At a Glance:
When the words “luxury” and “kitchen” pop into your head, we’re willing to bet microwaves aren’t the first thing you think of. Yet despite their ranking on the appliance totem pole, some 92 percent of households own a microwave, and that includes designer kitchens. However, to keep the setting looking upscale, high-end kitchens have a secret: they swap countertop models for built in microwave ovens that offer custom installation that is organic to the space. You’ll probably still zap up frozen Hot Pockets or a bag of popcorn in one of these microwaves, but the difference is that built in microwaves make it look chic and stylish.
Of course, style isn’t everything, and there are other reasons why switching to an integrated microwave can be a smart move. We explain why below, plus some useful info to help you pick the right model for your home. Just in case you need somewhere to start your search, we’ve also included a few of our favorite built in microwave selections from luxury brands like Café, ZLINE, JennAir, and more.
Shop Built In Microwave Deals
The first step to shopping for a built in microwave oven is to make sure you have enough space for the installation. Built in microwaves can be installed into a cabinet wall, a kitchen island, or below the countertop, so long as there’s enough space to house the unit.
Similarly to a wall oven, measure the length, width, and height of the cutout, keeping in mind built in models come in 24”, 27”, and 30” widths. Once you’ve determined how much real estate you have to work with, you can start to focus on other details, such as the ones below.
While the average microwave has around one cubic foot of capacity, built in models are roomier, with the largest models offering up to twice the capacity. Many models are even big enough to fit a 9 x 13 casserole dish, but if you don’t plan to do anything too extravagant with these micro ovens, you can save some money by choosing a model with a smaller capacity.
One of the biggest perks of upgrading to an in-wall microwave is all the features. Convection mode, a multi-tier rack, steam cooking, and cooking sensors are just a few of the add-ons you can expect to find across the category.
By design, we’re talking about the door. Newer, high-end models come with drop-down doors or even French-style doors for better access to the inside, but most come with a side-swing door. Meanwhile, having a drop-down door is convenient if you want a landing zone to hold your food before loading.
With prices ranging between $330 and $3,000, built in microwaves are pricier than countertop models. Plus, you’ll need to budget for installation, which experts estimate will cost between $220 and $580.
Here are five stylish built in microwave options that add a touch of luxury to any kitchen. For this list, we’ve arranged our recommendations from least to most expensive to give you a clear picture of how far your money goes.
KitchenAid® 1.1 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel Built In Microwave
We love the contemporary look this KitchenAid built in microwave provides with its all stainless-steel finish and matching trim kit. Although it weighs in with a smaller capacity of 1.1 cubic feet, its intelligent design allows users to heat up 9 x 13 casserole dishes, along with a recessed turntable that makes it easier to load platters. Whip up quick dinners and snacks with 1,000 watts of power, complete with sensor cooking technology that measures humidity and temperature, so foods never come out frozen when the timer beeps.
Top review: “This microwave has such a creative design!”
Bosch 500 Series 1.6 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel Built In Microwave
Here’s a 30 inch built in microwave with a twist — a drop-down microwave door that’s reminiscent of professional kitchens. This Bosch microwave from its 500 series is amply built with 1.6 cubic feet of capacity and beautifully designed with an attractive handle, flush touch controls, and a gorgeous stainless steel finish. At 950 watts of power, this pick ranks on the lower end of output, but it’s still plenty for any regular household.
Top review: “Best microwave I have owned”
ZLINE 1.6 Cu. Ft. Built-in Convection Microwave Oven in DuraSnow® Stainless Steel with Speed and Sensor Cooking
Many shoppers are still unfamiliar with ZLINE, but in short, the brand offers alternative luxury appliances that are priced lower than its competitors. This ZLINE microwave is a good example of what to expect from the manufacturer: clean designs, modern aesthetics, refined details, and premium materials.
A total of 1.6 cubic feet of microwave space means you can heat up your largest dishes. In fact, this model is big enough to microwave 16 x 16 dishes, a considerable upgrade from our KitchenAid pick. But the standout of this microwave is its convection setting and reversible wire rack. The first lets you use this microwave as a secondary oven, while the rack doubles how many plates you can heat at once.
Top review: “Microwave is beautiful fit in the 30" island cabinet.”
Café™ 1.7 Cu. Ft. Stainless Steel Built In Microwave/Convection
For us, no brand does contemporary kitchen design like Café, and this Café built in microwave is proof. Its signature handle with metal accent complements the smooth lines featured throughout this model, which is further accentuated by clean digital controls, a rotary knob, and LCD display. You also get more room to cook inside this microwave, 1.7 cubic feet, to be exact, plus upgrades like convection baking and 10 power levels for a wide menu of dishes.
Top review: “This is a beautiful microwave and it can do so many things.”
JennAir® NOIR™ 30” Stainless Steel Built In Microwave
If you fancy yourself a trendsetter, this JennAir built in microwave is a must-see. Easily the sleekest option on our list, this built in microwave is pure noire sensation that adds sophistication to any kitchen setting. While it’s look is best suited for modern kitchens, its expansive black glass and stainless steel combination is versatile, and it’s also a workhorse.
This premium microwave offers three different ways to prepare food: with the standard 950-watt microwave, a 1,200-watt convection setting, and a 1,600-watt grill element designed to create irresistibly crispy results. For these reasons, we place this Jenn Air microwave at the top of our list as far as style and performance go.
Learn More about the JennAir Brand: JennAir Appliance Review for Upscale Kitchens
Hopefully, this spotlight has given you a new perspective on the humble microwave and proven that even the simplest of kitchen appliances can be part of a luxury design. Whether you plan to install a built in microwave above a wall oven or next to a built in coffee maker, the design possibilities are virtually endless. We match your kitchen vision with a full stock of built in microwaves in every price point and style on the market. You can explore your options online or stop by one of our Pittsburg appliance showrooms to get a first-hand look at the latest styles from leading appliance brands.
Still curious about these nifty appliances? Take a moment to review answers to the top questions buyers ask before purchasing a built in microwave.
How long does a built in microwave last?
On average, integrated microwaves are built to last a decade of use.
How many watts is a built-in microwave?
Typically, built in microwaves provide at least 900 watts of power versus countertop microwaves that start at around 600 watts of output.
Do built-in microwaves need to be vented?
Although they’re installed into cabinetry, at least 1 ½ inches of clearance around a built in microwave is recommended. Make sure to account for that clearance during your initial measurements.
Founded in 1971, Don’s Appliances is a family-owned, independent appliance retailer based out of Pittsburgh, PA. Don’s has since expanded to 10 locations selling, delivering, installing, and servicing all major appliance brands. Large enough to offer competitive pricing yet small enough to continue offering the “white glove” service we pride ourselves on, our focus is always on the customer experience — from the first step into a showroom to the purchase transaction to well after your new appliance has been installed.
When our customers are remodeling or building a new house, Don’s has all the expertise, product knowledge, inventory, brands, displays, and services to meet and exceed your needs. And in the event an appliance breaks, we are there, right on time and with the right product, delivery, installation, and service.
Shop Built In Microwaves at Don’s
Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today, and shop microwaves online at Don’s Appliance. Our friendly experts are always happy to help you find the best built in microwave — whether you call us at 866-544-1711, email us, or use our online chat feature. Better yet, stop by any of our Don’s Appliances Pittsburgh, PA warehouse locations. Visit us today!