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Wooden Range Hood vs. Metal Range Hood: Which Is Better?

April 13, 2023 10 min read

Whether you are renovating an existing kitchen or building a new one, one has to make several big and often minute decisions. From kitchen color to appliance placement to the finish of your kitchenware, most homeowners end up just hiring an interior decorator.

For most designers, one confusing decision is usually the design aesthetic of the range hood. It is an appliance that can be made from wood or ceramics to metals like copper, stainless steel, and brass; the design options are endless. Those who want a clean, continuous look of a custom hood that matches their cabinetry can settle for a wooden under-cabinet range hood. Others can settle on a metal island range hood to match their modern-looking island cooktop.

While metal range hoods have been the standard for many years, wooden range hoods have recently gained popularity. Both wooden range hoods and their metal counterparts have unique features and quirks that set them apart. This article will introduce both range hood styles and aid you in deciding which is better. Let's dive in.

What are Wooden Range Hoods?

A wooden range hood is a type of kitchen exhaust hood primarily made of wood. It is typically installed over a stove or cooktop to remove smoke, steam, and odors from the air. They are custom-made kitchen hoods that are often wall-mounted or under-cabinet range hoods and have a design style that flows with the rest of the kitchen cabinetry.

Wooden range hoods are known for their rustic and traditional aesthetic look, making them a popular choice for homeowners who want to add a touch of warmth and natural beauty to their kitchens. They are either the focal point of the kitchen decor or designed to blend seamlessly with the rest of the kitchen cabinetry.

Types of Wooden Range Hoods

There are several types of wooden range hoods available on the market, including:

Traditional Wooden Range Hood

This type of wooden range hood features a classic, timeless design with simple lines and elegant curves. It is typically made from high-quality hardwoods such as oak, cherry, or maple.

Rustic Wooden Range Hood

Rustic wooden range hoods have a more rough-hewn, natural appearance, often with visible knots and imperfections in the wood. They may feature decorative carvings or metal accents.

Contemporary Wooden Range Hood

Contemporary wooden range hoods have sleek, modern designs with clean lines and minimal ornamentation. They may be made from various kinds of wood or finished with a veneer for a more uniform appearance.

Carved Wooden Range Hood

Carved wooden range hoods are highly decorative and feature intricate designs and motifs carved into the wood. They may be finished with a natural stain or painted to match the kitchen decor.

Paneled Wooden Range Hood

Paneled wooden range hoods have a more understated appearance, with flat or raised panels on the sides and front. They may be painted or finished with a natural stain to match the kitchen decor.

Pros and Cons of Installing a Wooden Range Hood

Installing a wooden range hood has several notable advantages and some glaring drawbacks, all of which we will discuss below.

Pros of Wooden Range hoods

Durability and longevity

Wooden range hoods are known for their durability and longevity, making them popular among homeowners. Wood is a strong and sturdy material that can withstand high heat and frequent use, making it an intelligent investment for homeowners who want a long-lasting kitchen ventilation solution. In addition to their durability, wooden range hoods are easy to repair and maintain.

However, it's important to note that the durability of wooden range hoods can vary depending on the type of wood used and the quality of the construction. Some woods, such as oak and cherry, are known for their durability and strength, and if those are the top priorities for your kitchen exhaust hood, a wooden range hood is a great choice.

Highly customizable

One of the main advantages of wooden range hoods is their almost endless design possibilities. From sleek and modern to rustic and traditional, the versatility of wood allows for a wide range of design options. Wooden range hoods can be customized to match any kitchen style or aesthetic.

Additionally, wooden range hoods can be stained or painted to complement the kitchen's color scheme or create a bold statement. The design flexibility of wooden range hoods makes them an excellent option for anyone looking to add a unique and personalized touch to their kitchen.

Adds warmth and elegance to the kitchen space

Wooden range hoods are popular among homeowners who value warmth and elegance in their kitchen design. Wooden range hoods add a natural element to the kitchen that can create a cozy and inviting atmosphere.

The use of wood can complement other wooden elements in the kitchen, such as cabinets, floors, or countertops, to create a cohesive and harmonious space. The warmth and texture of a wood range hood can balance out the hard surfaces and sharp angles often found in modern kitchens.

Tend to a less noisy

Wooden range hoods are much quieter, making them an excellent choice for homeowners who value a peaceful and tranquil kitchen environment. The natural properties of wood, such as its density and insulating ability, can help to muffle noise and reduce vibrations. This can be particularly important for homeowners with open-concept kitchens, where noise can easily carry into other home areas. Additionally, the quiet operation of a wooden range hood means that it won't interfere with conversations or TV watching in the kitchen.

Cons of Wooden Range Hoods

They are expensive

One potential disadvantage of wooden range hoods is that they can be expensive. This is due to the cost of materials and craftsmanship involved in creating a high-quality wooden range hood. The wood used for range hoods, like oak or cherry, is generally more expensive than its metal counterparts.

Also, the skilled craftsmanship involved with making them and the cost of installing a wooden range hood may be higher due to the need for special care during installation to prevent damage to the wood.

Requires regular maintenance

One potential disadvantage of wood range hoods compared to metal range hoods is that they often require regular maintenance. Wood is a natural material that can be susceptible to damage from water, stains, or discoloration. This means that wooden range hoods need regular cleaning, sanding, and re-staining or painting to maintain their appearance. The hood can get damaged or lose certain functionality and value if not properly and regularly maintained.

Excessive construction delays

Wooden range hoods are typically custom-made to fit the exact dimensions of the homeowner's kitchen, and this process can involve a significant amount of design work and construction. This means receiving a custom wood range hood can take longer than a mass-produced metal range hood.

Additionally, crafting a wooden range hood requires a high level of skill and attention to detail, which can lead to delays if the craftsman encounters unexpected issues or complications during construction. A wooden range hood may not be the best choice for homeowners on a tight schedule or doing a quick kitchen renovation.

Potentially flammable

One top disadvantage of wooden range hoods compared to metal range hoods is that they tend to be more flammable. Wood is a combustible material, and when exposed to high temperatures, the wood hood can easily catch fire. This can be a significant safety concern for homeowners who frequently use their range hoods for cooking or have a gas stove in their kitchen. To minimize the fire risk, it is essential to use the proper ventilation and ensure that the wooden range hood is installed safely from the stove.

What are Metal Range Hoods?

Metal range hoods are kitchen range hoodstypically made from various metals, including stainless steel, copper, and brass. They are designed to ventilate smoke, steam, and cooking odors away from the cooking surface of a stove.

Metal range hoods have become increasingly popular due to their sleek, modern appearance and durability. They are also relatively easy to clean and maintain, as most models are constructed from non-porous materials that resist stains and odors. Metal range hoods are available in various styles, from simple, functional designs to more elaborate, ornate models with decorative details and finishes.

Metal range hoods come in several custom hood styles and range hood designs. It is common to find an island or wall mount range hood entirely made of stainless steel or copper. Some metal range hoods include extra features like built-in lighting, adjustable fan speeds, and removable grease filters for easy cleaning.

Types of Metal Range Hoods

There are several types of metal range hoods available on the market, including:

Stainless Steel Range Hood

Stainless steel hoods are a popular choice due to their durability, sleek appearance, and ease of maintenance. They are available in various styles and finishes, from polished to brushed.

Copper Range Hood

Copper range hoods are a luxurious choice that adds warmth and elegance to any kitchen. They are often handcrafted and can feature decorative elements such as embossed patterns or rivets.

Brass Range Hood

Brass range hoods are a traditional option that can add a vintage or antique feel to a kitchen. They require regular polishing to maintain their shine but can develop a beautiful patina over time.

Zinc Range Hood

Zinc range hoods are a more affordable alternative to copper and brass. They have a matte finish that can develop a unique patina over time.

Cast Iron Range Hood

Cast iron range hoods are a sturdy and durable option that can add a rustic or industrial feel to a kitchen. They are often finished with a matte black or dark grey powder coating.

Pros and Cons of Installing a Metal Range Hood

Installing a metal hood has its perks and drawbacks, as discussed below.

Pros of Installing a Metal Range Hood

They are very durable

One of the key advantages of metal range hoods is their durability. Metal range hoods are made from sturdy materials such as stainless steel, copper, and brass, known for their strength and resistance to wear and tear. They can withstand frequent use and high temperatures without becoming damaged or deteriorating over time.

Additionally, metal range hoods are easy to clean and maintain, as they are made from non-porous materials that resist stains and odors. This makes them a popular choice for homeowners who want a long-lasting and low-maintenance kitchen appliance that can effectively ventilate smoke, steam, and cooking smells away from the cooking surface of the stove.

Tons of built-in features

Many metal range hoods have several additional functions, making them even more convenient and functional. These features include built-in lighting, adjustable fan speeds, and removable grease filters. Some models may also have sensors that detect smoke or excess heat and automatically adjust the fan speed to control ventilation levels. This is especially useful for those who do a lot of cooking, as it helps to ensure that the air in the kitchen stays clean and fresh.

Easy to clean

Metal range hoods are made of non-porous materials such as stainless steel, aluminum, and copper, which are much easier to clean. They can be easily wiped down with a damp cloth or sponge, and most metal range hoods have a smooth surface resistant to scratches and stains. In addition, many metal range hoods come equipped with removable grease filters that can be easily cleaned or replaced, which helps to maintain the air quality in the kitchen.

They offer efficient ventilation

Metal range hoods are known for their excellent ventilation capabilities, making them ideal for homeowners who prioritize clean and fresh air in the kitchen. The smooth and non-porous surface of metal range hoods allows for efficient airflow, and most models come equipped with powerful fans that can quickly and effectively remove smoke, steam, and other impurities from the air.

Additionally, metal range hoods are typically more effective at capturing and removing grease and other cooking by-products that can accumulate on walls, cabinets, and other surfaces in the kitchen. Some metal range hoods even come with adjustable fan speeds, allowing users to customize the level of ventilation to suit their cooking needs.

Cons of Metal Range Hoods

They are quite noisy

One of the main disadvantages of metal range hoods is their noise level. Their powerful exhaust fan used to remove smoke, and other impurities from the air, can create a loud, disruptive noise that may be bothersome to some homeowners.

They are expensive

Metal range hoods are generally more expensive, and this is due to several factors, including the cost of materials and the complexity of the manufacturing process. The manufacturing process for metal hoods is often more involved, requiring specialized equipment and skilled labor. Their high price might make them less accessible to those on a tighter budget or lead to them opting for a less expensive wooden range hood or forgoing a range hood altogether.

Prone to scratches and dents

One potential drawback of metal hoods is that they can be prone to scratches and dents, especially if made of softer metals like aluminum. Over time, these scratches and dents can accumulate, detracting from the hood's appearance and potentially affecting its performance. Additionally, if it is a stainless steel hood, it can be challenging to remove fingerprints and smudges, which can be unsightly and require frequent cleaning.

Quite difficult to install

Metal hoods like island hoods can be challenging to install, especially if the installation involves making any modifications to the kitchen. Metal hoods are heavy, and their weight can make installation more difficult. Additionally, metal hoods often require specialized installation techniques, such as venting to the outside, which can add to the complexity of the installation process. If the installation is not done correctly, it can lead to issues with proper ventilation and even safety hazards.

So Which Is Better?

Wooden range hoods and metal range hoods both have their advantages and disadvantages, so to get a firm overview of which is better, we will base our comparison on the following:

Design and Style Options

Wooden range hoods are popular for those looking to add warmth and elegance to their kitchen. They come in various styles, from simple and rustic to ornate and intricate. In contrast, metal range hoods offer a modern, sleek look in multiple finishes.

Functionality and Performance

In terms of functionality and performance, wooden and metal range hoods perform the same primary task of extracting smoke and odors from the kitchen. However, metal hoods are known for being more efficient in this regard. They often come with built-in features such as fans, lights, and timers and are generally more effective at removing smoke and odors from the air.


Metal hoods are generally more durable than wooden hoods. They are resistant to scratches, dents, and other forms of damage and are less prone to wear and tear over time. Wooden hoods, on the other hand, require more maintenance and are susceptible to damage from moisture and heat.


When it comes to cost, wooden range hoods are generally less expensive than metal hoods. However, this depends on the specific materials used and the level of customization required. Metal hoods can be more costly due to the range of built-in features they offer and the cost of materials.

Performance and Efficiency

Metal range hoods are generally more efficient than wooden range hoods. They are better at extracting smoke and odors from the air and have features that make them more effective. However, wooden range hoods can still perform their primary function effectively and can be a good choice for those on a budget or looking for a specific style.

Final Thoughts

When deciding between a wooden range hood and a metal range hood, it is essential to consider all the factors discussed. Both hood types have advantages and disadvantages regarding design and style options, functionality and performance, durability, cost, and performance and efficiency.

Choosing the right range hood for your kitchen is crucial for a functional, safe, and aesthetically pleasing space. When deciding, consider your kitchen's size and layout.