If you are heating your home with a log burner, the choice of hardwood for log burner or wood burning stove use is crucial. In this article, we will explore why you should avoid softwood, and analyse the top hardwood options and emphasise their unique qualities and benefits. Discover the perfect hardwood to enhance your log burning experience and keep your home warm and cosy during the colder months.

Editor’s Note 27th October 2023. This article was originally published in September 2023.

Today’s update includes a new section “Choosing the best wood for log and wood burner use”, a new benefit of “steady flame quality”, information about using hardwood with wood burning stoves and various other enhancements.

Choosing the best wood for log and wood burner use

So, you are searching for the perfect firewood to make your log burner or wood burner experience the best it can be? Well, you are in the right place here at Cozilogs as we reveal the best wood for log burner and wood burner use.

What is the difference between a log burner and a wood burner?

When we mention, "log burner" and "wood burner," we are basically talking about the same cosy heating equipment. They are “one and the same thing”, so there is no need to get caught up in the terminology!

Now, let us cut to the chase. When buying the best wood for log burner or wood burner enjoyment, hardwood takes the crown as the best wood for burning. Why, you ask? Well, we discuss that in the next section!

Why choose hardwood for log burner use?

When selecting the best wood for burning for your log burner or wood burning stove, the choice between hardwood and softwood can significantly impact your heating experience. In this section, we detail the compelling reasons why hardwoods are the preferred choice for log burner enthusiasts in the UK. We probe why kiln dried hardwoods truly stand out as the top choice for log burner use in British households.

The benefits of hardwood

With the unpredictable weather in the UK, it is essential to choose the best hardwood for firewood that not only burns efficiently but also withstands the demands of the climate. In this section, we explore the unique advantages of kiln dried hardwood, emphasising how UK hardwoods are particularly well-suited to thrive in the varying weather conditions, including for open fire use.

Hardwood for log burner stored outside in a log burner

Hardwood for log burner stored outside in a log burner

Table - hardwood vs. softwood

This table compares key features of hardwood and softwood, highlighting the suitability of hardwood for log burners in the UK.

# Feature Hardwood Softwood
1 Burn time Longer Shorter
2 Cost (typically) Higher Lower
3 Density Higher Lower
4 Environmental impact lower Yes No
5 Flame quality Steady Flickering
6 Fragrance Pleasant Distinct
7 Good heat output Greater Lesser
8 Ignition ease Slower Faster
9 Native UK species Yes Not usually
10 Preferred for wood burners Yes No
11 Resin content Lower Higher
12 Seasoning time

Kiln drying process

Longer Shorter
13 Smoke emissions lower Yes No
14 Soot production Lower Higher
15 Sustainability Slower Growth Faster growth

Summary of benefits when buying hardwood (compared to softwood)

When it comes to selecting kiln dried firewood for your wood burner, choosing hardwood over softwood offers a range of distinct advantages. In this section, we unveil these benefits, highlighting why hardwood is the preferred choice for many firewood buyers.

Longer burn time

Hardwood kiln dried logs provide a longer burn time compared to softwood logs, meaning fewer interruptions to refuel your wood burner. This slower burning wood creates extended burn time ensures a consistent heat source throughout the day or night, enhancing the convenience and efficiency of your heating experience.

Enjoy a longer burn time when you buy premium-quality hardwood

Enjoy a longer burn time when you buy premium-quality hardwood

Higher density

With a higher density, hardwoods contain more energy per log, resulting in a more efficient burn. This increased density means that hardwoods can produce substantial heat, making them an ideal choice for keeping your home warm during the chilly seasons.

Lower environmental impact

Opting for hardwood over softwood has environmental benefits as well. Hardwoods (provided they are seasoned wood and not wet wood or green wood) typically:

  • Produce lower levels of smoke emissions and soot during combustion
  • Reducing air pollution
  • Lessen the risk of a chimney fire

These lower environmental impacts align with sustainability goals and promote a cleaner, healthier environment.

Greater heat output

Hardwoods are known for their superior heat output compared to softwoods. When you choose hardwood for your log burner, you are ensuring that your space is efficiently heated, even in colder climates. This good heat output not only keeps you warm but also reduces the need for frequent reloading of logs. If you are seeking a more moderate heat output choose hardwoods like ash, birch, elm, and hickory.

Lower resin content

Hardwoods typically have lower resin content compared to softwoods. This characteristic results in cleaner and less smoky burns, contributing to improved indoor air quality. You can enjoy the warmth and ambience of your log burner without concerns about excessive smoke or resin buildup in your chimney, leading to a safer and more pleasant heating experience.

Steady flame quality

Achieve a steady flame quality when you choose hardwood as the best wood for wood burning stoves. This varies according to the hardwood chosen, but any of the hardwoods mentioned in the section below (ash, beech, hornbeam, and oak) will do an admirable job.

The unique characteristics of hardwood, particularly higher density means the wood burns more slowly and efficiently than softwood, which results in a steady and consistent flame quality.

The best hardwood for firewood choices

When buying the best hardwoods for use in the UK, several native species stand out. Among these, oak, beech, ash, and hornbeam are celebrated for their unique qualities, including low moisture content and provide exceptional performance in wood burners.

1)   Ash - a dependable UK firewood

Ash wood has long been relied upon as a dependable source of firewood in the UK. Known for its versatility, ash has a moderate density that makes it suitable for various log burner styles. Its pleasant smell when burned and historical significance in UK fireplaces make it a timeless choice for those seeking reliable and efficient hardwood.

2)   Beech - for warmth and beauty

Beech wood is another outstanding choice. With a moderate density, it burns steadily, offering a reliable source of heat. Beyond its heating qualities, beech is prized for its attractive grain patterns, adding a touch of natural beauty to your fireplace and interior space.

3)   Hornbeam - the underappreciated hardwood gem

Hornbeam may be underappreciated, but it is a hidden gem among UK hardwoods. With its high density, hornbeam offers a long-lasting burn that can withstand the demands of long, cold UK winters. Its resilience and heating efficiency make it an excellent choice, even for the most demanding heating needs.

4)   Oak - the quintessential UK hardwood choice

Oak is often regarded as the quintessential choice. This hardwood boasts exceptional density, and low moisture content, which results in a wood that burns slowly and provides an excellent heat output. Its reputation as one of the best hardwoods is further solidified by its longevity and reliability as a fuel source.


We also recommend birch hardwood, which is a faster burning wood. Mixing some birch in with the firewood above will help the fire to keep burning well.

Oak makes a fine hardwood choice

Oak makes a fine hardwood choice

Hardwood is also the best wood for wood burning stove use

Additionally, hardwood is the ideal wood to utilise in wood-burning stoves. So, if you are warming up your wood-burning stove, pizza oven, open fire pit or log burner, it is best to go with excellent seasoned hardwood. This winter, be warm and environmentally conscious!

The top UK hardwood choices above each bring their unique qualities and advantages to your log burner or best wood burning stoves, catering to different preferences, and heating requirements. By understanding the characteristics of these hardwoods, you can make an informed choice that enhances your log burning experience in the UK.


We have concluded that the best wood for log burner use and best wood for wood burning stove use will always be hardwood. We have explored the critical decision of selecting the best hardwood for firewood for log burner use in the UK. As we examined why hardwoods outshine softwoods, we introduced you to best wood choices with good heat output like oak, beech, ash, and hornbeam, each with its unique qualities.

From their longer burn times to lower environmental impact, hardwoods promise a superior heating experience and are perfect for logs for log burner usage. So, embrace the warmth and efficiency of these exceptional hardwoods and make an informed choice when you buy the best wood for wood burner use this winter.

Keep your home warm and cosy during the colder months while contributing to a cleaner, healthier environment when you buy premium-quality seasoned firewood for log burner, wood burning stove, fire pit, or pizza oven use.

Talk to Cozilogs

Are you ready to buy the best hardwood for firewood for wood burners or wood burning stove? We hope that this post has enlightened you and convinced you to select hardwood over softwood as the best wood for burning. We also hope that it has persuaded you that UK seasoned firewood species like oak, ash, beech, and hornbeam are among the best hardwoods for firewood.

When choosing the best wood for log burner use or the best wood for wood burning stove use, kiln dried wood (such as the kind we sell at Cozilogs) is ideal. This is because it emits little smoke, burns slowly, and produces a lot of heat. Why not give us a call at (01905) 954 736 to find out more or to buy your premium-quality ready to burn logs for log burner use? All the kiln dried logs we sell are kiln dried, which guarantees that the wood is properly dried and burns at a high temperature and is the best wood for wood burner usage.