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Having a microwave in the kitchen is an easy, convenient way to heat leftovers or the vegetables for dinner. However, it is important to find a microwave that not only fits the space you have for it but that can do what you need it to when making meals. This review can help readers find the best small microwave for their meal and snack needs.
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When you’re buying a microwave, it is important to consider how you plan to use it. If you need one to heat leftovers or make popcorn, then you may only need a small unit in your kitchen or college dorm room. However, if you want it to help make side dishes for dinner parties, then you will probably need a large or medium size unit.
The interior dimensions of a microwave are in cubic feet and the exterior in inches. So, if you’re looking for a small, or compact, microwave then you should consider those that are under one cubic foot. A mid-size unit is going to be approximately one to one and a half cubic feet, a full-size microwave is 1.6 to two cubic feet, and an extra-large microwave is more than two cubic feet in size.
The wattage is also a consideration because the more watts a microwave oven has, the faster the food will cook. If you’re buying a small unit for a dorm room or your family’s rec room, then the typical wattage for a small unit will range from 500 to 800 watts. Most frozen items or foods that you’ll heat in the microwave will take longer in a compact unit than it will in mid- to large microwaves.
How We Chose Our Ratings
To help readers find the best small microwave for their needs, we read about each one, its features, and the manufacturers’ reputations. We also scanned the reviews and testimonials from people who bought and use each model. After gathering this information, we gave each unit a star rating from one to five stars, with five being the best, to help readers find the best products for their needs.
Top 14 Small Microwaves
Here are the small microwaves we examined for this review.
Hamilton Beach 700-Watt .7 Cubic Foot Microwave
This Hamilton Beach microwave offers 10 power settings and 700 watts of power for making snacks, reheating leftovers, or popping bags of popcorn. It also has six quick menu setting buttons. The outside dimensions of the microwave are 17.3 inches long, 13.4 inches wide, and 10.2 inches high. It also has a child safe lockout.
The seller offers a satisfaction guarantee that if a buyer doesn’t like the microwave, they will prepay the return shipping within 30 days of purchasing the unit. The microwave is available in black, red, and white. The seller does not ship this product to addresses within the District of Columbia or to APOs.
Commercial Chef CHM660W 600-Watt Rotary Microwave
This Commercial Chef microwave is a 600-watt, .06 cubic foot unit that can fit on almost any kitchen countertop or the top of a bookshelf in a dorm room. It is suitable for warming leftovers, helping with meal prep, or getting snacks ready. It has rotary dial controls for the timer and speed or defrosts settings.
On the inside of the unit is a 9.5-inch turntable, so rotating the food isn’t necessary for this unit. Also, it has a microwaveable plate inside if your warming a slice of pizza or a burrito for dinner. The front and cabinet of the unit are white, it has six power levels, and the outside dimensions are 17.75 inches long, 12.5 inches wide, and 10.25-inches high.
Amazon Basics Microwave Oven
This compact microwave by Amazon Basics is 700-watts and .07 cubic foot on the inside. It contains a glass turntable that rotates the food, so you don’t need to turn it manually. It has a digital clock/timer and operates via a keypad. You can also use it Alexa, but the Echo is available separately.
It has a one-touch button to help make popcorn, as well as a kitchen timer. A +30 second quick start button is also available on this model. Lastly, it has a pause/stop button to stop the microwave in case food is boiling over in it.
Its outer dimensions are 17.3 inches long, 10.1 inches wide, and 14.1-inches high, so it doesn’t take up much room on the counter. It will also fit onto the top of a bookshelf or file cabinet in a small apartment, college dorm, or in the rec room. It has 10 power levels, and 24 presets that are voice-controlled by Alexa.
Toshiba EM925A5A-BS Microwave Oven
If you want a compact microwave with some power, this 0.9 cubic foot model gives you 900-watts of power to quickly heat your food. It features 10 power levels, it defrosts food by weight or time, and it has six one-touch buttons for:
- Frozen vegetables
- Reheating a dinner plate.
The interior dimensions of this microwave oven are 12.36 inches long, 13.66 inches wide, and 8.7 inches high. It has a 10.6-inch glass turntable that helps heat food evenly. The clock/kitchen timer is digital, it operates by keypad, and it has a power saving mode, as well as an option to turn the sound off and on.
Due to the child safety-lock, the microwave cannot be opened by someone who doesn’t know what they are doing. The outer dimensions of the microwave are 19.2 inches long, 15.9 inches wide, and 11.5-inches high. This Toshiba model is available in black stainless or stainless steel finishes.
Panasonic NE-1025F Silver 1000-Watt Commercial Microwave
If you want a small microwave that heats food quickly, then this Panasonic model is a good choice. It has 1000 watts of power, which most small microwaves do not have, and a capacity of 0.8 cubic foot. The energy of this unit comes from the bottom instead of the sides like many other models.
The dimensions of this powerful little unit are 16.56 inches long, 20.13 inches wide, and 12 inches high. It has a stainless steel front with a “Grab and Go” door handle. Instead of a keypad, it has a six-minute dial with interior oven light. A six-inch half-size pan with a cover can fit into the microwave.
Hamilton Beach 0.9 Cubic Feet Microwave Oven
Hamilton Beach offers a compact microwave oven that is 0.9 cubic foot with 900-watts of power. It features 10 power levels and six one-touch food preparation buttons for:
- Frozen Dinners
It has a digital clock/timer with keypad operation, which offers a timer that goes up to 99’ 99”. To keep children from operating the microwave, it has a child safety lock feature. The front of the microwave is stainless steel, and it has outer dimensions of 21 inches long, 17 inches wide, and 13-inches high. It can sit on your kitchen countertop or the bookshelf in a small apartment or college dorm room.
RCA 0.9 Cubic Foot Microwave Oven
This microwave by RCA is the largest of the compact models at 0.9 cubic foot. It has 900 watts of power with 10 power levels. The control panel is a soft touch and has six one-touch function buttons for foods like:
- Baked Potato
- Frozen Dinner
The microwave also allows cooking and defrosting by weight, and it has a digital clock/timer, and an auto-cook menu. The food will not need to be rotated as it cooks because there is a glass turntable inside the microwave that helps things cook evenly.
The dimensions for this model are 19 inches long, 15.5 inches wide, and 10.85 inches high. For safety, it also has a child lock feature to keep small hands from turning the microwave on when it’s empty or heating something they shouldn’t.
Nostalgia Electrics RMO770RED Countertop Microwave Oven
The Nostalgia microwave has a retro design with a red body and chrome features, like manual buttons to operate it, rotary dial to set the timer, the handle, accents, and the name above the door in cursive. The digital clock/timer also has a chrome frame.
The microwave is red, and its dimensions are 18 inches long, 14.17 inches wide, and 10.25-inches high to easily fit on a kitchen countertop or the top of an end table in the family rec room or a small apartment. It has an LED control panel that shows the preprogrammed settings for:
- Frozen Entrees
- Dinner plate
This model is 700-watt, 0.7 cubic foot or you can order the best small microwave for your needs in a 900-watt, 0.9 cubic foot version. They both come with a glass carousel inside of the microwave to ensure that food heats evenly.
Sharp ZSMC0710BW Countertop Microwave
This countertop microwave by Sharp is a 700-Watt unit that is 0.7 cubic foot on the inside. It has a digital timer readout and keypad controls. It has a “+30 seconds” timer key to quickly warm a cup of coffee or a food item when you want to remove the chill.
There is a 10″ carousel turntable to make sure food is evenly prepared, so you don’t need to rotate it manually. It has keys to heat coffee, make popcorn, and reheat settings. It also features an “Express Cook” key for timing a dish for up to six minutes. It has defrost, and auto defrost settings as well.
The unit is available in black or white, and it has outside dimensions of 17.3 inches long, 10.2 wide, and 12.8-inches high. It has a one-year limited warranty on parts and labor.
Westinghouse WCM660B 600-Watt Microwave
The Westinghouse microwave oven is 0.6 cubic foot and puts out 600-watts of power. It fits onto a countertop or the top of a bookshelf in a small apartment or dorm room. It features rotary dials for the timer and speed/defrost functions.
Inside of the microwave, it has a 9.5-inch glass turntable to heat food evenly. It has a durable construction with a black front and body. It is also available in a 900-watt, 0.9 cubic foot model. It is also available in white. The outer dimensions of the unit are 17.75 inches long, 12.5 wide, and 10.25inches high.
Bella Microwave Oven
The Bella microwave is a 900-watt, 0.9 cubic foot model that can heat food quickly and evenly. It features a glass turntable that rotates food to ensure it heats evenly. It has 10 power levels, one to six-minute cooking buttons, and a +30 second quick start button.
The outer dimensions of the microwave measure 15.4 inches long, 19.1 inches wide, and 11.5-inches high so that it won’t take up too much countertop space, but it is big enough to fit a plate of food. It has six quick cook buttons for:
- Frozen Vegetables
- Hot Beverages
- Dinner Plate
You can set the timer to cook food or to deforest it, and you can also defrost food by its weight. The microwave is red with a chrome handle. Bella offers a one-year manufacturer’s warranty on their microwaves.
Daewoo KOR-7LRER Countertop Microwave Oven
Daewoo offers a retro-style countertop microwave, which is 700-watts and 0.7 cubic foot. It is available in several colors, including:
- Cream White
- City Blue
It has chrome accents including a handle and push buttons to turn the power on, pause or stop it, and a +30 second quick start button. It has preset buttons for popcorn, beverages, soup, baked potato, fresh vegetables, and frozen vegetables.
There is also a two-way defrost button and one to set the five power levels. It also features a child safety lock feature to keep kids from starting the microwave. There is also a USB Retro version of this microwave. The dimensions of this model are 17.5 inches long, 14.5 wide, and 10.5-inches high.
Emerson Radio ER105005 Countertop Microwave Oven
Emerson Radio is headquartered in the U.S. and manufactures this 0.9 cubic foot, 900-watt microwave oven. It features 10 levels of power with six settings preprogrammed for:
- Frozen vegetables
- Dinner plates
It contains a removable turntable that ensures that food cooks and reheats evenly. This model has a stainless steel front with a black body. Its outer dimensions are 19.1 inches long, 16.1 inches wide, and 11.5-inches high. The child safety lockout prevents the microwave from being used by someone who doesn’t know how it works. You can defrost food by time or weight, and Emerson offers a one-year warranty on this model.
Panasonic NN-SD372S Microwave Oven
This Panasonic microwave has one of the highest levels of power for a compact model. It puts out 950-watts of power even though it is only 0.8 cubic foot. It can fit on a kitchen countertop, or you can have it built-in above your oven for convenience in your kitchen. However, it is also a good model to have in a small apartment or college dorm room.
This model comes with Inverter technology that allows for faster cooking times when poaching, steaming or braising food. It also has a turbo defrost setting in case you didn’t pull anything from the freezer to thaw for dinner. The external dimensions for this unit are 11 inches high 19 3/16 inches wide, and 14 13/16 inches deep.
The interior of the microwave includes a light and an 11 ¼ -inch glass turntable to help ensure even heating or cooking. There are several Auto Cook choices for foods like:
- Frozen Vegetables
- Frozen Entrees
It also has a Genius Sensor that can adjust cooking times and power based on different types of foods. It has a stay-warm feature too, so dishes can be kept warm throughout dinner. Panasonic offers one-year parts and labor warranty except for the magnetron tube, which has a five-year part and one-year labor warranty.
image source: Pexels
Buyer’s Guide for Microwaves
The first consideration you need to make when buying a new microwave is how much space you have for it in the kitchen. If it isn’t going into a kitchen, then how much space do you have for it in your apartment, rec room, or college dorm. A compact microwave can fit almost anywhere, such as the top of a bookshelf, file cabinet, or on a small microwave stand.
Then, consider what you want a microwave to do. If you’re using it to make snacks or reheat leftovers, then you may not need a lot of interior room in one. However, if you reheat plates of food, try fitting the plate onto the turntable to ensure it fits inside of it. Next, consider the features you want in a microwave.
If you want keypad controls instead of a manual dial, then you may need to select a compact microwave on the higher end of the size chart. Also, think about the presets that you may use, such as making baked potatoes, reheating mugs of coffee or tea, and heating frozen entrees. By considering the size and how you use a microwave, you will be able to pick the best small microwave for your needs.