Make Your Home Warm and Toasty With the Best Wood Stoves (2024)

There are many advantages to using a wood-burning stove in your home. “A wood-burning stove is not just a source of warmth; it's an investment in comfort, sustainability, and a cozy ambiance that transforms a house into a home," says David Steckel, a home improvement expert at Thumbtack. Many models have a high-efficiency rating, which means they burn cleaner and produce low emissions. Perhaps the biggest advantage—if you're able to provide your own wood—is that you can heat your home for free.

To provide adequate warmth for your home, consider the stove’s heat output and coverage area. Heat output is measured in BTUs (British thermal units), and the stoves on this list range anywhere between 5,000 and 112,000 BTUs. Generally, a higher BTU rating means that the stove is capable of effectively heating a larger coverage area. For example, a stove rated at 60,000 BTU can heat a 2,000-square-foot home, while a unit with 42,000 BTU can warm about 1,300 square feet of space.For each product, we list the BTUs and the amount of area heated so you can find the heater that works for your space.

Wood-burning stoves come in a variety of styles, from stand-alone units and hearth inserts to portable models that you can take on a camping trip. Ready to make your home cozier this year? We found the best wood stoves in multiple categories and evaluated products on their size, material, heat output, coverage area, and overall performance.

What We Like

  • Attractive, classic design

  • Ash pan for easy cleaning

  • Meets all 2020 EPA guidelines

  • Approved for mobile home use

Thanks to its excellent heating capabilities, stylish design, and helpful features, the Ashley Hearth Products 2,500 Sq. Ft. Wood Burning Stove earns the top spot on our list. We love how its pedestal base and large viewing window offer a classic design and cozy aesthetic. This stove produces 112,800 BTUs and can heat up to 2,500 square feet, making it a great choice for larger spaces. But it can also be used in mobile homes as an alternative heat source.

This wood stove can hold logs up to 21 inches in length, and the wide firebox, combined with a firebrick-lined interior, helps to reduce the need for refills. Another convenient feature is the integrated ash pan with a brush nickel handle, which allows for easy removal and cleaning. However, we recommend wearing gloves when opening the door or removing the ash pan because these surfaces can get very hot.

This stove is EPA-certified Step 2 of requirements for wood stoves and pellet stoves, which means it emits only 2.5 grams of particulate matter per hour when burning cordwood (firewood). Since it’s not EPA-approved, however, you should check with your homeowner’s insurance before installing it. One last caveat worth noting: The blower is sold separately, so this is something to think about when considering the cost.

Dimensions: 31.4 x 27 x 25.6 inches | Material: Steel | Heat Output: 112,800 BTUs | Area Heated: 2,500 square feet

What We Like

  • Compact size for versatile placement

  • Realistic 3D flame effect

  • Can be operated with or without heat

What We Don't Like

  • Remote can be tricky to use

  • Top is too warm to display items

If you want the cozy aesthetic of a fireplace without the mess, consider the Duraflame Infrared Quartz Fireplace Stove. While it’s designed to look like a traditional wood stove, it is actually an electric heater. The operation couldn’t be easier: It plugs into a standard wall outlet, and no wood is required. We tested this electric stove in both a lab and real-world setting to assess its performance, and every time, we found the three-dimensional flame effect to be surprisingly realistic and were impressed by this effective heater. We also appreciated the stove’s relatively small footprint, which allows for versatile placement in any room.

This unit is equipped with a 5,200 BTU heater and can warm rooms up to 1,000 square feet. Since it’s an infrared heater, it heats objects in the room rather than the room itself. While it will keep you warm in small spaces, this heater has a lower heat capacity than traditional wood stoves. But unlike a wood stove, thanks to its flame-only setting, you can enjoy it year-round for ambiance only.

Convenient features include an adjustable thermostat, five flame levels, a timer, and a remote control. Thanks to a built-in thermometer in the plug, this unit will shut off automatically if it overheats–an excellent safety feature. We did note two design flaws while testing, though they’re not dealbreakers by any means. When the beveled glass door is closed, it hides the control panel, which makes it challenging to see the exact temperature. And, since the top of the stove gets pretty hot, it should not be used to display items.

How It Performed Long-Term

We tested this heater for an additional six months at home and continued to be impressed by its overall performance. We used it almost weekly, including with and without the heat, when we just wanted the ambiance of a fireplace. Although the control panel is hidden, we thought that this added to the realistic look of the fireplace and didn't mind getting up to see the exact temperature when needed. Plus, the remote was very handy, so we didn't have to get up to adjust the settings. Overall, if you don't want to bother with firewood or installation and just want a wood stove-style heater for a small space, this option is a great value.

Dimensions: 24 x 23.4 x 13 inches | Material: Metal | Heat Output: 5,200 BTUs | Area Heated: 1,000 square feet

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What We Like

  • Elegant design

  • Highly efficient

  • Extremely low emissions

  • Available in 5 colors

What We Don’t Like

  • Extremely heavy

The Woodstock Soapstone Progress Hybrid Wood Stove is significantly pricier than other models, but if you want a particularly stylish and efficient stove that will heat a large space, it may be worth the splurge. This unit delivers up to 47,220 BTUs, providing enough heat to warm large homes up to 2,200 square feet. Since it is a catalytic stove, it burns cleanly for 14 hours or more and produces very low emissions—only 0.63 grams per hour. The stove is wide enough to burn logs up to 22 inches long, which allows for a longer burn time.

The elegant soapstone exterior enclosed with a cast iron frame offers exceptional durability and plenty of visual appeal. This stove also has a large glass window that provides a great view of the flames. Plus, you can choose from five color options to best suit your decor. While it's stylish enough for any home, however, it might be too large for some spaces, and it's extremely heavy at 700 pounds.

Dimensions: 33.5 x 30.5 x 25 inches | Material: Steel | Heat Output: 47,220 BTUs | Area Heated: 2,200 square feet

What We Like

  • Heavy-duty construction for heat retention and durability

  • Adjustable high-speed blower

  • Large viewing window

  • Spring-loaded automatic adjuster for easy installation

What We Don’t Like

  • Requires smaller pieces of wood/logs

Thanks to its airtight design, this fireplace insert will improve your fireplace’s efficiency–and enhance the appearance of your hearth. Heavy gauge plate steel construction, combined with firebrick lining on the interior, offers durability and solid heat retention. With 69,000 BTUs, this wood stove insert can heat rooms up to 1,200 square feet. An adjustable high blower at the bottom helps circulate warm air throughout the room. The door is made from a heavy cast iron, but it has a wood handle that stays cool to the touch. Another noteworthy feature is the large ceramic glass window, which provides an excellent view of the burning fire.

This wood stove insert has a large hearth surround that measures 31 x 44 inches, allowing it to enclose your existing fireplace fully. It also has a spring-loaded automatic adjuster that makes it easy to install. Just note that this fireplace insert accepts logs up to 18 inches long, a slightly smaller wood size than some of the other options in this list. For that reason, it may have a shorter burn time and need to be reloaded more frequently.

Dimensions: 22.37 x 26.5 x 20.18 inches | Material: Steel | Heat Output: 69,000 BTUs | Area Heated: 1,200 square feet

What We Like

  • Compact size for smaller homes and cabins

  • EPA-certified for clean burning

  • Top surface can be used for cooking

What We Don’t Like

  • No viewing window

Thanks to its compact design, this wood-burning stove is a good choice for cabins, garages, or smaller-sized homes. Delivering 54,000 BTUs, it’s capable of heating areas up to 900 square feet. This stove is made of cast iron, and it’s EPA-certified to ensure a clean burn. Measuring 33 x 18.5 x 23 inches, the slim design takes up a minimal amount of space—making it a great alternative to bulkier stoves. However, you will have to forgo some of the features you’ll find on larger models, such as a viewing window and blower.

The top of the stove can be used as a cooking surface, an ideal space for preparing small meals. Despite its small size, this unit has a fairly large firebox, which is wide enough to accommodate logs up to 19 inches long. Note that while the firebox is protected by a lifetime warranty, the rest of the parts are only covered for a year.

Dimensions: 33 x 18.5 x 23 inches | Material: Cast iron | Heat Output: 54,000 BTUs | Area Heated: 900 square feet

What We Like

  • Classic design

  • Ash drawer for hassle-free cleaning

  • Top air deflector improves circulation

  • Comes with a lifetime warranty

What We Don’t Like

  • Accessories cost extra

Producing up to 75,000 BTUs, the Drolet Escape 1800 is our top choice for a high-output wood burning stove. It is powerful enough to heat rooms up to 2,100 square feet, allowing you to warm up an entire floor of your home. This stove can be up to 8 hours on a single load, and it accepts logs up to 20 inches long. The burn time is significantly shorter than high-efficiency wood stoves, which is to be expected considering its heat output. This model is pricier than some other options, but it is incredibly powerful—plus it’s backed by a lifetime warranty to protect your investment.

Convenient features include an ash drawer for easy cleaning, as well as a top air deflector that helps circulate warm air throughout the room. With curved legs and a ceramic glass viewing window, this stove has a classic appearance. Plus, despite its impressive heat output, this stove has a relatively compact design that integrates well in most rooms and is approved for mobile home and alcove installation, further adding to its versatility. However, note that accessories such as a firescreen, a fresh air intake kit, and a blower must be purchased separately, which drives up the cost.

Dimensions: 25.62 x 25.75 x 32.62 inches | Material: Steel | Heat Output: 75,000 BTUs | Area Heated: 2,100 square feet

What We Like

  • Lightweight and portable

  • Easy to set up and disassemble

  • Includes a carry bag

  • Can be used for cooking

What We Don’t Like

  • Small size requires frequent refilling

This portable wood stove weighs only 14 pounds and folds flat when it’s not in use, making it an excellent choice for camping enthusiasts. It has a large fuel chamber that’s easy to load and distributes heat evenly and efficiently—with little to no smoke. The top surface doubles as a large cooktop, where you can place pans and prepare small meals. This stove is designed to stand on uneven ground, so you can set it up almost anywhere outdoors (it’s not recommended for indoor use).

The StarBlue Rocket Stove is made of low-carbon steel, which is significantly lighter than your standard cast-iron offerings. It even comes with its own carrying bag, so you can easily tote it to your campsite. It can be assembled and disassembled very quickly without any tools, providing a quick source of heat as well as cooking capabilities. Just keep in mind that due to its small size, you may need to add wood pretty frequently compared to traditional options.

Dimensions: 16 x 8 x 16 inches | Material: Stainless steel | Heat Output: Not listed | Area Heated: Not listed

Final Verdict

Our best overall pick is the Ashley Hearth Products AW2520E-P 2,500 Sq. Ft. Wood Burning Stove, which has convenient features and powerful heating capability, making it an ideal choice for larger spaces. If you’re looking for a hassle-free option, we recommend our best electric option, Duraflame Infrared Quartz Fireplace Stove. This electric heater mimics the cozy aesthetic of a real fire, and can also be used without heat.

What to Look for in a Wood Stove

Size

Before purchasing a wood stove, you’ll want to consider its dimensions and make sure it’s a proper fit for your space. Most freestanding wood stoves, which could measure several feet in width and depth, will occupy a significant amount of space. An electric stove gives you more flexibility when it comes to placement. Our best electric pick, the Duraflame 3D Infrared Electric Fireplace Stove, plugs into a standard wall outlet—plus, it doesn’t require firewood or installation. There are also portable wood stoves available, which can easily be assembled without tools, making them a perfect option for camping trips, like our best for camping pick, the StarBlue Camping Rocket Stove.

Efficiency

With an open fireplace, a good portion of the heat is lost up the chimney. Wood-burning stoves, particularly newer models that meet EPA standards, provide low-carbon and low-emission heating–making them an environmentally responsible alternative. “The efficiency of a wood stove can be gauged by looking at its EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) certification and its efficiency rating, often expressed as a percentage,” says Steckel. A higher EPA rating indicates greater efficiency. He suggests looking for features such as a catalytic converter or secondary burn tubes, which can improve a stove’s efficiency by ensuring more complete combustion. Our best overall pick, the Ashley Hearth Products AW2520E-P 2,500 Sq. Ft. Wood Burning Stove, is EPA-certified and it emits only 2.5 grams of particulate matter per hour while burning cordwood.

Venting

Many wood-burning stoves require a ventilation system to ensure safe operation. The easiest venting solution is through an existing chimney. More than likely, the chimney will need to be fitted with a stainless steel liner. If you don’t have a chimney, you may be able to vent the stove through an exterior wall or ceiling. Due to potential fire hazards, we recommend professional installation to make sure the job is done correctly. Our top pick for best insert, the Ashley Hearth 1,200-Square-Foot Firewood Stove Insert, fits into your existing hearth and improves your fireplace’s efficiency.

FAQ

  • How often should a wood burning stove be serviced?

    According Steckel, “The rule of thumb is every 50 fires to remove creosote, which is a harmful chemical that can build up inside the chimney.” Creosote is a byproduct of burning and it remains in your chimney until it’s removed. Creosote is often a hidden danger because it is difficult to see. However, if you are experiencing poorly burning fires, reduced draft, or visible soot around the stove, Steckel says these are indications that you probably have some build up.

  • Do high efficiency wood burning stoves work?

    “Absolutely, you can heat rooms, floors and even a small house with the right stove” says Steckel. He also points out another benefit to high efficiency wood burning stoves: They tend to consume far less wood than a typical fireplace—a major plus for eco-conscious consumers. “In a world where energy efficiency and eco-consciousness are paramount, a high-efficiency wood burning stove is a beacon of both warmth and environmental responsibility,” Steckel says.

  • How big should my wood burning stove be?

    A wood stove’s heat output, which is measured in BTUs, will determine the amount of square feet it’s capable of covering. “Generally, you should aim for a stove that provides around 20-25 BTUs per square foot,” Steckel advises. He also suggests consulting with a professional to find the model that will best suit your specific heating needs.

The Checkout Counter

If you're shopping for a wood-burning stove, make sure you have all the tools you need to start and maintain the fire and dispose of the ash.

  1. L.L. Bean Fireplace Gloves: Safety is paramount when using a wood stove, so a quality pair of fireplace gloves is a worthwhile investment. These durable gloves protect from stray sparks and hot tools when tending to the stove.
  2. Plow & Hearth Deluxe Galvanized Ash Bucket: Discreetly and safely dispose of ashes with this attractive ash bucket. It can hold up to three gallons of warm ashes and has a tight-fitting lid and a handle so you can easily carry the bucket to where you want to dump it.
  3. Amagabeli Fireplace Tool Set: We love this affordable, all-in-one tool set that includes a poker, shovel, broom, and tongs, along with a matching stand to keep everything in one place. The 26-inch tools allow for plenty of clearance between you and the flames.
  4. Duraflame Firestart Indoor/Outdoor Firelighters: Using a fire starter to get your wood stove going is only going to make your life easier. These DuraFlame firelighters come individually wrapped—all you need do is light the wrapper.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was written by Sage McHugh, a freelance writer who has been covering home appliances, gardening, and cleaning products for The Spruce since 2019. A native of New England and no stranger to cold weather, she’s personally tested and reviewed space heaters, heated blankets, and more in the home heating sector. For this list, she considered dozens of wood stoves, evaluating each model’s size, material, heat output, coverage area, and overall performance.

Our Experts:

  • David Steckel, Thumbtack’s Home Expert
  • Jenica Currie, editor at The Spruce

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