Looking for a microwave oven on the cheaper side of things? If your home needs a new appliance for defrosting or reheating then you’ve actually got a lot of choice for just a hundred bucks.
We’ve spent hours researching the best microwave so you don’t have to. Putting together the top microwaves you can buy for less than 100 dollars in this article. We’ve reviewed the microwaves in terms of value for money, features, reliability and more. So read on if you want our recommendations.
(Please note prices fluctuate. For this reason we’ve tried to avoid using specific figures although all microwaves are under $100 at time of writing.)
Best Microwave Under $100
- Best Overall: Toshiba EM925A5A-BS Microwave Oven
- Best Aesthetic: BLACK+DECKER EM925AB9
- Cheapest: Sharp ZSMC0710BB Microwave Oven
- Most Reliable: Kenmore 70923 Countertop Microwave
Excellent all round microwave oven that packs a lot in for the money.
Toshiba have a stellar record for reliability of their microwaves.
Number one on our list is a great offering from Toshiba. In fact, this microwave is so impressive it won “Best Budget” in our overall roundup of the top microwave brands which you can read about in this article here.
Toshiba makes great all round microwaves. That means a simple, unfussy design that gets the job done without overloading you with pointless extras that you’ll never use.
You get a decent 900W power which gives respectably fast cooking times along with many useful extras like an eco mode, mute option and plenty of presets to work with.
The company has a stellar reputation when it comes to the reliability and longevity of its microwaves. The microwave oven is not a sexy appliance.
Most people would prefer to buy something that sits in the corner of the kitchen and does its job quietly for a decade with no issues. Toshiba fits the bill in this respect/
The aesthetic is not to everyone’s taste. These days the trend with home microwave ovens is a slick black stainless steel finish that looks trendy and modern.
By comparison, the Toshiba can look a little dated in some eyes. Happily, this doesn’t affect the user interface which is clear to understand which button does what and very easy to use.
The machine I’ve linked to is actually considerably under 100 so you can save a few dollars by choosing this one. If you’d like a bit more bang for your buck then the next model up from Toshiba (1.2 cubic feet) is equally impressive in all the same areas but with more size, more power and the wonderful addition of smart sensor heating. You are going a little over the 100 mark with that one though.
Black & Decker
All features necessary for solid defrosting and other modes.
Range of power settings to choose from.
Excellent value for money.
Black + Decker produce truly beautiful looking microwaves and copy the black stainless steel chic that you typically see in much more expensive microwave ovens.
The model I’ve linked to is one of their “mid range” microwaves which comes in at an average 0.9 cubic feet capacity.
This is paired with a solid 900W power which is respectable in terms of delivering fast cooking times and about as high as you can expect at this price range.
The microwave is not packed with features but has all the main things you would hope for. You get six presets for common microwave cooking like popcorn, vegetables or potato. You have ten different power levels to cook with and a useful little “+30 seconds button” as well.
To top it all off, Black + Decker is considered one of the best overall brands when it comes to reliability. Reports of breakdowns and other issues in its microwaves are reassuringly rare.
Do bear in mind that the keypad does not have a backlight and can be a little hard to read in spaces that are not well-lit.
Impressive amount of features for such a cheap microwave.
Solid reviews and rating from previous customers.
The door can be a little tough to open.
If money is priority numero uno then feast your eyes on this little number. This microwave actually features in my list on “Best Microwave Under 50” and comes out as the overall winner!
The Sharp at the bottom end of the price range of microwaves which means its capacity of 0.7 cubic feet is as small as the come, although sufficient for most household needs outside of using larger plates or bowls.
It also comes with low 700W power which means cooking times will be slower than with more expensive and powerful microwaves.
The look is dated but doesn’t get in the way. All buttons are clearly marked and you won’t be spending hours in the manual trying to figure out how to find the “popcorn” setting.
The white color and general design might put people off who want a microwave that looks like it was made in the last 20 years, though!
The Sharp comes out pretty well featurewise for the price, offering a decent amount of preset functions, an “auto defrost” mode, the ability to use the clock as a kitchen timer and even a super handy “+30 seconds” button to save you a few seconds when plugging a time in.
Again though, this microwave is for those who just want something solid which will work at the cheapest possible price. The other microwaves in the list all offer a little more for the extra few dollars you’re shelling out.
Kenmore offer a solid bet for a reliable option at this price range.
Dependable model that will suit those looking for more of a “no frills” appliance.
Our fourth option for best microwave under $100 comes from Kenmore who produce a range of smaller, budget microwaves. The one I’ve linked to is actually their largest model currently on sale but is similar to the other microwave ovens in this list.
Its size is a medium 0.9 cubic feet in capacity with an equally average power output of 900W.
Do bear in mind that power outputs in microwaves have steadily risen over the years and a typical home microwave a few decades ago would’ve been 700-800W. So when it comes to cooking times, the Kenmore at 900W is no slouch.
A great touch with Kenmore’s microwaves is the few reports of reliability issues. A microwave is not the kind of appliance anyone enjoys spending their weekend trying to fix so a solid microwave that’ll last without issues can be a real weight off in terms of stress.
Features-wise, you’re looking at a standard set for this level of microwave with six preset modes to choose from as well as a “+30 seconds button”, ten different power levels and “weight defrost” mode.