6 Most Reliable Microwaves of 2021

Last update: 2021-10-25

Every kitchen should have a microwave, nevertheless a countertop or an over-the-range. Here are my top picks for the most reliable microwaves:

Here are the most reliable microwaves you can buy in 2021:

  • Best Overall (Countertop Microwave): Black+Decker Microwave Oven
  • Larger Capacity (Countertop Microwave): Toshiba Smart Microwave Oven
  • For Small Space (Countertop Microwave): COSTWAY Retro Microwave Oven
  • Easy To Use (Over-the-Range Microwave): Black+Decker Microwave
  • Easy To Clean (Over-the-Range Microwave): GE Over-the-Range Microwave
  • Best For Large Platters (Over-the-Range Microwave): Samsung Over-the-Range Microwave
6 Most Reliable Microwaves
Best Overall
Black+Decker Microwave Oven
  • Countertop Microwave
Larger Capacity
Toshiba Smart Microwave Oven
  • Countertop Microwave
For Small Space
COSTWAY Retro Microwave Oven
  • Countertop Microwave
Easy To Use
Black+Decker Microwave
  • Over-the-Range Microwave
Easy To Clean
GE Over-the-Range Microwave
  • Over-the-Range Microwave
Best For Large Platters
Samsung Over-the-Range Microwave
  • Over-the-Range Microwave

Countertop Microwave

Countertop microwaves are portable and convenient. You don’t have to install it with a venting system. Just buy one and place it on the table, and you are ready to cook your food.

Best Overall (Countertop Microwave): Black+Decker Microwave Oven

Black+Decker Microwave Oven
Black+Decker Microwave Oven
9.8Outstanding
Pros
  • Preset programs for popcorn, potato, pizza, etc.
  • 1,000 Watts with 10 power settings
  • 30 seconds express cooking
  • Large LED digital display
  • Child safety lock
Cons
  • Not for small spaces

Black+Decker Microwave Oven is my pick for the best overall microwave. It is made of stainless steel with an easy-to-read LED control panel and a large transparent glass. Inside the microwave, the 12.4-inch glass turntable is removable for cleaning. When the internal light is on, you know that the microwave is working. When the microwave is not in use, you can turn on the child lock function to keep it safe.

Black+Decker Microwave Oven has preset programs for popcorn, potato, pizza, frozen vegetable, beverage, and dinner plate. Or you can manually set the power level and the timer. There are 10 power settings, up to 1,000 watts. For 30-second express cooking, just press the start button.

Overall, Black+Decker Microwave Oven is a perfect microwave for multi-purposes. However, it is quite large, so not so suitable for a small space.

Black+Decker Microwave Oven Specifications

Dimension

20.2 x 15.6 x 12.1 inches

Material

Stainless Steel

Capacity

1.1 Cu. feet

Number of Power Levels

10 levels

Highlight Features

Preset programs; 30 seconds express cooking; Child safety lock

Verdict

Black+Decker Microwave Oven is a great microwave for multi-purposes.

Larger Capacity (Countertop Microwave): Toshiba Smart Microwave Oven

Toshiba Smart Microwave Oven
Toshiba Smart Microwave Oven
9.8Outstanding
Pros
  • Integrated with Alexa
  • Preset menus with 23 popular foods
  • Built-in humidity sensor
  • Sound on/off Function
  • Energy Saving Features
Cons
  • Higher price

If you need more capacity, Toshiba Smart Microwave Oven would be a great choice. It has a capacity of 1.3 Cu. Feet. Moreover, this is a pretty smart and convenient microwave with integrated Alexa, allowing voice command or app control.

Toshiba Smart Microwave Oven is pre-programmed with 23 popular foods, such as like popcorn, pizza, vegetable. It features an intelligent humidity sensor that constantly measures the humidity of the food and automatically adjusts the power level for the best-cooked food. The ‘beep’ sound after finishing can be turned off by pressing the sound button for 3 seconds.

When the eco mode is turned on, the microwave saves up to 50% of electric consumption. Overall, this is a pretty smart microwave. However, you have to pay a bit more for it.

Toshiba Smart Microwave Oven Specifications

Dimension

20.4 x 16.6 x 12.4 inches

Material

Stainless Steel

Capacity

1.3 Cu. Feet

Number of Power Levels

10 levels

Highlight Features

Integrated with Alexa; Humidity sensor; Preset menus with 23 popular foods; ECO mode

Verdict

Toshiba Smart Microwave Oven features a humidity sensor that auto-adjusts the power level.

For Small Space (Countertop Microwave): COSTWAY Retro Microwave Oven

COSTWAY Retro Microwave Oven
COSTWAY Retro Microwave Oven
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Retro style & For small space
  • Simple operation with 2 knobs
  • 5 levels of power
  • Easy-to-read LED
  • Easy to clean & Durable
Cons
  • Pretty basic

COSTWAY Retro Microwave Oven has a retro-style design. It is smaller than the other two microwaves above, so it would fit small places well. This microwave is pretty basic and simple to use with two mechanical knobs and two buttons (start/pause).

One knob is to adjust the power level - you’ll have 5 options of power. The other knob is to adjust the cooking time. The ‘beep’ sounds remind you when your dish is ready. The LED display is large and easy to read. The interior is easy to clean and the overall build is pretty thick and durable.

Overall, COSTWAY Retro Microwave Oven is a decent microwave. However, some may find it too basic.

COSTWAY Retro Microwave Oven Specifications

Dimension

19.5 x 14 x 11 inches

Material

Stainless Steel

Capacity

0.9 Cu. Ft

Number of Power Levels

5 levels

Highlight Features

Simple operation with 2 knobs

Verdict

COSTWAY Retro Microwave Oven is basic and easy to use with 2 mechanical knobs.

Over-the-Range Microwave

Over-the-Range microwaves are a long-run choice. They tend to cost more and require a lot of effort to install in the first place.

Easy To Use (Over-the-Range Microwave): Black+Decker Microwave

Black+Decker Microwave
Black+Decker Microwave
9.2Outstanding
Pros
  • 1000 watts & 10 power levels
  • 1-6 min quick start
  • Incandescent lighting
  • Clean LED display
  • Vent system & Safety lock
Cons
  • Nothing to complain

Black+Decker over-the-range microwave is my first pick. This is a powerful microwave with 1,000 watts and 10 power levels. You’ll also have preset programs, such as popcorn, baked potato, beverage, reheat, defrost. Or you can quick-start the microwave with 1-6 min options. The powerful cooking power lets you cook the food pretty fast.

Black+Decker over-the-range microwave features an incandescent light to illuminate the cooking space below. The vent system handles exhausting smoke, steam, and odors pretty well from above. Besides, the control panel with LED looks great. When the microwave is not in use, you can lock it for safety.

Black+Decker Microwave Specifications

Dimension

15 x 29.9 x 16.4 inches

Material

Stainless Steel

Capacity

1.6 Cu. Ft

Number of Power Levels

10 levels

Highlight Features

Incandescent lighting; Vent system; Safety lock

Verdict

Black+Decker Over-the-range Microwave is easy to use and pretty basic.

Easy To Clean (Over-the-Range Microwave): GE Over-the-Range Microwave

GE Over-the-Range Microwave
GE Over-the-Range Microwave
9Outstanding
Pros
  • Two-speed, 300-CFM venting system
  • Easy-to-use cooking controls
  • Auto and time defrost
  • Turntable on/off
  • More affordable
Cons
  • Not so quiet

GE Over-the-Range Microwave is a bit more affordable than the Black+Decker Over-the-range Microwave above. In return, the cooking power is a bit less - 950 watts compared to 1,000 watts.

Basically, the two microwaves are pretty similar. You’ll have an easy-to-use control panel with an easy-to-read LED display. There are some preset menus for you to choose, or manually set time and temperature. You can controls the turntable operation - on or off. The simple design makes it easy to clean the microwave.

Overall, GE Over-the-Range Microwave is of good quality and easy to use at a good price. However, it is not so quiet while operating.

GE Over-the-Range Microwave Specifications

Dimension

15.9 x 29.9 x 16.4 inches

Material

Stainless Steel

Capacity

1.6 Cu. Ft

Number of Power Levels

10 levels

Highlight Features

Two-speed, 300-CFM venting system; Turntable on/off

Verdict

GE Over-the-Range Microwave is high-quality and easy to use at a good price.

Best For Large Platters (Over-the-Range Microwave): Samsung Over-the-Range Microwave

Samsung Over-the-Range Microwave
Samsung Over-the-Range Microwave
9.2Outstanding
Pros
  • Larger capacity
  • Durable Ceramic Enamel Interior
  • Fingerprint resistant
  • Sensor Cook auto-sets time and power
  • Reusable filter is easily washable
Cons
  • Higher price

If your kitchen has more space and you want to invest a bit in a nice over-the-range microwave, this Samsung Over-the-Range Microwave would be a great choice. It cost much higher than other microwaves on this list, however, in return, you’ll have 1.8 Cu. Ft of cooking capacity.

The interior is ceramic enameled for clean and durable use. The exterior is fingerprint-resistant and smudge-resistant for a great look every day.

Samsung Over-the-Range Microwave is fully automatic. It features a sensor that detects the foods and automatically sets time and power for optimally heated results. You don’t have to worry about setting it up. However, if you are confident of your recipe, you can set the time and power manually with the easy-to-use control panel.

This microwave is easy to install, easy to use, easy to clean, pretty durable. Overall, this is a premium choice.

Samsung Over-the-Range Microwave Specifications

Dimension

17 x 30 x 17 inches

Material

Stainless Steel

Capacity

1.8 Cu. Ft

Number of Power Levels

10 levels

Highlight Features

Ceramic enamel interior; Fingerprint resistant; Sensor Cook

Verdict

Samsung Over-the-Range Microwave is a premium choice for a large kitchen.

How To Choose The Most Reliable Microwave?

Two common types of microwaves are countertop and over-the-range. Countertop microwaves have the advantage of convenience. You don’t need to install or fix it in the place; instead, you can simply place it on a table and move it around when needed. Over-the-range microwaves are mounted above a cooktop or range. They require installation with a venting system, a lot of effort; however, in the long run, this would be a more convenient choice.

Capacity of the microwave is one of the first things you need to decide. A microwave with 1.0 Cu. Ft of cooking space would be enough for a small family. If you intend to cook larger meals more frequently, you may want a 1.6 cu. ft. microwave.

Pre-programmed menus are pretty convenient. Some microwaves are pre-programmed with up to 20 types of food. Some microwaves even feature a sensor to detect the food and auto-adjust time and power level. However, if you are confident of your cooking recipes, you don’t need these features; then a basic microwave with two mechanical knobs would be okay.

Which Brands Make The Most Reliable Microwave?

Black+Decker

Black and Decker is an American iconic manufacturer of power tools and home appliances. It was founded in 1910; up to now, it has successfully built an international brand on power tools. Although Black+Decker is known for their power tools, their home electric appliances are of the same quality and durability.

Toshiba

Toshiba is an iconic brand of Japan. Toshiba was founded in 1875; up to now, they has become one of the biggest corporations in the world. Toshiba is known for their electronics and home electric appliances. Microwave models with the trademark "Toshiba" can be found anywhere around the world.

Samsung

Samsung is the biggest brand in South Korea. It is a multi-national and multi-industrial corporation. Everyone knows about Samsung. So it is needless for me to say anything more about this brand. Basically, you can trust in the quality and reputation of Samsung.

FAQs

How long should a microwave last?

Microwaves last very long. You can expect them to last more than 10 years.

Is it worth fixing a microwave?

If the microwave is relatively new, it is worth fixing with less than 100 dollars. If your microwave is 4 or 5 years old, getting a new microwave would be a more budget-wise choice.

What are the signs that a microwave is going bad?

When the microwave smells burning, this is a serious problem that you need to replace the microwave soon. When the food isn't cooking properly, or when it makes noisy sounds while cooking, you should have a technician check the microwave for you.

Can a microwave explode?

No. Microwaves do not explode. The heat may cause sealed cans inside the microwave to explode; however, it will not be dangerous.

Why does my microwave smell weird?

Maybe it is time to clean the microwave. Fill a bowl halfway with water and one tablespoon of white vinegar, then run the microwave on high for about 5 minutes. But if you smell burning odors, don't try to repair it on your own, you may want to get a technician to check it for you.

Conclusion

For a portable and convenient choice, a countertop microwave would be an ideal choice. For a new kitchen with an intent of life-long use, an over-the-range microwave would be a better choice. I hope this review could help you choose a reliable microwave for your kitchen.

Jane Orta
Jane Orta

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