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Top five best microwaves

By Anna Studman

We recommend five Which? Best Buy microwaves that are quick and easy to use and won't let you down at mealtimes.

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The best microwaves will heat and defrost food evenly, and keep cooking consistently for meal after meal. When browsing in the shop, you can pick a model with the features and style you want, but it's impossible to know how quickly and evenly it will heat food.

To help you choose the best and avoid a dud, we've rounded up our top picks. Whether you're after the best cheap microwave, a model that fits larger plates, or a combi that double up as a mini oven, our recommended models won't let you down with a poorly cooked meal, or have you hanging around for ages reheating your dinner.

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Best combi microwave

Lowest price (in stock) £167.99
Which? score 78%
Reviewed Mar 2016
Best Buy
Single use:
5 out of 5
Continuous use:
3 out of 5
Manual defrost:
5 out of 5
Type:
Member exclusive
Turntable or flatbed:
Member exclusive
Max plate size (cm):
Member exclusive

This is a combi model that excels at microwave heating, defrosting and convection cooking. It heats food quickly and evenly without drying anything out, setting a standard that other microwaves struggle to follow. Defrosting with this microwave is also a breeze and it produced excellent cakes on the combi cooking setting.

Best flatbed microwave

Typical price £149.00
Which? score 74%
Reviewed Feb 2017
Best Buy
Single use:
5 out of 5
Continuous use:
3 out of 5
Manual defrost:
5 out of 5
Type:
Member exclusive
Turntable or flatbed:
Member exclusive
Max plate size (cm):
Member exclusive

If you're after a flatbed microwave, then this is an excellent choice. Flatbeds don't have a turntable, which means you can use large or awkwardly shaped dishes. It's a bit pricey, perhaps, but does an excellent job of heating quickly and evenly as well as defrosting accurately.

Best microwave for large plates

Typical price £160.00
Which? score 74%
Reviewed Jul 2015
Best Buy
Single use:
5 out of 5
Continuous use:
4 out of 5
Manual defrost:
4 out of 5
Type:
Member exclusive
Turntable or flatbed:
Member exclusive
Max plate size (cm):
Member exclusive

This is a spacious and powerful microwave which heats quickly and evenly whether you go for a large plate of food or a simple ready meal. In our tests, the automatic defrost setting took care of a slab of frozen mince perfectly. This microwave also maintains its power after prolonged use, so you can heat several things in a row without the temperature dropping off.

Best cheap microwave

Typical price £40.00
Which? score 71%
Reviewed Mar 2016
Best Buy
Single use:
4 out of 5
Continuous use:
3 out of 5
Manual defrost:
5 out of 5
Type:
Member exclusive
Turntable or flatbed:
Member exclusive
Max plate size (cm):
Member exclusive

A great value Best Buy that won't break the bank. It will heat your food evenly and quickly without drying it out, and it's a good one to go for if you do a lot of defrosting. It's also really easy to use and to keep clean inside, and is fairly quiet compared to other microwaves. If that isn't enough, it's energy-efficient too.

Cheapest Best Buy combi microwave

Lowest price (in stock) £159.90
Which? score 72%
Reviewed Jun 2014
Best Buy
Single use:
4 out of 5
Continuous use:
4 out of 5
Manual defrost:
4 out of 5
Type:
Member exclusive
Turntable or flatbed:
Member exclusive
Max plate size (cm):
Member exclusive

This modestly priced combination microwave did a great job of baking our fairy cakes and the grill is good at browning toast. It's also decent at the basics - heating up your food on microwave mode and defrosting evenly on the manual setting. The only downside is some incosistency in the auto-defrost.

What makes a Best Buy microwave?

Whether you regularly dig out the ready meals, need to defrost a lot of frozen food, or just want to reheat last night's dinner, having a good microwave on hand for quick heating and defrosting is a must. 

Our rigorous lab tests separate the good from the bad - we only recommend microwaves that are easy to use, heat and defrost your food quickly and evenly, and leave no overdone or cool parts. If the microwave also has a grill or conventional oven, we'll test these functions too.

Poor microwaves may dry food out, or heat unevenly - leaving you with poorly cooked food. Others can be slow to cook, and lose power if used for several meals in a row,  which means that you'll end up needing to cook your food for longer.

For more advice on choosing a microwave, head to our microwave buying guide. To narrow down your search and find the best microwave for your budget, head to our independent microwave reviews

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