7 Best Microwaves Under $100 for Budget-Friendly Cooking

Nothing saves time cooking more than a microwave, and while high-end microwaves have plenty of great features, they are also costly!

If you’re on a budget, have a small kitchen, or are a student who just needs a simple microwave for their dorm, it doesn’t really make sense to buy a microwave with all the bells and whistles you’re probably not going to use.

Luckily, you can still find a microwave that gets the job done and suits your needs for under $100.

There are a surprising amount of quality low-budget microwaves out there, which is great but can sometimes make the choice feel overwhelming.

So how do you choose? Well, look no further than our article below!

You’ll find 7 of the best microwaves under $100, plus a buyer’s guide so you know exactly what to look for when you shop around, as well as some answers to some frequently asked questions.

Note that at time of writing, all of these microwave units were under $100. However, it is normal to see some price fluctuations throughout the year, so at times we expect some will be slightly over.

Let’s get into it!

OUR TOP PICK

BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7

If you’re low on space but still want a microwave with a decent amount of power, then you can’t go wrong with this Black & Decker 700 watt microwave.

This microwave is actually deceptively small. It won’t take up lots of space on your counter but has plenty of space on the inside.

With an interior capacity of 0.7 ft, it’s large enough to fit big dinner plates and bowls with ease.

Another thing we love is that this Black & Decker microwave is probably the most powerful microwave you can get for under $100.

The heating functions are quick and reliable, and it can defrost food evenly without charring the edges. That’s a great feature to have when you want to defrost ground beef in the microwavefor taco night. No one likes burned tacos.

Plus, it has preset buttons so you can cook all your food for the same amount of time for a less stressful cooking experience. This comes in handy if you’re still getting to grips with cooking!

However, the push button that opens the microwave is a bit on the stiff side which can cause the microwave to move a little when you open it.

There is a solution to this problem in the form of non-skid pads, which keeps the microwave still when you open it.

Another concern with this microwave is the noise level. This microwave is quieter than most, but we found that after a few uses you could hear a distinct ‘grunting’ noise.

Overall, this microwave has a digital display intuitive with a kitchen timer, an express cooking button, and 10 power settings which make the Black & Decker microwave an excellent microwave under $100.

Pros

  • Space-saving.
  • Has a child lock system for extra safety.
  • 10 adjustable power settings.
  • Controls that are simple to use.

Cons

  • Plastic door clamps.
  • It shows fingerprint smudges easily which makes cleaning more difficult.
  • Door a little stiff.

Also Available At

EDITOR’S CHOICE

COMFEE’ EM720CPL-PM

Next on our list is this microwave from Comfee. It is a compact 700 watt microwave that has 11 power settings.

It’s a power efficient microwave that lowers standby power up to half by switching the display off when you activate ECO mode.

Not only is this a budget microwave, but it helps you save money on your electricity bill too.

Plus, the Comfee has a mute option to tone down the shrill tone your microwave makes when your food is ready. Learn more about how to silence a microwave if this is an important feature to you.

Other notable features include preset buttons for cooking, express cook, a clock function, kitchen timer, and a child lock feature for safety.

However, its turntable is only 10 inches, meaning it can’t accommodate large dinner plates but will do for cooking food in small quantities.

It is also a bit slower than some other microwaves on our list. Still, it holds up well in other areas.

Pros

  • Mute option for the beep sound.
  • Eco-mode saves power.
  • Has 11 adjustable power levels.
  • The digital display is bright and attractive.

Cons

  • The buttons are pretty stiff and difficult to press.
  • Small turntable.
  • Cooks food slowly.

Also Available At

BEST VALUE

Commercial Chef CHM770B

Small but powerful, this low-budget microwave gets basic microwaving and reheating jobs done perfectly every time.

It has 0.7 cubic feet of interior space and has 700 watts of power, which is a great amount of power to heat food quickly and evenly.

The inside space of the microwave makes it ideal for small kitchens and those who only microwave occasionally.

However, it performs well whether you’re reheating leftovers, defrosting food, and cooking frozen meals.

If there is one area of the microwave we would improve is its lack of a 30-second quick cook button. Still, it is an easy to maintain and reliable microwave.

Pros

  • Made of stainless steel.
  • Quickly and evenly heats food.
  • Space-saving.
  • Has 6 pre-programmed functions.

Cons

  • Can move around when opening or closing the door.

Also Available At

RUNNER UP

Farberware Classic FMO07AHTBKJ

Farberware is one of the best microwave brands on the market, and this model comes in 0.7, 0.9, and 1.1 cubic ft. However, the one we’ll be discussing in this review is the 0.9 cubic ft model.

It’s a high-performing microwave with a decent heating intensity. At 900 watts it can heat up food quickly.

The internal dimensions of this microwave are 13.66 x 12.36 x 8.7 inches, and it has a 10.6-inch turntable. But despite having small dimensions it’s still packed with power.

It also has a sleek back appearance with a stainless steel front and curved edges that will look attractive on most countertops.

The features in this 900 watt model are pretty similar to the other models, in case you prefer a different size or power setup.

It has 10 power levels to give you more control over the cooking process, as well as 6 one-touch pre-programmed settings for quick cooking.

You’ll also find express cooking features, a 30-second option, kitchen timer, memory functions, and a digital display, making it a super convenient microwave.

However, one disadvantage to this Farberware microwave is its unresponsive touchpad.

To get the microwave to follow the command you have to press the buttons quite hard which can be frustrating.

Pros

  • Very simple to use.
  • Reheats and defrosts quickly.
  • Does not have an irritating beep sound.

Cons

  • The dark glass makes it hard to see what you’re cooking.
  • Unresponsive touchpad.

Also Available At

RUNNER UP

Danby DBMW0721BBS

If you have a small kitchen, or just not enough countertop space, this model from Danby can easily fit on a little shelf thanks to its small footprint.

Although its boxy look doesn’t make it the most attractive microwave on our list, don’t judge a book by its cover!

This is still a well-performing microwave with 700 watts of power and 10 power levels that give you a good amount of control over your cooking.

Another notable thing to say about this Danby microwave is that it has a push button to open the microwave door rather than a swift handle.

It also has 6 convenient auto-cook options that let you cook meals with just one push of the button.

This Danby also features auto defrost, express cooking, and extended cooking time options.

However, the 10-inch turntable plate needs a slight adjustment time and due to the design of the microwave, the turntable fits a little bit awkwardly inside.

We would also consider this a ‘silent’ microwave, which makes it appealing for those who are irritated by the grinding noise of the microwave’s motor.

In terms of reliability, we can’t complain about how this Danby defrosts and reheats food evenly. Just defrost bacon in the microwave and have a delicious breakfast ready in no time!

Pros

  • The glass turntable helps food heat evenly.
  • Automatically defrosts according to weight and cooking time.
  • Has a one-touch popcorn maker.
  • Can be considered a ‘silent’ microwave.

Cons

  • Not ideal for bigger dinner plates.
  • The turntable fits a little awkwardly inside the microwave, and this becomes an issue when microwaving popcorn in particular.

Also Available At

RUNNER UP

Galanz GLCMKA07BKR Retro

While we definitely shouldn’t judge a book – or microwave – by its cover, we can’t deny that retro-looking appliances definitely brighten up a kitchen!

A lot of people think that when an appliance is attractive, it is not durable or efficient but this is not the case.

This Galanz retro microwave is an eye-catching appliance that will look beautiful in your kitchen without taking up too much space.

Although it’s not the most high-tech microwave it still has buttons and knobs that are easy to use and to set your desired cooking time.

While we’re on the subject, let’s take a deeper look at its functionality.

At 0.7 cubic feet and with 700 watts of power, this Galanz microwave has adjustable power levels, defrosting capability, and a child lock for safety.

I love using it when I need to defrost chicken in the microwave because it’s so quick and easy.

You will need to allow it a couple more seconds to cook evenly, but we can overlook this for its overall performance.

It boasts a turntable that rotates seamlessly, and the LED lighting lets you clearly see how your food is cooking.

Rather than a push-open button, this microwave has a traditional pull-open door in keeping with its retro look.

Thanks to its attractive look, the Galanz microwave is a budget microwave that has a much more high-end appearance.

If you really love the look of this appliance, then check out more oven options in my best retro microwave guide!

Pros

  • Beautiful retro design.
  • Space-saving.
  • Control system is user-friendly.
  • The child lock ensures extra safety.

Cons

  • The door hooks are the least durable part of the microwave as they are made of plastic.
  • The slightest touch can turn the microwave on.

Also Available At

RUNNER UP

Commercial Chef 9.5inch

The Commercial Chef microwave is another attractive addition to your kitchen that’s sure to make it pop!

Still, its design is simple with retro-inspired rotary controls.

This is the only microwave on our list that has 600 watts of power and has an internal capacity of 0.6 cubic ft. Its small size makes it ideal to fit in any corner of your kitchen.

If you have a small kitchen, or tend to cook simple recipes with not a lot of processes, then the Commercial Chef microwave is for you.

Although 600 watts microwaves are usually considered not powerful enough to pop popcorn, we did not find this to be the case with the Commercial Chef!

Furthermore, the mechanical dials are self-explanatory for cook-time setting up to 30 minutes. There are also 6 different power levels ranging from low to high.

The lack of high-tech buttons and the digital display also makes it ideal for older people who would like a simple appliance, especially if their vision is impaired.

Pros

  • Attractive design.
  • Small footprint.
  • Six adjustable cooking levels.
  • No annoying beeping sound.
  • Ideal for older people.

Cons

  • Does not have a digital display.

Also Available At

Best Microwave Under $100 Buying Guide

So now that we have seven of the best microwaves under $100, you might be wondering what factors you need to consider when shopping around for your own.

Below, we have some fundamental factors to take into account so you can make a confident purchase.

Best Microwave Under $100 dinners done quick featured image

Types Of Microwaves

This is the first thing you need to consider when shopping for a new microwave. Microwaves are usually categorized into three types according to their function.

  • Convection Microwaves: The most expensive type of microwave, as it is able to defrost, grill, reheat, and even bake food. 
  • Grill Microwaves: Have the same functions as outdoor grilling appliances.
  • Solo Microwaves: Used for simple defrosting and reheating purposes and the most budget-friendly type of microwave.

There are also multifunctional microwaves that serve the purpose of more than one appliance. If that sounds up your alley, check out our best air fryer microwave comborecommendations for a handy 2-in-1 option!

Where You Want To Put The Microwave

Another important factor to consider is where exactly in your kitchen are you going to put the microwave. For example, on the countertop.

Meanwhile over-the-range microwaves have an exhaust system and are installed over your cooking range.

Learn more about how to reset the filter on a GE microwave and other over the range units.

There are also built-in microwaves that have cabinets around them, and even microwave drawers that function similarly.

Ultimately, choosing the best microwave for you in terms of location all depends on space and what kind of installation your kitchen can accommodate.

Power

The power of a microwave is measured in watts. Generally, the higher the wattage, the quicker a microwave can cook food, and 1000 watts is considered a baseline for quick cooking.

Still, microwaves with a lower wattage (for example, 700 watts) will also perform well in terms of cooking. Plus, the higher the wattage, the more expensive the microwave will be.

Features & Functions

There are a few key features to keep in mind when shopping for a new microwave.

For example, automatic turn off, child lock, express cooking, inverter technology, kitchen timer, mute function, pre-programmed buttons, and power levels make microwaving even simpler.

Noise

If you’re not too bothered by the grunting motor noise of microwaves, then this isn’t much of an issue.

However, if you do find this noise irritating and like to cook quietly then you should take a closer look at how loud a microwave is.

In particular, choose a microwave that doesn’t hum loudly while cooking food.

Reliability

What do we mean when we call a microwave reliable?

Well, a microwave is reliable if it works seamlessly for an extended period of time. A reliable microwave doesn’t burn or overheat the food, nor does it spark or smoke.

Best Microwave Under $100 – Frequently Asked Questions

Are Budget-Friendly Microwaves Safe To Use?

Firstly, every microwave needs to pass the safety standards of the FDA, no matter the price point.

Plus, the safety guidelines that come with any microwave need to be adhered to.

Every microwave should be safe from radiation hazards, although it’s important to be mindful of potential hazards when microwaving popcorn or potatoes.

How Long Does A Microwave Last?

If good care is taken of a microwave it can last for over a decade. However, on average a microwave will last for 7 years. Still, you may find you need to replace your microwave before then.

However, failing to maintain the microwave, slamming the door, keeping the microwave on when not using it, and also microwaving inappropriate food and utensils (more on that later) can reduce the life expectancy of your microwave.

Learn what happens if you microwave nothing to make sure you avoid this simple mistake that will burn your appliance out quickly.

How Can You Tell If A Microwave Is Malfunctioning?

You can tell if your microwave needs to be replaced when you notice the following:

  • A loud noise comes from the microwave.
  • Simple tasks take longer than usual.
  • Unusual burning smells, electrical sparks, or smoke.
  • The turntable stops working.
  • You need to press and push more buttons to get it to work.
  • You’ve had it for over a decade.

What Foods Are Unable To Be Microwaved?

  • Breast Milk: This can be unsafe for your child due to uneven heating.
  • Chilies: This is because chilies have capsaicin that can vaporize in the air and can burn your eyes and throat.
  • Whole Eggs: These can actually explode when microwaved.
  • Grapes: These are flammable when microwaved.
  • Pasta Sauce: Because of its thickness, pasta sauce will splatter when microwaved.
  • Plain Water: While you can microwave plain water, you can ‘over boil’ it which causes burning and scalding.
  • Processed Meat: The chemicals and preservatives in processed meat can produce cholesterol oxide when microwaved which can lead to cardiovascular disease.

What Utensils Can You Not Put In The Microwave?

If something is not labelled as ‘microwave-safe’ then do not put it in the microwave. Some utensils that are not microwave-safe are:

  • Aluminum foil
  • Cloths
  • Containers that don’t have lids
  • Metal-rimmed utensils
  • Paper bags
  • Plastic containers that are used to store food.
  • Steel utensils
  • Styrofoam
  • Takeout containers
  • Unsafe plastics

Learn more about what the microwave safe symbol is so you know what to look for.

Katie Vine