12 Best Microwave Brands and 1 I Will Never Buy Again

Today I had a brand new Whirlpool over-the-range microwave installed. We decided to purchase a Whirlpool because of the name recognition, features and price. Before we decided on whirlpool, I compiled a list of microwave brands that we chose from. Here is that list.

Before I reveal the 12 best microwave brands, I want to spend a few minutes discussion how I created this list. This list is based on the following:

  •  Brand strength
  • Number of offerings
  • Price
  • Features
  • Customer reviews

Brand strength: How well known and liked the brand is within the appliance world. Are consumers aware of this brand, or is it an unknown?

Number of Offerings: Number of offerings means how many products they have for consumers. Do they have products for both over-the-range and countertop microwaves, or do they only offer one? Also, do they target all consumers, just the high end, or just the low end?

Price: Like number of offerings, does this brand target all levels on income?

Features: How many different features does this brand offer? Does this brand have express or convection cooking, or eco mode?

Customer reviews: What are customers saying on major websites like Amazon or Best Buy? Do customers have an overall favorable view of the brand?

One Last Thing…

Before I begin this list, I want to provide a few definitions.

Locations: this refers to where the microwaves can be installed. There are three options: countertop, built-in or over-the-range. 

Types: this refers to the different types of microwaves. Microwaves can be one of three types: Solo, grill, or convection. Solo microwaves are the most basic and limited microwave type. These are best for defrosting frozen foods, cooking popcorn, and cooking minute rice.

Grill microwaves can do everything a solo microwave can do, plus it has an additional feature that can grill foods like toaster ovens.

Finally, convection microwave can do everything solo and grill microwaves can do, plus bake cookies. cakes, and pies.

Click here for a more detailed description of the different microwave types

Now, let’s take a look at the 12 best microwave brands. 


Frigidaire made this list for a few factors. First, they have over 20 different microwaves to choose from. Second, the prices of these microwaves range from $50 to over $450. These microwaves have a number of features to meet every consumer’s needs. 

These microwaves are available both a retail and online stores and have high reviews on most of their products. 


These microwaves can be installed over-the-range, built-in, or placed on top of a countertop. Most of the microwaves by Frigidaire are countertop microwaves followed by built-in.


Most of the microwaves offered by Frigidaire are solo microwaves. These microwaves have an oven capacity ranging from 0.7 to 2.2 cubic feet.

The Good

Frigidaire has a wide range of products to meet any consumer need. In addition, Frigidaire appears to keep up with the latest technological advances with features like sensor cooking and LED lighting. 

The Bad

Most of their offerings are countertop microwaves. If you need a built-in or over-the-range microwave, your options are limited. Also, I I didn’t see any microwaves that take advantage of home automation (smart home).

Microwave Examples

Here are just a few examples of microwaves Frigidaire currently offers:

  • Frigidaire FFCM0724LW Microwave Oven
  • Frigidaire FFCE1638LS Microwave Oven
  • Frigidaire FFMO1611LB Built-in Microwave
  • Frigidaire FGMO205KW Built-in Microwave 

Hamilton Beach

Hamilton Beach offers over 5 lower priced microwaves for consumers. These microwaves range in price from $50 to $200. Hamilton Beach products can be found both online and at retail stores. Finally, Hamilton Beach includes features like child safety locks, express and ont touch cooking.


These microwaves can only be used as countertop microwaves. 


These microwaves are only solo microwaves. 

The Good

These microwaves are priced for every consumer. Also, these microwaves have an oven capacity range from 0.7 to 1.1 cubic feet. These microwaves can be picked up today at local retail giants or purchased online. Finally, I like that these microwaves have a low price per watt.

The Bad

This brand is limited to countertop microwaves. There may be a real opportunity to move into the built-in or over-the-range space. Also, there isn’t a lot of information regarding microwaves on the Hamilton Beach website. If you want more information, you have to navigate to a retailers website. 

Microwave Examples

Hamilton Beach microwave examples:

  • Hamilton Beach 0.7 cubic feet Microwave Oven
  • Hamilton Beach 0.9 cubic feet 900W Microwave Oven
  • Hamilton Beach 1.1 cubic feet Microwave Oven
  • Hamilton Beach 0.9 cubic feet 900W Microwave Oven


Insignia is a private label (Best Buy) brand that made this list because it has over 10 products, a very good price per watt, and a number of features. The price for these products range from under $50 to under $200. Insignia microwaves include stainless steel finishes, inverter technology, and a smart sensor.

These microwaves have a wattage range of 600 to 1300 watts and an oven capacity range of 0.7 to 1.6 cubic feet.


These microwaves can be installed over-the-range or used as countertop microwaves. Most of the microwaves are countertop microwaves. 


Insignia offers solo and convection microwaves, though most of the microwaves are solo microwaves.

The Good

The microwaves included in this brand may have the most features for the price. Also, consumers have a choice of plastic or stainless steel finishes. Finally, because Best Buy is a national brand, you can purchase these microwaves at the local store or online.

The Bad

These microwaves can only be purcahsed through Best Buy. The private label limits the access to all consumes. Also, this brand does not offer any built-in options. 

Microwave Examples

Here are a few Insignia microwaves offered by Best Buy:

  • Insignia NS-7CM6-BK Compact Microwave
  • Insignia NS-OTR16SS6 Over-the-Range Microwave
  • Insignia NS-MW11BS9 Microwave Oven
  • Insignia NS-OTR16SS9 Over-the-Range Microwave


Kenmore is one of the most well known brand in small appliances. Kenmore has over 25 different microwave ovens to choose from. These microwaves have an oven capacity range of 0.8 – 2.0 cubic feet. Also, Kenmore has almost every feature you need to cook food the way you want.

Finally, Kenmore microwaves range in price from over $75 to over $1300. 


Kenmore has microwaves for all three locations: countertop, built-in, and over-the-range. 


Kenmore has a microwave for all three types: solo, grill, and convection. 

The Good

These microwaves are well known and have a great reputation among its peers. Also, you can find a Kenmore microwave to meet your needs. Also, I like that some of the microwaves have multiple colors to choose from.

The Bad

My biggest concern isn’t even with Kenmore, it’s who sells Kenmore. Currently, Kenmore is mostly available only through Sears. Recently, Sears has had financial trouble. Also, another possible concern is that this premium product includes a premium price. The price per watt is high depending on the microwave you’re considering.

Microwave Examples

Here are a few examples of Kenmore microwaves:

  • Kenmore 80333 Over-the-Range Microwave
  • Kenmore 76989 Microwave Oven
  • Kenmore 70913 Countertop Microwave Oven
  • Kenmore 75653 Microwave Oven
  • Kenmore 80353 Over-the-Range Microwave Oven


KitchenAid is another well-known brand in the small appliance industry. This brand offers over 25 microwaves with a range of features for consumers. These microwaves range in price from over $300 to almost $2000. These microwaves have a watt range between 800 and 1300 watts. 

Finally, this brand has a minimum oven capacity of 1.1 and 2.2 cubic feet. 


These microwaves can be installed on a countertop, over-the-range, or built-in. Most of the microwaves offered by KitchenAid are over-the-range.


These microwaves can be any of the three types: solo, grill, or convection. 

The Good

Customers have very high reviews of these microwaves. Most of these microwaves include high-end features like sensor cooking.

The Bad

These microwaves are very expensive. Countertop microwaves, which are usually the cheapest, have a very high price per watt. 

Microwave Examples

Below are a few KitchenAid microwaves:

  • KitchenAid KMCS1016GBS Countertop Microwave
  • KitchenAid KMLS311HBS Over-the-Range Microwave
  • KitchenAid KMHC319EBS Convection Over-the-Range Microwave
  • KitchenAid KMCS1016GSS Countertop Microwave


LG is another internationally known brand that offers over 20 options to choose from. These microwaves have an oven capacity ranging from 0.9 to 2.2 cubic feet. In addition, these microwaves have a price range of over $100 to almost $700. 

Finally, LG microwaves include the following premium features: sensor cooking, ADA Compliant, and convection cooking. 


LG microwaves can be installed over-the-range, or on countertops. LG offers more over-the-range microwaves than countertop microwaves. 


LG offers both solo and convection cooking types. Solo microwaves are the standard LG microwaves.

The Good

This brand has a great name across multiple industries. In addition, these microwaves can be purchased at many retailers onsite and online.

The Bad

While not as expensive ad KitchenAid, LG is another premium brand. These microwaves have a high price per watt. In addition, I did not see any built-in microwaves offered by LG.

Microwave Examples

Here are a few LG microwaves:

  • LG LMC0975ST NeoChef Microwave
  • LG LMC2075BD Microwave Oven
  • LG LMV1762ST Over-the-Range Microwave
  • LG LMC1575SW NeoChef Microwave


Panasonic has a nationally known brand that features over 20 different microwave models. These microwave have a number of features including inverter technology and genius sensor. Panasonic microwaves range in price from $50 and over $200. Finally, these microwaves have an oven capacity range of 0.7 and 2.2 cubic feet. 


These microwaves can be used as built-in or countertop microwaves. 


Most of the microwaves included with the Panasonic brand are solo microwaves.

The Good

This microwave has a strong brand, has great user reviews, and uses the newest technology. In addition, this brand can be purchased from a number of different retailers, both onsite and online. 

The Bad

This brand is limited to countertop microwaves. This brand offers very few built-in or over-the-range. Also, some of their products have a high cost per watt. 

Microwave Examples

Here are a few examples of Panasonic microwaves:

  • Panasonic NN-SM33H Countertop Microwave
  • Panasonic NN-SN651B Countertop Microwave
  • Panasonic NN-SN733BAZ Countertop Microwave
  • Panasonic NN-SN773SAZ Countertop/ Built-in Microwave


Samsung is yet another brand that has a strong name in home goods. Samsung has over 25 different microwaves for consumers to choose. These microwaves have oven capacities up to 2.3 cubic feet, and wattages over 1200. Finally, the price rang for these microwaves begin at $125 and end at over $400.


Samsung microwaves can be installed over-the-range and to the countertop. Samsung has more over-the-range products than countertop microwaves. 


Samsung has microwaves of all three types: solo, grill, and convection.

The Good

All of the Samsung microwaves have a premium look at feel. In addition, Samsung has great customer reviews and can be purchased from a variety of locations. 

The Bad

This premium bad has a premium price tag. Also, Samsung has very few built-in options. 

Microwave Examples

Here are just a few Samsung microwaves:

  • Samsung MW1080STA Microwave Oven
  • Samsung MT1066SB Toast & Bake Microwave
  • Samsung MS14K6000AS Microwave
  • Samsung MG11H2020CT Microwave.


Whirlpool may be the most well known brand on this list. This brand has been around since the beginning of home appliances, currently, there are over 30 microwave products offered by the brand. This brand has a price range of $120 and over $300. In addition, these microwaves have a minimum oven capacity of 0.9 cubic feet and maximum cubic feet of 2.2 cubic feet, 

In addition, these microwaves include the following features: sensor cooking, removable filter, and child safety locks. 


These microwaves can be placed on countertops or installed over-the-range. Currently, Whirlpool has more over-the-range products than countertops microwaves.


Whirlpool has all three types: solo, convection, and grill.

The Good

The brand is backed up by the positive customer reviews. The average rating for each product is 4.7 out of 5. Also, there are a number of products for customers to choose from.

The Bad

These microwaves have a high price per watt, but not as high as other brands on this list. In addition, there are very few built-in microwaves offered by this brand.

Microwave Examples

  • Whirlpool WML75011HZ Over-the-Range Microwave
  • Whirlpool WML55011HW Over-the-Range Microwave
  • Whirlpool WMH78019HZ Convection Over-the-Range Microwave
  • Whirlpool WML750111HB Over-the-Range Microwave


The final brand on this list is Westinghouse. This brand is a discount brand that has a number of different options less than $120. In addition, these microwaves have a wattage range of 700 to 1200. These microwaves can be purchased through online and local retailers. 


These microwaves can only be installed on countertops. 


These microwaves are solo microwaves only.

The Good

This brand is very inexpensive and can be a great microwave for a college student or recent grad. This brand has microwaves with a number of different options so you can have premium features without a premium price.

The Bad

This brand needs to have a built-in option. Also, This product could benefit from expanding the microwave types. 

Microwave Examples

  • Westinghouse WCM11100B Countertop Microwave
  • Westinghouse WCM990W Countertop Microwave
  • Westinghouse WCM770SS Countertop Microwave
  • Westinghouse WCM16100W Countertop Microwave. 

The One Brand I will never Buy again

The one brand that I will never buy again is GE. My GE microwave is the reason I began this blog. Storytime!

We had our house built in 2012. During the installation, we had an option to install a number of different microwaves but we decided on GE because of name recognition. Fast forward 4 years and we noticed that a few of the buttons on the keypad stopped working. We noticed this after we had house cleaners and assumed it was them.

As the months went on, more and more buttons stopped working. Eventually, we got to a point where only the express 2 was the only button that worked. Just picture this, to cook anything in the microwave you have to overcook your food and hope that it’s not too bad to eat. 

As I looked into the problem, I noticed a number of GE microwaves had the same issue. This issue spans across different products and product lines. This issue impacts both cheap and expensive microwaves. 

The issue stems from a connector between the keypad and control board. The connector at the keypad becomes loose over time and needs to be pushed back in. There are a number of YouTube videos that show people reconnecting the connector between the keypad and control board. 

Unfortunately for me, the YouTube videos did not fix my problem and I made the decision to purchase a new microwave. 

Additional Questions

Which Countertop Microwave is the Best?

The best countertop microwave varies based on your needs, but my top 5 are:

  • Kenmore 70913 Countertop Microwave
  • Frigidaire FFCM1134LW Countertop Microwave
  • Emerson MWCG1584SB Countertop Microwave
  • Samsung MS11K3000AC Countertop Microwave
  • Daewoo KOR-7REM Retro Countertop Microwave

The best microwaves can be determined by the number of watts, oven capacity, and included features. For the best microwave, you should find a microwave that has the highest wattage you can afford, with the largest oven capacity. The features depend on what you need in a microwave.

To help determine the best microwave, use a price per watt calculator. The price per watt will help you see through all the marketing and find the best microwave for you. the price per watt calculation is simple:

  • price / watt = price per watt

Click here to see a list of the 19 best countertop microwave

What is Inverter Microwave?

An inverter microwave that uses the requested power level to cook foods. On non-inverter microwaves, when you change the power level, the microwave cooks on high then it will turn off. For example, if you set the power level to 50% the microwave cooks on 100% for half the time, then off for the other half.

With an inverter microwave, the microwave will cook at the program power level for the entire time. Instead of cooking on high then turning off, it will cook for 50% for the whole time.

What are Over the Range Microwaves?

Over-the-range microwaves are microwaves that are installed over the range. These microwaves are screwed into the cabinet and wall. In general, there are three locations for microwaves: over-the-range, built-in, and countertop. 

The benefit of over-the-range microwaves is that it saves space, includes a vent, a fan, and a light.