Home Major Appliances Microwave Ovens

List By: Courtney McCaffrey Lasted Updated:
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Compact microwave ovens are designed for small spaces. They’re less powerful than their larger counterparts, falling in 700–800 watt range. This can mean slightly longer cooking times, but in most models this is offset by features like presets for specific foods like popcorn or pizza, or settings for defrosting or reheating. Compact microwaves usually have limited color selections, but they are ideal for small apartments, dorms, campers, or as additional household microwaves in a home office or den.


1. Panasonic NN-SD372S

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The Panasonic NN-SD377S is an 800 watt, 0.8 cubic feet stainless steel microwave. At 19-by-11 inches it’s on the larger side for compact microwaves, but still small enough to fit in tight spaces. The display panel of the NN-SD377S contains a dial and few buttons. At first glance it appears that popcorn is the only preset. In actuality, there are a total of nine presets, but other than popcorn, they are all accessed by...
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2. Haier MWM0701TB

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This 17 inch wide, 700 watt microwave from Haier has several presets with multiple settings. The microwave is available in black or white and is truly compact, but the inside is a bit too small for larger plates. The control panel is a standard looking one, with the usual buttons for adding 30 seconds and defrost, plus eight food presets. There is also a memory button, and that’s where things get a little tricky....
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3. Sharp Half Pint

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The Sharp Half Pint is the ultimate in compactness. This tiny microwave oven will fit in the sleeper compartment of a heavy duty truck. It has a solid door so you can’t see your food inside while it’s cooking, and there are only two buttons on the front. The advantage is clearly its size. Inside it has a 10-inch turntable and can hold a normal sized dinner plate, but the overall size is only...
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4. Whirlpool WMC20005YB

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The Whirlpool WMC20005YB is a small microwave designed to fit in a corner. At 750 watts it’s more powerful than other microwaves of this size. This 0.5 cubic foot microwave has a large turntable that can hold a large dinner plate. The 750 watt power allows for shorter cooking times than most comparably sized microwaves. The window in the door is large and the controls are at the bottom rather than on the side....
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5. Sanyo EM-S2588

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This 800 watt Sanyo microwave is a small but powerful unit that has eight food presets and lets you program five more of your own. The included presets include the standard things: popcorn, pizza, soup, beverage, dinner plate, fresh vegetables and frozen vegetables. All the presets, including the five you can program, have options for serving size or weight. The microwave has a 30 second button that also operates the quick start feature. One...

How to Choose a Microwave

To buy the perfect microwave oven you'll want to know what to look out for. It's rather easy when you know the main features of a microwave because that helps you get the one that suits your needs. You may want one to cook food, reheat food or to bake with. So knowing which one does the job right will be important. Check out these tips on how to buy the right microwave.

Microwave Type & Size

There are a number of different types of microwave you want to look out for. All microwaves will come in different sizes and even sometimes custom sizes. Here are three types to look out for:


You may want countertop oven which is an oven that sits on the countertop and comes in different sizes such as small, medium and large (you may even get one with exact measurements that you need).


This microwave is usually bought when having a kitchen fitted and is for replacing a range hood. Where it also serves as ventilation for your range cooker.

Built-in microwaves

Designed to be built into your decor and usually bought when remodelling. They won't be suitable for anything other than being remodelled into your kitchen design. You can usually get them custom size or model your kitchen units around the size of the microwave.

Features & Power

The features that microwave ovens have are ever increasing as new technology is developed, however; here are some of the most important features to look out for when buying.

Power Rating

Most microwaves come in at around 850 watts to 1200 watts and sometimes less. More watts generally means more cooking power. More power will also use more energy to run, so bearing these two facts in mind you can base your choice of power around this.

Keys & Buttons

Some keys and buttons are more simple to use than others and some more advanced. If you like advanced usage then pick up a microwave that has advanced usage options. If you like it simple then keep it simple and choose one with easy to understand and use buttons.

Turntables & Trays

Most microwaves have turntables, but then some just have trays. Usually a microwave should keep the food moving for a better cook but then sometimes the tray option is better suited to what you want to cook.

Cooking Options - Convection, Grilling and More

Microwaves can be used to replace regular oven. There are microwaves that can do convection cooking, grilling and more. You need to check the features of the microwave to see if it does what you want it to. If you want it to grill, check the specs to see if it lays claim to be able to grill your food.

Cooking Time

Some microwaves aren't suited to cooking for long periods of time, so you'll need to check that it can cook the length of time you require it to. Some microwaves even have a slow cooking time option.


Some microwaves come with extras such as racks for placing items on. Decide if you wish to have these extras and if you do, find a microwave that provides them.


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