Your guide to buying
a range hood

Range hood types (p2 guide) - Big

Step 2. Range hood types - pick one!

The second step in this range hood buying guide will involve further narrowing down the kind of range hood you want. It's very important to do this in a structured manner, because range hoods come in all kinds of shapes, forms and price categories, so it's very easy to get overwhelmed. Since we don’t know your personal situation, we have summed up the different range hood types below. Choose the one which mostly suits your situation.

Range hood types
Cheap & performance: Under-cabinet range hoods

Range hood types (p2 guide) - Under Cabinet Range Hood

Under-cabinet range hoods, also known as 'fixed range hoods,' are one of the most popular types of range hoods

available. These range hoods are attached to the underside of the kitchen cabinet above the stove top. They come in both ducted and non-ducted models, both of which will generally outperform retractable range hoods (see third one in this list). The trade-off is that they take up more space than retractable ones.

  • Installation type: Both ducted and ductless.
  • Price range: $35 - $800
  • Cheap
  • Relatively small
  • Not too stylish
  • Price/quality ratio 

Range hood types
Stylish & performance: Chimney range hoods

Range hood types (p2 guide) - Chimney Range hood site

Chimney range hoods also known as ‘Canopy’ range hoods, are the big beautiful metal range hoods you imagine to have in a modern kitchen. Instead of trying to cover the range hood 

up as much as possible, these range hoods are used as an addition to the design of the kitchen. They look great, but that's also the downside of chimney range hoods: they are relatively expensive. You pay for great design.

The shape of the chimney range hood doesn't just look great, it will actually help in catching the odors, oils and fumes more efficiently than a normal range hood would. Chimney range hood come in two models: wall mount hoods (installed against the wall) and island hoods (installed above a cooking Island).

  • Installation type: Both ducted and ductless.
  • Price range: $130 - $1200
  • Stylish
  • Great performance
  • Expensive
  • Takes up lots of space

Range hood types
Space saver: Retractable range hood

Range hood types (p2 guide) - Retractable Range Hood

Retractable range hoods, also knows as 'slide-out' range hoods, are meant to save you space as they will only be retracted when used. They will power on when you slide them out by hand, and 

power  off when you slide them back in. Since they're usually integrated into the cabinet above the cooking stove, they will save you even more space. However, all this space saving comes with a price. To most effectively capture all the air contaminants which result from cooking, the bottom part of the range hood needs to be at least at wide as your stove (more on that later). However, even when fully retracted, retractable range hoods generally won't cover the whole stove. On top of that, they also tend to have smaller filters compared to non-retractable range hoods. That means that they might not be able to fully capture of the odors, oils and fumes (especially retractable ductless range hoods).

  • Installation type: Both ducted and ductless.
  • Price range: $500 - $1200
  • Stylish
  • Space saver
  • Expensive
  • Won't cover whole stove

Range hood types
Stylish & space saver: Insert range hood

Range hood types (p2 guide) - Integrated  Range Hood

Insert range hoods, also known as ‘undermount’ range hoods, are inserted or fully integrated into the cabinet above the cooking surface. Aesthetically they look great, as the biggest part of the range hood is not visible. As opposed to retractable range hoods, insert range hoods generally don't have any

 retractable parts, or any other parts sticking out for that matter. However, like with retractable range hoods, saving space means there's a trade-off. The size of the cabinet above the cooking surface is usually smaller than the size of the cooking surface under it. That means that the range hood won't cover the whole surface of the cooking surface, and therefore only captures a limited part of the odors, oils and fumes.

  • Installation type: Both ducted and ductless.
  • Price range: $130 - $1200
  • Stylish
  • Mostly out of sight
  • Expensive
  • Won't cover whole stove

Range hood types
Stylish & Space Saver: Downdraft Ventilation

Range hood types (p2 guide) - Downdraft Ventilation System

Instead of hanging above your cooking stove, downdraft ventilation systems are usually positioned behind, to the side of, or even in the middle of the cooking stove and suck in the hazardous air pollutants in a vacuum cleaner kind of way. There are some cooking stoves which have a 

downdraft system as a built-in feature, integrated into the cooking surface itself. However, if you don't want to buy a new cooking stove or if you want to buy a stove separate from your ventilation system, don’t worry. You can also buy a them as a separate unit and install them in or on top of your counter. To save some extra space, some of them can even be raised from and lowered into the counter.

The obvious nice thing about having a downdraft ventilation system is that you won’t have a big clunky range hood hanging in your kitchen. Especially on cooking islands seem these downdraft ventilation systems seem to give off a stylish and modern vibe. However, their position also has some downsides. Normal range hoods are installed above your cooking stove for a good reason: heat, steam and smoke naturally go upwards. Since downdraft ventilation systems are placed to the side of your cooking stove, they have to have a lot of extra sucking power to be effective. Downdraft ventilation systems generally do a good-enough job with smaller pots and pans which are located right next to it. However, when you're using tall pots and pans or locate them a bit away from the fan, these systems seem to struggle with capturing the air pollutants.

Another issue is that downdraft ventilation systems seem to get overwhelmed more easily. Since the the bottom side of a normal range hood matches the size of your cooking stove, it has a big capture area for the rising fumes. Downdraft ventilation systems have no capture area, which means they it can get overwhelmed easily if there are a lot of fumes. This means that normal ducted range hoods will generally outperform downdraft ventilation systems with the same amount of power.

  • Installation type: Both ducted and ductless.
  • Price range (no stove): $500+
  • Price range (incl. stove): $1200+
  • Stylish
  • Relatively small
  • Expensive
  • Less powerful


Question 3: Choose a type of range hood and put a check mark next to your preferred range hood on the PDF.

(This guide will be continued on the next page.)

Next page: Finding your range hood power

Now that you have a specific type of range hood in mind, let's dive down into the specifics of your future range hood. The most important important feature by being it's power. We have to warn you though, there is some math involved. But, don't worry, we promise it's going to be really easy. 

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