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Although no appliance is 100% perfect, these models are our picks for the best microwave to use in your home. In this list, we will show you exactly how to find the best unit for your personal needs and lay out the top 20 picks of the year.
What’s The Best Microwave? Top 20 Revealed
Microwaves are for much more than reheating leftovers or making popcorn in seconds. The best options can prepare a baked potato, bacon, hot beverages, or steamed vegetables in half the time it would take on your stove and taste just as delicious.With so many innovative appliances today, learn what to look for to spot the best microwave options on the market and make quick, delicious meals. Check out these top 20 customer-adored models. We’ve compiled everything you need to know, before you go shopping, in one helpful guide.
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Best 2019 Microwave Buyer’s Guide
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The first consideration when buying a microwave may involve considering your common uses. If you want to cook better meals in a shorter amount of time or tend to reheat a wide range of foods and beverages, you’ll need a reputable model that offers everything you need. Some of the top brands on the market today include:
- Magic Chef
- Nostalgia Electrics
These top brand manufacturers are familiar names that offer high-quality products, including microwaves, and there’s a sense of peace when customers buy from a reputable brand because they know their appliance is built to last and performs well. Another important consideration is your budget, where you’ll place your microwave, and the size you have available in your kitchen. Some people will also prefer to choose color schemes or materials that match their other kitchen appliances for consistency, such as stainless steel or a bright pop of color.
No matter the difference in personal taste and common uses, the best microwave for many customers is one that:
- Is easy to operate
- Fits in the average kitchen
- Offers various cooking options
- Allows you to mute the sound
- Cooks everything thoroughly, from frozen tv dinners to reheated coffee
Types of Microwaves
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Choose a variety of microwave based on your kitchen. Consider the amount of space you have for a microwave as well as the layout of your kitchen space.
If you’re currently planning to remodel your kitchen, you can select a type of microwave that blends into the design of your home. However, if you’re simply looking for a new microwave, you may need to check the size guidelines of each appliance to ensure it works in the space you already have available.
The most common type of microwave, countertop options are affordable and easy to set up. There’s no installation required, all you need to do is set it on a good location on your kitchen counter and plug it in to start cooking.
When selecting a countertop model, size is the most important thing to consider before purchasing. You need to make sure the microwave will fit on your counter and offer enough space for you to maneuver. Lastly, these microwaves are lightweight and portable so that you can move it around with ease.
The downside is that because these microwaves are smaller and more affordable, they may lack many of the features you can find with other types.
With a built-in microwave, you have more options. You can build them into any location in your kitchen, placing them wherever you have space and an electrical plug. These are also the most common type of microwave people install when remodeling their kitchens, as they fit into custom cabinet designs or can be installed in a drawer-style fashion.
Often, you’ll find built-in microwaves installed above the oven. However, they’re versatile enough for installation anywhere you see fit in your kitchen. They offer the highest amount of convenience and aesthetic choice, without taking up precious counter space. The best part is that these microwaves are elegant and typically match your other kitchen appliances.
The most expensive type of microwave, installation by a professional and a custom-designed kitchen, in general, comes at a high price. You also need some foresight to find a spot where the microwave is easy to use and easily installed. As the most expensive and elegant option, they’re also built to last longer and offer more cooking features.
The most popular type of built-in microwave, over-the-range microwaves are, as the name suggests, installed above your cooking range or stovetop. They typically sit flush with your kitchen cabinets to blend into the design of your kitchen, and they’re considered a luxurious appliance because they come with added benefits.
These models often save countertop space and come with light fixtures located on the bottom to illuminate your stovetop cooking surface. Ventilation systems are also built into the appliance that helps reduce fumes, heat, and cooking odors like a range hood would.
This is a perfect option for smaller kitchens with limited counter space. However, they are much more expensive than countertop microwaves, and they require installation. Finally, shorter people and children may have trouble reaching these types of microwaves, which is a negative for many people.
Another built-in type of microwave, a drawer model also frees up counter space in your kitchen. They’re perfect for tiny kitchens, and they come in various sizes that pull out from your cabinets. It’s a convenient way to heat food no matter what height you are, and it allows you to stir or add ingredients to the meal you’re cooking without even removing the dish from the appliance.
This type of microwave cooks food an entirely different way. Like an oven, this microwave uses high heat combined with an internal fan to move the air around and heat your food whereas a traditional microwave will use electromagnetic waves to warm food from the inside out. While some people find these models produce better tasting foods, they’re also more versatile in what they can cook.
Whether you’re roasting, broiling, or baking, a convection microwave can provide the crisp that normal microwaves can’t reach. Even better, they’re easily installed as over-the-range or built-in models, or you can simply set it on a countertop. Unlike other built-in models, these are more affordable as well for the level of versatility you gain. Although, they will cost more than traditional options.
These models also will allow your food to burn more easily if you’re not paying attention.
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An essential feature of each microwave, the wattage determines how fast your microwave will cook food and how evenly the results are. The higher the wattage, the better. You want to look for a number no lower than 1,000 watts to cook food thoroughly and remain reliable for years to come. Low wattage units are available at low prices, but they are slower and won’t last as long.
The most durable and reliable microwave will last around 10-12 years. To determine whether a model is stable, you will need to consider the brand and customer reviews on the product you’re viewing. This is a more significant concern in built-in models, whereas countertop microwaves are often replaced within a few years, so it makes more sense to focus on other features.
No matter what type of appliance you’re buying, the price is always vital. Price ranges vary considerably across brand names, types, and sizes. However, you can find a great model for under $100 if you’re on a budget and have basic needs.
Countertop models are the most affordable, while built-in models can vary in price depending on your needs. Determine if the investment in a built-in option is worth it for you, which may boost the value of your home overall as well.
Pre Programmed Settings
Pre Programmed settings are valuable at helping you heat various types of food or even beverages at just the right amount of time each time, and the settings you look for will vary based on your personal preferences and eating habits. Other people never use the settings, opting to operate their appliances each time manually.
Some settings may include a popcorn setting, for example, that cooks the food based on bag size. Other standard options may consist of defrost settings or timed quick heat options. High-end options start to include preset cooking settings for other foods, like pizza or warming up beverages like coffee.
Most people aren’t bothered by the noise their microwave makes, but those that are more sensitive to the sound will want to find a model that’s quiet. Customer reviews will often mention how noisy the unit is if you’re buying online and can’t try it out in person before you buy. Some may also display decibel levels on their specification information sheets.
However, this problem isn’t universal. If sound is a problem for you, look for the availability to mute the buzzer.
The biggest safety concerns in microwaves involve teaching and supervising kids to use the appliance properly to avoid the unit catching fire, such as placing foil or silverware in the microwave. Some models come with child lockout features to help keep the little ones safe, where you enter a code before the microwave kicks on.
Added Customer-Favorite Features
Finally, microwaves may offer various fun features like preset convection for faster cooking similar to a broiler, racks that allow you to cook more than one dish simultaneously, or grill options to sear the outside of your food and prevent familiar rubbery textures associated with microwave cooking.
Other impressive features include easy-clean interiors, typically made from stainless steel or porcelain, that allow you to wipe up splatters or spills, and inverter technology that’s offered by companies like Samsung or Panasonic to provide a consistent temperature for omelette or poached fish.
Top 20 Best Microwaves
Here are our top picks for the 20 best options available in 2019, with the best listed first. These are the microwaves that both customers and experts adore, some of which for their added features that allow them to stand out while others for their robust and reliable cooking ability.
Breville Quick Touch
This stainless-steel countertop microwave is a top seller on Amazon and in retail stores like Macy’s due to its quick touch settings, which include 13 smart cook settings and two melt and soften settings, and futuristic design. The unit measures the humidity levels released from the food using a sensor to determine the exact amount of time and power needed to cook a variety of foods precisely each time.
Even better, this microwave has ten power settings that range from 10% to 100%, a time built-in to the model that you can use around the kitchen, a one-year limited warranty, and 1,100-watts of power. Users recommend this product because it cooks well no matter what you heat up, but many people find the LED screen too bright and there’s no way to dim the light or silence the loud beeps.
Dimensions: 18 x 20.5 x 12.5 inches
There are several features to this roomy microwave oven that make it stand out. It offers 1,250 watts of power, a stainless-steel appearance, and 16 cook settings, which use a sensor to ensure the food you cook never winds up unevenly heated or rubbery in texture. No matter if you’re steaming vegetables or defrosting meat, this microwave is powerful and dependable. It even has a keep-warm feature!
When it comes to using the Panasonic, customers say the display is easy to read, and the controls offer many options, and the open button allows you to work the model with only one hand. If you have room for a larger microwave, this is a top pick that won’t sacrifice the flavor or texture of your food. Even better, you can install it over your range by purchasing an additional trim kit or place it on the counter.
Dimensions: 10.94 x 18.44 x 18.5 inches
The best lightweight convection microwave, Cuisinart is made using the highest quality materials so to ensure your model will last, and it comes with more features than traditional microwaves. It’s a combo unit with impressive cooking performance to prepare food conveniently. The multi-stage setting will automatically switch between functions for the best results, so you have two appliances in one.
The downside is that when using the convection oven settings, customers say the unit’s exterior will become extremely hot. Caution is needed when using this model to avoid burning your hand, and you’ll need to be careful placing any items near the unit. With 1,00 watts, a grill rack, a touchpad LCD control, and 3-year-long warranty this model won’t disappoint.
Dimensions: 20.4 x 18.9 x 12.4 inches
One of the best mountable, over-the-range microwaves, this Whirlpool model will save you counter space and heat food quickly and easily. Although many microwaves like this come in various sizes, this model offers a cubic foot of interior space to cook with larger dishes. It also comes in a variety of colors and finishes to allow you to coordinate your microwave with your taste and kitchen’s current design.
The added ventilation feature keeps smoke and odors from your stovetop cook space, and it includes a high, medium, or low fan speed to set Whirlpool ahead from their competitors, who often only include two ventilation speeds. The 1,000 watts of power and cooking sensor deliver perfectly reheated food, and customers find the performance of this model impressive. They even say installation is easy.
Keep in mind that while this option is much more expensive than many other affordable microwaves on this list, most built-in models are pricey – especially when they come with added features to make your life easier such as fingerprint resistant stainless-steel construction and a non-stick interior surface.
Dimensions: 15.56 x 17.13 x 29.94 inches
This stainless-steel microwave oven is a compact over-the-range option people love thanks to the features. It has six pre-programmed settings, a digital LED control panel, a turntable for even cooking, a power saving mode, a child safety lock, and a sound on or off option. The downside is that at only 900-watts, this microwave takes 2.5 minutes longer to cook food than the higher watt model Toshiba offers.
Toshiba comes with all the practical features customers want to make cooking possible in a more reasonable amount of time. Some customers have complained that the unillumined buttons on the model are hard to read, but this is a great built-in appliance for a tiny kitchen. It’s also the best quiet microwave you can buy if noise control is vital for you.
Dimensions: 19.2 x 11.5 x 15.9 inches
A great countertop microwave that doesn’t take up too much space, this option offers plenty of power, has a sleek black and stainless-steel outer design, and comes with an easy-to-clean inside that makes splatters a non-issue. Digital controls are combined with a metal dial, so you can select your preferred preset cook setting and modify the time with the rotary dial to add time without stopping the cook.
It offers 1,000 watts of power, and it can conserve energy using an Eco mode to turn off the digital display rather than needing to unplug the entire unit after each use. People love the energy they save using this microwave and on their electricity bills, as well as the easy to clean feature. However, this unit is noisy when in use.
Dimensions: 20.4 x 16.9 x 11.7 inches
The Sharp SMC1132CS is a simple countertop stainless-steel microwave that cooks consistently each time. Unlike other microwaves that use a sensor to track the moisture releases from your food and determine the best cook time, this model allows you to enter the weight of your food, like potatoes, for example, to find a more appropriate cook time and reduce overheating.
It’s family-sized, with 1,000 watts of power to heat large amounts of food rapidly, and it comes with one-touch controls like an auto defrost option. Plus, it has a carousel and large numbers on the display for those with poor eyesight. However, the only light comes on while cooking and not when the door opens, which some customers hate while others adore.
Dimensions: 14.9 x 20.3 x 12 inches
Hamilton Beach Microwave Oven
A budget-friendly choice, this model receives rave reviews for a microwave that only costs $50-$60. It’s big enough to fit a larger dinner plate full of food and comes with six pre-programmed settings to cook the basics: pizza, popcorn, frozen vegetables, etc. Quick-touch controls allow you to select a cook time of 1-6 minutes and start cooking fast, and despite the smaller capacity, user reviews praise this model.
With only 700-watts, this microwave may take a bit longer to cook. However, customers say the settings work well enough, and the ability to cook both beverages and frozen dinners is so perfect, that the added time doesn’t matter. The Hamilton Beach is compact and very impressive for the size.
Dimensions: 17.3 x 13.4 x 10.2 inches
A top choice if defrosting frozen meat is your main microwave use, this GE model is an excellent choice for those looking for a larger microwave. Although many customers search for more compact countertop models, the extra-large 16-inch turntable allows you to heat oversized dishes with ease. It’s a stainless-steel model with sensor cooking controls that adjust on their own to cook food well.
Customers adore the instant-on control, which allows you to work any of the microwave’s 13 settings at the push of a button. It offers 1,200 watts of power to cook quickly, and the defrost setting cooks insanely thoroughly thanks to functions that allow you to enter the weight of the food.
A safety lock keeps kids from harm, and with the kitchen timer and limited one-year-long warranty, there’s nothing else you need. However, the appearance of this model is nothing special. Customer reviews also state that the door is flimsy and difficult to close, which is disappointing for the price.
Dimensions: 19.25 x 13.63 x 23.88 inches
This over-the-range option comes with a touchpad LED display control, stainless-steel exterior, and some pretty great features. With three different ventilation options, you can pull air from the roof, wall, or room. The child safety lock keeps young children safe, and a halogen hood light makes the functioning hood appear sleek and stylish.
Smeg is an industry leader known for producing appliances that are built to last, and customer reviews say the trim kit made installation easy, but that this model isn’t as durable as others Smeg offers. It does offer 1,000 watts of power to heat food thoroughly, with four different programmed functions, but the ease of use doesn’t seem to be enough for many customers.
Dimensions: 15.4 x 29.9 x 16.5 inches
An amazing drawer microwave with a wave to open feature for touchless access, Sharp makes some of the top drawer models on the market today. This option allows you to place your microwave in a cabinet, kitchen island, or installed next to a wall oven for your convenience. The bright LED display and stainless-steel finish are sleek, and the controls only become visible after the frame slightly tilts.
The 950 cooking watts of power can prepare food in no time, and there are 11 power settings to choose from with a sensor that automatically knows when the food is cooked just right. You can also add on an extended protection plan of up to five years to ensure your model lasts for a long time, which many people chose in a built-in drawer model, and the installation kit is easy to figure out on your own.
Dimensions: 23.7 x 16 x 23.4 inches
HomeLabs Countertop Microwave Oven
A compact microwave oven that fits on the countertop of any kitchen, this model is great for small kitchens while remaining completely able to heat large plates quickly. The stainless-steel and matte black exterior are gorgeous, and the quick touch options allow you to heat at ten power levels, using 11 cooking functions or seven pre-programmed settings for defrosting or heating popcorn or pizza.
The child-lock features keep your little ones safe while the memory feature, a customer favorite, remembers how to properly cook your favorite foods. The 1,050 watts of power and LED display create a microwave that’s both beautiful and powerful. It fits well in most homes, but many customers wish the handle were made with stainless-steel as well instead of plastic.
Dimensions: 20.4 x 14.6 x 11.5 inches
Sharp R-1406 Over-The-Range
An over-the-range microwave like this white Sharp model is designed to save precious counter space in smaller kitchens while seamlessly blending into the aesthetic of your kitchen. It offers auto-touch controls with programmed settings, ten different power levels, a ten-year warranty on the major components, and the ability to silence the beep of the controls.
With only 900 watts of power though, it seems like Sharp could improve this model easily. Customers say the defrost setting begins at a half pound of food, which seems like a lot, and you may need to heat your food slightly longer using this model than others on the market. It’s durable though, and installation is a breeze. Just don’t place it over your stove for the best results.
Dimensions: 33.1 x 19.3 x 25.6 inches
Amazon Basics Voice Controlled Microwave
There are no other microwaves on this list with technology as innovative as this Amazon brand model, which uses Alexa so you can use voice commands to control your appliance and heat your food. You can even reorder popcorn on Amazon when you pop a bag into the microwave and realize you’re running low, and the microwave is compact to sit on any countertop comfortably.
It also comes with ten power settings, 24 cook settings, a child safety lock, a turntable for even cooking, and a kitchen timer. However, you do need to separately purchase an Echo device to use the voice control feature. Installation is easy though, and all you need to do is download the Alexa app on your smartphone, plug in the microwave, and ask your already installed Echo device to start cooking.
Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.1 x 14.1 inches
Kenmore Microwave Oven
A countertop microwave with an LED clock display, multiple pre-set cooking options, and 1,100 watts of power, Kenmore comes with everything a busy family may need. The programmed cooking settings include options for more exotic foods, such as casseroles, rice, beverages, and more. The time will signal when your food cooks to perfection, and the mid-sized spacious interior offers plenty of space.
Make meals both large and small with this model. The turntable helps ensure every type of food is cook all the way through, and although you can’t turn off the alarm, customers claim the beep is relatively quiet compared to other microwaves on the market. However, it does beep with each button pressed. If you want a cheap model with lots of features, this may be the microwave perfect for you.
Dimensions: 11.81 x 21.22 x 17.72 inches
Oster OGB81101 Microwave Oven
Oster is a fan-favorite thanks to the express cooking programs, defrost that uses the weight of the food to determine the best cook time, and the glass turntable. It comes with a child safety lock as well, and the 1,000 watts of power allow you to cook food that tastes well in rapid time. There’s even a green LED digital control panel that displays the time and a scratch-resistant glass door that’s built to last.
The nine smart-touch menu options include basics like pizza and popcorn as well as heating liquids like soups and beverages. The ten power levels allow you to customize cooking for your needs, and customers adore the buttons available on this model. The white glass exterior is another sleek, nice finish popular among users.
The biggest downside is the noise. This alarm is loud, with even users with partial hearing loss easily able to hear the beep from another room. There’s also no way to mute the sound, which would make this model compete much better with other great microwaves. The display is another place this unit lacks, and customers claim you can’t see the clock unless you’re around five feet away or closer.
Dimensions: 22 x 18 x 12 inches
Black and Decker EM925AZE-P
A compact, 900-watt microwave oven that fits perfectly on any countertop without taking up too much space, this Black and Decker model is simple and straight to the point. It offers six one-touch settings to heat frozen dinners, popcorn, or beverages, and the interface is easy for all ages to use. For such a small unit, what’s surprising is how spacious the inside is. It can fit an average-sized plate, for example.
This model does everything you need it to do, without a lot of added features. The microwave is probably too small for families, but it’s a great model for someone with limited space. The appearance is sleek, with stainless-steel and black accents, and it performs well for only having 900 watts of power. Customers love the low $60 price, but some reviews say it comes with a short lifespan.
Dimensions: 11.5 x 16.1 x 19.1 inches
Nostalgia RMO400 Red Retro Microwave Oven
If you’re looking for a retro microwave in fun, bright colors, this red model is a stunning addition to any themed kitchen. Users love this model for its eye-catching appearance, and it functions well too. It may only offer 800-watts of cooking power; however, it comes with 12 pre-programmed settings to quickly heat or reheat a variety of foods, and a rotating glass carousel to cook your food evenly each time.
The door opens using a chrome handle, and the LED digital clock is easy to read from afar. It can cook anything, and the eye-catching appearance offers functionality using sleek program dials and options for express cooking, where you can adjust the power level from 20% to 100%. A child safety lock keeps accidents from happening, and the compact size allows this countertop model to fit in any kitchen.
Compared to other retro-themed units available on Amazon, this product is the best available for the price. It even comes with a warranty if you register your unit on Nostalgia Electrics’ official website. Customers say it’s quiet, but the turntable may stop working, so the warranty is extremely nice to have.
Dimensions: 19 x 15 x 11 inches
The best countertop microwave for older people, seniors adore how easy this microwave is to use. If you struggle with arthritis or eyesight problems, this is the microwave for you! It offers dials rather than small buttons and hard to read labels, and the simplicity of the features is what makes this model great. The construction is durable, and the turntable cooks for thoroughly from all angles, with six power levels. You can defrost, prepare a frozen dinner, or soften butter, just by altering the power dial.
Thanks to the small size, this microwave is also great for small spaces like studio apartments or dorm rooms. It’s easy to operate as well, but it’s best at heating smaller items rather than a large meal. With only 600-watts, this microwave takes a bit longer to cook as well. The convivence of a simple design without any added bells and whistles is what you pay for with this model.
Dimensions: 17.75 x 12.5 x 10.25 inches
Danby Designer DMW077BLSDD
An affordable model that offers a great value for your money, this model by Danby comes with some impressive features for the price. It offers both pre programmed settings and those that allow you to save your own favorite settings. Where other affordable models lack, Danby includes a defrost setting, a kitchen timer that allows you to run the alarm without turning the unit on, and six preset cook options.
With only 700 watts of power though, cooking your food thoroughly may take longer than with some other models. Although it offers a stainless-steel finish that looks nice and some great features like one-touch cooking availability, this countertop microwave lacks in power. Customer reviews bring up serious safety considerations as well, like apparently, the glass doors can easily shatter without warning.
If you do opt for this microwave, go with the sturdier 900 or 1,000-watt models that cook more quickly and don’t have issues with the glass cracking or shattering. Most budget-friendly options at this price, however, won’t offer the added features this microwave has, like the ability to select the cook by weight option.
Dimensions: 14 x 17.3 x 10.1 inches
How We Chose Our Ratings
When compared to other kitchen appliances, microwaves are affordable investments that come in a range of options for consumers. To find the best microwave options on the market today and rate them, we scoured the internet to see what real users think. We also thought about personal taste and included a variety of style preferences, types, and features.
We read customer reviews on Amazon, explored what experts in the industry think, and always considered the convivence in using each model. Because most consumers need an affordable, lightweight appliance that’s built to last, countertop models are the most common and offer some of the best models. Built-in options, however, are great if you have space.