Looking for Cooker Hood Alternatives? Top 10 Best Kitchen Extractor Fan Models Guide

Need help finding the best kitchen extractor fan that isn’t a cooking hood? You’ve come to the right place, because today we review the top 10 extractor fans, across 4-inch, 6-inch and smart kitchen extractor models.

Best Kitchen Extractor Fan

Extractor cooker hoods (aka range hoods, vent hoods, electric chimneys, fume extractors, etc) can cost thousands of pounds. Meanwhile, a kitchen extractor fan won’t set you back more than 100 quid — which is probably why you’re looking for one and have landed on this page.

But which kitchen extractor hood will quietly keep your kitchen air clean, healthy, and breathable?

In our post below, we’ve listed the best wall mounted extractor fan models on the market, as alternatives to a cooker hood. We’ve also included a handy buying guide, which covers everything from operation tips to safety. 

What Is a Kitchen Extractor Fan?

A kitchen extractor fan is a device that expels cooking odours from the kitchen to the outdoors.

Bear in mind — a kitchen extractor fan is not an extractor cooker hood.

The latter sits overtop your range and relies on ducts to vent the kitchen fumes.

A extractor fan, on the other hand, is typically wall mounted and ductless — it pushes kitchen exhaust directly outside, through the wall itself.

It’s this kitchen wall extractor fan — not the range hood — that’s the subject of this post.

Rating Kitchen Extractor Fans (Best in 2022)

For this guide, we’ve rated each kitchen extractor fan model below by considering:

  • Value
  • Efficiency
  • Effectiveness
  • Quietness of operation

Best Kitchen Extractor Fans (4-inch Models)

We’ve grouped our picks for cooker hood alternatives into 3 sections — 4-inch, 6-inch, and smart kitchen extractor fans, each of which provides a viable alternative to a cooker hood. Let’s start with the 4-inch models.

1. Manrose QF100T Kitchen Extractor Fan

The Manrose QF100T kitchen extractor fan offers an affordable and effective solution for your cooking fumes. This fan boasts quiet operation, and has handy features, such as timer overrun, backdraught shutter, as well as a unique turning vane technology.

Cooker Hood Alternative - Manrose QF100T Quiet Kitchen Extractor Fan
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Who Should Buy This Kitchen Extractor Fan?

This is one of the best cooker hood alternatives for anyone looking to get a kitchen extractor fan at an affordable price point. What’s more, if you like to keep the noise down in the kitchen, this stealthy fan will ensure you don’t wake up the whole house while fixing yourself a midnight snack.

This fan is quite small, so obviously you won’t be using it in a commercial kitchen; but this was never Manrose’s intention with the QF100T anyway.

You may also be pleasantly surprised to learn that the Manrose QF100T kitchen extractor fan comes with a 3-year guarantee.

Pros:

  • Compact design
  • Affordable
  • Ideal for smaller kitchens
  • Comes with a timer
  • Quiet operation
  • Backdraught shutter
  • Unique turning vane technology

Cons:

  • Not suitable for commercial use

Check latest price on Amazon

2. Envirovent SIL100T Kitchen Extractor Fan

The Envirovent SIL100T is another quiet kitchen exhaust fan at a reasonable price. The extraction rate of 26 litres per second (that’s 96 cubic metres per hour) makes this model one of the most powerful among all 4-inch extractor fans.

Best Alternatives to Cooker Hoods - Envirovent SIL100IT SILENT Extractor Fan 4" 100MM
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Additionally, this fan’s silent operation was actually awarded a Quiet Mark award in 2013. While you can argue the fan is not literally silent, you would be very hard pressed to find a quieter kitchen extractor fan on the market. For example, you would not be able to hear it at all from behind a closed door.

Oh, and it also comes with a timer, which is a simple but welcome addition that’s definitely worth mentioning.

Speaking of the timer, there’s an important caveat that we need to mention: this unit’s timer requires a ‘3-wire’ system to work. In simple terms, a 3-wire setup comprises an always on live, a switched live, and a neutral wire. The switch turns it on, and the timer draws power from the always on live for a set duration.

If you’re unsure whether your setup supports this kind of installation, we highly recommend asking an electrician to confrim before purchasing.

Assuming everything checks out and your wiring is up to the task, there’s a lot to like about this kitchen extractor fan.

Who Should Buy This Kitchen Extractor Fan?

The high air flow, long lifespan, noise-free operation, and low energy consumption makes this a very appealing prospect if you’re in the market for a new kitchen extractor fan. In fact, one customer reported using this device for more than 5 years without any issues, so longevity is something this fan has in spades. This particular model also doubles quite nicely as a bathroom extractor fan.

Pros:

  • Award-winning quiet operation
  • Ships with a timer
  • Very efficient
  • Great value
  • Last for a long time
  • Compact size

Cons:

  • Requires a 3-wire configuration to install

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3. Xpelair C4TS Kitchen Extractor Fan

Sleek and smooth, the Xpelair C4TS is designed with easy maintenance in mind. Unlike traditional cooker hoods, you can easily wipe all surfaces clean, and the twist-and-click installation makes setup a breeze.

Xpelair C4TS 4"/100mm Simply Silent Contour Extractor Fan Timer Delay
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Speaking of installation, there are two speeds you can select during the installation process: 15 litres per second or 21 litres per second.

The Xpelair C4TS extractor fan is ideal for wall, ceiling, or panel fitting. The manufacturer claims that it is the “quietest intermittent bathroom fan on the market”. It can be operated by a remote, which is especially great if you opt for a roof installation, and the fan’s versatility means that it is a great option for not just your kitchen, but your shower rooms, bathrooms, cloakrooms, and toilets. The device ships with a 2-year guarantee and comes in three 3 configurations: standard, with pull-cord switch, or with timer.

The fan’s timer has a default setting of 15 minutes, but it can be adjusted from 30 seconds up to 30 minutes.

Who Should Buy This Kitchen Extractor Fan?

The simple installation and maintenance makes this the perfect solution for a working professional who wouldn’t ordinarily consider themselves a hands-on kind of person. This fan is great at fume extraction, eliminating condensation, and providing a healthy environment for you and your family. If you are looking for a smart-looking fan that will blend flawlessly with your kitchen layout, the Xpelair C4Ts extractor fan is certainly a great choice.

Pros:

  • Sleek, smooth design
  • Comes in three different configurations: standard, with pull-cord switch, or with timer
  • Two speeds
  • Simple twist-and-click installation
  • Very easy to clean

Cons:

  • Speeds are only customizable during installation
  • No timer with the standard model

Check latest price on Amazon

4. Xpelair C4TR Kitchen Extractor Fan

Continuing on with Xpelair is the Xpelair C4TR extractor fan. There are 4 variants of this fan, and each one varies in price and functionality quite a lot.

Xpelair C4TR 4-inch Simply Silent Contour Extractor Fan
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The 4 variants are as follows:

  • standard
  • with a timer
  • includes a humidistat and a timer
  • equipped with a pull-cord switch.

The humidistat is handy, as it helps you monitor the relative humidity in the kitchen. However, it does add some cost to the device.

Who Should Buy This Kitchen Extractor Fan?

This kitchen extractor fan is quiet, but not silent. If you want as little noise as possible, the C4TS model is a better bet.

Nevertheless, the Xpelair C4TR has its perks, such as its sleek design, great value for money, and the range of model options you get.

Pros:

  • Four available variants
  • Modern design
  • Quiet
  • Good value

Cons:

  • Not entirely silent

Check latest price on Amazon

Best Kitchen Extractor Fans (6-inch Models)

Next on our list is a range of the best kitchen extractor fans with a 6-inch blade. Compared to their 4-inch peers, these give you a bit more power — but you can also expect a slight bump in price.

1. OOPPEN 6″ Kitchen Extractor Fan

OOPPEN 6” Ventilation Wall or Ceiling Mounted Exhaust Fan
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The OOPPEN 6” Ventilation Wall- or Ceiling-Mounted Extractor Fan is a good way to kick off the list; specifically, the A-150mm variant. This model is rated IP34, which means this device is safeguarded against debris greater than 2.5 millimetres and is also protected from the spray of water from any direction.

OOPPEN has really threaded the needle on this extractor fan, offering up a high-quality unit for a very reasonable price. For instance, OOPPEN opted for an ABS construction – including the front panel – ensuring that it will not bend or become deformed during use. This fan also features a copper motor with thermal protection, meaning you can use this kitchen extractor fan continually and without maintenance.

In terms of specs, the OOPPEN 6″ kitchen extractor fan has a voltage/frequency: 220~240/50 Hz, 22 watts of power, an airflow rate of 201m³/h, and a speed of 2,350 RPM.

Who Should Buy This Model?

If you’re after a smart, modern design that runs quietly and efficiently, this particular model will serve you well. Also, if you’re like us, the notion of a maintenance-free anything will be music to your ears.

Pros:

  • Modern design with high-quality ABS materials, including the front panel
  • Quiet
  • Good value
  • Six different variants available.
  • Suitable for the kitchen, bathroom, or even the bedroom
  • Waterproof

Cons:

  • No timer

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2. Xpelair VX150T Kitchen Extractor Fan

Yet another Xpelair kitchen extractor fan makes our list.

Xpelair VX150T 93227AW Kitchen/Bathroom Wall or Ceiling Extractor Fan
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Kitchen extractors are undoubtedly Xpelair’s bread and butter, and the Xpelair VX150T arguably offers the best value. Note that we’ve listed the timer model here; buying the standard model here just feels like a nonstarter.

The convenience of this product alone is worth the pittance extra you need for the timer model. However, there’s a catch: the timer model requires two live connections: a permanent live and a switched live (as well as a neutral). If this is an issue for you, we recommend you opt for the standard model.

On the downside, the unit is a bit basic; but given the price, you can’t really expect to get all the bells and whistles.

Who Should Buy This Model?

If you’ve been using a 4-inch kitchen extractor fan and are looking at an upgrade, we can’t recommend this unit enough; you will really see and feel the difference. Additionally, the simple installation is just the icing on the cake, featuring instructions that are easy to follow and aren’t bogged down on waffling technobabble. If you ever decide to upgrade to a cooker hood extractor in the future, you can easily  bathroom, giving it an extra lease on life if you decide to go that route.

Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • Instructions are very easy to follow
  • Good value for money
  • Run-on timer

Cons:

  • Basic function
  • Timer model requires two live connections: a permanent live and a switched live (as well as a neutral)

Check latest price on Amazon

3. Airvent 435103 Kitchen Extractor Fan

The Airvent 435103 has a classic look that features thermally activated automatic shutters situated behind the front grille. The unit ships with an inbuilt pull-cord and weighs in at a little over a kilo.

Airvent 435103 Kitchen Extractor Fan 6" 150mm
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Coloured white, this fan can be used as a direct replacement for the Acel AC6132 and the Newlec NL883S models.

Trying to recommend fans to a general reading audience can be tricky, but the best way of summing up this kitchen extractor fan is that it’s quite powerful for its size.

It’s a great choice as a new addition or an upgrade. The pull-cord is one of those “nice touch” accessories, and the ease of installation is a breath of fresh air (if you pardon the phrase). Any noise you hear from this product is just the airflow, not a mechanical sound.

Who Should Buy This Model?

If you’re after a kitchen wall extractor fan with shutters that close when it’s not in use, this is a top choice indeed. The fan’s internal wiring should be simple enough for most people to figure out, although it’s not completely foolproof. The Airvent 435103 kitchen extractor fan is perfect for expelling steam from either the kitchen or the bathroom, solidifying its multipurpose functions.

Pros:

  • Easy to install
  • Instructions are very easy to follow
  • Good value for money
  • Brilliant at clearing out steam
  • Thermally activated automatic shutters situated behind the front grille

Cons:

  • Build quality could be a bit better

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4. Xpelair WX6 Kitchen Wall Extractor Fan

The Xpelair WX6 is a powerful kitchen extractor fan that’s sealed for life, meaning it doesn’t require any maintenance. However, such a restriction might be seen as a double-edged sword depending on your point of view.

Xpelair WX6 Commercial Axial Wall Fan with Safe Lock Metal Telescopic Wall Liner
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This unit is expensive. It’s also designed for commercial use, weighing in at nearly 3 kg, about three times the typical weight of a 6-inch kitchen extractor fan. However, the high-performance nature of this fan and its extraction power is truly what sets it apart.

The manufacturer describes the Xpelair WX6 kitchen wall extractor fan as being suitable for “single, cavity brick and current timber frame walls”. The fan itself is targeted at people running large kitchens but prefer an unintrusive kitchen wall extractor fan rather than a cumbersome extractor cooker hood.

Who Should Buy This Model?

If your current kitchen fan isn’t quite cutting it – or if you are simply looking at hitting the ground running – the Xpelair WX6 kitchen wall extractor fan hits all the right notes.

Pros:

  • Powerful
  • Maintenance-free
  • Built-in silect-action electro-thermal shutter cassette
  • Passive trickle-vent facility for background ventilation with fan off

Cons:

  • Expensive

Check latest price on Amazon

Smart Kitchen Extractor Fans (Best in 2022)

Simply put, a smart kitchen extractor fan lets you program various settings. Some of the more advanced models can also adapt their output to a changing environment.

1. OOPPEN 6″ Smart Kitchen Exhaust Fan

When you think of smart devices, your mind probably goes straight to smart watches or smart fridges. However, if you’re looking for a powerful kitchen extractor fan, the OOPPEN 6″ smart kitchen exhaust fan should be at the front of your list, as it offers an unsurpassed level of might (and intelligence).

OOPPEN 6” Inline Duct Fan High Efficiency Extractor Fan
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Now, I know what you might be thinking: What’s the point?

Well, hypothetical skeptic, allow us to explain. A smart extractor fan has a smart controller that allows you to program timers, enforce time delay, alter the air flow speed, and even respond dynamically to temperature. The OOPPEN 6″ smart kitchen exhaust fan comes with 3 speeds, and the outer rotor motor is located inside, stifling noise pollution and making it perfect for not just a kitchen, but also a hotel, office, library, or even a hydroponic room.

Who Should Buy This Model?

We could talk about the special Japanese ball bearings, or the meticulous product design, but we think the simple fact that this extractor fan can get you 50,000+ hours of life (5.7 years) tells you all you really need to know. Remember: this is working life, not lifespan from the day you open the box until the day it gives up the ghost.

For a commercial kitchen that operates 8 hours a day (as an example), that means 15+ years; moreover, if you used the fan for an hour each day for cooking at home, this makes the projected lifespan about 136 years! Crazy!

Pros:

  • Smart and powerful
  • Maintenance-free
  • Insanely long working life of 50,000+ hours
  • Japanese ball bearings and high-end design features
  • Estimated flow rate is 165-240 m³/h
  • Protection class: IP30
  • Display environmental temperature
  • Low, medium, high, automatic airspeed control

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Bulky

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2. Kair Smart 100mm Kitchen Extractor Fan

The Kair Smart 100mm kitchen extractor fan is, as the name implies, 10 cm in length, requires little maintenance, and offers a cost-effective ventilation and extraction solution.

Kair Smart 100mm Intelligent Extractor Fan with Humidistat Timer and Data Logger (Smart Fan)
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This intelligent kitchen extractor is made in Italy, so you know it has to be good. Indeed, it has nearly as many gadgets as a Ferrari, sporting a humidistat, timer, pull-cord, constant flow sensor, daily run monitor, and nighttime delay. Oh, and did we mention it comes with an incredible 5-year guarantee? Massive!

The design of the Kair Smart 100mm kitchen extractor fan is nothing unique. It has the modern, featureless facade that we all love, but it does this all in just 821 grams of technological brilliance. This thing has an integrated data logger, for crying out loud! You can also mount it onto your ceiling, wall, or even your window.

The upfront cost, while high, isn’t outrageous, and the efficient running costs means you’ll be getting a lot back on your investment in the long run.

Who Should Buy This Model?

The unit is specially designed to prevent dampness and mould growth, and it does this with a level of quietness you might not expect for an extractor fan of this size and power. This truly is a textbook example of getting what you pay for, that’s for sure. So, oddly, we actually would classify this fan as being good value despite the premium price tag; it definitely earns this plaudit.

Pros:

  • Smart and powerful
  • Maintenance-free
  • Programmable
  • Cost-effective
  • 5-year guarantee!
  • Easy installation
  • Heaps of features, including humidistat, timer, pull-cord, constant flow sensor, daily run monitor, and nighttime delay
  • Made in Italy. Bellissimo!

Cons:

  • Expensive (but, in our opinion, totally worth it!)

Check latest price on Amazon

Kitchen Extractor Fan vs. Conventional Extractor Cooker Hood

Can a kitchen extractor fan replace your conventional cooker hood? Well, that’s a question that is completely dependent on the situation. In many cases, a large kitchen extractor fan will serve as a solid alternative to an extraction cooker hood, but the latter certainly have their place.

If you’re looking to do a lot of cooking and want a specific range hood, there’s nothing stopping you going down that path; it’s a completely understandable decision that will ultimately depend on your kitchen size and culinary exploits.

Kitchen Extractor Fan FAQs

How does a kitchen extractor fan work?

A kitchen extractor fan expels kitchen fumes directly to the outdoors, through the wall to which it’s mounted; there’s no ductwork of any sort.

We’ve already mentioned quite a number of things that a kitchen extractor fan is useful for, but purpose alone isn’t the whole story.

The fact of the matter is that a lot of the cooking byproducts on a stovetop can be unsanitary and require regular cleaners. For example, steam build-up without extraction from a cooker hood or fan could lead to a damaged roof, while unfiltered fumes could lead to breathing difficulties and an unpleasant cooking environment.

While an extractor hood fulfills a similar purpose, their bulk and placement in kitchens may not be ideal for everyone. So, if you don’t fancy having a bulky range hood (and its ductwork) taking up precious kitchen space, a kitchen extractor fan can be a solid alternative.

Does a kitchen extractor fan need to vent outside the kitchen?

Since April 2006, it’s a legal requirement to have ventilating equipment that expels kitchen fumes to the outdoors. So, kitchens built from April 2006 onward meet regulation if the air is extracted externally, and don’t if the air gets recirculated instead.

Does an extractor fan use much electricity?

No — kitchen extractor fans don’t use much electricity at all. For example, the OOPPEN 6″ smart kitchen exhaust fan we listed above consumes 54 watts, or 0.054kWh on its highest setting. At 14p/kWh, this means you’ll pay less than a penny per hour  — 0.76p/h, to be precise — to operate this fan.

Related Reading: Top Energy Saving Tips

What size kitchen extractor fan do I need?

In most domestic kitchens, you’d need extractor fans that can perform, on average, 15 air changes per hour. To zero in on the optimal fan extraction rate (typically measured in litres per second or metres cubed per hour), you’ll first need to calculate the volume of your kitchen (L x W x H). For instance, if your kitchen is 3m x 4m x 2.8m, the volume is 33.6m2. Ideally, you’d replace this volume of air 15 times in a single hour; with this in mind, you can calculate the ideal extraction rate:

33.6 x 15 = 504 m3/h

Then, you can also convert it to litres per second (for your reference, 1m3/h = 0.278 l/s):

504 x 0.278 = 140 l/s 

In the above scenario, you’ll need a fan with the performance of 504 m3/h or 140 l/s. You’ll find that many kitchen fan extractor models have lower air flow rates, which means you may have to purchase 2 or more to ensure the best air quality.

What safety concerns I should consider?

Unlike many other kinds of fans, heaters, and radiators, there isn’t much risk involved with using a kitchen extractor fan. Having said that, it’s a good and smart idea to pay attention to the product manual and keep and eye (and an ear) out for any anomalies, including rattling, malformed plastic, or anything else unusual.

Some, but not all, of the fans we have listed in this buying guide here are built using flame-retardant material. Do your due diligence and understand the risks involved before buying or using a kitchen extractor fan.

Kitchen Extractor Fan Guide: Conclusion

A small kitchen extractor fan is one of the best buys for your home and a great low-cost solution for expelling steam and smoke from your kitchen. Remember that some kitchen extractor fans (such as those with a timer) require special wiring that might not be compatible with your current setup — always consult an electrician to be sure.

We hope this guide has been helpful when finding and buying the right kitchen fan for you. If you’ve used any of the cooking hood alternatives above (or any other, really), and would like to share your experience, please leave our readers and us a comment below.

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