Microwave ovens were introduced in 1967 and have now become one of the most popular appliances in the kitchen. They are staples in work lunchrooms, restaurants, and at home. Microwaves are used for just heating and reheating food and for cooking meals quickly. The microwaves listed below were chosen as among the best countertop microwaves because of their popularity and their ratings with consumers.
Consideration was also given to the size, wattage, and features of each microwave. The interior of microwaves range from .5 cubic feet to 2 cubic feet. Larger microwaves hold casseroles better and provide more cooking versatility. Microwaves also range from 600 to 1200 watts. The higher the wattage, the faster and better the microwave will cook food. Features available on each microwave will also be compared. Recommendations for each microwave will be based on this criteria.
10. Daewoo Retro Microwave Oven
The Daewoo Retro is a cute, basic, retro-look 0.7 cubic feet, 700 watt microwave. It is a small microwave with less features. However, many people want a microwave just for popcorn and to reheat food. This Daewoo microwave features defrost by weight or time, zero standby function, five microwave power levels, and four auto cook preset menu options. It uses a dial and a few buttons for settings. This microwave is recommended for those who just want a microwave for popcorn and to reheat food.
It is a cute, small, retro-style microwave that is perfect for those who use microwaves just for popcorn and to reheat food. It offers a popcorn setting, defrost by weight and time, five microwave power levels, and four auto cook preset menu options. The Daewoo Retro Microwave Oven uses a dial and a few buttons for setting. However, it has few settings and no timer.
9. RCA 0.7 Cubic Foot Microwave
This RCA 0.7 cubic foot microwave provides 1100 watts that makes it a small but powerful microwave. It offers ten power levels, a cook by weight feature, defrost by weight and time, and six one touch cooking options for potatoes, popcorn, pizza, frozen dinners, reheating, and beverages. This microwave is recommended because it is small and powerful with some nice features. The RCA microwave is small but powerful and has several nice features. Some users however, complain about this model quitting on them relatively often.
8. Bella 700-Watt Compact Microwave Oven
This Bella 0.7 cubic feet, 700-watt microwave is a good size for dorm rooms, campers, and small kitchens. It has a removable turntable and a digital control with LED display, clock, and timer. This microwave offers a good selection of features including the express cooking feature that lets you choose one to six minutes of cooking time using the 1 through 6 numeric buttons. You can add more time by pressing the +30 seconds button. With ten power levels available, this microwave allows you to cook meals using multi-stage cooking. You just select your first cooking time and power level. Then, you select a second time and power level to finish your meal. In addition, it has six one-touch cooking functions for pizza, popcorn, potatoes, frozen vegetables, dinner plates, and beverages. You can defrost by time or weight and use the memory function to save custom settings. For parents, it has a keypad lockout to prevent children from using it unsupervised. This microwave is recommended for those needing a smaller microwave.
- Small size for small spaces.
- Packed with features.
- Has keypad lockout for child safety.
- For many people, this microwave may be too small or not have enough power.
7. Westinghouse Designer Countertop Microwave
This is a small 0.7 cubic foot microwave with a low 700 wattage. However, if you have little counter space or need to get a less expensive microwave, this Westinghouse microwave has a lot of features. It offers ten cooking power levels, defrost by weight or time, multi-stage cooking, and six quick cook settings including baked potato, pizza, popcorn, frozen dinner, reheat and beverage. This microwave has a child lock function for safety and an LED display including a digital clock and timer. This microwave is recommended and is included in the 10 best countertop microwaves because it offers a lot of features including the child lock function for those needing a smaller or less expensive microwave.
- This microwave has a lot of features for those who do not have a lot of counter space or need to find a good microwave at a good price.
- For child safety, it has a lock function to prevent unsupervised use.
- Features included with this Westinghouse microwave are ten cooking power levels, defrost, multi-stage cooking, and six quick cook settings.
- At .7 cubic feet and 700 watts, it is smaller and less powerful than other models.
- The microwave slides on the counter when the door is being opened, and the turntable slides off track frequently.
6. Hamilton Beach 700 Watt Microwave
This compact 0.7-cubic foot, 700-watt Hamilton Beach microwave is perfect for dorm rooms and other small kitchens. It offers ten power levels, a child-safe lockout feature, cook by weight, defrost by weight or time, and six quick-set menu options including popcorn, potatoes, pizza, frozen dinner, beverages, and reheat. It is recommended for those with limited space because of its extra features.
- It great for small kitchen spaces.
- It offers ten power levels, a child-safe lockout feature, cook by weight, defrost by weight or time, and six quick-set menu options including popcorn, potatoes, pizza, frozen dinner, and beverages.
- It has a child lockout feature for safety.
- It may be too small for some people.
5. GE 0.7 Cu. Ft. Capacity Countertop Microwave Oven
This 0.7 cubic-foot 700-watt GE has six express quick start buttons for cooking from one to six minutes, a +30 second button, and four preset cooking menus including popcorn, potatoes, beverages, and reheat. It has a removable turntable and defrosts by weight or time. It is recommended for those needing a microwave that takes up less counter space but has some good features.
- This microwave has a good selection of features for smaller kitchens.
- It offers six quick start settings, a +30 button, four preset menus, and defrost by weight or time.
- It is a smaller, less powerful microwave.
4. Farberware Classic Microwave Oven
At 1.1 cubic feet and 1,000 watts, this Farberware microwave is a larger size and mid-range microwave. It features a removable, rotating glass turntable, a digital control and LED display with clock and kitchen timer and a keypad lock that prevents unsupervised use. With the ten power levels that this Farberware microwave offers, you can adjust the power from 10 to 100 percent. This is useful for foods that might boil over before the food is done, such as pudding. Generally, recipes request a reduction in power of between 50 and 70 percent. The multi-stage cooking feature allows you to set the microwave to cook at one power level for a set amount of time and then switch to another power level for a remaining amount of time. The Express Cooking quick start feature included uses the 1 through 6 numeric buttons to indicate a cooking time of one to six minutes. The Add 30-seconds control adds cooking time in 30 second increments. The One-Touch cooking functions are set to cook specific amounts of the listed food for a set time that should complete the cooking process. For this Farberware microwave, the One-Touch cooking functions are set for popcorn, pizza, potatoes, frozen vegetables, beverages, and a dinner plate. The Memory Function will save cooking settings that you use frequently. Defrost by time or weight can help if you forgot to get some food out of the freezer. Just follow the instructions carefully and check the food frequently so that you only thaw the food and do not start cooking it. This Farberware microwave is recommended and among the 10 best countertop microwaves because it is a nice size and has a lot of useful features, especially the keypad lock.
- This is a larger size and midrange microwave at 1.1 cubic feet and 1000 watts.
- For safety, it has a keypad lock that prevents unsupervised use.
- This Farberware microwave’s features include ten power levels, multi-stage cooking, express cooking, one-touch cooking, a memory function, and defrost.
- Some people complained about it being louder than other microwaves, and the door working hard.
3. Farberware Professional Microwave Oven
This Farberware Professional 1000-watt microwave offers identical features to the microwave listed at #4. It is just larger at 1.3 cubic feet for those who want to use it with larger casseroles. This microwave has the ten power levels, the multi-stage cooking, the one to six minute express cooking with +30-second control, the Memory Function, the defrost by weight and time feature, and the six one-touch cooking functions for pizza, popcorn, potatoes, frozen vegetables, beverages, and dinner plates. It features a removable, rotating glass turntable; the digital control with LED display, clock, and timer; and the Keypad Lock for child safety. This Farberware microwave is recommended because it is a larger microwave
- It is a large 1.3-cubic foot, 1000-watt microwave
- It includes a full range of cooking features.
- It has the Keypad Lock feature for child safety.
- There are a few complaints about it being noisy that seems to be a complaint across many brands.
2. Panasonic NE-1025F Silver Microwave Oven
This 0.8-cubic foot, 1000-watt Panasonic Commercial Microwave is commercial-grade, so it is rugged. It does not have a turntable, instead it has a rotating antenna, so there is no need to worry about a turntable that slips off-track. For setting, it uses a dial instead of a numeric pad and has a maximum setting of six minutes. So, food cannot be accidentally overcooked. It is also one of a few microwaves that provide a good interior with a light and a see-through door. Some seniors have found these features especially useful. This microwave is recommended because it is rugged and easy-to-use.
- It is commercial-grade, so it is rugged.
- It uses a dial instead of a numeric pad.
- It has a see-through door.
- Some people may want more of the traditional features.
1. Panasonic Countertop Microwave
This Panasonic microwave is a large 2.2 cubic foot, powerful 1250 watt microwave with inverter technology. Inverter technology uses a different method for creating the multiple power level feature. To create the power levels that are less than 100 percent on most microwaves, the microwave cycles the magnetron tube on and off during the cooking or defrosting time. This Panasonic microwave with inverter technology actually lowers the output of the magnetron tube. This provides better control of the cooking and defrosting process, allowing you to cook without overdone food at the edges and defrost without partially cooking the food. In addition, this Panasonic microwave has a removable turntable, a popcorn button, a timer, a quick minute mode, a more/less control, 18 preset menu items, and an automatic sensor that adjusts power and cooking times for different foods. It uses a combination of a dial and buttons to set the microwave and offers one-touch cook and reheat. Two other unique features of this microwave are a delay start mode and a keep warm mode. This microwave is recommended and among the 10 best countertop microwaves because of its size, wattage, and features.
- This microwave uses inverter technology for better cooking and defrosting.
- It is a large 2.2 square foot, powerful 1250 watt microwave.
- It offers a selection of 18 preset menu items.
- This microwave may be larger and have more features than some people need.
The microwaves included in our list of 10 best countertop microwaves have been highly rated by owners. We have also provided a range of sizes and power levels that include the most features. Please share your comments on these microwaves and let us know of any microwaves you feel should be included in this list.