people's choice

The Best Microwave Ovens on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy (like knife sharpeners), but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ’em) products and single out the most convincing. While we’ve written about slow cookers, toasters and toaster ovens, kitchen knife sets, frying pans and skillets, cookware sets, and even electric griddles and indoor grills, here we’re rounding up the best microwave ovens you can find on Amazon. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)

Best countertop microwave

Panasonic Countertop Microwave with Inverter Technology
$142 at Amazon

“This is a brilliant machine. The thing that is perhaps most impressive is just how quiet it is. I often have to check to see if it has switched off because I can’t hear it. But that’s a great thing. I also love the sensor function when reheating food. No need to go back and forth wondering if it has heated thoroughly enough, and then find out it has overheated and ruined your lunch. Also, this microwave does evenly distribute the microwave energy and ensures that your food doesn’t have overcooked sections that you can’t eat. It makes sure that your food is cooked properly, and there are no hard edges or corners. I’d recommend this unit, as I think it is a really clever kitchen gadget.”

Best countertop microwave under $100

HomeLabs 1050 watt Countertop Microwave Oven with Accessories
$103 at Amazon

“Love, love, LOVE this microwave! As we’ve had the same little cheap microwave since we were married YEARS ago, I figured it was time for an upgrade. I’ve bought other items from Home and have been fully satisfied, so I figured I would give their microwave a shot. I’m glad I did. I’m not sure if it’s the age or limitations of our previous microwave, but we always had to microwave food longer than one would expect. We do not have that issue with this microwave. It’s SO powerful. Not only that, it’s big without taking up too much space (we have a little counter area that it fits perfectly on) and very stylish. There are ‘EasySet’ buttons that allow you to automatically start the microwave for one, two, or three minutes that are super convenient. Additionally, you can add 30 seconds with the touch of a button at any time as well.”

Best small countertop microwave with dials

Westinghouse WCM660W 600 Watt Counter Top Rotary Microwave Oven
$80 at Amazon

“Great microwave for small kitchens where you might not have a lot of counter space. I love the fact that the design is as simple as possible, with only a few heat settings and a timer. The knobs are also turned manually, which is also a good thing (speaking from experience with my two previous microwaves, where the first thing to go was the electronic button panel). It’s fairly quiet, too. Overall, I am really happy with it; it does what it’s supposed to do and doesn’t take much space.”

Best large countertop microwave

Panasonic NN-SN936B Countertop Microwave with Inverter Technology
$170 at Amazon

“This machine is rather large in size, but that’s part of the reason you either want it or don’t want it. The inside space is ample for a decent size glass tray of lasagna. The DC inverter technology means this thing heats things up FAST! Where my old microwave would sit around for two minutes trying to warm up eight ounces of coffee, this thing will have it boiling over if you don’t watch it. There don’t seem to be any dead zones either. Meaning that it tends to heat things very evenly. The defrost settings work amazingly well. Ease of use is simple enough with the standard controls you would expect to find without all the odd functions [and] buttons you find on other microwaves.”

Best countertop microwave for $100

Farberware Classic FMO11AHTBKD 1.1 Cubic Foot 1000-Watt Microwave Oven
$99 at Amazon

“This was my first major appliance I’ve purchased online, so I was a bit hesitant [but] there was no need! Microwave arrived well-packed and in perfect working order. Its modern-sleek design looks amazing in my kitchen — not too big, yet plenty of room inside to accommodate my large dinner plates. The heat settings are accurate, which is what it’s all about. I love it.”

Best vintage-style microwave

Daewoo KOR-7LREM Retro Microwave Oven
$80 at Amazon

“I love my microwave. It’s not only cute but actually works really well, possibly better than my old (more standard) one. It fits my dinner plates fine, and size is not an issue. And I really like that it turns off when I’m not using it, and that it doesn’t do those annoying ‘reminder’ beeps when I take too long to open the door after the food’s done.”

Best stainless-steel microwave oven for defrosting

Panasonic NN-SD681S Stainless 1200W 1.2 Cu. Ft. Countertop/Built-in Microwave with Inverter Technology
$150 at Amazon

“While I haven’t even begun to test everything it says it can do, what I can say is that its Inverter Turbo Defrost feature is by far the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen in a microwave. On any microwave I’ve ever owned, putting on the defroster meant half would be slightly defrosted and the other half is almost well-done, cooked. This microwave defrosts like magic, steaks come out perfectly defrosted, still cold but not frozen at all, no warm spots, and certainly no spots that have started to cook. I don’t know how it works, and I don’t care to know, all I know is that every time I use this feature, it works perfectly. Highly recommend.”

Best stainless-steel microwave oven with automatic-cooking preset dials

Breville Quick Touch, BMO734XL
$250 at Amazon

“Love all the functions! I like the fact you can physically pull a handle out to open it and close it (instead of those ones you have to push a button to open it). You can quickly heat something on high for 30 seconds with a quick ONE-button press. Hit it twice and it cooks for 60 seconds. You can also turn the dial and change the time WHILE it is cooking. You can adjust the power AFTER you hit the start button; most microwaves do not let you do this. Looks great and simple and sleek … Great for those wanting specific settings, or those that just want simple ‘push the button’ heating. I like the dials for setting the time and power instead of … having to enter the numbers one by one. Great design, great functioning, great efficiency. I’d give it six stars if I could!”

Best commercial-grade countertop microwave without a turntable

Panasonic NE-1054F Stainless 1000W 0.8 Cu. Ft. Commercial Microwave Oven
$262 at Amazon

“We bought this Panasonic microwave about five months ago. This is the best microwave oven we’ve ever owned … It’s not the ‘prettiest’ one we’ve had (but not ugly), nor the one with the most settings. But it heats food quickly and evenly, and cleans up incredibly easily. Why? No turntable, and it’s associated tray and motor spindle. (The microwave antenna, which is hidden, does the turning.) The entire inside of the oven is basically a smooth surface, and a wet sponge — or at most, a little Windex — will completely remove pretty much anything that spills inside, even if the mess is a couple of days old … Add in the fact that commercial microwaves are rated for a higher lifetime of use, and we expect this microwave to be around for a long time.”

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The Best Microwave Ovens on Amazon, According to Reviewers