7 Best Fireplace Grates (2020)

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Our top Pick:

SteelFreak Super Heavy Duty Steel Fireplace Grate


Our pick for the best fireplace grate is this SteelFreak grate. It’s made in the USA, made of very sturdy thick bars, and has awesome center stands to prevent sag over time. We also like that the legs are tucked away nearly to save space, unlike many competitors.

Here at Firefighter Garage we’re writing a series on fireplaces in the home. Maintaining a clean and well functioning fireplace is important for ensuring fire safety.

Fireplace grates can help to keep a fire burning smoothly and cleanly.

Our selection criteria for choosing a fireplace grate is listed at the end of this article. But before we start, forget that we’re not professionals and not offering personalized professional advice, but rather examples of grates available on the market today. So, seeking professional advice for your situation is a must. But we know you probably just want to see our favorites. So here they are.

The best fireplace grates are:

  • SteelFreak Super Heavy Duty Steel Fireplace Grate – Best Overall Quality
  • Pleasant Hearth – 3/4″ Premium Solid Steel Fireplace Grate – Affordable
  • Model M-5 High Efficiency Smoke-Free Fireplace Grate
  • Pleasant Hearth 1/2″ Solid Steel Fireplace Grates With Ember Retainer
  • Titan 24″ 1.25″ Solid Steel Fireplace Grate
  • Pleasant Hearth Round Steel Fire Pit Grate – Best for Outdoors
  • Amagabeli Fireplace Log Grate

The Best Fireplace Grates

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Fireplace Grate

Quick Review

Our Rating

1 SteelFreak Super Heavy Duty Steel Fireplace Grate This is the best fireplace grate we came across in our opinion. The center legs eliminate the chances sag over time and the outside legs are at a 90 degree angle, giving more space to place your logs than the competitors. (Check Today’s Price on Amazon)

10/10

2 Pleasant Hearth 3/4″ Premium Solid Steel Fireplace Grate We feel this one is a sturdy and affordable fireplace grate that’ll get the job done without busting the bank. Choose your size at checkout. (Check Today’s Price on Amazon)

9/10

3 Model M-5 High Efficiency Smoke-Free Fireplace Grate We feel this one can help deliver a clean, strong burning fire. This standing grate pushes the wood to the back of the fireplace. It can be great for letting the fire breathe, but comes at a higher price. (Check Today’s Price on Amazon)

8.5/10

4 Pleasant Hearth 1/2″ Solid Steel Fireplace Grates With Ember Retainer This grate has a nice mesh ember retainer. Unfortunately the ember retainer will not last so many people choose to remove it once it starts sagging. (Check Today’s Price on Amazon)

7.5/10

5 Titan 24″ 1.25″ Solid Steel Fireplace Grate We like that this one has a high walled grate for holding firewood in. It’s got strong sag support and thick steel, but the price is a bit more than we’d hoped. (Check Today’s Price on Amazon)

7.5/10

6 Pleasant Hearth Round Steel Fire Pit Grate This is our pick for a round outdoor fire pit. It’s large and not great for an indoor fireplace, but a good idea for an outdoor feature. (Check Today’s Price on Amazon)

7/10

7 Amagabeli Fireplace Log Grate This is a nice sturdy grate with an interesting design. The raised back lip hugs the firewood while the front is open to improve aesthetics. (Check Today’s Price on Amazon)

7/10

1. SteelFreak Super Heavy Duty Steel Fireplace Grate

Bottom Line: This is the best fireplace grate we came across in our opinion. The center legs eliminate the chances sag over time and the outside legs are at a 90 degree angle, giving more space to place your logs than the competitors.


We’ll say this from the outset: you will pay a little bit more for this grate than others.

But hear us out.

For an extra few bucks (and really, the difference in quality is really big for just a few bucks more), we feel it is a significantly better grate than many others.

Unlike competitors, the SteelFreak has center legs to reduce sag. Even the strongest steel fireplace grates end up sagging in the middle eventually.

Most people end up placing bricks under their grate in the middle section to provide makeshift support to their grate.

But SteelFreak has provided center legs so that sag doesn’t happen – kudos to them.

Next, the number one complaint about other fireplace grates is they arrive and they look smaller than you thought they would. For some reason, companies keep creating grates where the legs point out at a 45 degree angle. This means you have less room on the top of the grate itself to place your firewood. It leads to a ton of wasted space and smaller fires.

But not so with this one.

SteelFreak has create 90 degree legs so the workable area of the grate is maximized.

(For a Visual Representation: Compare the legs on the Pleasant Hearth model images below to the legs on the SteelFreak image above).

For those two design features alone, we think the SteelFreak stands head and shoulders above the rest.

It’s no surprise that this grate is made in the USA – you can tell it’s a quality product designed with consumers in mind.

Make sure you purchase the right size for your fireplace. You can select a size in 3 inch increments between 15 and 36 inches. From 30 inches and up the grate comes with eight legs for additional support in the middle, and below that it has 6 legs.

Why This Fireplace Grate

Keep in Mind

Middle Leg Support to Eliminate Sag: We like that it has middle legs so your grate won’t sag over time.

Maximum Usable Area: This grate outdoes others by maximizing the area you have to place your logs. Others tend to waste more surface area.

Made in USA: We weren’t surprised. It’s not a cheap dropshipped product.

Choose your Size: We like that you can choose a size between 18 an 15 inches. Simply measure your fireplace width and select the size that suits best.

Price: While it costs a little more than some others, we think the slightly higher price is worth the significantly superior design and quality.

Bars too Far Apart: We do worry that once your log has burned a bit it’ll start falling through the gaps. Others like this though as it lets more air in – that’s up to your personal preference.

2. Pleasant Hearth – 3/4″ Premium Solid Steel Fireplace Grate

Bottom Line: We feel this one is a sturdy and affordable fireplace grate that’ll get the job done without busting the bank. Choose your size at checkout.


This 3/4 inch solid steel grate is solid! It’s got nice thick steel to withstand high temperatures. The welding does leave a little to be desired, but you don’t usually expect an exceptional job at this price point.

We like that they’ve angled the steel so that embers will fall off the grate to either side rather than getting stuck on the grate itself.

We also appreciate that the grate comes in a range of sizes between 18 and 36 inches. You can choose sizes in 3 inch intervals (18, 21, 24, 27, etc. inches).

Note that the size is measured foot to foot, and is not a reflection of the usable grate surface itself. The legs of the grate point out in 45 degree angles, meaning the grate surface where you place the logs will be much smaller than the ground level surface area.

In other words, we try to get the biggest size possible that will fit in our hearth.

The grate also sits quite high – about 3.5 inches above ground. This may cause trouble if you’ve got a small fireplace.

A potential solution if you come across this problem is to simply saw the legs to your preferred length.

Why This Fireplace Grate

Keep in Mind

Very Sturdy Design: It’s a very strong solid steel design that should last you several winters.

Choose your Size: We like that you can choose a size between 18 an 36 inches (leg to leg). Simply measure your fireplace width and select the size that suits best.

Sits Very High: If you have a small fireplace you might find that this grate sits too high off the ground.

Mind the Dimensions: The dimensions are measured leg to leg, not bar to bar. The grate is smaller on the top. So it may be smaller than you envisioned when it arrives.

No Middle Leg Support: As it ages, you’ll notice the middle of the grate sagging.

3. Model M-5 High Efficiency Smoke-Free Fireplace Grate

Bottom Line: We feel this one can help deliver a clean, strong burning fire. This standing grate pushes the wood to the back of the fireplace. It can be great for letting the fire breathe, but comes at a higher price.


When we first looked at this ‘standing’ grate we didn’t quite understand how it works. Then we looked at the pictures on the Amazon sales page and it all made sense.

In fact, it makes perfect sense.

This grate pins your logs up against the back wall of your fireplace. You can drop extra logs over it to add to the fire when needed.

By pushing the logs back against the wall, the grate is opening up an area under the fire for strong flow of oxygen into the fire for a cleaner burn. Hence why it’s called a “high efficiency” grate. You’ll notice strong consistent flames with this grate.

The setup also helps for directing smoke up the chimney rather than out into your living space.

On top of all of this, having the logs as far back in the fire as possible helps to minimize the risk of embers spitting out into the living space.

Overall, a great concept – our only concern is that the price is a little high.

The dimensions of this piece are 21″ wide, 14″ deep, 15″ tall, but you can get a range of sizes from Amazon so pick the right size for your fireplace.

Why This Fireplace Grate

Keep in Mind

Helps your Fire: You’ll find a cleaner and stronger fire with this grate as it lets a lot of oxygen in under the fire.

Minimizes Smoke: The grate actively pushes smoke up the chmney rather than into your room.

Minimizes Loose Ember Attacks: By pushing the logs to the back of the fire, there’s less chance of embers spitting all the way out into the living space.

The Price: While the quality is great, you’re paying for it.

4. Pleasant Hearth 1/2″ Solid Steel Fireplace Grates With Ember Retainer

Bottom Line: This grate has a nice mesh ember retainer. Unfortunately the ember retainer will not last so many people choose to remove it once it starts sagging.


We like that this grate can come in multiple different sizes so it’s perfect for your fireplace. Choose from 21 to 36 inch sizes, in 3 inch intervals.

(Remember it’s measured from foot to foot. Keep in mind that the top surface area will be smaller. So we like to get the biggest version that will fit in your fireplace.)

This grate is composed of 1/2″ solid steel. That’s a step down from Pleasant Hearth’s 3/4″ version which we prefer. The thickness matters because these grates need to withstand a lot of heat over time and they’ll start to sag. The thicker the grate is, the less likely it is to sag.

Nonetheless, we still think this grate might last you a good 3 – 4 seasons.

The mesh cover across the surface of this grate is supposed to be an ember retainer. This can help prevent excessive build-up of embers and ashes on the floor of your fireplace.

But in our experience mesh covers very rapidly sag and break. So it’s a nice option – but give it a while and you’ll want to rip that grate off and just use it as a regular non-mesh covered fireplace grate.

Why This Fireplace Grate

Keep in Mind

Size Options: Choose from a range of sizes to get the perfect grill you can for your fireplace.

Ember Retainer: We like that they have thought of developing an ember retainer to reduce spillage.

We Prefer Thicker Grates: We prefer the 3/4″ model as we feel it’s more durable.

Mesh Tray won’t Last: Expect to remove that mesh ember retainer after a while – fortunately it still works without it.

No Middle Leg Support: As it ages, you’ll notice the middle of the grate sagging.

5. Titan 24″ 1.25″ Solid Steel Fireplace Grate

Bottom Line: We like that this one has a high walled grate for holding firewood in. It’s got strong sag support and thick steel, but the price is a bit more than we’d hoped.


If you like the idea of a grate with walls to hold firewood in, this is for you. The grate hugs the firewood on both sides to prevent logs from falling or spilling out even with multiple logs burning at once. The walls are the same height on both sides.

The steel is very thick on this one – in fact, almost twice as thick as your average grate. To compensate for this weight, there are some really good middle leg supports which should prevent sag.

Overall, we’re really impressed.

Our one biggest complaint is that we can only find this product in the 24″ size range – it would be nice if you could buy this grate in different size increments like you can with others on this list.

And of course, there’s the price. While it does cost a fair bit, we assume that’s because you’re getting a lot more steel in this one which would have pushed the manufacturing price right up.

Why This Fireplace Grate

Keep in Mind

High Walls: The grate hugs the firewood to keep it from rolling out.

Sag Support: We like that it has supporting legs in the middle to prevent sag.

Very Thick Steel: The thickness will translate to higher quality and more durability.

The Price: The price is a little higher than we’d like, but we’re aware it’s made of a lot more steel than others.

6. Pleasant Hearth Round Steel Fire Pit Grate – Best for Outdoors

Bottom Line: This is our pick for a round outdoor fire pit. It’s large and not great for an indoor fireplace, but a good idea for an outdoor feature.


This fire pit grate is more for an outdoor situation we think, but it’d also work if you have a round indoor fireplace. We wanted to share it here to show you the range of options you have.

It’s made of 1/2″ steel, which is toward the lower end of what you’d expect. To give you an idea, our favorite ones are usually 3/4″ to 1 1/4″ in width.

We like that the spokes turn up at the end to hug the logs. We’d actually like them to turn up a little more even, but it’s a decent enough size that your logs shouldn’t need the extra support anyway.

There are four legs on this one. It’d be nice to have more (including supports in the middle), but the four legs do seem to be enough.

Why This Fireplace Grate

Keep in Mind

Rounded Shape: Great for an outdoor fireplace.

Air Flow: There’s a ton of room for airflow under the grate for a better, smoother fire.

Steel Thickness: It’s toward the lower end of what we look for in terms of thickness of the steel.

Supporting Legs: It would have been nice to have seen some supporting legs in the middle of this grate to prevent sag over time.

7. Amagabeli Fireplace Log Grate

Bottom Line: This is a nice sturdy grate with an interesting design. The raised back lip hugs the firewood while the front is open to improve aesthetics.


Amagabeli’s fireplace log grate is an interesting addition to the market. Its front feet stretch out to 24 inches while the back feet are 20 inches. That’s not too unusual as many fireplaces are thinner at the back than the front.

We like that the feet are a little straighter than many of the ‘Pleasant Hearth’ branded ones. This means there’s a snugger fit for the grate in the fireplace and more room for placing the firewood on top of the grate.

But the one major distinguishing feature of this product is that the back of the grate turns up more than the front. This means the firewood has a lot of support at the back to prevent it from rolling off, while at the front the grate is less visible to improve the natural look of the fire.

The bar thickness is 3/4 inch, which is about standard so we’d give that the tick of approval as well.

Why This Fireplace Grate

Keep in Mind

Thick Steel: We like that it’s got 3/4 inch bars.

Support at the Back: We also like that the bars turn up higher at the back to cradle the firewood well.

Lots of Workable Surface Area: We’ve notices some other grates shrink your usable surface area because the legs stick out too far. Not so with this one.

One Size Only: It’s 24 inches wide. You can’t select another size.

No Middle Leg Support: As it ages, you’ll notice the middle of the grate sagging.

What to Look for in a Fireplace Grate

Steel Thickness

A grate will usually come in 1/2 inch, 3/4 inch or 1 inch thicknesses. 3/4 inch is pretty normal. 1/2 inch is a bit below average.

We prefer a 3/4 inch or thicker steel grate.

The thicker steel will withstand heat more effectively. This will mean that it’s less likely to warp and you’ll find less sagging of the grate in the middle.

Middle Leg Support

Fireplace grates sag in the middle. This happens all the time, and is probably the biggest complaint people have about their grates. Usually, you end up getting a brick and placing it under your grate to provide some additional support to the grate.

But a good quality grate will actually have that middle leg support already provided. This will minimize chances of sagging in the middle of the grate and may increase the grate’s overall lifetime.

Height from Ground

A grate’s entire purpose is to suspend the fire above the hearth. It lets air flow through the fire from below, providing more oxygen fuel for the fire.

But sometimes this can be a curse.

If your grate is too high above the ground, the fire ends up beating up against the roof of your fireplace. You find you can’t fit extra logs into the fire. And overall it can look pretty weird, too.

A regular height for a fireplace grate is about 3 – 5 inches. That’s a fair bit! We’ve heard of many people who actually get a hacksaw and cut their grate down to size a little if they have a small fireplace.

Size

When you buy a grate, they advertise the size from leg to leg – not the size of the workable surface where you place the logs.

So make sure when you buy a grate that you measure your fireplace hearth’s dimensions and buy a grate that will fit.

There’s another problem to be aware of.

Many legs stick out on a 45 degree angle toward the ground.

The result?

The workable area of your grate is significantly minimized, and suddenly you can only have smaller fires in your fireplace.

In other words, we like to get the largest grate you can that will fit in our fireplace, and if possible we like the idea of buying one that doesn’t have legs that stick out too far.

Shape

Grates come in a surprising range of shapes.

But by and large there are three options – rectangular, circular or standing.

A rectangular grate is designed to fit in a regular indoor fireplace. It may be a little thinner at the back than the front because fireplaces are often like that. But in general, it’s just a rectangle.

A circular grate is often designed for outdoor fireplaces that people sit around in 360 degrees.

And then there are standing grates. These grates literally pin a fire against the back wall of your fireplace. These grates allow your fire to burn very hot as they allow a lot of airflow into your fire.

Mesh Bottom

A mesh bottom for a fireplace grate is often used to retain embers and let them burn within the main fire until they’ve burned down to small pieces. It can minimize the amount of mess on your hearth which is nice.

But we find that mesh grates warp very quickly and you end up just sawing them off after a few months. Fortunately they’re not necessary so once you’ve sawed it off your grate will keep working just like any regular grate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a fireplace grate?

A fireplace grate is a raised platform on which your fire burns. It sits directly on the fireplace hearth (the floor of your fireplace) to reduce the damage of the hearth, increase airflow, help to circulate smoke and fumes up through the chimney, and increase the heat of a fire. Overall, a fire burns more smoothly with a fireplace grate.

Do I need a grate in my fireplace?

A fireplace can function without a grate – of course! So no, you don’t need one unless your fireplace and hearth have specific instructions requiring you to. But most people get one because they don’t want to ruin their hearth. There are several important benefits to having a grate in your fireplace – like improved burn quality which may decrease the amount of smoke that you fire emits.

Why Should I use a fireplace grate?

A fireplace grate has several important benefits. The main purpose is to increase air flow through and around the fire. Air flows in under the grate and funnels smoke and fumes up through the chimney.

The added airflow through the fire increases the availability of oxygen into the fire. Oxygen is one of the three elements of a fire – so the more oxygen, the better the fire burns. A fire that has enough oxygen may also burn cleaner – meaning less smoke in your house. You may also find that the fire burns at a hotter temperature and is easier to get started.

What is the best type of fireplace grate?

Steel grates are best for wood fires.

Cast Iron grates are best for charcoal fires.

You can use a cast iron grate for both wood and charcoal, while steel is only recommended for wood burning fires.

The standard for grates is to get a steel one. And while the outer layer of the steel may melt away any paint, that’s to be expected – the steel should last you with your wood fire for several years if it’s of any decent quality.

Can I use a fireplace grate in my wood stove?

No.

Or at least, not normally.

The main reason for this is that a stove is usually tested both safety and emissions without a grate. Stoves are very specifically designed for a very specific purpose. Misusing them or using them in ways they weren’t designed may cause some issues.

At the end of the day, it’s best to consult your user manual or manufacturer. But the general advice is ‘no’, use the wood stove only as instructed.

How long do fireplace grates last?

Over time your grate will do two things. It will sag and it will (probably) rust. These are two natural results of constant heating to very high temperatures then cooling again. The rust occurs due to oxidization processes that naturally accompany heat and fire. The sagging middle occurs because, when metal is hot, it becomes more malleable (think about how blacksmiths make swords, for example). At a hot temperature, the grate may start to cave under the weight of the logs on top of it.

So, your fireplace grate won’t last forever.

We think the best thing to do is to get a grate with good center stands to prevent sag and thick steel. We go for 3/4 inch or thicker steel.

Fireplace Safety

The NFPA estimates that 15,000 house fires are caused by fireplaces and chimneys per year in the United States.

Fireplaces can be very dangerous – but there are a few things you can do to minimize risk.

First, make sure your fireplace remains clean and uncluttered. It’s important to sweep up debris and any flammables that might be fuel for a fire before starting the fire. Keep a good clear radius from the fire. We like the idea of getting a fireplace tool set that’s got shovel, brush, fire resistant gloves, and a poker that can help you keep the area clean and tidy.

Next, never leave the fire unattended. The fire can very easily spit out embers into your living area that will set fuels (like your couch) on fire very quickly. One thing that can help minimize spitting embers is a fireplace screen.

Under a fireplace grate, you’ll often find build-up of ash which needs to be cleared. Some people prefer to use a broom while others prefer to vacuum it up. Unfortunately a regular vacuum cannot suck up ash, but a dedicated ash vacuum can work, which has filters designed to capture ash in them.

And of course, we feel it’s important to keep home fire safety equipment nearby. This includes an ABC rated fire extinguisher and a home fire blanket hanging nearby. These are your first line of defense against a fire – but if you’re at risk or untrained, make sure you evacuate a burning building and call the emergency fire department as soon as possible.

We have a full post on fireplace safety tips with a few more important tips to follow.

Final Thoughts

When selecting a fireplace grate, the most important factors are steel strength, center support, and size.

Our pick for the best fireplace grate is the SteelFreak Super Heavy Duty Steel Fireplace Grate. We love that it’s a strong, sturdy grate with excellent support in the center to prevent sag. It’s also made in the USA which we know is important to many of our customers who want to support local, well-made products.

This article has shared our opinions for our circumstances only, and is based on our online research and does not constitute advice, professional or otherwise. Your circumstances or experiences will differ from ours. Make sure you do your own research and due diligence and adhere to the rules laid out in our terms and conditions and disclaimer.

We hope this review was helpful to you – and good luck and stay safe with your fire!

– Chris