How Many Watts Does a Microwave Oven Use?

Last Updated on January 1, 2023 by Mosabbir

Microwave ovens are popular devices in modern kitchens due to their revolutionary cooking techniques, enhancing cooking and reheating food.

Different microwave models come with varying features and sizes, and so their power consumption.

Generally, a higher wattage microwave oven reheats and cooks food faster and more evenly. However, the higher power wattage translates into more power consumption.

In this regard, your goal is a microwave oven that will suit your needs without energy wastage.

The guide below will help you understand these variations in power consumption and the watts that a microwave oven uses.

How Much Power Does a Microwave Oven Use?

Power Rating vs. Power Consumption

Power consumption and power rating are two different electrical aspects. The power rating indicates the peak power the device draws from the socket for operation.

If the microwave oven doesn’t come with a power rating, then it will malfunction. The specified power rating units are Watts (W) or Kilowatts (kW).

On the other hand, power consumption indicates the energy the appliance consumes in one hour. The power providers base the electricity bills on the power consumption and not the appliance power rating.

The specified unit of power consumption is kilo-Watt-Hour (kWh). Typically, you will need this information to understand the watts your microwave uses.

Below are some factors that contribute to the varying power consumption.

 Also read: How to Use a Combination Microwave and Grill?

The Microwave Oven Wattage

The microwave power wattage mainly depends on the size and model of the microwave.

Small microwaves may have a power wattage of around 600 watts; a full-size microwave oven may have power wattage ranging from 800 watts to 1200 watts.

On the other hand, large models for commercial use may have up to 1800 watts.

If you aren’t sure of the power rating of your microwave, you can check the user’s manual or the sticker label on the microwave for information.

However, the power output may range from 600 watts to 1200 watts, usually smaller than the power rating.

 Also read: What is Microwave Oven Used For?

Microwave Power Usage when on Standby

Although microwave ovens consume the most power during operation, they still use some energy when on standby mode.

Typically, even the digital clock on the microwave uses some power. This standby power consumption varies with models, but most microwaves consume 3-7 watts when on standby mode.

If you want to pin down the power consumption on standby, you can use an electricity monitor by plugging it directly into the microwave.

The standby power usage is constant as long as there is a power supply to the microwave. If you want to eliminate this unnecessary bill, you can switch off the socket or unplug the microwave.

Also read: How To Clean a Microwave Oven?

The Microwave Power Settings

If you set your microwave to 100% of its power, it may consume almost the indicated wattage when in operation. The good thing is that many models allow you to set a fraction of its full power.

Some even have much lower power settings, such as melt and defrost.

However, the majority of microwave recipes specify power wattage above 800 watts for even cooking.

In this regard, you will need a microwave with a power wattage of over 800 watts if you plan to use it for cooking.



In conclusion, the microwave oven wattage is an important feature that you need to consider when choosing one.

The best wattage is the one that suits your reheating and cooking needs without wasting energy.

Hopefully, the above guide will help you understand how many watts your microwave uses and the variations that affect the consumption.