Whether you’ve got a small kitchen or your countertops are already crowded with other gadgets, finding a mini microwave compact enough to give you room to chop your vegetables isn’t always easy.
Then when you do find one it’s so low powered you might as well be cooking in a normal oven, or it’s too small to fit your plates in, or… well you get the idea. We’ve collected together the best microwaves that will fit in the smallest kitchens without compromising on quality and performance.
What to look for in a small microwave
Power: As far as microwaves go in general the more wattage the better. This means it will cook food faster, although to get an even cook you will need a turntable or otherwise will have to stop it every few minutes to stir whatever you are cooking.
A 600W microwave will cook an average sized baked potato in around 9 minutes, 700W takes about 7 minutes, 850W in about 5 minutes and 1000W in about 4 minutes. It’s worth noting that often variable power settings don’t actually drop the power but rather start and stop while cooking to approximate the power you select.
Capacity and plate size: These two are all about how much you can fit in the oven. Capacity is measured in litres and is the full volume of the microwave including the height. Plate size should also be considered as this is the width of the oven and will determine what size of plate you can put in the oven to cook your food on.
Cleaning: The main concern when it comes to cleaning is the material of the inside of the oven. Ideally you want something that can’t rust so you can easily wipe it clean such as stainless steel or a ceramic.
Design: While design might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to buying a microwave, this will be something you have to look at every day in your kitchen so it is worth paying attention to. Consider your other appliances and the style of your kitchen, would a super modern or a more retro style appliance fit the room better?
Price: Price is obviously an important factor no matter what you are buying and you may be surprised at how expensive some microwaves can get once you get to the “professional” end of the market. For a small domestic microwave, we would say it’s best to look between £50 and £150 to get a decent model that suits your needs.
The Smallest Microwave in the UK
This might not be the best microwave on our list but it is the smallest measuring just 33.2 x 42.3 x 22.9cm. It means that it only has space for a 25.5cm turntable, but it is a great choice if you’re really short on space.
It only cooks at 600W, so will take a bit longer than some models, but it is a very capable microwave and you won’t find many smaller, especially ones that will still fit in a 10-inch plate.
For around £60 it’s reasonably priced, especially as it comes with nice retro styling.
Best Small Microwaves
Russell Hobbs RHM2076B
This oven from Russell Hobbs may be small but it still packs in 800W of power so you still can get the speeds you would expect of a full-size microwave. It has a capacity of 20L and variable power levels with preset cooking modes for pizza, fish and popcorn.
Costing around £60 it is very reasonably priced so is a good choice if you are on a budget. It comes in black or silver and measures 44 x 35.9 x 25.8cm.
Beko MOC20100S solo microwave
This diddy microwave from Beko gets the job done without a lot of fanfare. While it won’t win any awards for its design or the quality of its finish, measuring 45.2 x 32.5 x 26.2cm it is easy to tuck away in a corner.
With a top power of 700W it is in the middling range of options so won’t be the fastest – or the slowest – but does come with 5 power options including a defrost mode.
At a bit under £50 it is a good option for those on a budget, but it may be worth spending a little bit more to get a slight bump in cooking power.
Russell Hobbs RHM2064C Heritage Digital Microwave
Another compact microwave from Russell Hobbs, this model’s design harks back to the 80s but in other areas is very comparable to the RHM2076B above. Both have a top power of 800W and a 20L capacity, as well as pizza, fish and popcorn settings.
They are also not dissimilar in size, although this model is slightly shorter at 44 x 34 x 25.8cm. It is also marginally more expensive (depending on the colour you choose) with some variants priced at around £75.