Wood-burning stoves have a certain charm about them, don't they? The soft, flickering light they emit, their crackling sounds, and the welcoming warmth they provide on a chilly evening. Of course, we're slightly biased here at Direct Stoves - but thousands agree! For many UK households, wood burners are more than just a heating appliance. They connect to a bygone era, a testament to the art of mastering fire. But can you get eco-friendly wood burners?

As we all grow more conscious about our environmental footprint, the question of eco-friendliness is looming over stoves.

Are wood burners bad for the environment? The good news – not necessarily. If you care about your environmental impact, that doesn't mean you have to shun the log burner. In fact, modern stoves are highly efficient and eco-friendly.

Read on as we discuss the eco-friendliness of contemporary stoves and some of the most eco-friendly wood burners available for 2023.

The elephant in the room

You're probably thinking, "Doesn't burning wood release carbon dioxide?".

And you'd be right.

Burning wood in a stove releases CO2, a greenhouse gas.

But hang on a second – here's the fascinating bit. During their lifetime, trees absorb CO2 from the atmosphere. When they die and decompose or are burned, they release the same amount of CO2 they once absorbed.

What does that mean? Well, when you put it that way, wood burning is a carbon-neutral process.

CO2 neutral concept linear vector illustration. Balance between carbon CO2 emissions and planet, nature, ecology. Greenhouse gas fumes offset, carbon neutrality, net zero footprint.

That said, we do understand that there's more involved in being eco-friendly than just carbon emissions. Other emissions from burning wood, like smoke and particulate matter, can affect the local air quality.

The Clean Air Act limits such emissions in the UK, particularly in designated smoke control areas.

The good news? The latest stove technologies, like Cleanburn technology, make it easier to heat your home with a wood burner without breaking your environmental commitment.

Ecodesign standards

Newer stove models have been designed to meet strict EcoDesign standards set by the European Union. Although these new standards only became law at the beginning of 2023, the stove manufacturing industry was strides ahead, designing eco-friendly wood burners well in advance.


Almost every new stove manufactured in the past few years will meet or exceed EcoDesign standardsIndeed, you won't find a wood-burning or multi-fuel stove anywhere on the Direct Stoves website that's not EcoDesign compliant.

Eco-friendly wood burner use

There are many ways to make your existing stove (or your new one if you're considering buying) eco-friendlier. You can read our previous guide here for some handy tips and tricks.

For example, ensuring that the wood you burn is correctly seasoned or kiln-dried can make a world of difference. The less moisture the wood has, the less smoke it produces. So, choose wood with less than 20% moisture content, and make sure it's from a sustainable source. Look out for the Woodsure 'Ready to Burn' seal of approval when shopping.

Greener alternatives to burning wood

Let's not leave out eco-friendlier alternatives to burning wood, either. Multi-fuel stoves are becoming increasingly popular – and for a good reason. As the name suggests, these stoves are designed to burn not only wood but also other types of fuel, allowing you to make more eco-conscious choices.

biomass heating - wood pellets, briquettes and firewood on white background

For instance, eco briquettes, made from 100% recycled wood, might appeal to you if you strive to be an environmentally friendly stove user. They also burn cleaner and for longer than regular wood, making them an excellent eco-friendly alternative.

Pellet stoves are another option worth considering. These efficient machines use compressed wood or biomass pellets as fuel. Automatic fuel feeding and air supply regulation results in exceptionally efficient combustion, minimising emissions. Not to mention, the pellets are often made from sawdust and other waste materials, giving new life and purpose to what would otherwise be disposed of.

DEFRA approval

If you are starting your wood-burning journey, consider looking into DEFRA-approved stoves. These stoves are designed to meet the stringent standards for smoke emissions outlined by the UK Department of Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs.

Choosing a DEFRA-approved stove ensures you comply with smoke control area regulations and do your bit for cleaner air.

The best eco-friendly wood burners for conscious customers

Hopefully, by now, your mind has been eased – using a wood burner or a multi-fuel stove doesn't have to mean giving up your commitment to a cleaner planet, thanks to the wide range of clean-burning, eco-friendly wood burners. So, what are some of the best options?

Woodford Lowry 5X Wood Burning & Multifuel Stove

Woodford lowry 5X wood burning stove in a tiled fireplace with a cream fire surround, against a navy blue wall

Woodford Lowry 5X Wood Burning / Multifuel Ecodesign Stove

Are you looking for a stove that ticks all the boxes for a cosy, warm home while caring for the environment? Let's introduce you to the Lowry 5X EcoDesign stove from Woodford Stoves. This little beauty not only brings a warm, inviting glow to your home but does it in a way that's better for our planet.

It's just the right size for most homes, and with a simple yet sleek design, it can easily complement any décor. The 5kW heater sits inside a strong body made of thick gauge steel. Its modern, smooth cast iron door has a large glass window, so you can watch the flames dance inside. Worried about the glass getting sooty? No need! The clever airwash system means the window stays crystal clear, so you can always enjoy the view.

As for upkeep and maintenance, it's a breeze! The Lowry 5X has a built-in riddling grate and ashpan, making cleaning easy.

But that's not all. With an impressive 83.2% efficiency rating, this stove does a top-notch job of turning fuel into heat, keeping your home cosy and your energy bills low. What's more, it's got a clearSkies rating of 5 – the best you can get – meaning it's a true green champion, delivering high performance without harming our planet. It's got DEFRA approval, too. If you live in a smoke control zone, you can rest assured that burning wood in the Lowry 5X won't break regulations.

If you want a cosy, warm home and to do your bit for the environment, the Lowry 5X from The Woodford Collection is a fantastic choice.

Quick specs

  • Efficiency: 83.2%
  • Energy rating: A+
  • clearSkies rating: 5
  • Guarantee: Lifetime
  • Fuel type: Wood or multi-fuel
  • Heat output: 4.9kW
  • Flue size: 125mm (5 inches)
  • Distance to combustibles: 600mm (rear) & 600mm (sides)

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Ekol Edge 5kW Wood Burning Stove

Ekol edge stove installed freestanding on a 12mm hearth against a while wall. Shows a living room with shelves in the alcove.

Ekol Edge 5kW Wood Burning Ecodesign Stove

Are you looking for a stove that's easy on the eyes, great for the planet, and British born and bred? Meet the Ekol Edge wood-burning stove. This little gem combines good looks with top-notch performance, and it's the product of years of research and clever engineering. It was born to be one of the most eco friendly wood burners around.

First off, how does it look? Its simple yet elegant design looks good in any home, whether you like a traditional or contemporary style. Plus, it has a substantial ceramic window to watch the flames flicker and dance to your heart's content.

Hiding behind the sleek exterior is much more, though. The Edge has a heat output of 5kW, which will keep you nice and toasty on a chilly day. And it doesn't waste energy – in fact, it's super-efficient. The Edge burns ultra-clean with an incredible efficiency of 80.8%. It converts most fuel to heat, lets out less smoke, and keeps your home cleaner and healthier.

And the best part? The Edge has some of the best credentials for being kind to the environment. This stove ticks all the right boxes for the highest environmental standards, rated clearSkies 5 and DEFRA-approved. So, you can enjoy the cosy warmth it provides, knowing you're doing your bit for our planet.

What's more, the Edge is straightforward to use, even if you're entirely new to stoves. A single control makes it a doddle to operate. Plus, it's designed to fit safely in smaller rooms, with built-in heat shields at the side and rear.

In a nutshell, the Ekol Edge is the perfect stove for anyone who wants a warm, inviting, and environmentally friendly home.

Quick specs

  • Efficiency: 80.8%
  • Energy rating: A+
  • clearSkies rating: 5
  • Guarantee: 5 years
  • Fuel type: Wood
  • Heat output: 5kW
  • Flue size: 125mm (5 inches)
  • Distance to combustibles: 150mm (rear) & 100mm (sides)

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Arada Holborn 5 Widescreen Wood Burning & Multifuel Stove

Arada Holborn 5 Widescreen stove in a white fireplace surround against white walls. Featuring a mirror and vase on the mantel, a log basket on the hearth and a coffee table with snacks and books.

Arada Holborn 5 Widescreen Wood Burning / Multifuel Ecodesign Stove

Meet the Arada Holborn 5 Widescreen – a fabulous mix of old-school charm and modern power. This stove will quickly become more than just a source of heat; it's a standout feature that will fit perfectly into all kinds of home styles, from the super-modern to the classically cosy.

One of the best features of this stove is the massive window, giving you stunning views of the dancing flames inside. It's like having a little firework display in your living room, creating a seriously snug and welcoming feel.

Plus, this stove is a real champion when it comes to strength. It's made from tough steel and has a hard-wearing cast iron door, so you can rely on it to perform for many winters to come.

But the Arada Holborn 5 Widescreen is more than just a pretty face – it's also kind to the environment. It's been designed with the latest EcoDesign standards for eco-friendly wood burners in mind. And with an efficiency rating of 81.3%, an A+ energy rating and a top clearSkies rating of 5, you can be assured that it's about as clean and green as you'll get.

What's more, DEFRA has given this stove the thumbs-up, so you can use it to burn wood in smoke control zones without worrying about air pollution. Wherever you live, you can relax in the cosy warmth of the Arada Holborn 5 Widescreen, knowing you're doing your bit for the environment too.

If you're craving cosy warmth that's also green, the Arada Holborn 5 Widescreen could be the perfect match for your home.

Quick specs

  • Efficiency: 81.3%
  • Energy rating: A+
  • clearSkies rating: 5
  • Guarantee: Lifetime
  • Fuel type: Wood or multi-fuel
  • Heat output: 9kW
  • Flue size: 125mm (5 inches)
  • Distance to combustibles: 650mm (rear) & 450mm (sides)

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Go Eco 5kW Plus

Go Eco Plus stove in a fireplace opening with a wooden beam against a blue wall. Featuring a decorative lantern, black hearth, grey carpet, and an abstract canvas painting in blue and grey hanging on the chimney breast. Black shelves with decorative items including a vase and bicycle ornament in the alcove. .

Go Eco 5kW Plus Wood Burning / Multifuel Ecodesign Stove

Now, let's talk about the Go Eco 5kW Plus stove. This traditional-looking wood burner is a brilliant choice for anyone who wants a stylish, efficient, eco-friendly home heating solution.

First off, it looks great. It has a touch of traditional design while staying sleek and straightforward, blending nicely with any home style. The cast-iron door adds a touch of classic charm and cosy warmth to any room.

However, it's not all about the looks. The Plus puts out a solid 5kW of heat, which is plenty to keep your home snug and warm on even the briskest winter nights. And with an impressive efficiency rating of 80%, it converts fuel into heat effortlessly, helping you save on energy bills.

The best part – not only is the Plus stylish and efficient, but it's also super green. It is, of course, EcoDesign compliant. In fact, with a clearSkies rating of 5, it surpasses the requirements. On top of that, it's been DEFRA-approved.

This is a top contender if you're looking for a great all-rounder that looks good, keeps you warm, and is kind to the environment.

Quick specs

  • Efficiency: 80%
  • Energy rating: A+
  • clearSkies rating: 5
  • Guarantee: 2 years
  • Fuel type: Wood or multi-fuel
  • Heat output: 5kW
  • Flue size: 125mm (5 inches)
  • Distance to combustibles: 300mm (rear) & 300mm (sides)

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Saltfire ST2 Multi-Fuel Stove

Saltfire ST2 stove in a white fire surround and brick lined fireplace on a black hearth. The wall is painted white with a painting over the mantel. There is a log basket on one side and a grey chair on the other.

Saltfire ST2 DEFRA Approved Wood Burning / Multifuel Ecodesign Stove

Last but certainly not least, say hello to the Saltfire ST2 multi-fuel stove. This stylish stove is an excellent choice for anyone looking to keep their home warm while doing their bit for the environment. With a choice of stunning colours, making this stove your own is easy.

With a heat output of 5kW, this stove is more than capable of warming up your home during those chilly evenings. But it's not all about the warmth – the ST2 also looks fantastic, creating a beautiful display of flames through the generous viewing window. This is made even more magical thanks to the After-Burner technology. This nifty feature makes the stove more efficient and creates a unique, mesmerising flame pattern you'll never tire of admiring.

The green credentials of the ST2, however, are the real stars of the show. It doesn't just meet DEFRA clean air standards–it exceeds them. You can use this stove to burn wood anywhere in the country worry-free. A clearSkies rating of 5 and an energy rating of A+ are the icing on the cake. This stove proves that warmth, beauty, and eco-friendliness can go hand in hand.

What's more, with an incredible 81.3% efficiency, you can depend on this stove to convert a huge chunk of its fuel into heat. And thanks to the thermo-refractory brick lining, and triple-layer convection system, you can rely on it for efficient, even heat distribution. Yes, you can indeed have a cosy home and lower energy bills.

If you want to embrace warmth and cosiness without compromising on your environmental responsibilities, choose the Saltfire ST2.

Quick specs

  • Efficiency: 81.3%
  • Energy rating: A+
  • clearSkies rating: 5
  • Guarantee: 3 years
  • Fuel type: Wood and multi-fuel
  • Heat output: 5kW
  • Flue size: 125mm (5 inches)
  • Distance to combustibles: 500mm (rear) & 450mm (sides)

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Ready to start your eco-friendly wood burner journey?

With a modern stove, you can simultaneously enjoy warmth, ambience, and peace of mind about the environment. Warm up guilt-free in front of a roaring fire! We're committed to helping our customers stay warm sustainably at Direct Stoves. Browse clearSkies stoves here, and check out EcoDesign stoves here. 

Plus, we offer free mainland UK delivery, a range of finance options, and no-hassle 14-day returns to make your experience seamless.

Our customer service team are always here to help, too. If you have questions or need assistance choosing the most environmentally friendly stove, contact us at [email protected] or call 0161 376 4191.