Pellet stoves are an old school way of heating small spaces. You might want one for a cabin, motorhome, or your house and there’s plenty of uses for these portable, highly-efficient heaters. Getting a high-end pellet stove cuts down on maintenance and gets straight to heating and comfort.
The best small pellet stove is the Castle Pellet Stoves Serenity Stove. It’s made out of durable steel for longevity, and it puts out enough heat for 1,500 square feet. With five levels and a Smart Controller, you’ll be in charge of the temperature and burn rate. It can hold 40 pounds of pellets.
Throughout this article, you’ll also learn the following info about finding the best small pellet stoves:
- What you need to know before you start shopping
- How you can get the best pellet stove for your lifestyle
- Details about the top small pellet stoves on the market
What to Consider When Buying a Small Pellet Stove
Knowing what to look for is half the battle. Never choose the first pellet stove you come across. There are so many choices, so you might look back and wish you had a different one.
Fortunately, I’ve covered the best options for various purposes. They all have three essential components nailed down:
- The cost is worth the result.
- Their heat output is ideal for any structure.
- They require very little maintenance.
I’ve researched my fair share of small pellet stoves enough to know that these three features ring true. I’ll dive deeper into all of the details, so you know what to keep in mind when you’re looking through the list.
Cost (Initial Purchase, Pellets, and Repairs)
Pricing a pellet stove is harder than it seems. They range in size, quality, and brand. These variables can influence the overall cost more than you might think. However, the price tag is the first part of the equation. You can’t forget about the cost of pellets, repairs, maintenance, and more.
- According to Energy.gov, most pellet stoves cost between $1,700 to $3,000 for the initial purchase. Many of the options on the list below are around the lower part of the range, but keep in mind that all prices are subject to change. Don’t try to get a $300 pellet stove and expect perfection!
- All pellet stoves require a decent amount of fuel. Pellets are compressed bits of wood and other burnable materials. Many of them hold between 10 to 40 pounds; Some of them can hold more. Remember to factor in the pellets’ cost by calculating the burn rate, how often you burn them, and the pellet bin’s capacity.
- Repairs are frustrating if you don’t know what you’re doing. Consider hiring a professional or seeking approved online sources for advice. Review this video by Pellet Stove Pro to troubleshoot and diagnose your new pellet stove if you run into any problems:
There are countless possible repairs, but most modern pellet stoves are simple. You don’t have to be a genius to clean the inside, replace pellets, and ventilate it. These suggestions can make a massive difference in longevity and quality.
Pellet stoves can reduce your monthly energy bills. If you’re not relying on electric fireplaces or whole-house heaters, you can keep hundreds of dollars in your pocket every winter. Some pellet stoves use electricity to spark the fire, while others use manual activation. Decide which one works best for your needs.
Note: Electric pellet stoves burn pellets, which means they don’t use a lot of energy. The difference in your electricity bill will be negligible. A few of them have remotes that require electrical connections and/or batteries, which could add to the energy usage.
Heat output is measured by BTU’s (British thermal units) and square footage. It’s influenced by the pellet stove’s position, ventilation, pellet capacity, and more. Heat output isn’t the same as heat efficiency, but they’re both essential.
Heat efficiency determines how much heat is used to warm the space compared to the heat that dissipates. Many modern pellet stoves have an efficiency rating of over 80%, which is pretty good. Again, all of the top picks near the bottom of the post have excellent heat efficiency, especially when you factor in the price.
Below, you’ll find a table that breaks down the BTUs and heat efficiency of various household appliances.
|8,000 to 90,000
|1,000 to 2,500 sq. ft.
|70% to 85%
|27,000 to 65,000
|1,100 to 3,000 sq. ft.
|10% to 20%
|2,000 to 5,100
|150 to 500 sq. ft.
|65% to 85%
As you can see, pellet stoves are among the most efficient heating systems. Electric furnaces are slightly more efficient, but they’re typically more expensive and require detailed installations. You can get a top-notch thermal efficiency with a pellet stove of any size. Since most homes are below 2,500 sq. ft., there’s no reason that your house couldn’t benefit from it.
When you’re reading my suggestions, keep the size of your home in mind. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to heat the whole house. If your goal is to increase the room’s temperature, then get a smaller pellet stove. Combine the square footage with the BTUs to determine how quickly your house will heat up.
You might think that thermal efficiency is irrelevant since you already know the size and BTUs. However, the efficiency can change how often you clean the pellet stove. Appliances with bad efficiency ratings get smokey and darkened with ash and soot. You’ll have to scrub it down to prevent strong odors and smoke from filling the room.
Maintaining an old school pellet stove might’ve been back-breaking work, but it isn’t anymore. Due to the high thermal efficiency and lack of soot, it’s easier than ever to maintain your pellet stove. I put it down as an influential factor because some are quicker and simpler to clean than others.
When you’re cleaning a pellet stove, you have to wipe down the ash box, exhaust pipes, and a few other parts. If the stove was designed well enough, you could get the job done in under 10 to 15 minutes. Some stoves take a bit longer because they’re thin, and parts are wound around one another.
The maintenance procedures are probably the least thought of component, but they always come back to haunt the buyer. If you’re thinking about buying a small pellet stove, make sure you know how you’ll clean it and how many parts there are. The last thing you want is to deal with soot-covered hands every few days.
Thermal efficiency works in your favor by burning and converting most of the heat into the air. Any remaining burn-off turns into soot and ash. If you read the previous sections, then you know that an efficient pellet stove doesn’t produce much of either of them. The good news is that every stove I’ve reviewed has had an excellent rating.
Here’s a list of three things to keep in mind when you’re cleaning a pellet stove:
- According to Wood Stove Reviews, start by removing the pot and discarding the contents.
- Remove deposits (soot, ash, etc.) from throughout the pellet stove.
- Scrub down the glass with warm water and a sponge. This process will take some elbow grease, making it the lengthiest part of the cleaning procedure.
Most pellet stoves require similar cleaning instructions. If you want to watch a video to ensure that you get it correctly, check out this tutorial:
Our Top Picks
- Best Overall: Castle Pellet Stoves Serenity Stove
- Best Non-Electric Option: US Stove Company Wiseway Pellet Stove
- Best for the Square Footage: Comfortbilt Pellet Stove
- Best for the Burn Time: PelPro Pellet Stove
- Best for Customized Settings: US Stove 5500M King Pellet Burner
Best Overall: Castle Pellet Stoves Serenity Stove
The Castle Pellet Stoves Serenity Stove takes convenient heating to the next level. Perhaps its best feature is the smart remote. It comes with five heat levels, a manual selection, and a preset schedule. You can set the day of the week and time of day to have your pellet stove to activate and start warming your home.
This durable stove heats up to 1500 square feet in a short time. Who needs an expensive heater when you have an efficient pellet stove? Speaking of which, it has a 70% thermal efficiency rating. You won’t have to clean it too often, but the wide glass panel makes it easy to soak in the cabin-like appearance.
The Serenity Stove consumes around 77 watts per hour, making it significantly less needy than space heaters and fully-electric pellet stoves. It requires a 120V power source, but you don’t have to worry about sky-high energy bills. It’s considered energy-efficient in the world of pellet stoves.
Bottom Line: This pellet stove is beautiful, modernized, and customizable. You can choose when it comes on and goes off with a new-age remote. If you prefer to set it manually, you can do that as well. Each part of the stove has a handle for quick and easy cleaning procedures.
|1,500 sq. ft.
|23.75 x 18.5 x 34 inches
- You can heat most houses with this pellet stove. Despite its compact size, it covers up to 1,500 square feet.
- This pellet stove puts out plenty of BTUs. You won’t find a better alternative for the price, size, and appearance.
- The smart remote makes it easy to set and forget the temperature. You can run it on a 12-hour or 24-hour timing system.
- The handles make it easy for you to clean the pellet stove. Castle Pellet Stoves took their time to free yours.
- The company claims that it’s an excellent choice for DIYers. If you know how to run vents, then you’re in luck.
- It’s incredibly heavy. This stove weighs 186 pounds without the pellets inside of it.
- It has a decent heat efficiency rating, but there are a few better choices on the list.
- The built-in fan is a bit noisy. This issue is based on personal preference, though.
Best Non-Electric Option: US Stove Company Wiseway Pellet Stove
Aside from being my top non-electric option on the market, the US Stove Company Wiseway Pellet Stove is also the most unique-looking choice. It uses gravity to pull pellets to the bottom, saving time and energy to create an unusual aesthetic. If you want to create a conversation piece with your pellet stove, you’ll love this unit.
This stove is 15 x 52 x 24 inches, making it about the same height but much narrower than other pellet stoves. It’s just as durable thanks to the hardened steel construction. Despite its compact size, this pellet stove heats up to 2,000 square feet with 40,000 BTUs. It packs a serious punch with an incredible look.
Since it doesn’t require electrical connections, you can place this pellet stove anywhere with a vent. It’s easy to clean since the side panels have handles. You can pile the pellets through the top and watch as they naturally fall and burn for up to 30 hours before needing a replacement.
Bottom Line: If the Wiseway’s appearance didn’t catch your attention, then the top-notch heating and easy cleaning should. Place it wherever you want for an all-around incredible, classic pellet stove. Simplify pellet stoves by watching the interior components go to work thanks to gravity’s natural pull.
|2,000 sq. ft.
|15 x 52 x 24 inches
- You don’t need electricity to run this pellet stove. Set it up and start running it without impacting your energy bill.
- It’s probably the best looking pellet stove on the market. The unique gravity-fed layout is something to see.
- Since it’s so thin, you can put it almost anywhere. Run a vent and watch (and feel) as it heats the room throughout the day.
- The thermal efficiency is far above average. You can enjoy quick heating without cleaning it too often.
- The broad base makes it sturdy and stabilized. You don’t have to worry about it tipping over any time soon.
- There’s no protective glass. If you have pets or children, I don’t recommend this open-faced pellet stove.
- Everything is done manually. If you wanted a remote or a switch to turn it on, you’re out of luck.
- You have to use a vacuum to clean the top vent. It’s far too narrow to fit your hands down the pipe.
Best for the Square Footage: Comfortbilt Pellet Stove
The Comfortbilt Pellet Stove might not be as well-known as the two previous options on the list, but it’ll be a worldwide favorite soon enough. You can choose between a manual setting, the digital screen on top of the unit, or a handheld remote. It puts all of the convenience in the palm of your hand.
So, what can you do with these controls? You can change the temperature, set a schedule, adjust the heat output, and more. It’s quite a handy display for such an affordable price. This small pellet stove comes with an impressive output of 50,000 BTU that heats up to 2,800 square feet.
If you’re hesitant about buying from a company that you don’t know about, rest assured that they have your back. This product comes with a one-year manufacturer warranty to cover all defects from shipping to functionality. You’ll have a high-quality pellet stove without the unwanted high-end price.
Bottom Line: This pellet stove gets the job done in houses of all sizes. Whether you’re using it indoors or outdoors, it’s a reliable choice that doesn’t take up too much room. The remote and digital display bring it up to the luxury tier without tacking on hundreds or thousands of extra dollars.
|2,800 sq. ft.
|24 x 35 x 27 inches
- As you can see, it has one of the best heat efficiency ratings around. 82% is nothing to bat an eye at.
- It’s incredibly powerful without taking up too much space. This pellet stove is significantly shorter than most others.
- It pushes the limits of traditional pellet stoves. You can heat a massive home with this affordable option.
- The wide glass screen makes it comfy and easy to see. Many buyers enjoy the classic camping feeling of pellet stoves, including this one.
- There’s a one-year warranty. It covers parts and manufacturer defects that could hinder the unit’s performance.
- It’s a bit bulky and awkward. The front portion juts out, invading the space around the pellet stove.
- The outer coating has been known to flake. As long as you keep it clean, this issue shouldn’t occur.
- The exterior side doors echo. If you bump into the stove, it makes a loud boom sound due to the thin metal sheets.
Best for the Burn Time: PelPro Pellet Stove
If you want a classic pellet stove, the PelPro Pellet Stove is an excellent choice. It has a mid-size window for viewing and several handles for opening and cleaning whenever you’d like. There’s nothing complicated about this stove, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to use it to its full potential.
One of the best features of this pellet stove is that it can burn up to 96 hours. This number triples the competition, making it a no-brainer for countless potential buyers. Keep your home warm for several days without needing more pellets. When you need to clean it, all you have to do is open the front glass door to access everything.
This heater puts out 40,600 BTUs while running on 110V power sources. It can heat up to 2,500 square feet when it’s running clean. You’ll also love the 5-year firebox warranty and one-year manufacturer warranty. They provide peace of mind while the 87.5% heat efficiency rating breaks all standards.
Bottom Line: The PelPro Pellet Stove puts out plenty of heat with a fantastic thermal efficiency rating. It’s easy to use and comes with a powerful blower fan to prevent buildup and overheating. You can burn pellets for up to four days before it’s time to turn it off, clean the soot, and replace the fuel.
|2,500 sq. ft.
|22.8 x 24.5 x 36.5 inches
- It has one of the best thermal efficiency ratings around. Most of the heat is used, providing more warmth and less cleaning.
- You can warm up a massive space with this pellet stove. Hook it up to a vent, turn it on, and feel the instant temperature increase.
- Two warranties are better than one. This pellet stove protects the firebox for five years and any defects for one year.
- The long burning time means you don’t have to get new pellets daily. Instead of regularly cleaning and replacing them, you can kick back and relax with your new pellet stove.
- There’s a simple knob that you can use to adjust the temperature. It’s located on the side of the unit for quick and easy access.
- It’s a bit bulky compared to the other small pellet stoves on the list.
- There aren’t very many customizable features. This issue could be a pro or con, depending on your personal preference.
- The viewing window isn’t too big. It’s much smaller than some of the other choices I’ve put on the list.
Best for Customized Settings: US Stove 5500M King Pellet Burner
Last but not least on the list is the US Stove 5500M King Pellet Burner. It looks like a traditional pellet stove, but you can adjust the settings with a 5-point digital system on top of the unit. Change the temperature and a few other features with one button touch. This burner comes with a circulating fan to spread the heat quickly throughout the building.
The front and back panels make it easy to change the pellets, clean the inside, and troubleshoot problems that may arise. You don’t need any special tools other than a screwdriver and/or drill. If you’ve never owned a pellet stove, then the simplicity combined with a few modern features should be a warm welcome.
If you want to increase the thermal efficiency and boost the air quality, there’s an optimal fresh air intake pipe (sold separately). There are a few other additions that you could try as well, all of which let you stay warmer longer with more time between cleaning sessions.
Bottom Line: US Stove has a couple of choices on the list of my top picks, but the 5500MM King Pellet Burner has enough customized settings to make anyone feel right at home. You’ll take control of the schedule, temperature, blower fan, and more; All with a few buttons on top of the pellet stove.
|2,200 sq. ft.
|25 x 34 x 26 inches
- It’s easy to use for people of all experience levels. You don’t have to be a pellet stove pro to know how to operate this model.
- You can heat large spaces reasonably quickly. The above-average thermal efficiency reduces cleaning times, too.
- The optional blower fan is a convenient feature. Move warm air quicker instead of waiting around for it to heat up.
- It comes with multiple warranties. Choose which one fits your needs to stay protected between one to five years.
- The semi-wide base prevents this pellet stove from wobbling. Once it is installed properly, it is not going to shift or shake for many years to come.
- At 250 pounds, this heater is a monster. It is compact enough to be considered a small pellet stove, but the bulky interior components and steel shell increase the weight.
- It’s one of the few pellet stoves that have a digital screen without a wireless controller.
- They don’t include the installation pieces. You will have to get everything separately for venting and mounting. However, everything is prepared for installation when it arrives.
Getting a small pellet stove is an excellent choice for your home, RV, or vacation rental. Wherever you want to use it, my favorite is the Castle Pellet Stove. It is challenging to beat the combination of features, pellet quantity, and burn time.
Review the following options if you want a different pellet stove:
- To keep electricity out of the equation, try the US Stoves Wiseway.
- For maximum square footage, get the Comfortbilt Pellet Stove.
- If you want the best burn time, purchase the PelPro Pellet Stove.
- The US Stove King Pellet Burner is the best for customized heat settings.
More Pellet Stove Resources
If you have additional questions about your pellet stove, one of these articles might be able to address them: