Pellet stoves are an alternative option to traditional wood-burning stoves or electric space heaters. A pellet stove is easier to use than a wood-burning stove and without all the mess and maintenance. Many people like pellet stoves and give them a lot of credit. They are great for heating, pellets burn cleaner than wood, and you can control the temperature with a thermostat.
The best pellet stove for most people is the Comfortbilt HP22-N on Amazon.com. It’s a powerful option that can heat a large area and offers excellent capacity and capabilities. The stylish design fits well into any space.
The only instances in which I wouldn’t recommend the Comfortbilt HP22-N are if…
- You only need to heat a small space. In that case, you should go with the Langger Serenity (available on Amazon.com).
- You want to be able to use the stove without electricity. For that situation, your best bet is the US Stove Company GW1949 (available on Amazon.com).
- You want to refill the hopper as infrequently as possible. Go with the Ashley Hearth AP130 (available on Amazon.com).
In this article, I’ll take you through some of the factors to consider when purchasing a pellet stove, and I’ll give you some recommendations for those categories. I’ll also explain my top pick for most people looking for a pellet stove and some alternatives that might be better options for specific situations when it comes to heating, efficiency, and capacity.
Choosing a Pellet Stove
When you decide to purchase a pellet stove, there are some factors you should consider to ensure that you get the right piece of equipment to meet your needs. These considerations will guide your decision of what kind of unit is best for your situation:
- Size: How big is the space that you need to heat?
- Capacity: How much and how often will you use the pellet stove?
- Style and Design: What kind of finish and look do you prefer?
Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors.
|Pellet Stove||Heating Area||Btu (Max)||Score|
|Comfortbilt HP22-N||2,800+ sq. ft. (260.12 sq m)||50,000||9/10|
|Castle Serenity 12327||1,500 sq. ft. (139.35 sq m)||22,226||5/10|
|Langger Serenity||646 sq. ft. (60.01 sq m)||20,475||3/10|
|Ashley Hearth AP130||2,200 sq. ft. (204.38 sq m)||48,000||8/10|
|US Stove Company GW1949||2,000 sq. ft. (185.80 sq m)||40,000||6/10|
Winners: Comfortbilt HP22-N, Ashley Hearth AP130
One of the first steps to choosing a pellet stove is considering the area of the space you’re looking to heat. Based on your heating needs, you may be able to purchase a smaller unit. Or, if you’re trying to heat a whole house, you may need a more powerful stove.
Btu stands for British Thermal Unit, and it’s a unit of measurement for heat. The simplest explanation that I’ve found for a Btu is that it’s comparable to the amount of heat produced by a single wooden match.
However, the more scientific explanation is that 1 Btu equals the amount of energy required to heat one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit.
While it may be difficult to relate such a small unit of measure to the amount of heat that a pellet stove produces, it does give a standardized rating to compare the stoves against one another.
Using this Btu rating along with the recommended square footage can help you determine the right pellet stove for your space.
Deciding How Much Heat You Need
In addition to the area of space you’re trying to heat, there are several other factors that may affect how powerful you need your heating device to be. For example, the climate zone you live in will impact how many Btus you need to heat your home.
Source: Inch Calculator
Of course, this information doesn’t include your primary heating system or furnace. However, it will give you a rough idea of how your geographic location can influence the efficiency of your pellet stove or other heating equipment.
The amount of insulation in your home and its age can also affect the Btu rating you need to heat the space.
For example, I live in central Florida. According to the Heating Climate Zones map, I only need 30-35 Btu per square foot to heat my home.
So, if I’m trying to heat a space that’s 500 square feet (46.45 sq m), I only need 15,000 – 17,500 Btu. That number may be higher or lower depending on how well insulated and how old my home is.
We can compare that to someone living in Michigan, where they need a 50-60 Btu rating per square foot. For the same sized room, they would need 25,000 – 30,000 Btu, or about twice the amount of heat energy compared to my home in Florida.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a good guideline is that a wood-burning or pellet stove rated at 60,000 Btu can heat a 2,000 square foot (185.80 sq m) home. For a 1,300 square foot (120.77 sq m) home, you’d need a stove rated at 42,000 Btu.
|Pellet Stove||Hopper Capacity||Score|
|Comfortbilt HP22-N||80 lbs. (36.28 kg)||7/10|
|Castle Serenity 12327||40 lbs. (18.14 kg)||5/10|
|Langger Serenity||22 lbs. (9.97 kg)||3/10|
|Ashley Hearth AP130||130 lbs. (58.96 kg)||9/10|
|US Stove Company GW1949||60 lbs. (27.21 kg)||6/10|
Winners: Ashley Hearth AP130, Comfortbilt HP22-N
Capacity for a pellet stove refers to how many pellets the stove’s hopper can hold. A hopper is what holds the pellets and feeds them into the stove. Sensors inside the pellet stove tell an auger to feed additional fuel into the fire. The auger turns and allows pellets to drop down from the hopper. If you ever find yourself in the need of pellets for your pellet stove, check out our top picks here.
If you want to learn more about what the auger is and how it works inside a pellet stove, here’s a 6.5-minute video from American Energy Systems:
The video also explains some information about auger maintenance, which you may find helpful after you own a pellet stove.
The capacity might be important to you for several reasons. For most people, the importance of the hopper size comes down to how often you’ll have to refill the hopper with pellets.
Most hoppers hold between 35 and 130 pounds (115.87-58.96 kg). In most cases, you’ll have to refill the hopper daily unless you have a very large capacity or you don’t burn much fuel. Of course, that will vary depending on how long you run the pellet stove and how high you set the thermostat.
For example, the Comfortbilt HP22-N boasts up to 36 hours of continuous burning if you keep it on the lowest setting. So, if you turn it up higher, it will burn faster.
Compare its 80 lb. (36.28 kg) hopper capacity with the Lannger Serenity’s 22 lb (9.97 kg). capacity, which burns for 8.3 to 16.6 hours (depending on the heat setting), and it’s easy to see what a difference the larger hopper size can make.
However, if you don’t need the unit to burn continuously, the hopper size may be a less important feature for your needs.
Style and Design Comparison
|Pellet Stove||Design Features||Score|
|Comfortbilt HP22-N||Carbon black, bay window design||9/10|
|Castle Serenity 12327||Black alloy steel, basic rectangle box||3/10|
|Langger Serenity||Black rectangle box, branding on the front||4/10|
|Ashley Hearth AP130||Black/gunmetal, feet, arched window w/handle||8/10|
|US Stove Company GW1949||modern/industrial look, very small window||6/10|
Winners: Comfortbilt HP22-N, Ashley Hearth AP130
When purchasing equipment to provide heat to your home, heating abilities and fuel capacity are important features to consider. However, how that equipment will fit into your home’s design and decor elements is also important.
Pellet stoves are typically either freestanding or insert that can be installed into your existing fireplace. Beyond that, they also have different looks and details. For example, some units look very rustic, while others have a more modern design with more features.
Some pellet stoves are very plain and just look like large boxes, while others have legs and stylistic detailing around the door or window.
Many pellet stoves share a similar look because they’re designed for performance and utility. However, some manufacturers can strike a better balance between form and function than others.
However, it mostly comes down to personal preference and what kind of look you’re envisioning for your home. It also depends on how much space you have to devote to your pellet stove. For example, if you’re putting the stove into an existing fireplace, you’ll need something that fits in that area without exception.
Best Pellet Stove Overall: Comfortbilt HP22-N
A high-quality, powerful pellet stove like the Comfortbilt HP22-N (available on Amazon.com) is the best choice for most people.
With a Btu rating of 50,000 and EPA certified for compliance with emissions mandates, this will be one of the cleanest and most powerful heating devices you’ll ever own.
With the 80-pound (36.28 kg) hopper capacity, you won’t have to carry and pour heavy bags of pellets into the stove every few hours. On the lowest setting, the Comfortbilt HP22-N will burn for a day and a half without refilling.
As long as you use high-quality pellets like LIGNETICS OF W VIRGINIA on Amazon.com, you’ll only need to empty out the ash drawer once every two weeks!
The programmable thermostat of this Comfortbilt will keep the temperature comfortable and manage how much fuel is being burned for maximum efficiency.
The versatile and aesthetically appealing design fits in nicely with any decor or style. Whether you’re heating a bedroom, apartment, cabin, or modern home, the Comfortbilt HP22-N will be a nice addition.
I like that the design is also subtle enough not to draw a lot of attention if you don’t want it to, while nice enough to make it one of the showpieces of the room as well. It can be a pleasant addition to any home!
Bottom line: I highly recommend the Comfortbilt HP22-N if you’re looking for a high-quality, powerful, and nice-looking pellet stove. It’s strong enough to provide heat to a space as large as 2,800 square feet (260.12 sq m or more) but can also be turned down to a low setting as needed.
This pellet stove will last you and your family for many years with the proper care and maintenance.
- Powerful heating: 50,000 Btu and the ability to heat large spaces of 2,800 square feet (260.12 sq m) or more.
- Capacity: Hopper capacity of 80 lbs. means you won’t have to refill this stove with more pellets every few hours.
- Design: With a sizeable bay-style viewing window and an angular design, this pellet stove will fit in nicely with any room or home style.
- Clean: Ashes fall automatically into the unit’s large, removable ash pan. You should only have to worry about emptying the pan every couple of weeks, saving you time and energy.
- EPA, CSA, and UL certified: Comfortbilt products are manufactured in compliance with all federal EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), CSA (Canadian Standards Association), and UL (Underwriters Laboratories) standards for emissions and safety.
- Programmable thermostat and five power settings. This unit has a programmable thermostat to maintain comfort and efficiency and five power settings to accommodate all environments and preferences.
- Requires power: Like most pellet stoves, the Comfortbilt HP22-N requires electricity to operate the blower and mechanisms inside the stove. So, if you’re in a place prone to power outages, you may need a backup battery or standby generator to keep the heat going.
- Small hopper door: Some owners have reported that the small size of the hopper door makes it difficult to pour pellets in for the full 80-pound (36.28 kg) capacity.
- Limited warranty: The unit is sold with a one-year parts warranty and technical assistance, but nothing beyond that.
|Dimensions||24” wide, 26” deep, 40” high (60.96 cm x 66.04 cm x 101.6 cm)|
|Weight||283 pounds (128 kg)|
|Hopper Capacity||80 pounds (36.28 kg)|
|Heating Area||2,800+ square feet (260.12 sq m)|
|Exhaust Port Size||3 inches (7.6 cm)|
|Air Intake Size||2 inches (5.08 cm)|
Best Pellet Stove for Less Refilling: Ashley Hearth AP130
Ashley Hearth Products offers a high-quality, powerful pellet stove that’s packed with features. The AP130 (available on Amazon.com) has the largest hopper capacity of all the pellet stoves we reviewed.
This powerful unit will easily heat a large space of up to 2,200 square feet (204.38 sq m), and with an impressive 130 lb. (58.96 kg) hopper capacity, you won’t have to keep refilling it all the time.
The Ashley Hearth AP130 has nine different heat settings, which allows you to customize the unit to your heating needs better than most others. It also includes a digital thermostat for you to mount to your wall for easy adjusting.
Other impressive features include a digital control board with built-in diagnostics and the ability to adjust the heat and draft settings with a simple button press.
This pellet stove’s sleek and stylish design also makes it a winner on this list because it features an arched viewing window with a stylish handle, and the stove sits up off the floor on small feet.
- Powerful heating: With a 48,000 Btu rating and the ability to heat spaces the size of whole homes, this unit is an excellent option for power and ability.
- You won’t have to refill for days: Depending on your use, you won’t have to worry about pouring heavy bags of pellets into the hopper for at least a few days. If you only use the pellet stove periodically, the hopper will last you even longer.
- Includes wall-mount digital thermostat: You can set and adjust your pellet stove just like a whole-house central heating system with the included thermostat.
- EPA certified: This product meets the stringent requirements for the EPA’s emission standards.
- Insulation materials not included: Depending on your setup and needs, you’ll have to purchase floor protection and vent exhaust materials separately.
- Heavy: All that extra hopper space adds weight to the unit. You may need a couple of people to get the stove unpacked and set up.
|Dimensions||24” wide, 26” deep, 40” high (60cm x 66cm x 101.6cm)|
|Weight||283 pounds (128 kg)|
|Hopper Capacity||80 pounds (36 kg)|
|Heating Area||2,800+ square feet (260 m2)|
|Exhaust Port Size||3 inches (7.6 cm)|
|Air Intake Size||2 inches (5 cm)|
Best Pellet Stove for a Small Space: Langger Serenity
The Langger Serenity (available on Amazon.com) pellet stove is an excellent option for smaller spaces or when you won’t be using it for extended periods. It’s recommended for use in villas, duplexes, apartments, hallways, living rooms, offices, and so on.
This unit can heat up to 646 sq. ft. (60.01 sq m), making it a good-sized unit for single rooms. Because of its small size and capacity, it’s also priced lower than most larger, more powerful models.
This stove will hold up to 22 lbs. (9.97 kg) of pellets in the hopper and has a smart controller feature to allow you to choose between four levels of heating. The easy-to-clean exhaust pipe makes this a user-friendly option for occasional use.
- Budget-friendly: This unit is priced at a much lower price point than the larger, higher-capacity pellet stove options.
- Efficient: The manufacturer boasts 90% heating efficiency for this unit.
- Easy to use: Fully automatic with automatic ignition and user-friendly controls. It also has a top-loading hopper, making it easy to pour your pellets into the unit.
- Doesn’t take up much space: It will be easy to find somewhere to put this pellet stove in a small apartment or room.
- Short burn time: Using the automatic settings, this stove will burn for 8.3 hours up to 16.6 hours before you’ll need to refill the hopper.
- Limited capabilities: Because of the small size, the unit is not as versatile as the other larger options that can be placed on lower heat settings.
- No thermostat: This stove only has four heat level settings and does not have a thermostat to set the temperature to your comfort level.
|Dimensions||24” x 19” x 29.5” (60.01 cm x 48.26 cm x 74. 93 cm)|
|Weight||132 pounds (59.87 kg)|
|Hopper Capacity||22 pounds (9.97 kg)|
|Heating Area||431-646 square feet (40.04-60.01 sq m)|
|Exhaust Port Size||0.3 ft (91.4 mm)|
|Air Intake Size||2 inches (5.08 cm)|
After considering the heating capabilities, capacity, design, features, and a host of other factors, I’ve determined that the best overall pellet stove for most people is the Comfortbilt HP22-N.
Compared to the other picks in this article (and the many others available on the market), the Comfortbilt HP22-N has some of the best features. It also makes the most sense for anyone who needs a pellet stove to heat their home.
Check out the Comfortbilt HP22-N on Amazon.com now.
Looking For Electric Fireplaces?
Are you looking for the best electric fireplace? We’ve got you covered. Check out our article on the top 5 best electric fireplaces on the market and find your perfect fit today! The Fireplace Lifestyle team has done all of the research so that you don’t have to. You can just sit back, relax, and enjoy reading about these incredible fireplaces. Our goal is to help people like yourself find their dream fireplace with ease. So take a look at what we have to offer – we know it will be worth your time!