Pellet stoves are one of the most energy-efficient and convenient ways to heat your home. With a traditional fireplace you need to ensure the flue is clear, the damper is open, the firebox is clean and the smoke is heading up the chimney and not back into the room. Once all this is done, the open-face design still means your fire will burn quickly and inefficiently.
A pellet stove allows you to avoid these hassles. Simply insert wood or pellets as a fuel source, shut the door, and you have an energy- and cost-efficient source of heat for hours.
Let’s take a look at our top six pellet stoves so you can decide which one is right for you.
Drolet High-Efficiency Wood Stove – Most Energy Efficient Stove
The Drolet High-Efficiency Wood Stove is the perfect way to heat your home quickly and efficiently. Ruggedly built and attractively designed, it is a great choice for anyone looking for a traditional stove that is great for a medium-sized family home.
Instead of using pellets as a fuel source, the Drolet is a wood-burning stove. This means that in order to feed the fire you load logs into the firebox from the front. So this stove is best for users who have a few cords of wood ready to go.
To help with loading, the Drolet has a heavy-duty cast iron door with an adjustable handle and a large pane of tempered glass so you can watch the fire burning within.
One of the best features of the Drolet is its 78% efficiency. This puts it at the top end of the 70% to 83% efficiency range of any wood-burning or pellet stove approved by the EPA. In home-heating terms, this means that a full load in the firebox will burn on average for 10-12 hours on a low setting. This allows you to sleep through the night without having to get up and stoke the fire.
To take advantage of this efficiency an air-control is located just above the door. Simply toggle the handle to control the amount of oxygen feeding the fire. So if you want it to burn a little hotter or cooler, simply open the control and the Drolet will do the rest.
Perfect Size for Home
The Drolet comes in at 29.4 x 28.1 x 34.4 inches, making it the perfect size for the main floor of an average sized family home. The firebox is a spacious 3.93 cubic feet and takes logs that measure no more than 22 inches long.
You can fit half-a-dozen or so medium size logs in the firebox at once and not have to worry about feeding the fire for hours. This is especially convenient if you’re looking to burn the stove for a few hours when you’re out of the house.
The Drolet is designed to heat up to 2400 sq. feet, putting it in the upper-end range of a traditional wood-burner.
We recommend the Drolet for anyone who needs a well-built and highly efficient pellet stove but doesn’t need to spend extra money on bells and whistles.
- 78% efficiency
- 10-12 hours burn time
- Does not use pellets as a fuel source
Castle 12327 Serenity – Best Smart Pellet Stove
If you’re looking for a high-efficiency pellet stove with a wide range of customization options, then the Castle 12327 Serenity is worth a careful look. Attractively designed and ruggedly built with an emphasis on efficiency, control and convenience, the Castle is a pellet-burning stove that will run through a 40lb bag in 12-24 hours depending on whether it is set to high or low.
It also boasts heating coverage of 1500 square feet, and comes with thermal overload protection and a safety shut off. And unlike many pellet stoves, it clocks in at just 186 lbs and requires little assembly, making it ideal for self-installation.
The main benefit of the Castle is its 24-hour, 7-day programmable controller. If you want a pellet stove that adjusts with your changing schedule throughout the week, then the Castle’s calendar and time-based heating options gives you this option. You can program it to burn low while you’re at work and to heat up just before you get home, saving you a considerable amount in heating costs.
The controller also has a built-in thermostat, allowing you to set it to automatically turn on and off depending on your desired temperature. This is especially convenient for night time use if you prefer that the stove is not running continuously while you’re sleeping.
High-Efficiency and Easy Cleaning
The Castle’s innovative heat exchanger, whose design is inspired by the delicate fins in air-cooled engines, makes this stove at once highly efficient and very easy to clean. The exchanger allows the burning pellets to generate an large amount of heat while leaving a minimum amount of ash on the inside of the stove.
This ensures that cleaning the Castle is easy, quick and, best of all, that there is very little residual ash that would create a mess in your home.
Though the Castle won’t heat very large spaces, we recommend it for anyone who is looking for a highly controllable stove that will quickly heat a smaller cottage or the main floor of a medium-sized house.
- Programmable controller
- Innovative heat exchange brings efficiency with little mess
- Limited heat coverage (max. 1500 square feet)
US Stove 4840 – Best Wall Mount Direct Vent Pellet Heater
The US Stove 4840 is the perfect choice for anyone looking for a stylish and modern pellet stove that can quickly heat small spaces and offices. Boasting a heating capacity of up to 1000 square feet but weighing only 180 lbs, the 4840’s has a direct vent design that makes it easy to install and extremely efficient.
Euro-Style Design with Direct Mounting
When people think of pellet stoves, typically a black, cast-iron device sitting on the floor in the corner of a room comes to mind. The US Stove 4840 breaks this mold by incorporating 21st century design principles into the traditional pellet stove.
The 4840 sports a sleek grey metal exterior housing that is just over 12 inches wide. This comparatively narrow width allows the stove to be direct-mounted onto the wall, just like a flat screen television. This means that you can place it anywhere in the room where space allows, and because it sits off the floor, it appears more like a room fixture than a stove.
Good Performance for Smaller Spaces
But the 4840’s sleek design doesn’t come at the cost of performance. With a pellet capacity of 28 lbs, the 4840 offers up to 24,000 BTUs and ranges from an incredible 24 hours of use on low settings to 6 hours on high. This means that you can leave it running on low for an entire day without worrying about coming back home to a cool house.
You can also control its settings with a digital PID-based control system. With five different heat settings, this system allows you to easily and quickly heat your space exactly to your specifications.
Overall we recommend the US Stove 4840 for anyone looking for a more modern take on the traditional pellet stove. It’s especially a great choice if you’re also looking to heat smaller spaces and want a stove that neatly mounts onto the wall.
- Sleek, modern design for contemporary homes and offices
- Excellent performance in smaller spaces
- Not suitable for larger family homes with multiple rooms
- Smaller pellet capacity limits use to six hours on highest setting
Pleasant Hearth Medium Pellet Stove – Most Reliable Stove
If you’re looking for a traditional pellet stove that will always get the job done, then the Pleasant Hearth Medium 35,000 BTU is an excellent choice. Sporting a traditional look and a cast-iron door fitted with large ceramic window, the Pleasant Hearth is what you need to quickly and efficiently heat a medium-sized home.
All Pleasant Hearth stoves are also made in the USA and come with a 5-year limited warranty. So you can trust that the quality is top-notch and that it will be easy to service in case you run into any problems down the road.
The Pleasant Hearth has an EPA-certified 85% efficiency rating. This puts it at the very top end of the efficiency range for traditional pellet stoves. With a 40-pound hopper, it will burn from 12-24 hours depending on which of its 5 heat settings are used. This allows it to easily and quickly heat a 1750 square foot home.
This excellent efficiency means that the Pleasant Hearth will also burn very cleanly. But to keep the air quality in your home at optimum levels, it also includes an air wash system. This ensures a particulate emissions rating of 0.34 grams an hour. In more practical terms, this means that the Pleasant Hearth can run for an entire day and the air quality in your home will remain excellent.
Comfort Control System
The Pleasant Hearth’s efficiency can be easily adjusted with its comfort control system. Simply set the dial to high or low and the stove will burn more or less quickly, as you prefer. For further convenience, the stove also comes equipped with an auto ignition. This makes it easier than ever to get the pellet stove burning quickly, with little or no smoke emitting from the opened front door.
We recommend the Pleasant Hearth to anyone who is looking for a highly efficient pellet stove but does not need automation or any digital controls.
- 85% EPA-rated efficiency
- Comfort control system
- Made in the USA
- No automation
Pelpro – Best Pellet Stove to Heat Large Homes
This is the most powerful and efficient pellet stove among the six in this review. If you’re looking for a stove with extended burn times and incredible efficiency that will heat a 2200 square foot home quickly, then the Pelpro Pellet Stove is the right choice.
However, this burn time is partly made possible by this stove’s 130 lbs hopper. In comparison to the 40 lbs hoppers in some of the stoves already reviewed, this does mean that on balance Pelpro’s 80 hour burn time is just marginally better. But for users who are looking for a stove that requires fewer loads of pellets and allows for longer burns without having to refill the loader, the Pelpro is a great choice.
Regardless of the size of its hopper, the Pelpro has a EPA-certified efficiency of 86.5%. This means that it will not quickly burn through pellets and you can run longer fires without having to stoke the firebox. In addition, the dial control and auto-ignition feature make getting a fire started a breeze.
Simply load the pellets, activate the auto ignition and the Pelpro will begin heating your home in no time. As an added bonus, the auto-ignition system ensures that the fire will start quickly and very little if any smoke will escape into your home.
Measuring 24 1/2 x 23 x 36.5, the Pelpro is not only the most efficient of the six pellet stoves in this review but also the largest. Its size is partly explained by the need to accommodate its larger hopper. But its firebox is also larger than average, which allows for the 80 hour burn times.
It’s worth noting, however, that if you’re looking for a more compact pellet stove, the Pelpro might not be for you. It’s best suited to larger rooms and homes that require a stove that will generate a large amount of heat.
Overall, we recommend the Pelpro Pellet Stove for users who are looking for a high-power stove to heat large spaces. The long burn time is definitely a convenience, but this pellet stove really comes down to its capacity to generate a lot of heat.
- 5% efficiency
- 80 hour burn time
- 3 heat settings
- Larger size that is suitable for bigger rooms
- Can be very hot in smaller rooms