In this article, you’ll find the top 9 wood burning fireplace inserts based on ratings from multiple different websites. All of the inserts are fantastic so instead of ranking them, I’ve organized them by their most prominent feature so you can see what the highlights of each model are.
Traditional Fireplace Design
An insert improves the safety and efficiency of your masonry fireplace, but it doesn’t have to take away from the traditional fireplace aesthetic. The Biltmore by majestic is a large, open fireplace insert in three sizes. The largest of these sizes is the largest fireplace insert on the market: 70 square feet. You can choose from two different glass doors or a screen and either traditional or herringbone brick interior. This model also supports a gas line to start your fire.
Majestic Biltmore Radiant Wood Burning Fireplace - 36 Inch
Powder coat finish
Dual gas knockouts
If your primary interest is in heating your home, then you’ll want to invest in an Osburn Matrix 2700. This insert can produce up to 80,000 BTUs per hour, which is far more than other inserts on the market. It can heat up to 2200 square feet. With Osburn’s elegant black design, your new fireplace will be the focal point of your wood-warmed home.
Osburn Matrix 2700
Size: 33 Inches
Product Dimensions: 33" W x 24 3/4" H x 24 7/8" D
EPA 2020 Approved
Made of cast iron and ceramic glass
Not only does the Matrix 2700 produce significantly more heat than most other inserts, it produces fewer emissions than most other inserts. The average emissions from wood inserts is 2 grams per hour, but the Matrix 2700 produces only 1.14 grams per hour.
Double Sided Design
Not all inserts have to be inserted into a pre existing masonry fireplace. Some are designed to be inserted into a wall, and Majestic’s Designer Series See Through is one of these models. This can be inserted in a wall between two rooms and enjoyed from both spaces. It has optional glass doors and will use a direct venting system, not a chimney.
Majestic Designer Series See-Thru Radiant Wood Burning Fireplace - 42 Inch
Most wood burning inserts are valued for their traditional appearance, smells, and sounds or for their ability to warm a home. Very few have a modern design. However, the Superior WRT4820 stands out as one of the most modern inserts on the market. It comes with an airwash system to keep the glass clean as well as the ability to heat up to 1500 square feet.
Superior WRT4820 EPA Certified Wood Burning Fireplace
Size: 36 Inch
Color: Stainless Steel
Product Dimensions: 38" W x 47 1/8" H x 23 1/2" D
175 CFM blower
For a lot of us, price is going to be the biggest deciding factor. A good insert will be the focal point of your home for years and years, providing warmth and beauty, so don’t buy the first $200 insert you find online. You will want to invest in a reputable company, but don’t worry. You can still do that and not break the bank. Here are two of the cheapest wood-burning fireplace inserts. One is a stove design and the other is more traditional open design.
Cheapest Stove Design
Drolet sells one fireplace insert, a simple stove design, in three different sizes. It produces 60,000 BTUs per hour in addition to a 4.3 grams per hour emissions rate, which is rather high. The price for this model includes a chimney liner and cap, as well as the adapter pieces you’ll need to connect the insert to the liner.
Drolet Escape 1400-I Wood Burning Fireplace Insert Trio - DB03122K
Cheapest Traditional Design
The Royalton by Majestic has either black or stainless steel bi-fold doors or a screen and a large open viewing area. It comes in two sizes. This model also comes with the option to connect a gas line to start your wood burning fire easier.
Majestic Royalton Radiant Wood Burning Fireplace - 36 Inch
Buying from suppliers like these means no sacrifice in quality or customer service!
Fireplace inserts have a limited burn time. After this time is up, the fire must be put out and the fireplace allowed to cool down. While most inserts can burn for only 8 hours or less, Majestic’s WarmMagic II can burn for 10 hours straight.
Majestic WarmMagic II Wood Burning Fireplace
Wood Stove Design
Lots of fireplace inserts look like wood stoves, but different brands have very different aesthetics. Napoleon and Osburn both specialize in the stove design.
From Napoleon, the EPI3C insert is one of their most popular . It heats up to 1500 square feet and has a black surround.
Napoleon EPI3C - Wood Burning Contempory Black Front Fireplace Insert
Contempory styled flush front with a cast iron surround.
Metallic black finish with a 300 sq. inch viewing area.
Full refractory lined firebox.
Safety door switch.
Airwash system that helps keep the viewing glass clean
Compare this to Osburn’s Matrix to see a totally different design. It can heat up to 2100 square feet and has emissions of only 1.54. However, its efficiency is only 71.5%.
Osburn Matrix Wood Burning Insert
When buying such an impactful (and expensive) item, make sure to take your time. Consider what is most important to you about your insert and go from there. Is burn time essential? Or are you searching for the lowest emissions rate? You will probably have to make a few sacrifices, but remember not to sacrifice the reputation and quality of the brand you purchase from!