Choosing a wood burning or multi-fuel stove depends on your intended use and options of fuel sources.
Wood burns most efficiently on a small bed of ash, with air coming from above, and wood burning stoves are designed to have a solid base for the wood logs to sit on.
Solid mineral fuel or coal burning requires a slotted grate to allow air flow from underneath for optimum performance, and the design of a multifuel stove will usually incorporate a riddling grate and ashpan for ash removal. There are smokeless fuels available that are Defra approved for burning on stoves which have a multi-fuel grate fitted.
If you are unlikely to explore fuel types other than wood, we would recommend selecting a dedicated wood burning only stove. For most of our customers who already have an efficient central heating system and where the stove is providing a secondary heat source, then a wood stove is the best option. A wood burner provides the full experience of additional warmth and comfort of a real fire combined with a striking flame picture. Wood burns much cleaner than coal, for example, and is more sustainable.
For those who are undecided, a multi-fuel stove does offer more options as it accommodates either wood or alternative solid fuel types and more flexibility over potential changes in fuel availability and cost. Multi-fuel stoves cannot burn both types of fuel at the same time. A multi-fuel stove is likely to be the best option where it provides the main heat source in a home and is intended to be used over long periods, as burning solid fuels allows slower burning fires but with minimal flame effects.