Choosing the Best Compact Microwave for a Small Kitchen

You’re probably looking for the best compact microwave oven because you have limited needs in this type of kitchen appliance. Really, you don’t need a bulky cooking device if you have simple requirements in a microwave.

If you’re living in an apartment, or condo, or a dorm, a compact unit would also be practical because of the limited space. Still, in this situation, getting the best model with all your needed features is very important.

The good news is that compact microwaves are also more affordable than full-sized models. So, if you’re on a budget, having the option to get a small model also works to your advantage.

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Why You Need a Microwave Oven

A microwave has become a necessary kitchen appliance because of its practicality and usefulness. It is mostly known for its fast heating ability and it heats up evenly, too. Because of its high heating ability, making popcorn in a microwave only takes a few minutes. You can also heat food and beverages in it.

A microwave oven is also convenient to use because microwave-safe containers have been invented. Therefore, you can heat and store food in just one container.

Microwave Popcorn Via vwellhealth

Types of Microwave

There are 2 basic types of microwave ovens – countertop and over-the-range.

Countertop Microwave

Samsung MS11K3000AS Countertop Microwave Oven Via Amazon

Samsung MS11K3000AS Countertop Microwave Oven Via Amazon

Countertop microwaves are small enough to be accommodated on kitchen counters. Still, there are big and compact models to choose from.

Over the Range Microwave

LG LMV1683ST Over-The-Range Microwave Oven Via Amazon

LG LMV1683ST Over-The-Range Microwave Oven Via Amazon

This type of microwave needs to be installed into cabinets. Because of its venting system, installing such models require more work and effort on the part of the user. Over-the-range types are big and bulky, but they are considered space savers because they don’t take up any space on the kitchen counter.

Later on in this particular post, I will review 10 countertop types of compact microwaves, so watch out for that.

Why Choose a Compact Microwave Oven

A compact countertop microwave oven can prove to be more advantageous than standard microwaves for the following reasons:

  • Compact microwaves are space savers
  • It’s more economical to use compact microwaves than bulky ones as they consume less electricity to operate.
  • Compact microwaves can be as powerful as regular sized microwave ovens
  • A small compact microwave oven can perform just as well as standard microwaves.

Things to Consider When Looking Out to Buy a Compact Microwave

Consider the following points when you finally decide to get a compact microwave oven:

  • Space – How much space are you willing to give to your microwave? In this article, I will cover microwave ovens with sizes of 0.5 to 1.0 cubic foot.
  • Wattage – Units with high watts are very powerful. For a compact unit, the wattage should be anywhere from 700 to 1,000 watts
  • Cleaning Procedure – As you will be cooking food in your microwave, it should be cleaned and sanitized regularly. The interior and exterior design are therefore important for this purpose.

TOP 10 DIY EASY MICROWAVE RECIPES Via SimpleCookingChannel

Other Important Features to Think About

Knowing what a model is capable of will help you decide if it’s the best unit for your needs. Below is a list of features that you should especially look into when buying a microwave.

  • Power – The microwave’s power will dictate the speed and efficiency of a particular unit. Higher wattage means faster heating and a more even spreading of heat.
  • Capacity and Size – Go for a model that has a compact exterior but a spacious interior. Think about the amount of food you will put into the microwave. The turntable should be at least 10 inches in diameter to accommodate enough portions of food (and regular sizes of microwave-safe containers).
  • Power Levels – Having a lot of power levels is important as this will allow you to use your desired heating setting on a particular dish. This will affect the texture of food in the end.
  • Child Lock Safety – If you have children or minors in the house, having a child safety lock is very important. The microwave oven is a cooking appliance, after all, and can cause injuries.
  • With Convection Functionality – You have the option of choosing a microwave oven that comes with a convection functionality. This makes your microwave even more useful and functional because it can do so much more than a standard microwave.

Reviews of the Top 10 Best Compact Microwave Ovens

Top 1 – Cuisinart CMW-100 Microwave Oven

The Cuisinart CMW-100 countertop microwave oven is also a convection microwave. If you’re impressed with this unit, you have 2 colors to choose from – brushed chrome and stainless steel.

Key Features:

  • Power – It comes with 1,000 watts of power.
  • Capacity/ Size – 1 cubic foot, with a 12-inch glass turntable.
  • Power Levels – It has 10 power levels.
  • Auto Cook Settings – It comes with 25 preset functions.
  • Control System – It has a touch pad control system
Cuisinart CMW-100 Microwave Oven Via Amazon

Cuisinart CMW-100 Microwave Oven Via Amazon

Cuisinart Stainless Steel Microwave (CMW-100) Demo Video Via Cuisinart

Things We Liked

  • Its exterior and interior are made of stainless steel.
  • It comes with child lock safety feature.
  • There’s a memory function that lets you customize settings.
  • It’s not just a regular microwave oven – it’s also a convection oven.

Things We Didn't Like

  • The door gives a loud bang when being closed.
  • The odor is sometimes retained.

This is the only convection microwave oven in this Top 10 list, that’s why this model is special. At 1 cubic foot, it is also the biggest of all the compact ovens enumerated here. Still, it’s one of the most powerful and the one with the most spacious interior. If your kitchen is not that small, consider getting this unit and it will serve you well.

Top 2 – Panasonic NN-SD372S Countertop Microwave with Inverter Technology

If you’re looking for a small but powerful microwave, consider the Panasonic NN-SD372S as one of your options. It’s only available in 1 color – stainless steel.

Key Features:

  • Power – It’s powered by a 950-watt motor.
  • Capacity/ Size – 0.8 cubic foot, and it comes with an 11.25-inch turntable.
  • Power Levels – It has 10 power levels
  • Auto-Cook Controls – Some of the one-touch buttons include pasta, vegetable, beverage, frozen, etc
  • More/ Less Control – You can adjust the time and temperature on already preset settings.
Panasonic NN-SD372S Countertop Microwave Via Amazon

Panasonic NN-SD372S Countertop Microwave Via Amazon

Panasonic NN-SD372S 0.8 Cubic Feet 950-Watt Inverter Microwave Via Panasonic

Things We Liked

  • The turntable is spacious and can hold a standard size plate.
  • It’s very powerful
  • It comes with a 30-minute timer
  • It has a 1-minute option.
  • It comes with a child safety lock.

Things We Didn't Like

  • The digital LED readings are not that easy to see when at an angle.

This model can possibly be the best compact microwave oven for couples and small families. It’s small on the outside but quite spacious inside. It is also very powerful for a small oven, so it can heat up really fast.

Top 3 – RCA RMW741 Cubic Foot Microwave

Taking its place at the Top 3 spot is a small but powerful microwave oven from RCA. Should you decide to get this model, you can choose from the colors black, white, red, stainless steel, and more.

Key Features:

  • Power – It has a 1,000-watt motor.
  • Capacity/ Size – 0.7 cubic foot, with a 10 5/8-inch turntable.
  • Auto Cook Menu – It has 6 one-touch cooking options.
  • Power Levels – It has 10 power levels.
  • Cook by Weight – There’s an option for automatic cooking by weight.
RCA RMW741 Cubic Foot Microwave Via Amazon

RCA RMW741 Cubic Foot Microwave Via Amazon

Things We Liked

  • It’s powerful and fast-heating.
  • The control pad is easy to read.
  • It’s a good looking kitchen appliance.
  • The beeps are not too loud.
  • It’s very easy to operate.

Things We Didn't Like

  • It’s quite noisy during operation (the fan is loud).
  • There are no options for 30-second and 1-minute time settings.

If you’re going to get this model, know that it’s not that quiet during operation. While the beeps are not as loud as other models, the ventilation fan can be quite noisy when the unit is in use. However, if you can get past the noise and its other flaws, it’s really a powerful and efficient microwave oven.

Top 4 – Whirlpool Countertop Microwave WMC20005YD

As one of the most compact microwave oven in this Top 10 list, the Whirlpool WMC20005YD is powerful and good looking. It comes in stainless look.

Key Features:

  • Power – It has 750 watts of power
  • Capacity/ Size – 0.5 cubic foot, with 11.5-inch turntable.
  • Power Levels – It has 10 power levels.
  • Additional Time – It features an additional 30-second button.
  • Safety Design – It has a child lock safety functionality.
Whirlpool Countertop Microwave WMC20005YD Via Amazon

Whirlpool Countertop Microwave WMC20005YD Via Amazon

Best But Whirlpool WMC20005YD 0.5 Cu. Ft. Stainless Look Countertop M 2016 Via unyunyu

Things We Liked

  • It works great in reheating food.
  • The buttons are very responsive
  • The interior light is bright
  • It’s quiet during operation
  • The 30-second button is helpful in adding more time without having to punch a lot of buttons.

Things We Didn't Like

  • While the unit is quiet during operation, the beeps at the end can be quite loud.

This is a powerful little microwave oven. You can easily reheat food in it and cook popcorn as well. It’s simple to operate and it comes with a lot of preset settings like the beverage, defrost, melt, etc. If you notice, it even comes with a spacious turntable.

Top 5 – Nostalgia RMO400BLK Retro Series Microwave

The Nostalgia RMO400 is a compact microwave oven that’s also unique-looking. It’s available in 2 colors – black and red.

Key Features:

  • Power – It has an 800-watt motor.
  • Capacity/ Size – 0.9 cubic foot, with 10.5-inch turntable.
  • Power Levels – It comes with 10 power levels
  • Control System – A knob or dial controls the unit’s settings.
  • Auto Cook Settings – It has 12 one-touch pre-programmed settings
Nostalgia RMO400BLK Retro Series Microwave Via Amazon

Nostalgia RMO400BLK Retro Series Microwave Via Amazon

Nostalgia Electrics 0.9 Cu Ft Retro Microwave Via NostalgiaElectrics

Things We Liked

  • It’s quiet during operation
  • The unit is solidly built, not flimsy looking
  • It’s easy to use

Things We Didn't Like

  • The turntable is not that big

I like the retro design of this model from Nostalgia. It will probably appeal to Nostalgia fans and lovers of antique-looking appliances. As for its performance as a microwave oven, it’s not bad at all.

Top 6 – Whirlpool WMC20005YB Countertop Microwave

As another one of the most compact microwaves in this list, this Whirlpool compact microwave is also worth considering. If you’re interested in getting it, know that it’s available in 2 colors – black and white.

Key Features:

  • Power – This model has 750 watts of power
  • Capacity/ Size – 0.5 watts, with 11.25-inch turntable.
  • Power Levels – It has 10 power levels.
  • Control System – It comes with tap touch control system.
  • Additional Time Option – It has a 30-second button.
Whirlpool WMC20005YB Countertop Microwave Via Amazon

Whirlpool WMC20005YB Countertop Microwave Via Amazon

Whirlpool Countertop Microwave Review Via Walk with Carrie

Things We Liked

  • It comes in a modern design.
  • You can adjust the power setting even during operation.
  • The cooking time can be adjusted without having to restart the settings
  • It heats up really fast

Things We Didn't Like

  • The tap touchpad is very sensitive that the unit can accidentally activate when being cleaned.

This small but powerful microwave oven can get the job of reheating and cooking food done properly. If it wasn’t for the price (it’s quite expensive), I would have rated it higher in this Top 10 list.

Top 7 – Whirlpool WMC20005YW White Countertop Microwave

The Whirlpool WMC20005YW is another countertop compact microwave oven. It’s also worth considering when looking out to buy this type of kitchen appliance. It’s available in one color – white.

Key Features:

  • Power – It has 750 watts of power.
  • Capacity/ Size – 0.5 cubic foot, with a turntable that measures 11.5 inches.
  • Power Levels – It comes with 10 power levels.
  • Control System – It has a tap touch control technology.
  • Additional Time Option – It features a 30-second button.
Whirlpool WMC20005YW White Countertop Microwave Via Amazon

Whirlpool WMC20005YW White Countertop Microwave Via Amazon

Things We Liked

  • This model is small and cute
  • It comes with a spacious interior.
  • There’s a 30-second button for quick addition of time

Things We Didn't Like

  • The unit is loud during operation.
  • It’s quite tall and can be difficult to fit under the cabinet.

This is a great compact microwave oven, but it’s quite loud during operation – and the beeps are loud too. And since it comes in a square-shaped design, it can be quite tall and hard to accommodate in a small kitchen.

Top 8 – Oster OGH6901 Countertop Digital Microwave Oven

As another countertop microwave oven, this is a powerful model. If you want it, it’s available in several colors such as white, black, stainless steel and more.

Key Features:

  • Power – It comes with 900 watts of power.
  • Capacity/ Size – 0.9 cubic foot, with a turntable that measures 10.83 inches.
  • Power Levels – There are 10 power levels in this model.
  • Display – It comes with the green LED display.
  • Auto Cooking Settings – It has one touch buttons for the 6 cooking options such as popcorn, pizza, potato, beverage, frozen, and reheat.
Oster OGH6901 Countertop Digital Microwave Oven Via Amazon

Oster OGH6901 Countertop Digital Microwave Oven Via Amazon

Things We Liked

  • It comes with child safety feature.
  • There’s a 30-second option.
  • It looks good
  • There are many colors to choose from
  • It thaws frozen food really fast

Things We Didn't Like

  • This model beeps loudly when heating is done.

This is a powerful model of microwave, there’s no doubt about it. At 0.9 cubic foot, it’s not as compact as the other models in this Top 10 list. Still, you can consider it if your kitchen is not that small.

Top 9 – Westinghouse WCM660B Countertop Rotary Microwave Oven

The Westinghouse WCM660B countertop microwave oven is a model that’s worth considering when looking out to buy a small unit. You can get it in 2 colors – black and white.

Key Features:

  • Power – It has a 600-watt motor.
  • Capacity/ Size – 0.6 cubic foot, with a turntable that measures 9.5 inches.
  • Power Levels – It comes with 6 power levels
  • Timer – The timer can be set up to 30 minutes.
  • Control System – It uses a dial or a knob when programming the unit.
Westinghouse WCM660B Countertop Rotary Microwave Oven Via Amazon

Westinghouse WCM660B Countertop Rotary Microwave Oven Via Amazon

Things We Liked

  • It’s easy to operate.
  • There’s a “ding” after finishing an operation instead of a loud beep.
  • Not having a digital control is economical.

Things We Didn't Like

  • There are only 6 power levels, which is quite limiting.
  • There’s no clock and timer countdown.

This is indeed a compact microwave oven, but it’s also low-powered. It only has 6 power levels, which can limit the flexibility of heating food.

Top 10 – Danby Designer DMW077BLSDD Countertop Microwave

This is a countertop model of compact microwave oven. It’s available in different colors such as black, white, black and stainless steel (combination), etc.

Key Features:

  • Power – It comes with 700 watts of power.
  • Capacity/ Size – 0.7 cubic foot, with 10.5-inch glass turntable.
  • Power Levels – It has 10 power levels.
  • 1-Touch Controls – There are 6 preset settings to choose from.
  • Turntable Design – It comes with a glass plate.
Danby Designer DMW077BLSDD Countertop Microwave Via Amazon

Danby Designer DMW077BLSDD Countertop Microwave Via Amazon

Things We Liked

  • It looks stylish.
  • This unit heats up fast.
  • The beeps are not that loud.

Things We Didn't Like

  • There are no 30-second and 1-minute options.

This microwave oven is compact, but it’s not that powerful. Still, it can heat up small portions of food effectively.

Which is the Best Compact Microwave for the Money?

When I created the Top 10 list of the best compact microwaves, I considered all the features, pros and cons of the products included in the list. The Cuisinart grabbed the Top 1 position because it’s also a convection oven (it’s more functional than a regular microwave). I really don’t know how compact of a unit you’re looking for, but this model is only 1 cubic foot. It’s also the most powerful oven on the list with the largest turntable as well.

If you are not after the convection function of a microwave, the Panasonic also makes for a good choice. It’s small and compact at only 0.8 cubic foot, but it’s powered by a 950-watt motor. Its turntable is also quite big, so it can accommodate large plates of food.

The RCA is another small but powerful unit (and a good option). At only 0.7 cubic foot, it has 1,000 watts of power. It is indeed a fast heating, compact model that’s reasonably priced as well.

Lastly, I would like to recommend the Whirlpool models in the Top 10 list, especially the Whirlpool WMC20005YD (a lot of Whirlpool microwaves are included in the list because they’re all good). This particular model is highly recommended because it’s small at only 0.5 cubic foot and its wattage is 750 watts. It’s not that powerful, but it’s functional nonetheless. I specifically like its square design (versus the typical rectangle shape) because it takes up less space on the counter.

Oh well, those are my top recommendations, but you can still choose from the other models in the list. I enumerated their features, pros and cons for you to easily compare them with one another – and I believe you will be able to make the right choice when choosing the best compact microwave for you.

Do leave me a message as to which one you’re planning to get. You can also share this post with your friends who are also looking for a small microwave oven.

Lita Watson
 

Hi there! I’m Lita, and I’m absolutely in love with cooking blogs. I’m a beginner in cooking and i try my best to make it quick and easy. Even though, it’s not always quick and easy to keep up with fancy dinners… so i keep learning and blogging about quick and easy ways to create delicious and yummy foods for my two kids and a wonderful husband.

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