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Microwaves: A Must-Have Appliance For Every Kitchen

The simple microwave. It may seem like an appliance that has changed little over the years, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. Today’s modern microwaves are packed with enough innovative features and capabilities to make them one of the most versatile appliances in your kitchen. From sensors that detect the internal temperature of food and adjust the oven's power level, to models that shut off automatically, this type of oven is far more functional than ovens of past days. They also look better! Gone are the days of clunky, bulky microwave eyesores.

A microwave can be the perfect sidekick for your conventional oven, combining space savings and speed for convenient, mess-free cooking your whole family can enjoy. With the ability to heat foods quickly, they take less time to prepare veggies or reheat entrees than a traditional oven or stove. This not only saves you time, but also cuts down on your total energy consumption.

From compact countertop versions to stylish over-the-range microwaves, we have a large assortment of microwaves available in a many sizes, shapes and finishes. From sleek stainless steel to clean white or classic black, we are confident we have the best microwave oven to seamlessly blend into your kitchen decor.

4 Types of Microwaves to Consider

Not too long ago, microwaves came in just one or two boxy designs, largely with the same features and cooking modes. Nowadays, however, there are many different types of microwaves to choose from, each with their own set of features and benefits. Choosing the best microwave largely comes down to your specific cooking needs, as well as how much space you have in your kitchen.

When it comes time to buy a microwave, we would recommend considering factors such as size, dimensions, countertop space, what features you truly need, and how often you plan on using it. To help you find the best microwave, we have highlighted the most common types available.

1. Countertop Microwaves

Typically lightweight and smaller in size, countertop microwaves are made, as they’re described, to sit directly on the countertop in your kitchen. This is the classic model most people think of when it comes to microwaves, and it’s easily one of the most versatile kitchen appliances out there. These models work straight out of the box, eliminating the need for any complex installation. Just plug them in, and you’re ready to prepare a dish.

They’re great for a variety of spaces beyond the kitchen, including dorm rooms, home offices, workshops or anywhere you might want to enjoy a snack. Countertop microwaves are not just portable and versatile, but they are also very affordable with many models selling for under $100. They are also available in compact, midsize and larger versions. If you have limited space or want something to help out with occasional kitchen tasks like boiling water or melting butter, then this may just be the best microwave for your home.

2. Over The Range Microwaves

Widely considered the best-in-class for this type of kitchen appliance, over-the-range microwaves offer all of the same cooking benefits, while simultaneously maximizing the amount of countertop space you have in your kitchen. Installed directly above your range, this type of microwave is luxuriously designed to be flush with kitchen cabinets and blend right into your decor; similar to how your dishwasher or a beverage fridge looks when installed into your countertops.

Their benefits aren’t just aesthetic. Over-the-range microwaves are typically larger than countertop versions, typically offering more power and faster cook times. Replicating many of the benefits of a range hood, built-in venting systems are a standard feature for this type of microwave. This allows you to not just cook your food, but also remove fumes, odors and heat that may have been created while cooking on the stovetop below. Extra lighting is another popular feature that isn't offered from other types of microwaves.

3. Built-In Microwaves

Designed to be built directly into your kitchen cabinetry, a built-in microwave is an elegant appliance that provides quick and powerful cooking wherever is most convenient for you. Much like the over-the-range design, this type of microwave allows you to maintain the maximum amount of countertop space as possible, but with the extra benefit of being able to be installed almost anywhere in your kitchen. Commonly installed above or below a wall oven, a built-in microwave provides convenient cooking that is as stylish as it is speedy.

Particularly popular are drawer microwaves. These models are built in among your cabinets and slide outward like a drawer, rather than opening on a door hinge. This type of microwave can go wherever space is available - including in kitchen islands - and are especially convenient when you’re handling heavy plates. Available in a variety of models and size, this type of microwave is easy to install at waist-level making it a great option for homes with children or people using wheelchairs.

4. Convection Microwaves

Combining the cooking style of an oven with the convenience of a microwave, convection microwaves boast incredible versatility, offering rapid cooking while simultaneously saving you energy, space, and time. Available in countertop, over-the-range and built-in models, this type of microwave differs from other units because it uses a fan to circulate hot air throughout the inside of the unit, which in turn cooks food from the outside. Unlike the standard microwave that uses electromagnetic waves to heat food from the inside out.

Convection microwaves are vastly superior when it comes to cooking. You can roast, broil or bake like a traditional oven, but with the speed and convenience of a microwave. Whether you want to heat up, brown or crisp your food, these models are exploding in popularity due to their functional and versatile cooking styles. Especially popular for preparing baked goods in a snap, it's easy to cook anything from pies, cookies or pizzas. If you find that you use a microwave often, this may just be the perfect unit for you.