Cuisinart CMW-100 Countertop Microwave
This 1.0-cubic-foot, 1,000-watt unit is the best countertop microwave. It has eight preset options with different serving-size options. Choose between the 10 customizable power levels or a two-stage cooking option to switch from defrost to regular heating.
RCA RMW733 Countertop Microwave
This 700-watt, 0.7-cubic-foot microwave will get the job done without breaking the bank. It has a 10.5-inch rotating glass tray that'll fit your large dinner plates, and it also has six one-touch features for easy cooking.
Panasonic NN-SD997S Countertop/Built-In Microwave
With Panasonic's patented inverter technology, you'll get even heating throughout all your food, not just the edges. The 1,200-watt, 1.2-cubic-foot microwave offers a lot of interior capacity while still being compact.
Whirlpool WMH31017FB Over-The-Range Microwave
Looking to mount your microwave over your oven? This one's for you. This sturdy 1.7-cubic-foot appliance powers at 1,000 watts, and it gives the right amount of heat for anything from popcorn to poultry.
Samsung MG11H2020CT Countertop Microwave
The ceramic interior not only makes for easy cleanups from spills and splashes, but it also helps prevent scratches. The 1.1-cubic-foot unit also has a grilling feature to crisp the bottom of your favorite foods.
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No kitchen is complete without a microwave oven. Case in point: Remember the one appliance you trekked off to college with? Yep, microwave! (Thanks, Mom!)
You may have only been using your microwave to pop popcorn and reheat coffee, but in the adult world, there are a ton of useful reasons for investing in a quality microwave. Defrost meats, bake side dishes, reheat last night's leftovers, melt baking ingredients, warm up beverages to a not-so-scalding temperature, and ace the art of timing thanks to these intuitive microwaves that get it right.
With pre-programmed buttons that suggest to you the right temp and timing for the job at hand, it's never been easier to operate a microwave. When shopping for the right model, consider the size, price, and type (countertop or over-the-range), depending on your kitchen space. Over-the-range microwaves are usually mounted over your stovetop, and they have a light and ventilation underneath. Depending on the model, you can also have the countertop or over-the-range microwave built into your wall.
These top-rated microwaves offer speed, efficiency, and quality at every price point. Find the perfect model for your needs below.
Learn More About Our Five Best Microwaves:
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Best Overall Microwave
Pro: It has easy-to-use touch-pad controls with 25 pre-programmed cooking options
Con: The stainless steel interior is difficult to clean
You can always count on Cuisinart for quality kitchen appliances. This 1-cubic-foot countertop microwave is no exception, boasting eight preset options with different serving-size selections for frequently heated foods.
The easy-to-use control panel has a timer, two defrost functions, and 10 customizable power levels for serious versatility. You'll also find a two-stage cooking option that, for example, would allow you to defrost for a certain amount of time and then automatically switch to regular heating for however long you want. This works for power levels as well — you can set them for certain amounts of time before increasing or decreasing. Plus, you can set custom cook times using the memory function, so your weekend bacon is just how you like it, every time.
This countertop microwave, with a capacity of 28 liters with a 12-inch rotating glass tray, has a 3-year warranty. It's also worth noting that this countertop appliance isn't meant to be over-the-range or built-in. If there are any problems with your Cuisinart, the company has a great customer service line that you can call.
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Best for Small Size
Pro: It's affordable
Con: The door releases by the push of a button, not a handle
This RCA microwave will definitely give you the most bang for your buck. It’s not loaded with many bells and whistles, but for the price, you’d be surprised at how much it can accomplish.
This RCA .7-cubic-foot-wide microwave — which can be installed over the range — has 10 different power levels. At 700 watts, you’ll be able to defrost and cook by weight or choose one of the six one-touch features — popcorn, potato, pizza, beverage, frozen dinner, or reheat — that make for easy heating.
It may seem like your largest dinner plates won’t fit because of the 10.5-inch rotating glass tray, but they will. Customers love how small and compact it is while still fitting larger dishes.
3. Check PriceCountertop/Built-In Microwave—
Best for Even Heating
Pro: The Inverter Technology evenly cooks food every time
Con: Some users find it to be a little noisy
Are you looking to get the most out of your microwave? The Panasonic NN-SD945S will poach, braise, and steam your food perfectly.
The microwave comes with Panasonic’s patented Inverter Technology, which generates a steady stream of power to cook food evenly. You know what this means: No more eating the overheated edges and finding out the middle is ice-cold! The consistent, even-cooked results work on all the 18 auto-cook options. It also works great for when you’re looking to lightly soften butter or defrost frozen meat.
The 1,200-watt, 1.2-cubic-foot microwave has a compact design while still offering a lot of interior capacity. Thanks to the sleek controls that have a one-touch sensor to cook and reheat, the microwave won’t take up as much space as you’d expect. You also have the option of having this built in to your wall with Panasonic’s stainless steel trim kits.
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Pro: It's very sturdy and easy to use
Con: The black color will show fingerprints
Whirlpool’s 1.7-cubic-foot-wide, 1,000-watt microwave is the perfect option for an over-the-range microwave. This appliance has easy-to-use controls that get the right amount of heat for whatever you’re cooking. It also comes with a dishwasher-safe turntable plate that makes it easy to clean any spills or splashes.
Once mounted, the microwave has a light on the bottom to shine down on what’s cooking below. You can even use it as a nightlight. It also comes with 10 cooking power levels and preprogrammed options, so you don’t have to guess how long they should warm up. Choose from popcorn, potato, pizza, cook, reheat, soften/melt, or defrost.
The WMH31017FB comes in white, black, silver, or stainless steel. You’ll also get a 1-year warranty in case there are any problems with your microwave.
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Best for Easy Cleanup
Pro: The ceramic interior is both scratch-resistant and easy to clean
Con: Some cook times will be a little longer due to the wattage
If you tend to heat up a lot of messy foods (think: anything with marinara, last night's takeout, etc.), you'll want to opt for something like this 1,000-watt microwave with a ceramic enamel interior that's easy to clean up.
The 1.1-cubic-foot-wide unit offers a grilling element, which features a ceramic plate that helps crisp up the bottom of your leftover pizza. Hallelujah!
The ceramic element also helps prevent scratches, as opposed to the other plastic or stainless steel options. This countertop microwave also comes with auto-cook settings with 10 different power levels to eliminate the guesswork.
More of Our Top Picks:
Looking for other options? We've got other highly rated microwaves for you below!
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Best Space Saver
Pros: It's compact and functional
Con: It's light, so you'll need both hands to open the door to prevent sliding
If your countertop is already covered in kitchen appliances, opt for this compact microwave that has a touch pad and an LED display.
This 700-watt, .7-cubic-foot-wide unit — which comes in either black or white — has 10 power levels for adjustable cooking. The small machine is able to defrost your food by either weight or speed. It also has a convenient kitchen timer, too.
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Best for a Retro Feel
Pros: It has a unique look and style
Con: It's expensive
This microwave is a little pricey, but look how gorgeous it is! Big Chill is known for its bold retro appliances, and its stainless steel microwaves are some of its most popular offerings (they come in a total of nine colors — or choose from their 200 custom colors). With 1,200 watts of cooking power and plenty of quick-cook options, you know this baby can get the job done with ease.
The appliance is 1.6 cubic feet wide, and it has a 1-year warranty on parts and labor. You also have the option to order it with or without the legs.
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Best Display Screen
Pro: The large LED display allows for easy use
Con: Only the front of the microwave is stainless steel (the top and bottom are metal)
Aside from the 10 power levels that this microwave offers, the most impressive feature of the Breville Quick Touch is the Sensor IQ function that automatically adjusts cooking time for your food. The microwave automatically measures the humidity that's being released from the food you’re either reheating or heating, and it can calculate the cook time.
The 1,100-watt microwave comes with a large LED display panel for easy programming and, unlike most microwaves, you can actually adjust power levels and cook while your food is heating up without stopping the cycle. You’ll be able to see what setting and function the microwave is working on at all times.
Your kitchen tasks will get so much easier with auto functions like soften butter, melt chocolate, reheat beverage, or popcorn. Just one push of a button, and voila!
9. Check Price—
Best for Retro Flair on a Budget
Pro: It offers a unique look and style for a great price
Con: The controls may be too simple for some users
Similar to the Big Chill (but no where near the same price point), Daewoo offers a retro vibe that gives you that pizzazz your kitchen so desperately needs. Unlike Big Chill’s many color options, the Daewoo only comes in mint, red, and white shades.
The microwave is .7 cubic feet wide, and it features five power levels, so you can adjust the heat for more delicate foods. It also features an auto-cook menu for a few commonly prepared foods.
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