If you want to remove odors and improve ventilation in your kitchen, a range hood is an excellent investment. But with hundreds of different makes and models on the market, how do you know where to start?
You’ve come to the right place! We’re going to take a look at seven of the best range hoods out there. And then we’ll explore the questions to ask yourself to help decide which is right for your home.
If you don’t want to lose wall space that could be used for cabinets, Broan-NuTone’s 413004 could be for you. This 30-inch hood insert will slot neatly beneath a cupboard, avoiding the need to sacrifice valuable storage.
You’ll need to install it at least 18 inches above your hob. It’s a non-ducted filtration system. That means you won’t have to worry about digging into your walls to allow it to vent outdoors. Instead, the air is circulated through a carbon filter to clear away smoke and odors.
It has a 75-watt light, helping you see what you’re doing when you’re cooking. You will, though, need to supply your own lightbulb.
There’s a choice of two different fan settings, high and low. Select your preferred level with a simple rocker switch. Use high to clear smoke and strong smells, and low to extract steam and prevent condensation forming on your surfaces.
It’s not too noisy when it’s in use, making it a good choice for open plan kitchen-diners.
This hood is made of stainless steel, giving it a smart, contemporary appearance. The smooth surfaces are easy to clean too.
Installation is straightforward. Four screws attach it to the underside of your wall cabinet. It doesn’t, though, come with a plug. You’ll need to hardwire it in, or alternatively wire it up to a plug yourself.
This is a very economical choice, and it looks good. So is there anything not to like?
Well, it isn’t the most powerful hood out there. And because it doesn’t vent outside, it won’t remove odors as effectively as models that do. Don’t install it more than about 24 inches above your cooking surface. Any higher and it may struggle to extract steam and smells.
It’s pretty lightweight too. On the plus side, that makes it easier to maneuver during installation. Just make sure you take care to avoid dinks as you move it around.
Installs beneath wall cabinet so you don’t lose storage space
Suitable for installing under a cabinet or against a wall, Cosmo’s 5MU30 is one flexible range hood. It can be either ducted to release stale air outside, or used ductless with the air recirculated.
If ducted, the vent can go from either the top or the back, suiting a range of kitchen layouts. When used without a vent, the air is circulated through a carbon filter to absorb moisture and odors. Note that you’ll need to purchase the filter separately.
It’s a neat, slimline design, making it a good option in smaller kitchens or wherever space is limited.
This is another economically priced hood, though it’s slightly more expensive than the Broan-NuTone 413004. You do, though, get more power for your money here. It will move up to 200 cubic feet of air per minute. Even with ductless installation, it’s pretty effective at removing damp air, smoke and smells.
That’s partly a result of having a choice of no fewer than three different fan settings. These are selected using push-button controls. As you might expect, the noise levels increase progressively with the fan speed. On the low setting, you’ll barely hear it. But even on the highest, it’s not excessively loud.
It’s made of 430-grade stainless steel, with a decent 20-gauge thickness. It looks smart and is reasonably robust. The smooth front surface doesn’t have any grooves to collect grease. And the filters can easily be wiped clean.
This one has two lights rather than one, each 3-watt LEDs. They’re great for saving energy. One niggle, though, is that the bulbs are fitted towards the back of the hood. They won’t light up your cooking surface as effectively as they would if positioned at the middle or front.
The hood comes already connected up to a power cord and a grounded, three-prong plug. The cord is about three feet long. It is possible to remove it and hardwire in the unit if you prefer.
You’ll find installation easier if you have someone to help you. The duct outlet is a little less than 5 inches, so if your vent is bigger you’ll need an adapter.
Be aware that the slimline design means only the manufacturers’ carbon filters will fit out of the packet. They’re not the cheapest out there, and they’ll last roughly three months. You can, though, purchase less costly options and trim them to fit. Use some twist ties to hold them in place.
Choice of three fan speeds
Slimline space-saving design
20-gauge 430 stainless steel construction
We’d prefer the lights to be positioned at the middle or front of the hood
You’ll need to use the manufacturers’ carbon filters for ductless installation, or trim others to fit.
Hauslane’s Chef Series Pro Performance PS18 is another stainless steel hood designed to sit under a wall cabinet. The most obvious difference to those reviewed so far is the price. This will set you back almost four times the money of the Broan-NuTone or Cosmo models. So is it worth it?
Well, it’s a good-looking thing. The stainless steel is high quality and instead of buttons, there’s a digital touch-screen panel on the front. It will look wonderful paired with high-end appliances. But the appeal here is more than skin deep.
With this hood, you’ll have a choice of no fewer than six different fan speeds. If you long to find the perfect balance between suction and noise levels, this could be for you.
The volume ranges from 61.2 decibels on the lowest setting to 63.8 decibels on the highest. That’s reasonably peaceful for a hood with this level of power. The fan will move up to 860 cubic feet of air per minute. If you’ve got a large and busy kitchen, it’s a great option.
It has two bright, energy-efficient LEDs. These are positioned at the front of the hood to light your cooking surface.
And cleaning is as simple as you could hope for.
That touch-screen control panel means there are no switches or buttons to collect grease and dust. The stainless steel surfaces can be wiped down without requiring much elbow grease. And the baffle filters are easy to remove and can be popped straight in the dishwasher.
The hood comes with the option of three-way venting. Vertical venting requires either a 6-inch round adapter, or a 10-inch by 3.25-inch rectangular adapter. For rear venting, you’ll need a 10-inch by 3.25-inch rectangular adapter. Note that you’ll need to buy the exhaust ducting separately.
The major limitation here is that it’s unfortunately not possible to use this hood without a duct. So if you don’t have easy access from your cooker to outside space, this won’t be the best choice.
But if that’s not a problem and you have the money to spend, this is a high-spec option.
Touchscreen looks great and is easy to keep clean
Choice of six different fan settings
Impressive power, shifting 860 cubic feet of air per minute
If you’re looking for a chimney-style hood as a centerpiece in your kitchen, consider this model from Winflo.
You can vent through a wall or ceiling with this one. The round vent sits at the top. And it’s also possible to install it without a duct, using charcoal filters to clean the air.
The height of the chimney can be adjusted, making it suitable for room heights of between 7.5 and 8.5 feet. If you’re lucky enough to have a kitchen with loftier dimensions, a chimney extension can be purchased separately.
You can choose from stainless steel baffle filters, aluminum mesh filters, or a stainless steel panel covering mesh filters.
All options are easy to remove and dishwasher-safe. Just choose whichever one you think looks best. We like the clean lines of the stainless steel panel. You will, though, have to pay a little extra for that.
You can choose between two fan speeds depending on how much power you need. The hood will circulate up to 400 cubic feet of air per minute. And even at high speed, the noise level will be under 65 decibels.
Two LEDs at the front of the unit shine soft white light onto your hob. The energy-saving choice of lightbulb is good news for the environment. Some people have, though, found they’re not as bright as they’d like.
The package includes all the hardware you’ll need for mounting and installation. Also included is flexible ducting and a power cord and plug. The installation process is fairly easy, though you may find it takes a while to get the chimney stack aligned.
This is a competitively priced hood, but it doesn’t skimp on features. The one sign of economy is in the gauge of the stainless steel. It’s not the heaviest – though that does, of course, mean less weight on your wall and ceiling. Just take care to avoid damage during installation.
Can be used with or without a duct
Suits a wide range of ceiling heights, with optional extension piece available
Choice of filters
Installation can take a bit of time
The stainless steel is fairly thin – be careful during installation to avoid damage.
Vesta’s range hood comes in a choice of 700 or 860 cubic feet per minute air flow. The 860 is a direct competitor to the Hauselane, but it’s a shade less expensive. So does that mean you’ll be sacrificing features?
Well, this has just as wide a choice of fan settings as its pricier rival. You can choose from six speeds, selected by a touchscreen. On the highest setting, it is fairly loud. But it will do a great job of cleaning smoke and strong odors.
As well as being powerful, the fan blades have a special coating to resist the build-up of oil and grease. That will keep them working at peak efficiency.
There are other bells and whistles too: a useful clock, and the option of delayed automatic shut-off. The touchscreen also displays a handy reminder when it’s time to change the filters.
There are two halogen lights at the front to help see what you’re doing as you cook. You can choose from two different levels of lighting too.
You’ll have three different options when it comes to venting. There’s a round or rectangular vent at the top, and a rectangular vent at the back. All the connectors are supplied as standard, so just choose what best suits your kitchen.
You won’t, though, be able to use this without a duct. So if that’s a problem in your kitchen, this won’t be the hood for you.
The build quality here is excellent, with a deep gauge, smooth stainless steel finish. It does, though, mean this is a heavy unit, weighing in at 17 kilos. Installation is a two-person job. The instructions aren’t as clear as they could be, so be prepared to spend some time working everything out.
It comes with a one-year limited factory warranty. There’s also a lifetime warranty on the motor. And we’ve heard good reports about Vesta’s responsive customer service.
Six different settings, with air displacement of up to 860 cubic feet per minute
Choice of two lighting levels
Automatic reminder when it’s time to change the filters
If you’re looking for a chimney-style hood that will look great in a modern kitchen, this model from IKITCH is well worth considering.
Here the brushed stainless steel construction is complemented by a curving tempered glass panel. It’s an attractive and contemporary design.
It has an impressive maximum air displacement of 900 cubic feet per minute. That makes it the most powerful hood on our list.
Despite this, noise levels are modest. This will produce 40 decibels on the lowest of the four settings, rising to 65 on the highest. There’s also an adjustable timer, allowing you to set the fan to run for between 1 and 15 minutes.
Operation is by a “gesture sensing” control panel, and there are two sensing points for ease of use. That means you can simply wave at the hood to adjust the speed of the fan. The control panel comes with a five-year warranty.
But beware: it’s very sensitive. If you’re tall, you may find you’re inadvertently switching on or changing the speed of the fan as you move around. Unfortunately, there’s no way to disable it when it’s not needed.
Two 3-watt LEDs at the front can be adjusted to your preferred lighting levels. And the stainless steel baffle filters are dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. They’re easy to remove – simple push a button to release them from the hood.
The hood can only be vented at the top, with a round 6-inch duct vent. Alternatively, it can be used without a duct, using carbon filters to clean and recirculate the air.
You will need a minimum ceiling height of 7.62 feet. So if your kitchen has lower ceilings, this won’t be the hood for you.
The chimney height can, though, be adjusted from 19.68 to 39.37 inches. That will allow it to reach up to a maximum of 10 feet.
Installation is simple. The unit comes with a plug, though it’s possible to remove that and hardwire it in if you prefer.
Clever “gesture sensing” control panel means no fingerprints on a touchscreen
Market-leading air displacement of 900 cubic feet per minute
Stainless steel baffle filters are easy to remove and dishwasher-safe
Won’t fit in kitchens with a ceiling lower than 7.62 feet
The control panel is very sensitive – taller cooks may find they trigger it by accident.
AKDY’s copper range hood is one of the most distinctive models we’ve found. Its beautiful embossed copper finish gives it a Spanish colonial aesthetic. If that’s the look you’re going for in your kitchen, you’ll find it hard to resist.
This hood is wall-mounted, and it curves to create a cone shape. It’s made of mild steel with a copper coating embossed with a design of winding vines.
It’s suitable for ceiling heights of between 8 and 8.5 feet. If your ceiling is taller than this, though, don’t despair! It is possible to purchase additional segments to extend the height. Contact AKDY’s customer service for advice.
You’ll need a 6-inch round exhaust duct, or it can also be used ductless. With ductless installation, you’ll need to buy carbon filters separately to clean the recirculated air.
It uses a 1.5-amp motor that keeps noise levels below 60 decibels. The air displacement is more modest than you might expect from a fairly expensive hood. This will displace 343 cubic feet of air per minute on the highest of the three settings.
The controls are simple pushbuttons. There’s no touchscreen to go wrong, but cleaning isn’t quite as easy. Those buttons will need to be wiped over and around carefully to remove accumulated grease and dust.
There are two LED lights positioned in the middle to shine down on your hob as you cook. And the baffle filters can be removed and put in the dishwasher, making cleaning a breeze.
The hood comes with a three-year limited parts warranty. We’ve heard different experiences when it comes to installation. Some have found it straightforward, but if you’re not used to this kind of job the instructions could be clearer.
And the hood is fairly heavy to maneuver while you work. You’ll find the job easier if you have someone to help.
Distinctive copper finish and embossed vine design
Removable, dishwasher-safe baffle filters
Produces less than 60 decibels, even on the highest setting
Doesn’t have the most powerful fan for the price tag
So how do you choose which is the best range hood for your kitchen? Check out our guide to the things to consider before you buy.
Will the design work with your kitchen?
A range hood will be on display all the time in your kitchen – so you’ll want it to look good. Think about whether you want a traditional or contemporary design. Do you want stainless steel, or would a simple white finish work better with your appliances or cabinets?
And think about the layout too. Will you be able to vent your hood outside? If there’s no ducting in place already, a version that can be used ductless could be more convenient.
And remember to check your ceiling height. Chimney-style ranges in particular will only fit ceilings of particular heights. So make sure yours isn’t too low or too high.
Power versus noise
Next, think about how powerful you need your range hood to be. The key thing to look for here is air displacement, measured in cubic feet per minute, or CFM. The higher the number, the more powerful the fan, and the better it will be at extracting smoke, steam and odors.
Generally speaking, though, the more powerful the fan, the louder it will be too. A good compromise is to look for hoods that have multiple fan settings. That will allow you to choose a level that’s effective but won’t deafen anyone in the kitchen.
Finally, remember that range hoods are designed to extract steam and smoke. They’ll also attract grease and oil. So look for something that will make cleaning easy.
Touchscreen control panels avoid any buttons or switches to collect dirt. Ornate, embossed designs look distinctive, but will be more of a challenge to keep clean. And look for filters that can be removed and put in the dishwasher.
Ready to choose?
That brings us to the end of our round-up of the best range hoods on the market today. Armed with our reviews and buying guide, you’ll have everything you need to choose the one that’s right for you.
Our top pick is the Broan-NuTone 413004. This economical hood looks good, works well and is easy to install. It might not be the most powerful hood on the market, but for the price it can’t be beaten. And the under-cabinet design means you won’t have to sacrifice any storage space.
Whichever range hood you choose, your kitchen will look smarter and smell fresher. Happy shopping!