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6 Decorative Alternatives to the Traditional Fireplace

Simulate a Christmas classic tradition of roasting chestnuts in an open fire even when you don't have space or the budget by checking out these decorative alternatives to the traditional fireplace.

Stylish living room with decorative fireplace.

Sitting by the fireplace sets a cozy and romantic setting. Picture yourself sitting in front of the open hearth with the one you love and listening to the crackling fire. It’s also one of the best ways to warm up the home during wintertime.

In some cases, however, wood-burning fireplaces can be an energy drain and linked with many respiratory diseases. In worst case scenarios, it can lead to suffocation especially among small children in the house.

Gas fireplaces, on the other hand, can be expensive in the long run. For these reasons and more, decorative fireplaces have popped up as alternatives to traditional fireplaces.

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1. Electric Fireplace

Electric fireplace

Most people who are seeking a fireplace alternative want to be able to replicate the look and the feeling of a real fire. One of the best ways to go about doing so is to purchase an electric fireplace. Modern electric fireplaces can provide you with something that looks exactly like the real thing. It can do a very convincing job of emulating the feeling of having a real fireplace.

The model that is being shown here has a very impressive 3D fire effect. The flames in this unit look very realistic and sometimes people who are just coming over without knowing what it is will assume that it is the real deal. It comes across as quite authentic, which is exactly what you want. The heat that it can provide is also quite nice, so it can really warm up those cold winter nights where you really want to have a fire.

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The best electric fireplace options are going to be somewhat costly. The more realistic the electric fireplace is, the more expensive it is likely to be. Many people are able to purchase electric fireplaces for low prices but these models may not be able to replicate a real fire quite so convincingly. You will want to do a little research to see how impressive the specific electric fireplace that you are looking at is before going through with a purchase.


An electric fireplace can really do a good job of giving you the feeling of having a fire. It is really just a fancy electric heater but it is designed to do a good job of emulating a real fireplace. Some of the models will look like traditional fireplaces, and others will look sort of like wood-burning stoves. Whatever your decision winds up being, you will be able to find an electric fireplace that will suit your needs perfectly. These models are very safe so long as you use them properly, too.


Even the most impressive electric fireplaces will not be capable of completely replicating the feeling of a real fireplace. Some people who have grown up with fireplaces will simply not find them to be suitable replacements. They can definitely be a lot of fun and will provide people with the general vibe of having a fire. You just need to approach things with the proper expectations and have to try to be open-minded about it.

2. Fake Fire Logs

Artificial fireplace with fake fire logs

There are also fake fire logs on the market that you can decide to make use of. Some of these are like the electric fireplaces mentioned above. They have the capability of doubling as electric heaters and can serve to keep you warm on a cold night. There are also fake fire logs that have no heating functionality whatsoever. You will be able to use these types of logs to provide your home with the look of having a fire, but you won’t be able to feel the warmth.

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Options like this are usually purchased by people who mostly care about the aesthetics of having a fireplace. People who really want to use the fireplaces to keep warm will either have a real fireplace or will turn to the electric fireplace options that are on the market. Depending on which camp you fall into, this option will either seem like a great idea or will come across as undesirable. If you take a look at some of the more impressive fake fire logs on the market, you’ll likely be impressed with how realistic they can look, no matter what your initial feelings are.

The fake fire logs being shown here are made out of metal and are quite impressive overall. You will be able to heat yourself up with these logs, so they are more similar to an electric fireplace. This option is fairly pricey, though, and you will want to be sure that you want to make the investment before purchasing this product. The look of the fire is very nice and it will definitely evoke memories of real fires that you may have experienced in the past.


This set of fake fire logs can be placed inside of a real fireplace, and it will look very legitimate. You will be able to stay warm on a cold winter night while enjoying something that feels very much like a real fire. The look of the flames and the way the logs glow is very consistent with how a real fire looks. This helps to sell the experience, and many people have chosen to use these instead of having real fires due to the convenience of it all.

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The cost of a really good set of fake fire logs is going to be quite high. Many people will simply not be willing to pay the money that it costs to buy a convincing set of fake fire logs. If you are on the fence about whether this product is going to be for you, then you may want to look into it further before moving forward. There are more inexpensive options out there, but they will not be as realistic.

3. LED Fireplace

LED fireplace

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People have actually started making use of LED fireplaces to help provide a nice and cozy backdrop for the winter. The most impressive LED fireplace options allow users to experience great heat while looking at the flames. It feels like you are having a traditional fire but allows you to avoid all of the inconveniences that having a real fire brings about. This method for having a fireplace alternative in your home is going to work great if you are willing to make the investment.

The best LED fireplaces are also electric heaters. The cost of these units can actually be somewhat high when you want one that looks really nice. If you are going to be using this fireplace regularly, then it may wind up being worth every penny. Depending on your personal budget and your expectations, you may wind up being thrilled with the LED fireplace options that are on the market.

Most of the LED fireplaces that are available to purchase will come with convenient remote controls, too. This allows you to modify the heat and even change the look of the flames, in many cases. The unit being shown here is very convenient due to being capable of providing heat while also being used as just a visual aid. When you want the look of the fire but don’t require the heat, you’ll be able to simply enjoy gazing at the fire as a backdrop to your evening.

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This LED fireplace can be plugged into a standard electrical outlet, too. Many people decide to place these in the center of their living rooms in order to properly replicate that real fireplace feeling. This is a fairly energy-efficient unit and will not take up too much power at all when you are merely admiring the visuals of the flames without the heat. If you want to have ultra-realistic flames to enjoy during the winter months, then this option is very easy to recommend.


The flames of this LED fireplace are very realistic. This helps to create the proper vibe that you need when you’re trying to feel like you’re having a real fire. The heat that this unit can put out is quite impressive, too, so it is a viable option for helping you to stay warm and cozy. Using this unit without the heat will allow you to simply enjoy the look of the flames, so it is quite flexible.


The cost of this unit is going to turn some people off. Many people won’t want to pay the somewhat high price tag that is attached to this LED fireplace. If you want to have a good heater that looks really nice, then this will work out great. It just comes down to whether you are prepared to pay the price.

4. Decorative Fireplace Mantel

Elegant living room with decorative fireplace mantel.

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You can also choose to buy a decorative fireplace mantel. This option is really pretty much a high-end version of the electric fireplaces mentioned above. This is an option that appeals to people who want to have a very nice fireplace without having real fires. If your home does not have even a non-functioning fireplace, then you can buy one of these and place it where a fireplace would normally go.

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You can use this decorative fireplace mantel for several purposes. It will look great in your living room and you can place decorations and other things around the fireplace to add charm to your home. This will also work as a fully-functional electric fireplace to provide you with heat. If you want an option that will make it appear as if you have a real ornate fireplace, then this is what you should go with.


This is a beautiful decorative electric fireplace. It works very nicely and has a very sophisticated design. If you have been desiring a piece for your home that will add to the overall aesthetic appeal of the property, then this is it. You’ll have a gorgeous mantel to use and will be able to decorate it in various ways to suit your personal tastes.


This is a very expensive option that will come across as opulent to many people. Those who have the money will be able to replicate the look of a fireplace perfectly with this option. It is too costly for most average people to consider, though.

5. Pellet-Burning Appliances

Pellet Stove

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Burning wood pellets is an eco-friendly alternative to traditional fireplaces. Wood pellets are made from sawdust and other lumber byproducts.


Pellet logs are sustainable and burn very efficiently and almost completely.


You need a pellet stove to burn pellet logs.

6. Catalytic wood stoves and advanced combustion wood stoves

Catalytic combustor

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Catalytic wood stoves contain a smoky exhaust that passes through a coated ceramic honeycomb that serves as the catalyst for smoke gases and particles to ignite and burn.

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They produce more heat with lesser fuel and clean their own exhaust.


They only burn natural wood, degrade over time and have to be replaced periodically.

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