Which are the best: Cast Iron or Steel Stoves?

Which are the best: Cast Iron or Steel Stoves?
Choosing the right stove is a tricky business. Before you can even start to think about fuel type or fitting, you must first answer perhaps the most important question of all: cast iron stove or steel stove?

Cast iron is the traditional material for stoves, leading some to assume that steel stoves are somehow inferior. This isn't the case, however, as steel is a durable material, just as well suited as cast iron for manufacturing stoves. While it is true that some steel stoves may crack and buckle, this is due to low-quality steel being used and isn't an inherent problem with steel itself; cast iron stoves can also experience defects if the iron used isn't of good quality. 

While the difference in quality between cast iron and steel stoves is negligible, the different materials give you different looks and heat-retention properties.


Taste is a personal matter, so only you can say if you find one type of stove design more attractive. Cast iron stoves are the more traditional choice, and their design tends to reflect this. As the name suggests, cast iron stoves are constructed using pieces of iron that have been individually cast then bolted together, with a bonding agent used to seal up the edges. Because of this production process, beautiful decorative elements can easily be included on the iron at the casting stage, while using bolts gives a more rustic finish.

Steel stoves, however, are generally produced using a single sheet of steel that is shaped and welded. This method offers greater versatility when it comes to things such as adding an air vent but it is harder to incorporate more intricate designs or patterns. Because of this, steel stoves are more modern-looking, with sleek, smooth lines and a minimalist feel. When choosing the best stove design for you, think about the room it will be going into: do you want a consistent style throughout, or do you want to juxtapose the traditional with the modern for a more striking centrepiece?


While both cast iron and steel stoves will give you the same heat output, it is important to understand exactly what you want from your stove. If you want your stove to act as a radiator, cast iron would be the better option as the thicker iron retains the heat for longer after the fire has been extinguished, although this same quality means it takes longer to heat up. The opposite is true of steel stoves, heating up quickly but not retaining the warmth for long once the fire is out. 

If you find it impossible to choose between aesthetics and functionality, it is possible to combine the best of both worlds by purchasing a steel stove with a cast iron door.  This would give you rapid, efficient heating with a more traditional, decorative look. With no discernible difference in quality, whether you choose a cast iron stove or a steel stove ultimately comes down to personal preference and how you want it to function. Have a browse on our website here for your perfect stove or get in touch; give us a call on 01226 816 051 or send us an email at sales@stovesupermarket.co.uk.

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  • Chris Murphy