To find the best reviewed microwave, we tested 10 microwaves in our Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab, checking how well they melted cheese, “baked” potatoes, reheated food, defrosted frozen food, popped popcorn, and cooked vegetables. We also looked at their ease of use — controls, opening the doors, view-ability inside, cooking alerts, and cleaning. For models with convection and/or grill capabilities, we tested their ability to roast chicken, bake cake, and broil steak, then noted the surface temperatures. Based on our extensive tests, we’ve reviewed our top-rated microwaves:
Best reviewed microwave
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
See all microwaves from Sharp available on Amazon
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
Out of stock from Currys
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.
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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
Sold out on Amazon
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
See the all microwaves at 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.
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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