Here you find 100% independent comments to your checklist priorities
Looks and good design are important to all of us. All other things being equal we want to buy something we find attractive and compatible with the surroundings. However, even if you are willing to pay over £800 for a beautifully designed cooker hood, NeutraTEST has seen similar or better performance in hoods less than one third of the price. Check the specifications carefully. Elegant, modern or fashionable design, which often comes at a high cost, is no guarantee of performance. Having said that, clever (not fancy) design can significantly contribute to the functionality of the cooker hood!
In our opinion: YES. The air must be extracted out of your kitchen in a fast and efficient way. So choose a powerful model at the best possible price. Watch-out! Manufacturers only indicate extraction performance at maximum level. Minimum level performance is also important (check out our comprehensive test results). In general, the larger the kitchen space the more extraction power needed. A cooker hood with air evacuation of less than 450 m3/h is generally not of much use.
And not only you! Many of us live several persons together with different preferences. The noise of a cooker hood can be intolerable especially if you want to cook and socialise with others in the kitchen. To help you interpret the noise levels it is useful to know that the perceived level doubles for every increase of 6 dB. We at NeutraTEST have a slight preference for extraction first and then as little noise as possible, but you may want the opposite. Our scoring system lets you choose a hood based on your preferences. Finally, if your hearing or that of your partner is not as good as it once was (you are probably older than 18 and on average we loose half a decibel of hearing per year in adult life), then a noisy cooker hood is not practical.
A cooker hood is an investment that often goes with a new kitchen and our advice is to pay a little more – but know what you are paying for! Prices range from £30 to £800 for a new cooker hood. From £250 you can get real performance value for your money. If you pay more you can in some cases get even better performance and design. With more expensive models we generally find that the craftmanship, and component quality and thus life expectancy, is better.
We think this should be your starting point. Performance varies only a little (and often negatively) from £400 upwards, so be aware of what your criteria are: It could be 'extracted volume', 'noise level', 'design' (and in what order?) as a function of your budget?
Then go for a cooker hood with air extraction. Do NOT buy a cooker hood which recycles the air back into the kitchen. Best case, it will be noisier, with poorer performance, more expensive and with much maintenance, worst case it will be a complete waste of money apart from providing an expensive light over your stove.
A cooker hood is now an integral part of all modern kitchens so the question is not so much "if" but rather "what type?" and "how much money should I spend for something that is 'unavoidable' but perhaps not perceived as very efficient". NeutraTEST wants to make you comfortable when you choose and provides you with the facts to make an easy and informed decision.
We hope that you share our 'no-nonsense' approach and that the above has been of use to you. Please share with us or others your view on NeutraTEST. For access to all our results please click below.