Microwaves use a lot fewer watts than a small toaster-style oven, and also use less energy than full-sized ovens. Using the microwave for heating and re-heating of daily food is a way to save energy and money. So what is the Best mid size microwave, best freestanding microwave and best over the range microwaves 2020 options?
Some meals, especially during holidays and entertaining, however, will require real baking, so the combination of microwave in concert with convection for bigger meals, for baking, cooking ‘slow food,’ and broiling helps cover all needs. Since it is a ‘tiny’ kitchen and the microwave/convection oven must visually match with the cooktop, 24″ is the maximum width for the duo. That narrows the options.
In fact, though nearly everybody cooks, “energy-efficient oven” isn’t a real market segment. Though ovens are the mainstay (and main energy-users) in the kitchen alongside the fridge and in most cases, the dishwasher, EnergyStar doesn’t treat them as a category or give recommendations.
Thus the choices for efficient cooking in tiny homes aren’t exactly bountiful. Amazingly, Graham’s choice of a 24″ combo convection and microwave is seen by the industry as more or less an add-on to another full-sized oven most people put below this unit.
Best mid size microwave
1. Small Green Retro Microwave Oven by Daewoo
Height: 10.6 inches | Width: 17.6 inches | Depth: 13.62 inches | cu. ft.: 0.7 | Wattage: 700
This style isn’t for every kitchen, but if you have a retro design such as mid-century or vintage elements in your kitchen, this microwave is perfect.
The customer feedback for this unit is very, very good, which is cool for something that’s also aesthetically designed. Often novel design doesn’t result in a quality product, but that’s not the case here.
The turntable is 10″ in diameter, which is big enough for most plates. Size-wise, it’s definitely compact and is made for countertop.
As a smaller model, it has lower wattage than larger units. The wattage is 700 which does the job, but some people report it does take a bit longer to get the job done compared to more powerful microwaves.
It includes 4 preset options, which isn’t a lot, but then it’s a lower priced, compact unit that you’re not buying for all the bells and whistles. If you’re a microwave power user, this isn’t for you. If, however, you defrost, reheat and eat microwave popcorn and need a mini microwave, this is a good option.
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2. Compact Oster Microwave
Height: 10.3 inches | Width: 18 inches | Depth: 14.1 inches | cu. ft.: 0.7 | Wattage: 700
For a little microwave, this unit offers plenty of features including 6 cooking presets, digital timer, removable glass turntable, interior light and a child lock.
The stainless steel and black color scheme will fit in most kitchens.
This unit is designed for countertop use and due to its compact size, it will fit in reasonably small spaces and nooks in your kitchen.
Key feature it’s missing: A one-touch 30 second and 60 second option. I have to agree with other customers that this is a nice microwave feature that should be standard on all models – big and small.
This does not double as a convection oven.
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3. Compact Black Countertop RCA Microwave
Height: 10.0 inches | Width: 18 inches | Depth: 12.75 inches | cu. ft.: 0.7 | Wattage: 700
The dimensions, specifications and features with this model are very similar to the compact Oster unit above. Here it all is in in one sentence:
You get a glass turntable, child lock option, 6 cooking presets and digital timer. Even the price is similar.
Hence, if you want an all black model, this would be for you. If you like the stainless steel look, go for Oster.
FYI, this unit is a big seller with a decent overall average rating.
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4. Westinghouse .7 cu. ft. Digital Microwave
Height: 10.3 inches | Width: 17.8 inches | Depth: 14.1 inches | cu. ft.: 0.7 | Wattage: 700
It’s starting to sound like a broken record here, but here’s another similarly priced microwave as as the RCA and Oster units above that pretty much offers the exact same features which includes 10 powers levels, 6 preset cooking options (popcorn, pizza, defrost, potato, beverages and reheating), digital timer, turntable, and child-lock. Even the dimensions are very, very similar (actually the dimensions will be similar with all featured microwaves on this page because they’re all compact models).
Unlike Oster above, the door on this unit opens by pushing a button. Whether that’s better or not is personal taste. I prefer it, but I can see the appeal of a large handle too.
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5. .8 Cu. Ft. Solid Front Microwave by Avanit Products
Height: 10.3 inches | Width: 18.0 inches | Depth: 14.3 inches | cu. ft.: 0.8 | Wattage: 700
When this microwave popped up during my research, I had to look twice. It’s definitely a unique design with a solid stainless steel front. It looks like a large shiny cube with a digital interface on the side.
This is a microwave you want for a modern kitchen design that’s sleek and modern. The lack of window to view inside is different and won’t work in every kitchen, but will be very cool in some kitchens.
With respect to features, it offers the same fleet you’d expect from smaller microwaves including 10 power levels, 6 cooking presets, turntable and child lock.
One difference with this unit compared to most others on this page is that this is .8 cu. ft. interior yet is compact in overall size.
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6. White Garrison Microwave with Express Cook
Height: 10.13 inches | Width: 17.38 inches | Depth: 12.88 inches | cu. ft.: 0.7 | Wattage: 700
Surprisingly this is not a big seller (based on very few customer reviews… it may sell well but not garner a lot of reviews) because it has one feature many other comparable microwaves don’t have and that is 1 to 6 minute express cook options. This is a huge convenience that many microwave users like and use all the time (me included). It comes with the other standard features such as turntable, child lock, 10 power options and 6 cooking presets.
Moreover, this unit includes a convection oven, something many other similarly priced units do not offer.
With respect to size, this is one of the most compact microwaves on our list.
Finally, this is a white microwave which can blend in nicely in a white kitchen (which is a popular kitchen color).
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7. Under-Cabinet and Countertop Microwave by GE
Height: 10.125 inches | Width: 17.25 inches | Depth: 13 inches | cu. ft.: 0.7 | Wattage: 700
Finally a microwave with what seems to be normal dimensions ending in 5 or no decimal point at all. While researching dozens and dozens of microwaves, I was amazed at the odd dimension numbers for most units. I realize it doesn’t really matter, but if you’re designing a product that will sell thousands of units, it seems to me you’d give it dimensions that don’t end in .38 (for example).
Anyway, this model is both a countertop and under-cabinet mounted model which is nice, especially if you want a small unit mounted underneath a cabinet. That said, you pay for it because this is quite a bit more expensive that most of the other microwaves here.
Moreover, this microwave is also a convection oven, which is great because that effectively gives you an additional oven in your kitchen (albeit a small one).
Nice feature: One-touch instant operation so you can set it for 30 seconds by pushing one button (and add 30 seconds with the same button). This is a very much desired feature that really should be standard regardless of price.
Otherwise, the features are the usual – 10 power levels, 6 cooking presets, turntable and child lock.
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8. Attractive Compact GE Silver and Black Microwave
Height: 10.188 inches | Width: 17.313 inches | Depth: 12.75 inches | cu. ft.: 0.7 | Wattage: 700
I like the look of this unit. While some people have reported that they read it can be mounted under a cabinet, it cannot unless you start drilling your own holes. After all, anything can be mounted anywhere if you know what you’re doing and have the right tools… but if you’re looking for a unit that is designed to be mounted under cabinetry, look for something else.
This unit comes with the standard fare including 10 power levels, 6 preset cooking options, turntable and child-lock.
However, you also have the option to express cook with this, which for the price, is a bonus feature. This alone would be a feature that would persuade me to buy one unit over another all else being equal (which is the case among many microwaves).
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9. Apartment-Sized Black Microwave by Sharp
Height: 10.2 inches | Width: 17.3 inches | Depth: 12.8 inches | cu. ft.: 0.7 | Wattage: 700
We’re on a roll here. This is another very reasonably priced microwave (I’m surprised how inexpensive these things are) that comes with the usual features for a smaller model PLUS the convenient “30 seconds” instant start feature. I don’t think I’ve used our microwave by not using the instant start button (but then I mostly heat food up only).
The included ceramic turntable is 10 inches in diameter.
And get this, it doesn’t have 10 power levels; it has 11 power levels – one-upping most other compact models.
While it hasn’t received hundreds of customer reviews, the batch it does have are very good with a very high average.
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10. Small Red Retro Microwave Oven by Daewoo
Height: 12.7 inches | Width: 17.6 inches | Depth: 10.6 inches | cu. ft.: 0.7 | Wattage: 700
With this cool-looking mini microwave, you get something others don’t offer, but also leave a few features on the table.
What don’t you get? Only 5 power levels and only 4 preset cooking options (most come with 10 power levels and 6 preset cooking options).