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A warm fire instantly makes your space cozy and inviting, especially on a chilly night. But starting a real wood fire can be laborious and frustrating, often requiring you to store and lift heavy wooden logs. For a more convenient fire, reach for an artificial fire log. Artificial logs are manufactured to create fires for indoor fireplaces or outdoor fire pits. Often made from sawdust, plant materials, or cardboard, they’re inexpensive, easy to ignite, and simpler to use than traditional firewood. Besides being easier to use, a quality fire log is also more eco-friendly and cleaner burning than firewood. Whether cuddling up in your living room or warming your hands over at the campsite, you’ll get a toasty blaze in no time with our picks for the best fire logs.

How we chose the best fire logs

As fans of the outdoors but also staying warm, the staff at PopSci has started a few fires (responsibly, always responsibly). We combined our real-world experience with peer recommendations and online research to narrow the options. Then we chose the top fire logs based on three factors:

Ease of use: Most people invest in fire logs for convenience, which was the first feature we considered. We narrowed down our top picks from a dozen fire logs, choosing logs that were simple to light and maintain so that you get a roaring fire at the strike of a match.

Safety: Ease of use is important, but it’s also crucial that your fire log is safe. We selected fire logs from reputable brands that specialize in fire-related products. These brands have a background in developing safe products for fireplaces and fire pits.

Materials: We chose fire logs from brands that share their main ingredients and benefits. This transparency means you’ll know what you’re burning. We looked for clean-burning or eco-friendly options, selecting products that are better for the air quality inside your home, as well as for the environment.

The best fire logs: Reviews & Recommendations

Artificial fire logs are an attractive alternative to natural firewood, but you’ll want a high-quality product to make the most of their benefits. Here are our top picks:

Best overall: Duraflame Gold Firelog



Why it made the cut: As one of Duragold’s premium products, this fire log is designed to create a bigger, brighter flame for a lovely fireside experience.


  • Burn time: 3 hours
  • Number of logs: 6
  • Materials: Recycled wood, agricultural fibers, and wax


  • Brighter, larger flame
  • Lights with one match
  • Reaches full flame within 5 minutes


  • Pricier than Duraflame’s regular logs

Light a bright fire with ease with the Duraflame Gold Firelog. This log upgrades Duraflame’s classic logs to provide a premium fireside experience. It produces a bigger and brighter flame than their regular fire logs for an even cozier feel. Plus, it lights quickly, reaching full flames in less than 5 minutes. Once burning, each log lasts for up to 3 hours.

This log mimics the large, flickering flame of a natural wood fire without all the emissions. It’s made of recycled wood, agricultural fibers, and wax, and burns 80% cleaner than wood (there’s also a premium 100% renewable resources option). It’s also Chimney Safety Institute of America accepted, which means it’s been independently tested and found safe for home use.

This package includes six logs that can be used indoors or outdoors. In either setting, these logs will burn more completely than natural firewood, creating less air pollution and less mess.

Best long-lasting: Pine Mountain Traditional 4-Hour Firelog

Pine Mountain


Why it made the cut: With a long four-hour burn time, these fire logs are made to last through an evening of relaxation or entertaining.


  • Burn time: 4 hours
  • Number of logs: 4
  • Materials: Recycled hardwood, nutshells, and molasses


  • Long 4-hour burn time
  • Convenient paper wrapping
  • Natural materials


  • Larger, heavier logs

For entertaining guests, throwing holiday parties, or hosting late-night bonfires, choose a longer-lasting fire log. This log from Pine Mountain has a four-hour burn time that will keep that warm background glow going in any event.

Big, bold flames mimic the feel of natural log fires without the need for stoking or feeding the hearth. To offer an even cleaner, brighter burn, this product is made from recycled hardwood, nutshells, and molasses. These natural ingredients burn steadily and evenly, with 80% less carbon monoxide emissions and 75% less particulate matter than natural wood fires. This makes them a great choice for indoor use, but they can also be used outdoors.

The pack includes six logs at an affordable price, offering 24 hours of burn time total. Each log is wrapped in paper to make for a cleaner and tidier transportation and handling. When it’s time to light the logs, just strike a match or flick a lighter at the seam of the paper, and the log will light to a steady burn within minutes.

Best sound: Duraflame Crackleflame Firelogs



Why it made the cut: This fire log brings the pleasant crackling sound of a natural wood fire to your fireplace without all the hassle.


  • Burn time: 3 hours
  • Number of logs: 4
  • Materials: Recycled wood, agricultural fibers, wax, and seeds


  • Crackling sound
  • Won’t “pop” like a real wood fire
  • Affordable price


  • Crackling sound may not last for entire burn duration

Most fire logs don’t capture that iconic crackling sound that comes with a natural wood fire. This can be a major disappointment to some users. If you don’t want to miss out on that soothing crackle, reach for the Duraflame Crackleflame. This log mimics the crackling noise of a natural wood fire to create the whole ambiance of a blazing hearth, not just the flames.

To create the crackling sound, this log uses embedded seeds. When the seeds burn, they yield a pleasant auditory crackling that comes without the hazardous popping and flying embers that can happen when burning real logs. This package includes four Crackleflame logs, each with a 4-hour burn time. The logs are safe to use both indoors and outdoors.

Duraflame’s Crackleflame is a favorite for its crackling feature, but it also includes some of the brand’s mainstay features. Like other Duraflame logs, the Crackleflame is easy to light and reaches full flame in only a few minutes. It’s cleaner burning and emits fewer pollutants than true wood. This product is also Chimney Safety Institute of America accepted, so you know it’s safe to use in your home.

Most sustainable: Pine Mountain Java-Log 2-Hour Firelogs

Pine Mountain


Why it made the cut: This fire log takes coffee grounds and repurposes them into a long-lasting and eco-friendly fire log for indoor or outdoor use.


  • Burn time: 4 hours
  • Number of logs: 4
  • Materials: Recycled coffee grounds


  • Made from recycled coffee grounds
  • Eco-friendly
  • Clean-burning


  • More expensive than most sawdust fire logs

Most fire logs are made from safe waste byproducts or recycled materials like sawdust or other plant fibers. However, the Pine Mountain Java Log is a recycled log with an interesting twist: This is the only mass-market fire log made from recycled coffee grounds. That’s right—the grounds from your morning cuppa-joe can now be repurposed into fuel for your evening fire.

Recycled coffee grounds are an eco-friendly alternative to wood products, which makes this log a great pick for the environmentally conscious. But recycled coffee grounds aren’t just exciting for their low carbon footprint; they also burn cleaner, hotter, and brighter than natural wood. Emitting less carbon monoxide and creosote than traditional logs, Java Logs are an excellent option for indoor fireplaces. These logs can also be used outdoors to create a warm and especially bright ambiance.

This package includes four logs. Each log burns evenly for up to 4 hours, offering up to 16 hours of total burn time.

Best budget: Pine Mountain Cracklelog 3-Hour Firelogs

Pine Mountain


Why it made the cut: This bulk pack is an economical choice for those who have frequent indoor or outdoor fires.


  • Burn time: 3 hours
  • Number of logs: 12
  • Materials: Sawdust, wax, nutshells


  • Affordable price
  • Consistent burn
  • Easy to store and transport


  • May be too large of a quantity for some homes

Pine Mountain’s Traditional 3-Hour Firelog is an affordable pick for weekday or weekend fires. Ideal for both indoor and outdoor use, this budget-friendly bulk pack is a great choice for fire aficionados who often like to enjoy a blaze. This pack includes twelve 3-hour logs for 36 hours of total burn time.

Like other Pine Mountain products, this fire log is made from recycled biomass like sawdust and ground nutshells, combined with a wax blend. This creates an easy-to-light log that burns consistently for the whole burn duration.

Each log comes in a paper wrapper that makes for mess-free transportation or storage, whether at home or in the out-of-doors. Simply light the wrapper to set the log alight, and be rewarded with an easy starting, healthier fire. This log creates bold flames while producing 80% less carbon monoxide and 75% less particulate matter than natural wood—not to mention it’s cost-friendly and simpler to use.

Things to consider before buying a fire log

Fire logs are a convenient and inexpensive alternative to firewood. A good fire log means a low-maintenance and long-lasting fire that’s easier to light. When shopping for a fire log, consider its ease of use, burn time, and materials.

Easy to use

The convenience of a fire log is unmatched by traditional firewood. The best fire logs maximize convenience. With a high-quality fire log, no kindling is required, and you should go from ignition to a pleasant burn in just a few minutes. Many options can be lit right in their paper packaging, which serves as the log’s kindling.

One major benefit of using a fire log is that they create a fire that’s very easy to maintain. Unlike a normal fire, fires built with fire logs require no stoking, and you’ll never need to add wood to keep the fire going. A reliable fire log will last for the entirety of its advertised burn time to provide a cozy ambiance for hours.

Fire logs generally offer an excellent burn time for their compact size. Most options are also lightweight, which makes for simple storage and transport.

Burn time

Fire log burn times can range from 1.5 hours to 4 hours. Most fire logs are designed for ventilated indoor and outdoor uses, such as in a fireplace or fire pit (not in air-tight wood stoves).

A drawback of fire logs is that most fire logs are single-use and should not be relit. You may want to be sure that you plan to keep a fire going before you light your log. It’s also important to note that most manufacturers don’t recommend using two logs at once, or adding regular firewood to a fire log fire. So if you’re looking for all-night bonfires, a fire log may not be for you.

To cater to various uses and occasions, fire logs are commonly available in 1.5-, 2-, 3-, and 4-hour burn times, so you can find the best option to suit your needs.


Fire logs are often made from a mix of recycled or waste materials, including sawdust, plant materials, coffee grounds, and cardboard, as well as waxes and oils. These material blends are designed to add desirable features, like a longer burn time, a brighter flame, or a crackling sound that mimics natural wood.

Good fire logs burn cleaner than real firewood, emitting less smoke, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter. For indoor use, it’s especially important to look for fire logs that advertise these clean-burning features to ensure healthier air in your home. A cleaner burn also makes these fire logs more eco-friendly, whether burnt indoors or out.


Q: Are fire logs better than wood?

Fire logs have several benefits over natural wood. They’re easier to light, and they create a bright, long-lasting flame that doesn’t require any work to keep alight. A high-quality log also burns cleaner than natural wood. One drawback of logs is that they often don’t capture the ambiance of real firewood. Whether a benefit or a drawback, they also don’t require you to control the fire by stoking the flames and adjusting the arrangement of logs. Most logs also lack that smokey smell and charming crackle that gives winter hearths their particular flair. 

Q: How long do fire logs last?

Logs have a burn time ranging from 1.5 to 4 hours.

Q: Are fire logs suitable for wood stoves?

Most logs need adequate airflow for safe use, so they aren’t suitable for wood stoves or other airtight containers. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions for safe log usage.

Q: Can you burn more than one fire log at a time?

Many logs are made to burn one at a time. Burning two logs at a time can create too large of a flame or release too much heat to be safe. A few logs are safe to burn together, and these are the best choice if you want to burn more than one log at a time. 

Final thoughts on the best fire logs

What’s cozier than a roaring blaze? When you’re looking for something for your hearth, the Duraflame Gold Firelog is an easy pick. With its ease of use and full flame in under 5 minutes, this log allows you to spend more time enjoying the fire. This premium product features brighter and bigger flames than regular fire logs to create an even cozier ambiance.