Microwave Buying Guide and What to Consider

For those looking to buy a new microwave, it can become a challenging process.

Due to the various types, models and brands, it is not always easy to understand the complete capabilities of microwaves.

The standard version you will find in most kitchens is solo microwaves (reviews). However, some people tend to have other types, like a grill/convection.

These fantastic cooking appliances do not just stop there; you can get built-in types (integrated) which are perfect fits for some people.

What this buying guide for microwaves will do is help you understand every factor you need to consider before giving a model the green light.

The Different Types Of Microwaves

As I previously covered before, there are many versions available. In this part, I will explain to them so you can be clear about what you will need.

Solo Microwaves

Solo is the most basic version of the microwave.

It’s called ‘solo’ plainly because it has one capability and that is to cook food as a microwave oven would.

Although they are limited to what they can do, some of the high-quality models from brands such as Russell Hobbs have many cool features and functions. A perfect example would be an auto defrost. Sensors will detect the weight of the contents, and the microwave will choose the correct time for cooking, taking the guesswork off your hands.

If you require a basic model check out our solo microwave picks.

Convection / Grill Microwaves

Solo microwaves are ideal for reheating, defrosting and cooking, but conventional/grill microwaves offer a lot more.

With one of these models you can; roast, bake, and crisp and brown foods. You get a much more versatile cooking appliance, that can help you out on a day-to-day basis. However, they are not as common because most people tend to use their ovens for more dinner type cooking.

Nonetheless, they are a great asset if you have not got the room for a full-sized oven, or you regularly cook and need an extra helper in the kitchen.

Built-in Microwaves

Any version of this microwave type can be integrated into your kitchen. Most people have it done for saving valuable space and because it is more aesthetically pleasing.

Check out our built-in microwave reviews for more information.

Things To Consider

By this point, you understand the different types available. Now you have what you need in your head, here are a few other things which are highly crucial to your decision.


Microwaves are measured in Watts. The majority will have an output of 700-900W. The higher the output, the faster your food will cook.

With combi models, the grill and convection both have different power output to the microwave settings.


The capacity of a microwave is measured in litres. A standard size would be 19-22L, which are large enough for a full-sized dinner plate. The turntable inside a 17L model is around 28cm.

Choosing the right capacity depends on your personal preference.


The value is taken into huge consideration in all our reviews. Getting what you pay for is essential.


Russell Hobbs is the most popular and common microwave brand.

They make the best-designed models, along with other leading brands such as sharp.

Good brands offer a great warranty on their products. However, some not so well known brands like White Knight are also fantastic.

Childproof door

A feature of some is, the door has a child lock, so if you have young wondering hands about you may want to consider this.

Cooking programs

Auto cooking programs will make it very easy for you to make your favourite meals in minutes, with the touch of a button. The basic models will have 3-10 for contents like pizza, pasta and popcorn etc.


To ensure food is cooked thoroughly, most microwaves will have a rotating turntable. Some are removable and dishwasher friendly for easy cooking.

Ease of use

Few models can be complicated. It is vital for quality purposes you understand how to use your microwave to the maximum capability, to stop any disappointment.

Countdown Timer

The timer keeps your mind at peace.

It will let you know how much time is left and will alert you with a ring or beep once done.

Delay start

Allows you to start food at any time of the day. This program is ideal if you need to defrost food for when you get home.

Final word

All of our microwave reviews have a buying guide attached.

This is just a basic overview, with the most important points you need to know about before making a decision.

If you require more help or want to know more about any appliance, get in contact with us. We will be happy to help!

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