How to Choose a Wood Burning Stove

Arada How to choose a Wood Burning Stove

We have almost made it through January! It is such a long and depressing month and for many of us it is really hard to stay upbeat when the weather is so wet and windy and there is such a lack of natural daylight. Most British people find it difficult to deal with the January Blues and I had hundreds of comments from readers on this post telling me how they get through January.

I really loved hearing all your tips and advice for surviving this dismal month. People seem to fall into two distinct camps: those who face January head on and get outside as much as possible and those who retreat inside and tend to hibernate. I have to say I’m an indoor kind of person in winter. I don’t like getting wet and cold and I much prefer doing cosy activities inside like reading, watching films, spending time with friends and doing creative things with the kids. I like to bring as much hygge into my home as possible in January.

Given my preference for getting comfy indoors, I wasn’t surprised to see how many of my readers commented that they like to snuggle up in front of the fire with a good book. That’s my idea of heaven at this time of year. I wrote a post only a few weeks ago about my longing for a wood burning stove and even though we’ve almost made it through January I still desperately want a stove for our living room. However, if I were to actually consider buying one I don’t think I’d have the first the clue where to start. How does one go about choosing a wood burning stove anyway?

Arada How to choose a wood burning stove

I figured that if I don’t know what to consider when choosing a wood burning stove, there are probably plenty of other people who don’t know either. So I’ve teamed up with local Devon-based company Arada Stoves to do my homework so you don’t have to. It’s fine, you can thank me later! I’ve basically learnt that there are four key variables that need to be taken into consideration when choosing a wood burning stove.

Arada how to choose a wood burning stove

Your Home

The first major consideration that you need to factor into your decision is what kind of home you live in. The needs of a small terraced house in the city will vary greatly to those of a detached manor house in the country. You should also ask yourself the following questions in relation to your home as they will help you to work out how much heat you will need to radiate.

  1. How old is your property?
  2. How big is your property?
  3. How high are your ceilings?
  4. Do you have carpets or bare floors?
  5. What proportion of your home is made from glass?
  6. Is the glass single or double glazed?
  7. Do you have any stairs at home?
  8. Are any potential heat vacuums?
  9. How well insulated is your property?

All of the above will help you to determine how big and how powerful your new wood burning stove should be.

Arada how to choose a wood burning stove

How many Kilowatts?

Before choosing a wood burning stove for your home, you need to first work out the average heating requirement of the room in kilowatts. This will allow you to choose a stove that has a heat output that is proportional to the space you are looking to heat. This sounds extremely complicated but it’s actually very straight forward as there is a simple calculation you can do to work out your kilowatt requirements.

First, you need to measure your room, then multiply the width, by the length and then by the height (in metres). Then divide this answer by 14 and hey presto, you now know how many kilowatts you need to keep your room heated. All wood burning stoves have a kilowatt rating so you simply choose one that meets your needs.

Arada how to choose a woodburning stove

Which fuel?

It used to be the case that you would need to decide whether you were opting for a wood stove or a solid fuel stove. The difference being that wood burning stoves are designed to only burn wood-based products and NOT smokeless fuel, whereas solid fuel stoves burn smokeless fuel. These days however, you can opt for a multi-fuel stove that allows you to burn a variety of smokeless and solid fuel types as well as wood fuel.

Arada how to choose a wood burning stove

Which form?

There are three forms of stove to choose from: inset, cassette or freestanding. Inset stoves are designed to be built into the wall or chimney breast. Cassette stoves are similar to inset stoves but they can be installed at various heights on a wall, usually within a closed hearth environment. They usually sit more flush to the wall than other inset stoves. And freestanding stoves are just that! There are benefits for all three types of course.

Inset stoves fit snuggly into existing fireplaces and generally speaking 80% of their output goes into the room rather than up the chimney. Cassette stoves get all of their oxygen from outside rather than drawing air from inside which helps to preserve the warmth. Freestanding stoves have the practical advantage of being able to be situated anywhere and they release their heat slowly giving an even output through the room.

Arada how to choose a wood burning stove

So I hope that helps! If you’re still a bit confused I’m sure Arada Stoves would be more than happy to discuss your requirements and help you find the perfect stove for your home. Bring on the Hygge!

4 things to consider before choosing a wood burning stove

This post has been sponsored by Arada Stoves. However, I want to stress that I only collaborate with brands and companies that I genuinely like and believe that my readers will like too.


  1. February 7, 2018 / 12:23 pm

    This is such a helpful post. I’d love to have one too

  2. February 5, 2018 / 6:54 pm

    I’ve wanted a wood burning stove forever. I even considered reinstating the second fireplace so that we could have one. With a small child, a dog and a small warm house it’s not actually necessary or appropriate. But one day. One day

    • February 6, 2018 / 9:56 am

      Exactly my situation Mary. I definitely don’t need one but I certainly do want one!

  3. February 4, 2018 / 10:15 pm

    I would LOVE a proper stove – we have a gas fire but I got a quote to get a woodturner and it was £3K as we don’t have a chimney. If we win the lottery I’ll definitely go for it though! x

    • February 5, 2018 / 10:06 am

      Oh damn, what a pain not having a chimney. Fingers crossed for that lottery win!

  4. February 4, 2018 / 8:47 pm

    A lot of really useful information here. I’d love to have a woodburning stove they are so warming and nice to look at too.

  5. February 4, 2018 / 2:31 pm

    We also think of a wood burning stove if we go ahead with an extension. I love the feel of having a fire on the corner of a room and creating a snug around it! Great ideas to consider here, thank you for sharing this brand with us!

    • February 5, 2018 / 10:10 am

      No problem Jenny. I do love sharing brands that are local to me too! Fingers crossed for your extension!

  6. February 4, 2018 / 2:23 pm

    So many great tips! I personally love the smell of a wood stove and the fact they help tremendously with budget! You picked some great examples too!

    • February 5, 2018 / 10:09 am

      Oh the smell is just wonderful. I agree!

  7. February 4, 2018 / 2:01 pm

    I’m one for hibernating in January! We have a gas ‘log burner’ in our house and my favourite thing is sitting in the room with a blanket and the fire on. It’s so cosy and makes winter much more bearable. I often struggle with motivation in the winter, but I’ve learnt to accept that it’s ok to not want to go out loads when it’s cold and miserable outside. I love sitting around the fire and relaxing. It’s a great time to recharge your batteries ready for the year ahead. Some great information and tips in this post if you are looking to buy a log burner!

    • February 5, 2018 / 10:09 am

      Thanks Natalie, I’m exactly like you!

  8. February 4, 2018 / 12:00 pm

    This is such a good post with everything that needs to be considered. We have 2 woodburners and would not be without them! They actually make the winter something to look forward to. :)

    • February 5, 2018 / 10:08 am

      That’s exactly why I want one! So I no longer dread winter!

  9. February 4, 2018 / 7:56 am

    Id love a real wood burner in my home what a great post

    • February 5, 2018 / 10:07 am

      Thanks Pati, glad you found it useful!

  10. February 3, 2018 / 11:23 pm

    My parents have a wood burner in their living room and it’s probably my favourite thing about their house! It’s so cosy and relaxing to watch

    • February 4, 2018 / 10:57 am

      It really is. Sometimes we put the light on our electric fire just to watch the flickering. Not nearly as effective though as a real wood burner.

  11. February 1, 2018 / 1:45 pm

    This is my husbands dream to have a wood burning stove in the lounge! These are great tips, I love how much choice there is these days too

    • February 4, 2018 / 10:59 am

      There really is a huge choice. I love the more contemporary Scandinavian ones and the ones you can build into a dividing wall so you can use the same stove in two different rooms. I’d love one of those.

  12. February 1, 2018 / 12:17 pm

    This is so, so handy. Prior to deciding to move, we were desperate to install a wood burning stove but had no clue where to start. Luckily, there’s already one in our new home. We’re so excited about it.

    • February 4, 2018 / 11:00 am

      Oh that’s great news then. No need to make a decision. Enjoy the new stove!

  13. February 1, 2018 / 11:37 am

    Lovely post Stacey, great tips, and I agree, I’m very much an indoor person at this time of year.

  14. January 31, 2018 / 2:27 pm

    I’ve loved wood burning stoves for ages! We have got a copy of one in our dining room- its electric and an open fire in the other

    • February 4, 2018 / 11:01 am

      I want one so badly. Maybe I’ll get one for next winter. Fingers crossed.

  15. January 31, 2018 / 1:04 pm

    Top of my wishlist for my next house is a woodburning stove! I’ve really felt the need this January. Great post Stacey. I’m going to bookmark it for future reference.

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