It goes without saying that more than likely every single one of you has a microwave oven sitting on your countertop at home. Microwaves come in a variety of shapes, colors, and abilities, so it can be a bit difficult to find the one that will work perfectly in your home. If you’re in the process of looking for a new microwave oven for your home, take a few minutes to read through this helpful buying guide and you might just find the perfect microwave oven for your home!
Microwave Oven Buying Guide
You’re probably thinking “It’s just a microwave, what do I need a buying guide for?” Well, the answer to the question is simple: there are way too many options to go into it without knowing exactly what you want. With that being said, take these helpful tips into consideration when buying a new microwave oven for your home.
There are a few different types of microwave ovens that can be purchased, but we’re going to discuss the two most commonly used designs.
This is probably the one that you think about when you think about microwave ovens. This type of microwave sits right on your counter. They come in a variety of sizes and colors, so it’s pretty easy to find one that matches your kitchen decor.
This type of microwave typically sits above the stove, where you would normally put a range hood, saving you some much-needed counter space. Because they do need ventilation, you may need to hire a professional to install it.
The power of a microwave is measured in watts. Typically, your food will cook faster and more evenly with the higher microwave wattage. You’ll find microwaves wattages varying from 500 to 1,000 watts, so make sure you know what you want before you decide to purchase one.
If you choose to purchase an over-the-range microwave oven, make sure to check out the ventilation system included. This type of microwave offers different filter and fan speed options, so it’s important to know what you’re looking for when buying the type of microwave
Preset Cooking Times
With this feature, all you need to do is press a button to have the correct cook times for your popcorn, hot beverage, or baked potato.
It goes without saying that this world has come quite far in terms of technological advances. With that being said, there are some microwaves that have sensors that will automatically adjust the time and power levels by measuring the steam being produced by your food.
There are some microwaves out there that have racks inside of them so you’re able to cook multiple things at one time.
Some microwaves have a built-in steam option, which is perfect for preparing fish or vegetables while preserving all of the nutrients in the food.
Now that we’ve discussed some of the things that you should be looking for when purchasing a new microwave oven, let’s take a look at some of the best products available on the market at this time. You never know, you might just find the microwave over of your dreams on this list, so make sure to keep reading!
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1. Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave Oven
It can be difficult to decide on a microwave oven, especially when it seems like there is an infinite number of microwaves to choose from. Thanks to the Internet, this problem has gotten even worse. But with options like this microwave over from Toshiba, you don’t have to continue your search for weeks at a time. This microwave comes with a pre-programmed sensor menu, which takes the guesswork out of making popular foods like pizza, popcorn, potatoes, and other vegetables. This microwave puts out 1100 watts of power and it has ten different power settings to ensure your food is cooked evenly at all times.
Thanks to the easy to read control panel, you never have to worry about squinting your eyes to cook your food. With its two different defrost settings of custom or one-pound defrost, you can be rest assured knowing that your food will be thoroughly cooked every time you put it into the microwave. No one likes hearing their microwave buzzer go off for twenty minutes, but sometimes you need to leave the food in the microwave while you wait for the rest of your meal to get finished. Thanks to the sound on/off option of this microwave oven, you’re able to mute the unwanted noise at any time. If you’re looking for a convenient microwave oven that has plenty of options, then this oven by Toshiba might be a great option for you.
- Easy to clean
- Has a power-saving mode
- Comes with a glass turntable
- Interior lights may flicker
- Motherboard may stop working
- Power level function may not work
2. Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SD945S Stainless Steel Countertop/Built-In with Inverter Technology
Finding a reliable microwave oven can be a difficult task to some, that much goes without saying. Luckily, this microwave oven from Panasonic is what happens when power and innovation go hand in hand. With its 1250 watts of high power with Panasonic Inverter Technology, Panasonic guarantees that you’ll be able to quickly and evenly cook your food with delicious results. This microwave oven has 19 preset auto cook menu items for your added convenience, as well as, a quick 30 second button and popcorn button. This microwave oven by Panasonic comes with a child safety lock, a 15-inch turntable, and three different cooking levels.
Thanks to the smart, compact design of this microwave oven, you’re provided with an oven that devotes less space to electronics and more space to the interior capacity. Not to mention, this microwave is up to eight pounds lighter than comparable products, so you don’t need to be a bodybuilder to move this microwave around your kitchen. This Panasonic Microwave Oven also comes with a sensor inverter turbo defrost, which means that you’ll be provided with continuous power delivery to thaw frozen foods evenly and quickly. It also has a keep warm feature, which is perfect for foods like vegetables, soups, and hors d’oeuvres. If you’re looking for a microwave oven that has incredible features that will last your for many years to come, then you should certainly check out this microwave oven from Panasonic.
- Sleek, high-end appearance
- Easy to use
- Made out of stainless steel
- Setting knob may die
- Warranty repair may take some time
- Button to open microwave door may stick
3. AmazonBasics Microwave
You know how they say that the future is now, well, this microwave is undeniable proof of that sentiment. This microwave comes complete with Alexa, which means that it’s actually a voice activated microwave oven! Thanks to this advancement in technology, this microwave comes with quick-voice resets and a simplified keypad that allows you to ask Alexa to start microwaving your food, defrost veggies, and reheat your rice. Also, Alexa gets smarter all of the time, which means that presets are constantly being added to this microwave. The compact size of this microwave oven by AmazonBasics, you’re able to reserve the coveted counter space for preparing and cooking your meals.
This microwave oven also comes with a kitchen timer, a child lock, a turntable, plus 10 different power levels. As an added bonus, you can automatically reorder popcorn using any time you run out using the Amazon Dash Replenishment technology! If you’re looking for a microwave oven that will not only simplify your life, but will also impress your dinner guests, then this microwave from AmazonBasics would be absolutely perfect for you.
- Great for people that are sight-impaired
- Easy to use
- Voice operated
- A bit too small for some families
- Microwave can overheat
- Not as powerful as expected
4. Daewoo KOR-7LREW Retro Countertop Microwave Oven
It goes without saying that we all have different tastes when it comes to decorating our kitchens. Some people like to have a more contemporary kitchen, while others like to have a classic farmhouse look. With that being said, if your kitchen looks like it has stepped out of the 1950s, then this might be the perfect microwave to add to your kitchen. The retro style gloss finish on this microwave allows it to be the perfect addition to any retro-styled kitchen. This microwave comes complete with a four auto cook menu, as well as, a ten inch turntable. It also has a two-way defrost function and a zero standby option.
This microwave also comes with five different power levels that can produce up to 700 watts of power. That may not sound like a lot of power, but thanks to the exclusive technology produced by Daewoo, you never have to worry about it not being able to cook your food quickly and evenly. In fact, Daewoo even suggests baking in this oven, which we all know requires an even distribution of heat. If you’re looking for a compact microwave with a retro feel, then this microwave from Daewood would be perfect for your home!
- Comes in a variety of colors
- Easy to use
- May be too small for some families
- Isn’t the best for popping popcorn
- Food may take too long to cook
5. Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SN966S Stainless Steel Countertop/Built-In with Inverter Technology and Genius Sensor
There are some people out there who won’t settle for anything but the best when it comes to the appliances that they put into their house. If that sounds like you, then you should definitely check out this Stainless Steel Countertop Microwave with Inverter Technology and Genius Sensor from Panasonic. This 1250 watt microwave is constructed out of stainless steel and was made to provide even cooking and delicious flavor to consumers. Thanks to the inverter technology with turbo frost, you never have to worry about hot spots, cold spots, or overcooking your food. It’s also able to speed up the process of defrosting, which is great on those nights when you’re running a little late and need to get dinner onto the table.
This impressive microwave also comes with a built in automatic genius sensor, which adjusts power and times based on the food that you put inside of it. It also comes with 14 preset menu items, a delay start button, a child safety lock, and a quick minute timer! Also, you don’t have to worry about food getting cold while you’re waiting for the rest of your meal to be finished, because this microwave comes with a keep warm feature! If you’re looking for an easy to use, impressive microwave that will surely make your life a little bit easier, then you can stop your search right here!
- Easy to use
- Relatively quiet
- Extremely powerful
- Kitchen timer can’t be used while cooking in the microwave
- Needing it to be repaired can be a time-consuming process
- Button used to open the door can become stuck
6. Farberware Classic FMO11AHTBKB 1.1 Cu. Ft. 1000-Watt Microwave Oven with LED Lighting
If you’re looking for a powerful microwave, then this Classic 1000-Watt Microwave Oven by Farberware should definitely be on your shopping list. Thanks to 1000 watts of cooking power and the ten different power levels, you’re able to cook whatever it is that you want with evenly heated results. This microwave comes with one through six minute express cooking quick start controls, as well as, an add 30 seconds control. There are six one-touch cooking buttons for popcorn, pizza, frozen vegetables, beverages, or dinner plates. Thanks to the Memory Function option, you’re able to store and instantly call upon your saved cooking settings.
You’re able to defrost by weight or time with this microwave, and speaking of time, this microwave comes with a digital control and LED display with clock and kitchen timer. Thanks to the keypad lock, you don’t have to worry about your little one turning on the microwave when you’re not paying attention. This microwave from Farberware also comes with a removable rotating glass turntable for easy cleaning. If you’re looking for a reliable microwave that won’t break the bank, then this microwave might just be the perfect one for you!
- Comes in a variety of colors
- One year limited manufacturer’s warranty
- Easy to clean
- A bit on the loud side
- Door tends to be difficult to open
- Buttons can peel off
7. Toshiba EM925A5A-BS Microwave Oven with Sound On/Off ECO Mode and LED Lighting
People that don’t have a lot of counter space for a microwave have a difficult time finding a compact microwave that provides the same amount of power as a larger microwave. If that sounds like a problem that you keep running into, you should definitely check out the undeniable benefits of this impressive microwave from Toshiba. It goes without saying that Toshiba knows what they’re doing when it comes to electronics, but their appliances are just as impressive. This compact microwave puts off 900 watts of power with 10 different settings.
The digital control panel comes with six one touch start buttons for pre-programmed functions, including popcorn, pizza, potato, frozen vegetables, beverages, and dinner plate. This microwave also comes with a power saving mode, sound on/off option, and a child safety lock. It also comes with a six inch turntable, a digital control panel with an LED interior light, a kitchen timer, and it can also defrost by time or weight. Needless to say, if you’re looking for a powerful and compact microwave, this one’s for you!
- Black stainless steel finish
- Extremely quiet
- Great for limited counter space
- Can pull away from the wall when you use the handle to open it
- Can continue to heat up after microwave is finished cooking food
- Can begin to spark after extended use
8. AmazonBasics Microwave, Small, 0.7 Cu. Ft, 700W, Works with Alexa
Finding a microwave oven that will last more than a year or two can be quite difficult these days. Luckily, Amazon understands this struggle, which is why they issued the AmazonBasics Microwave oven for their customers. This microwave makes it extremely easy to defrost veggies, reheat rice, cook potatoes, and make popcorn. This microwave oven is also compatible with Alexa, so it’s not only powerful, but it’s voice activated, as well. This microwave is the perfect size for homes that don’t have a lot of counter space to spare, which can be a little hard to find at times. This microwave over comes with 10 different power levels, a kitchen timer, a child lock, and a turntable. And thanks to the fact that Alexa constantly learns new things, you’ll see new presets being added all of the time. If you’re looking for a small, compact microwave oven that packs a powerful punch, then this microwave from AmazonBasics would be the perfect addition for your home.
Compatible with Alexa
Auto popcorn replenishment
Easy to use
Power may be a little weak for some
May be difficult to connect to Alexa
Buttons can pop off
9. Danby DMW07A4WDB 0.7 cu. ft. Microwave Oven
If you’re looking for a standard microwave oven for your college dorm or small apartment, then this compact microwave oven from Danby might just be the perfect microwave oven for you. If you’re the type of person that enjoys cottage getaways, or eating healthy in the workplace, then you should certainly check out this incredible microwave over. This microwave adds a touch of class with its black or white finish, and it holds up to 20 liters of food. Not only are there 10 power levels, with the highest being an output of 700 watts, but this microwave also comes with one touch cooking, which is great when you’re on a time crunch first thing in the morning or after a long day at work.
When it comes to defrosting food, this microwave can defrost by weight or speed defrost. You can also cook your food by weight in this microwave, as well, which is great if you’re not sure how long you should cook it for. This microwave comes with an automatic oven light, a turntable, and an easy to program LED timer and clock unit. If you’re looking for a powerful microwave, but you don’t have a lot of counter space, then this microwave would be perfect for you.
- Great for small spaces
- Easy to use
- Buttons wear out easily
- Food may take too long to cook
- A bit on the loud side
10. GE Profile PEM31SFSS 24 Inch 1.1 cu. ft. Capacity Countertop Microwave in Stainless Steel
Looking for a new microwave can be a bit of a hassle, especially if you consider yourself to be a picky person. With so many options on the internet and in stores, you could spend weeks searching for the perfect microwave to not only fit your home decor, but also powerful enough for what you need it for. With that being said, this Capacity Countertop Microwave Oven by GE is one of the most reliable products on the market at this time. This microwave oven has ten different power levels, with the highest level putting out 800 watts of power!
As we discussed before, this microwave oven comes with sensor cooking controls that pays attention to the amount of steam being put off by your food. This microwave over may be small, but it puts out quite a bit of power for its tiny size. It also comes with an optional hanging kit, which is entirely up to you to buy! If you’re looking for a compact microwave that will get the job done, then this Capacity Countertop MIcrowave Oven from GE would be a perfect match for you!
- Space saver
- Looks great with any decor
- Interior paint can peel
- Turntable can stop working
- Buttons are hard to see for some
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Microwave is Best for Home Use?
While we wish this was an easy answer to give, it’s simply not. The microwave oven you should get is entirely dependent on your needs. If you have little to no counter space, you may want to look into a compact microwave or an overhead microwave. If you have plenty of space, then take into consideration the amount of power you want and whether or not it fits in with your decor.
What Type of Microwave is Best for Baking?
You wouldn’t necessarily want to use a standard microwave oven for baking. In fact, there are actual convection ovens that are used for baking. While you probably don’t want to use a standard microwave oven for baking, we recommend using one that puts out a higher wattage if you’re going to do so.
What’s the Difference Between Solo Microwave Ovens and Convection Ovens?
A solo microwave oven is being heated by microwaves used to heat, cook, or defrost. Typically, they’re not used for grilling or baking. On the other hand, convection ovens use heat energy that is transferred to food by convection, like solar heat, so it can be used for baking. Convection ovens are also a lot faster than standard solo microwave ovens.
Can a countertop microwave be built in?
There are plenty of different options when it comes to microwave ovens, but only some of them are capable of being built into a cupboard or countertop. With that being said, if you’re interested in putting a microwave in your cupboard or countertop, you’ll have to purchase a trim kit to do so. You might also want to call in a professional for a bit of help.
Is an Inverter Microwave Better?
While an inverter microwave may not be “better”, it certainly is different. An inverter microwave not only saves a lot of energy, and money for your pocket, it also cooks food the right way. While a standard microwave is putting out maximum power most of the time, an inverter microwave adjusts the temperature accordingly.
How Much Clearance Does a Countertop Microwave Need?
If you’re buying a countertop microwave, you need to make sure that you provide plenty of clearance around the microwave at all times. According to GE, you want three inches of clearance on each side of the microwave, three inches of clearance on the top, and one inch of clearance in the rear.
Is It Safe to Put a Microwave Oven in a Cabinet?
It is entirely safe to put a microwave oven inside of a cabinet, as long as you follow the installation directions. If you decide to put a microwave oven inside of a cabinet, you have to make sure to use a build kit to do so. If a build kit isn’t available for the microwave you have, then you have to make sure to follow the clearance guidelines.
Benefits of a Countertop Microwave Oven
As we said before, there aren’t too many differences between a countertop microwave oven and an overhead microwave oven. The biggest difference is the process of installing the microwave in your home. If you were to get an overhead microwave, you have to worry about it fitting, someone installing it, clearance restrictions, etc. When it comes to a countertop microwave oven all you have to worry about it sitting it on the counter and making sure that there is the correct amount of clearance on all sides. Countertop microwave ovens are also a bit cheaper than overhead microwave ovens, and they also can be moved from place to place much easier. If you’re thinking about which type of microwave you should take the following things into consideration:
Do you plan on moving soon?
Do you have the extra money to spend on installation?
What kind of space are you working with?
Once you answer these questions, you should have no problem picking out the perfect microwave oven for your home!
As you can see, there isn’t a whole lot that goes into buying a microwave oven, but it all does come down to what you’re looking for and the kind of money you want to spend. Hopefully, you found the microwave that you’ve been looking for, but if not, there are certainly plenty of options out there for you!