7 BEST See Through Fireplaces: Gas, Electric, And Wood Burning Inserts

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What is a see-through fireplace?

It’s a fireplace that has two different sides that provide heat to two different areas of a room, two rooms at the same time, or to both the indoors and outdoors.

As the name suggests, you can see through the fireplace from one space or room to another. Pretty cool, huh?

Best Two-Sided Fireplace Reviews

Superior Ventless See Through Fireplace

  • A ventless gas (natural or propane) two sided fireplace
  • Comes in aged copper, silver, or black
  • Has a remote control and fire glass
View On AmazonView On Modern Blaze

Modern Flames Multi Sided Fireplace

  • A multisided electric see through fireplace
  • Only comes in black
  • Includes remote, fire logs, glass stones, and other decorations
View on AmazonView On Walmart

Empire Boulevard Two Sided Fireplace

  • Another ventless gas fireplace
  • Looks amazing in black
  • One of the more premium options
View On Modern BlazeView On Fire Pit Surplus

Touchstone 3 Sided Fireplace

  • A wall-hanging electric fireplace
  • View it from three sides (slightly)
  • 1500 or 750 watt modes
View On AmazonView On Home Depot

See Through Outdoor Fireplace

  • Some exception quality fireplaces - even art pieces
  • Wood burning and propane fireplaces
  • Some are even indoor/outdoor fireplaces
View On AmazonView On patioandpizza.com

Those are our top picks for best see through fireplaces. But have many more listed down below!

There are three different types of two-sided fireplaces:

  • Electric
  • Gas (natural gas or propane)
  • Wood burning

I really like electric ones because they are usually the most energy-efficient and you can use them year-round no matter your climate – and they take a lot less work.

Gas ones can provide heat during a power outage with fewer negatives than a wood fireplace. And ventless gas fireplaces can be very energy efficient since less heat escapes outside.

While they’re not as energy-efficient, wood fireplaces provide more intense heat that you can’t get from gas or electric fireplaces.

Yes, it might be a tough decision between these three types of two-sided fireplaces, but that’s why you’re going to want to read this guide.

Choosing just one two-sided fireplace was a hard choice.

In the end, I decided to go with a gas fireplace because I live in an area that sometimes has long power outages in ice storms and wanted to be sure I had a heat source no matter what.

If you don’t live in a place with power outage issues or prefer the ambiance of an electric or wood fireplace, you might make a different choice. That’s why I’ve listed my favorites.

1. Superior Ventless See-Through Gas Fireplace: Best Gas

two sided gas fireplace insert

Specifications:

  • Type: ventless gas (natural or propane)
  • Size: 55” wide x 17.5” deep x 29.75” high
  • Color: aged copper, aged silver, or black
  • Heat: up to 39,000 BTUs with natural gas and up to 37,000 BTUs with propane
  • Controls: remote control
  • Display: fire glass with three glass stone color choices
  • Flame: Yellow flames with six illumination settings

The gas fireplace I ultimately chose was a see-through ventless fireplace (also on Amazon here).

This two-sided gas fireplace insert stands out because it’s see-through from back to front with classic fire-colored flames.

This is the best gas see-through fireplace and best overall because it has a 99.9% heating efficiency. I also like that it has a battery backup ignition in case you have no power.

See it in action here: Superior DRL4543 Direct Vent See Through Linear Gas Fireplace.

Pros

  • Energy efficient
  • Battery backup to electronic ignition
  • Ventless
  • Classic look
  • See-through from front to back
  • Low cost

Cons

  • The flames may look blue natural gas

2. Modern Flames See Through Electric Fireplace Insert: Best Electric

2 sided fireplace insert

Technical Specifications:

  • Type: electric
  • Size: 56” wide x 24.9” high x 11.5” long (eight different customizable sizes available up to 96 wide”)
  • Color: black
  • Heat: 15,000-BTU and 10,000-BTU options
  • Controls: comes with a remote control and wireless tether controls (wall control available separately)
  • Display: comes with a driftwood log, clear stones, and black smoke crystals, with other decorative rocks and crystals available for further customization
  • Flame: uses Hybrid-FX flame technology with realistic random flame images
  • Colors: 12 flame and ember bed color options with independent flame and ember color control

Why does the Modern Flames fireplace stand out? This multi-sided fireplace does have a back, but you can configure it to look through the front and one or both short ends.

Even when log flames are off, the pulsating effect and downlighting provide ambiance.

What makes this fireplace one of the best electric see-through fireplaces? It is whisper-quiet.

There are three installation options: built-in, partially recessed, or mounted. It also has three installation configurations: single-sided, two-sided corner, three-sided.

See it in action here: Review of Modern Flames Landscape Pro Multi Electric Fireplace.

Pros:

  • Several flame and color choices
  • Able to change up Display choices
  • Remote control
  • Low cost

Cons:

  • Cannot see through the back
  • Low heat

3. Empire Boulevard See-Through Gas Fireplace Insert: Best Ventless

double sided fireplace insert

Specifications:

  • Type: Ventless gas
  • Size: 54.2” wide x 12.75” deep x 41.5” high
  • Color: black
  • Heat: 36,000 BTUs
  • Controls: multi-function thermostatic remote control
  • Display: Includes a choice of black porcelain liner, trims, and stones
  • Flame: fire-colored flame with six settings
  • Colors: optional multi-color LED lighting

The Empire Boulevard stands out because it has a protective mesh to prevent touching the hot glass. It’s also highly customizable at an extra cost.

It is the best ventless see-through fireplace because you can simply turn it on or off or use the SmartThermostat to keep your room at a predetermined temperature for consistent warmth.

See it in action here: Empire Boulevard Ventless See-Through Gas Fireplace.

Pros

  • Battery-backup pilot
  • Has a fine mesh barrier screen to prevent touching hot glass
  • Has a lot of extra options you can add on, including an indoor/outdoor kit

Cons

  • High cost
  • An optional LED lighting kit is available at extra cost for more ambiance
  • Not available for propane

4. Majestic Echelon II See-Through Direct Vent Fireplace: Premium

see through electric fireplace

Specifications:

  • Type: vented gas
  • Size: 47.5” wide x 12.5” high viewing area
  • Color: black, bronze, pewter, charcoal
  • Heat: up to 40,000 BTUs with natural gas or 34,000 BTUs with propane
  • Controls: remote control
  • Display: driftwood and clear glass with natural stone or glass as add-on options
  • Flame: realistic fire color

Some people feel more comfortable with a gas fireplace that vents to the outdoors, like this one.

Majestic’s Echelon II series stands out because of its contemporary look and realistic flames. The clear glass medium gives it a fire and ice look.

It’s the best premium see-through fireplace because the premium price also comes with premium 40,000 BTU heating, which can effectively heat a large space.

See it in action here: Majestic® Echelon II Series Gas Fireplace Video.

Pros

  • Up to 40,000 BTUs of heat output
  • Heats up to 1300 square feet
  • Realistic flame
  • Battery backup ignition

Cons

  • 62% efficiency
  • Requires external venting installation
  • High cost

5. Majestic Designer Wood Burner: Best Wood-Burning

see through ventless fireplace

Specifications:

  • Type: wood
  • Size: 47” wide x 24” deep by 58.9” high or 40” wide x 28” deep x 41.25” high
  • Color: black
  • Heat: 20,000 to 40,000 BTUs
  • Controls: none
  • Display: you provide the firewood
  • Flame: natural fire

The Majestic Designer fireplace stands out because it has a low cost for its features.

It includes a heavy-duty grate, access for lighting the logs, and a standard refractory-lined firebox.

It’s the best wood-burning fireplace because the glass viewing area gives you a wood-burning fireplace with no indoor smoke.

Pros

  • No smoke
  • Natural fire
  • Has extra door options

Cons

  • Requires a chimney
  • Cannot install as an indoor/outdoor fireplace

6. Majestic Fortress Indoor/Outdoor See-Through Fireplace: Best Fortress

see through gas fireplace insert

Specifications:

  • Type: indoor/outdoor vented gas
  • Size: 49.4” wide x 25.6” deep x 44.4” high
  • Color: stainless steel
  • Heat: 56,000 BTUs
  • Controls: touch-screen remote control
  • Display: ceramic logs and realistic embers
  • Flame: fire-colored

Why does this fireplace stand out?

It has accent lights, multiple interior brick options, and realistic-looking embers. Accent lights enhance the flames and illuminate the interior.

The Majestic Fortress is the best indoor/outdoor fortress fireplace because it includes rust-resistant 316 marine-grade stainless steel to withstand harsh weather conditions.

See it in action here: The Fortress See-Through Gas Fireplace by Majestic.

Pros

  • Realistic log fire and embers
  • Multiple interior brick options
  • Indoor/outdoor use
  • High heat

Cons

  • Most expensive fireplace on our list
  • Requires external venting installation

7. Empire Comfort Systems Outdoor See-Through Fireplace: Best Outdoor

outdoor electric see through fireplaces

Specifications:

  • Type: outdoor gas
  • Size: 51.7” wide x 24.3” inches high x 22.3” long
  • Color: stainless steel
  • Heat: 55,000 BTUs
  • Controls: concealed under a weather-proof, tilt-up cover
  • Display: Flames
  • Flame: Fire-colored

This see through gas fireplace stands out because it has seven colors of lights to illuminate crushed glass beneath high, medium, or low flames.

You can set the controls for one color or to cycle through them all.

The Empire Comfort Systems fireplace is the best fireplace for outdoors because, instead of depending on a remote control, controls are under a weather-proof cover.

The weatherproof deflector shield also protects flames from wind.

See it in action here: Carol Rose Outdoor Linear Gas Fireplace by Empire.

Pros

  • Multi-colored lights illuminate the glass and flames
  • Electronic ignition has a battery backup
  • Weather-deflector glass panels

Cons

  • Does not come with glass stones

See Through Fireplaces Pros And Cons

dual sided gas fireplace

The pros largely outweigh the cons with see-through fireplaces, but it’s all going to depend on your home’s space and style.

For some, they will be the best thing to achieve the look you want. For other homes, they just won’t work.

However, because of the great range of ‘see thru fireplaces,’ it’s likely there’s one out there for you somewhere!

See-Through Fireplace Pros

  • Design: Interesting design element
  • Statement: Statement furnishing that not everyone has
  • Centerpiece: Can become the centerpiece of the room
  • Warmth: Provides even and efficient distribution of warmth between two rooms or when radiating from the center of one room
  • Transition: Creates a seamless transition between rooms and can break up larger rooms
  • Views: Can allow you to see interesting viewpoints between them
  • Style and Size: Available in various styles and sizes to fit your design tastes
  • Locational Versatility: Can use them indoors, outdoors, or both indoors and outdoors at the same time
  • Safety: Can be safer than open fireplaces because of its glass enclosure

See-Through Fireplaces Cons

  • Needs Wall Supports: Floor-to-ceiling fireplaces need the correct wall supports to avoid collapse
  • Style: May need to browse a wide variety to fit your home style or redecorate around them
  • Privacy: Can remove privacy between two rooms
  • Expense: Are more expensive than traditional fireplaces

Most Reputable Two-Sided Fireplaces Brands

I’ve looked at lots of double-sided fireplaces, and some of the most reputable brands of two-sided fireplaces I’ve found are:

Buying A Fireplace For Heat Vs Aesthetic

see thru fireplace

Some people buy a see-through fireplace for heat, while others buy it for aesthetics.

There’s no reason you can’t use a two sided fireplace insert for both heat and aesthetics if you have reasonable expectations. Otherwise, it really depends on what you’re trying to achieve in your space.

For example, I’ve seen many great double and triple sided fireplaces in large entryways. These are really just there for looks and are not going to do much for heating. They are popular in the likes of grand homes in LA.

Zone Heating

You certainly shouldn’t expect a two-sided fireplace to heat your entire house or be your only source of heat. However, fireplaces are great for zone heating.

Zone heating allows you to heat just the room that you’re using, which can save on energy bills.

When I close the doors of all the other rooms, I have no problem warming up the living area that contains my Superior Ventless see-through fireplace.

Installing a double sided fireplace insert in the middle of a room will definitely give you more heat than a fireplace on one side of a room.

Choosing A Fireplace For Heat

If your climate requires you to look for a fireplace that will provide more heat, you should check the BTU rating. A fireplace with a higher BTU rating, like the Majestic Fortress fireplace, provides more heat.

Choosing A Fireplace For Aesthetics

If you want a fireplace for aesthetics, keep in mind that you can only use an electric one year-round. During every other day, your fireplace would just be a piece of useless furniture.

While you can operate a see through electric fireplace like the Modern Flames Landscape Pro without heat, gas and wood fireplaces will always generate heat when you use them.

If you live in a warmer climate, you may not get to use a gas or wood fireplace often if at all.

Summary of BTUs Meaning

BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, which is a measurement of thermal (heat) energy.

It takes one BTU of energy to heat a pound of water 1°F at sea level.

Thus, the higher the BTU rating a fireplace has, the better it can heat your space.

If you’re more familiar with kWs, see our BTU to kW converter.

Gas Vs Electric Vs Wood-Burning

see through wood burning fireplace

When I decided which see-through fireplace to buy, I made a checklist of features and rated how important each one was to me.

Is a gas, electric, or wood-burning see-through fireplace best?

Electric fireplaces have more pros, and wood fireplaces have more cons, while gas fireplaces are somewhere in the middle.

Gas

If heat is important to you, a gas fireplace can generate the most heat. It can also generate continuous heat, unlike wood fireplaces.

Gas is also usually a cheaper heating alternative than electricity. Ventless gas fireplaces like the Empire Boulevard are more energy-efficient than vented ones because they don’t lose any heat to the outdoors.

Keep in mind that the gas line installation process can be complicated and expensive, and you have things like pilot lights to deal with.

Gas fireplaces also require professional yearly maintenance, especially if they are your primary source of heat. Plus, you may need to replace ceramic logs in 3-5 years with heavy use.

Gas fireplace pros:

  • No smoke
  • No mess
  • Safe
  • Energy efficient
  • Thermostat
  • Useable during burn bans
  • Works during a power outage
  • Generate the most heat
  • Usually cheaper than electricity

Gas fireplace cons:

  • Fumes
  • High-maintenance:
  • Expensive installation
  • No pleasant smell
  • No Pleasant sounds
  • Not usable year-round
  • Requires a gas line connection

Electric

Electric fireplaces are the most energy-efficient option. Since electric fireplaces do not vent outdoors, all heat stays indoors.

Electric fireplaces give off no pollutants like gas and wood fireplaces do. Thus, they are safer.

Electric fireplaces do not require yearly maintenance like gas and wood fireplaces do.

You can also operate an electric fireplace year-round. It is possible to operate an electric fireplace without heat for the ambiance alone.

You could easily have one between your living room and an outdoor beach as easily as a snowy mountain patio.

The main downside to having an electric fireplace is that it will not work during a power outage.

Electric fireplace pros:

  • No fumes
  • No smoke
  • No mess
  • Doesn’t require yearly maintenance
  • The safest option
  • The most energy-efficient option
  • Thermostat
  • Inexpensive installation
  • The only fireplace that is usable year-round
  • Useable during burn bans

Electric fireplace cons:

  • No pleasant smell
  • No pleasant sounds
  • Doesn’t work during a power outage

Wood

If you love the smoky smell of burning wood and peaceful crackling sounds, you might feel a sense of letdown with other options.

Unfortunately, there are more negatives than positives related to wood fireplaces like the Majestic Designer.

They are messy, and when you want to use your wood fireplace, you will have to locate a place that sells firewood. Wood fireplaces also require yearly maintenance such as cleaning fire brick or dealing with fireplace smells.

While they are less energy-efficient, some newer wood fireplaces promise energy-efficiency ratings of 75% or more. Glass doors on two-sided fireplaces also help conserve energy.

Wood fireplace pros:

  • Pleasant smell
  • Pleasant sounds
  • Works during a power outage

Wood fireplace cons:

  • Fumes
  • Smoke
  • Mess
  • High-maintenance
  • Lower safety
  • Least energy efficient
  • No thermostat
  • Expensive installation
  • Not usable year-round
  • Not useable during burn bans
  • Can’t use without firewood

See Through Fire FAQs

dual sided gas fireplaces

If you still have a few questions about two-sided fireplaces, I have some answers.

Is a Double-Sided Fireplace More Expensive?

Double-sided fireplaces are more expensive than regular fireplaces.

However, if you have two rooms that share a wall, one double-sided fireplace is less expensive than buying and installing two fireplaces along with two flues and chimneys.

Are Double-Sided Fireplaces Efficient?

Some double-sided fireplaces are efficient at heating, while others are mainly decorative. It depends on the size of the space you need to heat and the type of fireplace you get.

The areas farthest away from a regular fireplace will probably be cooler. However, a two-sided fireplace in the middle of the room can radiate heat everywhere.

Double-sided fireplaces between two rooms save on the normal cost of heating two rooms.

Can You Have an Inside Outside Fireplace?

A two-sided indoor outdoor fireplace can add an exciting design element between indoor and outdoor living spaces. Also, consider these top outdoor fireplaces (not dual sided).

Are Double-Sided Fireplaces Good?

Double-sided fireplaces are more than just a nice design option for a room. They’re also a more energy-efficient way to heat two rooms or more uniformly heat a large room.

Are See-Through Fireplaces Difficult to Install?

You should hire a professional to install your see-through fireplace because they are complicated to install and require specific installation know-how and inspections.

What Types of Properties Best Suit See-Through Fireplaces?

The clean lines and modern styles of see-through fireplaces look best in modern homes.

However, adding bricks, stones, molding, or mantles that match your older home can help a modern fireplace look at home anywhere.

Properties with the following attributes are excellent candidates for a see-through fireplace:

  • Modern homes2-sided
  • Cabins, vacation homes, or regular homes with beautiful outdoor views
  • Top-floor studio apartments with an open living space
  • Businesses that want a focal statement piece for a large room, lobby, or other common space
  • Homes that use large windows, open views, and glass as design elements
  • Homes with a large, open living space
  • Homes that have outdoor entertainment spaces

Or even your choice of furniture can help your new fireplace find a place in your home. Just as you need to get the right pillows for a brown couch, you need to choose the right lounge suite to match your fire – especially if you’re paying top dollar for it.

Choosing A Dual Sided Fireplace

The Superior Ventless See-Through Linear Gas Fireplace is the best overall see through fireplace because gas fireplaces have many advantages over electric and wood.

The ventless option makes installation cheaper, and its 99.9% heating efficiency makes an already inexpensive heating option even more cost-efficient.

It also has a classic look that will keep it from eventually becoming dated.

There are lots of features to consider when deciding on a see-through fireplace. Hopefully, I’ve been able to address enough for you to make a better-educated buying choice.

Finally, if you’ve decided these options aren’t for you, check out these great corner electric fireplaces – they’re not as fun as a see-through model, but they’re a lot more affordable.

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