There’s hardly a kitchen that doesn’t have a microwave. They’re compact, don’t use a lot of electricity, and they’re incredibly convenient. If you don’t already have one of these appliances or if you’re simply looking to upgrade, then we can help you find some of the best microwaves for a variety of use cases.
Best Overall Microwave
LG NeoChef Smart Inverter 1200W Stainless Steel Microwave Oven
- Easy touch controls
- Child lock
- Multi-sensor cook settings
- Takes a little bit of time to reach the proper temperature
The NeoChef comes with something called an “inverter turbo defrost”, which sounds complicated, but all it does is ensure that the leftovers you’re reheating don’t come out cold on the inside or overcooked. Since reheating leftovers is at least half of the reason why most people even buy a microwave, this single feature makes this device worth the relatively cheap price that you have to pay to purchase it.
You’ll also get a lot of seemingly small quality of life improvement features that can really make things easier for you in various ways. For example, the stable turntable system reduces the likelihood of spills, but even if they do happen, the anti-bacterial coating on the inside of the device makes cleanup a lot easier. You’re also provided with several re-heat settings depending on what you have inside the microwave. The multiple power levels that the device can be set to and a fairly large overall 42L volume ultimately make the LG NeoChef the best overall.
Best Budget Microwave
Kogan 25L Microwave Oven with Grill
- Very affordable price point
- Decent amount of useful settings
- Jet defrosting functionality
- The grilling rack that this microwave comes with takes up a lot of space and might limit what foods can be used with it
- The overall capacity of this device is relatively small
While this might be the most cost-effective appliance on our list, it still comes with a respectable number of useful features and heating settings. On the simpler side of things, the Kogal comes with a child lock that prevents the door from accidentally opening and an easy-to-use keypad on the right side. The digital LED display shows you all of the settings that you choose as well as the standard timer that all microwaves come with.
Speaking of settings, you’ll get 5 adjustable power levels, and 10 preset cooking settings, which offer just enough variety for you to cook a wide array of different meals. You’ll also get a small grill that can be placed in the microwave as well as a glass tray that can be removed to make room for the grill if need be.
While you can easily find more powerful or bigger microwaves, this is probably one of the best ones you can pick up if you’re working on a budget and all you need is a convenient device that can heat up your meals.
Best Convection Microwave
Panasonic 27L Convection Flatbed Microwave 1000W
- Comes with an inverted turbo defrost feature
- Integrated electric grill
- 15 auto menus
- Takes some time to learn how to use all of the settings
- Doesn’t come with a delay start feature
Panasonic’s Convection Flatbed mixes microwave and convection oven technology in order to provide you with an appliance that can heat up, cook, bake, and crisp your food. The flatbed doesn’t rotate, so the meal that’s placed inside is heated from the sides by fans, which provides an even heat distribution throughout. You also get a removable tray that can either be used for grilling or taken out to make more room inside.
Convection ovens take a bit of getting used to in the beginning, but thankfully, this particular model comes with a number of automatic settings like the auto reheat or the auto cook that allow you to simply choose your preferred option. The appliance will set the temperature and the timer itself.
Unfortunately, this unit only comes with a one-year warranty, which isn’t all that long when it comes to appliances. However, if you can overlook that slight issue, then you have a pretty decent convection microwave at a reasonable price.
Best Small Microwave
Sharp Compact 750W Microwave Oven
- 6 auto menus
- 2-stage sequence cooking
- Easy to fit onto a countertop
- The limited space inside might not be able to fit certain plates
- Not powerful enough to accommodate all types of recipes
As you might have guessed by the way we categorized this item, it’s not the biggest microwave in the world, but it can still hold around 10 kg on the revolving glass tray. This particular microwave is a great choice for anyone that’s just looking to reheat their coffee or their food but isn’t really expecting to be able to cook a full four-course meal with this appliance.
The small size also allows you to save a bit of counter space, and it generally makes cleaning up a lot easier since you have a lot less surface area to cover. This model also has a classic digital clock on the right as well as a keypad just below with clearly outlined controls. There’s also a run-of-the-mill child lock for the microwave door.
Best Large Microwave
Westinghouse 40L Microwave 1100W
- 6 sensor cook programs
- Auto weight defrosting programs
- Fingerprint resistant glass
- Takes up a lot of space
- There is no trim kit available for this model
The Westinghouse microwave comes with a defrost feature as well as multi-stage cooking that slowly heats up your meal from its frozen state, ensuring that it’s properly cooked and not just crispy on the outside but still cold on the inside. You also get 10 different power levels, auto cook options, and even a quick start function.
There is also a favourites button that allows you to memorise a preferred power setting and cook time so that you can cook a meal you prepare often with a single button push.
Surprisingly enough, even though this unit has a pretty large capacity, it isn’t as expensive as you might think. In fact, it’s even cheaper than a lot of smaller microwaves that you can find, although you don’t get all that many features.
Best Premium Microwave
Miele M6012 26L Microwave 900W
- Quick start feature
- 3-stage memory
- Programmable timer
- Extremely expensive compared to most other microwave options
The Miele comes with all of the features that you might expect from a high-quality microwave, including a defrost function, a staggering 17 automatic cook options, and even a memory mode that stores your most frequently used settings for quick and easy access. You also get an integrated electric grill that’s very easy to use and can easily brown the top of any dish.
You also have something that’s called “combination mode”, which essentially allows you to switch between a standard microwave cooking mode and a grill mode without having to turn the machine on and off again. The appliance also comes with a child lock. The cherry on top would probably be the heat retention even after it’s done cooking, helping you keep your food warm until you open the microwave.
Most Versatile Microwave
Breville The Combi Wave 3 in 1 Convection Oven
- Quiet operation
- Power Smoothing Inverter
- Element IQ system
- Takes longer to warm up than a standard microwave
The Breville is one of the best microwaves for people who are looking to experiment with cooking recipes and maybe even work on their cooking skills a bit. The fan heating and standard heating elements allow you to prepare food however you like, and these features make this appliance a great addition to any home, especially if you don’t have a standard oven that you can use.
The massive digital display at the side shows you all of your settings, and the two knobs just below it allow you to adjust the power of the device. You can also set your preferred settings and have the device automatically switch to them once you close the door. The automatic options are smart cook, reheat, or defrost. Regardless of how you use it, this combination air fryer, convection oven, and microwave can help you prepare any recipe.
Best Microwave Brands
LG microwaves vary greatly when it comes to the price tag, but that only means that you can easily find something that fits right into your budget. The microwaves that this brand provides also come in a variety of sizes, but all of them have some really useful features.
Panasonic microwaves are known for having a large number of available features, as well as generally being pretty compact and fitting just about anywhere. You also get quite a selection of both convection and standard models of microwaves, all of which usually have many different settings.
How to Choose The Right Microwave
The two most important factors when it comes to comparing microwaves are the price and the size. The price is pretty easy to determine since the smaller microwaves with fewer features are obviously going to be less expensive than the fancy models that can do everything for you and have more features than can fit in an instruction manual.
As for size, you’re going to want to get something that can at least fit a medium-sized plate, otherwise, you won’t really be able to use your microwave for anything other than cup noodles. On the other hand, countertop space is also important and you don’t want most of your workable kitchen surface to be taken up by a single appliance, no matter how useful it is.
In all honesty, both of these factors are easy to account for. All you really have to do is measure the available space on your counter, keep an eye on the microwave dimensions when shopping, and stay within your budget. As long as you do those three simple things, then you should be able to find a microwave that’s just right for you.
What Are the Differences Between Standard, Grill, and Combination Microwaves?
Standard microwaves have a rotating tray in the middle of the device where you place your plates. They also have a heat source, but this can be located at the sides, on the top, or at the back of the microwave opposite the door. There are several different types of heating sources depending on the model that you buy, but the common similarity is that the tray in the middle spins so that the food gets heated evenly by the heat source.
Grill ovens come with either a small tray that can be placed in the middle of the microwave or a tripod grill that can be placed on the rotating tray in the middle. You essentially set your meat on the grill and you select the appropriate setting on the keypad. The microwave will then do all of the work for you.
Combination microwaves can use a standard microwave heating element and an air fryer in order to heat up the food that’s placed inside. Similar to convection ovens, there is no rotating element inside these types of microwaves because the fanned hot air and the surrounding heating elements evenly heat the meals without having to include any spinning motion into the mix.
Are Convection Microwaves Worth It?
The answer to this question is going to entirely depend on the type of cooking that you do. The convenience of the convection ovens comes into play when you’re preparing a large meal. Something like a small chicken can easily fit into a standard rotating tray, but it can’t actually spin around in the microwave. Since the convection oven uses surround heating, it allows you to properly cook larger meals.
This single feature usually makes these devices slightly more costly than your standard microwave model, and people usually prepare their bigger meals in their standard oven, so they don’t really need a microwave like this. However, if your home doesn’t have a standard-sized oven, but you still want to have a lot of options when it comes to what sort of meals you can cook, then these microwaves are definitely worth the few extra dollars.
What About Built-in Microwaves? Or Microwave Drawers?
The biggest advantage to these types of microwaves is that you won’t need to dedicate any space on your countertop to an appliance. Other than that, there may be differences in output power between the devices that you choose, and certain drawer microwaves might not have as much space as certain standard microwaves, but that all depends on the model that you buy.
Drawer and built-in microwaves are also much nicer to look at and most of the time, they come as a standard option in a lot of kitchen installation offers. If you have the room and if you’re changing up your kitchen and installing new cabinets, then these types of microwaves are definitely worth looking into. However, the standard models work just as well, don’t cost anything to install, and require a lot less planning when it comes to their placement.