Microwave Handle vs Push Button

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Updated August 19, 2022

Suppose you’re shopping for the best microwave oven. In that case, you may have wondered whether a microwave handle vs a push button to open the door is best. While the choice will not affect your power settings, it can affect the appliance’s longevity. In addition, microwaves without handles might fit your kitchen aesthetic better. Keep reading to see whether a microwave oven handle or a button door release is the better option for you.


  • A microwave handle must be grabbed and pulled to open your microwave cavity.
  • A push-button microwave oven opens when you push a button, usually located under the LCD.
  • If you want a modern kitchen layout, go with a push-button design. That said, if you want a basic compact microwave for quick microwave cooking, go with a handle door.

Comparing Microwave Handles and Push-Button Doors

While you may think having microwaves without handles won’t matter, you should consider your microwave handle choice, especially if you’re trying to buy a great microwave for seniors, like grandparents. The handle usually sticks out from the door of the microwave, while a push-button door release sits beneath the microwave oven control panel. The former type requires you to pull it to open the appliance, while you simply have to press the latter to pop open the cavity.


The fewer moving parts you have, the longer the appliance will last. For example, a digital microwave oven with a door handle should be more reliable than a push-button model. You want your door mechanisms to be dependable and easily fixable because the door controls so much. Of course, the seals on pull handles can erode and cause a minor radiation leak, so keep that in mind.

Insider Tip

Cheap microwaves with a push-button door will break within a relatively short period. If you want to save money with a cheaper model, go with a non-push-button handle.

If your door latch malfunctions, you cannot use your digital display, change power levels, or adjust your cooking time. You should learn how to test a microwave oven if you notice any issues, including other non-working basic features. If you’re just getting started with making popcorn in the microwave, you’ll want some helpful tips first so you don’t end up with a bag of burnt kernels. If rust is the reason you’re considering a new unit, check out how to paint a microwave interior to address minor rust problems.

Modern Design

Built-in range microwave ovens with push-button handles are the more modern choice. You’ll find that, in minimalist design, a digital microwave oven with pre-programmed buttons free from a protruding grip is often preferred. That said, models with a black stainless steel exterior handle will still fit in a modern kitchen.


Microwaves without handles offer more convenience and will not get in your way. Even compact microwaves with handles will not open all the way if they are next to a wall. In addition, a countertop microwave handle will cut into the space in your food prep area.

For more microwave learning, check out our articles on convertible vents vs recirculating microwaves, and what is better than a microwave.


Do not press metal tools into your microwave oven push-button. If there is a wiring issue, you may get shocked.


Are convection microwaves worth it?

Many popular food items taste better with a crisp, baked texture. With a convection microwave oven, you can have performance similar to an air fryer, but with the added benefit of microwave cooking.

What is the safest microwave oven?

The safest microwave ovens are countertop models with an easy-to-read control panel. For additional safety, skip cheaper models without safety features or customizable power levels. Also, skip the high-capacity countertop microwave oven if you only want simple meals.

What microwave features and specs should I look for?

You should look for a microwave oven with a smart sensor with preset programs for popular foods. In addition, you want a digital microwave oven that offers a clear digital display and multiple power levels. Lastly, pay attention to how big the microwave cavity is.

Which is better for space: an over-the-range or countertop microwave?

Over-the-range microwaves are a great choice for saving space over picking smaller and cheaper models. In addition, a countertop microwave oven will not have the internal capacity of a range model.

STAT: A US Department of Energy survey found that 37% of Americans use their microwave three to five times a day. (source)

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