The under cabinet range hood is probably the most popular range hood style in the world. Since it is secured underneath the upper kitchen cabinet, it has a few advantages like...
- Saves space (slim designs)
- You can keep the upper cabinet
- Has a 'built-in' look
Under cabinet vent hoods are likely the easiest to install as well. Most of the time, there already is an outlet that is inside the cabinet above the range — so after screwing in the hood (and connecting the vent) you just plug it into the outlet.
And if you are willing to buy a hand or cabinet jack, the installation can be a breeze. A cabinet jack will hold up the range hood while you take your time to connect the vent and the electrical.
The most common sizes for under cabinet range hoods are by far the 30-inch and the 36-inch. But most manufacturers actually have a measurement of 1/4-inch or 1/2-inch less than these widths, so it's important to carefully measure your install area and know the manufacturer dimensions. In this review, almost all of the range hoods have multiple sizes available such as 30-inch, 36-inch, 42-inch or 48-inch.
Below is a quick list of all our top products. Keep scrolling to learn more about how to choose the best vent hood, important specs, and my complete product reviews.
Dimension (W x L x H):
30" x 22" x 7"
30 x 19.75 x 9 inches
29.5" x 22" x 10
30" x 19.6" x 6"
29.5" x 19.68" x 6"
7 Sones max
1.5-sones at normal speed
30" 36" 48"
30" 36" 42"
2 year limited (lifetime on motor)
1 year limited
1 year limited
Our Overall #1 Rated Pick
Updated On October 15, 2021
We chose the PS18 by Hauslane because it is a powerful, dual-motored, and stainless steel range hood that will fit nicely under your cabinet. It has buttonless front controls with 6 fan speeds. The PS18 features swappable LED lights so you can change them for a different color or intensity.
In a hurry? Check out our top 5 under cabinet range hoods! Keep reading to discover more about our top picks.
Choosing Fan Speed or CFM
When choosing the best under cabinet range hood, picking the right CFM is an important factor in your buying decision—you can read my guide on picking the right CFM here. CFM stands for cubic feet per minute, and it is a rating of the fan power of the range hood.
Most under cabinet range hoods range are anywhere from 160-cfm to a high of 900-cfm. Probably the most common CFM for home kitchens is around 300-cfm. I recommend that homeowners pick at least 100-cfm for each linear foot (width) of your range. So if your range or cooktop is 30-inches, then I recommend at least a 250-cfm hood.
An easy rule of thumb is 100-cfm for each linear foot of range hood width or...
1-cfm for every 100-btu (total range output)
Another way to determine CFM is look at your total BTU output of your range or cooktop. An easy rule of thumb is at least 1-cfm for every 100-btu. Here is a simple table...
Total BTU Output
Under Cabinet Dimensions
The two most common widths for under cabinet vent hoods are 30-inch and 36-inch. It is important that your stove vent hood is at least as wide as your range or cooktop. And if you can buy a range hood that is a few inches wider, that is even better because it will capture more smoke and fumes.
Width Is Usually A Bit Less
When looking at the dimensions of range hoods, most manufacturers don't actually have a width of exactly 30-inches or 36-inches. Frequently, the width is 1/4-inch or 1/2-inch less than than this amount. So you may want to take exact measurements underneath your cabinet and note the exact dimensions provided by the manufacturer.
It's important to correctly measure the height as well. If you buy a range hood that is too tall, there may not be enough space between the range and the bottom of the the hood (leading to heat damage). But if there is too much vertical space, the range hood won't be as effective as it should.
So simply measure from the top of the range to the bottom of the cabinet, and then you will have to subtract the height of the range hood. Ideally, the range hood should be between 24-inches to 30-inches above the cooktop. If you want to learn the details of building code for range hood vents, you can read my range hood code requirements guide.
Ducted Vs Ductless
Another important consideration for buying an under cabinet kitchen hood is whether it is ducted or non-ducted. Some range hoods are designed to only be for non-ducted (recirculating) or ducted use. Other range hoods can be installed either way and are called 'convertible' hoods.
Ducted Is Always The Best
If you have the choice, I always recommend venting a range hood to the outdoors if at all possible. Ductless range hoods simply can't compete with vented hoods, they are much more effective. But sometimes there really isn't an option because it may be condo, an interior room, or some design problem (making it a nightmare to go ducted).
Making It Ductless
To make it ductless or recirculating, all you have to do is keep the vent knockouts covered, and to install a charcoal filter kit (as a separate purchase). The range hood will have a specific filter kit for that model. The charcoal layer filters smoke while the metal mesh captures grease. You also may need to remove any existing cover on the recirculation vent holes which is usually at the top of the kitchen hood.
Verify If Existing Hood Is Ductless
If you aren't sure whether your existing hood is ducted, one way is to look into the upper kitchen cabinet and see if there is a duct. However, the duct may also be hidden and go immediately into the wall through the rear of the range hood. So I would remove the range hood filter, and look into the hood enclosure with a flashlight for a duct.
Read Also: What Are The Best Ductless Range Hoods?
Plug In Vs. Hardwire
For some homeowners, it may just be an annoyance to buy a range hood that doesn't have a plug. But for others, it may cause you to return it and skip the trouble. It is undeniable that plug in type of range hoods are easier to install, but having to hardwire the hood isn't that difficult.
If this is important to you, just make sure that your kitchen hood comes with a 3-pronged plug so you can just plug it in to a 120-volt outlet inside the upper cabinet.
Use A Cabinet Jack For Install
If want to install a range hood by yourself, then a cabinet jack is recommended. These small jacks can hold up the stove vent hood for you while you connect the electrical and vent. And then just by squeezing a lever, the jack will automatically raise up the range hood so you can do the final screws.
And quite frankly, these handy devices may even be better than having human help.
Cabinet jacks don't get tired, don't complain, and they don't even need coffee breaks.
When using a cabinet jack, it is best to put a piece of plywood over the range to protect it and as a firm base. You also should put a second piece of plywood over the top of the jack, and place the hood on top of the plywood. You can also add some cloth to protect the range hood from the wood.
New Features And Technology
1. Auto On Heat Sensor
The best under cabinet range hoods have the ability to automatically turn on if it detects a certain amount of heat. This is a nice safety feature, but it can be helpful if you are cooking and you forget to turn on the hood.
2. Shutoff Timer
Shutoff timers are also becoming more common with range hoods. A shutoff timer will allow you to set a certain amount of time 5-15 minutes for the range hood to run and then it will automatically turn off.
3. Gesture Control
More home appliances are coming out with gesture control and kitchen hoods aren't an exception. Gesture control allows you to turn on/off the range hood or adjust the fan levels — simply by waving your hand in front of the unit.
4. Remote Control
Another handy feature is a range hood remote control. Now you can turn the range hood off or increase the speed when you are sitting in your living room (as long there is a line of sight).
Read Also: Do Range Hoods Have To Be Vented Outside?
Always Check Operation Before Install
Please, before you go through the hassle of installing an under cabinet range hood — check the operation prior to the install. Take the range hood out of the box, make sure that it actually came with all of the parts needed. And then you can simply put the stove vent hood on your kitchen countertop and plug it in.
Go through all of the speed settings to make sure it works, turn on the lighting, and listen for any weird noises or problems.
Dry Fit The Range Hood
Once you are satisfied it is working properly and it has all the parts — do a dry fitting. Take the range hood and place it underneath the cabinet. Does it fit? Are you satisfied with the width?
Our Reviews of The Best Under Cabinet Vent Hoods
This Hauslane stove vent hood is made out of stainless steel and it has a contemporary look. It also comes in matte white and matte black. The PS18 has two motors and powerful suction — strong enough for pretty much any home kitchen.
A nice feature of the PS18 is that includes energy efficient LED lighting that is also swappable. This means if you don't like the color or brightness, you can buy LED replacements (GU10 LED Lights) at your local hardware store or online. Some range hoods have built-in LED chip panels that can't be replaced.
It comes with stainless steel baffle filters to capture cooking grease. Like other baffle filters, these are dishwasher safe and can be reused for years. These steel filters are designed with ultra deep grooves to capture more grease than comparable filters.
Flexible Vent Install
The Hauslane PS18 has an flexible 3-way venting system that can make your install much easier. The three options include...
- Round 6" vent at the top
- 10" rectangular vent at the top
- 10" rectangular vent on the rear
It doesn't come with the vent pipes but just the 6-inch and (two) 10-inch adapters.
The PS18 also has some great control options. It features a buttonless digital control panel and 6 speed settings. Since there aren't any buttons, it also makes the front easier to clean since there aren't any crevices for grease accumulation. In addition, there is a delayed shutoff timer so you can walk away from the range hood and it will turn off automatically.
Unfortunately there is no listed CFM for the PS18 because Hauslane believes that this rating is subjective and not really accurate (no international standard). This makes it harder to compare the suction power to other range hoods.
The Cosmo range hoods are also convertible to a ductless install but I don't recommend it. These hoods still require you to vent it into the upper cabinet which will impede airflow if the door is kept shut --- a poor design.
Dimensions (W x L x H):
30" x 19-3/4" x 9"
7 sones max
Let's face it, KitchenAid makes some of the highest quality kitchen products. You probably have heard of KitchenAid's famous stand mixers. People love KitchenAid products, and the company has been around for more than 100 years.
This KitchenAid range hood is the second most powerful hood in my round up with a a whopping 585-cfm. This is one of the best under cabinet range hood is powerful enough to handle commercial style ranges and cooktops. And of course, it comes with LED lighting, washable filters, and 4 different fan speeds.
This KitchenAid has a unique design in that pulls in air from the perimeter of the underside area. It effectively hides the filters, and KitchenAid also states that it speeds up the air flow around the center — increasing its efficiency.
Auto On & Off
This hood also has the ability to automatically turn on and off. It will turn on if the sensor detects a high heat output which is also a good safety feature. And there is a delayed auto off timer to shut it off if you leave the kitchen.
Inline Blower Option
There is also an inline option with this KitchenAid unit. An 'inline blower' is a type of range hood where the actual motor isn't in the hood, but the motor is placed farther away like in the basement or wall. This makes using the range hood significantly quieter. You will need to buy a separate metal box to use it as an inline blower.
One annoying downside with this KitchenAid hood is that it doesn't come with a 3-pronged plug — which means you will have to hardwire the unit. There are power cord adapter kits you can buy, but it just adds to the hassle of installation.
And if you want to convert this hood to a ductless install, you will need to buy a separate filter kit which is normal. Oddly though, it can't be directly vented to the top of the hood and into the kitchen, it still has to be routed into a small duct through the cabinet — AND THEN back out into the kitchen. Weird.
Customers also have a chief complaint about the difficulty of installation with this KitchenAid under cabinet vent hood. It is pretty heavy and it can be difficult to have the screws align.
One good option for an under cabinet vent hood is the COS-QS75 by Cosmo. Cosmo Appliances makes a wide range of kitchen products besides range hoods which includes microwaves, ovens, refrigerators, and cooktops. The COS-QS75 is their 30-inch model, but they also have a 48-inch COS-QS48 and 36-inch COS-QS90 versions.
The type of filter (baffle vs mesh) is always a consideration for range hoods, and the COS-QS75 includes Cosmos's patented Arc Flow baffle filters. These filters are made out of stainless steel and they should last for years before replacement is needed. These steel filters capture grease without the need for an insert or mesh screen — and they are dishwasher safe.
The nice thing about the COS-QS75 is that it has great control options. It uses a touchscreen to control the fan speed (no buttons) and it is backlit. The range hood has four different speed levels — and they even include a wireless remote control. The remote is perfect if you need to multi-task in the kitchen or if you want to turn on/off the range hood from the living room. And unlike some range hoods, the COS-QS75 has a built-in auto shutoff timer. What this means is that you can walk away from the kitchen, and the range hood will automatically turn off.
As with a lot of range hoods, the COS-QS75 can be installed as a recirculating hood without the need for a duct. You will need to purchase the Carbon Filter Kit CFK5 and install it correctly. The 'damper' will need to be capped, and the hood should be venting back out into the kitchen for the ductless install.
One downside of the COS-QS75 is that it is heavy. It will probably take at least 2-3 people to install this range hood, and if you want to do it by yourself—you will definitely need some cabinet jacks.
Unfortunately, the installation manual isn't great, and this range hood doesn't include an paper install template, but you can make one yourself in a few minutes. And oddly, their warranty information is not disclosed on Amazon or their website.
The Glacier by Broan-Nutone is an excellent under cabinet range hood pick that won't break the bank. This range hood comes in at less than $125 which is significantly less than the more premium models. But with world renowned Broan-NuTone as the manufacturer, this range hood is expertly designed and works well. This stainless steel under cabinet range hood gives it a modern pro chef look that people love.
The fan speed is rated at 250-cfm and it is 30-inches wide. This range hood comes with two simple rocker switches that control the two fan speeds and two light levels. The switches are underneath the unit and out of the way. It also comes with open mesh filters that are dishwasher safe and cover the entire underside of the hood. The Glacier is also a convertible range hood so it can be installed as a ductless range hood with the purchase of a carbon filter kit (sold separate).
EZ1 Installation System
A great benefit of the Glacier is that it comes with Broan's EZ1 installation system. Basically it consists of two brackets that you attach to the cabinet first which allows you to 'slide' the range hood into place. And since the range hood isn't fully pushed back, it gives you room to make the final connections for electrical and the venting. Broan-NuTone claims that even one person can easily install their hoods with this system. You can read more info on the EZ1 system here.
The nice thing about the Glacier is that even though this is a budget-friendly pick — Broan-Nutone still puts in effort to improve the design. The Glacier has a new technology called Captur. In essence, it moved the air inlet farther to the front of the hood so it pulls in air more effectively. This means less smoke and less grease — it just works better.
One noticeable downside to the Glacier is that it is a hardwired range hood. So if you were just hoping to plug it into an outlet that is in the upper cabinet — no luck. If you are determined to just plug it in, you will have to buy a power cord adapter kit.
And for whatever reason, Broan-Nutone does not include light bulbs with the Glacier. The unit is designed for two 50-watt halogen bulbs (sold separate)— but you should be able to buy compatible LED bulbs for the unit such as GU16 type LED bulbs.
The IKTCH under cabinet range hood is the most powerful pick in my roundup. It is rated at 900-cfm on high and includes 4 fan speeds. It features two bright LED lights and stainless steel baffle filters. The range hood comes with a 10-year free motor replacement. There is also a 15-min delay shutoff timer so you can walk away from the kitchen and let it turn off by itself.
One issue with having such a powerful kitchen hood is the noise. Even on low speed, the sound may be a problem. If you only interested in sound levels, you should probably get a less powerful fan. The upside is that it should be able to easily handle any cooking situation and effectively remove smoke, grease, and smells.
Probably the most unique feature of the IKTCH hood is the gesture controls. Basically, you can control the fan speed by just waving your hand in front of the stove vent hood. This is a great feature if your hands are dirty and you don't want to touch the hood.
One of the biggest downsides of the gesture control is that for some users it is way too sensitive. For some users, the hood can turn on if you just walk in front of it. And cleaning the IKTCH range hood can also be problematic.
Some users have resorted to putting tape over the gesture control sensor because it is overly sensitive.
The sheet metal used for the range hood is also pretty thin, and it is only 19-gauge or 1mm thick. This means it will get dented pretty easily.
The plug location is in a bad location. The plug comes out of the top and front of the range hood, so it may make it difficult to route it into the upper cabinet.