It’s that time of year again when your college student heads back to class. And what is one of the most important items they could take with them; a mini microwave oven of course! A mini microwave oven comes in handy for all sorts of on-the-go college meals from frozen dinners to popcorn. You want them to eat healthily and I’m sure they will but, if they need to grab something quick, then a compact microwave or mini microwave oven will do the job nicely.
Whatever you buy, I would think ahead to post-college. Obviously, you’re going to buy a small fridge because there isn’t a lot of room in the dorm. But, when they’re done with school will they be able to use the small fridge? Chances are not. In other words, they will have to sell it and get a bigger one for an apartment.
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If they are already living in an apartment at school, then it’s a no-brainer. Buy a microwave that will serve them well both while in college and afterward. That means buying the largest microwave that will fit your situation and will be accepted by the dorm.
Usually, which microwaves are allowed by colleges and universities is not as much about size as it is about power. Many colleges put restrictions on the power of microwaves to save energy in dorms and for electrical safety. So if your student is in a dorm, be sure and check with your college or university to see what the requirements are.
We have created this Back To College Residence Microwave-Refrigerator Table to assist you. Besides actual power restrictions, most colleges require a UL listing on appliances your student brings. Always check for the UL listing.
Here are some mini microwave restriction examples:
- Georgia Tech – less than 10 amps or 1200 watts.
- University of Mississippi – less than 1000 watts
- University of Connecticut – 700 watts or less
- University of Kentucky – 700 watts or less
- University of Virginia – 800 watts or less
You need to find out for sure but in any case, go with the largest that your college or university will allow.
We searched microwave oven forums, college forums, retail sites, social media, manufacturer sites, customer review sites, and consumer sites to find the most popular and highly rated compact microwave ovens.
Take a look at these mini microwaves and see if one is the best microwave oven for your needs!
This Whirlpool WMC20005YB 0.5 Cu. Ft. Corner Countertop Microwave in Black will complement any decor while it’s fitting neatly in the corner of your kitchen countertop. It looks stylish in black with a unique corner-fitting design, but it also has some basic features that will make using it easy as well. Easy-to-clean Tap Touch controls look good and are simple to operate. With 750 watts of power, it’s not the most powerful, but that just means your college student may have to wait an extra minute for their popcorn. You college student will love the Add 30 Seconds option that allows you to add 30 seconds to their manual setting or cook an item for just 30 seconds, all with the push of a single button.
Mini Microwave: Features
- 750-watt, 0.5 cu. ft., corner microwave maximizes space
- Stylish in black, it has unique rounded back corners that help it fit nicely into a corner of a countertop in a dorm room, your kitchen, or wherever space is tight
- 10 power levels give you the flexibility to cook a wider variety of foods
- You will appreciate its stylish and easy-to-clean Tap Touch controls
- Its large full 11-inch glass turntable provides space for a large 11-inch dinner plate so you can fit plenty of food for cooking without using up a lot of counter space
- This model is small and powerful at 750 watts so you can cook foods faster
- Fast start at 100% power using the Add 30 Seconds button or simply add 30 seconds to your existing microwave time at the touch of a button
- An integrated ControlLock button keeps young hands or others from starting the microwave by accident or from making changes to your cooking settings
- A Quick Touch popcorn button takes the guesswork out of popping popcorn
- Whirlpool provides a full 1-Year limited warranty on the WMC20005YB.
- Spectacular space saver
- Nice styling
- High-quality construction
- Simple to use
- No number pad
- Low power
- Very low height interior
Also available in Stainless look and White.
Nostalgia Electrics RMO770RED Retro Series 0.7 Cu. Ft. Microwave Oven features a sleek, retro design that will be the highlight of any kitchen. Don’t let the 50’s styling fool you, it is a modern appliance with the features you love. Use its 12 preprogrammed functions and modern dial control to make cooking easier and to get the best results. Its five power levels allow you to tailor power to foods from delicate to heavy.
- 700-Watt, 0.7 cu. ft. capacity, compact countertop microwave oven
- Beautiful retro series styling in bright red with chrome and silver accents
- 5 power levels let you tailor power to individual recipes and foods
- 12 pre-programmed features allow you to cook popular food automatically without worrying about cooking time or power levels
- Dial control is easy to use a feature found mostly in high-end microwave ovens
- Chic, retro styling features juxtaposed with an LED display digital clock
- Integrated child safety lock protects young ones
- A long 56.75-inch lets you put the microwave where you need it
- Dimensions are 18L x 14.2W x 11H inches and it weighs in at a lightweight 27.6 lbs.
- Small and lightweight
- Lovely red color and retro styling
- Quality construction and materials
- Several reports that the microwave dies after about a year of use
- Complicated, non-standard controls
With a striking retro red color and accents reminiscent of 1950s diners, the Nostalgia Electrics RMO400RED Retro Series 0.9 Cu. Ft. Microwave Oven could have come directly out of a 1950s diner with its unique oval window and special chrome accents. Despite its throwback styling, it still has 800 watts of power and a mini microwave oven capacity of 0.9 cu. ft. Larger than their 0.7 cu. ft. RM0700RED model, it is still small enough to fit in just about any room you place it. Its integrated LED display, digital lock, and turn-and-push cooking control dial make this microwave easy to operate. It also has 12 pre-programmed cooking settings that help you cook a variety of your favorite foods without all the stress about how long to cook it. It also has a modern, convenient delayed timer that allows you to have dinner waiting for you when you get back to the house.
- 800-watt, 0.9 cu. ft., 50s retro-look, compact microwave oven
- Stylish, red finish and throwback oval window complement the deluxe chrome handle and other chrome accents
- Take the stress out of microwave cooking with this model’s 12 pre-programmed cooking settings, designed for the most popular microwaveable foods
- Delayed timer lets you set a cooking time in the future such as right before you get home from work
- Handy, intuitive turn-and-push program dial allows you to easily control all cooking settings
- LED display features a digital clock
- Turntable distributes energy for more even cooking
- Long 57.5-inch power cord provides more flexible placement
- Dimensions are 19L x 15W x 11H inches and it weighs in at 30.66 lbs.
- Beautiful retro styling
- Easy to use
- Takes up very little space on your countertop
- High-quality construction and materials
- Noisy operation
- No interior lighting
The simple and compact Westinghouse WCMH900B 900 Watt 0.9 Cu. Ft. Countertop Rotary Microwave Oven in Black delivers 900 watts of cooking power inside its small 0.9 cu. ft. interior. It features easy-to-use mechanical dials, six cooking power levels, an easy-to-clean design, and a compact, lightweight size that will easily fit on most countertops without eating up all the space. If you have minimal space in your apartment or dorm room this mini microwave is an excellent choice. Whether the microwave will be used by a college student or a senior citizen, the mechanical dial controls are remarkably easy to use. Despite its diminutive size, it comes with a 10.5-inch turntable that rotates the food for more even temperature distribution. Perfect for reheating a dinner plate, cooking personal frozen pizzas, warming beverages, and more, your food will be ready before you know it when the traditional “ding” alert goes off.
- 900W, 0.9 cu. ft., simple-to-operate, mini microwave
- Six cooking power levels allow you to tackle a variety of cooking tasks with the right power level including softening butter or chocolate, re-heating veggies, or preparing a frozen dinner
- Easy-to-use mechanical rotary dials allow you to set the cooking time from 1 to 30 minutes and adjust the power by just turning the chrome-accented time and power level knobs.
- Easy-to-grasp, chrome-accented grip handle for opening and closing the door
- Durable construction with a black front display and black cabinet
- 10.5-inch turntable rotates food for more even cooking
- Dimensions are 19W x 14.38D x 10.88H inches and it weighs 29.92 lbs.
- Very compact
- Value priced
- Many like the dial controls
- Simple operation
- Very short power cord
Toshiba produces innovative and stylish appliances that make life safer, more comfortable, more productive and their Toshiba EM925A5A-BS 900W 0.9 Cu. Ft. Microwave Oven in Black Stainless is a popular example. It is the ideal size for dorm rooms, small apartment kitchens, office break rooms, and more. It features a stylish Black Stainless exterior, 900 watts of power with ten power levels, one-touch buttons with six pre-programmed settings, an easy-to-read digital display, and convenient LED interior lighting. Your student will be able to conveniently reheat meals and beverages, steam vegetables, defrost meats, make popcorn, and more.
- 0.9 cu. ft., 900-watt, mini microwave
- Elegant, enduring Black Stainless Steel exterior is timeless, upward trending, and will complement any decor
- 10 power settings allow you to tailor microwave cooking power to your specific foods
- One-touch buttons make food preparation quick and easy and eliminate guesswork for six pre-programmed settings including Popcorn, Potatoes, Frozen Vegetables, Beverages, Dinner Plate, and Pizza
- Multi-stage cooking is easily programmed from the digital control panel
- Defrost by time or weight
- Integrated timer has an optional tone can be sounded at the end of the cooking cycle
- Eco Mode
- One-Touch start allows you to turn on the microwave by simply to9uching the number of minutes you would like to cook
- Pressing the start button adds an addition 30 seconds of cooking time
- Large 10.6-inch glass turntable allows foods to heat more evenly and is easy to clean with a damp cloth or remove it from the microwave to wash in hot, soapy water
- Child safety lock
- Dimensions are 19.2W x 15.9D x 11.5H inches and weighs 27.3 lbs.
- Budget price
- Attractive design and finish
- Perfect dorm size
- Mute setting is very popular
- Lightweight with a handle that can pull it across the counter
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If your student is going to be living off-campus, you should consider our article Panasonic Microwave: Best Full-Size Countertop Microwave Oven which reviews some of the best medium-size microwaves available.
Remember all dorms have different restrictions. Be sure and check with your student’s dorm to make sure the model you’re interested in is okay. I hope this article has helped you to find a mini microwave that is a good fit for your student.