If you are planning on building an ideal dorm setting for yourself, then a microwave oven is an essential appliance to have.
We are quite aware of the fact that most students neither have the need nor the intention of using a microwave to its full potential. Plus, since they are short on time and busy with their studies, it is highly unlikely that they will use it to prepare complex recipes and meals.
As such, when the it comes to the best microwaves form dorm we recommend going only for small or midsize microwave ovens with an affordable price tag and perhaps with minimal features.
Of course, if you are are a group of those few students who actually love cooking and showcasing their culinary prowess, then you can certainly look into the more premium microwave ovens.
Here we will review some of the best microwaves for dorm settings. We will also review some basic guide on what to look for in an average microwave oven for dorm.
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Characteristics of a Microwave for Dorm
As mentioned earlier, we recommend that you consider looking into small or midsize microwave for dorm rooms.
Why? Well, because it is highly unlikely that you, as a student, will be heating up or cooking large meals at a time. Considering an average student, a microwave oven capable of heating a cup of coffee, an individual size dinner plate, or cooking popcorn would be more than sufficient.
For this, you certainly do not need to spend on a large oven.
Specifically speaking, we would recommend that you stick with sizes ranging from 0.7 CU FT capacity to 1.2 CU FT. These microwave ovens have a turntable diameter ranging from 10″ to 12″ respectively.
In other words, to give you a better idea, they can accommodate small to medium standard pizza.
Plus, many dorm rooms have a very limited room or counterspace for appliances. Small microwave oven would ensure that it doesn’t occupy much of the essential space.
Also Read: Best Midsize Countertop Microwave Oven
Simple to Use
Another highly important consideration for most students it that the microwave oven for dorm should be simple to use.
Not everyone is familiar with all the complex settings of a microwave. A microwave oven featuring complex features, myriad of presets, sensors etc may not be something that most students would find necessary to their requirement.
Students would rather appreciate an oven that is as simple as possible with least amount of learning curve involved.
You do not have to aim for the most powerful microwave ovens in the market.
The power rating of a microwave oven typically ranges from 700W to 1250W (Output). The higher the power rating, the more consistently and evenly the microwave oven heats.
While having a high powered microwave is certainly a good thing, they are also expensive.
Plus, generally, high powered microwave ovens are large and may not be suitable for most dorm rooms.
We recommend that you do not put low powered microwave ovens off your list. Most small and medium sizes microwave ovens have a power rating ranging from 700-1000W (Output).
These microwave ovens may take a longer while to heat up as compared to high powered ones, but their compactness and cheaper price tag would balance that con.
Also Read: Best 900 Watt Microwave Ovens
List of Best Microwaves for Dorm
- Toshiba EM925A5A – Recommended Microwave Oven for Dorm
- AmazonBasics – Best Small Microwave for Dorm
- Toshiba EM131A5C – Midsize / Midrange Dorm Microwave Oven
- COSTWAY Retro – Best Retro Microwave for Dorm
- Panasonic NN-SN67KS – Premium Expensive Oven
1. Toshiba EM925A5A – Recommended Microwave Oven for Dorm
One of the most recommended microwave oven for dorm. Strikes balance between size, power and price.
If you do not have the energy nor the time to look around for the perfect microwave oven for your dorm room and you want to go straight for the most popular option, then Toshiba EM925A5A should be on top of your list.
This microwave ovens strikes the perfect balance between size, power, features an affordability.
Size-wise, it has a capacity of 0.9 CU FT. This is neither too small nor too big. Furthermore, it has a power rating of 900W, which again, is neither too low nor too high.
As far as the features are concerned, it comes with all the general features that you would find in a typical microwave oven ranging from presets for common food items such as popcorn and frozen food to selecting different power levels.
Finally, the cherry on cake here is the price. For its size and power, this is among the most affordable microwave oven out there.
Hence, for an average student this is the best microwave for dorm living in our opinion. It is neither minimal nor too over the top.
2. AmazonBasics – Best Small Microwave for Dorm
Next up we have an option that is as popular as it can get for microwave ovens. AmazonBasics is a small (mini) microwave oven with the highest amount of customer base in the market for this appliance category.
There are quite a few things that set this appliance apart from the rest.
Firstly, it is very small with an interior capacity of 0.7 CU FT. This is the smallest class of microwaves available. This corresponds to the turntable diameter of 10″ or about the size of a small pizza.
Furthermore, it has a very low power rating of 700W. This is also the lowest power rating value that microwaves generally feature.
With that said, the reason this model is popular is because, for starters, it is stupendously affordable. If it is utmost affordability you want – with a respected brand to back it, then this is the hands down the best microwave for dorm.
However, besides the affordability factor, this oven does what very few microwaves do at the moment: integration with smart home devices. As such, this can connect with Amazon Alexa and be activated and used via voice commands.
Voice command and smart home integration is a premium feature and to find that in the cheapest microwave in the market speaks volumes about the value of this product.
3. Toshiba EM131A5C – Midsize / Midrange Dorm Microwave Oven
A midrange microwave oven with a high power and a fairly large capacity for an average dorm setting.
This is the most staple microwave oven for an average home. It has the size and the power to meet the requirements of a small family. Hence, for dorm rooms with a higher number of students, this is highly recommended.
First of all, this has a fairly large (midsize) capacity of 1.2 CU FT. This corresponds to a turntable diameter of 12 inches or about the size of a medium pizza.
Therefore, for a dorm room where students will actively cook and heat up large dinner plates, this has an excellent size.
But the most important aspect that sets it apart from the rest mentioned above is the high power rating. This microwave oven is rated at 1100 Watt. This places this microwave oven among the high tier performing ovens in terms of power.
As mentioned earlier, the higher the power rating, the quicker and more consistently the microwave oven will heat up.
While low powered microwave ovens will suffer from bad consistency especially when loaded with food, a higher powered one will penetrate and cook even the food at the bottom and deep within the dinner plate.
Plus, price-wise, it has an excellent overall value. Therefore, if the midsize and high power rating appeals to you, then this is the best microwave oven for dorm in our opinion particularly for a large number of students.
4. COSTWAY Retro – Best Retro Microwave for Dorm
A simple and a minimal small oven with old fashioned style. One of the most simple in terms of operation.
If it is epitome of simplicity that you seek, then this is certainly the best microwave for dorm rooms.
This is a microwave oven unlike any other in this list. It hails from a very rare type of microwave oven that sticks true to the old-fashioned retro and simple looks.
However, besides the looks, this is also perhaps the easiest oven to operate.
The microwave features only two comfortable manual knob selectors. One for controlling the heat level and the other for setting the timer. That is it!
There are no other fancy settings here that you need to fiddle around with. Therefore, as far as the learning curve goes, this is the easier to operate.
When it comes to the size, this is a small/mini microwave oven with a 700W power and 0.7 CU FT capacity putting it on par with AmazonBasics above in terms of overall performance.
The only downside to this oven is that its price tag is counter intuitive. Despite being a minimal oven, it actually has a fairly high cost for its size and power.
5. Panasonic NN-SN67KS – Premium Expensive Oven
An advanced and a premium midsize microwave oven
Finally, here we have the most powerful and a premium microwave oven that may appeal to a certain dorm room settings especially those that appreciate high quality products.
For starters note that this is an expensive microwave and in terms of functionality, it is the complete opposite of the COSTWAY Retro above. While Costway Retro was the most minimal option, this, on the other hand, is the most advanced.
What makes this oven a premium option?
There are basically two important aspects that matter. Firstly, it is a very high powered microwave oven with a power rating of 1200 Watts.
If you have followed our article from above, then we have already explained that a higher power means faster heating and better consistency with the ability for the heat to penetrate the deepest levels of food.
Secondly, this is a rare microwave that features the inverter technology. You can read about what is microwave inverter technology here, but the gist is that it allows a seamless power and heat control, which in turn provides consistent heating of the food.
Thus, it reduces the chances of certain chunks of food getting overcooked while the others are still cold.
The high power and inverter technology allows for a lot of cooking control which allows this microwave to become literally a multicooker. Unlike the rest mentioned above, this model as 15 cooking presets.
You can literally make potatoes, omelet, rice and plenty more food items just by selecting the corresponding preset. The microwave employs smart sensor that would automatically prepare the selected food for you.
Besides that, this oven has a mid-range size with 1.2 CU FT capacity and 12″ turntable diameter.
Basically, here we reviewed the best microwaves for dorm from various price ranges keeping in mind a small to medium size capacity.
It is important to reiterate here that the microwave oven for dorm you choose would highly depend upon the number of people it is serving.
If you are a serving a dorm with a few student i.e 2-5, then a small-medium oven would do just fine.
If it is serving a very large dorm, then more durable, larger and a heavy duty oven would be the better option to go for.