A good Microwave can make a big difference to a kitchen’s style and functionality, but if you can’t afford a higher-end Microwave, then are there models still worth looking at in the under $100 category?
In this post, I’ll take you through some of my favourites and show you 5 Microwaves that have functionality, reliability and most importantly look good.
It’s not easy to find a cheap microwave suited for your eating habits and kitchen type. If you are searching for the best microwave, we think you have come to the right place! Few other websites provide straightforward answers and reviews for the top microwave ovens.
After going through our research, we have come up with a list of the ‘Best Value Microwaves’ of 2018′. These Microwave models have been rated by owners as better than the rest.
The selection criteria are stringent, and we update the Top 5 list when better Microwaves hit the market.
Best Budget Microwaves Under $100 of 2020
Toshiba’s well-constructed microwave takes the number one position on our list of low priced models. Due to its mid-size case, the Toshiba ML-EM34P fits into any kitchen bench-top with ease. Manufactured in China to keep costs low but designed by Sears gives this oven a useful design with a low price. It’s powerful enough to defrost large meals with its 900 Watt motor, although if you’re looking an oven to defrost quickly, look at our Panasonic recommendation.
One of the best microwave ovens for a low price around the $80 range. We’ve rated this oven as the best value microwave on the market.
Do you need a really small microwave which still packs the power of a larger model? Then the Danby Counter-top Microwave is a perfect choice. Although the Danby has a 700 Watt cooker which contains enough punch to heat meals quickly so that you won’t be waiting very long.
The stainless steel model includes a door handle, rather than a button as found on the coloured versions. The glass turntable is very easy to clean, and Microwave programming is very simple to use, so you don’t need to read complicated instructions.
Our selection for the best small microwave oven on the market.
Panasonic’s well-constructed NN-SN651B mid-range inverter is a superb budget-priced microwaved, although usually rated just over the $100 mark. Takes the number one position on our list. Due to its mid-size, the microwave fits into any kitchen with ease but is also powerful enough to defrost large meals quickly with its 1200 Watt motor which is the largest in the lower price ranges.
One of the best microwave ovens and you can’t beat the price. Our selection for the best value microwave currently available.
This turn knob Microwave from Westinghouse is perfect for small countertops or elderly persons with vision impairment. As the microwave is entirely knob controlled, there’s no digital display which can be difficult for some folk to read. The 600 Watt cooker makes this model one of the smallest on the market and handles smaller meals well. If you want no-frills, no-fuss microwave this is our pick.
Sunbeam’s SGS90701B-B is a fantastic small microwave which includes some handy features. Design additions like programmed buttons for standard microwave dishes such as vegetables, popcorn, and soup add to the already impressive usability. Another nice feature is the microwave continues beeping as a reminder that your food is ready.
This unit would make an excellent gift for someone who has a small kitchen. It is wonderful!
Inexpensive Microwave Buying Guide
The inexpensive microwave market is dominated by companies like Panasonic, Sanyo, Sharp, and Danby. What differs in a cheap microwave from their expensive counterparts is a combination of size, power, design, and an array of functions.
The cheapest microwave ovens are typically smaller, (internal capacity) and just right for dorm rooms and kitchens designed for smaller families.
Prices start to increase as the oven size becomes more substantial, although we found good cheap microwave ovens that qualify as mid-size (1 to 1.5 cubic feet of interior space). Size is associated with power, and the larger the microwave capacity, the more power generated by the cooker. Higher wattage means higher heat and faster cooking. Compact microwaves typically run on 600 to 800 watts compared to mid-size and large ovens with up to 1,650 watts of power.
Microwaves aren’t particularly small appliances, and even a compact microwave takes up space on a kitchen counter. The smallest microwave oven models are about 18 inches wide with the more substantial units about 27 inches across. Unfortunately for budget-conscious buyers, the space-saving oven alternatives like built-in models that also serve as range hoods, models that fit under cabinets, and models built into drawers or cabinets.
The cheapest microwave ovens feature a variety of functions that simplify food-prep. Features you’ll require on a budget microwave oven include automatic or quick-touch settings for foods like popcorn; a defrost setting for heating left-overs, pre-programmed power levels, and a rotating turntable.
A few of the best cheap microwaves also incorporate sensors that account for the humidity inside the oven. A time-extender button is a handy convenience for times when your food requires a little more time in the oven. As with most appliances, the expensive microwaves also offer more functions for the buyer.
After checking prices and specs and sifting through scores of reviews, we found the five cheap microwave ovens that meet the critical criteria for features and performance, i.e.: cooking or heating, simple to use, and durability.
Heading the list is the Kenmore 73092, Panasonic NN-SN651B (usually just above $100 although available during sales for sub-$100). Sitting alongside is the Danby DMW111K. Our runner-up selection is the Frigidaire FFCM1134L.
For more information about compact countertop ovens, see our best small microwave buying guide.