Microwave Dimensions and Guidelines (3 Drawings Included)

When buying a microwave, there are two dimensions you need to consider. The first one is the external dimension, which will tell the size of the appliance. 

Through this, you’ll be able to determine how much space the microwave will need. The second is the internal dimensions, which indicate the cooking space of the appliance. Keep in mind that these two dimensions will vary depending on the type. To give you a better view, here are the various microwave dimensions.

Types of Microwaves and Their Dimensions


Countertop Microwave Dimensions

A countertop microwave is a standalone unit that you can place on your kitchen counter. Compared to a built-in microwave, this appliance will occupy the space that you can otherwise use for preparing food. Even so, a countertop microwave offers flexibility because you can place it anywhere in your kitchen. Plus, it is also less expensive than its counterparts.

There are two types of countertop microwave, including the following:


A compact countertop microwave is small. To be specific, its width is about 15 to 18 inches, while its height is only 10 to 12 inches. Aside from that, it also has a depth of 12 to 16 inches when its door is closed. On the other hand, its open-door depth is 27 to 39 inches. For its internal dimensions, this type of microwave has a capacity of 0.5 to 0.9 cubic feet.


A standard countertop microwave is a little bit bigger than a compact unit. It has a width that ranges from 21 to 24 inches and a height of about 13 inches. For its depth, it has a closed depth of about 16 to 20 inches and an open-door depth of 27 to 39 inches. Finally, its capacity is about 1.5 to 2.2 cubic feet.


Over-the-Range Microwave Dimensions

As its name implies, an over-the-range microwave is placed above a cooktop. Aside from that, this type of microwave also has a venting system that allows it to capture smoke, odors, and grease. Because of this feature, a lot of homeowners choose this type of microwave. However, it is more expensive than a countertop microwave. Additionally, installing this appliance requires a professional.

There are two types of over-the-range microwaves available in the market, which include the following:


A standard-sized over-the-range microwave has a capacity of about 1.7 to 2 cubic feet. Aside from that, it also has a width of about 30 inches, but there are compact models with a width of roughly 24 inches. For its height, this type of microwave has a height of 17 inches. Lastly, its closed-door depth is about 15 to 17 inches, while its open-door depth ranges from 40 to 50 inches.


A low-profile over-the-range microwave has a streamlined design. As such, it creates more space above your cooktop without compromising its internal dimensions.

The capacity of a low-profile microwave is about 1.1 cubic feet. This space is a bit smaller than the standard model, but it is still enough for regular-sized dishes. For its external dimensions, this type of microwave has a width of about 30 inches and a height of 10 inches. Additionally, its closed-door depth is around 18 inches, while its open-door depth is 48 inches.


Built-In Microwave Dimensions

Built-in microwaves are meant to be installed in a custom-made cabinet or mounted under a cabinet or countertop.

Like the over-the-range microwave, this type of microwave doesn’t need countertop space. The difference is that a built-in microwave doesn’t take up space above your cooktop.

As such, it can be installed with a more efficient vent hood. It also features a drop-down drawer, allowing it to open like an oven. The downside is that this type of microwave comes with a hefty price tag and requires professional installation.

The internal dimension of a built-in microwave is around 1 to 2.2 cubic feet, with most models having a 1.2 to 1.6 cubic feet capacity.

For the width, this type of cabinet should be aligned with the standard cabinet width.  The typical width of cabinets ranges between 23, 27, and 30 inches. Additionally, it also has a height of about 17 to 22 inches. Lastly, its closed-door depth is 20 to 25 inches, while its open-door depth is 30 to 35 inches.

How to Measure Microwave Dimensions?



To obtain the dimension of a countertop microwave, you can measure the width, height, and depth of your current microwave. You can also measure the space above your countertop where you’re going to place the appliance. When measuring, you should include the following:

There should be at least one inch of space between the microwave and the wall for ventilation.

To avoid tipping, you should add at least three inches of space from the counter’s edge to the microwave’s door.

There should also be at least two feet of space between the range and the microwave.  

Over-The-Range and Built-In

Over-The-Range and Built-In

When measuring the width, height, and depth of a built-in and over-the-edge microwave, it is best to measure the existing enclosure than the appliance. As such, you should measure the cabinet and include the following:

For over-the-range microwaves, there should be at least 30 inches of space from the cabinet to the top of the stove.

There should also be at least 30 inches of clearing between the microwave and the wall.

For ventilation space, you can check the manufacturer’s manual. Typically, these two types of microwaves require professional installation.

Final Words

When buying a microwave, there are several factors you need to consider, such as the size and type of microwave. Aside from that, you should also consider the features of the appliance. Most microwaves have the main parts and features that can make your life easier. For instance, they have an automatic defrost feature and pre-programmed settings that can quickly warm your food.

Additionally, some microwaves also have sensors that can determine the cooking time based on the steam that the food emits. Finally, you should also consider the construction of the appliance to ensure that it will last long.