It’s weird to think I can remember when microwaves first became widely available. While we didn’t get one immediately, many of my friends’ parents did buy one. I thought they were pretty cool. A couple of years later my parents finally bought one. It was not a small microwave oven. It was huge. I was really excited to finally have a microwave in the house even though I didn’t use it that much.
Fast forward a bunch of years and add getting married plus a couple of kids and we now have our own microwave/convection oven in our house. We use it quite a bit. It’s really handy that it’s also a convection oven because it serves as a second oven for large dinners (we host dinners fairly often).
Our microwave is wall-mounted so it doesn’t need to be all that small (it isn’t). However, if we had to buy one for the countertop, I’d definitely opt for a more compact microwave to minimize space. We don’t use it all that often and when we do, it’s for reheating food for the most part.
Anyone with a small kitchen that must put a microwave on the counter, will probably want a smaller model. They do vary tremendously in size; some nearly as big as a full oven. Fortunately, there are small options available. You just have to dig around among the dozens (if not hundreds) of microwave ovens you can buy.
However, let us save you the time. We combed through well over 100 microwaves (all types of microwaves) for sale and put together a list of the 17 best small microwave ovens.
Qualifications to make the list
In order for a unit to make the list, it had to be no larger than the following dimensions:
- 11 inches in height
- 18 inches wide
- 14 inches deep.
In addition to meeting maximum sizes, it had to have overall positive customer reviews. In some cases we included unique models that are different in design and/or features.
Here’s our list.
Table of Contents
- Our List of the Best Small Microwave Oven Options
- 1. Small Green Retro Microwave Oven by Daewoo
- 2. Compact Oster Microwave
- 3. Compact Black Countertop RCA Microwave
- 4. Westinghouse .7 cu. ft. Digital Microwave
- 5. .8 Cu. Ft. Solid Front Microwave by Avanit Products
- 6. White Garrison Microwave with Express Cook
- 7. Under-Cabinet and Countertop Microwave by GE
- 8. Attractive Compact GE Silver and Black Microwave
- 9. Apartment-Sized Black Microwave by Sharp
- 10. Small Red Retro Microwave Oven by Daewoo
- 11. Dorm-Friendly White Microwave by Frigidaire
Our List of the Best Small Microwave Oven Options
1. Small Green Retro Microwave Oven by Daewoo
Height: 10.6 inches | Width: 17.6 inches | Depth: 13.62 inches | cu. ft.: 0.7 | Wattage: 700
The customer feedback for this unit is very, very good, which is cool for something that’s also aesthetically designed. Often novel design doesn’t result in a quality product, but that’s not the case here.
The turntable is 10″ in diameter, which is big enough for most plates. Size-wise, it’s definitely compact and is made for countertop.
As a smaller model, it has lower wattage than larger units. The wattage is 700 which does the job, but some people report it does take a bit longer to get the job done compared to more powerful microwaves.
It includes 4 preset options, which isn’t a lot, but then it’s a lower priced, compact unit that you’re not buying for all the bells and whistles. If you’re a microwave power user, this isn’t for you. If, however, you defrost, reheat and eat microwave popcorn and need a mini microwave, this is a good option.
2. Compact Oster Microwave
Height: 10.3 inches | Width: 18 inches | Depth: 14.1 inches | cu. ft.: 0.7 | Wattage: 700
The stainless steel and black color scheme will fit in most kitchens.
This unit is designed for countertop use and due to its compact size, it will fit in reasonably small spaces and nooks in your kitchen.
Key feature it’s missing: A one-touch 30 second and 60 second option. I have to agree with other customers that this is a nice microwave feature that should be standard on all models – big and small.
This does not double as a convection oven.
3. Compact Black Countertop RCA Microwave
Height: 10.0 inches | Width: 18 inches | Depth: 12.75 inches | cu. ft.: 0.7 | Wattage: 700
You get a glass turntable, child lock option, 6 cooking presets and digital timer. Even the price is similar.
Hence, if you want an all black model, this would be for you. If you like the stainless steel look, go for Oster.
FYI, this unit is a big seller with a decent overall average rating.
4. Westinghouse .7 cu. ft. Digital Microwave
Height: 10.3 inches | Width: 17.8 inches | Depth: 14.1 inches | cu. ft.: 0.7 | Wattage: 700
It’s starting to sound like a broken record here, but here’s another similarly priced microwave as as the RCA and Oster units above that pretty much offers the exact same features which includes 10 powers levels, 6 preset cooking options (popcorn, pizza, defrost, potato, beverages and reheating), digital timer, turntable, and child-lock. Even the dimensions are very, very similar (actually the dimensions will be similar with all featured microwaves on this page because they’re all compact models).
Unlike Oster above, the door on this unit opens by pushing a button. Whether that’s better or not is personal taste. I prefer it, but I can see the appeal of a large handle too.
5. .8 Cu. Ft. Solid Front Microwave by Avanit Products
Height: 10.3 inches | Width: 18.0 inches | Depth: 14.3 inches | cu. ft.: 0.8 | Wattage: 700
When this microwave popped up during my research, I had to look twice. It’s definitely a unique design with a solid stainless steel front. It looks like a large shiny cube with a digital interface on the side.
This is a microwave you want for a modern kitchen design that’s sleek and modern. The lack of window to view inside is different and won’t work in every kitchen, but will be very cool in some kitchens.
With respect to features, it offers the same fleet you’d expect from smaller microwaves including 10 power levels, 6 cooking presets, turntable and child lock.
One difference with this unit compared to most others on this page is that this is .8 cu. ft. interior yet is compact in overall size.
6. White Garrison Microwave with Express Cook
Height: 10.13 inches | Width: 17.38 inches | Depth: 12.88 inches | cu. ft.: 0.7 | Wattage: 700
Surprisingly this is not a big seller (based on very few customer reviews… it may sell well but not garner a lot of reviews) because it has one feature many other comparable microwaves don’t have and that is 1 to 6 minute express cook options. This is a huge convenience that many microwave users like and use all the time (me included). It comes with the other standard features such as turntable, child lock, 10 power options and 6 cooking presets.
Moreover, this unit includes a convection oven, something many other similarly priced units do not offer.
With respect to size, this is one of the most compact microwaves on our list.
Finally, this is a white microwave which can blend in nicely in a white kitchen (which is a popular kitchen color).
7. Under-Cabinet and Countertop Microwave by GE
Height: 10.125 inches | Width: 17.25 inches | Depth: 13 inches | cu. ft.: 0.7 | Wattage: 700
Finally a microwave with what seems to be normal dimensions ending in 5 or no decimal point at all. While researching dozens and dozens of microwaves, I was amazed at the odd dimension numbers for most units. I realize it doesn’t really matter, but if you’re designing a product that will sell thousands of units, it seems to me you’d give it dimensions that don’t end in .38 (for example).
Anyway, this model is both a countertop and under-cabinet mounted model which is nice, especially if you want a small unit mounted underneath a cabinet. That said, you pay for it because this is quite a bit more expensive that most of the other microwaves here.
Moreover, this microwave is also a convection oven, which is great because that effectively gives you an additional oven in your kitchen (albeit a small one).
Nice feature: One-touch instant operation so you can set it for 30 seconds by pushing one button (and add 30 seconds with the same button). This is a very much desired feature that really should be standard regardless of price.
Otherwise, the features are the usual – 10 power levels, 6 cooking presets, turntable and child lock.
8. Attractive Compact GE Silver and Black Microwave
Height: 10.188 inches | Width: 17.313 inches | Depth: 12.75 inches | cu. ft.: 0.7 | Wattage: 700
I like the look of this unit. While some people have reported that they read it can be mounted under a cabinet, it cannot unless you start drilling your own holes. After all, anything can be mounted anywhere if you know what you’re doing and have the right tools… but if you’re looking for a unit that is designed to be mounted under cabinetry, look for something else.
This unit comes with the standard fare including 10 power levels, 6 preset cooking options, turntable and child-lock.
However, you also have the option to express cook with this, which for the price, is a bonus feature. This alone would be a feature that would persuade me to buy one unit over another all else being equal (which is the case among many microwaves).
9. Apartment-Sized Black Microwave by Sharp
Height: 10.2 inches | Width: 17.3 inches | Depth: 12.8 inches | cu. ft.: 0.7 | Wattage: 700
We’re on a roll here. This is another very reasonably priced microwave (I’m surprised how inexpensive these things are) that comes with the usual features for a smaller model PLUS the convenient “30 seconds” instant start feature. I don’t think I’ve used our microwave by not using the instant start button (but then I mostly heat food up only).
The included ceramic turntable is 10 inches in diameter.
And get this, it doesn’t have 10 power levels; it has 11 power levels – one-upping most other compact models.
While it hasn’t received hundreds of customer reviews, the batch it does have are very good with a very high average.
10. Small Red Retro Microwave Oven by Daewoo
Height: 12.7 inches | Width: 17.6 inches | Depth: 10.6 inches | cu. ft.: 0.7 | Wattage: 700
What don’t you get? Only 5 power levels and only 4 preset cooking options (most come with 10 power levels and 6 preset cooking options).
What do you get? First and foremost you get this super cool design. I love it (although I’m a sucker for red in interior design). Not only does it accent your kitchen with bright red, but the shape, lines and design is well done in a retro way.
You also get the 30 second instant cook button. Based on how I use microwaves, I prefer the 30 second auto cook button over a few more power levels or cooking presets.
But let’s face it, the reason you buy this is because it’s small and because of the way it looks.
Oh yeah, the customer feedback is really good to, it’s not just a nice looking microwave.
11. Dorm-Friendly White Microwave by Frigidaire
Height: 13 inches | Width: 17 inches | Depth: 10.12 inches | cu. ft.: 0.7 | Wattage: 700
This model comes in white or black. I love the black design; I’m not so wild about the white version. In fact, given the price and decent feature set, the cool black design is one I’d like to have if I didn’t have stainless steel appliances. This is a great looking microwave for any kitchen black appliances.
What makes this design so cool is how the glass in the door is like a tray ceiling. The handle is built into the indented tray. It’s really smart. It gives this machine a depth to it; almost an optical illusion. Very smart door design. I think this cool effect is lost on the white model.
Another bonus is this also has the 30 second instant cook button.
However, it falls short to comparable models listed above with only 4 one-touch options. It matches standard offerings with 10 power levels.
Which one should you buy?
Assuming you need or want a small microwave, any on our list should serve you well. Keep in mind that these units are not as powerful as larger models. It’s also important to understand that compact means compact. While it’s great to save space, sometimes sacrificing space for a larger appliance is worth it, especially if you use your microwave extensively.
At the end of the day, figure out exactly which features you want. Do you want a convection oven as well? The 30 second instant cook feature? Is design important and if so, which design would look best in your kitchen?
These are the key considerations to keep in mind.