Home Improvement

The Best Microwave Under 100 Dollars In 2020: Detailed Buyer’s Guide

The microwave oven is an essential part of every kitchen. It adds plenty of convenience and ease to your cooking.

The microwave oven is an essential part of every kitchen. It adds plenty of convenience and ease to your cooking. Besides, it also helps you make new and tasty dishes which are difficult to cook on traditional stoves and ovens. Microwave ovens are becoming costlier day by day because of the new and innovative features they have. Therefore, it can be an expensive affair to have a microwave in your kitchen. However, you need not worry because this article not only lists the best microwave under 100 but some other inexpensive microwaves that are worth a try as well. 

We have also divided our guide into the following sections for your convenience.

  • How we tested microwave ovens?
  • 10 best inexpensive microwaves
  • How to choose the best cheap microwave
  • Frequently Asked Questions

As with any other product, choosing a good but cheap microwave, especially under $100, is a difficult task to accomplish. Brick and mortar, as well as online stores, are brimming with thousands of so-called best cheap models. It is quite natural to get confused by all the choices you have and ultimately make a wrong decision and this is where we come to your rescue. We have compiled a list of the top ten microwaves that are not only cheap but offer superior performance as well. Therefore, you don’t need to spend hours on finding the right microwave for yourself. All you need to do is to keep reading this article. You will definitely find a microwave that meets all your criteria from our list.

How We Tested Microwave Ovens?

Our testing criteria involved a lot of things. We put microwaves through different cooking trials such as cooking both frozen and chilled ready meals, heating soups, defrosting mincemeat, making jacket potatoes, and others. We checked how microwave ovens performed in each of these trials and how they will fare in your kitchen while cooking meals for your family members.

Please note here that we also implemented the packet instructions for every test wherever applicable. Similarly, we also took guidance from the auto-cook books or programs that come with some of the microwaves.

Microwave’s ease of use was one of the most important testing criteria. We had to determine how easy it is to use a microwave in general and its controls in particular. We also checked whether or not it is easy to clean the interior. Other things we looked out for include sufficient power levels, the design of each microwave, and the turntable plate’s size. Similarly, our experts also assessed how clear program controls were and their overall built-quality. Although it is not very important but we also considered the depth and clarity of the instruction manual.

10 Best Inexpensive Microwaves

After completing all the above tests and trials, we have selected the following ten best microwaves for you.

Image Product NameCooking CapacityWattagePower LevelsCheck Price

Toshiba EM131A5C-BS


1.2 Cu. Ft.


1000 Watts


10


Check Price
Toshiba EM131A5C-BS 1.2 Cu. Ft
Toshiba EM925A5A-SS


0.9 Cu. Ft.


900 Watts


10


Check Price
Farberware 1.1 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel
Farberware Countertop


1.1 Cu. Ft.


1000 Watts


10


Check Price
Panasonic NN-SB438S 0.9 Cu. Ft
Panasonic NN-SB438S


0.9 Cu. Ft.


900 Watts


10


Check Price
Danby DMW7700BLDB 0.7 Cu. Ft.
Danby DMW7700BLDB


0.7 Cu. Ft.


700 Watts


10


Check Price
BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7 0.7 Cu. Ft.
BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7


0.7 Cu. Ft.


700 Watts


10


Check Price
Commercial Chef CHM660B
Commercial Chef CHM660B


0.6 Cu. Ft.


600 Watts


6


Check Price
AmazonBasics Microwave Bundle
AmazonBasics Microwave Bundle


0.7 Cu. Ft.


700 Watts


10


Check Price
Nostalgia RMO7AQ Retro 0.7 Cu. Ft.
Nostalgia RMO7AQ Retro


0.7 Cu. Ft.


700 Watts


10


Check Price
Magic Chef Countertop 1.1 Cu. Ft.
Magic Chef Countertop


1.1 Cu. Ft.


1000 Watts


10


Check Price
  1. Toshiba EM131A5C-BS 1.2 Cu. Ft. The best microwave under 100
  2. Toshiba EM925A5A-SS 0.9 Cu. Ft. Best cheap microwave
  3. Farberware 1.1 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel: Best value microwave oven
  4. Panasonic NN-SB438S 0.9 Cu. Ft. Compact: Best countertop microwave under $100
  5. Danby DMW7700BLDB 0.7 Cu. Ft. Best microwave for small cooking needs
  6. BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7 0.7 Cu. Ft. Digital: Cheap microwave from a premium brand
  7. Commercial Chef CHM660B Countertop 0.6 Cu. Ft. Perfect Microwave for senior citizens
  8. AmazonBasics Microwave Bundle with Echo Dot: Best microwave for smaller spaces
  9. Nostalgia RMO7AQ Retro 0.7 Cu. Ft. A great addition to your kitchen decor
  10. Magic Chef Countertop 1.1 Cu. Ft. One of the best inexpensive microwaves

1.      Toshiba EM131A5C-BS 1.2 Cu. Ft. The Best Microwave under 100

best microwave under 100

Toshiba EM131A5C-BS is the best microwave oven under 100 dollars by a fair distance. It boasts a capacity of 1.2 cubic feet making it easy for you to prepare big meals. Besides, it effectively heats everything such as leftover pizzas, vegetables, meat, and much more thanks to a pre-programmed sensor menu.

It also has 10 power settings that enable you to properly cook your meal. It is also very convenient to melt or soften the cheese, chocolate, butter, and other foods because of the 7 auto menus with weight/portion indication. The Custom Defrost function also ensures easy defrosting. The microwave will defrost 1 pound of an item automatically by adjusting its power and timing.

The microwave’s cavity is not only easy to clean but stain and scratch resistant as well. Cleaning the cavity only requires a few wipes with damp clothes. Toshiba EM131A5C-BS also turns on the ECO mode while in standby saving up to 50% of energy.

Finally, the microwave also has easy to read controls as it features a large digital display. The special “Sound off” model also allows you to turn off alerts and beeps.

Pros
  • Large capacity
  • Large and easy to clean cavity
  • Scratch and stain-resistant
  • Alerts and beeps can be turned off
  • 10 power levels
  • Two defrost settings
  • One-touch feature for popcorns
  • 7 auto menus
  • Pre-programmed sensor menu
Cons
  • Can be noisy at full power

2.      Toshiba EM925A5A-SS 0.9 Cu. Ft. Best Cheap Microwave

best microwave under 100

The only major difference between Toshiba EM131A5C-BS and Toshiba EM925A5A-SS is the size in our opinion. The latter is also a very powerful microwave with 900 watts of power capacity. It also features pre-programmed menus and 10 different power settings. As a result, it enables you to cook and reheat the food faster than comparable models.

The One-touch Start option allows you to turn on the microwave at full power from 30 seconds or 1 to 6 minutes. The two defrosting options are the weight defrost and time defrost, making defrosting particularly easy.

The large digital display also shows all the controls and activities. You can also monitor the dishes clearly as the microwave offers clear view of the interior cavity. Similarly, the microwave cuts down the energy and operating cost by reducing the power consumption by a whopping 50%.

The Mute Option mutes all the beeps, alerts, and messages which is a relief, to say the least. You can do all kinds of cooking activities with EM925A5A-SS which you expect from more expensive high-end microwaves.

Pros
  • 0.9 cubic feet cooking capacity
  • 900 watts of power
  • 10 power options
  • One-touch 1-6 minute quick start with plus 30 seconds
  • Weight and time defrosting options
  • Child lock for added safety
  • Custom memory
  • Limited 1-year warranty
Cons
  • Slightly noise at full power

3.      Farberware Classic FMO11AHTBKB 1.1 Cu. Ft. Best Value Microwave Oven

best microwave under 100

Farberware Classic FMO11AHTBKB is one of the best microwaves under $100 at the moment. Made of stainless steel, the microwave offers 1.2 cubic feet of large cooking capacity along with a compact footprint. Similarly, the glass turntable is also quite large at 12.4 inches.

Farberware Classic is also the best value microwave and gives more expensive models a run for their money. It has the maximum power of 1000 watts and the microwave is sleek in design. More importantly, it does not beeps but works in silence, unlike more expensive models.

The various quick command buttons like +30 also enable you to tweak preparations and set the cooking time. Besides, it has a very easy to use and sturdy handle. The microwave ensures even cooking as the removable turntable rotates at a steady speed.

You can also change recipe settings using the memory feature. It is also the best countertop microwave under $100 because of its compact size. It has 10 different cooking power levels and two defrost options that are time defrost and weight defrost.

Pros
  • 1.1 cubic feet cooking capacity
  • 10 different power levels
  • 1000 watts of power
  • 6 One-touch cooking functions
  • 2 defrosting options
  • Led display with clock
  • Digital controls
  • Keypad lock
  • Removable rotating glass turntable
Cons
  • Sides often heat up

4.      Panasonic NN-SB438S 0.9 Cu. Ft Compact: Best Countertop Microwave under $100

best microwave under 100

Panasonic Compact Microwave delivers brilliant cooking performance by offering a combination of innovation and power. The maximum power of the microwave is 900 watts, resulting in quite quick and even cooking.

Panasonic NN-SB438S is an elegant microwave and will considerably add to the beauty of your kitchen. On top of that, it is a smart and compact microwave with a minimum countertop footprint. The microwave has 10 different power settings and 7 preset auto menus for your favorite dishes. Similarly, you can also select from 3 for popcorns settings, depending upon the size of their bag.

Panasonic Compact also offers features like Child Safety Lock, More/Less Control, Delay Start and Timer, and Quick 30 seconds start. Similarly, the Keep Warm option allows keeps your food warm in the microwave oven as long as you want. Panasonic also claims that this microwave provides you with delicious, nutritious, and healthy food and we have to agree.

All the above features combine to make Panasonic NN-SB438S one of the best cheap microwave ovens.

Pros
  • 7 preset auto menus for your favorite cuisines
  • 10 power settings
  • Keep Warm option
  • Child safety lock
  • Quick 30 seconds start
  • A very beautiful and elegant microwave
  • Less countertop footprint
Cons
  • Can be noisy at full power

5.      Danby DMW7700BLDB 0.7 Cu. Ft. Best Microwave for Small Cooking Needs

best microwave under 100

Danby DMW7700BLDB is the best microwave under 100 dollars if you only have small heating and cooking needs. Available at less than $70, is also one of the cheapest microwaves on our list. It has a capacity and maximum power of 0.7 cubic feet and 700 watts and therefore, you should not have any problem cooking or heating your food.

Danby DMW7700BLDB has many advanced features despite its small size. For example, it has a simple one-touch cooking option for 6 popular dishes. Similarly, the two defrost options include defrost by weight and defrost by speed. It also determines the optimal cooking time after checking the weight of the food

You can choose from 10 different power levels just like any other good microwave. Finally, the LED display is excellent and makes cooking in the microwave easier for you.

Pros
  • 10 different power settings
  • Very inexpensive
  • Speed and weight defrosting options
  • Easy to use LED display
  • Determines cooking time according to the weight of the food
  • Programmable settings
Cons
  • No quick start function

6.      BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7 0.7 Cu. Ft. Cheap Microwave from a Premium Brand

best microwave under 100

BLACK+DECKER is one of the biggest manufacturers of home appliances including microwave ovens. Most of their products are on the higher end of the price spectrum. However, they do make low-cost appliances for people with budget constraints and BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7 is one such product.

The microwave oven has a cooking capacity of 0.7 cubic feet and the maximum power of 700 watts. Therefore, it is more than capable to cook and heat food quickly and evenly. Similarly, it allows versatile cooking of different kinds of food thanks to 10 different power settings.

The microwave also has pre-programmed buttons for your favorite foods such as beverages, frozen vegetables, pizzas, potatoes, and popcorns. It also features easy to read control panel, large LED display with a clock function and interior lighting. The removable 10” turntable and child safety are also impressive inclusions.

30 Seconds Express Cooking option also has an impact on your cooking experience and time. The push-button makes it easier to open the microwave. It has standard time and weight defrosting options as well.

Finally, BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7 is the cheap and best microwave oven from a premium brand and worth a try.

Pros
  • Spacious interior cavity
  • Interior lighting
  • 30-second express cooking option
  • 10 power modes
  • Pre-programmed button for various items
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Premium brand
Cons
  • No sensor cooking

7.      Commercial Chef CHM660B Countertop 0.6 Cu. Ft. Perfect Microwave for Senior Citizens

Commercial Chef CHM660B is a very inexpensive microwave oven as it is available for less than $60. However, don’t be fooled by its low price as the microwave has much more to offer than you expect from such a cheap product.

Having a cooking capacity of 0.6 cubic feet, it is an ideal microwave for food and snacks preparations and heating leftovers. It is the best countertop microwave under $100 for its compact design. The microwave has a rather vintage design with an easy to grasp handle and mechanical rotary dials. It is a very pleasant departure from modern designs that look monotonous and dull. The dials are also perfect for people who prefer simple and basic operation.

Commercial Chef CHM660B only has 6 power levels but you cannot expect much from such an inexpensive microwave. It is recommended to use lower and middle power levels for reheating and defrosting food. You can use high power settings for cooking frozen food and other heavier tasks.

Pros
  • Very inexpensive microwave oven
  • Low power consumption and maintenance
  • Ideal for snacks and food preparation
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Does not cover much countertop space
  • Beautiful vintage design
  • Easy to use mechanical rotary dials
  • Perfect for senior citizens and people with vision impairment
Cons
  • Only 6 power options
  • No pre-programmed settings

8.      AmazonBasics Microwave Bundle with Echo Dot: Best Microwave for Small Spaces

You must consider this particular microwave from AmazonBasics if you have a small countertop space. You don’t have to reshuffle your countertop appliances at all if you buy this microwave oven.

The microwave offers all the standard features and functions despite its low price. For example, it has a 10” glass turntable, an LCD with a clock timer, a child lock, 10 power options, and 700 watts of power.

It is pertinent to mention here that the echo dot is not included in the package. You either have to buy it with your purchases or separately. You can use your voice to control the cooking settings once you have paired the echo dot with the microwave. This is one particular function you associate only with high-end and more expensive microwaves. This is also the reason why this appliance has found its way on our list of best microwave under 100 dollars.

Pros
  • Control cooking setting through Alexa
  • Small and compact
  • Doesn’t cover much countertop space
  • 10 power settings
  • LCD with clock timer
  • Unbeatable price for the brand
Cons
  • Voice commands only work with Echo Dot

9.      Nostalgia RMO7AQ Retro 0.7 Cu. Ft. A Great Addition to Your Kitchen Décor

Nostalgia RMO7AQ Retro is the best cheap microwave for many reasons. For example, it has 12 pre-programmed cooking settings, which is hard to beat considering how cheap this microwave is. Secondly, the microwave comes with features like express cooking options and delay timer for easy cooking and controls respectively.

With the maximum power of 700 watts and cooking capacity of 0.7 cubic feet, you get enough power and space to cook and reheat your food. The rotating glass turntable also ensures even cooking of food. You can also adjust the power level of the microwave from 100% to 20%.

The LCD is very simple to use and quite bright. Therefore, you can see everything from weight, time, progress, and the food in the cavity without any hassle.

The microwave also allows canceling all the functions or setting the clocks with a single click. It also has a sleek and beautiful retro design and thus, it becomes a great addition to any kitchen décor.

All the above features combine to make cooking very easy and fun for you.

Pros
  • Sufficient power and space for cooking
  • 12 pre-programmed settings
  • Delay timer
  • Easy to use LCD
  • Even cooking
  • Child safety lock
  • Comfortable and convenient cooking
Cons
  • Clumsy plastic door

10.   Magic Chef MCM1110W Countertop 1.1 Cu. Ft. One of the Best Inexpensive Microwaves

Finally, we have Magic Chef MCM1110W Countertop microwave on our list. It is yet another best microwave under $100 for features like 1000 watts of power, large 1.1 cubic feet of cooking capacity, and auto cook and defrost menus.

MCM1110W also has functions like kitchen timer as well as 10 power levels. The child safety lock prevents unsupervised use of the microwave as well. The push-button door helps you open the door easily.

1000 watts of power enables you to easily and quickly prepare a wide range of foods. Perhaps, the best feature of the microwave is 8 One-touch cooking programs. You can also defrost by time or weight to reduce the guesswork. Similarly, the microwave streamlines your cooking time through memory and express cooking functions if you are in a hurry.

Pros
  • Express cooking function
  • Memory cooking function
  • 10 power levels
  • 8 pre-programmed settings
  • Child safety lock
  • 1000 watts of power
  • Spacious interior
Cons
  • Overall build quality could be better

How to Choose the Best Microwave under 100

Choosing a cheap microwave is not easy. You should not go for price only as there are other factors to remember as well. We are going to discuss some of these factors in the following lines.

Wattage

Wattage should be the most important consideration while buying any microwave. Greater wattage means the microwave will cook the food faster. Generally, cheap countertop microwave ovens have 700 watts to 1000 watts of power. However, the greater the wattage the better. In fact, you should try to buy a microwave with 1000 watts of power. These microwaves cook food more quickly as well as evenly. On the other hand, try to avoid microwaves with less than 700 watts of power. They will cook your food slowly and more unevenly.

Power Settings

A good microwave has multiple power settings. It is important because you have to cook different foods at different temperatures. Most of the microwaves on our list have 10 power settings, allowing you to cook your meals at the right temperatures.

Size

You also need to consider the size for two reasons. Firstly, the microwave you are interested in should fit in your countertop or shelf, leaving enough space for other appliances and items. Secondly, it should have a large enough cavity for you to easily place all the items you intend to put in the microwave. A microwave’s size is usually measured in cubic feet. Generally, most standard-size containers and plates will easily fit in microwaves that are 1.2 cubic feet in size or larger.

Preset Menus

Pre-programmed or preset menus are also necessary as they enable you to instantly cook several dishes. They do not only make cooking a lot more simple and comfortable but very enjoyable as well.

Turntable

The turntable is another feature of microwave you should pay special attention to. The best turntables are made of glass and they revolve. You don’t need to check your food or bring it out of the oven frequently if your microwave has a revolving turntable. Similarly, it also cooks the food more evenly.

Safety Features

You should only buy a microwave with a child safety lock if you have children in your home. A safety lock can be a lifesaver for your kids because they will not refrain from touching the microwave and checking what’s inside due to their curiosity.

Clear View Door

It is surprisingly difficult to see through the door of the vast majority of microwaves. Always invest in the microwave with a crystal clear door so that you can see what is happening inside. This will also save you from the trouble of opening the door, again and again, to check on the progress.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the best microwaves under $100?

The following are the best microwaves under $100.

  1. Toshiba EM131A5C-BS 1.2 Cu. Ft.
  2. Toshiba EM925A5A-SS 0.9 Cu. Ft.
  3. Farberware 1.1 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel
  4. Panasonic NN-SB438S 0.9 Cu. Ft Compact
  5. Danby DMW7700BLDB 0.7 Cu. Ft.
  • How long should a microwave last?

A microwave should last up to 8 to 10 years. You must consider an upgrade even if your microwave is working fine after 10 years. Technology is constantly evolving and improving. Modern microwaves come with latest features and they are more energy-efficient as well.

  • What are the signs that you need to replace your microwave?

The 6 signs that you need to replace your microwave are as under.

  • Sparkles, smokes, and burning smell
  • Produces horrible sounds when in use
  • It is not cooking the food properly
  • The door does not shut or seal properly
  • The control panel does not function
  • Your microwave is over 10 years old
  • What are the best microwaves brands?

Some of the best microwave 2020 brands are:

  • Toshiba
  • BLACK+DECKER
  • Whirlpool
  • Panasonic
  • Samsung
  • AmazonBasics

Final Thoughts

Concluding our guide of the best microwave under 100, we can say that you can buy a very good microwave without spending a fortune. You just need to look at the right place and you will find a cheap microwave which fulfils all your requirements.

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