Microwave Oven Buying Guide


Microwave Oven Buying Guide

It doesn't matter if you enjoy cooking and are always on the lookout for ways to make dinner, or are a fan of frozen pizza or reheated coffee it is an

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It doesn’t matter if you enjoy cooking and are always on the lookout for ways to make dinner, or are a fan of frozen pizza or reheated coffee it is an essential for kitchens. Reheating and defrosting are two popular uses, however there aren’t many microwaves that can handle both efficiently. It’s important to conduct a bit of study before purchasing your own. Countertop-mounted microwaves tend to be the more commonly used kind, but models with an over-the-top design are able to make a great addition to your kitchen’s collection in particular when you want appliances from one manufacturer with the same handles and other specifications. Whatever model you select, you’ll need one that’s rated in our microwave reliability study.

After you have made the investment make sure you use it properly to ensure your microwave lasts for a long time and you won’t need the expense of replacing it any more often than after 10 years. This is what microwaves are supposed to last. Here are 8 easy ways to ensure that your microwave is in good shape.. A microwave that is placed on the countertop is an essential appliance for every kitchen that is a starter like the first home or in an off-campus home. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to achieve top-quality quality, as shown by this collection of countertop microwaves that cost 150 or lower.

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Here at Consumer Reports, we test microwaves across all price points and purchase every model that we test. Our scores include small, midsized as well as large-sized countertop microwaves, over-the-range microwaves; and some built-in models that elegantly blend with your cabinetry. Our tests reveal significant differences in performance overall. To test the heating, we warm the potatoes in a mash, and we also use frozen ground beef for testing the defrosting process. We also test the speed of heating, noise and the ease of use. We also measure usable capacity as well. Manufacturers often offer space which isn’t used. Also, we evaluate how well over-the-top models let out.

Find the Best Microwave for Your Kitchen

We test, assess and evaluate the most recent microwave ovens to help you get the most value for money.

What to Consider

Countertop microwaves are generally priced lower than other microwaves. Smaller models can start as low as $50, while the midsized models usually fall within the $100-$300 range. OTRs, also known as over-the-range microwaves are available at a price of as low as $200, however the majority of models we tested cost $400 or up. They are specifically designed to be installed into cabinets or walls starting at $400, but they can go up to more than $1000. There are countertop models with kits that offer an integrated look at a lower cost.

Space and Location

Consider the best place to put your microwave for you and consider the space available. Countertop models take up a lot of the countertop space. For instance, mid-sized models tend to be a little more than 20 inches wide and as high as 18 inches deep. Similarly, larger microwaves could be one or two inches bigger. It is important to consider the height too, but unless you have extremely small cabinets A countertop model will be a good fit. Dimensions are available on the page of models for every microwave.


Countertop models are the ones that are most popularly sold. Over-the-range models do exactly as they’re used across the entire variety. The built-in model category contains models that are designed to be built-in, surrounded by cabinetry or incorporated in the walls. Microwave drawers belong to this category and can be installed under the counter or beneath an oven in the wall. There are a few, but not all countertop models that could be made into built-ins using the help of a kit.

Related: How Often Do I Really Need to Clean My Coffee Maker

Which Type Is Right for You?

Depending on the kitchen in which you live You can pick from countertop, over-the-range and integrated microwaves. It is important to note that size of microwave does not always translate into the amount of cooking space that can be used. Our research has shown that the usable capacity for microwaves tested is around 50 percent of the amount that manufacturers say. We calculate the quantity of space you can make use of. A higher watt usually means greater cooking power, however, variations of 100 watts or less don’t really matter. Watts are reported under the Features and Specs tab of the microwave rating. The costs as well as usable capacity and wattages shown below are based on our test models, which reflect the market.

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