best microwavesToday we examine the best microwaves for back to school as rated by Best Buy customers. But, before we get started on the 4 most popular microwaves, I must give a brief explanation of the criteria used for accumulating the list.

Of Best Buy’s selection of countertop microwaves, many had a significant number of customer ratings & reviews. What I was specifically looking for was at least a 4 / 5 star average rating across a decent number of reviews (Note that one model had a 3.9 average but was still impressive enough to make the list with several individual 4 and 5 star ratings from individual customers).

I was also looking for a wide selection of useful customer comments to choose from. Microwaves with only 1 or 2 ratings, even if they received 5 stars out of 5, were dropped from the contest due to their small sample size. Most of the microwaves chosen did not have a full 5 star average rating, but had at least a few individual 4 and 5 star ratings and several in depth customer comments. Beyond this criteria, the selections came down to my own personal judgement as to which 5 microwaves were the overall best.

It should also be noted that for this list I considered only “countertop microwaves” and omitted “over-the-range microwaves” as I do not believe that most students are interested in over-the-range models for their dorm rooms. If this is an error, please see Best Buy’s selection of Over-The-Range Microwaves at the preceding link.

Finally, the 5 microwaves that were ultimately chosen are offered in no particular order. Each one is an excellent choice depending on your budget, space limitations, and cooking capacity requirements. Now, on to the list!



The first microwave on our list is the highly popular LG 1.5 Cu. Ft. Microwave – In Stainless Steel. This 1100W microwave is just about the right size for studentsnot too big, and not too small. Its main features include 10 power levels (and 14 program stages), sensor cooking for several specific food items (including potatoes, rice, popcorn, frozen entrees, and both fresh & frozen vegetables), and a rounded inner cavity with an easy clean coating for quick and simple cleanup. And, just for good measure, there are also auto and quick defrost functions. Quite simply, this microwave has it all!

Just ask PSV from Toronto, ON, who says:

Great functional microwave!

We bought this microwave because of the LG quality. Very happy so far and would recommend this great looking microwave!




Up next is the very nice Breville 1.2 Cu. Ft. Microwave – In Die Cast Metal. Another 1100W model, this one too is a good option for students. It’s a bit smaller capacity than the LG above, but it’s certainly not lacking in features. Included here are Breville’s “Quick Touch Technology” (which provides quick & easy-to-use shortcuts for cooking, reheating, & defrosting your food), the “Magnetron Heating System” (with 10 different power levels, & Low, Medium, & Hi cooking options), an electronic control panel (“with 30 pre-programmed cooking stages”), a sturdy glass turntable for extra even cooking, and a great many other useful features as well. But don’t just take it from me…

Ask Jason Smith, of Toronto, ON, who has this to say about the Breville 1.2 Cubic Foot Microwave:

This microwave offers the best bang for the buck! The microwave is nice and quiet, unlike some of my previous purchases, which really makes it stand out. The features I didn’t really find useful when I was doing research, but I was wrong, they are very useful. The design of it is nice and it doesn’t take up much counter space. Something good to point out is that there is a handle to open the door, which is great for me since I was having lots of trouble fixing the broken door button on my old microwave. Overall, this microwave performed outstandingly and is well worth the money.


Taking home the number 3 spot on today’s list is the Panasonic 2.2 Cu. Ft. Microwave – In stainless steel. At 2.2 cubic feet, this microwave is definitely on the larger side, which is great for students living in a shared flat. With 1200W of raw cooking power, there isn’t much that this microwave can’t handle.

FJ, from Markham, ON, certainly likes it! 


A fantastic product. We used to own a national Dimension4 genius, an excellent product.It broke down after 22 years of use. Then we bought a sharp which was not that great. This microwave reminds of my National Microwave. Very solid build and it heats evenly. I highly recommend this product.


The second LG model to make the list is the LG 1.1 Cu. Ft. Microwave – In Stainless Steel. Although this is the smallest microwave on our list today, it’s certainly no slouch! With 1000W of pure power output, it’ll easily cook anything that you can throw at (or, rather in) it. It also comes with a special moisture dome (that keeps your meal moist as it cooks), a rotating turntable to keep things cooking evenly, a childproof design (so you can lock the keypad & keep the kids from accidentally running your machine), a handy defrost feature (for automatically defrosting items for specified periods of time), and an “EasyClean Coating” with a “seamless round cavity” that makes your microwave super quick & easy to clean when a cleaning is in order.

Chuck Finley, from Edmonton, AB, certainly has good things to say about it:

I’ve had this microwave for just over a month and it works great. The external dimensions are also smaller than some of the other microwaves that I was looking at that have less cu. ft. of space. I would definitely recommend this to friends and would buy again.




Well, we’ve come to the end of our ‘best 5 microwaves’ list, and I trust that you’re now armed with the knowledge you need to prepare your dorm room or shared flat kitchen for back to school. If you’d like to see more of Best Buy’s selection of Counter Top Microwaves,  take a look at what’s available. And remember, be sure to check what your dorm room allows before stocking up on electronic devices and kitchen appliances. Some schools may place strict limitations on these items.


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Leonard Bond
Leo enjoys writing about everything from secret agents to tech toys and gadgets to professional hockey. Find his reviews and other product related commentary right here on the Best Buy Blog and his latest hockey rants at