The Best Over-The-Range Microwaves To Buy In 2023

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When engineer Percy Spencer discovered the microwave oven in 1945, he probably wasn't intending to revolutionize home cooking as we know it (via Business Insider). Today, over 90% of American homes have this trusty appliance, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and it's easy to see why. Whether it's melting a stick of butter, preparing popcorn, or reviving last night's dinner for another meal, all it takes is the push of a button and a few minutes of your time to achieve the heat you need. Over-the-range microwaves are a particular model that has caught on due to their space-optimizing design and sleek appearance. Per the name, they're installed in the area above the stovetop, which leaves abundant room on the counter for the prep work that takes place down below. 

That being said, not all over-the-range microwaves are built the same, nor do they all provide the kind of features you might want. Size is likely the most important factor in your decision since the appliance needs to fit when mounted into the wall. Keeping all these considerations in mind can be tricky when choosing an over-the-range microwave, but we're here to help. We've found devices that are capable of steaming, simmering, or nuking whatever strikes your fancy across all price points, so you can pick from the latest and greatest models on the market today. 

How we chose these over-the-range microwaves

Embarking on our search for the best over-the-range microwaves to buy in 2023 required scouring manufacturer's websites for product info, in addition to reviews of the products themselves. We considered the average consumer's needs for a microwave and the aspects they might seek in the appliance, including cost, size, and specific features offered by a model. Over-the-range microwaves seem pretty similar overall, but manufacturers have unveiled some nifty innovations over the years that really do set them apart, adding another layer to our search. 

While retailers provided helpful information in terms of the devices' functions, we ultimately staked our choices on customer experience with the products. It's easy to take promotional materials at face value, but actually understanding how the device worked long-term provided a better impression of its quality as a whole. Brands with name recognition were found to have overwhelmingly positive testimony from customers, but we found it crucial to find lesser-known labels too. All of these considerations allowed us to determine which appliances performed at the top level, without unfairly writing off legitimately exceptional products. 

Best all-around over-the-range microwave

An all-around over-the-range microwave should include useful features that reliably lead to satisfyingly hot food. Above all, it shouldn't cost an arm and a leg to deliver on the main functions expected from it. Out of all the brands we looked at, we found that General Electric (GE) made the best overall machine. Its over-the-range model features a variety of presets for heating up your favorite foods, complete with a defrost option and dual speed venting system for filtering out fumes. With a 1.6 cubic feet capacity, it's a good size for most households and roomy enough for dinner plates without being bulky or cumbersome to use. 

GE is a trusted brand in the realm of kitchen appliances, and this over-the-range microwave is just another one of its successes. Gadget Review gave it high marks for its reliable performance, reasonable value, and stylishly simple design. It might not be a showstopper or the most technologically advanced microwave you can currently buy, but it's a solid option that does what it's supposed to. No-frills, minimalistic, convenient — what's not to love? At around $300 give or take, it may not be the cheapest option available but you're guaranteed an excellent product in return.

Purchase the GE Over-the-Range Microwave from Best Buy starting at $269.99. 

Best convection over-the-range microwave

Microwaves aren't just meant for blasting lukewarm coffee on high. These days, there are appliances capable of searing pork chops, roasting veggies, and browning the tops of cheesy casseroles much like a standard kitchen oven. If you're looking for a multi-purpose microwave that does more than just reheat your meals, you can't go wrong with this model from LG which has a 4-star average from Home Depot customers

Within one appliance, there are two cooking modes for switching between the microwave and oven — 950 and 1,650 watts, respectively — as well as ten cooking presets, auto-defrost, and a charcoal filter for venting exhaust. On top of all that, there are sensor controls that monitor when food has been adequately heated, so you don't need to punch in the time. It's basically two kitchen appliances combined into a single superhero gadget, with the added bonus of a one-year warranty guaranteed by the company. 

Out of close to 200 reviews on Home Depot, a solid portion of people were pleased with this over-the-range convection microwave for its attractive features and impressive versatility. One reviewer raved about baking cookies with their grandchild, while another was able to toss out multiple appliances after making this purchase because it covered all the bases. For those wanting the most out of their over-the-range microwave, this one won't disappoint. 

Purchase the LG Electronics 1.7. Cu. Ft. Over-the-Range Convection Microwave from Home Depot starting at $598.

Best affordable over-the-range microwave

Money can be one of the biggest obstacles in buying an over-the-range microwave that works, and more importantly, one that lasts over time. Whirlpool makes an affordable option that performs just as well as its prestigious competitors, but at a fraction of the price. For under $250, this little machine comes with all the necessary components needed for heating and defrosting with a few perks that make it stand out. The appliance measures 1.7 cubic feet, with 1,000-watt power and useful presets for common foods like pizza, chicken nuggets, vegetables, and more. Plus, its stainless steel exterior is smudge-proof, so it'll look nice amid daily handling.

Additionally, this over-the-range microwave boasts touch controls and a dishwasher-safe turntable, features that seem more befitting of expensive models than what's advertised. By the looks of it, you wouldn't expect it to be budget-friendly. Lowe's customers appreciate how functional and convenient it is to use, as well as its quiet fan setting, which is a rarity for cheap kitchen appliances of any kind. All in all, this is a fantastic microwave for buyers tight on cash, and for anyone wanting a good value overall. When the affordable option appears this good, why pay extra? 

Purchase the Whirlpool 1.7 Cu. Ft. Over-the-Range Microwave with Electronic Touch Controls at Best Buy starting at $229.99

Best luxury over-the-range microwave

What a luxury it would be to be able to custom-design your own microwave. Well, that luxury is a reality with the Café 1.7 Cubic-Foot Convection Over-the-Range Microwave Oven. Not only does the appliance come in black, white, and steel base colors, but buyers can also choose from six different hardware finishes: flat black, brushed black, stainless, bronze, copper, and brass.

But if you're thinking the appliance is all looks and no substance, think again. The microwave has a long list of features, including convection cooking, air frying, and steam cooking. A fast cook setting utilizes both convection and microwave technology to cook food in just a fraction of the time of a traditional oven. Meanwhile, the Chef Connect feature syncs the microwave with the range below to automatically open vents, turn on surface lights, and match timers. When cooking is done, simply utilize the appliance's steam mode to easily wipe away any spills.

All of these luxuries, inside and outside, have impressed owners. The Café microwave has earned a 4.4 rating out of more than 850 reviews on the company's website. "We replaced a 10-year-old commercial-grade microwave in our Sandwich Shop and haven't had a single problem," one reviewer wrote. "We use it at least twenty times per day and have even noticed a small decrease in our daily electricity consumption."

You can purchase a Café 1.7 Cubic-Foot Convection Over-the-Range Microwave Oven from Best Buy for $998.99.

Best compact over-the-range microwave

Optimizing space is one of the main advantages of an over-the-range microwave vs. a countertop model. Still, small kitchens might not be equipped to have standard-sized microwaves installed, which can be a big pain for any homeowner. This over-the-range microwave from Frigidaire is tiny at 1.4 cubic feet, but its mighty features propel it to great lengths. Let's start with its surprisingly generous proportions for such a compact appliance: It's 17 inches tall, with a 16-inch interior and a 13.6-inch turntable that's large enough to handle most plates. It also has single-touch buttons, a sensor cook setting, and auto heat settings, including an add-30 seconds button. 

Basically, it can do anything a larger microwave can but in a miniature format that's downright deceptive to witness. Amazon reviewers looking for a compact over-the-range microwave got exactly what they paid for and more, describing it as "beautifully designed" and "sharp-looking." One person appreciated its LED lighting, noting that its brightness made looking inside much easier while heating something up. This is a must for apartment-dwellers or those with basements or RVs where only a tiny appliance will do. 

Purchase the Frigidaire 1.4 Cu. Ft. Over-the-Range Microwave from Amazon starting at $509.

Best large-capacity over-the-range microwave

By contrast, large households may need an over-the-range microwave that's fit for heating up family-sized meals. Standard capacity appliances tend to fall between 1.6 and 1.9 cubic feet, but LG Electronics makes a bigger model that will handle whatever casserole dish comes your way. With a roomy 2.2 cubic feet, this model offers plenty of space for oversized platters typically reserved for the oven. Like most microwaves, it heats at 1,000 watts, but its various features make it stand out. Between a powerful fan, built-in ventilation, and an automated sensory cooking mode, nuking that platter of enchiladas or lasagna becomes easy-peasy. 

Bulky appliances have an annoying habit of being inefficient or stubborn, but LG's streamlined design defies these expectations. Besides its spacious interior, Top Ten Reviews remarks that the microwave's ExtendaVent 2.0 technology stole the show. Not only does it successfully clear out any fumes from the stovetop, but it's practically silent while operating, eliminating the need to endure headache-inducing noise. While more expensive than similar products, LG's model promises consistent performance and provides enough wiggle room for heftier portions of food. For hosting frequent dinner parties and occasions with guests, this little machine will always work wonders. 

Purchase the LG Electronics 2.2 Cu. Ft. Over-the-Range Microwave from Home Depot starting at $498. 

Best air-filtering over-the-range microwave

Anyone who's spent time in a kitchen knows how distracting cooking fumes can get. When selecting an over-the-range microwave for the home, it's important to make sure it has a proper ventilation system that casts out overwhelming odors instead of locking them in. The 1.9 Cubic Foot Over-the-Range Microwave from Samsung clears the air at a powerful 400 cubic feet per minute, and can be installed in one of two ways: as an external vent, which filters exhaust from outside the home or as a recirculating vent, which recycles air back into the room. It also comes with a replaceable charcoal filter that should be switched out every six months. 

Overall, this microwave's vent is effective without being too noisy, which is always a plus for everyday appliances. As a convertible ventilating microwave, consumers are able to make the call as to how the microwave should be installed according to the specific layout of their kitchen or house. A reviewer from Home Depot points out that the vent escapes from the top of the microwave, so unless that's your preference then some alterations might be made. Flexibility is a selling point we can always get behind, especially for an over-the-range microwave that will last years. 

Purchase the Samsung 1.9 Cu. Ft. Over-the-Range Microwave in Fingerprint Resistant Tuscan Stainless Steel from Home Depot starting at $408.

Best versatile over-the-range microwave

One-function kitchen appliances are so last century. Today's home chef expects a lot out of their devices, which is why they'll love Whirlpool's 1.9-cubic-foot over-the-range microwave. Not only does this nifty device work as a traditional microwave, but it can also be used as a steamer, air fryer, and grill.

You can perfectly steam foods like rice and vegetables by simply putting a bowl of water in the microwave. The appliance's Air Fryer Mode, on the other hand, gives foods like french fries and fried chicken their trademark crispy texture. Speaking of texture, you can get the perfect sear on the food of your choice by placing it in the air fry basket and using the Grill Mode. The basket will apply direct heat to your food, just as if it were on a fired-up grill. And we can't forget to mention the microwave doubles as a convection oven for cooking everything from pizza to chocolate chip cookies.

If you think you need even more versatility, Whirlpool has you covered. The microwave also comes equipped with 10 power levels, a Keep Warm setting, and AccuPop Cycle that prevents popcorn from burning. Finally, the microwave's large capacity ensures no meal is too big to cook.

You can purchase your own Whirlpool 1.9-cubic-foot over-the-range microwave from Best Buy for $559.99.