If you love the popcorn at fairs, concession stands, or movie theaters, you're in luck. You can find microwave popcorn to satisfy your cravings at home with more than butter flavors. There are plainer popcorns as well as variations, so you can enjoy other fun flavors. Microwave popcorn can make your movie night at home more special or be a convenient, potentially healthy snack.
We've curated a list of the best microwave popcorns. We loved Pop Secret's Movie Theater Butter Popcorn, which is buttery like the popcorn at the movies, made without artificial ingredients, and leaves very few unpopped kernels. Read on for a buying guide that will help you find the right brand for your tastebuds.
Jim Quast (JQ) is a lifelong professional restaurant and corporate R&D chef that loves everything food-related and the tools both big and small to make those great food memories. He's a super huge BBQ, grill, and kitchen gadget fanatic. JQ has spent the last 30+ years trying to figure out what works to make your kitchen life easier and fun. If you can use it to slice it, dice it, cook it, smoke it or store it, he's been there checking it out. Food = Life! https://www.linkedin.com/in/jim-quast-59769011/
mybest US' editing team consists of experienced members who have backgrounds in writing, editing, translation, and more. We are dedicated to researching what makes a product or service the best to users in the US in order to create top-quality articles. From skincare, to kitchen appliances, and to DIY supplies, our mission is to find the best ones for you.
The expert oversees the Buying Guide only, and does not determine the products and services featured.
Table of Contents
Microwave popcorn comes in different flavors and ingredients, so it can be hard to find the ideal one for your tastebuds. We recommend keeping these points in mind to help you choose.
Popcorn comes in different textures, flavors, and kernel size. There are three common varieties: plain white, yellow, and hull-less.
White corn kernels pop into white popcorn. The popcorn is soft, tender, and delicate. The kernels pop smaller while offering a more neutral and plain flavor compared to yellow popcorn, so white popcorn is perfect for seasonings.
For example, you may have cheddar, salt, or another seasoning you want to add to the popcorn. Because of the more neutral taste, you can easily mix the seasoning with the popcorn by pouring it into the bag and shaking it afterward. Some may even come with their own seasoning already on them, so you can enjoy additional flavors.
Yellow kernels, the most common type, yield fluffy popcorn that has a yellow tint. The flavor is more distinct compared to plainer white popcorn.
Most theaters use this type of popcorn. The popcorn is large and sturdy, so it's a good option if you're planning on loading up on toppings or glazes and don't want your popcorn to get crushed or soggy.
All types of popcorn have hulls, but whether they’re noticeable depends on the size of kernels. Smaller kernels mean thinner hulls! And so the texture of hull-less popcorn is super tender. Many people like this style because they don't have to deal with hulls getting stuck in their teeth. Hull-less popcorn may even be easier to digest.
Plain popcorn is one of the most versatile snacks out there. This will help you with any health concerns or dietary restrictions. You can look into plain popcorn for low-calorie intake, or choose one with oil, butter, salt, and other seasonings.
You also have freedom to flavor plain popcorn yourself. Get creative and add your favorite herbs, butter, or other toppings. There are even popcorn-specific seasonings you can buy, including bold flavors like buffalo wing or chili lemon!
If you're sharing popcorn with others, having a plain variety allows every person to season it to their own tastes. Plus, you can even match your seasonings to your movie for extra fun. Watching a movie set in Italy? Grab some garlic, Italian herbs, or parmesan!
Click to purchase
Movie Theater Butter Popcorn
Best for a Traditional Butter Taste
Amish Country Popcorn
Microwave Popcorn Sweet Kettle White Hulless
Best Hull-Less Popcorn
Skinnygirl Lime & Salt Popcorn
Best for Portion Control
Best Unflavored Popcorn With Few Ingredients
KettleMania Gourmet Kettle Corn
Best Large Bags of Salty-Sweet Kettle Corn
Mallow Magic Popcorn
Best for a Sweet Treat
Movie Theater Butter Microwave Popcorn
Best Popcorn With Real Butter
Sea Salt Microwave Popcorn
Best Variety Pack With Natural Flavors and Ingredients
Ghost Pepper Popcorn
Best for Fans of Really Spicy Flavors
Hawaiian Hurricane Company
Original Hawaiian Hurricane Flavor Popcorn
Best Popcorn Snack Mix With Rice Crackers and Seaweed
This popcorn comes with 30 bags and is available in three variations of butter flavors, so you can choose your ideal option. This one uses natural flavors and colors to give you the taste you love from the movie theater concession stand.
A couple of reviewers found the popcorn messy since the bags would be covered in grease from the butter. However, quite a few reviewers said the popcorn tasted fresh after they microwaved it. They also appreciated how it had the traditional butter flavor of movie theater popcorn.
This is a slightly sweet kettle corn. The kernels don't have hulls, so they're soft and tasty after popping. They're also smaller than most varieties.
Some reviewers didn't like how the popcorn used an artificial sweetener rather than natural flavors. On the other hand, various reviews loved how it had both a salty and sweet taste. They also loved the lack of hulls to get stuck in their teeth.
This option comes in 60 mini-bags for people to easily control their portions while they eat. It has a distinct salty taste amplified by the lime flavor.
Some reviewers said the lime flavor was too fake-tasting. However, many reviewers said the bag's size was the perfect amount whenever they wanted to eat a snack. They also appreciated how the lime flavor complemented the salt.
This popcorn focuses on a natural approach by sticking with palm oil and sea salt. Even though the kernels are black, they actually pop into white popcorn. It's a good option if you prefer adding your own flavors, or like the simple taste of the corn itself.
A couple of reviewers didn't appreciate how the kernels took a while to pop, so some of them would open the bag to find tons of kernels. Nevertheless, more than a few reviewers appreciated how smaller hulls wouldn't get stuck in their teeth. They also loved how it tasted fresh.
This kettle corn balances salty and sweet, but keeps the calories lower by using sucralose. Each bag pops to about eight cups, making them perfect for family movie night!
A few reviewers didn't like the taste of the artificial sweetener added to the kettle corn. On the bright side, multiple reviewers appreciated the salty taste mingled with the sweet. They also loved how the kettle corn tasted fresh.
This one comes with marshmallow packets, so you can add a sweet flavor to the salty popcorn. The taste is just like Rice Krispies Treats but made with popcorn! You can add a little topping, or the whole amount, to control the sweetness.
But a few reviewers didn't like how they had to pour the marshmallow packet on the popcorn. On the bright side, many more said the combination was the right amount of sweetness. They also felt the salty flavor of the popcorn was a great complement to the marshmallow.
This popcorn is a movie theater butter flavor that's comes from natural flavors and real butter. It also comes with 44 bags of popcorn, so it's great for those with large households or popcorn addictions! Note that to order it from the Costco site, you have to be a member or pay a surcharge.
Some reviewers said the bags had too many unpopped kernels in them after they microwaved the popcorn. Despite that point, loads of reviewers loved the balance between the natural butter and salt flavors.
This popcorn is available in sea salt, butter, and lightly sweet kettle corn flavors. It sticks with natural flavors and ingredients for those who don't want to eat anything artificial.
A couple of reviewers said the popcorn tastes different compared to how it tastes in their pre-popped bags. Despite that point, various reviewers noticed the popcorn had a good balance of salt on it. They also appreciated how the popcorn kept things simple with three natural ingredients.
This popcorn takes a different approach since it has ghost pepper on it to give it some extra spice. The spiciness is 500,000 on the Scoville Scale, so that means it's more spicy than a habanero pepper.
Some reviewers said the spicy steam produced from the bag was like tear gas! Nevertheless, loads of reviewers said it was a good level of heat for people who enjoy spicy food. They also noted the spice added to the flavor and made it taste great.
This popcorn comes with "mochi crunch," which are sembei rice crackers, and nori seaweed you sprinkle on. The combination makes it a satisfying snack mix with a unique flavor that's great for parties.
A couple of reviewers felt it was overrated, and that you could make your own. Despite that point, multiple reviewers appreciated how they could add the mochi crunch and nori into the popcorn if they wanted to. They also enjoyed the buttery flavor added to the popcorn.
Cooking your popcorn for the right amount of time may be tricky. Here are some general tips for ensuring you get delicious popcorn, minimize unpopped kernels and avoid burning, but be sure to follow the instructions for your popcorn.
Some brands advise you not to use your microwave's popcorn setting. The directions should provide a recommended microwave time, but you might have to adjust that depending on your specific microwave's power. You may need to elevate the package of popcorn on a plate or bowl for effective popping.
Do not leave the microwave unattended while popping popcorn, for the sake of safety and because you'll want to stand by to listen to the rate of the popping. Listen for pops; when there's a two-to-three second lag between pops, it's time to turn off the microwave. Be careful when opening the bag as the steam will be very hot.
If you're shopping eco-friendly and ethically, keep in mind a fair portion of popcorn products contain palm oil. There are controversial environmental and ethical issues related to palm oil production. For example, palm oil production plays a role in deforestation, which harms endangered species and leads to increased greenhouse gas emissions.
Some companies may willingly or unknowingly use palm oil produced with child labor. This means you may want to consider researching companies involved with palm oil. For example, some may include seals to indicate the palm oil quality. This can also include looking up companies to see if they have RSPO certified palm oil.
Whether you microwave it or pop it on the stove, eat it plain or with seasonings, love it salty or sweet, popcorn just can't be beat! Check out these other ways to enjoy this timeless favorite.
If you need more variety, you could go through Amazon's best-selling microwave popcorn. This should offer you more options to ensure you find one you like.
No. 1: Pop Secret | Movie Theater Butter Popcorn
No. 2: Amish Country Popcorn | Microwave Popcorn Sweet Kettle White Hulless
No. 3: Orville Redenbacher's | Skinnygirl Lime & Salt Popcorn
No. 4: Black Jewell | Microwave Popcorn
No. 5: Jolly Time | KettleMania Gourmet Kettle Corn
View Full Ranking
When you purchase products mentioned in the article, part of the sales may be returned to mybest.
The descriptions of each product is referenced from the content available from the manufacturer, e-commerce sites etc.
AppsBusiness apps, Cooking apps, Dating apps
Home goodsBath supplies, Ceremonial occasion supplies, Cleaning supplies
Home electronicsAir conditioners and coolers, AV accessories, Blenders and food processors
PCComputer supplies, Desktop computers, Tablets
CameraCamera bags and backpacks, Camera supplies, Digital single lens cameras
BeautyBlushes, Bronzers, Cleansers
HealthBody care products, Health accessories, Health foods and supplements
Food and drinksAlcohol, Breads and jams, Cocktails and ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages
KitchenCoffee and tea products, Cooking utensils, Cups
FashionFootwear products, Men's shoes, Sandals
AccessoriesWristwatches, Accessories and jewelry, Umbrellas and parasols
Kids and babyBaby carriers, Baby food, Baby formula
InteriorBeds, Beds and bedding, Chairs
HobbiesAromatherapy products, Art supplies, Arts and collectibles
OutdoorBarbecue grills and fire pits, Camping beds and cots, Camping gear
Home, garden, and toolsAgricultural materials and gardening supplies, Exterior and garden furniture, Materials and repairing agents
Sports and fitnessSports shoes, Surfing supplies, Badminton supplies
PetsBird and small animal supplies, Cat supplies, Dog supplies
MediaBooks and magazines, CD, Children's books, picture books and illustrated encyclopedias
GamesGaming accessories, Nintendo Switch games, PC games
AutomotiveCar accessories, Car navigation systems
GiftsChristmas gifts, Father's Day gifts, Gifts for children
Mobile devicesMobile phone and smartphone accessories, Wearable devices and smart watches