The 5 Best Microwaves Under $200 of 2021

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Being on a tight budget doesn’t mean that you can’t get high-quality appliances, in fact, you can still buy a quality microwave for under $200 and impress everyone with your culinary skills.

This is why we tested 12 different models to find out which is the best microwave under $200.

What we found is that the Sharp ZSMC2242DS is the best when it comes to value for money, while the Panasonic NN-SN686S has the best construction quality.

But, do you want to know which model offered the best of both worlds while still having a reasonable price? If the answer is yes, keep reading to find out.

Image Product Our Rating Price
Editor’s Choice

Panasonic NN-SN67KS

Panasonic NN-SN67KS

  • Inverter technology
  • 11 power levels
  • 3 popcorn setting levels
10

 

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Most Versatile

Panasonic NN-SN686S

Panasonic NN-SN686S

  • Affordable
  • Inverter technology
  • Turbo Defrost feature
9.5

 

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Best Value For Money

Toshiba ML2-EC10SA(BS)

Toshiba ML2-EC10SA(BS)

  • Compact design
  • Lots of cooking features
  • Multiple cooking preset
9

 

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Best Seller

Sharp ZSMC2242DS

Sharp ZSMC2242DS

  • Big cooking capacity
  • Premium stainless-steel construction
  • 10 power levels
9

 

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Budget Option

Toshiba EC042A5C-BS

Toshiba EC042A5C-BS

  • Big cooking capacity
  • Sensor Cook with 13 different settings
  • Several built-in cooking menus
9

 

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The Best Microwaves Under $200

Although quality comes with a price, there are still affordable microwaves that are durable enough to withstand everyday use and are suitable for those on a tight budget.

And since we wanted to ensure that you’d get a seamless cooking experience with excellent results without crossing your budget limit.

We have tested several units and chose the following ones as our top choices. Keep on reading to find out which is the best microwave oven under $200.

Panasonic NN-SN67KS

Editor’s Choice
Panasonic NN-SN67KS
10/10 Our Score
  • Inverter technology
  • 11 power levels
  • 3 popcorn setting levels
  • Child Safety Lock
  • 16 Sensor Cook settings
  • Fast defrosting feature
  • Dim light

The NN-SN67KS is a great model with an elegant stainless-steel finish from the leading brand, Panasonic. It aims at making cooking effortless and fun for those who need an affordable microwave.

With a space of 1.2 cubic feet and 1200 watts, this microwave will help you prepare multiple recipes, regardless of your culinary skills. The size is suitable for a family, and it’s still compact enough to fit on your countertop with no issues.

It features 11 power levels, so you’ll definitely find the right setting to cook your meal to perfection. It also features smart controls, 3 cooking programs, and a LED display that shows information about your meal and how it’s progressing.

Thanks to the innovative Inverter technology, this microwave guarantees that your food will be evenly cooked, with no cold spots in the middle.

If you have kids in the house, you can activate the Child Safety Lock. It prevents the microwave from working until the feature is canceled, but the door can still be opened.

Once you buy the Panasonic NN-SN67KS, you can say goodbye to food that burns on the outside and stays uncooked on the inside, thanks to the genius Sensor Cook that automatically adjusts the power and time to minimize guessing.

This oven has 16 Sensor Cook settings, and there’s a reheat feature that retains the nutrients in leftovers, plus the Inverter Turbo defrosts your frozen foods in no time, making this microwave an excellent choice for busy people.

And to add to its impressive features, the NN-SN67KS produces 2 beeps halfway through the cooking if you’re using Sensor Cooking, this allows you to open the microwave and stir your food for better results. The beeps aren’t loud, making this one of the quietest microwaves on our list.

However, if you’re not careful, you might accidentally hit the clock button, and this means that you’ll have to reset the time. This shouldn’t be an issue, but some users found it a little bit inconvenient.

We found that the gray interior and the dim light can be a little problematic if you have poor vision. Other than that, it’s convenient for late-night cooking when you don’t want to deal with too many lights.

It produces 5 short beeps in total, so it’s relatively quiet compared to other microwaves. Nevertheless, the beeping feature can’t be canceled completely, and even when you open the door, the microwave will keep on beeping.

Having said that, we believe that this microwave is an excellent choice given its durable construction and reliable function. It only needs a light push to close the door, so we definitely consider it to be the best microwave under $200.

 

Panasonic NN-SN686S

Most Versatile
Panasonic NN-SN686S
9.5/10 Our Score
  • Affordable
  • Inverter technology
  • Turbo Defrost feature
  • Touch keypad
  • Built-in menu
  • Child Safety Lock
  • Beeps stop after food is cooked
  • The touch keypad is a little difficult to see

 

Buying a cheap microwave doesn’t mean that you should sacrifice quality, and the Panasonic NN-SN686S proves this.

With 1200watt and 1.2 cubic foot capacity, this microwave won’t disappoint you when you’re preparing delicious meals for yourself and your family.

On the outside, the stainless-steel finish adds a glimpse of luxury to your countertop and shows that you can expect a lot from this oven.

Backed up with the patented Inverter Technology, this oven produces strong and consistent power to cook your food from the inside to the outside, plus the Inverter Turbo Defrost allows you to defrost and prepare multiple dishes without delay.

Unlike other models, you won’t have burned food on the outside that feels soggy or even frozen on the inside. This microwave will impress everyone with the quality of your meals despite how easy it is to use.

One problem that people face when buying a microwave is that they don’t have enough space to set it up. However, with the Panasonic NN-SN686S, this won’t be a problem because it’s lighter and thinner than other models of the same capacity.

Cooking is a skill that some people struggle to learn, but with this microwave, your dishes will be impressively delicious, in fact, it features a built-in automatic sensor that will adjust the power and cooking time based on the food you’re preparing.

This microwave features 14 preset menu items. It also features a quick-minute timer and a delays start button for maximum versatility. You can also use the keep warm feature for soups and gravies.

You can activate the Child Safety Lock to prevent your kids from using the microwave without your supervision.

All the features are accessible through the touchscreen and appear on the LCD, allowing you to monitor your food until it’s ready. The built-in light is bright enough to show you your food while it’s cooking.

The beeps are audible but not too loud, so you won’t wake up everyone if you’re warming a late-night snack. But unlike other ovens, this one won’t keep on beeping until you open the door. This makes it an excellent choice if you’re looking for a quiet microwave that won’t disturb everyone in the family.

However, due to his size and weight, it might slide back if you push the door too hard.

The touch keypad is a little bit challenging to use in low light conditions because of the poor contrast. But other than that, we totally recommend this compact microwave oven for everyday cooking.

 

Toshiba ML2-EC10SA(BS)

Best Value For Money
Toshiba ML2-EC10SA(BS)
9/10 Our Score
  • Compact design
  • Lots of cooking features
  • Multiple cooking preset
  • Healthy air fry feature
  • Include convection oven
  • Louder than other models

 

Having a small space in your kitchen comes with a lot of challenges, but the Toshiba ML2-EC10SA(BS) is built to help you prepare amazing meals despite its compact size.

With 1000watt and 1 cubic foot capacity, this microwave is big enough to fit a whole roasted chicken, a 12-inch pizza, or an 8 X 4-inch casserole, allowing you to prepare multiple dishes for your friends and family.

This microwave will transform the look of your countertop, thanks to its stylish stainless-steel finish. At the same time, everyone will be impressed with the quality of your finished recipes because it will cook food evenly and fast.

It’s equipped with a bright large LED display, easy-to-turn knobs, and a touch control panel. The touch keypad selects the cooking function, and the knob sets the appropriate temperature to cook your food to perfection.

There’s a wide selection of cooking options, as the Toshiba ML2-EC10SA(BS) has 25 built-in settings. These include 10 air fry settings, 4 low-temperature settings, and 11 common microwave settings.

Thanks to the healthy air fry feature, you’ll be using less fat to prepare fried food while retaining the original delicious taste, while using convection cooking you’ll be able to perfectly roast a chicken keeping the inside juicy and tender.

You can even train your culinary skills using the low-temperature cooking feature. This is specifically designed for fermenting yogurt, raising dough, dehydrating fruit, and keeping food warm.

Remember all the times you tried to get something out of the microwave but your fingers get burned? Not anymore, because this microwave has the position-memory feature which resets the turntable to its original position, so you can grab your mug or casserole from the handle.

You can also activate the eco-mode, which minimizes the standby power usage by 50%, making it an excellent choice if you’re trying to minimize your carbon footprint.

This microwave offers a clear interior view, thanks to the bright light, so you can monitor your food while it’s cooking. The interior cavity is easy to clean and scratch-resistant for more convenience. You can also activate the Child Safety Lock when you’re not in the kitchen.

The best thing about this microwave is that you can turn off the beep, even it only beeps 5 times, you can still decide to cancel this feature altogether. However, it’s not entirely silent because the internal fans tend to be a little too loud.

 

Sharp ZSMC2242DS

Best Seller
Sharp ZSMC2242DS
9/10 Our Score
  • Big cooking capacity
  • Premium stainless-steel construction
  • 10 power levels
  • Sensor Cook feature with 6 settings
  • The buttons are difficult to see in low light

 

The Sharp ZSMC2242DS has an impressive capacity of 2.2 cubic feet and 1200 watts of cooking power, plus the 16-inch removable turntable is big enough to fit a family dinner with no issues.

This microwave is made of premium stainless steel to withstand everyday cooking duties and it also has a blue-lit LED display to create a modern look and improve visibility.

It features 10 power levels for maximum convenience while cooking multiple meals. Moreover, you can also activate the Sensor Cook feature to choose between different 6 settings, according to the food you’re preparing.

The reheating feature makes your leftovers more delicious and appealing. This microwave oven is an ideal choice for those who look for a cheap microwave that’s big enough to accommodate a big family.

You can also use the melt/soften feature, which works for butter, cheese, chocolate, and even ice cream.

If you’re in a hurry, use the Auto Defrost switch, which regulates the power based on the weight of your item. You can also activate the Express Cook option, which finishes your food in less than 6 minutes.

The buttons are intuitive and simple to use. Once the cooking is done, this microwave will beep 3 times to let you know that your food is ready.

The Sharp ZSMC2242DS is designed for those who want a large cooking capacity, so it’s perfect for big families, however, if you suffer from vision problems you might struggle while using the buttons at night.

 

Toshiba EC042A5C-BS

Budget Option
Toshiba EC042A5C-BS
9/10 Our Score
  • Big cooking capacity
  • Sensor Cook with 13 different settings
  • Several built-in cooking menus
  • Eco-mode
  • Child Safety Lock
  • The sound can be turned off
  • The interior light get damaged easily

 

The Toshiba EC042A5C-BS is an elegant microwave that also offers the benefits of a convection oven in one appliance.

Using this impressive microwave, you’ll be able to access one defrosting, four auto bake, and four auto roast menus to prepare delicious dishes. You can bake or grill by combining various features for optimum results.

It has a capacity of 1.5 cubic feet and 1000 watts of power, and it’s big enough to prepare your dinner while making sure that all the ingredients are cooked to perfection.

You can select a preprogrammed menu item like frozen pizza or vegetables, or you can adjust the cooking time manually to cook your food to perfection.

The Sensor Cook options offer 13 different settings, allowing you to prepare multiple recipes. It constantly detects the humidity level in the food to make sure that it won’t overcook while the interior stays uncooked or cold.

As a result, we believe that the Toshiba EC042A5C-BS is an excellent choice for beginners who are interested in inexpensive microwaves.

The one-touch popcorn function makes it an excellent choice for quick snacks. Just press the button, and the microwave will do the rest on its own.

You can also activate the eco-mode to save standby power. This microwave also features a Child Safety Lock that prevents the appliance from operating.

Although it only produces 3 beeps, you can cancel this function completely. This is an excellent choice for those who want to buy a reliable microwave oven that won’t disturb everyone in the family.

However, the interior light tends to break easily and is a little challenging to replace. As a result, monitoring your food while it’s cooking won’t be that easy.

How to Choose a Microwave Under $200

Back in the day, people used to believe that microwave ovens could only be used to reheat leftovers or cook pizza for dinner. However, today using just a reliable microwave, you can prepare lots of delicious recipes.

But finding the right microwave can be a little challenging, especially if you’re on a tight budget. So, what are the most important features to look for when you shopping for a budget microwave oven? Continue reading to learn everything you need to know.

Capacity

Before deciding on a model, you need to check the cooking capacity. If you live alone or with a partner and you just use the microwave for light cooking, you should choose a model with a smaller capacity like the Toshiba ML2-EC10SA(BS).

However, if you live in a busy household, you need to look for a bigger model. In this case, the NN-SN67KS, the NN-SN686S, and Toshiba EC042A5C-BS are medium-sized options that will accommodate most families’ needs.

Lastly, if preparing food for a big family or group of friends is something you do daily, the Sharp ZSMC2242DS will be the perfect choice for you.

Built-In Features

Microwave ovens are made to make cooking easier and less time-consuming. This is why you need to pay attention to all the extra features that your appliance offers.

When you’re on a tight budget, you need to make sure that you’re not giving up comfort while shopping for a budget microwave.

Having more cooking options is a big plus, especially if you’re a beginner. We recommend the Toshiba EC042A5C-BS  for less experienced users, thanks to its built-in menus and Sensor-Cook options.

If you’re looking for a straightforward model, you should check out the Sharp ZSMC2242DS, since it is suitable for those who get overwhelmed with too many options and need an intuitive and straightforward microwave oven.

Speaking of options, the Toshiba ML2-EC10SA(BS) breaks the record with 25 built-in cooking features, still having an affordable price.

The Panasonic NN-SN67KS and the Panasonic NN-SN686S are suitable for most users because they offer multiple features for most families.

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