Small and compact microwaves can also perform well

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BEST OVERALL
LG NeoChef 0.9 Cu. Ft. 1000W Countertop Microwave in Stainless Steel

LG’s NeoChef 0.9 small countertop microwave is our favorite of all the compact appliances. It has the best capacity-to-footprint ratio and will give you the most amount of cooking space without cluttering your kitchen worktop.

This microwave has a distinct appearance that separates it from traditional appliances with a hidden (though quite complex) control panel. The LG NeoChef comes equipped with innovative technology for an excellent cooking experience.

BEST VALUE
Sale 9%
Toshiba EM925A5A-SS Microwave Oven with Sound On/Off ECO Mode and LED Lighting, 0.9 Cu Ft/900W,...

The Toshiba 0.9 small countertop microwave is the epitome of the phrase ‘value for money. This beautiful appliance finds the perfect balance between affordability and functionality..’

Despite this microwave’s low price point and small stature, it’s capable of big things with features that make cooking, defrosting, and reheating super simple. Though this Toshiba microwave has a couple of minor build-quality issues, it shows quality appliances are available to folks on tight budgets.

If you’re in the market for a new microwave but don’t have the kitchen space for a large capacity appliance (or maybe live on your own or only want one for occasional use), a compact microwave could be just the ticket. 

Small microwaves rarely exceed 1.0 cu.ft of cooking space (though we have found one for which features in this article), never have more than 1000 Watts of power, and often have fewer features and functions than their more substantial counterparts. However, what you lose in size, power, and versatility, you gain in kitchen space and financial savings.

Today we’re going to look at the most popular and highly rated compact microwaves produced by some of the industry’s finest brands. We base our opinions on customer ratings, affordability, size, features, versatility, functionality, and durability.

1. LG NeoChef LMC0975ST Countertop Microwave

Best Small Microwave
LG NeoChef 0.9 Cu. Ft. 1000W Countertop Microwave in Stainless Steel
  • Brand New in box. The product ships with all relevant accessories

Specifications

  • Type: Countertop
  • Dimensions: 18.5 x 14.5 x 11 inches
  • Appliance Weight: 20.9lbs
  • Capacity: 0.9 cu.ft
  • Turntable: Yes
  • Available Colors: Stainless Steel
  • Wattage: 900 Watts

Things We love:

  • Small Footprint, Good Capacity
  • Distinct Appearance
  • Innovative Technology
  • Easy to Clean
  • Defrost Preset

What’s Not to Like?

  • Confusing Control Panel
  • Loud Notification Chime
  • Noisy

Summary

The unique-looking LG NeoChef 0.9 countertop microwave has the largest capacity of our favorite small appliances. Surprisingly, it has one of the smallest footprints, making it ideal for folks with smaller kitchens but want as much cooking space as possible. With the ‘Smart Inverter’ and sensor cooking technology, this small microwave cooks food comparable to larger, more powerful appliances.

The LG NeoChef 0.9 small countertop microwave is not only our favorite compact appliance; it’s one of the best current LG microwaves, period. You can find more details in that review.

2. Toshiba EM925A5A-SS Countertop Microwave

Best Value Compact Microwave
Sale 9%
Toshiba EM925A5A-SS Microwave Oven with Sound On/Off ECO Mode and LED Lighting, 0.9 Cu Ft/900W,...
  • Stylish Stainless Steel with timeless design, external Dimension (wdh): 19. 215. 911. 5 inches, internal Dimension (wdh): 12. 3613. 668. 7 inches
  • Pre-programmed menu for 6 popular foods like popcorn, pizza, potato and more. Rated Voltage is 120V- 60Hz
  • One touch start - quick access to start the microwave from 1 to 6 minutes cooking at full power.Rated Input Power(Microwave):1350W

Specifications

  • Type: Countertop
  • Dimensions: 15.91 x 19.15 x 11.48 inches
  • Appliance Weight: 27.3lbs
  • Capacity: 0.9 cu.ft
  • Turntable: Yes
  • Available Colors: Stainless Steel / Black Stainless Steel (EM925A5A-BS)
  • Wattage: 900 Watts

Things We love:

  • Excellent Value for Money
  • Eco Friendly
  • Handy Preset Menu
  • Superb Appearance
  • ‘Easy Defrost’

What’s Not to Like?

  • Problems with Interior Light
  • Door Issues
  • Stainless steel exterior limited to the front

Summary: 

Few microwaves have the build-quality, stylish appearance, versatility as does the Toshiba EM925A5A-SS. This appliance is crammed full of features from the contemporary stainless steel finish to the presets and energy-saving mode despite its reasonable price point. We named this microwave the best value Toshiba appliance, and now it’s crowned ‘Best Value Compact Microwave’.

Though the Toshiba EM925A5A isn’t the cheapest microwave to feature in our list, we feel it has the most ‘bang for your buck’. Like most modern Toshiba microwaves, the EM925A5A-SS looks as good as it performs and is one of the best selling and highly rated microwaves on Amazon.

3. Black + Decker EM720CB7 Countertop Microwave

Sale 7%
BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7 Digital Microwave Oven with Turntable Push-Button Door,Child Safety Lock,700W,...
  • Pre-programmed buttons for popcorn, potato, pizza, frozen vegetable, beverage and dinner plate
  • 700 Watts with 10 power settings, clock and kitchen timer, 30 Seconds Express Cooking
  • Large LED digital display, easy-to-read control panel, child safety lock, interior light, removable 10” glass turntable

Specifications

  • Type: Countertop
  • Dimensions: 19.5 x 15.9 x 12.5 inches
  • Appliance Weight: 23.9lbs
  • Capacity: 0.7 cu.ft
  • Turntable: Yes
  • Available Colors: Stainless Steel
  • Wattage: 700 Watts

Things To Love:

  • Pre-Programmed Settings: This compact Black + Decker microwave has six one-touch presets for ease of use. They are; popcorn, potato, pizza, frozen vegetable, beverage, and dinner plate.
  • Runs Quietly: Microwaves often operate at severe volume; this one runs nice and quietly, probably due to the low power output.
  • Easy to Use: The control panel is so well laid out and easy to use that this appliance doesn’t even come with instructions. Just plug and play.
  • Add 30 Seconds: Quickly add thirty seconds to your cooking time with a single push of a button.
  • Timeless Appearance: If you’re into retro appliances, this microwave looks similar to the old-school devices of the 80s, which is no bad thing.

What’s Not To Like?

  • Poor Size-to-Footprint Ratio: Despite having the smallest internal capacity of all the appliances featured in this article, this Black + Decker microwave has the second largest footprint.
  • Underpowered: With only 700 Watts of power, food can take a little while to get to its optimal temperature, which is expected, of course, but this particular appliance is slower than most.

Final Remarks:

While Black + Decker didn’t quite get the design right in terms of footprint and power output, the Black + Decker EM720CB7 is still a stylish little microwave with a lot to offer. This appliance will perform all your essential tasks to a decent standard for a reasonable price point, though you will require some patience as it’s relatively slow.

4. Farberware Classic FMO07AHTBKJ Countertop Microwave

Sale 16%
Farberware Classic FMO07AHTBKJ 0.7 Cu. Ft. 700-Watt Microwave Oven with LED Lighting, Brushed...
  • Quick & easy: you can prepare meals and snacks in a snap with this microwave that packs 700 Watts of output power
  • Get a clear view: The LED display with kitchen timer and clock lets you keep track of time while the easy-view interior LED lighting lets you keep an eye on cooking
  • Convenient: conveniences such as defrost by weight or by time settings let you get dinner on the Table even when you forget to pre-prep your food

Specifications

  • Type: Countertop
  • Dimensions: 12.99 x 17.3 x 10.14 inches
  • Appliance Weight: 23.9lbs
  • Capacity: 0.7 cu.ft
  • Turntable: Yes
  • Available Colors: Stainless Steel
  • Wattage: 700 Watts

 Things To Love:

  • Reasonable Price Point: This microwave is one of the most affordable appliances we’ve reviewed in this list, making it an excellent choice for folks on a tight budget.
  • Defrost By Weight or Time: Select your preferred defrosting option to give you the best results.
  • ‘10 Power Levels’: Faberware utilizes the meager 700 Watt power output with ten power levels and what they call ‘multi-stage cooking’ to squeeze the most out of this little unit.
  • Snack Settings: Prepare your favorite snacks with these six presets. They include; popcorn, dinner plate, pizza, frozen vegetable, potato, and beverage.
  • Large LED: This microwave’s display is big, crisp, and easy to read.
  • Child-Safety Lock: Hot food can be especially dangerous to small children. Keep them safe with this handy feature.

What’s Not To Like?

  • Annoying Notification Beeps: Forget trying to make a sneaky midnight snack with the Faberware 0.7 microwave. The five notification beeps are super loud, they don’t stop when you open the door, and there’s no option to switch them off.
  • Slides Around: Thanks to a stiff door and a low unit weight, this microwave will move around when you’re opening and closing the door unless you place a rubber mat underneath it.

Final Remarks:

The Farberware Classic 0.7 (FMO07AHTBKJ) countertop microwave is fairly unremarkable. It has a standard appearance, relatively few features, and a low power output that’s not suitable for cooking large volumes of food. However, there aren’t many appliances on the market that can match its low price point.

5. Panasonic NN-SB458S Compact Microwave

Panasonic NN-SB458S Compact Microwave Oven, 0.9 cft, Black
  • Power + Innovation 900 Watts of High Power for Fast, Even Cooking and Delicious Results
  • Microwave Controls 7 Preset Auto Cook Menu Items, 10. 6 Inches Turntable; Delay Start and Timer; More/Less Control; Child Safety Lock; Quick 30sec and Popcorn Button with 3 Cooking Levels
  • Small Countertop Footprint Smart, Compact Design Devotes Less Space to Electronics and Far More Interior Capacity

Specifications

  • Type: Countertop
  • Dimensions: 19.1 x 14.8 x 11.5 inches
  • Appliance Weight: 30.4lbs
  • Capacity: 0.9 cu.ft
  • Turntable: Yes
  • Available Colors: Black / Black Stainless Steel
  • Wattage: 900 Watts

 Things To Love:

  • Good Power-to-Size Ratio: For a small microwave, the 900 Watt power output is good. This Panasonic appliance does a decent job of cooking, defrosting, and reheating.
  • ‘Keep Warm’ Feature: This microwave will keep your food warm until you’re ready to eat with a handy ‘keep-warm’ function.
  • Auto Defrost & Reheat: Defrost or reheat your food with auto settings that calculate the perfect power levels and cooking time, based on food’s weight or serving size.
  • Perfect Popcorn: Prepare this staple microwaveable snack with three levels of power, depending on the size of the bag you want to cook.
  • Seven Auto-Cook Options: Quickly prepare all your favorite foods with these preset options. They include; beverages, pizza, frozen entrees, dinner plates, fresh vegetables, frozen vegetables, and potatoes.

What’s Not To Like?

  • Bland Appearance: Despite having a mid-range price point for a small microwave, the Panasonic NN-SB458S has a bland, unappealing appearance.
  • Unresponsive Control Panel: While the control panel is clearly labeled and neatly laid out, it’s a little unresponsive to the touch, which proves frustrating among consumers.
  • Blinding LED: The LED on this microwave is ludicrously bright, which is even worse at night. 

Final Remarks:

The Panasonic 0.9 (NN-SB458S) compact microwave is very ‘middle of the road’. It has all the standard features you’d come to expect from a mid-range price point (for appliances of this size), but they work well, and its overall performance is good despite having an underwhelming appearance.

6. GE JES1145SHSS Countertop Microwave

GE JES1145SHSS

Specifications

  • Type: Countertop
  • Dimensions: 20.3 x 12 x 15.6 inches
  • Appliance Weight: 30lbs
  • Capacity: 1.1 cu.ft
  • Turntable: Yes
  • Available Colors: Stainless Steel / Black Stainless Steel(JES1145DMBB) /
  • White (JES1145DLWW)
  • Wattage: 950 Watts

Things We love:

  • Big & Powerful
  • Weight & Time Defrost
  • Runs Quietly
  • Control Lockout

What’s Not to Like?

  • Unappealing to Look At
  • Very Few Features
  • Stiff Door Button

Summary:

The GE 1.1 countertop microwave is the largest and most powerful of all the compact appliances in this article. Though what it has in terms of performance, it lacks in versatility and appearance as this microwave has very few features and a bland aesthetic. GE put all their focus on power and capacity in their small JES1145SHSS countertop microwave. It cooks, defrosts, and reheats efficiently and can hold a good amount of food for a compact appliance but is severely lacking in features. You can read more about this microwave in our detailed review of this and other GE appliances.

7. Amazon Basics 0.7 Countertop Microwave

Amazon Basics Microwave, Small, 0.7 Cu. Ft, 700W, Works with Alexa
  • Now it’s easier to defrost vegetables, make popcorn, cook potatoes, and reheat rice. With an Echo device (not included), quick-cook voice presets and a simplified keypad let you just ask Alexa to start microwaving.
  • Compact size saves counter space, plus 10 power levels, a kitchen timer, a child lock, and a turntable.
  • Alexa is always getting smarter and adding new presets.

Specifications

  • Type: Countertop
  • Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.1 x 14.1 inches
  • Appliance Weight: 21.9lbs
  • Capacity: 0.7 cu.ft
  • Turntable: Yes
  • Available Colors: Black 
  • Wattage: 700 Watts

Things We love:

  • Super Affordable
  • Tiny Footprint
  • Voice Activated
  • Popcorn Preset
  • Child-Safety Lock

What’s Not to Like?

  • Under-powered

Summary:

Amazon Basics are cheap and cheerful products that have one primary function in mind and are devoid of bells and whistles to keep the price down. This handy little microwave has not only the smallest footprint of all the appliances we’ve looked at today but the smallest price point too.

Despite the super low price point of the Amazon Basic compact microwave, this little machine is ‘Echo Dot’ compatible, so it’s voice-activated (which you can read about in our full review of best countertop microwaves), which is very popular among consumers these days. Yes, it’s a bit underpowered with only a 700 Watt power output, but it’ll get the job done (eventually) without breaking the bank.

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