Best Flatbed Microwave For Thorough Cooking

Easy to clean and offering a bigger capacity, flatbed microwaves are on the rise.

Flatbed microwave

by Hannah Mellin |
Updated on

A Modern Kitchen has found the best flatbed microwave for your kitchen. After all, knowing the difference between all the types is important. This is whether you want a simple turntable microwave, a more complex and combination microwave, or a flatbed microwave that cooks food more evenly. When shopping around for the best microwave, it is important to know what you're looking for. Hopefully, our guide to these appliances will help.

Often overlooked, flatbed microwaves don't have a turntable that we've become so familiar with as they heat from the bottom via a rotating antenna instead, which sends out the microwaves at different angles in order to cook your food more evenly. They offer a bigger capacity than other microwaves and are much more versatile, as you can place dishes of any shape inside. If you're looking for something counter-space-friendly, perhaps a small microwave is best.

The Best Flatbed Microwave At A Glance:

Best for value: Russell Hobbs RHEM2301S 23L Easi Flatbed Digital 800w Solo Microwave - View offer on Amazon UK
Best for smaller households: Sharp 20L Digital Flatbed Microwave with Grill - View offer on appliancesdirect
Best for programme variety: Panasonic 1000W Standard Flatbed Microwave NN-SF464M - View offer on Argos
Best for ease of use: Sharp R360SLM 900W 23 Litre Standard Flatbed Microwave - View offer on Amazon UK

What is a flatbed microwave, you ask? A flatbed microwave looks and performs just as well as a regular microwave but uses a different technology that evenly distributes heat, so it doesn't need to have a turntable. This means you'll have extra cooking space, and it's easier to clean. The increase in capacity means that flatbed microwaves are a little more expensive. Do the pros outweigh the cons? That's for you to decide with our buyer's guide.

We've rounded up all the perks you can get from a flatbed microwave and the best available to shop right now. In times when we're all feeling the pinch, we're here to get you the best deals on appliances for your kitchen. Luckily, a microwave is one of many spectacular energy-saving appliances, saving you dosh on your monthly bills.

Best Flatbed Microwaves

Editor's Choice

With a sleek finish and appealing look, this Russell Hobbs Silver Digital Flatbed Solo Microwave includes an impressive array of functions, with five power levels, eight auto-cook menus, an automatic defrost, and a clock and a timer. The 23-litre capacity means that there is plenty of room for square plates and casserole dishes, but it is not too bulky to fit neatly on your countertop. We especially love the pre-programmed auto-cook menus, such as pizza, fish, and popcorn, that allow you to cook all your favourite foods at the push of a button.

Customer Review: "As much as it is possible to love a microwave, I do really love this one. I love how large it is and the fact it can take a pretty large dinner plate with ease, I love the fact it doesn't have one of those stupendously annoying and ill-designed, glass plates. The flat cooking surface is a doddle to clean and so much more practical. I love the sleek mirrored exterior and the simplicity of the design. Most of all though, I love the fact that it is not trying to be anything other than a microwave and to this end the buttons are amazingly simple and functional.

"I have seen so many microwaves that look more like airplane controls. where 75% of the options are not used. This has very basic functions and this for me is a really good thing. Brilliant product."


  • Sleek finish
  • Touch screen
  • Pre-programmed


  • Be careful of fingerprint marks

Best for value

As well as being a great brand at a great price, this Russell Hobbs RHEM2301S 23L Easi Flatbed Digital 800w Solo Microwave is simple and easy to use, with just four simple buttons that allow you to Microwave, Defrost, Start and Stop/Cancel. This means there are no auto-cook or pre-programmed features to worry about. Perfect for those who want a simple but effective microwave that will last years.

Customer Review: "So easy to use. Looks lovely in my kitchen. Great that there is no turn table and easy to clean. Can't fault it, if you're trying to weigh up the pros and cons of other makes this is the microwave that ticks the boxes. NB., cooks well too, no cold spots. Needs slightly less time than my old turntable microwave. Gosh, not having that wheely plastic round thing and trying to fit the glass thing on top is a blessing."


  • Simple settings
  • LED light
  • Easy to clean


  • No bells and whistles

Best for smaller households

A compact flatbed microwave is hard to come by, but this Sharp 20L Digital Flatbed Microwave with Grill is the smallest that we've come across, although it still delivers 20 litres, which means you don't have to sacrifice entirely on space. As well as being compact enough for smaller kitchens, it also has 12 automatic programmes, including defrosting.


  • Small and compact
  • Easy to use
  • 10 levels of power


  • No customer reviews

Best for programme variety

This Panasonic 1000W Standard Flatbed Microwave NN-SF464M is simple to use and comes with a huge 18 programmes for all your cooking needs, from soup to chicken, fish, and pudding. There's even a Turbo Defrost setting, meaning you can cut down the defrost time. As well as the impressive programs and 5 power levels, the acrylic lining also makes cleaning easy. If you've got a larger family, the 27-litre capacity of this microwave will suit all kinds of mealtimes.

Customer Review: "I'm delighted with this replacement Panasonic microwave. It's stylish, it's easy to use with clear instructions and it's amazingly capacious! It's equal to the task for cooking, however large or small. Huge bonus is it's so quiet too. I love it."


  • Big capacity
  • Impressive programmes
  • Quiet


  • Need to input weight before using auto cook, which can be a little fiddly

Best for ease of use

Delivering a sturdy build (we love the handle) and great performance, this Sharp R360SLM 900W 23 Litre Standard Flatbed Microwave from Sharp is great for smaller households with fewer people to cook for. It has simple, clear buttons and auto-programmes that include jacket potatoes and rice. This small but powerful bit of kit will aim to become your kitchen's best friend.

Customer Review: "Excellent microwave, easy to use. Easy to clean, and cooks very well. Others had said it was noisy, and It does continue to vent after cooking has finished but doesn't think it was that noisy. Also seen other reviews that said the touchpad was not responsive, I think this is because if you don't press the right button, then you get no reaction from the keypad, and we have found it very easy to use after reading the instructions. Overall definitely recommend it!"


  • Powerful
  • Not complicated to use


  • A little noisy

OUR VERDICT: Which Is The Best Flatbed Microwave?

Russell Hobbs Silver Digital Flatbed Solo Microwave takes the top spot for us as a microwave that not only looks sleek and modern but delivers excellent cooking capabilities and easy cleaning. It's designed to fit into any kitchen design and has so much to offer, whether you're looking for auto-programmes that make life easier or just need space to microwave a large plate of food. This microwave has got your back, and have we mentioned how simple it is to wipe clean?

Flatbed Microwave FAQs

What To Consider When Buying A Flatbed Microwave


Microwave capacity varies from around 17L to over 32L. For larger households, look for at least 27L, but the turntable size and interior height are more important than capacity. Flatbed microwaves are usually bigger, so make sure you have the space on your kitchen sides. Or why not go for a built-in or integrated microwave for a seamless look?

Cooking functions and programmes

Not all flatbed microwaves are built the same, and some offer more cooking functions than others. Some flatbed picks may also have combination microwave capabilities. Consider which you will actually use and make use of, especially if you intend to use it more than or instead of your oven. The most used microwave functions are reheating, defrosting, and sensor cooking.

Touch panels

Some microwaves have digital touch panels that are clearer to read and easier to clean than buttons or knobs. However, buttons are simpler to use than touch panels.


Finally, budgets come into play. If you're looking for a microwave for under £100, it's unlikely you're going to find a flatbed appliance. However, there are budget-friendlier models if you're not wanting to fork out too much dosh. Prices will vary from brand to merchant. It's our job to find the best deals - and we certainly have done our best.

Our microwave buyer's guide explains all the possible functions and how to find the best microwave for you.

Are Flatbed Microwaves Noisier?

Yes, the noise of a flatbed microwave is louder than other microwaves, but it is not overly noticeable.

What Are The Benefits Of A Flatbed Microwave?

As a flatbed microwave doesn't have a turntable, you're not limited in what shape of dish you can put inside.

They often have a larger capacity compared to normal microwaves.

You can heat two or three dishes at once.

Flatbed microwaves have an even surface area that cooks food more evenly.

They are much easier to clean as they have a flat surface.

Hannah Mellin is a Homes & Garden Product Writer for Modern Gardens, A Modern Kitchen, Yours and Take A Break. She has been working in the Journalism industry for over a decade and has written for an array of brands including John Lewis, Daily Mirror and Grazia. When she's not writing, researching or testing products, she's renovating her Victorian terrace and chilling in the garden with her sausage dog Waffle.

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