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Looking For An Alternative To Cooker Hoods? Our Buying Guide For The Best Kitchen Extractor Fan

When it comes to fans, perhaps no fan is more versatile than the kitchen extractor fan. Capable of removing combustion products, airborne grease, smoke, fumes, steam, and heat by use of fan and filtration, kitchen extractor fans are a must-have for anyone looking to ensure the cleanliness and healthy operation of their stovetop and other kitchen appliances and tools.

Best Kitchen Extractor Fan

A kitchen extractor fan is not the same as an extractor cooker hood, which goes by more names than the late and great Prince, including, rangehood, vent hood, electric chimney, fume extractor, cooking canopy, stove hood, cooker hood and more.

The reason we bring this up is so that you can recognise that, while the functions are similar, the product itself is not the same.

The item we are talking about today in this guide is sometimes referred to as a roof-mounted kitchen ventilation fan. For the purposes of this article (so as to maintain consistency and avoid any potential confusion), we will be using the name kitchen extractor fan.

Rating The Best Kitchen Extractor Fans (2021)

For this guide, we’re going to break up our product rating list into three sections, including 4-inch fans, 6-inch fans, and smart extractor fans. This is so we can give you a variety of buying options that cater to the varying needs of our audience.

For this guide, we will rate each product by considering value, efficiency, effectiveness, and even the quietness of operation.

Best 4-inch kitchen extractor fan models:

1. Manrose QF100T Extractor Fan

Because extractor cooker hoods can cost hundreds or even thousands of pounds, it’s good to know that you achieve a similar effect and quality level without wiping out your bank account in the process.

Manrose QF100T Quiet Kitchen Extractor Fan

The Manrose QF100T offers an affordable and effective solution that comes with quiet operation and features such as timer overrun, backdraught shutter, and a unique turning vane technology.

Who Should Buy This Extractor Fan?

As mentioned, this is a solid budget option and one of the best buys for anyone looking to get a kitchen fan at an affordable price point. If you’re a person who would like to keep the noise down in the kitchen, this fan’s stealthy sound input will ensure you don’t wake up the whole house if you decide to fix yourself a midnight snack.

You may also be pleasantly surprised to learn that this fan comes with a 3-year guarantee. Obviously, you’re not going to be using this in an industrial kitchen, but this was never Manrose’s intention with the QF100T.

Pros:

  • Compact design
  • Affordable
  • Ideal for smaller kitchens
  • Timer Overrun
  • Quiet operation
  • Backdraught shutter
  • Unique turning vane technology

Cons:

  • Underpowered
  • Not suitable for heavy or industrial use

Check price on Amazon

2. Envirovent SIL100T Extractor Fan

The Envirovent SIL100T is another quiet fan at a reasonable price. The extraction rate of 26 litres per second (which equates to 96 cubic metres per hour) makes this one of the highest extraction rates among all 4-inch extractor fans.

Envirovent SIL100IT SILENT Extractor Fan 4" 100MM

Additionally, its silent operation was actually awarded a Quiet Mark award in 2013. Oh, and it also comes with a timer, which is a simple but welcomed addition that is definitely worth mentioning.

While the fan does operate quietly and efficiently as claimed, there’s an important caveat that needs to be mentioned. This unit requires a ‘3-wire’ system to work. What does that mean? In simple terms, a 3-wire comprises an always-on live, a switched live, and a neutral. The switch itself turns it on, and a timer draws power from the always-on live once the switch is turned off to run it for a set duration until it is turned off.

If you’re unsure about whether your setup supports this kind of installation, we highly recommend asking an electrician if your current kitchen configuration has this kind of wiring 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. 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, and the extraction noise level is quiet and smooth enough to be nearly imperceptible. For example, you would not be able to hear it at all from behind a closed door.

Who Should Buy This Extractor Fan?

In any case, the noise level is not going to be an issue, which is quite the technological achievement, we must say! The high air flow, long lifespan, and low energy consumption makes this a very appealing prospect for anyone in the market for a new kitchen extractor fan; in fact, one customer reported using this for more than 5 years without any issues, so longevity is something this fan has in spades. This particular fan also doubles quite nicely as a bathroom extractor fan .

Pros:

  • Very 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

Check price on Amazon

3. Xpelair C4TS Extractor Fan

Sleek and smooth, the Xpelair C4TS is designed with easy maintenance in mind. The surface can easily be wiped clean, and the twist-and-click installation makes setup a breeze.

Xpelair C4TS 4"/100mm Simply Silent Contour Extractor Fan Timer Delay

Speaking of installation, there are two speeds which can be selected during the installation process: 15 litres per second or 21 litres per second.

The Xpelair C4TS 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 easy installation and maintenance makes this the perfect solution for a working professional who would not ordinarily consider themselves to be a hands-on kind of person. The timer has a default setting of 15 minutes, but it can be adjusted from 30 seconds up to 30 minutes.

Who Should Buy This Extractor Fan?

This fan is great at not just smoke extraction but also eliminating condensation and providing a healthy environment for you and your family. It ships with a 2-year guarantee and comes in three different configurations: standard, with pull-cord switch, or with timer. If you are looking for a smart-looking fan that will blend flawlessly with your kitchen layout, the Xpelair C4Ts 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 selectable during installation
  • No timer with the standard model

Check price on Amazon

4. Xpelair C4TR Extractor Fan

Continuing on with Xpelair is the Xpelair C4TR. There are four variants here, and each one varies in price and functionality quite a lot.

Xpelair C4TR 4-inch Simply Silent Contour Extractor Fan

The four variants are as follows: standard, with timer, with humidistat and timer, and with pull-cord switch. The humidistat  is one of those smart accessories that does add some cost to the device, but many people reading this might find such an add-on to be an especially useful feature.

For those of you who aren’t quite sure what a humidistat is, it is an electronic device (also known as a  hygrostat) that is kind of like a thermostat but instead reacts to the relative humidity, not temperature.

Who Should Buy This Extractor Fan?

This extractor fan is quiet but not silent. If you want as little noise as possible, the C4TS is a better bet. Nevertheless, the C4TR has its perks. The modern design and great value for money is a good starting place.

Another perk is the range of options that you are given. Being able to choose between several models allows you to avoid spending more money than you need to, which is always a good thing.

Pros:

  • Four variants available: Standard, with timer, with humidistat and timer, and with pull-cord switch
  • Modern design
  • Quiet
  • Good value

Cons:

  • Despite being quiet, the C4TS is quieter

Check price on Amazon

Best 6-inch kitchen fans with extraction:

1. OOPPEN Extractor Fan

Moving onto the 6-inch kitchen extractor fans, you can expect a bit more power (but also a slight bump in price).

OOPPEN 6” Ventilation Wall or Ceiling Mounted Exhaust Fan

The OOPPEN 6” Ventilation Wall- or Ceiling-Mounted Exhaust Fan is a good way to kick off the list. Specifically, we’re going to take a look at the A-150mm variant.

Unlike the A1-150mm variant, this model comes with a protection class rating of IP34. If you’re anything like us, our memorisation of protection class IDs is lacking, so here’s a refresher:

The IP34 rating means this device is safeguarded against wires and tools greater than 2.5 millimeters and is  also protected from the spray of water from any direction.

Ooppen has really threaded the needle on this one, offering up a high-quality unit for a very reasonable price. If you’re after a smart modern design that runs quietly and efficiently during extraction, this particular model will serve you well. In case you’re into specs, here’s a quick breakdown of the pertinent numbers:

It 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 Extractor Fan?

As far as materials are concerned, OOppen don’t cut corners, opting for an ABS construction – including the front panel – ensuring that it will not be bent or deformed during use. It also features a copper motor with thermal protection, thus meaning you can use this kitchen extractor fan continually and without maintenance. So, 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

Check price on Amazon

2. Xpelair VX150T Extractor Fan

Yet another Xpelair fan makes this buying guide list.

Xpelair VX150T 93227AW Kitchen/Bathroom Wall or Ceiling Extractor Fan

Kitchen extractors are undoubtedly their bread and butter, and the Xpelair VX150T is arguably the best value. Note here that we’ve listed the timer model. 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, only then can we recommend settling for the standard model.

Assuming you have the two live connections you needed, pretty much anyone in need of a compact kitchen extractor fan can be recommended this unit. It has a run-on timer that can be adjusted before you install the unit.

The unit is a bit basic, lamentably, but for the price point nobody is expecting all the smart accessories plus bells and whistles; the heater is striving to be the best value, not the best overall kitchen extractor fan. Nevertheless, Xpelair has certainly succeeded on the value angle.

Who Should Buy This Extractor Fan?

If you’ve been using a 4-inch kitchen extractor fan and are looking at an upgrade, we can’t recommend this unit enough, as 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 decided to upgrade to a cooker hood extractor in the future, this fan can also be switched over to a bathroom or toilet, 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 price on Amazon

3. Airvent 435103 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

Coloured white, this fan can be used as a direct replacement for the Acel AC6132 and the  Newlec NL883S.

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

It’s a great choice as a new addition or as 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 likely to be that of airflow, not a mechanical sound.

Who Should Buy This Extractor Fan?

If you’re after a fan with shutters that close when it’s not in use, this is a top choice indeed. The internal wiring of this product should be simple enough for most people to figure out, although it’s not completely foolproof. This particular unit is perfect for clearing out steam in 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

Check price on Amazon

4. Xpelair WX6 Extractor Fan

The Xpelair WX6 Commercial Axial Wall Fan is sealed for life, which means it doesn’t require any maintenance, but 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

This unit is expensive. It is designed with a more industrial purpose in mind, weighing in at nearly 3 kilos, 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 unit is described by the manufacturer as being suitable for “single, cavity brick and current timber frame walls”. The fan itself is targeted at people running large kitchens, aiming to appeal to people who would prefer a wall-mounted fan rather than having an extractor cooker hood getting all up in their grill (and by ‘grill’ we mean face, not grille with an ‘e’).

Who Should Buy This Extractor Fan?

If your current kitchen fan isn’t quite cutting it – or if you are simply looking at hitting the ground running – the Xpelair WX6 Commercial Axial Wall 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 price on Amazon

Smart kitchen extractor fans fan models:

1. OOPPEN Smart Exhaust Extractor 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 highly efficient kitchen extractor fan, the OOPPEN 6-inch Inline Duct Fan should be at the front of your list, offering an unsurpassed level of intelligence in an extractor fan.

OOPPEN 6” Inline Duct Fan High Efficiency Extractor Fan

Now, I know what you might be thinking: What’s the point?

Well, hypothetical skeptic, allow us to explain. A smart extractor has a smart controller that allows you to program timers, enforce time delay, alter the wind speed, and even respond dynamically to temperature. It comes available with three 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.

As we mentioned above, there are a lot of uses to be found with this superb extractor fan, and these uses aren’t just limited to the kitchen. However, while we may have gone over some of the people who could benefit from such an extractor fan, we do feel the need to justify the price point.

Who Should Buy This Extractor Fan?

We could talk about the special Japanese ball bearings or 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 an industrial 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 time 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

Check price on Amazon

2. Kair Smart Extractor Fan

We’re not messing around now. The Kair Smart 100 mm Intelligent Extractor Fan is, as the name implies, 10 cm in length, requiring little maintenance and proving to be a cost-effective ventilation and extraction solution.

Kair Smart 100mm Intelligent Extractor Fan with Humidistat Timer and Data Logger (Smart Fan)

You know it has to be good because it’s made in Italy. Indeed, this kitchen extractor fan nearly has 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 product itself 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 Extractor Fan?

The unit is specially designed to prevent damp and mould growth, and it does this with a level of quietness that 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 price on Amazon

Kitchen extractor fans vs. conventional extractor cooker hoods

Can kitchen extractor fans replace your conventional cooker hoods? 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 extraction cooker, but cooker hoods certainly have their place. If you’re looking to do a lot of cooking and want a specific rangehood, there’s nothing stopping you going down that path; it’s a completely understandable decision that will depend immensely on your kitchen size and culinary exploits.

When should you use your kitchen extractor fan?

This might be a silly question, but the answer isn’t as simple as “whenever you’re cooking”. Indeed, it is wise to leave the fan on a bit after cooking in order to remove potent odours and ensure there’s no rising damp that could lead to mould growth. Naturally, you can prevent this by using a timer – manual or otherwise – or you could even use a smart extractor fan to automate the process and lighten your mental load while cooking, because nobody – and we mean nobody – like a stressful cooking environment.

Kitchen Extractor Fan FAQs

How does a kitchen extractor fan work?

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 byproducts of cooking 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 a lot of people, which is why today we’re going to be looking at kitchen extractor fans as a more streamlined, integrated alternative for steam and smoke extraction from cookers and stoves.

Does an extractor fan need to vent outside the kitchen?

Come April 2006, building regulations state that extract ventilation for kitchens built from that date onwards is a legal requirement.

Do kitchen extractor fans need to vent outside?

Kitchens built from April 2006 meet regulation if the air is extracted externally, and don’t if the air is being recirculated instead.

What are some safety concerns I should consider about a kitchen extractor fan?

Unlike many other kinds of fans, heaters, and radiators, there isn’t much risk involved with using one. 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 anything that doesn’t seem right, including rattling, malformed plastic, or anything else unusual.

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

Conclusion

Small kitchen extractor fans are one of the best buys for your home and a great low-cost solution for dissipating steam and smoke in your kitchen. Remember that some kitchen extractor fans (such as certain models that have a timer, for example) require special wiring setups that might not be compatible with your current setup.

We hope this guide has been helpful when finding and buying the right kitchen fan for you.

Read the product manual, ask the manufacturer a question if you have one, and also consult a professional if you have any reservations about installing a kitchen extractor fan correctly.

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