Electric fires are handy options if you don’t have gas fitted or you lack the chimney breast or flue required of traditional fires. All you need to do is plug them in so make sure you have an electric socket nearby, or get an electrician to fit one for you. Refer to the retailer or manufacturer about the recommended position of the socket and the clearance required all round the fire. Choose from freestanding electric fires, inset electric fires or stove-style electric fires – or go for a full electric fire suite that includes hearth, back panel, surround and fire – all ready assembled. Be sure to check out running costs and the pebble, coal or log flame effects before you buy.
Log-effect free-standing ‘stove’ electric fire with double doors. Adjustable thermostat with two heat settings and adjustable brightness. The retro Baby Blue puts a twist on this otherwise traditional design. Metal and plastic housing. H60 W47 D31cm.
Sleek brushed steel-finish inset electric fire with LED glow effect and separate heat and flame setting. The reflective surface magnifies the flame effect and the ‘coals’ look sufficiently realistic. MDF, steel and plastic. H60 W49 D20cm.
When gas is not an option the technology of an electric fire can provide realistic flickering flames and glowing fuel beds. This fire uses a thermostat and separate remote control for ease of use. It features an ember fuel-bed effect with five LED brightness settings. No chimney or flue required. H55 W80 D19cm.
Electric fire suite with two heat settings and LED flame effect. Includes ivory-finish hearth, back panel, surround and electric fire. Sleek white pebbles complete the look. Ready-assembled for fitting flat to your wall. Surround H78 W26 D79cm.
Authentic cast iron-style electric ‘stove’ finished in glossy black and a choice of fire effects: use the OptiflamePlus flame effect with real coals or the OptiflameElite log effect. There are two heat settings, which you can operate remotely and the flame effect can be used independently of the heat. H64 W62 D39cm.
Dimplex at AO.com
The stylish combination of black hood and gleaming trim makes this brass electric fire a perfect fit for a contemporary interior. Features a faux coal bed and LED flame effect. Supplied fully assembled. Brass. H60 W51 D16cm.
Minimalist natural oak fascia mounted on a log-bed effect electric fire. Sleek, stylish and easy to install, the wall-hung design makes it a great choice for a compact living space. Other wood-finish fascias are available. H61 W78 D14cm.
Inset coal-effect electric fire with LED display and two heat levels. No chimney or flue required. An all-black option is a classic choice that will suit any number of fire surrounds and mantelpieces. Comes with a remote control. H60 W49 D12cm.
Flame-effect, silver-finish electric fire featuring convected heat, LED bulbs, manual control and thermostat. Pebble fuel-bed option and brass finish versions also available. Can be fully free-standing when used with the 90mm spacer kit supplied. H59 W47 D9cm.
The Burley Cottesmore 224 electric fire is hand-crafted in cast iron with real coals on an imitation heat bed. This 2kW freestanding electric fire has a glowing flicker-effect flame and can be used without heat to give a cheerful glow and provide a focal point in your living room. Two fan-heater settings and black legs. H47 W47 D28cm.