Top five best microwaves for 2019
By Georgia Wilson
We recommend five Which? Best Buy microwaves that are quick and easy to use and won't let you down at mealtimes.
The best microwaves will heat and defrost food evenly, keeping your food moist and succulent. They also won't lose power if you heat several meals in a row.
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 doubles up as a mini oven, our recommended models won't let you down.
Just want to compare specific models or find the best for your budget? Head to our microwave reviews.
This is a magnificent microwave, which is hard to fault. It’s a large combi that heats and defrosts food both quickly and evenly. It also does a great job of baking like a regular oven, and has an excellent grill, too. Most microwave-grills we come across are mediocre at best, so this one stands out from the crowd.
This is a great all-rounder. As well as excelling at all the usual microwaving tasks, it’s also spacious – you can fit in a 32cm-wide plate – and quiet. It will heat up and defrost your food quickly and evenly and, if you like your kitchen to be co-ordinated, look out for the matching kettle and toaster.
This excellent microwave has the added benefit of being a flatbed model. Flatbeds don't have a turntable, which means you can use large or awkwardly shaped dishes without worrying about them getting stuck during cooking. This model is a bit pricey, but it does an excellent job of heating food quickly and evenly, as well as defrosting accurately.
This is a speedy little microwave that's easy to use and heats up food evenly, whether it's a single ready meal, or several dishes in a row. It's great at defrosting too, whether on manual or the auto-defrost setting. It's good value for a top-scorer, but it's not all that spacious, so if your dinner plates are more than 27cm wide, you'd be better off going for a larger model.
This stylish retro-look microwave will cook plate after plate of food well, without losing power on consecutive runs. This is unusual, so this microwave could make a good choice if you often reheat several meals in a row. It’s easy to use and quiet, and does a good job of defrosting evenly whether you use the manual setting or the auto-defrost option.
Table last updated on 28 August 2018.
Not found what you were looking for? Head to our microwave reviews.
Choosing the right microwave
The cheapest microwaves cost around £40, but they can cost more than £100. Entry-level prices can get you a decent microwave, if you choose carefully, but you'll usually get less capacity, so larger plates might be a tight squeeze.
Controls and features will be sparser too, though some people prefer the simplicity of manual control dials. Here are four key features to consider when choosing a microwave:
Microwave features to consider:
- Microwave-only or combi - some microwaves can cook using convection heat too, like a traditional oven, so they can be handy if you want more flexible cooking space
- Flatbed or turntable - flatbed models have no turntable, meaning more internal space for bigger plates or awkward dishes
- Digital or manual controls - digital controls can have handy presets for common cooking jobs, whereas manual controls tend to leave timings more up to you
- Capacity - internal space varies widely. Smaller models are usually quoted at around 17 litres, though this isn't a very helpful measure. We check what size dinner plate can fit in each model and have found this can vary from a snug 27cm to more than 35cm. Our reviews reveal the models that maximise internal space without taking up too much space on your worktop.
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.
See all our recommended models in our list of Best Buy microwaves.