Best Microwave Ovens in the UK

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 22, 2021
An indispensable appliance for any home, microwave ovens allow you to quickly defrost food, cook, bake, roast and perform many other functions, depending on the model you choose. For your choice, we've compiled a list of the best-selling microwave ovens with different capacity sizes, so every family can find the product that is right for their needs. ...Read more ...Read less
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BEST 2021
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
CONTROL
POWER
TURNTABLE DIAMETER
CAPACITY
INNER SURFACE
AUTO COOK OPTIONS
FEATURES
WARRANTY
 
PROS

Thanks to the grill feature, the oven can deliver you that crispy crust (a grill rack included). The combi cooking mode allows you to combine the standard microwave mode and grill mode.

CONS

The touchpad isn't very sensitive.

OUR VERDICT

The Sharp YC-MG81U-S is a multipurpose model that boasts an impressive 28-litre capacity and large 31.5 cm turntable, allowing you to cook delicious dinner for the whole family or plenty of snacks for a large company. 

detailed parameters
CONTROL

Electronic control panel

POWER

900 W

Grill: 1100 W

TURNTABLE DIAMETER

31.5 cm

CAPACITY

28 litres

INNER SURFACE

Ceramic enamelled interior

AUTO COOK OPTIONS

8 auto cook programmes

FEATURES

Child lock, Eco mode, Timer and clock

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS

The enamelled interior simplifies the maintenance - you simply need to wipe it clean with a damp cloth after use. The interior is also resistant to the formation of unpleasant odours.

CONS

The instructions could be clearer.

OUR VERDICT

The Toshiba ML-EM23P is the best seller for many good reasons. With a 23-litre capacity, 11 different power levels, and 6 presets, it's a well-balanced model that can add modern conveniences to your busy life.

detailed parameters
CONTROL

Electronic control panel

POWER

800 W

TURNTABLE DIAMETER

27 cm

CAPACITY

23 litres

INNER SURFACE

Enamelled

AUTO COOK OPTIONS

6 auto cook programmes

FEATURES

Child lock, Memory function

WARRANTY

1 year

PROS

This state-of-the-art microwave oven offers a bunch of useful features, including an ergonomic interior light and easy-to-read display, 6 preset cooking modes, time and weight defrost functions. Offering multiple power levels, it can handle any heating task.

CONS

Adjusting the operating time could be easier. 

OUR VERDICT

Boasting a stylish design and user-friendly control panel, this Toshiba microwave oven will make a great addition to any kitchen. A child lock function and quiet operation will ensure safe and comfortable use of the unit.

detailed parameters
CONTROL

Electronic control panel

POWER

800 W

TURNTABLE DIAMETER

27 cm

CAPACITY

23 liters

INNER SURFACE

Enamelled

AUTO COOK OPTIONS

6 Auto cook programmes, Defrost setting based on weight or time

FEATURES

Child lock feature, 11 levels of power, Memory function, Add +30 sec, Adjustable timer

WARRANTY

1 year (сan be extended to 3 years)

PROS

Powerful and functional, this digital microwave is great for cooking, defrosting, and reheating various foods. Maff E rated, the unit will ensure energy-efficient heating, allowing you to save on electricity bills.

CONS

Because the front glass is pretty opaque, you may not be able to control the readiness of the dish.

OUR VERDICT

This stylish Scandi-inspired microwave oven will perfectly blend with your kitchen interior, featuring wood effect elements and available in various color schemes.  With its help, you will be able to quickly reheat and defrost your meals and cook a wide selection of dishes.

detailed parameters
CONTROL

Electronic control panel with a dial

POWER

800 W

TURNTABLE DIAMETER

27 cm

CAPACITY

20 litres

INNER SURFACE

Enamelled

AUTO COOK OPTIONS

8 auto cook programmes, Defrost function

FEATURES

Child lock, 6 power levels, Up to 30 minute adjustable timer

WARRANTY

2 years (can be extended online)

PROS

The microwave operates ultimately quietly. The noise level doesn't exceed 55 dB, so it won't disturb the sound sleep of your little one or bother people around you.

CONS

A mains cord could be longer.

OUR VERDICT

If you're after a solid microwave for reheating or defrosting food mainly, you may like the Toshiba MM-MM20P. It's a simple model that does its job as intended. Plus, it's quiet enough to use in dorms, offices, and homes with small kids.

detailed parameters
CONTROL

Mechanical control panel with 2 dials

POWER

800 W

TURNTABLE DIAMETER

25.5 cm

CAPACITY

20 litres

INNER SURFACE

Enamelled

AUTO COOK OPTIONS

Defrost function

FEATURES

Child lock, 5 power levels, Up to 35 minute adjustable timer

WARRANTY

1 year limited

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Sharp YC-MG81U-S

Extra Large

If you’re in the market for a large microwave oven that can hold a bit more than average models, the Sharp YC-MG81U-S can be the right fit for you. With its 28-litre capacity and extra-large 31.5-cm glass turntable, it can easily accommodate large bowls and plates and fit a standard pizza or 2-kg chicken, which makes it ideal for 4-5-person households.

Keep note, though, that because this oven is on the larger size in terms of capacity, it's not exactly compact. At 51.2 x 30 x 39.6 cm, it needs quite a lot of room on your countertop. On the plus side, the unit is quite steady and reliable, and doesn't tend to "run away" with an open door, as it often happens to smaller models.

When it comes to the performance, the unit has a 900W heating element with as many as 11 levels of power and 8 automatic programmes in total, all of which are intuitive and easy to use. All you need is to select the desired programme using the touch-sensitive panel. Speaking of which, the Sharp YC-MG81U-S has a modern blue LED display, which makes finding and selecting the needed setting as easy as child's play.

Review of Sharp YC-MG81U-S Digital Touch Control Microwave with 1100W Grill

A Microwave with Grill Cooking

The highlight of the Sharp YC-MG81U-S is its grilling function. The grill is located at the top of the oven cavity and has one power setting. Despite that, it always provides excellent results thanks to the rotatable turntable, which ensures even browning.

Furthermore, the device comes supplied with a rack that comes in handy for grilling smaller ingredients like bacon, for example. Alternatively, you can use any other heat-resistant plate from your arsenal. Besides that, the oven offers the Mix Grill mode. By combining microwave power with the grill function, it notably reduces the cooking time while also providing a crispier finish. Depending on the food you're going to cook, there are two choices - 55% microwave power/45% grill cooking and 36% microwave power/64% grill cooking.

Another nice feature is the sequence cooking. This feature allows you to use two different microwave stages. For instance, you can combine the defrost setting with the needed power level, and the oven will automatically move onto the next stage.

As you can see, there is a lot to love about this functional oven. Being a bit larger and more versatile than many other models out there, it’s a perfect choice for big families that would like to add grilling variety into their cooking routine.

Sharp YC-MG81U-S Digital Touch Control Microwave with 1100W Grill in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price £99.99
Stock May be out of stock
ASIN B07HCZM3TP

 

Toshiba ML-EM23P(SS)

The Best Seller

Being the winner of a Best Buy recommendation by "Which?", the Toshiba ML-EM23P model has definitely got its customers. It's currently one of the best-selling products on Amazon with lots of satisfied users and positive reviews. So, what makes this microwave a real crowd-pleaser?

To begin with, it's a neat and relatively compact device with a 23-litre capacity, making it a happy medium between large models for family use and tiny ones for single cooking. The turntable here isn't huge with enough clearance for large dinner plates and bowls (but no more than that).

With 800W of power behind it, the Toshiba ML-EM23P is capable of cooking food really quickly and effectively. You can choose between 11 different power levels for a broad range of heating jobs. Actually, you can set a very low heat to soften ice cream a bit or high heat for warming up leftovers in a matter of seconds.

Besides variable power levels, the oven is packed with lots of other handy features like express cooking, defrosting, 6 presets (Popcorn, Potato, Pizza, Frozen Vegetable, Beverage, Dinner Plate), and a novel multi-stage cooking programme. The latter setting allows you to programme the oven per two cycles in one. For instance, you'll be able to boil rice at 80% power for 5 minutes and then set it to simmer at 40% for 10 minutes more. Ideal for our busy life.

Review of Toshiba ML-EM23P(SS) Microwave Oven with Digital Display

Nice Aesthetics

Despite the modest price, the Toshiba Microwave ML-EM23P comes fitted with a digital touch control panel and a fluorescent green display that adds the modern feel to the device. The control panel may seem a bit over-complicated at first but if you refer to the instructions, you'll find it very straightforward for day-to-day cooking. In fact, most users scored it highly for the ease of use and informative guidelines.

When it comes to the design, the oven looks well-finished and high-end. The front panel is a sleek brushed stainless steel, while the sides and back are painted black. The door also has a stainless steel outer edge with a contrasting black middle finish. So, the silver exterior along with the black door gives this microwave a modern and stylish look that can easily fit in any contemporary kitchen. Inside, the oven is enamelled in dark grey, thus, you'll find it easy to clean after use. Just wipe it down with a damp cloth and you're good to go.

Overall, this is a good-looking and good-performing microwave with lots of handy features to add modern conveniences to your busy life. It has pretty everything you’d expect from a simple microwave for a very tempting price. It offers a great value for money, compact footprint, excellent style, and stellar functionality.

Toshiba ML-EM23P(SS) Microwave Oven with Digital Display in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price £84.99
Stock May be out of stock
ASIN B07N6KQQPF

 

Toshiba ML-EM23P(BS)

Great Choice For a Family

Heating meals might seem an easy task, but that is only at first glance. In addition to adjusting cooking time, you actually need to use different power levels for reheating your meals, defrosting vegetables, making popcorn or softening ice cream. The Toshiba ML-EM23P(BS) will make these and other cooking and reheating tasks as easy as pushing a couple of buttons. The unit has 11 power levels to choose from, so whether you need to quickly reheat leftovers, melt butter, or cook bacon, it will do the job.

To take the guesswork out of selecting an appropriate power level for most popular cooking tasks, the microwave oven offers 6 preset modes: Pizza, Popcorn, Potato, Beverage, Frozen Vegetable and Dinner Plate. On the other hand, the microwave can be preprogrammed for multi-stage cooking with different power levels and cooking times applied at each stage. Hence, you can use this functional appliance for both day-to-day cooking tasks and for following complicated recipes.

Though it is not the largest microwave on the market, the microwave oven can be recommended for family use. Offering a 23-litre capacity, it has a sturdy glass turntable that is 27cm in diameter, so there is ample room for a good-sized dinner plate. Quiet in operation, the appliance won't disturb your little one's sleep. As for the safety features, this model is equipped with a child lock.

Review of Toshiba ML-EM23P(BS) Microwave Oven with Digital Display

Hassle-Free Defrosting

Equipped with an easy-to-read digital display and ergonomic control panel, the unit boasts an intuitive operation. Use the Time Cook button and number pads for adjusting cooking time. To preset time for instant cooking at the maximum power level, you can press number pads (from 1 to 6) and add 30 seconds to the chosen time by using the Start/+30sec button.

Meanwhile, the dedicated Time Defrost and Weight Defrost buttons will ensure hassle-free defrosting of various foods. When defrosting veggies, you just need to press the Frozen Vegetable button one, two or three times, depending on their weight (please check the user manual for more detailed information).

To wrap it all up, offering a selection of preset modes, multiple power levels, competitive capacity and user-friendly design, this countertop microwave oven is a great choice for a couple or for a family.

Toshiba ML-EM23P(BS) Microwave Oven with Digital Display in the use
Last updated price $0.00
Stock In stock
ASIN B087RHD284

 

Swan SM22036GRYN

Scandi-Inspired Design

Great at saving your time, microwave ovens also help to lower energy consumption, and hence, your electricity bills. MAFF E-rated, the 800-watt Swan SM22036GRYN will allow you to prepare your favourite dishes and save your time, effort and money. Offering a 20-l cooking capacity and a 270-mm glass turntable (large enough for a full-sized dinner plate), the microwave is great for both individual and family use.

As for the item's functionality, it has several power levels - from high (100% microwave power) for fast and thorough cooking to low (20% microwave power) for keeping your meals warm. An adjustable timer and a cooking end signal will ensure hassle-free use of the unit. To make food preparation as simple as possible, the device has 8 autocook programmes: Popcorn, Reheat, Beverage, Pizza, Potato, Vegetable, Meat, and Fish. Please, carefully follow the manufacturer's recommendations to get the best cooking results each time.

Many modern appliances have similar parameters, no wonder design is often a deciding factor in choosing a microwave oven. Inspired by Scandi minimalism, this model has stylish wood effect elements and a matte finish. The unit is available in three different colour schemes, so it will be easy to choose the one that matches your kitchen design.

Review of Swan SM22036GRYN Digital Microwave

Stylish, Functional and Efficient

This stylish and functional unit has an ergonomic control panel and boasts intuitive operation. Use a Micro Power button for selecting the desired power level. To preset the cooking time, press the Defrost/Clock button and hold it for 3 seconds and then turn the dial until the desired digits appear on the display to set hours. Repeat the combination to set minutes. An Express button will come in useful for quick beverage heat-up; you can preset a 30, 60, or 90-second cycle depending on the cup capacity.

Meanwhile, an ergonomic defrost function will allow you to reheat and defrost leftovers and even cook from frozen. Just press the Defrost/Clock button and use the dial to adjust the power level according to the food type and weight. For uniform defrosting, it is important to turn over the food; the appliance will produce beep sounds reminding you to do so. Note that it is not recommended to refreeze the defrosted food.

In a word, this microwave oven by Swan is just what you need for quick reheating, defrosting, and cooking your meals. This elaborately and beautifully designed unit will become a great addition to your kitchen interior.

Swan SM22036GRYN Digital Microwave in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer

Last updated price £106.03
Stock In stock
ASIN B07HND2N4V

 

Toshiba MM-MM20P

Great Value

The Toshiba MM-MM20P is one more basic microwave that offers excellent value for money. On purchasing it, you can get a whole lot more benefits than the retail price otherwise suggests you would. Actually, it’s hard to find a microwave with a similar price that boasts a combination of a unique white design, brilliant performance, compact size, quiet operation, as well as rave reviews.

To begin with, it’s impossible not to notice how appealing this microwave looks. Dissimilar to traditional strainless steel modes, it's made in white colour and contrasting black accents with a black cooking window, giving it a real edgy feel. It has a neat footprint (44 x 32.5cm) and can find its place just about anywhere. With that, it has ample cooking capacity and manages to accommodate a standard-sized dinner plate, bowls, and some other crockery. The overall capacity makes 20 litres and can work well for couples, single occupied homes, dorms, and small families. And what families with babies will definitely appreciate is how quiet the Toshiba microwave is. When in use, it produces just 55 dB, meaning it's ideal for new parents who don't want to disturb their tots' sleep. Another thing that makes it attractive for parents is the addition of a child lock function, a feature that we were surprised to see within its price bracket.

Review of Toshiba MM-MM20P Manual Microwave Oven

Straightforward Operation

For a microwave that looks so sleek, the Toshiba MM-MM20P is surprisingly easy to use. It comes with two manual knobs that can help you reheat or defrost your food quickly and conveniently. The defrost setting auto-calculates the time needed for defrosting based on the weight of what you load inside. A manual timer (the same knob) goes up to 35 minutes to let you cook according to your unique needs. Rated at 800 watts of maximum power, the oven cooks quickly and evenly. Plus, you get a full range of cooking powers with five different levels from 100% down to 0%.

All things considered, the Toshiba MM-EM20P(WH) solo microwave does exactly what it's supposed to do. It's a solid fit for those who mainly need to reheat ready meals or to defrost food occasionally. It's small, neat, attractive and quiet enough to use in dorms, small offices, or homes with babies.

Toshiba MM-MM20P Manual Microwave Oven in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer

Last updated price £59.99
Stock In stock
ASIN B07VWR8VJ1

 

What Is a Microwave Oven?

A microwave oven is a popular kitchen appliance widely used at home, as well as in pubs, cafés, canteens, and restaurants, which allows you to quickly cook or reheat food at one click of a button. All you need is to select the desired setting or cooking programme. In addition to reheating meals, a microwave oven can also be used for defrosting food, thus significantly reducing the waiting time for the food to defrost naturally. And if you wonder what is the difference between a conventional oven and a microwave oven, it is mainly in the heating method used, which in microwave ovens works to heat the food up from the inside. To help you make the best choice, we have selected the top five microwave ovens available on the market, so you can compare how they stack up against each other and pick the one that will be right for you.

If you're a fan of fried toasts or bakery food, we recommend you also consider our reviews of the best toasters. While if you can't imagine your breakfast without a cup of coffee, then you should certainly go find out what espresso and coffee machines are most popular with users this year.

What Features to Compare

There are many microwave oven reviews online, but still, the choice of this appliance is difficult. Many customers get confused over the technical specification of every microwave and that is why we have made our comparison as simple yet informative as possible. We have picked 5 best microwave ovens and analysed them according to the most important features without going too deep into tech stuff.

Capacity and Power

First of all, you need to choose what capacity and power you need. The capacity is the inner volume of the microwave oven which means the cooking camera you put food in. It is important since the choice depends on how much food you are going to cook. If, for example, you need a microwave to heat up a couple of burgers, a plate of soup or a cup of milk - then you can choose a smaller appliance with the capacity of 18-20 litres. However, if you have many family members to cook for, you should choose a microwave oven with large capacity - over 23 litres. Also, if you need a microwave for your café, look for a high-capacity model. If you have such an appliance you can cook meat, vegetables, make soups, bake cakes and so on. And here is where we come to another important feature which is Power. The power heavily depends on the capacity of a microwave oven - the larger a cooking chamber is, the more power an oven must have. No need to say, the more powerful an appliance is, the faster you will be able to heat up and cook the food. Any modern microwave oven allows you to choose a power level. As usual, most home microwaves have the power between 800 and 1000 watts, which is optimal in terms of price to performance ratio.

Auto Cook Options

For the best cooking experience, every microwave oven has a number of special pre-programmed auto cook options (which can also be called Settings and so on) that help you cook certain dishes without any problems. Auto cook options already follow a pre-programmed configuration (power, time, etc.) so you just need to choose an appropriate one and press START. As usual, there are from 4 to 8 cooking settings, but some models have even more of them. Of course, you can still configure the cooking options by yourself. Also, pay attention to a number of power levels every microwave oven has.

Inner Surface

Finally, it is important to know what kind of inner surface every microwave oven has. Most often the microwaves with grills and convection have an interior covered with enamel which is heat-resistant and easy-to-clean. Enamelled ovens are very popular today. Also, a ceramic coating can be used - it is scratch-resistant, smooth, withstands high temperatures. However, ceramics requires care and can be damaged. There is another widespread material - stainless steel. Stainless-steel interior microwave ovens are the most reliable, as their interior is heat-resistant, yet it is more difficult to clean. You need to keep in mind that the cheapest models have just an enamel-like paint, but it is not a problem - this simple coating is durable enough and can withstand really high temperatures. As usual, microwave ovens without a grill and convection have it.

Did you know?

Safe or Not?

If you google “Are microwave ovens dangerous?", you'll probably get tons of comments from overly concerned people who believe that this kitchen appliance might have a dangerous side. In reality, the majority of scientists and health experts consider that microwave ovens are overwhelmingly safe if used correctly.

Microwave electromagnetic radiation can't break up atoms or molecules, meaning they can’t damage DNA of living things as X and gamma rays can. Microwave ovens might only cause heating effects and harm at very high energies. However, all mass-market microwave ovens operate below strict limits set by the government.

How Popular?

The microwaves are extremely popular in America - at least 90% of families there own a microwave. The recent survey showed that American people consider a microwave oven the number one invention that can make life easier. The huge popularity hasn’t passed Europe as well. There are about 23 million microwaves ovens in homes across the UK alone.

The First Microwave Oven

The roots of the invention of microwave ovens go back to 1920 and the exploitation of high-frequency radio waves for heating purposes. Yet the first patent for a microwave oven was registered in 1937 by Bell Laboratories states. The first commercial microwave, "Radarange", was built in 1947. It was 1.8 meters in height and weighed around 340 kilograms. Of course, it used much more power compared to today's microwave ovens. It was utilized primarily by restaurants. It could quickly re-heat food upon ordering, which helped to keep people coming in and out faster. Only, in the 1970s, compact microwaves for residential use were created.

Don’t Play With Liquids

Did you know that boiling a cup of water in a microwave oven might cause it to explode? It’s not a myth, it’s a fact. The thing is that if homogeneous liquids are heated in a clean ceramic or glass cup for too long, they can superheat and explode. The bubbles that normally cool down the water don’t form, and as a result, the water passes its boiling point. So, in order to avoid explosion, heat liquids for the minimum amount of time and place a wooden stick or a spoon in a cup.

Another interesting fact is that oils don’t heat well in microwave ovens since their molecules lack the polarity found in water. The same goes for frozen butter.

What Delicacies Can Microwave Make?

There are many delicious things you can make in your microwave. You can use a microwave not just for re-heating foods but also for making brownies, cooking potato chips, and even baking a lasagna. Have we made your mouth water? Discover these recipes and treat your family to delicious meals you didn't know you could make in your micro!

Sources:

1. How to Choose a Microwave Oven, wikiHow.

2. Microwave Oven Advantages and Disadvantages, MostInside. September 28, 2015.

3. Sarah Perry Do You Really Need a Microwave? Chowhound. February 17, 2014.

4. Kristin Apperbrink 21 Essential Recipes to Make in Your Microwave, Kitchn. March 7, 2016.

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