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I must confess I am one of those over-enthusiastic composters! I try to talk all my friends and family into composting.
The benefits for the environment are well documented and, unlike big-ticket items such as electric cars, I believe it is an accessible step for most families.
I have 5 different compost bins in my house – some for indoor, some for outdoor. I also use three different methods: traditional composting, bokashi (my favorite), and worm farm (my kids’ favorite).
Are you in search of a new compost bin? Maybe you’re a composting newbie and you’re wondering which bin is the best or which method? If this sounds relatable to you, you’re in the right place! We’ve rounded up some of the best compost bins that will make composting a much easier process.
While this article is a guide to the best compost bin, we will also present bins that use different methods such as traditional composting (decomposition method), Bokashi (fermentation), and worm farm.
Our best overall bin, the FCMP Outdoor Dual Chamber Tumbling Composter is a composting powerhouse. Perfect for beginners or seasoned gardeners, the dual-chamber will make life much easier! To find out more about choosing a compost bin, be sure to read along!
Best Compost Bins 2021
Best Overall – FCMP Outdoor Dual Chamber Tumbling Composter
Kicking off our list of the best compost bins is our best overall pick, the FCMP Dual Chamber Tumbling Composter. If you need a constant supply of compost for your garden, this tumbling composter is for you!
With an impressive 37 gallon capacity, this composter is capable of holding plenty of food scraps and organic waste. But, despite its huge size, it’s super easy to use.
It also boasts dual inner bins – you can have two batches of compost going at the same time, regardless of which stage of decomposition they’re at. No more mixing, digging, and getting your hands dirty!
Simply throw your organic material and yard waste in and give it a turn 5-6 times every few days to help the composting process. In hot conditions and with the right balance of materials, it can be finished in as little as 14 days.
Method used: traditional compost by decomposition.
Expandable Option – Geobin Compost Bin
If you’re an avid and dedicated gardener, you’re sure to love the Geobin Compost Bin, a customizable and easy alternative to an open composting pile. It comes in a roll of plastic that you shape into whatever size you want. Your purchase even includes “keys” so you can secure the shape into place.
We love that you can use the material to make whatever type of compost pile you want. From a cylinder to a square compost bin, all you need to do is fix the sides to some garden posts or stakes. The material provides excellent ventilation thanks to the perforated design and the bin is easy to fill up and stir.
An affordable but large capacity compost bin, this outdoor composting system is ideal for any gardener, from beginner to experienced. Put the finished compost on flowers, plants, and around trees to provide the soil with essential nutrients and help your outdoor space flourish!
Method used: traditional compost by decomposition.
Best Indoor System – Bokashi Living Starter Kit
It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Bokashi composting. I have written many times about my favorite Bokashi buckets.
Bokashi relies on fermentation to break food down. You do this by tossing your food scraps and some special bran (full of good and hard-working bacteria) into a bucket. When the bucket is full the fermented scraps need to be buried in the garden or added to a traditional bin for final decomposition.
Bokashi is great for those without a garden as it is a tightly sealed system that can live in your kitchen bench or pantry. Even as someone with a garden, I love this method as it makes composting process much faster.
Bokashi Living Starter Kit is an all-you-need kind of kit! Everything you need to be successful with Bokashi is there: two bins that you can alternate and two packs of Bokashi bran – which you add to your food scraps to get the breakdown going.
The lid is incredibly tight which is a key feature for an anaerobic system that relies on the lack of oxygen. No airflow also means no bad smells and no sneaky insects inside the bin!
Method used: Bokashi is a fermentation method, but further decomposition is required either through burying your fermented waste or by adding it to a traditional compost bin
Budget Option – Epica Stainless Steel Compost Bin
If you live in an apartment or you don’t have access to a backyard, don’t feel you have to miss out on the benefits of composting! The Epica Stainless Steel Compost Bin is the perfect indoor compost bin thanks to its odor control system.
A wonderfully affordable option, this stainless steel compost bin is not only functional but looks great in the kitchen too! It can hold around 1 gallon of food waste, making it an ideal option if you want to add organic material to a bigger compost pile in your backyard.
This indoor composting bin has a charcoal filter that prevents odors from getting out. Each filter will last around 6 months and you’ll only need to clean it with soap and water when you empty the bin.
Mixed method: indoor systems need to be emptied into an outdoor system – either worm farm or traditional bin for final decomposition.
Best for Countertops – OXO Good Grips Easy-Clean Compost Bin
If you’re a beginner composter, or you want a convenient place to pop your food scraps in before taking them to the outdoor composter, the OXO Good Grips Easy-Clean Compost Bin is a perfect and affordable choice.
The detachable, soft-seal lid and the rotating handle make it easy to use and the odor-free system prevents nasty smells. Not only that but this compost bin can be used without compost bags as the smooth inner walls prevent any food buildup, making it easy to clean.
The 0.75-gallon capacity makes it ideal for use under the sink or on the countertop. Additionally, its lightweight and compact design is easy to handle and can be operated with one hand.
Best Stainless Steel Bin – Utopia Kitchen Compost Bin
Although you can use pretty much any bin for holding your food scraps and organic waste, eventually it’ll start to smell bad if you can’t clean it thoroughly from time to time. So if you’re a busy person, this option might be the best choice for you.
By nature, Utopia Kitchen Compost Bin’s stainless steel construction doesn’t hold onto odors and it’s very easy to clean, saving you time. Although this bin doesn’t actually create compost, it’s great for holding coffee grounds, vegetable peelings, and other food scraps until you’re ready to take them to an outside compost pile.
For maximum durability and longevity, it’s constructed from premium grade 201 stainless steel that’s crack, chip, and scratch-resistant. This compost bin also features charcoal filters that stop odors from escaping.
This means you can let the food waste build up throughout the week without fear of being visited by pests or having your kitchen full of nasty smells.
Best Aesthetic Option – Bamboozle Food Compost Bin
Many people may not want to have an obvious bin of decomposing food scraps sitting in their kitchen, especially when they have guests visiting. If you want an aesthetically pleasing bin, you’ll love the Bamboozle Food Compost Bin.
The attractive design cleverly hides the contents but still offers a convenient place to store your organic waste. The neutral cream color and the bamboo handle will suit any kitchen decor, making it the perfect way to integrate composting into the kitchen.
It has a 1-gallon capacity and a tight-fitting lid for extra security. It also features a replaceable charcoal filter that’s specially designed to stop odors escaping into your kitchen. The filters are easy to clean, dishwasher safe, and last for around 2 months before they’ll need to be replaced.
Best Outdoor Compost Bin- VIVOSUN Tumbling Composter
The next item on our list is the VIVOSUN Tumbling Composter. For effective outdoor composting, this dual rotating composter is the ideal choice. The double inner bins allow you to compost two batches simultaneously, even if they’re both at different decomposition stages.
This provides a constant supply of fresh, rich compost. The innovative tumbling design allows you to turn the compost effortlessly. No mixing by hand needed! Simply fill it with grass clippings, coffee grounds, and other organic materials, close the door and spin it every 2 to 3 days.
You don’t need to worry about ventilation either. The deep fins and air vents provide great airflow as well as helping to break up any clumps that form in the chambers. They also allow lots of oxygen into the mix to create healthy, fresh compost in just a couple of weeks.
The sturdy galvanized PP plastic construction is weather and corrosion-resistant, and super durable for long-lasting life. It also boasts an elevated design to prevent little pests from interrupting your composting process.
The black material also absorbs heat well to help your compost pile to break down quickly and effectively. Your purchase also includes a pair of garden gloves so your hands are protected while you fill the bin up!
Best Worm Composter – Nature’s Footprint Worm Factory
Designed to suit any lifestyle, this worm compost bin can be used to compost indoors or outdoors for all-year usage. Worm bins are one of the easiest and quickest ways to break down organic waste and this Nature’s Footprint Worm Factory 360 will do the job effectively!
Worm composting can convert food scraps into compost in just a couple of weeks. It can also continue the process throughout the winter if you keep the pile in a location that’s free from frost.
This worm factory is made in the US and constructed from high-quality recycled plastic. It can hold thousands of worms that will go through pounds of organic waste each week.
This worm composting factory is compact and can expand up to 7 trays. Each tray features a grid underside so the worms can make their way up as new materials are added.
As the waste gets broken down, the clever system filters out the moisture, extracting the nutritious particles. This is perfect if you’d like to make compost tea!
The worms will break the food waste down into healthy compost. Once the first tray becomes full, just stack the second on top and continue the process all over again.
Note: It’s recommended to use 1 pound of worms (around 1,000) as this many can eat around half a pound of waste a day.
Method used: worm
Best for Size – DF OMER Garden Composter Bin
If you want to be even more eco-friendly, you should definitely consider DF OMER Garden Composter Bin. Constructed from BPA-free recycled plastic, this outdoor compost bin is the perfect environmentally friendly purchase.
It has a 110-gallon capacity and features a tower design complete with a generous opening. Because of its huge size, it’s ideal for those who want to compost large loads of organic waste.
Simply add your food scraps and yard waste to the top, then your finished compost will be ready at the bottom after a few weeks. Additionally, the black plastic absorbs heat effectively and regulates moisture, helping your compost materials to decompose quicker.
The best compost bins should be easy to set up and this bin from DF Omer is certainly that. Super simple to use, this bin will make composting much easier. Plus, the secure lid prevents critters and pests from getting into your compost pile.
Best for Kitchen Waste – Full Circle Breeze Odor-Free Countertop Compost Bin
If you want to go green and start composting but don’t want any horrible odors invading your kitchen, then the Full Circle Breeze Odor-Free Countertop Compost Bin is for you!
With a 0.85-gallon capacity, it may be small but this clever compost bin is great at minimizing odors thanks to its Fresh Air technology.
Simply use the innovative lid to keep everything clean – even better, the bin itself is made from recycled materials. Perfect for those who want to take the first steps to become more eco-friendly.
What to Consider When Buying a Compost Bin
Indoor vs Outdoor
First, consider what you’ll be composting and where you want your bin. If you want to focus on yard and garden materials, composting outside will be the most convenient. But if you’re focusing on composting food and kitchen scraps, a small and easily accessible indoor bin is the answer.
Having a smaller bin will stop odors from developing since you’ll be emptying it more often. If you want to store your food waste before taking it to a larger outdoor compost pile, an under-sink or countertop bin is your best option.
If you don’t want to have to keep emptying the bin frequently, an outdoor bin may be a better choice for you. If you opt for outdoor composting, consider the location as well. Stationary bins can be placed in the sun or a shaded spot, depending on how quickly you want your compost to be finished.
The heat from the sun increases the temperature, so the waste materials break down faster. Small bins or tumblers can be moved to wherever you want.
Compost bins are typically made from wood, metal, or plastic. Keep in mind that if you’re going to compost outdoors, your bin will need to be weather-resistant. Metal is an ideal choice as it can withstand all seasons and it offers good protection against pests.
Plastic is very lightweight and works well outside or inside, but harsh weather could cause it to warp or crack. Wood can work well in outdoor spaces, but it can rot easily if it’s not looked after properly.
Dark materials are better for absorbing heat and helping your waste materials to break down quickly, meaning your compost will be ready sooner.
Compost bins that have well-fitting lids will ensure that any odors are contained. This is especially important for indoor composting but it can be a good thing for outdoors as well. A tight lid will also prevent curious pests and rodents from getting into your compost heap.
But your bin must also be easy to open. This is especially true with a tumbling bin. It should have a lid that is easy to open and that doesn’t just rotate when you try to open it.
A compost heap that has been properly mixed will have little to no odor. Ensuring that you add the right amount of brown and green materials will stop the pile from producing unpleasant smells.
The best compost bin will have holes or air vents so it provides effective ventilation. Many indoor bins even have filters to combat nasty odors. Look for bins with removable filters that can be replaced or washed. If the purchase includes replacement filters then that’s even better!
Tumbling vs Stationary
You generally have a choice between two varieties of compost bins: tumbling and stationary.
These usually have a bigger capacity than tumbling bins and are the ideal choice for those who have large amounts of yard waste such as grass clippings, weeds, and leaves. To help your pile cook better, you’ll need to mix it manually with a pitchfork every few days.
These are sealed bins that rotate to mix the materials, saving you from having to use your hands or garden tools. They feature elevated designs and usually have handles, which make mixing the materials super easy.
Although they’re usually smaller than their stationary counterparts, tumbling containers are becoming popular thanks to their efficient designs, which help the waste decompose much quicker.
Which type of bin you choose depends on how much waste you want to compost and how quickly you want it to be ready. If you have lots of yard waste and you don’t mind turning the compost by hand every 2 or 3 days, a stationary bin would be a great choice for you.
But if you need your compost fast and you don’t have time for any manual turning, a tumbling container will be your best friend!
When it comes to your new compost bin, bigger doesn’t automatically mean better. Smaller bins tend to have 1-10 gallon capacities, medium bins come in at around 11-29 gallons, and the bigger bins are typically anything over 30 gallons.
If you have a large amount of yard waste to add, a small bin won’t be any good to you. On the other hand, it’s important to turn your compost to aerate it and ensure the materials are well distributed, and this can be tricky with a huge bin.
Not only that but the bigger the bin, the longer your compost will have to “cook” to be ready to use. Consider how much waste you have when deciding on the size of your bin.
Next, consider the features that you want your new compost bin to have. Even a simple bin can have features that will make life easier. For example, having a bin with a lid that’s easy to remove means you can just throw food scraps into it as you prepare the food.
A carry handle means you can take the bin outdoors and air vents provide ventilation, reducing odors. Many bins can also hold biodegradable liners so you can bag the compost up.
Specially designed worm bins tend to have more features because the composting process will happen inside them. Worm composting bins usually have tray systems that allow the worms to move up toward the newly added waste.
If you want to start worm composting, be sure to choose a bin with features that give you easy access to the ready-to-use compost.
Worm vs Conventional
Before you settle on a compost bin, decide if you want to use conventional composting methods or vermicomposting (also known as worm composting). Both of these methods will create rich, healthy compost, but which one is right for you depends on your lifestyle and how much space you have.
Conventional composting consists of mixing organic waste of 30 parts carbon, and 1 part nitrogen. In this moist, warm environment, microbes such as Actinomycetes, fungi, and bacteria transform the mixture into ready-to-use compost.
Worm composting involves using red wiggler worms to eat the organic materials and create compost in the form of worm manure. This is an incredibly fertile and rich compost full of phosphorous, nitrogen, and many other micronutrients.
The worms help keep the compost well mixed and aerated, so there’s no extra manual work needed other than feeding the worms and adding paper bedding.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best compost bin on the market?
A tumbling composter might be better compared to others. The easy rotating design keeps your compost aerated and well mixed, helping it to decompose much quicker. This is perfect for those who don’t have the time to spend manually mixing and turning their compost.
But which bin is the best for you completely depends on your lifestyle and how much time and space you have. If you don’t have access to a garden or backyard, a good stationary kitchen compost bin with odor control technology is your best option.
How do compost bins work?
The composting process involves the activity of micro-organisms in the ground. They utilize the carbon-rich kitchen scraps and break them down. This results in fiber and potassium-rich compost that you can add to your garden soil.
To do an effective job, these micro-organisms need LOTS of oxygen, which you can provide by turning and mixing the compost materials in a compost bin. A compost bin also helps deter pests and rodents from getting into your heap, which is what would probably happen with an open compost pile.
What can be put into countertop compost bins?
Most kitchen waste can be put into a countertop compost bin, including fruit and vegetable scraps, coffee grounds, and crushed eggshells. DO NOT add anything such as meat, dairy products, or pet feces, as these will create horrid smells.
It’s also best to avoid adding any bioplastics to your kitchen compost bin, even if they’re marked as biodegradable.
What can be put into an outdoor composting bin?
Most organic materials can be put into a compost heap including grass cuttings, disease-free yard scraps, leaves, and sawdust. You can also add vegetarian animal manure such as horses, cows, hamsters, and rabbits.
Last update on 2021-09-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API