We live our daily lives always on the go and with no time to waste. Microwave ovens are a necessity, especially for those who live a jam-packed schedule and with no luxury of time in preparing meals.
It gets the job done quickly such as defrosting, heating, and cooking meals. But you have to admit, just like any other home appliance, it’s the alarming noise it makes that interrupts your peace and quiet.
If you’re someone like me who enjoys noise-free appliances, you’ll love a quiet microwave that heats your meal in silence.
If you also like to keep your kitchen counter free and spacious, an over the range microwave does the trick perfectly when it comes to conserving space.
Are you ready to get your hands on one? If so, we’ve listed below a buying guide for you to choose the best quiet over-the-range (OTR) microwave that will best suit your kitchen needs:
Our Top Quiet Over-The-Range Microwaves
This is no different than your usual microwave, except that it’s built with a rangehood. This multi-purpose microwave can be installed over your cooktop. It’s the perfect addition to your kitchen that allows you to save space.
The Sharp R1874T Convection Microwave is an 1100-watt stainless steel microwave oven. From its name, it comes with a 4-way convection heating feature.
If you’re not familiar with convection cooking, this method uses a fan to move the hot air inside of a microwave to heat your food.
The Sharp R1874T is one of the fastest microwave ovens to heat food due to its power usage and convection cooking. It’s also one of the quietest microwaves, that you can barely hear it when in use.
This microwave is of stainless steel, which makes it very easy to clean. Its high-quality base material is durable and lasts you a long time.
It’s built with a 2-color LCD display to show you the status of your meal. Design-wise, it has a sleek and modern look that blends perfectly with any kitchen.
It comes with instant action keys for defrosting, heating, warming among many other functions. The microwave is easy to use, and it initiates an action with one press only. You don’t have to worry about figuring out its controls.
Features also include instant sensors for heating different kinds of food. This saves you from guessing how much time you need to cook or warm your meal.
If you’re concerned about the fumes, heat, and smell coming from your cooktop, the microwave comes with a 3-way ventilation to handle it.
Additionally, its interactive cooking system allows you to switch to 3 different language options. Which makes it user-friendly internationally.
If you’re looking for a quiet microwave oven that comes with advanced features and a sleek look, the Sharp R1874T Convection Microwave is the best option for you.
- Instant action keys
- Easy to clean stainless steel exterior
- Fast heating through 4-way convection cooking
- 3-way ventilation
- Small size for a rectangular or casserole dish
- Hard to clean interior
- Requires a turntable
Best Bang for the Buck
The LG LMHM2237ST is a range oven with microwave that has a lot to offer in terms of performance. Additionally, it has a futuristic design which we can expect no less from the brand itself.
This model operates on 1,000 watts which is powerful enough for quick defrosting, cooking, and heating. It also comes with its own ventilation technology, ExtendaVent 2.0, to get rid of any fumes surfacing from your cooktop.
It features a horizontal control panel that looks technical but is very easy to operate. It offers a variety of automatic operations to match the type of food you want to cook.
This range microwave is a great addition to any kitchen collection because of its classy exterior. It’s also sure to catch anyone’s attention at first glance.
Its 3-way ventilation operates at 400 CFM, which is stronger than the minimum capacity needed to eliminate fumes and odor. Because of its advanced venting features, it’s one of the quietest ovens in the market to operate.
It has a sensor that allows you to cook your food evenly. You can also do other chores while waiting for your food to heat because the oven has a preset cook time.
In terms of size, it is 2.2 cubic feet, which makes it spacious enough for heating more than one dish at the same time. It also has a larger size compared to other microwave ovens in the market.
LG is another trusted brand for kitchen appliances because of its high performance and design technology. If you’re particular with an OTR microwave that functions just as well as it looks, this one would best suit you!
- ExtendaVent 2.0 ventilation feature
- Large size to heat more than one dish
- Modern and futuristic design
- Automatic control panel
- Cooking sensor is not very well designed
- You cannot switch off the turntable
- Dim LED panel
Best Budget Pick
The Sharp R-1214 is another competitive range microwave in our list coming from the brand Sharp. This 1100-watt range microwave oven offers exceptional functionality and quietness at a very reasonable price.
This is one of the fastest heating microwave ovens because of its power consumption. It’s a good feature to look out for if you’re someone who’s always on the go.
It comes with 11 power levels to help you adjust how fast you want your meals to be heated. Not only does it cook food fast, but quietly too.
It has a sleek and solid look which is great to have in your kitchen. Similar to the Sharp R1874T, it comes with an automatic panel and a 2-color LCD display. It even has an acrylic painted interior and an oven light for you to see how your meal is.
Depending on your use, it has 8 action keys that allow you to heat, cook, or even boil water with one press of a button. It also comes with an advanced built-in sensor that’s easy to operate.
It’s 1.5 cubic meters in size, which is spacious enough to hold many dishes while heating. Additionally, this Sharp model comes with a turntable that measures 14 inches in size.
Unlike other microwaves, over range for ventilation purposes isn’t included in this model. But this one is very affordable for the features it offers.
If you prefer a microwave that has a great power capacity for fast heating and quietness at an affordable cost, this is one worth looking into.
- 11 power level adjustments
- Spacious size for heating many dishes
- Variety of options for heating
- Easy-to-use sensor
- Doesn’t provide ventilation
The GE JVM3160RFSS is a microwave over range that offers high functionality and competitive features at an affordable cost. It’s priced more reasonably for what it offers compared to other microwaves in the market.
It’s an easy-to-use model that features large control buttons and an automatic panel. A single press of a button will automatically initiate the action you choose for heating your meal.
It operates on 1,000 watts, which is powerful enough to heat your meal as fast as 1-6 minutes. It also has its own ventilation with a capacity of 300 CFM airflow to eliminate steam and smells.
Unlike the traditional-looking counterpart that’s mentioned in this list, this model is of stainless steel. It’s more sleek and modern in terms of design.
If you’re someone who’s keen to details, you will surely love its stylish handle. Cleaning this model also won’t be a chore because of its high-quality exterior.
What you will like about its ventilation is that you have the option to either release the steam outside or to recirculate it through its charcoal filtering system.
When you’re heating a meal, its hooked venting fan and steam sensor automatically turns on and operates. It also comes with different cook time and timer alerts for you to distinguish its activity.
You also have the option to switch its turntable on or off, depending on the type of dish you wish to cook. This makes it possible for you to have rectangular dishes stored within it.
In terms of size, it measures 1.6 cubic meters, which is a spacious size if you’re looking to cook average and large meals.
If you wish to get the best microwave features that fit your budget, this one would be good to consider.
- Spacious size for large meals
- Turntable switches
- Two-option ventilation
- Hard to install
The GE MICROWAVES 1029481 Microwave Oven is a 1000-watt range microwave that’s one of the fastest to cook food in less than 6 minutes. It’s also manufactured in the US, which means its features are certified and durable to last you for a long time.
It’s one of the quietest microwave ovens that operate without a sound while you wait for your food to cook. It also includes a glass turntable to help cook your food evenly.
It features an automatic control panel to perform many actions for heating, cooking, warming different types of food.
This microwave model comes in the traditional sleek and white design, resembling the old microwave oven style.
It even has the incandescent interior light for you to see your meal. This makes it a nice addition to anyone’s kitchen because of its familiar look.
For its size, this microwave offers a spaciousness of 1.6 cubic feet. Its size is wide enough for you to store any type of dish inside.
If you’re concerned about dealing with smoke, steam from cooking, and odors, it conveniently comes with its own ventilation.
Its ventilation has a capacity of 300 CFM which is strong enough to cycle air out of the entire room. So you don’t have to worry about steam and any odor circulating the room.
This microwave features different notification sounds for the timer and the cooking time, so you can do any activities in between while it heats.
If you prefer a model that comes with strong ventilation and classy design, you might want to consider buying this one.
- Express cook is 1-6 minutes
- Easy to use automatic control panel
- Durable and manufactured in the US
- Large size to heat any dish
- LCD display is dim
Over-The-Range Microwave Oven Qualities:
Now that we’ve discussed the top microwaves, are you more convinced to get one?
Before you get too excited to make your purchase, it’s important to go over the different qualities and features that make up an efficient and durable microwave.
There are many models that compete well against each other in terms of performance and design. This could be a tough decision to make if you want to choose the best product that will serve you in the long run.
We’ve listed below some of the features you might consider to help you choose one that best suits your needs:
Material and Design
High-quality material is an important factor to consider because it determines how durable and easy to clean your product is.
A strong exterior allows it to withstand the heat temperature without deteriorating over long and frequent usage.
We’d recommend you to get one that’s of stainless-steel material. It’s proven to be the best material for kitchen appliances, which will surely last you for a long time.
The design may not be a priority for others, but how well the microwave blends with your kitchen is a nice feature to have. A microwave’s design is what draws you to buy it if you are someone who’s particular with details.
To have a microwave that functions as good as it looks would be nice to have.
The more power your microwave uses, the faster its ability is to heat. If you’re particular with how fast it takes to prepare your meal, you should keep an eye on the product’s power consumption.
A capacity of 1,000 watts is strong enough to get your meals done in 1-6 minutes. This is useful if you wish to use your oven for commercial uses such as baking or heating dishes in a short span of time.
Because it heats quicker than the normal microwaves, it also saves you a lot on energy consumption. Other models have a capacity that’s higher than 1100 watts, which is ideal if you’re always on the go.
If your purpose for using it is only for heating or warming water, you may feel free to opt for a model that uses less power.
Most OTR microwaves are built with their own ventilation to eliminate fumes, heat, moisture, and odor in your kitchen. It’s an important feature to have considering how you will place this over your cooktop.
To determine how well the ventilation is, it should have a capacity of at least 300 CFM. This capacity is strong enough to vent out or to filter the fumes and order within the entire kitchen.
Some models offer a venting ability higher than the minimum needed, which is also good to have for commercial uses. The greater the ventilation capacity, the better the airflow.
People appreciate convenience when it comes to any kind of appliances. Sensors useful in determining the type of food you need to heat, and the amount of time it needs.
Traditional microwaves function by letting you manually input and the time and temperature for heating.
This is sometimes inefficient because you would have to guess the time it takes. It also makes it harder for you to cook your meals properly.
Automatic controls are another good feature to consider since they initiate the action for you with a single press.
It also comes with presets for different kinds of options such as defrosting, heating, or warming.
This saves you a lot of time and preparation in getting your meals done. Wouldn’t that be a lifesaver? It’s even more useful on days you feel too tired to prep a meal.
Before purchasing any appliance, it’s important to know how safe it is to use. This is because most of the work done in the kitchen involves dealing with hot surfaces and electricity.
If you have children living with you, they might tamper with your microwave while it’s in use. It’s better to be safe than to deal with possible accidents that are harder to fix.
A child lock feature would be a good option to consider if safety concerns you the most. Microwaves that come with a child lock feature prevent them from opening it while it’s heating food.
Does A Range Microwave Oven Need To be Vented?
One of the biggest inconveniences that come with cooking is dealing with the heat, steam, and odors emitted. If your kitchen doesn’t have a proper venting system, it could be a chore to air out the fumes yourself.
It also isn’t the easiest to get rid of odors that linger in the room for hours after cooking. Nobody would have the patience to wait until the smell dies down.
Rather than spending more on a scent diffuser or on an exhaust fan, you could invest in a proper ventilation system instead.
What You Should Consider When Installing Your Ventilation
Upon installing your ventilation, you have the option to choose how you want the smoke to vent out. You can opt to have the smoke released outside of the area. Or, you can also have the smoke filtered and recirculated in the same room.
In order to release the steam, smells, and heat rising from your cooking, you would need a proper ductwork system coming from your kitchen area leading outdoors.
Once you have a proper ductwork set, it’s easier for you to connect your microwave oven’s vent system. The steam will then have a fixed passage outside of your kitchen once it’s vented.
Some buildings such as condominiums and shared living areas do not have ductworks provided. Additionally, it won’t be possible for you to reconstruct or to build one as well.
To solve this matter, you can opt to have smoke recirculated using a filter. This method is called recirculating ventilation, which filters out smoke and moisture. Once the fumes are cleansed, it is released back inside the room.
Rangehoods contain mechanical fans that remove smoke, heat, and grease from the air using filtration. Because fumes rise from your stovetop, rangehoods are installed above them.
It’s an important appliance used to handle steam, which is found in almost every home. The rangehood sucks steam out using its filtered fan vents before releasing it outside of your kitchen.
The filter is also capable of cleaning the smoke coming from the cooktop before it’s released back into your kitchen.
Based on the building code standard, kitchens need to have proper ventilation installed over your stovetop. This is why most kitchens are built with rangehoods to handle fumes and odors from cooking.
Most over range microwaves come with their own ventilation functions. This saves you from having to buy a separate rangehood to eliminate any unwanted steam and food smell.
If ductless ventilation works better for you, you don’t have to worry. Microwave ovens also come with filtering that captures all airborne particles, odors, and moisture from your cooktop before releasing it back into your kitchen.
Charcoal filtering is safe to use because it filters out pollutants and odors in the air before it is recirculated. It’s more effective compared to using a plain aluminum mesh filter.
It’s helpful in cleaning fumes and smells, but it’s also a costly option. Filters need frequent cleaning for it to cleanse steam thoroughly.
The filter is also replaceable, which is good enough to serve for as long as 6 to 12 months. If you’re cooking frequently, this will also reduce its lifespan.
Although it isn’t as efficient as external venting, it cleanses fumes and odors well rather than having no ventilation in place.
How High Should My Microwave Be Above The Stove?
We’ve talked about how microwaves come with a rangehood to vent out or filter fumes when cooking. It’s only reasonable that your microwave should be mounted above your cooktop.
It would also be important to make sure it’s mounted in the safest height and distance from our cooktop. After all, you wouldn’t want it to be too high for you to reach and store your meals inside.
For OTR microwaves, their exterior can handle high temperatures from cooking. This is why these types would only need minimal space between the stove and the microwave oven.
Additionally, many models offer different options between external venting or recirculating venting. It would be best to check the oven’s ventilation functions first to determine the recommended clearance needed.
Other manufacturers require a smaller clearance, measuring 13 to 16 inches. While this is their ideal requirement, it might also be too tight to fit your big pots on the stove.
Our Top Choice
Are you feeling more confident in choosing a model that’s most suitable for your use? I hope that this buying guide could help you make a well-informed decision.
The model you choose will strongly depend on how you wish to use it. Having a microwave that’s convenient and efficient enough to get you through the day easily is important in our fast-paced life.
There are many microwave ovens that come with multiple functions such as fast heating action and ventilation. It’s important to consider other qualities to match your comfort.
Compared to the traditional microwaves, these models get the job done quicker and better for you because of the features it offers.
Overall, Sharp is one of the most popular and world-renowned brands in manufacturing the best kitchen appliances.
If you’re looking for a product that comes with high functionality, exceptional features, a sleek design, Sharp R1874T would be our best pick.
If you prefer another credible brand that maximizes its features for what it’s worth, the LG LMHM2237ST would be a good choice. Specifically, because of its futuristic design balanced with good performance.
Need more microwave options? Read through our article on the Best Quiet Microwave Oven.