Are Microwave Drawers Worth the Extra Expense?

published Mar 27, 2017
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(Image credit: Sharp)

I’m going to take a wild guess and assume that your favorite thing about your kitchen is not the microwave. The gorgeous morning light? Sure. The reclaimed wood table? Definitely. Your new oven? Yay! The microwave? Well, that’s usually more of a functional necessity than anyone’s hallmark piece.

That’s not to mention that it poses its own set of design challenges. You could leave it floating on a countertop, but then your work space might look cluttered. You could get one that goes above your range, but those types don’t have the bandwidth to ventilate as well as typical hoods, so that’s a tough compromise for an everyday cook. There are even built-in oven/microwave options, but that’s assuming you’re not the type to want a stovetop that includes an oven. If you have a big pantry (lucky duck!), you can always tuck the microwave away, but then it’s not super easy to access. It’s all a bit of a Goldilocks situation, you know? Enter: the microwave drawer.

Instead of having a free-standing appliance, these slip flush into your cabinetry and slide out to open. Unlike the standard microwaves you can buy for $50 at Walmart, these high-tech drawers start in the $900 range and go up from there. Is the splurge worth it? Check out this list of pros and then you tell us.

1. They’re much easier to open and close.

Just like a lot of things in life — like scissors and inky ballpoint pens — traditional microwaves favor right-handed people. The buttons are usually on the right and the door swings out to allow easy access for right-handed people. A microwave drawer has no preference for righties or lefties. It just slides out and is an equal opportunity reheater.

2. They cut out a lot of the danger.

If you’ve ever kept a microwave on top of your fridge (or anywhere high up), you know what I’m talking about here. Reaching up for something hot is a very bad idea — and yet so many people think it’s normal! Moving hot dishes from the microwave to countertop becomes less precarious when you have a drawer-style microwave

3. They’re childproof.

Most microwave drawers have a lockout feature that can require a user to enter a passcode before the door opens. That way, nothing can get in that isn’t meant to be there (unless Barbie slips in while you’re not looking — she’s sneaky like that).

4. They’re a breeze to clean.

Microwave drawers don’t have plates (you know, those turntables that always seem to stop spinning eventually). They’re just one big space that you can easily wipe clean — no plates, grooves, or perfect puzzle pieces to worry about! You can also just bend down to clean, versus straining on your tippy toes to reach the very back of a deep, high-up machine.

5. They make good use of space.

Remember all those placement options I talked about earlier? Yeah, none of them are really ideal. By putting a microwave drawer in a kitchen island or under the countertop, you can free up counter space and have the ultimate appliance layout.

Thoughts? Is a microwave drawer a worthy splurge?