Microwaves are modern-day wonders that allow consumers to thaw, warm-up or cook foods faster than just about any other method of cooking available. And among microwave ovens, the best ones available are the compact models. That’s because they have a small footprint but can perform some pretty heavy work. All that the consumer has to do is look for the best compact microwave available and they’re ready to save themselves a whole lot of time and trouble in the kitchen. Let’s take a quick look at some of the models that we think consumers are really going to appreciate having in their home.

List of the Best Compact Microwaves

Best Overall: Panasonic Microwave Oven NN-SN936B

Panasonic is a company that’s known for making some of the best electronics available. This company manufacturer everything from stereos to DVD players, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that they also make the best compact microwaves currently available. Models that have a small footprint, are equipped with a wide range of features and are extremely reliable.

And this model is the best model that they currently produce. It’s a microwave that puts an assortment of useful tools into the consumer’s hands and allows them to spend more time doing what they want to do and less time in the kitchen.

This model only takes up approximately 19.44×23.88×14-inches of space, but it has a large 1.2 cubic foot capacity and a 13.4-inch turntable. This is large enough for consumers to not only heat Pop-Tarts and pizza rolls but also allows the consumer to cook an assortment of breakfast and dinner foods as well.

It’s capable of delivering a larger interior space because it used smaller and more energy-efficient control units that don’t take up all of the interior space the way that other control units in other compact microwaves tend to do. All of this equates to a larger interior space and a smaller amount of counter space being used.

Another great feature found on this particular microwave is its array of cooking options. This microwave has fourteen different auto-cook options that can be used to cook all different types of food. There’s a popcorn button, a 1-14 level auto cook feature, sensor reheat, turbo defrost, and even a keep warm feature.

It also has an impressive 1,250-watts of cooking power, which allows foods to be defrosted, thawed or heated extremely quickly. It might be a small microwave, but it has all of the modern features that the consumer could want. It truly is a modern microwave that gets the job done well.

What we liked about it
  • Has 14-different cooking options
  • Has 1,250-watts of power.
  • Has a small footprint but a large interior.

Best Value: Toshiba EMP925A5A-SS Microwave Oven

Toshiba is a company that many people trust and with good reason. They do a good job of making great electronics and this compact microwave isn’t an exception to that rule. This model has all of the features that most people need, doesn’t take up a whole lot of space, but isn’t too small to be unusable.

It also has the features that people need their microwave to have so they can heat, defrost and warm up their favorite foods on the fly. That’s why we’ve decided to give a proper review of this product, so everyone can find out just how great these microwaves are and how useful they are to have one of them in the kitchen.

This microwave only takes up 19.2×15.9×11.5-inches of counter space but has an internal space of 12.36×13.66×8.7-inches of space. Although its interior space isn’t very large, it’s large enough for homes that only have one or two people living in it. This product also has 900-watts of power and can be set to one of 10 different power levels.

It features a turntable that’s 10.6-inches in diameter, and it has a total capacity of 0.9 cubic feet. It also features an LED interior light inside of it that’s a big improvement over the yellow incandescent bulbs found in older microwave models.

What are some of the other features that can be found in this microwave? Well, we’re glad you asked because this model does have a few remarkable features to talk about. For example, it has six different preset menus that allow the consumer to cook popcorn, pizza, potatoes, or cook other types of frozen foods.

It also has a one-touch start that gives the consumer quick access to starting it and an easy-defrost feature as well. And since it has 10 cooking power levels, no food is out of the reach of the consumer. These features, along with these models’ price tag, makes it the best value of any compact microwave available.

What we liked about it
  • Takes up very little counter space.
  • Has an interior light.
  • Easy-to-use control panel.

Best Affordable: Comfee EM720CPL-PMB Countertop 700-Watt Microwave

Comfee might not be a company that a whole lot of people are familiar with but it’s a company that more people should begin to familiarize themselves with. That’s because they not only make one of the more useful compact microwaves but also one of the most affordable ones.

For half the price of many of the leading compact microwave models, consumers can own a model that does a decent job of cooking food. Sure, it might not be as powerful as some of these models, but not everyone needs a 1,200-watt microwave for making popcorn, heating up soup or making toaster pastries. Let’s take a closer look at some of this model’s features, shall we?

Let’s start off with the basics. This model has an approximate internal size of 12x12x8.11-inches, but only takes up approximately 17.3x13x10.2-inches of counter space. This gives it a 0.7 cubic foot capacity that’s more than sufficient for single individuals or households with only one or two people.

Inside this small but effective microwave is a 10-inch glass turntable that’s easy to clean and rotates the food as it cooks. The inside of this microwave is also pretty easy to clean and its interior surfaces don’t stain the way some budget microwaves interior surfaces do.

What’s really impressive about this microwave, however, is its features. This model has an easy-to-use LED digital control panel that’s easy for just about anyone to use. This model features one-touch cooking for common foods such as popcorn, potatoes, pizza, frozen vegetables, dinner plates or beverages.

It also has a time cook feature, time defrost feature, and weight defrost feature. Other features found on this model include two defrost settings, an energy-saving ECO-mode, a bright LED interior light, and a child-safety lock. It’s a budget microwave for anyone looking for a quality compact microwave for their kitchen but doesn’t want to spend a fortune to get it.

What we liked about it
  • Is a budget-friendly microwave.
  • Doesn’t take up a lot of counter space.

A Guide To Compact Microwaves

Even though compact microwaves were initially viewed with some suspicion when they were first introduced to the public, they have since become one of the most popular appliances in the kitchen. And why wouldn’t they be? They can do just about anything from defrosting the chicken breast you forget to take out of your refrigerator last night to helping you make a bag of hot microwave popcorn. That makes them one of the most versatile appliances in the entire house.

This product’s versatility doesn’t mean that the consumer can just run out and buy the first model they see, however? No, consumers need to make the purchase of a compact microwave just as seriously as if they were buying a new color television or refrigerator. That’s why we’ve decided to write this guide. In its various sections, consumers will learn everything they need to know to buy the best compact microwave available.

The Size Of The Microwave

The first consideration anyone needs to think about when purchasing one of these microwaves is its size. That makes sense considering this article is one dedicated to buying a great compact microwave oven. All compact microwaves, or at least the vast majority of them, are countertop microwave ovens. These models usually have an external size of anywhere from 10×18-inches to 14-inches square. That leaves them with an internal capacity of anywhere from 0.6 cubic feet to 2 cubic feet. These models also usually have a wattage level of anywhere from 600 to 1,200-watts.

Important Features To Consider

The next thing the consumer is going to want to consider is the features that can be found on the microwave. Some models are pretty basic and other models seem like they have all the features, so the consumer is really going to have to think about what they need. Most of the time, the more features a microwave has the more it costs, so it does behoove the consumer to think about what they need thoroughly. To help consumers think about some of the features they may need, we’ve listed some of the more common ones below.

Programmable Cooking

This is the most basic of features and allows the consumer to choose the power and the timing for what they’re cooking. Power levels usually range from 1 to 10, but there are variations out there.

Preprogrammed Cooking

These are the buttons that the consumer hits to cook a certain food item. Common preprogrammed buttons include popcorn, pizza, beverages, etc.

Sensor Cooking

If the consumer is tired of checking on their food every 5-seconds while they’re cooking, sensor cooking will solve that problem. It determines cooking time by measuring moisture levels, so the food cooks the right amount of time.

The Microwave’s Turntable

A turntable is another feature that’s important. Fortunately, most compact microwaves are installed with them. A turntable prevents the consumer from having to turn the table every few minutes. This results in more even cooking.

Keeping Your Compact Microwave Clean

Now that we’ve covered the basics of buying the best compact microwave oven, we would like to take a few moments and talk about keeping the microwave clean. Below are some tips that consumers should keep in mind that will help them keep their microwave clean and in good running condition for many years to come.

Cleaning The Inside Of The Microwave

The first step to a clean microwave is cleaning the inside of it, and that’s pretty easy to do. All the consumer has to do is place several tablespoons of white vinegar, lime juice or lemon juice into a cup of water. Place this cup of water into the microwave and microwave it for 2-minutes, or until the window begins to steam. Leave the cup in the microwave to cool for another 5-minutes before removing it and using a soft, damp sponge to wipe out the inside surfaces of the microwave.

Cleaning Microwave Doors

The next step to a clean compact microwave is to clean its door. This involves taking a sponge and wetting it with a solution of water and a little bit of baking soda. Scrub the door window and the gaskets thoroughly, and then use another clean sponge to rinse off the mixture. If the microwave door window is extremely greasy, the consumer might have to use a mixture of 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water to clean it.

Clean The Microwave’s Exterior

Cleaning the exterior of the microwave is probably the easiest part of the process. All the consumer needs to do is to use a good all-purpose kitchen cleaner, a soft sponge and a dry cloth. Spray a little bit of solution into the sponge and then wipe the microwave’s exterior thoroughly. Never spray a cleaning solution or water directly on the microwave’s surface because it can get into the microwave’s vents and destroy it. Once the exterior has been thoroughly cleaned, take a dry cloth and remove any remaining moisture. A well cleaned and maintained microwave should last approximately 10-years, particularly if it was a quality brand, to begin with.