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!
- Westinghouse Rotary
- Rotary Knobs
- Fast Cook Times
- Bella Compact
- Digital Control
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. Westinghouse Rotary
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.
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!
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
May not be as powerful as expected
Interior light works only when the microwave is running
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!
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!
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
May be louder than expected
3. Bella Compact
This microwave oven is equipped with 6 different pre-programmed cooking functions. This means with just a simple push of a button, you can choose which function best suits your needs, which takes the guesswork out of the equation.
It is time to say goodbye to that constant squinting and maneuvering just to see the numbers on the microwave. This product also comes with a display that is digital and uses LED lighting. This makes it much easier to see the timer while it is cooking and it also makes it easier to see the clock at night.
Cost and Value
If you are looking for a microwave that has all of the necessary functions, but won’t end up costing you a fortune, then the Bella 700-Watt Compact Microwave Oven is the perfect choice for you. When compared to other microwaves on this list, this one falls into the less expensive price range, which is great news for you! Given the fact that this is a 0.7 cubic foot compact appliance that takes up minimal counter space, offers 700 watts of power, has 6 different cooking functions, Offers digital LED lights, and a locking keypad for safety, you are getting an amazing product for a price that won’t break the bank!
Doesn't take up much space on your counter
Has adjustable cooking cycles
6 different cooking functions
LED light display
Interior may be smaller than expected
Buttons may be difficult to push
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.
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.
Very bright display light
Feels big without taking up too much valuable counter space
Much quieter than other microwaves
Multiple cooking functions
Buttons may be difficult to push
Turntable may make a lot of noise
5. Nostalgia Retro
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.
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
Knob may be hard to turn
May be louder than expected
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.
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.
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
May be taller than expected
7. Daewoo Retro
If you are looking to take a step back in time and are looking for a different look that stands out from the rest, then this is the perfect microwave for you! Designed with the 50’s in mind, this light mint green microwave with chrome accents is sure to have everyone talking!
Modern Day Functions
Even though this compact microwave has a retro design, it still offers the same functions as modern-day microwaves. It has 5 different power levels to choose from, 4 pre-programmed cooking functions, a two-way defrost design, and offers 700 watts of power.
Cost and Value
When compared to other microwaves on this list, this one falls into the less expensive price range. Considering the fact that you are getting a 0.7 cubic foot microwave that offers 700 watts of power, 5 different cooking levels, 4 pre-programmed cooking functions, a two-way defrost system, and an extra long, 36” cord, you are getting an amazing appliance for a price that won’t empty your wallet.
5 different power levels
4 pre-programmed cooking functions
Doesn't use power unless it's turned on
Knob to adjust time is a unique touch
Easy and intuitive to use
May take longer to heat food
8. Breville Quick Touch
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!
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.
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
Takes up a lot of counter space
9. Hamilton Beach
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.
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.
10 different power levels for ultimate control
Safety child lock system for added safety
Average in terms of price
May be smaller than expected
May take longer to defrost
10. Sharp Electronics
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.
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.
Classic turn dial style
Attractive stainless steel design
Heating guide to help determine cook time
Automatic cancel when door opens
More expensive than other options
Does not include turntable
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
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.