Best Wood Burning Stove Buyer’s Guide

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Who doesn’t love the idea of cosying up in their home around the dancing flames and crackling logs of a roaring fire? A wood burning stove not only creates a welcoming, warm and cosy feel, it also serves as a seriously impressive focal point in any living room or downstairs area, and is a practical, no-nonsense way of reducing your heating bill. 

Best Pick Wood Burning Stove

Lincsfire Harmston JA013S 5.5KW Multifuel Stove Clean Log Burning Fireplace Cast Iron Wooburner with Mini Stove Fan
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Lincsfire Harmston JA013S 5.5KW Multifuel Stove Clean Log Burning Fireplace Cast Iron Wooburner with Mini Stove Fan
  • Constructured of new high quality cast iron with long lifespan.CE Certified.
  • Can burn logs or charcoal(can't burn coal). Comes with clean burn technology;Removeable ashpan for simple cleaning.
  • Overall size: 395(W)x320(D)x530(H)mm;Heat Output: 5.5kw;Flue Size: 13cm/5"(Flue is not included)
  • Factory fitted German 'Robax' high temperature glass ;Brass handles; Air vent control; Rear or Top flue positions.
  • Come with 4 Blades Heat Powered Black Mini Stove Fan with Free Gold Blades.

With wood burning stoves being more cost-efficient than ever before, they’re a great way to cost-effectively heat your home, fueled solely by logs, wood pellets or wood chips.

Have you considered a stove fan for your wood burning stove? Check out our buyers guide for more information.

Only got 5 minutes

So, after much deliberation, you’ve decided on a wood-burning stove, but there’s just so much to consider – style, output, efficiency, softwood/hardwood. What actually do all these things mean???!!! I just want to know the best wood burning stove for my home!! 

Well, in all honesty, there’s not one clear cut answer – the best wood burner for you and your home will very much depend on your requirements, your taste and your budget… 

Traditional Vs Contemporary 


A roaring fire with the sound of crackling logs and smell of gently charred wood is a quintessentially British feature of any rural, country home. The popularity of traditional wood burning stoves has increased significantly over the last few years – expertly crafted to be traditional in appearance yet modern in flexibility and convenience, traditional wood-burning stoves provide the best of both worlds. Their ability to bring character and warmth to an indoor space, not to mention the money they’ll save on energy bills, makes traditional style wood burners a popular choice.   


If contemporary, clean and sleek is your preferred style, a modern wood burning stove will be right up your street; this type of wood burning stove is designed with the primary aim of making a statement, whilst still in keeping with the style and layout of a 21st century modern home. You’ll get all the warmth, character and visual appeal of a traditional wood burner, but with a stylish, fashionable twist. 


Inset wood burning stoves are integrated (self-contained) units, available in either modern or traditional styles, which are fitted into an existing or newly-fitted fireplace, resulting in only the front of the wood burning stove being visible. Growing in popularity due to their impressive efficiency and energy output, inset wood burners serve as a minimalist, space-efficient and eye-catching home interior feature, with the large viewing glass creating a dramatic focal point, showing off your wood burner to its full potential. 

Types of wood burning stoves 

There are two types of wood-burning stoves: log burners and pellet stoves. 

Log Burners

Log burners (also referred to as ‘wood burners’) are the most popular model of wood burning stove; they’re normally used to heat a single room or small to moderately sized, open-plan indoor area.  

Unlike a multi-fuel stove where coal and other fossil fuels can be burnt which are harmful to the environment, wood is a carbon-neutral fuel; this means the amount of carbon released during burning is equal to the amount of carbon absorbed by the tree when it was alive. A log burner also leaves a smaller carbon footprint when compared to a wood pellet stove because the manufacturing required to produce fuel for a log burner is significantly less than the production of wood pellets or wood chips.  

Pellet Stoves

Pellet stoves are less common than log/wood burners. Larger in size and often modern in appearance, these types of wood burning stoves tend to be used to heat larger living spaces or in some cases, entire houses.  The pellets are made from tightly compacted wood by-products, such as sawdust or shavings. 

The best wood pellet stoves are fitted with a ‘hopper’ – a feature that automatically feeds the pellets into the stove; an automatic ignition is another common feature; along with an operating timer and back-up power supply in case of a power cut.  

Pros of a wood pellet stove

  • Pellets burn more efficiently than logs 
  • They are made from materials that are likely to otherwise end up at a landfill site 
  • Pellets take up less room so less storage space is needed 
  • Pellets produce less ash than logs 

Cons of a wood pellet stove

  • The manufacturing process of pellets is damaging to the environment 
  • Not as readily available as logs
  • A pellet-burning stove relies on electricity so expect to see a rise in your electricity bill 
  • Pellet stoves need to be maintained more regularly than log/wood-burning stoves; regular servicing and 6-monthly chimney sweeping is advised.

Best Pick Wood Burning Stove

Dimplex MCFSTV12 2 Settings 1.2kW Microstove Freestanding Electric Stove Black
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Dimplex MCFSTV12 2 Settings 1.2kW Microstove Freestanding Electric Stove Black
  • Fuel Effect Type: OPTI FLAME LOG
  • Power (watts): 1200 watts
  • Type of Fire: Freestanding
  • Number of Heat Settings: 2

What to consider when choosing a wood burning stove

There are five key factors you need to consider when deciding on the best wood burning stove for you, your home and your lifestyle. 

  • Wood storage 

You’ll need storage space for your logs and kindling, and it needs to be dry; if you’re planning on buying in bulk, and so having your logs delivered, it’ll also need to be an area that’s easily accessible. If you’re storing your logs outside, use tarpaulin weighed down with bricks to help keep the wood dry. 

  • Wood supply

As wood burning stoves have grown in popularity, so has the number of suppliers, particularly in rural areas. It’s worth asking around for recommendations in terms of the quality of the wood, free delivery and price. 

  • The area you want to heat

If you’re intending on using your wood burning stove primarily for heating purposes, you need to be clear on the size of the area you want to heat – one room, one floor, an entire house? Generally speaking, wood burning stoves are normally used to heat single rooms or small open-plan areas, but they can be connected to a house’s central heating system to heat other/all parts of the building.

  • Usage & day-to-day maintenance

It’s not hard to understand why wood burning stoves have become so popular – the UK isn’t exactly famous for its 12-hr days of sunshine and tropical temperatures, however, it’s not all cosy curl-ups on the sofa – getting to the point where you can sit and enjoy your wood burning stove involves preparation. Your stove will need to be clean from the last time it was used –  the ash will need to be cleaned away and, every so often, the viewing glass will need a quick wipe over. Once the fire has been lit, it may take a while for it to get going so it’s worth fighting it around half an hour before you plan on getting comfortable. 

Annual servicing is advised, particularly for pellet stoves, and you’ll need to have the chimney swept, ideally 1-2 times per year, to keep the stove operating safely and efficiently. 

  • Legal requirements 

All stoves must meet UK building regulations. These regulations specify factors such as how the flue is fitted; what size hearth is required; the distance the stove needs to be from combustibles etc. This information dictates the size and type of wood burning stove you can have, so make sure once you have the information, you seek the advice of a professional installer. If you live in a listed building or a smoke-controlled area of the UK, this may also affect your options.

Why stove efficiency is important

What you need to know: 

  • UK building regulations state that new heating appliances must meet a minimum efficiency rating: this is, at present, is 65% for a wood burning stove.
  • The higher the percentage, the higher the efficiency. 
  • The higher the efficiency, the less fuel you’ll need to burn, saving you money in the long-run. 
  • At present, the majority of wood burning stoves have an efficiency rating of 60% to 80%.
  • New wood burning stoves will need to meet higher efficiency levels in 2022 when new EU laws come into force. 
  • The SIA (Stove Industry Alliance) is already working with manufacturers to produce stoves that meet the 2002 emission criteria.
  • Wood burning stoves which meet the 2022 emission criteria are referred to as ‘Ecodesign Ready’
  • In addition, some wood burning stoves feature ‘cleanburn’ technology; this process increases efficiency by introducing additional air into the stove, increasing the burn-off of smoke and gases.

Wood burning stoves – safety 

The CE mark is a symbol applied to products to indicate that they conform with relevant EU directives regarding health and safety or environmental protection. 

From July 2013, it became a legal requirement that all UK imported wood burning stoves needed to have this mark, assuring consumers that they’re buying a stove that meets the required European safety and efficiency standards. UK manufactured stoves aren’t legally required to have the mark, however, practically all UK manufacturers put their stoves through the official tests regardless.

A wood burning stove with a genuine CE plate is confirmation that the stove has passed a basic quality benchmark and is safe to use, however bizarrely there are still stoves on the market being sold without this quality assurance. Avoid the temptation to save a few hundred pounds and go for one of these – when you think about the unbelievably high temperatures wood burning stoves can reach, and the potential risks surrounding carbon monoxide, it really isn’t worth putting your home and family at risk by installing and operating a non-CE marked stove.

Wood burning stove – output

When it comes to stove output, it’s important to do the maths: too high an output and you’ll find the heat is too much for your home – having to open the windows to allow the room to cool down kind of defeats the object of having a wood burner in the first place!!! In that situation, you’ll find you’re having to run your stove at a lower temperature, which will reduce its efficiency. Not what you want either. 

When deciding on the best wood burning stove output for your home, you’ll need to consider the following:

  • Age of your your home
  • The room size (height, width & length) where the stove will be located
  • Room/floor layout 
  • Size and quantity of windows
  • If the windows are double-glazed
  • Type and quality of insulation

Wood burning stoves range from 3kW to in excess of 15kW.  As a general rule of thumb, for every 14 cubic metres of space ideally, you’ll be wanting 1kW of heat output. 

The following formula offers an approximate guide when it comes to determining how many kW you’ll need:

(Height of room x Width of room x Length of room) ÷ 14

It’s worth bearing in mind that every home is different; there are other factors which may affect the type and size of wood burning stove you need: from the size of your home to the type of chimney you have. When it comes to installation, it’s worth seeking the advice of a professional. 

Wood buying tips

  • Buy in bulk – the greater quantity you buy, the cheaper it should be. 
  • Buy as much wood as you can but remember you’ll need to store it somewhere it’s going to stay dry.
  • Don’t be put off by the increased price of hardwood compared to softwood; it’s likely to be more expensive but hardwood does have a longer burn time.
  • Just like budget vegetables seen in supermarkets, wonky or weirdly-shaped logs can be cheaper; they all burn the same so if you’re not overly bothered about wood aesthetics, use it to your advantage and save the pennies!

Have you considered a stove fan for your wood burning stove? Check out our buyers guide for more information.

Best Of The Rest

Lincsfire Metheringham JA031 13KW MultiFuel WoodBurning Stove Clean Burn WoodBurner Cast Iron Log Burner Woodburning Fireplace
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Lincsfire Metheringham JA031 13KW MultiFuel WoodBurning Stove Clean Burn WoodBurner Cast Iron Log Burner Woodburning Fireplace
  • Constructured of new high quality cast iron with long lifespan.CE Certified.
  • Can burn logs or charcoal(can't burn coal).
  • Air vent control,'Airwash' system.
  • Overall size:630(W)x440(D)x620(H)mm;Top and rear flue outlet.
  • Comes with clean burn technology;Pre-heated air washes system to help keep the glass clean.
GBS Mariner 4 kW Multi Fuel Stove
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GBS Mariner 4 kW Multi Fuel Stove
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5.5kW Cast Iron Multifuel Woodburning Stove
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5.5kW Cast Iron Multifuel Woodburning Stove
  • Up to 5.5kW Heat Output
  • Fuelled by Wood, Coal or Smokeless Fuel
  • Multiple Flue Positions; Top or Rear
  • Longer Burn with our Air Vent Control System
  • Convenient Removable Ash Pan Design

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use a wood-burning stove anywhere in the UK?
There are a small number of towns and cities in the UK which are classed as ‘smoke-controlled areas’; the environmental services department at your local council should be able to advise you if you aren’t sure. If you live in one of these areas, you’ll be required to get approval from DEFRA to burn wood. 

Are wood burning stoves bad for the environment?
Using a wood-burning stove is a low-carbon alternative to heating your home using fossil fuels, however burning wood does produce small particles of soot, similar to a diesel engine, and this isn’t great for the environment. Defra released a new Clean Air Strategy last year which outlined recommendations on the future of wood-burning stoves: by 2022, all new wood burning stoves will need to be more energy-efficient. Manufacturers have taken this on board and already more energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly wood burning stoves are finding their way onto the market. 

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Last update on 2020-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About Mike Jones 178 Articles
I started doing DIY around the house and it soon developed into a hobby. I look for tools and products that are genuinely useful and get the job done. I enjoy writing product reviews, researching my buyers guides and putting tools through their paces. In my downtime, I like to run and I am a bit of a Netflix documentary geek.

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