Microwaves are a “must have” for almost every kitchen. Whether your reheating leftovers or popping a bag of popcorn, microwaves are versatile and convenient. With so many on the market, you may not know which one is best for you. Check out our best microwave reviews.
Depending on your lifestyle, your busy schedule, and the number of people who live in your household, your microwave may get frequently used on a daily basis. Microwaves are a “must have” for many kitchens as they make mealtime a little quicker and easier; let’s not forget that there’s a whole section of frozen foods in your grocery store just for microwave cooking.
Maybe you’re buying your first microwave, or you’re shopping around for a replacement. We’ve reviewed some of the best microwaves for home use to make it a little easier to choose the best microwave for you. Not only do we give you the best microwave for countertop use, but we also review a couple of excellent options for over-the-range and built-ins.
Is It Time For A New Microwave?
Before we jump right into reviews, let’s briefly discuss some of the signs that may indicate that you need to replace your microwave. Most microwaves are reasonably priced, but maybe you don’t want to replace one until you it’s necessary.
If you have never owned a microwave and would like one, that’s an obvious sign that you should go ahead and buy one. According to the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors, the average lifespan for a microwave oven is nine years.
If you’ve recently moved into a home where there’s an over-the-range or built-in microwave, it may be difficult to know how old it is, so it’s best to ask. Here are some signs that it’s time to start shopping for a new microwave.
Some people prefer to have their microwave repaired, but in most cases, it’s more cost-effective to buy a new one.
How We Choose Our Ratings
Shopping for a new microwave can be a bit of an overwhelming process. Whether you’re browsing the aisles of a big box store like Target or at a home improvement store like Lowe’s or even looking at your options online, there are dozens of microwaves to consider.
If you need to replace your microwave right away, you’re less likely to shop around or do research, which means you might not choose the best microwave for your needs. We have done the research and read customer reviews and testimonials, so you don’t have to; all you need to do is read our reviews.
With so many microwaves available, you might be wondering how we were able to narrow down the choices to select our top picks. We spend time reading positive and negative feedback on a microwave to determine if it’s a good choice for a “best of” pick.
When we rate our best microwaves, we use a five-star rating system. A microwave with a five-star rating means that it exceeds our expectations and has overwhelming positive feedback from reviewers and users. Keep in mind that if a microwave on our list doesn’t have a five-star rating, it doesn’t mean it’s not a great option.
Since there are three types of microwaves, we will start out by reviewing some countertop microwaves, putting our top pick at the top of the list and then we’ll give you our top choices for a built-in and over-the-range microwave.
Remember, we won’t recommend a microwave unless we’ve done adequate research first. We are confident that after reading our reviews, you should be able to find at least one microwave that will be an ideal choice for you.
Best Countertop Microwaves
Countertop microwaves are the most common type of microwaves for all types of households from dorm rooms and studio apartments to a family of four. Countertop microwaves are convenient, relatively lightweight, and portable, but often take up space; even so, they are still the most sought-after type of microwave. Check out some of our top picks.
- Stylish Stainless Steel finish with easy to clean Stainless Steel interior
- Combines microwave and convection cooking in one appliance, with auto bake and auto...
- Pre-programmed sensor menu for optimum result of popular foods like frozen pizza,...
This countertop microwave by Toshiba is our top pick due to overwhelmingly positive feedback from other reviewers, the compact size, ease of use, and versatility. The 900-watt countertop microwave is 19.2 W x 15.9 D x 11.5 H inches, has a 0.9 cubic foot capacity, and weighs about 27 pounds.
Some of the standout features of this black stainless steel microwave include six pre-programmed functions, power saving mode, and a child safety lock. Another feature is the option to turn off the “beep” to indicate that the microwave cycle is done. This “no-nonsense” countertop microwave with a turntable is a great option for one person or a larger family.
Users of the Toshiba microwave love the compact size, the sleek design, and the ease of use. Many users comment on the affordability and the option to silence the “beep.” Some users, who use a microwave multiple times a day, were impressed with how well the microwave held up and continued to cook food evenly.
Users who gave the microwave negative feedback thought that the microwave was too loud when it was in use, and some complained that the microwave was too compact.
- Panasonic microwave: This 1200 watt high power, 1.2 cubic foot capacity black...
- Inverter technology with turbo defrost: patented inverter technology generates a...
- Compact design: this countertop microwave with 13.4 inch turntable is thinner,...
Another compact countertop option, this Panasonic microwave measures 15.8 D x 20.7 W x 12.2 H inches and weighs about 25 pounds. With 1200 watts, the microwave has faster cooking times, and the Advanced Inverter Turbo option decreases the time it takes to defrost.
Other standout features include the One-Touch Genius Sensor Cook and Reheat, a turntable for even cooking, Quick Minute and Popcorn button, as well as a Keep Warm option.
Like the Toshiba model, the countertop microwave has a space-saving design and may be an ideal choice for anyone living in a small apartment or dorm room, but can handle the frequent use of a larger family.
Even though some users were initially hesitant about the microwave’s compact size, they were satisfied with how well it cooked food and were happy to have extra counter space. Many users like the variety of features and the ease of use.
Most complaints are in regards to the small size of the microwave, and that it makes too much noise while in use.
- Element IQ delievers the right power at the right time and when adjusted to taste,...
- 9 present functions: Toast, Bagel, Bake, Roast, Broil, Pizza, Cookies, Reheat and...
- 1800W with 5 Quartz heating elements
This Breville countertop microwave is stainless steel, has 1,100 watts, a capacity of 1.2 cubic feet, and weighs about 35 pounds. The dimensions are 20.5 x 18 x 12.5 inches. Some standout features of this microwave include ten power levels, Sensor IQ Reheat function, and the ability to program your favorite setting.
There are a numerous shortcut buttons and other helpful information available on the microwave to ensure you cook each meal evenly and perfectly.
Users of the Breville microwave love the multiple cooking options and the easy-to-read LCD screen. Some users have owned their microwave for several years, and used on a daily basis, without any issues.
Most complaints were in regards to words (like the Start button) “flaking” off of the microwave. According to some users, this issue was resolved by Breville.
- COMPACT COUNTERTOP MICROWAVE OVEN - At 1.3 cubic feet, it fits perfectly in a small...
- QUICK TOUCH PIZZA COOKER and POPCORN MAKER - It has 10 power levels, 11 cooking...
- LARGE REVOLVING GLASS PLATE - Accessories include a BPA free rotating glass turntable...
This countertop microwave by hOmeLabs is another compact option for any size of household. The dimensions of this 1050 watt microwave are 20.4 x 16.8 x 12.4 inches, weighs about 40 pounds, and the capacity is 1.3 cubic feet. Standout features include eight one-touch cook functions, ten power levels, a stainless steel exterior, and a dishwasher-safe turntable.
This microwave is another excellent option for someone who is looking for a non-nonsense microwave with fast cooking capabilities and is easy to use.
Users of the hOmeLabs microwave are happy with the ease of use and how quickly and evenly it heats up food. While many users raved about how well it popped microwave popcorn, a majority of negative reviews mentioned burned popcorn. Other complaints mention parts being broken during the shipping process.
This compact countertop microwave is an excellent option for someone who wants a unique and fun-looking microwave in their kitchen. This retro-inspired microwave by Daewoo is mint green in color, has 700-watt power, four auto-cook features, five power levels, is 12.7 x 17.6 x 10.6 inches and weighs about 23 pounds.
Other standout features include a child safety lock, a 10-inch turntable for even cooking, auto defrost, and a zero standby “ECO” function. While this microwave is not as powerful as some of the others that we’ve listed, it’s a good option for someone who doesn’t like the look of a regular modern microwave or who don’t use a microwave very often.
Users of this compact microwave love the basic design, ease of use, and the retro look. Users who complained about the microwave were disappointed with its overall performance and didn’t think it was a good fit for households that need a powerful microwave or use one frequently throughout the day.
Best Built-In and Over-The-Range Microwaves
As we mentioned earlier, even though most people look for countertop microwaves, built-in and over-the-range microwaves are ideal options for some households. We’ll briefly explain the difference between the two before sharing our top picks for both.
An over-the-range microwave (OTR) is located above the stovetop or oven (as the name suggests). If you are looking for an OTR, chances are is that you already have on installed in your home.
A built-in microwave is typically surrounded by cabinets or built into a wall; some built-in microwaves are installed in drawers. Both types of microwaves are best installed by a professional or at least after consulting with an electrician.
- CYCLONIC WAVE MICROWAVE - At every temperature level, Cyclonic Wave circulates heat...
- MICROWAVE CONTROLS - 20 Preset Sensor Cook Menu Items, Inverter Turbo Defrost, Delay...
- MINIMUM COUNTERTOP FOOTPRINT - Smart, compact design devotes less space to...
This Panasonic microwave is designed for both countertops and as a built-in option; you can easily purchase an install a trim kit for the built-in option. It has 1250 watts of power, Advanced Inverter Turbo Defrost, Auto Reheat, and 12 preset menu buttons. The dimensions on this built-in are 19.44 x 23.88 x 14 inches and weighs 37 pounds.
Users like the ease of use and the heating power. Many think it’s a great replacement for an older built-in. Users who were unhappy with this microwave complain of burning foods and other features that are difficult to figure out.
This LG OTR microwave has 1,000 watts and a 400 CFM Venting System. The standout features include sensor cooking, EasyClean, and an Energy Savings button. This stainless steel microwave is 29.9 x 15.9 x 16.4 inches and weighs 63 pounds.
Users of this OTR microwave love the ease of use, how quiet it is during operation, as well as the quiet yet powerful fan. Many people who bought this microwave where replacing an older OTR microwave and were happy with how easy this one was to install. Users who complained about the microwave experienced broken parts and installation issues.