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Best Microwave (2021): The Top-Performing Microwaves For Your Home

The microwave is undoubtedly one of the most essential and used kitchen appliances. Whether you’re heating leftovers or defrosting frozen food, there’s always a reason to enjoy this electric oven. Panasonic, Toshiba, and BLACK+DECKER are just some of the top brands when it comes to microwaves. Some of their latest models include more features, too, including smart sensors and air fryer capabilities. Instead of an exhaustive list, however, we’re keeping things straight to the point. Below, we share the best microwaves across the four categories that matter the most.

Best Microwave Comparison Chart

ModelImageKey FeaturesPrice
Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave OvenToshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave Oven with Smart Sensor Easy Clean Interior, ECO Mode and Sound On-Off,...Dimensions: 20.5 x 17.1 x 12.8 in.
Capacity: 1.2 cubic feet
Turntable: 12.4 in.
Energy Use: 1100 watts
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Galanz GSWWA16S1SA10 3-in-1 SpeedWave with TotalFry 360Galanz GSWWA16S1SA10 3-in-1 SpeedWave with TotalFry 360, Microwave, Air Fryer, Convection Oven with...Dimensions: 21.75 x 22.94 x 12.69 in.
Capacity: 1.6 cubic feet
Turntable: 12.4 in.
Energy Use: 1000 watts
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Panasonic NN-CD87KS Home Chef 4-in-1 Microwave OvenPanasonic NN-CD87KS Home Chef 4-in-1 Microwave Oven with Air Fryer, Convection Bake, FlashXpress...Dimensions: 22 x 13.4 x 17 in.
Capacity: 1.2 cubic feet
Turntable: 14.2 in.
Energy Use: 1000 to 1300 watts
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BLACK+DECKER EM036AB14 Digital Microwave OvenBLACK+DECKER EM036AB14 Digital Microwave Oven with Turntable Push-Button Door, Child Safety Lock,...Dimensions: 20.4 x 16.9 x 12.4 in.
Capacity: 1.4 cubic feet
Turntable: 12.4 in.
Energy Use: 1000 watts
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Best Microwave Oven 2021

The Toshiba EM131A5C-BS 1.2 cu ft. is a sleek, functional, and easy to use microwave oven that fits most people’s budgets.

Best Microwave 2021 Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave Oven
Simple, one touch buttons make the 1.2 cu ft. microwave oven from Toshiba a favorite among families.

Although first released in 2017, the Toshiba EM131A5C-BS remains a top choice this year. This best-selling microwave sports an understated design with an easy to clean interior and exterior. It also comes with a handle that’s more ergonomic compared to the usual button. Toshiba’s microwave, however, is a budget-friendly option replete with features and offering substantial power.

For instance, the microwave comes with sensor cooking. It’s a technology that allows it to adjust heating by sensing the amount of steam produced during the cooking process. One-touch buttons also make it easy to set the timer, even while the microwave is running. There are pre-set buttons, too, that take out the guesswork when heating specific meals.

The pre-programmed settings are not the most accurate, however, especially when it comes to certain meats. Nonetheless, the overall simplicity and ease of use offered by the Toshiba still make it a reliable kitchen staple.

Pros

  • Easy to clean interior
  • Intuitive control panel with large display
  • Advanced sensor menu cooking

Cons

  • Preset heating can be hit or miss

Best Microwave Air Fryer Combo

The Galanz SpeedWave is a 3-in-1 appliance that combines microwave with air fryer and convection oven capabilities.

Best Microwave Air Fryer Combo Galanz GSWWA16S1SA10 3-in-1
With the versatile cooking options, expect the 1.6 cu ft. Galanz SpeedWave Microwave to take up a lot of counterspace.

Those who want to prepare healthier meals should take a look at the Galanz SpeedWave Microwave. Just like the Toshiba EM131A5C-BS, the SpeedWave comes with sensor cook and sensor reheat, too. However, Galanz adds the in-demand functionality of an air fryer oven in the 1.6 cu ft. microwave, too. Marketed as the TotalFry 360 technology, this feature allows owners to air-fry bacon, chicken, shrimps, and fries with less or zero oil.

But the microwave doesn’t just settle by adding air fryer functionality. The Galanz SpeedWave also boasts a convection oven mode. With this True Convection, the microwave can prepare meals faster and healthier. You can even combine convection oven and microwave functions to further speed up cooking. The 12.4-inch turntable also accommodates larger plates for more even heat distribution while cooking.

Having versatile cooking options at your disposal does mean the Galanz microwave is a little large. While you can get a smaller, 1.2 cu ft. model, we find the 1.5 cu ft. option takes advantage of the 3-in-1 cooking options the best.

Pros

  • Combination of microwave, convection oven, and air-fryer
  • Large capacity microwave
  • Futuristic control panel and dial

Cons

  • Takes up a lot of counter space
  • Exterior gets hot on convection or air-fryer mode

Best 4-in-1 Microwave Oven

If a 3-in-1 microwave isn’t enough, then the Panasonic NN-CD87KS Home Chef 4-in-1 might do the trick.

Best 4-in-1 Microwave Oven Panasonic NN-CD87KS Home Chef 4-in-1 Microwave Oven
The built-in fryer on the Panasonic NN-CD87KS makes for healthier meals.

The Panasonic NN-CD87KS Home Chef is one of the best multi-function appliances you can get. As a microwave oven, the Home Chef uses Panasonic’s patented inverter technology. It works with a sensor, too, so heating is automatic and optimized based on the food. The convection bake oven mode, on the other hand, is ideal for baking and roasting anywhere between 100ยฐ to 425ยฐ.

There’s an air fryer on the Panasonic Home Chef, too, perfect for those counting calories. For this mode, you get an air-fryer basket, wire rack, and tray as well. Lastly, the Home Chef packs in a FlashXpress broiler capability into the microwave. Along with a wire rack that lifts food closer to the microwave’s grilling element, you can cook food on the Home Chef with grill-like results.

With four functions in one appliance, homeowners have 6 cooking options, including a broiler and microwave combination. The Panasonic Home Chef is a hefty appliance but does come with a small footprint relative to its size. Thanks to its sleek design, the microwave can also be built-in to kitchen cabinetry or walls for a more integrated look.

Pros

  • Multi-function microwave oven with up to 6 cooking options
  • Comes with a child safety lock
  • High power rating for faster cooking times

Cons

  • Buttons are not easy to read
  • Air-fryer mode can be tough to clean after

Best Microwave Under $150

Those on a budget will like the stylish and functional BLACK+DECKER EM036AB14 digital microwave oven.

Best Microwave Oven Under $150 BLACK+DECKER EM036AB14 Digital Microwave Oven
For a microwave oven under $150, the BLACK+DECKER EM036AB14 is a feature-packed model.

A functional and stylish microwave doesn’t have to be expensive. If you’re looking for great value, then the BLACK+DECKER EM036AB14 is a practical option. This 1.4 cu ft. microwave offers plenty of features behind its modest and unflashy exterior. It’s also lightweight and sports a smaller footprint compared to other microwaves on this list.

BLACK+DECKER’s stainless steel microwave comes with a spacious interior and easy-to-read control panel as well. The large LED display has a clock function but also displays a countdown timer and cooking time. With the EM036AB14, you’re getting an efficient model that boasts 10 power levels up to 1000 watts. Preprogrammed buttons for frozen vegetables, popcorn, and pizza are also available. In addition, there’s an express 30-second heater function to prep your food fast.

If you have kids around, you’ll be happy to know this budget-friendly microwave comes with a childlike safety feature. According to BLACK+DECKER, the microwave also has low noise levels and comes with an easy-to-clean turntable.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight form
  • Easy-to-read LED and control panel
  • Express heating function

Cons

  • Limited pre-programmed buttons
  • Push-button door

Verdict

The Toshiba EM131A5C-BS may be the best microwave, but the Panasonic Home Chef 4-in-1 is better for those who want an all-in-one appliance.

If you’re in the market to buy your first microwave, any of the models in the list above is worth purchasing. However, we find that the Toshiba EM131A5C-BS and Panasonic NN-CD87KS Home Chef 4-in-1 to be the best two. Toshiba’s microwave oven offers plenty of functions and settings, along with advanced cooking sensors. With its budget-friendly value, the EM131A5C-BS also makes a strong case for being consistently listed as one of the best affordable microwaves.

The Home Chef 4-in-1, on the other hand, is for those who want to brag about an all-in-one appliance. Combining multiple functions with a premium design, the Home Chef is a reliable microwave oven that also works as an air-fryer, baking oven, and broiler. Despite its size, the Panasonic Home Chef 4-in-1 actually brandishes a small footprint. Owners also benefit from the custom recipes made especially for the microwave courtesy of partner apps Drop and SideChef.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ What is the best microwave for 2021?

The Toshiba EM131A5C-BS is the best microwave for 2021. Despite being first released in 2017, the EM131A5C-BS remains a value-for-money option owing to its budget-friendly price and plethora of features.

๐Ÿ“Œ What are the cooking combinations available for the Panasonic NN-CD87KS Home Chef 4-in-1?

Panasonic’s Home Chef 4-in-1 Microwave offers 6 cooking options. Users can opt for microwave, air fryer, broiler, or convection bake. In addition, there are two cooking combinations available: microwave + broil and convection + microwave.

๐Ÿ“Œ Does the Galanz 3-in-1 SpeedWave microwave come in different models?

The Galanz 3-in-1 SpeedWave is available in either 1.2 cu ft. or 1.6 cu ft. options.

๐Ÿ“Œ How long is the warranty on the 1.4 cu ft. BLACK+DECKER microwave?

BLACK+DECKER’s 1.4 cu ft. microwave oven comes with a one-year limited warranty.

Last update on 2021-05-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.