As winter approaches and you dream about coming in from the chilly outdoors to a warm and cozy home, there’s nothing quite like the soothing warmth and ambiance of a wood stove. But what if you live in a tiny space like an RV, camper, cabin, or other small dwelling? A full-sized wood stove may not be practical or possible to install.
Mini wood stoves, which range in size from 7 to 18 inches wide, are specially designed for smaller spaces while still providing robust heating capabilities. They also minimize ductwork and allow for flexible installation, with some units being completely freestanding and requiring no permanent infrastructure. While smaller than traditional wood stoves, the best mini stoves can still heat spaces up to 400 square feet with ease.
There are several styles and design options for choosing a mini wood stove. Leg styles, colors, viewing styles, pedestal options, and more allow customization to suit your preferences. But regardless of visual appeal, you want a unit built of durable, high quality materials with all necessary safety features.
There are multiple brands to choose from, but in my experience, a few brands stand out. It’s Cubic Mini Wood Stoves, PE (Pacificenergy), Woodstock Soapstone Company, Jotul, Blaze King, Regency, and Englander if you want to save some money. If your primary requirement are inserts, then Kuma is a great brand. I want to mention that these wood stoves work great with wood stove fans as well.
I’m also mentioning these brands because some people around the world don’t have, for example, PE or Jotul, so you can also consider these brands – Lopo, US Stove, Sedore (a really good top-loading wood stove brand), and Hearthstone. These are the brands you can’t go wrong with.
The good thing about these wood stove manufacturers is that almost all their products are EPA 2020 compliant. But if the wood stove doesn’t have an EPA rating, don’t be discouraged to buy it anyway because manufacturers are in a dilemma as there is a 2-year wait to get a test run on a stove to seek an EPA rating. So most of the time, it’s their marketing choice not to go for the EPA rating. But feel free to ask them for technical data anyway.
I’ll also mention a wood stove brand that you need to stay away from. It’s either because of poor build quality, not meeting government regulations or just a bad product. It’s definitely Kimberly because of the unsatisfactory regulation coverage. Also, the owner is really unprofessional and treats its customers very badly.
A quick technical data table for the wood stoves I’ll be mentioning.
Heat Output (BTU)
Fire Box Construction
CB-1008 CUB Cubic Mini Wood Stove
6000 - 14000
1/8" thick iron plate
Heavy gauge steel
Hearthstone Green Mountain 40
So, what are your wood stove options for small space?
1. The first mention will be CB-1008 CUB Cubic Mini Wood Stove.
I have this stove myself and it’s great. The only bad thing I can think of is the glass get dirty and unclear really fast, but that could be because I burn really bad and wet wood (team vanlife lol). I usually clean it a bit and then burn some really dry wood to clear it off.
The stove is built well and sturdy. It gives quite a lot of heat as well, and in my experience, I never had a problem with the draft; it’s always excellent. And I don’t know what Cubic Mini is doing with the design but it’s almost always smoke free. The Cubic Mini is built in Canada with local materials without Chinese material cheapness, so that could be the reason of a good product, huh?
The other thing that I like about Cubic Mini is the price: for 400$, you can get a BuyItForLife wood stove. Can’t beat that.
I have to mention that the burn is quite short, so if you go away from the cabin or house for a long period of time, it will be burnt out.
2. The next mention would be BlazeKing wood stove.
These are the king of the wood stoves, just like the name states. Especially the King 40, which is such a perfect stove for small spaces. I have one problem with these stoves tho. Ok, not one, but two. First is the price, almost 4000$. The second one is that it’s too good. If you will buy this stove, it’s for life. Maybe after a few years, you will change the catalyst converter, but nothing else. It’s fail proof.
If you tend to leave your stove unattended, this is also a good option because it lasts at least 30 hours on low/medium settings. So my suggestion would be to heat up your house, fill up the stove, turn it on to the lowest setting, and come back the next morning, haha. Just don’t forget about CO2 detectors; they are crucial! This also means you can load this stove once a day. That’s amazing, in my opinion. My friend has been using this stove for almost 15 years; he changed the catalyst converter twice and the bricks once.
3. Lopi Answer wood stove is on our list as well.
The Apple of the wood stoves. If you want to impress your friends and gift a house to your kids with the same wood stove you had, Lopi is the brand to go.
I consider them a premium brand, and an innovator. Why innovator? Their Evergreen insert is (in my knowledge) the only one non-catalyst one that exceeds 75% threshold to qualify for the US tax credit.
If these are your criteria, then this is a stove for you:
- Flush non-cat wood insert
- Big firebox capacity
- High Efficiency
- Large viewing area.
This stove can easily heat a 2000 sqft house without any problems. But be prepared to leave 6000$+ for this wood stove.
4. Hearthstone Green Mountain 40 is another great wood stove
While this brand is in a premium segment, it’s known for some smoking issues, but most of the time, those issues are because of the incorrect chimney length. If you can have a chimney that’s at least 4m high, you are safe to go with this stove. And did I tell you about the price? Half of the Lopi, approx 3000$ without installation.
Hearthstone GM 40 works with dry wood; if you use even a bit wetter wood, it will smoke a lot. But I have a few tips that will help with Hearthstone Greem Mountain 40 smoking issues:
- Top-down fire building, always light the fire from the top.
- Bypass the catalyst before opening the door.
- Use dry wood and plenty of kindling when starting cold.
- Don’t open the door when you can see smoke in the firebox.
- I always warm up/dry the next load of wood by putting it close to the stove.
This should get rid of the smoking problem forever.
Remember also that this stove needs shorter wood than other brands.
Worth mentioning is that this is an EPA 2020-certified stove with 16 hour burn time. So a good deal!
5. Jotul 602 wood stove for very small spaces
If you go to an 80-year-old house in Norway, there is a 60% chance of seeing Jotul 602 in it. It’s a Buy It For Life stove and super popular in Europe. It’s simple, beautiful and functional. And did I mention how good the goulash tastes when cooked on Jotul 602? Pretty, pretty, pretty amazing.
Most cast iron stoves have one problem – they crack quite easily, but the Jotul is super thick and quality-made. On the inside, they have cast iron baffle plates that dissipate the heat before it reaches the outer layer of the cast iron wall. And most people are removing those baffles (no idea why) and that’s why they crack.
In my country, the most frequent problem with this stove is the back plate. People throw in wood in the stove and bang the real plate and just bang it off with time. Other than that, it’s a generation stove easily. It’s also EPA-certified.
So here you have, in my opinion, the best small wood stoves you can buy. I think I covered all budgets as well.
If you want a quick list without reading everything here is tl’dr.
- Best budget stove but still high quality – Cubic Mini Woodstove
- Lifetime stove – Lopi Answer wood stove
- Stove for very small spaces – Jotul 602
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