Making use of small spaces is becoming more and more of a necessity. If you find yourself having to utilize a smaller kitchen space, a good starting point is to look at appliances that are specifically designed for these finite areas.
Top 3 - Shallow Depth Microwaves
GE Profile PEM31SFSS Countertop
Faberware Classic 700-watt
Commercial Chef Countertop
If you’re in the market for a microwave that fits in tight spaces, take a look at my top 6 options.
Best Shallow Depth Microwave Ovens - My Favorites
Table of Contents
- Best Shallow Depth Microwave Ovens - My Favorites
- Buying Guide on Shallow Depth Microwave Ovens
1. GE Profile PEM31SFSS Countertop Microwave
This GE microwave poses a sleek, modern style and even though it’s marketed as a “countertop” microwave, it can easily fit into shallow kitchen cabinets or cutouts.
The dimensions are listed as 12.8 inches deep, 24 inches wide, and 12.2 inches tall. I especially enjoy the front button being flush with the microwave so there wasn’t a cumbersome handle sticking out of my cabinet when I installed it.
If you have a need for a microwave that is close to 12 inches in depth, this is going to be your best option as it will only stick out slightly from these areas.
This model is on the pricier side, but it has all the functionality you’ll need so it would be money well spent. Moreover, the warranty spans for one year after purchase, so any issues you have at the beginning can be easily rectified.
Based on looks alone, this microwave is my favorite of all the shallow-depth options. It worked well for me when reheating leftovers, melting butter, and defrosting meat.
Because the wattage is lower, it does take longer to reheat/defrost than a traditional full size microwave, but for my needs in the camper, that was all I needed.
I also found the light inside to be pretty dim. It doesn’t serve the purpose of displaying the food inside the oven well. Lastly, despite not being a budget option, it lacks many of the bells and whistles that higher-end, regular sized microwaves feature.
2. Faberware Classic 700-watt Microwave
This Faberware microwave looks just like your regular, full-size over-the-range microwave, just a smaller version. It has all the same functions, such as power adjustment and quick-set buttons for tasks like making popcorn or defrosting meat.
This microwave is 700 watts, so it does take a bit longer to reheat food than full size models.
It’s small enough to fit inside a cabinet that is at least 13 inches deep. The “memory” function is particularly useful because I was able to customize my most used time and power settings.
The downsides, which are minimal, are that it only comes in a stainless steel variety and the handle does stick out slightly, so it wasn’t as seamless as other options.
Another issue I ran into is that the keypad is not that sensitive, so I needed to push the buttons a little harder than usual to select my time and temperature.
I noticed that while it’s running, this microwave is very quiet. So quiet that I realized how loud my other microwaves had been.
3. Commercial Chef Countertop Microwave Oven
Commercial Chef makes a countertop microwave oven with a basic all-needs design that can sit right on your counter or fit inside inset cabinets that are at least 13 inches deep.
The button layout is fairly simple, so this is a microwave that would work perfectly for quickly warming up some food.
The two-dial option was a nice change from traditional numbered keypad microwaves, so I appreciated the simplicity of this design.
The biggest downfall for this microwave oven is that I find it hard to set a timer under 1 minute. Unlike most microwaves which have an “add 30 seconds” button, I had to set it at “1” and stop it before the cooking was done.
This was also made a bit more difficult because there is no readout, so the seconds don’t count down and I really had to eyeball it. Still, this is a miniscule feature that doesn’t deter me from the overall use.
If ease-of-use is what you are looking for and you don’t use your microwave on a daily basis, this is a great option.
4. Willz Countertop Microwave Oven
Although not as popular a brand as some of the others on the list, Willz Countertop Microwave has amazing reviews. This is a 13 inch deep microwave so it has the ability to fit into smaller inset cabinet spaces or countertops.
It has all the regular features of a larger sized microwave, just put in a compact package. The 10-inch turntable fit my dinner plates just fine.
This microwave has a quick and easy “box to use” personality. Simply plug in and get to cooking! I have a feeling this would work well in a dormitory for college students.
One of the downsides to this model is that there is no way to turn off the beeping noise at the end of its run cycle. Also, I noticed the glass plate-turner tends to come off center frequently while rotating, especially if weight is not evenly distributed.
5. Comfee Countertop Microwave Oven
This 13 inch deep microwave from Comfee has most everything you’d need in regards to functionality. It also comes in five different colors so it’s easy to match to your other appliances in the kitchen.
There are 11 power levels and a 10-inch interior turntable giving you plenty of room for different sized plates. The express cooking function allowed me to run the microwave at full power for up to 6 minutes. The child safety lock would keep the appliance safe from little hands when it’s not in use.
The run time for reheating clocked in at a little longer than usual (about 1.5 mins to melt a stick of butter), but for reheating and minimal use purposes, I don’t see any issue with that. I was also surprised at how much room there was on the inside because at first glance, it does look quite small.
As with most newer appliances, there is an ECO-mode available that allows the microwave to use 50% less power when it is on standby mode, so it can help with overall energy consumption which is a rather useful feature.
6. COMFEE Retro Small Microwave Oven
If you don’t want your lack of space to inhibit the personality in your decor, a fun option to consider is the COMFEE Retro Microwave.
The color is listed as “pastel green”, but there is also an off-white color option listed as “apricot” that has a soft peachy tone to it. Even if the rest of your decor isn’t considered retro, the soft toned color options would still blend in well with most other appliances in your kitchen.
The button layout reminds me of my grandmother's kitchen in the 70’s and the pre-programmed buttons allowed me to cook the most popular foods quickly.
The turntable is 10 inches so it will fit most dinner plates and there is a child safety locking feature as well. It is lightweight at only 23 pounds and can go from box to countertop quickly with zero setup.
There was a bit of a learning curve when I was setting up the microwave just because the button layout is not what I’m used to. But the manual was pretty thorough and after a few uses, I got the hang of it.
Buying Guide on Shallow Depth Microwave Ovens
Before you settle on your choice, there are a few things you should think about.
Frequency and Use
Using your microwave everyday will mean you will most likely need to opt for a model with more functionality.
If you are simply needing something for your RV to use while you travel and just need to warm up some takeout, you can get away with purchasing a microwave with fewer bells and whistles.
Though this is often overlooked, the amount of power a microwave uses - even on standby mode - can affect other appliances that are using the same power source.
For shallow-depth microwaves, it’s best to keep the wattage between 700-900. Lower wattage models may take longer to cook your food, but if you use it minimally, this isn’t necessarily a setback.
While most microwaves come equipped with safety features (such as door locking), if you plan to have it set in an area that can easily be reached by little hands, this is a feature you absolutely cannot skimp on.
Also, don’t attempt to mount a microwave that doesn’t come with its own mounting kit. If you need something over the range, look specifically for that kind of model.
It can be difficult to find appliances that fit kitchens built to smaller specifications. When it comes to microwaves, no one wants to sacrifice function just so that it fits into a shallow depth cabinet.
Be sure to think about how often you would use it and what you would use it for.
If you opt for infrequent use, a microwave with a simple button layout that is more affordable may be the best option. If you are going to need to use it everyday, there are models out there that offer the full range of functionality as full sized microwaves.