Swan Nordic microwave review: we put the Bake-Off microwave to the test

You may recognise the Swan Nordic microwave from the Great British Bake-Off, but is this digital microwave a star baker? Find out in our hands-on review
  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
  • The Swan Nordic microwave has an attractive exterior that’s soft-to-touch, with wooden accents and a range of digital settings. We put this popular microwave to the test to see if it deserves its Bake-Off fame.

    Take a look at the best microwaves for more reviews

    From half-baked potatoes to lukewarm soup, a bad microwave has the potential to ruin any meal. Fortunately, I found that the Swan Nordic microwave deserves a place in your kitchen if you’re short on space and want something stylish. It has a range of helpful functions and while it’s worth keeping the manual handy, it’s an easy microwave to get the hang of. For my complete Swan Nordic microwave review, keep reading.

    Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

    Reasons to buy: 

    • Sleek exterior
    • High power level
    • Very quiet
    • Clock display
    • Six setting including defrost and express
    • Door stays fingerprint-free

    Reasons to avoid:

    • Controls can be fiddly
    • On the small side

    Swan Nordic Digital Microwave

    Swan Nordic Digital Microwave

    This microwave has six power levels and a compact footprint that makes it perfectly suited to smaller kitchens. It’s not the cheapest microwave on the market (but it’s usually available for under £100) and it lacks some of the multi-functionality you’ll usually find with more high-tech modern microwaves, but its ability to heat evenly makes it a smart choice for smaller families.

    Specs:

    • Capacity: 20 litres
    • Modes: 6
    • Colours: Blue, white, green, grey
    • Design: Nordic, mirror door, wooden soft-touch accents
    • Functions: Defrost, express, auto cook
    • Power: 800 watts
    • Weight: 11.9kg
    • Dimensions: D34.2 x L45.1 x H25.7 cm

    Swan Nordic Digital Microwave: First impressions

    Swan Nordic Digital Microwave

    The Swan Nordic Digital Microwave is not too heavy to hoist out of the box and onto the counter. I appreciated the packaging, which was largely recyclable and kept the microwave safe when in transit.

    There was some cardboard and plastic on the inside of the microwave, which needed to be removed before starting it up. Once this was done it really was just a case of plugging it in.

    Swan Nordic Digital Microwave: Design

    The dimensions of the Swan Nordic Digital Microwave are perfect for small kitchens like mine. It sits right at the back of my counter and leaves enough space for prepping drinks and snacks.

    Swan Nordic Digital Microwave

    As you can see the Swan Nordic Digital Microwave has a mirrored door which made photographing when testing a bit of a nightmare. It is actually a very nice feature though, and I was impressed to find that even though it sits near my hob and in front of where I prep my food, it doesn’t need cleaning very often. Fingerprints don’t leave streaks either, which given the matte finish is seriously impressive.

    Swan Nordic Digital Microwave

    You can pair the Swan Nordic Microwave with a range of Swan’s other nordic options, including one of our best kettle picks, and a toaster and even coffee machine.

    The internal capacity of the Swan Nordic Microwave is only 20 litres, so it’s not suitable for large cuts of meat or bulk cooking. For a smaller portion or a meal for two though, it’s the perfect size.

    Using the Swan Nordic Digital Microwave

    While there are six settings with the Swan Nordic Digital Microwave, the one you’ll use the most is probably the regular mode. To use this you need to press on the Micro Power button, which offers High, Medium High, Medium, Medium Low, and Low power (or 100%, 90%, 60%, 40%, and 20% power). The High setting is perfect for fast cooking, Medium is designed for steaming, Medium Low for defrosting and Low for keeping food warm.

    Swan Nordic Digital Microwave

    When you’ve selected the right mode it’s a case of choosing the time, which can go on for as long as 60 minutes. To do this you twist the time knob right through increments of ten seconds. The faster you scroll the faster the number can go higher, but if you know you want to cook for close to an hour you can also scroll backwards from 60 minutes.

    To get it going, it’s as simple as pressing the Start button. You can adjust timings as the microwave works and it is a very quiet machine, so even if you do want to run it for long periods of time it won’t be an interruption.

    How good is the Swan Nordic Microwave?

    I have had very positive experiences when using the Swan Nordic Microwave. It heats a bowl of soup through in only a couple of minutes, and I’ve never had the dreaded cold middle or super hot bowl that I’ve had with microwaves in the past.

    Swan Nordic Digital Microwave

    The defrost function works a lot faster than I had expected it to. I was able to defrost 500g of mince in less than 8 minutes. There are three defrost functions: D1 (up to 2kg of meat), D2 (poultry up to 3kg), and D3 (up to 0.9kg of seafood). You should keep the manual handy. The display only shows the functions but doesn’t help to tell which one is right for you.

    Jacket potatoes cook perfectly in this microwave. I typically set them for 7 minutes on the high setting and that is enough for them to cook through entirely.

    Swan Nordic Microwave: Settings

    Swan Nordic Digital Microwave

    When you get stuck into the control manual there are other smart features that aren’t even advertised with the Swan Nordic Microwave. For a start, you can schedule the microwave to run in advance at a specific time, for a specific amount of time and at a specific setting. You can also set sequences so two settings can run simultaneously.

    Child-safe lock

    While I don’t have a child to keep away from this microwave, it’s worth explaining how to turn on the Swan Nordic Microwave’s child lock. It is as simple as holding the Pause/Cancel setting for three seconds. To switch it off, just press the same button again.

    Should you buy the Swan Nordic Microwave?

    If you want a simple and powerful microwave that not only looks great but works well, this is the best one for you. The Swan Nordic Microwave has a lovely exterior but it’s important to know that it works just as well as a less aesthetically pleasing microwave.

    Of course, some microwaves such as the Panasonic NN-DF386BBPQ offer a rack for grilling and oven functions, and if you wanted to go smaller we also enjoyed the Hotpoint Curve MWH 1311 corner microwave, but the Swan Nordic sits between these both in terms of price and performance.

    About this review, and the reviewer

    Millie Fender heads up all things small appliances at Future. There’s nothing she loves more than testing out the latest and greatest cooking gadgets, for indoor and outdoor use, from toasters to air fryers. She reviewed the Swan Nordic Microwave from her own kitchen, testing it rigorously for a month before writing this review.

    Millie lives in South London and is constantly squeezing more appliances into her modest kitchen. If it makes it onto the kitchen counters full time (which the Swan Nordic Microwave decidedly has), you know an appliance is worth the hype.

    All the latest from Ideal Home