Best Microwave Oven: Countertop Edition

The best microwave oven could definitely make your entire life easier. Whether you’re reheating leftovers, popping popcorn, and defrosting a steak among many others, a handy microwave oven could make cooking more fun, simpler, and faster. To determine the best countertop microwave options out there, we considered real reviews from microwave owners, top selections from reputable appliance review sites, and actually bought some of the picks from this list as well.

We then painstakingly narrowed down our shortlist of the best microwave oven options according to price, feature, cost-effectiveness, and other vital factors so we could come up with the most suitable choices for you.

Our Top Choices for The Best Countertop Microwave Oven

Best Overall Microwave Oven: Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SN936B Countertop with Inverter Technology and Genius Sensor

Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SN936B Black Countertop with Inverter Technology and Genius Sensor, 2.2 Cu. Ft, 1250W
2,318 Reviews
Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SN936B Black Countertop with Inverter Technology and Genius Sensor, 2.2 Cu. Ft, 1250W
  • Panasonic Microwave: This 1250 Watt high power, 2.2 cubic foot capacity black countertop microwave delivers a seamless stream of cooking power for even cooking and delicious flavor
  • Inverter Technology with Turbo Defrost: Patented Inverter Technology generates a seamless stream of power and delivers consistent, evenly prepared food without overcooking; Advanced Inverter Turbo Defrost speeds up defrosting time. Power Source 120V / 60Hertz. Power Consumption 1460W
  • Large Family Size: This countertop microwave with 16 1/2 inch turntable is thinner, lighter and more efficient, allowing you to devote less space to electronics and more to interior capacity; Internal dimensions (H x W x D): 10 15/16 inch x 18 7/16 inch x 18 1/2 inch
  • Smart Cooking Settings with Genius Sensor: Built in automatic Genius Sensor adjusts power and times based on different foods; Other advantages include 14 preset menu items, quick minute timer, delay start and child safety lock
  • Keep Warm Feature: This inverter microwave keeps soups, gravies or desserts warm and fresh until ready to serve. Clock: 12 H

Reasons to Buy

  • Inverter Technology
  • High 1250-Watt Power
  • Genius Sensor
  • Smart Cooking Features
  • 10 Power Levels
  • Huge Family Size
  • Keep Warm Feature
  • Energy-Saving

The Panasonic NN-SN936B Countertop Microwave Oven is a 2.2 cubic feet workhorse perfect for all your microwaving needs. It also features a patented inverter technology to always ensure even cooking. With this inverter technology, you can simmer your food without overcooking it so it can retain its nutrients and texture. This big microwave also delivers 14 preprogrammed auto cook menu options and a whopping 1250 watts of power for faster cooking.

Its genius sensor reheating and cooking functions can likewise automatically set the power level and adjust times as needed. This likewise offers 1 to 10 power levels. We kid you not when we say that the power level 5 will suffice for reheating common food types evenly and quickly. Put simply, for its price and powerful features, the Panasonic NN-SN936B countertop oven deserves the top spot on our list.

Runner-Up: Toshiba EM245A5C-SS Microwave Oven with Inverter Technology

Toshiba EM245A5C-SS Microwave Oven with Inverter Technology, LCD Display and Smart Sensor, 1.6 Cu.ft/1250W, Stainless Steel
234 Reviews
Toshiba EM245A5C-SS Microwave Oven with Inverter Technology, LCD Display and Smart Sensor, 1.6 Cu.ft/1250W, Stainless Steel
  • Stylish Stainless Steel with timeless design, external Dimension (w*d*h): 21. 8*19. 2*13 inches, internal Dimension (w*d*h): 15. 5*17*10. 2 inches
  • Inverter technology provides even heating and defrosting, enables faster cooking and more satisfying user experience
  • Pre-programmed sensor menu for optimum heating of popular foods like pizza, potato, vegetables and more
  • One touch popcorn button and quick access to start the microwave from 1 to 3 minutes cooking at full power
  • Equipped with power-saving eco mode, sound on/off option and child safety lock
  • 1250 watts with 10 power settings, clock and kitchen timer, bright digital display, easy-to-read control panel, LED cavity light and 13. 6 inches glass turntable
  • The keypad was covered by a protection film during the shipment. Please Peel it off before your first use.
  • If you wish to mute the buzzer of the microwave, pleas long press on the button "8" For 3-5 seconds. The buzzer is automatically switched off after a long beep.
  • 1 year, Please keep the packaging for contacting Toshiba After sales service And product returns.

Reasons to Buy

  • Inverter Technology
  • Smart Sensor
  • 1250 Watts
  • 10 Power Settings
  • 5 Automatic Menus
  • Power-Saving Eco Mode

Featuring 1250 watts and Toshiba’s Invertech technology, the Toshiba EM245A5C-SS delivers an excellent microwaving experience comparable to our top pick. This technology allows auto adjustments to perfectly match various heating times, leading to reduced power consumption. It also eliminates the dilemma of undercooking and overcooking and allows for more even heating and defrosting. In turn, this will help retain the food’s nutrients and moisture.

The Toshiba EM24525C-SS’s smart sensor is likewise capable of constantly detecting the food’s humidity level and adjusting the oven’s temperature and cooking time. Its 10 power levels also provide enhanced cooking flexibility, from heating soups, keeping food warm and softening butter, to defrosting. You could even adjust the current power level at any time during cooking as you see fit.

Best Smart Microwave: AmazonBasics Microwave

AmazonBasics Microwave, Small, 0.7 Cu. Ft, 700W, Works with Alexa
5,499 Reviews
AmazonBasics Microwave, Small, 0.7 Cu. Ft, 700W, Works with Alexa
  • Now it’s easier to defrost vegetables, make popcorn, cook potatoes, and reheat rice. With an Echo device (not included), quick-cook voice presets and a simplified keypad let you just ask Alexa to start microwaving.
  • Automatically reorder popcorn when you run low and save 10% on popcorn orders—enabled by Amazon Dash Replenishment technology
  • Compact size saves counter space, plus 10 power levels, a kitchen timer, a child lock, and a turntable.
  • Alexa is always getting smarter and adding new presets.
  • External dimensions (Width x Height x Depth): 17.3 in. x 10.1 in. x 14.1 in. ; internal dimensions (10 7/8 in. x 6 7/8 in. x 10” in.); Turntable (Diameter): 10 in. ; Maximum Popcorn bag size: 3 oz

Reasons to Buy

  • Using an Echo Device (sold separately), you can literally ask Alexa to do all the cooking for you
  • 10 Power Settings
  • Amazon Dash Replenishment Technology-enabled so you can easily reorder popcorn and enjoy a 10% discount on reorders
  • Continuous Updates on Alexa Quick-Cook Voice Presets

The AmazonBasics Microwave streamlines cooking and makes it more fun by allowing you to literally order it to cook through Alexa and an Echo device. Simply use a quick-cool voice preset, like “Alexa, heat a cup of coffee,” and she’ll know what to do. You can likewise use the Ask Alexa Button feature by using your voice or pressing the button and specifying your desired cooking time.

Obsessed with popcorn? You can also automatically sign up with Amazon to reorder your popcorn stash and enjoy 10% off! Additionally, this oven also comes with 10 power settings.

Best Compact Microwave: COMFEE’ EM720CPL-PMB Countertop Microwave Oven 

COMFEE' EM720CPL-PMB Countertop Microwave Oven with Sound On/Off, ECO Mode and Easy One-Touch Buttons, 0.7cu.ft, 700W, Black
824 Reviews
COMFEE' EM720CPL-PMB Countertop Microwave Oven with Sound On/Off, ECO Mode and Easy One-Touch Buttons, 0.7cu.ft, 700W, Black
  • Stylish (black) stainless steel finish, Compact Size: 0.7 cubic-foot capacity, 700 watts and 11 power levels
  • Mute Function, settings, clock, kitchen timer, Child safety lock, Easy auto-cook functions: Popcorn, Potato, Pizza, Frozen Veggie, Beverage, Reheat
  • One Touch Express cooking function with 1-6 minutes and +30 seconds functions, and two defrost settings (by weight or by time)
  • Energy Saving Eco Mode: Minimizing 50% standby power by turning on ECO mode
  • Bright digital display, easy-to-read control panel, interior light and 12.4 inches’ glass turntable
  • One year Limited warranty. Customer Assistance Line: 866.646.4332

Reasons to Buy

  • Compact 0.7 Cubic Feet Size
  • 11 Power Settings
  • 700 Watts
  • Easy Auto-Cook and One-Touch Express Features
  • Power-Saving Eco Mode

The COMFEE’ EM720CPL-PMB compact countertop microwave oven offers 700 watts of power, 11 power settings, and one-touch cooking in all its 0.7 cubic feet glory. It also comes with auto-cook functions for pizza, popcorn, potato, beverages, and frozen vegetables. This compact countertop oven likewise offers a power-saving eco mode.

Because of its compact size, this small unit is especially ideal for tiny abodes, dorms, and offices. In addition, tons of reviewers say that they prefer this microwave to similar microwaves in Best Buy.

Best Microwave Convection Oven: Toshiba EC042A5C-SS Microwave Oven with Convection

Toshiba EC042A5C-SS Countertop Microwave oven with Convection, Smart Sensor, Sound on/off Function and LCD Display, 1.5 Cu.ft/1000W, Stainless Steel
764 Reviews
Toshiba EC042A5C-SS Countertop Microwave oven with Convection, Smart Sensor, Sound on/off Function and LCD Display, 1.5 Cu.ft/1000W, Stainless Steel
  • Stylish Stainless Steel finish with easy to clean Stainless Steel interior
  • Combines microwave and convection cooking in one appliance, with auto bake and auto roast menus
  • Pre-programmed sensor menu for optimum result of popular foods like frozen pizza, potato, vegetables and more
  • One touch popcorn button and warm-hold function, equipped with power-saving eco mode, sound on/off option and child safety lock
  • 1000 watts with 10 power settings, clock, and kitchen timer, bright digital display, easy-to-read control panel, LED cavity light and 13. 6 inches glass turntable
  • If you wish to mute the buzzer of the microwave, pleas long press on the button "8" For 3-5 seconds. The buzzer is automatically switched off after a long beep.
  • The keypad was covered by a protection film during the shipment. Please Peel it off before your first use.
  • 1 year, Please keep the packaging for contacting Toshiba After sales service And product returns.

Reasons to Buy

  • Combined Convection and Microwave Cooking
  • 13 Preset Sensory Menu for popular foods
  • 1000 Watts
  • 10 Power Levels
  • Warm Hold Feature
  • Power-Saving Eco Mode

What is a convection microwave oven exactly? Basically, it’s a combination of convection and a microwave oven in one nifty machine. The best convection ovens deliver fast and even cooking that’s perfectly baked or browned. But are convection microwaves really worth it? We can’t say for certain about other microwave convection ovens, but this Toshiba EC0425C-SS Convection Oven is definitely worth it. We also find this feature-packed countertop convection and microwave oven comparable to the pricier Bosch microwave convection oven.

Aside from featuring a convection function, this oven also offers four auto-roast and four auto-bake menus. This means that you can bake, roast, and reheat using either the microwave or convection functions or both, for optimal cooking results. Its smart sensor likewise comes with 13 auto menus that adjust automatically while food is cooked or heated. Additionally, Bosch oven reviews state that this more economical convection oven gets the job done without the higher price tag.

Best Microwave Oven with Grill: Farberware Black FMO12AHTBSG Microwave Oven with Grill

Farberware Black FMO12AHTBSG 1.2 Cu. Ft. 1100-Watt Microwave Oven with Grill, ECO Mode and Blue LED Lighting, Black Stainless Steel
235 Reviews
Farberware Black FMO12AHTBSG 1.2 Cu. Ft. 1100-Watt Microwave Oven with Grill, ECO Mode and Blue LED Lighting, Black Stainless Steel
  • 1.2-cubic-foot cooking capacity, sized to fit on your kitchen counter
  • 1100 watts of cooking power and 10 power levels allow you to adjust the power from 10% to 100%
  • Premium Black Stainless Steel design finish helps reduce fingerprints and smudges. Width (in):17.3, Height (in):12.8, Length (in):20.5
  • Unique dual cooking functionality--Grill and Microwave-- allows for endless cooking options
  • 9 One-Touch cooking programs allow you to heat up everyday items in seconds and Multi-Stage cooking functionality adjusts cooking mid-cycle
  • Interior LED lighting allows you to watch your food as it cooks and Memory Function for customized settings

Reasons to Buy

  • Exclusive Dual Cooking Feature—Microwave and Grill
  • 1100 Watts
  • 9 One-Touch Cooking Settings
  • 10 Power Settings
  • Multistage Cooking
  • Energy-Saving Mode

Update the the heart of your home with this Farberware Microwave Oven with Grill that delivers an effortless cooking experience every single time. This unique microwave toaster oven combo enables you to crisp and brown your food to perfection and keep it juicy on the inside.

Featuring one to six minute start functions, 10 power settings, a memory function, two auto defrost settings, and a multistage cooking feature you’ll never have to second guess your every move when cooking. This micro wave grill oven combo also has one-touch cooking settings for the most commonly microwaved foods. Furthermore, its energy-saving mode reduces your energy consumption when the oven isn’t in active use.

Best No-Frills Microwave: Toshiba EM131A5C-SS Microwave Oven with Smart Sensor

Toshiba  EM131A5C-SS Microwave Oven with Smart Sensor, Easy Clean Interior, ECO Mode and Sound On/Off, 1.2 Cu.ft, 1100W, Stainless Steel
1,190 Reviews
Toshiba EM131A5C-SS Microwave Oven with Smart Sensor, Easy Clean Interior, ECO Mode and Sound On/Off, 1.2 Cu.ft, 1100W, Stainless Steel
  • Stylish Stainless Steel with easy-to-clean interior, with external dimension(w*d*h): 20. 5*17. 1*12. 8 inches, with internal Dimension (w*d*h): 13. 07*15*9. 5 inches
  • Pre-programmed sensor menu for optimum heating of popular foods like pizza, potato, vegetables and more
  • One touch popcorn button and two defrost settings – custom defrost and 1 lb. Auto defrost
  • Equipped with power-saving eco mode, sound on/off option and child safety lock
  • 1100 watts with 10 power settings, clock, and kitchen timer
  • Bright digital display, easy-to-read control panel, interior light and 12. 4 inches glass turntable
  • If you wish to mute the buzzer of the microwave, pleas long press on the button "8" For 3-5 seconds. The buzzer is automatically switched off after a long beep.
  • The keypad was covered by a protection film during the shipment. Please Peel it off before your first use.
  • 1 year, Please keep the packaging for contacting Toshiba After sales service And product returns.

Reasons to Buy

  • 1100 Watts
  • 10 Power Levels
  • 6 Preset Sensor Menu for heating common foods
  • One-Touch Button for popcorn
  • Power-Saving Eco Mode

The feature-packed Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Countertop Oven offers a smart sensor that comes with six auto menus, perfect for heating the most commonly microwaved foods. This handy feature takes all; okay, most, of the guesswork out of microwaving. Its convenient smart sensor is likewise capable of detecting the food’s humidity level as it’s cooking and adjusting the temperature and time automatically to ensure the best results.

Defrosting is likewise a breeze with this oven’s custom defrost feature. Simply pick from the defrost menu and specify the food’s weight and the oven will take care of the rest. Essentially, this no-frills machine just works—it can handle all the most basic tasks, take on some extras, and also won’t take up much of your counter space. 

Best Retro-Looking Microwave Oven: Nostalgia RMO4RR Retro Countertop Microwave Oven

Nostalgia RMO4RR Retro Large 0.9 cu ft, 800-Watt Countertop Microwave Oven, 12 Pre-Programmed Cooking Settings, Digital Clock, Easy Clean Interior, Metallic Red
587 Reviews
Nostalgia RMO4RR Retro Large 0.9 cu ft, 800-Watt Countertop Microwave Oven, 12 Pre-Programmed Cooking Settings, Digital Clock, Easy Clean Interior, Metallic Red
  • 800-watt cooking power - At 0.9 cubic foot, this microwave provides the cooking power needed to quickly cook and reheat foods
  • Customizable cooking settings - 12 pre-programmed cooking settings and delay timer provide options for the optimal heating of popular foods like popcorn, pizza, potatoes, veggies and more
  • Digital clock - Easy-to-read LED display lights up the digital clock and highlights each cooking setting
  • Even cooking - Rotating glass carousel helps cook food evenly
  • Simple program dial - Easily navigate cooking settings with simple turn-and-push program dial

Reasons to Buy

  • Metallic Red Retro-Chic Design
  • 800 Watts
  • Customizable Cooking Settings
  • 12 Preset Cooking Programs
  • User-Friendly Program Dial

Ideal for your retro-chic kitchen, break rooms, dorm rooms, and bars among others, the Nostalgia RMO4RR Retro Countertop Oven can easily cook everything from leftover pizza to baked casseroles. Its stylish, retro-inspired, sleek chrome lines, coupled with its metallic red color will look good on any countertop. Just around 0.9 cubic feet, and with its 800 watts of cooking power, this oven will give you the power you need to reheat and cook food fast.

You can also utilize its user-friendly program dial for setting cooking times, program settings, and food weight. Additionally, you can find control panel options to adjust the power level, for express cooking, setting the time, and delaying the start time.

Best Inverter Microwave Oven: Panasonic NN-SN97JS Microwave Oven with Built-In Cyclonic Wave, Inverter Technology and Genius Sensor

Panasonic Microwave Oven, Stainless Steel Countertop/Built-In Cyclonic Wave with Inverter Technology and Genius Sensor, 2.2 Cu. Ft, 1250W, NN-SN97JS (Silver)
348 Reviews
Panasonic Microwave Oven, Stainless Steel Countertop/Built-In Cyclonic Wave with Inverter Technology and Genius Sensor, 2.2 Cu. Ft, 1250W, NN-SN97JS (Silver)
  • PANASONIC COUNTERTOP MICROWAVE OVEN CYCLONIC INVERTER: This 1250-Watt high power, 2. 2-cubic-foot capacity stainless steel countertop/built-in microwave maintains the full flavor and nutrients of your favorite foods with Cyclonic Wave technology for ultra-efficient cooking at all temperature levels
  • INVERTER TECHNOLOGY WITH TURBO DEFROST: patented Inverter Technology generates a seamless stream of power and delivers consistent, evenly prepared food without overcooking; advanced Inverter Turbo Defrost speeds up defrosting time
  • LARGE FAMILY SIZE: This countertop microwave with 16. 5-inch turntable is thinner, lighter and more efficient, allowing you to devote less space to electronics and more to interior capacity; internal dimensions (H x W x D): 10-15/16-inch x 18-7/16-inch x 18-1/2-inch
  • SMART COOKING SETTING: Built-in automatic sensor adjusts power and times based on different foods; other advantages include 20 preset menu items, quick-minute timer, delay start and child safety lock
  • FOOD WARMING FEATURE: This Inverter microwave keeps soups, gravies or desserts warm and fresh until get ready to serve.Power requirement:120V 60Hz, 12.7A1480W, AC only

Reasons to Buy

  • Potent Cyclonic Inverter Technology
  • 1250 Watts
  • 20 Preprogrammed Menu Settings
  • Smart Cooking Setting
  • Turbo Defrost
  • Huge Family Size
  • Food Warming Function

If you’re searching for an oven with all the necessary features and then some, then the Panasonic NN-SN97JS Microwave Oven just might be the one for you. Its 1250-Watt power and Cyclonic Wave and Inverter technology offer the precision and power for cooking healthy, fresh, and delicious meals quickly and perfectly. Together, these two innovative technologies produce and distribute microwave energy in a manner that enables even the most temperamental foods such as fish and veggies to simmer without getting overcooked.

This huge, stainless steel microwave also delivers a built-in automatic sensor that can adjust the time and power settings on various foods. Moreover, it includes a turbo defrost function, 20 preprogrammed menu options, a delay start, and a handy quick-minute timer.

A Quick Primer on Buying Countertop Microwave Ovens

A microwave oven is an essential kitchen appliance for many people. Whether you are looking to pop popcorn for your late-night Netflix marathon, heat leftovers for surprise guests, or warm a cup of tea, a microwave oven can do all these and much more—in just a minute or two. Their user-friendliness and convenience are what make them a kitchen staple in most abodes. To help you select the best microwave oven for you, you need to consider some vital factors first. These include:

The Type

Generally speaking, microwaves come in three primary styles: countertop microwaves, over-the-range microwaves, and built-in microwaves. Countertop ovens are those that you place on your kitchen countertop. This is the most popular and affordable type and is best for people with small counter space or rented homes since it’s not attached to anything. 

OTR or over-the-range ovens, on the other hand, won’t take up any counter space because you mount them over your oven or stovetop. These are harder to install and more expensive than countertop microwaves. So how many inches does a microwave have to be above a stove? The National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends a clearance of at least 18 inches between your stovetop and microwave.

Lastly, there’s the built-in microwave oven, that’s installed or built into a recessed cavity in the kitchen wall. This is also usually known as the drop-down door microwave. While you won’t lose countertop space with this type, installation is more complicated and the price tag is significantly costlier than countertop and over-the-range options.

The Size

This includes the capacity and dimensions of the microwave. This is especially crucial if you want a built-in or OTR model because of the space it could take up and installation requirements. As for the capacity, basically, if you cook bigger meals, make sure to get an oven with a sizeable interior space.

The Wattage

Essentially, a higher wattage means more even and faster heating and cooking. When considering the wattage, think about how you plan on really using your microwave—just heating stuff or actually cooking stuff?

Preset Cooking Settings

Besides the regular timed cooking and heating times, most modern microwave ovens now come with various cooking settings. Most feature quick keys that let you start heating for 20 seconds or a minute with just the press of a button. Some preset cooking settings are also specifically designed for cooking commonly microwaved foods like popcorn, frozen foods, potatoes, pizzas, and such. Moreover, some ovens come with convection, steaming, and grilling functions.

Conclusion

These days, purchasing a microwave oven is a must for most homeowners, whether to upgrade your kitchen or replace a broken one. Whether you utilize it for making popcorn, heating food, cooking food, or defrosting food, a good microwave oven can really help you out. To help you figure out the best microwave oven that will perfectly suit your needs, keep our list above in mind before you spend your money.

So did you find an oven that fits your kitchen and lifestyle perfectly? Tell us about it below!

Looking for more kitchen stuff? Make sure to read our top picks for the Best Faucet Water Filter and Best Grill Brush.

Additional Resources:

Good Housekeeping

goodhousekeeping.com/appliances/microwave-reviews/a12766/microwave-faqs-0306/

HomeTips

hometips.com/buying-guides/microwave-ovens-buying-guide.html

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