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Microwaves can be really useful appliances for seniors to quickly heat up their meals. However, many microwaves are not designed with the elderly in mind and have difficult controls and fiddly buttons. We’ve identified some of the key things to look for in a microwave for the elderly (rotary dials are super easy to use for seniors) and offer a few recommendations based on our research.
On This Page
Quick Look at Our Recommendations
Best Retro Style
Magic Chef MCD770CW
Commercial Chef CHM660B
Works With Alexa
Best Microwaves for Seniors & Visually Impaired
Now you have an idea of what to look for when purchasing a microwave suitable for seniors and the visually impaired, let’s take a look at our recommended models.
1. Magic Chef MCD770CW
The Magic Chef MCD770CW is a really simple to use microwave making it a great choice for the elderly. There are just two rotary dials to set the power and time. The downside to this setup is that there’s no one touch 30 second button which can be a really handy feature. It can also be hard to set a precise time with the dial since it only shows one minute increments. Although it isn’t usually too important to be 100% precise anyway so this isn’t a huge issue.
It’s a fairly small microwave which makes it a great choice if you are limited on space. However, it’s still big enough to fit a relatively large dinner plate. (The rotating glass plate is around 9 inches in diameter.)
The pull-style handle makes it easier for seniors and the visually impaired to open since there’s no fiddly button that needs to be pressed. One issue you might encounter is the microwave sliding as you open the door. This might be an issue for some seniors who don’t have the mobility to hold the microwave in place with their other hand. One solution to this problem is placing a rubber matt under the microwave to help prevent it from sliding.
The microwave only dings once when it’s finished and it’s a relatively quiet ding. Many people like this aspect but it might be a problem for those who are hearing impaired and could do with multiple loud dings.
The Magic Chef MCD770CW uses a rotating turntable which is fairly standard for non-commercial microwaves. The downside is that it isn’t as easy to clean as a microwave without a turntable, however, those microwaves are quite a bit more expensive. We do have a recommendation further down the page though if you’re interested.
The design of the Magic Chef MCD770CW is very unique with a retro feel and is available in multiple colors. If you’re not a fan of the retro look, the next microwave on our list is quite similar but has a more contemporary design.
2. Commercial Chef CHM660B
If you like the simplicity of the Magic Chef but you’re not a fan of the retro look, the Commercial Chef CHM660B is a very similar microwave but without that retro look. It has a similar dual rotary dial setup to the Magic Chef and a pull-style handle, however, this microwave does seem to have more problems than the Magic Chef.
One thing to note is that is its slightly smaller than the Magic Chef but reviewers on Amazon claim to have no problems fitting a standard sized plate. It’s also a little less powerful than the Magic Chef so it will take a bit longer to heat things up.
The Commercial Chef also has the issue of sliding around when you open the door so you might want to place it on a rubber matt to help keep it stable.
Perhaps the biggest drawback of this microwave for seniors is that the door can be quite difficult to open. A few users have reported this problem and found this microwave to be unsuitable for a senior relative. If you/they are likely to struggle with opening the door, you might want to consider an alternative.
There also seems to be some build quality issues with this microwave and quite a few users have found it to stop working after only a few months of use.
Overall, we would recommend the Magic Chef over this one for most people since it seems to have fewer problems, unless you really don’t like the retro look. If you’re willing to spend a bit more for a better quality product than both the Magic Chef and Commercial Chef, check out the next microwave on our list.
3. Panasonic NE-1025F
If you have a larger budget, we highly recommend the Panasonic NE-1025F for the elderly. Like the previous two microwaves on our list, the Panasonic also uses a rotary dial and pull handle which make it much easier to use for seniors.
However, the Panasonic also has some additional features which make it a particularity good choice for seniors. First, it doesn’t slide around like the other two on our list which makes it much easier to open and close. Secondly, it is a commercial microwave, and like most commercial microwaves, it doesn’t use a rotating turntable. This means it’s much easier to clean with no hard to reach areas.
It’s slightly larger than the other two microwaves on our list and quite a bit more powerful too as 1000 watts which cuts down on heating times.
This microwave has quite a loud ding when the timer ends which makes it ideal for those who are hard of hearing.
The downside with this microwave is, of course, the price. It’s quite a bite more expensive than the others on our list, but the superior build quality and extra features making it convenient for the elderly make it a great choice if you can afford the extra cost.
4. AmazonBasics Microwave
The AmazonBasics Microwave is a great option for those who are visually impaired as it can make use of Amazon Alexa to control the microwave with voice commands. You might think this feature could be a bit gimmicky and cause more problems than it solves, but many users have found that it is a genuinely useful feature for the elderly with visual impairments. This microwave does require an Echo device to make use of the voice commands.
The microwave itself has a pull-style handle which is what we recommend for the elderly because opening with a button is usually more difficult.
The AmazonBasics microwave does have a rotating turntable which does makes it a little bit harder to clean, however, you do need to spend quite a lot more than the price of this one to get a commercial microwave which doesn’t have a turntable (like the previous microwave on our list.)
Overall, this is a great little microwave for the visually impaired, particularly those who already make use of Alexa for other appliances and tech around the house.
What to Look for in a Microwave for Seniors
There are many different microwaves out there and it’s hard to know what you should be looking for in a microwave for seniors.
To help you out, I have listed all the features and things to look for in a microwave that will make things much easier for seniors and those who are visually impaired. You might not be able to find a suitable microwave that meets all of these criteria, but if it meets a few, it will still certainly help.
- Large display (if applicable)
- Easy to read & use dials (rotary dials are great for the elderly)
- Easy to grasp, pull style handle
- No rotating turntable makes it easier to clean (usually more expensive commercial models)
- A loud ding (for those hard of hearing)
We took these factors into account when choosing our recommendations.
Last update on 2020-09-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API