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Range Hood Buying Guide [Bonus: Our Top 5!]

by Ann Ferguson

Range hoods usually reside at eye level in your kitchen. They also perform the important function of removing smoke and grease residue from your kitchen while you cook. That means you’ll want to choose a great piece aesthetically and functionally.

 At a Glance:

Best Under Cabinet: KitchenAid 35.94” Stainless Steel Under Cabinet Range Hood (UXT5236BDS)

Best Wall Mounted: Whirlpool 30” Black Stainless Steel Wall Mount Range Hood (WVW53UC0HV)

Best Island: Frigidaire 41.88” Stainless Steel Canopy Island Ventilation (FHPC4260LS)

Best Insert: Whirlpool 36” Stainless Steel Custom Hood Liner (UVL6036JSS)

Best Downdraft: Maytag 36” Stainless Steel Retractable Downdraft Ventilation (UXD8636DYS)

Types of Range Hoods

Best Range Hood Brands

Features to Look Out For

Check out our guide to finding the best range hood for your kitchen design and cooking needs.

The Best Range Hoods: Our Top 5

Before we dive in, read about our top 5 favorite range hoods:

1. Best Under Cabinet Range Hood: KitchenAid 35.94” Stainless Steel Under Cabinet Range Hood (UXT5236BDS)

KitchenAid 35.94” Stainless Steel Under Cabinet Range Hood

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The KitchenAid under cabinet range hood is quick and easy to install. It goes below your existing cabinets to give you great ventilation without sacrificing cabinet space. This range hood has three speeds, a halogen light, and a powerful motor. You’ll also find it operates quietly, allowing you to remove smoke and residue from the kitchen without interrupting any conversations.

Features:

  • FIT System
  • Powerful 3-speed 350 CFM motor
  • Duct-free recirculation
  • Hidden Vent
  • Halogen Lighting
  • 7" Round Damper
  • 3.25" x 10" Damper
  • Kosher Consumer Friendly

Finish: Stainless steel

Price: $439 (MSRP)

2. Best Wall Mounted Range Hood: Whirlpool 30” Black Stainless Steel Wall Mount Range Hood (WVW53UC0HV)

Whirlpool 30” Black Stainless Steel Wall Mount Range Hood

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This Whirlpool wall mounted range hood has bright long-lasting LED task lighting, making it easy to see what you're cooking. You’ll also find a dishwasher-safe filter that traps unwanted grease and odors but is washed easily for re-use. Three fan speed options provide the right amount of ventilation for every meal you prepare.

More than the performance features, the look of this Whirlpool range hood is unbeatable. In a trendy black matte finish with clean lines and an angular design, your kitchen will look inspirational for design and cooking.

Features:

  • LED Task Lighting
  • Dishwasher-Safe Grease Filter
  • Fingerprint Resistant
  • 3-Speed, 400 CFM Motor Class
  • Convertible Ventilation (Recirculating or Vented)
  • 44 dBA (.7 Sones) at Low Speed

Finish: Black

Price: $799 (MSRP)

3. Best Island Range Hood: Frigidaire 41.88” Stainless Steel Canopy Island Ventilation (FHPC4260LS)

Frigidaire 41.88” Stainless Steel Canopy Island Ventilation

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This Frigidaire island range hood features a curved glass canopy around the base to direct airflow up and towards the middle. The curved design paired with the glass plate makes this piece classic without being boring.

Attractive and functional, this canopy island range hood moves up to 400 cubic feet of air per minute. The air is filtered through a top-notch aluminum filter, which is stronger and more durable than the traditional foam filter. These vent hood filters are dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning.

Features:

  • Canopy design
  • Halogen light
  • Washable filters
  • Centrifugal fan

Finish: Stainless steel and glass

Price: $839 (MSRP)

4. Best Insert Range Hood: Whirlpool 36” Stainless Steel Custom Hood Liner (UVL6036JSS)

Whirlpool 36” Stainless Steel Custom Hood Liner

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This Whirlpool range hood insert features a hidden ventilation system. You can mount this system inside a custom vent cover for a unique and customizable look. Further customizations include your choice of motor to give you the individual levels of power that you need for your kitchen.

Features:

  • LED Lights
  • 585-1170 CFM Motor Class
  • Dishwasher-safe aluminum grease filter

Finish: Stainless steel

Price: $1,099 (MSRP)

5. Best Downdraft Range Hood: Maytag 36” Stainless Steel Retractable Downdraft Ventilation (UXD8636DYS)

Maytag 36” Stainless Steel Retractable Downdraft Ventilation

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This Maytag downdraft range hood is 36 inches long and comes with an interior blower motor. The design allows this range hood to be mounted on the surface of a range or cooktop and draws out smoke and grease. The residue is then pushed downwards and out of the kitchen via ductwork under the floor.

A downdraft range hood is ideal if you do not want to mount your range hood on the wall or beneath a cabinet. It is a great option in lieu of an island range because it is easier to clean. You’ll also find the added convenience of concealability, so your range hood does not always have to be visible.

Features:

  • Touch-activated telescope operation
  • Dual centrifugal blower
  • Vertical Exterior Ventilation (3 1/4" x 10" Rectangular Duct)

Finish: Stainless steel

Price: $1,299 (MSRP)

Types of Range Hoods

Range hoods are used to ventilate the cooking area. They can remove smoke, steam, and airborne grease that may be created as a byproduct of cooking; however, every kitchen is different in layout, style, and needs. That means that there are several different types of range hoods to accommodate every kitchen.

Under Cabinet Range Hoods

Under cabinet range hoods are installed below upper cabinets. This solution provides great ventilation without sacrificing cabinet space because the cabinets do not need to be removed.

✓ Pros: Ventilate your kitchen without losing cabinet space

✗ Cons: Do not add visual appeal to your kitchen

Wall Mounted Range Hoods

Wall mounted range hoods are a great accent piece for any kitchen. Because they are freestanding, they do require the space about your range to be free from cabinets and upper-mounted microwaves. That means they are best suited for kitchens with plenty of other storage space. Whether you go with a classic stainless-steel finish or a trendy look like black matte, a wall mounted range hood will elevate the look of your kitchen.

✓ Pros: Look great as accent pieces

✗ Cons: Lose storage space along the upper kitchen wall

Island Range Hoods

Island range hoods are created specifically to hand over ranges installed in kitchen islands. Because the island is freestanding in the middle of the kitchen, island range hoods must be installed directly into the ceiling. They also must look nice from the front and the back because all sides are visible.

✓ Pros: Create a cohesive 360-degree look for your island range

✗ Cons: Cannot use this style if you don’t have an island range, more sides to clean

Ducted vs Ductless Range Hoods

Mount method aside, there is another factor to consider when buying a range hood: duct or no duct. Both options complete the same task of ventilating your kitchen. However, both types have advantages and disadvantages

A ducted range hood requires a duct to be installed. This will help carry smoke, steam, and other residues out of your kitchen. Ductless range hoods recirculate the air back into the kitchen, making them less efficient against removing odors. However, ducted range hoods have high versatility and can be installed anywhere.

✓ Ducted Pros: Better at removing smoke and residue from the kitchen

✓ Ductless Pros: More versatile, can be installed anywhere

The Best Range Hood Brands: Our Top 4

woman grills vegetables on range under her KitchenAid under cabinet range hood

Like any kitchen appliance, range hoods come in a variety of mount options, finishes, and brands. With all these choices, you may feel overwhelmed. To help, we’ve studied range hood brands and have narrowed it down to our top picks. Here are our top 4 range hood brands:

KitchenAid

KitchenAid is a big name in smaller kitchen appliance spaces. However, they also make stellar larger appliances like range hoods. KitchenAid range hoods are clean, sleek features that will give your kitchen a modern but simple look. Because they are largely stainless steel, KitchenAid range hoods will look great with any kitchen style and décor.

Frigidaire

Frigidaire provides kitchen solutions beyond refrigerators. As a long-standing appliance powerhouse, you know you’ll get great quality with any purchase. Range hoods by Frigidaire come with clean lines, a stainless-steel finish, and glass canopies that will help bring modernity into a classic kitchen.

Maytag

The Maytag man can help you with any appliance, large or small. Maytag is a brand you can trust to bring high functionality and a great look to your kitchen. Range hoods are no exception. With a large selection to choose from, you’ll find a Maytag range hood that will fit your needs and style.

Whirlpool

Whirlpool is another well-known brand in the appliance space. From washing machines to dishwashers to ventilation solutions, you’ll get a great appliance at a reasonable price. Our Whirlpool choice showcases the brand’s ability to take a classic piece like a range hood and up-style it. The popular black matte finish will give your trendy kitchen a cohesive look when paired with other appliances of the same finish.

Features to Look for Before Buying

The first feature you should look at before buying a vent hood is its mounting mechanism. You’ll want to ensure that the mount does not interfere with preexisting cabinets or ceiling fixtures. Mounting compatibility also extends to ducted vs. ductless options. If you do not have existing ductwork and you do not want to add it, you’ll want to ensure your range hood is fitting.

After technical compatibility, you’ll want to consider the look and convenience of your range hood. As a focal point in your kitchen, you want the range to match other appliances and the tone of your space. If you have stainless steel everywhere else, you may want to consider matching that.

However, range hoods can also be an accent piece. This is especially attainable with a vent hood insert, like the Whirlpool model we have listed. Either way you choose, ensure that your range hood will fit in well with the rest of your kitchen.

As far as convenience and performance go, you will want to ensure that your range hood has all the features you need. If you want several options for vent speed, look at the choices in each range hood you are considering. If it is important that you are able to wash the filter in the dishwasher, look for aluminum or other filters that are dishwasher safe.

Features you’ll want in your range hood include…

  • Compatible mounting mechanism
  • Ducted vs. ductless
  • Finish/color
  • Style
  • Price point
  • Size
  • Washability

Shop Kitchen Ventilation at Colder’s

Our dedicated and friendly staff are happy to help you find the best range hood for your kitchen. Check out our catalog or visit us at any of our four Southeastern Wisconsin locations. If you have any questions related to our inventory or delivery timelines, don’t hesitate to call us at 1-414-476-1574. More accessible than ever, we can also be reached via chat!

Learn More: What to Look for When Shopping for Ranges [2021 Range Buying Guide]