How to Buy a Microwave Oven

Microwave ovens have been a staple of modern kitchens for years. The speeds at which they cook food coupled with their compact size make them a convenient addition to the home. Today the market is flooded with microwave ovens of all shapes, sizes and powers. Use these steps for buying a microwave.


  1. Image titled Buy a Microwave Oven Step 1
    Decide what type of microwave oven you want.
    • Countertop models are the most conventional kind of microwave. They range in size from 18 inches wide and 11 inches high (45.7 cm wide and 27.9 cm high) to 24 inches wide and 14 inches high (61 cm wide to 35.6 cm high). Countertop microwaves are the least expensive, but they take up the most counter space. They are also the most portable.
    • Built-in models are placed inside cabinets or worked into the construction of counters. In many cases, built-in microwaves come with an oven and are placed over the stove range. The sizes of built-in models are comparable to that of countertop microwaves, but they are more costly. In the case of over-the-stove designs, the microwaves may have a vent on the bottom to act as a stove hood and ventilation system.
    • Convection models are more advanced than traditional microwaves in that they are faster and able to bake and roast foods. They are much more expensive than the other two types.
  2. Image titled Buy a Microwave Oven Step 2
    Choose the size you want.
    • In addition to the width and height of the microwave, you will need to decide on the capacity of the appliance. Microwaves that take up a lot of space do not necessarily have the most inside cubic space. If you are looking for a microwave that can fit certain sized plates or containers, make sure to examine the cubic space of the microwave.
  3. Image titled Buy a Microwave Oven Step 3
    Consider wattage. A higher wattage will cook foods faster. Most microwaves have power that falls between 600 to 1200 watts. Recipes written for the microwave usually specify power of at least 800 watts so the foods cook evenly.
  4. Image titled Buy a Microwave Oven Step 4
    Settle on what features are important to you.
    • Auto settings allow you to push a single button to cook commonly microwaved items such as popcorn or potatoes. Defrost options allow you to enter the type of food and its weight and it will calculate how long and at what power level to run.
    • The power rating, or wattage, of the microwave determines how much energy the device uses. Larger oven tend to have more wattage than smaller ovens.
    • The inside of the microwave will either have a turntable-like plate or a glass tray for placing your food onto. Rotating is an important part of microwave cooking, but the type of rotation varies from model to model. There are some models that come with removable cooking racks for browning foods.
    • The noisiness of microwaves can be determined by examining the "sones" rating. If the oven has a low sones rating, it is quieter.
  5. Image titled Buy a Microwave Oven Step 5
    Visit a store that sells kitchen appliances.
    • Open the microwaves and get a feel for the different designs. If you want to see how one works, ask a salesperson to help you.


  • Keep your receipt in case the microwave doesn't fit your space or doesn't work.
  • Most microwaves come with a manufacturer's warranty, but you might be able to purchase an additional warranty from the store.
  • Look for coupons in newspapers prior to purchasing a microwave oven. They often go on sale.

Article Info

Categories: Microwave Ovens