The 8 Best Range Hoods

Updated November 28, 2017 by Tina Morna Freitas

8 Best Range Hoods
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 38 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. When it's time to update your kitchen, don't forget about the range hood, the unsung hero of appliances. A decent one keeps your house smelling great by sucking odors, grease and smoke out of the air, and high-end models can add an interesting design element to your cooking space. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best range hood on Amazon.

8. Firebird Island Mount

The Firebird Island Mount has a dramatic circular shape that will turn your kitchen island into a conversation piece. The intuitive push button controls feature icons so that anyone will know how to adjust the airflow on this unit.
  • three blower speeds
  • ventless operation optional
  • included led bulbs are a little dim
Brand Firebird
Model FB-RH0052+RH0209
Weight 40 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

7. Broan ZML30SS

For shoppers on a tight budget, the Broan ZML30SS offers an attractive, but basic, range hood that can give older kitchens an instantly updated look. The two-speed fan doesn't move a lot of air, but will be sufficient for small areas.
  • available in three finishes
  • enclosed design is easy to clean
  • noisy on the highest fan setting
Brand Broan
Model QML30SS
Weight 19.7 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

6. Perfetto Kitchen and Bath

The Perfetto Kitchen and Bath is a compact, under-the-cabinet option for 36-inch wide ranges and cooktops. Its 22-gauge, brushed stainless steel body is scratch and ding resistant with a classic look that blends seamlessly with any decor.
  • handles on filters for quick removal
  • 2 energy-saving led lights
  • does not convert for ventless use
Brand Perfetto Kitchen and Ba
Model RH0276
Weight 70 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Z Line KB-36

Large kitchens with over-sized cooktops need the width and power of the Z Line KB-36. It is designed with multiple convenience features, like a four-speed blower that has a timer with automatic shutoff, and tilting directional lights.
  • dishwasher-safe filters
  • can be extended for 12-foot ceilings
  • halogen lights tend to burn out fast
Brand Z-Line
Model ZLKB-36
Weight 49.1 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Kobe Brillia

Designed for smaller kitchens that still need robust ventilation, the Kobe Brillia is constructed with commercial-grade stainless steel. The internal blower provides an impressive 650 CFM. However, this high quality comes with a steep price tag.
  • contemporary curved front
  • advanced quiet mode
  • fits over standard size ranges
Brand KOBE Range Hoods
Model CHX3830SQB-2
Weight 42.6 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

3. AKDY Wall Mount

The AKDY Wall Mount features a smooth stainless panel that hides the mesh grease filters and gives the unit a high-end, polished look. This panel also provides extra sound insulation and pops open easily when you want to remove the filters for cleaning.
  • can be converted for ductless use
  • digital led display
  • confusing generic instructions
Brand AKDY
Model AK-RH0171
Weight 38.3 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Proline PLJW

If you're looking for an under-the-cabinet hood with a low profile, the ultra-slim Proline PLJW is only five inches high. Despite its compact size, it boasts a powerful four-speed dual blower that moves 600 cubic feet of air per minute.
  • designed for a 30-inch range
  • easy to clean baffle filters
  • stainless push-button controls
Brand ProLine Range Hoods
Model pending
Weight 63 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Kitchen Bath Collection ISL90A

The stylish Kitchen Bath Collection ISL90A has an arched tempered-glass canopy that lends a modern air to an otherwise mundane kitchen necessity. It features brilliant LED lights on all four corners, each with 49 miniature bulbs.
  • 3 times brighter than similar hoods
  • chimney has sleek curved edges
  • no visible welded seams
Brand Kitchen Bath Collection
Model ISL90A-LED
Weight 31 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Clearing The Kitchen Air

Anyone who loves to prepare delicious feasts from the comforts of a modern kitchen knows that airflow is important. There is no denying that certain smells evoke feelings of nostalgia and memories of simpler times from one's past. The smell of freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies, for example, brings me back to my childhood days of watching mom bake up a storm in the kitchen. While these fond memories are associated with wonderful smells, there are certain airborne pollutants that don't need to be left hovering in the kitchen over a stovetop. In such situations, a range hood is a necessary appliance for the removal of excessive airborne grease and other contaminants.

Also known as an exhaust hood, the range hood is a kitchen appliance often made from stainless steel and installed above the perimeter of a cooking surface. The appliance consists of several components: a canopy or capture panel, built to contain rising gases emanating from a stovetop; integrated lighting, which gives you extra visibility on the cooking surface; an electric fan, used to draw in airborne contaminants and ventilate the surrounding area; and one or more grease filters, designed to collect the airborne food particles and prevent their accumulation inside the range hood. All of these components serve to protect your kitchen against potential wall and cabinet damage caused by rising steam or grease in the air. Depending on the design and the shape of your kitchen, a range hood can be ceiling-mounted, wall-mounted, or even installed under cabinets.

As fumes rise from a cooking surface, the range hood collects and funnels them to its center where the electric fan resides. The fan's job is to draw in these fumes and direct them using one of two possible configurations: ducted or ductless. With a ducted configuration, the fan collects the airborne particles and directs them away from the kitchen to the outdoors using the home's main duct and pipe system. With a ductless configuration, dirty air is passed through an activated carbon or charcoal filter, cleaned, and finally recirculated back into the kitchen. Whether you use a ducted or ductless range hood depends on the placement of your cooktop and the overall construction of your home. In many commercial kitchens, for example, a ducted range hood is often favored due to its overall efficiency for the removal of smoke. It's also important to note that some range hoods are convertible for both ducted and ductless operation, depending on your needs.

So, why even bother installing a range hood in the first place? The appliance minimizes the buildup of strong odors that could otherwise permeate the rest of your home without a proper ventilation system. Besides the annoyance of strong odors, keeping the air as clean as possible remains beneficial to the homeowner who suffers from severe allergies. Now, there's certainly nothing wrong with picking up on the gentle wafting smells of a wonderful turkey dinner in the oven. In fact, that experience transcends celebrations and holidays. Food brings people together in unique ways with many social implications. The range hood doesn't deny people this social experience, but it does remove potentially unpleasant, lingering odors. It also provides a budding chef with the freedom to experiment with different cuisines. So, the next time you want to try that new tilapia recipe, rest assured that your range hood is on the job. Although you can't expect this appliance to convert that leftover fish smell to the essence of freshly-baked apple pie with cinnamon cloves, it will help to clear the air nevertheless.

Efficiency And Versatility Are Key

The most important decision you need to make is the type of range hood that works best for your kitchen setup. Knowing the layout of your home and where your appliances are installed will direct you to the appropriate choice. For example, if your cooktop is an island in the middle of the kitchen, a ceiling-mounted range hood is a logical choice. However, if your layout requires air filtration and recirculation, then definitely opt for a powerful ductless unit.

Pay close to attention to the functionality of the hood's internal blower fan. If you anticipate a lot of heavy cooking, the fan should be powerful enough to move between 350 and 600 cubic feet of air per minute. Multiple speed settings are beneficial when preparing various foods that need plenty of air suction to remove their strong odors from your cooking environment.

Consider the type and number of integrated lights for your range hood, as well. Lighting options often include incandescent, fluorescent, halogen or LED bulbs.

Range hoods are also constructed from many materials besides steel, including copper, bronze, and even heat-resistant plastics among others. That said, you should consider how well your hood blends in with the decor of your kitchen and the hood's ability to withstand the rigors of heavy cooking.

Other features to keep in mind include: automatic shutoff, designed to turn the blower fan off after a preset length of time; integrated heat sensors, which automatically adjust your fan speed depending on the surrounding air temperature; and built-in filter indicators to alert you when the time comes to change them.

A Brief History Of Range Hoods

New York resident Theodore R. N. Gerdes applied for one of the first range hood patents as early as 1926. While he acknowledged the existence of the appliance before this date, Gerdes identified and sought to correct a common flaw with its design, which was its lack of an integrated fan to capture escaping smoke.

Founded in 1933, the Vent-A-Hood Company is largely credited as the first manufacturer of domestic range hoods.

Further refinements to the appliance continued well into the 1950s, including patents for cooling its top and sides as well as the development of replaceable filters.

Today's range hoods incorporate many of these early patents. They represent the evolution of both form and function for keeping air clean with stylish designs to complement most any modern kitchen decor.

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Last updated on November 28, 2017 by Tina Morna Freitas

Tina Morna Freitas is a writer who lives in Chicago with her family and two cats. She enjoys making and sipping margaritas and aspires to be a crazy cat lady once all the children are grown.

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