What is a Good Wattage for a Microwave?

If looking for a good microwave, you have to understand how watts work. Although different microwaves boast different watts, there’s a standard range that dictates a good microwave.

When picking a microwave, you need to think about the wattage that will work well for your situation.

It is also important to ensure that the microwave you get can handle anything you throw its way. The microwave should be powerful enough to help you cook fast and without wasting energy.

In this post, we’ll help you understand wattage and enable you to decide the wattage you’ll want for your microwave.

What are Watts?

Watts are units of power. They are a way to measure the amount of energy that flows in a specific direction. A microwave that is 900 watts uses electricity at a rate of 900 watts per minute.

The higher the watts, the more electricity your microwave will consume in a minute.

Wattage has a direct impact on the time a microwave takes to cook food. The higher the wattage, the faster it takes to get food ready.

How to Determine the Best Wattage

What is a Good Wattage for a Microwave

To get the right wattage for your microwave, you need to consider:

  • Your Budget
  • The number of people you’ll be cooking for
  • Where you intend to place the microwave
  • The types of food you’ll be cooking in the microwave
  • How often you’ll be using the microwave


The rule of thumb is; the higher the wattage, the higher the cost. Therefore, if you’re eyeing a powerful microwave, be ready to part with a handsome amount.

The number of people you’ll be cooking for

The number of people you will be cooking for has a direct impact on the watt you need. The higher the number, the larger the watt and oven capacity you’ll require.

For instance, if cooking for 4 or less people, a microwave with 800 watts is sufficient. For 2-6 people, get one with a wattage of 900 – 1000 watts and 1000+ watts for more than 6 people.

Type of Food

The type of food you intend to be preparing using the microwave will help you narrow your search. If you need one for warming your food and drinks, you don’t have to get the unit with a very high wattage.

However, if planning on baking cakes or cooking, you’ll definitely require one with a high wattage.


The place you intend to place your microwave will significantly affect the watts of the unit. If living in a small apartment, you most likely have a small kitchen space. This means that you’ll get a small microwave, which comes with a lower wattage.

If installing an over-the-range microwave, the spaces are usually wider hence higher wattage.

Frequency of use

The number of times you’ll be using the microwave in a day will determine the watts to go for. For example, if you’ll be using the microwave to prepare meals for your customers daily, get a microwave with a higher wattage.

A lower wattage will slow your cooking pace. The food might also be unevenly cooked.

Standard/Average Microwave Wattage

Most people like appliances that help them prepare their food fast. If you belong to this group, avoid any microwave that comes with a wattage under 800.

Nostalgia 0.9 C.Ft 800-Watt Countertop Microwave Oven, Check price on Amazon

Imagine those mornings when you’re short of time but still have to prepare a quick breakfast before you rush for work. 600 or 700 watts work very slow and will be an annoyance to you, especially when in a hurry. A low-wattage microwave will be the reason you’ll often have to skip breakfast.

Get a microwave with at least 900 watts. These units tend to cook relatively fast, efficiently, and evenly.

Panasonic 900 watts 0.9 cft Compact Microwave, Check price on Amazon

Do Watts Really Matter when Getting a Microwave?

Whether the watts of a microwave matter depends on your habits and how you intend to use it. If you don’t mind waiting for minutes to reheat your coffee, another person might not be okay with this.

Those who don’t mind waiting will most likely be unbothered by the wattage of their microwave. However, you should be concerned about smaller wattage because it might cause you to eat undercooked food.

For persons with busy lives (parents or those with jobs), the wattage of a microwave matters a great deal. They usually don’t have the time for slow cooking, meaning that a microwave with low watts will be a great inconvenience.

Is 900 Watts Enough for a Microwave?

A 900 watts microwave makes a great choice. It is not only reasonably priced but also comes with medium size oven capacity to help you prepare enough food of 4 at a go. The microwave also cooks fast and evenly.

A 900 watts microwave will fit in small kitchen spaces and is pretty economical when it comes to electricity bills.

So, What is a good wattage for a microwave?

Although it depends on your needs as the microwave owner, no one wants a microwave that takes too much time to get things done. The faster the unit is, the better.

That said, most people prefer a microwave with around 800 -1,000 watts. With that wattage, you won’t have to wait for minutes to heat your food.

Does this rule out microwaves with a wattage of more than 1,000? Not really. You can choose to get a microwave with a higher wattage, but then be ready to spend more on it as they come with higher price tags.

Toshiba Countertop Convection Microwave Oven, 1000 watts, Smart Sensor, Sound On/Off Function & LCD Display, Check price on Amazon

You can also go for a microwave with 800 watts but below that isn’t good. It’ll take you too long to cook or thaw your food. Also, no one wants to be eating undercooked food, which is usually the case with lower wattage microwaves.


When shopping for a microwave, wattage is unavoidable. By getting a microwave with the right wattage, you’ll have unraveled the solution to most of your cooking needs(1).

If looking for a home microwave that is not overpowered but effective, one with a wattage range of 800 to 1,000 will make a great choice. It will help you cook food fast and without leaving cold spots.

And since microwaves with this wattage don’t draw a lot of power, you also won’t risk burning your food. We hope that this guide has helped you know the watts to look out for when purchasing your next microwave.

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