In this guide we’ll look at the best wood burning stoves for the UK market.
I’ve compared design, construction, size and cost
to give you my top recommendations.
What is the Best Wood Burning Stove?
In a rush? Here’s my top choice…
Versatile, compact, and extremely powerful!
This Cast Iron Wood Burning Stove measures 53.5 x 37.5 x 32 cm, making it a compact but powerful burner. It has traditional brass fittings, a removable grate, and is easy to clean. You can burn both coal and wood as fuel, and use the adjustable air vent to change the flow.
Everything I Recommend
More Detailed Wood Burning Stove Reviews
Cast Iron Wood Burning Stove Review
The Cast Iron Wood Burning Stove is a stunning, compact wood burner measuring 53.5 x 37.5 x 32 cm.
It has a traditional appearance, made from cast iron with quality brass fittings.
If you don’t have room for a larger stove, then this 5.5 kW fire will be one of the the best wood burning stove options for you. Its powerful, doesn’t take up much space, and the small single-door design makes it perfect for smaller rooms.
It has an integrated grate and ash pan, and the air vent control allows you to vary the intensity of the fire.
The glass in the doors is ‘Robax Schott’ high-temperature glass so you can be assured it’s a good-quality, extremely sturdy panel.
You can burn either coal or logs in this burner – the grate can be removed if you wish to fit larger logs in.
This stove is also easy to clean as all of the parts are easily accessible, so it’s easy to prepare for its next use. It’s also easy to use and offers excellent value for money.
Cast Iron Wood Burning Stove 12KW Review
This large double-door wood burning stove has a traditional cast iron design and a massive heat output of 12 kW. The large size means you can burn relatively big logs with ease.
It’s suitable for burning both wood and coal and is CE certified.
This 12KW Cast Iron Wood Burning Stove has an impressively high heat output meaning it’s suitable for larger rooms.
It has been made using high-quality materials; ‘Robax’ high-temperature glass, cast iron, and sturdy metal and wooden handles. It also comes with an ash pan and air vent control.
This wood burner looks great when installed and really does produce a lot of heat. It is the best wood burning stove 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.
Some models can’t burn coal as it gets too hot, and are instead restricted to wood and charcoal. But this stove can burn coal.
Lincsfire Harmston Multifuel Wood Burning Stove Review
This Lincsfire Harmston Multifuel Wood Burning Stove provides 5.5 kW of heat and can burn logs or charcoal. The stove is sturdy and well built, with a traditional design.
It has a robust cast iron body, brass fittings, and ‘Robax’ high-temperature glass.
The stove provides plenty of heat for its size and offers great value for money. It’s just as powerful and well made as many much more expensive models.
Lincsfire Saxilby Multifuel Wood Burning Stove Review
This Lincsfire Saxilby Multifuel Wood Burning Stove is a mid-size offering, sitting between the 5 kW and 12 kW stoves that I’ve reviewed. It has an output of 6.5 kW and can burn logs or charcoal.
Do be aware, it can’t be used with coal as fuel.
This stove is CE certified, easy to use, and simple to clean. Aesthetically, it really sets off a room when in use, looking fantastically rustic.
It easily heats up a medium-size room and the heat will spread to the rest of the house, too.
It’s one of the best wood burning stoves around if you want something a little bigger than 5 kW, but not as large as 12 kW.
Things to Know Before Buying a Wood Burning Stove
A wood burning stove is perfect for making the home feel cosy and warm in winter. What could be nicer than curling up in a chair and watching the flickering flames when the weather is ghastly outside?
They’re an efficient home-heating solution; these stoves 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.
Before purchasing one of these heaters, check out the following advice; it will help you stay informed and choose the best wood burning stove for you:
- Good for the environment. Wood produces lower carbon emissions than fuels such as coal. Therefore, only burning wooden logs is better for the environment that other burning other fuels. Not only this, but if you buy FSC certified wood you are supporting a positive wood-growing culture and woodland management. This not only creates jobs but also habitats for wildlife.
- Aesthetically beautiful. Perhaps the most obvious benefit of having a wood burning stove is how wonderful and cosy they look. Wood burning stoves instantly make a room look more inviting. They make a wonderful focal point and place to gather.
- Easy to use and clean. Seeing as wood burning stoves only need one type of fuel, they’re extremely straightforward to prepare and use. You don’t need to lay them in the same way that you would need to with a conventional fireplace. What’s more, wood produces little ash, so these burners are easy to clean.
- You can install a wood burning stove even if you don’t have a chimney. This means you have a lot more flexibility about where to position your stove. Within reason, a stove can be placed along wall which backs onto the exterior. A flue system will need to be installed to extract the smoke.
Firstly, you should ensure that the stove is CE certified. This will guarantee that it meets EU safety, health and environmental standards.
Be mindful of what you choose to burn in the stove – you shouldn’t burn paper or coal in appliances that are only supposed to be used with wood fuel.
If you wish to burn other types of fuel like coal or peat, or want to switch between wood and other fuels, you should choose a multi-fuel stove.
You’ll also need to make sure that the timber you use has a moisture content of less than 20%. Using wood that is too wet will produce excess smoke. This will increase the amount of potentially harmful gases and pollutants in your home. Burning wood with too much moisture will also cause tar to build up in the chimney of the stove. Over time, these build ups can cause chimney fires.
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 this is the case.
If you live in a smoke-controlled zone, 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 on the DEFRA website.
Stoves come in many different sizes. Of course, you may well be limited by the dimensions of your existing fireplace, or by the area where you plan to install the stove.
Wood burning stoves are generally measured by their output in kilowatts. The smallest stoves provide 3 or 4 kW of power. Larger stoves can provide up to 15 kW.
You can do a quick calculation to get a rough idea of the power of stove you should buy:
- Measure the height, width and length of the room in metres.
- Multiply these numbers together.
- Divide this number by 14 to find the kW you will need.
Using this calculation, you can find out how may kW are needed to warm your chosen room to 21°C when the outside temperature is 1°C.
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 need to factor in the cost of the stove itself, installation costs, and the costs of fuel.
You can install a wood burner yourself, although this can be tricky if you need don’t have an existing chimney. To have a stove installed by a professional you should expect to pay around £1,500. This would be roughly the price for a full installation, including sweeping and lining your chimney if this is necessary.
You should also check the cost of logs in your area, as these can vary. Buying wood which has the ‘Woodsure’s Ready to Burn’ logo is recommended by DEFRA; this guarantees that the wood will have <20% moisture content meaning it can be burned straight away.
A wood burning stove can save on your heating bills, especially if you have a good source of logs that are inexpensive (or free, if you’re so lucky!).
A wood burning stove won’t necessarily be cheaper than a gas central heating system if you have to pay for logs, but it will be cheaper than most other heat sources like electric and 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 radiator, and 50% cheaper than an LPG fire.
Wood Burning Stove FAQs
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.
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 is usually quite straightforward to do.
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 can buy fresh logs and dry them in a wood store in your garden. This is usually the cheapest option if you have the space. They will usually need to be dried for a year before being burned, and you can use 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.
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.