Which Width?

If your hob measures up to 750mm wide, a cooker hood width of 900mm is advised, and if it measures up to 900mm wide, a width of 1,200mm is best. Hobs fall into two categories: ‘cold’, where the heat is generated in the pan, such as induction hobs, and ‘hot’, with a high-temperature flame, such as gas hobs. A cold hob works best with a hood that is wider than the hob, as the vapours disperse over a wider area.


The D99L20N0GB AirDeLuxe chimney hood from Neff costs from £1,200 (neff.co.uk)


You should be aware that most cooker hoods are not supplied with ducting — however, this is essential if you are opting for an extraction model. Ducting can usually be sourced from the supplier, but most DIY shops also sell kits. For the best airflow, choose one with a 150mm diameter as opposed to 120mm, and opt for rigid ducting over flexible. The ridges in flexible ducting can slightly restrict the airflow. If investing in a downdraught extractor (one that rises from the worktop), ducting will run under the flooring or along the back of the units.

Extraction Rates

All cooker hoods have an extraction rate, and you must opt for a hood that allows for 12 changes of air per hour. To calculate this, work out the volume of the kitchen in cubic metres then multiply it by 12.

For example, if a kitchen is 5m long, 3m wide and 2.5m high, multiply length by width by height to find the cubic capacity (which in this case is 37.5m3). The extraction rate would therefore be 12 x 37.5m3, which is 450m3.

Miele_571197_MieleCeilingExtractorDa2900 copy

Miele’s DA2900 ceiling extractor communicates with the hob to ensure exact extraction. It costs around £2,400 (miele.com)

How High?

Your hood should be placed at the recommended distance of between 650mm (for electric) or 750mm (for gas) above your hob. Do check your ceiling height. Although most wall-mounted chimney hoods and island hoods are adjustable, this is not always sufficient — and remember, standard cooker hoods will not work over kitchen islands.

To Extract or to Recirculate?

Installing an extraction model (using ducting) is the best way to eliminate steam and smells. Don’t forget to factor in the additional costs of ducting and installation. If ducting to an external wall is impossible, you’ll need a recirculation model. They contain both grease and charcoal filters that remove the smells and smoke from the air before releasing it back into the room. They do tend to be cheaper to buy and easier to install, however, some of the steam can be released back into the kitchen, charcoal filters have to be replaced annually, and they tend to have a decreased airflow rate as the filter sits in front of the motor.

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