In this brief guide we review a selection of five inset electric fires that we feel highlight the best the fire and fireplace industry currently has to offer in 2020. In no particular order:
(Evonic Kepler 22 shown with Nickel frame)
The Kepler 22 uses Evonic’s Evoflame technology. Although the flame effect is older than Evonic’s UltraHD it makes a very good job of replicating a real flame. It does this by use of LED strip lighting and a rotisserie.
Video of flame effect (Note the fire in the video is the Evonic e1000 which uses the same Evoflame effect):
The fuel is made up of driftwood style ceramic logs and a hot ash effect bed.
The fire isn’t overly customisable. The fuel bed is limited to logs. However there are a choice of 4 frame colours: Chrome, Black and Brass, Nickel.
The fire has 3 buttons at the right hand side of the fire. These control the on/off of the flame effect as well as the 0.75kW and 1.5kW settings of the fan heater. The fire can also be controlled via an optional standard remote upgrade or via the free smartphone app.
As the new boy in Dimplex’s Opti-myst range, the Crestmore offers various new features that are bound to attract attention. Read on to find out more.
The Crestmore uses Dimplex’s popular Opti-myst flame effect. This flame effect is produced from water vapour. The combination of flame coloured lighting and the vapour produces a very realistic flame effect. Unlike other electric fires, this effect is three dimensional. To learn more about Opti-myst you can watch the video below or check out our best flame effect guide for more in depth information.
The fuel bed is a very nice looking moulded coal set. This is different to the coal set displayed with older Opti-myst models such as the Danville and Sacramento (reviewed below). It is lighter and made of thinner material. This means that the light coming from the LEDs beneath transmits through the coals and gives them a warm orange/red glow, it’s a nifty effect. The other noteworthy point to mention about the Dimplex Crestmore is the previously mentioned LEDs. These have replaced the non LED bulbs found in older Opti-myst models such as the Sacramento and Danville. It’s a great plus as it should mean that you have no bulbs to replace over the lifetime of the product.
The Crestmore is only available in brass. However the Penngrove is the exact same model but it Chrome. So if you prefer chrome then ask about the Penngrove at your local retailer. Both models come with a black canopy which houses the 2kW heater.
The Crestmore comes with an electronic display with touch sensitive controls. These are found just above the canopy on the black strip before the metal frame. These control the 1kW and 2kW heat settings including a thermostat. There are also controls for manipulating the intensity of the smoke/vapour. The Crestmore also comes with a remote control as standard.
Overall: 465mm wide x 615mm high x 196mm deep
Inset sizes: 357mm wide x 543mm high x 77mm deep
The Evonic Phantom makes use of Evoflame (see video above for flame effect) to produce a modern flame effect that is hard to rival at this price point. The addition of LED lighting instead of more traditional forms means there’s no bulbs to change.
The fuel bed comes with various options for you to choose from. Select from driftwood ceramic logs, coals, pebbles or pebbles and logs.
The Phantom frame is a modern one piece frame that is available in 3 colours: Satin chrome, satin brass and satin black.
Each of the three coloured frames comes with a correspondingly coloured canopy which houses the fan heater and controls. The fan heater has a standard two kilowatt capacity and is controlled by the 1kW and 2kW switches on the underside of the canopy. Beside these switches, there is a switch for controlling the on/off function of the flame effect.
The fire can be also be controlled by the easy to use free smart phone app or by the optional extra remote control.
Two year guarantee is one less than Dimplex’s.
Overall: 506mm wide x 602mm high x 105mm deep
Inset size: 382mm wide x 550mm high x 75mm deep
The Dimplex Adagio has been a fan favourite of the independent retailer for some time. Although older than the rest of the fires on this list, the solid build quality of the Adagio means it can still hold its own against newer rivals.
The Adagio uses Dimplex’s long standing Optiflame technology. Optiflame has been on the market for many years and has arguably been superseded by other flame effects. However, some people still prefer it over newer models. The flame effect is created by using fan blown ribbons and LED bulbs. The older versions of this fire, needed new bulbs quite regularly, whereas with the addition of LED bulbs we don’t expect many customers to need to replace their bulbs of the lifespan of their fire.
The Dimplex Adagio comes with either coals or pebbles. Conveniently these both come in the box as standard, meaning if you get bored of one you can always change it to the other without going to any additional expense. However, there is no option for logs with this fire. If you really love the idea of the Adagio with logs you could always invest in a set of ceramic logs from a DIY store or via the internet.
The Adagio is made from a one piece cast metal. This gives the Adagio a very solid, heavy feel to it, which other electric fires often do not have. It is available in Black Nickel (as shown), chrome or brass. Conveniently it also comes with a spacer in the box. A spacer is an additional frame that wraps round the back of the fire so you can install the fire against a flat wall.
The fire is controlled via the three switches on the underside of the canopy. These control the on/off of the flame effect as well the 1kW and 2kW heating functionality.
Overall size: 516mm wide x 635mm high x 185mm deep
Inset size: 390mm wide x 555m high x 55mm deep
The Dimplex Sacramento is a modern inset fire that uses superior quality materials in its design as well as having one of the most mesmerising flame effects in the industry.
The Dimplex Sacramento uses Dimplex’s Opti-myst flame effect. The Optimyst flame effect has been one of most innovative products to hit the fire and fireplace industry in many years. It is unique in using water to produce the flame effect. It uses a small transducer to vibrate the water rapidly using an ultrasonic technique, this pulls vapour out of the water and produces the effect. You can learn more about Opti-myst in our best flame effect guide or by watching the below video.
Unlike most of the other electric fires in this list, the Sacramento uses a one piece moulded fuel bed. This is handy as the Optimyst water tank is underneath the fuel bed and requires filling every 10-12 hours. Typically this means refilling the tank every 3 days based on average usage (3-4 hours a night). This could get tiresome if you had to take out individual logs, coals or pebbles. Thankfully, Dimplex have thought of this and have produced a one piece coal set as well as the option for a one piece log set. Unfortunately if you prefer white stones or pebbles then you’ll need to look elsewhere.
In terms of frame and fret options the Dimplex Sacramento only comes the way you see it. If you wish to choose a different frame or fret then you’ll need to choose a different model. For example if you wanted a more traditional fret then have a look at the Danville. The Danville is available in chrome, brass and black.
All Dimplex Optimyst electric fires come with manual controls for controlling the flame effect and heating. As standard they are also sold with remote controls that control the same functionality.
Overall size: 520mm wide x 620mm high x 220mm deep
Inset size: 397mm wide x 536mm high x 65mm deep