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Island Hoods vs Downdraft Ranges (Reviews/Prices/Ratings)

Steve Sheinkopf  |  September 03, 2012  |  3 Min. Read

Island Hoods  |  Ventilation  |  Downdrafts

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Island Hoods vs Downdraft Ranges

Island hoods are four sided and affixed to the ceiling instead of a wall. They are designed to be used over an island in the middle of the room (hence the name). Back in the dark ages, when I was selling appliances, island hoods were clearly the worst category. Best seller in 1986, the Broan "Chuck Wagon" hood, followed by an equally awful Nutone hood. Imagine trying to sell that to a client with a contemporary kitchen.

I couldn't. We sold downdrafts instead. Downdrafts are a good aesthetic option, but not as good for ventilation. Smoke is normally captured in the plenum of a hood, but there is no capture area in a downdraft. Also, smoke travels up, so the downdrafts must work twice as hard with liitle or no capture area. However, for most cooking, downdrafts are still functional.

In the mid 1990s, island hoods became more popular, because of an influx of European imports. The new hoods were both beautiful and functional in gleaming stainless steel. A hood really handles large volumes of steam and grease better than a downdraft.

Island Hoods vs Downdrafts

Island Hoods

yale island hood RH00436G thermador island hood HPIN42HS bosch island hood DIE165RUC jennair island hood JXI5036WS

Yale Hood RH00436G - $999.99

Thermador HPIN42HS - $2649.00

Bosch DIE165RUC - $2299.00

Jenn-Air JXI5036WS - $2499.00


jennair slidein downdraft range JES9800CAS broan downdraft range hood 273001

Jenn-Air JES9800CAS

Broan 273001

The answer is as much about aesthetics as function. The downdraft disappears in the cabinet whereas the island hood becomes a design element in your kitchen. Functionally, there is no contest. The island hood is designed for any type of cooking, even professional (with the suitable hood). Downdrafts are not manufactured for that type of volume.

So the decision is based on how much you cook and the aesthetics of what you like to see.

For more information about terms, features and how to size a hood , read the Yale Ventilation Buyers Guide.

Additional Resources


A few review sites have placed this at the bottom of their articles. So here is our take: Our mission is to find reliable products for you to buy. Other review sites may say this as well.

However, we don’t love every product. Quite frankly, it costs us way too much money in repair costs to support less reliable brands.

In fact, we sell fewer brands than most appliance stores. Here is why:

We feel it is our responsibility to repair your appliances after you buy them.

We now have 30 service technicians, each averaging 8-10 calls a day Monday through Friday, plus another 110 on Saturday. That's over 30,000 service calls logged in one year.

The labor rates of fixing an appliance do not come close to the true cost in any product’s warranty period.

That is why no major retailer has a service department. It costs too much labor, money and time.

Our Blog is a bit different than most others you will read. We cannot write glowing reviews of unreliable products.

Hopefully, the bloggers and organizations who write such glowing product reviews for every brand consider servicing these products first. Only then they will understand the consequences of their marketing.

Steve Sheinkopf

My goal has always been simple: I want Yale to be the best retail experience anywhere. I have tried to create a compelling environment for customers and employees alike.

A Note About Pricing

Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing. Please call the stores for most accurate price.

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