The Best Mini Microwaves for Small Spaces and Solo Cooks

Living in a compact apartment or dorm? Have limited counter real estate in your office kitchenette? Want a secondary microwave for a rec room or RV? A mini microwave could be the perfect solution for your small space cooking needs.

Mini microwaves are designed explicitly for cramped kitchens, dorms, or anywhere space is at a premium but you still need that microwave convenience. This guide will cover the benefits of mini microwaves, top-rated compact models, size and power considerations, use and care tips, helpful accessories, and common questions to guide you in finding the ideal mini microwave for your snug surroundings.

Why Go Mini With Your Microwave?

Here are the prime advantages of downsizing to a mini microwave:

  • Small footprint – Takes up far less precious counter or cabinet space. Great for tight spots.
  • Lightweight portability – Easy to move and set up as needed in dorms or offices.
  • Budget-friendly – Compact mini models offer big affordability, perfect for first apartments.
  • Sized for singles – Accommodates solo portions just fine for dwellers of tiny homes.
  • Simple functionality – Mini microwaves forego fancy features for basic operation suitable for basic needs.

For boiling water, reheating leftovers, and unthawing single servings, a mini microwave checks all the boxes.

Based on stellar reviews and ratings, these mini microwaves deliver solid performance and value in a small package:

1. Black+Decker 0.7 Cu. Ft. 700W Microwave

  • Dimensions: 17.3 x 14.1 x 10.2 inches
  • Capacity: 0.7 cu ft
  • Power: 700W
  • Controls: Manual knob
  • Features: 10 power levels, kitchen timer, child safety lock

This best-selling mini microwave offers a trim footprint and simple dial controls in a snazzy black stainless housing. Budget-friendly and kitchen-ready.

2. Toshiba ML2-EM25PA(BS) 1100W Microwave

  • Dimensions: 21.2 x 17 x 12.6 inches
  • Capacity: 0.9 cu ft
  • Power: 1100 W
  • Controls: Numeric keypad
  • Features: Interior light, mute button, digital display

For those needing a bit more capacity and power, this 0.9 cu ft Toshiba model delivers 1100W functionality in a compact form. The sleek black stainless housing is a modern touch.

3. Comfee 0.7 cu. Ft. Retro Style Microwave

  • Dimensions: 14 x 17.3 x 10.6 inches
  • Capacity: 0.7 cu ft
  • Power: 700W
  • Controls: Rotary knob
  • Features: 6 auto cook menus, kitchen timer, vintage styling

Featuring cute retro styling and colors, this 0.7 cu ft microwave with auto settings adds a fun flair while still fitting nicely in RV kitchens, breakrooms, and studios.

4. Commercial Chef 0.9 cu. ft. Microwave

  • Dimensions: 20 x 11.5 x 12.75 inches
  • Capacity: 0.9 cu ft
  • Power: 1000W
  • Controls: Push buttons
  • Features: 10 power levels, kitchen timer, LED interior light

This commercial-style mini model provides a bit more power with 1000W to quickly heat single servings. The compact 0.9 cu ft capacity works great for office and dorm use.

5. Magic Chef 0.7 cu. Ft. Stainless Steel Microwave

  • Dimensions: 17.3 x 13.5 x 10.2 inches
  • Capacity: 0.7 cu ft
  • Power: 700W
  • Controls: Push buttons
  • Features: Kitchen timer, child safety lock, LED interior lighting

With its brushed stainless housing and digital display, this Magic Chef mini microwave offers simple operation and decent capacity for the price. Reliable brand.

How to Choose the Right Mini Microwave

When evaluating mini microwaves, keep these factors in mind:

  • Compact dimensions – Measure your space and ensure it fits. Mini microwaves are typically under 20 inches wide.
  • 0.7 – 0.9 cu ft capacity – Enough for small portions and single servings.
  • 700-1100W power – Look for higher wattage if available for acceptable cook times. Many minis are 700W.
  • Manual dials or push buttons – Simplified controls without complex programming.
  • Affordable pricing – Expect compact minis to be priced under $100. Great value!
  • Solid brand reputation – Stick with models from trusted brands that offer good warranties.

For dorm life or studio living, a basic 0.7 cu ft 700W mini microwave hits all the right notes!

Use and Care Advice for Mini Microwaves

Follow these tips to use your pint-sized microwave successfully:

  • Since capacities are smaller, reduce any recipe quantities.
  • Check cook times and reduce as needed based on lower wattages.
  • Opt for microwave-safe dishes sized to fit inside – an 8-10 inch dinner plate is perfect.
  • Popcorn and oven-safe mugs for soups or oatmeal are microwave-friendly.
  • Wipe the interior after each use to prevent splatter buildup.
  • Read your owner’s manual thoroughly for any brand-specific guidance.
  • Take care not to overload – space out items to allow proper airflow.

With common sense precautions, a mini microwave should serve all your heating and cooking needs!

The Pros and Cons of Mini Microwaves

Pros:

  • Compact footprint is perfect for small kitchens
  • Convenient for quickly reheating single portions
  • Affordably priced, great for first apartments or office spaces
  • Simple turn-dial or push button interfaces
  • Lightweight and portable for dorm rooms or campers

Cons:

  • Low capacity prevents large batch cooking
  • 700-800W models have slower cook times
  • Restricted interior space limits dish sizes
  • Less bells and whistles by intentional design
  • Generally too small for families

For singles and couples with limited counter space, mini microwaves present the ideal compromise between size and functionality. But larger households may find standard microwaves better accommodate their needs.

Shopping Tips for Finding the Best Mini Microwave

Follow these shopping tips to find the perfect mini microwave:

  • Carefully measure counter, shelf, or cabinet cut-out dimensions for your available space.
  • Look for compact models in the 0.7 to 0.9 cu ft capacity range. This size works for 1-2 portions.
  • Expect wattages around 700-800W for small units. 1000W+ is less common but provides faster cooking.
  • Read mini microwave reviews on retail sites for feedback on different models. Aim for 4+ star ratings.
  • Inspect display models in stores. Test the buttons and door for durability and ease of use.
  • Set a budget but know you get what you pay for in terms of power and performance.
  • Consider certified refurbished microwaves for significant savings on reliable brands.

Microwave Sizing and Measurement Guide

Microwave capacity is measured in cubic feet, referring to the interior oven space. For mini microwaves:

  • 0.7 cu ft = approx. 10 x 11 inch turntable size
  • 0.9 cu ft = approx. 12 x 12 inch turntable size

Always allow room for airflow around containers. For reference, a mini microwave can hold:

  • 1 to 2 mugs or small bowls
  • 1 dinner plate or frozen entree
  • 1-2 small oven-safe ramekins
  • 1-2 baked potatoes wrapped in paper towels

So think single-serving sizes, and you’ll make the most of mini capacities!

Must-Have Mini Microwave Accessories

Equip your small microwave with these handy accessories:

  • Mini microwave cookbook – tailor recipes for compact cooking
  • Microwave egg poacher – cook eggs in the shell
  • Microwave rice cooker – makes perfect portions of rice
  • Mini cake pan – for mug cakes and single brownies
  • Mini silicone steamer – for vegetables, fish, dumplings
  • Splatter guard – prevents messes when reheating sauce-based foods
  • Mini griddle – lets you make pancakes and grilled sandwiches
  • Microwave popcorn popper – makes single-serve snack bags

With the right accessories, you can enjoy an array of foods easily cooked right in your mini microwave.

Troubleshooting Common Mini Microwave Issues

My mini microwave isn’t working properly – what should I do?

  • Uneven cooking – Rotate dish, reduce power level, only heat one item at a time.
  • Food drying out – Lower cook time and cover dish with splatter guard.
  • Buttons not responding – Try unplugging, waiting 10 seconds, and restarting.
  • Interior light bulb out – Replace bulb, typically 15-25 watt appliance bulb.
  • Unusual noises – Remove turntable and clean under tray. Listen for fan noises.
  • Sparking inside – Do not microwave empty or with metal materials inside.

Consult the manual for model-specific troubleshooting tips. Schedule service for persistent issues.

The Mini Microwave – A Perfect Choice for Small Space Cooking

I hope this guide has shown the advantages of choosing a mini microwave for your compact kitchen, studio, office, dorm room, or other tiny space where every inch matters. Focus on finding a model in the 0.7 to 0.9 cu ft range with enough power, simple interface, and trusted brand reputation to suit your basic daily needs.

With the right expectations and accessories, a mini microwave can deliver hot, convenient cooking in minutes without dominating your limited real estate. Here’s to maximizing every bit of space with the practical magic of mini microwave cooking!

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