Best compact microwave

It is undeniable that owning a microwave provides you with plenty of benefits in your kitchen. Imagine that you can prepare or heat up your food in just one button press. However, if your kitchen is rather small, you certainly need to consider a compact microwave. Finding the best compact microwave is necessary but also quite tricky. It’s challenging and time-consuming to pick up one powerful compact microwave among many different products. Therefore, please read my best compact microwave reviews to find the most suitable product without spending much time and effort.

Best compact microwave

1. ​Toshiba EM925A5A-BS Microwave Oven

Toshiba EM925A5A-BS Microwave Oven

As a product that is coming from the company that was founded in the year 1939, you can be assured that they know a thing or two about what they manufacture. From the exterior point, the stainless steel comes with a black finish that gives a very elegant vibe to the product itself and not to mention to the kitchen.

It has 6 type of cooking functions for heating up your food; hence you don’t have to calculate or think of anything. The One Touch Start is a great addition to the microwave as by just simply touching the number, you can start heating up your food without any hassle.

We don’t know about you but sometimes, we want our electronics to be on silent; hence the ‘sound on/off’ feature for example on our smartphones. And that is why we are very happy that this microwave comes with a silent feature as well. The power saving mode also helps you save money because as we all know that microwaves take up a lot of electricity.

When it comes to the interior side, with 0.9 cubic feet available for the oven capacity, you can warm up your food or beverage with ease. Since it uses 900 Watt power, you can expect it to warm up your food efficiently and fast, especially with 10 adjustable power levels. Also, it comes with an LED light inside the cavity of the microwave for your convenience, hence you can check up on your food without opening every time at any part of day or night. The turntable comes in glass and it rotates for even heating.

​Pros

  • ​The black stainless steel adds a sense of elegance to the microwave giving it a more polished look.
  • ​Once Touch Start feature helps you get to start your food with just one touch.
  • ​900 Watt means more power and faster cooking. 
  • ​The LED inside the cavity gives you the ability to look at what’s cooking without stopping the microwave or opening it.
  • ​The power saving mode helps you cut down your electric bill.

​Cons

  • ​0.9 cubic feet is not too small but not too big either.

2. ​​Samsung MG14H3020CM 1.4 cu. ft. Countertop Grill Microwave Oven

Samsung MG14H3020CM 1.4 cu. ft. Countertop Grill Microwave Oven

Have you ever wondered the meaning of the name “Samsung”? Well, it means “Tri-Star” or Three Star. And in South Korea, the number “3” represents Big, Numerous and Powerful. The Samsung MG14H3020CM is big, has numerous functions and is powerful.

Just from the look of the outside, the mirror design with the shiny aspect to it sends a premium look to your oven and kitchen. It has settings that automatically can detect whether you need to reheat, cook or defrost; making is very easy for you.  

​As you mostly know that power consumption can be an issue when it comes to electronics that need to plug in all the time because of its usage and hence the bill can come to a higher expense than expected.

That’s why the Eco Mode in this 950-watt microwave helps you with saving power when it is not being used by turning its display off, hence saving your bill. If you look inside at the top part, you will that the heating rod for grilling is not straight and because of that, if you want to grill, the heat will be spread roundlyallowing your food to be browned well and crispy on the outside while being juicy on the inside.

But what separates this microwave from most is not from the outside but from the inside. It will catch your eye and not help but notice that the inside of the cavity is very different. Where in most microwaves, it’s purely made of steel; this one’s inside is made out of Ceramic Enamel. And because of that, the surface of the cavity is non-sticky; hence it is easy to clean.  It also shows a luster to the surface because of the texture.

Triple Distribution System is an important feature of the microwave because of the 3 microwave points that are designated inside, making your food cooked or reheated more thoroughly. The 1.4 cubic feet space inside and 14.2-inch glass turntable gives you the luxury to put your favorite dish without even thinking about whether it will fit inside or not. The microwave also includes a Round Rack and Ceramic Plate inside, giving you the opportunity and a push start on better cooking and easy cleaning.

​Pros

  • ​​With 1.4 cubic feet space, you have enough area to cook and feed your hungry self.
  • ​Because of the ceramic enamel that is inside, it heats/ cooks up food well while retaining the foods original flavor.
  • ​The mirror finish at the front gives the microwave a premium look.
  • ​Eco Mode helps you save electricity which is always a good thing.
  • ​The auto-detection of whether you need to cook, reheat or defrost makes things easy for you.
  • ​You can grill.
  • ​You get a free round rack and a ceramic plate. You can never say ‘No’ to free goodies,

​Cons

  • ​It’s big. With large dimensions, it can be tough to put it on a counter with less space.
  • The microwave weights about 41.9 lbs, making it heavy and not very portable.
  • Because of the mirror finish on the front, you really cannot see of what is going on inside.

3. Panasonic NN-SD372S Countertop Microwave

Panasonic NN-SD372S Countertop Microwave

This stainless steel microwave from Panasonic is well built that shows off with an industrial design. With light gray color scheme and tactile buttons instead of being touch sensitive, this 950watt microwave shows that it can take a punch.

By looking at it, you can surely say that Panasonic is taking a bold step with its Inverter Technology

The basic idea is that when you heat your food unless you go on maximum power, the food temperature can differentiate from one area to another because of the current power setting. Where with the Inverter Technology, regardless of what power level you are in, the temperature is constant making the heat spread evenly.

Also, it is energy efficient and does not kill the food cells while you heat up your dish, keeping it healthy to eat. Now, the capacity on the inside is 0.8 cubic feet with a 950-watt output. So it is fairly spacious and powerful enough to give you the boost on heating/cooking up your food fast and effectively.The microwave also comes with a free cooking e-book.

Pros

  • ​The industrial design gives it a sturdy look.
  • ​The tactile buttons increase the durability of the oven.
  • ​Because of the Inverter Technology, it keeps the food fresh and not let the food cells die.
  • ​With the free cooking e-book, you can get a grasp of what you can do with this microwave.

​Cons

  • 0.8 cubic feet is not technically small but it does question you about the space.

4. ​Oster OGH6901 0.9 Cubic Feet 900-Watt Countertop Digital Microwave Oven

Oster OGH6901 0.9 Cubic Feet 900-Watt Countertop Digital Microwave Oven

Oster OGH6901 is a 900-watt microwave with a 0.9 cubic feet capacity which is made out of Aluminum, making lighter than microwaves that are made from steel.

It comes with a beautiful brushed stainless design and keeping all the necessities like the LED screen, 6 quick cooking options from potato to popcorn, kitchen timer and clock settings.

It also has a sensor, which helps you to figure out whether your food is ready or not based on the humidity and temperature on the inside. The Two-Stage cooking system helps you to cook dishes that need two types of temperature at different stages of cooking. So instead of you manually getting the food out and then putting it in with a different setting, with this system you can set it up at the beginning with ease for no hassle later on.

​Pros

  • ​Stainless brushed design.
  • ​Made out of Aluminum, hence it weighs less and more portable.
  • The Two-Stage Cooking System helps you with those family dishes or desserts which take a long period of time to cook.
  • ​Having a sensor is always helpful which can identify of whether the food is done or not.
  • ​0.9 cubic space is acceptable for cooking/heating on medium bowls and dishes.

​Cons

  • ​The microwave is not technically big and that can be a problem.
  • ​Aluminum can change the taste of your food.

5. Bella 700-Watt Compact Microwave Oven

Bella 700-Watt Compact Microwave Oven

This compact microwave from Bella comes with 700 Watt cooking power. It has 10 power level settings that ensure cooking/heating variety of dishes. It has digital control with LED clock timer. The 6 quick start one-touch cooking function helps you to get a head start. The defrost mode is set by time or weight. It also has multi-stage cookingmemory function saves also comes in handy for remembering your custom setting and of course with that comes custom controls.

Now on the inside, it has a glass turntable that measures 10 inches wide and is removable for cleaning which is useful. It also has a keypad lock for times when you don’t want the microwave to be used, or for times when you don’t want children accidentally using it.

​Pros

  • ​Custom memory feature helps you if you want to do things your way.
  • ​Small factor hence easy to carry and put in tight places.
  • ​Multi-stage cooking helps you for those types of dishes that take a long time to cook with different types of temperature.

How to buy a microwave

Your Pizza Rolls deserve a good microwave. This countertop wonder, whose origins date back to the 1940s, is probably one of the most frequently used appliances in your kitchen thanks to its ability to reheat food fast (and cook a mug cake or two). There are a variety of options when it’s time to select a microwave, so we’ve broken down the options you have when you’re ready for a new microwave.

Location

The first decision you need to make about a new microwave is where in your kitchen you want to put it. The location affects the price, features, size and installation of the appliance. You have three main options:

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Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Countertop

This is the most common type of microwave. They generally cost less and are significantly easier to install than other models. Just find a spot on the counter for it to sit, plug it into an outlet and you can use it right away.

The biggest issue with the countertop microwave is how much space it needs. If you have limited room on your countertop, you may either want to look at the smaller countertop models available, look into placing your microwave on a small cart, or consider another style of microwave.

Price: $40 to $700

External dimensions: From roughly 10 by 18 by 14 inches for compact models to roughly 14 by 24 by 20 inches for larger models

Internal capacity: Less than 1 cubic foot to more than 2 cubic feet

Wattage: Typically 600 to 1,200 watts

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Some of GE’s stoves and over-the-range microwaves are connected via Bluetooth.Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Over-the-range

You install this style of microwave above your range, which will save you some counter space. These models have vent systems that take the place of the oven hood and lights to illuminate your cooktop.

Price: $190 to $1,300

External dimensions: Usually wider than countertop models, about 16 by 30 by 15 inches

Internal capacity: Less than 1 cubic foot to more than 2 cubic feet

Wattage: Typically 600 to 1,200 watts

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Sharp

Built-in

Built-in models that you place among custom cabinets or paired with built-in, full-sized wall ovens are the most high-end (aka expensive) types of microwaves. Some microwaves in this category are even designed specifically as drawers with a compartment you pull out for your food.

Price: $500 to $5,000 and up

External dimensions: This varies widely depending on type, and drawers tend to have more depth than countertop or over-the-range models, hitting about 15 by 30 by 26 inches

Internal capacity: Less than 1 cubic foot to more than 2 cubic feet

Wattage: Typically 600 to 1,200 watts

Size

It’s important to find the right-sized microwave that will meet your food needs and fit in the space you have for it. First, you want to measure the counter or other space where you plan to put your microwave. Then, measure the height, width and depth of any model you’re considering to find out if it will fit on your counter top, over your range or in a custom spot. The external dimensions can vary a lot, from 10 by 18 by 14 inches on the smaller side to 14 by 24 by 20 inches on the larger side.

Then there’s also the internal capacity, which can range from less than 1 cubic foot to 2 cubic feet or more. There doesn’t seem to be any set rule for how internal capacity correlates to size (like 1 cubic foot = small, 1.5 cubic feet = medium, etc.), but here’s an attempt to break it down:

Compact: Under 1 cubic foot

Midsize: 1 to 1.5 cubic feet

Full-size: 1.6 to 2 cubic feet

Extra-large: More than 2 cubic feet

Most microwaves are somewhere around 1.4 to 1.8 cubic feet. Still not sure which size you need? If you’re out shopping, bring in a plate or bowl from home that you plan to use often to make sure that it fits inside the microwave.

Still in doubt? Measure everything, take notes and check with your appliance retailer for help deciding what would work best. For over-the-range and other built-in models, you most likely won’t be the one installing your new microwave, so you can always avail yourself of their expertise.

Wattage

Microwave wattage equals power. In general, the higher the wattage, the faster and more evenly your food will cook. Most microwaves sit somewhere between 600 to 1,200 watts. Larger, more expensive microwaves tend to have a higher wattage, so this is a price and size consideration that can strongly influence microwave cooking performance.

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This GE microwave has scan-to-cook tech via a related app.Chris Monroe/CNET

Features

Many microwaves share common functions. Here are some microwave cooking essentials: cook time, defrost, power level and timer. Each one requires your direct input, but they are usually very easy to set. Most microwaves have touch panel controls and a rotating carousel to spin your food for more even cooking.

Default settings

Many microwaves come with preset cooking modes so you only have to press one button to automatically cook a dish. For example, many microwaves have a “popcorn” button that will cook your bag based on factory settings. This can be handy for common dishes you heat in the microwave, but you’ll have to figure out if the microwave’s default cook times work for your own food. Other common presets include: baked potato, pizza, beverage, frozen dinner and reheat.

Broil

Manufacturers are increasingly including features in microwaves that mimic what we see in full-size ovens, such as a broiler. This is a good addition for finishing off a dish or cooking something for which you’d prefer more direct heat.

Convection

A convection fan that’s built into the back of a microwave oven circulates the heat around the food to cook things more quickly and evenly. (Many new full-size ovens come with at least one convection fan.) However, microwaves with convection fans are generally more expensive than those without.

Inverter technology

Inverter heating is another option available on some high-end models. If you want to heat something at a 50 percent power level, most microwaves actually switch between 100 percent power and 0 percent power to average in at 50 percent power. This doesn’t yield great results if you want to heat something on a lower heat and achieve an even result. So, some models now use inverter technology, which maintains a consistent 50 percent power. That way, you can poach salmon, make a fluffy omelet, etc.

Other advanced features

In addition to new heating technologies, higher-end models usually have more presets than just the basic pizza, popcorn and baked potato standard. Some use moisture sensors to detect food doneness. And we’ve started to see models include LED lighting on the interior.

“Smart” technology, i.e. options that connect microwaves to the internet and other products, aren’t as widespread in microwaves as we’ve seen in other kitchen appliances. However, we’ve seen GE Appliances include Bluetooth technology in some of its over-the-range microwaves. This connection, which GE calls “Chef Connect,” pairs the microwave with compatible GE ranges so the light and fan beneath the microwave automatically turns on when you turn on a burner.

More options

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Will the June Intelligent Oven become the next microwave?Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Other small appliances have started to make a case for forgoing the microwave, such as steam ovens that use water to cook for more moist heating or the basic toaster oven that mimics a full-size stove. These options promise to cook more effectively than a microwave, but it might take longer to reheat your food.

Smart countertop ovens have also started to become an option. The June Intelligent Oven uses facial recognition technology to identify food and cook it automatically, and the Tovala Smart Oven will scan packaged meals for automatic cooking, including frozen meals from Trader Joe’s. These options are promising, but the technology is too new to determine whether or not these will become kitchen staples.

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