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The 3 Best Microwaves Under $100

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For quick reheating or cooking, a microwave is an essential kitchen appliance. The best microwave under $100 provides at least 700 to 1,100 watts of power and is the right size for your space. Keep in mind that a budget-friendly pick in this price range is going to be a countertop microwave, which is conveniently portable and simple to install, but won't free up counter space or provide ventilation like pricier over-the-range models can.

Size

Both the size of your household and your available space will help you determine how big of a microwave you need. Always make sure to measure your available kitchen real estate to ensure a microwave's dimensions will work for your space. Then consider the unit's interior capacity. A compact to mid-size microwave oven (0.5 to 1.3 cubic feet) should serve one or two people, while a family of four or more would likely need a larger microwave oven (about 1.4 to 2 cubic feet).

Watts

It’s also important to note that a microwave with higher wattage can cook food faster to save even more time. Microwave wattage ranges from about 600 to 1,200 watts, but look for ones with at least 700 watts to ensure your food is cooked evenly. Larger and higher-wattage microwaves tend to be more expensive.

Features

Microwaves can come with a lot of features, but if you’re mostly reheating food and making popcorn, you might be satisfied with a simpler appliance that lacks bells and whistles. Up to 10 power levels are common, and some microwaves will even have convenient buttons with automatic presets for popular options like popcorn, pizza, or quickly adding 30 seconds of cooking time.

With all this in mind, below are the best affordable microwave ovens, and there's one for every kind of kitchen space. Each pick is highly rated on Amazon with thousands of reviews.

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

1
A Powerful Mid-Size Microwave Oven
  • Dimensions: 20.2 x 12.03 x 16.54 inches

This mid-size microwave oven is the "best microwave I have ever used and owned" according to one reviewer, and with a capacity of 1.1 cubic feet and large turntable it's ready to heat up anything.

This highly rated microwave has 1,000 watts and six automatic cooking programs, including for popcorn and pizza. The LED display makes it easy to read, and you'll love the convenient kitchen timer and one-touch button for adding 30 seconds. This pick has 10 power levels, six automatic cooking presets, and can defrost frozen food by weight or time, plus it has a child lock feature for safety. Choose from stainless steel, sleek black, or other colors to suit your kitchen's decor.

A helpful review: “Best microwave ever. Large, easy to use and best yet — easy to clean. I love the one touch approach and simplicity.”

2
A Compact Microwave That's Alexa Enabled
  • Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.1 x 14.1 inches

The best compact microwave may be small in its footprint, but it comes with a lot of features to love including one most microwaves don't have: voice control.

With an Echo Dot, (purchase one separately or bundled with the microwave), you can use Alexa to stop the microwave, add time, or figure out how long to cook an item by speaking to it.

This small microwave has a capacity of 0.7 cubic feet so won't be capable of heating up the same amount of food at one time as the other picks on this list. But it's a "smart" microwave — and a highly rated one with nearly 7,000 reviews. Just keep in mind its 700 wattage may take a little longer to cook or reheat than more powerful microwaves. It doesn't have as many presets as some other picks, but it has some basic ones including popcorn, weight or time defrost, 10 power levels, plus a kitchen timer and a quick-add for 30 seconds.

A helpful review: “Until now, I had never used all the various features of a microwave. I don't think I'll ever be able to go back to a regular microwave. I simply tell Alexa how many pounds and defrost, the clock Auto sets, I've been playing with the power levels because it's so easy to say power 5, or power 10, Etc. If my hands are full I can stop the microwave early without touching it. If I want to cook something a little more then the time I originally set, all I have to do is ask Alexa to add more time ... This is a product you didn't even know you needed, but you do.”

3
A Countertop Microwave With A Small Footprint But A Roomy Interior
  • Dimensions: 19.1 x 11.5 x 14.8 inches

While staying under $100, you can get one of the best countertop microwaves with a larger internal capacity while maintaining a compact size (this one straddles between compact and mid-size).

With 900 watts and 10 power levels, this 0.9-cubic feet microwave's features include an LED display, a kitchen timer, six automatic programs including for pizza, popcorn, and potato, one-touch start, and defrosting by weight or time. Reviewers with multiple-person households commented they really appreciate the mute option on this microwave. And if you have young kids in your home, there's a safety lock feature.

A helpful review: “If you are looking for a small but powerful microwave that is nearly unbeatable in price then look no further. Far better than any other microwave I have had at this price point. LED is brighter than most conventional lights. Pre-programmed buttons work quite well.”

4
Worth The Splurge: A Microwave Oven For A Larger Household
  • Dimensions: 20.5 x 12.8 x 15.9 inches

If you have wiggle room in your budget, this microwave oven for a family is the largest one on my list and has a very convenient mute option to prevent waking up others. It's also a highly rated pick with more than 3,000 reviews, and shoppers repeatedly commented they love how quietly this microwave works.

A capacity of 1.2 cubic feet and wattage of 1,100 watts means you can heat more food up more quickly and evenly. Presets include one-touch buttons for popcorn, rice, and adding 30 seconds to the clock. The digital display is easy to read and this microwave takes the guesswork out of reheating food with an automatic sensor. To defrost frozen food, choose a custom option or an automatic one-pound defrost. You can also select "eco mode" to reduce power consumed in standby mode by 50 percent.

A helpful review: “This microwave is a powerhouse with a boost because of the price!!! What a value. It is large enough but not oversized. [Cooks] well and even. Easy to use and clean.”

5
Nice To Have: A Reusable Popcorn Popper

A popcorn button is a basic feature of any microwave, and a microwave popcorn popper keeps the process convenient while losing the pre-packaged bags. This one is a bit of a cult favorite with over 9,000 reviews.

The popper is made of food-grade silicone and fits even into compact microwaves (including my smallest pick on this list). For storage, it collapses into a flat circle that takes up minimal room. The heat-resistant handles make it easy to move hot popcorn out of the microwave, and the bowl can pop up to 15 cups of popcorn in less than four minutes.

A helpful review: "No cooking oil needed. Just fill to the line with popcorn seeds, set the lid in, and pop until done! I pour the popped corn into another bowl for seasoning and serving, which makes the popping bowl easier to clean. [...] I like it even more than what I'd get at the movie theater. Once you purchase this bowl and your seasonings and corn seeds, this is a very economical way to go. I love this product.”