Best microwave ovens: integrated, freestanding and small microwaves

These best microwave ovens are handy for speedy dinners and meal-making shortcuts, from reheating leftovers to baking a potato

Best microwave ovens: Russell Hobbs Aura RHM2079A 20 Litre Microwave - White
(Image credit: Russell Hobbs)

Looking for the best microwave oven you can afford for your kitchen? You've landed in just the right place. This small appliance is a handy piece of kit: you can use it to heat up last night's dinner, make a quick bowl of morning porridge or to warm up a hearty lunchtime soup. Not to mention tonight's ready meal. 

Whether you're after a budget microwave, a top of the range one, a built-in model or a compact one if you've a small kitchen, we've found the best microwaves currently on the market and have listed them here. Use the links below to jump to the best microwave oven type to suit your needs or just scroll:

If you need microwave buying advice, jump to the bottom of the page first. And, if you're on the look out for more kitchen appliance recommendations, head to our appliance hub page for plenty of advice. 

What is the best microwave oven?

The best microwave oven you can buy is the Hotpoint MWH 2734 B. It can boil, air fry and steam food, it has a medium-sized capacity and it's sleek looking. Winning. 

In terms of integrated microwaves, we think the Bosch Built-in Combination Microwave Oven is your best buy. It has a large capacity of 44 litres, features 15 pre-set programmes and has the ability to grill, too. What more could you need?

The Russell Hobbs Aura RHM2079A tops our list of the best small microwaves. At just 20cm high and 30cm deep and wide, this 20 litre microwave is simple to use, easy to clean and it looks pretty great on a kitchen counter, too.

The best microwave ovens

Best microwave oven you can buy: Hotpoint MWH 2734 B Combination Microwave

1. Hotpoint MWH 2734 B Combination Microwave

Best microwave oven you can buy: it boils, air fries and steams foods

Specifications
Wattage: 800W-1700W
Grill: Yes
Oven: Yes
Capacity: 25ltrs
Reasons to buy
+18 auto cooking programs+6 auto defrost programs+5 auto reheat programs +Can boil, air fry and steam+Sleek design
Reasons to avoid
-None!

Need a microwave that can cook everything from meringues to chicken nuggets to perfection? 

What can it do?
This Hotpoint combination microwave can boil, steam, air fry, oven cook and grill your food – and it's been designed with taste in mind. The Multiwave technology ensures even cooking results; the Dynamic Defrost function helps your food to defrost as safely and quickly as possible; the Dynamic Crisp feature gives your food that golden crisp from top to bottom; and Crisp Fry technology fries your food using air frying, meaning it's much healthier for you. 

Specs
It has a generous 25 litre capacity, a huge range of cooking programmes and six power levels to choose from. Its power level ranges from 800 watts to 1,700 watts.

Our verdict
A bargain buy for those who want their next microwave to have all the best features.

Shop more Hotpoint products at Amazon

Best combination microwave: Panasonic Freestanding 4-in-1 Microwave

2. Panasonic Freestanding 4-in-1 Microwave

Best combination microwave: steam and grill with this microwave for fast and easy dinners

Specifications
Wattage: 1000
Grill: Yes
Oven: Yes
Capacity: 27ltrs
Reasons to buy
+ Steamer and grill + Auto-cook function 
Reasons to avoid
- Expensive 

This 4-in-1 microwave is a great gadget to buy if you don’t have a lot of space in your kitchen. 

What can it do?
It works as a steamer, a grill, an oven and is also perfect for defrosting foods. This microwave features an auto cooking mode so that once you've set the weight of your food, the microwave automatically adjusts the power level and cooking time to suit. Also, due to the fact this appliance features a flat bed instead of a turntable, you get an extra 29 per cent cooking space for larger dishes.

Specs
The Panasonic Freestanding 4-in-1 Microwave has a capacity of 27 litres and it comes with 15 cooking programmes so you can cook anything at the touch of a button. It also powers at 1,000 watts.

Our verdict
If you’re looking to make healthier dinners fast but don’t have the space to add a steamer to your kitchen counter, this microwave is the best combination gadget for you. All things considered, it's good looking, easy to clean and has a no-fuss exterior. Power? Check. Multi-function? Check. Looks good? Check. What's not to love?

Browse more offerings from Panasonic at their Amazon page

Best microwave under £100: Russell Hobbs Flatbed Digital Microwave

3. Russell Hobbs Flatbed Digital Microwave

Best microwave under £100: no frills, but looks the part and doesn’t cost the world

Specifications
Wattage: 800
Grill: No
Oven: Yes
Capacity: 23ltrs
Reasons to buy
+ Affordable + Easy to use 
Reasons to avoid
-Sometimes an uneven cook -Smallish capacity 

The Russell Hobbs Flatbed Digital Microwave is a great budget buy for those who want a sleek looking addition to their kitchen that simply microwaves the basics. 

What can it do?
The Russell Hobbs Flatbed Digital Microwave has five different power levels to choose from, as well as eight auto cook menus. This microwave can also defrost.

Specs
A smaller capacity (27 litres) and wattage (800 watts) than most, but the sleek black design with mirror door and clean lines puts this microwave high in the style stakes, but for a snip of the price of many similar options on the market.

What we think...
Although it doesn’t feature the classic turntable inside, which allows for larger rectangular dishes to be placed within, we just love how easy it is to use. Without a doubt the best microwave oven for modern kitchens, and it's friendly on the purse strings, too.

Shop more Russell Hobbs kitchen appliances at Amazon

Best microwave for crisping: Sage by Heston Blumenthal Quick Touch Crisp

4. Sage by Heston Blumenthal Quick Touch Crisp

Best microwave for crisping: a smart microwave oven with handy pre-settings for a quick and even cook

Specifications
Wattage: 900
Grill: Yes
Oven: Yes
Capacity: 34ltrs
Reasons to buy
+‘Crisping’ function +Custom cooking settings 
Reasons to avoid
- A bit too high-tech for some 

It's safe to say that anything created by Heston Blumenthal is going to be a bit ‘out there’, and the Quick Touch Crisp Microwave is no exception. 

What can it do?
This microwave oven has a million and one features (not literally) that people seem to either love or loathe. We think it’s great for preparing our favourite quick dishes with the utmost precision by using pre-set functions such as ‘baked potato’, ‘grilled cheese’, ‘melted chocolate’ and ‘baked beans’. You can also use the crisp function to get the perfectly crispy baked potato or cheesy pasta bake, or set your own custom functions for your favourite dish. 

Specs
This microwave has a 34 litre capacity and powers at 800 watts.

Our verdict
The perfect microwave for gadget lovers, and the best option for anyone who has other Sage by Heston appliances in their kitchen as it follows the same design cues as the rest of the range.

Find more Sage products at Amazon

Best microwave for families: Sharp 40L Combination Microwave

5. Sharp 40L Combination Microwave

Best microwave for families: cook in high quantities with this high capacity microwave

Specifications
Wattage: 900
Grill: Yes
Oven: Yes
Capacity: 40ltrs
Reasons to buy
+ Two shelves  + Cook multiple things at once 
Reasons to avoid
-Too large for small kitchens!

If you want to cook more than one thing at one time, then the Sharp 40L Combination Microwave will allow you do so comfortably. 

What can it do?
It has two shelves and works as a convection oven and grill. It also has a defrost function and the grill is perfect for cooking pizzas from frozen. 

Specs
With a large interior (40 litres) which is also easy to wipe clean, it's the the closest you'll get to an oven, without it actually being just an oven. It runs at a decent 900 watts, too.

Our verdict
The perfect microwave oven for anyone with a small kitchen because it saves the space of having a microwave and an oven. Put it on the countertop and live cabinet space for storage.

Shop more Sharp products at Amazon

Best large microwave: Hotpoint MWHF206B

6. Hotpoint MWHF206B

Best large microwave: struggle to fit some crockery in your microwave? Opt for this HotPoint model for all the space you need

Specifications
Wattage: 800
Grill: Yes
Oven: No
Capacity: 20ltrs
Reasons to buy
+Eco mode+Auto clean +Auto cook
Reasons to avoid
-Some may prefer a microwave with a turntable

In the market for a large microwave oven so you can cook more than one meal at a time? The Hotpoint MWHF206B is your guy.

What can it do?
It features an auto cook function to take the guesswork out of cooking everything from veg to fish, and it also has an auto clean function and an easy wipe interior to make your life a little easier. As well as reheating and defrosting, the microwave can grill and crisp food, including tray bakes – your dinners, now made easier.

Specs
This Hotpoint microwave features Flat Bed Technology to create more space for your plates, dishes and other crockery, and although it only has a 20 litre capacity, it actually has the same usable space as a 25 litre capacity microwave because it doesn't have a turntable. In terms of power, the microwave is 800 watts.

Our verdict
This microwave does the job and more. It's ideal for those who want a large microwave but not an integrated model; and its handy features make an easy job out of cooking.

Shop all Hotpoint products at AO

Best microwave oven for the style conscious: Russell Hobbs RHMM701C

7. Russell Hobbs RHMM701C

Best microwave oven for the style conscious: a great pick if you don't want your microwave to stick out like a sore thumb

Specifications
Wattage: 700W
Grill?: No
Oven?: No
Capacity: 17ltrs
Reasons to buy
+Compact +Available in a range of colours
Reasons to avoid
-Retro design might not be for some-No oven or grill functions

Available in black, cream, red or rose gold, the Russell Hobbs RHMM701C is our pick of the best microwave for those after a stylish addition to their kitchen worktop.

What can it do?
This manual microwave pretty much does what it's supposed to do. It's not an oven combi and can't grill, but it can warm up your food with ease in minutes. It also has a choice of five power settings and a defrost function.

Specs
It’s one of least powerful picks on our list at 700W, but users have said it’s great for reheating dishes as and when needed. It could make a good choice of microwave for a studio flat or maisonette due to its small size (although bear in mind the interior capacity is only 17 litres). The glass plate, however, is 25cm in diameter, which should accommodate most standard dinner plates.

Our verdict
Its cute, retro design might be just what you’re looking for. If you're after something to simply get the job done, this is it.

Shop more microwaves at Robert Dyas 

THE BEST INTEGRATED MICROWAVE OVENS

Looking to buy an integrated microwave oven? Whether you're getting your kitchen completely revamped or you're just looking at replacing your current integrated microwave, this list features something to suit everyone. 

Best built-in microwave: Bosch Built-in Combination Microwave Oven

(Image credit: Bosch)

1. Bosch Built-in Combination Microwave Oven

Best built-in combination microwave oven: a combination microwave ideal for big families

Specifications
Wattage: 900
Grill: Yes
Oven: Yes
Capacity: 44ltrs
Reasons to buy
+Distributes heat evenly+15 pre-set programmes+Large capacity
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

For those who don't have much counter space but have a big family, this built-in combination microwave is the perfect solution. 

What can it do?
This Bosch Built-in Combination microwave features 15 pre-set programmes including hot air cooking; hot air grilling; pizza function; autopilot; four defrost programmes and fast heat performance.

Specs
Featuring a 44 litre capacity you can expect this microwave oven to make cooking for the whole family a whole lot easier. With a grill and 900 watts of power, you can rustle up anything from a quick afternoon snack to a full on slap up meal in this bad boy.

Our verdict
It's integrated, so it won't stick out like a sore thumb in your nicely decorated kitchen. Also, the fact it's an oven, microwave and grill is very handy. It's big enough to use as your only oven.

See more Bosch appliances at their Amazon page

Hotpoint MWH122.1X Built In Microwave

(Image credit: Hotpoint)

2. Hotpoint MWH122.1X Built In Microwave

Best built in microwave oven: a great all-rounder for those after an affordable built-in microwave

Specifications
Wattage: 800
Grill: Yes
Oven: No
Capacity: 20ltrs
Reasons to buy
+Looks good+Affordable+Auto cook function
Reasons to avoid
-Not a huge capacity for large families

Looking for an easy to use, affordable but reliable built-in microwave? The Hotpoint MWH122.1X Built In Microwave is your best bet.

What can it do?
Featuring five different power levels and a defrost function, this microwave does what it says on the tin. It heats your food quickly and efficiently, and it has a handy electronic minute minder to alert you when it's cooked.

Specs
Ideal for smaller households, this Hotpoint microwave has a capacity of 20 litres and it runs on 800 watts of power. 

Our verdict
It's a no-brainer buy for those who are after something easy that simply does the job; this microwave has all the basic functions needed. It's also an affordable price.

Shop more microwaves at Very

Best small built-in microwave: Whirlpool Absolute Built-in Microwave

3. Whirlpool Absolute Built-in Microwave

Best small built-in microwave: save counter space with this built-in microwave

Specifications
Wattage: 900
Grill: No
Oven: No
Capacity: 22ltrs
Reasons to buy
+ Anti-fingerprint finish + Saves counter space 
Reasons to avoid
-Pricey for standard microwave -Small capacity-No grill or oven functions

If you are renovating your kitchen and are thinking of ways to save space, then consider investing in Whirlpool's built-in microwave. 

What can it do?
A basic integrated microwave without any combination settings, the model heats food fast and has a Jet Start function which is perfect for reheating foods at the optimum temperature. It also has a sleek design with an anti-fingerprint surface so that your kitchen will always look gleaming. 

Specs
The Whirlpool Absolute Built-in Microwave has a 22 litre capacity and in terms of power, it runs on 900 watts. 

Our verdict
There are a lot of integrated microwaves on the market with more functions than the average cook needs; this Whirlpool option is the best microwave oven for those who are after something which is simple, looks great and does the job.

Browse more Whirlpool appliances at Amazon

AEG MBE2658DEM Built In Microwave

(Image credit: AEG)

4. AEG MBE2658DEM Built In Microwave

Best large integrated microwave oven: own larger-than-usual plates? this microwave oven's turntable is a 32.5cm for that reason

Specifications
Wattage: 900
Grill: Yes
Oven: No
Capacity: 26ltrs
Reasons to buy
+Automatic cooking programmes+Can save favourite settings+Large turntable
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive-No oven function

Need a built-in microwave oven for your kitchen but after something a little bigger to fit more food or larger plates? The AEG MBE2658DEM Built In Microwave is your best option.

What can it do?
This integrated microwave has five different programmes and five different power levels. And it comes with a range of automatic cooking programmes. Cleverly, the machine lets you save up to three of your favourite settings to access them at the push of a button.

Specs?
Although the capacity isn't huge (26 litres), this microwave has a 32.5cm turntable for large dinner plates. Also, thanks to its decent 900 watt power level, your food will be cooked efficiently.

Our verdict
If you're after a larger sized built-in microwave then this is your best bet. However, it's worth bearing in mind the price tag difference from the Hotpoint MWH122.1X Built In Microwave and seeing if it's worth it.

Shop more microwaves at AO.com

THE BEST SMALL MICROWAVE OVENS

Looking to buy the best small microwave? Whether your kitchen's on the smaller side and your worktop space is treasured, or you live on your own, a small microwave is a handy appliance to have. Here, we've rounded up the top two best small microwaves; both are H30cm x D35cm or under in size.

Best small microwave: Russell Hobbs Aura RHM2079A 20 Litre Microwave

1. Russell Hobbs Aura RHM2079A 20 Litre Microwave

Best small microwave: a high-tech, sleek, mini-microwave for modern kitchens

Specifications
Wattage: 800W
Oven: No
Grill: No
Capacity: 20ltrs
Dimensions: H20.8cm x W30.6cm x D30.6cm
Reasons to buy
+ Simple to use + Easy to clean+ Looks great
Reasons to avoid
-No grill or oven function

The sleek white compact Russell Hobbs Aura RHM2079A microwave with its red LED display and mirrored door features a really simple interface. 

What can it do?
This microwave is loved by users for its ease of operation, with no extra features or buttons bulking it out. It does, however, have a good range of automatic programmes to help you cook your food to perfection, and if you often buy frozen food, this microwave also has a special function that thaws food both quickly and hygienically. 

Specs
At 800 watts, it’s impressively powerful for its size. Despite its compact nature, its interior is surprisingly large – there is enough room to fit a standard-sized dinner plate. It is also easy to clean. 

Our verdict
A great all-rounder and our pick of the best small microwaves...

Shop more Russell Hobbs microwaves on their Amazon page

Best small microwave for retro kitchens: Swan Retro Digital Solo Microwave

2. Swan Retro Digital Solo Microwave

Best small microwave for retro kitchens: small and good-looking for interior design lovers

Specifications
Wattage: 800
Grill: No
Oven: No
Capacity: 20ltrs
Dimensions: H26cm x W44cm x D32.1cm
Reasons to buy
+ Choice of colours+ Affordable 
Reasons to avoid
-Not ideal for those who don't want the retro look-No grill or oven

The style-conscious will love this retro-looking compact microwave from Swan. 

What can it do?
It features a range of settings for different temperatures and even for defrosting food, with a 60 minute digital timer for ease of use.

Specs
It comes in a range of different colours and it has a 20 litre capacity but, despite its size, it packs a punch when it comes to power (800 watts). The turntable provides even heat distribution when warming up meals so you can expect quick and easy cooking in this microwave.

Our verdict
For those who are looking for both aesthetics and functionality, this Swan Retro Digital Microwave is ideal. The best small microwave for those going for a retro look in their kitchen, we think.

Shop more Swan products on their Amazon page

Swan SM3080N Microwave

(Image credit: Swan)

3. Swan SM3080N Microwave

Best small microwave for programme range: whether you're cooking popcorn, potatoes or pizza, this microwave has a function for it

Specifications
Wattage: 800
Grill: No
Oven: No
Capacity: 20ltrs
Dimensions: H25.5cm x W45cm x D32.5cm
Reasons to buy
+White enamel interior+Easy to use+Stylish+Range of programmes
Reasons to avoid
-No grill or oven functions

Ideal for those who are limited on space but still are after a feature-packed microwave, the Swan SM3080N can cook and defrost any food item you can fit inside.

What can it do?
This Swan microwave has 10 different power levels to choose from and eight different programmes including popcorn, rice, milk/coffee, spaghetti, fish, pizza and more. Its defrost programme also hygenically thaws food ready for cooking.

Specs
Ideal for small to medium size households, the microwave is 20 litres, has a 25cm cooking plate and it powers at 800 watts.

Our verdict
A great option for those who are looking for something that's small in size but makes an easy job of cooking, this microwave by Swan is a great pick for parents as it's easy to use when in a rush, it features a range of auto programmes for those who are busy and it works quickly and effectively to get food cooked.

Shop more microwaves at AO

HOW TO BUY THE BEST MICROWAVE OVEN

Wattage
The higher the wattage, the quicker the cooking. Anything less than 700 watts and you may as well use the oven.

Capacity
A 20 litre microwave is small but will do. For cooking larger dishes, 35 to 40 litres is a better option.

Size
The average for a small microwave is 30cm x 35cm – but always check the inner capacity – and whether your dinner plates will fit in. 

Integrated, combi or freestanding?
If you are looking to free up kitchen space, opt for one that's integrated or has microwave, oven and grill functions (these are known as combis). 

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