Kitchen Appliances

Microwave Buying Guide

Choosing a microwave

Quick, easy and convenient, microwaves can be used for everything from defrosting and reheating yesterday’s dinner to whipping up cakes and cooking the perfectly poached egg.

An essential kitchen appliance, microwaves can help save you time, effort and hassle, enabling you to create tasty meals in minutes.

Here at Homebase, we have a wide range of the latest stylish and durable microwaves to choose from, making it easier than ever to find the model that suits you perfectly.

Follow our expert tips to ensure that you make the right buying decisions.


Which is the best microwave for you?

Different microwaves come with different functions and capabilities. To find the right model to suit your needs, start by thinking about what you’re going to be cooking in it, and what you’d like it to do.

Solo or basic microwave

Ideal for reheating leftovers, cooking ready meals and defrosting food, solo (also known as basic) microwaves generally feature manual or touch controls and offer a range of essential cooking functions including defrosting and reheating.

Generally the most affordable microwave option, these hardworking and practical appliances are available in a wide range of styles and designs.

Microwaves with grills

With all of the features of a basic microwave plus the benefit of a built in grill, these useful appliances allow you to crisp and brown food much faster than a conventional grill.

Use the grill on its own or in conjunction with the microwave function to create anything from a light lunch of cheese on toast to a healthy grilled chicken dinner.

Combination microwaves

Incredibly versatile and offering the widest range of functions, combination microwaves boast built-in fan-assisted ovens and grills, alongside feature-rich basic microwaves.

Allowing you to considerably reduce the time it takes to prepare your favourite dishes, these innovative appliances are the perfect choice for keen cooks, helping you to create tasty casseroles, indulgent cakes and even delicious family sized roasts.


What should I look for in a microwave?

How much power do I need?

Microwaves range in power from 600 to 1100 watts, and the higher the wattage of your appliance is, the faster your food will cook. Microwave ovens also come rated in heat categories ranging from A to E.

Most microwavable foods come with instructions on the packaging relating to different powered microwaves, helping you to get the best results from your appliance.

How much capacity do I need?

The capacity you require will depend on how much you need to cook in the microwave oven at one time, and how much space you have in your kitchen. The smallest microwaves start at 20L with larger appliances providing up to 30L of capacity.

Using your microwave safely

When using a microwave oven, it’s important to remember that food heats up very quickly, so should therefore always be handled with care.

Placing foil or metal in the microwave can cause damage, as can running your microwave when empty.

Top tip: Removable turntables are great if you need more space to cook larger dishes, and if you want a microwave that’s easy to clean, choose one with a ceramic enamel interior.



Writer and expert