What is The Best Small Wood Burning Stove?

This is a question that gets asked a lot! In this article we’ll help you choose the best small wood burning stove that’s right for you, but when it comes to deciding which stove is the best one to purchase, there’s a number of different factors that you’ll need to consider.

There’s no doubt that you’ll want to compare the prices of different stoves, their heat output and efficiency, any additional options that you can customise your stove with, and whether or not it can be used in a smoke controlled zone – and that’s to name just a few! In this article, we’ll compare these factors across a range of different stoves, to help you decide which one will be the best for you.

The best small wood burning stove will ultimately vary for each person depending on your individual needs and preferences. However, a great place to start is by deciding whether you want to purchase a small cast iron stove, or one that’s made of steel.

Cast Iron vs Steel: Which Material Makes The Best Small Wood Burning Stove?

Cast iron and steel are the two most popular options when it comes to the construction of a small wood stove, and each one has its own range of advantages and disadvantages. It can be difficult to choose between the two, which is why we’ve put together this guide to help you make the right decision!

The Benefits of A Small Cast Iron Stove

We strongly believe that the best small wood burning stoves are made from cast iron, so we would always recommend you to purchase a small wood burner that’s made out of this material. This is why our Hobbit stove and Little Range have been designed with a solid cast iron construction! The Hobbit can also be painted in a wide range of different colours and it’s highly customisable with our stove extras!

Small Stove Hobbit Thumbnail

Choosing a small cast iron stove will provide you with a number of advantages over a stove that’s made of steel, and we’ll cover some of these benefits below.

Firstly, wood burners have traditionally been made from cast iron, which makes this material a very popular choice when it comes to the construction of tiny stoves! In fact, the first cast iron wood burner was made around 1642! In terms of the design of your small wood stove, it’s durability, and the amount of heat that can be radiated by your wood burner, a small cast iron stove offers a range of benefits which steel simply cannot provide.

  1. Heat is released over a longer period of time.

Although it might take slightly longer to heat up, a small cast iron stove will continue to radiate heat hours after your fire has gone out. Cast iron acts as a powerful heat store due to its dense structure, which will help to keep your home warm and cosy for a longer period of time. This is particularly useful if you’re looking for a small wood burning stove that you can shut down overnight, and it also means that you won’t have to refuel your stove quite as often.

  1. Cast iron is much more durable, and it can withstand higher temperatures.

A small cast iron stove will be much more durable than a small wood stove that’s made from steel. Cast iron is renowned as being an incredibly durable material, which will not warp or bend from the heat of your fire over time – and this is something that can happen to low quality steel stoves. In contrast, cast iron is without doubt a material that’s truly built to last, and despite its extra weight, a small cast iron stove is still a great choice if you’re going to be putting your stove through its paces on a boat, or in a yurt or a van.

Even though a small cast iron stove might be a bit more expensive, its added durability means that you shouldn’t encounter any problems with the build quality of your stove, providing you use it correctly and maintain it well. You also won’t have to worry about any bumps or knocks to your small wood burning stove which would otherwise damage a stove that’s made from steel.

  1. Cast iron stoves are available in a wide range of different styles!

Cast iron is also a fantastic choice of material from a design perspective, as it can be easily moulded into traditional or more modern designs. Liquid iron is poured into moulds before it gets cast, which means that it can be moulded into a range of elaborate details and motifs. We would like to think that our Hobbit stove provides the perfect combination of traditional and more contemporary styles!

However, if you’re still set on purchasing a steel stove – perhaps due to its lower price point – then we’ve still included a couple of steel stoves in this guide that we would recommend. If you’re not interested in purchasing a small wood stove that’s made of steel, then feel free to skip to The Little Cod, as its cast iron construction makes it one of the most hard-wearing wood burners that’s currently available.

What is The Best Small Wood Burning Stove That’s Made of Steel?

There’s a couple of different wood burners that we would recommend if you’re looking to purchase a stove that’s made of steel, and one of these is the Louis by Windy Smithy! The Windy Smithy is owned and operated by Jon Snow, who has specialised in steel work since 1996. He also produces a wide range of other hand-crafted products, such as gates, axes and even a towable living wagon!

The Louis stove has been made in Devon since 1998! It’s easy to light, quick to warm up, and its compact size makes it great for heating a wide range of yurts, caravans, shepherds’ huts, sheds, vans, boats or summer houses!

Windy Smithy The Louis Best Small Wood Burning Stove Made Of Steel

Technical Specifications

  • Stove height: 440mm
  • Stove width: 405mm
  • Stove depth: 500mm
  • Firebox height: 300mm
  • Firebox width: 200mm
  • Firebox depth: 300mm
  • Flue outlet: 5 inches / 125mm
  • Output: 3-4kW
  • Weight: 24kg

Stove Features

  • 6mm thick mild steel construction with welded seams.
  • Burns wood.
  • Handmade in Devon.
  • Overhanging top for cooking, which can accommodate pots and pans or a kettle.
  • Fixing holes in two opposite legs so that the stove can be secured to a surface. (You’ll need to bolt your stove down if it’s going to be installed in a campervan or a canal boat, for example.)
  • Price: £330 excluding delivery.

Additional Options

  • Flue outlet can be positioned on the right-hand side or in the centre (at an extra cost).
  • Smaller stovetop with centre flue (at an extra cost).
  • Windy Smithy also undertake bespoke commissions! However, there isn’t an option to have your stove painted, and you cannot add a gallery rail, which would be particularly useful if you’re installing your stove into a canal boat or a campervan.

Unfortunately, the Louis stove by Windy Smithy is not CE marked, meaning that it’s suitable for living vehicles, caravans, boats and yurts, but it cannot be installed in a house.

Another great small wood burning stove that’s made of steel is The Griffin by Glastonbury Burners. Glastonbury Burners is run by Dave, who has over 30 years of experience it the field of airflow engineering, welding and tiny wood burners, and all of his stoves are hand-built in his workshop! The Griffin is a fantastic little wood stove for heating a wide range of small spaces, such as bell tents, canal boats, RV’s and campervans!

Glastonbury Burners The Griffin Best Small Wood Burning Stove Made Of Steel 2

Technical Specifications

  • Stove height (to top of cook plate): 390mm
  • Stove height (to top of flue collar): 440mm
  • Width of stove at widest point: 380mm
  • Depth: 365mm
  • Firebox height: 255mm
  • Firebox width: 247mm
  • Firebox depth: 272mm
  • Flue outlet: 4 inches / 100mm
  • Output: 3kW

Stove Features

  • Steel construction.
  • Burns wood.
  • Overhanging top for cooking, which can accommodate pots and pans or a kettle.
  • Hand-built in the heart of the Somerset Levels.
  • Price: competitively priced at £235 excluding delivery.

Additional Options

  • Flue collar can be positioned centrally, or off set to the left or right-hand side at no extra cost.
  • Can be painted in your choice of colour, if possible (at an extra cost).

These two models are some of the best small wood burning stoves that are made of steel. Below, you can find more information about the best small wood burning stoves that are made from cast iron!

What is The Most Hard-Wearing Tiny Stove?

If you’re looking for a small wood stove that you can really put through its paces, then The Little Cod by Navigator Stove Works is a great option! This small wood burning stove is hand-fitted and built-to-order in their workshop on the Orcas Island in the Pacific Northwest, USA.

The Little Cod was originally designed for hard usage in boats, and on hunting and fishing camps. Thanks to its solid cast iron construction, it’s more than capable of withstanding a fair share of knocks, bumps, extreme weather conditions and a bit of sea spray! Its compact size has led to it being used in a wide range of other small spaces, such as canal boats, campervans, RV’s and yurts.

The Little Cod was first manufactured around 1917, so it has a much more traditional appearance and it’s styled to reflect life at sea. It’s renowned for its simplicity and reliability, and it’s an old favorite along the Canadian coast. It’s economical to run and maintain, and this small cast iron wood stove will make a welcome addition to your yacht, galley, cabin, or any other small space!

The Little Cod By Navigator Stove Works Best Small Wood Burning Stoves

Technical Specifications

  • Height (to top of cook surface): 11.375 inches / 28.5cm
  • Height (to top of sea rail): 13 inches / 33cm
  • Width: 18 inches / 45.75cm
  • Depth: 13.75 inches / 35cm
  • Weight: 55lbs / 25kg
  • Efficiency: 74%
  • Output: 3-8kW
  • Flue outlet: 4 inches / 10cm

Stove Features

  • Cast iron construction.
  • Burns wood.
  • Stainless steel “Sea Rail” to keep pots, pans and kettles in place on top of your small wood burning stove (comes as standard with stove).
  • A right-hand side door comes as standard, but there is an option to have the door on the left-hand side, so that the stove can be easily configured to fit the layout of your space.
  • Holes in the feet for securing the stove to a platform (which you’ll need to do if you’re installing the stove into a boat, campervan or any other moving vehicle).
  • Modern clean-burn technology.
  • Price: $1855.

Additional Stove Options

  • Painting (at an extra cost).
  • Porcelain enamel (at an extra cost).
  • Brass Sea Rail (at an extra cost).
  • Glass window (at an extra cost).

Navigator Stove Works also produce a range of other small wood burning stoves, including the smaller Sardine and the slightly larger Halibut model. We’d say that the only drawback is the hefty price tag, and the fact that it can take up to a year for your stove to be built and dispatched. Nevertheless, The Little Cod is definitely a strong candidate for being one of the best small wood burning stoves.

Another superb small cast iron stove is the 225CBS by Dovre, who are named after the beautiful Norwegian mountain range! They’re a company based in Exeter that manufacture high quality multi-fuel, gas, electric, and wood burning stoves.

The 225CBS has a clean, contemporary look combined with a 1950’s inspired design, which helps it suit both modern and traditional interiors. One of its greatest features is the 83% efficiency that this stove has to offer! Coupled with its Airwash and Cleanburn technology, this small wood burning stove is a quality product that’s sure to last for many years to come.

Dovre 225CBS Best Small Wood Burning Stoves

Technical Specifications

  • Height: 560mm
  • Width: 465mm
  • Depth: 490mm
  • Weight: 100kg
  • Efficiency: 83%
  • Output: 5kW
  • Flue outlet: 5 inches / 125mm

Stove Features

  • Cast iron construction.
  • Multi-fuel stove capable of burning kiln dried logs, coal or eco logs.
  • Can be configured with a top or rear flue exit.
  • Modern Cleanburn and Airwash technology.
  • Price: Currently retails for just under £1100.

Additional Stove Options

  • No additional stove options are available for this particular model of stove.

This small wood stove is also multi-fuel, which means that you can burn kiln dried logs, coal or eco logs in your tiny wood burner! However, we would always recommend that you use more sustainable fuel sources instead of coal, so make sure you check out our article on the top 5 eco-friendly fuel alternatives to coal!

If you’re looking to install this stove into a vehicle, or any other small space, it’s just worth noting that this stove weighs 100kg, and the 5kW output might be a bit too warm for your room. This stove is not a smoke exempt appliance, which unfortunately means this stove cannot be used to burn wood in smoke controlled zones.

Lastly, we don’t want to blow our own trumpet, but we really do believe that the Hobbit stove is one of the best small wood burning stoves that’s currently available! Since its launch, our small wood burning stove has been featured several times in the programme George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces on Channel 4, and you can view our case studies to see some of the incredible places where our small wood stove has been installed! The Hobbit is one of the smallest stoves available, and we’ve also designed a smoke exempt, DEFRA-approved Hobbit for smoke controlled zones.

Hobbit Small Stove Homepage Image   Painted Hobbit Small Stove and Stand

The Hobbit can be installed in a wide range of small spaces, from Victorian fireplaces to shepherds’ huts, garden rooms, canal boats, yurts and campervans – and that’s to name just a few! Its 4kW output is sure to keep you toasty warm, and our small wood burning stove is one of the most customisable wood burners available! We offer a wide range of stove extras, and each part of your small wood stove can be painted in a diverse array of different colours.

The Hobbit provides a good balance between traditional and contemporary design, which enables the stove to suit a wide variety of different settings and interiors. To add to this, it has built-in Airwash and Cleanburn technology, and you’re able to precisely control the burn-rate of your fire by adjusting the bottom door, the airflow wheel, and the vent towards the rear of our small wood stove! Despite its solid cast iron construction, it weighs just 47kg, which makes it ideal for a wide range of vehicles, caravans or canal boats.

If you need any help with how you could install one of our small wood burning stoves into your chosen structure, then we’ve also designed a wide range of installation kits to get you started. You can also contact us to talk through your installation, as we offer a bespoke flue consultancy service free of charge! You can find more details about our small wood stove below.

Technical Specifications

  • Height (excluding stove collar): 460mm
  • Height (including stove collar): 465mm
  • Width: 302mm
  • Depth: 272mm
  • Weight: 47kg
  • Efficiency: 74.7%
  • Output: 4kW
  • Flue outlet: 4 inches / 100mm

Stove Features

  • Cast iron construction.
  • Multi-fuel stove capable of burning kiln dried logs, coal or eco logs.
  • Can be configured with a top or rear flue exit at no extra cost.
  • Modern Cleanburn and Airwash technology.
  • A smoke exempt, DEFRA-approved model is available for if you live in a smoke controlled zone.
  • Price: £545 for the standard Hobbit, £595 for the Hobbit SE.

Additional Stove Options

  • Each part of your small wood stove can be custom-painted from a wide range of colours.
  • Brass gallery rail or stainless steel gallery rail option – for retaining pots and pans or a kettle on your stovetop, whilst your boat or vehicle is in transit.
  • Direct air intake for improving the draw of your stove, if it’s going to be installed in a small airtight space. You can read more about our direct air intake system here.
  • Boiler option, which enables your stove to heat a hot water supply for your taps, a radiator or even a non-pressurised shower!
  • Additional heat shield options – halves the distances that your stove will need to be positioned away from combustible and non-combustible materials, allowing you to fit your Hobbit stove into almost any small space! You can read this article to read more about this option and how much space you’ll need to have around your wood burner.
  • Ability to add a log store stand or a pedestal stand for added height and for storing logs beneath your small wood burning stove.
  • Stainless steel cooktop option for improved stovetop cooking.
  • Additional coal bar option – safely retains more coal or logs inside your firebox.
  • There is a wide range of other customisable features, such as the option to have brass stove fittings, a chrome or brass airflow wheel, and the option to have silver logo badges added to your small wood stove.
  • We also offer a range of pre-designed and customisable flue kits for installing your small wood burning stove into your chosen space.

If you want to learn more about the full range of capabilities that our small stoves have to offer, then make sure you check out our article on customising your small wood burning stove!

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Our Hobbit Stove Has Been Fitted!

"We had a Hobbit stove fitted this week by Alex Reay from Flues and Fires, and I just wanted to get in touch to say it is AMAZING and we love it! We have a lovely cast iron tiled fireplace which I was desperate not to lose when we installed a small wood burning stove, but until I found the Hobbit on Google, everyone told me it would be impossible to keep the fire surround. The Hobbit is perfect - not only does it fit very snugly, but it looks fantastic and the blue door complements the tiles very nicely. We are sitting enjoying a fire now and absolutely loving it! Thanks for creating such an amazing product."

Nicola Williams

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

The Best Stove Ever!

"It’s the best stove ever! It’s easy to light, very efficient, burns anthracite and stays in overnight (ours has been in for three weeks now). It even keeps a kettle of water at the ready for a cuppa! What more can I say, we love it! Just the thing to make our Yorkshire home cosy, and the cat loves it too!"

Lynn and Andrew, West Yorkshire

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

First Small Stove Installation

Was looking for a small stove for my first self-install. Found Mark very helpful. Knowledgeable, friendly service. Stove burns well and generates lots more heat than the previous open fire. What is not to like?

Sam

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

A Huge Thank You!

"Dear Mark and Gill, a huge thank you for designing and making the Hobbit stove! We had two different London-based fireplace companies tell us that we simply had to knock out the old cast iron and tile fireplace to fit in a woodburning stove, and that there was no other option! Then we found you online. We are delighted with our little Hobbit, which swallows up logs and kicks out a good amount of heat. Perfect for the winter! I will also be writing to the London-based fireplace companies to put the Hobbit on their radar. Best wishes."

Nat

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Delighted With Our Hobbit Stove!

"Mark, Gill, thank you for your assistance, we are delighted with our Hobbit! I fired it up this evening after taking all afternoon making a register plate to fit the opening."

Alan

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

It's Brilliant!

"Hi Mark, here's a photo of the Hobbit installed in my Yorkist grate. It’s brilliant! It also throws out a lot more heat than the grate did."

Roger T

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Just to Say Thank You!

"I just had a chat with Gill saying how delighted we are with our little Hobbit stove, and to also thank you both for your attention to detail and excellent customer service!"

Derrick

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

The Little Hobbit Has Stepped Up To The Challenge!

"We just wanted to say how impressed and how much of a life saver our little Hobbit has been! It was fitted a few months ago in our holiday home in Rhu, Scotland, which is a large open plan conversion in a Victorian house. This weekend our boiler decided it was not going to play ball. The little Hobbit has stepped up to the challenge, providing heat to a very large area, about twenty eight foot by twenty four foot with a high ceiling of about eighteen foot, keeping the room reasonably warm, warm enough for us not to use cardigans!”

Alan W

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Very Pleased With Our Hobbit!

"We are very pleased with the stove and think it looks great! We restored our fireplace (it was hidden under plaster!) and the whole look is better than we hoped!"

Neil

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Absolutely Delighted!

"Just had our Hobbit SE installed in our Victorian fireplace and we are absolutely delighted with the end result. We felt passionate about preserving our lovely fireplace!"

Andy

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Our Pride And Joy!

"What a fantastic fireplace with the beautiful Hobbit stove. It fits perfectly into the small space and throws out a lot of heat. Here's a photo of our little stove, now our pride and joy and much admired by all who see and feel the warmth."

Chris and C

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Fantastic!

"Just to bid you all a Happy New Year and to say how much we’re enjoying having our Hobbit stove! It was easy to fit with the help of your excellent ‘how to’ videos and we’re just awaiting our inspection by building control for the certification. The Hobbit has fitted neatly into the hearth vacated by the old gas back boiler (with a little cosmetic rendering) and never ceases to surprise us how much heat it can deliver to the point that the new condenser boiler is having an easy life, thereby saving us on gas bills too! Everyone loves having a ‘real fire’ in the living room."

Philip Baird

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

A Brilliant Little Wood Burner!

"The stove we bought from you is really starting to come into its own as the weather cools down. Here is a photo showing how much one of our dogs is enjoying it!"

Small Stove Installed in a Household Fireplace

Brilliant Product!

"Just wanted to share a picture of our newly installed Hobbit. Absolutely delighted with it, and so pleased we were able to retain our existing fireplace as well. Brilliant product, thank you!"

Marion

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