13 min. read

The Best Over-the-Range Microwave for 2023

Over-the-range microwaves are a good alternative to range hoods because they offer many of the same benefits in a more compact design.

best over the range microwave

There comes a time when you realize you don’t need the gas range but do require the microwave after reaching for the oven or stove. Your kitchen may direct you to another place, such as the safest spot on your kitchen’s counter or your kitchen’s side — down low! Wise persons wouldn’t dare to follow such instincts; they would look up over the range and reach for the installed microwave.

The over-the-range microwave opens up your kitchen’s counter space, helps in cooking food, functions as a simple kitchen hood improves your home’s interior decor, and ensures you can conveniently reach your range’s stove or oven while still accessing it.

We understand that it’s tough to get an over-the-range microwave that you would love, due to the large variety of these products at your disposal online, but we promise to solve this issue.

How We Picked

  • Size and Capacity

    The width and capacities of the over-the-counter microwaves are important aspects, as the desired width of the microwaves should match those of the ranges and the capacity should be adequate to cook food for a small family.

  • Power and Wattage

    In an ideal state, the power consumption rate, expressed as wattage, is crucial for safely heating food. The focus was on the recommended wattage of 800 to 1,000 for the over-the-range microwave.

  • Noise

    Noise is a nuisance to many, and its eradication in homes through the non-installation of noise-causing appliances is essential. However, over-the-range microwaves offering venting features happen to have little noise produced by their fans.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

    The acquisition costs, depreciation rates, and installation costs of the over-the-range microwaves helped to gauge the value-for-money factor resulting from the purchase of an over-the-range microwave. This would help the consumer save money while enjoying a quality product.

Our Top Picks

Our Top Pick

KitchenAid KMHS120ESS

KitchenAid KMHS120ESS

KMHS120ESS over-the-range microwave model from KitchenAid lights up your cooking.

This microwave offers two incandescent lamps to light the microwave and the cooktop below, which eases your cooking routines while keeping you in a good mood. It comes with a turntable for even heat distribution when cooking food that is stoppable when containers that may inhibit smooth turning are used. This is a reliable and flexible over-the-range microwave.

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The KitchenAid KMHS120ESS is a tool that traditional home chefs and food enthusiasts would prefer.

Our Runner-Up

Whirlpool WMH53521HZ

Whirlpool WMH53521HZ

The Whirlpool WMH53521HZ lives up to the expectations of a conventional child-safe microwave

This tool is a conventional microwave that will help you maintain child safety against microwave hazards. The Whirlpool WMH53521HZ has a sufficient capacity of 2.1 cubic feet to facilitate the heating of food. Its electrical power wattage of 1,000 is enough to sustain fast cooking. This over-the-range microwave does well to heat food quickly while preventing accidents.

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A conventional, pre-programmed over-the-range microwave with a child lock.

Most Cost-Effective

AMANA AMV2307PFS

AMANA AMV2307PFS

AMANA AMV2307PFS is RCM’s version of an over-the-range microwave that has solved the problems of frugal people, popcorn lovers, and defrosting eager beavers concurrently.

Ikea's Lagan 704.621.63 production line not only saves money but also adds functionality to a standard microwave. Designed to fit in an approximately 30-inch cabinet cutoff, it offers pre-programmed settings that are indispensable, such that, according to its Amazon product page, they can help you “get popcorn at the push of a button.”

Buy Now

An over-the-range microwave for defrosting eager beavers and frugal persons.

Everything We Recommend

Our Top Pick

KitchenAid KMHS120ESS

KitchenAid KMHS120ESS

KMHS120ESS over-the-range microwave model from KitchenAid lights up your cooking.

Buy Now

Our Runner-Up

Whirlpool WMH53521HZ

Whirlpool WMH53521HZ

The Whirlpool WMH53521HZ lives up to the expectations of a conventional child-safe microwave

Buy Now

Most Cost-Effective

AMANA AMV2307PFS

AMANA AMV2307PFS

AMANA AMV2307PFS is RCM’s version of an over-the-range microwave that has solved the problems of frugal people, popcorn lovers, and defrosting eager beavers concurrently.

Buy Now

Who This Is For

This review is targeted at anyone willing to upgrade their microwave by replacing it with a new over-the-range microwave. People willing to access smart microwaves may benefit from reading our review.

What is an over-the-range microwave?

An over-the-range microwave is a microwave that is fitted over the cooktop or electric, gas, or hybrid range with a clearance space of at least 12 inches between the microwave and the range below it. It provides kitchen ventilation with the help of its fans and overhead lighting.

Can any microwave be over the range?

We are in doubt about whether any microwave can be an over-the-range microwave. Manufacturers clearly label over-the-range microwaves, and due to the smoke and fumes resulting from cooking, you may be required to verify if it offers venting capabilities to qualify as an over-the-range microwave.

Ideal wattage for a microwave to ensure cooking/prevent food poisoning

Microwaves on the market operate in the range of 650 to 1,200 watts. Microwaves that are of high wattage, that is, 800 watts or more, may tend to warm food faster than their low-wattage counterparts; thus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend a minimum cooking time for high-wattage microwaves. Essentially, the C.D.C. states that for food security, reheated food should attain 170°F, which can be achieved in a shorter time by the high-wattage microwaves. These measures may assist in attaining efficiency in cooking.

What is C.F.M. and how much should a microwave have?

The C.F.M. of an over-the-range microwave is the venting power measurement in cubic feet per minute. For a good return on investment, you need at least 600 C.F.M. in an over-the-range microwave, although most models are said to have 200 to 400 C.F.M. venting power.

Why You Should Trust Us

Manufacturers of over-the-range microwaves have tried to produce these microwaves for high-end consumers, with those targeted to small households with sufficient purchasing power having low C.F.M., inadequate wattage, and being obsolete and archaic. We, therefore, did research on the best over-the-counter microwaves that targeted the aforementioned homes and had satisfactory quality.

How We Picked

As we began our search for the top over-the-range microwaves, we experienced the hardships that typical consumers face while picking the appropriate over-the-range microwave. We teamed up with past customers who shared with us their first-hand experiences using such products. For instance, these people could replace fuses as fast as they blew them, enjoy newer and quieter models of over-the-counter microwaves, and seek help while installing the over-the-range microwaves. With such intensity, we believe that you will take our word as we maneuver through the list of the best over-the-range microwaves.

Our research largely took into account the aspects of size, power, capacity, noise, and wattage as we physically examined the best over-the-range microwaves. These tools had pre-programmed settings and features that facilitated reliability, durability, ease of use, and ease of cleaning in a typical over-the-range microwave. Lastly, due to our passion for product reviews, we felt that we had to verify the price vs. quality aspect of each over-the-range microwave that we verified to get you the most affordable appliances.

Size

Most over-the-range microwaves were 30 inches wide, which corresponded to the cutout section of the kitchen cabinet. However, we also evaluated compact over-the-counter microwaves that were 24 inches wide!

Capacity

The capacity of most microwaves, which are over the range, is between 1.7 to 2.1 cubic feet. We checked if the capacities of the over-the-range microwaves matched this criterion and picked the microwaves that offered enough room for heating large volumes of food.

Power

As most microwaves are designed to use power level 10, we tried to search for those that used lesser power for heating gentle foods. Hence, the flexibility and freedom of the over-the-range microwave were ensured through the ascertainment of the existence of these power levels.

Wattage

We focused on and tested the wattage of the over-the-range microwave while picking the best over-the-range microwave. For these microwaves, the ideal wattage is between 900 and 1,000 watts, as it helps the consumer make the best use of the power while saving money.

Noise

With the causes of the noise from an over-the-range microwave being the turntable, the exhaust fan, the magnetron tube, and the stirrer motor, we searched through customer feedback for evidence of such instances. The evidence gathered helped support claims of defectiveness in certain ovens.

Pre-programmed settings

As customers love simplicity, we looked at over-the-range microwaves that had the appropriate pre-programmed settings to help cook specific types of food. Our search picked smart choices that enabled the user to preset their power and time settings, which ended up on our list.

Price vs. quality

The quality-price ratio (Q.P.R. ), the measure of the perceived value gained against the price charged, aided in comparing the over-the-range microwaves against each other. The best in respect to this factor offered the highest quality per unit price, thus being more worthy than the rest.

Reliability

For customer satisfaction, we checked if the over-the-range microwaves we encountered had at least an average rating in reliability. Products that were highly likely to break down were eliminated, even though the potential flaws were determined from anecdotal evidence.

Durability

Some experts state that over-the-range microwaves can last for at least 10 years. Based on their opinion, we looked for factors that helped prolong the life of these microwaves, such as ease of cleaning and a warranty on the products.

Easy to use

The over-the-range microwaves were measured according to how users perceived they were easy to use, especially ease in operating the door, their venting capabilities in small kitchens, and tackling the potential flaws that came up. The over-the-range microwaves were then rated on a scale of one to five stars, with the best ones earning higher ratings than the rest.

Easy to clean

Attributes that contributed to easing cleaning in a microwave, such as the non-stick ceramic interior, the steam clean option, and other features conducive and incidental to achieving the highest state of cleanliness in an over-the-range microwave, were tested. Therefore, our best over-the-range microwaves could get wiped easily after spills while their venting features could be maintained efficiently.

Our Picks For You

Our Top Pick - KitchenAid KMHS120ESS

Our Top Pick

KitchenAid KMHS120ESS

KitchenAid KMHS120ESS

KMHS120ESS over-the-range microwave model from KitchenAid lights up your cooking.

This microwave offers two incandescent lamps to light the microwave and the cooktop below, which eases your cooking routines while keeping you in a good mood. It comes with a turntable for even heat distribution when cooking food that is stoppable when containers that may inhibit smooth turning are used. This is a reliable and flexible over-the-range microwave.

Buy Now

Who It's For

This tool is designed for cooks and chefs who love having a solid microwave installed over their ranges. These people will enjoy one of the world’s best microwaves!

Why It's Great

This over-the-range microwave has two halogen task lights that ensure you get reliability from this appliance in your cooking. The turntable, just like any other microwave, is available, and will turn until you use the stop option if you ever need it!

Potential Flaws

Customers have praised this over-the-range microwave for being effective and strong. However, some customers complained that the microwave used lights that were meant for the 20th century instead of LED lights. We discussed this issue, and concluded that it wasn’t too significant as we could still use it to cook!

Other Features

This is an above-average microwave that, when installed over your range or cooktop, will serve a marvelous purpose. The electrically powered appliance is a standard 30 inches to ensure it conforms to your range’s size, cabinet’s cut-out, and international standards!

Our Runner-Up - Whirlpool WMH53521HZ

Our Runner-Up

Whirlpool WMH53521HZ

Whirlpool WMH53521HZ

The Whirlpool WMH53521HZ lives up to the expectations of a conventional child-safe microwave

This tool is a conventional microwave that will help you maintain child safety against microwave hazards. The Whirlpool WMH53521HZ has a sufficient capacity of 2.1 cubic feet to facilitate the heating of food. Its electrical power wattage of 1,000 is enough to sustain fast cooking. This over-the-range microwave does well to heat food quickly while preventing accidents.

Buy Now

Who It's For

The microwave will suit young families with children who may miraculously reach for the over-the-range microwave. The Whirlpool WMH53521HZ promises whole-family microwave safety.

Why It's Great

This magnificent tool is child-friendly due to its child lock features, thus relieving a parent of the stress of losing a kid due to a microwave. Since children get hungry periodically, and you’re always ready for that, the microwave may assist you in hygienically bringing the food to a palatable and healthy state.

Potential Flaws

Customers complained that this microwave tends to make more noise than expected, especially when battling to eliminate fumes with its fans. Due to the noise, we may issue a precaution that may come in handy when purchasing this product.

Other Features

The microwave is almost perfect, but it delivers service excellence! It operates under 1,000 watts, which is safe and adequate for a typical kitchen setup.

Most Cost-Effective - AMANA AMV2307PFS

Most Cost-Effective

AMANA AMV2307PFS

AMANA AMV2307PFS

AMANA AMV2307PFS is RCM’s version of an over-the-range microwave that has solved the problems of frugal people, popcorn lovers, and defrosting eager beavers concurrently.

Ikea's Lagan 704.621.63 production line not only saves money but also adds functionality to a standard microwave. Designed to fit in an approximately 30-inch cabinet cutoff, it offers pre-programmed settings that are indispensable, such that, according to its Amazon product page, they can help you “get popcorn at the push of a button.”

Buy Now

Who It's For

The microwave is suitable for frugal parties that are willing to save money. It’s an effective budget option.

Why It's Great

The AMANA AMV2307PFS has pre-programmed settings that can help you get the popcorn ready in the easiest way possible. A human can interact with the intelligent system, which boasts of a digital clock and display, one-touch add 30 seconds option manually by pushing buttons. The simplified setup allows you to embrace technology at its lowest cost!

Potential Flaws

This microwave, being an electrical device, is susceptible to accidents caused by power surges, recklessness, negligence, or faulty design. A customer reported that it blew up after the warranty period was over. Given the price, we believe it is a good bet for people who love to update their systems regularly, despite the accident that may have been the result of the customer’s fault.

Other Features

Built with the client in mind, it knows that you need to defrost, so it saves you time by doing it over the counter through its unique Auto Defrost feature. It comes with many other features, such as a large glass window, so make it a point to purchase it today.

Almost Made The Cut - Café CVM721M2NS5

Almost Made The Cut

Café CVM721M2NS5

Café CVM721M2NS5

An ingenious, smart over-the-range microwave.

An over-the-range microwave that welcomes your proposition of no guesswork while cooking This microwave does much with steam; it steams vegetables and rice while also having a steam cleaning option. Café CVM721M2NS5 is so smart that it comes with scan-to-cook technology and can adjust its cooking settings with a barcode scan. This is a smart and sure option.

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Who It's For

This microwave is designed for fastidious people who are comfortable using steam.

Why It's Great

It cleans its interior ceramic walls with steam, cooks rice and vegetables with steam, and does all of your microwave culinary arts on time. Through its scan-to-cook technology, it assists you in adjusting the cooking settings for the item to be cooked by scanning the barcode of the item.

Potential Flaws

Customers commented that despite Café offering a range in the same series as the CVM721M2NS5 microwave, this over-the-range microwave couldn’t match the range, and they required very different skills to operate. With this significant flaw, we had to remove this microwave from the list of the top three over-the-range microwaves.

Other Features

Once you connect your café’s over-the-range microwave to your WiFi, you can access the microwave and control it remotely through your mobile device or using your voice.

Care and Maintenance

Cleaning a microwave is a simple process that can be turned over to experts if you can’t find time to remove the dried and stuck food particles. The act of cleaning may involve the use of a gleaming vinegar solution, baking soda, window cleaner for the gleaming transparent look of the microwave’s door, and regular dish soap accompanied by a sponge. Except when steam cleaning, you’re advised to turn off your microwave before cleaning to avoid electrical accidents. To reach an over-the-range microwave, you may need to do it safely while preventing falls and trips. The regularity of cleaning is a debatable matter, but once cleaning is needed, it should be completed as soon as possible, and whenever commercial cleaners visit your home, they should handle your over-the-range microwave.

When heating foods with a lot of liquids, ensure they are in sealed containers to avoid spills. Reheating should be avoided at all costs due to food insecurity concerns, particularly bacteria, pungent odors, and high acidity. Certain foods, such as fish, turkey, coffee, and hard-boiled eggs, should not be microwaved after they have been cooked and kept at room temperature for a minimum of 24 hours because microwaving can cause sicknesses. Such incidents are evident in cases of microwaving to defrost foods, then turning to the refrigerator or freezer to store the leftovers, which are then reheated, since these cases will encourage food contamination in between the freezing and heating instances. As a result, only heat the amount of food you require at the time in an over-the-range microwave.