How do I know which Cooker Hood I need?

How do I know which Cooker Hood I need?

Cooker hoods might seem like one of those kitchen components that's just there. You notice it when it's too loud or if it doesn't do its job properly. But, in fact, the right cooker hood can be a silent hero in your culinary space. Let's get straight into figuring out the right one for you.

Assessing Your Kitchen Size:

The size and layout of your kitchen don't just dictate where you place your cooker hood, but also how effective it will be. Let's dissect how your kitchen dimensions and design influence your choice:

Volume of Your Kitchen:

How to Measure: First, get the measurements of your kitchen. Measure the length, width, and height. Multiply these three measurements together to get the volume of your kitchen in cubic metres (m³). For instance, a kitchen measuring 5m in length, 4m in width, and 2.5m in height has a volume of 50m³.

Why it Matters: Your kitchen's volume tells you how much air is in the room. The extractor needs to be able to handle this volume, ensuring all the air in the room is refreshed several times an hour for optimal efficiency.

Ideal Air Refresh Rate:

Recommendation: Ideally, the air in your kitchen should be refreshed 10 to 12 times per hour.

Doing the Math: Using the example above of a 50m³ kitchen, if you want to refresh the air 10 times an hour, you'd need an extraction rate of at least 500m³/hr (50m³ x 10). For 12 times, it would be 600m³/hr.

Kitchen Layout and Cooker Position:

Oven, hob and cooker hood kitchen

Island Layout: If your cooking range is on a central island, you're looking at island hoods. These are designed to hang from the ceiling and provide 360° extraction. Due to their position, they often need a higher extraction rate than wall-mounted ones because they must capture rising smoke and steam from all sides.

Against-the-Wall Layout: Ranges placed against a wall can work with chimney or integrated hoods. Smoke and steam typically rise vertically here, so the extraction process can be more directed.

Additional Factors to Consider:

Open Plan Kitchens: If your kitchen merges with another room, like a dining or living area, you should opt for a hood with a higher extraction rate due to the larger space.

Windows and Ventilation: Having windows or a well-ventilated space can assist with air circulation. While they don't replace the need for a good cooker hood, they can be complementary.

Cooking Frequency and Type: Even in a small kitchen, if you’re frequently frying or using high-heat methods, a higher extraction rate might be beneficial.

Understanding Your Cooking Habits:

Cooking is as much about personal expression as it is about feeding oneself or loved ones. The style and frequency of your cooking can significantly influence the kind of cooker hood you need. So, let's dive deep:

Type of Cooking:

Frying or Grilling: These cooking methods produce a large amount of grease, smoke, and steam. If you frequently find yourself frying up bacon for breakfast or grilling steaks for dinner, you’re introducing both moisture and particulates into your kitchen air.

Slow-cooking and Baking: These are gentler methods that produce less airborne grease and steam. Baking a loaf of bread or slow-cooking a stew won’t demand as much from your cooker hood as frying or grilling would.

Simmering: Cooking pasta or making soups introduces steam and heat into the air, and while they might not release as many particulates as frying, they still require efficient steam extraction.

Extraction Power - The Nitty Gritty:

T-shape box cooker hood kitchen

What is Extraction Rate? 

Simply put, the extraction rate of a cooker hood refers to the amount of air it can remove in an hour, typically measured in cubic metres per hour (m³/hr). The higher the number, the more powerful the hood.

How Much Power Do You Need? 

For someone who does heavy-duty cooking regularly, look for hoods with an extraction rate of at least 800 m³/hr. On the flip side, if your cooking is more casual or infrequent, a rate between 400 to 600 m³/hr should suffice. However, always consider the size of your kitchen; larger spaces naturally might require a bit more oomph.

Balancing Power with Energy Efficiency: Powerful doesn't always mean wasteful. Modern cooker hoods come equipped with energy-efficient motors, so you can achieve high extraction rates without a corresponding spike in your electricity bill. Look for energy rating labels as a guide.

Noise Factor: A powerful extractor can sometimes be a noisy one. If you cook frequently and need high extraction rates, consider this trade-off. Some high-end models balance power with reduced noise, but they might come at a premium.

Frequency of Cooking: If you're cooking heavy meals daily, it's worth investing in a more powerful hood. Conversely, if your cooking is sporadic or leans towards lighter methods, there's no need to overcompensate with excessive power.

Types of Cooker Hoods:

- Chimney Cooker Hoods: These are wall-mounted and resemble a chimney. They're versatile and fit well in most traditional kitchen setups.

- Island Cooker Hoods: Designed for kitchens with a central island. They hang from the ceiling and can be a stylish focal point.

- Integrated Cooker Hoods: Hidden away behind a cabinet, these are for those who prefer a seamless look in their kitchen.

Aesthetic Considerations:

Your kitchen is a reflection of your personal style. While functionality is paramount, aesthetics matter too. Stainless steel hoods give a sleek, modern look. In contrast, a hood integrated into wooden cabinetry can provide a more classic or rustic feel. Think about what complements your space best.

Budget and Additional Features:

With a range of cooker hoods in the market, there's something for every budget. While it's tempting to go for the one with all the bells and whistles, think about what you'll genuinely use. Features like LED lighting, filter indicators, or touch controls can be great, but it's essential to balance between what's nice-to-have and what's necessary.


Choosing a cooker hood isn't just about picking the first one you see or the one that's on sale. It's about understanding your kitchen, your cooking habits, and your personal style. With a bit of thought and consideration, you'll find the perfect fit that serves its purpose and looks great doing it.

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