1. LG LCS1112ST ($133)

This midsize 1,000-watt countertop microwave is quick, quiet, and easy to use. It excels at defrosting and heating food evenly. Its one weakness when compared with pricier models: It lacks a humidity sensor, which adjusts cooking times automatically. Buy it at Best Buy.

2. Breville Quick Touch ($165)

A splurge buy, Breville's state-of-the-art 1,100-watt beauty features a large LCD display, a ­humidity sensor, and dials for quickly adjusting the cook time and power level. Crucially, it also has an "add 30 seconds" button. Buy it at Amazon.

3. GE JVM6175SKSS ($275)

Over-the-range microwaves with built-in vent fans often cost more than $500. GE's affordable 1,000-watt option boasts 1.7 cubic feet of space, an intuitive interface, and a bunch of handy preset and sensor-cook options. Buy it at Amazon.

4. Panasonic NN-SD945S ($210)

Consumer Reports' top-rated full-size microwave doesn't heat food quite as evenly as some, but it has a humidity sensor, 1,250 watts of power, and a massive 2.2-cubic-foot compartment, and it's as easy to use as the midsize LG. Buy it at Amazon.

5. Wayv Adventurer ($200)

This thermos-like device, scheduled to go on sale later this year, is a portable mini microwave powered by a lithium battery. If it works as promised, it'll heat six meals on a charge, and can be recharged with a solar panel. Preorder it at Wayv Tech.

Editor's note: Every week The Week's editors survey product reviews and articles in websites, newspapers, and magazines, to find cool and useful new items we think you'll like. We're now making it easier to purchase these selections through affiliate partnerships with certain retailers. The Week may get a share of the revenue from these purchases.