The 10 Best Microwaves

We Reviewed dozens of Freestanding Microwaves and Listed the 10 Best Options
By Jen Hammond
In This Review
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    Microwaves have evolved somewhat in recent years, and their job of merely reheating leftovers is just one of many duties the useful appliances are responsible for today.

    Find out which products made it into our top 10 list and also read up on the features, pros and cons.

    The Best Microwave 2020

    1.
    Samsung MC28H5125AK

    Samsung MC28H5125AK

    This innovative piece of kit comes exclusively from Samsung. It is a combination microwave with many handy features, making it a flexible addition to any kitchen space.
    This is a great example of a microwave which can do much more than just reheat food and cook the basics. If you’re looking for a microwave which can also act as an oven, then it is one of the strongest contenders thanks to a 28L capacity, even spread of heat and easy to clean interior enamel.
    To sum up how advanced it is, two of the settings are yoghurt and dough proving. If you fancy yourself as a bit of a baker or someone who cooks from scratch, but are stuck for space to fill your kitchen with dedicated gadgets, it could be a perfect meet-in-the-middle option.
    This modern appliance provides us with lots of smart technology features, too, including a humidity sensor that monitors the moisture levels ensuring your meal does not dry out. To say all of this is included, the price isn’t bad at all.

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    Features

    • Dimensions: (H)31 x (W)51.7 x (D) 47.4cm
    • Power: Grill 1500W, Oven 2100W, Cooking Power 900W
    • Capacity: 28L
    • Weight: 17.5 Kg
    • 33 Programmes including Oven, Dough Proving, Yoghurt Function
    • Humidity Sensor
    • LED Display

    Reasons to Buy

    • Easy to clean thanks to the ceramic enamel
    • It is more than a microwave as it acts a combi-microwave with an oven
    • 33 Programmes including a Yoghurt function and Dough Proving feature

    Reasons to Avoid

    • It costs more than £150 (but worth it when you see what you get)

    2.
    Samsung MS23H3125AK

    Samsung MS23H3125AK

    Samsung are cream of the crop when it comes to making kitchen appliances, or indeed any gadgets. They have solidified their high places in our top 10 list because of the variety they have provided.
    The Samsung MS23H3125AK is simple to use and comes with an array of smart features. It is available for less than £100 yet it offers oven-like results when cooking and also comes with some unique add-ons.
    You can expect features such as a humidity sensor which ensures that your food keeps its juicy flavour, and it also has an eco mode, saving you money and acting as an environmentally friendly option.
    One particular standout, however, is the deodoriser ability. This essentially stops any smells being released into your kitchen, and will also ensure that when you next go to use the microwave, you won’t be able to still smell the food you cooked last week.

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    Features

    • Dimensions: (H)27.5 x (W)48.9 x (D)37.4cm
    • Cooking Power: 800W
    • Capacity: 23L
    • Weight: 12 Kg
    • 24 Programmes
    • Humidity Sensor, LED Display, Ceramic Interior, Eco Mode
    • Deodoriser so your kitchen doesn't smell from cooking

    Reasons to Buy

    • It has multiple additional features such as the humidity sensor and deodoriser
    • Easy to use and is capable of cooking like an oven
    • Ceramic enamel makes it easy to clean

    Reasons to Avoid

    • Hasn’t got a built in grill like many others at this value

    3.
    Panasonic NN-K18JMMBPQ

    Panasonic NN-K18JMMBPQ

    Panasonic have earned this spot well and truly with the NN-K18JMMBPQ. The combination microwave comes equipped with a grill, and also has a modern yet subtle design which will ensure it doesn’t stick out in your kitchen.
    It is remarkable that this microwave is available for under £90 and yet has so many different programmes. The choice of automatic settings is vast, so if you haven’t yet quite mastered the perfect jacket potato, a few presses of the button will have it sorted in no time with no need to worry about the results.
    It’s powerful, which means that you will never wait long for your home meals. Five different power levels and easy control buttons ensure the correct settings are within reach if you want full control, and there is a nice loud alarm at the end when the food is ready to collect or check.
    The grill is the finishing touch – crisp up dishes or sides when the oven is in use with something else, or when you want to make your cheese on toast as fast as possible.

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    Features

    • Dimensions: (H)25.8 x (W)44.3 x (D) 34cm
    • Cooking Power: 800W
    • Capacity: 20L
    • Weight: 11.5 Kg
    • LED Display
    • Quartz Grill

    Reasons to Buy

    • Comes with a quartz grill
    • Ceramic enamel makes it easy to clean
    • 9 automatic cooking programmes

    Reasons to Avoid

    • Not as many programmes as other microwaves that are available

    4.
    Sage the Quick Touch Crisp

    Sage the Quick Touch Crisp

    Sage are known for their market-leading innovation and that shines through with this powerful microwave that doubles up as a grill. It has a number of functions and makes cooking simple.

    If you are somebody who enjoys quiche, pizza, pastries and pies with a touch of crispiness then you will love the quick crisp function on this device. The grill is like no other and can be programmed within seconds thanks to the touch control.

    It does this using inverter technology, without zapping all of the moisture from your food. The microwave and grill cooking times are automatically determined as the smart technology can sense the weight and density of the food, so it will be perfect when ready.

    The whole interface of this product comes with some standout designs and that is what adds to the bespoke style of this elegant microwave. Add style to your kitchen with this handy microwave – even though it is at the higher price end, it is one of the best when it comes to being multi-functional.

    Features

    • Dimensions: (H)31 x (W)52 x (D)42 cm
    • Cooking Power: 1000W
    • Capacity: 23L
    • Weight: 16 Kg
    • Touch Sensitive Control

    Reasons to Buy

    • It comes with a conventional grill that is built in
    • 10 power levels gives you a number of options
    • Crisping ability

    Reasons to Avoid

    • It is expensive

    5.
    Panasonic NN-DF386MBPQ

    Panasonic NN-DF386MBPQ

    Panasonic microwaves always feature heavily on our review pages, and while this one is a little more expensive, it provides some thorough detail.

    Let’s not forget that a microwave should first and foremost concentrate on doing its sole jobs – reheat, defrost and provide a cooking option for your meals. Thanks to the innovative inverter technology, heat is spread evenly throughout this chamber when it is at work, ensuring your food is evenly and safely cooked no matter the settings.

    It is a slimline model, which is ideal if you need to set it on your worktops but still need to utilise the space in front of the unit from time to time. To make up for this when it comes to the inner capacity, the flatbed design ensures there is around 31% more space than with usual conventional microwaves.

    Built in sensors can tell the weight and density of your food, so even if the settings aren’t quite right, it will be able to make some slight adjustments to ensure the food still comes out cooked.

    It isn’t on the cheap side, hence why it is lower than it should be on our rundown. But if we were marking it for performance, style and power alone, we have no doubt it would be top 3.

    Features

    • Dimensions: (H)31 x (W)48.3 x (D) 39.6cm
    • Cooking Power: 1000W
    • Capacity: 23L
    • LED Display

    Reasons to Buy

    • It is the full package with a grill, a fan oven and a microwave
    • Plenty of programmes and accurate pre-sets

    Reasons to Avoid

    • It costs more than £250

    6.
    Russell Hobbs RHFM2001B

    Russell Hobbs RHFM2001B

    Russell Hobbs are great at getting that fine balance between style, price and functionality, and this microwave shows off their years of experience well.
    If you are looking for a flatbed microwave, then it is a good choice. The lack of rotating plate means there is more room for certain larger foods, and it can double up as an oven too. Rather than having to endure the irritating turntable and being limited in terms of size and shape, simply place down your food and trust the appliance.
    An auto-cook function will speed up those quick reheat tasks, and there is also a vast choice of auto programmes for preparing foods which can otherwise take a lot of guesswork. A special defrost function will carry this task out safely and hygienically, which will save your bacon if you’ve forgotten to bring the meat out of the freezer yet again.

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    Features

    • Dimensions: (H)28.6 x (W)45.9 x (D)38.1cm
    • Cooking Power: 700 Watt
    • Capacity: 19L
    • Weight: 11.6 Kg

    Reasons to Buy

    • Great value
    • A flatbed design created for big dishes
    • Automatic programmes for precision cooking

    Reasons to Avoid

    • Doesn’t have a built-in grill
    • Limited programmes

    7.
    Morphy Richards Evoke 511512

    Morphy Richards Evoke 511512

    This striking design will brighten up any kitchen with a retro style and a choice of the three colours available; red, black or cream.
    The Evoke 511512 microwave oven has everything that you’d want, with lots of capacity, power and programmes to help you with all of the foods that you are cooking. Eight pre-programmed recipes will help you tackle certain foods such as vegetables or baked potatoes, and there is the usual defrost option too.
    It comes complete with 23-litres capacity, and an enamelled interior makes it easy to clean. So when those baked beans or scrambled eggs splash, the damage caused isn’t going to be too tricky to rectify. As well as the retro design and pop of colour, there are stainless steel hues on the door handle and controls, so you’ll still be able to blend it into the environment alongside other appliances.
    Morphy Richards are a reliable brand and one of our favourites when it comes to kitchen appliances.

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    Features

    • Dimensions: (H)29.5 x (W)49 x (D) 41cm
    • Cooking Power: 800W
    • Capacity: 23L
    • Weight: 13 Kg
    • LED Display

    Reasons to Buy

    • Don’t get confused by the retro theme - it has huge power and modern features
    • Great value
    • Stylish design and three colours available

    Reasons to Avoid

    • Lacks in programmes and functions

    8.
    Swan SM22036GRYN

    Swan SM22036GRYN

    This beautifully designed Scandi-style microwave has been created by Swan, with a number of easy to use features.
    It comes with a very unique exterior style, with soft touch finish and a design which will fit into any kitchen space. You will be able to see a wooden effect handle and main dial added for design – and there are plenty of matching items available such as a kettle and toaster.
    This microwave has lots of space and a number of practical features. Six power levels opens up the possibilities, a defrost function makes this chore safe to carry out and simple buttons ensure it is simple to navigate.
    It isn’t just all in the design, though. It comes with 20-litres of space to cook everything that you want and also possesses 800-watts of power. Choose from cotton white or slate grey to match your kitchen.

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    Features

    • Dimensions: (H)34.2 x (W)45.1 x (D)25.7cm
    • Cooking Power: 800W
    • Capacity: 20L
    • Weight: 12.2 Kg
    • LED Display

    Reasons to Buy

    • Super-stylish design including a wooden effect on the exterior
    • Automatic programmes make preparing or heating food simple
    • Very easy to use with the dials and buttons

    Reasons to Avoid

    • Limited programmes
    • The fan cooling can be noisy

    9.
    Sharp R372KM

    Sharp R372KM

    Trying to discover a powerful yet great value microwave? Thankfully, there are loads about, including this one by Sharp.
    This solo microwave comes with incredible power, a huge volume for all of your meals and auto menu options that do all the work for you. You no longer need to worry about having to prepare meals and getting the time absolutely perfect, as presets such as jacket potato, popcorn and frozen vegetables are there at a touch.
    The Sharp R372KM solo microwave doesn’t just have the auto menu option, but also five power settings that enable you to toggle between 700-Watts and 1050-Watts.
    It operates best at a 900-Watts output, which is usually standard, but this depends on what food you are heating or cooking. Use the included manual to help you adjust the different programmes and know which is best.
    Auto defrost will rescue you when you’ve forgotten to leave the dinner out of the freezer, and a 25 litre capacity will give you plenty of rotational space.

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    Features

    • Dimensions: (H)43 x (W)51.3 x (D) 30.6cm
    • Cooking Power: 900 W
    • Capacity: 25L
    • Weight: 14.8 Kg
    • LED Display
    • 24 Automatic Menu Programmes

    Reasons to Buy

    • Lots of capacity with 25-litres
    • Adjustable power levels between 700-Watts to 1050-Watts
    • Boasts 24 different automatic menu programmes
    • Great value

    Reasons to Avoid

    • Isn’t the most robust

    10.
    Beko MOC20100S

    Beko MOC20100S

    It wouldn’t be a top 10 list without a Beko featuring somewhere in the compilation of best microwaves. This Beko microwave offers five different power levels, a handy defrost function for those last-minute dinner changes and has plenty of capacity.
    The 20L cavity should give plenty of room to defrost frozen vegetables, and cook all of those handy ready meals. A quick start button will cut out a lot of the hassle of changing the settings if you just want a quick blast, and it can go up to 30 minutes of use at any one time.
    It is a pretty basic model in all – there’s no fancy pre-set buttons for particular foods, and the manual dials look dated when compared to the digital control panels found in more expensive models. As a bonus, this does mean it is one of the cheapest microwaves around, so great if you are on a tight budget or just need something for very occasional use.

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    Features

    • Dimensions: (H)32.5 x (W)45.2 x (D) 26.2cm
    • Cooking Power: 700W
    • Capacity: 20L
    • 5 Power Levels
    • Weight: 11.3 Kg

    Reasons to Buy

    • Nice capacity yet small dimensions
    • 700W power is sufficient for price
    • Different programmes including defrost
    • Great value

    Reasons to Avoid

    • Hasn’t got as many functions and programmes as others available

    How to Choose the Best Microwave

    Choosing the best microwave involves looking into a number of issues, and that is why we have listed all of our favourite features here. This makes it simple for you to skim through and find the microwave that contains the functions you require.

    The best microwave for one person isn’t necessarily suitable for someone else, and that is because it depends on what you require. There are numerous factors that come into play including how big your kitchen is and how much space you have to spare, what you are hoping to use the microwave for and how big your family is.

    Here are some of the things we take into consideration when picking out the best microwave:

    • Price – It goes without saying that we are all in the market for a bargain and we take this into consideration when looking for the best microwaves of the year. You can pick up a quality microwave for anything North of £50, but those at the upper end will be the best in terms of performance, capacity and functions.
    • Programmes – As we have come to realise, microwaves are more than a reheat option. You will be privy to programmes such as defrost, an oven, grill and even programmes for specific functions such as pizza cooking.
    • Capacity – Generally, we don’t require a microwave to have tonnes of space but we advise customers to look for at least 17L volume of capacity. If you have a bigger home, you may need closer to 25L+.
    • Ease of Use – Microwaves haven’t been created to be difficult; they are meant to add an element of ease to our culinary tasks and that is why we look around for microwaves with easy programmes and lots of features. Think of dial controls and one touch buttons as opposed to difficult changes.
    • PowerPower of microwaves can fluctuate from as little as 700W and far exceed 1000W. You can enjoy quick heating from microwaves with 800W and more. Look for one which has the power you need for your favourite tasks without too much adaptation, such as 800W for ready meals.
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