The best hood to improve the air quality of your kitchen
The hood is an important part of any kitchen configuration . It plays an important role in designing the space, but it also has a practical role in removing excess heat, odor and smoke from the kitchen. Inside the hood there is a fan that blows air out of the top of the stove and filters it before releasing it through the outside duct of the house. Hood options range from efficient and basic models to more robust and professional units.
To find guidance on choosing a hood, we spoke with Karl Olatowski , owner and general contractor of New Jersey-based Hearthstone Home Remodeling. He agrees that whether you are a regular chef or a gourmet chef, the hood is an essential tool that absorbs fat, food particles and more.
Read on to find the best hood for your kitchen and your cooking needs without losing value.
Best overall: XtremeAIR Ultra Series UL10-U30
Complete your kitchen configuration with this versatile and powerful XtremeAir hood. The Ultra series offers airflow up to 900 CFM and gives you professional quality exhaust in your kitchen. This impressive CFM is due to a pair of dual fan blowers that draw cooking oils, odors and heat into the machine, where it is discharged through a duct.
Keep in mind that this hood cannot be converted to a high ventilation range for ductless operation. While high fan speeds are great for high heat cooking or smoke situations, you can use the mechanical button controls to select lower (and quieter) fan speeds for light cooking tasks.
The XtremeAir Ultra Range Hood series is designed to absorb airborne grease and combustion products from your stove into permanent baffle filters. These baffle filters are dishwasher safe and give you an easy way to clean them regularly. It is also worth noting that some compact or shallow hoods may not provide sufficient exhaust performance for the front burners in a range, but this hood is 22 inches deep and provides more coverage of the stove.
Best Under Cabinet: Hauslane Chef PS18 Series Under Cabinet Range Hood
With the superior airflow of the 860 CFM, the Hauslane Chef Series PS18 is our best choice for a hood under the cabinet that moves serious air. While many hoods offer only two to four fan speeds, this Hauslane model lets you choose a more accurate fan speed to meet your cooking needs – there are a total of six fan speeds.
The buttonless design makes it easy to keep the hood clean of grease and dirt. Clean the hood and control panel with a cleaning cloth or sponge to make it look stain-free. Stainless steel baffles are dishwasher safe, so regular cleaning will not be difficult.
It is also worth noting that this sub-cabinet hood is very quiet at low fan speeds – its minimum functional sound level is only 0.9. Of course, if you do kitchen activities such as heating up a lot of heat, you need to increase the fan speed, which increases the volume level of the appliance. This hood has a maximum noise level of 13.9 when operating at the peak of 860 CFM.
The best wall model: ZLINE KB-30 wall hood
Consider a wall hood for an impressive kitchen exhaust option. These pyramidal hoods bend into a narrower exhaust chimney and attach to the wall above your range.
One of the most popular options for the wall hood is the ZLINE KB-30. It is made of 430 stainless steel to resist corrosion and create a stylish and modern look for your kitchen. As it turns out, the real star feature of this hood is the four-speed engine range, which gives you a maximum airflow of 400 CFM. At maximum speed, you can expect the fan to record around 51 decibels (about as quiet as a normal conversation), but at the lowest speed, the noise level drops to about 30 decibels (the volume of a whisper). It should be noted that the fan motor has a lifetime warranty.
Simple mechanical buttons control the fan operation and are paired with a small digital display that indicates the fan speed. LED lights illuminate your cooking surface. Keep in mind that regular cleaning of the kitchen hood is a good method and this model has stainless steel baffle filters that can be washed by hand or dishwasher.
The ZLINE KB-30 is a highly ventilated hood, but it also offers the possibility of becoming a ductless unit. And while some wall hoods are too high or too short for different ceiling heights, this model is equipped with two telescopic chimneys that can be adjusted for 8 to 9 foot high ceilings. If your roof is taller or shorter, short kits or extension pieces are available separately.
Best Island: 30-inch Cosmo 668ICS750 Island Mountain Hood
Kitchen stoves installed on the kitchen island still have good ventilation, but without the option of using an internal hood or under a cabinet, they face a certain challenge. An island hood is specifically designed to extend from the ceiling to your stove. Since an island hood attracts attention, you should choose a stylish option. Not surprisingly, the stainless steel Cosmo Ductless island hood is a popular choice for this category.
This island hood is made of 430 stainless steel for easy durability and maintenance. Permanent stainless steel filters with special baffles are designed to improve blood circulation. This is a significant feature because aluminum mesh filters usually only last for a few washes before needing to be replaced.
Good lighting and visibility are also important features of the range hoods, and this Cosmo island hood includes four 2W LED lamps to provide sufficient light throughout the cooking surface.
When it comes to using this island hood, a digital control pad makes it easy to choose fan speed, lighting options or time scans. The three-
speed engine is capable of producing air movement up to 380 CFM.
The best compact: Cosmo COS-5MU30 convertible hood under the cabinet
If you work with small space or low ceilings, you may not have room for a large hood. Look for a compact hood to make your kitchen spacious and free of odors.
The Cosmo COS-5MU30 has slim and lightweight specifications, but is equipped with a three-speed fan motor to flush the exhaust out of your stove. Balance for this compact hood, more limited air movement is about 100 CFM per manufacturer. Nevertheless, homeowners find that this is a respectable job in trapping fat and steam, especially because of its affordable price.
It also offers the advantage of being a convertible unit – it is ready to be installed as a tubular hood, but you can also order a kit to convert it to ductless operation. Note that it has a power cord with plugs. If your bootloader requires the installation of hard wires, you will need to make changes to make it compatible with the hood.
Best Insert: KOBE INX2930SQBF-500-1 Insert Range Hood
While some board hoods have an integrated blower, other options are designed for aesthetics and then equipped with a built-in hood to provide the performance needed for proper airflow at the top of your screen. The KOBE INX2930SQBF-500-1 insert is available for 30- and 36-inch range hoods and offers 550 CFM airflow capacity at top speed.
If you are cooking lightly, you will see the slowest fan speed and it only works with Sony 2.0. It’s about the noise level of a library or professional office environment – in other words, it won’t be a big barrier to a casual conversation or watching TV. This hood insert is very easy to maintain, because the baffles and aluminum mesh inserts are dishwasher safe.
In addition to removing smoke and odors from the stove, this hood from KOBE works to light up your cooking surface. A pair of 3-watt LED bulbs provide a bright white light that you can easily see what you are preparing. If there is a reason to troubleshoot the KOBE INX2930SQBF-500-1, the lamps provided by some cooks may be too bright.
Best budget: 30-inch stainless steel Broan-NuTone 413004 / black under cabinet
A hood can add a few hundred dollars (or more) to your kitchen project. However, you can also choose an affordable model like this popular Broan-NuTone Ductless hood. The design has a cabinet and is available in different colors including black, white and stainless steel. The fact that it has no channels also makes it a better choice for DIY installation.
Many people choose this hood because of its affordable price. It is worth noting that the manufacturer has not rated it for airflow capacity. Based on its two-speed engine, its ability to move air is not as significant as a high-end hood with a five- or six-speed fan. However, it provides air circulation at the top of your screen and traps pollutants such as smoke and grease in a replaceable charcoal filter.
An incandescent lamp provides 75 watts of light for your kitchen. Both fan and light functions are controlled by rocker switches that are easily spaced along the front edge of the hood.
Best without duct: GEAP1148 Convertible under 30-inch hood cabinet
If you do not have the option to drain the plumbing hood, do not feel that your attempt to filter the kitchen air is smoky. Channelless hoods are an alternative to installation when no external valves are available. This convertible model from GE is a great option for filtering air from your kitchen area, and enhances the quality of your home interior with borderless but efficient performance.
The GE 30-inch convertible hood fits well above your range, in a great spot for cooking oil, smoke and steam from the pans and pots below. Charcoal insert filters kitchen contaminants and can be replaced by reducing its effectiveness. After filtration, air is discharged through the vents in the lower part of the hood.
A two-speed engine does not give you many options for fan settings, but the rocker switch makes it easy to switch between high and low speeds. At 200 CFM, it is not as powerful as duct models, but it is a good option if you do not have an external vent available.
Best Downdraft: KitchenAid 36-inch Specialty System Downdraft Telescopic Series, KXD4636YSS
If a standard hood is not an option in your kitchen, a down system is a viable alternative. Rooms with very high ceilings or kitchen islands with stoves are the most common places to install a downward ventilation system. Models such as the KitchenAid Specialty Telescopic Ventilation System appear when you need ventilation and shrink when not in use.
The KitchenAid Specialty series is distinguished as a suitable option for delicious kitchens because it is able to produce air movement up to 600 CFM. Even at low temperatures, this downward pressure pushes air around with more than 100 CFM. You need to keep the telescopic mechanism in good condition with regular maintenance, but if you do, you will have a downward flow if needed, which will not block your view if not used.
The telescopic design allows this KitchenAid model to be 14 inches above the surface of your stove — some seating systems are only 10 inches high and more suitable for use with a pan or frying pan. The extra height makes it easier to remove cooking steam and steam from the pots.
What to look for in a hat
Kitchen hoods are usually 30, 36 or 42 inches wide. However, do not be surprised if you see the dimensions of a hood between 0.25 and 0.75 inches smaller than the width shown in the model name. For example, many 30-inch kitchen hoods may be 29.25 or 29.88 inches wide to allow installation. It is worth noting that 30-inch hoods are the most common size.
Also known as the type of installation, it depends on how the hood is placed in the kitchen and the arrangement of your appliances. You need to know if you are buying a hood under a cabinet, wall or island. The other two types of bases are an insert, which is placed inside a larger decorative hood, or a down system, which is often installed in an island area where the kitchen area is not possible above the head, or as a Obstacle is considered.
There are three types of vents for the kitchen area: duct, duct or convertible. The most common and efficient type of hood is the duct range. This allows the fan to let the kitchen air out. This usually means that the stove and hood are on the outer wall.
Ductless hoods can still offer benefits by filtering smoke, grease, oil and cooking contaminants through the filter before recirculating the air. However, this type of valve reduces air movement compared to duct models.
Convertible valves can be used as rotary hoods or they can be connected to the exhaust duct.
Cubic feet per minute, or CFM, is a common measure used to measure the airflow capacity of a range hood. If you have a large kitchen or you regularly cook over high heat, a hood with more airflow capacity is the best option. Keep in mind that a higher CFM rating is also associated with increased fan noise.
Why trust poplar?
Erica Poissy writes about home appliances for The Spruce. As a product researcher and experimenter, he focuses on features and usability when evaluating products. Board hoods were evaluated based on air movement, ease of cleaning, valve configuration and type of installation of each model. We also considered the trends mentioned in customer reviews, especially in terms of installation and performance.
In addition, he consulted with General Contractor Karl Olatovsky . As the owner of Hearthstone Home Remodeling, he specializes in why a hood is important in any kitchen, as well as the features we should look for when comparing models.