For today’s kitchen, the range hood is an essential piece of kit. Kitchens are increasingly a social space and our love of cooking means your stove gets plenty of use. And that also means plenty of steam and grease coming from the cooker top. Without a way to filter those fumes and cooking smells, your kitchen can soon get steamed up and those lingering odors will keep hanging around. Which is where a quality range hood steps in.
Designed to remove odors, fumes and grease from the air, a kitchen hood makes cooking a much more pleasurable experience. And there’s a wide range of designs to choose from. Whether your kitchen is large or small, you prefer a wall-mounted hood or one you can use as a kitchen island mount, there’s a range hood to keep you, your home and your kitchen smelling fresh. We check out some of the best range hoods to suit all budgets.
The Best Range Hood
With 860 CFM of air-sucking efficiency and a sleek look, the Vesta is an excellent Under Cabinet Range Hood for the price. The Vesta is also easy to fit and has a host of functions you will love to cook with. First up, there’s six speeds to fine-tune the air filtering and a neat touch control panel, complete with clock and auto-delay. Inside the central chamber there are two heavy duty motors to effectively captures smoke and fumes while the filter reminder lets you know when it needs cleaning. Made from brushed stainless-steel, the casing is 30 inches wide so designed to fit with most kitchen styles and the curved baffle filter is easy to clean. And the motor blades are oleophobic coated to repel oil and grease build up. For an affordable, versatile and easy to use range hood that will look smart in any kitchen, the Vesta is our best range hoods review Top Pick.
860 CFM filtering performance
Coated blades to repel grease
Removable curve baffle filter
Six-speeds and cleaning indicator
- Model VRH-B1077AT
- Weight 52.8 pounds
As a straightforward ductless hood that uses charcoal to filter out smoke, grime and odors, the Broan-NuTone is excellent value for money. Made from stainless steel, this 30-inch hood works with most kitchens, providing under cabinet filtering to keep your cooking space fresh. There’s two fan speed settings which offer decent recirculating power and a quick-release filter unit that can also go in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. The filter is charcoal which will need to be replaced regularly but it does a good job on clearing out those lingering cooking smells. You also get enclosed lighting to illuminate your stove top, although you will have to buy the 75W bulbs separately, which is a bit of a shame. But this is a nice-looking ductless range that we think is worth the money.
Under cabinet range for ductless kitchens
Charcoal filter captures grease and smoke
Two-speed fan and incandescent lighting
Quick-release filter unit
- Weight 10 pounds
While it doesn’t have the highest FCM rating – coming in at 400 – the versatility and sharp looks of the Winflo make it worth a look if you need a new range hood. Made from stainless-steel, this wall-mounted hood is actually convertible so can be either ductless or ducted, depending on your own kitchen’s spec. There are three speeds to choose from and each one is pretty quiet – it’s less than 65dB at top speed – so this is a good hood for the sociable home. The filter is aluminum mesh and can be popped into the dishwasher for fuss-free cleaning. The only slight drawback are the LED lights, which are not the brightest so you don’t get the level of illumination you would expect but for price, style and versatility, we can see the Winflo for what it’s worth.
Convertible hood – duct or non-ducted
400 CFM and three fan speeds
Quiet operation – top speed at 65dB
Stainless-steel construction; telescopic chimney
- Weight 21 pounds
If you are looking for an under cabinet range hood that oozes laid-back quality, then check out this mid-priced 30-inch unit from Hauslane. The stainless-steel body is well designed and makes for a sleek fit with most overhead cooker cabinets. And the control buttons and two LED lights are easy to use. Inside you get filters made from six layers of mesh to capture air particles and grease. And the added beauty of the Hauslane is that as a ducted range, it can be easily converted to ductless for total kitchen hood versatility. For ducted kitchens you also get three-way exhaust options for hassle-free installation. Overall this is a pretty quiet convertible range hood, although the top setting does take up the noise level.
Ducted hood that can be converted to ductless
30-inch stainless steel body with button control
Six-layered aluminum mesh baffle filters
Two energy saving LED lamps
- Model UC-PS16SS-30
- Weight 36.5 pounds
The Cavaliere 30-inch wall mounted ducted range hood is a substantial unit, boasting 900 CFM and a design tailored for heavy duty cooking. Made from commercial grade stainless-steel, it’s both rust proof and non-magnetic, meaning the brushed finish is easy to maintain. The chimney extends to 9ft and the whole range is pretty quick to set up and install. Inside there are two large dishwasher-safe stainless-steel baffle filters plus a drip plate to catch grease. We like the scope of the Cavaliere too, thanks to the six fan speeds and a touch sensitive control panel. Given its size, the Caveliere Wall Mounted Range Hood is not the quietest but it’s not bad, clocking up 32 dB at the slowest fan setting. The higher fan speed cranks up the noise level, although it shouldn’t detract from your cooking experience.
Made from commercial grade stainless-steel
900 CFM airflow and extendable chimney
Removable and dishwasher-safe baffle filters
Six speed levels and touch sensitive control pad
- Weight 39.6 pounds
Taking us to the top of our review budget is the Ekon Wall Mount Hood, which scoops our Premium Pick for quality and performance. Providing an impressive 900 CFM, this is a hood that could work in a commercial kitchen yet is styled to bring that level of professionalism to your home. Made from brushed stainless-steel, this is a sturdy chimney-style stove hood in a large 36-inch wide design for full coverage of most cooking surfaces. You get four LED lights and a touch control LCD panel with four fan speeds. It then takes it to the next level with a remote control for the ultimate in convenience. Inside you get three dishwasher-safe baffle filters and a 230W exhaust fan that is both powerful and surprisingly quiet, with even the high setting staying below 65 dB. The main downside are the instructions, which reviewers say are not so clear so if you are in any doubt, get in an electrician to do the installation for you.
900 CFM high-efficiency motor
Quiet operation – below 65dB
LCD control panel and remote
Four speeds and removable baffle filters
- Brand EKON
- Model NAP04-36
- Weight 73.8 pounds
There’s a smart minimalist look to the design of this 30-inch wall-mounted range from DKB which brings a modern touch to your kitchen. And with its ultra-quiet operation – noise levels of the fan are no more than 58.8dB – it’s a good choice for a busy kitchen. The power boost behind the air filtering is 400 CFM but its efficient design makes it feel as it if was higher. And the chimney can be extended to a decent height of 8.6 feet. There are some nice touches to the DKB ducted range hood such as the touch sensitive switch panel and a brush finish which repels fingerprints and is easy to clean. However, the two LED lights could do with being a bit brighter as they don’t illuminate your cooking appliances as well as they should.
Ultra-quiet 400 CFM blower
Non-magnetic and rust-proof stainless steel
Stove chimney extends to 8.6ft
Two easy clean baffle filters
- Weight 23.6 pounds
With a powerful 860 CFM motor, the BV is one of the best range hoods to fit underneath your kitchen cabinet. This ducted range makes light work of smoke, air particles and grease but its design is muted and stylish. The slanted housing also helps to reduce airflow noise and extends nicely to give ample coverage over your cooker top. The three baffle filters are made from durable stainless steel and there’s an additional inner tray to catch any stray drips of grease. Controlling the BV is also minimalist to fit with the overall design, with a simple three-speed button panel that enhances the simple quality of the hood. There are only two LED lights, but they are blue-bright to shine a spotlight on your culinary skills.
Powerful yet quiet 860 CFM motor
Baffle filters with a grease drip tray
Slanted housing design to reduce noise
Three-speed fan and LED lights
- Model BV-RH-01
- Weight 42.7 pounds
The Ciarra Under Cabinet hood is a well-designed convertible range which can be used either with air ducts or ductless. It has a solid if sharp-edged design which at 30 inches should slot into most under cabinet spaces. Used with ducts, it operates with three aluminum filters; if you convert to ductless, you will need to use the optional carbon filters. The motor is adequate, coming in at 450 CFM and the bonus is that it works at lower noise levels and has a three fan speed setting to give you greater control. This is an under-cabinet range hood that does what it says on the tin and is a little short on frills but that’s no bad thing. Simple push button controls, two LED lights that give off a decent light and easy to fit, it’s modern design also makes it look more expensive than it is.
Duct and ductless convertible mode
Aluminum filters that are dishwasher-safe
450 CFM motor and quiet operation
Three speed push button control
- Weight 29.4 pounds
With its sloping design, the Cosmo Under Cabinet Range Hood is a sizeable unit, giving 900 CFM of air-sucking power to keep the busiest kitchen fresh and clean. Built from stainless-steel, it’s solid and looks impressive when in place. But never mind the strong looks, how does it perform? This is not the cheapest under cabinet range hood, but it is affordable and earns its price-tag. There are two centrifugal motors that power away but still keep the noise down, with four speed settings giving you in control. The filters are made from ‘Arc-Flow’ stainless-steel which are easy to clean and the whole unit is illuminated by 1.5W LEDs. Plus, it can be converted to ductless to be used with the optional carbon filter kit. Be warned, coming in at over 50 pounds this is a heavy hood, but the fixing kit is solid, and the fitting reassuringly secure.
Quiet operation 900 CFM motor
Backlit touch screen and remote control
Four speed fan with twin motors
Can be converted to ductless
- Model COS-QS75
- Weight 52.8 pounds
Best Range Hood Buying Guide & FAQ
Things to Look for in a Range Hood
Your kitchen layout will both influence your choice of range hood. Here are some other key factors to consider:
- Size: There is a good range of hoods to choose from and you need to ensure the one you choose works with the size of your cooker top as well as the space you have in your kitchen. The hood needs to be at least the width of your range so that they can cover the full cooking area and be effective in sucking up all the rising air as you cook.
- Extractor or recirculation: If you have a clear route to the outside and can create effective air ducts, then an extractor hood is the easiest type of range hood to install. Otherwise, a recirculation - or ductless - hood, which cleans and then passes the air back into your home is the way to go.
- CFM rating: This is the rate at which a hood removes air and the higher the CFM (cubic feet per minute) the higher its efficiency in sucking up large volumes of air. For smaller kitchens, or less powerful cookers, the lower the CFM rating you can use. But for larger kitchens, bigger cookers, and commercial kitchens, you need to bump the CFM.
- Noise level: With all that air removing, it's inevitable that range hoods generate a certain amount of noise. And the harder it needs to work, the noisier it's going to be. If your kitchen is the social heart of your home, then you will want to look for a quieter hood, so look at the decibel level of your preferred range hood before you buy.
- Filter type: There are several filter types available so choose the type of filter that works with your kitchen and your lifestyle. Metal filters can be removed and washed while other options include fleece, paper, and charcoal, which will need to be regularly replaced.
- Control settings: You want your new range hood to be easy to use as you have your cooking to concentrate on! Choose a hood with accessible controls and enough power settings and buttons to get the job done.
- Lighting: Lighting on your range hood is a bonus as they can help to illuminate your cooking and create a nice ambiance in your kitchen. LED lights are the best option as they last a decent amount of time before you need to change.
- Advanced features: Who doesn’t like a few smart extras when it comes to your kitchen? Advanced features to look for when it comes to range hoods include timers, smart heat sensors, filter indicators that let you know when it’s time for a change, and touch-pad controls.
Types of Kitchen Hoods
There are two types of kitchen hoods – extractor and recirculation. Each have their own varieties, so you have a good choice of device to work with your lifestyle and your kitchen.
- Extractor hoods effectively pull greasy, dirty, and smelly air in through a filter, pushing the filtered air through an air duct and out of your home.
- Recirculation (ductless) hoods filter the cooker fumes through a filter, typically made of charcoal, and then recirculate it back into your home.
There are also numerous styles of kitchen hoods to choose from, including canopy, integrated, pop-up (for a kitchen island), island mount, chimney hoods, and downdraft extractors. Your final choice of style is dependent on cooker type, kitchen layout, preference, and budget.
Why You Need a Cooker Hood In Your Kitchen
Cooking on the hob can be a steamy, greasy, hot and at times smelly business, with all that sizzling, boiling, frying, and griddling food emitting its fair share of grease and air pollution. You could just open a window to let some of the heat and steam out, but you're not preventing all those grease particles from spreading around your kitchen, settling on your ceiling, and leaving a lingering smell. To help reduce all that grime build-up you need a cooker hood. A range hood is a super-efficient grease, steam, and smell sucking up machine, tackling the issue at its source and preventing it from spreading around the room.
Best Range Hood FAQ:
Q: What size extractor hood do I need?
A: Your new kitchen hood needs to be at least as wide as your range top so that it can work as effectively as possible when it comes to catching and removing all those fumes as they rise. But you also need to consider how much space you have above the range to install the extractor. Typical exhaust hood sizes of exhaust hoods range from 30 inches to 36 inches wide.
Q: Are all stove hoods noisy?
A: All range hoods will emit some level of noise, and many larger units are noisier than others as they have to work harder than smaller hoods. However, there are quieter models out there so if you want to happily talk or listen to music while you cook, look for a stove hood that is rated 66 decibels (dB) or below when used at high speed.
Q: What is the recommended CFM for a kitchen exhaust fan?
A: The CFM rating – or cubic feet per minute – for a range hood is its efficiency in moving air away from your cooker. In short, the CFM rating of a cooker hood is its ventilation power.
When assessing the CFM of a range hood, you do need to take into account the size of the room, how big your cooker is, and how powerful it is when it comes to generating heat. But as a general guide, a range hood of at least 350 CFM is recommended, more if you have a large kitchen or you do a lot of heavy-duty cooking.
Q: How high should my range hood be mounted?
A: The minimum and maximum heights for installing a range hood depend on the type of cooking stove you have. As a guide, for electric stoves, the mounting height should be between 20 to 24 inches above the cooktop, while for a gas range, the installation height should be 24 to 30 inches. You should never go lower than the minimum recommended height – but always check your manufacturer’s instructions for exactly how high it should be installed.
Q: How often should I clean and replace my range hood’s filters?
A: Depending on how often you use your range hood, you should ideally aim to clean the filter around once a month to ensure that grease and grime don’t build up. Grease build-up can prevent a fresh flow of air, leaving you with a lingering smell over time. Stainless steel filters are pretty easy to clean and will also reduce the need to replace it, saving you money. Most stainless-steel filters are also dishwasher safe. Paper or fleece filters will need replacing every few months, depending on how much frying and range top cooking you do. Check your range hood for a saturation indicator, which lets you know when it is time for a filter change.
Our Top Pick
Our Best Choice is the sleek and well-priced Vesta Under Cabinet Range Hood which works with most styles of kitchens and packs an impressive 860 CFM of air-sucking efficiency. Made from brushed stainless-steel the 30-inch range is quick to fit and boasts a six-speed setting and neat touchpad control. Add in grease-resistant motor blades, easy clean baffle filter, and 'time to clean' filter indicator and you have a smart, hardworking, and affordable kitchen hood for your money.