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Microwave oven buying guide

6 minute read |

Microwave ovens are no longer used exclusively for reheating meals or making packet mac and cheese, they have come a long way on the technology front, and you will be surprised to know you could probably cook a 5-course meal in them if you tried.

With the ability to purchase microwave ovens that have the speed of your traditional convection microwave but the functions of an oven, you have an opportunity to get creative with microwave oven cooking.

Read our complete buying guide to learn important information and helpful tips on how to choose a good microwave oven.

1. Microwave oven sizing: Things to consider

Kitchen layout

There are a few things we recommend you consider if you are designing a new kitchen, which ultimately will complement the way you like to cook and move around your kitchen.

Consider your cabinetry

When looking at your cabinetry, you need to consider whether you would prefer a more traditional kitchen design or a more modern look. A traditional kitchen design comes with a cooktop and oven pair one on top of the other.

Meanwhile, a more modern kitchen design typically comes with an oven within the cabinetry eye height, paired with another oven or microwave. Ultimately, the amount of space you have to work with can be a decisive factor on which you opt for.

Design module

Work triangle or work zones

The most significant consideration when thinking about placement of your microwave oven and other appliances is the size of your working space. However, you will find that a work triangle or work zone layout can work in smaller areas, but some design will work better on a larger scale.

When it comes to a work triangle, you would have your appliances configured so that the line drawn between the refrigerator, cooking appliances, and sink/dishwasher creates a triangle which the cook can easily and efficiently move about the space.

Whilst work zones will have you breaking everything up into 5 zones, consumables, non-consumables, cleaning, preparation, and cooking zones allow the space to work in unison of each other.

Microwave oven size

When looking at microwave oven capacity, you will typically find them between 20-40 liters. Generally, the only advantage to a larger one is purely capacity and the ability to place larger dishes in it. If you are purely using it for defrosting and reheating a smaller size would be more than suitable.

2. Types of microwave ovens

Microwave ovens are categorized into two popular types based on how they are installed to your kitchen: Built-in and Freestanding.

Built-in microwave oven

Microwave ovens are not like they used to be, they are designed to be advanced in features and fit seamlessly into your kitchen with matching designs to your other appliances.

Ideal for:

  • Small family - large family
  • Apartment living
  • Entertainer

Here are some factors to consider when buying a built-in microwave oven:


17 - 26L



Designed to fit

The clean lines and design cues to the full Electrolux Kitchen collection allow our built-in range to seamlessly fit into any kitchen. With the ability to have your microwave oven installed into a cavity within your cabinetry, you will not have another appliance taking up your bench space.

Versatile cooking

With predefined options, you will be able to create dishes that seem like they come out of a convection oven at microwave oven speeds, with them being browned, crisped and packed with flavor. You are spoiled for choice with the ability to choose convection cooking or grill cooking on their own or combined.

Sleek and stylish
Coming in two finishes with the standout being our dark stainless steel, you will be able to add a modern touch to any kitchen aesthetic.

Full touch control panel

Simple to use and easy to clean, our touch control panel on our built-in microwave ovens make it an easy one or two-button touch, and you have total control over cooking temperatures, times and function settings. With the added safety feature of child lock, you can keep your family safe with ease.

Feature design

Take out the guesswork

With a range of auto-cook features, including auto-defrost, you can select the weight of the food or power setting, and from there you can get perfect results every time.

Faster and even cook with 900W

Our built-in range of microwave ovens allows you to create an even and quick result with 900W of power, giving you flexibility in the kitchen to focus on other things.

Choose the best built-in microwave oven from our recommended products below:

  • Compact combination of traditional oven & microwave
  • Auto-programs ensure you always use the right power levels
  • Clear digital display
  • TouchOpen for quick and easy access
  • Offer additional grill function
  • Favourite function to save your preferred microwave settings
  • Easy rotary control knobs
  • Sleek and flexible design to fit in vaious ketchen layouts
  • Free up your kitchen time

Freestanding microwave ovens

Perfect for any household, a freestanding microwave oven allows you to plug and play. With its simple and modern design, you can place your freestanding microwave oven in a dedicated microwave oven spot or wherever you can fit it. With their easy-to-use control panel and easy to understand features, freestanding microwave ovens don't complicate the simple tasks of reheating and defrosting food.

Ideal for:

  • Family
  • Apartment living
  • Student accommodation

Here are some features to consider before buying a free-standing microwave oven





Grill Rack

With a grill rack addition, our built-in microwave ovens allow you to get the best out of your grill cooking.

Auto-defrost program

Go straight to the next step of your recipe as soon as this auto-defrost program is finished. Just carry-on cooking – your food is always thoroughly defrosted.

Clear digital display

It only takes one quick glance at your microwave's clear digital display and you'll get immediate feedback on how your dish is doing.

Choose the best freestanding microwave oven from our recommended products below:

  • Different functions for defrosting, heating, grilling & cooking
  • Thoroughly defrosts your food with auto-defrost program
  • Clear digital display

3. Microwave oven design & other considerations

In addition to the abovementioned tips for buying a microwave regarding capacity and type, there are also other factors to take into consideration as follows:

Contrast or complement your cabinetry

When selecting appliances, it is essential to consider complementing or contrasting your splash back, cabinetry and other design accents in your kitchen aesthetic. 

Where are you going to install your microwave oven?

Are you going to plug in and use wherever you can find a spot for your microwave oven? Or do you have a dedicated area where you would like to place your microwave? The answer to these questions can determine what style you could go with.

If you want to plug and play, freestanding is the way to go. Whereas if you have a dedicated spot or want to pair with your oven, you may want to look at a built-in or integrated model which will have a trim kit keeping it flush to the surrounding cabinetry for seamless integration.

Do you need basic or more advanced functions?

Do you want a microwave oven that is easy to understand and reheat, defrost and cook with a simple touch of a pre-set function? Or do you like to have more control over setting the temperature and length on time?

There are models for both kinds of microwave oven users. For this reason, it is important to be clear what you ultimately need your microwave oven for and whether all the extra advanced functions will be wasted in your household.

4. Support & service

We have a Customer Care team available to assist you over the phone seven days a week, and a national network of experienced technicians and selected service agents.

Offering a fixed price guarantee with no additional hidden labour costs, giving you peace of mind that your appliance is in good hands. Click here to contact customer care. 

Microwave oven FAQs

  • What size is a built-in microwave?
    Built-in microwave ovens are designed to fit standard cabinets widths, which can have different capacities from 25L to 44L, or more.
  • What is a built-in microwave oven?

    Built-in microwave ovens are designed to fit into cabinetry, which allows for free space on the counter. Built-in microwave ovens need to be installed permanently and are normally fixed in walls or cabinets.

    The installation needs to be done by a licensed contractor and you need to be aware of any restrictions around height position from the floor and breathing space around the sides.

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