I’ve spent a lot of time researching the various microwaves, microwave types, and microwave features. In this post, I’ve compiled a list of countertop microwaves that you should consider for your home or office.
In general, there are about 9 different places you can put your microwave, including over-the-range and below the counter, but one of the most common ways, is on the countertop.
In this post, I will list the microwaves, why they made the list, and why you should consider this microwave. In addition, I will list possible reasons why you may want to consider a different microwave.
The List Explained
The microwaves that made this list are based on the following:
- Oven capacity
I did not include price when determining the best countertop microwaves. If the price is very important to you, click here for a list of 15 microwaves under $100.
Also, I did not consider the finish of the microwaves when creating this list. There are three types of finishes for a microwave: stainless steel, plastic, and aluminum. Stainless steel is a premium finish, and the most expensive. Adding stainless steel to a microwave can increase the cost by as much as 20%.
Watts is the most important feature in a microwave because it helps to determine how quickly your food cooks in the microwave. In general, the higher the watts, the faster your food will cook. Watts for a domestic microwave range from 550 to 1500 watts.
In addition to time, watts also have an impact on the doneness of food. The higher the watts, the higher your chances that your food will be evenly cooked and safe to eat.
Finally, in most cases, the higher the oven wattage, the more expensive the microwave. The only time this isn’t the case is when you are considering private label or generic microwaves.
Oven capacity is the second most important feature in a microwave because it is a measurement of the amount of food that can be placed in the microwave at one time. Oven capacity is calculated by multiplying length, width, and height, also know as cubic feet.
Oven Capacity usually increases as the watts increase. In addition, the price also increases as the oven capacity increases. Domestic microwaves range between 0.5 and 2.5 cubic feet.
There are at least 20 microwave features to choose from. Of the 20 features, less than 5 are standard on all microwaves. The standards are:
- Express cooking
- One-touch cooking
- Power level
Like watts, the more features included with the microwave, the higher the price. The only exception to this rule
One final thing: To ensure there is a number of great options, I tried to include only one microwave from each brand. Some brands may have 3, 4 or even 5 great countertop microwaves, but I chose to only put one of each on this list.
Here are the 25 best countertop microwaves
Magic Chef Countertop Microwave
The Magic Chef product line includes a number of different watts and oven capacities to meet the needs of all family sizes. The microwave of this list includes 1000 watts of cooking power and an oven capacity of 1.1 cubic feet.
In addition, this microwave includes a push-button door release, 10 power levels, and 1 touch cooking modes. Finally, this microwave includes express cooking and a button to add 30 seconds to your cooking time.
What I like: I like the minimal design and the digital clock/ timer. In addition, I like the push-button door release as it can extend the life of the microwave.
Possible drawbacks: The size and weight of this microwave could be a concern to some users. Also, there isn’t a child lock included with this microwave.
What owners are saying: Some owners complained that the inside of the microwave is too small for larger plates. Other customers listed customer service as the biggest drawback of this microwave. Finally, many customers will satisfied with the price, features, and wattage of this microwave.
Panasonic NN-SN936B Countertop Microwave
Panasonic also has a wide selection of countertop microwaves to choose from. This microwave has a large 2.2 cubic foot oven capacity and 1250 watts for cooking almost anything. In addition, this microwave includes inverter technology and a
This microwave has a very wide 17-inch turntable, child safety lock, and 14 preset menu items.
What I like: I like that this microwave has a relatively small footprint considering its large oven capacity. I like the auto cook options for oatmeal, pasta, and soup. Finally, I like the inverter technology.
Possible drawbacks: This microwave may be overkill if you are not using it multiple times per week, or if you have a smaller family. Also, this microwave could be too expensive for many consumers.
What owners are saying: Overall, users are pretty happy with this microwave with the only complaints being customer service. Customers are happy with the simple layout and the door latch.
Sharp R830BS Countertop Microwave
The Sharp R830BS Countertop Microwave includes 900 watts of cooking power and 0.9 cubic feet of cooking capacity. In addition, this microwave includes convection cooking for cooking cookies, cakes, and pies. Finally, this microwave features an auto defrost and a stainless steel finish.
What I like: I like the convection cook option because it expands what you can cook with the microwave. With solo (regular) microwaves, you are limited to cooking popcorn, frozen dinners, and potatoes. Convection cooking allows you to cook almost anything you would cook in a normal oven.
Possible drawbacks: This microwave weighs almost twice as much as other countertop microwaves. In addition, the exterior dimensions may limit where you can place this microwave. Usually, a microwave of this size has a larger oven capacity and
What owners are saying: Most customers are very happy with this microwave with the only major drawback being the physical size.
Nostalgia RMO400RED Countertop Microwave
This microwave is a flashback to the 1950s and 60s. This microwave has a retro look with the red exterior and push and dial buttons. The microwave includes 800 watts of cooking power and 0.9 cubic feet of oven capacity. Finally, this microwave includes 12 pre-programmed cooking settings and a rotating glass turntable.
What I like: This microwave made the list simply based on its look. This microwave will be a topic of discussion for all new guests. Guests will be even more surprised when they find out that it actually works and it’s not just a bread basket.
Possible drawbacks: I’m not a fan of handles on microwaves because they can be a default point. The pushing and pulling on the handle can result in damage to the
What owners are saying: Customers are very happy with the look and retro the bright color, but have concerns with the buttons and knobs on the microwave.
Kenmore 70913 Countertop Microwave
Kenmore is yet another brand that has multiple products for the countertop product line. The Kenmore 70913 Countertop Microwave has an oven capacity of 0.9 cubic feet and 900 watts of cooking power. In addition, this microwave has 10 power levels and 12 1 touch cooking settings.
What I like: I like the very simple look and feel of this microwave. The look makes it really easy to get up and running. Also, I like the multiple defrosting options and the ability to add 30 seconds mid-cook.
Possible drawbacks: The price per watt for this microwave may be a little high for a microwave of this size. In addition, it is possible that you will pay a premium because of this brands strength.
What owners are saying: Customers are generally satisfied with tis product. They like the watts and oven capacity. However, some customers concerned about a lack of included product manual.
Frigidaire FFCM1134LW Countertop Microwave
The Frigidaire FFCM1134LW Countertop Microwave is an 1100 watt, 1.1 cubic foot microwave that includes 6 quick start and express buttons. In addition, this microwave has 10 power levels and a feature that allows you to program power levels and cooking times.
What I like: I like the wide 13-inch turntable included with this microwave. Also, I like the 8 auto cook and 4 auto reheat options that are included with this microwave. Finally, I like the child lock and the LED display.
Possible drawbacks: The door hand on the microwave door is a cause of concern for me. I feel like that will eventually become a source of failure if the door isn’t opened and closed exactly right every time.
What owners are saying: Overall, most customers seem happy with the product but our concerned with the customer service they received.
Emerson MWCG1584SB Countertop Microwave
The Emerson MWCG1584SB Countertop Microwave includes both a convection and frilling function for all-purpose cooking. This microwave features 1000 watts of cooking power and a large 1.5 cubic feet of oven capacity. Finally, this microwave is finished with a stainless steel and black finish.
What I like: This microwave has almost every feature to suit your cooking needs. The grill function allows you to grill without leaving the comfort of your own home.
Possible drawbacks: All of these features and finish require a higher price than many of the other microwaves of this list. Also, there may be a learning curve before you are able to use all of the features.
What owners are saying: The biggest concern customers had
Samsung MS11K3000AS Countertop Microwave
The Samsung MS11K3000AS Countertop Microwave includes 1.1 cubic feet of cooking capacity and 1000 watts of cooking power. The microwave features sensor cooking and a ceramic enamel interior for easy clean up. In addition, this microwave features an Eco mode to save money and electricity.
What I like: I like the ceramic enamel interior. As I mentioned in this post, it can be difficult to clean up microwave spills, the ceramic interior reduces that stress.
Possible drawbacks: There are no numbers of this microwave meaning it may take longer to set the cook time. Also, knobs can be fault points on some devices
What owners are saying: The biggest complaint that customers had for this microwave is that it is too loud. Like the last microwave, consumers were caught off guard by the level of noise from this microwave.
Daewoo KOR-7REM Retro Countertop Microwave
The Daewoo KOR-7REM Retro Countertop Microwave is the second throwback microwave on this list. this microwave includes 700 watts of cooking power, 0.7 cubic feet of oven capacity, and has 5 power levels. In addition, this microwave includes a child safety lock and a Concave Reflex System.
What I like: First, I like the retro look and feel of this microwave. Second, I like the ability to turn this microwave on and off, thus saving power. Finally, I like the child safety lock
Possible drawbacks: This microwave lacks number buttons which could have an impact on cook time. Also, this microwave lacks a number of
What owners are saying: Customers who purchased this product were either very happy with the look and size of this microwave or disappointed with the build quality and materials. Overall, there are many more positive user reviews of this microwave.
Whirlpool WMC20005YB Countertop Microwave
The Whirlpool WMC20005YB Countertop microwave is designed to save space and sit in the corner of your countertop. This microwave has an oven capacity of 0.5 cubic feet and 750 watts of cooking power. In addition, this microwave includes a 1 touch popcorn setting and 10 power levels.
What I like: I like that this microwave was designed with space saving in mind. This microwave has a sleek design that is unique to every other microwave currently on the market.
Possible drawbacks: This microwave lacks a lot of the basic features included in the most basic of microwaves. This microwave lacks 0-9 buttons, express cooking, and 1 touch cooking for snacks outside of popcorn
What owners are saying: Customers are very happy with this microwave. Because of its size, this microwave can be placed in the home or office. The one major complaint I found was the microwave just stopped working after 1 month.
GE PEM31DFWW Countertop Microwave
The GE PEM31DFWW Countertop Microwave includes 1.1 cubic feet of oven capacity and 800 watts of cooking power. In addition, this microwave features 10 power levels, charcoal filter, and the ability to turn the turntable on and off. Finally, this microwave includes sensor cooking and 2 defrosting options.
What I like: This microwave has a very basic, user-friendly design. In addition, I like that the filter is easily accessible for when it needs to be changed. Finally, I like the express cooking and the 1 touch cooking options.
Possible drawbacks: Usually, you would expect a higher number of watts for a microwave of this size. While this helps to keep the price down, I would expect a microwave of this size to include at least 1000 watts.
What owners are saying: Some customers felt that the construction of this microwave is cheap when compared to models of previous generations. Customers are mostly satisfied with this microwave.
LG NeoChef Countertop Microwave
The LG NeoChef Countertop microwave comes in many different sizes and watts. This microwave includes an oven capacity of 1.5 cubic feet and 1200 watts of cooking power. In addition, this microwave includes 10 power levels 7 1 touch cooking options, 5 reheat options, and 4 defrost options.
What I like: I like the wide 14-inch turntable for even cooking. Also, this microwave includes a child lock, easy clean interior, and an option to cook a pie.
Possible drawbacks: This microwave is one of the heaviest on this list. In addition, users of this microwave may experience a short learning curve.
What owners are saying: One customer noted that the microwave doesn’t beep the same way her previous microwave does. Otherwise, customers are happy with this microwave.
Westinghouse WCM11100W Countertop Microwave
The Westinghouse WCM11100W Countertop Microwave includes 1000 watts of cooking power and 1.1 cubic feet of oven capacity. In addition, this microwave includes 10 power levels, 6 1 touch buttons, and the option to defrost by weight or speed.
What I like: I like the 12-inch turntable and the child lock. Also, I like the express cooking and 1 touch options.
Possible drawbacks: You may be able to find a similar microwave for less price than this Westinghouse.
What owners are saying: Customers seem to be very happy with this microwave with the only concern with the end of cook beeping. One user said this microwave wouldn’t stop beeping until the microwave door was opened.
Oster OGT6701 Countertop Microwave
The Oster OGT6701 Countertop Microwave features an oven capacity of 0.7 cubic feet and 700 watts of cooking power, In addition, this microwave has 10 power levels, 6 1 touch settings, and a child safety lock.
What I like: This microwave has an 80s feel with the look and the design. Also, I like the defrost options and the ability to cook by weight. Finally, I like the compact size of this
Possible drawbacks: The cost per watt seems a little high for a microwave with basic features.
What owners are saying: Customers really like the size of this microwave. This microwave can be used at home or in the office.
Toshiba EM245A5C-SS Countertop Microwave
The final microwave of this list is the Toshiba EM245A5C-SS Countertop Microwave. This microwave includes 1.6 cubic feet of oven capacity and 1250 watts of cooking power. In addition, this microwave uses inverter technology, sensor cooking,
What I like: I like the inverter technology included with this microwave. Using this technology makes for an accurate, more evenly cooked food. Also, the sensor cooking takes the guesswork out of cooking in the microwave.
Possible drawbacks: The only drawback of the microwave is the handle on the door. Also, try and catch this microwave on sale.
What owners are saying: Customers are very happy with this microwave. This microwave meets almost every customer need, from features to finish.
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What is the best wattage for a microwave?
In general, the higher the wattage the better as it equals faster and a more complete cook. Domestic microwaves can have watts as high as 1500, or as low as 550, while commercial microwaves can have watts as high as 3500. The lowest watts you should consider for your home is 900 watts.
What is the best brand of microwave?
The best brand can vary based on make, model, and functionality, but the best brands include:
How long can you expect a microwave to last?
You can expect a microwave to last about 9.5 years. Check out this post detailing what impacts a microwaves’ lifespan.
Can a microwave wear out?
Yes, microwaves can wear out just like any other machine created. There are a number of factors that can increase or decrease the length of time a microwave breaks.