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Indoor fires: Bioethanol stoves bring the romance of a campfire into your living room

When we move into autumn and the weather starts to turn, there’s nothing more comforting than sitting and watching the flames crackling away in your log burner. But if your home isn’t suitable for a log burner, you don’t need to miss out. Bioethanol stoves are a modern alternative that exudes warmth and charm without any complex installation work.

How a bioethanol stove works

Fires fuelled with ethanol are marketed as bioethanol stoves or indoor fires. They can be fitted to create the traditional ambience of a fire in homes that do not have a log burner or open fire. The main advantage? They can be placed wherever you want them and moved around the home – on the dining table, next to the sofa, or simply as a centrepiece in the middle of the room.

While they don’t generate enough heat for a whole home, bioethanol fires do emit a comforting warmth.

The advantages of bioethanol stoves

Bioethanol is a flammable liquid that is made from biological materials such as sugar cane, potatoes or corn. The sugar contained in these materials is broken down and then fermented to produce alcohol, resulting in liquid bioethanol. Unlike with conventional stoves, there’s no need for bioethanol users to worry about smoke or soot. However, because the combustion process creates carbon dioxide and water, it’s important to ensure that the room is well-ventilated. Fitting smoke alarm devices in sensitive areas will reduce the risk of fire to a minimum. Check out our smoke alarm fitting tips to learn more about where to position your alarms for maximum effect.

All you need to know about bioethanol fires. Source: Imaginfires Bioethanol Fireplaces / YouTube

1. Fireplace, Ponton: An urban campfire look

The compact Ponton Fireplace bioethanol stove by designer Wolf Udo Wagner is functional, minimalist and streamlined, and can be used to create a cosy campfire ambience both indoors and outside. To enable you to view the flames from all sides, the stainless steel fire chamber has been integrated into a glass cylinder, creating a floating flame effect. With a height of 27.5 centimetres, this small bioethanol stove is ideal for tabletop use. A full tank will provide two to three hours of campfire-style fun.

2. Fire Coffee Table, Planika: A compact bioethanol stove for coffee breaks

Manufacturer Planika has created a truly unique product in the Fire Coffee Table: A coffee table that doubles up as a compact bioethanol fire.Unlike Ponton’s tabletop offering, the fire component here is an integral part of the table itself, highlighting the architectural significance of fire in interior design. The table measures 118 x 42 centimetres and the fire is positioned to the side, ensuring that there’s still ample space for your cup of coffee. As the table can be made in natural chipboard or varnished MDF, the fire is encased in a glass cylinder. The integrated fuel tank can hold up to 1.5 litres of fuel and is positioned directly beneath the surface of the table.

Bioethanol Ventless fireplace, Table Planika fire coffee table. Source: PlanikaTV - Automatic Gas Ethanol Fireplaces / YouTube

3. Roll Fire, Comoto: A rollable bioethanol stove

The 65-centimetre-wide glass-encased Roll Fire indoor fire by furniture label Conmoto is the brainchild of designer Michael Sieger. What’s unique about this fire is that it can be rolled around the room – even if the fire is burning.

The fire is contained in a robust black frame made from two powder-coated rings protected by a felt sleeve, ensuring that the floor is not damaged as the fire is pushed around the room. The 1.5-litre fuel tank holds enough fuel for up to five hours of fire. If you’d prefer to hang this circular pyrotechnic display on the wall, the manufacturer can supply a special wall mount.

Roll fire is a circular shaped fireplace

4. Muro, Comoto: A minimalist fibreglass concrete stove

The aforementioned Comoto also offers the Muro bioethanol stove for those who prefer a more square, straight-lined aesthetic. Designer Sebastian David Büscher opted to create a minimalist style piece using concrete and glass. These materials and the rectangular design mean that the fire can be used both outdoors and inside the home. The Muro is available in heights of 58 and 70 centimetres. No installation work is required.

5. Globe, Vauni: An elegant spherical indoor fire

The Globe bioethanol stove by Swedish manufacturer Vauni is an elegant spherical fire that requires no chimney.

The stove was designed not only to fit seamlessly into typical Scandi-style interiors, but also to work in a range of room designs, with limited-edition models in red, rust and dark blue complementing the permanent line-up of white, grey and anthracite finishes.

The manufacturer promises a burn time of up to seven hours from a full two-litre bioethanol tank. The Globe is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use, but the manufacturer recommends that it is stored indoors.

fireplace in spherical shape

Although modern bioethanol stoves all use similar technology, there is a broad variety of designs on the market – none of which require any installation work.

No matter what you’re looking for or how you want to use your indoor fire, you’re sure to find something for you among the vast range of designs out there. And yet another plus point: Bioethanol is a sustainable fuel choice, too.

Which of our top-five fires do you like best, and what do you think of indoor fires in general? Let us know in the comments!

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