Best Gel Fireplaces

Review & Comparison, Last Update September 30, 2018
Many people dream of relaxing in front of a beautiful, warm fireplace, setting a romantic atmosphere. However, not all houses or apartments are equipped with fireplaces, and getting a real one can be prohibitively expensive, if not impossible. What is the best solution to this? To get a gel fireplace! Take a look at five of the best gel fireplaces available and see which one is right for you! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Installation
Dimensions
Material
Fuel
Tank capacity / Working time
Heat
Safety
Warranty
 
PROS

Quite tall fireplace, comparable in height with classic fireplaces.

CONS

The color is not as saturated as in the photo.

OUR VERDICT

This solid wooden fireplace is made in colonial style with massive carved columns, which makes it the central accent of the living room. Can be installed anywhere and used as an extra shelf. The flame is very realistic.

detailed parameters
Installation

Free-standing

Dimensions

48.03"L x 13.78" W x 41.25"H

Material

Solid wood and veneered MDF construction

Fuel

Real Flame gel

Tank capacity / Working time

up to 3 -13 oz / up to 3 hours

Heat

up to 9,000 BTU's of heat per hour

Safety

Protective grating

Warranty

90 day limited warranty

PROS

The clean lines and laconic design will fit into any room.

CONS

The white color may not match many interiors.

OUR VERDICT

A neat fireplace, featuring smooth lines and a pure white color, which can easily find a place in the living room or bedroom. The bright flame warms the room a little. Since it does not heat up intensively, it can serve as a stand, for example, under a TV set.

detailed parameters
Installation

Free-standing

Dimensions

48"L x 13" W x 41"H

Material

Solid wood and veneered MDF construction

Fuel

Real Flame gel

Tank capacity / Working time

up to 3 - 13 oz / up to 3 hours

Heat

up to 9,000 BTU's of heat per hour

Safety

Protective grating

Warranty

90 day limited warranty

PROS

This fireplace with a small footprint can fit in any small room.

CONS

The shelf is not very roomy.

OUR VERDICT

This neat little fireplace with a shelf is made in a classic design but without unnecessary details. Easy to assemble according to the instructions. To get a flame and heat, 1 gel can is enough. Available for purchase in both Dark Espresso color and white.

detailed parameters
Installation

Free-standing

Dimensions

36.3"L x 11" W x 30.4"H

Material

Solid wood and veneered MDF construction

Fuel

Real Flame gel

Tank capacity / Working time

13 oz / up to 3 hours

Heat

up to 9,000 BTU's of heat per hour

Safety

Protective grating

Warranty

90 day limited warranty

PROS

This corner fireplace requires practically no additional space for installation.

CONS

Assembly is rather complicated.

OUR VERDICT

Such an ergonomic fireplace will be a godsend for those who want to create coziness in a confined space. Hand-painted "logs" and a neat flame add realism. The shelf is actually large enough to be of use.

detailed parameters
Installation

Angular

Dimensions

40.94"L x 25.28" W x 37.6"H

Material

Solid wood and veneered MDF construction

Fuel

Real Flame gel

Tank capacity / Working time

13 oz / up to 3 hours

Heat

up to 9,000 BTU's of heat per hour

Safety

Protective grating

Warranty

90 day limited warranty

PROS

The Dry Brush White coloring makes this fireplace appear to be very expensive and modern.

CONS

Pretty big in length.

OUR VERDICT

A chic fireplace in the American colonial style. Corrugated columns add elegance to it, and a long shelf provides additional space to accommodate accessories. Beautiful and long burning when using the original fuel.

detailed parameters
Installation

Free-standing

Dimensions

51"L x 13.1" W x 39"H

Material

Solid wood corbels and veneered MDF construction

Fuel

Real Flame gel

Tank capacity / Working time

13 oz / up to 3 hours

Heat

up to 9,000 BTU's of heat per hour

Safety

Protective grating

Warranty

90 day limited warranty

Real Flame 7100

Beautiful Mahogany Finish

Many people who live in a house or an apartment without a natural fireplace often wish they had one, especially during the cold winter months when much time is spent indoors. Homes that don't have a fireplace built-in can not easily get a traditional fireplace installed, for a number of reasons, or even for those that can, it is a very expensive and difficult proposition. Hence, why gel-based fireplaces have become popular in recent years. Those without a fireplace installed don't have to go without one, and what's more, they can actually pick out the fireplace of their dreams without having to go through a lot of trouble or expense.

The Real Flame 7100 Ashley Gel Fireplace in Mahogany is a perfect fit for those who want to have the warmth and beauty of a fireplace in their home. Made of a solid wood and veneered MDF construction, this beautiful mahogany fireplace fits in perfectly with many home interiors, especially those with wooden furniture. The mahogany finish gives this fireplace exterior a beautiful, rustic feel, while retaining a small enough footprint to fit well in almost any room of any size. As a free-standing fireplace, it fits perfectly up against any wall, even those with a protruding baseboard.

Review of Real Flame 7100 Ashley Gel Fireplace in Mahogany

Not Just Ornamental

Gel fireplaces, in general, are more ornamental than practical items, but this gel fireplace fits both functions beautifully. Using the Real Flame gel fuel, it produces a beautifully large flame from the cans, which are placed behind realistic-looking ceramic logs. This helps give the fireplace the appearance of real burning wood. The interior of the fireplace allows for the placement of up to three cans at once, which produces three separate flames that produce both an adequate amount of light and heat. Although many gel fireplaces are not known for producing much heat, many users of this model report that the fireplace produces plenty of heat when the maximum of three cans are used at the same time.

The fireplace, of course, does not come assembled, but the easy-to-follow instructions allow for a quick and easy assembly of the fireplace. The free-standing nature of the fireplace, although it may at first not appear to be sturdy, is actually well-centered and can support a good amount of weight on the shelf on the top of the unit. This means that any number of decorative or functional items can be placed on top of it. With the high quality and functionality of this gel-based fireplace, anyone should be quite happy having this in their home.

Real Flame 7100 Ashley Gel Fireplace in Mahogany in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Real Flame G8600W

Pure White Fireplace

One of the problems with finding interior decorations of any kind is that an already furnished interior has a certain color scheme or aesthetic theme to it, and anything else added to it either match it perfectly or look out of place. This same problem can also apply to fireplaces, even those of the gel variety. Finding the right matching fireplace can be an exercise in frustration, especially when your interior requires something pure white. This partially explains why many people don't have pure white interiors. However, finding a fireplace to match this scheme is now a whole lot easier.

The Real Flame Silverton Gel Fireplace helps solve this problem for people with specific needs in the look of their fireplace. Featuring a solid wood and veneered MDF construction in a pure white finish, this real flame gel fireplace is a thing of beauty. The pure white color, which is often hard to find in almost anything decorative, stands out like a marble pillar and helps brighten any room just by its color alone. The regalness and splendor of its appearance will astonish those who glimpse it for the first time, and is sure to invite questions from those who see it for the first time.

Review of Real Flame G8600W Silverton Gel Fireplace in White

Beauty and Functionality

Although the pure white finish of this regal gel fireplace alone is enough to invite a serious look, it is not the only positive thing about this model. The fireplace stands a good 48 inches wide, 13 inches deep, and 41 inches high, so it is small enough to fit in most interiors without a problem, while large enough to be functional as both a fireplace and a shelf. The fireplace includes a mantel which is large and deep enough to hold even a television on top, as well as a matching fire box. Included inside of the firebox are hand painted ceramic logs that are placed in front of the gel holders, which helps give the fireplace a look of authenticity. The included protective screen helps keep wandering hands out of the firebox while the fireplace is in use.

As with many other gel fireplaces, this fireplace uses the Real Flame gel fuel, which produces a large flame and emits up to 9,000 BTUs per hour, with a burning time of up to 3 hours. When using up to the maximum of 3 gel canisters simultaneously, this provides a good amount of warmth and light to the room, while not being too hot. For those in need of a fireplace of this functionality and color scheme, this model is about as close to perfection as you can get.

Real Flame G8600W Silverton Gel Fireplace in White in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Real Flame Devin

Simple But Elegant

One of the best aspects of getting a gel fireplace is that you are able to choose the make and design of the fireplace to match your own interior. Instead of being saddled with a built-in fireplace that is difficult to operate safely and to clean, you can have a small fire setting a romantic scene inside of a fully-designed interior, completely of your own choosing. Having such a luxury is something that most people only dream of, but such a dream is now a reality with the Real Flame Devin Dark Espresso Gel Fuel Fireplace.

Made of a solid wood veneered MDF construction and in Dark Espresso, this Real Flame gel fireplace is perfectly suited to match with most dark or antique interiors. It is smaller than many other gel fireplaces of its kind, but being diminutive in size allows for you to easily install it into almost any tight area that is too small to accommodate most other fireplaces. The small footprint also means that it won't crowd your room or get in the way. In most settings, with it installed flush up against a wall, it will appear like a real fireplace that is built into the wall instead of as a free standing unit. Most people won't recognize it as anything but a real traditional fireplace without close examination.

Review of Real Flame Devin Indoor Gel Fireplace in Dark Espresso

Easy to Setup

The small size of the fireplace doesn't mean that it's difficult to put together. Quite the contrary, in fact. This model is probably one of the easiest gel fireplaces to assemble. as it should take most people only a matter of minutes to assemble it and install it in a location of their own choosing. Unlike many other models, the firebox is able to accommodate only one Real Flame gel canister, but one canister is all that is needed in order to get a nice flame going, and even to feel some heat from the fireplace. The firebox is also protected by a protective grating which should keep hands or feet from inadvertently touching the flame.

Alas, the small footprint, while having many positive aspects to it, does have one small disadvantage. The shelf on top of the fireplace is a bit too small to hold many standard living room objects, such as a television. However, for smaller items that are able to fit on it, the fireplace is quite sturdy and able to support a good amount of weight, should you need to set anything heavy on top of it. With that small negative aside, this gel fireplace remains one of the best models available on the market, and is quite ideal for anyone who needs a gel fireplace with a small footprint.

Real Flame Devin Indoor Gel Fireplace in Dark Espresso in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Real Flame 5950-W

Perfect Corner Fireplace

One of the problems that people run into when looking for a good gel fireplace is finding the shape and size that is ideal for their home. Most of the gel fireplaces on the market are usually rectangular boxes with a slim footprint, and are perfect for placing up against a wall or even using as a freestanding unit. However, not everyone will find this ideal, especially those who need or prefer to have their fireplace sitting in a corner of the room. Fortunately, for those who require a fireplace that is made to be installed in a corner, the Real Flame Chateau Gel Corner Fireplace can be the perfect solution.

This corner gel fireplace with a white finish is made of a solid wood veneered MDF construction, which is common with most gel fireplaces, but it makes for a very solid and stable unit. As this fireplace is specifically a corner unit, it includes a V-shaped back which allows it to easily fit into almost any corner, even those that taper off to another corner. This makes this fireplace perfect for rooms that don't have a completely square design. Despite the shape of the fireplace, it has a small enough footprint to remain out of the way, seamlessly blending into the rest of the room as if it were a built-in fireplace.

Review of Real Flame 5950-W Chateau Corner Gel Fireplace in White

Sturdy and Useful

One of the best aspects of this corner gel fireplace is the shelf on top. Thanks in large part to the shape of the fireplace, as well as to its solid, sturdy build, the shelf is actually quite useful, being able to hold heavy items such as a television, and being roomy enough to accommodate almost any decoration. This makes it quite favorable in comparison to many other freestanding gel fireplaces, where space on the shelf is often at a premium for even the smallest decorations.

The shelf is far from the only positive aspect to this fireplace. It comes complete with a metal interior firebox that includes a hand painted cast concrete log, which looks real enough to pass as a real log at a glance. It includes spaces for up to three canisters of Real Flame gel fuel, which is enough to provide a large amount of both heat and light to almost any room. A protective screen kit is also included to help ensure the safety of operating this fireplace. About the only negative that can be said is that it might take longer to assemble than many other gel fireplaces, but users report the instructions are quite clear and easy to follow. For anyone needing a gel fireplace to put in the corner of a room, this model looks like the perfect solution.

Real Flame 5950-W Chateau Corner Gel Fireplace in White in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Real Flame Adelaide

Fireplace with Classical Design

When looking for the perfect gel fireplace, many people eventually tend to notice that many of the different makes and models available on the market all have a similar design. Most gel fireplaces are usually simple designs, with little in the way of detail or ornamentation on them. For a large portion of people, this can be a good thing, as flashy designs can make it harder to find one that fits their interior perfectly. However, some others tend to have specific interior designs that just mesh well with those specific models. For these people, finding the perfect fireplace can be difficult.

The Real Flame Adelaide Indoor Gel Fireplace in Dry Brush White is a perfect model for those who want something more in a gel fireplace than just a simple, boring design. Featuring an American Colonial style, this classical gel fireplace is made of solid wood corbells and a veneered MDF construction, making it a solid and sturdy unit. The very attractively trimmed design features fluted columns that appear to be made of stone along with the solid wood corbells, which gives it a very antique, regal look. The details in this design are sure to catch the eye of anyone in the room, all while allowing it to blend in as a natural element.

Review of Real Flame Adelaide Indoor Gel Fireplace in Dry Brush White

Great for Cold Nights

This classical gel fireplace is certainly not an example of style over substance. Along with its beautiful appearance, it also remains very functional. The firebox includes holes for up to three Real Flame fuel canisters, which can produce enough heat and light to rival a real fireplace when all used at the same time. However, many users report getting adequate heat and light from just one canister, so using three at a time is often only necessary on the coldest of days. The canisters sit behind a hand-painted cast concrete log, which has a realistic appearance. There is also a protective screen to help keep things out of the flame. As it is a gel fireplace, no ventilation is required, so it is perfect to use when all of the doors and windows are closed.

The fireplace also features a top shelf, which is both sturdy and roomy enough to hold many items, even including a small television. It also serves perfectly as a bookshelf, which is a popular use for it for a fireplace of its appearance. The fireplace itself is small enough to fit almost anywhere in a room, and even works well in a corner if so desired. With all of these benefits adding up to one unique whole, anyone who purchases this gel fireplace is certain to get years of enjoyment from it.

Real Flame Adelaide Indoor Gel Fireplace in Dry Brush White in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

What Is a Gel Fireplace?

A gel fireplace is a type of decorative fireplace that burns a specific gel fuel instead of wood or other types of typical fireplace fuel. Such fireplaces have a large number of benefits over traditional fireplaces, in that they tend to be more environmentally friendly, don't produce smoke or require ventilation, and best of all, they can be installed anywhere, even in a small apartment. Most of all, though, they provide a fine replacement for those who simply don't have a fireplace in their home or apartment, and want a nice, romantic firelit setting.

Gel fireplaces work by burning a gel. The types of gel used in most gel fireplaces burn very clean, and no ventilation is required. The gel also does not produce any unpleasant odors, although there are some gels that are scented to produce a nice fragrance. The gels typically come in canisters that are sold by the fireplace manufacturer, and most will produce a flame for up to several hours. Most gel fireplaces can use more than one canister, although this is dependent on the fireplace itself. Many also have decorative features inside, such as ceramic logs or basins, and the exteriors are often nicely made, with many including a shelf on top. With such features, a gel fireplace can make the perfect addition to any home or apartment.

For those who wish for something smaller than a gel fireplace, take a look at our reviews for the best oil burners.

What Features to Compare

Gel fireplaces can come with an assortment of different features, designs, and even appearances. Those looking for one will probably want one that matches the interior of the room in which it will be placed, as well as being small enough to fit there comfortably without taking up space. Here are some of the key features that you want to keep in mind while looking for the perfect gel fireplace.

Color and Appearance - Gel fireplaces are often made with a wide variety of appearances, ranging from a simple plastic exterior to highly decorative casings. Which type you should get will, of course, depend on where you want to place it, and what kind of interior you have in that room. Most wooden designs provide a good match with most living room interiors, while others are more suitable to specific types of interiors.

Size and Shape - There are two main types of gel fireplaces available on the market - free-standing and angular. Free-standing fireplaces are often meant to be installed next to a wall, giving the appearance of a traditional wood-burning fireplace, although some are also meant to be free-standing away from a wall. The other main type is angular fireplaces, which are often meant to be installed in a corner. Which type you should get will depend entirely on where exactly you want to install it.

Accessories and Features - Many gel fireplaces include some accessories and features that can add to both the decorative touch and usefulness of the gel fireplace. Many include shelves on top, mimicking many traditional wood-burning fireplaces, whereas others do not. Something that is important, though, is some kind of protective grating to help protect people from the open flame. Almost all gel fireplaces include this feature. Many other types of features can be found on gel fireplaces, with the total number of available features too numerous to list here.

Fuel - As the name implies, most gel fireplaces use a gel-based fuel to burn, rather than using more traditional methods of combustion, such as wood or kindling. However, the actual type of gel fuel used by the different fireplaces can vary. Make sure that the gel that you use for your fireplace is the same type that is either provided or recommended by the fireplace manufacturer.

With such a wide variety of features of gel fireplaces, and with so many different types available, most people should not have much difficulty with finding the perfect gel fireplace for their home.

Did you know?

Gel Fireplaces - Why You Should Get One

As gel fireplaces are relatively new, many people seem to be unclear about what they are exactly and how they work, which of course would lead to confusion about the reasons for getting one. Anyone who is longing to get a fireplace in their home without the hassle and cost of getting a real one installed, or those who don't even have that option, should seriously consider taking a look at gel fireplaces, for a number of reasons. Gel fireplaces hold a number of benefits over traditional wooden fireplaces, and even have many benefits over electric ones. Here we will take a look at them and see what benefits they bring to the table over their alternatives.

Gel Fireplaces Burn Clean

One of the biggest problems with a traditional wood burning fireplace is that they tend to produce a lot of smoke, making ventilation an absolute must. Along with the necessary ventilation comes the trouble of keeping the vent and chimney clean, as they will regularly build up with soot, requiring regular maintenance and cleaning in order to remain functional. That all goes without mentioning the hassle of having to clean the ashes from the fire box after every use.

Gel fireplaces, on the other hand, burn extremely clean, especially in comparison to any other combustible methods. They produce virtually no smoke, so they don't require ventilation. That means there's no need for a vent or chimney. Simply pop in a can of the Real Flame gel fuel, light it, and let it burn, producing a nice, crackling flame but without the bad side effects of burning wood. This means they are more environmentally friendly, safer, and much more convenient than burning wood.

Gel Fireplaces Require Almost No Maintenance

As mentioned above, gel fireplaces using the Real Flame gel fuel burn very clean, so there is very little that's needed to clean up after every use. Cleaning is simply just a matter of removing the used can of gel fuel and throwing it away. Of course, it is also a good idea to occasionally clean the fire box of dust, but this is something that would rarely need to be done. It's a far cry easier than having to clean out a messy pile of ashes, and a lot more convenient than cleaning a vent or chimney.

Gel Fireplaces Are Much Cheaper Than Real Fireplaces

Many older houses tend to have real fireplaces already in them, and even a good number of newer houses include them as well. However, many houses both old and new do not. Anyone who doesn't have a real fireplace but wishes to get one may not be aware of the incredible amount of time and expense that it takes to install one. Getting a real fireplace installed at a minimum tends to cost no less than $5,000, and that's only in the best case scenarios where little restructuring of the house is needed. Many houses require a significant amount of restructuring in order to accommodate a real fireplace, and in many others it's simply not possible at all. And of course, it goes without saying that those who live in a rented apartment simply don't have that option at all. In contrast, a gel fireplace will set you back only a fraction of the amount of money, and it brings with it all of the benefits mentioned above.

FAQ:

Q: How does a gel fireplace burn gel?

A: The fireplace itself doesn't burn anything. Instead, gel fireplaces are meant to hold canisters of a fuel called Real Flame gel fuse, which can be lighted by any means necessary.

Q: Are gel fireplaces safe to use?

A: Gel fireplaces are perfectly safe to use as long as proper safety precautions are maintained, such as lighting the fuel canisters safely and not moving or disturbing a gel canister while it is in use. Most gel fireplaces also include a screen grating or some other protection to help prevent anything from outside of the fireplace disturbing the contents while in use.

Q: What are the contents of the gel fuel used in gel fireplaces, and are they safe to use indoors?

A: The Real Flame gel fuel used in most gel fireplaces is made of gelled isopropyl alcohol, which is perfectly safe to burn in any environment.

Q: Do gel fireplaces require ventilation of any kind?

A: Due to the clean burning contents of the Real Flame gel fuel, no ventilation is necessary while being burned, just as long as the proper fuel is being used.

Q: Do gel fireplaces require any kind of installation, such as removing sections of the wall in order to fit it inside?

A: Most gel fireplaces (and the ones all featured in this review) are freestanding units, which means that no kind of installation is required outside of the assembly of the fireplace. However, some users may desire to make modifications to their home in order to accommodate the gel fireplace in a way that they wish.

Q: Can different types of fuel be used inside of a gel fireplace?

A: There are many different types of fuel available for gel fireplaces. However, for best results, as well as for safety precautions, it is highly recommended that you only use the type of fuel that the gel fireplace was designed for.

Q: Do gel fireplaces use real flames?

A: Yes, gel fireplaces use real flames, as opposed to simulated flames that are often the feature of other types of fireplaces. The flames are produced by lighting the gel fuel provided in canisters while it is placed inside of the fire box.

Q: What is the difference between a gel fireplace and an electric fireplace?

A: Gel fireplaces utilize canisters of gel fuel to produce a real flame, while most electric fireplaces use electricity to either simulate or produce a flame.

Q: Can gel fireplaces be used to burn wood or other types of fuel?

A: Gel fireplaces should never be used to burn wood or any type of fuel other than the gel fuel that is recommended by the manufacturer. Burning wood or most other types of fuel results in smoke, and requires ventilation, which gel fireplaces usually do not have nor require. In addition, the construction of many gel fireplaces is simply not suitable for burning anything other than the gel canisters that are used as their typical fuel.

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Publish Date: 2018-04-18 07:55:54