10 Best Retro Microwave Models for Vintage Lovers


What is the best retro microwave for the true vintage connoisseur?

While the microwave is certainly not the most important technological breakthrough of the past century, having one in the kitchen can be a life-saver (though not literally) for those who can’t and won’t cook. It can help you save precious time and energy as you can easily and quickly use it to prepare meals, or reheat leftovers from last night’s takeouts or party. For vintage lifestyle aficionados, it can be a great addition to your retro-design kitchen. If you are looking for the best retro microwave to complete the vintage vibes and retro look of your kitchen, then this list is for you.

Compared to most kitchen appliances, the microwave is a relatively new technology. Thus, they seemed like a luxury when they were first introduced in the market. However, it didn’t take long for people to realize its fast cooking and efficient heating benefits. Now, microwave ovens are considered a necessity. As a matter of fact, almost 97% of households in the U.S. have one in their kitchen. However, there are not a lot of retro-style microwaves out there. So to help you, here’s a comprehensive list of the best retro microwave oven you can find today.

1. Galanz GLCMKA07GNR-07 Retro Microwave Oven (Best Budget Pick)

Quick specs

Model Info: ‎GLCMKA07GNR-07

Item Weight: 23.1 pounds

Product Dimensions: ‎17.9 x 13.8 x 10.3 inches

Energy Use: ‎700 Watts

Capacity: ‎0.7 Cubic Feet

Noise: ‎42 dB

Installation Type: ‎Countertop

Form Factor: Standalone

Special Features: ‎Kitchen Timer/Clock, Defrost, Digital Control, Safety Lock

For more than four decades of specializing in manufacturing, Galanz has changed the world’s view of “made in China” products. They originally specialized in making microwaves, now they cover a full supply of home appliances, from air conditioners, refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, and other small home appliances.

Galanz GLCMKA07GNR-07 retro microwave is a testament to the brand’s commitment to changing people’s perception of China-made products. Equipped with 700W of cooking power, this microwave oven has an excellent combination of vintage aesthetics, modern features, and an affordable price tag.

Pros and Cons

Pros

• Gorgeous colors and beautiful paint finish

• Digital LED display timer

• With child safety lock feature

• With Eco mode feature

Cons

• Door can be harder to open due to child safety lock

It has every basic function you can expect from a modern microwave, such as a rotating glass carousel with a glass turntable for even heating and cooking efficiency, bright interior light so you can easily see your food without having to open the door, LED digital display with digital clock for convenience, and an impressive 6 power levels that lets you cook or heat almost anything you can fit inside it.

It also has several features that make cooking tasks easier and every meal comes quicker. You will also know your food is ready, even when you are in the next room, thanks to the three loud beeps of its alert system.

Aesthetic-wise, it looks chic and the colors are vibrant, allowing the countertop microwave to pop and stand out from its background on any kitchen countertop. It is available in colors green, blue, red, and black.

This countertop oven comes with a safety lock feature to keep the little ones from opening and playing with it. However, due to the same safety feature, opening the microwave oven door can be tricky sometimes.

2. Nostalgia RMO4AQ Retro Large Microwave Oven (Best Retro Design)

Nostalgia is one of the few brands out there that really specializes in making classic products for modern use. Many of their designs feature 19th-century America, perfect for anyone longing for the memories of their yesteryears, or just anyone passionate about vintage style.

Their design is distinctive there is no way you can mistake this countertop microwave oven from another era because as with other products in their Retro Series, the Nostalgia RMO4AQ went all out in its vintage design.

Quick specs:

Item model number: RMO4AQ

Product Dimensions: 19 x 17.9 x 11 inches

Item Weight: 28 pounds

Capacity: ‎0.9 Cubic Feet

Pros and Cons

Pros

• True vintage design

• 800W power

• Big capacity

• 12 Cooking settings

• Easy to read LED display

• Simple program dial

Cons

• Can be too vintage for some people

Many Gen X will agree that this microwave looks straight from the cartoon show The Jetsons. The design is a true out-of-this-world retro, from the gorgeous paint finish, shiny chrome details of the handle, dial, and buttons, to the brand logo – you cannot go more retro than this one.

Aside from the whopping 800W of cooking power and a large 0.9 capacity, this retro microwave offers 12 pre-programmed cooking settings, a delay timer, and an express cooking feature for optimal heating. These features make this microwave a class above many retro microwave ovens and even traditional microwaves on the market.

Of course, it has the rotating carousel glass for even cooking. The turn and press program dial allows easy navigation of the control panel’s cooking settings.

If you are looking for the best retro microwave oven to go all out in your vintage-styled kitchen, then this should be on your top list of choices. It is easily one of the best retro microwave ovens you can find today.

3. Breville BMO650SIL Compact Microwave Oven (Premium Pick)

If there is such a thing as a neo-retro microwave, then Breville BMO650SIL compact microwave should be the best example. Breville is an Australian small home appliances brand founded in 1932. It is best known for making quality blenders, juicers, coffee machines, toaster ovens, kettles, and of course, microwaves.

Quick Specs

Model Info: ‎BMO650SIL1BUC1

Item Weight: ‎2.75 pounds

Product Dimensions: ‎19.1 x 17.3 x 11.5 inches

Capacity: ‎0.9 Cubic Feet

Installation Type: ‎Countertop

Wattage: ‎900 watts

Pros and Cons

Pros

• Beautiful neo-retro aesthetic

• Packed with advanced features

• Big capacity

• Intuitive and easy to use

• Looks and feels premium

Cons

• No timer

Breville BMO650SIL compact microwave oven is a testament to the brand’s longevity in the industry. It has all the bells and whistles of a modern and new microwave, but it takes you back to the 70s with its futuristic retro aesthetic. It has a compact footprint, but it has a capacity of 0.9 cu. ft. or 25L, which means it has all the room you need to cook, reheat, or defrost anything.

It features shortcut buttons and a food menu for one-touch operation, including reheating, defrosting food, cooking popcorn, and heating beverage, along with food menu functions like reheating pizza, cook potatoes, defrosting vegetables, or making quick snacks.

This retro microwave comes equipped with a really unique feature called a soft close door. Its door is specifically engineered to be 80% quieter. And like many modern high-end countertop microwaves, it comes with a child lock feature.

If you are looking for an upscale retro microwave that doesn’t break the bank, then this should be on the top of your list. It looks like its design is sleek and true retro, and it feels premium from every angle.

4. Daewoo KOR-7LREM Retro Countertop Microwave Oven (Best Mini Retro Microwave)

Another excellent model from an excellent brand is the Daewoo KOR-7LREM retro countertop microwave oven. Daewoo has been around since 1971, this proud South Korean is one of the global market leaders for electronics. It has over 40 research, development, and sales centers and 64 production sites worldwide.

Quick Specs

Model info: KOR-7LREM

Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 17.6 x 10.6 inches

Item Weight: 23.4 pounds

Wattage: 700W

Pros and Cons

Pros

• Cute and sleek retro design

• Equipped with unique and useful features

• Fast cooking, even heating feature

• Sturdy build

• Easy to navigate and use

Cons

• Small capacity

• Buttons feels cheap to touch

This Daewoo retro microwave is a testament to the brand’s longevity; it features a classic retro look with lots of curves, bright color, beautiful paint finish, and fun clever design. It comes with a beautiful silver door handle and chrome details for the buttons. It has a 0.7cu ft. capacity and has a power output of 700W. It is also in classic retro colors namely cream white, mint, and red.

This mini microwave packs a might punch. It features 5 power control levels with 4 auto cook programs and a zero standby “ECO” function. It also comes equipped with a child safety lock feature as well as all the basic microwave features you can expect from a modern microwave, such as a reminder end signal, auto defrost, and 10-inch recessed turntable to leave you with more room than an average compact microwave.

Another good feature of this Daewoo retro microwave is the “zero standby” function, which lets you switch the power off completely without needing to unplug the appliance. It also comes with the brand’s exclusive Concave Reflex System (CRS) to cook your food faster and evenly inside, while preventing cold spots within your food. All these functions and features for minimal counter space.

All in all, this Daewoo microwave is an excellent all-around performer for anyone needing a compact microwave for their vintage-inspired kitchen. It has a softer and inviting design with all the conveniences of a modern microwave.

5. COMFEE’ CM-M093ARD Retro Microwave (Best Overall Performer)

Comfee is one of the few affordable but quality brands that sell exclusively through Amazon. However, the brand is actually backed by Midea Group, which is a giant in the electronics and appliance manufacturing industry that also carries other globally recognized brands like Toshiba, Eureka, Little Swan, Beverly, COMO, etc. Their products always get excellent ratings, and this one is no different.

Quick Specs

Model Info: ‎CM-M093ARD

Item Weight: ‎26.8 pounds

Product Dimensions: 19.09 x 15.41 x 11.51 inches

Energy Use: ‎1350 Watts

Capacity: ‎0.9 Cubic Feet

Wattage: ‎900 watts

Pros and Cons

Pros

• Compact and stylish for small kitchens

• With multiple cooking presets

• Cooks through in multiple stages

Cons

• Preview window may be too small for some

COMFEE’ CM-M093ARD retro microwave is beautiful in every sense of the word. The styling may be vintage, yet incredibly versatile. It effectively combines edgy retro design with modern aesthetics and functions.

Everything about this microwave feels stylish, from the gorgeous retro red finish, glossy red handle and dial, chrome buttons and details, and digital timer. The best thing about the finish is it is wrapped with an outer layer tear-off protective film.

This microwave is so pleasant to use, thanks to the intuitive controls. It comes with a dial that lets you choose the power level (10 power levels with up to 95 minutes of cooking time), and one-push quick control buttons for specific cooking or heating. There are a total of 9 programmed presets for your convenience.

For express cooking, simply set the cooking power at full for 30 seconds, then press the START and the microwave will do the rest. It also features a bright interior light that lets you see your food clearly.

It is also one of the few microwave ovens out there with eco mode feature, which minimizes standby power by up to 50%.

6. Winia WOR07R3ZEL Retro Microwave (Honorable Mention)

If you are looking for a retro microwave that doesn’t scream retro, then you should check out the subtle styling of Winia WOR07R3ZEL. Winia may be a lesser-known brand, but it is actually formerly known as Daewoo Electronics from South Korea, which has been around since the early 70s. This should give you a good idea of its quality.

Quick Specs

Item model number: WOR07R3ZEL

Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 12.7 x 10.6 inches

Item Weight: 23.4 pounds

Installation Type: Countertop

Capacity: ‎0.7 Cubic Feet

Wattage: ‎700 watts

Pros and Cons

Pros

• Classic and classy retro design

• Easy to use

• Feature-packed

• Efficient heating, and even cooking

• Energy-saving

Cons

• Lightweight, may move around easily when you open the door

In terms of aesthetics, this one looks classic and classy. It doesn’t look flashy at all, yet it is elegant. It definitely captures the vintage aesthetics without being overdoing it.

The 0.7 cu ft. capacity is compact, but it is fully equipped with everything you need for daily use, like a recessed turntable, five auto cook pre-set menu functions and 2-way defrost. The two-way defrost eliminates the guesswork, as it helps you thaw food faster using the timer or weight of the food, super convenient.

As with the other Daewoo microwave oven on this list, it is also equipped with Concave Reflect System (CRS) with Dual Wave Technology for efficient heating performance and improved cooking quality. This eliminates the risk of undercooking and cold spots in your food.

Another really impressive feature is the Zero On energy-saving function, which enables the appliance to only use power when actually in use. This means unlike most appliances out there (and most retro microwaves in this list), it takes zero electricity when plugged into a power source and not in use.

7. Galanz GLCMKZ09RDR09 Retro Countertop Microwave Oven

Galanz is such an awesome retro microwave maker that it deserves two spots on this list. The Galanz GLCMKZ09RDR09 is actually the bigger brother of the one in number one. This means it has a bigger capacity and more powerful heating capabilities.

Quick Specs

Item model number:

Product Dimensions:

Item Weight:

Capacity:

Wattage: ‎

Pros and Cons

Pros

• Gorgeous retro design

• Big capacity

• Digital LED display timer

• With child safety lock feature

• With Eco mode feature

Cons

• Door can be harder to open due to child safety lock

As with its smaller sibling, the paint finish of Galanz GLCMKZ09RDR09 is a thing of beauty, especially the red one. It pops out beautifully, making it an eye-catching piece in the kitchen. It comes with a sleek chrome door handle, buttons, and dial knob to complement the color. Aside from the bigger capacity and bigger wattage, this model is also very different in terms of control layout and overall design.

Functionality-wise, it has everything you can ask for in a modern microwave in your kitchen, from a glass turntable on a rotating glass carousel, bright interior lighting, even heating, and efficient cooking.

It has 7 cooking programs and 10 reheat programs for quick and easy cooking and reheating of almost any food or meal you can fit inside it.

The feature that separates this model from its smaller sibling is the quick start function. It is basically a shortcut button that sets the microwave on for additional 30 seconds when you need additional cooking or heating time for your meal. It also comes with a safety lock feature that keeps kids from playing with it.

8. Costway Retro Microwave

Established in 2008, Costway may be a newcomer in the appliance manufacturing market, but it has achieved both its financial targets and customer satisfaction with its products in its young existence. One product that could attest to this is their Costway retro countertop microwave oven.

Quick Specs

Product Dimensions: 19.5 x 14 x 11 inches

Item Weight: 26 pounds

Capacity: 0.9 cu ft.

Output power: 900W

Pros and Cons

Pros

• Extra-large glass window

• Highly and easily customizable cooking modes

• Auto-reminder technology

• Child lock for safety

• ETL certification for safety

Cons

• Only available in two colors

While a microwave oven doesn’t need to have complicated features to be effective, Costway managed to add a sophisticated feature to allow customization and actually simplify the cooking and heating process. The customizable cooking modes allow this retro microwave to give users full control over how to cook their food. This eliminates the risk of uneven heating or other common issues found in microwave cooking.

This microwave offers 5 power levels, two mechanical knobs, and two buttons to simplify the operation process. It also features an extra-large glass window that lets you see your food clearly while cooking, eliminating surprises in the cooking process.

9. ROVSUN 0.9 Cu.ft Retro Countertop Microwave Oven

You want the best bang for your buck, right? Well, this is probably it – a big, powerful, yet affordable microwave for all your kitchen needs. Established in 2017, Rovsun is the youngest brand on this list. This Hong Kong brand, however, has made quite a following in the past few years they’ve been manufacturing home and kitchen appliances. This Rovsun 0.9 cu ft. retro countertop microwave oven, for example, garnered an excellent rating on Amazon.

Quick specs

Product Dimensions: 19.5 x 14 x 11 inches

Item Weight: 29.6 pounds

Capacity: 0.9 cu ft.

Output power: 900W

Installation Type: Countertop

Pros and Cons

Pros

• Overall compact model

• Simplistic retro design

• Affordable, yet powerful

Cons

• Can be confusing to operate

This microwave may not have the pedigree or established name of a popular brand, but it definitely stood its ground in terms of giving you the best bang for your buck.

This Rovsun retro countertop microwave oven is big enough and powerful enough to handle almost all types of heating and cooking you will ever need in your kitchen. It comes packed with modern microwave features, such as delayed start function, auto cooking, and child lock feature. It has 5 microwave power options for efficient heating and 8 auto cooking menu for convenience.

Design-wise, it is plain and simplistic, perfect for anyone looking for minimalist design.

10. Airlime retro microwave

You cannot go wrong with the black and gold combination – it is classic and elegant. Maybe this Arlime was banking on when they made this color way for their small retro microwave oven (though the microwave is also available in mint and chrome and white and chrome color way).

Quick Specs

Product Dimensions: ‎18 x 14 x 10 inches

Item Weight: ‎22.6 pounds

Capacity: ‎0.7 Cubic Feet

Installation Type: ‎Countertop

Pros and Cons

Pros

• Stylish vintage design, gorgeous gold details

• Thick and beautiful handle for comfortable use

• Multiple default options for efficient cooking

• Simplistic operation

• With auto-reminder

Cons

• Some report damage to the unit due to problems in handling of the item’s shipment

This microwave sports an elegant and sophisticated combination of simple colors; the gold details from the buttons and thick door handle pop beautifully against the black finish. This makes the design incredibly versatile, as it can work on either vintage or modern-styled kitchens. You can place it against a black or white background, and it will there just fine.

Functionality-wise, this Airlime retro microwave will not surprise you with anything – it simply works the way modern microwave should work – but with a touch of sophistication.

The body is small and compact, as it only has 0.7 cu ft. of capacity. However, it has all the basic features you will need, from 5 micro power functions, auto cooking and defrost functions, an LED display, and a large window.

It also comes with a child lock feature, but the good thing about it is that, it doesn’t make the door difficult to open, as you can actually control the lock through the control panel.

Frequently Asked Question on the Best Retro Microwave

Q. What does retro microwave mean?

A. Retro microwave is basically a vintage-styled microwave with modern functions and features. They are used for cooking and reheating food, whether fresh food or leftovers. Their only difference from modern microwave ovens is their old-fashioned design, which is mostly mid-century inspired. This makes them a perfect addition to retro-themed kitchens.

Q. Which brand of microwave is the most reliable?

A. There are a lot of reliable and high-quality brands out there. Some of the most well-known for their quality are Breville, Smeg, LG, Hamilton Beach, Signature Kitchen Suite, KitchenAid, Whirlpool, etc. However, most of these brands do not make retro-styled microwave ovens.

Q. How often should you replace your microwave?

A. Microwaves lose energy through time. However, there is no definitive answer, as the quality of any household appliance largely depends on how much and how often it is being used. Thus, it varies depending on the age, current condition, and problems it may have. Of course, how well you take care of it can have a huge impact on its lifespan. Generally, however, microwave ovens can last up to 7 to 10 years.

Q. How many years does a microwave last?

A. This differs from a lot of factors, such as brand and model’s reliability, usage, maintenance, etc. Generally, though, a microwave oven can last up to 7 years or more with normal use. Poor maintenance and heavy usage can, of course, shorten its lifespan.

Q. What should I look for when buying a microwave?

A. It depends on your needs. If you are going to use it for a family kitchen, then you should consider the size and layout of your kitchen, and where you are going to position the microwave oven. Subsequently, you need to consider the size and capacity. Moreover, you need to wattage as this indicates power consumption.

Obviously, you want to get the best bang for your buck, and something that lasts for a long time, so aside from the price, make sure you check out the performance quality and reliability of the brand.

Other features you may need include pre-programmed settings, noise, and safety features like child lock, etc.

Q. What size microwave is best?

A. Obviously, one’s the ideal size of microwave different from the others. Again, this depends on your needs. If you want one for your small apartment, then your ideal size would be the compact countertop microwave oven. For couples or families of 3 or 4, a mid-sized or 1 to 1.5 cu ft. will be enough. For families of 4 or 6, then you may need a bigger capacity, thus you should look for a full-sized microwave oven of 1.6 to 2 cu. Ft.

Q. How much power do you really need for a microwave?

A. Power in the microwave oven is measured in wattage. The higher the number, the more power it has. Powerful microwave ovens heat and cook food faster, they are more efficient, especially for cooking or heating bigger portions or huge batches of food.

Generally, retro microwave ovens are around 700W to 900 W ranges. More powerful are often more expensive, which is up to 1200W.

Q. What specific functions and features should I look for in a microwave?

A. Most retro microwave ovens in the market offer basic functions. However, many premium models come equipped with nifty features that make them more efficient, convenient, and versatile. Some of the most important features include a child lock feature for safety, inverter technology for efficient and even heating/cooking (though rare in most microwave ovens), automatic defrost, and pre-programmed settings for convenience.

Q. How to get rid of the gross smell in the microwave?

A. You cannot go wrong with the classic cleaning and deodorizing combo of soap and water. Use a sponge to get rid of grease and food debris inside; these are the common culprit of smell.

The good old vinegar also works wonders. You can mix it with water and spray it inside, let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it off.

You can also use baking soda. Simply leave a box of baking soda inside the microwave oven overnight and let it neutralize all the scent.

Another passive option is cloves. Simply pour a ground of clove into a dish and leave it inside your microwave for a few hours or overnight.

Q. Are microwave ovens dangerous to health?

A. No! This is the most common myth associated with the use of microwaves. The most likely origin of this myth is because microwave uses radiation. However, the radiation in the microwave is similar to radio waves and visible light – they are non-ionizing radiation. Thus, they are safe to use. The only non-ionizing radiation that is harmful to humans is UV light, as it is a known cause of skin cancer.

Q. Do microwave ovens destroy nutrients from food?

A. Nutrients can get lost through chemical breakdown. Cooking or heating may enhance or degrade the nutrients present within the food, each nutrient differs in reaction to heat. Water-soluble ones like vitamins B (4 and 5), and C usually leaches into the water during boiling or poaching.

Nutrients like antioxidants, lycopene, and beta carotene are enhanced during cooking.

There you have it, the best retro microwaves you can buy today! You cannot go wrong on any retro microwaves on this list.

Ali R.

I'm Ali, and I'm very much a geek of the 80's. I love all things involving comics, weird dice, low-resolution pixels, badly lipped synced action films with plasticine monsters, loud bright clothes that nobody should have worn, pop songs that nobody should have sung, and TV cartoon shows that ...well everyone should watch.

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