Heating What are the best wood pellets

Pellet boiler test: test winner of the Stiftung Warentest

For many years there was no doubt about the preferred heating technology: owners brought their homes to comfortable temperatures either with oil or gas. In any case, the use of fossil fuels was out of the question. Meanwhile, more and more heating modernizers rely on a pellet boiler. This not only has ecological advantages, but also makes economic sense due to the low operating costs. At the end of 2020 there were around 525,000 active pellet systems in Germany, the market expects that in 2021, due to the attractive subsidies, a further 30,000 to 50,000 pellet heating systems will be added.
The climate-neutral combustion of wood pellets is inexpensive and, thanks to modern heating systems, also convenient, as the pellet boiler test shows. But which model is the right one? Who can convince in the comparison of the Stiftung Warentest?

Pellet heating systems put to the test: the participants

The following models took part in the pellet boiler comparison:

  • Eta PE 15
  • Froling P4 Pellet - 15
  • Hargassner pellet heating HSV 14
  • HDG Pellet master PM 15
  • KWB Easy Fire, USP GS 15
  • Pellematic PES 15 eco-stove
  • Paradigm Pelletti II SR 153
  • Viessmann Vitoligno 300-P 6-18 kW
  • Wagner Lignoplus 15 or Windhager Biowin Exklusiv 150 (identical model)

Choosing the right one from the almost unmanageable range of different models is not exactly easy for consumers. The pellet boiler test by Stiftung Warentest takes a closer look at two criteria in particular: pollutant emissions and efficiency. While the former is primarily important for the environment, the efficiency also affects the cost of the pellets - a cheap pellet boiler is not necessarily the best choice if the consumption is high.

Providers and devices

Test grade from Stiftung Warentest

Viessmann Vitoligno 300-P 6-18 kWGood (2.1)
Windhager Biowin Exclusive 150Good (2.3)
Eta PE 15Good (2.5)
KWB Easy Fire USP GS 15Good (2.5)
Hagassner pellet systemSatisfactory (2.7)
Pellematic PE S 15 eco-stoveSatisfactory (2.7)
Froling P4 Pellet-15Satisfactory (2.8)
Paradigma Pelleti II SR 153Satisfactory (2.9)
Wagner Lignoplus 15Sufficient (4.2)
HDG Pelletmaster PM 15 Item no .: 1300 0400Sufficient (4.5)

IMPORTANT:The status of the test is May 28, 2009. Since then, Stiftung Warentest has not updated the results.

Buy pellet boilers: These models are recommended

At the end of the test, the Viessmann Vitolignio 300-P 6-8 kW was declared the pellet boiler test winner. The model achieved the grade good because the consumption of pellets in the test field was the lowest. At the same time, the dust emissions of all models were the lowest. The second-placed Windhager Biowin Exklusiv 150 also received the grade Good.
We also recommend the devices from KWB, which also scored well in the test with the KWB Easy Fire USP GS 15.

"Satisfactory" grade

In the following places, however, the competitors only received a satisfactory rating. After all: none of the tested products were consistently negative. Even the last-placed Wagner Lignoplus 15 impressed with its very low power consumption. Nevertheless, it shows that a pellet boiler that is cheap in the price comparison is not necessarily the best choice. The consumption of pellets is comparatively high, so the operating costs also increase.

The comparison also shows that the pellet boilers tested hardly differ in terms of prices. The price of the different models ranges from 10,800 to 12,600 euros and is therefore low compared to other types of heating.

Danger: The manufacturer Wagner has taken the Lignoplus 15 out of its range in favor of the Windhager Biowin Exklusiv 150 - and this model was also able to convince in the pellet boiler price comparison and performance test.

In relative terms, it must be added that Stiftung Warentest compares the pellet heating systems under idealized conditions. The experiences of individual customers can therefore differ, as the heating is exposed to completely different conditions in everyday use. Nevertheless, such a test result provides a good basis for decision-making, whereby it is always worthwhile to get a second opinion.

Pellet boilers score with low operating costs

With acquisition costs of up to 13,000 euros, a pellet boiler is around twice as expensive as a gas heating system. Due to the significantly lower operating costs, the purchase pays off, especially when there is a high heat requirement. In addition, there are attractive subsidies for pellet heating, which save up to half the purchase price. While the kilowatt hour generated with oil heating is currently 9 to 10 cents, it is up to half cheaper with pellet heating at 5 to 10 cents. In addition, significant price increases for pellets are hardly to be expected, while the price of gas is linked to the price of oil - and this can rise rapidly if the world economy recovers. The pellet heating test also shows where there is still a need for action on the part of the manufacturer. Especially when it comes to emissions: two models failed here.

A frequently cited objection by critics is the alleged lack of comfort in heating with pellets. Modern pellet boilers have a screw conveyor for automatic loading, so that the system does not require more effort than an oil heating system. The pellets are fed in automatically and the heating can be easily regulated. So it's no wonder that the purchase of a pellet heating system has proven to be a real alternative for more and more owners in recent years.