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Expert Shopper Kitchen

6 brands that consistently make great microwaves

It’s not always convenient or practical to cook food using a traditional oven or stovetop, especially for those constantly strapped for time. The microwave oven is at the top of the list if you’re looking for the fastest way to cook or heat food.

There are many brands of microwave ovens, but how do you know which is the best? A handful of top brands make high-quality microwaves, but there are a few features you should look for to ensure you’re getting a quality appliance.

In this article: Panasonic NN-SN686S Stainless Countertop Microwave Oven, Toshiba EM131A5C-SS and Black and Decker Digital Microwave Oven.

Top microwave brands


Panasonic is a well-known brand for its electronics, such as TVs, but it also manufactures some of the best microwave ovens. Panasonic microwaves often have a durable build, offer several features and are available in many sizes.


Like Panasonic, Toshiba is a top electronics brand and makes many high-end kitchen appliances. In terms of durability, Toshiba microwaves can last several years, and most models have key features such as preset cooking modes and multiple power levels.

Black and Decker

Black and Decker is a well-known kitchen appliance brand known for its compact and sleek microwaves. Although there are some larger units, most Black and Decker microwaves are standard countertop ovens.


Since many electronics companies began manufacturing kitchen appliances, GE has become less popular than it once was. However, it is still a trusted brand and makes plenty of excellent and affordable microwaves.

Magic Chef

Magic Chef isn’t as recognizable as some other brands mentioned here, but it focuses primarily on making quality kitchen appliances. Magic Chef microwaves are available in several sizes and are an excellent choice for anyone working with a limited budget.


Farberware is a reputable brand that produces high-quality appliances and cookware. Farberware products are durable and backed by reliable warranties and customer service. They’re middle of the pack in terms of pricing, but some larger microwaves can cost $300-$400.

Top features to look for 

  • Preset cooking functions.
  • Multiple power levels.
  • Power output of at least 700 watts.
  • An easy-to-read digital display.
  • User-friendly controls.
  • Cooking versatility, such as air frying, broiling and defrosting.
  • An interior that’s easy to wipe down and clean.
  • An interior light.
  • A power cord with a length that suits your needs.

Best microwaves

Panasonic NN-SN686S Stainless Steel Countertop Microwave Oven

A 1,200-watt microwave is perfect for everyday use, making this model an excellent buy for the average consumer. It has a 1.2-cubic-foot capacity and smart cooking settings. It has a sensor that automatically adjusts time and temperature for different foods. It also uses Inverter technology to heat food evenly.

Sold by Amazon

Toshiba EM131A5C-SS Countertop Microwave Oven

With a stylish appearance and a large interior, this microwave is perfect for large households. It has a stainless-steel interior, a pre-programmed sensor menu and 10 power settings. The digital control panel has a keypad for entering precise cooking times.

Sold by Amazon

Black and Decker Digital Microwave Oven

This 900-watt microwave has 10 power settings and 30-second express cooking. It also has multiple pre-programmed buttons for popcorn, potatoes, pizza, frozen vegetables and more. It has an LED with an easy-to-use control panel, a push-button for easy access, a removable 10.6-inch turntable and an interior light.

Sold by Amazon

Panasonic NN-SN766S Countertop Microwave Oven

This microwave has a compact build with a 15-inch turntable and uses Inverter and turbo defrost technology to heat food fast and evenly. It offers 14 preset cooking modes, a quick-minute timer, a delay start function, a keep-warm feature and a child safety lock.

Sold by Amazon

Black and Decker 1.6-Cubic-Foot Over-The-Range Microwave

With a 29.9-inch width and a 1-cubic-foot interior, this over-the-range microwave is suitable for medium or large kitchens. It has a clean white finish, a bright LED display and 10 cooking power levels. Plus, it comes with a mounting bracket.

Sold by Wayfair

TOSHIBA EM925A5A-SS Countertop Microwave Oven

Those with limited countertop space will love this microwave for its compact design and 900-watt power output. It has pre-programmed menus for foods like popcorn and pizza and a one-touch start function for heating at full power for up to six minutes.

Sold by Amazon

Farberware Classic Countertop Microwave Oven

This countertop microwave has a classic design with a door handle for easy access and a generous 1.1 cubic-foot cooking capacity. It has 10 power levels, a memory function that stores your preferred cooking settings and express cook buttons that range from one to six minutes.

Sold by Wayfair

Magic Chef Black 1.1 Cubic-Foot Countertop Microwave Oven

This all-black microwave offers a 1,000-watt power output and eight one-touch cooking modes for quickly heating popular foods, such as pizza, popcorn and more. It has electronic controls, an LED display and a memory function to keep track of your preferred cooking settings.

Sold by Amazon

GE 3-in-1 Countertop Microwave Oven

If you want more versatility from your microwave, this model offers multiple cooking functions, including air fry, broil and convection modes. It has a compact 1-cubic-foot design and preset controls for popular foods, including popcorn and chicken tenders.

Sold by Amazon

Farberware Air Fry Convection Microwave Oven

This 1,000-watt microwave is excellent for everyday use and offers convection and air fry cooking functions. It has a roomy 1.3-cubic-inch interior, a kitchen timer with a digital clock, a glass turntable, a grill rack and an instruction manual.

Sold by Kohl’s

GE Over-The-Range Microwave

This over-the-range microwave with a spacious 1.9-cubic-foot capacity has a modern stainless-steel design and an enamel interior that’s easy to clean. It offers four fan speed settings, electronic controls with a graphic display and 10 cooking levels for broiling, defrosting and reheating.

Sold by Home Depot

Magic Chef 0.7-Cubic-Foot Countertop Microwave

If you don’t have room for an over-the-range microwave or have limited countertop space, this is an excellent microwave that works great and doesn’t take up too much room. It has 30-second express cooking functions, one-touch cooking menus and 10 power levels.

Sold by Home Depot

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Kevin Luna writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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