Moving all of your stuff into a dorm room is a big enough task, never mind having to shop for appliances that just don’t seem to fit your smaller living quarters.
You need your microwave to be compact to fit in your dorm room while still being functional.
You may also require a microwave that has more than the basic reheating features. Whatever your needs with your microwave, we have got you covered!
Not sure where to start?
We have curated 5 of the best microwaves for dorms. Whether it's the best overall or the most value for money, there is a microwave that will fit into your dorm room and make your life easier as a student.
We have also created a simple buyer's guide for all of your microwave needs. Read below to find out more!
OUR TOP PICK
Need more than just basic reheating functions from your microwave? The Comfee countertop microwave oven may just be the one for you.
Offering 700 watts of cooking power, this microwave is affordable, compact, and stylish.
With 6 auto-cook options, you have the ability to cook more than frozen meals in your dorm room.
From cooking popcorn to express cooking, you will never be late due to your microwave. Although, sleeping in may be a different problem.
Sharing your dorm with another student?
You can turn off those pesky notification noises when you are studying well into the night and don’t want to disturb your roommate's slumber.
Cook quietly and efficiently with the Comfee countertop microwave oven.
The Comfee countertop microwave oven makes your life simple while keeping your stomach full night after night.
You might even become the talk of your dorm due to the amazing food you can cook with your microwave. Or, keep it a secret and turn off that notification noise.
Learn more about how to silence a microwave with our helpful guide.
- Design: Sleek and compact, this microwave is perfect for when you don’t have a lot of countertop space.
- Autocook Preset: Simply select your desired cooking time with the handy presents and let your food cook to its optimum temperature.
- No Noise: You can turn off the notification noises so as not to disturb others in your dorm room, or if you just prefer to have a quiet microwave.
- Price: This microwave is perfect for those working within a student's budget.
- Time: If not using the Express Cooking setting then your food may take longer to cook than other microwaves.
If you happen to have a wider budget and are on the market for a more high-tech microwave then look no further.
The Panasonic NN-SN65KW microwave oven has up to 1200 watts of power and a 1.2 cubic foot capacity, so you can do more than make popcorn.
This microwave comes with Genius Sensor technology. This sensor takes the guesswork out of cooking.
It automatically adjusts the power and cooking time to make sure your food comes out perfect every time. Don’t forget the amazing reheat sensor for those delicious leftovers.
Learn how to reheat fries in the microwave to make the most of last night’s meal!
Food is heated evenly from the borders to the center thanks to Panasonic's proprietary Inverter Technology.
You will never need to worry about eating cold, undercooked food again with the Panasonic NN-SN65KW Microwave Oven.
- Power: With up to 1200 watts of power available through this appliance, your food will be cooked all the way through every time.
- Genius Sensor: This takes the guesswork and worries out of cooking. As your meals cook, the Genius Sensor automatically adjusts the time and temperature to ensure your food is cooked to perfection.
- 15 Auto Cook Options: Keep your food warm, defrost, and even steam your veggies without the need for 15 different appliances.
- Price: While this may be an affordable option for an inverter microwave, it may still be out of many people's budgets.
It’s no secret that college dorm rooms are not the most spacious of places, so if you want to maximize your space without forgoing the convenience of a microwave then you need to opt for a microwave with smaller dimensions.
What we appreciate about this Black & Decker microwave is its compact size, with external dimensions that are 17.3 inches wide, 13 inches deep, and 10.2 inches tall.
Despite its compact size, you’ll still get 700 watts of cooking power and an interior capacity of 0.7 cubic feet.
This microwave also features a standard touchpad control panel with six auto-cook presets, express quick start cook for buttons for 1-6 minutes, defrost, and a memory feature.
It also has 10 power settings and a glass turntable with a diameter of 10 inches.
Overall, this is a no-fuss straightforward microwave that has 700 watts of cooking power, 0.7 cubic feet of space, and a 10-inch turntable that is ideal for reheating food and beverages.
- Has 10 power settings.
- 700 watts of cooking power.
- Six auto-cook presets.
- Stainless steel finish.
- Does not have fingerprint resistance.
This stylish stainless steel microwave is perfect for dorm rooms.
It also has a handy memory function to save your most used settings. That's ideal for cooking those ramen noodles to perfection when in a pinch.
Learn how long to microwave cup noodles for a delicious result every time!
With 900 watts of power and 10 different levels, you really can go from 0-100%, allowing you to avoid undercooked and overcooked food.
This is an amazing function for those who don't have much cooking experience or simply don’t have many skills in the kitchen.
When living in a shared or single dorm, it is all about convenience: something the Farberware Classic has mastered. The 6 one-touch cooking functions make cooking easy.
Whether you need to defrost or make a meal in record time, this microwave is ideal.
You can set the timer between 1 and 6 minutes to make quick meals when you are in a hurry.
The LED clock and the glass panel door make it easy to watch your food as it cooks and ensure it is made to perfection.
- Style: Sleek, small, and simple, this microwave is perfect for every small living space including dorm rooms.
- Memory Function: Cooking the same things often? This microwave will automatically memorize the settings allowing you to make your favorite quickly and effortlessly.
- LED Clock & Glass Panel: Watch and monitor your food as it cooks with the LED clock and glass panel.
- Weight: This microwave is small and compact, meaning that when you open the door, you may drag the entire appliance off the countertop.
Although microwaves are ideal for busy students who just want to whip up a quick, convenient meal, that doesn’t mean that when you do have some time you don’t want to cook something a little more decadent.
If this is the case, then some of the more basic, compact microwaves just aren’t going to cut it.
This is where the Emerson microwave comes in. It has plenty of space and power as well as a grilling feature!
Offering 1,100 watts of power and a 1.2 cubic foot capacity, it has external dimensions that measure 20.6 inches wide, 17.3 inches deep, and 12.8 inches tall, as well as a 12.4-inch diameter turntable.
But let’s talk about that unique built-in griller element which is perfect for grilling meats and vegetables if you are not able to use a grill on campus.
This microwave also has 11 power levels, nine auto-cook presets, a time and weight defrost option, and express cook buttons for 1-6 minutes.
Overall, this microwave is ideal for the college student who loves to cook!
It has 1,100 watts of power, 1.2 cubic feet of cooking space, 10 power levels, and it also doubles as a grill!
- Has 11 power levels.
- 1,100 watts of power.
- Doubles up as a grill and has grill technology built in.
- The features may be overwhelming for someone who just needs a basic microwave.
Best Dorm Microwave Buying Guide
When deciding what microwave would be best for your dorm room, there are a few select features that must be considered.
Most importantly, you won’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a college budget!
Your microwave should provide basic features such as reheating leftovers, cooking frozen dinners, and preparing snacks. Speaking of snacks, learn how long to microwave bagel bites for the perfect study session munchie!
However, that’s not to say your appliance can’t offer something more as well!
Being a student, you must be cautious of where you spend your money. You want appliances that are of high quality but won’t cost you your entire budget.
If you have the budget for it then we highly recommend opting for a microwave that is of higher quality and has a few more smart features.
However, a microwave that reheats, defrosts and cooks your food consistently is well worth the money.
Selecting an appliance that is too cheap may cost you more in the long run. After all, you get what you pay for.
Investing in a slightly better made, more expensive microwave could be a better use of your money and see you through the academic years.
Ease Of Use
At home, you might have a fully geeked-out gadget that performs a range of functions. Well, those microwaves may not be within your budget.
Your microwave should be simple to use and make cooking easy.
Preset functions are a great addition to microwaves as they take the guesswork out of cooking. This will save you a lot of time and effort when you are busy studying.
Simply place your food in the microwave, press the correct preset, and let the microwave do the work.
Another great function of a microwave is an Express Cooking function.
This can be found on most microwave appliances and allows you to cook your meals quickly and correctly.
Whether you are in a rush or just really hungry, you can have your favorite dishes quickly.
The memory function is also a popular setting for many microwaves. This setting memorizes your most used cooking settings and adjusts the time and temperature accordingly.
While we all throw the packaging of our frozen meals in the trash without reading the instructions, the wattage of the microwave is highly important.
A lower wattage microwave may be more budget-friendly but it may take longer to cook your food.
The most common wattage of microwaves ranges between 600-1200 watts. This can be used to determine the strength of a microwave.
Microwaves that have a lower wattage are weaker and may not cook your food evenly.
A microwave of around 700 watts is great from dorm rooms. It is powerful enough to cook your food quickly and evenly while not needing too much power to perform.
Don’t worry, a 700 watt microwave is strong enough to cook your popcorn to perfection while also defrosting your chicken for dinner.
At 1200 watts, a microwave could cause your dorm power to surge. Plus, if you have never used a microwave with this power level, then you could overcook your food regularly.
To find the wattage of your microwave, open the door, look at the barcode label on the inside of the door and the wattage of the microwave will be displayed.
Learn more about how many amps a microwave uses, so you make sure you’re picking an appropriate one based on available power
Size & Style
You should put a good compact microwave first because most college dorms generally don’t come with a lot of countertop space.
Particularly, countertop models with an interior volume of less than one cubic foot are an excellent choice because they are often smaller and take up less room.
When it comes to style it is completely down to personal preference. However, stainless steel or black microwaves will show fingerprints and dirt a lot faster. This means it will need to be cleaned more often.
On the other hand, a white microwave tends not to be the most stylish of designs.
If you're really interested in diving into style, then check out the guide I wrote on the best retro microwave.
How effectively food is cooked in your microwave depends on the heating method.
Despite being among the greatest options since they are the most efficient, convection and inverter microwaves are also some of the priciest.
Intermittent pulsing is often used in more affordable models to move air. These are typically the least effective choice, despite being wonderful for your budget.
Investing in a well-designed heating system will make your life much easier.
You can cook your food knowing it will be cooked all the way through time and time again, meaning you don’t have to worry about what to eat when it comes to using your microwave.
Best Dorm Microwave Frequently Asked Questions
When it comes to selecting a microwave for your dorm room, you may still have some unanswered questions.
We have worked to answer the most common questions regarding microwaves for college dorm rooms.
Can You Have A Microwave In Your Dorm?
Above all, your RA should have the answer to this question. However, generally, the answer is that you can have a microwave in your dorm room.
Regardless, we suggest investing in a microwave for your dorm room. This way you have one if you are allowed and you can return if you are not.
Who wants to walk down to the kitchen every time they need to heat something, even if your dorm includes a public kitchen? Who wants to wait in line to use the microwave if there is one?
You'll find it convenient to have a microwave in your room for those late-night study sessions.
You can even learn how to silence a microwave without a sound button, so you don’t disturb your roommates!
How Long Should A Microwave Last?
You may be surprised to know that a good, decent-quality microwave should last you throughout and beyond your undergraduate years.
A microwave should typically last around 7 years with normal use and care. You may even find that it will last you longer than the average 7 years.
Most experts recommend upgrading your microwave every few years as they will be energy efficient and provide more advanced features.
What Size Microwave Is Allowed In A Dorm Room?
A single person with little space will do just fine with a tiny 0.7 cubic foot microwave.
If you have additional space, a larger microwave of at least 1.2-1.6 cubic feet is recommended.
Moving into dorms this fall and in need of a small, functioning microwave to get you through the long nights of exams? We’ve got you covered!
With 5 incredible microwaves to choose from, all suitable for your dorm, could have a warm meal every night without leaving your room.
Use simple features such as reheating leftovers or cooking frozen meals or try more advanced features such as memorizing your most used settings to cook your favorite foods.
Take your time to look through our top picks that suit your budget.
Our easy-to-follow buyer's guide simply helps makes sure you are getting the most value for your money.
We explain why the wattage, heating methods, price, and even the size and style of the microwave should impact your decision to buy.
You could have a small, budget-friendly, functioning microwave today!
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