Best Microwave of 2024 – CNET


Chances are, you’ll start your microwave hunt by thinking about what size is right for you. A 2.2-cubic-foot, 1,250-watt microwave isn’t necessarily the best option for everyone. 


If you’re in a tight space or have restrictions on wattage (my college dorm capped us off at a measly 900 watts), then you’ll do best to look for compact models under 1,000 watts. You’ll also want to consider whether you want to look at over-the-range microwaves, countertop microwaves or inverter microwaves.

Setting and features

Once you’ve settled on a size and power, consider which functions mean the most to you. If you never eat popcorn but eat a lot of leftover pizza, make sure the model you choose has the single-slice option. Microwaves come with dozens of features, power settings and preset cooking programs but, except for a few such as defrost or warm, you might not find yourself using them all that much.

galanz retro microwave

Galanz makes affordable microwaves with a touch of retro charm.


Color and design

Narrow it down to the right size, power level and function set, and all that’s left is to pick a color. A few of the models we tested come in multiple finishes, so if your microwave will become part of your kitchen landscape, you should be able to find the right hue. 

One final tip: Don’t toss the manual as soon as you open the box. Your microwave’s owner’s manual is a great resource for exactly how to use each cooking mode. Every manufacturer seems to do things just a bit differently, and there were time guides and helpful explanations in every manual we encountered during testing.