Best Microwave Oven – Buyer’s Guide 2018

So, your old microwave oven has started to deteriorate, and it’s just about at the end of it’s life. You need a replacement, but you don’t know where to start and what different options are on the market. What size should you get? What kind of wattage should you be looking at? What would be better for you, a microwave oven or a mini oven? Well, don’t worry, I’m here to help you get the best microwave oven for you.

Whether you’re looking for the best microwave oven for yourself, or you’re looking to get one as a gift, I can help you find a great option. Below, I’ve listed what I feel are 9 of the best microwave ovens available right now. And if you continue scrolling through the page, you’ll find an in depth review of all the microwave ovens we’ve featured. Sound good? I hope so.

Best Microwave Oven

BrandWattageSizeValue for Money
Russell Hobbs RHM800w23 Litres10/10
Panasonic NN-E281800w20 Litres9/10
Samsung MS23F301EAK800w23 Litres6/10
Daewoo KOR9GBP900w26 Litres8/10
Sharp R372SLM900w25 Litres7/10
Daewoo KOR8A9RR800w23 Litres7/10
Akai A24002800w 20 Litres5/10
Swan Retro800w20 Litres6/10
Daewoo QT1600w14 Litres6/10

Russell Hobbs RHM

russell-hobbs-rhm

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I often feature Russell Hobbs products on this website, as it seems that they’re taking over the kitchenware market in the UK. I don’t mind about this at all; the more good quality products, the better in our eyes. At least with products from brands like Russell Hobbs, at least you know you’re getting a decent quality product with a good warranty to back it up.

This particular model is designed with a mirrored door, which although it won’t suit everyone, it definitely will give your kitchen a great look. Of course, the downside of this is that it’s impossible to see your food whilst it’s cooking! If this is important to you, then one of the other microwave ovens in our list might be more suited to you. It also has a child safety lock option, which isn’t a features for a majority of the cheaper microwave ovens available. Of course, you cannot put a price on your child’s safety, so this could be a necessity for those with young (and curious!) children.

This Russell Hobbs model includes lots of one button cooking features, including a one touch button for cooking fish, popcorn and of course, pizza. This makes it a great option for those looking for the most convenient microwave oven that will almost certainly fit into any kitchen.

Pros

1) The beautiful mirror door finish makes it one of the more attractive mini ovens.

2) It’s extremely simple and easy to use.

3) The child safety lock option is great.

Cons

1) Whilst the oven itself is a great standard, unfortunately the feet aren’t quite as good. They’re made of cheap rubber, which isn’t great.

2) Whilst I like the mirror door for appearance, it’s not great if you like to look at your food cooking.

3) There’s no setting to turn the beeping off on the oven. This might not bother you, but sometimes the beeping can get a little annoying.

This is undoubtedly my favorite microwave oven on the list. It’s a great choice for those looking for a compact microwave.
Conor says , Full Time Chef

 

Panasonic NN-E281

panasonic-nn-e281

 

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Whilst upon first thoughts of Panasonic you may think of televisions, they also deal in pretty much every other electrical appliance you can think of. Though you’d be right, they are the 4th biggest television producer in the world, which isn’t bad for an originally small company originating from Osaka, Japan.

This particular model is a good example of a product that does everything well, but nothing particularly amazing. It isn’t aimed at those looking for the very highest quality microwave oven for their kitchen; no, it sits nicely in the mid range section. For it’s price, you’re certainly getting a fairly good quality microwave oven that should last you a long while. Though we have to admit, we don’t feel it’s as good as some of the other microwave ovens that we have listed.

This is because it doesn’t truly manage to impress on any level. Yes, it’s programmable and has 9 auto programs, which is certainly a positive of this microwave oven. But, it lacks somewhat in character and design. It doesn’t have any visual appeal whatsoever, which will a problem for many people investing money into a kitchen appliance that they’re likely to use every day.

While we won’t continue insulting this Panasonic product, there are positives about it. If you’re looking for a good budget microwave oven that does everything okay, then this would be a great option.

Pros

1) The easy to clean acrylic lining makes for one wipe cleaning, which is good if you don’t like spending time cleaning your microwave.

2) The five different power levels are definitely useful.

3) It’s really easy to auto-program this microwave oven, so if you’re not technologically minded then you don’t need to worry about this.

Cons

1) It’s much louder than some of the other microwave ovens in the list, which might not bother you but it certainly is a feature that needed to be addressed.

2) The 20 litre size is really small, so it’s not really suitable for a family; it’s more suitable to a young person.

If you want a compact microwave oven, then this could be a top choice, though it is only 20 Litres in size so it’s not perfect if you want a larger microwave oven.
Conor says , Full Time Chef

 

Samsung MS23

samsung-ms23

 

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For those who aren’t looking for the newest programmable features in their microwave oven, then this offering from Samsung is probably the best option for you. It’s a good choice for those looking for the best microwave oven for those with basic needs. The whole microwave oven is controlled by just two dials, which helps explains the simplicity of this microwave a little more.

Whilst one dial controls the amount of time that your food is cooking, the other one controls the percentage that the microwave is working at. For example, you can set the microwave at 20% of its full power for a nice slow defrost, which is great. It can do almost anything that a fully programmable microwave can do if necessary. But, let’s face it; many of us only end up using our microwave oven for convenient foods like pizzas and chips. This is where a basic microwave oven like this one is perfect in it’s ease of use.

It’s a fantastic looking microwave oven, that’s one that we can all agree on. It’s sharp, black design is sure to fit into any color scheme, which is a bonus if you aren’t completely sure on a definitive color for your kitchen yet. Another thing about this microwave oven is that it is also extremely energy efficient. This is fantastic if you are concerned about the energy consumption in your household, and if you plan on using your microwave oven often.

Pros

1) Visually, I love the look of this microwave oven. It’s sleek and it’s quite a modern design, which would look good in any kitchen.

2) Although the functions are basic, this might be useful to some people who aren’t looking for a complex microwave.

3) The LED display makes it extremely easy to use.

Cons

1) If you compare it to some other microwave ovens, it’s very basic. You can certainly get a more complex microwave oven for your money.

2) For what it’s worth, I actually think it’s quite expensive for what you’re really getting.

3) Although I love the design, I’ll admit it won’t be for everyone.

The MS23 is a good gift if you’re looking to get your parents or grandparents a microwave oven; it’s basic design is super easy to navigate.
Conor says , Full Time Chef

 

Daewoo KOR9GBP

Daewoo-KOR9GBP

 

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Whilst you might not think that Daewoo and microwave ovens are synonymous, you’d be mistaken for thinking that this isn’t still a decent quality product.

One positive about this microwave is not just its size, but its height. It’s high enough to fit in some pretty deep dishes, so if you’re looking for a high microwave oven, then this could be a great option for you. Another benefit of this microwave oven is that it’s 900 watt, whereas most microwave ovens will only go up to between 700 and 800 watts as a maximum. As you can set the percentage of power used quite easily with this microwave oven, then this would be a good option for those looking for a high wattage microwave oven.

Whilst it certainly isn’t the best looking microwave oven that we’ve ever seen, this isn’t an issue for everyone. If you’re looking for a larger microwave oven for your family, then this would be a good option for you.

Pros

1) At 26 litres, it’s a good size for the whole family.

2) It’s got a lot of settings, and is highly programmable.

3) There’s 10 different power levels, which means you have a lot of different options on how to heat your food.

 

Cons

1) For the lack of a better word, the design is boring. Like really boring.

2) With all the settings, it might be a bit complex for some people.

3) For how programmable it is, you’d think they’d give you the option to turn the beeping off without opening the microwave door.

If you like high tech stuff in your kitchen with lots of functions, then opt for this microwave oven from Daewoo.
Conor says , Full Time Chef

 

Sharp RS

sharp-rs32

 

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Although many people mistake Sharp for being a European or American brand due to their Western name, they’re actually one of the oldest and most popular Japanese brands, originating in Tokyo and currently headquartered in Osaka. Another powerhouse technology company from Japan? Yeah, we know. With Japanese technology, you’re assuring yourself that you are getting a reliable and high quality product.

While we personally don’t feel that this model lights up the kitchenware world, it’s a great option for those looking for an extremely basic option that will last a while. Of course, one of the benefits of it being basic is that it is extremely easy to use, which makes this a perfect gift for any elderly relatives who do not need a highly programmable microwave oven.

It comes with 11 separate power levels, which is impressive for a microwave that is as simple to use as this one. Sharp microwave ovens are known for their long lasting life. If that is one of your primary concerns when purchasing a microwave oven, then this is the best microwave oven for you.

Pros

1) With 11 different power levels, this is the most featured variation of power levels on my list.

2) Personally, I like the retro design a lot. Of course, this might not be your style.

3) It has a child safety lock option, which you might not think is important but if you have smaller children, this can be a good idea.

Cons

1) It’s loud! I prefer as quiet a microwave as possible, but I know that to some people this doesn’t really matter.

2) It’s basic design could be considered a negative, though I prefer to think of it positively.

3) With the basic design comes some bad design flaws, as it’s actually pretty difficult for steam to escape this microwave without opening the door, which will lead to little vision through the glass window.

The retro design sets this microwave oven apart from the rest, though from a quality standpoint it isn’t one of my favorites.
Conor says , Full Time Chef

 

Daewoo KOR8A9RR

daewoo-microwave-oven

 

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As another Daewoo product enters my list to find out which is the best microwave oven, it’s important to remember exactly what it is that you are looking for in a microwave. If one of your main goals is to get a retro style microwave oven, then this is definitely the best option for you. You won’t find a more stylish microwave oven on the market, that’s almost a guarantee.

Along with its stylish looks, it’s also programmable. Though, we prefer to say that it’s semi programmable, meaning that it isn’t as programmable as some of the other microwave ovens that we’ve listed, though technically it still is. By doing this, it makes it fairly easy to use and well as having a few decent functions, which is great.

One thing that we will say with this microwave is that it doesn’t look exactly like it does in the picture. For a better idea of what it really looks like, check out this video;

Check this Review!

Pros

1) It’s my favorite looking microwave oven on the list, no doubt.

2) The capacity is good for the actual dimensions of the microwave.

3) It has a child safety lock option, which is definitely a positive.

Cons

1) The feet are made of plastic and lack quality.

2) It’s really loud, and it might be a bit too simple for people looking for the best microwave oven.

This Daewoo oven is extremely stylish, though it lacks the functions of some other microwave ovens.
Conor says , Full Time Chef

 

Akai A24002

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We’re guessing that you probably haven’t heard of Akai as a brand. And even if you have, you’re probably familiar with them for making televisions and other electrical products. Like other brands Panasonic and Sharp, they have their origins in Japan, although they’re now headquartered in Singapore.

This particular offering is the best microwave oven if you’re looking for a stripped bare microwave that literally anyone could use. If you aren’t looking for anything fancy, then this would be a great option for you. It has two extremely simple to use dials on the front of the microwave, which control the power level and time that your food is cooking. And, that’s it. No auto buttons. Nothing.

And, this will suit many people looking for a no frills microwave oven that does exactly what it’s supposed to. Whilst the appearance of the microwave oven isn’t particularly to my taste, we can appreciate its retro style that is also subtle, meaning it will fit into almost any kitchen.

Pros

1) Very simple and easy to use.

2) 20 Litre capacity and it’s dimensions make it extremely compact.

3) It’s very easy to clean.

Cons

1) With this one, you’re not getting a big reliable brand name with a big reliable warranty. Personally I don’t think this matters too much, but I understand some people like the peace of mind that you get with a Russell Hobbs microwave oven.

2) It’s not high quality. It’s definitely not low quality either, but there are better microwave ovens out there.

Andrew James is one of the most reliable names in the UK. It’s my go-to brand, and this mini oven is an example of one of their best products.
Conor says , Full Time Chef

 

Swan Retro

swan-retro-microwave-oven

 

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We had to include this one from Swan, as it’s probably the most stylish microwave oven that you’ll find around. It’s extremely simple to use, as you only need to use the two dials to get it working. Of course, if you’re looking for something highly programmable, then this isn’t it. But something simple that look beautiful? Well..

It has 5 power levels, and a 60 minute timer for your cooking needs. What we like most about the Swan though is that it’s available in an abundance of different colours. Although some of the colours are a bit funky for our taste, we particularly like the cream and the sky blue (shown) colours.

On the negative side, it does sell at a slightly higher cost that some of the other microwave ovens that we’ve listed. But, can you really put a price on style?

Pros

1) The design is super cool.

2) Simple to use.

3) There’s loads of different color options, which almost guarantee you the chance to find one that will suit your color scheme.

Cons

1) The buttons are in pretty weird positions for a microwave oven; well, a standard microwave oven anyway.

2) You could argue that Swan have focussed on style over substance, as this isn’t the best microwave oven on the list from a technical standpoint.

Andrew James is one of the most reliable names in the UK. It’s my go-to brand, and this mini oven is an example of one of their best products.
Conor says , Full Time Chef

 

Daewoo QT1

daewoo-compact

 

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Probably the most basic microwave oven that I’ve listed. In fact, it’s probably the most basic microwave oven that the world has ever seen. Seriously, it’s designed with those old school original microwave ovens in mind, so it really is super simple to use.

Its simple design makes it unique in the fact that it uses two square dials. It will almost certainly become second nature to you in using this microwave oven. One dial can set the power levels on a scale of one to five, whilst the other dial sets the time. Yep, it really is that simple. It’s also the smallest microwave oven that we’ve listed at 14 litres, which is great if you’re looking for a microwave oven to fit in a tight spot amongst your other kitchen utensils (kettle, toaster etc).

It won’t suit everyone, and if you’re looking for something a bit more advanced, then there are more suitable options that might be the best microwave oven – for you.

Pros

1) The compact design make it ideal for a single person or a couple.

2) It’s simple to use.

3) It’s reliable, and with Daewoo you can be sure you’re going to get a good warranty with your microwave oven.

Cons

1) It might be a bit too basic for some people.

2) It’s got about as much aesthetic as a washing machine; there’s no arguing, it’s an ugly microwave oven.

Andrew James is one of the most reliable names in the UK. It’s my go-to brand, and this mini oven is an example of one of their best products.
Conor says , Full Time Chef

 

What to consider

Before investing in a microwave oven, there are several things that you should consider. This is to help make sure that you get the best microwave oven for you and your needs. Whilst you could just go out and invest in the first microwave oven that you see, you can avoid the necessity to have to buy anew microwave oven in the near future by taking some precautionary measures. These considerations are;

Size

Probably one of the most important factors that you’ll have to consider when purchasing a microwave is the size of it. Whilst most microwaves are generally of a similar size, their dimensions can vary. The last thing that you want is to buy a microwave that is too big or too small for your needs. A good way to make sure that you find a microwave of the perfect size is to measure the area in which you plan to put it. By doing this, you can assure yourself that you’ll find a microwave of the perfect size. We help you out by listing all the dimensions of each microwave in our review.

Programmability

Is programmability a real word? Yes, yes it is. Basically, by this we mean that depending on your needs, each microwave will have varying features that will appeal to people. For example, some microwaves will allow you to adjust the temperature at which your food cooks, whilst the most basic microwaves will not. This will be useful if you’re looking to use your microwave often and as one of your main sources of cooking.

If you’re looking to invest in a microwave oven for the ultimate convenience, then having shortcut keys on your microwave is a necessity. For example, if you’re looking for something that you can just whack and pizza in the microwave and click the “Pizza” button, then this feature is something that you’ll want to try and find.

Though for many people, they have shortcut keys on their microwave oven but never ending up using them! It is all down to personal preference.

Wattage

Whilst it won’t be the biggest decision that you make, it’s certainly worth considering the wattage that your microwave oven runs at. Whilst the microwave ovens that we’ve featured are all between 6-900, you can get more than this, though we don’t feel that you really need it. For a smaller compact microwave oven, 600 watts is enough. But anything over 20 Litres, you should really have around 8-900 watts for that machine. The microwave ovens we’ve featured all have a reasonable amount of wattage for their size.

Conclusion

Overall, getting the right microwave for you is relatively easy as long as you’re open to a few different options. I’ve listed some of the best options on the market right now, so it’s down to you to have a look through them and see if you can find one that takes your fancy.

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Conor Lee
 

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