9 Best Small Microwaves for College

Living in a dorm often means relying on smaller appliances (space-saving coffee makers) to get the job done. Although they’re more compact than their full-size counterparts, these small microwaves excel at heating up everything from popcorn to water for making tea and coffee, along with fast and easy microwavable meals.

best microwave for college Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Has 10 power levels
  • 700 watts
  • WiFi connectivity
Price: $74.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
small microwave Amazon Customer Reviews
  • One-touch settings
  • Comes in two colors
  • LED display
Price: $80.61 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
dorm microwave Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Easy-grip handle
  • Ideal for snacks
  • Durable construction
Price: $66.61 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Farberware Classic FMO07ABTBKA Microwave Oven Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 700 watts
  • One-touch controls
  • Ten power levels
Price: $116.91 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
small microwave Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 900 watts
  • Multiple power levels
  • Express cook function
Price: $83.67 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
compact microwave Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 950 watts
  • Larger capacity
  • Keep warm function
Price: $169.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
dorm microwave Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Budget-friendly
  • 700 watts
  • Comes in two sizes
Price: $48.49 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
dorm microwave Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Stylish
  • Comes in several colors
  • Fun retro design
Price: $132.32 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
small microwave Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Affordable
  • Comes in three colors
  • 700 watts
Price: $84.78 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. AmazonBasics Microwave with Alexa

    • Built-in Alexa
    • Amazon Dash can reorder popcorn when supplies run low
    • Handy Ask Alexa button
    • Echo not included
    • LED display isn't the brightest
    • Tends to accumulate moisture inside

    Its affordable price tag, compact size and Alexa compatibility makes the AmazonBasics Microwave with Alexa one of the best microwaves for college students. This smart microwave has similar specs as its competitors, including 700 watts of cooking power and a 0.7 cubic foot capacity. However, you can use voice commands via an existing Echo device to begin microwaving food.

    The microwave features Amazon Dash to help quickly replenish popcorn when supplies run low. Built-in Alexa means the microwave continues to get smarter and evolve over time. This microwave has a 10-inch turntable and can hold popcorn bags up to three ounces.

  2. 2. Comfee Countertop Microwave (EM720CPL-PMB)

    • Eco mode conserves energy
    • Removable glass turntable
    • Has a mute button
    • Short power cord
    • Door latch components seem flimsy
    • Only has increments in minutes

    This versatile dorm microwave comes with 11 power settings along with one-touch cooking settings for heating up snacks, preparing meals and more. The 700 watts of cooking power is plenty for more basic microwave commands.

    If you’re trying to conserve energy, you can take advantage of the eco mode. This microwave has a user-friendly control panel along with an interior light. There’s also a mute button to keep the peace and quiet around your home. The removable glass turntable is easy to clean. You’ll find this small microwave in black and white.

  3. 3. Commercial Chef Countertop Counter Top Microwave (CHM660B)

    • 600 watts of cooking power
    • Simple dial controls
    • Six power levels
    • Only lists increments in minutes
    • Plastic exterior coating may peel off over time
    • No internal light

    If user-friendly features are a must, consider this compact microwave from Commercial Chef. Highlights include mechanical rotary dials and an easy-grip handle for opening and closing the door. The microwave has a 0.6 cubic foot capacity and is ideal for preparing snacks and heating up leftovers. You can choose between six power levels for optimal results. This microwave has 600 watts of cooking power and features stainless steel construction.

  4. 4. Farberware Classic Microwave Oven (FMO07ABTBKA)

    • User-friendly LED lighting
    • Digital controls and LED display
    • Includes memory settings
    • Dark-colored interior can mask stains
    • A few mention the carousel can get easily dislodged
    • Some find the opening mechanism flimsy

    The Farberware Classic FMO07ABTBKA Microwave Oven offers a 0.7 cubic foot capacity and 700 watt cooking power. It’s also equipped with digital controls and an LED display, making it a modern addition to any dorm room or apartment. Choose to defrost food by weight or time, or use the memory settings for your favorites. Other highlights include express cooking, one-touch cooking functions, and the ability to add 30 seconds if needed.

  5. 5. Emerson Microwave Oven (MW9255B)

    • Comes with a digital timer
    • Multiple power and pre-programmed settings
    • Includes a digital timer and LED display
    • Door can be tough to open
    • Tends to slide around unless firmly planted against a wall
    • No-frills design

    If you’re looking for a cheap microwave with versatile power settings, consider this microwave. With a capacity of 0.7 cubic feet and 700 watts of cooking power, you get a bit more bang for your buck compared to many other dorm microwaves at this price point. There are six auto-cook menus and 10 power levels. An express cook function is ideal for making snacks. This small microwave comes with a digital timer.

  6. 6. Panasonic Countertop Microwave (NN-SD372S)

    • Inverter technology for even cooking
    • Smart cooking settings
    • One-touch auto cook
    • Can’t get 1-second increments with dial
    • Exterior can show fingerprints
    • Some mention the display can be hard to read

    If you’re tired of hot spots and food that cooks unevenly, consider this compact microwave. The Panasonic NN-SD372S features inverter technology for even cooking and rapid defrosting. With a 0.8 cubic foot capacity and 950 watts, this small microwave is powerful yet efficient. It also comes with a delay start and timer, quick minute, and one-touch auto cook.

  7. 7. Kenmore Small Countertop Microwave

    • Has a user-friendly LED display
    • Multiple one-touch settings
    • Available in three exterior colors
    • Very basic design
    • Doesn't have an interior light
    • A bit loud

    This budget-friendly appliance ranks among the best microwaves for college students on a budget. Don’t be fooled by the lower price tag, as you’re getting a microwave with plenty of cooking power and space. This dorm microwave has 700 watts of cooking power and a 0.7 cubic foot capacity.

    If you’re looking for something slightly larger, consider the 0.9 cubic foot model. One-touch settings make it easy to cook popcorn, soup, pizza, frozen veggies and more. The microwave has 10 power settings. Other highlights include a removable glass turntable and an LED display. Aside from black, the microwave also comes in white and stainless steel.

  8. 8. Magic Chef Retro Microwave (MCD770CM)

    • 700 watts of cooking power
    • Has a towel bar door handle
    • Features seven power levels
    • Doesn't have a separate popcorn setting
    • Takes a bit of force to open the door
    • No interior light

    In a sea of stainless steel and plastic, this fun retro microwave stands out for its unique style. Aside from green, you’ll find this small microwave in red and white. A 0.7 cubic foot capacity is plenty for most basic needs. This microwave also has 700 watts of cooking power. Dual rotary dials add a unique touch. This microwave is also outfitted with a towel bar door handle.

  9. 9. Hamilton Beach Microwave

    • Includes 10 power levels
    • Multiple one-touch buttons
    • Several quick-set menu buttons
    • Relatively short power cord
    • Plastic exterior coating may peel off over time
    • Can take awhile to heat up food

    This compact dorm microwave covers all the basics. For starters, it has an affordable price tag. The microwave also comes in three colors, giving you a choice between white, red and black.

    In terms of specs, it’s similar to many other competitors in this price range, with 700 watts of cooking power and an internal capacity of 0.7 cubic feet. The microwave has 10 power levels for added versatility.

The selection of microwaves continues to expand, seemingly with every year that passes. In fact, Statista estimates up to 13.45 million microwaves will be shipped to the United States in 2019. Additionally, according to the United States Census Bureau, nearly 97 percent of Americans own a microwave. For most students, heading to college doesn't necessarily mean giving up the convenience of a microwave. An increasing number of compact microwaves are available to suit dorm life, as well as apartments and even homes.

As a college student, your schedule is full with classes, homework, studying, spending time with friends and participating in other activities. Such a demanding schedule often leaves little time for anything else, including eating a proper meal.

Microwaves can be used for a wide range of tasks, whether it's to heat up a bag of popcorn for a late night study session, cook a dinner or boil water to make tea or coffee. Most dorm microwaves tend to have roughly 600 to 700 watts of cooking power, which is plenty for most tasks. 

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