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.
How do I choose a good microwave?
There are a few things to consider when choosing your microwave.
Ultimately, it all comes down to the amount you use your microwave and what you need it for. There are plenty of reliable options to choose from, it just depends what cash you've got to spend.
It's worth considering how much space you have on your worktop too before splashing out, because if the answer is not a lot, perhaps the compact option by Hotpoint is the one to go for.
What are the top rated microwaves?
We've scoured the internet for the best user rated microwaves, and combined the research with our expert knowledge to line up the best there is on offer.
Here are our top seven picks to make cooking time go faster and less stressful, even if you're looking for a basic microwave.
Even if you would use it only to heat ready meals or melting chocolate, it's a great addition to home appliances.
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.
- Microwave Oven, £329.99 from Panasonic – buy here
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 Microwave, £154 from John Lewis – buy here
Sometimes, you just need something that will do its job and nothing more.
If you don't use a microwave often, you're off to university or you simply want a no-frills option that won't cost a pretty penny, this is the way to go.
It's not got the highest power output – related to its price – but it gets the job done.
Because it's small in size, it's perfect for more compact kitchens.
- Simple Value 700W Standard Microwave, £34.99 from Argos – buy here
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 programs 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
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, £98.99 from Amazon – buy here
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, £680 from Appliances Direct – buy here
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 programs to help you too, but they're all clearly labelled, so it won't leave you guessing.
- Sage the Quick Touch Crisp Microwave, £289 from John Lewis – buy here
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