Best Wood Burning Stove For Small Spaces [Comprehensive Review]

Best Wood Burning Stove For Small Spaces [Comprehensive Review]
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There’s nothing quite as comforting as the gentle crackle and pop of logs on a fire.

It’s one of those primordial sounds that instantly encourages a feeling of home and safety.

Fireplaces aren’t really possible in a tiny home but a small wood stove not only gives you that comfort, it provides an economical way to heat your home.

Today’s review covers the top 5 best wood stoves for tiny homes and off-grid living. It also includes a buying guide to help you compare different stoves and find the best one for your needs.

Our Pick For The Overall Best Tiny House Wood Stove: Dickinson Newport

Features

  • Incredibly small, just 7.88″ wide x 14.7” high x 10″ Deep
  • Can be wall mounted or placed on the floor
  • Weighs just 15 lbs
  • Can run on wood, coal, charcoal or smokeless pressed fuel
  • Easy to clean and control
  • Provides 3,000-8,000 BTUs
  • Very affordable

OUR RATING



Our #1 Rated (For Best Overall Pick)

5/5

5 out of 5

Other Great Options We Review Below:

  1. Our #2 Rated Wood Stove: HiFlame Shetland
  2. Our #3 Rated Wood Stove: Vogelzang Defender
  3. Our #4 Rated Wood Stove: The Dwarf 3KW
  4. Our #5 Rated Wood Stove: Pleasant Hearth Small Home Stove

Why a Wood Burning Stove

For many tiny dwellers, getting back in touch with older ways of living is a major goal. 

Wood burning stoves are one of the best and least expensive ways to heat your tiny home, since they use a renewable source of fuel that’s widely available.

Plus, they provide a delightful visual and auditory effect while heating your home.

Comparing Wood Stoves for Tiny Homes and Off Grid Living

Wood stoves come in a huge range of sizes and styles. You can get everything from old school pot-bellied, prospector style stoves to state-of-the-art sailing stoves designed to run off multiple fuel sources.


Heat Output 

When you’re shopping for a wood stove, you need to know the square footage of your home and approximately where it will be located. This lets you figure out how many BTUs you’ll need to heat your home.

Most tiny homes top out at 400-500 square feet, including loft space. Generally, they use highly efficient insulation and don’t have many places for inside air to come into contact with outside air.

Unless you’re in a very cold climate, you’re unlikely to need more than about 20,000 BTUs. 

Most people will be very comfortable with half of that or less. 

Word to the wise, many stove manufacturers will list their product’s heat output in kilowatts. One kilowatt provides about 3,400 BTUs of heat for easy conversion.


Size, Weight and Ease of Installation

Anything going into a tiny home needs to be as space efficient as possible. This is one of the reasons sailboat stoves have been so popular among tiny dwellers. 

They’re, well, tiny.

Make sure you budget in the clearance space and fireproof footprint of any stove you’re considering. Most stoves require a minimum distance between them and any other material for safety. 

If you’re building a THOW, consider how you’ll secure the stove. You definitely don’t want a metal stove rolling around inside your house.


Single or Multi-Fuel Stoves 

When hearing “wood stove,” most people naturally assume they’re going to be burning firewood. While most modern stoves are more than capable of burning wood, many also give you other fuel options.

These are referred to as multi-fuel stoves and can burn wood, peat, turf, coal, and smokeless fuels. Those last ones are mainly pressed briquettes made using waste wood from furniture production. They’re very common in the EU and commonly marketed in the US as Presto Logs or similar products.

The biggest difference between pure wood stoves and multi-fuel stoves is the presence of a grate. Traditional wood stoves are designed to allow wood to burn on a bed of ash. Other fuels need the additional airflow provided by a grate. It gives an inch or so of clearance under the fuel and allows high-temperature combustion.

For the vast majority of people, a single fuel wood stove will be adequate. If you live in an area with smoke or other environmental restrictions, or a limited supply of wood, a multi-fuel is a great option.

 

EPA Certification and Stove Efficiency

In the past, wood stoves were basically just standalone fireplaces. Modern stoves are far, far more advanced than this and produce significantly more heat for noticeably less smoke.

The EPA maintains a registry of wood stoves that meet their emissions standards, currently 4.5 grams of smoke released per hour. For a tiny home application, there are great EPA-certified stoves or smaller recreational style stoves that may work for you.

Stove efficiency is often discussed by manufacturers, but matters less than you might expect. Any EPA certification is going to have an efficiency of at least 70%. In order to get the proper breakdown of materials and exhaust to meet their stringent requirements, any lower efficiency just won’t cut it.

If you’re considering a non-EPA certified stove, make sure to check their listed stove efficiency.

Our #1 Rated Tiny House Wood Stove: Dickinson Newport

Features

  • Incredibly small, just 7.88″ wide x 14.7” high x 10″ Deep
  • Can be wall mounted or placed on the floor
  • Weighs just 15 lbs
  • Can run on wood, coal, charcoal or smokeless pressed fuel
  • Easy to clean and control
  • Provides 3,000-8,000 BTUs
  • Very affordable

OUR RATING



Our #1 Rated (For Best Overall Pick)

5/5

5 out of 5

The Dickinson Newport is one of the smallest and most efficient wood stoves available. It weighs just 15 pounds and can be mounted right on the wall of tiny homes or sailboats.

When you first see the Newport, you can be forgiven for thinking they just sent you a chimney and forgot the stove. It measures a measly 7.88” wide and only 10” deep. That gives you about the smallest footprint of any wood stove.

It’s designed to run off just about any kind of fuel you can think of and produces between 3,000 and 8,000 BTUs. That’s perfect for smaller tiny homes of about 100-200 feet or tiny homes in warmer climates.

The Newport is made from durable stainless steel and has both a removable ash box and an easy-to-use damper control. It requires just a 3” diameter flue and only needs 4’ of chimney for proper airflow. 


Pros 

  • Incredibly small, just 7.88″ wide x 14.7” high x 10″ Deep
  • Can be wall mounted or placed on the floor
  • Weighs just 15 lbs
  • Can run on wood, coal, charcoal or smokeless pressed fuel
  • Easy to clean and control
  • Provides 3,000-8,000 BTUs
  • Very affordable

Cons

  • Only suitable for very small spaces or warm weather climates
  • Doesn’t allow you to see the fire burning


Our #2 Rated Tiny House Wood Stove:
Vogelzang Defender

Features

  • EPA certified
  • Produces up to 68,000 BTUs
  • Capable of heating up to 1,200 square feet
  • Large ceramic glass viewing window
  • Can burn larger pieces of wood up to 17”

OUR RATING



Our #2 Rated

4.9/5

4.9 out of 5

The Vogelzang Defender is a medium-sized wood stove capable of producing up to 68,000 BTUs. It’s constructed of heavy duty steel plate and measures 23.5” wide x 21” deep x 28” high. 

This makes it a bit larger than most of the other stoves on our list, but does give you more flexibility in fuel and heating. It can burn wood up to 17’ long and heat an area up to 1,200 square feet.

That’s significantly more than you’ll need for most tiny homes, but right in line with a good cabin or other off-grid space. It has a large ceramic glass viewing window and uses a two-part air intake system.

The primary air inlet is located at the bottom of the firebox and ignites the fuel. As the wood gas rises, it encounters a second inlet near the top, ensuring maximum efficiency.


Pros 

  • EPA certified
  • Produces up to 68,000 BTUs
  • Capable of heating up to 1,200 square feet
  • Large ceramic glass viewing window
  • Can burn larger pieces of wood up to 17”

Cons

  • Weighs 260 lbs
  • Too warm for tiny homes in warm weather climates


Our #3 Rated Tiny House Wood Stove: 
HiFlame Shetland

Features

  • EPA certified 
  • 85% efficiency rating
  • Produces up to 21,000 BTUs
  • Suitable for Heating up to 800 square feet
  • Rear and top mounted flue options
  • Can burn logs up to 12” long
  • Air washed door design for easy maintenance
  • Beautiful ceramic glass viewing window

OUR RATING



Our #3 Rated

4.7/5

4.7 out of 5

The HiFlame Shetland gets our third spot because of its combination of excellent features, compact size and proven performance. It’s EPA certified with a tested efficiency of 85%.

It’s made from heavy duty steel with a cast iron door and lid. This helps reduce the overall weight without affecting performance.

The Shetland produces up to 21,000 BTUs and is capable of heating a room up to 800 square feet. This puts it in the perfect sweet spot for tiny dwellers. It can keep a home of about 400 square feet warm in even the coldest of conditions.

The tertiary air system allows the Shetland to maximize the potential of any fuel burned. It has the added bonus of reducing emissions and keeping the ceramic glass window from smoking up.

Multiple air inlets are placed throughout the stove. They maximize the efficiency of the thermal reaction at every part of the combustion process.

It uses a 6” flue that can be attached on either the rear or top. The firebox can accommodate wood up to 12” in length, with seasoned hardwood the fuel of choice.


Pros 

  • EPA certified 
  • 85% efficiency
  • Produces up to 21,000 BTUs
  • Suitable for Heating up to 800 square feet
  • Rear and top mounted flue options
  • 24″x 17 1/2″x 16 3/4″
  • Can burn logs up to 12” long
  • Air washed door design for easy maintenance
  • Beautiful ceramic glass viewing window

Cons

  • Weighs 174 lbs
  • Only burns wood


Our #4 Rated Tiny House Wood Stove: The Dwarf 3KW

Features

  • Provides enough power for medium to large appliances
  • Can be charged with AC/DC power or through solar panels
  • Lithium battery offers 2000+ charging cycles
  • Easy to read LED status screen
  • Accepts 300W of solar panel charge
  • Allows battery exchange
  • Relatively Lightweight
 

OUR RATING



Our #4 Rated

4.5/5

4.5 out of 5

The Dwarf 3kw is a highly compact multi-fuel wood stove designed specifically for RV and tiny house use. It’s just 10.25” wide x 8.5” deep and is made from cast iron. This gives it a very small footprint and, at just 75 lbs, a surprisingly low weight.

The 3kw provides 3 kilowatts of heat output or just over 10,000 BTUs. This is perfect for small spaces around 100-300 square feet. 

It can be hooked up with either a top or rear flue and has a useful cooking surface on top. It uses a three-part air control system that gives it excellent efficiency. 

The internal firebox has a riddling grate with a removable ash pan for easy cleanup. The ceramic glass viewport gives you an excellent view of the crackling wood and uses air flow to prevent smoke from building up.

Pros 

  • Provides excellent heat output for its size
  • Just 17” high x 10.25” wide x 8.5” deep
  • Weighs only 75 lbs
  • Burns multiple fuels
  • Made from durable steel and cast iron

Cons

  • Only burns wood up to about 8” long
  • Not EPA certified


Our #5 Rated Tiny House Wood Stove:
Pleasant Hearth Small Home Stove

Features

  • EPA Certified at 3.9 grams per hour of smoke
  • Produces up to 50,000 BTUs
  • Capable of heating up to 1,200 square feet
  • Great for cold climates
  • Large ceramic glass viewing window
  • Included rear heat shield for smaller clearances
  • 23.25” x 26.75” x 31.25”

OUR RATING



Our #5 Rated

4.3/5

4.3 out of 5

The Pleasant Hearth Small Home Stove is a pedestal style wood stove designed for heating small spaces. It’s EPA certified and designed to function well in small spaces. 

The Pleasant Hearth is made from cast iron with a large ceramic glass viewing window. It uses an air wash system to prevent smoke or other debris from building up on the glass. This makes cleaning and enjoying your fireplace much easier.

It’s capable of burning logs up to 18” long and can produce 50,000 BTUs when burning seasoned hardwood. This makes the Pleasant Home excellent for use in small cabins and other off-grid homes, or in cold weather climates. 

Despite being right in the middle of the pack pricewise, the Pleasant Hearth shows a lot of high end finishes. It has a brick-lined firebox, chrome handles, and an included air blower system that can increase the total heat captured in your home.

Tiny dwellers love the built-in heat shielding. This reduces the clearances needed for safe operation. 


Pros 

  • EPA Certified at 3.9 grams per hour of smoke
  • Produces up to 50,000 BTUs
  • Capable of heating up to 1,200 square feet
  • Great for cold climates
  • Large ceramic glass viewing window
  • Included rear heat shield for smaller clearances
  • 23.25” x 26.75” x 31.25”

Cons

  • Weighs 277 lbs
  • Top mounted flue only


Find the Best Stove for Your Needs

Picking a wood stove for your tiny home really comes down to how much heat you need and what features you’re looking for.

For truly tiny homes, you can’t go wrong with the Dickinson Newport due to its ultra compact design that provides adequate heating for warmer climates. 

For homes a little bigger in size or in colder climates, the Vogelzang Defender (at 68000 BTUs) or the Hi-Flame Shetland at 21,000 BTUs, are both fantastic options. 

What stove did you decide to go with? Let us know in the comments section below! 

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