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Best Under-Cabinet Range Hoods

By: Carl Laron on January 15, 2018

The best under-cabinet range hoods

Under-cabinet range hoods are used in kitchens where cabinets are located directly over the cooktop. This is a perfect place for a non-vented range hood because the hood can attach directly to the cabinets. For vented range hoods, the hood's ductwork can be routed through the cabinet, where it is out of sight, or directly out an exterior wall.

Broan-NuTone models are usually the top-rated under-cabinet range hoods with owners, and they make a variety of models in a wide variety of styles and price-points. Though many can be quite pricey, we found the best and strongest feedback for some relatively low-priced models, including the Broan F40000 Series (Est. $50 and up) These range hoods hit the sweet spot when it comes to performance, versatility and value. This is a convertible under-cabinet range hood, which means it can be installed either ducted or ductless. It's available in sizes ranging from 24 to 42 inches, and in seven finishes: stainless steel, black, white, white-on-white, almond, bisque and bisque-on-bisque. Prices will vary somewhat depending upon size and color, but even the priciest should set you back no more than $125 or so.

The Broan F40000 offers lots of installation options, making it an ideal choice for those looking to replace an existing range hood. It can be installed ductless, but that requires the purchase of a Broan 41F filter (Est. $14). It can also be mated to a 6-inch round duct, a 7-inch round duct, or a 3.25- by 10-inch rectangular one (horizontal or vertical)-- which covers the vast majority of ductwork homeowners are likely to encounter. The type of ducting will affect the unit's maximum airflow, which ranges from 160 to 190 CFM (cubic feet per minute). The maximum sound rating is 6.5 sones regardless of ducted installation option. This is a two-speed model, but Broan does not specify the CFM or sones rating for the low speed, nor does it for any speed when installed ductless. It can also be used in an ADA compliant application, to be operated with separately mounted, user-installed controls that meet ADA guidelines.

There isn't much to talk about when it comes to features, beyond the wide variety of sizes, colors and installation options. It can accept a bulb up to 75 watts for lighting up the cooktop and includes a dishwasher safe grease filter.

What there is to talk about is that this is one of the most highly-rated under range hoods that we spotted anywhere -- and it's popular across retail sites, from Internet-only retailers like Amazon, to more traditional home-improvement outlets such as Home Depot and Lowe's. It also been around long enough that those ratings are based on well over 1,000 reviews covering those sites, and the various color and size combinations.

Owners say the Broan F40000 series is easy to install and to use, and performance gets a thumbs up from most. These hoods also fare pretty well when it comes to user complaints about loudness. Most range hoods get at least some negative comments regarding noise, and the F40000 is certainly no exception, but the more common comment is that noise levels are acceptable or reasonable -- and we saw some who say that the hood is actually pretty quiet, especially compared with a hood that it replaced. Styling isn't a highlight, but lots of owners say they are thrilled with how this range hood looks in their kitchen.

While the Broan F40000 series offers plenty of installation options, if all you need is a basic, ductless (only) under-cabinet hood, the Broan 41000 series (Est. $45 and up) is a great alternative. Since they require no venting, they're very easy to install. Broan does not rate its ductless fans for either CFMs (air movement) or sones (sound level).

The Broan 41000 Series is available in sizes ranging from 21 to 42 inches, and in four colors -- white, black, bisque and stainless steel. Features are scant, but there's a single 75 watt light (not included) to illuminate the cooking surface and a two-speed fan. The hood's charcoal filters are not washable; they must be replaced every 12 months with normal use, according to the Broan website, using the same Broan 41F filter as the F40000.

Regardless of size, color or review site, these Broan ductless under-cabinet range hoods are a hit with owners, and are just as highly rated as their more versatile Broan F40000 line mates. Owners praise these range hoods' value and durability -- we read a number of comments from people who are replacing an identical hood that's operated well for decades. They also say it's very easy to install, has an attractive, yet unobtrusive appearance, and they praise the bright light.

Broan-NuTone also offers the NuTone RL6200 series (Est. $45 and up) of ductless under-cabinet range hoods. Performance, pricing and overall satisfaction is similar to the Broan 41000, and it's available in the same range of colors, however fewer size options are offered -- just 24 and 30 inches. Still, if your favorite retailer carries the RL6200 rather than the Broan 41000 in a size that works for your kitchen, or offers it at a better price, it makes a perfectly fine alternative.

While the above range hoods work fine for most consumer kitchens, if you have a professional-grade range or cooktop you may need something a little more powerful. One suggestion is the Cosmo UC30 (Est. $225). It's a powerful air mover, rated at 760 CFM, which is substantially higher than most under-cabinet range hoods, so it does a terrific job dissipating the smoke, odors and heat that high-performance cooking appliances can produce. It comes in stainless steel only, and only in a 30 inch size, but that should still fit the majority of home kitchen layouts. This is a ducted hood (6-inch round), but can be converted to ductless operation with the addition of the Cosmo CFK2 Range Hood Non-Ducted Charcoal Recirculating Kit (Est. $21).

In terms of features there are three fan speeds and two 1.5 watt LED lights to illuminate the cooking surface. It's covered by a 5-year warranty -- longer than the 1 year that's more typically offered on range hoods. The UC30 is rated for a noise level of 65 dB at its maximum fan speed. That's loud enough to be noticeable, and many users do comment that the hood is a little on the noisy side, even at its lowest setting, though others say that it's fine, proving once again that noise levels are often in the ear of the beholder. Some also complain that the LED lighting is on the weak side. However, what's not on the weak side is the air moving capabilities, which leaves most owners thrilled. While there aren't a ton of reviews, we spotted well over a hundred for this Cosmo range hood at sites like Home Depot, Wayfair and elsewhere, and high levels of satisfaction -- typically 4.4 stars or higher, depending on the site.

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