When you consider purchasing a new range hood or replacing an existing one at your home you are confronted with different types of hoods. In the past, it was to a certain extent easy to choose as you only had to choose between a ducted and a ductless hood. Your needs and the size of your kitchen “dictated” what type of range hood you had to install. But nowadays you can also buy a convertible hood and you just don’t know what a convertible hood is exactly and which ones are the best to buy.
So I made a list for you;
I’ve looked at different convertible range hoods and made a list of those that I consider the six best ones. For your convenience, I briefly discuss each of them here. Although some are discussed in more detail than others, it is not an indication of my preferences – I believe that each of these six products would be a good investment.
Table of Contents
1. Cosmo 63175S 30 in
The Cosmo 63175S 30-inch hood is designed to be a wall-mounted range hood and is a ceiling chimney-style stove vent. The hood offers LEDs light, a permanent filter, and a three-speed fan. It is available in stainless steel. To successfully install this range hood the recommended ceiling height is 7.5 ft. and the minimum is 7 ft. The optimal distance between the cooktop and the lower edge of the range hood should be between 24” and 36″.
Powerful but relatively silent
This range hood is built with cutting-edge technology providing you with a beautiful product at an affordable price. With this hood, you can really enjoy your cooking because you know that the air in the kitchen will stay fresh and the cleaning of your tiles and stove afterward will be easy. The 380 CFM range hood is powerful enough to remove smells and odors effectively even in rather large kitchens. The maximum noise level is only 65dB.
Convertible – ducts and filters
As a ducted range hood, it vents outside and away from your home. But being convertible, you can also use it as a ductless hood. There is an optional carbon filter kit available if you use it ductless. The Cosmo’s extremely durable permanent filters are dishwasher-safe and thus you don’t need to replace these filters – you just take them out, wash them in your dishwasher and put them back. This is a large cost-saving feature.
The Cosmo 63175S comes with energy-efficient, 2-watt LEDs that provide long-lasting and bright, high lumen lighting for better visibility on your cooktop. Apart from keeping the air in your kitchen fresh, it enhances your cooking experience with a well-lit cooktop.
The Cosmo 63175S 30-inch hood is available on Amazon.
2. Broan NuTone BCDF130SS Glacier
The Broan NuTone BCDF130SS Glacier is a convertible range hood with a light exhaust fan for under cabinet mount. It comes in stainless steel.
The Broan NuTone BGDF130SS Glacier offers a 4-way convertible installation. It can be installed as
- a vertical ducting with a damper
- a horizontal ducting with a damper
- an around vertical ducting (damper sold separately), or as
- non-ducted with air recirculation (filter sold separately)
These four possibilities provide versatile installation options.
Effective and easy to operate
This 30-inch under-cabinet range hood fits neatly underneath cabinets and thus offers a complete solution to your kitchen’s ventilation needs. It provides an exhaust fan and an overhead light. The 375 CFM hood is capable to remove 97.4% of smoke and cooking odors. The tap-touch control allows for quick adjustments and makes it easy to operate.
Lights and filters
The Broan Glacier range hood is equipped with a bright 2-level LED module illuminating the cooktop evenly and the light is controlled by a tap-touch button for ease of use. The two-level LED modules carry a 3-year warranty. The hood also features dual one-piece dishwasher-safe micro-mesh filters to maintain optimum grease capture.
Summary of other important features
- The ductless option is using charcoal filters.
- The hood has a smooth, easy-to-clean surface.
- The three-speed fan allows you to adjust the speed to fit your needs.
- The range hood is equipped with EZ1 brackets to make it easy for one person to install the hood in less than half the time of traditional installing methods.
- The Broan Nutone BCDF 130SS Glacier comes with a limited 1-year warranty.
The Broan Nutone BCDF 130SS is available on Amazon.
3. McBon (IE71-Black-30 inch)
The McBon Advantage range hood is manufactured with a 1 mm thick food-grade, durable and non-rusting no. 20 brushed stainless steel. This type of steel resists grease, stains and rust. The fan blade is also made of metal for durability. This ducted/ductless convertible range hood really blocks fumes effectively and quickly removes “escaped” fumes and pollutants.
Summary of most important features of the McBon range hood
- The hood’s effective copper motor provides 600 CFM high suction power.
- It has a low operating noise of only 35dB. You can enjoy your cooking in a quiet environment. With the 3-speed fan, you can control whatever speed you need while cooking.
- It is easy to clean. Its permanent filters are easily removable and dishwasher safe.
- Although the McBon range hood fits a 6” round or square duct, it is also great as a ductless kitchen hood.
- The McBon charcoal filters are very effective to filter out the grease and odor from cooking fumes.
- It has 2 x 3W cold white LED lamps which are durable and help save on energy. The lighting is effective to give you an evenly illuminated cooktop.
- It is a beautiful and expensive looking range hood.
- The range hood comes with a 5-year warranty.
The McBon range hood is available on Amazon.
4. IKTCH 36 inch Range Hood
IKTCH 36 inches convertible range hood adds a modern look to your kitchen with its low profile stainless steel hood. It is designed to fit a 6” round exhaust duct vent, but can also be converted to a ductless range hood.
Summary of the most important features of the IKTCH 36
- This hood has a modern design. It is made from 19-gauge stainless steel, which gives the hood an elegant appearance. It also comes with remote control.
- It offers powerful airflow. Its 900 CFM large airflow with excellent fans efficiently removes large amounts of smoke and cooking odors with ease from the air in your kitchen. It is ideal for large kitchens.
- It operates at a low noise level. You have a four-speed setting to use depending on what your cooking requires. The noise level can be as low as 40 decibels.
- The IKTCH 36 hood features a 2-piece 3watt LED light, which has adjustable brightness to meet your cooking needs.
- It includes 3 matching dishwasher-friendly removable stainless steel permanent filters to trap cooking grease and oil.
- The range hood comes with 10 years of technical support on the motor, and 5 years of technical support on the switch control and LED lamps.
The IKTCH 36 inches convertible range hood is available on Amazon.
5. Comfee Glass 36 Inch
The Comfee Glass 36-Inch convertible range hood offers 450 CFM strong suction to eliminate cooking fumes and guarantee cooking in fresh air. If your kitchen has a high ceiling the chimney’s height can be lengthened. This feature makes it possible to install this hood in virtually any kitchen.
Summary of the most important features of the Comfee range hood
- It features a 3-speed low noise exhaust fan.
- It has baffle filters that extract smoke in a very efficient way and the filters can be washed in your dishwasher.
- Its curved glass traps much more particles in the air than most other hoods.
- The two LED lights illuminate your cooktop excellently.
- For durability, it is made of stainless steel and is an ideal size to fit perfectly and save space in your house, apartment or condo.
- There are installation videos available to make the installation an easy DIY job. The Comfee range hood comes with a 1-year manufacturer warranty.
The Comfee range hood is available on Amazon.
6. The ZLINE KB-30
The ZLINE KB-30 is a 30-inch wall mount stainless steel hood. This range hood is designed to be elegant and will enhance your kitchen décor. But it is not only a beautiful appliance, it is also a very powerful hood. It features the industry’s only lifetime warranty motor.
Summary of the most important features of the Zline 30” range hood
- For durability, this hood is made of 430-grade stainless steel. The hold is available in black.
- You can use it as a vent out or recirculating (ductless) hood option with carbon filters.
- For easy control of the fan speed and lighting, it features easy-to-use push-button controls.
- The 4-speed fan control allows you to choose the right airflow for any cooking situation. The hood offers a high-performance 4-speed motor capable of up to 400 CFM.
- You can easily connect the ductwork to the top of the range hood.
- It features dishwasher-safe stainless steel baffle filters.
- Built-in LED lighting is designed to illuminate your cooktop evenly.
- It is equipped with two 16-inch telescoping chimneypieces and will fit most ceilings between 8 and 9 feet.
The Zline hood is available on Amazon.
Basics about convertible hoods you should know
What is a convertible range hood?
In simple terms, a range hood is an appliance designed to clean the air in your kitchen while you’re cooking on your cooktop. Hoods are used with gas stoves and electric stoves. The range hood removes smoke, steam, grease, cooking fumes, and odors from the air.
If it is a ducted hood, it means that the range hood pulls in the air with its fan and expels it to the outdoors via ductworks. A ductless range hood also pulls in air from the kitchen but then runs the air through charcoal filters to circulate clean odorless air back into the kitchen. The charcoal filters effectively trap grease and odor particles.
Convertible range hoods are two-in-one range hoodsthat can be installed either as a ducted appliance or as a ductless hood. It is more flexible to install than a ductless or ducted hood. A convertible hood as such has specific pros and cons and every model offers one or two unique characteristics.
How to convert from ducted to ductless
Generally speaking, convertible range hoods are sold as ducted hoods that can be adapted for ductless operation. Thus, with most models, if you want to install and use your convertible hood as a ducted hood, you don’t have to convert anything – you just install it as a ducted hood.
However, if you want to convert from ducted to ductless, you first have to add the conversion kit supplied by the manufacturer. As the conversion kits differ from brand to brand, you have to follow the instruction on the converter’s packaging or the provided manual.
Pros and cons of convertible hoods
Like any other appliance, convertible hoods also have pros and cons.
The noise level of a convertible hood might be a con for you if you want a “quiet” cooking environment. Range hoods specifically developed to be used as ducted hoods generally have a low noise level in the kitchen because their fans can be located in the ductwork rather than in the hood itself. With a convertible hood the fan cannot be located outside in the ductwork and it will be noisier in the kitchen when the fan is running. Thus, it might be better to invest in a ducted hood.
If you want to install your range hood as a ductless hood, the most important pro when you invest in a convertible hood is the bigger fan with more speed options the convertible hoods offer. As the convertible hood is in principle a ducted hood, it needs a large fan with different speeds to effectively move the air from your kitchen to the outside. When you use the convertible hood as a ductless hood you still have the benefit of the larger fan with different speed options.
Convertible hoods have a larger CFM rating than ductless hoods
CFM stands for “cubic feet per minute” and it is the unit the ventilation power of a range hood is measured in. CFM indicates how many cubic feet of air the range hood exhausts every minute at full speed. Thus, the higher the CFM, the more air is vented out of your kitchen or other cooking space.
Generally, ducted and convertible range hoods offer a higher CFM than ductless hoods. When you install a convertible hood as a ductless hood, you will have the benefit of a higher CFM rating. Your kitchen’s air will be fresher and with fewer odors if the hood has a relatively high CFM rating.
Convertible range hood installation: Is it different?
Installing a convertible range hood is not more difficult than installing a ducted or ductless hood. If you install it in your kitchen as a ductless hood, the installation, after you’ve added the conversion kit to the hood, is the same as if you are installing a “normal” ductless hood.
It is always a little bit more difficult to install a ducted range hood as the hood and the ductwork have to be matched hundred percent. It is the same “problem” you will have to overcome when you are installing your convertible hood as a ducted range hood. The convertible hoods usually come equipped with all the necessary hookups to attach them to a ventilation or duct system.
If you want to install your convertible hood as a ductless hood you need the conversion kit supplied by the manufacturer. Generally, you have to buy them separately.
Other selection criteria
Apart from the above-mentioned criteria, there are also other factors playing a role when deciding on the type of hood you need. Esthetic aspects can for instance play a role. The convertible hood might be exactly the design and color you want for your kitchen, and no ducted or ductless range hood has what you want. Then investing in the convertible hood you like, might be in the long run your best choice.