Microwave Buying Guide

Looking for the best microwave on the market? CNET helps you choose between microwaves, convection microwaves, and compact microwaves to meet your specific needs.

How much energy does the average microwave use?

Microwaves do not have an Energy Star rating. Generally, a smaller microwave is probably more energy-efficient than a larger one. Here are some more considerations:

Know your wattage: Different-size microwaves are rated at varying levels of power. Compact or small microwaves are rated at 600 to 800 watts. Midsize and large ovens are typically rated at 850 to 1,650 watts.

Sensors help: If you buy a model that includes sensors, you'll cook food more efficiently (and save on messes). Features like sensors and variable power settings can reduce cooking time even more.

Use your oven less: Microwave cooking times are drastically reduced compared with conventional ovens, and that's how microwaves save on your energy bill. Some experts say a microwave uses half to one-third the energy of a conventional oven.

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