Best countertop and built-in
microwave ovens your kitchen needs

TOP PICKS FOR - November 2018

These top-rated microwaves offer speed, efficiency, and quality at every price point. Find the perfect model for your needs below:

9.6
245 reviews

hOmeLabs

hOmeLabs 1050 watt Countertop Microwave Oven with Accessories - Black Stainless Steel Microwave

PERFECT SIZE COUNTERTOP MICROWAVE - 1.3 cubic feet microwave oven for countertop features 10 power levels, 11 cooking functions and 7 pre-programmed settings, and is sized perfectly to suit both small apartments and large home kitchens

1.3 cu ft
9.0
306 reviews
subappressed

Panasonic

Panasonic NN-SU696S Countertop Microwave Oven with Genius Cooking Sensor and Popcorn Button, 1.3 cu. ft., Stainless

1.3 cu ft
8.6
244 reviews
(236) 700-6987

GE

GE PEM31SFSS Profile Stainless Steel Countertop Microwave

1.1 cu ft
8.5
210 reviews
8883299747

Emerson

Emerson MWG9115SB, 1.2 Cu. Ft. 1100W Touch Control, Stainless Steel Microwave Oven with Grill

1.2 cu ft
8.3
253 reviews
(717) 944-5178

Sharp

Sharp Countertop Microwave Oven ZR651ZS 2.2 cu. ft. 1200W Stainless Steel with Sensor Cooking

2.2 cu ft
8.1
202 reviews

Daewoo

Daewoo Retro Microwave Oven, 0.7 cu. ft., 700W, Mint Green

0.7 cu ft
8.0
430 reviews

Farberware

Farberware Classic FMO11AHTBKN 1.1 Cubic Foot 1000-Watt Microwave Oven, Metallic Red

1.1 cu ft
7.7
529 reviews
sprig bolt

Samsung

Samsung MG14H3020CM 1.4 cu. ft. Countertop Grill Microwave Oven with Ceramic Enamel Interior, Black Mirror Finish

1.4 cu ft
7.6
2480 reviews

Danby

Danby DMW7700BLDB 0.7 cu. ft. Microwave Oven - Black

0.7 cu ft
7.5
599 reviews
(718) 528-8061

Westinghouse

Westinghouse WCM770B 700 Watt Counter Top Microwave Oven, 0.7 Cubic Feet, Black Cabinet

0.7 cu ft
7.4
136 reviews

Sharp

Sharp Microwaves ZSMC1452CH Sharp 1,100W Countertop Microwave Oven, 1.4 Cubic Foot, Black Stainless Steel

1.4 cu ft
7.2
972 reviews

Cuisinart

Cuisinart CMW-100 1-Cubic-Foot Stainless Steel Microwave Oven

1.0 cu ft
7.2
348 reviews

Whirlpool

Whirlpool WMC20005YB 0.5 Cu. Ft. Black Countertop Microwave

0.5 cu ft
7.1
4 reviews
epichilium

Nostalgia

Nostalgia RMO7AQ Retro 0.7 Cubic Foot Microwave Oven – Aqua Blue

0.7 cu ft
7.0
854 reviews

RCA

RCA RMW733-BLACK Microwave Oven, 0.7 cu. ft.

0.7 cu ft

Shopping Guide for Best Microwaves

Are you in the market for a new microwave, but feeling overwhelmed by the massive amount of brands, sizes and features available? Well look no further! We’ve done the research and compiled this handy guide so you can buy confidently knowing you’re getting exactly what you need.

With the ever-growing amount of brands to choose from, features to compare, and sizes to consider, it can be tough to find the perfect microwave for your needs:

  • Do you simply need to cook the occasional popcorn or maybe defrost some frozen meats from time to time?

  • Or do you want the capability to cook a whole chicken while browning it nicely on the outside with a convection microwave combo?

  • How much counter space do you have available, or would you rather conserve counter space and install a more permanent range-top or drawer model?

  • Do you really need a model with hundreds of food presets, or will time and power controls suit your needs alone?

We test, evaluate, and compare the latest microwave ovens so you find the best value for your money.

First, let’s take a look at how microwaves differ from more conventional cooking appliances. While conventional ovens heat the food and air around it with gas burners or electric heating elements, microwave ovens use—as the name implies—microwaves that can pass through containers such as glass or plastic to cook the food by exciting the water molecules contained inside, heating the food very quickly. In addition to heating much more rapidly than standard ovens, microwave ovens are also far more energy efficient than their conventional oven counterparts, which can definitely add up in savings over it’s lifetime with even moderate usage.

On the other hand, there are some things conventional microwaves still don’t do was well as your standard oven. For one, food heated in microwaves can come out feeling a little soggy, which is a side effect of exciting the water molecules and creating steam from within the food. So for things like pizza, you may find it tough to get a crisp crust. You can use this as an advantage, though, if your food has dried out a little, since microwaves can seemingly re-moisten some dried out foods (at least until the moisture released evaporates away).

Convection or Convention?

This issue has largely been solved by the introduction of convection microwave combo appliances though. These models of microwave have a separate heating element similar to a standard electric oven that combines with the microwave technology to more evenly cook your food. With the convection functionality circulating the hot air, you can even roast, brown or grill foods in many models.

That said, these models come at a cost—both financially and size-wise, so expect to pay more and have extra counter space available for it should you go that route. Most every kitchen already has a standard oven though, so many people find the convection microwave models to be overkill since they already have a radiant heating option present.

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Size & Wattage

There’s a microwave size to fit almost every countertop, and it’s important to know which is right for you and your available space. Bear in mind that size typically has a direct relationship to power as well, with smaller sizes being lower in wattage, and thus taking longer to heat food.

Best Expert Tips

Sizes indicate the internal capacity, and can range anywhere from .5 to 2.2 cubic feet. Wattage (the amount of power used in the cooking) can range from 500 to 1600 watts.

Again, there’s generally a direct correlation between capacity and power—in part because it requires more power to heat larger volumes—so just know that a tiny microwave isn’t going to heat the same plate as quickly as one of its larger siblings. And while the cubic footage refers to the internal capacity of the microwave, the outside dimensions scale accordingly as well. Be sure to measure your space accordingly and refer to the product dimensions for any model you’re looking at.

Portable vs Permanent

If you’re short on counter top space but don’t want to downsize to a smaller model, you always have the option to buy an installable model. In the past this option was limited to range-top models that sat above your oven, and which typically had fans to vent the rising heat away from the microwave above the burners. This option has recently been joined by drawer models, which can be installed in your lower cabinets similar to a built-in dishwasher. For those that own homes and can make such permanent alterations, these can be great options if your kitchen has limited countertop space. But for renters, you’ll definitely want to check with your landlord before diving into lasting renovations!

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Putting the ‘FUN’ in functionality

Microwaves have been around been around for over 50 years now, with consumer adoption really skyrocketing for the past 40 or so. In that time, we’ve seen ever-increasing feature and preset options for everything from defrosting to cooking and heating specific food types.

Going above and beyond that, many newer models even gauge the temperature of your food and can auto-shut off when it reaches a predetermined temp. But do you need all these fancy functions?

Most people still default to manual timed cooking across a couple of power settings for all their microwaving needs, so while it may be nice to know you have the options, really think about whether you’ll actually use them and if it’s worth paying more for them.

Other options can include interlock redundancy (interlocks shut the microwave off when the door is opened) so the microwave still stops should one or more of the main interlocks fail for any reason, or child safety doors which require a keypad input so children don’t accidentally burn themselves on hot food.

Conclusion

So, while there’s many factors to keep in mind when searching for the perfect microwave to fit your needs, we hope this guide is be a helpful starting point to your decision making. With the right forethought and consideration, you’ll be sure to choose the microwave that will fit your life for years to come. Be sure to check out our selection of the best microwaves on the market above as well. We keep our constantly updated so you know you’re always getting the best microwave regardless of your specific needs.

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