Traditional houses had chimneys. They led charcoal and firewood smoke away from the house. Modern homes are more likely to use gas stoves and electric cookers. Today’s kitchen activities still release smoke, fumes, and airborne food particles. But few houses are designed with chimneys.
Instead, you can invest in under cabinet range hoods. They position a hood directly over your cook area. This hood may have a fan, or it might have a duct that leads kitchen fumes straight out of the house. So how do you choose the best under cabinet range hood? Start with this list.
Metallic kitchen appliances are popular because they’re versatile and easy to clean. But if they’re too glossy, they might throw off your cozy kitchen theme. Cosmo QS75 offers you the best of both benefits. Their satin-brushed surfaces are subtle enough for any kitchen theme, even a rustic rainbow range. But it’s still metallic, so it’s rust-resistant, anti-corrosion, and low-maintenance.
This under cabinet range hood has 6 permanent ArcFlow baffle filters. They slide in and out of position, and you can clean them safely in the dishwasher. You can also buy a separate carbon kit if you want to use the hood as a recirculating fan. The manufacturer recommends the CFK5 carbon filter kit this model. Either way, you get a pair of 1.5W LED bulbs for down-lighting.
You can operate your Cosmo QS75 using the included remote controller. You can also use the LED touchscreen panel to control the device. Features include auto-shut-off and a timer. The fan isn’t too loud, even though its twin motors are centrifugal. The fan can be set to four speeds and its airflow efficiency is 900 CFM. And if you’re leery of its 5-year warranty, you can relax.
The 18-gauge 430-grade stainless steel body survives way beyond the extended quality guarantee. The range hood weighs 52.9 pounds and its top vent is a little wider at 7.5 inches in diameter. Most top ducts are 6 inches, so be careful with your sizing, especially if you want to install an elbow pipe for vented installation. This only works for hollow overhead cabinets.
The Cosmo QS75 is a versatile, convertible range hood that blends into any kitchen. Its permanent filters are dishwasher safe, but leave room in your budget for a charcoal filter kit.
It comes with an optional remote control included in the box.
It has a brushed satin finish that matches multiple kitchen styling themes.
It has a sub-65-dB fan with two centrifugal motors.
It has no rear vents – only a duct at the top. So if you want to use it as a vented range hood or if you have a solid cabinet above it, you’ll need an elbow fitting for your duct.
Under-cabinet hoods are sometimes convertible, but this one isn’t. The manufacturer confirms that all XtremeAir hoods are designed to work with ducts. Their 900 CFM fans push air straight out of the house, keeping your kitchen drier, fresher, and less humid. To ensure maximum ventilation, the device uses twin centrifuge motors with squirrel cage blowers.
The individual parts on this under cabinet range hood are covered by a lifetime warranty. These include the blowers, twin motors, and permanent baffle filters. These filters should be loaded in the dishwasher every two weeks. They accumulate a lot of oil and grease build-up, so don’t load them with your dishes – those grimy stains may be hard to wash off your cups and plates.
You can control the 3-speed fan using the buttons at the front of the hood. The hood also has two LED bulbs to brighten your cooking area. It weighs 53 pounds and measures 22 inches by 29.8 inches by 9.8 inches. The range hood doesn’t have a back vent, and its top vent is 8 inches wide. This model is designed and assembled in the USA and is a California-friendly device.
If you’re looking for a convertible or recirculating hood, XtremeAir won’t cut it. Buts its seamless rounded sides are safe and its styling is compatible with most kitchen themes.
Its 19-gauge stainless steel body is 1.0mm thick.
Its fan has twin motors and reaches 900 CFM.
Its smooth, seamless sides are sleek and non-magnetic.
There’s no rear venting and this model has no option for ductless use. It can only be installed as a vented version, so it’s not compatible if your cabinet doesn’t have a duct.
When you’re buying an under cabinet hood, height is often more important than width. The BV Hood needs to be fitted 24 to 32 inches above your cooktop. And because it’s a vented model, it has to be positioned directly below your kitchen vents. The shipping box comes with a vent adapter, but it’s hidden inside the hood, so be sure to remove it before you mount your device.
The hood has three permanent baffle filters made of 430-grade stainless steel. These filters can be cleaned in the dishwasher twice a month. You can slide them out to see if they’re due for a clean. And because this is a ducted unit, you don’t need replaceable carbon filters. You still need down-lighting though, so the 2W bulbs are a nice touch. Use the overhead buttons for control.
While the minimum height is 24 inches and the maximum is 32 inches, your BV under cabinet hood is best positioned 27 to 30 inches over your cooker. The dual-motor fan sucks air at 860 CFM and the hood body is constructed using 18-gauge stainless steel. The range hood weighs 42.7 pounds and emits 70 dB at its loudest fan setting. Its sones range from 3.6 to 7.5.
As you install the BV range hood, pay special attention to the height. This 6-inch vented range hood has push-button controls and a brushed steel façade. Its 3-speed fan is moderately noisy.
It has 2 LED bulbs and 3 baffle filters.
Its CFM is 860.
It has a 30-day money-back policy and a 2-year warranty.
Its service terms can be confusing. In addition to the 30-day and 2-year promises, there’s also a 1-year limited warranty for product parts and tech support, so read the fine print carefully.
Ordinarily, a range hood has baffle or mesh filters combined with a charcoal filter is it’s a duct-free model. Broan NuTone F403004 has a single aluminum mesh filter and four venting options. You can use the two 3.25-inch by 10-inch vents, which can either be vertical or horizontal. These two venting choices will suck air at 160 CFM and 6.5 sones (a little over 50dB).
The third option is the round top vent. This circular duct is 7 inches in diameter. The 4th option is the duct-free vent-less option, which requires an additional carbon filter. You’d have to buy it separately since it doesn’t come in the original shipping box. The range hood also has a 75W bulb socket, but you have to buy the bulbs separately as well. The light panel sealed though.
Meaning your light fixtures are waterproof rust-proof, and safe from corrosion. This range hood has accessible, easy-to-clean surfaces. You need to place it at least 18 inches above your cooktop. It’s a lightweight 12-pound kitchen hood and it comes with a 1-year warranty. It uses up a lot of power though – up to 300W. Its hemmed edges are both pretty and safe for your fingers.
Broan NuTone is a trusted name in the HVAC space, and this F403004 is visually arresting and convenient to use. It’s a fully convertible model, though the conversion process costs extra.
It can be used as a vented or recirculating option, but only if you buy a carbon kit.
It has a 2-speed fan and optional CFMs of 160 or 190 depending on the configuration.
It’s relatively quiet at 6.5 sones.
Essential parts like its 75W bulbs or its recirculating filter have to be bought separately.
Metallic cases and black-glass screens seem like shorthand for contemporary style. The Chef PS18 ticks both boxes, with a brushed stainless steel housing and a digital touch panel. This screen sometimes refuses to respond if your hands are slippery or wet, so dry them on your apron before you try to work the controls. The fan has 6 speeds and is a little over 60 dB.
It works efficiently though, sucking up your kitchen fumes at 860 CFM. This model is convertible with 3-way venting options and a ductless version if you buy an optional carbon kit. Its stainless steel baffles are permanent, but any charcoal filters you add would have to be replaced every 6 months or so. The baffles are a safe fit for dishwasher slots.
The range hood weighs 41 pounds and is fitted with LED lamps. The device has a digital clock on it, though it’s more of a timer than a time-teller. You can set the timer in hours and minutes, but if you leave it idle for 5 seconds or more, it will automatically display the correct time of day (or night). If you use the auto-shut-off, the range hood has a 6-second delay before it goes off.
The Chef PS18 range hood can be vented from the top or the back using round and rectangular adapters. Both these duct adapters are included in the shipping box.
Its 6-speed fan gets up to 860 CFM.
You can long-press for instant shut-off or use the auto-shut-off-delay.
Its baffle filters can be cleaned in your dishwasher.
With a sound range of 61.2 dB to 63.5 dB, it’s a bit loud.
This sleek black range hood will elevate the sophistication factor of any kitchen. It’s tempered glass onyx surfaces look elegant and modern, especially with the hidden vents. Rather than covering the whole bottom surface of your hood, the vents are positioned on the upper front edge, concealed behind a stylish baffle plate. It swivels 90° to automatically cover the grates.
This plate opens or shuts on a 2-minute delayed timer. Under the plate, a foldable steel baffle sucks air through dual-motor fans. The baffle conveniently doubles over to fit inside your dishwasher. The operating panel has a screen-lock for easy cleaning and calibrated control. The fan has 3-speed settings and ranges from 54 dB to 58 dB and the oil tray is extra-large.
The range hood stays clean-looking because the grimy baffles are covered most of the time. But while the baffle plate easily wipes clean, the baffles need to visit the dishwasher once a day. You can install this range hood on the wall or under the cabinet, and it effectively ventilates a 6-foot-square kitchen at velocities of 380 PA. Oil-fume separation stands at 92%.
It’s a bulky device that weighs 64 pounds, but its glossy black surface keeps it subtle and unobtrusive. It emits 2.64 sones and its down-light produces a bright 500-lux beam. The range hood has a 5-year warranty and is made of stainless steel and tempered glass. Read the warranty carefully though – it’s 1 year for labor and 4 years for parts, so be sure of what you’re getting.
This Fotile ultra-modern range hood works with any kitchen style, but it can be tricky to mount. In case you can’t do it yourself, be prepared to pay extra for professional installation.
It removes 98.63% of kitchen smells and 95.1% oil fumes.
It has an automated baffle plate with a 2-minute delay.
Its black glass control panel has a screen-lock.
It can’t be converted into a recirculating model. Also, its foldable baffle requires daily cleaning, but it’s dishwasher-safe so the cleaning process is easy.
Visually, this Hauslane model differs from the under cabinet range hoods we’ve reviewed. This is because its extractor fans are visible on the outer shell of your range hood. The fan has 3 speeds and can reach a maximum noise level of 67.8 dB at its highest fan setting. When the fans are off, the background hum is a much gentler 38.4 dB. Its average operating sound is 58 dB.
The range hood has an incandescent light next to its fans, but you have to buy the bulb separately. You can vent your Hauslane hood from the back or the top, using rectangular or round adapters which are both included. The hood weighs 37 pounds and is made of stainless steel. To control your range hood, use the push buttons on the upper front panel.
These controls are a little tricky though. For example, when you’re working the fan speed, you can’t go back down. You have to cycle through speeds 1, 2, 3, then back to one. There’s no off-switch for the fan either, not without turning off the whole hood range. This means you can’t turn off the lights without turning off the fan as well. Independent switches would work better.
While the Hauslane C190 looks a little … unusual … its performance makes up for its unconventional aesthetics. Buy the auto-clean version for a little less maintenance.
It ventilates your kitchen at 750 CFM.
The extractor fan has 3 speeds.
It has 3 venting options and it’s suitable for DIY installation.
The unit is hardwired, so it doesn’t come with a plug or a power cord. You’ll need electrical skills to set up the wiring yourself, or you’ll have to hire an electrician.
If your home has a built-in cooktop, it’s likely to have a gap above the cooking area. This slot is ideal for under cabinet range hoods. But what factors will help you determine the most reliable under cabinet range hood for your culinary needs? Let’s explore some useful criteria. But before we begin, you may want to avoid downdraft hoods (not to be confused with down-lit hoods).
Downdraft range covers push smoke and fumes into vents below the kitchen floor. They’re mounted behind the cooker and are not effective because hot air naturally floats upwards, so trying to force it down reduces the efficiency of filtration and airflow. Now let’s review some more useful non-gimmicky features to help you buy the best under cabinet range hood.
Ducted hoods are sometimes called vented hoods, while duct-free or ductless range hoods are sometimes labeled as recirculating hoods. But there are other ‘hood terms’ you might bump into. Under-cabinet hoods are installed below your overhead cupboards or cabinets. Wall-mounted hoods often have chimney spouts and may be attached to your kitchen walls.
Island hoods hover above your kitchen island and may be described as standalone range hoods or freestanding range hoods. You might also describe your range hood by defining its filters. Duct-free hoods must have a carbon filter or charcoal filter. This needs changing once or twice a year. Vented hoods have might baffle filter or several mesh filters. The latter is cheaper.
Ducted or Duct-free
Most under cabinet hoods are ducted. Why? Because the cooker slot is a logical place to install a duct. Plus, typical kitchen design installs cabinets and cupboards on either side of your cooker. These storage areas could be overhead shelves or under-counter drawers. So when you’re buying your range hood, it makes sense you’d look for one that fits inside the designated gap.
That said, your house may not have ducts, especially if it’s an apartment. So consider buying a convertible range hood instead. They can be used as ducted/vented hoods – if the vents are available. If not, you can fit charcoal filters and use the range hood as a ductless recirculating hood. These are best for rental homes since you can take it with you when you leave.
Range hoods suck up used air from the kitchen. If they’re ducted, they lead the air out of the house. If they’re duct-free (sometimes called recirculating range hoods), they filter the air and release it back into the room. You can tell the fan is working because the kitchen starts to feel less stuffy. Those typically greasy ‘kitchen smells’ and any smoke residue start to dissipate.
The fan may have multiple speeds, which is good for airflow. But multi-speed fans also tend to be louder. If you can get a fan below 50 dB, that’s ideal, but you also need a minimum of 100 CFM (cubic feet per minute) or roughly 170 cubic meters per hour (CMH). Make sure you don’t get these figures mixed up – they’ll completely alter your results if you interchange them.
Under-cabinet range hoods don’t come in standard sizes. And of course, the space beneath your cabinet isn’t uniform. So make sure the range good you buy can fit the available slot. Some range hoods need clearance space of 18 to 20 inches above the cooktop. Others are slim-line models while others are flat, or extruded. Double-check your mounting instructions to ensure your fit.
You could also consider the style choices of your cabinetry. Many range hoods are grey or silver, so they’re flexible in terms of your kitchen décor. Others are painted to match the surrounding furniture and appliances. You don’t want your range hood to mess up your kitchen theme. If the range hood is painted, ensure it’s waterproof paint, since the hood will constantly get steamy.
Some under cabinet range hood features aren’t essential. They don’t make your fans or filters any more effective, but they make your life in the kitchen far easier. For example, metal filters (mesh or baffle) need to be cleaned twice a month. So it’s better if those filters are easy to remove, can fit safely in the dishwasher, and can be repositioned in minutes after cleaning.
It’s also helpful if your range hood has down-lights. These brighten your cooking area without necessarily turning on the kitchen lights. A lot of these range hoods use energy-saving bulbs, so keep that in mind. You could also buy a hood that has a remote controller and/or a timer. These timers can come with or without automatic shut-off buttons to avoid energy wastage.
Under Cover Cabinet Hoods!
After all this research, we believe you should buy the Cosmo QS75. Here’s why:
Its powerful fan has 4 speeds, twin motors, and reaches airflows of 900 CFM.
Its brushed satin finish suits a wide variety of kitchen décor.
It’s a convertible kit with dishwasher-safe ArcFlow metal filters.
For duct-free use, you can buy a carbon filter kit separately.
It has an optional remote controller and a backlit touchscreen control panel
It comes with an installation kit and a 5-year warranty.
Is your under cabinet range hood ducted or duct-free? Show us some photos in the comments!