APPLIANCE GUIDES, MICROWAVES

Can You Get A Microwave With Hinges On The Right-Hand Side?

This came up in a conversation with a client again the other day, so I thought it was about time I talked about whether you can get a microwave with hinges on the right-hand side.

It’s probably something you’ve never even given a second thought about but if you stop and think about your current microwave and all the microwaves you’ve likely ever used, which way do they open?

In this post, I’ll answer if you can get a microwave that is hinged on the right-hand side, talk about how this can impact your kitchen design and look at what other options are out there.

Let’s get into it!

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Can You Get A Microwave With Hinges On The Right-Hand Side?

Yes, you can get a microwave with hinges on the right-hand side (a right-hinged microwave). However, there is an incredibly limited choice. In fact, in all my years of being a kitchen designer, I only know of these.

The NEFF N70 NR4WR21G1B and NEFF N70 NR4GR31G1B (their current models) are the only right-hinged microwaves that I am aware of.

The NEFF N70 NR4WR21G1B is a straight-up microwave, whereas the slightly more expensive NR4GR31G1B has a grill as well.

They are both built-in microwaves designed to fit into either a wall cabinet or a full-height tall tower cabinet.

NEFF NR4WR21G1B RH Hinged built-in Microwave
NEFF N70 NR4WR21G1B Built-In Microwave

What Is a Left-Handed Microwave?

The term “left-handed microwave” generally refers to a microwave oven with its hinge on the right side of the door, allowing it to swing open from the left, which can be easier for left-handed people to use.

This is contrasted with most standard microwaves, which are hinged on the left, opening from the right.

It’s important to note that, while certain microwave models might be more convenient for left-handed users, the controls of most microwaves are generally designed to be accessible for both left and right-handed people.

The distinction primarily comes down to the door opening mechanism.

Why Are Microwaves Normally Hinged On The Left?

Most microwaves are designed as right-hand opening microwaves with the handle on the right and hinge on the left, as these are designed for right-handed people. According to Scientific American, it is estimated that up to 95% of the world’s population is right-handed.

Because of this, it’s simply a matter of ergonomics and numbers and therefore, the market is geared towards this majority.

As most of the population is right-handed it’s more comfortable and ergonomic to have a left-hinged microwave. As there is so little demand for left-handed microwaves, manufacturers don’t produce them as it wouldn’t be cost-effective.

Standard built-in microwave with hinges on the left hand side. Right hand opening microwave

In a way, it’s a shame that you can’t really get a left-hand opening microwave with hinges on the right (except the ones mentioned above).

It would be really helpful for left-handed people, or if you want a left-hand microwave to improve access because of your kitchen layout and where it is positioned within your cabinetry.

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Impact on Kitchen Design

When planning your kitchen layout, each appliance’s placement can dramatically impact the overall design’s efficiency and aesthetic appeal. And while you may not initially consider it, the hinge direction of your microwave can play a significant role in this.

A microwave’s positioning should strike a balance between functionality and convenience, and the direction it opens is a significant part of this equation. For instance, a right-hinged microwave—uncommon yet not entirely elusive—can greatly enhance the kitchen’s flow, particularly in certain configurations.

Suppose your microwave is located in a corner where a left-hinged door would obstruct access to other appliances or cabinets. In that case, a right-hinged door could offer a seamless solution.

Similarly, if the microwave is installed in and at the end of a row of wall cabinets, a right-hinged door could prevent the appliance from opening out the wrong way, impeding access to the appliance.

It’s also important to consider the users. For left-handed members of the family, a right-hinged microwave can make food preparation quicker, easier, and safer by reducing the awkwardness of opening the door and removing hot food.

Thus, while right-hinged microwaves are not the norm, they can be a sought-after feature that contributes to a more effective and visually appealing kitchen design.

The key is to consider all aspects of your kitchen, including the smaller details like the direction your microwave door opens when planning your perfect layout.

Are There Any Alternatives to a Standard left-hand hinged microwave?

Yes, microwave drawers or compact microwave ovens that have drop-down doors can be great alternatives if you don’t want a hinged microwave.

  1. Drawer Microwaves: These microwaves are built into the kitchen cabinetry and pull out like a drawer instead of having a door that swings open. This design can be a space-saving alternative to traditional microwave designs, particularly in smaller kitchens.

  2. Drop-Down Door Microwaves: Similar to an oven door, these microwave doors open downwards. This design can be especially handy when the microwave is built into the wall at eye level.

When choosing an alternative design, it’s essential to keep in mind how you will use the microwave, the space you have available, and whether the design will fit in with your kitchen’s design, layout and aesthetic.

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Can you reverse the door on a microwave?

No, microwave oven doors are not designed to be reversible. This is because the hinges, latches, and safety features are specifically designed and positioned for the door to open in a certain direction.

It’s also important to note that attempting to reverse the door yourself can lead to safety hazards, as microwaves use radiation to heat food, and any tampering with the door could lead to leaks.

If the direction the door opens is inconvenient, your best option would be to purchase a microwave specifically designed to open the way you prefer.

It’s always best to consider the microwave door direction when purchasing a new one to ensure it will fit properly in the intended space.

Final Thoughts…

There you have it! Now you know whether you can get a microwave with hinges on the right-hand side.

While options for right-hinged microwaves are limited, there are innovative designs available that cater to varying needs and kitchen setups.

Your choice ultimately depends on your personal preference, kitchen layout, and specific requirements.

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Author

Michael from Kitchinsider.com

Michael is a kitchen designer from the UK. He's been designing and project managing new kitchen installations for over 10 years. Before that, he was an electrician and part of a team that fitted kitchens. He created Kitchinsider in early 2019 to help give people advice when it comes to getting a new kitchen.