If you are looking for a compact microwave oven for a small kitchen, work area or even an RV, your choices are quite limited. However we have looked at literally hundreds of models to find the best small microwave ovens for any type of small space.
The ovens listed below are by no means the only small microwaves on the market, and there are many others that you could choose from. So, why have we chosen these particular models? Our review criteria was to find the best compact microwave ovens, within in a range of prices, with the following pre-requisite’s:
1. Must be small and compact
2. Needs to have good reviews on multiple shopping sites
3. Should be in the low to medium price range
You might think that choosing a tiny microwave oven that met the above criteria would have been easy. Well, after many hours of narrowing down the field, we were still left with 12 models that could be potentially included in our “best compact microwave oven” list. So, we introduced two new considerations to the list:
1. Spares should be easily obtainable
2. Customer service should be responsive
Finally, we decided on the space saver microwave ovens below. Phew!
Best Small Microwave Oven Reviews
Counter Top Microwave Oven
|LG LCS0712ST - 0.7 Cu. Ft. |
|Daewoo Retro Microwave Oven||Avanti AVAMO7192TB|
|Oven Capacity||0.6 cu. Ft.||0.7 cu. Ft.||0.7 cu. Ft.||0.7 cu. Ft.|
|External Dimensions (inches)||10-5/16 H x 17-13/16 W x 13-5/8 D||10-1/4 H x 17-15/16 W x 13 D||10-5/8 H x 17-5/8 W x 12-11/16 D||10-5/16 H x 17-13/16 W x 15-9/16 D|
|Internal Dimensions (inches)||7-13/16 H x 12-3/8 W x 11-9/16 D||7-3/4 H x 12-3/16 W x 12-7/16 D||8-5/16 H x 11-5/8 W x 11-7/8 D||8-1/4 H x 12-3/8 W x 12-3/8 D|
|Otput Power||600 W||700 W||700 W||700 W|
|Power Consumption||120V~60Hz, 850 W||120V~60Hz, 1000 W||110V~ 50Hz, 1100 W||120V ~ 60Hz, 1050 W|
|Controls||Dials||Push Button||Push Button and Dial||Push Button|
|Maximum Time Setting||30 Minutes||99 Minutes and 59 seconds||60 Minutes||99 Minutes and 59 Seconds|
|Pre - Programmed|
|None||Popcorn, Potato, Beverage,|
Fresh Vegetables, Food Plate,
|Popcorn, Beverage, Soup, Baked Potato, |
Fresh Vegetables, Frozen Vegetables
|Baked Potato, Beverage/Soup, Pizza,|
Seafood, Popcorn, Frozen Dinner,
Fresh Vegetables, Reheat,
|Defrost||Yes||Auto Defrost + Quick Defrost||By Weight and Time||Defrost by Weight + Speed Defrost|
|Color(s)||Black or White||Stainless Steel/Black||Various (see review below)||Black|
Westinghouse WCM660W 600 Watt Small Counter Top Microwave Oven, 0.6 Cubic Feet
The Westinghouse WCM660W is a basic, no frills microwave that is ideal for any small countertop, office or RV. The easy operation will suit those that don’t have a degree in computer programming and are looking for a simple to use product without having to read a massive instruction manual.
The two dial controls are easy to see, easy to turn and are not complicated with lots of different symbols. The top dial sets the power level, and has low, defrost, medium low, medium, medium high and high settings. The bottom dial sets the time, which goes from 0-10 minutes in one minute sections and from 10-30 minutes in 5 minute sections.
Not having a digital clock may be considered by some as a distinct advantage, as the oven is not using any power when not in use, and if used in a dorm room, the light won’t keep you awake at night. The interior light is turned on when the microwave is operating, however, it does not stay lit when the door is opened.
With an output of 600W it may take slightly longer to cook and re-heat food than if you were to use a more powerful microwave. But, a low output power also means that the power consumption is also low, and at only 850W it means the Westinghouse can be used in dorms where there are power consumption and output restrictions or as an RV or truck microwave.
The small external size of the microwave (10-5/16 H x 17-13/16 W x 13-5/8 D) does obviously mean that the internal size (7-13/16 H x 12-3/8 W x 11-9/16 D) is also small, and at 0.6 cubic feet oven capacity, you may need to purchase a plate or bowl to fit inside.
Overall, the Westinghouse is one of the best small microwave ovens for those that just want to cook a meal, quickly and easily.
LG LCS0712ST Compact Microwave
The LG LCS0712ST is a very well designed and built machine that has a modern and clean look. The small footprint allows the microwave to be placed on a countertop where it will take up very little space. And, although the LG is a compact microwave (10-1/4 H x 17-15/16 W x 13 D), it does have most of the features of the larger models.
Even though the picture on Amazon does not show this very clearly, the product does not have a Stainless Steel finish all over, it is actually black on the top and sides.
The touch pad control panel features:
Start: Starts the oven
Clock: Sets the time
Kitchen timer: Can be used as an timer for your main oven or any other appliance
One Touch Control: Cook without entering a cook time or power.
Auto Defrost: Defrost foods by entering weight.
Quick Defrost: Quickly defrosts food
Number Touch Pad: Used to enter cook time, power levels, quantities, and weights.
Time Cook: Used to set a cook time.
Power Level: Used to set a cook power
Stop-Clear: Stops oven and clears all entries except current time
EZ-ON: Repeated pressing increases cooking time by 30 seconds per press during cooking
Energy Saving: Touch this pad to start energy saving mode which turns off the clock until door is opened or any button is pressed
The LCS0712ST also features a child lock that can be used when cleaning the oven or to stop children from using it. A multi-stage cooking mode allows the unit to be programmed for different cooking power levels during different stages of a cook cycle. You can program the microwave oven to switch between power levels for up to 3 stages.
The inside dimensions of the LG are; 7-3/4 H x 12-3/16 W x 12-7/16 D, which means a standard 10 inch plate can be used to heat, defrost and cook food.
With a 700w output the LG may not be as quick to cook food as some of the higher output models, but, you can rest assured that it won’t be far behind.
Overall, this is a great space saver microwave that has all the features of the larger and more expensive models. At this price, it is definitely one of the best small microwave ovens and certainly one to check out.
Daewoo Retro Microwave Oven 0.7 Cu Ft, Cream White 700W
As far as retro looks go the Daewoo is in a class of its own. From the rounded corners to the simplistic control panel, the design is an incredible mixture of classic looks and new technology.
The controls of the Daewoo are very simple to understand and just as easy to operate.
- Digital Display – Shows the time left in the present coking phase, power level and any “auto cook” settings. The Daewoo does not have a time of day clock.
- Defrost Button- Used to defrost foods either by weight or time.
- Power Level – Used to set power level.
- Popcorn – Used to cook two different weights of Popcorn, 1.75oz or 3.5oz.
- Auto cook – Used to cook favorite foods. Has settings for Beverages, Soup, Baked Potato, Fresh Vegetables and Frozen Vegetables.
- Dial – Used to set the weight and cooking time.
- Stop/Clear – Stops the oven – clears previous entries.
- Start/+30sec – Starts an oven operation and also increase the cooking time by 30 seconds with every press.
- Power On – Turns on the power to the oven
The Daewoo KOR-7LREW also features the C.R.S (Concave Reflex System) that uses a dual wave and concave dish system that concentrates the microwaves equally throughout the oven, cooking the food quicker and more evenly than ever before. If you look at the image on the right you can see the components inside the oven. However, with an output of 700W, the oven will take a little longer to cook and re-heat food.
After 2 minutes of inactivity the oven will turn itself off to save power. Pressing the power button will turn it back on again.
Overall, the Daewoo is a great looking oven that has a small enough footprint (10.6 H x 17.6 W x 12.7 D) to be used in a small space environment. The inside dimensions (8.3 H x 11.6 W x 11.9 D) are just large enough to take a standard size plate or medium size bowl.
One of the best small microwave ovens that does what it is intended to do….microwave food. No fuss and no extras that you may never use. This is one of the best small microwave ovens for a limited space kitchen. And it looks great too!
If the Cream color is not to your liking, there are other colors (below) that may be a better suit.
Avanti AMO7192TB Compact Microwave Oven, Black
- Features an electronic control panel, one-touch cooking programs, 10 power levels and 700 W of cooking power
- Open the door with a push-button latch for easy access
- Includes a defrost function and 60-minute cooking timer
With 700 Watts of power, 10 power levels and a control panel full of extras, the Avanti AMO7192TB has everything you might expect from a small, medium priced microwave oven.
With an external size of 10-5/16 H x 17-13/16 W x 15-9/16 D the Avanti is slightly larger than the other ovens we have reviewed, although, it is still a small size microwave oven when compared to some of the ones that didn’t make it to the final four.
- Digital Display: Shows the programmed cooking time, set cooking power, time remaining to cook, and the present time of day
- Pre-Programmed Modes: These allow you to reheat or cook food automatically without entering the power level or the time. Modes are; Baked Potato, Beverage/Soup, Pizza, Seafood, Popcorn, Frozen Dinner, Fresh Vegetables, Reheat and Frozen Vegetables. Within these pre-programmed modes are more options to set the quantity and weight.
- Power: Used to set cooking power level
- Defrost by Weight: Set the weight of the food to be defrosted. The oven automatically sets the defrosting time and power level.
- Speed Defrost: Set the defrosting time and the oven divides the defrosting time into alternating periods of defrosting and standing.
- Timer: The timer function can be used independently for a main oven etc. even while a cooking program is in progress.
- Number Keys: Used to set times or weights.
- Clock: Used to set the clock.
- Reset: Clears all previous settings.
- Start/Stop: Start or stop cooking.
A push button door opening mechanism, which means you don’t have to hold the oven with one hand and pull the door open with the other.
The Avanti also comes with a child proof lock feature to prevent children from operating the oven without supervision. A lock indicator appears in the display when it is switched on.
Overall, the Avanti AMO7192TB has all the functions of a full size oven whilst still retaining a small footprint. With all the time saving pre-sets the Avanti gets our vote as one of the best small microwave ovens.
So, which one is the best small microwave?
Well, that all depends on your requirements. If you are looking for the best small microwave with no frills and easy to use, the Westinghouse is the ideal solution. For a slightly larger, retro looking, but still simple to operate oven, the Daewoo is the one to go for. Those that want the features of a full size microwave can choose between the LG and the Avanti, as they are very similar in the functions they have. In our opinion, the better value of the two is the LG.
Other Small Microwaves That are Worth Considering
0.5 Cu. Ft. – 750W
15 3/8 x 13 3/4 x 14 1/8
0.5 Cu. Ft. – 750W
15 3/8 x 13 3/4 x 14 1/8
0.5 Cu. Ft. – 750W
15 3/8 x 13 3/4 x 14 1/8
0.7 Cu. Ft. – 700W
17.30 x 13.40 x 10.20
0.7 Cu. Ft. – 700W
17.3 x 13 x 10.2
How to Choose the Best Small Microwave Oven
A microwave is an essential appliance. In most kitchens, it is the most used item. You can reheat leftovers, defrost frozen food, and even do some cooking. But, when you have limited space, you want the best small microwave that you can fit in your kitchen. The following tips will help with your selection. Learn how to choose the best small microwave.
Main Features of a Compact Microwave Oven
When shopping for a tiny microwave, there is a handful of features that you will need to pay attention to. This includes:
- External dimensions
- Internal capacity
- Additional features
The very first step in shopping for the best compact microwave is to determine how much space you have available in your kitchen. You are already shopping for a compact microwave oven, so you do not want to end up with a microwave that will not fit on your counter.
Measure your available counter space. Do not forget to measure height, if your microwave is going to be placed below a cabinet or on a shelf. Generally, you will need a space about 18×14-inches on your counter for smaller models, with at least 11-inches of height clearance.
The internal capacity of the microwave is obviously limited by the external dimensions. Compact microwaves will typically have less than 1 cubic foot of internal space.
With the measurements discussed for the external dimensions, you can expect about 12×12-inches of internal space. Unfortunately, one of the drawbacks of shopping for a small microwave is that you will not have much room inside the microwave. But, this should be just enough space for a standard dinner plate.
Wattage can impact the cooking performance of the microwave. This may be one of the most important features to consider. The higher the wattage the more evenly your food will cook. A high wattage can also decrease the cooking time of your meals.
When you read microwave cooking instructions, you will often see different cooking times listed for low wattage and high wattage microwaves. The typical range available is between 600 and 1200 watts.
With a compact microwave, you will be limited to a lower wattage – between 600 and 700 watts.
You should also consider your price range. You can spend between $40 and $700 on your new tiny microwave. Below, you will find some the additional features that can add to the price tag of a microwave.
So, setting a budget will help you limit your choices. You can focus on what is important to you, instead of simply purchasing the microwave with the most features.
Additional Features of the Best Small Microwave
The best compact microwave should have the basic features that you would expect. These essential settings include power level, cook time, defrost, and a timer. But, there are additional features to consider, such as:
- Preset cooking options
- Controls and power settings
- Maximum timer setting
- Convection heating
- Inverter technology
Preset Cooking Options
Most microwaves will come with a few preset cooking options. For example, you may have a pizza or potato setting. Some of the best compact microwaves include additional preset cooking options.
While these presets are not essential, they can simplify your cooking. Think about how you use your microwave. What types of meals do you prepare in your microwave? Finding a model that includes presets for these foods can be useful. Look at the preprogrammed cooking modes that are available.
Controls and Power Settings
You may also want to consider whether you want a microwave with a dial control or push button controls. These controls allow you to set the power setting. Depending on the microwave, you may have between 6 and 10 power settings to choose from.
Maximum Timer Setting
Almost every microwave will include a timer setting, but the best small microwave will allow you to set your timer for a longer cooking time – up to 100-minutes or longer. There are not a lot of meals that will require this much time to cook. But, if this is important to you, include it in your buying decision.
Convection heating can be expensive, but it does offer superior heating. Standard microwaves heat from food from the inside. With convection cooking, heat is blown around the food. You eat from the inside and outside at the same time, allowing you to cook evenly and quickly.
Inverter technology is another expensive option that is typically only found on high-end compact microwaves. What does this technology do? It gives precise control over the heating power of your microwave.
When you use a regular microwave at 50% power, the microwave will switch between 100% and 0% power in order to achieve an average cooking power of 50%.
Inverter technology gives consistent heating at the exact power setting that you choose. This is great when cooking something with low power, but it increases the cost of the microwave.
Consider Which Features Matter to You
You now know what you should look for in a space saver microwave. Consider which features are most important to you. Do not forget to start by measuring your available counter space. You need to ensure that you have enough space for the best compact microwave.
You also need to consider the wattage, controls, and preset cooking options. If you want advanced features, such as convection heating or inverter technology, you will need to spend a little extra. Weigh the importance of these features.
User reviews can also help you make your decision. It is hard to get an idea as to the overall quality and dependability of the microwave without reading input from a real customer. You can gain some insight by taking a look at the reviews and recommendations on this site.
If you take your time and compare features, you should have no problem finding the best small microwave for your kitchen.
Whichever small microwave you choose, always read the manufactures instructions and follow the microwave safety guidelines.