Best Microwaves

Last updated: November 02, 2019

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Your guide
Editor in chief of EHU. Lover of tech, small cats and wannabe mountain climber on weekends.

Microwaves have become a really important part of our daily lives, whether it’s for heating up a cup of coffee or leftovers, the convenience provided by them is indispensable. Of course, there are lots of types of microwaves from countertop to over-the-range, from tiny to massive.

Microwave focus on handle

Whatever it may be, we’ve collected some of the best microwaves on Amazon to give you a leg-up when choosing the right microwave for you. So, what are the best microwaves to buy?

1. Best Choice - Sharp – Carousel


  • Microwave Type: Countertop
  • Turntable Diameter: 11 1/5 inches
  • Wattage:1000 watts

Sharp – Carousel Review

When it comes to larger microwaves, you don’t really need to spend a lot of money to get them if you’re willing to sacrifice a feature or two. This Sharp Microwave is great for those who don’t use their microwave to do the heavy lifting when it comes to cooking.

One thing that makes this microwave stand out is that it has a slightly taller internal cavity than similarly sized microwaves on Amazon. This is super handy if you like to monitor your food as it cooks inside, plus it helps to see inside when the door is open since the light only switches on when the microwave is in operation.

Unfortunately, the downside is that the length and width are smaller to keep the overall internal capacity the same, so that’s something you need to consider and balance for.

Speaking of the internals, one issue that can be somewhat annoying is that the turntable is light and the grooving isn’t deep, so you could accidentally dislodge it when you put a heavy plate on it.

Besides that though, it looks really great with an even spread, and it even manages to do it relatively quickly. It’s especially perfect for smaller items such as your cups of coffee/tea or bags of popcorn.

Thankfully it does have one-touch buttons to get you going quickly, so that’s a big plus. That being said, I’m not super happy about its placement above the numbers, as it generally prefers it to be next to or close to the start/stop buttons.

Similarly annoying is that the keypad is not lit, so you’re going to have to switch on the overheads when you use it at night.

One thing I want to point out here is that the Sharp microwave comes with a protective cling wrap which is not immediately obvious, so make sure to double-check.

It’s also a bit of a pain to remove, although I certainly appreciate it when manufacturers take extra care to protect their products. It’s a pretty nice stainless steel finish after all.

While this microwave is missing a few handy features (such as Sensor Cooking), they aren’t a deal-breaker and combined with the taller cavity and white paint on the inside, you can easily monitor the food yourself.

  • Great size
  • Good value
  • Light doesn’t switch on when the door opens

2. Best Value - Panasonic


  • Microwave Type: Countertop
  • Turntable Diameter: 12 2/5 inches
  • Wattage: 1100 watts

Panasonic Review

Panasonic has really branched out over the past few years, and even I own a Panasonic washing machine. Of course,  we aren’t talking about washing machines but microwaves, and while this one might not be the best on the market, it toes the line between features and priced reasonably well.

As you can see, at 12 and 2/5th inches, this microwave has a reasonably good internal space to fit stuff in, and the overall smaller size means that you get a bit more countertop space.

The wattage is also pretty good, at 1100 watts, although you might find that it doesn’t heat up things as fast as you would expect for this combination of wattage and size.

That being said, it does really well with smaller stuff in shorter times (around 1min), so this is a great option as a smaller, secondary microwave.

Of course, this is a budget microwave and you do tend to feel the loss of features. One of the biggest annoyances is that it doesn’t light up when the door opens, only when the microwave is operating.

Similarly, the light itself is somewhat dim, so monitoring the food as it cooks in the microwave is going to be a little bit difficult on this model.

Another slightly annoying issue is that it doesn’t have any quick start buttons which you find on some higher-end models. I’m not necessarily sure if this is going to be an issue for everybody though and I do know some don’t like the quick start buttons at all.

Finally, build quality isn’t great, and you can certainly feel that in the weight. Even more so when you press buttons and the microwave moves a little bit since the feet aren’t all that great.

Honestly, though, this is probably one of the better middle-ground microwaves at Amazon. Yes, the light could be brighter and the unit could be a bit heavier, but given you’re spending less than $200 for a microwave, I’d say it’s a good deal.

  • Great price
  • Even cooking
  • Light only comes on during operation

3. Premium Pick - LG Family-Size


  • Microwave Type: Over-the-range
  • Turntable Diameter: 16 inches
  • Wattage:1350 watts

LG Family-Size Review

Just looking at this thing you can really appreciate the modern and sleek design and it’s probably one of the better-looking microwaves from  Amazon in this article. Of course, it’s not all just looks and there’s quite a bit more to it under the hood.

Surprisingly, even though this has double the space of some of the microwaves on this list and just a slightly higher wattage, it still manages to cook things really really well. Its inverter technology does a good job of giving an even cook at lower temperatures.

That means that you don’t need to only use this microwave for larger meals; it’s just as useful for smaller stuff too.

The keypad is also absolutely wonderful, having the ingenious (and what should be standard) design of having the +30sec one-touch button be the start button as well. It’s also well laid out and the buttons are clear and easy to use.

Unfortunately, though, it is marred by not having any backlighting, but I guess that shouldn’t be a deal-breaker considering what you get.

One thing that may be a bit confusing for some is that the door button is more of a lever or latch and so you have to press at the left edge where the 3 little bumps are.

This may sound a little silly, but I assure you that it takes some getting used to after you’ve spent years using a door button. The door is also a bit loud when closing, which can be a pain if you’re heating up a 3 am a snack and don’t want to wake up the family.

Oh, and by the way, the light does come on when the door opens so that’s a hurrah for LG!

Finally, I would like to mention that the Sensor Cooking can be a bit difficult and finicky to use. You have to know the exact weights and codes of you’re food and you’ll often find yourself referencing the manual.

While this isn’t a massive issue and you could very well not use the Sensor Cooking and still get great value, I just thought I’d let you know.

Best Buy does a good job of stocking a variety of microwaves, but I actually probably like this one the most. It’s got a big internal size, it cooks really well, great buttons and just overall very sleek and aesthetically pleasing.

  • Sleek and aesthetically pleasing
  • Easy to use
  • Door latch can be hard to use

4. Best Features - Samsung Over-the-Range


  • Microwave Type: Over-the-range
  • Turntable Diameter: 18 inches
  • Wattage: 1000 watts

Samsung Over-the-Range Review

If you’re looking to save some space, an over-the-range microwave seems like a good idea, and this entry by Samsung is really rather good. Of course, 2-in-1 units aren’t all perfect, and there are certain things you’ll need to consider.

Even though this microwave is bigger and has a lower wattage than the Panasonic, cooking is still really excellent inside it. Interestingly, it has a Sensor Cook function, which actually manages to sense the best way to microwave your stuff, whether it’s yesterday’s leftovers or a bag of popcorn.

If you’d rather go at it on your own, it has 10 programmable power levels (which is a lot) and two-stage cooking, a feature which I’ve never used before but certainly one that sounds interesting.

Unfortunately, the number pad isn’t backlighted, so it might be hard to use at night or if there isn’t lots of lighting, a rather strange omission for this price point.

As a stovetop, it may fall a bit short, considering it only has around 400 CFM and a lot of stovetops generally average around 1000 CFM.

Thankfully though, it is easy to use and setup, and you can even flip the fan 90 degrees if you want it to recirculate the air, an especially useful feature if you don’t have a vent just quite yet.

What I’m really happy about is that it has stove-top lighting, something you’ll certainly enjoy if you’ve had to cook without them. It also comes with a simple charcoal filter which is easy to clean.

One issue that I’d point out is that you can’t use the microwave timer while the microwave is functioning . . . I know, it’s weird. Another weird thing is that the manual itself can be a little bit puzzling and installation/setup can be difficult if you don’t have some experience or competency with home appliances.

All in all, this Samsung 2-in-1 is a pretty good unit, and probably at the higher end of the scale in terms of over-the-range microwaves.

  • Very user friendly
  • Great features
  • Can be pretty loud
  • Unlit keypad

5. Most User Friendly - Insignia™ Compact


  • Microwave Type: Countertop
  • Turntable Diameter: 10 3/5 inches
  • Wattage: 900 watts

Insignia™ Compact Review

Of course, not everybody wants to get the best, and sometimes you just want to buy something on a tight budget. That’s where Insignia comes in with their slightly smaller microwave. Of course, this is a budget microwave, so try not to expect too much.

For a smaller microwave, this actually heats food up pretty fast, and I’d probably chalk that up to the 900-watt power it has combined with the smaller internal space. Speaking of which, it’s just about the size of a dinner plate or a bag of popcorn, so if you’re planning on doing some heavy cooking, this might not be your thing.

That’s not necessarily an issue though since this is a great microwave to have in a den, game room or dorm, especially considering how small it is.

Thankfully, it also has one-touch-start functionality, so you don’t have to faff about entering missile codes to get things started. That being said, the buttons can be a little bit hard to press on so that balances out the one-touch functionality.

Either way, whatever you put inside of it cooks quickly and evenly, so it’s worth the possible slight inconvenience. One thing that can be slightly annoying is that the turntable sometimes slips and you have to bump it back on track.

Otherwise, there’s not much to say considering it’s a no-frills, budget microwave. It won’t handle big plates or serious cooking, but it’s good for all the smaller stuff.

  • Great size
  • Easy to use
  • Can get noisy

6. Most Quiet - GE Over-the-Range


  • Microwave Type: Over-the-range
  • Turntable Diameter: 13 1/2 inches
  • Wattage: 1000 watts

GE Over-the-Range Review

This is another good over-the-range option if you want something slightly smaller, although it’s still on the pricier side for my taste. What really makes this microwave a hit and miss is how you think your microwave should be designed.

For example, do you prefer if the microwave chirps a couple of times when it’s done or do you prefer it going on constantly until you stop it? If you prefer the latter, then the GE is for you.

Similarly, the door requires a bit of a heave to open since it doesn’t have a button to push which opens it for you. Some people prefer it, others think it’s designed by Satan.

One thing that most people tend to have a problem with (and I tend to agree) is that the button panel is really hard to see due to the contrast of colors.

You’re almost certainly going to have to turn on the lights every time you use it. It’s also not designed very well, with the timer add buttons put on the side, rather than the bottom next to the ‘START’ button.

Putting all these things aside though, it’s a pretty good microwave when it comes to cooking. As I mentioned it has add timer buttons, which is always appreciated and it has a multitude of cooking options for you to pick from. The heating is even and good, although it might be a bit hard to see inside.

As a stovetop, it’s about average for a microwave of this type. The CFM of 300 is slightly lower than the Samsung, so if you have experience with that, you’ll know what to expect.

Much like the Samsung it also has the option to vent to the outside or recirculate, in which case you’ll have to turn the fan around on your own.

So, as you can see, this GE microwave is very much divisive. If you like the features then pop on over to Amazon and get yourself one. If you don’t, then maybe try passing by your local church for some holy water to spray on it instead.

  • Quiet
  • Easy to install
  • Door is a bit clunky

Frequently Asked Questions: Best Microwaves

Is a 900 watt microwave powerful enough?

That really depends on the microwave and its size, but for the most part yes. As a rule of thumb, 700 watts or less is considered a pretty slow cooker, and you’d end up spending several minutes heating even simple things.

On the other hand, 1,100 watts and up is the ‘starting point’ of the higher-end part of the scale. So, 900 watts sits firmly in the middle and probably gives you one of the better prices per watt ratings.

Are microwave waves harmful?

Unless you’re standing right inside the microwave while it’s operating, you should be fine. There is a small chance that you will get small leaks from the microwave door IF the protective seals fail.

If you’re really worried about that though, you can just not stand right in front of the microwave when it’s on.

Can a microwave give you cancer?

Yes, it can, but not in the normal way that microwave functions. While there are some who claim that microwaves irradiate your food, it’s been studied and debunked several times.

You should always feel safe eating microwaved food. The only real way that you could get harmed is from possible leaks as mentioned above, but those are really rare. There’s actually a great article on the subject called ‘The Two Sides of the Story: Is Microwave Radiation Harmful?’, you should give it a read.

Best Microwaves — EHome