WHICH FIREPLACE SCREEN IS BEST?
There’s something incredibly comforting about a roaring fire, but with all the safety risks, maintaining a fireplace is often a tough job. A burning fire is known to crackle and pop, which can not only cause the logs to shift but also throw small pieces of flaming wood into the room and create a fire hazard.
If you have a fireplace screen in front of your fireplace, you never have to worry about a log rolling free or shards of burning wood flying into the room. Best of all, the right screen adds a lovely decorative element to the space.
Our buying guide has plenty of tips to help you find the right fireplace screen for your home. We’ve included some specific product recommendations at the end, such as our top pick from Amagabeli, which is made of heavy-duty wrought iron and features hinged doors to allow for easy access to the fire.
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU BUY FIREPLACE SCREENS
Decorative vs. functional
There are two main types of fireplace screens: decorative and functional. Decorative fireplace screens are meant to add a style element to your fireplace when it’s not in use. These screens aren’t meant to be protective, so they shouldn’t be used when a fire is burning.
Functional fireplace screens are designed to keep sparks and burning embers contained in the fireplace and stop kids and pets from coming into contact with the fire. They may have decorative elements as well.
A fireplace screen must be the right size to effectively contain sparks and embers. To determine the right size, measure your fireplace opening to get the dimensions.
If you have a rectangular fireplace opening, measure both the top and bottom width and add 2 inches to the longest measurement for the minimum screen width. Also measure each side of the opening and add an inch to the longest measurement for the minimum screen height.
For an arched fireplace opening, follow the same procedure as you would for a rectangular fireplace and measure from the fireplace floor to the top of the arch to determine the right height for the screen.
Fireplace screens are available in several styles:
- Curtain screens hang in front of a fireplace opening like a curtain to keep sparks and embers contained.
- Single-panel screens provide full coverage and can fit flush with the fireplace opening for a clean, simple look.
- Bowed screens are similar to a single-panel option, but they curve outward. They aren’t compatible with an uneven hearth and often aren’t very stable.
- Folding screens are an extremely popular option. They fold in on themselves, making it easy to get at the fire when you need to tend to it. They’re also easier to store than other options.
- Doored screens feature a door you can open when it’s time to tend to the fire. They’re easier to use because you don’t have to move the entire screen when you need to access the fire.
- Spark guard screens sit at a small distance from the fireplace but are covered on the top and sides to contain sparks.
- Child guard screens work like a small fence around the fireplace to keep kids and pets from the fire. Some are freestanding, while others connect to the wall. These screens work especially well for gas fireplaces.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN QUALITY FIREPLACE SCREENS
All fireplace screens must be made of a fireproof material, which is why nearly all are metal. Wrought iron is the most common option, but you can find copper and brass models, too. Some screens are made of glass, which offers a striking look but can block heat from the fire.
To make it easier to move the screen from your fireplace, some models have handles. They allow you to easily lift the screen out of place to tend to the fire.
If you’re short on storage space, consider a fireplace place screen with hooks. You can hang fireplace tools like your poker and tongs from them.
HOW MUCH YOU CAN EXPECT TO SPEND ON FIREPLACE SCREENS
You can spend $40-$200 for a fireplace screen. Basic folding metal screens go for $40-$60, while more decorative bowed, single-panel, or folding screens can cost $60-$100. For high-end models with hooks and doors, you can pay between $100 and $200.
FIREPLACE SCREENS FAQ
Q. Does a fireplace screen get hot?
A. Ideally, a fireplace screen shouldn’t get hot because you have to move it out of the way to tend to the fire, but some metal screens can get hot enough to burn the skin if they’re placed too close to the fire. Always check to see if there’s any heat coming off the screen before you touch it.
Q. Do I need a fireplace screen if I have a gas fireplace?
A. While there isn’t any risk of burning embers or sparks flying into the room with a gas fireplace, you should still get a screen to keep kids and pets from getting too close.
WHAT ARE THE BEST FIREPLACE SCREENS TO BUY?
Top fireplace screen
Our take: A lovely fireplace screen with two hinged doors to make it easy to access the fire when necessary.
What we like: Made of durable wrought iron. Assembly only takes a few minutes. Stylish design works well with various décor types.
What we dislike: Some buyers received screens with improperly aligned doors.
Where to buy: Sold at Amazon
Top fireplace screen for the money
Our take: A generously sized screen that’s durable and won’t break the bank.
What we like: Features heavy-duty steel construction. Boasts a vintage faux iron look. Larger than many other screens on the market. An outstanding value for the price.
What we dislike: The hinges aren’t as sturdy as some buyers would like.
Where to buy: Sold at Amazon
Worth checking out
Our take: A simple but highly functional screen that works well for smaller fireplaces.
What we like: Made of steel mesh. Doesn’t require assembly. Offers an incredibly lightweight design despite its three panels. Folds flat for easy storage.
What we dislike: Smaller than many other screens on the market.
Where to buy: Sold at Amazon
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Jennifer Blair writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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