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 GE Profile PV977NSS (Est. $1,080), a 36-inch island range hood with a striking stainless-steel, curved design that owners say gives their kitchen a pro-style, high-end look. If a 36-inch design is too large for your set up, a 30-inch version is also available, the GE Profile PV970NSS (Est. $900). Keep in mind, however, that experts recommend that island range hoods be six inches wider than the cooktops beneath them for best performance.
Owners say the GE Profile PV977NSS is as powerful and quiet as it is attractive. The range hood is rated to move 450 CFM (cubic feet per minute). Although the manufacturer does not supply noise-level ratings, we saw very few complaints of loud operation, with most saying it's quiet even on the highest fan setting. It has a four-setting fan and halogen lights with three brightness settings. There's also a memory function so you can set the fan/light settings for one-touch operation at your desired levels. The front-mounted push-button controls are easy to access and use, owners say. The grease filters are dishwasher safe.
The chimney on the PV977NSS can accommodate ceilings as high as 9 feet. It can only be installed as a ducted hood, and we saw some complaints that it's hard to install, but easier if you have someone to help you lift it into place.
The Kitchen Bath Collection ISL90A-LED (Est. $500) is about half the price of the GE Profile PV977NSS, and reviewers express a lot of love for its euro-inspired curved glass and stainless-steel design. This range hood is rated to move 476 CFM, making it more powerful than the GE at about half the price. It's not as fully-featured, however, it has only three fan speeds as opposed to four, 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, which some complain is too loud.
While ratings from owners of the Kitchen Bath Collection ISL90A-LED are very high, in general, we did see reports of difficult installation -- a not uncommon complaint with island-style range hoods. Most, though, are pleased with this high-end looking range hood.
For an even smaller budget, take a look at the Cosmo 668ICS750 (Est. $375). This 30-inch range hood features an attractive LED display with "Soft Touch" controls for the light and fan. The three speed fan is rated at 900 CFM and owners say it works very well to move smoke out of the room. We did see some complaints that it is loud, but even those who mention the noise say they're very happy with the Cosmo. It's made from stainless steel, with a curved, tempered glass visor that owners say looks very stylish in their kitchen. Most agree that, for the price, you can't find a better looking, better quality range hood.