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The Best Microwave Ovens For Meals Big And Small

Whether you’re just warming up some soup, popping some popcorn, baking a speedy mug cake, or microwaving an all-in-one meal in the microwave, we’ve got the perfect unit for you.

So, what do you need to look for in your future microwave? Well, you need to consider the size of it. Do you need a microwave oven for all the family or just you and your partner or roommate? Do you want a device that’s also a convection oven or is just a basic microwave oven? Whatever your needs, we have the microwave oven for you.

Best Value: AmazonBasics Microwave with Alexa

It’s a microwave, but you can talk to it. “Alexa, reheat my cup of coffee”. How can you beat that?

You don’t need to talk to the microwave to use it, of course, since it functions just like every other small microwave should. It’s a smaller size, at 0.7 cubit feet, but for the average person, that’s all you really need, and the compact size makes it easy to fit into any kitchen or smaller living space.

Like most of the competition, this microwave has 10 power levels, a kitchen timer, a child lock, and a turntable so your food won’t get burned so easily. And it’s really inexpensive—in fact, it’s basically the best budget model you can get right now without even counting the Alexa integration.

Having Alexa start your microwave for exactly a minute doesn’t really save you time—you could just hit the 30 second start button twice to easily do that. Where Alexa can be really useful, however, is if you ask to reheat, defrost, or cook something that you’re not sure about. Rather than figuring out the optimal power and time settings, you can just say something like “Alexa, cook this potato” or “Alexa, cook popcorn.” That’s all there is to it.

Oh yeah, and it can automatically order you more popcorn if you want.

Best Value

Amazon Basics Microwave, Small, 0.7 Cu. Ft, 700W, Works with Alexa

This microwave would already be the best value around but it also has Alexa integrated for voice control. It's the future, and you can get it now.

Best All-Rounder: Toshiba Eco Mode Microwave Oven with Smart Sensor 1.2 cu.ft 1100W ($117)

For a general all-purpose, all-rounder microwave oven, you can’t really beat the Toshiba Eco Mode Microwave Oven with Smart Sensor 1.2 cu.ft 1100W. It has a large 1.2 cubic feet capacity so there’s plenty of room for whatever you cook. A 1100 watts power rating means there’s plenty of power and 10 power settings cater to cooking needs big and small.

A pre-programmed sensor menu is useful too, as it offers optimal heating of popular foods like pizza, potatoes, vegetables, and popcorn (of course). There’s 2 defrost settings too—a common use for the average microwave. You name it, the Toshiba microwave oven has it, richly earning its place as our best all-rounder.

Best For The Hands-Off Approach: Panasonic NN-SU696S Countertop Microwave Oven ($111)

Look, not everyone is an expert with cooking. Even when it comes to preparing food in a microwave oven. That’s the audience that the Panasonic NN-SU696S Countertop Microwave Oven is aimed at. It’s a 1100 watts based microwave with a great capacity of 1.3 cubic feet. It has fewer pre-programmed settings than the Toshiba, with a mere 7, but that’s because it has a really neat trick up its sleeve.

Its one touch Genius Sensor control cooks and reheats food automatically, figuring out exactly how things should be done and saving you the effort of figuring it out for yourself. It requires a little upkeep such as adding water to the food before using the sensor, but it takes hardly any effort to learn. If you have no clue about cooking, this is the microwave oven for you.

Best For Microwave/Convection Oven Combo: Toshiba EC042A5C-BS Microwave Oven ($192)

If you need a microwave that also doubles as a convection even, the Toshiba EC042A5C-BS Microwave Oven is an ideal solution. It has a huge capacity of 1.5 cubic feet with 1000 watts of power. And yes, it looks exactly like our favorite all-rounder but with the added bonus of a convection oven. There’s an extensive auto menu for typical microwave functions such as defrosting or cooking vegetables or pizza, but it’s the convection oven that stands out here.

That feature offers cooking from 175 to 425 degrees with a grill rack for even and convenient cooking. Because of the size of the oven, you could easily roast a whole chicken in there. It’s super handy if you don’t have the space in your home for a conventional oven, or you simply want to save on power by switching to a smaller equivalent.

Best Budget Option: Danby 0.7cu. ft Microwave Oven ($68)

If you simply want a microwave oven to make popcorn or reheat occasional meals, you don’t need one that’s feature rich. Something like the Danby 0.7cu. ft Microwave Oven is good enough.

It only has 700 watts of cooking power so certain items will take longer to heat up than with a more powerful microwave, but it’s a good price for what it offers. There’s a menu for 6 common items, including the all-important popcorn setting. You can also set it to cook according to weight, as well as defrost. It might lack some fancier features, but it’s still worth checking out.

Best Large Microwave: Panasonic Countertop/Built in Microwave with Inverter Technology 2.2 cu ft ($185)

Large family to feed? Simply want the biggest microwave out there? Buy the Panasonic Countertop/Built in Microwave with Inverter Technology. It has an impressive 2.2 cubic feet capacity, which should be more than enough for everyone.

1250 watts of power means it prepares food reasonably speedily, with an automatic sensor that adjusts power and time as and when needed. It promises to defrost food faster than most too. Finally, there are 18 menu item presets so you won’t actually have to think too often when sticking something in the microwave. It’s perfect for frequent users with a lot of people to feed.

Jennifer Allen Jennifer Allen
Jennifer is a freelance writer for ReviewGeek. In the past decade, she's also written for Wareable, TechRadar, Mashable, Eurogamer, Gamasutra, Playboy, and PCWorld. Read Full Bio »