The Best Over-the-Range Microwaves for Every Kitchen

Save space, with the bonus of better ventilatation.

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Over-the-Range Microwave

Food & Wine / Kevin Liang

Over-the-range microwaves are a popular addition to new and renovated kitchens, as they can free up valuable counter space while adding ventilation above the cooktop. A convenient adjunct to the stove and oven, these microwaves offer an additional way to cook or reheat food, and in some cases, simply keep food warm at the touch of a button. 

This type of microwave also tends to offer more options than your standard countertop version. You’ll find options that have smart features and the ability to sync with other appliances, wire racks that allow for two-tier cooking, and even convection baking and air frying capabilities—perfect for when you need the extra oven space. To review the best over-the-range microwaves, we looked at size, wattage, ventilation, and functionality. We compared their features, design, and performance to determine their placement on this list.

Best Overall

GE 1.7 Cubic Ft. Over-the-Range Microwave

GE 1.7 Cubic Ft. Over-the-Range Microwave

Home Depot

Pros: This model is easy to install and offers extra one-touch features, including the option to turn off the turntable. It also comes in several stylish finishes.

Cons: It’s only available in one size.

This GE microwave is a top-selling model for good reason: it’s reliable and offers a lot of features that are usually reserved for more expensive versions. It uses sensor controls to automatically adjust cooking time and power and also has a one-touch button to add 30 seconds when you need it. The Melt feature melts butter, cheese, or chocolate without burning. There’s also an option to mute the microwave and a feature that allows you to turn off the turntable, letting you use larger containers without fear of them getting stuck when turning. 

This microwave offers 1.7 cubic feet of internal space and 1,000 watts of power and uses a two-speed, 300-CFM venting system to eliminate odors, smoke, and steam. It’s easy to install and also comes in a variety of colors to match your existing kitchen scheme, basically checking all the boxes of great performance, plenty of features, and overall style. 

Price at time of publish: $306

  • Dimensions: 16.3 x 29.8 x 15.6 inches
  • Capacity: 1.7 cubic feet
  • Power: 1,000 watts
  • Finishes: Black, black stainless steel, stainless steel, white, slate

Best Budget

Whirlpool 1.7 Cubic Ft. Over-the-Range Microwave

Whirlpool 1.7 Cubic Ft. Over-the-Range Microwave

Best Buy

Pros: It offers similar power to higher-end models and operates a little quieter.

Cons: You won’t find as many features on the keypad controls as you will on more expensive models.   

If you’re looking to save a little money on your new over-the-range microwave, this model by Whirlpool is a fantastic pick at an easier price point. With 1,000 watts of power, it provides the same heating capabilities as other pricier options and has a number of presets that make it easy to get perfectly cooked or heated dishes at the touch of a button. It also has adjustable lighting to illuminate your cooktop or to keep on as a nightlight.  

This over-the-range microwave uses a carbon filter and two speed settings to keep grease, steam, and smells at bay. And for those who want their appliances to match, it comes in three finish options: black, white, and stainless steel, all of which are easy to wipe clean.

Price at time of publish: $228

  • Dimensions: 17.1 x 30 x 15.6 inches
  • Capacity: 1.7 cubic feet
  • Power: 1,000 watts
  • Finishes: Black, Stainless Steel, White

Best Splurge

KitchenAid 2 Cubic Ft. Over-the-Range Microwave with Sensor Cooking

KitchenAid 2 Cubic Ft. Over-the-Range Microwave with Sensor Cooking

Best Buy

Pros: If you like options, this microwave has many preset and one-touch features.  It also has a three-speed fan and carbon filter to keep smells and steam away.

Cons: The exhaust fan is a little noisy. 

An astounding number of options and features make this KitchenAid microwave a worthy splurge. It features four sensor functions to adjust heat and power to perfectly heat, defrost, cook, and more. Quick touch options allow you to cook popcorn, potatoes, or an entire dinner with one press of a button, while other presets allow for melting, steaming/simmering, and warming, where the microwave operates at just 10 percent of its power to keep food from going cold. The turntable can be stopped so that you can heat large dishes that might get stuck due to their size, and a wire rack makes it possible for bi-level heating and cooking.

This model boasts two cubic feet of space, which is plenty of room for family-sized reheating jobs. It’s also equipped with a three-speed fan and carbon filter that keep smells, steam, and smoke from creeping into your living space. And since the inside is coated with KitchenAid’s CookShield Finish, it wipes clean very easily, making it a breeze to maintain.

Price at time of publish: $448

  • Dimensions: 17.25 x 30 x 16.25 inches
  • Capacity: 2 cubic feet
  • Power: 1,000 watts
  • Finishes: Black, Stainless Steel, White

Best Large Capacity

GE Profile 2.2 Cubic Ft. Over-the-Range Sensor Microwave Oven

GE Profile 2.2 Cubic Ft. Over-the-Range Sensor Microwave Oven

Best Buy

Pros: This microwave has features galore, plus a steam cleaning option, a powerful ventilation hood, and the ability to sync with other appliances from the same line.

Cons: It’s expensive, and you’ll need the range from the same line to use the Chef Connect feature.

With 2.2 cubic feet of space, this is one of the largest over-the-range microwaves on the market. It’s part of the GE Profile series, a collection of sleek appliances with smart features. It uses sensors to optimize cooking and offers 1,000 watts of power for fast, efficient cooking and reheating. You can opt to mute the microwave, turn the turntable on and off, and utilize the steam clean feature for fast and easy cleaning. If you have a matching stovetop for this microwave, you can also use the Chef Connect feature, which uses Bluetooth to sync clocks, automatically turn on the light when the cooktop is in use, and more.

The ventilation system on this model is one of the best, with four fan speeds and the option to extend the vent to increase the capture rate. It’s available in a beautiful stainless steel finish and comes backed with a one-year entire appliance warranty.

Price at time of publish: $614

  • Dimensions: 17.25 x 30 x 15.7 inches
  • Capacity: 2.2 cubic feet
  • Power: 1,000 watts
  • Finishes: Stainless steel

Best Convection

LG 1.7 Cubic Ft. Convection Over-the-Range Microwave

LG 1.7 Cubic Ft. Convection Over-the-Range Microwave

Best Buy

Pros: Sleek in appearance with plenty of functionality, this smart microwave packs in 1,500 watts of power.

Cons: It’s on the pricier side, and you miss out on the ability to sync unless your cooktop is from the same series.

If you’ve jumped on the standalone air fryer bandwagon, you may enjoy freeing up some counter space with this convection microwave by LG. This is probably one of the most high-tech microwaves out there, featuring a large number of presets, including auto-defrost, sensor cooking, and steam cook options. Additionally, you can use the microwave to convection bake, proof dough, and dehydrate foods in addition to air frying. 

Those who love smart appliances will appreciate the Scan-to-Cook feature controlled by the ThinQ app, where customized cooking instructions can be sent directly to your microwave. If you happen to also have the matching LG stovetop, you can sync them so the vent and lights automatically turn on when the cooktop is in use. This microwave has all of its controls at the bottom of the unit and an integrated pocket handle that keeps it very minimalist in appearance, adding to its futuristic appeal.  

Price at time of publish: $598

  • Dimensions: 16.4 x 29.9 x 15.4 inches
  • Capacity: 1.7 cubic feet
  • Power: 1,550 watts
  • Finishes: Stainless steel

Best Design

Frigidaire 1.9 Cubic Ft. Gallery Series Microwave

Frigidaire 1.9 Cubic Ft. Gallery Series Microwave


Pros: The sleek, modern design makes this roomy microwave look like a more expensive smart model.

Cons: It has fewer features than we would like for the price. 

This model from Frigidaire offers a similarly sleek design to our Best Convection pick but doesn’t have all the smart features that make it pricey. It still offers a ton of functionality, like sensor cooking, a timer function, and a number of one-touch operations for adding 30 seconds, cooking popcorn, reheating drinks, and melting butter (to name a few). It also has a three-speed ventilation fan that helps move out smells and excess moisture from the air while the microwave is in use. 

This model is also pretty roomy, offering 1.9 cubic feet of space — enough to accommodate a removable extra large, 13.5-inch turntable so heating casseroles and large bowls aren’t an issue. The microwave is equipped with an LED light to illuminate your range, though we do wish it had a night light option.

Price at time of publish: $380

  • Dimensions: 15.75 x 29.8 x 16.4 inches
  • Capacity: 1.9 cubic feet
  • Power: 1,000 watts
  • Finishes: Stainless steel

Factors to Consider


First, ensure that the model you pick fits the space above your range. Most over-the-range microwaves may have a similar external size (around 30 inches), but you’ll also want to consider the unit’s capacity, usually noted in cubic feet. Sizes can range from 1.1 cubic feet (ideal for smaller spaces and quantities) to just over two cubic feet (great for large families or those who like to entertain).


A microwave’s wattage will affect how long it takes for something to cook. Your microwave should ideally have a minimum of 1,000 watts for efficient and even cooking — anything below that may cook less evenly and take significantly longer.


Since this type of microwave sits above the stove, having a ventilation system is crucial. Many of these microwaves come with convertible ventilation that can be connected to an external duct. If you don’t have existing ducts in your home, most of these models also use a recirculating vent, which uses a fan and carbon filter to pull smoke, odors, and steam out of the air.

Features and Functionality

When picking a microwave, you’ll want to decide which features are most important for you. If you’re an early riser and the rest of your household is not, the mute function that turns off the microwave’s beeps could be a must. One-touch options and presets can vary greatly from model to model, and not all microwaves have varying fan speeds or lighting options.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Do over-the-range microwaves need to be vented?

    “They generally need to be vented to the outside to ensure proper ventilation and prevent moisture buildup,” says Leo Watts, an engineer turned head of content at CNCSourced. “These microwaves are designed to be installed above a range or cooktop, and as such, they often come with built-in ventilation systems to help remove smoke, steam, and cooking odors from the kitchen. The venting system usually consists of a fan and a duct leading to the outside of the house, allowing for the proper air exchange.”

  • What is a recirculating over-the-range microwave?

    “Some over-the-range microwaves come with a recirculating ventilation system,” says Watts. “These microwaves use a charcoal filter to remove impurities from the air and then release the filtered air back into the kitchen.” While these models don’t require external venting, they might be less effective at removing moisture or strong odors than externally vented ones.

  • Can you use an over-the-range microwave on a counter?

    “It is possible, but it is not recommended,” says Watts. “These are designed to be mounted above a range or cooktop and often come with built-in ventilation systems that require proper installation. When used on a countertop, the ventilation system may not work effectively, and the microwave may overheat, leading to potential safety hazards.” 

Our Expertise

Bernadette Machard de Gramont is an LA-based freelance writer specializing in food, wine, and kitchen products. After a two-year stint at Williams Sonoma headquarters in San Francisco, she now researches and tests a variety of cookware, bakeware, and wine tools, and interviews field experts for their insight.

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