Solid Fuels Comparison

The choice between solid fuels is vast for anyone with a multi fuel stove, open fire or any solid fuel burning appliance. It’s not always clear what fuels should be used for which appliances, or the benefits of certain fuels over others. That’s why we’ve put together this article which takes a look at some of the different solid fuels available, and how they might suit your requirements.

House coal

The most traditional solid fuel available, house coal has been used as a fuel source for centuries.

You can buy house coal in many different sizes and styles, including cobbles, doubles and large cobbles.

House coal is only suitable for open fires, and cannot be burned in smoke control areas – unless you have an exempt stove. You can find out more about smoke control areas in this article.


solid fuels comparison - woodFirewood is as simple as it gets. It’s tough to beat the image of crackling firewood in a living room open fire, and with quality Ash, Oak or Beech logs, you can have a roaring, long-lasting fire in no time.

Like coal, firewood is suited to open fires and cannot be burned in smoke control areas – save for DEFRA-exempt appliances. Wood can be used in multi fuel stoves and, of course, wood burners.

An alternative to traditional firewood logs is eco friendly wooden briquettes. Briquettes are a simple, ready to use option that burn with lower smoke emissions than firewood.

Briquettes can be burned in open fires, wood burners and multi fuel / DEFRA exempt stoves in smoke control areas.

Smokeless coals

A relatively modern alternative to house coal, smokeless coal is a more environmentally friendly option; it burns without emitting visible smoke, and produces significantly less CO2.

Smokeless coals are the preferred choice for multi fuel stoves. are also a great choice for open fires.

Like house coal, smokeless coal comes in a variety of sizes, but they tend to burn more slowly and leave behind less ash waste.

Smokeless fuels are the efficient option and will be your primary fuel source if you live in a smoke control area.


Anthracite is a natural smokeless fuel that is mined in a small selection of countries – including the UK. Natural anthracite has its own unique benefits that trump both house coal and manufactured smokeless fuels. Namely, anthracite is the cleanest fuel source available. It delivers high heat output with little pollution.

For smoke control areas, anthracite may be the perfect choice. From multi fuel stoves and log burners, to gravity feed boilers and solid fuel cookers, anthracite is versatile, effective and hassle-free.

Choosing the right fuel

Your choice of fuel will depend on the kind of appliance you have and whether or not you’re in a smoke control area. If you have a multi fuel stove, you’ll have more options than with an open fire or wood burner.

It all comes down to your requirements. If you have a DEFRA-approved stove and enjoy the effects of firewood, then you’re good to go. If you want to be more environmentally friendly, there are numerous alternatives out there that provide exceptional results without being too pricey. For specific advice on the most suitable solid fuels for your appliance, just contact the team at Coal Merchants UK today.

Coal Merchants UK supplies a range of solid fuel solutions to suit every budget and environmental requirement. From traditional house coal and firewood to natural and manufactured smokeless fuels, whatever solid fuel burner you own we have the ideal fuel for you. To enquire about delivery or for more information on our services, simply contact our friendly team today. We operate throughout Northampton, Cambridge, London and nationwide and are always happy to help.



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