It is quite impossible to think of leading a college dorm life without microwaves. Whether you are planning to prepare yourself a single-serve brownie, or zap some popcorn, or want to whip up some ramen, these got your back.
These will also help you prevent food wastage by reheating up the leftover food. And wasting food is something that most of the college students do in their dorm life.
You will also be able to save up plenty of time by reheating frozen meals too. But for doing all of that, you are going to need the best dorm microwave. Those will be small enough that you would be able to fit them in your small dorm room but will be capable enough to reheat or heat up most of the dishes quickly.
9 Best Dorm Room Microwave Review
As you know by now, dorm life is basically relying on the small-sized appliances to get the jobs done. And it is highly likely that you would not have the space to accommodate a regular-sized microwave.
To make it easier for you to get one of the small-sized ones, we have huddled a list of the compact but well-performing devices. They are:
1. AmazonBasics Microwave 700W
There are plenty of models out there. But not all of the small microwave oven for dorm rooms are as smart as this one that AmazonBasics is offering.
To start with, it has Alexa built-in. That means after connecting it with an echo device, you would be able to give it voice commands. This integration of Alexa makes this smarter than what the other brands have to offer.
Apart from being smart, the overall form factor of the device is exceptionally small and compact. You would be able to save plenty of counter space. And even though it is small in size, it is packed with features. There are ten different power levels, which will let you reheat most of the dishes.
Other than that, it has a timer feature that will enable you to set timers for the heating sessions. Also, there is a child lock feature that will lock the control panel. That will prevent accidents from happening. The turntable features a high-quality glass construction, making it a worthy pick for the best dorm room microwave.
2. Galanz GLCMKA07BER
Not all of the college dorm microwave has to be bland and has to look old-school. Galanz factored that in, which is why they offer plenty of attractive color options for this unit.
To begin with, it comes in four different color options. Each of the colors is pretty vibrant and will definitely be able to blend well with the rest of the appliances that you might have in your room. The interior light also features an auto mode, which will light up only when you open the door.
Other than that, there are six different power levels. That amount of power levels will enable you to reheat up most of the foods in a short amount of time. Also, it has a sizable LED display on the front that will show the cooking time, which is essential for the best microwaves for dorm rooms.
It also has a smart mechanism that will enable it to set the perfect timer for defrosting foods. You would not have to play the guessing game anymore. The turntable rotates to a full 360 degrees, which will make sure that the food inside is evenly heated up.
3. BLACK+DECKER Digital
If you are looking for the best microwave for college dorm that has an automatic door opening mechanism, you should look at what BLACK+DECKER has to offer.
First of all, this small dorm size microwave comes in two versions. One of them has a 0.7 cubic feet capacity, and the other one has a 0.9 cubic feet capacity. Both of them has pre-programmed buttons, which will enable you to reheat pizza, beverage, popcorn, and other foods quickly.
Aside from that, it comes with a large LED display on the front, which is pretty easy-to-read. There is a push button that will enable you to quickly and easily open the door up. You would not have to pull on it manually. The control panel has a locking mechanism that disables all of the buttons when activated.
Apart from that, the unit's power is 900 watts, which is higher than most of the other ovens. Also, it has ten different power settings and timer modes. There is a thirty seconds express cooking mode as well.
4. Frigidaire FFMV1846VS
It was quite hard to find a microwave for college dorm room that is not only small in size but also has a large interior before. But thanks to manufacturers such as Frigidaire, getting one of those has become more manageable.
To start with, the overall size of the unit is pretty small and compact. For that reason, you would not have any trouble accommodating it in your small-sized room. And even though this is one of the small dorm microwaves, the overall capacity is reasonably high. The interior is 1.8 cubic feet.
Apart from being compact, the unit packs quite an amount of power. It has a 1000 cooking watts rating, making it a decent pick for the best microwave for dorm. Also, there are ten different power levels, which will enable you to cook different dishes efficiently.
Other than that, it has a defrost mode. That mode will automatically set the timer according to the weight of the frozen food. Also, you would be able to switch the heat distribution speed from 105 to 300 CFM.
5. Nostalgia RMO4AQ
On the lookout for a modern oven that comes in a shell of a retro machine? Well, then Nostalgia has got you covered.
First of all, this college dorm microwave sports a retro outlook. It comes with a chrome-plated handle. The control panel and the buttons also have a retro vibe to them. You would be able to boost your room aesthetics with this. Also, there are five different color options.
Other than the outlooks, the unit is reasonably powerful. It packs an 800 watts cooking power and has different power levels that you will be able to switch from. Also, there are twelve pre-programmed buttons, which will enable you to quickly reheat different types of snacks.
Aside from that, the unit is pretty easy to operate, thanks to the simple program dial that it flaunts on the front. There is a bright LED display on the front as well. That will show you the timer and other information. The rotating turntable that it has on the inside will make sure that the heat distribution is even.
6. Kenmore 70929
Having options in terms of size when trying to get one of the small dorm microwaves is always a good thing. And Kenmore is here to offer exactly that.
To begin with, you will have the freedom to choose one of the two size options available for this unit. Depending on the amount of food you usually reheat, you can choose the 0.7 cubic feet or the 0.9 cubic feet one. Also, you will be able to choose one of the colors from the four different ones that it comes in.
Aside from all of the options, the unit is reasonably small in size. And because of how compact and small the exterior is, you are going to have any trouble accommodating this on tables. It packs 900 cooking watts and has ten different power levels that you would be able to switch from.
Other than that, there are six different cooking preset. It also has an express cooking mode, which will cook different types of dishes in a short amount of time. There is a defrost mode, which will defrost different kinds of frozen foods quickly.
7. Panasonic Microwave NN-SN686S
The manufacturer Panasonic has been dominating the market with plenty of reliable home appliances. And they are now offering a well-performing microwave for college dorm room as well.
To start with, it is powerful than what most of the other brands are offering. The power rating is at 1200 watts, which is exceptionally high. That means it would not take that long to reheat foods using this. It also packs Inverter Technology that will defrost frozen items quickly.
The overall size of the unit is reasonably compact. For that reason, you would be able to accommodate this in your small dorm room without any issues at all. Also, the interior of the device is comparatively large. It is 1.2 cubic feet, which means you would be able to heat up a large amount of food inside it.
Aside from that, there are plenty of smart cooking settings. You would be able to heat up foods quickly using the fourteen preset menus that it has pre-programmed. It also has a keep warm feature.
8. Toshiba ML-EM34P(SS)
Being able to open and close the door hands-free can come in handy in plenty of different situations. And you would be able to enjoy that convenience in this unit that is from Toshiba.
To begin with, it integrates Alexa that will enable you to give voice commands. After you connect the device with an echo dot, you will be able to operate it hands-free. That includes starting the device up, keep it in the warm mode, opening the door, and many more.
You will also have to option to opt for the entirely silent operational mode. That means you would be able to turn the sounds off. And that will enable you to operate it in the middle of the night without having to worry about the roommates getting annoyed.
It has energy-saving features as well. That mode will enable you to cut some electricity bills. It also has a built-in humidity sensor that will adjust the cooking setting according to the type of food you plan to cook. Also, it has a plethora of pre-programmed settings.
9. Farberware 1.1 Cu. Ft
We are going to wrap up our college dorm microwave reviews with this uni that Farberware is offering. If you were on the lookout for a stylish and spacious oven, then you should definitely put this one on your consideration list.
First of all, the overall build quality of the unit is pretty premium. It utilizes high-quality materials that do not only make it look good but also achieve a higher level of durability. The power of the device is a staggering 1000 watts, and there are ten different power levels that you will be able to choose from.
Other than that, it packs six different pre-programmed settings. Because of those settings, you will be able to heat up different kinds of snacks quickly. It also has a large LED screen on the front that will show you the timer. There is an express cooking mode too.
Alongside that, it packs a smart defrost mode. That will factor in the weight of the frozen items and set the heat up accordingly. And the glass turntable is pretty large as well.
What Size Microwave for Dorm Room?
The microwave size for the dorm room will entirely depend on the size of your room and the space that you have for accommodating one. If you live in a fairly large-sized room and have an ample amount of storage space, you would have no problem accommodating a large and regular-sized device.
However, in most cases, college dorm rooms are reasonably small. And they do not really have that much storage space and only contain the essential furniture. In those scenarios, you are limited with the size options.
There is a high possibility that you would not be able to accommodate anything with more than 0.9 cubic feet of space inside.
Nevertheless, plenty of devices have a spacious interior but has a small and compact exterior. So if you are worried about the space issue, we would recommend checking them out first.
If you can not even accommodate those, then you should opt for the 0.7 cubic feet devices. Those are the smallest microwave ovens that the market has to offer.
Buying Guide for Newbies
It is highly likely that the idea of getting a microwave is pretty new to you. And in that case, you might not even know what to consider before buying one of these. Well, if that is the case for you, these are the factors that you need to consider before spending money on one of these:
Before anything else, you need to consider the size of the unit. Usually, most of the units that are specially for college dorms will be small in size. However, there might be many that will be for dorm rooms but will be large in size.
If you get one of those and do not have that much amount of storage space, you will have trouble accommodating them. So you need to factor in size first.
The power of the devices will vary from one to another. And it will highly depend on the wave distribution mechanism that the units have. Nevertheless, we would recommend shooting for devices that have a higher power rating. Usually, those will have a rating of 800 watts or higher. And with those, you would be able to reheat and cook up foods pretty quickly.
Another thing that you need to consider is the pre-programmed settings that the devices pack. The higher the number of pre-programmed settings, the easier it will be for you to prepare different types of dishes.
Also, you would be able to prepare them relatively faster than the manual mode. Considering that, we would suggest shooting for the devices that have a large number of pre-programmed settings.
Most of the devices that are out there will integrate Alexa. It will enable you to provide voice commands, which will offer you a full hands-free user experience.
However, if you really want to take full advantage of this smart feature, you will have to own an echo dot. So, if you already have one of them, we would recommend getting the devices that have Alexa integrated into them.
One of the important components of the microwave devices is the turntable. For this, the first thing that you need to consider is whether the turntable is of high-quality glass or not.
The ones that are of low-quality glass will not be able to hold heavy cookware. Also, do make sure that it is large in diameter, or else you will be pretty limited with the size of the cookware that you will be able to fit inside.
Other than that, you need to ensure that the rotation of the turntable is smooth. If you happen to get a device that has a turntable that does not rotate smoothly, your foods are not going be to heat up evenly.
Moreover, you would not want to eat cold and soggy food, would you? For that reason, you need to make sure that the turntable of the device that you are planning to purchase rotates smoothly.
Control Panel and LED display
Lastly, you will have to factor in the control panel and the LED display. For the control panel, make sure that the buttons are not that squishy, or else you will be able to get the feedback when you press them.
Also, do make sure that the LED display is large in size and is easy to read. If the brightness level is too low, you are going to have trouble reading the timer that the LED display is going to output.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I use a microwave for baking?
Yes, you will be able to use the device for baking items. In fact, baking a single-serve cake is super easy in one of these. And you are not even limited to the recipe. You can get creative and let your baking skills flow in one of these.
2. Is there any difference between a microwave oven and a microwave?
There is no difference between both of those. A microwave is just a short form of a microwave oven. So, no matter what the people refer it to as, both of the terms indicate the same machine. And that machine relies on microwave radiation to heat up foods.
3. Can microwave radiation harm me in any way?
These devices rely on microwave radiation to heat up foods. And in the same way, these can heat up the tissues that you have on your skin. If you are exposed to the radiation for a long amount of time, you can have a painful burn. So, you should be extra cautious when operating these.
4. Are microwaved foods bad for the health?
It will depend entirely on the container you are using to heat the food inside one of these devices. If you happen to use a container that is not microwave-safe, it will infuse harmful chemicals into your food.
And after ingesting those, your health can have adverse effects. For that reason, you need to make sure that the container that you are using is safe or not.
5. Is it bad to drink microwaved water?
No, boiled microwaved water is entirely safe. It is one of the convenient ways to heat up water. However, you need to make sure that you are heating up a small quantity of water because most of these devices tend to distribute the heat unevenly.
6. How many watts do you need for a dorm microwave?
People that are living in a dorm room might not have the luxury of an electrician to come into their room and install a new outlet, so they have to be creative with their electrical needs. One of the most popular items today is the microwave. A lot of people have microwaves in their dorm rooms, but not everyone knows how much power they need for their microwave.
A typical college dorm microwave uses 600-700 watts for normal use. Which is more than enough for most tasks.
7. Do colleges allow microwaves in dorms?
The idea of dorms without microwaves might seem strange, but it’s becoming increasingly common. Many college campuses are banning the use of microwaves in dorm rooms to promote sustainability. However, some schools are allowing students to purchase microwaves on their own, if they can prove that they have a microwave-safe container for cooking food. Additionally, the colleges may allow students to use microwaves in communal spaces such as shared kitchen areas.
8. Is a 600 watt microwave good for college dorm?
Yes, a 600 watt microwave is good for college dorms. Microwaves are typically used to heat up food and beverages, but they can also be used to cook or reheat food.
9. Do I really need a microwave at college?
Do I really need a microwave? It's a question many college students ask themselves, especially if they are living in a dorm. But the answer is actually much more complicated than "Yes" or "No."
Microwaves are great for heating up food in a hurry, but they can also be expensive. College students are often strapped for cash already, so many question whether microwaves are necessary. Nevertheless, not everyone considers the convenience factor when deciding whether to buy a microwave or buy one later on.
Getting the best dorm microwave is a bit tricky in this oversaturated market. And we hope that we were able to make it easier for you to choose one for your dorm room.