The 10 Best Microwaves

Updated September 07, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Microwaves
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 38 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Convenience, speed of cooking, compact size and consistent heating are the key attributes for any microwave. Our selection is broken down by all these categories, and more, so you can select the right model for your home or workplace. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best microwafe on Amazon.

10. Westinghouse WCM11100W

The Westinghouse WCM11100W is conveniently available in three classic color options, making it easy to fit with most kitchen decors. It also features a speed defrost for those busy weeknights, and both clock and timer options on the LCD display.
  • light turns on when door is opened
  • heats up food extremely quickly
  • reminder beeps too often
Brand Westinghouse
Model WCM11100W
Weight 38.7 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

9. Sharp R651ZS

The Sharp R651ZS is the perfect appliance for entertaining, as it is able to fit larger serving trays and casserole dishes. It features a modern, brushed stainless steel finish that can be built-in to any cabinet for a custom look.
  • scratch-resistant glass door
  • high end look for a low price
  • sensor cooking is not very accurate
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. Farberware FMO11AHTBKN

The Farberware FMO11AHTBKN allows for power level adjustments from 10% to 100% making it easier to get the ideal cook on your food. It features a removable rotating glass turntable and has a keypad lock to prevent unsupervised use by small children.
  • custom memory function
  • 1 through 6-minute express cooking
  • no reminder beeps when food is done
Brand Farberware
Weight 34.5 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

7. Nostalgia Electronics RMO770RED

The Nostalgia Electronics RMO770RED boasts a retro '50s inspired design with all of the modern conveniences. It's available in either black or fire truck red, has 12 preprogrammed cook settings, and a simple turn dial for time adjustments.
  • chrome door handle and accents
  • fits nicely under most cabinets
  • interior can't hold large plates
Brand Nostalgia
Model RMO770RED
Weight 26.8 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. Oster OGH690

The Oster OGH690 isn't the prettiest kid in school, but it's a solid budget choice that gets the job done, making it ideal for young families trying to keep a few dollars in the bank. It has 900 watts of cooking power and six one-touch presets.
  • removable glass turntable
  • large easy to see controls
  • child safety lock system
Brand Oster
Model OGH6901
Weight 31.7 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. Samsung MG14H3020CM

The Samsung MG14H3020CM might just be the sleekest looking microwave around with its mirror finish front and black trim. It also features an easy to clean, scratch-resistant ceramic enamel interior, plus a ceramic plate and grilling element for making food crispy.
  • attractive led time display
  • can turn alert sounds off
  • cannot see food during cooking
Brand Samsung
Model MG14H3020CM
Weight 46 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Breville BMO734XL

The sleek and smart looking Breville BMO734XL takes the guesswork out of cooking with its innovative Sensor IQ technology, which automatically calculates and adjusts the cooking time for the food being cooked. It also allows power level adjustment during cooking.
  • features unit weight conversion
  • has a self-locating turntable
  • handy a bit more button
Brand Breville
Model BMO734XL
Weight 42.4 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

3. Amana RCS10TS

The Amana RCS10TS is a medium-sized commercial grade model that is ideal for recreation centers or a teacher's lounge. It has five power levels with even heat distribution for consistent results and it is manufactured in the USA.
  • stainless steel interior
  • braille touchpad feature
  • 19 programmable time settings
Brand Amana
Model RCS10TS
Weight 46 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Panasonic NN-SN643S

The Panasonic NN-SN643S is perfect for large families with its 1.3 cu ft capacity. It prevents overcooking on the edges and surfaces thanks to the patented inverter technology, and also has a 12 memory capacity for one-touch cooking.
  • push button door opens smoothly
  • convenient add minute feature
  • has a delay start timer
Brand Panasonic
Model NN-SU696S
Weight 41 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0


The GE PEM31SFSS has a beautiful stainless steel finish, 800 watts of heating power, and 10 cook settings. Users can also program in the weight of an item to facilitate more precise defrosting, or pick from a number of specific sensor cook options.
  • presets for popcorn and vegetables
  • operates very quietly
  • good space saving choice
Brand GE
Model PEM31SF3SS
Weight 34.9 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Heat Waves

There's a lot of technology we take for granted in this world. The lights come on because you flip a switch. The car starts when you turn the key in the ignition, and it goes when you apply the gas, stops when you hit the brakes. As long as these things all function the way they should, we don't have a lot of impetus to figure out what's going on behind the scenes.

I have a lot of friends in the health foods industry. These are the people you meet who only drink alkaline water, who eat a mostly raw diet, who don't drink coffee, etc. They all swear that microwaves are inherently dangerous, evil machines. Whenever they say this, though, I like to ask them why they think microwaves are so dangerous. It's usually at this point that I find out they don't know how microwaves work, and once I tell them, they see just how safe these machines are when used properly.

A microwave isn't any more dangerous than your cell phone. If you break your phone open and consume the cadmium inside, you might see some adverse effect. Likewise, if you rig a microwave up to run with the door open, and you stand staring into it while it runs, you'll probably encounter a problem or two. Beyond those ridiculous examples, you're perfectly safe.

That's because microwaves don't produce dangerous amounts of radiation that'll poison you. They won't even produce enough radiation to harm you from half-way across a small room. What they do produce is a very short wavelength of electromagnetic radiation, the same kind of radio waves that power your FM and AM stations. It just so happens that wavelengths of energy in the microwave portion of the electromagnetic spectrum have a ton of energy in them.

Those waves pass through foodstuffs the same way that light passes through a thick, colored pane of glass. A lot of the energy fails to make it all the way through the food, mainly because it transfers that energy to the molecules of the grub, causing them to vibrate. The faster the molecules vibrate, the hotter the substance.

The moment the microwave turns off, any residual waves lose their energy either in the food or from bouncing off the reflective metal insides of the microwave. This is a near-instantaneous energy loss, so even if you pull open the microwave doors mid-cook, the unit immediately shuts down, and you're perfectly safe.

Micromanaging Your Space

Kitchen real estate is some of the most valuable space in the home, and any appliance that's intended to live on your counter top had better be deserving. I've seen some pretty useless items given a permanent home on the counters of friends and family, only to slowly make the transition from the counter to the cupboard, from the cupboard to the closet, the closet to the garage, and finally from the garage to the garage sale.

The usefulness of a microwave is unquestionable, but that doesn't mean it'll be easy for you to find the perfect spot for it. That's why it's crucial for you to take stock of the dimensions of each microwave on our top ten list. You probably want the highest capacity you can get your hands on, so find out what that is in a size that'll fit somewhere sensible in your kitchen.

Once you've found a couple models that fit, you can compare their features. Today's microwaves all have pretty good programmed settings, as well as kitchen timers, clocks, and express heating functions. On that last note, check to see if the express heating function is a 30 second or one minute auto-cook.

When it comes to microwaves, the fewer buttons you have to push, the better, so if you know what you cook the most you can look for those specific programmed settings, or for the express time interval that suits your style the best.

Speaking of style, the last thing you'll want to consider, which you can integrate into the first point in this section, is the look of the microwave. For example, if everything in your kitchen is stainless steel, a white microwave might stick out like a sore thumb. Try to find a unit that looks as nice as it works, and you'll be more than pleased with your selection.

Melts In Your Pocket

The main element in a microwave, the thing that actually converts the electrical energy into a specific electromagnetic wavelength, is called a magnetron. Technicians and scientists originally employed them in radar technology until one such scientist, a man by the name of Percy Spenser, showed up to work with a chocolate bar in his pocket.

When he fired up the magnetron in his lab, it almost immediately melted the bar he'd brought as a sweet little snack for himself. The discovery led him to eventually patent a "Method of Treating Foodstuffs" in the early 1950s. These early microwave ovens were enormous and expensive, but like all such technology, the competitive marketplace finds ways to make things smaller, faster, and less expensive.

In the 1970s, the microwave really took off, and it has since become a mainstay across the industrialized world. Between 2006 and 20016, sales of microwave ovens dipped below 10 million per year only in the depths of the recession, never dropping below 9 million each year and peaking at nearly 14 million in 2006. I guess you could say that sales are really cooking.

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Last updated on September 07, 2017 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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