Best Microwave Oven Reviews

Updated December 21, 2020

Nowadays, it’s difficult to find a household without a microwave oven. Whether you just use it for reheating and defrosting or you’re actually cooking with it, the microwave is already an essential tool in anyone’s kitchen.

In fact, some of the latest models are designed with other technologies as well (such as a convection oven, a grill, and a fryer), in order to add complexity to the good-old microwave.

As such, the best microwave is supposed to do a lot more than just reheat yesterday’s meal leftovers.

In addition, there is a lot of variety when it comes to size, fitting, and features. To make sure things don’t get confusing, we created a comprehensive buying guide with all the features that matter and reviewed some of the best products on the market.

Best Microwave Ovens

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1 Hotpoint - MWH 338 SX Supreme Chef Microwave Hotpoint MWH 338 SX Supreme Chef Microwave Oven
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2 Panasonic - NN-ST45KWBPQ Solo Microwave Oven
Best For Higher Budgets
Panasonic NN-ST45KWBPQ Solo Microwave Oven
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3 Russell Hobbs - RHM3003 30L Digital 900w Combination Microwave
Best Overall
Russell Hobbs RHM3003 Digital Combination Microwave Oven
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4 Samsung - MS23F301TAS Solo Microwave Oven
Best For Low Budgets
Samsung MS23F301TAS Solo Microwave Oven
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5 Whirlpool - AMW490IX Stainless Steel 22 Litre 750 Watt Built-in Microwave Oven Whirlpool AMW490IX Built-in Microwave Oven
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1. Hotpoint MWH 338 SX Supreme Chef Microwave Oven

Highlights
  • Solid build with countertop usage
  • It has five different functions
  • Easy to understand the interface
  • Modern design

The MWH 338 SX SupremeChef is the right tool for perfect results in the kitchen. Equipped with a complete set of cooking methods, this 5 in 1 countertop oven can crisp, bake, grill, fry, and steam!

Inside, there are two microwave emission points that help cook the food from all the sides and the bottom.

In addition, the temperature is highly precise and the oven uses forced convection to bake everything according to settings.

The top of the oven is covered with a wide grill, to make sure the entire surface of your food is grilled to perfection.

Also, the oven combines the grill, ultra-precise temperature settings, and the two microwave emission points for baking any type of meal.

Lastly, you can use the Fry function to reduce oil consumption and enjoy some healthy crispiness.

The SupremeChef is quite large (33l capacity) so it will work for even the largest meals. It is also designed to fit most modern kitchens, with a sleek black and silver color combination.

Specifications

Size:
54.00 x 49.00 x 37.30 cm, 33l capacity
Weight:
26 kg
Material:
Stainless Steel
Wattage:
900 W

Pros

  • Easy to use in any kitchen
  • 5 functions that are most commonly used when cooking
  • Good temperature control
  • Large enough to fit a whole chicken

Cons

  • It takes a bit to understand all the settings and how they work
  • It is quite heavy

2. Panasonic NN-ST45KWBPQ Solo Microwave Oven

Highlights
  • Modern design with a sleek look
  • An impressive selection of pre-defined programs
  • Designed for the entire family from Juniors to Seniors
  • Easy-to-use control panel
Best For Higher Budgets
Panasonic - NN-ST45KWBPQ Solo Microwave Oven

The Panasonic Microwave oven with inverter technology is a freestanding, easy-to-use cooking tool that fits perfectly in almost every kitchen.

It is all white, which makes it easy to keep clean, and has a white LCD display that’s easy to read even from a distance.

In addition, the touch control panel is easy to clean and use. And, since it doesn’t have any crevices, food and dirt won’t get in between the buttons, which keeps the surface away from germs and bacteria.

Overall, this is a rather big oven, with a big glass turntable (340mm) and 6 power levels. As such, it is perfect for cooking for large families (32l capacity).

It also has predefined settings for the entire family.

For instance, the Junior program is perfect for cooking fresh fruit or vegetable puree and porridge so the little ones can enjoy a perfectly cooked and healthy meal. In addition, it has a smart sensor (the Genius sensor) that reads the steam temperature and adjusts the cooking process accordingly. As such, all you have to do is select the preferred Sensor Auto Program (such as fresh fish) and then press start.

The oven will decide the settings for optimal cooking results.

The same goes for the 25 pre-defined programs – you don’t have to worry about setting the right time and temperature for every type of meal you cook.

Just press the button corresponding to the type of food you are cooking, and enjoy!

Lastly, other cool features you’ll definitely love are the 30 Sec Quickstart module (perfect for when you’re in a hurry as it allows you to adjust the time in 30-second increments), automatic cooking and reheating based on weight, and Chaos/Turbo defrosting for faster thawing of your food.

Specifications

Size:
34.3 x 56.0 x D45.0cm (HxWxD), 32l capacity
Weight:
11 kg
Material:
Plastic
Wattage:
1000 W

Pros

  • Easy to integrate into any kitchen
  • Large capacity and turntable
  • 25 predefined programs & other automated functions
  • Touch control panel for increased hygiene & safety

Cons

  • It’s not a combination microwave oven
  • A bit noisy

3. Russell Hobbs RHM3003 Digital Combination Microwave Oven

Highlights
  • Modern design with a sleek look 
  • Large enough to accommodate large meals
  • Stainless steel interior 
  • Easy to understand control panel
Best Overall
Russell Hobbs - RHM3003 30L Digital 900w Combination Microwave

This Russell Hobbs combination microwave oven is large enough (30l capacity and can accommodate a 31.5cm round plate) to cook family-size meals and versatile enough to be an extremely useful tool in any kitchen.

The technology behind combines microwave cooking with grill power and a true fan convection oven creating an extra cooking facility (for busy times) and a more convenient oven for the rest of the time.

This means you can use it for so much more than just reheating and defrosting! It is ideal for making lasagna, pizza, baked potatoes, and even cottage pies. To make things easier, it has auto cook menus and weight defrosting settings.

In addition, you can use it with a grill rack (for browning and crisping).

Lastly, the interior is stainless steel (for easy cleaning) and it has a child safety lock.

Specifications

Size:
33.5 x 52.0 x 51.0cm (HxWxD), 30l capacity
Weight:
19.9 kg
Material:
Stainless Steel, Glass, Plastic, Steel
Wattage:
900 W

Pros

  • It’s a combination oven, with multiple functions
  • It can be used as an additional convection oven
  • You can cook all sorts of complicated dishes
  • Weight defrosting and auto cooking menus

Cons

  • Internal lighting is weak
  • It could be a bit bigger

4. Samsung MS23F301TAS Solo Microwave Oven

Highlights
  • Compact design that’s easy to maintain
  • Ceramic interior
  • Lots of features & settings
  • Predefined programs
Best For Low Budgets
Samsung - MS23F301TAS Solo Microwave Oven

Designed for singles and couples, this compact microwave oven features a simple interface with lots of cool features. As such, it has 6 power levels, 19 programs, the possibility to change settings, clock, and more.

The oven has a solid build and color scheme (that fits most modern kitchens), and the door is tinted, so you can’t see the food cooking inside.

In addition, the interior is made from a ceramic composite for better heat distribution.

We loved the blue LED display as it’s easy to see from a distance and integrates nicely with the design.

Still, if you don’t want it, you can turn off this feature (check out the manual for instructions on how to do this). Lastly, it has a child safety lock (again, the manual will tell you how to activate it).

Overall, the Samsung Solo microwave is a compact and reliable oven for families and singles.

Specifications

Size:
32 x 48.9 x 27.5 cm, 23l capacity
Weight:
4 kg
Material:
Stainless Steel, Plastic, Glass, Ceramic
Wattage:
800 W

Pros

  • Compact & reliable oven
  • The door handle is very solid
  • Safe to use around children
  • 6 levels of power

Cons

  • The window is tinted so you can’t see inside
  • You need to read the manual to uncover all the settings

5. Whirlpool AMW490IX Built-in Microwave Oven

Highlights
  • Built-in mini microwave oven
  • Square lines & uniform design
  • Simple & straight forward menus
  • 3D emission technology

If all you need is a microwave oven that won’t occupy any extra countertop space, this mini built-in microwave oven from Whirlpool may be the perfect candidate.

The interface is simple (only a few buttons and an LCD screen) and there are no fancy menus or hidden settings.

The oven is compact (22l capacity) and has a 25cm slightly recessed turntable.

It is equipped with 3D emission technology designed to speed up the cooking process and ensure food is cooked thoroughly throughout.

There are also Jet Start and Jet Defrost functions that make life easier when you’re in a hurry. Also, there is a child lock for the utmost safety.

Lastly, the design is modern, with a chromed finish and square lines that can easily be integrated with any type of furniture.

Specifications

Size:
59.5 x 32 x 38.2 cm, 22l capacity
Material:
Stainless Steel
Wattage:
750 W

Pros

  • Easy to clean & looking good
  • Doesn’t occupy extra space on the countertop
  • Easy to use interface
  • Cooks and reheats fast

Cons

  • The chrome surface gets spotty
  • Not designed for large sizes

Microwave Oven Buying Guide

Type

The type of the oven makes reference to the technology built inside the tool, to make it suited for kitchen use. For instance, we managed to categorize our reviewed products into three main types:

  • Combination microwave ovens
  • Solo ovens
  • Flatbed microwave

Let’s have a look at each, and note the differences:

Combination Microwave

The name is completely unoriginal and describes perfectly the type of microwaves in this category. As such, these ovens combine the functions of a microwave with the functions of a convection oven. 

As such, a combination microwave does more than just heat up food and defrost. It can also grill, bake, steam, and even fry! 

In fact, we did several combination microwave reviews and it’s easy to see why most people prefer such a design over the standard one. 

Now, a microwave that’s also a convection oven will have an integrated fan, with a heated element around it (that’s how they distribute heat in an even pattern). 

This feature is important as it shortens the cooking time and makes sure the food is evenly cooked, similar to halogen ovens.

It’s also good to know that microwaves with convection technology are a bit more expensive than the standard ones. 

Solo Microwave

This is the type of microwave you can usually find in dorm rooms and singles apartments because they are compact and easy to use. 

These models only support basic tasks such as defrost, reheat, and cook (but only simple dishes) and don’t have too many features. Overall, a solo microwave is the most basic design in the industry, but it’s also the most reliable and durable. 

Depending on size, capacity, and the number of functions, the price can vary. Still, they are among the cheapest types of microwaves. 

Flatbed Microwave

Most microwaves have a turntable (usually made of glass) that rotates the food container in order to expose it to heat on all sides. 

However, flatbeds lack that turntable. Instead, they have a flatbed base and the microwaves are distributed through a rotating antenna placed underneath the floor of the microwave.

The fact that the food container doesn’t have to rotate while inside, means you can use bigger containers, with shapes that wouldn’t fit a regular microwave. 

Still, the technology is quite new, which keeps the prices up in comparison with their turntable counterparts. 

Inverter Technology

Some of the best microwave ovens are equipped with inverter technology, which is designed to provide consistent power, without interruption (as it happens in non-inverter ovens). 

Inverter technology is a step up for the microwave industry as it helps maintain consistent heating power at low energy levels. 

In addition, the food cooks evenly and it doesn’t get a rubbery consistency. 

Also, you can forget about the “hot on the outside, undercook on the inside” phenomenon. 

Placement

Depending on size, capacity, and build, a microwave oven can occupy quite a bit of space in your kitchen. As such, it’s important to understand how these features influence placement on the countertop or on the wall. 

Built In

If you’re redesigning the kitchen or building one from zero, you may want to check our built-in combination microwave ovens reviews. 

These designs fit into the furniture and have a simple face cover that blends into the overall pattern. 

The main advantage of a built-in microwave is that you don’t have to reserve any countertop space for it. 

On the downside, once it’s installed, you can’t move it around. 

Free Standing

Also known as a countertop model, a freestanding oven can be moved around (if you can pick it up, that is). It is bulkier than a built-in model (due to the exterior walls) but it is portable and works nicely if you’re renting. 

Capacity

The capacity or volume of a microwave oven speaks of the space inside and is expressed in liters. 

For instance, a family of four and above may need a large capacity microwave that can handle cooking, heating, and defrosting large meals. 

As such, it’s best to get a 30-liter microwave that has extra functions (backing, grill, steaming, and so on) to make sure every member of the family can enjoy the meal they want. 

On the other hand, if you are single or a couple, a 22l microwave will be just perfect. It’s also smaller and lighter, which makes it great for small apartments and kitchens. 

Size

The overall size of a microwave oven is influenced by its capacity and the type of technology it uses. In addition, a large microwave needs extra space around (unless it’s a built-in design) for ventilation. 

Still, even the best small microwave will need to be placed in an open-space area, so size shouldn’t be such a problem. Overall, it’s similar to mini ovens.

Materials

Most of the products we reviewed use a combination of stainless steel, plastic, and glass to create a solid exterior and an easy to clean interior. 

In addition, some models use a ceramic interior to improve heat distribution and retention. 

Energy Efficiency

An energy-efficient microwave will consume less power and allow users to turn off any consumers (like the LED display) while the oven is in idle mode. 

As you can see from our reviews, modern models are built to be as eco-friendly as possible, with features that help conserve heat without wasting energy. 

Features

These are some of the features that a modern microwave needs to have in order to be one of the best on the market:

Auto Cook

Modern designs are equipped with a smart sensor that takes the trouble of guessing cooking time and temperature away. 

The sensor measures the steam released by the cooking food and adjusts the time & temperature in order to deliver a perfectly cooked dish. 

Power Levels

You’ll notice that all the products we reviewed have several levels of power. This means you can cook/heat almost any type of food from the ones sensitive to high heat to the ones in need of high temperatures. 

You just have to adjust the right power level.

Smart Display

As appliances become smarter, we should also see smart features on microwaves. For now, the best we can do is a smart touchscreen display that’s easy to control and understand. 

Also, some models allow various settings such as controlling the light and sound of the display. 

Even Cooking

Inverter technology, convection ovens, and ceramic interiors are all used to fulfill one important goal: even temperature throughout the cooking process. 

If this condition is met, you can be sure the food will be well-cooked and delicious.

Child Lock

The modern & sleek design of a microwave oven can be tempting for small children looking for things to grab and pull.

But things can take an ugly turn if kids can open the door of an oven and reach inside while the food is hot. 

To avoid any accidents, most microwave ovens come with a safety lock that can be activated the moment the cooking starts. 

Pricing Range

The cost of a microwave oven is influenced by its size, capacity, energy efficiency, built-in technologies, materials, and other features. 

However, the best value microwave is the one that comes with all the features you need, in the budget you have available. 

As such, prices can start from $50 and go up to several hundred.

Our Verdict

A microwave oven is definitely an important tool in one’s kitchen. Depending on its features, it can be used to heat/reheat food, defrost, bake, and even crisp delicious meals.

In addition, it is easier to use than a regular oven (no need for preheating) and can be fitted with lots of predefined functions that make a cook’s life easier.

So, if you’re on the market for a new microwave, make sure to check our buying guide and reviews! We made sure to select the best models for every budget and lifestyle.

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