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Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

Best Microwave for Dorm Rooms



open door microwave
College can be stressful. Warm up some comfort food or ramen with the perfect microwave for your dorm. The Galanz Retro microwave at Amazon

Oh, dorm life. College is a whole new world of managing time and money, a new social scene, and balancing all of this while diving head first into your academic career. As exciting as this new life sounds, these many upcoming changes can be stressful on a new student. This stress can turn a little decision (such as buying a suitable microwave for a dorm room) into a major headache. No need to fear though – with a little guidance, these headaches can disappear.

Want the short version? The best one I found was the Galanz Retro microwave at Amazon.

Dorm life

College dorms, in general, are small. Considering the lifestyle of the college student and the restrictions of dorm life, there are a few appliances necessary in every dorm room. You will need a refrigerator or mini fridge (for sodas only, obviously), maybe a toaster oven, and possibly the most important of all, a microwave.

Having a microwave in the room will ensure the student has access to things like coffee (necessary for studying with a hangover) and hot food at any time of the day.

Size Matters

Again, dorms are small. Space is limited. For that reason, the biggest consideration when purchasing a microwave for a dorm room is clearly its size and shape. A small to mid-size countertop microwave in most cases is ideal. Also, keep in mind durability. It’s likely that more than one person will be using your appliance, and some may not be as sober or respectful as others.

Dorms can be small, so stick with a compact microwave when shopping.
Dorms can be small, so stick with a compact microwave when shopping.

Amazon Basics Microwave

Amazon Basics Microwave, Small, 0.7 Cu. Ft, 700W, Works with Alexa

The Amazon Basics model is a compact 700W microwave with easy-to-use, uncomplicated digital controls. This unit has express controls, making it easy to pop it in start heating. There is a 10-inch turntable inside to assist with cooking the food evenly. The Amazon Basics microwave is a great economical option for the dorm room. Sound like a good option? Find it at Amazon.

Danby Microwave

Danby has a premium compact portable machine, excellent for the dorm room. The stainless steel design provides more durability and makes cleaning up easy (assuming college kids clean…). The extra wattage offers a little more boost in its power, allowing it to handle any type of food. Another appeal to this product is its sleek look, which will be impressive to new college friends. This is a very good quality product at a fair price, making it an excellent choice for college students. See the Danby listed at Amazon.

Galanz Retro Microwave

Galanz GLCMKZ07GNR07 Retro Countertop Microwave Oven with Auto Cook & Reheat, Defrost, Quick Start Functions, Easy Clean with Glass Turntable, Pull Handle.7 cu ft, Green

View on Amazon

For the ultra-hip, Galanz has a too-cool-for-school, mint green retro design microwave, which will look deadly in any dorm room. It looks like something from the TV show The Wonder Years (I’m sure Kevin’s mother had one almost as stylish).

This machine offers 700W with all the basic functions. Another bonus is that is extremely conservative on energy. It works with a just a knob and is not digital, meaning it does not use up energy when it is not heating. It is a very compact unit, ideal for the cramped space that the dorm has to offer.

Whirlpool’s WMC20005YW

If size is the most important consideration, Whirlpool’s WMC20005YW model is as small as you can get. This unit measures in at .5 cubic feet and is cubed shaped (it looks much like a television). With its shape and size, it uses significantly less space than the other options and still gets the job done.

The inside of the microwave is rounded, which makes it easy for those messy roommates to clean up after themselves. If you are planning on cooking a lot of full meals with your microwave, this may not be the best option for you. If heating up drinks and warming leftovers is mostly what you will use it for, this product is absolutely perfect. See Whirlpool’s microwave at Amazon.

You are ready to set on this new adventure of college life and dorm living, and while you may be excited to start your classes and meet new friends, deciding how to manage your tiny dorm room can be complicated and stressful. Be sure to talk to your new roommates and figure who is going to bring what. If you are assigned to the microwave, no problem: think small.

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Image credit via Flickr Creative Commons: aristney and nicholas

Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: David McLemore

David learned to cook at an early age after his mother told him that he couldn't live on pizza forever, Dave uses his modest kitchen skills to recreate sorely-missed recipes from home and to occasionally make new favorite ones from places he is visiting.

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