Microwaves are an excellent time-saving appliance, and allow you to cook convenience meals quickly. Depending on your household needs, you can find a quality microwave oven that is budget-friendly and effective. Discover the best microwaves to upgrade your kitchen, reheat pizza, or pop popcorn.
Microwaves are a convenient appliance for small and large spaces, allowing you to cook quick meals, reheat food, and save time.
Whether you are looking for a microwave for your kitchen, office space, or even a dorm room, you should consider your lifestyle needs.
The best microwave brand may fall under a range of budget options and should provide optimal results for a long time. The average lifespan of a microwave is about nine years, so prepare to invest n a reliable brand with desirable features. Some microwaves may last between seven to twelve years before they need replacement.
There have been significant improvements in microwaves over the years, which make it easier to cook quick meals or heat beverages with the touch of one button. Additionally, features like Inverter Technology and child safety locks are useful.
How to Choose Your Microwave
Before you decide on the best microwave brand for you, make sure to measure the space your appliance will occupy. Specific models of microwaves may require expert installation.
Regarding a microwave, there are four specific types available:
An estimated 97% of American households have a microwave, as this appliance is a necessity and not a modern luxury.
A countertop microwave is a popular option because it is affordable, easy to install, and requires a moderate amount of space. Countertop microwaves may be smaller than other types, lightweight, and offer minimal features.
An over-the-range microwave is an attractive option for kitchens that wisely uses a space. Most over-the-range microwaves provide light to illuminate the stove underneath, help vent fumes, and doesn’t require taking up precious counter space.
However, over-the-range microwaves may require some assistance with installation, may be difficult to reach and can be expensive.
One of the most expensive microwave types is the built-in model, which is perfect for a customized kitchen. Built-in microwaves require professional installation, but they give an elegant ambiance to a kitchen’s aesthetic treatment. It is essential to consider the placement of a built-in microwave, as it is not easy to re-position.
Typically, most microwaves rely on using electromagnetic waves to heat food from the inside out. Convection microwaves are similar to an oven, as it uses high heat and a fan to circulate hot air to cook food.
If anyone ever wanted to attempt cooking a turkey in the microwave, they might have an easier time using a convection microwave. Convection microwaves allow cooks to broil, roast, and even bake meals.
Convection microwaves are more expensive than other styles, but they make up for the price with better tasting food and palatable textures. When using a convection microwave like an oven, caution should be taken to avoid burning food, and traditional microwave options may not be available.
When choosing a microwave, remember to consider the following criteria.
- Size, ventilation, and noise
- Available settings and safety features
Microwaves with a higher wattage should cook food faster and more evenly.
The size of a microwave matter and the space it occupies should be considered carefully before purchasing. Depending on the types of meals you want to cook or your available space, you don’t want to get stuck with a microwave you can’t comfortably use.
Fire is a safety risk with microwaves if misused, and kids should have adult supervision when using the appliance. Some microwaves come with a child safety lockout feature to prevent unauthorized access without a code.
An automatic sensor is a nice feature on microwaves, as it shuts down the microwave to prevent overheating or burning.
Most microwaves offer preset options for heating up popcorn, pizza slices, or small intervals of time.
The placement of a microwave is important, as over-the-range models may be subject to excess heat, or may make it challenging to remove hot foods safely. Consider how well a microwave ventilates to prevent any technical difficulties, and to optimize longevity.
If the loud ding sound from a microwave alerting you it’s ready to open bothers you, consider testing out models before you buy, or perusing customer reviews. Some models of microwaves might make things a deal-breaker despite their features if it’s too noisy during operation.
Be aware of how you have to open your microwave, as buttons can get sticky, or a handle may be preferred. Construction materials are an essential part of visual appeal, ease of cleaning, and promoting even heating of food.
A Quick History of the Microwave
If it weren’t for an accident during scientific experiments, people around the world would not have microwaves today. In 1946, Dr. Percy LeBaron Spencer was hard at work experimenting with magnetrons, while employed at the Raytheon Corporation.
When Dr. Spencer realized that the microwaves he was producing managed to melt his candy bar, he decided to harness microwaves to cook foods faster and more efficiently than conventional ovens.
The Raytheon Corporation unveiled the first microwave in 1954. The 1161 Radarange was an expensive behemoth that ran on 1600 watts. In 1967, households could finally get their hands on a more accessible microwave created by Amana, a division of Raytheon.
As people caught on to the wonder of microwave technology, the price point dropped, and a growing number of companies began producing microwave ovens.
How We Choose Our Ratings
We choose this list of microwaves based on reliability, brand reputation, evaluating reviews from real people, and features offered. We feel confident that using this list you will find the best microwave brand for your budget and space, with the options you desire from an appliance.
Top 7 Best Microwave Brands
There are plenty of reputable companies that produce microwaves, but the models on our list reflect the cream of the crop. When it came to finding a quality microwave that met various criteria, we found that Toshiba, Panasonic, and Whirlpool managed to wow us most of all.
Whirlpool 1.9 Cu. Ft. Over the Range Microwave
Whirlpool isn’t only an expert on creating washing machines and dishwashers, as their stainless steel over-the-range microwave has a clean aesthetic with notable features. The vent is hidden to minimize visual distractions that would take away from the look of this microwave.
It’s easy to cook large meals with the 1.9 cubic feet of space, and the surface is resistant to fingerprints detracting from its finish. The non-stick interior of the microwave makes it easy to clean up spills and splashes.
If you employ the automatic sensor function, you can readily adjust cooking times, so your food is not overcooked.
Microwaving meals or reheating leftovers is a cinch, compliments of the preset options, and ability to steam foods like rice, vegetables, or fish. If you need to place a more substantial dish in this microwave, you can turn off the turntable from spinning around.
Cooking multiple dishes in the microwave at the same time is possible, as this model comes with a rack.
The fan in the microwave helps dispel unwanted odors from dishes, using up to three different speeds. When you need to check on your stove in the night or want to illuminate the kitchen, there is a convenient nightlight.
It’s easy to use this microwave complete with 12 one-touch options, and ten power levels.
Hamilton Beach 0.7 cu ft Microwave Oven
Hamilton Beach may bring to mind blenders and juicers, but they also produced a quality microwave oven. Families with children may appreciate that this microwave comes with a lockout feature to restrict children from accessing the appliance.
If you are short on space but want a powerful microwave that packs a punch, this compact model may be a good fit. In exchange for a budget-friendly microwave for simple jobs like reheating food, or warming up a beverage, this microwave doesn’t come with bells and whistles.
Office spaces, dorm rooms, and small apartments are an ideal space for this microwave.
Seven hundred watts of power might require a longer cook time, and 0.7 cubic feet of space isn’t the roomiest, but it will suffice for average microwave jobs. Six quick-set menu buttons help you quickly select the right mode in a flash.
Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave Oven
Toshiba has been in the business of making electronics for a long time, and they don’t disappoint with this microwave oven.
1.2 cubic feet of space provides ample room for the common microwave task, and there is a menu with plenty of pre-programmed options for items like veggies or pizza.
Meal prep is made easy with two defrost options, and the large visual display is clean and comfortable to read.
Anyone who is short on space but wants a powerful microwave might want to consider this model. You won’t have to struggle to squeeze things into this microwave as its spacious enough to be accommodating for most things, and the minute button and 30-second button make quick jobs a cinch.
During operation, this microwave isn’t too noisy, but if you are sensitive about sounds, you can put this appliance on mute.
Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SN651WAZ
Rethink Panasonic for appliances, and consider their microwave oven options.
Compact spaces can make use of this clean white microwave with 1.2 cubic feet of space, and 1200 watts of power to cook food quickly and evenly.
Panasonic made sure not to skimp on bells and whistles with this microwave. Thaw out foods efficiently with the Turbo Defrost option, or take advantage of Inverter Technology to enhance power delivery and optimize results.
If you aren’t ready to eat your meal just yet, this microwave comes with a Keep Warm feature for convenience.
A built-in Genius Sensor adjusts power settings so that your food doesn’t become overcooked, and there are 12 preset menu options for everyday microwave tasks. Feel free to use the delay start, quick-minute timer, or activate the child safety lock.
The design of this microwave may make it difficult to see what’s cooking inside, and if you don’t hear the beeps when your food is done, you won’t get a reminder.
Overall, this is a decent microwave for the value delivered.
Don’t think too hard about how long to cook that potato, pizza slice, frozen veggies with this microwave from Farberware. Six one-touch controls make it easy to select the best cooking options and time.
Small spaces are a good fit with this model, as it offers a modest 1.1 cubic feet of capacity.
It’s easy to defrost frozen items via weight or time, and the rotating turntable is removable. Switch up the power levels to get the right cook time, using 1000 watts.
You can keep busy fingers away from this microwave by turning on the keypad lock to prevent unauthorized usage.
Microwaving may be a bit noisy because of loud vibrations, and there might be steam because of the limited vents.
Westinghouse WCM11100SS Microwave Oven
Keep track of your cooking time, or set the time of day with the green LED display on this handy microwave from Westinghouse.
Compact kitchen countertops are happy to give this microwave a home, so you can focus on reheating beverages, popping popcorn, or warming up frozen food. If you need to thaw anything, you can defrost by weight or time.
Stainless steel and other durable materials give this microwave an attractive look and create a model that is built to last. The tempered glass turntable improves heating foods evenly.
Protect against burns or accidents with the included child safety lock.
Cuisinart CMW-200 Convection Microwave Oven
Give traditional ovens a run for their money with a Cuisinart convection oven that includes a grill.
Don’t stress about clean up or a build-up of odors with this stainless steel microwave. Breathe a sigh of relief, as this microwave is built BPA-free, and includes both a recipe book and instruction manual.
Easy-to-read touch controls allow you to bake, defrost, or roast foods. The grill is reversible, and the rotating glass tray is 12-inches in size for plenty of surface area.
Most jobs are easy with this 1.2-cubic foot capacity microwave that uses 1000 watts of power. Enjoy a microwave with versatility, that’s easy to clean, and doesn’t take up a lot of space.
We did the homework of compiling a list of the best microwaves, but now you need to carry on the torch and make a selection. Consider how often you will use your microwave, what foods you like to cook, the size of your family, and how much space you have.
After you have assessed the best type of microwave for your needs, factor in cost, wattage rating, and must-have features, you are ready to make a final decision. A countertop microwave offers the most convenience for a modest price point and is typically more portable than other options.
Homeowners who are looking to spruce up the look and feel of their kitchen may feel more at home with a built-in or over-the-range microwave. Be advised about the placement of a microwave for ease of use when handling hot contents.
Best Time to Buy A Microwave
When you are ready to snag a deal on an appliance like a microwave, it pays to know the best times to shop.
New models of kitchen appliances like microwaves tend to get released in September, October, and January. When retailers get new inventory, the prices are subject to drop in a consumer’s favor for older appliances.
Sales on appliances are often available around select holidays, or when manufacturers offer discounts to push choice models. Take your time and plan your microwave shopping wisely, and you might land the opportunity to get a more expensive model for cheap.