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The 10 Best microwave ovens

Forget reheating coffee and nuking cold pasta. These hi-tech gadgets can do everything from stews to roast chicken...

1. Panasonic

This feature-packed microwave (NN-ST479S) comes with sensor cooking, turbo reheating and 18 cooking programmes. The automatic programme for vegetables and the defrosting function are particularly impressive and there's plenty of room for large dinner plates.

£139, johnlewis

2. Next

Available in a range of funky colours and with a matching toaster and kettle, this excels at microwave basics – heating up food quickly, spreading the heat across the food and not leaving your food shrivelled up. Other handy features include a delayed start button.

£65, next

3. Kenwood

This isn't very roomy inside but more than makes up for that with its two-stage cooking option (where you defrost your food, then cook it). The K20MSS10 is quick to heat, great at defrosting and there are plenty of auto-cook programmes.

£55, currys

4. Whirlpool Jet Chef

This combination microwave provides convection, grill and microwave cooking options and has some really clever features and accessories. It offers superb defrosting and grilling and you can see your food clearly as it cooks, although the child lock is worryingly easy to deactivate.

£288, amazon

5. Sainsbury's

Despite the low price tag, this microwave reheats and defrosts food evenly. It's also very energy efficient and has a surprising number of useful features for an own-brand model, including a quick-start button and auto-reheat buttons for foods including pizza and soup.

£40, sainsburys

6. Neff

Built-in microwaves are always top dollar, but this machine (C57M70N3GB), which can heat, defrost, bake and grill, is well worth the extra dosh if you can afford it. Quite simply, it excels at everything it does, as well as boasting an oven-style pull-down door, a huge inside space, a self-clean mechanism and a digital display that automatically dims at night.

£348, amazon

7. Fagor Spoutnik

Named after the first ever satellite launched into Earth's orbit, this machine certainly looks space age. The spherical shape lends itself to foods such as whole chickens and you get a 360-degree view of your food while its cooking, as well as easy access to the internal cooking area.

£198, amazon

8. Sharp Steamwave

If you like food in a hurry, this is the microwave for you. It's incredibly fast, as well as offering impressive results, particularly for grilling and steaming. Unlike many other microwaves, you can also heat several meals in a row without losing temperature.

£229, amazon

9. Dunelm Mill

This takes longer than most microwaves, but features include a delayed start, child lock and multi-step programming and it enables you to reheat everything from pizza to popcorn. It's also good at maintaining power output.

£50, dunelm

10. Whirlpool MAX 35 Mood

A long-standing favourite among consumers, thanks largely to its rounded back that allows it to fit easily into corners. This limited edition model comes in a vibrant colour that Whirlpool calls sensual rouge (red, to the rest of us) and it crisps and browns as well as reheating meals.

£134, amazon