It wasn’t that long ago that you could easily get microwaves for under $50, but not any more.  However, we have found the best value, small microwaves that are available today.

Recently we spent a couple of days researching all available small microwaves to find cheap ones that give you what you’d expect from a microwave oven. What we present below are the best of the best in the category of small (and cheap) microwaves that perform reasonably well.

The simpler the operations – the lower the price tends to be. So if you’re looking for reheating and defrosting as your basic functions – you can find microwaves that are dirt cheap. Why pay more than you have to? A small microwave can get the job done for you.

But if you’re looking for a microwave that can handle heavy-duty meal prep – a small and cheap microwave is probably not ideal for you. It’s also reasonable to expect that these inexpensive appliances are not going to last indefinitely. But there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get 2 – 5 years of solid use from a small and reliable (yet cheap) microwave.

Following are our top choices in the small and inexpensive microwave market.

#1: Galanz Compact Microwave Oven

What’s In The Box?
Galanz Retro Red Compact Microwave
Glass tray
Roller ring
Shaft
Power cord

 

 

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Cute and compact microwave
  • Surprisingly functional (given its “small” designation)
  • Features dials rather than digital buttons (so it’s easier to operate and simple to figure out)
  • Works a little bit differently from other microwaves but once you get used to it – it’s easy
  • Solid product that’s anyone can use straight away
  • Available at an excellent price
  • Unique retro red color and style that makes a statement)
Cons
  • Would be even better if the power was a little more substantial (even though it does the job)
  • Gently tapping the dial pad can turn the microwave on (which poses a potentially dangerous situation)
  • Takes a little longer to heat foods then more powerful larger microwaves (as you might expect)
  • Outside finish can bubble up and peel off

What first captures the eye is the bright “hot rod red” finish. This small (0.7 cubic foot) 700 Watt microwave offers six variable power levels. It can also defrost frozen foods by weight. It features an easy to read LED display, which clearly indicates the remaining cooking time. It also has 360° heating with a rotating glass turntable so your food heats evenly. As a time expires – you’ll hear 3 audible beeps – indicating that your food is ready.

This is a hugely popular small microwave – a marketplace favorite, Almost 10,000 customers have given it a stellar 4.6 out of 5 available stars. That’s an impressive rating for such a low-cost microwave.

Whatever you want to use your Galanz countertop microwave for – it’s up to the task. This includes cooking and re-heating meals or beverages. It’s simple, convenient and fast. The fun retro design takes you back to a simpler time and adds dramatic flair to your kitchen decor.
It also has a built-in child lock preventing unsupervised operation by kids, giving you peace of mind.

Overall, it measures 17.9 inches wide by 13.8 inches deep by 10.3 inches high. And it weighs 23.10 pounds. If you’ve got the room – this small microwave could be exactly what you’re looking for.

#2: Amazon Basics 0.7 Cubic Foot 700 Watt Smart Microwave With Alexa Compatibility

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Easy to defrost vegetables, cook potatoes, reheat rice or pasta and make popcorn
  • Quick cooking presets by voice simplify operations to a whole new level
  • With presets, there’s no guessing and results are perfect every time
  • Paired with Alexa this microwave it’s a lot of fun to use (but you can still use it as a regular microwave if you don’t want to add voice controls)
  • Fully functional microwave at an affordable price
  • Good solid performance – perfect for an apartment or condo size appliance
  • Perfect for a first home, singles, students, seniors – or simply as a replacement to a larger microwave that is not used to the extent of its capabilities
  • Easy to clean and maintain
  • Small footprint that it doesn’t take up a lot of space on your counter
  • Alexa integration works great
  • Simple and easy to set up and use by following basic instructions
  • Adjustable power levels
  • Perfect size for a small kitchen that barely has any counter space
  • Heats up foods well
  • Convenient in that you can activate it hands-free (this is really helpful when you’ve got wet or messy hands)
  • Clear control panel
  • Surprisingly convenient
  • Customer support is second to none
  • Adequate amount of power (given its size)
Cons
  • Seems to take a longer time to boil water and to warm food than a larger microwave
  • There’s not that many commands currently available using Alexa
  • User manual is not the best (they rarely are!)
  • Too small to pop a standard size microwave bag of popcorn
  • Seems to take about 30 to 60 seconds longer to prepare anything inside (its not that much longer but a little patience is necessary)
  • Turntable motor seems a bit loud
  • Sometimes you may experience connectivity issues with Alexa (as can happen from time to time with any smart device)
  • Door has a substantial pull to it in order to open or close (it feels like you’re slamming it shut)
  • If you’re new to using an Echo device, it can take some time to set up so that everything works exactly as it should

This Amazon Basics product is another hugely popular smaller microwave. With well over 30,000 customer reviews – it scores a reasonably strong 4.3 out of 5 possible stars.

Overall size of this microwave measures 17.3 inches wide by 14.1 inches deep by 10.0 inches high. Inside dimensions are as follows: 10.7 inches wide by 10 inches deep by 6.875 inches high. The turntable diameter measures 10 inches across. But the largest microwavable popcorn bag you can use in this oven is 3 ounces which is smaller than a standard bag.

It’s perfect for warming up a single dinner plate or a cup of coffee. And because it’s a compact microwave – it doesn’t consume an excessive amount of counter space.

What really stands out about this small Amazon Basics microwave is that it’s Alexa compatible. Of course, you’ll need to own an Echo device in order to use this functionality – but they’re widely available, affordable and well worth owning. And having the ability to control your microwave by voice is incredibly freeing – and fun.

#3: Commercial Chef Countertop Microwave Oven (0.6 ft.³ Capacity)

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Simple dial design makes it easy as pie to use
  • Does a great job of reheating food considering its small size
  • Can last several years before needed replacement
  • Good budget-friendly pricing fits in small spaces
  • Can store away easily and doesn’t require a ton of space
  • Simple straightforward no frills microwave
  • When food is ready, the audible sound is a ding rather than a pesky beeping noise
  • Works great for students – it cooks and reheats so it’s perfect for mac & cheese, ramen noodles, coffee or tea and microwave popcorn
  • Preset includes popcorn and makes it perfectly every time
  • Built-in digital display with multiple preset modes and variable power
  • Relatively lightweight for a fully functional microwave
  • Easy to set up and use quickly
  • Food heats up evenly
  • You hear it but it’s not excessively loud
  • Buttons are simple and easy to operate
  • Works well as a basic microwave (who needs 20 different settings anyway?)
  • Small overall size so it’s easy to fit in small places
Cons
  • Since it has a lower power capacity, food tends to take longer to reheat
  • Turntable motor can wear out before the microwave does
  • Cheap plastic film over dials can wear out quickly
  • Some say it’s a little on the noisy side as far as microwaves go
  • Dial design seems to be a step back in time (like from the 70’s)
  • May not be the best microwave if you need specific time capability for special dishes
  • Moves around (you may need to place a rubber mat underneath so it doesn’t slip and slide on the countertop while opening the door)

We were surprised just how popular this small microwave is – but that’s probably because we were unfamiliar with the brand. With well over 7000 actual buyers offering feedback, this Commercial Chef Countertop microwave scores a solid 4.4 out of 5 stars. Not bad at all.

This Commercial Chef Microwave measures 17.5 inches wide by 12.5 inches deep by 10.25 inches high. And it weighs in at 23.1 pounds.

With six power levels this little microwave is useful for warming snacks, heating up last night’s leftovers, or cooking meals that you like prepared in the microwave. You can also defrost veggies or prepare a frozen dinner plate that comes out piping hot.

Both compact and durable, this microwave represents very good value. It’s got an easy to grasp handle that opens and closes effortlessly, with a rotary turntable inside that ensures your food heats up evenly and efficiently.

It’s also got rotary dial controls for easy use in a space saving design that’s excellent for smaller kitchens. This would be a terrific little microwave for a cottage, small apartment, student dorm, condominium, or even an RV or trailer. It doesn’t take up a lot of counter space and it gives you the convenience of an effective microwave.

Maintenance on a microwave like this is reasonably low since it’s easy to clean and looks good with minimal upkeep. The removable glass turntable can be placed safely in the dishwasher. One thing we like about the dial controls is that they are simple to operate for anyone. Since they’re not digital, they are less susceptible to malfunctions.

#4: Sunbeam 0.7 Cubic Foot 700 Watt Compact Microwave

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Looks great placed in a kitchen where other black appliances are already present
  • Works well at reheating food for lunch – as well as coffee and tea
  • Good overall value and functionality
  • It’s a small microwave that serves a need and is specifically designed for smaller areas like office kitchenettes or small apartment kitchens
  • Easy to set up and use
  • Easily affordable for most
  • Definitely worth the money
  • Will not fit a full size dinner plate only medium size plates can be used
  • Heat up food fast and the food actually gets really warm
  • Perfect kitchen appliance for rental units (basement apartments, AirB&B’s, shared kitchen facilities) or dorm rooms
Cons
  • Does not fit large size dinner plate
  • Keypad is more difficult to read than you might think (it’s fine under regular lighting conditions but in dim light it’s very difficult)
  • Only available in black

Sunbeam has been making small kitchen appliances for decades. But their history with microwaves doesn’t seem as extensive as it does with things like electric toasters and kettles.

Consequently, the number of actual buyers rating this product is relatively few by comparison. With about 225 previous buyers reporting – this small microwave has earned a strong 4.5 star rating out of 5 available stars.

Overall dimensions are 18 inches wide by 14 inches deep by 10 inches high. It’s a 700 Watt 0.7 cubic foot microwave but it’s available only in a black finish.

#5: Proctor Silex 0.7 Cubic Foot Digital Microwave Oven

proctor silex microwave

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • For the price this represents outstanding value in a small microwave
  • Small enough to fit in limited space and it gives you lots of room to prepare other foods
  • Powerful enough to warm up or cook any food you want
  • Serves a family of three quite well
  • Quality construction (does what it’s designed to do and is made by a trusted kitchen appliance manufacturer)
  • Interior light is helpful (surprisingly, not all microwaves have this)
  • Comes with several pre-programmed settings and built-in clock
  • Comfortable handle at the top of the door that makes it easy to open and close
  • It’s a well-made microwave that operates reasonably quietly
  • One button timer and cooking feature is simple to operate so you don’t have to manually enter each number
  • Affordable way to go when outfitting a rental unit or AirBnB
  • Easy to manage
  • Excellent value, functionality and appearance
  • Lighter and more compact than a lot of microwaves
  • Where space is at a premium fits perfectly on top of a mini fridge
Cons
  • Plastic coating over the dials can wear off quickly
  • Clock is bright and there’s no dimming feature (not helpful if it’s near where you sleep)
  • Takes a little longer to cook or reheat then other microwaves
  • Some buyers report having received products that sustained damage in shipment (something that can happen with any product)

This microwave by Proctor Silex is relatively compact with a 0.7 cubic foot capacity and is available in three different colors – black, red, or white.

It’s a 700 Watt microwave that features six different preset cooking options, so you can create delicious meals in a matter of minutes. And it reheats a coffee lightning quick so there’s not much waiting around. Isn’t that what you want a microwave for?

There are 10 different power levels with precise heating and defrosting for a variety of foods. The digital display comes complete with a clock and timer that’s easy to operate and read. Also included is a child safety lock to protect against potential danger your kids.

This unit fits well into virtually any décor. Just choose the color that’s most compatible with your kitchen.

This Proctor Silex microwave features a removable glass turntable that can be cleaned easily in warm water. Overall dimensions measure 17.56 inches wide by 12.6 inches deep by 9.57 inches high. And it tips the scales at just over 20 pounds (20.94 pounds to be exact).

These days you can get microwaves that do just about anything. But who needs all the bells and whistles on a microwave – when there are plenty of better cooking options available? For a lot of people, small microwaves that are cheap and easy to replace are a better option these days since most of those fancy functions would never get used anyway.

Why Get A Microwave?

Microwaves these days are most commonly used to reheat leftovers, warm a cup of tea or coffee and to make popcorn quickly and effortlessly. That’s it. So why pay for a high end microwave when you’ll probably never use most (or any) of those other added functions?

It’s well worth having a microwave oven in the kitchen. There’s no denying the usefulness of a small microwave that’s readily accessible when you need it. Let’s face it, nothing heats up foods or drinks faster than a microwave. So when you want something – and you want it now – chances are you head straight to the microwave.

Small Microwaves (Cheap yet Useful)

These days there are plenty of budget-friendly compact microwaves on the market that are easily affordable and most households have at least one. Small microwaves are so cheap these days that they can be purchased and replaced when they stop working – much the same as a tea kettle or toaster sitting on the counter.

So if you simply want something to warm up last night’s Chinese food for lunch today, or reheat your favorite soup or a cup of coffee – you simply can’t beat a microwave. There is a quick and easy solution. Nowadays they’re cheaper than ever. So it makes sense to add a small inexpensive microwave to your collection of kitchen appliances.

You may think that because these microwaves are so cheap that the quality is not up to par. But that’s definitely not the case – particularly when these microwaves are supplied by well-known brand names. Truth is… you can easily pick up a decent quality small microwave that’s reasonably durable at a low cost. And there’s not just one brand or model – but several available.

What To Look For In A Small Microwave

Some of the features you want to look for when shopping for a small microwave are the number of power levels available and whether it can defrost frozen foods properly by weight. Another option to look for is a removable glass turntable. This ensures that whatever is inside will heat up evenly. It’s also easier to clean.

Although you’re buying a small microwave that’s inexpensive, you still want to be sure that it’s going to do what you expect it to do.

The Verdict

Small microwaves (cheap ones) make a lot of sense these days. Fortunately, there are several good, affordable choices when all you need is a basic microwave but you don’t want to break the bank. If you want voice activation capability and already have an Amazon Echo (or even if you don’t but can grab one) we highly recommend the Amazon Basics Microwave.

You could choose any microwave from our list and odds are – you’ll be happy with your purchase. Another model we strongly recommend is the Galanz Compact Microwave. The hot rod red color is stunning and the microwave performs all the basic functions you need.

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