Finding the best wood-burning stove for yourself amid today’s wood stoves is definitely quite the task. You want to have a high-efficiency wood stove at an affordable price while still maintaining durability, strength, and safety.
Moreover, you need to think about the heating power, optional accessories, EPA certification, aesthetic appeal, and so many other important factors. That’s why we’ll walk you through this list of the most efficient wood stoves available on the market today.
|Ashley Hearth AW3200E (Editor's Choice)||152,000 BTUs||18-22 inches||3/16 inch reinforced steel with firebrick lining|
|Drolet Blackcomb II||60,000 BTUs||18 inches||Alloy 3/16 steel|
|US Stove US1269E||54,000 BTUs||19 inches||Cast iron|
|Drolet Escape 1500||65,000 BTUs||18 inches||Alloy 3/16 steel|
4 Top Wood Stove Models
Now, let’s not beat around the bush of modern wood stoves and get straight to the point. That’s dissecting these wood burners down to the very last detail.
1. Ashley Hearth AW3200E - Best Overall
|Heating capacity:||152,000 BTUs|
|Recommended square footage:||3,200 sq ft|
|Hopper size:||60 lbs|
|Dimensions (WxDxH in inches):||24 x 39 x 32.5 inches|
First on the modern wood stoves list is the Ashley Hearth AW3200E, a sleek wood-burning stove with brick lined firebox and an unbelievable radiant heat output of 152,000 BTUs. This number is hardly beatable in the world of wood-burning stoves.
The model is entirely out of 3/16 inch reinforced stainless steel construction with a firebrick lined interior firebox with a large ash drawer that is good for any type of fireplace insert. This allows for an extended lifetime for this most efficient wood stove. Plus, it can accept wood logs as wood fuel up to 22 inches, giving its user a lot of freedom.
Additionally, it can take up to 30 lbs of wood to start its heat output. Not to mention, its speed is adjustable up to 100 CFM, allowing for perfect heat distribution all over your heat spaces so that there’s less heat accumulation. If there’s one thing to complain about, it’s that this high-efficiency wood stove is a bit heavy.
- Modern design
- Great heat production
- Durable cast iron construction
- Flexible with burn logs lengths
- Adjustable speed
- Takes 30 lbs of wood to start
- Largest area covered (3,200 sq ft)
- Vague efficiency, grams per hour emission rate, and hour burn time
2. Drolet Blackcomb II - Runner-Up
|Heating capacity:||60,000 BTUs|
|Recommended square footage:||500 - 1800 sq ft|
|Hopper size:||60 lbs|
|Dimensions (WxDxH in inches):||25 x 25 x 31 inches|
You see, this efficient wood stove doesn't come with a removable ash pan, it has instead an air wash system consisting of ash pan built on its pedestal with an ash lip, an air damper, side panels, a ceramic glass window, and a top air deflector. Hence, it’s the epitome of a multi-tasking stove from one of the best wood stove manufacturers.
As for the build of this wood stove, it’s made entirely out of plate steel of different degrees of thickness. The body is 3/16, while the top is 5/16. This, of course, allows for durability and strength.
Furthermore, this particular stove burner is one of the most efficient ones as it boasts a heating efficiency level of 75%, meaning that less than 30% of the energy going into the burner is lost. This takes us to another point: burning time.
With this attractive stove, you get an hour burn time of six as a maximum, which exceeds the average of four hours. Additionally, it produces so much heat, 65,000 BTUs to be precise, while still maintaining the label of being EPA-certified, so it’s one of the best non-catalytic stoves with a pleasant hearth.
Last but certainly not least, the emission rate is 1.26 grams per hour, having a good environmental impact. Sadly though, it has a maximum of 1800 square feet when it comes to coverage. As a result, it’s best suited for small to medium spaces at best, as it’s a small wood stove.
- Sleek firebox design
- Extremely high heat output
- Excellent hour burn time
- EPA 2020 approved
- Highly efficient
- Environmentally friendly
- Not suitable for a large room
- Small area coverage (500 sq ft)
3. US Stove US1269E - Budget Pick
|Heating capacity:||54,000 BTUs|
|Recommended square footage:||900 sq ft|
|Hopper size:||40 lbs|
|Dimensions (WxDxH in inches):||22.2 x 33 x 25.8 inches|
Next, we have an affordable wood stove, which is the US Stove US1269E. It’s definitely one of the perfect wood stoves at this price range as it comes with 67.4% efficiency and a heavy-duty cast iron wood stove build that allows for strength and durability for ages.
Safety hasn’t been forgotten when designing this wood stove as the cast iron door handle is made from two pieces; the outer one works as heat shields that stays cold at all times to eliminate the risk of ugly burns.
Additionally, this efficient stove is one of the small wood stoves, making it perfect for small spaces, as it can cover up to 900 square feet only. Nevertheless, it creates 54,000 BTU, so it’s honest work for your living area.
Plus, it’s lightweight, so it can be moved from one place to another relatively easily. Yet, it must stay in a small space in a stable home or small cabin, as it’s not a good fit for moving ones like mobile homes.
- Sturdy build suitable for modern homes
- Firebox flexible with logs
- Built-in cooking surface
- Great for smaller areas
- Reasonable price
- Has to be in a stable home
- Small coverage
4. Drolet Escape 1500-I
|Heating capacity:||65,000 BTUs|
|Recommended square footage:||1800 sq ft|
|Hopper size:||48 lbs|
|Dimensions (WxDxH in inches):||28 x 23 x 22 inches|
Our last pick is all about efficiency rating, as it packs 78% of it, so only 22% of the input will be lost. Additionally, the Drolet Escape 1500 is EPA certified wood stove, making it a non-catalytic wood stove and eco-friendly, which is always a welcomed plus.
As for what this large wood stove features, it has a peak heat output of 65,000 BTUs for its square cubic feet coverage of 1800 and only 1.26 grams of smoke per hour, making it a win-win situation.
This affordable stove does, of course, lie on the heavier side as it weighs 360 lbs; yet, it has a six-hour burn time thanks to its top-notch blower.
- EPA 2020 approved
- Low smoke per hour emission rate
- Excellent hour burn time
- Sturdy firebox size construction
- Great for average-sized areas
- Efficient blower
5. Other models we looked at include
We also looked at the following smallest to largest wood burning stoves in our review rating: Pleasant Hearth, Lopi Endeavor NexGen-Fyre, Drolet HT 3000 High Efficiency, HT-3000, HiFlame Appaloosa Cast Iron Wood-Burning Stove, Vogelzang TR007 Ponderosa with Blower, Woodpro, and Duraflame DFI-5010-01 Infrared Quartz.
These EPA certified wood burning stoves offers efficient wood heat to warm up your cozy home.
Wood Burner Buyers Guide
Now, we’ll start speaking about all of the important features and characteristics that anyone should think of whenever they decide to embark on the journey of discovering the best wood-burning stoves and finding the best and right stove company for them. Theses guide also works for wood pellet stoves but not on gas stoves.
BTUs is short for British Thermal Units, and it’s a reflection of the heat production that the specific wood-burning stove is capable of. Hence, it’s a vital aspect of all wood-burning stoves as it makes the difference between warm air and cold air.
Of course, as you go higher with the BTUs, there will be more heat output, and the stove will effectively heat and cover a wider area.
So, off the top of our minds, large areas would need a BTU heat output of 120,000 - 160,000 BTUs, and as space gets smaller, the stove’s BTUs should as well.
As we’ve just said, when buying your wood-burning stove, the BTU heat output will affect how many square cubic feet will be covered effectively. That makes square cubic feet another number that you must pay attention to when it comes to the coverage of wood stoves.
Some wood stove models are classified as small stoves, while other models are designed for larger homes and larger spaces; hence they support and cover more area, perhaps starting at 3000 square cubic feet and going up. Other small to medium stoves are suited for medium-sized homes, around 2000 square feet.
Cold environments and getting cold in the morning are normal; yet, mostly unimportant and non-disturbing. On the other side of the spectrum, getting cold at night despite the thick wall is awful; cold feet have kept people up for years, and that is the point of hour burn time and why it’s vital for wood stoves and pellet stoves.
You see, the best wood stove would have a long hour burn time that’d allow you to sleep comfortably, up to eight hours, for example. Consequently, that’s the number you should be looking for when it comes to the hour burn time; load it up with more wood pellets and biomass fuels, and hit the sack.
Smoke Emission Rates
As we go back in time, the amount of smoke produced by wood-burning stoves and wood pellets could easily give someone respiratory tract problems especially in a place with a closed window and thin wall. That’s the point of trying to transform the older wood stoves into EPA certified wood stoves that have low emission rates and non-catalytic combustion systems.
The build of any wood stove decides its durability and strength throughout the years. Even if your personal preference is to go with a wood stove that goes with your top budget choice, you’ll still end up paying a significant sum of money.
Subsequently, you’d expect it to last quite a few years, and you have two great options when it comes to wood stove burners; cast iron stove and steel alloy.
Sometimes, manufacturers decide to mix different degrees of steel thickness into the same wood stove to achieve the best performance possible when it comes to stability and strength for the entire house or any living area.
Buying Guide: Wood & Pellet Stoves
What’s the Lifespan of Wood Stoves?
That depends on the quality of your wood burning stove. But, generally, they have a lifespan of 10-20 years depending on usage, structure, and maintenance.
What Is the Optimal Spot for a Wood Stove?
Since you want to help your wood burning stove achieve the best levels of heat source distribution possible when burning wood, the best place to situate it will be in the center of the area that you wish to heat and with little-to-no obstacles standing in its way. Remember that you need to consider your square feet of living space and your type of place, whether it's a stable or mobile home.
Can Using Wood Stoves Cause You Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
If your wood-burning stove is not EPA certified, such as catalytic wood stoves, then it might lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when carbon monoxide and other flue gases builds up in your bloodstream. That’s if it, along with its flue in the chimney, isn’t being maintained properly so that you can get rid of all of its emissions properly and reduce catalytic combustion.
What Are The Different Types Of Wood burning Stoves?
The different types of wood burning stoves come in many shapes and sizes. Here is a breakdown: One-side-draft stove: A one-side-draft stove uses air from the fire to heat the room on the other side of the stove. This type is best suited for small rooms. Two-side-draft stove: A two-side-draft stove uses forced air from the fire to heat both sides of the stove. This type is best suited for larger rooms. Direct-fire stove: A direct-fire stove uses fire directly from the burners. This type is best suited for large spaces.
How Much Does A Wood Burning Stove Cost?
There is a huge variety of wood burning stoves on the market, so it can be difficult to estimate what one will cost. That said, we've put together a few benchmarks to give you an idea. A basic-model wood burning stove typically costs between $800 and $1,200 (1), but this price range can vary greatly depending on features and brand name. The best way to find out what a particular stove will cost is to consult with a home improvement or plumbing retailer in your area.
How Big Should My Wood Burning Stove Be?
When choosing the perfect wood-burning stove, size is an important factor to consider (2). Buying a too big stove will only result in wasted money and space while purchasing a too small stove will not provide enough heat or be able to do the job properly. Here are some guidelines to help you choose the right wood-burning stove size: If space is tight, choose a smaller wood-burning stove. If space is not an issue, go for a bigger wood-burning stove. If you plan on using your stove often, buying a bigger one is recommended to save on coal/wood expenses over time.
How Often Should A Wood Burning Stove Be Serviced?
Servicing a wood-burning stove should be done every 3-5 years (3), depending on the severity of the cleaning required.
How Much Does It Cost To Install A Wood-burning Stove?
Wood-burning stoves come in all shapes, sizes, and price points. The average cost to install a wood-burning stove starts at around $800 (4), but this can vary depending on the desired model and features. Many homeowners opt for an installation kit or specialized installer to handle the task, as it can be a challenging and time-consuming process. When comparing prices and features, it's important to remember that some features – like higher heat output levels – may require more expensive equipment or installation fees.
What Is The Best Wood To Burn In A Multi Fuel Stove?
There is no definitive answer to this question as it depends on a number of factors, including the size of the stove, the type of wood being burned, and the user’s preferences. However, some general tips that may be useful include choosing woods that are small in diameter (to minimize ash buildup) and easy to light (5). Additionally, burning softwoods or pine needles is generally frowned upon as they produce more ash and are prone to catching fire.
Do High-Efficiency Wood Burning Stoves Work?
Yes, high-efficiency wood-burning stoves work. They just require a little more attention to maintenance. Many of the design features that make high efficiency (60% and 80%) stoves (6) efficient also make them vulnerable to EPA regulations and other mandates that can impact their performance.
What Are The Different Parts Of A Wood Stove?
A wood stove, also known as a wood-fired oven or biomass stove, is an ancient and time-honored cooking appliance that heats up food using heat from glowing pieces of wood. A typical wood stove has four main parts: the firebox, the oven, the chimney, and the flue (7). The firebox is where the heat from the burning wood is concentrated. The oven is where the food gets cooked. The chimney takes the smoke and heat out of the oven, and the flue carries it away.
What Is The Cheapest Wood Burning Stove?
There is no one answer to this question since the cheapest wood burning stove will vary depending on various factors including the brand, model, and features. However, some of the most affordable wood burning stoves available on the market (8) include those from Ecotemp and Camp Chef. These two brands typically sell stoves for around $100, which is a good deal given their quality and features.
Wood Stoves Conclusion
At the end of the day, we want not just a cheaper wood burning stove, we also tend to wanting and searching for the best wood stove burner will depend on chimney availability, reducing catalytic combustion, nailing all of your heating spaces, and not contributing to air pollution. But still, the right budget choice wood stove that won’t fatten your heating bill with thousands of dollars.
That, while still managing to provide adequate heat to your modern home, tiny house, or large home, all the same, throughout the cold months. Now, let’s end on a high note with some recommendations.
First, we have the pleasant hearth, Ashley Hearth AW3200E, with its unprecedented 152,000 BTU heat output, 60 lbs hopper, and adjustable speed. Next, we’ve got our runner-up, the Drolet Blackcomb II. This seasoned wood burning stove comes with an impressive efficiency of 75%, next to 60,000 BTUs, and a six-hour burn time.
- What Wood Should You Not Burn?
- Do You Need Permission to Install a Wood Burning Stove?
- Can a Wood Stove Get Too Hot?
- How Long Do Wood Stoves Last?
- Can I Install My Own Wood Stove?