Finding the perfect space for a microwave oven is often challenging. Built-in appliances give your kitchen a streamlined appearance, but sacrificing a cabinet in a small kitchen might not be the best idea. This is where over-the-range microwaves step in. And if you also have a young kid, you may wonder which is the best quiet over-the-range microwave you can get.
When picking an OTR microwave, know that you have to consider the noise level of the range fan, as well as the overall noise level of the oven.
Then, there are other things to keep in mind. You may want to check out the number of pre-programmed cooking functions, ease of use, maintenance, power, and capacity. Does all this give you headaches?
You needn’t worry. We did the hard part for you and found the best microwave with quiet exhaust fan to get this year.
Does a quiet over-the-range microwave oven really exist?
Things are often challenging when assessing the noise level. If you’re looking for a whisper-quiet microwave, you’re out of luck. Even the quietest microwave ovens make some noise. They are even louder when you turn on the range exhaust fan.
However, most over-the-range microwaves are quieter than a traditional range hood.
Some units have noise-off buttons that also allow you to turn off the beeping at the end of the cooking cycle and the keypad. These functions are essential if you have young kids or turn home late at night and don’t want to wake up your roommates.
The microwave ovens on this list aren’t whisper-quiet, but they are no louder than normal conversation. This is incredibly quiet by microwave standards.
What is the most reliable brand of over-the-range microwaves?
It is hard to decide which is the best brand. Various companies offer various options that differ in capacity and functions. To determine which is the best brand for you, ask yourself what you require from the microwave oven.
Would you rather have a more powerful exhaust fan and fewer cooking functions or lots of cooking functions regardless of the fan power?
How tall are you? Would you have difficulties reaching the top buttons on a side control panel? Ask yourself the same question if you have disabilities. If you believe a side keypad would be impractical, get a microwave with a bottom control panel.
While recommending one specific brand is difficult, over-the-range microwave ovens from Sharp, LG, Frigidaire, GE Appliances, and other big brands are all guaranteed for quality.
Does a quiet over-the-range microwave oven need to be vented?
Not all over-the-range microwaves need to be vented, but some do. It depends on the type of fans the vent hood portion has.
Almost all microwave ovens with range hoods have carbon filters and an odor removal system that doesn’t require it to be vented to the outdoors. However, if your microwave also removes the steam and cooking grease, it requires outdoor ventilation.
Aside from the ventilation, you must consider the required clearance. Like all built-in microwaves, the over-the-range models require a certain clearance on the sides and back. You have to respect these requirements; without proper airflow, the oven’s motor can get burned.
What do you need to look for in an over-the-range microwave?
Choosing an over-the-range microwave is often more challenging than getting a countertop microwave. Here are a few things to consider before buying:
Sound Off Button
One of the most important things to look for in a microwave if you want to be quiet is a sound-off button. Some units may not have a specific button, but you can use a combination of keys to turn off the sound. In addition to turning off the beeping, you should also consider a unit that enables you to turn off the keypad.
Besides a sound-off button, you should also consider the overall noise level of the microwave oven you want to buy. All microwaves make noise, but some are louder than others. Generally, a microwave oven with inverter technology is quieter than a standard oven.
How big is your household? Over the range, microwave ovens vary in capacity from compact, 1-cubic-foot units to family-sized ovens. A small microwave is perfect for students, young professionals, and small households.
If you have a family of four or more or live in a large shared accommodation, look for a bigger oven that would enable you to cook for crowds.
Exhaust fan power
When choosing an over-the-range microwave, it is crucial to consider the exhaust fan. Most people would do just fine with a 300-400 CFM fan, but if you’re an avid home chef, then nothing short of the best over-the-range microwave with 600 CFM would do.
All over-the-range microwaves are similar in design, but the position of the control panel can change. Some brands have kept the control panel on the right side of the door, similar to the control panel of countertop units.
Other brands positioned it at the bottom of the unit for easier access. While the choice is yours, we prefer the bottom control panel on over-the-range microwave ovens.
Turntable off button
The sound-off button is not the only thing a quiet over-the-range microwave should have. You might also like a turntable off button. This button allows you to switch off the rotating plate and use larger, rectangular pans and trays to heat the food.
Without this function, you wouldn’t be able to heat a rectangular casserole that is longer than the turntable’s diameter.
Are you an avid chef or an occasional home cook? The former would likely know how to set the microwave oven and cook food to perfection.
Pre-programmed cooking functions can take the guesswork out of the game for the rest of us. Sensor cooking is another thing to look for. This sensor enables the microwave to adjust the cooking time and cooking power based on the amount of water in your food, helping you leave the guesswork out of the game.
With this in mind, let’s find out which is the best over-the-range microwave oven.
Quietest Over-the-Range Microwave Reviews
1. Sharp R1874T 850W Over-the-Range Convection Microwave
Sharp RT is one of the best over-the-range microwave ovens with convection. It is ideal for weekend cooks and avid home chefs alike. Beyond its convection power that allows you to bake, roast, and broil, it comes with lots of cooking programs. This isn’t the most powerful microwave oven out there, but it’s well worth the investment.
Why we love it
More than a silent microwave oven, this is a microwave and convection oven in one. It is perfect for smaller kitchens where you might not have enough space for two ovens. Eleven power levels and 20 cooking programs make it ideal for all kitchens.
This microwave oven has a 13-inch turntable that you can easily switch on and off with a touch of a button.
Easy to clean
This appliance has a brushed stainless steel finish that not only looks good but it’s also very easy to clean. The smudge-free surface makes it easy to wipe off stains and fingerprints.
What could be better
While this microwave oven is amazing, it only reaches 850 watts of power. It still cooks perfectly, but you’ll have to wait longer than other ovens.
This oven comes with a built-in exhaust fan that doesn’t require outdoor venting. However, the fan only has two speeds, which can be frustrating. The max power is 300 CFM.
2. LG LMHM2237ST 2.2 Cubic Feet Over-The-Range Microwave Oven
This over-the-range microwave oven from LG is an excellent alternative to the Sharp if you have a large family. It has a capacity of 2.2 cubic feet and a 14.2-inch turntable that can accommodate two dinner plates at a time. It doesn’t have as many cooking options as the Sharp, but it’s still an excellent choice for the weekend cook or avid chef alike.
Why we love it
Like Sharp, this microwave oven has a built-in venting system with a charcoal filter. It doesn’t require outdoor venting, but the vents have three speeds and can reach 400 CFM.
Ease of use
A control panel located at the bottom of the door makes usage a cinch. You don’t have to worry about reaching the top buttons, regardless of your height. The control panel itself is intuitive.
Another thing that we like is the door handle. This design is often seen as old school, but the handle is more practical than a button for opening the door. The silver stainless steel finish and sleek black glass enhance the aesthetic factor.
What could be better
Like all microwave ovens, this one has a display. However, the display is smaller compared to other ovens, and the digits are white. This could make it difficult to spot the cooking time from a distance or the clock when the oven is not in use.
Aside from the dim display, this oven also has a dim interior light. You’ll likely have to open the door to control the cooking progress.
3. FRIGIDAIRE FGBM19WNVF 30″ Gallery Series Stainless Steel Over The Range Microwave
Frigidaire is one of the most popular microwave oven brands. Its over-the-range microwave addresses those who want a quality appliance but can’t afford to spend a fortune. The main difference between this microwave oven and the LG is the fewer fan speeds and fewer pre-programmed cooking options. All in all, though, this unit is still perfect for families.
Why we love it
The 1.9 cubic feet of capacity makes this over-the-range microwave oven ideal for larger families. The turntable has a diameter of 13.63 inches.
Control panel design
Like the LG, this microwave has a bottom control panel that is easy to reach and use. The microwave oven is intuitive.
The Frigidaire microwave is available in silver or black stainless steel. Both finish options are smudge-free and very easy to wipe clean.
What could be better
Pre-programmed cooking options are nice to have, even if you don’t use them regularly. However, this microwave oven only has six cooking programs.
While we like the fan that reaches 400 CFM, we would have liked three speeds instead of two. On the bright side, the unit comes with charcoal and grease filters.
4. GE JVM3160RFSS 30″ Over-the-Range Microwave Oven
Last on our list of quiet microwave ovens, this GE microwave knows how to satisfy homeowners on a budget. The unit has a cooking capacity of 1.6 cubic feet, suiting everyone from singles and couples to mid-sized families. Ten power levels and 1,000 watts of max power also make it easy to cook whatever you want. Like the Frigidaire, it has six cooking programs and two fan speeds.
Why we love it
This is one of the few microwave ovens with an outdoor venting system. You can connect it to an external duct vent for quicker and more effective removal of all cooking fumes.
Timer and turntable off
If you don’t want to set a timer or want to turn off the turntable, this microwave oven allows you to do just that.
Designed to match your kitchen style, this microwave oven comes in silver stainless steel, as well as black stainless steel, solid black, white, and cream.
What could be better
This microwave oven has a range hood fan that’s slower compared to other models on the list. Nonetheless, the outdoor venting makes up for the lack of power.
While the control panel is intuitive, it is located on the side of the oven rather than the bottom. Shorter people might find it hard to reach the top buttons or see the display unless it’s from a distance.
Quiet over-the-range microwave comparison table
|Sharp R1874T||LG LMHM2237ST||FRIGIDAIRE FGBM19WNVF||GE JVM3160RFSS|
|Capacity||1.1 cu. ft.||2.2 cu. ft.||1.9 cu. ft.||1.6 cu. ft.|
|Max power||850 watts||1,000 watts||1,000 watts||1,000 watts|
How to install Quietest Over the range microwave without a cabinet?
Technically, range microwaves are installed under a wall cabinet in place of a built-in range hood. But what if you want to replace a standard range hood with a microwave oven? Can you install it without a cabinet?
Fortunately, you can. There are several methods you can use. The simplest is to fix the microwave oven to the wall with brackets. Alternatively, you can install a shelf and mount the microwave oven under it.
Quiet over-the-range microwave ovens are an excellent addition to a kitchen, replacing countertop microwaves and helping you save counter space. We hope this guide can help you find the best microwave oven for you.
Robert is an electronic engineer with more than five years of experience with a solid affinity for helping people reduce noise. He writes about these silent home appliances and easy soundproofing measures to help everyone avoid the negative effect of extended exposure to high noise levels.