8 Powerful Pellet Stoves – Reliable and Safe Home Heating

US Stove Company 4840

When it comes to heating your home or workshop in winter, one of the best alternatives to a real home heating system is a pellet stove. These stoves burn compressed wood pellets that are specially designed to produce heat. Although similar in many ways to a wood stove, the best pellet stove is far more efficient, safer to use and does not require you to spend days chopping wood to heat your home. Another major advantage of pellet stoves is that they cost much less to run than an electric or gas heating system.

To help you find the right pellet stove to heat your home or shop, we have looked at a number of features that differentiate these heaters. The first is the size of the pellet stove – after all, these heaters will take up a lot of space in the room where they are placed. We also took into account the power and heating surface, which affect the efficiency of heating a large room, a shop or even a whole house. Finally, we took into account things like hopper capacity – the amount of pellets the stove can hold before it needs to be refilled – and the manufacturer’s warranty.

We spent dozens of hours researching pellet stove models, reading technical specifications and customer reviews. The result is our list of the eight best pellet stoves, shown in the table below. Read on for detailed reviews of each pellet stove, with pros and cons. Our buying guide covers everything you need to know about pellet stoves and how to choose the best stove for your needs. Finally, we recap our three favourite pellet stoves on the market today.

Comfortbilt HP22 pellet stove

Users can’t say enough good things about this massive pellet stove from Comfortbilt. First of all, the stove is simply beautiful enough to be a welcome addition to any home – the front panels feature bay-style glass windows to provide a large viewing area similar to a traditional fireplace. The hexagonal shape also adds a bit of flair so that it can fit into the aesthetics of a wide variety of rooms.

In terms of performance, it’s hard to beat this 50,000 BTU stove. Comfortbilt claims – and users agree – that the stove is capable of heating an area of 2,800 square feet, even in cold weather. Better yet, users say they have used it for several months in a row in harsh winter conditions without any problems.

The large ash pan and 55-pound hopper mean you don’t need to pay attention to this stove more frequently than once every day or two, and users report that the ash pan is easy to clean with a hoover. Users also like the programmable thermostat on top of the stove, which makes it easy to adjust the blower to match the temperature of your home, and the remote control that allows you to adjust the thermostat from another room. Another highlight of this stove is its silence – one user reported not being able to hear it at all from the opposite side of the same room!

Comfortbilt offers a one-year warranty on the parts of this stove and a lifetime warranty on the body of the stove, as well as very helpful technical support during the installation process and early use.

Comfortbilt HP22 pellet stove
  • 36 x 30 x 24″.
  • 50,000 btu
  • 55 lbs
  • 2800 square feet.
  • 1 year on parts, limited lifetime

Napoleon Timberwolf Economizer Pellet Insert TPI35

This pellet stove from Napoleon Timberwolf may have a large footprint, but it has the unique advantage of being able to be installed directly against a wall thanks to the unique wall guard behind the stove. This pellet stove is relatively small and simple, with a design that resembles a traditional wood burning stove. Although the viewing window is a little small, this is not a problem for users who are not looking for a chimney-like aesthetic.

The 38,250 BTU heating output is in the middle of the range of pellet stoves we reviewed, making it a good choice for people who live in moderate climates or have a small home in the 2,000 square foot range. However, the Napoleon Timberwolf didn’t skimp on the hopper capacity – at 45 pounds, you won’t have to add pellets to the stove more than once a day, and even less often in the shoulder seasons. When burning a cheap pellet mix of corn and wood waste, the full hopper can last up to 30 hours. The stove also has a digital control panel with a thermostat that makes it easy to adjust the heat output to the desired temperature.

Users particularly appreciate the 120 CFM blower kit supplied with this pellet stove, which they say does an excellent job of distributing heat throughout the house. Users also appreciated Napoleon Timberwolf’s excellent customer service, as well as the company’s generous lifetime warranty that covers the entire stove.

Napoleon Timberwolf Economizer Pellet Insert TPI35
  • 30 x 26 x 21.5″.
  • 38,250 btu
  • 45 lbs.
  • 2000 square feet
  • limited life span


US Stove Company 5500

If you’re looking for a stove that you can leave burning for days without too much maintenance, there are few better choices than this pellet stove from US Stove Company. The most attractive part of this stove is the huge 120 pound pellet hopper, which you can load once and not return to for days. This means that you can essentially load the hopper and clean the ash pan in one go, and then forget about your pellet stove for several days.

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The stove also performs well in terms of heat output, with a capacity of 48,000 BTUs, enough heat to warm a 2,200-square-foot home during a harsh winter, or an even larger home in mild weather. Users have appreciated the automatic ignition and digital LED display, which together make this pellet stove extremely easy to use and control. The stove uses a mechanical venting system, which users have found to be very effective, to feed the flame and prevent smoke from spreading through your home.

The only downside to this stove is that, given its power, it has an extremely large footprint and is also quite tall. The glass panel is also relatively small, so the size of the stove is not offset by a chimney-like view.

US Stove Company offers an excellent warranty policy on this stove, including a one-year protection on all electrical and mechanical parts as well as a lifetime warranty on the body of the stove itself.

US Stove Company 5500
  • 34 x 25 x 26″.
  • 48,000 btu
  • 120 lbs
  • 2,200 sq. ft.


Summers Heat 55-SHPEP

This modest stove from Summers Heat is perfect for those who live in mild climates or who only need to heat a few rooms. The stove is rated at just over 25,000 BTUs, which users say is perfect for a 2,000 square foot home when outside temperatures are reasonable or for heating a central suite of rooms when the mercury really drops. The 45-pound hopper is designed to burn up to 27 hours straight, which means you can load this stove every morning and not have to worry about it until the next day.

With a base size of only 26″ x 23″, this stove is in the middle of the pack when it comes to footprint, but it comes with a huge glass viewing window that users love for the aesthetics it provides. The stove also has useful features, such as a digital control panel that includes easy-to-adjust controls for heating power and fan speed. The stove also has an automatic ignition function so you don’t have to worry about start-up freezes.

The main problem that users have encountered with this stove is that it requires a significant amount of maintenance. Users have found that the auger squeaks if pellet dust is allowed to accumulate for more than a few days, requiring frequent cleaning. In addition, the stove can be picky about the types of pellets that burn without leaving a flame that chokes the ventilation. Users appreciated Summers Heat’s five-year limited warranty in case any of these minor issues cause the stove’s mechanical parts to break down.

Summers Heat 55-SHPEP
  • 34.5 x 26 x 23”
  • 25,100 btu
  • 45 lbs
  • 2000 square feet
  • 5 year limited warranty


PelPro PP130-B

Don’t let the small footprint of this PelPro pellet stove fool you: it puts out an impressive 40,600 BTUs of heat. Users agree with the manufacturer’s recommendation: that’s enough heating power to keep a 2,500-square-foot home warm, even in harsh winter conditions. Plus, the 130-pound hopper capacity means you don’t have to deal with this stove more than once a day.

One of the unique aspects of this stove’s design is the removable side panels that make it easy to maintain and clean the auger and hopper. However, PelPro has designed the stove with an ash pan that cannot be removed, which means that you will need a shop vac to clean the ashes every few days.

The stove is equipped with a dial thermostat, which makes it easy to set the 100 CFM blower speed as well as the desired temperature. PelPro offers a five-year limited warranty on the stove to protect your investment, although users have not reported any problems with the stove failing after several seasons of use.

PelPro PP130-B
  • 37 x 23 x 24.5″.
  • 40,600 btu
  • 130 lbs.
  • 2,500 square feet

EPA certified, dial thermostat, self draining burn pot.

Don’t let the small footprint of this PelPro pellet stove fool you: it puts out an impressive 40,600 BTUs of heat. Users agree with the manufacturer’s recommendation: that’s enough heating power to keep a 2,500-square-foot home warm, even in harsh winter conditions. Plus, the 130-pound hopper capacity means you don’t have to deal with this stove more than once a day.

One of the unique aspects of this stove’s design is the removable side panels that make it easy to maintain and clean the auger and hopper. However, PelPro has designed the stove with an ash pan that cannot be removed, which means that you will need a shop vac to clean the ashes every few days.

The stove is equipped with a dial thermostat, which makes it easy to set the 100 CFM blower speed as well as the desired temperature. PelPro offers a five-year limited warranty on the stove to protect your investment, although users have not reported any problems with the stove failing after several seasons of use.

US Stove GW1949 Wiseway

If power-cutting winter storms are common in your area or if you’re looking for a pellet stove for an off-grid home, this all non-electric pellet stove from US Stove is a great option. The stove uses a gravity feed system rather than a mechanical auger to get the pellets from the hopper to the firebox, which users say works extremely well – provided you clean the system every few days.

Although the stove is rated at 40,000 BTUs and is described as being large enough to heat a 2,000 square foot home, users caution that these ratings are optimistic and that this stove is best used to heat only a few central rooms. Although the 60-pound hopper is quite large, users find that the stove burns pellets quickly when operating at full capacity and that the hopper must be refilled every 12 to 20 hours. In addition, users note that the ash pan must be cleaned daily to keep the stove operating at high efficiency.

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The stove uses a direct venting system, which is another advantage for those looking to go off-grid, but requires some thought as to where you will place the stove as you need to run a vent pipe through your roof. That said, users have appreciated the relatively small footprint of this stove as well as its modern aesthetic – although the glass to see the fire is also relatively small.

US Stove offers a limited lifetime warranty on the body of the stove, although users reported few problems as there are no electrical parts.

US Stove GW1949 Wiseway
  • 52 x 24 x 15″.
  • Heat output
  • 40,000 btu
  • 60 lbs
  • 2000 square feet

Castle Pellet Stoves 12327 Serenity

This cheap pellet stove from Castle Pellet Stoves has been designed with simplicity and ease of use in mind. Compared to other pellet stoves, everything from the shape of this stove to the digital controller is designed to allow you to worry about more than your stove. The controller offers not only manual controls, but also automatic thermostat control and a schedule controller that allows you to set the stove to run on a daily, weekly or monthly schedule – perfect for people who travel frequently during the winter or are away from home for work each day. The 40lb hopper also means you don’t need to fill the stove more than once a day, and the design of the stove allows easy access to the firebox and ash pan for cleaning – either with a hoover or by removing the ash pan to empty the ashes.

The stove has a relatively modest heat output of just under 32,000 BTUs, making it more suitable for mild climates or for heating a small number of rooms – the stove is designed to heat an area of only 1,500 square feet.

It should be noted that the fans on this cooker can be quite noisy, especially for about 15 minutes just after starting and stopping. In addition, users have found that while the digital controller’s programming feature is nice, the thermostat control does not work intuitively, so the temperature is often much higher than you would like. Users have also reported that the hopper is relatively narrow and stops feeding the auger even if there are pellets left.

Castle Pellet Stoves 12327 Serenity
  • 34 x 24 x 18″.
  • 31,960 btu
  • 40 lbs
  • 1500 square feet.
  • 1 year limited

US Stove Company 4840

If you’re on a budget and only need to heat a small area of your home with a pellet stove, it’s hard to beat this inexpensive, moderate-sized stove from US Stove Company. This stove is capable of producing 24,000 BTUs and can only heat 1,000 square feet. So don’t expect to heat your entire home in harsh winter conditions with this stove. That said, users have loved this stove for heating a central living room or a detached workshop and have found that the five thermostat settings allow for ample customization to achieve a comfortable temperature. The stove has a modern aesthetic, but note that the glass viewing window is extremely small – this may be a deficit for people who want to see the fire, but a plus for people who worry about children or pets being burnt by the hot glass.

Users have had mixed results when using the stove. Many found that the 28-pound hopper frequently clogged with dust, even after thorough cleaning, unless it was only half full, which required refilling every few hours. In addition, some users have experienced problems with the auger’s operation. User experiences with customer service range from very good to very bad, depending on the exact problem with the stove – so make sure you are skilled enough to diagnose problems when they arise if you choose this stove. It’s also worth noting that US Stove Company doesn’t specify a warranty period, which may explain some of the mixed results users have had in resolving issues.

US Stove Company 4840
  • 36 x 27 x 12
  • 24,000 btu
  • 28 lbs
  • 1000 square feet
  • not specified

EPA certified, auto ignition and diagnostic controls, 5 heat settings, fan kit included, 120 CFM fan included.
Create a cosy atmosphere in your home – invest in a pellet stove
While many people may be reluctant to abandon traditional gas or electric home heating systems, pellet stoves offer a number of advantages over these heating systems.
Firstly, pellet stoves are one of the cheapest ways to heat your home. This is, for many people, what prompts them to switch to heating with a pellet stove in the first place. Compared to petrol and electricity, wood pellets are significantly cheaper and do not experience the wild price fluctuations of these other fuels. A cord of wood pellets is also generally cheaper than a cord of pre-cut wood – and does not require the effort of splitting wood from uncut logs that you would have to do to make using a wood stove cheaper than using a pellet stove.

People new to pellet stoves often fear that they produce too much or too little heat. However, pellet stoves are very efficient and large units can produce as much heat as an electric or gas heater. Pellet stoves are also controllable, with adjustable fans and heat settings, so you can turn the heat down when you are in the same room as the stove or turn the heat up to warm adjacent rooms.

Finally, wood pellet stoves are a great option for heating your home if you want to get off the grid, or at least reduce your dependence on the power grid or natural gas. Wood pellets are available year-round at most hardware stores and can be stored before winter as they last for years.

What are pellets?

The pellets burned in pellet stoves are usually made from wood waste from other industries. This is part of what makes pellet stoves so environmentally friendly: they burn wood that would otherwise go to landfill. Many wood pellets are made from compressed sawdust from sawmills, surplus wood discarded by the furniture and logging industries, or unusable wood such as trees killed by the pine beetle. Increasingly, pellets are also being produced from agricultural waste such as maize stalks, to make the most of agricultural by-products.

How does a pellet stove work?

Pellet stoves look relatively simple from the outside, but the inside actually houses several separate chambers. In general, to operate your pellet stove, you need to load pellets into a hopper, where they will be stored temporarily. An auger feeds pellets into the combustion chamber, the rate of feed of which partly determines the amount of heat produced by your pellet stove – this is usually one of the elements controlled by the thermostat on the outside of the stove. Although many pellet stoves automatically ignite the pellets in the firebox when you first turn on the stove, some pellet stoves require you to manually ignite the pellets – after that, however, the fire will continue to burn as new pellets are added. The pellets are burnt in the firebox to produce heat, and a heat exchanger blows air from the room through the firebox and back into the room to deliver heat safely.


How do you extend the life of a pellet stove?

Unlike a wood stove, a pellet stove has several moving parts that can break down over time if not properly maintained. Therefore, you will want to make stove maintenance a regular part of your winter heating routine.

The first and most important thing you need to do to maintain your pellet stove is to clean the ash pan so that it does not block the air intake to the firebox. A good method of cleaning is to vacuum the ashes. Plan to vacuum at least every other day during the winter months when you use your stove a lot.


From time to time, you should also allow the hopper and auger to empty completely. This is because pellet debris – often consisting of sawdust and other friable material – can build up in the hopper and auger and clog the feed mechanism if not cleaned. Allowing the hopper and auger to drain completely will usually clean them, but you can also clean them by hand.

Finally, it is a good idea to have your pellet stove professionally inspected once a year – usually before the cold weather starts! There are a number of companies that offer subscription-based services so you don’t have to worry about it and the price is relatively modest.

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Tips for installing a pellet stove

Installing a pellet stove is relatively straightforward, but there are a number of things to consider before you get to the point of placing a stove in your home.

First of all, you need to determine the exact location where you are going to install a pellet stove. You may have a specific room where you want to install the stove, or the place where you want to put the stove may be dictated by the size of the stove model you like. In general, it is best to place the stove in a central room of the house so that the heat it produces can be distributed evenly and efficiently to the surrounding rooms.

Ventilation is also extremely important when deciding where and how to install your new pellet stove. Relatively free air movement is necessary both for the stove to burn with the best possible efficiency and to distribute the warm air produced by the stove throughout the house. Most pellet stoves use a mechanical exhaust system, in which a fan assists with air movement. In general, these stoves require a double-walled PL vent pipe to meet building code requirements. Alternatively, some high-end pellet stoves offer direct venting, where the air is exhausted directly to the outside of your home through a wall or roof vent. In this case, you will need a chimney on the outside of your home that passes over all roof overhangs and is fully sealed to prevent smoke from entering your home.

Safety tips for pellet stove users

Obviously, safety is paramount when lighting a fire inside your home. The most important thing you can do to prevent a fire in the room around your stove is to ensure that there is nothing combustible near the stove – including the floor surface and walls. Most pellet stove manufacturers will provide a list of materials that are safe to use under your new pellet stove. Manufacturers will also provide instructions on the types of pellets that can be safely burned with your stove – make sure you stick to the recommended pellets to avoid any gas, smoke or flame build-up.

It is also important to keep an eye on the stove from time to time. Do not allow children or pets to play alone in the room where the stove is located when it is lit, as the stove surface and front glass can be extremely hot. In addition, it is advisable to install a carbon monoxide detector and a smoke detector in the room where the stove is located.

Equipping your home: necessities for pellet stove owners

While a pellet stove is a big expense, you’ll want to consider a few additional items to ensure that your home and family are safe when your pellet stove is in operation. These include carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, both of which can be placed in the same room as the pellet stove to alert you to the build-up of dangerous gases or smoke in your home. A carbon monoxide detector is particularly important as this gas cannot be seen or smelt. Although fires caused by pellet stoves are rare, it is also a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher in the same room as the pellet stove.
Depending on the model of pellet stove you choose, you may also need to invest in a fan. Many high-end pellet stoves come with a fan to circulate the hot air they produce, but if you are buying an economy stove, there may not be a built-in mechanism to distribute the heat away from the stove itself. While a ceiling fan may do the trick if you are only heating one small room, if you need the heat to circulate through several rooms, a blower fan will be much more effective.

Features to consider when buying the best pellet stove

How do you differentiate between pellet stoves to get the right one for your home? In this section, we will look at the most important features to consider when choosing a pellet stove and explain how they can affect performance.


Pellet stoves are simply not small – they take up a decent amount of space in a room in your home. That’s why the size of different pellet stoves is an important factor for many homeowners. The pellet stove you choose should fit comfortably in the central room of your home, with enough space from the surrounding walls to prevent the walls from overheating. For many people, a larger stove with a smaller footprint – like the US Stoves model – is a good option for smaller rooms.

In addition, size is important because it affects heat output – larger pellet stoves will be able to produce more heat than smaller pellet stoves. In general, you’ll want to choose a pellet stove that offers enough heat output to heat your entire home, but without providing too much heat to suffocate you.


The material of which the pellet stove you choose is made can have an effect on its heat transfer and durability. Almost all pellet stoves get hot on the outside when in use, so it’s important to keep your body, children and pets away from the stove when it’s on. That said, the exterior of every pellet stove is designed with cast metals so that it is fireproof even at extremely high temperatures and durable under those same temperatures.
Top or bottom hopper?
One of the main differences between pellet stoves is whether they are top or bottom fed.

Top-fed stoves have an auger that is placed near the top of the firebox and uses an inclined surface to transfer the pellets from the hopper to the firebox. With this design, there is little risk of the auger catching fire and spreading flames to the pellets in the hopper. However, top-fed stoves are also likely to develop clinkers – masses of caked, hardened ash – which can impede the ventilation of the firebox if not cleaned with a poker. As a result, most top-fed pellet stoves require high quality, low ash pellets, which can be a little more expensive over time.

Bottom-fed stoves have a horizontal auger that also serves as a cleaning mechanism to move the ash and slag into the ash pan. These stoves are a little more expensive to buy than top-feed stoves, but since they automatically remove the slag, they do not require a higher quality pellet.

Hopper capacity

The capacity of the pellet hopper, where the pellets are stored before being fed into the firebox, can vary considerably – from the 28-pound hopper on the US Stove Company 4840 to the 120-pound hopper on the US Stove Company 5500. A small 28-pound hopper will require you to refill it frequently – up to twice a day during the winter – which can be problematic if you leave the house often and need to keep it warm. On the other hand, a massive hopper may mean you only have to worry about adding pellets to the hopper every couple of days.

Heating capacity

The maximum amount of heat a pellet stove is capable of producing is measured in BTUs – British thermal units – per hour. In general, the amount of heat you will need from a stove depends on the climate you live in and the size of your home. If you have relatively mild winters, you can get by with about 40 BTUs per hour per square foot. If you live in colder climates, you will need 60 BTUs per hour per square foot or more. Keep in mind that manufacturers’ ratings generally recommend maximum efficiency when burning the optimum (and sometimes most expensive) type of pellets. You will therefore need a stove with a slightly higher heating capacity than you think you will need.

Fortunately, pellet stoves are available in a wide range of heating outputs, so you can choose based on your calculation of the heating output you need. The stoves we reviewed range from 24,000 BTUs per hour on the US Stove Company 4840 – ideal for smaller homes or if you only need to heat a few rooms – to 50,000 BTUs per hour on the Comfortbilt pellet stove – perfect for extremely cold climates and large homes.


Ventilation is extremely important, both to supply air to the stove’s combustion chamber and to exhaust harmful gases and smoke to the outside of your home. Most stoves are installed with exhaust fans to provide mechanical ventilation. Another ventilation option is direct venting, where the smoke is vented vertically through a pipe to a chimney outside your home. However, this type of ventilation system usually shuts down in case of a power failure, for example during a winter storm.

Automatic functions

Automatic functions can be a great advantage if you prefer not to have to worry about using your pellet stove. Potential automatic features include automatic pellet ignition, as found on Comfortbilt and Summers Heat stoves, among others, and thermostat control that automatically adjusts the fan speed to modulate the heat coming out of your pellet stove.

What type of pellets does it burn?
Not all pellet stoves burn the same type of pellets – and this can lead to significant differences in the cost of running your stove over time. In general, top-fed pellet stoves are more likely to require low-ash pellets, as they are less likely to produce slag that can block the ventilation of the firebox.


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