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15 Best Small Wood Burning Stoves 2022 [Ecodesign Approved UK]

    best small wood burners 2022

    If you haven’t got a huge space to play with or if you want to create that rustic look and cosy feeling in a snug room, a small log burner is going to be just the ticket for you.

    A small wood burning stove is a fantastic addition to any room. It’ll provide you with plenty of heat, as well as efficient consumption to save you money on big fuel costs.

    Previously all of these stoves were DEFRA-approved. But now they have to be even more eco-friendly and energy efficient.

    As of 2022, all new stoves sold in the UK and EU have to be Ecodesign approved. This means they have passed strict environmental tests ensuring they won’t cause excessive air pollution.

    Even better, your small log burner doesn’t have to break the bank – all of the stoves below come in under £1,500 and start from just £500.

    If you’re not too bothered about size, you might want to check out these blogs on the best Ecodesign wood burners and Ecodesign multifuel stoves.

    Quick List of Best Small Log Burners

    A good quality, small stove will give you decades of reliable heat. So it’s worth making sure you do your research and make a purchase you’ll be happy with to last you for the foreseeable.

    Good job you’re here then!

    I’ll go into more detail below, but if you want to get straight to the stoves, here’s a quick list of the 15 best small wood burners for 2022. All of the wood burners here are 5kW or less in heat output and are priced under £1,500.

    With the new regulations, they are all Ecodesign ready and previously Defra-approved, so you can rest assure that these stoves have passed the necessary environmental tests and are the best options out there.

    These are all available from Direct Stoves, who have kindly given me a 3% discount code – TINYECO3.

    Go directly to the stoves below or find out more info on what you need to consider from your small log burner, plus more details on each of the stoves.

    1. Charnwood Country 4
    2. Portway Arundel
    3. Axon Chadwick
    4. Esse One
    5. Axon Keswick
    6. Esse 550
    7. Westfire Uniq 17
    8. Firefox 5 Cleanburn
    9. Woolly Mammoth 5
    10. Helios 5 Compact
    11. Saltfire ST1
    12. Woodford 5
    13. Hamlet Solution 4
    14. Tiger Cub
    15. MI Fires Skiddaw

    How much heat do I get from a small wood burning stove?

    hobbit cast iron log burner
    A small wood burning stove in a shepherd’s hut I visited

    If you opt for a bigger stove than necessary, you’re going to find yourself overheating your space on a regular basis. This might not sound like a big problem, but it’s unnecessary and inefficient, which will cost you money in the long run.

    In compact spaces, a small log burner will give off a powerful amount of heat. Most small wood burning stoves tend to give out between 3kW and 5kW of energy. Measured in Kilowatts, this will be the stoves ‘nominal heat output’ or ‘maximum heat output’.

    You can get wood burners that emit greater outputs over 5kW, but these may be too big and give off too much heat and create an uncomfortable environment.

    The new compact, small log burners really are effective and heat efficient.

    When you’re looking at stoves, make sure you take into account the ‘stove efficiency’ rating. This tells you how much heat the stove actually gives off, once some of the fuel has quite literally gone up in smoke and out of the chimney.

    How much heat your stove emits depends on how much wood or fuel you can put in there over what period of time. This depends on how big the actual firebox is. The bigger the firebox, the more fuel you can put in there, the hotter your space will get.

    Small Wood Burning Stove – What Do I Need to Consider?

    Before we head into the detail on the 15 best small wood burners on the market in 2022, let’s take a look at the stove considerations you need to take into account before buying.

    Small Log Burner Dimensions and Size

    The dimensions of the stove are perhaps the primary most consideration. If you don’t have a stove that fits your space, then you don’t have a stove at all.

    The most important dimensions to consider for your cast iron stove are:

    • Width and depth (how much floorspace is takes up)
    • Height
    • Clearance at the back/sides from the wall or nearby materials
    small wood burning stove the hobbit
    Fantastic space-saving raised set up of the log burner at Brostefield shepherds hut – read my review here

    For a small space, such as a shepherd’s hut where the area is less than 150 square feet, a power output of 3-5kW will be ideal. You can have a look at some shepherd’s hut floor plans here to gauge where your stove might fit in.

    The power output is a measure of how many kilowatts of output the stove can produce with one fuel load. This isn’t an exact figure as the manufacturer doesn’t know how much fuel you’ll load up, but it generally means a smaller firebox (the place where you put the logs), so that the heat the stove can produce is limited. As stated, more logs on the fire = more heat.

    Your wood burner will also need to sit on a hearth. This ensures that the floor area can deal with the heat from the stove. In traditional houses with a wooden floor, you’ll notice that the fireplace area has a concrete flooring which is where the stove would sit.

    Some stoves are certified that they won’t heat the floor to more than 100oC. If this is the case, the hearth can be 12mm thick of non-combustible material. If the stove hasn’t been certified and may heat the floor above 100oC, then it must sit on 5” of brick or concrete.

    Good hearth materials are concrete, brick, ceramic tiles, stone and slate. For more info on hearths read this detailed post.

    small cast iron wood burning stove ravens retreat
    Small cast iron wood burning stove on a hearth – read my Ravens Retreat Shepherds Hut review

    Stove Efficiency Rating

    The efficiency of your cast iron wood burner is important.

    It’s a measure of how much of the energy within the fuel gets converted to heat for you versus how much is lost up the chimney. The efficiency rating is given as a percentage, so for example a stove might have rating of 72%, which means 28% of heat goes up the chimney and 72% gets emitted to the room.

    An efficiency rating of 75% or over is very good and will offer great heat efficiency as well as cost efficiency on the log front. If you can get one with an A+ efficiency rating then even better.

    Ecodesign Ready Stoves

    From 2022 there will be changes in the woodburning and solid fuel stove industry.

    All stoves and log burners sold after 1st January 2022 have to be certified as ‘Ecodesign Approved’, ‘Ecodesign Ready’ or ‘SIA Ecodesign Ready’. SIA stands for Stove Industry Alliance who formed in 2008 to promote the benefits of wood burners and biomass appliances, such as biomass boilers.

    Ecodesign ready stoves is the stove industry’s response to the Clean Air Strategy 2019. The Ecodesign status is a European-wide initiative to lower stove emissions.

    The accreditation shows that the new stoves sold are the very latest designs that have passed strict environmental tests that are now a requirement by DEFRA (UK Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).

    It’s important too. Independent research available on the Stove Industry Alliance website show that Ecodesign stoves are typically 90% more efficient than open fires and 80% on stoves that are just 10 years ago.

    For the manufacturers and sellers, it means any wood burning or solid fuel stove sold after 2022 will need to have reached certain environmental standards and be approved as Ecodesign compliant.

    These rules aren’t back-dated, so if you have a stove installed before 2022, then you’re fine, but it’s certainly something to look out for. You can read all about what Ecodesign ready stoves are and the regulations here.

    Price Point of Small Log Burners

    Ok, you understand the size and type of stove you want, now to work out what makes and models fit in with your budget.

    For an Ecodesign small woodburner of 3kW-5kW output, you can pay anywhere from £450 to £2000.

    Like most products – furniture, cars, watches – the difference is price comes in the build quality and craftsmanship. With a cast iron log burner, you’ll find the key differences between the lower price end and higher point due to:

    • Design of the stove
    • Longer warranty
    • Better functionality – door locking system, flame control, air flow
    • Better finish
    • Higher quality glass on the window (or windows for very fancy design)

    Whilst we’re on glass, learn the best ways to clean your stove glass here.


    15 Best Small Wood Burning Stoves For Sale 2022

    With all that in mind, let’s have a closer look at 15 of the best small stoves and mini log burners that could be perfect for your space in more detail.

    Wood burners are also a fantastic choice if you’re looking for an off-grid heating solution – all you need are a few dry logs, a bit of kindling and you’re off. Back to nature and back to simple living. You can also review the best eco logs here.

    All the small stoves below are Ecodesign ready, meaning they are much better for the environment. In good news for your pocket, each of the stoves below are all under £1500.

    Please note, list updated in July 2022.

    1. Charnwood Country 4

    charnwood country 4 wood burning stove defra approved stove
    • Output: 5kW
    • Manufacturer: Charnwood Stoves
    • Efficiency: 84%
    • Dimensions: 545mm (height), 416mm (width), 326mm (depth)
    • Construction material: Steel body, cast iron door
    • SIA Ecodesign: Yes
    • Prices: from £912

    Compact and traditional in style, the Country 4 is the smallest in the English-made Charnwood range. This hugely popular stove has a big front window, airwash system and spinning primary air wheel to control your fire perfectly.

    This stove also comes with a 10 year guarantee when bought through Charnwood approved sellers.


    2. Portway Arundel

    portway flavel arundel stove in fireplace setting
    • Output: 5kW
    • Manufacturer: Portway
    • Efficiency: 82.5%
    • Dimensions: 580mm (height), 430mm (width), 332mm (depth)
    • Construction material: Steel body, cast door
    • SIA Ecodesign: Yes
    • Prices: from £539

    Elegant and with a A+ efficiency rating, the Portway Arundel is a fantastic option for your small wood burner.

    The Portway Arundel has two air controls, has a large viewing window and a cleanburn airwash system. For the price and efficiency, alongside a 10 year guarantee, this stove is an absolute winner.


    3. Axon Chadwick

    axon chadwick wood burning stove
    • Output: 4.6kW
    • Manufacturer: Axon
    • Efficiency: 75%
    • Dimensions: 530mm (height), 475mm (width), 260mm (depth)
    • Construction material: Steel body, cast iron door
    • SIA Ecodesign: Yes
    • Prices: from £494

    With a contemporary and elegant design, the Axon Chadwick is an Ecodesign approved wood burner with a 75% efficiency rating. It has a large front window and stunning metallic black finish.

    The Chadwick has three air supply controls to give you perfect handling of your fire. The good news is that it’s also backed by Axon’s lifetime guarantee.


    4. Esse One

    esse one small stove
    • Output: 5kW
    • Manufacturer: Esse
    • Efficiency: 82%
    • Dimensions: 510mm (height), 410mm (width), 372mm (depth)
    • Construction material: Steel body, cast door
    • SIA Ecodesign: Yes
    • Prices: from £524

    The Esse One is a British-manufactured wood burning stove with an A+ energy rating. It’s a highly efficient stove that’s Ecodesign ready and with a primary, secondary and tertiary air supply for maximum control.

    It looks brilliant too with its black steel body construction and would be great in your room.


    5. Axon Keswick

    axon keswick small wood burner
    • Output: 5kW
    • Manufacturer: Axon
    • Efficiency: 75%
    • Dimensions: 487mm (height), 388mm (width), 355mm (depth)
    • Construction material: Steel body, cast door
    • SIA Ecodesign: Yes
    • Prices: from £524

    A great choice for small rooms and snug spaces. The Axon Keswick has a large window, a sleek black body and pumps out 5kW of heat.

    Very affordable, the Keswick stove is backed by the Axon lifetime guarantee.


    6. Esse 550

    esse ecodesign multifuel small log burner
    • Output: 5kW
    • Manufacturer: Esse
    • Efficiency: 82.9%
    • Dimensions: 600mm (height), 388mm (width), 338mm (depth)
    • Construction material: Steel body, cast door
    • SIA Ecodesign: Yes
    • Prices: from £962

    ESSE’s tall, dark and handome 550 is a multi-fuel stove with an ‘A+’ energy rating. The ESSE stove opts for a sleek, minimalist look but at 82.9% efficiency, it is a super-efficient performer.

    ESSE are a British company and started life creating master stoves way back in 1854. Apparently, Ernest Shackleton and Florence Nightingale had a preference for ESSE stoves and cookers.


    7. Westfire Uniq 44

    • Output: 5kW
    • Manufacturer: Westfire
    • Efficiency: 80%
    • Dimensions: 750mm (height), 500mm (width), 370mm (depth)
    • Construction material: Steel
    • SIA Ecodesign: Yes
    • Prices: from £1,331

    This is a great modern-looking stove from Westfire, a Danish company who know how to make a place look hygge!

    At 80% efficiency and an A+ energy rating, you’ll get high quality heat from your load with this log burner. It also comes with a 5 year guarantee.


    8. Firefox 5 Compact

    firefox multi fuel small stove log burner defra approved
    • Output: 5kW
    • Manufacturer: Firefox
    • Efficiency: 82.5%
    • Dimensions: 535mm (height), 405mm (width), 360mm (depth)
    • Construction material: Cast iron
    • SIA Ecodesign: Yes
    • Prices: from £649

    This Firefox 5 is a fantastic, small multi-fuel burning stove. It’s built from premium cast iron and can push out 5kW of heat.

    It has a good airwash system meaning you’ll always have a great view of the flames to give you that cosy feeling.


    9. Woolly Mammoth 5

    • Output: 5kW
    • Manufacturer: Woolly Mammoth
    • Efficiency: 75.6%
    • Dimensions: 480mm (height), 470mm (width), 333mm (depth)
    • Construction material: Steel body, cast door
    • SIA Ecodesign: Yes
    • Prices: from £589

    The generous body of the Woolly Mammoth makes this stove a focal point in any room or space. It’s efficient, has great air flow and control system and is very much affordable.

    Woolly Mammoth stoves are a British company based down in Essex.


    10. Helios 5 Compact

    helios 5 compact small stove
    • Output: 5kW
    • Manufacturer: The Gallery Collection
    • Efficiency: 82.5%
    • Dimensions: 486mm (height), 350mm (width), 327mm (depth)
    • Construction material: Steel body, cast iron door
    • SIA Ecodesign: Yes
    • Prices: from £624

    The freestanding Helios 5 is a compact, small log burner that supports both wood and multi-fuel types.

    It has a robust look suitable for any fireplace or cosy room and packs a great A+ efficiency rating of 82.5% and at an affordable price.


    11. Saltfire ST1

    saltfire st1 wood burner small stove
    • Output: 5kW
    • Manufacturer: Saltfire
    • Efficiency: 83.9%
    • Dimensions: 495mm (height), 440mm (width), 310mm (depth)
    • Construction material: Steel
    • SIA Ecodesign: Yes
    • Prices: from £599

    This Saltfire ST1 mini wood burner is one of the most advanced and efficient stoves out there. It can be used to burn wood anywhere in the UK, including in Defra smoke controlled zones.

    This all steel construction has a great heat output of up to 5kW, which is plenty of warmth for your small space.


    12. Woodford 5

    woodford 5 wood burner stove
    • Output: 4.9kW
    • Manufacturer: Woodford Stoves
    • Efficiency: 79.8%
    • Dimensions: 585mm (height), 457mm (width), 385mm (depth)
    • Construction material: Steel
    • SIA Ecodesign: Yes
    • Prices: from £599

    The Woodford 5 is a multi-fuel small log burner with modern features and a sleek design. The manufacturers are so confident in its design and credentials that it comes with a lifetime warranty.

    This stove has a cleanburn system for efficient fuel use and an airwash system for clear glass to watch your beautiful fire.


    13. Hamlet Solution 4

    hamlet solution 4 stove
    • Output: 4.6kW
    • Manufacturer: Hamlet Stoves
    • Efficiency: 83.1%
    • Dimensions: 473mm (height), 334mm (width), 387mm (depth)
    • Construction material: Steel body, cast iron door
    • SIA Ecodesign: Yes
    • Prices: from £629

    The Hamlet Solution 4 is a mini log burner with a good heat output of 4.6kW. It’s a multi-fuel stove with an airwash system and a A+ efficiency rating.

    Hamlet stoves have a 10 year warranty and are clearSkies certified. This log burner is a great choice for all small spaces including shepherd’s huts, cabins and canal boats.


    14. Tiger Cub

    tiger cub wood burning multifuel stove
    • Output: 4.3kW
    • Manufacturer: Tiger
    • Efficiency: 76%
    • Dimensions: 591mm (height), 338mm (width), 397mm (depth)
    • Construction material: Cast iron
    • SIA Ecodesign: Yes
    • Prices: from £634

    The Tiger Cub is an elegant looking stove made from cast iron. It’s a freestanding mini log burner and a super choice for holiday homes and cosy corners.

    The Tiger Cub stove comes with a 10 year warranty and excellent reviews.


    15. MI Fires Skiddaw

    mi skiddaw small wood burner stove
    • Output: 4kW
    • Manufacturer: MI Fires
    • Efficiency: 85.1%
    • Dimensions: 573mm (height), 410mm (width), 332mm (depth)
    • Construction material: Steel body, cast iron door
    • SIA Ecodesign: Yes
    • Prices: from £634

    The MI Skiddaw is a fantastic and efficient small woodburner that meets high environmental standards. It’s named after the Lake District’s Skiddaw mountain.

    With a efficiency rating of 85.1%, this stove is impressive. It also has a good airwash system to see your fire and a heat output of 5kW for great warmth.


    What happened to DEFRA Approved Stoves?

    As part of the Clean Air Acts of 1956 and 1968, local authorities have the power to control certain smoke emissions. This means many parts of the UK, particularly towns and cities, are smoke control areas where you can’t emit smoke from a chimney unless you’re burning an authorised fuel or an exempt appliance, such as a certain stove or burners.

    DEFRA approved appliances mean you can burn wood (usually an unauthorised fuel in an open fire) in a safe and legal manner within a smoke control area. You must however, only use the types of fuel that the manufacturer says can be used in the appliance.

    If you do live in a smoke control zone and are using an appliance that hasn’t been authorised, then you cannot burn wood. The current maximum fine for non-compliance when it comes to smoke in a smoke control area is £1000. Do check with your local authority for further clarity.

    The difference between Ecodesign stoves and Defra-approved is that the new rules for Ecodesign are more stringent. The limit for particulate matter emissions under Ecodesign stoves is 55% lower than Defra-approved stoves, ensuring they are better for air pollution and the environment.

    Need a wicker basket for your logs?

    Of course, you’ll probably need some storage for those logs you’ll be burning. A natural wicker log basket is the perfect choice.

    UK-based Wovenhill.co.uk* are a great option – they provide a range of log baskets, trunks and other rattan storage items that’d go perfectly next to your multi-fuel stove!

    wovenhill wicker log basket

    A Defra-approved small wood burner really is a great addition to any space. Any of the 7 best stoves above will allow you to have the best of both worlds – a fantastic, efficient wood burning stove, which doesn’t harm the environment.

    You can find plenty more Defra-approved small wood burning stoves here at DirectStoves.com. Located in the North West, Direct Stoves offer free delivery and 14 day no hassle returns.

    Directstoves.com also stock plenty of Ecodesign ready wood burners, which will be the new norm from 1st January 2022.

    Please note, this article does contain a few affiliate links. This means if you click to view a product and go on to buy it, this website will receive a small commission. Nothing more and nothing less than this. Happy small stove shopping!

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