Can you put stuff on top of your microwave?

  • By: Emma
  • Date: December 1, 2022
  • Time to read: 4 min.

I’m sure we’ve all been there. You’re cooking up a storm in the kitchen and must set something down for a second. The obvious choice is the microwave, but can you actually put stuff on top of it?

Before you go ahead and set that casserole dish on top of the microwave, read this!

Can you put stuff on top of your microwave?

Yes, you can put stuff on top of a microwave. The top of a microwave is generally made of stainless steel. You can put a 3.15 lb. weight/foot square on a microwave if it has a surface thickness of 0.125 inches. But do not put any stuff on it when the microwave is working.

ObjectsCan it be put on top of the microwave or not?
Electrical AppliancesNo
Empty cupsYes
Cell PhonesNo
Table 1. Which objects can you put on the top of the microwave oven?

Also read: Are air fryers overrated?

The material composition of most microwaves is stainless steel, a robust alloy that can support a considerable weight without deforming. The average weight limit for microwaves is approximately 3.15 lb per foot square, meaning that you can place relatively heavy items on top of the appliance without damaging it.

Furthermore, the smooth surface of a microwave’s exterior is ideal for supporting other objects, as there are no protruding buttons or other elements that could snag or tear fragile items. However, it is always recommended to avoid putting very heavy objects on top of a microwave, especially when it is working.

If you place very heavy objects on the top of the microwave while it is working, there is a fear that the heavy thing might put pressure on the inside heating elements of the microwave and cause problems.

Can you stack appliances on top of the microwave?

It is not recommended to stack appliances on top of the microwave. The heat generated by the microwave can cause damage to the electronics or inner workings of other appliances. Additionally, the weight of multiple appliances can cause instability and potentially lead to an accident.

There are some instances where it may be okay to stack appliances on top of the microwave. For example, if the appliances are small and lightweight or will only be temporarily stored in this manner.

It is also important to ensure adequate ventilation so that heat can dissipate and not build up inside the stacked appliances.

If you are considering stacking appliances on top of the microwave, it is best to consult a qualified technician or manufacturer to get specific advice for your situation.

Also read: Why does my deep fryer overflow? 

Does the top of a microwave get hot?

When microwaving food, people are often concerned about whether the top of the microwave gets hot. While it is true that the top of the microwave can get hot, it is not because of microwaves.

The top of the microwave gets hot because of the heat from the food itself. When microwaving food, the heat from the food causes the air around it to become heated.

As the air around the food becomes heated, it rises and hits the top of the microwave. This is why the top of the microwave can get hot. However, this heat is not harmful and will not cause any damage to the appliance.

How much ventilation does a built-in microwave need?

Most microwaves on the market today are built-in models. These microwaves are installed in cabinets or over the range and typically have smaller ventilation requirements than other microwaves.

Nevertheless, ensuring that your built-in microwave has adequate ventilation is important to prevent overheating and fire hazards.

To determine how much ventilation your built-in microwave needs, consult the manufacturer’s instructions. For proper ventilation, most microwaves require at least two inches of clearance on all sides.

If your microwave is installed in a cabinet, ensure enough space around the door and hinges to allow air to circulate freely.

In general, it is best to err on caution when it comes to Ventilation for built-in microwaves. If you are unsure whether your microwave has adequate ventilation, contact a qualified appliance technician for assistance.

How much clearance do you need on top of a microwave?

When it comes to microwaves, one thing to consider is the clearance you need on top of the appliance.

For most over-the-range models, you need at least 15 inches from the top of the microwave to the bottom of the cabinets above.

If your cabinets don’t have a built-in exhaust fan, you’ll also want to ensure at least 3 inches of space between the top of the microwave and the ceiling. This will help ensure adequate ventilation for your microwave.

If unsure how much clearance you have above your stove, measure from the cooktop to the bottom of any cabinets or soffits. Then, measure from the cooktop to the ceiling.


As most people know, the microwave is a handy tool for reheating food. But what about when you need to heat something, and there’s no room in the microwave? Is it safe to put something on top of the microwave?

The answer is yes; putting something on your microwave is perfectly safe. Heavy metal objects may, however, cause sparks and could start a fire. So if you’re looking for a place to store those extra plates or that stack of Tupperware, the top of the microwave is a great option.


How to use your microwave to bake, steam, fry, proof and more beyond heating leftovers. The Washington Post.

Microwave Ovens. The New York Times.

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