Best Sharp Microwaves

Updated September 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

23 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
185 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best Sharp microwaves

Last Updated September 2020

When selecting a microwave, you want one that's durable, reliable, and packed with useful features, and Sharp microwaves tick all these boxes. Whether you want a microwave that's built in or freestanding, big or small, simple or advanced, you have plenty of options. 

One of the most important factors to consider when shopping for a Sharp microwave is the wattage, which tells you how powerful it is, and knowing the power enables you to adjust cooking times accordingly. Capacity is another factor, and it will depend on the number of people you usually cook for and what you plan to cook in your microwave. Other notable features to think about include convection function, child lock, and the type of controls. 

All these choices can seem overwhelming, which is why we've written this straightforward buying guide to Sharp microwaves. Keep reading and you'll learn everything you need to know to find the ideal model for you. We've also selected a few of our favorite Sharp microwaves to get your shopping started.

Most Sharp microwaves have a carousel inside, but you can also find some flatbed models on the market. Always double-check the specs if you have a strong preference for one or the other.

Key considerations

Freestanding vs. built in

Most buyers already know whether they're looking for a freestanding or built-in microwave, but the following should help if you're unsure about these options. 

Freestanding: Also called countertop microwaves, these simply sit on the counter. There's no installation required — just plug your microwave into the power outlet and it’s ready to go. These also tend to be less expensive than built-in microwaves. The downside to a countertop microwave is that it takes up a fair amount of counter space, which could be an issue in a small kitchen. 

Built in: Sharp offers over-the-range and over-the-counter built-in microwaves, along with built-in microwave drawers. Generally, you'll only select a built-in microwave if you already have a spot for one in your kitchen or you're remodeling your kitchen to accommodate one. What's great about a built-in microwave is that it looks neat and tidy and doesn't take up any counter space. The downside is that they're tricky and expensive to install if you don't already have the setup to fit one in. 

Power

A microwave's power is measured in watts. The higher the wattage, the more powerful the microwave, and the more quickly it will cook your food. While many other brands offer 500-watt microwaves at a minimum, the least expensive and most compact Sharp microwaves have at least 700 watts. An average mid-range Sharp microwave has around 1,000 watts, but high-end commercial models offer up to 1,800 watts. Higher wattage means more power, but you don't necessarily want the highest-wattage microwave available. Between 1,000 and 1,250 is the sweet spot for most home users. Pay particular attention to the wattage if you live in certain situations, such as a college dorm, because many have restrictions on the maximum wattage allowed. 

Capacity

A microwave’s capacity is given in cubic feet. Sharp microwaves range in size from a compact 0.7 cubic feet to an extra-large 2.2 cubic feet. The right capacity for you depends on a range of factors, such as the number of people you cook for, what you tend to use your microwave for, and how much counter space you're willing to sacrifice. 

0.7 to 1.2 cubic feet: If you're only cooking for one or two, you won't need a large microwave, so this size range should suffice. 

1.8 to 2.2 cubic feet: It stands to reason that if you're cooking for a large family, you need an extra-large microwave. This also depends, however, on whether you cook full meals in a microwave or simply use it as a helper. Cooking a full dinner for five in a microwave calls for as large a model as possible, but if you only use your microwave for melting butter or steaming veggies, a smaller model will do the job. 

Convection

Microwaves are great for certain foods, but most can't do everything. If you want to reheat a slice of pizza, for instance, a microwave will leave it hot but soggy. Some Sharp microwaves have a convection function, which circulates hot air and essentially lets your microwave function like an oven. This means you can bake, roast, crisp, and brown food, all in your microwave. This is great for hot weather when you just can't face turning on the oven or situations where you only have access to a shared kitchen.

DID YOU KNOW?

Auto-weight cooking is a function that figures out the cooking time for your food based on its weight.

Features

Finish

The finish or color of your microwave won't make any difference in how it performs, but many buyers prefer to match their microwave to other appliances. Most Sharp microwaves come in white, black, and gray, but you can also find some models with a shiny or brushed stainless steel finish.

Child lock

Children like to experiment, and they may not realize that some materials are extremely dangerous when heated in a microwave. Kids can get up to mischief in mere seconds, so you don't have to take your eye off them for long for something bad to happen. The child lock, or control lock, function on Sharp microwaves keeps the microwave from working until you turn off the lock, helping to keep your kids safe. 

Controls

Most Sharp microwaves have digital touchpad controls. Commercial models tend to have dial controls since there's less that can go wrong with them and they're quicker to set. 

EXPERT TIP

A large, clear digital display makes it much easier to see the settings and the time remaining as your food cooks.


Staff  | BestReviews

Sharp microwave prices

Inexpensive: You can find some Sharp microwaves for as little as $50 to $100. These are basic models that are smaller and lower wattage than more expensive options.

Mid-range: These Sharp microwaves cost between $100 and $300. In this price range, there are some excellent models with large capacities that perform exceptionally well, but they don't have all the top-of-the-line features found on the most expensive models. 

Expensive: These Sharp microwaves generally cost between $300 and $600, but built-in microwave drawers are more expensive, costing over $1,000. High-end models have all the bells and whistles, such as sensor cooking and convection functions. 

EXPERT TIP

Choose a Sharp microwave with a clear viewing window if you want to be able to see your food while it's cooking.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Check the external dimensions of your chosen microwave. This is especially important if you only have a limited space in which to fit your new Sharp microwave. Remember to factor in clearance space around it, too. 

  • Think about how often you'll use your microwave. If you're likely to only use it occasionally to melt chocolate or reheat a cold cup of coffee, save some money and buy a smaller, less powerful microwave. 

  • Consider whether you need variable power controls. These controls allow you to use your microwave at less than full power, which is perfect for times when you don't need it turned up high. 

  • Read the instruction manual carefully. This might seem obvious, but many people skim through the manual or don't look at it at all, meaning they don't learn about some of the useful features offered by their new appliance. 

Check the clearance space of your chosen Sharp microwave. This is the amount of space it needs above, behind, and on each side in order to work effectively.

FAQ

Q. Do all Sharp microwaves have preset programs? 
A. Almost all Sharp microwaves, even budget models, have at least a few preset programs. Common presets include Popcorn, Potato, Frozen Vegetables, and Beverage. This saves you the hassle of looking up the correct cooking time and power level if you don't already know it. Preset programs are approximate, however, so it's worth keeping an eye on whatever you're cooking the first time you use a certain preset. 

 

Q. What is sensor cooking technology? 
A. Some high-end Sharp microwaves use sensor cooking technology, which means they have internal sensors that measure the level of steam in the microwave and adjust the cooking time and power level based on that information. You can get perfect results every time by just pushing one button. 

 

Q. What's the difference between a standard Sharp microwave and a commercial model? 
A. Commercial microwaves are designed to be used in a commercial setting, such as a restaurant. Sharp offers several commercial models, which have certain notable differences from standard home microwaves. First, they're built to last, since an average household might use the microwave once or twice a day, while a restaurant might use it a hundred times a day. Commercial models tend to have a simple dial timer rather than digital controls, which may fail with heavy use, and a flatbed interior rather than a carousel, since it's easier to clean and is one less thing that could potentially break.

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The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn Llewellyn
    Bronwyn Llewellyn
    Editor
  • Ciera Pasturel
    Ciera Pasturel
    Digital Content Producer
  • Lauren Corona
    Lauren Corona
    Writer
  • Melinda Snowden
    Melinda Snowden
    Web Producer
  • Steph Coelho
    Steph Coelho
    Web Producer

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