5 Best Microwave Popcorns for Your Next Movie Night!

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open bag of microwave popcorn

After picking the film and putting on your comfiest clothes, it’s time for the perfect movie night snack! 🎬

But finding the best microwave popcorn can be a little bit of a struggle, am I right? Unpopped kernels, burnt popcorn pieces, and those annoying little pockets of grease are just a few of the problems that “pop” up when looking for your go-to brand.

Luckily, we did the hard work for ya! We took into consideration the price, taste, and texture of popular microwave popcorn brands, sampled them all, and picked out the best! But even among the best, there were some clear champions so we’ve ranked them in order leading up to our top picks.

Grab your favorite popcorn bowl and one of our five best microwave popcorns for your next movie night. 🍿

5. Newman’s Own Butter Flavor

bag of Newman's Own popcorn

  • Price: $2.58 / 3 Count (in grocery stores)

Mystery ingredients don’t have to be a part of your movie night! I really love the clean nutritional label of Newman’s Own Butter Flavor and definitely enjoyed the whole bag without feeling guilty–or getting a stomach ache. 🙌 The kernels are the perfect combo of crisp and fluffy, and the butter flavor is pronounced without tasting synthetic.

My only criticism is that this brand had a few more unpopped kernels than the others despite microwaving it a little longer than recommended. But if you’re after a clean-eating movie night snack, this might be the best microwave popcorn for you!

Looking for this microwave popcorn near you? Check out their popcorn finder! And if it’s not available nearby, you can get the butter flavor from Amazon as well, although it’s a bit pricier.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

4. SkinnyPop Sea Salt Microwave Popcorn

woman pouring popcorn into a bowl

  • Price: $4.48 / 6 Count

Anything other than movie theater butter might seem kinda plain, but I promise that SkinnyPop’s microwave sea salt popcorn is just as delicious as its buttery counterpart!

I’ve been a big fan of SkinnyPop’s white cheddar flavor for a long time, but their microwaveable bags are where it’s at–I wish I’d tried them sooner! Like Newman’s Own, the ingredient list is short and fairly clean which is a definite bonus.

cumin on popcorn

I’m also a fan of adding other spices like cumin or onion powder to my popcorn, and each piece of popcorn got equally coated, unlike some butter varieties which make the spices a little sticky and uneven.

Overall Rating: 7.5 / 10

3. Pop-Secret Movie Theater Butter

hand holding bag of popcorn

  • Price: $4.78 / 12 Count

This might be my new fave! I had to microwave the Pop-Secret bag a little longer than the directions stated and had no burnt pieces and very few unpopped kernels–just big, fluffy, crunchy popcorn pieces. And the butter flavor didn’t have any weird aftertaste. 🙌

woman holding kernel of popcorn

But even as someone who LOVES salty snacks, there were a few pockets that were a little too salty for me. But only a few! The butter flavor was also winning and there was almost no extra grease. 👏

Overall Rating: 8.5 / 10

2. Orville Redenbacher Movie Theater Butter

boxes of popcorn on store shelf

  • Price: $3.27 / 6 Count

Movie-theater butter is such a hard flavor to replicate with microwave popcorn. Try as we might, it’s just not the same as the buttery, salty, crunchy satisfaction we get from the buckets of popcorn at the movie theater.

However, this one comes pretty close!

The butter flavor is definitely there without being overwhelming or oily, and it’s just the perfect amount of salty. This one held up well to the extra seasonings I like to add, but to be honest, I didn’t even need them!

Of the popcorn brands I tried, Orville Redenbacher’s was the best! Perfectly buttery, not greasy, and just the right texture. 😍

Overall Rating: 9.5 / 10

1. Kirkland Microwave Popcorn

bags of kirkland microwave popcorn in front of popcorn bowls

  • Price: $9.99 / 44 Count

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to try Costco’s Kirkland microwave popcorn, but everyone on our team is absolutely crazy about it! And with such a low price, it’s the perfect buy for families. Because of the taste & unbeatable price, this popcorn takes the cake with a high rating and recommendation from our team.

Here’s what the team had to say about their favorite popcorn:

“My family has eaten Kirkland Microwave Popcorn for years – I buy a box almost every single time I shop at Costco! First of all, I love the price – around $10 for a 44-count box which makes it much more affordable than the 3-count boxes at the grocery store. And more importantly, I love the taste of the popcorn itself – it has the perfect amount of butter flavoring without being too overpowering or too greasy. And the bags pop beautifully each time so there are very few wasted kernels.” – Bryn

bags of microwave popcorn next to kernels on a shelf

This popcorn is a family favorite and something we always have in our home. It has just the right buttery, salty flavor, and you seriously cannot beat the price for how many you get.– Stacy

Overall Team Rating: 9.5 / 10

Are sweet snacks more your thing? Check out these yummy frozen peanut butter banana bites!

About the writer:

Brandi has an Associate's Degree and 5+ years of experience writing and creating online content for local businesses.

Join The Discussion

Comments 15

  1. Keri

    I use Jolly Time Simply popped. The ingredient list is much better that either the Newman’s Own or Skinny pop you listed here!

  2. Mel

    My family LOVES Jolly Time BLAST O BUTTER, but we’ve also gone back to using an air popper, then add melted butter and sea salt…delish!

  3. wah00153

    Cousin Willy’s!! We’ve only found it at Kroger. Occasionally it’s $1 for a 3 pack. It comes in butter, extra movie style butter, kettle, and white cheddar. Our whole family loves it!

  4. Maddie

    Man the pour over movie theater popcorn by orville is unmatched. It is a true movie theater taste. A little messy, but just give your kids napkins.

    • rocme2

      Never knew this existed!!

  5. Bhump

    Love the Orville kettle corn

  6. Jane

    I agree on both Jolly Time popcorn. I like the Simply and husband likes blast o butter. I also used to get the cousin willys at a local grocery store here but now I may have seen it at Kroger? Most other microwave bags leave too may unpopped or half popped and I’m afraid to eat and break a tooth!

  7. Kelly Bates

    Hate to say it but microwave popcorn has more PFAS in it than anything! PFAS=the stuff ruining our water and making it where we can not eat the fish out of it even. Crazy right that microwave popcorn does this! We have now switched to old school popping, on the stove, kernels in olive oil. Honestly I’ll never go back because it is far superior! We just coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil, throw in 3 kernels, once those pop-pour in desired amount. put lid on, listen for kernels to slow and just before they stop altogether we remove from heat and take off the burner. then pour popcorn into bowls, return cooking pot to stove top and melt real butter, or do your own thing 🙂 Just saying, I don’t want to eat something that is contaminating water, and it’s waaaay more economical and cheap!

    • Jacy

      I didn’t know popcorn could be done on the stove. Thanks for telling us know how you do it. I’ll for sure try it 🙂

    • CourtA

      I do the same but in a wok instead of a saucepan. Lots of room for a big batch!

    • Lori Siemian

      I agree with this 100%. Just took a course about plastic pollution and the #1 thing to stop plastics/chemicals from entering our bodies is no more microwave popcorn. The lining is full of PFOAS and contaminates our bodies. I loved my microwave popcorn but it’s not worth it. My family has returned to doing it the old fashioned, safer way.

    • Angie

      Thank you for your comment. I’m done buying microwave popcorn after reading this. Will go back to my original way to get movie theater tasting popcorn…pop it in my heavy bottom stainless pot with a tablespoon of coconut oil. Tastes just like movie theater with a splash of sea salt. 😋

  8. nita

    We just get kernels from TJ and pop in a regular pot on the stove in some olive oil and salt and pepper and whatever seasoning you can think of 👌

  9. Judy

    Kirkland microwave popcorn is the best. Not too salty, flavorful, buttery and almost every kernal pops. It’s a great deal too. Just got back from Costco with another box to send with daughter for college.

    • Sharon

      I love Kroger too but too much salt. The

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