Which Electric Fireplace Has the Most Realistic Flame?

In Resource Center

The technologies around electric fireplaces have improved so much in the last few years. Many techniques and innovations are employed in today’s modern units, and some are so good that some people find themselves tricked into thinking it’s a real flame there after all. From multi-colored LED lighting to reflective glass surfaces to various projection mechanism to multi-colored LED lighting and even water vapor, we’ll look at a few different things you should know. 


Dimplex Fireplace Insert

Since 1988, Dimplex has innovated, influenced, and revolutionized the electric flame industry. Their first Optiflame completed changed the game, and they’ve been refining their products since. Now, there are many different kinds of Dimplex flame effects. Below, you’ll find a list with brief descriptions on each one.

The standard Dimplex flame effect is a reliable look that everyone loves. With a yellow and white appearance and a small orange tint, the effect is simple but effective. It uses reflective mirrored surfaces.

This effect looks a little more 3D, but with the same colors. Again, mirrored surfaces are utilized.

Multi-Fire XD:
An upgraded version of the above, this effect features a more realistic flame with truer colors. It also flickers in a way that appears very realistic. Inserts with this technology often have ambient mood lighting that can enhance the display, and some have artful settings as well. The rear surface is fully mirrored to create an illusion of more space and depth.

A flame effect that is exclusive to wall-mounted and built-in units, its flames appear very realistic with truer flame colorings and mesmerizing patterns. Like the Multi-Fire XD tech, Prism has ambient lighting. It also uses mirrored surfaces for flame projections.

Opti Myst Fireplace Insert

This is an amazing technology that uses light projections that reflect off of water vapor to create a very convincing look. Using their patented tech, these units convert water into a vapor that looks like smoke and gives a real life to the electric fireplace. Various projections combined with this magic-like smoke effect create one of the best electric flames you can find anywhere. Not recommended for all types of projects due to the moisture, avoid in RVs, wood projects, etc.

Opti V Fireplace Insert

The Opti-V uses advanced screen technology and glass surface projections to build a very convincing and beautiful flame effect. High-res screens play a real burning fire on loop with added effects like burning embers and popping embers. Then, cleverly placed glass surfaces reflect and give a certain depth to the flames and fireplace. This tech is top of the line and very pricey, but offers an unmatchable product. 

Classic Flame
Spectrafire Plus Fireplace Insert

This flame tech projects realistic-looking flames onto a matte black surface which makes them look bright and vibrant. The matte black surface also disappears into the back of the unit which helps the illusion. These inserts offer traditional flame colorings of orange, red and yellow and a setting that adds a blue hue at the center of the flame. 

SpectraFire Plus:
Plus uses the same tech as the SpectraFire, but it also offers additional colors and other controllable features. Indigo, Violet, Blue are all offered and the flame pattern is bright and repetitive.

Napoleon Fireplace Inserts

The standard Napoleon has a nice flame effect that looks a lot like a wood-burning fire. These flames stretch upward more than many others, which gives the impression of a roaring wood fire, for those who don’t love the short, calm flame look that is the standard in most units.

Some modern and contemporary wall units use this effect. This effect gives the flames an illusion of “twisting” and you can choose between orange, blue, or a combination of the two. 

Dynasty Fireplace Insert

The Dynasty fireplace inserts have a more artistic representation of its flame illusion. These flames don’t appear as realistic, but people who like them don’t mind. It’s more about creating a beautiful, alluring thing to look at. Some people liken them to fireplace artwork, rather than lights that are trying to look like flames.

GreatCo Fireplace Inserts

Linear Wall Mounts: The GreatCo Linear Wall Mount units are similar to the Dynasty explained above: they create a flame effect that doesn’t look completely realistic, because it’s not trying to. These have a whimsical, bright look with orange and blue options.

Fireboxes: Alternatively, the GreatCo fireboxes do look realistic. Their flames are defined and rise and flicker with similar movements to a real fire. Some units, have traditional colors like yellow and orange. Some have purples and blues.

The Verdict

If you're looking for the most realistic looking flame, Dimplex is by the far the superior brand with a plethora of different options available. Find your personal favorite and you won't be disappointed. 

At Realcozy, all of our Fireplace TV Stands use a specially-created Dimplex model, with the Standard flame. We use a 40" insert for the 78" TV Stands and above larger stands, and 26" for 64" TV Stands and Corner TV Stands.