Kitchen space at a premium? The best over-the-range microwaves keep your counters clear and cook up a storm in no time. As their name suggests, over-the-range microwaves are installed above your stove in place of the best range hoods and are not to be confused with the best compact microwaves. These clever two-in-one devices allow you to cook meals quickly while acting as an extractor fan for your stove.
Whether you’re squeezed for food prep space or you’re after a sleek, minimalist design, an over-the-range microwave is a great choice. While they may not be portable like your standard microwave, they do have the power to dispel steam, cooking smells, and smoke thanks to the integrated exhaust fans.
When it comes to figuring out the best over-the-range microwave for you, there are some things to consider. Size is a good starting point to narrow down your search. You’ll find capacity ranges from 1.7 to 2.2 cubic feet. You may want to consider a larger model for a family home though this may not be necessary if you’re cooking for one.
Another factor you’ll want to weigh up is the fan speed. Venting power is measured in CFM. You’ll see a range from 250 - 400 CFM, with the higher numbers indicating better airflow. The models with the highest suction power tend to be more expensive, so your choice will depend on your kitchen space and your ventilation needs.
Our round-up of the best over-the-range microwaves guides you through key considerations like price, capacity, power, ease of cleaning, and more, to help you find the right one for your kitchen. Our top picks feature brands such as GE, LG, and Frigidaire.
Once you’ve figured out the right over-the-range microwave for you, check out our guide on how to clean a microwave to keep it looking as good as new. For now, here are our top picks of the best over-the-range microwaves.
1. LG LMHM2237ST: Best over-the-range microwave overall
The LG LMHM2237ST over-the-range microwave has the largest capacity out of all the microwaves we reviewed at 2.2 cubic feet, making it great for large dishes and preparing family meals. Doubling up as an extractor fan, this over-the-range microwave from LG has the most impressive fan speed of all models we reviewed - a brilliant 400 CFM.
The fan on the LG LMHM2237ST has four power levels to choose from and there are also three settings for the lights which shine down on the cooktop below. In terms of cooking features that this over-the-range microwave offers, you can expect sensor cooking to ensure your food isn’t overcooked.
Other handy features include the energy-saving mode which turns off the display when not in use, and the controls on this over-the-range microwave are also placed along the bottom of the model, making them easy to access. The LG LMHM2237ST comes with a one-year warranty covering parts and labor, but a 10-year warranty on the microwave’s magnetron.
- Read our LG LMHM2237ST review
2. GE JVM3160RFSS: Best over-the-range microwave for quick cook options
The GE JVM3160RFSS over-the-range microwave is one of the more affordable options in our round up. For less than $300, you will benefit from a robust and modern-looking microwave that has a capacity of 1.6 cubic feet.
In terms of features on offer with this microwave, there isn’t sensor cooking, however, there is a warm power setting which will be handy when you want to keep food warm but aren’t quite ready to eat just yet. There are also presets for popcorn, potatoes, and drinks.
What’s good about the GE JVM3160RFSS is that you can choose between two different fan speeds and two light settings too. The warranty is also particularly impressive on this GE model. A one-year warranty covers the whole microwave, but there’s also a 10-year warranty on the magnetron too.
- Read our GE JVM3160RFSS review
3. Frigidaire Gallery FGMV17WNVF: Best over-the-range microwave for making multiple meals
The Frigidaire Gallery FGMV17WNVF is a great over-the-range microwave that has a decent 1.7 cubic feet capacity and a smudge-proof finish so you won’t be left with fingerprints all over your microwave.
This microwave has 1000 watts of power, which is pretty standard, but it also comes complete with a removable rack so that you cook more than one dish at once. The Frigidaire Gallery FGMV17WNVF also has ten cooking functions including preset buttons for things such as popcorn, softening, and veggies - and it benefits from sensor cooking too.
A safety long is a handy extra and you’ll also have the ability to turn off the turntable. The fan on the Frigidaire Gallery FGMV17WNVF reaches a maximum CFM of 300 but some once your food has finished cooking, this microwave will continuously beep until you open the door or cancel the program. You also won’t be able to dim the light on the clock.
- Read our Frigidaire Gallery FGMV17WNVF review
4. ZLINE MWO-OTR-30: Best over-the-range microwave for power
The ZLINE MWO-OTR-30 over-the range microwave has an impressive wattage of 1500 - that’s the highest of all the models we reviewed but it is one of the more expensive microwaves we reviewed too.
In terms of features on offer with this ZLINE microwave, there are presets for snacks, popcorn, and melting and you’ll also benefit from sensor cooking too. The extractor fan on this over-the-range microwave has a fan speed of 300 CFM and the interior is coated with a diamond-shaped reflective pattern to help cook food more evenly.
What is a little disappointing about this microwave is that it only comes with a two-year parts warranty, which isn’t long considering the price of this model.
- Read our ZLINE MWO-OTR-30 review
5. Samsung ME16K3000AS: Best over-the-range microwave for affordability
The Samsung ME16K3000AS is one of the cheaper over-the-range microwaves we’ve reviewed. It might not have lots of fancy features, but it still offers 1000 watts of cooking power and its fan has a maximum CFM of 300 which is good.
There are 10 different cooking settings including the usuals like defrost, boil, and reheat. One element which is well-thought-out on this microwave is the position of the turntable which is flush with the bottom of the microwave. This is useful because you can easily slide dishes in and out.
Where this microwave is lacking is the inability to switch off the turntable and there is no sensor cooking function either. But for what you pay, you are covered by a 10-year warranty on the magnetron, a one-year warranty on the parts, and an Eco Mode too.
- Read our Samsung ME16K3000AS review
Today's best prices on the top over-the-range-microwaves
Best over-the-range-microwaves FAQ
How much do the best over-the-range microwaves cost?
Whatever your budget, you can find an over-the-range microwave for you. Prices range from $200 and $600. You can expect to pay between $150 and $250 if you’re looking for a device that does the job without breaking the bank.
You get what you pay for, so the budget models tend to be no-frills devices. Look out for options like a dishwasher-safe turntable to make cleaning fuss-free as a basic requirement. You may also want to opt for one with a 30-second button, handy for adding time to an existing countdown, or to warm food for shorter blasts. We recommend checking the preset buttons for specific food types like popcorn if you use these a lot.
The more expensive models come with premium features. If you’re cooking for a crowd, you may want to go for a device with a larger capacity. Other touches we love are nonstick interiors and fingerprint resistance, making your over-the-range microwave a breeze to clean. Premium models benefit from high-tech features. Examples include convection ovens for quick and balanced heating. Look out for sensor cooking, a nifty feature that assesses and adjusts your cooking time accordingly. The more expensive over-the-range microwaves come with smartphone compatibility and even scan-to-cook technology for ultimate convenience. This allows you to scan the barcode on frozen food packages with an app that automatically sets the correct cooking time for you.
How to choose the best over-the-range microwave for you
Power and cooking
When it comes to choosing a microwave, speed is a priority. After all, if you’re opting for a microwave over the oven then you’re likely pressed for time. In our reviews, we factored in how quickly the devices cooked food by examining the capacity, total wattage, capacity, convection capabilities, and other cooking features.
Over-the-range microwaves stand apart from your average microwave thanks to their ability to extract smoke, steam, and cooking odors on top of their cooking capabilities. This makes them a practical, space-saving choice as they combine two functions in one device. We focused on high-powered models that could extract air quickly as well as considering bonus features like night lights and automatic venting.
Looks aren’t everything, but they are important in a device that will feature prominently in your kitchen. We focused on options offering practicality without compromising on style. Look out for devices with a range of color options to suit your kitchen and functional design features like shelving configurations, child locks, and more.
Warranty and support
You may be concerned about reliability since this microwave will be a hard-working part of your kitchen. We favored over-the-range microwaves with better, longer warranties to give you protection and peace of mind.