Microwaves have become the cook’s new best friend. Professional chefs have kept them out of the kitchen for a long time but nowadays this convenient kitchen appliance can’t be missing in any kitchen, professional or at home.
Warming up a meal of leftovers, defrosting ingredients, or heating a coffee or soup, we turn easily to a microwave because they are simple to use, quick and energy saving. No wonder they are on top of the list when it comes to most essential kitchen appliances!
Some of the latest models now also function as a grill, steam oven, convection oven and much more. They come in classic styles, compact countertop models or they can be designer built-in models.
With all the technology and options available it can be overwhelming and difficult to choose the right microwave, so we have produced this handy guide with an overview of our best picks in several categories.
Our selection of best microwaves
- Most popular – Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave Oven with Smart Sensor Easy Clean Interior, ECO Mode and Sound On-Off, 1.2 Cu. ft
- Best compact – BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7 Digital Microwave Oven with Turntable Push-Button Door, Child Safety Lock,700W, Stainless Steel, 0.7 Cu.ft
- Best convection – Toshiba EC042A5C-BS Countertop Microwave Oven with Convection, Smart Sensor, Sound On/Off Function and LCD Display, 1.5Cu.ft
- Best budget – COMFEE’ EM720CPL-PMB Countertop Microwave Oven with Sound On/Off, ECO Mode and Easy One-Touch Buttons, 0.7cu.ft, 700W, Black
- Best all-in-1 – Panasonic Home Chef 4-in-1 with Air Fryer, Convection Bake, FlashXpress Broiler, Inverter, 1000 Watt, Stainless Steel, 1.2 Cu.Ft
Things to consider when buying the best microwave for you
Is your kitchen tiny with limited space for appliances or do you have enough square metres to add everything you dream off? The available space will determine the size as well as the type microwave you need.
Is space for small dinner plates enough, or do you need to warm up larger amounts of food in larger cookware?
Another essential aspect is the height of your crockery and the dishes you use to microwave. Make sure that they fit into your new model.
The wattage will determine the effectiveness of your microwave.
700 watts is about the lowest you should accept. A lower wattage usually means lower prices. They are in the more affordable price range, and although they will function correctly, procedures might all take a little more time.
1000 watts is a good mid-range microwave power. Your food will cook evenly and fairly quickly.
The higher the wattage the more likely the cost will increase.
Are you happy with minimal settings or do you like special features with ‘whistles and bells’?
Do you like a common, conventional microwave or a more advanced convection oven with pre-programming? There are multiple functions possible.
Your budget should be considered when investing in a new appliance. Countertop models, built-in microwaves, over-the-range models; each model comes with a design and a price of which the countertops are the least expensive.
How does a microwave work?
A conventional microwave is the most common type, and heats the food with the energy of microwaves that penetrate glass and plastic. Convection microwaves have a heating element that also grills and browns ingredients.
Reviews of best microwaves
It is not a surprise that this model is so popular. There are 10 power levels up to 1100 watts and pre-program sensor menus as well as a timer. As with most other modern microwaves there is a large digital display, easy-to-read control panel, power saving mode and a glass turntable inside.
There are two defrost settings and you can choose to turn the buzzer on or off.
With all the functions, we recommend reading the manual when receiving the device.
Best compact – BLACK+DECKER EM720CB7 Digital Microwave Oven with Turntable Push-Button Door, Child Safety Lock
This compact countertop microwave does exactly what we expect from a model with only 700 watts. There are pre-programmed buttons for popcorn, potatoes, pizzas, frozen vegetables, beverages and a dinner plate.
The usual power settings, clock and kitchen timer are presented together with a 30 second express cooking button.
A large LED digital display with clock function, an easy-to-read control panel, child safety lock, interior light, and a removable 10” glass turntable is all featured in this compact model.
Best convection – Toshiba EC042A5C-BS Countertop Microwave Oven with Convection, Smart Sensor, Sound On/Off
This is quite a large model which combines microwave and convection cooking in one appliance. There are additional functions such as 4 auto bake menus, 4 auto roast menus and defrosting.
There is also a one touch popcorn button and warm-hold function, equipped with power-saving eco mode, and a child safety lock.
Best budget – COMFEE’ EM720CPL-PMB Countertop Microwave Oven with Sound On/Off, ECO Mode and Easy One-Touch Buttons, 0.7cu.ft, 700W, Black
This budget-friendly model is compact and has 11 power levels up to 700 watts.
Besides easy auto-cook settings, a timer, and a clock, there are two defrost settings, by weight and by time.
There is also an energy saving mode where a bright LED display can be turned off, easy-to-read control panel, interior light, and a large glass turntable inside the appliance.
Best all-in-1 – Panasonic NN-CD87KS Home Chef 4-in-1 Microwave Oven with Air Fryer, Convection Bake, FlashXpress Broiler, Inverter, 1000 Watt, Stainless Steel, 1.2 Cu.Ft, cft
If you don’t have a lot of space for many different appliances, this can be your all-in-one oven. It can sit on a countertop or you can buy the optional trim kit to build into a cabinet.
This one functions as a microwave, broiler, air fryer and convection oven.
The air fryer mode doesn’t need preheating, and the circulating hot air produces crispy brown results. The convection bake function works like a real oven and will bake, roast, toast and crisp ingredients. Panasonic’s patented inverter microwave technology stands for even defrosting, reheating, cooking and keeping food warm.
The interior capacity is spacious with a 14.2” turntable which easily accommodates a 9”x13” baking dish or a whole chicken. There is a turbo defrost, and 20 automatic cook menu presets.