There are two things to consider when thinking about the size of a typical dorm microwave:
- The interior cooking space
- The exterior appliance size
As a general rule of thumb, the interior size should be around 0.7 cubic feet. That’s enough space to cook with, or reheat some leftovers, for a single person.
As for the exterior measurements, there are a number of microwaves on the market that are well suited to compact living.
Expect to find these appliances measuring around 17.0 inches wide, 10 inches high, and 13 inches deep.
It’s important to check the turntable size as well though. For reheating food, you should aim for a turntable with a size of around 10 inches – about the size of the average dinner plate, in other words. If you’re using plastic containers for leftovers, make sure they’re safe for reheating in the microwave.
Ideally you’ll buy your dorm microwave after you’ve had a chance to scope out the accommodation in person.
This is something you want to be able to tuck away – it’s there when you need it, but not taking up space when you don’t!
What Is A Good Microwave For A Dorm Room?
Based on extensive research I conducted for Viva Flavor, the clear winner was the Amazon Basics Microwave Oven.
- Now it’s easier to defrost vegetables, make popcorn, cook potatoes, and reheat rice. With an Echo...
- Compact size saves counter space, plus 10 power levels, a kitchen timer, a child lock, and a turntable.
- Alexa is always getting smarter and adding new presets.
(Heads up! If you click on a product link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. I never recommend a product I wouldn’t use in my own kitchen, and this helps keep the site running. Thank you.)
As you’d expect from the name, it’s not the most sophisticated appliance on the market! Still, it’s very cost-effective, features a number of different power levels, and even features smart speaker support.
Different students will have different needs, and so I’ve put together a buying guide that covers the best dorm microwave options.
Just make sure that the power rating of your microwave meets the limits set by the college authorities.
Do College Dorms Have Microwaves?
It’s very common to find a microwave in the communal area of a college dorm!
If you want to add one to your own dorm room though, you’ll need to make sure the power rating stays within the rules.
Most colleges will allow students to have appliances with a 700 Watt rating in their individual rooms, but it’s really important to check these limits before buying anything.
The benefits of having a personal dorm microwave are obvious though. You don’t have to wait in line to use the communal appliance, and you’ll have access to hot leftovers and beverages whenever it suits.
This sort of appliance is endlessly helpful when you’re working to individual deadlines, and don’t have time to hang around for other people! Just take a little time out of your schedule to clean your microwave every now and then!
Mark’s a lifelong food fanatic and spent ten years working as an entertainment journalist. He now combines his love of food, drink and writing as the founder and editor of Viva Flavor. Read more