I’m sure you’ve found yourself reheating last night’s dinner on more occasions than you would like to admit. It’s a reality for many of us that between our busy schedules of running back and forth to work, school, the gym, or whatever we find ourselves doing in the day, our limited plans don’t allow much time for cooking every day. As a result of our hectic lives, we’ve come to rely almost on our microwaves to deliver us that quick hot piping meal no matter what. So what’s the best microwave when it comes to heating your food quickly? We’ve gone through the range of microwave reviews and standard microwave oven reviews to find the top 10 best microwaves available today. In addition, we have included a handy buyer’s guide to help you know what to look for when buying a microwave. Unfamiliar with the brands, take a look below for a quick overview.
Whether you’re switching out your microwave for a more efficient one, compact or buying one for the first time, we’ve got a selection that offers something for everyone.
The companies that come to mind when you hear the word microwave are most likely Panasonic, Kenmore, Samsung, LG, Sharp and Hamilton Beach, to name a few, but what about the others that are just as good if not better? Here are a few of the top, lesser glorified brands that are worth checking out.
They are going by the tagline of ‘Life Essentials. Thoughtful Support. All Under One Roof’ really does exemplify what HOmeLabs is all about—offering a small variety of kitchen and home products, this brand nails it when manufacturing products that provide solutions to homeware woes. Thanks to their small product line, they can offer the highest quality and consistently reevaluate their current lines and note improvements for future products. If you don’t yet own a HOmeLabs appliance, we’d highly suggest checking them out; they’re a perfect option for the budget-savvy shopper.
A company with over a century of experience manufacturing products with the intent to make life easier. Westinghouse is more than well established but not as well known as you’d think. Their superior-high-quality products coupled with incredible customer service and consistency throughout the years make them one of the best manufactures for home, electronics, lighting, and power. They are a market leader in innovations you can trust.
It’s not until we see the logo of RCA that we recognize the iconic brand. Known for its entertainment electronics, this brand has been around for roughly 90 years and is a valid symbol of American Integrity. Their tagline of ‘Made for Moments’ helps define the brand as a common household name that has all your homeware needs covered.
Top 10 Best Microwaves – Breakdown of Core Features
|Specs/Design Power (Watts)
Outside Oven Dimensions (HxWxD)
Inside Oven Dimensions (HxWxD)
|Type of Microwave Countertop
Over The Range
|Price Under $100-$ Under $200 -$
Outside D: 14 x 23.8 x 19.4
Oven D: 10.9 x 18.4 x 18.5 Countertop Price
Material: Stainless Steel
Outside D: Not Listed
Oven D: 12.4 x 20.4 x 16.8 Countertop Price
Material: Stainless Steel
Outside D: 11.1 x 19 x 15.2
Oven D: Not Listed Countertop Rotary Price
Outside D: 12.2 x 20.7 x 15.8
Oven D: Not Listed Countertop/Built-in Price
Material: Stainless Steel Outside D: 13.6 x 23.9 x 19.2
Oven D: 11.2 x 18.1 x 16.1 Countertop Price
Material: Stainless Steel
Outside D: 10.9 x 19 x 15.5
Oven D: 5.5 x 11.5 x 10 Countertop Price
Material: Stainless Steel
Outside D: 11 x 19.2 x 14.8
Oven D: 8.1 x 12.4 x 13.9 Countertop Price
Material: Stainless Steel
Outside D: 12 x 20.2 x 16.9
Oven D: 9.1 x 14.5 x 13.9 Countertop Price
Outside D: 11.5 x 19.1 x 15.4
Oven D: Not Listed Countertop Price
Outside D: 10.6 x 17.6 x 12.7
Oven D: Not Listed Retro Countertop Price
The Top 10 Best Microwave Reviews!
We are introducing our pick for the #1 overall best microwave available today. The 2.2 CuFt black countertop unit isn’t only our favorite; labelled as an Amazon’s Choice item, the Panasonic NN-SN936B comes in at the top of countless Amazon microwave reviews. User friendly, the unit has easy to work touch controls, 14 pre-set auto cook settings, ten power levels, and is equipped with Inverter technology to help cook food faster and more evenly by distributing a continuous stream of power no matter the temperature setting. In addition, automatic one-touch Genius Sensors alter the energy and time required for cooking depending on the type of food you have in the microwave.
The Panasonic NN-SN936B does an incredible job at simmering delicate foods without overcooking. This is because the sizeable internal cooking surface with a 16.5’’ turntable has been designed to provide optimum space inside without increasing the unit’s external dimensions.
Reviews Rave: Huge interior – more significant than expected, Cooks evenly, Takes up minimal counter space, High powered.
Criticism: For those having to make returns, customer comments concluded, the support from Panasonic wasn’t the fastest, and many complained about having to go through multiple steps to get the information they were after. This shouldn’t be a deterrent, though; if you do have problems with your unit, we’d recommend contacting Amazon directly to sort out a replacement. In addition, their protocols are not as long and complicated as Panasonic and customers have only positive things to say when they’ve gone this route on a Panasonic return or exchange.
Another one of Amazon’s Choice items, this black, 1.3 CuFt, six qt capacity microwave, is an incredible buy; for the price, you’ll spend and what you get, value is the unit’s strong point. With ten power settings, 11 cooking functions and seven pre-programmed options, you really can cook anything in this hOmeLabs microwave. The LED display makes it easy to read, and the touch buttons with functions such as its pizza mode, defrost by weight or time, and speed cooking or reheat all provide highly customizable options.
The company provides a two-year warranty on this microwave which is a definite bonus should anything go wrong and you wish to return it.
Reviews Rave: If you master the settings, this microwave will be your favorite at properly heating any food you put inside.
Criticism: Not recommended for older individuals or anyone who has difficulty pressing firmly due to the pressure required on the buttons to activate them. Also, many reviewers comment that the unit is difficult to operate or has not done an excellent job cooking/reheating their foods. After analyzing numerous reviews, we’ve concluded that although their comments hold merit, it seems to be that they were not correctly using the settings while heating their item. If you have the patience to read the manual and take the time to understand how to use the settings, then we don’t believe you’ll have any problems. The only other criticism by microwave reviews was that the unit was louder than the typical microwaves.
You are looking for a no-fuss, no-frills microwave that works great and is easy to use? Westinghouse’s 0.9 CuFt countertop rotary microwave is an excellent option for anyone who wants to skip all the bells and whistles of a ‘fancy’ microwave but still wants top quality. With a small compact design, this unit is excellent for bachelor suites or studies. Coming with a 10.5-inch turntable, the internal capacity offers enough space for cooking or reheating meals for two. A 30 min timer ensures that you’ll never overset the time on your microwave, and six power levels offer options for cooking or reheating a variety of foods. One rotary dial controls the power, and the other, displayed in minutes, adjust the time.
Reviews Rave: The small unit consumes very little electricity making it a terrific energy-saving option. Older individuals love the rotary style operation and comment on how user-friendly it is. According to reviewers, the timer chime that notifies the user when the microwave has finished heating is also a more desirable sound, rather than the digital tone by many microwaves.
Criticism: There are none substantial to note by reviewers, The lack of power may be a downside for some; however, most people are delighted with their purchase.
Arguably a better microwave than the #1 in our list, also a Panasonic, this model is a smaller and lightweight version of the NN SN936B. It’s roughly half the size in CuFt as our #1, 1.2 CuFt and with a turntable slightly more petite, 13.4 inches across. However, the wattage is approximately the same, and the unit is considerably less weight than most. The other main difference between this version and our #1 is that this model is compatible with a cabinet trim kit. If you are interested in purchasing the equipment, you can search it under the model number NN-TK621SS. A much-loved feature of this microwave is its delay start and timer, allowing you to pre-set your microwave and head off on an errand if you so wish without having to worry.
Additional features/options include a membrane keypad, ten power levels, 14 pre-set auto cooking options, and five menu buttons. Another win of this fabulous unit is that it complies with the 2016 DOE environment standards meaning that it is a great energy efficient option for a microwave if that’s what you’re after.
Reviews Rave: Incredibly powerful for its size. Quality built, Long-lasting; many reviewers love the option to turn off the beeping sound! Customers also rave about the Inverter technology.
Criticism: It’s difficult to find criticism for this microwave; we have to be quite picky to come up with something. One of the minor things reviewers did reveal was they didn’t like that the door doesn’t swing entirely open when you press the button. Reviews commented that this was not a deal-breaker by any means however was worth noting.
Let this 2.0 CuFt, LG microwave do the thinking for you. The patented TrueCook Plus technology lets you enter a unique food code that tells your microwave the proper settings to cook your food for optimal results. Most food distributors have this unique food code written on their packaging. Another innovative technology that makes this model one of the best microwaves is its seven-option Sensor Cooking settings. Able to sense the humidity in the microwave, the unit automatically adjusts the cooking time and settings to ensure a perfect end product.
Additional features include an LED display, six auto pre-settings, EasyClean technology, and child lockout for safety.
Reviews Rave: Customers love the round internal cavity making the microwave easy to clean and even cooking.
Criticism: High price. Some users comment on having been sent a unit that failed after a few months. From what we’ve concluded, it seems like there was a batch of units that were shipped out, which had some manufacturer’s defects. Anyone who had identified themselves as having a poor quality unit could contact LG for a replacement without problems quickly.
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Remaining 5 in the Top 10 Best Microwave Reviews
Considerations Before Buying
After you’ve decided on your budget, you’ll want to take a look here at an essential consideration to keep in mind before buying a new microwave. First, remember that the best microwave’s function is to efficiently and effectively heat or cook your food to the optimum doneness; therefore, this should be your immediate concern before anything else.
Type of Microwave
The answer to this question will be determined by the amount of space you have in your kitchen. Smaller space kitchens, bachelor suites or studios would most likely accommodate a small countertop model; this is also the cheapest option to go with. However, if there is virtually no counter space, you may want to consider installing an over-the-range microwave. Another common type of microwave is a built-in which is often installed in the building of the property.
Capacity & Turntable
The best microwave for a mid-sized family will be one that is at a minimum of 1 CuFt. For larger families, we would recommend looking for a microwave anywhere between 1.5 CuFt to 2 or higher. The larger capacity the microwave has, the more space it will take up, of course.
A typical size turntable is around 10 inches. However, it can go upwards of 15’’. So if you plan on places larger plates in the microwave, you will need to find a microwave with a turntable to accommodate.
A microwave with lower wattage will take longer to cook or reheat your food. In general, the smaller the microwave, the lower the wattage. Also important to note, the higher the wattage, the more power you will be consuming, thus meaning you’ll be incurring a higher energy bill at the end of the month.
You’ll want to check the number of pre-settings and power settings the microwave has, as well as if it comes with any additional features that assist with the cooking/reheating process. On average, microwaves will have anywhere from 6-10 power levels and 14 pre-settings. Many microwaves will also have quick cook buttons for popcorn, pizza, and quick defrost. In addition, microwaves such as the Panasonic NN-SN936B and Panasonic NN-SN686S have inverter technology, which allows your food to be more evenly and efficiently heated in less time; this feature is highly desirable. The sensor cooking feature, seen with the LG LCRT2010ST, is also a much-loved addition; it detects moisture from the food you are heating and automatically shuts off when complete.
Digital or Rotary
Sometimes you want a microwave without all the digital bells and whistles; in this case, you can specifically search for a microwave with rotary dials such as the Westinghouse WCM. However, if LED digital displays are more your thing, there will be plenty of suitable options.
Company Support & Warranty
Although this comes at the bottom of the list, these are arguable two of the most important secondary considerations to make when you’re looking at purchasing any new appliance. Please make sure you are clear with what the company will offer regarding warranty and support and what their protocols are for handling returns or exchanges. In the end, remember that when purchasing from Amazon, they too offer their support as well. If the company doesn’t provide adequate assistance, always check back with Amazon; we’ve found them extremely helpful.
Choosing the suitable microwave for your kitchen isn’t a difficult task, but considering you’ll most likely be using it daily, you’ll want to ensure that not only does the microwave you’ve chosen heats your food correctly, it is also user-friendly, long-lasting. In addition, it provides all of the functions you require. Although we’ve listed the Panasonic NN-SN936B as our #1 pick and the best countertop microwave, we’re confident you will be happy with any of the selections in this article, as long as you have noted the buying considerations to find the best microwave. So whether you’re looking for the best over-the-range microwave or researching the best microwave oven reviews for the top picks, keep those considerations in mind, and you’ll find the best product suited to you.