Last updated: 16/10/2022

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The cooker bonnet is an integral part of every kitchen. But hardly anyone thinks about how much it makes our everyday kitchen life easier. The charcoal filter in particular is an indispensable helper in many households.

Unpleasant odours can arise during cooking. The charcoal filter is the remedy for this. It is found in cooker bonnets that are operated with circulating air. The charcoal filter cleans the air of these odours. We have therefore compared different models and you will find out what you should look for when buying and how you can ultimately find the right model for you.


  • Carbon filters consist of activated carbon granulate. They are used in cooker bonnets operated with circulating air to neutralise odours.
  • Carbon filters are available in different sizes and shapes, so that a suitable one can be found for every cooker bonnet.
  • The filters must be cleaned regularly to ensure proper function. Regular cleaning can extend the service life.

The Best Charcoal Filter: Our Picks

In the following, we have compiled our favourites for you. This can help you make a purchase decision.

Buying and evaluation criteria for carbon filters

To help you choose your next charcoal filter, we have summarised the most important elements:

Now we explain what to look for in these criteria so you can make a well-informed decision.


Carbon filters come in a wide variety of sizes. In order to know which size you need, it is important to know what size your cooker bonnet allows. The filter should be neither too big nor too small to clean the air effectively.


Besides the size, there are also different shapes for the charcoal filter. They are available either in round or square shape, as well as in pieces that can be cut to size. These cut-to-size pieces are fleece mats. Unlike the fixed shapes, they do not have a frame.

With charcoal filters that you can cut to size yourself, you are more flexible when it comes to choosing sizes. However, this also results in extra work.

Frequency of replacement

To ensure that the charcoal filter functions optimally, it should be replaced regularly. This is the case with most carbon filters after about one year. However, there are also charcoal filters that can be regenerated. This means that they need to be replaced much less frequently.

Of course, the length of use depends on how much you cook and how. If you cook frequently with a lot of fat or oil, such as rapeseed oil or olive oil. Or if you fry a lot or cook with a lot of odours, you will have to change your filter more often.

Cleaning frequency

To ensure the proper functioning of the charcoal filter, it should be cleaned regularly. Because filters have different proportions of activated charcoal, the degree of saturation is reached at different rates. Charcoal filters with more activated carbon granulate need to be cleaned less frequently because the granulate saturates more slowly. The frequency of cleaning also depends on how and how much you cook.


Just as charcoal filters come in different sizes and shapes, there are also different heights. In order to find the optimal charcoal filter for you, you should also consider which height is suitable for your extractor bonnet.

Since the filter is located directly behind the grease filter, it should be neither too thick nor too thin. The height, or thickness, plays an important role in ensuring that the charcoal filter fits perfectly. Only a well-fitting carbon filter can clean the air of odour particles.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about carbon filters answered in detail

In this section we explain the most frequently asked questions about carbon filters so that you can make a well-informed purchase decision.

What are the functions of a carbon filter?

A carbon filter consists of activated carbon in the form of granules. The filter is found in cooker bonnets that work with recirculated air. The function of the carbon filter is to neutralise unpleasant odours.

A carbon filter in the cooker bonnet removes odours that arise during cooking. (Image source: Polina Kovaleva / Pexels)

The amount of activated carbon should be adapted to the suction power of the cooker bonnet. The carbon filter is located behind the so-called grease filter. It removes grease from the air that is sucked in. The air is then passed on to the charcoal filter. Here, odour particles are filtered out. The air is then returned to the kitchen.

How do you clean a charcoal filter?

To be able to use the charcoal filter as long as possible, regular cleaning is necessary. The activated carbon granulate in the charcoal filter is regenerated to avoid oversaturation.

However, not all carbon filters can be regenerated. Therefore, you should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions in order to enjoy your charcoal filter as long as possible. Depending on the variant of the carbon filter, there are two methods.

Either the charcoal filter can be washed in the dishwasher and then dried in the oven at around 100 degrees. Or the charcoal filter can be heated directly in the oven at 200 degrees for 45 minutes. This should be repeated every 2 to 3 months. In the case of filters suitable for regeneration, the

Why do I have to change a charcoal filter?

Despite regular cleaning, the life of a carbon filter is limited. Therefore, it is important to change the filter regularly. Since the granulate can stick together over time and the granulate pores become dense, the carbon filter can then no longer fulfil its function properly.

Filters that are suitable for regeneration must also be changed regularly. However, they need to be changed much less frequently than filters that are not suitable for this purpose.

Depending on the frequency of use, the filter should then be replaced at least once a year. To increase the life of the activated charcoal filter, you should always leave the cooker bonnet running for about 5 minutes after cooking. This allows the filter to dry.


To effectively remove unpleasant odours from the kitchen, carbon filters are a wonderful option. Due to the many different sizes and shapes, a suitable filter can be found for every cooker bonnet.

With the right care, you can enjoy them and the associated cooking experience for a long time. Depending on the frequency of use, the charcoal filter can be replaced quite easily. Since the charcoal filter is not visible in the kitchen, personal preferences and price are the main factors in the purchase decision.

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