Broken interior lights, inconsistent performance and a complete loss of power are the most common microwave problems according to our survey of 5,666 microwave owners in the UK.
Knowing which brands develop the most faults and how long a model can be expected to last is vital when you're buying a new kitchen appliance. That's why each year we ask hundreds of Which? Connect Panel members to tell us whether they're pleased with their microwaves, or if they've experienced problems.
Our survey data takes into account the reported fault rates of currently owned products, seven years old or less, and when the problems occurred.
We've got data on the biggest microwave brands – including Neff, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp and Toshiba – so we can tell you which brand to choose and which brands to avoid.
The table below summarises this year’s results. Brands are ranked by their customer score, which relates to brand satisfaction and whether customers would recommend the brand to a friend.
|Brand||Customer score||Customer score rating||Customer loyalty||% faulty||Average test score|
As the chart below reveals, there is a clear difference between the brands with the highest (83%) and lowest (70%) customer scores. There are also big gaps between average test scores and the proportion of faulty models.
|Average test score||73%||49%|
The average microwave will last 18 years. This is based on the experiences of Which? Connect Panel members who told us how long they kept their previous appliance before replacing it due to a fault.
The list below shows how long five of the most popular microwave brands last.
We've pulled together our survey data and independent test results, as well as some insight from our microwave experts, to give you an in-depth look at some of the most popular microwave brands.
While the average microwave lasts 18 years, our survey reveals recurring faults that can cause microwaves to stop working sooner than expected.
According to Which? Connect Panel members, the three most common faults that led to them replacing their microwave were:
If your microwave is still under warranty, the manufacturer should be able to repair the interior light. Most microwave warranties last two years, but you can often get an extended guarantee by registering your model online.
Don't try to replace the light bulb yourself – there's a risk of electric shock, even if the microwave isn't plugged in.
If your microwave stops working altogether, your first thought might be to throw it away. But it's worth checking, either with the manufacturer (if it's still under warranty) or a technician, whether the microwave can be repaired.
Getting your microwave repaired saves you the cost of buying a new model, and it's more sustainable too.
Inconsistent performance can be caused by a range of issues. Sometimes the solution is as simple as allowing your microwave to cool down between uses.
If you regularly zap several dishes in a row, make sure you buy a microwave that can cope with back-to-back uses. We give each microwave we test a star rating for how well it works during continuous use.
We have a wealth of information of Britain's favourite microwave brands.
Each year, we ask Which? Connect Panel members to tell us about their household appliances; from how likely they'd be to recommend a brand to a friend, to how long a product lasted before it needed to be replaced.
This year, more than 12,000 survey participants told us about almost 40,000 products, including 5,666 microwaves.
Our survey results, combined with our independent testing data, mean we can give you an unrivalled insight into which microwave brand you should buy.
Know which microwave brand you want? Use the links below to go straight to our reviews and find your ideal model.