While under-cabinet range hoods and wall-mounted range hoods work well in situations where your range or cooktop is installed along a wall, they typically won't be suitable in other situations, most often when your cooktop is located on a kitchen island. That type of kitchen set up calls for an island range hood. These can make a striking statement in a kitchen, appearing to float above the cooking surface. Most island range hoods are vented through ductwork in the ceiling though some offer ductless installation as an option.
Because kitchen set ups that require an island range hood are less common than other types of kitchens, it's not surprising we found less feedback for island range hoods than for under-cabinet or wall-mounted models. That said, we did spot several options that have good ratings and enough user reviews spread along multiple review sites for those ratings to be meaningful.
At the top of that list, we find the Cavaliere SV218D-I36 (Est. $900), a 36-inch island range hood with a striking stainless-steel and curved tempered glass design that provides a less "industrial" look than what's typical with many competing models. If a 36-inch design is too large for your set up, a 30-inch version is also available, the Cavaliere SV218D-I30 (Est. $750). Keep in mind, however, that experts recommend that island range hoods be six inches wider than the cooktops beneath them for best performance.
The Cavaliere SV218D-I36 is as powerful and quiet as it is attractive. The range hood is rated to move 900 CFM (cubic feet per minute) with noise levels that are rated at between 25 db (at the lowest fan speed) to a maximum of 56 db. It functions well in pulling out smoke, odors, grease and vapors, reviews say. It has a six-setting fan and dimmable halogen lights. The fan has a timed-delay function that automatically turns off the fan after one to 15 minutes. Once set, the light, timer and blower speed settings remain the same the next time they are turned on. Everything is controlled via a front-mounted touch pad. To help users keep up with maintenance, a timer signals after 30 hours of use as a reminder to clean the dishwasher-safe aluminum grease filters.
The chimney on the Cavaliere SV218D-I36 can accommodate ceilings as high as 9 feet, and an optional extension kit is available for kitchens with ceilings that are higher still. Although the Cavaliere SV218D-I36 is designed to be vented, an optional recirculating kit with charcoal filters is available for situations where ductless installation is a necessity.
User reviews for the SV218D-136 are among the most plentiful and positive that we've seen for any island range hood. Looking at Amazon.com, VentingDirect.com, Overstock.com and Wayfair.com, we found more than 140 unique reviews, plus a scattering of additional reviews at other sites. Some issues do crop up, most notably is that installation can be a bit of a challenge even for a professional installer, so DIYers should probably look elsewhere. Still, feedback is generally very high; a 4.5-star score based on more than 40 reviews at VentingDirect.com, and a 4.6-star score based on roughly 75 reviews at Overstock.com, for example.
The Kitchen Bath Collection ISL90A-LED (Est. $500) shares the same euro-inspired curved glass and stainless-steel design as the Cavaliere SV218D-I36 but is notably less costly. However, it is also less powerful and packs fewer features. The range hood is rated to move 476 CFM, enough for most, but not all, cooktops and ranges. It has only three fan speeds as opposed to six, though experts say three speeds is sufficient in a range hood. One plus is the very bright LED lighting system, which features four LED light clusters of 49 bulbs each for better illumination of the cooking surface. If you have an installation where ducting is not possible, this convertible range hood can be installed that way without the need for an additional kit -- even the carbon filters needed for ductless operation are included. The maximum noise rating is 65 db.
There aren't a ton of user reviews, but most indicate good satisfaction -- except when it comes to installation. Even some who rate the range hood highly note that the installation instructions could be better, and even pros are sometimes challenged by the task. Still, it earns a nice 4.4 star rating at Amazon.com based on around 35 reviews. A 30-inch version is also offered, the Kitchen Bath Collection ISL75A-LED (Est. $480). Specifications (other than size) and design are identical to the ISL90A-LED, but feedback is very limited -- just a handful of reviews at Wayfair.com, though they are all 4 stars or better.
Elsewhere in this report: