Compact microwave ovens are great kitchen aids, especially if space is limited. They may not have the power or oven capacity to cook a three-course meal, but they work well as a backup when traditional oven space is at a premium. If you live with a small kitchen but still want the comfort of all cooking capabilities, then a small microwave might be right for you.

This article looks at the top ten small microwaves available on the market today. Following our list with basic specifications, we’ll offer a few insights as to why these models should be on your shopping list for outfitting a smaller kitchen.

  • Dimensions in inches: W 19 x H 11.5 x D 14.5
  • Weight: 28 Lbs.
  • Oven capacity: 0.9 cu. ft.
  • 900-watts of power
  • Compatible with Alexa (voice controlled) or control from a
  • smartphone
  • 10 power settings
  • 7 pre-set functions for convenience

  • Dimensions in inches: W 12.75 x H 7.87 x D 11.62
  • Weight: 21 Lbs.
  • Oven capacity: 0.7 cu. ft.
  • 700-watts of power
  • Convenience cooking controls
  • Auto and timed defrost settings
  • Stainless steel exterior

  • Dimensions in inches: W 12.3 x H 8.1 x D 14
  • Weight: 20.9 Lbs.
  • Oven capacity: 0.8 cu. ft.
  • 950-watts of power
  • Keep warm feature and one-touch auto cooking
  • Inverter technology
  • Turbo defrost

  • Dimensions in inches: W 17.6 x H 10.6 x D 12.7
  • Weight: 23.5 Lbs.
  • Oven capacity: 0.7 cu. ft.
  • 700-watts of power
  • Retro styling in Mint Green, Pure Red, and Cream White
  • 5 power levels
  • 4 auto cook menu

  • Dimensions in inches: W 17.3 x H 10.2 x D 13.4
  • Weight: 24.6 Lbs.
  • Oven capacity: 0.7 cu. ft.
  • 700-watts of power
  • 6 quick-set menus
  • Child safety lockout buttons
  • White exterior styling

  • Dimensions in inches: W 17.3 x H 10.1 x D 13
  • Weight: 23.2 Lbs.
  • Oven capacity: 0.7 cu. ft.
  • 700-watts of power
  • Available in Black, White, and Stainless steel
  • 6 pre-set menus for simple cooking
  • Speed defrost setting

  • Dimensions in inches: W 18 x H 10.3 x D 12.9
  • Weight: 23.1 Lbs.
  • Oven capacity: 0.7 cu. ft.
  • 700-watts of power
  • 10 power level settings
  • Child safety lock
  • 6 pre-set functions

  • Dimensions in inches: W 18 x H 14.2 x D 10.2
  • Weight: 23.7 Lbs.
  • Oven capacity: 0.7 cu. ft.
  • 700-watts of power
  • 12 preset menus for the most popular foods
  • Simple turn and push program dial
  • Child safety feature

  • Dimensions in inches: W 19.2 x 15.9 x 11.5
  • Weight: 27.3 Lbs.
  • Oven capacity: 0.9 cu. ft.
  • 900-watts of power
  • Power saving mode and child safety lock
  • Quick-start button plus an “Add 30-second” function
  • 6 pre-set buttons for convenience

  • Dimensions in inches: W 20.5 x H 12.8 x D 15.25
  • Weight: 33.5 Lbs.
  • Oven capacity: 1.0 cu. ft.
  • 1000-watts of power
  • 8 pre-set programmes
  • 10 power levels
  • Limited 3-year warranty

This smart GE JES1097SMSS model is the only one the list to have Wi-Fi connectivity, which means that you can pair it with your smartphone via an app and control the machine remotely.

You can also link it to Alexa and activate the voice-controlled function. Even more space age is its scan-to-cook function, which means you can scan the barcode of the food you want to defrost or cook with your smartphone, and the microwave does the rest. This function takes the guesswork out of cooking and is superb for those with impaired vision who might struggle to read small print.


  • Wi-Fi enabled and voice-controlled through Alexa
  • Can be controlled via an app on the smartphone, and has a scan-to-
  • cook facility
  • 900-watts and 0.9 cu. ft. oven capacity
  • 7 pre-set menus


  • Too complicated for it to be good
  • Constantly disconnects from Wi-Fi
  • Many connectivity functions are a bit of a gimmick

This GE microwave is a fantastic small microwave oven that weighs next to nothing and will easily fit in any small space. It has stylish looks and features easy-to-use cooking controls.

The auto and time defrost are great for convenience, and the add 30-seconds function makes bringing food to temperature is easy. It has only 700-watts of power, but that’s more than enough for the day-to-day tasks you’ll want it to perform.


  • Light and compact
  • Easy to use control panel
  • Add 30-second feature for ease
  • Great styling


  • Cannot be mounted over/under a range
  • Takes a while to heat up

This Panasonic delivers inverter technology for even distribution of power during cooking. That means food tastes and cooks better. Though small this unit packs a punch with 950-watts of power, and with the turbo defrost setting and the auto reheat feature this compact microwave is going to be a family favorite.

Rounding out its features is a child lock and an easy clean facility, so it won’t require long hours of scrubbing.


  • Inverter technology for even power distribution
  • Pop out dial for simple control
  • 10 power levels to make the most of the 950-watts
  • Looks great


  • Not cheap for a compact oven
  • Problems with Customer Services

This Daewoo oven has a fun, retro feel that recalls the style of a 1950s-era kitchen. It comes in green, cream, and red, so should match most bright decors, and it has five power levels along with a two-way defrost setting.

The handle is substantial, and the controls look easy to operate. It may be a bit basic, but as a compact microwave that’s not necessarily a bad thing.


  • Great retro styling
  • Simple to use
  • Two-way defrost setting
  • 10-inch turntable


  • A little basic for some
  • Build quality issues
  • Have to hold down the start button for a few seconds to switch it on

This microwave scores well for interior space because while the others on the list have the same cubic capacity, the actual plate size they can take varies. This model handles plates of 10.25-inches with ease and is also available in a lovely bright red for those with a more bold taste in design.

The add 30-seconds button is a handy feature, as is the time and weight defrost settings. Couple that with the 6 pre-set menus and the child safe functions, and this little oven makes an excellent addition to the kitchen.


  • Available in bright red
  • Child safety lock feature
  • Compact and stylish
  • Big door handle


  • Buttons wear out easily
  • Poor build quality

The Danby DMW7700BLDB model builds on the standard preset buttons by also offering three specialty settings that enable this unit to cook and defrost by weight. It also offers a speed defrost setting for when you are cooking in a hurry.

It’s available in white, black, and stainless steel, so finding a color to match your look won’t be a chore. This Danby also has a free 10-year warranty on major parts, which can offer purchasers true peace of mind.


  • 10-year major parts warranty
  • Available in 3 colors
  • 3 specialty settings including speed defrost
  • 10 power levels


  • No quick start button
  • Buttons are small
  • Buttons fade

This Westinghouse model has lots of power and a small footprint, which is fantastic when space is limited. It comes in black, white, or black with stainless steel trim, so design fans should be satisfied. It has 10 power levels and 6 pre-set options for convenience.

There’s also the speed defrost feature, which is wonderful for busy people or those who forgot to get dinner out of the freezer. It has a child lock too, so inquisitive little fingers can’t get up to mischief. All in all, the Westinghouse is small, light, and a real lifesaver when you want to add speed to your cooking repertoire.


  • Ideal for a small apartment or studio
  • 10 cooking power levels
  • Child lock adds safety
  • Available in black, white and stainless steel


  • Lightweight so moves when you open the door
  • No Quick cook button
  • Rotating glass plate moves around and comes off the rollers

This Nostalgia model would be ideal for the office lunchroom, or a college dorm kitchen. It has a child safety lockout feature, and 12 preset menus for the most popular microwave foods. It’s simple to use, with a unique push and turn dial. It’s styled to look like an appliance from the 1950’s, with a bright red exterior and large buttons and dials.

With 700-watts of power, this microwave will perform well at heating up smaller items. It’s also economical, compact, and lightweight, all characteristics ideal for a small countertop space or recess.


  • Push and turn dial for convenience
  • Easy to use
  • 12 pre-set cooking functions
  • Retro styling


  • Noisy during operation
  • Lightweight so moves when the door is opened

The Toshiba compact is a simple little microwave that will sit comfortably on your small countertop. It has a power saving mode, which is great for those of us that want to use less energy, and it also has a child safety feature, to deter curious hands.

The touchpad comes with clearly defined functions, and reheating will be easy with a quick-start and +30-second function. This small microwave will be your new kitchen best friend, lending a hand when you need that something extra.


  • Child safety features and power saving mode
  • Quick-start and +30-second functions
  • 6 pre-set menus
  • Child lock


  • Unstable glass turntable could lead to spills
  • Door closing mechanism loud
  • Lightweight so moves around when opening the door or pushing buttons

Compared to other microwaves on this list, the Cuisinart is positively huge! At 1.0 Cu. Ft, it is the largest oven capacity of the smaller microwaves reviewed. It isn’t cheap either, but it does have a lot of tech stuff to keep even the fussiest cook happy. With a powerful 1000-watts and 25 pre-programmed settings, this machine makes cooking easy.

It has 8 pre-sets, with serving-size options, and 2-stage cooking. The glass turntable is 12-inches, so handles dinner plates easily, and with the quick-start facility, you won’t go hungry waiting for the food to get hot. It even has a memory function so you can customize how you like your food cooked.


  • Clever technology like memory function and 2- stage cooking
  • 8 pre-sets for convenience
  • 1.0 cu. ft. of oven space and 1000-watts of power, plus convection setting
  • Stainless steel inside and out


  • More significant than the rest of the compact microwave ovens
  • Expensive compared to other microwaves
  • Build quality issues

Choosing the Best Small Microwave Oven

There are two reasons for choosing a small microwave oven: One is space, and the other is use. Small microwave ovens are great, especially if you want a side-kick in the kitchen that’ll always be there to add that little bit extra to your cooking capacity when needed. They heat small things to perfection, which can complement the main event you have going on in the conventional oven. But don’t think that just because they’re small they aren’t clever. On the contrary: many small microwave ovens come with an impressive array of advanced features. Given this cutting edge design, we recommend considering several key factors before committing to your preferred model. These include:


Do you want your microwave to work on the periphery, like warming sauces or steaming vegetables, or do you want it to become an integral part of the cooking process? Consider what functions the smaller microwaves have and balance that with your budget. It’s best to start with basic microwave functions and work up from there.


Power is key to the speed of the cooking process. Now, you’ll have to accept that compact microwave ovens tend to have around 700-watts as standard, which is less wattage than larger models. If you look hard, though, you can get some that pack more of a punch.


You want a microwave that stands out in its performance, not in the way it distracts from the overall design aesthetic of the kitchen. Consider the look of the other appliances in the kitchen and determine if your space leans toward clean modern lines of stainless steel or the colorful pop of retro styles. Whichever you choose, try not to have the small microwave you select sticking out like a sore thumb. Put your designer hat on and work that scheme!

Clever Technology

Just because you are searching for a small microwave doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice smart technology features. Want Wi-Fi connectivity, voice-command, and remote smartphone control? Then you can have it, but at a price. Small microwaves are usually at the cheaper end of the market, so if you want smart technology, you will have to pay.

Product Warranty

Some brands, like Danby, are so confident that their products will last that they’ll offer you a 10-year major parts warranty. The significant parts usually refer to the magnetron (the component that makes the microwaves), but 10-years is impressive when you think about it. Most other manufacturers offer a 1 to 3-year warranty that is limited to parts and labor.

Brand Reliability

It is almost always beneficial to opt for a reliable brand. Look at customer reviews listed on Amazon, and speak to family and friends, or stick with the brands with which you’ve already had a pleasurable experience. There is never a guarantee that that even the most reliable brand’s model will work as we hope, by backing from these sources can reassure that you are making a smart investment.


Is 700-watts enough power?

It depends; what do you want the microwave to do? For heating small items, yes, 700-watts is plenty. You will have to make allowances for the fact that it is a compact microwave, and not as powerful as larger models.

What are the dimensions of a typical compact microwave?

Most compact microwaves measure around: W 15/17-inches x H 10/12-inches x D 13/15-inches. These are typical measurements, but not exact, so some may be larger or smaller.

Does the height measurement include the feet at the bottom?

The height stated on the packaging and listed on Amazon does include the feet. It is a measurement of the actual standing height when fully functioning. Make sure to measure the space you have carefully, though, to eliminate human error from the equation.

Final Thoughts

The motivation for buying a small microwave oven is often different from purchasing a larger model. Restricted space, limited budget, or plain old essential functions might be the reason you’re in the market for a compact microwave, but as we’ve seen, small can be mighty, little can mean a lot, and compact can be clever!

Our favorite among this list is the GE JES1097SMSS. This microwave gets the award purely on the basis that it pushes the boundaries in ways that the others don’t. It tries to embrace the future by following the theme of smart appliances. It comes Wi-Fi enabled so it can talk to your smartphone or interact with Alexa for voice-control, and its scan-to-cook feature is a dream feature, particularly for those with impaired vision. While the customer ratings for the technology aren’t the most reassuring, the microwave gets a huge thumbs up for its performance.

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