Best Microwave Ovens

Review & Comparison, Last Update September 9, 2020
A microwave oven is an appliance most modern kitchens have. It helps us cook and heat food very fast, thanks to the effect of microwaves that penetrate food and heat it up from the inside. We have selected 5 best and most popular microwave ovens to make your pick easier! ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2020
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Control
Power
Features
Turntable Diameter
Capacity
Auto Cook Options
Inner Surface
Warranty
 
PROS

A built-in sensor will automatically calculate and set the optimal cooking time and temperature depending on the dishes you cook. 12 auto preset cook options will allow you to use it for many other cooking tasks beyond simply reheating food leftovers. 

CONS

The appliance is somewhat bulky due to its high capacity.

OUR VERDICT

Cooking for a whole family is not an easy task, but this high-capacity microwave from Panasonic will become a real savior. With the interior capacity of 2.2 cu.ft., it will accommodate pretty large amounts of foods at a time allowing you to cook generously-sized family meals, a whole chicken, turkey, etc.

detailed parameters
Control

Electronic sensor controls with an LED display

Power

1250 Watts

Features

10 cooking power levels, Sensor reheat, Sensor cook, Inverter turbo defrost, Keep Warm, Child safety lock, Timer

Turntable Diameter

16 inches

Capacity

2.2 cu.ft.

Auto Cook Options

Oatmeal, Breakfast Sausage, Omelet, Quinoa, Soup, Frozen Entrees, Frozen Pizza, Potatoes, Fresh Vegetables, Frozen Vegetables, Rice, Frozen Dinners, Pasta, Fish Fillets

Inner Surface

Enameled 

Warranty

1 year on parts and labour, 5 years on magnetron

PROS

The EasyClean™ interior coating makes cleaning a cinch. Just wipe the unit exterior and interior with a damp cloth to keep it neat and tidy. Besides, the enameled interior prevents foul odors. 

CONS

Pretty noisy operation at the highest power setting.

OUR VERDICT

At a reasonable price, this microwave from Toshiba offers reliable Japanese quality and a great set of modern functions. The Custom Cook button will let you customize and save in the memory of the device programs that you've created yourself and the Eco Mode will allow minimizing energy consumption.

detailed parameters
Control

Electronic controls with an LCD display

Power

1100 Watts

Features

10 power levels, Sensor cooking, Child safety lock, Timer

Turntable Diameter

12.4 inches

Capacity

1.2 cu.ft.

Auto Cook Options

Potato, Rice, Vegetables, Custom cook, Soften/Melt

Inner Surface

Enameled with EasyClean™ coating

Warranty

1 year 

PROS

LED digital display with an easy-to-read control panel will let you quickly get the hang of all the functions of the appliance. A child safety lock will prevent little kids from opening the oven while it's in use, thus, excluding the risk of burns and hazards. 

CONS

The front panel is prone to fingerprints. 

OUR VERDICT

The Black and Decker is the best choice for those with a limited kitchen space. Amazingly compact in size, it will find its place on the smallest countertop. At the same time, despite its compactness, you'll get all the functionality you need in a device like this.

detailed parameters
Control

Electronic controls with an LED display

Power

900 Watts

Features

10 cooking power levels, Child safety lock, Timer

Turntable Diameter

10.6 inches

Capacity

0.9 cu. ft.

Auto Cook Options

Popcorn, Potato, Pizza, Frozen Vegetables, Beverage, Dinner Plate

Inner Surface

Enameled

Warranty

1 year

PROS

Despite compact microwave dimensions, it hosts a quite large 9.65-inch turntable. Made of durable tempered glass, it can withstand high loads and is not afraid of temperature drops. Besides, you can clean it in a dishwasher.

CONS

The power cord is rather short.

OUR VERDICT

If you are a kind of lazy cook or your culinary skills leave something more to be desired, this simple yet functional and practical microwave from Kenmore will suit you just fine. With a set of basic preset cooking programs and fairly intuitive controls, it will let you warm up and cook meals in close to no time.

detailed parameters
Control

Electronic control with an LED display

Power

700 Watts

Features

10 cooking power levels, Child safety lock

Turntable Diameter

9.65 inches

Capacity

0.7 cu.ft. 

Auto Cook Options

Popcorn, Potato, Pizza/Bread, Soup, Fresh vegetable, Frozen vegetable

Inner Surface

Enameled

Warranty

1 year

PROS

A 1-to-6-minute Express Cook function enables you to quickly set the desired cooking or defrosting time. Meanwhile, an Add 30 seconds feature is a real find when you need to reheat a cup of tea or warm up a sandwich.

CONS

A turntable is a bit wobbly. 

OUR VERDICT

If you rather need a no-frills microwave with basic functionality than a modern gizmo with many bells and whistles, the Farberware will get you covered. A set of pretty much standard functions will cover your common daily needs while intuitive controls will help you quickly get the hang of all the unit capabilities.

detailed parameters
Control

Electronic controls with an LED display

Power

1000 Watts

Features

10 cooking power levels, Child safety lock, Timer

Turntable Diameter

12 inches

Capacity

1.1 cu.ft.

Auto Cook Options

Popcorn, Potato, Pizza, Frozen vegetables, Beverage, Dinner plate

Inner Surface

Enameled

Warranty

1 year

Panasonic NN-SN966S

The Ultimate Choice for a Big Family

A microwave is an appliance most people buy as an auxiliary kitchen tool to add to their stove and oven. And let’s be honest, many of us hardly use it for something else besides preheating meals and maybe making popcorn (that is, if you don't have a special popcorn maker, of course). Yet, a top-rated microwave is much more versatile than that, featuring a slew of options and programs that make it suitable for plenty of other cooking tasks. Need a device like that? Then consider the Panasonic NN-SN966S

Two things you will like about this microwave right away are its sleek, modern design in a stainless steel housing and intuitive controls. However, these aren't the only benefits of the NN-SN966S. What is also remarkable is that you can place it in two ways: either on a countertop or build it into a wall or kitchen cabinet.

Other features that make this microwave oven so popular among users include its capacious cooking chamber, high power, and outstanding functionality. Speaking of the former, the microwave boasts a 2.2 cu.ft. cooking chamber capacity that is almost twice bigger than what you get from the range. This capacity along with a 16-inch turntable will allow you to fit inside the appliance several servings of food or even bake whole poultry. When it comes to the power, the Panasonic NN-SN966S is no slouch either. Yielding about 1250 Watts, it is able to remarkably expedite the cooking process. To add more, it features the patented Panasonic inverter technology that will make sure you get perfect cooking results regardless of the type of food you place inside it.

Finally, the oven offers 10 power levels and several preset operation modes so you will be able to not only defrost or reheat food but also cook different food and experiment with recipes. A "Keep Warm" function is included as well.

Review of Panasonic NN-SN966S Countertop/Built-In Microwave Oven

Intelligent Cooking Assistant

All ingredients differ in density and texture. Hence, cooking time and power for different meals and foods also vary. And if you are not much into microwave cooking it might take you a long time and a number of botched dishes until you find a perfect balance between time and temperature settings. The Panasonic NN-SN966S will do this work for you and take the guesswork out of the cooking process. The model features a built-in sensor that will automatically set the needed time and temperature in accordance with the type of food you cook and offers 12 auto cook options with function-specific buttons making food preparation way easier.

Regardless of whether you're cooking your favorite food or testing some new recipes, with this intelligent microwave from Panasonic, you will always achieve fantastic results.

In all, the Panasonic NN-SN966S has a lot going for it. It's functional, powerful, and cleverly designed. So, if you need an appliance that will offer you much more than its rivals, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better choice.

Panasonic NN-SN966S Countertop/Built-In Microwave Oven in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Toshiba EM131A5C-BS

Branded Quality at a Reasonable Price

When it comes to electronic appliances, Japanese manufacturers are indisputable leaders. Toshiba is one of the most popular and top-selling Japanese brands known worldwide. Though kitchen appliances are not their major profile, taking their best technologies, they’ve created a range of microwave ovens distinguished by branded quality. The EM131A5C-BS microwave is one of them. It stands out for a combo of solid quality and thought-out functionality offered at a reasonable price tag.

First things first, with 1100 watts under its hood, this model is at the higher end in terms of power, which means you can cook fast and the appliance will cope with literally any cooking task. Add to this 10 variable power settings and a built-in timer, and you’ll have an opportunity to precisely customize the cooking settings to the recipe you have at hand. Besides, a One-touch start option will let you turn on the microwave at full power for 1 to 6 minutes at a press of a button for some quick and easy recipes.

In addition to individually adjustable cooking programs, the Toshiba offers several preset modes for commonly microwaved foods like popcorn, pizza, potato, rice, vegetables, or frozen entrees. You can also defrost foods or reheat pre-cooked meals for breakfast or late dinner. To maximize the cooking performance, this model is also fitted with a Sensor cook feature that will automatically adjust the unit operation. So, all your dishes will come out appetizing and tasty.

Speaking of the appliance design, it is moderate and straightforward. The body in a dark brushed steel finish will blend with any kitchen style. A large digital display is easy to read and intuitive controls make the unit operation a breeze. Meanwhile, a 1.2 cu.ft. capacity will let you cook both single-serve dishes and larger portions.

Review of Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave Oven with Smart Sensor

Forget About Messy Cleanups

Some technological perks are the forte of all Japanese appliances. Often minor at a glance, they really work in practice and add convenience. This Toshiba microwave is not an exception. Just like many other models, it has an enameled interior surface, which is pretty much typical for microwaves. However, what sets it apart from the others is the brand-specific EasyClean™ coating. Interior cleaning is by far the biggest issue about microwaves. Oily splashes and spills stick to the inner surfaces and are really hard to remove over time making microwave cleaning one of the most tiresome, time-taking, and boring kitchen tasks, hence, one of the least favorite ones. Yet, it won’t be the case with the Toshiba. Thanks to that specific coating, the spills are easy to clean with a damp cloth, with no scrubbing or rubbing needed. Besides, the coating helps prevent foul odors build up inside the oven.

To put it in a nutshell, once again, let us state that with the Toshiba, you’ll get a reliable microwave with a decent set of functions at a price that won’t hit your budget too much.

Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave Oven with Smart Sensor in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

BLACK + DECKER EM925AB9

A Match for Concise Spaces

If your kitchen is limited in space, you are also limited in a number of appliances you can fit into it. However, a microwave is one of the modern kitchen must-haves and something that makes cooking really convenient and hassle-free. So, if you look for a full-fledged microwave for a small kitchen, we recommend turning your eyes to the Black and Decker EM925AB9.

With dimensions of 18.3 x 14.5 x 11 inches, this appliance is noticeably more compact in size than many other models. Hence, it will take less countertop space and featuring no extruding handle, it can be even put onto an overhanging shelf or built into a cabinet. Due to smaller dimensions, the Black and Decker has somewhat lower capacity and offers only 0.9 cu.ft. instead of habitual 1.2 cu.ft. Yet, it still has a 10.6-inch turntable that can accommodate pizza, a smaller chicken or a pretty large cooking pan or bowl. Thus, this model is ideal for singles or couples and will even suit the cooking needs of a small family or find its place in a studio, dorm room or rented apartment.

Packing 900 W of power, the Black and Decker EM925AB9 will also let you cook in a fast and efficient way. Meanwhile, it will consume less energy and won’t add much to your electricity bills. When it comes to functionality, the appliance is in no way inferior to larger rivals. It will allow you to toss off wholesome meals, defrost foods, and reheat precooked treats. Fitted with an integrated timer and 10 power settings, the unit can be precisely set to cook any dish, be it some simple quick dinner or a sophisticated dessert. Besides, a bunch of preset modes with pre-programmed time and power settings are great for making popcorn for a movie night or a pizza for a quick nosh, melting frozen veggies or reheating your cold cup of Joe to bring back the original flavor of your hot drink.

Review of BLACK + DECKER EM925AB9 Digital Microwave Oven

Fitted With Some Minor Yet Meaningful Details

This compact microwave from Black and Decker is pretty simple and doesn’t have an abundance of premium bells and whistles. However, you’ll hardly use many of those add-ons in practice and basic functionality is sufficient for home use. As simple as it is, the Black and Decker is also fairly affordable. With its price tag far below $100, it will fit even a stringent budget.

On the other hand, though, the model still has some minor details that enhance its convenience and safety. Thus, it features a child lock which enables the control panel to be locked during use so that your inquisitive kids cannot open it accidentally and burn their hands. Also included is a bright interior light that will let you closely monitor the cooking process and avoid overcooking or undercooking, which can be especially helpful when dealing with new recipes. And a large LED display is fully comprehensible and very easy to read.

In a word, if every inch of your kitchen space counts, but you still want a functional microwave, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better compact model than this one from Black and Decker.

BLACK + DECKER EM925AB9 Digital Microwave Oven in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Kenmore 70729

A Great Helper for Beginner Cooks

Don't want to pay for bells and whistles that you will not use but look for a decently powerful microwave oven? Then the Kenmore 70729 microwave will definitely catch your fancy.

This model is straightforward and practical and will especially come to liking to novice home cooks due to its no-nonsense design. At the same time, it is not a basic model, offering you a number of cooking modes to leave you plenty of room for experiments.

With regard to the power, the Kenmore 707929 yields around 700 Watts, which puts it on a par with mid-power units. This rating is good, telling us that the unit will cook rather quickly while not adding too much to your electricity bills. Speaking of available cooking options, you have six auto-cook modes using which you will be able to, in addition to warming food, make pizza, bake vegetables and potatoes, toss off dinner plates, heat beverages, and pop up popcorn. Basically, you'll be be able to whip up a proper meal, which may come in handy when you have little time but your guests are already at your doorstep.

Another cool function worth mentioning is smart defrosting. The 707929 features both the time and weight defrosting options so you can thaw the frozen ingredients in a fast and efficient manner. Notably, the weight defrosting function has handy small hints - they will act as a guide helping you choose the optimal defrosting mode depending on what food you need to defrost: meat, poultry, fish, etc.

Designed with simplicity in mind, the Kenmore 707929 boasts a pretty space-wise design. Compared to many similar models, it has a smaller profile and a smaller footprint, which makes it a real find for smaller kitchens and space-limited countertops. At the same time, it is not tiny inside, accommodating a 9.6-inch turntable that will allow you to fit bigger pots and cook in larger portions accordingly. The Kenmore 707929 isn't cheaply made too. The manufacturer has used high-quality tempered glass to make it solid, durable, and resistant to temperature drops. Besides that, the oven has a slightly recessed construction, meaning you will be able to easily put and take out food in bowls and plates of different sizes.

Finally, we like this oven's design. Its black exterior resists stains while the enameled interior is not prone to grease build-up and is a breeze to clean from any food residues and spills.

Review of Kenmore 70729 Compact Microwave Oven

... and a Heat up Wizard

It’s not a secret that one of the most common tasks we use a microwave for on a daily basis is heating meals. To cater to this need, the Kenmore 70929 is featured with as many as 10 variable power settings and has a Time cook option that will let you precisely adjust the heat level depending on what you need to do - quickly warm up a pre-cooked meal, bring some frozen snacks to readiness or cook some meal from scratch. In addition to that, you have six one-touch express heating settings, letting you set cooking time from 1 to 6 minutes.

Before concluding this review, we would also like to mention that the interior of the Kenmore 70929 is featured with diamond-shaped patterns. This simple yet clever design trick greatly improves energy concentration and distributes microwaves more evenly to optimize and speed up the heating process.

Overall, not overpacked with add-ons, yet decently powerful and functional, the Kenmore 70729 will make both a decent complement to the main kitchen cooker and a helpful assistant to a non-experienced home cook.

Kenmore 70729 Compact Microwave Oven in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Farberware FMO11AHTPLB

Enjoy Solid Basic Functionality

If you are a kind of busy home cook who prefers some quick and tasty meals you can toss off within the shortest period of time, this microwave from Farberware is definitely worth your attention. Offering solid basic functionality without numerous add-ons of premium models, it’s a really great choice for convenient daily use.

With 1000 watts under its hood, this model is rather at the high end in terms of power, so, cooking will be fast enough. At the same time, 10 power levels will let you precisely adjust the power output from 10% to 100% to achieve optimal cooking results in an energy-wise manner. Next to it, 6 auto-cooking options are there to help you cook the most popular microwave meals. Thus, a portion of popcorn, baked potatoes, crispy pizza, a vegetable garnish, a cup of hot chocolate and a dinner plate will be cooked at the touch of a button, with no guesswork engaged.

To proceed, with time and weight defrost functions, you can thaw any ingredients, be it some chicken nuggets or a whole chicken, quickly and, what is more important, efficiently. Meantime, 1-to-6-minute Express Cook function will let you set the desired cooking time for quick treats and snacks and an Add 30 seconds option will come in handy for reheating foods or making delicious warm sandwiches.

With all the simplicity and straightforwardness, the Farberware is still not deprived of some smart perks. Thus, if you feel like trying your hand at cooking some new recipes or experimenting with ingredients, the multi-stage cooking feature will make it an easy task. This option allows programming the sequence of functions and the unit will automatically control them to be accomplished in proper order. It’s a real find for complex and exquisite recipes with numerous instructions to be followed. And even if your cooking skills are far from being perfect, you'll get the desired result with no trial and error.

Review of Farberware FMO11AHTPLB Microwave Oven with LED Lighting

... and a Stylish Piece of Kitchen Equipment

Along with on-par functionality, the Farberware boasts a sleek design that can’t be overlooked. A clean white control panel combined with a framed glass door perfectly fits into a brushed metal front panel in modern silver color. An exquisite handle with the same metal finish completes an elegant look, meanwhile, remaining fully functional and adding convenience when opening and shutting the door. Overall, such refined design will suit any kitchen interior style, be it modest classics, minimalistic high-tech, modern loft or a trendy fusion.

Stylish look aside, the Farberware is distinguished by a perfect balance of outer dimensions and inner capacity. Thus, pretty compact from the outside, the unit provides a generous cooking chamber capacity of 1.1 cu.ft. So, it easily accommodates a 12-inch turntable and allows using most baking pans, plates, and food savers.

Summing up, the Farberware microwave will come in handy in any family kitchen and will become a perfect helper for cooking both common everyday meals and sophisticated dishes for special occasions.

Farberware FMO11AHTPLB Microwave Oven with LED Lighting in the use

Additional Info

User Manual


 

What Is a Microwave Oven?

Whether you often cook frozen ready-to-eat meals or you simply seek a quicker way of preparing food, you'll be able to take advantage of a microwave oven. What sets this type of device apart from any typical oven is that it allows you to quickly reheat, warm, or defrost food, requiring no more than a few minutes, literally. Another advantage is that because they are so compact and come in a variety of styles, they can be used in any kitchen as well as in the office, cafe, restaurant or even boat.

So if you're in search of a new microwave to complete your kitchen gear, you might find this guide helpful. Here we offer you a selection of the top-rated microwave ovens with different dimensions and from a different price range, so you can choose the best suitable one for your kitchen configuration.

For those in the process of remodeling their kitchen, we can also recommend taking a look at these toasters and food processors reviews. And if you've not had a coffee machine yet, make sure to check these coffee and espresso machines.

What Features to Compare

With hundreds of reviews being written about microwave ovens it might be really difficult to find one offering enough explanations as to what aspects to consider when choosing an oven for yourself. What's more, it seems that many people have a problem figuring out what all those tech specs mean in layman's terms and how it's best to select a suitable oven. Hopefully, our guide will make it a bit easier for you. We've already selected five of the best microwave ovens available on the market right now so you can compare them, see how they stack up against each other and choose the one that best fits your needs without having to dig into tech specs that much.

Functionality

If you want to just heat some food up - the simplest microwave oven with a couple of dials will be enough for you. However, if you are going to use this appliance for cooking, you should, first of all, pay attention to the functionality of every model. This criterion depends on 2 major features - capacity and power. Small capacity (under 1 cu. ft.) is suitable for defrosting and heating food. A mid-sized cooking chamber (1-1.1 cu. ft.) is an optimal choice for a small family; many appliances of this kind have a built-in grill, so you can cook some delicious and crusty meals. A large microwave oven with a chamber of more than 1.2 cu. ft. is the best choice for a big family with several kids. Such ovens usually come with a special grate and, moreover, boast such technologies as grill and convection. The power heavily depends on capacity - the higher the latter is, the more power the microwave requires for cooking and heating. No need to mention, all modern microwave ovens allow you to choose the level of power: from the minimum to the highest one possible (it depends on each model). The optimal power for a microwave oven ranges from 700 to 1200 watts.

Usability

The next important aspect to take into account when choosing a microwave oven is its usability. It goes without saying that one of the most important characteristics of microwave ovens defining their convenience of use is how fast they are able to reheat foods. However, it is not the only thing. Another important factor affecting its usability is how easy it is to maintain it clean. This is where it's important to take your time and learn what inner surfaces can be found in microwave ovens. The most popular one is enameled surface. This one is probably the easiest to clean of grease and dirt. Ceramic surfaces are also popular and will be appreciated by those who seek durability first and foremost. The advantage of a stainless steel coating, on top of its durability and great looks, is that it is also highly heat-resistant, one of the main reasons it's often used in convection microwave ovens and ovens with grills. Aside from the inner surface, the usability of a microwave oven is affected by its controls. You can find 3 types: mechanical, push-button, and sensor. Despite their primitive nature, mechanical controls are very reliable and intuitive in use. Push-buttons look more elaborated. And if you seek a high-tech model, there are sensor type controls that include a sensor panel and a LED screen showing all selected parameters.

Additional Options

The last but not the least, we'd recommend that you consider what other options besides the standard ones are included in the model. Many models may also feature a child lock, providing you confidence that your toddler won't open the oven when you are not at home. Others may include the function of steam purification, facilitating the cleaning part for you. All of these, and other extra functions, add to the convenience of use of a microwave oven.

Sources:

1. The Best Microwave Oven for Your Kitchen, Consumer Reports. April 2016.

2. How to Choose a Microwave Oven, wikiHow.

3. Don Vandervort Microwave Ovens Buying Guide, HomeTips. March 11, 2016.

4. Microwave Ovens Buying Guide, Harvey Norman.

5. Jane Darling How to Buy the Best Microwave, Which?

6. Megan Wollerton Microwave Buying Guide, CNET. September 23, 2013.

7. Josh Kirschner The Best Countertop Microwave Oven, Techlicious. February 07, 2014.

Other reviews
Comments
0 Comments

Your comment was successfully sent

Error! Please try again later