How To Choose The Right Range Hood Size

October 08, 2023 7 min read

When designing your dream kitchen, you want to get things right. One of the design challenges concerns the range hood and ensuring that it is just the right size. This guide simplifies determining the size and positioning of a custom range hood.

Whether you are looking for a wall-mounted range hood or an island model, we will walk you through the most critical factors. After going through this guide, you will know how to right-size your range hood for maximum ventilation and design benefits.

Without further ado, let’s jump in!

Understanding Range Hood Sizing

The unit's overall size is one of the first things that needs to be covered. To ensure efficient ventilation in the kitchen, you will want to be sure that your custom range hood is neither too small nor too big. If the hood is too small, it may not effectively circulate air. On the other hand, if the unit is too large, it may produce too much sound or be costly to run. From a design perspective, you will want to be sure that the look of the range hood also matches the overall design features of the surrounding kitchen.

There are three main dimensions to consider when sizing your custom range hood: width, depth, and height. Most kitchen designers agree that the range hood should be at least as wide as the stove it covers, and many recommend extending the width a few inches beyond the range's width to be safe.

At the same time, you should ensure that the range hood covers both the front and back burners. The reason for ensuring the range hood is big enough ought to be obvious: You will want the range hood to capture most, if not all, of the steam and smoke that may emanate from the cooking surface.  

Height is another critical consideration. If the range hood is too high above the stove, it may not sufficiently move smells and particulates coming from the cooked items. Of course, at the same time, you do not want the range hood so close to the stove that you cannot see underneath it. And those who are particularly tall may not wish for their range hood to be located so close to the cooking surface.

After selecting your stovetop and measuring its height, you can imagine how high above the cooking surface you would like to see the vent located. Most will prefer the bottom of their range hood to be approximately 30 to 36 inches, and those who are exceptionally tall may wish to add a couple of inches beyond that distance.  

Width of Range Hood


The most common type of range hood is the wall-mounted variety. For these range hoods, the width should cover the cooking area, or it can be slightly larger. In some kitchens with limited space, there is no opportunity to make the range hood any wider than the range itself. But there are no cabinets in the way and you would like your custom range hood to be a little wider than the cooking area, we recommend spacing that is anywhere from 0 to six inches. For an idea, see the graphic here:



The range hood height is technically the height of the actual appliance, but to calculate that dimension, you have to consider how high above the stove you would like the range hood to be.

The bottom of the range hood should be mounted somewhere between 30 inches to 36 inches above the cooktop to ensure efficient ventilation. Mounting the range hood too high may result in poor ventilation while placing the range hood too low may impede visibility and can even become a safety hazard.  


The wall-mounted range hood should be deep enough to cover the entire cooktop, but this may not be possible in some cases. The typical depth for our range hood is either 18 inches or 22 inches. ModernCopper range hoods are custom-made, and if you require a custom depth, this can be arranged.

Other Types of Range Hoods

Under-cabinet range hoods and island range hoods require some additional details...

Under-cabinet range hoods

Under-cabinet range hoods are available in standard widths of 24, 30, and 36 inches. For these types of hoods, the width of the range hood should match the width of your cooktop or range, or else the hood might extend another 3 inches or so on each side to provide adequate coverage. The height and depth considerations are similar to the wall-mounted range hood.

Island Range Hood 

IIsland range hoods are installed above cooktops located in the center of the kitchen, attaching directly to the ceiling since walls do not support them. These hoods should ideally extend beyond the cooktop's surface to effectively capture steam and fumes, lacking a wall to contain them. For optimal performance, the bottom of an island range hood should be positioned 30 to 36 inches from the cooktop. Homes with island cooking setups often feature high or sloped ceilings, adding complexity to the installation process. However, custom range hoods designed to fit pitched ceilings are available for such scenarios.

Range Hood Ventilation Strength 

Homeowners choosing a new range hood may have questions about ventilation strength, as well. Kitchens where a lot of cooking is done will often need greater ventilation, and those where only simple meals are prepared may not have a similar need.  

Range hood ventilation is measured in CFM (cubic feet per minute). Range hoods with the highest CFM rating will move the most significant amounts of air on a per-minute basis. CFM ratings of 300-600 are typical for basic cooking needs in modest spaces, and heavy-duty cooking tends to be associated more often with CFM ratings of 600-900. In commercial kitchen settings or where cooking is extensive, homeowners may choose a CFM rating of 900-1200. In these cases, the blower motor tends to be outside the house. To understand more about CFM, visit our article on the subject here.

Range Hood Sizing for Kitchen Layouts

As different cooking styles require different sizing considerations, kitchen layouts also demand varying sizing and CFM (cubic feet per minute) ratings. We will explore below the range hood sizes for small, medium-sized, and large cooking and open-plan kitchens.

Benefits of Range Hoods

Selecting the appropriate size for your kitchen's range hood is crucial for several key reasons:

Effective ventilation

A range hood's primary role is to remove cooking smoke, steam, and odors, ensuring clean air. A hood that is too small can't effectively eliminate pollutants, causing grease and odor buildup. A right-sized hood provides efficient ventilation for a healthier, more pleasant kitchen.

Reduced excess heat

Cooking raises the kitchen's temperature, often making it uncomfortably hot. An appropriately sized range hood removes this excess heat, creating a cooler and more comfortable space for cooking and dining. If the hood is too small, it fails to cool the area, reducing comfort and safety adequately.


Selecting the right range hood size is essential for safety reasons. If the range hood is too large for the cooking surface, it can create excessive suction, leading to negative pressure in the kitchen. In rare cases, this can cause exhaust fumes from other appliances, such as gas water heaters or furnaces, to be drawn into the kitchen.

Energy efficiency

An appropriately sized range hood enhances kitchen efficiency and conserves energy. Oversized hoods consume excessive power, increasing energy bills.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right range hood size is essential for adequate kitchen ventilation and air quality. A range hood that is too small may not effectively capture all of the smoke and fumes generated during cooking, while a range hood that is too large may be inefficient and wasteful. When choosing a custom range hood, ensure it is the right size for your needs. If you need any help determining the best width, height, and depth—or if you need help determining the right level of CFM, call or email. We would be glad to help.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    1. Can I install a range hood that is larger than my cooktop?

      While installing a range hood that is larger than your cooktop is possible, it is not recommended. A range hood that is too large may not be able to effectively capture all of the cooking smoke and fumes, which can reduce its effectiveness.

    2. What if I have a cooktop with different burner sizes?

      If you have a cooktop with different burner sizes, it is recommended to select a range hood that is sized for the largest burner. This will ensure that the range hood can effectively capture burner smoke and fumes.

    3. What if I have a cooktop with a built-in downdraft vent?

      You may not need a range hood if you have a cooktop with a built-in downdraft vent. However, if you find the downdraft vent ineffective in capturing smoke and fumes, you may also need to install a range hood.

    4. How do I know if I need a ducted or ductless range hood?
      A ducted range hood vents smoke and fumes outside of your home. On the other hand, a ductless range hood uses charcoal filters to trap smoke and fumes and mesh or stainless steel baffle filters to trap large particles before recirculating clean air back into the kitchen. Installing a ducted range hood is generally recommended as it is more effective in removing smoke and fumes from your home.

    5. Can I install a range hood or do I need a professional installer? While it is possible to install a range hood yourself, it is recommended to hire a professional installer to ensure that the range hood is installed correctly and meets all safety requirements. A professional installer can also help ensure the range hood is the correct size for your cooktop and ventilation needs.


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