In this paper, optimization of the loaded quality factor QL for reflection-type heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) oscillators is investigated. The main result is an optimum relation between the S-parameter phases at the three transistor ports. A new design strategy for this type of oscillator is proposed. The analysis is verified by comparing several Ka-band monolithic-microwave integrated-circuit oscillators in GaAs HBT technology with different resonators. The measured loaded QL values correspond to the measured phase noise of the circuits. At an oscillation frequency of 33 GHz, an excellent phase noise of -87 dBc/Hz at 100-kHz offset frequency is achieved over the whole tuning range.