In today's fast-paced world, a reliable microwave is a kitchen must-have, streamlining cooking and saving precious time. As an expert with over a decade of experience in kitchen appliance reviews, I understand the challenge of finding the perfect microwave amidst the plethora of options in the UK market. In this article, I'll guide you through the essential features to consider, drawing from extensive testing and user feedback, to ensure you find a microwave that not only meets your culinary needs but also enhances your cooking experience.
1. Toshiba 900w 23L Microwave Oven
This Toshiba microwave is a fantastic choice for anyone seeking an eco-friendly, practical, and stylish addition to their kitchen.
I recently tried out the Toshiba 900w 23L Microwave Oven, and I must say, it was a pleasant addition to my kitchen. The combination cooking options, including grilling and standard microwaving, provided a versatile experience for my everyday meal preparations. The food not only heated evenly, but it also retained its moisture and flavour.
One feature that stood out to me was the innovative position-memory turntable. No more spinning my cup around to find the handle – this microwave knows exactly where to stop. It’s a small but noteworthy detail that has made a significant difference in my day-to-day use.
The microwave’s energy-saving Eco function and sleek black design are impressive features as well. The LED display screen turns off automatically when not in use, saving both money and energy. Aesthetically, it fits seamlessly with my modern kitchen décor.
However, there were a couple of downsides. The microwave did not come with a cooking manual, which made it challenging to figure out some functions. The size of the microwave is quite large, making it potentially awkward for those with limited counter space. I also noticed that I needed to heat items for longer compared to my previous microwave.
Among the presented options, the Toshiba 900w 23L microwave stands out as a top choice due to its compelling features. With a power rating of 900 watts and a capacity of 23 litres, it offers efficient and fast cooking capabilities.
The combination cooking feature, including grilling and convection functions, sets it apart from the others, allowing for versatile cooking experiences. The innovative position memory turntable ensures convenience and safety by resetting to the initial position after cooking. Additionally, the Toshiba microwave boasts handy features such as defrost by weight, express cooking, child safety lock, and an energy-saving Eco function.
The sleek black design and intuitive interface add a modern touch to any kitchen. Considering these features, the Toshiba 900w 23L microwave presents itself as an excellent choice, offering power, versatility, safety, and energy efficiency that surpasses the other options.
Based on the user reviews, there is some additional information reported by the users of the Toshiba 900w 23L microwave that is not explicitly stated by the manufacturer. One user mentioned that the microwave is spacious enough to cook a meal for 4-5 people, which indicates its capacity for larger food portions.
Another user highlighted the combination of digital controls and dials, as well as the memory turntable, which allows for convenient heating without worrying about the position of the mug handle. Additionally, the users appreciated the quality build and the nostalgic clunky microwave noises when opening and closing the door, which adds to the product’s durability and functionality.
However, one user mentioned that the controls may not be straightforward for everyone, and reading glasses might be required in low-lighting conditions. Overall, the users expressed satisfaction with the product’s performance, functionality, and reasonable pricing.
Overall, if you can overlook the lack of a cooking manual and the size, the Toshiba 900w 23L microwave is a solid, eco-friendly choice. Its combination cooking options, innovative turntable, and energy-saving functions make it well worth considering for your next microwave purchase.
Our score: 5/5
2. Panasonic NN-SD27HSBPQ Solo Inverter Microwave Oven
I highly recommend the Panasonic NN-SD27HSBPQ Solo Inverter Microwave Oven for its even cooking, sleek design, and ease of use.
When I started using the Panasonic NN-SD27HSBPQ Solo Inverter Microwave Oven, I was impressed by the even cooking results it delivered. The advanced Inverter Technology ensures constant cooking energy on all power settings, meaning that uncooked spots or frozen patches in the centre of the food are a thing of the past. This technology helps cook meals faster, evenly, and more gently, retaining essential nutrients, flavours, and healthy vitamins.
The 23 Litre capacity of this microwave oven is accommodating enough to fit up to 2 kg of food, which makes it convenient for larger meals. The stainless steel design gives it a sleek and smart look, blending in seamlessly with any modern kitchen.
While the controls might seem a bit complex initially, it didn’t take long for me to get the hang of them. One downside is the lack of a full power quick start button for those moments when I’m in a hurry. Additionally, the absence of an 800W setting can be a slight inconvenience, as most food packages show cooking times for 900/800W microwaves.
Compared with the Toshiba 900w 23L, the Panasonic NN-SD27HSBPQ offers a higher power rating of 1000 watts, potentially providing faster and more efficient cooking. Both microwaves share a capacity of 23 litres, making them suitable for standard-sized plates and bowls. However, the Panasonic model stands out with its advanced Inverter Technology, delivering constant cooking energy on all power settings and ensuring more uniform cooking results.
While the Toshiba microwave offers combination cooking capabilities, the Panasonic NN-SD27HSBPQ focuses on delivering even cooking throughout the food, eliminating uncooked spots or frozen patches. Both models feature desirable attributes, but if consistent cooking performance and the ability to maintain nutrient and flavour retention are priorities, the Panasonic NN-SD27HSBPQ might be the preferred choice.
Based on the user reviews, there is some additional information reported by the users of the Panasonic NN-SD27HSBPQ microwave that is not explicitly stated by the manufacturer. One user praised the microwave for being easy to use and having a smart and sleek appearance. Another user mentioned that the microwave is very quiet while running, indicating its quiet operation.
However, one user expressed scepticism about the inverter-based feature, suggesting that it may not function as expected and instead operates as a standard square wave mode. Another user highlighted the absence of a full power quick start button and the lack of an 800W setting, which they felt would have been useful.
However, despite these shortcomings, the user still recommended buying the microwave. Overall, users expressed satisfaction with the quality build, ease of use, and quick cooking performance of the Panasonic NN-SD27HSBPQ microwave.
Overall, my experience with the Panasonic NN-SD27HSBPQ Solo Inverter Microwave Oven has been fantastic. I genuinely believe this is one of the best microwaves available in the UK. With even cooking, a spacious capacity, and a sleek design, it’s a worthwhile investment for any home.
Our score: 4.5
3. CO6SH Retro Style 800w 20L Microwave Oven
I’d recommend this microwave for those who want a functional and stylish retro design in their kitchen.
The CO6SH Retro Style Microwave Oven is an absolute gem for any kitchen. As someone who has had the pleasure of using it firsthand, I can’t help but admire its delightful vintage design in vibrant red. With a 20L capacity, it has quickly become an essential appliance in my culinary adventures.
The 8 cooking presets have been an absolute lifesaver for me. It’s incredible how they cover all the popular microwave dishes like pasta, soups, and baked potatoes. With just a press of a button, I can effortlessly prepare a delicious meal without any hassle.
But what really sets this microwave apart is its 5 power levels. This feature has given me the flexibility to handle a wide range of heating tasks. From gently softening my favourite ice cream to reheating leftovers to perfection, this microwave has proven its efficiency time and time again. And let’s not forget about the user-friendly control panel, large LED digital display, interior light, clock, and kitchen timer. They have truly enhanced my cooking experience and made it all the more enjoyable. Oh, and I can’t stress enough how important the child safety lock has been, especially with my little ones running around.
Now, let’s talk about a couple of areas where there’s room for improvement. One downside I noticed is that the inside light remains on even when the microwave is not in use. It’s a minor inconvenience, but to save electricity, I’ve made it a habit to unplug it from the socket when not in use. Additionally, I did come across some minor issues with the frame quality. There were slight gaps in the corners of the door and main body, which affected the overall aesthetic. Lastly, it’s worth mentioning that larger plates may not fit comfortably inside the oven due to its dimensions.
Despite these minor drawbacks, the CO6SH Retro Style Microwave Oven has undoubtedly won me over with its charm and functionality. It’s a must-have for anyone looking to add a touch of vintage elegance to their kitchen while enjoying the convenience of modern features.
Compared with the Toshiba 900w 23L, the CO6SH Retro Style 800w 20L microwave offers a slightly lower power rating of 800 watts but maintains a compact capacity of 20 litres. While the Toshiba model focuses on modern features and versatility, the CO6SH Retro Style microwave stands out with its vibrant red colour and retro design, adding a unique and stylish touch to the kitchen. Both microwaves provide convenient features such as cooking presets and multiple power levels.
However, the CO6SH model emphasizes simplicity and user-friendly functionality, featuring a large LED digital display, a user-friendly control panel, an interior light, a clock, a kitchen timer, and a child safety lock. If aesthetic appeal and user-friendly operation are priorities, the CO6SH Retro Style 800w 20L microwave could be an attractive choice, despite its slightly lower power rating compared to the Toshiba model.
Based on the user reviews, there is some additional information reported by the users of the CO6SH Retro Style 800w 20L microwave that is not explicitly stated by the manufacturer. One user mentioned that the microwave could benefit from having handles, as the door swings open quickly and firmly, potentially causing a rap on the knuckles or a pinch on the fingertips.
Another user appreciated the microwave’s functionality and quick cooking times, noting that it’s a quick twist of the timer knob to achieve the desired cooking results. However, a user pointed out that the inside light remains on permanently, even when the microwave is not in use, leading them to turn it off at the plug socket to save electricity.
Other positive feedback includes the microwave’s retro appearance, ease of operation, and its ability to hold larger plates. However, a user reported a frame defect in the corners of the door and main body, resulting in gaps. Despite this issue, users generally found the CO6SH Retro Style microwave to be visually appealing, easy to use and a good value for money.
Overall, if retro design and functionality are on your wishlist, the CO6SH Retro Style Microwave Oven is a great choice to consider. While there are certain drawbacks, the pros certainly outweigh the cons, and it has served me well in my daily cooking adventures.
Our score: 4.5
4. Samsung MS23K3513AK Solo Microwave, 23 Litre, Black
I highly recommend this Samsung microwave for its easy-to-clean interior, energy-saving eco mode, and excellent features that every kitchen needs.
I’ve had my Samsung MS23K3513AK microwave for a while now and I can say it’s been a great addition to my kitchen. The ceramic enamel interior makes cleaning up spills and splatters a breeze. It doesn’t collect grime like my previous microwave, making it so much easier to maintain.
The eco mode is another fantastic feature that helps me save money on my energy bills. By reducing the microwave’s standby power consumption, I can feel better about my energy usage without sacrificing any functionality!
As someone who enjoys cooking, I can appreciate the deodorisation feature in the Samsung microwave. It effectively eliminates any lingering odours from strong-smelling ingredients, leaving the interior smelling fresh for the next use.
However, there are a couple of drawbacks I’ve noticed. The door of the microwave is quite dark, making it hard to see inside while I’m cooking. Sometimes I need to open the door just to check on my food, which can be a bit annoying. Additionally, the defrost system only has a Quick Defrost option making it slightly limited compared to other microwaves.
That being said, my overall experience with the Samsung MS23K3513AK Solo Microwave has been positive. Its pros outweigh the cons, and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a reliable and feature-packed microwave for their kitchen.
Compared with the Toshiba 900w 23L, the Samsung MS23K3513AK offers a similar capacity of 23 litres but with a slightly lower power rating of 800 watts. However, the Samsung model stands out with its ceramic enamel interior, which not only provides exceptional smoothness for easy cleaning but also offers high resistance to rust and scratches, ensuring a long-lasting and visually appealing microwave.
The Samsung MS23K3513AK also features additional functionalities like an Eco mode to reduce standby power consumption, deodorisation to eliminate lingering odours, and a triple distribution system for more even and thorough cooking results. While the Toshiba model emphasizes combination cooking and modern design, the Samsung MS23K3513AK focuses on practicality, durability, and advanced features, making it a compelling choice for those seeking a reliable and efficient microwave.
Based on the user reviews, there is some additional information reported by the users of the Samsung MS23K3513AK microwave that is not explicitly stated by the manufacturer. One user mentioned that the controls could be better explained in the manual, citing an example where they initially had difficulty using the soften feature due to unclear instructions.
Another user pointed out that the door/window of the microwave is very dark, making it difficult to see inside while the microwave is in use. This user also mentioned that the microwave seemed underpowered compared to their previous model, taking nearly twice as long to heat similar items. Additionally, a user mentioned that the power usage of the microwave was higher than expected, measuring approximately 1200 watts on full power instead of the stated 800 watts.
Despite these issues, users generally found the microwave to have a premium aesthetic, be easy to use, and offer useful features such as a button for melting chocolate or butter. Overall, users were satisfied with the performance and design of the Samsung MS23K3513AK microwave.
Overall, the Samsung MS23K3513AK Solo Microwave is a highly recommended appliance for any kitchen. Its easy-to-clean ceramic enamel interior, energy-saving eco mode, and effective deodorization feature enhance convenience and energy efficiency. Despite a few drawbacks like the dark door and limited defrost system, the overall positive experience with this microwave outweighs these minor issues. It is a reliable and feature-packed option for those seeking a durable and efficient addition to their kitchen.
Our score: 4.5
5. Russell Hobbs RHMM713G Scandi Compact Microwave
This sleek and compact microwave is perfect for those with limited kitchen space, offering both style and functionality.
The Russell Hobbs RHMM713G microwave is a great addition to my kitchen, with its Scandi-inspired design giving it a modern and fresh look. I particularly love the wooden effect handle and dials, making it stand out from other microwaves.
Despite its compact size, it doesn’t compromise on the cooking experience. It has five power levels and a defrost setting that I find extremely useful for quickly defrosting meals. The easy-to-use 30-minute timer also adds to the convenience of this microwave. However, for those wanting advanced features, it may take some time to navigate, as it focuses more on simplicity.
What I appreciate most about this microwave is how easy it is to clean. The removable glass turntable is dishwasher safe, and the painted interior can be simply wiped clean. The only issue I’ve encountered was dealing with the stubborn labels stuck on the microwave. It took me some time to remove them without leaving any residue behind.
Although the Russell Hobbs RHMM713G has relatively low power at 700 watts compared to other models, I have found that this does not impact the quality of my cooked meals. All it takes is a little more time in the microwave, and my dishes come out cooked to perfection.
Overall, the Russell Hobbs RHMM713G Scandi Compact Microwave is an excellent choice for those with limited kitchen space who prioritise style and simplicity. Its modern design, ease of use, and compact size make it a standout appliance, though it may not be ideal for users seeking more advanced features.
Our score: 4.5
6. Toshiba 800w 20L Microwave Oven
This Toshiba 800w 20L microwave oven is an excellent choice for those looking for a user-friendly, compact, and stylish microwave that gets the job done efficiently.
Upon using this Toshiba microwave, I appreciated the adjustable power levels and timer, allowing me to easily defrost, reheat, and cook my meals according to my preferences. The 20L capacity was more than sufficient for standard dinner plates while maintaining a compact size, saving valuable counter space in my kitchen.
One feature I particularly enjoyed was the glass turntable plate that rotates during use, ensuring even cooking and preventing any unwanted microwave mishaps. The timeless design, featuring two simple control knobs and a neutral white casing, blends seamlessly with my existing kitchen décor.
However, I did notice a few downsides to this microwave oven. The control knobs’ writings are quite small, requiring me to put on my glasses to read them properly. Additionally, the dials may be challenging to grip for those with hand mobility issues. Lastly, the Toshiba microwave has a 12-hour clock, as opposed to a more convenient 24-hour one.
Overall, the Toshiba 800w 20L Microwave Oven is a reliable and efficient option for those looking to upgrade their cookware. While it does have a few minor drawbacks, the overall performance, adjustable settings, and sleek design make it a great addition to any kitchen.
Our score: 4.5
7. Russell Hobbs RHM2076B 20 Litre Microwave
I highly recommend this microwave to anyone seeking a sleek, functional, and convenient option for their kitchen.
I recently acquired the Russell Hobbs RHM2076B 20 Litre Microwave and it has already become an essential appliance in my kitchen. It has a sleek black body and a contemporary mirror door finish, which undoubtedly adds charm to the overall appearance.
As someone who values cleanliness, I appreciate how easy it is to maintain the Russell Hobbs RHM2076B microwave. The painted interior is wipeable and the glass turntable can be detached and safely cleaned in the dishwasher. This not only saves me time but also ensures a consistently clean microwave. Additionally, the microwave offers pre-programmed auto cook menus for items such as pizza, fish, and popcorn, which allow me to cook food effortlessly at the push of a button. With its 800W power, I can quickly and conveniently cook anything I need in my home.
However, the microwave is not without its drawbacks. The light within the appliance stays on when the door is open, which can be irritating. Additionally, the black door makes it challenging to see inside while microwaving food, which is a disadvantage when it comes to items that tend to boil over quickly. Lastly, the shiny black finish shows finger marks very easily, which could be a concern for those who value aesthetics.
Overall, I believe the Russell Hobbs RHM2076B 20 Litre Microwave offers excellent value for its features and convenience despite some minor shortcomings. If you’re in the market for a microwave with a modern design, easy maintenance, and handy auto cook menus, this might be the perfect choice for your home.
Our score: 4.5
8. Samsung MS23F301TAW Solo Microwave
I highly recommend the Samsung MS23F301TAW Solo Microwave for its convenient cooking modes, sleek design, and eco-friendly features.
The Samsung MS23F301TAW Solo Microwave has become an essential appliance in my kitchen. With 20 pre-set cooking modes, I can prepare fresh meals in just a few minutes, which is perfect for my busy schedule. The handy cooking modes cover a wide range of dishes, ensuring perfect results every time.
Aesthetically, this microwave adds a polished look to my kitchen, featuring a black glass front with a hairline pattern exterior and a matching handle. The crystal blue display and silver dial give it a contemporary and stylish appearance that blends well with my other appliances.
One of my favourite features of this microwave is its ECO mode. This setting significantly reduces standby power consumption, helping me save on energy bills. I also appreciate the ceramic interior, which is antibacterial and easy to clean, without any concerns of discolouration or scratches.
Although I enjoy this microwave a lot, there are a few caveats. First, the commands use symbols instead of words, which can be confusing at first. Second, there’s no interior light, making it difficult to check on food while it’s cooking. Lastly, the start and stop buttons are not ideal for left-handed users as they can be harder to see and access.
Overall, I truly believe the Samsung MS23F301TAW Solo Microwave is one of the best options available. It offers an excellent blend of convenience, attractive design, and energy efficiency. The minor drawbacks are quite manageable, and the numerous benefits far outweigh any shortcomings.
Our score: 4.5
9. SHARP YC-MG02U-B 800W Digital Touch Control Microwave
I recommend the SHARP YC-MG02U-B 800W Digital Touch Control Microwave for its great features, stylish design, and excellent performance at an affordable price.
Having just used the SHARP YC-MG02U-B 800W Digital Touch Control Microwave, I am quite impressed with its performance. Its compact size and sleek black design make it a stylish addition to any kitchen. Despite its small footprint, it is perfect for smaller kitchens or even caravans and student accommodations.
The 800W microwave comes with an additional 1000W grilling function and allows you to choose from grill only, grill & microwave combi, or microwave only settings. It also features defrost, digital clock, kitchen timer, ECO function, and a child safety lock. The modern handle-less design and blue digital LED display give it a contemporary look that complements any kitchen décor.
I found this microwave very easy to clean, thanks to its full touch control, electric panel, and all-over flat design that can be wiped down with ease. Though I love this microwave’s functionality and design, I must mention a few drawbacks. For instance, after cooking, the microwave tends to generate condensation, and the display brightness can be a bit annoying during the night. In addition, its housing sticks out at the back, making it not sit flush against a wall.
Overall, the SHARP YC-MG02U-B is a stylish and powerful microwave with a compact design, making it a great investment for those with limited kitchen space. Its performance and versatility make it a valuable kitchen appliance, despite a few minor drawbacks.
Our score: 4.5
10. Cookology CMAFS20LBK Freestanding 800W Microwave
I recommend the Cookology CMAFS20LBK Microwave as a practical and affordable appliance suitable for modern and traditional kitchens.
I recently tried out the Cookology CMAFS20LBK Freestanding 800W Microwave, and I must say, it was a great addition to my kitchen. With its 20-litre capacity and 25cm turntable, I had no issues fitting a full-sized dinner plate, making it perfect for family meals. The microwave also had a handy defrost setting, which I found useful when thawing frozen items.
The Cookology Microwave offers 5 power levels, providing flexibility for different cooking needs. The low, medium-low, medium, medium-high, and high settings accommodated everything from gentle reheating to more robust cooking requirements. One feature I loved about this microwave was its clean design, blending seamlessly into both modern and traditional kitchens.
However, there were a few shortcomings I noticed with the Cookology CMAFS20LBK. The dial timer proved a little challenging for me to see clearly, and there was no second timer, which meant I had to guess the exact timing. A white marker on the timer might have improved visibility.
Despite these minor drawbacks, I found the Cookology CMAFS20LBK Microwave to be an excellent choice for those seeking a small, affordable, and versatile cooking appliance. Its sleek design and practical features make it a welcome addition to any kitchen.
Overall, the Cookology CMAFS20LBK Microwave is a practical and affordable appliance suitable for any kitchen. With its 20-liter capacity and 5 power levels, it offers versatility for various cooking needs. Although the dial timer and lack of a second timer can be inconvenient, its sleek design makes it a welcome addition to any home.
Our score: 4.5
Alternatives to Microwaves
An alternative to using a microwave is utilising conventional cooking methods such as stovetop cooking, oven baking, or grilling. These methods involve the use of pots, pans, and other cooking utensils, along with direct heat sources like gas or electric burners, oven elements, or grills. By using traditional cooking techniques, food can be prepared with more control over the cooking process, allowing for precise temperature adjustments and enhanced flavour development.
While these methods generally take longer than using a microwave, they offer the opportunity for more intricate culinary techniques and can be preferred by those who enjoy the art of cooking or desire specific texture and taste profiles in their meals. Additionally, alternative appliances like toaster ovens, convection ovens, and air fryers can also serve as substitutes for certain microwave functions, providing versatile cooking options with additional features.
One of the first things I consider when choosing the best microwave is its size. Microwaves come in various sizes, including compact, mid-size, and large. To decide the ideal size, I think about the available space in my kitchen and the types of dishes I typically cook in the microwave. Here are the general guidelines for microwave sizes:
- Compact: 0.5 to 0.8 cubic feet
- Mid-size: 0.9 to 1.3 cubic feet
- Large: 1.4 to 2.0+ cubic feet
Another important feature to look at is the wattage. Higher wattage equals faster cooking times. However, more power can sometimes lead to uneven cooking or overcooked food. I usually aim for a wattage between 800 and 1,200 watts, as this range offers a good balance of cooking speed and consistency.
When it comes to functions, I prefer a microwave that offers more than just basic heating. Some useful functions to consider include:
- Defrost: This function allows me to quickly defrost frozen food by weight or time.
- Auto Cook: Auto cook settings automatically choose the appropriate cooking time and power level based on the type of food.
- Reheat: This feature reheats food evenly without overcooking it.
- Grill and Convection Cooking: A combination microwave with a grill or convection feature expands my cooking options beyond simple reheating.
Ease of Use
Lastly, I look for a microwave that is user-friendly. Easy-to-use controls, a clear and readable display, and a convenient door-opening mechanism are all important factors. Additionally, I prefer microwaves with easy-to-clean interiors, such as those made of stainless steel or with a non-stick coating.
|Choose according to kitchen space and cooking needs
|Aim for 800-1,200 watts for balanced cooking speed and consistency
|Look for auto cook, defrost, reheat, and combination cooking features
|Ease of Use
|Prioritise user-friendly controls, displays, and easy-to-clean interiors
In my search for the best microwave in the UK, I’ve discovered a vast range of options to suit various needs and preferences. With numerous models available, choosing the right microwave can be a challenging process.
With different features and functions on offer, it’s essential to determine what works best for you. For instance, if you have limited space, a compact microwave may be your preference. On the other hand, if you’re keen on easy meal prep, a microwave with defrost and cooking programmes might be the perfect choice.
Some of the essential features to consider include:
- Capacity: A microwave’s capacity is an essential factor depending on your cooking needs.
- Power output: Higher wattage means faster cooking.
- Defrost function: Vital for quick meal preparation when you forget to thaw food in advance.
- Cooking modes: These can range from simple reheating to more advanced capabilities like slow cooking and grilling.
Having explored various models in my research, I found that combination microwave ovens offer the greatest versatility as they combine the functionality of a microwave, grill, and convection oven. This enables me to cook a wider range of dishes in less time while using only one appliance.
Ultimately, the best microwave for you will depend on your individual requirements and preferences. By carefully considering your needs and priorities, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision that helps you get the most value and convenience from your purchase.