Microwave ovens have become standard appliances in most kitchens. There are dozens of models you can choose from, most of which are incredibly performing. What a lot of them don’t have, though, is a backlit keypad and display.
A backlit display – and keypad, as a matter of fact – is an essential feature in any microwave. Its main role is to make the buttons and your selections more visible. A display with a backlight is also more visible in low light conditions, such as the nights when you turn home late and don’t want to wake up your entire home.
Whether you’re in the market for a countertop unit or an over-the-range one, you’re in the right place. To help you out, we researched and reviewed the most promising models. Check out our selection below to find the best-backlit keypad microwave for you.
What is a microwave oven membrane keypad?
An oven membrane keypad is a digital control panel covered by a transparent membrane that makes the surface waterproof. Basically, all microwave ovens with a digital keypad have a membrane, and this feature offers essential advantages.
- Moisture resistance: The transparent film on top of the buttons prevents spills, splashes, and air moisture from getting inside the control panel and damaging the circuits.
- Tactile feedback: Most keypads produce a noticeable sound or click that offers tactile feedback when pressing the buttons.
- Low profile design: Unlike standard buttons, keypads with a membrane have a very low profile. This gives the microwave a sleeker appearance.
Does a countertop microwave oven with a backlighted control pad exist?
Yes, countertop microwave ovens with a backlit control pad do exist. They are just harder to come by compared to microwave ovens without a backlight.
The reason most manufacturers don’t include a backlit pad in their design is the cost. Backlit pads are more expensive than those without a backlight. By avoiding the backlight, manufacturers manage to maintain production costs low so that more people can afford their appliances.
Why do you need a microwave with a backlit keypad?
While more expensive than microwave ovens that don’t have a backlit keypad, those with that feature make for a better investment.
The main advantage is the increased visibility. This makes the oven more suitable for people with eyesight issues, including the elderly.
Advantages of Microwave with Lighted Keypad
The main advantage of a microwave with a lighted keypad is obviously the backlight. Other advantages depend on the specific type of microwave oven you buy and your needs.
Manufacturers often include sought-after options in their units, such as:
- Sensor cook options
- Preprogrammed settings
- 30-second button
- Multiple defrosting options
- Warm function
- Kitchen timer
- Sensor cooking for popular foods
- Smart reheat
- Convection oven option
- Mute or sound off button
How to choose the best microwave with a backlit keypad?
The capacity of a microwave oven is one of the most important things to consider. Think of your needs and household size.
An oven with a capacity of up to 1.2 cubic feet is ideal for small households. A larger capacity is desired for families. If you want to feed large crowds, go for an oven with a capacity of at least 1.9 cubic feet.
As explained above, a backlit keypad is the key to an enhanced user experience. But you should also check the design and make sure it’s intuitive. The buttons should be clearly labeled and easy to press.
Ideally, the keypad should have a 30-second button, too, a mute button (or a mute option), and quick-start buttons for the most popular meals.
When buying a microwave, the most important thing to consider is the wattage output. This is the unit’s power, and it dictates how well your microwave oven can cook things.
In modern microwaves, wattage can vary from around 600 to 1,500 watts. The higher the number, the better and faster your microwave can cook.
However, low cooking power may be desired if you’re looking for a dorm microwave or one to keep in your RV.
Ideally, you should be able to operate your microwave oven without reading the instructions booklet. Make sure the unit is intuitive to operate, or you might not like it.
Almost all microwaves nowadays come with pre-programmed cooking settings. These options can make your life easier because you don’t have to remember specific cooking times.
High-end microwaves only ask you to select the type of food you want to cook (and whether it’s fresh or frozen). Then, the unit calculates the cooking time automatically with the help of a sensor that detects the amount of moisture coming from your food.
Smart sensor apart, the microwave should also have inverter technology; the inverter improves the cooking results.
Self-cleaning microwaves are your best choice, but you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg. If you can’t afford such a unit, get one that has a smudge-proof exterior and an interior that is easy to clean.
What are the Best Microwaves with a Backlit Keypad?
1. Breville BMO850BSS Smooth Wave Countertop Microwave Oven
Breville Smooth Wave is the best countertop microwave oven with a backlit display but without a lighted keypad.
This microwave oven features classic dial buttons that make operation a cinch. You can leave the guesswork out of the game thanks to the multiple presets, while the large display makes it particularly easy to select a setting.
What I love about it
The best thing about this microwave oven is the incredibly intuitive control panel. Not only do you get to turn dials rather than press small buttons, but a menu printed on the inner frame helps you operate the unit without the need for a manual – obviously, the oven comes with one in case you need it.
Ideal for families of four or smaller households, it has a capacity of 1.2 cubic feet and outputs 1,050 watts of power.
The backlit display is large and shows sufficient information for quick operation. The oven also has a mute button, a beep volume button, and several tunes (besides the beep) that you can choose from.
What could be better
This microwave oven is made of stainless steel and has a very sleek design. Apparently, it is easy to clean. In reality, cleaning it could be troublesome. Food can stick to the interior, making it a hassle to scrub off. The interior light could have also been brighter.
2. SHARP ZSMC1132CS Carousel 1.1 Cu. Ft. 1000W Countertop Microwave
If you want a countertop microwave with a lighted keypad, the SHARP Carousel could fit the bill.
This unit doesn’t actually have a lighted keypad, but the display is bright enough to cast some light over the buttons, even in low-light conditions.
The control panel is also incredibly intuitive, and the texts and numbers are large enough for a super-easy operation.
What I love about it
This 1.1 cubic feet, 1,000 watts unit is an excellent choice for smaller households. It comes with ten power levels and five presets, but that’s more than enough to suit most needs.
One of the main highlights is the popcorn function. Designed in conjunction with Orville, it allows you to select the bag size for optimal popping with minimum waste.
The unit also features express cooking and a quick button function.
What could be better
The display is backlit, but it is rather small. Sure, it can cast some light on the keypad even when the light is low, but a larger display would have been preferable.
3. Whirlpool WMH78019HB Smart Over-the-Range Convection
If you don’t mind spending a buck and want an over-the-range microwave with a backlit keypad, check out this smart oven from Whirlpool.
A combination of microwave and convection cooking, it is ideal for those who want to ditch the classic oven and the range hood.
This is also one of the few ovens that come with a backlit display and a backlit keypad – even if all these functions come at a price.
What I love about it
With a capacity of 1.9 cubic feet and a 14-inch turntable, this microwave oven is large enough for larger households and large crowds.
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It has a max wattage of 1,100, ten power levels, and nine preset functions. The keypad is smartly positioned at the bottom of the door rather than on the side for easier access from below.
The range hood vents are also powerful and feature four speeds. Moreover, a rack enables multi-level cooking.
What could be better
The control panel might be backlit – as well as the display – yet, it is not exactly intuitive. The buttons are small and sometimes a nightmare to use.
Microwave with backlit keypad comparison table
|Breville BMO850BSS||SHARP ZSMC1132CS||Whirlpool WMH78019HB|
|Capacity||1.2 cu. ft.||1.1 cu. ft.||1.9 cu. ft.|
|Max power||1,050 watts||1,000 watts||1,100 watts|
|Turntable size||12.4 inches||11.2 inches||14 inches|
|Dimensions (W x D x H)||20.43 x 19 x 12.44 inches||20.3 x 14.9 x 12 inches||30 x 16 x 17.13 inches|
A microwave with a backlit display is an excellent choice if you want to see your selections easily. Some of these units even have a backlit keypad; no matter your choice, I hope this guide can help you choose the best microwave oven for you.