Best combi and convention-style microwaves that look stylish and cook food fast

Microwaves have received a bad rep in the past, mainly due to the close association with unhealthy ready meals.

However, for the modern family and individuals who live alone microwaves can be a godsend in the kitchen – it’s no wonder that 93% of British households have one.

Whether you’re hoping to cook more efficiently, or reheat that final portion from the batch cooking you made last week; there’s no doubt about it that microwaves offer versatility and efficiency.

What are the different types of microwaves?

Before you buy a microwave, it’s important to first understand the different types of microwave that are available:

Solo Microwave

A ‘solo ‘microwave, as the name implies, is a microwave that performs a single basic function: heating and defrosting. Lacking the features of higher-end models such as grill and combi microwaves, solo microwaves are typically cheaper and more user-friendly.

In addition, they tend to be less bulky and are perfect for basic kitchen tasks. However, they often have a smaller capacity and their limited functionality means that you can’t roast or grill food.

Grill Microwave

Essentially a grill microwave is just like a microwave oven but with the addition of a specialised grill plate that you can use whilst cooking.

Foods that are traditionally cooked in an oven or on a stove top can be rustled up in grill microwave, which offers a bit more flexibility with meals than your standard solo microwave.

Although a bit more advanced than a solo model, grill microwaves tend to be less versatile than a ‘combination’ style microwaves – which gives you more options for baking, roasting and more.

Combination Microwave

As the name suggests, these microwaves offer a combination of cooking options including steaming, baking and grilling. It’s a good way to cook up a storm in a busy household giving you almost endless cooking possibilities.

As the potential for cooking opens up, so does the price tag in most cases. Combination microwaves tend to be pricier, so it’s worth looking at a solo microwave if you only plan to heat up and defrost foods.

Integrated Microwave

Unlike a tabletop microwave, integrated microwaves are built into an area of the kitchen, like a cupboard or designated unit for example.

As these models are built in, they won’t be as easy to pack up and move, these microwaves tend to be pricier as they’re less portable. One luxury an integrated microwave will give you is space, without it living on the counter top you’ll free up spaces for other appliances or for more preparation room.

Flatbed vs Turntable Microwave

Flatbed microwaves work differently to traditional turntables we are used to.

In a classic turntable microwave, the ‘microwaves’ are bounced quite randomly inside, which is often why food tends not to be heated evenly.

Flatbeds do the opposite, without the rotating table; which promises to cook food more thoroughly on its flat inner surface. Flatbed models are a bit more expensive but are becoming more competitive as increase for demand rises.

How do I choose the best microwave for my home?

There are loads of factors you could consider when buying a new microwave, but we’ve listed some of the most important below.

  • Wattage – generally the higher the wattage the faster the cooking speed, which is something to consider if you have a big family.
  • Settings – most models will have several cooking functions to suit the types of meals you’ll be preparing. Some microwaves will even have setting for your liquid contents.
  • Programs – Kind of like the settings some microwaves will also have automated programmes for specific foods
  • Advanced features – if you have little ones at home features like automatic safety locks and clear doors for easy viewing.

With all of the fancy new functions many now offer (grilling, sensor and convection cooking), microwaves have become the ultimate kitchen staple; and some of the bestsellers include premium models from Sage and Samsung.

Below, we’ve rounded up the best microwaves you can get to add to your kitchen.

Best microwaves for 2021

1. Wilko Copper Effect Microwave

Best solo microwave

Wilko Copper Effect Microwave

A metallic sleek design that’s easy on the eye and fulfils your basic microwave needs.

This stainless steel copper coloured device houses eight auto functions and five power levels including defrost.

It’s 20 litre capacity should fit all your favourite foods and is great for singles and smaller families who don’t want anything too complicated.

  • Type: Solo microwave
  • Power: 800W
  • Key Features: Copper design, 8 auto programmes, 5 power levels
  • Capacity: 20L

Buy now from Wilko ( £70 ).

2. Russell Hobbs Inspire Microwave

Best budget microwave

Russell Hobbs Inspire Microwave
Russell Hobbs Inspire Microwave

Featuring a unique textured control panel and a sleek mirror-finish door, the Inspire microwave boasts chrome accents that help to give that luxe feel to any kitchen.

An impressive 17 litre capacity and 700 watts of microwave power makes it perfect for defrosting, batch cooking or preparing a whole variety of everyday meals.

  • Type: Solo microwave
  • Power: 700W
  • Key Features: Mirrored door, 5 power levels, simple control dials
  • Capacity: 17L

3. Panasonic NN-CS89LBBPQ Combination Microwave Oven

Best large microwave

Panasonic NN-CS89LBBPQ Combination Microwave Oven
Panasonic NN-CS89LBBPQ Combination Microwave Oven

Panasonic’s NN-CS89 4-in-1 Combi Oven is the latest, innovative launch from Panasonic’s Small Kitchen Appliances range.

The 4-in-1 Combi Oven combines the power to steam, microwave, grill and even a combination oven to tackle the slow cooking and baking too.

There’s no need for multiple appliances, this one handy gadget will do it all for you. It’s got a powerful 1000W and boasts an incredible 31 litre capacity, ideal for big family meals.

  • Type: Combination microwave
  • Power: 1000W
  • Key Features: Large capacity, genius sensor, auto re-heat
  • Capacity: 31L

4. Morphy Richards Microwave Accents Colour Collection

Best microwave for everyday use

Morphy Richards Microwave Accents Colour Collection
Morphy Richards Microwave Accents Colour Collection

The Accents colour range from Morphy Richards allows you to brighten up your kitchen with a selection of futuristic metallic shades.

It features eight automatic programs to easily cook meals, re-heat and defrost meals – which is the minimum you’ll need for basic cooking.

It’s 23 litre capacity fits most standard dinner plates. This one does all the basic jobs you’ll need it to and will fit nicely in your kitchen.

  • Type: Solo microwave
  • Power: 800W
  • Key Features: Nice design, matching appliances, 8 auto programmes
  • Capacity: 23L

5. Russell Hobbs RHFM2363B Flatbed Digital Solo Microwave

Best flatbed microwave

Russell Hobbs RHFM2363S Flatbed Digital Solo Microwave
Russell Hobbs RHFM2363S Flatbed Digital Solo Microwave

This microwave definitely looks more expensive than it is, with its sleek finish and mirrored door.

The pull handle makes for easy access, while the flatbed interior allows you to fit more food and a larger, square plates inside to cook – plus the large 23 litre capacity.

This microwave has a ‘diamond cavity’ ie bumpy walls, which will help encourage even cooking as the microwaves are reflected in different directions. There are eight auto cook menus, a child safety lock and countdown timer.

  • Type: Flatbed microwave
  • Power: 800W
  • Key Features: Sleek design, 8 auto cook menus, auto defrost
  • Capacity: 23L

6. Sage the Quick Touch Crisp Microwave

Best microwave for smart features

Sage the Quick Touch Crisp Microwave
Sage the Quick Touch Crisp Microwave

On the higher end of the price scale, this techy microwave boasts some impressive features that are well worth the money.

The large detailed display makes it easy to navigate the varied smart menu, while there are ten additional shortcut buttons hidden inside the door for quick access.

There’s a button for every need you could think of – including melting caramel, chocolate or softening butter – great if you’re an avid baker and you usually find yourself burning ingredients when melting them on the hob.

For when you need your food is that little bit hotter but don’t want to completely re-program it, select the “A Bit More” function.

  • Type: Combination/Inverter microwave
  • Power: 1000W
  • Key Features: Inverter technology, favourite settings, smart menu and features
  • Capacity: 25L

7. BOSCH Serie 6 BFL524MS0B Built-in Solo Microwave

Best integrated microwave

BOSCH Serie 6 BFL524MS0B Built-in Solo Microwave
BOSCH Serie 6 BFL524MS0B Built-in Solo Microwave

Perfect for easy, breezy cooking at home, this integrated microwave from Bosch not only saves counter space, but saves you time making all of your favourites too.

All you need to do is place your meal in the oven, select a weight and choose from over 85 programmed modes to cook to your desired setting.

The built-in oven also features inverter technology (like the Sage at number 6) which ensures a multitude of ways to prepare meals from steaming to roasting and baking.

  • Type: Integrated inverter microwave
  • Power: 800W
  • Key Features: 7 setting programmes, inverter technology, auto defrost
  • Capacity: 20L

8. Hotpoint Curve MWH1311B Microwave

Best corner microwave

Hotpoint Curve MWH1311B Microwave
Hotpoint Curve MWH1311B Microwave

Ideal for smaller spaces, make use of that unused corner area of the kitchen counter with this curved back microwave.

With most of the electronics sitting underneath – as opposed to on the side of – the main body, it takes up relatively little space and has all the functions you’d expect from a basic microwave.

There’s a child safety lock, very self-explanatory controls, and a 28cm turntable to it most standard plates.

  • Type: Solo microwave
  • Power: 700W
  • Key Features: Multi-wave technology, small design, wipe clean interior
  • Capacity: 13L

9. SAMSUNG EasyView Combination Microwave

Best combination microwave

SAMSUNG EasyView MC28M6075CK/EU Combination Microwave
SAMSUNG EasyView MC28M6075CK/EU Combination Microwave

A great combination microwave that doesn’t break the bank.

Arriving with a whole host of features like HotBlast to reduce cooking time, meat crisping, slim fry.. and even fermentation for yogurt.

Great for if your kitchen lacks and oven or grill, the 40 auto programs and 31.8cm turntable makes this the perfect kitchen addition for the more adventurous.

The EasyView window lets you see your food cooking and it’s large 28 litre capacity lets you cook more food at once.

  • Type: Combination microwave
  • Power: 900W
  • Key Features: large capacity, enamel coating, HotBlast technology
  • Capacity: 28L

10. Sharp Combination Flatbed R861 Microwave

Best microwave under £150

Sharp Combination Flatbed Microwave
Sharp Combination Flatbed Microwave

Sharp has been making microwaves since the 1960s, and with all that experience you can be sure to get great results with any of their microwaves.

We chose this 900W machine because of its ease of use, easy to clean flatbed and 15 programmes to choose from.

As a combination microwave it features a grill function and convection oven mode. The 25 litre capacity Flat Tray design means you can place larger dishes inside without having to worry about if they’ll get in the way, like a traditional spinning turntable would.

The drop down door gives great access and makes it feel less of a microwave and more of an oven. A versatile and convenient device, this is well worth the investment.

  • Type: Combination flatbed microwave
  • Power: 900W
  • Key Features: Oven and grilling abilities, 15 programmes, drop-down door
  • Capacity: 25L

Complete your modern kitchen setup with trendy gadgets that will brew all of your favourite beverages. Check out the best Nespresso machines worth adding to your home.

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