The best microwave ovens in Australia 2021

We’ve read hundreds of customer reviews and compared dozens of products to find the 6 best microwaves in Australia.

We’re reader-supported and may be paid when you visit links to partner sites. We don’t compare all products in the market, but we’re working on it!

How did we pick this list?

Our editorial team selected the products on this list based on key product features and actual customer reviews on sites like Appliances Online, The Good Guys, Harvey Norman and productreview.com.au. For each category, we selected parameters based on our research and identified the microwaves with the best review score within those parameters.

Read more detail on our methodology below.

The best microwaves in Australia

Best Microwave

Best Rated Microwave Brand: LG

With the launch of Australia's largest microwave in October 2020, LG is making waves in this category. It was voted best for cooking performance as well as ease of use.

Best overall microwave: LG MS4296OWS NeoChef Smart Inverter Microwave Oven

Pros

  • Large capacity
  • Lots of cooking modes

Cons

  • Some buyers might be looking for something a little cheaper
  • Some buyers report a lack of long-term reliability

Price (RRP): $347

Buy at ebay
Buy at Appliances Online
Buy at Bing Lee

Why we chose it

If you're searching for the best microwave for your kitchen, there are lots of good reasons why you should check out this inverter microwave from LG. It boasts a large capacity, a sleek modern design and plenty of features that help make it a breeze to use.

It has picked up its fair share of customer reviews too, with average scores of 4.6 out of 5 from over 300 Google reviews and 4.1 out of 5 from over 40 ratings on productreview.com.au. Then there's the fact that LG was named the best-rated microwave brand in the 2020-21 Finder Retail Awards, impressing Aussie consumers with the cooking performance and ease of use of its microwaves.

With all this taken into account, the LG MS4296OWS NeoChef Smart Inverter Microwave Oven takes the win here as the best overall microwave.

With its 42-litre capacity, the LG has plenty of space to heat up those large family meals. Its 1,200W of power ensures fast cooking, and it uses inverter technology to help ensure even defrosting and heating.

A sleek-looking appliance, the LG NeoChef is programmed via easy-touch controls. It offers plenty of options to choose from too, with programs for reheating everything from soup to pizza, melting ingredients like butter and chocolate and softening butter and ice cream. There are also 8 sensor cook options – Bacon, Casserole, Fresh Vegetables, Frozen Meat Pie, Frozen Vegetables, Jacket Potatoes, Rice/Pasta and Risotto – to help you get a wide range of dishes ready to eat.

Other highlights include a turntable with 6 support points for extra stability and an anti-bacterial coating on the interior to help make it easy to clean. So whichever way you look at it, the LG NeoChef offers stacks of features that help make it the right fit for a wide range of kitchens.


Best cheap microwave: Kmart Anko 20L Microwave

Kmart Anko 20L Microwave

Pros

  • Cheap (even for this category)
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Capacity may not be large enough for some
  • Some complaints about slow heating performance

Price (RRP): $48

Why we chose it

Shopping for a microwave with a budget of less than $200? We recommend checking out this handy little model from Kmart.

Not only is it ridiculously cheap, but it offers all the essential features you need in a microwave. It's also backed by an impressive number of reviews from happy customers. We're talking hundreds of 5-star reviews on the Kmart website and an average score of 4 out of 5 from over 150 ratings on productreview.com.au. As a result, the Kmart Anko 20L Microwave is our top pick as the best cheap microwave.

This humble Kmart microwave may not be particularly stylish or boast any advanced features, but there's no shortage of customers who report that it does exactly what it's designed to do. With a 20-litre capacity and external dimensions of 26.2cm (H) x 45.2cm (W) x 31.5cm (D), it's also a compact unit that isn't going to take up a whole lot of space on your kitchen bench.

There are 10 power levels to choose from, plus settings to cook or defrost by weight as well as quickly defrost. This model also includes 6 automatic cooking menus – Potato, Popcorn, Pizza, Frozen Vegetables, Beverage and Reheat – to help you prepare a range of common dishes.

And the best part of all? You can pick up one of these microwaves for less than $50. So if you're on a tight budget and you don't need a microwave with a large capacity or a host of fancy features, this 20-litre model from Kmart represents great value for money.


Best convection microwave: Whirlpool JT479IX 6th Sense Crisp N' Grill Convection Fan Forced 31L Microwave

Pros

  • 90 preset recipes
  • Fast defrost

Cons

  • Not the cheapest
  • Some buyers report that the features and settings take a while to understand

Price (RRP): $799

Buy at eBay
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Buy at Catch

Why we chose it

If you're searching for the best convection microwave for your kitchen, it's hard to go past the 6th Sense Crisp N' Grill Convection Fan Forced 31L Microwave from Whirlpool.

This convenient model combines a microwave and a fan-forced oven into one handy appliance and boasts plenty of special features like a fast-heating grill and a steam function. It's been well received by consumers too, as shown by its average rating of 4.8 out of 5 from 16 customer ratings on productreview.com.au. The Whirlpool was also our top overall pick in our guide to the best convection microwaves, so it's no surprise to see it take the win here as the best convection microwave.

This 31-litre microwave from Whirlpool uses what the manufacturer calls a 3D microwave distribution system to ensure even heating. But it also comes with the 6th Sense Crisp function, which is designed to help you produce baked goods that are crisp and crunchy on the outside without being overcooked on the inside.

The JT479IX also includes a steam function, which uses sensors to monitor and adapt the cooking process to suit whatever meal you're preparing, and comes with a turbo defrost feature that's designed to defrost 7 times quicker than a conventional microwave option. And when you need to do some grilling, the Quartz Grill heats up within 60 seconds.

Other features include a whopping 90 pre-programmed menu items, the ability to program in 10 favourites and accessories that include a crisp tray and steamer bowl. So if you're in the market for a versatile convection microwave, the Whirlpool JT479IX 6th Sense Crisp N' Grill Convection Fan Forced 31L Microwave is well worth a closer look.


Best small microwave: LG MS2336DB NeoChef 23L Smart Inverter Microwave Oven

Pros

  • Sleek, modern look
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • There are cheaper options available
  • Some complaints about annoying chimes when it's finished heating

Price (RRP): $229

Buy at eBay
Buy at Appliances Online
Buy at The Good Guys
Buy at Bing Lee

Why we chose it

Only have a small amount of space to work with in your kitchen? There's plenty to like about the LG MS2336DB, a 23-litre inverter microwave with no shortage of positive reviews.

This model boasts a stylish and minimalist design, is easy to use and comes with a wide range of pre-programmed menu options. It's picked up a host of glowing feedback from buyers too, as its average score of 4.7 out of 5 from almost 1,000 Google reviews demonstrates.

Of course, it's also worth remembering that LG was named the best-rated microwave brand in the 2020-21 Finder Retail Awards. Consumers rated the South Korean brand highly for the cooking performance and ease of use of its microwaves, so the LG MS2336DB NeoChef 23L Smart Inverter Microwave Oven takes top prize in this category as the best small microwave.

Let's start with the dimensions. At 272mm (H) x 476mm (W) x 370mm (D), this LG NeoChef microwave is well suited to small spaces. It also boasts a modern, minimalist look from the outside and features an internal LED light to make it easy to check on the progress of your cooking.

Programming is done via easy-touch controls, and the LG has special settings for the following:

  • Reheating (Beverage, Casserole, Dinner Plate, Muffin, Pie, Pizza, Rice, Soup)
  • Melting (Butter, Cheese, Chocolate)
  • Softening (Butter, Cream Cheese, Ice Cream)
  • Proofing (Yoghurt)

There are also menus for cooking popular dishes like frozen meat pies, frozen veggies and jacket potatoes plus a Keep Warm setting when required.

Other features include a stable turntable with 6 support points, an anti-bacterial interior coating for easy cleaning and a tempered glass door.

There may be cheaper models available in the compact microwaves category, but the LG MS2336DB NeoChef 23L Smart Inverter Microwave Oven offers the right mix of small size and versatile features to get the win here.


Best large-capacity microwave: Westinghouse WMF4102SA 40L 1100W Microwave

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • 6 sensor cook programs

Cons

  • Only a 1-year warranty
  • Some buyers might want more advanced programs

Average online price: $259

Buy at eBay
Buy at Appliances Online
Buy at The Good Guys

Why we chose it

Need a microwave that can cater to all the cooking, defrosting and reheating needs of a large family? We recommend taking a closer look at the Westinghouse WMF4102SA 40L 1100W Microwave.

This countertop microwave oven offers a 40-litre capacity, is simple to use and comes with a stylish stainless-steel finish. It's also picked up a stack of positive reviews from customers at retailers like The Good Guys and Appliances Online and has an average score of 4.6 out of 5 from over 400 Google reviews.

If you want something even larger, you might want to consider the LG MS5696OMBS
NeoChef Smart Inverter Microwave, which boasts a huge 56-litre capacity and a number of positive customer reviews. However, we think that the smaller size and price tag of the Westinghouse will make it a better choice for many homes, so it takes the win in this category.

The Westinghouse WMF4102SA offers 1,100W of power and comes with 6 sensor cook programs. It features auto weight defrosting programs to help you get your food just right and a Quick Start feature when you just want to quickly heat something at full power.

Another convenient inclusion is the multi-stage cooking feature, which allows you to program in your desired settings for defrosting and then cooking. There are also 10 power levels to choose from, and the stainless-steel exterior is fingerprint resistant.

So if size matters for your microwave, be sure to take a closer look at what the Westinghouse WMF4102SA 40L 1100W Microwave has to offer.


Best multi-purpose microwave: Breville BMO870BSS the Combi Wave 3-in-1 Microwave

Pros

  • One-touch auto settings
  • Soft-close door

Cons

  • Some buyers criticise air-frying performance
  • Some users claim that it doesn't heat food as quickly as a conventional microwave

Price (RRP): $749

Buy at eBay
Buy at Bing Lee
Buy at The Good Guys

Why we chose it

Searching for a microwave that's more than just a microwave? Breville's BMO870BSS the Combi Wave 3-in-1 Microwave could be just what your kitchen needs.

This versatile appliance combines a microwave, an air fryer and a convection oven into one package. It offers the convenience of one-touch programming for common tasks plus a range of clever features to make it easy to use every day.

It's no stranger to positive customer reviews either, with an average score of 4.4 out of 5 from over 600 Google reviews. As a result, the Combi Wave 3-in-1 Microwave takes the win here as the best multi-purpose microwave.

Whether you're reheating leftovers from last night's dinner, air frying up some chips or cooking a roast chicken for dinner, the Combi Wave can do it all. This model has 19 built-in presets to allow for fast and convenient cooking. These include the Fast Combi setting that blends microwave, oven and grill functions together and the Cook From Frozen function when you're cooking frozen food. You can also choose Breville's A Bit More setting for when whatever you're making just needs a little more cooking time.

The Breville Combi Wave also boasts a host of features to help make it more user-friendly. Programming is easy via buttons, dials and a clear display, while the soft-close door is a welcome touch of class.

So if you're searching for an appliance that can tackle a wide range of cooking tasks without taking up too much bench space, there are lots of reasons why you should check out the Combi Wave 3-in-1 Microwave from Breville.


Methodology

15+
Brands considered
50+
Products compared
6
Best products chosen
  • We considered microwaves from over 15 leading brands.
  • We chose our top picks based on key product features and reviews from real customers.
  • The products on this list are chosen by our editorial team and are not selected based on commercial relationships.

How to compare microwaves

When it comes to microwaves, there's a huge range of prices – from less than AUD$100 through to several thousand dollars.

When comparing microwaves, consider the following features:

Functionality

What do you want to use your microwave for? If all you need is something to warm up last night's left-overs, you'll probably be happy with a conventional microwave. If you'd like something that will grill or bake as well, you'll need to consider a microwave with multiple functions.

Its place in your kitchen

All types of microwaves – other than conventional microwaves – require professional installation into a specific location in your kitchen. Conventional microwaves can be plugged in and used immediately. However, they tend to take up a lot of bench space.

Your mobility

Some microwaves are ideally suited to people with mobility issues. For example, if you have arthritis in your hands, you'll want to look for a microwave with large buttons that are easy to use.

Power

The lower the wattage, the cheaper the microwave. However, what you'll save in money, you'll lose in power. Generally, microwaves between 900 and 1000 watts will get the job done well. Anything below 700 watts will struggle to heat your food effectively.

Energy efficiency

A less powerful microwave might suit you better if you're concerned about energy efficiency. Note that most microwaves use about the same amount of electricity as a stove-top element to do the same job. Microwaves use less power than a traditional oven to do the same job.

New or second-hand?

The average microwave lasts at least 10 years. So if you want a quality microwave but are strapped for cash, consider buying one second-hand. If you can, test the microwave before you buy it to make sure it still works as it should.

What types are available?

There are three main types of microwaves: conventional, convection and built-in.

  • Conventional. A conventional microwave is ideal if you want to use your microwave just for reheating or defrosting. This is the most common and cheapest type of microwave.
  • Convection. A convection microwave might suit you if you want a microwave with a greater range of cooking options.
  • Built-in. As the name suggests, built-in microwaves don't sit on your kitchen's countertop, but instead need to be installed. A built-in microwave has the most cooking options, including convection and grilling. These are usually the most expensive type of microwave.

Where can I put a microwave?

The type of microwave you should get depends on where you plan to put it in your kitchen. Check out the following options:

Free-standing microwaves

Free-standing microwaves are the traditional microwaves that stand on your countertop. They are usually used for heating, reheating and defrosting food as well as cooking simple meals.

  • Require no specialist installation
  • Usually the cheapest type of microwave
  • Have a limited range of cooking functions
  • Cooking times can vary greatly depending on how powerful the microwave is

Built-in microwaves

You might consider buying a built-in microwave if you are remodelling or building your kitchen since this type of microwave must be installed. Built-in microwaves usually come with conventional microwave functions as well as grill and convection functions.

  • Keeps your kitchen's countertops clear
  • Usually comes with a wide range of cooking options
  • Cannot be placed anywhere – must have a specific location in the kitchen
  • More expensive than free-standing microwaves

Over-the-range microwave

Over-the-range microwaves fit over the top of your range and have several different functions beyond the conventional microwave.

  • Multi-function – many over-the-range microwaves operate as lights and vents for your stovetop
  • Conveniently located if you need to use it while you are cooking
  • Must be a specific size to fit over the stovetop
  • May require professional installation

Drawer microwaves

A drawer microwave is exactly what it sounds like – a microwave in a drawer that slides in and out of the wall.

  • Very economical on space
  • Can be designed to look like another drawer in your kitchen
  • Not easy to install
  • One of the more expensive types of
  • microwaves

Six tips for cleaning a microwave

We've all had the unpleasant experience of opening a microwave to find caked-on food splattered across the interior. But don't panic! We have you covered with our best tips for cleaning a microwave – including some you may not have thought of before.

  1. Spray and wipe. Simply use a cleaning spray of your choice and wipe it off with a cloth or paper towel.
  2. Steam with paper towels. If you need to get rid of caked-on grime, place a handful of wet paper towels in your microwave and set the microwave to run for a few minutes. The steam from the heated paper towels will loosen the grime and can usually be wiped straight off.
  3. Try the lemon method. Cut a lemon in half and place the cut side down on a plate, along with a small amount of water. Microwave on high for one minute then remove the plate with the lemons and wipe the microwave clean.
  4. Use dishwashing liquid. Half fill a bowl with warm water and add a generous amount of dishwashing liquid. Run the microwave for a minute on high. Remove the bowl and use a cloth to wipe the inside of the microwave.
  5. Experiment with other methods. You can use similar methods described above using other cleaning products such as vinegar, baking soda or window cleaner. Although you can use baking soda and vinegar together, be aware that they react when combined and will fizz strongly.
  6. Stay away from bleach. Don't use bleach to clean your microwave. It's not necessary, as microwaves generally don't get stained. And bleach can damage the plastic parts of your microwave.

Compare microwaves

Name Product Volume Power Turntable Size Product More info
Whirlpool JQ280IX 6th Sense 29L Crisp N' Grill Convection Microwave
N/A
N/A
N/A
Panasonic NN-ST25JMQPQ 20L Compact 800W Microwave Oven
20L
800W
N/A
Panasonic NNCF770M 27L Convection Microwave 1000W
27L
1,000W
N/A
Kmart Anko 20L Microwave
N/A
N/A
N/A
LG MS2336DB NeoChef 23L Smart Inverter 1000W Microwave Oven
23L
1,000W
292mm
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