Top 10 Retro Microwaves for Vintage Living: Old Meets New

Whether it’s nostalgia or just intrigue, there’s a lot of love for retro inspired designs out there. If that’s you and your kitchen is full of classic designs with modern convenience, then you’ll feel right at home as we explore the best retro microwave options out there.

While the popularity of TV dinners may be on the decline, quick and convenient cooking is more popular than ever. Just because our lives are busy doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy great retro-inspired looks as we go about them!

So, let’s take a look at the best options out there. Then, I’ll walk through some things to be on the lookout for as you settle on your next appliance.

If you’re curious to try something new, we also reviewed the best retro air fryer so you can keep your kitchen in theme!


Nostalgia RMO4AQ 800W Retro Countertop Microwave

This Nostalgia retro microwave gets the top pick of best retro microwave. It offers a really classic look, but with the modern convenience of lots of programs to choose from.

The cooking space and turntable inside allow you to use this for all your microwaving needs.

At 800W it’s not the strongest power ever, but it’s definitely reasonable. It does help reduce the amps your microwave uses at least!

The Nostalgia retro microwave does run with a mechanical hum that definitely feels like an old microwave, which some may find annoying. The dials look great, but setting the clock can be a tad confusing to begin with.

Additionally, the version of this microwave with a child lock is more expensive and available in fewer colors.

Since the countertop microwave is quite easy to turn on, if you have small children that like to “explore”, you’ll need to decide if it’s the right option for you.

Overall though, you can’t beat the size, style, and options on this modern yet retro Nostalgia microwave.


  • 0.9 cubic feet offers great cooking space
  • Available in 6 retro colors: aqua, black, cream, pink, red, seafoam green
  • 12 pre-programmed cooking functions
  • Easy to clean interior and exterior
  • Shiny buttons and dials


  • Loud during cooking
  • Child lock costs extra

Also Available At


Winia WOR07R3ZEM 700W Retro Microwave

This compact Winia model gets the pick for best small retro microwave. At only 17.6” wide, it won’t take up much counter space, which is perfect for small apartments and shared spaces.

While it’s only 700W, the integrated special reflective cooking system helps to keep it efficient and faster than a normal low wattage microwave.

At only 0.7 cu ft interior you may think it’s small, but the Winia offsets that by using a recessed turntable which gains you some additional height space.

Really, my only overall complaint is that this retro microwave has no clock. However, that’s a minor inconvenience that could be offset by a wall or oven clock instead.

Otherwise, if you’re shopping for a compact retro microwave, the Winia WOR07R3ZEM is small but mighty!

If space is your biggest concern, check out some of our other best dorm microwaves for compact solutions!


  • Available in mint green, cream, and slate blue retro colors
  • Low energy consumption
  • Small footprint takes up less space
  • Reflective interior to produce more even heating
  • 5 cooking programs and 2 auto defrost options


  • Only 0.7 cu ft of cooking space
  • 700W power means food may take longer to cook
  • Door closes tight; needs two hands to use well
  • No clock

Also Available At


Galanz GLCMKA07BKR-07 700W Microwave Oven

This Galanz microwave gets the pick for best value retro microwave.

While it may be one of the cheapest, that doesn’t stop it from boasting a lot of great features and options!

It comes with cooking programs and adjustable power levels so you can cook, defrost, and reheat easily.

While the controls can be touchy, the child lock makes it easy to prevent accidental starts.

Speaking of the controls though, the timer may only be set for 10 second intervals up to 10 minutes. If you’re trying to cook in 15-second bursts, you’ll need to watch it and end the cycle early.

Also on the downside, it’s a smaller microwave, which means a smaller capacity.

If counter space isn’t a concern for you, you may want to opt for something with a larger interior.

However, for the value, this Galanz microwave is a great pick.

Most of the things I don’t like are minor inconveniences. When you remember that it’s one of the cheapest options with reliable output, it doesn’t seem so bad at all!

In fact, retro looks aside, this Galanz model still made the list for our best microwaves under $100!


  • Under $100 price point
  • Available in black, blue, red, yellow, cream, and mint green retro colors
  • LED lighting
  • Child lock
  • 6 power levels
  • 6 Pre-programmed cooking functions


  • Only 700W so may take longer to cook
  • Small 0.7 cu ft interior space
  • Can only be set for specific cooking intervals (no custom time option)
  • Cannot be muted

Also Available At


Comfee CM-M092AAT Retro Microwave

The Comfee CM-M092AAT Retro Microwave gets the pick for the best 900W model available. Increased power means reduced cooking times!

Despite that, it’s still a relatively compact model, coming in at around 19” wide which means it still won’t take up that much room. It’s still larger than the Winia, though.

A variety of functions make cooking and defrosting easy. The turntable provides even heating, while the display makes it a useful tool in the kitchen.

It isn’t a sensor cooking microwave but the handy pre-programmed options keep your meals on track.

The biggest downside to this microwave are the confusing controls. They’re not intuitive, so you really have to read the manual.

I find that there are always “extra” steps to every process, and it’s not easy to set it and forget it most times.

Thankfully, this model offers a mute option, so you don’t need to worry about all the beeping while you figure things out!

Learn more about how to silence a microwave for this or any other model you’re looking at!

If a smaller size balanced with increased cooking power is important to you, the Comfee 900W retro microwave is a great choice.

Once you get used to the controls they’re not bad, just expect a learning curve.


  • 9 Preset cooking programs
  • Clock and timer display
  • Mutable
  • Available in apricot (cream), mint green, and red retro colors
  • 0.9 cu ft interior hold dinner plates


  • Controls are hard to figure out

Also Available At


Galanz GLCMKZ11RDR10 Retro Countertop Microwave

The Galanz brand is back! While their budget model is a great choice, the Galanz GLCMKZ11RDR10 Retro microwave is our best 1000W option.

With the additional power, this retro microwave cooks food quickly, easily, and also evenly thanks to the turntable.

There are 17 different presets encompassing both defrost and cooking options, so whether you’re defrosting ground beef in the microwave or cooking a pizza, it’s got you covered.

Like the budget model, though, this Galanz only offers certain time intervals. However, the addition of the 30 second quick cook option here is pretty handy.

The weight of the door versus the overall unit is tricky, meaning you need to hold with one hand and pull the door open with the other.

Finally, it runs a bit on the loud side.

If you’re looking for a more powerful microwave above everything else in your choice, this Galanz retro microwave is a solid pick.

The cons are really only minor inconveniences to an otherwise stylish and efficient microwave.


  • Available in black, blue, mint green, and red retro colors
  • 1.1 cu ft of cooking space
  • 1000W of power cooks things quickly
  • Reheat, defrost, and auto cooking options
  • 17 different programs included


  • Can only be set for specific cooking intervals (no custom time option)
  • Requires two hands to open door
  • Runs loudly

Also Available At


RCA RMW987 Retro Microwave

When it comes to a household brand name, the RCA RMW987 Retro Microwave gets the pick.

That’s not to say of course that any of the other microwaves mentioned here are bad choices at all! However, some just really prefer to go with tried and true brand names.

This model features ample cooking space and power, with a variety of pre-set cooking and defrost options to make life easier.

Like many retro microwaves, the controls aren’t incredibly intuitive, but I didn’t find them too hard to learn overall.

At 32 pounds, this is on the higher end of what a countertop microwave weighs generally.

I wish this microwave had more authentic retro colors available, and as someone who likes to watch their food, I also would prefer if it had an internal light.


  • 0.9 ct ft of ample cooking space
  • Child safety lock
  • 900W with 5 power level options
  • Speed and auto defrost options
  • 8 pre-programmed cooking functions


  • Only available in black or red (missing some of those true retro colors)
  • Large size
  • Controls are complicated
  • No internal light

Also Available At


Costway Retro Microwave

The Costway retro microwave gets an honorable mention from me. It’s not a bad microwave overall, it’s just that other microwaves do better in class.

It’s got an ample 900W of power with adjustable levels. The turntable heats food evenly, and it can hold a dinner plate just fine.

The controls actually are relatively easy and the child lock keeps little ones safe.

However, this microwave has no silent option. The door is hard to close and the interior light will stay on if you don’t do it just right, which I find really annoying.

You’ll have to select specific cooking intervals and it doesn’t have a 30-second fast cook option.

It does, however, have some built-in programs to mitigate some of the annoyance.

If you’re particularly in love with this retro microwave, I have no reason to say run for the hills! Just, for me, there are better options at a similar price point.


  • 0.9 cu ft of cooking space
  • 900W with 5 power levels
  • Child lock
  • LED lights and clock
  • 8 programs


  • Only available in mint green or white
  • Doesn’t mute
  • Door is a hard close
  • No 30-sec option
  • Can only be set for specific cooking intervals (no custom time option)
  • No timer option aside from cooking

Also Available At


Arlime Retro Microwave Oven

The other runner up is this Arlime retro microwave oven.

Note that Arlime is actually the Costway brand from my other honorable mention, just sold under a different label.

But, it is a different model of microwave regardless which label it’s under, so I’m treating it as its own.

This Arlime has a compact footprint, great for space saving and RV usage.

It has low power as well at 700W, which means longer cook times. However, the Winia does more to combat these downfalls than Arlime does.

It’s not a particularly cheap option, but still has a plastic handle which I think makes it feel a little cheap quality without it being a budget unit.

When it’s running, the microwave is also pretty loud, which seems counterintuitive for its small space design.

However, it’s cute and functional.

The 5 defrost and cooking options meet most needs you’ll have, and it has an interior light and external clock for convenience.

To me, the Arlime retro microwave isn’t a bad choice, it just isn’t as best in class as some other brands and models out there.


  • Compact and space saving
  • 5 defrost and cooking programs
  • Comes in black, white, or blue retro (and the black has fancy copper tone buttons)


  • Only 700W so cooking takes longer
  • Plastic door handle
  • Small 0.7 cu ft cooking space doesn’t fit large plates
  • Runs loud

Also Available At


Daewoo KOR-7LREM Retro Countertop Microwave

The Daewoo KOR-7LREM retro microwave gets an honorable mention for a few reasons.

It’s small, which, while great for compact spaces, it doesn’t fit a full size bag of popcorn.

At 700W, the lower power is economical, but it takes a very long time to cook, especially when defrosting on even further reduced power.

It’s a cute microwave with a nice retro design, and the controls are fairly intuitive actually.

However, the buttons sometimes don’t engage when pressed, and there’s no clock so it isn’t good for much when not in use.

Overall it wouldn’t be a bad option, but the biggest problem is that this Daewoo retro microwave just isn’t available.

I’d be willing to bet it’s discontinued, but can’t find confirmation of that. However, it’s not readily available anywhere here in the US.


  • Available in white cream, mint green, and red retro colors
  • Has 6 preset cooking functions
  • Auto defrost, though sluggish
  • 30 second fast cook
  • 5 power levels available
  • Child lock


  • 0.7 cu ft cooking space may not fit large dishes
  • 700W power means cooking takes longer
  • No clock
  • Finicky buttons

Also Available At


Rovsun Retro Countertop Microwave Oven

The Rovsun microwave is super cute and retro styled. It even has a delayed start feature, which is one of the only times I’ve seen it on a retro microwave.

However, that’s kind of where it ends for me.

The controls are not easy to use, and the instruction manual is not clear, which kind of makes for a perfect storm.

Ultimately, I think the intent of the microwave is to use cooking presets for nearly everything.

If you stick to those, it’s a great little microwave and works just fine. For custom cooking and more finicky tasks like microwaving milk for hot chocolate, it’ll be the bane of your existence.

To top it off, like the Daewoo, the Rovsun retro microwave is nearly impossible to find as well. This leads me to believe that it may also be discontinued.

Don’t let it get you down, though, as there are so many other great options to choose from!


  • 0.9 cu ft cooking capacity
  • Child lock
  • Delayed start feature
  • 900W with 5 power levels
  • 8 cooking presets


  • Controls aren’t intuitive
  • Instructions aren’t incredibly helpful
  • Cook time only sets in 10-second increments

Top Features to Look For in a Retro Microwave

We’ve gone over all the picks for the best retro microwave.

However, there are always others out there to consider if none of these suit your style!

If you’re venturing out on your own, let’s talk about some of the top features you’ll want to review when looking for a retro microwave.

best retro microwave a home appliance buying guide dinners done quick featured image

Size (Exterior and Interior)

Size is of course an important thing to factor into any appliance purchase, retro microwaves included.

Exterior size is going to matter in terms of your counter space. If you have a small apartment, RV, or shared space, the smaller the better!

However, the exterior size also plays into interior size, meaning the available cooking area.

These are the most common cubic feet for retro microwaves:

  • 0.7 cubic feet. With the 0.7 size, you’ll have the most space on your counter, but what you can cook will be smaller as well. This size doesn’t fit dinner plates or a full bag of popcorn. It’s best for single users, or those on tight size constraints.
  • 0.9 cubic feet. At 0.9, you’ll have space for a dinner plate and popcorn at least! This is a pretty standard size of microwave that handles most of your general use items, and is suitable for 1-4 people.
  • 1.1 cubic feet. By opting for a large size such as 1.1 cubic feet, the microwave will take up more counter space. However, you’ll gain a lot of interior space for cooking with larger items, like a microwave pressure cooker. If you have a large family or do a lot of microwave cooking, this is probably the best size for you.

Color & Style

While I normally couldn’t care less about the color of my appliances, I actually think it’s really important with a retro microwave.

The most common retro microwave colors are:

  • Black
  • Cream
  • Seafoam or mint green
  • Light blue
  • Red (bright)

Especially if you’re doing a retro-themed kitchen and trying to coordinate your appliances in a specific tone, this is definitely something to consider.

Not all brands and models come in all these colors, so it definitely factors in.

Additionally, there are other style options to consider. While most offer large dials and buttons, a lot depends on what you’ll use most frequently.

Many retro microwaves don’t have a clock or kitchen timer either, so if you want to see them in your kitchen, make sure to check in advance!

Ease of Use

One of the most common complaints about retro microwaves in general is the ease of use.

Those big knobs and buttons look great, but make setting the microwave a lot less intuitive.

If you’ve always used modern, digital keypad microwaves, there will be a large learning curve involved.

Choose one with options that work best for you. If you do a lot of defrosting, make sure you can adjust power levels or the microwave has designated defrost settings.

Presets save a lot of time, but they’re designed only for specific foods, such as popcorn, pizza, or beverages.

This may work fine for some, but if you use your microwave for more make sure it can do more.

Some models only offer time in certain increments (like 10 seconds), or make it very difficult to set a custom time.

If you do a lot of cooking in increments, such as drying parsley in the microwave you’ll find these restrictive settings inconvenient.

In Conclusion

While the Nostalgia 800W retro microwave tops the list for best retro microwave, there are a lot of other great options. Depending on your budget, space, cooking needs, color preference, and desired options, there are retro microwaves for everyone!

If you’re ready to bring in the new with a classic retro throwback, learn about what to do with an old microwave to get ready for your newest appliance.

Katie Vine