If you have a small home or are in the market for something to heat up your lunch in the office, a small countertop microwave oven is the perfect fit! Not all areas are suitable for a large, bulky unit and some households don’t need something that that takes up valuable space.
What is the best small microwave? It is the one that fits your size and capacity requirements. Wattage is important but is irrelevant if you can’t fit the unit in your home, office or apartment.
Our favorite pick in this stylish and compact bunch is the superbly distinctive Nostalgia Retro 0.7 Cubic Foot Microwave Oven. Although it’s retro-styling won’t cater to all tastes, we think it’s a fantastic talking point and adds a splash of color to your kitchen.
Aside from aesthetics, this unit has a generous 800-watts of power and is small but not too small, with 12 pre-set programs to give you plenty of options.
Be certain to check the interior dimensions of the microwave you plan to purchase. While nearly all microwaves can handle a plate, some may not have the height for a tall cup, glass or your favorite mug.
Reviews Of The Best Small Microwave Ovens
1. Nostalgia Retro 0.7 Cubic Foot Microwave Oven
The Nostalgia line of kitchen electronics offers unique products with a gorgeous finish; this red microwave has the ultimate in retro styling, with chrome accents and a steel handle.
While this microwave oven features a dial, there are buttons across the bottom as well, so it may take a little work to learn how to program this unit.
With its very distinctive retro style, this model won’t blend with every kitchen, but the right person will love it. It’s a good idea to invest in a microwave that will last for the long term; this is an expensive item to swap out because you’re changing paint colors.
However, your home should make you happy and give you joy. If you want a red or green microwave, go for it! Just measure the space at least twice to confirm the dimensions.
This microwave is 19 inches wide, 15 inches deep and 11 inches tall. The 800-watt motor will give you plenty of cooking power. There’s a bright LED display for easy programming and five different levels of power.
It also features a pretty impressive 12 pre-programmed settings; from warming up a beverage to defrosting meat, you can customize your cooking experience as you wish.
Internal dimensions offer a 10.5-inch turntable and space for a taller cup or glass. If you’re looking for a small powerful microwave without too many buttons, this is the pick for you!
2. MAGIC CHEF 0.7 cu. ft. Countertop Microwave
The Magic Chef 0.7 cubic foot, 700-watt microwave offers all the features of a larger oven – including a child safety lock – with a compact footprint. There are eight quick set menu options and ten power levels.
For those with low cabinets, this microwave is a real plus – it’s only 10.2 inches high. The width is just over 17 inches, and it’s almost 14 inches deep.
If an extra small microwave is all you have room for, pay special attention to the door opening mechanism. This model has a handle formed into the framing of the door which will impact the depth of the unit and may not work in a small space.
It also may limit visibility a bit, but offers a sleek, elegant look and keeps the profile of the microwave low.
While the opening of the front door is 11 inches wide, the turntable is only 8 inches in diameter. This may limit plate sizes for some users, so take care to measure your dinner plates before selecting your personal mini microwave.
3. Whirlpool Small 0.5 cu. ft. Countertop Microwave
Whirlpool has designed a miniature 0.5 cubic foot microwave for the tiniest of spaces.
It will fit a full dinner plate and offers a pretty impressive 750 watts of cooking power. The display and buttons are all laid out along the bottom of the front panel, rather than the side.
If counter space is at a premium, the button placement will make it easy to place this microwave on a higher shelf and still use it easily.
To allow for space, ventilation, and clearance, prepare for a 15-inch cube. The back is curved so this microwave can be easily settled into a corner. The programmed cooking buttons are simple and straightforward; you have Defrost, Reheat, and Popcorn.
There is a turntable and you can heat up a plate or small serving bowl easily.
Although the Whirlpool WMC20005YB is the smallest microwave in our list, it’s also the tallest. However, height is limited. Travel cups and baby bottles will not fit easily into this microwave, though some users find that removing the turntable for taller objects works well.
4. Kenmore 0.9 Cu. Ft. Countertop Microwave Oven
Kenmore has a long-standing reputation for great appliance construction that is well deserved.
This mini microwave oven is 19 inches wide, 14.3 inches deep and only 11 inches tall.
The interior is quite spacious and should easily hold plates, cups and small casserole dishes. Internal dimensions are 13 inches wide by 12 inches deep by 8.5 inches high. The exterior finish is brushed stainless steel, so you’ll have little trouble keeping this microwave clean.
This microwave offers 900 watts of cooking power. There are multiple timed presets, so from popcorn to pizza, this microwave will be easy to use. In addition, you can use this unit simply as a kitchen timer!
5. Farberware Classic 0.7 Cu. ft. Microwave
Farberware has long been known for great cookware construction, so it should be no surprise that they can add to your cooking joy in other areas too!
This 0.7 cubic foot microwave includes a rotating turntable, an interior light when the microwave is on, a separate timer and a backlit LED display for easy visibility.
The exterior dimensions of this tiny microwave are 17.8 inches wide by 12.9 inches deep by 10 inches high. It should fit easily under most cabinet configurations. The button display is clear and easy to read. Many foods are already programmed in.
Be aware that the interior dimensions are small; the internal height is only approximately 6 inches. However, you should have the space you need to warm up a dinner plate, cup or small serving bowl.
It should also be noted that the latch opening button is low and on the right; this microwave vents to the left, so you’ll need some clearance for your hand and more on the left for the oven to vent.
6. Westinghouse 0.6 Cu. Ft. Counter Top Microwave
The 0.6 cubic foot white microwave would be a charming addition to any small kitchen. It has some pretty funky retro styling and is 18 inches wide, 13.5 inches deep and just over 10 inches high.
Despite being a small microwave, it offers over a yard of cord, so if you need to move it around, you have quite a bit of flexibility.
The internal dimensions are 12 inches wide, 11 inches deep and 7 inches tall. You’ll have ample space for a plate, a cup or a small serving dish for a side. This microwave vents to the left as you face it, so you’ll need to allow some room for the unit to cool.
While most microwaves feature push buttons, this one uses one dial for cooking intensity and one for the timer. It’s an ideal tool for anyone with vision or dexterity challenges, or for anyone who likes a bit of a retro look.
This model has the lowest power out of all our reviewed microwave ovens, at only 600-watts.
7. Daewoo Retro Countertop Microwave Oven 0.7 Cu. Ft.
Daewoo offers another retro microwave with few buttons and little fiddling to do.
There is even a power button in the upper right-hand corner of the microwave if you need to shut the whole thing down.
This microwave will look great in a small space. It’s 17.5 inches wide, 10.5 inches high and only 13 inches deep; with the handle, it’s 14.5 inches deep.
Internal dimensions are 10.75 inches wide, nearly 10 inches deep and 8 inches high. There’s a 10-inch turntable to keep your food heating evenly.
If you don’t have a kitchen clock, you may not care for this microwave; once it powers down, there’s no display.
However, if you struggle to program the stove, microwave and coffee pot to all display the same time, this is one thing you won’t have to worry about!
8. GE 0.7 cu. ft. Countertop Microwave Oven
This small but mighty microwave offers cooks plenty of flexibility and power.
For the space it takes up, you get 700 watts of cooking power and multiple presets for easy cooking choices.
The footprint for this microwave is quite small; it’s only 12 inches tall and 19.5 inches wide. It should be noted that this microwave is 15.5 inches deep, and the placement of the power cord may keep you from pushing the microwave flush against the wall.
Small microwave dimensions can be somewhat skewed by cord placement and door clearance. If you’ve got especially specific dimensions to meet – for example, a cabinet opening or a shelf – this unit may not work in your space.
9. Sharp R-21LCF 1 cu. ft. Commercial Microwave
If you’ve got the space, this 1000 watt microwave will stand the test of time and offer you plenty of cooking options.
This unit offers plenty of cooking power in a small footprint and has a little more internal space than other models reviewed here.
Unfortunately, there is an impression that those looking for apartment size microwaves are planning a disposable, temporary purchase. As more people move to cities and live in smaller spaces, durable appliances that will fit into a snug kitchen are critical, and this microwave certainly fills that need.
SEE ALSO: Cuisinart cmw-200 Review
First of all, this microwave comes with a 60-inch cord for placement flexibility. It is 20.5 inches wide, 16 inches deep and just over 12 inches tall.
The internal dimensions are nearly 14 inches wide, 8 inches high and 14.5 inches deep. Your travel cup should fit, as will your dinner plate and serving bowls.
The controls are contained in a lighted dial and the handle is sturdy chrome. The exterior finish is brushed stainless. The look is quite utilitarian, but Sharp has added turquoise highlights for easy reading and a pop of color.
If space in your kitchen is severely limited, or if you just don’t need a large microwave, there are a number of units in this list that should work for you. To make the best decision, pick your spot and measure the clearance first.
When making your microwave selection, it’s critical to focus on your needs.
- If you’re always heating up your travel coffee mug, a tall interior is critical.
- If dinner plates are most important, you’ll need a larger turntable.
- For those with low cabinets, a short microwave is a must.
SEE ALSO: Can You Microwave Styrofoam?
Measure repeatedly and save yourself the headache of returns! Finally, always allow extra space for cord clearance.
Our top choice, the Nostalgia Retro 0.7 Cubic Foot Microwave Oven has a great balance between old-school flair and modern convenience, with plenty of power options and pre-sets to help you cook in style.