How to Choose a Microwave Oven

There is a plate of bananas, a pot of flowers and a flat plate on the kitchen table

Small microwaves are typically less than 18 inches wide, 12 inches deep, and 10 inches tall on the exterior. They are as compact as four-slice toaster ovens. Because of their relatively small capacity, these microwaves cannot accommodate a full-size chicken or a 13-inch pizza. But with a capacity ranging between 0.5 and 1.0 cubic feet, its interior is spacious enough to fit most dinner plates.

For those whose countertops are a little tight on space, small microwave ovens can be a good option. While they are not as fast as their larger counterparts, they come with most of the same great features, offering you an efficient way to heat up your food.

Small microwaves is designed to occupy minimal space on the counter. So they can also be tucked away in a cabinet or drawer if needed, thus allowing for easier storage and portability.

How to Choose a Small Microwave Oven?

The first important step to choosing the perfect unit is to figure out what type of microwave best suits your style and needs. Typically, there are three types of microwave ovens available, including solo, grill, and convection. Whatever you choose, your oven should reheat, defrost, and heat up with ease. It also should cook fast and evenly without heating up the entire kitchen.

Additional things to take into account include the unit’s size, power rating and feature set. These are important factors that will hugely affect how much food you can prepare at any given time, how long it takes to cook. And how easy it is to use the microwave.

1.Types of Microwaves

  • Solo Microwave

Solo microwaves are formulated for only heating, defrosting, and reheating needs. They aren’t good for grilling or baking tasks. Compared to their counterparts, they are generally cheaper with less cooking functions. Solo microwave prices range between $50 to $200, depending on their feature set.

  • Grill Microwave

We recommend grill microwaves for those who want to do more than just reheat leftovers but find the extra functions (baking, toasting, or roasting) redundant. Besides all the basic cooking needs, these models are also equipped with a grill function. So they usually come in handy for grilling meat/fish and barbecuing veggies. Grill microwaves can cost anywhere between $85 and $600, depending on their feature set.

  • Convection Microwave

Convection microwaves combine all the functions of a microwave and a convection oven. They can cook almost everything in a variety of ways, from grilling to baking and roasting.

While a solo or grill microwave allows you to heat up and cook food quickly through radiation, it cannot achieve the baking, browning or crisping that a convection microwave oven can achieve.

If you want your food to be cooked quickly and also achieve that crisp or browned exterior, a convection oven could be a great option.

Compared with regular microwave ovens, these models cook faster and much more evenly. They’re also more expensive, with prices starting at around $300. While most users are quite positive about the baking performance of convection microwave ovens, these powerful devices do have some limitations. 

For instance, convection microwaves are only available in medium to large-size versions. So if you’re limited on space, this may not be a good choice for you. Though they’re larger, they usually can’t make large batches of baked goods for small gatherings. Since the rotation of the glass tray inside the chamber will limit the size of the baking tray.


The power rating of a microwave usually determines how quickly and efficiently it cooks food. Generally, ovens with a higher wattage will heat up faster with less energy consumption than the ones with lower ratings. Small microwaves often have between 550 and 700 watts of cooking power. Compared with their larger counterparts, small microwaves are less powerful, so they usually take about 25-30% longer to heat food.

3.Features and Functions

Ideally, you should find a unit which includes a timed cook function, Add 30 seconds button, preset cooking cycles (from 1 to 6 minutes), and set of pre-programmed cooking modes. These are convenient features that allow you to quickly prepare food without having to babysit or constantly guess the cooking time for the perfect results.

Although microwave-related injuries are very rare, it doesn’t mean the product is risk-free, especially for your kids. For you and your family’s safety, we recommend you find units with a child lock function. These models come with the advantage of automatically locking the keypad either when the oven is cooking or shut off. So only you are controlling the functions.

Models with automatic sensors are growing in popularity, and for good reason. They help save you from the hassle of over-cooked food by automatically turning off the oven as soon as the food is cooked through.

COMFEE' EM720CPL-PMB – Best Small Microwave for RVs

Whether you’re spending just a few days or an entire season in your RV, this microwave is durable enough to withstand RV conditions, giving you years of traveling enjoyment. You can explore, adventure, and really experience the joys of traveling while still being able to prepare outstanding meals right in your RV.

As a 700-watt microwave, the oven may take a bit more time to warm up the food than models with a higher wattage. But overall, it can efficiently defrost vegetables, make popcorn, cook potatoes, and reheat rice without taking up too much counter space.

black comfee countertop microwave oven

At 0.7 cubic feet of capacity, the oven can comfortably handle single servings, a popcorn bag size of less than 3 oz, or a half-size pan in either direction.

Compared with its small-size counterparts, the COMFEE’ EM720PL-PMB is more energy efficient thanks to the Energy-saving Eco Mode😎. When the Eco mode is activated, the LED display will go off to reduce 50% standby power, thus helping to decrease your electric bill (every little helps!).

The COMFEE’ EM720PL-PMB is the only model in our list that features a mute button. We believe that anyone who gets annoyed with the constant beeping sounds at the end of every cooking cycle may find this function helpful.

Other notable features include the Child Safety Lock, One Touch Express cooking function with 1-6 minutes, Add 30 seconds botton, and two defrost settings (by weight or by time).

A downside to this microwave is the vent fan which doesn’t do its job as well as it could. Unfortunately this means that moisture can collect on the internal walls and dishes of the microwave.

So you’d need to wipe it down with each use or it’s hard to see through the door window to check on the food’s cooking process. This can also cause food smells to remain for longer.

pros and cons of using a microwave oven


The COMFEE’ EM720PL-PMB is one of the cheapest microwaves coming with almost all the features that you can find in a more expensive model. Besides being a great addition to your camper, fifth-wheel, or motorhome, it should be suitable for use in a tiny house, cramped apartment, or other recreational living space.


Small microwave ovens are much appreciated in tight spaces like a dorm, single apartment, or RV.  They work fine but usually have a smaller capacity and deliver less power than the ones with a larger footprint. So, if you are planning on hosting a large family gathering, it would probably be better to get a microwave with a capacity of at least 2.0 cubic feet.

Although the right choice will highly depend on your need and budget, we hope this post could make the choosing process much easier.

Article reposted with permission from, author: Luna Regina.
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