provide an all-in-one fireplace solution. They come with a fire and full surround.  Some designs can go flat against the wall, whilst others may require part of the fire to be recessed into a cavity in the wall.


Inset fires, often known as insert fires, usually slot into an opening. This could either be an existing fireplace opening or a surround that is able to absorb the back of the fire. As these fires sit within a cavity, they  operate unobtrusively in the space.

Wall mounted

These sleek fires are ideal if you have limited floor space, or want a modern twist on a fireplace. Some models hang on the wall whilst others can be built in for a more streamlined look.


Basket fires are ideal to give a rustic open fireplace look and feel.  Some come with an optional ‘ash bed’ to give an even more realistic effect.

Radiant bar

These traditional bar fires utilise radiant heat to provide instantaneous, comfortable warmth with vintage styling.

2. Fuel bed

Another design element to consider is the fuel bed. If you are after a traditional look then a coal or log effect is ideal, but pebble or glass stone beds are also available for those seeking a contemporary style. It is also worth noting that some fires come with interchangeable fuel beds, allowing you to switch it out as your style and tastes change.


fuel bed effects

3. Flame technology

There are multiple electric flame technologies available, and your choice will depend on both the effect you would like to achieve, and your budget. You can decide between a three-dimensional Opti-myst flame effect that uses water mist and coloured lighting to create the illusion of smoke and flames, our premium Opti-V that utilises an LCD screen and a sound element for a fully rounded fire experience, or Optiflame, our more traditional and cost effective 2D flame effect.


flame comparison

4. Heating requirements

Electric fires will generally come with a minimum of 600W heat output, to a maximum of 2kW.  The larger the wattage, the faster the fire will heat the room. For added efficiency, many electric fires let you select full or half power and also feature thermostatic controls, meaning the fire will only produce heat when the temperature in the room drops to a certain temperature.

The great thing about choosing an electric fire is that you often get the choice of not using the heating element – this allows you to enjoy the realistic flame effects and ambiance of your fire all year round.

There are a few fires that do not have heating at all, so please ensure you read the specification for the fire of your choice.

5. Extra features

The final thing to consider is any extra features you may want - for example, if you want to use your fires from the comfort of your sofa, a remote control would be perfect. Likewise, look out for accessories that may be available such as hearth pads or stove pipes for added authenticity. It is also worth considering whether you would like a fire that also has a sound element so you can enjoy the relaxing sound effects of crackling logs.