if you live in a studio apartment or an apartment that has a small kitchen space, you certainly have to watchful of the products that you buy. The last thing you want is to get an appliance only to find that you have no space to place it.
Fortunately, when it comes to microwave ovens, you can find myriad of sizes including small and mini ones. These microwave ovens are great for an individual or for a couple.
Sure they aren’t powerful, but they can get the work done fairly well.
Therefore, whether it is a bag of popcorn you want to cook, cup of water you want to heat up, or a small dinner plate you want to prepare, a small microwave oven would do just fine for you.
In this article, we will review some of the best microwaves for small apartment from various price ranges.
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Also Read: Best Midsize Countertop Microwave Ovens
What Constitutes a Small Microwave Oven?
The size of a microwave oven is judged based on the its interior capacity. While the external dimensions do matter especially if you need to make precise cutouts in your kitchen space, it is the interior capacity that defines the actual size category.
Microwave ovens come in many sizes. Here is how their size range are broken down to give you a rudimentary idea.
- Small – Less than 1.0 CU FT
- Medium – 1.1-1.6 CU FT
- Large – 1.7 – 2.0 CU FT
- Extra Large – Greater than 2.0 CU FT
Therefore, based on this, the best microwave for small apartment should naturally fit the “small” category. Hence it would have the capacity of less than 1.0 CU FT.
As far as the turntable diameter goes, they range from 10″ diameter for small ovens , all the way to 16″ diameter for the larger 2.2 CU FT microwave ovens.
As for the external dimensions, the small ovens can range from about 17.5″ x 12″ x 10″ (W X D X H) to about 18.5″ x 14.5″ x 11″ (W X D X H).
What Kind of Oven to Get
There are few options you have available in terms of technology and power.
Furthermore, you can get three types of ovens here regular, smart ovens and ovens with an inverter technology.
Smart microwave ovens have the ability to be controlled by home automation devices like Amazon Alexa.
Inverter microwave ovens, on the other hand, are expensive ovens that use an inverter circuit instead of transformer to deliver a constant amount of power. This in turn results in even cooking with fewer chances of undercooked and overcooked patches.
Other than that, you can choose to go for either digital or manual microwave oven for your small apartment.
Also Read: What is Microwave Oven Inverter Technology?
List of Best Microwaves for Small Apartment in 2020
We find the following microwave ovens perfect for someone living in a small apartment. Each has something unique to offer.
- AmazonBasics – 700 Watt – 0.7 CU FT – Smart Oven
- COSTWAY Retro – 700 Watt – 0.7 CU FT – Option for Elderly
- Nostalgia RMO7AQ – 700 Watt – 0.7 CU FT – Advanced Retro Looking Microwave
- Panasonic NN-SD372S – 950 Watt – 0.8 CU FT – Premium Model
- Toshiba EM925A5A-BS – 900 Watt – 0.9 CU FT – Family Sized Option
1. AmazonBasics – 700 Watt – 0.7 CU FT – Smart Oven
A basic lower powered and affordable microwave oven that can connect with Amazon Alexa.
First up we have perhaps the most famous and the most obvious option for a small sized apartment.
AmazonBasics microwave is the most popular compact microwave oven in the market and you can tell that by the sheer number of reviews that it has received in total.
This is a 700 Watt 0.7 CU FT microwave oven that literally puts it in the mini size range category. Now 700 watts is not a whole lot of power. Therefore, it should come as no surprise to you if it takes longer than usual to heat up your food or beverages.
Some people have given negative reviews for this citing that this oven does not heat up properly. Well that has nothing to do with the oven. It has all to do with the power it has.
Small microwave ovens are weaker. Hence if you load up an entire dinner plate for heating, you will find sometimes that food hasn’t heated up properly.
An easy way around this issue is to move the food around every minute or so when reheating.
Besides the popularity, another great aspect about this oven is that this is a smart appliance. As such, it can connect with Amazon Alexa and receive voice commands. You can use voice commands to prepare popcorn, set the time etc.
This is not only a high tech feature, it is also quite convenient for elderly who have a hard time reading or pressing the buttons on the control panel.
While the looks of the oven are quite basic, the fact that it is one of the most affordable ovens in this list along with the fact that it is smart, makes this, in our opinion, the best microwave for small apartment.
2. COSTWAY Retro – 700 Watt – 0.7 CU FT – Option for Elderly
A simple and a minimal microwave oven that ditches digital controls for simple two manual knob selectors.
Next up we have oven that is exact opposite of the AmazonBasics’ model above. While the former boasted of high tech features such as voice control, this is completely the opposite.
COSTWAY Retro ditches all digital controls and opts to keep things simple with its two manual knob selectors. It is quite rare to find a completely mechanical microwave oven with no LCD or digital controls in the market these days.
The two knob selectors are designated for timer and for selecting the heat level.
Other than the retro looks, the manual functioning of this oven serves the purpose of catering to the elderly. It literally has no learning curve whatsoever and the knobs are easy to handle and operate.
Other than that, this is also a mini oven with a 0.7 CU FT capacity and a 700 Watt power rating. Hence, not only is it small, it is also weak.
It is quite suitable for small meals or for heating liquids.
Unfortunately, despite having manual functions, this costlier as compared to the AmazonBasics oven above.
In the end, if you appreciate utmost simplicity, then this is the best microwave for small apartment.
3. Nostalgia RMO7AQ – 700 Watt – 0.7 CU FT – Advanced Retro Looking Microwaveo
A highly function, compact, microwave oven for those who love retro looks.
Nostalgia RMO7AQ, as the name suggests, is a microwave oven who appreciate the retro looks. If your small apartment reeks off creativity, then a artistic retro looking microwave such as this would certainly attract your liking.
Make no mistake however, while it looks retro, it is anything but. This is a fairly advanced oven with 12 pre-programmed settings for common foods items. The presets basically set the timer and power level for you so that you don’t have to experiment with the settings much.
Presets include defrosting, preparing popcorn, beverages, pizza, veggies, potatoes and more for other common food items.
You will notice that this oven has minimal buttons and controls. Basically, you navigate through the settings using the LCD and the large knob selector on the bottom. You can use this to go through the many functions of the microwave.
As far as the power and size is concerned, this is similar to the two microwave ovens above. This has a capacity of 0.7 CU FT and a power rating of 700 watt making this a mini microwave oven.
In short, if you value the creative retro looks with digital cooking options, then this is the best microwave for small apartment.
4. Panasonic NN-SD372S – 950 Watt – 0.8 CU FT – Premium Model
This most advanced oven in this list. Features an inverter technology with a a high power rating.
Panasonic NN-SD372S is the most advanced, expensive, and premium small microwave oven in this list.
For starters, unlike the rest of the ovens here, this has a the highest power rating of 950 Watt. This amount of power is quite rate on a microwave with only a 0.8 CU FT capacity.
As we have been mentioning throughout the article, power rating directly correlates to how consistently the oven can heat up the food. Higher power rating means it would be able to heat up larger amount of food consistently and quickly.
Therefore, as far as power goes, this one stands on top in this list.
Other than that, this microwave oven distinguishes itself from the rest with the inverter technology.
As we mentioned in the FAQ above, an inverter circuit is basically a power circuit that replaces the transformer as is found on regular ovens.
While a transformer intermittently turns the magnetron on and off to maintain a certain power level, inverter circuit does not. It supplies the exact amount of power as is needed at a constant stream.
This in turn results in well cooked meals, even distribution of heat and less chances of finding undercooked or overcooked patches.
Another highly important feature to take note off are the smart sensors. These sensors sense the amount of humidity as well as the temperature of the food being cooked. Hence, it sets the temperature and timer accordingly for best results.
Besides that, this model is suitable for both countertop as well as for built-in applications inside cabinets or walls.
Furthermore, this also offers the Keep Warm function which can be used to keep your food fresh until you are ready to take it out and serve.
Furthermore, it offers the Delay Start functions. This function can come in quite handy when you want the microwave to start at a certain preset time.
Lastly, it features stainless steel body instead of powder coated metal. This adds durability as as well as elegance to it in our opinion.
All in all, if you need an advanced and a high powered option and if you are ready to pay a premium, then this is the best microwave oven for small apartment.
5. Toshiba EM925A5A-BS – 900 Watt – 0.9 CU FT – Family Sized Option
A staple small microwave oven for a small family. Offers decent set of features with a good amount of power.
Finally, if you are looking for a somewhat larger option, then we have perhaps the most staple microwave oven for home users.
This is a regular 900 Watt microwave oven with a decent 0.9 CU FT capacity. Hence this is a typical small oven that you would find at any random home.
It is simply functional. It has received excellent reviews from its customers, it has a fair price tag, and the most standard functions that you would expect from a microwave including 6 presets for common food items.
Other than that, it offers a beautiful stainless steel exterior, child lock, as well as a rare MUTE option with which you can use to mute the beeping sounds so as to not disturb anyone. In a small apartment, the mute function may be seen as a blessing if you are sharing.
As far as the technology is concerned, this is a regular oven. It offers nothing fancy except for a larger capacity compared to the rest of the ovens above and fairly decent power rating.
All in all, for a small family, this is the best microwave for small apartment in our opinion.
Here we looked at some of the best microwaves for small apartment from various price ranges and with a different set of features.
As mentioned a small microwave oven is something that has the size of less than 1.0 CU FT interior capacity. These also have a power rating of less than 1000 Watt.
They aren’t powerful, but for small meals and for a small family with a limited space, these can work just fine.