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Wall Microwave Door Drop Down vs Swing Open Door

If you’re shopping for the best microwave, you may wonder if a swing-open or drop-down door is the correct choice. While you may not think it makes a difference for your built-in microwave oven, the decision could cost you valuable countertop space. So read on, and we will help you find the best option for your wall microwave door: drop-down vs. swing open.


  • A wall microwave with a drop-down door should store more dishes but may cut into your cooking space.
  • A wall microwave with a swing door is the more traditional choice. Still, they usually don’t have an immense capacity compared to a drop-down model.
  • You should pick the wall microwave door type that fits best with your kitchen layout and aesthetic.

Comparing a Drop-Down Door Microwave vs Swing Open Wall Microwave

When looking at built-in microwaves, you’ll quickly discover that the type of microwave door matters. For example, range microwaves with drop-down doors can sometimes support a heavy dish filled with your favorite foods. On the other hand, the swing open door, often found on a countertop microwave, cannot support even the lightest casserole dish. While your type of microwave door won’t affect your food in the same way as choosing between a microwave or air fryer, you need to know some key differences.

Insider Tip

Make sure a drop-down microwave door won’t cut off your kitchen walkway.

Installation Expense

Unless your home comes with a built-in microwave oven, installing a microwave with either door type will require a light kitchen remodel. Even without a kitchen remodel, you will need a trim kit to make your kitchen appliance fit in with the rest of your cabinets. Unlike over-the-range microwaves, wall microwaves are built into the kitchen to save valuable space. This is why it’s important to know the size of your microwave, so it’ll fit correctly into the wall. Otherwise, if you have the space and don’t want a built-in model, then you’ll want to get a baker’s rack or microwave cart to place your microwave.


While storage space largely depends on the cubic feet of your microwave, you can expect some average differences. For example, built-in microwave styles with a drop-down door tend to have bigger closed-door depths than swing models. That said, both microwave door models should be bigger than standard cabinet widths.


Like an electric convection wall oven or conventional oven, or even a lightwave oven, drop-down microwave ovens can take up additional countertop space compared with swing door models. So even if you pick a compact model, drop-down doors might cut into your cooking space if you have a small kitchen. That said, a swing door model might interfere with your cooking tasks and counter space if you install it in the wrong location.

Cooking Speed

Luckily, you don’t need to stress too much about which door style supports a better cook time. Both types should not interfere with making hot dishes or defrosting frozen food. Unless the microwave models you’re considering use different watt cooking modes, you should not notice different cook times. In addition, unlike comparing the taste of microwaves vs. a traditional oven.


Don’t install your drop-down door microwave too close to your kitchen counter. The door will cut off counter space.


How do built-in microwaves differ from over-the-range models?

A range microwave is suspended over the oven, but it isn’t built into the wall. Range models also don’t require professional installation.

How do microwaves work to properly cook your food?

Microwaves use electromagnetic radiation to heat the water molecules in your food.

What to consider other than a microwave’s size?

Other than cubic feet, you should consider cooking modes and wattage.

STAT: According to a US Department of Energy survey, only 9% of Americans with microwaves own a built-in model. (source)

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