Best Microwaves Reviewed & Rated for Quality

Are you thinking about purchasing a new microwave? Getting sick of the old one not heating up or just looking for something new and different? Well, when you start shopping for a microwave, you will notice that it is nothing like it used to be! Back in the day, it was really pretty simple. You would go to the store and had maybe a handful of different products to choose from. You pick the one that went best with your kitchen decor and out the door, you went. In today’s day in age, it really isn’t that simple. There are so many different options to choose from and so many new features, that it makes picking the color choice to seem like a walk in the park!

Last Updated: October 4, 2018
By Krystal Polonia:

Microwaves are one of those appliances everyone has in their home mainly due to how convenient they are. If you have been in the market for a new one look no further, we have updated our selection to bring you an array of new choices, so you can make the best decision for you and your family.

Featured Recommendations

Toshiba EM925A5A-BS
  • Toshiba EM925A5A-BS
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Multiple Features
  • Price: See Here
Panasonic
  • Panasonic
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Fast Cook Times
  • Price: See Here
Hamilton Beach
  • Hamilton Beach
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • LED Lighting
  • Price: See Here

As technology evolves, so does the world of appliances. There are always new and upcoming features that are added to help make our lives just that much easier, but it can make the decision-making process seem that much more challenging. When shopping for a new microwave there are a few key factors that you will want to keep in mind. You obviously are going to want to know the size of the microwave. If you don’t have a lot of counter space or are looking to find a way to declutter your counters, then finding a smaller microwave would be your best option. You will also want to pay attention to the wattage that the microwave offers. The lower the wattage, the lower the power, which in turn means the longer it can take to heat up your food. During your shopping experience, you will, undoubtedly, end up having to make the decision about the type of features and technology you are looking for. If you are old school and don’t have any interest in all of those extra bells and whistles, then sticking with an older style microwave might be right up your alley. Whatever the case is, it is always important to go into any major shopping experience with an idea of what you are looking for. Below, is a list of the best 10 microwaves that have all of these aspects in mind.

 

10 Best Microwaves

1. Toshiba EM925A5A-BS

1. Toshiba EM925A5A-BS
Toshiba is known for being on a top creator for appliances; therefore, it came as no surprise to us that a Toshiba microwave would top our guide. Measuring at 19.2 inches in length, 15.9 inches in width, and 11.5 inches in height this microwave is not only a perfect size for those that have some leftover counter space, but it was created with convenience in mind.
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Multiple Features

Offering features such as; 10 power settings for multiple uses, defrost by time or weight, 6 preprogrammed one-touch functions, and a digital control panel this microwave works hard to be your most loved and used appliance in your kitchen. Every feature was constructed to be used for multiple different meals and food options. Additionally, this microwave comes with a power saving mode, on/off sound option and child lock for those who have children.

Stainless Steel Exterior

Who doesn’t love the look of a stainless-steel appliance in the kitchen? Not only are they aesthetically pleasing but they’re easy to clean and maintain.

Cost and Value
If you’re looking for a microwave that won’t break the bank yet has more options then you may probably need, but you will be glad you had them this is the microwave for you. It’s priced at a mid-range level which is always a good level for a microwave. You're getting an excellent product for a great price, a win-win all the way around.
Pros
  • Child lock feature
  • LED lights
  • Sound on/off option
  • Easy to clean
  • Preprogrammed settings
Cons
  • Customer service was unresponsive most of the time
  • Buttons are a bit difficult to push

2. Panasonic

2. Panasonic
If you are looking for a microwave that offers high power and efficiency, then the Panasonic Countertop is just what you are looking for. This 1200 watt microwave cooks food at a higher rate, allowing you to enjoy your food sooner. Measuring at 1.2 cubic feet, this is a definite time saver and is perfect for those who are on the go!
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1200 Watt
Always in a hurry and don’t have the time to wait for your food to cook? That won’t be an issue with this microwave. Powering at 1200 watts, this microwave not only cooks your food exceptionally fast, but it also defrosts your food quicker, leaving you more time to enjoy your food and spending less time waiting for it to cook!

Automatic Sensor
This product is also equipped with an automatic sensor that can actually adjust the amount of cook time and power that specific item needs. The sensor can pick up on the amount of steam coming from your food and not only adjust the amount of time, but it can adjust the amount of power as well.

Cost and Value
In comparison to other microwaves on this list, this one falls into the more expensive price range, but don’t let the price of this product steer you in a different direction. Keep in mind that this is a 1200 watt microwave that cooks food and defrosts at a quick rate, and offers automatic sensors that can detect the temperature of the food and change the time and power used to cook the food, so you are getting a high-efficiency, innovative microwave for a price that is worth every penny!
Pros

Can easily see food inside while it's running

Allows for extra counter space

Defrosts food quicker

Automatic sensors determine how long your food needs to cook for

Cons

More expensive

May be louder than expected

3. Hamilton Beach

3. Hamilton Beach
The Hamilton Beach 0.7 Cubic Foot Microwave Oven offers 700 watts of power along with 10 different power levels, so you can choose exactly what is right for the food you are cooking. It also has 6 pre-programmed cooking functions, which makes choosing cooking times for certain food quick and effortless. Equipped with a safety lockout feature to prevent child tampering and LED lights that make it easy to read, this microwave oven sure aims to please!
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Quick Touch Design
This appliance is equipped with quick-touch button design. This feature allows you to choose between 10 different power levels and 6 different pre-programmed cooking functions with just a couple of pushes of a button. This makes cooking, reheating, and defrosting that much easier and less time-consuming.

LED Lighting
There is nothing quite as frustrating as trying to see the number on a microwave while you are trying to adjust the time and power level. That won’t be an issue with this product because it offers LED lights on the display, so no matter what time of day or night it is, you will always be able to clearly see exactly what you are doing.

Cost and Value
When you compare this microwave to other microwaves on this list, this one falls into the average price range. Given the fact that you are getting a 0.7 cubic foot microwave that offers 700 watts, has 10 different power levels to choose from, 6 pre-programmed cooking functions, a child locking keypad option along with bright LED lighting, you are getting an amazing deal on a high-quality appliance.
Pros

LED lighting

10 different power levels for ultimate control

Safety child lock system for added safety

Average in terms of price

Cons

May be smaller than expected

May take longer to defrost

4. Sharp Electronics

4. Sharp Electronics
This Sharp Electronics R-21LCF Microwave Oven brings back the classic turn dial style microwave. Even though this has a classic turn dial, there is nothing old about this product. Made from stainless steel, this 1000 watt, 1.0 cubic foot microwave offers LED lighting and a guide for suggested cooking times located above the dial, taking a lot of the guesswork out of a lot of the more common meals.
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Classic Turn Dial
This microwave offers an old, classic feature to a more modern microwave. It is equipped with a classic turn dial that ranges anywhere from 10 seconds all the way up to 6 minutes. This older style turn dial is perfect for those who may have a harder time pushing buttons.

Heating Guide
This product also comes equipped with a handy little heating guide. This guide is located above the dial and contains suggested heating times for certain kinds of food, which makes cooking that much easier by taking the guesswork out of it.

Cost and Value
If you are looking for an older classic turn dial style microwave that still offers modern day technology, then this is the one for you. In comparison to other microwaves on this list, this one falls into the more expensive price range. Keep in mind that you are getting a high-quality 1.0 cubic foot microwave that offers 1000 watts of power, a classic turn dial with LED lighting, and a handy heating guide located above the dial, so you are getting a great product for a decent price.
Pros

Classic turn dial style

Attractive stainless steel design

LED lighting

Heating guide to help determine cook time

Automatic cancel when door opens

Cons

More expensive than other options

Does not include turntable

5. Nostalgia Retro

5. Nostalgia Retro
Looking for a more retro style microwave that still has the same modern-day functions? Then look no further because the Nostalgia Retro 0.9 Cubic Foot Microwave Oven offers a little bit of both. This unique looking appliance takes you back years with its aesthetics, but still has all of the functions that today’s microwaves offer. Equipped with LED lights and 12 pre-programmed food settings, this 800-watt microwave sure aims to please.
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Retro Meets Modern Day
This appliance has all of the capabilities of today’s microwave but offers a more retro, slick design. From it’s cherry red color to its sleek looking chrome handle and accents, this product will take you a step back in time and have you reliving those good old days.

12 Pre-Programmed Settings
This product is also equipped with 12 food settings that are pre-programmed, so with just a simple touch of a button, you can have your food cooking in no time at all. It also comes with LED lighting, so you can see the clock and timer, making it much easier to read.

Cost and Value
Take a step back in time with this retro microwave. Compared to other microwaves on this list, this one falls into the average price range. Considering the sleek retro look this appliance offers, along with its modern LED lights and pre-programmed settings that are easy to use with a simple twist and touch design, you are getting a high-quality, modern functioning microwave with a retro twist for an amazing price that you can’t walk away from.
Pros

Candy apple metallic red is aesthetically-pleasing

Can add/subtract time with the dial as food is cooking

Perfect for people with not much counterspace

Glass turntable

Average pricing

Cons

Knob may be hard to turn

May be louder than expected

6. Whirlpool

6. Whirlpool
If you lack the counter space and are looking for a smaller microwave that is still big enough to fit a normal sized dinner plate, then the Whirlpool 0.5 Cubic Foot Black Countertop Microwave is the perfect one for you. This appliance may be small, but it still packs a punch. It offers 10 different power levels that you can choose from and has a control lock system that prevents any unwanted changes to the settings while it is in use. This microwave is perfect for those who have little to no counter space!
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Tap Touch Controls
This microwave is equipped with easy touch controls that make cooking and defrosting really simple. With a few touches of a button, you can have your food ready in minutes. It even features an option where you can add 30 seconds of cook time, even when it is in the process of cooking or defrosting your food.

Compact Design
Don’t let the size of this appliance fool you. Its sleek, compact design takes up minimal counter space, but still offers 750 watts of power and the ability to cook foods at 10 different power levels, so you have the luxury and power of a bigger microwave without the larger capacity taking up so much counter space.

Cost and Value
In comparison to other microwaves on this list, this one falls into the more expensive category. Keep in mind that you are getting a compact, 0.5 cubic foot microwave that is equipped with a pocket handle, 10 different power levels, easy-to-push buttons, glass turntable, and a sleek design that can fit in almost any kitchen, so you are getting a high-quality appliance that is worth its money.
Pros

Saves a lot of counter space

Heats food items evenly

Blue LED display light is unique

It is possible to use the timer and cook simultaneously

Unique design

Cons

More expensive

May be taller than expected

7. Samsung MS11K3000AS

7. Samsung MS11K3000AS
If you are looking for a microwave that has your best interest at heart, look no further. Created by Samsung this microwave was bound to be a convenient gem. Measuring at 20.4 inches in width, 16.9 inches in diameter, and 11.7 inches in height this bad boy comes at a mid-size range; however, it does weight about 31 pounds, so you are purchasing a heavy-duty appliance. Showcasing a ceramic enamel interior this microwave is durable and easy to clean. All you will really need to do is wipe it down as the enamel coating will not allow any food particles to stick, a win-win for those that want something convenient yet easy to maintain.
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Triple Distribution System

One of the main problems many of us have experienced while owning a microwave is realizing that the food is not evenly cooked. In order to avoid this, Samsung brings forth a microwave with a triple distribution system. This system works by pointing direct heat in three different areas while your food is spinning, this will focus direct heat on every area of your meal. In return, you will have full, cooked meals all the way around.

Dial Control

We love a dial-controlled microwave because it allows you to have a bit more control as to how your temperature is set. This dial allows you to easily increase or decrease your microwave’s temperature even while your food is already cooking.

Cost and Value
When compared to others on this list and the features it comes with this microwave is priced quite fairly. In fact, it’s could even be considered a bit on the lower price range due to the convenience that it does offer its consumers.
Pros
  • Easy clean up
  • Dial control
  • Triple Distribution system
  • Striking blue LED lights
  • Heavy Duty
Cons
  • Reviewers noted the microwave was a bit noisy

8. Breville Quick Touch

8. Breville Quick Touch
If you are looking for a microwave that offers a sleek design and maximum cooking capabilities, then the Breville Quick Touch is the perfect fit for you! This 1.2 cubic foot, stainless steel microwave offers 1100 watts, and 10 different power levels that you can adjust, even while your food is cooking. It is also equipped with a sensor that helps regulate cook time and temp and is backed by a 1-year warranty.
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Sensor IQ Technology
This product is equipped with a unique Sensor IQ technology that is able to detect the temperature of the food by the amount of steam that it puts off. This technology allows the microwave to adjust the level of power and the cook time automatically, so you end up with perfect results every time!

Power Adjustment
This product also offers a power adjustment feature. This feature allows you to adjust the power level and the cook time, even while it is in the process of cooking. This means that you don’t have to worry about having to stop the cooking process to make adjustments, which makes the whole cooking process that much more efficient.

Cost and Value
In comparison to other microwaves on this list, this one falls into the more expensive category, but don’t let the price scare you off. Keep in mind that you are getting a 1.2 cubic foot, stainless steel microwave that offers 1100 watts, 10 different power levels, Sensor IQ technology, and a power adjustment feature all backed by a 1-year warranty, so you are getting a high-quality, top-notch microwave for a decent price.
Pros

Nice to have a door handle vs push button to access microwave

Dials are a nice touch

Being able to add or remove time by twisting the dial after you have started cooking

10 different power level to choose from

1-year warranty

Cons

More expensive

Takes up a lot of counter space

9. Westinghouse Rotary

9. Westinghouse Rotary
The Counter Top Rotary Microwave Oven is the perfect choice for those who are limited on space. It small, 0.6 cubic feet design takes up minimal space on the counter but still has the power and capability to heat up food effectively and efficiently. This 600-watt microwave was definitely designed to impress!
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Compact Size
This product was designed to take up minimal space on your countertops. At 0.6 cubic foot this may be smaller, but don’t let the size of this appliance fool you. At 600 watts, this microwave can still heat up last night’s leftovers without a hitch! This is the perfect microwave for those with limited counter space.

Rotary Knobs
This microwave is also equipped with rotary knobs that make operating this appliance quick and simple. With just a simple twist of the knobs, you will have your food ready to eat in no time at all! It also offers weight defrost options, so you can defrost your food with ease and simplicity.


Cost and Value
When compared to other microwaves on this list, this one falls into the less expensive price range. Considering that you are getting a compact, 0.6 cubic foot microwave that offers 600 watt power, rotary dials for cooking and defrosting, an easy grip handle, a 9.5” turntable, and the option of this microwave in black or white, you are getting an amazing deal that won’t burn a hole in your pocket!

Pros

Perfect for folks who lack the vision and dexterity necessary to operate touch pads

Doesn't take up a lot of counter space

Easy grip handle

Easy to use and clean

Cons

May not be as powerful as expected

Interior light works only when the microwave is running

10. HomeLabs

10. HomeLabs
Looking for a microwave that offers a whole array of features that also matches the other appliances in your kitchen? Then the HomeLabs 1050 Watt Countertop Microwave Oven is the perfect choice for you. At 1.3 cubic feet, this black and stainless steel microwave offers a sleek look along with multiple different cooking functions and 10 different power levels, making cooking food that much more simple.
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Multiple Cooking Features
This product is equipped with multiple different cooking features that make life just a little bit easier. It comes with 10 different power levels to select from, 11 different cooking functions, and 7 different pre-programmed settings that allow you to cook a whole array of foods in an accurate, timely fashion.

Glass Turntable
This microwave is also equipped with a glass turntable that helps cook your food thoroughly and accurately. This round turntable is also BPA free, so you won’t have to worry about having any harsh chemicals contaminating your food as it cooks.

Cost and Value
If you are looking for a microwave that has multiple different cooking features that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, then this is the perfect choice for you. When compared to other microwaves on this, this one falls into the average price range. Given the fact that this is a 1050 watt, 1.3 cubic foot microwave that offers multiple cooking functions, comes with a glass turntable that is BPA free, and comes in a sleek looking black and stainless steel design, you are getting a high-quality appliance for a price that you can’t walk away from.
Pros

Very bright display light

Feels big without taking up too much valuable counter space

Much quieter than other microwaves

Multiple cooking functions

Glass turntable

Cons

Buttons may be difficult to push

Turntable may make a lot of noise

As you can see from this list, there is a lot more to shopping for a microwave than you would like to think. That is why it is important to have a good, clear idea of what you are looking for before you head out shopping. One of the most important things to know is the size of the microwave. If you have minimal counter space, the last thing you will want to have to deal with is getting your new microwave home, just for it to not fit in the desired space. You will also want to make sure you are getting the proper amount of watts that you are looking for and, of course, we can’t forget about the color and the nifty features that today’s technology offers us! Hopefully, this list helps give you a better idea of what you are looking for and helps guide you on the right path to finding that perfect microwave!

Criteria Used in Evaluating the Best Microwaves

Size

When it comes to shopping for a new microwave, determining the size that you will need is imperative. You will want to make sure that the microwave that you want will actually fit in the desired location. If you have a kitchen with minimal counter space or are just looking for a way to add more counter space and declutter, then you might want to consider looking in the compact microwaves. Most compact microwaves still offer a lot of the same features that the larger microwaves offer, but they take up a lot less space. Compact microwaves work excellent for those college kids who are living in smaller apartments or dorms.

The size of the interior of the microwave is just as important as the exterior. You will want to make sure that it is large enough to suit your needs. Some of the compact microwaves may not be big enough to fit a large dinner plate, so you will definitely want to pay attention to the cubic feet that the microwave offers.

Watts

The amount of watts that a microwave offers is extremely important as well. The watts have to do with how much power the microwave has. The higher the number of watts, the faster your food will cook and the lower the watts, the slower your food will cook. For example, if you are looking at buying a microwave that has 1100 watts, it will cook your food more efficiently and effectively than a microwave that has 700 watts. If you don’t plan on using your microwave for anything much other than reheating leftovers, then a microwave with lower watts will work just fine. If you plan on using your microwave for frequently for cooking and defrosting, then you might want to consider buying a microwave that has higher watts.

Features

The features that a microwave has to offer can play an important role in the microwave you choose as well. Technology is forever evolving, so you can bet that microwaves have been impacted by those changes too. A microwaves features that make it stand out above the rest can pertain to turntables, easy-touch buttons, sensor technology, and the overall style of the microwave. If you are just looking for a run-of-the-mill microwave, then the features that it offers may not be as important to you.

Turntables are a nice added feature for microwaves. They help cook your food more accurately and effectively. This is because the turntable, typically made from a sturdy, thick glass, spins as the food is cooking. This keeps the food cooking or defrosting at an even temp all the way through, so you don’t end up with your meal cooked on one side and cold on the other. It also helps prevent hamburger or meat from browning on one side while you are trying to defrost it.

Easy-touch buttons are another great feature that some microwaves offer. This feature allows for you to easily adjust the power level on which you prefer to cook, add extra time, and some even offer pre-programmed cooking functions so you can cook things like popcorn with just a simple push of a button. If you don’t care for the easy-touch buttons, there are some microwaves that still offer the turn dial option, which is great for those who have a harder time with buttons.

One of the latest, innovative technologies pertaining to microwaves is the sensor technology. This technology uses sensors inside the microwave to determine the temperature of the food by detecting the steam that emits from it during the cooking process. The sensors then tell the microwave to adjust the power level and the cook time, to ensure that your food is cooked to perfection each and every time and you don’t have to worry about lifting a finger!

Cost

Anytime you are investing in a product, you always want to make sure that you are getting the most for your money. Having a budget in place and sticking to it can prove to be a little challenging, but it is not impossible. The cost of a microwave can have a lot of variables and, depending on what you are looking for, the cost can have a pretty wide range. The size of the microwave, the wattage it offers, and its features all play a major role in the cost.

Most compact options run on the average to less expensive price range and the larger microwaves run between the average and more expensive price range. The number of watts it offers can also impact the price. A microwave that has a higher wattage may end up costing you more than one with a lower wattage because it was built to be that much more efficient. The same goes for features. The more “high tech” the microwave is, the more money you are most likely going to have to pay. It is always important to make sure you have the size you need that fits your budget and then everything else is a perk!

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I determine the exact size that I need?

A: The first step is to determine the exact location that you want your microwave to be. You will want to take measurements of the counter space in which you want the microwave to sit. You will want to measure the width, the height, and the depth of the area. All 3 of these measurements are particularly important if you plan on putting the microwave on a counter that has a cabinet above it. The numbers you have come up with are going to determine how big, or small of a microwave you will need. You can find the information about the size of the microwave in the product details, so make sure that you read the information thoroughly.

Q: How many watts should it have?

A: The amount of watts really has more to do with personal preference, how often you plan on using your microwave, and what you will primarily be using it for. The watts have to do with the amount of power the microwave has. The lower the wattage, the slower it will cook your food and the higher the wattage, the faster it will cook your food. If you just plan on using the microwave occasionally to heat up leftovers, then the wattage may not really matter to you. On the contrary, if you plan on using it regularly or plan on making meals with it, then you might want to choose a microwave that has a higher wattage.

Q: What is the main difference between buying a microwave with a turntable or without?

A: The purpose of the turntable is to rotate the food while it is cooking, which can help with cooking your food more thoroughly and evenly, preventing major hot spots and cold spots. You don’t necessarily have to have a turntable to have a high-quality microwave, but some people just prefer to have them.

Q: How can I avoid food splatters from happening?

A: We have all been there, watching our food heat up when “boom” there goes some sort of food splatter happening. The truth is there isn’t much you can do except cover your food with a microwavable top or purchase a microwave with a ceramic enamel interior for easy cleanup.

Q: Why is my food never evenly cooked when I use my microwave?

A: Excellent question! The way microwaves are designed food is moved around in a circular motion while heat is directed towards it. Therefore, you might want to check how your microwave distributes heat. A microwave that distributes heat unevenly will give you unevenly heated food, whereas a microwave that has a 3 point of heat system will provide a well-rounded source of heat. To ensure your food is evenly cooked consider heating up less food at once, the less food you heat up at the same time the easier it will be for the heat to be distributed evenly.

Q: Is plastic better than glass when heating up food in the microwave?

A: It will come down to personal preference; however, glass is always a better option as it does not radiate fumes when it heats up like plastic tends to do. We recommend doing your research on this topic and figuring out what would work best for you.

Sources

  1.  Kitchn, 7 Things to Know About Buying a New Microwave
  2. Good Housekeeping, Buying a Microwave Oven
  3. Wikipedia, Microwave oven
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