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For most of us, it's hard to imagine a kitchen without a microwave. Who heats up water for cocoa on the stove or reheats an entire meal in the oven anymore? A novelty in most homes in the 1980s, these appliances have become so common that it takes you aback when you don't see one in the kitchen - or even at the office.
Microwave oven styles have come a long way from the bulky countertop appliances of the past. Yes, you can still get models like that - after all, a dorm room isn't going to have a place to install a microwave - but the majority of kitchens now include a ready-made space under the cabinets or over the range just for a microwave. Today's more modern homes may incorporate microwave ovens as built-ins that match the oven and the refrigerator with pull-down doors, or even as a pull-out drawer in a kitchen island.
Sunday, June 26th
GE is our favorite brand for microwave ovens. High-end or budget-friendly, your appliance will have just the right blend of features and value. The company is one of only a few manufacturers with an "A+" and accreditation from the BBB, and customers leave lots of positive feedback on these microwaves even years after the purchase. For the best selection and features, make GE your first option when shopping for a microwave oven.
Samsung is an excellent choice when shopping for a microwave. You're certain to find something you love among their selection of 50+ models, all priced under $700 but with lots of features you'll appreciate. Samsung's microwaves have even won awards three years in a row for customer satisfaction. As long as you don't have your heart set on a stainless steel interior, Samsung microwaves should be near the top of your list.
Sharp is a well-rounded brand among makers of microwave ovens. Fancy pull-out drawer styles? Check. Affordable mini-sized models? Check. Plenty of options under $500? Check. Customers give Sharp microwaves lots of points for being long-lasting - some of these appliances are 20 years old and still going strong. While it may not have the cachet of some rival brands, Sharp makes microwaves that look good, work very well, and won't break the bank.
Whirlpool microwave ovens don't have the highest-end features like convection cooking or air fryer capabilities. But you will get a good appliance from a trusted manufacturer if you choose one of their products: on one model alone, over 6,000 customers gave it a five-star rating. This is a brand to keep in mind if all you need is a traditional microwave oven with nothing overly complicated.
LG is a brand that delivers plenty of features for much less than you'd pay for a microwave from a different manufacturer. Convection cooking and air fry capabilities for under $900? You got it. Our one hesitation is LG's reputation with the BBB; thousands of complaints there indicate that this company may not be the most reliable when it comes to warranty claims. But, most problems are related to refrigerators, so you might be absolutely thrilled with an LG microwave.
Maytag is small but mighty when it comes to microwaves: there are less than a dozen options, but almost all of them score high in customer ratings. You won't find anything overly high-tech here, but you won't overspend on your purchase either. This could be a good brand to keep in reserve if you don't find what you need from a microwave maker with a broader selection.
You already knew that KitchenAid makes mixers, but were you aware that microwave ovens are also part of their kitchen electrics selection? There are only around a dozen to choose from, and customer satisfaction varies greatly by model - but a few are both fully-featured and well-liked by owners. Other brands offer a much wider inventory, though, so KitchenAid comes in as simply average among microwave oven manufacturers.
Frigidaire isn't just for keeping your food cold. The brand has a selection of approximately 19 different microwave ovens too, ranging from just-the-basics of heating and reheating to fully-featured convection models that can grill meat and cook a frozen pizza. These microwave ovens tend to get good feedback from customers, but with warranty protection limited to just a year, Frigidaire doesn't stand out among the crowd.
Thermador bills itself as a luxury appliance brand, in business for over 100 years. Their selection of microwave ovens is limited to just five models, all priced over $1,000. These appliances have a two-year warranty, but we're not confident that you'd get a timely, appropriate response if yours breaks down - largely because Thermador is owned by Bosch, the lowest-rated brand we evaluated.
You would expect a high-end appliance company like Bosch to blow you away with innovative features and amazing reliability, but their microwave ovens tend to disappoint. True, you'll find some unique styles like pull-out drawers and speed ovens that add convection to the cooking process, but you'll pay a pretty penny for those upgrades - and lots of customers say you won't get your money's worth. Bosch microwaves get low ratings from shoppers, and the company as a whole doesn't have a reputation for standing by their appliances. This is our least-recommended brand for microwave ovens.
While some people have held onto concerns that microwave ovens might be unsafe because of the way they cook food, those fears are unfounded. Manufacturers go to great lengths to make sure that the biggest risk of using a microwave oven is when people eat their food before it cools off a bit (we've all done that breathy-mouth-thing when we just couldn't wait for that delicious snack to be ready - and regretted it for days afterwards).
Not only have microwave designs expanded, but their capabilities have grown too. Convection for faster cooking, air fryer functions, and voice controls are just a few features that may "wow" you, especially if you're replacing a trusty old model that finally gave up the ghost after a decade or more of faithful food-cooking service in your home.
With so many options, where do you start? Walk yourself through this checklist as you figure out which microwave oven and brand are right for you:
TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the most popular brands of microwave ovens on the market today. We hope this information helps you choose the right model for your kitchen!
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