Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)

Finish: The finish may not affect performance, but it does play an important role in coordinating your unit with the rest of the appliances in your kitchen. Stainless steel microwaves provide a sleek contemporary look. Black microwaves are more discreet and tend to take up less visual space in your kitchen. White, gray and colorful options are also available.