If you’re in the market for a new microwave, chances are your old trusted one has finally kicked the bucket and you’re in full panic mode. A microwave is one of those daily commodities that we might take for granted… until it’s no longer working. It’s hard to imagine life without one of these little ovens; how else are we supposed to reheat leftovers, warm up our neglected coffee for the tenth time in a day, or cheat our way to perfectly melted chocolate because, really, who has time to deal with bain-marie? We haven’t even mentioned making microwave popcorn, toasted nuts, delicious cheese crisps in 30 seconds, or a quick cake-in-a-mug for when you need something sweet, stat.
Microwaves have come a long way since first making their way into homes around the world in the late 70s. Newer versions not only heat up food, but can also cook, grill, simmer, and broil, and some can even be operated hands-free when paired with smart home devices like Alexa. If your microwave has decided to give up on you, or if it’s just getting a little old and you like the idea of an upgrade, have a look at our list of the 12 best microwaves on the market below. From large to small, convection to compact, economy to splurge, and built-in to countertop, these durable microwaves fit every need, style, and budget.
One of the best things about microwaves is that they’re notoriously inexpensive. A good budget microwave can cost as low as $50, with mid-range microwaves usually priced at around $100. Convection and built-in microwaves are typically a bit more expensive, usually starting at around $200, while high-end versions from brands like KitchenAid, Bosch, and Smeg can go well up into the thousands.
Microwaves are available everywhere nowadays, from the obvious megastores and retail giants like Walmart, Amazon, and Home Depot to home and electronics destinations like Wayfair and Best Buy. Many of the large supermarkets stock them, too.
Because you can shop all of the best-quality microwaves online now, upgrading your kitchen capabilities has never been more convenient. Read on to discover the microwaves customers are raving about—and for good reason.
The number-one bestselling microwave on Amazon at the moment is this 900-watt Toshiba stainless steel model that comes in either black or silver. Quick-access one-touch start, 10 power settings, power-saving eco mode, child safety lock, sound option, and six pre-programmed menu settings (including pizza and popcorn) make this one of the best microwaves you can shop for under $100.
One of the more than 3,700 reviewers said, “I spent a ridiculous amount of time researching microwaves recently—the space I have for one is small, and finding a good quality, smaller oven that can handle a dinner plate is surprisingly hard.. [This one] is super easy to use, heats food well and evenly, and doesn't hog the kitchen counter.”
To buy: $90; amazon.com
This black 750-watt Whirlpool number wins best countertop microwave in our book because it’s compact, reasonably priced, and has a unique round-back design that allows it to fit into corners and save valuable counter space.
Nearly 500 shoppers have given this microwave perfect five-star ratings for its value, energy efficiency, plethora of features, and quality. One such buyer said, “It cooks as well as the 1,500-watt unit it replaced, the controls are intuitive, [and] a large dinner plate fits the turntable.”
To buy: $169; homedepot.com
What’s not to love about smart microwaves? You can get the most precise results for cooking, reheating, and defrosting all from one countertop machine—and with the Breville Smooth Wave, you can add the quietest operation and soft-close door to that, too.
With “Sensor IQ” technology that adjusts the power according to what’s cooking (and remembers the setting for next time), 1,800 watts of power, and a stylish design typical of Breville, it’s little wonder this microwave is a customer favorite.
To buy: $350; amazon.com
At only 17-inches wide and 10-inches tall, the Comfee 700-watt microwave oven has been designated “Amazon’s Choice” for the best small microwave. If you’re short on kitchen space or want a petite microwave for a lodge or RV, this little oven—which comes in black or white—is the way to go.
Don’t let its small size and low price point fool you: This thing has 11 power levels, six easy cook functions, a kitchen timer, energy-saving standby mode, and a mute button for when you want to have a midnight snack without waking everyone up. One happy shopper recommended the microwave “to anyone who wants to save counter space,” and another remarked, “the size is perfect for my cabin… Totally love it!”
To buy: $65; amazon.com
If you’ve got plenty of counter space and want a machine that can heat up a bulk of food at once, the GE Profile countertop microwave is ideal. With an impressive 2.2-cubic-foot capacity and 16-inch turntable, this microwave is “large enough to hold two plates [and] can fit a whole chicken,” according to one happy reviewer.
Its 1,200-watt cooking power ensures that food is evenly heated, cooked, or thawed in less time, and its sleek stainless-steel exterior is a hit with customers. “The largest, easiest, best-looking microwave for our large family,” wrote one satisfied buyer, while another added that it has “some great features, and the system is easy to operate.”
To buy: $309; homedepot.com
As Amazon’s choice for best compact microwave, the Black+Decker digital microwave oven “takes up less room and still gets the job done,” has “intuitive controls and even heat,” and is “quieter than average,” “easy to clean, [and] lightweight,” as per just a few of its many rave reviews.
Featuring a push-button door and child safety lock, this 700-watt oven has seven different settings to cook, defrost, and heat food, and it does everything you’d expect from a conventional countertop microwave at a fraction of the size and cost.
To buy: $75; amazon.com
Just because your budget can’t extend to a high-end microwave oven right now doesn’t mean you need to forgo one completely. At just under $60, the AmazonBasics 700-watt microwave is a top-rated choice. And if you assume it’s just a “basic” microwave, think again.
In addition to all the standard microwave options—10 power levels, timer, turntable, child lock—this thing is voice-powered and can be activated from the comfort of your couch using an Alexa. In addition to being economical, this is also one of the best microwaves Amazon has to offer. Just ask the 8,800+ five-star reviewers.
To buy: $60; amazon.com
True KitchenAid fans know that going all out on a KA appliance is an investment that pays back. “This is no ordinary microwave oven,” one reviewer wrote about this KitchenAid over-the-range microwave. “With the convection baking, it becomes a secondary oven during busy holiday times, [and has] a clean and professional exterior that opens up to a spacious interior.”
“It was with some hesitation that I spent as much as this,” another buyer explained, “but my history with KitchenAid has been solid… The true bonus lies in the convection oven features… The ventilation is quiet and powerful... The steamer sensor function results in a perfect product for cauliflower and broccoli.” Consider us sold.
To buy: $854; kitchenaid.com
As opposed to small or compact microwaves, over-the-range (OTR) microwaves more often than not have a prominent position in the kitchen, on full display for everyone to see. While a stylish appliance is important in this case, functionality, ease-of-use, power, durability, and quality are equally relevant considerations.
For all these perks and more, the Whirlpool 1.9-cubic-foot over-the-range convection oven is just the ticket. Nice to look at? Check. Sensor cooking? Check. Steam functions to reserve flavor? Check. Add in that it’s fingerprint resistant for less frequent cleaning and features an adjustable blower to get rid of pungent smells, and what more could you ask for in a microwave oven?
To buy: $555; bestbuy.com
If your kitchen calls for a built-in microwave and you’re looking for one that will last you a long, long time, the Bosch 800-Series stainless steel drawer microwave is right up your alley. It’s on the expensive side, but this is Bosch we’re talking about, and you get what you pay for: premium, durable, high-quality appliances that don’t disappoint.
This 24-inch microwave has a large 1.2-cubic-foot capacity and features 900 watts of power, glass touch controls, an automatic sensor cooking program, and 11 preset power options. But, by far, the best thing about this oven is the drawer opening that turns cleaning into a breeze, allows you to stir items without removing them first, and makes taking hot food out of the oven easier and safer than ever.
To buy: $1,433; amazon.com
We’re slightly obsessed with the design of this countertop grill microwave oven from Samsung, but it’s way more than just a pretty face. In addition to the smooth black mirror finish, this microwave has a ceramic enamel interior for easy cleaning, a ceramic plate for perfect grilling, 1.4 cubic feet of space, 950 watts of power, and 10 power levels.
With this in your home, be prepared for an influx of compliments from visitors. “This microwave looks slick in my kitchen,” described one of the many satisfied buyers. Another added, “It looks so expensive.”
To buy: $201 (originally $229); amazon.com
If you like ‘50s diner style, you’ll love this vintage-inspired microwave with an easy-clean interior. The aptly named Nostalgia 800-watt countertop microwave oven takes us straight to the “back” in Back to the Future.
It has 12 pre-programmed cook settings and comes in five cool shades, including metallic retro red, jet black, and mid-century modern seafoam green. “Love this microwave,” wrote one reviewer. “Easiest one I’ve ever owned and heats food quickly. The retro style is the first thing people notice when they come to my kitchen!”
To buy: $129; amazon.com