Microwave Drawer vs Built-in Microwave: An In-Depth Comparison

The perfect home is where functionality and aesthetic go hand in hand. A good microwave adds striking elements to your kitchen.

A wide range of microwaves are available in the market, it is an uphill task to differentiate one product from its counterpart or choose one that best meets your requirements.

Picking between a microwave drawer and a built-in microwave can be a struggle. They come with similar features and also share the same positioning. Microwave drawer and built-in microwave, both can be installed only by a professional.

Microwave Drawer vs Built-In Microwave

Microwave Drawer vs Built-In Microwave

You’ll find fewer differences between the two microwaves. Apart from the price and few functions here and there most of the features remain the same.



The interior measurement of the microwave drawer is the same across all brands.

The built-in microwave comes in different shapes and sizes across different brands.

It comes with an open and close button- where the oven opens like a drawer.

It comes with a drop-down door.

Microwave drawers are installed below the waist height. on a wall cabinet, on an island or peninsula.

Built-in microwaves are installed at chest height or above into the wall or cabinet at the chest height or level above that.

It costs you around $999 and higher.

The costs range differs depending on the added features, size, quality, type, etc-  $400 to $2000 on average.

Some users find it difficult to clean the microwave drawer whereas other users find the stainless steel smooth and easy to clean. In case you’re not satisfied with the drawer, you’ll have to put a good thought before switching to another microwave. But in case you’re not satisfied with the built-in microwave you have, you can switch to the other substitute without needing to think much.

Microwave drawer

Microwave drawer

Positioned waist-high, the microwave drawer is accessible to people of any age group. Children and seniors can read the controls and enjoy smooth functioning. It does the heating, cooking, or reheating job without much effort.

Pros & cons


  • The microwave drawer spares you a huge countertop area that you can utilize for placing other important kitchen stuff or leave it as it is.
  • The stainless steel inside the microwave drawer makes the surface plain and smooth making it easier to clean.
  • Microwave drawer usually has a huge space inside – dishes of every shape and size fit. Even long jars fit in.
  • It comes with a safety lock feature. You can prevent or allow anyone to use it.
  • As the drawer is fitted into a lower cabinet, under a counter below waist height, children and disabled people can enjoy using it.
  • The drawer glides when you press open and close which prevents liquid containing food from spilling and also makes it easier to insert food.


  • Microwave drawers may not fit everyone’s budget. The price usually starts from $999 to a higher range. You may want to have it but at the same time, there might be a price hesitancy.
  • It does not have many size options  – comes in a standard size. If you have got a large family to feed, it may not be sufficient.
  • It can only be installed by a suitably confident person.

Is a microwave drawer worth it?

Microwave drawer comes with super functions, it adds elegance to your kitchen. The parts are made up of durable stainless steel. Well, it’s worth buying if the price is not a concern for you. Otherwise, you get to choose other microwaves that fit your requirements and style within a decent range and can have the same experience.

Built-in Microwave

Built-in Microwave

Built-in microwaves are fixed to the cabinet or into the wall of your kitchen. It saves you a lot of space and adds to the elegant attire of the kitchen. Unlike microwave drawers, it comes in an affordable price range with many options.


  • A built-in microwave fits under the cabinet or into the wall making space for other kitchen appliances.
  • The drop-down door makes it easier for you to rest your dish in the door while loading it- benefits both right-handed and left-handed people.
  • Comes in various sizes and capacities, so users can pick the one that fits their needs.
  • It comes with a safety child lock feature.


  • You need to hire experts for the installation.

Is a built-in microwave worth it?

Yes, not only it helps in keeping your kitchen tidy, but you can also choose the size and design that suits you the best. You can enjoy the same benefits as a microwave drawer at a cheaper rate.

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What is the best microwave drawer or built-in microwave?

It would be unfair to size up and decide the best one. Both microwave drawer and built-in microwave serve you the best.  Deciding the best, completely depends upon your personal preferences and lifestyle.

Microwave drawer comes with awesome features and a classic look and if you are particular about those qualities- microwave drawer is best for you.

The microwave drawer comes at a higher price as compared to an built-in microwave but the quality it offers is worth the buy. You buy it once and it runs for years.

For those of you, who are particular about sizes and variations, microwave drawers may not serve your purpose. The built-in microwave might be a good option for you.  It has similar functions as a microwave drawer. It comes in different sizes and capacities. That can be a pocket-friendly purchase.

If you are someone who encourages their children to have a hand in the kitchen, a microwave drawer might be a better option. Its gliding feature makes it easier to load dishes.  Children can easily reach the drawer as compared to the built-in microwaves which are built into the wall.

  • If the price factor is not a concern – just go for the microwave drawer. It’s a classic appliance that adds value to your kitchen and makes your cooking much easier. High-quality builds to make it go a long way.
  • A built-in microwave costing around $500 will do it for you if you are someone who has not much to do in the kitchen. It will have most of the features similar to the microwave drawer which is a win-win situation.

The decision on whether to choose a microwave drawer or a built-in microwave is essential for most homemakers too. For some of you, the kitchen might be an integral part of life so choosing the best might be crucial. There’s always someone telling us to buy this or that but to avoid falling prey to any false advertisement, you need to make a careful study yourself. So based on your needs the given differences and features can help you make a choice.

Having a microwave drawer inside a cabinet or an built-in microwave into the wall – both facilitate the storage of your kitchen. The proper utilisation of the space allows your kitchen to stand out. Irrespective of the price, both come with functions making the operation easy.

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The Bottom Line

People often do a lot of research before buying the product and find it difficult to choose between many. Unless the product is bought and analysed by oneself it is hard to believe anyone. The microwave drawer has gotten a good review. People hesitate to switch to it because of the price factor but once they get it, it seems, they don’t regret it.

Make sure what you are looking for in a microwave and get whatever satisfies you the most according to your need.

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