BEST COUNTERTOP MICROWAVE OVENS
There are a lot of times when you would want a small-ish microwave and this offering from Toshiba is a great choice. Compact enough to fit into a dorm room, an RV, an office breakroom (or under your desk at work), or any other restricted space, but powerful enough to cook as well as the best of them, this microwave is a little workhorse.
The features of this microwave aren’t exactly cutting edge, but they do what they are meant to do, and they do those things well. One of our favorite features is the reheating option controlled by the internal sensor. With a simple press on one of the dedicated reheating options, you can turn just about any of the leftovers in your fridge into steaming bowls of goodness.
This microwave also gives you the ability to control how powerful you want it to be. Instead of the basic low, medium, and high power settings of yesteryear there are ten distinct power settings making it easy to find the perfect level of power for the food you are cooking. Another great feature makes it easy to add cooking time by simply pressing the start button during a cooking phase. If you think, for example, that your meal will benefit from an extra 30 seconds of cooking time, all you need to do is hit the button and the microwave will add the time for you.
Apart from the features, this microwave is also easy to use and looks great. Toshiba is known for creating great-looking products and this one certainly fits the bill. The easy-open handle and simple interface make this microwave a cinch to use as well, making this great for the no-nonsense cook who doesn’t really want to spend time learning how their new cooking kit works.
- Easy to operate
- Great programmability and presets
- Sleek design looks great in any kitchen
- Defrost setting works a little too well
- Wattage 1100 watts
- Capacity 1.2 cubic ft.
- Dimensions 20.5 x 17.1 x 12.8 inch
- Weight 34.6
- Material Black stainless steel
Coming in at number two, we have an offering from Panasonic and this is not your run-of-the-mill countertop microwave oven. It is as good looking as it is functional with its stainless-steel build and streamlined design making this the perfect microwave oven for just about any space. What makes this entry special is the technology that it uses to cook your food. Not only does it have a patented invertor system, but it also comes with the Genius sensor that makes smart cooking decisions based on whatever you put into the microwave oven.
Of all the great features that this product has to offer, Panasonic’s invertor technology is one of the most impressive. Unlike many other microwaves, the heat provided by this appliance is always constant. Most other microwave ovens, when put into lower power modes, will provide bursts of the highest power setting to achieve the desired power level. The lower the level, the further away the bursts heat. Panasonic’s answer to that issue is the invertor technology which throttles power at lower heat settings to provide a constant source of heat, even on very low settings. Needless to say, your food will cook more evenly with this awesome microwave.
The other great feature is the Genius Sensor. This smart sensor effectively reads the steam levels that come from your food while it’s cooking, and it adjusts temperatures and cooking times according to how well the food is cooked. Even if you have entered in a cooking time that will ruin your plate of leftover Chinese from the night before, Panasonic’s Genius Sensor will save the day. Of course, the sensor isn’t always needed thanks to the 14 auto cook settings.
This is a powerful microwave that looks good enough to fit in anywhere, has a large inner capacity suitable for meals of all sizes, and has enough power and smarts to cook anything you decide to throw in it.
- 10 power settings
- Invertor technology makes for better cooking
- Great power comes with more noise on this model
- Wattage 1200W
- Capacity 1.2 Cubic ft.
- Dimensions 15.81 x 20.69 x 12.25 in
- Weight 25.5lbs.
- Material Aluminum
In the world of microwaves there are very few options that really stand apart from the crowd, especially when it comes to looks. Differences in size and color, as well as special features like touch screens and the like make all the various microwaves distinctive, but only to a certain point. Daewoo pushed into new design territory with their retro line, going in a completely different direction than most of the other microwaves out there.
What you’ll love about the Daewoo retro microwave is that it looks like it was taken straight of the 1950’s. This work of engineering art would be perfect for any business sporting classic designs, but it would also look great in your home. Another cool thing about this microwave is that although it looks very old it has all the modern features you would expect from a microwave, including presets, programmability, and more.
For a microwave oven on the smaller side, the Daewoo retro is powerful enough to cook it all. There are five power settings to choose from and it even features an advanced defrosting system. Despite its small size and relative simplicity, the 4 available auto modes for common food types are accurate and dependable, leading to perfectly cooked meals every time.
The compact size of this microwave is also good for the placement options. Because of how unique it looks, you might want to display it on your countertop. And, if you do, you won’t have to worry about this oven taking up too much space. Whether you are looking for affordability, stylish retro design elements, compact size, or an uncomplicated machine that will cook your meals with ease, the Daewoo Retro should be on your list of considerations.
- Eco mode available
- Fun retro design
- Child safety lock
- 5 power level controls
- Not as large as many others on the list
- Retro design may not be for everyone
- Wattage 700W
- Dimensions 12.7 x 17.6 x 10.6 in
- Weight 23.4lbs.
- Material metal and plastic
Black+Decker is a company that needs no introduction. For almost 200 years, they have been supplying us with high-quality tools and appliances meant to function well and last even longer. When it comes to finding the best microwave, going with a company known for attention to detail and good craftsmanship is always a great place to start.
One of the first things that you’ll notice when looking at this microwave is how nice it looks. There isn’t anything over-the-top or fancy about its design (which is a good thing as it’s not trying to be something that it’s not) but it looks sleek enough to match any type of kitchen, whether you wish to mount it or keep on a countertop. The flush front design gives the microwave an unobtrusive aesthetic and the button color scheme and layout is bold yet understated making operation simple and convenient.
Opening this microwave oven up reveals the spacious interior where you’ll be able to prepare meals of all kinds. The generous 900W power limit is more than enough for the 0.9 cubic feet of space available, and you’ll be able to choose between an impressive 10 different power settings to achieve perfectly cooked food, every time. The technology that drives this microwave also makes it nearly impossible to overcook meals which is always nice for those busy nights when mistakes in the kitchen are the last thing that you want.
Pre-programmed cooking modes are yet another strong point for this microwave which should come as no surprise seeing as how it’s number 4 on our list. With a simple touch of a button, you can easily defrost meals of any size, set specific cooking times, and start any one of the more complex cooking programs that are designed for specific meal types. If simplicity, functionality, and good looks are important for you in your decision-making process, consider Black+Decker.
- Dependable product with proven track record
- 30-second express cooking setting
- Compact and convenient
- Powerful for the price range
- May be small for families
- Noisier than others in its class
- Wattage 900W
- Capacity 0.9 cubic ft.
- Dimensions 19.1 x 14.8 x 11.5 in
- Weight 31.5lbs.
- Material Stainless steel and plastic
Number five on our list comes from a kitchen appliance and cookware company that has been around for more that 100 years. The company is devoted to customer satisfaction and when looking at the products they bring to the table, it really shows. The Farberware Classic is a countertop microwave that has all the features you need, enough power to compete with the best of them, and is large enough to handle whatever you throw in it.
Cooking with this microwave couldn’t be easier. The Farberware Classic comes with 1000 watts of power but you aren’t limited to using full power every time. There are ten settings available, ranging from 10% to 100%, making it possible to find the perfect amount of cooking power for the types of food that you cook. You won’t need to worry yourself with going through a learning curve, however, as there are plenty of presets that do all the thinking for you. The 6 One-Touch functions apply the perfect amount of heat and time to all your favorite meals, be it pizza, popcorn, leftovers, and more. Farberware Classic also make it easy to defrost food giving you the ability to enter both time and weight.
Apart from being very easy to use, this countertop microwave comes with a few other useful features as well. The lockable keypad is great for anyone with kids. While throwing a metal fork into the microwave to watch the sparks fly might seem like a good idea to kids, it is also incredibly dangerous. The memory function is also a big help. The Farberware Classic will remember the types of food that you like to cook, along with the way you like to cook them so that the microwave can bring up the right settings at the press of a button.
- Modern design
- Accurate heat settings
- Extremely powerful for a microwave of this size
- Easy-open door
- Vibration reported by some users
- Large exterior for a compact microwave
- Wattage 1000W
- Capacity 1.1 Cu. Ft.
- Dimensions 20.2 x 16.9 x 12 in
- Weight 29lbs.
- Material Stainless steel and plastic
The GE Profile is a microwave oven for anyone looking for a cooking solution that goes well beyond the basics. The GE Profile wouldn’t be considered a cheap microwave by any means but sometimes you get what you pay for.
The higher price tag on this model comes with a long list of great features while adding a sense of style to your kitchen at the same time. The materials used in this microwave’s construction provide a premium look and feel, but the design adds a lot too. Instead of being bulky and boxy, the GE Profile has a wider…, well, profile. The wider shape makes this a perfect option for hanging under cabinets to save counterspace or building straight into the cabinetry to give a more finished look to your kitchen. Of course, this microwave would look good sitting on top of the countertop as well.
While cooking, the GE Profile brings all kinds of benefits to its lucky owners. One of our favorites is the ability for automated cooking. Using the Sensor Cooking Controls provided, all that you need to do to cook a perfect meal is to put the food in and activate the setting. The GE Profile will read the steam levels that are given off during the cooking process and make all the necessary changes to ensure optimal cooking. Another fantastic feature is the smart defrost setting which understand how much time and power are needed based on the weight of the frozen food.
At 1300 watts, 10 separate power settings, a turntable that can be turned on and off, there isn’t a meal that this microwave oven can’t handle. When you combine the looks, the build quality, the settings and features, and the flexibility to install the GE Profile pretty much wherever you want, you can see why we have included it on our list.
- Very quiet
- Good-looking wide design in an attractive color scheme
- Can be hung, mounted, installed into cabinets, and placed onto a countertop
- Requires additional hardware and trim to install in some cabinets
- Wattage 800W
- Capacity 1.1 cu. ft.
- Dimensions 26.5 x 15.7 x 14.3 in
- Weight 33lbs.
- Material Stainless Steel
When it comes to household products, the name Samsung comes up time and time again. There is good reason for that, too. The Korean tech company is leaps and bounds ahead of most of their competition when it comes to their kitchen appliances in both aesthetics and functionality. This Samsung microwave made it onto our list because many would consider it to be the best countertop microwave.
At first glance, this microwave oven has a design that is elegant and futuristic at the same time. The front looks like a television panel thanks to the dark glass and the buttons off to the side are clear and bright making it easy to operate this microwave. A look inside, though, is where you’ll really be surprised. The entire interior is made from a ceramic enamel that not only looks awesome but is also durable and easy to clean. No matter what kind of mess you make in this microwave, cleanup is never a chore.
This Samsung microwave is more than just good looks, though. The Triple Distribution System, for example, helps circulate microwaves throughout the oven to provide an evenly cooked meal every time. Another one of our favorite features found in this microwave may not be exclusive to Samsung but what the company has done with their version of Sensor Cook has been true to their name. No matter what you put in, the microwave will figure out how to cook it to perfection, every time. In case you don’t always want to use the automatic cooking mode, you’ll find plenty of presets for your favorite dishes so you’ll never have to power through an overcooked meal.
This would be a great microwave for almost everyone, but best for anyone inclined toward the Samsung style. This is a dark microwave that sacrifices a bit of visibility for style and would look especially striking next to other dark appliances.
- Non-stick ceramic interior in very easy to clean
- Sensor cooking is accurate
- Dark front glass hinders viewing cooking food
- Wattage 1000W
- Capacity 1.4 cu. ft.
- Dimensions 21.8 x 18.6 x 12.3 in
- Weight 37.5lbs.
- Material Stainless-Steel
We’ve already seen some really good options for microwave ovens to choose from, and as you can see, they’re all good in their own ways. Coming in at number eight we have the Westinghouse countertop microwave oven, and it has some nice features as well. In fact, this microwave oven has most of the advanced features found in larger models but wraps it all up into a very compact package. Small enough for a dorm room, break room, small kitchen, or any other cooking space with limited real estate, this countertop microwave oven will deliver solid cooking performance just about anywhere.
None of the features found in the Westinghouse are unique to this microwave oven but there are definitely enough modes and presets to turn your cooking tasks into stress-free affairs. For starters, there are 10 separate cooking power levels which essentially break down the 700 W available into multiples of 10%. You don’t really need to figure out which power setting is best for the types of foods you like, however, because there are six presets designed for particular foods that are often cooked or heated up in a microwave oven. Whether you’re looking to reheat last night’s pizza, make some more milk for your kids, cook a frozen dinner, or defrost food that you’ve taken out of the deep freezer, they can all be done with a simple of a single button. The defrosting mode could actually be seen as a unique feature. At least, a feature that we don’t see in every other model. What’s special about the defroster on this countertop microwave oven is that it is set to defrost very quickly.
The Westinghouse countertop microwave also has a child lock, so you don’t have to worry about your kids are getting into. The safety features combined with the low power usage and small footprint make this an obvious choice for anyone looking for a microwave that doesn’t have a huge amount of space to put it. The microwave also looks nice which is an added bonus.
- Small footprint
- Low power consumption
- Speed defrost mode
- Accurate presets
- May not have enough power for heavy use
- May not be large enough for families
- Wattage 700 Watt
- Capacity 0.7 cu. Ft.
- Dimensions 14.06 x 17.81 x 10.31 in
- Weight 23.1lbs.
- Material Stainless Steel
At number nine on our list, the Emerson Griller is unique in many ways. As a contender for best countertop microwave 2021, this offering from Emerson is bound to rank highly in 2022as well. Apart from having all the usual features that we’ve come to expect from good-quality microwave ovens, the Emerson Griller also has a toasting mechanism built in to give you more variety the types of food you can cook. This countertop microwave convection oven combo is large, coming in at 1.2 ft.³ of space on the interior powered by 1100 W.
For its job as a microwave, the Emerson Griller comes with a speed cooking setting which help get you out of the pinch when people need to be fed, 11 separate power levels to choose from so that you never have to worry about overcooking or drying out your food, an automatic defroster that knows how much time and power is required based on the weight of food that you put in, and a child lock to avoid any unnecessary problems. There is also a handy kitchen timer to help you keep everything under control in the kitchen. Another great feature that comes with this countertop microwave oven are the presets that seem to be perfectly tuned to whatever you happen to be cooking.
What really makes this microwave special, however, is that it’s also a countertop convection microwave. It isn’t every day that you see a cooking appliance that can handle cooking tasks that would normally require two different machines. The Emerson Griller is a microwave and a toaster oven all wrapped up into one. The strong metal body and large size of this microwave/griller combo is perfectly suited to whatever grilling task you have in mind. There’s also a ventilation fan built-in to ensure users safety and optimal flavor and foods that you cook. The people who would benefit most from the Emerson Griller are those with enough space for a large microwave who have their eye on convenience and who like to cook a variety of foods in many different ways. If you can imagine defrosting a frozen turkey in your microwave oven and then simply switching over to grill mode to cook it, you can understand just how convenient this offering could be for you.
- Integrated griller
- Large size and plenty of power
- Convenient and easy to use
- Child safety lock
- May be too large for smaller kitchens
- Is not suitable for built-in cabinets
- Wattage 1100W
- Capacity 1.2 cu. ft.
- Dimensions 20.59 x 17.28 x 12.8 in
- Weight 36lbs.
- Material Stainless Steel
Number 10 on our list is hOmelabs 1050. This microwave is great at pretty much everything it does. It has all the essential features that a microwave of this class should have, it is large enough for families, it has an attractive aesthetic, has plenty of power, and looks that would make it a good addition to any kitchen. One of the main reasons that we have included hOmelabs 1050on our list of best 22 microwaves is that it is one of the best on the list according to countertop microwave reviews found across the net. We read those reviews, noted the pros and cons mentioned, and tested it out for ourselves. To our surprise, all of the good things that people say about this microwave turned out to be true.
One of the most talked about benefits of owning this microwave is the fact that it has a large 1.3 ft.³ interior, while on the outside it still looks compact enough to fit into small to medium kitchens as well as large. The interior is definitely large enough to cook for a family, and the 10 power levels divided between the 1050 W on offer make this microwave perfectly suited to any type of cooking task.
The programming capabilities of hOmelabs 1050 are fairly standard but they all work well. There are as many as 11 cooking functions and seven preprogrammed modes popular dishes which are all designed to take the guesswork out of cooking whatever happens to be on the menu. The speedy cook and quick defrost settings also make short work of cooking tasks that usually take up a lot of your kitchen time. All in all, all these features work very well together to create a well-rounded cooking experience at a very fair price. hOmelabs 1050’s ability to remember your favorite dishes and settings improve on that experience even more, and if the safety of your household and concern the child lock is also an important feature.
- Clear preset buttons with icons
- Good programmability
- Quick touch settings
- Speed cook and quick defrost
- Isn’t the quietest microwave in its class
- No kitchen timer
- Wattage 1,050W
- Capacity 1.3 cu. ft.
- Dimensions 20.4 x 16.8 x 12.4 in
- Weight 38lbs.
- Material plastic with stainless steel handle
Danby Designer is a microwave that is both good looking and feature rich. It is also one of the least expensive options on our list making this a great option for anyone on a budget or for anyone looking for an inexpensive model for use in a breakroom or small office. Design-wise, the Danby Designer could fit in anywhere thanks to the black stainless-steel body complimented by a silver-colored handle and bands on the top and bottom of the face. For a budget option, the appearance of this microwave is surprisingly premium.
700 W doesn’t seem like much power for a microwave and it’s quite a bit lower than a lot of the others on our list of best 22 microwaves, but for one that has a 0.7 cubic ft. interior, it is more than enough to get the job done. To find the best cooking temps, there are 10 different power settings to choose from as well as 6 different presets for foods like popcorn, frozen dinners, potatoes, and other popular dishes.
Another thing that this microwave has going for it is how simple it is to use. The large buttons in clear, high-contrast coloring, along with the bright LED display, make this a great choice for anyone not interested in trying to figure out a complex appliance or for anyone who cannot easily see buttons with small print. The Darby Designer microwave is also great for anyone in need of a simple cooking solution that doesn’t take up too much space.
- Moderate noise makes for a good solution for smaller spaces
- Easy to clean
- Powerful for the size
- Defrost is very effective
- Front glass is not as durable as some others
- Dots on the window make viewing food while it cooks difficult
- Wattage 700 W
- Capacity 0.7 cu. ft.
- Dimensions 14 x 17.3 x 10.1 in
- Weight 22.5lbs.
- Material Stainless Steel
If you have been reading this list wondering we were going to include anything unusual, you have finally found it. The Nostalgia small countertop microwave is about as unique as it gets when it comes to microwave ovens. As you might guess from the name, Nostalgia will take you and your kitchen back to the 1950s with its retro design and chrome trim. Nostalgia is a small countertop microwave, but it isn’t so small that it becomes inconvenient in any way. The interior space is 0.9 ft.³ which is more than enough room to eat plates and bowls of various sizes.
Apart from the nostalgic look and feel of this microwave oven, the way you interact with it is also quite different than anything else on the market. Staying true to the retro appliances that this microwave is modeled after, Nostalgia uses a dial and a few simple buttons to handle all of the complex, modern cooking modes that are built into this microwave oven. It might take a little bit of getting used to, but it really isn’t all that complicated. In fact, it’s quite fun to go through the modes using a dial as it adds to the nostalgic ambience that this microwave was built to provide.
Above the dial is around digital screen illuminated with an LED light. In the center there is a clock that is surrounded by icons meant to identify the various settings and cooking modes. When a particular setting is chosen the corresponding icon in the clock area lights up, and to cycle through power levels, cooking presets, the express cooking mode, child safety functions, and more, turning the dial is all it takes.
If you’re into classic cars 50s and 60s, or any part of the classic American diner culture, you’ll be thrilled to have Nostalgia in your home. It’s a small microwave with big power and plenty of settings, and it’s overflowing with style.
- Style that is truly unique in the world of microwave ovens
- Lots of power and settings to make meal times a breeze
- Spacious interior for a compact microwave
- Unique controls require getting used to
- Wattage 800 W
- Capacity 0,9 cu. ft.
- Dimensions 19 x 15 x 11 in
- Weight 30.7lbs.
- Material Aluminum
Next up, we have the ConvectionWorks Hi-Q Intelligent Oven. While not exactly a microwave oven, this convection oven made it onto our list because it provides the same level of convenience that a good microwave would. It might not be as fast as a microwave starting from the very beginning of the cooking process, but once this oven heats up it has the power to turn out large quantities of perfectly cooked food. The ConvectionWorks Hi-Q Intelligent Oven is definitely not a small kitchen appliance with its 1500 W of power and 36-liter capacity and can easily handle some of your toughest cooking jobs. This oven can be used as a simple toaster oven, a convection oven, or a rotisserie, giving you plenty of options.
For a convection oven, ConvectionWorks Hi-Q Intelligent Oven is more feature packed than you might expect. To start with, the HI-Q Intelligent processor unit and LED screen make short work of meals of all types. There are ten different power settings to choose from, temp and time can be set manually, and for anyone looking to bring the ultimate in cooking convenience into their lives the HI-Q system can also automatically set the cooking time and temp depending the type of food that you are cooking.
The rotisserie feature is also a good reason to consider this oven. Included in the 10 accessories that come with ConvectionWorks Hi-Q Intelligent Oven, the rotisserie spit and rods can easily be installed whenever poultry is on the menu. Also included are silicone pot holders, a crumb tray, a wire rack for toast and other similar foods, a bamboo cutting board and a baking pan. This oven is deep enough to fit large baking trays and up to 9 standard-sized pieces of toast, as well, making this a great option for anyone looking to cook for several people.
Whether you are looking to enhance the cooking potential that you already have, or you are looking for a dedicated oven for all your cooking needs, the ConvectionWorks Hi-Q Intelligent Oven certainly worth considering.
- Rotisserie option is convenient
- Included accessories are good quality
- Intelligent cooking modes are accurate
- Cooks food quickly
- Needs plenty of space for ventilation
- You should wait until oven is warm before starting presets
- Wattage 1500 W
- Capacity 36L
- Dimensions 14.1 x 14.6 x 10.6 in
- Weight 22.5lbs.
- Material Stainless Steel
Another very capable convection oven for our list comes in at number 14. The Gourmia Professional Convection Oven is built to facilitate heavy duty cooking jobs in both the home environment and professional kitchens alike. This convection oven is quite large with an interior of 1.5 ft.³ and is powered with an impressive 1700 W. Whether your goal is to cook the perfect roast, take advantage of the rotisserie feature, broil your favorite veggies to complement your next family dinner, or bake several racks of your favorite cookies, you can do pretty much anything you like in this convection oven.
This all-in-one solution is surprisingly convenient and easy to use, with attachments sliding in and out of the spacious interior effortlessly. Seeing as how this oven is meant for both home and professional use, it’s no surprise that you’ll find a temperature range similar to that on a traditional oven. No matter what it is that you’re trying to bake, broil, or roast, you’ll find the perfect temperature sitting somewhere between the available hundred and 150° to 500° which can be set either manually or automatically through one of the cooking modes.
Apart from excelling at all the various oven tasks that this convection oven was built for, it can also combine various functions through its multimode feature. If you can’t decide whether you need to bake, broil, start up the rotisserie, or roast, have no fear because you can easily combine various modes to create a more functional cooking environment. While you might not want to bake your grandmother’s chocolate chip cookie recipe wire roasting a turkey for obvious reasons, you certainly could if you wanted to. A more realistic choice might include broiling your favorite meat on one temperature setting while baking potatoes on another.
This convection oven is easy to use and comes with plenty of accessories making cooking just about anything you can think of as simple as it would be in a conventional oven. If you’ve got the room for a convection oven of this size and lots of hungry mouths to feed, the Gourmia Professional is a safe bet.
- Lots of power and space
- Professional features in the comfort of your home
- Convection oven fans are not quiet
- Wattage 1700 W
- Capacity 1.5 cu. ft.
- Dimensions 26.8 x 18.2 x 23.2 in
- Weight 40 lbs.
- Material Stainless Steel
Here at number 15 we have another microwave from Samsung. This time, however, where raising the bar. Samsung is known for its high-tech home solutions in this microwave/griller combo is a perfect example of what the company is great at. Whether you are looking for a microwave oven countertop solution where a microwave that comes with the grill function for added versatility you are bound to be happy with this model from Samsung. Combining an awesome feature set with even better looks we could see this microwave ending up in custom-designed kitchens throughout the world. The understated, yet elegant appearance not only make it easy for this microwave to fit in just about anywhere, but it is a statement in itself as well.
As you would expect from a modern microwave of this caliber, there are many smart cook options to make your life easier, as well as presets designed to cook popular foods perfectly, and plenty of power levels to choose from should you want to go with the manual approach. For the auto modes, there are options for how to reheat, how to cook, and auto defrost. Choosing any one of the three can be done with a simple press of a button and tells the microwave to read the food while it’s cooking and adjust itself accordingly. All of the auto modes utilize combinations of the 10 available power settings, and users also have full access to the available power settings.
The main selling point for this microwave, apart from the great-looking design choices that went into it, is the fact that it is not only a microwave. The top grill can be activated at any time to give food a crispier texture. As if they could make microwaves any more convenient, this microwave makes it possible to handle a variety of tasks with just one machine. Do you like pizza as much as we do? With a microwave like this you can throw in a frozen pizza, activate the auto defrost function, and then finish it off with the grilling element.
- Microwave and grill in one convenient appliance
- Simple to use
- Looks great
- Mirror finish may collect fingerprints
- Wattage 950 W
- Capacity 1.4 cu. ft.
- Dimensions 18.1 x 21.9 x 12.3 in
- Weight 41.9 lbs.
- Material Stainless-Steel
The Hamilton Beech stainless steel countertop microwave is a great option for anyone looking for a quality product that is neither complex or expensive. This microwave is one of the most cost effective on our list, but you would never know that by looking at it. The clean lines, black body, and shiny red trim give this microwave surprisingly premium feel. The buttons and menu are also clearly displayed and well-spaced adding to the convenience and simplicity that you would expect from a microwave and this class.
The Hamilton Beech 900 is a compact microwave that will easily fit into kitchens of any size. It’ll fit into a dorm room, break room, and possibly even an RV or motorhome depending on the make and model. Despite its compact size, however, there is a surprising amount of space on the inside allowing plenty of room for full-size dinner plates which means you’ll never have to worry about transferring food from plate to plate just to warm it up. Anyone who has had to deal with transferring food from dish to dish just so that they could fit inside of their small microwave would be able to tell you how nice it is for a compact microwave not to be too small.
For its size, the 900 W seems to be plenty powerful enough for everyday use and there are all of the standard features available to make your cooking tasks that much easier. Whether you want to use the express cook settings or one of the six presets for foods like baked potatoes, frozen dinners, popcorn, and leftovers, you’ll be able to make short work out of meal you have in mind. You can also choose between several power levels and defrost frozen food based on both time or weight. For such an inexpensive microwave, this product is a perfect choice for most uses and cooking styles.
- Accurate cooking modes
- Stylish and compact
- Child lock
- Wattage 900 W
- Capacity 0.9 cu. ft.
- Dimensions 17.3 x 14 x 10.1 in.
- Weight 21.9 lbs.
- Material Plastic and Stainless Steel
The GE countertop microwave is another solution for anyone looking for a good quality countertop microwave with plenty of features in a compact size. This microwave was made for smaller kitchens with limited space available, but GE clearly didn’t want to skimp on any of the great features that their microwave line is known for. Like many other GE models, this microwave comes with features like the ability to add 30 seconds to your cooking time while the microwave is running, defrost settings which come in both auto and manual modes, a child lock feature, express cook settings, a kitchen timer, and much more. There are also 10 different power level settings that allow you to break up the 700 available watts into multiples of 10%.
If you are worried about clearing up some microwave countertop space, you won’t have to designate much for this model as it is a midsize microwave that doesn’t take up space. While it isn’t suitable for mounting or building into cabinets, this countertop microwave does fit quite closely to whatever you put it next to allowing it to blend in to almost any kitchen space. The grey and black color scheme also helps this GE offering fit into a variety of different kitchen styles and it never looks out of place.
Whether you are looking into this model for GE’s excellent reputation for making quality kitchen appliances or you’re simply looking for a dependable, compact microwave with all the features of its bigger brothers, the GE countertop microwave is always a good choice.
- Plenty of cooking modes available
- Looks great
- Removable turntable
- Compact size
- Cannot be installed into custom cabinetry
- Not large enough for families
For anyone looking for a super-compact microwave oven that will easily fit into a corner, number 18 on our list would fit the bill perfectly. The Whirlpool countertop microwave comes in a unique shape and size making it a great option for anyone looking for what it has to offer. If you have limited countertop space and could benefit from being able to dedicate a small corner of your countertop to your microwaving needs, the rounded back on this model brings that possible.
Surprisingly, despite its small size, full dinner plates can fit inside of the 0.5 cubic feet space which adds yet another layer of convenience. In fact, when compared to many other small microwaves, this offering from Whirlpool is even more spacious and comes with a larger turntable. So, when we say, ‘full size’, we’re talking plates as large as 11 inches in diameter.
As far as features are concerned, this 700-watt countertop microwave from Whirlpool comes with a fair few. Given that this microwave oven was designed to be functional without trying to take center stage, it is fitting that the controls (which happen to be a breeze to clean) can be disabled to avoid unwanted key presses, as well as curious children. Other features include the ability to choose between ten different power levels for times when manual modes are best, the ability to add either 30 or 60 seconds to your cooking time, and several presets designed to take the thinking out of cooking common meal types.
- Perfect for corners and small counter space
- Fits a full-size dinner plate
- Unique design looks great
- Rock-solid performance
- Product shape may not be for everyone
- Wattage 750 W
- Capacity 0.5 cu. ft.
- Dimensions 13.75 x 15.38 x 14.13 in
- Weight 36 lbs.
- Material Stainless Steel
As one of the largest countertop microwaves on our list, the LG NeoChef is a serious cooking appliance for being a consumer-grade microwave oven. With an interior space of 2.0 cu. ft., this countertop microwave would be the perfect solution for families and for anyone else who makes a habit of entertaining guests. All the interior space can be used for either large dishes or several bowls, cups, or plates at the same time cutting meal preparation time down considerably. The 1,350 watts of available power that the LG NeoChef comes with is also above most other oven in this class which means food and beverages cook faster in this microwave oven than in most others.
For a microwave of this size it is important that it has all the features you would need to cook everything that you can put into it, and luckily, the NeoChef delivers quite nicely. You’ll find a button to automatically add 30 seconds of cooking time to any running cooking program, sensor cooking and defrosting modes, a preset for popcorn, and the ability to choose between 10 different power levels. Another great feature is the non-stick surface making cleaning extremely easy.
Another thing that’s important for an appliance large enough to dominate the countertop that it sits on is how it looks. An appliance like this doesn’t just blend in with all the other pieces of equipment that you have, and it should look good enough to improve the appearance of the entire kitchen. The LG NeoChef certainly doesn’t disappoint in the aesthetics department. It has a beautiful black glass and dark grey brushed stainless-steel finish that is sleek and modern, while being understated at the same time.
- Easily accommodates family-sized meals
- Too large for some countertops
- Wattage 1350 W
- Capacity 2.0 cu. ft.
- Dimensions 24 x 19 x 14 in
- Weight 41 lbs.
- Material Stainless Steel
Looking at our list of microwave options, you have probably already noticed that many of the most popular units are not necessarily the most complex. The best on the list are also not always the most stylish or smallest or largest. What makes for a great microwave is how well it does what it promises to do, no matter how many extras it features, and this one-cubic-foot, 1000-watt microwave oven fits right in among the best. The Sharp Commercial Microwave Oven is one of the better units on the list while also being one of the simplest. Its mission is to be a great microwave and that is where it excels.
The basic usability of this commercial microwave is one of the best selling points for it. Instead of having a menu of buttons displaying the power level settings, auto and sensor modes, presets, timer, and all the other common features, this microwave oven has an easy-to-use dial. Above the dial there is a quick-start guide with guidance on which settings to choose for different purposes, and the dial itself couldn’t be any easier to operate.
The large interior and powerful wattage supplied by this commercial microwave make planning your meal preparation a thing of beauty. There is no turntable which clears up space for more food and you never have to worry about food being cooked unevenly thanks to the fact that the magnetrons themselves rotate around the food providing surprisingly even results every time. It should be said that this microwave has no other job but to microwave. There are no power level settings or auto modes. Nor are there any presets. You get a powerful microwave that operates within a 6-minute window, but that window is more than enough for almost everything we have thrown at it. If you are looking for a rock-solid microwave that heats food well, the Sharp Commercial microwave oven is a smart choice.
- Commercial design and functionality
- Easy operation
- Heating time guide included
- Plenty of power
- No turntable (although it does well without one)
- Lacks some of the premium features found on other products
- Wattage 1000 W
- Capacity 1.0 cu. ft.
- Dimensions 21 x 16 x 12 in
- Weight 37 lbs.
- Material Stainless Steel
Here, at number 21 on the list, we have the Avanti countertop microwave. When you first begin to read through the specs offered by the Avanti microwave we’re covering here, this microwave may seem like standard fare with 1.1 ft.³ of interior space, the thousand watts of cooking power that can be divided into 10 separate power settings, all the usual presets and special functions, and the kitchen countdown timer to help you manage your time in the kitchen. Actually seeing this microwave begins to paint a different picture, however.
Without a doubt, this countertop microwave oven is a solid choice for all of your cooking needs but the smooth lines, crisp edges, towel holder style door handle, and mirror finish covering the entire surface of the door, make this microwave shine unlike any other. We’ve come across mirror finishes on microwaves before (there are even some on this list), but nothing quite so reflective as this offering from Avanti. The mirror finish coupled with the shiny stainless-steel body and trim work with the looks of this microwave oven into a class of its own. If your kitchen features a lot of stainless-steel, opting for the Avanti countertop microwave would be a no-brainer as it would fit right in.
If you are looking for a fully capable microwave oven that is both large enough and powerful enough to handle every dish you plan to heat in it, but one that is dedicated to helping you keep your kitchen looking its best as well, the Avanti certainly takes all the boxes.
- Impressive silver mirror finish
- Plenty of room and power
- Wattage 1000 W
- Capacity 1.1 cu. ft.
- Dimensions 17.25 x 21.25 x 11.75 in
- Weight: 36lbs.
- Material Stainless Steel
If you are looking for a good-quality, family-sized microwave oven that comes with all the bells and whistles, the Bella 1000-watt countertop microwave is a great choice. The stainless-steel body gives the microwave a strong presence in any kitchen but doesn’t sway from being both family-friendly and just plain convenient. The button interface features an alternating color scheme to make finding and selecting the correct settings for your meals as simple as possible
Settings include the timed cooking mode, the power level selector, the clock, time defrost, weight defrost, and the kitchen timer. Preset modes are also available for popular items such as frozen vegetables, potatoes, Dinner plates, and more. Express Cook settings are also found here, as are the child lock, the ‘add 30 seconds’ button, and the memory function.
Space is never an issue with this unit since the large, 1.1 ft.³ interior is plenty large enough to handle most medium-sized to large cooking dishes. With a turntable measuring 12.4 inches it’s safe to say that you’ll never find yourself looking for another plate or container to transfer your food to before heating it up.
Maintenance is another area where the Bella countertop microwave excels. The clean, flush front with pushbutton door release mechanism makes for an easy surface to wipe down while cleaning your kitchen. The interior is also easy to clean as it is smooth and simple. The large glass turntable tray can easily be removed and washed in the dishwasher, as well, adding to the convenience of easy maintenance.
- Suitable for families
- Good-looking design
- Lots of power and control
- May be too large for some kitchens
- Wattage 1000 W
- Capacity 1.1 cu. ft.
- Dimensions 15.1 x 20.2 x 12 in
- Weight 33.7 lbs.
- Material Stainless Steel
What to look for when buying a countertop microwave oven?
If you made it to this point of our buyers’ guide for the best 22 microwaves available, you already know that there is a vast difference in all of the different options available. With so much choice, it’s hard to know what exactly you should look for when buying a countertop microwave oven.
Not everybody is going to use their microwave in the same way, with some people using it once or twice a week to thaw out some frozen veggies and others using it three times a day for various reasons. Depending on how you plan on using your microwave, you want to check out the features available. Some ovens come with fast cook modes that let you heat up plates of leftovers and frozen dinners within a minute or less, some offer fasts defrost settings promising not to cook the food as it thaws out your meal, and still others come with sensors that allow the microwave to cook foods automatically, adjusting the time and he levels based on how the food is reacting to the cooking cycle. As you can see, there is a lot to look out for.
Added to the intended workload that you have for your new microwave you also have to think about the space available. If you’re putting your microwave oven in an office setting or break room, you will need a very different style microwave than if you are planning to install one into your cabinetry in your custom kitchen. Microwaves come in all shapes and sizes, with some being as small as half a square foot and others being four times that size. Choosing the microwave that fits the space that you have planned for it will go a long way in your satisfaction the product that you choose.
Other aspects that you’re going to need to look out for, of course, are how much power the microwave oven uses to do its thing, how many different power settings there are, whether there are good preset modes, if the microwave oven is programmable, and much more.
Most good microwave ovens will come with several features as standard. Child safety locks, for example, are pretty common, as are advanced reheating and defrosting modes, presets for commonly cooked meals such as pizza, popcorn, fish, TV dinners, etc. With so many features found throughout the world of microwaves, though, it’s much less common to find one microwave with all the features. If you find one that promises to do it all you want to look at the price tag. An inexpensive microwave oven trying to do too much often does a lot of things poorly, well the premium options can sometimes master the Jack-of-all-trades approach.
Read on to learn more about all of the things you should consider before buying a microwave oven.
When it comes to power, all you need to do is look out for the wattage. It’s a very important piece of the puzzle and trying to find the right microwave for you which is why the power provided by the microwave is always on display, front and center. A mid-level microwave offering average power sit somewhere between 800-900 watts. Less than that, you are starting to go into small countertop microwave territory which are often bought for spaces like office break rooms, dorms, and other especially small cooking spaces. Microwave ovens that are 1000 watts or more tend to be in kitchens with more space, and also in kitchens where heavier use is expected.
You always want to pay attention to how many different power level settings there are, as some microwave ovens come with five power settings, some of seven or eight, and some with 10. However many are provided, each power level setting can be seen as a percentage of the overall power capabilities of the unit. So, if 1000-watt microwave has 10 power settings, the first will be 10%, the second 20%, the third 30%, and so on.
Understanding the power levels is very important and usually means the difference between using a microwave properly and unnecessarily ruining all your meals. Generally speaking, the more power levels you have at your fingertips the more control you will have over the end results of the food you are cooking. Every different type of food requires a different amount of heat to cook and sometimes one meal can be made up of various ingredients all requiring different power settings.
Anything high in fat, for example, will burn very quickly on high settings but fat often comes on foods that require high temperatures to cook properly. The solution? Depending on what you are cooking, a combination of power settings and specific times designated for each often does the trick. In fact, many of the presets that microwave ovens come with take those details into consideration.
The features offered by all the various microwave oven manufacturers are where your choices start to get a little bit tricky. They all promise to make your life easier and then back that promise up with a suite of features that generally look pretty good at first glance. To be fair, they usually are quite good but it’s in the combination of features that a particular microwave oven offers that you should look for.
Thinking about all the possible features that you come across while searching for that perfect microwave, the first thing that comes to mind is the cooking sensor. Many manufacturers come with one version or another and the main job of the cooking sensor is to automatically adjust cooking times and power settings to coincide with how well the food is cooking.
Using this mode as often as simple as selecting the cooking sensor mode, entering in the weight and type of food, and pushing the start button. As the food is cooking the microwave senses the cooking progress based on the amount of steam coming from the food and is able to decide when your meal is cooked to perfection.
The cooking sensor is a great when it works but watch out for microwave ovens that sport poorly-reviewed cooking sensors as they are more than likely just an extra thing to spend money on that you will probably never use.
Using the presets on a microwave might seem like a no-brainer but it does require you to think about what’s going on in order to tell if the presets are doing what they say they’re going to do. Often, presets are set up in labs with little real-world testing and do not optimally cook the dishes they intend to. Have you ever thrown a bag of popcorn into a microwave, selected the popcorn preset button, and then found that half the kernels in the bag were unpopped? Well, you wouldn’t be alone if you had.
How presets work is an important question. Basically, the preset buttons are preprogrammed for theoretical best cooking times and power levels for specific types of food. Pushing the defrost button tells the microwaves processor to adjust the intensity of the magnetron which is where the heat comes from. You’ll notice that all of the preset buttons are for foods ranging in power intensity requirements, going from popcorn and steamed vegetables all the way up to frozen meats. For each preset, more power is provided at a more constant rate.
Here at Men’s Gear, we enjoy using technology to the fullest. That’s why we think that no matter what microwave you buy you should try out all of the presets to see how they work. If any of the presets don’t quite meet your standards, it isn’t very difficult to figure out which power settings to use to get the job done right.
Speed-cook, auto defrost, and time adjustments
The speed-cook setting is pretty common and can add to the convenience of your microwave oven. It usually comes as one of the ‘extras’ buttons and is pretty much self-explanatory. Its purpose is to quickly cook foods at high power settings for short amounts of time. It’s a good setting for heating up leftovers as well as hot drinks and soup.
A lot of microwaves come with clever defrost settings as well. If you spend a lot of time defrosting food as part of your prep work before cooking, this might be a feature to look out for. Some microwaves come with defrost modes that work in a similar way to the sensor cook feature in that it takes information from the food and responds accordingly. The best defroster is on the market can thaw large quantities of food without cooking it. Be wary of cheaper microwaves making big claims about their defrost capabilities.
Also handy, are time addition buttons that allow you to add different amounts of time (usually 30 seconds to a minute) to your cooking program without having to stop the process. This is especially useful when you can easily see that your food will need more time through the viewing window while it’s cooking.
Design, material, and color
When buying a microwave you have a lot of choice when it comes to the design, the material that is constructed from, and the color scheme. Once you’ve narrowed down your list to just a few microwave ovens that have all of the features that you want and need, you should consider the pros and cons of the various build styles.
When choosing a design, there are a lot of options. Some are designed to sit on countertops, some are intended to be installed into cabinetry, and some are meant to mounted under the cabinets to save counterspace. Depending on the space that the microwave is designed for will tell you a lot about how it operates. Microwaves meant for installation in cabinets usually require less room for ventilation, for example. While microwaves meant for countertops are generally bulkier. Needless to say, it’s a good idea to figure out where you want to put your new microwave before you decide on which one to buy.
The material is also important to think about. Most microwaves are made from a combination of plastics and stainless steel, with some having more or less of either, but you’ll also find microwaves made of aluminum as well. Your material choices affect two main things which are aesthetics and weight.
Stainless steel and aluminum often have very premium aesthetics but come with some added heft that makes them more difficult to hang on cabinetry. Metals are also more durable and less likely to scratch making them good options for long-term use. Plastic, on the other hand, is cheaper and lighter making it a more suitable option for some.
Materials that you choose also makes your color selection a little easier. If you’re looking for assignee or brushed steel look for your kitchen, the obvious choice is to go with stainless steel or aluminum. If you’re looking for vibrant color or something to fit a specific color scheme, plastic microwaves often come with a wider variety of color choices.
Another aspect of microwave ovens that should to be taken into consideration is which type of microwave are you looking for. As the type of microwave that you choose will be directly linked to the kind of cooking that you do, it’s crucial that you get the right tool for the job.
One of the most common types of microwaves is the countertop microwave which is simply a microwave built to sit on top of the counter. There are also microwaves built to be above the range, under and built into the cabinets, installed under counters, as well as microwaves with convection ovens and microwaves with grill functionality. All of these different types of microwave ovens come in a variety of styles and kinds and each category has a few models that are at the top of the food chain.
So, there you have it. We’re winding down our buyers guide a list of best 22 microwaves 2021 has to offer with a final word on what to expect when shopping for a microwave. As you can see from our different most of the microwaves on our list are from each other, there really is no ‘best’ microwave. Your choice comes down to what you need and want in terms of functionality and looks.
The options available to you include small microwaves best suited to one or two people, family-sized microwaves, industrial units, microwave/convection oven hybrids, microwave/grill hybrids, and more. Some are quite simple in terms of what they offer feature-wise while others are pushing the boundaries of what is expected from a microwave oven.
Whatever style are type you decide is best for you, you can be sure that there is a perfect option out there for you. Maybe it’s even here on our list. Many of our favorites also come in various colors and sizes so feel free to use the products on our list as steppingstones leading to your perfect choice.