Best Recirculating Range Hoods With Charcoal Filters

Ductless range hoods are ideal for people living in apartments, rented homes or just about anyone who would have problems creating vents for some reason or another. Maybe, you just don't want to go through the extra trouble or prefer to have a ductless system since they are usually quieter due to their lower CFMs?

This Is How I Came up with My List

I've picked the best based on reviews, volumes sold and most wished for products on popular retailer websites for range hoods, namely: Amazon, Ebay and A J Madison. This list is manually updated multiple times a year.

best ductless range hood

A Typical older model ductless range hood.

I hope I can help you find the perfect hood for your home. Don't hesitate to contact me for queries unanswered on this page. Below is a quick overview of the top hoods, three each: under cabinet, wall mount and island range hoods.

Best Recirculating Range Hoods by Popular Choice

Broan 413004 Under Cabinet: Value for Money
220 CFM. Only recirculating. Just two speeds. Easy install. Good lighting. Exposed underneath. Rocker controls. Warranty backed by the Broan name. Not loud but noticeable (dB of sound intensity unknown)
Chef PS18 Under Cabinet: Powerful and Feature Rich
860 CFM. Only ducted with three venting options + backdraft damper. Six speed settings. Auto shut-off feature. Exactly as loud as the Cosmo (below), but with 4 times the power. Amazing customer support. Most popular hood on Kitease.
Cosmu 5MU 30 Under Cabinet: Value for Money + Designer Looks
200 CFM. Similar price as the Boran. Three speeds. Lights aren't that great Ducted or ductless install. Push button controls. Good customer support. Also allows a wall installation. #1 seller on Amazon under range hoods.
ZLine ZLKB 36 Wall Mount: Powerful and Feature Rich
At 760 CFM and the price it sells at, this range hood is surprisingly quiet. It comes as no surprise that it is among the best sellers. Two directional LEDs at the back, easily available chimney extensions and controls using push buttons.
Kitchen Bath Collection STL75 Wall Mount: Value for Money and Support
With a maximum suction of 412 CFM, this range hood ships with the charcoal filters, ready for its ductless installation. Ventilation either through the ceiling or the wall. Two LED bulbs at the front. Shut-off delay and more.
AKDY AZ63175S Wall Mount: Affordable and Feature Rich
Maximum CFM of 400 this three speed range hood comes with a backdraft damper. It is easy to install and chimney extensions can be ordered from the manufacturer. Touch controls with two LED bulbs situated at the back of the hood.
Golden Vantage RH0175 Island Mount: A Decent All Rounder
With a capacity of up to 343 CFM, this aesthetically pleasing range hood has a max sound output of 65 dB. It’s got four LED bulbs, one at each corner. It comes with a three year parts warranty and excellent customer support.
Zuhne iChorus 36 Island Mount: Value for Money and Feature Rich
Shipped with charcoal filters and a maximum capacity of 600 CFM, this is a perfect range hood, even for homes with high ceilings. The hood includes a system that prevents backflow of air. Very silent with a maximum output of 52 dB. Four LED bulbs.
Perfetto PKB-RH0303 Island Mount: Very Popular New Brand
Built in stainless steel and tempered glass, this 400 CFM range hood operates at a maximum sound intensity of 65 dB. It’s got four LEDs, one at each corner. Keep in mind that this brand is very young, long term support may not be a guarantee.

Just to give you an overview of all the infromation on recirculating range hoods on this page, you can use the list below as a table of contents to jump to different sections:

  1. Best Recirculating Range Hoods - Popular Choice
  2. What Are Ductless Range Hoods?
  3. When Is It Wise to Buy a Ductless Range Hood?
  4. Guide on Picking the Best Recirculating Range Hood

Recirculating Under Cabinet Range Hoods

Let's take a look at three of the most popular under cabinet ductless range hoods that sell online. If you want to take a look at your other options, feel free to check out our page that covers all of our under cabinet range hood reviews.

1. Broan 413004 30 Inch Under Cabinet Range Hood

Broan’s super-popular 413004 is a hood well-known for its lighting capabilities as well as its practical exhaust. Broan’s also a brand with plenty of muscle when it comes to warranty protection – that’s always a good sign.

It’s heavier than some models at 18 lbs, but at 30” × 20” × 7.2”, it’s hardly going to be the most awkward of installs. It arrives in stainless steel, meaning it’ll likely blend in well with most kitchen suite designs. Broan’s 30” model runs up to 220 CFM, plenty of power for most kitchens.

Broan 413004

It’s a hood which is well-known for silent running, too - the 413004 is likely to be one of the quietest installations you’ll find. You can make use of one of two main fan speeds – definitely ideal for light, regular home use.

You can connect this hood via vents or directly into your kitchen. If you’re ducting your hood, you’ll also find the enclosed adapter and damper very useful indeed. Its filters are dishwasher safe, thankfully, and it’s generally easy to maintain.

What Makes it One of the Best?

  • The air flow and quiet running are seriously big selling points.
  • You can install this hood ducted or non-ducted, obviously depending on your own needs and setup.
  • The two-way lighting system may be useful – you can set it to either ‘focused’ or ‘bright’ depending on what you’re doing.
  • Broan is also well-known for replacing broken parts and even entire units for free within extensive warranty. You can safely say it’s well-protected before you even get it out of the box!

Features I Don’t Like About It

  • If you need a particularly high level of exhaust in your kitchen, you’re probably going to need to go with something a little more intensive.
  • Compared to other hoods on the market, it’s not particularly feature-rich. There are only two fan settings offered, which does put it behind the pack a little.
  • You’ll also need to make sure you buy the bulbs to fit the hood, as they’re not included anywhere in the packaging!

I Would Buy It if…

  1. I really need a hood that’s quiet, yet reliable.
  2. I value easy installation and maintenance.
  3. I like the idea of dual lighting and greater control over what I’m doing.
  4. I cook lightly, and won’t need anything too powerful in terms of suction or exhaust.

2. Chef PS18 Under Cabinet Range Hood

Chef, while a relatively new brand, has earned a solid name online thanks to spectacular customer service. Their PS18 is one of their most popular online buys, and it’s plain to see why.

At 41 lbs, it’s cumbersome – do ask someone to help you install! It measures 29.75” × 22” × 6.75” (7.75” including oil tray). It boasts 860 CFM power thanks to dual motors. There are six different speed settings to tune to your liking. It powers up at 120V and 60 Hz.

Chef PS18

When installing, the minimum height above the cooktop is 30” for gas ranges and 24” for electric - somewhere between 24” and 30” is ideal. You’ll be able to mount directly to your wall, but always consult Chef first. This hood won’t install on a ductless basis, but there are two rectangular vents of 10 × 3.25”, and another circular at 6” diameter.

It’s fitted with LED lights, though without brightness control. It exudes 64 dB at its fastest – not bad considering its power, but perhaps a little noisy for some.

What Makes it One of the Best?

  • It’s fantastic for exhausting fumes – it’s a real powerhouse from the moment you power on.
  • Its speed and power make it fantastic for kitchens regularly cooking heavily, or for those cooking greasy, aromatic foods.
  • Everything you need arrives in the box, which means it won’t need hardwiring.
  • Three venting options and backdraft damper will also likely be big selling points.
  • You can even set it to shut off automatically after a maximum of 15-minutes. That is a genuine bonus for busy kitchen spaces!
  • Cleaning, thankfully, is also effortless – with dishwasher-friendly filters.

Features I Don’t Like About It

  • It’s not too difficult to install, but you’re going to need someone to help you handle this heavy hood!
  • That being said, without mounting plates and templates, installation is perhaps a little trickier than it could be.
  • You won’t be able to switch off the unit clock or intermittent beeping, or control the brightness.
  • You may also need additional physical support to hold the weight of the hood while installing.

I Would Buy It if…

  • I wanted a powerful, ducted range hood capable of heavy grease suction.
  • I needed auto-shutdown functionality.
  • I valued customer service and satisfaction particularly highly.
  • I had at least one or more people willing to help me install it.

3. Cosmo 5MU30 Under Cabinet Range Hood

Cosmo is a name to be reckoned with when it comes to popular range hoods. The 5MU30 is a big hitter on Amazon, and while they’ve spread themselves across several specialisms, their range hoods seem to remain a keen focus.

The 5MU30 weighs in at around 16.5 lbs and measures 29.8” × 19.8” × 5.5”, and it’ll need a voltage of between 110 and 120 V and 60 Hz. It can be easily mounted straight onto a wall or beneath a cabinet, and it is best positioned between 24 – 36 inches from your cooktop. It arrives in brushed stainless steel. There’s a 36” model available, too, the COS-MU36.

Cosmu 5MU 30

The 5MU30 offers exhaust at 200 CFM maximum. Many will duct this type of installation, though you can also opt for simple recirculation. For ducting, a circular vent option of 5” diameter can be used.

There are three speeds available, all of which are impressively quiet – 65 dB at the absolute loudest. It’s lit with a pair of 3W LED bulbs to the rear of the hood.

What Makes it One of the Best?

  • It is quite versatile! It can be installed as either a ducted or recirculating hood.
  • According to reviews, I have read, it’s quiet – something you don’t always get with a fair amount of power.
  • Its onboard controls are refreshingly simple for day-to-day use. It’s an entry-level range hood with plenty of punch.
  • According to the instructions it’s easy to install, and everything you’ll need to set it up is included in the box.

Features I Don’t Like About It

  • The LED lights likely aren’t bright enough to light up your working area alone.
  • Some of the measurements as advised on the box may not be exact, either. It’s worth measuring up with an inch to give wherever possible.
  • You’ll also need to wash the grease filters by hand.
  • While it exhausts everyday cooking like a dream, it may not be your best friend when it comes to greasier food. It’s powerful, but perhaps not powerful enough for everyone.

I Would Buy It if…

  • I want a quiet range hood which offers enough power and suction for everyday cooking.
  • I need a durable hood that’s easy to operate and maintain.
  • I want superb customer service on side at all times.
  • I need to keep an eye on the bank balance – it’s a reliable, affordable hood.

Recirculating Wall Mount Range Hoods

Let's take a look at three of the most popular wall mount ductless range hoods that sell online. If you want to take a look at your other options, feel free to check out our page that covers all of our wall mount range hood reviews.

1. ZLine ZLKB36 Wall Mount Range Hood

Zline’s ZLKB36 is a very popular buy online. With four speed settings and a reputation for being extremely quiet even when running at full power, it’s likely to be appealing to many busy kitchens. It’s also fairly affordable – at least in terms of the features that arrive onboard.

ZLine ZLKB 36

Weighing in at 44 lbs, the wall-mounted ZLKB36 arrives with two telescopic chimney supports measuring 9.2” × 8”. The unit itself is 36” × 10.5” × 16”, and it boasts an impressive 760 CFM. As standard, the voltage on-board is 120V and 60 Hz, and it’s fully approved and safe to use across North America. You’ll also find a three-pronged plug for direct plugging or wiring, and a 6” transition part – meaning a round duct of 6” is going to be recommended for operation.

You can also buy further chimney extensions if you wish, should the pieces provided be too short, for example. As standard, too, there’s lighting built-in with two 3W directional LEDs ready to go.

What Makes it One of the Best?

  • It’s incredibly powerful. Kitchens in need of serious suction can take definite advantage of four speeds running all the way up to 760 CFM!
  • The chimney pieces and availability for additional parts is a genuinely refreshing touch.
  • It’s a modern model fitted with push buttons – no awkward or potentially faulty touch controls.
  • It’s super-quiet in comparison to competing models.
  • The filters are safe to clean in a dishwasher.
  • Customer service and care are fantastic. From their extensive manual to brilliant online support, there’s always someone to help you.
  • If you’d rather go ductless, you can – you’ll need to buy extra charcoal filters, though.
  • For the power and features you receive, it’s incredibly well-priced.

Features I Don’t Like About It

  • The filters aren’t particularly secure – which can mean they move about during use.
  • Some of the rear weldings could have been handled with a little more care.
  • I would certainly recommend you buy additional wall mounting screws as those provided, in my opinion, aren’t particularly reliable.
  • Flex ducting is supplied – this can mean you lose friction over time. It’s worth considering a metal ducting replacement.

I Would Buy It if…

  • I need an affordable hood that’s easy to install.
  • I need powerful suction with low noise ratio.
  • I want a hood that costs little but looks spectacular.
  • I value excellent customer service and assistance.

2. Kitchen Bath Collection STL-75 LED Wall Mount Range Hood

Kitchen Bath Collection’s STL-75 is a wall mount range hood offering a decent amount of power and control. Offering a CFM of up to 412 and a three-speed system, it’s impressively powerful. You’ll need to make sure your cooktop CFM production is within this limit – as it may affect your warranty potential. You should call up their customer support to clarify this point.

It’s a spectacular-looking kitchen piece which will likely fit in well in any space. With a two-piece chimney included which is adjustable to your needs, it’s a flexible and comfortable fit for the vast majority of home installers. It even arrives with charcoal filters if you want to go ductless.

Kitchen Bath Collection STL75

In terms of stats, the unit weighs 35 lbs and measures 29.5” × 19.7” × 9.8” – with extra 7.7” on the height for the chimney piece. Voltage runs at 120V and 60 Hz, and the unit comes fitted with a plug and two LED bulbs at 1.5W. Ventilation can run up via ceiling or back through a wall, and it’s fitted with a 6” circular duct.

What Makes it One of the Best?

  • At a sound level of 58 dB at loudest, this is a seriously quiet unit even for the heaviest of suction.
  • It is built to weather the years with 304 stainless steel construction.
  • It’s aesthetically pleasing – there’s no visible welding or unsightly spots.
  • Its grease filter can be easily cleaned in a dishwasher.
  • It comes with a shut-off delay, meaning that you can either choose to shut down completely or after a short burst.
  • It’s super-bright! Front illumination boasts minute LED bulbs – around 49 on each of the front lights.
  • You’ll also get a flexible duct supplied as well as a telescopic chimney mount that’s refreshingly simple to adjust.

Features I Don’t Like About It

  • Let’s talk about the lights. Some may be looking for a bright range hood, but others will likely find the front illumination fairly intense. There’s no way to control the brightness, either.
  • Beeping can be a little aggravating. This can be an absolute deal-breaker for some shoppers!
  • While there’s plenty packaged to help you mount the hood, I’d advise getting more for a firmer fit.

I Would Buy It if…

  • I need to buy an affordable hood from a reputable firm.
  • I need a hood that focuses on brightness.
  • I need a great-looking hood that’s certain to run for years and years.

3. AKDY 30 Inch AZ63175S Wall Mount Range Hood

AKDY is well-known for designing household goods from room to room. They’re also well-regarded as far as customer care is concerned, and the AZ63175S is one of many branded hoods they offer with at least a year of warranty.

At 28 lbs, it’s relatively heavy, with a voltage of 120V and 60 Hz. Offering a motor working to 400 CFM, this wall mounted model measures 29.5” × 19.75” × 42.25”. It comes fitted with a circular duct of 6” diameter and can be fitted via a wall or ceiling. Your ceiling will need to be around 8 to 9 feet, and you’ll need a telescopic chimney. Any taller ceilings will likely need AKDY’s separate chimney extension.


Drop down here is 30.75” at an absolute minimum from base to the chimney. It’ll not need any hardwiring, and it’s fitted with a handy back-draft damper which means you can stop warm air from escaping and cold air from entering when you’re not using it. There are two LED bulbs of 1.5W on-board here, and a 24hr clock if you need it. It arrives wholly vetted to North American safety standards.

What Makes it One of the Best?

  • Its manufacture – stainless steel – means it’ll last for years.
  • It’s super-easy to install. You’ll likely be able to get everything set up within a few hours on your own, but don’t forget to stud-anchor your screws for extra safety.
  • Its filters are dishwasher friendly.
  • 400 CFM is a mighty amount of power - and three simple speed settings help to keep things straightforward for everyday use.
  • It looks great – it’ll really stand out nicely in any kitchen space.
  • The manufacturer offers extensive warranty and replacement support.

Features I Don’t Like About It

  • The LED lights on-board could be brighter, though the manufacturer warns against replacements.
  • It’s a reasonably loud unit. At most powerful, it runs at 65 dB – and there’s no way to silence its loud beeps when you operate the controls.
  • The clock can be a little aggravating – it’s one of few models using a fiddly 24hr system.

I Would Buy It if…

  • I need a decent amount of suction and exhaust for light cooking.
  • I like the idea of an affordable hood with a luxury finish.
  • I like to be supported by extensive customer care.
  • I need a hood to weather years of use.

Recirculating Island Hoods

Let's take a look at three of the most popular ductless island range hoods that sell online. If you want to take a look at your other options, feel free to check out our page that covers all of our island range hood reviews.

1. Golden Vantage 30” RH0175 Island Range Hood

Golden Vantage is a reliable brand for great-looking island mount range hoods, and the GV-RH0175 is just one example. Suitable for ceilings between 8-9 feet tall, it’s constructed from durable stainless steel.

Golden Vantage’s 73 lb island hood comes with a three-year parts warranty and is apparently well-regarded on Amazon. Measuring 29.5” × 23.5” × 42.5”, and with a minimum drop-down of 30”, it not only looks great – it’s powerful, too. Three-speed levels up to 343 CFM should provide most kitchen users with plenty of suction.

Golden Vantage RH0175

It performs below 65 dB at its fastest and comes fitted with four LED bulbs at 1.5W. As with many range hoods, the voltage rests at 120V and 60 Hz and comes fitted with an aluminum mesh filter. It comes equipped with a 6” duct as standard, but can be adapted as per your own needs and set-up.

As with many modern range hoods, it comes with a touch panel and is fully ETL compliant in North America.

What Makes it One of the Best?

  • It’s a great-looking unit. Golden Vantage generally builds some of the most aesthetically-pleasing island hoods around, and this stainless steel beauty fits the mold.
  • It’s excellent value for the power you receive. What’s more, you likely won’t get a performance/aesthetics combo quite like this for the same money elsewhere.
  • The fitted mesh filter is aluminum, so super-easy to clean.
  • You’ll be able to replace parts for up to three years – just make sure your cooktop works in line with the maximum CFM beforehand.

Features I Don’t Like About It

  • While it looks great, the construction can be subject to a few dings and scrapes on delivery.
  • There’s a 24hr clock on board. This may not seem like much of a problem, but for many customers, adjusting to ‘military time’ can be a bit of a burden.
  • It’s not the quietest on the market – though hardly the noisiest.
  • Ideally, you’ll need at least one other person with you to handle the installation – it’s simple with two, but tricky with one.

I Would Buy It if…

  • I wanted a great-looking island hood to complement my kitchen.
  • I wanted a powerful unit at an affordable price.
  • I have a few people on hand to help me install the unit.
  • I don’t mind a general level of noise during use.

2. Zuhne iChorus 36-Plus Island Range Hood

Zuhne’s exclusive range of island hoods will likely appeal to homeowners with taller ceilings – that’s a good thing! The iChorus-Plus fits into ceiling spaces up to 10-11.5 feet in height and arrives with a 2.5-foot chimney extension.

This model weighs in at 80 lbs and measures 35.4” × 23.5” × 26”, built and finished in stainless steel for years and years of use. Voltage scores at 120V and with the potential for 600 CFM over three-speed settings, it’s an impressive powerhouse. It’s suitable for ducted or ductless install and arrives with charcoal filters. It’s already fitted with a 6” duct and arrives with an anti-backflow fitting and kit.

Zuhne iChorus 36

This model is designed to be as quiet as possible for the power. At maximum speed, you can expect the upper noise of 52 dB. With additional onboard noise control, this is likely to be a good spot for heavier kitchen use. It’s also fitted with two 3W LED lights and a dishwasher-safe baffle filter, as well as a backlit touchscreen display and three-prong plug.

What Makes it One of the Best?

  • It’s incredible value for the power you receive. 600 CFM power shouldn’t ever be overlooked!
  • It’s one of few extended island hoods available to better suit taller ceilings. While you can use the telescopic function of the chimney for shorter hoods, this is a unit for all those homes frustrated by shorter models.
  • The filter is super-easy to clean and can go straight in the dishwasher.
  • Stainless steel construction and finish make for a great-looking unit that will seriously stand the test of time.

Features I Don’t Like About It

  • While this is a model reportedly designed to be noise-sensitive, there is valid concern over how quiet the model actually is. It is relatively loud compared to many hoods, particularly considering its max CFM. However, anyone looking for a whisper-quiet system will probably do best looking elsewhere.
  • You’ll ideally need to have one or more people on hand to help you install. It’s generally agreed between customers that installation can be tricky.
  • Sadly, there’s no way to turn down the brightness – it’s on or off only.

I Would Buy It if…

  • I needed a seriously powerful hood at an affordable price.
  • I don’t mind general running noise at maximum CFM.
  • I had a tall ceiling.
  • I wanted support from responsive customer care personnel.

3. Perfetto PKB-RH0303 Island Range Hood

While Perfetto isn’t a brand as well-known as many of their competitors, they’ve quickly built up a solid customer service record on Amazon. The Californian brand has only been around since 2015!

Perfetto’s 36” sleek, European-inspired island mount hood weighs 65 lbs and measures 35.25” × 23.5” × 49.25”. You’ll need a ceiling of 8-9 feet unless you’re willing to modify the unit. It powers up at a capacity of up to 400 CFM and runs below 65 dB. The inner filter comes in two parts and is very easy to clean – and the overall look is stunning. It’s built in stainless steel and tempered glass.

Perfetto PKB-RH0303

Ventilation is set up with a circular duct of 6” diameter, though you can also purchase a ductless version. The unit’s minimum drop-down is 30.25” – again, you can modify it if you need it a little shorter. You also get four 1.5W LEDs onboard. The whole unit is straightforward to control with up to three different fan speeds ready to go – and it’s certified as North American compliant within ETL standards.

What Makes it One of the Best?

  • It’s one of the best-looking island hoods around. It’s important to look for a hood that appeals to you visually – as you’re going to be using it a lot!
  • 400 CFM is some serious power for an everyday range hood. While there are more powerful models on the market, this should certainly help you with day to day cooking needs.
  • The lights are well-implemented. There’s just enough crispness here to help you see exactly what you’re doing.
  • It’s great value – customers are, generally, very pleased with their purchase.

Features I Don’t Like About It

  • The unit appears to only ideally fit 9-foot ceilings – meaning that you’re going to need to make adjustments if yours is any lower. This isn’t covered in the manual!
  • The noise level may be a little loud for everyday users.
  • The brand, while well-supported, is young. This may be a deal-breaker for buyers as there may be risks involved.
  • No clock on-board may be irritating to some users.

I Would Buy It if…

  • I need superb illumination for my cooktop.
  • I wanted a great-looking island hood that’s affordable and a steady performer.
  • I’m not too worried about noise levels.
  • I’m happy to trust a younger brand.

What are Ductless Range Hoods?

A recirculating hood just as the name suggests, is one that doesn't exhaust air outdoors or to an Attic/Basement (with open windows of course). Instead, it just recirculates the air around your kitchen. The stale/polluted air is passed through charcoal filters which purify it by getting rid of all fumes, odor and any kind of smoke that's emitted while you cook.

Why choose Recirculating Range Hoods?

There are plenty of reasons why people would opt for ductless range hoods rather than their ducted counterparts. Some of the reasons could be:

  1. Ductless Hoods are cheaper – Short term costs (No duct installation charges, but you do have to pay for charcoal filter replacements).
  2. Energy efficient – They don't have to be very high CFM so as to throw the air through the duct out to the exit.
  3. During the winters when you'eturned on your heaters you wouldn't want the warm air escaping from your kitchen through the ducts. Backdraft dampers help when not in use, but when in use you're going to be sending out warm air from your home.
  4. Perfect for remodeling where you do not want to install vents

Guide on Picking the Best Non-Ducted Range Hood

When picking a range hood for your kitchen there are quite a few factors to consider. Among the many, I've decided to focus on the major aspects. But, before looking into these, you should first understand that the ductless range hood does have some drawbacks which to most people do not matter. Check out my article on how ductless hoods work for more on this.

What's your budget?

Let's be frank. There are hundreds of models to choose from and you're going to want to create a shortlist. One of the best ways to get rid of a huge chunk of the pie is by deciding on your budget. Make a wise decision here. Range hoods are rather large investments and are going to be with you for years, so don't be stingy and get a horrible one. If you're short on funds, it would be wiser to save up for a few more months before you take the plunge.

What kind of filter do you prefer?

There are three kinds of filters that are used in recirculating range hoods:

  1. Charcoal Filters
  2. Baffle Filters
  3. Mesh Filters

Charcoal Filters

They are going to be needed in all recirculating kitchen hoods as they are responsible for getting rid of odor and absorption of fumes, etc. You have no choice here. You do have a choice when it comes to the other two though. Charcoal filters need to be replaced and the other one either Baffle or Mesh doesn't have to as long as you maintain it well.

Baffle Filters

Usually manufactured of Aluminum or Stainless Steel and in some cases mild steel, they work by forcing the greasy air to pass through them haphazardly, quickly changing direction as it rises. However, grease being heavier (more viscous) than air, it cannot change direction as quickly as the air which results in it collecting on the baffles. From here it trickles down and collects in a tray that needs to be cleaned every few months or so. They can be quite large and not fit in dishwashers at times and are also more expensive than mesh filters.

Mesh Filters

Mesh filters are basically a group of many fine metal mesh layers placed one behind another. The greasy air is passed through them and it collects on the minute pores as it passes through. Here too, there's a tray that collects the grease. However, the grease tends to clog the pores a lot easier in this case and you would have to clean the filters every other week. On a positive note, range hoods with these filters are usually a bit cheaper.


It goes without saying that you're going to want your range hood to look good and probably enhance the looks of your kitchen. There are plenty of models to choose from, and they usually come in different styles. There are plenty of similar models that only look different, so you don't have anything to worry about in this regard.

CFM power of the recirculating hood

CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) is the measure of power of your range hood. The ideal CFM that you require would be based on various factors such as the size of your kitchen, the volume of food you cook, the kind of food you cook, the length of the ducting, the number of burners and more. It's a complicated calculating process and that's why we've built an online calculator for you. Check out our kitchen hood CFM calculator.

The CFM determines how long it takes for all the air in your kitchen to pass through the range hood. An ideal CFM for most homes would be around 300.


Every range hood produces noise when the motor and fan run. However, some of them are louder than the comfort threshold and can turn out to be a real annoyance in the kitchen. Therefore when picking your range hood make sure that you take a look at the noise level. For home use the ideal sound level would be around 4 sones or a bit higher as that's the level of regular human conversations.

Check for size before you buy

A new addition to the list, we've added this because we had a few people contacting us asking us if we knew where they could get extensions for their Wall and Island mount hoods. Before you place an order you need to measure the area over your cooking range. The ideal range hood covers all your burners, if not the entire cooking range.

If you've got a cooking range with 4 burners, you should make sure that the range hood moves far back to cover the back ones completely and at least a small percentage of the front burners. Check the height of the cooking range from the spot where you intend to place the recirculating range hood. Keep it high enough to be no hindrance to you while you cook but not too high as it would lead to a larger probability of fumes escaping the hood.

Additional Features

With the increase in the number of features of your recirculating kitchen hood, the price is going to rise as well. But, if you're looking for the best, you should try and find range hoods with the following features too:

  1. Lighting - Most range hoods have halogen or LED lighting and have a low and bright version which can be used as per the need
  2. Fan Speeds - The more fan speeds the better as then you would be able to adjust it to exactly what you need, there's no waste of electricity this way.
  3. Auto Switch-Off - Not many recirculating range hoods come with this feature. Basically you can set a time wherein the range hood switches off on it's own after your set time.
  4. Heat Sensors - Some models also have heat sensors that are capable of increasing and decreasing the fan speed as needed based on the amount of heat they detect in your kitchen.

The Final Say - Should you proceed with a Recirculating range hood?

One of the main reasons as to why people choose recirculating range hoods is because they're cheaper and you also save on the installation of ducts.  This is a wise choice for many as the savings would allow them to buy a range hood with better features. But, if you're looking for efficiency it's always better to buy a cheaper hood and install ducting as this would save you on your power bills too. However, if ducting is completely out of the question you should buy a recirculating hood keeping in mind the air flow rate, noise and of course - the filtration!

A Quick Review: Some FAQs

How does a ductless range hood work?

A ductless range hood is unlike a recirculating hood that exhausts air outside the kitchen through vents. A ductless hood recirculates the air back into your kitchen after passing it through grease filters and then a charcoal filter. The charcoal filter get rids of smells and some smoke particles but not any dangerous gases emitted from a gas stove. Ducted hoods do not have a charcoal filter, instead, the air is just replaced to get rid of odors, etc. Check out this page for more details.

What is the best ductless range hood?

Some of the best ductless range hoods also known as recirculating range hoods (reviewed here) include:

  1. Broan 413004 Under Cabinet Range Hood
  2. ZLine ZLKB Wall Mount Range Hood
  3. Golden Vantage RH0175 Island Range Hood
  4. Chef PS18 Under Cabinet Range Hood
  5. Kitchen Bath Collection Wall Mount Hood
  6. Zuhne iChorus Island Range Hood
  7. Cosmo 5MU30 Under Cabinet Range Hood
  8. AKDY AZ63175S Wall Mount Range Hood
  9. Perfetto PKB-RH0303 Island Range Hood

Which is better ducted or ductless range hood?

The ducted range hood is definitely a better option when possible. Unlike the ductless hood it gets rid of any gases released from your stovetop (gas stoves) and it also prevents moisture build-up in your kitchen. But if you can keep a window open, ductless hoods are all you need.

Is a ductless range hood good?

As a kitchen exhaust system on its own, no ductless range hoods are not good. But together with an open window, they are the perfect option. The ductless hood would capture grease and odor while the window would take care of moisture and dangerous gases emitted by your gas stove.

Do recirculating range hoods really work?

Yes, they do! They do their job by getting rid of any odors and capturing any oil and grease emissions from your stove. This is what they are built to do. If you are looking for a device to get rid of moisture and stovetop gas emissions, a recirculating hood is not what you need.