Best Microwaves for Seniors

best microwaves for eldelry

Quick Picks: Best Microwaves for Seniors & Elderly

  •  Commercial Chef Microwave [Best Overall Pick for Seniors] This senior-friendly microwave gets rave reviews from customers for its minimalist design and easy-to-use rotary dials.
  • Nostalgia Retro Microwave [Best Retro Design] This retro-style microwave for seniors offers easy button and dial-based operations in a nostalgic design.
  • AmazonBasics Microwave with Echo Dot [Best for Voice Control] This microwave can be operated with Alexa through the supplied Echo Dot, which can be beneficial for those with mobility impairments, so long as they are comfortable with voice controls.
  • Costway Retro Microwave [Another Great Option] This retro-design microwave offers easy-to-press buttons, a dial, a built-in LED clock, and a pull handle that’s a perfect combination for seniors.

Cooking is a joyous activity for many people; however, for seniors, this can be a daunting task.

That’s why microwaves can be a convenient, safe, and easy way for seniors to prepare a nutritious meal. They can give seniors and their caregivers that peace of mind regarding kitchen safety. 

Here are some other reasons why microwaves are preferred over cooking with a traditional stove or oven for seniors:

  • Lower risk of burns when handling hot oven pans
  • Ovens take longer to cook, therefore it can be easier to forget to turn the oven off, especially for seniors with memory impairment
  • Ovens will not ring when they are done cooking, unless a timer is set. Microwaves make a sound and turn off when they are done cooking automatically
  • Microwaves result in fewer pans, plates, dishes resulting in faster cleanup

But how do you know what microwave to choose for a senior when there are so many out there?

Here are the factors you may want to consider when choosing a microwave for a senior:

Simple Controls 

Look for microwaves with dials or knobs that are easy to use and don’t require a lot of resistance or pressure to activate.

Some microwaves have a flat screen with buttons, and it can be hard to tell when a button has been pushed in fully. 

Microwaves for seniors should feature an easy to read display screen with large, clear lettering that’s easy to see. Many prefer models that have large bold black print on a white surface. This color contrast helps with visibility. 

Try to avoid small writing on dark, glossy surfaces as this can be challenging to read and cause confusion.

best microwaves for seniors

A pull style handle can be an easy way for seniors to open a microwave door rather than pushing in a large button to pop it open (which can be challenging for those with arthritis). 

microwave opening

However, you may need to consider which motion is the best fit depending on the seniors personal preferences or physical condition. Some seniors may find a push motion to be easier than a pull motion. Also consider a larger handle that is easy to hold as handles can be challenging for seniors with severe arthritic fingers.

Auto Sensor And Timers

An auto shut off sensor that monitors the vapor in the unit and adjusts the cook time as needed can be very helpful in preventing overcooking or burning. It leaves the guessing out of how much time is needed to reheat a meal, can ensure an even temperature throughout the food and prevent mouth burns on food that was cooked too long or unevenly.

A 30 second timer that with one touch can heat food for only 30 seconds at high power can decrease the chance of overcooking meals.

Programmable modes can be a beneficial tool for seniors since they won’t need to estimate the amount of time to cook, there will be less buttons to press and it will help present overcooking or burning . Look for microwaves with limited, easy to use, programmable modes so as to not create confusion. Some microwaves also allow you to pre-program certain settings.

A microwave with loud dings and reminder beeps can be very beneficial for seniors who may be hard of hearing or have a memory impairment.

Footprint and Size

Other things to consider are the footprint and size of the microwave

Oftentimes, seniors will be living in a smaller space and will need to consider the amount of counter space available as well as how many meals are needed to fit in the microwave. Can you fit one or two dinner plates? 

Seniors with limited counter-space also need to consider what other appliances they have, such as coffee makers, and what space can be allotted for a microwave.

Wattage

Generally, the higher the wattage, the faster and more evenly your food will cook. 

Microwaves can range from 600 to 1,200 watts.  However, larger and more expensive microwaves tend to have higher wattage.  So if you are looking for a less expensive and smaller microwave for your senior, you may be looking at microwaves that are on the lower end of wattage. 

This isn’t really a huge issue, it simply means food may need to be cooked a bit longer.

Recipes that are designed for the microwave tend to ask for a power of at least 800 watts so that the food cooks evenly through.  Therefore, if your senior prefers certain meals with recipes designed for the microwave, they may benefit from purchasing one that is at least 800 watts.

Best Easy Microwaves for the Elderly: Our Top Picks

1. Commercial Chef Counter Top Rotary Microwave

The Commercial Chef Counter Top Rotary Microwave Oven is durable, easy to operate and perfect for smaller counter spaces. 

Best Microwave for Seniors
Commercial Chef Counter Top Rotary Microwave Oven 0.6 Cubic Feet, 600 Watt, White, CHM660W

Commercial Chef Rotary Microwave

Durable microwave with rotary dials

A solid small-footprint microwave with an easy pull handle and dial controls

This 0.6 cubic feet, 600 Watt microwave has easy to use mechanical dials with six cooking power levels. The unit comes in white and is easy to clean. The removable glass turntable can go in the dishwasher for easy cleaning and the mechanical dial controls are great for senior citizens who have difficulty with dexterity and vision.

Interestingly, this microwave has no buttons – it operates with just two dials (with raised grips), making it great for seniors who have trouble with press buttons.

Several customers have reported that this microwave is ideal for seniors, with older individuals having great success using it!

Key Features:

  • Six power levels
  • Easy to grasp grip handle 
  • Mechanical rotary dial controls
  • Speed and Weight Defrost
  • Interior capacity of 0.6 cubic feet

Product Specifications

  • Dimensions: 17.75 x 12.50 x 10.25 inches
  • Weight: 23.10 lbs
  • Material: 18-8 Steel
  • Wattage: 600.0 watts

Pros

  • Compact, small footprint for limited counter space
  • Simple, easy-to-use mechanical dials ideal for seniors 
  • Pull open handle
  • Defrost option and multiple power levels on top dial
  • Does not consume electricity when not in use so there is no glow from an electronic display that might interrupt sleep if living in a studio room

Cons

  • Smaller writing, may be hard to see for seniors with vision impairments
  • No pre-programming options which may be preferred by some seniors
  • May not be large enough for some seniors who need to cook multiple meals
  • Some say unit is so lightweight that it does not always stay in place when opening the door

2. Nostalgia Retro Microwave Oven

The Nostalgia Retro Microwave is also a vintage design but with a touch of modern. This 0.9 cubic feet, 800 watt microwave has 12 pre-programmed cooking settings, a delay timer and express cooking options. 

Most Fun Retro Design
Nostalgia RMO4AQ Retro Large 0.9 cu ft, 800-Watt Countertop Microwave Oven, 12 Pre-Programmed Cookin Digital Clock, Easy Clean Interior, Aqua

Nostalgia Retro Microwave

Retro-style microwave with buttons

Dial and button-based operation make this microwave easy to use

It has one simple program dial and four buttons with easy to understand cooking settings. The microwave comes in aqua, ivory, jet black, metallic retro red, and seafoam green.

Key Features:

  • 800 watts
  • 12 pre-programmed cooking settings
  • Delay timer
  • Digital clock that also highlights the popular food choices pre-programmed to heat your food
  • Easy clean interior
  • Child safety lock
  • Auto Defrost
  • Retro Style
  • Power On button before use with Start and Stop button

Product Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 19 x 17.9 x 11 inches
  • Weight: 30 lbs
  • Material: Chrome handles and dials
  • Wattage: 800.0

Pros

  • Compact, small footprint for limited counter space and fits standard-sized plate
  • Vintage style will be nostalgic for many seniors
  • Simple and easy-to use controls with just a few buttons
  • Pull open handle
  • 12 pre-programmed cooking settings
  • Darker writing on bright colored background

Cons

  • Smaller writing, may be hard to see for seniors with vision impairments
  • No 30-second cook option
  • Some have had issues with it shutting off after cooking for 6 minutes
  • May not be large enough for some seniors who need to cook multiple meals

3. Costway Retro Countertop Microwave

The Costway Retro Countertop Microwave is compact for small counter space and is in between a modern and retro style. It has all the modern features of today’s microwave but is still familiar for many seniors.

Solid Retro Microwave with LED Clock
COSTWAY Retro Countertop Microwave Oven, 0.7Cu.ft, 700-Watt, Cold Rolled Steel Plate, 5 Micro Power, Delayed Start Function, with Glass Turntable & Viewing Window, LED Display, Child Lock (White)

Costway Retro Microwave

Retry-style microwave with LED clock

Features easy-to-press buttons, a large knob, and pull handle

The Costway Retro Microwave is user-friendly with multiple functions and customizable auto cooking settings. This senior-friendly microwave comes in white, black, gold, and red.

Key Features:

  • Compact and retro appearance
  • Five microwave power settings 
  • Easy-to-use operation and auto reminder
  • Six mechanical buttons on multifunctional control panel
  • Easy to read LED display showing cooking time
  • Three loud beeps provide auditory indication for when cooking is complete
  • Customizable auto cooking settings
  • Child lock function

Product Specifications

  • Dimensions: 18 x 14 x 10 inches
  • Weight: 23 lbs
  • Material: Steel and glass
  • Wattage: 700.0 watts

Pros

  • Compact, small footprint for limited counter space
  • Simple design with one large dial and six buttons
  • Black writing on white surface for superior visibility
  • Pull style handle
  • Retro style will be nostalgic for many seniors

Cons

  • Smaller writing, may be hard to see for seniors with vision impairment
  • Some say buttons and dial are not intuitive and require you to read the user manual before operating successfully. 
  • May not be large enough for some seniors who need to cook multiple meals, some say inner height is not tall enough
  • Some say microwave moves when you open and close the door since it is extremely lightweight

4. COMFEE’ Retro Countertop Microwave

The COMFEE Retro Countertop Microwave is another nostalgic-style microwave perfect for seniors who love that retro style. This microwave is compact, easy-to-learn, and easy-to-use. 

Best for avoiding burns
COMFEE' Retro Countertop Microwave Oven with Compact Size, Position-Memory Turntable, Sound On/Off Button, Child Safety Lock and ECO Mode, 0.7Cu.ft/700W, Passionate Red, AM720C2RA-R

Comfee Retro Microwave

Classic-styled microwave with bright look

Features a unique turntable memory system, which ends the cooking with items in the same position they were inserted with

The Comfee Microwave is unique in that it relies on small symbols and icons for button indicators, rather than words.

It has nine auto preset cooking options, a large LED digital display, interior light, and a simple control panel featuring just one main dial and five raised buttons. 

Unique to this microwave, it features a Sound On/Off button you can mute at anytime.  This might be a great option for seniors living with a partner in a studio room or assisted living facility so that they do not disturb the other person while napping or sleeping. 

Also, this elder-friendly microwave has a position memory turntable which returns the food item to its original placement when cooking is complete.  For example, a coffee mug will return to the same spot it was when placed in the microwave so that you can grab the handle from the same side when taking it out.  This can be great for seniors with memory or vision challenges.

The microwave is simple, cute and it comes in passionate red, cream or pastel green.

Key Features:

  • 700 Watt
  • Kitchen Timer/Clock
  • Cook based on weight
  • Auto Menu
  • Defrost option
  • Add 30 second option
  • Sound On/Off, you can mute it at anytime
  • Position memory turntable
  • Child Safety lock
  • ECO mode (eco-friendly so it saves energy when not in use)
  • One year limited warranty

Product Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 17.3 x 14.1 x 10.2 inches
  • Weight: 24.1 lbs
  • Material: NULL
  • Wattage: 700.0

Pros

  • Compact, small footprint for limited counter space 
  • Vintage style will be nostalgic for many seniors
  • Simple controls and fewer buttons
  • Pull open handle
  • Mute button can be helpful for seniors who live with others as to not disturb their sleep
  • Has “cheat sheet” on the microwave of how many minutes for certain foods like “baked potato, soup, beverage etc.”
  • Position memory turntable can be helpful for seniors so that they easily take out a mug or dish without getting hurt

Cons

  • Smaller writing that is light in color on a dark surface, may be hard to see for seniors with vision impairments
  • If mute button is left on accidentally, seniors may have trouble knowing when their meal is done
  • May not be large enough for some seniors who need to cook multiple meals
  • Some say not enough power for food that requires more time

5. Daewoo Retro Countertop Microwave

The Daewoo Retro Microwave Oven is a retro style design reminiscent of “the good old days” with modern features. It is lightweight, compact and has simple, easy-to-use controls featuring dials and raised buttons that are easy to press.  This is especially so for seniors who may have challenges with dexterity or vision.

Most simple button selections
Daewoo KOR-7LREM Retro Countertop Microwave Oven 0.7 Cu. Ft., 700W | Mint Green

Daewoo Retro Microwave

Simple, nostalgic design

Colorful microwave that’s easy-to-use and energy conscious

This no-nonsense microwave for the elderly features a top power button, one simple control dial, and two smaller raised buttons that work as a stop button and a start or 30 second cook button.

With such minimal controls, this microwave is very easy to use. An elderly individual can simple press the power button, insert their meal, and tap the start/30-second cook button to begin heating a meal.

This 0.7 cu. Ft. 700w microwave with 10” diameter turntable comes in three different colors: mint, red and cream white.  This will fit one dinner plate at a time for a senior.

There are five power levels, five auto-cook options, and a two-way defrost that defrosts frozen foods by weight and time.

This microwave also has a zero standby eco-conscious function, which means it saves energy when not in use, while also emitting a reminder end signal to indicate that the microwave is done cooking.  Seniors won’t have to worry about leaving the microwave on or wasting electricity. 

The Power On, Start, and Stop buttons can be nice for some seniors who want to save energy and have more control over starting and stopping the microwave in between cooking.

Key Features:

  • 700w microwave output
  • 5 power control levels
  • 4 Auto cook programmes
  • Zero standby “ECO” function
  • Child safety lock
  • 10 inches (255mm) turntable
  • Reminder End Signal
  • Auto Defrost
  • Retro Style
  • Power On button before use with Start and Stop button
  • Popcorn button

Product Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 12.70 x 17.60 x 10.60 inches
  • Weight: 23.40 lbs
  • Material: NULL
  • Wattage: 700.00

Pros

  • Compact, small footprint for limited counter space
  • Vintage style will be nostalgic for many seniors
  • Simple controls and less buttons, just turn the dial for the amount of minutes and press “start”
  • Pull open handle
  • Readable, detailed and easy to understand manual
  • Has “cheat sheet” on the microwave of how many minutes for certain foods like “baked potato, soup, beverage etc.”
  • Dark writing on bright colored background
  • Defrosts quickly and evenly
  • Beeps when door is left open which can be a good reminder indicator for seniors

Cons

  • Smaller writing, may be hard to see for seniors with vision impairments
  • Some say slower cooking time than other microwaves for seniors
  • Some have had issues with buttons becoming detached or ceasing to work with too much use
  • May not be large enough for some seniors who need to cook multiple meals

6. AmazonBasics Microwave Bundle With Echo Dot (3rd Gen)

The AmazonBasics Microwave Bundle with Echo Dot allows you to use “Alexa” to operate the microwave controls. With this compact microwave, you can defrost, reheat and cook meals with quick voice presets and the simple keypad. 

best voice-operated microwave
AmazonBasics Microwave bundle with Echo Dot (3rd Gen) - Charcoal

AmazonBasics Microwave with Echo Dot Bundle

Voice-controlled microwave

Alexa-compatible microwave with LED clock and easy open handle

While the Alexa voice-activated features can be very handy for the mobility impaired, the microwave itself is not especially senior-friendly (with flat screen and flat push buttons), so if the individual is not comfortable using voice controls, this may not be the best option.

You can order the microwave on its own, with the Dot in charcoal, heather gray, plum, sandstone or with Echo Flex.

Key Features:

  • Ten power levels
  • Easy to grasp grip handle 
  • A kitchen timer, child lock and turntable
  • Speed and Weight Defrost
  • Simplified display pad

Product Specifications

  • Dimensions: 10.75” W x 6.75”H x 11.5”D
  • Weight: Unknown
  • Material: Unknown
  • Wattage: Unknown

Pros

  • Compact, small footprint for limited counter space
  • Simple, easy-to-use display pad with large white writing on a black background that is easy to see for seniors with vision impairment
  • Pull open handle
  • The Echo Dot can allow seniors to speak instructions to the microwave-based on weight and type of food.
  • The Echo Dot can inform you if the door has been left open. There are safeguards in place so you don’t cook something too long accidentally
  • Option to use with or without Echo Dot

Cons

  • No pre-programming options which may be preferred by some seniors
  • May not be large enough for some seniors who need to cook multiple meals
  • Seniors with dementia could potentially accidentally turn on the microwave or give wrong instructions to Alexa. This feature could also be confusing for some seniors. May need to just use the microwave without Echo Dot.
  • Flat display panel and touch buttons

7. Impecca Countertop Microwave

The Impecca Watts Countertop Microwave has a minimalist design ideal for seniors. There are six power levels, a 30 minute safety feature (which means the user cannot input a time more than 30 minutes), mechanical dial controls and it is a compact size for smaller counter space. 

Most Affordable Option
Impecca CM0674 700-Watts Countertop Microwave Oven, 120V 0.6 Cubic Feet, White

Impecca Countertop Microwave

A minimalist microwave with rotary dials

Includes a 30 minute max cook time as a built-in safety feature

One thing that makes this microwave unique is that there are no buttons – this microwave relies entirely on dials, which some seniors might prefer if they have a difficult time putting pressure down on buttons.

You can cook, reheat and defrost evenly with this small 0.6 cubic foot and lightweight microwave for seniors.

Key Features:

  • 6 Cooking power levels
  • Defrost function
  • 30-minute max safety timer
  • Cooking complete reminder
  • Mechanical dial controls

Product Specifications

  • Dimensions: 17.8 x 14 x 10.3 inches
  • Weight: 23.8 lbs
  • Material: Metal
  • Wattage: 700.0 watts

Pros

  • Compact, small footprint for limited counter space
  • Only two simple, easy-to-use mechanical dials some say have been perfect for their senior loved-ones
  • Defrost option and multiple power levels on top dial
  • Dark writing on a white background for easy visibility
  • Easy to use and easy to understand instructions for seniors

Cons

  • Smaller writing, may be hard to see for seniors with vision impairments
  • Push button for door opening may be difficult for those with arthritis
  • No pre-programming options which may be preferred by some seniors
  • May not be large enough for some seniors who need to cook multiple meals, some say inner height is not tall enough
  • Some say it is difficult for seniors to see the arrow on the dial since it is the same color as the dial. Easily fixed with black sharpie to color the pointers on the dials to make them easier to see.

Microwave for Elderly FAQs

What meals can I make in the microwave?

There are many great healthy, quick microwavable meals from grocery stores like Trader Joes and Whole Foods.

Seniors can also easily cook baked potatoes in the microwave. You can make it a loaded baked potato by adding cheese, sour cream, ground turkey, salsa, guacamole etc.

Microwaveable oatmeal is another option, with hot cereal with berries. The elderly can also microwave an egg in a small dish to make an egg sandwich or “scrambled eggs”

Tips on Microwave Safety for Seniors

We have a few additional tips on how to keep elderly individuals safe when cooking with a microwave.

  • Try Electrical Tape. If there are some microwave buttons that are too confusing for a senior, you can always put black electrical tape over the extra buttons.
  • Use Black Sharpie to Highlight Most Useful Buttons. Black sharpie marker is helpful to add additional instructions on to the microwave or to highlight certain parts for them to see better.
  • Double-Sided Tape to Stop Skidding. If the microwave is too lightweight, you can use double-sided tape to keep the microwave from moving on the counter.

There are many options when considering a microwave for seniors that will fit their personal needs. What did you think of our top picks? Feel free to leave your comments and suggestions here!

Last update on 2020-08-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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