Best Compact Microwaves Ovens For The Money

(Last Updated: December, 2019)

If you’re like most people, your microwave is your go-to kitchen companion on busy, hectic days (or when you just want a break). We've all been there, but if you've ever had your microwave breakdown, then you know that struggle too. Microwaves are great appliances that create a whole lot of convenience in our lives.

What about when you still want to enjoy that convenience, without your small microwave taking up a whole lot of counter space? We’ve reviewed the best compact microwaves out there, and included some handy info that’ll help you choose the best one for you, and keep it in the best shape possible.

Microwaves

Summary

Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SD372S

Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SD372S

This sleek small microwave has a Genius Sensor so you can be confident your foods are cooked perfectly.


Farberware FMO07ABTBKA

Farberware FMO07ABTBKA

Available in a small size, you can still enjoy all the convenient features of a compact microwave while giving it lesser space.

Editor's Choice

Toshiba EM925A5A-SS

Toshiba EM131A5C-SS

This Toshiba compact microwave has a larger turntable plate than other brands so you can get more food heated up at one go.

GE JES1097SMSS

GE JES1097SMSS

This GE small microwave allows you to use convenient voice command features to control your settings when your hands are full.

Danby Designer 0.0 cu.ft Countertop Microwave

Danby Designer 0.0 cu.ft Countertop Microwave

You’d love its easy to read LED screen as well as the 10 power settings to choose from for your different meals.

Our Top Choices For Compact Microwave Ovens

Pros

  • 950 Watts cooking power
  • Includes a turbo defrost setting
  • Equipped with child lock
  • Includes preset features like popcorn, keep warm, preset menu items, and auto reheat
  • Genius Sensor detects food and adjusts cooking power and time

​Cons

  • Does not work with arc protected electrical circuits

More About The Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SD372S

This Panasonic microwave is sleek and compact, but it still packs in some features that a lot of full-size microwaves don't have. It makes cooking just about any food way easier thanks to the built-in Genius Sensor (which automatically makes sure your foods are cooked properly) by sensing foods and adjusting heat and time accordingly.

You're sure to love all the convenience it packs in. Plus, it'll even keep your food toasty and ready to go with the ‘keep warm' feature (so soup, gravy, and dip fans, you're in luck). At under 2 cubic feet, it's pretty compact. Which makes it perfect for foodies with limited space.

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Kenmore 70719

Kenmore 70719 Compact Countertop Microwave

Daewoo KOR-7LREM Retro Microwave

Daewoo KOR-7LREM Retro Countertop Microwave

Toshiba EM131A5C-SS

Toshiba EM131A5C-SS

Westinghouse WCM660B

Westinghouse WCM660B

Pros

  • Super compact design is great for dorms, rentals, and small areas
  • Uses all digital control
  • Preset menu options
  • One-touch features like express cook, add 30 seconds and defrost 

Cons

  • Powered only at 750 watts, which a con just because it’s lower than some other compact models
  • Lightweight may cause some wobbling

More About Farberware FMO07ABTBKA

If you need a new kitchen (or counter) staple that isn't going to take up much space, but that is going to make your life easier, meet this handy little Farberware microwave. It comes in classic black design, but a new small size at about .7 cubic feet. It gives you all the convenient features you expect, and then some.

No dials, this small microwave has all digital controls and an easy to read LED display. Just press any number on the pad, and it immediately starts the one-touch express cook feature (or add 30 seconds when your food needs just a little longer).

It's basically built for convenience. You also have 6 one-touch, preset options for everything from pizza or popcorn to a whole dinner plate. It also supports multi-stage cooking and adjustable power levels ranging from 1 to 10.

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Kenmore 70719

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Toshiba EM131A5C-SS

Toshiba EM131A5C-SS

Westinghouse WCM660B

Westinghouse WCM660B

Pros

  • 900-watt power
  • Power saving mode
  • Has quiet operation and the option to turn off sound
  • Includes several one touch, and preset options
  • Larger door handle makes for easier use
  • Easy cleaning and maintenance

​Cons

  • Handle must be used to open door, rather than pressing a button

More About Toshiba EM925A5A-SS


This contender for the best compact microwave from Toshiba is easy to use, dynamic and packs a good amount of power for a small microwave. The design and size make it ideal for any personal space, and the black and stainless steel looks good with any space.

With a larger turntable plate than most compact microwaves, it still measures less than a single cubic foot all in all. That means you get more usable, interior space for cooking food, without compromising on space.

While it powers up to a full 900 watts, you can also use the eco-friendly power saving mode to get more efficient power use. It's got plenty of one-touch features, like the quick start and preset menu options (which also help cut down on guessing). Like a lot of small microwaves, it has adjustable power and heat settings, but here's where it stands out:

For the power level settings, you actually have the degrees Fahrenheit spelled out on the number pad. That's a super convenient feature for people who want to be able to do more cooking and less just reheating.

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Toshiba EM131A5C-SS

Toshiba EM131A5C-SS

Westinghouse WCM660B

Westinghouse WCM660B

Pros

  • No need to read microwave cooking instructions, just scan the package
  • Convenient voice commands allow for easy multitasking
  • 900-watt power
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Clean design looks good anywhere

Cons

  • No way to adjust volume for when food is done
  • Currently works only with Alexa

More About GE JES1097SMSS

This GE compact microwave is a new take on the typical microwave, and that’s not just thanks to the ultra-clean, modern design. This small microwave is like a techy hybrid of smart devices and your typical compact microwave.

You can set the power and timer, and use convenient preset options if you choose. While you can input them manually, you’ll probably be too excited to use the voice command features and handy Alexa connections to bother typing on the control panel.

How about those times your hands are full and you realize your food needs to come out or did quite a few seconds ago? No problem. Just use the voice commands to tell it to stop cooking. Or, feel free to simply scan the barcode on your phone and let this small microwave take care of adjusting the time and temperature.

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Daewoo KOR-7LREM Retro Microwave

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Toshiba EM131A5C-SS

Toshiba EM131A5C-SS

Westinghouse WCM660B

Westinghouse WCM660B

Pros

  • 10 power levels to choose from
  • Easy to read LED display screen
  • Super compact size (.7 cubic feet) saves spaces
  • Includes 18-month warranty
  • Has preset cooking options for convenience

Cons

  • 700-watt power is sufficient, though less than other models
  • Doors have some known issues with cracking/shattering

More About The Danby Designer 0.0 cubic feet Countertop Microwave

This compact microwave is sturdy enough to last several years and has all the features you need to add a little convenience in your kitchen. The compact design is perfect for when you're cramped for space, but don't want to lose any of the functionality you expect from a good small microwave.

It's meant to make your life easier by including preset cooking options for the top 6 most popular microwave cooked foods. You've got 10 different power levels to choose from, so you don't sacrifice cooking abilities for more space on your countertop. Add to that the ample interior space, bright (and easy to read LED display), easy one-touch features, and you've got a reliable new kitchen staple.

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Toshiba EM131A5C-SS

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Westinghouse WCM660B

Westinghouse WCM660B

​How To Choose a Compact Microwave

When you're getting a compact microwave, you need to look at how you're going to be using it, and what you need it to do for you. It doesn't have to be a difficult process, but you don't want to end up with a microwave that just plain doesn't suit your purposes either.  We made these best microwave reviews to help. Here are the factors to look at so you can choose your new compact microwave (and find the best microwave at that!):

Size

You already know this is important you since you’re looking at purchasing a compact microwave. That being said, there are two ways you need to consider the size of the microwave: space taken up (so the size from the outside), and the capacity inside (which will determine how much food you can microwave at once).

Some models may appear larger but have limited space inside, so don’t rely on the appearance of the small microwave alone to settle it for you. Measure the counter space you have available, and read the specifications on the interior capacity.

Power and Wattage

The wattage of your microwave will determine how hot it can get your food, and how fast. It can also in part, determine what kinds of food you can cook in it. Most microwaves range between 600 and 1200 watts.

A good rule of thumb is to go for a higher wattage whenever possible, although a 700-watt model should still be able to boil water after a couple minutes. If different power levels are available, it’s even better. It’ll give you more methods of cooking and therefore more selection. 

Extra Features

These are extras that aren't necessary, but they sure do make life easier. One of the biggest things to look for is preset cooking modes. These are the buttons you can press to automatically heat food to the optimal temperature such as popcorn, pizza, chicken, potatoes, etc.

Then also check for preheating mode or slow cooking mode. Depending on how and what you plan to cook, these features can make a big difference.

Other great features you can find include things like adjustable or mutable volume, convection fans, or child locks. 

Ease of Use

How easy is it to use? Most microwaves really don’t require a lot of prior knowledge. The biggest takeaway from this should really be ease of maintenance and cleaning. When your microwave is splattered with caked on gunk, it’s not very appealing to use. So, make sure you look for one that’s easy to operate without making a mess, and that’s easy to clean when you do. 

Maintenance

Maintaining your microwave properly can add several years of good use onto its lifespan. Though hearing ‘maintenance’ makes most people inwardly cringe, it really is a small task when you’ve done it regularly. Not to mention that with microwaves a lot of maintenance is actually prevention. Here’s what you need to know about microwave maintenance:

No metal, foil, or metal embellished dishes

We’ve all gotten the lecture about not putting metal in microwaves, so just don’t do it. That includes utensils and dishes that may have metallic decoration. The best way to avoid issues with this is simply by checking that dishes say ‘microwave safe.’

So only put appropriate items in your microwave. Also, never, ever run your microwave without anything in it. That causes the energy to go right back into the microwave components and can cause heavy damage.

Clean it up

Clean your microwave regularly, and especially after a big spill. This keeps big messes from getting into the other microwave components, which can lead to a shorter life for your microwave.

Not only that, it’s just easier to clean up messes before they get caked on. Make sure you use products that are safe for your microwave’s surfaces. Try using a microwave cover over plates and bowls when you are using it, as this helps prevent nasty clean ups later on. 

Take it easy on the door

Microwave doors get a lot of abuse whether we realize it or not. Accidentally slamming it when you’re getting a late snack, bumping it with your arm to close it, that all happens through the course of its lifetime. We’ve all done it before, but it’s not the best for the door. 

That means the latches get worn pretty quickly when you're not closing the door gently. Eventually, the latch doesn't close properly and you've got a problem. So, go easy on the door, and if you notice your latch isn't working as well as it used to, order a replacement.

Keep up with replacements

Many replacements that microwaves need through the years are easy fixes. Microwaves often include information from the manufacturer about replacing parts. Check your manual to make sure you’re getting the right parts and going through the right procedure to safely replace them. 

Things like door latches, light bulbs, and turntable plates are the most common. Important note: always unplug the microwave before making replacements, and don’t be afraid to consult a professional if you’re unsure about your replacements. 

Conclusion

Owning the right microwave will make life easier for you and make heating up food a lot more enjoyable. A compact microwave will also provide a great solution for making cooking more convenient, especially when you’re low on space and time. Just make sure you pick the model that suits your needs.

As long as you check that it has the features, power, and size you need, then you'll be on your way to a new, space-saving compact microwave. Always be sure to take good care of it, so you can keep enjoying the convenience it provides for years to come. 

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