The Complete Guide to Types of Kitchen Range Hoods

January 24, 2023 5 min read

Choosing the ideal range hood for your kitchen is an important home design or kitchen renovation decision made difficult because of the confusing number of range hoods available. A basic guide on range hoods is essential to help you find a quality range hood.

Choosing the ideal range hood for your kitchen is an important home design or kitchen renovation decision made difficult because of the confusing number of range hoods available. A basic guide on range hoods is essential to help you find a quality range hood.

This article gives a comprehensive introduction to range hoods. It includes an overview of the various ventilation categories, types, and factors to consider when choosing a decent range hood for your home.

So, let’s dive in.

Major Range Hood Ventilation Categories

All kitchen range hoods fall into one of three major ventilation categories: ducted, ductless, and convertible range hoods.Here's an overview of them.

Ducted Range Hoods
These kitchen range hoods filter and vent out odors and particles via pipes and ducts. They are also known as external venting systems since they vent outside your home through ducts that run through your ceiling or wall.

Ductless Range Hoods

These range hood systems do not have external venting systems. Instead, the suction fan draws in air, cleans it by passing it through a baffle, mesh, or charcoal filter, and recirculates. They have the advantage of being much smaller but less effective than their ducted counterparts.

Convertible Range Hoods

These range hood systems combine the features of both ducted and ductless range hoods, ideally like the perfect range hood. They are calibrated to either vent outdoors or recirculate the air indoors. It combines the best of both systems and offers greater flexibility when choosing a range hood system.

Types of Kitchen Range Hood Systems

There are several kitchen range hood styles and designs, from the visible and imposing to those hidden from view and others made to blend in with the stylistic décor of the kitchen. 

Regardless of design variation, all kitchen range hoods can be classified into five distinct types: wall-mounted, island canopy, under-cabinet, retractable downdraft,and custom range hoods.These are the five significant classifications of kitchen range hoods, and we will explain their features and differences.

Wall-Mounted Range Hoods

Wall-mounted chimney range hoods sound like a mouthful but are among the most popular kitchen range hoods. They are bell-shaped range hood systems with a chimney section mounted on the wall above the cooktop or range.

They are fastened to the wall with a visible funnel-shaped vent hood in the area designated for cabinets. These are usually ducted range hood systems with simple and fast venting features. They extract odors and fumes and vent them straight up or out the back of the kitchen wall. Newer models have added features like adjustable venting speed, LED lighting, hand sensors, and perimetric ventilation.

Island Canopy Range Hoods

Island canopy is a ceiling-mounted range hood with very high venting surface areas. They can feature ducted, ductless, or convertible ventilation systems and are set immediately above the cooktop or range.

They are one of the most complicated range hood systems to install and form a hanging island over your cooktop, hence the name. They are usually bigger than your stove or range and work by creating a pressure vacuum above your cooking area to suck odor, grease, and smoke. They have features like perimetric filter systems, LED lighting, auto shut-off, and variable speed controls.

Under-Cabinet Range Hoods

These are ducted or convertible range hood systems fitted directly beneath existing cabinets. They conserve space and easily blend with your kitchen décor.

They are small, compact range hood systems positioned directly underneath the cabinets above your cooktop. They use in-built suction fans to extract fumes, grease, and vapors during or after cooking. Additional features include built-in lights, multi-fan speeds, and automatic exhaust timers.

Under-cabinet range hoods provide sufficient venting and are popular among homeowners looking for a simple range hood system. An under-cabinet range hood's ducting or piping system can be concealed in the upper cabinet or walls.

Retractable Downdraft Range Hoods

These sleek and attractive range hoods add an integrated and modern look to your kitchen. They work horizontally and typically employ ductless or converted venting systems.

They are commonly installed in pop-up or retractable countertops and vent through a series of ducts beneath the floor. Unlike other systems that extract fumes by drawing air upward, a downdraft range hood pulls air and odor downward and from the sides of your cooking area. They try to capture smoke, vapors, and odors before they rise into the kitchen environment.

They offer easy integration and minimalistic interruption to kitchen decor and are an excellent option for low-ceiling kitchens, especially those with space constraints.

Custom Range Hoods

Custom range hoods are for those who prefer stunning, well-crafted, custom-built hoods with excellent ventilation power. They come in various sizes, forms, and finishes and are fashioned from marble, stainless steel, and ceramics. Depending on the custom range hood, they can be ducted, ductless, or conventional.

They are traditional range hood systems and often have large hoods with range hood inserts that can rapidly carry large volumes of air. They have features like multi-control, additional lighting, and noise dampers.

These are ventilation systems for those who desire elegant operational devices that enhance or blend in with their kitchen decor. They provide endless style, color, and art design choices and are often classified as the best range hood money can buy. Some of the best custom range hoods in different styles and colors are available at Modern Copper.

How to Choose A Range Hood 

To accurately select a range hood for your kitchen that will check the functionality box and fit nicely within your decor, consider these factors:

Size and Space

Size and space are essential when selecting a range hood for your kitchen. The size should correspond to the available space in your kitchen, and the vent hood must also cover the width of the cooktop or is expected to clear. A well-fitted range hood will provide optimal ventilation in the kitchen.

Venting Strength

The venting strength or the airflow capacity of a range hood is the measure of air it can extract in a minute. This is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM) and largely depends on the power and speed settings of the range hood's suction fan. The industry standard is 100 CFM of suctioned air for every 12 inches of the expected cooking area.

Heat Resistance Rating

Cooking areas in kitchens are usually high-temperature zones, so any range hood installed there must be heat-resistant. They must be designed to cope with the extreme temperatures and smoke from your kitchen stove. This is usually calculated based on your stove burners' BTU (British Thermal Units) value. A high BTU rating from your cooking burners will require a brand or model range hood rated for high resistance.

Venting System

When choosing a range hood system, the venting systems that remove suctioned air and odor from your kitchen or recycle them are also essential. Your range hood must have a properly installed venting system to perform at its best. Whether ducted, ductless, or conventional, the venting system should match the range hood's functionality and power.


Price is essential, and you should examine the cost of any range hood you want to install before selecting. Before getting a range hood for your kitchen, examine the cost of acquisition, materials, installation, and maintenance.

Selecting The Perfect Range Hood

A custom range hoods is an excellent addition to any modern kitchen. No matter whether you are searching for a crisp-looking white range hood or a chic black range hood, or anything in between, the goal is to great kitchen design with essential ventilation.