When you own a fireplace, there are a handful of must-have accessories every homeowner should own. Most consumers think of things like a shovel for ashes or a poker for logs but tend to overlook a fireplace screen. You may think of these accessories as ornamental instead of functional, but the best fireplace screens can save you many headaches while adding some extra ambiance to a room.
- The Best Screens for your Fireplace
- How to Find the Best Fireplace Screen
- Do I need a Fireplace Screen?
- Fireplace Screen Styles
- What to look for from a Fireplace Screen
- Fireplace Screen Styles and Finishes
- Fireplace screen Sizing Guide
- Final Thoughts
Chloe Lighting CH1F912BV44-GFS
- Style: Victorian
- Panels: 3
- Doors: No
- Size: 44”W x 28.5”H
- Weight: 18.6 lbs.
Minuteman International SS-36Z
- Style: Roman
- Panels: 1
- Doors: No
- Size: 39”W x 29”H
- Weight: 24 lbs.
Plow & Hearth
- Style: Modern
- Panels: 1
- Doors: Yes
- Size: 38”W x 31”H
- Weight: 25.2 lbs.
Panacea Products 15951
- Style: Traditional
- Panels: 3
- Doors: No
- Size: 47.9”W x 29”H
- Weight: Unknown
- Style: Modern
- Panels: 1
- Doors: No
- Size: 39”W x 31”H
- Weight: 21 lbs.
The Best Screens for your Fireplace
For our team of experts, choosing the best fireplace screen was difficult, although not for lack of options. There are dozens of companies that specialize in these essential accessories, but everyone has a different sense of style. With that in mind, we cast a wide net and chose five models that will suit almost any décor.
#1 Pilgrim Home and Hearth Sinclair Fireplace Screen
The Best Single Panel Fireplace Screen
If you need a decorative log holder for firewood, toolset, or screen, Pilgrim Home and Hearth are among the best brands in the business. While they have a number of fireplace screens worthy of making our list, we chose the single panel Sinclair.
The Sinclair is a fireplace screen that’s built to last a lifetime – literally. It’s backed by a lifetime guarantee from the company and well-built but still lightweight at 21 pounds. Despite that, it’s not likely to topple over as homeowners found it stable thanks to the base of this fireplace screen and its wide feet.
At 39” wide and 31” tall, this screen is suitable for a variety of fireplaces. It has a clean, modern design that will go with any décor from retro to contemporary. The only downside is the same one found on all fireplaces screens of this nature with no doors. You’ll need to move the panel to stoke and tend to your fire as needed.
With some fireplace screens, you’ll need to pay a premium because of the branding, and Pilgrim’s screens are often priced higher than their competitors. They are well worth it when you consider the build quality and lifetime guarantee that comes with their screens. We chose the Natural Iron version of the Sinclair, but it’s available in Burnished Brass or Polished Nickel as well.
#2 Minuteman International Roman Fireplace Screen
The Best Curved Fireplace Screen
Minuteman International is a brand that may not be familiar to consumers outside of the fireplace world, but they have an excellent lineup of grates and screens for residential use. That includes the SS-36Z, a tall fireplace screen with a gentle curve.
The highlight of this fireplace screen comes from the design. This single-panel screen is curved with a radius that’s 9.5” deep, and it’s functional, not just for looks. It’s a self-supporting fireplace screen as the curve keeps it upright while providing ample space between the front of the screen and the fire in your hearth.
As for the style, the company went with a Roman-inspired design with a wrought iron windowpane frame. A fine rolled mesh covers the entire bottom portion of the screen to catch embers and ash, but there are gaps in the top of the screen, as shown. The Minuteman International SS-36Z weighs 24 pounds and is 29” tall and 39” wide.
Curved screens may not be as popular as multi-panel fireplace screens, but they provide a unique look compared to flat panel systems or screens with double doors. You’ll want to make sure you have enough room for this one, given the curve. You will also want to give it a good look over out of the box due to some complaints regarding quality controls.
#3 Plow & Hearth Freestanding Decorative Fireplace Screen
The Best Flush Fit Fireplace Screen
Plow & Hearth has filled millions of outdoor space with their products over the years, and they have one of the wider selections of fireplace screens and well. One of our favorites from the company is this flush fit screen, which features double doors and glass inserts.
This is a single panel fireplace screen that's engineered for stability and sits flush against your fireplace. A set of hinged fireplace screen doors allows you to tend the fire as needed and are held shut by magnets. Embers won't be a problem thanks to the mesh guard, which covers those doors and other parts of the frame.
While this screen's overall design is basic, three tempered glass panels add a touch of class. The same can be said for the scrolled feet, which look good and help keep the screen stable. The frame is made from steel tubing, which keeps the screen lightweight and is coated with a matte black finish.
This fireplace screen has a sturdy design that will hold up well, but the glass accent pieces add a nice touch to what would have otherwise been a fairly drab screen. It’s not as solid as other models on our list due to the tubular steel frame, although the legs help it remain stable. This screen is available in two sizes, with this model measuring 38”W x 31”H and a larger variant at 44”W x 33”H.
#4 Panacea Products Fireplace Screen 15951
The Best Budget Fireplace Screen
One of the nice things about fireplace screens is that you can find dozens of cheap but sturdy screens alongside high-end models. That’s the case with the Panacea Products 15951, which proves you don’t need to spend a fortune to keep as and embers in their place.
Panacea designed this fireplace screen with simplicity in mind. There are three panels, each with a crossbar at the bottom and a set of sturdy hinges. Those hinges allow you to fold this fireplace screen up to a compact 29”H x 24”W when not in use. We were unable to find a weight for this particular model, but it’s not very heavy with a tubular frame.
This three-panel system is covered with mesh from top to bottom. Embers won’t be a concern, although the bars at the bottom don’t provide a great deal of stability. The center panel on this fireplace screen measures 29.25” tall, and the side panels are a few inches shorter at 27.3”. The width of this screen is 47.5” with all three panels lying flat.
While far from the fanciest fireplace screen on our list, the Panacea 15951 is ideal for homeowners looking for a budget-friendly screen with ember mesh. If you have children or pets, you will want to opt for a heavier model; however, due to the weight and design of this fireplace screen.
#5 CHLOE Lighting Victorian Style Fireplace Screen
The Best Stained Glass Fireplace Screen
Decorative fireplace screens come in all shapes and sizes, from ornate metal panels with a modern design to colorful screens with a bit more flair. The CH1F912BV44-GFS from CHLOE Lighting is a fireplace screen that will definitely grab your attention as it’s made almost entirely from glass.
This 3-panel fireplace screen is in the classic Victorian style and is comprised of Tiffany glass. While it’s delicate compared to other choices on our list, it will be the centerpiece of the room while you’re fireplace is lit. It’s also relatively light for its size at 18.6 pounds, although you will want to handle this beautiful screen with care.
CHLOE designed this screen with 423 pieces of cut glass and over 70 glass beads. It’s certainly ornate and handcrafted with a textured black finish around each of the panels. The center panel and side panels are all 28.5” high, but the middle panel is 22” wide while the side panels are narrower. Lying flat, this fireplace screen is 44” wide from end to end.
The style of this screen won’t be for everyone, but these stained glass fireplace screens are well-built and come in a variety of styles aside from the CH1F912BV44-GFS. We feel like this Victorian-style fireplace screen provides a great value for the price. Just remember to keep the fragile nature of this screen in mind, along with the fact it will appear darker whenever the fireplace isn’t lit.
How to Find the Best Fireplace Screen
While you may think finding a solid fireplace screen is simple, there is a bit more to it than most consumers believe. If your measurements are off, you could find yourself coming up short where it counts.
Consumers purchase these screens for various reasons as well, from homeowners who want something sturdy and safe to folks who simply want to cover their fireplace with something colorful or ornate. Regardless of why you need a fireplace screen, our guide will help you find the right choice.
Do I need a Fireplace Screen?
Some homeowners reading our guide are already set on buying a screen for their fireplace. In other cases, folks may be on the fence on whether they actually need one or if they are worth the cost. Well, if you are wondering if you need a screen for a fireplace in your home, the answer is a resounding yes.
While a large fireplace screen can be pricey, the pros of owning one outweigh the cons. These screens can keep children and pets away from open flames and burning embers off your floors. Safety should be reason enough for most homeowners, but these screens can also serve a decorative purpose when your fireplace isn’t used during the warmer months.
If you own a wood-burning fireplace, owning a good screen is a essential. For gas-based and electric fireplaces, they only serve as decoration considering there are no burning embers or ashes to deal with. These types of heaters often have their own guards in place to keep pets at children at bay as well.
Fireplace Screen Styles
The first step to finding the best fireplace screen for your home is to think about if you want something decorative or functional. While all fire screens serve the same purpose and are built with safety in mind, some are designed more for their looks than to block embers.
Decorative Fireplace Screens
It’s not uncommon to find screens featuring floral patterns or abstract designs that quickly grab your attention when entering a room. While there are plenty of these functional screens, some are designed more for use during the off-season or as an ornamental way to block off and brighten up an unused fireplace.
If you need a screen that simply covers the hole in your wall, you can choose from thousands of options. Heat, ash, and embers won’t be a concern if your fireplace isn’t in use, so the only limiting factor is your budget. Homeowners that need a “functional” decorative fireplace screen have hundreds of options available as well, depending on their needs.
Single Panel Fireplace Screens
As the name implies, these fireplace screen consists of a single panel on a fixed frame. They are ideal when you don’t need a deep screen around the fireplace in your home, and while you’ll find a variety of decorative models, there aren’t nearly as many that feature a sturdy set double doors.
Sizing may be an issue with this style depending on the dimensions of your fireplace, and they can be heavy to move as most are made from heavy-duty iron or steel with an ember guard in place. Single panel screen can also be price at a premium compared to the other styles of the same size.
Multi-Panel Fireplace Screens
This will be the type of fireplace screen most homeowners are familiar with, and it’s the most popular style sold on the market today. A multi-panel screen can be functional and highly decorative. They also give you the ability to fold up the screen to a degree for storage and have a wide range of price points suitable for any budget.
The downside to this type of fireplace screen can be significant despite the benefits they bring to the table. Screens with hinges and moving parts have more chance to break or fail, and these screens fall over easier because of their folding design. That’s something to consider if you have children or pets in your home, although you can secure most of these screens into place.
Hanging Fireplace Screens
To say a hanging fireplace screen is an acquired taste would be an understatement. These screens hang from a fireplace like a metal set of drapes and can be pulled open or shut. This allows you to adjust or add to your fire as needed and keeps embers out of the room. Hanging screens are the affordable style, but not without their faults.
Unless the screen is sold as a kit, you will need additional accessories to properly install the screen. They can cost as much as the chain screen itself. Style is an obvious drawback unless you’re going for the medieval look, although there different finishes available that can add a touch of color to the room while keeping your family safe and warm.
Rumford Fireplace Screens
Whenever you see the term Rumford alongside a fireplace screen, it simply means the screen is built for large fireplaces. In some cases, they are double the size of your standard screen, which can make them very heavy and quite expensive as well.
There aren’t as many styles to choose from with a Rumford screen, as the selection isn’t nearly as vast as you’ll find from the other styles. While large and heavy, these screens typically have handles and are well worth a look when you need to safely cover a very tall or wide fireplace in your home.
What to look for from a Fireplace Screen
It doesn’t matter if you need to purchase a massive Rumford style screen or a small one-piece system; there are several factors you need to take into account once you settle on a style. That includes build quality, something that is difficult to discern when you are shopping online.
Build Quality – A fireplace screen will be largely made from metal, but it could be cast iron, tube steel, or solid steel. That makes a difference when it comes to pricing and also affects the weight and durability. Cast iron and solid steel are the most expensive, while tube frame screens are budget-friendly but not nearly as durable.
Handles – If you intend to purchase a large or solid fireplace screen, think about how often it needs to be moved and whether or not it will have doors. Handles will help you move the screen without putting stress on hinges or panels, and something you’ll be thankful for when you’re dealing with a 40-pound screen.
Attachment points – Fireplaces screens are put together in a variety of ways, so you can find bolt holes alongside pieces that are welded together. Pay close attention to attachment points on the fireplace screen if you want one that’s built to last, including the ember guards.
Fireplace Screen Doors – This is one of the most popular features found on fireplace screens, although not available with certain styles. Doors allow you to tend to the fire as needed without moving the screen, which is ideal for heavier models and ease of use.
The Base – This is an area that will vary depending on the style and design of the screen. That said, we’ve seen hundreds of complaints regarding busted or damaged panels when a fireplace screen tips over. Ensure the screen has a stable base and that your measurements allow enough room for it to sit comfortably on a stable surface.
Fireplace Screen Styles and Finishes
You can find fireplace screens in a variety of styles and sizes, so it’s not difficult to pick out something that will go with the décor in your home. Is your fireplace in a cabin or a home with a rustic look? If so, you may want to choose something made from wrought iron with a classic style. Alternatively, there are also hundreds of options for homes with a modern or contemporary design.
Every fireplace screen on our list is made from metal, but many also have glass panels or inserts. These can be a bit more costly but look better than a standard steel screen when not in use. Simply put, if you have a style or design in mind, you can find it but may have to pay a premium depending on the brand and what it’s made from.
It’s not uncommon for a manufacturer to offer a fireplace screen in several different finishes as well. From bronze, brass, chrome, and copper, there are plenty of colors to choose from. That includes consumers that prefer bone white to bronze or earthen tones like gray, brown, and charcoal.
Fireplace screen Sizing Guide
When you purchase a pair of jeans or shoes that are the wrong size, you can usually remedy the issue with a printed return label and a quick trip to the post office. With fireplace screens, things are not quite so simple as they can weigh more than 30 pounds and be quite large in some cases.
That means you need to make sure you buy the right size screen the first time around. Despite what some manufacturers may lead you to believe, there is no “standard” size for fireplace screens. Finding the right size is easy, however, as long as you have a tape measure on hand.
For square fireplaces, measure the inside height and width, but leave a few inches of overlap if you want a snug fit and total coverage. That’s only for single panel fireplace screens, however. There are a few rules you’ll want to remember if you’re fireplace has a different shape, or you plan to buy a multi-paneled screen.
Not all fireplaces have a perfectly square or rectangular design, which is where screens like the Rumford come into play. If you have a fireplace that arches up in the middle, you need to measure the center height along with the left and ride side from top to bottom.
It’s common to use an arched screen on square fireplaces. On the other hand, using a square screen that’s too small on an arched fireplace can allow embers and ash to get out. Arched fireplaces are usually large and can throw the eye off easily, so measure them carefully.
Multi-Panel Fireplace Screens
When looking at screens with multiple panels, it’s important not to be fooled by the given measurements. Unless otherwise noted, these screens are measured lying flat – not curved and sitting upright as they would be in your home.
That means you’re going to come up short if you just rely on stock measurements with this style of screen. To find the perfect size for a multi-panel fireplace screen, you should allow for between 10 to 12 inches extra inches of length and at least 3” of height.
You don’t need to spend a fortune to dress up the front of your fireplace, and there’s no downside to using one unless you like ash and embers on your floor. The options on our list represent just a small sample of what’s available as well. If you’re interested in replacing your old grate or need one for a new unit, check out our guide to the best fireplace grates.