Home > Appliance Learning Center > Buying a Microwave

Buying a Microwave


Countertop microwaves are portable and single, freestanding cooking units intended to be placed anywhere on the countertop. The standard countertop microwave width sizes can be from 21” to 24”, and their capacity varies from 0.6 to 2.2 cubic feet.  The power range of these microwaves goes from 700 to 1400 watts. They often come with lights and exhaust fans to double as vent hoods. 

Over-the-range microwaves are a countertop space-saving unit, intended for over-the-range cabinetry installation. The initial idea for creating these models was to combine a standard microwave performance with a vent hood feature. These microwaves are approximately 17” tall and their standard depth goes from 15” to 18”. They have the same wattage as countertop microwaves and they are mounted into the cabinetry over the range and provide lighting and ventilation above a cooktop.

Built-in microwaves features and performance mirror countertop microwaves, yet, they were created to provide a more sophisticated look similar to a wall oven. These are produced to be built and installed into your cabinetry with a drop-down door. Sizes of these models are 24”, 27” or 30”. Height typically ranges from 17” to 22”. Depths range from roughly 20” to 25”.

Commercial microwave models are made entirely from stainless steel and can withstand constant usage. Depending on their size and performance, they can be light-duty, medium-duty, or heavy-duty.


The prices of microwaves available on the market vary depending on their features, type, and brand. For countertop microwaves, they go from $170 to $900. For over-the-range microwaves $200 to $1600. Built-in microwaves prices go from $450 to $2000.


Microwaves are not a robust appliance in general, but it's advised to take their measurements before the purchase is made. This is especially needed in the case of purchasing a built-in or over-the-range microwave. So make sure to check their height, width, and depth, as well as to ensure a close plug to a power source.


There are some features, crucial for consideration to secure enough convenience during the usage of a microwave. First, the turntables that rotate automatically to have your food cooked evenly. These can also be easily removed for quick cleaning. Sensor cooking since ovens with sensors will shut the microwave off when the food is done by calculating how much steam the food is emitting. This will prevent under or over-cooked meals. Door lock which can be activated by the keypad to prevent children from opening the oven and touching the cookware that can get super-hot. Besides these, some other features should also be considered such as broil, convection oven, delay bake, proof mode, speed oven, ADA compliant, as well as smart features of more high-end models like WiFi connectivity, dash replenishment, Google Home, and Amazon Alexa, app compatible and more.