The Best Range Hoods (2020 Reviews)

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Opening the window while cooking may seem like enough to remove the smells, steam, and moisture, but in reality, it’s not. The byproducts of cooking are grease, odors, and even a build-up of carbon monoxide. That’s why a good range hood is central to proper ventilation.

Range hoods (also known as extractor hoods) usually extend from the ceiling, but can also be mounted under a cabinet above the stove. Their primary purpose is to eliminate toxic gasses and pollutants that left alone will cause all manner of problems—including the growth of bacteria and mold.

Before you start shopping, review this guide to learn more about how range hoods work and which might be best for your home. We’ve included our top picks of the year and have provided key details on what to look for before you decide to purchase one. We looked at everything from the size of the range hoods to their designs and additional features. Read on to see which of them made our ultimate list.

Best Wall Mount: KitchenAid KVWB400

KitchenAid

A 30-inch ventilation hood that features two LED lights and a 400 CFM motor.

Why we Picked It

Our favorite wall mount range hood is the KitchenAid KVWB400. It’s a 30-inch ventilation hood that features two LED lights and a 400 CFM motor. You can choose between a standard and ductless installation.

With easy-to-use push-button controls, you can cycle through three different fan speeds and can turn the light off and on. The 400 CFM motor inside should be more than enough to remove even the most persistent steam and smoke.

When you install the KitchenAid as an externally vented range hood, a 6-inch round duct is required for use. The key point is: you can use this hood either ducted or non-ducted, and both options perform well.

We were also impressed with the “Whisper Quiet” system that comes in at around 39 dBa. This sound level is quiet enough to ensure the range hood doesn’t become too much of a distraction while filtering the air in your kitchen.

It comes with a limited 1-year warranty.

Keep in Mind

Ductless installation requires the separately purchased re-circulating kit.

In a Nutshell

  • 400 CFM
  • Two LED lights
  • 30-inch range hood

Best Budget: Winflo Convertible Range Hood

Winflo

The Winflo features a 400 CFM airflow speed, which will take care of stubborn pollutants with ease.

Why we Picked It

The Winflo features a 400 CFM airflow speed, which will take care of stubborn pollutants with ease. There are also three fan speeds, so you can pick the right amount when you need it.

There are also LED lights to illuminate your cooking area, consisting of two ultra-bright and energy-saving LEDs, which proved impressive at this price range.

At 65 dBa, the Winflo is not the quietest hood on the market, but is still quiet enough as to not prevent you from getting on with other tasks. In fact, even at the highest speed, we were impressed at just how soft it was in operation.

It comes with a three years on parts warranty and includes the required ductwork, a plug, and a damper too.

Keep in Mind

The Winflo doesn’t come with charcoal filters, so you’ll need to buy them separately.

In a Nutshell

  • 400 CFM
  • 30-inch range hood
  • Two LED Lights

Best Under-Cabinet: GE JVX5300

GE JVX5300

With four speeds and a boost mode, this 300 CFM easily removes odors, grease, and moisture from your kitchen.

Why we Picked It

The GE JVX5300 is the top under-cabinet range hood this year. With four speeds and a boost mode, this 300 CFM easily removes odors, grease, and moisture from your kitchen.

It offers an electronic backlit set of controls, with an easy-to-use display. The option of a nightlight is present too, with dual halogen lighting giving you better visibility when you need it the most.

It’s a great-looking range hood, with a sleek form offering vertical and rear exhausts. You can use external venting or can simply cut down on the installation process with ductless recirculating.

The GE JVX5300 comes with a 1-year limited warranty and in a slate finish.

Keep in Mind

Some customers have mentioned the under-cabinet range hood could be a bit quieter.

In a Nutshell

  • Backlit controls
  • 300 CFM
  • Auto-off power feature

Best for Kitchen Islands: ZLINE GL5i

ZLINE GL5i

A 36-inch range hood that removes odors, smoke, and grease in style with its stainless steel finish.

Why we Picked It

If you’re after a stunning kitchen island range hood, then the ZLINE GL5i will take care of you. It’s a 36-inch range hood that removes odors, smoke, and grease in style with its stainless steel finish.

On the highest speed setting, the ZLINE can hit a commanding 760 CFM of airflow that will ensure your kitchen quickly and efficiently ventilates. It performs at this speed at 52 dBa, keeping your environment quiet and allowing you to get on.

The 4-speed fan control also gives you the option to choose the best setting for you, including a much lower 280 CFM. We found the pushbuttons easy-to-use, and anything you want the ZLINE to do is a few taps away.

Like all excellent range hoods, you have the choice of opting for ductless ventilation, or you can vent out pollutants externally. LED lighting is available as well, illuminating your cooktop from beneath the hood.

The ZLINE comes with an industry-leading lifetime warranty.

Keep in Mind

Most customers love the ZLINE, but some would have preferred it to be a bit quieter.

In a Nutshell

  • Powerful 760 CFM
  • 4-speed fan control
  • 36-inch range

How We Chose the Best Range Hoods

When choosing our top picks of the best range hoods this year, we considered some critical areas, including the CFM, noise level, number of fan speeds, and customer reviews of each product. We then rounded up the best range hoods and made some final decisions before picking just four of them. We look for range hoods that meet the required specs, preferably without costing too much.

CFM

CFM means cubic feet per minute. We look at range hoods that can meet the required speeds to be effective in operation. It’s important that a range hood, of around 30 or 36-inches, can reach speeds of 300 to 500 CFM. A range hood that exceeds this may cause problems by creating negative pressure in a home. One that doesn’t reach those speeds may have difficulty clearing away odors and smoke.

Number of Fan Speeds

On average, a range hood should at least offer three different fan speeds. That’s the minimum, though, and extra rates are always welcome. Range hoods that don’t provide at least a few fan speeds are limiting the options to a consumer; therefore, they don’t make our list. We look for range hoods that deliver for the customer, offering a range of fan speeds for different situations.

Noise

Quiet range hoods are better received than loud ones. Due to many range hoods being louder than they should, we look for those that are quieter but offer the same level of power for clearing away unwanted pollutants. Range hoods that make about as much noise as the level of normal talking levels are always better to see, and we actively look for those that deliver in this area.

Customer Reviews

Customer reviews paint a picture of the effectiveness of a range hood. Not only that, but we get to understand how the product has lasted over time, and the satisfaction that customers feel with it. We also look to see that a brand has lived up to their promises, and if problems have occurred, that they offered excellent customer service in return. A brand that fails in this area will not make our top picks.

What to Consider When Choosing a Range Hood

You know what we look for in the best range hoods, but what should you consider before going out and buying one? We’ve listed five key areas below and have offered some essential hints and tips that will leave you feeling like a pro.

Size 

Range hoods come in 30 or 36-inch variants. This fact depends on the size of your cooktop, and the new hood you purchase should be at least as wide as it. Ideally, the range hood will be 3 inches longer on each side to give some leeway. For the best performance, you should get a range hood installed between 20 and 24 inches away from an electric cooktop, and 24 to 30 inches from a gas one. Be sure to take note of the shape of the range hood too.

Installation Method 

When it comes to the installation method of your range hood, it’s fair to say that convertible hoods offer the best deal. That’s because these hoods allow either ducted or non-ducted installations.

Ducted range hoods vent to the outside to remove pollutants. The longer the distance the air needs to be forced, the more powerful the unit you will need. Be sure that the size of the duct is the same as the duct attachment at the hood.

Non-vented or recirculated installations pull in air and clean it with a charcoal filter that traps pollutants and then pushes it back out to the kitchen. This installation method requires no ducting, but you do need to change your filters every few months for optimal efficiency.

The most critical point is that you buy a range hood that will work in your kitchen, so think carefully and be sure to consider these points.

CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute)

A CFM between 300 and 500 should efficiently keep your kitchen ventilated. With that said, the greasier the foods you make, the more you’ll want a higher CFM. A typical range hood will be 30 or 36 inches in size, and a 300 to 500 CFM count would be more than enough in this scenario. A higher CFM isn’t always the best option, though, as too much power could interfere with your home’s HVAC system (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning). You shouldn’t really need a range hood with a CFM much higher than 500.

Design 

We all want our appliances to look great, certainly as they’ll be a long-lasting feature of your home. A range hood is no different, and this will be at eye level—you want an attractive design that can blend in with your kitchen’s style. It’s worth spending a decent amount on a design that is right for you, as this will be something that will be on show all the time. Take note of the shape of the range hood, too, such as pyramid-style and convex-glass; you want the configuration to complement everything around it.

Lighting 

Lighting may seem like a minor consideration for your range hood, but it’s more important than you might think. All range hoods come with some form of lighting, but some are more useful than others.

We prefer to see range hoods that have at least two bulbs in them, as this increases their illumination over the stove, making cooking that little bit easier in low-light conditions. Adjustable lighting settings such as low, medium, and off are always good to see. Some range hoods even offer a night light. The night light feature is useful as some extra illumination, and some automatically turn on and off.

Different Types of Range Hoods

If you want a great-looking kitchen, you’ll want your range hood to complement the overall design. There’s no mistaking how much better a kitchen can look with a range hood perfectly suited to it.

There are five main types of range hoods, from island hoods to wall-mounted chimneys. What are the differences between them? Which of them is best for your kitchen? Let’s find out.

Wall-mounted Chimney

These range hoods are mounted against a wall over your cooktop space. They come in multiple different shapes, although the top of the list for most people are the convex-glass and pyramid styles. They can add some much-needed sophistication and style to your kitchen, and will be a prominent feature of it. These hoods provide additional illumination for your cooking space too. This illumination can include a night light setting for some extra functionality—although this depends on the model and brand.

Undercabinet

Undercabinet range hoods are usually the best option when you have ducting built into the cabinets above your cooktop. It’s important to note that undercabinet range hoods are available in many different styles, and there is the option to have them nonducted as well. Nonducted variants clean the air and then recirculate it around your kitchen. If your kitchen already has the necessary ductwork, installing one of these range hoods should be quite straightforward.

Island Hoods

Island hoods can be quite striking, and the right one will draw eyes to it immediately. They hang from the ceiling over an island—where the cooking area is in the middle of the kitchen. There are a variety of styles available, like curved metal style hoods to glass canopies. Island hoods are usually ducted through the ceiling.

Downdraft Hoods

Downdraft hoods are customarily for kitchen islands. The twist is that they are hidden away in the cooktop. They work by sliding up when in use, and can then be pushed back out of sight from guests when not. While it’s great to be able to hide these hoods, if you desire, they aren’t always as effective as other types of range hoods. The reason for this is they may struggle to suck up particles before they move up and away—although some are much better than others. They will also take up cabinet space, so keep that in mind.

Ductless Hoods

Ductless hoods are as the name suggests, ductless. The great thing is that you can install them almost anywhere you want. However, because they are ductless, they only filter and recirculate air around the kitchen. They are high on convenience, but they may make your kitchen humid due to the constant recirculation.

Ductless hoods can be louder than other range hoods, too, due to the higher fan power required. Remember that you will need to clean the filter regularly for optimal efficiency.

Related Resources

Updating the rest of the kitchen? Then be sure to read on for more of our comprehensive guides:

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