10 Best Countertop Microwaves in 2020 [Updated]

Our winners of the Best Countertop Microwaves in 2020 are:

BEST OVERALL

Panasonic NN-SN686S Stainless Steel Microwave Oven

Panasonic NN-SN686S Stainless Steel Microwave Oven
  • Stylish and sleek look
  • It heats food and liquids fast
  • The inverter technology ensures even heating, with features like Turbo Defrost and Keep Warm

PREMIUM CHOICE

GE Profile PEM31SFSS Countertop Microwave Oven

GE Profile PEM31SFSS Countertop Microwave Oven
  • It is very quiet in operation, even at full power
  • Quick and even heating
  • Large capacity

GREAT VALUE

Sharp Microwaves ZSMC0710BB Countertop Microwave

Sharp Microwaves ZSMC0710BB Countertop Microwave
  • Small and compact
  • Affordable
  • Legendary safety and reliability

Introduction

Microwave ovens, or simply known as microwaves, are such versatile appliances that they have become ubiquitous in kitchens everywhere. You can use them for reheating, cooking light meals, defrosting, and even baking or grilling.

Microwaves have been improving significantly with time. The first models were simple and were used for basic heating and cooking tasks. Today, you can buy highly sophisticated countertop microwaves for your kitchen to do much more.

Best Countertop Microwaves

Top 10 Best Countertop Microwave Reviews & Comparisons

1. Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SN686S Stainless Steel Countertop Microwave

The Panasonic SN686S is the cream of the crop when it comes to microwaves. It is high powered, versatile, and has an array of features that make it a priceless addition to every kitchen.

Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SN686S Stainless Steel Countertop Microwave

Read Customer Reviews Here »

Why we like it

This is a versatile microwave that you can use for everything from cooking jacket potatoes, to keeping your soup warm before you serve it. It is very stylish looking and is quite easy to use.

Features

  • It has an internal capacity of 1.2 cubic feet
  • 13.4-inch turntable
  • Genius sensor for smart cooking. It senses the temperature of steam to determine remaining cooking time
  • Panasonic Inverter technology for seamless power
  • Turbo Defrost
  • 1200W magnetron
  • Safety lock to keep children out

Pros

  • Sleek modern design with a stainless steel finish makes it appropriate for classy kitchens
  • It delivers steady heating thanks to the Panasonic Inverter technology
  • A powerful 1200W magnetron ensures fast heating
  • Large 1.2 cubic feet capacity, enough to fit a large dinner plate but small enough to fit most cabinets
  • Keep Warm feature is useful for soups, stews, and other foodstuffs and keeps you from having to reheat them

Cons

  • Due to its Genius sensor technology, it keeps steam inside instead of venting it. You have to be careful when taking food out to avoid scalding

Our Verdict

This is one of the most advanced microwaves, and it has some very convenient features. It is of high-quality construction and comes with some premium features you will love. It is definitely worth the price and it is one of the best countertop microwaves in the market right now.

2. GE Profile PEM31SFSS Countertop Microwave

If there is such a thing as “large but compact”, this is it. The GE PEM31SFSS features a large 1.1 cubic feet capacity, enough for a medium-sized family. Despite that, its height and depth as matched so proportionately that it looks much smaller on your countertop.

GE Profile PEM31SFSS Countertop Microwave

Read Customer Reviews Here »

Why we like it

In terms of pure functionality, this beast is unmatched. General electric knows a thing or two about electronics, and this is its best selling microwave. Also, the slim profile makes it look smaller than it really is on a countertop or cabinet.

Features

  • 1.1cft internal capacity
  • 800W power rating
  • Weight and time defrost
  • 30s quick button
  • Smart cooking Sensor
  • Optional light hanging
  • Stainless steel finish

Pros

  • Deep and capacious, with up to 1.1 cubic feet of food capacity
  • It has a long low profile, making it appear smaller and hence fits easily into a cramped kitchen
  • It works fast to heat your food in record time
  • Durable construction means that it will last for many years
  • It works very quietly

Cons

  • The paint tends to come off after a few years of use. Although it is non-toxic, it is still annoying

Our Verdict

This microwave is more functionality than style. If you use your microwave regularly and want one that can stand up to the task, buy the GE Profile PEM31SFSS as it is the best countertop microwave.

3. Sharp ZSMC0710BB Countertop Microwave

For small families, college students, and other non-intense applications, the Sharp ZSMC0710BB is the best solo microwave.

Sharp ZSMC0710BB Countertop Microwave

Read Customer Reviews Here »

Why we like it

This is a real workhorse despite its small size. It can quickly heat or defrost according to your needs and has quick buttons for a cooking time of up to 6 minutes. Above all, Sharp backs it up with a 5-year warranty as a way to sign off on its quality.

Features

  • 700W power rating
  • 0.7ft cubic capacity
  • Auto defrost
  • Time and Auto Cook selection
  • Beverage and Reheat settings
  • Express Cook setting lasting up to 6 minutes
  • 10″ turntable with Sharp’s Carousel® Technology

Pros

  • While most microwaves are a fire risk, Sharp products are built to last with incredible durability and safety standards
  • It is quite powerful for its size
  • It has quick buttons for ease of use and fast operation
  • It comes with a 10″ revolving carousel turntable for even cooking
  • Very affordable, and offers the best value for money in this lot

Cons

  • Even among budget microwaves, the Sharp ZSMC0710BB is a tad too small for some users

Our Verdict

Sharp has a long record of quality. If the size is not an issue for you, this is the best solo countertop microwave. Plus, you will save a lot of money on it.

4. Farberware FMO11AHTBKB Stainless Steel Countertop Microwave

Farberware manufactures high-quality, affordable appliances, which is what you get with this model. It is a stainless steel powerhouse for all your microwave needs.

Farberware FMO11AHTBKB Stainless Steel Countertop Microwave

Read Customer Reviews Here »

Why we like it

This microwave is large and powerful, yet remains affordable by keeping only the most necessary functions. That way, those with large needs but a small budget can benefit from it.

Features

  • Stainless steel finish
  • 6 cooking programs including popcorn, potato, pizza, frozen vegetables, and dinner plate
  • 1.1 cubic feet capacity
  • 1000W power rating
  • Internal LED lighting
  • Express Cooking setting for up to 6 minutes
  • Child lock for safety
  • 12.5″ glass turntable

Pros

  • It is large, with 1.1 cubic feet of space inside to fit even large dinner plates
  • Its 1000W of power is enough for every household and offers fast and even heating
  • The stainless steel cover is stylish, durable, and easy to keep clean
  • It has a revolving carousel, and also comes with an optional hanging light inside
  • It has 10 power levels to suit every mode

Cons

  • It is noisy and gets more so with age
  • Some customers report poor craftsmanship of the keypad and door, so make sure you inspect yours before the warranty expires

Our Verdict

The Farberware FMO11AHTBKB stainless steel countertop microwave is designed for the budget market. It is large and powerful, but it has none of the fancy features in premium models. What you buy is what you get with this model.

5. Panasonic NN-SD372S Stainless Steel Microwave Oven

The Panasonic NN-SD372S is a stylish, sophisticated medium-sized countertop microwave, designed for the classy and functional kitchen.

Panasonic NN-SD372S Stainless Steel Microwave Oven

Read Customer Reviews Here »

Why we like it

For medium-sized families, this microwave truly shines. It is advanced with premium features such as the food warmer and is powerful enough to give it a clear edge in heating tests.

Features

  • 950W power rating for the magnetron ensures fast heating
  • Panasonic’s Inverter technology for a seamless cooking experience
  • Turbo Defrost has your frozen food ready in no time at all
  • Keep Warm setting keeps food evenly warm until it is ready to serve
  • Automatic smart sensor adjusts the cooking time as needed depending on the amount and temperature of steam produced

Pros

  • The compact size is a plus for small kitchens
  • It is quite powerful, with a 950W magnetron
  • The Genius sensor from Panasonic is excellent at estimating cook times of various foods
  • It is energy-efficient, thanks to the Panasonic Inverter technology
  • Turbo defrost features allows for fast defrosting straight from the freezer
  • External dimensions: 11″ x 19 3/16″ x 14 13/16″

Cons

  • The keypad is quite sophisticated and takes some getting used to.
  • There are some durability issues with its magnetron

Our Verdict

Although its price is a bit steep for a small microwave, the Panasonic NN-SD372S stainless steel oven has some advanced features for greater convenience.

6. Commercial Chef CHM770B Countertop Microwave

The Commercial Chef CHM770B is a solo microwave for those with small kitchens and even more modest budgets. It features a distinct professional chef look despite being a budget model.

Commercial Chef CHM770B Countertop Microwave

Read Customer Reviews Here »

Why we like it

The main advantage of this microwave is its price. It’s hard to beat that price tag without losing a few stars off your rating.

Features

  • Speed and Weight Defrost options
  • 700W of power with 10 settings for different cooking rates
  • 0.7 cubic feet of internal capacity
  • LED light display
  • 7 quick-cook settings for popcorn, potatoes, pizza, and beverages
  • Reheat option
  • Child safety lock available

Pros

  • It has a compact size and small footprint
  • It is straightforward to use, with quick buttons for various meals
  • It is very cheap microwave and won’t dent your wallet compared to other models
  • Low maintenance, with a removable turntable and plate for cleaning
  • Sleek black design and finish

Cons

  • Its durability is not very good, so you might have to replace it sooner than expected

Our Verdict

This is a little workhorse, designed for low budget homes. It will handle your everyday tasks well enough, but if you have the money, you’re better off with a quality model such as the Sharp ZSMC0710BB.

7. Oster OGH6901 Countertop Microwave

The problem with standard categorizations is that the small microwaves are too small, and the large ones are too big. The Oster OGH6901 hits that sweet spot in between. It has a capacity of 0.9 cubic feet for a balance between size and space economy.

Oster OGH6901 Countertop Microwave

Read Customer Reviews Here »

Why we like it

The biggest perk to this model is the intermediate size. It is perfect for a small kitchen but still delivers impressive functionality.

Features

  • 900W of cooking power, with 10 levels of adjustment
  • Options for speed and weight defrost
  • 0.9 cubic foot internal capacity
  • 6 auto cooking features for smooth one-touch operation
  • LED timer display with a beep to indicate completion
  • Brushed stainless steel finish
  • Choice of different colors

Pros

  • The affordable price makes it attractive for low budget customers
  • Easy to use standard keypad
  • Options for both speed and weight defrost
  • It comes with a child safety lock, and a green LED display
  • It has a stylish brushed stainless steel finish

Cons

  • Unless you’re an expert, the 900W power rating is not easy to use when following recipes. Most refer to the more standard 1000W or 800W ratings

Our Verdict

This microwave is not intended for professional chefs, so you probably won’t mind the quirky power rating. Apart from that, it works as you would expect it to.

8. Toshiba EM131A5C-SS Microwave Oven

This is a premium microwave that is suitable for any use, from apartments to restaurants, as well as office break rooms. It can handle tough jobs for longer than many other microwaves, and its advanced and stylish design makes it an instant hit anywhere.

Toshiba EM131A5C-SS Microwave Oven

Read Customer Reviews Here »

Why we like it

This is a premium model not just in the way it operates, but in its overall quality. We especially love that customers continue to give it high ratings even after years of use, meaning that it holds up well.

Features

  • External dimensions 20.5 x 17.1 x 12.8 inches, internal dimensions 13. 07 x 15 x 9.5 inches, 1.2cft capacity
  • Smart sensor cooking for automatic time adjustment
  • Digital control panel with a LED light display
  • One-touch auto defrost button for foods like pizza, potatoes, vegetables, and others
  • 1100W power rating
  • Buzzer to signal completion of cooking, which can also be turned off if you wish
  • Power-saving Eco-mode
  • Child lock for safety

Pros

  • Advanced features, like the smart sensor that automatically adjusts cooking times
  • Powerful 1100W power rating
  • Quality build for durability and reliability
  • It is large, with a 1.2cf capacity
  • Custom defrost and melt function for delicate foods
  • Energy-saving mode is a big plus

Cons

  • It is huge

Our Verdict

This microwave is a perfect balance of quality build, price, and functionality. The customer reviews are proof.

9. Danby Designer Countertop Microwave

The Danby brand focuses on cheap, high-value products. The Danby Designer model is one of Amazon’s best sellers among all microwaves due to this.

Danby Designer Countertop Microwave

Read Customer Reviews Here »

Why we like it

This is a trendy model for budget microwaves, and we’re pleased that it performs so well and keeps its quality consistent.

Features

  • 0.7 cubic foot internal capacity
  • 700W cooking capacity
  • 10 cooking power levels for adjustment
  • Easy touch-sensitive electronic controls for various cooking modes
  • Stainless steel exterior
  • External dimension: 14 x 17.3 x 10.1 inches
  • One-touch cooking buttons for 6 uses e.g., popcorn

Pros

  • The pricing is very friendly
  • It has a straightforward interface
  • Compact enough for cramped spaces
  • It has a commercial look due to its design
  • Quick buttons for easy access

Cons

  • Low power
  • The glass doors are weak and can shatter if care is not taken

Our Verdict

The Danby designer is a good option if you are low on funds and need a functional microwave. The doors could be a concern, though, especially if you have little children.

10. Nostalgia RMO7AQ Retro Countertop Microwave

The Nostalgia RMO7AQ is a very popular and efficient countertop microwave with a striking retro look. If you’re a fan of the old-fashioned, this is very hard to pass.

Nostalgia RMO7AQ Retro Countertop Microwave

Read Customer Reviews Here »

Why we like it

This is undoubtedly for the old fashioned, and we love the stunning retro look. It will undoubtedly be the start of many conversations.

Features

  • 700W power rating
  • 12 pre-programmed settings, as well as delay timings for different cooking options
  • Rotating glass carousel for even cooking
  • Chrome door handle and accents for the control panel
  • Green LED display with digital clock
  • Simple rotary program dial allows you to navigate the different modes and settings easily
  • 0.7 cubic foot internal capacity
  • Express cooking modes for foods like pizza, popcorn, potatoes, frozen vegetables, and more

Pros

  • The elegant retro-style design brings the old-school back into your home
  • Simple control dial
  • Rotating turntable design for even heating
  • 12 pre-programmed cooking settings for various foods
  • Very compact in design

Cons

  • Low power, not suitable for intense meals

Our Verdict

For those who like something unique and old-fashioned, there is no better model.

Best Countertop Microwave Buying Guide

When looking for the best countertop microwave, there are a few features that are absolutely essential, which you should consider before making a decision. This is not only to make sure you invest in the right model but, more importantly, to make sure that your safety is not compromised.

Size and type

We have already looked at the main types of microwaves. The size you order needs to be big enough to handle your needs. Typically, 0.8cft or is suitable for solo users (hence the name), while the 1.2cft or larger are meant for families. If you bake often, consider getting a convection microwave.

Power

The power rating concerns the magnetron, which is the source of the magnetic waves that heat food. The higher the rating, the faster it performs.

Reliability

Microwaves should last you for many years, even with intense use. Make sure that the one you use has a track record of safety and durability.

Best Countertop Microwave FAQs

How big of a microwave do I need?

It depends on what you will be using it for. If you have a big family of four or more, go for the medium or big sizes. If you’re a student or senior citizen, a small solo model will probably be enough.

How much clearance does a countertop microwave need?

Microwaves can produce a lot of waste heat, which needs to go somewhere. Different models have different specifications, so be sure to check the user manual. The recommended clearance for most models 18 inches.

Can a countertop microwave be put in a cabinet?

Yes, you can integrate a countertop microwave into a shelf or cabinet to make it look built-in. However, it needs to be done by a professional, because there are many concerns regarding ventilation and power that need to be addressed. You might even have to install a fan. If you want something that saves space by fitting in a cabinet consider getting an over the range microwave.

Does microwave need ventilation?

Ventilation is crucial for a microwave. About 35% of its energy consumption is wasted as heat, so it needs to get rid of it. Failure to that can pose a danger, and also shortens its service life considerably.

How do I clean our countertop microwave?

Use a wet microfiber cloth dipped in a soapy solution to wipe the interior and exterior clean. Take care not to drip water inside it. For a deep clean, wet a sponge with a mix of white vinegar and water in a 1:1 ratio. Put it in the microwave and run it on its highest power for about 3 minutes.

Conclusion

Countertop microwaves are the best option for homes, offices, and even restaurants. That is because they require minimal installation, and are very easy to use. However, it is easy to make a mistake with the market flooded with so many models.

Look no further, because this review gives you the confidence and knowledge to buy the best countertop microwave for your home.

Last update on 2020-05-15 at 04:51 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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