You’ll rarely find a kitchen without a microwave nowadays because of how much they offer the average homeowner. With this small appliance, you can reheat leftovers, thaw the meat you’ll use for dinner, or cook your meals to completion. While most microwaves sit on the counter top, others are designed to build into cabinets or sit over your stove to save space. An over-the-range model frees up your counter space and keeps your cabinetry free for storing all your kitchen ingredients.
We reviewed dozens of over-the-range microwaves to identify the best of the best. Some of the most important features we considered were power, size, controls, design, and additional features that add convenience to your microwave.
The GE Over-the-Range Microwave ended up as our top pick because it has a lot to offer the average kitchen. With 1.6 cubic feet of space, this microwave has a midsize capacity that’s large enough to cook or reheat meals for the family. We also love its techie venting system to make sure all steam and smells move out efficiently and safely.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Over-the-Range Microwaves
|Best Overall||GE Over-the-Range Microwave||4.3|
|Runner Up||Sharp Over-the-Range Microwave Oven||4.1|
|Best Budget Buy||Sharp 1100-W Over-the-Counter Microwave||3.7|
|Best Over-the-Range Convection Microwave||Sharp Convection Microwave||4.2|
|Best Large Capacity Over-the-Range Microwave||Frigidaire 1.6 Cubic Feet Microwave||3.6|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: GE Over-the-Range Microwave
Although there are several excellent choices for over-the-range microwaves on the market, the GE Over-the-Range Microwave is our top pick because of its affordability, plethora of features and controls, and unique venting system that prolongs its life and boosts its safety. This microwave also features a stylish design with its sleek black finish that can coordinate with a variety of kitchens.
Venting can be an issue with over-the-range microwaves because the steam inside needs an effective way to escape. This GE microwave’s venting system features a two-speed venting system that moves steam safely out of the microwave to keep it from unsafe heat and steam buildup and clingy odors. The system keeps the microwave working its best for as long as possible, unlike others that can wear down fast due to improper ventilation.
Some customers agree that this microwave is a little on the loud side (possibly because of its powerful venting system), but others say that it is easy to install and utilize its many features, like the auto-programmed cooking settings and defrost functions.
GE Over-the-Range Microwave Key Features:
- Turntable can be turned off when not needed
- 950 W
- Ergonomic door handle
- Three pre-set food cooking functions
- Large interior capacity
- Excellent ventilation
Our Runner Up Pick: Sharp Over-the-Range Microwave Oven
Those looking for a stainless steel over-the-range microwave with a low profile might opt for the Sharp Over-the-Range Microwave Oven, which has a beautiful stainless steel finish and is just 16 inches tall to give you plenty of space between your stove top and microwave. With 1.8 cubic feet of internal space and 1100 Watts of power, this microwave can cook, reheat, and defrost just about anything quickly.
This Sharp microwave features an easy-to-clean interior that you can wipe out quickly after each use to avoid food buildup and odors. That combined with its high-speed ventilation system ensures that the microwave stays clean, free of steam, and in good working order for years to come. There are also two LED lights on the bottom of the microwave that illuminate your stove top to make it easier for you to see it while cooking and clean it after you’ve finished.
Reviewers love this microwave for its quiet operation compared to other microwaves they’ve used in their kitchen, its large capacity that’s perfect for family meals, and its excellent cooking power.
Sharp Over-the-Range Microwave Oven Key Features:
- LED lights on bottom of microwave
- Can be room or roof vented
- 12.8-inch glass turntable
- Stain-free enamel interior
- Three-fan ventilation
Best Budget Pick: Sharp 1100-W Over-the-Counter Microwave
The Sharp 1100-W Over-the-Counter Microwave is about the same price as our top pick, which is on the very low end of the price range for these microwaves, but is significantly more affordable than most other over-the-range microwaves. This model can actually be an under-cabinet or over-the-range microwave depending on where you’d like to mount it, but you should allow for ample airflow if installing it over-the-range. Despite its low price tag, this Sharp microwave has 1.5 cubic feet of space and a large 14-inch turntable to cook a variety of foods of all sizes.
There are 11 power levels you can choose from to cook foods properly without scorching them. 1100 W of max power ensures that even frozen or large foods defrost or reheat quickly. There’s even a moisture sensor included in the appliance that helps your food stay hydrated when they cook instead of becoming dry.
A common praise for this microwave from reviewers is that it has reliable cooking times for just about anything they use it for and even heating from its generous power. Some say it’s also much easier to clean than microwaves they’ve had in the past.
Sharp 1100-W Over-the-Counter Microwave Key Features:
- Bottom lights can shine over counter top or range
- Four programmable cooking sequences
- Eight instant-cook settings
- 11 power levels
- 1-year limited warranty
Best Over-the-Range Convection Microwave: Sharp Convection Microwave
When you want to save money and space by combining a microwave and a convection oven, the Sharp Convection Microwave is the way to do it. This convection microwave blends convection cooking with the convenience of microwaving to give you a dual-purpose appliance that you can still install and use over your stove.
Because microwaves don’t necessarily brown and crisp food you want to cook, they’re not ideal for some meals or ingredients, like meats. But this microwave with its four-way convection system allows you to broil and bake food to get that crispy chicken skin or toasted bread you envisioned.
This convection microwave features multiple ways to utilize its ventilation system, too, to meet the needs of your kitchen. In addition to horizontal and vertical ventilation, you can use a ductless ventilation system if that’s most convenient. Amazon reviewers have used this appliance in their RV and standard kitchens and praise it for its simple installation.
Sharp Convection Microwave Key Features:
- Two-color interactive LED display
- Built-in exhaust system with fans
- Lit interior
- 850 W
- Four-way convection system
Best Large Capacity Over-the-Range Microwave: Frigidaire 1.6 Cubic Feet Microwave
The Frigidaire 1.6 Cubic Feet Microwave offers a spacious interior with a 13.5-inch glass turntable to give you plenty of cooking space for large plates or family meals. It also comes with a rack you can keep in to give you multi-level cooking room for heating more than one dish at a time or remove when you need more space.
This microwave is also simple to clean, thanks to its no-fingerprint, smudge-proof surface that also looks sleek and stylish in your kitchen. An Effortless Clean Interior makes wiping down the inside a breeze, too, after each use. You can even make sure your stove is clean when you’re done cooking for the day thanks to the Frigidaire microwave’s under-body lights that illuminate the range.
Despite this model being somewhat heavy and bulky, most reviewers agree that it is relatively easy to install with its included instructions. They also like the microwave’s several instant-cook functions and easy-to-use control panel.
Frigidaire 1.6 Cubic Feet Microwave Key Features:
- Easy-to-clean surface and interior
- Cooking rack for multiple dishes
- Bottom LED lights
- Includes mounting brackets and hardware
- 1-year warranty
Who Should Buy an Over-the-Range Microwave
Microwaves can certainly be a handy appliance to have in your kitchen when you need to reheat, thaw, or even cook food quickly. However, if you have a small kitchen or a limited amount of counter space, you may not want a microwave taking up the little space you do have. This is one instance when an over-the-range microwave can be beneficial. These microwaves sit above your stove, usually at eye level or a little above, and off your counter like a traditional microwave to save space and add convenience in the kitchen.
People with back problems or other health issues that limit their mobility might also find an over-the-range microwave to be easier to use than a counter top microwave. Because these appliances sit only a couple of feet above the range, most adults can operate them without having to bend over or stretch up to see inside.
An over-the-range microwave can also be a perk for people with young children in their home. Although some microwaves come with a child lock safety feature for the control panel, they don’t always fully prevent little fingers from operating them. When the microwave sits above the range, it won’t be as easy for kids to reach.
If you’re interested in another method of food preparation, you may want to take a look at The Best Crock Pots.
Important Features to Consider
An over-the-range microwave for your kitchen should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting an over-the-range microwave:
- Capacity. Over-the-range microwaves come in several capacities, which refer to the internal space the unit offers for cooking. Some microwaves seem big on the outside but have only a small cooking area, while others have a larger cooking area than they seem to have from the outside. You can determine how large the internal space is by looking at the cubic feet measurement. Small microwaves are between 0.7 cubic feet while larger microwaves can range up to two or more cubic feet.
- Dimensions. The dimensions of your microwave differ from its capacity. The dimensions refer to its length, width, height, and depth. These numbers are more important than a microwave’s capacity in determining whether the unit will fit in the space over your range. You’ll want to make sure you have plenty of space between your microwave and stove top to cook and let air circulate safely. Your microwave should also fit comfortably into the area you have designated for it.
- Power. The power of the microwave will be displayed as wattage (W). Usually, smaller microwaves have lower wattage (between 700 to 900 W) while larger microwaves have 1,000 W or more, but this isn’t always the case. The power directly relates to how fast your food heats and cooks. The higher the power, the faster the heating process will be.
- Power levels. Most microwaves come with adjustable power levels you can choose between depending on what food you’re heating. Multiple power levels can be convenient for you if you usually cook or heat a variety of foods or ingredients in the microwave.
- Auto cook settings. Your microwave might also come with pre-set cooking functions for different foods, like potatoes, popcorn, or pizza, which can be useful for cooking them just right without having to experiment with settings.
- Venting. Over-the-range microwaves come with different venting styles. Some don’t need any venting while others require you to vent them from the back, which could mean extra work for you during installation. Some microwaves have multiple venting possibilities, which can come in handy for finding the ideal installation process for your unit.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an over-the-range microwave?
Like its name suggests, an over-the-range microwave mounts above your stove top to give you clearance room to cook your food while keeping the microwave off the counter. This is ideal for people who have small kitchens, little counter space, or kids who can easily reach a microwave on a counter top. These microwaves differ from counter top microwaves in that they have unique venting systems that don’t require side or top ventilation, so they can store safely between cabinets.
How long should an over-the-range microwave last?
Most microwaves can last for several years, even when used regularly if they’re taken care of properly. An over-the-range microwave is no exception. The most important step to take to increase your over-the-range microwave’s longevity is to ensure that you vent it properly. You can check the microwave’s owner’s manual to learn how to vent it or ask a professional installer for help.
It’s also important to clean your microwave after each use. Food and grease buildup commonly cause microwaves to fail because the buildup prevents them from venting properly. You can clean most microwaves easily by wiping the inside down with a clean towel and a bit of soap and water and then drying it with another clean towel.
Can a microwave go above a gas range?
You should always check with the manufacturer of the microwave and a professional before installing your microwave over a gas range. These stoves typically need some sort of venting system above them for safety, but an over-the-range microwave uses the space where a hood or vent would normally go. If you have plenty of clearance between your microwave and range top and you have another way to allow your gas stove to vent, then an over-the-range microwave might work for your kitchen.
How much space is required between the stove top and microwave?
The answer to this can vary depending on the type of stove and microwave you have and your venting system. You should check with your microwave’s manufacturer to see how much space it recommends for safety purposes. It’s always a good idea to err on the side of caution and give yourself a couple of extra inches more than what the manufacturer recommends, especially for gas stoves.
Other Over-the-Range Microwaves We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other over-the-range microwaves. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best over-the-range microwaves list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your home. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
- Over-the-Range Convection Microwaves
- Large Capacity Over-the-Range Microwaves
- Other Over-the-Range Microwaves
Over-the-Range Convection Microwaves
This Bosch microwave gives you double the cooking power with its dual microwave and convection oven features.
- Sleek stainless steel finish
- 1000 W of power
- Large cooking interior
Reheat, broil, and even grill your foods to perfection with this microwave-convection oven combo for an affordable price.
- Includes reversible grill rack
- 3-year warranty
- 1000 Watts
This convection microwave includes a metal rack for tiered cooking and several cooking features, like auto-programmed cook functions and a defrost setting, for getting your food just right.
- Removable metal rack
- Extra-large capacity
- Several cooking options
This unique-looking microwave sits over your range and doubles as a convection oven that can broil, grill, and crisp foods when microwaving alone doesn’t do the trick.
- 13-inch ceramic turntable
- Eight auto-cook programs
- 1400 W convection cooking
Large Capacity Over-the-Range Microwaves
This 24-inch microwave offers two cubic feet of cooking space to host large plates and meals.
- Seven customizable programs
- One-touch cooking panel
- Stainless steel exterior
This 1.9 cubic foot microwave has plenty of space inside but its dimensions won’t make you feel like it’s taking up a bunch of unnecessary space over your range.
- Ten power levels
- Different venting modes
- Cook top light
This sleek microwave has 1.7 cubic feet of space to cook with and a neatly-organized one-touch control panel for your convenience.
- 1000 Watts
- Two-position removable rack
- Two-speed venting system
KitchenAid places its controls on the bottom of the door for this microwave to keep its internal capacity large without elongating the unit.
- Stainless steel door handle
- Steam cook cycle
- 1000 W
This 30-inch microwave has 1.7 cubic feet of internal cooking space and a powerful venting system to keep it working its best.
- EasyClean interior
- Child lock control panel
- Defrost setting
Maytag’s slim control panel offers several features but takes up little space on the unit to keep its internal capacity at a whopping two cubic feet.
- Built-in steam detectors
- 14-inch turntable
- 1000 W
With 1000 Watts of power and a 1.6 cubic-foot interior, this Samsung microwave offers plenty of space for cooking and reheating family meals.
- Quiet operation
- Vent through top or back
- Includes necessary mounting hardware
This microwave features a spacious 1.5 cubic-foot capacity plus an LED control panel to make controlling your reheating and cooking as streamlined as possible.
- 2-color display
- Stainless steel
- Keep warm function
Other Over-the-Range Microwaves
Avanti maximizes internal space with this microwave by keeping the control panel on the bottom of the unit.
- Two-speed venting
- Bottom exhaust fan
- Includes hardware for mounting
This GE microwave is a bit more compact than others on our list, making it a good option for those who don’t need a large capacity microwave.
- 800 W
- Easy-to-reach charcoal filter
- Child lock controls
This low-profile microwave is low in height to leave you with ample clearance between the microwave and your range top.
- 10 power levels
- Just under 12 inches in height
- Quiet operation
This microwave offers all the basics in an easy-to-use control panel that includes pre-set cooking functions, an on/off turntable button, and more.
- Non-vented configuration possible
- Surface light
- Muteable beep alerts
For homeowners who need to save some space, this low-profile microwave might do the trick, leaving extra space between your range and the unit.
- Quiet ventilation and operation
- 1.1 cubic feet
- 10 power levels
This basic microwave features common controls for cooking a variety of controls but sits at a much lower price point than many other over-the-range microwaves.
- Built-in turntable
- Hood light
- 1.6 cubic feet
This Whirlpool microwave is designed to give you more cooking space on your stove top with its low-profile design.
- 1000 W
- 400 CFM venting
- 10 1/4 inches high
The unique control panel display and smooth, sleek finish of this Whirlpool microwave help it stand out in almost any kitchen design.
- 2.1 cubic feet
- Non-stick interior
- Steam function with optional accessory