About Hover Cover
Using BPA-free polymer encased magnets, Hover Cover is an 11.5-inch splatter guard that fits in virtually every microwave, secures to the ceiling when not in use, and simply pulls down when you need to cover food.
Compared to traditional methods like plates or paper towels, the splatter guard's built-in steam vents promise to keep things cool to the touch, while avoiding condensation build up. It also claims to fit most plates, bowls, and platters, to rinse clean when you’re done, and to be top rack dishwasher safe.
Hover Cover’s ability to protect against food splatter and to always be available when needed certainly seems compelling. But are there other products competing with it, and how do they compare? Ultimately, how can you decide which option is best for you?
To answer all of your most important questions, let's start by taking a look at why food tends to splatter in the microwave in the first place.
What Causes Microwaved Food to Splatter?
Without going into unnecessary detail, ExplainThatStuff’s Chris Woodford explains that microwaves emit radio waves (a type of radiation) at a very specific frequency. When these waves are absorbed by food, they cause the molecules inside to vibrate more quickly, thereby causing friction, generating heat, and warming your food.
While this process can help heat foods much more quickly than other methods, such as on a stovetop or in an oven, there are some downsides to microwaving—perhaps the most common of which is exploding food and the subsequent mess.
You see, the higher the water content contained in foods you’re microwaving, the more likely it is that this molecule excitation will result in bubbles. Then, when these bubbles invariably pop, they splatter all over the interior.
To help prevent this mess, a common solution is to place a paper towel over the top, although this can cause the paper to become soggy, and in a worst-case scenario, mix in with your food. Keeping lids in place (while venting slightly) could also solve the problem, although they can sometimes trap condensation and lead to soggy food.
Comparatively, by attaching to the top of your microwave, Hover Cover seems to remain out of the way when you don’t need it, to be readily accessible when you do, and to prevent condensation accumulation or sogginess. But what will you pay?
How Much Hover Cover Costs
Two Hover Covers are priced at $14.99, plus $9.98 S&H.
During checkout, you’ll be able to upgrade to the Deluxe model, which the manufacturer claims delivers stronger magnets, an anti-slip grip, and a two-year extended warranty for an additional $5 fee.
We reached out to several customer service representatives looking for additional information about the power of the standard version’s magnets, where the anti-slip grip is found, and what the standard warranty entails, and will be sure to update this article as soon as a response is received.
Both Hover Cover models come with a 30-day money back guarantee, less S&H charges, as well as any fees associated with the Deluxe upgrade.
To request one, you’ll need to reach out to Allstar Products Group’s customer support line at 800-360-9586.
How does this price compare to the competition? Does Hover Cover even have any competitors?
Hover Cover vs. Other Microwave Splatter Guards
Searching online for the term “microwave splatter guard” at the time of our research, we were met with dozens of products claiming to accomplish the same mess-free results as Hover Cover.
These were offered in various sizes, although most ranged between 9 in and 12 inches in diameter, allowing them to fit in the majority of microwaves and over a large variety of cookware. Most also offer vents to potentially avoid condensation build up.
What about unique features? Compared to Hover Cover, some splatter guards offered the ability to collapse for easy storage and featured handles to avoid burns, along with silicone (versus plastic, or polymer) construction.
From a price perspective, most fell somewhere between $5 and $10, putting the product in question at the upper end of the spectrum, especially when factoring in its steep, non-refundable S&H charges.
We even encountered several unbranded, magnetic microwave splatter models that appeared functionally identical to Hover Cover, some of which were priced as low as $6.30.
In addition, we found a meaningful number of competing splatter covers available at national retailers, which, if purchased locally, could help save on these S&H charges, as well as make the return process as easy as hopping in your car if you’re not satisfied.
To help you decide, you’ll want to focus on questions like:
- Is the product’s price in line with most of the competition?
- Does the manufacturer offer a competitive refund policy? Will you be responsible for any restocking fees?
- What are other consumers saying about the product, as well as the manufacturer? Are they well-known? Do they have a track record of customer satisfaction?
How does all of this stack up for Hover Cover? Let’s quickly address potential safety issues before coming to a conclusion about the product.
Are There Any Safety Concerns Related to Microwave Splatter Guards Like Hover Cover?
Per the product’s how-to video, Hover Cover should not be used in conventional ovens, convection ovens, stovetops, hot plates, or browning dishes, or on heating elements. Even when used normally, though, are these types of covers safe?
Writing for WebMD, Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD explains that:
“Plastic microwave covers are meant to replace the plastic wrap that many people cover their food with in the microwave to keep it from splattering. The FDA says plastic wrap labeled "microwave safe" is indeed safe. But if plastic wrap -- even microwave-safe plastic wrap -- touches food, especially food with high fat content, it can melt, as well as cause steam burns when unwrapped.”
However, TIME’s Olivia B. Waxman points out that even if a product is “labeled "microwave-safe," you still may not be protected. By and large, that label means they won't melt or break when heated—but it doesn't mean they're safe.”
As such, although products like Hover Cover don’t normally touch food, she emphasizes that any condensation buildup could cause any chemicals contained in plastics to drip down, so you’ll want to look at options that are BPA-free, like Hover Cover, along with those manufactured without phthalates.
Taking everything we’ve learned, what’s the bottom line about Hover Cover?
Our Final Thoughts About Hover Cover
While we didn’t encounter any online feedback for Hover Cover at the time of our research and we didn’t test it ourselves, the microwave splatter guard comes from one of the top companies in the ASOTV industry, who seems to stand behind it with a 30-day refund policy.
Compared to many local options, or even online competitors with much lower fees, though, the splatter guard’s high, non-refundable S&H charges means that customers are putting a decent chunk of change on the line for giving it a try.
For this reason alone, we might recommend starting your search by evaluating microwave splatter guards at local retailers. Then, if you don’t find what you need, you can decide whether or not it’s worthwhile to roll the dice on Hover Cover.