The Best Microwave Drawers That Heat Food and Blend in With Cabinets

Microwave drawers do more than reheat leftovers—they give a typically clunky appliance an almost luxurious quality. Find out which ones are worth the cost.

Best Overall

The KitchenAid 24" Under-Counter Microwave Drawer on a white background.

KitchenAid 24u0026quot; Under-Counter Microwave Drawer

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Best Bang For The Buck

The Cosmo 24" Built-In Stainless Steel Microwave Drawer on a white background.

Cosmo 24u0026quot; Built-In Stainless Steel Microwave Drawer

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Upgrade Pick

The Thermador MicroDrawer 24" Built-In Microwave Drawer on a white background.

Thermador MicroDrawer 24u0026quot; Built-In Microwave Drawer

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Whereas standard microwaves are typically placed on a countertop or above a stove or wall oven, microwave drawers offer a more streamlined solution. As the name suggests, a microwave drawer is designed to integrate into a cabinet as if it were a drawer, saving space and reducing visual clutter in the kitchen. Microwave drawers are simple to operate, too, with many of them opening and closing with the mere push of a button. Reheating or defrosting is a simple task as well, largely thanks to sensor cooking features and the wide range of power levels many of them offer.

“Microwave drawers offer a sleek design and ergonomic placement since they are top-loading, not front-loading, making it easier to access hot food without reaching or lifting heavy items, enhancing accessibility and kitchen aesthetics,” says Ron Shimek, president of Mr. Appliance. We researched a dozen popular options, studying their features and parsing customer feedback so that we could winnow down our list to six of the best microwave drawers.

  1. BEST OVERALL: KitchenAid 24″ Under-Counter Microwave Drawer
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Cosmo 24″ Built-In Stainless Steel Microwave Drawer
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Thermador MicroDrawer 24″ Built-In Microwave Drawer
  4. BEST HIDDEN CONTROLS: Sharp 24″ Stainless Steel Microwave Drawer Oven
  5. BEST 30-INCH WIDTH: Bosch 800 Series 30″ Built-In Microwave Drawer
  6. HONORABLE MENTION: ZLine 24″ Built-In Stainless Steel Microwave Drawer 
A microwave drawer installed under a kitchen island counter in a large and modern kitchen.
Photo: amazon.com

How We Chose the Best Microwave Drawers

Because microwave drawers are a relatively new type of kitchen appliance, the market isn’t too saturated. Nonetheless, we were able to find a dozen standout models worth our consideration. From this original pool of 12, we narrowed our list down to six finalists.

The standard size of drawers is either 24 inches or 30 inches, but since 24 inches seems to be the most popular configuration, we concentrated mostly on this size. We also understand that when it comes to buying a microwave drawer, it needs to look as good as it functions. For this reason, we paid special attention to the design aesthetic each one offers—for example, does it have handles, or is it a one-touch operation? We also considered each microwave’s technical qualities, such as how powerful it is and whether it can make cooking a bit easier for the user.

Our Top Picks

Whether a microwave drawer is installed in a kitchen island or peninsula or it’s positioned below a wall oven, the best models tend to blend in seamlessly. Even though microwave drawers are hardly noticeable, they offer high-powered reheating and defrosting capabilities.

Best Overall

KitchenAid 24u0022 Under-Counter Microwave Drawer

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This microwave drawer from KitchenAid has plenty to offer, starting with its auto-touch open/close feature, which lets users easily shut or open the door with a simple push of a button. Its sleek, low-profile design blends in effortlessly with most kitchen decors, especially since it doesn’t have a handle to get in the way or clash with the design of other nearby appliances. The top access makes it ideal for a kitchen island installation or lower on a wall.

This KitchenAid microwave drawer has numerous helpful functions, too, including its state-of-the-art sensor cooking, which allows a wide variety of foods to be heated evenly. Whether you’re popping popcorn, reheating leftovers, or preparing your favorite side dish, the sensor function will help do so evenly and with precision.

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 1.2 cubic feet
  • Wattage: 950 watts
  • Dimensions: 16 inches high by 23.88 inches wide by 23.25 inches deep

Pros

  • Low-profile design blends in with virtually any kitchen style
  • Sensor cooking and 950 watts of power combine to offer precise reheating and even cooking
  • 1-touch open-and-close feature is ideal for busy households

Cons

  • 24-inch configuration may not work in all kitchens

Get the KitchenAid microwave drawer at Lowe’s, The Home Depot, or Best Buy.

Best Bang For The Buck

Cosmo 24u0022 Built-In Stainless Steel Microwave Drawer

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Microwave drawers are a majorly upgraded version of standard countertop microwaves, which means they often come with a higher price tag. This 24-inch model from Cosmo offers plenty of luxurious features and upgrades without the sticker shock that’s possible with other microwave drawers.

The Cosmo features the same capacity as most other 24-inch models—1.2 cubic feet—which is spacious enough for most everyday needs. It has four preset cooking temperatures and 11 power levels, so users can confidently reheat or cook as needed. Although the Cosmo does have a handle that may not blend in with other kitchen appliances, it offers a sleek, contemporary look with its stainless steel body and touch-screen control panel.

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 1.2 cubic feet
  • Wattage: 1,000 watts
  • Power levels: 11
  • Dimensions: 15 inches high by 23.8 inches wide by 24.5 inches deep

Pros

  • Includes 4 temperature presets (melt, soften, popcorn, and beverage) and 11 power levels
  • Sleek stainless steel design and a digital touch screen
  • Added safety-lock feature to keep little hands out
  • Powerful 1,000-watt output

Cons

  • Large handle may not complement other kitchen appliances or decor styles

Get the Cosmo microwave drawer at Amazon, Lowe’s, or The Home Depot.

Upgrade Pick

Thermador MicroDrawer 24u0022 Built-In Microwave Drawer

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Those looking for a high-end microwave drawer will find the Thermador MicroDrawer is worth considering. The first feature that stood out to us was its gorgeous, sleek design. Not only is it made of high-quality stainless steel, but it also boasts a handle-less build, so the microwave won’t protrude from wherever it’s installed. When it’s time to use the microwave drawer, a simple one-touch operation opens and closes it.

This microwave drawer can be used as another cooking option in the kitchen thanks to the sensor-cooking feature, which controls the humidity level while cooking and automatically adjusts the timer and power level accordingly. While it is pricier than other options, it offers a luxurious look and sophisticated features. And if the 24-inch size is too small, the available 30-inch unit may be a better fit.

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 1.2 cubic feet
  • Wattage: 950 watts
  • Power levels: 10
  • Dimensions: 16.31 inches high by 23.88 inches wide by 23.38 inches deep

Pros

  • Sleek, low-profile design allows it to blend with numerous decor styles
  • Flush installation means it won’t protrude from the wall or island
  • 1-touch open/close for ease of operation

Cons

  • 24-inch size may not work for all kitchens, but a 30-inch version is also available

Get the Thermador microwave drawer at Amazon or Best Buy.

Best Hidden Controls

Sharp 24u0022 Stainless Steel Microwave Drawer Oven

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For those who want the convenience of a microwave but don’t want to announce it to everyone who enters the kitchen, then a subtle, hidden look like that of the Sharp SMD2470AS may be the answer. Not only does it offer a low profile thanks to its handle-less design, but it even includes hidden touch controls located in a concealed control panel. When it’s time to use the microwave, the control panel pops open to a convenient 45-degree angle, making it easy to operate.

When it’s time to heat food, users will appreciate the sensor cooking and the multiple presets for defrosting and cooking. Its one-touch open/close button control is a welcome feature, too.

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 1.2 cubic feet
  • Wattage: 950 watts
  • Power levels: 12
  • Dimensions: 15.88 inches high by 23.88 inches wide by 23.02 inches deep

Pros

  • Concealed control panel; buttons aren’t visible when microwave is not in use
  • Sleek, flat profile means it can work in an island, peninsula, or below a built-in wall oven
  • 12 power settings, including 2 reheat and 6 defrost settings

Cons

  • Some reviews complain of it opening and closing too slowly

Get the Sharp microwave drawer at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Best Buy.

Best 30-inch Width

Bosch 800 Series 30u0022 Built-In Microwave Drawer

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Standard microwave drawers are 24 inches, which is large enough to accommodate a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. However, this may not be large enough for a bigger household, in which case a 30-inch model would be a better fit. Despite its large size, the Bosch 800 is an elegant option that is big enough to hold a 4-quart casserole dish.

In addition to the larger size, it features sensor cooking for greater heating precision. It also offers 10 power levels and automatic defrost, so users don’t have to guess how long it will take to defrost an item. This low-profile unit is a breeze to operate, too, since it features one-touch open and close and lacks a clunky, protruding handle.

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 1.2 cubic feet
  • Wattage: 950 watts
  • Power levels: 10
  • Dimensions: 16.31 inches high by 30 inches wide by 23.38 inches deep

Pros

  • Large 30-inch width is suitable for wider kitchen cutouts
  • 1-touch open/close push-button mechanism
  • Sleek, low-profile design makes it unobtrusive in any kitchen setting

Cons

  • A pricier option that may not be suitable for every budget

Get the Bosch microwave drawer at Lowe’s, The Home Depot, or AJ Madison

Honorable Mention

ZLine 24u0022 Built-in Stainless Steel Microwave Drawer

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ZLine’s 24-inch microwave drawer is comparable in size and features as others on our list. While it’s from a brand that may not have the same name recognition as others on the list, what sets it apart is that it’s also compatible with a “trim kit” that lets it be adapted to a 30-inch cutout, a degree of versatility not offered by most competitors.

It does have a handle, so it’s not as flush as other options on our list, but it’s made of sleek stainless steel for a modern look that will complement almost any kitchen style. It includes plenty of features typically found in high-end models, such as one-touch operation. When it’s time for cooking, users can take advantage of the convenient automatic reheat, defrost, and sensor cooking for the most accurate results. The powerful 1,000 watts and various presets allow users to reheat and defrost a wide range of foods.

Product Specs

  • Capacity: 1.2 cubic feet
  • Wattage: 1,000 watts
  • Power levels: 11
  • Dimensions: 14.88 inches high by 23.5 inches wide by 23.31 inches deep

Pros

  • Powerful 1,000 watts with 11 power levels for heating a variety of food and drinks
  • Offers sensor cooking, defrosting, popcorn, and beverage settings
  • 1-button auto-touch control allows users to easily open and close the drawer by pushing a button

Cons

  • Handle protrudes, which doesn’t offer a flush look

Get the ZLine microwave drawer at Amazon, Lowe’s, or The Home Depot.

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing a Microwave Drawer

Compared with a traditional microwave, a microwave drawer is certainly an upgrade, and this is often reflected in the price tag. If you have room in your budget for an upgrade like this, we recommend focusing on the features that will make the biggest impact on your day-to-day life so that you know you’re getting your money’s worth. “Look for features like sensor cooking, power levels, and easy-to-use controls when choosing a microwave drawer,” advises Shimek.

Size

Typically, there are two size options when it comes to microwave drawers: 24 inches or 30 inches. The size refers to the width of the microwave drawer. Interestingly, both the 24-inch and 30-inch sizes tend to have the same capacity—1.2 cubic feet—so it comes down to which size fits your space most practically. Numerous built-in microwaves, as well as countertop and over-the-range models, offer greater capacity than microwave drawers, but the drawers on these models are still large enough to handle most everyday needs. To put it in perspective, 1.2 cubic feet is large enough for a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish.

Power 

Power is a crucial feature to consider when shopping for a microwave drawer. If the microwave isn’t powerful enough, it will take even longer to cook and reheat your food. Look for microwave drawers with a power level of around 950 watts or 1,000 watts, which should be plenty for everyday cooking and reheating. All of the top picks on our list have at least a 950-watt power level. You can also look for a unit that offers varying power levels, which gives you greater control over heating your food or beverages.

Design and Features

Design may be a deciding factor for many folks trying to make the most of their kitchen space. Shoppers can choose between a microwave drawer with a handle or a flush finish without one. From a design perspective, a flush unit will not only blend in with your cabinetry, but it will also make for easy operation since you only have to push a button to open and close the drawer. A unit with a handle will protrude, making it more visible, but it may be easier for family members to push and pull.

Other features, such as sensor cooking and food-specific preset buttons, offer even more convenience.

The Advantages of Owning a Microwave Drawer

A microwave drawer can be a serious upgrade to an appliance many people are likely using almost every day. While microwave drawers feature many of the same cooking functions as other microwave appliances, they do offer a few distinct advantages.

  • Seamless design: The low-profile design allows the microwave drawer to blend into almost any kitchen aesthetic and won’t take up precious counter space or overhead cabinet space.
  • Easier reach: The lower position of a microwave drawer can make it easier to reach in and pull out hot dishes or heavier items.
  • Childproof: You can engage the child lock in the microwave drawers to be sure little hands won’t accidentally open or close the drawer.

FAQs

For shoppers looking for an ergonomic, stylish microwave solution, a microwave drawer can be a great kitchen upgrade. Keep reading for the answers to some of the most common questions shoppers have when searching for the best microwave drawers.

Q. Why are drawer microwaves so expensive?

Microwave drawers are more expensive because they require an involved installation in your kitchen island, peninsula, or cabinet. They’re also often more expensive to manufacture, and many of them offer convenience features that justify increased costs.

Q. Are microwave drawers a good idea?

It depends on your needs and desires. A microwave drawer is an excellent idea if you want a microwave that blends into your kitchen seamlessly and offers state-of-the-art features. Plus, it will free up valuable countertop space in your kitchen.

Q. What are the disadvantages of microwave drawers?

One major disadvantage is the cost. Microwave drawers often cost several hundred dollars more than countertop or above-the-range microwaves. Another disadvantage is the standard 1.2 cubic feet interior that almost all microwave drawers have, as this may be a bit small for the needs of larger households.

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Sara Coleman

Contributing Writer

Sara Coleman is a full-time writer, editor, and published author. She covers personal finance and lifestyle topics ranging from insurance and credit cards to small business and pet ownership. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Bankrate, Joy Wallet, Wayfair, and Credible. When not writing, Sara enjoys ushering her kids from one activity to the next and spending time with friends and family.

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