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Cooker hoods jargon buster

By Jane Darling

From extraction to grease filters: all the jargon you need to know about cooker hoods before you hit the shops.

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Built-in cooker hoods

Built-in cooker hoods are compact, at 52cm to 60cm wide, and are designed to fit into kitchen cabinets. They're suitable for use above a traditional four-ring freestanding cooker or hob.



Chimney and island cooker hoods are made up of a stainless steel chimney, housing the duct, and a glass or stainless steel canopy where you'll find the extractor fan and filters. Glass canopies are easier to clean than those made of stainless steel – it’s also easier to see when they are dirty.

Chimney cooker hoods

Chimney-style hoods are made of stainless steel and glass and comprise a canopy, to capture the steam and smells, and a chimney fitted with a fan to extract them. They need to be fitted to the wall and can be found in sizes big enough for four-ring hobs or large eight-burner 120cm-wide range cookers.


Cooker hoods with the controls on the front are easier to use than those with the controls on the inside or underneath.


Extraction or recirculation

Cooker hoods can be set up to extract air through a duct to a vent in your wall or to pass extracted air through carbon filters before recirculating it back into your kitchen. We test all cooker hoods in extraction mode, which is the most effective way of removing steam and smells. Visit how we test cooker hoods to find out the lengths we go to in our lab testing.


Freestanding cooker hoods

Freestanding cooker hoods should be fitted directly to the wall above a four-ring cooker or hob. Freestanding hoods are the least powerful and the cheapest of the hoods available.


Grease filters

Grease filters capture grease as it rises from your hob. They can be made of aluminium, stainless steel, fleece material or paper. Metal filters are dishwasher-proof, and will need to be washed regularly. Fleece and paper filters are disposable and will need to be replaced regularly.


Integrated cooker hoods

Integrated cooker hoods are designed to fit snugly into integrated fitted kitchen units. They're not as powerful as chimney or island hoods and are suitable for use with a four-ring freestanding cooker or hob.

Island cooker hoods

Island hoods are the biggest and the most expensive type of cooker hoods. Island hoods attach directly to the ceiling, so you’ll need a big kitchen with a lot of space to accommodate one.



Most cooker hoods come with two or more halogen or incandescent lights to illuminate your cooking area.


Power settings

Most cooker hoods have two or three speeds, and some come with a short high-power burst option to quickly clear a kitchen of steam and smells. Some hoods come with helpful indicator lights that tell you the speed the hood is operating at and when the grease filter is saturated.

Browse our top scoring cooker hoods in cooker hoods Best Buys.


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