What is the Standard Size of a Microwave Oven [2024]

Wondering how big a microwave oven should be to fit perfectly in your kitchen? Microwaves come in a range of sizes and styles, each with different dimensions that might be just right for your space. Whether you’re eyeing a countertop microwave, which is versatile and easy to place, or an over-the-range microwave, which combines convenience with space-saving flair, knowing the standard sizes helps in making an informed choice.

What is the Standard Size of a Microwave Oven? The standard size of a microwave oven typically ranges from 1.0 to 2.2 cubic feet in capacity. The external dimensions are generally between 29 inches wide, 16 inches high, and 15 inches deep, but can vary based on design and brand.

Typically, the microwave size for countertop models varies, with common exterior dimensions around 24 inches wide by 16 inches high, and depths ranging from 12 to 20 inches. If you’re considering a built-in model, these are designed to match the standard width of kitchen cabinets, which is about 30 inches. On the other hand, over-the-range microwaves usually require a standard cabinet width of 30 inches and should provide adequate ventilation space between the microwave and the top of the stove.

How Big is a Standard Microwave? Let’s Talk Sizes and Types

How Big is a Standard Microwave? Let's Talk Sizes and Types

Understanding Microwave Sizes: What Fits Where?

When you’re in the market for a new microwave, it’s not just about picking any model off the shelf. You’ll want to choose the right microwave that fits perfectly into your kitchen layout, whether it’s a replacement for your current microwave or a brand-new addition. Let’s break down what you need to know about sizes and dimensions to make sure the microwave is right for your space.

Measure Before You Buy

The first step is to measure a microwave or the space where you plan to install it. This involves more than just the width of the microwave; you’ll also need to consider the depth of your existing microwave and the height from the counter to the open microwave door. It’s crucial to measure from the bottom of the microwave to the top and account for the space needed between the microwave and the wall behind it, as well as between the wall and the microwave on each side. This ensures there’s enough ventilation and that the microwave door can open freely.

Types of Microwaves and Their Typical Sizes

Different microwave types fit different kitchen setups. Here’s a rundown:

  • Countertop Microwaves: These are the most flexible in terms of placement. You only need to ensure you have enough counter space and a nearby outlet. The typical microwave dimensions for countertop models range from compact (about 0.5 cubic feet) to larger units that can be about 2.2 cubic feet.
  • Over-the-Range Microwaves: These models save counter space by doubling as range hoods. The over-the-range microwave dimensions vary, but most are about 30 inches wide to match the standard width of the range below. You’ll need to ensure there is sufficient space between the top of the stove and the bottom of the microwave for safety and functionality.
  • Built-in Microwaves: Designed to integrate into your cabinetry or paired with a wall oven, built-in microwaves offer a sleek look. The size microwave you choose needs to match the existing microwave enclosure or a new one built to specifications. This type requires more precise measurements, especially concerning the width where the microwave will fit and the clearance from the counter.

Choosing the Right Model

When selecting a microwave, consider how the size and type will impact your kitchen’s functionality and appearance. Think about how often you use a microwave and what you cook in it, as this will influence whether a smaller or a larger model is better for your cooking needs. Also, keep in mind the sale price excluding taxes and whether installation requires additional expenses.

Always check that the new microwave aligns with the current microwave or the space intended for it. This preparation helps avoid surprises during installation and ensures that the new appliance complements your kitchen’s workflow and design.

Finding the Perfect Fit: Standard Microwave Sizes for Countertop and Built-in Models

Finding the Perfect Fit: Standard Microwave Sizes for Countertop and Built-in Models

When it comes to choosing a microwave, finding the perfect fit for your kitchen setup is crucial. This is especially true for those looking into countertop and built-in models, which come with specific installation and size considerations. Understanding standard microwave sizes and how they integrate into your kitchen layout can make buying a microwave a lot smoother.

Countertop microwaves are the most straightforward when it comes to installation. They can be placed virtually anywhere there’s adequate counter space and an electrical outlet. These microwaves vary widely in size, but typically, the internal capacity can range from as small as 0.8 cubic feet, suitable for simple tasks like heating small meals or beverages, to larger models. The closed-door depths of these microwaves range from roughly 15 to 20 inches, whereas the open-door depths might extend a few more inches, so it’s important to measure the space where you plan to place the microwave to ensure it fits and the door can fully open.

Built-in microwave ovens, on the other hand, are meant to be installed in a cabinet or under a counter, blending seamlessly with the rest of the kitchen cabinetry. They are designed to match standard cabinet dimensions, which makes them an aesthetically pleasing option. Typically, built-in models are sized to align with the range below and the standard widths of kitchen cabinets, which is about 24 to 30 inches. Installing the microwave at these specifications not only ensures a snug fit but also maintains the uniformity of your kitchen’s design.

Figuring out what size microwave to buy involves more than just measuring the width. It’s also about measuring the height and the depth, especially with over-the-range and built-in microwaves, where ventilation needs and alignment with surrounding cabinetry are critical. Depths for these models range from roughly 15 inches to over 18 inches, which allows for integration with various cabinet designs and sizes.

Whether you are replacing an old microwave or buying one for a new kitchen, consider how the microwave will fit within the existing layout and what modifications might be necessary. Ensuring you have all the right measurements and understanding the placement will help you pick the ideal model that meets both your functional needs and aesthetic preferences.


Choosing the right microwave for your kitchen is more than just an appliance decision; it’s about enhancing your cooking experience with convenience and efficiency. Whether you opt for a sleek built-in model or a versatile countertop unit, the key is to understand the microwave dimensions and the clearances required for optimal operation. Countertop microwaves, for instance, can be placed just about anywhere on your counter and typically have a size range from 0.8 cubic feet for smaller models up to 2.1 cubic feet for full-sized units, suitable for preparing larger meals in the microwave.

For those considering built-in microwave sizes, these are designed to match the cabinet width where the microwave will be mounted, with standard widths of over-the-range microwaves at roughly 30 inches. The depth of the microwave usually ranges from 12 to 16 inches, with some models extending up to 20 inches. Understanding these dimensions is crucial for ensuring your microwave fits seamlessly into your kitchen layout without obstructing functionality or style.

If you need a full-size microwave, remember that built-in and over-the-range options offer a broader range of sizes than countertop models, from compact to more substantial dimensions. The overall size of the microwave should align with your cooking needs and kitchen space. With the right microwave, you’ll not only have a reliable tool for heating and cooking but also an opportunity to learn more about different microwave styles and how they can contribute to your culinary creativity—from quick recipes to kitchen hacks. Let your new microwave revolutionize the way you prepare food, making every meal easier and more enjoyable.

Frequently Asked Questions (What is the Standard Size of a Microwave Oven)

What is standard size of microwave?

The standard size of a microwave typically ranges from 0.5 to 2.2 cubic feet in capacity, with external dimensions varying widely but often around 29 inches wide, 16 inches tall, and 15 inches deep. Compact models are smaller, tailored for limited spaces.

What is best size microwave to buy?

The best microwave size to buy typically ranges from 0.5 to 2.2 cubic feet. Smaller households or those with limited kitchen space might prefer a compact model around 0.5 to 1.2 cubic feet, while larger families or frequent users should consider sizes above 1.2 cubic feet.

What capacity is a standard microwave?

A standard microwave typically has a capacity ranging from 0.5 to 2.2 cubic feet. Most common household microwaves fall within the 1 to 1.2 cubic feet range, which is sufficient for everyday cooking and reheating tasks for small to medium-sized families.

Is 25L microwave good size?

A 25L microwave is a versatile size, well-suited for small to medium-sized families. It accommodates most dishes and is efficient for daily cooking tasks, heating, and defrosting, making it a practical choice for average kitchen needs.

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