May 2

How to Measure Cubic Feet Of Microwave? | To Help You Get the Right Size for Your Needs.


Author: Colin Ma and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

While purchasing your microwave oven, it is imperative to know the size of the microwave oven so you can estimate the size of what you can put inside the oven.

If you know the size of the interior of your microwave oven, you can easily estimate if its the perfect size for your cooking purposes.

Our Recommended Microwave Oven

  • Large LED digital display
  • 900 Watts with 10 power settings
  • Child safety lock

This article will teach you the basics of how to measure cubic feet of a microwave so that you can buy it easily.

This is so that you don’t buy and discover that the size of the interior of the oven does not suit your purpose. The interior of microwave ovens is specified using cubic feet, which is calculated using the interior height, width, and depth.

To measure the cubic feet you need a measuring tape. Use a measuring tape (in inches) firstly measure from the highest to the lowest point of the microwave, secondly the inner width from one side to the other, and thirdly from the front to back. Once you have all the three distances multiply them all. Finally, divide that number by 1728 to get the Cubic FT measurements.

Sizes of Microwave Ovens

Microwave ovens have been classified into 4 different types or sizes, we have compact microwaves, midsize, full-size, and extra-large.

Compact Microwave Oven

Compact models of microwave oven are said to be lower than 1 cubic foot, it is smaller than other classes of oven sizes and has a really small interior, it’s good for very small microwave-safe bowls.

Midsize Microwave Oven

This is slightly bigger than the compact oven. It ranges from 1.1 cubic feet to 1.5. It is also called the medium-sized microwave oven and is pretty decent for baking.

Full-Size Microwave Oven

A full-sized microwave oven is about 1.6-2 cubic feet, they form some of the biggest sizes of toaster ovens although some brands produce slightly larger ovens. Any microwave oven larger than 2 cubic feet is considered extra-large.

How to Measure Cubic Feet Of Microwave

Sometimes, you might need to measure an oven, either for a replacement or to determine if it suits the purpose of your purchase.

Microwave oven interiors are mostly measured in cubic, but sometimes they’re also measured in feet. So how do you calculate and estimate to decide the size of its interior?

To measure the cubic feet of an oven, simply get a measuring tape (in inches) and make three measurements as so:

  1. Measure from the lowest point to the highest point of the oven chamber (Height). Make sure you are not measuring the external height but only the height of the oven chamber.
  2. Measure the inner width (Width) by extending the measuring tape from one side to the other.
  3. Finally, measure the interior space from back to front (Depth).
  4. Multiply all 3 figures to get your cubic feet.
  5. You then divide by 1,728 to find out the cubic feet of your microwave oven.

Most Common Cubic Feet for Microwave Ovens

Most microwave oven users prefer the full-size microwave oven. An estimated 60% of users will prefer ovens ranging from 1.1-1.9 cubic ft to other microwave ovens.

While some people will prefer microwave ovens that can easily fit onto the top of the counter, others prefer bigger ones due to the nature of their needs.

Bigger ovens that are over 2 cubic ft are also quite common for people who have a large number of people to cater to.

Smaller than 1.0 cubic ft ovens are generally reserved for those who have limited microwaving needs or for those who lack sufficient counter space in their kitchen.

Microwave Oven Classes and Their Sizes

Over time, 3 classes of microwave ovens have stood out, there is the built-in oven, over-the-range oven, and the countertop.

Let us review the average size found for each.


Countertop Microwave
A countertop microwave can be easily kept on the shelf.

These are classified as the easiest to manage of the microwave oven types, unlike the over-the-range and the built-in oven, it is quite easy to manage.

You can simply place it on a safe counter and plug it in without fuss. Most people prefer the countertop microwave oven because of its ease of use.

These have the most versatile range of sizes. For a typical home, you can find these ranging from 0.7 CU FT to 2.2 CU FT.

Over the Range Microwave

Over the range microwave

Over the Range (OTR) microwave ovens, as the name suggests, fit on top of a cooking range and act as an oven hood as well.

These ovens are typically not found in small sizes. Their typical Cubic FT measurement ranges from 1.4 to 2.0 CU FT. In other words, they have a medium to high interior capacity.

Built-in Microwave

How to Measure Cubic Feet of Microwave
Built-in microwaves require a professional for installation. Source: Forbes

The built-in oven has to be specially installed, usually done by a professional. It is usually mounted in a cabinet, on a wall, or in a purpose-built space in the home, a built-in microwave oven varies in size too.

They might be as small as 1 cubic or over 2 but the downside to this class of oven is that it takes almost as much stress to uninstall as it takes to install, it is usually detached by a professional, and you cannot place them on a counter like a countertop microwave oven.

Many times even certain countertop microwave ovens can double as built-in ovens. You usually have to invest in a trim kit in order to properly install built-in ovens.

How to Choose the Right Size of a Microwave Oven

To choose the perfect microwave oven in size, you must consider several things so as not to make the mistake of getting something that is either too small or too big

What You Will be Preparing:

To choose the perfect size, you have to consider the purpose for which you are purchasing if you are buying for family use, you most likely don’t need anything too large so anything from 1.1-1.5 CU FT might suit your needs better and not take up too much space.

If you getting an oven for an office to warm up sandwiches or cups of coffee, then a small option with an interior capacity of less than 1.0 CU FT would do just fine.

Do you plan to cook a whole chicken? then go for a larger option.

Personal Use

If you live alone, you might prefer the smaller tabletop microwave oven, they are easy to move

Business Use

If the oven is being purchased for a business, you might want to consider the ones that are above 2 cubic ft.

Bigger ovens are not just large in terms of size, they also have a high power rating. Therefore, they heat up and cook very fast as compared to normal options.

Of course, to get bigger ovens, you also need to consider where the oven will be placed for use.


In conclusion, here we looked at how to measure cubic feet of the microwave. This measurement tells you the interior capacity of the microwave oven.

It basically tells you which class the oven falls in i.e is it small, medium, large or extra-large.

This more or less also correlates with the power it has. Generally, the larger the interior capacity, the higher would be the power rating. This in turn means that the larger the microwave oven capacity, the faster it will heat and cook.


1. What size is a standard microwave?

Typically, the capacity ranges between 1.5 and 2.2 cubic feet. Widths range between approximately 21 and 24 inches. Height is typically between 13 and 14 inches. Closed-door depths typically range between 16 and 20 inches.

2. What size is a big microwave?

Around 35 inches.
Average Size and Dimensions of a Large Microwave. Typically, large countertop microwaves have an external microwave measurement of approximately 35 inches in height, 18-24 inches wide, and 18 inches deep.

3. How do I know what size over-the-range microwave to get?

For easy access to over-the-range ovens, allow at least 66 inches from the floor to the bottom of the cabinet. Additionally, you'll need at least 30 inches between the stove surface and the cabinet's bottom. The term capacity refers to the size of the inner cooking space.

4. Is there a standard size for over-the-range microwaves?

There is no standard size for over-the-range microwaves. However, they typically range in size from 18 to 30 inches wide.

5. How do you find the cubic feet of a microwave?

Cubic feet are computed by multiplying the microwave's interior length, width, and height in inches by 1,728 and dividing by that number. To create a smooth built-in appearance, you may pair your countertop microwave with a trim kit.

Our Recommended Microwave Oven

  • Large LED digital display
  • 900 Watts with 10 power settings
  • Child safety lock

About the author

Colin Ma

An avid home chef, Colin is equally passionate about delicious meals as well as the latest cooking appliances. He's also a keen writer about cooking-related topics.


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