Updated 22 December 2020

The best microwave ovens 2020

Too little time to cook every day? With a good microwave, you can be more efficient in the kitchen and have time for other things. Here we list some of the best microwave ovens in different price classes.

The best microwave ovens 2020

Our selection of the market's best microwave ovens is based on models that have received high scores from both users and experts. Some of the models have also been named ‘best in test’ in independent reviews, nationally and internationally. But just because a microwave oven has received a high score, that doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for you. Which model you should go for depends on how you plan to use it, who will use it, where will it be used and so on. Is it for your home, or for a holiday home? Perhaps you need a simple way of preparing food in a caravan? Whether you need a small model for a single household or a larger one for a whole family, a stylish retro model or a built-in microwave to hide in a cupboard, there’s sure to be something on the market that suits your needs.

A lot has happened since the 1970s and 1980s when the first microwave ovens found their way into our kitchens. A modern microwave has many uses and can do much more than “just” thaw frozen food, heat lunch boxes or cook popcorn. Several of today's slightly better models have functions for both hot air and grill, something that gives almost the same results as a hot air oven but with a greatly reduced cooking time. New for the 2020s are even functions for fermenting dough and making yoghurt. And the latest generation of microwave ovens offer significantly better thawing options. Now it’s possible to thaw bread properly, without having to choose between boringly dry or doughy and moist.

In other words, with today's wide range, it's both easier and more difficult to find a model that suits you. But fear not – below, our experts list some of the market's best microwave ovens in different price classes, all of which have received really good reviews from both experts and normal users.

Consider the following before buying:

  • Will the microwave stand out on a worktop, be hidden in a cupboard or be built in?
  • Do you need extra features such as hot air and grill?
  • Is the microwave for a small or large household?
Panasonic NN-CT56JBBPQ Black

Panasonic NN-CT56JBBPQ

Despite only being a medium sized oven, with a volume of 27 litres and a rotating plate of 34 cms, this microwave has a good capacity. A maximum power of 1000 W for regular cooking and a 1300 W grill make it one of the most powerful microwave ovens in our list. With six different power settings, it’s also easy to adjust the power according to your needs. The model is available in both black and silver and has a simple and stylish display that leaves no doubts as to which function does what.

Price from: £249.00
Compare all prices
Whirlpool MAX 38 SL Silver

Whirlpool Microwave Oven MAX38/IX

Microwave ovens with a rounded back are something of a Whirlpool hallmark and have been best sellers since they first appeared in the 1990s. One reason for their success is that the rounded back makes the microwave perfect to fit into corners. Over the years, the model has received numerous face lifts, but the basic principle is still the same – a compact format with just the right number of functions. Now in the 2020s, the model is available in three colour versions; stainless steel, white and silver – but it's not just the colours or back that are interesting on the MAX38/IX. The touch buttons on the front are easy clean and the controls are so simple that even a child could use them. One press of the jet start gives 30 seconds of heating, two presses give one minute, and so on. Why do other manufacturers find it so hard to implement such a useful and simple feature? The Whirlpool MAX38/IX is a no-nonsense microwave that takes up minimal space on your kitchen counter.

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