If you have a tiny kitchen, studio apartment, dorm, or simply don't want to sacrifice precious counter space, the best small microwaves will change the way you prep and cook food, without robbing you of much-needed room.
There are two factors to pay close attention to when shopping for a compact microwave: cubic feet and wattage. When dealing with cubic feet, it can be easy to get lost trying to imagine what 0.7 cubic feet would actually look like in your space. So, for reference, an average microwave will measure from 1.4 to 1.7 cubic feet.
While you may be thinking, the smaller the better (and there are some seriously small microwaves on this roundup), word to the wise, power matters just as much as size. After all, the higher your microwave's wattage power, the more effectively it can cook recipes you can make in the microwave or just bake a potato so that it's cooked all the way through on the first try.
And keep in mind, some small microwaves are made to offer the bare bones essential functions – like time and heat adjusters – while others will have delay start features, popcorn and defrost buttons, and even one-touch auto cook.
These tiny microwaves vary in terms of size, wattage, and features. But they all share one important thing in common: they'll fit your space like they belong there. And they'll give you an excuse (as if you needed one) to pop popcorn every night.
1The Best Overall: An Affordable Microwave With Great Reviews & Plenty Of Features
This is a 0.7 cubic foot affordable and tiny microwave with 700 watts of cooking power that won’t break the bank. Given its price tag, you might expect it to be basic, but it features an entirely digital control panel and one-touch cooking options, as well as 10 power levels that allow you to cook, reheat, and defrost a variety of snacks and small meals. These features are part of the reason this microwave is so well-reviewed: it has over 1,000 five-star reviews. With many of the same features as other digital microwaves, this option is a great value that fans say, "does everything it's suppose to do and does it well."
2The Smallest: A Compact Microwave You Can Fit In Any Space
This Whirlpool countertop microwave measures 0.5 cubic feet, making it the one of the most compact models you'll find on the market, and the smallest microwave on this list. One unique feature reviewers love is the rounded back of this microwave, that makes it easier to fit this into tight spaces. On a happy note, this microwave may be compact, but it has a respectable 750 watts of power, 10 cooking power levels, and a control lock on the panel. Because of its size, you’ll have to compromise on what you can actually fit on its turntable — most reviewers say anything bigger than a dinner plate isn’t going to make the cut. But it can be used to bake a potato, pop popcorn, reheat and defrost food — and if you are truly looking for a compact microwave this is a stand-out option.
3The Most Powerful: A 950-Watt Microwave That's On The Larger End Of "Small"
With 950 watts of power, this is the most powerful small countertop microwave, which means it can heat up food faster and more evenly. It also has a special “inverter” technology and a generous 11 ¼-inch turntable, both of which aid in how evenly this option cooks. Something to note? While still smaller than your average microwave size, this option measures 0.8 cubic feet, which is on the larger size when compared to other options on this list. Aside from its powerful wattage, the digital features on this microwave are impressive: it has one-touch auto cook, a delay start and timer function, and 10 power levels to cook more food (including poultry, vegetables, and other side dishes). It even has a popcorn cooking button and a button you press to keep cooked food warm. This microwave was also reviewed by Consumer Reports, who gave it an excellent noise rating, saying it operates really quietly, and who praised its impressive five year warranty, as well.
4Honorable Mention: A Stylish, Retro Microwave That's Middle Of The Pack In Terms Of Price & Features
This retro-looking microwave is a great middle-of-the-road option that offers plenty of unique features without an expensive price tag. It has 12 pre-programmed settings that make it way easier (especially for novice chefs) to defrost and cook foods at the perfect temperature. Find the food or food type you want to cook or defrost, press the appropriate button, and sit back and relax while it does all the work for you. Aside from its settings, this is a simple microwave to operate and has a turn-and-push program dial, making it a nice combo of high tech and retro. It has a 0.7 cubic foot capacity and 700 watts of power — it's not the most or least powerful, but is perfect for cooking basic meals and for reheating and defrosting foods.
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