5 Best Countertop Microwave Ovens in 2021

Photo Credit: PCMag

After carefully considering the important and Top Microwave Oven Dos and Don’ts in our last post, we have rounded up some of the best countertop microwave ovens that you can buy this year in case you need to change the old one or you want something better.

How We Selected and Rated Them

We researched expert sources such as CNET, Good Housekeeping, Consumer Reports, and The Spruce, as well as 34,000 consumer reviews to select the top 6 microwaves of the year. Our Consumer Score represents the percentage of consumers who rated the product at least 4 out of 5 stars on retail and review sites like Amazon, Walmart, and manufacturers’ websites.

Best Overall

Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SN966S Countertop/Built-In with Inverter Technology

Photo Credit: Amazon
Size: 2.2 cubic feet
Wattage: 1250 Watts
Exterior: Aluminium
Weight: 16.7 kg

Reasons to Buy
Automatic sensors adjust cooking times and power
Can defrost anything without cooking it
Can be used on a countertop or as a built-in

Reasons to Avoid
Too big for compact kitchens

Price: From $219.50
Rating: 9/10
Buy Now

For its size and 1250 watts of cooking power, this microwave has space to heat food for the family, and the power to get the job done quickly. The turntable is a whopping 16 1/2 inches in diameter, so it will hold several plates, large serving dishes, or a large casserole.

Proprietary technology heats food evenly while it also speeds up defrosting time, so you’ll have less waiting time, no matter what’s for dinner. The “genius sensor” adjusts the power and cooking time for different foods. The keep-warm feature will hold your food at serving temperature, while not overcooking it, and the delay start lets you prep food, put it in the oven, and start cooking at just the right time so it’s ready for dinner.  

There are 14 presets including essentials like popcorn, pizza, soup, oatmeal, pasta, and frozen foods, so everyone in the family can prepare foods without having to guess how long to cook. Ten power levels, along with options for sensor reheating and cooking, round out the functions that make this oven ideal for most households.

Affordable and Best Smart Countertop Microwave

AmazonBasics Works with Alexa S9N29R

Photo Credit: Amazon
Size: 0.7 cubic feet
Wattage: 700 watts
Exterior: Black Glass
Weight: 9.9kg

Reasons to Buy
Easy to use
Functions can be voice-activated.

Reasons to Avoid
Can take a while to heat
Plates larger than 10 inches won’t fit.
Features on standalone microwave (without connecting to an Alexa-enabled device) are limited.

Price: From $60
Rating: 7/10
Buy Now

The AmazonBasics is a small countertop microwave oven that tends to underperform compared to larger models. However, the AmazonBasics is at the top of the pack of small microwaves. Where it excels is at defrosting. Despite its low cost, it has something most microwaves do not—voice control. The microwave connects to Amazon Echo and lets you use quick cook voice presets. If you do not have an Echo, there is also a simple keypad. While not the most powerful microwave here, customers praised its functionality for the price.

Best Convection Cooking

Toshiba Microwave Oven with Convection Function

Photo Credit: Amazon
Size: 1.5 cubic feet
Wattage: 1,000
Exterior: Stainless steel  
Weight: 20.4kg

Reasons to Buy
Large enough to cook pizza
Can microwave and convection-cook either separately or at the same time
High-quality build

 Reasons to Avoid
Large footprint and heavy
Not as many food presets
Large footprint

Price: $298.15
Rating: 7.5/10
Buys Now

Microwave ovens are great for steaming and reheating, but they’re not good at browning foods. This combination microwave and convection oven takes care of that problem. Bake, roast, or pop, this convection microwave oven can do it all. If a simple microwave won’t cut it, this convection oven could be the answer. The convection technology allows you to cook, warm, and even roast. While this cannot completely replace an oven, it’s a great alternative if you do not have access to one. The size is large enough to cook a frozen pizza or even a small chicken. In addition to its convection abilities, this microwave has all the capabilities of a typical microwave too—so don’t worry, movie lovers, there is a still a popcorn button.

Many reviewers highlighted this oven’s convection performance, with one praising how well it crisped a range of foods, from potatoes to frozen pizzas.

Best Large Capacity

Panasonic NN-SN946W

Photo Credit: Walmart
Size: 2.2 cubic feet
Wattage: 1,250 watts
Exterior: White
Weight: 16kg

Reasons to Buy
Can hold a casserole large enough to feed a group.
Heats food consistently and evenly.

Reasons to Avoid
Takes up a lot of counter space.

Price: $242.99
Rating: 7.5/10
Buy Now

It’s true, this Panasonic countertop microwave model isn’t winning any beauty contests, but what it lacks in looks it makes up for in a powerful 1,250-watt, 2.2-cubic-foot design.

This is the largest and most powerful model in this lineup, and it can cook heavy potatoes and frozen dinners well. Popcorn lovers beware, as this model will give you the highest count of burnt kernels. Boiling water, cooking lasagna and baking potatoes would be a cinch in this microwave. If you plan to rely heavily on your microwave for cooking, Panasonic’s powerful model is up to the task. It’s also the best microwave when you’re looking for a lot of space.

Best Design

Samsung MS14K6000AS Countertop Microwave with Sensor Cook

Photo Credit: Topchoices
Size: 1.4 cubic feet
Wattage: 1,000 watts
Exterior: Stainless steel
Weight: 17kg

Reasons to Buy
Easy to clean
Energy-saving mode
Sensor cook technology, soften, automatic defrost, Eco On
Modern design

Reasons to Avoid

Price: $96,75
Rating: 7/10
Buy Now

If you want a smaller microwave that still offers plenty of power, then this 1.1-cubic-feet, 1000-watt option from Samsung is a great pick. Many reviewers say the smart sensor is the best feature on this Samsung microwave, because it enables “no-fail cooking, just set it and forget it,” as one reviewer puts it. Another says that thanks to this microwave’s sizable interior, the sensor can reheat or defrost just about anything, including baked potatoes, which “come out the best microwave potatoes we have ever had!” Likewise, customers love the modern black colour scheme and the brushed stainless steel handle.

Photo Credit: Topchoices

The design of the control panel is also unique because it combines digital controls with a metal dial. Online reviewers appreciate the unique LED display and say that one of the microwave’s highlights is Eco mode, which allows you to turn the digital display off to conserve energy.

Dozens of reviewers appreciate that, in addition to having a large turntable, this microwave has a ceramic interior that “is very easy to clean, and it will last the life of the microwave.” The ceramic enamel interior is designed to wipe clean easily and resist grease, oil, and scratches. One downside is that the microwave can be quite loud, according to current owners.

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