The Best Small Microwaves

From melting chocolate to steaming vegetables to popping popcorn, microwaves are useful for all kinds of cooking tasks, both big and small. But, what if you have a compact kitchen or very little spare counter space? You don’t have to let a lack of space stop you from owning one of these useful kitchen appliances; you can find a wide range of small microwaves perfect for squeezing into compact spots. Although small microwaves have a few limitations due to their size, you can still cook all but the largest items, and will more than suffice for those living alone, couples, or even small families.

We reviewed dozens of small microwaves to identify the best of the best. To help us pick the best ones out there, we focused on a range of factors, including internal and external dimensions, programmed settings, ease of use, wattage, and average customer reviews. 

Top Pick
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Panasonic NE-1025F Silver 1000W Commercial Microwave Oven

A serious microwave perfect for people who do a lot of microwave-cooking or those without a stove

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$234.99 USD

During our extensive research the Panasonic NE-1025F stood out as clearly being deserving of our tip pick spot. Although it’s technically a commercial model, that simply means it does its job better than most consumer microwaves. It’s simple to use, with a dial control and a basic cooking guide with recommended times listed on the front.

The 5 Top-Rated Small Microwaves for 2018

Editor's ChoiceProductsRating
Top Pick Panasonic NE-1025F Silver 1000W Commercial Microwave Oven4.5
Runner-UpToshiba EM925A5A-BS Microwave Oven4.3
Best Budget BuyHamilton Beach 0.7 cu ft Microwave Oven4.2
Best Small Countertop MicrowaveWhirlpool WMC20005YB 0.5 Cu. Ft. Black Countertop Microwave3.9
Best Small Convection MicrowaveFarberware Gourmet FMO10AHSBKA Microwave Oven3.4

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Our Top Pick: Panasonic NE-1025F Silver 1000W Commercial Microwave Oven

With an internal capacity of 0.8 cubic feet and external dimensions of approximately 20 inches long by 16 inches deep by 12 inches high, the Panasonic NE-1025F Silver 1000W Commercial Microwave Oven isn’t the smallest microwave on our list, but it’s still a lot more compact than many of its competitors, especially other commercial grade microwaves.

If you’re looking for something that’s simple to use, look no further. This small microwave features a single timer knob—no push-buttons, preset programs, or variable power settings—so you simply turn it to the desired cooking time and away you go. While this level of simplicity isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, many users find it refreshing. It also means there’s less that can break or go wrong.

One of the main things that set commercial microwaves apart from consumer models is their rugged build. The Panasonic NE-1025F is built to last! What’s more, it features a hidden rotating antenna rather than a rotating turntable and the rest of the inside is completely smooth, making it extremely easy to clean.

With a fairly hefty price tag of around $280 (though Amazon Prime members can buy it for somewhere close to the $220 mark), this is likely to cost too much for occasional microwave-users. However, this product has exceptional reviews, so if you use you microwave a lot, or simply want a sturdy model that will last for many years, this one comes highly recommended.

Panasonic NE-1025F Silver 1000W Commercial Microwave Oven Key Features: 

  • 1,000 watt power
  • Smooth interior is extremely easy to clean
  • Simple dial controls

Our Runner Up Pick: Toshiba EM925A5A-BS Microwave Oven

Runner Up

This high-tech microwave features a range of programmed settings and much more

If you’re looking for a high quality small microwave but don’t quite have the budget for our top pick, consider the Toshiba EM925A5A-BS Microwave Oven. Retailing at roughly $90, it’s much more affordable, but is still an excellent choice. It might not be quite a rugged as a commercial model, but makes up for it by sporting a wide range of handy features.

If you’re not sure how long to cook various foods for, the six preset programs will make your life easier. For anything that’s not in one of the presets, you can easily set your own times with the one-touch system, and even program your own multi-stage cooking instructions.

While it has a maximum power of 900 watts, you can choose between eight different power settings, which is useful when cooking foods that don’t require full power. The overall external measurements are 19.2 inches long by 15.9 inches deep by 11.5 inches high, which is small enough for most kitchens. The internal capacity is 0.9 cubic feet—slightly larger than our top pick.

Toshiba EM925A5A-BS Microwave Oven Key Features: 

  • All beeps can be muted
  • Can defrost items by weight
  • Kitchen timer function

Best Budget Pick: Hamilton Beach 0.7 cu ft Microwave Oven

Best for Budget
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Hamilton Beach 0.7 cu ft Microwave Oven

Basic, compact, and affordable—the perfect small microwave for anyone on a budget

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$35.88 USD

It might be a basic model, but the Hamilton Beach 0.7 cu ft Microwave Oven is a great choice if you don’t do a lot of microwave cooking or you simply don’t want to spend a lot. At roughly $55, this compact microwave certainly won’t break the bank. Despite its low price, users have generally found it reliable, though it might not hold up to heavy duty use.

Just because you don’t want to spend much on a microwave, it doesn’t mean you can’t get a highly functional model. This microwave offers six programmed settings, plus the ability to set your own time, if you know how long you need to nuke your food for. With a choice of 10 power settings, you can make use of the full 700 watts or opt for a lower setting.

With dimensions of approximately 20 inches long by 16 inches deep by 13 inches high, we’d certainly class this as a compact microwave, although it is slightly larger than some other 0.7 cubic foot models.

Hamilton Beach 0.7 cu ft Microwave Oven Key Features: 

  • Child lockout feature for safety
  • Weight and time defrost
  • Easily add 30 seconds to cook time by pressing ‘start’

Best Small Countertop Microwave: Whirlpool WMC20005YB 0.5 Cu. Ft. Black Countertop Microwave

Best Countertop
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Whirlpool WMC20005YB 0.5 Cu. Ft. Black Countertop Microwave

This specially designed microwave sits nicely on countertops and can event fit in corners

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$199.99 USD

If you’re looking for a small microwave that’s not too long, but you don’t mind a bit of extra height, the Whirlpool WMC20005YB 0.5 Cu. Ft. Black Countertop Microwave is what you need. It measures approximately 15 inches wide by 14 inches deep by 14 inches tall, with an internal capacity of just 0.5 cubic feet, making it one of the most compact options on the market.

The turntable inside has an 11-inch diameter, so you can still easily heat a plate of food or pop a large bowl of popcorn. We love the unusual rounded back, which means this microwave can fit neatly into corners, making it a real space-saver.

The Whirlpool WMC20005YB has an all-important preset popcorn setting, but apart from that you’ll need to manually enter your desired cook time. You can select between a range of power settings, up to a maximum power of 750 watts.

While we’re a huge fan of this microwave, it does come with a fairly high price tag of around $150, so you might prefer a slightly less costly model, unless you’re dead set on having a microwave that fits in the corner.

Whirlpool WMC20005YB 0.5 Cu. Ft. Black Countertop Microwave Key Features: 

  • Control lockout for safety
  • 10 power settings
  • Fits in corners

Best Small Convection Microwave: Farberware Gourmet FMO10AHSBKA Microwave Oven

Best Convection
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Farberware Gourmet FMO10AHSBKA Microwave Oven

The convection function makes this an extremely versatile microwave that can rival a conventional oven

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$199.99 USD

Want a microwave that can also broil, air fry, and bake? Check out the Farberware Gourmet FMO10AHSBKA Microwave Oven! The convection feature means it cooks food on the outside, rather than just heating it from the inside, like a regular microwave. Effectively, this means it can bake and brown food—you can even bake cookies and pies. In addition to its convection function, this model also offers a broil/grill and an air fry function.

With external dimensions of 20 inches long by 20 inches deep by 12 inches high, and an internal volume of 1 cubic foot, this is the largest option in our top five, but it’s still one of the smallest convection microwaves available. Due to its compact size and versatility in the cooking arena, it’s the perfect choice for dorm rooms, RVs, and other places where you might not have a full kitchen with a stove and oven.

The intuitive controls allow you to select between the different cooking functions, set the cook time, or select from various preset programs. Although it’s not cheap, at roughly $200, its wealth of features definitely make it well worth the cost!

Farberware Gourmet FMO10AHSBKA Microwave Oven Key Features:

  • Multi-stage cooking option
  • 10 power settings
  • 1,000-watt max power

Who Should Buy a Small Microwave

Microwaves are extremely handy cooking appliances that can carry out a wide range of tasks. If you’d like to have a microwave, but you don’t have a lot of counter space, then a small microwave is for you. This way, you can reap all the benefits of having a microwave without taking up basically the whole of your kitchen.

You might also choose a small microwave if you usually cook for only one or two. If you’re not cooking for a large family, owning a mammoth microwave is pointless!

Top Pick
Buy Now
Panasonic NE-1025F Silver 1000W Commercial Microwave Oven

A serious microwave perfect for people who do a lot of microwave-cooking or those without a stove

buy now
$234.99 USD

Important Features to Consider

A small microwave should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a small microwave:

  • Internal capacity. Small microwaves generally have an internal capacity of less than one cubic foot. The most compact options have a capacity of 0.7 cubic feet or less.
  • External dimensions. It’s also important to consider the external measurements of your chosen microwave. Usually, the smaller the internal capacity, the smaller the external dimensions. However, some small microwaves are cleverly designed to maximize capacity while minimizing external size.
  • Power. The power of a microwave is measured in watts. Most models have a maximum power of between 700 and 1,000 watts, though you may find some that are more or less powerful. The higher the wattage, the quicker the microwave cooks food. A handful of microwaves only allow you use them on the maximum setting but most offer a range of power settings for when full-power isn’t appropriate.
  • Preset programs. Many microwaves feature preset programs for cooking certain types of foods, such as baked potatoes or popcorn. These are useful if you’re not well-versed in the art of microwave cooking and aren’t sure how long to nuke things for. That said, even if you do know your way around a microwave, preset programs are a time-saver.
  • Ease of use. You’ll find some microwaves with just a simple cook time dial and a start button and others with touchpad or digital controls. Which you find simpler and more intuitive to use is down to personal preference.
  • Ease of cleaning. To make cleanup easier, your microwave should be as smooth as possible on the inside, without awkward nooks and crannies where food can get stuck. If your chosen microwave has a turntable, it should be easy to remove and clean.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the dimensions of a small microwave?

There are no exact dimensions for a small microwave, as everyone has their own idea of what’s compact and what’s not. Any model that’s smaller than average could be classed as a small microwave. You generally can’t find microwaves much smaller than around 17 to 18 inches long and 10 inches high, so we’d consider any microwave within a couple of inches of these dimensions to be small. If you’re in search of a small microwave for a college student, you should also check out our review of the best dorm room refrigerators.

What is the standard size of a microwave?

While microwaves don’t have a standard size, an average mid-sized microwaves generally measures somewhere close to 24 inches by by 16 inches deep by 14 inches high, with a capacity of 1.5 cubic feet.

What is a good wattage for a small microwave?

We’d generally recommend looking for a small microwave with a wattage of between 700 and 1,000. A 600-watt option is okay if you’re on a budget, but it won’t cook as quickly or evenly as more powerful models. It’s rare to find a small microwave with more than 1,000 watts of power.

Are built-in microwaves standard size?

Built-in microwaves come in all kinds of size. If you’re looking for a microwave to fit into an existing slot for a built-in microwave, you’ll need to choose a microwave with the same dimensions as the space in question. However, if you’re remodeling your kitchen, you get to choose what size built-in microwave you need. In this case, you can use a small microwave as a built-in microwave, if you want to.

Other Small Microwaves We Reviewed

Top Pick
Buy Now
Panasonic NE-1025F Silver 1000W Commercial Microwave Oven

A serious microwave perfect for people who do a lot of microwave-cooking or those without a stove

buy now
$234.99 USD

We looked at 20 other small microwaves. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best small microwaves list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Small Microwaves 0.7 Cubic Feet or Under

Black + Decker 0.7 Cubic Foot 700 Watt Stainless Steel Microwave with Turntable

Black + Decker 0.7 Cubic Foot 700 Watt Stainless Steel Microwave with Turntable

While it isn’t the most powerful microwave on our list, the Black + Decker measures just 17.3 inches long by 13.97 inches deep by 10.17 inches, making it one of the most compact.

Key Features: 

  • 10 power settings
  • 8 preset programs
  • Large LED display

Cost: $90

Daewoo KOR-7LREW Retro Countertop Microwave Oven

Daewoo KOR-7LREW Retro Countertop Microwave Oven

This simple microwave doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, but it stands out for its cool retro look. It comes in white, red, or mint green.

Key Features: 

  • Preset program for popcorn
  • 5 power levels
  • 700-watt max power

Cost: $80

Danby Designer 0.7 cu.ft. Countertop Microwave

Danby Designer 0.7 cu.ft. Countertop Microwave

With six preset programs plus a simple “express cook” function, microwave cooking doesn’t get much easier than this. Choose from three color options: black, white, or stainless steel.

Key Features: 

  • Cooking power of 700 watts
  • 10 power settings
  • Cook by weight, defrost by weight, and speed defrost options

Cost: $60 to $70, depending on color

Farberware FMO07ABTBKQ 0.7 Cubic Foot 700 Watt Microwave Oven

Farberware FMO07ABTBKQ 0.7 Cubic Foot 700 Watt Microwave Oven

With a 0.7 cubic foot capacity and exterior dimensions of  17.3 inches long by 12.99 inches deep by 10.14 inches high, this small microwave should fit even the most compact kitchens.

Key Features: 

  • 6 preset programs
  • Child safety lock
  • 700 watts of power

Cost: $70

GE JES1072SHSS 0.7 Cu. Ft. Capacity Countertop Microwave Oven

GE JES1072SHSS 0.7 Cu. Ft. Capacity Countertop Microwave Oven

This smart-looking stainless steel finish microwave measures approximately 17 inches long by 13 inches deep by 10 inches high.

Key Features: 

  • 700-watt max power
  • 3 preset cooking programs
  • Auto defrost and time defrost options

Cost: $90

Kenmore 70719 Compact Countertop Microwave

Kenmore 70719 Compact Countertop Microwave

An exceptionally compact model, measuring just 17.7 inches wide by 12.5 inches deep by 10.2 inches high. As it’s significantly less deep that many competitors, it’s perfect for anyone with shallow counters.

Key Features: 

  • 6 one-touch presets
  • 700-watt power
  • Available in black or stainless steel

Cost: $50

Magic Chef 0.7 Cu. Ft. 1000W Countertop Microwave Oven

Magic Chef 0.7 Cu. Ft. 1000W Countertop Microwave Oven

Packing a full 1,000 watts, this microwave is extremely powerful for such a compact model. Ideal if you need something small, but want to cook quickly.

Key Features: 

  • 8 preset programs
  • 10 power settings
  • Kitchen timer function

Cost: $75

Nostalgia RMO770RED Retro 0.7 Cubic Foot Microwave Oven

Nostalgia RMO770RED Retro 0.7 Cubic Foot Microwave Oven

It might have a fun retro appearance, but this compact microwave isn’t all style over substance. With 12 pre-programmed settings and a delay timer, this is a highly versatile machine.

Key Features: 

  • 700 watts of power
  • Simple turn and push dial
  • Large, clear LED display

Cost: $80

Westinghouse WCM660W Counter Top Rotary Microwave Oven

Westinghouse WCM660W Counter Top Rotary Microwave Oven

With an internal capacity of just 0.6 cubic feet, this microwave might be too compact for some, but it has a small footprint of just 17.75 inches long by 12.5 inches deep by 10.25 inches high.

Key Features: 

  • Simple dial controls
  • 600-watt max power
  • 6 power levels, including a defrost setting

Cost: $65

Whirlpool WMC10007AB 0.7 Cu. Ft. Black Countertop Microwave

Whirlpool WMC10007AB 0.7 Cu. Ft. Black Countertop Microwave

A quality small microwave that comes from a respected brand and is built to last. It does, however, have slightly larger external dimensions compared to other 0.7 cubic foot models.

Key Features: 

  • 7 preset programs
  • Handy “add a minute” button
  • 700 watts of cooking power

Cost: $110

Small Convection Microwaves

Daewoo KOC-9Q4DS Convection Microwave Oven

Daewoo KOC-9Q4DS Convection Microwave Oven

This 1 cubic foot, 900-watt convection microwave features standard microwave, grill, and convection functions. What’s more, it’s very reasonably priced for a convection microwave.

Key Features: 

  • 5 auto-cook options
  • An “easy clean” function
  • 10 power levels

Cost: $120

Samsung MC11K7035CG Countertop Power Convection Microwave Oven

Samsung MC11K7035CG Countertop Power Convection Microwave Oven

Although this is one of the largest models on our list, measuring roughly 20 inches long by 20 inches deep by 12 inches high, it’s still very small for a convection microwave, especially when you consider the reasonable 1.1 cubic foot capacity.

Key Features: 

  • Microwave, grill, power convection, and slim fry options
  • Easy-to-clean ceramic enamel interior
  • Sensor cooking feature

Cost: $200

Sharp R1874T 850W Over-the-Range Convection Microwave

Sharp R1874T 850W Over-the-Range Convection Microwave

This built-in over-the-range convection microwave packs 850 watts of power and gives excellent results overall. Just be prepared for a hefty price tag.

Key Features: 

  • Interactive LED display
  • Smart and easy sensor cooking options
  • 4-way convection system can bake, broil, brown, and crisp

Cost: $520

Other Small Microwaves

Amana RMS10DS 0.8-Cubic Feet 1000-Watt Light Duty Microwave Oven

Amana RMS10DS 0.8-Cubic Feet 1000-Watt Light Duty Microwave Oven

This compact commercial model might only stand up to “light” kitchen duties, but in home-use terms, that means it’s a rugged workhorse of a machine!

Key Features: 

  • Simply dial controls
  • 1,000-watt max power
  • Easy-clean interior

Cost: $225

BLACK+DECKER EM925AZE-P Stainless Steel Microwave

BLACK+DECKER EM925AZE-P Stainless Steel Microwave

It might be on the larger size of small, but it’s still much smaller than an average microwave, and performs well with its 900 watts of cooking power.

Key Features: 

  • 0.9 cubic foot interior
  • Stainless steel finish
  • 7 preset programs

Cost: $75

GE JES1097SMSS Smart Countertop Microwave Oven

GE JES1097SMSS Smart Countertop Microwave Oven

This impressive 900-watt smart microwave is WiFi enabled and Alexa-compatible, so you can control it via an app or using voice-commands with your Echo hub.

Key Features: 

  • Scan-to-cook technology
  • 7 preset programs
  • Measures 19 inches long by 14.5 inches deep by 11.5 inches high

Cost: $140

Hamilton Beach 0.9 Cubic Foot 900 Watt Microwave

Hamilton Beach 0.9 Cubic Foot 900 Watt Microwave

A basic, yet highly-functional small microwave with an attractive red finish. Its 0.9 cubic foot capacity is compact but not too small to cook larger amounts.

Key Features: 

  • 6 preset programs
  • Child safety lock
  • Time and weight defrost options

Cost: $75

Magic Chef MCM990ST 0.9 cu.ft. Microwave

Magic Chef MCM990ST 0.9 cu.ft. Microwave

Measuring roughly 19 inches long by 14 inches deep by 11 inches high, it might be slightly too large for the smallest kitchens, but it’s still far from large.

Key Features: 

  • 6 preset programs
  • 10 power settings
  • Child lock for safety

Cost: $90

Sharp ZSMC0912BS Countertop Microwave Oven

Sharp ZSMC0912BS Countertop Microwave Oven

A reliable small microwave with easy-to-use press-button controls and a bright, clear LED display. The 10.6-inch turntable fits most standard dinner plates.

Key Features: 

  • 900-watt max power
  • 6 programmed settings
  • 0.9 cubic foot capacity

Cost: $75

Sunbeam 0.9 cu ft Digital Microwave

Sunbeam 0.9 cu ft Digital Microwave

This simple and affordable microwaves features easy-to-operate digital controls and has a compact 0.9 cubic foot interior capacity.

Key Features: 

  • 6 preset programs
  • 900 watts of power
  • 10 power settings

Cost: $70

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Lauren Corona