If you’re thinking of investing in a multi-fuel stove to add warmth and a stylish focal point, there are a few factors to consider – the first of which is what fuel you plan to burn.


What's the difference between a multi-fuel stove and a wood-burner?

‘A dedicated wood-burning stove is designed to only burn logs, while a multi-fuel stove can burn logs or authorised ‘smokeless’ fuels,’ says Michael Coke, Biomass Product Development Manager at Stovax Heating Group.

Multi-fuel stoves may also use a vented base, unlike a traditional wood-burner, as coal draws air from below in order to burn efficiently. Some models may feature a detachable grate which can be removed to create a solid base better adapted to wood burning.

Best multi-fuel stoves to buy for 2023

Mazona Warwick 5 kW Ecodesign Ready Multi Fuel Wood Burning Stove

Mazona Warwick 5 kW Ecodesign Ready Multi Fuel Wood Burning Stove

Made of imposing black alloy steel with a glass front, Mazona's 5kW Warwick stove would make an impressive addition to any space.

Fully compliant with the Ecodesign regulations introduced in 2022 to lower emissions, the stove also benefits from an Airwash system to minimise the need for manual cleaning. This design feature draws in air via a vent, and once heated the air is then directed across the glass to ensure it stays it sparkling clean even when in heavy use.

  • 5kW heat output
  • 5 year stove body warranty,
  • Smoke Exempt / DEFRA Approved
  • 5-inch single flue sold separately

RoyalFire 4.2kW Steel Eco Multifuel Stove + Firewood Starter Kit

RoyalFire 4.2kW Steel Eco Multifuel Stove + Firewood Starter Kit

RoyalFire's 4.2kW multi-fuel stove is constructed of solid steel and has been designed to accommodate a top or rear flue depending on your preferred layout. It's also one of a minority of multi-fuel stoves on the market which can be used with charcoal - worth nothing if this is an option you're keen to explore.

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The stove also comes with a 10-12kg bag of firewood and a 1.5kg bag of kindling to get you started - a nice touch!

  • 4.2kW heat output
  • Burns wood, smokeless fuel and charcoal
  • Airwash system for easy cleaning

Arada Solution 5 Multi-fuel Stove

Solution 5 Multi-fuel Stove Arada

Make a statement with this traditional-style stove. Available in a range of brilliantly bold colourways, it’s bound to become the focal point of any room. The Solution 5 is approved for use in smoke control areas and boasts a preheated airways system to keep the glass clean.

  • 4.9kW heat output
  • 10-year guarantee
  • Energy efficiency class A
  • Available in 11 colours

Stovax Futura 5 Stove

Stovax Futura 5

Make a statement with this traditional-style stove. Available in a range of brilliantly bold colourways, it’s bound to become the focal point of any room. The Solution 5 is approved for use in smoke control areas and boasts a preheated airways system to keep the glass clean.

  • 4.9kW heat output • 10-year guarantee
  • Energy efficiency class A
  • Available in 11 colours

Charlton & Jenrick Go Eco Excel Stove with traditional door

Charlton&Jenrick Go Eco Excel 5kw

Traditionalists may prefer this stove’s curved window, but a square alternative is available. Both are highly efficient and can be freestanding, or placed in an inglenook or fireplace.

  • 5kW heat output
  • DEFRA exempt
  • Over 80 per cent efficiency

Woodwarm Stoves Fireview Eco Vintage V5-L Multi-fuel Stove

Woodwarm 5kw

As well as this Vintage version, the Fireview also comes in contemporary and traditional designs. And if the 5kW model isn’t enough output for you, there are also 7kW and 9kW options.

  • 5kW heat output
  • 10-year stove body guarantee
  • Energy efficiency class A+

ACR Stoves Woodpecker WP5 Stove

Woodpecker WP5 Stove

Designed to burn both wood and smokeless fuels, this stove is solidly constructed from steel and cast iron. It has sleek styling and a large glass door to help you enjoy the view of the fire as well as its heat. A five-year warranty covers all the stove’s castings.

  • 5kW heat output
  • DEFRA exempt
  • Made from high-quality steel and cast iron
  • Energy efficiency class A+

Morsø 7449 On High Pedestal

Morso stove 7449

When it comes to sleek good looks, this Morsø wood-burning stove is hard to beat. Its panoramic window allows you to see 180° of the fire, while its pedestal foot raises the stove up to almost eye level so you can enjoy it fully while curled up in an armchair. Its ‘airwash system’ and 10-year warranty help provide longevity and peace of mind.

  • DEFRA exempt
  • 4.3kW heat output
  • 180° flame viewing
  • Energy efficiency class A+

Are wood-burning stoves bad for your health?

PM2.5 pollution is emitted whenever you burn wood. It’s small enough to pass through your lungs, enter your bloodstream and can damage your organs. According to the British Lung Foundation’s Taskforce for Lung Health: ‘exposure to PM2.5 can cause illnesses like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, coronary heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer’, among other serious conditions. So it’s worth considering whether or not you’ll want your stove on for prolonged periods before you invest.

Are wood-burning stoves bad for the environment?

According to figures from DEFRA, wood-burning stoves and domestic fires were the biggest source of small particle air pollution in the UK during 2019, being responsible for 38 per cent of particulate matter smaller than 2.5 microns (PM2.5).

However, in 2022 new regulations were introduced to drastically reduce the emissions of all fuel-burning heating stoves sold in the UK. The new Ecodesign-compliant stoves, if used and maintained correctly, are far more fuel-efficient than previous generations. However, if you live in a Smoke Control Area (see below) you will still be subject to DEFRA restrictions.

Can I use a multi-fuel stove or woodburner in a Smoke Control Area?

A Smoke Control Area is a location where you cannot emit a substantial amount of smoke from a chimney. The fine for breaking this can be anything from £175 to £300.

Generally, if you're in a Smoke Control Area, you can only burn authorised types of fuel, such as ‘smokeless’ anthracite coals (contact your local authority to find out about smoke control areas near you). Burning unauthorised fuel can land you a fine of up to £1,000.

Wood can be used in a Smoke Control Area only if your stove is a DEFRA Smoke Exempt Appliance. ‘DEFRA-exempt’ stoves still produce smoke and emissions but to reduced levels permitted by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Find out more about Smoke Control Areas.

What wood can I put in a wood burner?

Only burn dry wood in a wood-burning stove. If you’re buying wood, look for wood that carries the ‘Ready to Burn’ logo. Recently chopped wood needs to be seasoned (dried) before it can be burnt as the moisture will create more smoke and reduce your stove’s efficiency. You can check wood’s moisture content with a moisture meter (wood with less than 20 per cent moisture is classed as dry). Install a carbon monoxide monitor to alert you to dangerous fumes and have your stove and chimney regularly maintained. And never burn treated wood.

What can I burn in a multi-fuel stove?

A multi-fuel stove can burn seasoned logs like a wood-burner, as well as at least one another form of fuel. Not all multi-fuel stoves can burn every type of fuel, so be sure to check the product specification carefully before you make a purchase, and consult the manufacturer if in doubt. Some of the most common wood alternatives for multi-fuel stoves include:

  • Anthracite coal, often referred to as 'smokeless coal'
  • Smokeless briquettes
  • Wood pellets
  • Turf or peat briquettes

Can a multi-fuel stove heat a room?

To work out how much heat your stove will need to produce, first calculate the volume of the room you want to install it in by multiplying its width by its height and its length in metres (W x H x L = m3). Then divide the room’s volume by 14 to get an approximate kilowatt (kW) output needed to heat it. But bear in mind that the age of your property, number of outside walls and size of the windows can all make a difference.

You’ll also need to consider what size of stove you can accommodate, as you’ll need clearances (as required by the manufacturer) around it for safety.

Can you have a stove in your garden office?

Yes you can,' says Jon Butterworth, Director of Arada Stoves, 'but make sure you choose the right wood-burner and that you meet the approval of Building Regulations. Any stove, regardless of its heat output, requires an additional air supply if installed in a building that was built post-2008, or one that has been renovated with double glazing and high levels of insulation.

'A certified installer who is registered can gain the building regulations approval for you, notifying your local authority. Alternatively, you can install the woodburner yourself, but you will need to ensure that you gain approval from your local authority building control office. Luckily, it’s not as daunting as it sounds and you can start by making an application pretty easily online with your local council.


'Once you’ve done this, the next step is to have a building control officer over to inspect the work. All being well, you’ll receive a completion certification.'


Lisa Hibberd is an experience freelance journalist specialising in interiors

Rebecca MessinaEditor, YourHomeStyle.uk

Rebecca is the Digital Editor of Your Home and HomeStyle