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Best Range Hoods

Updated October 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
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How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 27 Models Considered
  • 68 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 154 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best range hoods

    Last Updated October 2018

    It’s hard – if not impossible – to cook a quality meal while the smoke detector is blaring.

    Do you open all the windows and doors to let the smoke out? Do you bang the smoke detector with a broom handle until it stops? Do you curl up on the floor and wonder how you’re ever going to get the smell of burned food out of your house? Maybe.

    But you have a better option: get a range hood. Range hoods suck up smoke, grease, and odors and vent them out of the kitchen.

    Like other kitchen appliances, range hoods come in a variety of styles and sell for a wide array of prices. There are lots of things to consider when looking at range hoods: type, features, and cost, to name a few.

    It’s important to install your range hood at the right height because the farther it is from the cooktop, the less efficient it will be.

    That’s where we come in! We can help simplify the purchasing process.

    At BestReviews, our goal is to give consumers all the necessary information to make the right purchases. We never take freebies from companies, so you can be sure our opinions are unbiased.

    If you are ready to buy a range hood, check out the matrix above for our top picks.

    For more information on range hoods and how we selected our favorites, read the shopping guide below.

    EXPERT TIP

    Replace your range hood filters every one to three months, depending on how much you cook.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Types of range hoods

    Whatever the type, all range hoods have the same purpose: to vent smoke and cooking fumes out of your kitchen. The style of range hood you ultimately purchase will depend on the layout of your kitchen and your personal taste.

    Ductless range hoods

    These hoods aren’t vented to the outside. Instead, they direct heat and smoke away from the range, filter out oil, grease, and odors, and push the air back into the kitchen. The problem with ductless hoods is that you aren’t really getting rid of anything unwanted; you’re just moving it around your kitchen.

    Under-cabinet range hoods

    Like the name says, these vent hoods are mounted to the bottom of the cabinets directly above your range. The smoke escapes through ductwork usually inside the wall or ceiling. This ductwork can take up valuable cabinet space, especially if you have a large range with more than one cabinet hanging above it – you’ll need a bigger hood with more ventilation.

    Wall-mounted ventilation fans should not be used in lieu of a range hood. Most range hoods use a horizontal rotary fan, called an “air-ring,” as their blower.

    Wall-chimney range hoods

    These are the expensive-looking range hoods you see hanging over stoves in glossy cooking magazines. These units are attached to the wall and connected to vent stacks that lead to the outside. They are meant to be exposed and seen. Wall-chimney hoods are very popular due to their smooth, finished look. The big drawback here is the space they take up. You can’t mount cabinets or a microwave over your range when there’s already a hood there.

    Downdraft range hoods

    These units are mainly used on kitchen islands, where there probably isn’t a reasonable or affordable way to hide ductwork in the ceiling above. Downdraft hoods push the smoke and odors down toward the floor where air ducts are more easily installed. They typically aren’t as effective or efficient as under-cabinet or wall-chimney models. If you do need a hood over your island, there are special “island hoods” that are mounted in the ceiling, but again, logistics and cost will probably be issues.

    DID YOU KNOW?

    Some range hoods come with an exhaust timer that automatically turns the fan off after a certain period of time.

    Range hood features to consider

    Whichever range hood you ultimately choose, make sure that its features match the needs of your kitchen. Here are some important things to consider when shopping for a new range hood.

    Size

    Make sure your range hood can handle everything your stove is putting out. Select a hood that is at least as big as your range. The hood should be wider than your cooktop, no matter which type of hood it is.

    Flow

    Airflow, as it pertains to range hoods, is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). This is the statistic that manufacturers like to tout. And while it’s true that more flow equals faster venting, the CFM number doesn’t tell the whole story. There are less-expensive range hoods with lower airflow numbers that trap and eliminate smoke just as well as the big boys.

    Some range hoods use a washable, stainless-steel mesh grease trap in place of a disposable filter.

    Speed

    Almost all range hoods offer at least two fan speeds, and some boast as many as six. Don’t get caught in the speed trap – two is plenty. You need a high-speed setting for when you’re actively cooking and a low-speed one to leave on for a little while to clear the air after you’re done.

    Control

    Some range hoods, especially under-the-microwave ones, are constructed with a built-in heat sensor that turns on the fan automatically when the temperature on the stovetop gets too hot. This can be dangerous if there’s a fire on the cooktop; the moving air can spread the flames and make the situation worse. Unless you’re very forgetful about turning on your hood, forgo this feature and opt for a simple “on” button.

    EXPERT TIP

    To cut down on the noise level of your range hood, make sure the ductwork is the proper size.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Range hood prices

    Range hood prices vary wildly, due to the many available types and styles, from $40 to $1,200.

    If you use your range at all, a quality hood is a necessity. This might be an area where you want to splurge, if you can.

    Budget-friendly

    You can find unvented range hoods for as little as $40. These budget options only recirculate the smoke and fumes; they don’t get rid of them.

    Most unvented hoods run from $60 to $100.

    If your range hood does not have a built-in backdraft damper, you might have to install one in a wall or roof cap.

    Mid-range

    For $100 to $200, you’ll see mainly under-cabinet hoods in stainless steel. Many will have features like LED lights and push-button controls.

    Wall-chimney range hoods cost anywhere from $200 to $500. Their price largely depends on aesthetics. You can find them in different shapes and sizes, and they can be made from a variety of materials like stainless steel, copper, and even glass.

    Expensive

    Downdraft range hoods are the most expensive. They can cost as much as $1,200. If this is your only option, you might consider a full kitchen remodel instead. It could be less expensive.

    A range hood might not function effectively if it’s within three feet of an open window.

    FAQ

    Q. Are the venting systems found in over-the-range microwaves as good as those in other types of range hoods?

    A. The short answer is no. A range hood’s primary – and only – use is venting the air from your kitchen. Microwaves are handy tools, and they can do lots of things, but the venting ability of most models is subpar. However, they are better than nothing at all.

    Q. Do range hoods need to be professionally installed?

    A. A lot goes into installing a range hood, regardless of the type. They must be mounted at the right height, ducts must be run (preferably to the outside), and you might even need a roof cap to prevent backdraft. So, unless you are very handy, it would probably be a good idea to hire a professional.

    Q. What does CFM mean?

    A. CFM stands for cubic feet per minute. It’s the way manufacturers measure airflow. Airflow is an important consideration, but CFM isn’t the only one. There are other factors to consider, like how the range hood captures and removes smoke and odors.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Editor
    • Chris
      Chris
      Editor
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Katie
      Katie
      Editorial Director

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