Who doesn’t enjoy sitting by a fire and feeling the cares of the day melt away? We all assume that fireplaces are relaxing, but recently Napoleon Fireplaces decided to put that assumption to the test.

Partnering with researchers from the University of Alabama and the University of Illinois, scientific evidence was finally found that fireplaces are good for your health. They found that watching a fireplace, electric or otherwise, can reduce blood pressure by six points on average. Cognitive function is increased by as much at 12% while in front of the fireplace.

Read the Research

The mental health impacts are just as real. Behind the high blood pressure and cognitive decline is a mental element: stress. Stress levels are up across the board. In fact, 50% of people report they feel life is more stressful now than before 2020. And 70% of people want to reduce their stress.

Dr. Christopher Lynn, of the University of Alabama, studies biocultural medical anthropology. He has had special interest in cultural impacts on health. Dr. Lynn said, “humans have evolved to self-soothe through what’s called the relaxation response, which is essentially the opposite of stress response.” His research found that watching a fire induced this relaxation response as evidenced by the physical decrease of heart rate and blood pressure.

Just 15 minutes in front of a fire has a huge impact on stress and potentially, on stress-related health conditions. This new research suggests that the results are real and measurable. Researchers started calling it “the fireplace effect.”

Here are just a few ways a fireplace can have a positive impact on your mental health.

Cozy living room with neutral colors and a white brick fireplace.

Warmth and Coziness

Fireplaces provide physical warmth and create a cozy atmosphere. The sensation of warmth can be comforting and contribute to feelings of relaxation, which may positively impact mental well-being.

Ambiance and Relaxation

The visual and auditory aspects of a fireplace, such as the flickering flames and crackling sounds, can create a calming ambiance. This may help reduce stress and promote relaxation, potentially benefiting mental health.


Family in front of a fireplace.

Connection and Socialization

Fireplaces often serve as a focal point in homes, creating a space for people to gather. Socializing and spending time with loved ones can have positive effects on mental health by fostering a sense of connection and support.

Mindfulness and Reflection

Watching a fire can be a meditative experience, encouraging mindfulness and introspection. This can be a valuable practice for managing stress and promoting mental well-being.

Beyond its heat, a fireplace, including electric ones, offers benefits beyond physical warmth. Relaxing by a fireplace has been associated with decreased blood pressure and heart rate, potentially reducing the risk of stress-related health issues such as heart disease.

Additionally, fostering mental well-being, especially as individuals age, is another positive aspect of sitting by a fireplace. Ready to embrace the fireplace effect?


Learn More