Cooker Hood & Kitchen Extractor Buying Guide

Cooker Hood Buying Guide

There’s lots to think about when choosing a cooker hood. You want an extractor fan that complements your kitchen whilst clearing smoke and smells – but there’s still plenty to consider in terms of style, size, and function. Our cooker hood buying guide takes you through everything you need to know.

What is a cooker hood?

A cooker hood is essentially an electric fan that sits above the kitchen hob. It removes all airbourne smoke, steam, grease and odour while you cook.

There are two main venting types to choose from: ducted and recirculation (more on these below). The extraction method, mounting points, hot zone, style and size are features you should take into consideration when making your choice.

Hoods with different venting types

Different venting types

There are two different venting types to choose from when buying a cooker hood: ducted and recirculation. Below, we’ve explained the features and benefits of these two extraction types.

When you come to buy a kitchen extractor fan, it’s worth bearing in mind that some cooker hoods allow for both types of extraction, whilst others only allow for one. The product pages on our site explain the venting type(s) of each hood.


Ducted hoods remove smoke and grease from a room using a vent that leads outside (hence, they’re also known as vented or external extractors). They are positioned by an exterior wall and the ducting goes into the ceiling or wall with a cover.

Vented cooker hoods tend to be quicker and more effective at removing smoke from the environment. However, the installation process takes longer and you’ll need a professional to fit the vent.


Recirculation hoods filter smokey, greasy air and recycle it back into a room. Unlike external hoods, the air recirculates rather than being taken outside. This extraction process works by using a charcoal filter that absorbs dirt, grease and odours.

The main benefit of recirculation hoods is that they can be placed on any internal wall with no need for ducting, making them more flexible when planning your kitchen design.

Types of kitchen extractor fans

When buying a cooker hood, there are quite a few different styles to choose from. It can be difficult to know which type to go for with so much choice, so we’ve outlined their key features below to help you decide.

Chimney cooker hoods

Chimney Hoods

Chimney cooker hoods have a classic appearance that gives your kitchen a traditional look. This type of extractor is versatile and will suit a variety of decors. These long upside down T-shaped hoods capture air through a grease filter.

As they’re wall mounted, air extraction is easier (although many of our chimney hoods also allow for recirculation). If required, this type of cooker hood can be fitted into a corner. We stock a variety of sizes, materials and colours to suit all kitchen types.

Island cooker hoods

Island Hoods

If your hob is installed on a kitchen island, then an island cooker hood is the perfect choice. Whether you have low or high ceilings, you can choose from a range of different sizes so that the fan is at the perfect height to provide the right level of ventilation.

You’ll inherit function and unique style with an island extractor fan. Hanging from the ceiling, these kitchen hoods also tend to be quite large, making them ideal to keep cooking odours away in an open-plan kitchen area.

Canopy cooker hoods

Canopy Hoods

A canopy cooker hood extractor is great if you’re limited with space. The compact style sits underneath your kitchen cupboard units, keeping the fan out of the way to give your kitchen a minimalist, uniform look.

These kitchen hoods are great for blending in seamlessly with your existing decor and are well-suited to kitchens with smaller areas. You’ll find a variety of sizes, materials and colours to choose from in our selection.

Integrated cooker hoods

Integrated Hoods

An integrated cooker hood is built to fit into your existing kitchen units. This makes it easy to create a design that matches the rest of the room and achieve a seamless look.

With flexibility during installation, integrated kitchen extractor fans are easy to use: simply pull the door out to turn the extractor on when cooking and close it when not in use.

Ceiling extractor fans

Ceiling extractors

Ceiling extractor fans offer function, design and subtlety. They sit comfortably out of the way inserted in your ceiling and will remove odours without taking up valuable space. As they sit flush with the ceiling, this type of fan is usually operated by remote control.

If you’re looking for a clean minimalist design, kitchen ceiling extractor fans should be your go-to. Check out our selection to find a range of different sizes, materials and colours to choose from.

Telescopic cooker hoods

Telescopic Hoods

Similar to integrated extractor fans, telescopic cooker hoods are built into your cupboards and can be tucked out of the way when not in use. This type of hood is operated by pulling out a telescopic mechanism to provide a larger surface for ventilation whilst you cook.

Telescopic kitchen extractor fans blend into the design of your kitchen and don’t get in the way when you’re not cooking. That said, this comes at the price of losing some cupboard space, which will be taken up by the unit.

Downdraft extractors

Downdraft extractors

Downdraft extractor cooker hoods are discreetly hidden in the work counter and rise up when in use. This type of hood sucks odours and smoke downwards and can offer ducted extraction, recirculation or both.

One of the more expensive types, these premium cooker hoods hide beneath your worktop and rise with the touch of a button. They offer style, minimalism and a futuristic look all in one.

Choosing your size

Size is an important factor when choosing your cooker hood. Your choice will be determined by the height of your ceiling, as well as the size of your kitchen units and hob.

A useful rule of thumb is to pick a cooker hood that’s the same width as your hob (or 1.5x wider). This tends to look more aesthetically pleasing and also ensures that you get the right level of ventilation.

Your cooker hood should also be positioned 75cm above the kitchen hob. You’ll need to take this into account when picking which height of extractor fan to go for (read on for more information on how to measure up).

You’ll find kitchen extractor fans in a wide range of widths and heights depending on which style you choose. We offer cooker hoods in a variety of different widths:

How to measure for a cooker hood

The general principle is that the cooker hood should be the same width and depth (or 1.5 times larger) than the hob. This ensures that the hood is large enough to remove all airborne grease and smoke efficiently. To work this out, you’ll just need to measure the dimensions of your hob.

As suggested above, the height of your cooker hood is also an important factor to consider. For safety purposes, the hot zone area of your hob should be 75cm away from the hood, particularly if you’re using a gas hob. You’ll need to measure the distance between your hob and where the fan will sit to work out the correct height to go for.

There is a slight difference if you choose a downdraft cooker hood. Because they rise up, you need to make sure that there is enough space behind your kitchen worktop for the hood to fit comfortably. There should also be a minimum of 70cm under the counter to create enough space for the hood and extractor pipes.

Integrated cooker hoods

Choosing the right extraction rate

The extraction rate of your cooker hood should match the size of your kitchen. Follow these steps to work this out:

  1. Measure the height, width, and depth of your kitchen space.
  2. Multiply the height x width x depth to get the volume of your kitchen.
  3. Multiply the volume of your kitchen by 10 to get the extraction rate.

Height x width x depth of your kitchen = the volume of your kitchen

Volume of your kitchen x 10 = the extraction rate of your cooker hood

Cooker hood brands

There are many different brands to pick from when buying a cooker hood. You’ll find the following makes and more at Marks Electrical:

Choosing your colour

The colour of your cooker hood not only impacts the look of your kitchen, but also more practical features like how easy it is to clean. Below, we’ve discussed some of the benefits of different colours to help you choose:

Black Cooker Hood

Black: Black cooker hoods add a sleek and sophisticated style to your kitchen design. Yes, they match with anything, but are easy to clean too. Check out our extensive range of black cooker hoods.

White Cooker Hood

White: For a clean and chic look to your kitchen interior, white kitchen extractors do it best. They help make your kitchen area look larger and create a calming effect. Take a look at our range of white cooker hoods.

Stainless Steel Cooker Hood

Stainless steel: Nothing says timeless or classic more than a stainless steel cooker hood. Usually seen in high end kitchens run by professional chefs, cleaning is easy with our selected products. Explore our stainless steel cooker hoods.

Cream Cooker Hood

More colours: Looking for something more daring? You’ll also find other colour palettes to complement your creative idea at Marks Electrical, including silver, cream and grey.

Buying the right accessories

Ducted and recirculation cooker hoods need certain accessories to help them function correctly. When buying a cooker hood, always check that the product comes with all of the accessories you’ll need to set it up (our product pages provide you with all of this information).

Cooker hood accessories include things like filters and ducting kits. The sections below look at each type of accessory and show you where you can buy them at Marks Electrical.


Hood Filter

Cooker hood filters help to get rid of the grease, grime and smells from cooking. All extractors have a grease filter, usually made from metal (or fabric on old models). In addition, recirculation hoods have a charcoal or carbon filter inside to remove particles from the air.

Cleaning your grease filter regularly helps to avoid excessive dirt build-up and keeps your kitchen hood performing at its best. Charcoal filters in recirculation hoods should be changed every 4 to 12 months depending on how often you cook.

If you’re looking to buy a replacement grease or charcoal filter, explore our cooker hood filters.

Ducting kits

Ducting kit

If you opt for an external vented cooker hood, the ducting will enable airborne smells to leave your kitchen. When purchasing a ducting kit, be sure to choose one that’s suitable for your cooker hood. If you’re not sure what type to get, get in touch and one of our knowledgeable team members will be happy to help you.

Take a look at the range of ducting kits available at Marks Electrical.

Recirculating kits

Recirculating kit

Recirculating kits allow recirculation cooker hoods to suck in air, filter and purify it, then pump it back out into the kitchen. Before buying a recirculating kit, always check that it's compatible with your cooker hood as different sizes are available. If you’re not sure what type to get, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.

Check out our cooker hood recirculating kits when you’re ready to buy.

Chimney extensions

Chimney extension

Chimney cooker hoods are a popular choice in many kitchen designs but they may need adjusting to fit the space using an extension. A chimney extension attaches to the hood and covers the duct work up to the ceiling. If you’re not sure what type to get, get in touch and our team will advise you.

Browse our selection of cooker hood chimney extensions.

Cooker Hood FAQs

Do I need a charcoal filter for my cooker hood?

Yes, if you buy a recirculating cooker hood, you will need a charcoal or carbon filter. This accessory helps to remove grease, grime and smells from your kitchen during the extraction process.

Some of our recirculation cooker hoods come with a charcoal filter provided (check the relevant product page to find out whether this is the case). This will then need replacing every 4 to 12 months depending on how often you cook.

How do I work out what extraction rate I need?

The extraction rate of your cooker hood should match the size of your kitchen. Follow these steps to work this out:

  1. Measure the height, width, and depth of your kitchen space.
  2. Multiply the height x width x depth to get the volume of your kitchen.
  3. Multiply the volume of your kitchen by 10 to get the extraction rate.

Height x width x depth of your kitchen = the volume of your kitchen

Volume of your kitchen x 10 = the extraction rate of your cooker hood

Where should I position my cooker hood?

You should position a cooker hood 75cm above your hob somewhere with an electricity supply nearby. If you choose a ducted hood, this will ideally be situated on an external wall so that the ducting can go straight outside.

How do I fit a cooker hood?

We recommend seeking the help of a professional to fit a cooker hood.

How can I hide cooker hood ducting?

Ideally, your cooker hood will be positioned on an exterior wall so you can have a short piece of ducting straight from the hood to the outside through a hole in the wall.

If there’s no option but to have the cooker hood on an interior wall, you could run the ducting through the floor space in your ceiling if the positioning of your joist allows for this. Alternatively, other options include running the duct through your kitchen cupboards or boxing it in with wooden panels.

Other buying guides

Hob buying guide

Oven buying guide

Cooker buying guide

Range cooker buying guide

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