Need a small microwave oven? We researched dozens of models and put together this tight list of 12 compact microwave ovens - all with good ratings.
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
- GE Appliances JEM3072DHWW
- Amazon Basics Microwave, Small
- Galanz GLCMKA07RDR-07 Microwave Oven
- COMFEE’ EM720CPL-PM Countertop Microwave Oven
- COMFEE’ EM720CPL-PMB Countertop Microwave Oven
- Commercial Chef CHM990W 900 Watt Counter Top Microwave Oven
- Farberware Classic FMO07AHTBKJ 0.7 Cu. Ft. 700-Watt Microwave Oven with LED Lighting
- BLACK+DECKER Digital Microwave Oven
- Counter Top Rotary Microwave Oven WCMH900B by Westinghouse
- WINIA WKORX9G5ET Countertop Microwave Oven
- Panasonic Compact Microwave Oven
- Commercial Chef CHM660B Countertop Small Microwave Oven
- Our Previous List of Favorite Small Microwave Ovens
- 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
GE Appliances JEM3072DHWW
Dimensions: 17.25 x 13 x 10.13 inches
Capacity: 0.7 cubic feet
This GE microwave comes from a trusted name in microwave cooking and homeware in general. The compact microwave fits well into most small spaces. But if you really want to free up your counters, you can also mount it on the wall under a cabinet as a built-in microwave. It comes with the cooking functions you expect to find in a microwave, including auto and timed defrost.
Easily begin coking at the touch of a button. The timer helps you keep track of your cooking. The rotating tray allows your food to heat as thoroughly and evenly as possible. And if you don’t like the beeping that alerts you when heating is done, you can turn it off.
You may want to check the diameter of plates and dishes you plan to use in the microwave. If they are too wide, they either won’t fit, or they’ll prevent the glass turntable from rotating, leading to uneven heating.
Also, a few customers noted that the microwave is louder than they thought it would be, although this doesn’t seem to be a major problem. All the pros seem to outweigh the cons of the machine overall.
Amazon Basics Microwave, Small
Internal dimensions: (10 7/8 in. x 6 7/8 in. x 10″ in.
Capacity: 0.7 cubic feet
This small microwave offers optimal cooking capacity for its size. It only requires 700 watts of electricity. It comes with 10 power levels to meet all your cooking needs. Like most microwaves, it has a built-in timer. A turntable ensures even heating.
Parents of little ones will be happy to know that the appliance is equipped with a child safety lock.
If you like to make the most of technology, keep in mind that you can use this microwave with Alexa or Amazon Echo. (Those are not included with the unit, so if you don’t already have one, you will need to purchase it separately). This allows you to cook using voice commands.
This is especially helpful when you are multitasking and can’t be directly in front of the microwave to push buttons. And if you’re worried about a technical glitch causing the microwave to run when it shouldn’t, there are several safeguards in place to prevent that from happening.
Galanz GLCMKA07RDR-07 Microwave Oven
Dimensions: 17.81 x 13.75 x 10.31 inches
Capacity: 0.7 cubic feet
This compact appliance saves counter space in a small kitchen while taking care of your cooking tasks. It comes with six power levels for defrosting, reheating, and more. The LED display is easy to read and shows you how much cooking time remains.
Use the control panel to set the child lock if you want to make sure your little ones can’t turn the microwave one unsupervised. You can defrost according to the desired amount of time or the weight of food to ensure proper thawing. Complete turntable rotation optimizes heating efficiency.
And if you want to give your kitchen a decidedly retro look, this just might be the microwave for you.
COMFEE’ EM720CPL-PM Countertop Microwave Oven
Internal dimensions: 12.05″ x 11.97″ x 8.11″ (W*D*H)
Capacity: 0.7 cubic feet
This is a space-saving, power-conserving device that performs lots of cooking functions. You can turn on Eco Mode which runs on reduced wattage to save energy. You can mute the microwave so it doesn’t beep when cooking is done. It comes with a built-in clock and timer.
At the touch of one button, you can set it to cook anywhere from one to six minutes. (Just press the corresponding number). And you can easily add an additional 30 seconds of heating.
Other cooking presets include reheat, beverage, potatoes, frozen veggies, popcorn, and pizza. Defrosting can be done according to the weight of the food or the desired thawing time. All these functions are easy to execute using the buttons and LED display.
A child lock prevents kids from trying to use the microwave unsupervised.
While the vast majority of customers were satisfied with this product, a small number expressed disappointment in the quality.
COMFEE’ EM720CPL-PMB Countertop Microwave Oven
Internal dimensions: 12.05″ x 11.97″ x 8.11″ (W*D*H)
Having a microwave this size is helpful when space is limited. It’s great for a small apartment, dorm room, RV, or vacation home.
It features 11 power levels, with 6 one-touch controls for heating common foods. The LED display is easy to read and comes with a child lock function to keep small hands from using the microwave when they shouldn’t. The screen also displays the current time, as well as a countdown of minutes and seconds as cooking progresses.
If you’re annoyed by the beeping that typically lets you know when food is done cooking, you can mute it at the touch of a button.
Most customers were pleased with this appliance, noting that it offers good quality and performance at a modest price.
Commercial Chef CHM990W 900 Watt Counter Top Microwave Oven
Dimensions: 14.7 x 19.25 x 11.2 inches
Capacity: 0.9 cubic feet
This compact microwave helps you make the most of your counter space and conveniently cook a variety of foods. Push-button controls make this appliance easy to operate — no scrolling through menus or trying to precisely turn awkward knobs to the desired setting. The LED screen displays the timer and clock.
Ten power levels, along with separate controls for common foods like pizza, popcorn, and potatoes, allow you to heat up just about anything without compromising its flavor and texture. Auto weight and time defrosting make thawing various foods a snap, instead of the guesswork that’s required with some microwave ovens.
And if you want to keep your kids’ hands out of the microwave, all you have to do is set the child lock.
Farberware Classic FMO07AHTBKJ 0.7 Cu. Ft. 700-Watt Microwave Oven with LED Lighting
This brushed stainless steel microwave looks great in just about any kitchen, takes up a minimum of counter space, and conveniently cooks a variety of foods. The LED display clearly shows the clock and counts down cooking time. With interior LED lighting, you can easily monitor your cooking without interrupting the heating by opening the microwave.
This microwave oven offers ten power levels and multi-stage cooking, so you can customize heating with minimal effort. Six 1-touch controls allow you to easily prepare several common foods. You can defrost according to weight or time to ensure even thawing. You can seamlessly heat foods for one to six minutes with the touch of one button, and you have the option to easily add an extra 30 seconds if needed.
What sets this microwave apart from many others is the memory feature. The appliance saves your most frequently-used customized settings.
BLACK+DECKER Digital Microwave Oven
Internal dimensions: 12.36″ x 13.66″ x 8.70″ (W x D x H)
Capacity: 0.9 cubic feet
As you might expect, this mini microwave comes with a kitchen timer and clock. The LED display is clear and makes it easy to watch the cooking time count down.
Ten power settings and a 30-second express cooking function allow you to cook a variety of foods. For even more customized heating, you can choose from six cooking options for popular foods like potato, pizza, beverage, popcorn, dinner plate, frozen vegetable, and beverage.
Advanced technology prevents overcooking, whether you’re defrosting meat or warming up leftovers.
A child lock keeps small hands from playing with the controls when no one else is looking. The door opens with the push of a button.
Counter Top Rotary Microwave Oven WCMH900B by Westinghouse
Dimensions: 17.75 x 12.5 x 10.25 inches
Capacity: 0.9 cubic feet
If you’re looking for a simple microwave that covers the basics, this will get the job done. It’s durable and doesn’t take up much space — great for a camper or small apartment. Many seniors and others looking for an alternative to electronic appliances appreciate the user-friendliness of this microwave.
Use the dials to set cooking functions. You can defrost according to time or weight. Use the rotary dial to switch between 6 power levels. Use lower settings for melting butter, middle settings for defrosting, and higher settings for cooking, larger, dense foods.
This microwave is also energy-efficient. Since there are no display lights or screens, it doesn’t consume power unless something is cooking in it. Its compact size means there is less to clean, making it lower-maintenance than larger models.
WINIA WKORX9G5ET Countertop Microwave Oven
Dimensions: 18.3 x 14.3 x 11 inches
Capacity: 0.9 cubic feet
This stainless steel microwave is ideal for a small space and is versatile enough to cook a wide variety of foods. With one-touch controls and an LED screen, you can easily select settings, check the time, and watch the cooking countdown.
Auto defrost allows you to thaw foods perfectly. The small size of the microwave, along with its advanced heating technology, allows for fast cooking. You can use both auto and manual controls for maximum versatility.
Panasonic Compact Microwave Oven
Capacity: 1.2 cubic feet
With its stainless steel finish, this Panasonic microwave looks great in almost any kitchen. It features smart controls that allow you to take advantage of 11 power levels. To ensure even heating, this unit is equipped with inverter technology that circulates cooking power thoroughly to heat food thoroughly, from its edges to its center.
When you’re not sure how long to cook something, you often have to resort to guesswork. This microwave does all that work for you (without guessing), so you don’t have to resort to trial and error. “Genius” sensor cooking automatically adjusts heating temperatures and times.
Sixteen sensor-controlled settings allow you to customize your cooking, so you can achieve the desired results, especially for common foods like soup, pizza, and pasta.
Whether you’re working with meat or veggies, this unit’s Turbo Defrost capabilities allow for faster, more efficient thawing to better preserve the flavors of your foods.
Popcorn connoisseurs will love the 3 popcorn settings on the appliance, intended to properly heat three different bag sizes — 1.5″, 2.7″, or 3.2″.
Commercial Chef CHM660B Countertop Small Microwave Oven
If you’re looking for a microwave that’s small and easy to use, this Commercial Chef Microwave Oven might be just what you need. It’s durable and its design goes well with any kitchen color scheme or decor. The handle is designed for easy opening and closing.
With this appliance, you have two options for defrosting. You can thaw meat or vegetables by their weight. If you’re not sure about the weight, you can set the microwave to defrost for a certain amount of time instead. There are six power levels in all to meet most, if not all, of your cooking needs.
Lower settings are a wise choice for melting or softening foods like butter or sauces. The middle settings are ideal for defrosting. And for cooking larger items, like an entire plate of meat, use a higher power level.
Choose cooking times and settings with the mechanical dials. As a “rotary-style” microwave, this model is a low-tech alternative to more complicated digital set-ups. It’s ideal for people who aren’t comfortable with technology or prefer something that is simple to use. Since there are no display screens or lights on it, it doesn’t consume power when it’s not in use.
How is a cubic foot measured?
A cubic foot measures 1 foot (in height) by 1 foot (in length) by 1 foot (in width). To figure out how many cubic feet are in your microwave, multiply the length times the width times the height of it. If your cabinet is 2 feet long, 3 feet wide, and 4 feet high, multiply 2 x 3 x 4, or 24 cubic feet.
What is a convection microwave?
You can think of a convection microwave as a combination of a convection oven and a microwave oven. These gadgets allow for baking and roasting in addition to heating. They are usually relatively compact, making them a great addition to your RV, studio apartment, or other small kitchen space.
Besides traditional microwave cooking capacities, a convection dual-duty device like this also uses a fan and heating element to distribute heat consistently throughout the microwave. This prevents any “cold spots” or other scenarios that could result in part of the food being undercooked or overcooked.
With these devices, you can cook faster because you can bake, broil, and perform similar cooking tasks with the advanced heating system.
What are some things to keep in mind when heating a frozen entree in the microwave?
Good Housekeeping offers some tips for reheating frozen food in the microwave.
First, no matter how you’re reheating the food, place freezer bags or freezer-safe containers in a sink or bowl full of hot water. Let the contained food soak there for 5-10 minutes, or until the solid block can be broken into pieces.
If it isn’t in one already, place the food into a microwave-safe container and cover the dish with enough wax paper that you can tuck the ends in under the dish. Or you can use plastic wrap, but leave one corner pulled back to serve as a vent for the food as it cooks.
Then, follow the reheating instructions suggested by the recipe. Generally, it’s recommended that you cook the food on a low setting until no more ice crystals remain. At this point, soups should be entirely “stirrable” and casseroles should be thawed enough that you can stick a knife all the way through them. When thawing reaches that level, you can cook on high until the food is thoroughly heated.
Tip: When fitting larger dishes into your microwave, you may be tempted to take the turntable out so you have as much room in there as possible. But doing so will hinder your appliance’s ability to heat the food evenly. Instead, transfer the food to a smaller container, if needed.
What should you consider when choosing a microwave?
There are several points to keep in mind before you buy your next microwave oven.
- Space and Size. Consider how much space is inside the microwave. You’ll want one that’s wide enough to accommodate the dishes you expect to use with it. Also, check the outside dimensions of the product and made sure they’re a good fit for your kitchen or RV, especially if you are going to install them under a cabinet or have limited counter space.
- Functionality. If you want something that you can control with voice commands or that can be integrated with other devices, a “smart” microwave may be just the thing for you. If you want something low-tech that doesn’t have much in the way of extra features, a simple “rotary-style” appliance might be a better choice. If you have a busy lifestyle and plan to use your device for a lot of cooking tasks, you’ll probably want to go with a microwave that comes with plenty of heating settings and power levels.
- Style. This aspect is more important for some people than others. Some shoppers come across a microwave they really like in terms of ease-of-use, but they’re not comfortable with how it would look in their kitchen. Choose a style you like that matches the rest of your kitchen.
- Budget. Think about how much you can realistically spend on a microwave. You can purchase many of the basic models for under $100.
As with any important purchase, do a little research beforehand, and read customer reviews to see what others are saying about the product you are considering.
Our Previous List of Favorite Small Microwave Ovens
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
This style isn’t for every kitchen, but if you have a retro design such as mid-century or vintage elements in your kitchen, this microwave is perfect.
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
For a little microwave, this unit offers plenty of features including 6 cooking presets, digital timer, removable glass turntable, interior light and a child lock.
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
The dimensions, specifications and features with this model are very similar to the compact Oster unit above. Here it all is in in one sentence:
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.
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
With this cool-looking mini microwave, you get something others don’t offer, but also leave a few features on the table.
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.