Whether you have a small home or office, sometimes a small countertop microwave oven is the perfect fit! Not all areas are suitable for a large bulky unit and those that are would be taking up valuable real estate 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 top 3 picks:
Be certain to check the interior dimensions of the unit 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.
Small, Compact & Countertop Microwave Reviews
Whirlpool 0.5 cu. ft. Countertop Microwave - Black
Our Top Pick For The Best Countertop Microwave: Whirlpool WMC20005YB
Whirlpool has designed a .5 cu ft microwave for the tiniest of spaces.
It will fit a full dinner plate and offers 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. However, height is limited. Travel cups and baby bottles will likely not fit easily into this microwave, though some users find that removing the turntable for taller objects works well.
Kenmore 0.9 cu. ft. Countertop Microwave Oven
Our Top Pick For The Best Small Microwave: Kenmore Stainless Steel Microwave oven
Kenmore has a long standing reputation for great appliance construction that's well deserved.
This mini microwave oven has exterior 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 beverage to pizza, this microwave will be easy to use. In addition, you can use this microwave just as a kitchen timer!
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 .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 approximately only 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.
Westinghouse 0.6 cu. ft. Counter Top Microwave
The .6 cubic foot white microwave would be a charming addition to any small kitchen. It's 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.
Bella 0.9 cu. ft. Microwave Oven - Red
Our Top Pick For The Best Compact Microwave: Bella BMO09APTRDA
The bright red Bella microwave is an ideal choice for anyone who wants their appliances to draw the eye!
This kitchen tool is much more than utilitarian. The display has a black background with white and black buttons and the door trim is brushed nickel.
This microwave can cook by time as programmed, by item using the preprogrammed buttons and by weight for defrosting. If you need a full-feature microwave in a small space, this .9 cubic foot microwave will suit.
Those with children will appreciate the keypad lockout; you can prevent unauthorized users from risky behavior.
The Bella .9 cubic foot microwave is 19 inches wide, 15 inches deep and 11 inches tall on the exterior.
Internal dimensions offer 8 inches of height and a 12 inch diameter turntable; you should have plenty of space for plates, cups and small serving bowls.
Nostalgia Retro 0.9 cu. ft. Microwave Oven
The Nostalgia line of kitchen electronics offer unique products with a gorgeous finish; this red microwave has chrome accents and a steel handle.
While this microwave features a dial, there are buttons across the bottom as well, so it may take a little work to learn how to program this tool.
This microwave is 19 inches wide, 15 inches deep and 11 inches tall. The 800 watt motor will give you plenty of cooking power while looking sharp! There's a bright LED display for easy programming and five different levels of power, so from warming up a beverage to defrosting frozen meat, you can customize your cooking experience.
Internal dimensions offer a 10.5 inch turntable and plenty of space for a tall iced tea cup. If you're looking for a small powerful microwave without many buttons to ignore, this is the tool for you!
Daewoo Retro 0.7 cu. ft. Microwave - Green
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" 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 a tool you don't have to worry about!
MAGIC CHEF 0.7 cu. ft. Countertop Microwave - White
The Magic Chef .7 cubic foot microwave offers all the features of a larger oven, including a child safety lock, in a small footprint.
For those with low cabinets, this microwave is a real plus; only 10.2 inches high. The width is just over 17 inches, and it's almost 14 inches deep.
The handle of the microwave door is formed into the frame of the front glass. This will limit visibility a bit, but it 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.
GE 0.7 cu. ft. Countertop Microwave Oven - Stainless Steel
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 to 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.
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.
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.
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.
Buying Guide - How To Choose
If space in your kitchen is severely limited, or if you just don't need a large microwave, there are several units in this list that might work for you. To make the best decision, pick your spot and measure the clearance.
Be sure to allow space for the cord to clear the back of the microwave and plug into the wall; it will likely be a three prong plug, and they don't "corner" well.
Make sure you consider your personal microwave needs.
SEE ALSO: Can You Microwave Styrofoam?
Just heating up dinner? You'll need clearance for your plate and a turntable. If you're a popcorn fan, don't get a microwave with a short interior; the bag can get stuck and become a fire hazard.
Keep an eye on the wattage. While nearly any microwave will eventually defrost a frozen block of meat, a 1000 watt machine will likely do it faster than a 700 watt machine.
SEE ALSO: Cuisinart cmw-200 Review
Many of the microwaves in this listing offer a child lock. If you've got little ones in the house, it doesn't take much time for them to put something inappropriate or dangerous in the microwave.
Additionally, many adults have had the misfortune of reaching into a microwave and grabbing something far too hot to handle with bare skin. A child lock is a good investment.
A few of the microwaves in this listing have a retro look; some are right out of the 50s. 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.
All of the microwaves in our buyer's guide are 1.0 cubic feet or less. What is the smallest microwave? The Whirlpool WMC20005YB is only .5 cubic feet.
Curiously enough, it's also the tallest microwave in our list. Luckily, this is because the programming buttons run across the bottom, rather than along the right.
If an extra small microwave is all you have room for, pay special attention to the door opening mechanism. Several of the microwaves in this guide have a pronounced handle or a handle formed into the framing of the door.
This will impact the depth of the unit and may not work in a small space.
SEE ALSO: Over The Range Microwave Reviews
Conversely, if the door openings “grab" space runs along the bottom of the microwave door, a tight counter configuration may prove a daily challenge.
There are many powerful, serviceable small microwaves in the marketplace. This doesn't have to be a disposable purchase. Invest in a unit that suits your space and makes you smile!
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.
It's important to note that the smallest microwave in this listing is also the tallest microwave, the .5 cubic foot Whirlpool. Measure repeatedly and save yourself the headache of returns! Finally, always allow extra space for cord clearance.
Did you enjoy this guide? Let us know in the comments with your thoughts, questions and tips for small microwave users.
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