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The purpose of this buying guide is to help you find the best microwave oven for your kitchen.

Here are links to the complete guide:

With the several benefits and convenience it provides among its owners, it undeniably one of the must-haves in in the kitchen. If you are in the process of buying your very own microwave oven, we highly recommend that you go through this “How To Buy A Microwave Oven”. Rest assured, after reading this guide, you will have a clearer picture of the microwave oven which will definitely suit your requirements and needs.

In part 1 and part 2 we briefly discussed the benefits of using a microwave oven and the different types of microwave ovens when it comes to heating and cooking. Here we will talk about the different types of microwave ovens when it comes to aesthetics and how it fits in your kitchen!

Let’s go!

How To Buy A Microwave Oven


This article talks about the different types of microwaves as far as how you can fit them or build them into your kitchen.

1. Countertop Microwave Ovens

Countertop Microwave OvenThis is the type of microwave oven that simply sits on your counter. These are the most popular and usually the cheapest. While not the most attractive, and it also takes up counter space, you will usually find the widest selection here and the most affordable as well. The simply plug into your normal power outlet, no installation required. Downside is that these work best with compact, small, and medium size microwaves. Anything larger will really eat up your counterspace.

Why you want one: ease of use, ease of installation, not yet living in your “dream” home so not undergoing major kitchen remodling.

NOTE: Most of the microwave ovens we review here are of the countertop variety simply because those are the most popular on the market and so our reviews we feel will be most relevant to the majority of those in the market.

2. Overhead Microwave Ovens or Over-The-Range Microwave Ovens

Over The Range Microwave OvensThis type of microwave oven will usually be found over your grill or over your range. These tend to be quite attractive and do not take up counter space, but if you do not have room for one alerady, then it will take a bit of remodeling to fit your kitchen for an OTR microwave. Venting sometimes can be an issue with OTR microwaves. The good part is of course it won’t take up counter space anymore. The bad part is: well, it will cost more, and since you are not using normal power outlets you may need a professional electrician to install it for you. Also, you will not be able to have a range hood for your front burners so general ventilation will not be as effective.

Why you want one: For you folks remodeling your kitchen, for practical reasons you would prefer the built-in microwave over the OTR microwave. Mostly for the reason of having a better functioning ventilation for your range. That being said, aesthetically, there is something that looks much more “attractive” and in-place having your microwave over the stove-top then having it in a random cabinet. It just looks more cohesive that way.

3. Built-In Microwaves

built in microwave ovenThese are often built in to custom cabinets or over counters but are flush with the cabinets and look to have seamless integration into your kitchen. This takes some minor (to major) remodeling efforts in your kitchen to fit one for a built-in microwave. Typically these microwaves will only have a finished front, not finished sides. Nor will they usually have vents. The good side of this is of course, again, keeping your counters free and open. An additional plus over the OTR Microwave is now that this is not above your range, your range can have an effective range hood for better ventilation when you are cooking. The downside? Usually these are the most expensive of all microwaves and installation again may require an electrician.

Why you want one: While we like the look of the Over-The-Range Microwave Oven, if you want that good ventilation for your stove top, then you will want the built-in instead. A nice “cohesive” looking location is general above the oven, but a “built-in” can really be just about anywhere you want. Another location some people like to have it is under-the-counter, sometimes as part of a kitchen island. For your dream kitchen, not having it on the counter this frees up your kitchen counter and looks much more attractive in general. The microwave fits seamlessly in your kitchen instead of looking like clutter.


You can probably guess it just comes down to paying a steeper price for a more attractive kitchen. As you find your home and kitchen become more “permanent”, you will want to look towards OTR Microwaves and Built-In Microwaves. Until then, you probably won’t complain much about a medium microwave oven taking up your space if the trade-off is enjoying the benefits of a microwave oven at an affordable cost.


Be on the lookout for Part 4: This and That Where we discuss all the little features microwaves come with and whether or not you need all of them. The more features, the more expensive, but if you use them, they are well worth it.

Here are links to the complete guide:

See you next time!

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