What every best Microwaves has:
- A handy selection of presets.
- Cooking sensors.
- A turntable on/off button.
The ConsumerReports.org website has ratings for more than 160 countertop and over-the-range microwave ovens. Microwaves are rated on evenness and speed of heating, noise, ease of use and usable capacity. Each gets a score of up to 100, and are ranked accordingly. A few have been recently discontinued.
TheSweethome.com has cut back on their microwave testing this year, after discovering that microwave technology isn't really changing much, and that most microwaves have basically identical hardware. They chose to stick with just two brands, GE and Panasonic, testing new models within those lines. Still, Tim Heffernan and Jessie Kissinger took past research and testing into account, and that information is still available and timely, to make their picks.
After testing nine microwave ovens at the Good Housekeeping Institute's Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab, editors round up these eight top choices (they don't explain the drop-off of the ninth). Microwaves were tested for melting cheese, "baking" potatoes, reheating and defrosting. Sensors were also tested as was ease of use across a variety of criteria. Ease of cleaning was also considered.
HomeDepot.com carries hundreds of microwaves and many of them get hundreds -- or thousands -- of reviews. Countertop, over-the-range and built in models are well-represented. Some of the reviews here are drawn from manufacturers' websites, but many other are unique to HomeDepot.com. In addition to a 5-star rating system, owners can indicate if they would recommend the product.
Like at HomeDepot.com, many of the microwave reviews at Lowes.com are drawn from manufacturer websites, so there are duplicate reviews between the two sites. However, there are unique reviews here as well, and Lowes.com carries a large number of microwaves from a variety of manufacturers. Also like HomeDepot.com, reviewers rate on a 5-star system and can recommend the product, or not.
BestBuy.com may be thought of more as an electronics destination, but they carry hundreds of microwaves in every style and at every price range. Also, these reviews are unique to Best Buy, and many of the purchases are verified through the store's buyer's reward program. As with Lowes.com and HomeDepot.com, these reviews are an excellent way to assess a microwaves real world performance.
Amazon.com carries hundreds of microwaves, but they tend to get worse reviews than at dedicated appliance sites. However, many microwaves come from third party sellers, and we see a lot of low ratings due to shipping and packaging complaints, rather than actual use or performance of the microwave. Some scores are also dragged down by reviews of different microwaves from the same maker -- including some not purchased at Amazon.com.
Reviewed.com used to be one of our go-to sources for great microwave reviews, and the ones they have on site are still helpful. However, no new models have been reviewed for more than a year, and many of the models reviewed in the past are now discontinued, including their two highest-rated microwaves.
As with Reviewed.com, this used to be an extremely valuable resource for microwave reviews, but none have been posted in quite a while. Reviews of models that are not discontinued still have value, but that number is shrinking.
Although this is one of the most comprehensive single microwave reviews we found, it's also a review for only one microwave, making it less useful, overall, than even briefer roundups at other sites.
In spite of what the title of this article implies, there are no "ratings or reviews" of specific drawer microwaves here, just a mention of a few common brands. However, the author says that since all drawer microwaves are made by Sharp, they all should perform similarly, leaving the decision to aesthetics (what matches your appliances) and value, including any available rebates.