Uh oh! You got sidetracked by a wayward child or unexpected phone call, and now your coffee is cold. Or, maybe you’re in a rush and want to heat last night’s leftovers before heading out. But reheating the coffee or dinner on your stove will take more than a few seconds, and you’re on a time crunch.
So, now what? Enter the microwave. This handy appliance can do all of that and more, keeping you right on schedule and zapping your food or drink to the perfect temperature in mere seconds. But how do you know which one to choose?
We researched all sorts of microwaves in Canada to weed out the sub-par models and elevate the outstanding models. Our careful consideration led us here, where we have compiled a list of the best microwaves for Canadians. So, if you’re stumped about which model to choose, look no further. We’re here to help!
Why Did We Choose These Microwaves in Canada?
This list encompasses the best microwaves in Canada to help consumers like you choose the right fit. We developed our list of recommendations with extensive research and deliberation to examine all aspects of each model, leaving no stone unturned. Our quest to find the best microwaves in Canada led us to a few select models. Each option on this list earned its spot for a unique reason, which can help with narrowing down your options. Here’s a quick overview of why we chose each of the best microwaves for Canadians in 2023.
The Panasonic NNSG448S is our pick for the best overall microwave in Canada. It offers a solid blend of features and value, earning its place as the best overall. It’s on the smaller side, making it a great choice for households with a handful of people.
If you appreciate high-end features, the Panasonic NNSD965S is a worthwhile consideration. While it comes at a steep cost, it’s packed with techy features to make cooking and reheating foods and beverages easier. It’s a full-sized microwave, so it’s an excellent option for larger households with more than five people.
At just 0.7 cubic feet, the Cuisinart Microwave Oven is our top pick for compact models. It features a tiny footprint, making it the perfect fit for small kitchens and kitchenettes, such as those in dorms, apartments, and condos. Despite its small size, it comes with a wide range of features for convenient use.
The Galanz Retro Countertop Microwave Oven is a great choice for Canadians on a budget. Don’t let its affordable price fool you, though, as this unit is packed with handy features. It has seven auto-cook and ten auto-reheat programs and is available in four glossy colours. Its retro looks are an added bonus for Canadians who appreciate the design trends of years gone by.
If you’re looking for a more eco-friendly microwave, look no further than the Toshiba ML-EM31P(SS)/CA. This model features an ECO mode, which allows it to consume less power while completing the same tasks. It also comes with all sorts of handy features, from a soften and melt function to various pre-programmed sensors.
The Panasonic NNSG448S is an outstanding option for Canadians who want a well-rounded pick. This model features more than just the basics but isn’t so fancy that it requires a learning curve to use.
It comes with seven auto-cook programs: beverage, pizza, potato, frozen vegetables, dinner plate, fresh vegetables, and frozen entree. This makes it much easier to quickly heat your food in the perfect setting with a single tap, with no guesswork involved.
An auto-defrost setting takes the stress out of defrosting your food, quickly defrosting it to the perfect point. It can easily handle fruit, meat, and other frozen items, so it’s a helpful addition to nearly any kitchen.
It’s relatively compact, making it an excellent choice for smaller kitchens like those in condos and apartments. If you have limited counter space, pop it into an open cabinet or on an empty shelf.
This model features a midnight black stainless steel finish with a sleek smoked glass door for a modern look that complements almost any kitchen. The buttons are flat, and the 4-digit white LED digital display makes reading the timer, clock, or cook settings easy.
- Compact. This model is more compact, making it an excellent choice for smaller homes, including apartments and condos.
- Multiple auto cook programs. Complete with seven auto cook programs, this microwave offers more than the basics to get the job done.
- LED display. The four-digit white LED display makes it easy to quickly read the timer, clock, or auto cook setting.
- Glass tray. The microwave comes with a round glass tray to rotate your food as it heats for even heating.
Our Expert’s Take
“If you want a well-rounded option without excessive bells and whistles, look no further.”
If you want to splurge on your microwave for a high-end option, the Panasonic NNSD965S is an excellent option. This full-sized 2.2-cubic-foot microwave is on the pricier end of the spectrum but has the features to match.
It has a cyclonic inverter, which helps heat the food inside the oven efficiently. It circulates heat within the oven, helping to prevent those pesky hot or cold spots in your food. A Genius Sensor offers automatic cooking and reheating to determine the perfect power level to heat your meal. It even monitors your meal to ensure optimal results.
Nineteen auto cook programs are another perk, covering all sorts of meals and items you might want to heat in your microwave. It has you covered, from oatmeal, omelets, and breakfast sausages to pasta, stew, or fresh vegetables. It can even cook ground meat and fish filet, allowing you to effortlessly cook your food to perfection.
The sleek and modern design has a clean, shiny stainless steel surface and a black screen. The green LED display offers quick and easy readings to determine the setting, clock, and timer. A pop-up dial near the middle of the control panel allows you to easily adjust the time, weight, and power level.
- Cyclonic inverter. This feature circulates energy within the oven, ensuring the food inside is heated evenly without hot or cold spots.
- Auto cook programs. Decked out with a whopping 19 auto cook programs, this unit has all sorts of settings to quickly achieve the desired results.
- Pop-up dial. A pop-up dial on this microwave makes it easier to adjust the time, weight, or mode to select the perfect option.
- Inverter turbo defrost. This feature offers high-end weight-tailored capabilities to ensure you never accidentally start to cook the food you’re trying to defrost.
Our Expert’s Take
“This model doesn’t come cheap, but if you appreciate bells and whistles, this option is an excellent choice.”
Best Compact Model
Cuisinart Microwave Oven
If ample counter space is something you can only dream of, the compact Cuisinart Microwave Oven might be an outstanding option for you. This model packs a punch despite its compact footprint, offering numerous easy-use features.
While its features aren’t anything fancy, they get the job done, making it easier to complete the heating task you throw at it. It comes with a cooking memory, which allows you to save up to three of your most-used cooking options for quick and easy use whenever you need.
It also comes with an array of auto-cook functions, including popcorn, potato, pizza, frozen veggies, beverages, and reheat. The defrost feature allows you to thaw food based on time or weight – it’s up to you.
The exterior of this condensed package is neatly designed and emanates modern design trends. It features a seamless marriage of glossy black features and stainless steel components, making it a perfect fit for almost any kitchen.
- Compact. At just 0.7 cubic feet, this microwave is small enough to fit in snug spaces or in kitchens with limited counter space.
- Cooking memory. The cooking memory feature allows you to save up to three of your favourite cooking options for future use.
- Sleek touchpad. A smartly-designed touchpad makes it easy to quickly heat your food without the hassle of trying to learn the function of fancy buttons.
- Modern design. A combination of glossy black finishes and stainless steel components make this microwave an excellent contemporary option.
Our Expert’s Take
“This model is a phenomenal option for Canadians with smaller kitchens and limited counter space.”
Best Budget Model
Galanz Retro Countertop Microwave Oven
As an inexpensive pick, the Galanz Retro Countertop Microwave Oven is a strong contender for Canadians on a budget. It offers an abundance of features in a compact package, so it’s also suitable for smaller kitchens, kitchenettes, apartments, and dorm rooms.
Despite its smaller size, this microwave doesn’t disappoint in its features. A defrost button allows you to thaw your food by weight or time, and a quick start button adds 30 seconds to the cooking time.
Seven auto-cook programs, including popcorn, potato, fresh vegetables, frozen vegetables, oatmeal, corn on the cob, and rice, make it easy to cook your food effortlessly. Ten auto reheat modes simplify reheating last night’s leftovers, including beverages, dinner plates, frozen entrees, pizzas, soups or sauces, chilis, pasta, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and rice.
The control panel features just five buttons and a dial, making selecting the option you want and starting the clock simple.
The microwave comes in four glossy colours, including midnight black, electric blue, fire engine red, and snowy white. Each option features stainless steel components and a smoky black screen.
A one-year limited warranty protects your investment, ensuring you’ll get the most out of your purchase.
- Retro design. This adorable little microwave features design trends of years gone by, making it the perfect addition to traditionally-themed kitchens.
- Compact. At just 0.7 cubic feet, this microwave is compact enough to fit in snug spaces, making it an excellent choice for small kitchens.
- Glass turntable. An included glass turntable spins as your food cooks, helping to minimize hot and cold spots. It’s removable for easy cleanup.
- Multiple auto settings. Featuring seven auto cook settings and ten auto reheat programs, this microwave has plenty of options to get the job done conveniently.
Our Expert’s Take
“Microwaves can be expensive, so if you’re on a budget, this is an excellent option.”
Best Eco-Friendly Model
This Toshiba microwave is an exceptional choice for Canadians seeking an eco-friendly option. It has an ECO mode that helps conserve power, allowing you to save electricity by consuming less power.
In addition to its eco-friendly mode, this microwave is teeming with helpful features to keep things running smoothly. Its pre-programmed sensor menu offers optimized heating modes for popular foods, including pizza, potatoes, and vegetables.
A soften/melt function allows you to effortlessly soften or melt certain foods without overdoing them. Since softening butter for baking can be tricky, as there’s a fine line between perfectly soft and too melted, this is a great feature for bakers.
A one-touch popcorn button quickly cooks your snack to perfection, and two defrost settings allow you to customize the time based on weight or by one-pound increments. A child safety lock helps keep your home safe by preventing your child from using it when you’re not around.
This microwave comes with a handy option enabling you to mute its buzzer. This is a handy feature since excessive, incessant beeping can quickly become irritating as you try to complete another task. It’s also ideal for when your child is sleeping, as constant noisy beeps can easily wake them up.
Additionally, this microwave features a one-year warranty. However, you need to keep the packaging for contacting the company for after-service support and product returns, so be sure to hang onto the box.
- ECO mode. This mode conserves power, saving you more on your energy bills.
- Child safety lock. This microwave comes with an option to lock the function to prevent children from using it, making it a safe choice for households with small children.
- Muteable buzzer. Keep your child sleeping peacefully while you work, or preserve your sanity (Who likes to hear a microwave beeping incessantly when you don’t have a free hand to shut it off? Not us!) by muting the microwave’s buzzer.
- Two defrost settings. Multiple defrost settings allow you to customize the time or use one-pound increments to thaw your food easily.
Our Expert’s Take
“If you want to conserve energy, this Toshiba microwave is an excellent choice.”
Why Trust Us?
With the oversaturated market teeming with dozens of microwaves and combination microwaves, selecting the best option can be overwhelming. They come in varying colours, capacities, sizes, and brands, making it hard to narrow them down to just one option. This is especially tricky if you’re unsure what to look for in a quality microwave.
Our team understands how difficult it can be for consumers to choose highly-rated products without a well-rounded understanding of the qualities to look for. We have made it our mission to scour the market for all sorts of home products to bring you the best of the best, from luxurious mattresses for great sleep to high-quality dashcams to protect your belongings.
We do the hard work for you, pouring hours of careful research for each and every product. We start by combing through best-selling models to find highly-rated options with excellent features. After extensive deliberation and compiling our findings, we present the best products in each class.
In our quest to find the best microwaves in Canada, we kept a watchful eye out for a handful of key features, including the following:
- Sizing: Every home has varying needs – some families need larger units to service more than a handful of people, while others require compact units to save space. As we sifted through industry-leading models, we looked for options to match different spaces and capacity needs.
- Mounting type: While some folks have space for a large countertop microwave, others need something that will slide into the integrated slot in their cabinetry. We searched for options that can accommodate varying mounting type needs to ensure there’s something for everyone.
- Programmed settings: Many of the top microwaves in Canada have an array of pre-programmed settings, although some have more than others. We looked for models that cover the range, some with a few and others with an abundance.
- Cost: We recognize the drastic variations in budget from one Canadian household to the next. To ensure there’s something to match almost any budget, we hand-selected a couple of options spanning budget-friendly to splurge.
Why Buy a Microwave in Canada?
Microwaves are convenient tools designed to help you quickly heat leftovers and drinks or cook instant meals. From popping a bag of popcorn for something to munch on while you watch a movie to heating last night’s leftovers for a quick and easy dinner, a microwave is a handy addition to any kitchen. You can even cook entire meals in the oven when you’re short on time!
Unlike ovens, a microwave doesn’t require any preheating. On top of that, it heats your food in mere minutes (sometimes seconds), eliminating the need to wait half an hour for your food to warm in the oven.
They usually rest atop your counter or suspended over your cookstove, conveniently out of the way. All it takes is a few quick steps and a minute or two to heat your food to perfection.
The ultra-convenient nature of these appliances makes them an excellent choice for Canadians, particularly those on a time crunch. For example, if you regularly find yourself scrambling in the morning to cook breakfast or need a quick way to reheat your dinner before you head out the door, a microwave can be an ideal solution.
Factors to Look for in a Microwave in Canada
Microwaves come in various shapes, sizes, and colours, some decked out with multiple bells and whistles and others complete with everything you need and nothing you don’t. Given the abundance of options, selecting the perfect fit can be daunting. Here are a few factors to consider to help simplify your search.
The size factor is a critical consideration when searching for a microwave for your home. Consider both the dimensions of the box and the internal capacity. You’ll want to select a model that matches the space available.
For example, if you have a built-in recession for a microwave above the range or in the cabinetry of your kitchen, look for an option that closely matches those measurements. Remember to leave a bit of wiggle room for mounting hardware.
If you plan to park the appliance on your countertop, ensure you select a model that will fit in the space you want to place it in.
Additionally, consider the internal capacity and the number of people who will be using the appliance. If you have a smaller family of three or four people, you may not need a large model. However, if you have a larger family with more than five people, you might want to purchase a larger model with an increased internal capacity.
Many microwaves are designed to rest on the countertop, constantly remaining in sight and readily available. You can get creative with the placement of these microwaves if you don’t have much counter space. For example, you could tuck it into a spare cabinet, angled corner cabinet, or even on a shelf above or below the countertop.
Generally, the second most popular alternative to a countertop model is to mount the microwave above the range.
These microwaves often double as a range vent, helping to filter smoke, steam, fumes, and odours from the food you cook on the stovetop. They sit conveniently out of the way, ensuring you don’t have to sacrifice counter space in exchange for a microwave.
Of course, this isn’t the only placement option. If you’re redesigning your kitchen, you can leave an empty spot in the upper cabinets to place your microwave. The gap will need to fit the microwave’s measurements to a tee, as extra space around the appliance can seem tacky.
Select the placement option that works best for your needs. If you’re slim on counter space, choose a suspended option that sits above your stove or countertop. Or, if your kitchen doesn’t have a built-in spot for a microwave, pop the microwave in a cabinet or atop an open shelf.
Suppose you have a designated space in your kitchen for a microwave, like a hole above your stove or in the cabinetry. In that case, we recommend searching specifically for models that match those measurements. Since these measurements can vary from one home to the next, it’s usually easiest to start your search with them.
Remember, if you decide to go with an over-the-range microwave, ensure you select a model that is designed for this. The undersides of these microwaves are designed with fans and lights for over the stove, whereas a typical countertop microwave doesn’t have them. Plus, regular countertop microwaves aren’t designed to withstand moisture evaporating from pots on a stove beneath them, so selecting a model specifically intended for this situation is important.
Pay attention to the programmed settings the system offers. Many microwaves come with an array of pre-programmed settings for ultra-convenient usage. For example, many microwaves feature an auto defrost button to easily thaw meats and other foods.
Some feature more advanced settings, including various auto cook programs. Options for cook programs often include frozen dinners, popcorn, and pizza. However, more advanced microwaves come with even more settings to make cooking even easier.
While these pre-programmed settings might not be a must-have for everyone, they can be a helpful feature for quick and easy usage.
The power consumption is another consideration to think about as you search for your next microwave. Generally, you’ll find options ranging from 600 watts to over 1,000 watts. Smaller, more compact models, like those you might find in a hotel room, usually consume between 600 and 800 watts.
The average residential model usually consumes between 800 and 1,000 watts. The largest models consume over 1,000 watts and are typically standard in restaurants. However, they can also be a popular pick for busier homes with large families or multiple families under one roof.
If you want a more compact model, which is usually suitable for one to three people, look for a model that consumes around 700 watts. The mid-size options consuming about 900 watts are ideal for a typical single-family household, and the largest options pulling over 1,000 watts are typically best for multi-family homes and commercial settings.
A microwave is a fairly straightforward appliance. Many models are equipped with standard features to complete the intended function of heating food and drinks. However, if you have a small kitchen or limited counter space, you may want to consider a multi-functional microwave.
Some microwaves come with numerous functions, creating a two-in-one (or more in-one) appliance. For instance, some double as convection ovens, allowing you to bake your favourite cookies without turning on the behemoth resting beneath your cooktop. Others include toaster functions, rotisseries, and other handy additions to minimize the number of appliances you need in your kitchen.
While you can expect to pay more for a microwave with extra functions, this option can be cheaper than purchasing each appliance separately.
Many of the best microwaves come with some semblance of warranty coverage. A strong warranty displays the manufacturer’s confidence in the product, which generally bodes well for the consumer.
While microwave warranties rarely last longer than a year, the layer of protection allows you to rest assured your investment is covered. However, not all microwaves come with warranty coverage, so if this is an important aspect for you, we recommend eliminating models based on the coverage they offer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Microwaves are a staple in many Canadian homes, offering a convenient way to thaw, cook, and reheat food. They’re widespread nationwide, appearing in millions of homes and restaurants. They’re also common in many commercial and industrial facilities.
Canadians who invest in a microwave can expect to get about seven to ten years of use out of them. The lifespan of these appliances is highly variable, as factors like usage and maintenance can drastically increase or decrease the actual lifespan.
Like many products, the cost of a microwave hinges entirely on the model you choose. For example, if you select an ultra-modern, high-tech microwave, you can expect to fork over more money for the appliance. In contrast, you can expect to pay less if you choose a compact model with fewer bells and whistles.
On average, microwaves cost between $80 and $350, although some models tip the scales in both directions.
The first microwave was an accidental creation by an American engineer named Percy Spencer. While he didn’t plan to create the microwave as we know it today, his creation soon became a staple in households throughout the United States, Canada, and worldwide.