Buying a microwave isn’t as straightforward as it may appear, although it can be easier than buying a commercial-grade residential dryer. But, with so many varieties, sizes, brands, and prices, picking the proper fit can be a challenge.
Microwaves come in four basic types: small countertop microwave, commercial microwaves ranges, built-in, and over-the-range. Each category’s microwave type can be found at different sizes, prices, power, and capacity.
In our guide, you can learn more about the typical microwave sizes you may be looking for and the standard microwave size. By the end, you’ll be able to check small microwave dimensions and know if you can fit your on-the-counter microwave in, or you pick one that fits in standard cabinet widths to remain out of the way. (Read Bed Sheets Sizes Chart)
What Is The Standard Size of a countertop microwave?
While sizes vary, you can often find you won’t lack any features such as multiple preset cooking programs on smaller microwaves that fit inside a standard cabinet width or sit on the countertop.
Typically, there isn’t a common microwave oven size, so here are the groups you often find.
Countertop Microwave Sizes
The cheapest and most widespread of the three microwave kinds are countertop microwaves (built-in, over-the-range, and countertop). They’re popular not only because they’re inexpensive but also because they don’t require professional installation—just unpack, turn on the power, and your off.
Microwaves for the countertop are available in three sizes:
Small Countertop Microwaves
These are the tiniest countertop microwaves. As the smallest of the three countertop size microwave, they are suited for small kitchens or applications with less than three users.
A compact microwave has the fewest functions. This means you should only use them to cook basic foods like frozen vegetables, popcorn, leftovers, or anything else that doesn’t demand much interior cooking capacity or functionality.
After examining their benefits and drawbacks, let’s look at some of their distinguishing features:
Size and Cooking Capacity
The external width of small countertop microwaves ranges from 15 to 19 inches (48.3 cm). External height and depth range from 10-14 inches (25.4cm to 35.6cm). The size of its internal oven determines the cooking capacity of a microwave. Typical cooking capacity of small countertop microwaves is 1 cubic foot. Size 0.9 ft.3 (25485.2 cm3).
Weight and Wattage
The smallest countertop microwaves weigh between 20lbs (9.1kg) and 30lbs (13.6kg).
A microwave’s wattage shows its cooking power. It is the amount of energy required to heat the food. The higher the wattage, the faster and more uniformly the microwave cooks food.
Small countertop microwaves have wattages ranging from 600 to 1100, with most averaging 700-1000.
Cost and Functionality
Small microwaves feature a minimal range of functions as they are the cheapest. Therefore, the lowest-priced options have the lowest manufacturer’s suggested retail price, while the highest-priced options have the highest.
A glass turntable is standard in most small countertop microwaves to ensure consistent cooking. Features including adjustable power levels, defrost, and express cooking are also offered.
The finish is mainly plastic, with some stainless steel alternatives.
Some small countertop microwaves may have more functions than these, but they normally come at a higher price.
Medium Countertop Microwaves
Medium countertop microwaves have more features and wattage than small countertop microwaves. They are, of course, more expensive.
The nicest thing about midsize standard countertop microwave is its affordability and convenience. They come with most of the main features of larger ones but are smaller and cheaper.
Medium countertop microwaves reheat food or defrost large quantities of meat. Their cooking time is faster and more even than compact microwave capacity, so they can easily serve a family. (Learn Standard Curtain Lengths Chart)
Medium-sized countertop models have cooking capacities ranging from 1ft.3 (28316.8 cm3) to 2ft.3 (56633.7 cm3).
Size and Weight
Microwaves are typically 24 inches (61 cm) wide, 16 inches (40.6 cm) deep, and 14 inches (35.6 cm) tall. These are the outside dimensions.
As for weight, they range between 30lbs (13.6kg) and 50lbs (22.7kg).
Wattage and Price Range
While the majority of units consume between 1000 and 1100 watts, some models might use as little as 800 watts and some as much as 1300 watts.
The cost of a medium countertop microwave varies depending on the amenities offered. Basic variants can cost as little as $60, while high-end models can cost up to $800.
Like prices, features of medium countertop microwaves vary widely. Standard features are similar to small countertop microwaves, while high-end alternatives include features not found in a standard medium-sized countertop microwave.
For example, some include inverter cooking technology, which replaces the traditional magnetic coil for better energy economy and faster cooking.
A medium countertop microwave may include the following characteristics, depending on price:
Large Countertop Units
Of the three countertop microwave sizes, big countertop microwaves provide the largest wattage and cooking capacity. The smaller countertop microwaves cook food faster and heat food more evenly.
They can also hold huge food items for longer durations, making them suitable for large households replacing convection ovens.
But such efficiency equals higher actual selling prices and steeper utility bills. In addition, large countertop microwaves take up too much space for people with small kitchens, where open-door depths range too much and cut off small kitchen areas.
Size and Weight
Large countertop microwave size is typically 35 inches tall, 18 to 24 inches wide, and 18 inches deep. For the weight, they come around 50 and 70lbs (22.7kg to 31.8kg)
Oven Capacity and Wattage
Most countertop microwaves have a cooking capacity of over 2ft.3 (56633.7 cm3). This capacity can hold a complete chicken or a small turkey.
It is recommended to use 1250 watts for large countertop microwaves, with 1200 watts as the lower limit.
The least affordable of the three types of countertop units, large countertop microwaves, is the top end of the price range.
Large countertop microwaves have all the same features and more as a 2.2 cubic feet compact microwave. They offer more cooking presets, inverter cooking technology, convection cooking, and possibly a grill function. (Read Wood Screw Length Chart)
A built-in microwave will be mounted in base cabinets or walls rather than on kitchen counters. The location of these microwaves distinguishes them apart from the countertop and above-range microwaves.
It also explains one of the built-in microwaves’ major benefits: conserving crucial kitchen counter space.
A built-in microwave also gives an appealing, modern touch to kitchen décor. Recessing a built-in microwave into the wall saves interior space and looks neat.
A built-in microwave is also safe for houses with children, the elderly, or short persons because it can be programmed to prevent minors from accessing food.
Also, built-in microwaves come in various sizes and power levels, making them easy to match any drawer space.
Built-in microwaves, like any other model, have their flaws. A turntable, grill, inverted cooking, and convection cooking are all features that a large or medium countertop unit has. Unfortunately, they are also relatively costly and require professional installation.
Size and Weight
The external dimensions of built-in microwaves vary according to microwave drawers size. Most measure 30 inches (76.2cm) wide, 26 inches (66cm) deep, and 15 inches (38.1cm) high. For the weight, they are around 50 (22.7kg) and 100lbs (45.4kg).
Oven Capacity and Wattage
While certain devices may be larger, the normal oven capacity of built-in microwaves is between 1ft³ (28316.8cm³) and 2ft.³ (56633.7cm³).
Microwave drawer wattage varies. Most devices use between 800 and 1000 watts, although some exceed 1500 watts.
Over-the-range microwaves usually have a range hood and a microwave oven built-in.
OTR microwaves are popular because they conserve critical kitchen counter space. They also come with a ventilation system to assist keep your kitchen free of excess heat, pollutants, and steam from regular cooking.
An over-the-range microwave is safe for kids, but they are challenging to operate for short individuals. Another drawback with an over-the-range microwave is that cooking in a tall pot can be difficult to monitor. With such pots, you must be careful not to spill the food on yourself.
After weighing the benefits and negatives, here are properties of over-the-range microwaves:
Size and Weight
They are 15 inches (38.1cm) high, 30 inches (76.2cm) broad, and 16 inches (40.6cm) deep. However, these microwave dimensions may change depending on the size of the cabinet area. It weighs between 50 and 65 lbs (22.7kg to 29.5kg).
Oven Capacity and Wattage
OTR microwave oven capacity ranges from less than 1 ft.3 (28316.8cm3) to over 2.2 cubic feet (56633.7cm3).
Besides size and capacity and over the range, microwave power varies widely, with most devices ranging from 600 to 1200 watts.
Price and Functionality
An over-the-range microwave without a fan can cost less than one with a fan included.
While the features of over-the-range units vary by brand, price, and size, some of the more frequent functions include convection cooking and grilling.
|Height (in)||Width(in)||Depth(in)||Volume Cubic Feet||Watts||Weight (lbs.)|
|Small Countertop||10-14||15-19||10-14||0.5-0.9 cu ft||700-1000||20-30|
|Medium Countertop||12-15||20-24||12-17||1.1-1.6 cu ft||900-1300||30-50|
|Over The Range||16-18||24-30||15-18||1.1-2.1|
|Up to 3000||40-170|
Commercial Microwave Sizes
Commercial microwaves may appear to be plug-in countertop devices due to their small size, but they are substantially more expensive and powerful.
In addition, they’re usually made for commercial foodservice applications where speed and efficiency are essential.
They’re often smaller than huge countertop microwaves because they’re designed for industrial kitchens with little space.
Commercial microwave ovens are often classified by wattage and cooking power, two of the most significant elements to consider while buying such machines. Light, medium, and heavy-duty commercial microwaves are available, each with unique features that affect operational efficiency.
Here’s an overview of both types:
Light Duty Commercial Microwaves
Light-duty commercial microwaves use around 1000 watts on average energy usage. They are the weakest of commercial microwaves, yet they are still more powerful than normal domestic units.
As a result, they’re best suited to food service enterprises with microwave cooking requirements of 50 times or less. The following are examples of typical applications:
- Soups, desserts, beverages, and rolls are occasionally warmed up at the wait stations.
- Warming frozen dinners, packed lunches, and beverages are available in the break rooms.
- Food that has gone cold is heated at concession stalls.
- Breakfast bars: reheat leftovers, muffins, oatmeal, and various beverages on occasion.
Light-duty commercial microwave ovens have oven capacities ranging from 0.3 to 0.8 cu.ft. Cu.ft. refers to the inside dimensions of a commercial microwave in cubic feet.
This figure is obtained by multiplying the length, breadth, and height in inches by 1728 and then dividing the result. The higher it is, the more people a unit can cater for.
Light-duty commercial microwave ovens can accept most small oven-friendly china dishes and 14 and 16 size high-temperature food pans with their 0.3–0.8 cu.ft. oven capacity.
Most bowls, mugs, tiny plates, measuring cups, and ramekins will also fit.
Medium-Duty Commercial Microwaves
Medium-duty commercial units have a higher power range of 1,200 to 2000 watts, allowing for speedier cooking than light-duty models. They can also be used more frequently and have a longer service life (up to 150 times per day).
Because of this capabilities, these units can be used in commercial applications such as:
- Pre-packaged foods, sandwiches, and snacks can be heated in convenience stores.
- Bakeries: defrosting and baking various products quickly, as well as melting butter.
- Cafes offer hot beverages, baked goods, and a limited lunch menu.
Medium-duty commercial microwaves have cooking capacities ranging from 0.8 to 1.0 cu.ft.
Most 13 and 12 size high-temperature food pans, oven-friendly plastic takeaway containers, medium-size plates, and bowls will fit in this.
Heavy-Duty Commercial Microwaves
these are the most powerful commercial microwaves, with wattages ranging from 2000 to 3000. They are also the most durable and cook faster than light and medium-duty commercial microwaves, making them ideal for foodservice operations that use a microwave 200 times or more each day. (Learn How To Get Burnt Smell Out Of Microwave)
Heavy-duty commercial microwaves with this performance are ideal for applications such as:
- Service that is quick high-volume cooking of entrees with rapid turnaround times in restaurants
- High-speed heating of large portions in cafes; continual holding to reduce waste
- Catering companies/commercial kitchens: quickly preparing and reheating mass-produced foods, steaming vegetables and shellfish, melting cheese, heating, and/or defrosting entrees.
To accommodate such heavy-duty applications, these devices have the highest oven capacity of the three types of commercial microwave ovens, ranging from 1.2 to 1.6 cu.ft.
How Do I Choose A Microwave Size?
Choosing the proper microwave for your kitchen requires measuring your countertop as much as the internal microwave size.
The countertop makes measuring the width, depth, and height easy. Still, other elements like cabinet space, ventilation, space between appliances, and the microwave door’s swing radius should also be considered.
Closed-door depths range considerably so that they can affect microwave oven sizes in your kitchen.
1. Remove Your Microwave
Remove any obstructing objects or appliances from the location where you’d like to install your new microwave from your countertop.
2. Measure Standard Microwave Width
Measure the maximum width of countertop and cabinet space you’d like your microwave to take up with a measuring tape, keeping in mind that the microwave and the range or cooktop should be separated by at least two feet.
3. Measure Standard Microwave Depth
Measure the wall behind the counter to the counter’s edge. To avoid tilting, you’ll need an extra inch of ventilation space between the microwave and the wall behind it, as well as 3 inches between the edge of the open microwave door and the edge of the countertop.
4. Measure Height of Standard Microwave
Consider any cabinet trim that extends below the base of the cabinet when measuring the distance between the bottom of the cabinets and the countertop surface below.