Today, you have plenty of size, power, color and function options when it comes to microwaves. You even have smart options like the AmazonBasics Microwave and GE Smart Countertop Microwave that work with Alexa for voice commands. We put nine models to the test to find the best kind of microwave models on sale today, and we’ll update as we test new products.
Best kind of microwave
Best overallFarberware (FMO16AHTPLB) $148
In all our testing, this 1.6-cubic-foot, 1,100-watt Farberware model performed the best. I was able to boil water in under three minutes and Popcorn mode left an average of just 26 kernels of popcorn unpopped, it handled our tests with ease.
At 1.6 cubic feet it’s big enough for most anything you’d want to microwave and powerful enough, too. It includes sensor cook technology, so it won’t microwave every dish for a flat amount of time, instead sensing when something is done.
Special functions also include popcorn, sensor reheat, frozen pizza, meat, fish, frozen vegetable, fresh vegetable, frozen entree and weight defrost. It cooked frozen dinners and personal pizzas well in each of our tests. Potatoes as large as 11.76 ounces came out fully cooked, too. The only downside to this model is the lack of a dedicated Beverage function for reheating coffee or warming water for tea.
At $148, it certainly isn’t the most affordable microwave on our list (see below for our budget pick), but this Farberware model is probably the best microwave when you’re looking for something that’s good-sized, powerful and smart. $147 AT LOWE’S
best microwaves 2020
If you’re looking for a budget microwave with plenty of space and power, this 2.0-cubic-foot Oster model is a great buy. At $90, you won’t have to break the bank to get a good microwave.
With 1,000 watts of power, it can handle large entrees and thick potatoes alike. This Oster model performed exceptionally well in Popcorn mode, leaving just an average of 11 kernels unpopped. That’s the best of all the models we tested.
It also includes a Beverage function that heated water to a toasty 200°F. A simple, flat-front design and stainless border means this microwave isn’t an eyesore. $89 AT TARGET
It’s true, this Panasonic 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.
The largest and most powerful model in our lineup, this model cooked heavy potatoes and frozen dinners well. Popcorn lovers beware, as this model gave us the highest count of burnt kernels per batch. That’s likely due to the extra power, but even the 3.0-ounce setting (smaller than our 3.2 oz. popcorn bags) still resulted in burnt pieces.
Boiling water, cooking lasagna and baking potatoes were 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.$149 AT WALMART
best built in microwave 2020
Not everyone needs a giant microwave. A lot of people simply don’t have the space. At a small, but practical 1.1 cubic feet, this 1,000-watt model is more than capable of handling most tasks.
Measuring 20.3 x 12 x 15.6 (W x D x H) inches, it won’t take up tons of counter space. You’ll still get plenty of presets, including Dinner Plate, Frozen Vegetable, Beverage, Popcorn, Baked Potato, Pizza, Time Defrost and Weight Defrost.
It performed satisfactorily in all of our tests, passing thresholds for temperature and doneness in most scenarios. It feels a bit like a Jack of all trades, master of none microwave. Totally capable, yet unexceptional in design or results. However, if space is an issue, Magic Chef’s microwave will get the job done with a minimal footprint. $59 AT HOME DEPOT
The four microwaves above performed at the top of the class, to find the best microwave.