Quiet and saves space while being roomy inside. Easy to set up. Ten power settings and 30-seconds express button. Built with pre-programmed buttons for potatoes, popcorn, vegetables, dinner plate, and pizza.
Takes longer to heat things up due to a lower wattage.
Simple, no-frills design with dial controls. Variety of food cooking and thawing settings. Great for small spaces. Good for small items and snacks. Six power levels. Handle is durable and easy to grip.
A bit underpowered at 600W. Turntable is loud and squeaks.
Quality build and functions well. Small and fits plenty of food inside. Includes defrost button and 6 power levels. Autodial for cooking time. Easy to open and use. Interior glass plate rotates smoothly.
Buttons are fairly sensitive and may accidentally turn on.
Compact, 700-watt unit that's Amazon Alexa compatible. Features 10 power levels, a kitchen timer, turntable, and child lock. Can fit a coffee cup, small plate, bag of popcorn, and other small items.
Not as powerful as some other microwaves.
Sleek black microwave with 0.7 cubic foot capacity. Boasts 700 watts of power and 11 power-level settings to tackle any cooking need. Express buttons for 1-6 minutes and add 30 seconds button. Turn sound on or off to limit disturbance. Bright and easy-to-read digital display.
Some users complained that this microwave was slow to heat up food.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Heading off to college is an exciting time. You’ll learn new things, make new friends, and enjoy a new kind of independence. Before the hard work in the classroom begins, however, think about your new living space. It’s important to create a room that suits your needs. A microwave for your dorm room can be a big part of that, and it can help ensure that you remain fully fuelled as you embrace new challenges in college.
Without home-cooked meals, you’ll be fending for yourself in the food department. The campus cafeteria may be right around the corner, and pizza is always just a phone call away. But neither of those options are budget-friendly. Nor are they always the healthiest choices.
A dorm microwave can help you stave off hunger when you’re in a rush, economize when you need to, and satisfy snack cravings when you’re hanging out with pals watching a movie.
Not every dorm allows students to have microwaves in their rooms. Don’t waste money on this type of appliance if it’s not allowed. A peek at your college’s website may also include a list of items already included in your soon-to-be living quarters. Many dorms have communal spaces, which often include things like microwaves and fridges. Also, if you’re rooming with someone else, you may be able to split your purchases, so you’re not doubling up on items.
You could buy any microwave and stick it in your dorm room, of course, but in a small space, you’re better off opting for a compact unit. It’s doubtful you’ll need to whip up microwave dinners for a crowd, so most mini models would probably work out just fine. Thankfully, compact units are typically cheaper and lighter than standard-size options.
When browsing microwaves, pay attention to the internal dimensions, which are usually listed in cubic feet. For tight spaces, opt for a unit with under one cubic foot of interior space. Check the exterior dimensions, too. Some microwaves billed as “compact” are surprisingly big on the outside.
Is your dorm room partially furnished? Is there a dresser where you can set your new microwave? If not, you’ll need to purchase a small table or shelf.
Compact microwaves aren’t necessarily less powerful than standard-size units, but check the wattage before making your final purchase. More wattage translates to faster cook times and a higher price tag, but if speed isn’t a priority, feel free to spend less. Still, if a microwave offers significantly less than 700 watts of power, cooking times will increase greatly.
Don’t forget to check whether there’s a nearby outlet! Your microwave needs electricity to run.
Microwave designs vary considerably. Choose a sleek stainless steel model to accent a modern dorm room, or select a colorful retro-style unit to add a bit of whimsy to your living space.
Take a quick peek at the buttons on the appliance you’re considering. Do you want specialized cook settings like “Defrost” or “Keep Warm”? Fancier microwaves have built-in sensors that take the guesswork out of cooking food and automatically decide on the optimal time and power level required to heat your meals. The style of controls varies from model to model, as well. Do you prefer a simple knob interface or big, easy-to-read buttons?
You can avoid allocating brainpower to cooking microwave foods and leave the thinking up to the appliance. Simply choose a unit with preset cooking functions that heat certain foods for a pre-programmed amount of time. If popcorn is your favorite snack, a popcorn button is a must-have!
A “Minute” function allows for quick and efficient heating with the touch of a button. Need to cook your food a little longer than expected? A simple press of the minute button is all that’s required.
Loud beeping is sure to wake your roommate when you’re zapping a quesadilla in the middle of the night. Choose a microwave with a mute setting to avoid bothering anyone else, whether they’re studying or snoozing.
Many microwaves have turntables that rotate slowly during the cooking process to help evenly heat your food. If you choose a microwave with this feature, make sure that the turntable is removable so you can wash it as needed.
Cook in the dark of night with the help of an LED display and backlit buttons, but know that this minor light pollution may affect your sleep. Can the lights be disabled? If not, you may want to opt for a different model, especially if you’re a light sleeper.
Here are a few accessories you may want to pack, along with your new dorm microwave:
Compact microwaves are usually less expensive than regular-size units, so don’t worry about breaking the bank to outfit your room. Expect to pay under $100 for a compact microwave for your dorm with an internal capacity of under one cubic foot.
The closer the interior space is to one cubic foot, the higher the price tag will be. You’ll also pay more for a microwave with higher wattage. Microwaves with sensors and pre-programmed settings also tend to cost more than pared-down units with simple interfaces.
A. Avoid putting anything made of paper in your microwave. It may catch fire. Also, be careful when heating anything in a plastic container. Check that it’s microwave-safe first. And, of course, anything made of metal or wrapped in aluminum foil should stay out of your microwave.
A. Use a plate to cover your bowl or a bowl to cover your plate before starting up your microwave. Alternatively, you could buy a special microwave food cover to prevent nasty messes inside your unit.
A. Avoid putting it on the floor. You’ll only be wasting space. Don’t store it up too high, either. Accidents and spills are more likely to occur if you’re always struggling to reach inside your microwave.