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Last Updated On March 25th, 2020

Convenient, versatile and simple to use, the best microwave in the UK can save you time and help you to make the best use of limited kitchen space. But with so many options to choose from, how do you decide on the right microwave for you?

The answer depends on your lifestyle and cooking habits. Do you need a multi-functional model to replace your conventional oven? Or perhaps you’re looking for a simple microwave to assist with defrosting and general meal preparation?

Whatever your needs, we have you covered. Our microwave reviews include a wide range of models suitable for all budgets, so read on to discover the ideal microwave oven for your kitchen.

Our Favourite Microwaves Compared

Editor's Choice
Russell Hobbs RHM2076S Turbo Lite Digital 800w Solo Microwave Silver
Luxury Choice
Hotpoint Extra Space Solo Flatbed Microwave, 26 Litre, Black
Best Value
VYTRONIX VY-HMO800 Digital Microwave Oven 800W 20L 5 Power Levels Freestanding Solo Black
Best Combination
Toshiba Microwave Oven 25L MW2-Ac25T(Bk) 950W with Convection 2250W & Crispy Grill 1150W, Combination Microwave with Upgraded Easy Clean Enamel Cavity and Position Memory Turntable-Black
Russell Hobbs RHM2076S
Hotpoint Extra Space Solo Flatbed
VYTRONIX VY-HMO800 Digital Oven
Toshiba 25L Oven
Power Levels
5
10
5
5
Capacity
20L
26L
20L
25L
Power Output
800W
800W
800W
950W
Editor's Choice
Russell Hobbs RHM2076S Turbo Lite Digital 800w Solo Microwave Silver
Russell Hobbs RHM2076S
Power Levels
5
Capacity
20L
Power Output
800W
Luxury Choice
Hotpoint Extra Space Solo Flatbed Microwave, 26 Litre, Black
Hotpoint Extra Space Solo Flatbed
Power Levels
10
Capacity
26L
Power Output
800W
Best Value
VYTRONIX VY-HMO800 Digital Microwave Oven 800W 20L 5 Power Levels Freestanding Solo Black
VYTRONIX VY-HMO800 Digital Oven
Power Levels
5
Capacity
20L
Power Output
800W
Best Combination
Toshiba Microwave Oven 25L MW2-Ac25T(Bk) 950W with Convection 2250W & Crispy Grill 1150W, Combination Microwave with Upgraded Easy Clean Enamel Cavity and Position Memory Turntable-Black
Toshiba 25L Oven
Power Levels
5
Capacity
25L
Power Output
950W

Best Microwave Reviews – Top 10 Picks

1. Russell Hobbs RHM2076S (Editor’s Choice)

Russell Hobbs RHM2076SIf you’re looking for an attractive, compact and multi-functional microwave oven – we think the Russell Hobbs RHM2076S is the one to beat.

Features

Our pick for the best microwave in the UK, this model boasts a wide range of features that make mealtimes quick and easy. At 800 watts and offering a choice of 5 power settings, the Russell Hobbs RHM2076S will have the perfect setting, whatever you’re cooking.

Its 20-litre capacity is compact enough to fit into small spaces, which makes this microwave best for smaller countertops, while still being large enough to fit standard-sized dinner plates.

If you’re always in a rush, the wide variety of convenient auto-cook menus are perfect for busy households – simply select the appropriate mode and this microwave will do the rest. The built-in child lock will keep curious hands at bay, too; so you won’t need to worry about little ones disrupting your meal plans or injuring themselves.

Forgot to defrost the chicken for tonight’s dinner? This microwave offers an efficient defrost mode to get your schedule back on track. Once you input the weight of your food, it will automatically choose the correct defrost time, so you can rest assured your frozen produce will be fully defrosted, but not partially cooked, by the time the cycle ends. The stylish digital clock is nicely designed and easy to read, and we also appreciate that the glass turntable can be removed for effortless cleaning should any spills occur.

All in all, it’s clear to see why this is one of the best microwave ovens, but no honest review would be complete without mentioning potential drawbacks. First of all, this model beeps a lot. Most people will not be surprised to hear that a microwave beeps, but a few users complained that the beeping is a little over-the-top. Whether or not this is an issue for you will depend on your preferences.

Also, the mirrored door can make it quite difficult to monitor your food within and, while the compact design of this model is undoubtedly a benefit, you may find that the 20-litre capacity is too small for your needs.

These minor issues aside, we still love this model and believe that you will too.

Pros:
  • Compact design is great for small kitchens
  • Variety of auto-cook menus saves time
  • Choice of 5 temperature settings
  • Auto defrost mode
  • Child lock
Cons:
  • Over-zealous beeping can become irritating
  • Interior may be too compact for some users
  • Mirrored door makes it difficult to monitor food

2. Hotpoint Extra Space Solo Flatbed (Luxury Choice)

Hotpoint Extra Space Solo FlatbedWith its sleek, blacker-than-black design that oozes luxury, this Hotpoint solo flatbed is one of the best microwaves for those who like the finer things in life.

Features

Featuring a 26-litre capacity and flatbed technology, the Hotpoint Extra Space Solo Microwave has plenty of internal space. Rectangular dishes, in particular, are well suited to this non-rotating design that cooks food thoroughly and evenly. So, if you often find yourself getting frustrated as your dishes get jammed against the sides of your current, rotating model – you should definitely give this one a try.

Aside from its spaciousness, this 800-watt microwave also boasts plenty of convenient cooking settings. Sure, the controls may take some time getting used to, but with a choice of 10 power levels and 9 auto-cook programmes to choose from, there’ll always be the perfect setting for your needs. Furthermore, once your meal is ready, the useful auto-clean function makes wiping up any splashes and spills effortlessly.

Once switched on, the interior light and transparent front mean that you can easily monitor the cooking process without having to squint through the glass or pull the door open. It should be noted that there’s no push-button or handle to open the door. This contributes to these models’ sleek appearance, but it does make operating the door more difficult. The finger pull is located beneath the front of the unit and some users have complained that it takes some force to open.

The only other negative we came across with this model is the digital clock. It’s not invisible, but it is rather dull, so if you have poor eyesight you may struggle to read it.

That said, this is still one of the best microwaves on the market. It’s undeniably attractive and will blend perfectly into any contemporary kitchen. The choice of settings and innovative flatbed technology make for an efficient and versatile appliance that you’re sure to enjoy using.

Pros:
  • Sleek, luxury appearance
  • Flatbed technology means you can fit larger dishes inside
  • Choice of 10 power levels and 9 auto-cook programmes
  • Auto-clean mode for ease of use
  • Bright interior light and transparent door so you can monitor cooking
Cons:
  • Controls take some getting used to
  • Door requires some force to pull open
  • Clock is a little dull

3. VYTRONIX VY-HMO800 Digital Oven (Best Value)

VYTRONIX VY-HMO800 Digital OvenThe best microwaves don’t have to cost the Earth. The VYTRONIX VY-HMO800 Digital Microwave Oven offers impressive functionality at a fantastic price, making it one of our picks for the best value microwave in the country.

Features

This easy to use microwave features simple controls and a wide variety of settings to make cooking a pleasure. If you’re not sure how long to cook your meal for the best results, the intelligent auto-cook mode does the hard work for you. Just select the food from the menu selection, key in the weight and let the Vytronix do the rest. This clever appliance will automatically select the ideal temperature and duration required, so you can take the guesswork out of cooking.

Another great feature is the “multi-stage cooking” function. This setting allows you to set as many as three cooking stages in one. Perfect when cooking from frozen, this option will quickly defrost your meal before switching to the appropriate cooking mode when needed. If you’d rather do this manually, the auto-defrost option will accurately calculate defrosting time and notify you when you need to turn your food over for even results.

Aside from its quick touch cooking functionality, this microwave also offers other useful features. The built-in child safety lock prevents little fingers from interfering with the appliance, while the removable glass turntable also makes for easy cleaning.

As impressive as this microwave is, there are a few negatives worth keeping in mind. The buttons feel cheap to the touch, so we’re not too confident of their durability. Also, the unit is rather noisy when running and the lack of rubber grips on the base make it prone to slipping when opening and closing the door.

However, if you’re looking for the best microwave in the UK at a reasonable price, the  VYTRONIX VY-HMO800 is an excellent choice.

Pros:
  • Simple controls
  • Auto-cook mode saves time
  • Multi-stage cooking mode cooks from frozen
  • Auto-defrost calculates correct duration
  • Child-lock and removable glass turntable
Cons:
  • Quite noisy
  • Buttons feel cheap
  • No grip on the base

4. Toshiba 25L Oven (Best Combination)

Toshiba 25L OvenIf you have limited kitchen space, or simply prefer the ease of all-in-one appliances –  then you need the best combination microwave. Our favourite pick, based on our in-depth microwave reviews, is the Toshiba 25L Microwave Oven.

Features

So, what is a combination microwave? Well, as the name suggests, this versatile model offers a combination of oven and microwave functions, so you can do all your cooking with one handy machine. Capable of grilling, roasting, reheating and defrosting – there’s very little that this Toshiba cannot do.

As if this range of functions wasn’t handy enough, this model offers 10 pre-set menus and multi-stage cooking. So you can place your food inside, hit the button and leave it to do its thing. The controls are a little awkward to master at first, so require a bit of getting used to. There’s also a choice of 5 power levels – perfect if you like to have complete control over your meals.

If you’re often short of time, the quick-start mode and dedicated quick touch crisp and defrost functions are useful to get dinner done in a flash. In addition, the large, bright digital clock timer clearly displays the time remaining, so you’ll always know when your food is ready to serve. The scratch-proof enamel interior is simple to wipe clean if spillages occur, while the child-proof lock keeps inquisitive kids safe from injury.

On the downside, this model is noisy and the buttons can be unresponsive unless you hit them in exactly the right place. But these issues aside, this microwave with oven is a highly versatile and efficient model that does the work of multiple appliances in one stylish unit.

Pros:
  • Best combi microwave – grills, roasts, defrosts and reheats
  • Ten quick touch menus and five power levels
  • Multi-stage cooking function
  • Large digital clock timer
  • Child-proof lock
Cons:
  • Controls are a little complicated
  • Noisy
  • Touch buttons have no distinct pressure point

5. Russell Hobbs 23L (Best Flatbed )

Russell Hobbs 23LAre flatbed microwaves better? Well, if you have a cupboard full of square plates and rectangular casserole dishes, the answer is a resounding yes! Without the need for a turntable, these innovative appliances allow you to place irregularly-shaped crockery inside and still enjoy evenly-cooked results.

Features

If this sounds like your dream come true, check out the Russell Hobbs 23L, the best flatbed model in our top 10 microwaves list. With 800 watts of power and numerous functions, this model is the best flatbed microwave for busy households. The option of 5 different power levels, 8 auto-cook menus, and dedicated defrost mode make mealtimes a breeze, while the sleek and stylish design complements modern kitchens.

While cooking, you can keep an eye on progress thanks to the attractive digital clock timer but the mirrored surface means that you cannot easily see inside. The touch button controls feel nice to the touch and are also flush to the surface for a contemporary look, although you may struggle to read the text if you have poor eyesight. The built-in child lock keeps curious hands safe from injury.

Overall, this flatbed microwave oven is a beautifully-designed and efficient machine that makes cooking quick and easy. Some users complained that the instruction manual is rather poor, but we think the controls are intuitive enough for an experienced user.

Pros:
  • Flatbed technology accommodates rectangular/square dishes
  • 800 watts of power
  • Choice of five power levels
  • 8 quick touch auto-cook modes
  • Child-lock
Cons:
  • Instruction manual not the best quality
  • Difficult to monitor food while cooking
  • Control text is very small

6. Toshiba ML-EM23P(SS) (Best Solo )

Toshiba ML-EM23P(SS)If you need a simple, yet convenient microwave oven to complement your home oven? We recommend the Toshiba ML-EM23P(SS).

Features

With a 23L capacity, 800 watts of power and a generous selection of quick touch menus, this microwave could be your perfect kitchen assistant. Create popcorn, make bacon and soften butter all at the touch of a button. Fancy a quick and tasty pizza? Simply place your pizza inside, select the right function and this appliance will do the rest. The built-in child lock will prevent any kids from reaching inside before dinner is served.

Of course, you can choose to manually reheat dishes, too. The versatile timer ranges from 30-seconds to a full 6-minutes of preparation time, which is more than enough to heat up last night’s leftovers or cook your favourite ready meals. And if you have some frozen food to defrost for the oven, the intelligent defrost function will get the job done in no time. The large digital clock timer keeps you informed of cooking progress, so you’ll always know exactly when your food is ready.

On the downside, there are a few issues with this model. The auto-cook modes are also not always reliable, so you may have to add a few extra minutes for perfect results. The interior light is prone to failure and the inside of the unit can become very hot to the touch, so some caution is required.

Overall, though, if you want a handy microwave to back you up in the kitchen, you can’t go far wrong with this model.

Pros:
  • Generous 23L capacity
  • Convenient selection of auto-cook modes
  • Built-in child lock
  • Defrost function
  • Large digital clock timer
Cons:
  • Instant cook modes are not reliable
  • Internal bulb prone to failure
  • Interior can become very hot to the touch

7. Daewoo QT1R Manual Control (Compact Choice)

Daewoo QT1R Manual ControlDo you have a small kitchen with limited counter space? Then we suggest checking out the Daewoo QT1R Compact, the best solo microwave on the market.

Features

At only 33cm long and 42cm deep, this mini microwave is perfect for compact kitchens, campervans or student dorms. Its 22cm height will fit easily under wall units and the 14-litre capacity is plenty, making it the best small microwave for a single person.

With 600w of output, this microwave will take longer to cook than its more powerful cousins, but not excessively so. Its choice of 7 power settings and dual-wave system ensures even cooking throughout, while the 35-minute timer is more than enough for the majority of meals. The two-way defrost function is also handy if you forget to take your dinner out of the freezer.

If you wish to reheat a meal or beverage for less than 1-minute, the timer knob makes this a little fiddly to achieve, so you’ll have to count the seconds yourself for certainty. Furthermore, the interior will struggle to accommodate average-sized plates, but we think this is to be expected with such a compact model.

Pros:
  • Best compact microwave – perfect for small kitchens
  • 7 power settings
  • Dual-wave cooking ensures even results
  • Two-way defrost function
  • 35-minute timer
Cons:
  • Too small for average-sized dinner plates
  • Longer cooking times
  • Difficult to set for durations under 1-minute

8. Russell Hobbs 20L Digital (Best with Grill)

Russell Hobbs 20L DigitalSearching for the best microwave with grill combination? Look no further than the Russell Hobbs 20L Digital Grill Microwave.

Features

Attractive and packed with features, this microwave has a powerful 1000 watt grill output and 20-litre capacity for fast and effective cooking. It may be a little noisy, but its choice of 5 power settings and variety of auto-cook functions make it a versatile machine that’s sure to have pride of place in your kitchen.

Fancy a delicious pizza or some cheese on toast? Simply place onto the accompanying microwave grill rack and press a button for a quick and satisfying lunch in a flash. The intelligent defrost function is great for rapidly defrosting frozen meat or fish, while the convenient digital clock timer keeps you on track when preparing your meals. If you have little ones in the home, the built-in child lock will give you peace of mind.

Easy to clean, the removable glass turntable is dishwasher-safe, so you won’t have to scrub to remove stains. However, its ease of removal makes it prone to slipping off the rails when removing food, so you may find yourself having to realign it frequently.

Pros:
  • Dual function microwave grill
  • Choice of five power settings
  • Variety of auto cook modes
  • Intelligent defrost function
  • Dishwasher-safe glass turntable
Cons:
  • Noisy
  • Turntable slips frequently
  • Poor instructions

9. Russell Hobbs RHMM701S Compact Manual (Budget Choice)

Russell Hobbs RHMM701S Compact ManualThe Russell Hobbs RHMM701S is our pick of the best budget microwave money can buy. If you’re trying to save cash, this stylish appliance has all you need at a great value price point.

Features

Small but perfectly constructed, this model is also one of the best compact microwaves on the market. Ideal for cramped kitchens or student digs, the Russell Hobbs RHMM701S boasts a respectable 700W output and a choice of 5 power settings for versatile cooking time. It also has a defrost function and a convenient alarm to let you know when everything is ready, making it one of those easy to use microwaves as well.

Featuring two simple dials for ease of use, there are no fancy controls to cause confusion here. The timer runs up to 30-minutes; however, after the 10-minute mark, it increases in 5-minute increments. Therefore, it can be tricky to accurately set the time somewhere in between.

Boasting an attractive chrome finish, this best small microwave is easy to wipe clean for simple maintenance, but some users have complained that the bottom of the unit is prone to rust. For this reason, we recommend keeping the interior as dry as possible by giving it a once over after each use.

Overall, this model is far from being the best microwave in terms of features, but for the price, it looks great and does the basics very well.

Pros:
  • Best basic microwave oven
  • Compact design
  • Stylish chrome finish
  • 5 power settings
  • Easy to operate
Cons:
  • Bottom of unit prone to rust
  • No auto-cook modes
  • Durations over 10-minutes are hard to gauge

10. Russell Hobbs RHM3002 30L Combination (Best with Stainless Steel)

Russell Hobbs RHM3002 30L CombinationLast, but by no means least is the Russell Hobbs RHM3002. Our pick of the best microwave with stainless steel interior, this model boasts beautiful looks as well as an impressive functionality.

Features

As a combination microwave, the RHM3002 answers the question “are combination microwaves any good” with a resounding yes! Multi-functional and seriously efficient, this model packs a 1100W grill and a 2500W convection fan-assisted oven into one attractive package that can cook almost anything your heart desires.

The 30L capacity is large enough to feed the whole family, although you should expect the convection oven to take longer to cook than a conventional one. Its choice of 10 power settings, 10 auto-cook modes and defrost setting offer a wealth of versatility, while the removable turntable and child-lock ensure easy cleaning and peace of mind.

While the stainless steel cavity of this convection oven is relatively easy to clean, a downside is that this model tends to accumulate moisture inside and the turntable sometimes lurches with heavy plates. This doesn’t detract from the microwave oven’s overall performance, but it may be a little frustrating for some users.

Pros:
  • Large 30L capacity
  • Combines 1100W microwave and 2500W convection oven
  • 10 power settings and 10 auto-cook modes
  • Steel interior and removable turntable
  • Child lock
Cons:
  • Turntable doesn’t always move smoothly
  • Moisture accumulates inside
  • Convection oven takes a long time to cook

Microwave Oven Buyers’ Guide

Still not sure which microwave to buy? Check out our in-depth buying guide below.

Size

solo oven in compact kitchenWhen looking at kitchen appliances such as microwave ovens, coffee pod machines , air fryers, and juicers, there’s almost always one specification that matters more than any other: size.

Space is at a premium in any kitchen we’ve ever seen, and a microwave – or any other appliance – that’s too big to fit is too big to consider.

So before shopping for your new microwave do some careful measurements and don’t be tempted to choose a microwave that’s even a few inches bigger than you can fit.

Capacity

There’s one other measurement that’s just as important: the space available inside.

If you only use the appliance for popping popcorn, making jacket potatoes, or steaming a bag of vegetables, the internal size of your microwave doesn’t really matter. But if you have a specific type of plate or bowl that you commonly use for cooking or heating food, you’ll want to be sure that it will fit.

Internal Dimensions

Looking at microwave specifications will tell you the oven’s total capacity but won’t necessarily tell you if there’s enough room for your favourite dinner plate. Generally speaking, you’ll need a 17-20 litre microwave with a 25cm turntable to fit standard-sized dinner plates.

Power

The more powerful the microwave, the faster your food will cook; most countertop or compact models will offer between 600 and 1000 watts, and to get food heated or cooked quickly, you should look for one that tops out at 800 watts or more.

Cooking Programmes

A microwave’s preset programmes will make a major difference for most users. Nearly everyone finds power settings like “defrost” and “reheat” integral to the convenience of a microwave.

You may also find presets for oatmeal, soup, beverages or popcorn irresistible. Features such as auto-cook, which will determine the proper amount of time for cooking depending on the food’s weight, and multiple-stage option that allows you to program it to defrost and then cook, are useless for some but essential for others. They’re rare on compact microwave ovens, unfortunately.

Combi-Microwaves

checking food in combination ovenYou can also, as you’re probably aware, buy combination microwaves that double as a mini oven to allow you to bake and brown as well as heat. Depending on your meal preferences and kitchen set up, you may wish to opt for a microwave with a grill function for quick and easy snacks.

Additional Features

If you haven’t purchased a microwave in some time, there are cool features now available that you may not be familiar with. For example, one allows you to turn off the turntable rotation function, handy if you have food sticking off the end of the plate.

Turbo reheat lets you blast food with a quick surge of power to heat it quickly. Also, many microwaves now have sensors that can tell how much moisture is in your food and how humid the oven is. This allows them to adjust the cooking time and power to appropriate levels.

Features such as countdown clocks and removable turntables are usually standard, but it doesn’t hurt to make sure they’re included. And if you have kids around, be sure to opt for a model that comes with a safety lock and adheres to consumer product safety standards.

Conclusion

So, there you have it! After reading our microwave reviews, we hope you have found the perfect model for your needs. But if you’re still unsure, we recommend opting for our Editor’s choice, the Russell Hobbs RHM2076S.

We think this model is the best microwave in the UK for a number of reasons. We love its attractive, compact design and its huge variety of useful functions. With a 20 litre capacity, 5 power settings and a wide choice of auto-cook functions, this microwave offers something for everyone, whether you’re a ready meal addict or prefer to cook from scratch.

The auto defrost mode takes the guesswork out of defrosting durations, while the stylish digital clock timer, removable turntable and built-in child lock make this model an all-round microwave best for busy families or lone professionals alike.

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