Around 150,000 fires in the US annually are caused by elderly forgetting about working stoves. How can this be avoided? By purchasing the best microwave for seniors!
We’ve tested 22 different products for our reviews before selecting 9 microwaves for the elderly, with the Breville BMO650SIL as our Editor’s Choice. We’ve made sure all of these devices feature loud signals that can be noticed by users with poor hearing. Our selections also features products for users who have difficulties seeing and pushing buttons – they all are clear and comfortable to press. To improve senior’s safety we’ve picked models that can be used to grill and cook various meals automatically. Read on to learn more about useful kitchen appliances for the elderly!
More features: 8 settings, child lock, defrosting and reheating functions, mute button, 30-sec instant start, soft close door sound at 81.5 dB
The Breville BMO650SIL is our Editor’s Choice because despite having multiple functions, it still is one of the best microwaves for seniors, due to the simplicity of its use. This microwave features big buttons for main functions such as turning on and adding 30 seconds to running cycle. There are also such functions as reheat, defrost, beverage, and popcorn. Regardless of the function you’re using, the food is heated slowly and gently to prevent drying out or overcooking your foods. The compact size allows you to tuck this microwave anywhere while the decent capacity gives you plenty of room to cook a full meal.
The Breville BMO650SIL is the perfect simple microwave for elderly who live on their own. We loved the extra features, including the soft close door and options to mute the sounds if needed. The child lock keeps the grandchildren out to prevent injury, while the clear window lets you have an eye on your meals while they’re cooked. The painted grey metal housing is durable, easy to clean, and looks great in any kitchen.
What makes it special?
What cons did we find?
More features: 20 programs memory capacity, 6 power levels, stainless steel exterior, touch-control keypad with Braille option, 2-3-stage cooking
The Panasonic NE-1054F is a heavy-duty commercial-grade microwave that would fit as well in various businesses as it would a small kitchen. It has a compact size, though the 0.8 cubic feet of inner capacity gives you plenty of room to make a few larger meals for visiting family and friends. This simple microwave for elderly people is powerful, with a bottom energy feed system for quick, even cooking, no matter what’s on the menu. It also has a few handy features, like customizable controls, various presets, and Braille keypads for those with vision problems.
The NE-1054F is one of the most convenient models on the market, with a function to match almost anything you want to cook. Unlike our Editor’s Choice, this model features less cooking options, yet it makes this device much easier to operate. While lacking in cooking options, this machine makes for it with more heating power. What Breville BMO650SIL also lacks is care for the narrow sighted and blind users. But Panasonic NE-1054F has it under control – its buttons feature Braille font on the keypads. The capacity to customize up to 20 programs is a nice option for nursing homes. We also got a feedback that Panasonic NE-1054F has a more convenient handle for elders than that of Breville BMO650SIL.
Why are we impressed?
What negatives must you be aware of?
More features: power grill, 37 auto cook options, eco mode, ceramic enamel interior, 400 CFM vent power, 10 power levels, defrosting option, 39.37-in power cord length
The MG11H2020CT from Samsung is a unique option when it comes to these appliances since it offers the same microwave heating as other models but also includes a grilling element to expand your meal options. You can combine this element with the included ceramic plate and grill rack to make crispy items like pizza, fish, sandwiches, or anything else you like. There are also several instant-cook presets, like popcorn, veggies, potatoes, or kid’s meals, as well as an auto reheat and auto defrost. The triple distribution system maintains even cooking, while 10 power levels ensure efficient cooking for all your meals.
Anyone looking for an easy-to-use cooking microwave for the elderly should check out the Samsung MG11H2020CT. It has straightforward controls that are easy to decipher, though the manual is lacking in instruction for those who need it. It even outmatches the Best Heavy-Duty Microwave – Panasonic NE-1054F, that offers only 0.8 cubic feet capacity, while Samsung model has a capacity of 1.1 cubic feet. This model also stands out with the Eco Mode and the mutable sounds, which aren’t featured on all devices. The stainless steel exterior and ceramic enamel interior are stylish, scratch-resistant, and easy to clean. Even grease and oil can be wiped off using little effort.
Why did it make our list?
What is not ideal about it?
More features: 10 power levels, 7 preset menus, position memory, child lock, defrosting function, 13.6-in turntable, eco mode
The best microwave isn’t necessarily the smallest model in the store. Those that cook regularly for others need more space, which the Toshiba ML-EM45P can provide. This model has a huge 1.6-cubic feet capacity and an innovative removable turntable with position memory for safe and convenient use. It also contains a programmed sensor menu for efficient cooking of the most popular food choices. We did find that the buttons were a bit stiff, requiring a bit more force than other models, though this likely isn’t a deal-breaker.
We do find many similarities in this and Samsung Electronics MG11H2020CT microwaves – they feature same displays and control footprints. Amongst such similarities are spacious design and 10 power levels to choose from. We also enjoy power-saving eco mode for users who want to save some money on electrical bills. Yet Toshiba ML-EM45P has an important design improvement – convenient door handle instead of push button. Users with arthritis will appreciate this thoughtful construction. This microwave also features louder sounds than its competitors and will be heard from any room.
What do we love it for?
What were we disappointed with?
More features: child lock, 11 power levels, mute function, 6 auto-cook choices, defrosting settings, eco mode
You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a quality microwave for seniors, as the COMFEE EM720CPL-PM proves. The price of this model will fit into even the tightest budget, though it doesn’t sacrifice features to keep the price low. It has a compact size, with a stainless steel finish and a 0.7-cubic foot capacity. It also includes 6 auto-cook functions for items like pizza, popcorn, or beverages, express cooking functions for specific times, and 2 defrost options. The Eco Mode saves power while the mute function quiets the microwave. The simple controls and bright display are also convenient features.
As one of the cheaper microwaves on the market, the COMFEE EM720CPL-PM may not have all the bells and whistles of a product like the Breville BMO650SIL, though it is a third of the cost, making it a great option for those with limited funds. The Comfee model does have many of the same features, including the auto cook function, child lock, and the clock, though it lacks the soft close door and large capacity. If you are impressed with our Editor Choice yet don’t have the budget – this model is a perfect cheap substitute.
What stands out?
What cons did we manage to find?
More features: 6 auto cook presets, 10 power levels, child lock, defrosting settings, 12.4-in turntable, stainless steel exterior
The BLACK+DECKER EM036AB14 is one of the easiest microwaves for seniors for a few reasons. This model has several pre-programmed buttons for pizza, popcorn, potatoes, beverages, and dinner plate. There are 10 power settings, a large LED digital display, a child safety lock, and a removable 12.4-inch glass turntable. With 1000 watts of power, it heats quickly and evenly for the best results, no matter what we were cooking. User manual has thorough instructions that are understandable even by technologically impaired elders.
The BLACK+DECKER EM036AB14 comes with a push-button handle unlike a bigger sized Toshiba ML-EM45P. Depending on users condition, push button might proof easier to use than a handle and requires less muscle movement from a senior. Yet we must admit that Toshiba ML-EM45P and BLACK+DECKER EM036AB14 have many things in common, including number of power levels, bigger inside capacity and several pre-installed cooking programs for the most popular meals. But we feel that Toshiba offers better instructions in using this microwave that its competitors.
Why are we impressed?
What negatives must you be aware of?
More features: 11 power settings, 9 pre-programmed recipes, defrosting options, child lock
Using some of the features of a microwave can be tricky for those with issues like arthritis, which is why the Emerson MWG9115SB is such a popular choice among those with this affliction. This device offers dual cooking options, thanks to the addition of the grilling function. This allows you to make some crispy treats, with no complicated controls to deal with. There are 1.2 cubic feet of space, which allows users with aching hands to freely maneuver plates inside the device.
This Emerson microwave isn’t the only model with a grilling option. The Samsung Electronics MG11H2020CT also allows for dual cooking, thanks to the included grilling element. Yet we must admit that Emerson is a more powerful option that needs more control over the cooking process. Though the Emerson MWG9115SB doesn’t have such extras, we liked that it’s a less expensive option with a simpler design and a slightly larger capacity. It also has a more stylish look than the Samsung model, so it fits nicely into any kitchen, no matter the décor.
What are our favorite features?
What could be better?
More features: rotary controls, 6 power levels, 30 minute timer, 9.5-in turntable, re-heating and defrosting options
There isn’t a lot of space in an RV, so a compact microwave for seniors is a must to save room while still allowing you to cook whatever you like. The Commercial Chef CHM660 meets all of these needs and is easy to use for everyone. There are two dials on the front, one to control the power level and the other for the timer. There are 6 power level options to pick from, including a defrost setting. The timer goes up to 30 minutes, so you can reheat or cook anything you like. Keep in mind that the low 600 watts of power may require longer cooking times, though the convenience of the space-saving design may make those extra few minutes worth waiting for.
The Commercial Chef CHM660 is almost the same size as our Best Value model on the exterior, though it has a slightly smaller capacity and wattage. It also doesn’t have as many power levels, express cooking functions, or auto-cook settings. The upside to the Commercial Chef model is its simplicity, so even seniors dealing with mobility issues or neurological problems can get the hang of it. We also liked that it had no display to waste power when not in use.
Why are we impressed?
What negatives must you be aware of?
More features: 5 power levels, defrosting setting, 30-minute cooking timer, top handle door release
Whether you’re downsizing to a smaller space or just want a compact microwave for one, the Avanti MM07K1B is a good option. This model is compact enough to tuck in even the tiniest spaces. It includes two dials, one to defrost or choose one of the five power levels while the other sets the timer to cook for up to 30 minutes. Inside the device, you’ll find 0.7 cubic feet of cooking space and a 9.5-inch rotating turntable. There is a handle on the top of the door, which can be hard to grab if the microwave is tucked under a cabinet, though easy to open in any other position.
Though it lacks some of the upgraded features of other models in our reviews, it has everything you need to make a decent meal. The Avanti MM07K1B has many of the same features as our best RV microwave for seniors, including the dual dials, timer and power level options, and rotating turntable. The Avanti model is slightly larger inside, with higher power at 700 watts, so you can cook a bit faster with this microwave than with the Commercial Chef CHM660, saving time on every meal.
What are its best features?
What could be improved?
A few features make a microwave for seniors stand out above other models. First, the controls should be simple, with large buttons or clear dials and displays that are easy-to-read and use. Loud sounds for the alerts are essential for those with hearing problems, though having the ability to turn them off is also handy for those who don’t require them.
Fewer, less complicated controls are also a must for seniors with memory issues or neurological disorders that prevent the use of intricate functions. Seniors often downsize their homes, so compact machines fit better in the limited space available.
Users who can’t move on their own need sturdy devices that can be easily opened without moving around the counter. Such microwaves should also have enough inner space for users to maneuver the plates inside them without spilling the content.
When using a microwave for the elderly, there are a few tips to ensure safe cooking.
When choosing the best microwaves for seniors, there are several features to choose from. The following cover the most commonly available for you to pick from when purchasing a new model.
The display on a microwave for seniors should be easy to read, with numbers that are large enough to read clearly. Many models use a brightly-lit LED screen for this, including the Toshiba ML-EM45P, so the numbers can be seen clearly from a few feet away, even for those with minor vision issues.
The controls are another important feature to consider when choosing a new microwave for seniors. Complicated controls can be tricky for seniors who still have a quick mind, and those with conditions that affect memory or cognition will have even more trouble getting the hang of them. Simple controls are best for seniors who are trying to cook their own meals.
Models like the Commercial Chef CHM660 only have a couple of knobs to alter the power and timer, which makes cooking with a microwave a breeze. Other models include presets for specific meals and power level alterations. Though this does add to the complexity of the machine, as long as the controls are well-labeled, they should still be manageable for the elderly members of the house.
If you need a little more stability while using the device and picking the proper settings, we advice using certain aids. Check out this list of the best quad canes to find the right one.
As we mentioned above, the easier a microwave is to use, the less frustration a senior will have to deal with when making their favorite meals. There are several features that can add to the ease of use.
The footprint of any microwave determines how much space it’s going to take up in your kitchen. Those with large areas and lots of counter space may not have an issue with the size of their microwave, though seniors tend to downsize their homes, limiting the amount of spare room they have available.
A smaller space requires a more compact microwave, like the Avanti MM07K1B, which is only 13 inches wide and 17.5 inches long. You can tuck a smaller microwave into a corner without losing too much of your limited counter area.
Microwaves can be both electrical or mechanical. For microwaves, electrical models use buttons that can be pressed to select the time, power, or other functions while mechanical options require the use of dials to adjust the settings.
The mechanical options are great for those who don’t want to mess with a bunch of functions, though the dials can be hard for those with arthritis to grab at times. An electric model is easier, requiring a simple press of the function you want to run the microwave, though the controls are usually a bit more complex.
Some models even combine the two options, like the Breville BMO650SIL, which has a few presets to pick from as well as a manual dial for the timer.
Not everything you cook will require the same level of heat or time, so having a few options in this area is a must to ensure everything is cooked through without burned edges. The more power levels you have available, the more options you have to pick from, and the easier it is to have the right heating level for everything you plan to make.
The timer is also important since it takes longer to cook a piece of chicken than it does to warm up a beverage, so you can choose the right amount of time for each item you plan to put in the microwave.
The wattage of a microwave determines how quickly and evenly the food you place in it will cook. The wattage can range from about 600 watts to the high 1200 watts of the Toshiba ML-EM45P. The higher the wattage, the more heat the microwave can produce, and the faster your meals will cook.
Of course, along with higher wattage comes a higher price tag, so you’ll have to pay extra for a more powerful microwave. The cheaper models cook slower, though are often more compact, so the extra cooking time may be worthwhile for those on a budget with limited space.
Standby mode isn’t a standard feature on all microwaves, though it is handy to have to save on electricity. Also called Eco mode, standby mode shuts down the power to the microwave when you aren’t using it to cook with. This means it doesn’t have a clock setting that’s consistently running or any other options that use power while the microwave is not in use.
Hearing loss is a common issue among the elderly, so the items they use must be louder in order for them to hear them. Luckily, many microwaves include various alerts to tell you when you’re food is finished cooking and ready to eat. Some models even have reminder alerts that go off every few minutes in case you didn’t hear it the first time. For those who prefer a quieter machine, models like the Samsung Electronics MG11H2020CT have a mute function, which turns off those alerts when you don’t need them.
The capacity of a microwave is important since it determines the size for the container that you can use to cook your meals and how many people you can feed. The larger the capacity, the more food you can cook at once.
When choosing a new microwave, be sure that you can use a standard plate at the very least to prevent the need for new dishes in order to cook a single meal. If you can fit a larger container, like a microwave-safe casserole dish or cake pan, you can cook larger meals or desserts to feed family or guests. Choose the capacity that works best for the meals you plan to prepare.
Spacious microwaves allow users to maneuver the plate inside the device even if the hands are a bit shaky. If you have such a problem, we can advice to check the best walker trays that can help you to move around while safely carrying the meal.
There are several extra functions to consider when buying a new microwave to make them easier and more convenient to use. For instance, the door mechanism can vary. Some options have a pull-handle while others use a push-button to open it. You can choose one depending on your capabilities.
A defrost function allows you to thaw frozen foods before you cook them. A 30-second timer lets you heat food for this long or allows you to add 30 seconds to any time. Preset modes let you pick specific buttons for certain items for fewer buttons to press. A child lock keeps little hands from playing with the microwave and its functions.
The durability of our microwave will determine how long it lasts before you need to replace it. When considering a microwave’s durability, it’s a good idea to look at the materials used for the cabinet. Stainless steel is strong and can handle some rough use, while plastic parts tend to wear out faster. You may also want to look closely at the models with turntables. The turning function should be smooth and steady and the plate should be heavy-duty glass to prevent chips or cracks. The warranty covers the repair or replacement of the microwave if it should fail, so the longer the warranty, the more peace of mind you have when using it.
Microwaves vary in price, depending on their size, wattage, and functions. The models with higher power, larger capacities, and more functions usually cost more than the compact models with basic features. If you want all the bells and whistles, you’ll need to pay more for them. If you prefer a compact model with only a few functions to deal with or are on a budget, you can stick with the cheaper options. Doing so also leaves you a bit of extra cash that you can spend on some other appliances, check our list for the best coffee makers for seniors to add one to your kitchen.
The best wattage depends on a few factors. Higher wattages ensure faster cooking, though this also raises the price of the microwave. Those on a budget or who have limited space and require a smaller model may want to stick to lower wattages and longer cook times. Those cooking recipes that require higher wattages may need to stick to the larger, pricier models.
Seniors should clean their microwaves at least once each week. This prevents food buildup, which could create larger messes or taint the flavors of the foods you’re cooking.
The Avanti MM07K1B is our best compact microwave for seniors, making it a great choice for those with small countertops. It takes up very little space, even in the smallest areas, and can fit almost anywhere.
All of the microwaves in our reviews are fantastic models worth considering, though we have a few favorites that need a second look. Our favorite option is the Breville BMO650SIL, due to the 900 watts of power, a capacity of 0.9 cubic feet, soft close door, and durable housing. Its functions include defrosting, reheating, a Food Menu, a 30-second instant start, and sound muting.
The Panasonic NE-1054F features 1000 watts, 0.8 cubic feet of internal space, a bottom energy feed system, a Grab & Go handle, and a stainless steel exterior. It also has Braille on the keypad, 2 to 3-stage cooking, 20 program memory capacity, and 6 power levels.
For those on a budget, the best microwave for seniors may be the COMFEE EM720CPL-PM. It has a low price, though still has great features like Eco mode, 11 power levels, 6 auto-cook options, 2 defrost options, and a +30-second function.