Best Solo Microwave Reviews 2017: Our Top Picks

best solo microwave

We’ve spent hours looking for the best microwaves, sifting through consumer reports, getting the thoughts of real users and putting our top picks to the test.

After all this we think the Russell Hobbs RHM2362S is the best solo microwave for most people.

If you’ve got a good budget and you’re in the market for more power, more capacity and more features then you might like the Panasonic NN-ST479SBPQ.

And if you’re on a tight budget we really like the Daewoo KOR6L77.

Best Solo Microwave: Our Top Picks

russell hobbs RHM2362S

The Best Solo Microwave For Most People

Russell Hobbs RHM2362S

  • Heats food really well
  • Really good manual defrost
  • It’s quiet too
Panasonic NN-ST479SBPQ

Looking For an Upgrade? This is Our Favourite

Panasonic NN-ST479SBPQ

  • Fantastic at heating and defrosting
  • 18 cooking programs
  • Delayed start and sensor cooking features
Daewoo KOR6L77

If You’re On a Budget, Take a Look at This

Daewoo KOR6L77

  • Very good at heating and defrosting
  • Excellent value for money

What is a Solo Microwave?

Solo microwaves are the most basic models and generally the cheapest with prices starting from as little as £30.

Because they’re so basic, they lack the features of more advanced microwaves like grilling, crisping or roasting.

That’s not to say they’re no good though.

Solo models are useful when it comes to basic tasks like reheating and defrosting. If you spend a little more you can expect some pretty useful features including; cooking programs, turbo defrost and and auto-cook menus.

There are also a range of power options available with higher powered machines being able to cook and defrost much more quickly and more evenly than their lower powered counterparts.

Other things you might want to consider when looking for a basic microwave include: capacity, style and noise.

Capacity and style are common considerations but noise is often overlooked.

If like many kitchens, yours is the heart of the home, you may spend a lot of time in there with friends and family. Some of the really cheap models can be so noisy they drown out a conversation, so you might want something a bit quieter.

Pros and Cons

Solo microwaves work well for many people’s needs in the kitchen, especially when used with a conventional oven. With that said, it is worth knowing the pros and cons when compared to microwave grills or combination models.

Pros

  • They’re the cheapest kind of microwave and they’re widely available
  • Lots of models to choose from
  • Perfect for basic uses like heating, reheating and defrosting

Cons

  • Limited in terms of functionality when compared to other kinds of microwave
  • Unable to brown or crisp food
  • Can’t bake like a conventional oven

What to Consider When Choosing a Solo Microwave

If you’ve decided that a solo model is the best microwave for you then there are literally hundreds of options to choose from. While this level of choice is definitely a good thing, it can make it difficult to choose.

While a standard microwave doesn’t have a grill or convection oven, they can still come with a range of features.

Here are a few things to consider;

Power

You’d be right in assuming that the best solo microwaves have higher power ratings. An 800 watt machine will cook your food pretty quickly, while a 900 watt model will do it even quicker. Higher wattage microwaves will also tend to cook food more evenly.

There are 600 watt and 700 microwaves on the market but they usually fall in the budget range so we’d only advise you consider one if you’re on a tight budget or you’re looking for something with a stand out feature, like a small microwave.

Capacity

The capacity refers to how much interior space a microwave has and therefore how much you can cook at any one time.

A 30 litre capacity microwave is considered large but consider, the larger the capacity, the larger the area it will take up in your kitchen. So think about;

  1. How you’ll use it – if you’re going be cooking with it regularly and have a large family then a larger capacity might be better. If you’ll only be using it occasionally to warm a bit of soup then go smaller.
  2. Where you’ll put it – if you’ve got plenty of space in your kitchen to accommodate a larger machine then you might consider one. On the other hand, it you’re tight for space you might be forced into buying a smaller capacity.

Features

Even basic microwaves can come with a range of features like; auto-defrost settings, auto-cook menus, one touch controls etc. Think about what kind of features will make your life easier before making a purchase.

Style

Wouldn’t it be nice if your microwave actually looked good in your kitchen? Well, they come in a wide range of styles so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find something that fits in.

Brand & Warranty

There are many brands that make microwaves. Russell Hobbs, Panasonic, Daewoo, Samsung – the list goes on.

We would always recommend you buy your kitchen equipment from a brand you know and trust. They usually have a solid 12 month guarantee and sometimes they might even extend them to 3 or 5 years.

Price

All of the considerations above lead us to the price.

Everyone likes to feel they’ve got a bargain and are often tempted by the cheapest price, only to realise that the product they’ve bought doesn’t have enough power, isn’t big enough or the quality and durability isn’t what it should be.

A good price means value for money, not the cheapest.

So in conclusion the ‘best solo microwave’ means different things to different people. The machine you choose is very much dependant on your own situation, lifestyle and cooking habits.

The Best Solo Microwave: Our 3 Favourites

We have spent hours and hours going through all kinds of consumer reports, gathered feedback and spoken to users to find the best solo microwave. Here are our top 3 picks;

russell hobbs RHM2362S

The Best Solo Microwave For Most People

Russell Hobbs RHM2362S

  • Heats food really well
  • Really good manual defrost
  • Really quiet
Panasonic NN-ST479SBPQ

Looking For an Upgrade? This is Our Favourite

Panasonic NN-ST479SBPQ

  • Fantastic at heating and defrosting
  • 18 cooking programs
  • Delayed start and sensor cooking features
Daewoo KOR6L77

If You’re On a Budget, Take a Look at This

Daewoo KOR6A0R

  • Very good at heating and defrosting
  • Excellent value for money

Russell Hobbs RHM2362S Review

The Best Solo Microwave For Most People

Russell Hobbs RHM2362S Review

Pros:

  • Heats food up quickly
  • Keeps food moist whilst cooking
  • Really good manual defrost
  • Quiet
  • Energy efficient

Cons:

  • It’s quite hard to see in the reflective door
  • Fingerprints show up on the reflective door

Overview of the Russell Hobbs RHM2362S

This stylish model is an 800 watt machine with a 23 litre capacity. While it’s not the biggest or most powerful microwave out there, it is suitable for most families. It cooks food quickly and it will comfortably accommodate a 30cm plate.

It comes with 5 power levels and has both automatic and manual defrosting options, allowing you to defrost by weight.

It features some special programs including; reheating options for pizza and warm drinks, automatic cooking programs for meat and veg amongst others.

You can also cook food in different stages, so for example, you can set the power at a lower level before increasing it to finish it off your dish.

The controls are intuitive and it is easy to use and the digital display is clear.

What it Does Best

As well as looking fantastic, it’s super at heating your food quickly and keeping it moist at the same time so your lasagna doesn’t curl up and go hard at the edges.

The defrost functions work well too. Some machines don’t defrost very well, with meat either coming out still frozen in the middle or starting to cook. With the Russell Hobbs RHM2362S you won’t have that problem because it defrosts very accurately.

It’s energy efficient and relatively quiet too when compared to other models so you can hold a conversation while it’s in use.

Flaws But Not Deal Breakers

To a certain extent, user experience has been compromised for style when it comes to the reflective door.

Because it’s reflective, you can’t see through it very well which makes keeping an eye on your food that bit more difficult. As a result you may have to keep opening the door to check your food.

Some users have also complained that the reflective door shows up fingerprints and smears so you might need to clean it regularly to keep it looking nice.

Reviews of the Russell Hobbs RHM2362S

Which? reviewed this microwave and said,

“This is an OK microwave that warms food quickly without drying it out. It defrosts well too, plus it’s quiet and energy efficient. It’s not amazing though, and the reflective door makes it tricky to keep an eye on your food.”

We think it’s better than OK and it seems that actual paying customers think the same. After all, conducting a test in a lab is completely different to using something every day as part of your life.

At the time of writing, it scores 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.co.uk from over 900 reviews.amazon microwave

It’s not just on Amazon this Russell Hobbs microwave scores highly. It has been heavily reviewed on numerous shopping sites and scores very highly.

Russell Hobbs RHM2362S Reviews

Should You Buy it?

If you’re in the market for a basic microwave that has some handy features and looks like a high end, premium model, this microwave is well worth considering.

It looks fantastic, works very well and doesn’t cost the earth. In our opinion it’s the best solo microwave for most people.

russell hobbs RHM2362S

The Best Solo Microwave For Most People

Russell Hobbs RHM2362S

  • Heats food really well
  • Really good manual defrost
  • It’s quiet too

View it Here

Panasonic NN-ST479SBPQ Review

The Best Solo Microwave Upgrade

Panasonic NN-ST479SBPQ Review

Pros:

  • Fantastic at heating and defrosting
  • Delayed start
  • 18 cooking programs
  • Sensor cooking
  • Enough room for large plates

Cons:

  • Fingerprints show up on the stainless steel

Overview of the Panasonic NN-ST479SBPQ

This Panasonic microwave is a good looking machine with 5 power levels, the maximum being 900 watts. Coupled with its 27 litre capacity, it’s ideal for use in larger families and can accommodate a plate as big as 35cm.

It comes with delayed start, sensor cooking and a whole host of cooking programs including 13 auto-cook, 3 defrost and 2 reheating programs so there’s plenty of options for cooking your meat, veg, soup and jacket potatoes.

What it Does Best

Microwaves are generally made for defrosting and reheating and the Panasonic NN-ST479SBPQ does this excellently.

The defrost feature works really well. You can defrost by time or weight and it defrosts without leaving frozen spots or cooking other parts. In terms of cooking, it not only cooks food quickly but it cooks it evenly while not drying it out, which is something that can’t be said for many microwaves.

It also features a large, clear viewing window so you can keep an eye on your food as it cooks.

Flaws But Not Deal Breakers

The stainless finish makes the Panasonic look fantastic but stainless steel can look a bit mucky when not polished regularly.

Also, the door is opened using a button which needs a good, firm press.

Reviews of the Panasonic NN-ST479SBPQ

This microwave has been reviewed by Which? and has been awarded a ‘Which Best Buy’.

They said,

“The Panasonic NN-ST479SBPQ is an excellent microwave. It did extremely well in almost all of our lab tests and deserves its place alongside the other Best Buy Microwaves”

People that use this Panasonic model every day also like it. At the time if writing it scores 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.co.uk from 350 reviews.

Panasonic NN-ST479SBQ Amazon

It scores highly across the internet too scoring 4.4 out of 5 stars from over 1,000 reviews (data collected by Google);

Panasonic NN-ST479SBPQ Reviews

Should You Buy it?

At around £130, the Panasonic comes in at roughly double the price of the Russell Hobbs but it does have double the features, it’s bigger and more powerful.

If you’ll use the features and you have the budget we’d definitely recommend this as the best solo microwave.

Panasonic NN-ST479SBPQ

Looking For an Upgrade? This is Our Favourite

Panasonic NN-ST479SBPQ

  • Fantastic at heating and defrosting
  • 18 cooking programs
  • Delayed start and sensor cooking features

View it Here

Daewoo KOR6L77 Review

The Best Solo Microwave if You’ve Got a Budget

Daewoo KOR6L77

Pros:

  • Keeps food moist
  • Energy efficient
  • It’s cheap!

Cons:

  • No auto-defrost program
  • Can lose a bit of power when cooking several meals in a row

Overview of the Daewoo KOR6L77

This model from Deawoo is a very basic microwave.

It has a 20 litre capacity, has 5 power levels with the maximum being 700 watt and a 35 minute timer.

If you want features auto-cook, auto-reheat or auto-defrost, this isn’t the machine for you. It really is as basic as it looks!

What it Does Best

Just because this Daewoo microwave is basic doesn’t mean it doesn’t do a good job. In fact, the things it does do, it does very well.

It’s very good at heating up a meal and retaining the quality of the food, so you’ll always end up with plate of food that’s moist and tasty.

Despite its maximum power only being 700 watts, it heats up a meal relatively quickly.

The manual defrost works well too.

Flaws But Not Deal Breakers

The fact that the Daewoo KOR6L77 doesn’t have an auto-defrost might put you off. If that’s the case, consider the Russell Hobbs.

It can also lose a bit of power if you’re cooking several meals in a row. This is quite common with cheaper microwaves and to shouldn’t be a deal breaker, just allow yourself a bit more time to cook.

Reviews of the Daewoo KOR6L77

When Which? Reviewed this model they were impressed with how well its features worked,

“This microwave gives you decent-quality cooking results with minimal energy expenditure. It’s both good and fast at heating and defrosting, and only just misses out on achieving Best Buy status.”

The Daewoo is also Amazon’s best-seller list with a rating 0f 4.2 out of 5 stars from over 230 reviews.

Daewoo KOR6L77 Reviews AmazonIt also scores 4.4 out of 5 stars according to Google Shopping although this is from only 29 reviews.

Daewoo Microwave

Should You Buy it?

If you’re after something that has auto-cook features or other features like multiple sequence cooking then no, the Daewoo is too basic and you should probably consider the Russell Hobbs.

If however you’re looking for some very basic and price is your main concern then yes, we think it’s the best solo microwave for you. The features are very basic and as we already said, the things it does do, it does very well.

Daewoo KOR6L77

If You’re On a Budget, Take a Look at This

Daewoo KOR6A0R

  • Very good at heating and defrosting
  • Excellent value for money

View it Here