Best Microwave Ovens

Review & Comparison, Last Update September 30, 2019
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 2019
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

The Panasonic NN-SN966S microwave with inverter technology is a top-quality model that can be used as both a free-standing and built-in oven. It features several power models and a defrost system and heats food several times faster than its rivals. Perfect choice both for beginner and professional cooks alike.

detailed parameters
Control

Electronic sensor controls with an LED display

Power

1250 watts

Features

10 cooking power levels, Sensor reheat, Sensor cook (1-12), Inverter turbo defrost, Keep Warm, Child safety lock, Quick-minute feature, Timer, Interior LED light

Turntable Diameter

16 inches

Capacity

2.2 cu.ft.

Auto Cook Options

Popcorn, Sensor cook (oatmeal, breakfast sausage, omelet, soup, frozen entrées, frozen Pizza (single), Potatoes, Fresh vegetables, Frozen vegetables, 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 unit memory your own cooking program while an Eco Mode allows minimizing energy consumption.

detailed parameters
Control

Electronic controls with an LCD display

Power

1100 watts

Features

10 power levels, Sensor cooking

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

The Concave Reflex System will evenly distribute the microwaves inside the oven to accelerate the heating process. The recessed turntable will make it easy to put and take out foods.

CONS

The turntable is a little wobbly. 

OUR VERDICT

Compact and packed with simple functionality, this microwave from Kenmore will perfectly cater to the needs of those who use the microwave rather for food heating, warming, and defrosting. It will make a perfect addition to your conventional oven or serve as a basic cooker for dorm rooms and offices.

detailed parameters
Control

Electronic controls with an LCD display

Power

700 watts

Features

10 power settings, Concave reflex system, Child-safety lock, Timer

Turntable Diameter

9.7 inches

Capacity

0.7 cu.ft.

Auto Cook Options

Popcorn, Pizza/bread, Soup, Potatoes, Fresh and frozen vegetables

Inner Surface

Enameled

Warranty

1 year

PROS

Thanks to a gray interior and bright LED light inside the oven, you'll be able to easily monitor the cooking process without opening the door. Meanwhile, energy-efficient LED bulbs boast a longer service life.

CONS

Some users claim tricky controls. 

OUR VERDICT

If you are the kind of home cook who prefers quick and simple recipes suitable for microwave and you look for a functional and no-nonsense microwave to cover average family needs, the Sharp ZSMC1452CH will suit you just right. Created with attention to details, it is reliable, functional and long-lasting. A nice option for regular cooking tasks.

detailed parameters
Control

Electronic controls with an LCD display

Power

1100 watts 

Features

10 power settings, Child-safety lock, Timer

Turntable Diameter

12.4 inches

Capacity

1.4 cu.ft.

Auto Cook Options

Popcorn, Beverage, Potato, Frozen entree, Frozen vegetables, Frozen pizza, Fresh vegetables, Meat, Fish

Inner Surface

Enameled

Warranty

1 year on parts and labor, 5year warranty for magnetron

PROS

A kitchen timer will give you an opportunity to have your dish ready at a certain time and serve your meal deliciously warm without the need to reheat it.

CONS

The unit has only one pre-set mode. 

OUR VERDICT

Are you a tech-savvy highly appreciating all the benefits of advanced technologies? If so, the microwave from AmazonBasics is for you. Fitted with a built-in Wi-Fi module and voice control option, it will let you operate the appliance and cook meals hands-free. Just pair it with the Alexa device and enjoy. 

detailed parameters
Control

Electronic controls with an LCD display, Alexa voice control (with a paired Echo's microphone)

Power

700 watts 

Features

10 power settings, Child-safety lock, Timer

Turntable Diameter

10 inches

Capacity

0.7 cu.ft.

Auto Cook Options

Popcorn

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. Yet, a top-rated microwave can provide you with much more versatility, and if that's exactly what you need, the Panasonic NN-SN966S can be your best bet.

Two things you will like about the Panasonic NN-SN966S at the first glance are its sleek, modern design in stainless steel and intuitive controls conveniently located on the right. However, these aren't the only merits of the model. In contrast to many rivals that can be used only as countertop models, the Panasonic NN-SN966S provides two installation options - you can both place it on a counter or build it into a wall or your kitchen cabinet.

However, it's not only the easy-to-install design that makes the Panasonic NN-SN966S one of the top-sellers. Other reasons behind its popularity include its capacious cooking chamber, high power, and outstanding functionality. This model boasts a 2.2 cu.ft. cooking chamber capacity that is almost twice bigger than what you get from the range. Add to that a 16-inch turntable and what you get is a microwave with ample room for cooking several servings of food or even baking whole poultry, if you choose. Now, the Panasonic NN-SN966S is not only generously-sized, it is also very powerful. With the power of 1250 Watts under its hood, this model is able to greatly expedite the cooking process, and the patented Panasonic inverter technology will make sure that you get perfect cooking results, regardless of the type of food you place inside it. In addition, the Panasonic NN-SN966S offers 10 power levels and several preset operation modes for cooking, reheating, and defrosting foods. Also included is a "Keep Warm" function.

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.

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.

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

Additional Info

    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


 

Kenmore 70719

A Heat up Wizard

Modern microwaves are available in a whole variety of models that can meet any needs. While some cooks seek an alternative to a conventional oven others rather want to complement it and plan to use a microwave predominantly for heating meals, cooking some simple snacks, and defrosting foods. If it sounds like you, a simple model with basic functionality like the one from Kenmore will suffice for this purpose, and there is no need to overpay for the advanced technologies you won’t use in the end.

The Kenmore 70719 is a countertop model encased in a no-nonsense design. The black exterior resists stains and the enameled interior is not prone to grease build-up and is a breeze to clean from any food residues and spills. Made of tempered glass, the turntable is solid and durable. Besides, it is distinguished by a slightly recessed construction to let you easily put and take out foods in bowls and plates of different sizes.

Fitted with 700 watts, the Kenmore is at a low end in terms of power. Yet, thanks to this, it is energy-saving and won’t add much to your electricity bills. And this wattage is more than enough for the appliance’s intended use. 10 power settings will let you adjust the heat level to quickly warm up a pre-cooked meal or bring some frozen snacks to readiness. At the same time, the Concave Reflex System the model is equipped with will evenly distribute the microwaves inside the oven to accelerate and optimize the heating process. A 30-second option, on the other hand, will come in handy when you need to heat a cup of tea or a glass of milk or quickly toss off a hot sandwich. On top of that, you’ll get 6 auto-cook options for cooking pizza, making popcorn, cooking veggies, potatoes or some soup without a hassle.

Review of Kenmore 70719 Countertop Microwave Oven

Space-wise Convenience

Created for humble kitchen needs, the Kenmore microwave boasts space-wise design. It has a smaller profile and footprint that makes it a real find for smaller kitchens and space-limited countertops. It will also be a great choice for offices, dorm rooms, studios, recreation rooms, trailers, and caravans.

The appliance compactness is owing to a lower capacity of 0.7 cu.ft. Seemingly small, it can still accommodate most dishware, handle medium-sized pizza and a several-serving dish.

To resume, offered at a fairly affordable price tag far below $100, the Kenmore microwave is not overpacked with add-ons, yet, provides everything to function as an efficient complement to your main cooker.

Kenmore 70719 Countertop Microwave Oven in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Sharp ZSMC1452CH

Great for Daily Cooking Chores

When you have to cook for a family on a daily basis and cooking is not your only chore, you think about the functionality of the kitchen more than anyone else. Everything that will expedite cooking and doesn’t need some specific skill will come in handy. Of course, the microwave will be one of the most important add-ons. And while some homeowners choose by style or technologies offered, a practical home cook would rather go for simple functionality and efficiency. This is where the countertop microwave from Sharp really shines.

What you’ll get is a powerful family-size appliance. With the 1.4 cu.ft. capacity and 12.4-inch turntable, it will easily handle larger portions, pizzas, a big bowl of popcorn or even a whole chicken. So, whether you need to quickly toss off breakfast for a family or reheat some food for several persons, the Sharp microwave will not let you down. Meanwhile, the power of 1100 watts is more than enough to complete your cooking tasks really fast. Be it heating up a cup of cocoa or baking veggies for the garnish, it won’t take you much time.

Capacious and high-performing, the model also offers a well-thought set of functions with nothing in excess. You can either adjust the time and temperature settings individually to experiment with new recipes and practise your cooking skills (when you have enough time and desire to do that) or choose one of the pre-programed modes and be sure about consistently good results. Thanks to a precise sensor cooked technology the Sharp microwave comes fitted with, your meat, fish, fresh or frozen veggies, potatoes, some frozen entrees, popcorn, and pizza will be cooked just right. Meanwhile, if you want to create some recipes of your own, there are 10 power settings to cook anything from a delicate dessert to juicy grilled foods. And Express Cook function is included to provide one-touch convenience for cooking quick meals.

Review of Sharp ZSMC1452CH Countertop Microwave Oven

A Combo of Style and Quality

It’s worth saying that the Sharp microwave not only works beautifully but also looks beautiful. If you are kind of design-savvy, this appliance will meet the most exacting demands. Black stainless still housing with a matte finish is sleek and stylish. Paired with an advanced black electronic control panel, it will match any modern kitchen interior. Besides, the steel exterior perfectly combines with a dark gray interior making the microwave very easy to clean.

Style aside, the Sharp offers exceptional quality and reliability. Producing microwaves since 1979, they know everything about this appliance and know how to make it work flawlessly and serve you for long. Made of premium materials, fitted with quality heating elements, and distinguished by the latest electronic technologies, this microwave is definitely designed to serve you for years.

In a word, the Sharp microwave is a practical, functional, and reliable appliance ideal for family needs and everyday cooking.

Sharp ZSMC1452CH Countertop Microwave Oven in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

AmazonBasics Voice-controlled

Enjoy Hands-free Cooking

Today, intelligent technologies are not extraordinary yet. Smartphones, smart air conditioners, smart washing machines, and even smart cookers are a dime a dozen these days. And what about heating up foods or making quick meals in a microwave without even touching the controls? Feel fascinated? If so, turn your eyes to the AmazonBasics microwave.

At a glance, this model is not much different from ordinary microwaves. Packed in a black-colored body with a glassy exterior, it looks simple and modern and is very easy to clean being less prone to staining and fingerprints. Touch screen controls are intuitive and include no confusing buttons or indicators. Packing 700 watts of power, the appliance is energy-saving, yet, is still capable of performing regular cooking tasks, in spite of its smaller capacity. The inner volume of 0.7 cu.ft. makes the unit more compact and space-wise.

As for the functionality, the AmazonBasics microwave doesn’t have a bunch of preset modes and pre-programed functions, which means you’ll have to adjust the time and temperature settings by yourself for each meal, food or dish you cook or simply reheat. However, with the time and weight defrost functions and a special popcorn mode, you can efficiently defrost and cook veggies or make a bucket of delicious crunchy popcorn in close to no time.

Yet, what really makes the difference and sets this model apart from the rivals is the Alexa connectivity. It’s notable that the unit has no built-in microphone and the Echo device is needed to use voice commands. On the other hand though, even if you don’t have the Echo device yet, you have a great chance to get one since there are a lot of other Alexa enabled appliances and gadgets you can make use of later. Once paired with the Echo, the microwave can be controlled just by your voice. In addition to the convenience of hands-free operation, this smart function will take all the guesswork out of the process. It’s just enough to say what you are cooking and the Alexa will adjust the microwave settings accordingly. Another nice bonus all popcorn fans will appreciate is an auto popcorn replenishment option that will make sure you never run low of your favorite snack.

Review of AmazonBasics Voice-controlled Countertop Microwave Oven

Get It Ready When You Need

How often do you find yourself in the situation when you need to reheat foods several times before the whole family gathers at the table? Forget it, with the AmazonBasics microwave, you’ll get your meal ready just when you need it. The integrated kitchen timer will let you program the heating or cooking process so that it can be completed at a certain time. Thus, you can put your meal or foods into a microwave, set the desired time and have your fresh and deliciously warm meal just at the right time. Though simple, this feature is very helpful in everyday life.

To conclude, the AmazonBasics is a common compact microwave good in doing everything you expect from this type of kitchen appliance and comes complete with the intelligence that makes it maximum easy to use and allows you to cook hands-free.

AmazonBasics Voice-controlled Countertop Microwave Oven in the use

 

What Is a Microwave Oven?

In the following review, we offer you the selection of the most popular microwave ovens so you can choose the most suitable one for you.

A microwave oven is a popular kitchen appliance, which is used not only at home but even in cafes and restaurants. Today, it is hard to imagine a house without a microwave oven in the kitchen. This appliance helps you cook quickly by just choosing a respective setting (also called a cooking program). Also, you can easily defrost any food within just several minutes. Unlike a conventional oven, a microwave oven heats up food from the inside (that is how microwaves work) and it takes very little time.

If you like to make toasts and some other pastry, we recommend you to consider buying one of the best toasters.

Do you like barbecue? Then, you will surely like our review of the best outdoor and camping grills.

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.

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