House Grail is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Where to Put a Microwave in a Kitchen — 7 Best Places

Woman's Hands Closing Microwave Oven Door And Preparing Food At Home

The microwave oven is one of the most popular appliances in the United States, and many people depend on it for meals every day. However, if you are moving into a new place or purchasing your first unit, it can be difficult to know the best place to put it. Keep reading as we list several of the most popular places and discuss what makes one choice better than another.

house divider

The 7 Best Places to Put a Microwave in a Kitchen

1. The Countertop

man using microwave
Image By: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock

The countertop is one of the most popular places to keep a microwave oven. There are usually accessible outlets, and you can quickly put the food down once you pull it out of the microwave, to reduce the risk of burns. It’s also convenient and within arm’s reach.

The downside to using the countertop is that it can reduce valuable space that you need to prepare food.

  • Accessible
  • Usually near outlets
  • Easy to remove food without getting burned
  • Can take up valuable space

2. In the Counter Corner

kitchen counter with a microwave
Image By: Keegan Checks, Pexels

A popular place to put the microwave is in the corner where two longer counters meet. This area usually collects clutter if you aren’t using it so placing the microwave here is a good choice. It’s accessible, convenient, and usually near outlets, and it’s easy to remove items without getting burned.

The biggest downside is that the counter corner can be hard to clean with the microwave in the way.

  • Accessible
  • Easy to remove food without getting burned
  • Near outlets
  • Hard to clean behind

3. Below the Counter

microwave under the kitchen counter
Image Credit: Andrea Davis, Unsplash

If you have a large open area below your counter, it can be a great place to put your microwave to keep it accessible without limiting available counter space.

The downside to this option is that you will often need to bend down to retrieve your food, which might not be ideal if you have physical limitations. It might also be more difficult to access available outlets to get power to your microwave with this option.

  • Accessible
  • Frees up counter space
  • Requires bending over to retrieve food
  • Might be hard to access outlets

4. Inside a Cabinet

If you have carpenter skills or aren’t afraid to hire someone who does, modifying one of your kitchen cabinets to hold your microwave can be a fantastic way to keep it accessible but hidden when you don’t need it. A hidden microwave means you get to retain all your counter space without increasing the distance that you need to travel with hot food.

The downside to this option is that it can be quite expensive to modify a cabinet to hold a microwave, especially if you need to hire outside help, making it impractical for many people.

  • Hidden from view
  • Accessible
  • Retains counter space
  • Costly

5. On an Appliance Wall

microwave in an open cabinet space in the kitchen
Image Credit: Hakim Santoso, Pexels

Many modern kitchens have an appliance wall, which is an area of the kitchen containing many open shelves for users to place their coffee maker, toaster oven, waffle iron, and microwave. Since the appliance wall is usually open, it provides easy access, and there are usually several shelves, so you can choose one that makes accessing the microwave comfortable and convenient.

The downside to the appliance wall is that it can be far from the countertop, which may make it tricky to carry food to and from the microwave.

  • Easy access
  • Convenient
  • Multiple placement options
  • Can be far from a countertop

6. On the Island

Young woman using microwave oven on table in kitchen
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

If your kitchen has an island in the center, it can be a great place to keep a microwave. The countertop is at a comfortable height, so taking out hot food is less likely to cause a burn, as you can set it down almost immediately. It’s also easy to clean because you will have 360-degree access.

The downside to placing your microwave on an island is that you will be able to see behind it, and it won’t be attractive from some angles. It will also reduce your counter space if you regularly use the island to prepare food.

  • Easy access
  • Can quickly set down food
  • Easy to clean
  • Exposes the back of the microwave
  • Reduces counter space

7. On a Portable Microwave Stand

microwave and dishwasher in dim kitchen
Image Credit: Howard Bouchevereau, Unsplash

If you don’t have much counter space in your kitchen, you can use a portable television stand to hold the microwave. There are many different brands available, so you will have nearly unlimited options for choosing height, design, and more, making it one of the best options on this list.

The downside of using a portable microwave stand is that it will reduce the overall space in your kitchen, making it more difficult to move around. The stand can also be expensive, and you will need to spend time shopping around for the right one.

  • Many available options
  • Doesn’t reduce counterspace
  • Expensive
  • Reduces kitchen space
  • Requires shopping around

house divider

Microwave Oven Safety Guidelines

  • Keep your microwave oven 2–5 feet above the ground. The lower it is, the higher the risk that rising steam will burn you and food will spill on you while trying to remove it.
  • Keep 4–6 inches of space on all sides of the microwave to ensure adequate ventilation.
  • Don’t place the microwave near moisture. Items like the radiator, stove, sink, and even coffee pot can create steam that causes components in the microwave to corrode.
  • Never cover the ventilation holes in your microwave.

house divider


Most people will likely place the microwave on their countertop, where they can remove the food easily and set it down quickly. There are usually outlets nearby, so installation is quick and simple. The corner position is even better because it is hard to prep food in this area, so the microwave won’t be in the way. If you don’t have much counter space, a portable microwave stand can be a great solution if you have room in your kitchen.

Featured Image Credit: Andrey_Popov, Shutterstock


Related posts

OUR categories

Project ideas

Hand & power tools