Pros and Cons of Under-Cabinet Range Hoods

Last Updated: 2/14/2023

Author: James Zhao, Sr. Tech Specialist & Alex Park, Product Specialist

Under-cabinet range hoods are popular kitchen appliances, as they offer improved air circulation, space-saving benefits, and a modern and stylish upgrade to your kitchen. While there are multiple benefits to range hoods in general, under-cabinet range hoods also come with a few unique benefits and drawbacks.

If you’re considering installing an under-cabinet range hood in your home, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

What Are Under-Cabinet Range Hoods?

Under-cabinet range hoods are designed to remove smoke, heat, and odors from the air as you cook. They are mounted underneath cabinets above a stove or cooktop and use a fan to draw in and filter dirty air, either venting the air outside or back into the kitchen through recirculation.

Under-cabinet range hoods are less bulky than other hood options and can be integrated right into the kitchen design, making them a popular choice in many homes. Some models also come with lighting and energy-efficient technologies.

Black FOTILE under-cabinet range hood in a kitchen.

Advantages of Under-Cabinet Range Hoods

Under-cabinet range hoods have a few unique benefits compared to other range hood models, especially when it comes to saving space and improving your home’s air quality. Here are some of the main advantages to consider when buying an under-cabinet range hood.

Save Space

Under-cabinet range hoods have a compact size and design. These range hoods mount underneath kitchen cabinets above the stove to save wall space. They can be helpful in smaller kitchens where space is limited. Also, if ductwork to the outside of the house isn’t available, some under-cabinet range hoods can be recirculating models that filter the air inside instead.

Modern Appearance

Under-cabinet range hoods are designed to blend in with your kitchen’s cabinetry. They are mounted underneath cabinets to create a seamless look in the kitchen. The design of under-cabinet range hoods often features smooth lines, neutral colors, and minimal branding or logos, contributing to their sleek and modern appearance.

You are often able to choose from a few colors and materials for your under-cabinet range hood, allowing them to blend in even further with your cabinetry.

Improve Air Quality

Under-cabinet range hoods improve indoor air quality by removing smoke, steam, and cooking odors from the kitchen, making it a healthier and more comfortable environment for cooking and eating. An internal fan draws dirty air through a filter and vents the air outside (ducted models) or recirculates clean air back into the kitchen (ductless models).

The fan and filter system traps and removes harmful pollutants from the air, which can improve overall air quality in the kitchen. Additionally, some under-cabinet range hoods come with special filters, such as charcoal filters, that can help to neutralize odors.

Easy to Clean

Dust and cooking oil can combine to create a layer of grime on your under-cabinet range hood. Fortunately, many models feature smooth, non-porous surfaces like stainless steel or glass, making them easy to wipe down and keep free of dirt and grime.

Under-cabinet range hoods often include removable parts, such as filters and fan blades, that can be taken out and cleaned separately. Some under-cabinet range hoods also come with dishwasher-safe filters, making the cleaning process even easier.

Energy Efficiency

Many modern under-cabinet range hoods are Energy Star certified, meaning they meet energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Energy Star certified appliances use less energy and save on electricity costs.

Under-cabinet range hoods can be ducted or ductless, with the ducted option being more energy-efficient. Ducted hoods vent air directly outside, while ductless hoods filter the air and recirculate it back into the kitchen. Recirculating air requires the use of a fan, which can increase energy consumption.

While fans are the main energy source in range hoods, many under-cabinet models come with fan control, allowing you to adjust the fan speed based on your needs and reduce overall energy consumption.

Improved Lighting

Most under-cabinet range hoods come with built-in lighting to provide extra visibility in the kitchen. Some models feature LED lights, which are brighter and more energy efficient than traditional incandescent lights. Illuminating the area around the stove and countertops can make cooking safer and more enjoyable.

Some under-cabinet range hoods also offer adjustable lighting, allowing you to control the brightness of the lights. This can create the perfect lighting environment for cooking, reading recipes, or entertaining guests.

Downsides of Under-Cabinet Range Hoods

Compared to other types of range hoods, under-cabinet models have a few drawbacks regarding features like their ventilation power and compatibility with larger stovetops. Here are some of the downsides you’ll need to consider before purchasing an under-cabinet hood.

Limited Ventilation Power

Due to their compact design, under-cabinet range hoods may have limited ventilation power compared to other types of range hoods. Their size can limit the power of the fan, which affects the hood's ability to effectively ventilate smoke, steam, and odors from your kitchen.

Additionally, under-cabinet range hoods are often designed to be ductless. Ductless hoods filter air and recirculate it back into the kitchen, rather than venting it directly outside like ducted hoods. While this can be more energy-efficient, it can also limit the range hood's ability to effectively remove smoke and other fumes from the kitchen.

The limited ventilation power of under-cabinet range hoods may not be a concern for small kitchens or those with low-heat cooking methods, but it could be an issue in larger kitchens or for those who typically grill or fry their food.

Noise Level

Depending on the size and speed of your fan, your under-cabinet range hood can produce quite a bit of noise. They can be even louder if you own a ducted model, as the fan usually needs to work harder to push contaminated air outside. While some homeowners don’t mind the white noise effect of the fan, it may be distracting for others, especially if you live in a smaller space.

Complex Installation

The complex installation of an under-cabinet range hood may require the services of a professional. Electrical connections need to be made to properly wire the fan and lighting, and the hood needs to be accurately aligned with the stove to allow for efficient ventilation.

Additionally, ducted models may require some construction work, especially if your under-cabinet range hood needs to be vented through an exterior wall.


While under-cabinet range hoods are generally less expensive than other types of range hoods, there are a few factors that can impact the overall cost.

Hoods made from high-quality materials such as stainless steel tend to be more expensive than those made from plastic or other lower-quality materials. Hoods from trusted and reputable brands also tend to be more expensive than those from lesser-known brands.

The features and technology included in under-cabinet range hoods can also affect the price. Hoods with LED lighting, touch controls, or wireless connectivity tend to be more expensive than those with basic features.

Lastly, energy-efficient under-cabinet range hoods tend to be more expensive than their less efficient counterparts because they use more advanced technologies to conserve energy. That being said, energy-efficient models can save you money in the long run.

Compatibility with Large Cooktops

An under-cabinet range hood may not be compatible with larger stoves or cooktops due to its compact size. Range hoods need to have enough ventilation power to effectively vent smoke, fumes, and heat from your kitchen. A range hood that isn’t large or powerful enough will be less effective in removing pollutants, which can impact air quality and create an unpleasant cooking environment.


An under-cabinet range hood requires regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance, safety, and longevity. This includes cleaning or replacing filters, inspecting and cleaning vent ducts, wiping down exterior surfaces, maintaining controls, and cleaning the fan.

Range hood maintenance adds to the overall list of responsibilities that you have regarding kitchen upkeep. However, this is not limited to under-cabinet range hoods.You will have to maintain any range hood you choose, but the extent and difficulty of cleaning will vary a bit based on the model.

Is an Under-Cabinet Range Hood Right for Your Kitchen?

An under-cabinet range hood can complement the overall look of your kitchen and provide a sleek, streamlined appearance. Consider the style and design of your kitchen, as well as your cooking habits and budget, to determine if an under-cabinet range hood is right for you.

If your kitchen has cabinets above your cooktop, an under-cabinet range hood is typically your best option. They come in a variety of styles, sizes, and powers, so you can choose a model that fits your aesthetic, your budget, and your cooking habits.

Range hoods can be an investment, but they are a necessary appliance if you want to safely and comfortably use your kitchen.

Under-Cabinet vs. Wall-Mounted Range Hoods

There are a few differences between under-cabinet range hoods and wall-mounted range hoods, including the way they are installed, their aesthetic appearance, their ventilation power, and their cost.

Under-cabinet range hoods are designed to be mounted underneath a kitchen cabinet, while a wall-mounted range hood is installed on the wall above the stove. Under-cabinet range hoods are streamlined to blend in with the overall design of the kitchen, while wall-mounted range hoods are more visible and often become a unique design component of the kitchen.

Under-cabinet range hoods are generally more limited in their ventilation power compared to wall-mounted range hoods because they are generally smaller in size and designed to accommodate a standard-sized stove top. Meanwhile, wall-mounted range hoods can be larger and more suitable for larger kitchens or commercial kitchens.

Finally, under-cabinet range hoods are usually less expensive than wall-mounted range hoods, due to their compact size, less complex installation, and lower ventilation power.


Under-cabinet range hoods are a popular choice for kitchens. Their sleek and space-saving design can free up wall space and blend in with the overall appearance of the kitchen. However, they can have limited ventilation power compared to wall-mounted range hoods, and the installation of an under-cabinet range hood can be complex.

It is important to consider your kitchen layout, cooking habits, ventilation requirements, budget, and personal preferences to determine if an under-cabinet range hood is right for you. For more information, see our buyer’s guide about choosing a range hood or our range hood FAQs article.

About FOTILE Range Hoods

FOTILE is a leader in kitchen ventilation technologies. We carry different models of range hoods with innovative designs and features, including our Pixie Air Series under-cabinet hoods. Shop all of our range hoods to find the right model for your kitchen.