Discover stoves that combine efficiency with style

Prepare for autumn and winter with our expert buyer’s guide to woodburning, gas and electric stoves.

By Jennifer Turner | 25 August 2020

Get expert advice on what to look for when shopping for a new stove for your property.


ivory coloured stove in fireplace with mantel and hearth

Image: Mendip Stoves

If you’re planning a new home, or retrofitting your old one, stoves are a great way to add character and warmth. The MD of Mendip Stoves, Chris Baines, takes us inside the latest models and tells us what to look out for…

Wood, gas or electric?

The most popular fuel for stoves is still wood, says Chris. “It is an eco-friendly option, being largely carbon-neutral. The traditional market for stoves, be it older homes converting open fires, or self-build one off homes will usually choose a traditional stove shape (that is a free-standing box with legs). Most of these are tested to burn both wood and coal, but the fuel of choice is usually wood. Coal is less acceptable since it is a carbon based fossil fuel but can still be found in certain areas of the country with a strong history of coal mining.”

He adds that electric stoves are gaining popularity due to the plethora of modern houses with no chimney or those in smokeless zones.

black stove fire with long chimney and log store

Image: Mendip Stoves

In with the new

While many house-builders or designers will be embracing a traditional style, the technology inside stoves hasn’t stood still and has become more eco-friendly, as Chris explains: “Technology in stoves has moved towards greater efficiency. Many stoves now have a sophisticated airwash system which ‘washes’ down the glass to provide the oxygen to keep the fire burning, which also has the effect of keeping the glass front clean. Other stoves rely on tertiary air, which comes in at the back of the appliance, to re-ignite the remaining gas, which provides a much cleaner burn, with fewer emissions and a much higher efficiency.”

Mendip Stoves also stock Eco Design Ready woodburning stoves, further cutting emissions. “EcoDesign is a new standard, approved by European countries, including the UK, which is due to be implemented in 2022,” Chris says. “Many manufacturers, have pre-empted this standard, and now manufacture EcoDesign Ready stoves. These stoves have all been tested by an independent test laboratory and will emit approximately 80% fewer particles than a stove manufactured 20 years ago.”