APPLIANCE GUIDES, COOKER HOODS

The Best Downdraft Extractors – Sleek, Secret Ventilation

Unlike conventional extractor hoods that sit at head height, a downdraft extractor integrates neatly into the countertop behind your hob/cooktop for a flush fit.

Touch controls allow downdraft extractors to rise to the occasion when it’s time to cook and stay unseen when not in use. Making them a fantastic option for kitchen islands

In this post, I’m sharing my top picks for the best downdraft extractors, including the key features that make them stand out among their peers.

Let’s get into it!

In a hurry? Check out my top picks below:

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BEST OVERALL

BEST BUDGET

BEST PREMIUM

ELICA PANDORA

COOKOLOGY 90cm Downdraft Cooker Hood

NEFF N90 I98WMM1S1B

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What Is A Downdraft Extractor?

What To Consider When Buying A Downdraft Extractor

There are a couple of main factors I think are important to consider when looking at and comparing downdraft extractors (aside from the price).

Some may be more (or less) important to you and your particular needs, but just checking and considering these factors will help you choose the best downdraft extractor for your kitchen.

Ducting Kits, Filters and Motors

The big question here is do you need them? And if so, are they included or are they a separate purchase?

If you want your downdraft extractor to vent to the outside you may need to purchase a separate ducting kit. If you want your appliance to be recirculating, then you might need to buy a charcoal filter.

There’s even one downdraft extractor on my list that doesn’t come with a motor. It’s a separate item you have to purchase, as there are multiple options, depending on your needs.

Always check and make sure you have everything you need for the particular model of downdraft extractor you want.

Noise

This will be measured in decibels (dB) and will usually tell you the noise level on the maximum setting.

The type, make and model of the cooker hood will all impact the noise level, so check and make sure it’s not super noisy.

Extraction Rate

This will be measured in metres cubed per hour (m3h) and again this will normally be the amount when it’s on its maximum setting.

Depending on your cooking style and the size of the room, you may want to check and make sure your cooker hood has a high extraction rate.

Vented or Recirculating

Cooker hoods can extract air in two ways: vented or recirculating. Often, they can be either/or, depending on what you need.

Decide which method you are going to have and then make sure to check that the cooker hood provides the option you need for your kitchen.

Energy Rating

While I admit it’s probably not your top priority, it’s still something to consider and keep in the back of your mind when looking at different cooker hoods, especially if it’s an appliance you are going to use regularly.

Check the A rating or look at the estimated annual running costs to compare. Newer technology and LED lights will help keep energy costs down.

The Best Downdraft Extractors

Here’s my pick of the best downdraft extractors. These are appliances I’ve personally used, tested at training days, demonstrated and sold over the years or had great feedback about from my clients. 👍

Elica PANDORA Downdraft Extractor

Elica PANDORA-SS Best downdraft extractor
Best ‘Overall’
(Black Model)

Dimensions: (H)51.0 x (W)83.5 x (D)36.0
Max Extraction Rate: 647 m³/hour
Max Noise Level: 67dB
Lighting: LED
Energy Rating: A
Key Features: Boost mode, Included charcoal filter

This sleek and modern downdraft extractor from Elica is a fantastic piece of kit. Great for use with a large hob or range cooker, this model gives you an impressive 647 cubic metres of odour-clearing power.

The handy boost mode makes short work of unwanted steam and smells. And the washable grease filters are a welcome bonus, especially since it’s dishwasher-safe for maximum convenience.

The PANDORA model also comes in your choice of black or stainless steel finish, so you can easily match your downdraft extractor with your kitchen décor.

They’ve even included a charcoal filter, so you’re all ready to go if you choose to use the recirculating option.

That’s why the Elica Pandora gets my best overall pick!

Check out the latest price on:
AO (Stainless Steel)
AO (Black)

Amazon UK (Stainless Steel)
Amazon UK (Black)

Cookology 90cm Downdraft Cooker Hood

Cookology 90cm Cooker Hood
Best ‘Budget’

Dimensions: (H)71.8 x (W)88.0 x (D)11.5
Max Extraction Rate: 700 m³/hour
Max Noise Level: 67 dB
Lighting: LED
Energy Rating: D
Key Features: Touch slider controls, 4 extraction speeds

It’s hard to pass up this budget-minded option from Cookology, especially when it offers great features like 4-speed fan operation, intuitive touch controls and an automatic shut-off timer.

The washable aluminium grease filter makes after-dinner cleanup much easier, plus it’ll last longer under heavy use.

Available in stainless steel, black and white. The only downside is that this model isn’t compatible with gas hobs, making electric hobs your only option when it comes to installation.

Nevertheless, I’d recommend this model for anyone in search of an effective, yet inexpensive downdraft extractor. That’s why it gets my best budget pick!

Check out the latest price on:
Amazon

NEFF N90 I98WMM1S1B Downdraft Extractor

NEFF N90 I98WMM1S1B Downdraft Extractor

Dimensions: (H)14 x (W)91.8 x (D)14
Max Extraction Rate: 833 m³/hour
Max Noise Level: 71dB
Lighting: LED
Energy Rating: A
Key Features: Home Connect, Voice Control, ClimateControl Sensor, 3 power levels, 2 intensive settings

Known for their great build quality, this NEFF is an incredible premium pick that offers something a little unique in the world of downdraft extractors.

The striking black glass surface with a clear glass panel adds a touch of elegance, while the electronic touch controls ensure ease of use. The innovative Home Connect feature allows you to monitor and control your extractor remotely, and with voice control enabled, it’s like having an extra pair of hands.

With three power levels and two intensive settings, this Neff model is equipped to tackle the most stubborn of kitchen odours. The ClimateControl Sensor is a standout addition, adjusting the extraction rate automatically to meet your cooking needs.

It boasts a formidable extraction rate of 519 m³/hour that ramps up to 833 m³/hour on intensive mode, making it a powerhouse performer. Plus, the noise levels are kept within a reasonable range, even at its most vigorous.

The hood is versatile and suitable for both recirculation and ducted extraction (recirculation kit sold separately ). The convenience continues with washable metal grease filters and saturation indicators for both grease and charcoal filters.

With its innovative clear glass sleek design and efficient extraction, you’ll love cooking with this NEFF downdraft extractor. Here’s a quick video of me playing with one 👉 Pinterest Video

Check out the latest price on:
AO
Appliance City

Faber FABULA PLUS EVO BK A60 Fabula Plus 59cm Downdraft Hood

Faber FABULA PLUS EVO BK A60 Fabula Plus 59cm Downdraft Hood

Dimensions: (W)59.0 x (H)105.3 x (D)35.15 cm
Max Extraction Rate: 630 m³/hour
Max Noise Level: 72dB
Lighting: Dimmable LED light bar
Energy Rating: B
Key Features: EVO touch controls, 4-speed settings plus intensive, perimeter aspiration, delayed switch off, 24-hour renewal function, dishwasher-safe grease filter

If you’re looking for a smaller 60cm wide option the Faber FABULA PLUS EVO BK A60 is a great choice.

The perimeter aspiration system and four-speed settings, complemented by an intensive option, provide robust extraction capabilities, peaking at 630 m³/hour to swiftly remove any cooking vapours.

Faber’s EVO touch controls allow for precise control of the hood’s functions, including a 30-minute delayed switch-off and a 24-hour air renewal function, ensuring a consistently fresh kitchen environment with minimal noise disruption.

Illumination is provided by a dimmable LED light bar, offering both bright task lighting and ambient glow to match any mood or occasion. The inclusion of a dishwasher-safe grease filter and a filter saturation alarm speaks to the unit’s ease of maintenance and user-friendliness.

Faber’s area of expertise is cooker hoods, and the Fabula Plus is a great example of this. It’s not the cheapest, especially since it’s smaller, but it’s got great build quality with some great features!

Check out the latest price on:
Appliance City

Caple DD522BK Domino Downdraft Extractor

Caple DD522BK Best Domino Downdraft extractor
Best ‘Domino Downdraft Extractor’

Dimensions: (H)43.0 x (W)52.0 x (D)13.0
Max Extraction Rate: 1570m³/hour (depending on motor)
Max Noise Level: 66dB – 70dB (depending on motor)
Lighting: N/A
Energy Rating: B-C
Key Features: Illuminated touch controls, Auto timer, 4 speeds

Something a little different here.

Caple’s modular downdraft extractor is designed to be used alongside domino hobs. Compatible with both gas and induction, this domino downdraft extractor means you can mix and match to create your dream hob setup.

The stainless steel and black glass design is a sure-fire head-turner, plus its unique extraction design gives it exceptionally quiet operation.

Illuminated touch controls give you greater ease of use, especially for those times when your kitchen could use a bit more light.

The only catch? It’s the only downdraft extractor on this list where the motor is sold separately. That means you’ll need to choose one among 4 available motors to match your desired setup.

The most powerful of the quartet, however, features an outstanding 1570m³/hour maximum extraction rate. Let’s just say you won’t have any trouble tackling lingering odours.  

Check out the latest price on:
Appliance City

FAQs

Do downdraft extractors need to be vented?

No, most downdraft extractors can be either vented or recirculating.

Based on the location of your hob, you have two options: a vented system that directs the air outside or a recirculation system that filters through charcoal filters and recycles the air back into the kitchen.

However, external venting is generally more effective at removing steam and odours.

Are downdraft extractors noisy?

Downdraft extractors are generally not noisier than regular chimney cooker hoods; the noise levels are quite comparable. Both types of extractors can have noise levels ranging from around 60dB to 70dB on average.

The perceived noise can vary based on factors like the motor’s quality, the speed setting used, and the kitchen’s acoustics. Some models are designed to be quieter, so it’s always a good idea to check the dB specifications of the particular model you’re interested in.

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Final Thoughts…

There you have it! The best downdraft extractors for sleek and secret kitchen ventilation.

The Elica PANDORA is my best overall pick because it perfectly blends great design, strong performance and a reasonable price.

If you’re on a budget then the Cookology downdraft extractor is a fantastic choice. Just remember you can’t use it with gas hobs.

And if money is no object then the NEFF N90 I98WMM1S1B is a stylish, powerful and reliable appliance. You won’t be disappointed!

Whatever your needs and budget there’s the perfect downdraft extractor on this list!

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Author

Michael from Kitchinsider.com

Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for over 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.