The 5 Best Dorm Microwave Ovens Of 2021

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Going to college and living with your roommates is a life-changing experience, and choosing the right appliances can make your life easier.

We know that finding the best microwave for a dorm room can be a little challenging, so we tested 15 compact microwaves to help you find the best model.

Between all the models we tested the Danby DBMW0721BBS is the cheapest on our list, while the Panasonic NN-SB458S is the one with the most options and features.

However, the winner of our test will surprise you, so keep on reading to find out which one it is!

Image Product Our Rating Price
Editor’s Choice

Commercial Chef CHM990B

Commercial Chef CHM990B

  • Straightforward to use
  • Compact design
  • Easy to clean
10

 

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Most Versatile

Farberware Classic FM09SSE

Farberware Classic FM09SSE

  • Stylish stainless steel microwave
  • Sturdy handle
  • 10 adjustable power levels
9.5

 

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Best Value For Money

Sharp ZSMC0710BW

Sharp ZSMC0710BW

  • Compact design
  • Steel construction
  • Easy to clean
9

 

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Best Seller

Danby DBMW0721BBS

Danby DBMW0721BBS

  • Made of stainless steel
  • Long cord for convenient setup
  • 10 different power levels
9

 

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Budget Option

Panasonic NN-SB458S

Panasonic NN-SB458S

  • Excellent stainless steel construction
  • 10 adjustable power levels
  • 7 preset Auto Cook options
9

 

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The Best Dorm Microwaves Of 2021

Dorm microwaves are affordable appliances designed to prepare delicious snacks and quick meals using several preset cooking options.

Although they might not be as powerful or big as the appliances designed for a busy household, they will guarantee that your food is cooked to perfection.

Keeping these features in mind, At ConciousEating, we found some great picks that can make your dorm cooking experience more fun and successful. So, let’s dive in.

Commercial Chef CHM990B

Editor’s Choice
Commercial Chef CHM990B
10/10 Our Score
  • Straightforward to use
  • Compact design
  • Easy to clean
  • Dishwasher-safe glass turntable
  • 10 power levels for multi-stage cooking
  • 6 Quick Cook settings
  • Quick Defrost setting
  • The beeping is loud

 

The Commercial Chef CHM990B checks all the boxes you might consider while shopping for the best dorm microwave, in fact, it is affordable, easy to use, and really resistant.

It’s designed to fit on small kitchen countertops and tables where another big microwave won’t fit. At the same time, it’s convenient and intuitive to use thanks to several cooking options. It’s also easy to clean and requires no maintenance, so it’s suitable for the busy dorm life.

This appliance comes in 4 colors, so you can pick the best one the fits your décor. It features push-button touch controls with an LED display and signals you when cooking time is up. Just press the door tab, and you can enjoy delicious meals in no time.

It has 0.9 cubic feet of cooking capacity and an 11-inch dishwasher-safe glass turntable, so it will fit most dinner plates easily.

With 900 watts of cooking power and 10 power levels, you’ll be able to enjoy multi-stage cooking for snacks and custom-cooked meals, so you’ll never have undercooked or overcooked food.

No need to guess the cooking time, as the Commercial Chef CHM990B has 6 convenient Quick Cook settings for snacks and beverages. It also has 2 options to reheat leftovers and prepare delicious meals from frozen dinners, so it’s the best small dorm microwave for those who are always in a hurry.

If you’re preparing a special meal, you can adjust the power and customize the cooking setting by changing the weight of the food. The timer allows you to set the time precisely until the food is cooked to perfection.

Activating the Child Safety lock guarantees that the appliance will be locked if you don’t want it to be used. However, the beeping is kind of loud and doesn’t stop until you open the door. It might be a little annoying when used in a shared living space.

 

Farberware Classic FM09SSE

Most Versatile
Farberware Classic FM09SSE
9.5/10 Our Score
  • Stylish stainless steel microwave
  • Sturdy handle
  • 10 adjustable power levels
  • 6 one-touch cooking settings
  • Quick Defrost option
  • Speed cooking option
  • Memory function to save your most-used settings
  • More expensive than other models
  • Keeps on beeping even after you open the door

 

The Farberware Classic FM09SSE is the best dorm room microwave for those who appreciate quality and convenience, in fact, it’s made of stainless steel and is designed to withstand everyday use.

It can fit on top of small kitchen countertops while providing the performance of a much bigger appliance, and thanks to its capacity of 0.9 cubic feet and a 10.6-inch glass turntable, it will fit your dinner plates with no issues.

This microwave has 900 watts and the power output can be set to 10 different levels. As you can go from 10% to 100%, you’ll be able to avoid undercooked and overcooked food, even if you don’t have much cooking experience.

Picking appliances for the dorm is all about focusing on convenience and easy operation, and the Farberware Classic FM09SSE features 6 one-touch cooking programs to eliminate guesswork. You can even reheat leftovers or enjoy a store-bought frozen dinner by just pressing a single button.

The microwave also features a Quick Defrost option to thaw your food evenly, simply adjust the timer to the right setting and this will guarantee the absence of cold spots.

The speed cooking option is suitable for students who are always in a hurry. It allows you to set the timer between 1 and 6 minutes, and you can adjust it by 30 seconds until your food is cooked perfectly. Moreover, there’s a memory function that saves your most used customized settings.

That being said, if you’re on a tight budget, this product might not work for you, in fact, this microwave is quite expensive given its price and cooking capacity. It also beeps 5 times, even after you open the door, so it might wake your roommate up.

 

Sharp ZSMC0710BW

Best Value For Money
Sharp ZSMC0710BW
9/10 Our Score
  • Compact design
  • Steel construction
  • Easy to clean
  • 6 one-touch cooking settings
  • Customizable cooking option
  • Quick Defrost option
  • Doesn’t feature a Child Safety Lock
  • The beeping is too loud
  • It takes more time to cook food evenly

 

The Sharp ZSMC0710BW is for those who need a budget-friendly, compact, and portable microwave that fits in the most convenient places, allowing you to prepare meals easily and quickly.

Thanks to its steel construction, this microwave is built to last for a long time, making it one of the best microwaves for college dorms, on top of that it has a cooking power of 700 watts, a capacity of 0.7 cubic feet, and features a 10-inch glass turntable for even cooking and reheating.

All the cooking options are accessible using the intuitive touch keypad. Just press the desired cooking option, and the microwave will do the rest of the work.

It features 6 one-touch cooking options for the fast preparation of delicious beverages, snacks, and meals. You can also activate the 30 seconds button for an instant start.

Using the Sharp ZSMC0710BW, you’ll be able to cook delicious snacks, reheat leftovers, and cook frozen meals. You can also customize the cooking setting by adjusting the time needed to cook your food, so you won’t end up with cold or uncooked spots.

Although we believe that this is one of the best microwaves for dorms, it doesn’t have a Child Safety lock. However, you might not need that option while living in a dorm room.

The beeping is a bit too loud for some users, so it might be annoying. Moreover, due to its low wattage, it takes a bit more time than other models to reheat your food.

 

Danby DBMW0721BBS

Best Seller
Danby DBMW0721BBS
9/10 Our Score
  • Made of stainless steel
  • Long cord for convenient setup
  • 10 different power levels
  • 6 one-touch cooking options
  • Express Cook button
  • Auto Defrost setting
  • Child Safety lock
  • The glass turntable isn’t recessed

 

If you’re on a tight budget, the Danby DBMW0721BBS is the right choice for you. This elegant and practical stainless steel microwave weighs 21.16 pounds and comes in three different colors, so you can pick the right one for your dorm room.

With a cooking capacity of 0.7 cubic feet and a 10-inch glass turntable, the Danby will fit any dinner plate with no issues, and unlike other compact models, this one features a long cord that measures 41 inches, making it possible to use this appliance even if you have a table that is set up far from the power outlet.

The microwave offers 700 watts of power, has a touch keypad, a LED timer to activate the clock function and the door button is responsive and easy to use. You can also adjust the power into 10 different levels to guarantee that your meal will be perfectly cooked.

When you’re in a hurry, you can choose one of the 6 one-touch preset cooking options. These options are designed to help you prepare delicious snacks like pizza, reheat leftovers, and cook frozen dinners.

Besides the various preset options, you can also use the Express Cook button for cooking food between 1 and 6 minutes, plus thanks to the Auto Defrost option, you’ll be also able to thaw food conveniently. Just set the time or weight of food, and it will be perfectly thawed.

After our testings, the only two things we didn’t like about the Danby DBMW0721BBS were the impossibility to turn off the sound feature, and the fact that the turntable isn’t recessed, so as a result, you might easily knock it off while you’re putting food inside the microwave or getting it out.

 

Panasonic NN-SB458S

Budget Option
Panasonic NN-SB458S
9/10 Our Score
  • Excellent stainless steel construction
  • 10 adjustable power levels
  • 7 preset Auto Cook options
  • Customizable cooking setting
  • Reheat option for 1 to 4 servings
  • 3 levels for preparing popcorn
  • Keep warm feature
  • Doesn’t have an interior light
  • The door is noisy when closed and opened

 

The Panasonic NN-SB458S is an excellent stainless steel microwave for college dorm rooms because it can easily fit in small spaces while still providing the cooking abilities of a much bigger unit.

With 0.9 cubic feet of capacity and a 10.6-inch glass turntable, there will be no issues preparing your dinner, and thanks to 10 different power levels your food will be cooked perfectly from the inside out, even if you don’t have any culinary experience.

Compared to other dorm room microwaves, this one comes with more cooking options, in fact, it features 7 preset Auto Cook menu items, a delay start button, and a timer option to help you customize your cooking. Just set the weight of the food, and it will cook to perfection.

With the Reheat option, you can set the power for 1 to 4 servings and you can also activate the Auto Defrost option by selecting the food’s weight or setting the time needed to thaw it.

If you’re preparing popcorn, you can adjust the cooking power to 3 different levels, depending on the amount you’re preparing. Choose the higher setting if you’re using a bigger bag.

You can also use the Keep Warm feature for soups, gravies, sauces, and desserts. It will keep your dinner warm until you’re done studying or preparing your assignments, so you can enjoy a healthy warm meal.

The Panasonic NN-SB458S has a Child Safety lock, and the beeping is audible but not annoying. However, it doesn’t feature an interior light. Also, the door is a bit loud when closed and opened.

How to Choose a Dorm Microwave

The best microwaves for dorm rooms should be functional and easy to use, and since most students aren’t willing to spend hundreds of dollars on appliances, they should also be less expensive than the ones designed for families.

When you’re shopping for this type of appliance, you want a unit that allows you to reheat leftovers, prepare snacks, and cook frozen dinners quickly.

At the same time, your appliance should provide some versatility, so you can prepare more meals if you want to elevate your cooking experience.

So, how can you pick the best microwave oven for a college dorm room? Doing our research, we found a few features that you need to consider before deciding on a unit.

Price

As a college student, you want to spend money wisely. This is why you need to pick a model that provides excellent value for the money.

The Danby DBMW0721BBS is the most affordable option on our list, while the Commercial Chef CHM990B costs a little more, although it provides the cooking capabilities of a much more expensive model.

Portability

If you need a lightweight model that you can easily move, you can choose either the Sharp ZSMC0710BW or the Danby DBMW0721BBS. They’re almost 10 pounds lighter than the other models on our list.

Ease of Use

Preset cooking options eliminate the guesswork for those who are cooking for the first time. They also save a lot of time and effort, as you simply press the button, and the microwave will adjust the power output accordingly.

The Panasonic NN-SB458S excels here as it offers 7 preset cooking options. It also has 3 power levels for popping popcorn and 4 reheat options according to the serving size.

The Commercial Chef CHM990B, the Farberware Classic FM09SSE, the Sharp ZSMC0710BW, and the Danby DBMW0721BBS offer 6 cooking options, which most dorm residents will find more than enough.

The Farberware Classic FM09SSE offers a special feature that saves your most used setting, this is an excellent option for those who are always in a hurry and don’t want to adjust the power level every time they are using the appliance.

On the other side, if you tend to get caught up with work, you should choose the Panasonic NN-SB458S because it has a Keep Warm feature, in this way you can enjoy warm and delicious meals whenever you want.

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