Standard Microwave Dimensions (with Drawings)

Stacy Randall
by Stacy Randall

There are multiple microwave dimensions, including a variety of options on how you can install them and their style. There is no standard microwave design, but one of the most popular styles is the countertop microwave.

Typical countertop microwaves measure 24 inches in width, 14 inches in height, and 16 inches in depth. A microwave this size has approximately 1.5 cubic feet capacity. Other common microwave designs are built-in microwaves, microwave drawers, and over-the-range microwaves. All of these microwaves can be modified to various sizes.

Source: Dimensions.com (this model is 26" deep when the door is open all way)

Before you run out and buy that super cool microwave with all the bells and whistles, make sure it will work in your space. It’s also important to have a realistic picture of how you’ll use the microwave and what style will be the best fit in your kitchen.

What Size Microwave Should I Get?

When deciding which size microwave to get, the key factor is considering how much counter space you are willing to sacrifice. If you have limited kitchen counter space, you may want to opt for a smaller model.

You can also consider investing in a model that does not use up counter space. Models such as built-in microwaves and microwave drawers, which we will break down in this article, are great space-savers.

On the other hand, there are many reasons to invest in a larger model microwave. For example, if you anticipate getting substantial use out of your microwave or needing to heat large dishes. In these scenarios, it could be worthwhile to sacrifice extra counter space to ensure you meet your microwave needs.

Regardless of which model you purchase, most internal microwave dimensions range from 0.5 cubic feet to a little over 2 cubic feet. For reference, a 0.5 cubic foot microwave is just big enough to accommodate a 10-inch dinner plate.

A 2 cubic foot microwave is big enough to accommodate most larger cookware. The most common size is in the range of 1-2 cubic feet. External dimensions vary by model, so you should measure the microwave’s desired location before committing to a particular model.

Compact Microwave Dimensions

Compact microwaves are 0.7 cubic feet and are perfect for small kitchens and light use, such as heating soup. The average dimensions of a compact-sized microwave are 17.3 x 10.1 x 14.1 inches. These microwaves typically have 700 watts.

Mid-Size Microwave Dimensions

Mid-size microwaves are 1.2 cubic feet and great for quick meals without having to sacrifice too much counter space. They measure, on average, 20.69 x 12.19 x 15.25 inches and have 1,200 watts.

Full-Size Microwave Dimensions

Full-size microwaves average around 1.6 cubic feet, putting them on the larger size of microwave options. These microwaves are perfect for large families and bigger dishes.

The dimensions of an average full-size microwave are 21.8 x 19.2 x 13 inches. You can typically expect a full-size microwave to have 1,200 watts.

Large Microwave Dimensions

The largest available microwaves are ideal for a large family that plans to get a lot of use out of their microwave. With 2.2 cubic feet, these microwaves also have the capacity to fit most large cookware.

The average dimensions of a large microwave are 20 x 24 x 14 inches. You can expect your large microwave to have between 1,200 to 1,250 watts.

Which Microwave Model Should I Get?

There are four main styles of microwaves to consider purchasing. These are countertop microwaves, built-in microwaves, over-the-range microwaves, and microwave drawers. Read on to find out which of these microwaves is the best choice for your needs.

Countertop Microwave Dimensions

Countertop microwaves are the most popular of all microwave options and generally the most affordable. They are convenient to set up as they do not require any extra installation other than unboxing. Another benefit is their transportability–if you need to move, they can move with you.

You can also place countertop microwaves in open cabinets as long as you follow all the necessary safety precautions. These precautions include ensuring that the microwave is placed on a strong shelf, has adequate ventilation, and proper wiring management.

The average countertop microwave measures 24 inches in width, 14 inches in height, and 16 inches in depth. These microwaves are also available as smaller units.

The dimensions of the average small countertop microwaves are 15 to 19 inches wide and 10 to 11 inches high. These microwaves typically have a capacity of 0.5 to 0.9 cubic feet of interior space.

Source: Dimensions.com (with the door open, depth of 31.5")

Built-in Microwave Dimensions

Unlike countertop microwaves, built-in microwaves are installed into a wall or cabinet. Built-in microwaves are great space-savers for kitchen cabinets. They also feature more customization options and accessories than countertop microwaves.

However, these microwaves are marginally more expensive than countertop microwaves as they require professional installation. Furthermore, it is not portable once installed.

The dimensions of a built-in microwave typically align with standard cabinet sizes. The width of the average built-in microwave is either 24, 27, or 30 inches.

The height ranges from 17 to 22 inches. Depths range from 20 to 25 inches with a closed door and 30 to 35 inches with an opened door.

Source: Dimensions.com (38.375" depth with the door open)
Dimensions.com (tilt down door, when open, depth is 34.875")

Over-The-Range Microwaves

An over-the-range microwave hangs over your stove and attaches to the kitchen cabinets at the side. It has a contemporary look and incorporates stovetop lights and ventilation. Similar to a

Over-The-Range Microwave Dimensions

An over-the-range microwave hangs over your stove and attaches to the kitchen cabinets at the side. It has a contemporary look and incorporates stovetop lights and ventilation. Similar to a built-in microwave, an over-the-range microwave is great for freeing up counter space.

Overall, this type of microwave is a great choice for ventilation and saving counter space. You can expect to pay more for an over-the-range microwave, but you will also get more value for your money. It also requires professional installation.

If you consider an over-the-range microwave, you must first measure the space above your stovetop. Most standard over-the-range microwave models are 30 inches wide, with some smaller units measuring 24 inches wide.

The area above the stovetop needs to accommodate a unit in either of these sizes. Plus, the space should allow for 6 inches of clearance between any walls and the microwave. This space ensures you can fully open the microwave door.

Measure the height of your stovetop area too. The bottom of the microwave or cabinet needs to be at least 30 inches from the cooking surface.

These are general guidelines, so check your manufacturer’s instructions to ensure you have proper ventilation around the microwave.

Drawer Microwave Dimensions

Drawer microwaves (also called microwave drawers) are unique as you pull them out like a drawer, rather than having a door that swings open. This unique feature sets them apart from other models of microwaves.

A major benefit of drawer microwaves is the counter space it saves, as it tucks easily into the lower cabinetry. They are also considered safer than over-the-range or built-in microwaves as there is no risk of dropping high-up, heavy items.

However, microwave drawers are typically the most expensive of microwave models. They can also prove inconvenient for those with back issues– it may be difficult to bend down for the controls.

Regardless of the brand, there are two available sizes for the exterior width of a drawer microwave–24 or 30 inches. The 24-inch model is the more popular size, and the interior measurements remain the same for both units.

Source: dimensions.com (when drawer open, depth is 38.375")

Other Factors To Consider When Buying A Microwave

What Microwave Wattage Do I Need?

Wattage is the unit that measures a microwave’s power. Therefore, the higher the wattage, the faster the cooking time. Some microwaves with higher wattages are more expensive, so this is an essential factor to keep in mind when budgeting.

Generally, a 1,000-watt microwave is considered the baseline and will cook your food easily and quickly. Wattages of 700 or less may be slow and not cook your food as evenly.

What Microwave Features Should I Look For?

Most contemporary microwaves offer an array of features and specs that will make your life easier. Here are some customer favorites to keep in mind while microwave shopping:

  • Automatic Defrost
  • Pre-programmed SettingsĀ 
  • Smooth Control Panels
  • Child Lock Features
  • Easy Clean Interiors
  • Sensors
  • Inverter Technology
  • Grilling and Steaming Options

It’s wise to select a microwave that will do everything you want it to do since you’ll likely have it for a while. Most microwaves have a lifespan of around 10 years, but you can continue to use them as long as they function well.

Just make sure you don’t get so bedazzled by all of the features you try to squeeze in a microwave that’s too big. First and foremost, finding the best fit in your space is most important.

In Summary

Countertop microwaves are the most typical and measure 24 inches wide, 14 inches tall, and 16 inches deep. This size microwave gives you approximately 1.5 cubic feet of capacity. Standard built-in microwaves are 24, 27, or 30 inches wide, and over-the-range and drawer microwaves are 24 or 30 inches wide.

There are many types of microwaves available in different sizes and formats. The best one for you and your kitchen needs depends on several factors.

For example, if you’re considering an overhanging or built-in model, ensure there’s room in your cabinet or above your stove. Microwaves are an important investment, and the right one will positively impact your kitchen’s overall look and feel.

Stacy Randall
Stacy Randall

Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.

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