When we think of extraction, it’s easy to picture a wall-mounted, ugly, loud box (shaped like an AT-AT’s foot from Star Wars) that hoovers steam or smoke coming from whatever is cooking on the hob; however like televisions, hoods and fans have become slim, streamlined and boasts modern designs suitable for most kitchens. The variations of hoods/extractors come in many forms; chimney, integrated, island, visor and ceiling to name a few, but they all do the same job, so what’s new?

Not all hoods are, well, hoods! Storage is a key player when it comes to the overall satisfaction and functionality of a kitchen, so having a large space taken up by a hood seems somewhat contradictory. Downdraft ventilation is hidden away in the worktop until it’s needed. Pushing a button raises it and activates it while cooking and deactivating is as simple as sliding it down to leave a clean and spacious worktop.

AEG DDE5980G Downdraft Hood

AEG are considered leaders when it comes to silent and effective cooker hoods and with the DDE5980G there is no exception. These accessories have been engineered to successfully capture rising steam or smoke and either ventilate out via under-flooring ducts or many models will have a ‘recycle mode’ which cleans the air around and eradicates any odour or unclean air.

Most (if not all) hoods come with a lighting option to help illuminate your work space. While it’s certainly helpful, it creates a somewhat dingy atmosphere as the light is a low power LED that has an artificial feel about it – much light the orange streetlights that line motorways and busy roads.

Yorkshire-based company Westin are experts at creating hoods that are effective and most importantly stylish. Their glamorous Island Hood, the Schoon is more light than hood at first glance but the main function is that of a recirculating extractor fan. It relates to the earlier point that hoods don’t have to be an intrusive metal box that sticks out in most modern kitchen designs.

Westin’s Schoon

Underside of Westin’s Schoon












The AEG Downdraft and the Schoon by Westin are fantastic hoods that suit mostly modern and some traditional designs, but what if a classic, shaker-style kitchen needs a fan? Granted that some classic kitchens don’t require a fan due to it’s open plan, country home design but as the shaker style remains prominent in the UK there needs to be an option for those who intend a classic style in a modern home.

A concealed but efficient extractor method, the built-in over hob hood can provide the services from a typical fan but hidden from plain view to keep the aesthetics of the kitchen. A good example is the Cache from Westin, a ‘versatile and popular discreet product designed to fit into a chimney or kitchen furniture and is available in a wide range of sizes’.

Westin Cache built-in over hob hood

The Cache fits into the overhead space and at full power creates a 62dBA noise level (for comparative purposes this is around the same sound level as conversation in a restaurant or an office).

A growing concern with new products is their power usage and how well they fare on the Energy Rating scale ranging from A+ (most energy efficient) to (least energy efficient). To help stress that more technology and better products are the way forward, all products  featured on this blog (aside from the Schoon, which requires no energy rating) are rated an or higher.

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Patrick @ Absolute Kitchens