This is our official list in search of the best super compact microwaves on the market today.
Highest Reviewed Compact Microwaves
Almost everyone understands the convenience and speed of cooking or heating food in a microwave oven. Yet some people are concerned about the effect that microwaves may have on nutrients in the food, fearing that microwaves may reduce the vitamins and minerals that are present in food.
Harvard Medical School assures us that this is nothing to worry about. In fact, using a microwave oven to cook food often preserves more nutrients than other methods of cooking do. With that widespread internet rumor disposed of, the only problem left to address is space. If your kitchen is smaller, or already uses several counter-top conveniences, it is only a matter of choosing the best compact microwave oven for you.
Decide which features you want. If you don’t plan on doing much complex cooking, simpler controls and fewer features may suit you better. Measure the cookware you’ll want to use to make sure that they’ll fit in the ovens you’re looking at. If quicker cooking times are important to you, you’ll want an oven with higher wattage. Measure the space that you intend to place the microwave in and compare that with the model’s dimensions. Choose the one that fits your needs the best.
This 15-3/8″ wide, 13-3/4″ deep, 14″1/8″ high machine has a rounded back for corner use. It’s rated at 750 Watts, and the push-pad control panel has an Add 30 Seconds function. An 11″ dinner plate will fit in the 0.5 cubic foot interior.
It has a 3-beep ‘done’ signal, with single-beep reminders every 30 seconds until it is opened. It has no numbers on the touch pad, time is set in 15-second increments by pressing + or – buttons. Note for truckers and RV users: it will not work with a standard inverter, it requires a sine wave inverter. The control panel runs across the bottom, and the door will clear low obstacles when opened.
- Fits in a corner nicely
- Simple, intuitive control panel
- Great for people who don’t use more advanced features
- Few programmed functions
This 17.81″ wide, 10.31″ deep, 13.63″ tall microwave oven features two simple dial controls and a pull-to-open door release. The manual controls may be preferred by people with vision impairment. It has a single bell to signal when the timer is done.
The light is only on while it is cooking, it turns off when the door is opened. If the door is opened before the timer is finished, it will resume cooking when the door is closed. The 600 Watt output will mean longer cooking times. It does tend to slide a bit when opening the door.
- Simple, basic operation
- Easy operation for people with poor eyesight
- Great for situations that don’t allow high amperage
- No one-push program buttons or clock
At 18.5″ wide, 14.2″ deep and 11″ tall, this microwave will fit into shorter spaces that other ovens won’t. It’s rated at 700 watts, has 6 one-touch buttons, but no ‘add 30 seconds’ function.
The door is opaque, but it does have an interior light. Some people complain that the turntable won’t stay properly centered. It is large enough for an 11″ dinner plate. The door opens without pushing a door release button, and it has a kitchen timer function. It may overheat if used for extended cooking without space for ventilation.
- Very inexpensive
- Fits in short spaces
- Quieter than other models
- The turntable can be troublesome
At 17.75″ wide, 12.9″ deep, and 10.17″ tall, this microwave oven has several convenient features. With 1-6 minute express cook buttons, time or weight based defrost, and an ‘add 30 seconds’ button, it’s quick and easy to operate.
There are 6 programmed buttons, for popcorn, potato, pizza, frozen vegetable, beverage, and dinner plate. The interior depth of 11.9″ will fit almost all plates. It has a Multi-stage feature: it can be programmed to change the power level during the heating cycle, giving total control to the user. There is a kitchen timer function. The end of cycle signal is 5 beeps with no reminder beeps.
- Very easy to program
- Large enough for bigger dinner plates
- Saves custom settings
- The door release button is stiff
At only 15-3/8″ wide, 13-3/4″ deep, and 14-1/8″ tall, this microwave oven takes up very little space on your counter, yet it’s large enough for an 11″ dinner plate or defrosting a 10# bag of chicken. It is rated at 750 watts, with 10 power levels.
With the controls running across the bottom of the unit instead of to the right of the door, it looks different from other microwave ovens. There is no door release button, just pull on the door handle to open it. The back is rounded, so it will fit into a corner nicely. The control panel can be locked out to prevent unintentional use.
- Very small footprint
- Convenient ‘add 30 seconds’ button
- Fits into a corner
- At 750 Watts, it’s not as quick as more powerful models
Final Say on Compact Microwaves
Once you’ve selected the best compact microwave for your requirements, there are some tricks to make it more convenient. Using a raised platform will give door clearance, so you don’t have to keep the area in front of it clear. A piece of anti-slide drawer liner will help it stay in place when the door is opened.