Purchasing an over-the-range microwave oven is one the easiest ways to save space. By placing the microwave above your stove instead of on your counter you clear up a lot of counter space. They usually have more features than a solo microwave, including a stovetop light and vent fan. The only drawback of over-the-range microwaves is that you usually can’t set them up yourself, you will need to hire a professional to install it. Still, over-the-range microwaves can be a smart decision for any kitchen, but you should know a few things before going shopping.
There’s not one definitive best microwave, because what’s best is determined by your needs. For example, what’s best for you may not be best for someone else, but there are a few specs you can use to compare microwaves if you keep your eyes open. The first thing to keep an eye on is the wattage, the more power a microwave uses the faster it will be able to heat up food. You should also look at what preset functions a microwave has and decide if those extra functions are important to you. However, going through all the microwaves on the market will likely take all week, which is why we’ve rounded up 10 of the best over-the-range microwaves, for your consideration.
The best part of the Sharp R-1874 isn’t the 1.1 cubic feet of space or even the easy to clean, stylish stainless steel exterior, it’s the sheer number of settings and customization options that make this microwave a real winner. This microwave comes with 12 CompuCook settings and 8 sensor cook settings, which allow you to perfectly cook or reheat your food, including popcorn, at the touch of a button. With bake and broil settings, this small convection microwave can do more than microwaves twice its size and can handle just about anything.
Of course, you can set a timer on this microwave to help keep track of things on the stove or in the oven and you can pick from 11 different power levels. For added convenience, this microwave also has a 2-speed ventilation fan, 2 level light, and the option to turn the turntable on or off. Turning off the turntable may be useful when you’re using square plates or dishes that may not be able to rotate completely. This Sharp microwave also comes with a great warranty plan, covering 1 year for parts and labor and 6 years for the magnetron tube. Having a comprehensive warranty such as this one minimizes the risks associated with purchasing and ensures you get a microwave that will last several years.
You may also like some of the best convection microwave ovens from our list. Check them out.
This LG microwave has plenty of space to accommodate any size job, with 2 cubic feet available on the inside. With all that space, this microwave is especially good for things like defrosting large pieces of meat. Some people may shy away from microwaves with more space because they think it means more to clean, but the interior of this microwave was designed to be wiped clean in just a few seconds, without the need for chemicals or sprays.
This microwave also offers maximum convenience, with easy one-touch settings and 8 different sensor cooking options. The sensor technology used in this microwave helps ensure even and optimal results by monitoring the conditions inside of the microwave, including humidity, and adjusting itself accordingly. The sensor technology and easy one-touch settings allow you to practically just pop something in the microwave and forget about it, it takes all of the guesswork out of cooking and reheating food. For example, instead of taking half an hour or longer to cook a baked potato in the oven, you can put a potato in the microwave, select the Baked Potato preset option, and the microwave does all the work, adjusting the power level and time as it goes to give you the perfect baked potato.
This stainless steel KitchenAid microwave is a perfect example of smart design meeting smart technology. From the sleek stainless steel exterior to the roomy, easy-wipe interior, this microwave compliments almost any kitchen configuration or design. Additionally, it’s capable of doing almost any task, including cooking and reheating food using sensor technology. Sensor technology is somewhat common in microwaves now, but they usually don’t give you as much control as the KMHS120ESS, which allows you to pick from not only a specific type of food but also how “done” you want it.
With 10 different power levels, you can set it exactly where you need, including a mere 10%, which is perfect for keeping food warm until you’re ready to serve it. If you’re a prepper and like to have everything cooked and ready when your dinner guests arrive, this microwave can be your little helper. And like any good helper, this microwave makes things much easier, with convenience cooking controls, the easy to use scrolling electronic display, and several other neat bells and whistles for you to find, including some helpful safety features like a child lock setting. A child lock, like the one on this microwave, locks the keypad so that little wandering hands do not accidentally start it and cause damage.
For more great kitchen appliances, check out our guide to the top toasters.
Sitting in the middle of a long line of impressive Whirlpool products is the Whirlpool WMH21017FS over-the-range microwave, but it certainly doesn’t blend in with the rest. This microwave packs 1,000 watts of power and several time-saving features, including three presets for specific foods; pizza, potatoes, and popcorn. There are also 6 different preset functions, including cook, reheat, soften/ melt, and defrost, so you can do a variety of tasks.
Although this microwave doesn’t use sensor technology, you can still get the precise results you need by adjusting the power level and using the “Add 30 Seconds” button when you need to add more time. Perhaps the best part of this microwave is the fact that it can be much more than just a microwave. When you need it to be, this microwave can also serve as a kitchen timer or ventilation fan. You can even use the built-in nightlight when you’re trying to sneak a midnight snack without waking anyone up. Whether you want to reheat leftovers, soften a stick of butter, defrost frozen foods, or cook an entire meal, with this microwave you’ll never be short-handed in the kitchen. And when the time comes to clean up messes, cleaning is as easy as putting the 12-inch turntable in the dishwasher and wiping out the interior walls.
When it comes to cooking, working smarter, not harder is often key. Sure, you could use the stove or oven to cook and reheat all of your food, but a microwave can be way faster and way smarter. A stove doesn’t know when to stop cooking your food, or how to adjust itself to better cook your food, but the Kenmore 80333 does. The Kenmore 80333 has sensor technology that allows you to auto cook, reheat, or defrost your food to just the right point, so all you have to do is put the food in and start it. This microwave is designed to make cooking for a family easier, even when you’re in a rush, which is why it also has food specific presets, including popcorn, veggies, and pizza.
All of the buttons and neat electronic display may attract the attention of kids, so be sure to take advantage of the child safety lock to ensure nothing enters the microwave that’s not supposed to, like metal spoons or stuffed animals. Of course, cooking for a family can get messy, and over time, frankly, it can get stinky, even if you’re good about keeping the turntable clean, which makes the odor eliminating ventilation system all the more important. But the only way to really find out for sure is to try it yourself.
If design is high on your list of priorities, this microwave is perfect for you. Its super sleek design all but guarantees love at first sight. Unlike most microwaves, the controls for this microwave is located below the door, not to the left or right, and although it seems purely cosmetic at first, it’s actually a neat space-saving trick. Placing the buttons below the door allows for a wider interior and a wider turntable, meaning more cooking space.
There are 10 total preset programs to choose from and 10 power levels, so this microwave can do everything from keeping veggies or sides warm for over an hour to cooking frozen entrees in just a few minutes. Another thing that makes this Insignia microwave unique is its memory function, which can remember up to three frequently used settings. This makes cooking and reheating even faster since your most commonly used settings will be just one push away. This microwave has all of the common microwave features as well, including a kitchen timer, night light, cooking light, alert sounds, and removable turntable, so you have all the important traditional microwave components, and then some. And for added peace of mind, this microwave is backed by a 1-year warranty for all parts and labor.
This microwave has the power to complete any kitchen and is almost certainly better than your current microwave. The GE JVM3160RFSS offers several convenient cooking features, including 6 preset functions and express cooking options. The electronic touch controls give you full control over all microwave settings, including the cooktop light setting and turntable speed.
The 13.5-inch glass turntable can easily be turned on and off, depending on what the situation calls for. For example, if you just need to keep something warm, you may turn off the turntable to save power. Or, if you’re reheating a large platter or small casserole dish, there may not be room for it to fully rotate, so having the option to turn the turntable off can be extremely helpful.
Lastly, this microwave is also customizable and comes in 5 different finishes, including bisque, black, white, slate, and stainless steel. Although the fan favorite seems to be the sleek stainless steel, a different finish may look better in your kitchen. Regardless of what finish you choose, the interior is non-stick, so it can be cleaned without much effort, and the entire microwave is backed by a limited one-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Whirlpool is known for having very reliable products, so it’s no surprise another Whirlpool product made the cut. This extra large microwave from Whirlpool offers over 2 cubic feet of space and a wide array of cooking options. This microwave features 12 one-touch selection keys, including steam and sensor cooking options. The steam setting makes it super easy to steam vegetables or rice in just a few minutes and that’s just the beginning of what this microwave can do. One of the sensor cooking options is popcorn, which everyone knows is very easy to burn, even with preset cooking functions. However, this Whirlpool microwave does more than just sense the humidity within the microwave, it also listens for the pops of the kernels and based off of how much time passes between pops it determines when the popcorn is fully cooked.
A few other neat features of the Whirlpool WMH75021HZ include a fingerprint resistant exterior and non-stick interior, so cleaning is a snap. Additionally, this microwave also accommodates a cooking rack, so you can heat up or defrost multiple dishes at once. Everything about this microwave makes it the perfect option for large, busy families who want to free up counter and stove space while still enjoying delicious meals.
Samsung has become known for their large product line, including almost every kind of gadget, from cell phones and televisions to vacuums, dryers, refrigerators, and of course, microwaves. Although the ME16K3000AS/AA doesn’t have as much room as some of the other microwaves on our list, it still has a good amount of space, 1.6 cubic feet, and consistently performs great. This microwave is surprisingly powerful, with 1,580 watts, for even faster cooking times.
If you care about saving power and money, this microwave is a good choice for you. The eco mode feature allows the handy LED display to shut off when the microwave is not being used, which adds up over time. The Samsung ME16K3000AS/AA is easy to program out of the box and doesn’t take long to get the hang of. The layout of the buttons is very intuitive and makes it easy to choose from a selection of presets or select a custom cooking style.
No matter how you use this microwave, the turbo ventilation system clears out any smoke, steam, odors, and fumes from the air indoors and quietly routes it away, allowing you to actually enjoy cooking and being in your kitchen again.
This Frigidaire professional microwave uses sensor technology to adjust the power level and cooking time to get your food just right. The sensor technology can be used to do things like pop popcorn without burning it, cook frozen veggies, and effectively keep food warm for up to 30 minutes. A wide array of auto preset options is offered, including 9 auto cook presets, 3 auto defrost presets, 4 auto melt-soften presets, and 5 auto reheat options. This is way more options than most microwaves you come across, which only have 2 or 3 auto cook features, and takes the guesswork out of microwaving across the board.
Additionally, this microwave has a lot to offer, but what sets it apart from the others is the fact that it’s a two-in-one convection oven and microwave. That means it can do everything a microwave can do and more since it doubles as a convection oven. The PowerPlus Convection setting evenly circulates warm air through the microwave, allowing you to bake things quickly and evenly.
Finally, with almost 2 cubic feet of space, a 4-speed exhaust fan, clock, timer, child lock, and countless other amenities, this microwave has everything you could ask for. The price tag may be a little intimidating, but it’s a complete package and convection microwave ovens like this one tend to run on the higher end.