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Water Vapor or "Steam" Fireplace Buying Guide

Water Vapor or "Steam" Fireplace Buying Guide

Looking for a fireplace that doesn't need a chimney or a vent? The Water Vapor Fireplace is the newest type of ventless fireplace that has everybody talking.

Read on to learn why water vapor fireplaces are so popular and how to pick a good one from all the choices available on the market today.

What is a Water Vapor Fireplace?

Water Vapor Fireplace is a ventless fireplace with 3-dimensional, realistic flames that you can touch without burning your hand. The flame illusion is created with the help of fine water mist and LED lights that reflect off of it. 

5 Fun Facts About Water Vapor Fireplaces

Water Vapor Fireplace is one of the best alternatives to traditional wood or gas fireplaces for several reasons:

  1. They have the most realistic flame imitation out of all other alternative fireplace types.
  2. They don't produce any harmful emissions, keeping your air clean.
  3. The "flame" is cool to the touch making it very safe for kids, pets, and for installation in crowded, commercial spaces.
  4. Water Vapor Fireplaces have a huge number of installation options because they don't need venting or clearances, and the 3D flame can be open on all sides.
  5. They also don't cost much to operate. They run on tap water and the LED lights consume very little electricity.

There are many other benefits of water vapor fireplaces like their low energy consumption and environment-friendliness but the bottom line is: water vapor fireplaces feature a dazzling, realistic flame that rivals gas, with the safety and simplicity of electric.

How Does a Water Vapor Fireplace Work?

Flame imitation is so realistic, you’ll be surprised to learn you can actually touch this “fire".

The newest technology manages to create an extremely realistic flame look without a real fire. Water vapor fireplaces run on water and electricity. It uses tap water to emit fine mist into the air. LED lights get reflected by the mist creating a realistic 3-dimensional illusion of flame and smoke.

All you need to do is plug them into a standard household outlet (or hardwire), add water (or connect to a water line) to the tank and enjoy!

Kids playing with Water Vapor Fireplace Flames

In photo: Dimplex Opti-Myst Water Vapor Fireplace Cassette with Logs

Do Water Vapor Fireplaces Give Off Heat?

Most water vapor fireplaces do not come with a built-in heater.

If you are looking to get the clean emission-free flame with the benefit of warmth, Modern Blaze offers water vapor fireplaces that comes with a heater, like the popular Dimplex Opti-myst Pro 1000 Firebox.

The stunning appearance and practical design of the Opti-myst® Pro is the perfect fit for custom applications in residential and commercial projects.

Enjoy the ambiance, warmth, and the crackling sound of fire without the worry that children, pets, or your "spirited" friends run into it.

However, all other water vapor fireplaces don't come with a heater. But they can be purchased separately and added to Dimplex Opti-Myst Pro Cassettes, Opti-Myst Pro 500 and Opti-Myst Pro 1000.  

In photo: Dimplex Opti-myst Pro 1000 40-Inch Water Vapor Fireplace Cassette

Water Vapor Cassettes For Custom Fireplaces

If you are looking to create a unique custom fireplace with a safe-to-touch fire that is open on as many sides as you wish, water vapor cassettes are the perfect solution. These cassettes have limitless installation options from 2-sided to 360-degrees.

Cassettes come in sizes of 20", 40" and 60" long with the flame from edge to edge and can be connected in a series of cassettes for dramatic linear installations impossible to achieve with gas fireplaces. 

Our customers' favorite water vapor cassettes: 
Dimplex Opti-myst® Pro 1000 - 40" Water Vapor Fireplace Cassette (CDFI1000-Pro) and Dimplex Opti-myst® 500 - 20" Water Vapor Fireplace Cassette (CDFI500-PRO)

Dimplex Opti-myst® Pro 1000 - 40" Water Vapor Fireplace Cassette
In photo: Dimplex Opti-myst® Pro 1000 - 40" Water Vapor Fireplace Cassette (CDFI1000-Pro)

How to Choose The Best Water Vapor Fireplace?

We have already selected the best ones featured on our website, you can see them all here: Water Vapor Fireplaces

Some of them do stand out, however:

Dimplex Opti-Myst - the original water vapor fireplace, installed in many residencies, hotels, and restaurants around the world, loved by customers. This is the fireplace featured on an episode of Bar Rescue TV Show.

The Opti-Myst cassettes are flexible: add a heater, connect to a water line or plug them in instead of hardwiring - all with the help of added accessories. And you can add glowing log sets to add even more realism (highly recommended!).

Do Water Vapor Fireplaces Look Real?

Wondering if these mist fireplaces look like real fires? We get this question a lot. If you want to see one in person you might be lucky to find it installed in a hotel or a restaurant near you. We are collecting a list of showrooms in the US, email us at to see if there is one near you.

We have also collected a series of videos generously submitted by our customers or manufacturers of water vapor fireplaces themselves. You can watch them all here.

Videos of Water Vapor Fireplaces:

How to Install a Water Vapor Fireplace

Installing a water vapor fireplace is a straightforward process that can dramatically enhance the ambiance of any room. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to install one:

1. Choose the Right Location

Space Requirements: Ensure the area is large enough to accommodate the fireplace and that it complements the room's layout.

Proximity to Electricity: Most water vapor fireplaces need to be hardwired in or plugged in as they run on electricity. Choose a location where you can connect them to your power grid.

2. Prepare the Installation Site

Clear the Area: Remove any furniture, decorations, or other items from the installation area.

Surface Preparation: Make sure the surface where you will place or mount the fireplace is stable and level. 

3. Assembly and Setup

Unbox and Assemble: Follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully to assemble any parts that come separate from the main unit.

Water Connection: Fill the unit’s reservoir with clean water. Some models may connect directly to a water line, which can require additional plumbing work.

4. Electrical Setup

Check Specifications: Before plugging in the fireplace, ensure that your electrical system matches the fireplace's requirements (voltage, amperage). If your model requires hardwiring, you will need to hire a licensed electrician to do the installation.

Surge Protection: For plugin models, consider using a surge protector to safeguard the electronic components of the fireplace.

5. Installation

Freestanding Models: Place the unit in the desired location, ensuring it is stable.

Wall-Mounted/Recessed Models: Secure the fireplace to the wall using the mounting hardware provided. It might be necessary to have a helper or use professional installation services, especially for heavy or large units.

Insert Models: If it is an insert model for an existing fireplace, slide the unit into the existing space, making sure it fits snugly and securely.

6. Final Setup

Connect to Power: Plug the fireplace into the electrical outlet.

Test the Unit: Turn on the fireplace to check all functions, including the flame effect and any additional features like sound effects or color changes.

Adjust Settings: Customize the settings according to your preferences, such as flame speed, brightness, and if available, heat settings.

7. Enjoy Your Fireplace

Once everything is set up and functioning correctly, enjoy the cozy atmosphere and stunning visual effect of your new water vapor fireplace.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your water vapor fireplace is installed safely and efficiently, providing you with a beautiful and realistic flame effect that can be enjoyed year-round. If you’re unsure about any steps or require modifications to your home’s electrical or water systems, it’s advisable to consult with or hire a professional. 

For step-by step installation videos: check out our Dimplex Opti-Myst Water Vapor Fireplace Installation Guide

Water Vapor Fireplace Maintenance

Inspect Regularly: Make sure there are no leaks from the water tank and that all electrical components are functioning correctly.

Keep It Clean: Regularly clean the unit according to the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure optimal operation and longevity. 

Next Steps

If you want us to help you find the perfect fireplace to match your style and needs - give us a call or send us an email

Want to save on your fireplace purchase? Click here to get on our email list!

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Water Vapor or "Steam" Fireplace Buying Guide
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Dyann - October 31, 2022

Hi, Karen.

You can check the products in this collection:
Each of them has reviews toward the bottom of the page.

We currently have 3 water vapor fireplace models, and the Dimplex Opti-myst units are our most reviewed if you want to read what our customers think about them!

If you have more questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at

Karen - October 31, 2022

We have been to two fireplace stores in Massachusetts. We were able to see one working at the first place. However, at the second visit it wasn’t working. At the other place they steered us away from theirs and said that they were only problematic. We would plumb one if we put it in. It would have picture windows above it in a contemporary setting.

I really don’t like the look of the flames on other electric options and because of the windows above a gas fireplace just doesn’t work because of venting issues. Could I talk to some satisfied clients?


Dyann - April 25, 2022

Hi, Owin!

This article can be helpful:

It has a section towards the end about condensation, humidity, and other issues about water vapor fireplaces.

If you have more questions, please don’t hesitate to call us or email us at!

Dyann - April 25, 2022

Hi, Abby!

I understand that you’re looking into dehumidifiers. If humidity is your main concern, then a water vapor fireplace could be the opposite of what you need.

This article may have more specific information for you: It says that vapor fireplaces can actually increase humidity but only by a small amount.

There is also a portion towards the end recommending against installing vapor fireplaces in small rooms/spaces due to condensation.

If you’re still open to the idea of an electric fireplace though, we have a lot of options for you:

Please don’t hesitate to give us a call or reach out to us at!

Owin Thomas - April 25, 2022

What happens to water vapour? Are there issues with condensation etc.?

Abby - April 25, 2022

I just found you folks doing a little research and I have a question. We are building an extremely tight house and we will need air exchangers and installing a dehumidifier due to our wet climate. So the question is What happens to the mist, and the moisture it is putting into the house. Does the unit push the humidity out into the house or does it recondense into the box, possibly creating a mold situation or what. Guess I am not grasping that and with people with compromised immune systems it is a constant concern. Thanks for your response

Anastasia - May 17, 2020

Yes!! We were so excited when Bar Rescue reached out and wanted to feature our water vapor fireplace on their show! Jon Taffer absolutely loved the Opti-myst cassette they got from us and they even ordered more for the next season! :)

Liz Miller - May 17, 2020

Saw this on John Taffy’s Bar Rescue show and immediately googled it! Now I want to learn more!!

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