Best Range Hoods of 2019 - Ducted and Ductless Range Hood Reviews
We have been reviewing range hoods for the past three years. In our most recent evaluation, we compared seven brands to determine which one offered the best ventilation designs, fan power, aesthetics, costs and noise levels. Our research helped us determine that Broan is the best brand overall since it offers the widest selection of products, from simple, mid-priced options to fancier more expensive styles. This brand offers powerful and reliable fans for vented, non-vented and convertible designs. If you want a more economical option, Broan's sister company, NuTone, offers lower-priced designs that are also reliable.
Broan offers the widest selection of designs and sizes so you can find a hood that matches your kitchen. These products are reliable and powerful as well as stylish.
AKDY offers one of the strongest warranties on the market as well as the second largest selection of hoods in this comparison. Together, these factors make it a great choice for businesses and professionals.
ZLine products are as beautiful as they are dependable. They often feature embellishments or hand-crafted designs on high quality materials like copper, stainless steel and even wood.
Broan offers the largest selection of hood ranges on the market, selling more options than the rest of the brands in our comparison combined. The site allows you to search through the 495-plus range hoods by color, size, sound level, airflow power and lighting type so it is easy to find the product that fits your needs.
This brand also makes it easy to find Energy Star certified options, ADA capable hoods, and replacement parts and filters for your hood. Unfortunately, you cannot purchase a range hood through the company’s website, but it can direct you to a shop in your area that carries its products.
Broan hoods are all over the pricing spectrum. They usually start around $45 for basic models but can go as high as $3,000 for fancier models like chimney and island designs. You can find these models for sale at stores such as Lowes, Home Depot and Walmart. People who buy Broan ranges often praise the designs, noise levels and fan power of their purchases. The company covers its products with a one-year limited warranty from the date of purchase, which is standard coverage for range hood brands but isn’t the best coverage we’ve seen.
Best for Commercial Use
AKDY is a great choice for restaurants, professional cooks and small businesses since the company offers three-year parts warranties on all of its hoods. Most other range hood brands only offer a one-year warranty.
These hoods are powerful and clean-looking so they fit right into a professional atmosphere. They also happen to be more affordably priced than products from many other companies. Typically, the more basic hoods start around $110 and the more expensive ones typically only go as high as $850. This brand has the second largest selection of range hoods in our comparison, so you should be able to find a hood style that fits your needs while matching the look of your kitchen.
Overall, customers give these range hoods positive reviews, but with a few caveats to consider. As part of the clean, modern look of these hoods, many come with LED touchscreens. While these are beautiful to look at, many customers reported that these controls were difficult to use when cooking, so you might want to consider purchasing a non-touchscreen version. Customers also reported that the lights were a little too dim. And keep in mind that if you buy one of the larger hoods, you will likely need a professional installation.
Best Aesthetic Designs
ZLine has the third largest selection of hood ranges out of the brands in our comparison. This company has durable products that are as stylish as they are reliable.
Basically, if you want your hood to be a centerpiece in your kitchen, ZLine is a good place to look. These hoods come in a variety of quality materials, including stainless steel, copper and even wood. The metal hoods usually have embellishments on them, while the wooden ones typically have handcrafted reliefs and floral patterns. Customer reviews are mainly positive, with users commenting on the strong aesthetic designs and quiet fans.
Since these hoods are more decorative than the typical range hoods, they also tend to be more expensive starting around $250 and going as high as $2,000. While some ZLine products can be found at Home Depot, the full selection is available online. However, you can typically order any hood range to be delivered to your local Home Depot for pickup. ZLine also offers one of the best hood warranties we’ve seen: a three-year parts warranty coupled with a lifetime motor warranty. Most other brands only offer a one-year warranty. Unfortunately, the company website doesn’t provide a list of replacement parts or filters, though you can peruse a list of accessories.
Retractable Range Hood
The Whirlpool Retractable Downdraft System range hood is unique because you place it behind your stove to pull steam, smoke and grease down and away from your cook area – most range hoods sit above your stove and pull smoke and grease up through your ducts.
This makes it a good range hood for an island cooktop because it can be install beside it and keep your headspace free. When you cook, you pull this Downdraft hood up to use it, then retract it back when you’re done. It has two fans, so it moves more air than a traditional range hood, and it runs quieter. This range hood has knob controls and can run at different speeds. Also, its aluminum grease filters are dishwasher-safe, so it’s easy to clean and keep running efficiently. This Whirlpool range hood may be a little tricky to install because it must be anchored just right – flush with your wall and secure enough to not wobble while on.
Island Range Hood
Glass canopy range hoods are a current trend, and the Frigidaire Glass Canopy model is a popular choice. Its dome-shape hood traps smoke and grease while you cook, and it is a good choice if you need an over-head range hood above a kitchen island.
The Frigidaire Glass Canopy has three fan speeds and a light to help you see as you cook. You can install it as a vented or non-ducted hood, but you need to purchase the duct-free kit if you choose to go that route. Because it is designed to go over an island, this Frigidaire range hood draws air vertically into your existing duct work. As such, it’s important to ensure the air vents outside of the house and not into an attic, crawlspace or other area of you home – this could be complicated if you install it yourself.
Why Trust Us
We have been evaluating range hoods for the past three years. Our goal in choosing the best overall product was to find a reliable brand that provides a wide selection of range hoods and offers decent warranties. We also sought looked for brands that produce powerful fans and make it easy to find replacement parts. In order to write unbiased reviews, we made a list of the products, prices, warranties and assets of each brand and compared them against each other. Broan came out on top because it has the widest selection of options starting at mid-range prices. It also has some of the highest and most consistent user reviews of any brand.
How We Evaluated
We spent more than 45 hours over the last three years comparing and evaluating seven range hood brands to determine the best of the best. While we did not test range hoods ourselves, we thoroughly evaluated each brand by reading hundreds of consumer reviews and ratings. We began by making a list of the advantages, features and warranty lengths offered by each company and then compared them against each other to see which brands make buying and maintaining range hoods the easiest.
We gave higher scores to companies that offer the largest selection of hoods. This includes vented, non-vented and convertible products. We also gave more points to companies that offer range hoods in a variety of sizes, shapes and styles, including traditional styles like wall mounted hoods, and more elaborate options like chimney and island range hoods. The materials a company uses also came into play. Brands that offer several different colors and materials scored higher since this makes them more likely to fit in a variety of homes.
Most range hood companies provide a one-year limited warranty from the date of purchase. Companies that provide longer or more in-depth warranties scored higher in this category. We also gave more points to companies whose websites make it easier to find and order replacement parts and filters. Additionally, products that offer Energy Star certified products as well as ADA capable options ranked higher.
How Much Does a Range Hood Cost?
Because range hoods come in so many different styles and are made to go either under cabinets or over islands, they fall in a wide price range. Generally, you can find a decent under-cabinet range hood for under $80, while fancier range hoods, including over-island models, can easily cost $600 or more.
Are Range Hoods Required?
Are you updating your kitchen or building a new home and wondering if you need a range hood? It may depend on your location. "Most residential building codes do not require a range hood above a stove or cook top, but you’d be wise to ensure your locale is not the exception," said Mary Boone, a contributing writer to the Zillow Porchlight blog. "Even if it’s not legally required, you should think long and hard before forgoing a hood altogether." We agree with her. Range hoods collect the fumes and grease from your cooking, and they help keep your home from smelling terrible when you burn something. Although range hoods may not be required, they can accent your decor while providing ventilation and, depending on the model, excellent filtration. With hundreds of options and styles to choose from, it can be hard to find the right look and level of filtration. Read on for the features you should consider when choosing a range hood.
More on Ranges
Range Hoods: What to Look For
Ducted or Non-Ducted
This is possibly the most important decision to make to narrow your search since range hoods are designed to circulate air. Vented models can be connected to ductwork in the walls or ceiling to pull air out of the house. Of course, if you have a condominium or a townhouse, you may need to install a ductless model that draws steam and smoke away from the stove and blows it back into the kitchen.
Airflow & Filtration
For a ducted hood, the greater the airflow, the faster the fans can vent the air through the filtration system. If, for example, you have a kitchen island and like to cook a lot of meat on an indoor griddle, look for models that have airflow, which is measured in cubic feet per minute, or cfm, of at least 400. Charcoal filters can do more to pull particles out of the air, but mesh filters are reusable and washable. If you are an active cook and can only install a ductless hood, it's advisable to look for a model with a charcoal filter to maximize filtration.
Size & Style
If your stove sits under your cabinets, your choices may be limited to under-cabinet range hoods. Likewise, if you have a kitchen island, you will need a convertible or an island hood that vents the air through the ducts in the ceiling above the kitchen. You could also opt for a downdraft-style hood for your island, which pulls the air down and vents it through the floor. Likewise, if you have a kitchen island with a gas cooktop or electric cooktop, you will need a convertible or an island hood that vents the air through the ducts in the ceiling above the kitchen.
If you are remodeling but planning to put the stove against the wall, you can opt for a chimney-style or any wall-mounted model. In terms of dimensions, you may want to run a little larger instead of sizing down. The hood should amply cover the surface area of the stove so it can do an optimal job of keeping grease and smoke out of the rest of your kitchen and home.
Active cooks have plenty of choices in range hoods to keep the air free of smoke during cooking. You can find one to match your decor, and there are stylish hoods that can give your kitchen a modern, restaurant-like feel.