Are you looking for the best countertop microwave to complement your kitchen and ease your life? Search no more – just read my honest reviews!
I am not a great fan of microwave technology, but being a busy working mum, it is almost impossible to get by without a microwave in my kitchen. It is a real lifesaver at times!
For example, when I have to leave my kids alone for some time, a microwave is the only safe way for them to reheat what I have cooked and left for them and enjoy a warm homemade meal instead of making a sandwich. I often use it to reheat the leftovers as well, and that is a great way to save not only my time and energy but also the money I spend on groceries.
When I am in a hurry, I simply choose a microwavable meal, and it is done in a matter of minutes. Microwave steams veggies quite quickly too, and although they might not be as healthy when prepared in such a way, they taste great and make a superb quick meal.
For all the reasons stated above, I am in search of the best countertop microwave for my home. If you need one too, stay tuned, and you are sure to find a countertop microwave to fit your needs as well.
Before you start you should also read: Toaster Oven VS. Microwave
Why Buy a Countertop Microwave?
1. It saves time and effort
We all know that it is best to make a meal from scratch, but who has time to dice and slice, or simmer and stir nowadays?
I can speak only for myself, but I know that many women live the same hectic life as I do. We all live in a fast-paced world, and stay-at-home mums are a true rarity. It is hard to work for at least 8 hours, take care of our children and the house and plus cook three meals a day every single day.
Luckily there is technology! Microwave is a real example of how technology can improve lives by providing us with more time to do the things that matter. When microwave cooks a whole meal in a matter of minutes, you are free to play with your kids, or cuddle with your hubby!
I will give you an example: If you bake a potato in your oven it will take about half an hour, but if you do it in the microwave, you will spend as little as five minutes – that is 25 minutes for you to spend however you like. 🙂
2. It is affordable
There are three types of microwaves on the market: built-in, countertop and over-the-range. The countertop models are generally the most affordable.
Moreover, countertop microwaves do not require any costly installation nor a professional installer, in fact, they need no installation at all – they are ready to use right out of the box, all you need to do is to plug them in.
3. It is portable
Built-in microwaves require some planning ahead. You have to decide where to install them and be sure about that decision as that is a more or less permanent solution.
Countertop microwaves do not require any commitment on your behalf. You can change your mind every day and move them as you wish. If you decide to change the house, your microwave can come with you too, no need to demolish your kitchen to take it out!
If you are currently residing in a dorm room or renting an apartment or a house, countertop microwaves are an obvious choice for your kitchen!
What to Consider When Buying a Countertop Microwave?
There are a few things you need to consider before you buy a countertop microwave:
The size of a microwave should correspond to the size of your kitchen. So, ask yourself how much space you can spare?
My advice is to always measure the desired location and make sure it is spacious enough to fit the microwave you are looking to buy. If your kitchen is small and your countertop space limited, you will want a smaller model. The external dimensions are typically listed on the box, so make sure you check the width, depth, and height before you open your wallet.
When it comes to internal capacity, countertop microwaves range from 0.5 cubic feet to about two cubic feet. I would not go below one cubic foot though because I have a family and often use large dishes, but if you are solo or pressed for kitchen space, you can choose a smaller model too.
It is also highly relevant to measure the length of the power cord and the distance to the nearest power outlet, so don’t forget to do that!
When speaking of microwaves, their wattage is one of the most important things to know. Why? Because wattage equals power.
The higher the wattage, the quicker and more powerful the microwave is. In this case, I would not go below 1,000-watts as those with less power tend to be too slow or even cook the food unevenly.
Unfortunately, the higher the wattage, the higher the price, so if you have a limited budget, you’ll need to make a compromise.
3. Automatic functions
Microwaves are designed to make our lives more comfortable, and that is why the modern models are often packed with automated features such as automatic defrost and other pre-programmed settings that allow you to prepare your favorite meals without any pre-thought. For example, you want to eat popcorns. All you need to do is place them in the microwave and press the popcorn button; it doesn’t get easier than that does it?
Advanced models can even calculate cook time thanks to the sensors that determine the amount of steam your food emits. They also feature buttons that enable you to control the cooking time down to the last second. These features make cooking with a microwave a lot easier and guarantee that your food will always come out perfectly done.
Further Reading: Microwave Toaster Oven Combo
4. Child lockout feature
The child lock function is a must-have feature for all the parents out there as it prevents accidents that can harm your child.
How does this work? Well, it locks the microwave and disables it until you press a sequence of buttons. Once you enter the code, you can use the microwave regularly.
5. Ease of maintenance
Microwaves get dirty fast, and you want to be able to clean them fast as well. The best option is to choose a microwave that is coated with an easy to clean lining and round edges on the inside.
See Also: Most Recommended Oven Cleaners
Most Recommended Countertop Microwaves in 2020: My choice & honest reviews
All you single ladies (and guys of course) should pay close attention to the AmazonBasics microwave. It is compact and thus saves you countertop space without you having to sacrifice functionality. The exact measures of this unit are 17.3 in. x 10.1 in. x 14.1 in and it has the internal capacity of 0.7 cubic feet. The turntable diameter is 10 inches, which is not a lot but can fit a standard plate, cup, or a popcorn bag size of up to 3 0z.
The design is simple, and the controls are intuitive, so you will have no trouble using this microwave. The power of this unit is 700 watts, and there are ten power levels to choose from. The AmazonBasics microwave also features the child lock feature and the timer.
If you make an additional investment and buy the Echo device, you will be able to control this microwave via your voice. Sounds incredible, doesn’t it?
This Amazon Echo microwave’s voice-control integration is a wow factor; no one can argue with that. You will be not only able to issue voice commands but also enjoy useful features such as Echo letting you know when the microwave is done or reordering your popcorn supply in a timely manner.
- Compatible with the Echo device
- Easy to set up.
- Ten power levels
- Child lock function
- One-Year Limited Warranty
- Not suitable for large families
- 700W wattage is rather low, especially since most recipes call for a higher wattage
We are now going even larger with the internal capacity, so the next countertop microwave I am reviewing is a Farberware Classic FMO11AHTBKD that has a capacity of 1.1 cubic feet. The external dimensions are 20.2 x 16.9 x 12 inches while the power is also higher – 1000 watts. There are ten power levels to choose from, which has already become a standard.
Express Cooking quick start controls let you choose from one to six minutes of cooking time, but there is also an option to add 30-seconds more when you want to make sure that your meal is perfectly done. For further convenience, there are six preset buttons for making popcorn, potatoes, pizza, frozen vegetables, beverages, or warming up a dinner plate. The memory function allows you to save the preferred settings.
There is a feature to defrost your food by weight or time, as well as the keypad lock that will keep your children safe from harm. The only downfall to this unit is the poor lighting inside out. The interior light is very dim and paired with the dark coating; it makes monitoring the cooking process almost impossible. It is not much better on the outside either as the control panel is not backlit.
- A company with a long tradition
- Defrost by time or weight
- Express Cooking Functions
- Digital control and LED display
- Glass turntable
- Keypad Lock
- 1- Year Limited Manufacturer’s Warranty
- Dim interior light
- Control panel is not backlit
- A bit noisy
The interesting retro design is the greatest asset of the Daewoo KOR07R3ZEL countertop microwave but not the only one. Although it looks like it came from the ’80s, it is actually quite modern. The internal capacity of the unit is 0.7 cubic feet (we are going small again), and the external dimensions are 14 x 17.6 x 10.6 inches.
This microwave has the power of 700 watts and offers five different power levels as well as five auto cook menus. Although it is not the most powerful unit reviewed, it heats and cooks most food quite well. The only problem I have encountered is with popcorns, and that is odd, to say the least since it has a one-touch button to make them.
There is a defrost function as well as the knob to set the time and add 30 seconds button. However, the unit lacks a child lock feature, which can be a deal-breaker for those of you who are parents. Finally, speaking of the downsides, I have to mention that the warranty lasts only 30 days a that too can deter some of you from buying this unit.
- Attractive retro design
- Concave Reflex System (C. R. S)
- Rounded corners
- Quick defrosting
- Add 30 seconds button
- Detailed manual
- Reasonable price
- The interior light is on only while the microwave is operating
- The control buttons are of poor quality
- Only a 30-day warranty
The Panasonic NN-SN651B countertop microwave is a great size for a large family as it has the 1.2-cubic-foot capacity. The external dimensions are 15.8 x 20.7 x 12.2 inches, so make sure you can spare that much kitchen space. The 1200-Watt high power and patented inverter technology secure quick and even cooking for your food. If your food is frozen, you can rely on a speedy Turbo Defrost feature too.
This Panasonic microwave has a built-in automatic Genius Sensor which adapts the power level and time of cooking to the food you are cooking so that everything comes out perfectly done, and there is no risk of overcooking. There are also twelve preset buttons for utmost convenience as well as a quick minute timer and delay start option. The child lock feature is there to help you keep your kids safe at all times
For me, the best feature this unit has to offer is a keep warm feature. I love the idea that I can cook when I have time and then keep the food warm until my family gathers around to eat as that often takes much time.
- Good quality and price ratio
- Keep Warm Feature up to 30 minutes
- Inverter Technology
- Genius Sensor
- Even cooking
- Turbo Defrost function
- 1-year warranty
- A bit noisy
GE Profile PEM31SFSS is a stainless steel countertop microwave with 1.1 cubic feet capacity and it measures 12 1/8 in x 24 in x 12 7/8 in. The power of this unit is 800 watts, which is more than enough to prepare your food in a matter of minutes. There are ten power levels for you to adjust to the meal you are making.
For me, this microwave is a perfect size, it is compact and can be placed under the counter (there is an optional hanging kit if you decide to do this). The inner space is a pleasant surprise as I can fit my most large plates with no problem, and that is precisely what I need. There is an option to turn off the turntable when you use rectangular dishes too.
The sensor cooking controls include reheat button as well as four preset buttons for preparing popcorns, beverage, potatoes, and vegetables. You can defrost the food by time and weight too. The unit also features the timer and add-30-seconds button so that you can cook as precisely as needed.
On the downside, the unit appears to be made from inferior quality materials and cheap plastic all around. It might not be so, but it sure feels like it. It is also quite loud, especially the beeping sound that alarms you when the cooking is done. The price is also quite high.
- Perfect internal capacity of 1.1 cubic feet
- Reheat feature
- Defrost by time and weight
- Add 30 seconds button
- 1-year warranty
- Poor quality materials
- Loud sounds
- High price
Nostalgia RMO770RED countertop microwave is a really stylish unit that is sure to gather compliments from your guests. The red color makes it pop so that everyone will surely notice it. When it comes to the internal capacity, this microwave has only 0.7 cubic feet, and that makes it suitable for individuals rather than families like mine. The exact dimensions of the unit are 18 x 14.2 x 10.2 inches, and that means that it can fit even in the smallest kitchens.
This microwave has a power of 700 watts and a spinning dial that enables you to choose from 12 pre-programmed settings for a variety of dishes. The LED display is easy to read, and you can always rely on the 24-hour digital clock to know the exact time. The glass carousel contributes to your food cooking evenly at all times.
The multi-sequence cooking feature allows you to program up to four separate cooking sequences for every cooking program. In this way, you will be able to cook the desired meal at different power and time settings. The only complaint is a short warranty period of only 90 days as that is not enough time to evaluate a microwave.
- Attractive retro design
- Chrome handle
- Multi-sequence cooking
- Convenient cord wrap
- 12-pre-programmed settings
- LED display
- Glass carousel
- Easy to clean
- Delayed start
- 90-day warranty
Kenmore 0.9 cubic feet countertop microwave is quite basic, but that does not mean that it is a bad choice. First of all, it measures only 14.5 x 18.3 x 11 in and thus leaves a reasonably small footprint, which makes it suitable for small kitchens and dorm rooms. Although it is one of the most compact microwaves reviewed here, it still has a decent 10.5-inch turntable.
Nine hundred watts have proved to be enough to cook the food quickly and evenly while the six preset buttons (popcorn, pizza, potato, vegetable, beverage, dinner plate) provide a simple solution when you are in a real hurry. There are also two defrost modes (by time and weight), add 30 seconds button, kitchen timer, and safety lock function, or, in short, everything you could ever want in a microwave.
The multi-stage cooking is a cherry on top as it is an advanced feature usually reserved for much more expensive countertop microwaves. It allows you to, for example, set the oven to defrost a frozen meal and then cook it.
- Ten power levels
- Multi-stage cooking
- Six presets
- Defrost function
- Child lock
- One year warranty
- The light is on while the microwave is operating but not when you open the door
- A bit loud operation
Danby DMW077BLSDD countertop microwave is a highly popular, budget-friendly unit that measures 14 x 17.3 x 10.1 inches and has an internal capacity of 0.7 cubic feet. With 700 watts of cooking power divided into ten power levels, you simply cannot go wrong when preparing your favorite dish. The looks won’t disappoint you either as this unit is definitely stylish – mostly due to the black stainless steel exterior.
There are also six one-touch cooking buttons for six most popular meals as well as the timer and a clock. The memory feature allows you to save the preferred settings and finish your cooking even faster every next time you cook something in this microwave.
The defrost by time and weight feature takes all the guesswork out of defrosting your frozen food so that you can concentrate on your recipes and deliver great-tasting meals to your loved ones. It could be a bit less loud though.
- Stainless steel exterior
- Suitable for smaller homes or dorms
- Six one-touch cooking buttons
- LED timer/clock.
- Clock and timer
- Easy to clean
- 18- months warranty
- Loud operation
If you want a classic, all-white countertop microwave, Magic Chef MCM1611W might be an excellent choice for you. It is 1.6 cu.ft. microwave that measures 17.9 x 21.8 x 12.8 inches so make sure you can fit it into your kitchen before you make the purchase. With 1100 watts of power it can cook every meal you can think of quickly and evenly. The express, one-touch cook buttons for most commonly prepared meals and the 30-second add button add to the overall efficiency of the unit.
Besides the design that will appeal to the majority of users, this microwave offers a decent capacity and can meet the needs of larger families as well. There are ten power levels and all of the usual features, such as defrost by time and weight and reheat functions.
On the downside, the microwave is a bit loud and beeps not once, nor twice, but whooping five times when the meal is done, and that can be quite annoying. Unfortunately, you cannot turn off the sound, nor will it stop when you open the door.
- Value for money
- Easy to operate
- 1100 watts of power
- Ten power levels
- Six cooking programs
- Defrost by time or by weight
- Express cooking function
- Memory function
- 1-year warranty
If you are looking for a countertop microwave that is a bit bigger than the AmazonBasics unit, Toshiba EM925A5A-BS might be an excellent choice for you as it has a 0.9 cubic feet capacity and measures 19. 2 x 15. 9 x 11. 5 inches. As you can see, it is slightly larger but still compact and suitable for smaller kitchens.
This microwave offers 900 watts of power, and there are ten power settings for you to choose from. Besides, six pre-programmed functions (popcorn, potato, pizza, frozen vegetable, beverage, dinner plate) are there to make sure that you cook your favorite meals quickly and effortlessly. The digital control panel is easy to use, and the internal LED light is strong enough for you to monitor the cooking process at all times.
Besides the kitchen timer, this Toshiba microwave has an automatic defrost function that can be set to work by time or weight of the food you are defrosting. There is a child lock feature, and you can turn the sound off two, which is especially helpful when you do not want to wake up a sleeping baby.
- Compact size
- Digital control panel
- Power saving mode
- Defrost by time or weight
- Interior LED
- Attractive black stainless steel exterior
- Sound on/off option
- Child safety lock
- 1-year warranty
- Plastic feet make the unit unstable, especially when you pull the door open
I hope that you are now able to find the best countertop microwave for your kitchen. If you are a family person like me, I recommend opting for Toshiba EM925A5A-BS as it is spacious enough to prepare meals for your family and guests. It is also great value for money.
If you live alone or have limited kitchen counter space, you can choose the AmazonBasics countertop microwave. It is not only fully functional and reasonably priced but also looks great. We could all do with a little bit of color in our lives after all, am I right?
Before you go, read: Convection Oven vs. Microwave
Last update on 2020-10-01 at 18:33 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API