Wall-Mounted Range Hoods vs. Under-Cabinet Range Hoods: Which Is Better?

March 16, 2023 6 min read

One of the essential kitchen appliances in most modern homes today is a range hood. It plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy and comfortable environment in a cooking space by removing smoke, grease, and heat from the air.

The two most common range hoods seen in most kitchens are the wall-mounted or under-cabinet range hoods. They are both similar in operation but have different features that make them perfect for different kitchens.

For those unsure about them, this article will be a comparison guide on the stellar features and the cons of using either. Ultimately, you will have a definitive answer as to which range hood is better for your kitchen, a wall-mounted or an under-cabinet hood.

Let's dive in.

What is a Wall-Mounted Range Hood?

A wall-mount range hood is one of the easily recognizable types of kitchen range hood systems. They are range hoods attached firmly to the kitchen wall above the stove and are often recognized by their tapered hood or pyramid chimney hood styles.

Wall-mounted range hoods are one of the most powerful kitchen ventilators, and they are often found in large kitchens where intense regular cooking occurs. They have powerful fans and filter units that pull hot air, smoke, food particles, grease, and strong odors away from the kitchen area.

They can be ducted or ductless range hoods and have a stainless steel or custom range hood cover depending on the design style and preference of the homeowner. Some of the best custom wall-mount range hoods are available at Moderncopper.

 What is an Under-Cabinet Range Hood?

An under-cabinet range hood is a range hood with a thin profile that is usually installed under an over-the-range cabinet to save space in the kitchen. They are installed in the cabinet space above the cooking area, so their vent hood covers the cooking area. They have strong and efficient blowers, and their position allows them to extract and collect all the dirty air, smoke, flying grease, or other pollutants produced by the cooking process.

These range hoods are prized for taking up less space and requiring less installation and maintenance cost. They are primarily ductless range hoods and are often the best choice in urban apartments where space is limited, and there is no access to ductwork for venting outside.

Advantages of Installing a Wall-Mounted Range Hood

  1. They are powerful and very efficient

They can handle large volumes of smoke, odors, and air particles because of the powerful suction fans in their hoods. Wall-mounted hoods with hood inserts are known to have large fan capacities making them an excellent choice for large kitchens or those who cook frequently.

  1. They come with many advanced features

They have many essential features that improve their efficiency. Features like: Auto shut off timer, perimetric venting technology, energy-saving LED lighting, and in-line smart blowers systems.

  1. Very durable

They are made with high-quality stainless steel and have Teflon-coated blades that prevent rusting. These features add to their durability and increase the lifespan of any unit you install.

  1. Improves the kitchen look

When it comes to range hoods, wall mount range hoods have an imposing aura that immediately draws attention. Among range hoods, only island range hoods share this imposing feature. Their vent hood has that appealing look that complements the kitchen design and gives it a much-needed aesthetic lift.

  1. Provide adequate coverage

Wall mount hoods provide good venting coverage without limiting the space over the cooktop. Unlike an under-cabinet hood or island range hood, they are not directly over the cooktop, so they don't obstruct the use of tall pans and pots when cooking.

Disadvantages of Using a Wall-Mounted Range Hood

  1. Noisy

Wall-mounted range hoods can get pretty noisy, particularly those without noise-damping technology. The powerful suction fans in them are loud when operating at maximum or near maximum speed. This can prevent usage in shared kitchens where conversations are a core part of the cooking process.

  1. Require much space and ducting system

Most wall-mounted range hoods have large imposing vent hoods that cover significant space where they are installed. They also require extensive ducting systems and somewhere outdoors to vent pollutants. This makes them unsuitable for kitchen areas where space is limited.

  1. Increased maintenance cost

These range hoods constantly remove large volumes of grease, oils, and air pollutants, which can pile up quickly in the range hood. For your wall-mounted range hood to always function optimally, it will require regular cleaning and maintenance. The cleaning must be regular, which can be pretty costly.

Advantages of Using an Under-Cabinet Range Hood

  1. They save space

Under-cabinet range hoods are made to improve ventilation in the kitchen while also efficiently using the limited space available. They are slim, unobstructed, and can fit into small spaces without altering the kitchen area's decor. Next to downdraft hoods, under-cabinet hoods offer the most efficient use of space.

  1. Easy installation and maintenance

Most under-cabinet range hoods have easy installation guidelines that an average individual can follow. This saves additional costs usually incurred by calling a professional installer. They also have considerably simpler and easily replaceable parts.

  1. Tons of modern features

An under-cabinet range hood has many modern features, making it a great hood to install. Some notable modern features include: remote-controlled start and stop, adjustable fan speeds, additional lighting, and backlit touchscreen controls for easy use in dimply lit kitchens. Some even have retractable overhead venting hoods like those in downdraft range hoods that can be concealed when not used.

  1. Affordable

Under-cabinet range hoods are very cost-effective and offer tons of savings, making them considerably more affordable than other range hoods. Also, they are cheaper, require less ductwork, take less time to install, and cost less to maintain.

  1. Quiet operation

These range hoods are designed to operate quietly at a much lower noise level. This makes them an ideal choice for homes where noise levels must be kept to a minimum. They have low-powered exhaust blowers, which tend to generate less noise. For a better understanding of how they run so quietly, you check our article on how under-cabinet range hoods work.

Disadvantages of Using an Under-Cabinet Range Hood

Some of the notable disadvantages of using under-cabinet range hoods are as follows:

  1. Less powerful

Under-cabinet range hoods have considerably smaller hood openings, which means they can’t pull large volumes of air once compared to the wide hood in a wall-mounted range hood. This gives them low CFM (cubic feet per meter) levels, which makes them significantly less powerful and limits their effectiveness.

  1. Unsuited for constant deep fry or heavy grease cooking

Deep frying or serious grease cooking releases significant heat at once, and most under-cabinet range hoods can't handle this. They are too small and don't have enough airflow to handle this quick release of boiling grease and oil droplets. Their filter units are often mesh or charcoal filters that usually can't handle extreme temperatures.

  1. Ineffective with heavy steams and vapors

Under-cabinet range hoods don't have pressure vacuum valves to effectively remove hot steam and vapors. This makes them practically ineffective at extracting heavy smoke and vapors and allows the buildup of condensation in the kitchen.

  1. Limited clearance

Because of their close location over the cooking space, under-cabinet range hoods provide less clearance above the cooktop. This can be an issue if you cook with oversized pots and pans.

Which is Better?

A comparison table highlighting their features is below to give you a final verdict on both hoods. 




Quite expensive, with the added cost of constructing a duct system

Cost saving with little expense on ducting.


Very high efficiency, with over 90% of polluted air vented out

Low efficiency and quite infective with steam and hot grease.


Complex installation and requires hiring a professional.

Simple do-it-yourself installation process.

Space requirement

Requires lots of space and ductwork.

Requires considerably less space with undersized ductwork.


They are built to last long.

Life span is short compared to other types of range hoods.

Noise levels

It can get very noisy, especially in brands with no noise-damping technology.

Most run a lot quieter, especially at low fan speed.


They are designed for heavy use, requiring regular maintenance and part replacements which can be costly.

They are designed for light use and have a low maintenance cost.

Final Thoughts

A wall-mount range hood is a popular choice among homeowners because of its versatility, ease of installation, and aesthetic appeal. Under cabinet range hoods, however, are less noticeable and are integrated into the kitchen's cabinetry. This hood best suits kitchens with low ceilings or limited space above the stove.

Ultimately, the choice between a wall-mounted range hood and an under-cabinet range hood will depend on factors such as kitchen design, ventilation needs, and budget. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to carefully evaluate the options before making a decision.