Best Cheap Microwave Ovens
Our buying guide recommends the best cheap microwave ovens, including midsize and compact models costing less than $100.
For the price, the Westinghouse WMC11100 (starting at $78), delivers value. Reviews on sites such as BestBuy.com say it's roomy enough to hold full-size dishes and heats and defrosts with plenty of oomph. The 1,000 watts powering this midsize countertop microwave oven are sufficient for warming up frozen dinners in the allotted time, according to one review on Amazon, despite package recommendations to use at least 1,100 watts. Users like the no-frills simplicity that doesn't demand a whole lot of thinking, the ability to change preprogrammed times or heat multiple cups of coffee or tea, and a size that fits most anywhere. The Westinghouse WMC11100 garners a solid 4 or 5 stars on Amazon, Walmart.com, and BestBuy.com.
Considering the price, frugal consumers who expect a microwave oven to do more than just reheat food are surprised at the features and performance of the Frigidaire FFCM1134L (starting at $93; available on Amazon). Boasting 4.2 stars out of 5 from over 1,200 reviewers at AJ Madison, this midsize countertop model scores points for a turntable that can accommodate a normal-size plate or baking dish, along with express-time and 30-second buttons. The auto defrost does the job without any hiccups, note reviews on Amazon, and food generally heats or cooks as prescribed. That goes for thick slabs of bacon as well as kernels of corn. Some users also say the quality and performance exceed that of other models they have owned, particularly in terms of speed and even results.
Magic Chef HMD1110 Review
Users get good performance for a very modest price with the Magic Chef HMD1110 (starting at $70). Several reviewers report buying this countertop microwave oven to replace a costlier model that broke down after a short time and say they won't feel ripped off even if this one doesn't last long. Other qualities also draw consumers to the Magic Chef HMD1110. It includes all the convenience features people want and need and it's sized right for singles or small families, users say. One reviewer notes on Amazon that it accommodates a 13-by-9-inch baking pan, albeit one without handles. Reviews on Home Depot's website, where the Magic Chef HMD1110 has collected an average of 4.1 stars out of 5 from more than 450 reviews, say it heats well, pops popcorn adequately, cooks evenly, and is a breeze to operate. One consumer who initially purchased the appliance to heat coffee now uses it for many different foods, and others comment appreciatively that the machine beeps a mere three times at the end of a cycle rather than droning on.
This may not be an appliance consumers love, but reviewers say the Danby DMW111K (starting at $70; available on Amazon) is easy to use, features all the right functions, boasts a small footprint, is easy to clean, and does its job for a low price. Consumers posting reviews on Walmart.com generally express pleasant surprise at the value. They say this midsize countertop model is well constructed and gets hot enough to cook foods quickly. It earns a solid 4 stars out of 5 from over 150 reviewers.
Sunbeam SGB8901 Review
Available at Target
The Sunbeam SGB8901 (starting at $50; available on Amazon) is best suited for users with a small kitchen and/or no need for special features. It's fine for reheating leftovers and warming up frozen dinners, but reviewers generally considered this a "starter" microwave oven. They say it's very user-friendly. One consumer tells of buying a unit at a thrift store and figuring out how to use it without a manual. The Sunbeam SGB8901 garners lukewarm support in reviews on Target.com and Amazon, where the pro faction says it's plenty hot, leaves no cold spots, and is priced right. Others note it fits where space is limited and heats as well as a more powerful appliance.