900-watt microwaves are decently fast cookers with wide interior capacities, 1 kilowatt is the standard for many commercial-grade light-duty microwaves, and the 700-watt microwave is ideal for RV or solar battery microwaves (they don’t overload the batteries and can share power with other appliances).
In regards to 900-watt microwave vs 1100-watt microwaves, which one will win? 900 watts is a good starting microwave power while many commercial-grade microwaves are rated as medium-duty at 1.1 kilowatts.
You may also like: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing a Microwave Oven that Best Fits Your Needs
900-Watt Microwave vs. 1,100-Watt Microwave
You might believe that there’s little difference between 900 watts or 1,100 watts. It’s just 200 watts between the two, right? However, those 200 watts actually make all the difference, even if it’s just a minute of cooking time or four potatoes.
Further reading: Is a 900-watt Microwave Powerful Enough?
Here are the comparative stats between a 900-watt microwave and a 1.1-kilowatt microwave. Obviously, 900-watt microwaves are slightly cheaper than their 1,100-watt counterpart.
|Wattage||Average Microwave Price|
|Price Per Watt||Number of People Served||Reheating or Cooking Time||Output per Hour|
|900 watts||$84.63||$0.094||4 to 6 people||4 minutes and 3 seconds||13 baked potatoes|
|1.1 kilowatt||$104.61||$0.095||6 or more people||3 minutes and 10 seconds|
|17 baked potatoes|
In terms of price per watt, 900 watts actually give you a cheaper rate of price per watt as well as a cheaper average microwave price. This is ironic seeing that the 1-kilowatt microwave actually offers the best price per watt ($0.090) compared to these two other types.
Why is 900 Watts the Best Wattage for a Microwave?
900 watts is the best wattage for microwaves because it balances outsize (capacity is relative to wattage) and speed of cooking (faster than 700 watts and close to 1 kilowatt in quickness). With that said, if you’re driving an RV, you need a 700-watt microwave instead.
This is also true if you live in a small apartment and you’re economical when it comes to your electricity bill. You can also go down to around 650 watts, which has serviceable reheating power but it might be too slow for the taste of many modern households.
650 to 700 watts is less likely to overload your solar batteries while camping or your RV’s battery when it’s being used with other
Read more: Toshiba Microwave Oven 0.9 Cu Ft/900W
Is 1.1 Kilowatts Too Much for a Home Microwave?
It’s not unusual to get a 1.1-kilowatt microwave for a medium-duty commercial microwave for use in convenience stores and catering. However, what about light-duty home microwave units that don’t require you to use the device 150 times daily? At most you’ll use it 6 times a day at most.
1,100 watts of power might seem excessive, but it might also be worthwhile for those who can afford it. There’s no hard and fast rule banning you from using a 1.1-kilowatt microwave for light-duty reheating purposes, if only to achieve lightning-fast microwaving action.
Convection microwaves or 4-in-1 microwaves require more wattage too in order to work their other modes, so they’re worth the extra watts for maximizing their capabilities.
How Do You Know the Wattage of Your Microwave?
The wattage of your microwave is listed on the box, the front of your microwave, or the user manual. You can also look it up online by searching for the make and model of your unit. When listed on the front, you should see a number that’s at least 500 followed by a “w” afterwards.
You can also look inside the microwave if it’s not on the front of the unit. Inside the device where you cook your food you should find a label. It contains the product or model number, manufacturer, and the number of watts it uses.
When searching for the wattage of your microwave, put into Google the manufacturer name followed by the product number to see its specs or its Amazon page where the wattage is most likely listed.
How Much Can You Afford to Spend on a Microwave?
This is something only you, the reader, can answer. We can assist you by giving you an idea of how much these microwaves cost. The higher the wattage the more the microwave will cost. On average, a 900-watt microwave costs about $80 or more. A 1.1-kilowatt microwave costs around $100.
Most microwaves that cost under $100 have wattages less than 800 watts. 900-watt microwaves can cost about $100 due to other specs like being a convection oven or offering a little extra in terms of capacity or manufacturer reputation.
By spending an additional $50, you should find a decent 900 watt to 1.1-kilowatt microwave that plays around the light-duty to a medium-duty range of quality microwave action.
What’s the Highest Wattage and Standard Size of a Microwave?
The highest wattage is around 2.4 kilowatts and they’re rare heavy-duty commercial-grade microwaves of the heavy-duty variety. These monstrous microwaves typically weigh 70 pounds, cost upwards to $2,000, and is rated for commercial use at restaurants.
A residential, consumer, or home microwave typically maxes out at 1.3 kilowatts. It only serves about 6 or more persons at most in contrast to multi-use commercial-grade microwaves that serves hundreds.
How Do You Tell the Size of Your Microwave?
As for size, it can mean either oven capacity or the dimensions of the microwave. The bigger the dimensions of the microwave the more space it can allow for the oven capacity, which is measured in cubic feet.
On average, the oven capacity of the microwave is 1.5 cubic feet. The smaller consumer microwave capacity is at 0.6 cubic feet and the largest capacity is 2.2 cubic feet for commercial-grade units.
The microwave interior should have the specs for it listed. To calculate the cubic feet of the device, multiply the length to the width and to the height.
To Sum, it All Up
The 200-watt difference between a 900-watt microwave and a 1.1-kilowatt microwave isn’t negligible and can mean the difference between a minute of saved cooking time and 4 baked potatoes per hour. It’s nevertheless up to you if that extra 200 watts is worth the extra $20 or so in terms of price.
900 watts is a nice serviceable microwave power level that won’t have you waiting forever to get your food cooked in an uneven fashion as a 700-watt microwave would. Most households don’t need that extra 200 watts or even 100 watts if you’re using a 1-kilowatt model instead.
- Amina Lake Abdelrahman, “Here’s Exactly What to Look for Before Buying a Microwave Oven, According to Kitchen Experts“, Good Housekeeping Institute, April 30, 2019
- “What is a Good Wattage for Microwaves?“, SmallAppliancePlanet.com, Retrieved June 16, 2021
- “Choosing the Best Commercial Microwave“, WebstaurantStore.com, June 1, 2021