Share Here!

Best Microwave Oven? We Can Help You Decide Here By Category

You may be looking for the best microwave oven, but are realizing in the search that there are a lot of different types of microwaves to choose from.

These include high-end drawer microwaves, to built-in microwaves to countertop microwaves to even portable microwaves.

This review will helpfully guide you to the best microwave in each of these categories

It’s hard to keep up with technology and microwave ovens are no exception.

We’ll break down each major microwave category and tell you which one we think is the best in its category, why we think it is the best and the pros and cons of each model to see if that model will work for you.

You can use the table of contents just below here if you want to skip to any specific type of microwave or just continue scrolling to see each one.

New Kitchen Life is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

1. Best Drawer Microwave – The Sharp SMD2470AH 24″

image of Sharp SMD2470AH Drawer MicrowaveCredit: SHARP, the SMD2470AH 24 inch drawer microwave)

Drawer microwaves are pretty much what you would expect by the name.

These microwaves are designed to fit in a kitchen cabinet under your kitchen counter, on in a kitchen island, and to open as you would a drawer in your kitchen.

These microwaves are typically larger than conventional microwaves and can be very convenient to operate. As a result, they are among the most expensive.

Our choice for the best drawer microwave is the Sharp SMD2470AS 24-inch Microwave Oven. This 1.2 cubic foot capacity and 950 watts of power.

Sharp is pretty much the only manufacturer of microwave drawer ovens, even those made for other brands. Chances are if it’s a drawer microwave, it’s a Sharp, even if there’s a different name on it.

These Sharp microwave also have had their share of defective models, so we definitely recommend buying an extended warranty when you buy one (see options below).

Sharp Drawer Microwaves – Good To Know

The controls for the Sharp SMD2470AS can be tucked away when you’re not using them and instead show a smooth stainless steel finish that works well with your designed kitchen.

Since drawer microwaves are typically mounted below your countertop, you access your microwave just like you would pull a pot out of one of your kitchen drawers instead of reaching up as you would for an over the range microwave.

What We Like About The Sharp SMD2470AS

  • The large capacity inside the oven
  • Easy access inside the microwave
  • Plenty of power

What We Don’t Like About The Sharp SMD2470AS

  • Sharp is the dominant, and almost the only, manufacturer of drawer microwaves, for good or bad, protect yourself with an extended warranty

Who Is The Sharp SMD2470AS Best For?

The Sharp SMD2470AS is best for those with designed kitchens, including islands, that want their appliances out of the way but still easily accessible. They are also larger than most microwave ovens, with a gross capacity of 1.2 cubic feet versus an average microwave capacity of about 1 cubic foot.

You can see the Sharp SMD2470AS on Amazon here with current pricing, any discounts, and current extended warranty options.

New Kitchen Life is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

2. Best Built-In Microwaves – The Panasonic NN-SD775S And The NN-SD97S

image of Panasonic NN-SD775S microwave ovenCredit: Panasonic

Built-in microwaves, like drawer microwaves, are designed to be built into kitchen cabinets.

Built-in microwaves are typically installed in cabinets above the countertop, unlike drawer microwaves which are typically installed below the countertop.

Some built-in microwaves can also be alternatively used on top of the countertop and so can also be countertop microwaves, like this Panasonic microwave.

So, if you decide that you want it on your countertop instead, no problem.

Panasonic NN-SD775S Or NN-SD975S – What’s In It For Me?

These Panasonic microwaves are very powerful with 1,250 watts of power. The NN-SD775S is 1.6 cubic feet inside and the NN-SD975S is 2.2 cubic feet inside, that is the only difference between these two models.

These Panasonic microwaves also have “

Panasonic’s microwave technology is designed to prevent “cold spots” or unevenly defrosted or unevenly cooked foods especially dense foods from emerging from your microwave oven.

Additional technology in these Panasonic ovens includes sensors that are designed to detect when foods are sufficiently cooked then alerting.

Built-In Features Of The NN-SD775S

The other thing to note about the NN-SD775S is that even though it’s described as a “built-in”, the NN-SD775S also works as a stand-alone countertop oven.

When operating this Panasonic as a built-in, you would most likely purchase a trim kit to like this one below to make the oven flush with your cabinets. You won’t need a trim kit when you use the NN-SD775S as a stand-alone countertop microwave.

 image of the Panasonic NN-SD775S microwave oven

 Credit: Panasonic

What Are The Dimensions Of The NN-SD775S And The NN-SD975S?

The NN-SD775S Dimensions
Exterior: 21 7/8 inches wide, 11 15/16 inches high and 19 15/16 inches deep
Interior: 15 11/16 inches wide, 8 1/4 inches high and 18 1/2 inches deep
Weight: 31.5 pounds
Turntable Diameter: 15 inches
The NN-SD975S Dimensions
Exterior: 23 7/8 inches wide, 14 inches high and 19 15/16 inches deep
Interior: 17 11/16 inches wide, 10 13/16 inches high and 18 1/2 inches deep
Weight: 36.8 pounds
Turntable Diameter: 16.5 inches

What You Should Know About The Panasonic

NN-SD775S And The NN-SD975S

The NN-SD775S and the NN-SD975S are powerful microwaves and despite the new technology that Panasonic has built into it, a lot of customers have experienced touchpad malfunctions or other electrical issues. You should definitely buy an extended warranty to protect yourself against malfunctions.

The standard warranty is only good for one year, so you definitely need an extended warranty (see below for warranty terms and prices). The extended warranties offered on Amazon below are fairly cheap and probably worth buying the longest extended warranty offered.

What We Like About The NN-SD775S And The NN-SD975S

  • Both models have plenty of power
  • Both models also have a lot of cooking functions

What We Don’t Like About The NN-SD775S And The NN-SD975S

  • Some customers have had trouble installing their trim kits when using either model as a built-in
  • Keypad malfunctions for both models have been reported by some customers, even after using them for a short time

Who Is The NN-SD775S Or The NN-SD975S Best For?

These Panasonic microwaves are best for those who want a built-in microwave (or even as a stand-alone countertop) with a lot of power and cooking functions.

Keep in mind that some have experienced malfunctions with these microwaves and know that Panasonic only provides a one year warranty. So, we recommend buying an extended warranty for either model that you buy. These warranties are relatively inexpensive so buy the longest term warranty that is available if you can.

You can see the latest warranty options, pricing and any discounts on Amazon. The Panasonic NN-SD775S on Amazon is here and the Amazon link for the Panasonic NNSD975S is here.

New Kitchen Life is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

3. Best Convection Microwave Oven – The Toshiba EC042A5C-BS

image of the Toshiba EC042A5C-SS Microwave Oven with Convection Function Smart Sensor and LED LightingCredit: Toshiba

Convection microwave ovens combine a traditional toaster or countertop oven (for the most part) with a microwave. It’s tough to combine these two types of cooking in one oven. Most combination microwave and traditional countertop ovens do are not as good as either a microwave or a countertop oven by itself.

Convection cooking uses this fan to blow hot oven air around your oven so that traditional, oven cooking functions using convection cooks evenly.

The Toshiba ECO42A3C-BS is a combination oven that does the best job of traditional baking and microwaving.

Note that it is large, 1.5 cubic feet of gross size, it’s almost 22 inches deep and wide and about 13 inches high, so make sure you have enough room in your kitchen. You also have to leave room around your oven for venting.

What Are The Toshiba ECO42A5C-BS Internal Dimensions?

The internal dimensions are 15.5 inches wide, 15.35 inches deep, and 10.2 inches high.

Among other things, this oven, like conventional convection ovens, has a fan in the back of the oven for convection cooking. This is one reason that the oven is large and it also reduces the size of the interior of the oven by the amount taken by the fan.

What We Like About The Toshiba ECO42A5C-BS

  • A lot of cooking functions in regular oven cooking and microwave cooking
  • Does a good job in conventional cooking and microwave cooking
  • Plenty of power

What We Don’t Like About The Toshiba ECO42A5C-BS

  • It’s large and takes up a lot of counter space

Who Is The Toshiba ECO42A5C-BS Best For?

This combination convection and microwave Toshiba oven is our recommended option for cooking conventionally and as a microwave in one oven.

You won’t be able to do absolutely everything that you want to do in a conventional toaster oven, like broil which this oven doesn’t have, it’s a trade-off to be able to get both in one oven.

We find that this oven does a good job in micro-waving and conventional cooking.

Note that this oven comes with only a 1-year warranty. We recommend that you buy an extended warranty with this oven since appliances like this oven fail after even one year of ownership.

You can see the Toshiba ECO42A5C-BS on Amazon with current pricing, any discounts and extended warranty options here.

New Kitchen Life is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

4. Best Countertop Microwave Oven – The Toshiba EM131A5C-BS

Countertop microwaves fit on your countertop, as you might expect, but some can alternatively be built into cabinets.

image of the Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave

Credit: Toshiba

We like the Toshiba EM131A5C-BS as the best countertop microwave oven.  This microwave is similar to the Toshiba microwave convection oven reviewed above, but smaller since it doesn’t have any of the conventional cooking elements.

This Toshiba has a lot of functions and features.

What We Like About The Toshiba EM131A5C-BS

  • Several easy to use functions
  • Has enough power for almost all microwave cooking functions
  • It doesn’t take too much countertop space in your kitchen

What We Don’t Like About The Toshiba EM131A5C-BS

  • Several customers have had defective models so buy an extended warranty

Who Is The Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Best For?

The EM131A5C-BS is best for those who want a lot of functions, an easy to use sensor and a microwave that doesn’t take up too much space on your countertop.

This Toshiba microwave is a compromise in size, power, and functions that will do most microwave cooking easily without fuss. The sensor technology is designed to help you know when your food is done by measuring how much steam is coming out of it.

Like a lot of the microwaves reviewed here, the EM131A5C-BS has had its share of defective models.

Also like the other microwaves reviewed here, the manufacturer warranty only lasts for one year.

That is too short, you definitely need an extended warranty if you buy this Toshiba model or any of the microwave ovens reviewed here.

The extended warranties available on Amazon (see link below) are not expensive and we recommend buying the longest extended warranty available to give the best protection possible. These extended warranties are typically much easier to work with than a typical manufacturer’s warranty.

You can see current warranty options, including all warranty terms as well as current pricing for the Toshiba EM131A5C-BS on Amazon here.

New Kitchen Life is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

5. Best Compact Or Even Portable Microwave Oven – The Toshiba EM925A5A-BS

image of the Toshiba compact EM925A5A-BS microwave oven

Credit: Toshiba

Compact microwaves are typically less than 1.0 gross cubic feet of interior cooking space. Some of the compact ovens may also even be considered portable if you want to unplug them and take them with you, but most people won’t.

Our vote for the best compact microwave oven is the Toshiba EM925A5A-BS and it has 0.9 gross cubic feet of interior cooking space.

Compared to the large exterior Toshiba convection-microwave combo EC042A5C-BS reviewed above, the EM925A5A-BS is much smaller.

What Are The Toshiba EM925A5A-BS Measurements?

The exterior of the EM925A5A-BS is 19.1 inches wide, 16.1 inches deep, and 11.5 inches high. It also weighs just over 27 pounds. By comparison, the large Toshiba convection microwave is 21.7 inches wide, 21.4 inches deep, and 12.8 inches high AND it weighs almost 45 pounds.

So, compared with the Toshiba convection microwave, the Toshiba EM925A5A-BS is compact, clocking in at 59% of the total exterior volume of the bigger Toshiba ECO42A3C-BS. We used the ECO42A3C-BS as a comparison because it’s the largest microwave oven that we review here.

What Are The Toshiba EM925A5A-BS Features?

This Toshiba is rated at 900 watts and has a 10.6-inch diameter glass turntable to rotate while cooking and microwaves in manual mode or six automatic modes. Those automatic modes are pizza, potato, popcorn, frozen vegetable, dinner plate, and beverage.

What We Like About The Toshiba EM925A5A-BS

  • Compact size compared with other microwaves (the EM925A5A-BS is only 59% of the volume of the large Toshiba reviewed above)
  • Decent power with 900 watts output

What We Don’t Like About The Toshiba EM925A5A-BS

  • It’s large and takes up a lot of counter space

Who Is The Toshiba EM925A5A-BS Best For?

This smaller microwave is best for you if you have a small kitchen OR if you want an additional, easy access microwave to use for quick microwave jobs in even a larger sized kitchen.

We recommend buying an extended warranty with this Toshiba microwave since the warranty that comes with it is only good for one year. One year is too short for small appliances like these since they often fail after a year or two. Check the price below but most of the extended warranties are fairly cheap, even 4-year extended warranties, and are worth the comfort of knowing you have extended protection.

You can see the Toshiba EM925A5A-BS on Amazon here and check the latest pricing, discounts, and extended warranty options.

New Kitchen Life is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

What Else?

We hope you’ve found enough options for choosing your next microwave and have covered enough categories to find what you most need in a microwave oven.

You may also want to see some of our other small appliance reviews if you need something else.

These other reviews include Microwave Air Fryer Combo ovens, Cuisinart Ice Cream Makers, Bunn Coffee Makers, the best blenders, the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer, and the best countertop ovens.

About the Author Sabrina

Sabrina is our head writer and expert researcher. She spends countless hours of research on each topic or product she writes about. She also tests products and recipes when she can and is known as a kitchen appliance junkie who is always trying new gadgets. Plus, she's a fairly decent cook above all else!