How Many Watts Does a Microwave Use? Microwave Wattage Guide

Microwaves have become an indispensable kitchen appliance in most households, providing quick and convenient cooking solutions. However, have you ever wondered how much electricity your microwave consumes? This is important, especially if you upgrade your existing microwave or buy a new one. Knowing the power consumption of your microwave can save you from trading the convenience of cooking with a whopping power bill. This article will delve into microwave wattage, exploring the different power levels and their impact on electricity usage. This guide will equip you with the knowledge you need for a more conscious approach to microwave usage.  

In this article, we'll cover: 


How Many Watts Does a Microwave Use? 

Generally, microwaves utilize electricity in the range of 600 to 1,000 watts (W), with the specific wattage largely contingent upon the model you own. Microwaves are meticulously engineered to connect seamlessly to the standard 120-volt home outlets. Typically, microwaves draw approximately ten amps of current when in operation. The wattage of your microwave plays a pivotal role in shaping the appliance's capabilities.  


At the lower end of the wattage spectrum, microwaves around 600 watts may be suitable for basic reheating and more straightforward culinary tasks. Conversely, microwaves boast a higher wattage, often 1,000 watts or more, and offer superior cooking speed and versatility, making them indispensable for those who frequently prepare meals using this time-saving appliance.  

How Much Electricity Does a Microwave Use? 

Microwaves are standard in households, with most homes owning one. However, the electricity consumption of microwaves can vary widely. The wattage of a microwave is the primary factor influencing its power usage. Compact models, popular in smaller kitchens, typically range from 500 to 800 watts, while medium to large models use 800 to 1800 watts. Commercial microwave ovens designed for heavy-duty use have a minimum requirement of 1200 watts and can go even higher.  


The variation in wattage is mainly driven by heating capacity, size, and type of microwave. Countertop models, which are the most common, may have lower wattages, such as 700 watts or less. While these microwaves are suitable for reheating drinks and small plates of food, the higher-wattage model may need to be faster and more efficient. Suppose you rely on your microwave for frequent cooking tasks or run a culinary or catering business. In that case, opting for a high-wattage model with more heating capacity is advisable to meet your needs efficiently.  

Here is a table that can help you determine your microwave's yearly power consumption. Assuming it runs 15 minutes daily, which is 91.3 hours a year.

Microwave Wattage Power Consumption in a Year  



















We are discussing microwaves' electricity consumption here regarding kilowatt-hours (kWh). This choice is pragmatic, as residential electric bills are typically calculated and charged based on the monthly kilowatt-hours of electricity consumed.  

How Much Does It Cost to Power a Microwave? 

Calculating the operational cost of your microwave is a straightforward procedure that allows you to gain insight into its impact on your monthly expenses. To embark on this cost analysis, your first step is to estimate your microwave's yearly electricity consumption in kilowatt-hours (kWh). As previously outlined, this calculation relies on the average wattage of your microwave, which, for our purposes, we'll set at 800 watts. Assuming typical usage patterns consistent with an average household, your microwave would consume approximately 73 kWh of electricity annually.  


The following crucial information you'll need is the average electricity rate applicable to your geographical area. This rate is typically found on your monthly electric bill or from your utility provider. Armed with these two key figures, you can proceed with the cost estimation process. Multiply the estimated yearly electricity usage (in kWh) by the electricity rate per kilowatt-hour. This multiplication yields the approximate annual expenditure required to power your microwave.  


Calculating the monthly cost is equally manageable for those seeking a more immediate perspective. To do this, divide the estimated yearly cost by 12, giving you a clearer understanding of how much your microwave contributes to your monthly electricity expenses. This calculation will empower you to manage your household budget efficiently and encourage a conscious approach to energy consumption.  

FAQs About Microwave Wattage  


How much power does a 1000-watt microwave use? 

Opting for a 1000-watt microwave represents a versatile and efficient choice for your culinary needs. With commendable efficacy, this wattage level enables the appliance to handle various tasks, including defrosting, reheating, and cooking. Assuming a usage pattern of 15 minutes per day, equivalent to roughly 91.3 hours annually, the estimated electricity consumption for a 1000-watt microwave would total approximately 63.9 kilowatt-hours (kWh). It's worth noting that individual consumption may vary based on specific usage habits and preferences. Still, this figure provides a reliable baseline for gauging the microwave's energy efficiency and contribution to your electricity usage.  


Is 700 watts good for a microwave? 

Selecting a 700-watt microwave is an ideal choice for those primarily seeking to fulfill basic kitchen tasks. It excels at reheating beverages, warming small food portions, and quickly preparing instant meals. However, it's essential to be aware that if you're accustomed to the swiftness of higher-powered microwave models, a 700-watt microwave may require slightly more time to heat your items adequately. Fortunately, this is easily manageable by adjusting your cooking times accordingly, allowing you to adapt to the lower wattage and achieve the desired results.  


Regarding electricity consumption, a 700-watt microwave operating for 15 minutes daily accumulates an estimated annual energy usage of around 91.3 kilowatt-hours (kWh). This figure is a reliable benchmark for understanding the microwave's energy efficiency and helping you gauge its impact on your monthly utility bills. While it may not be the swiftest option, a 700-watt microwave can still efficiently handle various day-to-day kitchen tasks while mindful of energy consumption.  


Is 1000 watts good for a microwave? 

Regarding microwave selection, a 1000-watt microwave stands out as an optimal choice for various culinary endeavors. Its versatility is a significant advantage, as it excels in defrosting, reheating, and cooking a broad spectrum of dishes with remarkable efficiency. Whether you're looking to warm up leftovers quickly, defrost frozen ingredients, or prepare a meal from scratch, a 1000-watt microwave has the power and capability to handle these tasks adeptly.  


One notable feature to watch when choosing a 1000-watt microwave is the availability of a Steam Cooking function. Models equipped with this feature can significantly enhance your cooking experience, particularly regarding vegetables. Steam Cooking allows you to prepare vegetables quickly and conveniently, ensuring they retain freshness, nutrients, and vibrant colors. This feature saves you time in the kitchen and contributes to healthier, more enjoyable meals. So, whether you're a culinary enthusiast or simply looking for a reliable kitchen companion, a 1000-watt microwave is an excellent choice for versatile and efficient microwave cooking.  


Is 1200 watts good for a microwave? 

The 1200-watt model stands as the standard in the industry regarding microwave ovens. This wattage level provides ample power and efficiency for various cooking and heating tasks. Whether you have a countertop microwave or a built-in unit, the 1200-watt microwave is a common choice due to its reliability and effectiveness.  

Many microwaves use 1200 watts as the benchmark because it balances power and versatility. It can efficiently reheat leftovers, defrost frozen items, and cook various dishes quickly and precisely.  


This makes it an ideal choice for households of all sizes, as it can handle everything from quick weeknight dinners to more elaborate culinary endeavors. While there may be variations in microwave wattages, the 1200-watt model remains a dependable and widely accepted choice.  


What is the best wattage for a kitchen microwave? 

When it comes to microwave cooking versatility and achieving the best results, a 1000-watt microwave is the sweet spot. Most microwave recipes are developed with this wattage in mind, making it the preferred choice for various culinary endeavors. Choosing a 1000-watt microwave ensures you can confidently tackle multiple tasks, from reheating leftovers to cooking meals from scratch, all with efficiency and precision. It's the power level that many chefs and home cooks rely on for consistent results. Furthermore, when perusing available models, watch for features like Steam Cooking. This addition can elevate your cooking experience, especially when preparing vegetables.  


Understanding your microwave's wattage is essential for efficient cooking and managing your energy consumption. Whether you opt for a lower-wattage model for basic reheating or a higher-wattage microwave with advanced features, you know how to make an informed decision. Knowing the electricity usage of your microwave and calculating its cost can help you better manage your household expenses and energy consumption. To browse a full selection of microwaves, including different wattages and models, visit Coast Appliances to find the best deal within your budget. You can also check our microwave buying guide to help you consider more factors besides power consumption to find the perfect appliance to meet your culinary needs.