What’s the Best Compact Microwave? Top 11 Revealed

best compact microwave

Microwaves are no doubt convenient for quick food and drink prep, but not everyone has the space for a full-sized one. Especially kitchens without much counter space, the need for smaller appliances is undeniable so that you can have enough room to work on cooking food itself.

Compact microwaves make an excellent alternative to some of the more massive options out there. Not everyone needs the power and size to prepare a massive meal in the microwave; a smaller model to handle a plate of food or reheating a mug of tea is plenty. However, just like with any appliance of any size, there are both good and bad options out there.

Instead of spending time comparing every compact model out there, you should be able to compare the top options to quickly find a model that fits your needs, available space, and kitchen decoration. Thankfully, that's what our list of picks for the best compact microwave is here to do. Read on for the complete buyer's guide!

Comparison Table

Top 11 Compact Microwaves

Diving right in, let's look at our top compact microwave choices!

Daewoo Small Green Retro Microwave

To start our list, we have something a bit more unconventional in design. Daewoo's retro-style microwave looks like it came from a few decades ago, but it efficiently works like a modern unit. Not only does it look cute, but it can heat, defrost, reheat, and pop popcorn without issue. Sure, you won't be able to pull out the same power as a larger model, but this retro-looking piece does the job.

Though it is compact, this microwave has a turntable with a ten-inch diameter—which will fit most plates. You'll even find some quick preset options, like popcorn and defrost buttons for easy use. On that note, though, it's missing a convenient thirty-second button, but it should do everything else you'd expect from a countertop model.

Pros

  • Cute retro design
  • 700-watt output can handle most basic microwaving tasks
  • The turntable should fit most plates
  • Popcorn and defrost options

Cons

  • No quick press thirty-second or minute button

LG LCS1112ST Countertop Microwave Oven 

LG LCS1112ST Countertop Microwave Oven, 1000-watt, Stainless Steel
  • Easy cooking and energy savings. Completion Beeper - Yes
  • With the new EasyClean interior, you can have quick and high performance cleaning inside and out without using chemicals.
  • This Microwave saves energy by turning off the display when not in use. The display will turn off when the unit is not active for 5 minutes. When this feature is in use the power consumption drops to below 0.1W
  • One Touch Settings makes it easy to cook and warm a variety of foods - from a cup of coffee to chicken nuggets
  • Core features: no fuss de-frosting, child lockout, and turntable

LG has a rather well-known name in the appliance world, and this microwave is just one of the many reasons why. It has impressive power levels for a compact microwave, and you can cook whatever you need; rest easy because your food will book all the way through. The deep inside should also fit most things that require a quick heat.

Even as a compact model, you'll still find LG's TrueCook and Sensor Cooking Technology inside, providing you with a quality microwave. For those worried about accidental bumps on the counter, the rounded edges prevent any jabs with sharp corners. The overall design is easy to clean and maintain, as well.

Pros

  • LG TrueCook and Sensor Cooking Technology
  • Inside space has plenty of room
  • Attractive and safe design

Cons

  • Keypad is dark so it's hard to see what you're pressing

Faberware FMO07ABTBKA

Farberware Classic FMO07ABTBKA 0.7 Cu. Ft. 700-Watt Microwave Oven with LED Lighting, Black
  • 0.7 cubic foot capacity, compact countertop design
  • 700 watts of cooking power and 10 power levels
  • Digital control and LED display with clock and kitchen timer
  • 1 through 6-minute Express cooking quick start controls and add 30-Seconds control
  • 6 one-touch cooking functions for popcorn, potato, pizza, frozen vegetable, Beverage, or a dinner plate

Faberware's FMO07ABTBKA microwave is one of the smallest models around, but it still has plenty of space inside to fit a large dinner plate and other similarly sized dishes. It also can cook quickly and evenly, which helps with even whatever you're heating. You can even rely on this microwave to prepare potatoes if you don't want to fuss with the oven.

While this microwave does pretty well at heating food overall, you may find that it starts to have some trouble with larger trays. The more you pile into the microwave, the worse it performs at heating things evenly, so you'll want to keep that it in mind. It also has some issues with leaving unpopped popcorn kernels, so it's not best if you're going to prepare a quick movie snack.

Pros

  • Cooks quickly and evenly
  • Fits large plates despite the small size
  • One of the smallest compact microwaves around

Cons

  • Not the best at popping popcorn
  • Shorter warranty
  • Doesn't handle large plates of food well

Frigidaire FFCM1134LB Countertop Microwave Oven

Frigidaire FFCM1134LB 1.1 cu. ft. Countertop Microwave Oven with 1,100 Cookin...
  • 1100 cooking watts
  • 6 quick start one-touch options
  • Auto-cook/reheat options and glass turntable

Frigidaire's compact microwave design is not only small in size, but it also has multiple color options for you to consider. The stainless steel, black, and white models are rather basic, but you'll find that they'll easily match with the rest of your kitchen décor, no matter what option you choose, which is a nice bonus to have.

Aside from looks, this microwave backs a surprising punch for its size, having 1,100 watts at its disposal. With that on its size, the FFCM1134L[S] handles even heavier tasks like defrosting a pound of meat very well. No matter what setting you run this microwave on, it runs relatively quiet, making it perfect for homes where schedules don't always match up.

Pros

  • Runs quietly
  • 1,100-watt power can handle defrosting meats evenly
  • Has multiple color options

Cons

    Panasonic SD372S

    Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SD372S Stainless Steel Countertop/Built-In with Inverter Technology and Genius Sensor, 0.8 Cu. Ft, 950W
    • Panasonic microwave: this 950 watt high power, 0.8 cubic foot capacity stainless steel countertop/built in microwave delivers a seamless stream of cooking power for even cooking and delicious flavor
    • Inverter technology with turbo defrost: Patented inverter technology generates a seamless stream of power and delivers consistent, evenly prepared food without overcooking; Advanced inverter turbo defrost speeds up defrosting time
    • Compact design: This countertop microwave with 11 1/4 inch turntable is thinner, lighter and more efficient, allowing you to devote less space to electronics and more to interior capacity; Internal dimensions (h x w x d): 8 1/8 inch x 12 3/8 inch x 13 7/8 inch
    • Smart cooking settings with genius sensor: Built in automatic genius sensor adjusts power and times based on different foods; Other advantages include preset menu items, quick minute timer, delay start and child safety lock
    • Keep warm feature: This inverter microwave keeps soups, gravies or desserts warm and fresh until ready to serve; Power source 120 v, 60 hz

    While you can find smaller microwaves around without much issue, Panasonic's SD372S model is still worth considering. The slightly bigger size comes with the benefit of 950 watts of power at your disposal. Panasonic also incorporates its Inverter and Turbo Defrost technology, which help give this microwave a capacity more on par with a full-sized model.

    You also have plenty of other options, with automatic button settings and pre-programmed options for everyday items like drinks, dinner plates, and pizza. The defrost mode even allows you to set time-based on weight for less guesswork. The keep warm feature is also excellent, as it helps prevent the unexpected moment of biting into something that's sat out for too long.

    Pros

    • Wattage and Panasonic technology help give this microwave a power boost
    • Multiple pre-set options
    • Keep warm feature

    Cons

    • Is a bit wider than other compact microwaves so can
    •    take up more space

    Compact Oster Microwave

    Oster OGG3701 .7-Cubic Foot 700-Watt Digital Microwave Oven
    • 700 watts of cooking power with 10 adjustable power levels
    • 6 auto cooking/1 touch menu options of potato, popcorn, pizza, beverage, frozen dinner and reheat
    • Express cooking and weight defrost
    • Digital timer and digital clock
    • Removable glass turntable

    Oster's Compact Microwave offering will fit right on your counter with its 10.3 inches height by eighteen inches width by 14.1 inches depth. The black and silver design is also sleek, which makes it an appealing appliance to have on hand. With a removable glass turntable and interior light, cleaning up is a breeze if you have an unfortunate accident while heating something.

    This microwave has six cooking presets to work with as you prepare food. For those who have kids to worry about, Oster's model also has a child lock feature to prevent any mishaps. You will have to work without quick-press thirty second and one-minute time buttons, but the microwave should have the rest of the convenient features you'd expect.

    Pros

    • Compact design makes it easy to fit in your counter
    • Six available cooking presets
    • Has child lock feature

    Cons

    • Microwave produces a loud sound

    Toshiba EM925A5A-BS Microwave Oven

    Sale
    Toshiba EM925A5A-BS Microwave Oven with Sound On/Off ECO Mode and LED Lighting, 0.9 Cu.ft, Black Stainless
    • Stylish Black Stainless Steel with timeless design
    • Pre-programmed menu for 6 popular foods like popcorn, pizza, potato and more
    • One touch start - quick access to start the microwave from 1 to 6 minutes cooking at full power
    • Equipped with power-saving eco mode, sound on/off option and child safety lock
    • 900 watts with 10 power settings, clock, and kitchen timer

    Toshiba may not be the name we think of first when it comes to kitchen appliances, but this company can still make an excellent compact microwave—especially for those on a budget. Regarding build, you have stainless steel materials with a black finish, as well as a glass turntable. The interior has an LED light, making it easy to check on whatever you have inside without needing to open the door.

    As convenient as microwaves are, the sound can be an annoying factor; Toshiba solves this issue by including a "Sound On/Off" option to tone it down. You also have One Touch Start buttons, making it easy to start heating food by touching the number that corresponds to the number of minutes. While the microwave will sit on a countertop easily, you may have issues fitting larger plates inside.

    Pros

    • Silent mode
    • One-Touch Start buttons and pre-programmed cooking options
    • Power saving mode

    Cons

    • Has less internal size available than even other compact microwaves

    Sharp SMC0710BB/BW

    Sharp Microwaves ZSMC0710BB Sharp 700W Countertop Microwave Oven, 0.7 Cubic Foot, Black
    • Convenient "+30 seconds" key for instant start
    • Time cook, time defrost and auto defrost
    • 10" carousel turntable for even cooking and reheating
    • Convenient popcorn, Beverage and reheat settings
    • Express cook for convenient one touch cooking up to 6 minutes

    If you're looking for a compact microwave on a tight budget, then consider this model. Overall, this microwave is excellent at cooking food evenly, making it a great option for things like pizza rolls or anything else you want to cook consistently. However, it's not as great for things like popping popcorn or warming potatoes.

    Being more of a budget pick, you won't find anything like a sensor cooking feature that can automatically adjust cook time based on temperature and humidity. Even so, it has most of the pre-cook and quick press options you could want. Sharp also backs this microwave with a five-year warranty, which is much longer than other available models.

    Pros

    • Very high warranty for this appliance category
    • Heats even trays with lots of items evenly
    • Numerous pre-settings and quick press cook time buttons

    Cons

    • Not the best for cooking
    •    popcorn or potatoes

    Whirlpool WMC20005YW Countertop Microwave, 0.5 Cu. Ft., White
    • Tap Touch ControlsThese controls are as easy to use as they are to clean.10 - Level Variable Cooking Power ControlWith 10 variable power levels this microwave lets you quickly and easily tailor your cooking to the task at hand.Pocket Handle DoorControl LockDisables the control panel to avoid unintended use or other changes to your cooking settings.

    If you're looking for a compact microwave on a tight budget, then consider this model. Overall, this microwave is excellent at cooking food evenly, making it a great option for things like pizza rolls or anything else you want to cook consistently. However, it's not as great for things like popping popcorn or warming potatoes.

    Being more of a budget pick, you won't find anything like a sensor cooking feature that can automatically adjust cook time based on temperature and humidity. Even so, it has most of the pre-cook and quick press options you could want. Sharp also backs this microwave with a five-year warranty, which is much longer than other available models.

    Pros

    • Takes up very little counter space
    • Fits well into corners
    • 750 watts can handle most microwaving needs

    Cons

    • Is taller than some other compact microwaves
    • Missing some common
    •    features
    • Expensive

    Compact Black Countertop RCA Microwave

    RCA 0.9 Cubic Feet Microwave Oven, Black
    • 9/10-cubic-foot microwave oven with 10 power levels and child lock; sleek curved handle
    • Soft-touch electronic control panel; convenient auto-cook menu
    • Dishwasher-safe removable glass turntable for even heating
    • Digital clock and kitchen timer; cook and defrost by weight
    • 6 x one touch functions; including, pizza, popcorn, baked potato etc

    If you put RCA's microwave next to the Oster model we went over earlier, you'll find many similarities. This unit includes a glass turntable; six cooking presets; a child lock; and even a similar price for the same 700-watt power level. The most significant difference is that RCA has made a microwave with a few inches less depth, which in turns affects the countertop space and inside capacity.

    The other significant difference is that this microwave is all black, which may be what you want over the stainless steel of the Oster. Unfortunately, this model is also short the add thirty second and one-minute buttons. Despite this, it still ranks positively in user reviews, making it a worthwhile addition to your kitchen.

    Pros

    • Child lock feature
    • Pre-set cooking option
    • Affordable price

    Cons

    • Missing buttons for adding one minute and thirty seconds to cook time

    Samsung MC14H3020CM Microwave Oven

    Sale
    Samsung MG14H3020CM 1.4 cu. ft. Countertop Grill Microwave Oven with Ceramic Enamel Interior, Black Mirror Finish
    • Ceramic Enamel Interior that is both scratch resistant and easy to clean
    • Height (inch)12 5/16,width (inch)21 7/8 ,cutout depth (inch)18 1/16.1.4 cu. ft. Capacity with 950 W of Cooking Power, 10 power levels, and LED display
    • Shiny mirror design and asymmetric shape for a premium look
    • Auto Cook Options to handle any meal with the push of a button
    • Grilling Element with Ceramic Plate for preparing crispy foods including pizza.Control Material:Membrane.Amp Circuit:13.3A

    For a compact microwave that will not only fit into your space but also look great, you can't deny the appeal of the Samsung MC14H3020CM's mirror design (though it does make it tricky to see inside). Besides the outside look, the technology inside is excellent, with 950 watts of power output, a power saving mode, and automatic detection—leaving the guesswork out of setting a cook time.

    The ceramic enamel inside materials make a non-stick surface that's a snap to clean, and you can also use the inside heating rod to grill certain types of foods. With a 14.2 inch turntable, you'll have plenty of room to put in plates of all sides. While still a compact microwave, this model is undoubtedly one of the larger ones out there, and it's a bit heavy as well.

    Pros

    • Non-stick ceramic enamel internal material
    • Automatic detection cooking features
    • Mirror design is attractive

    Cons

    • Too large
    • Mirror makes it difficult to look inside

    Things to Consider When Purchasing a Compact Microwave

    When it comes to selecting an appliance, not everyone has the same needs. Among our best compact microwave contenders, we've included a variety of options that are sure to impress. To help you narrow down your choices, consider these factors.

    countertop microwave open and two plated with food

    image source: pexels

    Size

    If you're shopping for a compact microwave, then size is likely to be a concern of yours. Microwaves can quickly eat up counter space, so you want to plan accordingly. If you end up venturing off this list, a good set of measurements to rely on is eleven inches tall, eighteen inches wide, and fourteen inches deep—or smaller than that, which you can find.

    Just remember that the smaller you go, the less you can fit inside at once. Be sure to consider not only the available room but what dishes you plan to heat on a regular basis.

    Budget

    Thanks to their size, compact microwaves tend to be less expensive than their mid- and full-size counterparts. Even so, available features and other factors can impact the price. Like with any additional home appliance purchase, choose one that fits into your budget while still giving you the performance you want.

    Turntables and Trays

    Many microwaves use a turntable setup to ensure that food becomes heated all the way through, but that's not the only model available. You may even see a moving tray that instead moves food from side to side or a model without a dish at all. All will heat food equally well, but ones with these turntables tend to be more reliable.

    Special Keys

    Microwaves are all about the convenience of quickly warming up food, and nothing makes that easier than quick keys. Most microwaves will have buttons to automatically add minutes or thirty seconds to the cook time, while others will have settings for common types of foods. If you have a feature you want, it's worth checking the keypad before you buy.

    Wattage and Cooking Power

    Very few things negate the convenience of a microwave like pulling out something and finding that it's not the temperature you need or that the center is cold. Because you don't want to waste time reheating something repeatedly, you should pay attention to the cooking power. Thankfully for compact microwave shoppers, smaller size doesn't mean you need to sacrifice that power.

    Instead, you want to focus on wattage. Microwaves tend to not have as much capacity as a manufacturer will claim, but keeping an eye on the wattage rating can help. Higher wattage tends to translate into more power; if there's only a 100-watt difference, though, you won't see many issues. This factor can be significant if you like two models equally, but you're worried about the cooking capability.

    Your Needs

    What you plan to use a microwave for will ultimately impact the type of model you need. If you know you'll use it frequently, quick button settings while help, while people that only require a microwave once in a while may not find such features necessary. Before shopping, jot down a list of deal breakers and other preferred factors to make it simple to find the perfect microwave.

    Wrapping Up

    coffee pot placed on top of microwave oven

    image source: pexels

    Since we always work to ensure that our recommended products are reliable and efficient, you can rest easy knowing that any of the models in our top picks for best compact microwave will serve you well. With variables in the size, price, and features, you should be able to find one you like. Now it's up to you to pick the one that suits your kitchen needs.

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