How Big is a 1.6 Cubic Feet Microwave?

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Updated August 18, 2022

If you are thinking about getting a new kitchen appliance, you may wonder how big is a 1.6 cubic feet microwave. The best microwaves out there could take up too much counter space so it can be prudent to understand microwave sizes. Keep reading to learn about various microwave sizes and what they are good for.


  • To measure the size of your microwave cavity, multiply the microwave’s interior length by width by height, then divide this total by 1,728.
  • A microwave with an internal cavity of 1.6 cubic feet is considered to be a medium-sized model. Many range microwaves, built-in microwaves, come in this size.
  • Microwaves come in small sizes, medium sizes, and large sizes, the latter being primarily used in commercial kitchens.

The Size of a 1.6 Cubic Feet Microwave

When you are referring to cubic feet, you are essentially referring to the size of the interior cavity of the microwave oven. To determine cubic feet, multiply the microwave’s interior length by width by height, then divide this total by 1,728. So, a microwave that is 17 by 14 by 12 inches is 1.6 cf in size. Microwaves of this size are generally considered to be medium-sized models and appropriate for most common microwave cooking tasks. It can be important to measure the internal cavity of your microwave so you can know if various microwave oven cooking accessories will fit inside.

Microwave Sizes Explained

Microwave sizes boil down to three options – small, medium, and large.

Insider Tip

Measure your counter space before purchasing a new microwave to ensure that it will fit.

Small Microwave Ovens

If your microwave boasts an internal cavity size of 1.0 to 1.5 cf, it is considered to be a small microwave. These compact microwaves can only fit small plates and bowls, so are perfect for those who live alone, such as students in a dorm room. If you have a large family and only own a small microwave, you may need to look into how to dispose of an old microwave and get a new one. One benefit of compact models, however, is that they do not take up a lot of counter space.

Medium Microwave Ovens

Medium-sized microwave ovens boast an internal cavity size of 1.5 to 2.0 cubic feet, making microwaves with a cavity of 1.6 cubic feet squarely fit into this category. Medium microwaves can fit large dinner plates and are a good choice for two to four-person families. Most range models are medium-sized.

Large Microwaves

Any microwave oven above 2.0 cubic feet is considered to be large. These microwaves can fit multiple plates at once and are a great fit for large families, though are primarily used in commercial kitchens. Before buying a large microwave, make sure you have the space for it. In addition, remember to clean and maintain your microwave so it will last a long time. Alternatively, if you want to build a microwave cart, we have a guide for that, too.


How do microwaves work to properly cook your food?

All microwaves, including range microwaves, use a magnetron and heated electromagnetic waves to cook your food.

What else do I need to know about microwaves?

Countertop microwaves are extremely easy to place and install, while OTR microwaves may require a trim kit and some tools to affix it to an enclosure.

What microwave features and specs should I look for?

You should consider size, measuring how many cubic inches wide it is, and where it is to be placed. Range microwaves, for instance, typically rest above the oven range in a dedicated enclosure.

STAT: Many microwaves alternate between high and low heat when you warm something at less than 100% power. (source)

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