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The 5 Best Microwaves (2021 Review)

In this review, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the five best microwaves on Amazon to help you find the product that’s right for you and your home. The products included in this article are available at various home improvement stores, local home centers, and online retailers like Amazon.

Microwave Courtesy Amazon

Most commonly used to reheat leftovers or prepare frozen meals, microwaves are an essential part of a functional kitchen. Today, microwaves contain an array of settings, such as pre-programmed buttons for food-specific cooking and adjustable power levels for a controlled cooking temperature.

To help you purchase a microwave with the specifications and features that meet your food preparation needs, the This Old House Reviews Team researched the best microwaves on Amazon. Here are our top five recommendations.

Best Medium Capacity: Toshiba Microwave Oven

This microwave comes with smart-sensor technology that adjusts its runtime and temperature based on the food that’s inside of it. It also has a medium capacity of 1.2 cubic feet and a medium power of 1,100 watts.

Key Features

  • Pull handle
  • Capacity of 1.2 cubic feet
  • 1,100 watts
  • One-year warranty
  • Frozen pizza, frozen entree, potato, rice, and popcorn buttons

What Customers Are Saying

This microwave has an average rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 stars from over 47,000 reviews. Ninety-one percent of the reviews have a rating of 4 or 5 stars, while 6% have a rating of 1 or 2 stars.

Customers liked this microwave’s heating strength and preset modes. Many also mentioned that they preferred its easy-grip handle over models with a push-button door. Customers who weren’t satisfied said that they experienced vibrating noises and flickering lights during use.

Best Basic Microwave: Toshiba Microwave Oven

This affordable Toshiba microwave has a compact size of 0.9 cubic feet that’s controlled by an intuitive control panel with power-adjustable settings. Not only does this microwave have a variety of convenience features, such as a mute button, it also blends in with any kitchen.

Key Features

  • Pull handle
  • Capacity of 0.9 cubic feet
  • 900 watts
  • One-year warranty
  • Popcorn, potato, pizza, frozen vegetable, beverage, and dinner plate buttons

What Customers Are Saying

Almost 18,000 people have reviewed the Toshiba microwave, giving it an average rating of 4.6 stars out of 5 stars. Ninety-one percent of the reviews have a 4- or 5-star rating, while 5% of the reviews have a 1- or 2-star rating.

Satisfied customers raved about the mute function on this microwave. Many also liked its even heating ability, intuitive control panel, and affordable price. A handful of dissatisfied reviewers had electrical problems, including light failure and electrical arcing.

Most Space: BLACK+DECKER Digital Microwave Oven

This BLACK+DECKER microwave contains six pre-programmed buttons for heating a variety of foods, including a unique beverage option for warming coffee or tea. Additionally, its spacious interior can easily accommodate large dinner plates and odd-shaped food items, such as popcorn bags.

Key Features

  • Push button
  • Capacity of 1.4 cubic feet
  • 1,000 watts
  • One-year warranty
  • Popcorn, potato, pizza, frozen vegetable, beverage, and dinner plate buttons

What Customers Are Saying

This digital microwave oven from BLACK+DECKER has over 11,000 reviews on Amazon with an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 stars. Eighty-eight percent of the reviews have a 4- or 5-star rating, while 6% of the reviews have a 1- or 2-star rating.

Customers said that the biggest appeal of this microwave was its small size, noting that it worked well in small kitchens or compact spaces, such as in a pantry. Many also said that it was equipped with a lot of features despite its small size and affordable price. However, some customers said that the microwave stopped working within one year of purchasing it.

Best Value: COMFEE’ Countertop Microwave Oven

This microwave contains a variety of features, including a mute function that removes the sound of its beeper and a child lock that protects little ones in the house. Though its low power means you have to cook your food for longer, its economical price is hard to beat.

Key Features

  • Pull handle
  • Capacity of 0.7 cubic feet
  • 700 watts
  • One-year warranty
  • Popcorn, potato, pizza, frozen vegetable, beverage, and dinner plate buttons

What Customers Are Saying

The COMFEE’ microwave has over 10,500 reviews on Amazon with an average rating 4.5 stars. Eight-seven percent of the reviews have a 4- or 5-star rating, while 6% of reviewers awarded the product 1 or 2 stars.

Many customers noted their satisfaction with this microwave’s compact size, ease of use, and silent function. However, some customers said that their food didn’t cook quickly or had cold spots, which is a common issue with low-wattage models like this one.

Best Settings: Panasonic Microwave Oven

This microwave oven offers homeowners countless ways to heat and cook their favorite foods, including 10 power levels and three popcorn cooking levels. It also has a sleek look to match modern kitchens.

Key Features

  • Push button
  • Capacity of 1.2 cubic feet
  • 1,200 watts
  • One-year warranty
  • Popcorn button

What Customers Are Saying

This Panasonic microwave has an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 stars on Amazon. Ninety percent of the close to 7,000 reviews have a 4- or 5-star rating, while only 7% of the reviews have a 1- or 2-star rating.

Several customers said that this microwave was high-powered, easy to use, and ideal for tight spaces. Others liked it for being lightweight but sturdy. Those who were unsatisfied said that the microwave stopped working after a short period. One person said that theirs broke down after one 90-second cooking cycle and that the replacement they received had the same issue.

Buyer’s Guide

Before purchasing a microwave oven, it’s important to understand how certain factors, such as cooking power, capacity, size, and settings, affect user experience.

Cooking Power

The cooking power of most microwaves is measured in watts, with the average model harnessing between 700 and 1,200 watts of power. While a microwave with more watts cooks and heats food faster, a low-wattage microwave is typically more affordable. Regardless of a microwave’s available wattage, most models provide power adjustments that let you decrease the power for a less intense cook.

Capacity

The capacity of a microwave, usually measured in cubic feet, refers to how much interior space the model has. Microwaves with spacious interiors allow you to cook larger foods, though larger interiors usually come with higher price tags.

Dimensions

The dimensions of a microwave help determine whether the model will fit within your kitchen’s layout. For example, if you have limited countertop space, compact microwaves like the COMFEE’ Countertop Microwave Oven may be a solid choice.

Settings

While all microwave ovens heat and cook food, not all models offer the same cooking options or pre-programmed settings. Some of the most common microwave settings are one-touch buttons that instantly cook specific foods, defrost buttons that thaw foods based on their weight, and sound controls that adjust or turn off the microwave’s beeper.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to microwave food?

According to the World Health Organization, microwaves are safe if they’re used as instructed by the manufacturer.

Can you microwave eggs?

Yes. Spray a microwave-safe container, such as a ramekin or egg cooker, with cooking spray, and pour one to two whisked eggs into it. Heat the mixture for about one minute and 30 seconds, stirring occasionally. Let your eggs sit for one minute before serving them.

Can you microwave paper?

Some types of paper are suitable for the microwave. Paper towels and parchment paper are safe to place inside a microwave, but newspapers and brown bags aren’t safe because of their toxicity and flammability.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.