Holds a Master’s degree in Engineering and is keen on her own home’s climate. Sometimes we think that Carolina owns every single product she writes about – that’s how profound and insightful her reviews always are.
For 8 years, Richard had been working as an HVAC specialist and AC unit installer since his student years. Now, he’s our main consultant on every technical aspect that may arise during our tests and research.
Last updated: February 13, 2021
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You may not have a fireplace, but you can still get a similar experience in the form of a pellet stove to heat your home. Also, if for some reason you move, the device can come with you.
High-quality options have flooded the market, and we can say this since we reviewed about 30 of the best pellet stoves. In our review, we could see that the Cleveland Iron Works PSBF66W-CIW was a bit superior to most other pellet stoves, and thus it is our editor’s choice product. The heating capacity, BTU output and thermal efficiency of this device all rank quite high on our list. This makes it a better all-rounder as compared to some of the others on the list. You can find nine other excellent options in the list below should Cleveland Iron Works model not appeal to you.
We, of course, were very thorough in our research of all the products, which admittedly took up a lot of time. Information from manufacturer websites and vendor sites was used to inform our decisions on how the products should rank. Also, candid reviews by previous users of the products helped. Additionally, the rankings were all based on the same criteria. It included BTU output, thermal efficiency, hopper capacity, heating capacity, warranty, and dimensions. These are the things you look at to gauge the usability of pellet stoves. They thus had a significant part to play in deciding which products made it onto our best pellet stoves list, as seen in the table. Below the table are in-depth reviews of the different products. You can use this to make your purchase decisions. The last component of this write-up is a buying guide.
The Cleveland Iron Works set of products is meant to enhance the comfort of being in your home. In that respect, the Cleveland Iron Works PSBF66W-CIW does not disappoint.
The first significant benefit is that the device is economical. As you can see, the hopper holds a maximum of 65 lbs of pellets. The rest of today’s list mostly consists of products with higher hopper capacities. Nevertheless, this product still provides one of the highest heating capacities.
The BTU capacity is also very worthy of note. This, of course, implies that the Cleveland Iron Works PSBF66W-CIW is quite efficient in its job.
That being said, the high heating capacity can be quite useful for a larger home. You ensure that heat seeps into all the rooms where it is required. The installed blower is powerful enough to make sure this happens. Additionally, this tool features a lot of automatic features making your work a lot easier.
The automatic start, for instance, means that all you have to worry about is getting your pellets into the hopper. Also, there is a programmable thermostat. You will, of course, want to control heat levels, and this is the way to do it.
Additionally, the pellets are bound to disintegrate into ash as they carry out their mandate. This ash is collected on an ash pan that comes with the device with should as well make it a piece of cake to dispose of.
Also, the EPA certification for the device adds to its list of credentials.
What we liked:
High heating capacity
Easy to turn on and use
High thermal efficiency
Comes with an 8-year warranty
What could be better:
Due to the small hopper capacity, you will need to refill it often
Cost of owning one of these is also relatively high
Admittedly this is quite a big device, and thus you should only think of the purchase if you have enough space for it. This size allows it to have 80 lbs of hopper capacity, which is impressive. As such, you may not have to refill this tool with pellets often.
Like its predecessor, this tool offers automatic ignition where the press of a button is enough to turn it on. You can also control how much of the heat is output using the programmable thermostat.
Also, if you have a large residence, this is the tool you turn to. As you can see stated above, it can cover up to 2800 sq.ft. Maybe one reason for this is that it can produce 50,000 BTU.
In comparison, the predecessor produces less than this by about 8000 BTU. Also, this is the second-highest BTU output value on today’s list. Some extra benefits are also provided by the manufacturer. Among them is the fact that the product is EPA certified.
It also features a single-year warranty. Translated, this means that the warranty covers you for one season since it is unlikely that you will use the device all-year-round. An ash-pan is also provided for easy disposal of what is left behind.
The Pelpro Pellet Stove is also very highly rated, and there are a couple of reasons for this. First, this is a huge device and will require a lot of space both vertically and horizontally. The size of the invention also comes with a few benefits of its own.
As you can see mentioned above, the hopper capacity is 130 lbs. This means it can hold three times what some of the competition can. You will thus have more time before you need to refill the hopper with fresh pellets. A time frame of about two days is expected. It may even take longer than that for all pellets to burn up.
The fact that this tool is mobile home approved is also a huge benefit. Of course, it comes with an extra attachment that makes installation a piece of cake. Also, you will likely not hear anybody complaining about how hard it is to use the device.
One knob suffices as the only controls you need. The user just needs to decide the heat level and leave the rest to the machine. An automatic blower is positioned to distribute the heat evenly. Additionally, the pellet stove comes with a diagnostic system. You will thus be able to easily figure out why the device is malfunctioning if it does.
What we liked:
Large viewing window
Easy to use controls
Large hopper capacity
High heat efficiency
What could be better:
The tool is bulky
Needs a lot of maintenance to remain in tip-top condition
There are also those of you who would like to see the flames clearly as they burn. In this case, the Comfortbilt Pellet Stove-HP61 might be their best bet. The dimensions give the profile of a wide device. This plays a part in providing the large viewing window on the device. Also, at 2000 sq.ft coverage, this tool can be considered quite effective.
Where thermal efficiency is concerned, this tool is a top performer. It achieves the same levels of efficiency as both the premium pick and the editor’s choice product. Admittedly this tool is also from the same manufacturer as the other two.
Being able to adjust the heat on a whim is also something that you will find users appreciating. This way, you won’t have to worry about sudden changes in temperatures in your general environment. You can use the thermostat provided and set the temperatures accordingly.
It also comes with most of the standard benefits of choosing the Comfortbilt brand. This is inclusive of the warranty and the automatic ignition system. Also, clean up, and maintenance is made easier by the presence of an ash pan in this setup.
What we liked:
Comes with an ash pan
Offers a programmable thermostat
Features a 1-year warranty
Large viewing area
High thermal efficiency
What could be better:
Hopper capacity is lower than most other pellet stoves in its class
Another tool that is deserving of its place on our list is the Cleveland Iron Works PSBF66W-CIW Pellet Stove. 52000 BTU output is quite an impressive statistic to achieve. The thermal efficiency is a little lower than some of the competition. However, this tool will still be able to raise the temperatures of your home when you need it to. The firebox warranty is one of the more impressive ones on the list. The parts warranty might be a bit different. However, the firebox remains an essential component. It is also probably the most expensive. This device is corded, and you should attach it to a socket if you want to see it work. A unique feature of the product is that it is the only one on the list to come with remote control. You thus don’t have to move from the couch if you want to turn up the heat. Also, built-in smart home technology is another major positive. You will, of course, be able to control the device from further away using this feature. Additionally, the wide flame viewing area is an asset as well.
What we liked:
Offers a wide flame viewing area
Built-in smart home technology
Up to five years warranty on firebox
Remote control is included
What could be better:
This device doesn’t have many current cons to speak off
Another tool that is seemingly built for a large residence is the Comfortbilt HP22-SS Pellet Stove. It comes in a burgundy finish, which is different from the all-black finishes of other pellet stoves. Functionality-wise it is also quite highly rated.
As far as BTU output is concerned, it produces some high figures. This is one part of the reason why it can get coverage of up to 28,000 sq. ft. Another reason for this is a powerful blower.
Additionally, like most other high end options, the temperatures you experience in your home using this tool are adjustable. A thermostat is placed on the top of the device, just as is the case with other Comfortbilt options. As such, the buttons are within reach.
An ash pan has also been known to be tremendously useful when it comes to the maintenance and cleaning of such devices. It, therefore, adds to the benefits that this tool comes with one. Also, the large viewing window is hard not to notice.
Additionally, it comes with EPA certification, which makes it a safe tool to use.
What we liked:
Easy to use
Large viewing window for the flames
Large coverage area
What could be better:
Burgundy is a bit harder to match to various interior design schemes
Another automatic fixture you can add to your home is the Drolet Eco-55 Pellet Stove. It comes with EPA certification, which guarantees more quality than some of the competition.
Getting more than 51 hours of use from a single pellet filling shouldn’t be too hard for the device. However, that is also dependent on how you use the equipment.
Since this tool is also thermostat-adaptable, you will, at some point, be able to regulate the heat as you see fit. A point to note is that with higher levels of heat, the device will use a lot more fuel. You can even find the pellets finished in about 15 hours.
Also, a self-feeding pellet system is part of the benefits that this tool has to offer. Thus, adding pellets to the unit becomes effortless and hassle-free.
Additionally, at 2,000 sq.ft this item can be used to provide heat for relatively large residences.
You may also find that the US Stove 5040 Bay Front Pellet Stove strikes your fancy. The device can go for slightly over 40 hours, after which you may need to refill the pellets.
It comes with a digital control board, allowing you to adjust temperatures in your house as you see fit. Also, an LED display is provided to make sure you can see the settings you are incorporating. Another display provided is that of the burning pellets. For some, this is just as important as the heat the device offers.
Also, this tool has fully automatic functions, including ignition and circulation. Concerning the latter, you are assured that heat will be evenly distributed so long as the machine is in good condition. This is also as a result of the 120 CFM blower incorporated into the design.
As well, the fact that you have four heat settings removes much of the guesswork from the equation. Unfortunately, this also limits your options when it comes to fine-tuning temperatures.
What we liked:
Easy to control
Relatively large area coverage
3-year firebox warranty with 1-year parts coverage
What could be better:
The fact that it needs regular cleaning and maintenance is not everybody’s cup of tea
While the Castle Pellet Stoves 12327 Serenity Wood Pellet Stove does take less floor space, it is relatively tall. As such, it may not fit all installation scenarios. This being the case, you may need to check on your home situation before deciding on whether or not to purchase the product.
Capacity wise this device can house 40 lbs pellets. These pellets also serve as the fuel that ends up being burned to provide heat to your house. If you are also looking into pellet stoves under 2000, this offering could be ideal.
The heating capacity stands at 1,500 sq.ft. which admittedly is not very high. However, since the average home size for people in the United States is 1,600-1650 sq.ft, this device seems sufficient. Also, thermal efficiency seems not to be very high as well.
On the pros side where this device is concerned, you have automatic ignition. Also, you get an adjustable thermostat. The fan in this machine also helps a lot with heat distribution. Additionally, this tool comes with a few safety features, including overload protection and safety shut-off.
What we liked:
Thermal overload protection
Safety shut-off feature
Easily adjustable with the inclusion of a thermostat
What could be better:
Doesn’t have the highest thermal efficiency
Device fan can be loud at startup and when shutting down
The US Stove Company US GW1949 Wiseway Pellet Stove is quite a unique product as far as design goes. You can see that the shape and outlook, as seen in the image, is not something you will get in other options. However, despite the shape, it still manages to produce some good heating results for your home.
It will heat 2000 sq.ft of your home space once you turn it on. However, the fact that it uses a manual ignition system may not be everybody’s cup of tea. Also, there don’t seem to be any concrete figures or percentages of the thermal efficiency.
Nevertheless, you do get 40000 BTU output from the device. This is assuming you have enough pellet fuel in the machine. Also, the device features a steel body that should provide it with a bit of durability.
Additionally, the hopper capacity is no small matter. Concerning this device, you can fit in about 60 lbs of pellets. This should allow you at least a day and a half of use before you have to top up.
Warranty terms are as well favorable even more so than those of the Comfortbilt line of products. The firebox, which is seemingly the most critical part of the device, is covered for three years while the other parts have 1-year coverage.
Quiet operation is as well a significant benefit of this device. Also, while some may not like the fact that it is non-electric, this is the perfect tool to use if there is a blackout.
What we liked:
Usable even with no electricity
Relatively large hopper capacity
Warranty terms are quite favorable
What could be better:
The manual operation may be difficult for some
The device needs to be cleaned often to ensure optimum heating
Things to Consider
You want a high-quality wood or multi-fuel pellet stove to install in your house to cater for those chilly days. The only problem is there are several options for you to choose from, which seem the same. Nevertheless, you want to make sure this is not a purchase you will second guess or regret. These are some key reasons why we have this buying guide. It acts to provide you with in-depth information on what factors you should look at before making the purchase. This way, you will have a sort of checklist that will help you gauge products and their suitability to your situation.
How does a pellet stove work?
Pellet stoves are not all that complicated in how they work. They have storage space for the pellets known as the hopper. This may be at the top or the bottom of the device. Additionally, they come with an auger whose job is to feed the pellets to the burn chamber.
Another significant component of these devices is a convection blower. When you turn the device on, it heats the air inside it. All this while cooler air is being sucked into the machine from the room. This air, as well, will be heated once it gets into the device. When it is pushed out of the machine through the exchange tubes, it is quite hot and can raise the overall temperature of the room.
Benefits of pellet stoves
The advantages of owning one of these are quite numerous, and anyone looking to purchase a pellet stove should be aware of them. One major one is energy efficiency. With these devices, almost all energy acquired from burning the fuel is put to good use. In some cases, the energy or heat loss does not go past 10% of the overall output.
Also, you are not likely to encounter smoke in your house if you are using these devices. They are often fitted with a smoke extraction system. This can even be in the form of a thin tube that runs through an outer wall. The smoke will find its way outdoors while the heat remains in.
Additionally, if you’ve used wood pellets before, you would know they are a relatively cheap source of fuel. As such, it may be more economical for you to have these devices despite the high cost of purchasing one. Also, the consumption of these pellets is not rapid, which brings us to our next point.
As we have already mentioned before, you fill-up the hopper and leave the rest to the pellet stove. This, of course, means you don’t have to check on it and fill it up every so often. Depending on the model, size of hopper, and consumption, you can leave the device on for 12 to 36 hours. This makes it so that the device doesn’t need a lot of your attention.
Features to consider when choosing a pellet stove
In the list above, we try to rank the pellet stoves according to their main features. As such, you need to know the value of certain features before you can purchase a device of your own. Consequently, a breakdown of the same given below might just come in handy.
BTU is a measurement of energy. As such, the BTU output is the energy you get in your home as a byproduct of burning the fuel.
Of course, this is going to be delivered as heat. In such a scenario, the higher the BTU output, the higher the heat produced.
Thermal efficiency is another way to see how well the device performs. With higher thermal efficiency, you are sure that most of the heat produced by the stove does not go to waste. As such, products like the Cleveland Iron Works PSBF66W-CIW with its 86% thermal efficiency rating are better performers. This is in comparison to products like the Castle Pellet Stoves 12327 Serenity Wood Pellet Stove with its 69.8% efficiency.
Type of pellets
As it stands, there are three main types of wood pellets. The first type is premium wood pellets. As the name suggests, these will cost you more than their counterparts to purchase. The reason for this is that their organic ash content is quite low. Consequently, the cleanup process after using this type of wood pellets will be easier since you have less of a mess.
Also, they are derived from maple wood and oak species of trees. This may also add to the cost. Another type of pellets that you should be aware of is the standard wood pellets. Of course, softwood trees are preferred for most forestry industries. This is because they grow a lot quicker and are thus easier to replace than their hardwood counterparts.
The waste from these industries is used to make standard wood pellets. As a result, these are cheaper than their counterparts and more readily available. Also, the organic ash content in these pellets is more than 0.5%.
The last category is that of food-grade wood pellets. However, both the standard and premium wood pellets can be considered to be of the food-grade variation. The only requirements are that the pellets contain neither binding agents nor additives.
Top vs. bottom hopper
Another distinction you might have to make is whether the pellet stove you intend to buy has a top or bottom hopper. This will have an impact on the type of pellets you use. It as well will affect how you use the device.
We will first look into the top hopper feed models. Like we already mentioned above, these devices feature an auger whose job is to feed pellets into the flame. With the hopper positioned at the top of the invention, the pellets have to go through a tube to reach the fire.
With this design, the chances of the fire reaching the hopper and burning up the fuel reserves are minimal. However, it increases the chances of the device getting clogged by the ash, which is a byproduct of burning the pellets.
As a result of this, it becomes a necessity to use premium wood pellets since they are low on ash. If you use standard pellets instead, you significantly increase the chances of clogging the device. Higher heating efficiency is also to be expected. This is because the pellets are not going to be moved from the fire until they are nothing but ash.
A bottom hopper is just as the name suggests. It is more or less on the same level as the fire. This being the case, pellets have to be delivered horizontally. As a result of this design, you find that ash is removed from the burn area as pellets are fed into the fire. As such, the chances of clogging are greatly minimized.
Consequently, you shouldn’t have any problems using standard pellets here. Another major positive associated with this is that the burn box will not require as much effort to clean. A significant downside of this design is that it loses out on heating efficiency.
Hopper capacity is an essential feature in all pellet stoves. It determines how long the device can stay on without needing your input. This can range anywhere from 12 to 36 hours.
Also, you want something that is heat resistant since the temperatures can get quite hot in the tool. Consequently, you are assured that this tool will be with you in the long run. After spending so much money on it, the fact that it is long-lasting should be one of the bare minimum requirements.
That being said, not all of the devices listed here feature a cast iron body. Others like the US Stove Company US GW1949 Wiseway Pellet Stove come with steel bodies, and there is nothing wrong with that. Worth noting is that some components are more susceptible to damage than others. An example is the firebox since it experiences most of the heat, and that is likely to lead to deterioration over time. The fan and auger are moving parts. This probably makes them more susceptible to wear and tear.
Ease of installation
These devices are quite bulky. Also, no one wants to have the machine delivered only to find that they need hours and hours to figure out how to install it. Worst of all, some of these devices may need professional input before you can put them to good use. Remember, this will come at an extra cost. However, some just need to be plugged in and are easy to assemble.
There is also the element of the ignition system. Some of the devices like the US Stove Company US GW1949 Wiseway Pellet Stove require manual ignition. This is a short multi-step process that requires you to heat the burn chamber as well as the flue. You then use a propane torch to start the fire. On the other hand, you have automatic ignition systems. These are simpler to use for most people since the only requirement is that you push a button. They then heat the fuel and light the fire on their own. It is worth remembering that the manual devices are usable when there is no electricity. This is not the case where automatic machines are concerned. They require electric energy to be able to turn the device on.
One reason why people invest in a fireplace for their home is the overall look of it. It is quite easy to relax to music while you stare at the fire burning. Nothing is stopping you from getting the same experience with your pellet stove. However, you have to realize that this is an enclosed device, meaning you can’t view the flame directly.
Nevertheless, you will have noticed from the images provided above that there are glass screens that allow you to see the goings-on in the device. However, over time the device can fog up, leading to impaired visibility.
Some of the machines on offer have countermeasures against this scenario. They come with self-cleaning glass, and as a result, you can see the flame clearly any time you look into the device. If you do not have this feature, you would have to clean the glass manually after use to experience the same thing.
A warranty is also crucial in determining the suitability of the wood pellet stove to your overall needs. As it stands, pellet stoves are expensive despite their variance in prices. They can cost anywhere from $1000 to $3000 or more. This being the case, it would be foolhardy to purchase a product without a warranty.
Should any manufacturing defects render the device unusable, the buyer will need to look for more money to buy another one. They may also give up on pellet stoves altogether and decide to find other means of heating their home. This would, of course, mean that they can’t experience all the perceived benefits of pellet stoves.
A device like the US Stove 5040 Bay Front Pellet Stove has an excellent warranty policy from the looks of it. The firebox seems like it would be more prone to damage since this is where most of the functions of the device take place. As such, three-year warranty coverage is ideal. It will give users some time to study the device, and if any defects are apparent, they can have it fixed at the cost of the manufacturer.
The one-year parts warranty, however, is not impressive. Remember that this tool is likely to be used only in the winter. If it does end up being used in other seasons, it will be sparingly. As such, this one-year coverage ends up being a one-season guarantee.
Also worth noting is that some devices don’t offer guarantees at all. This is seen in Drolet Eco-55 Pellet Stove. However, there is no rule against buying these devices. If you are okay with bearing the risk of such a device, then there is no reason not to purchase it.
A device like the Comfortbilt Pellet Stove-HP61 also comes with an ash pan. This accessory should make it easier for you to dispose of the ash left from burning the pellets. As you can see, each extra feature is likely to bring with it extra functionality and benefits. This being the case, you will benefit more from having a device with some additional features. Nonetheless, it is worth noting that such products will often be more expensive than their plain counterparts.
Most of the devices above give the impression that electricity is needed to run a pellet stove. This is not true, and a prime example of that is the US Stove Company US GW1949 Wiseway Pellet Stove. Nevertheless, using an electric pellet stove will make your work a lot easier. You can push a button to ignite the fire adjust temperatures and more. In some cases, you even have the option of remote control. The only problem is where power outages are frequent since you can’t use the device then.
Often you will have to do basic cleaning and also make sure you do a bit of deep cleaning at intervals of two weeks. This will ensure your device remains pristine and that heating efficiency is at maximum.
To start your regular cleaning, you need to get rid of the ash in the burn pot. If you have an ash vacuum, it will prove tremendously useful. Pellet stoves as well come with cleaning tools. If this is not present, a putty knife or wire brush can work as a suitable substitute. Use this to remove all carbon deposits even if you have to scrape the burn pot.
Also, a lever is present either at the top or front of the stove. Pushing and pulling this will remove any carbon deposits in the exchanger. Remember to vacuum the carbon deposits that come off as a result of this. Also, the glass windows need a wash as well. This completes the normal cleaning process.
Deep cleaning requires that you do all the above then get to the stove pipe. There is a brush for this that will help you take out all the ash. The fan, as well as blow motor, also needs attention. A soft brush such as a paintbrush is ideal. Tidy up with a vacuum as you do this.
Also, there should be gaskets near the door of the device, which you have to check on. Any residue here needs to be removed, and the gaskets need to be switched out if they are worn out. A chimney liner might also help get rid of the ash.
After our comprehensive review of products, we definitely fancy a few prospects. Among them is Pelpro Pellet Stove . The convenience of this device is almost unmatched. This is because of the hopper capacity that allows you to ignore the tool for extensive periods. Another primary reason for you guys to purchase this product is the five-year warranty.
The Editor’s choice Cleveland Iron Works PSBF66W-CIW is also one of those devices that fit in most home scenarios. It is average-sized, but that doesn’t seem to apply to the heating capacity. EPA certification also raises its standing. In addition to that, the ash pan may make work easier for the users.
You also find the Comfortbilt HP22-N Pellet Stove to be an impressive purchase prospect. It is, of course, one of the larger devices on the list. Its most significant benefit is the heating capacity that is ideal for even the largest homes. It also comes with a few benefits present in the HP50. This is including EPA certification and a programmable thermostat.
So long as you have taken your living situation into account, you should not find it hard to choose from the ten options above. Remember to inform us of your experience using the purchase in the comments below.