Our team of experienced reviewers has researched and tested a lot of options to find the most realistic gas fireplace. Authentic looking is not the only factor we focus on while testing, but also durability, heat output, and other features. After three years of hard work, we have found these promising options.
Here are the most realistic gas fireplaces you can buy in 2023:
- Fast Working: Duluth Forge FDF400RT-ZC
- Energy Efficient: Duluth Forge FDF300T
- Budget Option: Pleasant Hearth VFS2-PH30DT
- Best For Large Rooms: ProCom FBNSD32RT
|4 Most Realistic Gas Fireplaces|
|Duluth Forge FDF400RT-ZC|
|Duluth Forge FDF300T|
|Pleasant Hearth VFS2-PH30DT|
Best For Large Rooms
Most Realistic Electric Fireplaces
Fast Working: Duluth Forge FDF400RT-ZC
- Fast-working – 32,000 BTU of heat output
- Convenient to customize the heat settings – a remote controller
- The door design could be better
From Duluth Forge, this stylish gas fireplace is a perfect choice for small sitting areas or apartments.
It has a large viewing area, six incredibly detailed hand-painted logs for an authentic look, and thin frames that can seamlessly match almost all home interior decor styles.
But the fast-working performance impressed us the most.
The FDF400RT-ZC is the most powerful gas fireplace we found, with 32,000 BTU of total heat output. You can customize its heat settings through the included remote controller.
Another notable feature is this gas fireplace uses patented dual fuel technology.
|Duluth Forge FDF400RT-ZC Specifications|
29.5 x 29.1 x 15.6 inches
up to 1, 500 sq. ft. Area.
32,000 BTU of heat output
a remote controller
patented dual fuel technology
Offering up to 32,000 BTU, the Duluth Forge FDF400RT-ZC is one of the most powerful and fast-working realistic gas fireplaces we tested.
Energy Efficient: Duluth Forge FDF300T
- Energy-efficient – smart thermostat control
- Able to fit tight places – the dimensions of 29.1"W x 23.9"H x 13.9"D
- No remote controller
Like the previous sibling, the Duluth Forge FDF300T is 100% assembled in the US and includes a piezo ignitor.
About the difference, this gas fireplace doesn't have a remote controller like the FDF400RT-ZC, so you cannot customize the heat output.
In turn, it features smart thermostat control that will automatically cycle on and off to remain at the desired temperature setting. This add-on not only prevents overheating but also helps the equipment run more efficiently.
The Duluth Forge FDF300T is recommended for 1,350-square-foot spaces due to its 26K BTU heat output.
|Duluth Forge FDF300T Specifications|
29.1 x 13.9 x 23.9 inches
up to 1.350 sq. ft.
smart thermostat control
If you are looking for the most energy-efficient realistic gas fireplace, check out the Duluth Forge FDF300T
Budget Option: Pleasant Hearth VFS2-PH30DT
- Create fuller looking flame – dual burner
- Sturdy and durable - cold-rolled steel construction
- Extremely easy to assemble
- Not including any blower
- The thermostat knob is hard to use
For the price, this realistic gas fireplace from Pleasant Hearth is a great deal.
It excellently ticks all the boxes on our wish list, including dual fuel technology, an overheat sensor, a built-in thermostat, and simple assembly. Furthermore, it provides two burners for two rows of flames, making the fire look fuller and cozier.
This affordable gas fireplace can provide up to 30K BTU to perfectly cover a 1000-square-foot space with no problem.
It also feels durable due to the cold-rolled steel construction.
For these reasons, we decided to pick it as the best budget option this year.
|Pleasant Hearth VFS2-PH30DT Specifications|
31.93 x 14.37 x 28.27 inches
1,000 sq. ft.
cold-rolled steel construction
The Pleasant Hearth VFS2-PH30DT is the best budget option for people on a tight budget.
Best For Large Rooms: ProCom FBNSD32RT
- Suitable for up to 1500-square-foot rooms - 32K BTU of the maximum heat output
- Create full and realistic fire looking – 9 ceramic fiber logs & dual burner
- Easy to adjust the heat flow – a thermostat remote controller
- It is difficult to install the bracket
With the coverage of up to 1500 square feet and the maximum heat output of 32K BTU, the ProCom FBNSD32RT is undoubtedly the best choice for large rooms.
While featuring a dual burner for two rows of flame, it comes with 9 ceramic fiber logs, all hand-painted, for the most realistic look.
You can increase or decrease the heat flow using the thermostat remote controller. It's convenient because you don't have to leave your position, come up to the fireplace, then adjust the heat setting.
Like other picks in this review list, the FBNSD32RT is operated by either liquid propane or natural gas.
|ProCom FBNSD32RT Specifications|
19 x 37 x 34 inches
up to 1.500 sq. ft.
32K BTU of the maximum heat output
9 ceramic fiber logs & dual burner
a thermostat remote controller
The ProCom FBNSD32RT measures 19 x 37 x 34 inches and provides 32K BTU, making it the perfect realistic gas fireplace for large rooms up to 1500 square feet in area.
How To Choose The Most Realistic Gas Fireplace?
There are four elements making a gas fireplace look authentic:
- Viewing angle
- Burner type
Most gas fireplaces feature hand-painted ceramic logs for the most realistic look. Depending on the size of the fireplace, the number of logs generally range from 5-9.
Thin frames and wide viewing angle are two other features you should pay attention to.
In terms of the burner type, there are two main options: single burner and dual burner. The latter one is more preferable because it creates two rows of flame for a full fire look.
It is recommended to choose a gas fireplace that can produce enough heat for your house’s insulation level, climate, and room size.
Gas fireplaces’ heat output is measured in BTU, which stands for British Thermal Unit. The higher the BTU number, the more heat the fireplace can produce.
On average, the heat output of a gas fireplace ranges from 7,000 to 60,000 BTUs.
If you like the room temperature at 72 degrees F plus supposed that your house has tight windows and is well-insulated, the right heat output of a gas fireplace you should look for is:
Your climate zone (in BTU) x room’s ceiling height (in feet) x floor area of the room (in square feet)
Bonus: To determine your climate zone, refer to the U.S. climate zone map posted on the U.S. Energy Information Administration's website.
Ventless Or Vented?
Both styles of gas fireplaces are safe for indoor use. The difference between them is: Ventless gas fireplaces direct the emissions into the indoor space while vented ones move them outside.
Don’t worry, all the ventless gas fireplaces on the market are specifically designed to produce heat safely indoors. To ensure the air quality, they produce no more than 40,000 BTUs and burn extra clean.
Besides, they are built with oxygen-depletion sensors to frequently calculate the air quality level and will automatically turn the equipment off if they detect the room's oxygen level is lower than the standard.
The biggest benefits of this style is high efficiency and versatility in the installation.
Vent-free gas fireplaces are up to 99% efficient, and as they have no vent, the installation process is a lot easier. You can install them almost anywhere in the room.
That said, Canada and some cities in the US don’t allow using ventless gas fireplaces. Before buying one, make sure you know the rules and regulations in your area.
Vented fireplaces are safer than the vent-free ones.
They are categorized into B-vented gas fireplaces and direct vent gas fireplaces. The first option is normally 50% efficient and requires a sensor to douse the flame. On the other hand, the second option is 70-85% efficient and considered the safest.
It’s worth noting that, however, these two kinds are complex to install.
Which Brands Make The Most Realistic Gas Fireplace?
Duluth Stove is a reliable brand that makes the best gas fireplaces on the market. It was founded by Jason May and Matt Boo, who all have received hearth products training and certification from Fireplace Products International, Hearth and Home Technologies, and National Fireplace Institute.
Pleasant Hearth is dedicated to manufacturing a wide range of hearth products and is also one of the most popular brands in North America. All of their products satisfy the industry standards of functionality, durability, and quality.
Started in 1996, ProCom Heating Inc. specializes in manufacturing gas heating appliances. After nearly 30 years of development, their quality and competitive prices make them the world’s leader in the industry.
They are also the only company that can maximize their facilities to keep their products at the lowest cost whether they manufacture domestically or overseas.
Is it OK to leave a gas fireplace overnight?
No, it isn't.
Leaving a gas fireplace overnight could cause the fatal risk of carbon monoxide poisoning since gas fireplaces release odorless CO gas.
For safety, it is recommended to leave your fireplace for a maximum of 3 hours at a time.
Should I turn off the pilot light on my gas fireplace in the summer?
Yes, you should.
It is recommended to turn off the gas pilot light during summer months because this helps decrease the heat inside your home, which results in the less you utilize your AC to cool down your home and the less energy cost.
Still, you can keep it on if you like.
Will a gas fireplace work during a power outage?
Yes, it will. A gas fireplace will keep working during a power outage because it doesn’t require electricity for venting.
How do I keep spiders out of my gas fireplace?
To keep spiders out of your gas fireplace, try a chimney top damper. This device creates a closed seal, making it hard for spiders to get in your fireplace.
Should the glass on a gas fireplace be hot?
The glass on a gas fireplace can be very hot. So, it is worth telling all your guests and family members to get aware of this. Only get near or touch the glass once the appliance is off and the glass has already cooled down.
Picking the most realistic gas fireplace is not as easy as it seems. That fireplace needs to bring authentic experience and provides enough warmth for your space. Not saying that it should match the room’s décor style and meet your other needs.
We hope this review has helped you navigate to the right realistic fireplace for you. Thanks for reading!