2021 Water Vapor Fireplace Buying Guide

A beautiful fireplace adds a glow, a warm ambiance to any room, home, or business. Some people view the ash, smoke, and carbon emissions of live fireplaces as a drawback and opt for other options instead.

These alternative options include electric fireplaces or bio-ethanol fireplaces, which are eco-friendly and alluring. At PortableFireplace.com, we pride ourselves in being the experts in electric and bio-ethanol fireplaces for your home and businesses. Today, we’re going to cover the trendy water vapor fireplace, which is powered by electricity and steam.

Water vapor fireplace
Double-sided water vapor fireplace
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7 Best Outdoor Fire Pits

We love spending time outdoors with friends and family. As more Americans look to transform their patios, backyards, and gardens into external living rooms, patio heaters and fire pits have become more popular.

Fire pits typically cost less than built-in fireplaces, and they’re fun, stylish, and safer than having an open fire on the lawn. We put together this list of some of our favorite fire pits to help you find the perfect fire pit for your backyard or patio.

Best Outdoor Fire Pits of the Year

1) 35.5 Anson Wood Burning Fire Bowl

35.5" Anson Wood Burning Fire Bowl
35.5″ Anson Wood Burning Fire Bowl

This minimalistic fire pit is the perfect finishing touch to your backyard. Get that campground feel without leaving home, roasting marshmallows over an open flame, watching sparks dance across the night sky. Cozy up on chilly nights with loved ones to share special memories. The large, heavy-gauge steel bowl is sturdy and powder coated for durability. This beautiful fire bowl will last through years of backyard fireside chats and campouts.

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Buying Guide: Read This Before Buying an Outdoor Fireplace

The cozy glow of a fireplace can transform your patio into a relaxing living space. As people look for creative ways to enhance their outdoor space, an outdoor fireplace is a welcome addition.

Remodeling your home to include an outdoor fireplace for your covered patio can be incredibly expensive. The easiest, most wallet-friendly solution is to purchase a separate outdoor fireplace to enhance your home. At PortableFireplace.com, we offer affordable outdoor fireplaces to suit your personal style. 

Let our guide get you started on finding the perfect outdoor fireplace.

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How Many BTUs and Patio Heaters Do I Need for My Patio

Outdoor living spaces, like patios, gardens, and finished decks are not only trendy but they’re good for us. When we spend time outdoors with friends and family, we’re more likely to connect, laugh, and bond. In colder months, don’t let the drab weather drag you back inside. Turning your patio into a cozy backyard retreat is easy with a patio heater or outdoor fireplace from PortableFireplace.com.

When shopping for a heater, you may notice that most heaters list BTU, or British thermal units, along with how much space a heater can cover. We’re going to cover what BTU’s are and how to determine how many you need for your patio.

What is a British Thermal Unit (BTU)?

BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. It is the imperial system’s basic unit of heat, used to measure how much heat is required to raise one pound of water’s temperature by one degree. Heating and cooling appliances are usually marked with BTU’s to let buyers know what size space they will be best for. The heat output of a fireplace or heater is measured per hour in BTU’s.

Close up of patio heater

Calculate how many BTU’s you need

The formula for calculating BTU’s needed to heat any space is relatively simple. Don’t worry, you won’t need a graphing calculator, years of training, or any special equipment. First, you need to know how big your patio is, multiplying length x width to calculate square footage. Since patios are usually square or rectangular, this method will work for most homes.

Length X Width = Area
20 BTU x Area2
Simply multiply square footage by 20 BTU’s per square foot.

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The 5 Most Realistic Electric Fireplaces in 2020

Modern electric fireplaces feature realistic flames that have been able to simulate the charm of robust crackling flames in amazing fashion. Technology and innovation have led to various optical techniques that have created some of the most realistic electric fireplaces on the market. Everything from LED lighting, hologram images, and videos of actual wood burning fireplaces have been used in search of the most realistic electric fireplace.

Most realistic electric fireplace

We’ve curated this list to bring you this year’s best in realistic fireplaces. Soot, smoke, and the sound of crackling wood—the most realistic electric fireplaces come with features like this in order to give you an experience that’s as close as possible to the real thing. This list of five of the most realistic models of 2018 demonstrates the range of technologies being used today to create that ambiance. Expect to find glowing embers, soot-stained brick backgrounds, and—of course—realistic flickering flames.

While detailed information on new innovations provides technical backing, we’ve included videos to let you see just how real electric fireplaces can look. Seeing is believing!

The Most Realistic Electric Fireplace

Sourcing a quality electric fireplace can be difficult if not impossible. You have to travel to a specialty store to find engineered fireplaces that don’t just aim to meet your budget without any regard for durability and heating capacity.

We’ve put together this list of The 5 Most Realistic Electric Fireplaces to showcase some of the most revolutionary products. Each of the units on this list were carefully chosen after being reviewed based upon flame simulation, sound, and other unique criteria.

1.) Dimplex Revillusion Built-In Firebox (43.25”)

This electric fireplace from Dimplex comes with all sorts of hyper-realistic features that make it look just like a genuine wood fireplace. The Revillusion flame technology creates large, bright flames that flicker organically from hardwood-cast logs that glow like the real thing and rest in a full-size grate. The brick background even has natural soot marks, making it look even more authentic. Enjoy the ambiance, warmth, and comfort of a wood-burning fireplace with zero carbon emissions.

Dimplex Revillusion Electric Fireplace

2.) Dimplex Prism Wall Mount Fireplace (74”)

The Prism series from Dimplex takes an already top-selling electric linear fireplace and makes it even better. The company’s patented LED technology gives the Dimplex Prism incredibly lifelike flames. Install right into your wall and enjoy supplemental heat for a room of up to 400 square feet. While the flames make this one of the most realistic electric fireplaces in 2018, you can also turn it on Prism mode to have the bed of acrylic ice embers glow in a variety of rainbow colors.

Dimplex Prism Fireplace

3.) Dimplex Optimyst II Insert (28”)

The Dimplex Optimyst II Insert gets its name from the real mist that rises from the logs, which reflects light to create the illusion of real smoke. This, combined with the pulsating embers of hand-crafted logs, make this one of the most realistic electric fireplaces of 2018. Place this insert in an existing fireplace, and you’ll fool all your friends into thinking the flames are real. The Dimplex Optimyst does not give off heat, meaning you can use it to provide instant ambiance even in the warmest weather.

Dimplex Optimyst II Electric Fireplace

4.) Dimplex Opti-V Duet Fireplace Insert (54.25”)

The Opti-V Duet from Dimplex is another incredibly realistic electric fireplace. Three-dimensional logs glow with LED technology, but the best part is that they periodically sparkle and crack! With the Opti-V Duet, you can enjoy not only the look of a real fireplace but the sound of one, too, with the crackling sounds it gives off. The company’s patented LED flame technology is also used to create hyperreal electric flames. This is not only one of the most realistic electric fireplaces in 2018; it is one of the most realistic electric fireplaces of all time.

Dimplex Opti-V Duet Electric Fireplace

5.) Dimplex Ignite XL Linear Electric Fireplace (100”)

If you’re looking for a large, sleek, realistic electric fireplace for a large space, then look no further than the Dimplex Ignite XL. This trim-free model can be installed seamlessly into stone, brick, and more to give your room a refined contemporary vibe. The 100” model can also provide heat for a space of up to 1000 square feet, or it can be used in heat-free mood for ambiance on warmer days. Dimplex’s signature LED technology creates incredibly realistic flames with none of the maintenance or carbon emissions.

Dimplex Ignite Electric Fireplace

Honarable Mentions: Rounding out the Top 10

You’ve just seen our top picks for 2018. Below is a list of additional fireplaces that deserve an honorable mention that are worth considering as well.

6.) Dimplex Optimyst Electric Fireplace – 3D Flame complete with Ash and Pulsating Embers – $949-$2,249

Dimplex has been at the forefront of the electric fireplace industry for years. They virtually birthed the industry into existence with the invention of Patented 3D Flame Technology back in 1995. The Dimplex Optimyst uses Ultrasonic Technology to create a virtual flame that is accompanied by a water vapor that gives off the appearance of smoke. This is the first ever of its kind.

Patented Optiglo LED Logs create an authentic fire around the hearth as hand-finished logs pulsate with a vibrancy that is visually alluring. Above you can see a visual demonstration to see just how realistic this electric fireplace looks! Just last year Dimplex unveiled 5 unique Optimyst models. Below is the 28” Dimplex Optimyst II Insert that has been upgraded and fine-tuned to create the illusion of fire and smoke. This unit is Available for Purchase online from Portable Fireplace.com!

28 inch Dimplex Optimyst II Insert

The 28″ Dimplex Optimyst II Insert uses Patented Optiglo Technology to produce pulsating logs. Ultrasonic Technology creates a virtual vapor that simulates the appearance of smoke rising off of a fire. Available from Portable Fireplace.com.


View a complete list of Dimplex Opti-Myst Electric Fireplaces here.

7.) Multi-Fire XD Firebox – $799-$1,249

The Multi-Fire XD is an all new fireplace that has the ability to produce 7 types of fires. The Multi Fire XD displays flames that look like a natural wood burning fire, gas flames, and a kaleidoscope of colored flames. You also have the ability to set your own custom theme to create the flame display of your choice.

The Multi-Fire XD has two firebox options; log set and acrylic ember bed. The Realogs Set comes with the latest 2nd generation patented inner glow technology. The logs are actually molded from hand selected firewood so they don’t just look like fake logs. They actually glow with burning embers that simulate the way that real wood burning fires look.

The acrylic ember bed givs off the fire and ice effect. It’s ideal for modern and contemporary home settings. The Multi-Fire XD also comes with gWave technology that allows you to control your fire with the wave of a hand. Best of all, it’s the most energy efficient electric fireplace, operating at 11% below the consumption rates of conventional electric fireplaces.

Dimplex 26 Inch Multi-Fire XD Firebox

The 26″ Dimplex Multi-Fire XD™ Electric Fireplace Insert shown with Acrlyic Ice Media Bed. Available from Portable Fireplace.com

*** View All available Sizes by visiting this page.***


8.) Dimplex Opti-V – $3,699-$5,699

The Opti-V is arguably the latest and greatest electric fireplace on the market. Awarded the Vesta Award for Best Electric Product at the 2013 Hearth Industry Trade Show, this electric unit continues to push the envelope of innovation. When LCD TV’s were all the rage, many were stunned to realize how much LED TV’s could improve visual performance. In a similar fashion, the Opti-V has set a new standard and raised the bar completely.
The Opti-V uses some of the latest in Electric Flame Technology.  This model is purely aesthetic and does not provide heat.  Dimplex has been able to capture the realistic sound of a crackling fire, glowing embers, and smoke in an imaginative new product that expands the horizon. Watch the short video clip below to see what Trade Show attendees had to say about the Opti-V when they witnessed it in person.

Dimplex Opti-V is the most realistic electric fireplace on the market

The Dimplex Opti-V is the most realistic electric fireplace on the market. Above is the Opti-V Solo, the single version.

The Opti-V is now available!

Opti-V Double by Dimplex

This is the Opti-V Duet, a wider version of the above Opti-V Single. Click on the picture to view product page.


9.) Purifire Electric Fireplace – $999-$2,249

The Purifire Electric Fireplace comes with the same great flame technology that Dimplex is known for. What makes the Purifire special is that it actually doubles as an air purifier. The Purifire is available in 11 different models, providing up to 5,120 BTU’s which is more than enough to heat a large 20’ x 20’ room. While heating your home, it removes mold, pollen, danger and other household allergens that pollute the air inside your home.
The Purifire Electric Fireplace allows you to adjust the speed of the flame to create a slow burning, romantic fireplace or switch to a rich and robust fire that fills the room.

View all Purifire Electric Fireplaces.

10.) Chambord Electric Fireplace from Ambella Home -$3,234

Ambella Home is a well-known brand in the Home Furnishing Industry and for good reason. Their expertise, craftsmanship, and design have all been duly noted in everything from family dining tables to bathroom vanities. The Chambord Electric Fireplace is set with flickering logs that behave in the same manner that real flames would. This deep inner glow is what gives this electric fireplace such a realistic appearance.

You can also adjust your flame to create the type of fire that is fitting. Flame Action Control allows you to adjust the size and speed of dancing flames at the click of a button. This is one of the most realistic electric fireplaces on the market and it comes with a handsome Mahogany Mantel. Available on Portable Fireplace.com for $3,234.00 with Free Shipping! Learn more here!

53.5 inch Chambord Electric Fireplace

The 53.5″ Chambord Electric Fireplace is one of the most realistic fireplaces in 2014. Surrounded in beauty with a gorgeous mahogany mantel.


Which One is the Best?

So, that’s all good and great but which one is the most realistic?

  • If you are solely looking for the most realistic then the Opti-Myst is hands down the most realistic electric fireplace on the market. Not only because of the flame effect but the water vapor technology that simulates smoke. It combines all of the best features rolled into one amazing display.
  • The Opti-Virtual is the most realistic display unit. I say display unit because the Opti-V does not produce heat. All of the technology for this fireplace was invested in producing the most realistic flame display. It’s ideal for commercial venues where it’s not intended to provide heat but rather set the tone with a romantic and glowing ambiance.
  • The Multi-Fire XD provides customization and variety. You can make the flames change red, blue, purple, and green. The flame display is very realistic but it is a bit more contemporary in the sense that the flames are even more colorful than traditional fireplaces.
  • Although the Purifire isn’t the most realistic on this list, it is an option if you’re interested in indoor air quality. That’s not to say that it has a poor flame display; by no means. It still has LED logs with patented inner glow technology with pulsating embers. The logs are hand finished so they don’t have a manufactured look. Craftsmen add an artistic touch meaning that no two logs are the same.

Shop now for Electric Fireplaces

At PortableFireplace.com, we’re the experts in all things electric fireplace. We offer stylish electric fireplaces and fireplace inserts at amazing prices. We carry the top brands including Dimplex, Ambella Home, Classic Flame, and Southern Enterprises.

Explore our full catalog for even more incredible fireplace options at the Lowest Prices Guaranteed. We offer Free Shipping anywhere in the lower 48 states. We even have fireplaces for your outdoor living area. Electric fireplaces are eco-friendly and easy to use, and now, more affordable than ever. Get in touch with our experts to find out more.

Here are some additional fire places. Browse thousands of electric fireplaces here.

32″ Hollis Real Flame Black Electric Fireplace Stove -$835

Create the look of a wood-burning stove without the mess or smokiness, with this gorgeous electric fireplace stove. Great for a cabin or ranch home, this stove features six stunning flame colors, adjustable timer settings, and thermal overload protection. Enjoy the dancing flames with or without heat, even during the summer. The storage shelf beneath the unit can be used to store real split logs to enhance the look. This electric fireplace stove offers everything in terms of function and rustic style. Available on Portable Fireplace.com for $835 with Free Shipping! Learn more here!

32 inch Hollis Real Flame Black Stove Electric Fireplace

The 32 inch Hollis Real Flame Black Stove Electric Fireplace is one of the most realistic fireplaces in 2020. Surrounded in beauty with a gorgeous mahogany mantel.


40″ Pioneer Brushed Dark Pine Stone Electric Fireplace – $599

This beautiful, traditional style mantle combines timeless design with updated technology to bring you a fireplace that will suit almost any décor style. The warm biscotti finish is attractive, yet neutral enough to blend seamlessly with other wood finishes in your home. At 48”, the Ophelia is ideally suited for medium-large rooms, capable of heating up to 1,000 square feet. Flames are adjustable for lifelike, mood lighting, and ideal warmth. This handsome fireplace is deceptively simple, providing heat and beauty to your home at the touch of a button. Available on Portable Fireplace.com for $599 with Free Shipping! Learn more here!


The 40″ Pioneer Brushed Dark Pine Stone Electric Fireplace is one of the most realistic fireplaces in 2020.


48″ Dimplex Ophelia Mantel Electric Fireplace with Logs – $849

This beautiful, traditional style mantle combines timeless design with updated technology to bring you a fireplace that will suit almost any décor style. The warm biscotti finish is attractive, yet neutral enough to blend seamlessly with other wood finishes in your home. At 48”, the Ophelia is ideally suited for medium-large rooms, capable of heating up to 1,000 square feet. Flames are adjustable for lifelike, mood lighting, and ideal warmth. This handsome fireplace is deceptively simple, providing heat and beauty to your home at the touch of a button. Available on Portable Fireplace.com for $599 with Free Shipping! Learn more here!


The Dimplex Ophelia Mantel Electric Fireplace with Logs is one of the most realistic fireplaces in 2020.


More of the Latest Electric Fireplaces

  1. The 7 Best Electric Fireplaces that Crackle
  2. The Complete Collection of Dimplex Opti-Myst Fireplaces
  3. Best Electric Fireplace Inserts Under $500 – Bang for Your Buck
  4. New Infrared Electric Fireplace Inserts from Classic Flame
  5. 6 Electric Fireplaces with Hidden Drawers

About the Author
Megan Meyer is an interior design consultant focusing on crisp modern interiors with a tinge of retro styling. She offers design and consulting services for residential and commercial spaces. Follow her for fool proof design tips for everyday homeowners.

The 7 Best Electric Fireplaces that Crackle

The sounds of live fire can be comforting, but building a live fire in your home isn’t always convenient or possible.  Fortunately, electric fireplaces make it possible to have realistic looking and sounding fires in your home without mess or danger.  

If you already own an electric fireplace or fireplace insert that doesn’t have that satisfying crackle,  the Adagio Crackler System is fantastic addition. It’s easy to use and portable. Volume control allows you to have a roaring fire or gentle background noise. Create instant ambiance with your electric fireplace with sounds to match.

The Best Electric Fireplaces with Natural Crackling Sounds

1)56” Brighton Coffee Black Electric Fireplace Media Cabinet

This cabinet fireplace is perfect for smaller homes and apartments, providing stylish storage and a glorious fire. Infrared quartz technology helps retain natural humidity in the air for extra comfort. The fire’s brightness is adjustable to your liking with several color ways to cycle through. Family movie nights are made that much cozier with this crackling fireplace.

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The 5 Best Electric Fireplace Inserts

Electric fireplace inserts are an efficient way to heat the heart of your home. They come in a variety of styles, with a variety of features. To choose the best electric fireplace insert for you, decide what’s important to you. Are you looking for realistic flame? How about that cozy crackle sound that real wood fires provide?

At Portable Fireplace.com, we pride ourselves on offering high quality fireplaces and inserts, at the best prices guaranteed. We’ve gathered this list of our best electric fireplace inserts, with different styles and unique features, so you can keep toasty all year-round.

1)25” Dimplex Acrylic Ice Contemporary Electric Fireplace Insert

This stunning insert features shimmering acrylic ice embers that create a multi-color adjustable light display. The heat radius reaches up to 1,000 feet, ideal for heating living areas. The front of the box remains cool to the touch, making this insert a safe choice for families. Sustainable and energy efficient, this insert costs pennies to run and its LED lights require zero upkeep.  Enjoy the calming flame effect with or without heat, for a soothing visual experience any day of the year.

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Which Electric Fireplace Insert is the Best?

Electric fireplace inserts are the quick, modern solution to update your fireplace so that you can enjoy a cozy night by the fire, any night of the week. An electric fireplace insert fits into your existing mantel or fireplace. Inserts are designed to provide a realistic experience with faux logs and glowing lights, and even, the comforting crackle, with none of the mess. Use our guide to help you find the perfect electric insert for your home.

Top Rated Electric Inserts

Each of our fireplace inserts has been carefully chosen for its high quality, but these inserts have been rated our top inserts by you, our customers. At portablefireplace.com, we’re the fireplace experts, but only you know what you want in style and features for your home.

16” Dimplex Opti-Myst Cassette Fireplace Insert

This deceptively simple insert provides up to 12 hours of warmth and realistic looking flame and “smoke.” Quick set up with a remote allows you to place, fill the water reservoir, and enjoy your fireplace within minutes.

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Fireplace Inserts: What You Need to Know

What is a Fireplace Insert?

What is a Fireplace Insert
Installation of the Dimplex Revillusion is as simple as plugging it in

A fireplace insert is a unit that’s installed into a pre-existing wood or stone fireplace, and serves as the primary heating element. An insert typically includes the interior walls of the fireplace, a grate, and life-like logs that are made of materials such as resin.

The first fireplace inserts were invented in 1896 by Joab R. Donaldson. These early inserts used smokeless coke fuel—a derivative of distilling coal—and used an electric blower to make the insert more efficient.

Early fireplace inserts were adopted and used primarily by low-income coal mining families because the coal could be procured from their own backyards. There are many varieties of inserts and can be categorized by fuel type.

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How to Decide: Patio Heater vs Fire Pit

When looking for a way to keep your guests or customers warm and cozy, while enjoying your outdoor space, there are two main options: patio heaters and fire pits. As temperatures drop, having an outdoor heating source means you can stay outside longer without having a built-in fireplace or digging an expensive firepit. Even on chilly summer evenings, you will love having something to keep away the chill or roast marshmallows for s’mores.

How do you know if a patio heater or if a fire pit is right for you? Use our guide to help you decide which heat source is more your style. Your patio or backyard will seem like a whole new space!

Patio Heaters

93'' Exige Stainless Steel Deluxe Patio Heater

The 93” Exige Stainless Steel Deluxe Patio Heater

Commonly used to heat outdoor seating sections of restaurants, patio heaters are capable of heating a large area with the use of propane fuel or electricity. If you spend lots of time outdoors, patio heaters may be perfect for you. Children and pets are safe with pole style heaters and there are no flying sparks or embers. Patio heaters are low maintenance and heat quickly. Yes, they really work and provide plenty of heat!
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