If you want to find the best range hood insert on the market, you are in the right place!
In this product review, I will go over…
- My #1 top pick vent hood inserts
- Tips on picking the right one
- Frequent complaints of homeowners
As a licensed home inspector, I have inspected tons of range hoods, and inserts offer great flexibility.
Inserts can blend seamlessly into kitchen cabinets. Or you can build your own custom wood hood that stands out with a unique look!
Check out our list of the best range hood inserts below or keep on reading to see our buyer's guide and various tips!
Kobe Brillia 550-CFM 30-Inch Baffle Filters
|View on Amazon|
Broan-Nutone PM390 21-Inch 390-CFM
|View on Amazon|
IKTCH 900-CFM With Gesture Sensing
|View on Amazon|
Ancona Inserta Plus Range Hood Insert
|View on Amazon|
Kobe Deluxe 700-CFM Stainless Steel
|View on Amazon|
My Overall #1 Rated Pick
My overall top pick for the best range hood insert goes to the Kobe Brillia. This 550-cfm range vent insert comes in a 30-inch and 36-inch models. It is made of commercial grade stainless steel with a satin finish. It also includes two 3-watt LEDs for energy efficient cooktop lighting. The Kobe Brillia has a trademarked QuietMode fan speed so you can ventilate your kitchen with low noise.
The 5 Best Range Hood Inserts
Only have a minute? Check out our top 5 range hood inserts below! Keep reading for more details:
What Is A Built-In Range Hood?
A range hood insert is a type of range hood that is inserted into either a wood hood or a custom cabinet.
The nice thing about inserts is that they can provide a unique and seamless look to your kitchen. Metallic range hoods don’t exactly match kitchen cabinets, and not everyone likes the look of stainless steel or black.
What Is A Wood Hood?
A wood hood is a manufactured wooden shell that is specifically made for built-in range hoods. There are also hood inserts that are already installed into the wood hood by the manufacturer.
Homeowners also like to build out custom cabinets for hood inserts which is basically a wood frame with some type of aesthetic wood installed over it. Some people like to get creative and put different materials over the insert enclosure like metal, tile, or plaster rather than using wood.
Read Also >> What Are The Best Wood Hoods?
How Do Hood Inserts Work?
Inserts work similar to other styles of range hoods except for the fact that they are installed into a cabinet or wood hood.
Inserts consist of a motor and blower wheel, control panel, lighting, filters, and the duct. The range hood exhausts cooking smoke and fumes to the outside through a connected ductwork.
The filters (either baffle or mesh) remove grease from the air so it doesn't gunk up the range hood and the filters will need to be periodically cleaned. Some built-in range hoods can be converted into a ductless installation with the addition of charcoal filters that helps capture smoke.
How To Pick The Best Vent Hood Insert?
1. Width of Wood Hood And Insert
The minimum size of the insert should be the width of your cooktop or oven, but 6-10 inches wider is recommended in order to capture the most fumes and grease. The two most common sizes of vent hood inserts are 36-inches and 30-inches but numerous other sizes are available.
It is also essential to note that the wood or custom enclosure should be 2-inches wider than the insert in order for it to fit in nicely without vibrations or damage to the wood. So if the wood hood or cabinet is 38-inches wide, then a 36-inch wide insert would fit perfectly.
2. CFM or Fan Speed
CFM or cubic feet per minute is the amount of air that the insert will move in one minute. Most range vent inserts will range from a low of 250-cfm and all the way up to around 900-cfm for most residential kitchens. The CFM for a range hood in a typical kitchen will be around 550-CFM.
Ideally, homeowners should choose a slightly more powerful CFM rating for a range hood insert. Since inserts are usually installed into cabinets or a wood hoods, there is a risk of wood damage or staining if it is underpowered.
According to the Home Ventilating Institute, the most basic CFM recommendations will be 250-cfm for a 30-inch range, 300-cfm for a 36-inch range, and 400-cfm for a 48-inch range.
Read Also >> How To Pick Range Hood CFM?
Most vent hood inserts will state their sound levels in decibels or sones. Sones is the loudness perceived by human beings — it is a somewhat subjective scale. But 40-decibels is roughly equivalent to 1-sone, and a whisper measures 30 decibels.
Most range vent inserts will state their decibel range anywhere from 40-decibels and all the way up to 75-decibels. The Kobe Brillia vent hood insert has a QuietMode setting where fan speed is equal to 1-sone. One sone or about 40-decibels will probably be the quietest you will hear a vent hood insert.
Inline Blower Option
Another option is an remote inline blower which installs the hood motor away from the kitchen. This option is a bit more expensive and difficult to install but it will be nearly silent since the motor isn't in the kitchen.
Most built-in inserts will have LED lighting in the range of 1-3 watts.
A common complaint of homeowners is that the lighting isn’t bright enough on their hood insert. Also, the LEDs may not be shining in the best location, and the LEDs may not be adjustable as to where the light goes. You may also not be satisfied with the LED light color.
5. Ducted And Ductless
Almost all manufacturers allow their vent hood inserts to be convertible from ducted to ductless with the addition of a charcoal filter kit.
The filter kit includes a charcoal filter which helps remove smoke and particles before recirculating the air back into the kitchen. It will also need a grease filter that will capture the airborne grease from cooking.
If you have the option, going with a ducted hood insert is always advisable because the performance is always superior.
Read Also >> How Do Ductless Range Hoods Work?
How To Install A Built-In Hood?
I highly recommend that homeowners test the hood insert prior to installation. The easiest option is just to take it out of the box, place it on a table or kitchen countertop, and plug it into a nearby outlet.
If there is an issue with noise, width, fan speed, lighting, or missing parts — it will be helpful to find out these problems prior to installing it.
Here are some of the basic installation steps:
- Knock Out Duct Plate: Most inserts will have a 6" round vent hole at the top of the hood or the rear. Decide on what is best for your ductwork, and knock out the plate.
- Install Ducting To Outside: If you don't have existing ductwork, you will need to install one to the outside. Try to keep the duct as straight as possible and minimize bends.
- Height Clearance: Before install, decide how high the insert should be above the cooktop or range. Most inserts will need at least 26-inches and maximum 30-inches.
- Install Stud Supports: Stud supports will help secure and carry the weight of the insert. One piece of wood will be horizontally at the rear and one at the front.
- Mark Frame Centerline: Figure out where is the center of the frame where the insert will be installed. Mark it with a pencil.
- Cut Out Opening In Cabinet. Follow the specs of the manufacturer to be sure it will fit.
- Level The Hood And Screw It In: Make sure to level the insert and use the supplies screws to secure it.
- Secure Ducting To Vent Adapter: Fasten the duct with foil tape.
- Plug It In: Connect the plug into the outlet.
Our Reviews Of The Best Range Hood Inserts
Here are my full reviews of the top vent hood inserts including their pros & cons…
(Best Overall & Quietest)
My #1 top pick is the Kobe Brillia for the overall best and quietest hood insert goes to the Kobe Brillia because it has a trademarked QuietMode setting and rated at only 1-Sone.
The Brillia is perfect if you need to use the vent hood and still be able to have conversations!
This excellent vent hood has a 30-inch (or 36-inch) model that can be installed inside a cabinet for that unique seamless look!
This insert is rated at a powerful 550-cfm which is a lot of suction power to remove cooking fumes and odors.
It is made of commercial grade stainless steel with a satin finish. The Brillia also comes with two 3-watt LED lights for cooking illumination. This Kobe insert includes two stainless steel baffle filters and two mesh filters (layers).
The Broan-Nutone PM390 is a premium range hood insert for your kitchen. This hood insert is rated at 390-cfm and it includes dual 40-watt lighting (bulbs sold separately).
The PM390 has a unique heat sentry safety feature that will automatically turn your range hood to high fan speed if it detects excessive heat.
It also comes with an aluminum mesh filter that is washable and reusable. The hood comes with a three speed slide control on the underside. You can also wire a standard 2 or 3 rocker wall switch for controls.
The IKTCH range hood insert is a powerful kitchen appliance that is rated at 900-cfm for incredible suction power.
This insert by IKTCH comes with some unique features such as gesture control (waving your hand in front) to turn on/off the hood and to control the speed.
In addition to gesture control, this built-in range hood also comes with a remote control so you can turn off the hood from another room.
The IKTCH range hood is made of stainless steel, and it comes with two LED lights, and two washable steel baffle filters.
The Inserta Plus by Ancona has 3 fan speeds (3 control buttons) as well as a delayed auto off fuction which is adjustable up to 10-minutes.
This insert is made of stainless steel and it includes washable (stainless steel also) panel filters.
The 30-inch Kobe Deluxe built-in range hood is an ultra premium insert capable of 700-cfm at max power.
This insert is specially made to be installed flush at the bottom of a cabinet without the need for a liner. It is made of 18-gauge commercial grade stainless steel and is completed with a satin finish.
The two 3-watt LEDs has three lighting levels for cooking illumination.
The exhaust fan has 6-speed levels with push button controls and the steel baffle filters are dishwasher friendly.
Our Top Pick: Kobe Brillia 550-CFM 30-Inch Baffle Filters
My top pick for built-in hood goes to the Brillia by Kobe. Here’s why…
#1. QuietMode Setting
The Brillia has a trademarked QuietMode exhaust speed that is only 1-sone which means it is whisper quiet. Loud range hoods are probably the top complaint of homeowners.
#2. LED Lights
The Brillia comes with two 3-watt energy efficient LED lights so you can properly see your cooktop or range.
#3. Stainless Steel
This insert by Kobe is made of commercial grade stainless steel with a satin finish to give you that professional chef look in your home kitchen. The baffle filters are also made of stainless steel and are washable & reusable.