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

April 13, 2023 9 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.

Metal range hoods have been standard for years but wooden range hoods have recently become popular. Both wooden and metal hoods have unique features that set them apart. This article will introduce both styles and will help you decide which is better. Let’s get started.

What are Wooden Range Hoods?

A wooden range hood is a kitchen exhaust hood primarily constructed from wood. It is usually installed above a stove or cooktop to extract smoke, steam, and odors from the air. These hoods are custom-made and are often wall-mounted or designed as under-cabinet range hoods, ensuring their design style harmonizes with the surrounding kitchen cabinetry.

Wooden range hoods are prized for their rustic and traditional aesthetic, making them a favored choice among homeowners looking to introduce warmth and natural beauty to their kitchens. They can serve as a central feature in kitchen decor or be crafted to seamlessly integrate with the existing 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.

Advantages of Wooden Range hoods

1. Durability and longevity

Wooden range hoods are quite appreciated by among homeowners who own them due to their enduring nature and resilience. Wood, being a robust and durable material, can effectively withstand high temperatures and the rigors of regular use. This makes it a smart and long-term investment for those seeking a kitchen ventilation solution that lasts. Furthermore, maintaining and repairing wooden range hoods is a straightforward process.
It's essential to recognize that the durability of wooden range hoods can fluctuate based on the wood type and construction quality. Woods like oak and cherry, known for their strength and durability, are exceptional choices if those qualities rank high on your criteria for a kitchen exhaust hood.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

Disadvantages of Wooden Range Hoods

1. They are expensive

An important consideration with getting a wooden range hood is their potential expense. This arises from the costs associated with materials and the skilled craftsmanship required to craft a top-notch wooden range hood. Typically, the wood used for range hoods, such as oak or cherry, tends to be pricier compared to metal alternatives. Additionally, the specialized installation process necessary to avoid wood damage may also contribute to higher installation costs.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. Potentially flammable

A notable drawback of wooden range hoods when compared to their metal range hood counterparts is their higher flammability. Wood, being a combustible material, is susceptible to catching fire when subjected to elevated temperatures. This poses a substantial safety risk, especially for homeowners who use their range hoods frequently during cooking or have gas stoves in their kitchens. To mitigate the risk of fire, it's crucial to employ appropriate ventilation and ensure that the wooden range hood is installed at a safe distance from the stove.

What are Metal Range Hoods?

Metal range hoods are kitchen range hoods typically 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. The rising popularity of metal range hoods can be attributed to their modern, sleek appearance and durability.
These metal hoods come in various styles, ranging from straightforward, practical designs to more intricate, embellished models with decorative accents and finishes. Their non-porous construction makes them easy to clean and maintain, as they resist staining and odors. They often feature extra amenities like integrated lighting, adjustable fan speeds, and removable grease filters.

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 sleek chrome appearance and durability. They are easy to maintain and 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.

Advantages of Installing a Metal Range Hood

1. They are very durable

Metal range hoods are highly valued for their durability since they are constructed from robust materials like stainless steel, copper, and brass, renowned for their resilience and ability to withstand wear and tear. These materials can endure continuous use and high temperatures without incurring damage or degradation over time.
Also, maintaining metal range hoods is easier, thanks to their non-porous composition, which resists stains and odors. This quality makes them a favored choice among homeowners who seek a long-lasting, low-maintenance kitchen appliance capable of efficiently ventilating smoke, steam, and cooking odors away from the stove's cooking surface.

2. 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.

3. Easy to clean

Metal range hoods, made from non-porous materials like stainless steel, aluminum, and copper, are easier to clean. A quick wipe with a damp cloth or sponge is sufficient, and most metal range hoods feature a smooth, scratch-resistant surface that resists stains. Moreover, many metal range hoods come equipped with removable grease filters that can be readily cleaned or replaced, contributing to the maintenance of high air quality in the kitchen.

4. They offer efficient ventilation

Metal range hoods are known for their excellent ventilation capabilities. This makes 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

Disadvantages of Metal Range Hoods

1. 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.

2. They are expensive

Metal range hoods typically come with a higher price tag, influenced by multiple factors such as material expenses and the intricacy of the manufacturing procedure. The production of metal hoods frequently entails a more intricate process, demanding specialized equipment and skilled labor. This elevated cost could make them less affordable for individuals operating on a constrained budget.

3. 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

The considerable weight of metal hoods can complicate the installation process. Also, installing metal hoods often requires specialized features, like exterior venting, further enhancing the complexity of installation. If the installation is not done correctly, it may result in ventilation problems and even potential safety issues.

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, here’s a simple comparison table:


Wooden Range Hoods

 Metal Range Hoods



Stainless steel, aluminum, copper, zinc.


Popular for adding warmth and elegance, various styles are available.

Modern and sophisticated,  it offers a sleek look with multiple finishes.


Less powerful ventilation compared to metal range hoods.

More powerful ventilation that effectively removes smoke, steam, and cooking odors.


Less durable; susceptible to scratches, dents, and moisture damage.

More durable; resistant to scratches, dents, and other damage.


Generally more expensive; the cost depends on materials and customization.

Can be more costly due to built-in features and material expenses.


Potentially flammable, especially if not treated with fire-resistant chemicals.  




Can be customized to match the style of your kitchen

Available in a wide variety of styles and finishes.


Requires regular cleaning and sealing to maintain its appearance

Requires minimal maintenance

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.