Over-the-Range Microwave Oven vs Range Hood: What is the Difference?

OTR kitchen

I remember being young and not being tall enough to reach the microwave oven above the range, so I always had to call one of my parents over and ask for their help. As I got older, I became very used to my kitchen’s layout and never really considered another option. But, once I moved into my first apartment, I started to use a range hood and countertop microwave instead of the over-the-range microwave I was used to. From having experience with both appliances, I learned to love each one for different reasons, as each has its own purpose.

Both the Over-the-Range Microwave Oven and Range Hood have amazing features to assist in making cooking simpler. Keep reading to learn about the differences between both appliances to help you determine what fits your kitchen wants and needs!

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What is an Over-the-Range Microwave?OTR kitchen


An Over-the-Range Microwave oven is a type of microwave oven that is above the cooking range and includes a ventilation system underneath the appliance with multiple venting options. This appliance provides the functions you know and love to make cooking and reheating simple while incorporating both interior and exterior ventilation systems. This type of microwave oven can also provide more space in a kitchen as it opens counter space for other items.


What is a Range Hood?

Range HoodA range hood also goes above the cooking range and is made for clearing unwanted odors and irritating smoke that may appear while cooking. This kitchen appliance has an internal fan that clears the air of steam, grease, fumes, and more by recirculating these particles into the air or sending the particles outdoors through a ducted vent.

Every kitchen is different and deserves the right size appliances! My kitchen at home could fit a larger range hood, but my kitchen in my apartment was smaller and needed a smaller appliance. If you are unsure which size range hood works for you, there are three different range hood sizes Sharp offers including 24-inch, 30-inch, and 36-inch. Depending on the width of your range and your kitchen design desires,  to get the most out of your range hood, select one that is the same width or wider, than your range.


What are some Differences Between an Over-the-Range Microwave Oven and a Range Hood?


Both appliances can do wonders for your cooking experience, making the process much smoother and less smoky! However, one key difference between the two amazing kitchen appliances is the double cooking & ventilation feature of an Over-the-Range Microwave Oven. Because of this, the entire process in the kitchen can be made simpler as a meal can be reheated in the microwave oven while the fan is on helping to reduce unwanted cooking odors and smoke.

Kitchen Layout and Space:

As mentioned above, an Over-the-Range Microwave oven combines two kitchen appliances, meaning there is more room along kitchen countertops to either leave empty or fill with fruit bowls, other kitchen appliances, or whatever kitchen dreams you may have. Since a range hood does not combine these two functions, purchasing this appliance means you may need to give up some counter space for a Countertop Microwave or replace one of your cabinets with a Microwave Drawer™ oven.


When it comes to cooking with children nearby, safety must be considered! Over-the-range microwave ovens can be harder to reach for younger children, whereas a separate range hood and microwave oven in another part of the kitchen can be more accessible. Depending on your needs, this could be a factor in your decision.

Overall, both a range hood and an over-the-range microwave oven are great appliances that would look wonderful in your kitchen! We hope this overview provides more insight into which product is right for you! Be sure to check out the full line of Sharp appliances here.

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Featured in this Article

1.7 cu. ft. Over-the Range Microwave Oven (SMO1754JS)

The Sharp® SMO1742JS Over-the-Range Microwave Oven is a contemporary and stylish addition to your dream kitchen. With edge-to-edge stainless steel, and black glass, this oven pairs beautifully with other stainless steel appliances. The easy-to-read, white display, gray interior and bright LED interior and cooktop lighting are elegant finishing touches for your modern kitchen.


With 1000 watts of power and 1.7 cu. ft. capacity, the SMO1754JS is ready for your family’s meals and the 13.6″ Carousel® turntable ensures even and effective cooking and reheating. The SMO1754JS is a fully-featured, easy-to-use microwave oven with a sensor cook menu, instant start up to 9 minutes and a flexible “+30 Sec” key to add time while cooking. The Melt/Soften feature is specifically tuned to quickly melt cheese, chocolate, or ice cream.


The Sharp® SMO1754JS features a powerful 2-speed ventilation system and easy-to-reach, easy-to-replace filters. With decades of experience designing innovative cooking appliances, it’s easy to see why cooks around the world trust Sharp.

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24 in. Wall Mount Chimney Range Hood (SHC2432FS)

Designed with a stainless-steel finish to complement any kitchen and discreet branding, the Sharp 24-inch Wall Mount Chimney Range Hood (SHC2432FS) pairs beautifully with other stainless-steel appliances. The bright white LED task lighting adds an elegant finishing touch to your modern kitchen.

The SHC2432FS hood range system is engineered to quietly clear the air of unwanted cooking odors and irritating smoke. With push-button controls, plus dishwasher-safe filters, your 24-inch hood range will become your new favorite kitchen appliance.

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30 in. Wall Mount Chimney Range Hood (SHC3042FS)

Featuring a powerful 3-speed ventilation system, the 30-inch Sharp Wall Mount Chimney Range Hood (SHC3042FS) is designed with a stainless-steel finish to complement any kitchen and discreet branding. The bright white LED task lighting adds an elegant finishing touch to your modern kitchen, and the range hood itself pairs beautifully with other stainless-steel appliances.

With a ventilation system effective up-to 450 cu. ft. per minute, this Sharp hood range system is engineered to quietly clear the air of unwanted cooking odors and irritating smoke. With dishwasher-safe filters, plus push-button controls , your Sharp hood range is sure to become your new favorite kitchen appliance.

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36 in. Wall Mount Chimney Range Hood (SHC3662FS)

Our large, 36-inch Wall Mount Chimney Range Hood System is engineered to quietly clear the air of unwanted cooking odors and irritating smoke. With push-button controls, plus dishwasher-safe filters, the SHC3662FS hood range from Sharp will become your new favorite kitchen appliance.

The SHC3662FS range hood features a stainless-steel finish to complement any kitchen, plus discreet branding, and pairs beautifully with other stainless-steel appliances. And the bright white LED task lighting adds an elegant finishing touch to your modern kitchen.

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0.7 cu. ft. 700W Sharp Black Carousel Countertop Microwave Oven (SMC0710BB)

The compact 0.7 cu. ft. Sharp SMC0710BB black Carousel microwave is ideal for snacks, beverages, frozen meals and reheating. Its small footprint fits just about anywhere, while its roomy 10″ Carousel(R) turntable is big enough for a full-size dinner plate. Glossy black finish with scratch-resistant glass door complements your style.

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24 in. 1.2 cu. ft. 950W Sharp Easy Open Stainless Steel Microwave Drawer (KB6524PSY)

Innovative thinking led to the world’s first Microwave Drawer™ Oven, an appliance that has helped revolutionize kitchen design and microwave oven placement. Now Sharp introduces the next generation of this successful appliance – larger, sleeker and more accessible than ever. The KB6524PS microwave drawer fits in the same space as other Sharp 24-inch models, yet it’s larger 1.2 cubic feet interior is tall enough to hold a 20 oz. cup from your favorite take-out coffee store. Plus, there are two convenient ways to open or close the drawer – either pull or push the Easy Open handle or simply touch the Auto-Touch™ control panel.

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About Sharp Home Electronics Company of America (SHCA)

SHCA is the US Consumer Products Group of Sharp Electronics Corporation, the US sales subsidiary of Sharp Corporation, a worldwide developer and manufacturer of one-of-a-kind premium technology products.  SHCA includes the manufacturing of premium home appliances in Memphis, TN, together with the sales & marketing, and servicing of home electronics based in Montvale, NJ.  Leading products include Sharp AQUOS™ TVs, Sharp Carousel®, Microwave Drawer™ ovens, SuperSteam+™ ovens, and Plasmacluster® Ion air purifiers.

Sharp Corporation appears on Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies for 2023. Sharp Electronics Corporation received a 2023 award for Best Places to Work in NJ. Learn more at http://www.sharpusa.com/.

Sharp, AQUOS, Carousel, Microwave Drawer, SuperSteam+, Plasmacluster, and all related trademarks are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sharp Corporation and/or its affiliated companies. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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