WHETHER you love the idea of a microwave, or not, there's no denying it's a handy appliance to have on standby.
Plenty of people turn to them daily to quickly cook eggs, heat up a cold cuppa and defrost food in a hurry, but the best microwaves aren't easy to find, unless you know how.
1. Best multi-purpose machine
This appliance is more than just a microwave.
It'll steam your veg, grill your bacon and oven cook your casserole.
It's clever and quiet, but its not space-saving – so you can wave goodbye to a large amount of your worktop.
Not one for smaller kitchens.
- Panasonic NN-DS596B Microwave Oven, £349.99 from Panasonic – buy here
2. Best capacity
We do love a space-saver.
There's no traditional turntable inside, instead it's flat, so there's extra space for odd shaped dishes.
It also means no cold spots.
It's pretty upmarket as microwaves go.
Not only does it feature a sleek design, but you can also set and save your own specific cook functions.
- Panasonic NN-SF464MBPQ Microwave, £149 from John Lewis – buy here
3. Best value
You don't have to break the bank to get a great quality microwave.
This Russell Hobbs model costs around £50 and is a Which? best buy.
While it's not the largest microwave, it's praised by satisfied customers for its appearance, ease of use and performance.
- Russell Hobbs RHMM703S, £58.96 from Asda – buy here
4. Nicest to look at
First things first, this microwave looks the part with its vintage edge and colourful hue.
Red isn't essential though if it clashes, as it comes in various other colourways.
It's got substance and style, with its eight automatic programmes to help cook various foods well, five power levels and an easy to use design.
- Morphy Richards Microwave Accents Colour Collection, £89.99 from Amazon – buy here
5. Most compact microwave
This machine is small – perfect to be pushed to the back of the worktop and save space – but it is mighty.
It has five power levels and even specific defrosting buttons for a particular type of food.
The 700W of power it offers isn't huge, but it gets the job done.
- Hotpoint Curve Freestanding Microwave, £109.99 from Amazon – buy here
6. Best built-in option
A built-in microwave will always look sleeker than a standalone alternative.
This one does everything a high-quality microwave should and also boasts a grill function.
One user mirrored our thoughts: "Just cannot fault it. Not only is it stylish but its performance is brilliant".
It's a shame it's pricey, but because it's going to be built into your kitchen, it'll save valuable space on the worktop which is always a huge bonus.
- Siemens Built-in Microwave with Grill, £601 from Appliances Direct – buy here
7. Best when money is no object
If money is no object, this should be your go-to microwave.
It does everything speedily and in style.
Our favourite feature though has got to be the crisper pan that will help crisp up food when it's reheated, rather than make it soggy.
Think pizza, pie and croissants, you can reheat them the next day and they'll be as good as they were the first time around.
It's naturally got plenty of automatic programmes to help you too, but they're all clearly labelled, so it won't leave you guessing.
- Sage the Quick Touch Crisp Microwave, £237 from John Lewis – buy here
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