Lab Manager | Run Your Lab Like a Business

2015 Fume Hoods User Survey Results

Learn the most sought-after features and more in these results. 

Trevor Henderson, PhD

Trevor Henderson BSc (HK), MSc, PhD (c), is the creative services director at Lab Manager.  He has more than two decades of experience in the fields of scientific...

ViewFull Profile.
Learn about ourEditorial Policies.

One of the primary safety devices in laboratories where chemicals are used is the laboratory fume hood. It allows a researcher to work with—but not be exposed to—materials that create toxic fumes or particles when it is properly installed and maintained.

Top 6 Questions You Should Ask When Buying a Fume Hood

  1. Can your lab go ductless? Ductless hoods are a viable solution for most routine laboratory applications.
  2. What is the hood constructed from and how is it constructed? Will the chemicals you use attack, degrade, or physically alter the material of the hood?
  3. What types of safety controls are included in the base cost of the unit?
  4. Has the manufacturer/distributor gone through a thorough application review process? Does the suggested filtration make sense?
  5. How hard is installation? Will there be a future/potential need to move the hood after initial installation? Should the hood be portable?
  6. What are the capital, installation and operational costs? From the lab manager’s perspective, capital costs are but a fraction of the overall budget.

Fume hood types used by survey respondents:

Conventional ducted fume hood 68%
Laminar flow hood 33%
Benchtop ductless fume hood 19%
Canopy ducted fume hood 11%
Variable air volume ducted fume hood 10%
Portable ductless fume hood 3%
Other 5%

Fume hood related components used by survey respondents:

Transport support cart 6%
Fume extractor arms 10%
Base storage cabinet 52%
Digital monitor 21%
Airflow monitor 59%
Work surface 48%
Blowers 26%
Other 1%

Nearly 38% of respondents are engaged in purchasing a new fume hood. The reasons for these purchases are as follows:

Replacement of aging system
Addition to existing systems, increase capacity
Setting up a new lab / developing a brand new method
First time purchase

Top 10 Features/Factors Respondents Look for When Purchasing a Fume Hood

Performance of Product 86%
Safety and Health Features 80%
Durability of Product 79%
Low Maintenance / Easy to Clean 77%
Ease of Use: Ergonomic Operation 75%
Value for Price Paid 70%
Low Operating Costs 65%
Total Cost of Ownership 53%
Warranties 50%
Service and Support 47%

For more information on fume hoods, including useful articles and a list of manufacturers, visit

See the most recent survey results here