Fireplace Inserts: Everything You Need to Know + Where to Buy Our Favorites

Keep your home cozy and cut down on your winter heating bills with these efficiency-driven fireplace inserts.

Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.
October 19, 2020

A cozy, crackling fireplace provides homes with unmatched ambiance and comfort to get through the brisk, autumn nights and winter months. That said, it may come as a surprise that traditional fireplaces are guilty of expending more energy pulling warm air out of the home than they do heating the space. (Pulling warm air out of the home defeats all practical purposes of having a fireplace in the first place!) The solution? Fireplace inserts.

Fireplace inserts are fireproof, insulated cast-iron or steel firebox inserts that increase fireplace efficiency by blocking the generated heat from escaping the chimney or by distributing warm air throughout the room with a blower. The three main types of fireplace inserts are woodburning, electric and natural gas, and each type comes equipped with a unique set of benefits to consider before installation.

We’re breaking down all three of the MVP fireplaces inserts (plus a bonus option!) and sharing our favorite online finds for each in the links below.

Electric Fireplace Inserts

Looking for a fireplace insert with low risk and warm reward? Electric inserts are your best bet. The flame-free inserts are safe and simple to install with a plug-in design that washes the room with cozy warmth and the glow of (faux) flames and embers. Most electric fireplace inserts are easy to relocate from room to room, and the fire-free design ensures that renters and apartment-dwellers can enjoy fireside ambiance with ease.

Gas Fireplace Inserts

Gas fireplace inserts are a top pick for homeowners who desire real flames without the very real and intensely fragrant mess that comes with a wood-burning fireplace. The soot-free gas inserts require a natural gas line and are beloved by many for their next-level heating abilities that easily wrap rooms with warmth. Most come with remote controls, and some are equipped with wall adjusters and vent-free technology that provides unmatched heating efficiency for the home.

Wood-Burning Fireplace Inserts

Gas and electric fireplaces are wonderful, but there’s nothing quite like the real thing, right? Classic wood-burning fireplaces are made more efficient with the addition of a specialized, wood-burning fireplace insert that blocks heat from escaping through the chimney above. Though less efficient than their gas or electric counterparts, wood-burning fireplace inserts do allow homeowners to reap the benefits of crackling flames more safely and with significantly less smoke. Bonus: Many wood-burning inserts are designed to cut down on the amount of wood necessary for each burn and minimize chimney upkeep over an extended period of time.

Log Fireplace Inserts

Gas and electric log inserts differ from the above fireplace inserts because they are free-standing accessories installed within the firebox. Some inserts aid the efficiency of the fireplace, while other log inserts are simply decorative additions to a preciously installed firebox insert. Log sets come in several styles, ranging from rustic and rugged oak stacks to smooth and airy birch limbs. Choose the logs best suited to your interior style and color story for an effortless, understated end design.

Shop More Winter Home Buys

Next Up

12 Freestanding Fireplace Screens for Every Style

Prep your home for cool weather and warm fires with these decorative, freestanding fireplace screens.

How to Build a Concrete Fireplace Hearth

Carter builds a new concrete hearth to update an old 1950s fireplace.

The Best Firewood Storage Ideas for Fall

Bring the heat with these stylish log holders, totes and stands.

Our 10 Favorite Outdoor Throw Blankets for Fall

Autumn evenings around the fire pit just got cozier.

10 Highly Rated Snow Boots That Will Actually Keep You Warm This Winter

We scoured Amazon, read the reviews and found 10 waterproof boots for men and women that are seriously durable. Pick up a pair and enjoy the comfort of cozy feet.

The Best Electric Blankets, Tested by HGTV Editors

Stay warm while conserving energy with one of these heated blankets we tried and loved.

Install an Electric Fireplace With Custom-Built Mantel and Hearth

Add instant warmth to your home by installing an electric fireplace. Then build a mantel on top and hearth with storage underneath.

11 Fall Mantel Decor Ideas Under $50

Flock your fall fireplace mantel with these high-style, low-budget decor finds.

10 Cold-Weather Cookware Essentials to Buy Now

Embrace the season of pasta, roasts, stews and pies with these winter-perfect kitchen buys.

8 Natural Mood-Boosters to Help Battle the Winter Blues

Lift your mood and spirit with these essentials, from happy lights to energizing oils.

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

On TV

Home Town

6am | 5c

Home Town

7am | 6c

Home Town

8am | 7c

Home Town

9am | 8c

Home Town

10am | 9c

Home Town

11am | 10c

Home Town

12pm | 11c

Home Town

1pm | 12c

Home Town

2pm | 1c

Home Town

3pm | 2c

Home Town

4pm | 3c

Home Town

5pm | 4c

Home Town

6pm | 5c

Home Town

7pm | 6c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Home Town

8pm | 7c

Home Town

9pm | 8c

Home Town

10pm | 9c

Home Town

11pm | 10c

Home Town

12am | 11c

Home Town

1am | 12c

Home Town

2am | 1c

Home Town

3am | 2c

Home Town

4am | 3c

Home Town

5am | 4c

Watch Live TV

Don't miss your favorite shows.

Live Stream HGTV Now

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.