As you may know, original designs of most home appliance were bulky and awkward. But in less than a half of a century, many devices underwent the transformation from huge to compact size, including microwave oven. These days no one wants a huge monster to steal much space on the kitchen counter. Anyone with a limited counter space will want to look for a small microwave instead of a standard sized oven. That is why there are many manufacturers try to offer different lines of small models for home use.
This type of microwave is also ideal for travels needs since it is easy to carry around. As smaller models, these microwaves are not as powerful as larger ones. However, they still keep around 700 watts so that they can handle most microwave tasks. For example, Whirlpool WMC20005YB Microwave, which at 0.5 cubic feet of cooking space can fit anywhere but doesn’t give up convenience features such as 750 watts of cooking power and 10 power levels.
Since there are many microwave brands out there, it is easier for you to find the dozens (maybe hundreds) of small microwaves in the market. But it can be a challenging task to find out models that are small but still provide enough customization and power options for your favorite foods. This task can be a real chore for some. Others even find that although they spend hours reading through products reviews, they are still less than 100% confident in their final selection. That’s where this detailed guide comes in.
Table of contents
- Small Microwave comparison table
- Reviews of the Best small countertop microwaves
- What to consider before buying a small microwave
So without further ado, here’s our list of the best small microwaves on the market.
Small Microwave comparison table
|Products||Dimensions (Inches)||Weight (Pounds)||Power (watts)||Capacity (cu.ft)|
|Bella Compact Microwave Oven||13 x 17 x 10.2||22.9||700||0.7|
|Westinghouse WCM660B||12.5 x 17.75 x 10.25||23.1||600||0.6|
|Nostalgia RMO400RED Microwave Oven||19x15x11||30.7||800||0.9|
|RCA RMW733-BLACK Microwave Oven||13.8x19.2x11.2||25.6||700||0.7|
|Daewoo KOR-7LREM Retro Microwave Oven||12.7x17.6x10.6||23.4||700||0.7|
|Whirlpool WMC20005YB Microwave||13.7x15.4x14.1||32.6||750||0.5|
|Breville BOV845BSS Smart Microwave Oven||15.75 x 18.5 x 11||22.8||1800||0.8|
|Panasonic NN-SN686S Microwave||15.8 x 20.69x 12.25||25.5||1200||1.2|
Reviews of the Best small countertop microwaves
Bella 700-Watt Compact Microwave Oven
- Saves kitchen space
- Elegant design
- Energy efficient
- Cooks quickly
- Child safety lock
- Easy to operate
- An inexpensive microwave oven
- Not among the quiet model
- Short life product
If you are on a tight budget and have a small kitchen, then this model from Bella might be an excellent match for you. The Bella compact microwave oven is not only apt for the small kitchen with little space, but also is very attractive and smooth to the eye. It will look outstanding and perfectly suit with modern kitchens.
Not only is it extremely inexpensive, but the model also takes up little space. With dimensions as little as 13x17x10.2 inches, the Bella compact microwave oven is small enough to fit any tight corner. For those living in a small apartment or a college kid in a tight dorm room, this unit is simply perfect.
Despite its compact size, the microwave from Bella was cleverly made with a smart capacity-to-power ratio. Which means, although the 700 watts of power may initially seem weak, they’re exactly what you need for a 0.7 cubic foot interior. This machine also offers 10 levels of power to make it possible to cook and heat many food and beverages with great accuracy. It comes with a 10-inch removable turntable of 10-inch that accommodates most of the standard sized dinner plates. The turntable rotates while cooking that allows the food to be cooked evenly to maintains flavor as well as texture.
Going beyond the basic features, this microwave includes a user-friendly digital interface with an LED clock and kitchen timer, giving a perfect convenience to the user when preparing and heating different food varieties. It has a capacity of 0.7 cubic feet. It has another character that complements its engineering – 6 cook menu presets (potato, pizza, popcorn, frozen vegetable, beverage, and dinner plate) that can be activated with one-touch operation. One touch cooking at your fingertips with 1-6 minute Express Cook controls and +30 second control. Making machine more user-friendly, it has a memory function that stores custom controls for using later. For safety, the Bella microwave comes with a keyboard lock function which can be helpful if you need to prevent unauthorized use. This is a good feature if you have children.
In terms of quality and performance, as with all electronic appliances, you will always get what you pay for. Which means you most likely won’t be able to use the Bella Compact Microwave Oven for more than two or three years. This is a real product life expectancy for a 50 buck unit. According to consumer reports, some items may burn out in a few months or a year. But while you get it, you’ll enjoy the small size that still boasts a convenient plate capacity.
Westinghouse WCM660B 600 Watt Counter Top Rotary Microwave Oven
- Perfect for limited counter space
- Lightweight and easy to move around
- Minimal maintenance
- Fairly quiet
- Best buy for seniors
- Easy to use
- Highly affordable
- No advanced features
- 600 watts may not be enough power from some meals
Not all of us get all pumped up about large, hi-tech appliances. In fact, some love simplicity above all, as well as small, compact design. So if you are looking for a small microwave oven with a simple and practical operation, then you might want to give this unit a consideration. We honestly have never seen a more adorable microwave oven, nor would we have ever expected to. This model doesn’t stand out through any techy advantages, but its simplicity.
While most of the microwave ovens with keypads seem to have the poorest lighting possible, the knobs on this unit are a breath of fresh air, making it a great option for seniors or those who have trouble reading the tiny print on digital control pads.
Westinghouse WCM660W Microwave Oven features 0.6 cubic feet of cooking capacity with comfortable grip handle and curved edges, making it perfect for small kitchens in city flats, offices, recreation rooms or dorm rooms. Although it is small, it is still big enough to heat a moderately large bowl and Its simple design helps to keep thing quick while delivering the quality.
The microwave features two mechanical dial controls for power and time. These controls are remarkably easy to use, all you need to do is just turn the knob and go. The microwave oven has 6 cooking power levels range from defrost to high, which make it very suitable for various cooking tasks ranging from Softening of butter on the low settings, defrost veggies or reheating food on the middle power levels, while the high settings are used for more heavy-duty tasks like preparing a frozen dinner. Although the Westinghouse WCM660W does its job admirably, the low 600 wattages of power result in significantly more time required to heat your food.
Another good thing is that you will get 30 minutes of timer in this with an audible cooking signal in the end. This prevents any mishaps of accidentally leaving the microwave for a long time. Once it’s done the cooking or heating foods, you will be alert by an audible ding.
This small microwave oven is easy to maintain since it is not a complicated piece of equipment. The removable glass turntable is dishwasher safe for easier cleaning. When you are not using the oven, it will not consume electricity, and there will be no display light to disrupt sleep if used in a studio or dorm room.
Nostalgia RMO400RED Retro 0.9 Cubic Foot Microwave Oven
- Save space
- Stylish retro design
- Quite powerful
- Heats up quickly
- User-friendly controls
- Reasonably priced
- Because of its small size, it may take slightly longer to cook or heat food
- Cooking power levels could be better
If you value 50s aesthetics, there truly is no better model on the market for you. The Nostalgia RMO400RED comes in a beautiful red color with a typical oval shape window. The handle is made from chrome and looks ultra sly with its curved designed. This model has the stylish retro design that can fit with any kitchen decor with ease, especially ideal for those looking for 50’s retro styling.
One thing to add is that Nostalgia RMO400RED is quite powerful (800 watts of cooking power) that will give you plenty of cooking power while looking sharp! It features a 0.9 cubic foot capacity which is able to accommodate a whole chicken without any hassle. The larger size will definitely be more useful if you want to cook or heat larger dishes.
Despite its 1950s look, this machine does have all sufficient features of a modern day microwave to ensure you can cook, heat and reheat seamlessly. It offers 12 pre-programmed cooking settings so that you can prepare a different dish every day with a simple button push. It also comes with a modern LED display with digital clock for easy programming and 5 cooking power levels, so from defrosting frozen meat to reheating cold leftovers, you can customize your cooking experience. Additionally, the delay timing option enables you to prepare a vast array of food to perfection. Your food will be cooked evenly, it will never be overcooked on the outside while it is still raw.
RCA RMW733-BLACK Microwave Oven
- Compact and easily portable
- Stylish retro design
- Quick heating
- Heats up quickly
- User-friendly controls
- Best microwave on a budget
- Poor quality control
- It is not designed for complex cooking
Some shoppers want to buy high-end products with full of advanced features. Others choose products with the stylish design in mind. And there are the practical buyers who always try to get the best deals possible. If we just described you, seek no more – this compact, yet practical microwave can fulfill the needs of the average household without breaking the bank. This is also one of the top-selling microwave ovens on Amazon.com.
With its space-saving dimensions, you won’t have any trouble fitting the unit even in the smallest kitchen space, making it a great purchase for those who live in small apartments. This machine is used for heating and reheating, but also for custom options such as popcorns, potatoes, pizza, frozen dinners, and beverages just by touching the clearly-labeled buttons.
Considering the ridiculous price attached to the microwave, it truly impressed us with its pleasing design. The model comes in a variety of colorways to completely fit the decor of any kitchen. There are the standard black, white and red options, but also 4 stainless steel designs, some of which have a cool-looking mirror finish. You also have the retro red and retro black options.
With a capacity of 0.7 cubic feet, the RCA RMW733-BLACK Microwave Oven enables you to heat any type of dish. In addition, it comes with 6 one-touch functions and 10 levels of power that are able to handle most frequent cooking tasks. This also allows users to optimize their cooking times and plan beforehand without actually spending hours on end preparing their meals.
In terms of safety, RCA has equipped this product with a child lock feature that is very useful, especially for families with small children. This model from RCA also features a glass turntable which ensures proper cooking of food from all sides. This feature can turn out to be very useful when you want to cook a large amount of food quickly.
What about the quality of the unit?
Well, the quality build may be relatively cheap, but it doesn’t mean that it’s an aspect to make you skip the product altogether. It just means that you cannot expect RCA RMW733-BLACK Microwave Oven will last for over 10 years like other pricey models. All in all, if you’re on a tight budget, this model may be worth the minor investment.
Daewoo KOR-7LREM Retro Microwave Oven
- Compact size
- Beautiful design
- Energy efficient
- User-friendly controls
- Child safety lock
- Low price
- Takes longer to heat
- A warranty for just 30 days
If you are looking for a perfect combination of affordability, efficiency, and ergonomic design, then this machine from Daewoo may be a great option. This countertop microwave will get the job done without overtaking your counter space as it is one of the most rated mini microwave ovens in the market.
Daewoo KOR-7LREM Retro Microwave Oven looks pretty with its appealing retro design and mint green color, silver handle, stylish green LED-backlit display that shows the duration with Popcorn, Power level, Auto cook and Defrost, also silver buttons for power on, stop/clear and Start/+30sec.
Unlike to other powerful models, Daewoo KOR-7LREM Retro Microwave Oven can basically be used as a normal microwave: for heating. You can benefits, however, from many useful features. With the interior size of 0.7 cubic feet, it allows you to cook any delicious food. It is equipped with the timer which helps you to complete cooking within the intended time. In addition, this device comes with 5 different levels of power and 4 auto menus of cooking including soup, baked potato, fresh veggies, beverage, and two-way defrost as well as zero standby feature.
This machine delivers 700 watts of cooking power. This power is not a lot and under normal circumstances, you may spend more time cooking than you would with other power models, but the exclusive Concave Reflex System (C.R.S) will make your meal cook faster with the electromagnetic waves’ concentration on your meal and more evenly with equal distribution of waves through the two different high-frequency gateways.
Overall, with this product, Daewoo Electronics offers great value at affordable prices. It is easy on the eyes with its cool design, is simple to use, and has many user-friendly features.
Whirlpool WMC20005YB 0.5 Cu. Ft. Black Countertop Microwave
- Saves space
- Well constructed
- Easy to operate
- Performs as good as a full-size microwave
- Low ceiling on the microwave may make it difficult to use some dishes
- A bit expensive
A tiny kitchen and a limited counter space isn’t a good combination especially for kitchen appliance such as a large microwave. But if you opt for Whirlpool WMC20005YB microwave, you can save much space since it only takes a small footprint on the countertop. Especially, this mini model has a rounded back which fits neatly into corners of small kitchens, offices, or dorm rooms.
Whirlpool WMC20005YB microwave comes with many convenience features that you will need in a microwave. It delivers 750 watts of cooking power and 10 different power settings that allow you to control cooking for the best results with a variety of foods. It has a quick touch popcorn button lets you cook popcorn quickly and properly. It also features a quick “add 30 seconds” option allows you to set time for 30 seconds or add 30-second intervals to get just the right cooking time. If you need less or more time, you need to make use of the minus and plus buttons. However, if you press the start button more than once it will add 30 seconds each time.
Another useful feature of this model is the control lock which helps to protect children from inadvertently starting the machine or helps you to avoid unintended use by disabling the control panel with the touch of a button.
Despite being a mini microwave, Whirlpool WMC20005YB microwave has a larger 11-inch turntable that can accommodate larger meals without sacrificing valuable counter space in your kitchen.
All in all, this is not the cheapest small microwave but it certainly in of the best small microwaves on the market. If you need a small microwave for heating leftovers, melting butter, reheating drinks, and other basic cooking tasks, then this small appliance is of a great size to satisfy your needs. Compact size, performance, full feature design – a perfect combination for a small microwave.
Breville BOV845BSS Smart Microwave Oven
- Compact size
- Performs consistently well
- Ultrafast cooking
- Accurate heating
- Easy-to-use control
- A very pricey model
- Sides get hot
The Breville BOV845BSS Smart Oven is another excellent microwave model by Breville – one of the most well-known electronic brands in the world. This convection oven will definitely a great choice if you are tired of short life products that can be used only for a few months or you are simply not satisfied with the popular revolving plate method that most entry-level microwaves ovens function with. To make sure you get the best value, we highly recommend this smart model – which is not only a toaster oven, it can replace your full size oven (and in time it will save you on energy costs), takes a small footprint on the countertop, offers the highest-quality performance, has 1800 watts of power, a whole mess of cooking options and many more.
Read the details below to determine if this Breville convection oven for you.
Breville BOV845BSS Smart Oven is a well-made, smartly designed appliance. It is one of the products that doesn’t just throw the term “stainless steel” around in descriptions to grab attention. Its resistant and solid construction gives it a modern appearance, making it appealing on any kitchen countertop.
With 15.75(D) x 18.5(W) x 11(H) inches product dimensions, the Breville model is just the right size to accommodate most households. The interior measurements are about 11.25(D) x 13.25(W) x 5.25(H) inches. Although its capacity is 0.8 cubic feet, it can accommodate 6 slices of bread or a 13” pizza. It should also fit most 3.5-quart Dutch oven vessels with lid. Addition to the appliance itself, the Breville BOV845BSS Smart Oven comes with a 12” x 12” enamel broiling rack, a 12” x 12” enamel baking pan, and a 13” non-stick pizza pan.
As the name suggests, the Breville BOV845BSS Smart Oven has a convection cooking function. This function uses a fan to circulate hot air throughout the interior of the unit. The food will be cooked more evenly and quickly than with static element heating. This function is optional, if you choose to use it, you can reduce cooking time by as much as 30%, which is an outstanding fat all on its own.
This convection microwave oven is called “smart oven”, but what makes it smart.
Well, let me show you how.
It is an 1800-watt oven with an Element IQ heating system. There are 5 quarts element inside the unit that detects where heat is needed the most and moves heat to that area. Thus, the food will be cooked the right way, at the right temperatures and all around. And once the food is completely cooked, the keep warm function is automatically activated. Moreover, this model has all the cooking options you need like a standard oven. You can select preset cooking options for bagels, toast, pizza, cookies, roasting, baking, broiling, reheating, warming, and slow cooking.
Another very convenience feature is it has the interior light that automatically turns on when you open the door. It makes it easy for you when you need to check on your food. This light is replaceable with a 25-watt G9 bulb.
All in all, by using the Breville BOV845BSS convection microwave oven, you will be saving a lot of time cooking for other activities since it has lots of little convenience features that help to cook your food more evenly and quickly than with cheaper ovens.
However, this Breville BOV845BSS oven is considered one of the most expensive ovens on the market. It is worth it only if you plan to use yours for serious cooking.
Panasonic NN-SN686S Countertop/Built-In Microwave with Inverter Technology
- Sleek and modern design
- Fits nicely on the counter and isn’t heavy
- Powerful performance
- Inverter technology
- Easy to use
- Affordable price
- A bit noisy
To choose the best overall microwave, we took several aspects into consideration, including dimensions, capacity, power, features, and prices. When it comes to shopping, we all want to get the best product from a value viewpoint. That’s how we reached the Panasonic NN-SN686S, a nicely sized unit that just has enough of everything you could need from a microwave – generous size, high power, mid-size capacity, a lot of features, and a price that won’t make you break the bank.
This machine is embedded with up to 1200 watts of power which is very high for microwaves intended for at-home use. You can use the Panasonic NN-SN686S microwave for much more than just reheating beverages or leftovers. You can use inverter microwaves to melt butter and chocolate, bake potato, cook hollandaise sauce or perform some other tasks that would normally be done on your stovetop.
Another thing that makes this model popular is that Panasonic NN-SN686S is one of the most has modern models out there with a touch-pad. It looks sleek and elegant, especially the interface. The interface is so sharp-looking and it also flows perfectly with the overall look. The unit also has a large see-through window with only the bottom and sides of the unit made of stainless steel. The modern design makes it a great choice for any tasteful kitchen.
What makes the Panasonic NN-SN686S microwave outstanding from most inexpensive models is that it uses inverters for the main power source while a traditional microwave uses coils. This “inverter” feature gives the unit the ability to deliver a steady stream of power that enables the microwave to warm, defrost, and cook varieties of foods.
So what is and why the inverter technology?
Inverter technology is an innovative method of harnessing microwave power. Regular microwaves often use coils for the power source. But these microwaves can only operate at full power. Which means when you set the unit to cook at 50% power, it will just switch between 100% power and 0 % power to average in at 50% power. With an inverter microwave, when you set it to 50%, it actually uses 50% of its power for the whole cycle. The result is more evenly cooked food.
Overall, Panasonic NN-SN686S is the great choice for those who are looking for a compact, affordable, stylish, and effective microwave that delivers the maximum functionality. The inclusion of Inverter Technology allows you to cook faster and more efficiently than many other standard microwaves.
What to consider before buying a small microwave?
As you now know, there are plenty of small microwaves on the market that you can choose from. Which one microwave you finally select will come down to your personal needs. Thus, there are several other aspects you should thoroughly go through as well before making the final decision. Here are some aspects you should consider:
It’s important to find a microwave that will meet your food needs and fit in the space you plan to put it. First, you want to measure your countertop or other places where you are going to put your microwave. Then look for models with external dimensions that should be shorter than the measurements of the space in order to leave plenty of room for the necessary ventilation.
There is also the interior capacity, which sits somewhere between less than 1 cubic foot to 2 cubic feet or more. Generally, most small microwaves are somewhere in the middle around 0.5-1.2 cubic feet.
Microwave power is the ability of the equipment to perform functions, whether heating or grating. The power of a microwave is measured in watts. Usually, the higher the microwave wattage, the less time for cooking is required. The microwave power typically ranges from 600 watts to 1200 watts. In general, a 600-watt or 700-watt microwave should boil a cup of room temperature water in 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Some dorms have a limit on the microwave wattage that’s permitted, so if you’re looking for a microwave for a college kid, you should check this before making a decision.
It’s also important to know the power levels of the product since not all foods require the same power to defrost, heat, or cook. That is why you should find a model with at least 5 power levels – this will guarantee 5 different ways for microwave functions.
Many microwaves share common functions – reheat, defrost and grill. The food can be cooked in the microwave using the same function for reheating. You may also cook the food in the self-cooking mode of the microwave if it brings the functions for cooking and reheating separately. If you’re using a convection microwave, you can bake in the convection mode of it.
Preset cooking mode
Many microwaves come with a preset cooking mode that can save you a considerable amount of time. With this feature, all you do is press a button to automatically cook a dish. This can be handy for common dishes you heat in the microwave. Other common presets include popcorn, pizza, baked potato, frozen dinner, and beverage.
A convection fan is built into the back of a microwave to circulate the heat around the food for even, faster cooking. A convection microwave can create crusty baked goods and is able to brown foods like a broiler.
This is an advanced feature that usually comes with high-end models. When you warm something at less than 100% power, 50% for example, regular microwaves will approximate that by switching between 100% power and 0 power throughout the cook time. This doesn’t yield great results if you want to heat the food on a lower heat and achieve an even result.
An inverter microwave, on the contrary, maintains a consistent percentage of power the whole time, which is especially helpful for thawing. Panasonic and Samsung are known for offering such inverter feature.
Slow cooking function – You can use this function to cook your food for up to 10 hours using low temperatures.
Interior light – automatically turns on when the door is opened or when the microwave is operational. This helps to see and track the food while they are heating, cooking, or thawing.
Child lock – If there are children in the house, this function is very useful to keep them safe.
So what does the microwave of your dreams look like? Did you find it on our list? Anyway, we hope you will find out what you want in our article and enjoy the new addition to your kitchen!