The hunt for a small microwave oven can be a painful one. When you’re short on space but still need something that’s long on functionality, it can seem like you’re really searching for something that doesn’t exist. Fortunately, I embarked on a journey to find the smallest microwaves so you don’t have to.
Ideal for college students, families living in small homes, or roadtrippers living out of an RV, these five microwaves make an efficient use of space while still being well worth the money you’ll spend on them. Plus, if you’re interested in going a little greener in your life, you’ll be pleased to know that smaller microwaves tend to use up less energy, meaning they’re beneficial for the environment and your bank account.
Though perhaps known best for their dishwashers, it turns out Whirlpool makes some darn good microwaves as well. In fact, this is the smallest microwave on the list, and among my favorites as well. While it does consume 750 watts of power—more than some of the other units in this category—the extra power means it cooks faster and more thoroughly compared to the competition. Furthermore you can always finely adjust your settings thanks to 10 variable power levels. At 0.5 Cu. Ft. it’s certainly petite, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily light: it tips the scales at around 33 lbs.
Thankfully the WMC20005YW’s small size doesn’t mean it’s short on features. With touch controls, a digital clock, and a dedicated popcorn button, you won’t be missing out on any of the major functionality you’d be used to with a larger form factor microwave.
If you want a sleek and full-functioned microwave for your small home—this is the one for you.
Whirlpool WMC20005YW 0.5 Cu. Ft. Countertop Microwave
Among the best selling compact microwaves on Amazon, the Danby Designer offers a great value proposition for college students looking for a starter microwave that can fit anywhere. With 700 watts, it’s a little less powerful than the Whirlpool above, and it’s also a bit bigger at 0.7 Cu. Ft. You’ll have to decide for yourself whether that’s a pro or a con.
The Danby Designer also looks a lot more like a regular microwave, with its familiar rectangular design and side panel of buttons and functions. The Danby Designer also lives up to its name, coming in three styles—Black, White, and Stainless Steel.
Danby Designer 0.7 Cu. Ft. Countertop Microwave
An elegant microwave that proves small form factors don’t have to mean resorting to cheap parts, the Panasonic NN-SD372S packs a wallop and looks great doing it. 950 W is more than enough for most applications, but Panasonic ups the ante with its inverter technology, which helps ensure even cooking and full flavor, even when defrosting. Still comfortably under the 1 Cu. Ft. mark (it’s 0.8 Cu. Ft.), it’s also surprisingly light at just over 20 lbs. If you’re the type that packs up and moves often, that added convenience could be well worth it, and even if you’re staying put, this is a truly fantastic microwave at any rate.
Panasonic NN-SD372S 0.8 Cu. Ft. Countertop Microwave
Seriously, another Panasonic? Yes, and though you might decide this is way too much microwave for your needs, you still almost have to check it out just to see what could make a microwave so small worth over $200. This is the only microwave on our list that is commercial grade—in other words, it would be good enough for legitimate chefs. While cramming 1000 watts (!) of power into a 0.8 Cu. Ft. form factor is likely overkill for the Average Joe, this would be the ideal microwave for someone running a food truck or a tiny pop up restaurant, where space truly is at a premium. This unit comes with programmable settings and multi-stage cooking for true cooking aficionados. Even if the Panasonic NE-1054F is more than you need, you almost owe it to yourself to give this mini behemoth a look.
Panasonic NE-1054F 0.8 Cu. Ft. Countertop Microwave
No bells and whistles here, the Westinghouse WCM660W is a 600 watt (lowest on our list) microwave that comes in at 0.6 Cu. Ft. (2nd smallest on our list). It eschews any digital displays or buttons for good old fashioned dials. Perhaps this microwave would be ideal for grandma and grandpa, who might appreciate something that looks a lot like what they grew up with. No need to get fancy here. That said, if you’re buying one for your teenager, they might not be quite as thrilled. I’d suggest one of the others on this list instead.
Westinghouse WCM660W 0.6 Cu. Ft. Countertop Microwave