6 Types of Microwaves To Choose From: Pick Your Winner

If you are on the hunt for a new microwave, hold your horses a bit. Let me ask you this: Are you sure that your chosen microwave type is the best for your kitchen? If you think that there’s just a countertop and built-in microwave type, then you are mistaken. You actually have more options than those two.

different types of microwaves

Naturally, built-in and countertop microwaves are the most known – that is a fact. But maybe your kitchen design provides space for other types, which will suit you better.

Let’s explore those options.

6 Microwave Types to Consider

If you search for microwave types on the internet, you will find a lot of articles with various numbers, like 3, 5, and even 10 types. However, in my opinion, anything beyond 5-6 types are stretches – there’s little difference after that.

But you don’t have to take my word for it, feel free to compare those results and see for yourself.

Here, we will talk about the six microwave types that are quite different from each other.

1) Countertop Microwaves: The Jack of All Trades

Definitely the most known type – the countertop microwave – the classic, no-nonsense, I-just-need-to-heat-my-food type of appliance. These bad boys sit pretty on your countertop, taking up precious counter space but making up for it with their sheer convenience.


  • Easy installation: Just plug it in and you’re good to go! No need to call in a professional.
  • Portable: Feel like moving? Great! Take your microwave with you.
  • Affordable: You won’t have to take out a second mortgage for one of these.


  • Counter space: Say goodbye to that extra counter space you didn’t know you needed.
  • Size limitations: If you’re planning to cook a Thanksgiving turkey in this, think again.

Note: I’d say that this category also includes under-cabinet microwaves, since technically, they are not built-in.

2) Over-the-Range Microwaves: When Your Kitchen Becomes a Space Station

For those who like their kitchens to look like they’ve just stepped into the future, the over-the-range microwave is your go-to option. Located right above your stove, these appliances not only heat your food but also double as a range hood to keep your kitchen smoke-free.


  • Space saver: No more sacrificing counter space. Hooray!
  • Built-in range hood: Two appliances in one? Sign me up!
  • Aesthetically pleasing: Your kitchen will look like it belongs in a home improvement magazine.


  • Expensive: Cha-ching! Expect to shell out a bit more cash for this beauty.
  • Complex installation: You’ll need a professional installer or a friend with a tool belt and some serious DIY skills.

3) Built-In Microwaves: The Ultimate in Kitchen Integration

If you’re a fan of the seamless, I-can’t-believe-it’s-a-microwave look, then the built-in microwave is your perfect match. It’s like the secret agent of microwaves, hiding in plain sight – and possibly the second best-known microwave type.


  • Space-saving: These microwaves free up both counter and cabinet space.
  • Customizable: Choose the perfect spot for your microwave in your kitchen layout.
  • Sleek design: Impress your friends with your design-savvy kitchen.


  • Expensive: You guessed it – these puppies don’t come cheap.
  • *Professional installation required: Don’t even think about trying to install this yourself.

*Note: I mean, technically, it is doable to install a built-in microwave yourself, but you still need another set of hands to help you out. However, I would advise against that and have a certified professional do the installation for you. Don’t worry, it will hurt your ego just a bit.

4) Convection Microwaves: When You Can’t Decide Between an Oven and a Microwave

Can’t you decide between a microwave and an oven? Why not have both? Convection microwaves are like the superhero duo of kitchen appliances, combining the powers of microwave and convection cooking into one glorious machine. What a time to be alive, right?


  • Versatility: Heat your leftovers or bake a cake. The world is your oyster.
  • Faster cooking: The convection feature speeds up cooking times. Great for impatient chefs.
  • Even heating: No more cold spots in your food. Hallelujah!


  • Pricey: More features = more money. Simple math.
  • Learning curve: You might need a degree in microwave-ology to master all the settings.

5) Under-Counter Microwaves: The Hidden Gem of Kitchen Appliances

For those who like their microwaves to be seen but not heard, the under-counter microwave is the perfect solution. This type is designed to be installed in your lower cabinets, keeping your countertops free and clear.


  • Space-saving: No countertop or upper cabinet space is needed.
  • Customizable: Find the perfect spot for your microwave in your kitchen design.
  • Ergonomic: No more reaching up high to get your food.


  • Installation: Requires professional installation or a DIY whiz.
  • Limited capacity: Not ideal for large families or cooking enthusiasts.

6) Low-Profile Microwaves: When You Want to Keep Things Slim and Trim

Is your kitchen tight on space? Enter the low-profile microwave. These slim appliances are designed to fit in tight spaces, such as above your stove, while still offering all the benefits of a traditional microwave.


  • Space-saving: Ideal for small kitchens or apartments.
  • Functional: Offers all the basic microwave functions you know and love.
  • Aesthetically pleasing: The sleek, slim design will look great in your kitchen.


  • Limited capacity: Don’t expect to fit a whole turkey in here.
  • Installation: Requires professional installation or a friend with mad DIY skills.

The Bottom Line

I believe these are the main microwave types that you can get your hands on – and they each differ a lot from one another. As the saying goes, one is not like the other, one deserves to be in your kitchen.

I hope the respective pros and cons for each type are somewhat helpful and that your decision to buy the best microwave for your kitchen is now finished.