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Should You Buy a Microwave Drawer?

February 2nd, 2023 | 4 min. read

By Steve Sheinkopf

Should You Buy a Microwave Drawer?

Microwave drawers have become popular, but does that mean you should buy one?

In this article, you will learn all about the the pros and cons of a microwave drawer and other microwave alternatives.

At the end of this article, I will share how to buy a microwave drawer at a reduced price of about $500.

Let's get started.

Should You Buy a Microwave Drawer? (Pros and Cons)


Pros of Buying a Microwave Drawer

Paired with a Range Hood, a Microwave Drawer Is More Efficient and Safer Than an Over-the-Range Microwave

The microwave drawer has become popular because many homeowners and designers are moving away from over-the-range microwaves.

Most people now use range hoods because an over-the-range microwave does not effectively vent a kitchen range.

An over-the-range microwave does not have enough exhaust power at 350 CFM  (Cubic Feet per Minute) and cannot adequately vent high output front burners.

samsung-freestanding-range-with-an-over-the-range-microwaveOver-the-Range Microwave and Freestanding Range


The depth of an over-the-range microwave is only 16 inches, while the front burners you most likely use the most are roughly 22 inches deep on the stove.

I should know. I have one in my rented apartment.

You Can Place a Microwave Drawer Anywhere

You can place it under the counter or even under your wall oven. It's easy to access

for your kids, and you don't have to bend down because the drawer pops out.

They also look good with a flush installation next to your cabinets.

A Microwave Drawer Saves You Counter Space

bosch-microwave-drawer-on-display-at-yale-appliance-in-hanoverBosch Kitchen at Yale Appliance in Hanover


A microwave drawer also removes the need for microwave on the counter saving you counter space.

Over the last few years, your countertop has become crowded with blenders, air fryers, toaster ovens, and slow cookers.

Cons of Buying a Microwave Drawer


First, the price is roughly $1,400-$2,000 for a drawer versus $300-$400 for an over-the-range microwave or $200-$300 for a decent countertop microwave.


There have been some reports and comments on the blog of drawers breaking and sparking, but we haven't seen it.

I also installed one in my last house and had a then two-year-old, so I certainly would not have done that.

They require more installation work than any other type of microwave, which is probably the source of the bad reviews.

But microwaves have been around since the 1970s. You don't see problems with their mechanics or touchpads.

Choosing a Microwave Drawer

Microwave Drawer Brands

microwave-drawers-at-yale-appliance-in-hanoverMicrowave Drawers at Yale Appliance in Hanover


Almost every brand sells a microwave drawer, but Sharp is the only manufacturer.

In case you are surprised, many companies are marketing other products and appliances.

This arrangement will last in the future because Sharp owns 11 different patents on the drawer's design.

You will learn how to use this to your advantage later in the video.

Size and Capacity

You can buy a microwave drawer in two sizes, 24 or 30 inches, so they fit in a 24 or 30-inch cabinet.

The capacity doesn't change between the two. Both can fit a 4-inch casserole dish or 20 OZ bowl.

Types of Microwave Drawers

There are four different types of drawers.

Sharp manufactures their wave touch microwave drawer with or without a convection model. Just wave your hand in front of the microwave, and the door opens itself.

Convection microwave drawers allow you to cook in a regular oven, microwave, or combination to save time without the rubbery texture of a microwave.

A smart or Wi-Fi-enabled microwave drawer allows you to control the drawer through an app.

The fourth type is just a regular microwave drawer available in every major brand like Wolf, Thermador, KitchenAid, JennAir, and GE, among others.

Which Microwave Drawer Should You Buy?

Smart-Sharp-Built-In-Microwave-InstalledSharp Microwave Drawer


Buy the Sharp microwave drawer if you want the convection feature, or buy the least expensive one. Most microwave drawers are similar and all made by Sharp.

Right now, the least expensive microwave drawer is the Beko MWDR24100SS at $1,549 with a five-year warranty.

They were also smart enough not to include any branding so that it would match your other appliances.

It also can be installed built-in so it seamlessly sits with your cabinets.

However, if you are planning a kitchen with a premium brand like Thermador or JennAir, you can use their $1,399 rebate towards their microwave drawer and pay around $500.

Read More: Best Microwave Drawers

Other Microwave Options

Let's say you don't want a microwave drawer. You have three options that are not an over-the-range microwave or countertop microwave:

1. Microwave Under Cabinet

GE is still the only microwave you can place under a cabinet with a hanging kit at 12.88 inches deep.

With a hanging kit, the cost will be less than $500.

However, the microwave is small and underpowered. This solution has been around for a while and may look dated.

2. Microwaves with Trim Kits

I remember specifying microwaves with trim kits in the 1980s. You can place almost any microwave through a cabinet using a "trim kit."

The kit will allow air on the top and bottom so the heat from the back of the microwave can safely escape.

The trim kit is inexpensive and, with a decent microwave, is $550-$700, far below the cost of the drawer.

It doesn't look as good as the more modern solutions.

3. Fold-Down Microwaves

You still see some of these installations, especially over-wall ovens. You match the brands, and it looks good.

The downside is that a fold-down microwave is about the same price as a microwave drawer. You also have to reach into the fold down microwave, so they are best over a wall oven.

Key Takeaways

It depends. Microwave drawers are on the pricey side and will cost you $2,000 when you add in the cost of the hood versus a simple over-the-range microwave.

Your other choice is to place a less expensive microwave on the counter or in the pantry.

You can even hang a small one from the cabinet or build a less expensive one with a trim kit.

However, the microwave drawer will look better, making it easier to access your food.

You also should not buy an over-the-range microwave. With a microwave drawer and a decent range hood, your air inside your home will be much cleaner.

Additional Resources

Get the Yale Speed and Steam Oven Buying Guide with features, product comparisons and inside tips to all the brands. Over 1 million people have read a Yale Guide.

Speed and Steam Oven Buying Guide

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Steve Sheinkopf

Steve Sheinkopf is the third-generation CEO of Yale Appliance and a lifelong Bostonian. He has over 38 years of experience in the appliance industry, and he is a trusted source of information for consumers on how to buy and repair appliances.

Steve has also been featured in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Consumer Reports, The Boston Globe, Bloomberg Radio, the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur, for his knowledge of how to buy appliances and appliance repair.

Steve is passionate about helping consumers find the best appliances for their needs, and he is always happy to answer questions and provide advice. He is a valuable resource for consumers who are looking for information on appliance buying, repair, and maintenance.

Despite being the worst goalie in history, Steve is a fan of the Bruins and college hockey, loves to read, and is a Peloton biker. The love of his life is his daughter, Sophie.

A Note About Pricing

Pricing on this blog is for reference only and may include time sensitive rebates. We make every attempt to provide accurate pricing at time of publishing. Please call the stores for most accurate price.