Microwave Oven Buying Guide: Types, Styles & New Technologies?

A microwave is a kitchen necessity whether you enjoy cooking, or you are always hurrying to put dinner together, or live on reheated coffee and frozen pizza. Although defrosting and reheating are frequent uses for microwaves, not every microwave is capable of doing both. That’s why it’s a good idea to do some research before purchasing yours.

Microwaves on the counter are the most common, but over-the-range ones can complete your kitchen set, especially if you want appliances from the same brand with matching handles and other details. You’ll want a microwave that passes our microwave reliability test, regardless of the model you choose. That’s where our microwave oven buying guide will be your best help.

Once you’ve invested, operate it carefully so that your microwave lasts. According to the manufacturer’s recommendations, you shouldn’t have to replace it more than once every ten years.

In general, various tests have discovered that there are many differences in the performance of different microwave models. Manufacturers frequently provide space that people won’t use, so tests measure the usable capacity as well.

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Key points to remember while purchasing a microwave oven?

Almost all microwaves will sufficiently heat your meal. Their cost is determined by the characteristics you desire. Some key aspects to consider are:

PowerMicrowaves range from 600 watts to over 1600 watts. Tiny microwaves average around 800 watts, and full-size microwaves average about 1300 watts. The more power you have, the faster your food will cook. But more power does not always imply a superior product. Generally, a difference of 100 watts isn’t significant.
SizeMany things must be considered to choose the optimal microwave oven size for your needs. You’ll want a smaller microwave oven if you’re going to use it in a small room or if you don’t have much counter space. If you have a large family or want to cook most of your meals in the microwave, including roasts, you’ll need a larger microwave. The microwave must be at least 2 cubic feet in size to accommodate a large dinner plate.
ConvectionSince microwaves heat food without browning it, you may want to invest in a convection oven that allows you to roast, toast, and bake food in the same way you would in an oven. Ovens are basically stoves with the extra benefit of using microwaves to heat the food. Though the outcomes aren’t quite as lovely as using an oven, it may be sufficient if you don’t cook frequently.
TurntableAlthough some basic microwave ovens don’t come with a turntable, it’s a good idea to have one because it helps evenly heat your food. The tray on specific “turntables” is moved from side to side.
VersatilityThere are many different uses of microwaves that might make purchasing them worthwhile. These include using it as a gift for someone, how the color matches your interior design, whether it can handle some objects on top of it like a small shelf, etc.

How to buy a perfect microwave oven?

Let us take a look at different microwave oven styles.

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A countertop microwave has the same cooking power as a built-in microwave. They have the disadvantage of taking up valuable counter space and not having an external ventilation system. Some countertop microwaves come with trim kits that allow you to integrate them into the cabinets around them or mount them to a nearby wall.

Over-the-Range (OTR): 

An over-the-range microwave, which combines microwave and a range hood, is a great way to save space while maximizing functionality. With these versions, you’ll get the added benefit of lighting and ventilation. The ventilation power is expressed in cubic feet per minute (CFM). When shopping, keep in mind that the higher the CFM value, the more airflow. Depending on personal desire and placement, these microwaves give the option of traditional venting or indoor air filter circulation. Versions without a vented hood circulate the air via a grease-trapping carbon filter that must be regularly replaced. In contrast, models with a vented hood send exhaust outside. Although alternative widths are available, most OTR microwaves are 30 inches wide. You’ll need to know whether an OTR can be plugged in or if it must be hard-wired when choosing one.

Low-Profile Over-the-Range:

For some kitchen layouts, an over-the-range microwave is the best option. Some versions, however, may not fit well in specific range hoods. A low-profile over-the-range microwave is designed to fit into a smaller space while yet providing adequate capacity. Some variants are completely vented and can be used instead of a full-range hood. They’re a great way to replace an old over-the-range microwave that’s too low.


A real built-in microwave is integrated into the cabinetry and has a drop-down door, similar to a standard oven. The oven may or may not come with the necessary trim kit. If you buy a trim kit separately, be sure it fits your microwave, works with your other kitchen appliances, and doesn’t obstruct cabinet doors or drawers.

Microwave Drawers: 

Microwave drawers, as the name implies, pull out for use and are installed beneath a countertop or wall oven. This microwave’s height makes it a safer and more convenient solution for everyone in the family.


Microwaves can be countertop, over-the-range, or built-in, depending on your kitchen. It’s worth noting that the unit’s size doesn’t necessarily equate to a usable cooking area. According to our findings, the functional capacity of tested microwaves is around half of what manufacturers promise. We also talked about how much space you can truly use. High watts usually equates to more cooking power. However, variances of 100 watts or less are insignificant. In most microwave oven buying guides, power capacity and other features are listed clearly in their operation manuals.

The majority of microwave oven reviews fail to mention what features to look for in a microwave oven. The ideal microwave oven for you is the one that annoys you the least, whether it’s an over-the-range or a countertop one. Our microwave oven buying guide won’t stop you from cooking a rubbery hamburger, but it will help you avoid the ones that make your kitchen sound like a garbage truck backing up.

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