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The Cooker Hood Guide – Everything You Need To Know

Choosing the right cooker hood for your kitchen not only gives the finishing touch to your kitchen, but also keeps it cleaner, healthier (removing airborne grease and smoke) and ultimately makes it a nice place to cook your delicious meals. Cooker hoods come in a bewildering array of sizes, colours, styles and types, but there’s no need to worry - we’ll guide you through everything you need to know to find the perfect one for your kitchen. In this guide we discuss: type, styles and any other considerations you might need.

Extraction Hoods Or Recirculation Hoods?

So, when your cooker hood extracts the air from your cooking area it needs to do something with it; it can either filter the air and circulate it back into your kitchen (recirculation hoods) or pump the air outside (extraction hoods).  Below we give you a breakdown of the pros and cons of each.

Extraction Hoods

These hoods simply pump the air to the outside through a ducting. They are more effective at removing the cooking smells. With this type of cooker hood you do need to think about where the air ducting is going; you could fix it to a wall and pipe the air directly through the wall behind where is is fixed, otherwise you’ll need to find a way to hide the (often ugly) ducting. You are also limited to how long the ducting can be. We generally recommend that the ducting should be limited to 3 metres, but this reduces by 1metre for every 90° bend you have in it. If you’re unsure whether your room is right for an extraction cooker hood then you should call an expert, like us!

extraction hood

Recirculation Hoods

These cooker hoods use filters to remove the cooking smells, this air is then reintroduced back into your kitchen. These hoods all feature a grease filter, but carbon or charcoal filters go the extra mile and neutralise odours as you cook. Most cooker hoods can be fitted either ducted or re-circulating but re-circulating cooker hoods are easier to fit because you don’t need to consider the ducting, but they are not as effective as extraction hoods. It is also worth considering that these filters do have a limited lifespan and you will need to replace them. Recirculation hoods are often easier to install and because they don’t require any ducting it can all work out cheaper, which is ideal for when you’re doing your kitchen on a budget.

recirculation cooker hood

Style Of Cooker Hoods

Over the years more and more cooker hoods have come onto the market, each with a unique approach to removing airborne grease and food odours. When deciding which is most appropriate for your kitchen it is easy to get confused. The size and location of the hob need to be considered as well as whether you would like to hide it or make it a feature of your kitchen.

Integrated Hoods

This is a very discreet style of cooker hood for those that like it to remain hidden when not in use. They are hidden behind a door panel and looks just like another wall unit from the front. To operate simply flick a switch or pull a handle.

Conventional Or Visor Hoods

These cooker hoods fit under a wall unit and feature a small visor to extend the hood size, but because it is clear you can carry on cooking without it restricting your view. These cooker hoods are often the most space saving solution because they do not take up too much cupboard space.

Chimney hoods

For those that want to make a feature of their cooker hood, chimney hoods may be for you. Usually made from highly polished stainless steel these chimney hoods have a wide bottom which is connected to a chimney - hence the name. These are built to go on walls either on their own or between units.

Designer Hoods

If you want to make a statement with your cooker hood then a designer hood may be just what you’re looking for. Although underneath they are just an ordinary cooker hood, their style means they fit perfectly in a contemporary kitchen.

Island Hoods

Island cooker hoods are designed to be hung from the ceiling above your hob on your kitchen island. They are designed to be viewed from all sides and do not have a flat back for walls. Most island cooker hoods are of the chimney type, but some are designed to be integrated into the ceiling.

Other Useful Information

There are a few other pieces of information that are worth knowing when you come to make the final decision of which cooker hood to buy for your kitchen

The Extraction Rate

It is important to make sure that your kitchen hood is right for the size of your room. Every kitchen hood will come with a m3 per hour number, this shows the rate at which it will process the air. We recommend that you get a cooker hood that will filter the air in your kitchen at least 10 times per hour. A good way to work out if the rate is right for your kitchen is to work out the volume of your kitchen (length x width x height) for e.g. 4m x 3m x 2.5m = 30m3. If your kitchen hood says 300m3 per hour then it will filter your room 10 times per hour (300÷30=10) or once every 6 minutes.

Grease Filters

All cooker hoods come with a grease filter that sits underneath the unit and removes any airborne grease. They are usually metal mesh and can be washed in the sink or dishwasher.

Charcoal Filters

Charcoal filters are only fitted to recirculating cooker hoods.  These remove the odours from the air and are often positioned above the grease filter. This is to ensure that they do not get clogged up with grease. You’ll be happy to hear that they don’t need to be changed as often as the grease filters, changing them between 9 and 12 months should be absolutely fine. It is also worth considering how easy the charcoal filter is to access, they are often harder to change than the grease filter. Like with the grease filter, make sure you can easily find a replacement ready for when it needs changing.


Most cooker hoods come with lights: either halogen, incandescent or LED. This is because these cooker hoods sit above your hob, so a light is always useful. Some of you may prefer just a small light, whereas others may prefer a very bright light so that you can see your food clearly, either way it’s worth thinking about. It may also be worth considering how easy it is to replace the bulb in one of these units, some units can be extremely tricky to open.

Switches Or Electronic Controls

Another item that is often overlooked is the controls of the cooker hood. Do you prefer simple buttons or touch sensitive controls which are nicely integrated into the design? Also, it is worth considering that touch sensitive controls may not work as well if you have dirty or wet hands – as might be expected in the kitchen!

Kitchen Size

There are no standard rules for deciding the size of your cooker hood. Ideally the cooker hood should extend out at least three quarters of the cooking area and be roughly the same width. Smaller cooker hoods are often quieter and usually have lower extraction rates, which makes them ideal for smaller kitchens.

Matching Styles

Some cookers have a matching hood design and are supposed to go together, so it’s worth checking before you make your final decision.

Contact Us For More Information

We hope this guide has helped you, but if you would like to discuss which cooker hood would be best for your kitchen just give us a call on 01279 504230, visit our kitchen design service page or email Please ensure that you consider