can i have a microwave in my bedroom?
Sleep Safety

Is It Safe To Have A Microwave in Your Bedroom?

If you want a microwave in your bedroom, always maintain a distance of around 5 feet.

Don’t leave trailing cables or place the microwave in a closet or on the floor. A microwave should always have at least 3 inches of ventilation from all vents.

Don’t sleep with your head close to a microwave. While radiation is of little concern, microwaves can run very hot and take time to cool down after use. This can make you feel hot at night.

Use a microwave in the bedroom several hours before you sleep, ideally on the lowest power settings. Then, unplug the appliance and keep it out of immediate access when not used.    

Can I Have a Microwave in My Bedroom?

Although the bedroom isn’t the first place we consider putting a microwave, there are reasons why you may wish to bring this appliance into your sleeping space.

Potential reasons to keep a microwave in the bedroom include:

  • You share accommodation with roommates and can’t, or don’t wish to, access a kitchen at all times.
  • You’re incapacitated (illness or injury) and must make meals without leaving the bedroom.
  • You like snacks but don’t wish to travel to the kitchen when hungry.
  • Your bedroom doubles as a home office, and you would benefit from rapid access to a microwave for making meals or reheating cold coffee.

Some locations, like college dorms and other shared living spaces, don’t allow cooking appliances for safety reasons.

If you own your own home or nothing in a rental lease forbids this, you can potentially keep a microwave in your sleeping quarters.

Before keeping a microwave in your bedroom, ensure you know the risks:

  • Microwaves can be a fire risk, putting you in greater peril if there’s a fire.
  • Cables from a microwave can be a tripping hazard when negotiating a bedroom in the dark.
  • Microwaves can increase the temperature in a bedroom, leading to dampness and mold growth.

This moisture, coupled with the scent of food – and any crumbs your meal preparation can leave behind – may also attract spiders, ants, cockroaches, and other unwelcome visitors to your bedroom.

is it bad to sleep next to a microwave?

Where Should I Microwave Be Placed in a Bedroom?

The best place for a microwave in a bedroom is an open space on a cabinet or stand raised from the floor, with several inches of space on all sides.

Locate the microwave close to a plug socket to avoid any trailing cables.

Avoid placing the microwave directly on the bedroom floor.

Even if a bedroom carpet claims to be flame-retardant, the risk of an electrical fire through conductivity is elevated. Equally, a microwave can melt carpet or vinyl and lead to a bad smell.

A microwave on the floor is also a pronounced tripped hazard.

Even if you know where your microwave is located, can the same be said of everybody who enters your bedroom? Most people won’t be expecting to find this appliance.

Although putting a microwave in a closet may seem more aesthetically pleasing, it’s inadvisable. Microwaves have vents at the back and side of the appliance to release steam and prevent overheating.

If a microwave is crammed into a closet, surrounded by clothing and other household items, it removes ventilation. Allowing  3 inches of space around all sides of the microwave will enhance safety.

Equally, placing a microwave in a closet will increase moisture in this enhanced space. We’ve discussed how this may attract bugs, dampen your closet space, and ruin clothing.

You could unplug a microwave and store it in a closet when not in use, but always ensure the appliance has cooled after usage and is safe to handle and move.

Is it Okay to Sleep Next To A Microwave?

Keeping a microwave in your bedroom is one thing, but sleeping with your head near the appliance is entirely different. Is it bad to sleep next to a microwave?

The most significant risk of sleeping beside a microwave is the heat the appliance will release.

If you sleep nearby, you’ll likely become increasingly warm, leading to excessive perspiration overnight that may impede your ability to sleep.

One worry many people have about microwave ovens is radiation, which isn’t a substantial concern. The FDA regulates microwave production to ensure safety and confirm that the appliance won’t leak.

Microwaves use electromagnetic radiation to heat food and liquid, with the heat provided by friction.

When a microwave operates, radio waves are deflected and cause vibrations within water molecules, producing heat associated with a microwave.

While there’s radiation involved in this process, it is non-ionizing.

This makes using a microwave safer than undertaking an X-ray at a hospital if you maintain a safe distance. The technology and radiation involved in its use are comparable to a cellphone.

Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry found no connection between microwaving food and the growth and development of cancerous cells.

This suggests that sleeping beside a microwave doesn’t cause significant risk due to radiation.

How Far Should I Stay Away from A Microwave?

Always maintain a distance of around 5 feet from an active microwave or one recently used. Keep a safe distance if the bedroom is big enough to accommodate a greater distance without jeopardizing safety.

FDA regulations suggest that microwave radiation will dissipate after just 2 inches, and the level of radiation used is unlikely to be harmful to a healthy adult.

This distance will provide some degree of protection from the heat produced by microwaves and stop any scents produced during the heating process from disturbing your sleep.

Should I Use a Microwave in My Bedroom at Night?

The later at night you use a microwave, the more likely it is to disturb your sleep. After prolonged use, the microwave could take up to 30 minutes to cool off.

If you’re heating popcorn for a movie night or making yourself a mug of warm milk to help you sleep, you should be okay using a microwave at night.

If you’re heating a full meal, do so earlier in the evening, several hours before retiring to bed. Ventilate the bedroom during and after use to relax better at night.

Is it okay to sleep next to a microwave?

How Much Ventilation Do You Need Around A Microwave?

As discussed, the minimum ventilation around a microwave should be around 3 inches on all sides. This will accommodate release from the vents at the appliance’s back, side, and top.

If you’re keeping a microwave in the bedroom, allowing more space wherever possible is advisable.

Body heat from one or more people will increase the ambient temperature and potential for moisture in a bedroom, so the more space you allow, the better.

If you fail to provide a microwave with sufficient ventilation, the appliance will transport heat generated during use to prevent internal damage.

This heat will pass to the closest conductor, potentially making a bedroom uncomfortably warm.

How to Safely Keep a Microwave in the Bedroom

To minimize the safety implications of keeping a microwave in the bedroom, do the following:

  • Only keep a microwave in your bedroom if you have no other suitable location.
  • Keep a safe distance from the microwave during sleep.
  • Provide sufficient ventilation for the microwave during use.
  • Plug the microwave into a nearby wall socket to minimize the hazards of trailing cables.
  • Use lower temperature and frequency settings on your microwave if possible.
  • Don’t keep the microwave on the floor or in a closet.
  • Regularly check the microwave, ensuring it’s in good condition.
  • Keep the bedroom cool and ventilated to offset heat generated by the microwave.
  • Clean the microwave regularly, removing any crumbs and managing lingering aromas.

These steps will enhance the likelihood of using a microwave in the bedroom without ill effects.

While a bedroom is far from the best place for a microwave, you can keep these appliances in your sleeping space if you abide by safety regulations.

Maintain a constant vigilance surrounding fire prevention and heat management.