The best microwaves for a fast-paced lifestyle

Shorter cooking times mean more nutrients stick around.

Best microwaves
Great countertop microwaves.Sarah Wardlaw via Unsplash

The microwave oven as we know it has been around for more than seven decades now, claiming its place in countless home and office kitchens, humbly warming leftovers and cups of coffee for the masses. This ubiquitousness has not only taken some of the sheen off the microwave’s magic, but it’s also spoiled our cooking processes to a point. After all, these electromagnetic boxes work up to six times faster than a conventional oven, saving both time and energy. No matter your situation, anyone can benefit from the resources saved by using a microwave.

If you’re in the market for a new one of these staple appliances, we have a few prime options.

Panasonic Stainless Steel Microwave Oven

Panasonic Stainless Steel Microwave Oven

A classic powerhouse.Amazon

This stainless steel microwave boasts an epic 1250 watts of power, but it still lands on the higher end of the efficiency spectrum. While most models switch on and off at lower heat levels, Panasonic’s Inverter Technology allows for continuous cooking, saving energy and also zapping food more evenly for a tastier, more nutritious meal.

Comfee Retro Style Countertop Microwave Oven

Comfee Retro Style Countertop Microwave Oven

Modern cooking with retro looks.Amazon

The Comfee compact microwave offers a compact microwave with a throwback vibe that goes well with almost any interior-decor aesthetic. The 700-watt machine comes in red, cream, and pastel green and features a bold curved handle and round buttons. After every cooking cycle, the smart turntable rotates back to its original position, so you can grab your mug or Pyrex handle without getting burned. Additional features include a kitchen timer, 10 power modes, and a child lock. You can even mute the beeps!

Samsung  Microwave Oven and Grill

Samsung Microwave Oven and Grill

A winning combination.Amazon

Samsung’s sleek and versatile microwave oven is a one-stop solution for fast, experimental cooking. Use it as you would a traditional microwave, or grab the included mesh stand to crisp up bacon, veggies, burger buns, and more. The cooking and grilling functions can even work in tandem, so you can prep a pizza in the microwave and get even, quick heating and a traditional oven-quality crust. The microwave’s ceramic enamel interior looks great and is easy to clean, and the exterior boasts a sleek mirrored front and a black metal casing.

AmazonBasics Microwave with Alexa

AmazonBasics Microwave with Alexa

Alexa, more mashed potatoes, please.Amazon Books Editor

This 700-watt microwave from AmazonBasics takes up just seven-tenths of a cubic foot, making it perfect for apartment living or other situations where space is in short supply. Basic features include a child lock, timer function, a turntable, and 10 power levels, but you can also integrate it seamlessly with Alexa and cook your meals with little more than your own voice, which is ideal for multitasking in the kitchen. You can have it reorder popcorn automatically for you every time you’re running low (and save a small percentage on your order while you’re at it).