Your Guide To Choosing a Kitchen Cooker Hoods

Choosing the right cooker hood for your kitchen not only gives the finishing touch to your kitchen, but also keeps it a cleaner environment, healthier for you (by removing any airborne grease and smoke) and ultimately makes it a nice place to cook your delicious meals. Cooker hoods come in a incredibly wide range of sizes and styles, but there’s no need to worry – we’ll guide you through everything you need to know to discover 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 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 it 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 approximately 1metre every time there is a 90-degree bend. If you’re unsure whether your room is right for an extraction cooker hood then you should call an expert, like us!

Recirculation Hoods

These appliances use filters to remove the cooking smells, this air is then recirculated back into the room. 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 there is no need to worry about the ducting, but they are not as effective as extraction hoods. It is also worth considering that these filters will need replacing periodically. 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 building your kitchen to a tight budget.

Cooker Hood Styles

Over the years more and more cooker hoods have come onto the appliance market, all of which have a slightly different approach to cleaning the air from airborne grease and food odours. When deciding which is most appropriate for your kitchen it can be bewildering. The main thing you need to think about is where your hob is located and how big it is, as well as whether you would like to hide the cooker hood or make it a feature of your kitchen.

Integrated Style Hoods

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

Visor or Conventional Cooker Hood Style

These cooker hoods fit under a wall mounted 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. This cooker hood style is often the most space saving solution because they do not take up too much space.

Chimney Cooker Hood Style

For those that want to make a feature of their cooker hood, chimney hoods may be for you. Often made from stainless steel this chimney hood stlye has a wide bottom which is attached to a chimney – hence the name. These are built to go on walls either alone or between units.

Designer Cooker Hoods

If you want your new cooker hood to make a statement, 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 Cooker Hoods

Island style cooker hoods are specifically designed to hang from the ceiling above your hob on your kitchen island. Designed so that they can be viewed from all sides and are not flat backed like the normal chimney style cooker hoods. Most island cooker hoods are of the chimney type, but some are designed to be integrated into the ceiling.

Other Useful Information

There is some other information that is worth knowing when you come to make the final decision of which cooker hood to buy for your lovely new kitchen.

The Rate of Extraction

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 meter per hour figure, this shows the rate at which it will process the air. We suggest that you find a cooker hood that can filter the air in your kitchen at very least 10x every hour. To estimate whether this rate is right for you, first you need to calculate the volume of your room, to calculate this it’s: width x length x height. Then times this by 10 to get the 10 times per hour circulation rate, so if your room is 20m3, you’d need a cooker hood which circulates at least 200m3 per hour.

Grease Filters

All styles of cooker hoods contain 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 type of 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 are not required to be changed as much as Greece filters, changing them every 9 – 15 months (depending on usage) will be sufficient. It is also worth considering how easy the charcoal filter is to access, they are often harder to change than the grease filter. Similar to the grease filters, make sure you can easily find a replacement ready for when it needs changing.


Most styles of cooker hoods are fitted 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. You may also need to think about how easy it is to replace the light bulbs in one of these units, some cooker hood units can be extremely tricky to access or open.

Switches Or Electronic Controls

Another item that is often overlooked is the control buttons/switches of the cooker hood. You might have a preference over simple click buttons, remote control or touch 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 whilst cooking in your 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 The Style

There are a few hobs and cooker hoods which are designed to go together. It’s important to check this with your kitchen designer before you purchase your appliances.

Get In Touch For More Information

Hopefully this guide has been of help to you in making the right decision for your cooker hood, but if you’d like to discuss any of the above with a specialist, please call us on 01279 504230, visit our kitchen design service page or email Please ensure that you consider