The standard wattage for a microwave oven varies. Most microwaves are built with a wattage that ranges from 600 to 1,200 watts. However, the majority of microwave foods are designed for ovens that are 800 watts or higher.
When purchasing a microwave, the consumer should consider the needs of the people who will be using it. A compact microwave will have a small amount of wattage, while a family or full-size microwave will have the highest level of wattage. The larger the family, the more wattage the family needs to consider before purchasing a unit. For those living alone, a 600-watt microwave may be adequate for most cooking needs.