The countertop microwave is a classic small kitchen appliance. While we've also reviewed the best over the range microwaves of the year, in this article we'll focus on the best countertop microwave models of 2020 from a variety of brands. We cover everything from compact options to large family-size models retailing at prices as low as $120 all the way up to $499. From basic to impressive, we wanted to give you a broad sampling of the best microwaves for your kitchen.
Without further ado, let's dig into the best countertop microwaves of the year, complete with pricing, features, and links to real customer reviews! (And check out our microwave buying guide if you want more help choosing a new model.)
Table of Contents
- Samsung MS14K6000AS
- GE JES2051SNSS
- Whirlpool WMC20005YB
- GE Profile JES2251SJ
- Samsung MC12J8035CT
- LG LMC0975ST
- Sharp SMC1132CS
Watch our video for more info on choosing a new microwave!
1. Samsung MS14K6000AS - 1.4 cu ft, 1,000W - $169
First up on our list of the best countertop microwaves is the Samsung MS14K6000AS, a 1.4 cubic foot capacity microwave available in stainless steel at $169 or fingerprint resistant black stainless steel at $199. The ceramic enamel interior is scratch-resistant and easy to clean, so you won't have to struggle with sauce spatters and other debris. There are several preset cooking options and a sensor cook feature.
Three microwave distribution points within the cavity help to evenly cook your food. The turntable is 14.2" around for fitting larger plates and cookware. The warranty covers 1 year of parts and labor and 10 years on the magnetron tube. If you're looking to upgrade an older microwave, you might be impressed by the improved cooking ability and easy cleaning of this model!
Click here to read over 155 real customer reviews of this product!
2. GE JES2051SNSS - 2.0 cu ft, 1,200W - $279
Looking for an extra-large capacity microwave oven? The GE JES2051SNSS might be for you! Priced starting at $279 in stainless steel or $219 in black or white, this XL model includes an impressive 1,200 watts of cooking power and a huge 16" turntable. This microwave can handle large cookware like 13 by 9 inch casserole dishes and more!
It comes with several sensor cooking options and presets like Chicken/Fish, Potato, Reheat, and more. It comes with a limited one-year warranty on the entire appliance. This model is one of the best countertop microwaves with a large capacity and has some real power to it as well!
Click here to read over 440 real customer reviews of this product!
3. Whirlpool WMC20005YB - 0.5 cu ft, 750W - $169
Although some people want a large microwave, others are looking for a compact model. The Whirlpool WMC20005YB comes in black or white at $169 and in silver at $199, and is designed to fit easily into a corner thanks to its rounded back. It still has enough interior room to fit an 11" dinner plate, which is more than most comparable microwaves can handle!
This microwave offers basic controls, including an Add 30 Seconds option, Defrost, Popcorn, and Reheat. While it has a lower power level and fewer options than full-sized microwaves, it can be a great option for studio apartments, mobile homes, and small kitchens where counter space is at a premium. If you just want a basic microwave for occasionally reheating a plate, making oatmeal, and other tasks, this compact option might be the best countertop microwave for your needs! We review two other compact models in addition to this one in our compact microwave reviews.
Click here to read over 45 real customer reviews of this product!
4. GE Profile JES2251SJ - 2.2 cu ft, 1,200W - $309
Still looking for a large capacity microwave? The GE Profile JES2251SJ, available in stainless steel at $309, offers some great features on top of having a large 2.2 cubic foot capacity and 1,200 watts of cooking power. The 16" turntable offers plenty of room for reheating casseroles and more.
This model includes helpful features like sensor cooking, one-touch presets, and inverter defrost technology that provides consistent heat for better defrosting results. The warranty covers one year on the entire appliance and five years on the magnetron tube. Check out this model if you want a family-sized microwave!
Click here to read over 70 real customer reviews of this product!
5. Samsung MC12J8035CT - 1.2 cu ft, 1,650W, Convection - $499
Looking for something truly unique in the world of countertop microwaves? The Samsung MC12J8035CT might be just what you desire! Available in black only at $499, this convection microwave model has a drop-down door and is styled like a miniature oven. Power Convection technology allows you to cook foods up to 30% faster and get a crispy exterior, and the PowerGrill Duo feature delivers a ton of power to brown and crisp your food. That's not all - Slim Fry technology behaves like an air fryer to give you crispy fried foods in minutes!
This model comes with a ceramic plate and raised round wire rack that's ideal for pizza and other items you want to be crispy. The ceramic enamel interior is easy to clean - and thank goodness for that, when you have so many extra cooking options! A trim kit is available if you want to install this microwave into a wall or cabinet space for a stylish built-in look. This Samsung model is definitely one of the best countertop microwaves with tons of great features! You can also check out the best convection microwave ovens of the year in our article if you decide that convection is a must-have option for you.
Click here to read over 40 real customer reviews of this product!
6. LG LMC0975ST - 0.9 cu ft, 1,000W - $159
The LG LMC0975ST is a slim 0.9 cubic foot capacity microwave with a sleek look. The EasyClean interior with anti-bacterial coating makes it easy to wipe down the interior while resisting stains and buildup. One thoughtful feature is the hexagonal stabilizer ring for the turntable: this provides 6 wheels for the 11.5" turntable to rest on instead of 3, so microwaving tall or heavy containers doesn't have to be a balancing act.
This NeoChef microwave features a Smart Inverter for faster, more even heating and defrosting while using less power. Want to learn more? Check out our article on inverter microwaves! Sensor cooking and reheat options give you flexibility to help avoid cold spots or dried out items. The LED interior light makes it easy to monitor what's inside while it cooks. If you need a small microwave for an apartment or a kitchen with limited counter space, this model is a great option! One other feature that customers like is the completion tone, which is musical rather than an aggressive beep!
Click here to read over 395 real customer reviews of this product!
7. Sharp SMC1132CS - 1.1 cu ft, 1,000W - $120
If you need a mid-sized microwave, the Sharp SMC1132CS might before you, with 1.1 cubic feet of capacity and an 11.2" glass turntable. Sharp, also known for their microwave drawers, partnered with Orville Redenbacher to create certified popcorn presets - a match made in heaven if you love popcorn in a bag!
With Auto Defrost options, one-touch presets, and an add 30 seconds option, this microwave has all of the features you need at a great price of $120 in stainless steel. The warranty covers one year parts and labor, and four years on the magnetron tube. If you're looking for a microwave that's on the smaller side but offers a lot of cooking power, this 1,000W model might be for you!
While a microwave isn't usually as much of an investment as, for example, a refrigerator or a range, it can still be helpful to compare the options out there. For more compact models, check out the Whirlpool option (#3) and LG model (#6). For larger capacities at 2.0 cubic feet or more, check out models #2 and #4, both from GE Appliances.
We hope our reviews of the best countertop microwaves were helpful! Let us know which one you choose. Leave us a comment below - We’d love to hear from you!
Editor's Note: This blog was originally written in January of 2019 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy as of the publication date noted above.