Quietest Over the Range Microwave Ovens: Reviews and Buying Guide
Almost every household has a microwave. It has got to be one of the most convenient inventions in the modern-day world.
Most people simply cannot live without it in their kitchens. You need it for a wide variety of functions.
These functions include; heating up food, baking small cakes, cooking light dishes, defrosting meat, boiling water, etc. I cannot possibly exhaust the uses of a microwave.
Now, an over the range microwave oven is simply a microwave that comes with a range hood.
It is a 2-in-1 unit that is designed for installation over your countertop and therefore, included in the packaging is some mounting hardware for a quick and easy installation.
If you are like me, and you love your kitchen counters bare, then you will love these range of microwave ovens.
I absolutely love getting into my kitchen and looking at all the beautiful melamine with no appliances placed on top.
So, having identified how useful a microwave oven is, and how important it is in a household, I must mention the greatest challenge: Noise.
I absolutely hate the noise that is made by most microwaves, especially when I am trying to get my beauty sleep and someone is in the kitchen heating up something or cooking.
In this regard, I have decided to review only the best and quietest over the range microwaves in the market.
Sharp R1874T OTR Convection Microwave
GE MICROWAVES Over-The-Ran Microwave Oven
LG LMHM2237ST Over-The-Range Microwave
Sharp R-1214 Over-the-Counter Microwave
GE JVM3160RFSS Stainless Steel OTR Microwave
Best Quietest Over the Range Microwave Ovens
This Over the Range (OTR) microwave from Sharp comes with a variety of advanced features such as the 3-way ventilation system and the 4-way convection heating.
This makes it a standout model in this field and even beats most of the high-end microwaves.
The convection cooking method is a heat transfer technique that moves hot air inside the microwave by using a fan.
So, if you are a fan of this mode of cooking, then this microwave is an ideal choice for you.
The Design of the Microwave:
The first thing you will notice with this microwave is the sleek stainless steel all around it. This material makes it look modern and very beautiful, plus, it goes with any kitchen décor.
Another advantage of stainless steel is that it is very easy to clean, as you simply need to wipe it down with a clean cloth and you are good to go.
The control panel may appear a little intimidating because it comes with a 7-digit display, but do not worry about this. Each display is clearly labeled, and it actually makes it easy to use.
The LCD display comes in 2 colors and it is used to show you what is happening within the oven.
While the stainless-steel exterior may be easy to clean, the inside of the microwave is not smooth and may give you some difficulties in cleaning it.
The base is strong and heavy. This is a good point of course but you will also need a few extra hands for installation since you may not be able to lift it up on your own.
It actually weighs 46 pounds and measures 23x14x15 inches on the outside, and 17x9x14 on the inside.
Performance and Quality:
It uses 1100 watts power, and thanks to the convection cooking method, the performance of this microwave is very high compared to the other types. The distribution of hot air all over the microwave causes food to cook faster.
Most other microwaves may allow you to adjust the power and the time during cooking, but this one does not. You will need to stop the cooking process altogether in order to be able to change the settings that you had already made.
Other important features:
This microwave is designed to operate quietly. It does not make as much noise as you would expect a microwave to make, in fact, you may not even know that someone is actually using it.
It has instant action keys such as defrost, warm, popcorn, fresh veggies, hot water, beverage, fresh roll etc. This makes microwaving easy because, at the touch of a button, it starts operating automatically.
There are also instant sensor settings for all the types of foods you can cook in it, and you need not keep guessing the length of time. It does all that for you. All you need to do is push the button.
It keeps warm. This means that, after heating up the food, it will allow you to keep it warm in the microwave for at least 30 minutes.
The interactive cooking system comes with 3 language options; English, French, and Spanish.
This microwave oven is definitely one of the best. It has some great advanced features that we have outlined above, and the fact that Sharp is a world-renowned company when it comes to kitchen appliances doesn’t hurt one bit.
The only downside we can add is the fact that the convection cooking method - though great -requires a turntable for engagement while the microwave is still in use.
This microwave is already small in size, so this added requirement limits its size further and also puts strict limits on the size of the dishes you can use.
To start off, rectangular dishes are not ideal, because they will rub on the corners, and you can also not put a large casserole dish in the microwave as it may not fit.
But, overall, it is a good one to have in your kitchen.
Not only does it look like one of those old microwaves your mother used to have in her kitchen, but it also comes in a sleek and clean white exterior with an incandescent interior oven light.
It will certainly bring back some memories just by using it.
The design is aesthetic and will go very well with any kitchen décor.
It comes with a control panel that is automatic and has a variety of options which are; popcorn, beverage, potato, reheat and defrost.
These may be few, but in actual sense, they are the most used microwave oven settings so, you are still covered.
The performance is where this microwave shines. It makes use of 1,000 watts, which means that cooking or warming of food is done very fast, and in addition, it has a glass turntable that ensures even heating of food.
One other thing you will appreciate in this microwave oven is its quiet operation. The manufacture and heating technology employed by the GE microwave oven 1029481 makes it one of the quietest in the market.
This, of course, means less disturbance and peace of mind.
Size and other features:
It measures 1.6 feet in cubic space, which is large enough and offers you plenty of room to cook whichever dish you want.
The ventilation has a 300 CFM venting capacity. This may be slightly lower compared to the other GE microwaves, but it is within the average CFM ranges, so, you are good.
The timer and cook time notifications have different sounds. This will come in handy when you are doing other chores in the house because it will always let you know what is happening in the kitchen.
On the downside, the LCD panel is quite dim, and you will need to put on the lights in the kitchen at night in order to see well.
The bottom line is that; This is a good microwave oven, but there are other models which are more superior, such as the Sharp R-1214 1100-Watt Over-the-Counter Microwave.
Another thing you must be very keen on is the fact that there are very many models of GE microwaves, so you may need to be a little bit keen when purchasing one of their products, to ensure you buy the one that you want and get the features you are looking for.
Other than that, it is made in the US, which means it passes all of the required certified features, it is long-lasting and will serve you well.
It also has a decent venting power and beautiful design. You will not regret owning one of these.
This is a great machine that is well-designed, performs great, and of course, who doesn’t know LG?
It is one of the most famous kitchen appliance company that most people know, trust and love.
So, when I talk about this being one of the best OTR microwaves, you know it has a lot to offer. Let us dive in.
Beautiful, classy, sleek, modern and compact are some of the words that have been used to describe this machine. When you first look at it, it seems like something from the future, because the exterior will definitely reel you in.
Regardless of your kitchen's color scheme, this microwave will have pride of place on your wall. You will enjoy showing it off and using it in front of guests because it says one thing: Class.
The control panel is horizontal, which is the first unusual thing you will encounter, but you will get used to it quickly as it is simple and clear.
It comes with an ExtendaVent 2.0 which is a feature that offers an improved technology when it comes to smoke and steam extraction.
It operates at 1,000 watts and can be used for almost anything, from defrosting to cooking.
The main drawback in its performance is that its cooking sensor is not very well designed which may cause food to cook unevenly at times. This is however not an everyday occurrence, meaning you can learn to live with it.
It has a variety of buttons that offer automatic operation when pressed. You also do not have to keep guessing the cook time, because the oven has already calculated this for you.
All you need to do is put the food in the oven and wait for the ding or alarm to go off.
The venting allows you to choose either the back, the front or the top. If you choose the back or the top, these are exterior venting and you will need to set up for this.
Its power system is also very strong at 400 CFM. This is great for clearing things such as steam, obnoxious odors, burnt food, smoke, etc., from your kitchen air.
The venting technology employed in this oven makes it a very quiet machine in its operation.
Size and other features:
The size of this machine is about 2.2 cubic feet, which is big enough for any household, and perfect for heating or cooking lots of food at once.
Its dimensions are 16 x 30 x 18 inches.
It weighs almost 73.5 pounds, which is very heavy and makes installation a little hard. You will need to find a professional to help install or find a 2nd pair of hands so you can be able to lift it up.
The LG LMHM2237ST Over-The-Range Microwave Oven has many great features that we have outlined above, and it is definitely a good product to have in your home.
The drawback you shall find with this machine is the fact that you cannot turn off the turntable, which means you will not be able to use square dishes to prepare your meals.
The LED panel is also a bit dim, and you may need to use the overhead lights in order to use it at night.
Now, this is a good model to have in your kitchen, regardless of the many drawbacks, and you can never go wrong with LG.
The make of this machine is beautiful and sleek. The control panel is lighted up with 24 automatic settings and a 7-digit LCD display in 2 colors schemes.
In addition, there are 8 instant action keys, which means you will find all you need on the panel.
This includes; hot water, defrost, baked potatoes, fresh vegetables, beverages, fresh rolls, frozen rolls, etc., all you need is push a button and voila! The machine starts operating.
This is definitely a great addition to any kitchen because it goes very well with any décor you have chosen.
It has an inbuilt sensor that makes use of only the latest smart technology making it easy to use for even the most inexperienced user.
You also get to choose from 3 languages; English, Spanish and French.
Quality and Performance:
It operates at 1100 watts. This makes it very powerful, and it means that what takes longer with other microwave models actually takes a very short time with the Sharp R-1214 1100-Watt Over-the-Counter Microwave, which is, of course, a big plus for people in a hurry.
This machine has 11 power levels. Now, if that doesn’t tell you just how powerful it is, I don’t know what will. You can choose whichever speed you want.
Size and other features:
It measures 1.5 cubic meters, which is large enough for heating or cooking lots of food.
The exterior dimensions are; 23x14x15 while its interior measures 17x9x14. The turntable is 14 inches in size.
The weight of this machine is 46 pounds which is quite heavy and may need you to find a second pair of hands to help you with the installation.
The interior is acrylic painted and has a beautiful oven light.
I can safely say that Sharp is a company that does no wrong when it comes to kitchen appliances, and you can never go wrong owning one of their products.
This is a powerful machine that is also cheaper compared to its other counterparts and will serve you well.
It is also durable, easy to install and gives you many cooking options.
The only drawback I found was that it has no fan unit, which means that there is no way of getting rid of excessive steam and smoke.
But this is a small price to pay, compared to the overall functionality of the machine.
It may have a common microwave design, but what you will absolutely love is the handle. It has a very modern handle that makes it quite unique and stylish.
From the name itself, you can tell that it is made of stainless steel.
Now, stainless-steel never disappoints. It makes it look sleek, clean and beautiful, plus, maintaining this look is very easy, you simply need to wipe it down with a clean or damp cloth. No need for complicated cleaning liquids.
It has large buttons, an easy to use the handle, and it has actually scored very high on the usability scale. The LCD screen is clear and automatic, giving you all you need on one panel.
The control buttons are vertically placed, which is what you would expect from a common microwave oven, but these are electronic touch controls that allow you to instantly initiate the operation of the oven by simply touching it.
It means you do not need to do too much pressing and punching.
The shortcuts you shall find are; beverage, popcorn, defrost and reheat.
The auto defrost button gives you options depending on what you are defrosting so you need not do lots of guesswork on the exact length of time it would take to defrost e.g. chicken, fish, meat, milk, etc.
The surface of this oven is lighted, meaning you can be able to see what is happening with the food in it, without necessarily having to open the oven all the time.
Quality and Performance power:
It operates on 1,000 watts, which makes it very powerful. There are however other machines more powerful than this, but overall, it is enough for most households.
There is a 1- 6 minute express operation, which means that in under 6 minutes it will be able to perform most of the functions.
The venting system is very quiet and comes with a 300 CFM air flow.
This is simple and has 2 controls – an outside exhaust which releases the smoke and steam on the outside, and a recirculate option that uses the recirculating charcoal filter kit to release the air.
In addition, it has a hooked venting fan with a steam sensor that automatically comes on whenever you are using the microwave.
The turntable can easily be turned on or off, depending on the type of dish you are using, meaning if you favor the rectangular dishes, you can easily use them.
The cook time and timer notifications offer different sounds, and can easily alert you on what is going on in the kitchen.
It is simple and easy to use.
Size and other features:
This product measures 16.40 Height, * 29.87 Width, and * 15.03 Diameter.
Its capacity is 1.6 cubic meters, which makes it big enough for average sized meals.
It is quite heavy and weighs around 63 pounds. The benefit of this is that it is a good and solid product, but, on the downside, it is quite difficult to install and may require the services of a professional.
The product comes with a 1-year warranty from the manufacturer.
I love this machine. The way it's designed, the way it operates and its overall delivery, but there are however other products that offer more superior features.
What to consider when buying Over the Range Microwave?
As with any kitchen appliance, you must carefully analyze its features so you can buy not only the best but also the most durable.
Because microwave ovens have flooded the market, choosing one that will serve you well can be a daunting task, and therefore, the following features will help you know what it should have before making your purchase.
This is important because good quality materials make the machine durable and long-lasting. Some of the best microwaves are made of stainless-steel.
These have proven to withstand the test of time and you can even pass them on to the next generation.
One good feature that comes with OTR microwaves is that they offer a ventilation feature. They can be able to control smoke, steam, and other odors.
Venting is measured by CFM – Cubic feet per meter. The higher the CFM, the greater the venting ability, and of course the greater the air flow.
A microwave with a 300 CFM and above is most ideal. So, go for that one.
Most traditional microwaves will let you choose the length of time you wish something to cook for or heat. This normally employs a lot of guesswork that is not always accurate.
A good microwave oven with sensors will save you the trouble of guesswork. They come with accurate measurements of time and temperature, and all you need to do is push a button.
While you may think this is not a very important point, nobody wants an ugly machine in their kitchen.
People go by looks, and the good news is that manufacturers are well aware of this. They have designed some pretty impressive looking microwaves that function just great.
So, when buying a microwave, buy a beautiful looking one to enhance the look of your kitchen.
Where you shall put the microwave is important to consider.
OTR microwaves are designed to be put over the kitchen counter or in a cabinet.
If your kitchen does not offer this option, probably it is full of other types of drawers and cabinets on top, then it would not be a good idea to purchase an over the range kind of microwave oven.
This matters because of the final installation location.
Some of these microwaves are pretty large in size, and you may have a tricky situation in your hands if you happen to buy one that shall not fit into the allocated space.
Be sure to take accurate measurements before purchase so you do not end up with disappointments.
This is the capacity of the microwave or the size of dish that the microwave can accommodate.
It will depend on the size of your family and the amount of food you shall be cooking with the microwave.
They normally measure between 1.1 – 2 cubic meters. The larger your family is, the bigger the internal microwave size should be.
This is another important aspect when choosing a microwave because it determines how powerful your microwave should be.
You should also consider what you wish to do with your microwave. If you plan on baking or cooking casseroles, then you will be looking for a very powerful machine that can achieve that for you in the shortest time possible.
If, however, you simply need a machine to warm up your food and perform other functions such as defrost and heating water, a too powerful microwave that will, of course, consume more energy may not be ideal.
So, decide what you need it to do and choose the power ability based on that.
Convection vs. Conventional
The conventional microwaving technology makes use of the food container to pass the microwave frequencies into the food in order to cook or heat it. This in essence is a slow microwave.
The convection method, on the other hand, combines both basic microwaving technology as well as the radiant heating method.
This offers heat throughout the microwave, from the top to the bottom and even the sides. This technology causes food to cook evenly and quickly.
The beauty of this technology is that it offers you the option to perform a variety of functions with your microwave including cooking light meals and even baking.
The best OTR microwaves employ this technology, however, you may find a few that do not.
If you are looking for a microwave oven that will perform many functions at once, the best is one that employs the convection heating mode.
Other important factors
This is worth having if you are looking for an extremely easy to use the machine. It will come with buttons that have preset settings such as popcorn, baked potato, fish, chicken, defrost, etc.
The beauty of this is that the machine is automatic, and gets rid of any unwanted accidents such as an overcooked or undercooked meal.
If you have small children in the house, then you shall appreciate this function. Children are generally inquisitive and may end up switching on the microwave when not in use, or even open it and taking out the hot food.
This can lead to a number of accidents, and so, a microwave oven that comes with a child lock is a very good idea.
On the Quietest Over the Range Microwave Ovens
When it comes to microwaves, and generally kitchen appliances, the best products are those made by reputable companies. The companies we have outlined above are some of the best and they have trusted the world over.
If I was to choose the best, it would have to be the Sharp R1874T 850W Over-the-Range Convection Microwave because of the outlined features, and it also comes with a very high customer satisfaction and rating.
The LG LMHM2237ST Over-The-Range Microwave Oven is a close second, because who doesn’t love LG?