The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (2024)

Nothing says cozy quite like the ambiance of a roaring fire on a snowy day. Unfortunately, fireplaces aren’t an efficient means of heating your home, especially in cold climates. However, wood stoves, powered by logs and the perfect amount of kindling, provide both charming aesthetics and an energy-efficient and cost-effective method of heat.

Unlike a space heater, modern wood stoves churn out enough fiery warmth for your entire home and won’t leave you out in the cold when the power goes out. But wood stoves do require some professional maintenance and regular cleaning. Some states like Colorado, Idaho, and Utah also prohibit or limit the use of wood stoves when the local air quality is poor.

It’s also worth noting that wood stove enthusiasts should shop and install these with care, as there are laws regarding clearance from combustible materials found in exterior walls and floors. Heavier wood stoves further require proper structural support, making them inappropriate for installation in some mobile homes or prefab houses.

Fortunately, modern wood stoves aren’t just designed for a cabin retreat or suburban home. A slew of lighter, portable wood stoves with cooking surfaces are popular with campers and backpackers who appreciate being able to grab fuel from their surroundings to cook and heat on-the-go. We’ve included an assortment of these tiny infernos below, alongside some of the best wood stoves to warm your home this winter.

Best Wood Stoves

The Expert (Kaz Weida): Growing up in the woods of New Hampshire, I was raised with our entire home heated by a pot-bellied wood stove. In addition, I spent two winters in a log cabin with only a wood-burning cook stove for company. These days, my career as a professional researcher and writer means I’m less acquainted with the art of stacking firewood, but my Utah family and our rescue dog still keep warm in the glow of an electric fireplace.
The Expert (Alex Rennie): I'm a freelance writer who specializes in the Home Improvement, DIY, and Tool space. As a former residential and commercial carpenter, I use my hands-on experience to write practical buying guides, how-to articles, and product reviews. Based in Los Angeles, I spend my free time exploring the beaches and mountains with my fiancé and our dog Louie.

    What to Consider in a Wood Stove

    Wood stoves come in all shapes and sizes. You'll want to choose one that is suitable for your space in terms of style and efficiency. Here’s how to decide what you need in a wood stove and what you don't.

    Type

    There are two types of modern wood stoves: catalytic and non-catalytic. Both reduce air pollution by reburning exhaust to limit emissions, but catalytic stoves use a different process that is slightly more efficient at this second burn. Non-catalytic stoves are popular because they’re less expensive and slightly more efficient at producing heat.

    Because the cost of a wood stove equipped with a catalytic converter is currently prohibitive for the average homeowner, the wood stove models we’ve recommended below are all non-catalytic models.

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    Size

    The size of your wood stove matters not just in terms of the space it can heat but also when it comes to safety. Before you install a wood stove, check your state requirements for clearance. Federal guidelines stipulate the stove should be installed at least 3 feet from any combustibles in the wall, ceiling, or floors.

    If you have children, also consider how much clearance you might need around the stove for a child safety gate and where you plan to stack and store firewood.

    British Thermal Units (BTU)

    British Thermal Units (BTUs) might sound fancy, but it's just a measurement of how much heat is being generated. This is different from the heating area of a wood stove in that it refers to the energy the stove produces in an hour. A rule of thumb: You need 20 BTUs for every foot of space you want to heat. Dial in exactly how many thermal units your home needs by using this online BTU calculator.

    Heating area

    Decide whether you’re using your wood stove as a main heating source or for supplemental heat in the winter. In general, a small wood stove can heat about 500 square feet, while a medium wood stove warms up to 1,000 feet. A large model will a heat a room of 1,500 feet or more.

    It’s worth pointing out that more isn’t always better. To keep costs in control and your wood stove efficient, consider if you really need to heat every space in your home or just the living areas your family frequents.

    Weight

    Modern wood stoves are lighter than ever, but many large models can still tip the scales at several hundred pounds. Depending on the weight of the stove, you may not be able to install it in a mobile home or in certain structurally vulnerable spots in your house. Instead, look for a wood stove that is mobile-home approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

    If your goal is to get an outdoor wood stove portable enough for camping or backpacking, you’ll want a lightweight model with components that collapse down into a compact package.

    Log length

    The size of the logs and the kind of wood you put into your wood stove is about more than convenience or cost. It can also affect burn time and efficiency, which is especially important if you’re using your wood stove as a main heating source.

    Generally, most wood stoves will fit a log about 16 inches long and 3 inches in diameter. As you can imagine, wood stoves designed for smaller logs may leave you rolling up your sleeves and grabbing the axe more often than you might like.

    EPA-certified

    Many modern wood stoves currently sold in the United States are certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which means they meet current health standards both for emissions and safety. All of the wood stoves we’ve recommended below are EPA-certified, but you can also check the EPA’s database of certified wood-burning heaters.

    How We Selected These Wood Stoves

    To make my wood stove recommendations, I chose non-catalytic models that are affordable while still meeting EPA standards for emissions. Among the wood stoves that made the cut, you’ll find a wide variety to meet your space limitations and style while maintaining efficient BTU output.

    One of the best things about having a huge fire in the middle of your home is making the most of those rustic vibes. Many of the stoves I picked have a cooktop or a big window so you can put your feet up and enjoy the fiery action. Additionally, I relied on the prior research done by writer Alex Rennie, who also is a contributor to this article.

    1

    Best Overall

    Drolet Escape 2100 Wood Stove

    The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (1)

    Pros
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (2)Low particle emissions
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (3)Massive heating area
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (4)Large viewing window
    Cons
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (5)Heavy
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (6)Large footprint

    If you want a wood stove capable of churning out enough heat to warm your whole home, Drolet will light your fire. The Escape 2100 is one of the brand's largest wood stoves, capable of heating 2,700 square feet with up to 110,000 BTUs.

    Making room for this stove is a serious endeavor, though, as it weighs nearly 500 pounds and has an outsized footprint. Despite the size, Drolet stoves exceed EPA standards for emissions, so you can feel confident that you’re minimizing your impact to the air quality both indoors and out.

    Key Specs

    Size (H x W x D)34.5 x 28.13 x 31.9 in.
    BTU110,000
    Heating Area2,700 sq. ft.
    Weight489 lb
    Max log length22 in.

    2

    Best Value

    Ventis HES140 Wood Burning Stove with Pedestal

    The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (7)

    Pros
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (8)Mobile home-approved
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (9)Contemporary style
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (10)Generous viewing area
    Cons
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (11)Small log length
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (12)Low BTU output

    When the rustic wood stove look doesn’t suit your decor, Ventis fits the bill with this small, pedestal-style design. Its light weight makes this stove mobile-home approved, but it still warms a respectably large heating area.

    One of the drawbacks of this relatively affordable wood stove is a lower BTU output and a pretty small log length, which may translate to the extra step of chopping down your cords to a more compact size. But in return you’ll get a gorgeous view that’d warm the heart of any modern chalet.

    Key Specs

    Size (H x W x D)26.75 x 26.75 x 32.13 in.
    BTU45,000
    Heating Area1,200 sq. ft.
    Weight282 lb
    Max log length17 in.
    Pros
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (15)Highest heat output of all our recommendations
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (16)Large viewing window
    Cons
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (17)Heavy
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (18)Large footprint

    The impressive 152,000 BTU generated by this large wood stove, and its ability to heat up to 3,200 square feet of space, make this Ashley Hearth model ideal for those who need the strength to warm up generously sized areas.

    Its robust firebox can hold up to 30 pounds of wood, while the stylish arched ceramic glass door allows you a great view of the fire. It will fit logs up to 22 inches long.

    This stove weighs 400 pounds which might be too much for customers who want something a bit easier to install. If its weight is not a dealbreaker, this stove could be a great choice.

    Key Specs

    Size (H x W x D)32.5 x 24 x 39 in.
    BTU152,000
    Heating Area3,200 sq. ft.
    Weight400 lb
    Max Log Length22 in.

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    4

    Best for Maximum Fire View

    Ashley Hearth 2000 Wood Stove

    The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (19)

    Pros
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (20)Mobile home-approved
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (21)Helpful instructions
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (22)Impressive BTU output
    Cons
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (23)Small firebox

    If you’re looking for an elegant stove designed to showcase the crackling fire inside, this model is a great choice. The large, 16- by 10.3–inch viewing door made of pyroceramic glass won’t shatter or crack, even under extreme heat. A wide ash pan makes cleaning up convenient and easy, and the spring handles make the process comfortable and safe.

    Just like all Ashley Hearth products, the installation and instruction manuals provide clear and concise instructions, so you can be sure everything is set up correctly and your stove is properly positioned for maximum effectiveness and safety.

    Key Specs

    Size (H x W x D)31.25 x 29.4 x 21 in.
    BTU89,000
    Heating Area2,000 sq. ft.
    Weight315 lb
    Max Log Length21 in.

    5

    Best Stove with Legs

    Pleasant Hearth 2500 Wood Stove

    The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (24)

    Pros
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (25)Large heating area
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (26)Somewhat lightweight
    Cons
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (27)Small log length

    This freestanding wood burning stove features a durable, brick-lined firebox, and a unique “air-wash” system to help keep its large ceramic glass window clear.

    Its 97,000 BTU’s are powerful enough to heat areas up to 2,500 square feet, and its relatively manageable weight—267 pounds—is workable for those who plan on moving and installing this unit themselves. An easy-access ash drawer in the pedestal makes it simple to clean out after it has cooled.

    Key Specs

    Size (H x W x D)31.5 x 26.5 x 30 in.
    BTU70,000
    Heating Area2200 sq. ft.
    Weight267 lb
    Max Log Length17 in.

    6

    Best Rustic-Style Stove

    Ashley Hearth 900 Wood Stove

    The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (28)

    The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (29)

    Pros
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (30)Cooking surface
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (31)Low weight makes it easy to install
    Cons
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (32)Limited heating range

    This rustic model from Ashley Hearth is a natural fit for those with a log cabin or for folks who just want to add a bit of woodsy charm to their homes.

    My favorite feature is the oversized safety handle which is not only comfortable to grab when opening or closing the door, but stays cool to the touch, even when the stove is in operation.

    Its 900-square-foot heating range isn’t the highest of my selections, but is still impressive considering the small size of this stove. The integrated cooking surface on top is a valuable feature as well.

    Key Specs

    Size (H x W x D)25.8 x 22.2 x 33 in.
    BTU54,000
    Heating Area900 sq. ft.
    Weight142 lb
    Max Log Length19 in.

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    7

    Best Barrel Stove Kit

    US Stove Company BSK2000 Heavy Duty Camp Stove Kit

    The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (33)

    The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (34)

    Now 25% Off

    Pros
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (35)Heavy-duty cast iron construction
    Cons
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (36)Bulky

    You’ll need to supply your own 55-gallon barrel, but if you’ve got one handy, and the DIY know-how, this stove kit is worth it.

    Included is everything to convert a standard steel barrel into a working wood-burning stove: legs, door, flu collar, and all mounting hardware. It won’t be very portable, but if you’ve got a regular campsite or hunting cabin you frequent, a large barrel stove could be a wise permanent addition.

    With its large size, it can fit logs up to 27 inches in length, significantly longer than any other option included in my picks.

    Key Specs

    Size (H x W x D)16.7 x 15.9 x 5.9 in.
    BTUN/A
    Heating Area900 sq. ft.
    Weight21 lb
    Max log length27 in.

    8

    Best For Camping

    Fltom Camping Wood Stove, Portable Hot Tent Stove

    The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (37)

    The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (38)

    Pros
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (39)Includes over 5 feet of flue pipe
    Cons
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (40)May be too small to heat large spaces

    This portable stove is ideal for camping adventures. Its multifunctional design allows you to use it as a heat source, or if you prefer to cook as well, you can use either the hotplate cover, or stainless steel grill rack.

    A pair of shelves can also be attached to the sides of the unit to provide space for additional cooking items. This stove also comes with six flue pipe pieces, allowing you to extend its height to 4.69 feet. This adjustable height makes it convenient for smoke containment at a campsite and using in small enclosures.

    Key Specs

    Size (H x W x D)11.4 x 8.2 x 9 in.
    BTUN/A
    Heating AreaN/A
    Weight15 lb
    Max log length11 in.

    9

    No-Frills Outdoor Stove

    Ironclad Supply Rocket Stove

    The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (41)

    The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (42)

    Pros
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (43)Versatile fuel sources
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (44)Off-grid cooking & heating
    Cons
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (45)Heavier than other camp stoves
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (46)Too large for backpacking

    Ironclad Supply’s rocket stove achieves lift off because of its use of biomass, making it an efficient outdoor heating and cooking choice for camps, backyards, and tailgates. With just a handful of twigs and brush, this outdoor wood stove cranks out a respectable 23,000 BTUs.

    The downside to this outdoor wood stove is that, at 10 pounds, it lands on the heavy side for anyone trying to haul it into the backcountry. And while it’s a little bit big for a backpack, this rocket stove does come with its own carrying case.

    Key Specs

    Size (H x W x D)12 x 12.5 x 9 in.
    BTU23,000
    Heating AreaN/A
    Weight10 lb
    Max log lengthN/A

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    10

    Best Portable Cooking Option

    Lineslife Wood Burning Camp Stove

    The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (47)

    The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (48)

    Pros
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (49)Compact
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (50)Cooking surface
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (51)Lightweight
    Cons
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (52)Short burn time (40-60 minutes)
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (53)Tiny log length

    This fiery little camping stove is lightweight at a mere 7 pounds, but is made of durable cast iron and sports a single, convenient cooktop. The 19 slats make for excellent ventilation, but the small chamber means you’ll have to use little logs and feed the fire often.

    In fact, the fire will go out if left unattended for longer than an hour. This is fine for cooking but not ideal for heating a campsite overnight. Still, collapsible legs mean the footprint of this wood cook stove is compact and suitable for camping.

    Key Specs

    Size (H x W x D)9.4 x 9.4 x 4 inches (folded); 8.7 x 8.7 x 13.8 inches (unfolded)
    BTUN/A
    Heating AreaN/A
    Weight7 lb
    Max log lengthApprox. 9 inches

    11

    Best Lightweight Camping Option

    Solo Stove Titan Camping Stove

    The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (54)

    The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (55)

    Pros
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (56)Ultra lightweight
    Cons
    • The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (57)Very short burn time

    It doesn’t get smaller (under 8 inches tall) or lighter (16.5 ounces) than a Solo Stove. Made of 304 stainless steel, the Titan is designed specifically for backpackers—and it's even airplane friendly.

    As you might expect, a stove this compact doesn’t support full-sized logs. You can burn chunks of wood, and once it’s down to embers, you can even use a lid (sold separately) to retain some heat. But you’ll have to get up often to feed the fire and keep it burning through the night.

    Key Specs

    Size7.9 x 5.1 in.
    BTUN/A
    Heating AreaN/A
    Weight16.5 oz
    Max log lengthN/A

    How to Clean Your Wood Stove and Other Tips from Expert Kaz Weida

    The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (58)

    What is involved with installing a wood burning stove?

    From insulating the chimney, to adhering to the proper stove pipe clearance, to wall shields and floor pads, there’s quite a bit to do when you install a wood stove, and much of it is mandated by building codes and state or federal laws. It's critical to your safety that you not miss a step, which is why I recommend you leave installing the wood stove to a professional.

    What is the best way to clean one of these?

    It’s extremely important to clean your wood stove (and chimney) thoroughly and often so you avoid the accumulation of creosote, a highly flammable byproduct of burning wood.

    While cleaning your chimney should be done yearly by a professional, tidying up your wood stove is pretty straightforward. When the stove is cool, put down a cloth or newspaper and empty the ashtray and any ashes that are in the firebox into an ash bucket. Then wait at least 24- to 48 hours before you dump the ash bucket so any slightly warm embers don’t catch fire.

    You can wipe down the interior with a soft, wet cloth and use a chimney brush to scrub out the stovepipe and loosen any residue. If the exterior has rust, you can use a wire brush or sandpaper to remove it.

    Can I let a wood stove burn unattended or overnight?

    Yes, you can leave a wood stove unattended for a few hours or overnight, but with some caveats. You should tamp down or mostly close some of the vents to ensure the fire stays under control. Also, shut and lock the door, and clear any objects from around the stove.

    Just be aware that if you plan to leave the fire unattended and it goes out during the night, you’ll have to restart it, which is harder than simply feeding a live fire.

    Should I look for a stove that is EPA-certified?

    Most of the wood stoves you can purchase new in the U.S. will be EPA-certified, but you should still check the packaging to verify.

    EPA-certification means the wood stove has been independently tested to meet a particulate emissions limit of no more than 4.5 grams per hour. If you have an old model that is not EPA-certified, check to see if your state has a program that provides tax deductions for replacing your wood stove.

    The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (59)

    Kaz Weida

    Kaz Weida is a former educator turned freelance journalist who started off producing reviews and guides in the home security and telecom industry in 2015; she has tested, researched, and reviewed more products than she count, be it air quality monitors or kids GPS trackers. Kaz had bylines in a wide array of publications and sites including HuffPost, BlogHer, SheKnows, SafeWise, CableTV, and Rosetta Stone, and her work has been featured in Medium, Womens E News, Scary Mommy, and Salt Lake City Weekly. When she's not at her desk, Kaz is in the kitchen crafting and photographing co*cktails.

    The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (60)

    Alex Rennie

    Alex Rennie is a freelance writer who specializes in the Home Improvement, DIY, and Tool space. As a former residential and commercial carpenter, Alex uses his hands-on experience to write practical buying guides, how-to articles, and product reviews. His work has also appeared in Business Insider's Insider Picks, and before his writing career, he was a full-time carpenter living in New York City. There, he worked as part of a team designing, building, and installing large furniture pieces, as well as performing a variety of home repair and maintenance projects. Alex currently lives in Los Angeles, CA, and spends his free time exploring the beaches and mountains with his fiancé and their dog Louie.

    The 11 Best Wood Stoves for Warmth, Ambiance, and More (2024)

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