The Best Microwave in Canada in 2021

During hectic days, days when all you can spare for lunch is a few precious minutes, those days become a little easier with help of one smart appliance, a microwave. However, if a microwave does not perform quickly enough if you wait for that plate of pasta impatiently, it is no longer a helpful appliance but one that only takes extra space at your countertop. Since microwave was invented in 1946, the sole purpose was to provide efficiency and convenience. Since then, a kitchen without that appliance is an exception rather than a rule.         

Microwaves come in two types: countertop and over-the-range. The former one is literary an appliance you keep on your counter and, comparing to the second type, it has the convenience of mobility. An over-the-range microwave is the one that you have to install into the range hood above your cooktop. Today, besides comparing both types in detail, we will also introduce you to a list of the best microwaves on the market. Based on consumers’ reviews and hours of research, we made an in-depth analysis of microwaves that come in different sizes, that suit variety of budgets and lifestyles. 

Read on to find the top-rated microwaves in Canada.

Our top picks

How to choose a microwave

Before purchasing a microwave, just like any other long-term use appliance for your kitchen, there are a few factors to consider.   

  • Capacity: The capacity of a microwave describes inner space and determines what you can fit inside. A microwave that can unfreeze a whole chicken will differ from the one that can fit only a bowl of soup. If you are not planning on including a microwave into your cooking process and particularly need it to warm up your lunch, then a bigger capacity would be of no use.   
  • Power settings: Analyzing your cooking routine can help to identify what power setting to look for in a microwave. If you plan to use your microwave for a variety of purposes, then look for customizable power settings. However, if all you need is to reheat coffee, pop a bag of popcorn, then a microwave with minimum adjustability, which is also more affordable, should fit into your lifestyle well enough.  
  • Size/Design: A microwave is not an appliance you can put back into a pantry and take out every single time you need it. Even the smallest countertop model takes some space, and it only makes sense to keep it in the kitchen. More than that, microwaves need extra space for clearance; otherwise, they could get overheated and damaged. With that in mind, consider where the microwave will stand (leave at least three inches of space on all sides), how big it is, and how it will fit into the overall kitchen design.   
  • Wattage: Wattage in a microwave defines the maximum power it can go up to. The higher the wattage level goes, the more power a microwave has, thus the faster your food will be heated. Usually, anything above 800 watts is considered high enough to make a microwave work efficiently.    

Why trust us

We are a buying guide that focuses on the best items available to Canadians. Other than that, when we picked the best microwaves, we spent more than 10 hours reviewing, comparing and researchingWe observed many different brands, explored other buying guides’ reports and chose only items that had at least four Amazon stars.  

Best countertop microwave

Panasonic NNST676S Genius mid-size microwave oven

While this is a brand to trust, this particular mid-size microwave has inverted technology that ensures delicious results and efficient cooking that means no more uneven heating, cold middle and crusted edges. One satisfied customer stated that his family has been using Panasonic genius microwaves since the mid-80s and have never had a problem with any of them.  

As to other features, this Panasonic Genius model has an inverter turbo defrost that allows you to thaw frozen berries or chicken in no time. Genius sensor cooking is a built-in feature that adjusts heating levels to different food types. 14 auto-cook programs provide you with a variety of meals you can cook in this microwave like oatmeal, omelet, quinoa, some soups and pasta, frozen pizza and others.  

The Genius oven has the highest wattage of 1200, which saves time and energy for cooking. The brand promises 40% faster performance.   

Pros
  • Genius sensor cooking.
  • Turbo defrost function.
  • Powerful 1200 wattage.
  • Stylish appearance.
  • 14 auto-cook programs.
Cons
  • Some consumers found it louder than expected.  

Best quiet microwave

Toshiba EM131A5C-BS microwave oven with smart sensor

This Toshiba microwave is a powerful model of 1100 watts that can be used not only to warm up pizza but to help you through the cooking process. It has two defrost settings: custom and one-pound auto defrost. If you are just like me and keep forgetting to take chicken breasts out of a freezer in the morning, then those features can save many dinners for you. Other than that, the microwave comes in a very convenient size for an apartment or office kitchens (20.5 x 17.1 x 12.8 inches).   

This microwave is another smart appliance that has built-in detectors that adjust the time and power of cooking to different types of food. It also provides even heating and prompt defrosting.  

Besides convenience and efficiency, this particular model is one of the quietest microwaves. As one satisfied customer said, it is magical for making that late-night snack without waking the whole house up. A couple of times, they have even forgotten about what was microwaving because it is fairly quiet, and in a busy kitchen, you can’t hear it. 

Pros
  • Energy-saving mode.
  • Smart built-in sensors.
  • Powerful 1100 wattage.
  • Convenient size.
  • Quiet operation.
Cons
  • Some customers found the door closing sound too loud.  

Best small microwave

Panasonic NNSD382S compact 0.8 cft. 950W microwave oven with inverter technology

Another Panasonic model on our list is a compact, stylish appliance, an ideal option for smaller kitchens that do not have a lot of available countertop space. Just like the Genius model presented in this buying guide, this microwave oven has features that ensure your food will be cooked and heated evenly without leaving cold spots and dried edges. It has nine cooking settings, and you can make such dishes as oatmeal, frozen pizza, breakfast sausage, even pasta, etc.   

The inside of the oven with an 11” turntable, despite its compact size, feels larger than expected.   

Pros
  • Inverted technology that provides even cooking/heating.
  • Ideal for small kitchens.
  • Turbo defrost.
  • 9 auto-cook programs.
Cons
  • Some customers say that the touch screen shows fingerprints easily.

Best microwave under $150

COMFEE’ EM720CPL-PMB countertop microwave oven

Yes, this is another compact microwave on our list. However, this Comfee countertop oven also comes at a very attractive price. The microwave has 11 power settings that allow you to cook frozen pizza, vegetables, popcorn, defrost meat and reheat your food in a matter of minutes.   

Besides that, this Comfee model has an energy-saving eco mode that minimizes standby power by 50%. It is a stylish-looking microwave that is ideal for small kitchens or office break rooms.   

Pros
  • Compact size.
  • 11 auto-cook programs.
  • Defrost function.
  • Affordable.
Cons
  • It is only 700 watts so food takes longer to cook/heat.

Best over-the-range microwave

Panasonic NNGT69KS Genius microwave and broil oven

The Panasonic NNGT69KS also our pick for the best microwave with broil. 

This Panasonic over-the-range microwave truly is a genius. It has a built-in sensor that detects different food types and adjusts the heating level to cook it evenly. Besides standard features of defrosting and heating your lunch, it has 22 smart auto-cook programs. You can experiment with oatmeal, omelet, breakfast sausages, pizzas, plates of pasta and many other meals. If you are into baking, this smart microwave can help with softening cream cheese and melting butter without overheating it.

The oven is 1100 watts in power which means food can be cooked faster and heated up in seconds. While all those listed features are great to have, this microwave also comes with a broil setting that provides a crispy brown finish to fish and chicken.

Pros
  • 22 auto-cook programs.
  • Broil feature.
  • Powerful 1100 wattage.
  • Turbo defrost.
  • Elegant design.
Cons
  • You cannot set your own defrost time, have to set it by weight.
  • Some customers did not find time setting convenient (you can add extra time, but cannot set your own.)

Best convection microwave

Breville BOV900BSS The Smart Oven air convection oven

Breville is a trusted brand regardless if you are purchasing an espresso machine or a convection oven. This smart air oven might not be as quick as a standard microwave, yet it offers attractive features. At first, it is an ideal appliance that can substitute both, an oven and a microwave. It can stand on your countertop and serve many purposes. This convection oven can fit and broil a whole chicken, air fry and dehydrate, as well as roast potatoes, fit and bake a 12-cup muffin tray and at simplest function, it can warm up your food.   

Secondly, it is a powerful appliance. With 1800 wattage, it reduces cooking time to 30%, and convention function ensures even and fast baking and air frying.   

Pros
  • 13 preset functions.
  • Convention technology.
  • Convenient size.
Cons
  • Some customers had issues with the door not closing as tightly as expected.

Best stylish microwave

Nostalgia RMO4AQ Retro 800-watt countertop microwave oven

If you are into mid-century style home décor, then this Nostalgia microwave is a must-have. This compact size retro style microwave is perfect for a smaller kitchen, RV, office break room or basement home bar. It adds a certain nostalgia fleur to any room, and with 800 watts of power, it can heat pizza and pop popcorn. Even though the size of the countertop oven is compact, the inside can easily fit a standard size plate.   

One satisfied customer noted that they love the knob function to select the time, so there aren’t a million “beeps” when you use a keypad-style microwave. 

Pros
  • Appealing design.
  • Compact size.
  • Child safety lockout mode.
Cons
  • Can take a longer time to cook because of lower wattage.

How we picked the top microwaves

We based our decision on a few main factors: customer reviews, Amazon star rating (at least four stars) and other buying guides. We considered different kitchen sizes, budgets and design preferences so you could find the perfect microwave for your space and cooking needs. 

Frequent microwave questions

How does a microwave work?  

A microwave oven works with the use of microwaves that cause water molecules in the food to vibrate, which produces heat that cooks food. Through that process, microwaves are reflected inside of the oven and absorbed by food.   

How to clean a microwave?  

You can always wipe out some splashes with a wet cloth for a quick clean-up. However, one of the most efficient ways to clean your microwave is to put a bowl with water and one tablespoon of white vinegar and heat it for five minutes inside the oven. After dried-out splashes loosen, you can easily wipe everything off. 

Before you clean your microwave, check the manufacturer’s instructions, since not every appliance is vinegar-resistant.

What’s the average microwave price in Canada?  

Small countertop microwaves can be purchased for $100 to $200 on average, depends on features and brand. Over-the-range microwaves come with prices starting from $300 to $500 on average.  

Where to buy a microwave in Canada?   

You can buy any model featured in this guide on Amazon Canada. As for other retailers, you can find microwaves at Walmart, Canadian Tire and London Drugs.  

What is an average size microwave?  

Although there are some compact miniature models, an average microwave comes in width between 29 to 30 inches, height 16 to 18 inches, and depth between 15 to 16 inches.   

Can I microwave bacon?   

Surely you can. Place bacon strips on a plate previously covered with a paper towel, then cover the bacon with another piece of paper towel and microwave for four to six minutes. Note: most paper towel brands are microwave safe, however, it’s worth it checking if the paper towel you use at home can be used in the microwave before you try it.

When was the microwave invented?   

A microwave was invented in 1946 by American engineer Percy Spencer.   

What is an inverter microwave?  

An inverted technology in a microwave provides even heating and cooking that preserves the texture and flavour of food, prevents crusted edges and cold spots.   

Read more

About the author

Maria Kossman

Maria Kossman is an essayist, and content specialist at Rant-it.ca. Her writing appeared in a variety of fashion magazines. When she is not focused on reviewing and writing, she spends time exploring coffee shops, English literature and antique malls.
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