Once a luxury item at a premium cost, kitchen microwaves have come down in price and are now a highly affordable and modern kitchen staple.

From ready meals to popcorn, leftovers and more; a microwave is perfect for any occasion that requires a quick and easy fix. There are hundreds of microwaves available on the market, but only the best will offer the right balance of features, wattage and design – all in a compact footprint that won’t monopolize your counter space.

In this article, we take a closer look at some of the best microwaves on the market today. Our reviews include traditional countertop options, as well as over-the-range microwaves and over-the-counter designs that will save on space and help you find the perfect fit!

  • 900 watts
  • Compact footprint
  • 10 power settings & Eco Mode
  • Digital Timer
  • LED Display
  • One-touch start
  • 1-year warranty

  • 700 watts
  • Compact design
  • 10 power settings
  • LED display
  • One-touch cooking options
  • Lifetime limited warranty

  • 1000 watts
  • Automatically adjusts temperature
  • Ceramic enamel interior
  • Eco Mode
  • Triple distribution system
  • Preset cooking functions
  • 1-year warranty for parts/10-year warranty on the magnetron tube

  • 1100 watts
  • Auto-cook function
  • Reheat mode
  • 6 quick start options
  • Compact design
  • 1-year warranty

  • 1050 watts
  • 2-in-1 microwave and convection oven
  • Removable metal rack
  • Stylish design
  • Easy to clean
  • 1-year warranty

  • 1000 watts
  • Very large 2.2 cu.ft capacity
  • Powerful fan
  • One-touch features
  • 1-year warranty on parts
  • 10-year warranty on the magnetron tube

  • 1050 watts
  • Easy operation
  • 10 power levels
  • Charcoal filter
  • Four-speed fan
  • Sensor cooking controls
  • 1-year warranty on parts/5-year warranty on the magnetron tube

  • 1100 watts
  • 1.5 cu.ft capacity
  • Multi-color LED display
  • Keep warm function
  • Smart defrost mode
  • 1-year warranty on parts/ 5-year warranty on the magnetron tube


This Toshiba microwave oven is a powerful microwave with lots of necessary features packed in a small package. This microwave is the only one on our list that comes in under 30 pounds, so combined with the small footprint, mobility is about as good as it gets.

We like how the microwave tone can be turned off to reduce noise pollution, and with the included settings for pizzas, popcorn, and more, it’s a cinch to use in just about any situation. At 900 watts and with a energy-saving eco mode, you’ll get some solid cooking power out of this unit –  but it isn’t as powerful as some of over-the-range models. The settings are easy to use and the digital timer means you can effortlessly monitor cooking progress.

All in all, Tobisha’s microwave is great for all-purpose use in the home, office, or just about anywhere else.

Pros

  • Quiet operation
  • Simple design
  • Easy to use
  • 10 power settings
  • Eco mode
  • Light, small, and portable

Cons

  • Wattage could be a little higher
  • 0.9 cubic feet is a bit small for some


The Farberware Classic 0.7 Cu. Ft 700-Watt Microwave offers a low price tag alongside the best warranty out of all microwaves on our list.

This is a no-frills, straightforward microwave option that’s designed with budget and portability in mind. Using the built-in special settings or just the quick cook buttons, you can heat up or cook just about anything that’s microwave safe.

The 10-stage cooking functionality also comes with a convenient multi-stage cooking mode – so you can turn down the power without cutting the unit off entirely. There’s little in terms of bonus features, and the lower wattage does mean cooking for longer than normal. But if you need something that’s built to last, it’s hard not to argue against the lifetime warranty.

Pros

  • Easy to operate
  • Very affordable
  • Convenient multi-stage cooking mode
  • Excellent warranty

Cons

  • Low wattage
  • Not very large
  • May feel flimsy to some

The Samsung MS14K6000AS 1.4 cu. ft. Countertop Microwave Oven is a powerful, 1000-watt microwave with a good amount of room built into a stylish frame. However, it’s the features, not the aesthetic, that we’re most impressed by.

Samsung’s primary selling point with this unit is the sensors, which can detect various aspects of cooked food to make sure that the cook time is properly set. If not, the microwave will automatically adjust the time for you, so that your food comes out perfectly with zero effort on your part. The energy-saving eco mode helps to reduce your power bills, while an easy-clean interior prevents the need for any strenuous scrubbing should spills occur.

This unit is a bit heavy, especially when considering the countertop design, and it consumes a substantial amount of counter space. Still, this unit is great for those with a specific style in mind for their kitchens and anyone that needs a little help to ensure that their food is cooked perfectly.

Pros

  • Great design
  • Smart-adjust cooking function
  • Energy-saving Eco Mode
  • Easy to clean
  • Durable

Cons

  • Can be loud
  • Heavy

The Frigidaire FFCM1134LB microwave, much like the Farberware Classic, aims more for compact size and affordable cost. However, don’t count this product out when it comes to power.

This 1100-watt microwave can compete on a larger level while still keeping light enough to put away when all of the cooking is completed. The unit is focused on working efficiently rather than inundating the user with features, so there are no advanced sensors to be found. Moreover, we would have preferred a little bit more room to cook inside the unit along with this unit’s basic design.

We can’t fault Frigidaire, though, for focusing exclusively on power alongside a great price. This microwave is perfect for smaller spaces and budget seekers that aren’t willing to sacrifice on wattage.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • High wattage for the price
  • Quick controls
  • Auto-cook functionality

Cons

  • Not many features
  • Can appear cheap

This Frigidaire Professional FPBM3077RF is the first of our over-the-range picks, which are designed to be mounted over the stove as opposed to on top of the counter. This model is a high-capacity microwave capable of holding 1.8 cubic feet. All of the buttons and controls can be found on the door of the unit as opposed to the right-hand side, which gives the microwave a unique aesthetic.

When it comes to features, all your favorites are here, including defrosting, custom timers, popcorn settings, and more. The real selling point for this microwave, though, is the convection oven setting. Using this mode, the Frigidaire microwave cooks using circulated hot air, microwaves, or both.

As a result, we recommend this Frigidaire Over-the-Range model for those who want more options for accurate and thorough cooking and don’t mind a higher price tag.

Pros

  • Built-in convection oven
  • Unique aesthetic design
  • Durable build quality
  • Easy access to advanced features

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Lower wattage than expected

Like it’s countertop cousin, the LG is focused on easy access to features and a large amount of cooking space. Boasting an interior totaling 2.2 cubic feet, this microwave takes the crown as the most spacious on our list.

Aside from space considerations, you should be able to get a good amount of mileage out of the 1000 watts of cooking power. The fan used for ventilation is also one of the primary selling points, and reviewers are often impressed with how quickly this microwave can clear a room.

We’d still prefer a little more wattage, and the design leaves a strange amount of dead space on the right-hand side. Still, almost every feature has a dedicated button right on the front of the device, so there’s no scrolling through screens or program options.

We recommend this over-the-range LG for those who require compact kitchen appliances, need more space and rely on their kitchen vents perhaps a little too much.

Pros

  • Lots of cooking space
  • Easy access to functionality
  • EasyClean makes quick work of stains
  • Powerful fan and effective ventilation

Cons

  • Questionable design choices
  • Lower wattage than expected

The GE PVM9005SJSS represents GE’s entry into the over-the-range market, and out of all of the microwaves on our list, this one is perhaps the best-looking.

This model is easily comparable with LG’s version, but with a few tricks up its sleeve. For instance, a charcoal filter and a high number of fan speeds make ventilation more effective rather than fast. Likewise, with over 10 cooking speeds across 1050 watts of power, you’ll be able to effectively microwave across different speeds.

This microwave is also the first (and only) on our list to offer Bluetooth capability. With GE’s Chef Connect, you can sync up your microwave with other GE products to save time setting up clocks, timers, and other kitchen needs.

This unit does have some drawbacks in design, such as the letters being a bit too small for some to read, but overall, there’s little to complain about.

Pros

  • Great aesthetic design
  • Handy Chef Connect features
  • 10 power settings
  • Easy access to advanced features

Cons

  • Buttons can be hard to read
  • Would prefer a physical handle

The Sharp R1214T model’s over-the-counter design manages to put a new spin on the traditional design of older microwaves. This model will help you save on precious counter space, but you won’t be able to ventilate your stove using this product.

Using the multi-color LED display, you can easily pick out your favorite microwave features or just rely on the quick cook buttons. The array of 11 power settings keep you from having to guess at the right setting for your food, as the microwave will adjust accordingly. We also appreciate the Warm Plus feature, which lets you leave food inside the microwave for up to a half hour without the food cooling down.

There are no big-ticket features on this Sharp product, but there doesn’t need to be, as the 1100 watts of power this product produces is more than enough to get the job done.

Pros

  • 11 power settings
  • Easy-to-use LED display
  • Warm Plus feature keeps food ready to eat
  • Retro design

Cons

  • No advanced features
  • Can look outdated in certain homes

Comparison Chart

FeaturesToshiba EM925A5A-BS Farberware Classic FMO07ABTBKA Samsung MS14K6000ASFrigidaire FFCM1134LB
CategoryCountertopCountertopCountertopCountertop
Capacity0.9 cu. ft0.7 cu. ft1.4 cu. ft1.1 cu. ft
Wattage900W700W1000W1100W
Weight27.3 lbs32 lbs37.5 lbs32 lbs
Dimensions19.2 x 15.9 x 11.5 inches17.75 x 12.91 x 10.1 inches21.8 x 18.6 x 12.3 inches14.8 x 20.4 x 12 inches
FeaturesFrigidaire Professional FPBM3077RFLG LMHM2237STGE PVM9005SJSSSharp R-1214
CategoryOver-the-RangeOver-the-RangeOver-the-RangeOver-the-Counter
Capacity1.8 cu. ft2.2 cu. ft2.1 cu. ft1.5 cu. ft
Wattage1050W1000W1050W1100W
Weight76 lbs73.5 lbs70 lbs46 lbs
Dimensions17 x 30 x 18 inches16 x 30 x 18 inches33 x 21 x 20.5 inches26.9 x 18.6 x 17.1 inches

Buyer’s Guide:

Microwaves

Still struggling to decide which is the best microwave for you? In our buyers guide, we bring you all you need to know about how microwaves work and how to pick the best option for your needs.

Microwaves are a type of electromagnetic wave which travels through the air at the speed of light. They are invisible to the human eye, shorter than radio waves and longer than the waves of infrared radiation.

However, this wavelength is the perfect length for absorption into food and liquids. They are generated by a component within your microwave known as a ‘magnetron’. Once released, these radioactive microwaves ricochet around the chamber of the microwave oven, penetrating the food within and heating it up.

These waves are incapable of escaping through the mesh which covers the interior of the microwave door, instead this mesh reflects them back so they continue to heat the food and cannot leak out.

There are several things you should consider when choosing the best microwave for your needs. Below, we take a look at the most important aspects to focus on before making a decision.

Countertop, Over-the-Range, or Over-the-Counter?

In our above reviews, we looked microwaves across three categories: countertop, over-the-range and over-the-counter. When shopping for a new microwave, it’s important to remember the pros and cons of each type to ensure your purchase is going to work correctly for you and your home.

By far the most popular is the countertop microwave, which simply needs to be plugged into an outlet to operate. There are no installation considerations, and most people prefer countertop microwaves because they can be removed and stowed away when not in use.

Over-the-range microwaves are able to perform all of the functions of a standard microwave as well as ventilate any smoke and steam coming from a stovetop. These are more expensive overall but usually offer more interior space as well as more wattage.

Finally, there are over-the-counter microwaves, which operate as built-in models. Over-the-counter microwaves can be a lifesaver in small spaces that already have a dedicated stove top ventilation system in place. Each is unique in their installation, so you may want to consult a few guides and maybe hire a professional to get this product looking its best.

Regardless of style, you’ll need to make sure that the microwave you purchase is able to fit inside your kitchen and in the location that you’re picturing for it. That’s why we’ve made note of each microwaves’ dimensions in our comparison table so that you can make sure everything will fit as planned.

For countertop microwaves, the weight is very much an important factor to consider. If you plan to move your countertop microwave in and out of storage each time you use it, the difference between 20 pounds and 40 pounds can be huge. Likewise, a larger microwave is going to take up more storage space, which may be particularly precious in smaller living quarters.

In some ways, the features of a microwave can be less important, but they are definitely still worth paying attention to. Most modern microwaves will come equipped with basic defrosting settings and variable power levels; however, smart functionality and advanced sensors need to be considered if you will be using your microwave regularly for many different meals.

For example, microwaves that come with automatic time adjustment, in particular, can be a lifesaver when trying to cook a full meal. Simply pop in the food item and let the microwave take control so you can focus on other matters.

Perhaps more so than size, weight, or features, a microwave’s wattage is going to be the most telling sign of the functionality of your new unit. Think of wattage as the internal temperature of the microwave: the higher the wattage, the more powerful the unit will be and the quicker and more efficiently it will cook. If you plan to cook a wide variety of meals in your microwave, you should opt for the highest wattage you can.

  • How Much Wattage Do I Really Need?
  • That depends—how powerful do you need your microwave to be? Most reputable sources list the average microwave’s power to be somewhere near 1,000 or 1,000 watts.For typical use, though, aim for 600 watts to 1,200 watts. Much more or less than this range may mean adjusting cook times to compensate for a lack of (or too much) power.More watts, however, often means a larger footprint and a heavier microwave overall. That’s why over-the-range and over-the-counter microwaves tend to be more powerful since there’s little to consider when it comes to weight.
  • Why Do Microwaves Often Come With Turntables?
  • Microwaves use, as the name implies, microwaves that cook the food in bands. The turntable is to compensate for the waves and allow food to cook more evenly and easily.So, while you wouldn’t need a turntable if you’re heating up thin liquids like water, any solid food should be rotated to avoid spotty cooking and a poor quality meal.
  • Can I Plug My Microwave Into a Standard Outlet?
  • The standard voltage for an American power outlet is 120 volts, so you can feasibly plug your microwave into any grounded wall outlet. It is often recommended, however, that you make sure the outlet in question is on its own dedicated circuit.This will keep your lights from dimming every time the microwave is in use or to prevent overloading the home’s power.
  • Are Microwaves Dangerous?
  • There has been many rumors over the years regarding the safety of microwaves, but there has been no solid evidence which proves they are dangerous to use. The type of radiation produced by microwave ovens is too weak to cause any damage to your body or make your food less healthy.Therefore, so long as you use your microwave as directed and make sure you keep it well maintained, you have nothing to worry about.
  • What’s The Best Way To Clean a Microwave?
  • If your microwave has become splattered with food and is in need of a good clean, the best way to do this is by using water and white vinegar.Fill a microwavable bowl with ¼ cup white vinegar mixed with one cup of water. Place the bowl in your microwave and microwave for around two minutes. Keep an eye on the solution to make sure it has started to steam like boiling water.It is good practice to let the solution, and the bowl, cool down before opening and removing it. This will also allow the steam more time to penetrate the dirt which has burnt onto the sides of your microwave. Once you have removed the bowl, take a wet washcloth and wipe down the interior. The dirt should have softened and become much easier to remove.

Final Thoughts

We’ve covered several different options across three categories of microwaves, and while we’re confident in the quality of each of our picks, we know it can be difficult to settle on just one.

So, after reviewing all of the above models, our top pick is the Toshiba EM925A5A-BS. We love how easy this microwave is to use, and the range of features enables you to cook a wide variety of meals without any hassle. The sound off option is perfect if you need to keep the noise down, while the smart eco mode helps to save on your energy bills.

However, if you need to watch your spending, the Farberware Classic FMO07ABTBKA is our favorite budget pick. This microwave is a solid and versatile option for the price, and makes a great choice if you’re looking for a microwave for your first home.

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