The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Cooker Hood for Your Malaysian Kitchen

Are you in the process of renovating your kitchen or building a new home in Malaysia? One important appliance you can't overlook is the cooker hood. Also known as a kitchen hood, range hood or extractor hood, this essential piece of equipment helps keep your kitchen air clean and fresh by removing cooking fumes, smoke, grease and odors.

With so many options available in the market, choosing the right hood for your kitchen can be overwhelming. That's why we've put together this comprehensive kitchen hood buying guide to help you make an informed decision. Read on to learn about the key things to consider when selecting a cooker hood for your Malaysian home.

Why Do You Need a Cooker Hood in Your Kitchen?

Why Do You Need a Cooker Hood in Your Kitchen?

  1. Removes harmful pollutants: Cooking releases various pollutants like smoke, grease, and carbon monoxide which can irritate your eyes and lungs. A hood sucks out these contaminants, ensuring you and your family breathe clean air.
  2. Prevents grease buildup: Without proper ventilation, grease and moisture from cooking can accumulate on your kitchen surfaces, leaving a sticky film that attracts dirt and is difficult to clean. A cooker hood helps prevent this messy buildup.
  3. Keeps your kitchen cool: Cooking generates a lot of heat which can make your kitchen uncomfortable, especially in Malaysia's hot climate. A good hood removes excess heat, making your cooking experience more pleasant.
  4. Improves home value: A high-quality, attractive cooker hood can boost your kitchen's aesthetic appeal and increase your property value if you plan to sell in the future.
What are the Different Types of Kitchen Hoods?

What are the Different Types of Kitchen Hoods?

Cooker hoods come in various designs to suit different kitchen layouts and styles. Here are the main types you'll encounter:

  1. Chimney Cooker Hoods

    Chimney hoods are very popular in many Malaysian kitchens. They feature a hood that stands proud above the hob, with a tall chimney reaching to the ceiling to allow extraction of fumes. Chimney hoods are available in a range of sizes, styles, and finishes to match any kitchen decor.

    Chimney hoods come in several shapes:

    • T-Shape:

      The T-Shape hoods have a flat bottom and a vertical chimney, resembling the letter T. They provide good coverage over the hob.

    • U-Shape:

      Also called barrel hoods, these have a curved glass visor that helps capture rising smoke more effectively.

    • Slanted:

      The Slanted models have an angled canopy that adds a modern, geometric look to the kitchen while still providing ample extraction.

  2. Island Hoods

    If your hob is located on a kitchen island, you'll need a specialized island hood. These models are suspended from the ceiling and are finished on all sides since they are visible from every angle. Island hoods tend to be larger and more powerful to effectively remove fumes from an open space.

  3. Downdraft Hoods

    For an ultra-discreet option, consider a downdraft hood. This unique design is integrated into the countertop behind the hob. When needed, the hood rises up to extract fumes, then retracts back down to be virtually invisible. Downdraft hoods are pricier and less common but provide an unobstructed view.

  4. Slim / Telescoping Hoods

    Slim or telescoping hoods are a space-saving option for small kitchens. They have a compact, pull-out design that can be extended when in use and pushed back against the wall when not needed. While they have a lower extraction rate compared to full-size models, they are a practical choice for tight spaces.

8 Things to Consider When Buying a Hood for Your Kitchen?

8 Things to Consider When Buying a Hood for Your Kitchen?

  1. Extraction Rate

    The extraction rate, measured in cubic meters per hour (m3/hr), indicates how quickly the hood can remove air from your kitchen. A higher extraction rate means faster ventilation. As a general rule, your hood should be able to change the air in your kitchen 10-12 times per hour.

    To calculate the minimum extraction rate you need, multiply your kitchen's volume (length x width x height) by 10. For example, if your kitchen measures 4m x 5m with a 3m high ceiling, you'll need a hood with at least a 600 m3/hr extraction rate (4 x 5 x 3 x 10 = 600).

  2. Fan Speed

    The fan speed of a cooker hood determines how quickly it can remove smoke, steam, and odors from your kitchen. Most models have multiple speed settings to suit different cooking needs.

    Lower speeds are quieter and sufficient for light cooking or simmering, while higher speeds provide more powerful extraction for intensive frying or grilling. Some advanced hoods even have automatic sensors that adjust the fan speed based on the amount of smoke and steam detected.

    Look for a hood with at least 3 speed settings for flexibility. If you do a lot of heavy cooking, consider a model with a boost mode that provides extra-high extraction for a short period.

  3. Hood Noise Level

    Since your cooker hood will be running frequently, you don't want it to be too noisy. Aim for a model with a noise level below 65 decibels (dB) for a quieter cooking experience. Anything above 70 dB can be quite disturbing.

    Some high-end hoods have special sound-absorbing materials and advanced motor technology to minimize noise output. If you have an open-concept kitchen, it's worth investing in a quieter model.

  4. Size and Mounting Height

    Your cooker hood should be at least as wide as your hob to effectively capture rising fumes. Ideally, it should extend a few inches past the hob on each side for optimal coverage

    In terms of mounting height, hoods should be installed 650-750mm above electric hobs and 700-800mm above gas hobs. This provides enough clearance for cooking while ensuring efficient extraction.

  5. Venting Options

    There are two main venting configurations for cooker hoods: ducted and ductless. Ducted hoods are connected to ductwork that expels air outside your home. This is the most effective method for removing fumes and odors, but requires professional installation and an external wall for venting.

    Ductless hoods, also called recirculating hoods, filter air through charcoal filters before releasing it back into the kitchen. While easier to install, they are less efficient than ducted models and the filters need to be regularly replaced.

  6. Hood Filters

    All cooker hoods have filters to trap grease, smoke, and odors from cooking vapors. The main types are:

    • Mesh filters:

      Made from several layers of fine aluminum mesh, these filters trap grease and smoke as air passes through. They need to be washed regularly to prevent clogging, which can reduce airflow and increase noise.

    • Baffle filters:

      Consisting of multiple plates of stainless steel or aluminum, baffle filters allow grease to condense on the blades or fins and drip into a collection cup or gutter. They also require regular cleaning but are less prone to clogging compared to mesh filters. High-end hoods often use baffle filters.

    • Charcoal filters:

      These filters are used in recirculating hoods to absorb odors. They cannot be washed and need to be replaced every few months. Make sure to factor in the cost of replacement filters when choosing a ductless hood.

  7. Lighting

    Hood lighting provides extra illumination for your cooking area, making it easier to see what you're doing. LED lights are energy-efficient, long-lasting, and provide bright, white light. Some high-end models even allow you to adjust the light color and intensity for different moods.

  8. Cooker Hood Design and Finish

    While functionality is key, don't forget about aesthetics. Your cooker hood is a prominent feature in your kitchen, so choose a style and finish that complements your overall design. Stainless steel is a popular choice for its sleek, modern look and durability. Glass hoods add a touch of elegance and make your kitchen feel more open. For a custom look, opt for a hood that can be integrated into cabinetry or consider a bespoke design.

Cooker Hood Maintenance Tips

Cooker Hood Maintenance Tips

To keep your kitchen hood working efficiently and prolong its lifespan, regular maintenance is essential. Here are some tips:

  • Clean the grease filters at least once a month using hot, soapy water or in the dishwasher.
  • Replace charcoal filters every 2-6 months, depending on usage
  • Wipe down the exterior of the hood weekly to remove grease and dust buildup. Use a soft cloth and mild detergent to avoid scratching the surface.
  • Check the ductwork annually for leaks or blockages that could impede airflow. Hire a professional to clean the ducts every few years.

Cooker Hood FAQs Answered

  1. What are the disadvantages of a cooker hood?
    • They can be noisy, especially at higher fan speeds
    • Ducted models require proper installation and ductwork, which can be complex
    • Ductless models are less effective at removing odors and moisture
    • They require regular cleaning and filter replacement to function optimally
    • High-end models with advanced features can be expensive
  2. Do cooker hoods remove smells?

    Yes, cooker hoods are designed to remove cooking odors, smoke and fumes from the kitchen. Ducted models vent these outside, while ductless models filter and recirculate the air back into the kitchen. The effectiveness depends on factors like fan power, hood size relative to the cooktop, and regular maintenance of filters.

  3. What are the pros and cons of cooker hoods?


    • Remove cooking odors, smoke, grease and excess heat
    • Improve indoor air quality and make cooking more comfortable
    • Provide task lighting over the cooking area
    • Available in various styles to match kitchen decor


    • Can be noisy at high fan speeds
    • Require regular cleaning and filter changes
    • Ductless types are less effective than ducted
    • Professional installation needed for ducted models
    • High-end hoods can be costly
  4. Who should install a cooker hood?

    For ducted hoods, it's best to hire an experienced HVAC or kitchen renovation contractor to handle the installation, as it involves connecting ductwork and electrical. Ductless hoods are easier to install and can be a DIY project for those with basic skills. When in doubt, always consult a professional to ensure proper and safe installation.

  5. What is the difference between a cooker hood and a hob?

    A cooker hood is an appliance installed above the stove or hob to remove cooking fumes, while the hob is the cooking surface itself with burners or heating elements. The hood helps ventilate while the hob is used for the actual cooking.

  6. What is the purpose of a hood over a stove?

    The main purposes of a stove hood are:

    1. Removing cooking odors, smoke, steam and grease from the kitchen
    2. Improving indoor air quality by venting pollutants outside or filtering the air
    3. Cooling the kitchen by extracting excess heat from cooking
    4. Providing extra light over the cooking surface
  7. Do all cooker hoods need filters?

    All cooker hoods have grease filters to trap oil and food residue from cooking vapors. These are usually metal mesh or baffle types that can be washed. Ductless hoods additionally require carbon filters to absorb odors, and these need to be replaced periodically. So while all hoods have grease filters, only ductless models have additional carbon filters.

  8. How do I choose a hood?

    Key factors to consider when choosing a cooker hood:

    1. Ducted vs ductless - depends on your kitchen layout and venting possibilities.
    2. Size - hood should be at least as wide as your cooktop, ideally overlapping it slightly.
    3. Extraction rate - depends on your kitchen size, cooking volume and hood height.
    4. Noise level - look for lower sone ratings, ideally below 65 decibels.
    5. Style - choose a design that complements your kitchen aesthetic.
    6. Features - consider lights, fan speeds, auto shut-off, filter indicators etc.
    7. Budget - hoods range from basic models to high-end designer units.
  9. Are all cooker hoods noisy?

    All cooker hoods produce some noise from the fan motor, but some are much quieter than others. Noise levels depend on fan speed, motor type and hood design. In general, higher airflow hoods tend to be louder. Look for hoods with lower sone ratings and features like sound-absorbing materials or external blowers for quieter operation.

  10. Is an angled or flat cooker hood better?

    Angled (also called inclined or sloped) hoods have a larger capture area than flat hoods of the same width. This can make them more effective at drawing in cooking fumes. However, actual performance depends more on factors like fan power, hood height and size relative to the cooktop. Aesthetically, angled hoods tend to have a more modern look while flat hoods are more traditional.

  11. How powerful should a cooker hood be?

    Cooker hood power is measured by airflow in cubic feet per minute (CFM) or cubic meters per hour (m3/hr). The ideal extraction rate depends on your cooktop size, kitchen space and cooking volume. A general rule of thumb is 100 CFM per linear foot of cooktop width (or 30-50 l/s per linear meter). For professional-style ranges or heavy cooking, rates of 150-200 CFM per foot may be recommended. Always refer to manufacturer guidelines.

  12. Do cooker hoods need a hole in the wall?

    Ducted cooker hoods require a vent hole in the wall or ceiling to expel air outside. The size depends on the hood's airflow rate and duct diameter, but is typically 6-8 inches. Ductless hoods recirculate air and do not need an external vent. If installing a ducted hood in an existing kitchen, a new vent hole may need to be cut.

  13. Can I put a cooker hood on an internal wall?

    A ducted cooker hood can be installed on an internal wall, but will require ductwork to be routed through the ceiling, attic or floors to an external wall for venting outside. This can be a complex job. Ductless hoods can more easily be installed on any wall as they recirculate air and don't require an external vent.

  14. Do cooker hoods remove steam?

    Yes, cooker hoods are effective at removing steam and excess moisture generated by cooking. This helps prevent condensation and grease buildup on kitchen surfaces. Ducted hoods vent the moisture-laden air outside, while ductless hoods filter it and recirculate it back into the kitchen.

  15. Do cooker hoods need electricity?

    Yes, cooker hoods require an electrical connection to power the fan motor and lights. Hardwired hoods are connected directly to the home's electrical system, while others may have a standard plug to connect to a wall outlet. Always have hood wiring done by a licensed electrician in accordance with local building codes.

  16. What is the difference between vented and recirculating cooker hoods?

    Vented (ducted) hoods expel cooking fumes, moisture and odors outside through ductwork and an external wall or roof vent. They are very effective but require professional installation. Recirculating (ductless) hoods filter cooking vapors through grease mesh and charcoal filters and return the cleaned air back into the kitchen. They are easier to install but less efficient, and the filters need frequent replacement.

  17. Can a cooker hood vent through the roof?

    Yes, a ducted cooker hood can be vented through the roof instead of an external wall. This requires running ductwork from the hood up through the ceiling and attic to a roof vent cap. Roof venting can be a good option when wall venting is not feasible, but installation is more complex and should only be done by an experienced contractor.

  18. How do I know if my cooker hood is extraction or recirculation?
    1. Check for the presence of ductwork - ducted hoods will have pipes leading out of the house.
    2. Look for external vents - extraction hoods expel air outside through a wall or roof vent.
    3. Inspect the hood - ductless hoods usually have vents or grilles on the front or top to return filtered air to the kitchen.
    4. Consult the manual or manufacturer specs which will specify the hood type.

    If still unsure, a kitchen ventilation specialist can assess the hood.

  19. How to choose cooker hood Malaysia?
    1. Hood type - ducted or ductless, depending on your kitchen layout and venting options.
    2. Size - choose a hood that matches or exceeds the width of your cooktop.
    3. Extraction power - look for sufficient CFM or m3/hr ratings for your kitchen size and cooking needs.
    4. Noise level - opt for quieter models, ideally under 65 decibels.
    5. Filter type - for ductless hoods, check the availability and cost of replacement filters.
    6. Style - select a hood design that complements your kitchen aesthetic and cabinetry.
    7. Brand reputation - stick to reputable brands known for quality and reliability.
    8. Warranty and after-sales service - confirm warranty terms and local availability of parts and service.

    It's advisable to view hoods in person at kitchen retailers and to get professional advice on sizing and installation requirements before making your final choice.

  20. What to look for when buying a kitchen hood?
    1. Venting type - decide between ducted (vented outside) or ductless (recirculating) based on your kitchen setup and preferences.
    2. Size and mounting height - hood should be sized to your cooktop width and installed at the proper height for optimal capture.
    3. Airflow - expressed in CFM or m3/hr, choose a hood with adequate extraction for your space and cooking volume.
    4. Sound levels - compare sone ratings or decibels (dBA) and opt for quieter models when possible.
    5. Filtration - look for high-quality, dishwasher-safe grease filters and easily replaceable charcoal filters for ductless models.
    6. Lighting - consider the type, position and intensity of hood lights for nighttime cooking and ambiance.
    7. Controls - look for intuitive, responsive controls with variable fan speeds and auto shut-off timers.
    8. Style and finish - choose a hood style and material that integrates well with your overall kitchen design.
    9. Ease of cleaning - opt for hoods with smooth, non-porous surfaces and dishwasher-safe filters for easier maintenance.
    10. Reliability - research brands and models for customer reviews, warranty terms and local availability of service and parts.
  21. What is the best height for a cooker hood?

    The optimal height for a cooker hood depends on the type of cooktop and hood. General guidelines are:

    • For electric cooktops: 20-24 inches (50-60 cm) between cooktop and hood bottom
    • For gas cooktops: 24-30 inches (60-75 cm) between cooktop and hood bottom

    Installing the hood too low may restrict access to back burners and pose a fire hazard. Too high and the hood loses capture efficiency. Always refer to the hood manufacturer's installation instructions for specific mounting height recommendations.

    Wall-mounted hoods are typically installed higher, around 28-36 inches above the cooktop, while under-cabinet and island hoods may be lower. Hoods with deeper canopies can be mounted slightly higher. Proper installation height optimizes both hood performance and user comfort.

  22. What is a good suction power for a cooker hood?

    A good suction power for a cooker hood depends on factors like cooktop type, kitchen size, hood mounting height and cooking volume. Here are some general guidelines:

    • For electric cooktops: 100-200 CFM per linear foot of cooktop width
    • For gas cooktops: 150-250 CFM per linear foot of cooktop width
    • For heavy cooking or professional-style ranges: up to 300-400 CFM per linear foot

    To calculate the minimum recommended suction power in cubic meters per hour (m3/hr), multiply the kitchen volume (length x width x height) by 10. For example, a 4m x 5m kitchen with 3m ceilings would need at least a 600 m3/hr hood (4 x 5 x 3 x 10).

    However, more suction isn't always better. Excessive extraction can create negative pressure and backdrafting issues.


Choosing the right cooker hood for your Malaysian kitchen involves careful consideration of your cooking needs, kitchen layout, and personal style preferences. Keep these key points in mind:

  • Determine the type of hood that suits your kitchen setup
  • Calculate the minimum extraction rate based on your kitchen size
  • Look for a model with low noise output for a pleasant cooking experience
  • Ensure the hood is properly sized and mounted at the correct height
  • Decide between a ducted or ductless configuration
  • Select filters that effectively trap grease and odors
  • Don't forget about lighting and aesthetics
  • Maintain your hood regularly for optimal performance

By following this buying guide, you'll be well-equipped to select the perfect cooker hood that will keep your kitchen fresh, clean, and stylish for years to come.

Key Takeaways

This table summarizes the essential points to consider when choosing a cooker hood for your Malaysian kitchen.

Consideration Key Takeaways
Importance of Cooker Hoods
  • Removes harmful pollutants like smoke, grease, and carbon monoxide
  • Prevents grease buildup on kitchen surfaces
  • Keeps kitchen cool by removing excess heat
  • Improves home value and aesthetics
Types of Cooker Hoods
  • Chimney hoods (T-shape, U-shape, Slanted)
  • Island hoods
  • Downdraft hoods
  • Slim/Telescoping hoods
Factors to Consider
  1. Extraction rate (m³/hr) based on kitchen size
  2. Fan speed settings for different cooking needs
  3. Noise level (aim for below 65 dB)
  4. Size and mounting height
  5. Ducted vs. ductless venting
  6. Filter types (mesh, baffle, charcoal)
  7. Lighting (LED preferred)
  8. Design and finish to match kitchen
Maintenance Tips
  • Clean grease filters monthly
  • Replace charcoal filters every 2-6 months
  • Wipe exterior weekly
  • Check and clean ductwork annually
  • Ducted hoods require professional installation and ductwork
  • Ductless hoods are easier to install
  • Ensure proper mounting height based on cooktop type
Choosing the Right Hood
  • Determine venting type (ducted/ductless)
  • Calculate required airflow based on kitchen size and cooking
  • Compare noise levels and filtration
  • Select size, style and finish to suit kitchen
  • Opt for reputable brands with good warranty and service

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