How Many Watts Does a Microwave Use?

This article is your complete guide to understanding microwave watts 2024. Almost every single home, apartment, or small business is equipped with a microwave in their kitchen ready for daily use. That leaves many people wondering how many watts are using every time they reheat their lunch. The standard microwave in most homes is between 800-1000 watts, which can vary vastly depending on size and power rating.  Smaller microwaves can use close to 600 watts per hour, and commercial microwaves can use over 100 watts per hour!

So, if you want to learn how many watts a microwave uses, keep reading!

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How Many Watts Does a Microwave Use?


The average microwave which would be found in a home or apartment uses somewhere between 800 – 1000 watts. Seeing as that 90% of Americans have one of these handy kitchen appliances, you might be wondering how much energy your specific microwave uses. We can help you at least estimate how much energy your microwave uses, or give you the proper equation to figure that number out.

In this next section, we will give you the average watts for a microwave for the three major sizes sold.

How many watts is a microwave?

  • Small microwave (Hotels, RV) – 600 – 800 watts
  • Standard microwave (Homes, apartments, breakrooms) – 800 – 1000 watts
  • Large microwave (restaurant, industrial) – 1500 watts and over

As you can see, the wattage can vary from as little as 600 watts to 1500 watts or over! But, for most people reading this article, we only have to focus on the standard microwave, which is what is in most homes.

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Microwave Energy Consumption Estimation

For this step, we are going to determine your microwave wattage with a few simple numbers. To do this, we will have to find the wattage of your microwave, which should be on an informational sticker right on the back. If you’re looking at the right number, it should be somewhere between 800 – 1000 watts if you have a standard microwave.

For our purposes, we are going to say that our microwave is 800 watts. While energy is measured in watts, electric bills deal in kWh, since that is the measurement of your device’s use in one hour. There are 1000 watts in one kW, so we have to make that conversation to see how much energy our microwave uses!

800 watt microwave = 0.08 kW

We can use this number now to determine the cost to run your microwave for further equations on cost.

How many watts does a microwave use per minute?

We are going to use our example numbers above for this equation and say that this microwave is 800 watts again. To figure out how many watts per minute a microwave uses, we have to break down the time.

We know that 1 hour of energy used for the microwave was .8kW and we know that one minute is 1/60 of an hour.

So to figure that out we are going to take our kW (.8) and multiply that by time, which is 1/60.

0.8 kW X 1/60 hours = 0.0133 kWg per minute.

How many watts does a microwave use per hour?

A standard microwave uses between 800 – 1000 watts per hour, which converts to about 1 kWh per hour of use. You can find out the wattage of your microwave by looking at the information sticker on the back.

How many watts does a small microwave use?

Let’s say you have a small microwave that is only about 600 watts and you want to figure out how many watts it takes to run. It would then subsequently take 0.6 kW to run your small microwave for an hour. Typically small microwaves are under 800 watts to run and are found in motorhomes or hotels.

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How Much Does a Microwave Cost to Run?


Your microwave will most likely cost you less than $1 per usage a month. But, if you frequently use your microwave, you might be wondering if it’s making an impact on your bill.

Figuring out how many watts a microwave uses will take a little bit of math, but still a rather simple equation. To do this, we need basic numbers about your microwave wattage:

  • Wattage of microwave – found on a sticker on the back of the appliance, or can sometimes be searched online.
  • Amount of usage (time)
  • How much your electric rate is

While all standard microwaves will be roughly the same wattage, your electric rate can vary vastly from others. Each state sets its regulations for energy. This means someone in Hawaii is paying a lot more than someone in Nebraska for electricity. Take a look at your electric bill to find your electricity rate to do this equation. For our purposes, we will use the national average for electricity rates which is around $0.14 kWh.

We have our number from our sample equation above with an 800-watt microwave.

800/1000 = 0.8 kW

Now, let’s just make it easy and say you used that microwave for an hour.

0.8 kW x 1 hour of usage x $0.14 electricity rate = $0.11 per hour of microwave usage

How many watts do I need for my microwave?

As a rule of thumb, we recommend 1000 watts for a standard microwave for home use. 1000-watt microwaves are going to cook your food efficiently and quickly, which is perfect for everyday use. Anything under 700 watts for a standard-sized microwave is rather weak and would cook your food more unevenly and much more slowly.

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Microwave Watts FAQ

Q: How many watts does the microwave use?

A: A standard microwave that you would find in a home or apartment uses between 800 – 1000 watts. Industrial microwaves can use upwards of 2000 watts with microwaves inside of your RV or hotel only being about 600 watts.

Q: How many watts is a typical microwave?

A: A typical microwave found within an apartment or home is going to be about 1000 watts, but typically between 800 – 1000 watts. You can check the wattage of your microwave at the back of your appliance where the information sticker is located.

Q: How much power does a 1000-watt microwave use?

A: A 1000-watt microwave uses 1000 watts of power when it is operating at its maximum power level. It’s important to note that the power consumption may vary depending on the settings used, such as the power level selected or the duration of operation. However, the 1000-watt rating indicates the maximum power output of the microwave.

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