What are the different sizes of microwaves and which one is right for you

Here’s a guide to choosing the right microwave size for you

What are the different sizes of microwaves and which one is right for you


Although microwaves are frequently used for cooking, determining the right sized microwave for your kitchen can be challenging. This is particularly true if you don’t have a dedicated space for it and will be installing the microwave between two cabinets. This is exactly why you need some thorough research on the capacities and dimensions of countertops and over-the-range microwaves to determine which size will work best for your kitchen and cooking requirements.

Sounds like a daunting task? Don’t worry. In this article we will make things much easier by discussing the different sizes of microwaves available, and determining which one is right for you.

Understanding standard microwave sizes

When deciding what size microwave to purchase, two measurements must be taken into account. You can use the microwave’s external measurements, which are expressed in inches, to estimate how big it is overall and how much room you’ll need for it. The microwave’s internal dimensions, or capacity, expressed in cubic feet, show how much cooking area is available inside.

Now that that’s clear, here’s a look at the various styles of microwaves you will be able to choose from.

Countertop microwaves

Microwaves that stand alone are evidently intended to be placed atop a kitchen counter. Microwaves for countertops come in a variety of volumes. The most popular versions come in sizes around 1 and 1.9 cubic feet, but there are also huge models that can hold up to 2.2 cubic feet and tiny variants that can hold as little as 0.5 cubic feet.

ALSO READ: 5 tips to clean your microwave ovens

While mid-size and large variants may be 24-inches wide or more, some compact countertop models have an outside width of less than 18 inches. Although some small models are just about 12-inches deep, the more typical depths fall between 18 and 22-inches. In general, people are between 10 and 18-inches tall.

Over-the-range microwaves

To serve as an exhaust hood for the range, over-the-range microwaves are made to fit into the space above a cooktop. They typically have a built-in venting system.

Over-the-range microwaves have fewer size options than countertop models because they have to fit atop a typical stove. The majority of versions range in size from 16 to 18 inches in height, 15 to 16-inches in depth, and 29 to 30-inches in width. Typical capacities range from 1.5 to 2.2 cubic feet, though there are also smaller variants.

Built-in microwaves

Built-in microwaves are intended to be mounted above countertops or concealed inside custom cabinetry. Built-ins are available in a larger range of sizes than over-the-range types since they are not limited by the cooktop’s dimensions. The most typical built-in type microwaves, like countertop units, have capacities between 1 and 1.9 cubic feet, while models with capacities of up to 2.2 cubic feet are also available. Built-in variants have an outside dimension range that is comparable to countertop models with identical capacity.

Other factors to keep in mind

The fact that there are two sets of microwave dimensions—interior and exterior—can be perplexing. The outside dimensions are particularly crucial for over-the-range units. Remember that the microwave’s depth will decide how far it protrudes from the wall. If you are exceptionally tall, a microwave with a deep interior may make it difficult for you to reach your range. If you are short, you run the risk of bumping your head when you lean over to reach the rear of the range.

Microwave sizes typically range from 25 to 50 litres (L), and capacity is measured in L. If you want to use the appliance mostly for reheating and defrosting, stay with a smaller model. It seems to reason that bigger will be better if you’ll be utilising the microwave to prepare meals for a huge household. If you choose a model with a turntable, attempt to determine how broad the turntable is in relation to a standard dinner plate.

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