In this guide we’ll look at the best wood burning stoves.
I've compared design, construction, size and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
In this guide we’ll look at the best wood burning stoves.
What Is The Best Wood Burning Stove?
More Detailed Wood Burning Stove Reviews
The stove is made from cast iron and the brass fittings look really lovely. If you don’t have room for a larger stove, then this 5.5 kW wood burner is the perfect choice for you. The single door design looks great and is perfect for smaller spaces.
The stove is sturdily built with a full cast iron construction and features an integral grate and ash pan. It also has an air vent control and can be used with the flue in rear or top positions. The glass in the doors is factory fitted ‘Robax Schott’ high temperature glass. The multi fuel grate means you can burn coal in this stove, but this can also be removed so you can fit larger logs in.
This is a superb stove that looks great and produces plenty of heat. It is also easy to use and simple to clean. It is also excellent value for money!
This large double door wood burning stove has a traditional cast iron design and a massive heat output of 12kW. The large size means you can burn substantially sized logs with ease. The stove is suitable for burning wood or coal and is CE certified.
This wood burner has a high heat output and is suitable for burning wood and coal. It features factory fitted ‘Robax’ high temperature glass, an ash pan and air vent control. The flue can be fitted at the rear of the top and the stove is CE certified.
This wood burner looks great when installed and really does produce a lot of heat. It is ideal for large rooms and open plan homes. The heat permeates the whole house and makes the rooms on the floor above toasty and warm as well.
This wood burner also provides 5.5 kW of heat and can burn logs or charcoal. The stove is sturdy and well built and has a lovely traditional design with a cast iron body, brass fittings and Robax high temperature glass.
The first few times this stove is used it does give off a chemical smell, so you may need to open the windows. After a few uses, this is no longer a problem, though.
The stove provides plenty of heat for its size and offers great value for money.
This stove is slightly larger than the previous one and has an output of 6.5 kW. It can burn logs or charcoal and is CE certified.
This wood burner is easy to use and clean and looks great in use. It easily heats up a medium sized room and the heat will spread to the rest of the house, too.
Wood Burning Stove Buying Guide
A wood burning stove is perfect for making your home feel cosy and warm in winter. And what could be nicer than curling up in a chair and watching the flickering flames when the weather is wild outside.
A wood burner can also be an efficient way to heat your home. They are cleaner and more effective than an open fire and could save you money on your heating bills, too. Wood burning stoves make a wonderful focal point in any room and they are safe, clean and easy to use.
There are several things to take into consideration when buying a wood burning stove
Firstly, you should ensure that the stove is CE certified as this will guarantee it meets EU safety, health and environmental standards.
You will also need to work out what size you need. Stoves come in different sizes and of course, you may be limited by the size of your fireplace or the area you plan to install the stove. Stoves are generally measured by their output in kilowatts with the smallest providing 3 or 4 kW and the largest up to 15 kW. Of course, a larger product will heat up a large room and is ideal if you have a big space to heat. You can also fit larger logs into a bigger stove which can mean less chopping. However, if you have a small cosy room to heat a smaller product will be more suitable.
To get a rough idea of the size you will need you can multiply the height, width and length of the room in metres and divide this number by 14 to find the kW you will need. This will provide enough heat to warm the room to 21C when the outside temperature is 1C. However, an engineer will be able to give you more precise advice tailored to your needs.
When considering the cost of a wood burning stove you will, of course, need to factor in the cost of the stove itself as well as installation costs and the costs of fuel.
You can install a wood burner yourself, however, if you choose to have it installed by a professional expect to pay £1,500 for a full installation that includes sweeping and lining your chimney if this is necessary. You should also check the cost of logs in your area.
A wood burning stove can save on your heating bills, especially if you have a good source of logs that are inexpensive or free. While a wood burning stove won’t necessarily be cheaper than a gas central heating system, if you have to pay for logs, it will be cheaper than most other heat sources such as electric or gas fires or radiators. The Stove Industry Alliance (SIA) states that on average a wood burning stove is 77% cheaper to run than an electric fire, 29% cheaper than a gas fire, 43% cheaper than an oil and 50% cheaper than an LPG fire.
If you live in an urban area you should also check whether you are in a smoke-controlled zone. Your local authority will be able to tell you if you are. If this is the case, you can still have a wood burning stove, but it will need to be a DEFRA approved product. Alternatively, you can choose a stove that is suitable for burning smokeless fuels. You can find more information about this at the DEFRA website herehttp://smokecontrol.defra.gov.uk/.
If you wish to burn other types of fuel like coal, peat or want to switch between wood and other fuels you should choose a multi fuel stove.
Most wood burning stoves have an airwash feature which draws in air to wash over the inside of the glass in the door. This feature will help to keep the glass clean, allowing you to see the flames as well as making cleaning easier. All the above products have this feature.
Who can install my log burner?
You can install a wood burning stove yourself, but you must ensure that the installation complies with UK Building regulations (in England and Wales). It is not too difficult to install a stove, however installing a chimney liner is trickier.
If you want to have your stove installed by a professional, it’s best to use an engineer that is registered with HETA’s as they are the government-recognised specialists. They can also help you choose the right stove, so contact them before you buy if you are unsure.
I don’t have a chimney. Can I still have a wood burner?
If you don’t have a chimney you can still have a wood burning stove. You can get an insulated stove pipe fitted that will run through the wall or roof of your home to allow the smoke out. This will be a bit more complicated and expensive than fitting a stove in an existing chimney, but it usually quite straightforward to do.
What wood should I use in my stove?
The wood that you use can make a huge difference to the efficiency of your stove and how cleanly it burns. If the wood is too wet it will be difficult to light and the water will have to be boiled away before the wood burns properly. This will reduce the amount of heat you get from the wood. Wet wood also produces tar and smoke which can damage your stove and flue liner and increase the danger of a chimney fire as well as blackening the glass in the door.
You may have access to some free logs from a tree surgeon or forester in which case you just need to dry them out ready for use. However, most of us have to buy our logs.
You can buy fresh logs and dry them in a wood store in your garden and this is usually the cheapest option if you have the room. They will usually need to be dried for a year before being burned and you can buy a moisture meter to check that the moisture is less than 20 %. Hardwood is better than softwood for burning as it burns slower. Softwood is less dense and will burn twice as fast meaning you need twice as much. Alternatively, you can buy logs that are already seasoned.
Well-seasoned hardwood logs will be lovely and dry and will burn well and provide plenty of heat. Check that the logs you buy are sustainable. Buying wood with the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo guarantees that it has come from a responsibly managed woodland.
What is the easiest way to light my wood burning stove?
It is easy to start a good fire in your wood burner if you follow these instructions.
- Keep a good bed of ash on the bottom of the stove as this will help your fire to ignite.
- Open the wood burners air vents.
- Stack four pieces of kindling in a square shape with a space in the middle. Repeat this until you have a stack four or five pieces high.
- Light a firelighter and drop it down into the space in the middle.
- Close the door but do not lock it as you want a little air to get in
- Once the kindling is roaring, place a log or two on top and lock the door.
- Keep the vent open until the logs catch, then gradually close it until the logs are burning steadily.