For many people, their microwave is the most used appliance in their kitchen. It can cook, reheat, defrost, keep warm, set a timer, display a clock, and even make desserts, all with a few presses of a button. Whether you’re looking to replace your retired microwave or have yet to enjoy the benefits of this useful appliance, we can help you with your search.
We’ve curated a list of the best microwaves in Canada to help you find your match quickly and easily:
- Best Overall: Black + Decker EM720CB7 Microwave
- Best Space: Panasonic NNST676S Microwave
- Best Digital: Toshiba EM925A5A-BS Microwave
1. Black + Decker EM720CB7 Microwave
This Black + Decker microwave is an incredibly balanced choice between great value and high performance. Though its 700 watts is a bit on the lower side, it is a good match for its 0.7 cubic feet size and will evenly and efficiently heat your food and drinks. Its dimensions are a reasonable 17” x 13” x 10”, so it should fit comfortably on the counter even in smaller kitchens. This microwave uses the push-button style for door release to make it slimmer as well. The digital display is well-designed with large numbers, multiple cook settings, and quick-touch pre-sets for convenience. The quick-touch pre-sets for popcorn, potatoes, pizza, frozen vegetables, dinner plate, and beverage while the cook settings offer a timed cook, timed defrost, and weight defrost.
This microwave has ten different power levels to conform to any recipe you attempt, and you can also take advantage of the +30sec express cook feature found on the start button. The glass turntable is 10” in diameter, so most dinner plates should fit comfortably unless you’re using square or rectangular dishes that don’t have the same compact turning radius as round plates. The interior light activates upon opening the door. The transparent window in the microwave door allows you to visually check your food while it’s cooking and easily adjust your time without pausing the cook cycle. A child lock feature helps parents cook without interruption since kids won’t be able to change settings without knowing the code. The Black + Decker microwave truly has all the features you could need at a great price, making it one of the best options on the market.
- Exterior Dimensions: 17.3” x 13” x 10.2”
- Interior Dimensions: 12” x 12” x 8.1”
- Capacity: 0.7 Cu. Ft.
- Turntable Size: 10”
- Power: 700 watts
- Power Settings: 10
Performance of the Black + Decker EM720CB7 Microwave
The wattage power of the Black + Decker microwave is on the low end at only 700 watts. Though this wattage is typically connected to lower efficiency and uneven foods, it matches the smaller capacity of the microwave and doesn’t result in poor results. It will be a bit slower than the higher-watt options, however.
The turntable size is generous considering the size of the microwave since it extends as far as possible inside the interior. Compared to larger models, the turntable is small, but it should still fit a dinner plate comfortably as it is 10” in diameter.
This microwave has three cook settings: timed cook, timed defrost, and weight defrost. These are the most popularly used settings and will be incredibly useful for the user. Still, higher-end options typically include sensor cooking, reheating, and defrosting, so it isn’t at the top of the scale.
What Sets the Black + Decker EM720CB7 Microwave Apart?
The Black + Decker microwave has an outstanding value considering its performance. It has all the digital features that high-end microwaves offer for excellent usability, and it is versatile enough for a variety of food and beverage types. We’re impressed by the quality and performance offered for a great price. Its compact size makes it great for apartments since it doesn’t take up too much room on the counter.
- Excellent value for your dollar
- Very versatile
- Compact but useful size
What Could Be Improved On?
This microwave is on the smaller side with a 0.7 cubic feet interior, so users may notice that they can’t fit their larger baking dishes, popcorn bags may get stuck when turning, and not all of your plates may fit through the door. A larger capacity would undoubtedly offer more freedom to users, but everything performance-related is top-notch.
- Can’t accommodate all food/dish sizes with smaller interior dimensions
2. Panasonic NNST676S Microwave
The Panasonic microwave offers industry-leading performance across all microwaves in Canada with desirable digital features and an easy-to-use interface for controls. The generous 1.2 cubic feet interior provides enough space for any dish you’ll need to microwave, from popcorn bags to dinner plates loaded up with last night’s spaghetti. The matching 13” turntable and 1200 watts result in a high-efficiency microwave that can handle the reheating needs of larger families. The overall finish of the Panasonic microwave is stylish and elegant with a push-button door opener instead of the less attractive handle style. A sensor inside the microwave automatically adjusts heating levels. It cooks food to perfection with a single button, giving you more freedom to heat various foods without resorting to the oven or stove and creating more mess.
The digital display is a bit more sophisticated with more and less settings for more tailored control, along with a keep warm setting, quick 30 seconds function, and timer and clock functionality. The cook settings on this microwave are also more advanced with three popcorn levels, sensor reheat and sensor cook, ten power levels, and inverter turbo defrost for greater efficiency when your teenager forgets to take out the meat for dinner yet again. It has an astounding 14 auto-cook programs, including oatmeal, breakfast sausage, omelet, soup, quinoa, frozen entrée, frozen pizza, potatoes, fresh vegetables, frozen vegetables, rice, frozen dinners, pasta, and fish fillets with its sensor cook capability. This high-performance Panasonic microwave ensures you receive perfect results with zero effort every time.
- Exterior Dimensions: 15.8” x 20.7” x 12.2”
- Interior Dimensions: 14.4” x 13.9” x 9.9”
- Capacity: 1.2 Cu. Ft.
- Turntable Size: 13”
- Power: 1200 watts
- Power Settings: 10
Performance of the Panasonic NNST676S Microwave
The Panasonic microwave has 1200 watts of power, making it efficient and effective at cooking larger batches of food without cold spots, uneven cooking, or slow results. Though this wattage is expected on a microwave of this size, we’re still pleased by the performance.
The turntable is a large 13” glass plate, which is on the highest end of the scale when looking at turntables across all microwave sizes. Even the 2+ cubic feet microwaves don’t have turntables that reach right to the edges, so 13” is typically the maximum that you’ll see inside a microwave.
The Panasonic microwave has the standard cook setting of weight defrost, but it is enhanced on this model with inverter technology and turbo speed. The other cook settings are sensor reheat, sensor cook and keep warm for greater sophistication and ease of use.
What Sets the Panasonic NNST676S Microwave Apart?
The Panasonic microwave uses incredibly intelligent sensors to cook and reheat food without any guesswork. This is an advanced technology not available on low-mid level microwaves. It outshines the performance of standard microwaves since it can heat perfectly without damaging your food in any way. The inverter technology is also somewhat unique since it can achieve weight-tailored defrosting and will cook and reheat food without cold spots or overcooked edges. The sheer user-friendliness with one-touch controls set this Panasonic microwave apart from the competition.
- Uses heat sensors to perfectly cook food
- Fully automatic warming and defrosting
- Weight-guided defrosting is more accurate than timed defrosting
- One-touch controls for high user-friendliness
What Could Be Improved?
The only downside with the Panasonic microwave is that the shiny exterior does develop smudges and fingerprints quickly, so it will need to be wiped down reasonably frequently if you’re the type to enjoy things perfectly clean. It is also a larger microwave, so it may not fit on all countertops since its dimensions are a bit bulky. All things considered, a pretty minor flaw in an otherwise outstanding performer.
- Must be cleaned regularly to avoid an abundance of fingerprints and smudges
- Takes up a bit more space
3. Toshiba EM925A5A-BS Microwave
The Toshiba microwave is a standard mid-size microwave at 0.9 cubic feet. This microwave is great for smaller families and impatient individuals since it has a higher wattage of 900 watts for cooking more efficiently than smaller microwaves. It has ten power settings to choose from depending on the type of food you’re cooking or reheating to ensure your food is cooked thoroughly without damaging its consistency – no one likes soggy vegetables or cardboard-tough pizza slices. A child-lock feature is handy for parents since your children won’t be able to turn on the microwave willy-nilly, nor mess up your cook settings while you’re in the middle of dinner prep and thinking about 18 things at once. This is a more traditional microwave with a handle door style rather than a push-button for access.
Several quick-touch menu options are available to make things easier, including popcorn, pizza, potato, dinner plate, and beverage, which are the standard options on most mid-size microwaves. There are also a few cook settings to choose from to make the microwave more useful in your kitchen. Such as time cook, time defrost, weight defrost, and six one-touch minute settings ranging from 1 minute to 6 minutes. So you don’t have to waste precious seconds typing in those extra 0’s. the turntable is 10.6 inches, leaving plenty of room for dinner plates and popcorn bags to spin for even heating. There is a power-saving eco mode as well as a mute option if you don’t want to alert the entire neighbourhood to your shameful 1 am snaking – that’s our little secret. This Toshiba microwave truly is one of the best microwaves in Canada, making it an excellent pick for anyone looking for reliable performance, efficient heating and cooking, and fantastic usability features that make your meal prep even more straightforward.
- Exterior Dimensions: 19.1” x 16” x 11.5”
- Interior Dimensions: 12.3” x 13.7” x 8.7”
- Capacity: 0.9 Cu. Ft.
- Turntable Size: 10.6”
- Power: 900 watts
- Power Settings: 10
Performance of the Toshiba EM925A5A-BS Microwave
At 900 watts, this Toshiba microwave sits on the lower end in the middle of the power scale. Though 900 watts is enough to cook and defrost thoroughly, you may notice a lack of efficiency compared to 1200 watt+ models. For this microwave oven size, it is still reasonably efficient.
The turntable size is mid-size as well at 10.6 inches, so although it offers the extra space needed for popcorn bags and larger dinner plates that the 10” size sometimes struggles with, it is outshined by the 12”+ options that don’t limit users to the type of dish they can reheat food in.
The cook setting variety on the Toshiba microwave is average for a mid-level microwave. It doesn’t have the ability to cook with sensors. Still, it does offer the necessary timed cook, timed defrost, and weight defrost cook options, along with a power-saving mode and +30sec button for excellent versatility and choice in how you cook and reheat your food.
What Sets the Toshiba EM925A5A-BS Microwave Apart?
The Toshiba microwave has an eco-power mode that saves power for lower energy use, which is still rare to find despite the trend in energy-efficient, energy-saving appliances in recent years. Users will greatly appreciate the added convenience features like the express cook one-touch options, child lock, and sound on/off adjustability since not all microwaves will offer these features. It is a well-balanced microwave with mid-level power, a compact size, and an ideal space for cooking various dishes.
- Eco-mode for power savings
- Express-cook one-touch buttons
- Mute optional
- Excellent ease of use
What Could Be Improved On?
Though the performance is excellent, the durability isn’t as reliable since the turntable rests on a flimsy plastic ring and yanking on the door handle will cause faster wear and tear than the push-button style. We recommend upgrades in both areas for more solid turntable support rather than an additional ring. The door design also means you may pull the entire microwave forward when trying to open the door. So you won’t be able to open the microwave if you already have a plate of food in your hand – not a huge deal, but an unnecessary inconvenience.
- Durability is a bit lesser with plastic components
- Door doesn’t operate with a push button
How to find the Best Microwave in Canada for you
The wattage of a microwave is directly related to how efficiently it can heat and cook food, as well as how high the max power setting is. The average microwave usually has between 900 watts 1100 watts. Still, the amount of wattage should reflect the size of the microwave since a larger microwave will require more power to heat the larger food amounts you’ll be putting into it. A higher wattage, such as 1200, will also achieve more evenly heated food than a 700-watt or less model. A higher wattage is always recommended even in smaller microwaves since they cook faster and are more reliable. Still, all the best microwaves in Canada will have optimal power levels for their size.
The turntable is the glass plate that spins in your microwave. Its size matters since you’ll be using various containers, bowls, and plates to cook and reheat your meals. Though you usually don’t have to worry about a turntable being too small in medium or large microwaves, you should double-check the diameter of your dinner plates and compare it to the dimensions of the turntable to be 100% certain you won’t have any issues. If you’re on a budget and can’t afford to upgrade to a larger turntable or use square plates that don’t have room to spin, some microwaves have an option for turning off the turntable to be stationary while your food heats. Keep in mind that your food won’t cook as evenly when stationary, but this can solve the problem of fitting a large square or rectangle plate onto a smaller turntable.
The size of your microwave is even more critical than the turntable size, and you’ll have a great selection of sizes to choose from when browsing the best microwaves in Canada. There are three general categories of microwave sizes: small, mid-size, and large. Small microwaves usually have a cubic capacity of 0.5-0.9 cubic feet. Mid-size microwaves offer a bit more space at roughly 1.1-1.6 cubic feet. Full-size or large microwaves typically range from 1.6-2.2 cubic feet. Since your budget will largely determine the size you can get, this should be one of your first decisions made since trying to use a microwave that is too small will be a highly frustrating experience. It would be best to consider the size of your kitchen, and the amount of counter space you have available as the dimensions of microwaves are generally between 1.5-2ft long and 1-1.5ft wide, depending on the size you choose. When looking at size, consider the length of the door compared to the total length of the microwave to ensure your plates and other microwavable dishes will fit inside.
Microwaves are very versatile appliances these days, so you’ll most likely have a variety of cook settings regardless of your budget. These cook settings include things like reheat, timed defrost, keep warm, sensor reheat or cook, and weight defrost. Most microwaves also include kitchen timers and clocks for added usefulness even when not actively used.
Depending on the recipe you’re following for cooking, reheating, or defrosting foods, you may need a different power level for optimal results. Most microwaves have a specific button for adjusting your power settings to make it easy, and you can expect up to 10 different power levels on the average microwave. Of course, the 10th power setting on a 700-watt microwave will be different from the 10th power setting on a 1200-watt microwave, so you should consider the overall power when considering how effective the number of power settings will be for your use. There may also be a power-saving mode available on your microwave, but this feature is harder to find.
We all know that microwaves make noise, and midnight snackers know this better than most. If you don’t want to be caught snacking by your spouse or parent or don’t want to wake a sleeping child, a mute function will be a lifesaver. Some microwaves don’t have any mute functions, some only mute the cycle end song, and others can mute all button and operational noises, so your diet-breaking habits are kept quiet. Even if the noises simply annoy you, muting them will be a huge relief if you’re using the microwave regularly.
Whether for a quick heat of a small amount of liquid or for adding an extra burst of time without having to punch in new numbers, the +30sec button on a microwave is handy. It is most commonly on the start button, but some also have a dedicated button just for you to add 30 seconds to the cooking time. If you’d prefer, you could always hit the +30sec button multiple times to get your minutes instead of typing in the numbers on the digital keypad.
There are multiple quick-touch pre-sets available on microwaves, but they vary from model to model. The most common quick-touch options are popcorn, pizza, potatoes, frozen vegetables, beverage, and dinner plate. These quick-touch options adjust the way the microwave cooks, with varying power levels and countdowns, so that you don’t have any guesswork when making specific types of foods and drinks.
You have two options for door styles when buying a microwave. The traditional model has a large handle on the door of the microwave that you pull to open the door. The more modern style is a flat door with a push-button on the side that opens the door of the microwave for you, so you’ll never yank on the door and cause it to wear down faster. Though it ultimately comes down to your preference over which door style you prefer, the price may also be a factor as the handled door style is usually found on more affordable microwaves or older models.
Jack is the senior editor at Photo Life and an avid tester of a wide variety of products. From Tech to Home & Garden, he’s tested and researched it. In his spare time, he loves to read, write, and dabble in photography.