Microwave buying guide

There are a number of things to consider when choosing the perfect microwave for you.

From cooking vegetables and rice to defrosting meat, fish and poultry, microwaves are one of the most versatile kitchen appliances you can own. This guide will help you find the most useful features for you, and decide which features you don’t need to help you save money.

Look out for the ‘Our Experts Love’ range to find microwaves with the most advanced features plus a variety of accessories – from rice steamers to soup makers.

And of course, if you want to see what’s on offer for yourself, come down to one of our stores and we’ll be happy to help find the right appliances for you.

Microwave only (solo)

Sometimes known as solo microwaves, these are great for completing simple tasks such as defrosting, heating and reheating, but can also be used for other simple cooking tasks such as baking cakes.

What is a solo microwave?

A solo microwave is a basic microwave for simple tasks such as heating and defrosting.

What sort of things can I cook in my solo microwave?

These microwaves are great for simple tasks such as reheating a forgotten cup of tea, warming up foods, cooking jacket potatoes, steaming vegetables or even baking cakes.

Can I grill in my solo microwave?

Solo microwaves are for simple tasks such as heating and defrosting. We have a wide range of microwaves that come with a grill, ideal for browning and crisping.

I have a small kitchen - what type of microwave is best for me?

We have a wide range of microwaves to suit all sizes of kitchen, but you’ll find more compact models in our solo range, with the smallest models starting at a 17 litre capacity.

I have a brightly coloured kitchen - can I buy a microwave that will match?

We have a range of microwaves in a number of colours and designs to match with the design of all kitchens.

Microwave with grill

Grill microwaves combine normal microwave cooking with a heating element, making it easy to grill fish or meat or simply for browning your food.

What sort of things can I make in my microwave with grill?

These microwaves provide normal microwave cooking but in addition, they can brown or crisp up your foods, great for cooking pizzas.

Can I grill bacon in a microwave with grill?

Yes, you can grill and crisp bacon in a microwave with grill.

Does this type of microwave come with flatbed technology?

Flatbed microwaves do not have a cooking turntable, offering more cooking space.

What is a humidity sensor?

A humidity sensor helps to automatically cook food without drying it out – all at the touch of a button.

What is a steam function?

A steam function powerfully injects high-density steam into the upper area of the microwave, enabling a fast new way to cook a wide range of ingredients. It helps to reduce fat content while retaining moisture.

Combination microwave oven

These offer more cooking flexibility than solo and grill models. This is because combination microwaves use microwave energy, a grill and convection heating (fanned hot air) so they can heat, roast, crisp and brown in the same way as a conventional oven, all in a fraction of the time.

What sort of foods can I cook in my combination microwave oven?

Combination microwaves cook a wide range of foods in much less time than a normal oven - this could even include a full roast dinner. For example, a roast chicken can take just 32 minutes instead of the 1 hour 20 mins required in a normal oven.

What is inverter technology?

Inverter technology allows the microwave to cook at different powers to suit the food you’re cooking, which means you get better results with an even temperature and texture.

What is the best type of microwave to cook for a large family?

A large capacity microwave will give you the most space to cook large dishes. Combination microwaves can grill and bake as well heat and defrost, so they’re great for cooking a variety of dishes.

Are microwaves easy to clean?

Microwaves come with a number of different interiors ranging from ceramic enamel to stainless steel to help make cleaning easier and helping to reduce odours inside the microwave.

What is intelligent sensor technology?

Intelligent sensor technology allows you to simply select the type of food you want to cook, rather than inputting a time, power or weight - the sensor analyses the humidity inside the oven, letting you know the exact moment your food is ready to eat.


From rice steamers to soup mugs, we have a wide range of accessories to compliment your cooking.

How does a rice steamer work?

Rice steamers feature a pressure chamber plate that allows any overflow to be collected and then drained back into the base container. You can cook perfect white rice in just 8 minutes.

Is there an easy way to cook pasta in a microwave?

We have a range of accessories to help you make the perfect pasta in any microwave.

If I put vegetables in the microwave, will they retain their goodness?

We have a range of vegetable microwave steamers which will lock in the nutrients, making your vegetables easy to eat.

Can I make eggs in my microwave?

You can make the perfect poached egg in your microwave with our microwave egg poacher. It only takes a minute or two, with no mess and no fuss.

Jargon buster

Freestanding microwaves

Designed to sit on top of your worktop.

Built in microwaves

Designed to be fitted into your kitchen units. We can deliver and install your microwave as well as recycle your old one.


Varies from 17 to 44 litres. A larger capacity will have a larger turntable and more interior height, allowing you to cook larger dishes or more than one dish at once.


Measured in watts, microwave power varies from 800 to 1200W. The higher a microwave wattage, the faster its contents will be cooked.


Some microwaves are made with different interiors from ceramic enamel to stainless steel which all help to make it easy to clean between uses.

Auto Cook/Auto Defrost

Some microwaves also include functions that allow you to enter the weight and type of food before calculating the optimum settings in order to give the best results.


Some microwaves have pre- set programs that vary by model, offering options to automatically reheat, defrost or cook popular meals to perfection.


Flatbed microwaves do not have a cooking turntable, offering a great cooking capacity which guarantees uniform and even cooking.