Best microwave on the market

If you are looking for the Best microwave on the market, best over the range microwaves, best countertop microwaves, or best microwave oven, then this s definitely the post for you.

Microwave ovens have rapidly become more of a need rather than a treat these days. Gone are the times when microwave ovens were simply used to warm up and cook meals. Microwaving today has become the typical approach of preparing meals. But, there are several vital aspects worthy of taking notes before you pick microwave oven of your choice.

Best microwave on the market

Take advantage of models on discount and special offer

  • Kenwood K30GMS18 Compact Microwave with Grill in Silver – was: £199, now: £99
  • Samsung MS23K3555EK Microwave, Black – was: £118, now: £89
  • Swan Nordic Digital Microwave – White – was: £94.99, now: £89.99
  • Flatbed Digital Microwave – was: £59, now: £48
  • De’Longhi 900W Standard Microwave P90D – Stainless Steel – was: £99.99, now: £79.99

Whether you’re in the market to buy your first ever microwave or need to replace an old model, we’ve reviewed the best microwaves to order for home delivery right now.

Sharp R860SLM 900W Combination Microwave

Best for: Simplicity and effectiveness

This 25-litre, 900W combi microwave from Sharp ticks a crucial box that seems oddly to elude most other microwaves in 2020: it’s easy to operate.

The R860SLM’s usability is thanks in part to its clearly marked cooking time buttons (which add 10 seconds, 1 minute or 10 minutes); pre-sets for commonly cooked foods including jacket potatoes, pizza and rice; and refreshingly uncomplicated grill and convection oven modes.

It cooks evenly without the need for a rotating plate, which makes it possible to cook larger meals than most other microwaves of the R860SLM’s size would allow.

£139.95 | Amazon

Panasonic NN-DS596B

Best for: Grill, steam, microwave and oven options

When you turn the NN-DS596B on for the first time, the blue digital display urges you to ‘Refer to operating instructions before use’.

We think this is astute, and we say that because this microwave is a complex machine, operated with twelve buttons and a multifunctional dial. If you’re after a feature-rich combination oven that can fit on a work surface to use in place of a traditional oven, it would make a superb purchase.

An impressive array of grill, steam, microwave and oven options just a few button-presses away. Simply enter your desired function and cooking time settings and hit ‘Start’.

£359 | Amazon

Hotpoint ​Combination Microwave MWH27321B Ultimate Collection 25L​

Best for: Intuitive features

This smart-looking microwave from Hotpoint has loads of handy features that set it apart from the crowd. Add, Stir and Turn buttons allow you to programme in pauses during the cooking time, which triggers the display to remind you what you need to do to the food. You can also stop the turntable rotating, which is handy when it comes to accommodating large meals.

You’ll need a deep surface to place this microwave on – but if you have the space, it will make for a stylish and helpful addition to your kitchen. It also comes with a grill accessory.

£158 | Appliances Direct

best microwave oven

Bosch Serie 2 HMT84M451B brushed steel

Best for: Metallic style

We love the brushed steel finish and red digital display on this quality Bosch microwave. Teamed with other metal appliances and surfaces, it could round off your kitchen with a real touch of class. The white metal interior is particularly easy to clean – if there’s any food left on it, you’ll see it.

Putting appearances aside for a moment, we’d also like to highlight this microwaves excellent usability. Alongside its standard microwave function, it also includes a range of automatic cooking and defrosting programs, which are easy to master using the microwave’s simple controls.

This excellent microwave combines style, simplicity and an effectiveness few others can muster. We thoroughly recommended it.

£149 | Amazon

Swan Retro 25L Digital Combi Microwave with Grill

Best for: Attractiveness

Did you know that the first microwave oven was made in 1947? That particular model – “the Radarange” – was nearly six-foot tall and weighed 340 kilograms.

For mid-20th-century style that comes with the welcome benefits of contemporary tech, you’d probably be better off purchasing the Swan Retro Digital Combi instead.

This remarkably easy-on-the-eye microwave provides a mixture of grill, convection oven and microwave functions up to 900W. It’s incredibly easy to use, and unlike so many other microwaves, it will be an asset to your kitchen’s aesthetic.

From the reflective glass panel on the front, to the stainless steel interior, this is a class act that marries function to fabulous form. Available in nine colours.

£109 | Currys

Miele M7140TC 46L Built-In Microwave, Clean Steel

Best for: Luxury seekers

Built to slot into your kitchen cupboards, this lavish luxury appliance works exceptionally well, glows with a homely light as it cooks and chirrups winningly when your food’s ready. These traits epitomise the M7140TC’s convincing combination of class and character.

Other selected highlights include its enormous 46-litre cooking compartment, 40 cm turntable, internal LED spotlight, and of course, its dedicated popcorn-making mode. We could go on…

If money’s no object, this may well be the microwave for you.

£1,006 | John Lewis

Samsung MC28H5013AK 28 Litre Combination Microwave

Best for: Keen cooks

This powerful, versatile smart oven from Samsung has healthy cooking presets for a wide range of vegetables, poultry and fish, it features dough-proofing and yoghurt-making modes as well as offering simultaneous microwave and grill combi cooking, which rapidly cooks and browns your food.

Clever, stylish and loaded with a huge array of features, this is a highly impressive microwave, capable of working wonders for chefs who wish to improve their efficiency in the kitchen – without losing quality.

The microwave also comes with a high rack and low rack, enabling you to cook to your taste.

£169 | Amazon

Bosch Serie 4 BFL523MB0B Built-In Microwave

Best for: In-built affordability

Simple, effective and reasonably priced for an in-built microwave, the BFL523MB0B could well prove to be the ideal choice for those seeking to fully integrate their kitchen appliances on a reasonable budget.

With a capacity of 20 litres and a turntable diameter of 25.5cm, the BFL523MB0B does its job without dominating the space – something you might consider another boon from a design perspective.

In terms of features, this microwave focuses on doing the basics well, with five power levels ranging up to 800W, plus a few additional tricks up its sleeve including 7 auto cook programs.

£319 | John Lewis

Samsung MS23H3125AK 23 Litre Solo Microwave

Best for: Smart features

Samsung has a knack for smart technology and sleek looks – and this microwave epitomises both of these virtues to a tee.

Its cooking capabilities are straightforwardly microwave-based, without the grill and convection oven settings offered by some of our other featured microwaves. If you already have an oven and you simply wish to add a microwave to your arsenal, you couldn’t choose a more equipped machine.

This microwave has an Auto Sensor mode that is particularly impressive. To cook vegetables perfectly, turn the dial to select which type of food you’re cooking, then press ‘Start’. The microwave will then adjust its mode and cooking time based on its measurement of the gases escaping the food. It can also self-deodorise, and has a Soften/Melt mode that will no doubt come in handy for the chocolate-lovers amongst you.

£98 | Amazon

Daewoo Retro Style KOR7LBKW 20 Litre Microwave

Best for: Cutesy kitchens

Forgive us if this sounds absurd, but isn’t this microwave adorable?

At a petite 20 litres and designed in a retro style that makes it look ever so slightly like an old CRT TV, this microwave has an unusual aesthetic that sets it apart from the exceptionally uniform crowd. This will doubtless divide opinion amongst shoppers – but in our eyes, it’s a virtue.

Of course, this microwave isn’t all about quirky looks. It also boasts automatic cooking programs, minute minder alerts, a serviceable 800W power output and a very reasonable price. The KOR7LBKW may well be an alternative option, but it’s also a smart one.

£84 | Wayfair *Available in other colours

How to buy a microwave

This buying guide is what you need if you’re looking for a new microwave.

Your Pizza Rolls deserve a good microwave. This countertop wonder, whose origins date back to the 1940s, is probably one of the most frequently used appliances in your kitchen thanks to its ability to reheat food fast (and cook a mug cake or two). There are a variety of options when it’s time to select a microwave, so we’ve broken down the options you have when you’re ready for a new microwave.

Location

The first decision you need to make about a new microwave is where in your kitchen you want to put it. The location affects the price, features, size and installation of the appliance. You have three main options:

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Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Countertop

This is the most common type of microwave. They generally cost less and are significantly easier to install than other models. Just find a spot on the counter for it to sit, plug it into an outlet and you can use it right away.

The biggest issue with the countertop microwave is how much space it needs. If you have limited room on your countertop, you may either want to look at the smaller countertop models available, look into placing your microwave on a small cart, or consider another style of microwave.

Price: $40 to $700

External dimensions: From roughly 10 by 18 by 14 inches for compact models to roughly 14 by 24 by 20 inches for larger models

Internal capacity: Less than 1 cubic foot to more than 2 cubic feet

Wattage: Typically 600 to 1,200 watts

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Some of GE’s stoves and over-the-range microwaves are connected via Bluetooth.Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Over-the-range

You install this style of microwave above your range, which will save you some counter space. These models have vent systems that take the place of the oven hood and lights to illuminate your cooktop.

Price: $190 to $1,300

External dimensions: Usually wider than countertop models, about 16 by 30 by 15 inches

Internal capacity: Less than 1 cubic foot to more than 2 cubic feet

Wattage: Typically 600 to 1,200 watts

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Sharp

Built-in

Built-in models that you place among custom cabinets or paired with built-in, full-sized wall ovens are the most high-end (aka expensive) types of microwaves. Some microwaves in this category are even designed specifically as drawers with a compartment you pull out for your food.

Price: $500 to $5,000 and up

External dimensions: This varies widely depending on type, and drawers tend to have more depth than countertop or over-the-range models, hitting about 15 by 30 by 26 inches

Internal capacity: Less than 1 cubic foot to more than 2 cubic feet

Wattage: Typically 600 to 1,200 watts

Size

It’s important to find the right-sized microwave that will meet your food needs and fit in the space you have for it. First, you want to measure the counter or other space where you plan to put your microwave. Then, measure the height, width and depth of any model you’re considering to find out if it will fit on your counter top, over your range or in a custom spot. The external dimensions can vary a lot, from 10 by 18 by 14 inches on the smaller side to 14 by 24 by 20 inches on the larger side.

Then there’s also the internal capacity, which can range from less than 1 cubic foot to 2 cubic feet or more. There doesn’t seem to be any set rule for how internal capacity correlates to size (like 1 cubic foot = small, 1.5 cubic feet = medium, etc.), but here’s an attempt to break it down:

Compact: Under 1 cubic foot

Midsize: 1 to 1.5 cubic feet

Full-size: 1.6 to 2 cubic feet

Extra-large: More than 2 cubic feet

Most microwaves are somewhere around 1.4 to 1.8 cubic feet. Still not sure which size you need? If you’re out shopping, bring in a plate or bowl from home that you plan to use often to make sure that it fits inside the microwave.

Still in doubt? Measure everything, take notes and check with your appliance retailer for help deciding what would work best. For over-the-range and other built-in models, you most likely won’t be the one installing your new microwave, so you can always avail yourself of their expertise.

Wattage

Microwave wattage equals power. In general, the higher the wattage, the faster and more evenly your food will cook. Most microwaves sit somewhere between 600 to 1,200 watts. Larger, more expensive microwaves tend to have a higher wattage, so this is a price and size consideration that can strongly influence microwave cooking performance.

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This GE microwave has scan-to-cook tech via a related app.Chris Monroe/CNET

Features

Many microwaves share common functions. Here are some microwave cooking essentials: cook time, defrost, power level and timer. Each one requires your direct input, but they are usually very easy to set. Most microwaves have touch panel controls and a rotating carousel to spin your food for more even cooking.

Default settings

Many microwaves come with preset cooking modes so you only have to press one button to automatically cook a dish. For example, many microwaves have a “popcorn” button that will cook your bag based on factory settings. This can be handy for common dishes you heat in the microwave, but you’ll have to figure out if the microwave’s default cook times work for your own food. Other common presets include: baked potato, pizza, beverage, frozen dinner and reheat.

Broil

Manufacturers are increasingly including features in microwaves that mimic what we see in full-size ovens, such as a broiler. This is a good addition for finishing off a dish or cooking something for which you’d prefer more direct heat.

Convection

A convection fan that’s built into the back of a microwave oven circulates the heat around the food to cook things more quickly and evenly. (Many new full-size ovens come with at least one convection fan.) However, microwaves with convection fans are generally more expensive than those without.

Inverter technology

Inverter heating is another option available on some high-end models. If you want to heat something at a 50 percent power level, most microwaves actually switch between 100 percent power and 0 percent power to average in at 50 percent power. This doesn’t yield great results if you want to heat something on a lower heat and achieve an even result. So, some models now use inverter technology, which maintains a consistent 50 percent power. That way, you can poach salmon, make a fluffy omelet, etc.

Other advanced features

In addition to new heating technologies, higher-end models usually have more presets than just the basic pizza, popcorn and baked potato standard. Some use moisture sensors to detect food doneness. And we’ve started to see models include LED lighting on the interior.

“Smart” technology, i.e. options that connect microwaves to the internet and other products, aren’t as widespread in microwaves as we’ve seen in other kitchen appliances. However, we’ve seen GE Appliances include Bluetooth technology in some of its over-the-range microwaves. This connection, which GE calls “Chef Connect,” pairs the microwave with compatible GE ranges so the light and fan beneath the microwave automatically turns on when you turn on a burner.

More options

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Will the June Intelligent Oven become the next microwave?Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Other small appliances have started to make a case for forgoing the microwave, such as steam ovens that use water to cook for more moist heating or the basic toaster oven that mimics a full-size stove. These options promise to cook more effectively than a microwave, but it might take longer to reheat your food.

Smart countertop ovens have also started to become an option. The June Intelligent Oven uses facial recognition technology to identify food and cook it automatically, and the Tovala Smart Oven will scan packaged meals for automatic cooking, including frozen meals from Trader Joe’s. These options are promising, but the technology is too new to determine whether or not these will become kitchen staples.

Verdict

Whilst we’ve been taken in by characterful microwaves at both ends of the price spectrum (that means you, the cutesy Daewoo KOR7LBKW) we have to stick with our guns and name the Sharp R860SLM our ES Best Pick. It’s simply the best at being a microwave.

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