Range hoods or kitchen exhaust fans are essential to keep your kitchen free of clouds of cooking fumes and driving away burning odors and smoke. If you are fed up with a smelly, cloudy kitchen, a range hood is a very worthwhile investment. And with prices starting at just £65, you don't need a tight budget to take advantage.
Admittedly, a kitchen hood isn't an essential element if you're mainly cooking vegetables or lightly sweating ingredients - an open window in the kitchen can be enough to keep the inevitable fumes and odors at bay. When frying or grilling, however, one is essential, especially when it comes to greasy, smelly ingredients like bacon, sausages, and high-heat fried steaks.
With these types of ingredients, you don't just have to worry about a little steam: steam mixes with fats to coat kitchen walls, ceilings, and cabinets in a very fine layer of sticky fat that attracts dust like iron filings to a magnet. This is something you may not be aware of at first, but that bliss will almost certainly fade as you redecorate the kitchen and realize that the walls and ceiling need a thorough cleaning before you can even think about the to apply the first coat.
If you're looking for a range hood or the best kitchen extractor but have no idea where to start, read on.
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Best Range Hood: At a Glance
- The best budget range hood:Sierra CBCS6201 (~£80) |buy now
- The best for style and efficiency:Neff D64BHM1N0B (~£429) |buy now
- The best high-end angled cooker hood:Bosch Serie 6 DWK97JQ60BL (~£819) |buy now
- The Best Budget Range Hood for Style:Zanussi ZHC62352X (~£259) |buy now
- The Best Budget Convection Range Hood:Bosch Series 2 DUL63CC50B(~£149) |buy now
How to choose the best cooker hood for you
What Type of Range Hood is Best for You?
There are two types of range hoods: ducted and recirculated.
- extractor hoods or fansare by far the most effective type because they suck all the steam and grease right off the hob and expel it outside. However, an extractor hood requires professional assembly and a hole punched in the ceiling or outer wall. If your cooker is on an outside wall, you're in luck because all you need is a 6 inch (155mm) hole drilled through the wall just behind the cooktop. However, if your cooktop is built into an island or is against an interior wall, you will need to install a duct system, making it even more expensive as the extraction pipe has to go above the ceiling and across the exit hole.
- Recirculating extractor hoodsAvoiding the need for an outside culvert, making them much, much easier to install. They work by simply sucking in dirty cooking air and ramming it through a series of carbon filters before expelling it back into the kitchen. These types of hoods are much better than no hoods at all, but while they're good at removing grease from the air, they're not quite as good at removing odors. In addition, the filters need to be changed more regularly. On the positive side, many extractor hoods of the exhaust air variant can also be converted for recirculation mode.
Which extractor hood suits your kitchen?
The key specification here is the airflow rate of the device. This is measured in cubic meters per hour and is usually written like this: m³/h. Lower prices are fine for smaller kitchens, but the bigger the kitchen, the bigger the number to look out for. A useful rule of thumb is to choose a range hood with a flow rate that is 10 times the volume of your room.
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It's easy to find out for yourself. Simply multiply the width, length and height of your kitchen in meters to get the volume of your kitchen in m³, then multiply the result by ten. Make sure the range hood you choose has a flow rate that is equal to or greater than this figure, as this allows the range hood to filter all of the air in your kitchen at least 10 times an hour. With models here ranging from around 350 m³/h up to 500 m³/h, there is something for all but the very largest of kitchens.
Is there anything else I should consider?
All cooker hood manufacturers recommend a minimum clearance of 650mm above a hob if it is an electric hob (induction or ceramic) and at least 750mm if it is a gas hob. Keep this in mind if your kitchen has a very low ceiling. Fortunately, most range hoods come with a telescopic chimney that can be expanded or contracted to precisely match the height of a ceiling.
You should also make sure the range hood matches the width of your cooktop so steam and smoke can be efficiently and effectively removed from all your bubbling pots and pans.
Read on and you will find a list of the best kitchen extractor fans. Before you take the plunge, we recommend checking out retailers' and manufacturers' websites to do a little research on their installation procedures - after all, you want to be sure that the cooker hood you choose is the perfect fit for your kitchen.
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The best cooker hoods you can buy from €65
1. Ciarra CBCS6201: The best budget cooker hood
Preis:£80 |Buy now on Amazon
This affordable wall mounted kitchen extractor fan can also be used as a recirculation hood with the addition of some optional CBCF002X2 carbon filters. The Ciarra has a very decent extraction capacity of 380m³/h and features three fan speeds and bright LED lighting for added reliability (halogen bulbs don't last nearly as long). With a specified noise level of 63 dB, it shouldn't be too loud either.
The Ciarra comes with everything needed for a fairly straightforward installation, including screws, decorative chimney tubes, 15cm outlet, mounting plates and wall bracket. If you're feeling intimidated by the installation process, be sure to check out the manufacturer's handy how-to video.
For the price, this rather elegant stainless steel model offers excellent value for money. Judging by the many excellent Amazon user reviews, it does the job of removing kitchen odors and cooking smoke with aplomb.
Key Specifications - Type:suction and recirculation;hood size:60cm;extraction rate:380 m³/h;noise level:63dB
CIARRA CBCS6201 Cooker Hoods 60cm Class A with Carbon Filters Stainless Steel Chimney Cooker Hood 600mm Recirculation Duct Kitchen Extractor Extractor Fan
£82.99 buy now
2. Neff D64BHM1N0B: The best kitchen extractor for style and efficiency
Preis:£429 |Buy now from John Lewis
Neff produces a wide range of fine kitchen appliances, which is why it's usually the brand of choice among high-end property developers. If you want to complement your stylish induction hob with a sleek hood that's efficient and quiet (the noise level is said to be 47dB), this might be the model for you.
Designed for wall mounting, the low profile Neff D64BHM1N0B features easy-to-clean brushed stainless steel trim for added flair and an adjustable-height chimney for hassle-free installation. Its standard airflow rate is an excellent 368 m³/h exhaust and 270 m³/h recirculation, and that's enough power to handle the hottest cooking sessions. However, if things get out of hand, there's an 'Intense' button to boost suction power to a whopping 605 m³/h - enough momentum to clean even larger kitchens.
Other highlights include tactile touch controls for the three main fan speeds and a pair of reliable LED lights for you to see by. In the pantheon of the best kitchen extractor fans measuring 60cm, this stylish mid-range model is a top choice.
Key Specifications - Type:suction and recirculation;hood size:60cm;extraction rate:368 m³/h;noise level:47dB
Buy now from John Lewis
3. Bosch Series 6 DWK97JQ60BL: The best high-end angled cooker hood
Preis:£819 | Buy now at AO.com
If you have a 90cm oven or induction hob and can't stand the sight of a large triangular piece of metal jutting out over the cooking area, consider installing one of the new angled extractors. This aesthetically pleasing, glass-encased model sits at an acute angle against the wall to the rear of the cooktop. Not only does it look extremely classy, but you'll never hit your head, which is better than most standard hoods can be said to be.
At 89cm wide, the Bosch Series 6 uses a powerful EcoSilence drive motor to draw steam, greasy air and cooking odors to its large recessed intake and out of the kitchen. Aside from being commendably quiet (the quoted noise level is 53dB), the Series 6 also features a Perfect Air sensor that constantly monitors air quality and automatically adjusts suction power accordingly. Alternatively, a simple tap of the DirectSelect touch control panel offers three manual power levels and two intense settings for roasting sessions - the hood stays on until the sensor detects that all kitchen fumes and odors have left the room. As you'd expect, two bright 1.5W LED bulbs are also included to illuminate the entire cooking area.
You can rarely go wrong with a Bosch and this is a case in point. It does the job of expelling air without sounding like an airplane while looking extremely elegant.
Key Specifications - Type:Extraction;hood size:89cm;extraction rate:460 m³/h;noise level:53dB
Buy now at AO.com
4. Zanussi ZHC62352X: The best budget range hood for style
Preis:£259 |Buy now at AO.com
This brushed steel model features a glass surround - which looks good and is easy to keep clean - two washable filters and two bright LED bulbs that last much longer than the halogen bulbs on the previous model. We recently fitted this 60cm model over a standard John Lewis cooker and it worked great despite the noise it makes at full blast (the claimed 69dB noise level is much higher than some of the more expensive ones competitors).
The control buttons are easy to use: just press the first one to turn on the LEDs and the other three to increase the power. This thing is very loud on the third setting - too loud to be entertained - but the good news is that it's remarkably efficient at getting rid of the unwanted results of even the fattest frying pans.
You could easily spend a lot more on a kitchen extractor that doesn't perform any better than this model. As long as you're willing to put up with the noise, the Zanussi ZHC62352X comes highly recommended.
Key Specifications - Type:suction and recirculation;hood size:60cm;extraction rate:500 m³/h;noise level:69dB
Buy now at AO.com
5. Bosch Series 2 DUL63CC50B: The Best Budget Convection Range Hood
Preis:£149 |Shop now at Curries
If you'd rather take the easy route and don't want to drill holes in the wall, you might want to consider a recirculating model like this fine canopy example from Bosch. The Series 2 is easily wall mounted above any 60 cm hob (stove-type or built-in) and circulates the cooking steam through its activated carbon filter at a rate of up to 350 m³/h.
This range hood couldn't be easier to use - tap the fan speed button of your choice and that's it. On the far right is another button to turn on the two ultra-bright 4W LEDs.
The downside here is that this hood is one of the noisier models on the market (it's rated at 72dB at full speed). So keep that in mind if you have an eat-in kitchen or open-plan living area. That being said, this is a good contender that installs quickly without the need for drilling holes in your walls or ceiling.
Key Specifications - Type:Circulation;hood size:60cm;extraction rate:350 m³/h;noise level:72dB
Shop now at Curries