While pellet stoves are considered costlier than the wood ones, the difference is actually trivial.
Moreover, pellets are considered offering up to 90% overall efficiency that just a small stove, which is enough to heat up a large living area.
If a low-cost and space-saving heating solution are what you’re after, these are the best small pellet stoves to consider.
- Castle 12327 – Best overall
- US Stove GW1949 – Unique design
- Summers Heat 55-SHPEP – Bay design
- Q-Stoves Wood Pellet Outdoor Heater – Best for camping
Top 4 Best Small Pellet Stoves For RV & Tiny House – 2019
- Top 4 Best Small Pellet Stoves For RV & Tiny House – 2019
- How to choose the best small pellet stove (buying guide)?
- Who makes the best small pellet stove?
Castle 12327 – Best overall
- Easy & fast maintenance process
- Work on multiple kinds of pellets
- Allow the stove to be operated on a timer-controlled cycle
- The outer shell is prone to get hot
- The blower is designed with high risks of fire
Its design is another highlight, especially the interior with a far simpler heat exchange mechanism. By this re-invented build, it simplifies the whole maintenance process and now, all you need to do is cleaning the fire pot and pan.
The whole pellet stove is crafted from durable steel that offers the best possible strength while helping with easier maintenance.
If you’re a beginner, I believe that using this modern stove is never that easy and convenient. Because there are calendar and time-based heating options to help you either manually set it on one of five burn levels or set a local thermostat.
|Dimension(W*H*D)||18.25″ x 34″ x 23.75″|
|Heat Area||1500 Square Feet|
|Automatic Burning Time||12 Hours (High Setting) – 24 Hours (Low Setting)|
|Consumption for Pellet||1.7 – 3.3 lbs./hr|
|Hopper Capacity||40 pounds|
|Highlight Feature||Smart Controller, easy to clean, includes calendar and time-based heating options|
If you’re finding an economical solution in the short term before purchasing a new heating system for your house, Castle 12327 is the best bet.
US Stove GW1949 – Unique design
- Require no electric so no huge amount of clearances is needed
- Fewer chances of breakdowns
- Easy to install, use, and read thermometer
- Hopper will be filled with smoke even if it’s still full of pellets.
- Have no places to attach wheels
The mechanism can’t be simpler. It takes advantage of natural gravity to feed pellets into the stove, hence, giving fewer chances of breakdown as well as fewer maintenance jobs.
That’s also what makes US Stove GW1949 become the one and only UL-listed and EPA-certified pellet stove out there.
Regardless, its BTU output is up to 50,000 and able to heat up a 2,000 square feet area. According to the manufacturer’s advertisement, it can deliver 12 hours on high heat and 36 hours of low heat burning, which is truly outstanding.
|Dimension(W*H*D)||15 x 52 x 24 inches|
|Heat Area||2,000 sq. Ft|
|Automatic Burning Time||36 hours|
|Consumption for Pellet||1.6 lbs./hr|
|Hopper Capacity||60 Pounds|
|Highlight Feature||easy to read Thermometer, natural gravity feed system, easy to start and operate, offers extremely small clearances on the rear and sides, making it easy to install|
With the unique design, I think US Stove GW1949 is a good option to use in a remote area that doesn’t get easily accessible power sources.
Summers Heat 55-SHPEP – Bay design
- Made 100% in the USA, ensuring the quality
- Bay design to give larger viewing window
- One auto ignition for simpler usage and more safety
- Fake wood is not aesthetic at all
- A bit complicated to maintain
In turns of the unaesthetically fake wood effect in the burner, the viewing “bay” window really strike back with nicer outlook while allowing more “orange glares” to radiate into the living space.
Made in the USA with emphasis on heavy-duty American steel, the quality of Summers Heat 55-SHPEP is assured.
My most favorite is this stove also comes with user-friendly design with easy-to-use one-touch auto ignition and control panel.
|Dimension(W*H*D)||23.2 x 25.8 x 34.5 inches|
|Heat Area||2000 square feet|
|Automatic Burning Time||27 hours|
|Consumption for Pellet||1.6 lbs./hr|
|Hopper Capacity||45 pounds|
|Blower Power||140 cfm, adjustable settings|
|Highlight Feature||made in the USA-Quality workmanship with heavy-duty American steel, one-touch auto-ignition is simple and safe, low emissions/high efficiency|
Though Summers Heat 55-SHPEP might not satisfy everyone’s tastes, it’s an ideal option for people who are in need of an easy-to-use pellet stove with a nicely classic look.
Q-Stoves Wood Pellet Outdoor Heater – Best for camping
- No moving parts -> nothing to break & easy maintenance
- Twice the heat amount as propane heaters
- Heat radius is 10 feet, equal to 400 square feet outdoors
- Less hopper capacity
It leaves no traces or ashes even when it doesn’t feature a heavy propane tank or motor as other competitors. It can lightly travel with you whenever you’re forced out of your house.
I also love the way it runs to silently thanks to the gravity feed system and the Q-Flame, causing no annoyance to my neighbors during emergency situations or a quiet chilly morning on a campground.
The only pity (in my opinion) is the modest hopper. It only holds a max load of 20-pound pellets so, after 3-4 hours of runtime, you need to refuel the stove, which is a bit bothersome.
|Dimension(W*H*D)||24 x 16.5 x 30 inches|
|Heat Area||400 square feet (outdoors)|
|Automatic Burning Time||3-4 hours|
|Consumption for Pellet||6.6 lbs./hr|
|Hopper Capacity||20 pounds|
|Highlight Feature||pellets feed by gravity, delivers an impressive max 106,000 BTU/hour with a heating radius of 10 feet, detachable sections|
Due to the impressive BTU output of 106,000 (per hour) with a wide heating radius of 10 feet, Q-Stoves Wood Pellet Stove is a worth-trying model for any outdoor enthusiasts.
How to choose the best small pellet stove (buying guide)?
Size & Type
Heat output and physical dimensions are two features with a pretty close connection.
Looking for a small pellet stove mostly means the needed heating area is small as well. Hence, there will be a narrower space to place it.
To save the most space in your living area, it’s essential to inspect the nature of that room, like “Does it already has a fireplace?” “How much area do you readily give for a pellet stove?”
There are two major types: Freestanding and Insert.
If that living space has a fireplace, I highly recommend an insert pellet stove for higher efficiency and space-saving. Conversely, a freestanding will take advantage of vertical space while giving more free horizontal area on your hands.
Design & Portability
In case you need a small pellet stove for outdoor use, like camping, hunting, and hiking, it should be portable, lightweight, and simple in construction.
For easier transport, it’s better if the stove is built with detachable sections and they also should be minimal in clearance inside and rear for easier installation.
How much are you prepared to spend on a pellet stove?
Based on my experience, a low-end pellet stove will be between $350 and $500 while a high-end model costs somewhere within $2000 – $4500.
There’s more! The cost will be added due to the material kind of pellets and stove inserts you intend to use. Normally, a 40-pound pellet bag is priced from $5 to $7 and according to the Pellet Fuels Institute, it can last up to 24 hours.
If the winter in your living area usually has freezing cold weather, it might take 100 – 150 bags of pellets during this season.
Who makes the best small pellet stove?
Castle Pellet Stoves
More than a good brand who makes the best small pellet stove, Castle is an OG in this industry. Started since 1960 and moreover, being an American company, it gives a truly trustworthy feel to customers about its products.
US Stove Company
Another longer-standing brand is US Stove, which was established in 1869. This is a well-known company for applying the latest technology and new designs in their products. For that reason, they are always the top-rated in this field.
Another US-founded company and in this case, Summers Heat is my third suggestion to you when looking for a small pellet stove. Why? Because their products are market-leading in terms of bay designs.
More than a trusted company that produces high-quality pellet stoves, their products also aims to serve the outdoor needs to extend your experience. Three solid things you’ll find in Q-Stoves are:
- Clean, carbon-neutral heat
- Innovative design
Is pellet stove worth the cost?
A pellet stove is really worth the cost for these reasons:
- Give higher heating efficiency percent, leading to low-cost heating
- Burn recycled materials such as corn, sawdust, and wood shavings.
- Lessen your dependence on other toxic and costly kinds of fuel
- Burn cleaner than wood
Is a pellet stove cheaper than electric?
Yes, it is. According to the Governor’s Energy Office, while a pellet stove only takes $16.24 (dollars per million BTU), the electric is up to $54.22 – nearly 3.4 times cheaper.
Can a pellet stove burn wood?
No, it can’t. Unlike a wood stove that can burn multiple kinds of wood, a pellet stove only enables to burn pellets.
How much electricity does a pellet stove use?
Due to the MagnumHeat by American Energy System Inc., with the average price of a KW at $0.08, an electricity pellet stove will run 303KW x 0.08 = 2.42 cents/hour.
Hence, for 24 hours, it would be totally 58.08 cents.
Can you leave a pellet stove unattended?
As pellet stoves are designed with ultra-safety in mind, it virtually poses no fire hazard to be harmless enough if left unintendedly.
How often should I clean my pellet stove?
Though a pellet stove gives less ash content than a wood one, the number of times to maintain it is different among materials and other elements:
- Corn will require the most frequent maintenance times
- The more the stove is used, the more frequently it should be cleaned
In general, a pellet stove needs cleaning at least once a week.
After giving detail instructions and explanations, I believe that you already get more confidence in picking the best small pellet stove with worry-free about the expensiveness of heating cost for your entire house. Thanks for reading!