The Best Countertop Microwave (Guide) – 2016 Reviews

Countertop Microwave Review GuideFew appliances have made an impact on kitchens around the world quite like the microwave. Microwaves have made cooking, reheating, and defrosting easier than ever. In just minutes, you can reheat leftovers, heat up soup, or get your frozen chicken ready for the oven.

This appliancee is a kitchen staple for families, those who lead very busy lives, and anyone that appreciates convenience. Whether you’re thinking about replacing a microwave or purchasing one for the first time, knowing more about this small appliance will aid you in making a smart purchase.

Compare: The 10 Top Rated Countertop Microwaves of 2016

Jump To Reviews:
Best “Cheap” Countertop Microwave | Best Countertop Microwave for the Money | Best Overall Countertop Microwave

What is a Countertop Microwave?

A countertop microwave is a small appliance that, as the name suggests, sits on your countertop. A microwave has a door, and inside, it has a glass plate that may or may not turn, optional racks, and a built-in light. A touch panel is on the front, and it has buttons that can be used to set the power level, as well as set the cook time. Countertop microwaves can heat anything from canned and frozen vegetables to soup, rice, pasta, and potatoes.

See Also: The 10 Top Rated Gas Stoves of 2016

What are the different types of Microwaves?

There are three main types of countertop microwaves, and they are all distinguished by size. When selecting a microwave, it’s important to note how much counter space you have available so you select the right size.

Compact microwaves – Compact microwaves are the smallest of the three types. These microwaves have a capacity of less than one cubic foot. Compact microwaves are best for small spaces, including cramped kitchens, apartments, office break rooms, and even dorm rooms.

Mid-size microwaves – These microwaves are larger than compact models, but still easily fit in most spaces. The capacity of a mid-size microwave is between 1.0 and 1.4 cubic feet.

Full-size microwaves – Full-size microwaves are the largest of the three. These have a capacity between 1.5 cubic feet or larger. These are ideal for larger kitchens, as well as for people who cook for large groups or a bigger family.

What are the advantages of owning a Countertop Microwave?

Countertop microwaves are all about convenience. If you don’t feel like cooking dinner, you can reheat last night’s leftovers in a microwave-safe dish or make a microwaveable meal that’s ready to eat in just minutes. A microwave is great for defrosting; you no longer have to leave meat out on the countertop or in the fridge for long periods of time when you’re in a hurry.

Many modern microwaves also have great style, so they enhance the décor of your kitchen. Microwaves are great for families, are easy enough to be used by children (when supervised), and are a college dorm room staple. Countertop microwaves require no installation, and once removed from the box, simply plug it into an electrical outlet and it’s ready for use immediately.

Read: Upgrade Your Kitchen with These Awesome Electric Ranges

Who are the contenders for Best Countertop Microwave?

Westinghouse WCM660W 600W Counter Top Microwave Oven – If you want an affordable, no-frills microwave that reheats, cooks, and defrosts without a lot of complicated settings, this microwave is the right choice for you. Its compact size makes it the perfect choice for smaller spaces, and the two dials make it easy to select the power level and set the timer without a lot of complicated buttons. This microwave is ideal for college students who don’t need an expensive microwave with all of the bells and whistles, and it’s also a great choice for senior citizens who may struggle to see small writing on buttons that are difficult to push.

Panasonic 1250W 1.6 Cu. Ft. Countertop Microwave with Inverter Technology – Get consistently even heating with every use when you use this microwave. This full-size microwave has all of the features you could want without costing a fortune. There are multiple options available, including a reheat button and sensors that eliminate the risk of overheating your food by automatically setting the power level and time. It is large enough for any family, and its clean design makes it a great addition to any kitchen.

Breville BMO734XL Quick Touch Microwave Oven – This sleek appliance utilizes the latest technology and a modern design to create a microwave you’ll love using. The built-in sensors perfectly heat your food, and you can even change the settings while the microwave is in use with an easy twist of a dial. This is a mid-size microwave that fits perfectly on most normal countertops.

Considerations for Choosing the Right Countertop Microwave

You want to ensure you get an appliance that fits your kitchen and the needs of yourself and your family. That is why it is important to become informed about the different features you may see while you’re shopping for your new small appliance. Before you begin your search, keep these considerations in mind to make a more informed purchase.

Size
As mentioned before, it’s important to evaluate the size of your available counter space before you make a purchase. The last thing you want to do is buy a microwave, unbox it, and discover that it is too large or small for your counter. Measure your space carefully and make sure you find out the dimensions for each product you are considering.

Finish
Many people like their microwaves to match their other appliances. This is why most countertop models are available in black, white, or stainless steel. If you want to add a fun pop of color to your kitchen, there are even models available in red, teal, and other bright colors.

Wattage
Look at the wattage specifications – power is important! A general rule of thumb is that a microwave with higher wattage cooks more quickly and evenly than one with lower wattage. Most microwaves use anywhere from 600 to 1,200 watts.

Price
Microwaves range in price from less than $100 to over $500. If you’re on a strict budget, you might want to stick with a smaller, more basic microwave. If you’re more concerned with style and performance than price, choose a model with all of the bells and whistles. It’s also important to note that all other considerations should be looked at before you use price as your deciding factor.

Size

Westinghouse WCM660W 600W Counter Top

This 0.6 cubic foot microwave is a compact model that fits in small spaces. You can have all of the convenience of a quality microwave without cluttering up smaller kitchens or dorm rooms with this model.

Panasonic 1250W 1.6 Cu. Ft. Countertop Microwave

1.6 cubic feet makes this full-size microwave the ideal size for larger items and is great for a family, couple, or people who share a home.

Breville BMO734XL Quick Touch Microwave Oven

At 1.2 cubic feet, this is classified as a mid-size microwave that will fit on most normal kitchen counters.

Finish

Westinghouse WCM660W 600W

This microwave is available in your choice of White or Black, making it easy to coordinate with your other appliances and your kitchen décor.

Panasonic 1250W 1.6 Cu. Ft. Microwave

If you decide this microwave is right for you, you’ll have your choice from Black or White to complement your kitchen.

Breville BMO734XL Microwave Oven

This model is available in stylish stainless steel that complements other stainless appliances, but looks great with other colors as well.

Wattage

Westinghouse WCM660W 600W Counter Top Microwave

This compact model offers 600 watts of power, which is just enough to reheat food and cook microwaveable items.

Panasonic 1250W 1.6 Cu. Ft. Countertop Microwave

At 1250 watts, you won’t find many other models that will outperform this high-quality yet affordable countertop microwave.

Breville BMO734XL Quick Touch Microwave Oven

You’ll get plenty of power for great cooking with this 1100 watt model.

Price

Westinghouse WCM660W 600W Counter Top Microwave Oven

This model sells for just $80 in either finish, making it a very budget-friendly option when you just want a basic microwave.

Panasonic 1250W 1.6 Cu. Ft. Countertop Microwave with Inverter Technology

This Panasonic microwave is priced right under $200, making it a mid-priced model that packs many features similar to high-end products.

Breville BMO734XL

At $450, this microwave is considered a high-end small appliance that is packed with features not found on cheaper models.

Conclusion: Our Countertop Microwave Reviews Are In

Westinghouse WCM660W 600W Counter Top Microwave Oven – Best Cheap Countertop Microwave

Westinghouse WCM660W 600W Counter Top Microwave OvenSometimes, going back to basics is what works best. If you want a microwave that’s simple to use, doesn’t have a ton of confusing buttons and features, but also provides you with even heating and a simple design that looks good in your kitchen, this microwave from Westinghouse has what you’re looking for. With a 0.6 cubic foot capacity, it’s compact enough to fit on small countertops or in cramped dorm rooms. Don’t be fooled by its size, though. This microwave is ready to perform.

You can choose from six different power options and set a timer up to 30 minutes. Instead of buttons, two knobs make it easy to set your microwave for cooking. This microwave easily wipes clean, and the turntable is removable for a more thorough cleaning job.

Pros

The simple design is easy to operate. It’s available in your choice of two colors. It heats quickly and evenly. Its compact size fits in almost any space. The price is very affordable.

Cons

It doesn’t have a clock. It doesn’t have any one-touch functions. The low wattage contributes to longer cook times.

Learn more

Panasonic 1250W 1.6 Cu. Ft. Countertop Microwave – Best Countertop Microwave for the Money

Panasonic 1250W 1.6 Cu. Ft. Countertop MicrowaveSize and power are what stand out on this affordable countertop microwave. With 1.6 cubic feet and 1250 watts of power, you can rest easy knowing your food will cook evenly and quickly with every use. This model also uses Panasonic’s Inverter Technology that is the smarter way to cook. You don’t have to worry about burning the edges or overcooking your food. There’s also a Turbo Defrost option for fast defrosting of your frozen items.

There are many different features on this microwave, including a one-touch popcorn button, sensor cooking that takes the guesswork out of heating your food, and a warming option. This microwave is easy to program and use. It even has a child safety light that prevents the microwave from running when buttons are pushed.

Pros

It has plenty of power for fast, even cooking. It is affordably priced. It is easy to use. It has several quick functions. It has sensor cooking technology. It is easy to clean. It is a great size for families.

Cons

Hinges may loosen over time, leading to a door misalignment. It is very large so it won’t work in smaller spaces. The plastic door feels cheap.

Learn more

Breville BMO734XL Quick Touch Microwave Oven – Best Countertop Microwave Overall

Breville BMO734XL Quick Touch Microwave OvenThis high-end microwave is the perfect addition to any modern kitchen. Gone is the traditional microwave touch pad and in its place are smooth stainless steel knobs and one-push buttons. A large LCD display shows the time when not in use, and it displays power level and cooking time while it’s running. The exterior is shiny, stylish stainless steel.

You won’t have to try to figure out how to reheat your leftovers or cook your meal with Sensor IQ Cook and Reheat buttons that cook and heat to perfection. Is your food not quite done yet? Push the “A Bit More” button for extra time. You can also adjust the power level and cooking time while the microwave is running. This top-of-the-line microwave even has a kitchen timer and a unit conversion option.

Pros

It is very modern and stylish. It is a great size. It has plenty of power for even heating. The sensor options are convenient. It has a safety lock feature. It has easy to use buttons and knobs. It has a large LCD that displays a clock, timer, cook time, and power level. Settings can be adjusted while in use. It has hidden buttons inside for one-touch cooking.

Cons

It is loud when in use. It is more expensive than other microwaves on the market.

Learn more

A microwave is a necessity for every home, whether you’re a master chef or you just want to heat your bowl of soup. It’s important to keep size, style, and convenience features in mind which is why the Breville Quick Touch is a top choice. Despite the higher price tag, this stylish microwave looks great while perfectly cooking your food.